After a quiet few weeks (I’ve recently started an awesome new job and been recovering from a chest infection), things are starting to pick up again, and I’ve actually done some pretty cool stuff this week!

Le Boutique Bazaar

Le Boutique Bazaar is something I want to tell you about in more detail at some point soon, so for now I’m just going to say what it is and what I bought. Held at McQueen in Shoreditch, it’s an alternative fashion event, I believe run in conjunction with Torture Garden – think latex, corsets, bondagewear and accessories all with a festishy twist.

Usually things I want at Le Boutique Bazaar are out of my price range, but this time I picked up a couple of things.

Elissa Poppy does some gorgeous lace effect latex pieces, and I bought a really great value (£10!) wrist and ankle cuff set, which will be perfect for an event I’m going to in the next couple of weeks – The Goblin King’s Masquerade Ball.

elissapoppy

I also put down a deposit for a bespoke ring collar from Darkest Star. You can see it in the picture below with gold rings – mine will have silver.

darkeststar

Photo from www.darkeststar.com

At a discounted price of £112.50 it isn’t cheap. But it is really great quality and it’s so very me.

I also won a competition with Beautifully Undressed and got myself a lovely gift set from Tallulah Love with some lacy panties and an eye mask. I never win anything so I was over the moon!

Yelps Golden Ticket Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Event

You’ll have noticed by now that I do quite a lot with Yelp, and this event was one of my favourites so far – there were limited spaces and I was so lucky to get one!

hotelchoc

I’ll be telling you all about it in the next few days – we started with some chocolate making at Hotel Chocolat in Covent Garden and finished with the musical Charlie & The Chocolate Factory at Theatre Royal Drury Lane (remember the ghost stories? You can read about them here).

Secret Cinema – 28 Days Later

Another thing I want to tell you about in more detail – Secret Cinema, the 28 Days Later experience. It was SO GOOD. For now, have me and my friends Kat and Georgia in our scrubs and masks…

28days

Ginder

You know I love gin, right? I mean I even did the blogging for Gin Festival recently (see my post about it here). Oh, and a review of the Gin Explorer subscription box is coming soon. Anyway, I digress.

On Friday I received an invitation (through Yelp) to the Ginder experience at World of Gin in Bethnal Green. Running for this weekend only, World of Gin were hosting half hour gin tasting sessions to match you with your ideal gin and tonic combination. It was fun. And boozy. Check out their upcoming events on their website – I believe they have Cardiff and Birmingham coming up.

Psst… it’s only on writing this that I’ve realised that Ginder is a play on Tinder, it’s all about finding your perfect match. Clever.

ginder

So, that’s about it for this week. But I have another fun filled week coming up, so watch this space!

L xx

All photos my own unless stated otherwise.

Yep, I skipped a week again! I think we can safely say I now do these little life updates as and when rather than every Sunday, because life just gets in the way! But at least I have plenty to report back on…

Valentines Gift from Kraken

Who needs a man to buy you flowers when one of your favourite alcohol brands sends you a beautiful black rose which would outdo anything else you received anyway? Following on from their black Christmas trees (which you can read about here), for Valentines Kraken were sending black roses with Kraken miniatures to select people. And I was one of the lucky recipients.

kraken black roses

This year I was single on Valentines Day for the first time in nine years. And I was cool with it. I’m actually loving single life right now. But that’s not really something to talk about on this post.

blackrose

So thank you Kraken, it was much appreciated!

Valentines Extreme Garnishing with The Robin Collective at The Hoxton

You may remember Extreme Garnishing from my pick of alternative Valentines events? I love playing with my food so I was super excited to be invited by The Robin Collective along to the Valentines edition of their workshop, held at The Hoxton in Shoreditch, which I seem to be visiting quite a bit at the moment!

extreme garnishing

We learnt some cute garnishing tricks, played with liquid nitrogen, made a love potion and ate cider sorbet. It was awesome. There will be a post dedicated to the event coming soon.

XMen Screening at BFI with BGo and Joe Blogs

I love a good superhero movie, so a private screening of XMen at BFI in Soho with some of my favourite bloggers, including Luisa of Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat, Kariss of Shy, Strange, Manic and Haydy of Squibbvicious was a great way to spend a Wednesday night.

bgo

Thanks for a lovely evening Joe Blogs and BGo!

