Happy Favourites of May 2019

Writing this post I see that the previous post I wrote was from the beginning of April. Considering that I keep this blog partly to help educate myself about sustainability I am a bit ashamed with the lack of posting I’ve done. Earlier in the year, I didn’t post much as I was very busy with work, but now I can’t make the same excuse. Reflecting on why I’ve had such a long hiatus (well for me) is probably some level of burn out, or the start of a burnout. I came up with loads of ideas about what I wanted to write about but instead, I continuously chose not to take up my laptop, but rather pick up a book and immerse myself into stories. Even now it feels like I need to push myself to bring up this page and write, and hopefully this way I’ll find my passion for it again!

The thing is it’s not burnout on sustainability or activism. I think my brain has just required some time to process these few months to be able to think clearly again. I remember being younger and thinking about how people can forget things or cannot hold all the information in their head, and only now that my brain gets tired of too much information or certain stimulus that I recognise how difficult it is sometimes to keep all things organised in our heads. Our brains are not computers. On some level, they might be more powerful, but they also require their rest and reboot, as cheesy as it is to say. I still want to write about sustainability, and I still want to study and research sustainability, but while the rest of my life is finding it’s the new direction this blog suffers in return. I hope to do better this month, but don’t blame me if I still need some time.

Happy Favourites of May 2019 - byLiiL

HAPPY FAVOURITES

Meditation – It does often feel like my brain is going overdrive. It is difficult to calm it down, and I get anxious easily. For the past month, I have started the majority of the days with a short guided meditation often with breathing practice which has done wonders. I feel how I gravitate to meditate in the mornings or sometimes in the afternoon if I start getting anxious or overexcited. Just 5-10 minutes and my days have had a better start. I recommend Insights Timer for this.

A weekend of Ice Hockey – This is definitely not the most sustainable sport there is, however, it is a national pride for Finnish people and when being in their company and there is a World Championship game we are most likely watching it. This year, Finland won, and the weekend of watching the final games and seeing the Finnish team being beating so many stronger teams was quite enjoyable. Although, I rather enjoyed the company of friends and good food!

365 Days of Happiness – This book by Jaqueline Pirtle was gifted to me by Kelsey from Book Publicity services. I mentioned it in last months happy favourites as well, but this month the mention is for a different reason. This book truly does bring little glimpses and practices of happiness into every day. I have not felt depressed this last month, but whenever I’ve felt a bit down reading just a page from this book has brought a smile to my face. More on this soon!

Happy Favourites of May 2019 - byLiiL

 

Books – If it is possible I think I’ve read more than ever in one month. Many of these books are audio books, some graphic novels and poetry books, but still, the collective number is 20. There have been so many books that have broadened my view on different cultures, social classes, race, sustainability and identity.

The Summer Rain – Living in Scotland I don’t often enjoy rain but this summer rain we’ve had for the past couple of days is refreshing. And I love the smell of summer rain, that truly is happiness to me!

Friends Birthday Celebrations – I loved going out with a group of friends. To go for a delicious Mexican meal and then going around the pubs while chatting with people who I rarely see.

Happy Favourites of May 2019 - byLiiL

READ

Little Fires Everywhere – A beautiful book discussing race, class, motherhood and how it relates to race and class, who is suitable to care for a child, teenage relationships and reading people. It was an enjoyable read while it touched on important topics.

To Die For – Lucy Siegle talks about the different parts of the fashion industry and how it kills people or animals. Even if you know about the problems in fashion Lucy Siegle will surprise you with new problems.

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings – This was one of my favourites reads of the month. It is a short story collection by different authors with an Asian background. The stories are inspired by fantasy or mythology that they grew up with.

The Picture of Dorian Gray – This classic became one of my favourite classics that I’ve read to date. It is dark and twisted and examines how people behave towards beauty, and how people can hide their sins.

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness – This emotional graphic novel memoir by Kabi Nagata was very powerful. She talks about her anxiety and you can really feel how she felt in those situations through her illustrations.

