Paris Photo Diary
Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Paris Photo Diary

1/ Arc de Triomphe
2/ Walking along Champs-Elysee
3/ The Louvre
4/ Love Locks on Pont des Arts
5/ Beautiful Parisian balconies. In love. 
6/ Views from a hot air balloon over Paris
7 & 8/ Eiffel tower at Midnight. One of my most happiest memories.

Travel is always on my mind. And it is because of moments and memories like these. 

Paris is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. Everybody who has been to Paris has an opinion - in particular, that people can be quite rude... it breaks my heart a little bit because I experienced nothing but kindness and love in my trip to Paris. 

I was there for only a weekend, but felt like I belonged! Beautiful in sight, beautiful in mind. I think the best places I have been to always 'make my heart smile' - it's a feeling I get when I'm so overwhelmed it almost feels like my heart is literally smiling. I feel so light and fluffy and want to jump and fly! I had that feeling the entire 48 hours I was in Paris. 

I wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower at night. We'd been up since 6am, had walked all across Paris the entire day with about an hour's rest. It was 12pm, and I ran from the train station to the magnificent Eiffel Tower just in time for it to light up in sparkles at midnight. Beautiful. One of my most favourite memories of my entire existence. I love you, Paris.

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London Photo Diary
Sunday, December 27, 2015

London Photo Diary

1 & 2/ Flying to London!! 
2 & 3/ On route to Buckingham Palace.
3& 4/ Beautiful Borough Market.
5/ Big line for famous.. quail eggs? Fun to watch, but not sure if it was what I had an appetite for! 
6/ My absolutely delicious Pad Thai from Borough Market.
7, 8 & 9/ The most amazing breakfast at Duck and Waffle.

I spent about a week in London in July of 2015. 'Summer'. I'm pretty sure it was just as cold in London as it was when I returned to Sydney winter! Nonetheless, I braved the cold and explored beautiful London - a city of 4 seasons in one day! I'm a big weather-person, and I can definitely see why Londoners are always speaking of the weather - it's difficult to ignore! 

I didn't take a lot of photos on this trip, unfortunately. I lost my 'mojo' with photography earlier this year, but I decided I wanted to document this trip anyhow. 

 There are so many little neighbourhoods in London, each as different from one another and so much happening in each! One of my favourite memories from this trip was bike riding at 10pm when the sun was just setting... 

Breakfast at Duck and Waffle was also incredible. And if you're into the foodie things, definitely check out Borough Market. I went on a Wednesday, so there weren't many vegetarian/ vegan options but I read that on weekends there are plenty more stores (as well as plenty more people!) There is too much to recommend in London - all I'll say is PLAN, PLAN, PLAN for your trip as there is never enough time.

London. I'll be back.
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Tips for Going Vegan/ Vegetarian
Monday, August 10, 2015

Tips for Going Vegan/ Vegetarian

Acai Bowl from Sadhana Kitchen

Have you ever thought about making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet but have been fearful because it seems so daunting? Or maybe you've even made a real attempt at making the switch, but fell back because it was just too hard? It can be hard because food affects so many facets of your life - your health, your fitness, your social life, your mood, your energy - it's a big change and a big commitment! I'm going to share my thoughts with you to hopefully make the change less daunting and finally help you get to the lifestyle you desire and deserve.

1/ Don't forget the basics. What I think is a common mistake when people begin their journey, particularly with veganism, is they start buying every vitamin, fancy products and meat-free alternatives. While these can definitely be great and enhance your cooking and eating experience, they can also be costly and take you out of your comfort zone. When it's too expensive and too foreign, you most likely won't stick to it because that'll take a lot more effort than you can probably be bothered for! Do not forget your basics - a sack of potatoes for $5 can bring you a range of dinner options for a week - fries, wedges, mash, a roast... On top of that, you can diversify it even more with herbs & spices which is an entirely different experience itself. Different ways to cook your vegetables can mean an entirely different culinary experience - you don't NEED the fancy stuff and it doesn't have to be expensive. Even the French - who adore their meat and couldn't imagine a life without it - place emphasis on cooking with in-season vegetables, because vegetables can truly transform your dish! You'll fall more in love with veggies than ever, which is not a bad obsession to have.

2/ Get to know your taste-buds. With so much content online and a lot of food blogs with amazing recipes, you might get over excited and start trying to make everything! This can be absolutely amazing or absolutely detrimental. Try to think of your favourite foods - or at least your favourite types of flavours and add these to your dishes. For example, if you love coriander, you an add it to your salads and your soups. On the other hand, curries are very popular for vegan/vegetarian recipes because taking out the meat doesn't affect the taste, but if you don't usually like curries as a meat-eater, don't start making it while you're starting out. You most probably still won't like it and you'll start thinking "You can't eat ANYTHING on a vegan diet!" Just like the meat-eating world, there is so much to offer from a veg point of view - try to identify your favourite flavours and look for/create recipes around them!

