This Life Of Mine

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I've mentioned before that last year (in 2015) I put a travel ban on myself so that I could save some money and I guess to see how not travelling would affect me. I think I wanted to find a bit more acceptance with my life where it is. And, I really think the past year put some things into perspective for me.

Not only was not travelling hard, it was pretty much unbearable. And here are my thoughts on that: if I am so desperate to escape and have holidays from my life then maybe I'm not living the right life for me. I understand that it's normal for people to want to go on holidays but my desires to get away almost verge on desperation, and I always dread returning home a bit.

To be honest, the life I'm living right now isn't how I picture my life. When I think of how I'd like my life I see an almost opposite scenario. For a few years now I've had a dream of moving abroad and I think being stuck in England for a whole year without a break has given me the push to take my dream seriously. This is my one and only life and I need to act accordingly.

I'm not saying I'm moving abroad right now. I don't have a plan. Just a dream. And a passion to get out of this freezing cold country. I told Orlaith we'd be here at least until her birthday in March, and I asked her if she'd come on a big adventure with me. She agreed without hesitation. My co-pilot is on board and nothing else really matters.

So, I'm just putting a little tiny thought out there. I have a few things to sort out here but I'm hoping that in a few months we might be embarking on a great adventure, whether it's a trip which we return from, or a trip we don't return from... either way, I'm out of here!

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RECIPE | Easiest Aminos Rice

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A lot of people overlook the importance of whole grains in their diet but whole grains contain so much goodness which helps every part of our bodies function properly. Whole grain rice is full of fibre, protein and so many essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to feel fantastic. And what's even better is that whole grain rice is really delicious!

Rice can be used in so many different ways but sometimes when the fridge is empty or I'm in a rush (or can't be bothered to cook anything more exciting) I always fall back on liquid aminos. We are absolutely obsessed with this dish at home as it tastes great, can be prepared quickly (especially if you have leftover rice) and it's really easy to throw some additional dishes on the table to make a complete healthy meal. 

Bragg Liquid Aminos is a really great addition to meals. It contains 16 of the 20 amino acids, some of which you can only get through diet. It's basically plant protein in a bottle and it tastes delicious. 


Ingredients:
Leftover Whole Grain Rice (or cook a batch to packet instructions)
Bragg Liquid Aminos


Directions:
Spray (or pour of you don't have the spray bottle) liquid aminos over your rice to taste, we use about 15 sprays (or 1 tablespoon) per cup of rice, and serve with some nutritious side dishes to make a delicious meal. Or eat on it's own if you're feeling glutinous. Simple. As. That.

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Reflection + Resolution

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The dust has now settled on the whirlwind that was Christmas and we find ourselves standing here in a brand new year. A blank slate to make the next 365 days into whatever we want. It's quite an exciting thought. In the past I've made lists of too many goals (which were rarely met) but this year I knew instantly what changes I wanted to make for myself.

Last year my life changed a lot. It was quite a quiet year on the blog front, I'm such a closed person and I hate criticism so making big changes in my life, while they've been, without a doubt, amazing and positive for me, I have taken a step back from sharing too much because I wanted to feel 100% comfortable and confident with everything.

I don't often give myself credit, I focus on the things I didn't do a lot, instead of the things I did do, so it's fun when I give myself a moment to reflect and I see that I actually achieved so much in my personal life this year that I've been wanting to achieve for years.

2015 | REFLECTION

Veganism
In May this year I went vegan, something I've been working towards for about 3 years. My skin has never been better and my long battle with depression came to an end. There are hundreds of reasons why I'm in love with veganism but I would have done it for those two reasons alone. In addition to that, Orlaith started her vegan journey in September this year. I'm honestly so proud of her, she's handled it so well and has been so mature about the changes and embracing all her new food choices. It's been such a positive experience so far.

Minimalism
This year I started embracing minimalism and it's changed my life completely. In fact, I read through some old posts of mine the other day and I constantly talked about dealing with clutter and excess. I've finally actually dealt with it. My home has never looked better (it does still get messy, but that's life) and it allows me to focus on things that are really important instead of wasting time of pointless things without much purpose. I'm not 100% done but I'd say I've let go of around 70% of our belongings so far.

Other Changes
I always resolve to generate and save more money, and I put a travel ban on myself in 2015 so I could focus on saving. And I finally actually achieved that. OK, I chose to spend the money in the end (haha) but it was on something I deliberated over for a (very) long time and I don't regret my decision at all.  I've made some other big, more personal, changes this year (like getting braces and finally straightening my teeth) which I couldn't be more pleased about.

I think this year has been a lot about living in the now instead of resolving to do things in the future. Because all we really have is the present moment. In reflection it also seems to me like I've been trying to cleanse myself, perhaps to wipe the slate clean in a way. I'm realising that there's a certain way I'd like to live  my life and I can see myself working towards that.

