Review: Green Planet Beauty skincare

 Well hello to you my reader chums! For the past few years, I've been actively trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle and I've made a lot of changes to my beauty routine, wardrobe, how I travel, and lifestyle.

This post contains affiliate links.

Green Planet Beauty Skincare

For Christmas, my sister kindly bought me some new skincare from Green Planet Beauty which is a natural, vegan, plastic-free, and cruelty-free beauty brand. I was very excited to receive the skincare range and try it out, as I've been looking for a more sustainable skincare brand. 

I received a solid cleanser, moisturiser, eye gel, and lip balm as a set. The cleanser came without any packaging, the moisturiser and eye gel came in refillable tins (you're able to buy refills for each product), and lip balm in cardboard type packaging.

After trialing the products for a few weeks, I can honestly say, I've fallen in love with the skincare range and don't think I'll go back to any other products. Here is my full review of each product from the range.

Shea Butter Cleanser Bar

I've never tried a solid cleanser before using this. I'm a huge fan of solid shampoo and conditioner and this was just as great. The cleanser bar looks like a typical block of soap and had a similar scent - the kind of natural soap smell. I wasn't the biggest fan of the scent as it had no additional perfume to it but I liked that as I knew I wasn't putting additional chemicals onto my skin.

My favourite thing about the cleanser has to be how it lathers up. To use it, I moisten the cleanser and then rub it onto my hands until it lathers up. It only takes a small amount to lather the product up well and massage it onto the face. The cleanser really feels like it gives my skin a full scrub, but doesn't feel like I'm putting anything on it if that makes sense. My skin feels a little dry when I first wash the cleanser off, but once I dry my face, it leaves it feeling completely soft and revitalised.

Hyaluronic Acid Daily Moisturiser

I could rave about this moisturiser all day long! The moisturiser is designed to rejuvenate and protect and contains grapefruit and ylang-ylang. It has the perfect kind of consistency, not too thin but not too thick, and blends into my skin like an absolute dream. I love applying it. Once it's sunk in, my skin feels incredibly smooth and nourished.

The scent of the moisturiser is beautiful; it's fresh with an underlying citrus smell which I think comes from the grapefruit ingredient. The tin is pretty small but due to the moisturiser's consistency, I know it's going to last for a long time. And, when I've used it all, I'll happily order a refill pack.

Green Planet Beauty Skincare

Hyaluronic Acid Eye gel

I don't want to sound overly dramatic but I'm obsessed with this eye gel. It's made with cucumber and aloe vera which makes it incredibly soothing to apply under my eyes in the morning or evening. The scent of the eye gel is really subtle with a lovely aroma of cucumber running through it.

I like to apply this after my moisturiser under my eyes, it adds an extra ounce of moisture on the most delicate part of my face. My favourite part is how thick the consistency is and I only need the tiniest amount to blend in. Once sunk in, my skin feels incredible, I want to spread it all over my face.

Natural Lip balm

I love lip balm, especially in winter as my lips get incredibly dry - and this balm does the job beautifully. I find balms made with overly perfumed oils only make my lips drier but this does the opposite. It actually nourishes my lips and doesn't make me need to keep using more lip balm throughout the day. The balm is made with argan and avocado oil. 

The lip balm is also made out of completely recyclable material which means once I've used it all, the packaging won't go to waste.

Overall thoughts of Green Planet Beauty

I adore this Green Planet Beauty as a whole. The ethics behind it are exactly what I stand for: waste-free and reusable in every sense. And, every product I've tried is of top quality and I've fallen in love with. I can't wait to try more of their range out.

I hope you enjoyed this brand. Have you tried it out?

Thank you for reading <3

Learning to be the love of your own life and why it's so important

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm a massive advocate for self-love; I talk about it a lot on my blog, on my social channels but also in real life, and to myself. 

