Seasonal Sniffs

Lifestyle

For those that know me, you’ll know I have a thing for smells.

A smell is so so SO important to me. It changes my mood instantly (especially when someone near me is drenched in perfume, verr verr grateful!). It’s how I partly make my opinions, smells say a lot (as shallow as it sounds, it’s true and you know it) and it sets the tone of the environment.

IMG_5118

I’ve recently got into Aromatherapy and have seen the benefits instantly.

For example, bleach – you think of clean, medical, germ-free and heaven…

*I’m writing this listening to Church – T-Pain btw, it’s a complete juxtaposition*

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

So with this in mind, I thought I’d make a little list of the smells that you should try incorporate into your rooms this Christmas and through the winter months.

  • Cinnamon – This warm spice is not only a cosy smell that underpins the Christmas vibe… it’s also incredibly invigorating. Perfect for burning if you want to feel awake for coursework!
  • Clementine/Sweet Orange – What’s Christmas without the smell of Clementines in the air? It goes wonderfully with the cinnamon and as a citrus, it provides a fresh twist. Again another timely scent!
  • Nutmeg – Now this for me is one of the best smells! It’s perfect for cooking and in the air – and it reminds me of egg custards oooft.
  • Ginger – Ginger is again another cosy spice and energising smell! What’s Christmas without ginger?! (I’ve just noticed all these are food related, and now I want a gingerbread man)
  • Lavender – This is perfect all year round and for relaxing during the holiday, I burn this regularly at night to relax and de-stress after a busy day!
  • Peppermint – I will be using this for waking me up and refreshing the air. It’s perfect during the winter cold. Apply this oil to a carrier oil and massage it onto your chest for extra pep if you feel a little run down! Plus it’s a little nod to Candy Canes and After Eights!

These are all the smells I have personally been using, however, there are lots out there that I want to try!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

What’s your favourite seasonal sniff? Go find it!

Thank-you for reading,

Kara xo

21 and Positively Selfish

Lifestyle

When I hit the age of 21 – I was not filled with joy let me tell you. I felt very old and that grey hair would be sprouting out of me any minute! I felt like I was still in the mindset of a 17-year-old.

You know at 17 and you meet someone who’s 21 and you’re like woah.. they’re a full-on adult!

Well weeks passed, I sat myself down and thought about why I felt this way.

I was still acting like a child. I will openly admit that I am not as independent as I should be for my age – my fear of life is to thank for that. But I realised that I wasn’t doing things that I wanted to do!

So I did.

This year I have become selfish in the best way possible. It’s the best thing I’ve done in a long time! I grew a pair, stepped forward and did things because I wanted too.

Yes, there was encouragement from people around me – but ultimately it was down to me, myself and I!

So without further ado, I present: Adult things I’ve done at the age of 21! (Better late than never edition)

1. I applied to university – a huuuge thing that I never had planned to do. But I quite enjoyed the idea of a degree alongside my name (as well as the debt but we won’t mention that)

2. I bought my first car – this was my first ever big purchase, a lot of things go alongside a car – for starters, you have to learn to drive! Insurance, road tax and the adult stuff that goes hand in hand – I had to learn it all!

3. I got myself a pet hamster – Rupert (he’s bloody fab) – I have a responsibility now, whether I had a snake, mouse, horse or dog. I have a life to look after. I wanted a pet for a long long time, so I got one.

4. I passed my driving test – I actually managed to do it, first time too! I worked for it and it paid off!

5. Office – I’ve built myself an office corner in my room, I wanted one. I went out and got one!

6. Friendships – Since I’ve attended university I’ve made many friendships that are very important to me. I went to uni with no friends and now have a whole group I see very regularly.

7. Confidence – my confidence is the most important thing that I have developed this year. I get on the bus by myself, walk around town by myself, speak my mind and have opinions. Generally – I have just become more human, instead of the little bear in her cave.

8. Blogging – I started my blog! I’m thoroughly enjoying it at the moment. It’s something I tried a few years back, I wanted to try again. I feel much stronger this time and ideas are flying to my head!

9. I quit my job – I loved my job though I found it very challenging, I had to leave in order for me to pursue University!

