Inside my Journal – Ocean, Land and Sky

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[inside my journal – sunflowers, roses and cacti]

It’s been a while since I featured my journal on this blog but I’m finally coming around to posting about it again. Since then I have done a ton of pages, however today I’m only sharing three: ocean, land and sky. These themes were really fun to use and gave me a greater appreciation for the world around us.

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So, we first of all start with waves. I decided to draw a storm in a teacup in the middle because I’ve always been fascinated by that concept. With the empty space, I decided to fill it with a pen drawing of a ship.

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After seeing a beautiful watercolour of a face on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to choose that as inspiration for a page. Using coloured pencils instead, I added birds and finished with a quote.

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[inspired by @starfreckless on ig]

When I saw this on Instagram, I knew I had to re-create it. I love the idea behind it and how simple and effective it is. I’m so glad I decided to start journalling!

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Recent Reads

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I love reading. I think it absolutely magical how powerful words on a page can transport you to another place. Here are some of the books I’ve read recently.

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White Rabbit, Red Wolf is about Pete, a teenage boy who is almost afraid of everything. However, when his mother gets kidnapped and his sister disappears, it’s up to him to get to the bottom of it.

Now I started this book with high hopes. But, it went all downhill from there. I just don’t know what made it a bit disappointing, it didn’t live up to its full potential.

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A Berlin Love Song is about Max, a German schoolboy and Lili, a trapeze artist. Lili is from a Romani gypsy family whose life and customs are very different from those of Max and his family. Their friendship turns into love – but love between a member of the Hitler youth and a gypsy is forbidden.

I really enjoyed this book, however, at some parts, I thought it was a little insensitive. Told from two perspectives, the changing view created tension.

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Girl in Pieces is about Charlie who at seventeen has already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to remove that pain, through cutting; the pain washes away the sorrow and replaces the emotion with emptiness.

This book took me on an emotional rollercoaster, I felt true empathy towards some of the characters.  The pace was slightly odd but I quickly got used to it.

[full review on goodreads]

Carrot Cake Muffins

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Muffins are one of my favourite things to make and when combined with carrot cake, make a wonderful treat. This recipe creates light, moist and irresistible muffins that you simply have to try!

Ingredients (makes nine muffins):

For the muffins:

  • 1 large carrot
  • 150g of self-raising flour
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 135ml of sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

For the frosting:

  • 100g of cream cheese
  • 100g of butter
  • 10ml of orange juice
  • Icing sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/gas mark 5.
  2. Place the paper cases into the tin.
  3. Peel the carrot and grate finely.
  4. Put oil and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute.
  5. Add the eggs to the mixture little at a time, mixing well.
  6. Stir in the carrot.
  7. Pour the flour and spices into the mixture.
  8. Gently fold.
  9. Place mixture into cases.
  10. Bake for around fifteen minutes.
  11. Once cool, mix the frosting ingredients and pipe.

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What I Eat as a Vegetarian (School Edition)

School has finally started again and it has hit me hard. But one thing that can always keep me going is food! If you couldn’t tell, food is basically my life. I have done one of these posts before, just on a day at the weekend. I love reading these types of posts, so I decided to share what I eat as a vegetarian on a typical school day. This obviously varies throughout the week, but sometimes the lunch stays the same.

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For breakfast, I normally have a bowl of cereal and some toast. This morning I decided to have some honey nut cornflakes and on my toast I had apricot jam.

Lunch - School Day

At lunch, I usually have a sandwich but my Mum kindly made me and my twin brother a falafel salad. I absolutely love these because they give me such a boost and are really filling. Afterwards, I had a mango yoghurt.

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When I got home from school, I always have something to eat. Today I had one of the muffins, me and my twin brother had made earlier in the week.

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For dinner, my Mum made tacos; I absolutely love tacos! Afterwards, I had some ice cream.

So, that’s what I eat in a day as a vegetarian when I have school. Obviously, I don’t eat like this every day, this was just a random day I picked to document.

Poem: Accepting

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no one knew how far i’d go
just to be like the others i know
fretting and fraying
stammering away

it made me unhappy
it made my sad
even though i was kinda glad

to be like them
all popular and cool
but i didn’t know what i’d become

happiness had simply disappeared
for it was them i feared

no one knew how i felt
not enough to make my heart melt

then I discovered you
understanding myself
I knew
all my sense had gone askew

everyone changes
just like time displaces
the world spins round
to make us confound

ourselves
one another
from each other

is anyone like anyone else
personalities are individual, unless
can we not be who we want to be

embracing physical and mental identity
that’s what makes you and me

~

This poem was written to show that everyone’s different and that accepting who people are shouldn’t be too hard. This poem wasn’t necessarily written from my personal experience, but I decided to choose this account of events to shed light on what some people go through.

Creative Comissons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Postcards from Valencia

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Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Valencia, the third most populated city in Spain. Although before my trip I’d never heard of it, by the end I was wishing to be able to stay just that little bit longer. If you are looking for a short or long break to a non-touristy part of Spain, Valenica is the place for you!

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The flight from London Gatwick is around two hours.

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For the duration of our visit, we stayed at TRYP Valencia Oceanic. It had everything you needed out of a hotel and the staff were friendly.

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One of the main tourist attractions of Valenica is L’Oceangràfic. The architecture is so modern and blends in well with the rest of the area. Although we didn’t go inside the actual building, it is a wonderful place to spend a morning walking around.

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Marking the start of the old town, Torres de Serranos is amazing in providing views across the whole of Valencia.

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Casa de las Rocas housing wooden ceremonial carts from the Corpus Christi festival. It was absolutely fascinating finding out about the history of the festival and why it is celebrated.

