I'll be honest, I've not always been a friend of the bees. When I was 7, a bee landed in my ear and stung me. My ear swelled up to resemble that of a rugby player's, and I had to take that funny banana-tasting antibiotic medicine for weeks before it went back down. Naturally, I became absolutely terrified of the black and yellow blighters. Plus our neighbourhood had stacks of lavender growing everywhere, and its foamy pollen was a bee heaven, and incidentally became my hell.

I've come a long way since then, and if my memory serves me correctly, there are far less of those buzzing bumblers out and about nowadays. I can partially blame city living for the last four years of my life, but deep down I also know that bees are really having a hard time. According to the Soil Association, pesticides (or neonics) are the number one reason why - and let's not be silly, if you spray a plant with chemicals to kill bugs, how are bees going to cope?

Bees are important because they pollinate fruit, vegetables, and crops. These are all things we live off, and make bees critical to our food chain as well as many other animals. If I need to give you more of a reason to help, bees are crucial to the pollination of cocoa beans. Now. Imagine a world without any chocolate. That's why bees are important.

In an effort to help out our little friends, plus having caught a case of bee-fever when I spotted the first bee in my garden earlier in the year (I blame Nectar & Bumble founder Amber!) I've decided to put together a list of easy ideas that can suit anyone living practically anywhere in helping the bees bounce back. If my little London flat can entertain bees, yours certainly can too!

BEE-FRIENDLY PLANTS
Whether you're a gardner or not (and let's be honest, I just killed my cacti so I'm definitely not), there are ways to provide pollen to keep your local bees topped up. For the green-fingered, growing plants such as lavender (I'll try not to shudder), sunflowers, birdsfoot, and thyme all help, and they have their home uses too. Off the top of my head, you can use dried lavender as potpourri, sunflower seeds in baking, and thyme in cooking, plus I'm sure there are many more.

For us lesser gardeners, I really love this alternative I found recently at a permaculture festival: Seedballs. These are little clay balls you can throw on top of soil, and leave to naturally sink into the soil with rainwater and germinate all by themselves. They do a bee mix version which contains five different flowers, and they also tell you when exactly you need to scatter them to have the best chance of growing. Genius!

BUY ORGANIC
We live in a supply-and-demand kind of world, so use your money to vote against pesticidal use and buy organic products. If you're looking for an online shop, Planet Organic is definitely the place, or perhaps try getting an organic veg box delivered - I've used Riverford before and would like to try Abel & Cole too.

DECORATE WITH BEES
No, I don't mean literal bees! The Collection of British Bees print* in the above photos is a wonderful piece from Nectar and Bumble, a boutique store selling cute items that support bee conservation. They also donate 10% of their profits to bee conservation charities too!

If you're not like my next-door neighbour and aren't lucky enough to have bees living in your brickwork (I'm not even sure they know...), try hanging up a hive. These can be tiny things that house solitary bees (this wooden hive is just perfect) or perhaps something larger if you have a garden with enough space. Either way, have fun with it - there are over 250 species of bee in the UK so there's a lot for us to spot!




Finding ethical fashion is far easier than it looks. Trust me - when I first started making the change (chiefly refusing to buy clothes from high-street stores), all I could see was a giant mental mountain in front of me. How could I ever afford to buy ethical fashion only? And considering the styles I like (check my style board on Pinterest) were only being stocked at high-end ethical boutiques such as The Acey?

Over time, I started investigating other avenues alongside refusing fast fashion. Charity shopping has been great for when I've got the time to go out early on a Saturday, but often it's impossible to get to one past five o'clock on a weekday.

Thrift stores are in the same boat. Open at random hours, or in random locations (at least, I haven't yet come across one here on South Bank), you have to also make the above-average effort to get to one.

And then it hit me. What about online? After a little digging, I've found fashion that fits my morals on popular sites that I would never have thought of, such as ASOS's Eco Edit, Braintree and People Tree at House of Fraser, and handmade goodness over at Etsy.

However, my principle source of fashion is on eBay. I love the fact that I can pick up second-hand fashion within my budget, and only go for really special items that I know will be good second time round. The selection is incredible, and my top tip is to know how to refine your search.

