The stories behind my Instagram Top 9 2017

rosie_baillie Instagram top 9

I don’t know about you but I love finding out about the stories behind people’s Instagram Top 9; I kinda feel like they’re nice, heartwarming, fuzzy, reads. So, I bring you the stories behind my Instagram top 9. 

It’s also interesting to note that not one of these photos was posted to my account (@rosie_baillie if you’re not already following) in the past three months, showing how damn stupid the latest algorithm updates are. 

From first glance, we can definitely see my top 9 are all about blues, greens, water, and mountains. Oh, and Canada, duh. Because do I talk about anything else? No. At least it’s nice that I know I’m a broken record.


The first photo was taken when I saw the northern lights (obviously) in Iceland with my Mum. It was a dream come true, ticking it off the bucketlist, moment, and I seriously recommend it. If you want to know more, I did write a blog post about seeing the northern lights and the company I went with. 


This next photo is actually at least two years old, maybe three now. It was taken the first time I visited Edinburgh, and had a trip out to Loch Awe. Early last year, my sister planned a trip to Scotland and started asking me questions about it, so I started fangirling to her and just had to repost this. 

The third photo is one of my favourite photos of all time; Daz and I at Moraine Lake, our happy place. I love it because it shows off how darn stunning Moraine Lake is, how grand the peaks are, the shade of blue of the lake, the reflection, and it makes me feel something. We’ve got a print of it in our living room, which I can see right now, and every time I look at it I feel fuzzy inside and have to fight off the urge to head over to SkyScanner and book a flight for tomorrow. 


As I said in the caption, it just isn’t possible to have too many photos of Moraine Lake in an Instagram feed. Moraine Lake is a funny ol’ place because the weather is very changeable. On the same day this photo was taken, we also had blazing sunshine and snow (at the same time). 


Every time I see a photo of Peyto Lake looking beautifully clear and sunny I wonder if those people visited a Peyto Lake in a parallel universe, because this is what I saw. And it’s what happened each of the four times Daz and I tried to visit the lake. Nevertheless, it’s still beautiful, and moodier than me circa 2007. 


This is a quaint looking hostel just off the main road through Glen Coe in Scotland. It was one of the first outings Daz and I had since moving up here. I’ve loved Glen Coe since the moment I first set my eyes on it and it was SO nice to be able to show Daz it. 

This is another solid fave of mine from 2017, and it also features Moraine Lake in the background, so it has all the qualities of the best photo ever. I don’t even know what to say about this photo other than it was a perfect day, one of my favourite moments of my life, and there better be a photo appearing in a future ‘Instagram top 9’ of our wedding at the edge of that lake. 


I’m actually surprised this photo appeared in my top 9 because I really feel like I’ve taken photos that are a lot better. But, it was posted at the start of 2017, again, the algorithm. This was taken back in September 2016 when we attempted to kayak on a very windy Maligne Lake. I do not recommend it to kayaking noobs, and you can read more about that horror story here


I’m so happy that Vancouver made an appearance in my top 9, because that beautiful city worked hard to make us fall in love with it. And we really did. This was taken at the edge of Stanley Park and is a shot looking across the Lionsgate Bridge towards North Vancouver with the mountains in the background. I think it’s a pretty great summary of why we fell in love with Vancouver; all of those things in one view, perfect. 

And, to make it even better we saw our first raccoon a few minutes before we took this photo. Now, that might seem like a bizarre thing to get excited over but we don’t have racoons in the UK! They look so adorable and remind us of the kids cartoon, The Raccoons. 

If you shared the stories behind your Instagram top 9, link me because I wanna see them! 


Let’s share our 2018 sustainable living goals

Sustainable living 2018 goals

I don't usually post yearly goals, but when I was writing out my sustainable living goals for 2018 I realised there's an opportunity for us to help each other here.

Yesterday, I posted seven tips to begin living more sustainably and I thought sharing our sustainable living goals would be a perfect way to set our intentions. I have found blogs and online friends so helpful for guiding me into a more sustainable lifestyle and I think we've got a good opportunity here to support each other. AND, we can collectively annoy supermarkets and brands until they put the planet before profit and make our lives a little easier. Sound good? Awesome.

