SS: Sunday Saves (#57)

sunday-saves

Happy Sunday everyone! It’s the last Sunday of the month, this month has just flown by, I really can’t believe it! If you haven’t heard of my Sunday Saves before, it’s a weekly series I write to showcase my favourite blog posts I’ve read that week. You can find my other fifty six editions right here! Today I’ll be talking about kittens, essential oils and a new form of yoga.

1) Life of Bee (Meet The New Family Member)

Bee shows us her adorable new kitten ‘Sox’ and I love the name! It’s so cute, just like him and it reminds me of when I first got Audrey. Awww!

2) She and Life (Essential Oils and Why They Are Essential To Me)

Essential oils are something that have fascinated me for  the last few months and it’s something that I want to start looking more into, because I’ve heard about the benefits of them in their different forms. Tilly tells us about the oils that she uses on a daily basis and describes exactly why they are perfect for her and her family. If you need a quick guide on essential oils, Tilly has you covered.

3) Knel (An Introduction to Hot Pod Yoga)

Hot pod yoga? Yes, I’d never heard of it either; I’d heard of hot yoga before but I didn’t know there was such a thing as hot pod yoga. Katie tells us about her experience of a class, and I would love to give something like this a go. I’m not great in the heat mind you, so I would bet I would last a few minutes at the very most, but it’s a new experience after all, right?

That’s all from this week’s Sunday Saves. It felt very short and sweet but if you go on to the girls’ posts, you’ll see that they do most of the explaining for me; I hope you enjoy their posts! Thanks for reading!

Eating In with Super Valu NI | #LetsCookNI

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If you follow me over on my Instagram, you’ll notice that I done something a little different on Instagram stories on Thursday evening. I was kindly asked to take part in a new campaign from Super Valu NI, so along with Sarah Patterson (Their vegetarian ambassador who is pictured above), myself and a number of other bloggers cooked up a vegetable stir fry that night.

We all used the hashtag #LetsCookNI on our social media channels (For me, it was Twitter and Instagram) and the main premise behind the campaign is to get people involved in the kitchen via social media. We all know that social media is such a huge part of our lives so why not incorporate food and social media together?

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(I posted up on my Instagram of some of the ingredients: a few are missing from here!)

If you’re a reader of the blog, you’ll know that I have a number of intolerances and I also eat a plant based diet so as much as I would love to go to food blog events, I feel like I’m at a disadvantage. I’ll be the first to admit that catering to my eating patterns can be difficult so I can’t complain that events surrounding food are few and far between. This campaign is different though and I’m genuinely so happy to be included despite my eating patterns. First of all, it was a vegetarian stir fry and the recipe doesn’t use any animal products so it is suitable for vegans too! I was able to leave out the carrot, I swapped out the soy sauce for some balsamic vinegar and I swapped out the Straight to Wok noodles for some rice noodles. The recipe is totally adaptable and I am a huge fan of recipes that I don’t have to stick to the script for.

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I took part via Twitter and Instagram, and I’ll admit, Twitter didn’t last very long because I got so distracted by making Instagram stories, and well, by cooking first and foremost. We all watched live on Facebook while Sarah cooked and it was definitely a nice change to cook along with someone but after a while, once my wok was fired up I could barely hear the laptop but even visually, it was quite a nice atmosphere (albeit online!). Super Valu NI created a Twitter moment with some of the pictures from the night and you can find them here!

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(One of my many Instagram stories from that night!)

How was the end result? The end result was really lovely! I haven’t made too many stir frys before this but I would consider making more in the future because it was quite quick after you prepped the ingredients. Roasting the cashew nuts and the sesame seeds had such a huge impact on the meal, which genuinely surprised me. It added an extra nutty crunch which I’m all for, so I’d consider doing this for other meals in the future. I didn’t make the sauce they suggested (so the sugar in the photograph wasn’t used) but I simply mixed some vinegar and salt together to give it an extra kick.

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(This photo was taken about a minute after I had tucked in, so it doesn’t have the greatest presentation in the world!)

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(I think that’s slightly better, right?)

You’ll find the ingredients list below and right here, I’ve linked the recipe up! I would love to hear your thoughts on it! What did you add in, what did you chop and change? What do you think of cooking along with social media?

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Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post, I hope you’ve enjoyed!

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Please note: The ingredients were sent to me by Super Valu NI in order to promote the #LetsCookNI event on Thursday night. Thoughts and content posted on my blog and my social media however, are my own views. I want to send you an extended thank you to Super Valu NI and their PR company for offering me this opportunity. 

