Monthly Archives: March 2016

The thing about having an active boyfriend when you’re…less active

Is that he will assume that you are at the same level of fitness as him…and actually enjoy it- insert straight, disgruntled face.

So since last Thursday I’ve been on spring break (woo!). I know this usually means travelling or having a break but my pay day is the 23rd of every month so up until yesterday I was broke as anything. While I wanted to window shop or bribe my boyfriend into buying us takeaway he had other ideas. 

See when he said oh why don’t we go the Lake District with our friend and his girlfriend who’s visiting from Australia, I expected a little stroll through Bowness. A meal in my favourite restaurant in Ambleside (Zefferelis- Italian and vegetarian!) and maybe just the one glass of wine for me at a quaint little pub. He couldn’t as he was driving but meh I’m the passenger after all!

Under strict orders to be ready to leave by 9 I woke up, drunk tons of coffee and got dressed in my usual attire of dress, tights and flats. Weather weren’t looking too great so I put on my duffel coat and packed my tote bag while my boyfriend went to pick up our friends. My first warning sign should have been when I left my apartment to meet them and everyone was dressed in sports attire. My boyfriend and our friend do this thing called tricking (kind of like parkour meets martial arts) and his girlfriend is a gymnast so I just put it down to this is how they all dressed casually.

I fall asleep in the car, typical me style, and wake up two hours later to them discussing a mountain trail- warning sign no.2! Again I just brush it off and we arrive in Bowness. I love visiting Lake Windemere but it is definitely more beautiful of a summer time, with the weather being so dismal I couldn’t help thinking I was in a landscape from Fallout 4. We grabbed a coffee and sat down to watch the swans and birds.

   
  

Someone mentioned grabbing lunch to get our energy up- warning sign 3! I’m a massive foodie so I was like yeah please! First thing I realised here is I should have brought my own packed lunch! Maybe we tried to eat too early- not a lot of places were open or maybe I just let the meat eaters guide the way but the choice for vegetarians and vegans was shocking! The place we ate at was nice enough but I literally was only able to eat two starters which would have to serve as a main- hoummous & pitta bread and potato wedges. Now call me ungrateful but sometimes I am sick to death of hoummous, we do eat other things you know! I really wasn’t feeling it so with my fingers crossed asked what the soup of the day was and if it had any dairy in it. It was broccoli and vegan YES! It even came with half a sandwich which I gave to my boyfriend because it was cheese and pickle. The meat eaters all got burgers that I must admit, if I were a meat eater still I’d be impressed with. But mine. Oh mine. The soup was watery, pretty bland and tasted like it was fresh out a can. I laughed as I gave my boyfriend my sandwich which was slathered in butter, literally drowning in pickle sauce with a few measley pieces of what looked like the ready grated cheese you get out of packets. I pretty much left the place hungrier than what I went in.

Without food I get grumpy so now was not the time for them to drop the bombshell that we were walking a mountain trail. But that they did! And that’s how it happened. I hiked half way up a mountain in a duffel coat, dress, tote bag and flats and an extremely full bladder from all the coffee I’d drank. We entered from a side that clearly mustn’t have been closed off yet as only once we’d jumped our way across rocks in order to pass a ravine (okay maybe more of a stream but at the time a ravine is what it felt like!), clambered up steep ledges of grass, did we realise that the pathway that would take us further up was locked from the other side. Rob climbed over to read a sign explaining that due to local floods the pathway (we’d just trailed along!) was closed up while they fixed the bridges and fences. Now that explained why I had a soggy foot from landing in freezing cold stream water and a hole in my tights from climbing up sharp rocks.

  
The first and smallest ravine we crossed! ^^^^

So back down the mountain we went. We saw sheep and I was like yes animals! But even they ran away from me probably thinking who is this crazy girl up here in a duffel coat dress and flats

  
We eventually got back to the car and I felt like I’d just raced a 10k while they all protested at what shame it was that we couldn’t climb higher (wtf!?). Me? I slept like a baby the whole car ride home and promised my boyfriend that come payday he would get his just deserve and try one of my exercises- walking round the city centre with tons of shopping bags!

