I like to consider myself similiar to a wine connoisseur, except it's not wine at all, it's Netflix.  I have spent many hours, days, weeks, months, years watching Netflix series and like to think of myself as someone who knows their tv. Like I mean, if we were at a pub quiz its guaranteed the only round I actually stand a chance at, actual life things you should know like World War facts, or Capital cities...notttttttt so much.  Naturally I then needed to talk all about what I am loving lately.  If you know me in real life you'll know this is 50% of my daily chat - the other 50%? Food that goes well when watching said tv shows.  I have no life, I am aware.

 I mean I have my obvious shows that everyone has probably already seen by now, if not - what are you even doing with your life? - Breaking Bad, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, Power..... this blog post could literally go on for years.

Jessica Jones - one of the newer Marvel tv shows features Jessica Jones aka (Jesse Pinkmans junkie girlfriend) a private investigator and with super human powers who frankly is bad ass b*tch.   I never in a million years thought I'd be into comic book movies and shows and used to sigh at the thought of being dragged to another marvel movie with Simon (except for Thor, I mean who in their right mind wouldn't enjoy Thor?) but as I slowly get around to catching up on some of the greats I find myself becoming completely hooked!  Please feel free to list any I must watch below.

Altered Carbon - I'm really going all out with my tv taste lately and sci-fi eske things really were not my jam until I became seriously over-obsessed with Stranger things - can you really call that sci-fi? who knows.  I adored Joel Kinnaman in The Killing, which fun fact was the first ever tv series I watched back in my uni days when I discovered Netflix, oh the joy!  So I tend to gravitate towards anything featuring him. It is set more than 300 years from now where society and way of life has been drastically changed by technology, death is no longer a permanent thing with human bodies or "sleeves" being interchangable. I like how it's obviously set in the future although really isn't too unrealistic in ways in regards to the AI & each person having a main chipset implanted.  I love the futuristic and techy side this show brings and such an interesting concept that might not be so far fetched after all. 

Brooklyn 99 - This is one of those shows you can dip in and out of and you don't really have to watch in any particular order.  It really reminds me of Scrubs so if that was your thing back in the day then you are really going to enjoy this.  It has such a stupid sense of humour which I absolutely love, it's so light hearted and silly it just makes me feel joy watching it.  It is based on a group of NYPD detectives in the 99 Precinct with the main character being Jake Peralta who reminds me exactly of JD.  The immaturity and childishness of Jakes character will instantly make you love him.  It's so light hearted and with the short episodes it's one you can watch easily.

Peaky Blinders - I mean I actually feel years behind with this one.  My own Mother and Father were on stealing my Netflix password years before I even really knew what this series was about.  Anyone else have a family of theives when it comes to their Netflix account?  There is theme beginning here with shows I never in a million years thought i'd even entertain the idea of, yet then went on to become so obsessed with I'm googling fan tee's to add to my ridiculous collection.  Tommy Shelby, need we even say any more?  I'm horrendous at trying to describe what this is even about so here is a quick blurb;
Britain is a mixture of despair and hedonism in 1919 in the aftermath of the Great War. Returning soldiers, newly minted revolutions and criminal gangs are fighting for survival in a nation rocked by economic upheaval. One of the most powerful gangs of the time is the Peaky Blinders, run by returning war hero Thomas Shelby and his family

And there you have it, my top tv series of the moment... what have you been watching lately? I'm always on the look out for something new to immerse myself into next so leave your faves in the comments below.


There is something I absolutely love about browsing through books in a store and picking up a new book, to bend back the fresh cover and delve into a new world.  I have such an addition to picking up new books whether online, audio or in the shop itself and no matter how many I have on the shelf at home which at one point I was dying to have, yet have never gotten round to reading...I still end up buying another. 


I am on a mission to cut back on my spending, whether it be clothes, ridiculous priced toys for my pup, tech... I spend far too much on unnecessary items every month and then wonder why on earth I haven't managed to save a penny.  Books is my latest area I'm honing in on mostly because I have an enormous amount on my bookshelf that I have never read, some I have never even attempted to read.

