Sunday Inspiration: Existence

existence

Hey guys,

Happy Sunday! I hope you all have had a lovely week.

This week was actually my birthday (I’m not usually one to go all out for my birthday), lately I’ve been thinking a bit too much about existence in general and I came across this post…

“Life is a miraculous moment of consciousness which separates two infinities of cold empty NOTHING. For billions of years, you didn’t exist. Once you are not here, you will be FOREVER gone.

Every second of this life is amazing, we every one of us beating amazing odds by being here … every single second of this life should be spent in awe of even having it.” – Serge Bronstein 

After reading this it got me thinking even more about existence, namely my own existence. Having consciousness, for me, is such an elusive phenomena and it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday problems. This post by Serge Bronstein reminded me of how we should celebrate the fact that we are able to breathe, live and think! It’s easy to feel like you may be insignificant, but the very fact that you and all of us are here is a miracle in itself. ☺

5 Vegan leather jackets for Autumn

5 vegan leather jackets for autumn

Hey people,

I hope you all are well! Lately, I’ve been seeing all the autumn wear being stocked in stores and I thought it would be great to write a post to help you all prepare for the autumn too, namely with vegan leather jackets. You can’t go wrong with a classic leather jacket look, especially when it’s vegan 😉

One thing that I would say worries me is knowing whether the leather is actually vegan or not because there’s hardly much difference in terms of the look, it is pretty much looks the same, but can be made from PVC and microfibre. I usually spend my whole time ranting about the problems with fashion, so I thought that I should show you all websites of where you can get awesome vegan (and faux) leather jackets for you know just generally strolling around in.

 

1 | ‘Carson’ Tan vegan leather biker jacket – House of CB . House of CB is a brand that is all the rage right now, from the Kardashians and Jenners, to Jennifer Lopez , its a brand that’s in demand! They have an amazing vegan leather range from hot evening dresses to skirts and even accessorises. This particular jacket would look perfect paired with a bodysuit like the model has on or even a nice crop top.

 

urban outfitters crop jacket

2 | Sparkle & Fade Black Vegan Leather Shrunken Biker Jacket – Urban Outfitters. Urban Outfitters, one of my personal favourite sources of vegan leather, whether that be bags or clothing. This jacket is the perfect for jacket to wear during the summer to autumn transition. It’s quite a modern twist to the classic leather jacket look, you could still wear your summer clothes with this or layer it up; as it’s shruken and has a cropped look to it you can play around with the looks.

 

nasty gal pheadro jacket

3 | Phaedra Moto Jacket – Nasty Gal.  I was personally quite surprised at the sheer amount of vegan leather options that Nasty Gal have on their site, it’s definitely worth checking out for those of you all that want some ethical and stylish. This lightweight burgundy jacket is also quite versatile, can easily pair this with a dress or jeans and boots.

 

nasty gal sage jacket

4 | Sage Moto Jacket – Nasty Gal. Another one from Nasty Gal! I love this metallic look as it can go with so many different looks that are currently in right now, from grunge, to boho and can be paired with quite a bit jewellery.

 

free people suede western jacket

5 | Understated Leather Wine Suede Western Jacket – Free People. If you’re still feeling the suede look, but want a jacket that is not in a boho or ’70s then this jacket is a perfect blend of two different styles, it’s quite a unique look as most leather jackets have the typical leather texture and only come in limited amount of colours. This is also available in ‘Sapphire’.

Sunday Inspiration: One year on

Hi everyone,

Happy Sunday! I hope you all have had a great weekend and are all well.

It’s my first blogiversary! 🎂🎉  I cannot believe that my blog is officially one years old. One year on and I feel like I’ve gone through a steep learning curve from making my own content to managing the accounts and learning about so many different topics in one go. I must admit that I do love the fact that there is a never ending learning process when it comes to blogging in general and that there are constant changes happening in terms of animal cruelty policies, eco fashion and sustainability.

