Happy Favourites of the Week – Trips and Wildlife

A Trip to the Isle of Mull – We had a visitor for the week and to make things more interesting we decided to visit the Isle of Mull. I was really excited about Isle of Mull being one of the best places for wildlife watching, although we only saw a bunch of birds and seals, it was still exciting! The island was beautiful and Tobermory charming! And I will have a separate post about the trip soon.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Trips and Wildlife - byLiiL

Seeing New Lanark – Another trip we did with our guest was to the New Lanark, the Unesco World Heritage site, and a Brick City which was on the site as well. It was quite a fun day. I enjoyed learning about the history of New Lanark, play with Lego’s and have a walk along the river Clyde and the Falls of Clyde. If you want to read more about New Lanark I wrote about it here.

Beautiful Ring Neck Parakeet – After a week of trying to see wildlife in different locations around Scotland, we finally saw something exciting in a park next to our house! Due to a warmer climate in the Scotland (affected by climate change), a family of Ring Neck Parakeet have moved to the park next to us. They are these beautiful green parrots that look absolutely out of place there. Nevertheless, of the horrid truth of climate change, it is interesting to see how life finds its way.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Trips and Wildlife - byLiiL

Seeing Highland Cows Finally – While on our drive I finally got to see the Highland cows. It is quite unbelievable that it took me this long to see them when Scotland should be littered with them.

Guests – It is always lovely to have guests. It is new kind of socialising that I don’t do daily and it is amazing to see people who you see rarely! You get that extra energy after their visit for some time.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Trips and Wildlife - byLiiL

Mull Heather Soy Candle – As the weather has been getting colder I’ve been enjoying using candles again. Not often, but it does make a chilly day a lot more comfortable. On my trip to the Isle of Mull, I found this candle in one of the little local shops. I loved the scent, which was natural and gentle, and it is made out of soy. Score!

Print Pattern Book – I love books! Both that I can read and that provides me with inspiration. So I was absolutely thrilled to find this print pattern book in the shop at New Lanark. It is about the history of prints and patterns with beautiful imagery!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Trips and Wildlife - byLiiL

Now looking at the points I see that mostly I was excited to see animals and it definitely is one of the most exciting things in life!

How was your week?

With love,

Lii

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What I Was Up To In July

In July I wasn’t writing quite as consistently but I cut myself some slack as I was busy with work and enjoying the summer. We’ve had surprisingly quite a few sunny days in Scotland during July (not just the usual greyness throughout), so I spend many days walking, enjoying a drink in a beer garden or dreaming (who else dreams when looking out and it’s sunny?). Books were like magnets to me this month, and I finished my goal for reading 24 books in 2017 in July.

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

Sustainability was strongly on my mind through out the month, possibly because I found and got inspired by Anthony Day’s podcast the Sustainable News Report. I wrote about why I rather shop from small brands, about one sustainable fashion brand Doo.Bla.Vey and about natural and organic toothpaste brand Georganix, in addition to sharing articles on different points of view in sustainability and other topics. It is really exciting to be able to write about sustainable topics and research them and quite mind boggling to realise how little I still know about sustainability and climate change.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Happy With Plants - byLiiL

At the beginning of the month, I shared my favourite Instagram pics from June, which looked more green than I imagined they would. I also got some additions to my plant family in my house and have been ogling at them ever since I potted them in the cutest coloured pots.

Overall July was a good month and I hope August will keep the same feeling going! I would love to hear how your July was and if you got up to anything fun or enjoyed something, in particular, share in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

Happy Favourites of the Week – Happy With Plants

New Potted House Plants – Actually, the plants themselves aren’t new, I’ve had them for ages just hadn’t had the time to plant them. Now they are in beautifully colourful little pots.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Happy With Plants - byLiiL

My Avocado Is Growing – Following up on the previous point, I also planted two avocado seeds already in April and now I planted them in pots as well. Here’s hoping they will grow beautifully!

Logan – I really liked the X-Men series so decided to watch Logan as it kind of was part of the story. I liked the movie but felt a bit disturbed by it. The story was sad, although the ending full of hope and new beginnings.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Happy With Plants - byLiiL

Uprooted – I have a funny relationship with this book. I couldn’t stop reading it, although some of the text made me cringe. But what this book did was got me absolutely into its world and thinking and pondering it through out the day when I wasn’t reading it. Definitely, recommend this to those who like some fantasy!

