Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll Review

21 January 2020

Hello, me again, with yet another Becca the non-vegan tries a vegan product post. I hope you're not getting bored of these because I for one am really enjoying putting them together. (In other words, I'm loving having a legitmate excuse to try alllll the vegan junk food.)

For today's post, we have the much anticipated, much discussed Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll. The piece of beige that split the country down the middle, with half being all for it and the other half seeing its creation as a true crime. I'm sure you don't need me to clarify which side I was on, but, just in case it wasn't clear, it was the former!

Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll Review // my thoughts on the famous vegan pastry as a non-vegan
Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll Review // my thoughts on the famous vegan pastry as a non-vegan

Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll Review // my thoughts on the famous vegan pastry as a non-vegan

Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll Review 

I mentioned in my Steak Bake review that I'd never actually had a steak bake before and you guys didn't seem too disappointed, but how will you react when I say I've never been a massive sausage roll fan... Now, let me clarify - I LOVE the mini sausage rolls that you bake at home (especially when they're warm) but I've always had a bit of a thing against giant sausage rolls. We all know the pastry is the best part, and I'm just not a massive fan of the pink meaty mush that you usually get in the middle, especially when it's cold! Alas, a sausage roll with the same delicious pastry that we know and love but no pink meaty mush?! A dream come true. 

The Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll costs a mere pound and is a very decent size. The one thing I would say though is that these are rather difficult to come across, I'm going to guess it's due to Veganuary and them being DELICIOUS but these always seemed to be sold out in my local area! Greggs, if you're reading this, up your ordering pls, this gal needs her pastry fix and would simultaneously also like to try and help the planet too. 

I'm going to give you no prizes for guessing who produces the 'sausage' in this sausage roll... Yep, it's Quorn, and it's another resounding success in my books. It's got a great texture, is full of flavour and isn't too greasy, wahey! Again, this doesn't particularly taste like a normal sausage roll, you can definitely tell it's a substitute but it's certainly tasty nonetheless. The day that you can't tell a substitute from the real thing will be a fantastic day, but until then Quorn will more than suffice!   

In my opinion, this product 1000% deserves all the hype it receives, it's genuinely pretty sexy and I hope to be chowing down on another one very soon. (If I can get my hands on one, that is. People of Bournemouth, please leave one for me!)

There's one more vegan product that I know that I want to try - Subway, I'm looking at you and your meatball marinara - but which others would you like me to give a go? Are there any others that you've heard about that are meant to be incredible? If so, send me a message on Instagram or comment below - I'd love any recommendations! So far, my least favourite of the ones I've tried is Pizza Hut's Vegan Pepperoni Pizza by far, I really wasn't a fan!


Have you tried the Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll?

The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review*

19 January 2020

* Complimentary meal but all opinions are my own* 

A new Sri-Lankan street food restaurant has recently opened in town, and myself and a few other Bournemouth Bloggers were recently invited down to try out their menu and have a look around the place. The restaurant in question is The Coconut Tree which can be found at 185-187 Old Christchurch Road, BH1 1JU. 

The Coconut Tree is actually a chain (I'd never heard of it before) and can be found in four other cities; Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, and Oxford. The idea is pretty straight forward: 'the best Sri Lankan street food, sweet and fiery Cocotails served with warm hospitality, in a stripped-back ‘street style’ interior with great tunes.' I don't know about you but that sounds right up my street... 

The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review - my thoughts on the new Sri Lankan street food restaurant in town.
The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review - my thoughts on the new Sri Lankan street food restaurant in town.

THE MENU

Prior to visiting The Coconut Tree I'd never actually eaten any Sri Lankan food and wasn't even aware of what their signature dish is, yep, I know how awful that sounds... After browsing the menu it became apparent that their food is all packed full of flavour and fresh ingredients, with meat, fish, vegan and veggie options all plentiful. 

On the menu is also the option to have a number of dishes selected for you at £20pp which is perfect if, like me, you're new to the cuisine and have no idea where to start with the menu. I mean, there are over 20 dishes to choose from, how is one meant to decide?!

One thing I did notice was the sheer number of Vegan and Gluten-Free options there were available. Yes, restaurants generally are becoming more accommodating but The Coconut Tree have a HUGE variety of dishes suitable for anyone eating a plant-based diet, hooray! 

