Sunday, 11 December 2016

Snap Happy Sunday // Brisbane Vegan Markets.



One of the best things about being back in Brisbane is all of the awesome vegan events that keep popping up all over the place. So far I've been to a Sea Shepherd event at Southbank, Eco Fest on the Gold Coast, and then today I went to the Brisbane Vegan Markets in West End. Whilst the markets weren't as exciting as the first two events (Eco Fest was by far my fave! I had such a great day) the food options were beyond amazing. From mac and cheese, to "chicken" drumsticks, to custard tarts, there was something there for everyone. Sometimes I wish I had a second stomach just for these events - I always leave disappointed that I couldn't try everything.

Icecream made with liquid nitrogen

Vegan "chicken" drumsticks and nuggets
As much as I wish I had my Townsville vegan tribe here to enjoy these events with me, I am lucky enough to have found myself some lovely new vego babes to share in all the awesomeness. Brooke (pictured below) couldn't get over the fact that we weren't actually eating real chicken. It's pretty incredible how closely we can imitate real meat these days.




The rest of the markets, food aside, were pretty good as well. I wish they'd had a few more stalls though. I really wanted to buy one of the dainty pendant necklaces pictured below but with Christmas coming up I decided I should probably save my money. Definitely purchasing one of these in future though. First I just need to decide between the banana, avocado and watermelon design. They were all too pretty!




After the markets we spent the rest of the afternoon bumming around Southbank. It was such a nice day for it. Although I do miss the chilled atmosphere of Townsville, there's definitely something to be said for city living. If it wasn't for my dogs I would totally consider moving even closer.

It's funny, actually, how I never appreciated Brisbane for what it had to offer when I lived down this way previously. I was always so daunted by the idea of catching public transport in or trying to find a park that nine times out of ten I'd just give up on going in completely. Lucky for me the new guy I've recently started seeing lives right along the river, just a short walk from all the hustle and bustle, including one of my new favourite vegan restaurants (yay!). Visiting him has definitely helped me to get over my fear of driving around the city. More on this new budding romance of mine another day though. ;)

 
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Saturday, 10 December 2016

Here's to New Beginnings!



After well over a month without access to a computer after my old computer decided it was time retire to computer heaven, the one thing I really missed the most was the freedom to just sit down and type out my feelings on this little old blog of mine. Now that I am back in the blogging business though I'm finding it oddly difficult to pick a topic to talk about. You see, during my hiatus I had plenty of time to go back over my old and incredibly cringe worthy blog posts, and looking back I feel as though I was painting a false reality and not being as honest with my readers (or myself) as I could have been. So going forward I feel as though I owe it to myself to pick up my game when it comes to telling my story. The last thing I want is to look back on this blog another five years from now and be just as bored reading it as I found myself recently.

With that being said, here's to new beginnings - both in life and blogging!  It's good to be back. x

 
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Monday, 17 October 2016

Great Eats: Govindas, BSKT Cafe + Charlie's Raw Squeeze.



Today I thought I would start a new blog post series called 'Great Eats' where I talk about some of the restaurants I have eaten at recently. I will normally try to talk about restaurants that are completely, or almost completely, vegan, but will occasionally mention a standard restaurant if I discover that they have some cool vegan options.




The first place I want to talk about is a Vegetarian, buffet style restaurant on the Gold Coast called Govindas. Situated in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Govindas boasts a number of vegan options at incredibly decent prices. When visiting with my besties last weekend I picked up a medium size tub (the bottom tub pictured above) of rice, mixed vegetable curry, lentil dahl curry and cauliflower pakoras with chutney, and all for $11. I was very impressed and completely satisfied. I'd give Govindas a 9/10 for taste and price. If they had more vegan options, or all vegan options, I would absolutely give them a 10/10.


Not long after our lunch at Govindas, my friends and I decided to go to a cute little cafe in Mermaid Beach called BSKT Cafe. We went here solely because Google told us that they sold cocowhip icecream, and they didn't disappoint. Each of the tubs pictured above were $8 each, which isn't too bad considering that they were 1) healthy 2) vegan and 3) delicious! Now while I didn't check out the restaurant enough to give it a rating out of 10, I would happily give the cocowhip an 8/10. If the price was a little bit cheaper, I would give it a 9/10 based on taste.




