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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

WOMEN MAKING HISTORY: A day at Amnesty International

WOMEN MAKING HISTORY: A day at Amnesty International
Tuesday, 22 May 2018
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One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to be more active in my activism (lol). 
The very meaning of the word ACTIVISM is "the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change" (thank you Google) and obviously this is something that I am VERY passionate about, but up until this year my activism has actually been pretty passive. Yeah, I talk the talk on social media and I sign online petitions until the cows come home but I never get out and actually DO anything. This year my passion for activism has reached an all time high and it's like a fire has been lit inside me so I've been doing all that I can to attend events/protests, engage people and have discussions about issues that are important to me. 
The most recent of said events mentioned previously was the Women Making History festival at Amnesty International this past Sunday (20th May). It was full of fierce, formidable women sharing stories, advice and love - and it was my favourite day of 2018 so far. 

I went along to the Amnesty headquarters in Shoreditch with two of my favourite women - my older cousin Iona and my younger sister Isla. These are two women that inspire my immensely, slaying every single thing they do. We grabbed a quick coffee and made it in time for the first panel at 11:30 am. Honestly, the whole day was an absolute emotional rollercoaster for me. I'm not afraid to admit, I'm a cryer. I cry all the time at the smallest thing. I once cried because I saw the advert for the 2011 family film 'Dolphin Tale'. It was literally just the trailer, the 1 minute 30 second long trailer. On this day though, I cried because I was hopeful and happy that there are fiery, bold and powerful women who are passionate about making a serious change in the world. My ultimate goal is to be one of these women. One of the women from that day that made a considerable impact on me was Julie Begum, an activist based in Tower Hamlets in London that set up a group called "Women Unite Against Racism", consisting of local women who wanted to take a stand united against the BNP and racism in general. She recognised that getting involved in activism was considerably difficult for women due to childcare issues etc so she essentially made local activism accessible for women, ensuring that meetings were run at an appropriate time, creche facilities were available AND those attending had transport home to ensure they got there safely. Can we just take a minute to appreciate that dedication. What a fierce woman. It's women like that, that will (and already have) change the world. 

We listened to panels discuss important issues like the suffragette movement, activism online, how to deal with trolls, self care and mental health. I had an idea for a project that I'm going to undertake with my sister later this year (hopefully). I just felt fully inspired. I've never felt anything like it in my life. In that room of women (and men tbf) it felt like a sisterhood - there was no worry of judgement or trying to impress - we were united by our passion for feminism and for social change and I was HERE FOR IT. In one of the panels about selfcare, one panelist said that to take care of ourselves we have to figure out what we truly enjoy doing and simply do more of it and I did every single one of those things at that event. I spent time with some of my favourite people, I surrounded myself with fabulous women, I learnt, I laughed, I drank a fair few glasses of my favourite cocktail (an Aperol spritz if ya wondering) and I listened to thought-provoking stories. What more could a gal want? I feel ready to take on the world.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

My ideal Sunday

My ideal Sunday
Sunday, 13 May 2018
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Sunday is my absolute favourite day. For some reason I just feel so calm on Sundays. If your life is a little bit hectic, I would definitely recommend using Sunday to take some time for yourself, chill and prepare for the week ahead. 
Here's a little list of my favourite things to do on a typical Sunday...

1. Have a lie in
Sunday is the only day of the week that I get to turn my alarm off and have a lie in. Being able to wake up when your body naturally wakes up is SO refreshing. I usually get up at between 10 and 10:30 am on a Sunday and it's sheer BLISS.

2. Brunch
Whether it's going out for brunch or making brunch at home, I just love brunch. I don't even care how cliche it is- breakfast food is my favourite food in the world.

3. Put on a good playlist
Chill music is PERFECT for setting the Sunday mood. I am obsessed with all of the 'easy' playlists on Spotify but especially 'easy 70s' and 'easy 90s' - hearing the songs in these playlists send me right back to my childhood and make me feel so nostalgic and warm.

