My YouTube subscription list

Happy Mondayyyy!!

How pleased are you that it’s Monday, raining and you haven’t woken up to a money tree at the bottom of the garden?!

Me either.

But what do I do when it’s cold outside and I need a little pick me up? YouTube!

I have been slowly getting into YouTube over the past year and I now have a hefty subscription list which I wanted to share with you guys and hopefully get some recommendations back. I was reluctant to ‘follow’ YouTubers to begin with as I really thought it was something teenagers did and that they were all vlogging themselves setting farts on fire or falling over but actually, I love it.

I wish I had the confidence and the big personality it takes to start a YouTube channel – I think for bloggers/Instagrammers it provides a whole other dimension to your following and you really get to know the people behind the social profiles.
I also like the chill out factor of being on YouTube; most videos/vlogs are about half an hour long and you can just get totally lost in someone else’s life for a while. It can be inspirational, educational or anything you want it to be. Want to learn about something? YouTube it. Want to find out about a country or somewhere in the world? YouTube. Workouts, recipes, how to properly tie a tie, how to change a tyre or anything else you could ever need – YouTube.

So here are my favourites! Continue reading

A rainy bank holiday in Lavenham

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Happy Easter everyone!
I cannot believe it is the 2nd of April today, where on earth has the time between New Year and Easter gone? I hope you’re all filling your faces with chocolate, I’m currently face down in a vegan chocolate cake (you can see a pic on the ole ‘gram) – it’s the first vegan baking I’ve done and it turned out really well so expect to see more of that going forwards! Also I have to share with you lovely lot, I’m currently listening to The Weekend’s new EP ‘My Dear Melancholy’ and it’s absolutely wonderful, I’m obsessed with his music.

Anyway before I veer any further off topic, Lavenham. I don’t know if you know, but I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I have been since that first book was released and I can’t step foot in Primark without leaving looking like I’ve been to some sort of convention. This was my initial reason for wanting to visit the small Suffolk town of Lavenham on Saturday. I don’t know about you but I like my Easter bank holiday weekend to be filled with walks, exploring and relaxation – often myself and Daniel will take ourselves off to a random town/city we haven’t been to before and go exploring. I had seen an article on Lavenham a few months ago and the topic was the Harry Potter film set.
The scenes in Godric’s Hollow, Harry Potter’s birthplace and house where he gained the infamous scar, were filmed in Lavenham! If you’re a fan you will know what I’m talking about, apologies if you don’t. Naturally anywhere which is anything remotely to do with Harry Potter draws me in, but it also was the pastel coloured medieval houses which I wanted to visit to see – hopefully you can tell from the pictures throughout this post why! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best for our visit so I will be making a beeline back there in the summer as the colours will look even more amazing in the sun. Continue reading

Veganism and me

So you may have noticed (if you follow me on Instagram you will definitely know) that I have recently taken up following a plant based diet. This essentially means I am now a vegan, but honestly I try and tell people I’m plant based as for some reason when you tell people you’re vegan it can evoke unwanted reactions. If you too are plant based you’ll know what I mean!
But anyway, I’m vegan now and I wanted to speak to you about it a bit and about the reasons why. I’ll start from the beginning;

I used to be a vegetarian, from the ages of around 12 to 19 (I think, can’t remember specifics) and back then even at 12 I was always really health conscious and I didn’t like the thought of what meat eating did to my body. I found that the vegetarian life always presented so many more healthy options and that naturally I gravitated toward foods which were better for me. I lived off green tea, fruit, grains and lots of other deliciously healthy things.
But then at around 19 I thought I would go back to eating meat, honestly very influenced by my boyfriend at the time (toxic, awful guy!!) as he was a chef, I was impressionable and he pretty much convinced me that I was missing out by not eating meat. I was discovering my love of food and cooking at that age and I really did think that maybe I could make much more adventurous and ‘chef like’ food if I included meat. So gradually I re-introduced all meats back into my diet and actually went too far the other way and ate everything an anything and put on around 3 stone over a couple of years (he also really liked chinese takeout which naturally meant I really liked chinese takeout?! Honestly what is wrong with teenagers – girls, never let boys tell you what to do).

