Clare-Without-An-I



Grab a cup of tea because this could be a long one, this is a post I have wanted to do for a long time but as it quite important to me I wanted to wait until I had enough time and properly get into the zone to cover absolutely everything…

The main reason I have wanted to post this is because most people who aren’t vegan assume it’s really hard to do and you’ll die of some sort of deficiency… I haven't yet!

But as it’s been just over a year I’ve been vegan I think now is a good time to share my journey and experience so far!

So it makes sense to go from the start and by the start I don’t mean some time in Feb last year when I actually fully went vegan I mean the very very start of my journey, this is the first misconception people have and in some cases put them off… they think that one day you just have to give everything up, that’s not the case at all! It’s a journey and everyone’s journey is different!

My journey started a good 5 years ago when I started to learn more about animal testing, so I’m talking the graphic pictures Peta share on Facebook and Twitter, I’ve had rabbits, guinea pigs and small animals for a lot of my life so when I found out make up and other cosmetics were tested on these poor little creatures I literally binned all of my stupid expensive fancy Clinique make up and swapped it for things like Barry M and Too Faced.

So as you can tell I am a vegan for the animals, well it was just for the animals at first now it’s everything from health to the environment…

Anyway so I now have all this more ethical make up but what about the meat I was buying… I know lets by “free range” “corn-fed” meat instead, yes…. I was one of those people. But like most people you read these things on packages and think yeah ok the animal has had a good life prior… Hahaha typing this now makes me feel such an idiot I could cry!! Yeah so I was buying all this expensive meat thinking the animals had a better life before being killed.

So now it’s November 2015, I remember the date because it was around the time I left my old job. 

This was the month my life actually changed in so many ways… to be honest it was a really shitty time, probably the shittiest time of my life to date… I was miserable as hell at the job I was at at the time and had been for a good year, me and my ex split up which obviously included a lot of arguing and mortgage sorting… It was also the month I watched Cowspiracy, the minute the documentary finished I was vegan…well for about 4 weeks and then just failed back into my old ways of beef roast dinners, pork pies and 3 wheels of brie at Christmas!

This went on until June 2016 when I went pescatarian…. So veggie but I eat fish for those who don’t know, however I was buying soya milk and avoiding cow’s milk where possible…still eating cheese though… basically a flexitarian trying to make her way through life haha!

Not long after this I went full vegetarian, again with the weird milk thing… eating cheese but soya in my tea.

After this I remember seeing this photo of a cow on Pinterest in this machine about to have its head blown to pieces and this was the moment, like a lightbulb moment but not… this photo made me cry my eyeballs out and I just couldn’t have any more involvement with this vile cruel fucked up industry… This was about Feb last year…

Since then I haven’t ate any meat or dairy that I know of or intentionally… I mean we all fuck up now and then, it’s impossible when they hide milk in crisps etc… I have also had the odd bit of honey where there has been no other cereal in the house…

Going vegan has I think just made me a better person in general, before making this lifestyle change I was (to me) a bit chubby and unfit, when I went vegan I lost a stone and half and got really into fitness, like I literally run 5 times a week, distances I struggled to walk beforehand! I have medals from races! If someone had told me this would be me 5 years ago I would have laughed in their face!

I feel happier (believe it or not those who know me LOL), I feel healthier, going vegan has made me a super health freak too, like reading about what they put into the meat and other foods is scary!! Watch What The Health…scaaaary!

I’ve made friends and gotten involved in things I wouldn’t never have before, I order something other than bloody steak and chips of the menu, I love cooking now, I care about the environment now and loads of other weird small things that just wouldn’t have been me before… People tell me all the time “you’ve changed”… I like to think this is for the good haha!

This post isn't to try and "convert" anyone, it's just something I have wanted to share for a while now because I get the odd comment like a classic one recently from some girl I went to school with's boyfriend was like“ugh I hate vegans” and I get questions like “ughhh why would you do that”.