So I guess this probably isn’t even that interesting but in my head it was the worst! Although now it’s payday I promise to do more exciting posts. I’ve recently discovered a few vegan shops where they do the craziest and weirdest of foods. So I’m thinking…vegan taste tests?! Let me know in the comments if you’d want to see this! Also I will be doing my unboxing of my April My Little Box in the next few weeks when it arrives. Plus, I have a new vegan snackbox on order which I will share with you guys as soon as it arrives! Thanks for reading as always

-Abbie

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Crust Pizza & St Patrick’s Day

Hey guys!

So I realised I haven’t posted anything since my March My Little Box unboxing. For anyone who’s read my About Me you’ll know I’m currently studying for an MA in International Journalism so I’ve had quite a lot of uni work to get through this last week. Now I’m not going to lie originally I planned this post to be completely about St Patrick’s Day and how Liverpool, the city I’m from, celebrates it. Except honestly guys I had a few drinks too many and just didn’t take pictures like I planned!  St Patrick’s Day is a pretty big event in Liverpool as I’m sure it is in many places outside of Ireland. Though from what I’ve learnt from people I’ve met at university who are from outside of Liverpool, no where in England has quite a good time celebrating it as us scousers. A huge part of that is probably because of the massive student population in Liverpool which attracts a lot of Irish students. Another reason is probably because of Liverpool’s Irish heritage. Honestly go out in Liverpool on St Patrick’s Day and you’ll hear a million and one stories about how someone is Irish because they’re cousin’s, auntie’s, uncle’s, twice removed brother in law is Irish. Ha. But in all honesty most people can trace their ancestors back to Ireland, myself included. One of my best friends is from Belfast so celebrating St Patrick’s Day is a tradition for me now even if she is living in Vegas (super jealous) at the moment. But honestly if you’re ever looking for a place to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in England then you should definitely consider Liverpool. The atmosphere is always so friendly and everywhere has a kind of festival feel especially when the sun is out like this year. Usually people go to O’Neills for an Irish breakfast and then go out drinking from like 12pm, some hard core people even start earlier. Be warned though, come about 12, unless you’re willing to queue up for around an hour, O’Neills is pretty much inaccessible (I did want to get a photo of the queue but yeah, drunk Abbie). From there an obligatory pint of Guinness in Woody’s karaoke bar is a must and from there Concert Square. Also can I point out to those who aren’t from Liverpool, this is the only time drinking in Concert Square is acceptable! Any other time of year save your money and spend it in the bars on Wood street or the Albert Dock if fancy bars are more your thing. From about 5pm onwards most people go for a nap, refresh, shower and change and then go into town for the night time antics. It doesn’t really matter where as everywhere will have some sort of party and drinks promotions on!

St Patrick’s Day is also a big event for me because it is also my anniversary! Yesterday marked 6 amazing years with my beautiful boyfriend but don’t worry guys I haven’t forgot what I said in my Mother’s Day post, the cheese stops there. Well actually maybe we should talk about a different type of cheese- the vegan cheese at Crust pizza! Now I know to most people who aren’t interested in vegan or dairy food this pizza doesn’t look that great. I posted it on my Facebook to which my meat eater friends all protested at how it either doesn’t look like pizza, it looks burnt or it looks like something from Mordor (LOL). Honestly though never judge a book by its cover because this pizza tastes like heaven. First I’ll explain the black dough- Crust offer a variety of freshly made pizza bases one of which is this black dough which is made from vegetable charcoal, which in itself is thought to have many health benefits. I find it gives the pizza a nice smokey kick and hey if I I can kid myself that it makes my unhealthy pizza just a little bit healthier I’ll take it. As far as I know Crust is the only pizza place in Liverpool who offer this dough at the moment- correct me if I’m wrong by all means! Their tomato base is something else, I’ve honestly ate a pizza from Crust with no cheese before and still loved it. Now I will say Crust don’t make it glaringly obvious they offer a vegan cheese, I’ve been here countless times with my Dad and have had no idea. It was only when I was reading Trip Advisor and saw a review stating how amazing it was that they offered a vegan cheese alternative. We all know vegan cheese is not quite at the gooey, melting level of regular cheese so that’s also why it looks a bit weird but again don’t let the picture fool you. It tasted so like regular mozzarella that I actually had to double check that I’d ordered the vegan alternative. A regular mozzarella & cheese pizza prices in at £5. The vegan cheese is £1.50 extra as is the black dough, bringing my pizza to a total of £8. Considering each pizza is freshly made and fills you up for pretty much the entire day I would say it is well worth the price!

