My favourite vegan resources

Happy Veganuary!  Veganuary is a campaign to encourage people to try a vegan diet for the month of January.  If you’re interested in veganism and want to give it a go, I recommend taking part in Veganuary.

 

To celebrate Veganuary, I’m publishing a series of posts about veganism during the month of January.  These posts will deal with some of the common questions faced by new vegans and assist and support you if you’re considering making the transition to a vegan diet.

 

One of the most important things to do at the beginning of your vegan journey is to do your research.  Veganism is a massive topic and there are so many things to be considered.  You need to think about the reasons why you want to go vegan, the health benefits and concerns associated with a vegan diet as well as recipes and meal inspiration.  The internet is filled with resources for new vegans, but it can be very overwhelming when you’re just getting started.  To help you out, I’ve put together a list of the resources that I found most helpful at the beginning of my transition to veganism, as well as the ones that I reference on a regular basis now.

 

Films

Forks over Knives: This compelling documentary discusses the health benefits of a plant based diet.  It considers whether eating a diet high in animal products can contribute to problems like heart disease and cancer and how moving away from animal products can have a healing effect on our bodies.

 

101 Reasons to Go Vegan: A presentation aimed at high school students to help you consider the ethical dilemmas involved in farming and eating animals and animal by-products.

 

Cowspiracy: A sobering look at the environmental impact of the farming industry.

 

Books

The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S Nixon: When you’re first learning to cook a plant-based diet, a comprehensive book like this one can be a lifesaver.  I read this book two months after I began eating a vegan diet, and it made life so much easier.  It is chock-full of recipes for meal inspiration, has pages of tips for negotiating eating out at restaurants and social gatherings, lots of interviews with vegans of all walks of life and great shopping lists in the back.  One important thing to note is that this book is focused on plant-based eating, which doesn’t include things like oil and so it’s a tad more limited than a traditional “vegan” diet.  But this book is still a great starting point and I highly recommend it.

 

Veganish: the Omnivore’s Guide to Plant-Based Cooking by Mielle Chenier and Cowan Rose: An excellent book to read if you’re concerned about the nutritional value of a vegan diet.  Although the book does have a lot of recipes, they are a tiny bit more advanced than most beginner-friendly books, owing to the fact that the author is a chef.  It’s still a great read and very informative.

 

Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans by Natalie Slater: Most vegan cookbooks are a plethora of salads, soups, curries and other angelic delights.  This punk-rock book is brimming with amazing vegan junk food options like pizzas, cakes, cookies, chips, sandwiches and nachos.  It’s colourful and creative and so much fun.

 

Websites

All Vegan, All Good: All Vegan, All Good is the shopping hub for cruelty-free clothing and products. If you are looking for good-quality vegan clothing, beauty products and lifestyle products, this website is a great place to start.  Browse through the list of shops or search for specific items.  This site has saved me so much time when looking for new shoes and beauty products.

 

Veggieful: This is my most-visited site for finding vegan groceries and takeaway options.  Although the site is packed with blog posts about vegan nutrition, recipes and so forth, the real kicker is the comprehensive lists of “accidentally vegan” items at major grocery stores and takeaway chains in Australia.  This website will save you so much time scouring ingredients lists and asking waitstaff what you can order.  It’s amazing and I love it.

 

Choose Cruelty Free: A comprehensive listing of all the companies that make cruelty free and vegan cosmetics in Australia.  This is immensely helpful as it can be very confusing trying to determine which products are cruelty free in the chemist or supermarket as not all of them are clearly labelled.  This website takes all the guesswork out of shopping for cosmetics.

 

The Cruelty Free Shop: The biggest vegan supermarket in Australia.  The brick-and-mortar store is located in Fitzroy.  However, if you’re not able to get to the actual shop, you can buy all your vegan goodies at their online store.  Featuring everything from groceries to snacks, makeup to lubricant, everything is 100% vegan.