Later that week I met up with a new vegetarian friend of mine that I made through work at a 100% vegan juice/snack bar in Kenmore called Charlie's Raw Squeeze. We originally came in for donuts, only to discover that they only stocked donuts on Saturday, so we instead bought a loaded banana nicecream and raw treat each. The nicecreams were $12 each, and the raw treats were discounted to $5 each. Sadly I wasn't a huge fan of the loaded nicecream. It was way too thick and banana tasting, and I couldn't finish it. Next time I think I will try their gelato. Their raw treats however were absolutely delicious. I got the cookies and cream and my friend got the mint pattie. So yum! Now for my rating. If there were more lunch options, particularly hot lunch options, and donuts available during the week as well, I would easily give this store a 10/10. As it stands though, I would have to give it an 8/10. Will definitely be going back on a Saturday though. ;)

Have any of you guys eaten at any of these restaurants before? How were your experiences?

 
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Sunday, 9 October 2016

Snap Happy Sunday // The Past Month.



Following my recent move back down to Brisbane, I thought it would be nice to share a picture heavy post of the past month of my life. It's crazy how quickly the time has flown by.

The four photos above were taken on the 6th and 7th of September during my roadtrip back down to Brisbane. I was accompanied by two of my best friends Anita (shown in the photos) and Jaana, as well as my dogs Ellie and Nala. On the first day of our trip we drove from Townsville down to Rockhampton, stopping at Bowen and Mackay along the way. We stayed the night at a pet friendly motel in Rocky, then set off early the next morning for the 8-9 hour drive back to Brisbane. All in all it was a safe and moderately enjoyable trip. I am so grateful to Anita and Jaana for accompanying me, as well as for helping me pack for the move. I couldn't have done it without you girls.



I  arrived home on the 7th at around 4.30pm, where we were greeted by my Mum and brother. The next few weeks were spent settling in and spending time with family and friends. My furniture hadn't arrived at this point, so I spent the next few weeks living out of my suitcase. I was feeling pretty depressed during this time. I found that going for lake walks helped quite a bit, but my depression was still always just beneath the surface, and still is to an extent. Although I am no longer on welfare (and haven't been for over a year now), the fact that I am still not completely financially independent is really hitting home now that I am single. I am constantly worrying about my future and hope to find some peace in this area soon.



Since moving back I also had some blonde added to my hair by my best friend Katie. I'm really loving how it looks at the moment, which is very natural, but I'm thinking of getting some more blonde added soon to brighten it up for summer. I'm also really loving having my full fringe back. The forehead acne is a pain in the arse though!



About a week after moving back my brother and I drove to Toowoomba for our step sister Lexi's 18th birthday dinner. It's crazy to think that Lexi was still in Primary school when we first met. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a vegan salad on the menu, and man did it taste delicious. I was even more surprised to find I'd won $67 on the pokies after putting my first dollar in. I rarely ever gamble at all, so I took my $67 and ran haha!



Finally, eventually, after a month of waiting.. my furniture finally arrived. I'm really lucky that Mum turned the front room of our house into a storage room because I have at least 15 boxes currently being stored in there. The only furniture I brought with me was my computer desk, dressing table (which I will eventually replace with one that matches my desk) and a coffee table that my Dad made me. I am currently sleeping in a single bed in the smallest room of the house. I could just barely fit my desk and dressing table in, but I'm happy with how my room is looking now that I have pulled some of my stuff out of storage. Like I said earlier, I'm really scared for my future at the moment if I can't get more hours at work. As lovely as it is to be back with family, I really do crave the independence I had living out of home. I know I could always look for a share place, but it is really difficult with the dogs as I am super protective  and don't want them living with random strangers. I guess I just need to take each day as it comes.

Other things I've been up to lately:
I started my new job on the 28th of September.
- Anita, Jaana and I attended my friend Bianca's wedding on October 1st.
- I saw Bridget Jones' Baby, twice, and laughed my arse off both times.
- Went to a Sea Shepherd fundraising festival and met my vegan idol, James Aspey.

So what have you guys been up to?

 
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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

One Year Veganniversary.

You can purchase this shirt created by famous Australian Vegan activist James Aspey here.


One year ago to this day, while I was down in Brisbane visiting my family, I made the life changing decision to never consume, use, or intentionally support the exploitation of another animal again in my life. It was on this day that I became Vegan.

