Where’s David Attenborough when you need him?!

During my recent visit to Ballina (which you can read about here) I was lucky enough to witness something really special. Now I’m a huge animal lover and nature fan so things like this excite me a lot. We were leisurely strolling along the beach when I spotted a sweet dog (there is always a dog that needs to be stroked) that was playing in the sea, obviously I went over to stroke the dog and noticed the dogs owner filming something in the sea. As I looked out to see what she was filming, suddenly my eyes focused on hundreds of tiny little soldier crabs scurrying along the shore!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
They were coming from the sea and then burrowing into the sand in front of us, it was incredible to see and seriously looked like something from Planet Earth! They were everywhere, as far as you can see. Tiny little blue robots scurrying across the sand.
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We were the only ones on the beach so it was incredible to just sit and watch the crabs do their thing, I had never seen anything like this before and it was so special to watch. Nature is the best!!
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Look at this little guy burrowing into the sand, he looks like something from a sci-fi film!
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I bloody love nature, being able to sit and watch little things like this is incredible and I love seeing new creaures that I’ve never seen before just going about their business.
Below is a video of the crabs being awesome…

I LOVE NATURE

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Beautiful Ballina

During our time in Byron we would often catch the bus to different places that were near and our last stop was Ballina. Ballina is about an hour bus ride from Byron Bay and has great shops, cafes and an AMAZING beach (which was pretty deserted the day we went!)

Upon exiting the bus at Ballina it soon became clear that the town had an OAP vibe to it, we were pretty much the only three people on the bus that were under 60, there was even a huge mobility scooter shop…and after walking for miles along the coast that day I wish I had one to ride back on!
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It seems like every beach we visited during our stay in Byron was just a beautiful as the last, the sea is a beautiful turquoise colour and the sand is so light that it actually squeaks under your feet.
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We walked for miles and miles (…my Dad loves a walk) along this beach and the view hardly changes, just turquoise sea and white sand.
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Walking along the beach we met the odd dog walker (I swear the dogs are so chilled out and happy in Australia!) but that was it, we pretty much just had the beach to ourselves and it was lovely to just walk along taking in the views.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese huge pieces of driftwood were dotted all along the shore line and made for the perfect photo opportunity!
It was great to visit Ballina for the day, to be honest we spent the majority of the day walking along the beach, we weren’t bothered about shopping we just to see the sights. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to see the Ballina Big Prawn, which is, you guessed it, a massive fake prawn!

If you’re staying in Byron or near Ballina in NSW I would take the trip there, the beach is beautiful and it has a really chilled out atmosphere. If you’re after a beach like Byron’s but without the crowds Ballina is a great choice!

Things I ♥ Thursday

So after waking up to the awful news that London had suffered a terrorist attack while I slept I wasn’t in the best of moods today. The whole thing left me feeling really…SHIT (as I’m sure it did everyone else)

This morning a song came on Spotify that I hadn’t heard before, it grabbed my attention and it reminded me how good it is when you discover something new that you fall head over heels in love with (I listened to the song 6 times in a row…) so I’ve decided to compile a list of things that I’m currently loving because A) I’ve had a shitty day and B) I love making lists…

This is the song in question – there aren’t many songs that I listen to straight away that really excite me but I LOVED this the minute I heard it. It’s by an australian band called Gang of Youths and I’m now going to download everything they have because this song can only be listened to so many times on repeat…
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Salutations by Conor Oberst is one of my fav things at the moment because…well it’s Conor Oberst so this will always make me happy!
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There has been alot of hype about Carnage and I was so excited to see it and it bloody well lived up to the hype let me tell ya! I frikkin loved it! Being vegan myself I’m always excited for anyone funny to talk about the subject because I think vegans get judged as being uptight or preachy and this film is great because it pokes fun at the subject (and vegans!) while still treating the viewer to harsh facts about the meat and dairy industry. Plus it’s absolutely hilarious, I laughed my head off! I can’t sing it’s praises enough. Give it a watch!

I have also been loving…
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I was super excited to see that Love was back on Netflix! I watched the last episode of season 2 today and it was great. It’s a comedy/drama about Mickey and Gus who are two thirty something’s who meet and try to sort their complicated lives out. It’s an easy watch and really funny too, it’s very real and I like it because it’s something a bit different.
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Now last but not least, one of my favourite things in the entire world and something that I’ve fallen back in love with in the last week, the How Did This Get Made podcast. This. is. great. It’s hosted by Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas and they review bad movies, like really bad movies. It’s bloody hysterical and well worth a watch if you like funny people talking about shitty films, it’s also good because they have tonnes of episodes so you can binge on them until your heart’s content!