 

Youtube channels

Keira Rose: Keira vlogs about a range of topics, including mental health and cosplay.  But my favourite part of her channel is her “what I ate” videos which are great fodder for meal planning and her reviews of vegan products.  She’s charming, funny and adorable and I’ve learned so much from her channel.

 

Jenny Mustard: I first discovered Jenny’s channel when I was looking for videos about minimalism and decluttering.  In addition to being a genius on these topics, Jenny is a total foodie and gives brilliant advice on simple, satisfying vegan cooking.  She’s a master of meal planning and has loads of snack ideas that will make your mouth water.

 

Plant Based News:  A great channel to help you access the newest vegan documentaries as well as interviews with scientists, doctors and health professionals.

 

Vegan Voyager: Laura’s down-to-earth tone and witty attitude make this channel a pleasure to watch.  Featuring great advice for vegan travel, avoiding products with hidden animal content and identifying accidentally vegan products.  Loads of delicious junk food and shopping tips.

 

If you know of any other resources that you think I should add to this list, please let me know.  I’m always on the lookout for new vegan books, films and online media to learn from and share.

 

As always, if you’ve got any questions I’d be happy to try to answer them for you.  Drop me an email or leave a comment and I’ll do my best to find the answer for you.

 

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Things I Love Thursday 13/7/2017

This past week has been a real drag.  I spent Thursday and Friday completely bombed out with a migraine.  Which meant cancelling a trip to see my boyfriend on the weekend because I still wasn’t well enough to travel.  I’m trying to look on the bright side and come up with at least a couple of things that are worth smiling for.

This week I love:

  • My cats.  When I don’t feel well, they seem to intuitively know it and they are so loving.  Miss Jelly in particular gets really maternal with me when I’m not well.  She barely leaves my side and snuggles up to me when I’m napping.  It’s really sweet and it makes me feel a tiny bit better when a migraine hits.
  • Deep heat rubbed onto the points where my shoulders join my neck and my neck meets my skull.
  • This adorable 1960’s vintage purse that I got to replace my old wallet. The design reminds me of liquorice allsorts.  It opens from each end into two completely separate pockets.  It’s so slim and streamlined and it fits so well into my handbag.
  • Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday.  This movie was surprisingly adorable and really, really funny.  It co-stars Joe Manganiello as himself, and I have the hugest crush on him, which was another reason that I chose it.
  • Super soft cotton nightshirts
  • Black bean and beetroot burgers.
  • This GIF

  • Beauties of the Night.  It’s a Netflix documentary about several former showgirls who are now in their sixties and seventies.  It was really eye-opening.  When I started to watch, I felt quite sad for these women, because I thought that they were trying to cling to their youth.  But as I watched I understood that they aren’t sad in the slightest. They are passionate, majestic, colourful and creative beings.  I loved learning their stories and felt inspired by this movie.
  • Listening to my Offspring CDs from high school.

What do you love this week?

Five Fandom Friday: My favourite sequels

Last week I sat down to watch Army of Darkness for the first time.  About ten seconds in, I realised that it was, in fact, a sequel to The Evil Dead.  So I quickly switched over to watch that instead.  But after the tree-molestation scene I was ready to give up.  I decided to just watch Army of Darkness anyway, and in the end it worked out fine because it was really funny and didn’t relate too closely to The Evil Dead.

 

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So I’ve been thinking a bit about sequels this week and I thought it would be a good time to do the 5 Fandom Friday tag: My Favourite Sequels.

  1. Addams Family Values

The cast of the 1990’s Addams family films was flawless.  Anjelica Huston was the perfect Morticia, and Raul Julia was ideal as Gomez.  You couldn’t ask for a better Wednesday than Christina Ricci and Christopher Lloyd is unrecognisable in the role of Uncle Fester.  This film brought together this incredible cast for a second helping of kooky fun, adding in the incomparable Carol Kane as Grandmama (the only role that was recast for the sequel).  The second instalment had just as many laughs and tongue-in-cheek jokes as the first film, and it also features the glorious tango scene- my favourite part from both films.