I knew when making this decision that my life would be turned upside down. I fully expected friends, family, coworkers etc to bombard me with questions, lame jokes and criticisms. What I wasn't expecting was just how many people would support me in my decision, and who. Without naming names, some of the people I thought would support me didn't at first, but with time grew to accept my decision. Alternatively, those who I thought would never understand supported me from the get go and some even began to follow in my footsteps. I also stepped outside of my comfort zone and joined a local Vegan group that held weekly (turned monthly) potlucks, and made a whole circle of new friends. I cannot thank these people enough for supporting me in my decision, especially during those first few months.



Fast forward to today and it's as though I have been Vegan my entire life. What once seemed like such a daunting concept is now my every day way of life. The decision not to consume animals each day is no longer something I have to consciously think about, I simply listen to my body and eat whatever yummy plant based foods my body is craving at the time.. which can be anything from avocado and tomato on toast, to a completely raw salad dressed only with lemon juice (two meals I never would have eaten before going vegan!). I love my fruits and veggies so much more since cutting animal products out of my diet. It's like my tastebuds have completely changed. In fact, the smell and look of animal products completely turns me off now and actually makes me feel quite sick.. even cheese!

Never before have I been this interested in and excited about my health, cooking, eating out, supporting local businesses, getting involved in activism, keeping tabs on real world matters, etc. It's safe to say that Veganism has completely changed my life, 100% for the better. I have no idea what the future holds for me in regards to this new lifestyle change, but I am motivated and inspired to create more positive change in whatever way I can.

Watch this space! :)

 
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Monday, 22 August 2016

Life Update: Moving Back to Brisbane.



Where do I start? It feels like forever since I last wrote an update post and so much has happened since I last blogged. I guess I'll just start with the biggest news, and that's that I'm moving back to Brisbane!

The last time I gave an update I mentioned that I was stuck in limbo waiting for a transfer with my work. Basically I refused to move back down until I had a job lined up. Finding a transfer, however, was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. I basically had to wait until a new store was being opened and apply for it just as anyone else would. Fortunately, as I flew down for the day just to attend the interview, I was offered the job on the spot. I guess I proved to them how I commited I am. There are no words that can describe just how relieved I felt to receive this news. It felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. 

Actually, on the way home from the interview I was blasting the radio when the following song came on:

Someone turned the pressure on
I called your name and you were gone
And I was trapped like a prisoner in this lonely town
I'm gonna let things slide, until the pressure comes down

The timing of the song was perfect, and these lyrics perfectly summed up how I have been feeling over the past few months since the break up. It's pretty safe to say I had a monumental tear session on the drive home after this song came on.


I still have a lot more hurdles to face in the next few months, but I finally feel like I can breathe again, and that feels incredible. I have been accepted for the same position and hours that I am working currently, but my goal by the end of the year is to be working as close to full time hours as possible so that I can move out on my own. In the mean time, I still need to move down and settle back into my Mum's place.

I'm not going to lie, it feels pretty embarrassing to be moving back home at 27 years of age, but hey.. it's not like I chose to be put in this position. I'm just super grateful that I have family support to help me through this transition in my life. I'm also super grateful for my amazing besties. When I needed to fly down for the interview with hardly any notice, my best friend Katie picked me up from the airport at midnight and even gave me a haircut before my big interview (see photo above). It feels really weird to have a full fringe again, and the maintenance is crazy, but I'm so happy with how it looks. With a forehead like mine a fringe is definitely necessary if I don't want to look like a total egg head. But back to my friends though.. in a couple of weeks, once my two weeks notice is up, my other two besties Anita and Jaana are flying up from the Gold Coast to spend a few days with me before the three of us and the dogs make the 18 hour drive back down to Brisbane together. The plan is to do 9 hours one day, stay at a pet friendly motel overnight, then do the other 9 hours the following day. I'm actually really excited for the road trip and have my music playlist all ready to go.

Speaking of the dogs.. A couple of weeks ago Ellie, my eldest dog, decided to hurt her back. I have no idea how it happened as I was at work at the time, but pretty much when a dachshund hurts their back you immediately assume the worst. Fortunately, three vet trips and a lot of money later, Ellie was deemed to be on the mend and was prescribed crate rest and medicine over surgery. I will be forever grateful that her situation wasn't any worse, and once I get my own place I will be making it so darn dachshund friendly that visitors will wonder if a child lives there instead of an adult. Think of a super low bed frame and couch, and bar stools at the kitchen island rather than a table. Good thing I want my new place to be super minimalist.