4. A good old face mask
My skin is so temperamental especially in the heat. I have bad pores and generally greasy skin which I exfoliate every day but daily exfoliating also dries out certain areas. Weekly face masks are not only relaxing, they also make my skin perfectly smooth and refreshed.

5. Sunday roast
What is a Sunday without a Sunday roast?! Last weekend I had a little afternoon nap and was woken up by my mum telling me that dinner was ready - what an absolute dream!

6. Trash TV/Disney Films
Perfect Sunday watching. An old school Disney film or some episodes of The Bachelorette are perfect.

7. Writing a blog post
There is something therapeutic about writing (especially writing lists which is why a lot of my blog posts are lists), unfortunately Sunday is the only day that I have enough time - and headspace - to sit and write. I love building up ideas through the week and finally getting to type them out on Sundays.

8. A shower and an early night
My favourite part of self-care - SLEEP. There's something special about having a shower right before getting in to bed. A nice wash, fresh pyjamas and a good sleep - the perfect end to my favourite day.

Comment your Sunday routine below!
Sunday, 6 May 2018

My Favourite Podcasts

My Favourite Podcasts
Sunday, 6 May 2018
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Is it just me or does anyone else find it really difficult to concentrate in silence? When I'm at work I find it near enough impossible to concentrate for longer than 15 minutes at a time when it's too quiet. Over the past year, podcasts have been my saviour and now I can't imagine what I ever did without them! Here are some of my favourite that I've discovered over the time...

1) The Guilty Feminist
This is the reason I got into podcasts in the first place. I think it was mentioned in a debrief article a while back and sparked my interest. Honestly, it's everything I'd want in a podcast and more. For a girl who's life is pretty much summed up by the Guilty Feminist's slogan, "I'm a feminist, but..." - it's me to a T. Strong women talking about feminism, comedy, serious issues and lighthearted fun, what more could you ask for?! I've discovered so many AMAZING female comedians and I've learnt SO much important information since I've started listening to it. It's really helped me understand the importance of feminism, while also making me feel a little bit better about not being the perfect feminist!

2) Happy Place
This podcast is kind of like a follow up to Fearne Cotton's book 'Happy: Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect' and it definitely makes me happy. It's great to hear celebrities talk about their own struggles with mental health because it's so important to continue raising awareness. It covers some really serious issues but is somehow still light and easy to listen to? I particularly recommend listening to the episode with author Matt Haig as he discusses his struggles with major depression and how he learned to cope.

3) Table Manners with Jessie Ware
I've been a fan of Jessie Ware's music for years so when I noticed that she had her own podcast I was intrigued. I'm going through a huge cooking phase at the moment and I'm loving trying new recipes and spending a lot of time perusing cookbooks and websites looking for new things to make, and I actually came across this podcast while I was looking for ones about cooking. 
Jessie teams up with her mother Lennie and they basically invite people round for dinner and have a nice chat. It feels so chilled out and balances talk about food and other interesting aspects of the celebrity guest's lives perfectly. I think that's why it works so well, because it is literally just them having dinner and a chat with celebrities that they know. It doesn't feel like a scripted, robotic interview - it just feels like a natter. 

4) Strangers
This one is slightly different to the rest of the podcasts that I listen to because it is a LOT more serious. Each episode tells the real life story of a different 'stranger'. It follows the trials and tribulations that real people have overcome in their life, giving them a platform to tell their own stories in their own words. I can't tell you how many times I have listened to this podcast at my desk and cried. It's so emotional but so addictive. It truly encompasses the resilience and tenacity of the human spirit and it's so beautiful and touching to hear the raw emotion in the voices of the 'strangers' as they tell their stories. 

5) My Dad Wrote A Porno
Sheer comedy. It is absolute genius, you couldn't write it! 
Jamie Morton, Alice Levine and James Cooper read out extracts from Jamie's Dad's erotic novel. Seriously, that's it. Need I say more?!

If you have any podcast recommendations, comment them below as I love listening to new things and am always on the lookout for something new!
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