Saturday, 28 December 2019

Outfit Repeater

Is there really anything worse than being an outfit repeater? Turning up at a party in a dress that you wore, dare I say it, to another party?
Well, yes, there obviously is. But it is hard to remember this sometimes when we live in such a throw away culture, with social media making it a sin to wear the same outfit twice, and brands constantly encouraging and tempting us to buy something new. I know that I have felt this way so many times before, second guessing what I was wearing to a party or an event simply because I knew that I had been seen in that outfit before, and I'm gong to be honest, more often than not I would give into this thought and make the order...
Fast fashion brands like Boohoo, Missguided, and Pretty Little Thing, make this all the more simple a trap to fall into with their ridiculously cheap clothes. It really is so easy to do, falling into the cycle of ordering something new, having it delivered straight to your door, ready for the party, for it to ultimately meet the same fate as the outfits which have gone before them, to live in the back of your wardrobe, never to be worn again...
Like I said, I have done this about a million times before, because it has become the norm, to do so, and I have never really second guessed this process before, but now, after doing this for several years, I've now been left with a wardrobe of clothes and I'm now in the process of trying to sell all of these sadly unloved, and once worn outfits, hopefully giving them a new lease of life!

Whilst I am currently trying to embrace my new life as an outfit repeater, I do sometimes find myself feeling a bit self conscious about it, worrying -irrationally- that people are judging me, for wearing something twice in one week. What I am wearing is clean, fresh, and in good condition so that isn't the issue, so what is? What is so wrong with wearing an outfit which you love and makes you feel good about yourself? Radiating confidence for all to see. And ultimately what I am trying to get at is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, and most likely nobody else really cares that you have worn the same outfit twice in one week, or that you decided to make that pink dress your go to party look!

So what I'm trying to say, in so many words, is don that outfit you wore only the other day because you felt great in it, and wear it with pride, as you adopt the title of 'Outfit Repeater'.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Christmas Jumper Day, the Sustainable Way

Christmas jumpers have become a bit of a tradition over the past few years, firmly establishing themselves within British culture as a necessity of the festive period. This newly formed tradition however finds itself battling against the sustainability movement in that it is fundamentally marketed as being a one wear item. A recent investigation into the reality of Christmas jumpers and the impact that they are having upon the environment has wielded some quite shocking results.

The charity, Hubbub, has estimated that around 12 million Christmas jumpers will be bought this year, adding to the already 35 million already existing in the back of our wardrobes-or more likely landfill-from years gone by. These figures are quite shocking when we consider that these further 12 million are undoubtedly destined for the exact same fate as their predecessors.

So, what can we actually do, seeing as Christmas Jumper Day looms ever near? Obviously boycotting the whole tradition feels excessive and wholly unnecessary, especially when the day is to support the brilliant cause of, ‘Save the Children’. But still, we cannot do nothing in the age of sustainability!

Buy Second Hand

This is probably the most obvious choice, but with companies like Beyond Retro having an incredible selection of one of a kind, vintage Christmas jumpers you can’t really find fault with this choice. In addition to Beyond Retro, most charity shops at this time of year will have a whole section of their shop dedicated to such festive attire, allowing you to peruse at your leisure, ruling out the chances of buying the dreaded itchy jumper. In addition to these being a significantly more environmentally friendly option to a brand new Christmas jumper, they will undoubtedly be a lot cheaper than buying one new!

Buy with Longevity in Mind 

This is another great way to get involved with the day. Buy a Christmas jumper which you will be able to wear throughout the festive period and that will last year after year! Everyone has their own personal style, and what I would be able to wear on a day to day winter period will be different to the next person, so keep that in mind when choosing your, 'classic' Christmas jumper! There are loads of great companies out there which place a focus on sustainability, such as Joanie, who have a really lovely selection of jumpers!

Swap with Friends or Family

You most likely know at least one other person who owns a Christmas jumper, so this could be a great way to try something new, without it costing anything! This is a particularly good trick if you only plan on wearing the jumper for that one day! 

So I hope that this has been a helpful guide for you and I would love to know if you have any tips for enjoying Christmas Jumper Day the sustainable way!

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Conscious Christmas Shopping

So sale season is here and discounts, bargains, and consumerism is in full force. Offers pulling you in with promises of 'Must Have' items as fabulous prices that you would be mad to miss. Things that you probably wouldn't even look at if there wasn't that ever so enticing 20% off tag attached. The temptation is real right now, so, how do you actually navigate the festive period without buying everything in sight?

