Chewy Vegan Cookies

Heyo, sweet friend! How are you, really? How’s your heart? And how has your week been? I’m not doing too bad- I am (reluctantly) starting to get back into the habit of online learning, national lockdown and school from home. I’ve just been pottering around for most of the week- doing school work… blogging… netflix evenings… you get the idea. Since Monday though, I’ve been looking forward to the weekend, and for good reason too! I’ve have been so excited all week because today we have a super-duper awesome post from a super-duper awesome friend of mine- Lucy! I know you’ll love this recipe post as much as I do, so without further ado, over to Lucy!

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My Favourite Home School Drinks

Here we are again… back to lockdown and home school. By the time we reached our second lockdown, this was all getting pretty old and I honestly didn’t think we’d be switching back to school from home- but now here we are!

The days feel long, lonely and often boring, especially when I have school from 8.30-3.00, so it’s hardly any surprise that I have trouble staying motivated and on task a lot of the time! To all you year-round home schoolers out there- oh how I admire you and your perseverance!!

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The Importance of Goals

I remember going back to school in January after a Christmas break when I was a lot younger- maybe 7 or 8. We’d come back, excited to see our friends again and with renewed energy, full of stories from over the Christmas break- who got what and who went where. The teachers always took this fresh start as a good opportunity to teach us about resolutions.

The ‘New Year’s Resolution Lesson’ always went something along the lines of… ‘it’s the new year, so a good time to make a resolution to get/do better at something’. So we’d come up with resolutions: get better at spelling… be nicer to my sisters… be smarter… that sort of silly thing. We’d write them on paper leaves, stick them to the tree on the wall, and forget about them by the next day.

That was basically all I ever learnt about resolutions in primary school.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve figured there is actually a point to have resolutions- or more accurately, goals.

I think there is a big difference between a resolution and a goal, and we need to be careful which one we set. Making a resolution is more of a fixed decision; for example, I will work out more in 2021; whereas setting a goal is creating an aim and then doing certain things to gradually work towards it; for example, I am going to try to work out more in 2021.

For me, the beauty of a goal is that it acknowledges the fact that humans aren’t perfect and that we can’t just make a difficult decision and then implement it immediately. With a goal, there is leeway- it is realistic. You can try, and fail, and then try again. You can create stages within the goal and do things to help you achieve it.

That’s why, I’m setting goals for 2021, not resolutions. I’ve come up with a handful of goals I want to achieve by the end of the year, and a couple of ways to achieve them.

There are three steps to setting goals:

  1. Make the goals (consider your why)
  2. Come up with steps to take to achieve the goals
  3. Ask someone/something (like an app) to hold you accountable for sticking to your goals

Let me give you an example:

One of my goals for this year is to exercise more. My reason for this goal is because I know that I always feel really good and happy after I run or workout, but I don’t always have strong enough mental power to force myself out of bed and into shorts and a sweatshirt, especially on a cold, weekday morning!

So, knowing this, I set myself this goal, and then came up with a few steps I’m going to follow to help me to achieve this goal. For example, I’m going to come up with a schedule for when I’m going to run. The night before, I’m going to get out my clothes and mentally prepare myself to get up on time. And finally, to help keep me accountable, I’m going to redownload Strava to track and record my runs.

I’ve set myself a few other goals too… goals about my school work and the amount of effort I put in, goals about doing other things that are good for me and goals about reading my Bible more. But, trust me, I haven’t gone crazy. The thing is, these goals are my motivation. I know just as well as you do that I’m not going to stick to all of them. There are going to be some months where I barely run at all, or where my grades are slipping more than I can afford. But setting goals shows me a clear target that I can work towards. If I reach that target? Great! I’ll be all the better for it. But if I don’t? Who cares!!! It’s not the end of the world, and I can always try again!

Setting goals is a great habit. It gives you something to work towards and something to motivate you. But, at the same time, you have to be careful not to get too attached. If you don’t make a goal or meet a target? Well, that’s fine. Don’t beat yourself up about it- be gentle and forgiving!

This said, I would defiantly encourage you to try and set some goals- big or small- for yourself this year. Strive to reach them and work hard for them, just don’t let them define you or worry you!