I'll usually start by searching for a brand I trust (and also go a little upmarket for better quality products that will have lasted better than some high-street shops). I'll put the brand name along with item name, and my size into the search bar, e.g. Whistles dress 8.

This brings up everything listed that fits that description. I'll then go into selecting 'Women's Clothing', Size '8' and Condition 'Used'. That used button might seem a bit scary to start with, but if you dig deep enough into any description/image bank, you should be able to sift through the dodgier pieces for something that will be good as new.

Take this Whistles dress for example. We're going to ignore that today's weather may make this dress a little impractical, but the material, a grey marl towelling fabric, meaning it washes well and hasn't stretched or got holes in. The fit is purposefully baggy, and I love that - this paper-bag dress is so refreshing compared to my usual curve-fitting high waisted jeans and tops. It also meant that I'm not too afraid about it's fit.

Now, there are downsides to shopping on eBay. It's not organic fabric, or sustainably-made in the first place, but you're not adding to demand when you recycle a product. Sadly, your money doesn't go to a sustainable garment producer or charity, it goes to the seller. But what it does do is create a recycling culture, and I've found myself using eBay more both to buy and sell items.

My main aim is to build a sustainable capsule wardrobe. I'm taking my time when it comes to curating it - I've got a list of key pieces I like, and one-by-one I'm swapping in ethically made or fairly purchased items that fit the minimalist aesthetic I so readily covet. The best thing about doing it this way? I cherish every new piece, and feel good about wearing something that's a little less impactful on the planet.


Coffee and I go way back. Admittedly, it's not the finest of relationships - even now, if I get a slightly too strong-a-brew, I find myself jittery and restless, but gosh if there is a nicer smell to wake up to, tell me now.

However, with there being so much coffee, so many types, and so many cups being drunk every day (165 million in the UK alone!) it was only a matter of time before coffee got a healthy overhaul. The main factors of making coffee 'healthy' come down to the caffeine content, and preventing addiction or reliance on it.

CAFFEINE CONTROL
When you strip coffee back, you get to a roasted bean - as natural as cocoa, but with an energy boost. One way to help curb the caffeine shakes is to use a caffeine-controlled option such as Truestart Performance Coffee. This is something my boyfriend uses before a workout as a healthier alternative to energy drinks and gels, but it's also great if you're looking to stick to a 95mg portion size.

ZERO CAFFEINE
Now, this is something I haven't tried, but if you're looking for a natural caffeine alternative to coffee, I've been told gurana is the way to go. You may have a muddied view of this, as it's often contained in energy drinks, but it's actually a type of fruit. If this sounds good, this Whole Earth Wake Up Coffee is definitely worth a try!

COCOA LOCOA
Another option, and possibly the most revolutionary on this list, is the cocoa alternative I've been trying recently. I picked up two bags of Cavalla French Roast* from Crio Bru, and its fragrant coffee-slash-chocolate taste has been a real treat. Since my espresso days in Paris, I went coffee free for so long, and this would have been really handy. Also, if you're not the mocha type, you could try barley coffee such as this Whole Earth Organic No Caffeine Coffee.

COLD BREW
There's also the idea that cold brew coffee is a little healthier for you - the heat of a regular coffee creates a more acidic drink, meaning cold brew leaves in more nutrients and makes it easier for your body to absorb (although I would take this with a figurative pinch of salt). Last year I reviewed Nomi Cold Brew Coffee and loved the fact it comes in glass bottles, with an almond milk option too.

BATHE IN COFFEE
Finally if you're looking to stop the coffee consumption altogether but still want to enjoy its heady scent, I would recommend a coffee scrub to wash with. My DIY coffee scrub recipe is one of the things I will continually remake when I run out. It's turned around many tough mornings, and makes my skin feel velvety soft.



I also thought it would be good for anyone who enjoys a coffee on the go to mention a few sustainable options to reduce waste - the uproar that echoed online after everyone discovered that the majority of coffee cups aren't recyclable makes these even more pertinent.

My favourite option is the Keep Cup, which I've showcased previously in a Monthly Favourites post - mine is glass and cork, and I find once you get over the initial nerves of asking a barista to fill your own cup with coffee, they're usually quite charmed with the look and that you're being green! Other pretty options include the Sage Boss To Go Cup, the Kinto Cafepress Mug, and the Eco Coffee Cup.


