In beauty environmental vegan

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Toiletries

Toiletries are perhaps some of the most difficult things to change when trying to make your consumption much more sustainable. I know I still haven’t found sustainable options I'm happy with for a lot of items. The biggies for me are toothpaste, plastic-free makeup and deodorant, particularly products which are at a more affordable price. But I'm gradually trying out all the alternatives I find, and I have faith I’ll find something which will suit me in time. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links (*) and refer-a-friend links to get £10 off your first order (**)
It is important to remember that being able to shop ethically and sustainably remains a privilege, even if it is something which should be the bare minimum. Lots of products which are better for the environment (because they are more sustainably and ethically sourced, have no plastic, and are often sold by smaller independent businesses) are often more expensive, which can make them inaccessible to many people. And some products are simply just rare, or don’t work for people on an individual level, for whatever reason. I am by no means perfect in this, although I try where I can I still have plastic in my makeup bag and use normal toothpaste, but I do the best where I can. 

Something that anyone can do, no matter their budget, is to ensure that the products you’re buying aren’t tested on animals. Yes, it does require a bit of research, but there are so many cheap cruelty-free toiletries out there. The Superdrug own brand shampoos, body wash, and makeup are amazing, and all vegan and cruelty free, and I used to buy them a lot before I made the switch to items which used less plastic. Makeup brands such as Revolution are also great. With very minimal effort you can find a whole load of brands who are cruelty-free. In any case, the general rule tends to be that the further away from the shop door you go, the more likely the product will be cruelty free. 

Similarly, if there isn't much difference in price, or you're able to buy a product that's a little bit more expensive but don't have access to any which are completely plastic-free, opt for the one with least plastic or has glass packaging. It's not perfect, but it helps, and anything which reduces any kind of impact on the environment is a step forward. 

It's also useful to note that many of the brands I mention below offer discounts when you sign up to their newsletter, have free or reduced price samples, and often have various other discounts available, so it's worth taking advantage if as many of those as you are able. 

I hope this post is useful, and please suggest more places who sell eco-friendly toiletries in the comments or tweet me, I really do want to know more about where to find ethical and sustainable products, I’m still a work in progress after all. 

Your Local Zero Waste Store

Do some research on shops selling sustainable toiletries near you, it’s likely there’ll be something, especially if you’re close to a city. Whilst this option isn’t available for everyone and can provide varying results (prices, stock options, etc.), it can be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and helping out your local community.  Ask friends, search on Ecosia, and see what comes up, you could find a previously hidden gem! And if you don’t find somewhere straight away, make sure you keep an eye out as somewhere could open after your initial search. 

Small/Independent Businesses


I hadn’t heard of Gruum until very recently, but they popped up in an email from Student Beans where they had shampoo bars free for anyone with a code. Of course, I jumped at the chance to try a new shampoo bar! I did have to pay the postage fee, but even then it was cheaper than a lot of other shampoo bars out there (they’re £5 when at full price + postage). I haven’t tried it yet (I have two shampoo bars I was given at Christmas I need to use up first), but it smells nice, and seems like a good texture from what I’ve seen, even if it is slightly smaller than other shampoo bars I’ve used. They also sell sun cream, face scrubs, razors and other skin care. With an ethos to being environmentally friendly, they use minimal, often plastic-free and recycled packaging, and are based in the UK. 




Plastic Freedom have so much, and they’re constantly adding to their stock. They’re UK based, and, as the name would suggest, sell products which are entirely free from plastic. Their products range from makeup, body wash, shaving cream, mouthwash and even plastic free lube and condoms! Plastic Freedom were the first place I bought a sustainable deodorant from and I absolutely loved it, but it is a lot more expensive than high street deodorants, so I try to switch it up between the two to be a bit more sustainable in a slightly more affordable way. I’d love to try more of their products, but again, that’s not possible to do straight away.


Faith in Nature’s soap bars are my go to, and the ones I buy most frequently. They have lots of different scents, feel really nice on the skin and last for ages. They also come in plastic free, recyclable packaging, and are cheaper than lots of other brands, at around £2.30 (which I know is still more expensive than some shower gel options, but trust me these last a hell of a lot longer). Other products include shampoo bars, liquid body wash, moisturisers, deoderants and other refillables. 

They do have their own website, but have a delivery charge of £5 for any order under £55, so you may not want to buy from there. Lucky for us, however, they do also sell in some shops, including Oxfam charity shops, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett. 




