8 Vegan options from Pret A Manger you can pick up for lunch

Pret A Manger has a tasty new menu with a wider range for vegetarians and vegans after a high demand. With many people vowing to go Vegan as a New Year’s Resolution, not to mention the millions that already exist, I’ve picked out eight delicious Pret-A-Manger vegan dishes for you to try and even pick up for your lunch break.

Pret’s Coconut Porridge – £2.65

Contains gluten-free jumbo oats, red quinoa, coconut milk and coconut water. A naturally good start to your day. Also dairy free.

Pret’s Greens & Grains Soup – £3.45

Contains spinach, petit pois, onion, broccoli, leek, cavolo nero, garlic, brown rice coconut cream, quinoa, buckwheat pumpkin seeds, rapeseed oil, quinoa, vegetable, bouillon, salt, basil, lemon zest and black pepper. A vibrant soup packed with goodness and is also free of gluten and dairy.

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Charity Corner: ASH Wales

Welcome back to Charity Corner. This is my new series where I will be using my blog as a platform to lend a voice to different charities and organisations of all sizes, backgrounds and causes. Today’s Charity Corner, I speak to Emily Cole, the Digital Communications and PR Officer at ASH Wales, a charity which aims to confront the deleterious caused by smoking.

What is the mission of Ash Wales?

ASH Wales is the only organisation in Wales whose sole focus is tackling the harms of smoking. We help make new laws, we run campaigns to educate adults and we work with lots of young people to help them quit smoking or to not even start in the first place. We’re not just ASH Wales though… we also run a youth project called The Filter Wales  and an online community for adults to quit smoking, Smokefree Me.

What’s the story behind the creation of your charity?

Back in the 1970s when ASH first started here in Wales, most people were only just learning about how bad smoking really was for us. 46% of the UK’s residents smoked back in the 70s too, so that’s where we came in – to teach people about the harms of tobacco and to support them to kick the deadly habit.

What outcomes has ASH Wales seen through its work?

From when we launched in 1976 to now there’s been 400,000 less smokers in Wales – that’s something big to be proud of. Most recently, we launched our youth project called The Filter, back in 2012. Since then we’ve worked with thousands of Wales’ young people and smoking rates among teenagers has continued to decrease from around 13% to 9% in just 5 of years – that’s a huge leap.

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Cardiff Women March in Solidarity Against Trump’s Presidency

Saturday 21st January saw the world unite as they protested Donald Trump’s inauguration. The UK, along with the rest of the world, saw thousands of people across the country getting involved to express their rights and show support to America’s Anti-Trump campaign. Cardiff, the capital of Wales, were no different. Within 24 hours of Trump being sworn into Presidency, Cardiff was one of the many countries to march through their city centre in protest. The march was hosted by Welsh organisers Cardiff Sisters of Solidarity’s Gwenno Dafydd and Claudia Boes.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the event due to illness, but some amazing members of the Cardiff Feminist Network were more than willing to share their experience of the powerful event. Feminist, Sam, shared with me the experience from a participant’s point of view. 

 

 

I marched against Trump because his rhetoric makes me feel unsafe. It’s not just his misogyny.  He has admitted sexual assault  people still voted for him.  He has encouraged hatred of muslims and people of colour, my partner is muslim and a p.o.c.  He has said that vaccines cause autism – as if autism is something to be feared.  My child is autistic and it’s frustrating to hear these old myths resurface after being disproven many times.  I also marched in solidarity with anyone else who has now been made more vulnerable.

I had taken a break from activism because I had really felt that there was no point.  I have seen my country turn from a place that I felt it was OK to be different  – to a place that’s increasingly racist, insular ignorant and nasty, with no sign of things improving.  With Trump in the Whitehouse and the influence that the US has over the rest of the world I didn’t see it getting better any soon, I wondered what the point was in fighting.
I arrived at the Nye Bevan statue at 1 pm and I was amazed at the number of people who gathered there. I have been to many protests in Cardiff and I have never seen such a huge turn out.

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Celebrity Bargain Buy: Ally Brooke #2

Welcome back to ‘Celebrity Bargain Buy’, where I’ll be sharing with you some fashion pieces worn by celebrities which are available for an affordable price.

