A New Chapter

Why hello there, stranger.

So, it has felt like an extremely lengthy time since I last published a blog post… and that’s probably because it has been an extremely lengthy time. Normally I would bombard you all who kindly do take the time to read my blog posts with apologies, excuses and how I am embarrassed at how long it has been. However this time, I’m not sorry. And I’m not embarrassed. And without the cheesy cliche embellishment that nobody wants or needs (and nor does this blog), I’m coming clean.

the truth is, I just didn’t feel like writing”

I have had an abundance of people say to me “Rachel! When’s your next blog post coming out?”, and as flattered as I have been to hear readers are genuinely interested and follow my blog’s progress (a concept I still can’t get my head around), I would reply with “aww how sweet, I plan to post one shortly” – knowing it probably wouldn’t happen anytime soon. I tried blaming it on just being busy and not finding the time to write, and I tried blaming the fact I don’t have ‘blogger’ equipment to reach the standard I aspire. But the truth is, I just didn’t feel like writing.

If I had a pound for every time I sat down to finish just one, from the handful of unfinished blog posts I have lying in my drafts, well let’s just say I probably wouldn’t have to pay for a latte for the rest of the year. (Just take a look at my blog name if that has triggered any confusion). I just somehow found each post increasingly difficult to finish. Or just to even create content I was happy with. My inspiration had depleted to zero, and it took me a long time to stop feeling guilty about it. It was becoming more of a duty rather than something I enjoy. And that’s when I asked myself, I have created this blog as a hobby, as a creative outlet, as a way to put my writing ‘out there’. So why was it becoming almost a chore?

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“Your blog should reflect you”

Despite saying all of this, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy blogging – it would be terribly ironic of me if that were the case. I enjoy blogging, however I think I have concluded that the content I was making wasn’t one hundred per-cent what I wanted to blog about. I am aiming to spruce up the content, style and appearance of my blog, meaning that what I put onto my platform will reflect more personality, but in a more tidy and polished sense. That, I think, is the art of creating and tailoring a blog, making the work you publish onto it a much more enjoyable process. Your blog should reflect you. And that’s not completely how I felt mine has been doing.

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After this sort of ‘break from blogging’, it has enabled a reflection on not only my blog, but the efforts I put into something I love. I’ve always been a strong believer in, if you’re not happy about something, then make the effort to change it instead of sitting and complaining. Because, let’s be honest, the alternate attitude gets you nowhere in life. Certainly not half as near as where you could be if you don’t take the time to put effort in to change something you’re not completely satisfied about.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that I am back to the good ol’ blogging, which I will be adapting to my aspirations (to their maximum feasibility). Because let’s face it, my dream blog can’t happen overnight.

I hope you all enjoy the future plans I have for Coffee and Chapters, I look forward to sharing my journey with you.

Rach x

What I’m wearing:
Outfit 1:
Black top: H&M
Sunglasses: Quay Australia @ ASOS
White skirt: River Island

Outfit 2:
Grey crop top: Topshop
Black lace detail shorts: Zara
Sandals: Warehouse
Bag: Michael Kors

Image credits: Georgia Lidington and Kevin Jefferies
Editing thanks to: Aneesha Grewal

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Going Veggie

Hello you wonderful people! I just want to start by profoundly apologising for the lack of posts recently- exam season was absolutely manic, and cramming, coffee and snack food seemed to be my best friends for three weeks. Not to heartbreakingly mention that Netflix, socialising and anything non-revision related had to become my worst enemies. But exams are over (for now), Netflix and my bed are feeling loved again, and I am now hopeful to get back into blogging for y’all.

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Changes to Blog

Okay, so this is (embarrassingly) my first post of 2016, and it is definitely too late to say (but I’m going to say it anyway); I hope you all had lovely a Christmas and New Year! Better late than never ay? *Grimaces*

You may have noticed – or I’m kidding myself that you have- that I have changed my blog name to ‘coffeeandchapters‘. I decided to do this because it not only describes me to a T, but I also felt that my previous blog name wasn’t catchy and it had a slightly awkward way about it. I am much happier with ‘coffeeandchapters‘ *sips coffee*, so that is where you find my blog in the future!