Finally…this video of Ryan ‘sexy face’ Reynolds and Jake ‘the hottest of them all’ Gyllenhaal being funny certainly brightened up my day.

What have you been loving lately?! Any recommendations?

My day at Sugarshine Farm Sanctuary – my idea of heaven!

Anyone that knows me knows I’m a HUGE animal lover. I love ALL animals and I’m lucky to share my home in the UK with lots of them, which means I miss them all terribly while I’m travelling. As well as running over to every dog I see in the street, the beach, the city etc to get my animal fix I’m also trying to help out at animals sanctuaries along the way to meet new people and obviously get lots of cuddles with gorgeous animals!

During my family holiday in Byron I was on Facebook and saw a post from Sugarshine Farm Sanctuary who are based in New South Wales, they were asking for help with their new rescued calves. They had just taken in 5 new babies and needed help bottle feeding them….erm, I’m sorry, is this real life?! sign me up!!
After some quick googling I saw the farm was only 40 minutes away from our Byron apartment, I contacted them and said I’d be free that week to help them out. As it turned out my brother also wanted to come and help out too!
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Sugarshine is a haven for many animals – pigs, calves, goats, sheep, hens, ducks, turkeys and pet dogs all live together in harmony – this place is a paradise! These animals have been rescued from the meat and dairy industry, taken in from previous owners or from other sanctuaries that have sadly had to shut their doors. The farm is run by Kelly, who set up the sanctuary and an incredible team of people who volunteer their time to help the farm and the animals that live there.
Now brace yourselves…cuteness overload coming your way in…3,2,1
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These are the babies! They are the most adorable things I’ve ever seen. These babies are products of the dairy industry, they were taken away from their mothers at birth so that the milk for them could be used for humans…that’s right, the milk that should be bringing up these baby cows is being sold for human adults. Sounds weird right?!  Yeah, that’s because it is.
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Feeding these beautiful babies was an absolute privilege and me and Jake couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be given such a job! These babies are so gentle, they nuzzle and butt your leg to try to get milk and as cute as this is it’s also heartbreaking at the same time, they should be doing this to their mother, not me.
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Being vegan I know the lives that these babies would be facing, you can read my blogpost about the dairy industry here (no gruesome photos just facts that you should know) Many people don’t actually know that cows only produce milk when they are pregnant, the same as us, that milk is only for their baby, it breaks my heart to think that we deny mother and baby cows the chance to be together just so we can take her milk for ourselves, look at those babies, how anyone can mistreat them is beyond me.
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We also got to cuddle some little chicks who had been bought in by a family that had rescued them and taken them to the centre. Unfortunately they weren’t able to catch the mother but there was another mother hen at the farm who took in these little babies too. Animals are great!
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The farm is also home to lots of goats, who have all been rescued from various different situations. During my visit I also got to bottle feed some little babies that had recently joined the farm, they were so gorgeous! While we were raking the yard the little ones were following us around for cuddles, it was adorable!
The farm is also home to many pigs…
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The smaller pigs are still being bottle fed, they are so adorable. I fell in love with one in particular who’s named Olive, she is just the sweetest little thing. She comes up and nuzzles your leg because she wants a bottle! It was the cutest thing.

I absolutely loved my day at the farm, meeting all these beautiful animals and wonderful people was great. I felt such a sense of happiness while I was there, helping to feed the babies and hear all the amazing stories of how Kelly rescues these lovely animals. Being surrounded by such compassionate people really is infectious and makes me want to do more to spread awareness for the animals who sadly are still victims of the meat and dairy industry and need us to spread the word about the suffering they face everyday. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlease, if you love animals and hate to think of them suffering please, just spend 5 minutes reading some of my previous posts on animals in the meat and dairy industry – I have written posts on cows, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens (just click the word and it’ll open up the post for you) It’s not enough for us to close our eyes, shy away from photos that are hard to look at, I get it, they are awful but sadly they are the truth – the truth of what’s happening to these poor animals, they have done nothing wrong, they are innocent, they do not deserve this. If the thought of someone inflicting pain and suffering onto an animal upsets you, you shouldn’t be paying for someone else to do it for you. Please, please educate yourself so you know how the food gets to your plate, it’s the least you can do for the animals.img_8489Please follow Sugarshine on Facebook www.facebook.com/sugarshinesanctuary/ – I mean who wouldn’t want to look at cute baby animals on the internet!
Visit their website www.sugarshinefarm.com.au/ where you can donate and sponsor the animals there from as little $5 or £3 – c’mon that’s the price of your morning coffee!

