Good morning Tuesday! Here is another minimalist challenge for those who are interested. Myself, I am addicted to social media. Social Media can be great! But for most of us it can be toxic. I have already tried to scale down the amount of time I spend on facebook, instagram, youtube and other social media platforms by reading a book, go for a walk, spend time with my boyfriend and family etc. You know, live in the moment in the real world which we most of the time forget about :P

LOTS OF LOVE XX

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Good evening! I've been working this morning. It was a short shift to see how it cooperates during the day. I seem to stress out and make everything much bigger in my head than it actually is. I got a phone call to do a night shift tomorrow, so I will be working the whole day tomorrow until the morning the next day. So yeah, long shift, but I need the hours!


(Some old artwork I made a while ago)

Now, I will continue doing some drawing and enjoy some tea on the side. Later on I'll continue watching my K-drama series - Goblin. It's sooo good! If you haven't seen it, you should. If you would like to know more info about it, a girl I know named @LACKYKPOP has written a blog post about it here: KDRAMA SERIES "GOBLIN"

What have you been up to today? XX

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10 min PREP and 25 min COOKING time. SERVES: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash, about 3 cups, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped italian parsley
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • pomegranate molasses

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C or 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the butternut squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa to the pan and toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the chicken or vegetable stock and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and cover the pan; cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid. Take the pan off the heat and allow the quinoa to rest for 5 minutes covered. Fluff with a fork.
  4. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl. Gently fold in butternut squash, cranberries, parsley, scallions, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the mixture with the pomegranate molasses.

Notes

  • If you can’t find pomegranate molasses at your local grocery store, you can substitute balsamic glaze.
  • If you’re not planning on serving the salad immediately, refrain from adding the molasses and transfer the mixture to an airtight container. The salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2 days.

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DINNER AND ENTERTAINMENT

  1. Remember to bring extra jars to the grocery store when shopping for company (including take-out).
  2. Make finger foods for larger parties and consider serving tap water with lemon slices instead of fizzy water.
  3. Use glassware, ceramic dishes and cloth napkins at all times.
  4. Avoid the use of serving platters/dishes: When serving straight onto dinner plates, it simplifies, saves water from extra cleaning, and it allows for a plate presentation.
  5. Find creative ways to decorate your table with few napkin folding tricks, discarded leaves/branches from the yard, or just seasonal fruit…
  6. Reuse empty votive tins (and the wick base) to make new votive candles for company with bulk beeswax and lead-free wick.
  7. Stop buying CD and DVD’s – Use Spotify or buy music online such as iTunes etc.
  8. YOU CAN ALSO… bring your own container for leftovers when dining out, use rechargeable batteries for those remote controls, try living without TV for a while…

LOTS OF LOVE XX

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So I thought I was going to tell how and when I became Vegan.
On and off I was on a "Vegetarian Diet" for several years. I am calling it a diet as I wasn't 100% committed for the ethical reasons. As I wasn't dedicated enough I used to go back on eating meat out of bad habits. When I was about 12 years old, my mom introduced the family to quorn mince, which we fell the liking of. I stopped drinking dairy products in my teenage years because my stomach couldn't handle it anymore. Back then I was a Vegeterian for like a year, but then I went back on eating meat again from time to time.

Anyways, everything started to take action during my last year as a fashion design student in London 2015. I made a collection that got influences from the North, such as vikings and wolfs etc. So a lot of faux fur and feathers were involved. During my year I had to write a dissertation connected to my final collection. That's where I got more in depth of fur farms and the way animals got treated for the sake of fashion. Now when I am looking back I don't understand why I didn't stop eating meat at that point.. That's just idiotic.


Time went. I still was on a "Vegeterian diet". I rarely ate much meat in the UK to begin with as it was so expensive over there. I usually bought Vegeterian alternatives instead due to my tight budget. I must point out I dislike this new term people use called "flexiterian". There is no such thing. You eat meat but on a smaller scale. You still contribute to the killing of animals. 😭

Anyways, It wasn't until I had a chicken burger from GBK I got food poisoned! After that, I couldn't stand the smell of chicken anymore. Before I even got food poisoned; I remember I had a steak when I was at a restaurant. At that moment I actually focused on the actual taste and I didn't enjoy it anymore. It tasted weird and I felt slightly uncomfortable about it. The taste reminded me of the awful smell of rotten organs from dead animals that was left behind in the lions enclousers, back in 2010 when I was a volunteer at a Lion Breeding reservation in Zimbabwe, Africa.

But it was that chicken burger that food poisoned me, that really made me flip my diet upside down. Next day, I watched Cowspiracy, and I was hooked. I got so emotional for the animals and the negative impact animal agriculture got on the environment. So, I made space in the cupboards, I did research on Vegan recipes and from then on, I continued watching documentaries about Veganism. Let me tell you, I couldn't be happier.


