Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Turning 26 // Gift Gratitude & Lush Haul

Last Wednesday I celebrated turning 26. I was woken up by my Springer Spaniels who had come to stay, served breakfast in bed (spicy guacamole on toast washed down with Bucks Fizz) my boy took me for a wonderful lunch, we stopped by the Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery, and finished off the evening snuggling on the sofa in our candlelit living room with wine and Beauty and the Beast (my choice, in case you couldn't tell!) It was the perfect day, despite torrential rain that didn't stop once - as it was the first birthday celebrated in our new home I really wanted a chilled day that still felt special which was exactly what I got.

Since having our own place I have really tried to focus on avoiding accumulating too much clutter and try only to buy necessary or really special items. I still love shopping, but I try to do it far less, and have adopted a one-in-one-out policy with my wardrobe. Shifting to this approach meant that receiving birthday gifts felt particularly special this year. Lately I've been partaking in Adventures of Jade's #GratitudeIsYou Instagram tag which involves 10 days of listing things you are grateful for - big or small, things that make you happy. I've really enjoyed this approach and wanted to put together a gift gratitude post to share some of the lovely things I received for my birthday which made me so happy and I'm so incredibly grateful for.
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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Cruelty Free Beauty & Parent Companies?

Have you ever watched Carnage by Simon Amstell? It's a BBC mockumentary set in 2067 when veganism is the norm and people look back in horror at the way animals were treated 50 years ago. Therapy groups are attended by those traumatised and ashamed by their omnivorous pasts. They take turns naming the types of cheese they have eaten, and break down in tears or run out of with room with guilt and stigma. It's a witty and compelling watch, I'd highly recommend it - but I'm bringing it up because this particular therapy group scene illustrates exactly how I feel with regards to cruelty free beauty. I have to be honest here - the prolific use of animal testing on cosmetics is something that  has escaped my attention for far too long.

As somebody that has been (and could still be considered) a full-blown beauty addict, I've been known to spend a lot of money on cosmetics. I'm a sucker for luxury packaging, the sheer excitement to try a product for the first time, the very real feeling that a lipstick or blusher in that exact shade has been missing from my life. I'm an art grad, and makeup is just another form of art to me. Sure, I mostly do the same thing with my face on the daily but the transformation of creating it has become a ritual: it makes me feel empowered and allows me to present myself to the world the way I want to. It's a form of self-care: time I take for myself in the morning to get myself together and get ready to face the day. But whilst I'd repeatedly justified my expenditure on these products as a vice for my own personal pleasure and self-care, I'd never considered whether some of my vices were actually making me a hypocrite. To quote Miley Cyrus (which I never thought I'd do) "If you choose to eat meat you love pets, not animals." Can the same can be argued for buying cosmetics which are not cruelty-free?

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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Natural Cycles: A Contraceptive App?

Yesterday I watched Twitter blowing up in debate over an app called Natural Cycles. Marketed as an "effective method of contraception without side effects" and allowing you to "know exactly when you need to use protection", Natural Cycles have a huge online marketing presence with sponsored videos, blog posts and Instagram ads constantly popping up on my social media feeds. Watching this debate unfold made me feel like the only person in the blogosphere not being paid to use this thing, which is exactly why I wanted to write an unbiased stance on whether this app can be used as contraception, who it's suitable for, and how I'd advise starting out with this method of "contraception".

*I will add a disclaimer now that this post features periods, sex and fertility so if you are shy of these subjects please be aware that this post will not be for you.


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Monday, 31 July 2017

Why I Went Vegan?


When I had just turned ten years old, I announced to my parents that I wanted to turn vegetarian. I don't remember specifically what triggered my desire to abolish meat but the overall decision was out of compassion. I had always been an animal lover, in fact back then I wanted to be a vet like my paternal uncle. My maternal auntie's vegetarianism had always fascinated me - she'd not eaten meat since she was a teenager, making her well ahead of her time. But even in the early 2000s when I made the change, vegetarianism was not (at least, amongst those who I knew) a commonly understood concept. I remember consistently having to justify my decision to befuddled people: "I just think I can live a healthy diet without having to kill animals." Eating this way was different (and on the whole more difficult) back then - over the past fifteen years I have seen supermarket options multiply considerably, foods are labelled much less ambiguously, and to be vegetarian (aside from eating in very high-end restaurants or certain country pubs) is so incredibly easy now. Had I opted to go vegan at ten years old I think my parents would have been in despair due to the lack of mainstream available knowledge and produce, but these days it's so much easier to do. It's something I've always come back to thinking about, but equally never thought I'd do. So I suppose the real question is what changed my mind, and why is going vegan so important to me after all this time?

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

Why I Stopped Blogging (And Why I Started Again)

Disclaimer: these are my own personal reasons for why I stopped blogging for over a year. In expressing these I am not intending to criticise bloggers or the community - just explaining my own feelings on why certain aspects of blogging weren't authentic for me, and why I need a change of direction.

Hello little blog, it's been a long time.

For quite a while now I have felt an urge that had become entirely unfamiliar: the urge to start blogging again. It was a welcome feeling, but one I'm apprehensive about. I feel I need to get some things out in the open as to why I haven't written here in over a year.

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