I’ve used some of Wild Sage & Co.’s soap bars before, and have given them as gifts, and I’ve loved them. They’re really moisturizing and smell great. Plus, they use plastic-free packaging and have some products with the profits are designated to certain charities (such as their Soap for Calais). They’re a family run business, based in Herefordshire, and have a focus on being low waste and maintaining a low impact on the environment. 

Their products include soap bars, face masks, lip balms, scrubs, cotton makeup pads and more!






I’ve never actually bought anything from INIKA Organic before, however I think I am going to treat myself once a few pieces in my current makeup bag need replacing. I saw them on Madeleine Olivia’s Instagram and thought they seemed pretty cool. They are an Australian brand, but have a warehouse in the UK so any order I make won’t be coming from very far away (although I’m not sure where their UK products are produced, that’s something I need to look into further). All their products are vegan, cruelty-free and organic, and are ethically sourced. They sell a range of skincare and makeup (some of which have won various awards). They do have things in plastic packaging, but in terms of makeup that does seem something that's quite difficult to find plastic-free.

Charity Shops

Several charity shops will also sell new products, including sustainable ranges of toiletries, coffee cups, and more. As I’ve already mentioned, Oxfam are particularly hot on this (although I’m aware many people may not feel comfortable buying from them), and it’s likely others do too. Have a look in charity shops near you, or on their websites, to see what they have available. 

Chains

These brands are ones you will have undoubtedly have heard of before, but I still think they’re worth mentioning as a reminder of what’s out there all over the UK. I am being UK specific here, because, frankly, I have no clue when it comes to other countries’ sustainable shopping options.


We all know Lush, and how many products they have. For me, they were my entry into shampoo bars, and I love treating myself to one of their face masks every now and again. They are pricey but can be great to see what kind of products are coming in, and are create in popularizing low waste products. I can’t wait until some of their Christmas body conditioners are back in stock, I became obsessed last year. I have enough old tubs now to get a free face mask (they reuse old packaging if you bring it back to them), so you could bet that I’ll be heading straight there once it’s safe to claim it! Since the pandemic, they’ve also started doing online orders.






The Body Shop have been favourites in my family for years, with their staple body butters and perfumes being smells I remember having around a lot as a kid. I swear by their Camomile Cleansing Butter. It cleans makeup off so easily, is kind on my skin and is also quite moisturizing. Plus, it’s in tin packaging, with no plastic. I tend to bulk buy this as it’s regularly on 3 for 2, and always keep an eye out for any other discounts or sales (and they’ve now started a 20% student discount too!). 

They have also recently started a packaging recycling scheme, where you can bring any toiletry packaging (plastic bottles, etc.) in store, place in one of their collection bins and they’ll use them for their future products. These bottles don’t have to be from The Body Shop either, they take bottles from any brand to repurpose. 






To be honest, I do use Holland & Barrett mostly for indulgent snacks when I’m feeling fancy, but bougie vegan food is not all they sell. As I mentioned earlier, they stock brands like Faith in Nature, and others including Ethique and Upcircle**. They also sell eco-friendly menstrual products, including cups, biodegradable tampons and period underwear. They have various oils, skin products, and all sorts. Again, will probably be on the pricey side but have a look and see what you can find.

Make your Own!

There are loads of recipes online for vegan, natural and low waste toiletries, from face masks to toothpaste, you can give all sorts a go. Some are definitely easier than others and some definitely work better than others, and you may simply not like as products. But it’s worth giving a go! There are some natural ingredients which make easy product replacements in themselves, for instance, I’ve heard that coconut oil makes a good natural deodorant, although I’ve never used it myself, but is definitely one to try.

If there’s something specific you’re looking for, have a search online, if you just want to see what’s possible there are lots of cool people sharing their homemade toiletry creations online, including Sustainably Vegan and Sedona Christina


I made this face mask from half an avocado and a splodge of vegan yoghurt

Please let me know in the comments about some brands you love who are doing great things in terms of sustainability and ethics, I would love to hear more about them!


If you liked this post you might like: Ethical Christmas Gift Guide


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In Monthly Wrap Ups

March and April 2020 | Monthly Wrap Up

Welcome to the apocalypse! 

Favourite part?