So to sum up, with all things going to plan, I should be back in Brisbane on the 6th or 7th of September. I will be starting my new position on the 19th, which gives me just over a week to settle in, unpack, etc. I am really looking forward to catching up with old friends and hopefully making some new ones. I have even already created a Springfield Vegans Facebook group so that I can start having meet ups with fellow Vegans in the area.

Thanks so much to everyone who has been offering me words of support via this blog, instagram, emails, etc. You guys are amazing. Hopefully things will be a little more positive on this blog from this point onward. I'll make sure to write an update post once I'm back and settled in. :)

 
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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Creamy Vegan Pasta Bake.

One of the biggest things I've missed since going Vegan is creamy, cheesy pasta dishes. It's not that Vegan creams and cheeses aren't available, it's just that they can be quite expensive and difficult to get your hands on, and to be perfectly honest, they're not really all that healthy. Thankfully I was given 'The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook' for Christmas which features a scrummy Tetrazzini style pasta dish recipe. Basically this dish has all the taste, but none of the ingredients of cream or cheese. I of course ended up adding my own special touches to the dish, and it is this adapted recipe that I will be sharing with you today. :)

Ingredients:

1 cup cashews
coconut or olive oil
250 grams spaghetti pasta, or pasta of your choosing
broccolini
1 1/4 cups soy or almond milk, unsweetened
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
sundried tomatoes

Method:

1. Cover the cashews with water and soak in the fridge overnight.
2. Pop your pasta onto boil and cook until al dente. You can also stick your broccolini into the same pan as your pasta to cook for a few minutes.
3. While your pasta and broccolini is cooking, preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius (350 degrees fahrenheit), and lightly grease an oven proof dish with an oil of your choosing.
4. Drain your soaked cashews and place these into a food processor. Give them a quick blitz.
5. Add all remaining ingredients (except sundried tomatoes) to the food processor and blitz until you have a smooth creamy consistency.
6. Once the pasta and broccolini is cooked, drain, add back to the saucepan, and cover with the creamy sauce. Throw your sundried tomatoes in at this point as well. Stir through until the pasta is completely covered.
7. Add creamy pasta to the pre-greased oven proof dish, sprinkle with extra cracked black pepper, cover with alfoil, and cook at the preset temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Serves 4.




 
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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Seven Years, Five Months + Four Days.



Well, it's official. Earlier this month, on Saturday the 4th of June to be precise, I ended my seven and a half year relationship with 'B'. It was a long time coming, and when I say that "I" ended it, it was definitely more of mutual agreement, but it was still the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my life.

I won't go into too much detail in this blog post as the whole situation is still very raw for me, but I will definitely do more posts on the subject once I've had time to reflect and learn from the whole experience.

Presently I am going through the five stages of grief, in no particular order. Most of the time the stages seem to overlap. Currently I am feeling a little bit of anger but not too much. I feel like I could get quite angry in the upcoming months though. I was going through a stage of denial, and still am a little bit, but at the same time I feel like I accepted the situation from the moment the relationship ended.

Basically I just feel like I need to find myself again. I'm going to be honest though, don't be surprised if I'm in a new relationship by the end of the year. There are definitely things about myself that I need to work on, but being a romantic soul isn't one of them. I feel like I was put on this earth to love, be loved, and to spread positivity. I haven't felt truly "loved" in a really long time. I deserve to experience love again.

At the moment I am still living in Townsville in the same house as B. I have been trying to apply for a transfer through work but it is proving a little difficult at the moment. As soon as the transfer goes through however I will be moving back home to Brisbane to live with my family until I can get back on my feet. Fortunately B and I have been very civil with each other and he will be helping me out with the cost of moving and giving me my fair share in terms of furniture, etc. I am very grateful for this as I have heard some shocking stories from others about their less than civil breakups. As for the dogs, they will be coming with me. It breaks my heart to take them both away from their "daddy" but I couldn't bare to separate them from one another, so it only makes sense that they would both come with me. Hopefully he can come to visit them ocassionally when he's down in Brisbane to visit friends and family.

