As much as we may not want to admit that the year is almost over and 2020 is creeping up ever so quickly, now is a great time to reflect on the past year as well as starting to get some plans moving for the next year and taking some time to realise what was good about 2019 and what wasn't so great. What do want to leave in 2019 and what do you want to take into 2020? This year I've adopted some super helpful and happy habits, but here I thought I'd run down a few habits, hobbies other realisations that I will be sure to be taking into next year and beyond. 

1. Journalling

Admittedly, a very new addition, I think this is something that has really made a positive change. It's no "Dear Diary..." type of journaling but it's taking some time daily or at least weekly to reflect on the past day (or days); what I've done, what I've completed, what hasn't been so good. It was this year I started tracking my mood (another thing I'll be definitely carrying on in 2020) and journalling kind of builds on this. 

It's helped me realise when I'm not in the best mood, why that is. Also, when a situation was stressful, overwhelming or upsetting, it forces me to find the positive a little more. 

2. Shopping less and more sustainably

I recently shared that I have been very much streamlining my life - to keep spends low and minimising unnecessary spending. I've really focussed on buying just what I need and not overindulging. I feel so much happier with a smaller wardrobe, simple makeup and skincare routines. Also, making small sustainable switches, when and where I can, have been great and also kind of fun. With more brands making it even more accessible to shop this way, I hope more brands and shops will be making changes in 2020 so I can continue to shop less but, when I do, shopping more sustainably and ethically. 

3. Knitting

Without telling you where I work, my recent job has had a lot to do with knitting and being surrounded by so many amazing makers. It's really inspired me to pick up the needles myself. My mum once showed me how to knit but it didn't go much further than half a scarf. Now, I've finished my first scarf and I can't wait to get started on my next project. It's such a therapeutic hobby that it's great to knit a few rows first thing in the morning at work, in my lunch break or in the evening with a hot chocolate (obviously!). Plus, the results are gorgeous. I can't wait to carry this new hobby on into 2020!

4. Keeping Organised

A more boring habit but an important one. From during my time at university - getting through exams and dissertations in the final year - to know in my day to day job, I'm always happiest when my day has some structure and I take some time to organise my tasks and thoughts. The organisation is a habit I have to credit for a lot of the positive achievements I've reached this year so I'm of course going to keep this up for next year. 

5. Putting myself first and saying "No"...

I'd like to think this past year I've become pretty confident in knowing my limits; knowing when I'm too busy to take anything extra on, knowing when I just want to spend some time alone and not meet up with friends. It might seem sad and slightly rude but otherwise, I'd hate myself later for not taking the time I need to reset and just relax for a bit. This is definitely something I hope to continue into next year. 

6. ... but also saying "Yes!"

There are a few things this year that, from saying yes, has led to some amazing opportunities - so many "If I hadn't said yes to x, y wouldn't have happened. I said yes to moving to London, yes to my internship, yes to event opportunities, extra work and working with amazing new people and brands. The Y word still kind of daunts me - sometimes more than no - but, hopefully, 2020 will see me saying yes to even more amazing experiences. 


Were there any habits or hobbies you hope to carry on into next year? Are there any new habits you're hoping to try?

I hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

I don't know about you but I can easily feel overwhelmed by life and the clutter it can bring. Whether it's simply having an untidy space or just having too many items in my life than I actually need and use. This year, I've found myself cutting down the amount I've been spending and making those tasks I usually struggle to do as simple as possible to help me feel more positive.

Simplifying my beauty routines

Both my skin and bank account have thanked for this one. Having just a few skincare products I alternate between has really given my skin a much-needed break - sticking to the essentials, taking a break from experimenting with new products and having a purpose for each skincare product I own. It's really helped me to find a skincare routine that works for me and making changes only when my skin needs it. It's great to finally understand a little more what my skin needs, creating a routine around that and stopping myself from buying products I don't really need. 

It's a similar story for my make-up collection - I've been focussing more on using up the products I already have and only buying products when I run out of what I have. Gone are the days where I'd buy newly-released makeup to share on my blog and now, when I do share products, it's those that I really do love and have used for weeks, or months, or even years. There's still areas of my beauty routine that I experiment with, such as foundation (your recommendations would be amazing!), but I'm making sure I'm doing my research before buying and trying to make sure it's really worth adding to my collection. 