2016 | RESOLUTION

Personal
So carrying on with the 'cleansing myself' theme I've decided that in 2016 I'm going to stop drinking. The goal is to go without alcohol for a year, and from there decide on the next step. I'm approaching it the same way I approached going vegan, without any pressure on myself. If I have a drink at some point in 2016 I won't kick myself for it, I'll just accept that I had a drink and carry on with my sobriety from there. What's the reason I want to stop drinking? There are lots, but in a nutshell drinking alcohol has been having a negative affect on my body and my mind recently. I don't drink a lot at all, but even small amounts of alcohol have been affecting me in big ways and it feels quite toxic right now. So I'm saying goodbye to the booze... for now.

Professional
The other thing I'd like to really buckle down to this year is getting my art business up and running. This has probably been a resolution for so many past years. But really, the lack of progression in this area is ridiculous. I need to have more faith in myself because I can do this. After cleansing my home of all the superfluous junk that allowed me to procrastinate so much before, and after showing myself that I can achieve things I perceive as being difficult, I think this year will be the perfect year to make progress in this area.

Have you made resolutions for 2016? If so, I'd love to hear them!


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Orlaith's Bedroom Tour

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Hanging Butterflies  - Similar / Bunny Pillow - Primark / Bed Sheets - Morleys
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Play Kitchen - Ikea
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Bookcase - Ikea / Table + Chairs - Ikea / Gro Clock - Here / Beatrix Potter Book Collection - Same Here

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Wardrobe - Similar
It's official, we're moving home! I don't know when exactly but probably in the next two months. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. And then it crossed my mind that I've never really done a proper bedroom tour of Orlaith's room in the whole (almost) five years that we've lived here. It will be nice to have something for Orlaith to look back on when she's older. Her first proper bedroom.

Orlaith's room was lucky to get a lick of paint a couple of months ago so it's looking pretty fresh compared to the other rooms in our home. I've spent a lot of time over the last few months going through all our belongings, pairing things down to just what we need with little excess. Things are a lot less cluttered and a lot more manageable now. Not everything has a designated place yet, but most things do, and I don't think there's much point putting too much energy into it right now since we're moving so soon. 

All the furniture in Orlaith's room is ours so we'll be able to take everything with us when we move and set up her room fairly quickly. Next time round there's a few things I'd love to try in Orlaith's room, like adding some wall colour, maybe even try a patterned wall, adding some shelves and new art work, and perhaps investing in some blackout blinds, like these ones from VELUX, which I've heard promote better sleep. But for now, we're just enjoying the time we have left here together.


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This post was written in collaboration with VELUX

Mildreds Soho

Mildreds London

Last week I met up with a friend for lunch in Oxford Street, it felt quite naughty going into the city for leisure on a week day. We wandered down Oxford Street popping into some shops along the way before heading to Mildred's for a bite to eat.

Mildreds is a popular vegetarian restaurant in Soho with lots of vegan and gluten free options. The atmosphere there is really buzzing, it's very laid back and just after we arrived it got packed for the lunch time rush. It was one of the busiest places I've ever eaten at, but the tables weren't too close together so it didn't affect our meal in any way.

When I first walked into Mildreds I started drooling as I passed a takeaway bar that was packed with colourful, delicious looking (and smelling) food. We sat down and ordered our meal quickly, eager to get some food inside us. We ordered a 'side dish' of smashed avocado with lime, chilli and blue corn chips as a shared starter which was filled with giant chunks of fresh avocado and was so light and delicious. 

For our main course we both chose dishes from the 'specials' menu. Mine was a mushroom and chestnut wellington with gravy and vegetables which tasted really lovely and was such a treat, and my friend had a creamy squash tagliatelle which she thought was gorgeous. We ordered a bowl of fries (although I'd call them chips as they were quite chunky) with chipotle ketchup and basil mayo which were the perfect addition to the table. The chips were beautifully crispy and both sauces were out of this world, I could eat the basil mayo on everything. It was so light and creamy and completely vegan.

I was really hoping I'd have room for pudding after my meal but we were both so stuffed there was no way we could eat any more food, which was a shame as I'm sure the desserts at Mildreds would have been lovely. Mildreds is now top of my list of places to eat, all the food that came out of the kitchen looked delicious. I'm definitely going back very soon.

You can visit Mildreds Soho at 45 Lexington Street, Soho, London, W1F 9AN. They don't take table reservations so you'll just have to cross your fingers and try your luck, and if they're busy you can enjoy a drink at their bar while you wait for your table. 

Mildreds London
Mildreds London
Mildreds London
Mildreds London
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Mildreds London

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