Happy goal setting!

Thoughts On The New Year- A Guest Post by Addie

Happy New Year, sweet friend! Wow- I can hardly believe that it’s a whole new year… 2021! To begin the year off on a high note, the lovely Addie from her blog The Musings of a Teenage Girl is guest posting about transitioning from the past year into this new one. And man… is it an awesome post!!! If you adore reading this as much as I have (and I don’t doubt that you will) head over to check out Addie’s blog… it is full of encouraging messages about all different areas of faith and life! You can also find her on her Instagram page. Now, without further ado, over to Addie!

As we all know, 2020 has been quite a year that none of us were expecting. Most people were excited about a new decade and a new, clean slate to start on, but as the year has gone on, things just seemed to keep getting worse.

It’s easy to look at all the negative things that are constantly talked about. It’s hard to have one conversation without someone talking about how crazy or different and difficult this year has been. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with talking about these things, but it’s easy to get tired of hearing the same thing over and over.

As we head into the new year, I try to reflect on the past year and focus on the positive things. There are so many ways we grew as a people this year. We had to learn how to live through a global pandemic. We learned how to communicate and create during a time where that seemed limited. We had to learn how to build relationships and keep relationships strong while we couldn’t be with people in person. We had to learn how to stay in communion with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We had to reinvent our thoughts on Church and what that is supposed to look like. We had to keep worshipping and growing our relationship with the Lord even when we didn’t have church to go to every week to keep us in check.

So it’s easy to think about 2020 as a bust, but the truth is that so many good things have come out of this year.

The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8 to think on the truth, and these things are the truth. It’s tempting to think that since the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2020 everything has been headed right back to how it was on December 31, 2019, but that’s not the case. Things will still be difficult for lots of people, so going into 2021, how do we change our outlook on year?

We can start by keeping our focus on Jesus. We can set goals to spend more time in the Word and in prayer over the next year. In turn, this will change the way we look at the world and our lives. We will start seeing people the way Jesus sees them. We will look at our lives as a living sacrifice to the Lord. Our heart’s desires will change to God’s desires.

But we can’t just stop there. We have to take what we are reading and put it in action. We have to start treating people the way Jesus did. We have to take action in our own life to correct sin and wrongdoing. We have to begin focusing on the positive things.

So with this in mind, here is my challenge for you for 2021: focus on Jesus because if you do that, everything else in life will fall into place.

I’m not guaranteeing you that life will be easy and happy and enjoyable, but all the difficulty and frustration will be worth it for Jesus.

With love,

The Best Pens for Your Bullet Journal- A Guest Post by Izzy

Heyo everyone! I hope you’re all doing great and enjoying this post-Christmas period, however you may have celebrated. Today’s post is an extra special one- a guest post from my very sweet friend Izzy! I have been so excited for this post to drop and it’s been so hard keeping it a secret… I almost let it slip a couple of times!!! Izzy recently started a super fun youtube channel where she makes videos about bullet journaling- I love watching them, so I thought it would be fun to have her do a post on the topic! You can also find more on her Instagram. I won’t ramble any longer… over to Izzy! 

Hi there! My name is Izzy, and I run the YouTube Channel IzzyJesse M. On my YouTube, I share bullet journal inspiration and lettering show-hows! If that’s something you think you’d be interested in, feel free to check out my Channel.

In this blog post, I want to share my favourite pens for bullet journaling! I am very excited about this, as I love pens and markers and anything to do with stationery. Of course, I have regretfully not tried every marker on the planet (I know… it’s tragic!!) but these are some of my tried and true pens and markers that I think you would enjoy using in your bullet journal. 

Here goes!

