10 November 2019

Curated Social Media | Opinion

Since my post on "fair weather activists" I have done a lot of thinking about just how much social media has the ability to effect our mental well-being. I follow a variety of bloggers and influencers, both my Instagram and Twitter are linked to my blog and when I first started them, I went through a wave of following almost any blogger who on the surface was like me, which is basically a female blogger! I loved it, I had this little network of people who I could chat to about things that were relatable!

Fast forward 4/5 years and all of a sudden I'm finding myself increasingly disgruntled with both the platforms, I mean I lost the illusion of Instagram a long while ago but one thing I didn't do was mass unfollow. It's only since my last post that I realise I actually have control over what I want to be consuming online and if I don't like someone's opinion, I can hit unfollow and be done with it. I do think there's a danger with only following people who share the same opinions because you get a very one sided view on the world but you can definitely differentiate between someone who is an absolute moron and someone who shares the fundamentals but sees things from a different angle to you.

In the last year or so I have found myself caring about a lot of different things, I don't eat meat anymore but all of the foodie accounts I followed were all juicy burgers and delicious meats and while there is no denying I did like meat and I did enjoy the taste, I should not be following these types of accounts, instead I should be looking for veggie or even vegan options to think about new dinners and meals for me. Honestly just by following a few new veggies accounts all of a sudden I am cooking different meals stuff I love but just didn't even think about before. I have stopped following accounts that I don't have a distinct reaction about, instead I am following account where people may give advise on eco-friendly ways of living that are useful for someone like me who is trying. I want to follow accounts I not only relate to but also can learn something from, no matter how small. 

I have been passively consuming social media accounts for years now and I am finally starting to consider the subconscious impact that could have on me, so I am changing the content I consume to be something I genuinely care about or something that makes me happy.
3 November 2019

Florence, 3 years on | Lifestyle

At the start of this year I had a yearning to go back to Florence so me and the boyf decided that we should go back for my birthday. I haven't been there since I left over 3 years ago so I was excited to see what had changed, what had stayed the same and how I felt about the place! I know you're probably thinking, "oh she was only there for just over a year" or "it hasn't been that long since I lived there" but the reality is, when you move to another country, on your own, without knowing a single soul it changes your life entirely so of course, I have this emotional attachment to the place. So let's start with...

The Pisamover - This was brand new! Just 3 years ago, you had to get a coach to Florence or get a taxi to Pisa train station and then a train to Florence! In all honesty it was a right faff so this new, easy option was brilliant!

The Galleries - I made sure that this time I did a bit of touristy kinda things including visiting galleries.  Once we went to was called Uffizi, it's probably one of the most visited galleries in Florence and showcases lots of pieces from the Renaissance. We saw the Botticelli painting The Birth of Venus  which of course was stunning but ones I personally loved were the paints of unknown people, there's something about them.

The Food - the first thing we ate when we landed was pizza with bufala mozzarella and it was DIVINE! I found myself eating everything (including a little bit of meat), I just don't know how the Italians do it? if you offered me bruchetta topped with tomatoes in the UK I would turn my nose up, but you offer it to me in Italy and its an entirely different thing, the tomatoes genuinely taste better!

The Beauty - In all honesty, I new that when I went back I would fall in love all over again, I mean it's hard to describe because of course Florence is beautiful, the architecture of the Duomo is enough but the thing I really like is the simplistic beauty of Florence. The small, narrow streets, the little pockets of residential living with the buildings are close together as if they were sharing secrets! Everything, just stunning! 

It was lovely to be back, if even for a brief weekend! The way I think of Florence is like a relationship, I am married to London, I adore London but Florence is a love affair that's over but my mind still wanders from time to time!  
27 October 2019

30 Things in 30 Years | Birthday

I've had a little break from the blog, no reason, just couldn't be bothered to post even though I had content in my drafts but I am back now.

It's that time again, another year older and yet none the wiser, not really a massive fan of my birthday but considering it was a biggie (30, cringe) I thought I would look at my achievements and random things I have done in my 30 bloody years on this planet! 

ONE. Got a dog
TWO. Bought a house
THREE. Started my career
FOUR. Started a blog
FIVE. Learned karate
SIX. Visited 17 cities around the world
SEVEN. Lived in another country for a year
EIGHT. Been a bridesmaid
NINE. Got a degree
TEN. Learned to drive
ELEVEN. Sang at karaoke
TWELVE. Got my nose pierced
THIRTEEN. Cooked Christmas dinner
FOURTEEN. Been to a festival
FIFTEEN. Attended concerts
SIXTEEN. Travelled on a plane alone
SEVENTEEN. Fallen asleep on the train drunk and woken up after my stop
EIGHTEEN. Baked a cake
NINETEEN. Been to a football match
TWENTY. Had a perm
TWENTY-ONE. Dyed my hair red
TWENTY-TWOHosted a gathering
TWENTY-THREE. Written a poem
TWENTY-FOUR. Owned a car
TWENTY-FIVEEaten at a restaurant alone
TWENTY-SIX. I have built a piece of furniture by myself
TWENTY-SEVEN. I have walked to the top of the Duomo in Florence, Italy 
TWENTY-EIGHT. Seen a show at London Fashion Week
TWENTY-NINE. I have seen several musicals in the West end
THIRTY. I bought my first piece of art