Today’s piece is a dress as worn by Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brooke which she wore on the red carpet of the People’s Choice Awards 2017.

I am absolutely loving the colour of this dress Ally wore and think it looks absolutely gorgeous on her. You can get this dress from  Pretty Little Thing for just £30! Red carpet pieces at high street prices; you can’t go wrong!

Are you feeling this dress? How would you style it? Leave a comment below and check back soon for more ‘Celebrity Bargain Buy’.

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2017’s most anticipated album releases to get excited for

2016 had a lot of great albums, including Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Little Mix’s Glory Days, so 2017 has a lot to contend with. There’s undoubtedly a lot of competition for what will be this year’s biggest and best album, so here’s a list of the 2017’s most anticipated albums that are in the pipeline so far…

Ed Sheeran

Ed made his return this new year and everyone is rejoicing. Having made a comeback with not one, but two new singles, it’s no surprise that his third album, Divide, is currently number one on the Bestselling Pre-Orders on iTunes. The album is due to drop on 3rd March.

Katy Perry

It’s been over three years since the release of Prism but from what she’s posting on social media, it looks as if the final touches of Katy’s fourth album are being put into place. She’s been collabing with Sia, Rudimental and DJ Locksmith to name a few, though it’s unconfirmed as to whether or not these collaborations will make the final cut.

Hey Violet

One of the artists mentioned in my “Ones To Watch” post, 5 Seconds of Summer’s apprentice band are gearing up to release their debut album in the spring of this year. Having being signed to the Aussie pop-punk’s own label in 2015, the LA based band have toured twice with 5SOS as well as headlining their own European tour back in 2015. The album has been confirmed via the band’s management’s website.

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Face of a Catfish

The Unwitting (or unwilling) Face of a Catfish

I recently spoke with you about the Catfish phenomenon and how it can have an impact on the victims. But it’s not only the people who swim into the Catfish net that get affected. My friend Kristy, from Florida, uploaded a number of photos as a teenager online of herself. Little did she know she was going to become a Goldmine for fictitious personas. I spoke to her about her experiences with being the face of a Catfish on multiple occasions to see what it’s like to be a victim from another angle.

Hey Kristy! Your pictures tend to get used a lot for Catfish profiles, which is crazy. When was the first time you noticed this was happening?

I noticed it happening a lot when I was 14 years old. I didn’t think anything of it then but it’s been ten years and it’s still happening, which is crazy.

A lot of your photos can be typed in by using your old username – where was the first initial place people would find your photos?

I had put them on a site that I was obsessed with growing up, called Polyvore.

You’re aware of the whole ‘Catfish’ phenomenon – was it before or after the MTV show first started airing that people would use your photos as their own to claim to be a false persona?

I believe Catfish has been around for a few years, I’m not sure. People have been using my pictures as their own for almost ten years, it has died down recently though I still get a few stragglers.

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Treat yourself this Valentine’s Day with the LUSH Valentine’s range

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and whether you celebrate it or not, there’s always some great products on sale. The best ones? They can be found in the LUSH Valentine’s Day range, if you ask me.

LUSH are back soon after Christmas with their brand new Valentine’s Day range for 2017. With the return of some much loved products and a few new ones making their debut, there’s much to choose from this year, be it for your partner or even yourself. I’ve picked out some of the best bits from the 2017 range for you to have a gander at…

LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 LUSH Valentine's Day 2017

Out of the above, I’d really recommend the Unicorn Horn, which is a classic favourite amongst Lushies along with the Lover Lamp. Both make for a gorgeous bath with luscious lavender oil in the Unicorn Horn and Brazilian orange oil with organic cocoa butter in the Lover Lamp.

If you’re looking for pampering perfection this Valentine’s Day, then I definitely recommend getting to your local LUSH store or ordering online.

Are you a fan of LUSH? What do you have your eye on from this collection?

