19 October 2017

Things that have made me a better writer

When looking back at my old blog, I try not to cringe too hard. I try hard to remember that I was only 14 and that I was trying to fit in with all of the cool blogging kids. However, it does kind of make me want to gauge my eyes out. I know that I shouldn't be overly critical of my past self, but seriously, learn how to use a full stop instead of an exclamation mark after every! Single! Sentence!

No, I won't be posting a link because, yes, you can trust me when I tell you it's bad.

To be honest, I avoid looking back at it as much as possible. So, when I do have a gander, it really is shocking. Partially because it's littered with grammatical errors and awful expression, and partially because it makes me realise just how far I've come. I think there are a tonne of factors that have contributed to my progress apart from just dedication. So, even though my brain is shouting "LOL YOU'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO GIVE ADVICE", I thought I would share how I have become a better writer.

16 October 2017

Supporting unethical brands in their ethical endeavours

Unless you've been living under a rock/avoiding those Lad Bible style pages on Facebook (I can't blame you if it's the later), then you've probably heard that McDonald's are currently trialing a vegan burger. Obviously, when news broke the internet absolutely lost its shit. Because if there's one thing that online folk like to do, it's tell others why they should eat in the same way that they do. Ignoring the people in the comment section shouting "BUT BACON THOUGH!!!", opinions of vegans themselves were pretty split. Half were rejoicing that their post-clubbing cravings were finally being catered to. Others swore that they would never support "McDeath". And to be honest, I can understand both stand points.

I feel like this little vegan burger and its not so little response is a pretty perfect example of a question that I've been asking myself a lot recently: What do I do when an unethical brand brings out an ethical product? Buy it or boycott?

10 October 2017

Actually Feminist Companies to give your money to

Take a wander into any highstreet shop in 2017 and you will definitely see the word "feminist". In fact, I'm willing to bet money that you'll see the phrase "girl power" or "femme forever" plastered onto a T-Shirt somewhere too.

As I've said before (like, a lot), it's one of those things that gets me pretty heated. The truth is that feminism sells and brands know it. But whilst they might emblazon every t-shirt/pin/patch/sock with slogans about empowering women, their ethics just don't match up. Fast fashion continues to perpetrate the mistreatment of women in the East on a daily basis: H&M are said to have fired 251 workers due to pregnancy in Cambodia and India and it is reported that 8,000 workers have collapsed in their factories due to heat and exhaustion between 2010 and 2016 in Cambodia alone. Topshop have been linked to the use of sweatshops that pay their workers 44p per hour.

I don't know, but I'm pretty sure they're not feeling those "Girl Power" vibes, despite the fact that it is their hands that hold up these fast fashion brands.

Thankfully, more and more people are waking up the disgusting realities behind the fashion industry and choosing to shop ethically. Whether that means using charity shops, supporting slow fashion brands or simply buying less clothes, I'm all for it. But trust me, I understand that it ain't easy: Nobody is the perfect ethical consumer. So, to make it that little bit easier I've compiled a list of some actually feminist companies that I've had my eye on for a while. Companies that are independent and founded by women. Companies that celebrate every aspect of womanhood, not just the bits that make for a sassy slogan. Now those are the companies that I will happily give my money to.

8 October 2017

My post-meditation playlist

For those of you that don't know, a few days ago there was a full moon. Fortunately, I follow enough spiritual hunnies now on every single one of my social media platforms to not actually forget this time. It's kind of a miracle. Usually it takes at least 4 days before I realise that I've missed it. However, this time around I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and took it as a chance for a bit of a spiritual re-boot.

I can't lie, I've been slacking recently. With uni really kicking off, I've been failing to follow my own advice and have been putting productivity before my self-care rituals. You can slap my hand when you see me, okay? At least I recognised it though (which is more than I've been able to say in the past). So, once the evening hit I did some journaling, set my intentions and left my crystals out to charge. Then I went in for an extra juicy meditation practice. I even had my salt lamp beside me and some sage diffusing. It was pretty bloody glorious, to be honest.

5 October 2017

Some problems with spirituality and wellness blogs

"Spirituality" and "wellness" are two of those words that I find it pretty much impossible to define. They are terms that are so wide reaching and mean so many different things to so many different people, that I feel as though my personal understanding doesn't even begin to scrape the surface. "Spirituality" can mean spending your Sunday singing hymns or it can mean carrying crystals in your handbag. Or both. "Wellness" can mean being a vegan spirialising enthusiast or it can mean being dedicated to daily self-care. Or both. Ultimately, I think it's this elusiveness that makes blogging about such topics very difficult. Spirituality and wellness will always run off the pages on anything written about them and every reader will have a different expectation. As such, I can't help but feel that online content related to them often falls short.

Before I jump into some of the issues that I have with this community I consider myself a part of, I think it's important to say that I love seeing these subjects getting attention. It was Youtubers such as Catia Mallan and Megan Hughes that introduced me to the worlds of meditation and crystal work. I read wellness blogs on a daily basis. It's something that I think we should be talking about. But that doesn't mean that the way we are doing so is perfect. There are problems that I've experienced whilst reading others' posts and whilst writing my own. There are things that we can and should do better at.

2 October 2017

My lecture essentials

And just like that, my first week of my last year at university is over.

I can't lie, I was expecting the transition from having zero responsibilities during summer to having a to-do list as long as my arm to be a lot harder than it was. I guess I'd forgotten how much of a kick I get out of bullet journal spreads, ticked off tasks and getting shit done. But yes, I've actually enjoyed getting back into the swing of things. I even packed my bag the night before my first lecture, like a kid whose just got a new pencil case from WHSmiths. Trust me, that never happens. Especially not when it's a 10am and the campus coffee is so ridiculously overpriced.

Now that I'm in third year I feel like I've finally got the perfect lecture backpack down. I've found that ideal median between 'year 7 with food tech and PE on the same day' and 'that annoying person who never fails to forget their pen'. I have everything I absolutely need, without the backache of over packing.

27 September 2017

How I learnt to love my period

I can remember my first experience of period shame like it was yesterday: I was 14-years-old and going through my first time being at school whilst on my period. I was sat on the toilet, pad in hand, waiting for someone to use the dryer so that I could finally open it. The idea of somebody hearing that recognisable rustle made me feel sick. Nobody, not even girls that were probably going through the exact same thing as me, could know that I was menstruating.

These days I talk about periods in the same way that I talk about the weather or how I like my tea made. It's not a cause of embarrassment anymore. I've gone from double bagging my tampons to telling all of my Twitter followers about how bad my cramps are on a scale from 1 to 10. However, I know that not everyone feels quite so comfy talking in an open way about periods. It makes me sad, but the truth is that society does a brilliant job of making women feel ashamed of their bodily functions. Which is why when TOTM got in contact with me and asked me to be a part of their latest campaign, I knew that I had to. It's all about opening up conversations about periods, getting rid of those stigmas and normalising chat that should already be normal by now.