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Wine and Dine your Date: Chinese Food Addition

Arguably there isn’t anything quite more romantic than a candlelit dinner for two. A glass of red in hand, a cheeky smile across the table and you have successfully wooed for the night. And now you can do it all at home, with our series on wining and dining, this week with Chinese Food

Why Does Diet Culture Target Women?

I don’t know a single girl who hasn’t had a toxic relationship with their mothers and dieting. For as long as I can remember, my mum has talked all things diet, from working out, to getting slim for summer, to eating nothing but protein for weeks at a time.

Rex Orange County – A Modern McCartney?

Few artists capture the imagination like Rex Orange County. Despite relatively little chart success, he is revered by critics, fans and other artists as a strikingly adept musician with a refreshingly new, genre-transcending approach to songwriting. Jonathan Tonge explains why he believes people will remember him for years to come.

5 Sports For The Non-Sporty

Exercising can be hard when your not a sporty person, especially if you also aren’t big fans of conventional sports. Jonathan Tonge offers 5 sports for those who aren’t that sporty

Classic TV You Probably Forgot About

I’m 22 now and my earliest memories are tape decks, VHS videos, having one computer for the house with a giant monitor that weighed more than a bus and those TVs with the big fat backs. I’m not old by any stretch but if I ever accidentally switch over to a kids’ TV channel now, I’m left wondering where it all went wrong…

Car Camping

with (hopefully) staycations on the way and hotels looking likely to be booked up as soon as they’re available, I hope this guide gives you a little insight into an alternative method of holidaying that’s great for a night or two away if you aren’t the biggest camping fan.

The Happy Singleton is a Lie.

As the final part of our valentines series, Anne Stoop writes her experiences of the media, societies standards and discovering how to be a happy singleton.

A Reflection on Love

Jasmine Hall writes on her personal experiences of love and what she has learnt from her years of dating.

Jackson: A Screenplay

As the tenth part of our valentines series, Imogen Robinson presents Jackson, a screenplay about love, life and cheating

Should We Be Eating Seasonally?

With the ebb and flow of the Earth’s seasons, the flux between rainfall in Spring to frost in Winter and the Summer sun, farmers are able to harvest respective foods that rely on the seasonal climates to grow and thrive. Niamh Heron talks why you should eat seasonally and the benefits from this.

Solo Dates

St Valentine isn’t the patron saint of finding the first person on the street and shacking up for the Valentine’s season. Sure, true companionship is wonderful, but as many extremely cliché movies will tell you – you can’t really love anything until you learn to love yourself.

A Very Eco Valentines

Valentines day doesn’t have to be expensive or bad for the environment, Heather Dalgleish talks about getting eco with your valentines gifts this year

5 Ways to Use Nutella

Nutella has been a love of mine since I first persuaded my mother to buy me a jar from the store. But, there is more to Nutella than just smothering it rapidly on toast as you are running late for the bus.

Liquid Relationships

Love is complicated, hard and sometimes belongs in the trash, and Laura Menendez writes on her feelings on how love can conquer all, if you give it a go that is…

A Million Love Songs Later

For as long as music has existed, people have used it to pay tribute to love. It’s a deep, personal way to communicate your feelings and to do it expertly requires either a massive stroke of luck or very large reserves of songwriting expertise. There are millions out there, but which one takes the biscuit as the best? It’s impossible to say with so much choice, so here’s five of my favourites (in no particular order!)

Edward the 2nd: England’s First Gay King

As it’s LGBTQ history month, what better way to commence the series than with a fact that maybe not all of you are aware of, Edward II’s sexuality. He was king from 1307-1327, and though he did marry a woman, marriages during this time often occurred for political reasons rather than bride and groom falling in love.

Crispy Chilli Tofu Noodles

Vegan food doesn’t have to be difficult or a chore to make, and for the final part of our Veganuary series, I present Crispy Chilli Tofu Noodles, the perfect mixture of both spicy, crunchy tanginess that is perfect and quick to whip up.

Sea Shanties – Who Were The Wellermen?

Shanties have enjoyed something of a renaissance of late, so surely we should investigate exactly why it is they fell out of favour in the first place. It’s a relatively simple story and it has to do with a few things, but it’s mainly the fact that time moved on while they stood still.

