Saturday, 30 December 2017



Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Pretty sure i've set myself up to never be hungry again after the past few days..anyone else?

For the past year i've been dipping in and out of being Vegan, i've thoroughly enjoyed trying out alternatives for some of my usual favourites foods, some have been amazing, some not so much, but it's all been trial and error! But with Veganuary coming up in a few days I wanted to dive in and just go for it properly now, to be honest the only thing i'm going to really miss is the cheese, but with some yummy alternatives i've found like cashew cheese (seriously, incredible), I no longer have the excuse! Ive loved reading about all the new vegan options in supermarkets over the past few months, I know from past personal experience of seeing any kind of "fad", people tend to roll their eyes and make some sort of negative comment (I was one of those people). The main reason for doing this really is for myself, I've never been the biggest dairy products fan anyway, and I became a Vegetarian a couple of years ago now too and never went back. I won't be one of those who preaches my lifestyle and tries to make everyone join me, because that's really not my way, plus Veganism really isn't for everyone either! I also don't agree with the way in which the animals are treated, sure it's not every dairy farmer, granted, but still the whole system just isn't something I feel comfortable with anymore.

I'll be documenting some of my meals across the week until the end of the month, just to give an idea of what I'll be preparing and cooking, as well as some of my favourite sweet treats i've tried and tested throughout this year, just a little side note, vegan ice cream seriously IS better than any dairy ice cream i've ever eaten, and I was the biggest Ben & Jerry's fan there ever was!

Hope you all have a wonderful start to the new year, have you made any resolutions? I have a whole bunch! Will probably share those in another post! If you're interested in starting your journey, even if you just try it for a few weeks and decide it's not for you, why not give it a go anyway! Click here for all the information you need!

For now i'll leave you with some of the amazing meals i've tried over the year out and about, along with where and what's inside! Hope you have a fab evening tomorrow celebrating the new year, i'm definitely back to blogging now (she says for the third time this year), but it's one of my resolutions so i'm determined!

THIS was one of the best vegan meals I've ever had. I came to the award winning Green Rocket Cafe for my birthday this year and their menu never fails to amaze me, I've tried a range of different things but this was easily my favourite. Not only do they offer vegan options, but can cater for a range of different dietary requirements, oh and don't leave without at least admiring their beautiful homemade vegan cakes on the main desk!

What is it?
Raw Courgette Spaghetti Bolognese Salad with a marinated walnut and sundried tomato sauce with cherry tomatoes, chopped olives and either marinated tofu, feta, cashew cheese or Halloumi.
It was my first time ever trying cashew cheese and I wasn't convinced just looking at it, but oh my goodness, it was dreamy, nothing like I imagined it would taste like, it's quite grainy, but packed full of so much flavour, it's since became my favourite cheese and my go to option when I'm craving my usual cheddar! Although the cheese was the star of the show, the entire meal was divine, I destroyed the entire thing, and half the sweet potato fries AND a slice of chocolate orange torte! (What? It was my Birthday!). For the full menu, click here and have a little nosey!

My second favourite meal from Green Rocket is their incredible Vegan Roast Dinner, it is BY FAR, the best roast dinner i've ever had, i've since taken friends and family there who have all been in complete awe (even non-veggie friends). The meal consists of a super nutty nut roast, perfectly seasoned and packed full of so many different flavours, parsnips, carrots, kale, cabbage, roast potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce and a little sprig of chive for decoration on top, the gravy that comes with it is thin and has elements of every part of this dinner combined, it is so filling and so pretty to look at too, if you've never tried a vegan roast dinner before, please go here, it will not let you down!

The first time I tried this burger I was over in Dorset, The Lounges are a "cool" (feel like i'm too old to use that word nowadays), chain of restaurants across the UK, with quirky interior style, mismatched furniture and a whole array of artwork on the walls, the menu's are amazing, with a regular menu, gluten-free and vegan menu, there's something for everyone. I've been in there for breakfast and for lunch, both of which have been just delicious!

Obviously my favourite item is this incredible Sweet Potato & Falafel burger, with red onion, beetroot hummus, spinach, tomato & gherkins in a sourdough bun, served with fries & vegan slaw! This entire meal is so flavoursome, so colourful and actually pretty darn good for you! The prices for everything on their menu are so reasonable, i'll admit that eating out when you're vegan/vegetarian can be pricier, but this is actually cheaper than the regular burger on the menu, so well done The Lounges! I'm lucky to have one fo these just down the road from me, although also dangerous because I just want to go in and eat this everrrry time! For a full look at all their wonderful menus, click here!

