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5 Charity gift alternatives: Make a difference this Christmas

Thursday, 10 December 2020



Christmas, a time of giving. I find Christmas shopping quite enjoyable, most years I find myself more excited to buy gifts for loved ones than to actually receive them myself. There’s just always something nice about seeing the reaction from a thoughtful gift even if you do spend time wondering if the person will even like what you’ve bought them. Gift giving sometimes shouldn’t just be about appreciating those around you or asking for things you don’t really want or need, but sometimes paying it forward and allowing that gift to be given to someone else. At this point I will say that only do this if you have the means to yourself, this is no way a post instructing you to spend all you have on others, just to consider it as an alternative form of gifting this year. Paying it forward is something I believe in all year round, but everyone is that bit more generous at Christmas so I thought I’d share a few of the gifting options available this year. This is by no means an extensive list of charitable donations you can give to at this time of year, just a range of causes and gifting options you could choose from.

 Choose Love

ChooseLove is a worldwide charity who have raised millions to support refugees all over the world and this Christmas they are once again running the chooselove shop. In the chooselove shop there are multiple products listed in the store which represent products or services which are urgently needed in the camps. The gift you purchase is by no means physical for you, but represents a gift that is a present for the refugees receiving that service meaning you don’t purchase a physical item you can go home with. The items are sorted into three categories: ‘Emergency needs’, ‘Daily survival’ and building futures, making the site easy to navigate so you can find a gift that is almost personal to the person you are buying it on behalf of. I bought family gifts from here last year so can attest to how easy it is to buy from the online store. If you’re worried about the gift not appearing personal enough too, in the check out you can create a card in the personalised e-card creator to accompany the donation.

The Giving Tree

Once again, an item that isn’t physical but a brilliant initiate that has moved online this year is the giving tree appeal. Giving Trees are usually located in most shopping centres, however due to the circumstances of Christmas this year various giving trees have moved their appeals online to ensure the children aren’t missing out this year. I’ve found two brilliant sites doing this, the Hartlepool Giving tree and the Giving tree, both approaching the appeal slightly differently. The Hartlepool Tree are listing tags for children listing their age and sex as well as the gift they have asked for, where as the Giving tree have listed general gifting categories that you purchase on the site. Tags on the Hartlepool site are easy to buy for since all you need to do is fill in your details on the gift tag and buy the present from the recommended online retailer, filling the details of the shipping address with the one they provide you over email. Straightforward and simple to do. Another fantastic appeal supporting those in need this Christmas, highlighting that no one should miss out at Christmas especially this Christmas.



Refuge are running two campaigns this year, parcels and gifts to help women and children escaping domestic abuse. Depending on budget can help you decide which you’d like to gift someone as the packages are slightly more than the gifts, though both are greatly appreciated by the charity especially since the demand for their services are even higher at the moment than they were in pre-Covid times. The parcels range from supporting the helpline or emergency accommodation to Christmas dinners and gifts for the children, giving you a range of services you can purchase on behalf of a loved one. The gifts are individual products aimed at either women or children with varying price points since most people who are escaping abuse are unable to flee with their belongings, meaning that the gift you donate can go towards helping them build a life free of fear.



The 14 million people living in poverty in the UK often have to choose between food and personal hygiene. Not having access to these products can often be incredibly damaging to both mental and physical health, which is something that can easily be fixed since everyone has the right to be clean. BeautyBank work similarly to food banks, providing hygiene and personal care essentials to people in the UK who can’t afford them. Through Easho, BeautyBank have set up both bundles and vouchers which gives BeautyBanks the funds they need to purchase the most essential products. If you have extremely limited funds though, I recommend locating your nearest donation point on the BeautyBank site (located in most superdrugs) where you can give whatever you are able to.


Beam is a social enterprise that crowdfunds job training for homeless people, and supports them so they can get into stable, paid work. Beam works on a collaborative model with leading homeless charities that strive to create long term solutions to homelessness since it gives the person the skills they need to support themselves. Gifting with Beam is straight forward, you simply choose the card design and pay whatever amount you wish to donate to the charity. The recipient then chooses who to support with your donation and Beam keep them updated on the person or people they chose to donate to so they can share the inspiring journey of whoever they’re supporting. What’s also great About Beam is their card designs aren’t solely limited to Christmas options so you could purchase a donation for any occasion, allowing pay it forward to not just be an exclusively Christmas thing.

I’d love to hear if you know of any other charitable gifting options for this Christmas, as I said I know this list is by no means exhaustive. Just comment below if you’ve got any other alternatives to support this festive season.

Five Netflix Original films to watch this Christmas

Saturday, 5 December 2020


Source: Samira Rahi on Unsplash

A new year, a new festive season. That can only mean one thing, it’s time to make the Bailey’s hot chocolate and curl up with the latest cheesy picks from your favourite streaming platform! I’ve not seen all Netflix has to offer yet this year, but what I have seen so far only has me excited for the other new additions.


Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Now at first, this film haunted me with the ghosts of my riverdale watching past. (For anyone not familiar with the CW show, Jingle Jangle is their weird drug of choice that takes centre stage in series 3.) Riverdale aside, this film was firmly at the top of my must watch list after I saw Jas from rave about it on twitter. Jingle Jangle is a Christmas fantasy musical that tells the story of Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker) in the most beautiful way, adding just that special hint of magic we all need especially in a 2020 Christmas.

The Princess Switch: Switched Again

Starring Vanessa Hudgens, the sequel to the Princess Switch is all you need for a fun night in. Following on a year from where the last film left off, American Vanessa Hudgens is happily married to her dream prince of a small European principality. She has sworn to her husband that she would never switch again with her Duchess Doppleganger, however this all changes when another lookalike shows up to ruin the party! Fun and light hearted, this film does not disappoint as you can clearly see the actors had just as much fun making the film as we do watching it. The classic hallmark moment that has you loving Vanessa Hudgens just as much as you did back when she played Gabriella Montez.

Christmas on the Square

The first entry on the list that I actually haven’t watched yet, but I am beyond excited to sit down and watch what I can only assume will be a masterpiece. The second musical on this list, but the first starring Dolly Parton? As an angel no less?? The angel going toe to toe with Christine Baranski, this is a film where the vocals are sure to not disappoint. The story too looks good in a Christmas Carol-esque way of how love and the spirit of those around you can warm even the coldest of hearts, making it the kind of joy we need, now more than ever.


A favourite of mine from last year, Academy Award Nominated Klaus. Klaus creates an alternative history to the origins of Santa Claus, one that creates a story set around a postman stationed in an island town who befriends a recluse toymaker. The story is a beautiful uplifting tale and the animation is simply stunning, truly deserving of being the first Netflix animated feature to be nominated for the academy award.

Christmas Chronicles: Part 2

Just as fun as the first, Christmas Chronicles 2 is not one to disappoint. Like the first one, Christmas Chronicles 2 works largely because of Kurt Russell being cast as Santa Claus. The added bonus of Goldie Hawn acting alongside her husband as Mrs Claus creates more reason for the sequel, bringing natural chemistry to the couple. The film once again follows Kate, now a teenager, as she runs away from a family holiday but gets waylaid by a nefarious elf Belsnickel. (When I read this my brain did immediately think It was Dwight Schrute in costume again, will have to see) Will they save Christmas from the Dwight-a-like? Only this movie will tell.

There you have it, 5 picks old and new for Christmas this year on Netflix. What are you looking forward to watching this festive season?

Free downloads: Festive phone wallpapers

Friday, 4 December 2020

For the first blogmas entry I am posting, I decided to hone my canva skills and create a few wallpapers to download. Simply just click on the image to download and use to you heart's content over the Christmas period!
Happy December everyone!

Shop Small: Christmas decorations and preparations

Monday, 23 November 2020

 With Christmas fast approaching, I thought the next instalment in Julia scrolls through small businesses on etsy should be the festive season! More gift ideas are still to come, but with seeing many people on my Instagram this weekend put up their Christmas tree I thought it was best to find new decorations and ways to prepare for Christmas 2020. Obviously I’ve already covered home décor gift ideas, that does not  With many tree decorations and eco-friendly alternatives to Christmas staples I was spoilt for choice, thought I think I have made a good selection in my own humble opinion.

 Disclaimer: All photos and prices are taken from the sellers at the time of posting.

Felt Highland cow hanging decoration

With an array of felt hanging decorations, both Christmas and otherwise Feltsogood is my first pick for this list. Specifically I have gone non-traditional of sorts with a highland cow, though I think there should be a place on every tree for a tiny highland cow. The highland cow is adorable in any setting, and by having a tiny decoration of it you avoid the cost of owning an actual highland cow. Though, if you don’t follow any highland cow farm accounts on Instagram I recommend it. They provide much needed positivity on any feed. The thing I really love about this decoration though is that Especially since if you really like, it’s décor that would be welcome after Christmas too so you have a small bovine companion all year round!


Reindeer food


This one is most definitely aimed towards those who have families and younger children, possibly even a staple if you do. Growing up I would put out a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for the Reindeer, more recently I have seen reindeer food on sale in shops though. Normally the food contains many different components, including glitter. Now I’m not buying into the complete war on glitter I’ve seen in recent months since we all know that as much as we can do our own parts for global warming, it’s the big companies who ultimately need to change their ways. Glitter is still a microplastic issue though so it’s great to see alternatives like this to reindeer food I’ve seen on sale in the past. This reindeer food is ideal to leave out if you’re averse to carrots for some reason this feed is biodegradable and can just be left out for the birds when the reindeer are finished with it. It’s a must purchase for any household with little ones, especially when it comes with such an adorable poem on the back of the packaging!


Eco Elephant decorations

The second tree decoration on my list, but the only similarity it has with the first is in whimsy! The elephant eco decoration, once again adds a touch of fun to any Christmas tree, looking like an animal on a mission nestled between the branches. The crown ensures the animal will be reigning over your Christmases for many years to come, especially with the durable design of the whole decoration. The elephant is made from an old toy, designed to withstand even the most chaotic games of a child. I remember this style of toy living for ages in the wet play and sand box of my primary school, meaning this robust decoration can survive a Christmas tree if it can withstand playtime with 5 year olds.


