Oh 2017, where do I begin? With a cliched "it's been a year of up and downs"? Well, honestly, as much as it may sound corny,that sums it up. The ups and downs were far too real and far too drastic. What started out as any new year of hopeful plans turned into a reality check. I barely escaped 2017 alive.
It is a terrifying and important thing to admit that my year took a downward plunge into a mental health relapse nightmare (and I really do owe so much to so many people for keeping me supported, continually) . However, I know that it is crucial not to focus on the plunge downwards that has plagued my 2017. Negativity would only exacerbate the problem. There is always light at the darkest of times, and we should always strive to look for it.
So, let's fuel this steep upward climb that lies ahead with a fab photo-filled flashback through some of the amazing moments that the past year has brought.
The crunch of snow under your boots is a delightful wintery sound. A harsh chill of a winter gale on the other hand, is a sorry-enough sound to justify staying warm indoors and enjoying an alternative and even more delightful crunch....
.....The sound of crunchy homemade granola.
The ice caps are melting, fossil fuels are dwindling and the air we breathe is fortified with the waste products of our own greed. I'm sure you've heard it all before, and you may feel guilty about your five jet-setting holidays this summer, your reliance on electrical appliances and your obsession with coal-loaded campfires. But it's okay, because there are new, more subtle and socially acceptable ways to fulfill your airpollution needs, also known as The Charcoal trend.
So put away the petrol, and embrace a darker side of life.
Black is the new black.
How are your summer plans looking? Perhaps you are fully booked and well on with procrastinatory packing? Or perhaps you have no plans and are desperately in need of some ideas? Well, if an all American road trip is what you're feeling, then keep reading because Route 66 was the kickin' Chicago to Santa Monica Pier cross-state adventure my family embarked on last summer, and I'd totally reccommend.
But rather than dragging you through a lengthy "stop-by-stop" review, this is a 'drive-thru' equivalent, summarising the good, bad and ugly experiences from when The Feingold's took on Route 66...
Hands in the air if you spend too much time scrolling? Yeah, me too. And that is why,
Ladies and gentlemen, this year I'm giving up Social Media for lent *holds for applause*.
Okay so I don't expect any grand recognition for this mighty 40-day 'challenge'. But as many find their weakness in chocolate, I identified mine as social media procrastination- namely Instagram .
Never one to shy from a challenge, the 'logging out for lent' task was undertaken.
But would it be a freeing break or too tough to take?
I never understood why they were called 'January blues', I always felt 'January greys' would be more applicable given the predominantly gloomy sky colour. Whichever pantone you assign to it, the Christmas aftermath has a down-vibe that we have all felt.
There's politics and then there's POLITICS. You know the kind I mean, the politics that really impact our everyday lives, the politics that shape our communities, the politics that lead us to ask the big questions in life. I'm talking about peanut butter politics.
So in a world of hard choices between Hilary or Trump, in or out, crunchy or smooth it's never been more crucial to get yourself fully informed of all options before committing to ticking your nut butter ballot paper. So here to clue you in, I have a new candidate profile ready for interview.
In a nut butter world- I'm a crunchy kind of girl. So the extra texture and crunch from Funky Nut Co Four Seed peanut butter was inevitably going to ex-SEED my current peanut butter standards. It's got a consistency not too thick- nor too runny. It's also packed full of extra flavour and texture thanks to the addition of ...
Chia Seeds- a tiny little bead of a seed bursting with calcium and omega 3. Commonly used to make delightfully 'frogspawny' puddings but, in my opinion, much better suited to be a peanut butter side-kick.
Pumpkin Seeds- Pumpkins are not just for Halloween, and there certainly isn't anything scary about these seeds distinctive taste or immune system boosting properties.
Sunflower seeds- Full of essential oils and some even say sunshine itself. - Now that's flower power!
Flax Seeds- These guys can enrich your body, particularly your heart, they also boast a boost of omega-3 (without the fishy smell).
So the seeds in this nutbutter, they mean business: adding not just bodily perks, but texture, taste AND a totally unique Funky Nut experience that can be enjoyed in many context...including these:
Peanut butter is like one of those friends who can pull off ANY outfit. A truly versatile nut who dresses up any dreary dry cracker or butter-less bagel. Does the addition of four seeds limit the peanut's talent? I hear you ask... well I certainly don't think so!
