Things I Look Forward to Right Now

Going back to Sweden to meet my newborn niece, Olivia, and seeing my sisters again. And, of course, the rest of my family. And my friends. And the cats (got everyone now, I hope).

Reading the rest of my copy of Vegan Good Life magazine.

Jetting off to Malta at the end of August.

Going to the Brixton Splash next weekend.

Listening to the new Muse album from beginning to end.

Visiting VegFest in October!

Sitting in a nice pub with my nice friend and having a nice drink on Wednesday evening.

Visiting this cool yoga studio in my area.

Trying this amazingly easy-to-veganise pain au chocolat recipe.

Watching Humans this evening - it's my new TV series addiction.

For this crap weather to stop - we've got one month of summer left and I might be a fool, but I'm hoping it will be a sunny, indulgent one to prepare us for the merciless chill of British autumn and winter. Happy new week everyone!


Seven Reasons to Love Skinny Bitch

I recently borrowed Skinny Bitch at work after having wanted to read it for ages. This book, a diet lifestyle guide by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, is the wake-up call many vegans needed to finally make the switch. These two ladies tell it like is, and that's what I love about them - no swear words are spared, political correctness is thrown out of the window and misconceptions that most of us grew up with get a good butt-kicking. I am 100% a fan - here's why:

1. This book portrays the meat and dairy industries exactly as they are.
Oh, if only all bitches were like the Skinny Bitches! The writers are anything but bitchy. They are compassionate, savvy and conscious. The chapter that refers to meat as 'rotting, decomposing flesh' is what drew me to the book in the first place - finally, a diet book that tells the truth! It opens your eyes, even if, like me, you've been a vegan for years. The You Are What You Eat chapter lifts the lid on the cruelty of these industries, pointing out that nothing that came from cruelty, fear, anger, torture, pain and anxiety can ever be healthy.

2. This book KILLS all the excuses.
I love how Rory and Kim shoot down all the excuses not to be healthy by calling them pathetic and reminding you that YOU should be your top priority. Have no time? Make time. It's that simple. Penniless as I am and have always been, I'm usually quick to jump at the 'but I can't afford to eat well' excuse. But guess what. Since I stopped hitting Starbucks every two days and re-discovered the office coffee machine, I all of a sudden found myself in the possession of the £3 I needed to buy fruit, the healthiest snack ever. So there. There is no excuse for making excuses.



...and just like that, I'm an aunt again.

She arrived yesterday, more eagerly awaited than summer itself, this little July child with dark hair and the tiniest hands I've ever seen. There is nothing like the birth of a baby to make us all remember how straightforwardly wonderful life is, in the end. Landing in the loving arms of my sister and her husband, Olivia brought the sunshine.

Being an aunt is a very special experience, one that I first discovered last year and I was surprised at how quickly it becomes part of your identity. Both of my nieces are still really young (well, one was literally born yesterday!) but seeing Elise's personality develop is such an adventure - even from afar. I can't wait to see how Olivia's will turn out. I can't wait to find out what will make her laugh, what she will be curious about, what her dreams will be. I can't wait to spoil her with gifts. I can't wait to see her twirl around in dresses, climb trees, discover new toys, say her first word. I can't wait to watch her explore the world. I can't wait to be the aunt she deserves. If I ever can.


Life's Mysteries: How Do Travel Bloggers Do It?

If I may say so myself, at the moment my life is pretty great. I'm married to the man I love and we live in a fantastic city. I have a great job dedicated to saving animals and I run my own online magazine. And I can eat cupcakes without gaining weight. Life is pretty sweet. But nevertheless there are certain categories of people that I will always be insanely jealous of. Case in point: travel bloggers.

These sunkissed creatures with an eternal smile (or staring-into-far-away-lands gaze) on their faces, long hair swooshing in the wind, tattos of feathers or birds or the word 'dream' decorating their super-toned and perpetually sundress-clad physiques, that somehow never seem to be travelling to icy or windy destinations and never EVER find themselves anywhere it might rain. Their Dior sunglasses only come off at #dusk - a perfect time to Instagram that chilled glass of wine next to the perfectly laid out dinner plate on a white terrace overlooking the sea. Their luggage is always neatly organised into Louis Vuitton carryalls and their hair has not frizzed ever in the history of mankind. All they eat is raw fruit and their bananas are never brown or greenish like mine. Every time they take a swim in the sea, they are mysteriously on their own in the perfectly turquoise water - no beer-bellied tourists playing ball with their noisy kids in the background. Alternating sandy beaches with city skylines, no one awakens my envy quite the way that travel bloggers can. Scrolling through their magazine-perfect Instagram accounts, one single thought comes to mind: how the hell do they do it?