What are the Priorities for Climate Change? #TakeASeat at COP24

We have 12 years to save our planet. Just twelve short years. As explained by the world’s leading climate scientists, global warming needs to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

The authors of the landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is affordable and feasible although it lies at the most ambitious end of the Paris agreement pledge to keep temperatures between 1.5C and 2C.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP24 is happening now, and they want to give us all a seat at their table. They are asking:

What are your priorities for making progress on climate change?

Share your key points for climate action across social media using the hashtag #TakeYourSeat to make your voice heard.

So what are my key priorities for tackling climate change?

• Focus on reducing single-use plastics & plastic waste:

In some countries, there have been major strides in this already. Initiatives from organisations such as Surfers Against Sewage and Lonely Whale, amongst many others have driven change in policies at government levels and inspired large communities to change their habits. However, this is the tip of a very large iceberg that cannot be ignored.

Further changes in policies to tackle it at the source – especially the manufacturers and companies themselves – need to be put in place, to stop them producing so much. Consumers need to change their habits too, but they are often limited by lack of options and cost barriers. There is only so much they can do; companies are best placed to tackle the issue more effectively. Policy needs to ensure the importance of this and give guarantees this will happen urgently.

• Replace fossil fuels with clean energy:

End fracking. Replace all fossil fuels with clean energy. There are some key countries in the world, including here in the UK, who are still heading in the wrong direction on this. We need to change our course, now.

• Embrace slow fashion:

The fashion industry needs a mass overhaul. Fast fashion, with cheap throw-away clothes that are only worn once or twice, is killing our planet. The processes and materials used are unsustainable, and unethical too. Attitudes need to change, and the entire way the industry operates, needs to change.

#TakeYourSeat COP 24 climate change conference - quote

Individual Action

Did you know that reducing meat intake (especially beef) is the single most effective action that individuals can take to reduce climate change?

Every little helps, so even just one meat-free day per week makes a huge difference. Give it a try.

I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that. Then I realised I am somebody.

Further action: Promote the benefits of reducing meat consumption. Support and raise awareness of initiatives such as Meatless Monday to help drive consumer change.

What are your key priorities for climate change? 

Join in the discussion #TakeYourSeat

 

Mis-sold Mortgages: Have You Been Affected?

I bought a flat back in 2005, during the height of the property boom in one of the most expensive cities in the UK. At the time I was a newly qualified teacher and was able to take advantage of a government scheme available that offered me an equity loan, which allowed me to purchase a higher value property than I would have been able to afford otherwise. This loan also meant I got 100% mortgage, so no deposit needed. It also meant an excellent mortgage deal!

Fast forward to 2009 and, now a parent, the property was no longer suited to our needs. But the market had gone bust, making it difficult to sell up and move. Worse still, I had quit my teaching job to stay home with my daughter full time, so was also now under pressure to repay the equity loan within the specified timeframe, because I had left the profession.

After a lengthy struggle (and a massive mess made by the solicitors, which technically left us homeless for a week while the purchase was completed on our new home… but that’s a whole other story!) the property was sold with practically no equity.

This meant the new mortgage was less favourable because of the small deposit. At the time, I considered it lucky that the broker found a mortgage, even though it meant paying higher interest rates and larger monthly payments than was perhaps wise. However, on reflection, this kind of thing is exactly why there are so many mis-sold mortgage claims

Mis-sold Mortgages: Have You Been Affected?

In my case, having looked at all the factors, I don’t think it was missold. But if you got a mortgage since November 2004 – and especially if it was through a broker – you could well have been missold your mortgage; in other words, you were given advice that wasn’t suitable, the risks were not clearly explained to you, or you were not given all of the information you needed. Basically, for one reason or another, if you ended up taking out a product that wasn’t right for you.

Affordability

One example is if you cannot afford your mortgage through no fault of your own. If you had substantial debt and/ or were advised to borrow large amounts of capital, it is possible that their repayment scheme was impossible to maintain in your current financial state.

Debt Consolidation

Another example is if you were told to consolidate your debt into the mortgage. Sometimes this advice is accurate and the best course of action. But if you were advised incorrectly, or not given all the relevant information to make an informed decision, this could mean you were mis-sold your mortgage.

Raising Capital or Extended Mortgage Terms

Other examples are if you took out a new mortgage in order to raise capital, or extended your mortgage terms, without being informed correctly of the risks and downsides of doing so. This includes if you added broker fees and mortgage fees to your payment terms too. Clients advised to increase their capital in this way may be entitled to compensation for the added interest liability paid.

