Friday, 23 June 2017

What's so Bad About Being a Stay-At-Home Mum?


So last week I published a lovely little post where I asked the question; "Where do you stand on feminism?". I had so much fun exploring the topic of feminism, and really airing my thoughts on the topic, particularly with reference to relationships (Yes, I've caught the Love Island bug)... and it was so exciting to see the post attract so much attention. It's ended up being one of my most-viewed posts in the last few months, and I'm so glad that it has.

But reading through the comments, I came across something that really made me question my beliefs with regards to the feminist movement. So I want to have a little chat with you today about this comment.


So first off, yes girl it is so so important to bring attention to the inequalities among men and women. As I said in last weeks post, guys do generally have better access to a better quality of living... and that needs to be discussed in order for it to be properly addressed and amended. That's not what I had the 'issue' with.

But is the fact that "We still do way more housework than men" really a problem?

The way I see it, is that the perception that housework is a womans job and responsibility, is a problem. Women doing housework, is not a problem. I believe that the difficulties faced by women trying to succeed in their career because they have 'obligations' in the household are problems. But I do not believe that it is a problem for women (or men) if they don't want to pursue a professional working life and would prefer to be stay-at-home parents who make the meals and clean the house from top to bottom every day.

"Feminism, at its core, advocates freedom of choice"


I don't want to step on anyone's toes, or sound like an 'angry, ranting feminist'... but #futureisfemale is the kind of saying that spurs on the Johnnys' of the world who think that feminism "believes in almost inequality". Can I just point out, that if you are an advocate for women-on-top then you are not a feminist; but a misandrist. So really, when Johnny Mitchell from Love Island said that 'real feminists' believe in preferential treatment of women at the expense of men, he was really just getting mixed up with feminists and misandrists. Fact.

Feminism is not discriminatory, and it doesn't advocate a slope towards any one gender. I really cannot stress enough that it is about equality for all. And a huge part of equality is choice. I am a strong believer that feminism, at its core, advocates freedom of choice for everyone... and that's why I had such an issue with the comment complaining that women do more housework than men.

My Dad works full time in the IT industry, and my Mum is currently a full time primary school assistant. But when my brother and I were younger, my Mum decided to be a stay-at-home Mum, and she looked after my brother and I. She did -and still does- most of the housework, looked after two children, and every now and then she would sell her own paintings online. 

Misogynists would argue that my Mum should never have got a job, and that she should have stayed where she belonged- in the house serving my Dad... and that when I should never have gone to university, and instead should have stayed at home and helped my Mum until I was lucky enough to find a man.

Misandrists would argue that my Dad treated my Mum so unfairly by forcing her to stay at home and be a slave to the house and family- and that instead my Mum should have broke free and become the high achieving woman that she was born to be. That she was better than this life, and better than my Dad.

But feminists would stay no, it's about choice. Who you choose to be, what kind of lifestyle you choose to leave- it's all down to you, regardless of your gender. I believe in a world where people have the freedom to pursue any path they choose- and that world is core in the feminist movement.

Adios, xo

Monday, 19 June 2017

Moving Out for the First Time



I really wanted to write an "announcement" post to broadcast the fact that I'm going to be moving out in two months, but I already told you guys back in the 5 Happy Things post that I published last month. So rather than unveiling my plans to move in to a flat with two uni friends this coming August, I'm going to give you a little insight into everything that's gone on since I last updated you about this crazy, exciting adventure! 

Doing anything for the first time is daunting. Not necessarily because what you're doing is scary, but sometimes just because you don't have the previous experience to know what to expect. That's how I feel about moving out. There's so much to organise; all the paperwork that needs to be filed away, signed and sorted; all the furniture that needs to be bought, refurbished and stored... not to mention the flatmates.

I've not even moved out yet, and I've already learned a lesson or two about moving out. One thing I've had to learn the hard way is that you need to be able to fully rely on your (future) flatmates. Because if you can't rely on them, how can you rely on them to pay rent? My flatshare is set up in a way that if one person fails to pay their full rent, then the other two flat members are liable for that money. So it's super important that I can trust the people I'm moving out with.

The people part of moving out has been the craziest.