Reusable Christmas Crackers

The Christmas cracker, the biggest staple on any Christmas table in almost every household. (Well besides roast potatoes.) The humble Christmas Cracker is a lot of fun, every hat either too big or too small for the average person since apparently there is no in-between with the paper accessories. Sadly, as much fun as they are it is estimated that over 40 million crackers end up in the waste on Christmas day meaning it is probably about time we found better alternatives that can last a little longer. Coming flatpack, the crackers are easy to assemble and the snaps can also be bought from the store meaning you have wouldn’t even need to buy new crackers next year! The other great thing about these crackers is that you buy your own gifts meaning you could personalise each cracker to whoever is coming to Christmas.


Christmas Snowman wrapping paper set

It was only last year that I actually found out most wrapping paper is not recyclable, in the UK we actually throw away 5 million tonnes a year. Obviously it is not all thrown out at Christmas, but the festive period doesn’t exactly help the issue. In recent years I have switched over to using brown paper for wrapping, however if you are after something a little less drab then I really recommend this set. The snowmen have lost their noses and as the wrapper, it is your job to try and find them! An adorable print suitable for wrapping both children’s and adult’s presents, the print adding a sense of whimsy that would be welcome under any tree, then after Christmas simply just recycle the paper which is far less harmful to the environment than most shop bought printed wrapping papers.


Reusable present bags

Another option to avoid waste this Christmas is to buy reusable gift bags, and with many of these on sale you’d find yourself spoilt for choice. The subtlety of the red and green print of the bags from SunflowerbyStella makes them almost suitable for occasions besides the festive season! What’s more, another thing I love about this style of gift bag is they are not only reusable as present bags, but the receiver could also use them as a travel wash bag or just general storage! Versatile and brilliant to reuse, these bags have a life longer than the regular cardboard bags making them a must to any Christmas preparations for those wishing to be more environmentally conscious this Christmas! 


This is just a few picks from etsy that I came across, though I really did struggle to narrow down my list since there are so many fantastic Christmas crafts for sale on the site! I recommend just having a browse and seeing all the other fantastic listings available on independent shops across the site, it’s just that personal touch every Christmas needs.   



Shop Small: Home Decor Gifts

Friday, 13 November 2020


It’s so easy to get lost on Etsy, within minutes of browsing through Etsy Homeware I am aching to transform an entire property. It’s the haven of all things you’d find on pinterest, giving you all the tools needed to create the cosy cottagecore world you’ve dreamt of. Whatever your style and personal preference, I’m sure you’d find it on etsy somewhere. I’ve decided to collate what I think could be the perfect Christmas gifts, or objects that can just begin the next lockdown activity of redecorating your entire house.

 Disclaimer: All prices are from the shops at the time of posting. All photos are taken directly from shop socials or actual product listings.

Sewmanynudess- £20 embroidery

An Instagram I recently came across that shows the beauty in the body and how we can use art to boost confidence and body positivity. The creations are beautiful, each stitch tells a story of the person they depict, working to empower anyone and demonstrate the beauty of the body. Each work is commissioned and a one off for the order, meaning at £20 you can own a bespoke one of a kind piece of art. Sew Many Nudes is about celebrating the body and building confidence so you don’t even need to be nude for the work, just wanting a stunning piece of embroidery from AmyLeigh.


At the start of the year, before Covid and lockdowns, or in other words a lifetime ago, I went to the Peddlar market in Sheffield. There we came across Kate’s stall showcasing an array of her hand-painted space creations. From wall hangings to jewellery dishes, I struggled to just pick one item from her shop with how detailed and colourful every piece is, so I’ve cheated a little and chosen two. The seashell jewellery dish is a perfectly unique piece that would look at home on any vanity, the star map a classic design for any avid astronomer! What’s more, it’s made from an upcycled shell too so a great eco purchase. Aurora Borealis painting too is a quirky find with its canvas being a repurposed tree stump, giving a certain rustic quality to the gorgeous piece. With so much more to offer than these two pieces, I urge you to have a look at Kate’s work since it is the perfect gift for any space lover.

 Aurora Borealis- £22
Jewellery dish- £17

Upcycled Beer can-dle

The perfect gift for any beer lover, male or female. When I cam across this listing on etsy, I thought it was a fantastic use of old beer cans especially since I know Brewdog is a favourite of many people. Using entirely vegan products, this is also the perfect candle for anyone wanting to buy not only local, but eco-friendly this year since the production of every candle is zero-waste. From using recycled packaging to obviously repurposing the can, Graham’s shop really embodies the reuse of the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra.

Brewdog candle- £8.99


Little wooden house with washing line


Okay, I am obsessed with this tiny house and will just say I think it’s one of the best things I have ever seen on etsy. Made from recycled materials, you can be reassured the rustic piece has a humble home, making any cottagecore dream décor of yours a reality. The added touch of the washing line made from nails and recycled fabric really makes this product in my opinion, especially to brighten the neutral tones in the rest of the piece. This is a great gift for the new homeowner especially, but one I would say many wouldn’t be sad to see under the tree.