Keeping the products simple makes my morning routine simple and easy for when I' getting ready in the morning. I've always opted for more minimal makeup day-to-day and so now I'm making sure my minimal makeup really is as minimal and simple as possible. 

Creating a capsule wardrobe

This one has definitely changed the most since finishing uni and moving out. I've had multiple major clearouts of my clothes to leave me with only the clothes I feel I will wear or that I love. While I'm not there yet with having a real capsule wardrobe, I've definitely cut my wardrobe down to the key staples. I'm also only buying clothes when I truly need them and making sure each item gets full wear out of it. 

My main reason for really streamlining my wardrobe is because I'm been trying to cut down the number of fast fashion pieces I buy and also focussing on buying clothes made from better-sourced materials. While there are some high street brands leading by example with their sustainable lines, I'm less inclined to shop on the high street more than ever. 

Spending Less Money 

This was never my key aim for streamlining aspects of my life but has been an added bonus that may be a big motivator for many. As I've simplified my spending on fashion and beauty and I plan my meals better, knowing what I will be doing and when I'll be cooking, I've been spending so much less on food and generally living. 

I wasn't consciously making the effort to spend less but it kind of just happened. I still treat myself to a coffee sometimes before work, lunch or tea out when I'm feeling it but I also meal plan, prep for the week and buy only what I need (and maybe a treat or two). As you simplify your life, you also find that you'll streamline your spending and are also more able to keep track of where your money is going with little effort. 



These are just some of the few ways I've simplified my life and it's really had a positive impact on my mood, happiness and organisation. It may seem like by having these routines you're making your life predictable but you're not making it boring just simpler - you're not cutting out the chance to do switch things up but just know more about what you like and what you need. 

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x


To think I've been living in London for 3 months honestly baffles me. In one way I feel like it's only yesterday that I was moving in and starting my job but, somehow, at the same time I feel like I've been here for ages. The last time I really updated you was when I was struggling to really know what to do after uni and things have really changed since then! If you didn't see on Instagram earlier this year, I was offered an internship in London and moved here at the end of Summer. I haven't really updated anyone properly about what's been really happening so I thought I'd share a brief summary if you're interested to know what I've been up to and how I've been. 

Working in London

Back in July, I got offered an internship in London in an SEO based role. The only real knowledge of this before the internship was what I'd read online, used on my blog as well as the part-time freelance work I'd done on the side. I wasn't only excited to learn more about SEO but petrified that I didn't know enough. However, the internship has already taught me so much more than I could have expected and more than I ever knew. 

The office is in central London and is super easy for me to travel to (thankfully, I can avoid the rush house tube!) and the people in the office are so lovely. I don't think I've ever been around so many creative and like-minded people ever! It has really made the more challenging days worth it. I've spoken in the past about how introverted I can be, and while I still predominantly am, I've felt a lot less worried about speaking out and I'm keen to get involved. I feel so comfortable at work. 

The workload and the projects I'm set can be challenging and I've struggled more than I thought I would like to get the work/life balance. As someone who constantly stresses and overthinks, it's hard to not think about work worries after 5pm on weekdays. Hopefully, I will get there. It's also been difficult as the internship is just 6 months so there's no real security of knowing what's going to happen after - it almost feels a little out of my control at the moment. But, for now, I'm trying to make the most of it and enjoying the experience. 

Living in London

I was super lucky with the living situation - my sister's housemate was moving out when I was applying for jobs so it seemed perfect for me to move in for my time in London and didn't have to worry about adjusting to living with people I didn't know. 

I'll be honest, I've struggled to make the house feel like a home - with heating not working and an unwanted mouse making an appearance as well as not having much time to really focus on making it more homeful, it still doesn't feel very me. I kind of miss where I was living in York; the people, the house, the city - it all seemed a little easier there. London living never really lets you slow down and I've struggled to settle and actually live in London. 

Being an Introvert in London

As I mentioned, I've always been more introverted and London doesn't seem like the most introvert-welcoming atmosphere. Everything is so fast-paced, busy and at times overwhelming. I enjoy quiet weekends, reading, going for a quiet walk, going to an art gallery and just having some time alone. It seems weird to do this in London where everyone else seems to want to do the complete opposite. 