Learning to be the love of your own life and why it's so important

My self-love journey

As I grew into my twenties, all I wanted to be able to do was say 'I love myself' and 'I am enough' because growing up, as I was bullied and went through a series of mental health problems, I didn't have that ability. I constantly didn't feel enough for anyone, I wasn't happy with who I was or my appearance, and looking back on that now is so sad, it actually breaks my heart.

My self-love journey wasn't something that happened overnight, it took years of breakdowns, crying episodes, doubt, hating myself, and lots of different life lessons to get to the point I am now. When I look back at my 16-year-old self, I don't even recognise who I am and I just want to give her the biggest hug ever and reassure her, that she's amazing, beautiful, and unique - and that she shouldn't have to change anything to make everyone else like her.

Learning to love me isn't exactly something I was taught to do growing up. The media representation telling women to be skinny, blonde, and beautiful was toxic and if you weren't that, then you weren't 'perfect', and it had a detrimental effect on my mental health. And let's not forget the obsession with having a 'thigh gap' - that was so awful, plastered all over Tumblr. It goes beyond the media and even people around me enforcing the idea 'skinny is beautiful', 'wearing makeup makes you pretty', 'you're not womanly without big boobs' or 'curves' - and after a while, these comments and thoughts were internalised to a point that I believed them. And, believed I wasn't good enough.

When I was sixteen, I was incredibly skinny, but I thought I was fat, plain and simple as I was short and didn't have super long legs. I also didn't have big boobs or a big bum which again is something plastered all across television, social media, and having the look of a 'perfect body.' I became fixated on this fact and because I didn't look that way, I didn't think anyone would be interested in me, I didn't feel pretty enough. And with the pressing thoughts of my anxiety and depression, made me feel even more worthless, and I hated who I was - looks and personality.

I can't really remember what the changing point of this was for me as it was now eight years ago that I felt at my lowest of who I was. Over the years I went through bouts of this same low but it wasn't as intense, and I didn't have the pressure of school on my shoulders, weighing me down too.

But in those lows, there were also great moments of highs, and the confidence in myself and learning to love who I was, slowly grew. I began enjoying dressing up and taking photos, I felt comfortable walking outside with no makeup on, I surrounded myself with confident and fun friends who boosted me up. And, by surrounding myself with positive people in a happy environment, slowly but surely, good things about myself began to stick. I finally, was on the way to loving myself and thinking I am good enough - and could do anything I put my mind to.

My biggest level of growth in self-love happened in the past year. Before then, in my early twenties, I grew to a point that I liked myself and began feeling confident in lots of different ways with who I was but I was nowhere near where I am now. At the end of 2019, I experienced a breakup and at first, it was awful and nothing I'd experienced before. However, when I looked back and realised how toxic that relationship was and I began to heal, that's when I really focused on self-love even more. 2020 gave me the free time to educate and focus on my healing, overcome traumas I had experienced and focused on the bigger and better things, and aim towards my goals. I re-fell in love with who I was, got into fitness, and fell in love with the idea of nourishing my body, I re-fell in love with my core friendships and spent time on me, working on what I wanted.

This healthier environment helped make everything a lot clearer and I was finally me; being happy, healthy, and free in my own body. I still have down days and hard moments, but overall, I've fully accepted who I am and I'm happy with that - and I've realised I'm the love of my own life. I can do things on my own, I don't need anybody else and I'm okay with that. And, it's important for you to know that too.

How to be the love of your own life 

You may be wondering but how did you get to that point? The healing process wasn't easy, let me tell you.  I had to take a hard look at every single reason I was feeling that way, come to terms with it and then heal, and that involved a lot of breakdowns as you can imagine. However, here are my best tips on being the love of your own life and things that really helped me:

