HAPPY EASTER & VEGAN POTLUCKS

April 16, 2017

Last Friday, I hopped on the train with a giant chocolate cake topped with more chocolate and biscoff crumble, headed to my friends' house and met up with the loveliest, most kind-hearted souls. Sat around a table, filled with delicious food (and heaps of chocolate), we talked about everything and anything. It's absolutely crazy how strangers become almost friends in such a short span of time. To be honest, I didn't even know it was possible to connect with a bunch of people so quickly. A couple of hours later, I had to get back home with a happy belly, filled with chocolaty goodness and pasta. Here's a little video I made that day. Happy Easter, bunnies! 

HIIT WORKOUT FOR ABS

April 9, 2017


With the days getting sunnier, your tan gradually darkening and loose evening dresses in prospect it seems almost impossible not to start working out. I don't know about you, but I love getting out my workout gear when it's hot and sunny. I wanted to create an effective ab workout to get you fit (not just for the summer) and let you sweat out those oxidants. It might seem like such a hassle to get out and get moving, but once you've finished your workout, you'll feel so much happier (and healthier!). I don't do 'bikini bodies', instead I try to focus on how I'm feeling and how energized I am to face the rest of the day.

The outfit I'm wearing is something I tend to grab when I'm heading to the gym or rolling out my yoga mat for some ab and HIIT training (high intensity interval). A comfortable sportsbra (yes, even flat-chested girls should invest in a sportsbra), a colorful top, leggings, and sneakers. Despite my minimalistic intentions I somehow seem to be building an unnecessarily large workout wardrobe. But hey, anything to get me motivated, right? Anywho, let's get to the workout itself!

PS: You can download a 'tabata' app to guide you through the workout.

HIIT CIRCUIT FOR ABS
total: 15 minutes
repeat 2 times, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest
needed: exercise mat, skipping-rope

Rope skipping
Crunches
Rope skipping
Side crunches (switch sides in the second round)
Rope skipping
Bicycle crunches
Rope skipping
Mountain climbers
Rope skipping
Heel touches
Rope skipping
Reverse crunches
Toe touches
Rope skipping
Flutter kicks



If you need more rest in between, try setting your timer to 15 seconds rest but try to do the exercise for at least 20 seconds. If you want a more advanced version, keep the 10 second rest but move for 30 seconds or more.

FAUX LEATHER & GOING SWEATSHOP-FREE

April 2, 2017

I'll admit, I feel über cool wearing this faux leather vest, especially when worn with my Doc Martens and tight jeans. My dad kept asking me where I left my motorbike (very funny, dad). Though I'm not as comfortable with being photographed, especially in public (yes, I'm aware that could sound totally wrong), but I ignored the weird stares from those who were passing by and focused on my mom and her rather good photography skills. I felt bad not posting outfit photos on a style blog so I changed up my oversized sweaters for a fancier outfit. The shoes, however, are still the same and I really need to change up my shoe game.

Something else I wanted to discuss was wearing clothing that isn't sweatshop-free. Aside from being vegan mainly to fight animal cruelty, I don't want to be a hypocrite and wear items that were made in large factories, treating their workers like sh**. I'm new to the sweatshop-free life so I need to inform myself more as to which clothing brands are good quality and not made in the disgusting factories and I could use your help if you know more about this. Please shoot me a message if you'd like to introduce me to new brands! Have a lovely day!

jeans: H&M // blouse: Forever 21 // shoes: Doc Martens // jacket: Vero Moda



BEAUTY STASH BITS AND BOBS

March 26, 2017

I'm not exaggerating when I say a beauty-related post or haul was long overdue. These last couple months I seem to have transformed from a girl who loves shopping quite a lot to someone who prefers saving money for larger purchases or food (I won't lie). I'm slowly reintroducing cruelty-free beauty products into my beauty stash and when I say slowly I am - once again - not kidding. I bought the face masks in Budapest (travel diary coming soon, sorry peeps!) which was about a two months ago yet the Rituals products are only a week old.

Consciously shopping will make your wallet happy and makes it so much easier to only buy the things you really need/desire. I'm still on a minimalist mission, but I wish not to rush things and hastily throw stuff I still need away just because I don't need it right now. Anywho, let's get into the haul.


The first thing I got were two facemasks, both cruelty-free and vegan. Sadly I can't tell you whether I like them or not because I haven't been able to try them out (yet). I bought one from hej organic and the other one is from Douglas naturals. Both these products can be found in a Douglas store. Whilst walking around in the store I bumped into a chapstick I was eager to try out (from Douglas naturals). So far I really love it! It makes my lips feel soft and hydrated. 