I remember the first time I lay eyes on the flat. Myself and my two friends Lois and Maria fell in love with it instantly. That day, the three of us talked about how we all felt like we had this emotional attachment to the flat- and how perfect it seemed for us three. We were all so excited, that after months of looking for a flat we had finally found the one- and it was in our price range as well. Within days we had contacted the letting agency and put down the deposit. 

Everything was falling into place.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I was away in Northampton visiting childhood friends when I checked Facebook to see that one of the girls I was moving out with had sent a huge paragraph on our flatshare group chat...She wasn't moving out with us anymore. 

She had talked to her parents, and they had told her not to move out, because she was already in a position where she lived in a great location in the city center, and didn't have to pay rent because her parents owned her flat. 

Fair enough.

We knew someone who was looking for a flat, and managed to get in contact with her straight away. Within hours we got it all sorted out- no hard feelings, we had a new flatmate and everything was going great again... until the other original flatmate sent her own paragraph explaining how she couldn't move out just yet. How she wasn't ready, and how she'd miss her family too much.

Whew. Fair. Enough.

I flew into a state of frenzy, messaging everyone who was anyone. Putting up instagram and snapchat stories begging anyone who was still looking to move out to get in contact with me. And thankfully I got a good few responses, with about three people seriously considering it.

We've got it all sorted out now (for now) and hopefully will be able to start organising who's bringing what into the flat in the next two months. I'm still just as excited to move into the flat as I was when I first walked into the hallway; even though I won't be moving out with the people I thought I would. It's still going to be a massive, crazy adventure. 

I want to keep you guys updated on my whole experience of moving out for the first time, and share any useful posts that I've read- so you might find that over the next few months the main focus will be on home-y stuff. I hope that's alright!!

Adios xo

Where do you stand on Feminism?


"I could never go out with someone who's not a feminist"


I started watching Love Island for the first time last week... it's pretty much impossible to avoid. Everyone at work is talking about this sensational TV show that seems to have the nation hooked. There's so much anticipation over who'll couple up with who, and which couple will outlast everyone else... I love it!

I never really thought that Love Island would be something that I would genuinely get in to watching, and enjoy watching, but I sincerely have.

Despite everyone at work constantly chatting about who Chris has snogged/what happened at the recoupling etc, and Zoe Sugg saying she really enjoyed watching the show; what actually got me watching it in the first place was the clips all over Twitter of Camilla and Johnny's fall-out over feminism.

In the space of a four minute clip, I gained so much respect for a young woman who I knew virtually nothing about. All I knew was damn, that's a girl who'll stand up for what she believes even if it makes her vulnerable and puts her at a disadvantage. That's a girl I can look up to.

I can honestly say that I could never go out with someone who's not a feminist. I have before, and I never will again. There's nothing tricky or complicated about believing that men and women should have equal rights. It's not a 'difference of opinions'.

"If you are completely fine with the fact that guys have more opportunities and less harassment than girls, then you're not a feminist"


Guys -in general- have easier access to a better quality of life than girls do, because of generation after generation of stigmatism and inequality. That's the truth; what you do with that information defines whether you're a feminist or not. If you are completely fine with the fact that guys have more opportunities and less harassment than girls, then you're not a feminist. But if you're not okay with that, and you believe that men and women should have a level playing field, then you tick the box for 'feminist'. It's as simple as that.

So how could I, a self-respecting young woman, go out with a guy that believes he's entitled to a better life than me just because of the sexual organ he hides under his pants? It would be daft, and self-depreciating at the most shallow level.

I'm just going to leave it at that- I don't really have much else to say. 

Adios, xo

Monday, 12 June 2017

Life Last Week


This week has had its ups and downs- much like any other week. In many ways, this week is no different than any other... but there are some aspects of my life that have changed forever.

For starters, I voted for the first time ever. As an eighteen year old living in Scotland, I have had the opportunity to vote three times in total, but it has taken until last Thursday for me to exercise my right as a young person in the democratic country I live in.

And yeah, I voted for the SNP's.

I voted for free education, for healthcare for all (not just the rich), and for job security. I voted against division with regards to race and religion- be it European or Muslim; or both. I voted for a strong female leader who shows compassion, and who looks to the people when making a decision. And while I say 'each to their own', to me it's clear that the SNP party is the only party which delivers on all of these core ideals. So that's who I voted for.

This week I also got a very exciting message from Sophia Von Porat, who heads Swedish Vegan subscription box VegoBox, asking me about the prices I could offer should she order 130 of my vegan 'Scrub n' Kiss' lip scrubs. 