Mortgage mis-sold. Keys and house keyring

If you think you may have a claim, contact an expert, such as the mis-sold mortgage experts for a consultation. You will pay a percentage of any entitlement back to the company, should the claim be successful, to cover the cost of their solicitors and so on. But if you were mis-sold your mortgage and are entitled to make a claim, doing so through a company makes the whole process easier than trying to claim independently.

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Choosing the Right Holiday for your Family

Picking the perfect holiday for your family should be an exciting activity but can quickly become a thankless task. You’ve got multiple people to please, all sorts of activities to organise and no real way of knowing whether everyone will love what you’ve chosen until you arrive. I know the stress of this all too well, so I’ve put together a handy list for you to use next time you need to choose the right holiday for your family. From camping to cruises, you’ll find something to suit everyone!

Choosing the right holiday for your family

Family cruises

Cruises are becoming more and more popular with families, and it’s easy to see why. You can stay on a ship that’s got everything from comfy rooms and luxury spas to huge waterslides and fun kids’ clubs – all while exploring different countries and cities. Many of the newer ships have great family-oriented facilities, as well as on-shore activities that appeal to children of all ages. And because the majority of the organising is done for you, you just need to pick your destinations and ship, and everything else is sorted by your cruise line.

If you’re after child-friendly cruises, be sure to pick a ship, cruise line and itinerary that meets your expectations and includes plenty of fun activities. One of the best things about cruises is the all-inclusive aspect: from evening entertainment to eating on-board, you can enjoy your holiday without worrying about budgets.

Cruise ship

Camping holidays

Camping holidays are great for families on a budget or for those wanting to enjoy nature and outdoor activities. Nipping down to a caravan park or pitching a tent is quick and easy, making it perfect for short weekend breaks or half-term holidays. And because you can stay in the UK, you don’t need to worry about queues or delays at the airport! Most campsites and caravan parks come fitted out with fabulous facilities – think cinemas, spas and waterparks. Plus, it’s a great way to explore the British countryside and coastline, and get some much-needed fresh air. You can acquire huge tents for not much money now, so buying a tent is a good investment if you’re likely to camp a few times a year.

Camping
All-inclusive hotels

You might think that all-inclusive hotels are limited to couples and adults-only holidays, but there are plenty that cater for families, too. You can pick a destination and a resort then relax, knowing that everything you need has already been paid for. From food to activities, you don’t have to worry about hidden charges or budgeting for fun days out.

The majority of all-inclusive hotels have great facilities for children, including private beaches, water-sports lessons, swimming pools and kids’ clubs – meaning you’ve got time to escape to the spa or enjoy a swift cocktail! Before you book, watch out for any extras: sometimes you’ll need to pay surcharges for certain restaurants or equipment hire.

Watersports

Adventure escapes

If you’ve got older children, heading off on an adventure holiday is a great way to bring your family together. From hiking through the jungles of South America to horse-back safaris, you can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. These holidays tend to be more expensive, but the memories you make are well worth it. There are even charity events you can sign up for: whether it’s raising money doing a long hike or helping to rebuild schools and homes in small villages.

Seaside getaways

Sometimes all you need for a great family holiday is to be by the sea with a bag of fish and chips, the smell of sea-salt in the air, and the waves sweeping across the sand. Spending time at the beach is a perfect way to enjoy some family time, without having to go abroad. For surfing and bodyboarding fun, the coasts of north Devon, Cornwall and south Wales are brilliant, while the southern edge of Devon provides picturesque coastal walks and gorgeous scenery. For a weekend getaway, there’s no better place to be.

Choosing the right holiday for your family is tough – there’s no point denying it! But put the right planning in and try something new, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Whether you take to the waters or hike around glorious terrain, you’ll create memories to treasure forever.

*This is a collaborative post

Helping Elderly Relatives Maintain Independence

As people grow older, they begin to worry about losing their independence. One example of this might be concerns over whether they will stay in their own home or where they will live instead, and what support they might require to live as independently as possible.

If you have an elderly relative, it can be challenging to meet their needs but still respect their wishes, and it can be a daunting level of responsibility to work out solutions with them, and on their behalf. So here is some useful advice on helping elderly relatives maintain their independence…

Helping Elderly Relatives Maintain Independence

Adaptions to Home

In order to help an elderly relative remain in their own home, it is essential to consider adaptions that can be made to ensure their safety and comfort while living independently. If mobility is an issue, as is so often the case, then various aids are available to make life easier, and offer peace of mind.

Unless the person lives in a bungalow, think about buying a stairlift to avoid any nasty accidents and to make both floors more accessible. Well placed handrails in key areas throughout the home are also beneficial. Also consider a walk-in shower if possible too. Lastly, if a person needs a frame or walking aid to move around more easily then make sure this is easily available as well.

