Best Books I Read In 2018

I read a lot of good books in 2018 and it was tough choosing my favourites reads, but here they are in order in which I read them. I hope they might inspire you to read them or to choose not to.

 

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

A literary fiction book that sets in the 1950s, the ’60s and ’70s mostly in Belgian Congo during a time of upheaval. It follows an Evangelical Baptist family who moves to Belgian Congo to a tiny village to turn them all into Christianity. The story is told from the first-person perspective by the women of the family, who describe the events, other people and their thoughts in the own unique ways.

I really enjoyed the plot, the way the author handled the history and the situation of the country, and how she explored the colonialism and white man’s way of doing things their own way which to them is the only way of doing it right. It is interesting to see the cultural differences and how they bump into each other and the patience of human’s in difficult situations.

The book has quite a dark and melancholy feel to it but is dripped with funny events that feel natural to the storyline.

Best Books I Read In 2018 - byLiiL

A Concise Chinese English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo

The book is a beautiful reflection of clashing cultural differences between east and west. It discusses it from the point of view of lovers, although other relationships do come along occasionally as well. It discusses the English language and the meaning of words and how they can be interpreted in different ways by a different culture. Or how different the expectations are of the relationship by people from different cultures and the different needs of people from different cultures.

The book is about a young Chinese girl Z who comes to the UK to study English. She falls in love with a man and she discovers her sexuality and self-identity through travels in Europe and the rocky relationship.

It is fairly easy to read and it has great insight into the western culture from an easterners perspective. It is fresh and beautiful!

 

Ruby by Cynthia Bond

Ruby tells a story about a black girl who suffers her whole life from the hands of one man who takes advantage of her innocence and fright. The story is mainly concentrated in a small town in East Texas in a black community where everybody knows each other as they do in small towns. Ephram is a reverends son who is in love with Ruby who is considered to be a crazy person and a whore. The story is haunting, aggravating, depressing and beautiful. It tells perfectly how other people can influence your own perception of yourself in bad as well as good, and how difficult it is to get rid of that bad. It tells how love sees into the soul through all the fences and it shows how the minds of a group of people can be manipulated by a strong voice and how any bad action, in a person’s mind, can be turned into a good deed.

Ruby is definitely not for the light-hearted, but it discusses many problems we face in feminism, racism and religion very well. I was so surprised by the story, with its hint of fantasy, and it stayed with me for a long time.

 

Pirate Women by Laura Sook Duncombe

Pirate Women was a very fascinating book which told the fictional and nonfictional stories of the most famous female pirates of the world from ancient Greece to the modern day cinema heroes. It portrays and discusses the female characters who are moved by not only love, but by revenge and joy as well, and is supported by historical and cultural events. It tells stories of strong women who I wouldn’t have probably heard of from anywhere else.

The book is well researched, very sophisticated and critical, but still easy to read and really interesting. It has a strong feminist voice without having to put men down, but with criticism and speculation for culture and women’s position in that culture. If you want to read about several strong women who took their lives into their own hands, this is an excellent read!

Best Books I Read In 2018 - byLiiL

Bear and Nightingale, and Girl In the Tower by Katherine Arden

I was so surprised by how much I liked the two books from the Winternight trilogy and can’t wait to read the next and last part of the trilogy. The fairytale trilogy follows a young woman Vasilisa or Vasya in Russia at a time when a woman had her place in the house making children. When Russian wasn’t yet one big country, but rather where Tatars were controlling all the groups of people around Russian territory including Muscovites.

The books discuss the old faiths and how they along with old cultures are wiped to give room for Christianity. It discusses a woman’s place and how Vasya is trying to challenge what it should be. And it is all wrapped in a historic Rus during the winter. The books are fast paced, filled with mystery and intrigue, and will make you want to keep turning pages. It is easy to read and one of my new favourite fantasy series! I read them as ebooks, but now I really want to get the actual books maybe even hardcovers as I liked them so much!

 

An Almond For A Parrot by Wray Delaney

A book that I couldn’t put down! This is a story about Tully who decides to be a whore to keep her independence and who is a seer. Her husband is adamant on kidnapping her even though she doesn’t know why and she has to rely on the kindness of her gallants and her friends. The book is erotic with a touch of supernatural, of great friendships, love, mischief and mystery. It’s excellently written and not too obvious.