For me, the key is to set SMART goals (if you need help with that, here's a handy guide). I just can't write down something vague because I try to shake it off or interpret it a different way if I'm feeling lazy. If I know what I want to do and how to achieve it, I'm pretty good at doing it.


Reduce food waste to peelings

Edinburgh have food waste bins, something we've never had before, so it was interesting to start separating that out. I don't think we do too bad a job in general, but occasionally we forget about leftovers and I'm pretty bad for letting fruit go gross.

This year, I want our food waste caddy to only contain peelings, the odd tea bag if a tea drinker visits, and cat food - because the cat much prefers it when Daz feeds him and eats less when I feed him the exact same food. 


Buy ethical and sustainable shoes

You know what? I was pretty afraid to include this one because I'm fairly certain I will fail at it at least once this year. Then I realised, the point isn't to perfectly achieve your goals from the outset; it's to try and achieve something new.

Ethical and sustainable shoes are expensive (and I get why). In general, I don't buy shoes often at all. In fact, I think the only shoes I bought in 2017 were for work. I work in a restaurant so my shoes take a battering and the thought of spending a lot of money on something that I worry will wear out quickly makes my stomach knot a little. If anyone has recommendations for black, comfy, ethically and sustainable made shoes that won't wear out, I need to hear them.


Clothes; use it or lose it

My wardrobe is a lot smaller than it used to be; ask my Mum. I did a good job of minimising my wardrobe in 2017, though there are a handful of things I want to make an effort to wear more, or donate.

Less choice in my wardrobe is fine by me. To be honest, I'm fed up of putting all my clothes away. Less clothes = less clothes to put away = happy me.


Quit buying anything in non-recyclable plastic packaging

Recycling is not the magic answer to plastic pollution, but buying non-recyclable packaging directly contributes to the problem. On the face of it, this seems pretty easy, but it's not. The bread we like (and the majority of bread, actually) is in non-recyclable film - great, thanks, nothing says good morning like 'enjoy your toast that's contributing to the destruction of the planet.'

It's definitely going to take some time to get this one nailed.


Buy loose fruit and veg

Again, this seems like a really easy thing to do, and it should be. Until your supermarket tries to make it impossible for you. My local supermarket decided to do away with paper mushroom bags and replace them with those crappy plastic ones. And the packaged ones have non-recyclable film. I need to get some produce bags and start shopping for produce somewhere else. 


Those are my five sustainable living goals for 2018. There will definitely be other things I'll achieve this year in terms of living a more sustainable life, but I think these are the bigger goals that will take more time achieve 100%. Oh man, if this blog post was a drinking game every time I said 'sustainable living' in that post, we'd have been smashed before we made it to the end. 

Tell me about your sustainable living goals, and let's help each other out. We got this; let's make David Attenborough proud. 




How to start living more sustainably

7 tips for sustainable living; how to start living more sustainably

The New Year is almost upon us and we're starting to consider what we want to kick ass at in 2018; fancy living more sustainably? Awesome. Then I've got a few super easy tips here to arm you with before 2018 kicks off.


Ok, so I think I know why you're all here; Blue Planet 2 made you despair at the choices humans have made. Am I right?


This time last year I decided to start living more sustainably and ethically and boy is it a rollercoaster and a whole load of shouting "WHY ARE YOU MAKING THIS SO HARD FOR ME?!" in the middle of your supermarket. Trying to live sustainably can feel very overwhelming, which is why I started blogging about it and sharing my frustrations and difficulties. We live in a world of convenience and convenience is not very eco-friendly at all.


In fact, our convenience culture is not very convenient because it'll be damn inconvenient when:

  • Sea levels rise and flood islands, cities and towns causing massive numbers of climate refugees
  • Thousands of species become extinct
  • The oceans are dead
  • We can't grow any food in our soil
  • We're drowning in plastic and all of our mistakes

That got dark quickly, didn't it? Sorry. Don't mean to bring you down over the festive period; MERRY CHRISTMAS, THE PLANET IS SCREWED - that wasn't what I wanted but, I mean, it's true.