Bring Me The Horizon at Electric Brixton

One thing I love about my favourite band is the frequency with which they play small venues (although it’s a pain getting tickets!). This time they played a Brits Week show at Electric Brixton, a venue I’ve not been to before. Through choice I went up to the balcony, and had a perfect view – so rare for me at a gig!

bmthheart

As always, their performance was spot on.

AntiChrist at Electrowerkz

I had a couple of great nights out this fortnight with my favourite girls, Luisa and Georgia. Here are some drunk selfies of the three of us at AntiChrist at Electrowerkz in Angel. I loved my blue wig!

ac

Gin Festival at Tobacco Dock

If you’re a reader of this blog, or are on any of my social media, there’s no way you’ll have escaped the fact that I was the guest blogger for Gin Festival!

gin festival

You can read my full post here, or the official post on the Gin Festival website here.

London Beer Week

Another day, another alcohol event… Drink Up London kindly gave me a couple of wristbands and a few drinks tokens for London Beer Week so on the opening night I visited the London Beer Week Hub.

london beer week

Held at Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, the hub was a really nice little set up! More about London Beer Week soon.

Pasta Night with House of Godo and Yelp

You should know by now that I’m pretty involved in the Yelp community, and attend a fair few of their events. This one was a Newbie night, to welcome new Yelpers, and sample some delicious pasta dishes at a new Italian takeaway on Park Lane, House of Godo.

house of godo

The company was excellent as always (and the lovely Kariss was there, which is always a plus!) and the food really exceeded my expectations. I’m not a person who ever really orders pasta when out, so it was nice to give it a go! The lamb ragu and tiramisu were especially good.

Thanks again Yelp!

Love Food Hate Waste Meaty Issues Launch at Smiths of Smithfield

I was really spoilt when it came to food and drink this fortnight! One of my most anticipated events for a while was this lunchtime launch at Smiths of Smithfield for the Love Food Hate Waste Meaty Issues campaign.

lfhw

As well as finding out about the campaign, we were treated to a delicious lunch and a butchery demonstration. You can read all about the event here.

Kurious Kittens Hot Sake Party at Geisha

And finally, myself, Luisa and Georgia attended the Kurious Kittens Hot Sake Party at Geisha, the late night element of members only dining destination Ramusake in South Kensington. We wore masks, Japanese inspired outfits and watched latex clad dancers. I’ve had worse nights.

geisha

And yep, I’m wearing a wig again!

So that was my rather busy fortnight, I’m hoping this one coming will be a little quieter…

L xx

All photos my own.

A few people have asked where the wigs are from – I always get mine from Mad World at Charing Cross station.

Basically, this week I ate a lot of food…

Pancake Day

So I celebrated Shrove Tuesday twice. Technically three times if you count London Mardi Gras last week.

On the actual day I had half price pancakes from Giraffe in Notting Hill. £3.48 for pancakes stacked with maple syrup, blueberry compote and banana. Bargain. I’m a sweet pancake person.

giraffe

And I couldn’t resist a second round when I was in The Diner in Shoreditch on Wednesday. The Diner do amazing Red Velvet Pancakes all year round (and Sweet Potato Pancakes with or without bacon, which I’ve never tried), but they were slightly cheaper this week and there were three specials; Reese’s Pieces, Spiced Apple and Oreo Cookie. All priced at £7.50.

I was tempted by the Spiced Apple, but when I read the description of the Oreo Cookie (three Oreo pancakes, marshmallow fluff cream, broken Oreos and icing sugar) I had to go with them. Marshmallow gets me every time.

oreopancakes

Elite Night at Bubbleology with Yelp

You might have noticed I’ve become quite involved with Yelp lately. No doubt I’ll tell you about that a bit more in the not too distant future, but to summarise, as well as being a pretty damn good review site, Yelp have an awesome community and host regular events, most with a few perks.

Tuesday night they hosted a night at Bubbleology in Notting Hill for their new Elite members (Elite members are selected based on their contribution to the site and community, you can read more here) as a little welcome. We were treated to copious amounts of bubble tea (I have strong feelings for bubble tea), macaroons, cookie straws and popcorn. It was a good night.

bubbleology

Cocktails In The City Preview

On Wednesday I was over the moon to have been invited to the preview of next months Cocktails In The City event in the swanky Apartment at The Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch. Alcohol companies teamed up with high profile London bars to showcase their products and some of the cocktails they’ll be serving at the main event.

cahoots2

You can read all about the preview here.

