Happy Favourites of June 2019

Sister visiting – We don’t get visitors often here in Scotland and whenever we do I am overly excited. My sister visited us last month to see the new kitten, who is almost grown up already. They quickly became friends! And I got a bit of diversity into my usually monotone days. We did a small road trip, visited cafes and sat long into the night chatting. Bliss!

Happy Favourites of June 2019 - byLiiL

Little road trip in Scotland – Our road trip was only for one day, nevertheless, it was fun. We visited the Doune castle, which is used as a setting in many movies and tv shows such as Outlander and the Monthy Python, and it was Winterfell in the pilot of Game of Thrones, therefore it is named as Winterfell for the year of 2019. We drove a bit in the Trossachs national park and visited Aberfoyle. I am always in awe at the beauty of the Scottish countryside!

REN Vitamin C gel cream – I recently finished my bottle of Ren global day cream, which is my go-to day cream. It was sold-out from the usual stores where I would buy it from and I had to order it from their online store. On top of my usual cream, I got a few testers and I especially fell in love with the vitamin C gel cream. It is perfect for the hot summer days and it smells nice.

Re-acquainting myself with the library – As some of you might’ve noticed I’ve become an avid reader this year. I always liked reading but this year it has served certain escapism and therefore my reading has tripled compared to previous years. I do not have the money to buy every single thing I want to read, nor should I. I was overjoyed when I realised my local library offers some of the books I want to read that are too expensive for me to buy and that it offers two audiobook apps where I can listen to a big selection of audiobooks. Lately, I have been using my local library weekly and on top of getting great reads, it has gotten me out of the house on a regular basis.

Time With Friends – Although I am quite a strong introvert I love getting together with friends, as long as it’s not every day. Last month I went to celebrate a friends graduation with a PhD, which is so impressive! I made dinner for a friend, I went to lunch and dinner with friends and I helped friends move. I enjoyed all of it! My work is fairly solitary and I notice how I crave for some company on a regular basis.

Happy Favourites of June 2019 - byLiiL

Pela Case – I finally ordered myself a biodegradable phone case. I was at first hesitant because it is pretty pricey, but I couldn’t really justify buying another plastic one either when I don’t know the life of my phone. In general, I prefer not having a phone case, but without knowing how it happened, the glass in the back panel of my phone had broken at some point and for all safety, I knew that I needed a phone case. The phone case is soft and has a good grip, although it doesn’t fit quite as snuggly as I hoped. Nevertheless, it sits fairly well and protects my phone, and it has a cute penguin on the back!

Hoya cuttings – I recently got some Hoya cuttings from a friend of mine. I didn’t know how they would survive in my household or if they’re even going to grow. I guess I got them at the right time as the summer sun has really done wonders and the plants have put out several leafs each and seem to be thriving. I am really excited for them to grow into beautiful bushy plants!

 

READ

Maus – This is a graphic memoir of survival during the Holocaust. It is heartbreaking and gruesome, but at the same time, it shows the tenacity for survival and how horrific events mould people, their character and their view on life. It has won a Pulitzer Prize, which I am not surprised about. I cried like a baby after finishing the book and the story has stayed with me. I recommend everybody to read it, although there are definitely some trigger warnings.

Fashion Craft Revolution by Fashion Revolution – The fourth fanzine is all about craft, artisans and cultural appropriation. I found that the fanzine was ever more full of information and this time from different cultures, on their crafts and history. In addition, in the end, there are tips on how to make crafts yourself or change your garments. It is an excellent edition!

Happy Favourites of June 2019 - byLiiL

 

WATCH

Testing 7 Anti-Chafing Products – I thought this to be such a great body positivity and generally good mood video. Also, great to know that I am not the only person who experiences thigh chafing when it’s warm. I am surprised nobody has come up with a product for this problem yet that works perfectly.

Gentleman Jack – Gentleman Jack was a pure surprise of a tv-show to me! I had heard about it before I started watching it, but it surprised me with the tone of the show, the great acting and the story. It is set in Victorian time, and anything historical doesn’t usually fly with my fiance, but he was instantly swept into the story and we finished the first season in a matter of days. It is based on a diary of a woman who was one of the first modern lesbians in the era. It tells about her love life, her struggles as a woman and as a lesbian. It is brilliant!

 

CHECK OUT

Jamie Squire – Jamie Squire is a brilliant illustrator whose Instagram page I follow. She never fails to amaze me with her poignant, honest and hard-hitting yet light comics that portray anxiety and femaleness.

Happy Favourites of June 2019 - byLiiL

 

What were your favourites in June?