Before we get into it, I want to point out that the idea isn't to be perfect from the get-go. And maybe it isn't the point at all. I've been at this for a year now and I'm far from perfect but my efforts are valid. For me, the point is to make the best with your life and your circumstances. You're not gonna see any shaming around here because you forgot your drinks bottle and needed a drink.


Ok, so, grab a cuppa because over the course of this blog post we're going to talk about:

  • What sustainable living is?
  • Why would you want to live more sustainably?
  • Cover a few seriously easy ways you can start living more sustainably without spending a fortune


What is sustainable living?

Sustainable living is about reducing your impact on the Earth and its resources. The definition of sustainable is maintaining something at a certain rate. So it means, we're not taking out more than we're putting back in or that can repopulate/regrow over a certain period of time. For me, sustainable living covers more than that, it is also about protecting our planet and it's ecosystems by keeping them healthy and sustaining THAT. 


We live in a world of capitalism, consumerism, and convenience; the three horsemen of the apocalypse if you will. Talk to your grandparents and you'll soon discover that life just 60 years ago was very different. Since then, we have created a whole load of, frankly, unnecessary crap and waste all in the name of convenience. I'm not ok with it; and, since you're here, I guess you're not either.


Why would you want to live more sustainably?

What brought you here? What made you decide to live a more sustainable lifestyle? Maybe it was one reason, maybe it was a few reasons:

  • Reducing the amount of waste you produce - we produce a lot of unnecessary waste which impacts the environment in a number of ways. I go into this in more detail in 8 reasons to produce less waste.
  • We're sick of crying while watching Blue Planet - the devastating impacts plastic pollution has on the environment are, well, devastating.
  • Saving money - I have definitely found that since living more sustainably my shopping habits have changed, which have saved me money


How can I start living more sustainably?

This will not be a complete guide to how to live more sustainably. By the end of this blog post you'll be armed with a few simple changes you can make to start living more sustainably.


I don't want to throw everything at you right now - because I find that kind of paralyses me. When I have a few things I can do, I feel empowered and like I can do it and make a positive change right now. I will be going into more depth in future posts, you can check out my sustainable and ethical living section, and ask me anything you want in the comments or Twitter.


1. Stop. Pay attention to your shopping habits and what's in your house

This is absolutely the first step to living more sustainably. Before you can start making a change, you need to know what you want to be more sustainable than

Take a look through your waste and recycling bins;

  • Are you throwing away a lot of non-recyclable plastic?
  • Why? What products are packaged in non-recyclables?
  • Can you get the same product packaging-free, or in recyclable plastic? (Arguably, plastic recycling isn't super great but it's better than non-recycled plastic, and let's take this one step at a time because I haven't got zero plastic down either.) I wrote a handy blog post here about why plastic is so bad if you want some more info on it.
  • Are you throwing a lot of food away? I guess it's not so bad if you have a food waste scheme where that food is turned into energy but it's a waste of your money all the same.

Are your wardrobes full of clothes you don't wear? Do you tend to buy things, wear them once and never again? Why? Is it the style? The quality? Did you pick it up because it was a good deal?

Take a look around your whole house and assess why you purchased the things you did.

This is something that's great to keep in mind every time you go shopping for anything:

  • Why am I buying this?
  • What purpose does the object need to fulfil?
  • Will it fulfil that purpose?

2. Make some goals

Ok, so now we have an idea about how we're buying, what we're throwing away, and any clutter in our house, we can set some goals.


Jot down a couple of goals; make sure they're specific and measurable. Here are a couple of examples:

  • I don't want to buy any clothes this month. Instead, I'm going to clear out my closet and find new ways to wear what I already have.
  • I want to reduce the amount of food waste I'm producing by half. Instead, I'm going to make an effort to eat/freeze leftovers, or learn to only cook what I will eat in that day/meal.
  • I am going to stop buying fruit and vegetables in non-recyclable packaging. Instead, I'm going to only buy loose produce.


Write them down somewhere you're going to see them regularly and let's get cracking.

