Happy Favourites of April 2019

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

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

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

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

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

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

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

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

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

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

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

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

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

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

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

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

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

 

READ

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Favourites of April 2019 - byLiiL

 

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

How was your April?

With love,

Lii

 

Other articles you might be interested in:

Happy Favourites of March 2019

Happy Favourites of January 2019

Happy Favourites of September 2018

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

 

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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 January 2019

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

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

Happy Favourites of January 2019 - byLiiL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Favourites of January 2019 - byLiiL

Watch

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

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

Happy Favourites of January 2019 - byLiiL

What were your favourites in January?

With love,

Lii

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

Happy Favourites of October 2018

Tiger – October has flown by so quickly I didn’t even realise it started. This is largely due to one reason – Tiger. If you follow me on Instagram you already know that at the beginning of the month I got a small addition to my family in the form of our ginger kitten Tiger. He is the cutest, the friendliest, the liveliest, the craziest and the hungriest little creature, who is making us smile every day and has us sleep deprived ( who would’ve thought …). He loves to sleep in any human lap and if you put him down he either crawls back into your lap or starts running around like crazy. Also, he has a lovely loud purr that relaxes everybody. It is very difficult to leave the house with such cuteness in it!

Happy Favourites of October 2018 - byLiiL

Friends’ Wedding – My friends got married in the beginning of October and I was lucky to witness their beautiful ceremony and fun party. It was definitely a day of love and merriness and left everybody feeling happy.

Taking care of Cats – And following the wedding me and my fiance got to take care of their cats. We luckily live close to them and therefore were able to spend every day a bit of time with the wonderful felines. Meeting new animals and winning their trust is quite a wonderful experience!

Circular Economy Hotspot Conference – I got an opportunity to attend the Circular Economy Hotspot conference held in Glasgow and I was so impressed with how motivated everybody was to make our planet a better place. I got to hear a talk from Scottish First Minister about their plans for Circular Scotland, from organisations working on circular Glasgow and what the chair of United Nations Environmental Protection is planning. I also learned why recycling plastic is problematic at the moment and what innovations there are to replace plastic in Scotland. I am really impressed with all the companies collaborating to make Scottish businesses more circular! Overall the experience was amazing and really inspiring!

Happy Favourites of October 2018 - byLiiL

Watch

Fashion’s Dirty Secret – Talks, investigates and reveals some of the secrets fashion industry has and how they impact the planet. Everybody should see it to understand the enormity of the problem! I was surprised that people didn’t know there is a problem with the fashion industry. However, not so surprised to see the big brands refusing to even talk about these issues nevertheless of talking sustainability at Copenhagen Fashion Summit. Makes me a bit scared for leaving a big amount of sustainability into their hands. Watch this (available on BBC iPlayer) and then send an email to your local governmental representative requesting legislation to keep our planet safe!

Emma Watson Interviews Reni Eddo-Lodge – Emma interviews the author of “Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race”. They discuss feminism and race and how why these topics are still important in our today’s society.

The Ivory Game – A documentary on Netflix telling why and how the elephants are in danger of dying of our planet. It is devastating but also very informative.

I Tonya – I watched it because of figure skating, however, there was very little figure skating in the movie. Instead, it showed how pr and branding orientated the United States is (or was I am not sure) to the point that they will not send the best athlete to the world podiums just because of their image. And how they put down the people with a bad image. It was sad and showed the problems of the poor, different and women.

Support

Bristol Cloth Crowdfunder -“What’s missing from the UK is a locally-sourced and manufactured cloth for designers to work with, and we’re setting out to change this by creating the Bristol Cloth: A sustainable, bioregional material that regenerates rather than degrades our land and natural resources.” Sounds great, doesn’t it!

Right to Repair – It is time that technology companies would let us repair our devices to lengthen their lifecycle, instead of having to buy a new one all of the time.

What were the happy favourites of your October?

With love,

Lii