So I have set myself a challenge that I must read all of the unloved books on my shelf before I can pick up a new one.  I do have the exception of donating books I just won't ever read due to it not being of interest to me.  Family and Friends often bring around bag fulls of books they have read and no longer wish to hold onto and of course I say yes to free books - I mean who in their right mind would say no?  Some I end up absolutely loving, however the majority of hand me down books tend to me of a certain stereotypical romance gone wrong variety that just isn't my jam.  Hand me a good crime thriller, or fantasy book over those any day of the week.  So, along with refraining from buying new books I also need to donate those I just won't ever read and learn to say no to books I know won't interest me.  It's the natural hoarder in me, and the need to fill my ceiling high bookshelves in the living room.


I set myself a challenge every year on Goodreads to encourage me to pick up a book more often.  I adore reading but find the idea of picking up a book over an episode of Jessica Jones difficult to do.  It can be hard to set aside time to read and it's something I really need to start doing.  I used to often listen to books through Audible both on my train journey to university or when travelling to work in the car, now I am working 5minutes away from home I don't have that free time unfortunately so I need to find a new way of incorporating this into my busy routine.  Maybe start listening to audio books when I'm doing the chores in the house?

Anyway, what I am trying to say in a round a bout way is that I love reading I just find it quite hard to motivate myself to start reading.  Once I am submerged into a great story I almost rush home to find out what is happening next.  I recently finished reading "Eleanor Oliphant is absolutely fine" and it was definitely one that fell into that category.


So let me know, do you have stacks of books piled high waiting to be read? Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to read? & when do you like to read?

If you would like to keep up on what I am currently reading you can catch me over on Goodreads - here
I had just realised on the 23rd that it had been an whole 365 days since I left my family home and moved out into my own house with Simon.  It's hard to believe its been that long and we have done quite a lot to the house in that period which I thought I would give an update on for anyone like myself who is really into their home decor.  I also wanted to scatter through some of my tips or advice or even just some things I have come to learn or realise about moving out... spoiler alert: lots of bickering!


I set myself a goal earlier this year to travel lots in 2018, but cheaply.  The two aren't often portrayed as going hand in hand but I am determined to stretch out a small budget and experience some amazing sites this year.  We do plan on travelling abroad at the end of summer but  I want to spend a lot of it living out of a small bag, sleeping in a tent in rural Ireland.
 


 Some of you might be thinking, "But you are from Ireland".  There is so much to see and do at our own doorsteps that we often forget what our own country has in store.  Ireland can be explored from the highest point of the North to the bottom of the South in a matter of hours and why I haven't climbed into the car and road tripped my home country sooner is bizzare to me.  I really truly feel blessed to live in such a vastly green, true to nature country oozing with places to venture, and I plan to make the most of it.


 I thought I would start off by sharing some photos I took a few weekends ago when we stayed a night in Sligo town.  We stopped off at any brown "point of interest" sign along the road and seen some spectacular views and all only 2 and a bit hours from home.  The highlight for me was visiting the Strandhill area where we ate lunch in a really cute cafe and ran up huuuuuge sand dunes.


 Getting outside into the fresh countryside air is when I feel like the truest, best version of myself.  Everything from the working week fades away and becomes a distant worry, I live in that very moment and I feel so relaxed and care free. There is just something so soothing and good for the soul and I would quite literally go mad if I spent too long cooped up indoors. Social media wasn't even on the agenda for most of the trip and my focus was on spending some quality time with Simon & my camera. 



Make sure to get out and explore your local areas.


Shepherds pie, or cottage pie - who really knows which is which? was always a firm staple in my house growing up.  When I turned Vegetarian it was quite simple to replace the meat for Quorn or soy mince but since going Vegan & also being Gluten intolerant things got a bit trickier.


When I opened my January Vegan Kind box and seen this colourful book with a punchy hiliarious title I knew it was going to be something I would enjoy reading.  As you might have seen plastered all over my social media this January I vouched to go fully fledge Vegan alongside the famous movement #veganuary.  So far so good, with a few minor mistakes along the way I've stuck at it for the entirity of the month, and don't intend on stopping any time soon, or ever really.  This book could not have came at a better time for me.


Every Friday I sit down and plan what meals I would like to make for the upcoming week.  It gives me a good idea on what all I need to buy, stops me overbuying or buying random items that meals can't be made from and keeps everything on budget with minimal waste.  I can do a blog post on this for anyone who is interested in how I find recipes and plan my shopping list.