As a somewhat reformed shopoholic, I am going to share my top tips!

Did you want it at full price?

It's a simple question to start with, did you actually like or even want it whilst it was full price? If you did, then that is brilliant because who doesn't love saving a bit of money on something they really want, but unfortunately in these situations, it is more often the case that you are more excited about the discount than the item. I don't know how many times I have bought something a bit odd, not quite me, and often a little strange, for the simple reason that it was on sale or offer. Don't get me wrong, sometimes something being on offer is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, but I think it is mostly just being a bit more conscious of your purchase and just taking that moment to acknowledge the reason that you are buying it.

Seven Day Rule

Are you going to wear it in the next seven days? More often than not, if you buy something new which you really love, you will end up wearing it within seven days of purchase with the caveat of it being bought it for a specific event.
So, next time you buy something, remember to check a week later to see if you have actually worn it or if it is still sitting in the bag looking quite sad.

Could you find it on Depop/Ebay?

I've recently taken to doing this! Whenever I see something in store that I really want, I have a quick search on Depop and Ebay to see if I can get it second hand. This trick obviously doesn't work every time, and especially with new in or super popular items, but sometimes you can find yourself an amazing bargain whilst shopping sustainably, and helping out someone else who may need a bit of cash! Plus, who knows, you may even find it new with tags!

Do you really need it?

This is the big question. We can all be creatures of habit, buying the same thing when we already have several identical items in our wardrobe. I know that I'm guilty of this, particularly in regards to mid wash blue jeans... but sometimes all it takes is a few seconds to consider whether we really need to buy it, and whether it is the discount that you are more excited about! Apply the same 'Do I need it' mentality to sale items as you would with full price!

So I hope that these tips have been helpful and I would love to hear if you have any tips for navigating the festive season! 

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

23 Going on 24

Well, I've not done this in a while. Sat in front of a computer screen with a word document open and blank. Blank with opportunities and possibilities. I can fill it with whatever I want, take it in any direction I choose, but despite all of this exciting freedom, I cannot help but be feel apprehension about what such freedom means.

I shall end my epic simile there, or I will end up dragging it out for the entirety of this post, and as much joy as that would bring me, you my dear reader, probably wouldn't agree. What I'm trying to get across is the way I'm currently feeling, because for the first time in my life, I am officially finished with education. I have completed my degree, awaiting my graduation, and I am on the precipice of starting my own life in the real world.
I am looking for the elusive 'dream job', to start my career off with, whilst trying to work out what exactly this dream job is for me. Is it being a copywriter, digital marketer, or maybe something else entirely. Honestly, I don't know, like a lot of things regarding my future at the moment, but I suppose that is all part of the fun, finding out where you fit into the world or carving out your own space.

But there is a darker side to all of this excitement and optimism that I'm feeling right now, and that is self comparison. I'm 23 going on 24 and I feel myself constantly looking to my peers for validation of sorts. As though to confirm that I'm doing all right. Checking to see if I am further along than them or whether I need to catch up. Comparing myself to them and where they are in their lives. This will never end well, when everyone is doing such different things, accomplishing what is important to them or simply trying to figure out what that is. Some of my friends are having babies or getting married, others are travelling the world solo, some have managed to find their dream job whereas others are still working their part time job.

But what I've eventually realised is that comparison is futile and I'm exactly where I need to be on my path. It sounds cliche I know, but it is true, I really can't spend my time comparing myself to everyone around me when everyone is on their own journey with a completely different destination.

I feel as though this post has been a bit rambly, but incredibly important for me, forcing me to be introspective in a positive way and maybe this will even encourage you to do the same.
I'm learning that the only person I can compare myself to is indeed myself and looking back at everything that I have done and achieved in the past 12 months, I cannot help but feel proud of myself.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

What I Learned from Second Hand September

It is October now, and that means Second Hand September has been and gone, but it really has not been forgotten, or at least not for me. I have had an amazing month, removing myself from the world of fast fashion, instead entrenching myself within the vintage and second hand community. I have absolutely loved it and as cheesy as it sounds, I have actually learned so much about myself.