For more info reagrding veganism please ask me any questions, I’d be happy to help!

You can also check out these great links

https://veganuary.com/starter-kit/ – This website has lots of info and even a free starter kit that has amazing info on how to get started on a vegan diet. Tips on how to eat out, recipes, a list of suprising UK vegan foods like Oreos, Ritz Crackers, McKipling Tarts, Bourbon Biscuits, Skittles and much more! Check it out!

You can also watch documentaries on Netflix such as
*Vegucated – this is a great, funny, light hearted documentary – a great one to start with, you can also watch it on Youtube here
*Forks Over Knives – watch the trailer here
*Cowspiracy – watch the trailer here
*Blackfish – watch the trailer here
*Earthlings – not on Netflix but you can watch here

Think vegans just eat salad? Think again! A ‘Moo Free Burger’ review 

Being vegan it can be tricky to find good, honest ‘fast food’ style grub. Now don’t get me wrong I like a spinach and chickpea curry as much as the next vegan but sometimes I just fancy something a bit more ‘normal’….like a burger with all the trimmings!!

My prayers were well and truly answered when I recently took a visit to Moo Free Burgers which is in Northlakes, Queensland. I had wanted to check this place out for ages but it was an hours drive away but when I was staying on the farm in Dayboro it was only a short bus ride away! Prayers. Answered.
Myself and Mo, another volunteer from the farm were giddy with excitement when we got to Northlakes at 8.30am! We couldn’t possibly wait until lunchtime and told each other that ‘No, 10am wasn’t too early for a burger and chips!’We had the VBD and the Off Da Hook burger and they were both amazing! After taking a token Instagram worthy photo of our food we tucked in. The VBD burger was full to the brim with vegan bacon, caramelised onions and the mustard mayo was amazing! The Off Da Hook burger was my favourite, the Fishless Fillet was incredible and in a strange way bought back distant memories of the taste of McDonalds chicken nuggets! These burgers were incredible! As you can see from the following photo – I was excited. The resteraunt is run by a vegan company called Charlie’s, they also have fruit stalls, a vegan pantry, a juice bar and best of all a vegan desert shop. The guys at Charlie’s actually visited the farm while I was volunteering there and made a cute little video about it

They also have the farms charity pots on their counters too.  It’s always amazing when you discover a great vegan resteraunt and even better when you know the owners actually care about making a difference and take the time to acknowledge, support and work with animal charities, raising funds and spreading awareness!
Thank you Charlie’s for your amazing food but most importantly thank you for given a damn!

Info on Charlies and their different brands
https://www.facebook.com/charliesveganbrothers
https://www.facebook.com/moofreeburgers
https://www.facebook.com/Veganyumm
https://www.facebook.com/rawsqueeze
https://www.facebook.com/charliesveganpantry

Broken Head Beach = Paradise

Living in Byron for 2 weeks means we’ve had our fair share of beach days, the beach at Byron is beautiful and I thought it couldn’t be topped until we discovered Broken Head beach which is about a 10 minute drive from Byron.
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The view was absolutely incredible, we walked along a path that was surrounded by trees and suddenly we’d get little glimpses of the view and it was amazing! The sea was so blue and beautiful.
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We walked down the hill to a little section of deserted beach and it was absolute paradise. Just us as a family down there, swimming in the sea, sunbathing, taking photos, climbing on the rocks, building rock towers and skimming stones in the sea. It was such a lovely relaxing day!
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The cliffs on the beach were so beautiful to look at, to see where the sea had carved out shapes in them and the different colours of rocks that were built up on top of each other were amazing. All the little muscles and snails were so cute too!
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This was one of my favourite days I’ve had since I’ve been away, it was so lovely to be surrounded by my family in a beautiful part of the world and this beach was one of the most amazing I’ve ever been too, I feel so lucky!
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Which other beaches are there in Australia that can’t be missed?!

Minyon Falls – a lovely, lovely waterfall.