THE DECOR

The Coconut Tree has a very industrial feel with long wooden tables with benches underneath, dangling pendant lights and exposed bricks. There's also a touch of personality to the decor, with large colourful pieces of art on the walls and a huge bar at the centre of the restaurant where their signature 'cocotails' are shaken. 

The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review - my thoughts on the new Sri Lankan street food restaurant in town.
The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review - my thoughts on the new Sri Lankan street food restaurant in town.

THE FOOD

Our server recommended that guests order 3 or 4 dishes as the menu is very much tapas-style. These are the dishes that I ended up trying: 

Hot Battered Spicy Mushrooms - £5.00

'Polenta battered button mushrooms with caramelised onions' 

Pineapple Curry - £4.00

'Pineapple cooked in coconut milk' 

Sri Lankan Mixed Fried Rice - £8.00

'With chicken, egg and veg'

Egg Hopper - £3.50

'Hoppers are a bowl shaped coconut milk pancake served with coconut sambal, seeni sambal (caramelised onions with a hint of cinammon) and Lunu Miris (Sri Lankan salsa)' 

Cheesy Colombo - £6.00

'Colombo style fried cheese with sticky sauce (a typical street food no but a family fav that's hit it off UK side) 

Of the dishes I tried, the Cheesy Colombo, Pineapple Curry and the Mushrooms were by far my favourites, they were incredible and I'd definitely eat them again. I wasn't so sure on the Hopper, which is hailed as a must-have for any first-timers but I just wasn't massively keen on the flavours nor the texture. The Fried Rice was tasty but I'd definitely recommend getting one for the table and sharing. The portion size is huge and with all the delicious other options available, it seems a shame to fill up on rice! 

If I could only recommend one dish it would have to be the Pineapple Curry, it was just SO tasty. I'm a real sucker for anything pineapple flavoured and the spices etc in this dish were just delish. 


The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review - my thoughts on the new Sri Lankan street food restaurant in town.

EVERYTHING ELSE 

To drink I had a Sriki-Tiki (£7.50) which a) comes in this really cool vessel/glass/whatever the official name for this is AND b) is set alight making it definitely one for posting on the 'gram. It contains rum, coconut rum, pineapple, guava, lime and raspberry, and honestly, it tasted just like a delicious fruit punch which we all know is the sign of a fantastic cocktail. 

Price-wise, a meal with a large group is certainly going to set you back a fair amount of money but if you're looking for tasty food, a chilled environment and delicious cocktails then this is definitely the place to be. We were at our table for hours, just chatting away, and the atmosphere was great. 


As you can probably tell, I had a really fab evening and would definitely recommend The Coconut Tree, the whole experience was brilliant! 



Have you ever tried Sri Lankan food?

Inside Bournemouth's No Waste Shop: Almond & Co

17 January 2020

I often mention my efforts trying to be more sustainable here on Becc4 and as we enter this new decade it's certainly something I'm trying to be more and more mindful of. As always, I don't think you need me to point out the obvious, but, a lot of our behaviours and habits, particularly as consumers, are really damaging to the planet and the consequences really are starting to have a huge impact.

There are, however, lots of things we can all do to help reduce this, it's not all doom and gloom. One example of such is cutting down on/eradicating dairy and/or consuming a vegan diet, another is avoiding fast fashion and buying second-hand clothing

Another thing we can all do to help is cut down on our waste. Yes, recycling is fantastic and ecobricks are a great way to re-use single-use plastics but what if we didn't need to try and recycle them in the first place? What if we never bought them?...

Enter, Almond & Co, Bournemouth's first waste-free shop!

A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.
A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.
A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.
A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.

A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.

A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.
A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.

A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.


I'd never been in a waste-free shop before but it had been on my list of things to do for the longest time, and last week I finally had my first venture into one! I'm not quite sure what I was expecting but I was really really pleasantly surprised, I genuinely loved it! The shop was really light and airy, full of all sorts of interesting products, and more refill options than you could shake a stick at. 

The premise is really simple. You take your own bags/jars/pots/tubs etc, weigh them whilst they're empty, fill them up, weigh them again and pay for what you've taken. Now, when I say there were loads of products to choose from, there really were loads of products to choose from! There were lots of products ready to buy including everything from local soaps to fresh vegetables, to cards that plant trees (how cool !!!) to beauty products. But, onto the part I was most excited about... the refills. Available were hot chocolate, nuts, cereals, pasta, coffee beans, shampoo and conditioner, laundry liquid, spices, dried fruits... Basically, you name it, it's probably there in one of those super cool dispensers.