Blindfold Date

After a few cocktails at Cocktails In The City, we headed down to Concrete in Shoreditch for a bit of entertainment in the form of Blindfold Date (you may recall me mentioning the event in my Anti-Valentines post).

blindfold

It was a good evening, a bit different to what I usually get up to! It wasn’t really a dating event, although a tombola was used to select contestants from the audience, more for entertainment really. It was fun!

Slipknot at Genting Arena, Birmingham

I couldn’t make the London date, so on Friday I went all the way up to Genting Arena in Birmingham for Slipknot. It was a good choice, because I was basically side stage with an amazing view!

slipknotbrum

You’ll know by now how much love I have for this band, and they were so good! They were supported by Sikth and Suicidal Tendencies, the latter who I’m a big fan of. And I had the chance to catch up with a couple of good friends I hadn’t seen in a while too.

Valentines Star Wars Tattoos

It was a quiet Saturday, I just met up with my friend Kat to get some cute Star Wars tattoos from Haunted in Holloway. It was my first time getting tattooed by the studio owner, Allan Graves – he was great and I spontaneously booked in with him to start a True Romance thigh piece in a couple of months!

allan

Anyway, this time he tattooed a heart shaped Death Star and heart shaped Darth Vader helmet on my thigh. I love them! Kat had a heart shaped R2D2 on one foot and a heart shaped C3PO on the other.

darth

After, we met up with Luisa of Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat and had a bite to eat at Pump in Shoreditch. There will be a post on Pump coming soon!

L xx

All photos my own.

 

 

Today is February 1st – the first day I would have been able to eat animal products after Veganuary. Strangely, my food for today was actually Vegan – Vegan Quorn fajitas with plenty of peppers, mushrooms, lime and coriander rice and home made guacamole, as well as an Alpro Soya chocolate dessert.

Todays choice of meal suggests I was continuing with a Vegan lifestyle. I’m not. In fact, I didn’t even complete Veganuary. It wasn’t actually by choice – I was in hospital in my final week and was advised by my Doctors to at least add dairy back into my diet.

Although I decided pretty much at the start of Veganuary that it wasn’t something I would want to stick to long term, I still thought long and hard before taking my Doctors advice. After all, I had stuck with what was, to me, a life changing diet for almost the goal period, and I was determined to see it through. But my health comes first.

basilico

I understand that a lot of Vegans reading this will dispute the fact that I actually needed to incorporate animal products back into my diet. And I think that in part they are correct – I’m sure there are plenty of ways for knowledgeable Vegans to ensure they are getting the sufficient nutrients. But I was not a knowledgeable Vegan, I was a fussy eater when it came to meat alternatives, and with the stress I was under with my health issues and for practicality reasons it just wasn’t working out. So, knowledgeable Vegans, please bear in mind that you don’t know anything about my medical history and give me kudos for trying, please? I mean, I’m personally pretty shocked and impressed that I lasted as long as I did.

Despite it being a struggle, and it not quite going to plan, I did learn a lot from my time participating in Veganuary, and I’m glad I attempted it. So, I bet you’re dying to know what I learnt, right…?

Quorn isn’t Vegan

Shocker, right? I actually found this out by accident as it seems my local Waitrose is one of few supermarkets stocking specifically labelled Vegan Quorn. Had I not seen one pack labelled as Vegan, I wouldn’t have realised, so it was lucky I guess!

In case you’re wondering, it’s a little mushier than regular Quorn.

quorn

A lot of alcohol isn’t Vegan

Nightmare. Seriously. It isn’t necessarily that they contain animal products as actual ingredients, but has more to do with the manufacturing process. Luckily most spirits are, and some lagers that I like, such as Corona and Peroni. And my favourite, Amstel.

corona

In fact, a lot of things you’d think are Vegan aren’t

What I didn’t realise when taking on Veganuary, was the sheer number of products that animal produce is used in. Veganism cuts out a surprising amount of foods beyond eggs and dairy and requires meticulous reading of supermarket labels.

You don’t need specialist stores

You just need a Waitrose. Or the internet so you can shop online with Ocado. Seriously, they put the rest of the supermarkets to shame (Edited to add: I’m informed that some branches of Tesco/Sainsburys/wherever cater much better to Vegans than the ones I went to, but my point remains the same – you don’t need specialist/health food stores).