Over the course of the year I have met so many amazing and passionate people who like me are trying to make a positive impact. It is genuinely so inspiring to see the amount of people that share the same passion and try to do whatever they can to help animals and the environment, there is such a long list of other bloggers who have been an inspiration for me during the past year – the list would literally go on and on. Hopefully I have had the same effect too! (*fingers crossed*)

Naturally, there is room for improvement and I always will continue to learn as much as I can. I’d like to thank everyone that has read, emailed and given me support whilst I’ve started this journey, it is genuinely humbling when people can connect with you and share the same passion that I do.

 

(P.S. This post was slightly overdue as I had been juggling quite a bit lately, but I will try my very best to keep posting as much as I can ☺♥)

Geobar

Geobar

Hi guys,

I hope you all have been well, I’ve been juggling so much lately but I’m glad to say that I am back on track. Today I’m quite excited because I get the opportunity to blog about something that I haven’t touched upon so far – food!

Traidcraft is one of the leading fair trade organizations in the U.K and they produce a number of products using the raw materials supplied and made by poor farmers, growers and artisans in order to help them have a better lifestyle. Currently, Traidcraft have released their new and improved Geobar cereal snack bars. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Geobar, it’s pretty much in the name itself, they are a cereal bar range that are made with a global mix of fair trade ingredients using mother natures goods to provide a healthy snack whilst supporting the people that work hard to make the produce. Geobars are available to buy at Sainsburys, Waitrose, Oxfam as well as other independent Traidcrafts stockists and cost £2 for a pack of 5 bars.

geobar range

What really sets these Geobars a part from the previous range is the fact that for the first time there will be use of fair trade marked rice from Myanmar. The taste of the bars has also been improved by Traidcraft so that it is less sweet and has a source of fibre in it, which was based on the feedback provided by customers. Personally, I think the bars give a good energy boost during the day and they taste great with smoothies. It’s definitely a healthier, and ethical, alternative to have in comparison to most snack bars on the market, although it does contain raisins – so you have been warned.

chocolate geobar

The chocolate flavour uses cocoa made from South America and generally has quite a wholesome taste to it and surprisingly wasn’t as sweet as most chocolate cereal bars that I’ve had in the past, which is perfect because I didn’t feel guilty for having a second helping (haha).

mixed berries geobar The mixed berries flavour uses ingredients that are from South America and they have quite a sharp taste to it, as expected with berries. I could also taste the grains and oats more in this flavour for some particular reason, might just be me though.

wild apricot geobar

This particular flavour was by far the sweetest that I had, I definitely think it was because of natural sugars in the wild apricots which come from Pakistan. I would definitely say that this one gave me a real energy boost.

There’s also a competition to win a £400 Marin bike on the Geobar boxes which ends on the 30th September 2016; you will have to enter via http://www.lovegeobar.com/competitions/win-marin-bike-geobar/

Lastly, I would like to thank the people from Gardiner Richardson for sending me the lovely Geobar range. I would love to know what your thoughts are on this!

YuLin Festival

YuLin Festival

Hi everyone,

A couple of days ago I was sent a link to sign the petition to end the YuLin festival and it got me thinking about what happened last year. Unfortunately, most people found out about the disturbing YuLin festival almost a week before the actual event from celebrities like Ricky Gervais and the #StopYuLin2015 trend. There was a moment of outrage that was enough to gain awareness across the world, but did not manage to sway the political forces to end the festival.

In this situation you cannot help but feel completely helpless the most that people felt that they could practically do last year was create a hastag, make it trend and sign a petition – which feels as though that could be the outcome this year. Now I don’t want to divert attention from the real problem at hand but one thing that I would say was completely unfair was the selective outrage over the public slaughter of dogs when we are fully aware that animals are slaughtered for meat everyday across the world albeit inside buildings. Not only are we completely sheltered from the horrors that animals face but we willingly choose not acknowledge it and save ourselves from being scarred by the graphic images. But sometimes that is exactly what we need! In our everyday lives we have become so accustomed to seeing meat neatly packaged in a plastic tray that we completely detach the idea of meat from a living creature altogether.