House with a washing line-£12


Naturally dried flowers in miniature glass bottles

These delightful little bottles are a gift suitable for any occasion, not just Christmas. The flowers are perfect as a little decorative touch to your home, but the colours of the flowers have soothing tones in times of comfort. The simple design is an elegant piece that looks beautiful on display in any room, and made to order you can be sure this is the perfect thoughtful gift.

 Naturally dried floral trio-£10

Shop Small: Crystals, magic with Manifestations and Magic

Monday, 19 October 2020

Last Friday I recently posted on twitter a want to share small businesses on this platform up until Christmas as a way to just broadcast the amazing gifts people are creating. With COVID-19 I assume most people will be reaching for the online purchases than running to the shops to fill stockings and so why not see the alternative amazing businesses in the blogging community or elsewhere. Small businesses I find to be the best places to shop, just getting that more personal gift and supporting someone who isn’t Bezos at the same time. Plus knowing all of the work that goes into the products, you are sure to be getting a high quality present the person will love and that will last a longer time than half the stuff you buy cheaply on ebay. 

Disclaimer: All images used in this post are taken from the shop listings, and the prices are accurate at the time of post publication.

Manifestation and Magic

Manifest the life you want with crystals and magic.’

Manifestations and Magic is a brilliant shop owned by Lauren and the slogan of the shop really says it all in one go. Crystals have gained popularity in the last few years and Lauren’s shop really shows why. Selling high quality products for a reasonable price, the crystal bundles at manifestation and magic really are suited for almost any occasion. Of course, with Christmas coming up, your purchase will most likely be geared towards that, but there’s still so much thought in the packaging and product design beyond just labelling them as crystals. This shop also has a crystal for almost every occasion and a set that would be a fantastic Christmas addition to anyone who just wants to bring that little extra affirmation in their life.

Gift Picks:

Crystals for the avid astrologer

With a crystal set for every star sign on the chart, these crystals are hand selected to match the energy of  a person with that particular star sign. As a gemini myself, I have chosen to share the crystals for gemini. The set of crystals come in a gorgeous moon and star printed bag, both fitting for the product and the perfect place to safely store your crystals. I also find the small size of each crystal perfect to keep with you for those affirmations during the day, sometimes it just helps to balance emotions and ground yourself in tumultuous moments. These are perfect for your co-star obsessed friend who is addicted to the daily horoscope updates that love to mysteriously drag us all. 

Crystals for Gemini- £9.50

The best stocking Fillers

A piece of the rainbow

With Christmas coming up fast it's good to find the little presents now. The small gifts are sometimes the best in my opinion especially when they add that extra bit of creativity to your stocking. The hand knitted mini rainbow stocking to hold the crystals is just the most adorable little addition, adding a festive feel to your crystal collection. The crystals in this purchase are a surprise too, giving you the option to purchase either 1 or 3 crystals with the stocking, this element is one I really do love. A similar gift is the Christmas stocking option, which offers a more festive feel to the gift in the traditional Christmas colour palette. Both of these gift options I think are perfect for all ages, great for secret santa or a stocking filler.

Christmas Crystal stocking fillers- £6.50/ £9.50 (1 crystal or 3)

A piece of the rainbow- £6.50/ £9.50

Manifestations in hopes of a better 2020

One of the things I love about Lauren's store is the amount of occasions she has crystals for. These crystals for a new beginning are just one example of this, and are perfect for anyone you know who is starting anew. I think it's safe to say all of us are hoping for 2021 to be better than this year, many people right now are looking for new starts in employments or ventures which began in lockdown meaning this would be an ideal gift for them. The crystals can provide the good energy for the new beginning in the new year, hopefully allowing for next year to be better. The carry bag of the crystals is also a gorgeous touch with the moon and start motif, making them easy to carry about  on your new adventures.

Crystals for new beginnings- £9.50

Autumn Loves: September Favourites

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Another month ends in this weird timewarp that is 2020 and we move on, I’m still feeling like it was only the spring a month ago but that’s just how things are at the moment. September brought a lot of things for me, the autumn being one we all experienced but also the end of my Masters when I handed in my dissertation at the start of the month. Thus meaning I had a lot more time for other things, and I mean I haven’t done a favourites post on here since February so it was well overdue. This will be split into categories so if there’s a part of lifestyle you really want to skip you can do that easily.


Ghosts came back at the end of the month with season 2, but If you missed series 1 last year it’s all on iplayer don’t worry. Ghosts is a hilarious house share style sitcom with a twist, that a young couple Mike and Allison not only have to live in a haunted house but all of the ghosts have to also live with each other. Made by the actors who brought us horrible histories, Ghosts carries the same easy humour we all adored when we were younger. As someone who loved horrible histories I knew I’d most likely adore this when it came out last year, it’s just the sort of light hearted comedy to get us through 2020. I love it so much that I can’t even decide on a favourite ghost, they’re all such original characters and just continue to showcase the talents of the Horrible Histories cast we’re all glad joined our screens 10 years ago.