The other benefit, besides the lack of packaging waste going into landfill, is that you only buy what you need! What a concept, eh? How many times have we all tried a new recipe with a load of spices we've never tried before, bought the entire spice collection in our local supermarket only to use it once and forget about it.

I made gingerbread over the festive period and have I used the cinnamon and ginger since? No. Is it likely to sit in my cupboard until I inevitably forget about it? Almost definitely. Obviously, I know this is something that I can easily change and I could just find a few recipes that use them, but what if I didn't need to?! Hellooooo only paying for what you need.

Want to try a new food but don't want to be stuck with a whole load of it if you don't like it? Well, not anymore! One item I spotted whilst I was browsing the store was Nutritional Yeast. This isn't something I've ever bought or used myself but knowing I could go in and buy a little bit to try out a new vegan recipe or two (mac and cheese I'm looking at you) definitely makes me more inclined to give it a go.

If you're local to the Bournemouth area I highly recommend checking out Almond & Co, the shop itself is beautiful and it makes it SO easy for us all to reduce our waste.


You can find Almond & Co in Westbourne at 75 Poole Road.

Have you ever been to a waste-free shop?

Greggs Vegan Steak Bake Review

16 January 2020

If you couldn't already tell, I am absolutely loving trying out all of the new foods that have been released this Veganuary. I've mentioned it a few times by now, but, just in case you're new here, I don't eat a plant-based diet but I have cut cows milk from my diet and am trying to cut my meat consumption, and just have an interest in trying all of the new vegan products.

For today's episode of Becca tries a new vegan product, we've got the Greggs Vegan Steak Bake. Now, confession time, I've never actually tried the original Steak Bake (yes, I know!) so I, unfortunately, can't give you the like for like comparison that you're all hankering for. But, as someone who loves pastry and all beige foods as much as the next person, I'm sure I can still give it a thorough test and report back!

A review of the new Greggs Vegan Steak Bake from a non-vegan.
A review of the new Greggs Vegan Steak Bake from a non-vegan.
A review of the new Greggs Vegan Steak Bake from a non-vegan.

 

The Greggs Vegan Steak Bake 

According to the website, this gorgeous hunk of beige contains 96 (!!!) layers of puff pastry around Quorn mycoprotein and diced onions in a rich gravy. I mean, after the KFC Burger I probably could have guessed that this was going to be a Quorn product... Are you sensing a theme here?

Retailing at £1.55 - slightly more than the original - the Vegan Steak Bake certainly is a cheap lunch option if you're out and about and fancy something filling.

Now, onto the bit you've all been waiting for: the taste test. I'm going to be honest, I wasn't expecting great things. I mean, what is puff pastry without alllll the butter right? Well, I needn't worry because the pastry on this bad boy was delicious, I genuinely couldn't tell the difference! Quick question, does anyone ever eat a pasty/sausage roll/pie for anything other than the pastry?!

As for the 'meat' - the filling of this bake was delicious. The gravy was really tasty, and the Quorn was really good too. I don't personally eat a lot of steak but I'd definitely put this down as a fairly good substitute!

But, the ultimate question... Would Becca have another Vegan Steak Bake? Yes, yes she would. It definitely wouldn't be my first choice of snacks but if I were to find myself hungry and stood in Greggs, I'd definitely consider ordering one of these!


Next on my list to try is the infamous Vegan Sausage Roll....

Have you tried the Vegan Steak Bake yet?

Becc4 is Two!

15 January 2020

Two years of blogging? Completed it mate! Can you believe that Becc4 is two already?!?! Where has the time gone?

As I'm sure you're all probably aware, I love having a good ol' rambly chat and enjoy taking a photo or two, so it's unsurprising that blogging is a hobby that I've actually stuck to (unlike athletics club, going to the gym and performing in the local pantomime, yep these are all things I've done). Throw in the fab friends I've made, the products I've got to try and events I've been lucky enough to attend, and you can probably see why I spend the majority of my free time on this little piece of the internet.

