Goals for 2017

2017-goals

My challenge for 2016 was to buy no new clothes for a year which I completed pretty successfully. Thinking about 2017 there are a number of things I want to pursue so I wanted to write this post so I can check on my progress throughout the year.

1. Continue to jog/run

I completed Couch to 5k in the summer and then promptly stopped running. I restarted the programme in November and completed week 6 today (3 more weeks to go!) Once I’ve completed this time I want to continue running for 30 mins 3 times a week. I’ve felt my fitness improve so much over the past few weeks and along with the endorphin rush being out in the fresh air really clears my head and helps keep my mental health in check. My Brother and I have also spoken about taking part in parkrun together which I hope to start in February.

2. Take up yoga again

I have practiced yoga off and on for the past 10 years. I find it very relaxing and a gentle form of exercise although you definitely feel it the day after! I would like to practice yoga on the days I’m not running. I use dvds but would like to see if there’s a class local to me within walking distance. My Sister-in-law and I have signed up for yoga and vegan food evening in Hackney in February so I want to be back in the habit before this and hopefully take part in more events like this throughout the year.

3. Eat more wholefoods

Since I started running again I’ve also got my cooking mojo back and look forward to cooking food from scratch.  I want to eat less processed food like sausages/burgers and more beans, lentils and homemade meals. Combined with the exercise eating more vegetable based dishes has really made me feel good and I find I crave processed food less and less as time goes on.

4. Use less plastic

Through completing my no new clothes challenge I have seen people completing different challenges, one of the most popular being no plastic. Everything we buy seems to be covered in plastic these days so I want to actively try to reduce my consumption of it. One of the ways I want to do this (which links in with number 3) is to buy my fruit and veg from our local market rather than the supermarket. I also want to research what others have done to incorporate new plastic free habits into my routine.

5. Be more politically active

I have become a bit disillusioned with politic in 2016 with Brexit, Trump and the rise of the alt right. I have always exercised my democratic rights and contacted my MP on a number of occasions to voice my concerns over certain parliamentary votes and issues. I plan to continue to do this but also use other means such as protesting, demonstrating and campaigning for what I believe in. I took part in a number of events in 2016 and really enjoyed meeting with others to stand united. It is easy to sit around and moan when things don’t go your way but I want to do what is in my power and raise my voice. I am attending a protest at the end of January and spoke to a vegan group in December who hold regular protests who I hope to join with in the year.

6. Support more independent shops and traders

Connected to number 5, where you spend your money is a political act. I want to support and build relationships with independent traders rather than give my money to faceless multinationals. I have started drinking coffee in an independent coffee shop rather than my fave Starbucks and I will look to reduce my Amazon purchases. They are terribly convenient but I hope to scour etsy for my needs or look for third party companies on Amazon and contact them directly.

7. Continue no new clothes and expand on it

In 2016 I didn’t buy any new clothes, in 2017 I will relax this a bit and buy essentials such as underwear. I want to source any clothes and shoes purchases second hand first before I consider buying new versions. I want to sew and repair more and any clothes beyond repair I want to repurpose. I also want to extend my second hand purchases to more items that I buy either from charity or second hand/vintage shops or using sites such as freecycle and freegle.

8. Attend Church more regularly

As with yoga/mediation I find attending mass/praying helps me focus and think more positively. I also enjoy the sense of community and it gets me out of bed early on a Sunday! Since my in-laws have moved I haven’t attended mass when we are visiting them and I would like to try and do this as well.

9. Watch less TV

With all that I’ve got planned in the above points something has to give. I think there is a lot of great programmes being made, I just have to be more selective in the ones I watch and concentrate more on good quality drama rather than trashy reality! My Husband will be disappointed with this goal as we do watch a lot of TV together but there are many programmes I watch while he is gaming that I can cut out.

10. Continue to blog

I was going to leave it at 9, but 10 is a nicer round number! I took a break from blogging this year as I think I was putting too much pressure on myself, comparing my blog to other people’s and getting bogged down in number of views and followers. I’m glad I’ve come back to it and hope to continue. I wrote a blog a few years ago and gave up after a few months as I thought I had run out of things to say. I don’t think that’s an issue now as I am always thinking about what I’m going to blog next!

So those are my goals for 2017, I think they are achievable although I do think it means changing a few habits!

What do you want to accomplish in 2017? Have you set yourself any goals? Let me know in the comments

Plumes x

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Goals for 2017

#keeptheban

In the UK fox hunting is illegal although hunts still take place throughout the year and traditionally on Boxing day they have to comply with certain rules.

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The full outline of the Hunting Act 2005 can be found here.