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Review: Shadow Switch Dry Brush Cleaner

I’m lazy. Fact. I’m not afraid to admit it, either. I’m always on the lookout for things that can minimize any kind of chore. So, when I found the Shadow Switch Dry Brush Cleaner by Beauty Essentials online which was being raved about by beauty gurus, I felt like I had found what I’ve been looking for. If you’re like me and find cleaning your make-up brushes a pain in the arse (but still do it because you do not want that bacteria build up. Ugh.), then we can rejoice with this little beauty…

To sit at a sink for ages to clean your brushes, then wait for them to try and all that nonsense, is really time consuming and I could be doing other things (like writing a blog post, or binging on some sort of show or YouTube series… important stuff) but this is where all our troubles are washed (or dried?) away.

The Shadow Switch Dry Brush Cleaner is a little sponge which comes in a tin to use. The instructions on the back state:

ONE SIMPLE STEP. After using one colour, simply glide your eyeshadow brush around in the black sponge in a clockwise motion to remove the colour and continue applying your eye makeup using the same brush.

 

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Why the ‘TRIGGERED’ meme needs to stay in 2016

Memes can be fun and really be a great ‘inside joke’ to social media users, but sometimes the internet does take it a step too far, which is why I’ve decided to discuss one of 2016’s biggest meme trends; the ‘triggered meme’.

For those who don’t know what memes are, Google describes it as “an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.” If you are a social media user, such as myself, there’s a very high chance you’ve seen one in your time online. There’s no harm in having a joke and a laugh, but when it comes at price of people being hurt, that’s when it needs to stop.

Here’s an example of the ‘triggered’ meme…

What participants of the joke telling (mostly millennials from what I have seen) have vastly ignored or overlooked the actual meaning of “trigger” and why it’s actually not funny at all.

‘Triggered’ is in fact a legitimate psychological term in which refers to emotions that surface in response to stimulation which brings up a traumatic past experience. Trigger warnings (also known as content warnings) are particularly placed on the internet ahead of content which may be of a explicit nature or that could contain potential triggers for people with past trauma.

Although not always, more often than not triggers happen to people who have PTSD. For some people, a trigger can be identified with past traumatic experiences and therefore they are able to pinpoint why they are triggered. For others, it’s a total mystery.  Despite the cause of triggers, those who experience them tend to recognise patterns within the kids of things which trigger them over time. I’ve definitely had (and still have) some things which can trigger me and cause a panic attack.

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Charity Corner

Charity Corner: Help Harry Help Others

It’s a new year and I’ve decided to create a new series. Different to other series that I work on, ‘Charity Corner’ is where I will be using my blog as a platform to lend a voice to different charities and organisations of all sizes, backgrounds and causes. There are so many in existence and while some are lucky to have the privilege to advertise nation-wide or even internationally, there are also so many smaller causes but equally as important that deserve the chance to spread the word of their actions.For the very first Charity Corner, I’ve spoken to Georgie Moseley, founder of Help Harry Help Others, a charity who aims to fund vital brain tumor research.

What is the mission of your charity?

Our mission is simple. To ultimately find a cure for brain cancer, We offer grants to families suffering financial hardship directly as a result of a cancer diagnosis. We also offer adults and children with any type of Cancer any support that is needed outside of cancer treatment- all from under one roof.

In a ‘home-from-home’ environment, we offer time, understanding, empathy, advice, as well as social activities.

We strongly believe that no one should face cancer alone, or feel isolated. We offer accessible support in the community to adults and children affected by any type of cancer. No referrals are required – we are here to help!

What’s the story behind the creation of ‘Help Harry Help Others’? 

My son, Harry, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in 2007.  In 2009 after undergoing intensive radiotherapy Harry met a fellow patient (Robert Harley who was 55 years old). When Harry heard his friend was deteriorating, he had a vision, a vision to help all those with affected by cancer following him seeing a fellow patient deteriorate.  With a brain tumour himself, my incredible boy raised over £750,00 for good causes via his famous bracelet making idea until he passed away in 2011, aged eleven.

Due to the impact that cancer had on our family, I saw gaps for areas of support and decided that I needed to continue with Harry’s great work and ensure other families had the support they needed. Therefore, in 2012, I established HelpHarryHelpOthers, a unique local cancer charity servicing those affected by cancer. Then in 2015 we also opened the Birmingham drop In Cancer Support centre which,  in a ‘home from home’ environment offers every inch of support outside of treatment from under one roof.

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