Thursday, 23 June 2016

FEELING UNEASY


I haven't been blogging that much this month. It wasn't an intentional break, I just haven't been feeling it, and there is no point forcing posts when I'm not 100% happy with them. There are a few posts in my drafts ready to go but for one reason or another it hasn't ever felt like the right time to post them. 

There has been so much tragedy going on in the news lately that posts about books or materialistic things just seemed pointless. Maybe they would have been some welcome lightness in a world that just seems so heavy at the moment, but I don't know. I think when you're uncertain it's best to hold off. Those posts will be up soon I'm sure.

I don't really feel qualified or knowledgeable enough to comment on what has been happening, but I think we all know how terrible the events in Orlando were and the tragic death of Jo Cox. All I can really say is a repeat of what has been on the news, but it has just left me feeling sad and quite uneasy about the times we are living in. Especially with the referendum that is happening at this moment... I hope you've all voted, I did this morning. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course, but I'm hoping that we remain in the EU. For me there have been no justified arguments or reasons to leave and the prospect is actually terrifying. But there is nothing I, or anyone can do except vote and wait for the results. Everything just seems to be at a standstill until we find out. I really hope that whatever the result we can move forward and things will be just a little more positive.

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

PROPERCORN & MAKING POPCORN BARS



I like to think I'm pretty good at being healthy, I try to cook homecooked meals most nights and I always make sure to have a decent breakfast and lunch. But the one place I slip up is snacking. I have such a sweet tooth and I constantly crave chocolate or biscuits which aren't the best option! Of course everything in moderation is fine but, eating chocolate or something similar on a daily basis isn't the best for me. So when Propercorn offered to send me some of their popcorn to try I couldn't resist the opportunity, and I wasn't expecting such a huge box to arrive! They have a great selection of flavours ranging from savoury to sweet, so I knew I'd find something I'd like. Plus they are all fairly healthy, and definitely better than biscuits!

I've been taking a bag with me everyday to work and so far my favourites are Sweet and Salty and Sweet Coconut and Vanilla. I haven't tried the more savoury ones yet but my boyfriend seems to have eaten quite a few bags already, so I should probably get in there quick!


Completely contradicting what I just said about trying to be healthy, I decided since I have a lot of popcorn in the house to attempt to make popcorn bars. I've been wanting to try this for a while and after a bit of googling I came up with what is in the photo above! There is no real recipe, because to be honest I just chucked a load of things together to see what would happen. I ended up using melted marshmallows and chocolate, mixed with peanut butter, a few raisins and a mixture of sweet and salty popcorn and lightly salted. After mixing everything together you just put it in a tray in the fridge to set. I have to say they turned out pretty well, and not healthy at all! The combination of chocolate and salted popcorn works really well and anything with peanut butter is always a winner!

There are lots of different alternatives I'd like to try out, and on reflection, I think mine would have been a lot nicer with dark chocolate instead of milk. Also I'd like to make a slightly healthy option with raisins and maybe coconut... So many different flavours! They are a good alternative to granola bars which I find can get a bit boring and are so simple to make. I really want to make the bars again and perfect the ingredients.

Thank-you to Propercorn for sending me all this popcorn, I'm definitely sorted for snacks for a while!

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Friday, 10 June 2016

DID I GROW UP TOO FAST?


Something I think about a lot is whether I grew up too fast. I'm twenty-one and at this age your expected to be at university (or just finished), drinking, clubbing or travelling the world. I've done pretty much the opposite: I'm in a committed relationship of three and a half years, I have a full time job and I have a mortgage with my boyfriend. It's not something I admit to often because it seems to be considered very strange for someone my age to own a house (Bee worded it perfectly in this post). My friends have always been supportive, it's mainly just people outside my friendship group and the media who seem to have issues with it. To be honest I was just lucky. I grew up in a family where I was taught the importance of saving money, as was my boyfriend (he's also a few years older than me so has worked for longer), and I live in a part of the country where property isn't that expensive. Plus we work really hard! It always feels like you shouldn't admit that you put effort in or that you sacrificed eating out and going on holiday in favour of saving money. Our flat is tiny and I do mean tiny, but I'm really proud of what we've achieved and I wish I had the guts to say it more! 

There are lots of reasons that led me to grow up quite quickly. When I was a child a few events happened that meant I had to act like an adult and deal with things that maybe I shouldn't have had to at such a young age. It was never the fault of my parents and they did everything they could to protect me but at the same time they thought it was important to be honest rather than shielding me from real life. I'm really grateful for that, and I think it has left me as quite a level headed person. Alongside this I'm also quite anxious; I struggle to deal with change and new situations which is why stability is so important. I was just never going to enjoy travelling the world alone or drinking a lot, it's just not me at all! Personally I don't see that as a problem, we all have very different personalities and therefore, very different lives. There shouldn't be a stereotypical twenty-one year old and we shouldn't be judged for not following the path that society suggests. My school pushed and pushed me to go to university but it just wasn't my thing and I hate that it is considered the only option for young adults. I think I did pretty damn well without it!

When people judge me for the route I've taken, it makes me question my actions: should I have done things differently? Should I have been more spontaneous? Should I have experienced more before settling down? And I still think the answer is no, I have always thrived on stability, and I don't think I've missed out on anything. I can still travel, I can still learn and experience new things, I just have a few responsibilities at the same time!

I've had to word this post quite carefully as I'm really not trying to offend anyone. We all have our own goals and dreams, and we can spend our money however we please. It is whatever makes you happy at the end of the day. I'm very aware how fortunate I have been, but I also don't think I should be ashamed for working hard. There are lots of people who are not as lucky as I was, but that is more of an issue with our government. It seems stupidly unfair that people are landed with huge debts for just trying to further their education, or that some jobs don't pay well, despite their importance. But that's another post for another time. 

Sorry for rambling on, but what I'm trying to say is that there shouldn't be stereotypes, and people shouldn't be so judgmental of others life choices. It is your life you can what the hell you want.

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