Sex Object – Another memoir, this by Jessica Valenti, but this touches strongly on how women are objectified in everyday life. Reading this made me happy about how protected my life has been and that I didn’t have to experience a lot that she experienced. I got so angry over the unjust behaviour from men and women towards women in general which isn’t dealt with properly. At the same time this book introduced me to all the injustices towards me, which I’ve brushed of as “this just happens” without thinking that it happened because I am a young woman.

Happy Favourites of May 2019 - byLiiL

WATCH

I Won’t Complain Choreographed by Larkin Poynton – Truly powerful!

The Gentle Power Of Highly Sensitive People – Being a highly sensitive person it is comforting to hear and know about others who are, and encouraging the world to accept highly sensitive people as who they are and take their contribution instead of moulding them into society’s beliefs of what everybody should be like.

The Book of Life – I really enjoyed this animation which I saw on Netflix. It brought out Mexican culture, absolutely stunning colours and visuals, with interesting depth the way the animation was done. I quite liked the story and the strong female characters. However, what I would’ve preferred would’ve been voice actors who represented these Mexicans better. No matter how much I like Channing Tatum or Zoe Saldana, they don’t really represent Mexicans to me, unless I am horribly mistaken. There would’ve definitely been other’s who could’ve done this voice acting.

 

What were your happy moments in May?

With love,

Lii

 

Other articles you might be interested in:

Happy Favourites of April 2019

Happy Favourites of March 2019

Happy Favourites of February

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

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Happy Favourites of April 2019

In April I was still busting on a lot of work, as I knew I was going on a holiday at the end of the month and had to have most of my work finished. So the beginning of the month was spent working so much I had to rest with a book. Easter, finally let me relax a little bit, and my holiday was a rejuvenating although also tired affair with lots to see, and chatting until late in the night. It was a beautiful month weather vice and I am left quite happy going into May.

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

Trip to the Netherlands – I mentioned earlier that my sister is graduating and I get to attend her graduation in the Netherlands. Funnily enough many thought that we were going to the Netherlands to visit Amsterdam like there is nothing else to see. We spend one day in Amsterdam (which is not enough to see the city properly, but I’ve been there before). The rest of the days we spend in Leiden and Hague. We were staying in Airbnb, which was a beautiful, small houseboat. It was a great experience and we had the best time, so much laughter! To everybody who is thinking of going to the Netherlands, I recommend checking some other cities in the country as well!

Balletboyz – At the beginning of the month I got to see the Balletboyz in Glasgow. It was not a long show, but I always love seeing some culture, and one of my favourite things is seeing dance.

Hario Coffee Grinder – I got a Hario coffee grinder maybe two years ago. We did a lot of research into which grinder to get. Hand grinder would be best if we wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money. Hario was, at that time, a grinder with best reviews. Since then I’ve been happy to see this coffee grinder being sold at Buy Me Once. A couple of weeks ago, however, we dropped the grinder and the jar into which the coffee grind falls into broke. Thankfully the company is smart and sells parts for this grinder on their website, and a few days ago we received the jar which perfectly fits the grinder. I am so happy that I didn’t have to buy a completely new grinder!

Game of Thrones last season started – Who isn’t excited about this? I was so excited I was shaking when watching the first episodes.

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

Fashion Revolution week – A fashion revolution week saw a lot of people joining forces, questioning companies and educating on how to make better decisions. I only attended one event for the week, the webinar by reGenerate, which was excellent. I wish I had attended more than one, but my trip again this year coincided with the week. Nevertheless, I do not fret for missing on it, as I think we should be working actively on these problems and not only during this one week.

Blooming Trees Outside My Window – It is finally the time when all the trees are blooming and it looks so beautiful!

Some New Plants – I got some beautiful new plants into my flat. Plants always make me so happy! But my little rascal, Tiger, really loves climbing to where I try to hide them from him and nibbles on them or pulls them out of the pots… They are still alive, but not quite so happy. I need to come up with something which will make him stop doing this. And yes, he does have cat grass which he eats, so this is not about that.