Now, it could be argued that Waitrose tailors more to Vegans than the others because it is the choice of the Middle Classes, and Veganism is a bit of a Middle Class phenomenon, but that’s a whole other argument that I don’t want to entertain. But what I will say is…

Eating Vegan (properly) isn’t cheap

If you’re purchasing meat substitutes and specialist Vegan products, it really adds up! But, on the other hand, if you’re a fussy, lazy, uninformed Vegan in the way I was, you’ll likely find yourself eating basics like fruit, veg and rice because you know you can’t mess it up. Which is actually pretty cheap. Cheaper than buying meat anyway.

Eating out is surprisingly easy

It’s funny I think this, as a lot of Vegans I know would disagree, unless it comes to specific Vegan restaurants. But I ate successfully at chains including Wagamama, Nandos, The Diner, Yo Sushi and Chiquitos with no problems.

wagamamavegan

Eating at home was when I struggled, but I think that has a lot to do with my lack of imagination in the kitchen and laziness in analysing lists of ingredients.

nandos

Vegans get dessert too!

And they’re pretty damn good desserts! From jaw dropping donuts (see my post about the San Diego Donut Bar) to delicious cakes and ice creams (posts coming soon!), finding Vegan desserts when eating out really isn’t hard. And at home there are plenty of dairy free options that you don’t need to go to a speciality store for – my favourites are Pudology and Alpro Soya. I’ll post a round up of my favourites soon.

Your taste buds will adapt

I started January hating things like coconut water, and almond milk, and avocado. But they’ve managed to grow on me. But fake cheese and fake chocolate take some getting used to.

Speaking of avocados…

Vegans are obsessed with avocados

I have no idea why. But look at this pretty damn good looking avocado…

avocado

You will need dietary supplements (or could do with, depends on your source)

I didn’t take them which was dumb. So I learnt this the hard way. And to be fair, it probably had more of an impact to me, going from being a heavy meat eater than it would have to a vegetarian. This probably applies less to lifelong Vegans (if at all).

Cutting out a large part of your normal diet might feel like the main challenge, but what I didn’t consider was that the real hard bit is to cut those things out whilst maintaining a nutritious diet. Without meat, you will need plenty of iron, vitamin D and Vitamin B12.

As iron supplements often contain animal products, my research took me to Solgar Gentle Iron, which is completely Vegan, and their vitamin B12 which helps with the formation of healthy red blood cells. Look at me talking about nutrients and science stuff, haha!

Being a Vegan isn’t just about what you eat

While I didn’t give this aspect consideration when I made the decision to participate in Veganuary, I picked up quite early on that I wouldn’t just have to cut animal products out of my diet for the month. I mean, I could have done, but if I’m going to attempt Vegan, I’m going to give it my all. That meant no purchasing animal products, or products tested on animals, and no participating in activities which went against the whole principle. So no San Diego Zoo for me!

I also made sure that the beauty products I purchased in January, even while in the USA (because obviously I hit up Sephora!) were cruelty free. Luckily, my top US brand to purchase, Kat Von D, is pretty much all Vegan!

I actually discovered some great Vegan cosmetic brands, and I’ll be posting about them shortly. SauceBox is a particular favourite, and I’ll be running an awesome Vegan giveaway soon featuring one of their products, so watch this space!batalash

Although it is not my intention to continue with either a Vegetarian or Vegan diet, and my life will return to usual once I have used up all the Vegan food in my cupboards, I will continue to post on Vegan topics. There are restaurants I visited which I’m keen to tell you about, others I’m still yet to visit, there are products I loved which I want to review, and I’m sure I’ll continue to come across them more in everyday life – when I do they can be found in the Veganuary tab on my menu bar.

Although I will continue eating meat, I no longer have the attitude I had before – that a dish without meat is a side dish. And if you recall my original Veganuary post, that is what I was trying to change. What I completed of Veganuary did make me think harder about what I was eating, and it has made me more open to trying new things. Now, I will happily eat out at a specific Vegan or Vegetarian restaurant, which I would have turned my nose up at before.

In fact I had the nicest Vegan noodles in Shoreditch the other day. More of that soon, but here’s a pic to wet your appetite.cookdaily

I’d love to hear from anyone else who participated in Veganuary.