When you travel around Australia you’re spoilt with waterfalls and mountains to visit and today we chose Minyon Falls which is about 20 minutes from where we’re staying in Byron Bay and let me tell ya, Minyon Falls is a beauty!
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The waterfall descends more than 100 metres but because there hasn’t been much rain recently there wasn’t that much water when we went but…it was beautiful none the less!
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The view was incredible and you see could see for miles from the top. When you looked at people on the ground they looked like little specs!
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When you see sights like this it’s easy to see why people fall in love with Australia, having this on your doorstep must be amazing!
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Any suggestions for other natural wonders that can’t be missed in Australia?!

Sightseeing in Brunswick Heads

After having a great day visiting Bangalow we decided to take the bus and explore another new little place close to Byron Bay. We picked Brunswick Heads which is only a 20 minute bus drive away.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrunswick Heads was very similar to Bangalow in that it had lots of lovely little cafe’s and cute shops but it also boasts the most amazing beach!
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After exploring the beautiful sights at the beach we headed into the town to have a mooch about. We did the usual and stopped off for some coffee and a look around the town. All the shops are independent shops and there are lots of nice boutiques to look in.
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After having a little sit down at the lake and looking out on the beautiful sights we decided to walk to another part of the beach. It was so beautiful, the beach was deserted, apart from the washed up jellyfish that were on the sand!
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Another incredible day sightseeing and exploring whats around us. Any suggestions of where I should explore next?!

Exploring Bangalow

I’ve been lucky enough to spend the 10 days living in Byron Bay, New South Wales. My family are over for a little holiday and we have an apartment here which is lovely! I’ve been to Byron a few times before but only for a couple of days at a time so it’s nice to have a nice amount of time here because not only is Byron Bay beautiful but there are lots of nice places around here to explore too!

One of those places is Bangalow which is a 15 minute bus ride from Byron Bay. The buses in Byron are super easy to use and run pretty frequently depending on where you’re going so it’s a great way to get around without having to hire a car.
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Bangalow is a cute little town lined with cafes and little boutique shops. It’s a real little treat to visit. We walked about for the day, stopping for lunch at a cute little museum/tea rooms, where you sit outside on a deck, I have a wonderful vegan falafel dish and my first tumeric latte which, as pretty as it was, just wasn’t for me!

Inside this building was a really interesting antique shop which was great to look around.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe highlight of my day was when we were walking through the town and saw a lady tie up her dog outside a shop, the dog was super friendly and was jumping up at us so we sat and gave him a little cuddle…then he sat on the bench on my lap! Ooops! Being away from my dogs is hard! Alfie you made my day!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was great to have a little walk around somewhere new and it’s nice to see places that aren’t in the guide books. More exploring please but no more Tumeric lattes!

Where else in Queensland shall I visit?! Any suggestions?

Watching Conor Oberst at the Sydney Opera House- a dream come true.

On Monday I flew across the country to see Conor Oberst, my favourite person ever, perform at the Sydney Opera House and it was an amazing day and a complete dream come true! I’ve loved Conor Oberst ever since my Dad introduced me to his music when I was 17. His music has followed me through school, college, uni, work and now my travels. Conor’s new album ‘Ruminations’ was the soundtrack to my days working on the farm, shoveling poo is alot easier when you have great music to listen to!

While I was on my travels I saw that Conor was playing in London at the beginning of February and I was gutted that I wouldn’t be able to make the show because I’d be in Australia (…I know, I know, first world problems) My Dad and I have been going to see Conor and Bright Eyes together for the last 10 years and I was sad to have to sit this one out. Well imagine my surprise, a few months later, when I’m scrolling through Facebook and see that he’s playing a show…in Sydney…at the Opera House…at the same time my Dad is here on holiday! Before I had time to really think of the practical side of things, the tickets were booked (book now, worry about flights etc later)

Monday 27th February was the day of the gig and we flew to Sydney that morning, we were so excited, Dad has always wanted to go inside the Sydney Opera House so he was excited for that too!Our seats were seven rows from the front and the view was amazing, the sound was also the best I’ve ever heard at a gig, it was incredible. Just when I thought our luck couldn’t get any better I noticed two empty seats three rows from the front, slap bang in the middle, so in the interval we moved there – even better! 
It was such a special evening and such a great memory to share with my Dad and one of our best gigs that we’ve gone to together. There aren’t many people who I’d fly across the country for but I knew this would be a night to remember and one that I couldn’t miss!