Friday

Happy Earth Day 2016!

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Dear Earth.
You're pretty awesome. I love what you've done with the place. 
I'm a big fan of the trees and hills and sea and stuff. 
I've not even explored a lot of what you have to offer but I hear a lot of it is breathtaking
I'd love to see the deserts, glaciers, and rainforests because they sound extra special.
There's only one thing that I don't like, that's what 'we'-humans as a species have done to you. 
You gave us the perfect conditions to thrive and flourish.
Perhaps we just think that we are so much smarter than you? 
Whatever you can do, we can do better.
It sucks that we don't think about our actions,
I mean, we think about it to a certain extent
-usually, how much profit we can make from abusing your resources or who we can exploit next for cheap labour.
Nature? 
Yeah, it's nice to look at the idyllic surroundings when in reality under the surface is bursting at the seams with OUR waste.
Animals? 
Aww, they're so cute and fluffy unless we're hungry and KFC is the most convenient option. 
We're detached.
We need to wake up and realise that our time on this planet is limited.
Space travel is on the cards for the elite folk but perhaps they should take responsibility for the state of the earth at the moment instead of jet setting to Mars.
The thing is, people are too busy to think about saving the planet. 
We want fast, cheap, convenience and we can leave the future generations to clean up our mess.
I don't want that anymore.
I'd rather take a little extra time and make some well-thought out decisions that won't hurt you or anyone else.
I sincerely hope that more people will change their mind and support you wholeheartedly.
They should because you're awesome and Mars doesn't even have trees yet...

Happy Earth Day Earthlings!

I hope that something somewhere will inspire you to think about the planet in a different way.

This is one of my favourite quotes:
'Never doubt  that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has'
Margaret Mead

Are you doing anything special for World Earth Day?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx

Wednesday

Four-Monthly Goals 2016 1/3

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Hello everyone,
I hope you are enjoying the glorious sunny weather! I cannot believe we're more than half way through April already. I feel like this year is whizzing by. I like setting 'goals' now and again so I think instead of  monthly/yearly goals 'four monthly goals' are a novel idea. I can't seem to think of a zappier name Quad-monthly? A third of the year has already gone goals?!
I usually just jot them down in my notepad but I thought I'd share them with you guys so that you can see what's going on and also so you have proof that I said these things!

1) Get into a fitness routine.
I have massively let my fitness slide since moving home, especially since Christmas I haven't got into a good routine at all! More sitting on my butt and eating vegan cake. I'm too far away from a gym so I'm planning to get hula hooping, walking the dogs every day and doing some weights! All things that are totally free but will make a difference.
I got a new blender last week so I'm excited to get back on the smoothie wagon and make my own soups and dips.

2) Work on my nutritional therapist course.
I feel really bad about this as I bought the online course last year and I haven't knuckled down and studied for it! I'm still really interested and although it is much harder than I thought (it's very science based) I need something to challenge my brain power and keep me focused.

3) Book a holiday.
It's our 6-month anniversary this month so my boyfriend and I have been planning some trips away but we haven't booked anything yet! My criteria is that it has to be sunny, have a beach, a good market, and vegan food! (The essentials haha) We are planning on some more exotic travels after summer so for now we're just thinking of a lil weekend break. Please send me your cheap and cheerful recommendations.

4) Keep 'Kondo-ing' all the things.
I'm still on my decluttering mission. I want my caravan to be a creative functional space, not brimming with 'stuff'. So I'm going to carry on whittling through all my whimsy and then do a caravan tour for you guys.

5) Read more, watch less.
I visited my auntie up in the lakes last weekend which I haven't done for years! It was nice to explore a new area and catch up with family. She's a hippy at heart and her house is full of quirky nick-nacks. She's got the biggest book collection I have seen so I used it as a library and I have borrowed a few 'life-changing' books. I'm going to make sure I get into the habit of reading everyday again. I'm reading one called 'Creating Money' at the moment and its honestly brilliant. I feel like I may have to dedicate an entire post to it! I also cancelled my Netflix subscription today which saddened me but I hope it will save me some money and make reading a priority again.

What goals would you like to achieve in the next four months?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx

Friday

#ECOBABE: Swap Your Stuff, Save The World!