The Environmental Impact of Web Hosting – This post by Ethical Unicorn was a revelation to me. She explained why she changed hosting her website to a wind power powered hosting site and although it all sounds absolutely logical, I had never even thought about it! Something for us all to think about and for other hosting sites to take an example off!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Happy With Plants - byLiiL

Game Of Thrones – And it is here again and I am so excited, although I know it will end before we know it. I am so excited to know where the story is going!

 

Let me know how your week was in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

 

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017

I’ve been really good with reading this year and already finished my 24 book goal that I had set for myself for this year. If you missed the review on the first 12 you can read it here. Here’s to fishing I will manage to write a third one before the end of this year as well!

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Good Girls RevoltLynn Povich

A story about how the women of the Newsweek sued their bosses, because of the discrimination towards women in pay and title. The book observes the lawsuit and what led to it in the 70’s, in addition to what are the women’s rights and conditions at the newspaper now.  The book is not told in a story telling way but is rather a report of the events. However, it is very interesting to read about what the conditions were then and now and to acknowledge how long it still is to be truly equal, even though the book only considers journalism. I really enjoyed it, although felt spurts of anger every now and again. 4/5

An Artist of the Floating WorldKazuo Ishiguro

This is a second book I read by Kazuo Ishiguro and I instantly recognised his style. The writing flowed smoothly and it was enjoyable to read. I am not usually interested in reading when travelling, especially when flying, but this book didn’t leave my hands when I was travelling. However, as in his other book, the main character in this book as well was oblivious of what was going on around him and was wondering it through out the book. Unlike the other book, in this one what the main character was oblivious about wasn’t really explained and I felt the books ending was abrupt and confusing, which is a shame as I enjoyed reading it.

The story itself is about a Japanese old man who used to be an artist before and during the Japanese revolution and the second world war. At his older age, he wonders how Japan has changed since the war. How women are more outspoken, people don’t respect quite the same values and Japan isn’t the glorious country it once was. It was interesting learning about the Japanese history from this point of view, but the ending kind of ruined it for me. 3/5

A Girl In ExileIsmail Kadare

I chose to read this book because it was easy to carry with me on a flight, but the impulse buy wasn’t quite worth it. The story is about a famous author in an eastern European country where after a revolution the Royals have been shunned from the public eye and locked/controlled in small towns from where they are not allowed to leave. A young royal girl is in love with the author and when she dies he gets entwined into the investigation. This all sounds more fascinating than it is. Most of the book tells of what is going in the author’s head and his struggles with the situation. 2/5

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

CosmopolisDon DeLillo

Is a story about a rich business owner who drives on his limousine through a day, has sex with multiple people and is paranoid for his life. He gets into weird situations and seems to have lost his interest in life. Ir is an odd story and I found it really hard to relate tot eh protagonist. For being such a thin book it was surprisingly hard to read. 2/5

Big MagicElizabeth Gilbert

I read this book because I was interested of the praise it’s gained in the social media. I really liked Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and thought I might like this one as well. I was right. This one is more of a self-help book than a novel, but it is full of the positivity with which Gilbert wrote ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. The book was full of positive affirmations and offered ways of thinking about creativity which lets creativity flow and reduces the pressure from it all. Truly uplifting and motivating book! 4/5

Cabaret of PlantsRichard Mabey

I got this book as a birthday present and read it through a couple of months before bed time enjoying the world of plants. The book was fascinating with the history of discovery and research of plants accompanied by illustrations and beautiful photography. It was too exciting so that I got good nights sleep, but exciting enough that I wanted to reach for it every night before bed. The book was very well written. I don’t really know much about plants and I wanted to keep reading this beautiful book. I loved to learn about the rare plants, the oldest trees and the plant weirdoes. I would definitely recommend reading this one! 4/5

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Orphan Master’s SonAdam Johnson

Not a book for the light hearted. Although it was easy to read due to the easy flow of the writing, it tells a story about North-Korea and the most horrible things the people are faced with there from torture to slavery. The story is about a man who grew up as an orphan and how he went through his life through a series of obstacles that should’ve left him dead, but somehow he lived. I thought the book was very interesting, but it left me shaken. The book was well researched and believable, although not relatable and felt more of a dystopian novel. 4/5

A Box Of Stars Beneath the Bed

This was another book that I was reading before going to sleep. It is a perfect for it with so many different and beautiful short stories written by different authors. Even if you don’t like all of the stories there will be several that will stay with you! 4/5

I Am MalalaMalala Yousafzai

I’ve already written about this book a couple of times when being inspired by tit. It is an autobiography by Malala Yousafzai who grew up in Pakistan, fought for girls right for education and got shot by the Taliban. It was interesting to read about her growing up in a Muslim country where people just want to live in peace but are int eh mids of Talibanisation. Really open your eyes to what Muslim is about and how terrorism affects us all. 4/5

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Architect’s ApprenticeElif Shafak

A story is about a young boy’s (Jahan) growth into manhood as an elephant mahout and an architects apprentice in Istanbul. Strange, unexplainable things are happening to Jahan and their building sites, whilst Istanbul’s population keeps growing and it is hit with one after another problem. The book is about Istanbul, love, bureaucracy, friendship with people and animals and perseverance.

