April Resolutions | Champagne Twist

We’re already half way through April, so far I have managed, to a certain extent, to keep up with 2 online sewing challenges, (#EasterSpringDress Sew Along and #SewApril2017) completed a number of UFOs and even started making a Chanel style outfit.

None of the above have anything to do with this month’s resolution, as it happens to be Gardening. But never fear, I have planed for April a number of indoor and outdoor creative ideas to share with you.

gardening april

Over the next few days, watch out for loads of creative makes all with a garden theme, including haberdashery tools, home decor and even an outfit!

Make sure you subscribe to this blog for more information. Like and share as well to help spread the word,

Thanks for reading.

Vegan Life Live – review

January 2017 Health and Wellbeing January 2017 Champagne Twist champagnetwist.wordpresss.com
Health and Wellbeing, January 2017. Champagne Twist – champagnetwist.wordpresss.com

I’m trying to post this as quickly as possible to encourage you to visit the Vegan Life Show. If you have any plans for today, cancel them and go to Alexandra Palace.  You can thank me later – and you will!

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Picture source: www.veganlifelive.com/london/

It is not often for me to attend a show and leave several hours later, wishing I could stay longer. The Vegan Life Live event was one of those rare times.  The 2 day show held at Alexandra Palace, simply isn’t enough for the vegan or wannabe vegan in your life to gather up all the vast array of information and to fully explore the delights of this event.

From start to finish the whole show is well organised, efficient and well thought out. The free shuttle bus to Alexandra Palace arrived on time and delivered us promptly, outside the entrance. Although the W3 bus service is more frequent, if you can wait up to 30 mins, why not save a few quid and enjoy a more direct route to the venue.

The entering, despite the growing queues, was very quick with helpful and polite staff ushering the crowd, leading us to the show freebie bag tables. Yes, the show freebie bag – a huge affair filled with so many goodies – all of which will soon be reviewed on this blog.  I have to say, this is one of the most generous and more impressive show bags I have ever enjoyed at such events, and it was an indication of the quality of this event

Normally, I would advise to take a small flask of tea or coffee, a bottle of water and a small snack, as these events are notorious for selling over-the-top expensive refreshments, and you spend half your time queuing, only to served by stressed out or rude catering staff. But at Vegan Life Live, if you go today, I strongly suggest leaving behind your lunch box and just bring your wallet. The catering staff are owners fo the businesses, and are kind helpful, very friendly and keen to share their knowledge and advise with you. The portions are generous and the prices reasonable. I saw many people returning for seconds.

The variety on offer in the food court is almost overwhelming. Stocked with edibles for the sweetest of teeth, treats from the 4 corners of the globe, including West Indian, Chinese and home-grown British fare. Tacos, wraps, curries, soups, smoothies, cupcakes, brownies – if you can’t find anything to suit your palette, then you will not be able to find it anywhere on Earth!

And that’s just the food you pay for – I was able to fully dine out on just the samples alone, and these were not just silly little morsels, they too were generous and plentiful.  If you have any notion that vegans are starved out individuals who only eat lentils, this show will quickly put that idea to bed.

There is literally something for everyone – even hard-core meat eaters, would find something to rave about the Vegan Life Show. The demonstrations were numerous, the shows informative, there is even an area showing films and documentaries, which sadly I didn’t have time to watch. It’s impossible to leave without learning something new, and in my case a full tummy!

I will post more later today and over the next few days across the Champagne Twist network, including my show highlights. I strongly  urge you, if you love good food, go today to the Vegan Life Live show at Alexandra Palace for an affordable day out and enjoy food at it’s best.

The show ends today at 5pm, tickets available at the venue – click here for more details.

Rating 4.5/5

 

That’s another year over with …

… so now what?

jan-17

Hello,

Today is the 4th day of a new year, and as I prepare to take down the Christmas decorations, I’m reflecting on the year past and wondering what good came of it, if anything.

2016 for me in the great scheme of things, was a huge step backwards in terms of social democracy and political change. I recall as a school student discussing with fellow students that I would never see a Black President of the United States in my lifetime. So imagine my surprise when Barack Obama won the 2008 and 2012 elections. Not only did I live to see this phenomenon, so did my parents and grandparents. We were all given hope that anyone who worked hard enough, and had a good heart could achieve anything – how long could it be before we see a female United States President?

Then 2016 happened. So did BREXIT, then even worse Hillary didn’t win the electoral college. It wasn’t so much that the UK is facing a future outside of the EU, and the US elected Duck a la Orange, it was the fact both political campaigns highlighted what many people suspected but didn’t want to face –  that the UK and US are populated with many ignorant people, who are lead by power hungry, racists and bigots. Playing on our fears, many claims were made including how the the NHS would be saved by leaving the EU. Then within hours of winning, the leader of the BREXIT campaign admitted on live national television that it wasn’t true, and knew it wasn’t true, but didn’t say anything in order to get the votes.

Meanwhile hate crime has increased, with Neo-nazis now given the mandate to intimidate people they deem unworthy of British citizenship. At times it feels like we are living in pre-WW2 Germany.

Then Hillary didn’t win.  I knew deep down that this was a possibility, but everyone around me, maybe in a desperate action of hope kept saying, there was no way the US electorate would vote for a proven racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, non-tax paying, questionable billionaire and proven idiot. Besides, Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person ever to run for President!

Oops!

The events of 2016 has proven to me that we are all so out of touch with one another, then the blatantly ovbious results occurs, we are all taken by surprise. Yes, it was great to have a Black President as it represented a move towards equality. But representation is not the same as reality.

This all of course pales into insignificance when we see the war victims of Syria, the suffering of refugees as well as victims of terrorist attacks.