I mainly want to post this on vegan Facebook groups to show “we’re” not all assholes who abuse in the comments section when you ask a question, I want to share a real experience of going vegan that shows it takes time, research, a few fuck ups and not everyone wakes up one days and decides they’re vegan, it is also more than just a diet, it’s a lifestyle…if you have lived your whole life eating meat and buying Maybelline it is a major lifestyle change and you have to accept that some companies shove chemicals and god knows what into defenseless animals eyeballs, you also have to un-brainwash yourself from all the bullshit you’re taught about protein and chicken period being good for you…

I still don't think this covers everything in my head that I want to say but it will do for now!! Maybe we can have a part 2 in another years time!

The pic below was my LAST meat meal, 3rd June 2016...


You know when you find a face cream and it's perfect! Perfect consistency, perfect feel and smell but then...you find one you love even more?! This has happened to me with this gem from The Buddha Beauty Company.

The Buddha Beauty Company is a vegan, natural and cruelty free brand with loads of products on offer, I've been lucky enough to get my hands one some of their Neroli Daily Defence - Organic Co-Enzyme Q10 Daily Moisturiser.

"Anti-ageing & Energising
Our CO-Q1O moisturiser helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles providing the skin with the energy needed to repair the skin from damage.

This coenzyme stimulates the skin cell activity needed in order to eliminate toxins.

As we age, this process slows down resulting in dull, tired skin therefore CO-Q10 helps to brighten, giving the skin a youthful glow. Medium consistency.

SPF 25

Ideal For: All Skin types, Mature Skin"


One pump of this stuff is just enough, unless you have a really large face... 

It soaks in right away and isn't greasy in the slightest, just feels perfect! It smells lovely too, really subtle and floral - nothing too strong!

I've been mainly using this first thing in the morning and occasionally at night, it works well under make up which is great and hellooooo SPF 25, I'm a bit obsessed with everything I use being SPF so this one ticks that box for sure! Goes well with my SPF 50 bb cream and SPF 30 powder haha! #protected

I don't know if it's all the natural stuff in this stuff or just a change of scenery for my face but my skin has cleared up big time since using it!

If you want to find out more about it follow this link - https://www.buddha-beauty.com/product-page/daily-defence-coenzyme-q10-daily-moisturiser

It comes in other "flavours" too! I think I'll be trying the grapefruit and orange next time! Mmmm!


 *free sample but opinions are my own

I’m not really sure how I’m going to put this story into words to be honest, I think this has to be the most dangerous thing I’ve ever done, some might say the more stupidest and that’s going some!?

Let’s start from the start, this trip was planned weeks ago so there was no way I was rearranging regardless of the weather, we planned to do the Watkin route as this is the longest and starts right at the bottom, I didn’t want to start half way up the mountain, to me this is cheating haha!

The first part of the route takes you through the beautiful woodland past rapids and waterfalls, this was a nice start and good little warm up before we started to go up, it wasn’t a very clear day but at this point the view was still pretty amazing! 

The whole thing actually reminded me of the video game Skyrim, if you've played it you'll see what iImean in the photos!

The trek up from here was actually fine, slow and steady and some stunning scenery to take in… It was a lot colder than I thought though I will say that! And because it was cold I had my hands in my pockets…what slithers out of my pocket… my phone… cracked screen! But at this point I had no idea what else we were in for!

So the further we went up the snowier it got, the windier it got, the colder it got and the steeper it got!

Most of the route had been a gentle incline but we got so far and the path with footprints in the snow became less and less visible… I guess a mixture of people having second thoughts, giving up and the snow covering the footprints up… this was the point we probably should have turned around but I just couldn’t and kind of dragged my friends with me to risk their life for a selfie on the summit!

I actually don’t have any photos of this point of the ascent or any really of the tough parts and I don’t even really know how to describe it other than completely vertical, rocky and slippery, the path was invisible from the snow… we had no idea where we were putting our feet and because we were just in walking boots with no studs we weren’t getting much grip at all so we were literally crawling on our hands and knees scrabbling to get up and pulling ourselves up using the rocks!

