Winter chocolate

It’s a thing, winter chocolate is most definitely a thing. We have hot chocolate, advent calendars, Lindt Christmas decorations and teddies not to mention warm melting lava cakes (curtesy of Kaja)!

When I was in France last week I had so much hot soya chocolate (and normal milky chocolate as apparently dairy-free isn’t a well-known thing out there?) I could burst! I am so in love with hot chocolate or as the French say, chocolat chaud.

Since maturing into a fine young lady and moving away from my girly hot chocolate days of whipped cream and sprinkles, I moved over to chai latte, which in itself is a little cup of cinnamon happiness. I can’t quite explain what made me have a hot chocolate almost every day in France but I’ve got the bug now and even bought myself some chocolate powder to make it at home.

As a lactose free (which means dairy free for the most) individual due to lactose intolerance, I don’t get to eat as much chocolate, dessert or tuck into hot drinks as often as I’d like too, so I’ve come up with alternatives to help me manage which you can read about below!

This is the most adorable of hot chocolate designs I was presented with in France! Look at his little face!

So you ask, what do I do to manage my choco cravings and how do I cope? Well, for the most part I just have alternatives. I drink lactose free milk, try to have more coconut milk, soya and juices when I can, but find the transition to vegan more difficult than I anticipated.

When it comes to treats I have dark chocolate a lot and found I didn’t mind the change much as I was feeling better due in myself as well. There are so many types of vegan chocolates out there that you wouldn’t even know were vegan and taste just as yummy!

For Christmas Jon’s Mum got me some adorable dark chocolate stars covered in raspberries from Cocoa Loco! These aren’t advertised as being dairy free, which I think is good, so in a way they’re accidentally dairy free. They were so yummy and the raspberries on them just added to the yumminess! They are a fair trade company too which makes it all that tastier in my opinion.

I also had a Mini Moo vegan chocolate Santa which meant I didn’t miss out on any festive treats!


Using my little grey cells

There is nothing better than educating the mind and learning something that has either interested you for some time, or that somehow will help you progress in the career or are of life you are looking to do well in.


Recently I took it upon myself to enrol in two online courses:

Psychology and Mental Health from the University of Liverpool


The 21st Century and Museums from the University of Leicester

I thought this would give me a greater insight into both mental health and psychology, two things that I think are increasingly important in society and so far I have discussed some remarkable things that I had not considered prior to starting the course. This week my three hour lecture is on mental health and well-being and how our lives are affected by social factors and the events that happen to us.

My second online course started today and I am quite interested to learn more about Museums and the impact the 21st Century has had on them, considering that is my current line of work!

It’s odd and I know for a fact most people get like it after graduating, but I have missed University the last few months more than ever, purely the social side of things and the self-made responsibility of doing something you truly love and enjoy. Perhaps satisfactions we don’t always get out of our day to day jobs as they can often seem tedious and repetitive. Most of us (except for the small minority) spent all day at a computer or doing quite stressful tasks for a very odd reason. I have never quite understood the mind-set of those humourless type who live to work, I believe work should be fun and invigorate us and make us feel like we are achieving something! Today for example, I learnt what a French lyre clock looks like and what it is, I couldn’t have learnt that in a corporate environment, which is why I am forever glad I changed careers when I did.

So, if you’re currently wanting to move your little grey cells (as Poirot would say) I suggest you pick up a book or start an online course just to get yourself motivated and learn something new!