3. Have a clear out

You may not need to do this; it really depends on what your goals are, though it never hurts to have a good clear out. I mean, it does at the time when you're surrounded by a pile of things and wondering why you started, but it feels so good afterwards. 

If your wardrobe is overflowing, you have loads of CDs/DVDs/games you don't use, if you have a cupboard or drawer 'of doom', or are concerned there might be a monster living under your bed, get clearing out. 

One of the benefits of living more sustainably for me is a slow transition into only having things in my house that provide us with some kind of benefit/that we use. I think that if you're able to have a tidy out and get rid of things that represent your old, more wasteful, way of living it helps keep you on track. Plus, who doesn't like slightly emptier cupboards, wardrobes, drawers, and shelves?

Take anything you no longer need that's in good condition to local charity shops, offer them to your friends and family, or stick 'em on eBay. But do it now. Do not put them in a pile to deal with later. 

4. Cut out those single-use items

One of the biggest and easiest ways we can start living more sustainably is to stop using single-use items. I'm talking about; plastic straws, napkins, plastic cutlery, coffee cups, and disposable razors to name a few things.

You will be glad to know there are reusable and long-lasting versions of all of those things:

  • Straws = stainless steel straws, bamboo straws, glass straws
  • Paper napkins = cloth napkins
  • Plastic cutlery = pop a set of cutlery out your kitchen in your bag, or there's bamboo cutlery
  • Coffee cups = not all takeaway coffee cups are recyclable but that's not a problem if you have a reusable mug
  • Disposable razors = these tacky looking things can be replaced with safety razors, or good quality, long-lasting electric razors. I've just got round to getting a safety razor (a super extra rose gold one, idc, it's pretty) and they're just as easy to use as a disposable one, you just need to be a tad more careful.
  • Sanitary products = yes, you can get reusable tampons and towels AND menstrual cups. It's not as gross as you think either, so you can find something that works for you.
  • Toothbrushes = every toothbrush ever created still exists in landfill, that shit has not broken down. Get yourself a bamboo toothbrush instead.


5. Start buying loose fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables wrapped in non-recyclable packaging are by far one of my biggest frustrations. It is so unnecessary and it seriously gets on my nerves that loose peppers are more expensive than peppers wrapped in plastic packaging; wtf is that about?

Ok, so what do you do put your loose fruit and vegetables in then?

  • Some items can be put straight into your trolley/basket/bag without packaging, like bananas
  • Produce bags; got any cloth bags at home you could use? Or you could turn old t-shirts into produce bags? Or buy some produce bags online.
  • Or you could do what I do sometimes and use a load of those paper mushroom bags for everything…
  • Complain to your supermarket about them selling things in non-recyclables - please, because I think Tesco are getting sick of me moaning at them, so if we all do it, they might give in


6. Get angry, in a polite way

Let's channel the frustration we feel when we're trying to buy something in a more sustainable way but we can only get it in 'not currently recyclable' packaging. (That, by the way, is the biggest cop-out ever - not currently? So when are you going to use recyclable packaging and quit being non-committal?)

Begin emailing or writing to companies and asking them about their plans for recyclable packaging, or something else they're doing which isn't sustainable. Such as why your local Tesco has replaced paper mushroom bags with plastic ones? WHY TESCO, WHY? I know it looks like I hate Tesco sometimes but it's where I shop all the time and yeah, sometimes they make hateful decisions.

If anyone wants to see a sample/draft email or message to send, let me know and I'll put one up. 


7. Educate yourself

One of the best things I have done this year is to learn more about how harmful our current culture is. You can never know enough and I'm constantly learning about things that reinforce my enthusiasm to live more sustainably even though it can be hard sometimes.