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Yes, there are some areas in life that I’ve maybe been a bit too selfish. But this is the first time that I’ve started to live my life for me. They say your 20’s is your time to be selfish, to focus and find yourself – that’s exactly what I’m doing!

I’m actually having fun?!

There are still plenty of things that I am yet to do but I’ll keep you updated. I’m sure you’re all dying to find out… anyway, stop procrastinating and get back to your work!

Laters taters!

Kara xo

A Festive Ramble..

Lifestyle

Festivities.. Christmas. Already?!?!

I feel this year has come around so awfully quick. I don’t quite know if I’ve even processed that last few months to be honest with you.

There is so much to do and I fear that time is rapidly tick-tocking away.

I haven’t even began to think of presents yet! Well I have, but just now – that’s why I’m writing this panic post!

I saw that in October, maybe even just before that; Christmas decorations and advent calendars had to started making their way into shops, I’m not talking little drizzles either I’m talking a full on seasonal aisle!

I told myself to look away because it ruins the spirit if you get sucked in too early. Now I fear I’m leaving it too late! We’re mid November already and I am now only thinking about next month.

Anybody else feel stuck in the Christmas pud? That was supposed to be stuck in the mu… you get the idea.

The problem I’m facing now is firstly budgeting, then deciding what I actually want to get in my budget, who for and what I will end up buying. Breathe in. Aaand breathe out.

I’m normally an organised soul who religiously plans ahead in my diary so that I don’t panic like I’m doing now. #problems

I’m rambling. I’ll keep you updated on my progress – if anyone sees Christmas elves walking around looking bored, if you could send them my way – that would be fab!

Wish me luck and good luck if you’ve left it too late too! I’ll pray for us x

Kara xo

Poem: Trail Of Thought

Poetry

Which trees must we embrace,
And which seeds must we plant?
For life to happen gracefully
– Which song must we chant?

Which bird should we help feed,
As they flee far from the nest?
Must it be fruits we take,
If we want to feel the zest?

What water must we sip,
As it flows past us in stream?
Which feather must we catch
If they hold our fragile dreams?

The force of nature, mighty,
Drifting amid the breeze,
Bringing things for us to take,
The moments we may seize.

Help to show the way wise one,
For whoever you may be,
Help guide us from the dark,
For in light we want to be.

– Kara Davies

Ahh back again? Welcome! You won’t be seeing açai bowls on here I’m afraid. I’m simply not that posh.

I’ll be showing you what I would typically eat in a day when I’m working from home. I am based in the UK so you may not have access to every brand but you’ll find alternatives everywhere.

8:45 am – breakfast.

I’m up and ready and want some warmth. The weather is incredibly dreary outside.
Raindrops are covering the floor with a winter chill. Which means… This is a day for a cup of tea and porridge!

Buzzing!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I just used Quaker’s Rolled Oats with Alpro Soya milk. Flung it in the microwave and made it how I like it. On the top, I added Demerara sugar and sprinkled with cinnamon! It’s a simple breakfast that tastes very seasonal, it’s filling and scrumptious! Perfectly accompanied by a trusty cup of tea! I will often have this as a breakfast as it is so quick and easy to make!


13:30 – pm – lunch.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I’m peckish. Was peckish an hour ago let’s not lie, but had to control myself! I made yet another simple and lazy dish – NOODLES! Recently I have been obsessed with this Chinese style of cooking. Sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce have become my best friends. I chuck them on many things!

I made wok noodles, cooked them lightly in soy sauce, added ginger, a few chilli flakes and garlic. Had a cup of coffee afterwards! Bosh, that’s it. I sprinkled some chopped almonds on top for protein and texture, finished with sweet chilli sauce!


18:45 pm – dinner.

I fancied something rich. By rich I mean gravy *drool*. What meal is perfect for gravy? A Country Pie with green beans, spinach and mash that’s what! Well, would’ve been with mash but I didn’t have potatoes – so that ruled that out didn’t it.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

I tell you now, Linda McCartney is a godsend. Meat eater or not – try out her products! Every single bit of her range I’ve tried is so flavoursome, they cook well and never have let me down! And don’t get me started on the packaging! Minimal perfection. She’s actually nailed it!