By not buying anything new for an entire month, I have to think a lot more about the clothes that I already own, and really think about what it is that I like to wear instead of instantly opting to buy something brand new. I have had to consider the reasons why I actually buy clothes, is it to fill a genuine need or is it to cheer myself up? After a month of abstinence, the answer was undoubtedly to cheer myself up, and as a result, I have had to look for other ways to make me feel good about myself and lift my mood. This has been such a learning curve for me and it is almost silly to think th

at such a revelation has come from simply buying less! 

I have rediscovered clothes which I had forgotten I owned, some of which still had the tags on. Other things I realised that I wore purely because I couldn't be bothered looking for anything else, and it was on top of the ever increasing pile. This whole month has truly made me consider the way that I consume fashion and the reasons why I do. It has made me notice the constant bombardment of advertisements from Instagram influencers, e-mail marketing, and even just switching on the television, telling me what I should wear if I want to be cool, and how I must ditch my last season clothes if I wish to stay current. It can feel unrelenting at times, but the majority of the time, I have found myself no longer caring or wanting it after just a few days. 

Another thing that I've found by only buying second hand is that I have really had to think about what it is that I want rather than endless and mindless scrolling on the likes of Asos or Topshop. Instead I have had to have a specific kind of item in mind so that I get results of things that I mostly like or want. I have had to think about whether I want a shirt or a blouse, do I want a skirt or a dress, etc, and although this can be quite frustrating when I'm not entirely sure what I want, it is really interesting because it really was stopping me from absently filling my shopping basket with items I momentarily thought were pretty. 

Of course, it cannot be forgotten all of the money that I have saved this month! I would normally spend about £50 on new clothes and the likes every month, instead this month I have spent a measly £12 and even then that was at the beginning when I was still feeling quite frivolous! 

So what I'm trying to say is that just because Second Hand September is over, doesn't mean that you have to go back to your old habits! Because here I am, wearing some old favourites which I found at the back of my wardrobe! 

Monday, 23 September 2019

Everyday Changes to Tackle Climate Change

So I think that we are all aware of the current situation regarding climate change, what with the national climate strike which took place last Friday. Although I agree that this was a really great way to bring the conversation into the home, I don't think that we should be leaving the situation entirely up to the Government. This attitude of placing the onus entirely upon someone or something else is honestly, quite irresponsible. 
So, what is it that you can actually do to make a difference in your everyday life?

Eat Less Red Meat

As preachy as I may sound, it is now official: Cutting out red meat, dairy, or even going fully vegan, is one of the best ways to help tackle climate change. The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that switching to a plant based diet is an effective way to both free up land and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. So many people are put off a meat free meal because they think that it has to be expensive, complicated, or a bit weird. In reality though most people eat meat free meals without even noticing. A bowl of tomato pasta is vegan, so is a jacket potato with beans, a vegetable curry, and so many more simple meals where you wouldn't even miss the meat. So maybe have a think about what you eat, and consider going meat free one day a week to start, or instead of 
having a meat chilli, have a vegetable one. Who knows, you may even enjoy it!

Buy Fewer New Clothes

Again, I probably sound a bit like a broken record here, but it is a pretty simple way of cutting down on your consumption of new clothes. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean no longer buying clothes, but maybe before you buy that new dress, consider whether you really need it, or maybe even check out eBay or Depop first to see if you can grab yourself a bargain! There is an awful lot of water and chemicals that go into creating clothes. I myself was shocked when I found out that it takes 1,800 gallons of water to make just one pair of blue jeans. 

Bring your Own Bag

This isn't anything new, but another super simple way to cut down on your plastics is to remember to bring your own bag rather than buying a plastic bag every time that you go to the shops! This is such an easy thing, get a fold up bag and just pop it into your normal bag and keep it in there in case of any unexpected buys. I've started doing this the last few weeks and I can't deny the little thrill I feel when I whip out my little cotton tote and say, I don't need a bag. Personally I'm loving using cotton tote bags because they still look cute and they are so easy to pop on your shoulder! I recommend checking out LouiScott, there is a great range of sustainably sourced, ethical, cotton tote bags!

Cut Down on Single Use Plastics

Around 300 million tonnes of plastic are created each year and only half of it is actually recyclable! 
So what can we do instead? Say no to plastic straws, and instead pick up reusable metal straws or easily recyclable paper straws. Switch over to a biodegradable toothbrush instead of the standard plastic one, buy a reusable coffee cup or water bottle, there are so many incredible options out there now for you to use instead of plastics, and more often than not, they end up saving you money!