The other products are both from Rituals, namely their Rituals of Sakura deodorant and conditioner. Both products are also cruelty-free which is amazing! How much I like them? I can honestly say I keep repurchasing the deodorant simply because it smell like pure luxury and it feels as if you've just taken a foamy bath. The conditioner is, not surprisingly, gorgeous smelling and makes your hair feel soft and shiny. Get your hands on them asap, I'd say!

Are you creating a cruelty-free beauty stash or are you planning on minimalizing your belongings? I'd love to know! 


BUILD YOUR BOOTY WORKOUT

March 19, 2017


I have been consistently going to the gym since the beginning of February and carefully planning out my every workout so it doesn't overlap with my lectures and revisions. Before opting for a gym membership I was running, also quite consistently, for about 3 to 4 times a week, easily doing at least 10K per run. Until my left knee decided to give up on me and I started having trouble walking. Because I'm a sporty girl, if I do say so myself, and I need to be active at least five times a week to blow off some steam, I signed up for a gym membership.

My goals were to build some leg muscle to continue running, but I so happened to discover weightlifting and it's been a fun journey ever since! I would love to be able to squat 50kg, lift more than I ever thought possible and overall, work on my bum/legs, core and arms. Since my gym routine is quite consistent and I don't often add new exercises, I felt like posting a routine of mine on my blog.

I am not a gym expert or athlete whatsoever, but these exercises have made a tremendous impact on my body. Not only can I see muscle definition and can feel I'm getting stronger, my metabolism has had a boost. I'm getting leaner yet I'm eating more and most importantly, I can eat whatever I want (that's obviously vegan) and still I'm getting fitter. Win-win! Now, enough rambling, let's get into the routine! Also, if these exercises are too hard, just do less reps or decrease the weight!

5 sets X 8 reps barbell squats (set 1: barbell, set 2-5: barbell + 5kg each side)
3 sets X 10 reps barbell deadlift (no weights, just the barbell)
3 sets X 10 jumping lunges
4 sets X 10 reps machine leg press (increase weight per set)
4 sets X 10 reps abductor machine (increase weight per set)
3 sets X 10 reps 8kg kettlebell one-legged deadlift
3 sets X 10 reps straight-leg donkey kicks (with 10 pulses)
3 sets X 10 reps regular donkey kicks (with 10 pulses)
3 sets X 10 reps fire hydrants

I hope you'll enjoy this workout and if you feel like giving up, just tell yourself it's okay to have days where you don't feel like working out. It's not about how fast you are or how much progress you can make in a short space of time, as long as you don't stop.


WHAT I EAT FOR A FIT & HEALTHY BODY

March 11, 2017


It's been awfully long since I last filmed a video, let alone a 'what I eat in a day' one. But, seeing as I didn't have too much university work to complete, I decided to grab my camera and film something again. I'm working on a new post which will be up very soon, but I don't want to share a workout routine without thinking it through and properly testing it out. Nevertheless, I hope you'll enjoy the video! 

Sunday Eats & Treats

January 26, 2017


You might be familiar with my 'what I ate today' videos on YouTube and I regularly post them on my blog too, but I wanted to write out what exactly I tend to eat on a chill Sunday. I usually do a 30 minute workout in the evening to make myself feel better about the amount of Lotus biscoff I devour on Sundays, but other than that it's a pretty relaxed day.

BREAKFAST

I've been having weetabix with some nuts, seeds and a piece of fruit every single day for the last week so I went back to basics early in the morning and made myself some oatmeal. A warm, filling breakfast instantly boosts my mood and together with pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, a banana and a tablespoon of maple syrup I can say I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast meal!


LUNCH


For lunch I wanted to try something new and without following a recipe, I created some tasty sunchoke and sweet potato burger patties. They were pretty easy to make yet I managed to create quite a mess in the kitchen. Fun fact: I (shortly) considered calling my Ebook 'The Messy Kitchen', but then decided that it probably wouldn't be that persuasive. I served the burger patties with lettuce leaves, rasped carrots, tomatoes, avocado, veganaise, ketchup and some shredded vegan cheese. Yum! Sidenote: I ate three of these!


DINNER

I own my mum a big thank you for this lovely dinner she made. Seitan and carrot stew with bulgur, the recipe is actually really simple and the taste is amazing! I might post a full recipe if you'd like me to. Please keep in mind that I snacked on tangerines, almonds, Ikea Kex biscuits and (too) many other tasty food throughout the day. That's all for this food-related post!

The Prettiest Phone Case & Giveaway!

January 22, 2017


The struggle is real when you're trying to find a phonecase that 1. fits your phone (I have the Huawei P8 Lite) and 2. is pretty enough and isn't the typical 'phonecase' print. When I stumbled upon GoCustomized, however, I solved both problems rather quickly. This website allows you to design your own huawei phonecase (or any other brand of phone you own). I simply searched the internet for a pretty picture or print, posted it on the website and two days later I had the prettiest phone case delivered straight to my door. You can, of course, use a picture of your best friend and you or your boyfriend/girlfriend and print it on the phonecase if you'd like. 