Summer Weather – Easter weather was so gorgeous. I was so happy with the sunshine and our flat was so warm.

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

New Jacket From Seasalt – I posted on Instagram about the new jacket I got from Seasalt Cornwall. They are an ethical fashion company (maybe not the most ethical, but they sell a great variety of sizes. More on this soon) and I was on the lookout for a jacket that is fairly neat looking and suitable for spring and summer weather. I’m in love with the jacket and keep wearing it all the time.

Making Beer Experience – I got my fiance for his birthday a make your own beer experience with Innis & Gun, which we finally did in April. It was fun to make our own beer, and we got to learn what goes into making your own beer. I was fascinated to learn how much water they used, how much waste they make and what is done to reduce that. This was, of course, a rather small batch making, but it did give me a good overview of the practice.

365 Days of Happiness gifted – I received a gift of 365 Days of Happiness by Jacqueline Pirtle from Kelsey from Book Publicity Services. I am really excited to read it. It is all about giving advice on how to become a happier person by giving a tip per day. The book is full of energetic and happy advice. More about it soon!

Mallow and White Restore Balm – I won a piece of Restore Balm for myself and my sister from Mallow and White. It is a beauty company that I’ve wanted to try for ages, and I must say I am not surprised by all the prices they’ve won and by all the recommendations I’ve read about them. I absolutely love the balm, and especially its scent. And it was wonderful bringing my sister her jar of it when we met in the Netherlands.

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

 

READ

I read a lot of books in April, which is funny, as I was pretty busy. Some of the best ones and the ones I recommend to read are below:

Circe – I really loved reading Circe, which tells the story of the goddess Circe by collecting her stories into one from the other literature in Greek mythology. I liked how Circe was brought to life and given a voice, motives and character. Many comment, that it reads like many short stories, but I found it quite natural. It is full of family rivalry and relationships with oneself, one’s mistakes and with loved ones. The writing is beautiful and I am really fascinated with the Greek mythology and therefore found the book a very enjoyable read. It is now shortlisted for the women’s price for fiction.

Of Sorrow and Such – I listened to this short story on audio and truly enjoyed it. Angela Slatter writes beautifully, but the voice narrating it brought the story to life. It is about witches and how they need to hide to not be burned, and men’s relationships with women. There is a little bit of magic there, but rather the type that comes from roots rather than with a wand. This made me want to read more books by Angela Slatter!

The Things I Would Tell You – The Our Shared Shelf book club choice recently, the Things I would tell you is a collection of short stories, poems, plays and articles from Muslim female writers. It is a very insightful collection with beautiful voices, lyrical writing, and many of the authors I had to write down to read more from them.

The Sun and Her Flowers – A beautiful poetry collection by Rupi Kaur. It is simple to read and understand, and many of the poems touched me.

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

 

I wish May will be as much filled with happy incidents as April was.

How was your April?

With love,

Lii

 

Other articles you might be interested in:

Happy Favourites of March 2019

Happy Favourites of January 2019

Happy Favourites of September 2018

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

My Sustainable Journey In March

As I wrote, in the previous post, March was too busy of a month for me and I didn’t have the brain capacity to handle the month’s sustainable task that I had set upon myself so I will move to do it in April, hopefully, I have more time now. I still want to do 12 changes this year and will be setting two sustainable challenges for this month.

I might not have made the changes I was planning but I did work on others. After reading the Turning the tide on plastic I became more conscientious about how much plastic I use and how I dispose of it. I started checking what type of plastic I use and recycling it in a proper way (not all yet, but it is a work in progress). I chose a non-plastic option when possible and reused some when possible. I don’t believe I am doing enough yet, but I have managed to get my fiance more into it now as well and I smile when I notice him checking for what type of plastic he is processing and how he should process it.

My Sustainable Journey In March - byLiiL

TURNING THE TIDE ON PLASTIC

Written by Lucy Siegle, turning the tide on plastic provides tangible actions that you can do to reduce the existence of plastic in your life. It talks through the invention of plastic and how it was invented to be the environmental solution, but how it’s been turned into a pest on the planet and on us. How, although, all plastic, in theory, is recyclable, most countries do not have the capacity to recycle it, or there is no incentive to recycle certain plastics. It does also talk about how not all plastic is bad and it is serving an important function in many industries and rather discusses what plastic we should be getting rid of.

