Saturday, 12 December 2015





You may have seen my post about doing the Walk for Freedom with A21 the anti-human trafficking charity, this December I am supporting them once again. The idea of Dressember is that you commit to wearing a dress everyday of December, all thirty-one days. In doing so you raise awareness for women and girls who have been trafficked and don't have a choice in what they wear.

Believe me wearing a dress everyday is hard and there are times when I want to put on a nice comfy pair of jeans but I resisted that so far. For me the challenge will be wearing a dress on my upcoming days of hiking during the holidays, I will probably wear jeans. The idea is that you wear a dress even when it's inconvenient and you don't want to. This really is hard and I have a lot of respect for women. On cold and windy days, which in St Andrews there are many, wearing a dress is a horrible experience. When the wind blows your skirt up and everyone can see your knickers, you lose a little dignity. But that's why I am doing this challenge.

There are thousands of women all over the world who don't get to decide what they wear. Their dignity is not under their control. They are exploited for their femininity. We wear a dress to stand for the inherent dignity of women. 

You can follow along with Dressember at and on instagram as @dressember. You can also follow the Just Love UK Dressember blog, a different member from groups all over the UK is posting each day about why they are doing Dressember. The posts so far have been really good and we've nearly reached our fundraising target!

I'll update this post as December comes to an end. Just two weeks in and my thoughts and views are already changing.

(picture is from @jennakutcher on instagram)

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Everyday Emily

As mentioned in a previous post I spent a couple of days in Brussels and it was so nice to get away from university and explore a new city. On the back of that very short trip I came home and immediately booked flights to Rome! My degree is ancient history so I have just spent the past year learning about both the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, it will be nice to see some of the places I've read and written about. I have been to Italy once before (Sorrento/Naples) and I loved every part of it. I am very excited to go with my best friend and spend our time eating pizza and gelato whilst surrounding myself in history. I am also going in March so it will be a nice time to relax before deadlines and exams! 

Being thankful
It's not surprising considering I am Scottish but I have never actively participated in a thanksgiving meal before, this all changed this year. We had chicken instead of turkey and it was more like a roast dinner but it was still a lovely evening. I was reminded of how many amazing and kind people I know, and how lucky I am to call them my friends! 

Mental Health
This isn't a very cheery thing to write but it's been a really huge part of my life recently. These past few weeks have been so difficult for me and I have finally worked up the strength to admit how I am feeling and get help. It can be hard to ask for help especially when mental illness is so often overlooked. However one counselling session later and I already feel better. It's definitely going to be difficult and it won't be perfect but I will feel better and I cant wait. 

Embracing life
Today was weird, but also incredible and exactly the reason I love St Andrews. My friend and I were stopped by an older gentleman on the street who asked us where the best place to get coffee was. We replied with a really great social initiative cafe and chatted to him on the street for another ten minutes. Fast forward two hours and two cafes. This random stranger asking about coffee is a professor at a really good university, started a charity and is designing a new college! A chance encounter on the street is now one of my favourite memories with my friend and I now have a really great contact for the future. This tiny town is my favourite place in the world. 

Saturday, 21 November 2015

This Is Empowerment || Krochet Kids Intl.

Lately I've been thinking about ways I can be more ethical in my purchases, Krochet Kids was a company that kept popping up on my radar so I took the plunge and bought a beanie. 

edited with Krochet Kids  x VSCO 

Krochet Kids Intl. is a non-profit company founded by three friends who wanted to create gifts that gave back by empowering the ladies who made the products. I am inspired by their vision and ethos towards giving and helping people. They focus on helping people in the now and allowing them to support themselves. Their website is filled with great graphics showing how this approach changes lives, the children of the ladies are eight times more likely to go to high school and the ladies are 25% more likely to have a say in important decisions. These changes are important and will only continue to increase. 

One of my favourite features of Krochet Kids is that every item is signed by the lady who made it. Rosmery Shupingahu thank you for making my beanie, I love it! You can actually go onto their website and leave a thank you message for whomever made you item which is such a lovely idea. 

I think it's so easy to forget that fellow people were involved in making our clothes. Especially when you think of cheap labour and sweat factories, you would much rather not think about those behind the clothes. BUT it is our responsibility as consumers to think about the horrors of cheap clothes and products, someone always loses and it is never those in charge. I've been trying to buy more ethically recently which is hard as a student living in an expensive town. However, after purchasing from Krochet Kids I'm looking for other companies that can be held accountable and help those making the products. 

