Quarter 3 2017 Goals Review

I missed out on my half year update so I thought I better make sure I did my quarter 3 one, so let’s get right in!

1. Continue to jog/run

I have done really well on this one and am currently running 5k three times a week. I have completed 14 parkruns this year including one when I was away visiting family and last weekend I beat my personal best time from when I did parkrun 5 years ago and was two stone lighter!

2. Take up yoga again

I started off well with this one but it has fallen by the wayside in the second half of the year. With running three times a week and swimming once a week there hasn’t been much time for it. Next year our new leisure centre is opening so I’m hoping I’ll be able to fit in a class there.

3. Eat more wholefoods

I have also been doing pretty well with this. I have been getting a UK organic veg box and doing more cooking from scratch. I think I’ll get even more into this as it gets more into Autumn and Winter and I can be making pies and stews.

4. Use less plastic

The way I have been achieving this is by buying less overall. I have also been bringing my own lunch into work and this morning I got my Pumpkin Spice Flat White from Pret in my own bamboo cup. The veg box mentioned above  I had also helped. I have struggled to find alternatives to plastics but by consuming less I am contributing less plastic to landfill and the ocean.

5. Be more politically active

I think I have really come into my own in the second half of the year on this one. I attended a few events at the beginning of the year but it was hearing activists talk at the Vegan Camp Out in July that really inspired me to get more involved. I have attended events in London with The Earthlings Experience as well as regularly attending local Earthlings events in my home town. I took part in Surge’s Down with Dairy event and matched with them as part of the Animal Rights March which saw 5,000 vegans take to the streets of London. I have made some fab friends through activism and hope to continue standing up for what I believe in.

6. Support more independent shops and traders

I am very proud to say I haven’t bought myself a coffee from Starbucks this whole year, and if you knew me last year you’d be very surprised by this! When I do occasionally buy lunch at work there are plenty of great independent food places about. I have also been attending vegan markets and finding out about vegan traders I wasn’t previously aware of.

7. Continue “No New Clothes” and expand on this

I am very happy to say I have been taking part in this challenge for 21 months now. I have bought a couple of items I needed, like a new zip up hoody but I am working on fixing the zip on my coat and stitching up are few bits that have come loose in time for winter. I recently had another little clear out for the charity shop of clothes that I still haven’t really worn in that time. In terms of other items I have managed to keep buying new things to a minimum as I don’t have much room in my flat!

8. Attend Church more regularly

This is another one that I was good at at the beginning of the year but I have let slide a bit over the summer. I have decided to start visiting my local church which is a 25 minute walk away rather than the church I grew up in which is 45 minutes away. The early service at my local church is also a solemn service so I will be home earlier as well.

9. Watch less television

With two evening a week (plus Saturday mornings) being dedicated to running and many Friday evenings doing activism this hasn’t been difficult at all! There are a few shows we regularly watch but it is far less than I used to. We even managed to catch up on BBC Hollow Crown second series (Shakespeare’s Henry VI part one and two and Richard III) which had been sitting on our planner for over a year as we had fewer and fewer regular programmes we were watching.

10. Continue to Blog

I did have a few week gap at the beginning of the summer, but apart from that I’ve blogged pretty regularly throughout the year. As long as things continue to inspire me I’ll continue to blog about them!

So that’s it! I don’t think I’ve done too badly, so I’m pretty proud of myself! Are you still working on your 2017 goals or were they forgotten around about February? Have you started thinking about your 2018 goals yet? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x


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Quarter 3 2017 Goals Review

Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

On Sunday I had an impromptu visit to Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Brentwood for their Summer Barbecue. I can’t believe I’ve never been before as this is my nearest sanctuary, but I’ll definitely be a regular visitor now.

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Hopefield is a non-profit organisation which rescue abandoned animals.

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They have a lot of farm animals as well as exotic animals who have been bought as pets and their owners did not have the specialist knowledge to look after them properly.

I love chickens and the one with the ‘fro just made my heart melt.

There are so many horses! There were a number in the field to came up to see us, as well as those with health issues in the stables.

The pigs were having a great time basking in the sun.

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How gorgeous is this guy?

I was really interested in the tanuki, and were surprised some people had been keeping these beautiful animals as pets.

There are also an increasing number of reptiles being looked after at the sanctuary.

Spending time with these animals reinforces my vegan beliefs and why I want to end their use and exploitation.

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This is sanctuary’s longest resident and who the sanctuary is named after.

I would recommend you visit Hopefield if you are in the area or you can support them by donating online or sponsoring one of the animals.

