Hello, 2019!

Happy New Year! Can you believe that the year is already over? It literally seems like not too long ago that I was sat on my laptop doing my new years eve resolutions with you all. Oh how so much changed, or not changed really. In light of my New Years eve resolutions, it is safe to say that I gave it my best shot as I was willing to be lienient with myself in completing them all, especially the ones that relate to health and fitness.

As some of you may know, fitness and health interest me and I love creating a healthy-ish lifestyle for myself. However, much like most people right now, after christmas I feel so distant from my health and fitness goals. But I won’t dwell, however, if you do want to follow me and my fitness goals this year, visit my health Instagram where I share healthy tips and vegan recipe’s that you can try to get healthier this year!

For my new years resolutions this year I think that I will take a different approach to them. I feel like the more I push my self to do these goals, the more they feel really heavy and too much or a burden. So In a rather cheating sort of way, I am choosing to get more serious about how I achieve them. Specifically, becoming more purposeful, organised and practical about them.

I was scrolling through instagram the other day and came across a post that mentioned that most goals are achieved after writing them, that is after enacting a plan to follow through. I have found too, that most of the goals that I want to achieve I either forget about or don’t record properly in order to take the neccessary steps to achieving them.

One of the products I will be using almost as much as a bible, will be a planner like this gorgeous one here. By being more strategic this year, I hope to achieve more of my goals by making them concrete, visible and actionable. Here is to a year to smashing through goals!

How are you planning on reaching your goals this year? Let me know in the comments or give this a like if you want to see more posts like this.

Till the next one,

Nyah

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How to survive boxing day shopping

Boxing Day shopping has to be the most exciting and eventful part of Christmas, not quite sure why its become such a tradition but the thought of it alone is both exhilarating and expiring to think about.

The lure of low prices, new clothes or perhaps to grab something you didn’t get this year could be explanation of why so many of us crowd the shopping malls after Christmas.

Thank god for internet shopping! Shopping online has drastically changed boxing day and reduced the amount of people in the shops. However, if your like me and enjoy shopping leisurely, then I have curated a few tips for you, to survive Boxing Day this year.Have a budget

Are you an implusive shopper? You might be and might not know it. If you find yourself frequently over spending, winding up with way more than you needed, and with a bunch of clothes that are won a few times and then never again, then yes you might be. Budgeting is a crucial step to helping you overcome your impulses by calculating exactly how much you have as you do along and putting a restriction to your spending.

Have a list.

I know I always have a few things in my head to get when Boxing Day shopping and I also hate it when I come back with nothing on that list! Crushing, also meaning that you will have to go back and get the item on full price. The best way to do this is to have list either on paper or on your phone, to help you navigate better throughout your shopping journey and to help you get what you came after.

Go Light.

I have had to wait hours in queue for Boxing Day shopping sales once, an experience that was both exhausting and stifling, even worse when the doors actually came to open and a whole flood of people went in. My bag got thrown around the place, I got pretty heated and flustered and wanted to leave immediately. The whole experience would have been a lot better had I dressed appropriately and comfortably. Going light makes the trip a lot more durable and enjoyable.

Pace yourself.

This is supposed to be a fun event, running around grabbing something hideous just because its the last one in your size is not the way to do it. Make sure you take a break, go online if you need to and to only get items that you know you will appreciate. After all, after the Boxing Day sales follow the January sales which will last longer and won’t force you to head out at 6am with a hangover from Christmas.

Till the next one.

Nyahxo

Christmas OOTD

If you do want to add that little bit more of a sparkle to your Christmas and show up in style, then I have created this post for you. Whether you are off to a party? Struggling to impress or just looking for inspiration, I have listed below my favourite looks from my favourite brands this season below to help you craft your perfect look!

I love these outfits, they are perfect for if you are out and about on Christmas, either visiting a lot a family or enjoying the outdoors! These are chic and perfect for the winter season. Both from UA

Too much sparkle? I love this body suit/unitard, I would pair this with some comfy trousers, or a nice pair of disco pants to add more flavour to your Christmas spirit. You can shop for this one with AmericanApparel

This angel top is stunning. It pays homage to all the wonderful religious elements to Christmas and also is so pretty that it looks like you just fell off the top of the tree. This you can grab from Motel.