The Conservative party stated in their manifesto they would call a vote to have the ban repealed even though the majority of the public are in favour of the ban remaining in place.

Articles published today from Huffington Post and The Independent put the figure at 84% of the public in favour of keeping the ban (including those from both urban and rural communities).

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Whether we eat meat, are vegetarian or vegan it doesn’t seem like many of us agree with an animal being scared, exhausted from running for its life and then being ripped to shreds by dogs.

The League Against Cruel Sports estimates 16,000 illegal fox hunts have taken place since the ban has been in place.

Hunt Saboteurs are a campaign group who seek to disturb illegal hunts but quite often find opposition from the police themselves.

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I can’t see any argument for repealing the ban. Although I personally don’t agree with the killing of any animal, if you argue foxes are a pest to be culled they should be shot rather than chased with horses and dogs in some odd antiquated pageantry. If you argue it’s a tradition of the countryside then take part in a dry hunt.

If you are not the UK I would compel you to contact your MP when the vote is announced to voice your objection to repealing the ban.

Unfortunately I am well aware that my MP was against the ban when the original vote came to parliament in 2004 so I know he will be favour of a repeal, but I will still let him know my opinions (as I often do!)

What’s your opinion on this issue? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

#keeptheban

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Hope you are all having  great day. I’ve had a lovely morning apart from hitting the top of my head on a low beam. Ouch!

I thought I’d use this post to show you my presents.

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My Brother and Sister-in-law got me the Eden Perfumes bottle that smells like Be Delicious by DKNY. Eden Perfumes are a cruelty free brand that imitate the fragrances of popular non-cruelty-free brands so you can get vegan versions of your fave brands at a fraction of the cost! They also got me the gorgeous green and gold owl scarf and the Elizabeth Shaw raspberry bites. I’m fond of the mint discs but I’ve never tried these raspberry ones so I’m looking forward to trying them.

My cousin bought me the Booja Booja truffles which are my favourites and the red bush tea which we have both been getting into recently.

My Mum got me the veggie cola bottles, the M&S creme brulee liquer  (which is amazing!) and some festive socks as well as an Amazon voucher which I’ve used to buy some kindle books – Amy Schumer the girl with the lower back tattoo, Mara Wilson where am I now? and Sue Perkins Spectacles.

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My in-laws got me this gorgeous top from Next which I think I’m going to wear for my Brother’s birthday next week. It has flared sleeves and a beaded neckline which is really pretty. They also got me some dark chocolate with coconut from Waitrose which I’m looking forward to trying. They also got me an Amazon voucher which I think I will use to buy a spiralizer or a tofu press.

My Nan gave me some money which I used to buy this bag from La Bante which are all leather-free.

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My cousin and his wife framed a lovely photo of my Nan, Mum and me from their wedding in April.

My Sister-in-law and Brother-in-law got me an M&S voucher which I will use to buy some new tights!

We’ll soon be sitting down to dinner which I can’t wait for!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your Christmas period!

Plumes x

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Veganuary

When I became vegan I did it gradually cutting out/replacing products a few at a time until I was completely vegan. I used lots of online resources to help me on my journey and found support from groups on Facebook, vegan tweeters and through the London Vegan Meetup Group.

One resource I would have found very useful (but hadn’t launched yet) is the Veganuary Site. Veganuary is a campaign that encourages people to try veganism for one month in January.

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If you’ve been thinking about reducing the amount of meat or dairy you eat, veganuary is a great place to start. Lots of vegan and veggie restaurants run discounts during January and you can get help and support from fellow participants.

The team have also been running some advertising on the London Underground, I haven’t seen it in person as I don’t think I’ve used it since its been up.

As I work as an analyst I love stats and my fave bit about veganuary is after when they release of the figures of participants and demographics that took part that year. The campaign has been running since 2013 and each year the numbers have grown considerably. The percentages also look pretty high as to how many people consider remaining vegan after the month and they re-survey at 6 months to see how they’ve got on.

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The Vegan Society also run a similar 30 day pledge and offer lots of content and support. I used to volunteer as a mentor to pledgers to offer support and answer queries until the society changed the way they did the campaign, withdrawing this facility. Now I reach out to people on twitter encouraging those who have signed up to veganuary or are considering it.

Even if veganism seems too far to you consider going vegetarian or reducing the amount of meat you eat for one month and see how you feel afterwards. Or if it’s not for you please take a look at the website to see the reasons people consider veganism in order to understand and support the vegans in your life!

You never know!

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If you do want to give it a go I am happy to help anyway I can. You can leave a comment on the blog or tweet/instagram me @plumesworld on both.