So what has 2016 meant to me?

  • The most qualified woman, can still be beaten to the role by the least qualified man.
  • Racism is still a thing in the 21st century.
  • Sexism is still a thing in the 21st century.
  • White Supremacy is still a thing in the 21st century.
  • We are more concerned about Kim K W, than we are about who is running our countries.
  • Our Parents, Grand Parents and Great Grand Parents worked hard and suffered greatly, and as it turns out, for very little positive societal gain.

I hear the arguments that we should just accept BREXIT and the US Presidency results and carry on. But doing that for me, means accepting that everyone I know and hold dear has lost several hard won for fights. It means that women still won’t be paid the same as their male counterparts, it means that people are in fear of physical and verbal attacks just because they are wearing a different style of dress to their attackers, or speak with an non-British or American accent.  It means that if my brothers want to take time off work to care for their children, they will be seen as less manly. If my sisters wear trouser suits instead of mini skirts, they are seen as inhuman.

While I can list a number of personal highlights, such as hosting my first photography exhibition, expanding my social network platforms and improving my sewing skills, these now seem empty whenever I switch on the TV news. Perhaps I was too hopeful – I thought we were finally moving towards equality, respect and peace.  I thought we were moving away from nuclear war, and towards world peace.  Now the threat of WW3 and social discord is more apparent than ever.

The easy option would be to just give up and hide in a corner.

I can’t do that.

But, sadly, I also know I can’t do much either.  But I can do something, and sometimes that is enough.

health-wb

It’s now 2017. I want to move forward, but not in the same direction as BREXIT or Orange-head. I’m still working towards peace, harmony, respect, understanding and love. These are my overall goals for 2017.

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Watch my January resolutions, by clicking on the image above.

What are your goals for 2017? Please comment below.  Thanks for reading.

 

Episode 6 of the CT Show now live!

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Episode 6 is a preview of my resolutions, themes and topics for January 2017, as part of the alternative to New Year’s Resolution series. Click the image above to view the video.

Do you have any resolutions? Comment below and share.  Thanks for reading and please subscribe to find out more about this month’s resolutions.

 

New Monthly Resolutions

Hello,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I for one am glad to see the back of 2016, but to be honest I’m wasn’t that keen on looking forward to 2017, in a post BREXIT and orange potato-head man era.

Then I had a thought – why should I let BREXIT or orange potato-head decide my future? I don’t want to leave Europe, and no one can physically, legally or morally make me leave. So I’m still calling myself European and proudly waving the blue flag with the gold stars.  Yes the EU has some serious faults, but I’m all for unity and fixing things from within, rather than standing on the outside looking like a lost lemming or lonesome Prime Minister.

As for the US – well with less than 3 weeks until the orange potato-head takes over, I’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.  I made sure that I had the best Christmas and New Year possible, ensuring that my loved ones were safe and happy. Then I stated planning.

New Year Resolutions? Bah Humbug!

The latter half of 2016 drifted away into a mass of political chaos, death and destruction. And I felt helpless, so utterly helpless and sad for all those people who suffered, and will suffer.  I thought long and hard as to how I can help make a change for the better, and while I am no world leader or major celebrity, I do have a voice. I’m going to make sure as many people as possible hear my voice.

But how to do this and stick to it? My New Year Resolutions history is at best met with middling success.  I can last out to about June in a good year – I once managed to stop eating chocolate for most of Lent, till I forgot when I passed by a cake shop.

New Monthly Resolutions, 2017

On New Year’s Eve I published a YouTube video, with a preview of my monthly plans for 2017, as an alternative to the usual list of resolutions. Being in smaller, more manageable chunks. I hope to be more successful in my goals. Here is the list of topics I plan to cover over the next 12 months.

  1. January – Health and Well Being
  2. February – Design
  3. March – Spring Clean
  4. April – Gardening
  5. May – Craft and DIY
  6. June – Food and Drink
  7. July – Natural Beauty
  8. August – Mind, Body and Soul
  9. September – Media
  10. October – Autumn Watch
  11. November – Preparing for Christmas
  12. December – Preparing for New Year

On the face of it, these may seem like trivial topics, but don’t be fooled. There will be in-depth editorials, videos, recipes and tutorials – and a few surprises, all related to how we can improve ourselves, help our loved ones and protect our general environment. If we all play our part, share our ideas and try to make every moment a positive one, surely this is a step forward towards positive progress. If we stand by and do nothing feeling sorry for ourselves, it is in effect taking several backward steps, which can only lead to the events which so marred 2016.

Isn’t it better to try to achieve our goals, than to sit down and cry in a corner?  I can’t do that, and further more, I won’t.

When they go low, we go high

I’m in no way advocating civil unrest or mob rule. To be honest, I’m much too busy and a tad too lazy to do any of that. Besides it often becomes counter-productive, the story centres around the protest rather than the reasons behind the protest. I do have at the back of my mind the words of, who I consider, the greatest FLOTUS of all time, Mrs Michelle Obama … “when they go low, we go high”.

I want a media that speaks the truth, without bowing to commercialism. I want girls to have equal and fair access to education. I want to see people of all races, colours, creeds, nationalities, ages, genders, abilities – both physical and mental, to have equal rights and equal access to media platforms so they can tell their stories, in an environment that is safe, caring and nurturing. I want our beautiful planet to stay beautiful. I want all of these things and more, and I know that in order to achieve these huge goals, I have to make a start with me.

Tomorrow, I will publish a video detailing my plans for January 2017, so please stay tuned and join me in making a better 2017 for everyone.

Thanks for reading and again, Happy New Year.