The big mystery has been revealed! I feel like I've been taken on a little journey when it comes to this film. I was contacted out of the blue to attend the premiere of Captain Fantastic, and on a whim I decided to go. It seemed like a cutesy thing to do, even if it was a little out of context for what I usually write about online (heck, I even admitted to it not being in-keeping with my usual content).

However, after spending last night at its premiere, I can totally see why it's a great fit for me, and an eye-opening film for anyone else interested in living sustainably.

Something I discuss regularly with my boyfriend is how much of a change we need to make to really live a sustainable lifestyle. The same as anything, the more aware of something you become, the more you want to change it; be it reducing plastic, eating better, or that little scratch on the ceiling that you notice every time you wake up. Perhaps I'm a little neurotic, but I feel like perhaps the steps I'm taking - and will continue taking for the rest of my life - just aren't a big enough change.

Well, Captain Fantastic explores this quite wonderfully, along with love, laughter, and lots of Noam Chomsky references. In essence, it's a curiously conscious film (see what I did there?!) The film is about a family living deep in the forest, with no influence from society. A tragedy means they have to stray into the 'real world', and navigate the oddities that we know as social norms. I've come away from the film with a sense of balance, and a hunger to delve deeper into some of the subjects touched upon. Writer and Director Matt Ross playfully dropped names and quotes throughout it, hinting at undercurrents of climate change, capitalism, law and responsibility.

Can I also say, the premiere for this was cool. Really cool. As the last film to be shown on the Film 4 Summer Screen at Somerset House, I arrived to drinks on the Riverside Terrace (I went for a raspberry mocktail with lime and mint) and was then given a little red blanket to sit on and shown to an reserved area within the courtyard. We got to hear from producer Lynette Howell, and writer and director Matt Ross, with a few wry hints about the storyline. Viggo Mortensen then came and said a few words, and took a giant selfie with everyone giving the camera the middle finger (you'll get it when you see it!) Afterwards, he came and sat down about six blankets away from me... It was a surreal experience, to watch him in the film with him sat a couple of paces away (especially the completely nude scene...)

Captain Fantastic is a film with a lot of heart and real meaning too. Looking back on it, I feel like it's going to be one of those films you watch over and over again on lazy Sundays when you're looking for some inspiration. A scene that really sticks with me is when the music falls away, and we're left with the family sat together but all doing their own thing, a tender connection keeping them all content. It's a beautiful moment, and it says everything without needing to say anything at all.
From time to time, my skin suffers from a dry patch or two that just doesn't quite heal from a smear of coconut oil. I also have friends with skin conditions that really do need care, and when it comes to natural products, it's hard to find ones that stand up to the reputed ranges from my childhood.

Since taking the natural skincare route, it's been difficult to find alternative powerful creams that really do the trick. I remember as a child when my mum's hands would crack in the winter, and she'd have to make do with E45 and medical creams that really smelt funny, and didn't do much to help. I imagine even now, there will be a pot of the stuff lurking in your very own bathroom cabinet somewhere, and if not that, the weird mineral oil jelly that is Vaseline.

So imagine my delight when I came across the new skincare range from Comvita. Comvita's Medihoney is the first natural derma care range that I've seen with deep healing properties that go from antibacterial wound gels to after sun, and I'm really happy to find advances like this. Not only do they cater to my lifestyle, but they strengthen the philosophy that natural products really are all we need, and that we're not missing out on anything by going au naturel.

Recently I've been trying their Natural Skintensive Cream, which aims to heal very dry skin and eczema. I've been lucky enough to avoid any red bumpy outbreaks as of late (which may be down to my avoidance of lactose), however I can tell from the consistency and formula that this is definitely a product to recommend for more serious skin problems.

The cream is principally made from manuka honey, and plant oils to make a potent cream. Two of my beauty favourites - shea butter and olive oil - feature highly in its ingredients, and the fact that it is pH balanced means it isn't reactive to stressed or sensitive skin types. It's also fragrance free, so there's no unnecessary ingredients in its make-up, something I'm a massive fan of.