Left it too late? Go classic with some luxurious pyjamas! Easy simple and who knows they might already be wrapped up in one of your gifts! You can find this with H&M.

A designer twist on a classic Jumper this season. This one is a perfect mix of classy and stylish this year, I love the little pearls and embellishments at the hem and collar of the crop and how they add a glamorous touch to a classy look. If you are looking for a splurge you grab this at Balmain.

That’s it for today, let me know which look was your favourite and give this post a like if you would like to see more posts like this.

Nyahxo

My favourite things about Christmas

It’s a pretty amazing to wake up every morning, knowing that every decision I make is to cause as little harm as possible. It’s a pretty fantastic way to live.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

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December is my absolute favourite month, for many things but also mainly because it my birthday, that and the fact that the festive season is so exciting! It’s all combinations of all the parties, the sparkles, seeing family and of course the general warm feeling of Christmas.

Across the years, Christmas has evolved into a new meaning for me. Not being a stationary family and quite a small one before, we always seemed to be on the go, visiting this cousin, that aunty and all the rest, it isn’t until recently that we decided to start spending Christmas at home. So my top favourite things about Christmas are:

Mince pies

These took a long while for me to get around as they sounded like anything but a desert, until I finally decided to have one and I’ve hooked since! Really difficult to find vegan versions for though.

Christmas songs

Nothing says a party in the festive season than a really cheesy song coming on followed by snow like foam spraying the room. I do enjoy listening to Christmas songs with others but it always has more meaning when mixed in with some fun

Family

Really should be number one, because Christmas just isn’t the same without them! This is an amazing way to reconnect and create lasting memories.

Gifts

This my favourite part as having little kids in the family always makes Christmas presents enjoyable. Having two little brothers and sisters Christmas is always exciting even if you do have to hear the same frozen songs on repeat.

Decorations

As a huge fan of Deck the Halls I love seeing all of the Christmas decorations strung up on houses across the streets, lighting up the entire neighbourhood and making everything gorgeous. I love the lights, the sparkles and the mistletoes!

What are your favourite Christmas things? Would love to know in the comments below!

Nyah

Xo

Ginger bread man recipe

The yummiest Gingerbread man recipe ever is easier to make than you think. If you want to create some fun for your family or yourself this year this is the best place to start. These little ginger bread men are sooo cute especially if you can get as creative as possible with the icing.

These ingredients are all made according to how many you have to please add more if you must! To crank out these pretty quickly, follow this quick recipe from loving it Vegan below, all you will need are:

INGREDIENTS

For the Gingerbread Men:

  • 1/4 cup (56g) Vegan Butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 cup (100g) Unsulphured Molasses*
  • Flax Egg
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups (250g) All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves

For the Decorating Frosting:

  • 1 cup (120g) Powdered (Icing) Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Milk

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
  2. Add the vegan butter and brown sugar to an electric mixing bowl and cream together.
  3. Prepare your flax egg by mixing 1 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal with 3 Tbsp Hot Water and allowing to sit for a minute.
  4. Add the molasses, vanilla and flax egg to the electric mixer and beat together with the vegan butter and brown sugar.
  5. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves and mix together.
  6. Add all the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl containing the wet ingredients and mix into a thick batter.
  7. Flour a surface and your hands very generously and transfer the cookie dough onto the baking surface. Roll it into a ball, adding flour as needed so it doesn’t stick.
  8. Roll out with a rolling pin to around a 1/4 inch thick and cut out some gingerbread men. Dip your cookie cutter in flour each time so it doesn’t stick. Move the gingerbread men to a parchment lined baking tray.
  9. Gather the scraps of dough, form into a ball and roll out again, cutting out more men.
  10. Don’t be shy to add more flour each time, this dough can be quite sticky and you need it not to be as you roll it, so add flour as needed. Any excess flour on the gingerbread cookies will bake off.
  11. Repeat this process until you have used all the dough.
  12. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  13. After 15 minutes remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating.
  14. When you’re ready to decorate, mix the decorating frosting ingredients together. It should be quite thick, but when you stir it into a peak, it should hold it’s shape for a bit before melting back down and should be quite sticky.

