What Is Mental Health? | Mental Health Awareness Week w/Not Another Beauty Blog

What Is Mental Health? | Mental Health Awareness Week w/Not Another Beauty Blog

 

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Hello darlings!

I’m just gonna get straight into the writing without an update for two main reasons: 1) Absolutely nothing important has happened in my life & 2) We have A LOT of work to get through!

So as we all know, I work around mental health all year long. However, due to the fact that it is MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 2016, I have a special week planned for all of you wonderful readers that keep me afloat during my tough times. You are all fabulous and I appreciate every single reply, response and kind message or thought you send in. It really does mean so much to me and to show you just how much, there will be a HUGE competition on my Facebook page at the end of the week- the cherry on top of a week full of wonderful reading!

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I Was Inspired To Bake A Chocolate, Banana & Biscuit Cake; Cooked: A Netflix Documentary Series That YOU NEED TO SEE! | Not Another Beauty Blog

I Was Inspired To Bake A Chocolate, Banana & Biscuit Cake; Cooked: A Netflix Documentary Series That YOU NEED TO SEE! | Not Another Beauty Blog

Hello there, bambinos!

There’s always something with me, isn’t there? Well, this time… I feel like we all have something to be excited about.

I was recently recommended to watch a documentary series on Netflix named ‘Cooked’. Immediately, I was glued to the screen. However, my interest did not end when the series did. I have been so inspired that I have taken serious action in the kitchen- and I cannot wait to show you all what I have made!

But first, the series. The best selling author, Michael Pollan, basically decided to take further initiative surrounding his passion for food and cooking food. His novel was developed into a Netfix original documentary series. And this may sound daunting to watch, however, there are only four episodes. Each episode surrounds the theme of an element of power: Fire, Water, Air & Earth. Each element is linked to the power of cooking and we, the audience, are taken to places like India and Australia through our viewing. Interesting, huh?

I feel like if I say too much about the series, you might not want to go and watch it yourself. Because it is so short and there is so much information packed within, I can’t say much without spoiling it for you. Basically, Pollan argues that humans became civilized (from the perspective of Darwin’s Evolution Theory) once apes learnt to cook. And surprisingly, there is a lot of evidence put forward within these episodes to support that argument. I like a good, supported argument, me! Furthermore, he argues that today’s society is so much in a hurry that we forget the beauty that lies within making food from our homes, gifting loved ones with a meal. It’s an eye-opener to say the least. I will leave you all with the trailer for the series and recommend HIGHLY that you take the time to watch it. You will not regret it-  you may even, unexpectedly, pick up a new hobby (like I did!). Watch the trailer for ‘Cooked’ HERE.

Moving forward to the beautiful cake that I was inspired to make. I got the basic sponge recipe online, however, I split it in two and used two shallow tins. You don’t have to do this, you can simply wait for the sponge to cool and cut it in half yourself. Find the recipe for the Chocolate Sponge Cake Here. I will let you guys note that I did add vanilla extract to this recipe for that little extra sweetness!! I couldn’t help myself…

Now, where decorating is concerned, I get over-excited and way too artistic. I get so carried away with aesthetics. But I think I’m right when I say that a cake automatically tastes better if it looks HELLA GOOD. With my decorating, I added some extra flavours. Which is always fun to do, in my opinion. So when the sponges came out of the oven, they looked like this…

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As you can see, I left them to cool on a cooling tray. Once they were cooled, the fun really began! The ingredients that I used for decorating my cake & adding extra flavours are shown in the next picture. If you are doing the same thing I did, you will need:

  • Two bananas
  • A jar of chocolate spread (It does not have to be Nutella! I got the one that I used in LIDL)
  • Some biscuits of your choice. I chose chocolate digestives. Yummy!12837570_979535075456605_652079783_o

It’s actually not hard to do & extremely fun- not to mention therapeutic. I totally back Michael Pollan up, our generation is missing out on some of life’s best little pleasures.

The first thing that I did (once my sponge had cooled) was put layer of chocolate spread on top of each piece. I then sliced (thinly) my banana and distributed it evenly all over one piece and sandwiched the sponges together! The middle of my cake looked like this before I stacked them…

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Once my sponges were stacked, I put ANOTHER layer of chocolate spread on the top- along with the last few bits of banana that didn’t fit in-between. I then put my biscuits in a little plastic bag and smashed them will a rolling pin, so that I could sprinkle them on the top of the cake. I popped a whole biscuit on top for an extra bit of decoration. The end result ended up like…wait for it…THIS!

 

SO, there you have it. A delicious hobby. Who can argue with that?

I was sharing on my Snapchat story (jademccannx) earlier on why exactly I found this so fun and such a positive thing to do. So, I’ll share it with you guys, too. One, it didn’t cost a penny. Every single ingredient I needed was found in my kitchen. Which means this kind of thing is great if you’re bored and don’t have a lot of cash spare! Two, I know exactly what I’m eating. A lot of the time with cake & treats, manufacturers put extra chemicals and ingredients in to create a longer shelf life. Ew! What are we even eating? With this, we know exactly what we’re consuming. And if you want to take that point to the next level, don’t use chocolate spread, melt some dark chocolate! And three, it is so relaxing and totally grounds you. It passes time on a boring evening. It tastes amazing afterwards. You may get a sense of pride afterwards!  There are a lot of rewards that come with cooking and baking at home. And I have Michael Pollan to thank for my new found passion & hobby! I also think baked goods are a fabulous gift for someone. There is much effort and love behind a cake or a loaf of bread. For me, there’s something so warm about that.