For today's post, I thought we could have a wander down memory lane and discuss some of the highlights of the past year as well as compare this years' stats to last years', perfect if you're feeling nosy! I wrote a similar post this time last year, outlining the highlights of my first year of blogging including my page views, first sponsored post and the friends I made.

A look back at my second year of blogging including a peak at my current blog stats.









I really don't want this post to come across as the 'Wow look at me, I'm so great' show, but rather a place for me to look back and reflect on the past year and see how things have changed. This post also makes a great place to direct people when I get the 'but why do you do that?' and 'what's the point?' questions... It's 2020, everyone is doing something on the internet, and this is what I'm doing.

As always, I just want to thank everyone who takes the time to read these posts, follows me on Instagram, repins my images on Pinterest, the list goes on... Thanks a bunch, it means a lot and allows me to do all of these cool things whilst also producing content that I love!

A look back at my second year of blogging including a peak at my current blog stats.


My second year of blogging saw me; finally, meet my gal Nina after chatting for SO long and meet Chloe, who I wholeheartedly have to thank for my recent foray into fashion blogging. They're great gals, you should follow them both, end of. Honestly, they're a couple of my closest friends now and if it weren't for Becc4, I'd never have got to meet them!

A look back at my second year of blogging including a peak at my current blog stats.


Nina and I have started a tradition of writing a Christmassy tag in December and this years' one was my favourite to date - The Christmas Day Tag. It consisted of 10 questions alllll about how one spends their Christmas Day, and honestly, I had such a hoot writing it. I mean, we all know how much I love Christmas so hearing all about how other people spend the big day was always going to go down a hit in my books!

Speaking of Christmas, I successfully managed to complete Blogmas again this year, wahey! That's a Christmassy themed blog post every day for the first 25 days of December planned, written, scheduled and published all whilst working full time - that's not bad going eh? My personal favourite posts include: The Definitive Ranking of Christmas Foods, The Best Dog Christmas Jumpers of 2019 and How To: Take A Great Festive Flatlay.

A look back at my second year of blogging including a peak at my current blog stats.


Another blog post that I'm pretty proud of is: My (And 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience. I spoke to lots of other bloggers about their experience graduating and compiled a post all about the day, what to expect, the best bits etc. I love being nosy and it was SO interesting to see how people's days varied at different universities across the country. I had a fantastic day and would love to go back and do it all again. Linked to this post, I also wrote about Leaving University and feeling a bit lost, a post that I know a lot of you can relate to!

My second year of blogging opened up a whole load of new opportunities including a sponsored post with West Quay, a couple of posts with Pretty Little Thing, a chance to take three of my pals for a gifted meal and lots of gorgeous new products to try out from the incredible team at Pixi.

Finally, one last thing I'd like to mention is that I hit 100K page views !!! Wowee, that's a lot of people reading these rambly posts and checking out what I'm up to, thank yoouuuuu!

CURRENT STATS:
Instagram - 3.5K (vs 2.3K)
Twitter - 1.5K (vs 1.1K)
Bloglovin - 1.5K
Domain Authority - 15
Page Views - 105K (vs 32K)

A First Look At: Pixi's 20 Years Of Glow*

13 January 2020

~ This post contains gifted items ~

I'm sure you're all very much aware how much I love Pixi Cosmetics by now, I mean, just LOOK at these products! I was recently sent over their 20 Years Of Glow parcel so I figured for today's post we could have a look through it together, have a peek at what was included, and make some first impressions...

I've previously written a similar post on Pixi's Vitamin C Range and I am still very much loving quite a few of the products from that collection. In case you were wondering, my favourites include the Caviar Balm and the Serum, they've done great things for my skin and I love the scent! 

A Look at the products in Pixi Cosmetic's 20 Years of Glow Collection.

Rose Ceramide Cream* - £24.00

Part of a range I've personally never tried before, this moisturiser claims to deliver deep, long-lasting nourishment. The ingredients to note include Rose Flower Oil for nourishment and restoration, Ceramide for time-release moisture and Probiotics to protect and balance. This product also contains antioxidants which help to fortify the skin and improve elasticity, which all sounds good to me. I'm interested to see how my skin fairs with this, my skin is fairly oily so I'm not sure if this might end up being a little too intense... 