Ha! What a couple of months. To be honest, I felt so out of control already that the whole global pandemic, everyone in lockdown thing hasn’t really thrown me too much out of whack. But we’ll start pre-apocalypse first.

The first day of March is St. David’s Day, so of course I had to celebrate in whatever way I could. I made vegan Welsh cakes and brought them into NEST, and I’m happy to say they went down a treat! I also themed the activities for that day as all Welsh-themed, it was great. The next week we also themed activities around International Women’s Day!


I attended several events at the beginning of the month. For FemSoc, I went to a talk on Feminism and Spirituality and as well as the Feminism Conference on International women’s Day, both of which were great. 


I saw friends a few times – going to coffee shops, celebrating birthdays, film nights and going for walks around Jesmond Dene. My friend Harriot and I went to see one of Chris Ramsey’s warm up comedy gigs before his tour (which has now been postponed for obvious reasons). It was a great evening and was basically the last social event I had before uni moved online and social distancing was enforced. 



The weekend before uni closed my family came up to visit me in Newcastle. It wasn’t the best tming, but it had been planned for ages so we decided to make the most of it. We went for a walk around the city, a trip down to the Quayside Sunday market, went to see Misbehaviour at the cinema (which is incredible, can I just add. If you can see it please do), and went for a lush meal at Karma Kitchen.



And that brings us to lockdown. I stayed in Newcastle for two weeks before heading back down South to be with my family. During that time I managed to get back into doing yoga almost daily, had several walks around Jesmond Dene and Heaton Park. I did lots of cooking, using up as much from my freezer, fridge and cupboards as possible (I got most of it used up). I've also been doing my makeup more often in lockdown and dressing up in some of my more snazzy clothes.

I did also however get several takeaways – hey, it’s supporting local businesses! I got Kimchi Planet’s vegan beef bulgogi, kimchi and kimbaps, a couple of different curries from Karma Kitchen and pizza and doughballs from Little Green and tried Pizza Hut’s vegan pizzas. I comfort eat, let me be. Honestly, though, the availability of great quality vegan takeaway in Newcastle is incredible and I properly miss them.



For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you’ll likely have seen my dancing and cooking videos. I’ve really enjoying making them, and I’ve had lots of people tell me they enjoy watching them, so they’re going to keep happening until I no longer enjoy them. 


I’m now trying to get some uni work done at last. Some of which is great (I’m writing an essay on female masturbation and I just love the reading I’m doing, it’s fascinating and I now have so many statistics about sex), and some of which is less great but I still have t get round to at some point.

I do still need reminders every now and again to go into the surrounding area. I am so lucky to have a garden, but nevertheless it’s still important to go into the countryside whenever I’m able, and not forget how pretty it is in the area where I live.



Oh yeah, and I dyed my hair again (not a lockdown thing, just a continuing thing but the red is definitely not fading).


Best read?


I’ve actually read a lot more in lockdown than I would have expected. After initially not doing much reading while I was still in Newcastle, everything kind of went out of the window at the beginning of lockdown to be honest. But I did start catching up with uni reading. For my English course I read Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie and am finishing Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salib at the moment. I’ve also read a bit of Transmission by Hari Kunzru, which I’ll hopefully be finishing in the next week too.

As part of lockdown activities, I’ve been organising a book club for N.E.S.T volunteers. So far we’ve read Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man by Dostoyevsky and What Not by Rose Macaulay. I’ve been meaning to read What Not for ages (I bought the book a year ago) and I really enjoyed Macaulay’s writing style.


Favourite tunes?


If you’ve seen my Instagram stories lately, you’ll have heard ome of the music I’ve been enjoying. From my dance party playlist to Disney to a lot of Billy Ocean. I’ve particularly been listening to Take That’s Beautiful World album a lot recently. I don’t know, I suppose I find it kind of cathartic. Especially Wooden Boat and Butterfly, I will never change my opinion that Wooden Boat is Take That’s best song. 

Favourite watch?


I’ve watched a lot of things this month. From all of Brooklyn 99 again and Outnumbered about 3 times, to new watches thanks to my week’s free trial of Disney +. Yep, thanks to that free trial I’ve rewatched all of Agent Carter, some of Wizards of Waverley Place, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Cinderella 3 and Princess Diaries 2. Because I am definitely an adult. 

Since being back with my family, I’ve watched all of Vicar of Dibley, most of Hunted and been watching Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. I’ve also finally started watching Killing Eve (I know I’m super late to the party).