Howdy everyone :)
So as I've been researching and delving into the crazy world of zero waste I've put together a little post to hopefully make things easier and inspire you to make some simple changes.
It's always daunting to adopt a new lifestyle all at once and the best way is to ease yourself in gently. I've made a few swaps already towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle and I will continue to do so.
I thought you'd like to see some more stylish, sustainable options and the benefits of making some money and planet saving swapsies :)...


Swap your cotton wool pads for: A Cotton Scrubby
Cotton farming is one of the most polluting industries on the planet. If you think about all the energy of growing, picking, packing and transporting the cotton wool for us to effortlessly sweep it across our face for-ooh 30 seconds then it goes straight in the bin. It really is a huge waste of the planet's resources not to mention the backbreaking conditions the exploited workers are expected to work in.
The solution? These face scrubbys! They look beautiful in a bowl in your bathroom and work in exactly the same way. Although when you're finished cleansing you can just rinse with hot water! I'd recommend putting them in the washing machine once a week to get them so fresh and so clean.


Swap your leather purse for: A Cork Purse
Being of a vegan persuasion I don't buy leather anymore. I have my Dr Martens and a leather belt that I've had for years and I intend to wear them until they wear out and I can find a vegan alternative.
Vegan leather is usually a plastic based synthetic which is fine but I'm looking for zero waste alternatives. Cork is a natural material made from the bark of a tree and when it's been treated it has a beautiful texture and durability to it. I love these purses and they look really chic and minimal.


Swap your plastic toothbrush for: A Bamboo Toothbrush
Ok, so there's approx 64.1 Million people in the UK, say everyone listens to the dentist and swaps their toothbrush every 3 months. So that's around 256.4 MILLION plastic toothbrushes every year! It's just a crazy figure to even think about. Plastic doesn't decompose for hundreds of years so we are filling up the land with grotty toothbrushes. Such a simple switch to a bamboo toothbrush. Mine was £2.50 so it's not even much more expensive than a regular one. If you're enticed by tongue cleaners and toothbrushes with a whitening pen inside watch this:

Bamboo is biodegradable and a sustainable raw material so give one a try! You can get different strength bristles and kids ones like 'regular' toothbrushes. I think they look much nicer too than the weird, bumpy, garish plastic ones.

Swap your Tupperware for: A Steel Lunchbox
Essentially Tupperware is much better than cling film or sandwich bags that get thrown away after one use but in some cheaper plastic containers the chemicals used to make them can seep into the food-gross huh!
So a steel lunchbox is a brilliant alternative. It keeps cold food cold and hot food hot so that's a bonus. I think untreated steel looks pretty swish and professional if you take a packed lunch to work. If you enjoy the whimsy in life there are some beautiful handpainted ones available on Etsy for the cutest lunch ever! Taking this yellow box out my bag would instantly cheer me up even more so if it was filled with vegan treats!

Swap your disposable razors for: A Safety Razor
Hair removal is so annoying. I try to avoid it for as long as possible without getting mistaken for a werewolf.
My original issue before zero waste was even a thought in my mind, was that I hated buying Gilette and Wilkinsons Sword because these nasty companies test on animals. When I bought own brand disposables like Superdrug's own they were so crap that I was using one per leg (I do have long legs!) but it was ridiculous!
My next investment will be a safety razor where the refills are about 15p per blade instead of almost a tenner! I'm a wee bit dubious about this switch because A) I'm lazy and B) I'm lazy and have a wondering focus haha. So I'm not sure how safe I will be with a safety razor. I have been told that it's much easier and the shave is so much closer so you don't have to do it as often (result!) I love this rose gold model and it looks so sophisticated compared to a plastic 'I'm gon-cut-you' Venus :')

Swap your plastic bottles for: A Metal Water Bottle
Ok, mentally prepare yourself for this one. We dispose of 15 million plastic bottles EVERY DAY (!!!) in the UK alone. That's just an insane figure to me. There are some companies who have revolutionised the recycling of plastic and you can get fleeces and bath sponges made from recycled bottles which is really innovative. It's just so SO much easier to carry a metal bottle around with you instead. I know I'm lucky and the water up here in the lake district is delicious. I'm well aware that city water is minging and taking tap water isn't really an option. Buy a water filter and keep it in the fridge and it tastes just as good I promise. Persuade your employer to buy a water cooler for the health of the staff!


