Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Farnham Foods: Caracoli


Caracoli is a relatively new addition to Farnham (well I say new, it's been a good year) and can be found in the cobbled Lion and Lamb Yard. It's the perfect place for it. Its a coffee shop that has that quaint, homemade kind of character, but still feels very modern. The Farnham branch is one of four, and it has its own independent personality, creating a welcome change from the national chains that do the job, but are pretty samey.  

 It's small so has that busy buzzing atmosphere that all coffee shop fans know and love, but it's size stops this from being overpowering - it feels welcoming and friendly. I visited on a freezing cold day, and it provided a snug place to shelter. It has a small courtyard outside which will be great come summer. 
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Friday, 19 December 2014

Home Made Hummus and 'A Girl Called Jack' Book Review.


Hummus is a great thing to have in your fridge, it's a brilliant snack, can be incorporated into meals, and its super healthy and full of protein. I've used it for open sandwiches, cheese and hummus toasties, and jacket potato fillings and that's only scratching the surface. In the shops, I also find it crazily expensive! But fear not my friends, you can make it really really easily, and at a fraction of the price. Using just garlic, chickpeas, lemon and some herbs my hummus came in at well under £1 for a very generous amount.  
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Monday, 15 December 2014

15 Eats for a Veggie Christmas Feast

Despite being a vegetarian, I love roast dinners. Even when I was a wee child, and still ate meat, meat was never the main part for me. I've always loved all the other goodies and find that there's more than enough to fill me up. It is good to make sure that you still get some protein though, and while you can quickly solve this with some veggie sausages, there are loads of much tastier, and non processed, healthier alternatives that you can feast on this Christmas, and every Sunday (or any other day) to come.

I've searched the internet far and wide, and compiled a list of  fifteen tasty looking veggie mains to complement a good old roast. Some are vegan friendly too. I'm keen to give these all a try, but can't quite squeeze them all in before Christmas! I'll be sure to report back on my cooking endeavors though, and if you give any a go- let me know what you think!

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Saturday, 13 December 2014

Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Nail Art


It's that time of year again. The time of year when I get far too excited about the new Hobbit film, and have to share this with the world via my nails.

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Monday, 8 December 2014

Christmas Cosmetics: Snow Fairy Shower Gel


My love of Lush is no secret, and neither is my love of Christmas, so it probably doesn't surprise you in the slightest to hear that I'm a fan of Lush's Christmas range. Snow Fairy Shower Gel is my absolute favorite. It's bright pink and slightly sparkly but don't rule it off a girly product - it's the shower gel my boyfriend steals the most. Lets have gender equality in the cosmetics world people.
(and the rest of the world too please)

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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Exeter Christmas Market

It may still be November, but only just! After the warm up of the Cruelty Free Christmas Festival last week, it was time to start getting seriously festive.

I've been anticipating Christmas for ages, but Uni has been so busy that I haven't really had the time to start planning it yet. This time last year the Uni flat was covered in paper snowflakes, and about 90% of my Christmas shopping was done. This year definitely isn't so organised, so it was nice to do something Christmassy and get in the Christmas spirit! :)


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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Roasted Chickpeas!


I'm a massive fan of snacks. There's nothing better than a snack (and some good music) to make essay writing survivable. If I'm sitting down all day writing essays, it's even better if it's a healthy snack, it just helps me to feel a bit less sluggish. 

Enter: Roasted Chickpeas.
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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Animal Aid's Christmas without Cruelty Festival 2014

November is nearly done, and the Christmas markets are upon us! 


This Saturday was Exeter's second annual Christmas without cruelty festival. The even is organised by Animal Aid, and this year it contained 40 stalls from national and local charities and companies, with a mix of shopping and food eating opportunities.  

I'm not going to show you everything I picked up, as some of them are Christmas presents, but I treated myself to a few things too. I mean, I needed to have something to show you all...

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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Canterbury Cuisine at Canteen


There are loads of nice quirky places to eat in Canterbury, it's great I love it. But more often than not, Rob and I usually end up in Wetherspoons. It's cheep, nice and cosy, and the food could definitely be worse (the fried eggs may be rumored to come prepackaged, but at least they are free range :) ) 

Wetherspoons have recently changed their menu and there seem to be fewer vegetarian options, while still being good :( I wanted to try something new, especially when there are so many places to go. Canterbury is quite touristy, and eating places can be pretty expensive but there are definitely exceptions, and Canteen is a new find to add to the list. 