 

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

This is definitely one of the most important books to read in one’s life. Not only is it very informative, but it raises important questions about racism in our society and about class and equality in our society. It delves into the truths that you might not have heard of because they are purposefully hidden to drive you to think in a certain way. This book is eye-opening to the problems people of different colours and cultures face and to the white privilege. It makes me want to know more and investigate what else is hidden from us by those with power or what is fed to make the class distinction stronger. Read this book before you talk about it!

Best Books I Read In 2018 - byLiiL

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

This is a book that still makes me go aww, it was so beautiful! It is a very unusual story of how life can take its hope from stories or books, in this instance Great Expectations. It tells how sinking into the imaginary world can keep people sane or hopeful when the situation is far from it. I read from the back of the book that the story is beautiful, surprising, charming, heart-breaking and has some horror. While that is all true it made me surprised when the tone of the book, throughout, was melancholy and starts with childish innocence.

It tells how different cultures have to live together and how they accept each other, however, I hoped to read more on that. It is surprising in many ways. And it will make you cry and be horrified by people’s cruelty, but still being very honest at the same time.

 

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

A lovely collection of thoughtful, strong and feminist poems. Very thought provoking and often relevant to each woman’s life. I will be coming back to it over and over again!

 

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

A really interesting biography of the life of a mixed raced boy in South Africa at the end of apartheid and time after it. Trevor writes in an entertaining but also informative way with his young naive thoughts and his adult views on the events. It tells about the different cultures in South Africa that he experienced and about his bond and relationship with his mother, which is really special and wonderful to read about. This book made me laugh out loud and cry. It gives you glimpse into another culture and how people survive in it. It also provides you with a different view on crime and what is right or wrong.

Best Books I Read In 2018 - byLiiL

I did finish 36 books, most of which I like, but these were my favourites. Reflecting on this list I realise I didn’t read any books on ethics or sustainability, which I need to change for this year. Also, it looks like I’m reading mainly female authors, but actually the list is more balanced there were just more books by male authors, that I read in 2018, which I didn’t like. We’ll see what the list is going to look like in 2019. Some of the books that I am excited to read this year are Villette, The Bees, Running with Scissors, The Winter of the witch, Spinning silver, Nevermoor, the Immortal life of Henrietta Jacks and a few books on fashion and ethics which I still need to choose.

Best Books I Read In 2018 - byLiiL

What were your favourite books you read in 2018? And what you looking forward to reading in 2019?

With love,

Lii

 

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Sustainable Reading Nr.4

Fashion

Fast Fashion Is Harming The Planet, MPs Say – Although it is great to see that the government is taking this issue seriously, I find it slightly funny that MPs are saying this now, when it’s been talked about for years and only with the pressure from consumers are MPs even talking about it. However, to those who have been saying that “it is not illegal” there will hopefully soon be a different tone. However, MP asking the biggest fast fashion polluters for advice how to change this can’t be the only option, they should be asking leading sustainable fashion researchers and academics as well as well known ethical fashion companies who are actually creating the innovative solutions. Whereas it is obvious that MPs are looking to keep the capital fast fashion brands bring to the country and provide a pr bandaid to quite the consumers.

Please Stop Clearing Out Your Wardrobe In The Name Of Sustainability – Ethical Unicorn puts it very clearly how clearing out wardrobe isn’t sustainable and what other options there are. I enjoyed reading about how capsule wardrobes came to be and what they actually are meant to be, and how she explained clearing out masquerading as sustainable. I thought her idea of selling your old clothes interesting, as most influencers I’ve followed over the years in Finland do exactly this. They sell their own clothes to their followers who are more than happy to give the clothes a new home. This should definitely be mainstream!

Sustainable News of July 2018 - byLiiL

Sew Be It: The New Eco-Fashion Brand That Helps You Make Your Own Clothes – This brand has taken slow fashion to another level with letting customers sew their garments and make sure they fit them. They have made easier to follow patterns and sewing instructions, on top of sourcing them suitable fabrics. They are working on closing the loop and try to take into consideration the impact they might affect. I would like to see more of brands that operate like this!