So there you have it, some simple ways for you to tackle climate change in your every day life, without even noticing it! I would love to hear if you have any tips or tricks!

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Second Hand Shopping Tips

So, we are well into Second Hand September, a month that is being championed by the amazing charity Oxfam. In case you haven't heard about it, it is basically promoting second hand shopping as a sustainable, charitable, and great alternative to shopping brand new, and removing the stigma of shopping second hand.

Now, I love shopping second hand online when it is all curated and easily searchable. Shopping in store, now that is a different matter entirely. It can be so overwhelming walking into a charity shop seeing a million different things laid out in front of you with no real rhyme or reason. It is a daunting task to shop like this, especially when you aren't used to it, but I felt that I must brave it for Second Hand September in order to get the true experience! So here are my tips for mastering the charity shops like a pro!

Go in with an open mind.

Don't walk in there expecting to find the perfect leather jacket, in excellent condition which fits you like a dream. It is very unlikely to happen and you will end up being quite disappointed, and not open to any of the other amazing items that you may find! Be open to trying new styles, brands that you have never even heard of before, and basically anything and everything else. Some of the best things that I've found in the past have been completely unexpected, but nevertheless brilliant! I'm thinking mostly of my favourite denim jacket which is boxy, oversized, well worn, and simply amazing. I wasn't looking for it, but when I saw it, I knew it had to be mine! So what I am trying to say, is be open to anything, because you never quite know what you are going to find!

Check Materials

The charity shop is the place that you are most likely to find an unexpected gem such as a silk shirt, or cashmere jumper for an absolute steal. Now, this does take a lot of effort and work, checking labels on everything, but it could be worth it in the long run. And at the very least, by checking materials, you will be able to get a better idea of quality and longevity of the item. Because although you may love that dress, if it is made of 100% polyester then it probably isn't going to be the best buy you could make and will most likely leave you a hot sweaty mess (or at least from my own experience).

Don't Stress Over Sizes

Sizes have changed a lot over the last few decades to fit with the changing shapes of the general population. People were often a lot smaller in build so a size 14 of a vintage Laura Ashley blouse may fit a modern day size 10 or 12. It really is best to just try everything on if you can, and go off how big it looks more than anything else. This is especially true for vintage Levi jeans, because most of these are fashioned from mens 501's, so as we all know, mens jeans sit lower than womens typically, and most people shrunk their jeans to fit them, so you honestly have just got to pick up about ten pairs of Levi's and try them all on and hope for the best!

Don't Just Buy it Because It's Cheap

Now, I know that getting a bargain can be the most exciting thing, but just because it is cheap doesn't mean it is a bargain. Now, what I mean is that if you have absolutely no intention of ever actually wearing it, paying any money for it makes it expensive and ultimately a waste. You need to know when to walk away from things. I myself have bought things from charity shops before for only a few pounds because I have been so carried away with the fact it is a Topshop dress at bargain prices, but seven years later, that dress is still sitting in my cupboard with the charity shop labels still on it, which is just as ridiculous as it sitting in my wardrobe with the Topshop labels still on it. So think of second hand clothes the same way you would new clothes, in terms of whether you will actually wear them or if they go with your general size. 

So, I hope that this was helpful, and I would love to hear some of your tips for shopping second hand!

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Nothing New Here

So, in keeping with my feelings surrounding sustainability and my consumption of fashion, I have decided to challenge myself to a month of no new clothes. This is an easy task in theory, just simply don't buy anything, but in the modern world with the bombardment of fashion content that we are faced with, may it be on television, Instagram, Youtube, and everything else, it can be bloody difficult! Everyone around you is telling you that you need to buy this item in order for your life to be complete, or by buying this dress you will officially be 'cool', or at least for a month until the next must have item comes out.
Nobody wants to feel left out or like they aren't part of something. This can be how you are made to feel when you aren't buying into a trend when everyone else is. It is a silly feeling, I know to feel left out over a piece of clothing but it is a genuine feeling to have and it ultimately is the goal of this marketing, so I suppose a congratulations is in order for these companies?