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Also in the old town, Centre de Carme Art Gallery has a range of exhibitions from local artists. The garden in the middle was a lovely touch.

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IVAM was really interesting and had an exhibition for everyone. The pop art I especially enjoyed.

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Jardi Botantic had so many cacti! Heaven for me. Everything was outdoors apart from a few plants which made everything feel so real!

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El Carmen is famous for its street art. The people who do this are very talented and it is a trip in itself walking round to see all of them!

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Llotja de la Seda is a UNESCO World Heritage site with history in its very walls. The building was stunning, especially the floors.

If you are looking for a unique break for any time of year, Valencia is the place. I loved visiting and definitely enjoyed myself.

What’s in my Bag (School Edition)

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Strangely enough, I am slightly looking forward to going back to school. Don’t hate me, but I cannot wait to get back into a proper schedule and see all my friends again. One of my favourite things about the summer is going back to school shopping. I love getting new stationary for the academic year ahead. Although I did not buy too much for this year as I had a lot left from last year, I decided to share what I bring to school with me.

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My bag is the Fjallraven Kånken backpack. I’ve talked about it before on my blog. For the majority of last year, that was the bag I used. It is still going strong!

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In the front pocket, I keep my phone and a case. The case has any keys I need, my earphones and lip balm.

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Moving onto the main pocket, I keep my pencil case. I cannot lie, I absolutely love stationary. Unfortunately, I have a habit of losing things, so hopefully I can keep hold of everything and that they stay in one piece!

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I also keep all my books for that day, which changes. Some of my subjects also need folders which do fit in the bag, just tend to get a little bashed. Instead, I usually just carry them.

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I make sure to always have water, you have got to stay hydrated! Sometimes, I bring lunch with me, so I’ll keep it in a separate bag.

Bag - miscellaneous

School planner and reading book are things I always need. There is something not the same as writing your events down with a pen and paper!

And that’s what I have in my school bag. I am quite excited for the new academic year. Have a wonderful academic year, whether you are going back to school or college or already have.

Berry Smoothie Bowl

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I’m always looking for new things to try for breakfast, but something I have never tried is a smoothie bowl! This year I was was lucky enough to get a blender. Over the course of the year, I have made plenty of smoothies, but never in a bowl format. For breakfast a few days ago, I decided I had to make it. Here’s the result!

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 100g frozen berry smoothie mix
  • 50ml soya milk
  • Toppings

Method:

  1. Blend all the ingredients in the blender, being careful not to over or under blend. If it is too lumpy, don’t worry because this adds texture. Liquid makes it thinner, substance makes it thicker.
  2. Pour the mixture into a bowl.
  3. Place your toppings on, I chose muesli and a chopped plum.

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Rasberry and Almond Muffins

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Summer is the perfect time to do some baking and take advantage of all the wonderful seasonal fruit. Raspberries are one of my favourites especially because of how versatile they are. When baked, the raspberries ooze out of the muffins, creating a gorgeous texture inside.

Ingredients:

  • 250g of raspberries
  • 200g of self-raising flour
  • 200ml of milk
  • 125ml of oil
  • 100g of ground almonds
  • 100g of golden caster sugar
  • 75g of flaked almonds
  • Three eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Line the muffin tin with twelve paper cases.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with the oil and milk.
  4. Without the raspberries or almonds, add the dry ingredients into a separate bowl.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients together. Make sure not to overmix as the batter should be lumpy.
  6. Stir in the raspberries.
  7. Divide the batter between the paper cases and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top.
  8. Bake in the oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes or until golden brown.

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DISCLAIMER: This recipe was inspired by the one on Great British Chefs. Click here for the original recipe. 

Food in Valencia

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Recently, I got back from a trip to Valencia with my family. We spent just under a week there it was absolutely wonderful. It was incredible to go somewhere different and if you are looking for a unique experience, Valencia is the place.

As we stayed in a hotel for our visit, we ate out for every single meal. For the integrity of our trip, we went to some really amazing places. But, these were the best for me.

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La Bothéca was the restaurant we started and ended with. The atmosphere was very warm and welcoming. The people who run it are so incredibly lovely and make you feel at home.

La Bothéca - Dessert and Restaurant

 

In terms of the food, it could not get any better. Everything is freshly made. It was really humbling to be able to taste quite authentic Italian food.

Refugio - Starter and Main

Refugio was a lucky find. When we were in the El Carmen area, Google Maps directed us to this unique restaurant.

Refugio - Dessert and Restaurant

What some may find slightly peculiar is that there is no permanent menu. I do think that this is very interesting as you get a new experience every time you visit.

The best thing about the food was the presentation, especially the starter. Cutting into the tomato, everything spilt out. A beautiful surprise.

Almalibre Açaí Bar - Starter and Main

Almalibre Açaí Bar was a place we passed whilst exploring the El Carmen area. Once deciding to go there, we knew we had made the right choice. The entire menu is vegan with no meat substitutes.

Almalibre Açaí Bar - Dessert and Restaurant

Spain is obviously very aware of vegetarians, vegans and food intolerances because this place was one of many specialist cafes.

All the food was amazing, but the açai bowl opened my eyes to an entirely new breakfast meal.

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Although not a restaurant, I couldn’t resist but to include Ice Wave. Unlike the other places mentioned, Ice Wave is a chain of rolled ice cream stalls.

After seeing videos and photos of rolled ice cream online, I simply had to try it.

The prices are very reasonable, which is something I was worried about. They do it right in front of you which was extraordinary to see the effort it takes to make such a perfect dessert.

Valencia was a wonderful city to visit and I had a lovely time. The weather was very hot though!