I've already put the standard tee and the arizona on my Christmas list! If you're looking for stylish, cosy and responsible Christmas presents I wholeheartedly recommend Krochet Kids!!.

*I am not being paid or sponsored to write this post, I genuinely recommend this brand*


I recently spent a couple of days in Brussels. I was mostly busy doing work things but I also got a chance to explore some of the beautiful city. Here are my photos; 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Iphone Photography

As I mentioned in a previous post I am a huge fan of VSCOcam both for editing and displaying my photos. I have a 'proper' camera that I rarely use and it's cumbersome to carry around and I can take great photos with my iphone! I am lucky that I live in such a beautiful place which means I am constantly taking photos. 

I am also hugely inspired by photographers on instagram, seeing them make ordinary scenes look extraordinary is incredible. 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Everyday Emily

  Foggy St Andrews days: 
Or as I like to call it haar; a cold sea fog common on east coast Scotland. 
There is something so magical and mysterious about the end of the street not being visible, only the street lights marking the way. I have 9am lectures in the quad (pictured above) and it just adds to the splendour. It is now November and it gets dark during my 4pm lectures. The December exam timetable is out and the town is covered in Christmas lights, I'm ready for the festive season. 

Elliot Erwitt

 Enjoying my degree; 
Sometimes I forget that I am at university because I want to be, not because I have to be. I am studying ancient history because I'm fascinated by the ancient world, my love of ancient history was reignited this week. A lot of the time I am reading about events or looking at photos of ancient sites,with nothing tangible available. I had a workshop on Roman numismatics or coinage as most people would recognise, this week and it was amazing. I got to hold and analyse a 2000 year old coin. I did have to wear surgical gloves and the coin itself was very tarnished but it was still a great experience. Next year I start studying archaeology as well which means even more opportunity to get my hands dirty and uncover history. 

Yuko Murata

Temple of Apollo
 Being creative again;
Over the summer I got back into drawing and even started making videos but as soon as the university workload hit me I stopped. I've been making a conscious effort recently to keep time aside to be creative, no matter how busy I am. I live in such a beautiful town and I am constantly taking photos of it, I am trying to do something with these photos rather than keep them on my phone taking up vital memory. I've also put up some of my art around the house which is a nice reminder of what I can do when I make an effort. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Walk for Freedom with A21

Imagine a normal October Saturday in St Andrews: students, locals and tourists going about their business and enjoying the chilly but sunny weather. Saturday the 17th of October was different.
Imagine a group of more than one hundred people, all dressed in black with tape over their mouths, walking in single file throughout the town. Traffic was stopped, heads were turned and awareness was raised. 

We walk because 27 million people in slavery cannot. 
We walk because 98-99% of people are never rescued. 
We walk because the average age of a trafficking victim is 12 years old.
We walk because every 30 seconds someone is trafficked. 
We walk because 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. 
We walk because 50% of trafficking victims are minors. 

We walk because we can. 

"The Walk For Freedom is our collective effort to heighten awareness of modern-day slavery and raise funds to take us one step closer to ending human trafficking in our lifetime." - The A21 Campaign

It is difficult to think that slavery still happens nowadays, and in our own countries - but it does and you have probably benefited from it. Victims of trafficking are exploited every second of every day. We have the ability and power to change this. 

The A21 campaign aims to abolish injustice in the 21st century.  They have a four pronged strategy against human trafficking: prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership. I would really recommend taking some time to read their aims and plans for achieving their goal. On the website there are some really good ways for you to help and contribute to the cause. In the next few weeks I want to gather some friends and write letters to victims who have been rescued and are now living in one of the A21 safe houses. Next year the Walk for Freedom will happen on Saturday the 15th of October, join a walk and help raise awareness! 

I have participated in demonstrations before but never anything like this walk. It was an amazing and enlightening experience. Seeing my friends and fellow students being passionate and caring for a very important cause was something I could only pray for. As mentioned in a previous post I have joined a Just Love group at my university and we plan to continue to support The A21 Campaign. 

Your light will rise in the darkness.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Everyday Emily

You might be familiar with Bees H is for Happy lists on her great blog, Everyday Emily is similar to this, but also pretty different. I want this to be a place I can write about all the great, mediocre and shit things that happen to me. 

