dundee

My last week in Dundee

The last few weeks in Dundee flew by! I feel like I’ve been socialising non-stop for the past two weeks, no complaints but I’m not used to my schedule being so packed.

Nearly three weeks ago, I travelled to London with my friend Ivy of Year of Vegan Eats. We departed from Edinburgh and returned there after our foodie holiday in London. This granted me the opportunity for quick catch-ups with several friends in Edinburgh since that was the last time I’d be there for at least two years. I also had the chance to spend one more day in Glasgow and I couldn’t pass it up for the same reason. Kuba and I aren’t planning on returning to Scotland for quite some time as we have a full year of travelling through Europe ahead of us, and following that we plan to acquire and convert a van into a suitable living space for the next stage of our never-ending honeymoon. 😉

Kuba’s last day at work was last Friday. He’s finally free to start another career after working as a motorcycle mechanic for 10 years. He’s looking forward to focusing exclusively on his photography and videography now that he won’t be working a 9-5 job. This was a long time coming, as he knew years ago he’d ultimately quit this career for a new direction, taking a risk and opting for a more challenging path instead of a secure and comfortable one.

new tattoos!

With ample free time to socialise and clear out our flat, we also decided to get tattooed in Dundee before we start travelling through Europe. We’ve talked about getting tattoos to mark the start of this journey previously, so we figured why not get them done just before we move.

We were tattooed by Jay at Sanctuary Tattoo in Dundee thanks to a recommendation by our friend Rebecca. Rebecca has a beautifully coloured forearm piece (inspired by her own drawings) completed by Jay. Both Kuba and I were impressed by the vibrancy and clarity of Rebecca’s forearm, so we booked an appointment with Jay a few days in advance. We haven’t been tattooed in years so we both were eager to add a new piece to our collection.

My tattoo, designed by Rebecca, commemorates my time spent in Scotland. Kuba’s signifies the start of this new and exciting stage in his life. Thanks to Rebecca for helping us sort it!

one last day out with Ivy & Leo

The next day, our friends Ivy and Leo came through from Edinburgh to spend the day with us. This would be the last time we’d see them until September, as they’ve already booked flights to come visit us in Zagreb, Croatia! Naturally, we grabbed lunch at The Flame Tree Cafe.

Since this would be my last time eating there, I ordered my favourite sandwich, the vegan haggis toastie with sweet onion chutney and melty vegan cheese, with a side of pea and mint soup. The pea and mint soup is one of my favourite soups thanks to them. I decided to be extra fancy that day and order my toastie on a rainbow bagel. It was the right choice! A toasted bagel sando dunked into pea and mint soup is my idea of heaven. 🙂

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We actually had the vegan haggis three different ways: Kuba opted for it in a wrap, Leo ordered the toastie as it comes, and I savoured every single bite of my rainbow bagel toastie. Ivy noshed on a falafel sandwich instead. The falafel at The Flame Tree Cafe also happens to be one of my favourites. Maybe I just like everything there… 😉

After lunch, we relaxed in the City Square, soaked up all the sunshine, sampled some lattes at The Tartan Coffee House, and ended the night with dinner at Rama Thai.

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I’ve walked past Rama Thai before but never considered eating there as I wasn’t certain of their vegan options. We decided to try it thanks to several of our friends and their recommendations. I’m glad we did because the food was delicious!

I ordered their Som Tum salad as green papaya salad is one of my favourites from our trip to Thailand. On their menu, Som Tum wasn’t described as papaya salad because their version lacked the unripe green papaya. This is no surprise to me as green papaya is difficult to come by in Dundee. Instead, they replaced the papaya with shredded turnip. I tried it for dinner with a side of sticky rice as that was my go-to meal while Kuba and I visited Chiang Mai. My salad was absolutely delicious and very spicy. Yum!

Part of me is sad that I didn’t try Rama Thai sooner, but it’s probably for the best considering the prices were significantly higher than the prices we paid in Thailand. At any rate, I’m happy that I had a taste of authentic Thai food before we head off to Spain, and that I got to share the experience with Ivy and Leo. If you have a craving for Thai food, don’t hesitate to try Rama Thai. 🙂

decluttering, donations, & packing

Thursday was our last day in our flat so we were busy packing, organising our belongings, and completing any last minute errands. We’re only taking three bags full of our belongings and a guitar with us to Spain, so we donated a few bags of kitchen supplies to a charity shop and donated extra clothing, bedding, and towels thanks to Recycle Scotland’s website.

