WHAT I EAT IN A DAY AT UNIVERSITY (UK EDITION)

December 11, 2017


It has been a while since I last posted a what-I-eat-in-a-day something, whether it be a blog post or a short video on YouTube. The change of scenery - better known as my Erasmus exchange - might make for an interesting comparison to my life back home, where everything I could ever need is ready for me to use. In the UK, I've had to find new products, new recipes and, although I usually cook for myself back home as well, having to plan out my meals every day of the week was an interesting challenge. Looking back at the previous weeks here - I'm writing this on my last Monday before I head back to Belgium for a couple of weeks - I think I've done a pretty good job at staying healthy and creative with my meals!

breakfast

For breakfast, I usually have a variation on overnight oats or a warm version if it's really cold outside. I prepare them the night before with boiling water, flaxseeds, some sort of nut butter and plant milk. In the mornings I mix it up with soy yogurt, either the plain Alpro one or a blueberry version. When my stomach is rumbling in the morning, I can just grab my breakfast right there and then.


lunch

For lunch, one of my uni roommates and I decided to be a little more creative and make a Mexican feast. We heated up a couple corn tortillas, we filled them with chili sin carne, soy mince, guacamole and other veggies like corn, tomatoes etc. Super tasty, filling and actually, incredibly easy. If you're wondering, the cheese in the pictures isn't actually cheese, it's a 'fake' coconut and soy-based one.




dinner

My dinner is a very lazy combination of either bagels or bread with jam and some sort of nut butter. If I'm having a more productive (or just less lazy) evening, I even dare to spice it up with a banana-chocolate spread bagel. I didn't think of taking a picture of the bagel (it wasn't very exciting either, don't you worry), but you can see the meal in the YouTube video.


youtube video

I filmed a video as well this day, so be sure to check it out below and let me know if you like this type of post or if there's something else you'd love to read on my blog!


A CALMING NIGHT ROUTINE FOR PEACEFUL DREAMS

December 7, 2017



Living on my own has taught me a lot, not only about myself but also about my routines and how I like to have a set list of bedtime habits. As adults, we often forget to care about the child inside of us. A calming bedtime story to soothe our minds, a minute to meditate and a moment to take care of our skin. By writing this post I want you to think about your nighttime rituals and how you can adapt them to suit your needs. Let's get pampered!

A cup of camomile tea

Everyone has a kettle in their kitchen and a couple of tea bags lying around. I like to have a cup of hot tea to warm myself up and wind down after an eventful day. My tea-time is usually accompanied by a chunk of dark chocolate or some sneaky biscoff. If you don't happen to have any chamomile tea in stock, decaffeinated tea is also an option, but add chamomile to your shopping list so you're well ahead of yourself.

 Your favorite book

I am a self-confessed bookworm and I love to dive into an imaginary world or learn new things about our own planet, so you'll often find me with a book in my hands. Reading doesn't only take your mind off of the endless to-do list, it also teaches you to look at the world differently. 

 Gentle products to pamper your skin

I have a set skincare routine which I like to follow step by step every evening. My skin has been experiencing some trouble adapting to the new climate in the UK and the rainy, windy weather has not been ideal. I treat the breakouts on my chin with tea tree oil, which I dab onto the redness, after a gentle cleanse (I use a Sukin cleanser) in the shower. Lastly, I moisturize with my trusty Weleda cream.

Try meditation or yoga

I try to practice yoga every morning when the world is still asleep and the sun is about to rise, but lately, I have implemented a short and sweet bedtime yoga session and five minutes of meditation. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I really need time to clear my mind and focus on my breathing. But, even if you're not prone to anxiety, a gently flow or meditation guarantees a better sleep. The last thing I do before getting into bed is dabbing some lavender essential oil on my pillow.

Sleep tight!

PERSIMMON CINNAMON OATMEAL

November 25, 2017


When I think of oatmeal, I picture something really easy and super quick to put together in the morning, ready to fuel you for the rest of your day. I have noticed, however, that very often people are reluctant to the idea of having oats for breakfast every morning. Even worse, they hate the idea of oats or porridge altogether! As a thorough oatmeal addict, I just had to share my favorite recipe with you in order to clear up the misunderstanding. If you have a microwave, an open mind and three minutes time, then let's get cooking/microwaving! PS: I have included photos of different combinations, in case you needed even more inspiration to get your oatmeal-journey started.

INGREDIENTS

50g of oats (rolled ones cook faster, but choose whatever tickles your fancy) // 1 cup plant milk (I prefer almond or oat milk) // 1tsp cinnamon // 1tbsp raisins // 5 almonds // 1tbsp nut butter (peanut/almond/...) // 1tsp ground flaxseeds // sprinkle of pumpkin seeds // 1 persimmon or an apple (again, whatever you fancy)

LET'S GET CREATING!