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Thankfully that relationship went south and shortly after I got with my lovely Daniel, whom is now my husband to be (eek!). God love this man as he encourages everything I ever want to do and always gets behind the latest ‘thing’ I’m into – trust me there have been a lot of ‘things’ – knitting anyone?
Obviously, when I first spoke to him back in Autumn last year about wanting to go back to not eating meat, he was his usual kind self and told me to go for it – on the condition I didn’t make him do the same haha! But after reading a few bits and seeing a lot online about the health benefits of veganism I decided to go balls deep and go fully vegan. I thought well I was vegetarian before, so the not eating meat thing won’t be hard for me and there are so many dairy alternatives now why not give it a go?

I never thought it would change my life in the way that it has. Not in a ‘I’m now a millionaire living in St Tropez’ kind of change but a ‘I feel happy, content and back to my true self’ kind of way. I’ve read a lot of vegans feel like this after they make the change, like it makes them feel a more rounded, true version of themselves. I’m aware of how hippy dippy that sounds, but it honestly is that case (I would’ve rolled my eyes too previously, I know). I have lost weight (a stone to date), I eat WAY more veg than I used to, I enjoy cooking more as it forces you to be a little more creative in the kitchen and I just bloody love it.

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Continue reading

Norfolk in the snow

I hate the snow – it disrupts day to day life, it is wet and cold and it makes people talk about the weather even more than usual which, despite being English, I also dislike.

BUT, it looks beautiful doesn’t it?

So I will cut to the chase here and just let you know that I got totally snap happy a couple of weeks ago when England decided it was the North Pole and I wanted to show you all the gorgeous village I live in covered in snow! Norfolk really is the best place to live, I am so lucky.

If you don’t like landscape photography then this post isn’t for you and I apologise deeply, maybe the next one ey?

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The best dairy free mac ‘n’ cheese

Gooey, comforting, delicious, sexy (?!) – All words to describe the joy that is mac and cheese. When I decided to stop eating meat and dairy, I started researching alternatives to the usual comfort food I enjoyed as I wasn’t prepared to live a life based purely on insta-gorgeous salad and lentil concoctions. Don’t get me wrong I am healthier, eat a wider variety of foods and am loving that veggie life – but sometimes you don’t want a saintly dinner and you want stodge. Essentially, that’s what you’re getting with this recipe – filling, creamy goodness – but it’s still better for you than the real cheesy deal so no guilt here!

Below you will find my favourite recipe for dairy free macaroni cheese, but this is by no means the only recipe out there. You will find variations made with cashews, butternut squash, different herbs and flavourings and made with different types of milk/dairy alternatives.

If you are vegan or thinking about trying it out, I would definitely say that I have found any of my old favourite meals can be made into a plant based recipe. There are SO many great alternatives ingredients out there, give some of them a go and play about – you’ll be amazed at what you can make without dairy or meat but still get a similar flavour.

SO, here is my recipe, apologies I haven’t taken more Nigella-esque pictures, but I’m certainly not a glam chef so best keep the paps on the food.

Ingredients:
Plain flour
Dairy free butter/spread (I use the Flora one pictured below)
Marmite
Non dairy milk (I use Oatly Organic)
Mustard powder (LONG LIVE COLMAN’S OF NORWICH!)
Macaroni pasta
Salt and pepper
Chives and breadcrumbs if you’re feeling fancy
Nutritional yeast
Nutmeg
Peas

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Continue reading

Wedding series, 2: The planning begins…

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all enjoying this cold but gloriously sunny day, how rubbish is it that it’s meant to become virtually arctic next week – I am SO ready for spring to rear it’s beautiful head already.

Anyway, this isn’t the BBC Weather website, I’m back with the second instalment of my wedding series.  I hoped you enjoyed reading about my engagement – now is where it starts to get serious and the seemingly enormous task of planning the damn thing begins!

