Thoughts

A Christmas A-Z

Yay - it’s December (aka the month of non-stop Christmas preparations!), so with less than three weeks to go until Christmas itself I thought I’d do a quick A-Z post of words all about Christmas.

 
gingerbread
 

Advent calendars (I’m loving my breakfast cereal advent calendar this year)

Baubles

Chocolate (if only there was such a thing as vegan chocolate orange…)

December

Elves

Family and friends

Gingerbread men (I love this recipe from Minimalist Baker)

Holly

Ice

Jesus

Kissing under mistletoe

Lights

Music

Nativity

Ornaments (because what’s Christmas without OTT decorations everywhere…)

Presents

Queen’s speech

Roast potatoes (aka the highlight of Christmas dinner)

Santa Claus

Tinsel

Unwrap

Visitors

Wreath

Xmas

Yule logs

Zzzzz

 
st enoch sparkly lights
tree reindeer
tinsel
presents
 

As you can probably tell I was struggling a little bit at the end of the alphabet - there aren’t many Christmas words beginning with U or Z that I can think of. And if you can think of any other Christmas words I missed out I’d love to hear in the comments!

 

What are you most excited for this Christmas?

 

* Apologies also for my lack of recent posts - I’ve had a lot on with tests, my English portfolio (which should actually be finalised by tomorrow - yay!), music rehearsals and fashion show (which was a huge success!). To make matters worse I’ve been completely stuck for ideas but I’m hoping with all of the Christmas prep that I should be able to get back into more frequent posting in the next few weeks.

 
A Christmas A-Z
 

My Top TV Shows

Yet again I apologise for the huge gap between posts - I’ve had so much else going on that it’s been tricky to make time for creating blog posts. I’m hoping things will calm down in the near future so I should be able to get back to a more regular posting pattern. 

 

In the bits of free time I do have, one of my favourite things to do is to watch TV shows. With the brilliant new seasons of different TV shows being released at the moment this has been more true than ever, so I figured I’d share a list of some of my all time favourite series to watch!

 

Stranger Things

Genre:

Horror, Fantasy

Setting:

In the 80s in a small American town called Hawkins.

Plot:

A young boy goes missing and is searched for by his family, friends and the police. Many bizarre supernatural events also occur.

Favourite Character:

Dustin Henderson

Other:

It took me ages to watch this initially but once I did I was absolutely hooked.

 

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Genre:

Action, Fantasy

Setting:

Late 90s/early 00s in America in a little town called Sunnydale. 

Plot:

A high school student must fulfil her destiny as the slayer, working with her friends to fight vampires and demons in secret whilst attempting to maintain a “normal” life.

Favourite Character:

Spike

Other:

Be sure to watch my favourite TV episode ever, Once More With Feeling (S6: E7). It’s done as a musical and is absolutely brilliant to watch - IMDb gives it 9.8/10 stars!

 

 

Riverdale

Genre:

Crime, Mystery

Setting:

The small American town of Riverdale.

Plot:

Based on the Archie comics, Riverdale follows the story of high school students investigating the murder of a popular twin.

Favourite Character:

Veronica Lodge

Other:

I can't wait to find out who’s under the mask at the end of season 2…

 

 

The Storyteller

Genre:

Adventure, Fantasy, Family

Setting:

Around the fireplace in the storyteller’s home.

Plot:

An old storyteller shares traditional European folk tales with his dog.

Favourite Character:

I don’t have a favourite character as such (the characters change every episode) but my favourite stories were definitely Sapsorrow and The Three Ravens.

Other:

I remember loving to watch this when I was much younger, and having written this I definitely plan on rewatching it again in the near future...

 

 

Gossip Girl

Genre:

Romance

Setting:

The modern day in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Plot:

A mystery blogger exposes the secrets of a group of privileged teenagers.

Favourite Character:

Blair Waldorf

Other:

My advice would be to avoid as many spoilers as possible so that the identity of Gossip Girl is a surprise in the final episode. As much as I loved watching this show (it was the first TV series I ever got addicted to) it does feel wrong to rave about it given all of the recent news regarding Ed Westwick sexually harassing multiple women. My love of the show stems separately from the actors involved and is based purely on the plot.