Tip: When cooking these country pies, take them out before the last 15 minutes – out the casing and laying on there top, this cooks the bottom so it doesn’t remain soggy. That’s if you don’t like a soggy bottom, of course, I won’t judge.

So here we have: A Linda McCartney Country Pie, Spinach and Green Beans, quickly boiled in the same pot with salt to season. Then devoured by Bisto Gravy Original – which is vegan! Incredibly simple and easy to make, it’s putting something in an oven and boiling veg. Yet it tastes so yummy! Also, can we just take note that I used the word ‘devoured’? Don’t know when this became an M&S advert.

My drink of choice is Fanta Fruit Twist – ooop there goes the M&S vibe.

So there we have it. You probably wouldn’t have expected a vegan to tuck in to pie and gravy, hey? Normally I will snack in between meals, maybe a few biscuits, chocolate – if I have them in my possession. Luckily I didn’t today, so you’re welcome body!

Thank you all for joining me today! I may do more posts like this if that’s something of interest? I post quite a lot of the meals I make over on my Instagram so follow me over there to get more ideas! – My Instagram page!

I seriously would recommend Linda McCartney range! Get it, Eat it, Thank me later.

Kara xo

Food

Driving Lessons: Panic to Passing

Lifestyle

Driving lessons. You will either love them or hate them. You are prepared and confident or a nervous wreck. I was definitely the latter!

They cost a LOT of money. You never quite know if you’ve got a suspicious instructor plus learning your theory test is no walk in the park.

I have only recently passed my driving test and it was a journey let me tell you! Taking the ‘L’ plates off my little car felt so good.

I started my lessons in Jan 2017 and passed in Oct 2017 – that’s a long time!

I did not start my lessons because I wanted to drive, I felt I had to due to many reasons. There was a pressure for me to get behind the wheel which pushed me further away. I almost developed a fear of driving and would cry and panic at the thought of it. I finally bit the bullet ‘just to see what happens’ and booked my first lesson and that’s where it all began!

The First Lesson

Okay, so I’m dressed comfortably and my lesson is in an hour. I’ve already not slept the whole night due to overthinking of course, so my eye bags are ready to roll! I’ve made sure I’ve eaten and I’m as ready as I can be.

I am introduced to my instructor who seems a lovely chap (not for long but I’ll explain later). He takes me to a quiet side road and I begin to drive. I learned in an automatic so the gears were not a problem.

It was a strange feeling even being sat in the driver’s seat, it’s a completely different perspective! From here on the lessons continued and around July I noticed I was not progressing anymore. I was with a large well-known company in my area – so something wasn’t right.

Things Went Bad!

Not only was my instructor now huffing and puffing at me, I felt patronised and would often come home, slump on my bed and cry. I felt hopeless and that I was wasting my hard earned money. I didn’t even want to drive?!

I’d spoken to a few people who all pointed out that it might not be me, but maybe my instructor? I’d never thought of it that way before.. so I took action. Why was I paying for someone to make me feel this bad?

I changed my instructor, this time I went with a female who owned her own company. And gals, GAME CHANGER!!

I was BETTER THAN EVER!

I never felt more comfortable in a car in my life! I actually enjoyed driving a little bit more. I bought my own car so I could practice outside of lessons, boshed my theory first time and finally, I was happy with my situation!

We would have chats and catch-ups each week, the whole time I was whizzing up dual carriageways, not even thinking about driving.

She said that I was ready for my test…

Really?*Oh god overthink mode on*

Sceptical, but trusting. I booked my test, I had about 2 months until my test which meant I could squeeze in a few more lessons.

Test Time!

Again, no sleep, shocker. Eye bags were ready to roll. Yet I somewhat felt happy? I was positive and willing. I promised I wouldn’t be too hard on myself if I failed.

I jumped in the car with my examiner (a massive 6ft-something bloke from London way) who was like the BFG! LOVELY! I wasn’t nervous at all on my test. We spoke all the way around – no worries!

I passed with only 3 minors. I know! Madness!

Moral of the story!

If you do not feel comfortable with your instructor. Do not wait and waste about 4 months worth of lessons hoping it will get better. It won’t. Go out and make the change – you won’t regret it!