The Shipman Files

I love a good documentary, especially true crime. Usually I work my way through them on Netflix, though a friend recommended me this one that’s another BBC pick. At the moment I’ve only actually watched one of the episodes, but I enjoyed it so much that I’ve decided to put it on the list. Harold Shipman is viewed to be one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers and this documentary not only looks at why, but also how his case differed in that they found the killer before working out who and how many victims he had. I also loved how the first episode questions that he went under the radar for so long because of how we view pensioners as a victim since they’ve ‘already lived their lives’. A really fascinating watch, recommend it to anyone who is interested in true crime.

Taylor Swift Folklore

This was probably the album I listened to most over the summer and I can honestly see it being my most listened to autumn album too. I never usually associate music with seasons, more with moods but to me this album screams autumn. The soft lyrics and sound just feel cosy, almost like coming home and curling up with a book. As comforting as a cardigan, this will probably be my most listened to album of the year. Taylor Swift did it again, producing the one of the only good things to come out of 2020. No one is asking, but my favourite tracks are probably Exile and Betty. 

Baby got Books podcast

Jasmine is a fellow blogger and I came across her podcast this month, I just can’t get enough of it. The book discussions are fun and refreshing, making listening just feel like you’re almost part of the book club the three girls have. Not only that but the detail and planning that goes into every week is really shown by the themed cocktails they make which are centred around each book. I’ve yet to try any of the drinks, but they’ve all looked amazing so far and I am sure to share when I do actually make one of the amazing cocktails they’ve shared.


Now I have more time I’ve really been enjoying getting back into sewing since over lockdown I only actually made one project! I have some amazing fabrics that I’ve picked up from local craft stores around me, when getting things like sewing supplies I strongly recommend going local! I’ve found it’s the small haberdasheries who have the best selection of fabrics for almost every project you could imagine, and you’re also supporting someone’s small business so really there are no losers! The prices are fairly similar too to online retailers since any price markdown you find on a website usually adds up when you come to postage. I’m currently working on a dress mock up that I’ll probably share when it’s finished, I may even share the creation process on Instagram too! I have made a selection of masks and scrunchies to go with the season that I am debating about selling on etsy since I do think we should maybe have a little fun with face masks as they’re now part of the every day essentials.

What have you been enjoying so far this autumn?

Other posts you may like

Sh*t I've been loving in February


Review: The Broken Hearts Gallery

Monday, 21 September 2020



“Heartbreak is the loneliest feeling in the world. And the truth is it happens to all of us."

Going into The Broken Hearts Gallery, I was a woman with high expectations. I don’t think I’ve ever said before here that I love rom-coms. It’s something I’ve shied away from admitting in the past, in fear that I wouldn’t be considered a ‘good feminist’ since women enjoying the light films have previously been a source of ridicule. The double standard of women enjoying romantic comedies vs men enjoying action films is a discussion for another day though.. Back to the review.

Written and directed by Natalie Krinsky, the broken heart’s gallery follows the conventional rom-com idea we expect going into a screening, but what film these days doesn’t in some way start with boy meets girl? The classic formula of an early-on messy break up, supportive yet hilarious best friends and a dashing male who arrives at just the right time even if he is just a friend… At face value if treated like most reviewers treat all other non-Ephron written romantic comedies, Broken Heart’s Gallery could easily be written off. To do so based upon this, I believe the potential viewer would be making a big mistake. Krinsky’s script brings so much more to the formula though, creating life in what has been considered to be a rather dying genre. Crammed with both smart-relatable witticisms, it’s hard not to fall in love with main character Lucy and the journey she forges throughout the film. I entered with high hopes, thinking this would be one of the films I’d adore this year, not at all expecting it to bring me to tears at points.

 The film opens on a ‘perfect’ relationship that quickly turns south in what is one of the cringiest break ups I’ve seen in recent years. (A viral moment that indicates how Krinsky has ensured the film is based in ‘our time’) Lucy is a 26-year old gallery assistant who dreams of one day being curator, but who is so consumed by past relationships that she hoards mementos from every one of them. Her room is the source of many jokes by her friends Nadine and Amanda, with its décor ranging from a plastic piggy bank to bags of shoe laces and a monopoly thimble. It’s all essentially crap, but it means something to her. Following the split, her friends urge her to throw away the ex memorabilia and move on; all leading to Lucy bumping into Nick (Dacre Montgomery) who is conveniently setting up a boutique hotel where she begins a shrine to love lost, where the broken-hearted can leave behind mementoes of beloved exes so that they can finally move on.

The Broken Heart’s gallery does not re-invent the rom-com, but does it amazingly well and brings it into an overall more relatable modern era. The idea of a broken hearts gallery reframes the romance of the film, it challenges how we look at our own break ups and how we even understand heart break to begin with.  The notion is a poignant one and gives the film even more depth when we do eventually find out the reason for Lucy’s hoard of belongings. The level of depth this creates for the film though is only made possible by the casting of the film.