New Year’s Resolution (with a plot twist)…

Now I’m going to be a typical blogger and talk about New Year resolutions… no one keeps them… blah blah blah. We’ve all heard that one before. But this year’s new year resolution has been a huge change to my life so far. From January 1st, I have gone vegetarian. Yep, you heard me right, I’m vegetarian (well, pescatarian – I still eat fish). I had been pondering about becoming about being a non-meat eater, however with the complications of being at home over Christmas, I decided that it would probably be best starting in the new year, when I am at university cooking for myself. So when I woke up New Year’s Day with a hangover that felt like every death-like feeling had been absorbed into of my body, I froze in my bed; staring at the ceiling thinking about how I didn’t fully cherish my last Nando’s meal. Don’t think I’m kidding. After I pulled myself together, a swarm of curiosity and excitement jaded by uncertainty of what to expect churned in my stomach… that or it might have been the alcohol from the night before – who knows.

Why I Chose Veggie

I received numerous why’s, popping eyes accompanied by tightened eyebrows, and was grilled by my entire family (excuse the wonderfully ironic pun) throughout the duration of my supposedly relaxing Christmas break about trying out a non-meat eater lifestyle. Despite this, I persevered with my choice due to several reasons. Animal agriculture and grazing is immensely damaging to our environment, however I’m not going to sit here and preach you all to death about eating meat (that would be ironically un-veggie of me ha). With this in mind, it’s just a personal choice I have been keen to try. (If you want to know some more information about this however, I will list some sources at the end of this blog post).

Factor no. 2 of vegging up my life: to explore new exotic foods, recipes and just generally detox my body from fatty and fried foods. Experimenting with new fresh foods sounded more than appealing after eating such rich foods over Christmas, resulting in waddling back to the welcoming arms of uni life and exams ahead of me. So becoming veggie has enabled me to discover new fresh foods, such as kale, tofu and different seeds, pulses and beans, not to mention consolidating my eternal love for spinach and avocado (how White Girl of me). By consuming these colourful bundles of nutrition, I have felt surprisingly energetic and positive mentally and physically.

Of course animal cruelty underlies a reason for changing my diet, however my reasonings for being a vegetarian aren’t passionately dedicated to animals as I understand why people eat meat. Why else would McDonald’s be so popular? I mostly concerned my change of lifestyle with the environment and my personal diet factors, of which I am still dedicated to.

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Progress So Far

So I have been a veggie for exactly one month and I can honestly say that it is going much better than I had expected. Cravings for meat have been minimal, and I have resisted when they have occasionally occurred. And I am even proud to say that every time I have – to put it pleasantly- been on an alcohol fuelled night (and don’t ask how many times please, my answer is embarrassing), I have even ordered veggie burgers whenever I hear McDonald’s whispering my name. FYI, McDonald’s veggie burgers are absolutely incredible. And I’m not just saying that to prove a point. Pfft, and there was me thinking chicken nuggets would be my greatest downfall *inserts flexing biceps emoji*.

I have had one slip within the first 2 weeks of becoming veggie, which was accidentally eating marshmallows (on a hot chocolate- can you blame me?) without realising that they contain gelatine until after. The moment of awareness on the bus home from the coffee shop consisted of my eyes tearing away from my phone, looking up with realisation and shifting my eyes side to side with guilt. Oops. However I feel as though that slip up has made me warier about what I am eating, and I have been careful ever since.

I have no idea how long I intend to keep my non-meat eating up; I’m not setting myself a target, I am just going to continue it as long as I am happy and most importantly, healthy.

