GOING PLASTIC FREE

22 Mar 2019


Over the past few months, I've posted a couple of posts in relation to cutting down waste specifically in beauty and also beyond.  One aspect that I find hard to escape is the use of plastic. While I make a conscious effort to buy loose veg, fresh unwrapped bread as well as beauty products that don't use plastic bottles, some necessities make it hard to escape the use of plastic. 

When I found out that a plastic-free shop had opened in York I was very excited to check it out and give it ago. Bishy Weigh is an independently run plastic free shop just a little out of the city of York. It has basically all the essential food items that make going plastic-free even more doable. 

My friend and I headed over to the shop just the other day and I loved the experience; it felt as though I was in a sweet shop yet everything was pasta and fruits. It was such a simple process; take your own Tupperware, weigh before you fill and then weigh again after it's full to calculate the exact price of what you've bought. No need to worry if you didn't bring your own containers, they have paper bags and also reusable cotton bags to buy which are so cute. 
There was such a good choice from your basics to gluten-free alternatives and some fab dietary information for each of the products. They also had an array of washing up liquids, detergents, spices etc. as well as some other beauty items like bamboo toothbrushes and reusable makeup wipes. 

This little shop has really encouraged me to be even more conscious about what I buy and that it is possible to live a plastic-free lifestyle. I'd love to see more shops like this popping up around the country as having it so close to home is a great luxury. 

If you're in the York area and want to have a visit yourself, you can find all the information and pricing on their Facebook Page. If you're even just a little interested and seeing some of their own tips for living plastic free as well as learning a little more about their story, check out their Twitter and Instagram. 

Do you have any tips for going plastic free? Would you consider giving it a go yourself? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

ORGANISING MY ONLINE WORKSPACE {AD}

11 Mar 2019



Clearing out the downloads

I’m forever downloading online papers, journals, powerpoints for university and they never seem to leave my downloads folder. So, first things first; if I need it, move it to a specific folder. If not, get rid. 
As I edit my blog photos on my phone and then send to my laptop, they also end up in my downloads and never have a proper home,  so moving these out of downloads is another thing I’ve been doing and finding them a better home. 

Making a habit out of downloading something and moving a specific folder it relates to keeps the space it’s taking up to a minimum and saves me not being able to find, for example, the paper I’m looking for, only to download it again and have duplicates. Speaking of moving things to folders…

Creating folders

Kind of how you’d split up a blog post; You have your title, heading, maybe sub headings and, even sub-subheadings. Slowly getting narrower may seem a bit silly but it has really helped to streamline my workspace and having things compartmentalised so specifically has made it even easier to find what I’m looking for. 

For example, I have a folder for each year of uni which is then split into the separate modules, then again into lectures and maybe even further into lecture material, revision notes and assignments if there was one. I then know exactly where something will be and where to go to find it. It sounds so simple ( because it is) but it’s something I know we all tend to neglect and just clump all those word files into ‘documents’ with no real structure. 

Reducing bookmarks

Whether it’s a recipe I have had bookmarked for over a year and probably won’t make or a dress from ASOS that is out of stock, regularly going through and seeing whether you really need that bookmark anymore, helps my internet browser look a little less cluttered and better organised to find a bookmark if and when I really need it. 

Deleting Apps

I can only really speak for an Apple user but, just like on my phone, I’m forever downloading random apps that I think I’ll use and actually never do. A lot of apps I have downloaded tend to exactly the same thing so it’s time to delete any that really do the same job and also I just don’t use. It makes it easier to then find those that I need. 


Unsubscribing to Newsletters

We all have those emails from sites that we ordered from once and just had to tick ‘subscribe to newsletter’. This can be quite a tedious task to do but I love not getting an abundance of emails I never read coming through every day. it means that I’m more likely to see more important emails and not miss any opportunities that may have got lost among the unwanted email clutter. 

Emptying the trash 

One thing I always forget but is one of the final touches to decluttering and organising my laptop is to get rid of all the files I’ve deleted once and for all. 



Decluttering the Desktop

I’m not usually one to have a messy desktop but, from trying to find a new home for my photos, they seemed to end up here.  I recently discovered an app calledDeclutter" that has come in very handy in decluttering my desktop. It automatically organises your files into folders that appear on your desktop based on the file type; all jpg, gif, png etc into photos, all doc, docx, pdf etc into documents. On the app store, this is usually £4.99. However, Setapp contacted me about the great tool they offer and I think you’ll love it. They offer a monthly subscription with access to apps that are usually quite pricey to buy on the App Store. You get exclusive access to these apps that usually costs and unlimited use each month with the apps they have constantly updating. Declutter is just one of their many apps that I’ve been loving.  You can learn more about the set-app and what it offers here {AD-aff.*}.  

Are you a student? They offer a fabulous discount of 50% making the monthly fee just £4.99 a month; read more and sign up for a free trial here {AD-aff}.  If you’re looking to get more organised, productive and creative, the Setapp has so many apps that really help with all these and more. 