A few things I found really insightful:

  • Chasing Ice
  • Chasing Coral - this is utterly heartbreaking, especially towards the end
  • Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body, and Ultimately Save the World - Josh Tickell - this is a seriously fascinating read about soil and agriculture. I know that probably sounds boring to most people but I'm a soil geek; still, I definitely think it's something people should know about. 
  • Feral - George Monbiot
  • I uhmed & ahed about whether or not to include Cowspiracy. It's very popular and it is definitely very shocking if you don't know anything about the environmental damage agriculture causes but I'm aware some of the studies quoted weren't quite right. This is discussed in Kiss The Ground and I think that's perhaps a more unbiased approach. Nevertheless, I think Cowspiracy is an important watch. 
  • The True Cost - this looks at the human and environmental impacts of the majority of clothes we wear 
  • Blood & Earth by Kevin Bales - Blood & Earth is one of the hardest books I've ever read. Did you know that slavery and environmental destruction often go hand in hand? Like True Cost, it documents the environmental and human impacts of modern life and looks at things like where our food comes from, minerals to make smartphones and laptops & more. 
  • IPCC summary - If you're interested in the science and figures, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) summary for policymakers is perhaps the best place to start. I have used it loads on my masters course already because this summary has all the key bits in one place. 

If anyone has any more recommendations for books, films, or documentaries, leave them below.


Please leave me a comment below with the tips you're going to try out. If you have any questions, or want me to cover a specific topic, let me know and your wish is my command.


2017 in travel & my 2018 travel plans

Camping at Williamson Lake campground in Revelstoke, British Columbia

Ok, I know everyone is doing these posts right now and I'm jumping right on that bandwagon because I love reading about where people have been and their plans for the year ahead.


I seriously love organising trips; it is taking everything I have in me to stop opening SkyScanner right now. I literally cannot afford to book a flight anywhere but I just love seeing what I could do. It's sad I know. If a career in research doesn't work out, I'm going to be an adventure planner. Is that a thing? Can I get paid to do that?


2017 in travel

I think this year was the first year in a long time that I've only done a couple of trips. There were a couple of reasons; our trip to Canada was a big one that used up most of our holiday and moving to Edinburgh was expensive. Plus, between finishing my undergrad in May and starting a masters in September, there hasn't been much spare time.



The northern lights over Reykjanes, Iceland

My Mum and I rang in the New Year in Reykjavik and arrived back in the UK on the 2nd January. We spent a few days exploring Iceland's capital, saw the northern lights twice, and took a wonderful day trip around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.


Roundup of Iceland posts:

Winter sun over a barn, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

Snow on the Reykjavik sea wall in December


Canoes at Moraine Lake, Alberta

Ah, the big one. The one you're sick of me talking about πŸ˜‰ I'm not even sorry.


After our first trip to Canada in September 2016, Daz and I booked a trip back for as soon as I'd finished my undergrad degree. We did a wonderful road trip covering Golden, Victoria, Tofino, Vancouver, Revelstoke, Banff and Canmore. The trip truly cemented our love for the country, and it's also where we got engaged!


Since returning we've felt a bit out of sorts, and like we left part of ourselves somewhere between Vancouver Island and the Rocky Mountains.


Unfortunately for you guys, there are more Canada posts coming in 2018. But we haven't got a trip back planned for 2018, so it's got to end at some point, right? πŸ˜‰


Roundup of Canada posts:

The view over Canmore from the Grassi Lakes trail

Sunset at the harbour in Victoria, BC

View from Cox Bay lookout, Tofino, BC

2018 travel plans

The only concrete plan I have at the moment is a trip to Morocco in April. I'm going on a study trip for my course and some of us are gonna hang around for a few extra days to explore. It's definitely not a place I would have chosen to visit myself. Mainly because I'm all about forests, lakes, snow-capped mountains, and cold places. 


I went to Tunisia twice when I was younger so I have been somewhere a little like Morocco but it feels a bit different now I'm all grown up and have no plans of spending my days bored around a swimming pool. If you have any recommendations about what to do in Morocco, let me know!


It would be nice to do a couple of short breaks exploring Scotland but I've no idea how heavy my workload will be. I think my classes finish at the start of April and then I have until the middle of August to do my dissertation. But, I need to get a big chunk of it done before April because of what my project is. So, who knows if I'll even have the luxury of a spare couple of days before August. Maybe we'll manage something next September to celebrate me finishing my MSc.