We didn’t have much furniture to begin with but still ended up donating our washing machine, desk, chair, hi-fi table, steamer, and vacuum to the British Heart Foundation. The BHF offers free pick-up of donations. You simply need to arrange a pick-up time online or over the phone. We initially tried to donate these items to the Tayside Reuse Centre as they also offer free pick-up, but we didn’t give them enough notice. Make sure you let these charities know a few weeks in advance if you have furniture you’d like to donate.

I’m glad that we managed to re-home most of the stuff we didn’t need. Thanks to our friends for taking little things off our hands! I hope you find your new stuff useful and that it serves you well. 🙂

And if you’re curious about what we packed for our move to Spain, check out our packing videos. This is everything we own and everything we’ll take with us for the next year.  Thanks for watching!

a homemade dinner thanks to Rebecca

For our last night in Dundee, our friend Rebecca graciously offered to cook us dinner. I think it’s safe to say she’s the best cook I know. 😉 She made us oil-free falafels served with a fresh salad, smoky sun-dried tomato cashew sauce, and seedy tortillas. For dessert, she whipped up some mango coconut yoghurt nice cream topped with fresh blueberries and strawberries. Dinner was excellent, as I knew it would be! We appreciated it so much because she took the time to make us a dinner that was oil-free and not too fatty. She catered to our eating habits, and that means a lot to us!

I was sad to end that night in Dundee because I’ve considered Scotland my home since I first moved to Glasgow a year and a half ago. I’ve made so many genuine friends there, met my now-husband, and started a new life. I don’t know what the next year will bring but I know it will be awesome! Let’s do this! ❤

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I wrote this post while we were on the plane from London to Málaga. We’re now in our flat in Torremolinos after walking along the beach. 🙂

Vegan BBQ and new friends in the sun

So I still haven’t gotten the hang of this daily blogging thing, but I’m trying! 😉 I feel that time is passing by quickly as we inch closer to our moving date. Now we only have three weeks left! I never seem busy during the week yet my days are filled with plenty of dedicated computer time as I have photos and videos to edit, and now blog posts to write.

Fortunately, this past week I spent some time away from the computer. It was just too sunny to stay inside! We are lucky to have a few sunny days here now that it’s nearly mid-May.

Taking advantage of this nice weather, our friend Karis hosted an all-vegan BBQ this past weekend to celebrate her 25th birthday. It was a potluck-style BBQ, so everyone brought a dish to share.

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I made a creamy pesto sauce, stirred it into some quinoa, and topped it with tomatoes and fresh basil. It was tasty but not the prettiest dish!

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Karis decorated this cute fruit platter to congratulate us on our wedding. Isn’t it cute?

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Almost everyone at the BBQ was vegan so we had quite a crowd going and plenty of food! Any dish can be veganised, even meat-heavy BBQ ones. Vegan versions of hotdogs and burgers are readily available even at big-box grocery stores like Tesco and Asda, and homemade salads and cakes can easily be made vegan just by substituting (or omitting) a few ingredients. And if you don’t know where to begin, asking Google for simple vegan recipes never fails.

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I’m grateful to know so many vegans online but being able to meet up with vegans in person is extra nice, especially at a vegan BBQ or potluck! Not only do you get to catch up with friends, but you end up with a large variety of vegan food to try for a fraction of the price of eating out. Plus, where can you find an all-you-can-eat vegan buffet? 😛 People tend to bring homemade or semi-homemade dishes to share and since everyone tends to cook their favourite recipes, you always end up with several delicious dishes to try. Yum!

I’m glad we had the chance to meet up with some friends (some of which we haven’t seen in ages) as well as make new ones, all while having lunch in the sun! Thanks to Karis and her partner Jared for hosting the BBQ. I look forward to seeing them again this weekend at my friend Rebecca’s house-warming party! 🙂

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I also had the pleasure of chatting to new vegan pal Jo for the first time that day, even though I’d seen her previously at other vegan events in Dundee. I had a feeling we’d have something in common since she was drinking out of a reusable stainless steel water bottle and she had a cool recycled backpack! 😉 Also, her homemade fruit tart was tasty. (I regret that I didn’t manage a photo of it, but it was so good that Kuba had a few slices!)