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Plumes x

 

Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

April Round Up

How have I been feeling? 

My medication and herbs have really kicked in and this last week I’ve been able to up my running, so I’m running during the week now as well as weekends. At parkrun this weekend I was 15 seconds above my pb so I think I should be able to beat it this coming weekend.

Look at the effort in that tomato face!

What new foods have I been trying?

I went to Temple of Seitan at the beginning of the month which I reviewed here.

I ordered some wild garlic in my veg box and made a lovely risotto with it.

I bought my Mum 15 Minute Vegan and she’s made me a couple of delicious meals from it, butternut and sage macaroni and butterbean mash topped root veg pie.

For Easter my boss got me a Sainsburys white chocolate egg that went down very well!

I picked up a chocolate and coconut bar from Coco Di Mama which was rather tasty.

I went to Ask with my Mum to try out their new vegan menu which I reviewed here.

I tried the Suma beans and sausages which were really nice but a bit pricey so I think I’ll just chop up sausages into beans in future!

I bought the Quorn fishless fingers which are a new vegan addition. I had had the vegetarian version in years gone by and these were just as good. I made me own tartar sauce too!

I made some tempeh from scratch and I wrote about the process here.

I made this gorgeous banana bread from Sweet Simple Vegan.

I tried the new Cauldron vegan burgers but I wasn’t particularly impressed so I don’t think I’ll get them again.

I had one of my favourites smashed chickpeas but this time on purple potatoes that I bought from Ocado. They taste the same as white potatoes but have more antioxidants and look pretty!

What have I been enjoying?

This month has been much more low key than March. We went down to visit my cousin and his wife who is pregnant so this was our last visit as the four of us. We just hung out and played cards and board games and was all pretty chilled. Over Easter I spent a lot of time at church, attending Thursday, Friday and to the vigil on Saturday. We spent the following weekend at my in-laws and this past weekend was chilled at home, I did some sewing on my handmade dress at my Mum’s and did a couple of runs.

What am I looking forward to next month?

I am going to Ruby and Pickles supperclub on Saturday with my Sister-in-law and to a kilo vintage sale on Sunday. 

I’ve just booked to see the play The Philanthropist with a friend next week, I haven’t seen a play in a while so I’m really looking forward to it especially as it’s directed by Simon Callow.

I am taking part in Bubble Rush a 5k run at the Olympic Park in Stratford where there are foam bubble stations pumping out bubbles at various stages of the run. This is in aid of four hospices in East London including the hospice my Dad passed away at in December 2015.

How was your April? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

April Round Up

Quarter 1 2017 Goals Review

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So we are already a quarter through 2017, how times flies eh? So let’s see how I’ve been getting on with my goals.

1. Continue to jog/run

I have slowed down with this one due to not feeling very well recently although I’ve still been running about once a week. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I will be able to start running a little bit more. I’ve signed up to take part in Bubble Rush a 5k run through foam in the Olympic Park in Stratford in May.

2. Take up yoga again

Again my practice has lapsed a bit due to my energy levels but I did take part in a yoga event in February and I hope to attend more events in the year.

3. Eat more wholefoods

I’ve been doing well with this due in part to my veg box. I’ve bought some tempeh starter to make my own tempeh from dried soya beans. My Husband is trying to cut down on meat so he’s been eating more food with me and made us a lovely dhal the other day.

4. Use less plastic

The way I have been achieving this is just by buying less overall but I don’t feel like I’ve made many substitutions apart from buying the veg box. Obviously buying less is great but I need to do more research when making essential purchases.

5. Be more politically active

I’ve attended two events already this year, the protest against the Great British Greyhound Board in January and UN Day Against Racism in March. I already have a list of events in my diary for the upcoming months and I’ve been taking part in craftivism taking tips from Craftivist Collective.

6. Support more independent shops and traders 

I have been doing well with this. I have only had one chain coffee this year! I went to a lovely little wholefoods shop in Hackney the other day and got some smoked garlic I’m really excited about trying. When I’m in a new area I’m searching my maps app for independent places. I find it the most difficult in stations when I really need something quickly.

7. Continue No New Clothes and expand on it 

I have not bought any new clothes so I’m doing well on that front. I need to source some running tights/leggings as I am a larger derriere’d lady and feel like I need a sports bra for my bum – the jogging bottoms aren’t providing enough support! I keep seeing a lot of vegan branded products I would like to buy but I have been resisting the urge!