Has this post inspired you to swap any of your daily habits? Please let me know if it does!
Thank you so much for reading :)
Rachelle xxx

Monday

How To Make Money From An Epic Spring Clean!

Spring, Spring is here! 
The Daffodils and baby lambs tell me so :)

What better time to completely declutter and refresh your space? When you have whittled out your charity donations from your recycling pile and are left with only the treasures you've collected over the years, what do you do with the excess?
Stuff that is mediocre or things that just aren't you anymore-You sell them on of course!

When I first downsized from my spacious, mansion flat into a teeny caravan on my parents drive I had a MAJOR clean out. I sold lots of my possessions too as I wasn't sure when I'd next be employed. So I thought I'd share my experience selling secondhand so you can minimise mess and maximize money!

eBay
What to sell: High street/vintage/designer clothes, collectables, technology.
What to expect: Annoying 'ebayers' asking silly questions, bidding wars, slow payments.
What to prepare:Take some great photos, if it's clothing make sure they're ironed & show off the details.
Keep packaging that you can re-use, I always used to steal mounds of bubble wrap from the delivery at work. A roll of brown paper & parcel tape are much cheaper than jiffy bags.


Car Boot/Flea market
What to sell: Clothes that aren't as special can go in the £1 bargain bucket, books, crockery, ornaments, dvds, beauty products, craft items
What to expect:  People are vultures when you set up, haggling is paramount, you won't believe what people will actually buy.
What to prepare: Plenty of change, carrier bags, good company & a flask of tea. Warm clothes are a must too.



Sell & seek/Facebook pages
What to sell: Toys, baby things, furniture, appliances
What to expect: Lots of inbox messages, timewasters, quick turnaround, meeting 'interesting' people
What to prepare: Take good photos, write down the details & a price you can haggle with.

I've just bought Marie Kondo's book 'The Magical Art Of Tidying' and I plan to totally declutter my caravan and sell what I no longer need. I keep watching lots of minimalism videos on Youtube too and I really like the idea of that. I'm not a materialistic person but I do have a lot of stuff that I don't really see a purpose for anymore. When I'm happy with my space I'll do a mini caravan tour!

Let me know if you use any of my tips :)
Thanks for reading,
Rachelle xxx


Wednesday

What I Thrifted This Month: MARCH


Hello Everyone!
Welcome to my new feature- 'What  I Thrifted This Month'!

I'm a regular in the secondhand clothing game so I thought I'd show you my purchases each month. I've decided that I'm not going to buy any new clothing* (*apart from underwear, tights & socks) because I've been finding brilliant pieces in the charity shops lately.
Plus I'm trying to reduce my impact on the environment and of course, buying new clothing contributes to that! Honestly, it's got to the point where I rarely buy anything new anyway, I often browse TKMaxx and have a little mooch on ASOS but I haven't bought new clothing for a while.

Another point is that I'm trying to create a super-duper capsule wardrobe of my favourite pieces and long-wearing basics. I'd love to be able to wear lots of different outfits with a few fun building blocks. I'm not the kinda gal who's going to don a basic, neutral wardrobe, I love colour and print far too much for that!

So without further ado let me introduce you to my March thrifted finds...


Nightingale T-shirts
So at the charity shop where I volunteer we had a lot of donations that were the brand 'Nightingale'. I've never heard of them but after a lil Google it seems like it's a jazzy brand for the more mature woman :')
Anyway that's totally fine by me, the black tee is a thick, ribbed cotton which is a clothing essential in my eyes. Perfect for layering up and still on trend.
The red, patterned tee is amazing, again it's a thick cotton with a crazy eighties print all over it.
I think they were around £2 each.

Monochrome print trousers
I just love the print on these trousers, they remind me of henna tattoos. These are by George and they are my new lounge trousers. They come up a little short on my giraffe legs but I kinda like the cropped look. I think in the summer I could possibly get away with wearing them as casual hippy trousers.
They were £1.50.