I actually gave this to a friend who has been struggling with sore skin on their face for a while to try, with good results. My understanding is that if the skincare product can be used on sensitive skin, and even on the face, it will work wonders on the body too.

Comvita is a manuka honey company at heart and has been using honey as a medicine for over 40 years. I know this will be a little controversial to my vegan readers, but I don't have a problem with honey or pollen products as there is no harm to the bees; only propolis and bee venom make my avoidance list. Comvita is great when it comes to pure products, spanning skincare, vitamins + minerals, medical elixirs, and even oral care.

This post was sponsored by Comvita.

I have a very special giveaway today - a bundle of ethical fashion bags from Lost in Samsara worth over £80!

My foray into slow fashion continues, and I've been lucky enough to work with Lost in Samsara in creating a giveaway for you lovely readers. Their ethos struck me as sincere from the get-go and their collection reflects that too; selling fairly traded bags, accessories, and jewellery, they dabble in both upcycling and producing biodegradable items, such as the blue and cream jute rucksack featured above.

Lost in Samsara promotes fair fashion and values the connections between everyone involved. They support the lives of vulnerable people involved in the production of their range, giving them training, fair wages, and ultimately providing them with long-term stability. This is something I think we can definitely value more, so I'm so happy to see it being championed here. It's also one of the reasons why I appreciate the slow fashion movement so much - it recognises that we can and should treat the people who create our garments in a much better way than we currently do. I actually wrote about this quite passionately in my final year dissertation but under the scope of food (you can read a summary of it here), and how we sadly view farms as food factories, and how we're losing the transparency of where it comes from and the people that are providing us with our meals.

The word samsara has Buddhist roots, relating to the material world, and it's nice to see more conscious brands and boutiques popping up to rival this. (There's also a beautifully visual film called Samsara on Netflix, well worth a watch if you're feeling spiritual!)

The giveaway here is perfect if you're looking to overhaul your current bag collection (remember you can donate your old bags to charity, swap with friends, or send them off to be recycled), or give out a few gifts. I don't have an iPad, for example, but I know my brother would love to use the cover included in the bundle!



The giveaway includes:

JUTE COTTON BACKPACK £35

UPCYCLED IPAD CASE £12

ELEPHANT CARD HOLDER £8

ELEPHANT TRAVEL CARD HOLDER £6

RED + BLUE WASH BAG £20


To enter, all you have to do is follow the instructions on the box below, and also be a resident of the UK so that I can post all of these out to you! Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



When I first started getting into healthy eating, I felt like I was hideously ill-equipped. Hands up who else didn't know the difference between a blender and a juicer? Ever tried using a food processor? Neither had I.

A few years later, and I'm a bit of a gadget hoarder. In the cupboard lies my slow juicer, a food processor, a blender, and my favourite spiraliser. But none of this compares to my newest addition to the kitchen, and the only gadget I keep out on the kitchen counter: my Nutribullet* from Ikpaland.

If I'm honest, I feel like I've taken the most wasteful route getting to my Nutribullet. Since going vegetarian and picking up the Deliciously Ella fever, I've burned through two other blenders and now I'm finding I don't need my food processor either. I can't say it wasn't without merit; I've learnt how to make smoothies without a recipe book (a soft bland base, sweet highlights, and maybe a powder or two), how to get the best out of my juicer, and make quick healthy snacks in my food processor. But I could have done all of this with a Nutribullet, with greater ease and less cost overall.

I have been trialling this little powerhouse for a month now, and I'm really impressed. It blends smoothies so well, I've not experienced any bits at all since switching. I've actually got back into having a smoothie every morning because it's made it so easy to do; no bits, a quick blast (around 20 seconds), and I can pop a lid on the cup if I need to run out to work in a hurry.

On top of this, it doubles as a food processor, capable of grinding down a handful of nuts, or if you're a little stuck when it comes to coffee, coffee beans. It blended some whole beans into perfectly brew-able grinds, which makes it a versatile and useful tool for more than just one meal a day.