“Meanwhile those manufacturers and retailers who gain most by pushing plastic into our lives are getting away with taking little responsibility”

“Because it is me and you, through our taxes, who fund 90 percent of the collecting, sorting and disposal of recycling of most of the plastic waste that flows into the country, while the manufacturers,brands and retailers pick up the tab for just 10 per cent.”

It discusses how those who are to blame should be made responsible, how you can pressure them to be responsible and what are the steps to get rid of the disposable plastic in your life that you don’t need and our planet doesn’t need.

My Sustainable Journey In March - byLiiL

SUSTAINABLE APRIL

I will be looking into receiving no or at least less mail that is unwanted and not needed.

I want to look into getting rechargeable batteries. It’s unbelievable we don’t’ have them yet as we have been talking so long of getting some so it will be my task in April. Obviously, I still need to be conscientious about the amount of electricity I use as well.

 

What sustainable changes did you make in March? Let me know in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

Pictures are from Unsplash from John Cameron and Simson Petrol.

 

Other articles you might be interested in:

My Sustainable Journey In February

My Sustainable Journey In January

Recycled Wool Blankets from Future Kept

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Happy Favourites of March 2019

March was a busy and draining month for me. My usually part-time work was suddenly almost full-time and I still had all my other work to do as well. I felt throughout the month how I had no energy left for anything else and was continually looking for escapism in reading. This might sound like it was a bad month, but it wasn’t. Actually, I got to face challenges in my work both mental and educational which has left me feeling more in control with the work that I do and how I develop in my career. I learned a lot during March, but I am thankful that it is over as there are many exciting things to look forward to in April. Some of my favourite bits from March are below!

Happy Favourites of March 2019 - byLiiL

 

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – I went to see this exquisite modern ballet with a modern touch to the classic, which I really enjoyed! It was visually stunning and entertaining. It left me feeling elated and now I want to see the classic to compare the two. The dancers were great and powerful, the costuming spot on and it delivered drama as well as laughs. If they are visiting in your city I definitely recommend checking it out!

Scribd – This app or a service that many book lovers are talking about caught my attention. I decided to try it out and after my first month’s trial have decided to continue with it. You pay a monthly price and for that, you can listen to an unlimited audio book or read ebooks from publishers they are collaborating with. I’ve been able to find a countless amount of books from my to be read list from there, and I’ve found that it is a better service than Amazon’s audible.

New Sewing Machine – My old sewing machine gave up on me and I had to go and get myself a new one to continue with my work. It is a shame they don’t make sewing machines that will last forever, as they used to. My overlocker is from twenty years ago and I am sure it will last to my children as long as I take care of it. However, today the sewing machines, although often can often be repaired, don’t really last forever and often it is cheaper to buy new than to fix the old one. I am very happy with my new machine. It works excellently, it is quieter than my previous one and it feels more robust, however, it is just slightly slower and I miss my old machine!

Figure Skating World Championships – The season of figure skating is at an end and it couldn’t have been more exciting nor unexpected. There were so many flips and turns it was like reading a book, as I got to follow in excitement how the competitors performed and what the judges thought. Now I can’t wait for next season with its excitement.

Taking time off – In previous years I wouldn’t have dared taking time off of anything, even if I was overly busy. This year, however, I recognised that I wouldn’t leave the month sane unless I took the time off from other responsibilities or projects that I wanted to work on. And so I am very happy that I gave myself the time.

Happy Favourites of March 2019 - byLiiL

Read

Turning the Tide On Plastic – Excellent book on how to get rid of plastic from your own life. I will be talking about it more in my Sustainable Journey post.

Gender Games – This is a must-read book for everybody! It examines and unravels gender roles and gender in itself. It opens up the doors to understanding the difference from what is considered “normal” and respecting different genders.

