Three Intentions For Me (#3)

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Happy October everyone! Apologises that I’m coming to you a few days into the month already, but I’m back with another monthly intentions and if you don’t know about my monthly intentions, you can go to my first post from August to see why I’m now setting myself the challenge each month. So before we get into this month’s intentions, let’s talk about last month’s.

❤ Take part in two Park Runs.

I was VERY confident about this because I didn’t think anything was going to stop me doing this. I even told myself I would run in two rather than four, because I thought it was that easy. Turns out when you hurt your groin, you can barely walk to work never mind running a 5K. Thankfully, it eventually healed and I was back at the Park Run at the end of the month. (And for all the runners, I know that’s not how you write Park Run, but I hate seeing it without the capital letters.)

❤ Get back in meal prep mode.

Yes, I did this! I didn’t make the curry, the brownies or the energy balls but I started to bring my bean chilli into work and because I don’t like to reheat rice (I’ve heard the horror stories about the bacteria!), I decided to cook quinoa at home instead and have that with it. It’s just as good as rice too. I felt so much more organised with it and even though I was having the same meal twice in one day sometimes, I don’t mind that at all.

❤ Take my library book back.

I’m not going to pretend this is an excuse but I’ve lost it. It’s in the house somewhere, it’s just hiding but I promise once I find it, it’s going back. I have no excuse when there’s a library down the street from work.

Again, same as last month, one out of three. And moving swiftly onto this month’s intentions…

❤ Run further. 

I was going to put a specific distance for this but I want to run further than 5K, so whether that’s 5.5K, 6K or even just 5.2K, it’s still a longer distance than I’m used to.

❤ Get back into my morning gym routine.

Before my injury, I was on fire with my morning routine, but once I couldn’t go, it stopped completely. Now that I’m not as sore, I want to get back into my early morning gym sessions because I felt so much better going out in the fresh air that early and I felt more motivated during the day. I need that feeling back!

❤ Try a new recipe!

I have lots of recipe books, some that I haven’t even tried one meal out of, so now seems like the perfect time.

Check back next month to see how I got on, and keep your fingers crossed for me! ☀️

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SS: Sunday Saves (#59)

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Happy Sunday everyone! I hope everyone has a lovely weekend so far; this week is only a four day week for us in Northern Ireland because of the 12th July holiday so because that’s a Wednesday, it’ll be nice to break up the week. This week there’s no particular theme so I’ll be talking about nose piercings, scrapbooking and cooking.

1) Autumn’s Mummy (How Not To Remove A Corkscrew Nose Piercing in 20 Steps)

Now I don’t have a corkscrew nose piercing, I just had a stud nose piercing and I’ve had my nose pierced for ten years in September coming, but it took about seven and a half years for me changing my piercing not be sore. Yes, really, that long and it’s not even a complicated piercing. I feel for Laura because there’s been so many times I’ve sat on the floor and cried that my piercing wouldn’t go in, and threw many fits but I’ve always got there in the end.

2) Ayse Merve Demir (Scrapbooking My Summer Away)

Scrapbooking is something I have always looked at and wished it was something I could do. I have tried it in the past but because I’m so particular about everything being neat, I would be too busy trying to lay everything out rather than actually scrapbooking. Ayse tells us how she’ll be decorating hers and what she’ll be using to do that.

3) Scott H. Gilliland (Veganism: My First Encounter With Cooking A Vegan Meal)

And no, this isn’t biased, I promise! Scott recently started his blog back up again and he talks about fitness, weight loss and food but the post I wanted to concentrate on was his post about making his first vegan meal. He’s a meat eater and I’m eating a plant based diet, two very different ways to eat of course so he documents what it was like trying to research meals we could both eat, alongside my intolerances too. It’s interesting for me to see it from an outside perspective because I’m so used to buying my regular food that maybe wouldn’t be so regular for someone else.

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s post and if you want to catch up on my week, I’m over on Instagram or on Twitter. Have a great Sunday!

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. 

(Blogmas Day Fifteen) 8 Surprisingly Interesting Things 2016 Taught Me

It’s Blogmas Day Fifteen! So as I explained at the beginning of December, I’ll be blogging until the end of December with Blogmas, rather than just until Christmas Day.

Today’s post is 8 Surprisingly Interesting Things 2016 Taught Me and this is Part One of Two. Part Two will be the 8 Life Lessons 2016 Taught Me and that one will be more serious because this year really has been such a massive year, mentally and emotionally for me, and I wanted to address what I really have learned.

 I was missing out when I chose not to listen to Lady Gaga.

For years I refused to listen to Lady Gaga for no actual reason, I have no good plain reason why I wouldn’t listen to her. My friend Leonie then told me how amazing she was (and that I needed to listen to her) and I listened to her latest album, bought it about a week later and now I’m making my way through her back catalogue every morning on my way to work.

Musicals are wonderful.

Leonie gave me my first experience of musicals and I can’t believe I was so against them before (Again, what’s with the pre-judgement?). I had only really seen the hype and annoyance around High School Musical and I just wrote all musicals off because of one film. It was wonderful though; I really respect the actors who can sing, dance AND act in front of a live audience, it’s memorising to watch.

Vegan cheesecake is the best cheesecake.

Being gluten free, you think that you’ll never have a cheesecake again. Thankfully there’s a plant based cafe in Belfast who make the best vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free cheesecakes and I believe they are quite literally a slice of heaven.

Being by yourself gets easier.

Date yourself. Treat yourself. Love yourself. Respect yourself. Take yourself out for a cup of tea once a week, give yourself a manicure, let yourself read a book for a few hours, watch a dozen episodes of Friends in one go. Be by yourself and embrace it.