2. D2: The Mighty Ducks

As a child of the 1990’s I spent a fair chunk of time watching The Mighty Ducks.  Of the three films, I think that the D2 is the strongest.  It introduced some fantastic new characters, such as Julie Gaffney and Dean Portman (Bash Brothers forever!).  Additionally, this movie was less focused on Charlie Conway than the original, which I thought was a blessing because he always irritated me. There was a stronger rivalry between teams and bigger stakes that made D2 a more exciting film than it’s predecessor.

3. Toy Story 3

I went into the cinema to watch Toy Story 3 fully prepared to hate it.  I felt that 10 years was too huge a gap between Toy Story 2 and 3 and I wasn’t sure that it was going to have the same feel as the originals.  Five minutes in and I had completely changed my tune. I thought it was genius that, rather than pretending that no time had passed, Pixar embraced the time lapse and showed us Andy as a young adult, dealing with the dilemma of letting go of his childhood.  It had some emotional moments, and I choked up over and over.  But thankfully there were plenty of laughs as well (the part with Mr Tortilla Head always has me giggling).  Toy Story 3 was so clever and managed to keep the spirit of the original films while still feeling fresh.

4. The Dark Knight

There are not too many sequels that are vastly superior to the original, but this is undoubtedly one of them.  With superhero movies, the first film tends to be on the slow side, because you have to establish an origin story.   But Batman Begins was excruciatingly tedious.  The Dark Knight saved the franchise by introducing us to Heath Ledger’s Joker, a villain who is simultaneously fascinating and piss-in-your-pants terrifying. In my opinion, The Joker is the best part about this film, and his mad plots and creepy voice never fail to capture my attention.

5. The Golden Age

The Golden Age is another sequel that was made a long while after the original film.  It was released in 2007, nine years after Elizabeth.  Elizabeth was the film that kindled my fascination with the Tudor period, and I always felt a bit disappointed that the story ends just as Elizabeth really begins to come into her own as Queen.  So I was delighted when The Golden Age was announced.  As the name suggests, this film tells of the greatest period of Elizabeth I’s reign.  The first film showed us Elizabeth as a young queen, dealing with the question of marriage and struggling to rule as a woman in a man’s world.  In The Golden Age, we see Elizabeth as a confident, competent ruler.  She has already established her image as The Virgin Queen and is about to unfurl some of her greatest triumphs.  The Golden Age shows another side of Elizabeth, the vulnerable woman behind the white mask, struggling with impossible decisions and deep, personal disappointments.  Although I love both films, I feel that The Golden Age beautifully captures the strong spirit of one of England’s most impressive monarchs.

 

What are your favourite sequels?  Are there any on this list that you also love, or any that you’d like to add?

Logan’s Run Style

One sweltering afternoon last month I stretched out on my loungeroom floor to watch Logan’s Run.  The 70’s sci-fi classic has been recommended to me so many times, that when I found a copy of the DVD at my local library I just had to check it out. There’s something quite special about 1970’s science fiction.  It was an era that had a real obsession with space-age costuming, and the outfits from this time always manage to look both futuristic and retro all at once.  There’s always this hint of disco-fabulousness mixed in with the shiny fabrics and eyes-forward cuts.
Another element that appealed to me was the monochrome styles in each “class” of costumes.  There are four different classes of people who live in Logan’s world and each one wears a very distinct colour palette.  I liked the idea of this kind of social uniform and the subtle differences between the styles of each.  I thought it would be fun to play around and create an outfit for each of the four classes shown in the movie.

The Cubs

Cubs

 

The cubs are the youngest of the four classes, all of them are aged under fifteen.  They wear a palette of yellow, mustard and brown.  These earthy, golden tones are so evocative of the 1970’s, when such bright colours were popular.  The Cubs’ clothes have a playful, childlike element to them, and tend to be somewhat distressed and  torn.