H&M Ranked As Number One User Of Sustainable Cotton – Article by the apparel resources discusses how H&M and many other fast fashion companies are using the better materials, however, it doesn’t explicitly explain what sustainable materials. It is great to hear that these companies are trying to clean up their supply chain at least a little bit, on the other hand, it is not surprising they are the biggest uses due to the volume of clothing they produce. They could also consider paying more for their labour.

Fighting Fast Fashion: The Rise Of Ethical Consumerism – The article discusses very well about lack of education and what we can do.

PLEASE Stop Saying Fashion Is The 2nd Most Polluting Industry After Oil – article by Alden Wicker from Ecocult which delves into how difficult it is to tell how polluting fashion industry actually is, and why it is harmful to say it is when there is no data to back up the claim.

Fast Fashion Means Charity Shops Are Getting Too Many Clothes, Head Of Select Committee Says – This is no news, but it is good that it is put out there for the wider public to read about. However, I am not sure how this article will help the shopping at the moment. We should be recycling our garments, but on a bigger scale, it is not feasible at the moment and with the popularity of Depop and other similar stores I do not see many high-quality garments ending up in charity shops, but rather only poor quality garments that can be worn only a few times. Primark saying that they will start a take-back programme where they will be reused by overseas charities just sounds like a money making ploy where they are trying to look good by moving their used poor quality garments out of the UK landfills to other countries landfills. It is great that the poor quality manufacturing companies are getting questioned though and I hope this will be more prevalent this year!

Success Is Sustainable For Designer Turning Waste Into Fashion Statement – A great example of how designers can lead a change in their own label, but also in the industry – Christopher Raeburn.

Consumers Want More Transparency And Action From Fashion Brands – This is not surprising, but I am happy to see how many people are becoming aware of the issues and rooting for the change. This surely is due to the amazing work Fashion Revolution has done!

Why Ethical And Sustainable Jewelry Matters – I am happy to see that more articles are coming out on this topic. It’s been a year since I wrote about this topic and since then have seen so many other articles popping out!

China Experiments With Longer Weekend To Boost Shopping – There are many thoughts when I first read the headline, many positive ones and too many negative ones. Excellent that people are getting longer weekends, it’s time they can spend on hobbies, being with their family or of course shopping. However, the fact that they want retailers to stay open later means that there are employees who will have to work those hours. Increasing the economic wealth of an area is great, however, should it be done at the expense of our environment?

With Its Anti-Fur Fight Gaining Progress, PETA Sets Its Sights On Wool – I am not sure if this is a good thing or not? I am aware that PETA wants to stop the use of wool, which is a great sustainable fibre to use in clothing with its great properties and many possibilities. However, I do agree that the industry should be more regulated to end the cruelty for animals.

Sustainable News of July 2018 - byLiiL

Social

British Doctors May Soon Prescribe Art, Music, Dance, Singing Lessons – “We’ve been fostering a culture that’s popping pills and Prozac, when what we should be doing is more prevention and perspiration,” I am so happy to hear this and am excited to see this starting to roll around in the UK. Although, I do not understand why I read about this first in a US publication rather than a UK one.

London Welcomes It’s First Ever Zero-Waste Vegan Christmas Market – It is great to hear that there are markets that combat the Christmas waste problem.

British Schoolgirl ‘Scared’ To Go To School On Her Period After Teacher’s Wouldn’t Let Her Use The Loo – Reading the article I feel there is part of the story missing, nevertheless, it is incredible that this still happens in the UK!

Scotland Is The First Country To Offer Free Sanitary Products To All Students – Excellent follow up on the previous article, but still raises questions how in some parts of the country the issues might be addressed better than in other parts.

The Army Is Donating Ration Packs To Help Feed Hungry People In The UK – It is heartbreaking that this is still such a big problem in the UK and only raises a question how big of a problem it must be in countries that are not as wealthy as the UK or in refugee camps.

Sustainable News of July 2018 - byLiiL

Climate Change

Grounded: Reframing How I Cover Climate Change By Igniting Enchantment – Holly puts it very eloquently that we need to change the way we talk about climate change.

It Seems So Good… But Here Is Why Solar Power From Space Is A Bad Idea – A very interesting article on technological advances that could happen but also the problems with them.

100% Palm Oil Free Beauty Brands We Love – Although this article delves into beauty brands it also talks about the use of Palm oil in beauty, how the current big beauty brands use it and how it is greenwashed.