While we sadly weren't able to come to an agreement, it was so encouraging to know that people are actually interested in my lip scrubs... Being totally honest with you guys, I've slowly been giving up hope. What started as an exciting new venture, has slowly crept to the back of my mind. 

I hope that I will be able to build up my etsy store, and that the Scrub n' Kiss lip scrubs will kick off soon, but I understand that sometimes things don't go quite as planned. Still, I haven't given up just yet!

In other news, I found out that my friend is recording a few demos with his band in about a fortnight! I've never heard him play in his band- but I know just how talented he is, and I honestly couldn't be more excited to hear these demos as they begin to share their music with the world. You can bet that as soon as they get some stuff online that I'll be sharing like crazy.

I had a bit of down time on Sunday, as I had the day off to spend time with my Dad- who was back from Belgium for the weekend. The struggles of having a job in hospitality when my Dad's only back for a weekend once every fortnight means that I often don't get time off to spend with him- weekends are the busiest times for me in TGI Friday's! But it was really lovely to be able to hang out with my family for the first time in what feels like forever.

Getting to spend quality time with family will always trump anything else.

We went on a drive, played uno, my Mum and I watched Poldark (Can I just OH MY GOODNESS... anyone else who watched last nights episode will understand, damn it gets better every time!), and then we all headed up to bed for a nice early night. I've missed being able to just hang out.

Anyways, I'm going to love you and leave you for now. I hope you all had as good a week as I have- and that this week will be just as bright.

If you can, please support me by buying or sharing my vegan lip scrubs.
You can find my etsy page by following the link here.

Adios xo

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Why I'm going VEGAN with my MAKEUP


Eight months ago, my makeup collection primarily consisted of products from MAC, NYX, Bobbi Brown and Makeup Revolution; and to some extent it still does. Only eight months ago, I turned a blind eye to issues like animal cruelty in the beauty/makeup domain... until I talked to Lois Hanna.

My friends and I were a few weeks into university, still getting to know each-other, when I suggested we all go to get our makeup done together at MAC in House of Frasers before we all went on our night out. Everyone seemed pretty keen, and we got into a frantically excited conversation about makeup. I told them of my extensive collection of MAC products, and how I would probably never wear anything other than my MAC Pro Longwear foundation on a night out. 

That's when Lois chimed in to tell us how she has not, does not, and will never buy any products from MAC. In my surprise I questioned her, curious to know why would anyone be so against such a brilliant high end cosmetic brand. Her response was a comment about how MAC carried a reputation of disgusting, inhumane treatment of animals.

Sure- their products are beautiful, long lasting, and highly pigmented... but at what cost?

The next day I went home to do a bit of my own research, and was shocked to find out that my favourite makeup brand had been caught up in scandal after scandal with regards to animal cruelty, testing, and use of animals in their actual products. MAC -as well as many other makeup tycoons- claimed to be 'cruelty free', but below the surface was a culture of paying third-party companies to carry out some horrific procedures on animals.

Every time you spend money on a product by a brand that endorses animal cruelty, you are essentially funding those experiments. It's kind of like the opposite of products where a percentage of the profits go to charity. 

Now, makeup is expensive as heck- and I don't exactly go for the cheaper, more 'affordable' brands when it comes to splashing cash on products that are going to end up on my face. So I can't promise you that I'm never going to wear makeup that doesn't submit cruel treatment on animals. I have a couple hundred pounds worth of makeup stored away, most of which I use every day.

I do, however, pledge to discontinue purchasing makeup products from brands which are unethical and immoral. In order to do this in a truly effective way, I've concluded that from now on, I'm going to be super picky about the products I spend my hard-earned cash on. 

For me, the only way I know for certain that the products I buy are completely ethical is by going vegan... but just with my makeup (for now).

Vegan makeup brands not only promise to abstain from animal cruelty, not using any animal products whatsoever, and being totally against animal testing; they often use recycled/recyclable materials for packaging... AND campaign for animal rights. If you're struggling to think of examples, just think of Lush.

I've listed a couple of vegan brands I've got my eye on in a draft post... I'm not sure if I'll post it or if I'll just keep it to myself just yet, but I'll let you know! For now, just remember that my 'Scrub n' Kiss' Lip Scrubs are 100% vegan... so do please pop over to my etsy and support me.