It's nestled right next to the Cathedral at number 17 Sun Street, so it's a great place to try if you are visiting Canterbury for the sites, and want to check out the Cathedral too. If not, it's right in the city center, so pretty convenient all round.  
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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Home!

Last week was reading week, which I felt was somewhat of a con. With one of my two modules being a self guided project this term, I'm pretty low on contact hours. I'm not complaining, I have plenty of reading and essay writing to be doing, but this meant reading week didn't really give me much more time to get things done. It did however come with greatly increased expectations of work from all my lecturers. Yay.

That being said, I'm still a massive fan of 'the reading week'. I made the most of  zero contact hours to spend time at home. Uni is cool and all, but there's nothing like spending some time with the family. My family has always been pretty close, but at the same time we're great at giving each other space too, I think we've got a pretty good balance going on :)


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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Ceramic Café!



I went to a ceramics café about two years ago, and painted a really nice big mug with a cartoon dinosaur. It's the perfect size, and a really nice shape to hold. Ever since then, my mum's wanted another mug,  so when she offered to pay for another painting session, it was an offer I couldn't refuse. 

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Saturday, 25 October 2014

My Nail Varnish Collection and Storage



Nail varnish is probably my favorite makeup item. You can be really creative with nail art, or just quickly paint on a block colour if you're a bit short of time, and it always looks great. You can also get away with really bright or bold colours, that can be a bit harder to pull off on your face

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Blog Action Day: Inequality.

- George Orwell, Animal Farm.
Today is blog action day. 1000's of bloggers from over a 100 different countries are taking place in a global discussion about inequality.

I've never seen my blog as a tool for changing the word. Most of the time I just feel like I'm chucking words on to a page, and hoping they somehow resemble the jumble that's inside my head. Blog action day has made me rethink this. Well, I'm still just chucking words on to a page and hoping they somehow resemble the jumble that's inside my head, but today at least, it has a purpose. A clear purpose. My blog doesn't have the biggest audience, or the strongest voice, but when it joins others and forms a bigger discussion, then there really is a potential for great change.

- J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Inequality happens when people are left behind. Unity is directly at odds with this and if we join together we can fight it.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

I have already blogged a bit about my thoughts on Maus here, but it really deserves it's own post. Lots of people have already reviewed it, and it has been a little while since I read it, but it's one of those books that stays with you, and I want to add my thoughts to the discussion.

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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Favorite Photos.


Last year at university I somehow managed to be the person with the self destructing room. All was well in the end, but over the Easter holiday's my hot tap 'exploded' (thanks to a pesky washer) and left my room slightly on the steam damaged side. The nice maintenance people did a top job airing it out, but my photos didn't quite live to see another year. Think drawing pin rust stains and a strong aroma of musk.  

 Thankfully I had digital copies so they've all been reprinted. (I use photobox, it's easy to use, the price is really reasonable, and they're super quick). I also made the most of the opportunity to add new photos to the collection, so not all was bad! I'm waiting to get my hands on some nice string so I can make a D.I.Y photo 'washing line' to decorate my uni room and make it feel a little homely, but in the meantime I wanted to share some of my favorite photos with you. 


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Friday, 19 September 2014

Review: Lush's Grease Lightning Spot Cream


Photo Credit My Own one is very well loved,
so I thought I'd spare your eyes and borrow Lush's photo. 

I'm sorry for the slight pause in posts, I've gone back to Uni and the Wifi in our new house is nonexistent. In the meantime I can sometimes make use of a slightly sketchy unlocked wifi - but only if I sit on the left hand side of the house, and then it's still pretty temperamental. It is better than nothing though, and all should be up and running soon! :)

Not that you care much for my feeble excuses, so I'll quickly move on to more exciting things, a spot cream nonetheless.  Introducing Lush's Grease Lighting!   
(Lightning, lightning, lightning
Lightning, lightning, lightning, lightning, lightni...........in')

Now I know what you're thinking, a spot cream definitely isn't the most exciting thing that you can find, especially in Lush with all their amazing scents and glittery bath bombs, but it is one of my staples...
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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Summer Reads