I found this book a bit tough to read and felt that many parts of the book didn’t make sense. There were many story buildings which just unravelled or dropped out without explanation. In addition, the protagonist, Jahan, seemed to be very lucky through out the book that made it quite unrelatable. It was still interesting, but not the best book in the world. 2/5

The Heart Goes LastMargaret Atwood

A second book I’ve read by Atwood. In this book, compared to Handmaid’s Tale there was less remembering old times and the story builds on a straight timeline. It was about a couple who live in the USA during a time when 50% of the population is unemployed. A businessman comes up with a solution for the anarchy and offers people a twin city to live in. One month they live in beautiful houses, having jobs and security, and the second month they live in prison. It is a self-sustaining city and everything looks perfect. But it feels as though something else is brewing behind the closed doors. Although the book sounds like another dystopian story, the dystopia is within the love relationships, which it follows much more intently.

The book was easy to read and interesting, but not quite as good as Handmaid’s tale. 3/5

InfernoDante Alighieri

The first book from the Divine Comedy trilogy by Dante. I was afraid to start the book if it was too hard to read, but it wasn’t really. It is written as though it is one continues song and to make sense of what is happening you do need to concentrate on it. The harder part is the people discussed in the book who are from the 1700’s or before from history and other tales that the story slightly builds on. There is an accompanying explanation for each canto (chapter) at the end of the book though.

The story is about a man who is taken on a tour through the different levels of hell. It is interesting to read what was considered the worst sin at that time! 3/5

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

What have you been reading lately? Can you recommend any books for me?

With love,

Lii

First 12 books of 2017

How To Be A WomanCaitlin Moran

This is a kind of CaiMoran’sorans autobiography of how she sees she is a woman. It is funny and witty and has many forward thinking ideas, but I would not agree with her on all her points. She goes through many important stages in a woman’s life; getting the period, getting married, boy crushes, boobs etc. And the thing I was thinking throughout the book is “I wish I had this as a teenager”. It would have made me feel that what I am going through is normal, although she didn’t make these things sound normal.  3/5

Shadows of the WorkhouseJennifer Worth

Small glimpses of life in the middle 20th century London. It is a portrayal of lives of people who were struggling during that time. The workhouse, the living conditions in that time in London and how people treated each other. I laughed reading this book, I cried, I smiled and I wanted to hear more. It is excellently written and I would recommend this to everybody! 4/5

First 12 books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Three Musketeers Alexandre Dumas

I can’t believe it took me this long to read this classic. It followed the story of D’Artagnan and his musketeer friends. Their blind trust and courageousness. It is an adventure, chivalry and comradery. Quite unexpected. It is not the fastest book to read, but very intriguing and I really wanted to finish the story. I was so excited to learn, as well, that the book is based on real-life events and people, among them D’Artagnans memoir. 3/5

PersepolisMarjane Satrapi

This is actually a two piece graphic novel, which I finished so quickly! Based partly in Iran where the main character Marjane is growing up during the recent Islamic revolution and partly in Europe where she moves as a teenager. It explains what is is like living in this type of a country and what people do to keep their sanity. And later on, it explores Marjane’s feelings of superficial and ignorant Europeans. I recommend everybody to read this one as it opens your eyes to a new culture and the world. The story is so current and I think everybody should read it! 5/5

Me before YouJojo Moyes

If somebody doesn’t know what this book is about I am surprised. It is about a girl who is kind of lost in her life and finds excitement and drive to her life while working as a career to a quadriplegic man. It is a sweet, but also a very sad story. It does keep you reading to find out what happens in the end, although it is quite expected. 3/5

UtopiaSir Thomas More

A story about a world that some might find a dream, other too constrictive. It is a world of the perfect piece, community and one goal. It is an interesting read and it certainly woke my imagination and I instantly wanted to comment on what I was reading. It was a slow book to read, because of it’s monotonous tone. A philosophical read that will make you think. 2/5

