Monday, 21 January 2019

BLACK & BEECH

For the last few years I've tried to make an effort to buy more from local and independent brands, and I'm always impressed by the number I find that are on a mission to do great things and support great people, as well as making super cool products.

Fuck the Male Gaze embroidered tee
Enter Black & Beech. Initially making teething jewellery aimed at style-conscious mums, the brand has expanded to celebrate empowerment and intersectional feminism, making jewellery, stationery, apparel, prints, and other merch to their range.

Black & Beech support equality and donate to Abortion Support Network, and have raised funds for Together for Yes, Terminations for Medical Reasons and In her shoes:Women of the 8th, amongst others. In other words, they are good eggs! And their products are pretty, powerful and packed with important messages.

Liberté, Egalité, Sororité tee
As it's January (and ergo, I have no spending money) I'm stuck with just eyeing up the things I like until payday rolls around. But when it does, I'm ready! I love this Do No Harm pendant, it's pretty and subtle, but is such a good mantra! I love this tee (and this one, oh and that one too). I think 2019 is a good year to shout about the things you believe in, and this is a nice way to do that with your wardrobe!

Monday, 14 January 2019

OUTFIT: MONKI & LEOPARD

Let me introduce you to my new favourite slouchy cardigan and boots combo! I've been on the hunt for a brown cardigan for aaaaages, and was lucky enough to find this under the Christmas tree - it's the perfect shade of chestnut (it matches my hair! I'm into that) has pockets, and basically feels like I'm wearing a giant blanket, which ticks all of my winter boxes.

Cardigan - Monki
Dress - Monki (via ASOS)
Boots - New Look (via ASOS)
I got some Christmas ASOS vouchers, so I treated myself to some leopard print boots (they are cute and comfy, and I treat leopard print like a neutral so I'm wearing them with everything), and a Monki wrap dress (which is now down to a bargainous £13 in the sale!).

I discovered Monki last year and I am in love. If you're not clued up, Monki's the Swedish fashion brand owned by H&M. It's just as affordable, but quirkier and cooler. 

They mix bright colours and bold prints with Scandi style and good shapes - their clothes are pretty much perfect for my body shape, and it is such a delight to find skirts and dresses that seem designed for normal body shapes (they come with sleeves! They don't surprise you with weird backless panels! They almost always have pockets!).

Hello, I still don't know how to pose in these photos, no #fashionblogger editorials here
I love dresses like this, as you can make them pretty casual (like this) which I'm wear to work or on the weekend (my life/work wardrobe is essentially interchangeable) or lose the cardigan-blanket, wear different shoes and it becomes a Nice Dress! Win win win.

Monday, 7 January 2019

HELLO 2019

Well, here we are. It's a new year, and with that, the deafening proclamations of intent across all social media platforms - I'll do this! I'll be better at that! Resolutions can be really fun, but this year? Hmm, I'm not sure my heart is in it.


I love the first week of the year, when the world starts to return to normal but there's a certain stillness, an agreed slowness to it all. I always enjoy that final pause before I return to normal life - it's a time to reflect, to plan for the year, to get your home and mind in order, and to recognise the importance of things and feelings that might have passed you by in the whirlwind of the year behind you.

I feel happy and calm at the moment, and I'm just curious to see what comes next. It's not a big bold statement, and part of me feels like I'm sort of lacking, that I'm not running to take the year by the horns, or setting myself a million goals. Sure, there's things I'd like to do this year. I want to take another evening class, I want to start swimming, I'd like to explore more of Scotland, I'd like to go on an alpaca trek (am I just looking for ever more creative ways to fill the gap of a dog in my life? Shhh), I want to get more confident at cooking, and I want to spend less time with my phone and more time with a book (like every millennial in the world), but I definitely do not want to give myself to-do lists, when I have enough of them in my working life!

I think I'm just a bit sick of the grind, the idea that you must be striving to achieve at all times. I don't want to! So I'm not. Instead of setting myself goals and feeling that I have things! to! do! I'm just going to take some practical steps and let the good times follow. I've bought a swimsuit (there's a victorian swimming pool one minute from my house, which I've never been to, this feels like a missed opportunity), I've signed up for one of Edinburgh University's evening classes (I'm so excited to learn things without the stress of exams at the end), and I've deleted my work email from my phone (to hopefully end the habit of impulsively checking it all the time).

I know these are basically resolutions by another name, but the simple step of just reframing them as options-I-have rather than objectives-to-complete makes me feel so much more relaxed, and excited to see what I'll get out of it, and what surprises 2019 has in store.

Whether you are setting resolutions or not, I hope you can also shrug off the nonsense pressure about reinventing yourself and your life choices at this time of year. January is tough enough (and the world is overall, a bit gloomy) without heaping the pressure on yourself. So don't! Just have fun, be kind, and do it at your own pace, and it'll all come together.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

LOOKING BACK AT 2018

Well, hello 2019! Just like that, the year is over, and before I get deep into reflecting on what's to come, I thought it might be quite nice to share what I got up to in 2018.

This was a pretty tiring year for me. Lots of great things happened, but I also spent a lot more time worrying and stressing about things than was probably healthy (some of that was unavoidable, but some was totally in my control - have I learned my lesson? We'll see). But I got to go to amazing places! And I did cool things. And I have very wonderful, funny, smart people in my life! Overall, I guess you weren't too bad, 2018.

Here's how my year went.

January

The year got off to a pretty excellent start, with a week in Fuerteventura to celebrate my ace boyfriend's birthday (I blogged about the trip here if you want to see where we went). The weather was beautiful, the company was loads of fun, and the very best bit - we climbed a volcanic crater where we discovered loads of tiny ground squirrels that clambered all over you!

I always find January a bit flat and grey, so it was so much fun to have something big to look forward to, and go adventuring so early in the year!

Monday, 31 December 2018

MEET UDON!

Are you ready to see the sweetest angel? Meet Udon! She's an African Pygmy Hedgehog, she's just turned eight weeks old, and she is the very cutest ball of spikes.


After Soba passed away I wasn't expecting to get another hedgehog any time soon, but given that there's only a few breeders in Scotland, I thought it was probably sensible to see if I could get on a waiting list. The only breeder I could find near Edinburgh said it might be December 2019 before she had available hoglets, but somehow I got lucky, and within the month I heard there was a tiny blonde girl available.

Fast forward a few weeks, and here we are! With the exception of stubbornly sleeping in her wheel instead of her lovely cosy bed, she's been a dream. Moving homes is, understandably, an overwhelming experience for a tiny hedgehog, but she's been so good! She has been friendly (!) and active, and straight away was happily eating her food and exploring her new home. What a good baby!


After years of owning Soba, it's so weird meeting a new hedgehog, with a very different personality. She's CONSIDERABLY less huffy than he was (bless you grumpy Soba, I still love you), she seems really into digging, and she's not really worked out she's meant to be nocturnal yet, but like Soba she's got all the signs of growing up into a very inquisitive tiny explorer.

She's going through her quilling stage at the moment, where she sheds her baby spines and grows new ones, which will also determine her adult colour (I hope she stays light, but who knows!). Soba will always be my o.g. but I am delighted to have Udon in my life and cannot wait to see her grow up!
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