Who said Vegan food was dull and boring? :)

Thursday, 12 October 2017

First Choice Lighting Review

Afternoon all!
Hope you're having a great week so far! Things have been bloody hectic over the past few months to say the least, I swear time seems to just disappear the older you get! Wasn't it just Summer?
Today I actually have a little review to share, I used to write a lot of these a few years back and actually I'm excited to get back into the swing of things!

So with Autumn now setting in (my favourite season ever), I have the urge to decorate and get cosy, i'm talking cosy knit jumpers, far too many hot chocolates, walks in the woods and completely changing the colour scheme from Summer tones to Autumn tones. With help from the lovely team over at First Choice Lighting, i've set up this absolutely gorgeous and super autumnal, floor lamp. Complete with plant pot at the base, beautiful toned leaves filled with the natural progression of autumn colours, the greens, through to the yellows, oranges and reds. All tied together with 50 LED lights, for that added sparkle and warm night in feeling.
It really does make the room pop, as soon as you walk in you are greeted with the splash of colour, the delicate yet magical sparkle the lights give you, just light your favourite pumpkin spice candle, snuggle under your blanket and you're all set for a relaxing evening in.

You might have also seen the lovely Zoella sporting a very similar piece of lighting in her recent Autumn Homeware Haul video, I have a feeling these are going to be the centrepiece of a lot of peoples homes this year!

First Choice Lighting currently have an incredible sale on, with up to 85% off across a range of styles, from bathroom lighting, to children's lights right up to outdoor lighting too! Looking for wall lights? Floor lamps? Chandeliers? Desk Lamps? They have all of this for you, and more, all under one website. So if you're going all out this year, be it for Autumn itself or for Halloween, check out their outdoor lighting section for a whole bunch of inspiration on how to create your perfect outdoor space/spooky trick or treat area for the family! I have created a little mood board below of some of my favourite items from their website for you to nose at, which is your favourite?

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
Number 2 is currently on sale for just £29.99, reduced down from £57, so go grab yourself a bargain!

And now onto the pictures of the tree light itself, isn't it just so pretty?
I'll be using it now every single year, as soon as the first leaf falls from the tree ☕πŸπŸ‚πŸƒπŸ„πŸŒ²

Thursday, 31 August 2017

A Random One

Hello all and Happy Thursday!
I thought i'd just write up a little update here of my goings on recently...
Firs of all, I have an exciting photoshoot booked in for next week, so the last few weeks have been all about planning and preparing for it, on Wednesday I headed over to Regent's in Salisbury with the shoots organiser Laura for one of our models fittings. The clothing in here is just exquisite, and that's really not a word I throw around lightly, I even said if I was a man i'd want to shop in there for my whole wardrobe πŸ™ˆ

The shop reaches up 3 floors high, including womenswear and all the accessories you would ever need, they're even cool enough to be having their own bar installed! After having a good idea in our minds of what we wanted, plus trying on a couple of different bits and pieces, we found the perfect outfit and now I'm even more excited for next week to come around! As soon as I can, I will be sharing photos on here, but for now here are a few shots from the shop itself!

A few months ago I started the process of going blonde, something i've wanted to do for YEARS, I actually think I wrote it in my 15 facts about me post, so I guess I can cross that off now! I decided to go for a balayage after watching far too many youtube videos, reading so many blog posts and spending more than enough time looking through inspiration on Pinterest! I couldn't believe how light it became after just one session, I think it really helped based on my hair hasn't been dyed before. So earlier this month I went back for my second go, and my goodness did the bleach take to my hair well again! So below I leave you with a couple of photos before and after!

I then headed over to a friends house for the day, I swear she has the most Instagram worthy living I've ever seen, how awesome are her shelves? I love random little decor items like these!
We grabbed some lunch from the local health food store, a delicious vegan sandwich followed by a vegan rocky road slice *drools*

She also introduced me to the chocolate bar Vego, have you tried it? I'll be honest, the name put me off a little bit, why can't they name it something less obviously vegan? πŸ™ˆ Let me tell you, this bar is a LIFE CHANGER, I haven't eaten milk chocolate for a long time but if you're transitioning to Vegan or just want to try something new, imagine smashing together Nutella and Ferrero Rocher, and I bring you Vego, it is just dreamy, I came home and instantly ordered a bunch and even popped out earlier to grab some more πŸ™ˆ