8. Attend Church more regularly

This is another goal I’ve been successful with. I have attended church every weekend I’ve been home and I attended on Saturday evening last week as I was busy on the Sunday. I found the local Catholic Church when I was down in Ramsgate and it was really nice visiting a different church.

9. Watch less television

This has been easier than I was expecting. I think because of the eating more wholefoods I’ve been cooking more, leaving less time for TV and as I’ve been fatigued I’ve been sleeping earlier too.

10. Continue to blog

I have also done well with this goal. I’ve been quite active and have had lots to blog about! So hopefully this’ll continue in the coming months. I still have a couple of ideas I’ve been meaning to blog about which I haven’t had a chance to as other topics have come up.

So overall I think I’ve been doing pretty well. There are a few areas I need to concentrate a bit more on so I will try to keep those in mind.

How have your goals been going? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Quarter 1 2017 Goals Review

March Round Up

How have I felt?

I went and had some blood tests for the fatigue I’ve been experiencing and I’ve started to receive treatment and will continue to be monitored. I have had an appointment with a herbalist student at the College of Natural Medicine to do all that I can be to be helping myself.

What new foods have I been trying?

I picked up some new products in Sainsburys, the Quorn nuggets and the Cauldron burgers and sausages. I had the nuggets with curry udon that my Husband made. They are nice to have in the freezer for emergencies but I think I need to do a taste test to see whether I prefer these or the Fry’s ones!

I had the sausages which are tomatoey and beany with mash and veg. They are nice and a bit different to other sausages and because of the flavour not the most versatile. I haven’t tried the burgers yet.

We went down to Ramsgate for the weekend so I marinated some tempeh to have with breakfast. This was from the cookbook Baconish, I really liked the flavour but I think I’ll need to try and get the tempeh thinner next time!

I had a great lunch which I blogged about here.

I had some lemon and blackcurrant sorbet at a parlour on the front.

I completely stuffed my face at Seaside Cake Parlour in Margate and brought home some cakes too!

I went to Glasgow for work and ate dinner at Mono with my friend Christine which I wrote about here.

I went to The Gate in Hammersmith and had a fabulous meal which I wrote about here.

What have I been enjoying?

I started off the month with a bang and went to see Cabaret vs Cancer Ashes II Ashes David Bowie tribute with my Mum. There were singers, dancers and all sorts of performers. It was like nothing I’ve seen before!

As I’ve previously mentioned we had a lovely weekend away in Ramsgate and stayed at a lovely cottage available to rent here.

I took part in the UN day against racism by marching in London and I shared some photos of the day here.

We went and saw the fabulous Postmodern Jukebox and I was amazed at the skills of the performers.

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I can’t believe I’ve done so much in March. It’s definitely been a busy month!

Plans for April

April will be a quieter month. I did have plans to go on holiday but unfortunately those had to be cancelled. I plan on doing some vegan activism and hopefully will spend some time with my cousin and his wife. We haven’t got any plans for Easter yet but it should be a nice break.

How has your March been? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

March Round Up

February Round Up

How has the month been?

I started the month off by visiting my Husband’s family and catching a cold from our germ-infested nieces! This lasted a couple weeks but ever since I have felt really exhausted. I assume this is just a hangover of the virus but I’m going to get some blood tests to see if anything else is going on there. Although I’ve been very tired it hasn’t really affected what I have done apart from less exercise/running and more naps! It was also my birthday this month and I have had a great time celebrating which I’ll share more with you below.

What new foods have I tried this month?

When I looked through my photos this month I couldn’t believe have many new things I have tried. Who said being vegan was boring?!

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I celebrated 10 years with  company at the beginning of the month so I brought in some yummy vegan treats. I made a jaffa drizzle cake, which is an orange drizzle cake with a thin layer of dark chocolate on top. This was delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again.

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I went out with some colleagues  to Ekachai as one of our work friends was leaving the company. It is a South East Asian restaurant which is very efficient for lunchtime eating! I had this gorgeous tempeh curry and there are a few vegan or easily veganised dishes on the menu.

I went down to visit my friend Karen and her family in Bournemouth this month it was so nice to pick up some provisions so easily in Waterloo station. I got four vegan cupcakes for us to share from Lola’s Cupcakes and it’s great to see them continuing to expand their vegan range.

We went out to Wagamama for dinner and I had the itame coconut, chilli and lime soup with tofu and vegetables. I’ve never had this dish before as I prefer the noodles to soup but as I had this stinking cold I thought it would do me good! It was really tasty and I had some cauliflower in a lovely sticky chilli sauce as a side.