  •  Cutting out toxic energy - Who you surround yourself with can have a big impact on how you view yourself, whether it's friends or family. And, if they're not bringing love and positivity to the table and adding value to your life, cut them out or distance yourself from them.
  • Focusing on what you want out of life and your goals - Self-love and putting yourself first isn't selfish. It's important to help others and be there for them, but don't let that sway you away from your goals. Always have a focus of what you want and an action plan of how you're going to get there. You only have one of you, use your time wisely.
  • Spend time on your own/date yourself - I never used to do this as I was scared of what people would think but once I began, I enjoyed it, and it felt so liberating to be on my own, and do things on my own accord. Take yourself on a walk, to dinner, to the cinema, or to the beach; date yourself and live every moment for you.
  • Knowing your worth - We act differently when we truly know and love ourselves. I always say once you know your worth you can take on the world, and it's so true. Knowing your worth means not caring what others think, taking yourself out of toxic situations, and doing what's best for you.
  • Anything that doesn't bring you joy, throw away - Similar to how Marie Kondo does this with decluttering, you need to apply the same principle to your life. Whether it's friendships, a job, your routine, or your car, if it doesn't spark joy, remove it from your life. It'll make you a lot happier and you'll learn to find the things in your life that you love - including yourself.
  • Affirmations every day - Affirmations are a beautiful thing and a way to reassure yourself of all the wonderful things about yourself. Buy yourself some crystals and have a list of affirmations to say - and repeat them every morning to yourself.
  • Realising you don't have to be happy all the time - Being the love of your life, doesn't mean you're going to be on cloud nine all the time, that isn't realistic. Like when you're in a relationship, you will have arguments and bad days and it's the same when you're single, and how you view your own life. It's okay to feel down and have a pity party every now and then, that's normal and healthy - as long as you're able to pick yourself up again.
  • Compliment and treat yourself - The same way you compliment or treat your friends/partner, you need to do that with yourself. It could be buying a new outfit, complimenting your work, or simply buying a whole cake for yourself. You deserve to reap the rewards of your own life.
  • Express gratitude - Gratitude is key to living a more positive life but also links in the learning to be the love of your own life. When you learn to appreciate what's around you and everything about you, it can help reinforce the idea of how brilliant you really are, and fast forward your journey in self-love.
  • Be kind to yourself, always - Kindness is free and something that should be spread wherever you go. It's so important to be kind to people as you never know what they're going through, but it's also really important to apply that mindset to yourself - and treat yourself with the utmost kindness. Be your own biggest cheerleader, take care of yourself when you're having a bad day, and most importantly, reward yourself when you grow further in your life journey. Past you will be so proud of yourself.

Why this is so important 

You're the only person out of your entire life that'll be there for you from the moment you're born to the moment you die. As a society, we're always told we need a partner or a companion, but when it comes down to it, even if you have the best partner in the entire world or the best of friends, they can't always be there to pick you up and help you. The only person that will be there every minute of every day is you - and that's why it's so important to learn to be alone, to look after yourself, to be independent, and be your own hype girl.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What tips do you have in learning to love yourself?

Thank you for reading <3

Book review: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

 Well hello to you my reader chums! The Doll Factory was a book that has been on my to-be-read pile for a while and I don't know why I didn't pick it up sooner. It was packed with thrills, passion, loneliness, and a plot based in the 1800s which was incredibly interesting to read about.

This post contains affiliate links.

I really enjoyed this book and here is my full review of The Doll Factory.

Book review: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

Plotline

Based in 1850s London, the plotline follows dollmaker Iris and artist Louis Frost. Iris works making dolls and yearns to be a painter. Louis' aim is to get his work featured in the Royal Academy and is desperate for Iris to be his model for his painting. She agrees on the condition that Louis will teach her how to paint.

Painting gives Iris the freedom she always dreams of and she throws herself into this new life of love and art, fully oblivious that she has caught the eye of another man, Silas, a collector, enchanted by all the strange and beautiful things. Once Silas spotted Iris at the Great Exhibition, he cannot forget her and his obsession grows and it's only time until they meet again.

Character and relationships

The character descriptions in this book are so honest, detailed, and raw and I really loved that. There are quite a few main characters; Iris, Louis, Rose (Iris' sister), Silas, and Albie, a local kid. Iris, Louis, and Silas, however, take the forefront of the novel.

