Posted in Stories

Bedside Book Review: The Life Project

The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of Our Ordinary Lives by Helen Pearson

‘The remarkable story of a unique series of studies that have touched the lives of almost everyone in Britain today;

‘On 3rd March 1946 a survey began that is, today, the longest-running study of human development in the world, growing to encompass six generations of children, 150,000 individuals and some of the best-studied people on the planet. The simple act of observing human life has changed the way we are born, schooled, parent and die, irrevocably altering our understanding of inequality and health. This is the tale of these studies; the scientists who created and sustain them, the remarkable discoveries that have come from them. The envy of scientists around the world, they are one of Britain’s best-kept secrets.’ (Google Books)

In The Life Project, Pearson describes the course of four studies that set out to chart people’s lives from the cradle to grave. She follows the development of the cohorts from the first one beginning in 1946, to the most recent in 2000.

Over the span of those 54 years, she tells the stories of the scientists and the 70,000 ordinary people who took on the monumental task of making these studies possible.

Though which she manages to emphasise the importance of these studies and how influential they became on UK life.

Pearson does a wonderful job of bringing to life a complex subject that touched the lives of so many people with an effortless style that at no point becomes convoluted or incomprehensible.

However, her gentleness of touch means she only scratches the surface of the studies, and presents a chronological descrption of the cohorts, rather than an in-depth exploration.

She does little to probe the question the cohorts set to find out: if you are born into difficult circumstances, are you destined to have a difficult life.

She simply reports the data.

A lot of the pages are filled with description rather than exploration.

Repeatedly she goes on to tell of the hardships the cohorts faced through waning funding and political support, but does little to show the disheartening, stressful affect this would have had on the people involved.

Perhaps a more personable or scientific approach may have suited the subject matter more.

Nonetheless, as a beginners look into the relatively unknown British cohorts, Pearson provides an easy insight into a mammoth study that otherwise may go unnoticed, despite touching the lives of almost everyone in Britain today.

Posted in Stories

Peek Inside My Scrapbook

I’ve only recently started scrapbooking but already I’m enjoying collecting bits of memories and slowly filling the pages of this book.

The book and all the craft items are from The Works.

This is my Erasmus Page.

I kept my plane ticket and my first train tickets, as well as ones from my trips around the country.

On the map, I marked where I lived and the places I liked/ visited.

I got the little pegs from eBay, and glued them in to hold the pictures in place. I thought it gave it a nostalgic feeling.

The cross that I tied to the spirals was left over from an art project from one of my classes there.

Of course, I had to make a Download Festival Page.

I got the mini photographs printed through They’re 0.25p per images, and I think they are the perfect size for scrapbooking. Plus, they are printed on sustainable paper.

I had a calender with words of the day on it, so I kept some of my favourite words and hope to fill this page with weird and wonderful words.

I particularly like the word poetaster which means ‘an inferior poet’.

Posted in Favourites

Saturday Night Favourites

I went for a night out this week, so I thought I would share my favourites for staying and going out in Glasgow.

Gordon Street Coffee

First thing I always do when I get to Glasgow is grab a coffee.

Gordon Street Coffee is right beside Central Station, and it’s one of my favourite coffee roasters right now.

Their vegan cakes from Sweet Nothings are also amazing, so I got a Banana and Maple mini loaf as well.

McLay’s Guest House

I booked into McLay’s Guest House for the night, which I highly recommend if you’re planning to stay in Glasgow too.

It’s a beautiful, clean, friendly hotel, and the beds are so comfy!

Lush Bath Bomb and Bubble Bar

We requested a room with a bath, so I could go to Lush and have a soak before going out.

I mixed the Blackberry Bath Bomb with The Comforter Bubble bar.

Both were super relaxing and smelled incredible.


For dinner, we went to Wagamama to try the vegan menu.

It was so delicious.

I recommend the Vegan Katsu Curry and the Vegetable Gyoza.

Thigh High Boots

Confession: the whole reason I wanted to go on a night out was so I could wear these shoes.

But can you blame me?

I got them in the sale at H&M, and they were surprisingly comfortable to walk in.

MAC lipstick in Diva

I thought I would try my MAC testers I got.

I used the colour Diva, and I was slightly annoyed by how much I liked it, since MAC isn’t cruelty-free.