And don’t forget the little things! Walk around doing your own safety risk assessment of the home, checking for any potential danger. For example, trip hazards such as loose rugs should be made safe. A panic button that links to someone who can attend the property quickly in case of an emergency is also extremely helpful to have.

Stairlift

Carers

If personal hygiene, preparing food to eat, getting in and out of bed, or other daily tasks becomes a struggle then a carer might be necessary. This could be a live-in carer if needs are quite frequent and intense, or someone who visits daily (or several times daily) as and when needed.

My Experience

My late grandad was adament he wanted to stay in his home during his later years. He was of sound mind, but found physical tasks difficult due to limited mobility. This was in part due to age, and largely due to a partial leg amputation following illness. He lived in a bungalow and used a frame to get around. He had carers visit several times daily, to help him wash and get to bed. His shopping was ordered online for him then delivered and he was able to prepare simple ready meals in the microwave himself. He also had a cleaner. With these simple adaptions he was able to remain in his own home, as he wished.

A photo of grandparents of Living Life Our Way

Alternative Solutions

However, it is not always practical, or even possible, for an elderly person to remain in their own home. It could be that their needs are too intense or complex. One possible solution is for them to live with younger relatives; perfect if you happen to have a granny annex or enough space in your home, for example. There are many benefits to this, and it can be a wonderful experience for all parties I am sure. However, there may also be many reasons why this is not a possibility; not all circumstances are the same.

The other obvious alternative is a care home. Whilst this may seem like a daunting prospect, it can be a very good thing. Staff on hand at all times, plus friendships and company; there is alot to be said for this idea!

My nan, pictured above, could not stay at home as she suffered from dementia and needed more care than could be provided there. She lived in a nursing home for many years before she passed away; it was absolutely the right choice for her and the best place for her to be.

Whatever choices are made, remember every situation is unique. All factors need to be weighed up to decide on the best set-up for each of the parties involved. It is not an easy decision, but hopefully this post will help you consider some of the factors needed to reach a conclusion.

*This is a collaborative post. 

Eco Made Jeans: Review

As with the other areas of my life, I try to adopt an eco-friendly approach to clothing wherever possible. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, I need some new additions to my wardrobe (as much as I still love my oldest favourite jeans, I bought them in Las Vegas back before I was even a mum!) So I was very happy to receive an email asking me if I would like to review a pair of eco jeans from JD Williams

Eco Made Jeans: Review

About

Eco Made indigo slim fit jeans are available in sizes 10 – 32. They are made partly from COOLMAX® ECOMADE fibre, which is made from 97% recycled material such as bottles, so helps reduce the environmental impact of plastic and keeps it out of our oceans.  This innovative design keeps moisture away from the skin to help stay cool in summer (or at hot gigs!) so are perfect for all year round and a variety of occasions.

Price: £40 (RRP) Shop here.

EcoMade slim fit jeans

Review

These jeans feel quite stretchy and are very comfortable. The sizing is as expected and they fit well. Having worn them at two gigs already (and one venue was particularly warm!) the material does indeed seem to feel cool when needed but still as warm as any other jeans on a cold night.

EcoMade jeans dressed up with boots for gig

They can easily be teamed up with different tops and footwear to either dress them up, or opt for a more casual look. For example, I wore them with boots and a long sleeve top for the gigs, which worked well. The fit is flattering, yet relaxed and comfortable enough to dance around, or laze around, or go for a long walk! I love them and would definitely recommend!

Lazing on sofa in jeans

*Disclosure: I was sent these jeans to review from JD Williams All opinions are my own. 

The Ultimate Indoor Gardening Cheat Sheet: Guest Post by Emma – Fixtures and Flowers

It’s a scientific fact that plants breathe life into the atmosphere. Without plants or trees to absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen the human race would have no source of clean air. The world would be forced to breathe recycled or artificially produced oxygen.

The more plants there is then, the less pollution there is. Cities with more trees have healthier populations than those that only have a park or two. This premise applies to individual homes as well. A household would greatly benefit from having more plants inside the residence.

The size of the home is irrelevant, what matters is that there are plants indoors to help clean the air. Other than a natural air purifying system, indoor plants can also produce fresh herbs, vegetables and even fruits. Starting an indoor garden is not all that difficult. Take a look at this ultimate indoor gardening cheat sheet to make it easy…

The Ultimate Indoor Gardening Cheat Sheet: Guest Post by Emma - Fixtures and Flowers

Planting in Soil using containers

The style of using pots and decorative planting containers is the classic method for indoor gardening. It is also one of the most popular and convenient ways to start an indoor garden. The containers can be made of any material, ceramic, metal, plastic or even stone.