How Coral Bleaching Is Changing Marine Life Behaviour – Due to climate change and the change of pH in the oceans the corals are bleaching more often than before. The bleaching has, of course, affected other marine animals and the data is here.

Plastic Pollution

Calls To Fit All Washing Machines With Microfibre Filters – Yes! And how has this call not been made before and how come I only hear it for the UK and not for other countries? This should’ve been done ages ago and hurriedly!

Waste

How Companies Are Innovating Food Waste Solutions – So inspiring!

 

What were the interesting articles you read lately?

With love,

Lii

My Sustainable 2018

In 2018 I dig more into a sustainable lifestyle and actually learned a lot, unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to write about it all. Nevertheless I did share several companies doing great things such as MAVOLU selling garments made out of new sustainable materials, Cred Jewellery that makes ethical and sustainable jewellery, The Green Eco Box which is a beautiful artisan subscription box supporting small companies and the environment, Grow From Nature which makes awesome accessories from Cork and White Spring that make bamboo straws. In addition, I shared my favourite 6 sustainable bag brands. I am so inspired by all of these companies which are doing amazing work!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Birthday and Greenshowroom - byLiiL

I wrote much less about sustainable fashion that I originally planned as many other topics, especially plastic pollution, got my interest. I did write that we should keep Fashion Revolution Going, not only during the day, the week or the month of the event, but always, and I wrote about what the fashion companies are hiding from us. I also loved learning about Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week!

After reading and hearing a lot of talk about recycling and how we shouldn’t rely on it I wrote my own comments on the topic of recycling, and later on how small changes might not save the planet but it is a start for many people to whom the whole movement might seem overwhelming. Finally, I shared my ethical tips when travelling to Chania, and then shared ethical advent calendar and Christmas gift tips, both of which can be used outside the season.

Interview With The Founder of MAVOLU - Material Revolution - byLiiL

I Also Shared Articles About Sustainability

5 Articles About – Is It Really Ethical?

Sustainable News of the Month – January 2018

6 Articles To Help You Be More Sustainable

Sustainable News of the Month – February 2018

Sustainable News of the Month – April 2018

Sustainable News of the Month – May 2018

Sustainable News of the Month – June 2018

Sustainable News of July 2018

Sustainable News of August 2018

Sustainable Reading No. 1

Sustainable News Nr. 2

Sustainable News Nr. 3

Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code - byLiiL

Now after writing this and searching for all the posts I wrote in 2018 it doesn’t seem like I did so little. I learned a lot and achieved a lot, but didn’t write as much as I had planned. Now there is the year 2019 in which I can strive to do better!

With love,

Lii

 

Happy Favourites of December 2018

Christmas – The time I got to take to just be. The end of December was very busy and a bit stressful, so I took a complete hiatus from social media, blog and work. Instead, I’ve spent time with loved ones, played games, watched a lot of tv, eating great food and too much chocolate, and given my brain a rest.

Seeing My Grandmother – Just before Christmas, I visited Finland to see my Grandmother who is staying for a bit with my mother. It was lovely seeing her after over 10 years and after a day of fumbling with how to behave in each others company we spend a lovely time together.

Happy Favourites of December 2018 - byLiiL

Time To Read – My preferred time to read is the morning before I start working or when I am travelling somewhere, but if I am stressed I rarely have the concentration for reading books. Now with the holidays, I spent every day several hours reading books and how I enjoyed it! I managed to finish 7 books in 7 days and therefore finished the year with 36 books read in 2019, which was my goal for the year.

Organising – I finally managed to purchase a storage shelving unit into our walking wardrobe. I’ve been planning it for several months in hopes that it will help us keep the little storage space we have in order. Until now that space has had a clothes rail and a small bookshelf left by the previous tenant, so all our stuff is piled on top of each other and it was a nightmare to get anything out of there. Now thankfully it looks a lot tidier, more organised and we can actually see what we have in the storage space. Hurray!

Forbidden Island – I received this new board game as a Christmas present and have really enjoyed playing it. It is based on co-operative playing where all the players are trying to survive without sinking with the island. It’s either all win or all lose and although it is stressful it is fun as well!