TIPS:

• Be comfortable – wear baggy clothes, and if you get hot when you’re nervous like I do, bare it in mind!

Breathe – I’m sure some days I only took a breath at traffic lights, try to relax, the instructor has the dual controls too!

Don’t compare yourself to others – it’s exactly what I did, I wanted to be done in a certain time and was stressed that I was a slow learner. Slow and steady wins the race!

Use apps – I made use of free apps for my theory and passed the first time!

• Go with an independent company – Yes, it may cost a little more, but it is 100% worth and you save money in the long run because the quality is there which means you may not need as many lessons!

Show this to someone who is starting their lessons.

If I can get through it, anyone can – I have faith in you all, go smash it!

Good luck!

Kara xo

Poem: Sorrow

Poetry

I bathe in the hole,
That sorrow built,
It feeds off anger,
Sadness and guilt.

I wash in the water,
That sorrow shed,
It tickles my body,
And drowns my head.

I lay in the bed,
That sorrow made,
I sleep to the sheep,
As worries fade.

I listen to the sounds,
That sorrows sings,
It soothes my joy,
And light it brings.

I watch the world,
That sorrow features,
It rests only partially,
To Father’s creatures.

I feel the aura,
That sorrow brings,
It will go again,
And I’ll feel everything.

– ©Kara Davies

Vegan: My Story

Food, Lifestyle

Ahhhh, the word vegan is in the title! RUUUUNNN!!

Oh, you’re still here? Golly, hi!

Wait, are you to going to read and judge anyway? I mean that’s the social attitude, isn’t it?

Vegan: narrow-minded, uptight preachers who have nothing better to do than belittling you for your food choices?

Funnily enough, that’s how a lot of omnivores portray themselves to me!

That was a dig. Stay with me.

My upbringing was in a meat-eating household. I ate billy bear ham, crab sticks and roast dinners with the meat alongside and of course Haribos.

Naturally, I ate these things, because that’s the food I was given and didn’t know any different, didn’t even take into account what it was I was eating.

Until I reached the age of 9. My best friend and I at the time loved animals, I can’t remember how it all happened but I had made a firm decision that I wasn’t going to eat these animals anymore.

When I spoke to my parents they weren’t fully against the idea surprisingly… they were sceptical and worried about my future health naturally. Yet they agreed to let me turn vegetarian in year 6 at the age of 10.

I think the fact that I was refusing to eat any meat up until this point helped my case. I’m stubborn when I need to be!

I remember being around the age of 10 and trying to put a bit of fish in my mouth as I’d never had it before – have never liked it. I was in the chip shop where my mum was working at the time. I put a piece in my mouth when no one was around and immediately started to cry.

What on Earth was I doing?!

All I could see in my head were fish in a barrel and somebody shooting them 1 by 1. I spat it out and felt ashamed. That day confirmed my future and my morals.

So skip 10 years down the line of vegetarianism. To 20 years old – crikey! I found veganism.

Veganism to me was an extreme diet. I had thought about it for a few years prior but never went for it. My family and boyfriend were not keen on the idea either. My mum was worried about my health, my dad wanted to make sure I was eating enough and my boyfriend just thought it was plain ridiculous (still does now!)

Honestly, my main reason to go vegan was for ‘health’ reasons, that’s what I told people and myself. When actually I just wanted to be even skinnier and not have cow pus clogging my arteries!

Oo another dig, stay with me.

Research about it!

I won’t start listing statistics, I won’t get into anything nitpicky. I’m not educated enough to have a full-blown debate so I’ll avoid it. All I know is that, I could easily get by on a vegan diet, I was pretty much there already. I had to watch my vitamin levels have a steady protein and calcium intake and I was away!

I have now been vegan for 8 months. I haven’t felt that massive rush that everybody says you have, but then I haven’t been that much of a healthy soul, to be honest. There is many a cheeky junk food item to be had! You don’t miss out that bad! In fact, I’m about to reach for my tub of ice cream so what does that say!

I have benefitted from this in a few ways:

Learned to cook – I am so much more invested in my food now, what I eat and where my ingredients come from – I hope to even post a few cooking bits on here!

Yes, I still enjoy a banging roast – I’m not that deprived!