As a follow on to my 'Summer Book Haul', this post has all the books I've read this summer that I already owned, or borrowed. I haven't got photos for all of them; a few have already been given back to their owners and the rest were black and white pixely covers on my Kindle. But I thought this small sample would give you some idea and add a splash of colour to this post :)



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Monday, 8 September 2014

A Day with the Birds

If you grew up near me then you'll have heard of, and visited, the infamous Birdworld. While I think its a massive landmark, i'll let you off it you have no idea what i'm talking about. Apparently it's one of England's largest bird parks, and covers over 26 acres. Its owned by the neighboring garden center and its all beautifully landscaped, and full of little gardens and greenery.
Toucan
While the trees are nice and all, obviously the main thing is the birds.

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Monday, 1 September 2014

Summer Book Haul

As summer comes to a close, September and History reading lists taller than me begin to loom. My impulsive fiction purchasing consequently begins to dwindle. This is probably a dream come true for my bank account, but its a sad sad day for my friendly bookshelf, that's always ready to give new books a home. 

But lets not get to mournful, this post is going to celebrate my blissful summer of carefree book buying and reading.

I've brought a few books, but not all have been read, (there's still fiction escapism waiting for me on the flip side!) and I've read others that I've borrowed, or already owned. SO, i'll start with a haul, give some thoughts for those I've read (I'll review some of my favorites separately over then next few weeks, and when I do, i'll edit this post to link you to the posts), and in a follow up post i'll do a similar thing for all my other summer reads - we wouldn't want them to feel left out.

Haullyhaul.
My Birthday was in April and my mum kindly gave me some book vouchers, I spent the last term of Uni looking for 'bookspiration', and kicked off my summer of spending.


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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Visited Shelf: The Haslemere Bookshop

Welcome to installment no.2. of the 'Visited Shelf' (independent bookshops I've visited, loved, and want to share with the world), this time brought to you from the lovely Haslemere Books.
The front of the shop. Outside bargain books are displayed on the tables. 
Haslemere Books is one of my closest independent bookshops so this wasn't a fist time visit. (But they are sadly getting further and further away - support your local bookshops people!) From the times when I used to beeline straight to the children's section at the back, up until now, Haslemere Books has always has an inviting atmosphere.  

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Saturday, 23 August 2014

100 Books

Lots of you will probably remember the BBC Big Read that happened way way back in 2003/4. The BBC set out to try and find the 'nation's best-loved novel', and asked people to nominate their favorite books. They then made a list of the top 100.

I find it really hard to believe that it's been a good 10 years, but ever since I stumbled across the list I've been keeping it at the back of my mind when I look for new books to read.

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Cafe Customers

Working in a busy cafe means I get the privilege of meeting a wide array of customers. Lots are really nice, others less so, and some float about in the middle. Some traits pop up pretty frequently, and secretly playing customer bingo makes my day at work even more enjoyable. I'm also a massive fan of a good old list, so for my listing pleasure and your amusement, I present you with a small introduction to get your bingo games rolling.


'Poached Egg Man' saving the world.

1. The Regulars
 I'll see them all the time, but I often don't know their names. This means I'm 'forced' to name them, being really imaginative, I often use their orders. I find this adds a sense of mystery. 'Poached Egg Man' busies himself by writing page after page in some strange hieroglyphic, and is most definitely a secret agent.

 'Latte Man' on the other hand always has a book. He dresses well, questioned me keenly about university, and is probably a crazy clever academic. I feel like he's a walking treasure chest of book recommendations, and I always take a peak at that day's cover. However he's often alone, much like the lovely 'Cappuccino Lady'. I long for the day when they frequent the café at the same time and become the best of friends.

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Thursday, 14 August 2014

Best-ever Chocolate Sandwich!


Today was A Level results day in the UK. My super clever brother did AMAZINGLY well (A*AB and an offer from his first choice University!!! :D :D :D :D ) All this celebration called for cake, so I grabbed my trusty cooking book,500 Fabulous Cakes and Bakes.

When baking for my brother you can rarely have too much chocolate, so when I stumbled across the 'Best-ever Chocolate Sandwich' I knew I was on to a winner. It turned out pretty well, so I thought I'd share the recipe. Its a bit fiddly, but nothing too hard, and is brimming with chocolaty goodness.