This constant cycle of fashion is almost impossible to keep up with, yet we all find ourselves desperate to try. So during the month of September, I am refusing to buy anything new. I was initially going to set myself a blanket ban of buying absolutely nothing, but I don't want this experience to be a punishment, I want it to be more of a new approach to shopping and fashion, something with is truly sustainable in every sense of the word, and not going to result in me binge buying once the month is over because I'm 'allowed' to now. That isn't going to sort the problem, and it realistically isn't going to make me happy. Instead I have decided to approach this as me no longer buying anything new, so instead if I do have a genuine need for something, for example a jumper I will look to vintage stores, second hand stores, and things like that, rather than instantly going out and buying something without a moments thought.

I just wanted to get this out there and try to present this idea of no new buying as an attitude change rather than a miserable month which you end up counting down the days until it is over!

My plan is to check back in at the end of the month and let you know how I found it, what I found difficult and what I found to be easy! Who knows, I may have absolutely nothing to report and it may just be another normal month but we shall see! I may even find another pair of perfect vintage Levi's like I am wearing here, proving that vintage can be just as good, if not better than buying something brand new! It may just take a bit of hard work to find it.

Thanks for reading and I would love to know if anyone else is considering doing this or joining my nothing new month!

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Why I'm Giving up Fast Fashion

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Fast Fashion. It seems to have become such a buzz word at the moment, with documentaries focusing wholly on the concept, but what exactly does it mean? 

Fast fashion is simply a term used by society to describe their clothes which have been inspired by recent trends seen on celebrities and on the runway for an affordable price which the average consumer can afford. It is because of this rapid rate of supply and demand that results in costs being cut which subsequently increase their carbon footprint.

The true reality and gravity of this problem can be put into perspective when you consider that in 2015, greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production globally totaled 1.2 billion tonnes of COequivalent, according to a report by the industry-led Circular Fibres Initiative. This is more than the emissions of all international flights and maritime shipping combined. When you start to think of it in these terms, it really is shocking that so much pollution is caused by something which we all use without a moments thought into the impact of production. 

I, like most people my age, absolutely love fashion. I love the freedom that it can give you to express yourself, confirm your identity, conform or rebel. Fashion gives you this opportunity and I absolutely love this about it, but what I don't love is the true cost of that £5 top, made of polyester, which will most likely end up in a landfill because it's no longer 'cool'. I don't love this throw away culture which has manifested itself, with the likes of £1 bikinis existing for people to proudly proclaim they are buying them for the sake of it with no intention of ever actually wearing. 

So, the obvious answer would be to use a sustainable brand, which is known for its ethical values. Easy enough, but when a plain white t-shirt costs around £80, it is difficult, because right now at this stage in my life, I really can't afford or justify that kind of price for a basic t-shirt. I would love to be able to support these companies who are trying to make a difference and have genuine transparency within their brand, but I simply can't. 

So what do you do? Because right now, it feels as though the reality of becoming completely sustainable in all aspects of your life is impossible.But that doesn't mean that there is no hope and that you shouldn't try at all, because there are still many things that you can do. 

Shop Second Hand

This doesn't necessarily mean going to charity shops and trawling through hundreds of items for that one perfect piece, because I know that isn't really for everyone. In 2019 we have so many amazing options when it comes to shopping second hand, there is Depop which is a great way both to make money and save money on what is often current pieces. There is my personal favourite, Vestiaire Collective, which is fantastic for getting second hand designer pieces, some of them never even used! Then there are websites which are simply dedicated to finding high quality vintage pieces, which are one of a kind, for this I recommend Beyond Retro. The prices are fantastic and the sizes and measurements are always so well explained, which is key to shopping vintage! Obviously there are loads more out there but these are just the ones I am aware of and would recommend.

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Buy More Consciously

Now what I mean by this is buying with longevity, quality, and materials in mind. So, if something is made of 100% polyester, in a print that is probably going to be 'uncool' after a month, then you most likely aren't going to wear it more than twice and after that it will either end up at the back of your wardrobe or in a landfill. So maybe before you buy something like this, just check what it is made off, is it a natural fabric, or at least something a bit more sustainable such as Tencel?
Can you think of at least three ways that you can wear this with things that you already own? Because if no, you probably aren't going to actually wear it.