I loved Iris as a character as a whole. She develops so much throughout the course of the novel, coming from a place of unhappiness and uncertainty with her day to day life, keeping her passions a secret to delving into the life she wanted to lead. Her bond with Rose is so pure and touching to read about at the beginning of the novel. My favourite relationship to read about was her and Louis, and how their colleague relationship to each other turns into something a lot more passionate, and full of love.

Albie was a sweetheart of a character and really showcased the severity of child poverty in the 1800s and what he had to go through, just to help look after his sister. It's sad to read but so important. Silas is a character that I despised from page one, and that detest continued as he develops throughout the novel and the actions he does. All the character's status and relationships feed into each other really well.

Book review: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

Overall thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and everything about it. The book pays such close attention to detail and in-depth descriptions which I can really appreciate as it feels like you're there in the moment when reading along. 

The book has a bit of everything in terms of plot, there's the romance, the fast-paced thrills, the shock factor, and also the plotline has a great pace to it. One of the things I also loved was the obsession factor in the book; Iris's fixation with painting and art and Silas's fascination with Iris. It all plays out dramatically and intertwines into an addictive plot about art, love, and obsession.

Ending

The last section of the book increases in pace in terms of the severity of what goes on and how things happen so quickly. However, the last few pages are almost a relief and a content ending, for all the characters involved.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Have you read this book?

Thank you for reading <3 

5 things I learnt travelling with anxiety

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Travelling is my biggest passion; I love nothing more than jumping on a plane and jetting off on my next worldwide adventure, and I can't wait until things are back to normal to travel again. It wasn't always like that though, I used to have terrible travel anxiety and flying would terrify me but with travelling more, I managed to overcome my travel anxiety.

Although the thought of travelling somewhere new isn't a trigger to my anxiety anymore, I still suffer with anxiety in general and that doesn't hide away sometimes when I'm travelling. Whether you cope with anxiety on a regular basis or are nervous about travelling, here are 5 things I learnt travelling with anxiety. 

5 things I learnt travelling with anxiety

To appreciate everything even more

I like to think I'm a hugely grateful person and a massive overthinker. There was a time in my life when the thought of leaving my own front door terrified me to the core, that now when I travel freely without worry, I'm even more appreciative. At 18, I couldn't even stomach the thought of getting on a flight and now I travel freely, I backpack and I'm constantly experiencing new cultures and coming across the most amazing things. It's made me appreciate the whole experience even more as there was a time I didn't think I could do it.

It's okay to not do everything on the travel agenda

One of my main ways to cope with my anxiety is to stay in control of a situation and that means when it comes to my travels, writing travel agendas, and planning my trips, sometimes down to the finest detail. As I spend a lot of time researching and planning, I want to accomplish everything on that list but sometimes it's not possible. Whether that's down to time, money, my mental health or other circumstances, I can't always see everything I want to and that's okay - being spontaneous is all part of the adventure. 

The world isn't a scary place

Before I travelled, I was terrified of the world. I thought new places were scary and new experiences were terrifying. But the more I travelled and the more sights I saw, the more countires I visited and the more countries I experienced, I realised the world isn't a scary place. Every country is full of kind people and wonderful experiences, that there is no reason to be scared of what's out there. I've felt safer in newer countries far away from home than I have in my own town. It's important to stay safe when travelling but don't let the worry of the unknown keep you from experiences the wonder of adventure.

I can do anything I put my mind to

This is my favourite lesson. Dealing with anxiety my whole life, I always have this voice at the back of my head saying 'well, what if' and it's stopped me from doing so many things. But, when I ignored this voice and actually started pushing myself and realised things weren't as bad as I thought they would be, I started learning, I could do anything I put my mind to. And if I could, then anyone can. This goes in all areas of my life but especially travelling; I've overcome my fear of heights, pushed myself to go kayaking and jump in open water and so many other things I never thought I could do.