It was refreshing to meet someone with similar interests when it comes to diet and environmental concerns so we arranged to meet up a few days later. We went to The Flame Tree Cafe for green smoothies and tossed my frisbee afterwards. Green smoothies, frisbee, and sunshine. What a perfect day!

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Thanks to Jo for this photo and thank you for reading! 🙂

We tied the knot! So happy!

I’ve been busy the past few days! I’m officially a Mrs. now! 🙂

As of May 2nd, Kuba and I are officially husband and wife. 🙂 We had a simple minimalist ceremony here in Dundee, Scotland. Our friends Ivy and Leo were there to witness it and support us. They also helped us photograph and film our big day. Thanks to them for everything!

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We’ve planned to get married for a while now but kept this on the down-low because we wanted it to be a surprise. We also didn’t want it to turn into a big to-do because we didn’t want anything to detract from our original intent behind getting married. In the simplest terms, we married each other because we’re in love and we are committed to being together forever. We’ve known this pretty much from the start of our relationship. 🙂

We didn’t want a large ceremony or many people involved. We didn’t want to wear anything “fancy” since we don’t have clothes like that. We also didn’t see the point in purchasing new clothes just to wear them once. Minimalist problems! 😉 We figured a casual ceremony fits our personalities anyway.

As my dear friend Ivy pointed out after watching my wedding vlog, our day was filled with laughter. There was absolutely no stress involved. It was truly the best day and a blissful start to this new chapter of our relationship!

After the wedding, we headed to The Flame Tree Cafe for lunch. What better way to celebrate! I actually planned the wedding for 11:00 so we could get lunch after. 😉

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Even though the nature of our relationship won’t change because of this official status, we’re still very happy about it!

Thank you to everyone who’s since congratulated us on social media. It means a lot that you care! And even if I don’t know you in person, I still feel connected and wanted to share our day with you. I feel like the only way to increase happiness in the world is to share it. We are fortunate that we have so much to share! 🙂

 

The Flame Tree Cafe & photo-walk: best weekend!

We were lucky to have some sunshine this past weekend so we took advantage of it! I look forward to every weekend because Kuba is free from work, so I get to see him all day! Fortunately, we only have a few more weeks of this Monday-Friday work schedule. 🙂

We walked into town on Saturday and as per our weekend routine, we had a tasty lunch at The Flame Tree Cafe. I had the vegan haggis panini for the second time and it was even better than the first! Flame Tree is my favourite vegan-friendly place in Dundee. I’m sure you’ve noticed that if you’ve watched my vlogs. 😉

I didn’t take any photos of our lunch on Saturday (I was filming instead!) but here are photos of previous Flame Tree indulgences! The vegan haggis panini, the coconut cornflake cake, and the falafel wrap are just a few of the vegan options available.

And today went for a photo-walk with our friend Rebecca. We crossed the Tay Road Bridge, a mile-long bridge spanning the Tay River, and ventured along the Fife Coastal Path. This was a scenic albeit windy walk. Perhaps we can walk further along the path into Tentsmuir Forest one of these weekends.

By the end of the day, we walked just over 10 miles. No wonder my feet are tired! I feel like I say this every weekend but it really was the best weekend ever! I wish the weekend could continue but Monday tomorrow means we are one more week closer to Spain. 🙂

I hope you had a nice weekend! Thanks for reading.

Hey…long time no see! ;)

Apologies for the lack of posts since Thailand. I guess I needed a break while taking the time to sort out how and where I’d focus my energy. I feel like I’m better able to manage my time now even though I’m working on multiple projects at the same time. I like staying busy.

We are only a few weeks away from moving to Spain. We officially leave the UK June 2nd and we’re more than ready to start this new adventure together. The weather in Scotland bothers me the most, so I’m looking forward to having loads of sunshine this summer!

Being able to move easily is the main reason why I’m a minimalist. Even though we are moving to Spain in a few weeks, we have nothing to worry about when it comes to moving our belongings because everything we own (save for the few pieces of furniture here!) can fit into a few bags.