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Buy Less

It is as simple as it sounds. Simply buy less clothes. Before you buy it, just take a moment to think, do you actually need this, will you wear this, and do you even need this? I know that I'm guilty of buying things impulsively without a moments thought whenever I am feeling a bit down, or want to cheer myself up. It doesn't matter whether I genuinely think that I am ever going to wear it, it is often, I see something pretty and want it, then totally forget about it. This is something that I have made a conscious effort to stop doing in the past year, and I genuinely feel better for it. I have managed to make myself wait a moment before impulsively buying and really think through and consider a purchase. I even have a wish list that I relegate an item to for at least a month before I even consider buying it, and you would be shocked at how many of those items you end up not wanting once you have given yourself a chance to think it through.

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Obviously there are so many other ways for you to make a difference when it comes to your consumption of fashion, and some things will work better for you than others and be suitable to your lifestyle. So have a think about yourself and your own consumption of fashion and clothes, and what you can do to make a difference!

Saturday, 9 February 2019

thank u next

One taught me love,
One taught me patience,

And one taught me pain,

I'm going to be honest, I'm a bit obsessed with this song at the moment, feeling myself relating to it in almost an almost cringey, 'This was so written about me', kind of way. But the more that I've listened to it, the more I've been thinking, I really am grateful for the people who have come and gone from my life, even if they have hurt me along the way because they have each contributed to the person that I am today. I'm not just talking about boyfriends, although I suppose they cannot be forgotten, I'm talking about friends who have blitzed through my life, irrevocably changing it, only to be gone without a trace. I'm talking about being grateful for those who entered into my life so slyly that I never even noticed, but have left their damage so dreadful that I am still dealing with the aftershocks today. And still, I find myself grateful for all of the things that they have taught me. They have taught me how to treat people, and how not to treat people. They have made me realise that I am the only one who can define my self worth, and that it really doesn't matter what he or she says or supposedly says about me, because I know in myself that I am a good person. To allow someone else to have that power over me would be ridiculous. 

I found that this approach is a really powerful way of thinking about things. Considering past events, whether they be good or bad, as blessings because they have made you stronger, more capable of dealing with things, and overall, a better person. It allows you to stop dwelling on these events, resenting people from your past, hating them for the things that they have done and said. Why would you waste so much energy on this negativity, because let's be honest, you can't change it, you can only grow and learn from it. You can look at your life from a new perspective, and reevaluate the way that you treat others by virtue of knowing how it feels to be hurt by someone else words or actions, so you will never knowingly allow yourself to do the same to someone else. You can change the way that you approach situations, because you know what happens when you don't take them seriously. 

A lot has changed for me in the last six months. I've entered into my final year of university, with graduation feeling tangibly close. I left my job of three years, got a new job which I am loving.  I've met new people who have become integral parts of my lives, and lost people along the way.

So what I am trying to say is that I'm going to be adopting a, 'thank u next', attitude to life, embracing the good and the bad, those that stay and those that leave. Because I am so fucking grateful for it all. 

And for that, I say
Thank you, next.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Vegan in the City: Frost Burgers (Liverpool)

I, like most other people, do enjoy a good burger. But sometimes as a vegan you can be a bit forgotten about when it comes to them, and be left with what can only be described as lack luster, mushy, and tasteless. So, when I heard about Frost Burgers opening in Liverpool, I was intrigued to say the least.

So what is Frost I hear you ask? Well, it is an entirely vegan burger place opened only in November 2018 by social media star Monami Frost, to absolute rave reviews. The menu is entirely plant based, with gluten free options available so everyone can enjoy these delicious treats. The menu is pretty small, but, it does it incredibly well. To be honest, there is certainly enough combinations to keep you going for a while, especially when you consider the amount of amazing sauces there are to try as well! The prices for the meals are pretty reasonable, with the meal deal of, fries, sauce, a burger, and a drink come in at under £10, but I'm going to be real, you will not want to have a standard can of cola when you see the milkshakes!

The No Chicken Burgers are pretty amazing, and you really couldn't tell the difference between this and an actual chicken burger. This was a hefty burger, packed full of lettuce, tomato, cucumbers and all the amazing stuff which you would expect on a chicken burger, and as a result of such, I really did struggle to fit in my mouth... But perseverance paid off and it was so worth it!
Now, I normally find vegan cheese to be completely intolerable, and I'm always quite grateful that I was never much of a cheese fan to begin with, but this was actually quite pleasant indeed, mainly because there were so many other delicious flavours going on that it was only really in the background, but still! The fries were equally as delicious, crispy and salty, just as you would expect and want in some good fries. I really loved that you got to pick which sauce you wanted from a decent sized list, and would whole hearted recommend that you try the Sriracha Mayo, because it is pretty life changing! Don't judge me for such a statement until you have tried it, because then you will understand!