It is so hard to know where to begin when planning a wedding, there are a million and one things to take into consideration and knowing which order to do them in isn’t obvious. With the logistics of it all, the colour scheme, the budget, the timeline – it can all get a bit much and you do have to be super organised. My best friend Lauren has just bought me one of those cute wedding planner books and I feel it will super seed her in the best friend stakes and not leave my side! I’ve left a few links to ones which I like below (all Insta worthy of course!) Continue reading

Vegan pancakes

You’ve stopped drinking milk, eating beef, wearing leather and cooking with eggs. But shit, now it’s Shrove Tuesday and you’re really regretting announcing to the world you are now #EatingPlantsNotAnimals

Don’t panic! I have the best ever (probably) vegan pancake recipe which taste JUST like normal pancakes – the thin, crepe kind, not American fluffies.

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You need:

  • 1 cup oat milk (probably would work with other non dairy milks, I just drink Oatly)
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp veg oil (or any other liquid oil you usually use)
  • 1tsp egg replacer (I use Free and Easy)

Continue reading

A love letter to Amsterdam

Amsterdam I love youuuu, oh yes I doooo.

This week I was lucky enough to have my day job fly myself and around one hundred colleagues out to the Integrated Systems Event at the RAI, Amsterdam. (I work in the professional AV industry). Whilst this doesn’t immediately sound riveting, it did allow me to pop my Amsterdam cherry so to speak and I reallyyy liked it there.

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If you’ve ever been to the ‘dam I’m sure you will agree with me that it’s easy to fall in love with; Tall beautiful buildings, canals with picturesque bridges around every corner and leggy sophisticated women on bikes gliding effortlessly on every road. The tulips, the boutiques, the coffee shops (and I mean the legit coffee shops where you drink actual coffee, I’m not into the green stuff!), the glowing red streets at night and more food than you can shake a stick at.  Continue reading

Urban Jungle, Suffolk

Have you ever wondered what heaven looks like? All pearly white clouds, angels and cherubs right? Nope! To me it looks like Urban Jungle Suffolk, London Road, Beccles.

If you haven’t been to either branch of Urban Jungle (the Norfolk one is located in Costessey, Norwich) and you are King/Queen of the ‘gram, I would whip over there right this minute! Obviously I wouldn’t go somewhere JUST so I could Instagram it (heavens, no…) but this really is a budding photographers haven. Not to mention the delicious food, relaxing vibe and plants which are crying out to be bought (and if you’re anything like me, killed *sad face*). The Suffolk branch opened this summer after the success of it’s Norfolk big sister and I’m so glad it did considering it is 10 minutes from my house.

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Myself and Dan popped into this little slice of heaven today to have lunch and the menu really is mouth watering. I had sweet potato and coconut curry which was the only totally vegan option, but seeing as I love curry this was music to my ears! Daniel had the most scrummy looking plate of hummus and lamb, accompanied by home made flat bread. Needless to say everything was just as tasty as it looked, Dan even accompanied his lunch with an Aperol Spritz, how very modern man of him, ey!? I opted for a far less flamboyant Earl Grey which was good all the same. Continue reading

Wedding series, 1: I said yes…!

Now I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’ve been leaving hints here and there that I’m currently a bride to be. By hints I mean I’ve literally added ‘Bride to be’ into my twitter bio, changed my cover photo to my engagement ring and generally spoke about it at every possible opportunity since coming back to blogging. Subtly does it.
So I have decided to put you out of your misery and announce to the world that I AM GETTING MARRIEDD! WOOP!

Since I was M.I.A last year and didn’t get a chance to tell you about the most magical evening of my life to date, I thought I would do it now. And actually, I am going to document the whole planning process in my new wedding series – I plan to update you around once a month (don’t worry, I won’t bore you with it all of the time).

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So, back to the proposal. It was special, personal, unique and everything I had always hoped it would be. Boy.Done.Good.

Continue reading