Bears Den @ Queens Hall, Edinburgh
If you've not heard of Bears Den I would recommend you immediately start listening to them, they're going to be big. This was my second time seeing them and once again they were amazing. The lead vocals, harmonies and instruments, especially the banjos, combine to create an incredible live performance. Enhanced by acoustic sets, including one where they perform in the audience! A few of my favourite songs are Don't Let The Sun Steal You Away and Stubborn Beast

Any budding iPhone photographer or anyone who is on instagram will recognise VSCOcam. I have too many photos on my phone and a good number of them have been edited using the VSCOcam app.The base app is free and the additions are cheap. Follow me here!

Second Year
I have been back at university for a month now, and I am officially an ancient history and archaeology student. Changing my degree was a huge step that my mum wasn't too happy about as I am no longer getting a language degree. However I could not be happier and cannot wait to spend countless weekends in trenches looking for old things. 
This year I've been way more involved in student life and societies, as I have the time to do them now. Excitingly I am part of a new student society called Just Love, which involves looking at human rights injustices from a Christian perspective. Our first event is the Walk for Freedom, which is for a really good cause and hopefully we raise more awareness for it. My workload and general busy-ness this year has increased but it's all good because it's all for a good reason.

I know that I already mentioned music when I wrote about seeing Bears Den but they merited their own section. As part of Coffee House Sessions Luke Sital-Singh came to perform a short set at my universities student union. He was really good and the cafe was packed, although he didn't sing Benediction which is my favourite. I've also loved The Weeknds album Beauty Behind the Madness and Darwin Deez' album Double Down.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

DIY Record Display

I recently bought a record player, the Steepletone ST918, which I wholeheartedly recommend. However my small record collection has been living in a tatty old box and the great cover art was hidden away. This diy is cheap, easy and provides free art for your walls. 

All you need are 1 inch nails, thread, a hammer and records. I plotted out where the nails should go by using my biggest record, which meant they would all fit. After you've marked the spots on the wall, hammer the nails, making sure there is enough room for the records to sit. Then I wrapped thread between the vertical nails, tying knots to make it more secure. Four times later and my records were on my walls and looking good. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Feminism and Me

I am a feminist. 

Feminism is not a dirty word.

The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. Gloria Steinem

I'm not perfect, no one is but I am making conscious efforts to unlearn all the horrible habits I have. For me the hardest thing to unlearn was the constant judgement of other women that I did everyday. It's hard not to judge other women, when we are constantly bombarded with the ideals we should achieve and told that anyone who doesn't adhere to these should be judged. The problem is that no one can achieve these ideals, perpetuating the cycle of self hatred. How am I expected to not judge other women for the way they act, or look, if I do the same to myself. People idolise powerful women yet tear them down as soon as possible. 

I am my own worst critic and this is detrimental to my health, both mental and physical. How can I expect anyone to love me if I don't love myself. I am shown everywhere that I should look a certain way but this changes every season, I can't be curvy one second and then skeletal the next. Should I aspire to be a career woman or a mother? Should I take every opportunity to rise to the top only to earn less and never reach my true potential. Should I pursue a career where my research is less likely to receive funding.

A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life. Virginia Woolf

I am not a perfect feminist and I don't claim to be. I am privileged. I am white, straight, educated, middle class and raised in a western country. I will never know what it means to be anything other than what I am. Although the situation is relatively good for me, it's not that way for millions of others. Feminism doesn't end when my situation is the best it can be, it carries on until everyone has equal rights and opportunities. Recognising that my struggles are different is the first step, 

It is so important for me to challenge these stereotypes and taught behaviours. It is hard, to unlearn all the bad habits I've been shown all my life but it's worth it in the end. To praise and admire strong women who have done amazing things, who have overcome the unimaginable. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


Cairngorms National Park
I would give my left arm to be on a road trip right now but I am searching for a job because university is crazy expensive, and also I don't have a car. However, I am living vicariously through my roadtrip playlist. There's something about guitars and folky sounds that make me instantly think of the wind blowing through my hair whilst I'm looking out of the window at the most amazing view.

Besides the songs in my playlist I also recommend Bon Iver, Ben Howard, Bears Den, Mumford and Sons, Ray LaMontagne, Hillsong United and Mac Demarco.  

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


I don't go back to university until September, that means I have three months of no essays and endless free time. I'm going to use this time to read, draw and generally improve my life. I got stuck into a routine, or rut?, at university where everything revolved around studying, and my degree subjects. This means I have a mountain of books to read, multiple projects I want to start and complete, recipes to try and relaxing to do.

Although I have done a lot of reading this past year, some of which was for pleasure, I have a stack of books that I want to get through this summer. Admittedly a lot of them do relate to my degree, such as The Odyssey. Whilst others such as Amy Poehlers autobiography or Everyday Sexism are purely because I am interested in them. I also want to read some poetry this summer, be it epic in the form of Euripides or one that hits home in the form of Sylvia Plath. I also want to condense my thoughts and write about the books, good or bad.