   

For any meat eaters who aren’t yet convinced, above are pictures of my dad and boyfriends pizzas- both with meat and both with regular cheese.

All in all I had an amazing St Patrick’s Day/anniversary. I had some awesome vegan friendly pizza and got very merry with my boyfriend. So how about you? Did you celebrate St Patrick’s Day? Does your town celebrate in style? Or maybe you know of even better vegan pizza in Liverpool? Drop me a comment in the box below and I’d love to hear it! 🙂

-Abbie

Crust pizza is situated at 25 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4DN http://www.crustliverpool.co.uk  

March My Little Box: My Little Bubble Box

I’ve been feeling pretty run down the past few days now so it was a pleasant suprise to find this little box waiting for me when I got home from University. Usually my box doesn’t arrive until around the 20th of each month so to say I was excited was an understatement! For anyone unfamiliar: My Little Box is a box subscription service (based in France) which includes a mixture of beauty and lifestyle products each month, that coordinate with that months theme. It’s pretty similar to Birchbox and other companies but the inclusion of lifestyle products give it a nice, unique selling point. I must stress that I can not guarantee that all of the included products are vegan and/or cruelty free- I received a 12 month subscription from my boyfriend for my birthday last year. So come August I will be saying bye bye to My Little Box which is a little sad but I’ll be in the lookout for a cruelty free makeup subscription box (needs to be available in UK) so if anyone knows any holla at me in the comments below! Anyway back to this months box…

The thing I love about My Little Box is the attention to detail that goes into every box. Each box is styled with a hand drawn picture from the talented Kanako Kuno. Each box also comes with a peelable sticker usually containing some sort of cute quote on the inlay of the cardboard- as you can see this months is in the shape of a bubble with the words ‘make it pop!’.

     

As you can see the presentation of each box is flawless. Ribbon wrapped, glossy magazine and what I like to call their ‘gimmick’ item are the first things you see. This month a balloon was included which I found nice but slightly peculiar. The lifestyle items this month fit more in with the beauty theme but I love them! This month was a foundation sponge that promises to give a flawless finish to any foundation no matter the quality (big promise which I hope it lives up to!) But honestly the quality feels great, super soft and porous. The second item was a basic hairbrush with a cute design which will be handy for my handbag: I have super thick hair that tangles in even the mildest breeze! D: 

   

Next we have the exciting part- the beauty products! I love how each month My Little Box send these in a uniquely designed cotton drawstring bag and they honestly come in so handy. I tend to use mine for storing toiletries for travelling so they’re nicely packed and easy to find. Usually My Little Box only send 3 products, one of which is usually from their own brand which I don’t mind because I like the cute, simplistic packaging. This month I received 4 (yay!) with more of their own brand than usual. This months box contained a sample size Givenchy (who due to selling in China aren’t cruelty free, sad face! ) mascara, a lip/cheek tint and eyeliner pen from the My Little Box range and a Garancia facial spray with an exclusive design by Kanako. I’ve not tried any of the products but I did do a quick swatch test of the tint, I’m not too sure on the colour yet but with my pale complexion it’s safe to say I will only be using this as a lip colour as I can’t see it complimenting my skin tone as a blush.  