 

 

Merlin

Genre:

Fantasy, Adventure

Setting:

The Royal Court of Camelot.

Plot:

Tells the story of the young sorcerer Merlin in his early days as a servant to Prince Arthur in the Royal Court of Camelot.

Favourite Character:

Arthur Pendragon

Other:

Watching Merlin on weekend mornings used to be a little tradition that I had with my brother…

 

 

Jane the Virgin

Genre:

Comedy, Romance

Setting:

Modern day Miami. 

Plot:

A young Catholic woman is accidentally artificially inseminated…

Favourite Character:

Jane Villanueva

Other:

There are so many reasons why I love this series - check out my previous post about it here.

 

 

Firefly

Genre:

Adventure, Sci-Fi

Setting:

500 years into the future in space.

Plot:

A crew on a spacecraft explore space and complete various jobs which often end up getting them into trouble...

Favourite Character:

Jayne Cobb

Other:

I’m still so disappointed it got cancelled after an incomplete first season... If you love the show then it’s definitely worth watching the movie, Serenity, too!

 

 

Although I love every show I’ve mentioned, if I had to pick just one favourite it’d be Buffy the Vampire Slayer - it covers so many brilliant themes!

 

What are your favourite TV shows?

 

My Top TV Shows, hefafa.me.uk
 

Spanish Songs

Although foreign languages really aren’t my forte, I absolutely love listening to Spanish music. It’s a shame not to understand the lyrics and be able to sing along, but the songs are so cheerful and upbeat that it doesn’t bother me in the slightest! I had a great summer holiday in Spain (read more about it in these posts) and I can’t wait to visit Barcelona in November to see Shakira’s El Dorado world tour!

 

With Beyoncé having recently sung in Spanish to join J Balvin & Willy William’s Mi Gente (she revealed on this Instagram post that she’s donating all of the proceeds to hurricane relief charities), I thought it was rather appropriate time to share some of my all time favourite Spanish songs. If you prefer to be able to understand the lyrics, most of the songs have an English alternative, but my links lead to the Spanish version. Enjoy!

 

* Just click the album cover or title of each song to be redirected to the song on iTunes.

 

Bailando
Enrique Iglesias (feat. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona)

Mi Gente
J Balvin & Willy William (feat. Beyoncé)

Duele El Corazon
Enrique Iglesias (feat. Wisin)

Despacito (Remix)
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (feat. Justin Bieber)

La Bamba
Los Lobos

Magalenha
Sergio Mendes

Luna Llena
Malu Trevejo

Chantaje
Shakira (feat. Maluma)

 

I hope you like all of these Spanish songs as much as I do - let me know if you can think of any others to add to the list. Oh, and you should definitely check out the music video released for Beyoncé’s feature in Mi Gente - the dancing is phenomenal!

 
 

Can you speak multiple languages?

What’s your favourite Spanish song?

 
Spanish Songs - Heather Rowland on hefafa.me.uk // Published 1st October 2017
 

The Pros and Cons of Autumn

Today is the autumnal equinox (when the sun shines directly at the equator, resulting in almost exactly equal amounts of daylight and darkness), therefore, according to astronomers, today is the first official day of autumn - yay!! I don’t have a favourite season as such, but there’s something about autumn that always makes me smile… Anyway, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the pros and cons of autumn now that it’s finally arrived!