Seeing as though my blog is fundamentally mental health based, it is worth saying that ANY NEW HOBBY is encouraged in a time of despair. Especially with the likes of anxiety & depression, passing time and distracting yourself is a fabulous way to heal the soul. So if this isn’t something you’d like to try, maybe this could inspire you to try something new.

So, my Wednesday consisted of a serious spur of inspiration and an even more serious mouthful of chocolate batter. I highly recommend you all to watch ‘Cooked’- you never know, maybe it will inspire you to make something yummy! Considering that I come from a family FULL of chefs and bakers, I should have done this a long time ago. But, I think I prefer this kind of thing as a hobby rather than a job.

Please share with me your thoughts on ‘Cooked’ if you have seen it. And I would also love to hear your favourite things to make at home! I’m on a mission to explore my kitchen and all suggestions are welcome!

Lastly, I have started doing video blogs over on my snapchat so if you’re interested on what I might be ranting about or doing, please come and say hi! My username is: jademccannx. Also, click HERE to find me on Facebook & HERE to follow me on Instagram.

Until next time,

J x

 

Make A Change- Even If It Is A Tiny One! | Not Another Beauty Blog

Make A Change- Even If It Is A Tiny One! | Not Another Beauty Blog

Between getting everything organized for college re-starting in September and working full-time, I really haven’t had much of an opportunity to just sit down and write for you all. In fairness to me, I have been posting super regularly on Instagram and Facebook- which is better than nothing- but sometimes not good enough. 

This week I have taken the plunge and dived deep into the controversy of the fashion industry and the capitalism it bears. I have also done homework on the food industry and just how much we really know about what we are giving to our bodies. I watched two seemingly ordinary documentaries, out of pure boredom, on Netflix that have changed the way I will view general consumption for the rest of my life. 

The first documentary I watched is named Food Inc. Although this documentary is based in the United States of America, it does share a lot of similarities to the food industry here in Ireland. Here in Ireland, we also eat a lot of American produce (McDonalds, Kfc) in which during the manufacture of the food, workers and animals are being treated completely unfairly. I cannot even begin to explain to you the diversity of the food industry in which this documentary goes into because the aspect of it is just too large. It even goes into the produce of Soy Beans and just how unfair the justice system is for farmers and their families, their life’s work. It truly is such a mind-grabbing documentary and definitely deserves a watch! So, if you want to know more about what exactly could potentially be in your Euro Saver hamburger or EVEN just your tomatoes that you buy in Tesco… maybe give this documentary a chance to explain!

On that note, let me tell you all that even though this documentary completely changed how I view food consumption, it has not turned me into a vegetarian or vegan. Don’t be super scared that if you watch it, your dinner will never be the same again. It has simply just helped me to be more aware of where I will buy my meat, poultry and vegetables. It has helped me understand the food industry as a whole and just how it really works behind the scenes. Genuinely, there was just a lot I didn’t know that I am now enlightened to with thanks to this amazingly structured film. 

Moving on, the second documentary that I watched was called The True Cost. This is also on Netflix.The most amazing thing about this documentary is that it wasn’t just based in America, it took me to places such as Bangladesh and Cambodia, meeting genuine people living genuinely hard lives. I remember in school we learned a lot about sweat shops and how they worked, how unfair they were and what kind of impact they had in Asia, for example. But this production takes that thought and goes into every single crack, every single detail that it possibly can to just show you what it’s really like.

Before watching this, I bought most of my clothes at H&M, Penneys and other high street stores such as Topshop and River Island. It breaks my heart that I probably won’t have the courage to shop from any of these stores again. The reason being that the clothes that they are selling are made by women and children working in unbelievable conditions with the reward of no more than 1-2 American dollars a day. And we hear of things like this all of the time, so why would it change your mind now? I mean, my mentality up until now has been “Sure, it doesn’t affect me so what’s the big deal!?”.. and yeah, that may be the case. But if you drop that ignorance for just one minute, this documentary takes you into the lives and homes of the workers that have lost legs because buildings have collapsed on them while they were simply doing a job, single mothers that have to leave their children for nine months of the year just to feed them and not even knowing if they will return safely. An every day job should not be a life or death situation in this day and age. If you just listen to their stories, your mind will be blown. 

Because I was so intrigued by this documentary in particular, I visited the website (CLICK HERE) and took a pledge to be a bit more aware of my fashion consumption (there are other actions that you can take on this website like sending letters and taking other pledges). This doesn’t mean I can’t wear anything nice or anything with a logo. It just means that I will be a little bit more aware of where I buy my clothes from and how exactly they are made. There are so many alternatives nowadays- so many local businesses, so many small brand designers, so many other ways to dress in fashion. It doesn’t have to be the way it is. And I know you’re thinking “One person doing this won’t make a difference”- well, you are wrong. A fashion designer on the documentary said it herself: without you, the customer, there is no company, there is no business, there is no money. If you don’t like the way things are done, you don’t have to feed into it. 

Hence, the last week of my life has been a significant one regarding lifestyle changes. I hope you all give these beautiful productions a chance and join me on a journey of small changes! 

Also, I have a tiny competition running on my Facebook Page if you would like to join in!