January Jams

The new year brings new shots at finding new artists, new music and discovering music that you will love. My new years resolution was to listen to more female artists, mainly because most of the music I am recommended by Spotify is definitely male dominated. So my current playlist is female with a sprinkle of male and in all honesty, I’m loving it. It means I’ve definitely discovered new artists that add a whole lot of flair, sass and excitement, that bring my January playlist up to fantastic standard for the new year.

Homemade Hash Browns

“Hash Browns are a stable part of any breakfast, and to be honest, they’ll do nicely for any other meal. The triangular ones that come frozen are good enough, but for real satisfaction and a sense of achievement, you want to try the rosti kind with grated potatoes. They’re literally so easy that I can cook them, and I am awful at cooking.” Jonathan Tonge on how even beginners can nail a ‘posh’ hash brown!

Robert Burns’ Famous Supper

Why do they eat haggis, neeps and tatties on Burns Night? When did Robert live? Is Auld Lang Syne the national song of Scotland, or is it Mull of Kintyre? All that and more coming up.

Roasted Pepper Hummus Recipe

Hummus is a stable in any vegetarian / vegan household. But what if I told you you could make it at a fraction of the price, a hundred percent more delicious and will be that bit moreish? This hummus is flavoured with sweet red peppers, paprika, raw garlic and is the perfect mixture of both tangy, sharp but with the soft undertones of chickpea and tahini that is the classic hummus mix.

What is Home?

I always thought I knew what home was. I grew up in the same place, the same town, the same house and with the same people. It felt right, and it felt safe. I knew the streets like the back of my hand, every ginnel, every park. I’d never left, I’d never moved. My life rotated around Preston and all that came from Preston, the people, the atmosphere, the traditions. Life was home and home was more than just the four walls where I was raised.

On This Day In History

The days are bleeding together a little here in a still-locked-down 2021, so for today’s article, let’s consult the January 19ths of history to see if anything a little more interesting happened.

5 Sources for Vegan Courses

Craving scrumptious feeding but not knowing how to create what your body’s needing? As we move towards the latter part of this Veganuary, you may be struggling to come up with new ways of prepping your veg. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or trying out a vegan diet for the first time, food-ruts are real and they are as dull as it gets. So to bring back the joy and blessing of a succulent salad dressing, here’s a list of Vegan-Youtubers whose gorgeous creations will make your mouth water and your inspiration overflow.

The Sustainability Series: Period Products

Period Products are one of the biggest contributors to waste in the world, with an estimated 1.5-2 billion tonnes of period waste each year. So, let’s bring the sustainability series into the new year than with ways of making your period sustainable. We’ll be talking you through both Menstrual cups and reusable sanitary pads, so you’ll have two ideas in place for making your period that bit more sustainable.

My Dream Plant List

Plants are a big part of my household – what better way to finish off houseplant awareness week this 2021 than give a list of my dream plants that I could only wish to own one day?

Going Off The Rails

The UK is a country with a proud railway heritage, but in the 1960s, almost half of Britain’s railways were scrapped. The historic trains that ran on them are now few and far between – here, I comment on why they’re gone, and where you can go to see them and their routes now.

20.00 is Very Early for a Christmas Dinner if you Ask Me.

Six strangers are sitting in the same room. They could be the most bizarre compilation of human beings. There is no apparent reason why they should be together. But there is one thing they have in common. They all share the burden, or the blessing, of spending Christmas far away from home.

Vegan Rice Paper Roll Recipe

There really isn’t a lunch that feels more Instagram-able than these delicious, vegan rice paper rolls with a peanut dipping sauce. These are light, crunchy, salty and are filled with delicious ingredients that will both fill you up and make you feel beyond fancy for making them.

House Plant 101: Advice on How to Care for Your Houseplants

So you’ve taken the plunge and gone full crazy plant parent and now have a micro-army growing in your house. I started with a reasonable amount of plants too, and my addiction came into such full force that I found myself learning on the job. But over 50 plants later, I like to think that I now have some knowledge to share on how to be a successful plant grower in just a few easy steps.