So there we go, my New Year’s resolution twist- bet you didn’t see that one coming, ay? I could easily ramble on even more about my vegetarian experience, however I have decided to use it as an excuse to write blogs about my progress and tips and info about vegetarianism. My aim is not to project my opinion or boast about the fact I am veggie (it can be stigmatised that us veg-lovers do), it’s purely to inform and share my personal experience. Absolutely riveting.

Information and Sources

If you would like some more information about animal agriculture, I would definitely recommend to watch documentary, Cowspiracy. (Can be found on Netflix or possibly even YouTube). Although the research is based on American animal agriculture, which you should be aware can be different to the UK farming industry, it is still a crucial issue that the world is responsible for.

Cowspiracy website: http://www.cowspiracy.com 

You might also want to check out:

Humane Society International: http://www.hsi.org/issues/climate_change/

Wikipedia Animal Agriculture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intensive_animal_farming

DID YOU KNOW…

“Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day.   [i]

Ross, Philip. “Cow farts have ‘larger greenhouse gas impact’ than previously thought; methane pushes climate change.” International Business Times. 2013.

250-500 litres per cow per day, x 1.5 billion cows globally is 99 – 198.1 billion gallons. Rough average of 150 billion gallons CH4 globally per day. ”

Source taken from Conspiracy: http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/

(Disclaimer –  I don’t like to preach or tell people what they should do, so my views about being a vegetarian are not intended to be forced upon people, just simply explaining my own personal beliefs).

Images: By Rachel Jefferies

 

5 Sayings That Were Never Cool. EVER.

Rewind back to the inevitable period of your life when you thought you were a ‘cool’ kid. Don’t deny you didn’t have one because we all have had them; some probably stronger than others. And although I’m sure it is part of your life you have hoped to have long forgotten, I’m afraid I’m going to be digging back up some of your most cringeworthy memories.

Amongst many others, the generation that I live in means that the prime time for trying to be a Cool Kid was roughly 8 years ago, where us pre-teens started secondary school. Boys with gelled spikey hair and unzipped hoodies with the draw strings by the hood tied in a bow. Girls wearing ‘Miss Sexy’ school trousers with a swooped fringe that covered their entire forehead was the school “fashion” believe it or not. Tragic, I know. And (unfortunately) it doesn’t stop there. Kids rushing home from school and logging onto MSN Messenger to venture an evening filled of “hehe” “LOL” and “Wuu2?”‘s. I suppose we can thank MSN and the “cool” short-hand text talk being the culprit of this coining of cringe-worthy sayings and acronyms. Nice one MSN.

So here are my top 5 Sayings That Were Never Actually Cool. Ever.

5 . On my pleb/lemon

9ae7d18ce00815d0fa63400a4990688f6feb1589a94032cfc99ab23ec9eb8cd9.jpgE.g. “I was sat on my pleb” “I  was on my lemon”

Words cannot even describe how much I have always hated this saying. Typing it felt disastrous let alone the fact that people actually used to let these words come out of their mouths (in between taking duck-faced posed selfies). I am proud to say I never went through this “phase” of using this hideous metaphor. I’m not entirely sure if this was a Bristolian ‘thing’ or not, but this phrase is riddled with the Bristolian accent which has butchered this saying even more. “Oi Sarah, you left me and I was sat on me pleb lol”. See where I’m coming from? R.I.P. (Rest In Pity) to this phrase is all I have to say.

4.  Cool beans

E.g. “Cool beans, see you later”

cool_beans_by_velica.jpgDescribing something as “cool beans” is quite the opposite of cool to be honest. “Cool beans” was meant to have positive connotations; another way of saying “that’s cool” or “great!”. And thinking about it, it should have probably stayed that way. Because if you think about the literal meaning of cool beans, it really doesn’t make sense. So where the hell did this saying come from? Besides, cold beans on your cold toast where your butter has solidified again, not to mention the condensation on the plate making your toast soggy is actually a disaster. Possibly even a heart-break. So I am glad to say that (hopefully) this saying is extinct… and well, if you still say it now, you’re not cool. And you’re not green, runner or baked beans either. Sorry to break it to you.