 

white converse and orange leaves

 

Pros:

  • Halloween
  • Cute cosy jumpers
  • So many pumpkins
  • Guy Fawkes Night (particularly all of the fireworks)
  • The build up to Christmas
  • Coffeeeee
  • Horror movie marathons
  • My mum and dad's birthdays
  • The fashion
  • Gorgeous colours of leaves as they turn
  • Pretty cloudy skies
  • Warm fires
  • All of the good TV shows return
  • Going on walks and watching the seasons change

 

coffee
Halloween pumpkin

 

Cons:

  • Days get shorter (and the nights get longer)
  • It gets colder outside
  • Rain. Rain. And more rain (especially in Glasgow!)
  • Lots of coursework and homework to finish for school
  • Feeling tired with the messed up daylight hours
  • No holidays in November
  • Fallen leaves clog up drains
  • Everyone gets ill with coughs and colds

 

notes for Higher tests
walks as the sun begins to set

 

So, as you probably guessed, I’m a big fan of autumn - my list of pros definitely outweighs the cons! On top of everything I’ve listed, there are loads of extra reasons why I’m looking forward to these next few months in particular, including the School of Rock musical, my one year vegan anniversary, fashion show and (most of all) a trip to Barcelona to see Shakira for her El Dorado world tour! Autumn is definitely going to be a busy season for me - what about you?

 

And if you’re looking for a song to really get you into the autumn mood, listen to September by Earth Wind & Fire - it’s been stuck in my head for the last week!

 

fireworks in the night sky
black and white clouds

 

Have you got anything you’re looking forward to in the next few months?

What’s your favourite season?

 

The Pros and Cons of Autumn, Heather Rowland on hefafa.me.uk // Published 22nd September 2017
 

Coconut Bowls

to help to distinguish between the two, coconut bowls (the product) is written in lowercase, and Coconut Bowls (the company) is in italics with capital letters. Hopefully this well help to avoid confusion!

 

Having wanted them for such a long time, I finally got two coconut bowls last weekend and I have never been more excited!

 

wrapped up coconut bowls

 

Coconut bowls are super environmentally friendly and each one is completely unique. The company (called Coconut Bowls) reclaims coconut shells which have been thrown away by other businesses who make products using the inside of a coconut. Coconut Bowls recycles these shells into beautiful bowls, cutting and crafting the shells before finishing with a coconut oil polish. Each individual coconut bowl has it’s own flaws and imperfections - there are no two identical bowls!

 

unwrapped coconut bowls

 

I ordered one natural bowl and one original bowl and they’re both absolutely gorgeous. I love the unique shape of each of them - it’s pretty cool to eat from a completely natural, sustainable and eco-friendly bowl. 

 

one natural coconut bowl (top) and one original coconut bowl (bottom)

 

You could probably serve pretty much anything in a coconut bowl - breakfast, lunch or dinner! I've not had mine that long though, so I've not had much of a chance to experiment. You'll already know from this post how much I love smoothie bowls, so I decided to make my own recipe and try it in one of my new bowls. I was so pleased with the result, and I can almost swear it tasted even better out of a coconut bowl! Here's my recipe if you're interested in trying…

 

berry smoothie with toppings in a coconut bowl

 

Ingredients (serves 1):

For the smoothie bowl…

  • 1 banana
  • 150g frozen berries
  • 100ml soya milk
  • 60g dairy-free yoghurt (with coconut)
  • large handful of spinach

To serve…

  • strawberries
  • kiwi
  • coconut chunks
  • chia seeds
  • blueberries
  • pomegranate seeds

 

Method:

  1. Chop up a banana and freeze it overnight. 
  2. Blitz together all of the smoothie bowl ingredients. 
  3. Pour into a bowl. 
  4. Top with any ingredients of your choice (see above for a list of what I used). 
  5. Enjoy!

 

holding a coconut bowl filled with a berry smoothie and toppings

 

Of course this recipe can be eaten from any bowl, but don't you think it just looks so special in a unique coconut bowl? I'd definitely recommend buying one - they're great for the environment and they look so cute too! They’re easy to clean (just a simple hand wash) and Coconut Bowls have a variety of other products too, including wooden cutlery and coconut candles! I hope you liked my smoothie bowl recipe too - I'd love to know your thoughts if you give it a go!

 

What do you like to put in a smoothie bowl?

Have you got a coconut bowl at home?

 

Coconut Bowls (feat. a berry smoothie recipe) - Heather Rowland on hefafa.me.uk // Published 17th September 2017