I want to hear where you visited in 2017 and any travel plans for 2018 πŸ™‚


What do you want from me? Girl In Awe reader survey

Girl In Awe 2017 reader survey

If a survey pops into my inbox, or I see one on social media, you can bet I’m gonna click on that link. I know it sounds really sad but I’m a scientist; I love answering questions and problem-solving. 

I’m gonna stop fangirling about surveys right now and get to it. Could you spare me a minute to get about 10% as excited as I do about surveys and fill in my reader survey? 

There are eight questions in total, plus a comment section. What I’m hoping to get from it is to find out what content you loved in 2017 and what you want to see in 2018. In general, I’m really happy with what I’ve produced this year, especially in the second half of the year, and I have so many ideas floating around my brain for next year. But, I definitely need to know how you feel about it all, too. 

I do have a wee handful of posts planned before the end of the year, but I know we’re all pretty busy already and starting to take some much needed time off. Thank you for reading my ramblings, starting conversations with me, and teaching me so many things. I hope you all have some precious time with your loved ones, eat plenty of delicious food, read good books, and catch up on some sleep. 




Lani Tropical Detox Cacao Face Mask – the face mask you’re going to want to eat

Lani Tropical Detox Cacao Face Mask

Lani Tropical Detox Cacao Face Mask comes in powder form in a jar and turns into a mousse

I'm not sure this review really needs to be any longer than; the Lani Tropical Detox Cacao face mask is like rubbing Aero mousse on your face, you're gonna want to eat it, and it's everything you need in a face mask. 


While that line is enough to get me to buy a product, for those who want to find out more about Lani's Tropical Cacao Detox face mask, read on and be prepared to feel hungry.


Why did I choose Lani?

I stumbled across Lani on the Anthropologie website while trying to find a new face mask (ironically, I was looking at another brand but Lani's packaging drew me away from them; marketing goals there, Lani). I was looking for something that was toxin-free (read more about why that's important here), vegan, cruelty free, used organic ingredients, and was not packaged in plastic. Lani instantly fit the bill. From what I can see, all of their products come in glass with metal lids (though it does look like the face serum has a plastic dropper). That means their packaging is easily to recycle, or I will probably end up keeping it to put bulk spices or baking powder in.


In addition, Lani products are produced in the UK, they're fairly priced for toxin-free and vegan skincare, and they regularly donate to charity. Are they good people, or what?


Lani Tropical Detox Cacao face mask powder


Lani's Tropical Detox Cacao Face Mask turns from powder to mousse with a few drops of water


Lani do two face masks; Tropical Cacao Detox one or Tropical Fruit Radiance Mask. I went with the cacao one because I read a couple of reviews about how amazing the smell is. And guys, the smell does not disappoint.


The face mask comes in powdered form. To turn it into a delicious face mask the Victor of Dibley would adore; add a few drops of water to half - a full teaspoon of the mask. Note the packaging says one tablespoon but that would be waaaay too much. I use about three-quarters of a teaspoon and that does me perfectly. Their website says you should get between 20 - 40 uses out of one jar. I think 40 is pretty ambitious, but I reckon I will get around 20 uses out of one jar, which for Β£14.99 is my kind of value for money. 

Lani Tropical Detox Cacao Face Mask in mousse form

It is a drying mask and it doesn't take more than a few minutes to dry out. The packaging recommends leaving it on for 10 - 20 minutes. I've left it on much longer than that before (I was watching YouTube videos, lols) and it hasn't gone too far and dried my skin out. The smell drives me nuts every time I use it (in a good way). It reminded me of one of those Aero mousse yoghurt things my Mum used to buy me and my sister when we were kids. Pretty sure that's not vegan, but at least I can relive the smell and sort my skin out at the same time. Now that's the kind of multi-tasking I'm up for doing. 


The mask washes off nicely in the shower or using a face cloth with no harsh scrubbing needed. Winter has been causing a bit of chaos for my skin recently and this face mask has been a saviour. After using this, my blemishes / redness looks calmer and I really think it's helping to calm my skin down.


Would I repurchase?

Absolutely. This face mask is cruelty free, vegan, toxin-free, smells deeeelightful and is helping save my winter-battered skin. While I'm tempted to straight out repurchase this, I want to try out Lani's Fruit Radiance Mask to see how it compares.