And if you want to read a Veganuary success story, take a look over at Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat‘s post here. Actually, she posts a lot about Vegetarian/Vegan topics, so if that interests you you’ll like her blog!

L xx

All photos my own. Except maybe the pizza pic, I’m not sure, maybe Luisa took it? Either way, she wrote about the pizza in detail here.

So, I’ve left it a little while again since my last catch up, I will get better with these and try to go back to doing them weekly! Although at least I have stuff to write about, so here are some of the things I’ve been up to lately…

San Diego

Obviously, the highlight of my life since my last one of these was my trip to San Diego. I went to visit my friends Ivette and Davis and, erm, to see Tool play again. I’ve been to the USA to see Tool play twice in the last three months (the first time was Monster Mash Festival on Halloween), does that make me a superfan? Whatever, you can read about the Tool gig here.

toolsd1

I’ll no doubt have lots of San Diego posts coming up, since I have so much to say about San Diego (especially the food) but one thing I did while I was there this time, which I’ll mention as often as I possibly can, was my trip to La Jolla Cove to see the sea lions, which you can read about here.

sealions

Another thing I got to experience while out there this time was waiting in line at the DMV, like a true American! And I became a member of the Automobile Club of Southern California. Don’t ask.

Panic! at the Disco

The day after I came back from San Diego I went with friends to see Panic! at the Disco at Brixton Academy. It was okay. The occasional song took me back to my teens, but I knew none of their new stuff. As usual though it was lovely seeing Luisa have a great time, she loves her pop punk!

patd

The Museum of Happiness

Last weekend I spent Sunday with my friend Kat, just a day doing random stuff. We started with the Museum of Happiness at Old Spitalfields Market. Which did not make me happy. The opposite in fact. Which is quite an achievement since I’m usually quite upbeat.

museum

I understand the concept – the intention was to provide an educational and experiential place for people to learn about achieving long term happiness and wellbeing. I guess where it went wrong for me, is that what makes me happy doesn’t quite match up to what makes the people behind the event happy.

Happy times for me are spending time with people I care about, just hanging out with a drink and preferably some live music (are you getting why I like festivals now?) or chilling out doing nothing but enjoy their company. Pretty simple really.

Happy times for the museum organisers seem to involve silent discos (I can’t dance and I don’t like most music you have in silent discos), meditation, jumping in ball pits (okay, I’ll give them that one, ball pits once in a while can be kind of fun), popping bubble wrap, colouring in (I will never understand the current obsession with adult colouring books) and, erm, writing lists of the things that make them happy.

So basically we were working at crossed purposes.

Lumiere London & Metal to the Masses

Sunday evening Kat and I headed to Kings Cross to check out some of Lumiere. It was packed, we didn’t see much and we basically gave up quite early on. If you are interested in Lumiere, take a look at my Blogger BFF Luisa-Christie’s post here. She went on the Thursday and saw a lot more than we did!

I’ve stolen her photo of the fish tank phone box, because it’s my favourite of the installations I’ve seen…

Photo from www.eatsleepluisarepeat.co.uk

We had originally planned to go to the Bloodstock Metal to the Masses night at nearby Nambucca, but gave up on the idea when our friend who suggested it couldn’t make it. But since Lumiere was a bit of a cop out, we decided to give it a go.

If you haven’t heard of Metal to the Masses, it’s a battle of the bands type competition, with the winners getting to play at Bloodstock Festival. It’s regional, and I used to go to the Midlands ones. Turns out the London one is, surprisingly, much less of an event. We missed the first band, but quite enjoyed Bearfist when they played. I’m not going to talk about M2TM much because I wasn’t as attentive to the bands as I usually would have been.

Triaxis & Metaprism 

Friday just gone I went to Boston Music Room in Tufnell Park to see my friends in Triaxis play their final gig with their current line up, as Clare and Giles are leaving the band to focus on other things. It was a little bit emotional, and I’m a little sad as Triaxis have been around and on my radar for so many years now, I’m always seeing them at gigs and festivals, and I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Clare and Krissie. But hopefully now they won’t be playing I might have a chance to spend more time with them, so silver linings and all that.

triaxis

Metaprism opened for them (although I should mention that Pythia were the nights headliners, although I didn’t watch them). They weren’t bad. Very enthusiastic.

So that was basically everything worth mentioning since last time. I have a crazy amount coming up this week, so will have lots to say come next Sunday…

L xx

All photos my own unless stated otherwise.