Amanda (Molly Gordon), Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Nadine (Phillipa Soo)

Geraldine Viswanathan stars as Lucy, playing the woman as funny, and unfiltered; the rom-com heroine we’ve been longing for who actually seems somewhat relatable. The performance is full of such life that it’s easy to relate to Lucy out the film, bringing much needed dimension and diversity to the usually self-deprecating twenty something living in New York. The chemistry between the two leads is natural, barbs bouncing easily between Viswanathan and Montgomery. There is something almost delightful about the way they spar with one another which creates a courtship built on a genuine friendship, establishing the will-they-won’t-they I find your happy as a viewer to end in either friendship or romance. I will also say it’s refreshing to see Montgomery without the mullet he sported as Billy in Stranger things, looking every part the dashing yet brooding love interest to match his brilliant performance. The supporting cast of Philippa Soo, yes Eliza from Hamilton, and Molly Gordon are great fun adding witty support to main character Lucy throughout the film. Overall a great watch and just a fun break from life at the moment.

One last mention goes to Cineworld for their precautions in the cinema, online booking is easy to use and I felt safe the entire time I was there. There were only four of us in the screening so social distancing was easy, but the one way system was easy to navigate making me feel safe for the entire time I was there.

Favourite quotes:

“My vibrator will never break my heart.” – Never have more true words been uttered, the vibrator is every modern woman’s best friend in heart break

“Men. You run the planet, you start wars, you killed the bees!!” – The most entertaining rant I’ve seen about the patriarchal history of the world

“You fucked more Russian models than a tech billionaire.”- The jokes around Nadine’s romantic endeavours were a firm favourite for me. A lesbian who could be poisoned by Putin for her vagina, what’s not to love?

Star rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐

Five Slang terms I've heard for periods: Let's normalise bleeding

Friday, 18 September 2020

Tampon depicted as a melting popsicle
It's that bloody time again. Source: Erol Ahmed unsplashed

Recently, I watched the Bodyform wombstories campaign and it reminded me of how we treat periods or rather how we are taught to treat them. This isn’t a first for the brand as I remember back in 2017 when they were the first to create an advert that featured period blood. To this day I’m still shocked that it took until 2017 for periods to even feature in the advertising for the products designed to aid them. I mean how are we supposed to openly discuss period issues and having a menstrual cycle if it cannot even be shown properly on tv?

My period and me

I’ve discussed periods on the blog before in a post looking at how I can bemore sustainable with my own period and the switch to a menstrual cup but that’s all so far. Nothing beyond that, even though we should share our experiences more. Sharing our experiences is a hard thing to do though, especially when almost from a young age we are taught to be quiet about them. I remember when I was in primary school and learned about periods, all the boys were taken from the class and got to play football. Understandably I was annoyed, why did they get to go out and play but we didn’t? It was a small separation, but the start of almost teaching girls to be quiet about their period, the boys didn’t need to know even if them knowing would make it easier for us to be less awkward about what is a natural process. This was way back in 2008, and the conversation is more open now; we just need to talk more openly. Stop the awkwardness of leaving a classroom or the office to change, the whispered question of if your friend has a pad since you came on early.

I’m not too educated on the sex education curriculum, but I would be interested to see if this practise has changed. Boys should be included in the conversation of menstruation so they have some understanding of what happens beyond ill received pms punchlines in sitcoms. We shouldn’t have to feel awkward if a tampon falls out of our backpack in class because it’s perfectly normal to carry them around school. Approximately 73% of women don’t know what a vulva is, and with so much different information available, it can be overwhelming to talk openly so that these things can be learned. The discussion needs to be open between all genders about periods so that shame doesn’t need to be felt when you’re feeling crap because you’ve come on, after all how are we supposed to discuss our own experiences with each other if they’re still viewed as taboo by society?

The Slang

This is why today I’ve compiled a list of the terms I have heard used before to describe periods either as a joke or to cover the fact that period is a ‘dirty’ word. Period always seems to be something we shy away from, that it’s dirty and too much information. The ‘gross’ jokes are more accepted because they make light of the situation rather than actually engaging in the experience. Without further ado here are five terms I’ve heard being used instead of period.

1. The time of the month

Ah, an age old classic. Everyone at this point has decoded this sentence, knowing it almost always means a person is on their period. I’m not entirely sure why this is accepted since to me period also refers to a passage of time just as well but hey this was always the go to in senior school.

2. Surfing the Crimson wave

This one I’ve only heard once or twice as a joke and reference, but I’d like to thank Clueless for it. A timeless excuse to explain any lateness to a teacher, usually male, without getting a detention. Cher gets away with the explanation in the film as reason for lateness so why wouldn’t it work in real life?

3. The Red Terror

Another colour reference, yes a period does involve blood. (It’s why women are so good at removing blood stains…) I find this one to be good if you’ve had a particularly painful time, when you’re doubled over in cramps and want to die because your uterus has decided to revolt. Acceptable when you use it yourself, but I do think if any man used it as a joke because a woman has gotten annoyed I would probably want to thump them.

4. Aunt Flow

The aunt we all seem to share despite not being related, she seems to be a little needy though in that she has to visit every month. Honestly some people just make themselves welcome even when they arrive unexpectedly when a person isn’t prepared to receive them.