So there are the ways that I organise my online workspace; it allows me to work more efficiently and I can more easily find everything I need.  Are there any tips you have for organising your computer? I’d love to hear!
Hope you’re doing great, 
Sarah x

AD-aff* refers to affiliate links where I receive a small percentage. However, all opinions remain my own and have full control over what I say and include in posts that use the links. 

READ, WATCH, LISTEN

7 Mar 2019

I think it’s about time I share with you a few of my favourites in the world of music, TV, books and blogging. I have some great recommendations that I hope you’ll like as well and want to give a go. 

Read

"We Should All Be Feminists" 

It had been a while since I’d read non-fiction as well as feminist based-book. When I spotted this in the library, I remembered I’d bought it as a present for a friend a few years ago and had been yet to read it. I’d describe this as a great pocket-guide to feminism. It sets out what feminism really is for so many women. It was such a short yet impactful read that I would recommend to anyone interested in feminism or, honestly, anyone; it can give people a simple sense of the good that feminism does and why it exists and why it is not just for females but for everyone. 

BECC4


I tend to flick between blogs and, honestly, don’t tend to stick to one blog. However, Becca’s posts have really been catching my attention recently and I have really enjoyed reading them.  They cover some great topics that aren’t always the usual, cliche topics. I also feel like I’m reading something by a friend with her “Sick Tings” posts especially; I love them! 

The Bliss Bean 

I think I’ve found the version of me I wish I was. Everything she’s done I’ve wanted to do. She’s learnt Korean, has a fabulous blog and Instagram and has posts that I just love to read. I love the resources she includes as a few freebies. This is a very recent blog find but one I’ll definitely be going back to in the future. 

Watch 

The Sinner

I was actually intrigued to watch season 2 more than 1. However, I wasn’t sure if I could get away with not watching the first season so I thought I’d start where, I guess, you are supposed to. After only finishing the first season, I can already highly recommend. If you haven’t heard of this before, it follows a detective who looks not really at who did it but why did they do it.  Each of the two seasons has focussed on a single murder investigation where the culprit is quite an unlikely person and the situation it happens is quite peculiar. With just one investigation taking up the whole season, I wondered if it would really hold my attention but every episode ended with me wanting to start the next one straight away which is always a sign that I’m a fan. 

Wonder

This is not a new film but one that I’ve discovered and adore. It’s become my go-to cry-but-feel-better-after film. I read the book many years ago now and had been meaning to get around to watching it. When it finally made its way on to Netflix and knew I had to watch it and I’m so glad it did. It did the book so much justice and got the really important plot points across. It’s really one for all the family and I would encourage everyone to give it a watch (and maybe give the book a read as well!)

Listen 

HONNE

HONNE has quickly become one of my most listened to artists. I especially love listening to them as I work. Their music is not distracting for when I work, I find really chilled and perfect focus music. I particularly love their songs “Location Unknown” and “I Just Wanna Go Back”. I really recommend checking out HONNE this month. 

H.E.R

This is another chilled artist I've been loving. H.E.R's voice is just so soothing. I'd say a female Frank Ocean but so much more power and I love it. If you haven't checked her out before, I'd definitely recommend. I'd specifically check out "Jungle" "Best Part" and "Hard Place"; they're among my favourites and probably some of her most well known so are a great place to start.

Hope you enjoyed reading about some of my recommendations! Anything you recommend for me to read, watch or listen over the next month?
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

FOCUS OF THE MONTH: CREATE

4 Mar 2019

It’s somehow already March and the third month of my little challenge. I really enjoyed letting Twitter decide what my focus would be last month and so I thought I’d do this again. I kind of already knew I wanted “CREATE” to be my word to focus on but it was nice to see those who voted, agreeing that it was a good choice. I think, funnily enough, that this month is going to be a tough challenge, but I think now more than ever and ready to focus on getting creative again. 

Writing

Apart from blogging, essay and reports and the odd article writing, I haven’t taken some time to write anything else since, I think, before coming to uni. Writing was something I used to love and I’d have so many ideas I wanted to express in words. However, as work mounted, I lost both my motivation and inspiration for writing. Now, I want to write again; whether good or bad, my aim is to produce and create something written that isn’t related to uni or blogging. I want to step outside my comfort zone and create something new that, maybe, I’ll share with you in the future. 

Painting

I love to paint- particularly watercolours. I’ve had a few opportunities to pick up the paintbrush but it’s been a while since I’ve created something I love. I’ve already started working on a piece taken from a music video I love. My aim is to keep working on this and, hopefully, finish it (even if just a rough first attempt) by the end of this month. 

Something I actually wanted to start in January but have yet to get round to is art journaling; I think this will be a really nice way to get some different ideas out without feeling pressured for them to be perfect. Just yesterday, I went an picked up a notebook that I think will be great for this. I’m hoping to start working my way through the book, starting this month. 

Finding inspiration

I think one reason my motivation is lacking is that I’ve stopped searching for inspiration, I’ve stopped reading, going to art exhibitions, listening to new music etc.  I want to try and search for as much inspiration as possible; whether that’s reading more or going to a gallery. 