After what seemed like the worst part we kind of joined a mixed queue of people… some stuck, some lost, one injured and also we made a friend who joined the queue behind us. The people in front were taking forever, I know they were looking at maps and gps and trying to point everyone in the right direction but I’m not gunna lie I wasn’t happy waiting behind them freezing cold sat in the snow having my head blown off by freezing gails of wind and hail! Not only this it was getting later and later means darker!

Anyway we eventually went around them and continued to climb this almost vertical wall of rock and snow and then we heard cheering! We knew we were close and there was no way I was giving up now, besides we’d never make it back down the way we’d came alive so we crawled up a few more metres and yesss! Finally we made it!!

But the top was like an ice rink so we didn’t stick around!

I have to say we would not have done this without Chris, our motivating and lifesaving friend! We would have also not made it back down again without him, nor made it back to the car haha!

After we got our selfie and made the most of finally making it to the top we decided to head down a “safer” route… by safer I mean it was longer and less vertical buuuuut on the opposite side to the carpark we started at! We came down the Rangers Path I believe. 

The first part of the descent felt dodgier than going up to me! It was so slippy from being walked on, it was literally an ice slope and I think I fell on my ass about 5 times, it would have been more without Chris to catch me or hold me as I slithered to something grippy! 

The way down felt like it took forever but we plodded on and chatted crap together. When we got to the bottom we were debating waiting for a bus…. On a bank holiday…no chance! Just as we were going to call a taxi one went past and agreed to take us to the carpark on the way to taking this couple to wherever they were going. It’s as if it was fate!

I don’t think anything I can say or the pictures do justice to how sketchy this whole thing was but I wouldn’t change it, it was amazing and such an achievement! Not only did I climb Snowdon but I smashed it (and my phone) in extreme weather conditions mainly on my hands and knees haha!

I wouldn’t recommend this though haha! It was amazing but yeah! Do it in the summer guys! Choose life!

Here are some pics from the day!












Ughhhh when will it end! We get over this "beast from the east" and the sun starts shining, daffodils start growing and then BAM! Mini beast from the east!

This damn snow has resulted in two half marathons I signed up for being cancelled too!

Today I made the most of the snow and went out this morning nice and early to get some photos, I haven’t been out in forever to do some photography! I love it but just always end up either forgetting my camera or simply not having time! It’s time to make time!

I don't hate snow… I hate the cold, I could happily be on a beach in Greece in July and appreciate some snowfall but not here in the UK, it’s already cold and wet most of the time!

I am hoping that all this snow we’ve had from Siberia means we will be getting some crazy heatwave from India in the summer??

Anyway here are some photos I got today when walking around the local park, also there are a few of my princess Bella!













 
What a week! It’s literally felt like the longest week ever and all I’ve done is go to work I think… oh wait and kettlebells class on Tuesday… my abs and bum cheeks are still aching from this actually!

And what is with this weather! Storm Emma has really hit the UK! I like snow for a couple days but man I’m not liking the wind chill that’s come along with it at all, it’s so cold it actually burns haha! 

The past couple of days I’ve actually wore a bobble hat out and I can assure you I am not a hat wearing person!


Yesterday I walked to a local café for some dinner and after words I was just frozen to the bone I had to have a bath and what better time to try some Bath Bombs a friend made and gave to me for my birthday!

Lizzie who I met at Trika yoga (i.e. heaven on earth) when I attended one of her classes has a little Etsy shop full of weird, wonderful and cute bits and bobs such as bath bombs obviously, jewellery and woolly things. 

Her shop is MadeByLizzieWithLove.

Obviously for me to go anywhere near these bad boys they had to be vegan and cruelty free which of course they are! Another reason I was dying to use them last night other than being cold is for the Epsom salts, I can’t tell you how much my bum cheeks hurt from me class!