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Sunday, 10 August 2014

Paris!



For this post we're going to rewind to the end of June: step in to your TARDIS s'il vous plaît.


I went on a short trip to Disneyland Paris with my boyfriend Rob to kick start our summer holidays and compensate for my 'deprived' (Disney free) childhood. 

Disneyland was tonnes of fun. I'm not a massive ride fan at all (I'll have you know I tackled the Pirates of the Caribbean ride a whopping 3 times though ;)) but I still enjoyed the environment and wondering thought all the areas themed around some of my favorite Disney films.

We also managed to squeeze in a day trip to Paris. I was really excited to go to Paris, I've been to France a few times, but never ventured into the capital, and it was great to finally get the chance to go. We arrived at the Gare de Lyon station, strolled on down to the Notre Dame, then embarked on a massive hike to the Eiffel Tower. It took a fair bit of time, but it was really nice to see some of the less touristy streets, and just soak up all the Parisian architecture and the like.


We topped the walk off by climbing up the stairs to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. This nearly finished off my beloved (and now holey) converses, but it was totally worth it. We managed to avoid the worst of the lift queue, joining it at the second floor, and most importantly got to view the views.


 We then wandered to the metro, definitely not using the most direct route, before we stopped off at the Louve for some pyramid photos and then called it a day.


 I love Paris. I really liked the different periods of architecture that come together and survive alongside the contemporary buildings, while my countryside roots warmed to all the green spaces that popped up between bustling streets and busy roads. I'd love to go back one day and explore the city a bit more, so let me know if you have any favorite things to do/places to go to in Paris. I wont be returning soon, but planning fictional holidays will get me through. :)





 
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Friday, 8 August 2014

Epigraphs

A few months ago Books and Quills (Sanne) filmed this videoabout her favorite epigraphs, which got me hunting through all my books on the search for mine. Like Sanne, I found most of my books didn't have any, but a fair few did!

Here are some of my favorites:


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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Visited Shelf: The Edge of the World Bookshop

I love bookshops. The atmosphere, the smell, and most importantly the shelves and shelves of beautiful books. I love the convenience of online shopping too, but when it comes to books the browsing experience just doesn't compare. Within the bookshop world independent bookshops are the best of the best.

The 'Visited Shelf' is going to be a series of posts on independent bookshops I've visited, loved, and want to share with the world. If they take your fancy, add them to a 'to visit shelf', and share good bookshops you've visited with me (It will make me super super happy), then we've got ourselves shelves and shelves of bookshop loving. 

First up: The Edge of the World Bookshop, Penzance.

Website header: the description's spot on. 
I spent an afternoon in Penzance when I was on holiday in Cornwall at the end of July, as soon as I saw this shop I could't help but make a beeline for its entrance.

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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Cruelty Free Cosmetics on the UK High Street

Intro: I'm against animal testing for cosmetic products. I'm happy to write a post explaining my view in more detail, but you can get the jist if you keep on reading.

(A quick summary: I like cosmetics as much as the next person but I love animals that bit more. I also see cosmetics as luxury products, we don't need them to survive, so I don't feel like I have the right to inflict harm on another living being to produce them. The best part? Thanks to science and other safe alternatives, I don't have too!)

The Leaping Bunny Logo is found
on all certificated cruelty
free products.
Looking for products that don't conduct animal testing can be confusing. The EU has a ban on cosmetic animal testing (which is AMAZING) but (and it's a big but), this doesn't apply to companies outside the EU. A finished product sold within the EU will not have been tested on animals or contain ingredients tested on animal since March 2013. However, multinational companies can currently still conduct animal testing outside the EU for sales in other markets. The money from your purchase in the EU, can be used to fuel this.

The Good News?

There are still lots of totally cruelty free cosmetics on the UK High Street. There are even more smaller online companies. (For a comprehensive list you can visit Go Cruelty Free.org)

If you're thinking of making the switch to cruelty free, the high street is probably the easiest place to start, so I've compiled a list of my favorite brands and products to get your everyday essentials covered.


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Saturday, 2 August 2014

South Westerly Wanderings


Lunch Stop Panorama in Cornwall (had far too much fun with this little phone feature)
I've recently got back from a super holiday with my family and boyfriend. I took far too many photos, but I've picked some of my favorites to share with you...
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