Clothing Cravings and Latest Buys

I have completed 5 months of my “No New Clothes for a Year” challenge! This is where I am buying no brand new clothes for 2016, however I am allowing myself to buy second hand clothes. I have found this quite easy up until now and have really enjoyed my vintage shopping trips as more of “events” than just browsing when I’m in town etc. I walk past some lovely shops from the station to my office everyday and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I think by buying more/only vintage clothes I’m developing a bit of a style and I’m really loving a 70s vibe!

I have started getting cravings for some vegan themed tees. I follow a few ethical brands on Instagram/twitter and am really tempted when I see something really cool! I also saw so many cool things to wear at London Animal Frew Festival on Saturday! I won an Amazon voucher at work last week and I had a look at some stuff and debating whether it counted within my rules as I wasn’t paying for it. I decided it definitely didn’t count and I’m going to have to hold out until the new year!

My Sister-in-law Gemma and I went to the East London Vintage Fair a few weeks ago. There was so many stalls and items it took a while getting round everything. They had changing rooms which is great when a lot of the clothes don’t come with sizes and sizing has changed over the years anyway! Some stalls had items priced and those that didn’t had a more sort of haggle/negotiation vibe going on which I’m not too keen on. There was also a little bit of fur and quite a lot of silk going on. When the stall holders tell you something is silk saying what a real bargain it is, most people would be impressed, but my Sister-in-law and I both recoiled in horror!

I bought this dress for £20 I love the colour, pattern, cut and length. I have been complimented when I’ve worn it, even if my Mum thought it was frumpy!

I also love this top I bought for £15. The material is really soft and I like the colours. I love the cut on the sleeves and feel like a butterfly fluttering around when I wear it!


I have started doing a bit more exercise and needed a some more gym gear to save me doing washing nearly everyday. East End Thrift Store who are located in Whitechapel now have an ASOS marketplace boutique so I picked up these Adidas tracksuit bottoms and cut off top. I usually run with small bag to keep my keys and phone in but these are my only joggers to have pockets in! I love the colours and they are lined and feel really cosy. They are a bit long for me but the elasticated ankles mean I’m not tripping over them. This picture doesn’t really do them justice as they’re much brighter. (I’ve cut my head out as my hair was doing crazy things!)


The only thing I think I’m going to have to buy new soon is tights as most of my black opaque ones are coming to the end of their lives. Hopefully they’ll hold out until the end of June so at least I can say I did 6 months!

Would you consider doing a new new clothes challenge? What do you think you would find the hardest? Let me know?

Plumes x

Clothing Cravings and Latest Buys

Roundup of the Week’s Food 160605

I’ve been feeling a bit up and down this week. I am really pleased about completing my runs this week which you can read about here, but I also felt a bit ill with hot and cold and dizzy spells. These have reduced now and I think it was just a sign I need to slow down a bit.

On Monday I had some buckwheat pancakes with cheese and onions for lunch. These are quite thick and bready and I’m not sure whether I would buy this mix again.


For dinner I made a Japanese lotus root curry with noodles. I love Japanese curry sauce and the lotus has a interesting texture.


On Tuesday we had Chinese takeaway, I went for my usual seaspice beancurd and rice. I actually fancied something different but the website was down so I couldn’t see the menu. Luckily I now have a hard copy up on the fridge!


I had rice left over from the takeaway on Wednesday and not much imagination! I cut up a Fry’s traditional burger and mixed up some sweetcorn and sweet chili sauce and plonked some pickles on top!


On Thursday I went to my Mum’s for dinner, we didn’t go swimming as this was the day I felt the worst. We had black bean stew for dinner but I forgot to take a photo. We popped into Tesco and I bought this sweet pizza from GoodFellas. I was tempted as it was the only vegan one in the range but I wouldn’t get it again. It tasted quite doughy and the crumbly bits weren’t sweet enough for me.

On Friday I had a simple dinner after my run, Country pie from Linda McCartney and baked beans.


Yesterday I went to the London Animal Free Festival which you can read about here. I picked up some great treats.

I popped into the mini Tesco behind my flat to get a jacket potato when I saw these 3 for 2 offers. I had the sweet potato fries and courgetti with cheese and chipotle tabasco. I would usually make something like this from scratch but it’s nice to use prepared food when you’ve had a long week!