Views – my views originally were to go vegan and get skinnier, that was it. When I started watching videos on YouTube, it hit me just how scary the dairy industry is. I cannot watch any clip that they show for more than a few seconds in these videos of animals being abused, because it is so upsetting to me. Now that I’ve been vegan my views have become more for the animals, and I’m glad they have. In fact I’ve become quite passionate about it.

They are ever growing – a factor I rarely take into account is the positives of my diet have an impact on the environment too!

Community – I’m now part of an amazing community! I’m involved with Facebook groups, the universities society group chat, I’m signing petitions?! (Never heard of from me before!)

I’m happy – I feel content with my diet and lifestyle. I won’t lie and say I never crave a ready-made cake, cause I do! But I have such strong emotions that I get over it pretty quickly!

If you know somebody who is terribly anti-vegan. Please remind them that not everybody forces their views down your throats. If they do, they’re doing it for a reason and to give a message. Not because they’re bored and want a scene.

Many now, like myself are still learning, there will never be such a thing as a ‘perfect vegan’. It’s just not realistic in this modern world. So relax and do what you can. You’ll be doing more than you think!

I can assure you that everybody who is vegan at some point said: “I could never be a vegan”.

Maybe you’re saying that too?

Thank you for taking the time to read!

Kara xo

*Disclaimer – these views are mine and what I’ve experienced, I’m not trying to be a pushy gal*

Poem: I, Panda

Poetry

I sit waiting,
‘tween paper and bamboo,
The beat of a victim,
A soul filled writer too.

My eyes start to age,
But my words do not,
The wise fearful creature,
That shan’t be forgot.

I panda around,
I ponder on paper,
But here in forest green,
I settle my nature.

Tear down my home,
I’m a writer at heart,
I’ll find more bamboo,
And finish what I start.

– Kara Davies

Over-thinker Thinker Thinker

Lifestyle

An over-thinker. We all know one, if you don’t know one, then it’s probably you.

I will be the first to admit that I fall very comfortably in this slot. Ever since I was a toddler my mother said I have always been the same. So much so that when she told me to get on the swing in a park around the age of 3. I asked ‘is it safe?’.

Now anybody that knows me, will probably have smiled at that because that is the definition of me! ‘Is it safe?’. If I’m not asking that, I’m asking ‘are we allowed?’.

I’m constantly aware of everything around me and stress that I am a ‘worrier‘.

So I think back and wonder where it stems from. I don’t remember any incident that would have caused me to develop this trait overnight? I don’t remember being so told off that I’ve been scarred for life.

Yes. There have been a few times that life took a sour turn for me. But nothing compared to what others have had.

So why?

I am sure that I was meant to be an over-thinker, and actually, a lot of my setbacks are positives elsewhere. For instance: if I’m working in a group and there’s a really outgoing and careless soul that wants to do something without thinking? I have so much thought that I can balance it out! Magic!

Everything works out in the end!

It does! I cannot tell you the amount of times that I have laid in bed tossing and turning over something so small or something massive! No matter what, I will get through it and 9/10 enjoy it! Alas, I never learn and will repeat the same thing for the next block of writing in my diary!

There are days when the ‘what if?’ Becomes too much and takes over. It holds me back a lot more than it probably should but that’s why I’m going to stress how important the next part is…

HUMANS!

Yes.. you can get through everything if you have enough good souls around you, to pick you up when you’re down and re-motivate your deepened spirit. I have my partner to thank for the last few years, to be honest. Get somebody in your life who you lean on when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your frieeeend – tune, anyway…

A family member, partner or your pals!

Since I’ve spoken up I have found that there are many over-thinkers in the world! There are just as many people who don’t care about anything and are carefree spirits. Humans are not lone animals. We were meant to be together, if everyone was the same then it would be incredibly unproductive and flat.

So over-thinkers of the world, embrace your wild what if’s and but’s. It’s a simple ying to yang equation! Yes sometimes we have a bit too much sense that it becomes nonsense, but it’s actually quite incredible and I get many a laugh if I start to ramble on. In hindsight they are ridiculous – but that’s just part of me! I will never apologise for being in my own head 70% of the time. Neither should you!

Thank you for reading!

Do you know any over-thinkers?

Kara xox