Alongside the Nutribullet came two large cups (which are a little too large for my liking, but do just fine), two lids, two lip rings, two handled lip rings, and a recipe book. I'm going to be honest, I didn't need all those lids and things... If I can use a maximum of two lids at a time, one of each would have done. I was also surprised to find the recipe book is possibly the cheesiest recipe book I have ever flicked through; smiling couples holding smoothies, proclamations of weight loss and life changing experiences... It's just not my style of healthy living.

However, none of this detracts from the efficiency and sheer joy of using the Nutribullet (I'm hesitant to call it a blender as it feels like so much more...) If you came to me now and asked what I would recommend for your newest piece of kitchen equipment, I would recommend this. It doesn't matter whether you're starting your healthy living journey, or are looking to scale up from an average blender - this is your new best friend.

In the future, I think I'm going to slim down my kitchen items and stick with this and my juicer. Everything else is surplus now, if I'm honest, and I really do love saving shelf space.
What is activated charcoal?
I've been noticing a dark trend recently. When I say dark, I mean black. Charcoal black.

I'm talking about activated charcoal, of course! It's been cropping up all over the place; in the magazines I read, on my Twitter feed, and even in my toothpaste. But what actually is it? And what benefits does it have?

Charcoal has been around for centuries; quite simply, it is the solid porous remains of wood and organic matter that has been burned in the absence of air. You've probably got some in your garden right now, in the form of barbecue briquettes. However, activated charcoal is a little more delicate than those big ashy blocks.

Activated charcoal is a form of charcoal that has been created to be extremely porous. This means that it has superfine bubbles, and a gigantic surface area per gram. The first time I played around with pure activated charcoal powder* kindly sent to me by Sheabutter Cottage, I was surprised at just how fine the powder is, and how much water it takes to get it to all stick together and be swept up (let's just say, I made a mess).

Activated charcoal is cropping up everywhere because it is a natural purifier. You can take activated charcoal tablets for digestive problems, find it in toothpaste to whiten your teeth (I'm currently using Ecodenta's Extra Black Whitening Toothpaste), or even buy a gorgeous Black + Blum water filter bottle with a stick of activated charcoal to reduce chlorine and mineralise your drinking water. I've also recently spotted Sukin's new charcoal range (find it in Holland & Barrett or Planet Organic), which has been specially formulated for balancing the oils on your skin.

Right now I'm planning on creating a DIY activated charcoal face mask, as I imagine my skin would benefit from this immensely. Now that summer is here, my combination skin is exacerbated somewhat, and the polluted London air doesn't exactly do wonders for blemishes either (that kind of carbon is definitely of the bad variety). I'll let you know how it goes!


Last week I spent an evening at the launch of ethical fashion brand Siku Moja. I had a really fun time, met some beautiful people, and am so happy to see the birth of the 'everyday faraway brand' that is Siku Moja!

Meaning 'one day' in the East African language of Kiswahili, the brand is passionate about creating positive social change through creativity, and catering to people who care about living more sustainably. I'm a big fan of both of these concepts, and am so happy to see sustainable fashion combine conscience with style and modernity, something that the general industry still lacks.

The brand is currently raising funds on their Kickstarter to (rather ingeniously) kickstart their ethical supply chain between Tanzania and the UK. By using their first collection, The Everyday Capsule Collection to raise funds, they'll be able to set up a womens' project in East London, as well as start work on their second collection in Tanzania.


From being at their launch, I can tell that there is a lot of passion behind the brand. The sisters behind the brand, Elly + Jo, are really sweet people, and the room was filled with their family, friends, and sustainable fashion advocates. I really enjoyed speaking to people who care about the clothes as well as people who care about the women and their ethical venture, and the atmosphere was incredibly positive for the whole evening.

When the models came out to do their catwalk-esque laps of the room, they showed the versatility of the collection, pairing different items from the nine-piece collection together to show how comfy pyjamas can be taken to sexy lingerie and back again. My favourite two items on the night were the Day & Night Bralette, a beautiful lacy piece made from factory offcuts, and the Everyday Kanga Shorts, made from rich-looking Tanzanian cotton and sewn together with organic cotton.

The thing that really struck me on reflection of the night is how two women managed to string together a fashion brand that not only keeps up with modern design, but is transparent and caring in every aspect. I imagine their determination and drive were key factors in this, but it demonstrates how independents can achieve great things, and how larger brands have no excuse in stepping up their social responsibility policies and making a change to fairer fashion.