3/ Fake meat does not taste like meat. I'm not sure if this is an obvious one, but I have heard people say after trying fake meat 'This doesn't even taste like chicken!' No, it doesn't. In fact, there is a lot of them that don't taste good at all. But that's okay, because they're usually not very good for you anyhow! If you like that heavier, bulkier side to your base try using beans or chickpeas which fill you up but don't give you that heavy feeling... nor the meat sweats!

4/ Look for ways to make your favourite foods and enhance the natural flavour of the seasonings and spices. For instance, whenever I make Mexican food, I add a LOT of coriander and lime because I love these flavours. Bring out the beauty of spices and seasonings, lemons and limes, and it can make a HUGE difference. Not to mention, super inexpensive. 
5/ Prepare for success. This world is catered to meat-eaters and offers a lot of processed food, which can be difficult to resist because it's so easy to eat, and yeah I'll admit, it's delicious. I LOVE two-minute noodles, but I know they aren't very good for you, nor do they make me feel very good after I've eaten them. Especially in the early stages, you have to be prepared. Cooking with fresh foods and vegetables can be super easy, but not as easy as grabbing two-minute noodles or snacking on a packet of chips because you're too lazy to make anything else! Make your bases, like quinoa and rice, in bulk and refrigerate them so they're always there. Keep cans of chickpeas, sweet corn, lentils and beans in your cupboard. When you're shopping, try your best to steer clear of foods that you have made the decision to ditch and stock your kitchen up with foods that you have decided will help you become the person you want to become. Sometimes we can get tunnel vision, especially when everyone else is eating McDonald's, or KFC or that Domino's that smells so good, and you might get discouraged, but if you prepare yourself for these moments of potential weakness, you are investing in your future, and yourself. 

6/ Experiment. Experiment with recipes, portion sizes, time of the day you eat, how many meals you eat per day. Find ways that will encourage you and aid you in sticking with your decision. It may be a bit of a bounce-around for the first couple of months, but it'll soon be so normal for you, and meat won't even be on your mind anymore. All that we are is habit, so start shaking the bad habits and creating good ones to replace them. Take small steps that will create big change, but do not take steps backwards. It may take a while, but you will soon find yourself naturally ditching the foods that don't make you feel so good, and start gravitating towards, maybe even craving, whole foods that nourish you. 

7/ You will need thick skin. For some reason, as soon as you announce you're no longer eating meat, everybody has an opinion. A big argument against veganism is the assumption that you're not getting your nutrients because you're no longer eating meat or animal byproducts. This is not the place where I'm going to argue whether I think this is true or not, but I will say that hardly anyone cares about nutrients or vitamin levels until somebody brings up a diet that is different to theirs. I hardly think a fast food meal contains all these nutrients they keep banging on about, but they eat that anyway. (Nothing against people who eat fast food, just an example!) My point is that people will most probably put up an argument and try to get you to defend your decision, and they'll start making really dumb comments that aren't logical nor do they actually care about. For some reason, some people feel personally attacked because you've chosen a different diet to them, and I can say just ignore them, but it's not always that easy. Prepare yourself for these kinds of comments, because they may come. Whether you argue back or not is your own accord, however I think if you have made this decision for yourself you should stick to it regardless of what anybody says to you, or tries to put you down for it. If you decide to revert back to your old diet, make sure it is purely your decision and not the pressure from others to be 'normal'. 

8/ You will feel amazing. You'll find yourself in this weird place where you're suddenly craving green juices or smoothies, or a vegetable stir-fry and you'll take a long-hard look in the mirror and think 'Is this real life?' Food won't be just a quick-fix, a drive-thru meal or an addiction that you can't seem to shake. It becomes an experience, that makes you FEEL so good. You most probably won't feel bloated or weighed down anymore, you won't feel the need to take a huge nap after your meals. You might lose a couple of kilos, start to glow, feel a little lighter - physically and mentally, you'll have more energy than you know what to do with and you'll have this huge love for the earth and realise the amazingness that it has to offer. (I think this is a very important point, but maybe that's for another day.) I have also noticed that eating these meals can instantly refresh you and you can instantly feel the goodness moving throughout your body, it's almost tangible! Eating whole foods really does make you feel whole.