On another day I headed over to Devon to see my Sister and her family, and met my gorgeous 3 week old nephew for the first time too! You kinda forget how tiny babies are until you meet a brand new one again don't you? I remember when I was younger and someone would ask if I wanted to hold their baby, I became one of those memes of someone instantly panicking..but I think after having your own you quickly learn, then you just never lose that touch! So I got lots of cuddles, and also got to catch up with everyone again! Oh and as a side note, M&S do Vegan sandwiches, which are AMAZING, I know thats a little boring but it's worth a mention! 😜

Another super exciting event happened, I now have 2 new lenses to add to the family! For so long i've been researching for some new ones to play around with, and really needed some with a good wide aperture for indoor shots, so went with the 20mm 1.8 and the 50mm 1.8, i've already taken far too many test shots but holy crap are they incredible, I could write paragraphs about them but maybe i'll just write up a review after my shoot! I'll leave you with those for now, and I will be back for another update very soon! Jess x

Monday, 14 August 2017

Vegan / Where to eat in and around Dublin

When it comes to planning trip away, I always do my research of places to eat out (I know, rock n roll right?) but I have to add in the factor of being Vegetarian and also where my friend could eat being Vegan, I think so many people think it's going to be difficult but we had no issues in finding places! I'll admit I can be a bit fussy with where I eat, so the places below are the best of the best that we tried, nothing less!

The first place we popped into was a new addition to Drogheda, The Bare Food Company offers a completely clean eating experience, catering for meat eaters as well as the two of us with really reasonable prices! I ordered the Superfood Salad - BABY SPINACH, AVOCADO, ROASTED BROCCOLI & ALMOND, ROAST BUTTERNUT SQUASH, GARLICKY KALE, QUINOA, GRATED GINGER, ORANGE SEGMENTS, TOASTED NUTS & SEEDS & DRESSED WITH SESAME & LEMON OIL. Which was bloody yummy, and super filling!

Clare ordered the Veggie Sandwich - BEETROOT HUMMUS, GARLICKY KALE, ROAST RED PEPPER, GRATED CARROT & SESAME SEEDS. My god did they fill the sandwich, pretty sure there nothing else could've squeezed in to it! Once again it was super filling, neither of us finished our meals but we had plenty of energy for the rest of the afternoon!

I'm a dessert girl, I like cake, and I like chocolate, so on the way out we stood and admired their array of treats, as soon as I spotted the cheesecake I needed it. There's just something about vegan food, the colours are so bright and you can actually taste every single ingredient you put in your mouth, this was honestly the most delicious slice of cheesecake i've ever had, and perfect for eating sat in the car at the beach, just fyi!

Just before our big walk around Dublin, we popped into the super busy Cornucopia Restaurant, the queue was literally out the door, which is always a good sign! The menu changes daily and there's just so much to choose from, never have I seen a menu quite so varied, we both ordered the SMOKED TOFU & CARROT WRAP, and I can't even explain to you just how delicious it was! We've both even said since then that it was one of the BEST vegan meals we've ever had! Its restaurants like this when you don't mind queuing and waiting for a table, the service was also fantastic and there were absolutely zero faults! 

"We pride ourselves on producing fresh, tasty, delicious and healthy meals. With an emphasis on locally grown & organic ingredients our delicious vegetarian menu caters for a variety of diets – vegan, gluten free, sugar free, coeliac & raw/living ; or anyone seeking quality home produced food. All of our soups, salads, mains, breads & desserts are made in-house from the freshest ingredients.

We are open at 8.30 in the morning until noon Monday – Saturday serving vegetarian breakfasts, ranging from fruit salad & granola to our renowned handmade sausages & hash browns.

From noon until closing Monday – Sunday we serve a selection of dishes to satisfy every palate. Daily we have two soups, ten salads, five mains, wraps, hummous & pΓ’tΓ© plates accompanied by a selection of breads, cakes & desserts, both scrumptious and wholesome."
Will definitely be popping in for a breakfast and lunch next time!

Photo Credit - Clare Knighton

The last place we chose was Happy Food, a cool little cafe tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city centre of Dublin, they offer all three meals of the day, as well as cakes, treats, smoothies, juices and teas and coffees! The menu is completely plant-based & gluten free, plus everything is homemade fresh daily! The menu was simple but it was still hard to pick what to have, in the end I went for the BLACK BEAN & SWEET POTATO BURGER, which came with caramelised onion jam, tomato, lettuce and happy mayo, all wrapped up in a yummy tortilla! It was just heavenly!