Add the oats to a microwaveable bowl and mix in the cinnamon and raisins, then pour your preferred plant milk into the mixture. Microwave the oats for 1 minute (I always do this on 900W), stir, then heat for another minute.

While your oats are cooking, you can slice the persimmon and cut the almonds into smaller pieces. Once the oats have been thoroughly cooked and they're feeling all warm and cozy, you can start to assemble your porridge. This is optional, but if you fancy 'runnier' oats, add in more plant milk.

Add the almonds, the peanut butter, pumpkin- and flaxseeds (these both contain necessary Omega 3 fatty acids) and lastly, your tasty persimmon. And that's it! Once you get used to this process, it takes only three minutes to assemble your own delicious oatmeal on gloomy, rainy mornings. Happy breakf(e)asting!





ITALIAN DREAMS ON A SWEDISH CANVAS

November 20, 2017

I think I just managed to squeeze two countries into one post title and I'm rather proud of myself for doing so. I might also be even more proud to be working with Photowall on this lovely article. They contacted me quite a while ago, asking whether or not I would be interesting in featuring a canvas or wall mural on my blog (yes, they also do murals, how cool is that?). If you know me or sneakily follow me on Instagram, you might be aware of my love for anything canvas-related. Paintings, photos by others and now, a canvas with my very own photo (which was taken in Italy, hence the title)!

The moment I received the canvas print I got extremely excited to have this piece up on my wall. However, if you're not as much into photography as I am, but you'd like a little something on your wall, you can check out their designer-made canvasses. I was about to go for a galaxy print, but my own framed photo would be a little more original (and exciting). This stunning quality print came with a diy-frame which took me a second to figure out and another second to put together, but I'm so pleased to see it in my bedroom. You could totally gift a canvas to a friend, a dear family member, your dog. Or, if you're bored of staring at a plain, white wall in your room, you can get yourself a mural.

If you're interested in getting a Swedish-made canvas or mural, feel free to check out their website and order yourself, or a relative, a print. Already looking for X-mas presents? (Pssshh: look no further, it's on Photowall!)







AUTUMN CALLS FOR TEDDY BEAR COATS

November 1, 2017

Autumn has arrived and the season has brought a chilly wind, a steep decrease in temperature and the need for warmer coats. Last weekend I traveled to Birmingham for the weekend, accompanied by my lovely dad, and I asked him to take a couple of outfit pictures (which ended up being around 80 photos altogether, thanks, dad!). As you can see I was wearing quite a fair few layers on this day and thank goodness I did. It was pretty cold and the wind was not very gentle, but seeing the impressive architecture in Birmingham was definitely worth it!

I wore my good old teddy bear coat, which I got from one of those cheap Chinese websites that I would no longer even consider buying from as it's most certainly not sweatshop-free. But I was fairly new to blogging at the time and getting free stuff was exciting and cool (eye-roll). Anywho, long story short, I love the teddy bear coat and I need to get my hands on a thrifted one to replace this one as it's a tad bit worn-out.

I also wore my favourite trousers from American Apparel, an oversized jumper with a blouse underneath (both pieces were from Vero Moda), my trusty old Doc Martens (the vegan edition) and my fancy Matt and Natt backpack (also vegan, fyi). I hope you've enjoyed reading this far too long explanation of my outfit and watching me pull funny faces and looking stern as well. Have a lovely day! (PS: it's world vegan day today, yay!) 




DISCOVERING BATH AND STONEHENGE

October 21, 2017



BATH

Another weekend, another travel destination I'd been dreaming of visiting one day. I love discovering cities with stunning architecture because of the photo opportunities and the atmosphere. I am one of those people who scroll through Instagram in hope to find new places where I can aimlessly stroll with a camera in my hand. Bath ticked all of those boxes and I was excited to hop on the bus, drive for far too many hours and spend the afternoon in the city. Although I most certainly didn't get enough time to capture all of the wondrous places in Bath, I wanted to share these photos with you and I am most definitely going back soon.



 STONEHENGE

I hope I don't break your heart when honestly saying that Stonehenge was just slightly disappointing. I had never seen the infamous monument in real life and thus, pictured it to be much more impressive than it eventually turned out to be. Yes, the stones were enormous but they weren't as massive as I thought they would be. Nevertheless, it was very interesting to learn about the history of Stonehenge and it was a must-see monument.



A LETTER FROM A PAST ME

October 18, 2017



I wrote this letter to you and to myself back in March and, although this isn't really logical, I felt like publishing it in October. This message has been sitting in my drafts for quite some time now and, seeing it's still as accurate as ever, it deserves a little spot on my blog. 