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We stopped for a hot drink and a cake at Sweet Greens which I wrote about in this post.

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I asked Dani from Vida Bakery to make my caterpillar birthday cake and she certainly didn’t disappoint!

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I celebrated my birthday eating food from Vegan Peasant which I wrote about here.

On Saturday I went to a local independent space and had a lovely chocolate brownie and Earl Grey. It’s nice to see small, local places catering to vegans.

On Sunday we took a trip to Green Bay and I bought all this swag I’m currently working through.

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And finally on the food front we used the sgaia bacon pictured above with some mushrooms in a giant pancake to share to celebrate Shrove Tuesday.

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What have I enjoyed?

I went vintage clothes shopping with my Sister-in-law on the first weekend in February which I wrote about here and I also picked up this fab vintage swimsuit in Bournemouth.

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I had a fab time in Bournemouth as a whole, even the body combat class we did on Sunday morning!

I spent some time catching up with friends who I haven’t seen in a while. I’ve now known these ladies over 10 years!

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I loved receiving all these gorgeous presents for my birthday.

I completed my second parkrun of the year and felt better afterwards than the first one and I bought myself a Lush giraffe bubble bar to celebrate.

Plans for March

We are heading down to Ramsgate for a belated birthday weekend away. I plan on taking part in a march against racism and we have tickets to see Post Modern Jukebox at the end of the month. If you haven’t heard them, check them out on YouTube.

How has your February been? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

February Round Up

Make London Better

I read this article in Time Out London this week (in a real paper copy I am currently holding in my hand and everything!) and thought I would pick out some of the things from the list of 28 I’d be interested in doing.

The sub title of this article states – Want things to change, but don’t know where to start? You don’t need to do much to help improve your city. Here are 28 great initiatives to be getting on with.

Buy bread and support refugees

E5 Bakehouse make bread that has been kneaded by refugee women under a railway arch near London Fields. Hackney is really easy to get to for me and who doesn’t love bread!

Fly a homemade protest banner

Those who know me know I love a good protest, but unfortunately I do lack some creative skills so I’m definitely going to get my hands on one or two of the mini banner kits from Craftivist Collective

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Buy clothes from shops that fund sustainable fashion

If you follow this blog you will know I (rather successfully) try to source my clothes second hand. Traid have 11 charity shops in London and fund eco-friendly fashion initiatives around the world. This brand seems familiar to me, I’m sure I’ve had some of their own brand items from when I was a child in the 90s and my Mum belonged to our Church’s Justice & Peace group. They also run upcycling workshops which definitely sound like my kind of thing!

Pop in for coffee  cake at a charity shop

I was already aware of Cafe from Crisis on Commercial Street and had intended going there one lunchtime, I just haven’t got round to it yet. They help ex-offenders and homeless people back into work via the cafe’s training scheme.

Visit London’s first “Happy Café” 

Woop woop! This is something I have already done multiple times! I love The Canvas Café and have written about them previously on the blog. They are a not-for-profit venue hosting loads of events and supporting pop up caterers and their vegan freakshakes are divine!

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Join the campaign to declare London a national park

As London is 40% green space this campaign wants to make London the world’s first National Park City so we can protect those spaces for future generations. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

Buy a colouring book and help victims of domestic abuse

I really admire the work of Sisters Uncut who I have been aware of for some time, and I hope to attend some of their events this year. In the meantime I will buy this in order fund their campaign for better services for victims of domestic violence.

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Go to a punk event to support positive mental health 

I’ve written previously about my own mental health so this event to fund mental health research by Dr Joel Vos at Roehampton University speaks to me personally. There will be many activities from live music and a punk art installation to mental health talks over 5 days from 27th to 31st March.

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Raising money for people living with cancer at a Bowie night

Through typing this I am formally inviting my Mum (hey Mum!) to come to this event Ashes to Ashes II with me on March 1st (Ash Wednesday – see what they did there?!) to raise money for people living with cancer. My Dad was a big music fan and died of cancer a month before David Bowie did.

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Get chatting to strangers and make this city a less lonely place

This week Jo Cox Commission on Lonliness launched a campaign to get people talking. I am one of those nutters that says good morning to people in the street and get chatting in the supermarket queue so this is another easy one to do!

So I’ve picked 10 out of the 28 that I can realistically see myself doing. Not all of them are exclusively London based so take a look through the full list and let me know in the comments which ones you fancy taking a bash at!

Plumes x

Make London Better