     

So in conclusion I’m super happy with this box, I do need to do some research into the testing policies of My Little Box but I’m hoping, as they’re only for sale separately within France, that due to EU laws they are at least cruelty free. However if you’re not too bothered about cruelty free makeup (which I totally won’t judge you for- see my first ever post!) and you’re looking for a subscription box to brighten your month, I strongly recommend My Little Box! The design of each box is always beautiful, the box itself is strong and sturdy and perfect for storage needs. The exclusivity of French based beauty products means you try out products from companies you may never have been aware of. The main selling point for me was the inclusion of lifestyle products. I’ve needed to buy a spare hairbrush and a new foundation applicator for a while so for me this months was perfect although it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Past lifestyle items have included tote bags, hand illustrated diaries, travel organisers, jewellery and small items of clothing. If you want a better idea you can always search My Little Box unboxing on YouTube where there are tons of vlogs of people unwrapping past boxes. All for £11.00 a month (extra £3.95 for p&p!) you really can’t complain, it feels like it’s your birthday every month! 

I’m sorry for the super long post but as I’ve been not too good the past few days I’ve honestly not really done anything exciting that would leave me with anything interesting to write about so I thought I’d do something a bit different. Thanks for reading like always and let me know if you too subscribe to My Little Box, would be great to see if you love them like I do. Also as I said earlier I will unfortunately be unsubscribing come August when my 12 month subscription will be ending so if anyone can recommend any cruelty free beauty subscription boxes I would love it if you could let me know! 🙂

-Abbie

Mother’s Day

When I was younger Facebook wasn’t really a thing for my generation, well for my generation in the UK at least. MySpace was my thing and I embraced the scene queen image whole heartedly (PC4PC yeah?) spamming my bulletin board with tons of cheesy and soppy posts. I liked cheese, I embraced it, yet as I’ve gotten older I’ve changed. These days anyone who knows me knows I’m not one for soppy displays of affection via social media. Call me an old woman but it kind of frightens me how dependent on social media society has become, why tell someone how much they’re appreciated in person when you can just tag them on Facebook? 

Yet on days like today I make an exception. My cousin posted an absolutely beautiful status about his mum, my Aunty, today and it really made me smile. Like myself my cousin is definitely NOT a soppy status kind of guy and he made the point that although he doesn’t usually do this kind of thing, today he would make an exception. He then went on to say how he can and does tell his mum every day how much he appreciates her but today is a day where he can share the beautiful person his mother is with the world. And it made me smile. So that’s what I did, cheesy status, obligatory photos and all.

My mum is the best and I know everyone will think that of their own mums but in my eyes she really is. I’m fortunate to have a really good relationship with my family and especially with my parents and sister. They’re my rocks and my mum has always been one of my best friends ever since I was a little girl. From giving me courage when I was scared, strength when I had a brief ordeal with bullies, consoling me through my teenage heartaches and grief and to always encouraging me to be the best version of me I can be. I suffer with health anxiety and I don’t say that lightly. Yet my mum never gets mad when I ring her at all hours of the night panicking about a random spot on my arm. She gives me strength and safety, I am just blessed to have such an amazing mum. So today was my day to just show off to the world how amazing my mum is. That and enjoy a delicious (mostly) meal with her, my dad and sister.

So I guess my point is soppy statuses aren’t always a bad thing and days like Mother’s and Father’s Day don’t have to have the negative stigma of ‘just another commercial holiday’. Yes you should tell those you love how much they mean to you everyday but why not, on one day every year, show not only them but the world how beautiful those people are? If you can brag about a new car or watch or various other material things then why shouldn’t we show off the things that money can’t buy?

-Abbie

 My yummy courgette fries:

  
A promising salad that was unfortunately let down by just a bit too much hot olive oil :(. I should probably also point out here that this was a tapas dinner so I also had one more dish of chargrilled tender stem broccoli with ginger and chilli jux but that got devoured before the thought of taking a picture even came in to my mind:

 
And finally my sister, my beautiful mummy and yours truly (really bad picture I was far too hungover because yeah, Saturday nights) :