When one starts to wonder what bloggers are supposed blog about you know it's been far too long since the last update. Lately my life has circled around university and trying to settle in a new environment, figuring out what I stand for and what I find important in my life and thirdly, where I want to go. In the process of finding myself I stepped out of my comfort zone, more than once that is, and I found it has taught me so many things I didn't know about myself. I signed up for an Erasmus project with my university which means I might be studying abroad next semester, I met so many new people and I got rid of things I no longer need in my life. I'm pretty sure you're already sick of seeing decluttering posts and tips to get your life back on track, but these topics are prominent in my life so they'll be dominating my blog as well. Anywho, I wanted to list some things I've discovered recently that have changed my way of living. I would also love to know something you've found out about yourself that has changed your life in some way.

· MATERIALISM ·

I have realized that having too many materialistic items in my life has the tendency to put unnecessery pressure on my shoulders. I managed to massively downsize my wardrobe already, but I'm not there yet. My goal is to have less than five pieces of each clothing item. I want them to last long, not get boring and have endless ways to be combined with other pieces.

· MY STYLE ·

I love to dress up and feel 'fully put together'. Whenever I ger ready for uni, I simply throw on one of my trusty oversized sweaters and a boring pair of jeans (usually black). Combine this with my doc martens and the typical 'Nausikaä'-look has been achieved. Rather plain and boring, right? This is something I really want to change in the future because I love the way of feeling ready for the day, wearing a thoughtfully combined outfit.

· WRITING ·

I'm a writer. Do I sound big-headed and narcissistic now? Possibly. Though I think I am writer. I started writing stories when I was six years old and I've never stopped. Everything that happens in my life inspires me to write a story. Tragic events lead to tragic stories, which I mostly don't finish, but I have this urge to jot down anything that happens to me. Recently, however, I've begun writing a proper story. One of those stories that could possibly end up being published as a real book. Don't get your hopes up, it might just be horrible and totally uninteresting!

· IMPERFECTIONS ·

I'm not perfect or untouchable. Boom! Bet that hit you like a wrecking ball, didn't it? Haha. I realize I have my flaws (many of them, even) and I try not to let them take control over my life and my thinking, but sometimes it's so easy to feel sad and irritated by the things that I am and am not. I get annoyed, I feel angry (far too often), I get frustrated and I cry. It's only human. Yet we don't see this side of humanity on social media, or not enough. We all try to paint a picture perfect life online yet behind the screen we are real people and it's tearing (some of) us down.

I sometimes get distracted by the photos on social media and temporarely forget that social media is not real life. Though we all try to make it seem like it is really happening. I try to spend more time offline and discover things in the real world than to aimlessly scroll through the never-ending feed.

· FOUR YEARS OF FASHIONATIC·
  
I have been blogging (inconsistently, I have to mention this) for over four years now! Gosh, I feel old. I promised to make 2017 the best-blogging-year of my life and guess what? Yes, I completely neglected this lovely corner of the World Wide Web for the whole of February. I feel ashamed and extremely sorry, especially since I had so many wonderful things to share with you. Travel tips, lifestyle tricks and delicious recipes. I'm not making any more promises. I will say this though: expect better things to come for 2017 than a blog with no updates for a whole month. Let's make this a place to inspire, grow stronger and become who we are! (That went from being a plain old apology to being really deep in a short time, pardon me.)

Thank you so much for reading the blabberings and thoughts published on my little Fashionatic blog and for continuously showing your support by subscribing to this little corner on the Internet. You mean a crazy lot to me. I'm not making any New Years' revolutions yet, it is far too soon for those, but I am more than ready for a fifth year of blogging in February.

A LOVELY DAY IN NOTTINGHAM

October 14, 2017

Last Saturday, exactly one week ago, I gathered the courage to leave my cozy little dorm room on campus and headed to Nottingham. I also want to warn you before you continue reading this post and perhaps slightly judge me. Since I wanted to be home before the sun would be going down, I didn't have enough time to thoroughly get to know the city and thus, I'm just sharing what I did and loved in Robin Hood's town (which isn't very impressive).

The first thing I did, which I had been really excited for all week, was visiting Nottingham castle and discovering the caves beneath it. I bought a ticket for a guided tour and it was one of the best £5 I have spent (so far) during my time in the UK. The guide gave us an entertaining insight into the history of the castle and why Nottingham used to be called "Snottingham".



My stomach was rumbling after walking around for a while and I headed towards Zizzi's, an italian restaurant with a vegan menu. Zizzi's is located beside the old market square, of which I did not get a photograph because it was decorated for an event, but the buildings surrounding the square are gorgeous.

I strolled through the popular shopping street with the 'typical' highstreet brands, searching for the Lace Market, but gave up after thirty minutes of mindless walking. I did some thrift shopping (of which I will be doing an outfit post hopefully soon) and headed back to the bus stop to head back home. This concludes my short trip to Nottingham, but if you're interested in seeing what I ate on this particular day you can watch the video below.