3. YOLO

Acronym for: You Only Live Once, “I’m gonna totes make some toast at 3am because YOLO!!” 

Where to even start, is the question. No, I take that back. Why is totally the yolo-meme-girl-firequestion. So YOLO was invented by Drake I believe, from song ‘The Motto’. Luckily, for humanity, many people used this acronym in a sarcastic context, some still do. Totally fine. Cool. Mockery. Satire- love it. However Drake’s YOLO did inspire some pretty revolting fashion garments with the print of the atrocious acronym plastered from seam to seam. Leggings, t-shirts, socks. YOLO YOLO YOLO YOLO. More like STOP STOP STOP STOP.

2. ROFL

Initialism for: Roll On (the) Floor Laughing, “OMG HAHA ROFL!”

57552000.jpgROFL. Roll. On. (the) Floor. Laughing. Does anyone actually do that? Imagine this; your friend says something funny. You get up out of your chair, fall onto the floor laughing and roll about. Or perhaps you’re already laughing on your chair and you fall off laughing. And you roll about. On the floor. Laughing. Rolling. On the floor. Laughing.

Utter rubbish. When you said “ROFL” you were probably docile whilst typing it. Perhaps a little twitch of your stomach and a second’s worth of air came out of your nose. But you were most definitely not rolling on the floor laughing.

1. “Your mum”

E.g. Person 1: “Who said you could eat my chocolate?!” Person 2: “Your mum”

104.pngUnless that was a very literate, factual response, then fair enough. But if that response was to try and give hilarious banter, then perhaps you should think about your ability to ‘banter’ at all. It baffles me as to why this was ever a good response to ‘par’ off your friends. I mean, someone asks a question or makes a statement, and your reply is… *drumroll* “Your mum”. A little disappointing if you ask me. But surprisingly, this irrelevant phrase, during secondary school gave the banterous legends who used this as a comeback, a free ticket to get on the banter bus. And I heard that it totally works on a real bus too!! You banter legends should try it one day, it’ll save you a few pennies.

There we go. There it is. Still think they sound cool? Mmn thought not. Anyway, I’m going to make some cool beans and toast at 3am which is totally YOLO and I’ll ROFL on my lemon. (Careful not to get any lemon juice in my cuts, heard citrus can sting). But then again, your mum could give me a plaster.

 

Images: Google Images. Not my own images.

CARDIFF LIFE

So as stated in a previous blog post, I was accepted into Cardiff University in August… and how time flies, because it’s already October 4th, meaning that I have now been studying at Cardiff University for two whole weeks! Anxious with what to expect (or should I say, what not to expect) at first, I have settled in, making friends, studying and decorating my room. I was unsure how I would feel about moving away from my family and friends at home, and even though I am excited to go home in two weeks, I am loving the university life. Although it is time consuming having to cook, clean and do the laundry yourself, it is all part of the university experience, and it is relaxing when you know you can have what you want for dinner, when you want it, (and not having to wait ages for your tea to be cooked when you’re wanting to go out at a specific time like back at home).


  
I am lucky that Cardiff is such a great city with so much to do. Everything seems accessible (even if you do have to use your leg power and walk to the majority of places due to not having a car), however there are shops, sight seeing venues and Cardiff Bay (which I am yet to explore). However during some free time, a friend and I went into Tourist Mode and walked around Cardiff in hope to find something/ some place interesting. The stone buildings in Cardiff are so beautiful, and the wide streets with trees synchronised parallel give a London-esque type feel. A walk through the interesting streets of this beautiful architecture could cure any boredom on a sunny day. We came across Cardiff City Hall, where we were allowed to look around inside. The beautiful interior design of marble floor and pillars felt like royalty, and the grand rooms designed for events such as business meetings, conferences and wedding receptions (as the receptionist informed us) held such character.