It's okay to have mental health days when away 

Anxiety doesn't switch off as soon as you go away on holidays, the same way as it doesn't go away on special occasions. It's always there lingering and sometimes it can be triggered when I'm away. I hate when that happens but I've accepted that's all part of dealing with anxiety and that's okay. Mental health days are incredibly important, even when you're away. Look after yourself just as you would if you were in the comfort of your own home.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What things have you learnt if you travel with anxiety?

Thank you for reading <3

10 healthy lifestyle tips for a better you

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I've spent a lot of time this past year working on myself, cutting out negative energy and learning to love all of me - and I've also learnt a lot of healthy tips, mentally and physically to do in order to improve myself and live a happier life.

10  healthy lifestyle tips for a better you

The new year can be about change and trying new things and if you're looking to live a healthier lifestyle, here are 10 tips for a better you.

Spend time focusing on you and your goals

Focusing on you and your goals isn't selfish. For the longest time, I spent my time helping other people, socialising and trying to keep busy with others, rather than focusing on my own goals and working on myself. I thought by being around others, I could distract myself from the things I've been avoiding and that scared me, and it would make me happy and it did, but it also meant I swayed away from what I really wanted to achieve.

A habit I've put into play the past few months is learning to love my own time and making sure I have that time to focus on me, my healing, and working on my goals. Learning to be alone is really important as you can't always rely on someone else to boost you up and offer advice, you need to be your own hype girl.

Cut out people who don't bring you joy

Anyone who brings toxic or negative energy into your life isn't worth your time. You don't need to surround yourself with unecessary drama or unecessary pain caused by toxic people. If people close to you are acting this way, slowly cut yourself away from them or limit contact and surround yourself more with those who radiate love and support - they're the ones who will boost you up and help you out. It's not about the number of people around you, it's about the quality and knowing they've always got your best interests at heart.

Try and get out and about more

Exercise and fresh air are so important for your physical and mental state. I'm not saying to go run a marathon but getting out and about every day for a short walk can really help in so many ways. Try and implement it as much as you can into your routine.

Take active breaks from your phone

I'll happily admit I have a huge phone addiction but I am at my happiest when I'm not scrolling or on my phone unnecessarily. Being away from your phone and technology is so important for your mental wellbeing, especially if you spend the most amount of time on social media. Try and take active breaks away from your phone - put it on do not disturb, switch it off when socialising and take allocated breaks, it can really help.

Actively be kind to everyone around you

Kindess is the most important trait anyone can have and it costs nothing to be kind. Not only is it important to spread love wherever you go, it can benefit people more than you realise - and it can also benefit you too. Doing good for others can make you feel good. But even though it's important to be kind to everyone, don't leave yourself out. Be kind to yourself as much as you would your family and friends - speak to yourself like you would your best pal.

Practice affirmations each morning

I've fallen in love with affirmations this past year as they really set my day out on a good foot. They can be the same affirmation or a series of a few that you repeat several times. It'll give you something to focus on first thing in the morning but also a sense of assurance too. 

Thinking about how you eat

The diet industry is something that I really don't like as it teaches people that losing weight and counting calories is the healthiest way to go about things - and that's not right, and can cause a negative relationship with food. Good nutrition is what should be valued when you choose what you eat and how you eat. It's not about cutting things out, it's about listening intuitvely to your body to what you want to eat and not restricting yourself. Food is such a beautiful part of life and as long as predominately of the time you make better choices on how you eat then you can still enjoy treats, and eat healthily.

Set boundaries 

I could talk about boundaries all day. Boundaries are so important to set in every different instance in your life, including relationships, friendships, career, and even your day to day life. You need to learn to say yes to what feels right and no if it's not for you. Taking control will give you back the power into your life.

Take mental health days

I would never be one to do this and in turn that made my mental health worse and I'd feel unwell for longer. However, this past year, I began listening to my body more and on the days I didn't feel great with my mental health, I would take the time to actually relax and do nothing - rather than force myself to do something. Mental health is incredibly important and if you're not feeling well, take the time off work, spend longer in bed, and do what works for you to feel better.