It's Veganuary day 13 and I've been finding eating zero animal products a lot easier than I thought I would.  I have been meaning to photograph more of what I make and eat but honestly it has been a lot of quick and really simple meals due to starting my new job and having zero time at the moment. 

However it occured to me that in order to convince anyone who is considering going plant based or vegan how easy and affordable it can be, showing these mid-week 'throw lots of stuff on a tray and bake' kind of meals are probably the ones I should be sharing.  So here you have my lazy girl weekend pizza night which saves us a fortune on dominos and is 100% Gluten free and Vegan.


Ingredients;

  • BFree sourdough pizza bases
    Tomato puree 
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Mixed herbs
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Potatoes
  • Rocket
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Sweetcorn
  • Pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Jalapenos


Method;

  1. Mix together your spices and tomato puree to make a pizza sauce, you could use tomato passata (I had ran out and had to improvise) or buy a pre-made pizza sauce.   
  2. Spread this across your pizza base and begin to top with toppings of your choice.  Here I used mushrooms, peppers, onion, sweetcorn and jalapenos, sprinkling some rocket over at the end.
  3. Set pizza to one side, and wash and chop potatoes in wedges, power boil these to reduce amount of time baking.  You can bake from raw which I prefer the taste of however this can take a significant amount of time.  Mix together some rapeseed oil, paprika, garlic and mixed herbs and once potatoes have been boiled for 5-10mins drain and mix together with spices and oil.  
  4. Place on a baking tray or roasting tin and place into oven for 30mins at 220 degrees.
  5. Half way place pizza into oven for last 15mins.
  6. Serve with rocket and some tomato sauce, and a side salad.

What are your favourite Pizza toppings?

I'm not one for setting goals at the beginning of the year.  I find it a bit cringe to be totally honest...



Pexels.com

2017 has been a year filled to the brim with new TV shows, podcasts and even some new music.  Can I just point out that the latter is a big bloody deal because up until this year I was very much still listening and rocking out to might I add, to literally the same stuff I've listened to since the early 2000's.  I'm talking Greenday, Linkin Park & RHCP, so the fact I have branched out even slightly is so unheard of, anyway... here is my playlist from the year.


Music I have been playing on repeat...

Paramore - After Laughter - okay I said I have branched out slightly people.  But in my defense the bands I have listened to for years have branched out themselves.  So that still counts, yah? Since Paramore dropped this absolutely bomb of an album earlier in the year I quite honestly have had it playing at least once a day.  It's my anthem I listen to on the way to work, when I am cooking, in the shower, your getting the point.  If I had to choose a few gold tunes from the album that I especially love it would be, 'Fake Happy' & 'Tell me how'.  There is such an 80's vibe about this album that I never in a million years thought I'd be a fan of willingly.  I had many years of Duran Duran and Boy George growing up people... thanks mum.

Linkin Park - One More Light - Forever my favorite band for as long as I can remember, I own all their albums, many t-shirts and even have their lyrics tattooed on my body.  I am a BIG LP fan.  It's a blog post in itself, and this album is so bitter sweet for me.  I love listening to this in the car especially and belt out all of the tunes until I genuinely do loose my voice.  I feel like it's such an important album everyone should listen to at least one, even if your not a typical LP fan because this isn't 'typical' LP music.  My top picks:   'Talking to Myself' & 'One More Light'.

Twenty One Pilots - Blurry Face - Like everybody and their gran I think I first came across TOP when they released Stressed Out.  Simon was then completely hooked and bought their album and had it on repeat any time he drove us anywhere and so naturally I ended up learning every single word to each song on the album.  I'm hoping they come on a UK tour soon so I get a chance to see them live.  My most listened to tracks: 'Not Today' & 'HeavyDirtySoul'.

Podcasts keeping me company on car journeys...

The Heart of it - I am a huge fan of Estee Lalonde.  I feel like if she released a series of toilet brushes I would be all over that per-order.  I watch her Youtube videos religiously, bought her book Bloom and love having her latest en-devour as my company on the way to and fro work, or any journey really.   Estee covers so many topics from feminism, tattoos to relationships and there really is something everyone will be interested in, plus Estee is an absolute babe.

