Author: Irks and Quirks

My first attempt at vegan baking…

In honour of Veganuary and my love of all things cake, I decided to try a vegan cake recipe, because…cake…if cake needs to be justified to you, then we cannot be friends. Not sorry.  I’ve always loved baking (actually,  I’ve always loved the moment after I’ve finished baking and get to eat the thing I’ve slaved over…that…that makes life worthwhile), but honestly…I’ve never quite felt comfortable with the idea of egg-free baking, and I can’t even explain why. I guess it’s just been drilled into me that baking involves eggs, and a cake without eggs is just a flat, dry mess and who’d want that?  Well anyway, this was my very first attempt at vegan baking. No eggs, no milk, no butter…and…it turned out…much better than I anticipated. The banana bread rose beautifully, was actually moist and…I will more than likely make this again. I chose this recipe because I’m not 100% certain how to use a chia or flax ‘egg’, and this recipe has neither.  Before you get into it, here’s a quick note: I have NO idea how many calories …

What’s your NaNo Magic Number…?

I wrote every damn day and didn’t. Even. Procrastinate. Once… …Okay, fine. I’m lying, and I know you know. And that is why I like you, you’re willing to entertain me and engage my lie. Oh, you’re not? Okay. That’s Cool… *Cries shamefully and hysterically* Here’s what happened. The first week I didn’t write anything. I wrote a title down…and that was three words long, and then there was nothing until about day 9. When I edited the title for an hour before deciding it was fine the way it was. Then around day 12 I started writing and wrote obsessively (that’s my pattern. Do nothing at first and then go H-A-M). I didn’t obsess over my word count or anything! The problem was…and I know it kind of contradicts one of the reasons I gave for why people should take part in NaNoWriMo earlier this month… I couldn’t resist revising, and editing, and questioning everything I typed as soon as I typed it…and it’s a problem I know…and I am working on it and…and…and…fine, …

Here’s why I charge you ‘so damn much’ for my items…

Heads up, this post is a little pissy…. …maybe even more than ‘a little’. I love crafting. I love crafting. Being creative and making things is hugely satisfying but there is a bit of a downside. One that frustrates me like you wouldn’t believe.  It’s non-crafter’s who don’t understand that if you’re trying to make a living out of crafting, or even if you’re crafting predominantly as a hobby and selling your goods, you actually need…and deserve…to get paid for the work that you do. And you need to get paid…enough to at least cover the cost of your materials! It irks me that if I make…let’s say necklaces. It’s acceptable to ask me to make an obscene number of necklaces…without much notice (e.g. I need 100 in the next 6 hours please). It’s also acceptable to just assume I’m going to happily cover the cost of everything even though the cost of materials alone can be pretty damn high (OK, a hardcore crafter will almost certainly have the necessary materials at hand, but that …

I don’t know much about Disney…

So…I’m not quite sure how to say this. But it is something I’ve been holding in for a long time, and I just can’t keep it in any longer. I’m tired of pretending and trying to be someone I am not. I need to speak my truth. (deep breath and a pause for dramatic effect). …I’m in my third decade of life…and… I’ve only seen 4 things by Disney. There. I said it. And you know what? It feels fantastic! I feel pretty…damn…good. Also, I know I said I’ve seen 4 Disney things, but some b*tches I know are trying to take two away and claim I’ve only ‘really’ seen two ‘proper’ things by Disney. It’s just petty nitpicking. Boo. When it comes to Disney discussions, I’ve basically gotten through the past few years by smiling and nodding knowingly – it’s incredible how far that gets you just…in life. But recently, I’ve been personally responsible for friends losing a ‘basic-ass’ quiz and there’s been threats to ‘literally cut’ me…and not just from the team. I think…I …