9/ Just do it. If you've been um-ming and ah-ing about making the switch, just do it! Try it for a day, or a week, or one day a week for a month! See how it makes you feel and if it really is for you, take your dining experiences to a whole new level! Good luck! 



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Morning Cross-Body | Angela & Roi
Saturday, July 04, 2015

Morning Cross-Body | Angela & Roi

Philanthropy and fashion. Two of the greatest things intertwined gives us Angela & Roi
Angela & Roi are a New York based handbag company that believes in cruelty-free fashion that gives. Their handbags are made in a sweatshop-free company in Korea* that they have personally visited to ensure fair conditions are being practiced. Beyond that, their bags are made of vegan leather. Fair to humans, fair to animals. 

On top of that, their brand carries a philanthropic mission called 'Donate by Color'. All handbag designs are offered in the same range of colours, and each colour represents a cause. For example, my gray cross-body offers 5% of its sale to a charity within diabetes research. 

I bought this bag six months ago and it has become my every day bag. The size is perfect in comparison to my height. It's not too big, but it somehow fits so much! It has an adjustable strap, a main compartment with a zip pocket inside as well as a zipped compartment on the back. I will say however, the 'Angela & Roi' ribbon it comes with has frayed a little, although it's removable. And also, there is a dark-grey outline on the strap that is beginning to 'chip'. To be honest though, it doesn't bother me at all, especially since the brand carries so much good in its name. 

The gray is currently sold out on their website, but they have it in other colours, or you can check out their entire range. If you're in Australia, Angela & Roi doesn't ship here, but an online website called Modavanti does, as well as carrying other ethically conscious brands that you can browse too!

*Palette cross-body bag is manufactured in Vietnam.  
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Thoughts from a Plane
Saturday, June 27, 2015

Thoughts from a Plane

I've just gotten home from a my first ever trip to Europe! As always with travelling, I began to think a lot about life, emotions and purpose. Particularly, I was wondering why I was neglecting my blog even though I once loved blogging so dearly. 

For a quick backstory, I've had a blog since I was about 13. Not this particular one, I've had several over the years, but I've always enjoyed it. When I first started, blogs were used as online diaries. It didn't really matter if anybody read them, but it was your own space online that you could customise and express yourself. It was written in the format of journal entries that were very personal, and because it was likely there was not a large audience, very raw. 

A few years later, and bloggers began to make an income through their sites and are now able to create businesses off of it. There are now a lot more blogs online, and communities have formed, which is wonderful because it is based off of our interests and things we love and are passionate about. However, as with all things, as blogging became more popular and more people began to start their own blogs, there also developed a not so good side to it all. 

I read a lot of blogs. I love it. I don't read magazines or newspapers, I read blogs. Because it's from one human to another - a connection is made between two people without corporate edits and this need to appeal to the masses. But as I discovered more and more blogs, I began to see the same posts, the same words, the same ideas being filtered and regurgitated across pages that I felt like blogging lost its authenticity. There is almost a prototype for bloggers to portray this perfect image of themselves; with witty sentences, perfect arrangements, white backgrounds and fresh flowers all of the time. Or the 'stay home, eat pizza and watch Netflix' type. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just there seems to be premeditated personalities that people are classified into or classify themselves into, and individualism becomes lost along the way. Comments have become generic, you can even tell if someone hasn't properly read through your post and have only commented so they can plug their own site. 

I feel like blogging has lost its raw and personal element to it, which is why I fell in love with it in the first place. I discovered I no longer loved logging on to my blog because it was starting to become like other media, washed out and uninteresting. I want to see the personality in blogging again.

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Sseko
Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sseko

I'd first heard of Sseko through Instagram, looking for philanthropic fashion brands. Sseko is a brand based in Uganda, Africa and currently employs artisan women with the aim of spreading opportunity for more women in Africa, which is currently a more dominantly patriarchal society. Understandably, this means women are less typically able to move on to higher education, college and university; however Sseko has already sent 47 women to university after 'graduating' from the workforce, in the 9 month gap between high school and university. 

Have you heard the quote, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime"? Sseko adopts this, believing to end the cycle of poverty, the root causes need to be addressed. Working with a local non-profit that works with young women how have come out of the sex-slave industry, they aim to empower and educate women by giving them opportunities and experience that last a lifetime. 

"We believe that every woman has the capacity to end the cycle of poverty and that it can be done in a way that is fair, dignifying, honoring and life-giving."

Apart from being an incredibly philanthropic brand that is truly making change, they do great fashion! I am obsessed with their loafers.


