Category Archives: Life

A decade of Vegetarianism

5 years ago I talked about my experience as a vegetarian for 5 years, today I mark a decade of vegetarianism.

Being vegetarian is a very important part of my life, but not one that I would talk about. If I don’t have to disclose it, I wouldn’t. Recently I had light lunches with the other volunteers at the stately home I’m going to and besides telling a couple of them that I’m vegetarian, the rest have no clue. I simply pick from the vegetarian options – that means cheese sandwiches – and not talk about it. With desserts, I know which ones are vegetarian and which one might not be, so I know what to avoid.

Even on my blog, I rarely talk about this, unless I’m doing a pub/restaurant review, or a cooking at Christmas ideas/guide sort of post.

A decade of Vegetarianism - Cake

In the last 10 years I learned so much about cooking and discovering new recipes, ingredients. Like this amazing dark chocolate mousse cake I’ve prepared for today’s celebration. If you fancy trying the cake, here is the recipe for Chocolate Mousse Cake. I loved every minute of it and it’s something I intend to do in the future.

I feel great, I have lots of energy, I gained muscle mass, I did pretty intensive workouts like Insanity and P90X3. I am so happy with my choice and, I know I will always be a vegetarian. I feel too good not to be a vegetarian. Another thing that changed was asking questions about where products are made and how. It changed the way I shop, the things I buy. Also, it made me appreciate more local made.

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December books

With these two books I’ve completed my latest goal of 60 books read this year. This will lead to a new project, details about it pretty soon. The books I’ve read this month can’t be more different from one another.

December Books. Two books, a cup of coffee

I remember when I was in school at a history class. My teacher told us that Hitler wrote a book called Mein Kampf. I was in high school and interested in psychology. So, naturally, my first though was a question, why did Germany and the rest of the civilized world let Hitler become so strong when they knew what he thought. I wanted to read the book, to see for myself what he wrote. This month I read it.

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

For years this book was banned in Germany until the copyright run out. I can’t understand why. Learning about what happened and what lead to the WW2 in Europe should be a better approach in my mind. People will not become Nazi after reading this book.

I will make a dedicated post with 10 things I learned about Hitler, after reading Mein Kampf. Besides the question I’ve thought of as a teenager when I heard about the book, I had another question in mind. Why Jews didn’t leave Germany?
After reading the book I’m still wondering why people in the civilized world thought it will not lead to a World War. Some of the words Hitler uses about Jews are shocking, full of hate. When he was talking to a group of a 100 people or so it didn’t matter. But, after he entered the German Parliament with German votes, what were other’s doing? I remember seeing a picture at National Football Museum of the English football team doing a Nazi salute in 1938 at a game in Germany. The first volume of Mein Kampf was published 15 years earlier, in 1923, and the second one after a couple of years. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though.

I still wonder why more Jews didn’t leave Germany, it must have been terrifying for them to read those words and still remain in the country. Maybe it was hope.
This is a book I would definitely recommend to anybody interested in modern history, psychology, and politics.

Best Mates. Six Favourite Stories by Michael Morpurgo

Best Mates. Six Favourite Stories by Michael Morpurgo

This is a children’s book. I got it from a charity shop thinking is something light I can read when I don’t have time to read something more substantial. The book has some ideas I wouldn’t want to teach a child, I didn’t enjoy it. The stories in the book were written from 1974 to 2008. I didn’t notice a particular improvement of the ideas over time. Of course, this is a personal opinion, others might think he is a great writer of children’s stories.
If I had a child, I would read the books/stories before, to know if it’s something I would be happy my child to read, or if we should have a discussion after about values and ideas.

Did you have any reading goals this year?

My Christmas, 2017

We’ve had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas too. We’ve celebrated Christmas at home, as we always do. These days my husband and I had a couple of discussions about what home means. Mainly because I was asked twice if I’m going home for Christmas. The Queen mentioned home and what it can mean in the Queen’s Speech. Anyway, let’s go back to the Christmas celebrations.

My Christmas, 2017, all of us

Can you see what is written on our Christmas jumpers? “Brussels Sprouts Fan”. I had no idea that my husband will agree to this, but he was the one mentioning the jumper. We had matching jumpers last year, and we’ve decided to buy matching jumpers this year too.

 My Christmas, 2017, all of us.

Festus was very keen on the newest gift under the tree: a bunch of carrots, all wrapped up with a bow. He loves carrots.