With love,

Lii

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Sustainable Reading nr. 8

I haven’t done a sustainable reading post in so long that this is going to be a long long post. Click on the articles you are interested in and I’ll try to remember to post this more often.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE

Damage to the ozone layer and climate change forming feedback loop – The damage we are doing to the ozone layer can now be also assessed in waters, as the animals in all levels of the food chain are behaving in a different way. This is more evidence, so only time will show what they will do with the evidence.

KLM Issues Global Call to Industry, Travelers to ‘Fly Responsibly – I find it interesting that a company that makes its money on people flying is encouraging more mindful travelling, they even suggest people taking the train rather than flying. KLM has a carbon compensation programme and has already done work on their climate change initiatives. Now they are calling other industry players to join forces, which is excellent. I am looking forward to what they will do in the future!

Sustainable Reading nr. 8 - byLiiL

 

Indigo to Remove 1 ‘Terraton’ CO2 from Atmosphere Through Regenerative Farming – Regenerative farming is definitely something that I am interested in, in more than one aspect, and I am glad to hear more work is done with it!

US Consumers More Concerned About Ocean Plastic Than Climate Change – I am not surprised, and wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case in other countries as well. Plastic pollution is much more readily visible, can affect people more closely than climate change and is lately been advertised very strongly. And as plastic pollution is an important thing to tackle it shouldn’t be left at that. Maybe plastic pollution is an easier thing to grasp than climate change and therefore people feel that they are doing something good for the planet.

Glass skyscrapers: An environmental boon to the built environment – Glass buildings do not keep heat in very well, but let the spaces overheat easily.

Britain’s Music Festivals Are Tackling Everything From Plastic Waste to Low-Carbon Transport – It is great to see such big events looking into how they can have an impact on climate change. I haven’t been to any festival this year so I don’t know how much they’ve really done, but this is definitely a start!

 

RECYCLING

The massive emissions-cutting and cost-saving potential of chemical reuse – Misuse or not disposing of correctly many other chemicals can be harmful to the environment as well, but when collected they could be beneficial. The basic idea of circularity.

These College Students Invented a Beach Vacuum to Suck Up Microplastics – Although this sounds like a great breakthrough I wonder how it might affect life on these beaches.

Sustainable Reading nr. 8 - byLiiL

 

SOCIAL

Britain Pledges £1.4 Billion to Tackle HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria – Excellent! Now to hope that they won’t sell the NHS…

‘Groundbreaking’ Homelessness Center Offers Gym, Free Wi-Fi, and In-House Doctors for Real Solutions – This is brilliant! The right attitude to help people get back on their feet with support and a safe environment!

California Will Soon Be the First US State to Ban ‘Hair Discrimination’ – This is a new thing to me. I never before heard of hair discrimination. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise, but nevertheless, I was shocked when reading this article. It is sad that there needs to be legislation for hair discrimination, but at the same time, it is great that the state recognises the need for it and works to combat this issue.

Over 400 Schools in This Malaysian Town Have Closed Due to Toxic Air Pollution – I do want to concentrate more on positive news but at the same time things like this need to be talked about. Factories illegally releasing toxic fumes so hundreds of kids go sick is unacceptable, and it is most likely factories that work for western companies.

The Handmaid’s Tale comes to life in Alabama. Women must heed the warning – It might not be quite the Handmaid’s tale, but how women’s bodies are policed especially as they are pregnant seems ridiculous in the 21st century, and misogynistic. It offers no protection for mothers who are might already be in a vulnerable situation.

Sustainable Reading nr. 8 - byLiiL

 

NUTRITION

Edible insects? Lab-grown meat? The real future food is lab-grown insect meat – As livestock is increasingly considered as harmful for the environment scientists have been coming up with new alternatives. Lab-grown meat might require even more resources to make than livestock, but insects do not require much and the return of meat per animal is much higher. However, how will this affect veganism? How long will it take for people not to be disgusted by this meat which is a staple in some cultures? And what are the drawbacks in this?

Plant-based protein day needed on school menus – I agree! Although not only that. I’ve been in a situation where I had visited several different schools and saw the food offered to children. Without an exception, all the schools offered less healthy food and I was struggling to find foods that I would like to eat there. Of course, this is at least 4 years ago and I hope it has changed. Children should be offered more balanced, nourishing and diverse food options.

How This South African Woman Grew a Farm in a Plastic Packet – I love reading stories like this!

 

WILDLIFE

Pine woodland restoration creates haven for birds in Midwest – Birds are thriving in the areas where woodlands are cared for in a mindful way.

Biodiversity helps coral reefs thrive — and could be part of strategies to save them – Ways to possibly save or reintroduce corals in oceans?

Sustainable Reading nr. 8 - byLiiL

 

FASHION

Finnish R&D Project Aims to Make Business from Circular Textiles – Finnish company Telaketju is moving from just encouraging recycling of textiles into full-blown textile recycling centre that will create new textiles. Looking forward to seeing how they will manage this!