The Buried GiantKazuo Ishiguro

One of my favourite books of all time. This book was mystical fantasy. The whole story was a dreamlike tale of a couple’s adventure. The elderly couple struggle upon many challenges, which are directly related to the problems in the real world. Would you like to remember everything or something better to leave unsaid? This story will make you think and it will make you cry, but it is so beautifully written it made me instantly want to read all of the author’s books! Absolutely beautiful book! 5/5

First 12 books of 2017 - byLiiL

My Life On The RoadGloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem’s biography of her travels and experiences when she was travelling to India or around the USA. It is at a time when the women’s movement was firing up and the USA elected their first African American president. This book is a wonderful group of tales about people, how empowering they can be and how when they unite they can make things happen. It was inspiring and at parts very depressing. This book was very concentrated on political and women’s movements, but it provided me with a good insight into the late 90’s of the USA. So Interesting! 4/5

Career of EvilRobert Galbraith

The third book in the Cormoran Strike series and still keeping it strong. I love a good detective book and J.K. Rowlings rich and surprising writing. In this book, Cormoran and his assistant Robin are faced with a serial killer who is threatening them. It is written from both of the heroes view as well as the villains. There are unexpected turns in the love life, there is the deepening relationship in the workplace and the disgusting mind of a serial killer. If you like a detective novel, read this book! 4/5

Animal FarmGeorge Orwell

This book tells a story about farm animals that fight off the human’s of the farm and revolutionise how the farm is kept. At the core, it is about freeing the animals from the human bondage and seeing how new power makes the animals behave. It is interesting to see how these animals start to seem more human the more you read it and how easy it is to manipulate people’s minds through slow propaganda. Interesting but quite depressing! 4/5

1984George Orwell

Very much like the Animal Farm, 1984 follows what seems like a ubiquitous place. A very communist world where people are not allowed to think for themselves, where even though it is supposed to be communist there is a small group of people who are in command and everybody is perfectly manipulated into the same mould. Where love is forbidden, children are coached to spy on their parents and nobody is your friend. Everything is for the good of the republic. It tells about an older man who wakes up to different views and hopes that there is resistance among the people in this country, that it wouldn’t always be like this. This story made me think of North Korea. I don’t know if North Korea is like this, but this is the closest to what I can imagine and it is very horrifying! This book will make you thankful of being in the world that you are in and in the wrong hands good give ideas of how to make it worse. 3/5

The Underground RailroadColson Whitehead

A recent Pulitzer prize winner, this book tells a story about a girl who escapes slavery with the help of the underground railroad. It tells a story of the time when slavery was ending, but people didn’t know what to do with the African Americans. In the south they were a property, in some states they were banned, in the north some became free. In each case, there were difficulties with the people around them. White people were afraid of them and thought of ways of how to minimise their threat, how to elevate themselves. It was an interesting and a quick read, which thought me a lot about the horrible way people were treated at that time. Although, I am not sure if I like that the underground railroad was portrayed in such a literal way, as it made me very confused. 3/5

 

What books have you read in 2017?

With love,

Lii

50 facts about me

1. I can easily drink a dozen cups of tea a day.

2. My favourite tea at the moment is green tea with jasmine.

3. I’ve lived in three different countries.I’ve lived in the UK for nearly 6 years.

4. In the UK so far for nearly 6 years.

5. As a child, my favourite colour was read.

6. Now it is turquoise.

50 facts about me - byLiiL

7. My favourite food is the vegetarian lasagne made by my boyfriend.

8. I also love Vietnamese, Thai and Nepalese food.

9. I am very particular about pens that I write with. The sharpness, the feel of it on the paper and the feel in my hand. I also don’t like anybody using my pen.

10. My favourite pen so far is the PILOT BPS-GP (F).

11. I hoard lipsticks and books, I do use and read all of them, though.

50 facts about me - byLiiL

12. I love animals so much, I want to take every animal as a pet. When I was a small kid I was dreaming of starting my own zoo to be able to be with all different kinds of animals.

13. So as an ignorant child, I tried to have many creatures as pets; snails, spider, frogs and killing them all. Well, most of the frogs I took back to their pond after the first ones started dying.

14. After killing the spider my arachnophobia multiplied and to the present day, I am sure they are here to revenge on me.

15. I feel guilt for a long time, which really teaches me to take care of animals and plants now, as well as be so determined on sustainability.

16. I don’t allow spiders to be killed in my flat, but they have to be let outside.

17. I flinch when I see or hear people killing bugs (mosquitos are the only exception to this), not even talking about other animals.

50 facts about me - byLiiL

18. When I am awaiting an important email or a text message I will check my phone or email about every 5 minutes until I receive it.