I had the grains for lunch today after I had been to mass and seen my brother, another easy wholesome meal.


There were some fruit platters reduced so I grabbed one to have one for dessert, some beautiful colours!


We decided to have channa (chickpea) dhal for dinner. I usually just add a variety of spices from the cupboard with onions, garlic and tomato puree to make my base. I added cardamom, cloves and green masala paste to my rice to make it more fragrant, and now I have some for lunch tomorrow too!


My Husband and I sat down and planned our meals for next week (very grown up!) so I’m looking forward to my food and I’m pleased as it means I know my Husband will be having multiple vegan meals!

Plumes x

Roundup of the Week’s Food 160605

London Animal Free Festival

I went to the London Animal Free Festival today at the Camden Centre.

There was so many people there it was insane and bit too crowded and hot for my liking. But of course it’s encouraging to see so many people there.

I was quite hungry when I arrived so I grabbed a seitan burger and a slice of pizza from Pomodoro e Basilico. I met up with my Sister-in-law Gemma and her friend to take a look around the stalls.

I grabbed this baked cheesecake from Unless Vegan Catering and it was amazing!


This is my little haul! Condensed soya milk, mint and original round ups (vegan wagon wheels) from Ananda Foods, Donkey cards from Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land, matcha twix bar from Pomodoro e Basilico, cookie dough brownie from Ms. Cupcake and vitamins from Vegan Society.


I also saw some great tee shirts available. Here’s a list of sites I’d recommend you check out.

All Glamour No Guts

Jade Green Vegan

Girl Against The Clones

Vegan Deviant

Viva La Vegan

I’m looking forward to more vegan fairs/festivals to come over the summer, it always great to see what new products are coming out.

Plumes x


London Animal Free Festival

Exercise and Mental Health

I have suffered from anxiety issues since I was a teenager and have had a few flair ups over the years, the latest being through my Dad’s illness, death and aftermath. I was prescribed anti-depressants with an aim of being on these for a short period and had a number of one-to-one CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) sessions. I have being reducing my medication gradually month by month (with my GP’s supervision) and as of last week I have come off completely.

Neither my Husband or I drive so we walk practically everywhere and if you read my weekly food round ups you will have probably read I go swimming with my Mum at least once a week. I have enjoyed these forms of exercise but felt I needed something that got my heart pumping a bit more. I have also wanted to get into running but have been pretty terrible at it (!) so I was really excited when I started reading about Couch to 5k.

If you aren’t aware this is a nine week programme developed by the NHS which aims to get you running for 30 minutes but the end of it. In week one you start by running for 60 seconds followed by 90 seconds this alternates for 20 minutes. This builds up so you are doing more running and less walking each week. You do three runs a week before you move on to the next week. You can download podcasts and a friendly voice called Laura tells you when to run  and when to walk as well as giving lots of tips and encouragement. (If you download the app you get a choice of “voices” and can play your own music). There is also this forum where you can chat to other participants and gain and give advice.

I have just finished week four where I have been running for 3 minutes, walking for 90 seconds, running for 5 minutes then walking for 2 1/2 minutes and repeating the cycle. Before the first run this week I was really anxious as to whether I would be able to run for that amount of time but I just took it slow and steady and I did it! It does get easier as you build up stamina and run longer with more ease each week.

There is a park less than a minute from my flat where I run. Not only do the endorphins I get from running help with my mood and general mental health, I think being in a natural setting with lots of green and trees helps too, something I wouldn’t get from being on a treadmill in a gym. I also enjoy seeing all the dogs in the park even if I am sure some of them are on a mission to trip me up! I enjoy seeing the other joggers in the park too and I am tempted to high five them as we pass eachother although I haven’t gained the courage to try it just yet!

I’m really encouraged by how far I’ve come. Once I’ve completed the programme I’m going to start doing Parkrun. These are 5k runs which are held in parks all round the country every Saturday and are completely free to enter. I took part in one in 2012 and thought never again! But now I’m building up my stamina slowly week by week I’m sure it’ll be more manageable this time around!


What are your favourites forms of exercise? Have you tried anything new to you recently?

Plumes x


Exercise and Mental Health