What's your favourite face mask?


Share The Love – November 2017 edition

Share The Love November 2017 collage

I know, I know, November was a bit of a quiet month around here; assignment deadlines crept up on me and then all of a sudden I had no time to blog. I’m trying to get back into it for December and want to plan in advance in case things get hectic around Christmas. 

November was a lot of research and writing. I had two 3,000 word essays, which isn’t that much for me to write (thanks, years of taking part in NaNoWriMo!); it’s the research and refining bit that takes the time. 

I got most of my Christmas shopping sorted, and some of it is all wrapped up – it looks like a six year old wrapped them, but they’re wrapped. Apart from that, Daz and I have been playing Horizon Zero Dawn, which is pretty excellent, though we keep calling the main character Alloy or Aioli. I’m also putting all my effort into not buying The Sims 4 on console until my exams are over. 

The past few weeks have treated us to some incredible sunsets. I’m not sure if it’s the time of year, or there are just better sunsets in Scotland, but I feel like at least 4 times a week I’m seeing amazing sunsets. Definitely not complaining. 

A couple of sustainable living posts went live in November, which I’m really proud of and wanted to point you towards if you’ve missed them: how to have a less wasteful Christmas and 8 reasons why you should produce less rubbish.


Blog – Kalyn Nicholson

I think this is a first; I’m listing a YouTube channel this month instead of a blog. Kalyn does have a blog too and she did just recently post about 10 TV shows worth binging, which is spot on. I found Kalyn’s channel a couple of months back and she’s become an autowatch YouTuber and that is something for me. I don’t think there’s anyone else whose videos I will always watch. 

Kalyn’s videos have a nice, chill vibe; her editing is en pointe, and her videos are chock full of legit useful tips and inspiration. Plus, Bentley is adorable as. Watch one of her videos and tell me you don’t want to light about a hundred candles and throw on some comfy clothes? I dare you. 



When I wrote October’s Share The Love post, I was truly expecting this section to just be me fangirling about Taylor Swift. I only really liked Ready For It before the album came out, but I was expecting myself to get swept up once I heard the album in full and just love it. Nope. Sadly, that did not happen. I just don’t like the new style. I respect her for changing, I won’t knock that, I just don’t like her new sound, and I’m gutted about that because I’ve been a fan since Love Story was released.

I do like Don’t Blame Me and I Did Something Bad, but the rest of it is quite forgettable for me. And the less I say about End Game, the better. 

My Autumn Bop playlist has had a slight update, but not much. A couple of weeks ago, I started listening to the podcast S Town and it is brilliant. If you loved Serial, you will love S Town even more because the storytelling is outstanding. I can’t remember exactly when I finished off You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero (might have been the end of October, I dunno); the audiobook is well worth a listen and I fully attribute listening to that to Kalyn’s videos, too. 



Really having to wrack my brains for this one because we haven’t been watching a huge amount of TV, aside from Blue Planet 2. How incredible is the cinematography on that? We’ve mostly been playing Horizon Zero Dawn when we’d be watching TV. 

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December Goals

Report on November goals

In November I wanted to finish off my masters dissertation plan, do yoga at least three times a week, and read more. I did not finish my masters dissertation plan because it took me a while to find time to sit down with my tutor to hack things out. I’m definitely closer to finishing it though, which is great. Yoga fell off when I stopped scheduling it, so it seems I need to schedule it to actually do it. And I read a little more this month but not as much as I wanted. 


December goals

  • Finish masters dissertation plan; my exams are before Christmas, which gives me some time to finish things off. 
  • Be prepared with my blog; I want to get the posts going up around Christmas scheduled in advance so I’m not rushing and taking time out of enjoying Christmas. 
  • Schedule in and do yoga; scheduling it seems to work really well for me, so I need to do that again because I still love those yoga pants and want them in my life. But I’m putting my foot down with myself; it ain’t happening unless I’m doing it regularly. 


Phew. That felt like a long one. Ok, you go: tell me about how November was for you and what your goals are for December.