Glow Tonic* - £18.00

Does this product need any introduction? A cult classic, this is a product I regularly use as part of my skincare routine and not to be dramatic, but I don't think I could be without it. This is a toner that cleanses and gently exfoliates leaving the skin looking radiant. It doesn't contain alcohol and is also suitable for all skin types so it really is a win-win and deserves the hype it deserves. 


Glow Mist* - £16.00

This is the product that I'm potentially most excited about in this collection... It contains 13 natural oils and is said to hydrate, protect and nourish. It can be used before makeup, to set makeup and to refresh makeup, as well as on the hair! This product is said to give a glowing, luminous complexion and I cannot wait to give it a go! 


Eye Reflection Shadow Palette* - £24.00

This is the Natural Beauty palette and includes 12 pinky brown shades: 7 glitters and 5 shimmers. The shadow that I'm most excited to try from the palette is Foiled Bronze, which, as the name suggests, is a stunning warm brown shade. Whilst they're not my favourite shadows on the market, I do very much like the Pixi ones, they're pigmented and blend out nicely!


Endless Silky Eye Pen* - £12.00

Now, despite calling itself a pen, this product is, in fact, an eyeliner pencil. It describes itself as giving the concentrated colour of a liquid liner but in an easy to apply pencil which sounds too good to be true, right?! Alas not. I've swatched this on my hand and I can indeed confirm that this product is just as it says it is. In fact, when I first applied it I even let out a little gasp, it's the smoothest thing ever and looks JUST like a liquid liner. Whaaaat? Where have you been all my life?


MatteLast Liquid Lip* - £16.00

I don't know about you but I'm far from over the matte liquid lipstick trend... I was sent the shade Pleasing Pink which is a really vibrant hot pink (and totally out of my comfort zone) but I have got my eye on Bare Beauty, a gorgeous nude. Despite being a matte product this actually isn't drying on the lips and sets really nicely. 


Lip Lift Max* - £12.00 

There is something oddly satisfying about a plumping lip gloss and I love this one. I have the shade Petal Ice which is a really pale almost transparent pinky shade that can be layered over any other lip colour. The plumping action this gloss gives is actually noticeable, but not too painful or tingly on the lips. Whilst this is slightly sticky, being a gloss and all that, it's not unbearably so, as it's still fairly light!



So there we have it, a roundup of the products in Pixi's 20 Years Of Glow Collection... Which of these products most catches your eye?

Pizza Hut Vegan Pepperoni Pizza Review

11 January 2020

I mentioned in my 5 Goals for 2020 post that one of my aims for this year is to cut my meat consumption, and slowly but surely I am doing just that. I tried the New KFC Vegan Burger the day it launched and am generally just making a conscious effort to opt for a meat-free option wherever I can in my everyday life. 

My parents and I recently had a Pizza Hut takeaway and having heard they'd launched a new Vegan Pepperoni pizza - the Pepperphoni - I knew I wanted to give it a go. Now, I'm going to be honest, I really wasn't sure what to expect and we only have takeaways once in a blue moon in the Martin household so I wimped out and ordered a half and half. I'd never had vegan cheese before let alone vegan pepperoni so I didn't want to be left with an entire pizza I didn't want if I weren't to like it. So, I ordered my usual for the other half, a good old margherita. No judging pls. 

A review of the new vegan pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut

So, tell me more about this new Pizza Hut Vegan Pepperoni Pizza...

It's available on a few of their usual bases (Pan, Thin and Gluten-Free) and comes with tomato sauce, vegan ch**se and meat-free pepperphoni. The pepperoni is made out of pea protein and the pizza costs £11.69 for an individual and £19.89 for the sharing size. It's currently only available for Veganuary but rumour has it, that if it's popular it may be making a reappearance... 

It's probably also worth mentioning that you can order the vegan pepperoni with their normal dairy mozzarella should you so wish! 


The Pizza Hut Vegan Pepperoni Pizza Review 

As I mentioned earlier, I've never actually had vegan cheese before and I really wasn't sure what to expect... When people talk about the possibility of going vegan, cheese always seems to be people's roadblock. 'Oh, I could never give up cheese' 'I love cheese to much etc etc'. Alas, having tried this pizza, I can see why people say it. 

I really wasn't a fan of the vegan cheese on this pizza. I don't know if it's just because I'm not used to it or what, but I thought it had a really odd taste. I can't describe it, perhaps almost sour? We did reheat our pizzas in the oven so I don't know if that could have played a part in it, but Becca really wasn't impressed. 