Is this phonecase worth the €15? I most definitely agree with this since the quality is better than most phonecases in stores as it's really sturdy, the print looks even better in real life than I originally thought it would and it's exactly what I wanted. Now, a phonecase is something half of the human population that owns a smartphone can't live without whereas the other half crosses its fingers and hopes the phone doesn't ungracefully hit the ground. Also, a pretty phonecase is aesthetically pleasing and makes me treat my electronic devices more carefully (no dad, I don't drop every phone a billion times a day). 

I went for an elegant henna-like print on a see-through case simply because I love the color white (my brother would probably argue with me over the fact that white isn't a real color, I'd tell him I don't care) and it suits nearly every outfit. Considering I wear black 99% of the time, this phonecase might make it look like I'm not dressed that monotonously. Head over to their website to create your own Huawei P8 lite case to jazz up your outfit or if you fancy a new case.

Enough chattering about the phonecase, let's talk about something even more exciting! GoCustomized gave me the chance to give one of their phonecases away to one of you! How do you participate? Simply fill out the form below! Good luck! ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is in collaboration with GoCustomized, the phone case was gifted for the purpose of the review. 


Study Tips To Help You Ace Your Exams

January 17, 2017

Whether you're preparing for exams, you're in mid-term or you've just ended your hectic exam period, I thought I'd share my tips on how to get (even) better grades. I'm in no way a professional (as you probably already know), but I wanted to share some advice from student-to-student. Let's get blogging, I mean, studying!

1. Start early and revise during the year so you don't kick off the exam period unprepared.
2. Always read the assigned texts before lectures so you don't end up not reading them due to lack of time during the exams.
3. Take a (huge, enormous, gigantic) large amount of notes during lectures so you've got plenty of information to study for the exam.
4. Take breaks and have days off during the year. Relax and have some me-time!
5. Reduce social media usage, whether it's just scrolling through your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram feed or posting pictures.
6. Talk with your classmates or friends about the course, this will help you to remember things more accurately because they seem more relevant.
7. Get creative: take your mind off of studying and wind down. Maybe you can practice some yoga?
8. Snack on wholefoods and not on junk whilst studying. Almonds, apples, tangerines help you stay awake and increase concentration levels whereas crisps make you feel tired, sluggish and unproductive.
9. Get sporty! Even a twenty minute run increases brain functioning and overall body health.
10. Write your own summaries and don't copy them. Writing them will increase your knowledge about the topic and it'll keep you concentrated.

 11. Write it down! I love making mindmaps during revision and it has been proven that writing down whilst studying equals reading the same text seven times!
12. Plan it out so you don't end up with a lack of time and motivation to study those last few chapters.
13. Sleep! Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep each night, preferably eight or nine.
14. My study schedule: read, follow lectures, reread lecture notes, study, revise and repeat the parts I don't fully understand yet. Did you know that, if you want to retain the most information, you need to study something five times?
15. Drink enough water whilst studying and don't sip on energy drinks or too much coffee. Though I won't lie, I like having a cup of tea (or three) when I'm studying.

Have you got any other useful tips to help out a fellow student?


Fudgy Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Chips & Biscoff

January 14, 2017

This recipe is an excerpt from my cookbook 'Sweet Simple Cooking' which you can get HERE. I wanted to share this mouth-watering, eye-opening fudgy chocolate chip cake with you as it's my absolute FAVE to bake for friends or for myself (who doesn't love a good chocolate cake with vegan nutella and biscoff or speculoos all for themselves?). Let's get baking!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup unrefined cane sugar
1tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
2tbsp cocoa powder
1,5 cup rice milk
2tsp vanilla extract
1,5tbsp apple cider vinegar
1,5 chia egg (1,5 tbsp chia to 6tbsp water)
Handful vegan chocolate drops
2tbsp vegan nutella
1/2 cup speculoos



HOW TO:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a round baking tin with non-stick baking paper. Make the chia egg by combining chia seeds with water. Set aside for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the flour, cane sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In another bowl, mix rice milk with apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and give it a quick mix. Then add the chia egg and blend until any clumps have disappeared. Lastly, mix in the chocolate drops.

Pour the mixture into the baking tin and let it bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

To make the topping, crumble the speculoos in a mug. Check if the cake is ready by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean the cake is ready. Leave it to cool down for 5 minutes. You want to smear on the nutella whilst the cake is still warm so it melts nicely. Sprinkle on the crumble and your cake is ready to be served.