Cheap Monday Jeans
These were a brilliant find! I was mooching Preston flea market as I some time to kill between trains and I went to the stall which is literally a mountain of clothes. I've had some good buys from here before such as a vintage Laura Ashley dress and a Topshop faux leather skirt both cheap as chips. So I had a little scour of the pile and I saw this label peeking out at me. I had ordered some Cheap Monday jeans a couple of years ago from the Urban Outfitters sale but had to send them back as they were too small. So I dug them out of the pile and whaddya know-my size & leg length! For any of you taller ladies out there you know how difficult it is to find well-fitting jeans that are long enough in the legs, so I was definitely bagging these. I asked the man how much he wanted?
'Errrr 50p love'
YASSS
So I put them through the wash as soon as I got home and when they were dry they were perfect fitting. I also had a look on the Cheap Monday website and this style are still retailing for £55! I love it when that happens.

River Island Print Trousers
I realise that this is quite a 'trousery' thrifted feature and that is because I only owned 4 pairs of trousers before this month, Three of them being jeans. Sometimes you just want some fun trousers that are really comfortable too.
I've already worn these and they are really comfy, I wore some thermal leggings underneath coz A. it's still freezing and B. I'm a reponsible adult haha.
They also take up very little space so I can definitely see them coming with me on travelling adventures.
They were £3, similar River Island styles are retailling at £40 on their website!

So that's my March finds, 
Have you found any charity shop bargains recently?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx


Monday

The Next Step Of My #Ecobabe Journey: Zero Waste!

Hello everyone,
I hope you've had a lovely weekend!
I spent most of it binge watching zero waste lifestyle videos on YouTube.
If you've not heard of zero waste the name says it all really, it's about eliminating plastics, composting, reusing and recycling so that you drastically cut down on waste and in turn, help the environment.
Image take from Gittemary one of my new fave eco-bloggers :)
The main trend I've seen when people have been living a zero waste lifestyle is just how happy, focused and inspired they feel.
If you cut the crap from your life you're not worrying about all the clutter amassing around you, or feeling guilty about putting out wheelie bins full of landfill each week. Plus instead of spending money on materialistic things they buy smart, out of a sustainable material that at the end of its life can be recycled or composted. This means that they are spending any disposable income on experiences such as travelling and make real memories instead of going to the Trafford Centre every weekend.

I first read Bea Johnson's book about 4 years ago when I was living in Lancaster and had my own space. I think some of the messages in that book have stayed with me since then and I have always tried to buy more ethically. Bea is an amazing person and I really recommend watching her Google Authors video below if you feel like you want to adopt some of the elements of the lifestyle. It is a little long but she has great anecdotes and imagery to prove that it's much easier than it sounds.

Another leader in the field has to be Lauren Singer from Trash Is For Tossers, she is an inspiration for a younger audience. I get it that zero waste and composting sounds terribly granola and how can something eco-friendly ever be 'cool' and on trend.
Lauren has a fab blog which includes DIY beauty recipes, she has even started her own eco-cleaning product range.

With so many fantastic indie eco-start ups all over the world, I think green living is getting a huge boost in mainstream media. Which HELLO is what we all need, the news isn't telling us about environmental issues and what we can do to help. It's brainwashing us with the Kardashians and terrorist attacks.
I have utmost respect for celebrities who are bringing climate change to people's attention (love you Leo DiCaprio & Ian Somerhalder)
<3 p="">My biggest issue right now is that I'm living on my parents driveway. I'm trying to get rid of life's unnecessary possessions and live a simpler life in my caravan but I have to go into the house to use the kitchen & bathroom. I can only describe the house to looking like something of the secret life of hoarders. My mum and step-dad combined households last summer after they got married and both of them have accumulated a hell of a lot of stuff. Which is really quite stressful. I would never describe myself as a clean freak and a bit of clutter wouldn't usually bother me but nothing is ever simple in that house! I think I'm just longing for my own space again now.

Anyway, I'm not going to be one of those people who puts off changing til so-and-so has fallen into place, so I'm going to start small and replace things that I own with no waste products.
I bought a compost bin for mum for mother's day (it's what she wanted!) so at least I can start with that. We have a big recycling site down the road so hats off, as a family we're embracing all things recyclable.
Out here in the Lake District we don't have a huge variety of bulk shops locally. There is greengrocers in the next town that offers some bulk items so I need to investigate that further. Plus where I work they have a local market on a Tuesday which I need to support!

