5 of the best: ethical easter treats

Like all devoted Atheists, I love me a religious holiday. Easter is all about the beginning of Spring, and all the beautiful greenery coming back and making you forget Winter ever happened. I’ve been trying to get outdoors as much as possible to make up for my hermit ways this Winter and wandering around some woods just as everything is starting to go green makes me feel so amazingly awake. Today I’ve scoured the known universe for everything that Spring has to offer, enjoy these handpicked (and sometimes handmade) beauties.

Booja Booja Easter Egg · £9.99 · Planetwise

 

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It’s quite hard being vegan. It’s difficult to say if it’s worse constantly being asked obvious questions, or waking up feeling guilty (and replaying every animal abuse video ever in your head) because you drunk called Pizza. But Easter is not a time to be miserable. Spring is here, so why don’t you treat yourself to some delicious, organic and dairy free chocolate. Beautiful inside and out, this is the Beyoncé of vegan Easter eggs.

 

Rose & Frankincense Candle · £32.00 · Wildheart Organics

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Spring is all about beautiful and invigorating scents. I love the idea of a spring clean (although maybe not in practice.) Putting away the heavy winter duvets and being able to open the windows without fear of hypothermia. This candle, with rose, frankincense and geranium, has all those energising scents that you need to get you into the right frame of mind for Spring.

 

Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat · £87.00 · Blisscloud

 

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As the outdoors becomes more and more bearable, it becomes a lot easier to stay active. This year I plan to do a lot more outdoor yoga, which will be a lot easier with a beautiful mat like this, a mat I want to treat right and show the sights. The mats by Blisscloud are eco-friendly, recyclable and contain no nasty chemicals or toxic dyes.

Freesia & Pear Soap ·  £4.50 ·  The Honeybell Soap Company

 

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The morning routine is starting to get a little easier, as I’m no longer having to turn off my alarm in the pitch black. Regardless, I have never been a morning person and probably never will be, so I have to rely on little treats to tempt me out of bed. This soap has the most incredible scent, with patchouli, white musk, freesia and pear. It smells of spring, but without being too overpoweringly sweet. This organic soap is an essential.

 

Vapour Stratus Instant Skin Perfector ·  £41.00 ·  Vapour Organic Beauty

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And finally a little Easter miracle for you all. With spring comes lots of beautiful soft light, and the chance for your skin to escape the damaging Winter conditions. This year I am focusing on skincare rather than just covering, and the results so far have been fantastic. Enter this BB cream, with light reflective technology that will give your skin a natural and healthy glow in the sunshine. You can use this product alone, or under foundation to give that ‘lit from within’ look. On top of this  it contains indulgent anti-inflammatory botanicals to calm any skin worries you have. This is just the product to get me out of hibernation.

 

What are your Easter must have products?

six ethical gifts for your miserable mate

Whether it’s anxiety, depression, or the existential dread brought on by Sir David Attenborough stating that humanity is a plague on the earth, we all have a friend who needs a little extra TLC. And though it can be hard to avoid excessive wastefullness in the lead up to the most extravagant time of the year, it is possible to send some great gifts, without destroying the environment. So without further ado, I’m going to be showing you some lovely presents for that friend who needs to feel loved this Christmas.

Anxiety Essential Oil Blend  ・£13.95・MysticMomentsUK

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 According to the mental health charity Mind, mixed anxiety and depression affect 9.7 out of a 100 people in England.  A few drops in the bath can really help regain that sense of calm that can be hard to come by. This blend contains Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Bergamot, and you can even mix it with a carrier, such as Almond Oil and apply it directly to the skin for a relaxing scent all day.

Ambreen Statement Earrings・£49.50・Sjo Accessories

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Channel your inner Frida Kahlo, with these handcrafted earrings that will add some sass to just about any outfit. Not only are these the most day-brightening beauties in existence, they are made by women in Pakistan as part of a business model designed to empower and improve their quality of life. One of these women, named Marvi says “I earn more than my husband now and pay for my son’s school fees and his school books, stationery.” Not just a pretty earring.

Meditation Cushion・£25.39・The Yoga Shop

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After years of thinking that meditation was reserved solely for wearers of tie dye, but thanks to a couple of pushy friends, I am now a convert. (I also own tie dye leggings, for yoga, who have I become?) Luckily, the NHS are also on my side, asserting that mindfullness helps us deal with stress, anxiety and also prevent depression. You can read more about that here. So if someone you know is stressed out, buy them this heart shaped cushion, and as you give it to them, say ‘I heart you.’ They will feel so sorry for you, it will make them feel better about their own life.

Fruit And Nut Frenzy・£16.00・Hotel Chocolat

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This beautifully curvaceous slab of chocolate was the winner of PETA vegan food awards. Crying is great, but what is even better is crying whilst eating chocolate. Why don’t you buy one for your friend and one for yourself, watch Grave of the Fireflies, hit rock bottom, and then move on up from there.

Recycled Socks・£6.95・Braintree

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Don’t believe in reincarnation? Well these socks used to be plastic bottles. What a time to be alive. Your miserable friend can wear these fluffy numbers whilst wondering about their past life. Did Britney Spears drink from them? We will never know for sure.

Silver ‘Beauty’ Necklace・£60.00・Dogeared

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Dogeared are an eco friendly company, whose staff are paid to volunteer at non-profit organizations. This delicate silver necklace comes with a quote from the inspiring poet and activist Maya Angelou. It’s a very sentimental piece that will be loved for a lifetime.

backpacking with a child: part 1

On finding out I was pregnant at 16, I received a lot of knowing looks, coupled with the phrase ‘your life is going to be very different from now on,’ which is a very polite way to say ‘your life is over.’ Being the stubborn teenager I was, I decided this would not be the case.

5 years later, my stubbornness has seen me through. I’ve studied law at University, lived in South America and raised a brilliant (if slightly sassier than I intended) little girl.

And now, the biggest recipe for disaster yet.. I am backpacking with my 5 year old daughter.  If this insane idea appeals to you, here are some helpful pointers on how to make ot happen.

1. Drop everything

It’s so easy to get into a mind numbing routine,  and this is true for everyone.  But if you want to take your child backpacking you have to be willing to break out. Although a trip like this takes planning, if you want to make it work you need to set yourself a time scale to leave and stick to it. Contact your landlord, contact the school, make it impossible for yourself to put it off.

2. Sell everything

And I mean everything. I sold all my books, clothes I owned when I was 15 and even used makeup. I moved out of my house and lived at my grandmother’s’s for a month whilst I did this. The costs of childcare and rent in England make it difficult to save if you’re a single parent so I was very lucky to have a rent free month to get everything in order. Although it was difficult at first to part with my beautiful possessions,  every time I sold something it felt like one of the strings holding me still had snapped. Now I can fit everything I own into one backpack and it feels amazing.

3. Workaway is everything

Workaway is a website that allows you to volunteer all over the world in return for full board. You pay a small fee to join for the year which covers everything. If you’re travelling on a budget then workaway is essential. I have tried similar websites and this one is the best,  (I am not a spy for workaway, it is genuinely great website.) Like a relaxing bath and everything else, it is more difficult with a child. Luckily workaway gives you the option to type in keywords like ‘family’ when looking for projects. Families with children are more likely to say yes, and many will be grateful for the chance of a language exchange. You don’t have to apply for a family project, apply for anything that interests you, strawbale builds to surf camp. There are so many amazing projects in every corner of the world and workaway is an incredibly openminded and friendly community.

Do you have any tips for travelling on a budget?

What are your opinions on travelling with children?