 I do hope this post encourages you to look into the brands you're supporting.

Adios xo

Sunday, 4 June 2017

My High Hopes for June


Happy June, friends! I hope you all had a great month full of fun and laughter! 

Summer is in full swing (even though the weather isn't always reflective of it) and I'm absolutely loving it. Winter is the hardest season for me- apart from always getting a bloody cold/flu, I also have to give myself an extra bit of TLC in order to take care of myself while my mental health takes a slump due to seasonal affective disorder. I've done really well this year, and I'm really proud of myself for how well I've coped- but I am certainly glad that that period is over and done with. 

Summer is all about spending time with your friends, having a laugh, and living life to the full. When someone mentions "summer" I think of holidays, beaches, and barbeques. I think about the times I spent holidaying in Poland with my family, going on shopping sprees, and late night outings to see the stars. 

This month, I have a lot to do and a lot to look forward to.

I hope to maintain my passion for life and my wide, wide smile. I am an all-round genuinely happy person... it's just kinda who I am; an integral part of what makes me, well, me. I want to leap into April with a grin on my face, and sprinkles of joy left behind in a trace wherever I go. 

I hope that people will say "that Sara lass, she a person with an abundance of positivity", and I hope that will reflect on the encounters I have with everyone I cross paths with this month. I not only want to be happy- I want to create happiness. Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if I could bring a sprinkle of joy to at least one person a day? That would be 30 beautiful, joyous encounters this month alone. 

I also hope to work hard and put my all into every little detail. 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Links for a Lovely Day


Let's start with a little music. One of the biggest perks of working in TGI Fridays is that the playlist is bomb. The amount of times I've been stressed out my nut, or felt as if I was about to burst into tears, just for an amazing Pick-Me-Up Anthem to come on. It's incredible. Leaving You Behind by Clean Cut Kid is one of those songs that comes on quite a lot, but I never found out who it was by until it came on when I was listening to the TRNSMT Festival Lineup Playlist on shuffle.

So I've never heard of her before (sorry) but apparently Lele Pons is something of an internet sensation. I was scrolling through instagram's 'suggested videos' yesterday when I came across one of Lele's insta-sketches. It made me laugh out loud... seriously. (I may or may not have insta-stalked her for the rest of the night)

I don't really have any of Hannah Gale's posts that I want to talk about in paticular, because let's face it that girl is an all-round queen. Every post she writes is uplifting, amazing and comedic. She brings every young woman's inner voice to light in the most colourful way, and I love it!

If you're anything like me then you'll have dozens of notebooks, and no idea what to fill them with. Last summer I went on a massive MASSIVE stationary rampage in the hopes of preparing myself for university. The result? I still have a box full of notebooks and binders and pens that haven't seen the light of day since they were stacked up on stationary shop shelves. Jordan Clark amazingly brings some solutions that even I had never thought of.

So about a year and a half ago I joined my local gym. I paid the entry fee, bought myself a new pair of trainers and sports leggings... and I can count the number of times I went in the past year and a half on my hands. I'm not even kidding. But now, because I'm moving out to Glasgow in August, I've decided to join PureGym with my friend Erin- and I'm actually going to go this time.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

5 Happy Things



I'm writing this a week in advance, because right now its 1:50am and I can't sleep, and for once I've actually got time on my hands. There's my number one... time.

Time
 I am so thankful for all the time that I've got, to be able to do all the things that I do. For example, on Tuesday the 2nd of May, I will have gone to a flat viewing, met up with my friend from Northern Ireland and gone to work. Call me superwoman? I'm so happy that I have time to spend with the people I love.

Friends
Speaking of people I love, my friend Zoe finally gets back from her trip home to Northern Ireland this week! I'm so excited to see her, she's honestly like a little ray of sunshine... it's impossible not to smile when Zoe is around!!

Achievements
About two months ago or so, I opened up my etsy shop, where I now sell my scrub n' kiss lip scrubs (You can check them out here if you're interested!). And just last week I received my first ever order from outside the UK, (to NY) which was super exciting!!

Chocolate
My Mum and Brother recently came back from visiting my Dad who works in Belgium... and yes, while they did go without me (I was working) they brought me back this giant slab of chocolate. By giant, I mean it was probably about 50-by-30cm of pure white chocolate sprinkled with smarties. And if that's not heaven then I don't know what is.