Plumes x

Veganuary

I’m back! And end of No New Clothes challenge

Sorry I haven’t posted for a few months. I was feeling really tired a lot of the time and had got into a rut with my eating so didn’t fancy doing my weekly updates on my food when I thought it was really boring and samey!

I think going forward I’ll only do food posts when I cook something special or different or if I’m eating out. I did find my weekly food posts a bit of a chore and that’s not what this blog is about!

So onto my clothes challenge. At the beginning of 2016 I decided to take on “No New Clothes for a Year”. I was inspired by Jen from My Make Do And Mend Life and joined her two Facebook groups (no new clothes and buy nothing new) to connect with others doing the same. You can set your own rules and mine were that I could only buy second-hand/vintage clothes and essentials.

At the beginning of the year I was buying a couple of second hand pieces a month but as the year went on I even cut down on that. I managed to go without buying any essentials thanks to my Mum donating me some of her tights as she doesn’t wear skirts/dresses very often, and as I started jogging in the summer I managed to get some second hand gym gear on ASOS marketplace and eBay. The only two new items I had in the year were T-shirts, one from my company for our London Pride event and one from St Francis Hospice when I took part in a charity walk. Both these have gone into my gym clothes which I use regulary.

So in a year I have bought 5 dresses, 2 tops, 1 gym outfit, 1 skirt, 1 coat and 1 pair of shoes – all second hand, which I don’t think is too bad. The only things I’m a bit unsure of were the pink t-shirt dress in the middle and the coat. I’ve still been wearing the dress but it doesn’t exactly “spark joy” which is a mantra of minimalist guru Marie Kondo. I will continue to wear it until I get bored and then it shall be re-donated to charity. I love the pattern of the coat but it didn’t fit perfectly so I bought it as a “target” item. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this but I did love it! Unfortunately I didn’t look at it carefully enough before I bought it as the lining needs a lot of stitching and the sleeve is moth-eaten so I think it will need to be recycled. A lesson learnt!

The only things I have really struggled with is tights and having a lack of options where I have gained weight. When I gain weight I don’t like to buy new clothes in a bigger size anyway so that hasn’t changed and am now back on a healthier lifestyle eating mindfully and doing exercise. I have already seen some rewards in having clothes fit more comfortably, my mental health is better and my skin is clearer!

So what does this mean going forward?

I plan to keep my clothes shopping to a minimum and buy vintage/second-hand where I can. I have asked for some vouchers for Christmas in order to buy some tights and bras and my Husband has bought me a new pair of everyday shoes as my current ones are falling apart. I don’t buy a lot of shoes and wear mine until they are completely worn out. I have struggled this year to find good quality, non-leather, second-hand shoes. I will continue my hunt but will buy new when I absolutely need to.

I had a clear out of my clothes throughout the year but I plan to do this again as I have some clothes I haven’t worn at all this year.

The only things I have really wanted to buy but have resisted are vegan/animal/charity/campaign t-shirts. I tend to wear dresses so I don’t have many bottoms to go with them. This is my logic for resisting temptation! Although I have bought a few slogan tote bags throughout the year (which I don’t count as clothes) although I do now need to cut down on these too!

I want to extend my reduced shopping to the rest of my life and have a good declutter. I live in a one bedroom flat with my Husband so I don’t have much space. I already minimise what I buy and I don’t like having too many things but I think there’s still room for improvement.

The area I think I can make the most impact in is my kitchen. I have a lot of cookbooks only a handful of which I use and I put myself on cookbook ban a long time ago, but I can clear out those I don’t use. I also need to clear out my cupboards of unused out of date food and use up what I do have in there. As my flat is small things just get bundled in the kitchen cupboards and I can’t actually see what I have to use. My fridge broke a few weeks ago and we had to get a new one which was a great opportunity to get rid of all the old jars in there. I also need to clear appliances. I have a dehydrator and an ice-cream maker boxed up in my living room for months that I still haven’t put on ebay/freecycle.

I’m hoping that decluttering the flat will also improve my mental health as I always feel happier when it is clearer and tidier. With less things I’ll have less to clean and will be less tired from chores and have more time for fun stuff!

I don’t think my Husband will be looking forward to this as he can be a bit of a collector. Our hallway is wall to wall shelving with games, books and films and the top of the shelves house his collection of video game memorabilia. I won’t insist on him decluttering but by getting rid of some of my things there will be more room for his so it will generally look tidier. We are also hoping to move in the not too distant future so decluttering will help when we need to get a few jobs done in the flat. It is so difficult in a small place as you don’t have any space to move anything if you need to do some plastering or decorating!

What is your style? Are you a minimalist or a hoarder? Do you have any plans to make any changes?

Let me know in the comments

Plumes x

 

 

I’m back! And end of No New Clothes challenge