After I had signed the petition I decided to do some research into the dog meat festival itself to find out more about how the tradition had come about. I managed to find out that the tradition of eating dog meat has existed in the Far East for approximately 400-500 years. In the city of YuLin, dog meat is usually eaten with lychee during the summer to cool the body from the scorching heat (lychee juice could have done the job by itself really). Strangely enough the actual festival itself is not part of an age old tradition, but rather has formed in recent years to mark the Summer Solstice. The very fact that there are tensions between the people of Yulin over this festival makes clear that there is no real need for this. The Chinese government themselves have acknowledged the problems that can follow if they allow the festival to continue, not just for the animals but also for their own political structure and reputation. (Whether the Chinese government intervenes and acts on this global outrage is another thing.) What makes it worse is that many of the dogs are stolen pets and are found on the street which just seems all the more unreasonable to allow the theft of pets and the promotion of unhygienic dog meat all for the sake of a festival.

In China there are many animal rights advocates that have been forming networks in order to collectively bring awareness, and justice, for animals which for the Chinese government could be threatening if they choose to sweep the concerns of festival under the rug. The Duo Duo project, an organization dedicated to ending the dog and cat meat trade, is one of organizations that are at the forefront of bringing more awareness about the festival with the hope that they can make political changes and end the festival. The executive director of the Duo Duo project, Andrea Gung,  is in fact the one that has set up the petition that I was sent.

There are currently over 2 million signatures on the Change.org petition to the YuLin City Governor, Mr Chen Wu, and we need just over 900,000 signatures; so I have embedded the petition below for you all to sign, please do sign and share!

Let’s hope that this year the Yulin Festival is more than just a hashtag.

Ayurvedic Beauty: Apriscrub

Hi everyone,

I hope you all have been well. I had to take a break from blogging because of my final exams, but I am so glad that my final year is finally over. If anyone that has gone through this phase in their life tells you that university is a breeze, they are either a horrible liar, or extremely lazy – this last year was a real challenge and words cannot accurately describe how relieved I am that it is over.

During my revision and exam time I had pretty much neglected taking care of myself I like normally would do, and had pretty much turned into a slob, but one product that I had been continuously using was the apricot face scrub called Apriscrub by Lotus Herbals that I had bought from India. Despite the fact that I was under a lot of stress during this period I have to admit that I hardly broke out with any spots, in fact it kept my skin relatively clear.

Apriscrub is made for all skin types and it’s specifically made to remove dead skin and keep your skin looking fresh, from my experience it has significantly reduced the amount of oil that I get on my T-zone (the forehead and nose). The best thing about this particular scrub is that its made with an ingredient that people are familiar with, as naturally people can become a little apprehensive when using trying different ayurvedic products and it also does not leave a lasting smell. It actually smells like a nice blend of apricot and musk.

Lotus Herbals leaping bunny and vegetarian logos.

Lotus Herbals leaping bunny and vegetarian logos.

Lotus Herbals is an Indian herbal cosmetic company that pride themselves in their innovative use of ayurvedic ingredients and their ongoing scientific research – they even have a make up range. What makes them even better is that they are a cruelty free company, and they actually have the leaping bunny logo and green dot logo to verify that they are both cruelty free and have vegetarian origins. One thing that I have noticed about ayurvedic and herbal cosmetic companies in general is that they do not test on animals but the only problem that I have with some of these companies is that they do not always verify this, which can make consumers sceptical of them. The companies seem to make the assumption that we would automatically understand that the products are not tested on animals but I personally think that they tend to forget that being cruelty free and organic is not mutually exclusive.

Compuslory brown and green dots on packaging

Compulsory brown and green dots on packaging

In India, it is still legal to test on animals but in the past few years there have been active steps in the right direction to make changes to the law. Before I had mentioned that the Apriscrub packaging had a green dot on the back of it; for those of you who are not familiar with products made in India it was made mandatory by the Indian government in 2014 to have a green dot on the packaging of cosmetic products, food and household items to signify that the product has been made with vegetarian origins for the majority vegetarian population. For products that have been made from non-vegetarian origins there will be a brown dot, or in some cases red dot, which will make consumers aware of what type of product they are purchasing.