Jessica

Jessica

 

The character Jessica represents the next age group, loosely between the ages of  15-25 (this is not specifically defined in the film).  The citizens from this age group wear shades of green, and their outfits are more revealing than most.  Many of the citizens who are a part of this age group are preoccupied with sex and hedonism, and as such their outfits are the most overtly sexual of all.  Short skirts, transparent fabrics and bare limbs are hallmarks of the green-wearing youths.  Their outfits feature adornments and jewellery to highlight bare wrists and ankles.  Few members of this group wear an ankh charm, a symbol of the idealistic utopia of Sanctuary.

Last Day

Renew

 

The eldest inhabitants of the city wear red, and their clothes are more mature than their younger counterparts.  Although still sexy and form-fitting, they tend to be less revealing than the greens.  Silky, slippery fabrics and gorgeous textures abound, as well as the ever present red life-timer: a jewel fixed into the palm of the hand which turns red upon your thirtieth birthday.

Sandman

Sandman

 

The Sandmen are the law enforcement, and it is their job to catch “Runners” who attempt to flee to avoid being killed once they turn 30.   The Sandmen wear minimalist, utilitarian outfits of black and silver.  The lines are sleek and smooth, fabrics are industrial and adornments are few.
As you can see, each category is distinct in palette and style, and yet all manage to look both retro and futuristic at the same time. This blending of elements makes the costumes from this film so appealing and visually striking.  Any of the uniforms is easy to replicate, and work into a modern-day outfit that evokes the sexuality and starkness of the film’s story.
Which outfit do you think you’d be most likely to wear?

Things I Love Thursday 5/1/2017

Happy Thursday gorgeous-face!  I hope that the first week of 2017 was smashing and that you’ve got lots to be smiling about.  Because I sure do!  Here we go…

This week I love:

  • Grill’d.  I have been a fan of their burgers for years, but this past week they won me over completely.  I called into Grill’d at Southern Cross Station to grab some dinner on New Years Eve.  I chose the Field of Dreams burger, minus the cheese and mayo, and sat down to wait for it.  While I was waiting, one of the chefs approached me and asked if I was vegan.  She had noticed my docket and wanted to check because the pesto on the burger also had parmesan cheese on it.  She made a bunch of vegan-friendly suggestions and together we build the most delicious burger on the planet.  I was so appreciative of her assistance.  As a new vegan, it can be hard to know what to order in restaurants and so it was awesome to have someone help me out.
  • Rogue One.  Wowza, I was not prepared for the amazingness of that film.  David and I went to see it last week (on the same day that Carrie Fisher’s passing was announced.  *sob!*) and I was blown away.  It was crazy good.
  • Kitty head-boops
  • American Horror Story: Hotel.  I’ve been blazing through this series and I’m enjoying it a great deal.  I’m addicted to Gaga’s glamorous costumes and the art deco styling of the Hotel Cortez is making me drool.  The story is pretty good so far, and reminds me more of season one in the way it’s been jumping around in time.  I plan to finish it off over the next day or so.
  • Yarn shopping.
  • My herb garden.  I’ve got three plants growing strong, and I can’t wait for them to get big enough for me to start using them in my cooking.
  • Frozen cola slurpees
  • Raspberries
  • Crop tops
  • Throwing away a stack of threadbare bed sheets and frayed towels.  I no longer need to fight my way into my linen cupboard every time I need something.
  • Cool breezes through the open windows of an evening.

What do you love this week?

Style icons: Harley Quinn

I was pretty rapt with the Suicide Squad movie.  Even though the critics have kinda panned it, I really enjoyed the film. There can be no doubt that a huge part of my love for the film came from the presence of one of my favourite DC characters, Harley Quinn.  After seeing the film, I was so inspired by Harley’s awesome sense of style, and I wanted to dedicate a Style Icons post to the mad clown queen of Gotham City.