SS: Sunday Saves (#56)

sunday-saves

Happy Sunday everyone! While I’m writing this, it’s such a gorgeous day outside, always a sure fire way of being in a better mood eh? In today’s post I’ll be talking about cleaning your home and mind, habits of grateful people and being more mindful as a non-vegan.

1) Suzie Speaks (50 Things To Remove From Your Home and Your Life)

Judging by the weather (most of the time), I’d like to think we’re coming into the Summer and one of my favourite things to do during the Summer is do a massive clean. I know a lot of people like to do a Spring clean (in the Spring of course) but for me, it always goes back to when I was in school and you would have a huge clear out before heading back to school in September. Suzie highlights fifty things that you should remove from your home but also from your personal life, so not only are you cleaning your house but you’re also cleaning your mind, to a certain extent.

2) Hack Spirit (The Top 9 Habits Of Grateful People… Even In Tough Times)

If you’ve been reading the blog lately or following me on my social media, you’ll know I have started to get into the practice of gratitude. It’s such an important practice for me especially when my day isn’t going as well as I had hoped it would. Gratefulness brings me back down to earth. That’s what I found so interested about this Hack Spirit blog post about habits of people who are grateful even on the tough days. It’s something we should all take into consideration, both on the good days and the bad.

3) The Zombie Said (5 Simple Ways For Non-Vegans To Help Vegan Causes)

I prefer to call myself plant based rather than vegan because I’m quite open about not having changed all my clothes, make-up, hair care and skincare over to one hundred percent cruelty free. I really liked the way Steph came across in this post, it’s not preachy or forceful, it’s just giving you a few simple tips on how you can be more mindful when it comes to spending your money on products and perhaps promote a positive change if you can’t commit yourself to being vegan.

Well that’s all for today’s Sunday Saves post. If you’d like to catch up on my other Sunday Saves, you’ll find them here and let me know your thoughts on today’s post, either down below or over on my Twitter!

Learning How To Be More Grateful.

Gratitude: “the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness to.”

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(The views in Rome will always be something I am eternally grateful for. Absolutely stunning!)

That’s what gratitude means according to the Oxford Dictionary but to me, it means “being grateful for the little things that life gives you and to be thankful for where you are right now”.

Since the start of the year, I’ve begun to incorporate mindfulness more into my daily life and gratitude is an addition to this practice. The one thing that I struggle with when it comes to gratitude though is when it’s a bad day. It’s the easiest thing in the world when you can think of all the great things from your day, but if you have a bad day, it can be very difficult.

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(Self reflection at the Ormeau Embankment in Belfast. It’s so gorgeous at night!)

You can show your appreciation for gratitude in many ways; some choose to write it on their blog or on their phone, some say it out loud as part of their meditation practice and others prefer to write it down in a notebook or a journal.

If you read the blog regularly, you’ll know I’m working with the Itty Bitty Book Co. on spreading the message of positivity and happiness and this is where their new product launch comes in. They have released their very own gratitude journal in three colours: yellow, blue and white. It’s a 21 Day Challenge with yourself (because the best person to compete with, is yourself) to see how gratitude can change your mindset, if that’s something you’re wanting to change or simply improve on.

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To give you a sneak peek into the journal, I thought I would share what my first day looked like. These were my three things for the day that I was grateful for. They don’t have to be big things; they really can be that really good cup of tea you had first thing in the morning or maybe you caught the early bus that morning to work. You can be thankful for the people that you have in your life, whether that’s your friends and family or the bus driver that smiled at you.

I’m planning on doing the journal every other day just to ease myself into the challenge, but if you can, you should try to do it everyday!

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(One of the first pages in the journal giving you a very simple explanation on how it all works.)

I wrote a post last year on appreciating on the small things (which you’ll find right here!) and I find that really relates to the gratitude journal, because you really are appreciating the little things in life.

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(One of the many bowls of Italian ice-cream I had on holiday with some tea; you can be thankful for the food you ate that day or the happiness you got from eating that food. It really is that simple.)

If you want to have a look at the Gratitude Journal for yourself, you’ll find it right here! It’s currently £4 for one but if you want all three colours, it’s just £10.

Please note: I am an affiliate for Itty Bitty Book Co. so affiliate links have been used throughout. This journal was sent to me to try for free but views shared throughout this blog however are one hundred percent my own.

SS: Sunday Saves (#55)

sunday-saves

Happy Sunday everyone and welcome back to my Sunday Saves. As I’m sure you know by now, if you haven’t read last week’s post, you’ll find it right here or if you want to read my previous Sunday Saves over the past year, you’ll find them right here! This week’s theme is focusing on fitness: more specifically, preparing for a workout, tips on being a beginner runner and finding the motivation to work out in the morning.