I'm having this constant internal battle at the moment between wanting to stay in or doing things alone but also wanting to get out there, explore, meet new people. I want to make the most of my weekends and make the most out of living in London but I also know I need my time alone but it almost feels lazy to do that in London. I’m still trying to get the balance on this one and trying not to let my introverted ways stopping me from doing great things but also knowing when I need to stop and take some time for myself and not feel guilty about it. 


So there's just an update on my life. How've you been? What've you been up to this autumn? 
Sarah x

The conversation around sustainability in the fashion world is ongoing. It's something that I've touched on in the past but it's quite a mammoth of a topic to try and breakdown into its elements and discussing it in a way that won't annoy at least one person. The conversation around sustainable and ethical fashion and beauty has many layers and is ever-changing which is great, we should be constantly trying to find the best way to be sustainable but it's important to remember that changes that we may need or want to make, aren't always accessible to everyone. For example, cutting down on fast fashion is amazing to help cut down waste but slow fashion brands tend to be more expensive and less accessible for all. But, there are more high street brands making some changes to make more sustainable fashion choices that bit more accessible.

Today, I wanted to celebrate the brands that are doing this and that is really helping spread the message and awareness of the impact of unsustainable material sourcing and the truth about cruelty to animals in the fashion and beauty industries. I was tempted to write a post about brands to avoid but, why give them that promotion anyway? Instead, lets shed some positivity on the brands that are doing the right thing. While it's good to call out those brands not doing enough, it's important to highlight those that are helping and showing the other brands how it should be done! 

Ethical Beauty 

While animal-testing in the beauty industry has been outlawed by most countries around the world some (I'm looking at your China) still require it by law that they test beauty products on animals before entering their countries' market. Some companies still sell in these countries and therefore are still testing on animals. However, there are so many who boycott selling in these place to keep their brands cruelty-free!

The Body Shop

It's been a bit of a rocky relationship with The Body Shop- they were always known as being a great ethical skincare brand until they were bought by L'oreal (a brand that still tests animals when required by law), but thankfully after being sold to a different parent company, The Body Shop is back as one of my personal favourite skincare stops on the high street for cruelty free and vegan skincare as well as make-up, haircare and more. 

They have also recently started a scheme similar to Lush where when you return the plastic containers used for their products, you will receive a £5 voucher for The Body Shop. I think this is a really great way to reduce waste by letting them reuse the plastic bottles and pots but also making sure the brand is accounting for its own waste and helping it be recycled properly. From what I know, right now, this isn't in every store and is only on certain plastic types that they will recycle. However, I hope that in the future, they will look at finding a solution by having all their products in packaging that can be returned and recycled. 

Superdrug

When will I stop shouting about my love for Superdrug? Right now, I can predict that this will never happen! Superdrug is always my go-to for skincare, beauty staples and some great cruelty-free brands. Even their own-brand products are affordable and ethical as they are Leaping Bunny approved. Yes, they aren't the most sustainable with their packaging and they also support and stock brands that aren't as conscious, but they have so many great cruelty-free and vegan products for all areas of your beauty routine which is amazing. 

Fashion

For fashion, it's really about waste - shops offer clothes at great bargains but are they ethically sourced? Are they paying their workers fairly? Are they helping in any way to be more eco-friendly with the waste they are producing from mass production? It may be obvious that in order to have something that is a more eco-friendly, well-sourced slow-fashion item made by a company that makes sure their workers are treated well, the clothing is going to be a little more pricey. But, this doesn't have to be a break-the-bank more pricey but just a few-extra-pounds more pricey. Making small changes yourself in cutting down the number of clothes you buy and only wear once and also opting for brands that offer items from better-sourced materials - this is how we can become more sustainable with our shopping! 

H&M

While H&M isn't always a shop I enjoy going to (their varying sizes baffle my mind!), they have made some great steps to be more conscious in their sourcing of some of their ranges. They now even have a range of basics that use better-sourced cotton and it's only £1 or 2 more than their usual mass-produced ranges. This is something I'm willing to spend for a more ethical and higher quality option that is sure to last a lot longer. Also, their 100% organic cotton sheets are amazing and are some of the cheapest sheets they actually stock! 

If you've been into H&M over the past year, you may have noticed that most of their stores (if not all) now have a drop-off point where you can recycle old clothes. A small addition like this means more and more people can recycle their clothes properly instead of just shoving it in any old bin and it never being recycled and repurposed. 