 

 

Mod Harley

 

There can be little doubt that Harley is the queen of colour blocking.  She likes large panels of bold colour, usually in a half-and-half style.  Her favourite combos are red and black and blue and red with splashes of white thrown in for good measure.  Her two-tone look even extends to her hair, often worn in pigtails with dip-dyed tips for dramatic effect.
Casual Harley

 

Harley’s outfits are usually form-fitting or scandalously brief.  She loves being the centre of attention so eye-grabbing pieces are a must.  But although you might want to touch, you’d better keep your mitts to yourself.  Harley’s relationship with The Joker is anything but open.  He keeps her on a tight reign, and while their relationship is pretty dysfunctional, there are also strong elements of dominance and submission present.  I really liked the way that bondage gear and winks to Harley’s BDsM relationship with Joker were woven into her costumes.  Her “Puddin” collar, ”Yes Sir” cuffs and “Property of Joker” bomber jacket all speak to her submission to Mr J.
Daddy's disco princess

 

It’s the tiny details that are key to Harley’s outfits.  She particularly partial to diamond shapes, which harken back to her harlequin-inspired costume in the original cartoon.  Jagged edges and circus-goth finishings are also perfect for a girl who is more at home on a tightrope or aerial silks than with her feet firmly planted on the ground.
Rev her up

 

Interestingly, a large number of items in Harley’s wardrobe are inspired by sporting apparel. From her triple stripe sneaker stilettos to her baseball tees, Harley likes to blend a bit of activewear in with her outfits.  This possibly has to do with the fact that her weapon of choice is a baseball bat (when she’s not wielding her comically-huge mallet).  Harley likes to match her baseball jacket with teeny tiny shorts and a liberal application of bling.
I’m head over heels in love with Harley’s look, and it’s so tempting to sprinkle a bit of madcap circus-gal fun into your own wardrobe.  You could quite easily add a few small touches, or go for the full-shebang in two-toned gear, a collar and booty shorts.  It’s up to you how far you take the look, but once you get going, it’s hard not to go a little bit nuts.
Are you a fan of Harley’s look?  Which parts would you like to incorporate into your own wardrobe?

What I wore: 29th March, 2016

I’m a big fan of lingerie.  I have quite a collection of pretty underthings.  Most of the time I’m perfectly happy to keep them to myself, and wear them like a gorgeous secret next to my skin.  But then there are other times when it seems a shame to hide them, and I like to wear my underwear as outerwear.  This was one of those times.

I bought this amazing longline floral satin bra from Best and Less just after Christmas.  I’ve worn it a few times but on this particular occasion I didn’t want to hide her under a shirt or dress.  So I made the choice to throw something sheer on over the top, and let her peek out at the world.

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I am wearing:

  • Floral satin long line bra from Best and Less
  • Black sheer blouse from Bardot
  • Black floral trousers from K Mart
  • Reversible brocade jacket (thrifted)
  • Black studded motorcycle boots from Big W
  • Pirate earrings from Equip
  • Silver swirl ring
  • Moonstone ring from Lovisa

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I wanted a slightly cheeky outfit to wear because I was heading out to see Deadpool at the cinema.  It seemed appropriate to have something a bit raunchy for such an occasion.

 

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Please excuse my messy bedroom.  I snapped these photos quickly with my camera before my bestie showed up.  I didn’t quite have time to set up my proper camera, but I still wanted to share this outfit because I was really chuffed with how I scrubbed up.

 

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And in case you were wondering, the movie was fantastic.  I’ve never really gotten into Deadpool before, but I was blown away by this movie.  It was completely different to any Marvel film I’ve seen before, completely tongue-in-cheek, vulgar and with a good dash of sweetness thrown in.  The special effects were  mind blowing and the jokes were hilarious.  To top it off, I reckon it held the very best Stan Lee cameo to date.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I definitely recommend that you check it out.

 

Have you seen Deadpool?  What did you think?