Hmmm.. what else?

Aside from the obvious emotional turmoil we've both been going through, it has been really difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that I have to leave this home and "family" that we have made for ourselves. Security is a really big deal to me and now I feel like everything is up in the air. Sure, I get to go and live with my family for a while, but given that my family already has two dogs, that isn't going to last forever with four crazy mutts in the house. So unless I can finally find full time work, I'll most likely need to move in with a housemate. The thought of doing this, especially with two dogs in toe, is incredibly daunting to me and gives me a huge amount of anxiety. I've been trying not to think too far ahead for this reason. So my plan is to wait until I hear about a transfer, then pack everything up and arrange to move as soon as possible. I don't see the point of packing anything until I know when I'm moving as seeing clutter and boxes around me only makes me feel more anxious. I'm hoping that if the universe can time things for me perfectly I'll be moving back to Brisbane in the last week of July. Two of my besties have offered to fly up and make the 18 hour drive back down with me and the dogs, which would be absolutely perfect!

I guess I will leave things there for now. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments, or send me an email to felicity@pursuitoffelicity.com and I will get back to you as soon as I can. If any of you have been through a breakup in recent years and have a positive story to tell about what happened afterwards I would LOVE to hear from you. I really need to hear stories like those right now. :)

P.s. If you could keep breakup related comments off my social media for the time being that would be wonderful. I haven't shared the news with everyone yet and would rather they hear it from me personally. x

 
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Sunday, 12 June 2016

Snap Happy Sunday // My "Earthlings Experience".



About a month ago now I was given the opportunity through the Townsville Vegans group to put aside my ego for the day and do something selfless and beneficial for the animals, humans and our planet. Standing united, but anonymous, at the local university with such a beautiful group of people and a powerful message was an absolute honour and pleasure. Our message was brutally honest and wasn't sugarcoated in the slightest, so I am so glad that the University was respectful enough to let us deliver this message despite the graphic nature. :)









The next time you come across a group of activists "protesting" in public, please don't be afraid to stop and listen to their message. I promise you they are not there to scare or intimidate you. They do not think that they are better than you. They simply wish to educate, raise awareness and ultimately create a better life for you. :)

Thank you to Samara for organising this great event, and to Dela for the awesome photos! x

 
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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Post birthday thoughts, goals, etc.

Me on my 2nd birthday.


As promised, today I am writing up a more emotional post in regards to having recently turned another year older. There's just something about birthdays that always makes me want to stop and evaluate my life and where it is going.

Like last year, I woke up on my 27th birthday with hope that my day would be this super exciting, extra special day. I'm always like this on my birthday. I guess it's because in movies you see people getting out of bed and going out into the living room to a huge "Surprise!", a big cook up breakfast, presents galore, etc. Not that I expected or even wanted any of that (in fact, I made it a point to ask that people not buy me a present this year), but I definitely feel like these movies set us up with false expectations. Anybody else?

Instead I woke up around 7am, mopped the floor, cleaned my office, cleaned the kitchen, and deep cleaned the microwave all before B was awake. At this point B asked if I wanted any breakfast, but I was too engrossed in cleaning to even think about breakfast, so he went out to McDonalds while I stayed at home and continued cleaning. Before he went out though he handed me a birthday card and a new vegan cookbook. Considering I didn't want any gifts this year, he couldn't have picked a better gift to give me. My spirits were lifted temporarily. :)

As the day grew on I continued cleaning like a mad woman. Eventually I had to stop and take a nap as I was beginning to feel light headed. Once I woke up I finished cleaning and started baking for my party that evening. Somewhere in the middle of cooking I managed to get myself into an argument with B. I've been doing that a lot lately. It wasn't even an argument really, more like me banging my head against a brick wall and getting absolutely nowhere. Without going into any details, things between B and I have been on the rocks for almost a year now. Maybe even longer. I am honestly at a loss as to what we should be doing. Neither of us wants to break up, and we both still love and care about each other deeply, but neither of us is truly happy at this point in time. Even though I have supportive friends all around me, and friends and family back home who would come up here to help me out in a heartbeat, I just feel so alone and lost in the situation. All I know is that I don't want to spend my next birthday not knowing where I stand in our relationship. I actually feel guilty writing about this here because really, anyone in the world could read this, but I also want to keep this space open and honest.