Now, as for the main event... I also wasn't too sure on the pepperoni. Granted, normal pepperoni is a bit of an odd synthetic flavour itself so creating an even more synthetic product to mimic it was never going to be easy. As you can probably gather, I wasn't too much of a fan. So much so that I think I'd rather just go without than have the vegan pepperoni, I mean, I am the margherita queen after all... 

A review of the new vegan pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut
And, just for reference, here's a slice of the normal and the vegan pepperoni pizzas next to each other, no prizes for guessing which is which. 

I was hoping to really love this pizza but I just can't seem to get on board with it. The taste just wasn't great and I definitely wouldn't have it again... 



Have you tried the Vegan Pepperoni Pizza from Pizza Hut yet?

5 Goals For 2020

9 January 2020

Are you somebody that sets themselves New Years Resolutions? I often make a few, stick to them for a week or so and then revert back to my old habits and I know I'm not alone in this, we're all just as guilty as each other, aren't we?! 

Instead, what I have been doing is setting myself a few goals for the year. These are things I want to try and do over time, but there's no real consequence if I don't. I haven't 'failed' if I haven't done them, they're just things that I'd love to make happen in the year ahead. I posted my 9 goals for 2019 on my blog last year so I figured I'd update you with my plans for 2020. 

My goals for 2020 - a rundown of the things I hope to achieve throughout this new year

Start A Career

2019 saw me graduate university, do some paid work for the university and start a job at a local social media agency. I have since left that job (which was absolutely for the best) and am now back on the job hunt. Hence, my main goal for 2020 is to start a career. I'm not entirely sure what I want to do or which sector I even want to work in so this could be a challenge and a half... If anyone has any ideas of careers they think I'd be good at, write them on a postcard and send them my way, this gal needs all the help she can get!

Run A 10K

This was on my list of 2019 goals and it was one that absolutely didn't materialize. I mean, I ran a few 5Ks but didn't ever run anywhere near 10K. For me to actually complete this goal I think I'm going to need to book one. Buy a place in a race over the summer and work towards it. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't like to waste money so the financial side alone (hopefully) should be enough to persuade me to get training.

Save, Save, Save

Now that I'm a proper adult and out of university it's about time I start with the hardcore saving, right? I mean, I'd much rather save for some incredible trips and traveling than a house deposit, but saving is saving. I've always been fairly good with money but now that I'll be receiving regular paychecks there is no excuse not to be putting it away. 

Hit 5K on Instagram

Yes, I know it's not alllll about the numbers but I'd love to hit 5K on Instagram this year. I love taking photos and creating content, and I'd love for lots more people to be able to see the images I create. So, on that note, if anyone doesn't already follow me on Instagram and would like to you can do so here.

Cut My Meat Consumption 

I'm not sure this one needs any explanation. I've already cut cows milk out of my diet and opt for soya or oat where I can, but meat is still something I find myself eating fairly regularly. For a while, in 2019, my family and I would have meat-free Mondays but this is something that slowly fizzled out... So, in 2020 I'm going to bring that back and opt for way more veggie options day to day.

I tried the new KFC Vegan Burger the day it launched and would absolutely have it again, so that's a start! Like with any diet or new habit, you're always better off easing yourself in slowly and making gradual changes. If I'd told myself that I was going to take part in Veganuary and be Vegan for the whole of January I'd know deep down that it wasn't going to last. I've been consuming animal products for over 21 years now and whilst I live at home with other non-vegans, cutting out meat etc overnight was never going to be that simple. So, my goal for 2020 is to cut my meat consumption and to be fair, I think we should all be giving it a go. Who's with me?



What are your goals for 2020?

2019 In Review

7 January 2020

Wowee, 2019 was a busy year for me. Rather than ramble away about all sorts of little things that happened last year I thought we could chat through the Top Nine from my personal Instagram account. I mean, I would've used my blog one but it was literally just outfit flatlays and pancakes, and that doesn't make for a very interesting post nor a very comprehensive roundup of the year. So, here we go, let's get straight into it, shall we? These were (some of) the highlights of Becca's 2019...

A roundup of my 2019 featuring graduating university, getting a puppy, a fab family holiday and turning 21.