A SNEAKY LITTLE TRAVEL HAUL

October 12, 2017

Coming to the UK to study abroad does have its downsides, but the perks most definitely outweigh the negative aspects of being an Erasmus student. I get to try out products we don't have in Belgium, my tastebuds are getting to know new vegan food options and thrift shops are around the corner. About a year ago I promised myself to buy less sweatshop-made clothes and I am proud to say that the only items I bought that were not sweatshop-free are some socks and underwear from Primark. I'm not proud of those purchases, but they were very necessary and rather urgent. I will be showing you some of the thrifted items in another post, though (when I find both the time and a photographer). The other items I bought are completely cruelty-free and vegan, which is wonderful. Let's get started.

If you know me, you might also know that my second name is 'Bookworm and Collector' and I suck at not buying anything in secondhand bookstores. When you're practically surrounded by these bookstores, life can get hard and not buying anything suddenly becomes a challenge. Anywho, the first book I purchased was 'The Time in Between', which is absolutely brilliant and tells the story of Nancy Tucker and her battle with both anorexia and bulimia. I also already finished reading Harry Potter and the cursed child and the shock of the fall. Both books I adored and I would most certainly recommend them if you're looking for a good book. The others are still waiting in line to be read.


The weather has not been kind to my skin and neither have the sneaky biscoff cookies (and the bourbon creams - yes, they're vegan!) with my cup of tea in the morning. My skin doesn't like sugar or even the slightest change of climate which caused too many breakouts for my liking. I headed to Lush for a bottle of Tea Tree Water, my favorite, and something new called Grease Lighting. It is supposed to make spots disappear before they get the chance to shine, although I'm not sure if this is working for me. It might need a couple more weeks to start working. Until then, I'm covering up my blemishes with a liquid concealer and a concealer stick from Natural Collection. These aren't the greatest, they were quite cheap so I was prepared, but they do the job (kind of).

The 'Gentle Powder Love' shower gel isn't something I would usually include in a shopping haul, but it smells like heaven, it was made in the UK and it is 100% cruelty-free so I would definitely recommend getting your hands on this bottle of happiness!



Oh, hey me in the reflection! Last but not least I couldn't help myself when standing in front of the Makeup Revolution stand in Superdrug. I sneakily bought two lipsticks, Chauffeur and the matte version of this color, and I have been wearing Chauffeur non-stop every single day. The color is absolutely gorgeous and nude, which makes my makeup feel very natural and perfect to wear during the day. The matte lipstick, however, isn't my favorite since it's a tad bit too light for me. Anywho, I am pretty happy with my purchases so far!


DREAMY PLACES IN BRIGHTON, ENGLAND

October 1, 2017

 
Maybe I should put up the post with my things-you-should-definitely-visit-in-London list before I publish this one, simply because I went to London before I headed off to the seaside city. However, I am far too excited to share the magical spots in Brighton and I cannot wait any longer. Let's start at the beginning, as one should. Brighton had been on my travel wishlist (yes, I do make wishlists for everything) for ages and as I had some free time before I would be heading to uni it would only make sense to stay in Brighton for a couple of days, four to be exact. I jotted down some places in the city I had to visit and went discovering. Let's get started.

THE TOURISTY THINGS

Walk around The Lanes, these are the small shopping streets with high street brands and smaller businesses representing their more creative products. Discover the food and attractions on The Pier whilst having a stroll and feeling the wind breeze through your hair. Spot the gorgeous art paintings on the buildings near Trafalgar Street and get lost in the incredibly small streets. Take a moment to walk in and out of the little shops and maybe even grab some indulgent cake from Wai Kika Moo Kau? Snap some photographs from the Royal Castle and allow yourself to pretend you are the main character in a fairytale.




HIKING AND NATURE

Be awed by nature as you stare at the magical view of Seven Sisters. Hike up the cliff and prepare to be stunned by the view of the sea, the white cliffs and the meadow with adorable sheep. If you wish to spend the entire day here you can get some flyers with hiking routes at the visitor centre. It is possible to hike along the cliffs or beside the beach and into the meadows. Remember to take a small (or big!) picnic basket with you filled with delicious treats to enjoy on the cliffs.


About a 30-minute trip from the centre of Brighton by bus lays Devil's Dyke where you can either go for a challenging hike or to simply enjoy the view at the top. The views are, once again, breathtaking but beware the fierce wind at the top!



MAKING THE TRIP (EVEN MORE!) UNFORGETTABLE

For the price of no more than £1 per ride and 3p per additional minute, you can cycle along the white cliffs or discover the city by bike, though I wouldn't advise you to do this as it can get rather dangerous with the red buses and taxi's on the roads. If you're feeling brave you can wake up early and walk by the ocean as the sun sets. Share sourdough pizza's from Purezza or a pizza burger with your friend or partner (and a cheeky dessert afterwards?). Soak in the beauty and calmness of Brighton and get lost for a couple of days before heading back to reality.