Anyway, after getting nowhere, I went back to baking and then started getting ready before my dinner guests arrived. I also indulged in a few glasses of wine which I hardly ever do to lift my spirits a bit more. It worked. :) I ended up having the best time. I am so grateful for all the new friends I have made since going vegan last year. They are all such beautiful, caring people, inside and out. I couldn't have asked for a better bunch of humans to spend the evening with. They all made me feel really special at a time when I needed it the most.

The main stand out moment of the evening for me though was when it was time for me to blow out my candles. I don't normally make wishes on my birthday as I don't believe they'll come true, but this time I made to sure wish that everything will work out as it should for me and B. Hopefully I never need to make a wish like that again. It is my hope that next year I will be able to go back to the happy, care-free thoughts of my 2 year old self (pictured above), where the only thing I'm wishing for is to stay as happy as I am in that moment. Even if things don't work out for us the way that I am hoping, I hope that I will at least find happiness and peace with the situation at hand.

Moving on.. this wouldn't be a birthday blog post if I didn't include my 26 while 26 list that I wrote up last year so that we can see all the goals I managed to achieve (or not achieve). I have decided that I won't be writing one of these lists this year, and will instead focus on finding happiness one day at a time.


26 while 26

1. Continue to grow my hair out. I still want long hippy hair by the time B and I get married. ✓
Aside from a couple of trims, I have continued to grow my hair out. It has been very tempting to go back to a long bob though.

2. Learn how to french braid. Could come in handy for my wedding hairstyle, ha!
Yeah right. Me take the time to learn how to french braid? As if! :P

3. Whilst we're on the topic of hair, please don't dye your hair back dark again. It looks really good natural with the random blonde highlights. ✓
It's funny, because I was thinking about dying my hair back dark just a couple of days ago. I won't though. At least not in the immediate future. It's just too darn expensive for me to maintain at the moment.

4. Get a few extra hours at work, or find some other way to make some regular "pocket" money. You're going to have a wedding to save for soon I hope. ;)
Sadly, despite my being a great employee and practically begging for more hours each week, I am still on the same contract that I was this time last year. I'm actually quite tired of feeling undervalued but what can you do? A girl's got to eat. As for a wedding, I've moved on from wanting to save for this. Instead I simply want to be financially independent on my own two feet.

5. Keep going to the gym at least 3 times a week. It doesn't matter if you don't reach your goal weight, you just need to stay active and healthy and get your PCOS under control.
Yeah, no. I actually quite the gym back in April after not going in over 6 months. I just wasn't feeling the gym at all. :(

6. Find your clean eating niche and learn to embrace it. Whether that be a paleo diet, vegetarian diet, vegan lifestyle, or just eating relatively healthy in general. Find out what works for you and makes you feel the happiest. ✓
How funny is it that this was one of my to-do list items? Even funnier is that I made the distinction between Veganism being a lifestyle and not just a diet, even before I became vegan haha! Being Vegan definitely makes me the happiest. :)

7. Make sure you still treat yourself on occasion, even if it's more than once a week. You don't need to be super strict with yourself if you are active and healthy most of the time. ✓
Don't worry 26 year old me, I don't think there was a single week this past year where I didn't treat myself more than once. ;)

8. Take your blog to the next level, as well as your instagram account. Whatever that new level is will be entirely up to you.
It's pretty safe to say my blog and instagram have gone nowhere, lol. I did start a PLL instagram account that has been going really well though. My YouTube account has also taken off, even though I've only been posting PLL reactions and theories so far!

9. Become more active in the ASMR community, and work towards giving something back.
Sadly this hasn't happened.. yet!

10. Finish furnishing/decorating the house. Try to sneak in some pops of colour even if B says no. ;) ✓
The house is as furnished as it needs to be at this point in time. And I did manage to sneak in a few pops of colour. :)

11. Either get into a habit of spring cleaning once a week, or hire a cleaner.
I wish. Although I have been making more of an effort to keep the place clean of late.