Recycled Wool Blanket – I’ve wanted one for ages as our flat gets pretty cold in the winter in spite of heating, but I couldn’t find one anywhere until I finally found Future Kept before Christmas! The blanket is so warm and cosy, I absolutely love it!

Illustrated Best News of 2018 – This is an awesome idea and so I wanted the post. Although there is a lot we should know about climate change and the affairs of the world, it is also important to see the progress!

Happy Favourites of December 2018 - byLiiL

Watch

Material Girl – Why I Choose Organic – This video by Kate Arnell (I am a bit late on this as it was published in 2017) is like a short documentary on organic fabrics and other items and why it is better to use them. It is informative, entertaining and just excellent. I really recommend watching it!

Read

Trevor Noah – Born A Crime – I actually listened to it on an audiobook which was narrated by the author himself which I think everybody should ‘read’ the book. Trevor brings depth to his book by narrating it and I felt like I was watching a movie or a documentary. The book is great for explaining what life was like for a mixed race boy in South Africa during and after apartheid. And although it doesn’t sound like the book would be pleasant when it is based at such a time, Trevor discusses his experiences with the naivety of a child with some comments but lacking any judgement. The book is fairly humorous when it explains the differences in culture and race. I can truly say I enjoyed this book a lot!

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – This excellent book took me a bit longer to read, but it is so informative not only about race but about our culture in general and what we don’t see or realise is happening. It’s a book that everybody should read!

Girl In The Tower – A second book in the Winternight trilogy which surprisingly I enjoyed even more than the first book (Bear and the Nightingale). The book is still based in Russia and entangles Christianity and old beliefs with magic to create a wonderful adventure which is both gripping and exciting. I didn’t want to put the book down!

Mister Pip – A beautiful and sat book by Lloyd Jones tells about a story about the magic of stories and how they can transfer your anguish and fright to make people and especially children resilient in time and place which is filled with horrible events. It is set on an island which is in the midst of civil war and where the civilians are facing all the struggles of the war.

Happy Favourites of December 2018 - byLiiL

Support

Labour Behind the Label For UK Garment Workers – UK is getting more and more garment workers each year. This helps many small and ethical brands to manufacture locally, however, it also means that fast fashion brands are able to create sought-after clothing faster but with consequences to the labour. Even in the UK, there are problems with companies that are not paying their employees the national minimum wage. The labour is afraid to report about this or might not know that this is not the norm and the companies take advantage of the situation. They might be paid as little as £3.50 an hour. I have a first-hand experience of this, although, at the time I didn’t realise what was happening. I was asked to work as a freelancer, over the busy Christmas time, for a brand in their factory that is claiming to be ethical and sustainable, however, because they wanted to employ me as a freelancer they paid me by the item and not by the hour. I was naive and agreed to it. After a week of working for them, I realised I had been only paid less than £5 an hour, whilst I also travelled to their factory every day.  They asked me to come back to work for them after Christmas, but when I asked to be paid the same amount as the rest of the factory labour I didn’t hear back from them. Only later did I realise that they took advantage of me being naive and young. I would’ve felt different about that pay if I could’ve worked from home, or if they paid for my travel, but they didn’t. Now, as I see that their company is considered very ethical and sustainable I feel sick and I wonder if any other person has experienced with them what I went through. Now you can help by supporting Labour Behind the Label with their initiative!

Happy Favourites of December 2018 - byLiiL

What were your favourites in December?

With love,

Lii

Recap on 2018 and Goals for 2019

2018 was a whirlwind of a year for me. There were a lot of happy moments, many successful situations and moments which stopped everything else in my life. Some of the moments made it difficult to reflect on the year. There are memories that are more strongly in my mind and I have to go back all my posts and Instagram to see some of the things that have happened. I know that although 2018 was successful in some ways it wasn’t my favourite year, it seemed to challenge me in many ways and I couldn’t be happier that it is over. To reflect on it and to make goals for 2019 I used the Anushka Reed questionnaire which I mentioned last year as well. I think it will be great for many years to come!