  1. Brush Pens — Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pens! Not only do these brush pens come in 107 colours, but the brush nib is easy to do modern calligraphy and hand lettering with, and it comes with a fine bullet nib too! I was gifted a set of 6 of these water-based pens (from none other than the one, the only… Megan of this blog!!) and they were mostly what I used to learn modern calligraphy. The brush nib is also fab for colouring in if that’s your vibe. However, they are felt tipped, which means they will fray over time.
  1. Markers — Crayola Supertips! These markers come in so many colours, and the triangular-shaped nib helps you get a variation of line. Because of this, you can use them for modern calligraphy as well as colouring in, but it does take a bit of practice if you are used to brush pens for hand lettering. They are a fabulous standard marker for colouring in doodles and I can’t recommend them enough! (Storage hack: The 50 pack fits PERFECTLY into a tin of Chloe’s Wafer Rolls, something Megan discovered!!)
  1. Gel Pens — BIC Gelocity 0.7mm Gel Pens! I got these gel pens a while ago, and I have to say, for how they perform, they are so underrated!! I never hear anyone talk about them, but I absolutely love them. They are lightweight and have a rubber grip that extends all around the body of the pen, and have a sturdy plastic clip to attach to any loose sheets of paper. The retractable, 0.7mm nib is perfect for writing an everyday note, and the ink is super smooth to write with. My only gripes with these pens are that they only come in 13 colours (tragic, I know!!) and they have a little lip at the bottom of the pen, so if you hold your pen really close to the tip, it might be a tad uncomfortable. These pens are very similar to the PaperMate Inkjoy 0.7mm Gel Pens too!

  1. Fineliners — Sakura Pigma Microns OR Mipor Pen Lines! The Sakura Pigma Microns are excellent writing pens and come in many different sized tips and some cool colours too! They also have archival ink so your writing will last a long time. The Mipor Pens Lines look almost identical to the Sakura Pigma Microns, but they are cheaper. They also come in different sized tips and have black, archival ink, but I find that these pens feather more than the Pigma Microns (the ink spreads if you write slowly). Overall, these are both really good fineliners!
  1. Highlighters — Zebra Mildliners OR Stabilo Boss Highlighters! The Zebra Mildliners come in 25 beautiful colours, and not only have the classic chisel tip, but a little bullet nib on the other end. The colours are unique but the chisel tips are a tad shorter than some others, so if your handwriting is bigger, you might have to do two swipes to cover the text, and that can look messy. The tips also pick up ink but that can be scribbled off easily, and the bullet nib is a tad fragile. However, the pens themselves are so aesthetically-pleasing and I have really enjoyed using them! The Stabilo Boss Highlighters are also great, and the tips are slightly longer so they should cover all your writing! The colours are less exciting but they last a long time, so if the longevity of your pen is something you’re concerned about, these are a great option.

So there you have it! I hope you found some pen inspiration and if you are interested in more bullet journal ideas and other exciting artsy videos, you can go to my YouTube Channel for more! 

Thank you very much to Megan for inviting me to temporarily commandeer her blog and allow me to blab about my pen obsessions!! I truly hope you all enjoyed and hope you have a fabulous day.

50 Things to Do This Christmas

This Christmas has definitely been at least a little different to most others, but some things haven’t changed (like gingerbread making day with the fam!) I know Christmas itself has passed now, but there’s still lots of fun holiday things to do before school and work start back again, or just before the new year! It is often difficult to embrace change of any kind, but keeping a little normality and sticking to a few traditions can make things feel a little less strange.

That’s why I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of 50 things you can do to make the holiday season as Christmassy and cosy as possible!

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Jesus Is the Reason

Decorations. Music. Food. Gifts. Family time. Movies. Shopping. Cards. Trees. Candy. Friends. Stockings. The Christmas season is so full of goodness and happiness that it often passes by in a whir and is over before we know it!

I know for me (being a PK), my Christmas seasons are normally filled with Church- delivering leaflets, decorating the building, filling bags of popcorn, heating mince pies, setting up for services, attending the services, tidying up after the services… you get the idea! And I know this may sound strange (considering the fact I’m basically at Church all Christmas) but I can sometimes get so caught up with everything going on, but I actually forget to dwell on the reason for the season!

Whatever your Christmas looks like- whether it’s busy or not- it can be far too easy to get sucked into the worldly celebration of Christmas and forget what the festivity is all about! Often we forget the reason for the season… Jesus!