19. I prefer an evening at home watching a movie or playing games, rather than going out.

20. I hate losing when playing board games. This is worse when playing with my sister and I would much rather lose to anybody else than to her.

21. I can’t bare to see inequality or unfairness. It makes me very upset and worked up.

22. When I write fast and am concentrated funny things happen with my words. Letters switch places, I forget groups of letters and yeah, it can look like a mess. The latest example I was writing ‘New Zealand’ it became ‘Zew Nea…’

23. My mind is always swirling with ideas. It can be hard to concentrate on one thing when my mind wants to think about the next step or a completely different thing. Fortunately, there is yoga!

50 facts about me - byLiiL

24. I am very influenced by the books I read and my mood can shift to represent that of the book. It can be very confusing to my boyfriend!

25. My favourite books so far are Jane Eyre and the Handmaid’s Tale.

26. My mother thought me to read when I was 5 or 6 years old. I hated it and swore I would never like reading.

27. It took me 3 years to read the Lord of the Rings. The chapters were so long I got discouraged to read it.

50 facts about me - byLiiL

28. I am a Harry Potter fan. I grew up with the books and they influenced me to read more. I’ve read the books more than twice each.

29. We have a tradition to watch the Harry Potter movies every Christmas.

30. I am obsessed with the tv show ‘Survivor’ and I’ve seen some of the seasons more than once.

31. My favourite tv show is Friends, which I’ve seen several times.

32. The movie genres I most like to watch are thriller and sci-fi. Especially any movie happening in the space.

33. I don’t like horror movies and can often see nightmares after seeing one.

34. My favourite Disney princess is Alice from the Wonderland, because of the craziness of the story, the amazing adventure she has and the imagination in the story. And of course Mulan. The warrior who saves the world, who fights the traditional role of a woman and is fearless against the evil.

35. I think movie theatre sounds are way too loud.

50 facts about me - byLiiL

36. I’ve been on a helicopter ride.

37. So far I’ve visited 19 countries.

38. My dream travel destination as a child was Brazil when everybody else’s was Australia or the USA.

39. Now it is the whole world.

40. In the last year of University, I stopped completely buying clothes because I couldn’t find brands that I wanted to spend my money on. I was disgusted by the high street fashion brands unethical practices and about the sameness of fashion, which I found boring and ‘not me’.

41. This lasted for over a year after which I started buying some basics, which I needed and I knew I would wear for years.

42. I still don’t enjoy shopping on the high street.

43. I boycott Nestle and try to boycott all the brands that Nestle owns. There are numerous reasons for this, which you can google very easily.

44. I used to be very ignorant about sustainability and quite self-involved until I met my now boyfriend and did my undergraduate. Now I feel ashamed of my behaviour in my teens.

50 facts about me - byLiiL

45. Whenever I speak on the phone or on skype I have to doodle.

46. I can’t sit still and when I’m watching tv I usually pleat my hair.

47. I’ve been a hairdresser for several weddings, where I’ve done the brides and the guests hair.

48. I’ve competed in the European championship of cheerleading.

49. I try to be nice to everybody, but I am very picky with who I pick as my friend. However, I quickly get a feeling of a person who I want to get to know more.

50. I get very attached to items I receive as a present from people who I care about.

 

Now tell me something about yourself in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

 

What have I been up to in February

I had trouble being motivated and inspired in February unless we count the inspiring Iris Apfel, who I wrote about in the beginning of the month. I was unwell for about three weeks of the month, which in February seems even longer than any other month. Being frustrated and stuck at home I concentrated my time on reading books such as The Buried Giant and Persepolis and watching tv-shows and movies that got me more inspired to learn more about different cultures.

Happy favourites of the week - learning experience - byLiiL

Being stuck at home has made me dream a lot. I’ve been dreaming about a dining space and about warmer weather. My two furballs have been a big comfort and seem to be happy about me being home so much. Some enjoyment I’ve gained from using my Matt&Nat handbag when out and about and using my new favourite items from Lush. Valentine’s day brought me many lovely messages from friends and a happy smile from my boyfriend on receiving his sustainable valentine’s day cards with two lovey-dovey foxes.

Are cat's affectioned - byLiiL

I’ve had some time to research sustainability and wrote about 5 easy sustainable fashion changes and why I would change to natural cleaning products, rather than use the mainstream options. Most proud I have been about being able to keep up with regular posting! Hurray! Now I hope March will bring some more sunlight into our lives and I can go and enjoy ice skating while the rink is still open, yoga and walks in that sunshine!

What have I been up to in February - byLiiL

How was your February?

With love,

Lii