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 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.

Happy Favourites of the Week – Something Good

A gentleman in Moscow – I finally finished this book! I was very intrigued to read it, but from the beginning, I felt like the book was dragging. It was written in a very upbeat sense, but somehow I found it hard to get my head around the book. Until I got to the middle point and then I was hooked. This book is situated in Moscow at a time of revolution and tells a story of how people had to adapt to their new lives. Unlike many such books, this held the focus on beautiful relationships, beautiful memories and beautiful food.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Something Good - byLiiL

Starting Good Summit – I get to participate in a starting good virtual summit where I get to expand my knowledge on sustainability issues and how to work to make things better! There have already been so many great talks and inspiring ideas. Ernesto Sirolli’s Changing the way how to give aid was very passionate, but also with a great point! And Jan talking about the future of work was something everybody should listen to, to be prepared for the future of their careers. If you are interested in this go check them out: Starting Good Virtual Summit.

Fiance making dessert – This is a rare treat to get fiance to make me different desserts that we’ve not tried before. I am usually the one who makes desserts so it is great that I do not have to be doing it!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Something Good - byLiiL

Spring is on its way – It might not seem like spring is coming, but there have been a couple of nice sunny days, which are rare in Glasgow. Also, the ever-horrible/wonderful appearing spiders… they are back. I might be okay with them if the warmer days are on their way! We moved our clocks last night, and although today is a bit of a tired day I know that there is more sunlight every single day! I can’t wait for Easter next weekend!

Meeting new inspiring people – I am doing a certain course this week, where I’ve met several very inspiring people with different skills that I am very admirable of. It’s wonderful to see people who are different and can work so well together!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Something Good - byLiiL

World Water Day and Earth Hour – This week saw two important dates to connect us to our planet, one for the water and one for the earth. Both immensely important and I was really inspired by all the posts on Instagram and around the web to support this connectivity. We are all fighting to have a better place to live in and have a better place for our future generations so we should be working on this together!

I won a book – I am taking part in the Our Shared Shelf – book club and a couple of weeks ago got the notice that I won their last book club book, which I hadn’t yet read or acquired: Why I No Longer Talk About Race With White People. I am excited to read the book and about winning a small competition!

 

Happy Favourites of the Week - Something Good - byLiiL

The Best Coconut Oil – We often don’t even think whether the food we eat actually is sustainably produced. So I was really happy to find out that Reviews.com did a research into several coconut oil brands and their coconut oil production and checked which ones are actually produced sustainably. Luckily for readers who live in states, this review considers mainly USA brands. For the rest of you, I thought this was a great article to see how you can question what you put into and onto your body. How to figure out whether it is sustainably sourced and how to go about it. I would still love to learn a lot more about this topic but this was definitely a great start!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Something Good - byLiiL

 

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

With love,

Lii

Happy Favourites of the Week – Friends and Lilies

Black Panther – A movie that everybody has been talking about and I’ve finally seen it. I quite liked the movie, even though it was part of the Marvel series which I am not the biggest fan of. The movie had a very interesting background story to it, and I liked the setting and the cultural notes to it. Actors and Actresses were great and I loved the visual look of the movie!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Friends and Lilies - byLiiL

My Valentine’s Day Lillies – I love having flowers in my house and to my great surprise I received the most beautiful bouquet of ethically sourced lilies, my favourite flower, from my fiance. They are so beautiful and make the whole flat smell absolutely wonderful!

Watching the Olympic Figure Skating – I think I mention watching figure skating whenever I get to watch it, but it is one of those things that makes me happy. Having skated my whole childhood it is both nostalgic and visually pleasing to me, especially when you get to see masters like Patrick Chan, Kaetlyn Osmond and Evgenia Medvedeva perform!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Friends and Lilies - byLiiL

Books – When have books not made me happy? Well, last week I visited charity shops several times and managed to find, accidentally, 12 books that really interested me! Usually, I have a hard time finding one. So I’ve done an accidental book haul, but oh how I enjoy looking forward to reading these amazing books and giving them a “second life”. If you’ve read any of them let me know how you liked them!

A Very Productive Monday – After weeks of feeling rubbish and not being able to really start my days of well, because I’ve had to take an extra rest, starting of Monday productively and getting everything done that I’ve planned and done it well is really uplifting for the week ahead!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Friends and Lilies - byLiiL

Brunch with a Friend – It’s always lovely to see friends, especially if you haven’t had the chance to see them in a long while. Great food in a local pub; I had french toast made with local artisan bread, yummy, and a great chat with a friend, what more can you wish for the weekend!

Visiting a Friend – And accidentally staying up to 5 in the morning just to chat and not noticing how the time past by. It will take me a few days to catch up with my sleeping rhythm, but it was worth it!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Friends and Lilies - byLiiL

 

What made you happy last week? Let me know, I would really love to hear!

With love,

Lii

Happy Favourites of the Week – Chat and Nap

The Beauty Myth – The feminist book about how women are controlled with beauty. It is not news, but still, a very interesting book as it digs deep into the issues.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Chat and Nap - byLiiL

Get off Facebook Now – I am one of those people who really doesn’t like facebook. I talk about it pretty openly and the answer I get in return is “Oh, you are one of those people” as though there was something wrong with it. The way Facebook has developed doesn’t bring me joy anymore and it is amazing to see that there is a growing network of people who see Facebook as what it is! If you don’t know what it is, then definitely read the article!