A few days ago, I realised that there are still people that live in a world without matcha green tea.

Ah, I joke, but I was surprised that matcha is still not as widely known as plain old green tea. Matcha is the souped-up little sister of green tea, and I think it's twice as tasty too.

I was at work and had just received a batch of Mighty Matcha Organic Matcha Tea in the post (I get through matcha like nobody's business). A few people asked me what matcha tea was, and one friend even gave me a tea bag of green tea infused with matcha, but no-one had ever tried it!

Cue 10 minutes of me making everyone matcha green teas in our office kitchen. To ease everyone in, I added a little soya milk and sugar, and stirred the matcha up with a teaspoon rather than my trusty frother. The verdict: matcha tea is really delicious!

This led me to pondering about all the other ways I could use matcha on my walk home. While I've already tried matcha lattes, smoothies, and even in madeleines, I'd never had matcha yoghurt or ice cream, and decided to try making my own. My matcha froyo (frozen yoghurt) is the result!

Matcha green tea comes in a beautifully fine powder, and can be mixed with hot water without the need of a loose tea infuser. I love to add a little plant-based milk and natural sweetener to mine, however it's great on its own too. It's made from young bright green tea leaves, with it being quickly steamed to create it's signature taste.

The real benefit of matcha is that it is so much healthier than your regular tea, green tea, and coffee. The powder contains vitamins a, b, c, e, and k, and is sky high in antioxidants, which are good for keeping your body's cells young and healthy. You can read more about the benefits of matcha tea in a previous post here.

My matcha froyo is dairy-free and vegan, and is made without an ice cream maker (which would be a fun but impractical luxury in my tiny London kitchen)!



MATCHA FROYO
Serves 1

125g coconut yoghurt
2 tsp agave syrup
1 tsp Mighty Matcha Organic Matcha Tea
+
Frozen raspberries
Sprinkle of bee pollen

  1. Spoon your coconut yoghurt into a blender, followed by the agave syrup, and matcha tea powder
  2. Put the lid on and whizz up until the mixture is a delightful light green throughout
  3. Pour into a small bowl and pop into the freezer
  4. Stir your mixture every 15 minutes until it's at the thickness you like - mine took just over an hour
  5. Serve with a few toppings - I like raspberries and bee pollen, but it's equally as nice with desiccated coconut 


This post was sponsored by Mighty Matcha.
Thank God it's Friday (well, it is tomorrow...) It's been a long week, and I'll be honest; I don't like to whine and moan on my blog but I've been feeling less than my best.

I've always found writing to be a therapeutic tool, whether it's on here, in a diary, scribbling frantic thoughts down on a serviette on the train... I love it. I've always loved it. I wrote a book when I was 15 that was 80,000 words, just for fun. (Side note: said book will remain hidden in the depths of my computer, never destined for another soul to read).

However, with all the mindless things that have been causing me stress, I've decided to take a more mindful approach in figuring them out. I'm quite literally turning these frowns upside down! Here's a quick run down of how I'm coping and in all honesty, enjoying a life that's going 100mph...

THE LANDLORD FROM HELL
I've had my fair share of landlords; from the crazy landlady who called me a 'little madam' when I asked for my deposit back, to the sweet old man who rented to me the tiniest maid's quarters in Montparnasse for an astronomical amount, it's been quite the rollercoaster. Well, it turns out, London is no different. My first flat, managed by an agency, was actually a dream in disguise. I might have been paying an inflated price, but the agent was happy to pop round whenever I had a problem, and even got me a key cut when I was locked out.

However, now living in my second place with a good friend, I've been dealt quite the landlord. She's an eccentric, an 'actress, darling', and her property stinks. Nothing is quite as it seems; the kitchen sink spills out into the bath, the washing machine makes the place smell like sewage, the fuse box is 30 years out of date, and we've never seen a gas certificate. She operates with a 'better than thou' attitude, and she came into the house to photograph a broken table (despite me having sent her photos) without letting me know.

Now, she's kicking us out.

I mean, when it comes to relationships, I can't say we had the best one. But I would never have predicted that she'd be the one to end it...