Although I am in love with their loafers, they do so much more. In fact, their most popular item is their sandals, that's nifty because you can retie the ribbons in numerous ways for different looks. For fashion that makes a change, definitely consider your next haul from Sseko
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Total Recall - Arnold Schwarzenegger
Friday, May 08, 2015

Total Recall - Arnold Schwarzenegger


To be honest, before I started reading this book, I didn't know Arnold Schwarzenegger was such a public icon. Besides being governor and acting, I didn't have a clue the impact he has had on things that impact us today. After reading, I went up to my sister and said 'Did you know Arnold Schwarzenegger was a bodybuilder?" to which she gave me a face and replied 'Yeah... He pretty much revolutionised the fitness world.' Oh. Oops. 

Arnold wasn't lying when he subtitled his book 'My Unbelievable Life Story'. Even on his Wikipedia page, it lists 11 careers which he has partaken in. None of these are half-assed, either. It was all or nothing. What I got most out of this book was if you want it, go get it. The phrase has been overused and overheard, and in lieu of that, we tend to let it wash over us and don't really give it a second thought. This book puts the quote into action; makes it physical rather than an abstract thought. Seeing this phrase be put into action numerous times by Arnold really shows you how you can get wherever you want to be, as long as you put in the work and of course, believe in yourself undoubtedly. 

This book is dense, I won't lie. There's a lot to it, and he doesn't fuss about. He goes from inspirational story to inspirational story to inspirational story and it can get a little overwhelming, but for me, I feel like it was worth it. It was a really good read, and it's inspiring more-so because we know him. We've seen him in movies, on our screens in our living rooms and that kind of makes it easier to relate to him than other inspirational tales by people we aren't really used to hearing the names of. I would definitely recommend this book to people who have big dreams, but also big fears. To people who are seeking motivation. To people seeking to add extra goodness and wisdom into their lives. This book will do you no wrong. 
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Everlane
Saturday, February 07, 2015

Everlane

Making the decision to shop sweatshop-free has been a blessing and a curse. Whilst on the one hand I'm happy I have the knowledge I do, and can try to spread the word about the cause; it is also a burden, as seldom do I find things I actually like. I like modern, simple, classic fashion... So finding Everlane was finding the needle in the haystack. 



These are my favourites from Everlane's online collection. 

One of the greatest things about Everlane as a brand, is they give you a further look at the factories where their products are made. They really want to push the concept that even though a business' usual primary goal is revenue, they hold high value to the quality of their products and transparency to their customers. Everlane has become my favourite brand since making the switch to sweatshop free manufacturing.

What are your favourite products from the Everlane collection?
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Rose & Fitzgerald
Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rose & Fitzgerald

One thing I adore shopping for is home decor. I've only noticed in the past few years how important it is to ensure you love every piece you buy, because it is the environment you emerge yourself in when you have your shield down, and for me, the environment in which I spend the most time.
I came across an independent company named Rose & Fitzgerald that quickly became one of my most favourite stores of all time. The company was founded by a Californian couple named Courtney and Laren. Based in Uganda, where they now live, is where the products are both designed and handmade. And the best part: they hire local artisans to hand-make their items and bring their designs to life. This both increases morale and national income for the country.

I am entirely in love with the collection on Rose & Fitzgerald, and their story, and their code of ethics.

Here are my top picks from their collection:



I am so in love with their designs and the way these pieces compliment each other. These are not on my wishlist, they are on my MUST list.

What are your favourite picks from the Rose & Fitzgerald collection?
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Sweatshop: Dead Cheap Fashion
Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sweatshop: Dead Cheap Fashion

Long time no post.  I vowed to never post anything that leaves me clicking 'Publish' halfheartedly, which explains my absence. 

But I'm back with a post that has sent a fire within me.
Yesterday, Ashton Kutcher shared a link on his website that has sent traffic through the roof for a recent documentary presented by Norwegian newspaper company Aftenposten. 

The documentary is called Sweatshop. 
It entails three teenagers who travel to Cambodia to explore and share the lives of sweatshop workers. The textile factory that allowed their entry is one of the best in Cambodia, and yet conditions are still harsh. Long working days, dealing with heat and humidity with nothing but a fan in the corner. One worker for the company said some days a soldier will watch over them, and if they began to slow down they would be beaten, sometimes until they were unconscious.

The episodes are named by powerful statements said by the three young travelers, that really strike a nerve in demonstrating the struggle these workers face. I urge you to watch this documentary and share it with your friends and your family. Please let the message of this documentary resonate with you. Let's take a stand for the people who are unfortunately in these positions. 

"They really don't ask for much. We have to start somewhere." - Anniken
"The truth is we are rich, because they are poor." - Ludvig

You can watch the full documentary with English subtitles here.

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