A New Home
This is the biggest announcement of the day... Last week, I put down the deposit on my own first ever flat!!! I'm going to be moving in with two of my close friends from Uni mid-August before the new semester starts, and we'll be renting for a minimum of a year, which is super exciting! It's a gorgeous wee place with massive bedrooms, and a decent sized kitchen too, and I can't wait to move into it.

What's made you happy lately? 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Reaction: I'm not dressing to look thinner



You know that amazing moment when a really young child catches a glance of their reflection in a mirror? They giggle and squeal, and give themselves these huge, cheesy grins. They look in the mirror, at their own reflection, with amusement- and love.

When did we lose that? When did we start looking in the mirror and pointing out our flaws?

Last month, Hannah Gale (the actual legend of a human being) published a post to talk about her experience of uploading a picture of herself on instagram... and being called out on it because the 'angle and outfit' wasn't 'flattering'. I'm not even kidding, you can read her post about it here.

I find it so ridiculous that in this day an age (where every second post I see on instagram is something to do with appreciating our own and other peoples beauty) someone would be as arrogant and idiotic as to make someone feel insignificant and ugly by leaving such a nasty comment on their instagram account. To me, it's absolutely ludicrous.

Because lets face it- often when we catch a glance of our own reflection in a mirror, our response isn't to giggle and squeal, or to give ourselves these huge, cheesy grin. Our reaction -more often than not- is to mumble and moan, or notice these huge, non-existent slabs of fat on our body.We look in the mirror, at our own reflection, with disgust- and hate.

In the words of Hannah Gale herself, "You HAVE to accept your flaws and your lumps and you bumps and the things that make you YOU. You have got to be your own best friend and your own cheerleader"

So lately, I've been taking extra care to make sure I'm wearing clothes that make me feel good rather than 'look' good. Because even though the green wide fit trousers I bought in New Look make my legs look three sizes up from what they actually are when I look in the mirror... when I don't look in the mirror, I feel amazing, confident, and beautiful.

And on a quick side note, that's why I spend so much time getting ready in the morning. It's not to look good for the people around me. The people I pass in the street aren't going to notice the time I spent perfecting my winged liner and eye makeup with the shade chopper in the crease of my eye. But I notice it. And it makes me feel good, and it makes me happy.

So let's not dress to look a certain way. Instead, let's dress to feel good.

(Happy May-Day too, by the way)

Sunday, 23 April 2017

An A-Z List of My Favourite Blog Posts


Hey my lovelies, I hope you're all doing well! 

I've been dying to write this post for ages- ever since Erin wrote a very similar post on the A-Z list of Blog Post Ideas back in January, which you can read here. She did such a good job, and her post totally inspired me to write my own A-Z with a little 'Sara' twist on it. Enjoy!

A
A FEW ACTS OF SELF-LOVE THAT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE

B
BE LOVELY TO YOURSELF

C
CURRENTLY CRAVING: PALM PRINTS

D
DREAMING OF MYKONOS

E
EXPERIMENTING WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

F
FIVE THINGS THAT HAVE MADE ME SMILE RECENTLY

G
GIFT GUIDE: LIFESTYLE

H
HAWAIIAN BURGERS

I
IMPENDING ADULTHOOD AND WORKPLACE REJECTION

J
JUST GET BACK UP WHEN IT KNOCKS YOU DOWN

K
KITCHEN CRUSH

L
LIFE LATELY

M
MARCH GOALS

N
NUDE MAKEUP FAVOURITES

O
ON MAINTAINING A HEALTHY ATTITUDE WHEN IT ALL GETS A BIT TOO MUCH

Post | Blog

P
PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BLOGGERS

Q
Q&A

R
REAL TALK: BEING LONELY

S
SPOILER: I'M NOT DRESSING TO LOOK THINNER

T
THE ART OF NOT CARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK

U
UNDER EYE ROUTINE

V
VEGAN PARMESAN CHEESE BREADSTICKS

W
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO TAKE A BREAK

X
(9) X MY INTERIOR RULES

Y
YOUR WEIGHT DOES NOT DEFINE YOU

Z

Post | Blog


I tried my best to find a post beginning with Z, I really did... if you know any please let me know so I can add it in!