Here are my favourite 3 ways this seeded nut butter has enriched my munchings:
I quite often 'nuttify' my breakfast time. The four seeds only enhanced my warming chocolatey oats further with a tasty textural crunch, as well as a juxtaposing melt that make a sexy melty swirl a-top piping hot porridge.
Originally packed full of protein and now even MORE packed?! The addition of a seeded butter to my protein-ball recipe enhanced it's power potential. The Funky Nut Co four seeds gave it a more 'natural' and 'wholesome' taste. Try the recipe for yourself here.
-By the spoon:
A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but a spoonful of peanut butter is where the real miracle is at. Nutritious, delicious, and a palate-stickingly pleasing past-time which the four seeds fully promote.
So I've introduced you to the 4 seeds, 3 ways and now finally it's the two words:
It's rare that the term 'funky' is justifiably used, however, the Funky Nut Co have been bold enough to take nut butters to brave new and, dare I say it, funky level! Not just with seeds, but Chinese spices, m & m's, Crème egg and oh so many more. One day, (student budget permitting) I will have dipped my spoon into each and every one of their wide array of spreads. And, rest assured, as my funky journey progresses, I can spread the funky nut butter word to you too.
Ps, if you fancy a dabbling your own spoon in a bit of nutbutter funk, you can use the code 'jasmine20' to get your thrifty mitts on a 20% discount at www.funkynutco.com. But don't blame me if it's all too funky for you to handle.
Imagine you’re a gardener. You turn the soil; you sow the seeds. You tend and care to your precious plants until they bloom into beautiful flowers which you can prune and proudly prepare for a summer of shows and beauty where all your hard work pays off. You love your garden.
Or maybe you don’t have the greenest of fingers…
In my previous blog post I explored a few ways in which you can recover from ‘those’ days of internal scrutiny, general personal domestic disputes and fall-outs with the other half (the other half being yourself). However, I was intrigued to hear feedback of the female focused lens from which my ‘best-friend’ tips were seen through. Given my gender I guess it was no surprise, but it made me think.
“I wonder how guys pamper themselves?”
I know my brother sure doesn’t get a kick from a new shade of nail polish, or pretty pink porridge. So I went about asking a few of the guys about what they get up to in their ‘chill days’.
Despite the sample selection being both small and within the bubble of my local community, I can conlude that guys value:
So, here is an adapted version of ‘How to be your own best friend’ for all you lads out there who quite frankly deserve a dude-day of being a total top lad. (warning, gender stereo-typing present)
How to be your own best man.
1, Wake up with a roar.
Awaken and open wide to release all your inner ‘bad mood bear’ grudge from the previous day. If you don’t fancy leaving your cave yet, then don’t. When you eventually rise, don’t give into the razor, sit up and scratch your stubble. Don’t even glance at the wardrobe and for goodness sake, do not touch that can of Lynx (a sudden flock of females would simply hinder your lad sesh today).
2. Breakfast is the way to a Bro’s heart
Yes you are a culinary genius (duh) but today there is no need to impress yourself with cooking up a storm. All you need in life is bacon. Alternatively, this might not float your goatee,
There is no judgement of your manliness today, so if a delicate bowl of almond milk chia pudding with fresh berries and a sprinkling cinnamon has been calling your name ever since you enviably eyed up your girlfriends breakfast, then get your ‘deliciously Ella’ on.
3.Keep the wing-man pep talk going..
…and the beard growing. Turn that quick glance at your reflection into a full on self-smolder stare. Just LOOK at how awesome you look. Give yourself a fist pump/bro hug every time you feel you need it. (Just don’t shatter the mirror with your superhuman bicep strength.
4.Take the day as it comes
(I feel this is the one that is most variable between genders and individuals)
So you it’s the end of your lad day, you’ve slouched, chilled it’s about time you sung along to a bit of shameless Taylor Swift as you follow your shower of praise with an actual shower and an ice cold beer followed by more of whatever you fancy treating yourself to. (Pokemon Go? I think so.)