It can be funny to think about. If you look at it from the outside, what we’re actually celebrating is the birth of a baby. A baby born to a virgin in a stable surrounded by sheep and cows and a donkey. A baby visited not by friends and relatives but by shepherds and astrologers. A baby wrapped in a swaddling cloth and laid to sleep in a manger- literally the trough the cows and pigs ate out of.

But here’s the twist… that baby was to be the Saviour of the world. He was the Messiah and the Son of God. This baby was the fulfilment to God’s promises to send a saviour. Someone who would make right our sin and provide a way for us to once again have a relationship with God.

And that, my friends, is the reason for the season.

The reason we celebrate Christmas is not so we can receive presents or eat a nice meal. It’s not so we can visit family or have time off school. And it’s not even about the decorations or the Christmas markets.

It’s so we can remember that special baby, born in a stable in the little town of Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. It so we can remember Him, but also so bow down and worship Him because of everything He has done for us and the sacrifice He made.

Our nativity set in our home. Couldn’t come up with a better picture for this post haha!

Luke 2:19 tells us ‘But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.’

Isn’t that such a beautiful image? Mary understood the beauty of the birth of Jesus and dwelt on it quietly in her own heart, thanking God for the gift of her son.

So my encouragement to you this season is to be like Mary. Take some time out of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season and ponder the meaning behind it. Read the Christmas story and spend some time in prayer, thanking God for everything.

And above all, don’t forget that Jesus is the reason, my friends.

Super Scrummy Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

In the winter, I’m a huge fan of hot chocolates of all flavours and types. Minty… with marshmallows, with cream… hazelnut… gooey… milky… frothy- you name it, I love it! Recently I discovered the most delicious slow cooker hot chocolate recipe, and I was desperate to share it with you!

The recipe I used was a twist on this one here:

https://www.sugarandsoul.co/crockpot-hot-chocolate/

I followed the recipe however I made a few tweaks to the quantities. I also made a little less because I was serving fewer people than the recipe makes for.

This was honestly so easy to whip up and perfect for an event or a get together… or just a cosy movie night at home! This hot chocolate is so creamy and good, you won’t b able to resist!!!

The ingredients that go into this super-simple but doubly-delicious hot chocolate are: milk, condensed milk, heavy cream, cocoa powder, choc chips, icing sugar, vanilla extract and (optional) marshmallows.

Simply put, you mix everything together and heat on low for around 3 or 4 hours.

In more detail, however, the first thing I did was to combine the liquids straight into the slow cooker. I gave them a mix and then whisked in the cocoa powder and icing sugar. The icing sugar isn’t a necessity if you’re using sweetened condensed milk and choc chips, but it doesn’t matter too much. Finally, I added the choc chips and gave one more mix before turning the slow cooker on low.

After this, you need to stir occasionally for the next 2-3 hours. I had mine in the slow cooker for about 4 hours, on really low heat. I added the marshmallows about 30 minutes before drinking and continued to let it heat. It warmed up gradually and I turned it off just before I served it up.

Here are the quantities and ingredients that I used, however, if you wanted more precise amounts, I suggest following the recipe I linked above.

– 11 ounces sweetened condensed milk

– 1 cup heavy cream

– 6 cups milk

– 2 tsp vanilla extract

– 3 tbsp cocoa powder

– 3 tbsp icing sugar

– 1 cup choc chips

– 2 cups marshmallows

I found that this made enough for about 10 mugs of hot chocolate. I also found that once I’d added the marshmallows it was quite a lot richer, so I recommend letting everyone add them to their own mugs once served up unless everyone is happy with a richer drink.

This drink also keeps in the fridge for around five days, which is perfect if you have leftovers! Note that if you add lots of marshmallows in the slow cooker, when you put the leftovers in the fridge, the marshmallows solidify so the hot chocolate becomes thicker, somewhat resembling pudding or custard. This isn’t a problem though- all you need to do to drink is put in a saucepan with some milk and heat up. I did this with mine and it was almost tastier second time round!

I hope you love this completely delicious slow cooker hot chocolate as much as I did!

Life and Blog update

I’ve been running Not So Perfect for a little over 3 months now and oh, where the time has gone! By now, I think that my first life/blog update is long overdue, so I thought it would be exciting to do a post sharing what’s going on with the blog and what to expect over the next few months.

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