Recap on 2018 and Goals for 2019 - byLiiL

I travelled a fair bit in 2018 visiting Chania in Greece, London, Berlin and a couple of times to Finland. I took the time to see friends and family, and I concentrated even more on studying and writing about sustainability, which is increasingly becoming a topic I am passionate about. I succeeded at work, I grew my Freelance clientele and I’d got a couple of projects with brands on the blog as well. I finally started to feel that I’ve found my voice on my blog and on Instagram, however, my health was stopping me from working as hard as I would’ve wanted to. Also, in July, my beloved cat passed away as he couldn’t stand the excessive heat. It was a shock and is still such a sad memory that I tear up even thinking of him. On the bright side, we took in Tiger to offer our other cat some much-needed company and to bring some noise into our household, which he has definitely accomplished with his tendency to imitate a hurricane when he gets on that mood.

Since the summer I’ve either been too sad and distracted to get much done on the blog nor even been able to concentrate on my goals for the year or in life, or been too busy with work, which definitely helped to deal with grief. In the end, I couldn’t wait for the Christmas break when I could just unwind and finally relax without having to do much.

Some of the high points of the year to me were visiting the Ethical Fashion Showroom in Berlin in January and visiting Circular Economy conference in Glasgow during both of which I was impressed with the number of people who want to make a positive change in the world. Getting Tiger, all my new and existing clients, projects with Green Ecobox and White Spring Bamboo Straws were also amazing things that made the year much better!

Recap on 2018 and Goals for 2019 - byLiiL

How did I do with goals in 2018 (check the goals here)
  • I did make several trips as I said above, and with every trip, I strived to be as sustainable as I could. When visiting Crete I even posted my guide for sustainable Crete. With all the other trips I did in 2018 I stayed with friends and family, used public transport, carried always my reusable water bottle and tried to reduce my footprint as much as I could. Unfortunately, I flew to most of my destinations, as it is the fastest form of travel from where I live, but when possible I do try to use the train. I would like to make more posts about how to travel sustainably though!
  • I saw my family and friends as much as I could, and I did make effort to spend time with them. I plan to keep this going for the rest of my life as well!
  • I did make more than 3 changes to become more sustainable, although I don’t even remember all of them. I made several swaps to zero waste products such as menstrual cup and to less harmful products such as organic pads when necessary. I also started supporting ethical initiatives, stopped buying from companies that weren’t aligned with my ethics. I learned what values I have for life and consumption and started to work on them more.
  • I’ve become much more comfortable with people I don’t know and talking to new people. However, I am still nervous in these situations but I am able to go alone into situations which earlier would’ve made me very stressed.
  • I did read 36 books and most of which I enjoyed enormously!
  • Although I strived for healthy living different things affected my health and I can’t say that I am healthy in body and mind. More in my mind due to doing some small mediation sessions and separating work from relaxation time, but I still have to work on the healthy body.
  • I did not learn German, unfortunately, but it is still something I am striving for! And I didn’t quite give myself enough time to be creative, however, I gave myself time, in general, to think and realise some of my dreams.

Recap on 2018 and Goals for 2019 - byLiiL

Goals for 2019

Word to live by this year – While I was investigating what are other people’s goals for this year (because how could I ever come up with the goals for the year myself, without the inspiration from others… just joking, I actually find peoples goals interesting) I saw Elisabeths, from Conscious Life and style, Instagram post about how she set a word to live by for the year instead of a goal. She then asked her readers what word they would live by and I instantly thought that all my plans are arranged under HEALTHY. Healthy in mind and body, not only that but also a healthy attitude towards work, body, relationships, finances, technology. To get everything into a nice balance on which it will be much easier to build my life on. What word would you live by this year?

Although I did like setting a word for the year, I do have some goals to share with you as well.