12. Make sure that Nala is fully toilet trained, and teach her how to sit/stay.
I don't know if Nala was dropped on the head as a puppy or what, but my goodness is she a slow learner! She doesn't pee in the house at all anymore (thank god!) but we can't for the life of us get her to do her poos outside. It's like she saves them all up until she is inside the house to do them, and she always does them in the same few spots. Even when the doors are open and she has complete access to outside, she will come inside just to do a poo. I think we need a hardcore trainer for her. She also didn't learn to sit or stay. Like I said.. very slow!

13. Get Nala desexed. ✓
This was a no-brainer.

14. When Christmas time rolls around, make sure to really get into the Christmas spirit and decorate the house like a crazy person. ✓
Done!

15. Host some sort of gathering at our house once we get the new couch. ✓
Last year I hosted a 'Friends' themed party, and on Sunday I hosted a Vegan potluck for my birthday. :)

16. Walk the dogs at least every 2nd day.
I am ashamed to admit that I wasn't able to maintain this. They do get walked though, so don't worry!

17. Start wearing make up regularly again.
What a stupid to-do list item. I've definitely changed a lot in the last 12 months, and one of the things that has changed about me the most is how comfortable I now feel within my own skin. It's truly liberating.

18. Curl your hair more often. It suits you.
Yes, it does suit me. Sadly I think I've only curled my hair once since writing this to-do list item last year. I guess I'm just lazy.

19. Burn candles more often. Why bother having them if you're not going to use them?
Good question. I definitely haven't been burning my candles much at all. I guess I won't be buying them or requesting them in future.

20. Don't neglect your friends back home. ✓
I try my best to keep in touch with friends back home quite regularly. :)

21. Go to Magnetic Island. ✓
Done! I've been over 4 times in fact. I absolutely love it over there!

22. Visit Cairns.
This is still on my wishlist, but hopefully I'll be going with Anita and Jaana later in the year. :D

23. Go to Airlie Beach/The Whitsundays. ✓
Although we didn't make it to the Whitsunday Islands, we did stay in Airlie Beach for a weekend so I'm going to mark this one off. :)

24. Spend a proper weekend with Anita and Jaana in Mackay. ✓
Done, a couple of times actually. I'm so glad I did because they ended up moving back to the Gold Coast at Christmas.

25. Go back home to visit family and friends in Brisbane, even if B hasn't been given his annual leave yet. ✓
Done. Three times!

26. Write a '27 while 27' list.
As I said earlier, I've decided not to do this anymore. It's just too unrealistic to think that I'll achieve all these goals.

Oh well, at least I managed to cross off half of my to-do list items. That's more than last time at least! Thanks so much for all of your birthday wishes as well. Hopefully next year I will be in a much better place emotionally. :)

 
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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Snap Happy Sunday // My 27th Birthday!

Yummy Vegan chocolate cake that my friend Kass made for me. :)

Today marks 27 years of my existence. For some reason I'm not as depressed about being 27 as I was about being 26. I guess I have changed a lot in the last 12 months. More on this in a few days though.

To celebrate my birthday I spent the day baking and deep cleaning the house in preparation for having friends over for a Vegan birthday potluck dinner. B was super helpful with mowing the lawn and cleaning the patio for me, which I am super thankful for. Despite saying I really didn't want any birthday presents this year, he still gave me a new Vegan cookbook as a gift which I am really excited to get into.




I ended up baking some choc chip cookies (vegan of course) and my famous cous cous salad which were both a huge hit. I actually didn't get around to taking photos of any of the food except for my gorgeous birthday cake featured at the top of this blog post. It was pretty safe to say that by the time all the food was unveiled nobody was willing to wait around for me to take photographs, haha!










As you can see from the photos above, a bunch of my friends from the Townsville Vegans group came along to celebrate with me, as well as a few of the girls that I work with. The girls that I work with aren't actually vegan (yet!) but damn do they know how to cook yummy vegan food! All of the food was beyond tasty actually. I really wish I had taken photos! From memory we had a variety of pizzas, potato bake, dumplings, fruit salad, cupcakes, rice paper rolls, shepherds pie, berry crumble, etc. I've probably forgotten something to be honest because I'd had a few glasses of wine by this point and as I don't drink often it went straight to my head! I do remember that everything was delicious though. :)

Anyway, I'm off to bed now, but I will write another post in the next few days about my thoughts on turning 27, goals I achieved whilst 26, and what I hope to achieve over the next 12 months. Stay tuned! x

 
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