1. Graduation 

After three years of working her bum off, partying hard and living with her best pals she only went and did it, she graduated! It was SUCH a special day, I loved every second of it and it's almost worth going back to university just to do all over again. 

I loved seeing my best friends graduate knowing how hard they had worked and I honestly felt such a huge burst of pride when I saw them up on stage each having their moment. It was also really really nice to take my family to my university for the day and for them to finally meet my friends, and also see me up on that stage. I did it!!!


2. Murphy 

Our little fluffy bundle of joy entered our lives in July and I genuinely couldn't imagine my life without him now. He's such a little character, he's so full of energy and he genuinely makes us cry with laughter pretty much on a daily basis. He's the cutest little thing and I still can't believe we have a dog of our own, to be honest?! My sister and I have been asking and asking for a puppy for years and we actually have one now, thank you 2019! 


3. Getting A First 

Whilst I did have the best time of my life at university and get up to all manner of things, I did also manage to get some work done and bagged myself a first!! We were emailed our results the day before I was scheduled to fly out for our family holiday, so, it's fair to say that that was one fantastic way to celebrate the good news! 


4. Completing My Dissertation

I mentioned it a few times over here on my blog, but my dissertation was on homelessness and involved completing data analysis, in situ, in various homeless hostels. As you can imagine, getting ethical approval and permission to conduct the research wasn't particularly easy. It took such a long time, and with the tight deadline looming, I think that was the most stressful period of my life thus far and I'm not someone who gets easily stressed! But, I got it done and was really proud of the end product!


5. Turning 21

So, I'm actually starting to feel old now. I turned 21 in 2019 and whilst it doesn't have all that much significance legally or culturally here in the UK, it did sort of feel like a big deal. 

To celebrate, I had all of my closest friends round to my student house for DIY cocktails before heading to my favourite trashy student club.


6. Festivals and Working With PLT

2019 saw me attend yet more festivals and I was even lucky enough to work with Pretty Little Thing in the process. They sent me a whole load of gorgeous festival attire - which I styled here - and wore to various festivals and day raves over the summer. Those neon orange flares were by far my favourite piece - how cool are they?!


7. Grad Ball

Yet another university-based highlight... Grad Ball was such a fun night, we all got dressed up, headed down to the University and had a fab night of activities, drinking and dancing. There was a casino, a silent disco, the world's best curly fries, ample photo opportunities and all of my university cohort. It was a really fun night and such a fab way to end the three years! 


8. Mauritius 

I mentioned my family holiday earlier and I was very lucky that the destination was Mauritius in 2019. The food was incredible, the beaches beautiful and we managed to do all sorts of cool things. We swam with wild sea turtles, fed giraffes, explored the capital, did some water sports and just had a really nice time away as a family. 10/10. 


9. New Year's Eve 2018

Now, arguably this is the only photo in this top nine with no significance... I took it before heading out on NYE in 2018 wearing a dress from this Finding A Christmas Day Outfit blog post. We went to a club, we had a good night, and I'm not sure what else there is to say about this one... 



So there we have it, a roundup of my 2019. What were the highlights of your year?

9 Goals for 2019 - How Did I Do?

5 January 2020

On the 1st of January last year I set myself 9 goals for 2019 and then in June had a half-year review to see how I was getting on. Well, we're now in 2020 and I think it's about time we catch up and see how I got on... Spoiler: it wasn't great! 

A look back at my goals for 2019 - how did I do and which were successful...

01. Get a career I love

Hahahaha. I'm going to do a wholeee other post on my job situation but as it stands, I'm currently unemployed. I left my previous job over the Christmas break and it was ABSOLUTELY for the best. It has been so nice to actually have some time off - I had such a great Christmas and New Year and I'm excited to get job hunting now that it's 2020. I have no idea where this year is going to take me, where I'll be working or what I'll be doing, but it's all rather exciting, to be honest... 



02. Have clear skin

Again, hahahah. 2019 apparently wasn't the year I got clear skin either. I've mentioned it quite a few times now but my skin has never really been great. I mean, it's better than it was whilst I was at school but I definitely still have acne. I can feel it, 2020 is the year it finally sorts itself out.



03. Get a car and drive

Your gal has a Ford Fiesta and has been driving for nearly 6 months now, wahey! I can't even describe to you how worried I was when I first got into my car having not driven for over three years, but, just as everyone says, it really does come flooding back. Since then I've even driven to London and back a couple of times - who would have thought we'd see the day?!