Now, onto the crowning glory that is, the milkshake! I often find that vegan milkshakes tend to be a bit meh, with them basically being nothing more than flavoured milk, and having that undeniably vegan flavour about them. But these were nothing of the sort, these were thick with ice cream, full of flavour, and pretty much impossible to tell they weren't your typical delicious milkshake!

I'm a bit disappointed that I was too full to try the soft serve ice cream or the cookie, but I shall certainly be back again to sample the whole menu!

So give it a go and try the amazing Frost Burgers, you really won't regret it!

Friday, 4 January 2019

Veganuary 2019: Why I Became Vegan

This is without a doubt the first question that I am asked whenever I reveal to my unsuspecting conversationalist that I am indeed vegan, you know, after they have expressed their deep concern for my protein intake of course...
My standard response to this is just, 'Oh you know, animals, health, the usual', but recently, I have been thinking to myself, what exactly was it that made me decide to give up what was previously a major part of not only my diet, but my life? It certainly wasn't because it was so accessible and easy or even trendy, because seven years ago to say that you were vegan was akin to saying that you ate your cornflakes with apple juice on. I was met with confusion, and the occasional look of what can only be described as utter horror - I know, quite unbelievable to think in 2019 with even Gregg's getting on board with veganism! So it is unsurprising that my once enthusiastic and almost evangelical answer has become increasingly short and defensive.
So I am going to use Veganuary and the incredible hype which exists around it this year to take this opportunity to wax lyrical about my motivations, so, I suppose with that I best begin.

I have been vegan since the age of about 16, after trying for many years on and off to become a vegetarian, with this often lasting little over 24 hours I am ashamed to admit. I think that the issue was that I never really wanted to do it before then. If I ever gave it ago, it was utterly half hearted. More of a fleeting fancy, something done on a whim just to see what it was like, but I put no real effort or thought into it, and subsequently I failed. But let's be honest, I was destined to fail when the only vegetarian things that I had in the house were a packet of salt and vinegar crisps and a box or two of microwave chips..
It really was all because of a single documentary: Earthlings. I remember contemplating watching it for months, after hearing so many people talk about it, but had constantly put it off. Eventually I gave in to curiosity and goodness me it was one hell of an experience. I felt a little traumatised to say the least and horrifically guilty for the way that humans treated animals, and I didn't even manage to get through the whole thing. In some ways I wish that I hadn't watched this documentary because it really wasn't very pleasant, but then again, the reality of the situation isn't very pleasant, and it was then I decided that if I wasn't comfortable with the reality of the meat and dairy industry, then I really shouldn't be supporting it.

It was as simple as that. I had become aware of the realities of the industry and began immediately doing further research into the whole situation, exploring whether it was meat that I wanted to give up or the whole animal farming industry. Ultimately I (along with my horrific lactose intolerance) decided that veganism was the answer for me.

Initially there where quite a few slip ups. Ingredients that I had never heard of, with countless e numbers concealing insect origins- I'm looking at you e120! But these kind of things are inevitable, and you have got to take them as what they are, accidents and things to learn from.

So let's fast forward to now, 23 and a bit of vegan veteran (yes I am aware of just how cringey such a term is). So why have I stayed vegan? Well, ultimately I feel significantly healthier than I ever did eating meat and dairy, my skin and hair are in better condition than they ever where, and if I'm honest, I simply  love being vegan.
I do get frustrated sometimes when my boyfriend is munching on a pack of freshly baked cookies, and I can't, or when my Mum is eating what where my favourite sweets of all time, a bag of Haribo Starmix, but realistically I'm not that bothered and I tend to go and get myself a bar of chocolate to make myself feel better, so the frustration is short lived. Plus, I am blessed with a lovely boyfriend who will go out of his way to take me for vegan cake, doughnuts, and other deliciously sweet things just so I don't feel left out! So I really can't complain, because who else gets that?

So that is my story. It isn't overly exciting, I didn't have 'The Call' or some life changing pinnacle moment, I simply realised that I no longer felt comfortable with something that I was part of and chose to remove or at least distance myself from it, like I would with anything in life.

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