Rome @ Home

Following on from our city breaks article, you might have a hankering for all things Roman. Luckily, those guys didn’t hang about and have left their traces all over Europe. Here’s a few of my quick picks for Rome at Home, places where you can see Roman remains without breaking UK lockdown restrictions.

How do You Define a Vegan?

What does being vegan entail, in your understanding of this ‘ism’? Are you vegan if you simply do not eat meat and animalistic products? Or does it extend further, to entail the clothes you wear, the skincare products you apply and the cigarettes you smoke? And who decides this?

The Sustainable Pantry: Go Zero-Waste with your Dry Ingredients

So you want to make your pantry that bit more sustainable, but you have no idea where to start? I feel you on that one. A zero-waste lifestyle is one that is difficult and can be messy but also extremely rewarding. Timing, budgeting and patience are key to turning your pantry zero waste. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with its own struggles. Here are a list of tips that will help you get started on becoming that bit more sustainable.

The Best Post-Lockdown City Breaks

Whilst it’s important to stay home and drive infections down right now, an end is in sight with the rollout of a vaccine in many countries. So what will we do with our newfound freedom when it finally arrives, this spring, summer or the next? Here are 3 of my favourite cities I’ve visited and what I recommend doing there.

Curse Of the Twelfth Night

While most of the celebrating are over by January, the ‘Twelfth Night’ of Christmas is actually the 5th of January. Find out why it’s unlucky to leave your decorations up any longer…

Creamy Vegan Cashew Carbonara

It’s Veganuary, and what better way to celebrate national spaghetti day than with a creamy carbonara, made with cashews and a drop of tomato. This vegan alternative means you aren’t losing creaminess or texture, but it is suitable for both vegans and people who are lactose intolerant and delicious enough to warrant second helpings.

Let’s Talk About Sleep

We’ve all been there: all day you were knackered, now it’s 3am and it seems like the perfect time to get that black mould out of the shower head. How can something that seems so simple – just lying down still and closing your eyes – be so difficult for so many people? Actually, there’s a lot of reasons. To celebrate the Int’l Sleep Festival, here’s our top 3 tips to aid sleep habits.

The Best Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

Tomato soup has been a love of mine for years, whether it be a cold day, come rain or snow, or feeling a bit ill, nothing beats a soup to dissolve all your problems away. But what if you could easily make your own, with ingredients you are likely to have in your home and make it vegan at that?

Kirsty MacColl: Not Just The Girl From Fairytale Of New York

Every time ‘Fairytale Of New York’ rolls around, someone pipes up with that classic Kirsty MacColl comment. However, she had a hugely interesting and eclectic career in her own right, exerting influence on some of the biggest names in indie rock. Jonathan Tonge looks at her career in depth. TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains reference to the homophobic slur in the aforementioned song.

“I’ve been wanking all night.”

In episode 6 season 1 of sex education popular girl blonde Amee is asked what she wants while having sex. “I’ve never been asked that before” the character recognizes, worried. How are you meant to enjoy sex if you have never figured what you enjoy in the first place? How are women meant to own and enjoy their sexuality if pleasure is always linked to what a guy wants?

The Pizza Attack

Although accommodation for different dietary requirements is on the up, lockdown stunted a lot of vegetarian options on menus. Even before that, as Nela Cadi recounts, catering can be a struggle for those with special dietary requirements.

Winter Solstice: The Eighth Sabbat in Wicca Tradition

Made legal in 1951, witchcraft has a long and complicated history that ranges from the patriarchal deeming of subversive women as committing a crime punishable by death; to the fool proof Halloween character that musters up images of pointy hats, broomsticks and cobwebs; to the contemporary practise of Gardnerian Wicca, who’s witchcraft centres around the practise of magic, worship of Goddesses and other Deities; and respecting nature’s cycles.

The Problem With Modern Day Chick Flicks

Maybe it’s the rose tinted glasses, but surely we’ve got a problem. The movie genre known as “chick flicks” used to be empowering, argues Heather Dalgleish. So why, recently, have they become performative and promoted inappropriate sexual narratives?