With just under two months 'til our contract finishes, I was shellshocked upon receiving her text. I even tweeted it - a rarity for me, considering I don't usually share personal problems online. But upon speaking to my flatmate and boyfriend, we came to the agreement that this was actually for the best. We were finally getting rid of her and her horrible little flat, and are able to look for better properties in an area of London we've come to know and love. In a surprising turn of events, I've come to find myself excited about moving out. I'll keep you posted as it develops - there will definitely be things I miss - but here's to a new adventure in South London!

O' THE HUMANITY
It's hard to not take being snubbed personally. In my job, I come into contact with all sorts, and I love it. Community art students, charity professionals, kooky designers, and the girls in the office next door: I find myself a chameleon of the design world. I love working in a job that is aligned with my own ethics, promoting positive social change, and the fact that it pays the bills too.

However, when you find yourself on the end of a phone, being disrespected by someone quite literally spitting venom in your ear, it's tough. In any job, it is. A friend of mine deals with lawyers in her job and even their secretaries are catty. Yeeouch.

On balance though, it's puts all the other people I deal with into perspective. I love all of my clients, and even the 'snubber' has come round to me eventually. Never would I have thought that I'd have the same person giggling down the phone talking about The Rolling Stones to me, and it felt good to find a human wrapped up in all that stress, just waiting to break out. It keeps me grounded, seeing the glimmer of humanity in someone's eyes, whether it's the guy behind the bar doing the worst shift of his life, or the postman that's sick of his job. Everyone likes to crawl into bed at the end of the day and enjoy how snuggly it feels. Even the people who are mean to you.

FINDING MY VOICE
We all make mistakes, right? Even after two years of writing this blog, I'm yet to fully understand the narrative I'm spinning. It's often hard to compartmentalise my life, but I'm finding the blogs that focus on one core aspect often do a lot better than a random mix. And I can see why - I want to read blogs on living a more pure life, be that beauty, food, and slow fashion, rather than one that jumps from reviewing a pizza place to doing a HIIT routine to eating a Snickers. I want to read from writers who are real, but not necessarily share-it-all. I don't want to see a jumble of subjects all in one - it's confusing.

However, I know I'm guilty of this, and I get caught up in almost-too-good-to-be-true offers. My first sponsored blog post is an example of this - it's all about eco-friendly radiators. Me being green-minded, I thought this would go down well. But upon reflection, it just doesn't fit all that well with you as a reader. You probably don't own your own house, and even if you do, you certainly aren't interested in reading about the benefits of eco-friendly heating on a 20 something's wellness blog.

The same goes for my last post. With 100 free cinema tickets to giveaway to readers, I thought this would be an amazing act of love and affection for all you lot. (I'm being super candid here, so please be gentle with me). In the good old MySpace days, I used to write a media blog, and could have only dreamed about such an opportunity - one which would have been perfectly right for that kind of blog. But this one, not so much...

If you would still like a free ticket to what looks to be a beautiful spirited film, click here. But I totally understand why the majority of you won't, and I know I'm going to stick to my usual narrative even more. It's a bit of an art, this blogging malarkey, isn't it?


I have something a little different on the blog today, but if you stick with me, I promise you it's worth it!

Captain Fantastic is soon to be coming out in cinemas, and I am so happy to be involved with its launch! When I first heard about it, I watched the trailer a good few times over and my understanding was that the family from Little Miss Sunshine gets reincarnated and comes back to live a backwards allegory of Wild with a blonde Aragorn at the helm. Considering I love Little Miss Sunshine, Wild, and LOTR, I can't say it's half bad!


In reality, the film is about a devoted father bringing up his family deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, without any influence from society. A tragedy in the family brings the troupe out from their woodland home and into the 'real world' with some unexpected challenges, chiefly finding a balance between their two isolated societies.

I'm so intrigued by this concept - will they be freaked out by fast fashion, shop-bought food, and pesticides? Will they pick to stay in a world with disregard for the planet but with a society full of amazing people, or live isolated and organically? Was that the father's intent all along? And has he picked wrong?

With the trailer hinting at some real heartache and spirit, it's a film I will be running to the cinema to see. Amazingly, I can bring you along too, plus 99 other guests...