Honourable mentions….

I didn’t want this post to be massively long so here are a few honourable mentions I couldn’t ignore but didn’t have much to say about. In true watch mojo fashion I’m going to make you wait for the final term

·         The Blob (Flubber’s less fun friend has come to stay)
·         Shark week (Honestly sharks get such a bad press, they’re actually quite gentle creatures in a way)
·         On the rag (I don’t know why but this one I really don’t like)
·         Bloody Mary (Say her name three times and apparently she doesn’t appear in your mirror but actually in your menstrual cycle)

5.  Code Red

The dramatic alert in any disaster film and also apparently in the monthly calendar. A classic for when you’ve had a real disaster and leaked on your university bed in a room that you rent. the inventor of mattress protectors was really looking out for us. This reminds me of the 23/19 alert in Monsters inc with the sheer terror implied in it being a code red. Truly a blood bath. Baths are great when on your period in my opinion, same as the hot water bottle they soothe the cramps and just provide some much needed self-care.

There you have it, just some fun slang terms to continue the conversation of periods. We need to be more open about them to stop the awkwardness and taboo treatment. 

What are some of the names you’ve heard periods be called before?

Phone wallpaper created by me

Live Theatre is Back: Reviewing Jesus Christ Superstar, Regents Park Open Air Theatre

Friday, 21 August 2020

Live theatre is back, and better than ever in a way that keeps everyone, both audience and performers alike, safe. It’s an understatement to say the theatre scene has taken an impact from Covid-19, but Regent’s Park open announcing a short 6 week run of their award winning production Jesus Christ Superstar appeared to be an almost beacon of hope in the darkness and confusion we are all currently feeling.

Despite being the same venue I visited last year, when I was fortunate enough to see Evita, the outdoor theatre almost feels like a completely different place. With temperature checks in the queue, and a one-way system around the outdoor bar area, it is clear to see that the venue has gone above and beyond to ensure public safety at all performances. ‘Seating bubbles’ in the auditorium limit the contact between members of the public, bringing the audience size down to less than a third of what would normally be permitted at the venue. Masks are asked to be worn at all times by those who are not exempt, allowing a glimpse over how the theatre can possibly return. (When it isn’t raining at least..)

Life in lockdown: how I kept busy

Monday, 17 August 2020

I’ve not written on here for a good while, I would apologise but in eality I’ve been rather lazy and lax since I wanted to focus on my masters. The laziness is more in regards to not knowing what niche I could have or where I wanted to go with this blog.

Over the last few months, lockdown, rona, just everything; I have wanted to make a difference. At least I have wanted to use my voice for good, I’m still not sure how to do that but I am trying. I really want this platform to be a reflection of my voice though, meaning there may be serious posts where I rant or talk about what needs to change in the world. Not many people read this platform, but I like to think this is or can be a voice beyond frivolity and fun musings.

Goals, milestones and me

Monday, 9 March 2020
Shirt: Vintage, Jeans: Thrift flipped levis Dino Socks: Tesco

Hi, my name is Julia and I am at the start of an existential crisis. Currently I am studying a masters in history, a nice extension of my undergraduate degree since I enjoyed studying so much. Less contact hours, but still fulfilled by the same mind set I have had for the past 10 or so years I’ve spent in education. Work towards goals and particular milestones either in life or the school year; there is always something to do or look forward to in the academic year. A point to strive towards. The loss of this idea genuinely terrifies me.

My Journey To A Sustainable Period

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Disclaimer: The period product props in these I already had
and didn't buy just for the post

Hello and welcome back to the blog, today I’m gonna be chatting about something we all are well accustomed with, or rather should know more about owing to the pitfalls of the PSCHE classes offered in schools… That’s right periods! I know this topic was ignored as much as sex education was growing up, but I distinctly remember the boys being allowed to go out and play football when as girls we had to sit in the classroom to learn about our menstrual cycles. As a disgruntled 10 year old all I wanted to do was go out and play football, on the other hand as a disgruntled 21 year old I feel that boys should be included in all sex education lessons so there is a greater awareness of periods. Not shading all men, but some are downright clueless when it comes to periods.

Valentines: Sh*t I am loving at the moment

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Okay so this post wasn’t really a planned one, though for once I have a list of pre-planned posts I just need to write out. (Shocking for anyone that knows me, you know I’m chaotic and as disorganised as they come). Today’s post was just a spur of the moment decision to share about some of the random things I’ve been loving recently. There’s not really any reason or categorisation to these things, just the idea that they spark joy. None of them will be getting the boot at this time if I ever decide to Marie Kondo sort my mind and life. I’m hoping this comes across as a nice chat with coffee or wine with how it reads but who knows if I will actually succeed in this aim. Plus I thought sharing it today had the added bonus of appealing to all you lovers out there since tomorrow is the big V-day. Enjoy your dates and hopefully this post of what I've been enjoying lately. As always I’m starting to ramble so here are some of the things that I have been enjoying recently. 

