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

Retrospect London Haul

On Saturday my Sister-in-law and I went to a kilo sale hosted by Retrospect London in Islington.

There were a lot of fabulous clothes but they didn’t seem to be in any order at all (not item type, size or era!) But there was a staff member frantically moving things which was quite annoying while you were trying to look through the racks!

As it’s a kilo sale you pay by weight and I got four fab items for just £12!

There was a gazebo style tent in the middle so we could try on our clothes and although it was a bit dark in there is was a great addition rather than having to get changed in the toilets!

First up is this A-line skirt. It’s velvet in a dark teal colour with pink and green bursts. When I described this to my Mum I said they were a cross between fireworks and palm trees, and when she saw it in person she said that’s exactly what it’s like. The waist is a smidgen tight but I’m sure after another month of running it will be more comfortable.

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Next was this embroided brown linen shirt, I love the shape of this and the detailing. This felt a bit tight getting on as it has no fastenings but once it was on it was really comfortable.

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My Sister-in-law tried on this Disney t-shirt but it didn’t fit her nicely and she felt the colour washed her out. I really like this monochrome style as I haven’t really seen the before on Disney stuff and it’s rare that you see something with Scrooge on it (also found out on Friday Ducktales is coming back with David Tenant as the voice of Scrooge!)

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Lastly from the sale is this fabulous flower power dress! It is A-line which doesn’t suit my shape so I’m going to attempt to take the in and fashion a waist into it. For the moment a belt will have to do!

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After the sale we popped into the lovely FARA charity shop which I visit every time I am in the area. My cousin loves a garish jumper and I originally spotted this one for her but fell in love with it myself so decided to keep it for next Christmas. It was only a fiver too so a fab bargain!

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If you’re into vintage fashion I would definitely check out Retrospect London’s events. You never know what you might pick up!

Plumes x

Retrospect London Haul

Review – Floral Frosting Bakery

I first came across Charis from Floral Frosting Bakery when my Sister-in-law recommended her personal account on instagram. We were especially impressed by the imaginative vegan lunches she came you with for her two young sons.

Charis was also making macarrons using the newly discovered vegan wonder ingredients aqua faba, (the water in the can of chickpeas). She had posted a few of the recipes on her blog. I had a little look, and although I consider myself a keen baker I don’t think I have the patience or skills to make these!

Luckily that was no longer an issue as Charis had decided to sell her creations. She set up the Floral Frosting Bakery instagram account in order to sell her macarrons. She would post mixed boxes and sell them on a first come first serve basis. Usually they were all gone by the time I saw the posts! I ordered some for my Sister-in-law’s birthday in October. I chose the rhubarb and custard ones and the lemon drop ones. They were all very tasty and couldn’t believe how much the rhubarb and custard ones tasted like those childhood sweets.

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In the new year Charis took the decision to not take custom orders and would concentrate on the mixed boxes being offered on instagram. My Sister-in-law managed to get her hands on this colourful selection box which included – Cherry Almond, Matcha White Chocolate, Peanut Pretzel Fudge, Cookies and Cream and London Fog (Earl Grey Vanilla).

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I love floral flavours and when I saw this box of violet and rose macarrons come up I new I had to nab a box! The flavours are so delicate and lovely with a cup of tea at the end of a long day!

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Charis’ latest box has some original flavours too. This one features – Pistachio & Rose, Blueberry French Toast, Chocolate Honeycomb, Cookies Dough, Fruity Pebbles and Cinnamon Roll.

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Are you a vegan missing this French little biscuit? Then I’d recommend you head over to instagram sharpish!

Have you tried any of Floral Frosting Bakery’s delights? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

Review – Floral Frosting Bakery

Review – South Downs Nurseries

I was visiting my family in Eastbourne this weekend and one of my cousins had arranged for the family to meet up at South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks to celebrate her Husband’s and her 25th wedding anniversary.

I was looking up the menu options expecting to just be able to have a jacket potatoes and beans when, to my surprise I saw this.

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I was really pleased that this independent non-vegan establishment was supporting Veganuary.

When I came to ordering my food rather than the option as described it came with roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding and was  £9.99. I definitely wasn’t complaining and even double checked with the waiter that the Yorkshire pudding was vegan!

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I was really impressed. The Yorkshire pudding was quite dark but it was lovely and soft rather than crunchy. The Wellington was really tasty and I was well and truly satisfied!

After lunch I looked around the food shop and was impressed by the vegan offerings. There was a wide selection of chocolate including Seed and Bean and Beech’s Chocolates as well as crisps, snacks, cupboard staples and some dairy free alternatives to milk/yogurt etc in the fridge.

This is the only shop I’ve been in that I’ve seen sell the new quinoa vegan cheese puffs! I got a packet of the original and with jalapeño and my Mum got the versions with added kale. I haven’t tried them yet but am so looking forward to them!

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There was so many nice things in the wider shop too, from jewellery to crockery and bags. They even had a little sewing workshop where you could go I  and get help on your projects.

I couldn’t go to a garden centre and not buy a plant so I got a Mother-in-law’s tongue/Snake Plant as it’s supposed to help promote healthy sleep. (I’ll let you know how I get on!)

If you’re ever in the area I would definitely recommend you visit.

Have you been to South Downs Nurseries, to eat or otherwise? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

Review – South Downs Nurseries

Review – Oh My Goodness!

I first visited Oh My Goodness! in The Enterprise Shopping Centre when I last came down to Eastbourne in December and enjoyed a lovely couple of cakes with my Cousin Katy.

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We went for a chocolate orange cake and a lemon and poppy seed one and had half of each, they were both delicious!

This visit we decided to have some lunch as well. We chose the root vegetable pie which had just come straight out of the oven along with a sweet potato topped with houmous, falafel and salsa. Again we shared both dishes which were both satisfying, the only thing that could have made it better would be if the sweet potato was served warm.

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After our main course we decided to share a chocolate and pistachio brownie rather than get a cake each, (we’re going to Spain in April so thought we’d show willing!) This was very rich and I don’t think I would have managed a whole one (although I would have given it a good try!) It had cherries and raisins in too which helped it stay moist.

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I paired this with an Earl Grey tea with soya milk and Katy had a hot chocolate, Poppy the owner said hot chocolate wasn’t on the menu as they don’t have a steamer and it takes a bit of time but said she’d do one especially for us. It had raw cacao and agave and Katy thoroughly enjoyed it!

Oh My Goodness! also sell some groceries and goodies which you can stock up on when you go in for lunch or a cake and a drink and they offer a take away service too.

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I really enjoyed our visit and it’s great to support small independent businesses. As I visit Eastbourne fairly regularly I’ll be sure to return.

Have you been to Oh My Goodness? What did you think? Have you got any recommendations for eating vegan in Eastbourne and the surrounding area? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

Review – Oh My Goodness!

Goals for 2017

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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