So, my first Sunday Summary of 2016! And, erm, it’s not a very good one because I haven’t really done much this week haha! But there won’t be a Sunday Summary next week (10th January) because I’ll be travelling back from San Diego, so I wanted to check in.

Disney On Ice

This was basically the highlight of my week – Disney On Ice at The O2 with my lovely friend SJ.

Before the show we ate from the bargain £12.95 2 course menu at Busaba Eathai which I really enjoyed – I’ve never been to a Busaba Eathai before, which is surprising as I love thai food and they’re everywhere.

I hadn’t been sure what to expect from the show but I really enjoyed it! It was really cute and featured performances from Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, Frozen and Cars, as well as appearances by Minnie, Mickey, Donald and a few others.

mickeyminnie

Quite predictably, my favourite were The Little Mermaid and Frozen!

frozenonice

The amount of merch on offer was crazy! Nothing seemed really branded ‘Disney On Ice’, it was more toys focused around the Disney characters featured in the show.

sjtoys

SJ did treat me to this awesome Ariel cup filled with the most difficult to eat slush ever though!

arielcup

The slush cups came in a choice of Ariel, Frozen (Ana one side, Elsa the other) and Olaf. I loved how the Olaf one looked a bit like you’re eating his brain!

olafcup

I’m definitely going to be taking my niece when the show comes back to London in Spring for their Silver Anniversary Celebration at Wembley Arena! You can book tickets here.

New Years Eve

Now, you might be surprised to hear (since people generally are!) that I did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on New Years Eve. Both myself and my dog, Moose, are scared of fireworks so I spent the evening in bed watching movies and getting doggy cuddles. I also had a bottle of bourbon. It was actully pretty perfect.

Here’s a New Years Eve selfie, for you, haha!

bedselfie

How awesome is my Grill Em All tshirt though? Which reminds me, I still need to write a review post about that place. Because it was AWESOME.

Veganuary

So with January 1st came Veganuary. I did a big post about this on the day so I won’t babble on about it again. Basically, I’m going vegan for a month. Check back on 1st February to see how it went!

veganuary

Well, that’s all from me for a bit – my next summary post will be on Sunday 17th January.

L xx

All photos my own.

Is it kind of funny that I’m writing this the day after a post which had raw meat as its featured image? In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m quite a meat eater. My idea of a perfect meal is a bloody blue steak or a perfectly pink in the middle burger.

So, as the reactions of friends who I’ve so far told about my new venture have reinforced, I’m pretty much the last person you’d expect to cut meat out of their diet. And not only am I cutting out meat, but also dairy, eggs and other animal products. Yep, you read that right, I’m going Vegan.

At least for January. I’m taking on the personal challenge of participating in Veganuary.

veganuary

I first came across Veganuary back in October when I attended Vegfest London with Luisa of Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat (she actually wrote an awesome blog post on the event here which is well worth a read) where I spoke to the founders, signed up and was given a cute wristband.

So what exactly is Veganuary?

Launched last January (2014), Veganuary is a non-profit global campaign with the goal to change public attitudes toward veganism by encouraging people to try Vegan for the month of January, while providing support to those transitioning to a plant based diet.

January was chosen as it’s generally seen as a time for resolutions and new beginnings. And I suspect it must have been a little factor that the portmanteau doesn’t work as well for any other month!

Why am I doing it?

I’ll be honest – it isn’t about the animals for me (not that I don’t love animals, I mean, who doesn’t?). A lot of people are doing the Dryathlon this month, I did contemplate that, but realistically Veganuary is more of a challenge for me. And I like a challenge.

My current diet consists heavily of meat, alcohol and junk food. I eat out or get takeaways constantly and rarely think about the impact what I put in my mouth will have on my health. I’m not saying that meat and animal products are unhealthy, and it isn’t my intention to cut them out long term (but who knows, by the end of January that might change!) but I think that participating in Veganuary will help change my attitude toward food, and have a knock on effect on my health.

I’ve always considered a dish without meat to be a side dish – I want to change that attitude, and also to eat more fruit, vegetables, grains etc as my diet is seriously lacking in them. I may also actually give cooking a go! Although I doubt you’ll see any recipe posts or cooking tips from me anytime soon!

And maybe, just maybe, I might lose a few of the lb I’ve piled on lately, haha!

What will be my main struggles?