My Sister, the Serial Killer – A women’s prize longlisted book which was an enjoyable listen (I listened to it on audio). It discusses family relationships especially between sisters, women’s beauty and jealousy.

Normal People – Another women’s prize longlisted book which is kind of a love story, that reminded me of One Day. It is easily digestible and actually quite addictive. It discusses as the title says ‘Normal people’. What is considered normal in different societies? And the audio version is lovely as it is read in Irish dialect.

VOX – A dystopian novel where women are only allowed 100 words a day. It examines in an interesting way how that affects the whole society in good and the bad ways (mostly bad).

Mom, Me, Mom – Maya Angelou’s love story to her mother. How her mother took care of her when she was an adult. It is horrifying as well as lovely!

Happy Favourites of March 2019 - byLiiL

 

What were your happy moments in March? Let me know in the comments box below!

With love,

Lii

 

Other articles you might be interested in:

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

My Sustainable Journey In February

My plan for February was to find a toothpaste that creates less waste and is still good for my health. Originally I wanted to change my toothpaste after I’ve read several posts about fluoride and how it can have a bad effect on our health. There are a few fluoride free toothpaste options but most of them are in plastic tubes, which does not help when I want to create less waste. So far I’ve quite like toothpaste from Ecodenta, especially their charcoal one, as that is fluoride free (not all natural toothpaste will be fluoride free). I did try some from Georganics, but found the glass jar not as convenient especially when I was really tired. (I might try some of their other products though in the future). At the beginning of February I ordered some fluoride-free toothpaste tablets from Society zero, which I wanted to try, but then I had to get my tooth fixed and fluoride toothpaste was the only thing that was working for me for a couple of weeks. So I’ve only been trying the toothpaste tablet for a week or so, but so far I quite like them. I think I’ll have to try them for longer to be sure and possibly try some toothy tabs from Lush and other Georganics products to find the product that I am the happiest with health wise and waste wise.

If you want to read more about fluoride and decide for yourself if you want to have toothpaste with it you can check the following articles F Toxins, Curiosly Conscious, Georganics. There most certainly are many more articles and most of them will explain two different sides of pro or con fluoride. The one thing that I found out is that fluoride in small amounts is great for your enamel but otherwise not too good for human health, and the fluoride used in toothpaste is often industrial based by-product, which circularity in mind is great, but I am not sure if we should be using that in our bodies.

My Sustainable Journey In February - byLiiL

No Logo

In February I also finished the book No Logo by Naomi Klein. The book is not an actual sustainability book, but I found that helps with understanding the world, how it works and what drives it – all things that affect how we can change it to a more sustainable one. It talks about how brands are everywhere, even where we don’t think they are, how much influence they have on people, their decision making and what they trust or don’t trust. It also uncovers the secrets these brands have and would rather not let their customers know about them. What strikes me is not how influential the brands are on customers but even on governments and their decision making.

It also discusses in extent how brands, although try to market diversity, in real life hope for and try to achieve less diversity because their products will be easier to market to a bigger group.

The book is quite old, written in 1999, and I believe many of the companies mentioned have changed their ways. Nevertheless, it shows what brands have been doing, what they might be doing, and how they try to achieve the maximum profit by investing their money in things that they think matters.

My Sustainable Journey In February - byLiiL

March

There is one thing I am constantly getting annoyed about and that is junk mail that we get in the mail. Nevertheless, of trying to sign off from any mailing lists many surrounding companies just want to bombard us with adverts about their menus, new stores or community groups. And although, I know sometimes there is good behind what they are advertising I am the one who has to dispose of all that mail. In Finland, we could just write that we do not accept junk mail and we could be free of this mail, in the UK it doesn’t quite work that way. So I am going to look into the junk mail problem in March. Wish me luck!

 

What sustainable did you do in February? And what are your plans for March?

With love,

Lii

 

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Other articles you might be interested in:

My Sustainable Journey In January

My Sustainable 2018

Sustainability in 2017

My Sustainable Journey In February - byLiiL

Happy Favourites of January 2019

CVRCHES – I’ve been listening to them almost non-stop for the beginning of January. I’d heard them before, but never actually listened to their album.

