This is a little bit different to my usual blog posts but i wanted to try something a little different. So from this month (February) onwards i’m going to attempt to do a ‘Monthly Favourites’ post.
The aim of this monthly post is to shout about and share the love for some of my favourite items, foods, places etc from the past month, and to keep in theme with my blog as a whole everything i share is in someway related to nature, conservation, travel and/or mental health.
Really hope you enjoy the first of my monthly favourites series!
1. Leave no trace: Reusable cotton pads
The first of my favourites is something i was really excited about and have been wanting for ages in an attempt to reduce my use of single use plastic wastage….. reusable cotton pads!
For the past couple of years i have been making a real effort to reduce my plastic, particularly single use plastic, usage. My first steps were buying a reusable bottle and coffee mug, along with taking my own bags when shopping. But i wanted to go further and after reading about the impact cotton farming has on the environment i knew reusable/washable cotton pads were my next must buy!
After finding Leave No Trace on Instagram i fell in love with the brand instantly. With a mission to remove single-use, throwaway and waste destined for landfill from everyday life, Leave No Trace is a Eco-friendly, plastic free, zero-waste shop to help people make environmentally friendly choices. They sell a variety of products, including shampoo bars, bamboo travel cutlery, metal straws, solid deodorant and so much more.
After using these cotton pads for a couple of weeks to remove makeup and moisturise i can confirm they are really good and so easy to use and clean. Also look at the adorable little bag they come in?! 10 out of 10 would recommend Leave No Trace to a friend (kinda what i’m doing here i guess…). Please check them out on Instagram to see all the amazing products they do and what they stand for, i promise you wont be disappointed!
2. The Future: Neil Hilborn
I’ve not ever really been one for poetry, apart from at school during my A-level English Literature, but recently thanks to a really good friend of mine i was introduced to Neil Hilborn and his poetry. Neil is an American slam poet who both writes and performs his poems, which often detail personal experiences and his battles with mental illness.
Poems are a very personal thing and one poem can mean something completely different from one person to the next. This being said there’s very little i can say about this collection of poems apart from just read them.
I think one of my personal favourites is ‘The future’. I was told listening to him live was the best way to hear his poems, which i can confirm is correct, so here’s ‘The future‘ live for you to have a listen.
3. Gorillas In The Mist: Dian Fossey
“When you realise the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future” Dian Fossey
As i’m sure you’re all aware by now i love primates (if you didn’t know this i’m clearly not talking about them enough and must talk about them more!). I am ashamed to say though that even though i know about the story of the amazing Dian Fossey i haven’t ever actually read her book so last month i decided i must find a copy of the famous ‘Gorillas in the mist’ and read is as soon as possible! Luckily during my monthly trip to the second hand book shop in my village – one of my favourite shops in my village- i found a copy for only £2(!), of course snatched it up straight away.
So who is Dian Fossey? Well a quick pit stop overview, Dian was a pretty badass woman of science to be honest, an American primatologist and conservationist known most famously for her extensive studies on mountain gorillas in the forests of the Virunga Mountains, Rwanda. Unfortunately she is also equally as famous for her death. On December 26th 1985 she was ‘brutally’ murdered in her cabin at her remote camp in the Virunga mountains. It isn’t fully known who or why she was killed but it is theorised that it was linked to her conservation and research efforts.
I am currently only half way through the book but honestly i can’t recommend it enough! To anyone interested in primates, conservation, research or women in science please please give it a read, you will love it.
4. Lavender oil
This one really is a random one but honestly i am obsessed with the stuff! Lavenders are beautiful plants in their own right, but these purple plants have so many other powerful benefits other than their beauty. Lavender oil is a favourite essential oil for many people however i have only recently began to see and feels its real benefits. So what are these benefits i hear you ask? Benefits include reducing anxiety/emotional stress, helping heal burns and wounds, improving sleep, reducing acne and so many more!
Recently i have been using a lavender oil roll on, on my wrists and neck to daily, or when needed, to help with my anxiety. As well as using a lavender spray on my pillow at night to help improve my sleep. Sometimes it can be really difficult to know if these essential oils and aromatherapy methods really ‘work’, but i have definitely noticed a difference, particularly in my sleep where i am waking up less etc.
The only problem with lavender is that it is a bit of a acquired smell. For example, my partner really doesn’t like the smell so when i spray it on my pillow he always makes a point that i don’t put any of his side….. But if you do like or can stand the smell and are struggling with anxiety, in any form, or sleep etc i recommend giving it a try.
5. Annie’s Burger Shack
Now this one may seem a bit random so let me explain. Like many others, at the start of 2019 i said to myself this would be the year that i made a concerted effort to cut down my meat intake, mainly for environmental reasons (i’m not going to get into that debate as it could easily be its own post!). So far i have managed pretty well to be honest, cutting down to only 3-4 meat meals a week, as well as near enough cutting beef out of my diet completely.
Anyway, so why is Annie’s Burger Shack on this list i hear you ask. Well, it was my partners birthday this month and his sister and fiance were coming up to see us and go out for food. With me still being conscious of my meat intake i really wanted to pick somewhere with lots of veggie options, but also with lots of meat options for everyone else. The place at the top of my list was Annie’s, why? Well, the amazing thing about Annie’s is all of their 30+ burgers (YES, over 30 burgers!) are all available as meat, veggie and vegan! All i can say is if you live in Nottingham, Derby or Worcester area give Annie’s a visit as you really wont regret it, it’s honestly some of the best burgers i have ever tasted.
Hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my favourites this month and give some of them a go yourself.
Till next time