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My 2017

I love doing these posts. As is Boxing day today I don’t think a lot of people will see this post, but I love looking back and see what I did.

January

In January I’ve made my own perfume and I went to the Design Museum in London. Both experiences I enjoyed a lot.

February

In February we had a date night in Manchester. After that we’ve started going to see movies more often. It’s a nice thing to do, even if we can see plenty of movies at home, just as nice, with the surround system my husband made. We went to The Philharmonic Dining Rooms and I’ve enjoyed that. We’ve also been to Coventry.

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8th Gotcha Day

I blogged about the day we’ve got Festus from the breeder. A few years ago I shared a collage of pictures with Festus through the years on 5th Gotcha Day. I also talked about The Best Christmas Gift.

8th Gotcha Day

From the first moment I saw him I knew I want to take him home with us. Now, after 8 years, I can’t be happier. He means so much for me. Enjoy the pictures with him.

8th Gotcha Day, Festus and my husband

I love this picture I took of my husband with Festus earlier today.

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Volunteering at Victorian Christmas

I didn’t plan to blog about volunteering at Victorian Christmas, until the last day finished. I talked with my husband about it, being so excited about everything I’ve done, so I thought it’s a great idea to blog about it. Of course, I need to be quite vague about it to keep the magic alive for anybody that might read this post, but to share a lot of things, to make it exciting.

Volunteering at Victorian Christmas
Isn’t this outfit amazing? I love it.

Unlike other Victorian Christmas organized by other museums and trusts, the one I’ve been involved in, at Croxteth Hall, is very different. Volunteering at Victorian Christmas at Croxteth means playing a role, but, the children are involved too, it’s a hands on experience for them. Around 1,500 children enjoyed a special and magical experience at Croxteth this year and I’m happy to know that I’ve been a part of that.

Because it was my first year, I had to learn quite a lot, but all the other volunteers were so helpful that it proved to be something easy to do in the end. There are groups for outdoor staff, like Stable hands, Wood boys, and Gardeners. I’m yet to shadow those roles, but I will do it next year if I have the chance. Other children are grouped in Guests, Butlers, Housemaids, Kitchen maids, and Dairymaids.

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Why I think that self care is important

Today I’m going to talk about Why I think that self care is important. I thought of this post for a while. I’ve seen many posts and comments where self-care was synonymous with SPA days, weekends away at expensive hotels, fancy meals in posh restaurants. I don’t think this is the case, I don’t think self care means a SPA day. You can relax at a SPA, of course, why not. But, if you can’t afford the SPA day, it only can mean two things, not going and feeling the added peer pressure because someone else from your group is going. The other thing is to spend the money on credit card, that leads to financial pressure, that is the opposite of self care. I love going to a massage, it’s relaxing, but I wouldn’t pay with the credit card for it.

Why I think that self care is important

For me, taking care of oneself means making a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate, cuddle up on the sofa with a good book. A hair mask and a Homemade coffee body scrub can make you feel amazing. Going to bed early at 8 or 9, reading a bit or doing a Sudoku, relaxing before sleeping. All these things mean self care.

Anther thing I think is very important is to eat healthy. Cake is amazing, chips are fab too, they are great to eat, but making a healthy and nutritious meal that is tasty too (even if not as tasty as the cake and chips are), means self care. If we can go past “treats” as in sugary and/or fatty, unhealthy pieces of food, we might discover a world of tasty dishes that are healthy too. Taking care of your body means, in my mind, eating good just as important as applying moisturizer in the mornings or brushing my teeth. Breaking away from the “norms” of sugary hot chocolates generously topped with whipped cream as self care can make a huge difference. A healthy smoothie can be just as exciting if you are thinking of it as something you are doing for yourself instead of something you “have” do to.

Taking the time to remove the makeup, to apply a moisturizer, a lip balm, a foot balm. All these things are easy to make and they don’t take a lot of time. Many times I hear from friends or just women I interact with on social media that they don’t have time to do that. I think making sure you follow a basic skincare regime that takes less than 5 minutes is much more important than spending 30 minutes on Instagram or twitter to catch-up.

Everything you do for you that is actually good too, will make you feel even better. Loving oneself brings more happiness and less stress. If you are a mother, you would like your children to take care of themselves, so, being a role model is a great way to do that. For me, self care is not selfish, is just the opposite.

I hope I have inspired you to do a bit more today for you, to take a few more minutes to do something good for you. Do you think of other things that mean self care without having to spend lots of money?