Love In The Times Of Cholera

Laura Menendez on her experience of Colombian Nobel Prize nominee Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ‘Love In The Times of Cholera.’ It’s easy to forget that COVID19 isn’t the first global pandemic – this book uses metaphor to describe displacement in long-distance relationships.

The Pandemic, Enola Holmes and Me

Clara Fors Wisbyse with a great review of the Netflix special ‘Enola Holmes,’ the feminist retelling of the quintessential detective story, and the important lessons on loneliness it can teach us.

Anne Boleyn: The Queen of Henry’s Life

Few wives can claim to be the root of religious turmoil in Britain for the next 500 years, but Anne Boleyn was one such woman. A formidable bastion of wit and grace, Heather Dalgleish argues – and investigates why she met the end she did.

Losing Parents Young

Jonathan Tonge’s writeup of how he responded to losing his father in 2015 at age 16. Resources provided if you need a hand.

Life after Experimental Treatment

When Elaine Dalgleish was diagnosed with MS in 2014, it turned her world upside down. It got to the point where experimental treatment in Russia seemed like the only option. Heather Dalgleish sat down with her to discuss the effects, one year later…

A Plastic-Free Christmas Dinner

Love Christmas Dinner, but hate the waste? Heather Dalgleish set out to prove that you can enjoy the full works of the classic meal, as close to zero waste as possible (and veggie too!).

Above The Clouds

Though travel is impossible right now, Aine Donnellan and Nela Cadi managed a quick jaunt from their Stirling base to the Ochil Hills in Dollar, Clackmannanshire before Scottish lockdown intensified. Read the beautiful story of their day here.

Safe Travels, Dear

We’ll travel again – when it’s safe to do so. When we’re sure to get some means of transport back. When an awfully long quarantine period isn’t awaiting. We’ll certainly go when it’s safe to do so, but then maybe we can rethink our classic travel destinations.

The Ghost of Boyfriends Past

Clara Fors Wisbyse sat down with relationship expert, Sofie Hallberg, to discuss the “emotional absurdity” of breakups, and dares to commit the cardinal sin of texting her exes for their perspectives.

The Girls on Princes Street Make a Gingerbread House

After scrolling through pinterest for seemingly hours for inspiration, or achievable inspiration, we’d met our match. We had decided on a gingerbread greenhouse, with built- in fairy lights and little glass windows. It’d looked ideal online, and pretty easy to create, I mean, what could go wrong. Isn’t that how these stories always start?

This Year, For Them, I’ll Polish My Nails

“I see in my grannies everything that I wish I could become. With a pinch of salt, almost inexplicably. Hands with perfectly polished nails, reflections of the hard work that inevitably leaves a scar behind it.” Laura Menendez on the individuality and tenacity of grandparents inhabiting a world that has, sometimes, moved past their familiar understanding.

HoHoHome!

Two thousand and twenty has been a roller-coaster of a year, but Christmas is certainly not cancelled. This year more than ever, there is a strong focus on togetherness and appreciation for the small things that spread joy and cheer even if we are apart. It may be a small gathering this year, so why not make it extra special with some Christmas ambiance and décor? Welcome to our guide to decorating this Christmas, the year we stayed home…

It All Started with Goosebumps

Fresh from viral sensation on Twitter, Stirling’s Book Nook Cafe seems to be going from strength to strength. Aine Donnellan sat down with the owners to talk books, business and brilliant viral marketing.

Pushing Through the Fog: Dealing with Winter Depression

For many, the holidays are a time of joy. Seasonal Affective Disorder means that for many, this is simply not a possibility. Jasmine Hall runs down some methods of combatting SAD, resources provided in the article if you need some help. We love you here at Bloom x

Best Trailing Plants

Plant aficionados are the best people to ask when it comes to starting your own urban (or rural!) jungle. Here’s our rundown of the best trailing plants to provide a bit of privacy or spice up the look of your walls and windows.

A Jungle is Thriving in Dennistoun, Glasgow

Glasgow Plant mama found her place in Glasgow. Many attempts at how to make a living. A lot of moving around. She couldn’t keep her plants anywhere because what if she had to move? What would she do with them? Laura Menendez on Glasgow’s premier plant enthusiast.

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