I'm lucky enough to be giving away 100 tickets to see the first screening of Captain Fantastic across the country, before it's even released in cinemas! The first 50 lucky readers to see this will be able to book tickets through the link below. You will get to book up to two tickets to see the film at a cinema near you, and get to see it on August 25th, a whole two weeks before anyone else gets to!




Thank you to Show Film First for providing me with the tickets to giveaway, and if you do enjoy the film, please let us know on social media using the hashtag #CaptainFantastic!


July has come and gone so quickly! Scattered with hot sunny days and humid wet weeks, I've really enjoyed being out and about more. In-line with that came my post all about sunscreen, a sunshiney dewy makeup look, and a review of my favourite slow fashion jumpsuit.

I also have had a month of new discoveries, purchases, and gifts! To recount everything, here's my list of 10 July Favourites, some featured in the images, and some online experiences I'd recommend giving a try!

1. MATT + NAT SILVER SANDALS
I have really enjoyed flip-flopping around London in these beauties (and they look good as new even after a month of wearing them). The makers of my Orwell Handbag, I've been a fan of their vegan leather for a few years, as it's a durable and soft alternative made from plant-based and recycled materials. Their designs have always been on-trend, and these are no exception, especially in all their vibrant silver glory!

2. NEW WATER BOTTLE
I have a new bottle! Helping me drink a lot more water in this summer sun, I've been enjoying it in and out the house. I have to admit, it's a little bit of a copycat S'Well bottle in design, and I'd recommend getting one of those over this to be honest. S'Well create BPA-free metal bottles that keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. Their reinvention of the milk bottle shape has led to some beautiful designs, and nicer still, they donate a percentage of their profits to UNICEF, American Forests, and Drink Up.

3. SAVSE JUICES
I've been a fan of Savse for a while (say sav-say), and it's so handy to have their cold-pressed smoothies stocked in Boots. So, it's been with some excitement that I've been trying their juices* over the last month! My favourite from the Purple Carrot, Jonagold Apple, and Grove Orange is definitely the apple, as it's a less sweet version of regular apple juice that's been cold-pressed and bottled with literally no other ingredient.

4. KORRES MASCARA
I already mentioned my new Korres Black Volcanic Minerals Mascara* in my Natural Dewy Makeup Tutorial, and of the lot of Korres products I've tried, this is definitely my favourite. It's a clean formula, cruelty-free, and the brush means my lashes are thicker. It makes a great change from my Green People Volumising Mascara, which lengthens rather than thickens lashes.

5. METAL STRAW
This was a lovely little gift from a work friend! I recently leant her my Zero Waste book by Bea Johnson, and as a fellow aspiring zero-waster, she bought us both metal straws so we can still enjoy drinks in a more sophisticated way without the unnecessary plastic waste.

6. SIKU MOJA
While my post on the launch of new ethical fashion brand Siku Moja is waiting in the wings, I had to slip in a mention in my favourites as I had such a good time at their launch party last week. Get ready to hear about a new sustainable and ethical independent brand!

7. SELVA BEAT MAGAZINE
Who knew going palm oil-free could be so cool? This independent magazine was a joy to read, taking me through all the common names for palm oil in food and beauty products, and why it's such a bane to the earth. Download it for free here.

8. LIMES
It's the summer so it's time for citrus fruit! I've been really enjoying buying fresh limes, squeezing half of one into a glass, pouring over sparkling water, and smashing a little fresh mint into it. Even better when the mint is from my tiny flat garden!

9. NUTRIBULLET
Another thing I've been having a lot of fun with is my new Nutribullet*. I'm going to do a full review soon - I mean, it's quite pricey for a blender - but let's just say, I am seeing far more positives at this point.

10. ZERO WASTE HOME APP
This final discovery came to me from the same friend who gave me the metal straw (thank you Bertille!) I've been a fan of Bea Johnson's Zero Waste Home blog for a long while now, and her book is just as brilliant. Well, Bea's recently updated her blog (it looks so good now) and with it comes an app to show you your nearest bulk stores for fresh produce, beauty, and pet products. With my first use came the realisation that there's a co-operative providing food in bulk without packaging just around the corner from me! I'm planning to visit it in the next week, so I'll let you know how it goes...