Whenever I’ve read about where and how people get inspiration, one thing they say is to always have a place to jot down any ideas with you on the go.  With my phone constantly in my pocket, I may as well use it for good and take a few moments in a day to write down any ideas I have had that day. Maybe do some mind maps, lists; anything that gets me thinking a little more. 

Keeping the balance

In my February in Review, I said that February’s focus of “Balance” is definitely going to be an ongoing one. With deadlines approaching over spring break and preparation for my final exams, I want to make sure I’m making time for both revision and work as well as getting creative. 
I’m going to try and swap searching social media for reading and, instead of Netflix doing some writing. This way, I’ll have no excuse for not being able to create something this month. 


So there are my goals this month based around my focus of /Create/ Can you think of any other ways I could get creative this month? Any words of wisdom? 
What are your goals and focuses for March? 
Hope you’re doing great, 
Sarah x 

FEBRUARY IN REVIEW

28 Feb 2019

So here’s my second monthly round-up where I look back on the month and, also see how well I’ve managed to incorporate my focus of the month into my life. January’s Focus was “RENEW (you can read how well I got on here). For February, I let Twitter decide what my focus should be and they,  including myself, voted for “BALANCE”. At the start of the month I outlined what I wanted to use this month to focus on in relation to balance so, how well did I do? 

The Bad

This month started off on a bit of a downhill trajectory, I was actually really struggling to find the balance between university work, having time off, blogging etc. I really felt aware of the fact that I wasn’t making enough time for everything. Every time I was taking time off from working, I felt guilty for not and when I was working, I just didn’t feel like my head was in it. 

I had a few down days where I just didn’t want to do anything which, in the end, was not actually a bad thing. It actually really forced me to take a step back and have a break and I didn’t actually feel guilty. 

The Good 

This month had some stand-out positives. If you read my “HOW I PREPARED FOR MY EXAMS”  you may have seen I managed to get firsts on both my exams I took at the start of January. The results were such a shock but so glad my hard work paid off. I did question whether it was really worth the stress but I’m overall really happy and it’s made me motivated to do well over the rest of this term and going on into my final term of university. 

Looking back, some of my favourite days of the month were spent on my own going for a walk, sat in Starbucks, going to an exercise class and even blogging. I’ve really enjoyed spending some time doing these little things in between my uni work and they all helped improve my month. 

My parents and sister all came up to visit me as well this month and, even though just for an afternoon, we had a really nice time and got a chance to take some lovely photos of York which I shared in my “PHOTO DIARY: YORK” if you want to have a peek at the photos. 

While it’s had its down moments, February has been a month of realisations of what makes me happy and what doesn’t. It’s been really eye-opening to see what aspects of my life are important to me and make me happiest. 

What I’ve accomplished 


Looking back at some of the things I wanted to focus on relating to Balance this month, I think it’s a real 50/50 split as to what I feel I managed to accomplish and what needs a little more improvement. 

A highlight of this month, and one that I think I feel I implemented well and will be carrying on doing, is tracking my mood. I’ve found this really helpful to not only see what triggers my bad moods or what has made me happy on certain days, but it also allows me to track how often I do certain activities such as uni work, blogging, seeing friends. It has helped me see if I’ve been getting that balance in. The app I’ve been using is Daylio and I love it! I’m so happy I’ve started doing this in February. 


I feel like my diet has been slowly getting back to a good place. I’m in no way watching what I eat but more just making healthier choices and eating when I’m hungry. There have been days where I have treated myself but I’m slowly cutting back. This is probably going to be an ongoing focus for the future but I definitely have felt my diet has been getting better this month. 

In progress 

I’ll be honest, I forgot that one of my focuses of the month was to decrease my screen time. I had a quick check of the screen time recorded on my phone and, while it’s high, I can’t tell whether it’s any lower/higher than last month. I’ve noticed my Instagram daily average has gone down which is a plus but I still think my screen time needs to be reduced and I think this will be something that I can link into next months focus and try again at getting the screen time lower. 

Now, for the big one. My work-life balance has fluctuated throughout this whole month. It’s been the first month since summer that I’ve had more than one day off of doing any uni work at all and I’ve loved it. I felt a lot happier after having these days off and less overwhelmed as I managed to get my thoughts in order and sort out what I need to do and when for, without feeling too stressed. Having said that, I do feel there is more to be done for me to really get this balance. So, while I feel I’ve made steps forward in getting this balance, I still feel I can do a lot more and hopefully, this will progress further into the future months. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how this goes. 

Overall, while there have been some bad parts, there have been some good moments. While I haven’t found the balance just yet, having this to focus on this month has definitely encouraged me to work towards having a balanced life in many different aspects. Balance is going to be a theme that I’m sure to carry into the next few months to really help me progress. I think once I get this balance, I will be a lot happier. 

How has your February been? I’d love to hear what you’ve accomplished this month and have you any plans for March?
Hope you’re doing great, 
Sarah x

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