Monki

Like H&M, Monki now has a great range of items in their "Monki cares" line which focussing on using more consciously sourced materials. In fact, Monki has said that, since 2018, 100% of the cotton used in their garments is 100% sustainably sourced and uses organic and recycled cotton! Monki is really a fabulous company that also doesn't support the production of products tested on animals and the use of animal fur in their products. 

They are really showing that sustainable options can be accessible and at affordable prices. They have made it super easy for us to shop more ethically and, now, it's just about getting the balance in buying what we need and not just constantly buying what's in fashion each season - timeless pieces are so much better! 

Read more about Monki's stance on sustainable fashion. 

Lucy & Yak 

While technically this can only be found on the high street of Brighton, Lucy & Yak is a company that my friends are probably sick of me going on about. They are a smaller brand that is leading by example with sustainably made clothing including recycled fabrics from polyester to even recycled plastic bottles being used in their products. 

I'd say their prices are comparable to Topshop but the quality is on a different level as well as their ethics. So if you'd pay for Topshop quality, why not pay for this? 

Lucy & Yak put the treatment of their staff and manufacturers in India above anyone else - they make sure they receive competitive pay and work in good conditions. Not only that, as I say, they are really focused on cutting down waste and being a great sustainable brand. If you head over to their site, you may recognise their great dungarees which I've been eyeing up for ages. I actually recently bought their 'Blake' Cosy Cropped Fleece and I love it! It's definitely a piece I'll be wearing all winter as well as next year I'm sure.

So these are just a few favourite high street brands I love. And why? Because they are showing that fast fashion high street brands can take steps to become more ethical and sustainable without causing a hole in their customer's pockets. They're showing that if they can do it, why isn't everyone else? This isn't even an exhaustive list of high street UK brands doing their bit (would you like to see a part 2?). 

What I would urge is that you do your research! So many brands may seem as though they are helping when sometimes they are really only following the eco-trend. The conversation around sustainability and ethical brands is ongoing and I'd love to hear your opinions! 

Sarah x 

*AD - I was kindly invited to the opening preview of the Moving To Mars exhibition. However, this post is not sponsored and all opinions remain my own. * 

Since moving to London, I seem to spend my weekends in different galleries and museums - you can never seem to run out of exhibitions to go to! One place I was yet to visit was The Design Museum, so when I got the email inviting me to preview of their new exhibition "Moving To Mars", I jumped at the chance.

The new exhibition is focussed around the design elements that have gone in to and are still being developed for the mission to Mars. From how they will live there to what they will wear, the exhibition looks at these as well as giving us an overview as to the progress towards man going to Mars. It's an exhibition you may expect to see in somewhere like the Science Museum but I think it fits right at home at the Design Museum. 
One element I loved was the message of sustainability. In the opening talk someone spoke amount the climate of Mars and how inhospitable it is; how everything on Mars needs to be focussed on being sustainable, recyclable with an aim to minimise waste there - does this sound familiar? This is what many are trying to on Earth so we don't have to live in these almost uninhabitable conditions ourselves. The message is that being able to survive on Mars in these conditions can teach us a lot about how we need to treat our own planet and become more sustainable. 


My knowledge of fashion is definitely less than I wished but one of my favourite parts was the contribution from fashion studio, Raeburn who focus on fashion repurposing and sustainability. For example, they've taken material from old parachutes and turned it into high-end fashion pieces. As someone who is trying to focus more on sustainable fashion and sustainable living, this was really interesting to hear about as well as see the models wearing the designs from their New Horizon's collection at the event.

This was a really interesting exhibition and I loved how they managed to turn something that could be quite a complicated, scientific topic, into something understandable and truly interesting. There were so many different elements to this exhibition and I love how they chose to break it down to make it engaging and focusing on different aspects of the design from take-off to landing back on Earth.

The event was fairly short for me - I turned up, heard the opening talk and walked around the exhibition. But, with many members of the press interviewing the exhibition collaborators and filming, I tried not to be too much a nuisance. Therefore, I didn't get as long as I would have hoped to really read and explore its full potential, however, from what I saw, I really recommend and I know I'll be heading back to this exhibition again before it closes next year.

If you're interested, the exhibition is now open and will be running until February 2020.

Sarah x