Without a doubt, my upcoming long weekend in San Diego will be the most difficult few days. Not only am I going to the USA where I usually love to indulge in all the super sized unhealthy foods they do so well, but I won’t have cooking facilities and have less of an idea as to what my options eating out will be. I also have several hours between flights early morning at JFK Airport. For medical reasons I won’t be able to not eat a meal during that period and don’t know what will be open.

I have prepared myself for slip ups, whether intentional or not, while I’m over there. If that happens I will at least be eating a vegetarian diet for those four days, and will extend Veganuary by a further week at the beginning of February to compensate. That may sound like a cop out, but I’m being realistic, and it’s better to have a plan if it happens than to just give up on the whole thing if I hit an obstacle.

Foodwise, I think that cutting out eggs will be the hardest. Not only am I a massive fan of eggs, but they’re a hidden food in so many things.

I also hate seitan and vegan cheese which I discovered at Vegfest. Oh, that reminds me, at Vegfest I did have this delicious vegan pad thai and fresh lemonade…

vegfest

How will this affect Girl At The Rock Show?

It won’t really. I know my readers have come to expect a certain type of content (meat heavy!) and I have plenty purposely stored up to keep you reading!

I’m not going to go on about the benefits of veganism here because quite frankly it’d be hypocritical and I don’t know enough on the subject yet! In fact, don’t expect that kind of content on my blog – my focus in my posts about Veganuary will be my own experiences. Maybe a food diary, or some restaurant reviews, and of course a round up at the end as to how it went.

If you want to know more about Veganuary or Veganism, take a look at the Veganuary site – it’s got a ton of helpful information whether you’re an established vegan or know nothing on the subject at all (like me!).

But overall, I hope that this will help make my blog a little more well rounded and also attract some new readers!

So what did I eat on my first day as a Vegan?

I think I’ve done pretty well really. I had half a pink grapefruit for breakfast. I haven’t had grapefruit for years, it was good.

At lunchtime I went to Wagamama with a friend. Wagamama seems to be a really good choice of chain for vegans, as there are a few vegan options already but also ingredients can easily be substituted.

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I went for the Yasai Yaki Soba (soba noodles with mushrooms, other vegetables, egg, peppers, beansprouts, white and spring onions. garnished with fried shallots, pickled ginger and sesame seeds) for my main course. But I asked for no egg and because the soba noodles contain egg I substituted those for udon noodles (which are my favourite anyway).

On the side I had the Wok-fried Greens (tender stem broccoli and bok choi, stir-fried in a garlic and soy sauce) which were DELICIOUS. And I tried one of the new raw juices, Blueberry Spice (blueberry, apple and carrot with a taste of ginger).

It was a good meal – tasty and satisfying.

And later I snacked on cherries and a Nakd Cashew Cookie Bar (I bought a load of Nakd bars and nibbles at Vegfest!).

So, stay tuned to see how I get on! I’d love to hear any vegan tips people may have, or from anyone who is also doing Veganuary!

L xx

All photos my own.

Psst… apologies to anyone vegan/vegetarian reading this post who may not like to see meat – I suspect the ‘you may also enjoy’ feature of my blog below the main post may suggest meat based posts, unfortunately I can’t control what it displays.

Yes, I know, I skipped a week! But it’s been a bit of a busy fortnight so I’ve been a bit slack on my blogging – I’ve had my birthday, a trip to Paris, Christmas… But the main reason I’ve been a bit quiet is that I’ve focused on a few job interviews I’ve had (and yes, they went well!). So here are a few things I got up to over the last fortnight…

Le Bun Brunch at The Zetter

To be honest, it’s a small miracle that I haven’t yet posted about Le Bun since, in my humble opinion, they’re the most exciting thing on the London food scene (okay, I may have given them a little mention in my post about National Burger Day, but trust me, they deserve a post all of their own!).

I make a point of visiting Le Bun at their every venture, and I was extra specially excited to visit their residency at The Zetter in Clerkenwell for brunch, to try their Bloody Mary with cheeseburger garnish after I saw pictures of it on social media. So on Sunday 13th myself and a date went for an early brunch (followed by some drinks at the new Brewdog nearby). It did not disappoint.