Stop people-pleasing so much

I think a lot of us a people pleasers as we want to make everyone around us happy. However, as soon as pleasing people is starting to make you unhappy, that's when you need to make the decision to stop trying to please those people - and focus on what makes you truly happy.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3


5 ways to stick to your new year goals

 Well hello to you my reader chums! It's a new year, and a lot of people take this as a chance to set new goals and jump into new things, and I'm definitely one of those people. A new year is a chance to wipe the slate clean, look back and reflect, and focus on your new goals.

Whether you've set one goal or made an entire list, here are 5 ways to stick to your new year goals.

5 ways to stick to your new year goals

Get yourself a goal journal

One of the best ways I find to stick to goals is having a physical list in front of me that I'm able to tick off. I'm a bit weird like that and love making lists and ticking them off as I go - it's like a sense of accomplishment. Instead of a regular list, invest in a goal journal. There are plenty you can find on places like Etsy or Homesense which can be packed with questions to really make you think of what your goals are and the actions you need to take to achieve them. One of my friends bought me a goal journal for Christmas and I've already started to fill it out - and love it. 

Make an action plan

All goals are different, whether you'd like to save money, travel more, find a new job, or create a fitness routine, you'll need to make an action plan that works for you. For example, if you'd like to save 5k by the end of the year, figure out how much you're able to put aside each month to be able to reach that goal.

Another action point that really works for me, is writing a do to list every day. By having something to work towards every day (even if it's the smallest task), you'll have a lot more focus and drive about what you need to get done. And, it should spur you on - as there is nothing more motivating than ticking off a list.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself

There's a difference between working hard and overworking - and it's important to know the difference. When you're focusing on a goal, make sure to put in the actions to pursue it but don't work too hard that you're making yourself lost sleep over it. Finding a balance is vital and will make it easier for you to achieve all your goals.

5 ways to stick to your new year goals

Praise yourself

This may sound obvious but congratulating yourself every step of the way will give you a positive mindset to continue pursuing all your goals. I always say to be your own hype girl as believing in yourself really is the first step to achieving anything you want to do. Praise yourself whether that's a compliment or treating yourself to a new piece of clothing or experience as a well-done gift. It's the little incentive that will keep you going.

Have fun with it

Setting goals is a fun and ambitious experience. We all have something we want to work towards and getting there should be a fun process. Even though at times it can be hard and difficult, every step you're getting closer to your goal should be celebratory and a good thing. Try not to get swept up with the trickiness of reaching the goal and enjoy it. As remember, every step you get closer to your goal, you're further away from what you used to be.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other ways do you suggest to stick to your goals?

Thank you for reading <3

How to be sustainable on the go | Gifted

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I've been talking about sustainability for a while now on my blog and the changes I've made to my lifestyle, my wardrobe, travelling, and really, just the way I think about life and making decisions to live a more waste-free lifestyle.

With the mindset of trying to work towards living a waste-free lifestyle, I'm a lot more conscious when I'm out and about, how I shop, or the day to day things I get up to. If you're trying to be more sustainable or looking for some advice on how to do so, here are some of the things you can bring with you on the go.

I was kindly gifted a few of these items by gobambu but all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

How to be sustainable on the go

Reusable water bottle

I don't go anywhere without my Chillys Bottle. Ever since I got it nearly 2 years ago, it's served me very well, including being a part of my backpack contents when I was travelling. It keeps water cold all day long and generally, it's just handy to have. I always like to carry water with me regardless of where I am as I like to have access to a drink; it's so important to stay hydrated. Bringing it around will save you from buying excessive plastic water bottles that you're likely to throw away after one use.