5. There’s nothing better than making your own dinner from scratch.

Using Deliciously Ella’s cookbook for the majority of the year, it’s an amazing feeling knowing exactly what has went into your dinner that night, you feel this sense of accomplishment making it yourself and you feel better after it too.

Tea with milk really is a British thing.

When I went to Italy, they had more black tea or cold tea. I didn’t have a single tea with milk. When people say milk with tea is a British thing, it really is true. They don’t seem to do it a lot in Europe! (In my experience anyway).

I prefer being blonde than red (for now).

Before my Dad’s wedding, I decided to do something different with my hair and go back to my original brunette but add in blonde too. I used to have blonde highlights when I was younger but it didn’t take me too long to dye my hair back to red then. But now, I really love the blonde and brown, it’s like a new lease of life!

Getting up at 5:30am really is incredible.

It sounds crazy doesn’t it? It’s not, trust me. There are so many more benefits than negatives. You feel better once your body gets used to it, you get so much more done, you feel like you can concentrate in work better and I personally felt more motivated for the day. You have to make sure you go to bed early the night before! (One of the reasons I haven’t done this in a while!)


Thank you for keeping up with Blogmas so far! Check back on Wednesday for a brand new Blogmapost.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2016.

So you may or may not know that it is Mental Health Awareness Week this week, and that it is still unfortunately a taboo subject, but it is getting better. In my job, we raise awareness about it all the time and hear the people’s side of things and what they go through. In saying that, I want to contribute to this week in any way I can and what better way to do that than in a blog post.

I’ve read through quite a lot of blog posts dedicated to this Awareness Week and I didn’t want to give the same tips as everyone else, so I’m going to put my own twist on it. When I get stressed or anxious, or something’s “just not right” I go into panic mode and it’s really hard to come down from that. I’m going to tell you what I do to help myself come down from that panic, slowly but surely. These aren’t by any means miracle workers, but if they help me a little, then that to me, is a success.


A good cup of tea!

Almost everyone loves a good cup of tea. Lately I just drink green tea and flavoured teas unless I’m in a cafe or I’m at my Mum’s house, but there’s nothing better than taking a breather with a cup of tea (just as long as you don’t burn yourself!)

We finally visited the Ground Coffee opposite my gym, becoming more and more fond of Suki Tea!

A post shared by Victoria Wilson (@retrosnowflake) on


I’m sure we all know what a cup of tea looks like but I just thought I would add that I love loose leaf tea and I prefer it over regular tea bags. It’s something I want to invest more time into.

Adult colouring.

I have to admit when this all became such a craze, I didn’t think I would be into it. I’m a perfectionist at times and I was so worried about colouring outside the lines and messing it all up, I thought it would be stressful! It turns out I was very wrong. My friend Whitney got me a colouring book for Christmas (as you can see below) and I really love it.

I couldn't sleep last night for a little while so I started the colouring book @whitneybourg got me for Christmas!

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I’ve actually brought it on holiday with me along with my special pens and even though I haven’t finished one page yet, I know that I’ll feel a little more accomplished.

Working out.

Doesn’t everyone say this? I know they do, I know but it’s so true. When I go to the gym, I can take all my stress and anger out on the bike or on the stair master, and once I feel like I’m done, my mood perks up and I’m so thankful that I done the workout.

Back at the gym tonight after a looooooong break.

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Now of course there’s times where I don’t want to go to the gym and I just want to sit in the house and deal with it there, that’s completely fine too. But I see such a remarkable difference in my mood when I go to the gym versus staying at home.

Baking and cooking.

My Instagram is full of food, I love to bake and I love to cook. I’ve become more aware over the past number of years what I’m putting into my body and what I shouldn’t be putting into my body so I love making clean snacks and clean meals for my boyfriend and I. It means that I know exactly what’s going in, so there’s no nasty hidden sugars, just ingredients you would pick up at the supermarket (and a few Holland and Barrett or Amazon specialities too).

Yayy! We're making raspberry jam today! (:

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Cook books can be very confusing. They can use so many ingredients and it might not even be worth your time if you have to add thirty ingredients in to one meal. I choose my cook books on simplicity, it’s really that simple. Time isn’t a huge factor to me, but as long as I get a really good meal out of it with a few servings for the next day, that makes me happy.

If you have written a blog post about Mental Health Awareness Week, tweet me or leave a comment down below, I’d love to read them. I find them all really fascinating!

 

NYR: January Update.

To make sure I keep up with my New Year’s Resolutions, I thought I would do an update post at the end of every month and it’ll be nice to look back in December when I probably wouldn’t have remembered half the things I done in January.

  • I signed up to a six week yoga class, I went to a taster class on 8th then started the term class on 12th January.
  • I went to another Kirtan event last night (31st January) on my own this time, and it was definitely very weird going to something on my own.
  • I started Amy Poehler’s Yes Please on New Year’s Day and finished it on 11th January.
  • I found two new recipes over the month and I bought a nutrition/cookbook from a local nutritionist.
  • As you can see, I started my WordPress blog and I’ve been keeping up to date with it.
  • I done Meatless Monday for all four Mondays!
  • I’ve completed one month of Jantastic!
  • I went to Southampton for the first time the weekend of the 23rd, to visit some friends at Uni.
  • I’ve been reading more blogs and here are some of my favourite blog posts from the month:
    (Fleur De Force) http://fleurdeforce.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/blogging-block-book-update-and-january.html
    (Hello October) http://www.hello-october.com/2015/01/the-lazy-girls-introduction-to-exercise.html
    (Essie Button) http://www.essiebutton.com/2015/01/19/love-tea-top-teas-favourite-mugs/
  • I used up 22 beauty products this month; I didn’t expect to use up that much! (x)
  • I hit 20,000 steps on my FitBit and got my little 20,000 steps badge.