So I guess this post is kinda a brain dump to mark the beginning of my no waste transition. I do hope you all find it as interesting as I do.


Do you consciously do anything to reduce the amount of waste you create? Would you ever aspire to a zero waste lifestyle?
Thank you so much for reading:)
Rachelle xxx

Wednesday

HELP: Vegan & Cruelty-Free Beauty Alternatives & Dupes


Howdy!
So 9 months (where has the time gone!!) after leaving The Body Shop I'm starting to notice my make-up stash it truly dwindling. I've not really bought new make-up as I've been trying to use up what I have so I can finally start a fresh with all vegan cosmetics! I bought a Tarte foundation in June which I absolutely love and I'm coming to the end of it now. Although it is £36, I don't mind paying that for a quality product that lasts a long time. However, I no longer have a monthly wage to splurge on make-up! I'm trying so hard to save for a travelling adventure I don't want to invest almost half my weekly wage on some warpaint!

I have noticed that my skin is much clearer now! *touch wood* I've always suffered from acne prone skin and it seems like my vegan diet, drinking lots of water and simplifying my skincare regime has worked wonders! Still by no means perfect but I have left the house skipping foundation recently which I haven't done in years. I always opt for full coverage foundation but I think I can get away with something a little lighter.

I always found it difficult working in beauty retail and suffering from oily/acne skin because customers are generally judging the product based on your skin! My skin was rubbish so I piled on more make-up and thus the vicious cycle began!

I have a few non-cruelty free products that I need to replace without breaking the bank so I thought all you lovely cruelty-free, beauty bloggers might be able to help a gal out with some recommendations:

Face

Vichy Dermablend
I've been a big fan of Vichy Dermablend for years as their products are really pigmented but also really light on the skin. Unfortunately, they test on animals so I'm going to have to find a suitable alternative.

Need to replace:
  • Dermablend Ultra Corrective Foundation Cream Stick
  • Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation 16 Hour
  • Dermablend Corrective Loose Setting Powder


The Body Shop
Oh old faithful that has filled my make-up bag for the past 8 years, how will I survive without you. As much as I feel obliged to represent The Body Shop, a lot of the make-up products I used weren't vegan and although Loreal as a parent company never really bothered me before I'd rather choose to buy from a more ethical company.

Need To replace
  • Moisture Foundation
  • Lightening Touch Eye Concealer
  • Honey Bronze Light Matte Bronzing Powder
  • Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome


Collection (2000)
I, like every other blogger under the sun, love the Lasting Perfection Concealer but I haven't been able to find the light shade ANYWHERE in months, plus these guys apparently test on animals too :'( So I'd love to find a light, creamy, hydrating concealer to replace my empty one.

Need To Replace:
  • Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light



Eyes
I've never ever been loyal to one mascara brand, I always try a new one and end up disappointed. My favourite one ever has to be the Maxfactor False Lash Effect mascara but I haven't had one for a couple of years as Maxfactor test on animals :'( If I could find one with that same brush I would be so happy! Cheap mascaras tend to be crap!
Same for pencil eyeliners, I just bought whichever was cheapest so if anyone can recommend a decent vegan one that is fairly soft, that would be fab.

Need To Replace:
  • Maxfactor False Lash Effect Mascara
  • Any generic kohl black eyeliner pencil


Lips
When I sharpened the last, little stub of my Illamasqua lip liner last week and the pigment was all gone, I was genuinely heartbroken. I'd done so much in 'Bait', lived my life, partied and worked all in this fluoro hot pink shade but now it is no more. Now I'm looking for the next new shade that will accompany me everywhere.  I'm finding it difficult to find any vegan lipliners as they all seem to contain beeswax. Also, a stain would be nice as I used to wear The Body Shop lip and cheek stain with a balm on top and that was my easy everyday lip.

Need To Replace:
  • Illamasqua Bait Lipliner 
  • The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain 

I would be super-duper grateful if you have any recommendations based on this post or just any awesome vegan brands that you love :)
Thanks for reading!
Rachelle xxx