The bath bomb was in the shape of a cute little shell and smelt amazing before even going in the water and it literally spread throughout the house when it was plopped in the hot bath water which is just what I needed after work and driving in the snow! A massive relaxation session! I went all out too and lit my candles!

Obviously it goes without saying that it was an amazing bath but the best part is all the essential oils in the bath bomb!! I got out of that bath glowing and moisturised to the max which is what I needed so badly with this cold weather, does anyone else get a really itchy back in the winter where your skin is so dry? Just me I expect…

What more can I say, I loved them and will probably end up buying more every time I go to yoga!!

Thank you for reading and if you want to check out all the beautiful things Liz makes then follow the link below:



What a lovely weekend! So lovely I thought I would post about it and I’ve also just been out for a walk in the cold and it just feels nice to chill with a cup of tea next to the radiator
!
Saturday morning was the same as it always is….raining and miserable! Just kidding… well it was raining but I wasn’t miserable. Every Saturday (used to be Sundays) I walk to my Ashtanga yoga class with the bestie for an hour of amazing yet brutal stretching! The walk there is about 3 and half miles at a place called Trika Yoga, which I know is a bit far but I like it too much here and I’d feel like I was cheating on it if I went elsewhere haha!!

On the way back we popped into the South West Vegan Festival which I was worried would be super busy but thankfully it wasn’t and we walked straight in! First things first; FOOD! We both got a chickpea curry with a samosa, it was so yummy and things always taste extra yummy when you’re starving!

After stuff our faces we strolled around the various stands, ate loads of tester chocolate, bought and halved a Bakewell slice and I got myself some soap ad a bath bomb. I used the bath bomb as soon as I got home yesterday and it was lush! Smelt amazing!

After that we headed home and I can’t even remember what I did… Bath bomb, ate more food, watched some Friends and played some Sims! Bosh!

Today (Sunday) me and the bae went for breakfast at the Harvester then we went for a long walk in the mud, any excuse to get my granny walking boots on! Felt good to go for a nice walk, feels like forever since I have done even though it was freezing! Started off nice and sunny but every now and then a dark cloud would appear and chuck hail down on us haha!! Weird weird weather!

Now I’m home, drinking tea listening to Evanescence! Trying very hard to not think about going to work tomorrow!!

Here are some photos I got over the weekend! Now time to play more of the Sims I think!













Greetings!

Man it feels good to have some me time! Do you ever just feel you don't have time to do anything, I genuinely feel like I don't actually have time for a job when I have so much more interesting stuff to do like blogging, yoga and running haha!!

For this post I want to tell you about a hand and nail product I've been using from Botanicals.

If you haven't read any of my previous posts about these guys, Botanicals are a natural, vegan, cruelty free brand that are all about plant based products and basically providing ethical products, if you'd like to find out more follow the link below:



I wouldn't exactly say I require any anti-aging treatment on my hands or nails but I do get quite dry hands and I have to admit I am one of those who bites the skin around their nails *heaves* so this stuff has helped me not only stop...kinda... but also my scabby hands seem to be healing a lot faster... 

I know what you're thinking but come on it's a hard habit to quit!

Anyway so this stuff if you ask me can be used as a just hand lotion, you don't have to just put it on your nails, I use quite heavy hand creams normally and this being an oil based product you'd think it would be a bit on the slimy side but it's actually not and a little really does go a long way!

I've been putting a drop on every cuticle and then rubbing it all in and my hands feel amazing, it soaks in right away and my hands even look better after haha!! Oh and obviously they smell lush too!!

It's made with rosehip oil, carrot oil, apricot kernel oil, evening primrose oil, frankincense, fennel and lavender essential oil so as you can imagine it smells so gooood!

If you're someone who is always using their hands or just get dry hands from doing nothing like me then this stuff will be great for you, even if it's just a now and then pamper.

To find out more about the product here is a link: www.botanicals.co.uk/organic-hand-nail-serum

 *free sample but opinions are my own

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