Image Credit

What did I learn?


I’m better at being on my own than I think. And it confirmed how important alone time is to me. Dancing cures everything (as if we didn’t know that before). As well as a bit of basica Arabic! 

What’s happening next month?


More lockdown! Oh joys. May means deadlines, so I’m going to try my best not to procrastinate and keep ploughing through.  

What’s been on my mind?


Some things I don’t want to talk about on here. As well as generally worrying about people – friends, family, the kids at NEST. Also, honestly? Food. What to eat next, how to use everything up in my cupboards. When I get bored I think of food okay.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about how our general attitudes towards certain things are potentially changing at the moment. I’m hoping that people will start to think differently about their clothes and how much they consume. I’ve also thinking a lot about harity t-shirts. They often have great intentions, but they often have bad implications for workers and the planet. 

Favourite blogger/vlogger?


I finally joined Leena Norms’ Gumption Club this month and I’m really enjoying it so far.

Favourite post?


There’s not been much, so I’m going to have to say 5 Comfort Watches to Get You Through Lockdown. It felt good to actually publish a post that wasn’t a Monthly Wrap Up! Hopefully once uni work dies down a bit I’ll be able to write some more.


Biggest inspiration?


I suppose seeing so many people doing lovely things for others at the moment. I’ve heard of and seen some amazing things, even if they’re small gestures. 

Any other favourites?


A lemon cake which I honestly think is the best vegan cake I’ve ever made. My dad and I also made an absolutely amazing rhubarb crumble. Basically, sweet things.


If you liked this post you might like: February 2020 | Monthly Wrap Up


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In 5 Fridays films

5 Comfort Watches to Help You Get Through Lockdown

We’re all very such aware of the current situation. How could you not? Everyone’s quite fragile at the moment, and sometimes something that can help can simply be watching a screen for a while. Here are some shows, films, and videos, which help me feel better in any time of crisis. 

1. When Harry Met Sally (Netflix)


I love this film. It’s probably one of my favourites, and undoubtedly my favourite romcom. I love the characters, the writing, and of course, Carrie Fisher. It never fails to make me laugh, it sometimes makes me cry, but I always feel a little bit better once I’ve watched. After all, it’s about old friends. 

2.  Outnumbered (Netflix, BBC iPlayer)


I have seen this show too many times to count. I always seem to go back to it in times of crisis. For some reason there’s something comforting and familiar in the chaos of the Brockmans’ house. It cracks me up so much, especially the first couple of series, an I think it may help with how much I miss the kids at NEST at the moment. 

3.  Brooklyn-99 (Netflix, E4)


Like Outnumbered, this is a series I have seen countless times. I find I go to ome episodes more thn others – Halloween heists, the Jibberjab Games, the first episode, He Said She Said, Moo Moo. And with series 7 now being released in the UK as well as the US, it’s time for some episodes I’ve not seen before people!!

4. Christopher Robin (Disney+)


I only saw this film for the first time nearly 2 weeks ago, with it being available on Disney+, and honestly, it felt like a hug in a film. The portrayals of Pooh and his friends are simply adorable, and the whole thing just made me go ‘aawwwwww’. It’s heartwarming and lovely and definitely worth a watch for anyone who needs a bit of nostalgia. 

5.  Leena Norms (YouTube)


As a follower of Leena’s for several years (I genuinely can’t remember when I first starting watching her videos), I am very familiar with her style of video making, the topics she tends to discuss and sometimes the individual videos themselves. Whether it’s a video about more specific problems (such as climate change, bigotry or a list of break up books) or more chatty videos discussing more complicated philosophical, political or societal issues over more every day or even mundane tasks such as washing up dishes, doing make-up or sorting out your wardrobe. Leena’s videos always leave me feeling at least a little bit better, and a lot of the time feel like I’m talking to an old friend. And in times of crisis (whether personal or on pandemic scale), these can be so useful in keeping grounded.



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In Monthly Wrap Ups

February 2020 | Monthly Wrap Up

Well thank god February is the shortest month of the year. 
Favourite part?

You’re probably shocked to see this on your screens. Don’t worry, you’re not going delusional, I have actually posted for the first time in three months. Lots has happened since my November Wrap Up, but seeing as going into all of that would make this post ridiculously long (I have done two months in the same wrap up before, and I never intend to do three in one) and the fact that I do have some boundaries with the Internet, I’ll only do a brief summary of the months here. But beforehand, I’d just like to say hello to the new German readership my blog has acquired in the past few days, hope you’re enjoying my posts! 