Ekaterina: The Rise of Catherine The Great – I am quite fascinated by the Russian history and this is a tv-show on Amazon prime that tells the story about how a young but determined German girl became one of the most celebrated emperors in the Russian history. And it is a story about a powerful woman! It is filmed in multiple languages so you will need to watch it with subtitles, but I found it to be more authentic.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Chat and Nap - byLiiL

Doisy and Dam Date and Himalayan Salt Chocolate – This chocolate is so delicious! I don’t seem to be the only one who thinks it’s delicious, it is always out of stock in shops!

A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers – This was such a beautiful book on cultural differences, especially when considering the relationship between a man and a woman. It is a love story, a story about cultural conflicts and misunderstandings, sexual awakening and becoming independent. I would definitely recommend this book to everybody!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Chat and Nap - byLiiL

A Nap In the Middle Of The Day Under The Sunlight – I love naps, but rarely have time for them with my busy schedule. And naps while the sun is shining sound almost criminal when everybody else is going out to soak up all the energy they can from the rare phenomenon (rare at least in Scotland). But one day I wasn’t feeling well and went to my bed in the middle of the day to take a short nap before going to work. I woke up energised, warmed up from the sunlight in the room and immensely satisfied and happy!

A Chat With And Old Lecturer – I rarely get to talk with my old teachers without disruptions or what is going on in our lives, partly because I still hold them as authority figures in my life, although I left University a couple years ago. Our chat was short but honest and friendly, leaving me uplifted.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Chat and Nap - byLiiL

 

How was your week? Share your happy moments in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

The 3rd 12 Books of 2017

UprootedNaomi Novik

A modern fantasy story with kings, queens, dragons and wizards. The story is a fascinating tale where good and bad is not so black and white. It is a bit predictable at times, but interesting none the less. I found the protagonist a bit annoying at times and the characters are not as well developed, so the story is driven by the plotline. 4/5

The Colour PurpleAlice Walker

This book is based on a time after the slavery. It follows a woman who is passed from her fathers home to her husbands home as she is passed on. It discusses her depressive life, women’s position in the world at that time and the family life. It sounds depressive, but the plotline gets more positive the more you read it and I absolutely loved the characters in the book. 5/5

The 3rd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Versions of UsLaura Barnett

This book tells a story about two people with three different scenarios of how their lives might have happened and how they will end up in some way together no matter what. It discusses love, infidelity, regular family life and unsupportive relatives. This book reminded me of One Day in a way, but not as romantic. Still, it made me shed a few tears. 3/5

ParadisoDante Alighieri

The second book of the Divine Comedy tells how the protagonist is climbing into heaven through the different levels of purgatory where souls are repenting for their misgivings before they can get to heaven themselves. The third book is a bit harder to read than the first one, especially as the characters can be unknown which makes the relevance hard to understand. There is an appendix where it explains most lines, but it is even harder to go back and forth while reading. 3/5

The Secret HistoryDonna Tartt

A book that surprised me a lot! A different type of murder mystery, where the murder itself is not the mystery but the reason behind it. It is a very sophisticated book with interesting characters and setting where they study classics. Made me also interested in studying classics, or at least reading more about it. The book is long but reads well and I found every chapter interesting. 4/5

Cradle to CradleWilliam McDonough

I’ve written a whole post about this book before and you can read about it here. It introduces a design philosophy where nothing is wasted and all the ingredients are collected and reused again. 5/5

The 3rd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The PowerNaomi Alderman

The power is a dystopian story. It entertains the idea that women get a new part in their bodies which gives them electric powers and therefore power over men. The book follows several interesting characters both female and male through this time when men are afraid and take rash decisions to protect themselves and women get aggressive. The book provides an interesting idea of how people might react in such a situation. This was a fascinating book and I would definitely recommend reading it. 4/5

FatedBenedict Jacka

This is definitely a young adult fantasy book which follows the protagonist while he fights bad mages. Some beings in the story are interesting, but the plot is very predictable, names unimaginative and it is very cheesy most of the time and made me cringe hundreds of times. I didn’t enjoy how he wrote about women, which wasn’t rude but not considerate as well. 2/5

PurgatoryDante Alighieri

The third book of the Divine Comedy was even harder to read than the second. In it the protagonist is trying to get used to heaven, understand it and love everything, especially God unconditionally. It is hard to understand and very slow to read although it is not long. 3/5

Nicholas and AlexandraRobert K. Massie

A history book telling the story of the last tsar and tsarina of Russia. It is a sad, although, highly fascinating explanation on how they lived, what were they like and why the people of Russia misunderstood them, and how all of it resulted in a revolution. You really get a sense of what their lives were like and what it was like being an aristocrat in Russia in the beginning of the 20th century. 5/5

The 3rd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Paper MagicianCharlie M. Holmberg

The story is about a young woman who has just graduated from a mage school and is now set as an apprentice to a paper mage where she is to become a paper mage herself, although she is not looking forward to that as she would rather do any other magic than paper. The story takes her on a horrific adventure to save her master and fall in love with paper magic. The storyline moves well but is naive and a bit childish. 3/5

FashionChristopher Breward

This is a book on the fashion history, however quite superficial at that. It was lead by the emergence of the designer and their fame. The book did introduce quite many interesting points on why history moved with fashion in a certain way, but it missed many other factors. The language was dry to read and therefore the book was not very enjoyable. 2/5

The 3rd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

What books have you read recently?

With love,

Lii