3 January 2018

My 2018 New Year's Resolutions

I think we can all collectively agree that 2017 wasn't a great year globally. I know that I'm not alone in having felt the pain and suffering of our world deeply over the last 365 days. But hey, we got through it. I certainly think that's reason enough to celebrate pretty hard.

On a personal level (and trust me, I recognise my huge level of privilege in having a life that hasn't been directly effected by all of these global tragedies), 2017 was pretty good to me. I'll be filing it under "challenging, but nourishing". Whilst it was by no means easy, it was a year full of lessons. I got my first big paid writing jobs. I ended second year with a first. I spent a whole month in Greece having the absolute time of my life with my boyfriend and our families. Through sheer perseverance I know myself better than ever before and it's made me feel optimistic that 2018 is going to be a good'un. I've gone through the nourish, now it's time to flourish.

Much like last year, I'm not starting January with a fighting attitude. I want to work with 2018, not against it. However, I also love the idea of a fresh start to do incredible things and I don't want to abandon the concept of resolutions all together. So, I'm setting goals that I know will bring me joy: These resolutions aren't a punishment for where I'm at currently, they are ways of making where I'm at currently even better.

28 December 2017

Cruelty Free and Natural Winter Skincare Saviours

Aside from the whole Christmas thing, I am not a fan of winter. It makes me want to hide under a blanket, applying layers upon layers of moisturiser and dreaming about a time when I didn't have to wear 5 jumpers in order to feel slightly warm. Frankly, I think England in December is determined to destroy me. As well as leaving me a hell of a let less motivated to leave my bed, freezing winds just seem to strip every good thing that my skin has going for it. Even a matter of minutes out in the cold sends it into a crusty melt-down.

Luckily, the past few years have guided me towards a skin saviour: Oil. Whilst I used to avoid it because I was scared it would leave spots in its trail, I now slather it everywhere. As a moisturiser, in my cleanser, on my lips. No area of my body goes untouched. And it makes winter at least 20% more bearable. So, if your skin suffers like mine in the colder months, these might just be the products that you need in your life.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links. 

16 December 2017

A last-minute ethical gift guide

With just over a week to go before Christmas Day, I think we can officially call any shopping beyond this point "last-minute". Don't worry, don't worry, I'm not judging. I'm certain that I'll have to dash to my local supermarket on the 24th to find something, anything, for that one person who I didn't realise was coming round for Christmas dinner. It happens pretty much every year. The thing is, despite the fact that it happens every year, I never seem to get any better at it. I always end up buying absolute tat that does little more than gather dust/go into the present box to be re-gifted to some other unfortunate soul next festive season. I'm sure I'm not alone. We've all stared at the cosmetics aisle in Tesco, wishing we were at home eating mince pies, before settling on some kind of bath set that contains fluffy socks and a miniature bottle of foot cream.

However, I am determined that this year will be different. At the begging of 2017 I set the goal to be a more conscious consumer and I've been doing pretty well, if I do say so myself. But let me tell you, last-minute shopping alongside aisle and aisles of over-packaged gift sets do not make for the most ethical shopping experience. Which is why I've created this gift guide, mainly to give myself a helpful push when I have a minor meltdown within the next week, but also as a helping hand for you. There are a tonne of more ethical options that aren't hard to get your hands on, be it vegan alternatives, cruelty-free cosmetics or gift-cards for actually feminist brands. Don't let the Christmas stress get to you, my eco-warrior pal. We can do this!

7 December 2017

A Feminist Gift Guide

If there's two things I love, it's badass feminists and Christmas. My dream world would contain more cinnamon and less patriarchy. So, there's little I enjoy more at this time of year than putting together my feminist gift-guide. Now that we're in our second year, I guess we can officially call it a tradition. And not the shit kind that means you have to spend an evening with your racist/homophobic/sexist great uncle, but the incredible kind that's full of pretty undies, vibrator necklaces (!) and intersectionality.