December was genuinely great. I was really happy, read some good books, saw some good films, went to Chatsworth House, saw some old friends, and was told by one of the kids at NEST that they ‘love their teacher’, which understandably made my heart break with cuteness. Funnily enough the worst bit about December was Christmas Day, which was a bit dulled due to the fact that some of my family were ill. The Gavin and Stacey Special made up for it though. Oh yeah and I dyed my hair at the beginning of the month, so I have been back to my pink Ladybird-style self. 


January was overall pretty good as well. Or at least the first two thirds anyway. I had an exam which ended up going okay, a scramble to get essays in at the beginning of the month. In the name of openness and breaking stigma, the end of January and most of February has been quite shit on the whole for me on account of a few events which have really affected my mental health. I won’t go into any more detail as I don’t feel like it’s necessary, it would be unfair on other people, and, believe it or not, I actually do have some boundaries. At the same time, I don’t want to create an illusion that my life is perfect, as coud be a tendency with these kind of posts (and with social media in general), as they can become almost like a highlight reel of my life. Yes, there have been some good points, but there are some things which no one wants any randomer on Internet to see.  

I’ve seen a lot of my friends this month – whether for coffee and lunch dates, trips to the pub, or a cuppa and a chat, it’s been really appreciated. Special shout out for the amazing vegan blueberry muffins Harriot made and which I managed to eat several. It was also lovely to see my friend Amanda, who I don’t get to see very often, and as she had a few spare hours whilst was in Newcastle for a weekend as part of society trip, we grabbed some cake and hot chocolate at a vegan café near her hostel. 

For the last half of February, I’ve been on a bit of a social media break. Yes, you probably didn’t notice, but hey ho. This was something which I tried as part of the whole ‘trying to improve my mental health’ thing, and I think it’s helped, but I’m not really sure on the whole. I’ve just taken a break from Twitter and Instagram (apart from a brief check on Instagram the other day for abut 5 minutes where I looked people’s stories), but have stayed on Facebook because I need to use it for NEST. In reality, I think I’ve just checked Facebook and my emails more often, so I’m not really sure how effective this social media break has been. I’m not sure how long I’ll be continuing it for, but it’s definitely an interesting experience. 

A major highlight of February, as sad as this might sound, was Pancake Day. I found a recipe on BBC Good Food and had a go at making some American-style ones and they were so good – even if I couldn’t quite finish them entirely… I had blueberries, vegan yoghurt and granola on top, and I’m definitely going to try making them again.



Best read?

Properly starting back at uni means new modules and new books. Well, one new English module, but still new books. The first of these was A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid, which I really enjoyed, I just loved how sarcastic it was. 

I then read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, which I read about this time last year. I like it, but I think it’s maybe a little bit overhyped. Next was The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston, a collection of short stories based on her experiences as a Chinese American woman. I particularly liked the first two stories, and not just because the second featured Fa Mu Lan.

I finished 10 Minutes 38 Second in This Strange World by Elif Shafak nearer the end of this month. I’d been reading this slowly since the beginning of January, and I’ve loved it. The characters were complicated and interesting, and I am definitely going to read more of Shafak’s work whenever I get the chance. 


Also for my literature course, I’m now reading Beloved by Toni Morrison. Seeing as I’m only a few pages in, I’ll let you know how it is at the end of March!

Favourite tunes?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift and Billy Ocean lately. Taylor Swift is no surprise to anyone – I actually got a notification from Spotify the other day saying I was in the top 1% of her fans worldwide. That is an achievement if I ever saw one. I’m not sure whether I’m proud or devastated to be honest. 

Favourite watch?

I already knew that when I was having a few down days I tend to watch old episodes and clipes of Would I Lie to You? on YouTube, but turns out it’s just BBC comedy panel shows in general. So from that, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I have watched 2015-2017 of Mock the Week. Well, if they will put it all on Netflix…

I also watched most of Winter Love Island, despite not intending to watch it when it first started in January. They all seemed to be really nice to each other this year. Can you imagine???