Now it’s almost been a year since my trip last summer where I travelled around Europe by myself for six months. During that time I focused on this blog by posting daily. I miss writing every day not only for the mere practice of journaling but because it helps me organise my thoughts. Starting today, I aim to post daily on this blog once again.

While filming, photography, and editing these requires a lot of time, I know I can manage to squeeze in a quick post for this blog daily. I feel that daily posts will only complement and improve my other creative endeavours, so why not!

I like to schedule almost everything, so I’m planning to upload new videos to my YouTube channel every Wednesday and Sunday.

As far as today’s post, I haven’t been up to much lately. I’m trying to relax. I’ve had some ups and downs when it comes to figuring out how and what I want to eat. For some reason, I keep getting sucked into one extreme or the other when it comes to eating. I think it’s just easier for me to have things black and white. Now I’m only focusing on whole plant foods instead of pushing myself to eat fully raw…because if I honestly don’t enjoy eating a certain way, why force myself?

Foods like oatmeal, buckwheat, and potatoes are incredibly comforting to me in addition to being nutritious, so I’m happy to eat them. I like the idea of a fully raw diet but it doesn’t seem like a good fit for me at this time. Incorporating starches into my diet means I don’t feel hungry 24/7 and I’m able to eat warm foods when I like. I’ll just try to go with the flow, eat mindfully, and remember it’s not the end of the world if I eat something out of the ordinary.

I had a soy latte today with my friend Rebecca. It was very nice and a welcome treat. I wanted to avoid caffeine completely and could have avoided it further but I don’t see the harm in having a latte once in a while.

I feel like branding certain foods good or bad complicates my feelings towards foods. If I label lattes as bad and commit to never having one ever again, what happens to me if I do give in and indulge in a latte? Usually, I would beat myself up, so to speak, because giving into a bad food and actually enjoying it were signs that I failed completely at maintaining a perfect way of eating.

I know this probably sounds crazy but that’s how it works for me. I strive for perfection in nearly everything I do, so I guess this is why I have difficulty figuring out which foods I can eat and which foods I should avoid.

I don’t want to feel like I’m a failure just because I want to have a latte, or cooked food, or fats, or whatever I’d like to eat at the time.

So, for now, I’m just going to eat what I like. I need to remind myself daily that no one else can determine which foods I should eat or how I should live my life. If they feel like they know my body and mind better than me, they’re probably a jerk and not worth my time anyway.

Thanks so much for reading and subscribing to my blog. I hope you have a good day! 🙂

Happy Friday!

I think I’ll do more ‘What I eat’ videos during the week because they seem to be popular. I think we’re all interested and curious about the eating habits of others. At least I know I am, since my Instagram feed is nothing but food! 🙂

 

I’ve been eating more fats lately and I feel good. Today I even managed to eat an entire 200g tub of hummus! It was tasty and filling but I probably shouldn’t be eating it every day. Avocado is my first choice for fat since it isn’t processed at all, but I also picked up some hummus and Meridian peanut butter to eat as I like. I’ll eat fats as I crave them but will try to fill up on fruit first.

At any rate, I’m happy with all the food I ate today and everything I’ve eaten this week. I’m ready for the weekend as this will be my first full weekend with Kuba now that I’ve been back here for close to a week.

I hope you have a nice weekend! Catch up with you on Monday. Thanks for reading my blog and watching my videos! 🙂

Minimalist flat tour: Dundee edition!

Kuba and I are both extreme minimalists, meaning all of our belongings can fit into one or two bags each. It should be no surprise that our flat is super simple as well!

 

In case you missed it, this video shows you my belongings, give or take a few items stored here in the flat. By next summer, Kuba and I will both downsize our belongings significantly so we can start travelling the world together. Here’s the corresponding blog post as well: What’s in my bag?

 

Keep in mind not all minimalists live this way. Some have big houses, cars, and more than one plate in their kitchen! Minimalism just means you declutter your life and your mind with unnecessary possessions and negative or harmful ideas.

My quality of life has improved immensely since I left the States, and I know I owe it all to this minimalist lifestyle. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and my life keeps getting better! Check out my previous post about minimalism and happiness if you need some extra inspiration. Definitely watch this TED talk by ‘The Minimalists’ because this is what motivated me to make a change!