So there we have some wonderful (and stupid) things I have done in my 30 years on this damn planet! 
25 August 2019

Fair Weather Activists | Opinion

Buffed Tailed Bumble Bee

When I first wrote this post, I wrote it from a place of frustration and I have tried to edit a little bit so it isn't so much of a judgmental rant but there are some points that I get annoyed with and I think it's perfectly fine to express that on my own blog! I was growing more irritated with social media's cultivation of what I like to call "fair weather" activists or people who just jump on the bandwagon, how it's important today but gone tomorrow and to a degree that's fine but when the cause is relate to the environment or the planet I couldn't help but get a little bitter!

A little while ago we all became very aware of face wipes impact on the sewage systems and the impact they have just being in landfills never decomposing because facewipes are pretty much plastic, they aren't biodegradable. We then saw this huge surge of people saying they no longer use wipes/ they didn't realise the impact until they saw it on social media and this is when we are at our best, when we are sharing knowledge and educating others. It really gained momentum and even I gave up facewipes and I'm glad I have but after a while the noise died down and everyone stopped talking about it. Then I see the same people who were shocked about facewipes starting to use sheet masks which are pretty much identical in composition to facewipes - so all of a sudden the environment doesn't matter or is it just sheet masks are equally as popular on social media? (Attitude much?) I'll see people harp on about how important bees are and then choose to put artificial grass down which doesn't impact the bees as such but impacts all other small insects that live in the grass and, lets face it, you're just slapping down a great big piece of plastic in your garden. 

We even saw it with Pride this year, I saw so many brands update their logos to rainbow colours but how many of those companies actually donated any money to any LGBTQ+ rights? Pride is definitely more that just a rainbow but of course brands didn't want to miss out on the popularity and the visual connection to something much bigger than them

The thing is I understand, we as consumers, live our lives for convenience, we want to do anything that makes our lives easier which is why we have created the problem ourselves (with the help of supermarkets and good marketing teams). I understand that when we see things so plain on social media we want to do better, we want to do good but fall back into everyday habits. I have to still remember that adopting a few smaller changes it better than doing nothing and that it's so easy to sit on my phone and critise other people when I'm nowhere near perfect, heck they may even be people critising me for various things! 

Maybe I should stop thinking about what others are doing or just simply unfollow some people?
18 August 2019

Making More of Free Time | Lifestyle

I find it very easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when I feel a little trapped with work! I easily lose all motivation and can get a little down but now I have a new job I decided I wanted to make a few changes to my free time to encourage a better work/life balance and actually make the most of my free time. Don't get me wrong, I love to do absolutely nothing sometimes but actually as I get older I realise I find more comfort in routine and a little structure so I thought I would share some ideas and tips on how I am trying to make more of my free time.

Weekdays have always been a bit of write off for me, I get home and I just can't be bothered to do anything of any real interest. I go home, I give the pooch a quick walk, I have dinner and I might have a glass of wine in the eve and that's about it. However when it came to the weekend I didn't really know what to do with myself because I hadn't planned anything in advance. One day I just decided that I was going to organise mine and my boyfs calendar so that we have at least one thing each week that we will either do together or with the pooch as well. At first it's a little daunting to try and figure out what we can do with the dog as not everywhere is dog friendly but it only takes a quick phone call or email to confirm whether the places are and so far we've had a lot of luck with that. I know it can seem a little odd that I am organising free time when surely I should be impulsive and free to do whatever I want but I think when you have a little doggo you do have to plan things more.

In June we took Fred to a Beer Festival in our home town and took him to Brighton over night. These were relatively easy things to book and schedule and we want to desensitise him a little to busy environments because we want to take him everywhere, this meant that for a couple of weekends easily had something to do. On the weeks where we weren't really doing anything at the weekend we decided to go out for dinner at places we really liked or haven't been before.

I have found myself baking a lot more recently, I have always loved baking but sometimes found it difficult to remember to have all of the ingredients, so instead I have bought some bread mix where all you need to add is water. It's something that's really simple and you feel quite accomplished after you have already made it, you don't have to make a big deal out of finding all the correct ingredients. Baking doesn't have to be this massive thing that has to be perfect, simply making something with your own hands can give you a great sense of achievement. In fact, I normally do it on a Sunday afternoon because if I have any time to do absolutely nothing that's when it'll be. Plus I can get on with the house admin whilst the bread is proving/cooking/cooling down! Also, I quite like baking stuff to give to my parents, its a simple gesture that everyone can enjoy!

Even spending 30 minutes at the weekend faffing with my blog feels so much better than just sitting in front of the TV in the evening. I don't think there is anything wrong is just sitting and doing nothing, but for me, for some odd reason, I just get really crabby if I feel like I have done nothing. It's also worth pointing out that sometimes, even though I have planned it, you have to change those plans! We were supposed to go into London with Fred the other weekend but it was just too hot so we didn't and because it was so hot we ended up doing nothing other than buying another damn plant for the balcony (which I low key loved)