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I ate so much – after starting with the Bloody Mary, I had their delicious Truffles & Waffles (I’ve eaten a mini version of this before, it’s one of my favourite street food dishes – so I couldn’t resist a full sized version!). I also ‘shared’ (by shared I mean I ordered it ‘to share’ but ate it myself) an avocado benedict.

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If you get a chance to try Le Bun do it! They currently have a burger van at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park until January 4th.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and The Bronx at Brooklyn Bowl

This is actually the first gig I’ve been to at Brooklyn Bowl (inside the O2 in Greenwich) and it’s now one of my favourite venues! We had a meal in their diner pre-gig, which was a bit of a waste of time as they also catered the VIP area for the show, so I really had my fill of their (delicious) French bread pizza.

Anyway, it was a really great evening – I’m a big fan of Frank Carter and his various ventures (except Pure Love, they really weren’t my thing) and this was my first time seeing him with The Rattlesnakes.

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And The Bronx are one of my favourite live acts. It was also great to catch up with a couple of old friends.

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Winter Wonderland

Every year I visit Winter Wonderland on the Friday afternoon before Christmas, it’s been a tradition for as long as I can remember.

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I was actually really pleased to see that Winter Wonderland was a little less commercial than the past couple of years – it started to get a lot of stands for larger brands to just give out non Christmassy samples and promotions. This year it seemed to have a bit more of a German Christmas market feel again, although there were still a lot of fairground rides.

Look how pretty Hyde Park looks…

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The Bavarian Village is predictably my favourite bit – I’m not sure why there was a giant with a bird there this year? Given my heritage, if it’s a Bavarian thing I really should know, so if anyone can enlighten me…?

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I actually popped back to Winter Wonderland on the Saturday too, with Luisa (Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat) where she purchased (without me knowing at the time) some beautiful red rose lights for my Christmas gift. We ate pretzels and drank cider before heading back to hers to exchange gifts with the other (non-blogger) member of our friendship trio, Georgia.

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Yelp’s Festive Afternoon Tea at Ma’ Plucker

Before meeting Luisa to go to Winter Wonderland on Saturday 19th, I went along to Ma’Plucker in Soho to have a festive afternoon tea with the guys from Yelp. I’ve really got into Yelping lately – it’s so much more than just a review site. I strongly recommend checking out their events, as they have some really cool stuff on – like this afternoon tea, which was complimentary.

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I had such a great time and will be giving a full review shortly, but you can have a little preview on the Yelp site if you’re interested! If you’re on Yelp, or want to join, feel free to add me as a friend – you can find my profile here.

The Glam Clam

It was a busy Saturday! In the evening I was fortunate to have been a guest of Design My Night for an evening at The Glam Clam – a pop up jazz club and drag cabaret in Tufnell Park, with a dinner menu by Gizzi Erskine. It was pretty special and you can read more about it here.glamclam

Birthday Lunch at BoxPark

Sunday 20th December was my 28th birthday. As it’s so close to Christmas I never do anything for my birthday – this year I just had a quiet lunch at BoxPark in Shoreditch. We had a couple of vegetarians/vegans with us, so the layout of BoxPark made it really easy to keep everyone happy!

I had a festive pizza from Voodoo Rays,  with pigs in blankets on!

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Paris

Obviously, I’ll post about my three day mini holiday to Paris seperately, but for now just know I went, okay!

How awesome is this Disney toy tree at St Pancras…?

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Christmas

Christmas is a tricky time of year for me, as I have pretty much no family, and this year I’m single at Christmas. But, for the second year in a row, I volunteered on Christmas Day for the Rotary Club, serving Christmas dinner to the elderly at Battersea Evolution.

You won’t see any haul posts from me – I don’t really have anyone to give me gifts, although, as I mentioned above, myself, Luisa and Georgia did exchange them this year. It’s cool though, believe it or not I’m not a very materialistic person, and I find volunteering at Christmas really rewarding.

So that’s my life lately, sorry it was such a long post, but it was a fortnights worth! I’m sorry I haven’t updated the blog much recently – I mentioned earlier that I had a couple of job interviews. Well, I was successful in both, and have been offered a new opportunity by my current employer, so I’ve been focusing my thoughts on making the correct career choice. I think I’m finally almost at a decision!

I hope my readers have had a lovely festive period (yes, I know, it isn’t quite over yet!) and I will be making more of an effort to blog regularly for 2016, I promise! I already have some cool things lined up, including a January trip to San Diego so watch this space!

L xx

All photos my own.