6. Don’t let anyone get in between you and your best man
Pals before gals, bros before hoes, you get the gist. Even the cat might take aways from your self love today, so shove it off your sofa and save every drop of self efficacy for just that. Yourself.
Oooh, didn’t see that one coming… You’ve been a total top lad all day so what reason would you have to cry? Well apparently men only cry 6 times per year! So in order to maintain your sense of self strength, show yourself today that you are still human and can kick out that gender stereotype because there will be no judgement, not lad-points lost and I know it sounds like a typical girl thing to say, but EVERYONE needs a good cry sometimes. So get on the sad film and show a bro it’s okay to be bawling not ballin’.
So yesterday was one of those days. Eye bags the size of Jupiter, motivation smaller than Pluto and a whole solar system of a to-do list to get through. With these contradicting circumstances it’s safe to say that it truly was a ‘hump day’. I barely made it out alive.
Why are we so scared of change?
I'm not talking about the daunting jingle pennies weighing down our purse and lurking between the sofa cushions, I mean REAL change. The uproot of something familiar and secure, something reliable and predictable, something safe.
I guess it is the 'safety' aspect of routine that could be why change can be so anxiety provoking. I mean, looking from an evolutionary perspective, if your cave dwelling ancestor self was forced to uproot and move to a new den or decided that some dubious looking berries were a risk worth consuming. It could well end up with some hungry-for-human dino roommates or a nasty case of death by berry. Sorry, no passing on of your risk-taking genetics there! But equally, if said caveman never took risks and always remained in the current abode, it may never get out and experience all the great fire discovering activities that a healthy and apt human could potentially have.
This is where my I take a moment to consider how cave-dwelling I might be and why I might fear change in the present day. I am far from 'perfect' and to be quite honest, far from feeling 'fulfilled'. My health is not at its best both physically or mentally. So if there ever was a good time to embrace change, that risk taking time should be now.
Now there are many ways you could try to change:
Me trying to 'switch up my morning with 'Sweet pota-toast'
" If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."
But these aren't the changes I fear. These aren't the changes that evolve the cave-dweller to reach its full evolutionary potential.
I'm talking about BIG changes. SCARY changes. The changes that really make us feel UNCOMFORTABLE.
Whether it be a new job, a new hobby, a new experience or a new house. They can most importantly lead to what I believe to be the most influential change of them all...
A change of mind-set.
In fact, there is some fantastic research into the true capacity y of a mind-set change highlighted in a Ted Talk by psychologist Alia Crum which is well worth a watch.
So I plan to make changes- as scary as they come, because I do wish to be a better version of myself. But big or small, the action and outcome of these changes are fairly insignificant in comparison to the power that is the gradual and persistent push to change mind-set.
...Oh and look after those annoying little pennies weighing down your purse- soon they will add up to pounds!
Apparently we all need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. But lets face it, we also need to love the food we eat and sometimes we need a bit of procrasti-baking to help us through. That's why this recipe helps satisfy all of the above.
Roll on the Peanut butter protein ball recipe.
…..In bed that is. If you were hoping to get your teeth stuck into a blog post regarding the current affairs of our country’s EU membership, then I’m afraid you need to chew elsewhere (you won’t have to look far). However, if you consider the inner workings of my psyche to be a political referendum that might interest you then by all means, keep reading.
For those of you who don't know, I had a 'thing' with porridge. Not just a little something on the side, a full blown love affair. (if you don't believe me, you can check out some old posts from this instagram account). Each day was a new flavour, a new hope and a new inspiration for my sister and I to ditch the hard life of school and open up our own porridge restaurant. We of course never quite got the oat-tivation (or parental permission) to do so. Fortunately for the porridge loving world, someone did.
So here is a review of the much awaited and anticipated little porridge shop trip that myself and my pro-porridge sibling embarked upon. Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you about 26 grains...
Hot, lazy summer days can be celebrated in a number of ways, be it beach trips, barbecues or water fights.
All the good-weather gallivanting is thirsty work, and these activities quite often lead to some boozy summer cocktails shaken up in a wizz, or a softer sugary soda spritzed refreshingly over ice. However there is a flaw in this beverage logic....
