we are all just human beings

A Light In The Darkness

Every year 29,000 asylum seekers flee persecution and destruction in their homeland and arrive here in the UK. They make a perilous and often fatal journey because they are desperate and have no choice. Have you ever had a nightmare where you’re stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea and there’s no safe place to go? Well, we can wake up from it, they can’t.

They leave their country, their home, where they may have been persecuted, threatened, tortured for something that’s just part of who they are – their beliefs, their political stance, their sexuality, ethnic group or just standing up for what’s right. They may have been caught up in turmoil and violence and want to protect their family. Sometimes their only choice is to escape. Ask yourself, if you were in that situation with your family, what decision would you make?

They brave a hard…

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October Bullet Journal Spread | Warm Tones, Cosy Nights & Fairy Lights

It is finally the time of year to drink pumpkin spice lattes, burn lots of candles (sorry, polar bears) and put your jumpers on. October is one of my favourite months because I have finally got into the regular school routine and all of my clubs have started again. It is a very busy month but the evenings are rewarding with their beautiful (sometimes warm) golden hours! I love reading and writing in the late afternoon sun. The absence of rainy days is noticeable now. I can’t say I look forward to plans being cancelled but staying at home on the weekends is a treat! I often spend rainy days in the library and read book after book (not that good for my health but my mind benefits). Today I am sharing with you my first autumnal bullet journal spread. I stuck to warm, brown tones and October’s theme is fairy lights. Though simplistic, I hope you like it.

I rarely do a cover page but drawing is very therapeutic (I recommend book tube in the background). I made the fairy lights as simple as possible: just a wire with little dots in alternating colours. I was going to try doodling bulbs but that would take more hours than I wanted to spend!

My month-at-a-glance is where I document events and upcoming dates. I don’t need a lot of space to do this so I used the spare third of the page for habit trackers. So far this year I have kept up with my habit trackers; I hope that means I will fill them out this month too! I also included a master to-do list. This is where I write things that need to be done but not on a specific date (just when I have the time). I haven’t, yet, done anything with the remaining space but I might add a quote if I find a good one. The best quotes are hidden in books!

In October I am attempting a mood tracker spread. I used to use an app called Daylio but having a record offline somehow affirms my mood better. Journalling with pen on paper feels much more relieving than to write on a computer: I don’t know why! If I do fill this out daily then I will show you the end result. To add in a bit of Halloween, I made the last lantern pumpkin-shaped. Going with a full-on Halloween theme isn’t really my thing because I don’t celebrate it much. However,  pumpkin carving is a tradition!

I’m very excited for what October has to bring. In September I implemented new habits, routines and hobbies. With luck, I will finish 10 books and keep fit (sounds ambitious but I’m really going to push myself).

What are you goals for this month? How are you going to try and achieve them?

I wish you all the luck for October and thank you for reading!

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Six Word Story

The mist tickled the cow’s feet.

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10 Easy Things To Change For The Benefit Of The Environment

Good morning!

The environment is in fast decline and the media is constantly telling us ‘do something about it’ ‘little changes make big differences’ etc. Let’s throw ourselves in the deep end as share with you 10 things that I am doing for the benefit of the environment. You can do them too, but I do not recommend changing your unhealthy habits over night. Integrate one at a time to feel less overwhelmed! 

In The Bathroom

  • Swap to an electronic or bamboo toothbrush. Dentists advice us to change our toothbrush every 2 months which is totally unsustainable. Most toothbrushes last up to 4 months before the bristles become harmful! I have a bamboo toothbrush. I am not aware how much these cost (I received it as a gift) but I imagine they are more expensive that the regular plastic one. An electronic toothbrush is also an intelligent swap because instead of changing the whole body of the toothbrush when you need to, you are only changing the head. 

  • Use soap in bars. Not only do bars not have plastic in them (some do, so try and find a plastic-free one) they cost less and also waste less! The amount of chemicals in bottled soap is not good to keep washing down the drain. Simple (the skincare brand) offers their facial washes in bar form. I find this useful because my skin is so sensitive and using a regular hand wash would not look pretty! 

  • Keep to the basics. One soap for hands and body, one for your face (if you require an alternative for sensitive skin), one bottle of shampoo (or bar, but I couldn’t make the change because LUSH were the only brand I could find and their shampoo bars made my hair super greasy). Unless you have been gifted products, you really only need one of everything! 

In The Kitchen

  • This is place where most of your plastic waste and general waste comes from. It would be excellent if loose fruit and veg cost the same as packaged but sadly it doesn’t. Without spending too much money, here’s how to help the environment in your kitchen!
  • Buy fruit and vegetables when they’re in season. Think about the amount of wasted crops there are when producing strawberries in winter. So many plants will die and this all goes to waste! 
  • Buy locally or grow your own. Fo those of you that do not have the privilege of a garden, try going to the market to buy your vegetables and bread. It means that there are less carbon emissions in transporting goods from one place to another. Work with what you have locally! Grow your own herbs and vegetables if you can. I am very lucky to have a garden, and we grow potatoes and green beans which is a meal in itself! My wonderful Granny has hens which is where our eggs come from. 
  • Cook your own meals. It is cheaper and producing less waste. McDonalds wastes so much lettuce and burger mince in the effort to create a perfect meal. If you did it yourself, you would be using all of what you have! I recommend meal-planning if you are busy in the week, or cooking a shepherd’s pie that would last a few meals. You don’t have to completely abolish eating out, but limit it to once a week or something like that. 
  • See what products you do not have to buy in plastic. Our nation’s snacking habits are the cause for a lot of plastic waste. Chocolate bars are always individually wrapped. Crisps come in plastic bags. We do not need the above items, but we think we do. It’s a massive lifestyle change to cut these out so you don’t have to. Try your best to have less on them. I rarely have crisps now, and I often buy them in a large bag instead of the individually wrapped portion sizes! It was a small habit I integrated and it is good for the bank balance, health and environment.
  • No disposable lunches! Tupperware or bags are perfect for sandwiches. If you have to bring lunch to work, school or college then do so in a box. I currently use tupperware (my lunchbox has lasted two years and it is still fine) though you could have a lunch bag and wrap your food in greaseproof paper –  but please use it again! 
  • Metal or hard plastic water bottle. Stop buying the convenient, single-use bottles! A metal water bottle will last a lifetime if you take care of it. Be a VSCO girl or whatever and keep your water bottle with you. I know that lots of shops now offer a refill point so use it! I have never bought myself a bottle of water and I encourage my family not to as well. Don’t find the prices of metal ones overwhelming either! The Chilli brand charge £40.00 per bottle. This is unnecessary payment and mine was only £16:99 (it still is a lot but you won’t find much cheaper). Hard plastic bottles are just short of £5:00 but I find these leak easily.