Sustainable fashion and me

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Apologies for the short intermission in scheduled posting, but last week I didn’t have a post pre-written and had very little motivation due to a little mental health slump. The only day I had a small semblance of energy was Friday, and I really was not in the mood to post on the same day as leaving the EU. Instead on Friday I chose to watch Miss Americana on Netflix, which of course made me cry as I cry an nearly anything, but I really recommend it. It’s great to see a documentary that shows the story behind the manicured concerts and tours, especially one about such a high profile celebrity.

Anyway, once again I have gotten off topic in the opening paragraph and the entire above section has almost nothing to do with the actual post.. I could easily delete it from the content since unlike youtube, it won’t make everything look a little choppy but I’m going with it. Today I’m going back to the goals post, specifically how I’m trying to be more sustainable in regards to fashion and purchases. Recently I read a really good post over at Jenny’s blog about a year of sustainablefashion, and it got me thinking over how I could achieve my ‘environmental’ goals through clothes.

Review: The Five (Hallie Rubenhold)

Thursday, 23 January 2020

‘Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become more famous than any of these women’ -Hallie Rubenhold

The Five: The untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper
Author: Hallie Rubenhold
Genre: Non-fiction
Length: 348 Pages (not including the notes, index or bibliography)

The Victims of Jack the Ripper were never “just prostitutes”; they were women. They were human beings.

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales.
They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888.

I heard about this book whilst I was at university last year, ever since it had been on my to read list but I never got around to purchasing it. Fastforward a few months to me opening it on Christmas day. I knew it had to be my first book to read of 2020.

Rubenhold does not dwell on their murders as most do, Ripperologist accounts focus only on the night of their demise and nothing more. These accounts are so caught up in the hunt for the still masked killer that the women are forgotten, this isn’t the case for the five though. The central premise of her account rests upon this, that disproportionately research is still based around the notorious killer rather than the women he killed.

Even now it is assumed that all 5 victims were prostitutes, anonymous and victims to the London east end. Rubenhold dispels this myth, revealing that only 2 of the 5 women murdered were actually part of the sex trade. Her in-depth research instead shows what really tied the women together is the double standard of the era in which they lived, as at some point in their lives all 5 women suffered at the hand of a man.

The research into these women’s lives is drawn from censuses amongst a vast number of other sources to retrace the lives of these women up until the night of their deaths. What I loved about this was that is all we do as a reader, you walk with the woman until she goes to bed and that is it. By walking the women to the last point of wakefulness we take the power away from the actions of the killer, the focus is no longer on how or why, but rather who he killed. Where sources are thin, Rubinhold draws sensible conclusions, leaving the reader with a continual but deeply moving narrative.

Overall Verdict:

The book is split into different sections for each woman killed so I found myself reading it over a few days rather than racing through it. I just had to stop and think for a little bit after each story, just thinking of how their lives may have been different if the world had been just a little kinder or easier. I loved this book though, finally the women who fell victim to Jack the Ripper have been given a voice.

The tales are never sentimental, but deeply empathetic with how Rubenhold has framed the lives of each woman. I found this book incredibly gripping and easy to read, making it feel much more like a piece of fiction rather than non-fiction. The conclusion she draws sat with me, I finished the book yesterday but am still reeling from everything she said. This is a book I think everyone should read, deeply moving and a story that needs to be heard especially now.

If I were to give it a star rating which I did on my goodreads, it is an instant 5 for me.

Have you read the five? What did you think of it?

My Goals Going into 2020

Wednesday, 15 January 2020
It’s probably a little late in the year to start one of these posts, but as we are still in January I thought I would give it a shot. As someone who doesn’t and never has kept a diary, I thought I would maybe take a chance to write some of my goals for the year down here instead. I’m hoping that by writing them down they are more likely to come into fruition, in that I will actually stick with them. Not that I am one to give up easily, just someone who dwells on a hell of a lot of what ifs. A bad habit I know, one that I should probably try and break. So anyway, the goals. I was thinking about splitting them into categories as a way of rationalising them to myself and not just setting goals that feed into each other to only really achieve one thing.

Five Feminist Musicals To See

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Musicals aren’t something we all love, but they are something I love. Ask any of my friends and they can tell you that there is always at least one musical track in my spotify discover weekly every week. I don’t have a full-on obsession with them as I did with anything on tumblr back in 2013, they are just a constant love of mine. So today, I thought what’s better than my love of musicals? Combining it with another cause dear to me. Feminism. There are some great shows that showcase female talent and bring themes more into a modern era than before and I thought I’d share them today. 

4 Things You Don't Know About Me

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

This is probably the most cliché first post to publish on here but we are going with it since I think an introductory moment is always a good way to go. After all, the whole idea of a blog is sharing your interests and opinions. What I want is this to be a space where I can share pieces of writing that aren’t written with an academic audience in mind. Since this is my first post you know literally nothing about me, but as this is my second attempt at blogging some of you may have read some of my pieces from there. Even with that information, I don’t think my blog revealed a lot about me. This the blog post no one asked for, but you can (hopefully) enjoy anyway since it’s the first one. I promise content will get more original and better as I go, but for now here’s the four facts.