These drinks don't actually quench your thirst and despite being a 'go-to' norm, why should you conform? They aren't easy peasy on your temple of a body.
So here is my easy peasy, lime squeezy, eat-clean-tea-sy MATCHA MAR-TEA-NI.
"It's time you met your matcha"
All you need is:
Just dissolve the matcha with a little hot water in your martini glass.
Top up with the bubbly water and crushed ice.
Squirt in some lime juice to taste.
Make the glass look insta-worthy with a cucumber slice.
Simple. A natural, beverage with the earthy undertone of matcha powder freshened up with a zing of lime.
So, enjoy the quick, easy, refreshing, superfood-filled, energy boosting, skin radiating, Japaneasy juice that will give you one refreshing summer that both your mind and body can enjoy (without the hassle of a blender) in one long and thirst-quenching #Summerofmatcha.
....On a final note, don't be fooled by the quick ease of this Eat Clean Tea summer drink, it might be quick, but it's no laxative containing 'tea-tox', simply a naturally fortified detox tea that works in harmony with that summer bod of yours.
So, cheers, and have a tea-freshing summer of matcha!
Barcelona, renowned for being a big pick-pockety place full of paella but in in my opinion it's more of a friendly cosmopolitan cove of culture .
With my sister on placement and a resounding phrase of "travel while you're young" ringing in my ears from many elders, I plucked up the courage to brave the brute of Ryan air and jet over to Spain for a quick April adventure.
Forever trying to spice up the coffee, but forever spicing down productivity with procrastination. So alongside this new brew review, is a thought to chew and things to do when procrastination hits you...
Ahh, humble inhabitants of the modern world. So 'independent' yet always searching for a sense of belonging, connection and Snapchat streaks.
From the hour I awoke this morning, to this very second as I write, I can see that the majority of my day has been in the company of a screen. Laptop, phone, television, phone, laptop, lecture board, phone. I can feel my innocent oval eyes squaring up and perhaps it's time I pursued that much need optician appointment... (In which there would be more screen staring, how eye-ronic).
They say to substitute your crisps and chocolate with healthy fruit alternatives, so why not do the same for your basic moods. Here are some analogical fruity snacks to fortify your friendly small talk...
"For me to be saying I'm not a genius I'd be lying to you and to myself." -Kanye West.
Okay, so maybe he wouldn't be your first choice as a scholarly role model, but after a tough day of revision (procrastination) I've decided when it comes to exam stress, Kanye knows best. Life's too short not to reap in the self-efficacy benefits that aid your revision mindset when you act like you're the living embodiment of perfection. So here's the Kanye West guide to making your revision seems easy-peasy-lemon-Yeezy.
There's a lot of stigma around veganism. Jokes and myths and stereotypes fly around. But rather than dwell on politics and other's judgments surrounding the life choices of individuals I thought I'd curiously wonder into the realms of the vegan foodie world as the red carpet (or in this case, checkered table cloth) was rolled out for me in the direction of a vegan restaurant menu debut!
Ready, set, ve-GO!
So picture this: you've been invited to Beyonce's house for an evening zumba session, but you've also been asked to go spend the evening penguin watching with David Attenborough.... The inevitable FOMO is too great for you to handle. There is only one solution to this problem. JOMO.
Already one month in. Is the thought of the rest of this year stretching ahead making you feel a bit like...
Attention all students, foodies, humans and Wagamama recruitment teams. Today I made my first Ramen bowl and so I wish to share with you not only this proud moment of Japanese flare, but also this super easy, quick and YUMMY Chicken Tofu & Mushroom Ramen recipe so you too can live the lazy ladle life, without wasting away your wallet at wagamamas...
As a wise Ronan Keating once sang "Life is a rollercoaster." And no truer words have ever left his mouth. With this metaphor in mind, it seems that those dips we have are inevitable and I all too often find my self, in a very British fashion, dwelling on the negatives on life. Be it the weather, politics or those annoying little white ulcers you get on your toungue. All the moaning is infectious and can become a nasty habit, so instead I thought I'd hone in on a few 'tippedy top' feelings that life has to offer! So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride....