Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Increasing Productivity With MYnd Map MY Journal*.

My General Life - MYnd Map MY Journal

Productivity is something I have been trying to perfect for a long time. You see, I'm the Queen of procrastination. That coupled with a reasonably short attention span means that I find it so hard to actually sit, focus and get things done, particularly when I'm not under pressure to do so.

I think that's one of the reasons why I find it so hard to be consistent with my blog, because the pressure is self imposed and therefore it's easy to be distracted by something else and just not do it. When I have external pressure, for example at work, I can be super productive and get so much done, but outside of this not so much. Not that I don't do anything, but it's more done at my own leisurely pace when my own self imposed pressure leads me to feel the need to do it now.

Needless to say, this is something I want to change. I really want to create more and find ways to feel more productive in relation to this little outlet of mine without it significantly impacting on my life balance.

Life balance is something I really value, I mean there's a whole blog post that could be written on life balance alone, but in terms of productivity and increasing my ability to engage in the creative process of this blog (and other things) it's an important consideration.

So how does one go about increasing productivity whilst promoting life balance? Well one method that I'm currently trying out is the MYnd Map MY Journal*.

My General Life - MYnd Map MY Journal


As I'm sure you're aware if you've read this blog for a little while, I've tried using bullet journalling to help plan my time, however, I found that after a while the act of having to set up each day became slightly arduous and if I'm honest detracted from my productivity. I found I was wanting to spend so long making my journal look pretty that it meant I had less time to actually plan and execute my tasks.

MY Journal is already planned out for you, which for me makes it a more usable journal. It also draws on principles from positive psychology, affirmations, goal setting, visualisation, gratitude and colour therapy. It encourages you to think about what you really want from life and how and why you intend to get there. It then helps you focus in on your goals through setting weekly intentions that help you strive towards living your best life.

MY Journal has a timeline spread for each day so that you can structure and plan your time more effectively. I can totally see the positives in this, but for me personally, I spend such a large chunk of my day at work and the subsequent travel time that this feels a bit like wasted space as I wouldn't use this journal to plan my work time. However, I love that it encourages you to think of your daily focus, actions and what you're grateful for, along with providing a daily affirmation and a colouring/doodle space. Each week also has a recap that allows you to rate how happy you feel your week was and why. Reflection is a really useful tool for self-development and is something that I try to do regularly although I'm not so good at actually writing this down, so having a dedicated reflective space in my planner is definitely a win for me.

My General Life - MYnd Map MY Journal

Overall, I can really appreciate the hard work, research and positivity that has gone in to producing the MY Journal. It's definitely helping me to focus on what's really important, what I want my best life to look like and how I'm going to work towards this. It's also aiding in promoting a positive mindset, which is always welcome if you ask me. The version I have is a prototype, however, if you fancy giving the MYnd Map MY Journal a try for 21 days, you can sign up and download a FREE PDF version of the journal on their website just here. If it's something that interests you, then you can also help fund the production of the MYnd Map MY Journal through their Kickstarter campaign. 

What's your favourite way to journal for maximum productivity? I'd love to hear your thoughts either in the comments below, or why not drop me a tweet @mygenerallife.

While you're here, why not check out my previous post: Easter Treats With Indigo Herbs* [VEGAN]

 Did you know that you can follow My General Life on all these platforms?

* Products parked with * were sent for review purposes, however, as always all thoughts are my own*

Friday, 7 April 2017

Easter Treats With Indigo Herbs* [VEGAN].

My General Life - Easter Treat - Vegan

In the spirit of Easter, Indigo Herbs recently asked me if I could whip up some chocolatey treats with some of their goodies. I'm not one to say no to chocolate so naturally I was immediately on board.

I chose to try out their Chocolate Starter Kit*, which comes with virtually everything one needs to create your own chocolate treats, including organic cacao butter, organic cacao powder,  organic raw agave syrup and organic raw vanilla powder. The only thing the kit didn't come with was a mould, but honestly you could use cupcake cases or even ice cube trays. Or you could spend a little extra and pick up the Easter Chocolate Making Kit which comes with Easter themed moulds.

I decided that rather that just following the recipe for plain chocolate, I'd split the ingredients and try my hand at creating some vegan friendly white chocolate. I've not eaten white chocolate since going vegan so I was intrigued to see how this would turn out - I have to say I'm fairly impressed. It's no Milky Bar but it's still deliciously creamy and makes for a nice change from my usual dark chocolate.

My General Life - Easter Treat - Vegan

I also decided to try my hand at creating a couple of different filling options, because who doesn't love a filled chocolate? I put together some salted caramel sauce along with a sticky matcha-pumpkin filling - both are pretty simple to put together and add a nice contrast of textures and flavours to the chocolate treats.

Overall, I found the chocolate kit really self-explanatory to use. It took around 10-15 minutes to put the chocolate recipe together and I find the possibilities of what could do with this kit quite exciting - you could make filled chocolates like I did or even take a stab at bars, cups or shapes. Anyway, less of the talking - let's get to the recipes (FYI, I've not included the plan chocolate recipe as that's included as part of the kit).

VEGAN WHITE CHOCOLATE:
makes approximately 12 small filled chocolates

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
50g cacao butter
20g vegetable shortening (Trex) / coconut oil
1.5g raw vanilla powder (1/2 sachet provided in the kit)
50g icing sugar (sifted)

WHAT TO DO:
Set up a bain marie and place the cacao butter and vegetable shortening/coconut oil in a bowl over the hot water.
Melt the cacao butter and shortening/oil together until fully melted and combined.
Stir in the vanilla powder and sifted icing sugar.
To make a filled chocolate treat, spoon a small amount into your chosen mould and leave to harden in the freezer for 5 minutes. 
Add a small amount of filling and then spoon more of the chocolate mixture over the top to seal.
Allow to fully harden before turning out.


SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE:

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
5 tbsp coconut sugar
5 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extra
75ml coconut milk (from a carton not a tin - I use Koko)

WHAT TO DO:
Place the sugar, water, vanilla extract and salt in a pan and heat until the sugar has melted and the mix has reduced slightly (approx 5-10 minutes)
Add the coconut milk and stir thoroughly. Leave to gently heat for 3-5 more minutes until thickened.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool before using.

My General Life - Easter Treat - Vegan


STICKY MATCHA-POWER SAUCE:

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
50g dates (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to soften, save 2-3 tbsp of the liquid)
1 tbsp pumpkin seed butter
1 tsp matcha powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

WHAT TO DO:
After soaking the dates, place them in a food processor with 2-3 tbsp of the soaking water.
Blend until they begin to form a smooth texture.
Add the pumpkin seed butter, matcha powder and vanilla extract and blend further until fully smooth.

FYI this makes a rather large amount, however, it's lovely in porridge, just sayin!

My General Life - Easter Treat - Vegan

Along with the fillings I created above, I also found that slightly sweetened crunchy peanut butter and Sweet Freedom chocolate spread made for amazing fillings - so if you wanted to make these as an Easter gift you could easily create lots of variety for minimal effort (which is always winning in my eyes!).

And what would life be without an Obi outtake? 

My General Life - Easter Treat - Vegan

I'd love to know what you'd create with your own chocolate kit? Please feel free to leave your thoughts either in the comments below, or drop me a tweet @mygenerallife.

While you're here, why not check out my previous post: Because I'm Vegan.

Did you know that you can follow My General Life on all these platforms?


* Products parked with * were sent for review purposes, however, as always all thoughts are my own*

Monday, 20 March 2017

Because I'm Vegan.



Because I'm vegan I decide every day, every meal, to put my own ethical and moral beliefs about animal agriculture and the way animals are treated above something that tastes or looks good. No amount of tasting or looking good is worth animal suffering, in my eyes. 

The way animals are treated in order for us to eat them or wear them genuinely makes my heart hurt. We wouldn't dream of treating cats or dogs in that manner, in fact it's a criminal act to do so. It's such a double standard that because a cow is a cow, a pig is a pig and a lamb is a lamb, society says it's OK to rape, torture and mutilate them. If you ask me it's totally backwards and looking back now I find it hard to fathom how I thought it was OK for the first 25 years of my life. How I didn't question the morality of it more. You see at the time, I thought I had questioned the morality of it and that I was OK with it. But the thing is I wasn't really questioning the morality. I didn't really see what was happening. I didn't really hear what was happening. I thought I did but now I know that I really, really didn't.

For me, as I've said before, it was Vegucated that lit the first spark. Vegucated made me really see the suffering for the first time. And just like that I was vegetarian. Literally just like that. I opened my mind and let it in and I knew from that point that I just couldn't be a part of it anymore. 

Even as a vegetarian I had maintained that I could never go vegan. But hey, I was a hard and fast carnivore that dropped meat overnight, stranger things have happened. And they did, because I decided to just try veganism for Veganuary. I was just going to try it, with the thought that if it didn't really impact on my life then I would stay vegan, because if it didn't impact on my life then there was really no excuse not to stay vegan. 

AND HEY GUESS WHAT?! It didn't really impact on my life! What a turn up for the books. So that was it, all my excuses for why I still chomped on chicken periods and cow lactation gone. I couldn't see any more reasons not to be vegan. I couldn't stand with society in saying that it was OK anymore. And honestly, I'm am SO PROUD to be vegan. I'm so proud that I stick by what I believe in. I'm so proud that I make a positive choice not just for the animals, but for myself and for the planet every damn day. 

By nature, I'm not really an activist. I'm not the type of person to stand on a street corner and shout about why you should be vegan (yet, again stranger things have happened). It's far easier for me to type this out than to talk it out. And so, for me, this is my way of sharing my thoughts and feelings with the world. 

However, please let it be known that just because I'm vegan, it doesn't mean that I feel my views and my thoughts and feelings are superior to yours. We are all capable of making up our own mind and making our own choices and I'm cool with that. I have no intent to be "preachy", but if my talking about veganism bothers you I think you need to reconsider why you feel so offended by it. I'm not going to apologise if it makes you feel uncomfortable, because that's your feeling so you need to own it find out why that is. I just want to encourage you to really see before you make your choice.

If anyone who reads this is interested in veganism or even just reducing the amount of animal products that you consume then there are a huge range of resources out there. Some of the films/videos I've found helpful are Vegucated, Forks Over Knives, Dairy Is Scary (warning, this is pretty traumatic however definitely highlights the very harsh reality of the dairy industry), Cowspiracy and the brand new vegan mockumentary Carnage. Many of these films are available to watch for free via Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Youtube and I'm sure there are many, many more out there. 

Because I'm vegan I'm standing up for animals and saying it's not OK to abuse them for our benefit. Because I'm vegan I feel that I am helping to make a difference. Choose love. Choose compassion. 


#becauseimvegan



Tuesday, 14 March 2017

RECIPE | Unicorn Cupcakes [VEGAN].


My General Life - Unicorn Cupcakes Vegan

I'm pretty certain that if you make anything pastel coloured and name it after the great mythical creature that is the unicorn, it becomes infinitely cooler. Now, in my eyes, cake is pretty cool already, however, stick some multi-coloured, pastelised icing on there as an ode a unicorn and you've got some seriously next level shit. So next level that I fear it would be cruel of me to not share this with the world. 

For the cupcakes, I used a good ol' vanilla sponge base, you can make this coloured to add to the badass unicorn theme, however, make sure you use a colouring that is bake stable (most off-the-shelf liquids aren't) and if you're going to use pink or purple, watch out for that sneaky E120 if you want to keep it vegan. 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
(makes approx 12 large cupcakes)

Cupcakes:
♥ 220g self raising flour
♥ 200g caster sugar
♥ 200ml plant milk ( I use soy)
♥ 20ml cider vinegar
♥ 80ml oil
♥ 1/4 tsp baking powder
♥ 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
♥ 1/4 tsp salt
♥ 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Icing:
♥ 50g vegan margarine
♥ 50g vegetable shortening (I use Trex)
♥ 600g icing sugar (sifted)
♥ 1 tbsp vanilla extract
♥ plant milk (enough to get your desired texture)
♥ liquid/gel food colouring (I used red, blue, yellow and purple)

You will also need sandwich bags, clingfilm and a piping bag with whatever nozzle you like (I used a star nozzle) and unicorn inspired decorations - I used stars and edible glitter.

WHAT TO DO:

♥ Preheat the oven to 180 and prepare a muffin tray with cake cases.
♥ Place the plant milk and cider vinegar in a jug and leave to curdle whilst you gather your other ingredients.
♥ Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix through.
♥ Add the plant milk/vinegar mix, oil and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and quickly mix until combined with a metal spoon - you need to work fast because as soon at the wet meets the dry the raising agents will start to react with the vinegar.
♥ Once mixed scoop into the cake cases, again working as quickly as your can.
Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until you can poke with a skewer and it comes out clean - *VEGAN CAKE PERK* due to the lack of egg in the mix you can safely lick the bowl without any risk of getting sick, now if that's not a reason to try vegan cake I don't know what is!
♥ Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool.
♥ To prepare the icing place the vegan margarine, trex and vanilla extract in a bowl and gradually add the icing sugar, beating well to combine. You can also gradually add some plant milk in order to reach your desired icing consistency.
♥ Once mixed, divide the icing into bowls (the number depends on how many colours you wish to create).
♥ Gradually add the food colouring to each bowl and mix well until you reach the desired pastel hue. 
♥ Once you have the pastel icing mixed up, transfer each colour into it's own sandwich bag and lay a strip of clingfilm down on your work space.
♥ Snip the corner off each bag and squeeze each colour in a horizontal line next to each other along the clingfilm - just like this.
♥ The roll the clingfilm up and twist the ends as though you were making a icing sausage. You can then place this in the your piping bag, using the end of the clingfilm to pull the icing into the nozzle. 
♥ Snip the twist off the clingfilm and you're good to go.
♥ Now ice and decorate to your hearts content!

My General Life - Unicorn Cupcakes Vegan

A perk of using the clingfilm is that the inside of your piping bag should be fairly clean - which is great because I'm lazy and this recipe creates enough washing up as it is!

Although it's a little arduous having to mix all the different coloured icing up, this method is so effective for creating a gorgeous looking cupcake that tastes delicious too!

I'd love to see your unicorn creations, so if you whip these up yourself please share any photos with me either on Twitter (@mygenerallife) or Instagram (@generallifeblog).

While you're here, why not check out my previous post:  Vegan Pancake Ideas.

Did you know that you can follow My General Life on all these platforms?





Sunday, 26 February 2017

Vegan Pancake Ideas.

My General Life - Vegan Pancake Ideas

I don't know about you, but I love me some pancakes. Really, pancakes should not just be a once a year thing. I mean, I'd be quite happy if they were an everyday thing, but given the amount of sugar I enjoy on my pancakes, I'm sure my teeth and waistline would probably disagree

Anyway, with pancake day coming up on Tuesday, I thought I'd pull together a quick post with some extra tasty vegan pancake ideas. Let's call it pancake-spiration. So I'm going to share a recipe that I like to use for just a basic, plain ol' pancake, along with a couple of other more exciting recipes that I think you'll all love!

MY RECIPE:

♥ 150g plain flour
♥ 2 tbsp coconut sugar (or any other sugar)
♥ 2 tsp baking powder
♥ 1 tbsp oil (rapeseed, vegetable or melted coconut oil)
♥ sprinkle of salt
♥ 300ml plant milk

♥ Plop all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk well to combine.
♥ Heat a non-stick frying pan and add a small amount of oil. Spoon approx 75ml (ish) of mixture into the pan and fry until you start to see bubbles forming on the top.
♥ Flip however which way you please and cook the other side.
♥ Stack, top and scoff.

This batter makes for a delightfully light and fluffy American style pancake, although you could always add a smidge more milk to thin it slightly and go for the crepe if that's your thing.

My General Life - Vegan Pancake Ideas

My General Life - Vegan Pancake Ideas

Now here's a few other recipes to tickle your taste buds with:

SARAH'S RECIPE:

Sarah of The V Nice Life recently posted the recipe for these gorgeous looking, vegan friendly choc chip and raspberry pancakes. Divine.

The V Nice Life Pancakes


SOPHIE'S RECIPE:

Sophie of Sophie's Blend created the ultimate vegan banana and chocolate chip pancakes. I'm drooling just looking at them.

Sophie's Blend Pancakes


EB'S RECIPE:

Eb of  Easy Peasy Foodie put together these berry-licious oat, almond and banana pancakes with frozen berry compote.

Easy Peasy Foodie Pancakes


I could genuinely go on all day, but I think we'll leave it there for now. I'm aware that all of these pancake recipes are sweet - which is totally my thing, but I'd love to know what your favourite pancake combo is? Why not share your thoughts either in the comments below, or drop me a tweet @mygenerallife.

While you're here, why not check out my previous post: RECIPE | Kale & Mushroom Carbonara [VEGAN].

Did you know that you can follow My General Life on all these platforms?

Sunday, 19 February 2017

RECIPE | Kale & Mushroom Carbonara [VEGAN].

When it comes to vegan food, I'm a big fan of meals that are not only tasty, but also quick and easy to prepare. This kale and mushroom carbonara is something I prepare most weeks as it ticks all three of those boxes. It can be whipped up in around 15 minutes and so makes for the perfect mid-week dinner.

I appreciate that not everyone is a fan of creamy sauces, nor are they the healthiest choice, however, before going vegan they were one of my favourite savoury food indulgences and so I've enjoyed finding ways to recreate them since going vegan. I think it's worth noting that plant cream does have significantly less fat when compared to dairy-based cream and so is a great swap to make even if you aren't vegan.



WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

♥ 1 leek - sliced
♥ 250g chestnut mushrooms - sliced
♥ 100g kale - sliced/thick stalks removed
♥ 2-3 garlic cloves - finely sliced
♥ 1 carton of plant cream (Oat or Soy)
♥ 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
♥ 1 vegetable stock cube
♥ 1 tbsp vegetable oil
♥ 300g pasta (spaghetti/linguine are my favourites for this dish)
♥ salt and pepper to season

WHAT TO DO:

♥ Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, once boiling add the pasta and cook as per the packet instructions.
♥ Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the leek, garlic and mushrooms until softened - approx 5 minutes.
♥ Add in the kale and cook until it begins to wilt.
♥ Mix together the plant cream and nutritional yeast and crumble in the vegetable stock cube. Pour over the vegetables and stir through until it begins to thicken slightly.
♥ Drain the pasta once cooked, reserving a small amount of the water. Add the pasta to the creamy vegetables and stir through. If you feel the sauce needs thinning slightly you can add a small amount of the pasta water too.
♥ Season to taste.
♥ To serve, try adding a sprinkling of nutritional yeast or even some vegan bacon crumbles for a little crunch.

Just a little side note - you could also swap the kale in this recipe for spinach or do half and half if you fancy.

If you try out this recipe, then don't forget to share any photos or thoughts - you can leave them either in the comments below or drop me a tweet @mygenerallife.

While you're here, why not check out my previous post: Let's Talk | Hygge.

Did you know that you can follow My General Life on all these platforms?

Monday, 16 January 2017

Adding Value.

My General Life - Adding Value

Recently I've listened to a fair few episodes of The Minimalist's podcast. If you haven't listened I'd definitely recommend it, particularly if you're interested in minimalism or living with less. 

One thing that The Minimalists mention a lot when talking about living a meaningful life is adding value, in fact they have a blog post all about it just here. Hearing them talk about this really got me thinking about what value I add, particularly in relation to this blog.

There are so many people out there trying to get their voice heard through blogging. And it's fantastic, it really is, that it's so easy to put your thoughts into words and publish it to the world. But because there's so many people doing it, I feel personally it's hard to see how what I'm doing is adding value. This is not me being all down on myself, nor am I offering any judgement towards others or their blogs. I feel it's more a case of me being realistic about what I add to the party. I want you to want to read what I write. For it to be worth you spending 5 minutes of your life on. 

So, how do I move forward with this blog and use it as a way to add value rather than just adding to the noise? That's something that I'm still considering. But I'm leaning more towards the realm of blog posts that are informative, helpful and also high quality, rather than something that's wishy washy, consumerist or half-arsed. 

For me, achieving that takes time and isn't something I can just churn out on a daily basis. This has been partially fueled by my attempt a bloguary, which I managed two weeks of before falling off the wagon. I felt like I was producing blog posts for the sake of producing blog posts and honestly was struggling the see the value they added.. I want my blog posts to be meaningful rather than meaningless. 

And so this is where I'm at currently. The posts that follow this will, I hope, add value, rather than just adding to the noise. What I would really love, if you're reading this, is for you to share what topics you feel will add value? What do you enjoy spending your time reading? Please do share your thoughts in the comments below, or drop me a tweet @mygenerallife.






Friday, 13 January 2017

Let's Talk | Hygge.

My General Life - Let's Talk Hygge

Hygge is most definitely the "in thing" currently. If you've not heard of hygge, then where have you been? Because it's most definitely on my radar and honestly I mostly live under a rock.

Intrigued by hygge, I picked up a book entitled: The Little Book of Hygge - The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking, in the hope that it might enlighten me as to what hygge actually is and most importantly how I could add some hygge to my life.

The book itself talks about the many ways in which one can create hygge in their life, through: 
♥ the environment - soft lighting and candles, throws and cosy corners 
♥ relationships - social relationships play a big role not only in hygge but in overall happiness
♥ activities - usually social and chilled 
♥ food - comforting and slow is the key

My General Life - Let's Talk Hygge

Hygge is a word that doesn't really translate into English and from reading the book I sense that it's more of a feeling than an actual definitive thing. The book talks about hygge in dimensions that are all linked to the senses. Touch, taste, sound, sight and smell are all important when it comes to hygge. But then it talks about a sixth sense of hygge - a feeling of safety, a feeling of trust. And all this then links into a overall feeling of wellbeing and happiness.  

What I really took from the book is that hygge, in my perception, is about enjoying the everyday. Savouring the moment, but recognising that each moment has a past, present and future that can all be savoured too. Make time for those you love and care about, because social relationships fuel happiness and happiness then fuels social relationships. Take things slow and take pleasure in the minutiae. That, to me, is what makes for a hyggelig time and is something that I'll be trying to be more aware of. 

My General Life - Let's Talk Hygge

I highly recommended that you give The Little Book of Hygge a read if you're interested in learning more about hygge, but also about happiness and how the aspects of hygge can lead you to a happier and more content life - because who doesn't want that?!

What are your thoughts on hygge? Are you intrigued as I was about the topic? I'd love to hear your thoughts either in the comments below, or drop me a tweet @mygenerallife.

While you're here, why not check out my previous post: Wardrobe Decluttering and Project 333 | Minimalism Journey.  

Did you know that you can follow My General Life on all these platforms?

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Wardrobe Decluttering & Project 333 | Minimalism Journey.

My General Life - Wardrobe Decluttering and Project 333

If you read my recent post on minimalism then you'll know that this year I'm making a conscious effort to downsize my belongings and get rid of things that I just don't need. One of the goals I set for working towards this was to try out Project333 - as this is something I only recently discovered I thought I'd share more about it here on the blog, just in case you're curious.

Project 333 was launched onto my radar when I watched Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things on Netflix. Project 333 is the brain child of Courtney Carver, who started Project 333 along with her website Be More WithLess in 2010.

The crux of it is basically trimming down your wardrobe to just 33 items that you will wear over a 3 month period. That includes your outerwear, jewellery, accessories and shoes alongside your clothing. However, the 33 items does not include your underwear, nightwear, at-home chill clothes, workout wear (providing that your workout wear is only worn for working out) and sentimental jewellery that you wear daily e.g. a ring/earrings. 

Now this doesn't mean that you then have to permanently get rid of all your other items of clothing. Courtney suggests just boxing them away which I think is a great idea as after the 3 months you can then evaluate if there is anything you really missed or if there items you feel you really don't need anymore. 

I also like that Courtney stressed that this isn't "project suffering" and that if you need to adapt the model, change it or or replace certain items then you totally can. I guess it just gives a framework for reducing the amount of clothing you have and allowing you to enjoy wearing it and styling it within your capsule wardrobe. 

Project 333 really appealed to me because, honestly, I find myself wearing the same things over and over again anyway. It wasn't hard for me to pick the key items that I knew needed to remain in my clothing collection. For the remainder of the items I tried to pick staples that were versatile and could be worn with a variety of outfits.

I also chose to include my work uniform within the 33 items - this equated to 9 items overall (this includes tunics x5, trousers x2, vest x1 and boots x1) and so left me with 24. This doesn't sound much but really when I get home I tend to change into my at-home chill clothes (as previously mentioned, they're not included although I do try to limit these to just a few items that I rotate), so there's only really the weekend that I wear "actual" clothes. With this in mind I felt that, actually, 24 items was doable for my general wardrobe. 


My General Life - Wardrobe Decluttering and Project 333

So what items do I have in my Project 333 wardrobe? Well I have some jeans (a blue and a black pair), leggings and my dungarees as my bottoms. I then have a 7 tops (including tshirts, long sleeves, a vest and 1 smarter top), 2 shirts (1 checked and 1 denim), 2 dresses, a chunky cardigan, 2 hoodies, my coat, 2 scarves and an extra pair of earrings. I then have two pairs of shoes (my Star Wars Vans and my Dr Martens). My work shoes could be worn outside of work if I so wished (they're just another pair of Dr Marten boots).

And that is my 24 items. It doesn't sound a lot but honestly, I'm finding that it works pretty well for me. I'm quite a casual dresser anyway so the fact that my Project 333 wardrobe is all pretty casual suits me just fine. I've been wearing this wardrobe for about 2 weeks now and so far there haven't really been any difficulties. I'm intrigued to see how the next 3 months will unfold and how my Project 333 wardrobe will fare.

What are your thoughts on a minimalist wardrobe? Is Project 333 something you think you could manage? I'd love to hear your thoughts either in the comments below, or drop me a tweet @mygenerallife.

While you're here, why not check out my previous post: Learning to Hand Letter. 


Did you know that you can follow My General Life on all these platforms?







Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Learning To Hand Letter.

My General Life - Learning To Handletter

Although I didn't set any specific resolutions for 2017, I did decide that 2017 is going to be the year of creativity for me. I've tried several different creative hobbies that I've enjoyed, but haven't been particularly good at. Maybe that's because I'm definitely the type of person that starts something, gets really into it and then loses steam after a couple of weeks and moves on to something else. Anyway, I'm determined to persevere and actually improve my skills in some form of creative outlet.

Something that I'm really interested in is hand lettering, watercolour and illustration. Honestly I really can't draw for shit, and when I say draw I mean like fine art style drawing. But to me, illustration is a bit more rough and ready and possibly a bit more achievable. And hand lettering, well hand lettering just looks fun!

My General Life - Learning To Handletter

I've found a whole new world of inspiration on Youtube that has given me some tips and tricks and basically a starting block to jump from. I've found tutorials from Shayda Campbell and Wonder Forest most helpful to start me off and help get the creative juices flowing, as it were. I'm sure that as I practice and develop my skills I'll become more confident at creating my own designs without the need for a tutorial, but for now they're helping immensely.

Something else I've been experimenting with is digitising my hand lettering so that I can share it in social media posts and create more digital art. I've found it a little fiddly as I'm really not at all familiar with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. But practice makes perfect, so I'm sure the more I try the more I'll learn and the better I'll get. Keep your eyes peeled on my social media channels (all linked below) to see more of my hand lettering and to share in this new journey with me.

What's your favourite creative outlet? Or is there a creative skill that you'd like to develop over the coming months? I'd love for you to share your thoughts either in the comments below, or drop me a tweet @mygenerallife.

While you're here, why not check out my previous post: 1 Year As A Vegan - What I've Learnt.


Did you know that you can follow My General Life on all these platforms?



Tuesday, 10 January 2017

1 Year As A Vegan - What I've Learnt.

My General Life - 1 Year As A Vegan

Today marks 1 year of me being officially and fully vegan! I honestly can't quite believe it. What started as a hope to just get through Veganuary (although admittedly I started late as I was on holiday for the first week of Jan last year) has ended up totally changing my life and I really couldn't be happier about it.

Being vegan has empowered me to stand up more for what I believe in. It's opened my eyes to the impact we all have on the world and how we can go about changing things. It's challenged me to be strong and make positive choices, not only for myself, but for the animals and the planet too.

I've reflected quite a bit on the last year as a vegan, so today I thought I'd share some of the things I've learnt.

1. It really isn't as hard as you think it will be. I promise.
2. Vegan food is the same as "regular food" - it doesn't have to be special, expensive or complicated.
3. There are ways of veganising most meals.
4. I can't stop myself when there's vegan cake around.
5. There's nothing wrong with using meat replacement products.
6. Tofu isn't that bad once you know how to cook it well.
7. I'd rather take dark chocolate over milk chocolate.
8. It's easier than you think to find vegan lifestyle products e.g. household products, makeup etc.
9. You can be vegan and still eat out/enjoy a meal with family/friends.
10. My family have been so lovely and supportive of my choices and that's made me love them even more.
11. I find having less choice when eating out makes decisions around what to eat far easier.
12. I'm now far more conscious and aware of the impact I have on the planet and how I can reduce this.
13. It's not about being "the perfect vegan", it's about making an effort and trying your best - mistakes happen and it's important to move forward and learn for next time.
14. The world is becoming a far more vegan friendly place - even in the last year there have been so many new vegan products launched that being vegan is easier than ever.
15. Don't buy Biscoff spread. Just don't do it. (Just kidding - it's delicious AND vegan!).

All of this isn't me trying to preach about why you should be vegan too, because that's your choice. But I think it's so important to share that veganism isn't this crazy cult with an unattainable lifestyle. It's just ordinary people trying to make a difference to the lives of others. And if I can do it I really believe that you can do it too, even if it's just for one month.

Would you consider trying out Veganuary? I'd love to hear your thoughts either in the comments below, or drop me a tweet @mygenerallife.

While you're here, why not check out my previous post: Hair Refresh - 'The Gravender' [VEGAN & CRUELTY FREE].

Did you know that you can follow My General Life on all these platforms?