  • Read 36 books – I am not increasing the amount as it was a bit tight this year as well. The books should be a combination of fiction, historical, feminist and sustainability.
  • Learn German – As has been my goal for the past couple of years as well.
  • Blog routine – I have slipped from my blogging routine in 2018, which I have not been happy about, but life happened and I am not going to feel bad about it. Instead, I will try harder this year to post at least once a week. In addition, I want to fine-tune the topics I write about. I like writing my Happy Favourites posts, which are a slight glimpse into me and my life. The rest of the blog I want to contribute fully to sustainable and ethical fashion and lifestyle in a positive and encouraging way. I also want to share one thing I learned each month about sustainability, ethics or feminism.
  • Reduce My Environmental Footprint – Firstly check what is my carbon footprint and then make one change a month and report how I did with that change. Whos with me?
  • Blog collaborations – I would love to do a blog collaboration with another blogger. And I would like to do a few more brand collaborations. In 2018 I did a couple which I enjoyed, although was really nervous about, I love letting you know about great companies that are doing something good.
  • Travel – I don’t have any travels in mind for 2019, but I know will be travelling a bit. Although I am concerned about sustainability and our environment, I am not ready to give up travelling altogether, instead, I’ll try to do it as sustainably as possible and not fly where possible. I would like to add 1 new country to the list of countries that I’ve visited and to see my family twice this year.
  • Social – Although I did great steps in becoming less afraid of new social situations I would like to improve on it and hopefully be more comfortable with them at the end of this year. I know I will never be completely myself in such situations, but I am sure not many people are. Instead, I want to be able to do small talk when needed and not want to run away from networking events.
  • Health – One of the things I did a fair bit in 2017 was going out for walks which I have nearly forgotten to do lately. I really need to pick it up again as it helps clear my head and my body feels better after it as well.

Recap on 2018 and Goals for 2019 - byLiiL

What are your goals for 2019 or do you have a word for the year? Let me know in the comment box below. I would also love to know what you think of my plans for the blog for the future or if there is something additional that you would like to read here.

With love,

Lii

Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018

It’s that time of the year again when we get frantic about finishing all the work, preparing for relaxation time and trying to find everybody some presents. My best tip is to check a couple of tip posts or articles out, for some inspiration, and especially the ones for ethical and sustainable presents, there are many of them this year! And then listen to your friends and family and what are they looking for. I think often the best presents are time and being together with somebody, or giving them an unforgettable experience, and that post I will be posting up soon, however, for those who want to give products I am sharing some great brands here where you can find absolutely amazing products that are ethical and/or sustainable, and there are options for different price points as well! Do remember that the most ethical present (in items) is something that the person wants and will use years to come.

You can check an alternative Sustainable Gift Guide that I wrote last year from here and the post about gifting experiences can be found here. The decorations and seeds seen in this posts are from LA Juniper online store and part of the presents I am giving.

Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018 - byLiiL

Fashion and Homeware Gifts

Mavolu – An online shop based in Germany selling fashion, accessories and home products made with sustainable textiles.

Gaia & Dubos – A Canadian sustainable fashion company selling beautiful products, teaching how to care for them. In addition, they offer a bunch of tutorials for caring for your clothes.

La Juniper – A beautiful online store for homeware, stationery and gift products all ethically made.

Alicas – This is a Scottish brand working on providing women in crisis new clothes by repurposing surplus stock from retailers. They are selling ethical items with beautiful illustrations, right now to fund their amazing project.

Elvis and Kresse – Make amazing accessories from repurposed fire hydrants and off-cut leather. In addition, they give 50% of their profits to charity. This is one of my favourite brands at the moment and their accessories are on my Christmas wishlist!

Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018 - byLiiL

Wild Tussah – Ethical accessory brand made by artisans.

Nandi Berlin – Ethical homeware store with items made by artisans.

Buy Me Once – Fashion,  homeware and gift that will last a long time, are high quality and look great.

Gather and See – Sustainable and ethical fashion from around the world.

LiiL – British made Giclee prints and ethically made sleep masks and homeware.

Primrose and Pixie – Ethical and sustainable lingerie from Scotland.

Studio Emma – Beautiful and colourful homewares made out of concrete.

Maik London – Homewares that are sustainably sourced and ethically made in beautiful prints. I especially like their socks!

Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018 - byLiiL

Beauty Gifts

Acala – Zero waste beauty shop selling everything to women and men.

MyPure – Natural beauty shop for women, men and children.

Evolve – Natural and organic beauty brand, which is one of my favourites.

 

Zero Waste Supplies

White Spring – Sell high-quality bamboo straws, which are a great present for anybody who likes to drink with straws.

Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018 - byLiiL

Better Subscription Gifts

Green EcoBox – They have a natural beauty and gourmet food-related subscription boxes which give back. These boxes are amazing for somebody who likes to try new products which are of high quality and from small brands. If you don’t want to get the whole box or a subscription then you can check just the products on their websites. They are amazing!

Sourced Box – A subscription box full of healthy treats and for Christmas, they bring in a healthy chocolate box which looks so delicious I might just have to order one for myself!