I’ve also watched various films. I went to the cinema twice. I first went to see a showing of Casablaca, which I have on DVD anyway, but it was great to see it on the big screen - although why do people have to clap when old films are shown at the cinema? Everyone who was involved in the making of this film is dead! I then went to see Emma with my friend Jude, which I did really enjoy but I think I may still prefer the 2008 TV Series. It’s still great though, do go and see it! 

One of my modules at uni this semester has a suggested film as part of the reading list, which, as you can imagine, makes me very happy. From that list I’ve watched Made in Dagenham, Freeheld, and Stepford Wives. I’ve enjoyed all 3 of these, but I think Stepford Wives was my favourite – feminism and sci-fi in one film? Yes, please. 

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What did I learn?

Self-care is hard, man. It takes time and effort. People will be more supportive than you think they’ll be. Making a joke out of everything is SO necessary, but also isn’t always the answer.

What’s happening next month?

Essay deadlines, more events with FemSoc and continuing NEST. My family are coming up to visit me for a weekend, and I am so excited to see them!  

What’s been on my mind?

Ha, yeah we don’t want to be delving into that at the moment. Maybe next month.

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

I haven’t watched or read many bloggers/vloggers lately in general. I did have a brief catch up on Hannah Witton’s videos the other day, but apart from that there’s nothing new to recommend.

Favourite post?

We’ve already gathered that I have been MIA, this shouldn’t really be a question this month.

Biggest inspiration?

Based on the rest of the post, you’d probably expect this to be quite low, but a few things have happened this month which really kept me going. And honestly, most of those have been part of NEST. One of the children made us a thank you card after we brought them on a trip horse-riding, which included drawings of the leads. It meant so much to me, I can’t even describe it, and made me feel like I actually do a decent job sometimes. 

Any other favourites?

And once again, we return to the food favourites section. This month’s highlights include Costa’s vegan ham and cheese toastie, Co-op’s new vegan range (particularly their chocolate cupcakes and hoisin duck protein pot), and a new recipe of crispy breadcrumb aubergine slices I’ve found and had about 3 times in the past week. 



If you liked this post you might like: November 2019 | Monthly Wrap Up

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In Monthly Wrap Ups

November 2019 | Monthly Wrap Up

November has just been deadlines. They take over everything.
Favourite part?

Getting all my deadlines done?! Well, to be honest that was at 11:30 at night and I went and made myself toast and went to bed straight after. The simplest things are sometimes the best!

Apart from that, I’ve also been to see some shows with one of my modules. I’m gutted that it’s nearly over as I’m going to have to actually pay to go to the theatre now?? A bit rude. This month we went to see an amateur production of Pride and Prejudice – which was a bit weird in the way the script was put together and which I didn’t really enjoy due to that – and a National Theatre Live Screening of Present Laughter, which was actually incredible. It left me in a daze and I would love to see it again if I am ever able to. 

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I’ve done lots of planning and carrying out various different sessions and events for NEST and ongoing things for FemSoc – including a film night, an 80s Mixer Fundraiser among others. The ones that have happened seem to have gone well, and each one if definitely a learning curve. 

This month I’ve been trying to get myself back into yoga. I was so on it in the first half of the year, but during summer and since I’ve been back at uni it’s just kind of dropped off my daily routine. My room is slightly too small for it at the moment so I’ve been making more of an effort to go to classes and I’m going to use the lounge for yoga (let’s hope my housemates don’t mind!). I can see how much it helps me, both physically and mentally, so it’s definitely a self-care priority at the moment. I’ve also been to more netball sessions with my course society team, and that’s super fun to just give it a go even though I’m by far not the best netball player there is. 

One week I ended up going to 4 different protests. The first against a racist incident on campus, another for democracy in Hong Kong, the next with Reclaim the Night which had a post-march panel which was really interesting, and then I’ve been on the UCU picket lines and at a UCU Strike Social event to support academic staff at my uni. I do love a good protest after all.


Somewhere in all that I’ve managed to have chill evenings with friends, video call friends from home and my family, and somehow ensure that my mental health didn’t make a massive dip. Woop for working self-care mechanisms (not sure what I’m doing right, but obviously something’s working!).

Best read?

Most of what I have read this month has been a shit-ton of journal articles. The best and worst part of my course is that I can go from reading about 18thcentury proto British feminism to 2019 revolutionary Sudan in one afternoon. 

Later on for my course, I’m (still) reading the Turkish Embassy Letters by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Common Sense by Thomas Paine. I’ll finish them soon. I’ve just got to set aside time to finish them. 