However, I am planning on trying to find a dupe for it so I can continue to enjoy the colour.

Bambu Spiced Rum

While out at the Howling Wolf– who do great vegan pizza, by the way- I discovered a new rum called Bambu Spiced.

It’s got a lovely flavour and goes great with my usual mixers; apple juice or ginger beer.

Spiderman: Far From Home

To finish the trip, we went to see Spiderman: Far From Home before catching our train home the next day.


Go see!

Posted in Recipes

Tips for Going Vegan

1. Go Slow

It’s impossible to go completely vegan overnight, so my first piece of advice is to take it slow.

Don’t set a deadline for yourself.

It took me six months to a year before I could say I was 100% vegan; I took my time figuring out which substitutes I liked and what method worked best for me.

Take your time, and you’ll be less likely to quit.

2. Introduce Before You Take Away

It might be useful to start eating and trying vegan meals- both at home and when eating out- before you cut anything out to change the way you see veganism.

3. Try Different Substitutes

There are lots of substitutes available for vegans now, and it can take a while before you find one that you like. So, similar to the last point, allow yourself to try them.

4. Cut Meat First

The easiest way to become vegan (I think) is to go vegetarian first. You’ll find you don’t miss meat as you think you will- and the results from not eating it- feeling less sluggish, no bloated, etc- will encourage you to keep going.

5. One Dairy Product at a Time

Once you’re comfortably vegetarian, I suggest swapping one dairy product out at a time. Start with the one you eat less often and work your way up to cheese- I know it’s a tough one to let go of- but trust me, you won’t miss it.

6. Take Food With You

A hard thing about being vegan is knowing what to eat while you’re out or with friends/ family who aren’t vegan.

The easiest way to deal with this is to take food with you; when going to dinner, offer to bring your own food to cook and bring your own milk alternative so you can order a black tea or coffee.

Most places serve vegan options and milk alternative nowadays anyway, but it’s good to be prepared.

7. Vegan Restaurants

Get to know the vegan restaurants in your local area, that way you won’t be stuck for a place to eat.

8. Remember Why You’re Doing It

Whenever you feel yourself being tempted, remind yourself why you’re doing it.

And if you give in to the temptation, remember that it’s normal and you can re-try as many times as you need.

9. Recipes

What I loved most about going vegan was the way it made it fall back in love with cooking and baking, as I was relearning and reinventing recipes and discovering new foods. It really makes you stop and think about you’re eating instead of just grabbing the nearest, quickest thing.

If you have recipes you love, get creative and find a way to make them vegan. Screenshot and bookmark recipes you see online and enjoy making them.

My favourite vegan recipe blogs:

10. Find Someone to Help

This one might not be available to everyone, but having someone who can show you recipes and share new food or places to eat can the change exciting and a little easier to navigate.

Posted in Favourites

Friday Favourites

1. Boots Expert Skincare Night Cream

I bought this cream after getting sunburnt at Download and needed a cheap moisturiser I could quickly grab and apply at the nearest Boots.

I didn’t give much thought to buying it, nor did I expect it to be any good, but I was highly surprised by how much I enjoyed using this cream.

It not only helped soothe my sunburnt nose, but deeply moisturised my skin and now I used it every day, and my skin hasn’t felt nearly as dry or dehydrated since.

2. Aldi Moser Roth Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt

I don’t have a picture of this one, because I only intended on having one piece (I don’t usually eat a lot of dark chocolate), but I ended up eating the whole bar before I realised I’d finished it.

It’s not bitter like most dark chocolate, it’s just delicious!

I think I will be buying this again and again.

3. Shirley Curry

A new YouTube channel I discovered this week is that of Shirley Curry (aka Grandma Shirley.) She’s an 83-year old Grandmother who makes Skyrim gaming videos and a few others.

She has a beautiful, energetic personality and, even though I don’t play Skyrim, I really enjoy watching and listening to her!

4. NYX soft matte lip creme in Rome

This is the lipstick I used in my ‘Trying Instaglam Makeup’ post, and since then I’ve been wondering: Why haven’t I used this more often?

I just love the colour.

5. Sriracha Mayo

All I can say is this stuff tastes amazing!

Creamy, spicy, and completely vegan.

I love it with chips instead of ketchup or with pringles as a dip.