This summer I have a kitchen that is not shared with eleven other people. Meaning I can spend as long as I want on a recipe without fear that I am interrupting someones dinner. I used to be fussy, and whilst I still don't eat a lot of things I have branched out. I have so many recipes saved away to try and this summer I'm going to try them all. I also bought a blender/pseudo nutribullet which has already been thoroughly tested with smoothies and protein shakes. 

I have a lot of stuff. Be it clothes or books or just random things, I am a hoarder. Packing up my room at university made clear how much stuff I have, too much. I want to have a capsule wardrobe type situation, although less restricted and severe. I have an idea about the sort of look and style I am aiming to have. I'm going to either sell or donate everything that I don't need or use. 

This is such a cliche goal for summer, or any time of the year. However I feel so good when I exercise regularly and I don't just mean physically. Mentally I feel better and more able to cope. I live on the east coast of Scotland which means I have access to a really great coastal path which happens to lead onto dense, hilly woods. I want to continue with yoga, with the help of Adriene and determination.  

Everything Else
I want to start drawing and creating again. I've set myself a challenge to sketch something everyday, be it a small drawing or a massive painting. I also want to properly blog. I have a lot of things to say and opinions that I want to write about.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

First Year

My beautiful university town\\ St Andrews

One more exam and I will have completed my first year of university; here are my thoughts and reflections on this amazing, stressful year. 

Don't doubt yourself

I am my own worst critic, if I don't get the best mark then I beat myself up about it. In classes I don't contribute an answer for fear of being wrong, the times I have said something I've been told it was a good contribution. Even when I know I am right there is still a nagging fear that I'm wrong and that I will make an idiot of myself. I know I am capable so I need to remind myself that I can do it. 

Find a balance

Whether this balance is between studying, partying, going back home or anything else, balance is so important. I work part-time at the weekends so for me having a balance between 'work' work and university work was essential. I'm a terrible procrastinator and it means I'm spending hours at the library and then working all weekend, with no time for a social life. Its important for me not to burn myself out.

Never compare yourself

I study Ancient History and this is the first time I am ever studying it in an academic sense, I've had an interest in it for years. There are a lot of fellow classmates who have studied it before and had amazing opportunities to work on sites abroad, something that I never had or did. Sometimes it's so hard not to compare yourself to these people who know more than you, it can be disheartening. 

Grades are important

But they're not the most important thing. I've been told multiple times that I only need a 7 to pass, but I don't want to scrape a pass, I want to do well! If I try my hardest and make an honest attempt at something then I will be happy with my grade. Sometimes I struggle with motivation and when I don't have anyone telling me to do work I put it off until the last possible moment. This is a terrible habit to have. I need to be my own biggest motivator.

It's hard
It's a lot harder than high school and you have to be prepared to do a lot of work. My first semester was hard, I was going a module I hated and considered dropping out if I couldn't change in the next semester. But I put my head down, passed the exam and then changed my module. Now I'm doing a module I love and that I'm good at. 

Enjoy yourself
I worked really hard to get into university and now that I'm here it's still hard to comprehend sometimes. I get stressed so easily about stupid things and it prevents me from doing things I enjoy. I'm at university for five years and I am going to enjoy my time here before I have to be a proper adult and get a full time job. 

I have my last exam and I turn twenty next week. Goodbye to teenage years and hello to second year of university!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Revision Playlist

I'm still awake when the sun rises \\ St Andrews

Exam time is upon me and I cannot study without music to block distractions out; here are some of my favourites

Frank Ocean: Channel Orange is one of my favourite albums, and it's the perfect sound for studying. I'm also a big fan of Swim Good.

Mumford and Sons: Their new album Wilder Minds was released recently and although there aren't a lot of banjos I like it. I love their earlier albums, add a banjo and I'm hooked. 

Bon Iver: The perfect music for revising and focusing. His Stems Project album is especially good.

I listen to music predominantly through Spotify and there are some really good ready-made playlists, I listen to the ones categorised under 'focus' often. 

My favourites are Atmospheric Calm, Cinematic Chill Out and Mellow Beats. In other playlist categories I recommend; Dinnertime Acoustics, Have a Great Day! and Sunny Side Up. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Spring Break

I recently spent five days exploring London, here are my photos. 

ft\\ British Museum, Natural History Museum and Tate Modern