Saturday 30 May 2015

Antwerp, Belgium ǀ 2015

The visit here was more of a spur of the moment thing, a stop off on our way through Belgium, rather than something we had planned. After spending the whole day in the car it was a relief to finally stretch our legs. I was so tired because I was at a party the night before and we left England at some horribly early time. Before leaving to go out the night before I was scrambling around trying to find socks to pack and batteries for cameras as well as get ready and, I was still in a state when my friends collected me. Given all of those reasons I am surprised that I even managed to point my camera in the right direction.

I will make a list of some things I recall. There isn't a lot; the following week was very eventful. Firstly there were lots of tall buildings with intricate designs scaling the sides, topped with golden statues. There were bright colours on most streets and then there was a market alongside the river. It was crowded and noisy but it looked as if it was meant to be; the style of it all looked fun like they were all catering for a party. Each stall had its own theme going on. I liked Antwerp a lot but I think I may be haunted by the ghosts of all the flared trousers me and Pia spotted.

Friday 22 May 2015

Ideas for a Vegetarian Breakfast

I have always been vegetarian and not once in living memory can I remember intentionally eating meat. I don't have any belief or anything behind what I choose to eat; I was just given a choice from an early age and I chose not to. Many of my friends have also decided to become vegetarian recently so I thought a post along these lines could be helpful to several people. Here I have given several examples of vegetarian breakfasts I enjoy and that you may want to try out. If you know me you should know that me, cooking or any complicated recipe of any sort doesn't end up very well. By that I mean explosions tend to take place. Therefor you are bound to find these little ideas very easy to do indeed. You don't need any advanced skills or equipment to make these three things and they can be easily made in the morning if you provide yourself with a little bit of time to do so. If I can get to grips with them, then It is likely that everyone else will be able to do it with both their hands tied.

Idea 1: Smoothie and Granola
I had to put my favourite one first. This tastes amazing when done correctly. For this you will need plain yogurt, granola, cashew nuts, a packet of frozen berries and orange juice (natural is best).

For the smoothie there isn't a particular proportion or direction you need to follow - you just make it how you prefer it. To start with add the berries and orange juice together, adding small amounts of yogurt to the blender when you think the consistency is good. Do not take the lid off whilst the blender is on because trust me, you do not want to be the person that makes that mistake. Just experiment with the smoothie by adding little bits at a time and tasting it as you go. Then you simply put it in a bowl, add the granola and cashew nuts and stir together before eating.

Idea 2: Rice Cakes, Scrambled egg & Shoots
Again this one is super easy. This is the one that can fill me up until way past lunch time. Two eggs should be more than enough for one person so you need to simply whisk them together in a bowl with a fork. I use a non-stick pan for this but, a frying pan coated with a thin layer of sunflower oil is fine. You need to turn the hob on, add the eggs and then stir so that they do not stick and burn. Ensure that they are not too slimy before taking it off the heat and applying to the rice cakes. This next part is optional: add about a teaspoon of Good Oil Hemp Seed Oil evenly over the top of the eggs then apply a handful of lentil and bean shoots and quinoa sprout mix to finish.

Idea 3: Fruit Salad & Seeds
This is the most simple one of all but I also find it to be the most time consuming. If you have very minimal time in the morning then the last two ideas may be better for you. If you have time to chop up fruit into smaller pieces then you're pretty much already there. Admittedly this one isn't my favourite of the three to make but I still quite like it. You could include a whole range of fruit (excluding tomatoes) and try lots of different combinations to get different tastes. Usually I go for strawberries, oranges, banana, pineapple and a melon of some sort and I top it with whatever seeds I can find and on occasion I also add plain yogurt too.

I source most of these ingredients at Sainsbury's so if you are unsure as to what some things are, they should be available there. My final word of advice would please be careful when making any of these things, I don't want to be responsible for someone burning themselves or chopping their fingers off.

Thursday 14 May 2015

Dr Bronner's Shikakai Soap ǀ Review

Organic Hand and Body Shakakai Soap
Baby Unscented and Tea Tree

Soap isn't usually something I tend to review however, I was sent these to take a look at and I actually quite like them. The first one (Baby Unscented) I found particularly difficult to review because, as you can guess from the title, it had no smell to it. That made it harder because, when reviewing products like these, I tend to comment on the scent. The Tea Tree one however, was clearly of a mint-like scent and left my hands feeling fresh, tingly and clean for some time after.

Both of these soaps I found similarly really good; you don't need a lot and I noticed it helped remove marks such as pen ink fairly quickly. Another purpose I found for them was washing make-up brushes. As I have recently had a shortage of art brushes, I have been using some of my less useful make-up ones. Unfortunately they remained stubbornly blue for afterwards, and I didn't fancy a blue face, so I thought I would try out The Baby Unscented Soap. It did manage to remove most of the traces off so I didn't look like a smurf. It is really gentle but works well. The fact it is fair trade, organic and with a fairly simple list of ingredients just tops it all off. I really like them.

Monday 4 May 2015

Bristol with the Cousins

As some of my cousins live in Canada it makes it a rare thing for us to be able to spend time with them, therefore we all went up to Bristol for two days to. Realistically I did not think that it would be worth blogging about this little trip as my family visits aren't usually a topic I tend cover, however, the place we happened to spend a lot of time in had lots of nicely done graffiti on the walls and it looked really quirky and interesting. I found all of the bright colours lining the street really cheery and uplifting. I think more places should be more bright and creative because it was very nice to look at when out and it was tempting to visit every little café as each looked so different, yet inviting. We had a good breakfast in a cosy place called 'The Bristolian' and it was the best I've had in a while.