  • Less meat. This is the hardest for most people but animal farming constitutes to 14.5% of our overall carbon emissions. I went pescatarian just over a year ago and now I am completely vegetarian! I know that some people don’t want to give up meat altogether, but try to have a few meals a week that do not to contain meat. For example: you could have a ham sandwich at lunchtime, but pasta and fried veg in the evening. It’s makes such a big difference. 

In The Wardrobe

  • Stop online shopping being a regular event and try to buy from suppliers in your own country. Shipping costs so much fuel that we are running out of so we really need to cut down on the rate we buy clothes in particular. You may have heard of fast fashion (I recommend you research it if you don’t know) and it is so common that it makes me sick. I’m not going to talk about what I own, but I do have lots of second hand items and the things I buy straight from the store are swimming costumes, plain t-shirts and leggings. Everything else (thanks to a best friend that is four years older than me) is second-hand. You do not need a different outfit each day.
  • Buy in-store. If you are to buy anything new, go in-store shopping because your clothes don’t have to come packaged the annoying and non-recyclable plastic bags. In-store shopping can be time-consuming but it doesn’t have to be if you go in with a list of specific items!
  • Sell or donate what you no longer wear. It’s as simple as it sounds! I prefer to donate but selling is a good way to make a little bit of money.
  • Bring in a new item? Get rid of an old one. This would hopefully mean that you are sticking to the same amount of clothes and your wardrobe is not massively expanding. 

If you have read to the end of this post then I hope you take into account some of my advice! It is crucial that we make a change to our throw-away culture and also make more sustainable choices. Convenience is the only barrier. When we tackle that one, we have done it! 

Have you ever tried vegetarianism? What changes are you making for the benefit of the environment and our future?

Thank you all so much for reading and have a great day!

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My First Ever Book Signing | Minor Stress, Train Delays & Happily Ever After

While it is still fresh in my mind, I would like to share with you my experience at my first book signing! I have spoken about this event in a few posts because I was so excited to go. However, I am still recovering from that excitement so please excuse spelling errors or the incredible amount of exclamation marks. 

I never buy Costa, or anything in disposable cups, but I was so fed up that I really needed something to drink. Luckily there were paper straws!

Friday 13th really did live up to its ‘unlucky’ legacy and the evening was not off to a great start. Many trains were cancelled as there was disruption on the line. This caused us to be very late for the event and I thought that Waterstones would shut us out because we hadn’t been there for the start of the event! As you can all imagine, it went okay in the end. I was worrying over nothing and we got to Waterstones just after the Q&A had started. If you are unaware of a book signing schedule, this is how it usually goes:

  • author is interviewed in front of an audience and we get to learn a little bit about the book (without spoilers) 
  • the author then asks the audience for questions and they are answered
  • we queue up for book signing/share fanart/photos

I am so awkward and I wish that I’d spoken to Connie a lot more than I did. We held a bit of small talk but then I was standing awkwardly with my hands clasped in front of me. I really need to work on my social problems.

Both of my books were beautifully signed and I will treasure them dearly. My other signed books were sent to me signed or I bought from an event (there was a Steve Backshall talk one time) pre-signed. This was my first chance to have my name in it! I call this excitement but non-bookish people will not relate. 

After the book signing I went to Starbucks and tried my first pumpkin spice latte!

For those of you who do not know, Connie Glynn is YA novelist who recently released the third book in her debut series “The Rosewood Chronicles”. She is famous for her YouTube career that she fell into. All Connie has really wanted to do is write. These books are nothing like the ghost-written YouTuber crap. It is amazing to grow with the author as the books get progressively more mature (still very light and fluffy though!). Any of you from outside of the UK may only know her for her books instead of her highly popular YouTube career. Connie’s former channel name was Nooderella but when she stopped doing it full time she used it as a hobby instead. I look up to this woman because I have grown as she has, her channel has changed as I made big decisions in my life. It sounds very cringey, but I think it’s super special. Back to the diary:

My favourite part of this event was the interview. Connie was very clear with her answers and there was a lot of humour in it too! I’ve learnt a lot about The Lost Princess before even reading it. I very much look forward to experiencing this book first-hand. The other two were amazing so I wonder if this one could be better? Lots of people have described it that way!

I cannot wait for the rest of the series and to attend more book-signings in future. It’s a very special experience and a perfect excuse to getaway to Liverpool.

Be kind. Be brave. Be unstoppable.

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