Lethal White – I finally got to read the next part of Robert Galbraith’s Strike series and all it did was leave me wanting more. The novel is long, but I read in just a few days.

Happy Favourites of January 2019 - byLiiL

Long Awaited Change of Decor In My Home – The flat I live in is not very small but it’s not too large either, and when I have to be able to sleep, live and work, as well as let another person and the cats be comfortable in it the space seems to be getting ever tighter. This is partly because we moved in when we were still students and required space for studenty things, desks, thus we had two, and neither was very small. They both took a lot of space but didn’t offer much storage wise. I arranged a plan of how to make changes in the home slowly and the first thing to change was to arrange more storage space. Our desk in the living room was a massive glass top, which we wrapped in cardboard and put into storage awaiting us living in another space where we could take it out again. It is a desk which I love and would not want to part with. In its place we put a shelving unit, yes it is from Ikea, but it was the only piece of furniture that matched our budget, space, utility, the storage space and changeability. It is also a piece of furniture which we are planning to use for years to come. I am already so happy with the look and the freedom that we get from having so much storage space that is making our living room already much neater and makes my mind rest still.

Figure Skating EC – I feel that I add figure skating to any happy favourites list if I get to follow it, but it is the only sport that I really enjoy watching and get nostalgic and excited about. Therefore the European Championship was an enjoyment to watch. There are several skaters who I loved watching due to their artistry!

Books – I loved reading in December, but in January I got new energy and excitement to read. This might be partly because I found booktube, Youtube channels that talk exclusively about books. I think I got a bit addicted to them and to reading, having already read 6 books in January, which is way more than the average of 3 that I have set up as my goal this year, but I know that I will be reading thicker books later this year and won’t finish quite so many in those months.

Overcoming Fears – In January I had to go to the dentist. After a bad experience at the dentist a few years ago which left me in pain and not being able to move my jaw for few days because of their mistake, I have been terrified of going back to the dentist and even more of having the local anaesthesia. The most painful thing at the dentist, in my opinion, is the local anaesthesia! (I might be lucky to think that). I was so terrified in the dentist chair that my neck got really stiff and I had a headache for the rest of the day. Nevertheless, I am happy that I went and funnily enough, I lived through it and feel a lot better now. This definitely goes under my goal of Health this year and hopefully this time I won’t be as horrified at going to the dentist.

Flow Cosmetics Calendula Shampoo Bar – I’ve loved the shampoo bar, which I received as a Christmas present. It is supposed to clean your hair properly of any product. The only thing is that I have to apply product many times into my hair for it to lather up and clean it properly, which can get quite tiring to my arms (then again it might be building a bit of muscle so silver linings), but I’ve noticed that I do not need conditioner and my hair is feeling healthy, manageable and voluminous!

Crispy Frosty Winter Days – There is just something magical about seeing the beautiful frosty plants, ground and white roofs of buildings. I live in an advantageous place to be able to see far and wide this beauty and I fully enjoy it.

Coasters – I got coasters from Rocket and Fox from Etsy. I needed some nice coasters to keep my furniture in good condition for long, but I also wanted coasters that will be in good use for long. I found simple yet interesting cork coasters which look good together or apart. The cork works wonderfully to protect the furniture and it doesn’t get ruined by the humidity. In addition, it is a nice smooth surface for any type of mug or glass.

Happy Favourites of January 2019 - byLiiL

Watch

You – The new show on Netflix with Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley as the main character. It is intense, mysterious and ominous, and I couldn’t stop watching it so I binge watched it in two days and it was the only thing that got me off from reading continuously. Penn Badgley is excellent in it although the whole thing is creepy. It does show how easily people can find you through social media and how they can follow you.

Bao – This might not be happy but it is beautiful and thoughtful. It’s a short film which is also nominated for an Oscar.

Happy Favourites of January 2019 - byLiiL

What were your favourites in January?

With love,

Lii