NaNoWriMo and why you should write SOMETHING even if you’re not writing a novel…

50,000 words a month. That’s a little over 1666 words a day. Just in case there was even the slightest iota of a chance that you didn’t already know (liar! It’s impossible not to know) it’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) again. Globally, aspiring authors are sequestering their persons and preparing to willingly drive themselves completely insane under the pretence of writing a novel in 30 days, and you know what? You could be one of them! In fact, you totally should be one of them. Here’s 5 reasons why you…yes you reading this sentence right now, should totally take part in NaNoWriMo…even if you’re not actually writing a novel: Um…so you can write that damn novel: Are you that person who has been talking about writing the next best-selling novel for the past 10 years? Do your friends and family groan and roll their eyes whenever you mention it, but you still think you can do better than J.K. Rowling? Do people doubt you when you say you’re going to write a novel someday …

Things I never did at Halloween…

I was never actually allowed to take part in anything Halloween related. In my house it was called The Devils Birthday. And obviously, if you celebrated The Devils Birthday it would clearly lead to a proclivity for witchcraft…or a romantic encounter with a (iridescent?) vampire…or demonic possession or something worse which would lead to my soul being eternally condemned to hell.  So…there was that. There are a lot of Halloween experiences I missed out on. I tried to rectify some of this as an adult with varying levels of success, but the problem is all these years later…even though I’m grown-ass now…I’m genuinely afraid of demonic possession at this time of year. And the only demon I wish to be affiliated with is the one on my shoulder which encourages me to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. I should buy shares in my local supermarket. Anyway. I’ve also never: Trick or treated: Once, and only once, I managed to negotiate with my family and the trick-or-treating happened (and by negotiate, I mean I lied …

When it comes to fashion and beauty, I’m so damn lazy…

My wardrobe is…varied…um, expansive…and…expressive. My wardrobe is a constant. The foundation upon which my very sense of self is built. An outlet I use to express my individuality……personal style……and also……lies. Those statements were lies. My wardrobe is not even one of those things…and my makeup box is even less. It currently consists of a tube of foundation I’ve had for I’d-prefer-not-to-tell-you-how-many-years, and an…well…I started out like there was going to be more than one item. Anyway, I promise you it is nowhere near as bad as certain friends would have you believe. Look, I’m not going to win any style or beauty awards any time soon that’s for damn sure, but if you want to know about comfort…I’m your damn girl. If you were to listen to certain friends and family members you’d think all I ever wore in life, or to any event ever was skinny jeans, canvas pumps and a roll-neck jumper. When in actual fact, here’s what I currently have in my wardrobe: 4 pairs of jeans (skinny, grey) 4 pairs of …

My realistic morning routine…

So, you saw the title and clicked expecting to be treated to mantras, morning-yoga and masterfully crafted Instagram-worthy smoothie bowls all the colours of the rainbow… …oops. Sorry. That’s erm…that’s not going to happen. While, I can’t speak for you, I can say with the utmost confidence that my life just doesn’t flow that way. Not-a-one-bit. Especially first thing in the morning. It’s all too damn perfect, and honestly I refuse to believe that anybody actually experiences that type of perfection when they wake. Definitely not anybody I know, and definitely…not…me. When I wake up, I have sleep in my eyes, I’m covered in drool and there are days when I barely remember who I am, where I am, or why I set an alarm in the first place. And I can’t be the only one who has mornings like that, right? I’m not hating on anybody, I’m not trying to make anybody feel bad (I will admit, I might be exhibiting a classic case of smoothie-bowl envy), I just like reading about realistic routines…makes me …

You know you love food when…

I don’t know about you, but I’m that person who wakes up today and wonders what’s for dinner tomorrow. An unnecessary amount of my day is spent thinking about food. I love food. I love eating food, I love talking about food, I love (and it’s not weird), watching people while they eat their food (…it’s……research, not…weird, Jessica. Research). In fact, now that I think about it, the majority (and by majority, I mean all) of the significant relationships and friendships I have ever had were founded on food because, all the best relationships just are. And I feel like I don’t get to talk about food and eating as much as I would like, and it’s just not fair when I stop to think about it…which is more often then I’m willing to admit publicly. The thing is, a love of food causes problems. You start to assume other people feel the same way you do, and it’s a nasty shock to the system when you realise this isn’t true. I once worked with …