At Home with - Kinda on the same stroke as Estee is Lily Pebbles and Anna Newtons podcast.  If your living on Mars and don't know who they are they are Beauty & Lifestyle Youtubers who I have been watching for absolute years.  They released a podcast earlier this year and interviewed some of my favorite women and had a tour around their beautiful homes.  You can expect guests such as Lisa Eldridge, Kate Johnson, Liz Earle & Madeline Shaw.  I recommend download the 'A Cast' app to listen and watch this on to get the full vision of the home interiors that go along side the podcast.


TV box sets I been binging on...

Better Call Saul - I am thee number one fan of Breaking Bad.  If you were to ask me what my most loved TV series of all time was it would easily roll off my tongue every time.  So naturally when the spin off show started a couple years ago I was gonna be all over that like a rash.  Season 3 came out earlier this year and did not disappoint.  If you weren't a fan of BB for some unknown reason I will never understand lol, don't rule this one out.  It couldn't be any further from BB with a more light hearted story line, still packing a punch but with a lot of sarcasm and humour spilled through.  It's definitely not as dark as Breaking Bad but it's a great fix for any super fans like myself who still want to see some of their beloved characters.

Sons of Anarchy - Never in my life have I had a crush on a character as bad as I do for Charlie Hunnam or Jackson (Jax) Teller as he is known in SOA.  It's not a new series by any means but its one I only delved into earlier this year and absolutely adored, mostly because of the beautiful creature that is Jax and he's habit of walking around topless - I am only human people.  If you don't know it's a tv series following a biker club in America called the Sons of Anarchy funnily enough (I am so great at describing) and some of the trouble they often find themselves in the middle of.  One of the series features the characters in Ireland which has some hilariously funny and awful accents.  It's not one for the faint hearted and can be quite gruesome in some scenes but you'll fall in love with a handful of the characters and kill to find out what happens them.

Stranger Things - The most popular TV show of the moment and for a very good reason.  If you'd of told me I was going to be dying to get into bed each night to watch the next ep of a sci-fi TV show I would have laughed at you.  It's not typically something I would like on paper, and even Simon was surprised.  I reckon he thought this meant I was going to love Star Wars now, sorry but nope!  It is so addictive and I wish I was a member of the 'party' myself.  The story follows a group of high school friends who live in a small town called Hawkins in which some pretty messed up super natural sh*t happens.  The relationship developments within the group is so bloody good and 'Elle' is legit one of the most badass young teen girls I've even seen, I just wanna be her already!  It'll be one to make you jump but not be able to stop watching at the same time & you'll most certainly be hanging off the edge of your seat.  I don't recommend watching this in the small hours on your own with head phones in, trust me I've been there.


And there you have it, a round-up of what I have been playing none stop this last year. This is such a cut down version because otherwise we would be here all day and I want to put together a separate post going into more depth on my most recommended TV series because if you know me IRL that is quite possibly all I ever speak of. What have you been playing recently?




Veganuary is almost upon us again and this time I'm going to make the leap, not a huge leap granted but a leap none-the-less.  If you didn't know Veganuary is a movement or a campaign with the goal of challenging people to give up animal products from their diets for the whole of the first month of the new year.  Whether it be for curiosity, animal well being, health or the environment there are lots of benefits to skipping on the meat and dairy.

I've been Vegetarian from I was roughly 16.  I had a minor blip when I was around 21 where I started eating meat for a year and then packed that in again around the age of 22.  This time round I was much more serious and was delving into the world of veganism as it started to emerge and become more talked about and visible.   Living in rural Ireland is difficult as a Vegetarian never mind Vegan but not impossible

This year in particular since moving out and being able to manage more of my own diet choices and shopping I cut out dairy and eggs directly.  I still consume some products which contain animal products in them such as my bread containing honey and my Quorn chicken containing free range eggs but other than that I eat plant based, so this challenge should be easily achieved I hope.

I thought I would document it all on my blog for anyone who is interested in making the change themselves, for those who want to do so alongside me and for generally anyone interested in veganism and plant based diets or wanting to reduce their intake.  I hope to include simple home cooked meals that won't cost a fortune or include impossible to find ingredients, tips and advice, my own experiences and whatever else takes my fancy.  If you have any ideas of your own you'd like me to touch on let me know below.

So consider this my pledge to eating entirely vegan for one month.  AHH!