Clare picked the SLOPPY JOE BURGER, which consisted of Black Bean, Spinach & Organic Hemp Burger, Coconut Cheese, Tofu Bacon, Caramelised Onion Jam, Slaw Salad & Aioli in Rustic Sundried Tomato & JalapeΓ±o Bun! It was literally one of the biggest burgers I've ever seen! Oh and we ordered some chips also and obviously I got some millionaire shortbreads for dessert!
Everything was just πŸ‘Œ

Pop over to the websites for each place below for full menu's and details!
The Bare Food Company
Happy Food

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Travel / Ireland

For the longest time, i've wanted to visit Ireland, I don't know if it's because it's literally in my blood or the fact that I was hoping to bump into Gerard Butler filming P.S. I Love You all over again..whatever the reason, I felt like I needed to go and even added it to my travel bucket list last year! So I booked a little trip with the best friend and made a list of all the places I wanted to go during that week, although we managed quite a lot, there were a few bits and bobs we couldn't squeeze in, I guess i'll just have to go back again πŸ˜ƒ

But we did manage to visit Dublin, Wicklow Mountains National Park, Dublin Zoo, Bettystown Beach, Bennetts Lounge, Temple Bar & The Book of Kells! We spent most of the trip walking or cycling and being outdoors, it was just ideal. Next time i'm hoping to go back and explore more of Wicklow, visit the Botanical Gardens, pop into the Guinness Factory & spend the day at the Powers Court Gardens! 

We stayed in the award winning Crows Hermitage, the most idyllic and beautiful cottage i've ever seen in my life. Set in the little town of Ardcath, tucked away from the road next to 12th century ruins, the setting couldn't have been any more perfect. Walking in we were greeted with beautiful Irish music, a ready lit fire and a freshly baked cake, instantly relaxing after a day of travelling!

"This barn was converted by the owner in 2008 into a comfortable and inviting open plan living area & kitchen with a mezzanine double bedroom. Exposed stone walls and oak beams are complemented by luxurious furnishings and a cosy wood burning stove. 

The kitchen / dining area is fully equipped with gas hob, 3 in 1 Microwave / grill / convection oven, fridge with ice box and is sufficiently well-equipped to please any gourmet. There is a wet room-style shower room and wc. The living area is snug and cosy with a comfortable couch, wood burning stove and an array of interesting and unusual books on the history, flora and fauna of Ireland. A small stair case leads up to the mezzanine bedroom with comfy double bed, clothes storage and excellent views across the garden and countryside beyond."

Board games are provided, unfortunately the Trivial Pursuit edition was Genius so aside from getting a couple of questions correct, it was a long afternoon of questions and blank stares from the both of us πŸ˜‚

The first day we headed over to Drogheda for a bite to eat and a walk around the town centre, before heading over to the closest beach over at Bettystown, which is a proper little gem, super soft sand and beautiful views! We took along some delicious cheesecake to eat whilst we were there, and despite Clare's slight allergic reaction to the almonds, it was scrumptious! πŸ˜‚

If you're heading over to Ireland, if you can, you have to visit Wicklow, it very quickly became my favourite place and I actually think most of the photos I took were from this day alone. Driving through the National Park you are just surrounded by nature, and quite honestly it didn't even feel like we were in Ireland anymore, more like the wilderness in America, like a mini route 66. It was pretty much a Photographers idea of heaven, anytime i'm back over there i'll make sure to head back here every time!

We did the touristy thing of visiting the areas from P.S. I love you, and considering it was the hottest day of the year so far, we just sat and took in the views for a lot of it, before heading off for the longest walk of my life, thank god we took our walking boots! The area in the second photo is actually private property and someones GARDEN, pfft. Not jealous at all. Nope.

For the final couple of days we decided to spend it in Dublin, we found some incredible places to eat (will write up a separate post on this), the atmosphere in the city centre was just amazing, we popped into so many little independent shops, and everywhere you turned there was something new to take pictures of, we ended up squeezing a whole bunch of things into these 2 days, including Temple Bar, the Book of Kells & Dublin Zoo.

The streets of Dublin are cobbled and the buildings remind me of parts of London, some of the walls are professionally graffitied, it just feels like such a free city, everyone we met through the trip were just absolute sweethearts too!

I only took a few photos in the Zoo, to be honest this was the only part of the trip I was disappointed in, as big as the zoo is, I felt as though the money had been better spent on the visitors than the environment actually in the enclosures. I think we counted 4 kids play areas in total and yet the area made for the tigers were far from adequate, the money could've been put into the animals more if i'm honest. 

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