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)

11 August 2019

Keeping cool in a New Build | Lifestyle

As I write the post we've had a bit of a heatwave and whilst I love a bit of sunshine being in a newly built property is actually almost unbearable. New Build properties are designed to be more energy efficient by keeping heat in the property, they have lowers ceilings and have "stud" walls etc. At first we really struggled to keep the place cool but now we seem to be getting out heads around it. The reality is you need to start thinking about how your apartment is when you go aboard to hot countries. 

Keep the windows shut, seriously! People think if they open the windows then it will let in a breeze which is fine but when you can't create a draft or there isn't a breeze outside all you are doing is letting in the hot hair into home. I open the windows wide in the morning to let the cool air in and then just as the temperature starts to increase close them and close your curtains! It can seem a bit sad to have your home in darkness the entire day but if you want to have a cool place to retreat to when you come in then you have to make a sacrifice.  

Ditch the duvet and adopt a European style of sleeping with flat sheets! I cannot stand being hot at night, I hate waking up with my hair all stuck to me, but I don't really like being exposed lying on top of the sheets, so a flat sheet is a really simple addition to the bedding. Pick a good quality cotton one and this will aid in keeping you cool at night.  

Buy a damn fan! There are a lot of options out there ranging from really expensive Dyson fans to affordable ones from Asda, I would suggest buying a tall one though because then you do have to clear any surfaces or sides and you can keep it anywhere!

Avoid oven usage! This only really applies if you live in an open plan area with your living room and kitchen like us. Honestly, we've really had to rethink some of the meals we cook on a weekend just because if it involves and oven it's best to avoid! 

So there we have some really simple but effective ways of keeping your property cooler in the warmer weather. 

4 August 2019

What's in my dog handbag | Lifestyle

Today I thought I would share with you guys the contents of my bag now that I have a doggo, obviously I still have a normal handbag but as we are trying to take Fred to more places with us I always want to make sure I have enough stuff. Quite often we need to make sure we have things that can we can distract him with if he is getting a bit restless. In all honesty, I never thought I would need to carry things around with us, my parents have a Chocolate Labrador and they don't really need to carry extra items with us because he is a pretty relaxed dog and will happily sit next to my dad, so I think breed has a lot to do with it. 

Freddie is a French Bulldog and they can be known to have a few health problems, one is definitely getting overheated, heat stroke can be fatal in some cases so we always make sure we carry some water and a bowl for him. To be honest, I would say that Freddie is quite a healthy dog, we keep him lean and he is very active but we know that because of his snorter snout it can restrict the it getting into his nose and therefore his ability to cool himself down. Even if the weather isn't too hot, I think it's still worth us carrying the water on long journeys. I use a simple water bottle that I picked up from Asda that keeps cool water cool. I am looking at getting a collapsible bowl but for now this one works fine. 

I opted for a rucksack because it meant that I can carry all the goodies and still have both hands free to hold his lead or pick his poop up! Also I feel that you can actually get quite a lot of stuff in a rucksack which is handy! 

I carry around A LOT of treats in that little orange container (classic Ikea) the main reason we carry them in a container is to keep them fresh but another reason is because I can't stand dog biscuit crumbs everywhere, I know how dramatic of me, but they get everywhere and some dog treats really smell so I would rather not have them rolling around the bag.Of course no dog owner would be complete without numerous poo bags, I have shown one here but in all honesty I carry about 10 with me because  you just never know! 

Then finally we have a couple of toys with us, Freddie can be a bit obsessed with a tennis ball so it keeps him quite if he is getting a little moany! But as with most dogs they get bored of just one toy so it's always good to carry an extra one! 

I know this isn't the most thrilling of posts but I think if you are looking to get a dog with a short snout or anything like that, then making sure you have the bare essentials is really important!