I finished reading David Nicholls’ Sweet Sorrow whilst waiting for some washing to finish. Overall, I did enjoy the book. Having started it in August, there was a massive gap between reading any of it, but I think if I hadn’t been interrupted by the start of uni I would have enjoyed it much more. It was sweet and a little heartbreaking (as the title would suggest) but in a way that was overall, I think, rather happy. It’s truly about the sweet sorrow of growing up, realizing your parents are actual people, drifting away from childhood friends, etc.

I’m also still reading Why I No Longer Talk to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, and I’ve started 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak, both of which are absolutely brilliant. 

Favourite tunes?

This season is Stevie Nicks season and I won’t hear anything different. 

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Favourite watch?

I’ve watched a series and a bit of Mad Men, but have kind of given up on it. It was interesting but I don’t know, didn’t really hook me in the same way other shows have. I then rewatched the final series of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, because sometimes you just need to watch one of your faves. That show is like an old friend to me know (as sad as it sounds) and watching it is like having a virtual hug. In some ways it gives me hope. 

I’ve also been to the cinema a couple of times this month! I first went to see Judy – the biopic of Judy Garland in the last years of her life. It was incredible. I cried so much. I mean I cry at so many films, but I cried loads at this film. It was utterly heartbreaking in so many ways and I feel like I may need a lot of time before I see it again. If Renee Zellwegger doesn’t at least get nominated for an Oscar then I’ll be raging. 

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I then went to see Judy and Punch. Bit of a theme of protagonists called Judy here. Judy and Punch was a story of two puppeteers, inspired by the infamous puppet show Punch and Judy. It was dark, and had some funny moments, and was quite ridiculous at parts, but overall it was a tale of those who had been put down by society and ensuring that the perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse feel the consequences of their actions. 

I also watched the new series of The Crown. I’m always skeptical of The Crown for obvious reasons, but as much as I dislike the monarchy I do love the show. The two episodes based in Wales were, for me at least, the best. Although that may just be my Welsh bias. The Aberfan episode had me sobbing from the first shot to well after the credits had ended, and the episode Tywysog Cymru made me cry in a way I haven’t in ages just because of the focus that it gave to Wales. Yes, I may have been a tad hormonal, tired and stressed but ah well. I think I need to head back to Wales soon. 

What did I learn?

I need to actually schedule myself breaks otherwise won’t take them. Genuinely, gotta keep on top of that self-care! Also that I can do things. Imposter syndrome has been real this month, so I need to keep telling myself that I am capable, I can do it, and I can do it well. 

What’s happening next month?

Obviously, Christmas. But that seems like ages away at the moment. In the first week of the month is the event which I’ve helped organize! It’s an 80s Mixer which is in aid of N.E.S.T. – an organisation you may have seen me talk about before (you will have definitely heard me talk about it if you know me in real life), which does a lot of work with refugees and asylum seekers in the North East. I’m in the minor-panic stage at the moment that it won’t go well, but I’m sure it will! Ask me about it this time next week and hopefully I’ll be able to talk much more happily about it!

I’ll also be sending off my postal vote this week. I think this may be my third vote in the past year?! We love that stable political system. I won’t tell you who to vote for, you’re intelligent people and can do that for yourselves. Just don’t vote Tory!

What’s been on my mind?

The 80s Mixer! Organising an event just consumes you. Also all the topics of my deadlines – colonialism in Sudan, gender reversals in When Harry Met Sally and how irritating Mary Astell is. And just general stressing about the upcoming election. Can you tell it’s been quite a stress month??!

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

Melanie Murphy and Hannah Witton as per usual. To be honest, I haven’t really watched or read much this month. It’s more been TV and films. 

Favourite post?

There haven’t been any others. Aahh, I know. It’s been deadline season; I’ll do better in December (hopefully).

Biggest inspiration?

The love I have for some of the things I do. Mostly N.E.S.T. and some of the things we’ve done with Feminist Society, but also with my degree becoming more specialized, being able to research and write about topics I’m really interested in and passionate about.

Any other favourites?

Almond butter on top of porridge. Oof it’s so good. Oh and gram flour pizza! I’ve got the hang of it now and it’s so tasty! I’ve always said this section is really my food favourites…



If you liked this post you might like: September/October 2019 | Monthly Wrap Up

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