04. Read more

I started this one off well at the beginning of the year and I'm not exaggerating when I say I haven't picked up a book in about 6 months. I did, however, receive Louis Theroux's book for Christmas so this January you will definitely see me diving into that! 



05. Continue being more eco-friendly 

I'm still not consuming cow's milk and always opt for Soya or Oat where I can. I've started using reusable cotton pads and am also trying to avoid fast fashion! For a while we were also having meat-free Monday's at my house, this is definitely something I want to try and bring back. 



06. Get back into the gym and stick with it. 

Towards the end of last year, I joined my local gym and was going to at least two classes a week. Alas, Christmas has since been and gone, my membership has run out and I'm yet to go and pay for the renewal... I was getting much fitter though and at one point could almost do a press-up! This is something I've NEVER been able to do, but your gal was almost there. I probably should go and renew my membership this week... 



07. Run a 10K 

Okay, so this one absolutely did not happen. I don't think I ever even managed to get to 10k on the treadmill let alone an actual race. Maybe I'll add this one to my 2020 list and actually stick to it. 



08. Hit 10K on Instagram

Again, another 10K that never materialized. At the time I did mention that this one was just a little ambitious so yeah, here we are. As of the day I'm writing this, I'm currently sat at 3,474 perhaps 5K should be my target for next year? Now that Christmas is over, my festive theme has been put in hibernation until next year, and I've started something new which you can see here. I'm going to be honest, I think it's my best one yet and I can't wait to see it all nicely laid out and posted! 



09. Continue growing as an independent, intelligent young woman.

This is definitely something I managed in 2020. I graduated University with a First Class degree, I became a temporary member of staff at said uni conducting research, and then landed a 'proper job'. (Then realised it wasn't a good place to be and left for my own wellbeing!) Yes, Becca! In 2020 we're going to continue with this energy and only work at places that value us, am I right?!




So there we have it, I really didn't do too well with the old 2019 goals, let's hope 2020's are better!

KFC Vegan Burger Review

2 January 2020

Ahhhh, the KFC Vegan Burger - something I never thought I'd find myself eating but here we are, it's 2020 and times are changing. As I'm sure a lot of you are aware I'm not actually vegan myself, but I have cut out a lot of dairy from my diet and try not to eat toooooo much meat. But, when I saw that the KFC Vegan Burger had launched today I just had to go and try it immediately. 

KFC Vegan Burger Review from a meat-eater
KFC Vegan Burger Review from a meat-eater
KFC Vegan Burger Review from a meat-eater

So, what is the new KFC Vegan Burger? 

The burger includes a vegan Quorn fillet coated in KFC's Original Recipe coating, iceberg lettuce and vegan mayonnaise. It costs £3.99 and is available in most KFC's in the UK, you can see which ones are excluded here. It's also worth pointing out that the fries aren't actually vegan as they're cooked in the same oil as the Popcorn Chicken, so whilst you can have a vegan burger, you can't have the fries. 


The KFC Vegan Burger Review

As a girl that has eaten a fair amount of chicken in her lifetime, it's fair to say I really wasn't sure what to expect with this burger. I deliberately hadn't read anything about it online and went in purely with the knowledge that it had been released today and was fully vegan.

We'll start with the mayo - I genuinely couldn't tell that it was any different to any other mayo I'd ever had. It literally tasted the exact same. 10/10.

Now, we'll skip the iceberg and move straight onto the fillet. It wasn't at all greasy, was hot and crispy and the coating was just like any other KFC product. Now, I didn't actually know it was a Quorn product but the first thing I said after trying it was that it tasted just like Quorn. It was really tasty and I'd definitely have it again. 9/10.


So, how does it compare to Chicken?

That being said, it didn't taste just like chicken. It has the same sort of texture as chicken, but a greyish colour and that famous mycoprotein taste. But, as far as meat alternatives go, this is a really good one!


Concluding thoughts 

Overall, I definitely recommend the KFC Vegan Burger and would absolutely have it again! I think KFC could have taken this launch one step further and thought about how they could have offered vegan fries too, but, beggars can't be choosers... I never thought we'd see the day KFC sold a non-chicken burger let alone the day I'd go in and order it, but here we are!



Have you tried the KFC Vegan Burger yet?
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