I have made positive impacts on my health since I became Vegan. I have lost weight, I don't feel as tired and bloated anymore. My digestion works perfect, WOHOO! Before I used to have BLOOD mixed in the stool and I had horrible stomach pains. After I became Vegan, it all disappear! I have cleansed my body completely from all the toxic chemicals in my body. My skin has never been better! Everything hasn't been easy, after a few months I started to get tired again and low on energy, but that was all because I wasn't eating enough. Another amazing thing, I can eat more healthy food and not feel bad about it! 😍 #foodoholic

I used to be ignorant, come up with lame and stupid excuses to why eating meat. I was there but I know now what I was doing was wrong. I went back and forth from being a vegetarian for a long time. But now when I went Vegan for ethical reasons, it was the easiest decision I have ever made xx


One thing that does makes me sad is that I didn't become Vegan sooner.
LOTS OF LOVE XX

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Yesterday I went for 1 hour walk to a new working place I might be working at from time to time. I passed by a riding school. I just had to take a few pictures as with the fog in the background made it all look quite spooky and mystical. Especially the third picture! I first thought of bringing my SLR camera, but of some reason I changed my mind.. so these pictures on my phone will do. 🐎


Anyways, hope you will have a good Saturday! What's your plans for the evening? xx


#nouw30daychallenge, day 18

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Good morning everyone! Hope you are all doing well. Here are a few ideas, or a 7 day challenge, for you who are interested in minimalism but don't know where to start. Always take baby steps in the beginning. If you go all out you most likely will go back to your old habits within one month, as it will become way to overpowering.

LOTS OF LOVE XX

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10 min PREP and 40 min COOKING time. Serves 4 - 7 (depending on accompaniments)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 to 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and pith removed, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ancho chili powder (or other chili powder)
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 and ½ cups frozen corn
  • 28 oz. diced or crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (I used two ~14-oz. cans)
  • 2 and ¼ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 and ½ cups cooked black beans (I used one can)
  • juice of ½ of a lime
  • optional garnishes: tortilla chips; chopped raw red onion; fresh cilantro; avocado

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sprinkle with salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened and translucent, stirring occasionally to prevent the garlic from burning.
  2. Stir in the sweet potato and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the sweet potato is slightly softened.
  3. Add the bell pepper, jalapeno, and zucchini and saute for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the black pepper, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and ground coriander, stir, and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  5. Add the corn, tomatoes, and vegetable broth, and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Simmer the soup, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is cooked through.
  6. Uncover the soup, stir in the black beans, and simmer for 2 minutes more. Stir in the freshly-squeezed lime juice. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, lime juice, and cayenne pepper. Serve hot, topped with garnishes of choice.

NOTES

This recipe makes a fairly chunky soup. Add more broth after simmering the sweet potatoes if you want a thinner soup.
To make this sweet potato tortilla soup grain-free, omit the frozen corn, substituting with additional black beans if desired.

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Oh my goodness! I have been crying like a baby! I thought of watching another movie based on Nicholas Sparks novels - The Best of Me. I love his cheesy and romantic films, they really get you the feels. One of my favorites by him will always be "The Notebook".

The Best of Me
"The story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of the beloved friend. "

Other then crying, I did a drawing earlier. I will post a picture of it later on.. I am not 100% finished with it yet.
What have you been up to? xx

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THE KITCHEN

We consume and clutter our world with trash far too much. There are times I wonder if people believe they have another planet to go to after this one is all done for. We only have one home which we all need to learn to share.
Here are a few tips for a sustainable living. I start off with this first post, about how you can go for zero waste in the kitchen area.


ALTERNATIVES TO DISPOSABLES

paper towels, garbage liners, wax paper, aluminum foil, disposable plates, cups etc... It may seem nothing when you throw all of that from time to time in the garbage, but it does a lot of harm to our nature.
Swap the paper towels for reusable rags, swap sandwich baggies for stainless containers. Drop bin liners altogether, (wet waste is mostly compostable anyways).

BUY IN BULK
Bring reusable bags. If you cannot find it in bulk, find a supplier (bring your jar to the ice cream shop, a pillow case to the bakery for your bread, or your bottles to the winery/brewery)… or make it (mustard, salad dressing, hot sauce, jams, OJ, hummus, cookies, canned tomatoes).


THE FARMERS MARKET
Shop at the farmers market. Not only do you support the local farmers but you most likely can skip all the plastic bags and stickers on the veggies. Just don't forget to bring with your reusable bags!

TAP WATER
Learn to love your tap water! If you think its plain and boring, why not add different kinds of berries? I love adding raspberries, strawberries or blueberries in the water. Or I enjoy some cucumber and lemon in a cold glass of water 😍

REINVENT
Reinvent your leftovers before they go bad. Go thru your recipe binder/box and only keep the recipes that can be achieved with zero waste in mind.

COMPOST
Turn your trash can into a big compost keeper. Use your tiny compost keeper as a trash can (on the market, the sizes for these seem to be reversed).


YOU CAN ALSO… Reuse single-side printed paper for grocery shopping and errands list (or simply use your phone), use your lettuce cleaning water to water plants, open your oven after baking in the winter (cool your oven, warm your house)…

LOTS OF LOVE XX

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