Ethical Consumer – A subscription to this magazine will support ethical consumer magazine and bringing information about ethical businesses. It is a great magazine which I like to support.

Willoughby Book Club – or any other book subscription. At Willoughby, you can choose how long subscription and what type you want to order.

Spotify – or any other music service. Having the premium service can be a nice difference when you don’t have to listen to the constant advertising.

Netflix – or any other video service. There are so many options and so many of us watch tv on a daily basis.

Who Gives A Crap – Why not gift somebody, especially those who might need it, a subscription of toilet paper which is better for the environment as well. I know this might be a controversial present, but I also know that some people would love this present!

Ethical Christmas Gift Tips 2018 - byLiiL

Let me know if you have any other great shops or tips for Christmas!

With love,

Lii

Happy Favourites of November 2018

My Cats – Welcoming a kitten into your home is wonderful but can be a bit tricky if you already have a cat. Cat’s don’t always get along, and especially if your kitten is like a hurricane. Thankfully after a few bumps for the first month, my Ninja has accepted little Tiger into her space and likes to play with him and sleep next to him. She is more like herself again and Tiger has accepted a role as a rascal cutie pie who melts everybody’s hearts!

Happy Favourites of November 2018 - byLiiL

New Plants – My plant shopping has died down almost completely because of our little Tiger. He seems to like to eat everything, likes to pull plants out of the soil or plays with the flower petals. All good, as long as my plants are not toxic to cats, but I do like them to survive this little curious case as well. I did, however, manage to get myself a couple of Calatheas, which are non-toxic to cats and finally an air plant in a jar, which is nearly impossible to get out of the jar. That might be it for now though until I come up with a better solution for my plants to keep them away from the little hurricane kitty.

Figure Skating – This old hobby of mine is exciting me again. I usually wait until the World Championships to watch them, but now I found a youtube channel that shows me Grand Prix competitions as well, and I am completely enthralled in the world of Figure Skating again!

Happy Favourites of November 2018 - byLiiL

Sleep Sounds App – I am a fairly light sleeper and have trouble falling asleep if there are any annoying sounds around. This app has made me concentrate more on the sounds from the app rather than any other sounds and therefore I’ve been falling asleep easier. It is a free app that I recommend trying!

Insights Timer App – This app, on the other hand, has helped me to quieten my mind and has helped with my yoga practice. Whenever I notice myself getting carried away in my mind I put this on and take a few minutes to quieten, make myself happy and content again. It has music, sounds, meditations and much more. A big part of the app is free, but there are parts that you need to pay for as well.

Happy Favourites of November 2018 - byLiiL

Visit A New Place – Every once in a while getting out of the town and out of your usual surroundings. This doesn’t always require a holiday, just a day trip to the countryside or to a museum. I went to check of the castles in Scotland (we have many of them here). Bothwell Castle is interesting in its history, but its surroundings are what makes the visit worthwhile. It is set by a river with walks around it in the forests. I would imagine the place would be stunning in the summer or in the autumn when the leaves are still yellow and orange.

Black Friday – I thought Black Friday was a week earlier than it was and the following comment was from my experience of that week: *Or rather the absence of it. I am not a big fan of retailers trying to sell consumers more products with discounts that aren’t really there and was so happy to notice that apart from Amazon I didn’t really notice Black Friday anywhere. Hurray!* A week later I did notice Black Friday quite strongly and although many were saying how they found their Black Friday finds from ethical companies, I was saddened by the fact that those companies felt the pressure to participate in this commercial day. Then again, I do understand that not everybody can afford to buy ethically ( I can’t for example) and this is their chance to do so. I am cross with what this day represents but happy about the opportunities it presents. What do you think?

Happy Favourites of November 2018 - byLiiL

New Jurassic World Movie – I love dinosaurs and actually one of my dream professions when younger was an archaeologist. And so I had been waiting eagerly for the new Jurassic world movie, which however disappointed me a bit. The movie was as though built from jigsaw puzzles and has scenes that didn’t make sense to me. I also really didn’t like seeing dinosaurs dying! What the movie did well though is present how animal smuggling and sales are still happening widely as long as there is a buyer for them.

Happy Favourites of November 2018 - byLiiL

What were your Happy Favourites of November?

With love,

Lii