1) Lifestyled by Jennie (Motivational Reasons For Exercising In The Morning)

I am such an advocate for exercising in the morning so I am, of course, going to celebrate Jennie’s post about it. She gives us four genuine reasons why working out in the morning is better than the evening, straight after work for example. I can’t wait to write about my own experiences on this!

2) Fit Cake (Preparing for a Workout)

So now that you’ve read Jennie’s post about getting the motivation to get up in the morning, why not read Emma’s post on how to prepare for a workout. This includes making sure you drink your water (especially when working out, I can’t stress how IMPORTANT this is!) and the art of stretching.

3) Harmony Blaze (Me, Myself and Running)

Emma’s post (Yes, this is a different Emma!) has come at a great time for me as I begin my own running journey just before the Summer. Originally, I had begun last year; it was around this time last year I signed up for my first Park Run but unfortunately life happened and I never kept up with the running. Thankfully, that’s changed this year and I’m finally ready to give it a go again. Emma talks about why she took up running, what she loves about it and even a few tips to newbie runners like me.

That’s all from this week’s Sunday  Saves; if you have any other fitness posts you think I should read, please tweet me over at @RetroSnowflake on Twitter or leave a comment below. I crave more fitness posts! Thanks for reading, and have a lovely weekend, whatever you get up to!

SS: Sunday Saves (#54)

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We’re half way through the year already! I can’t believe it at all! Anyway, happy first Sunday of the month. If you’re not too familiar with my Sunday Saves, it’s a weekly series that I have started to talk about three blog posts that I find that week. Today I’ll be talking about a beauty product I’ve been watching for a while, work procrastination and a PR’s nightmare.

1) Rosie Loves Life (Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic Review)

Ever since I have started watching (and reading) Caroline Hiron’s, I’ve wanted to try Pixi products but I still haven’t got around to it. Sharon talks about how it has worked well with her skin and it’s definitely further up on my wishlist now.

2) The Nerdy Me (How To Talk Yourself Into Doing Work In 5 Easy Steps)

Procrastination is one big sucker, isn’t it? When it comes to blog post writing, this hits me about 80% of the time. I know what I want to talk about, but then this cloud just appears and my motivation leaves. I get stuck because I don’t know how to start a certain post then I start thinking about everything else I should be doing instead. Leta gives us five top tips on how to reduce this, and this can be included in areas of your life like your job, your school work or even household chores.

3) Reinventing Neesha (Blogging for Freebies – A PR’s Worst Nightmare)

I remember reading this during the week and I was shocked at how some people could actually email PR’s with these types of message. By just sending your address and saying they want free stuff; the absolute cheek! Neesha tells us what she has seen working for a PR company and it’s interesting reading for sure!

That’s all from today’s post; thank you so much for reading and if you are interested in reading more of my Sunday Saves, you can click right here and you can read the other fifty three Sunday Saves.

SS: Sunday Saves (#53)

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Happy Bank Holiday weekend everyone! I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend so far!  I’m back with another Sunday Saves this morning and again, just like last week, there’s no certain theme this week so I’ll be talking about handling stress, body issues and bath ballistics!

1) Not Copper Amour (Ways To Save A Stressful Day)

We’re always talking about stress, and rightly so, stress is more prevalent than ever so that’s why Emma has a wonderful blog post on how to manage this stress. Out of her list, I 100% agree with making time to eat; I love planning out a big meal and savouring it, it’s so relaxing. Physical exercise is another big way to combat stress that I couldn’t agree more with, especially when I’m in a big mood. There’s nothing better than taking your stress out on a weights sessions or even on the bike. However, cuddling up in your PJ’s with tea and chocolate works just as well for me sometimes too.

2) Surangi Style (My Body Shame)

Nital tells her story of how she currently feels about her body and you have to respect anyone who talks about their body, in a positive or a negative way, because body image is something that we all struggle with at some point in our lives. I feel like I’m on a similar path as Nital when it comes to recent body issues, so I can relate to her worries especially about buying new clothes and some of the food aspects, but more so clothing wise.

3) Desperately Seeking Lifestyle (LUSH of the Month – April – Yoga Bath Bomb)

LUSH is one of my favourite shops of all time! (Not a joke.) And unsurprisingly, I have tried the Yoga Bath Bomb but I love how much detail Ellie goes into from the scent, the appearance and she even lists all the ingredients so you don’t have to go to the website to find them out. If you’re looking for an in-depth look, Ellie has you covered.

That’s all for this week’s Sunday Saves! Thank you so much for reading and if you have any blog recommendations, please tweet me over at @RetroSnowflake or leave me a comment below.