Enjoy!

NYAHXO

Writing Romance.

Its my birthday! In light of the typical yearly review that comes with turning a new year, I decided to focus on one of my best successes this year, writing my novel!

For years I wanted to be a writer and each day I work towards meeting my childhood dream. So today I want to share with you if you are also a writer, tips on creating more romance in your novel.

The tips are as follows;

Characterisation, characterisation, characterisation!

A story without believable characters is empty. You can have the best setting, imagery, and description but if your characters are neither believable or relatable you don’t have a story. Cliche’s won’t bode well for a modern story if you are lazy with characterisation. Your characters must have personality and more than that, they must have personalities that are compatible. However, with that being said the personalities must not be similar, you need to capture their individual motivations and feelings in order to move the narrative

Have a fully developed antagonist.

One of the most engaging parts of any story or romance is when they overcome obstacles, what are the obstacles? or taking this further, who are the obstacles? having cliche’s like ‘the crazy ex’ can be effective, however not every individual is completely unlikable or and irrationally crazy. Make sure to outline their backstory and look at the story from all angles in order to keep your story compelling and realistic.

Be a Romantic.

The Romantics were popularised by their context. The ways in which they built sublime surroundings inflicted with cultural and political unease is the reason why they were so prominent. A story where love conquers all will never tire, stories, where they overcome the bad and evil around them, are engaging and has the reader rooting for them. Also, placing your characters in surroundings like mountains or fires adds fuel to the flame they should be constantly igniting for your readers.

Love at first sight?

It is always good to let fate or destiny take the lead in romance stories. It is what creates the magic in love stories and keeps the readers coming back. This is especially effective if they meet in great circumstances.Alternatively, having them like each other instantly can be somewhat unrealistic. Writer and blogger, Kasie West says ‘Resist having characters immediately like each other. Avoid phrases like: drawn to him, instant attraction, it felt like I had known her forever.’ Instead, focus of the reasons why the characters want to pursue the relationship by giving the story substance.

Dialogue and description.

One of the best, undisputed love stories of all time is Pride and prejudice, the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy works so well because of their compatibility. This is expressed best by Austen through their witty dialogue. The story has virtually no physical moments and the romance falls within their words. let the characters words paint a picture for the reader and don’t be afraid to use and develop poetic language and symbolism to illustrate your character’s relationship.

Those are the five tips I have managed to find today and I am still very much in my first draft so expect to see more posts like this.

Like or comment if you would like more posts like this!

Nyah xo

Vegan Christmas food Ideas

Cooking for Christmas can be difficult, especially if you have a vegan to serve to this year ! As a vegan I know one of the biggest issues my family faced is finding adequate Christmas replacements, do you find yourself struggling for ideas too?

With the main attraction of the table are turkey, chicken and other meat filled pieces finding and making vegan alternatives can be difficult or very hard to find.

However, there are many alternatives you can try other than just a plate full of veggies, even if your like me and sucker for sprouts these will be amazing for your Christmas this year!

One of my favourites this year are Vegan Pigs In Blankets. You start with your favourite vegan sausages, then I f you can find some vegan bacon and wrap those around, you can have your own pigs in blankets!

Vegan chicken.

If you don’t want to miss out on the turkey, grabbing one of these can have you halfway there. Although the cutting is not quite the same.

Image from @veganhuggs

Vegan nut roast.

These can come in so many different combinations and flavours, so make sure you check the back to find your favourite seasonings and flavours.

Image from @nourishingAmelia

Vegan Wellingtons

The perfect way to get super creative this Christmas is by making a vegan Wellington. You can stuff whatever you want Into these, such as mushrooms, quinoa and kale or you can attempt to recreate a beef Wellington much like cat did in the image below!

Image from @lazycatkitchen

Red Cabbage Steaks

Surprise this year with a delicious take on a vegan steak. This one is made miso butter and fried garlic chips. This one is best served with a garlic purée

Image from @eatthisorg

All of these are perfect additions to your Christmas table colourful and full of flavour! Let me know what you think in the comments below

Till the next one,

Nyahxo