I bought the scrub for 245 rupees for 180ml in India, which works out for roughly £2.48. However, I am not sure if it sold in any stores in the U.K but you can order it from Amazon for £5.48 with free delivery, which is a positive thing considering that it is £3 more than the price that I had originally paid for but it is  definitely worth buying.

I would love to know your thoughts on this piece, and whether you all think that I should continue to write more about Ayurvedic beauty.

Sunday Inspiration: Comfort Zone

Hi guys!

Happy Sunday to you all! I hope you all have had a great weekend.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neale D. Walsch

Going through difficulties is a necessary part of our existence, but how we go about facing and overcoming our adversaries ultimately adds meaning to our lives. ( I am pretty sure that I have just subconsciously paraphrased philosophers, monks or some unknown genius from Pinterest). Speaking of Pinterest, this week I was searching Pinterest for inspirational quotes, as you do, and I came across this quote by Neale Walsch and it honestly inspired me to just focus on doing what needs to be done (revision, work and this post haha) instead of worrying about how much I need to do get done.

I am not sure exactly what everyone else is currently dealing with in their lives, but I am a firm believer in the idea that we are meant to go through difficulties in life and that it is during this time in our life that we are forced to get out of our comfort zone and grow. Being able to grow and develop in every way possible always seems to be something that we all want to achieve but few people actually accept that we need to make changes to our own lifestyles and choices to be allow the changes we want to take place. Sometimes we are stuck in a cycle of being complacent about where we are at this point in our life to the point that it becomes a comfort zone for us, but clearly this will never get us anywhere.

The life that we truly want to have will only ever start once we move out of our comfort zone and work towards overcoming our problems, which naturally will require time and effort. Investment in our selves is the only way that you can get to where you want and start living life, which does not necessarily involve financial investment might I add, it merely involves spending time evaluating your life looking at where you are and where you want to be. We can not control the problems that life throws our way, but we are in control of how we choose to deal them.

Ayurvedic Beauty: Amla Hair Oil

amla

Hi everyone,

I hope you all are having a great week so far. In one of my earlier posts from this year, Holiday Greens, I mentioned that I had gone on holiday to India and that I had found plenty of cruelty free and organic ayurvedic products from my local area. I thought that it was about time that I should share one of the products that I bought whilst on holiday in India.

Generally speaking, Ayurveda is widely regarded as a traditional medical science which originated from the Vedas in India but it covers a much broader spectrum of health and well being from beauty to yoga and so on. Today the remedies that are provided by Ayurveda are well established in the field of beauty and alternative medicine. It is definitely something that I have been quite keen in learning more about, those of you that have been following my blog for quite some time will be aware of my interest in Ayurveda, I’ve even blogged about an Ayurvedic beauty product before (Ayurvedic Beauty: Neem Mask ).

The Amla hair oil is produced by the company Patanjali, which specialise in Ayurvedic products and also sell food that are produced by people in the rural areas of India. Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, are typically used in hair care products and is used specifically for the purpose of strengthening the roots and thus preventing hair fall. On the packaging it also states that it can also be used to prevent split ends and the inevitable graying of hair; I assume that for you to actually see the results you would have to use it over a long period like most herbal products.

Patanjali Amla hair oilFrom my experience the best way to actually put the oil on is by taking a little bit of oil at a time, massage it on your scalp and then gradually work on the rest of your hair. It is recommended to keep the oil on for at least half an hour before washing it out, but this could depend on your hair length and type, I have left the oil in my hair for roughly 2 hours but it’s entirely up to you! I particularly like the texture of the Amla hair oil as it doesn’t seem to stick to your hands, but I must admit that it has quite a strong smell, so it’s definitely best to use on a day off.

The only real problem that I would say that I have with the product is the flimsy cap, I had to put quite a lot of cello tape around the cap just to secure it when I was travelling back from India to the U.K. In India, I had bought the 100ml bottle of the hair oil for 40 rupees, which works out to be just over 40p. Unfortunately, on Amazon it is sold for a little bit more than what it is in India but I guess that is expected, online it is sold for £4.60. Although that may seem to be quite a bit for a 100ml bottle of hair oil, it is actually worth buying as the oil itself works quite well in small quantities, so I would definitely recommend it to you all!