I like to think of this year's gift guide as the older sister of last year's post, simply because I know a hell of a lot more about ethical consuming in 2017. It was one of my new year's resolutions, after all. Everything you see bellow was picked by me not just because it is super sassy, but because of the ethics behind the brand. The Girl Vs. Cancer Tit-Tee donates 25% of its profits to amazing breast cancer charities. The beautiful minimalist jewellery by Made are all handmade in Kenya and have a completely transparent production process. None of these businesses fund fast fashion and a lot of them are independently run. Yay for knowing that you are helping to put food on someone's table instead of just giving more money to an already huge company, ammirite?

Basically, I think that all of these brands deserve our support this Christmas. And I certainly don't think your feminists friends will be complaining!

3 December 2017

My Christmas Bucket List

I've been listening to my Christmas playlist all day, we're playing a Youtube video of a crackling fire to give our student home the appearance of cosiness, and I feel like writing a self-indulgent, massively festive post. I've already held back my excitement for the whole of November waiting for it to be 'socially acceptable'. So, please, humour me.

Those of you that have been around these parts for a while will know that Christmas is my favourite time of year. I don't need an excuse to make my whole house smell like cinnamon and to eat chocolate before I've even left the comfort of my bed, but December gives me one, regardless. Add in the fact that I get to head home to Kent (and my family and my boyfriend and my doggies) and I just can't help but feel all fuzzy inside. However, as much as I want to spend every day this month baking cookies, I'm in my third year of university. Your girl has a to-do list the length or her arm and some pretty beefy assignments to get finished.

I'm determined to somehow balance getting decent grades with being able to fully immerse myself in the festive spirit (and the festive food). So, naturally, I wrote a list. I sat down next to our faux fireplace and put everything I want to do this Christmas down on paper, ready to be ticked off one at a time.

Starbucks red cup

23 November 2017

Ethical things to do instead of shopping this Black Friday

A few weeks ago I realised that Black Friday was well and truly on its way. The swipe up links started appearing on Instagram stories. The sale threads popped up on twitter more and more frequently. The internet was entering into a collective near-hysteria facing the prospect of being able to bag that jumper they've had their eye on for 50% off. But for the first time ever, I wasn't excited.

The whole thing has made me feel a little bit sad.

Over the past 12 months my shopping habits have changed drastically. Whilst a year ago I would have been loading up my laptop and bookmarking anything and everything that caught my eye on highstreet websites in the hopes that it would be reduced by the time midnight hit, this year I will be steering clear of the sales. Learning that fast fashion is one of the world's largest polluters (second only to the oil industry) and that it frequently mistreats its workers, sometimes even to the point of death, completely changed the way I shop. I really started to think about the hands that were actually making my clothes, instead of just whether they were cheap or trendy enough.

As exhilarating as Black Friday can be, I can't help but feel like it is a magnification of what is already a huge problem: Our over-consumption within the world of fashion. As I've said before, as consumers our power lies in our money. If we choose to contribute to a day dedicated to selling unethical clothing at an even cheaper price, we are funding the continuation of this industry's harmful practises. We are telling business that we care more about getting a lower price than we do about whether our clothing is ethical.  

20 November 2017

My Favourite TED Talks

Ah, Ted Talks. My true motivation saviour for when the middle of the university term hits and I don't physically have the time to pick up any of my favourite self-help books. They're the glorious middle-man between a mindless TV show and an intellectually stimulating novel that requires a dictionary to be understood. And since most of them are available at the click of a button, I don't even have to sacrifice my pasta sauce encrusted hoodie to get all of their inspiring goodness.

Now, I've watched a fair few Ted Talks in my time. Not once have I left them feeling like I've wasted a precious 15 minutes of my life. Let's be honest, if someone is invited to do a Ted Talk, they're going to have something interesting to say! Even if it's about a topic that usually wouldn't interest you in the slightest. However, I do definitely have my favourites. Those ones that leave me all fizzy with excitement and that actually changed how I live my life on a daily basis.

Ted Talk Laptop