MBDC, Toxnot Collaborate to Optimize Supply Chain, Material Transparency – Although this is not only fashion related, but rather all industries related circular economy and transparency initiative. I hope it works well!

Our Top 10+ Clothing Rental Sites Around The World – Check out Eluxe’s chosen rental websites.

5 Ways Technology Is Making Fashion Sustainable – If you are not aware of the most yet this article is a great introduction to them.

Mindful Mending: How to connect to your clothing on an emotional level and save the planet – Excellent, mending should become mainstream already!!

In Conversation With Livia Firth – Interview with a co-founder of Eco-Age.

The Art Of Stain Removal – This is what I’ve been needing for a while! I don’t like throwing away my clothes and would rather get rid of the stain. These tips should help anybody to get rid of stains from their clothes!

All the images are from Usplash by Markus Spiske.

 

What interesting either positive or negative news have you read recently?

With love,

Lii

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.

Sustainable Reading Nr. 5

Fashion

What Does A Sustainable Closet Look Like? – The World Threads Traveler introduces her walking wardrobe and what is her wardrobe made of, whilst reiterating how sustainable closet doesn’t need to be made 100% of ethically and sustainably made garments. Interesting read that will calm your anxiety over the fast fashion items that you bought when you didn’t know what you were doing.

Green Finance Boost For Myanmar Garment Sector – Myanmar garment factories are looking to cut their CO2 emissions!

PFCs Not Necessary In Outdoor Clothing, Claims Study – Non-fluorinated polymers work as well as fluorinated polymers to repel water.

UK Garment Factories Flouting Minimum Wage Laws – Finally the officials are looking into this and the factories are forced to pay back what the employees were meant to be paid originally! It is still a big problem, which needs to be addressed, but that is a start!

Levi’s To Pilot Blockchain Use In Supply Chain – I’ve heard good things about what Levi is trying to achieve in the fashion industry and am happy to continue hearing how they want to transform the whole industry to be better.

Sustainable Reading Nr. 5 - byLiiL

Plastic & Waste

Microplastics Ban Could Cause Beauty Sector Billions – Although microplastic beads are already restricted in the EU and especially in the UK some sort of microplastics still exist in the beauty, detergent and agricultural fertilisers and the industry is fighting back on their ban as there is no quick solution to replace this formula. Yes, it might cause the industry a lot of money, but it can cause the environment even more. And quite frankly I don’t want any kind of plastic in my beauty products, detergents or fertilisers!

Fashionista’s New Survey Suggests That Bullying Is Still Alive And Well In The Fashion Industry – It is an unfortunate truth that is probably live in many industries, however, the fashion industry is very clicky, a trend-driven place where everybody is trying to show what they are made of. The constant competition to get ahead and to get paid properly for your work doesn’t help the situation. I have experienced the clicky atmosphere, the senior staff that behaved like they were the royalty who you should not talk to and the employers who didn’t think you are worthy of being paid to. Unfortunately, in the fashion industry everybody knows somebody and complaining about this is difficult because you might not be employed again.

This New Recycling Facility Will Repurpose 90% Of Household Waste – In Australia, this recycling facility is attempting to recycle the neighbouring household’s waste. It is not the first of it’s kind. In northern European countries this is a fairly common practice that should be employed in other countries as well. The technology is there it is just missing the infrastructure to put in place everywhere else.

World’s First Plastic Free Flight Paving The Way For Green Aviation – Hurray! Although how has this been not a thing for ages I don’t know. I hope other companies are quick to follow suit!

Sustainable Reading Nr. 5 - byLiiL

Social

The Disturbing Racial Bias Of The Greatest Dancer  – It is interesting how by giving all the power to the public we can see how racially biased it is.

‘Breast Ironing’ Is Happening In The UK , Affecting Up To 1,000 Girls – The saddest thing about this is that the mothers feel like they need to protect their girls, or do they feel they want to control them in this way? Nevertheless, the health problems resulting from such behaviour is why this should be made illegal, but also it is something that should be talked more widely why it can be harmful to girls.

The UAE’s Gender Equality Awards Were Missing One Important Thing: Women – As ridiculous as it sounds the UAE had their awards for gender equality where all the recipients of initiating or encouraging gender equality were men. Nevertheless, of the country being on the forefront of gender equality in the Gulf State area, it seems as though they found a new award to award men of seemingly doing something. It is great that they are working on it, but it just shows they still have a long way to go!

The Ethical Issues With Amazon – A very comprehensive article by Francesca from Ethical Unicorn explaining the big problems with Amazon. We all knew there were problems, but this is quite unbelievable!

Sustainable Reading Nr. 5 - byLiiL

What interesting sustainability news have you read about recently?

With love,

Lii

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