Tote bags, tote bags, tote bags

I can't tell you the last time I bought a plastic bag when I've been doing my shopping, the idea of that actually makes me cringe a little now. I always have a tote bag at hand; they're really compact to carry around and they're a lot more resilient to heavy things I'm buying, which also means, they last longer. My favourite tote at the minute is the one I was kindly gifted from Heiko. I've been using it non-stop and as it's made sustainably, I find it feels a lot stronger than my other tote bags.

Travel mug

Now the weather is a lot colder, it's the prime season for hot drinks and that means a lot of waste with disposable cups. If you're a big hot drink fan, I would highly recommend purchasing yourself a travel mug that you can bring wherever you go. It's handy to bring drinks from home or if you're going into a coffee shop, to fill your drink up and take with you on the move. 

Sustainable bamboo products

Reusable cutlery and straws 

I was so excited to receive some of these as I've been wanting to have a set for ages, I just never got around to buying some myself. Wherever you work, you're always going to have to bring in lunch and that's when these come in handy. You can have them for your preprepared lunch or during lockdown, if you're going to stop somewhere for a takeaway, it'll save you having to use their disposable ones, adding to the waste. The straws are perfect for when things go back to normal and you can go to pubs/restaurants, or at the minute, when you buy a takeaway drink.

Swapping food bags with Beeswax wraps

Whether it's a picnic or packing snacks for work, instead of using clingfilm of disposable food bags, swap to Beeswax wraps. They're reusable, can be cleaned multiple times, and come in a selection of the cutest designs.

Your own produce bags

When food shopping, I don't know about you but I see a lot of people putting their fruit/vegetables in the throwaway plastic bags. And as easy as it is, it's also a little thing that adds to waste so for a while I just popped them in the trolley and washed them vigorously when I got home. However, when I bought some produce bags, it was a small but really effective change and I love how I'm able to reuse them over again. The same goes for the larger produce cotton bags, I find they're fab for the larger fresh produce.

Plastic-free gum

I didn't realise until a couple of months ago that chewing gum has plastic in it. And now, looking back at all the chewing gum cemented on the pavements, it makes sense as that stuff will take forever and a day to get rid of. Because of this, when I was next in my local plastic-free shop, I came across plastic-free gum and picked up a pack. it was a little pricer than regular come but tastes and looks the same - plus I know I'm not putting fragments of plastic in my body.

Other ways to stay sustainable when out and about:

  • Reduce the number of places you drive - try and utilise public transport, walk more or car share where possible.
  • Buy things with less packaging - A lot of food items sold in supermarkets are covered with unnecessary packaging. When shopping, try and limit what you buy as much as possible.
  • Recycle - If throwing things away, be sure to recycle whatever it is properly and efficiently.
  • Litter pick - If you'd like to go the extra step, try and pick rubbish up where you go and dispose of it correctly.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you again to goBambu, I'm honestly in love with everything I received. Which tips do you have for being sustainable on the go?

Thank you for reading <3

My goals for 2021

 Well hello to you my reader chums! 2020 wasn't exactly the year any of us had planned, however, despite that, for me, it was a year of growth. I really managed to knuckle down and get four books written, make some great memories with my loved ones, and learnt to take a slower pace of life. It came with a lot of ups and downs for everyone, and I really hope 2021 is more of a positive and hopeful environment for us all.

My goals for 2021

With that in mind, I've got lots of ambitions for the year ahead. Here are my 2021 goals:

Become a published author

I have wanted to be an author since I was little and dreamt about having my book on the shelves for as long as I can remember. However, I never took the proper plunge into writing my books properly until this year. I had started them and had a million ideas bouncing about but didn't go for it. Furlough was really a blessing in disguise for me as I finally had that free time to really focus on my own writing, and getting to grips with writing books. I've managed to complete one young adult fiction and three children's books - and the next step will be to get them published. I'm aware of getting a book published is no easy task, however, you can't blame a girl for trying and I would love it if I was able to achieve that goal or be on the way to before my 25th birthday. That would be the real dream. 