It would be great to know what your thoughts are on this post, and whether any of you have tried Amla hair oil before.

SUNDAY INSPIRATION: Stress

sunday inspiration stress

Hi guys!

(In my last post I quickly wrote that I would be explaining why I had not posted anything for over a month.)

Happy Sunday!

Stress is a word that we constantly hear, in fact the word itself causes stress, makes you wince just by reading the word. It’s a word that I have rarely used in my life until the past year or so.

Lately I have been quite overwhelmed with the amount that has been going on in life; from the stress of my final year at university, to my dad being seriously ill and having to juggle work all at the same time. Although the stress and anxiety faced by young people is not an unfamiliar topic it is definitely something that gets disregarded very quickly. Many of us young people can become overwhelmed with the stress of life in general, it’s a phase where you’re expected to know yourself, be on a path to being something and becoming a responsible person all in one go. These problems existed before but I find that with technology our anxieties can become amplified. What does this have to do with the topics that my blog covers? – absolutely nothing.

Mental well being is a serious topic that we need to address, particularly with young people, because if we do not speak out about it, it can completely consume and encapsulate us. I have been juggling so much and if I didn’t have the support system that I have (my amazing family and friends) I would honestly be a complete wreck. So today’s little message of inspiration is to stay grounded, surround yourself with the positive influences that can be your support system in times of when you feel overwhelmed, talk to people that you feel you can confide in and start counting your blessings instead of your problems! It genuinely lifts such a big load off of your mind!

If anyone feels that they would like to just talk, I am not an expert in mental well being so I cannot offer advice, then you can always email me or get through to me via social media. And if you guys like this post and you want me to cover this particular topic more often then please do let me know.

 

Spring SPF solutions: Eriis

spring spf solutions

Hi guys!

I hope you all are having a good weekend! Now that Spring is finally here and the sun keeps coming and going for a few hours, I thought that it would only be fitting to dedicate a post to the new season.

Most people assume that using any kind of skincare products with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) are restricted for the summer but you can still be exposed to UV rays regardless of what colour the clouds look like outside. I’ll be honest I am not usually someone that has paid much attention to the SPF count in skincare products, but as the effects of global warming are becoming increasingly clear in our everyday life, it seems absurd to not consider ways of avoiding skin damage.

ERiiS for sun - Latte Solare Sun Protection Milk

ERiiS for Sun – Latte Solare Sun Protection Milk

Eriis for Sun is a skin care range produced by the Italian company Iridiem Pharma and have been created specifically to protect all skin types from UVA, UVB and infra-red rays (including sensitive skin like mine). The skin care range produced by Iridiem Pharma are vegan, cruelty free, halal and FDA approved. So the protection milk can be used by all without any problems whatsoever.

This specific Sun Protection Milk is SPF30, providing high protection for when you are outside and on the go. If you are in the sun for quite some time then it’s best to reapply the milk to your skin so that your skin is protected properly throughout the day. Initially, once you spray the milk it looks like a cream but the milk has quite a light, almost weightless texture to it and blends into the skin quite easily without leaving that oily effect that creams have a tendency of doing. In the past few days I have actually been using this product as both a moisturiser and a primer, since the foundation I use has an SPF count of 15, which has lasted for most of the day for me. (I have to admit I do love the clean smell to it.)

The ERiiS for Sun protection milk can be bought online from Vie Healthcare and is sold for roughly £15-£20, depending on the SPF that you want. I personally received the product from Sam Jennings PR Group and would genuinely like to thank them for introducing me to this awesome product.

On the Iridiem Pharma website it’s not particularly clear whether their product is cruelty free or not, so I had to confirm via email before using and posting. I thought that I should share a quote of the confirmation with you all.

Paola Borgomastro from Iridiem Pharma confirms that ERiiS Sun is vegan and vegetarian friendly. In the formula there are not any animal derived ingredients. The ERiiS Sun range also has not been tested on animals.” 

Remember to apply the protection milk to your necks, hands and arms!

P.S: I will be explaining my month long disappearance in my next inspiration post!