January Monthly Favourites

I'm SO thankful we're finally in February, not only because it's my birthday month but also because February signals lighter days and a tiny hint of spring! I don't have a huge amount of updates this month, just a small number of things that I've been enjoying over January and have made that particularly cold, dark, and difficult month, slightly easier to deal with. 

WWF Donation Update 

For those of you that don't know, I donate to 2-3 charities every month (not big amounts of money, just £5 each), but I always choose charities that are not only important to me but ones that will send me updates of what my money is being used for, I know some people hate all that but I love to see it, and especially when we live in a world constantly bombarded with bad news and scary headlines, these little updates really make me smile. 

If you want to know more about the charity donations you can read my actual post where I post updates about which charities I donate to or any news I've got back from them, you can see that here. I won't spoil it too much because I'll be updating that post soon with all the info but I'll leave a quick summary now; throughout 2021 I was donating through WWF to help Jaguars in South America, and I saw the improvments in numbers as well as a growth in their habitat size due to funding directly through the WWF to protect certain parts of jungle and help educate local communities on how to work WITH jaguars rather than against them. This year I've gone for turtles! Each time I pick a new animal to adopt I try and pick one on their "most endagered" list and it turns out that all 7 species of turtle are at risk from extinction. 

I've had my own personal experiences with turtles on the two times I've been lucky enough to go on holiday to Barbados with my parents. The first time me and my dad were swimming near coral reefs and saw a huge wild green turtle lazily swimming around the reef, it looked up at us but it was gone when I turned around, then the second time hundreds of what I think were baby green turtles hatched on the hotel beach and we sat and watched them wiggle their way out to sea...I know it's so important to let nature take it's course but there was also a huge number of crabs that were eating the baby turtles so I did pick a few up and move them closer to the shore to make it into the water, but then a team of Turtle Rescuers turned up, chucked all the babies in a bucket and took them to a protected beach where they could make the journey in peace. Both times were beautiful and I'll never forget them, so when I saw turtles on WWF's list I knew they were the next one for me! 

I'm really looking forward to seeing how turtle numbers will (hopefully) grow over the next 12 months and hopefully, WWF can get the funding they need to protect more reefs and beaches to help generations of sea turtles to come! 

Quorn Vegan Fish Fingers

More sea-based updates now (...well not really, because these are vegan but you know what I mean) I think I've FINALLY found good vegan fish fingers! If you've been following since almost the start you'll know from both my Vegetarian Anniversary Posts that I've been not-so-patiently waiting for a good vegan fish substitute and Quorn are the first for me that have created something close!
I found these completely by accident when food shopping, they were on offer and I thought it was worth a go, but I'm so glad I tried them!

These fish fingers come in a box of between 10-12, I can't quite remember the exact amount, and although they're not the biggest they are very tasty and accompanied with some chips and beans or veg they make a great meal! The first time I had these I made chips to go with them and had a fish finger sandwich for the first time in years (ignore how pale the chips are...I was being impatient) and it was good. Quorn has finally got it right, these fish fingers and golden and crispy like the real ones, flaky on the inside and they do have a quite strong seaweed/fishy taste to them which is a HUGE improvement on the vinegar taste of other vegan fish brands, although I've seen Moving Mountains are doing big vegan fish fillets, they're only available at Waitrose and similar higher-end stores that I can't be bothered going in to, so I'm more than happy with my £2.50 Quorn Vegan Fish Fingers!  

Obviously, have a look at the ingredients before eating, but this is one of the rare Quorn products that doesn't contain soy or egg so is a lot less allergy-prone than some of their food, but yeah, it still contains wheat and it's made with Mycoproteins which Quorn state on the box has given a small number of people allergic reactions so just be aware of those things before you buy, but I'm sure if you're worried you'll be checking the box anyway! 
I know I moan a lot about vegan fish substitutes, and I obviously have no idea how any of this is created but I imagine it's very difficult to replicate both the stand-alone taste of fish and seafood as well as that soft but flaky consistency that you often get with fish fingers, so I'm giving companies the benefit of the doubt when taking their time to come up with these substitutes but I'm so glad to finally see some are coming. I'm happy buying these each week for now, plus they're great to keep in the freezer when you're feeling lazy! 

Tetley Super Fruits Immune Peach & Orange Tea 

What a mouthful of a title that was! But I wanted to give it its proper name so that once you've read about this tea and found out the price of it, you can run down to your local supermarket and grab a box! This was actually a Christmas gift from my partner's mum; we're into giving practical, cosy gifts like tea, books, and candles so when I unwrapped this I couldn't wait to try it. 

I'm a sucker for green teas and fruit teas, anything that smells amazing or has a colorful box I'm instantly drawn to...but these are something else! You can smell the sweet peach and orange through the box and as soon as the boiling water hits the teabag it's like a little summer burst on an often grey wintry day. I have to admit that these don't have a huge taste, there is a little bit of sweet orange citrus coming through but mostly it's just all in the smell, which I prefer more anyway, I don't really drink tea for anything other than it smelling nice and I enjoy a quick drink of warm water, haha! So these are perfect for me. 

Do you see what I mean about the box, how is this not catching your eye?! Tetley describes on the box that they've worked to include peach, orange, and a hit of vitamin C to not only provide a sweet, fruity tea, but also a helping hand in getting in those vitamins we need to support our immune systems, especially in the winter!  

Now on to the decider...these tea bags cost £1.25 for 20 bags!! That's almost 3 weeks' worth of tea for just over £1! Obviously, I didn't know the price of them as they were a gift, but I looked it up to tell you all and I was really surprised how affordable they are, I know some people go for large boxes with hundreds of tea bags, but this is a fruit tea and they can often be WAY more expensive than this, so I was really pleasantly surprised. 
Now for a bit of aesthetic; when you pour the tea it's a lovely peachy-orange that just fills you with sunny thoughts before you even take a sip. They also offer loads of other types if peach or orange isn't your thing, and I have another Christmas present of Blueberry and Raspberry flavoured tea from Tetley as well to try, so hopefully, that one will be just as good as this! So if you're looking for a sunny, vitamin-boosting tea that isn't stupidly priced, Tetley might just have your answer.

And that's it for January, although it might not be the most exciting, I think it was calm and filled with a good number of nice things, so really, what more could you ask for? I'll just finish with a little update on what I've been enjoying watching/playing in the world of tv and gaming. 

So something I haven't really talked about that much is my deep-seated love of The Sims, I've been playing Sims since I was about 11 and I used to play on PS2 but since then things have evolved, I've been watching LilSimsie play on Youtube and she's great if you're ever looking for any inspiration on how to play The Sims...especially with building, she's an absolute queen! But I am also happy to announce that after I locked myself out of my Origin account and lost all my Sims games and expansion packs, I was able to start a new account and buy The Sims Digital Deluxe Edition for £5.60 in the Lunar New Year Sale!! This game is like £45 full price just for the base game so I hope you can understand how excited I was. I've been putting aside an hour each day just to get back into it and it's been so fun. The Sims does sales very regularly (I think every 3-4 months) so if you haven't got the base game or some expansion packs or you're thinking of adding to your Sims collection, I say go for it, it's a great way to ignore your responsibilities! 

In my next post, we'll be going back into our World Series food trip and heading to Nepal. 
See you there!

H x