Travel, travel, travel

If you read my blog often then you'd know travel is my biggest passion. I'm either always away on an adventure or planning my next trip - which means 2020 was a bit of a weird one for me. It's the longest I've stayed in the UK since I was probably about 19. I usually go away at least 5 times a year and I'm completely grateful for that as it's something I've implemented in my life for the past couple of years. 

Going to the airport every other month became as normal as going to work each day. It was like a routine and something I had to look forward to. I would plan my year around my travels, my holiday days from work, and my budget. I was able to go on a trip before lockdown this year but all the other trips I had planned were cancelled. I'm hoping 2021 is safer for travel and I can fulfil all my travel goes and get back to what I love doing best - seeing the world.

Continue with my healing journey

2020 was definitely a big year of growth for me. I was still getting over a breakup and dealing with a lot of other trauma I've experienced. It's been a year where I fell in love with myself and who I am again, I've grown in confidence and happiness and really changed my mindset for the better. This healing process has been good for me and I'm really feeling the best I've been within myself. However, healing is linear and I'm in the process of learning that and it's okay to be triggered etc. I hope to continue my healing journey in 2021 and feeling good in myself.

Spend as much time as possible with my loved ones

This year stopped a lot of us being able to spend time with those who mean the most to us and utilise facetime and Zoom as much as possible to have that social interaction. I was lucky enough when the rules were slightly relaxed to have time with friends doing somewhat normal things and see family. However, if it is safer next year, I'd love to be able to get big groups of family and friends together and socialise in the good old fashion way.

Continue to implement a more sustainable life

For the past few years, I've started to make small changes in my life to live more sustainably and waste-free, but have made the most effort this year. I'm not perfect in any sense in doing this, but I'm happy with the small changes I've made in my beauty routine, when I travel, how I dress and how I live. There are so many tips I pick up regularly and I'm constantly learning on how to improve.

Spend more time away from my phone

It's no secret that I'm a bit too obsessed with my phone and especially this year, I think I spent longer on my phone than ever. This is down to furlough and being my house far more than I would usually. However, it's the moments without my phone that are always the best so I'm going to make a conscious effort to put it away when not necessary and use the time I was on my phone to do other, more productive things.

Read a lot more

I'm a big bookworm and with more time this past year, I was able to read a lot more and I discovered some great books this past year. I don't know if life is going to change much in the next few months in terms of being busy but even if it is, I'm really going to try and read more. I've got so many fab books on my to be read pile and I can't wait to get stuck in.

Doing what's best for me

Gradually over the years, I've worked on this. I'm a massive people pleaser and I really like to help others so often I put everyone else's needs before myself. Most of the time, I love to do this but at the beginning of this past year, I realised, I need to start focusing on myself more in order to be happier and live my life the way I want to. I've learnt that putting my needs first and setting boundaries isn't a bad thing and it's something I want to continue doing in order to help me reach my goals. 

Saving more money

Despite being on furlough for most of the year, I have moved back home which has allowed me to save a lot of money that I wouldn't have if the pandemic didn't happen. I want to keep the financial security going into 2021 and hopefully start to work towards saving for a house deposit.

Living a healthy lifestyle for my body and mind

I see a lot of people in the new year going on a diet or detox but to be honest, that really isn't what I'm all about. I have a lot of opinions towards the diet industry and everything it stands for, and how it makes money out of people's insecurities - so a diet life will never be for me. I can understand I am naturally slim so it's easy for me to say that. But, I've always been big on nutrition and try for the most part to eat well and then allow myself to have whatever treats I like. I think I'll always be like that and I'm always grateful I have a good relationship with food.

What I mean by living a healthy lifestyle is everything that encompasses the word 'healthy'. I want to make sure I have healthy friendships with the people around me, that I take breaks, that I am well-rested, look after my mental health, ensure I get out and about often and do things that warm my soul. I'm aiming to bring lots of healthy habits in 2021 and leave behind all the negative and toxic energy.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your goals for 2021?

Thank you for reading <3