There is a timeless beauty in using free-standing containers. They bring a touch of nature indoors and brighten any room as well. They are also easy to handle because one can move them around the house with ease. There are a few things to keep in mind before starting an indoor garden using containers.

Sun spot

Choose an area in the house that takes inadequate sunlight. Proper sunlight is essential for a plant to reach its full potential. As long as the spot gets at least four to six hours of daylight then that should be enough.

Position the plants in that sun spot and decorate around it. Setting the plants in sun-filled setting will be easier than having to move the pot or container outside for it to get some sun.

Soil

Choose the kind of plants that are suitable to be grown indoors. Different types of soil fit the needs of specific plants. Research the type of soil required for the plants before starting an indoor garden. Each kind of plant needs a particular kind of soil.

Preparing the right soil for potted plants is crucial to keep them healthy. For most plants, a store-bought potting mix is an excellent soil base to start with. Then mix that with some compost, and that will create the perfect soil to nurture indoor plants.

Succulents would need a gritty mix that drains well. This is one of those cases where crushed gravel would be the perfect top dressing. Don’t forget to add homemade fertilisers to give your plants more nutrients.

Water

All plant life needs water on a regular basis. That is their primary form of sustenance. Plants absorb water and carbon dioxide to jumpstart photosynthesis.

Water the potted plants using a watering can. Water them early in the morning so that they have the whole day to absorb the water through their roots.

Hydroponics

Indoor gardening has gone through many innovations over the years, and hydroponics is one of them. Hydroponics is a soilless growing system that substitutes soil with an inert media. The purpose of the inert media is to hold the plant upright. It is the base of the plant which suspends it over the water.

Water culture

This is often used in the most basic hydroponics systems. To grow plants in water culture, first put each plant in a container or a growing tray filled with inert medium.

Then immerse the plant containers in an even bigger container filled with nutrient solution. For best results, use an air pump to create bubbles in the nutrient solution to help with aeration.

Nutrient film

This technique foregoes the use on any inert media and suspends the plants right over the nutrient solution. Holes are drilled through PVC tubes to house the plants, and their roots are allowed to grow at the bottom directly immersed in the nutrient solution. It is also advised to use an air pump when using this method to promote root aeration.

Drip system

Instead of the plants being suspended over the nutrient solution. This hydroponic growing technique circulates the nutrient solution throughout the growing media. A water pump continuously pumps the nutrient growing solution.

Aquaponics

This indoor growing technique would be perfect for people that own and love their aquariums. Instead of suspending the plants over a container with a nutrient solution this technique uses the nutrient from fish waste and feeds it directly to the plants.

The plants are set on top of a growing media which is then placed atop the fish tank. The microorganisms in the growing media would then break down the fish waste into proper nutrients for the plants. The plants would then absorb these nutrients.

The microorganisms found in the growing media would technically clean the water of any waste. Aquaponics is an efficient solution to the disposal of fish waste and cost-effective as well because it forgoes the need for the nutrient solution.

Aeroponics

Aeroponics is another new growing technique that can be used for indoor gardening. Here, the plants are housed in containers that do not have any soil and isn’t immersed in any nutrient solution. The containers are there to support the plant and provide access when water is sprayed.

The lower half of the container is filled with small holes or grills which allow the grower to spray water or nutrient solution directly on the roots. This is the same growing technique used by astronauts and is gaining popularity all over the world.

Conclusion

There are several paths to start practising indoor gardening. Choose the technique that best suits your personality. Consider all the factors, pros and cons of each growing technique. No matter what method is used the end results will be the same. Cleaner oxygen, fresh vegetable, fruits and a healthier lifestyle.

Author Bio

Author picture - Emma - Fixtures and Flowers

Emma is a part-time property developer, part-time home improvements and gardening blogger at Fixtures and Flowers, and full time Mum. Given her background, Emma has a lot of advice, tips and tricks that she loves sharing on her blog.

Review: Trasparenze Leggings from UK Tights

I try not to buy new clothes too often, and I don’t have a massive wardrobe. However, I was in genuine need of a new outfit or two to wear on various nights out. I wanted something comfortable, that looked stylish, but also versatile. Luckily, I was contacted by UK tights and spotted the perfect item on their website, Poseidone leggings by Trasparenze, which they kindly sent me to review.

Review: Trasparenze Leggings from UK Tights

About

Trasparenze is an Italian company that specialises in hosiery in unique eye-catching designs. Poseidone leggings are soft and luxurious, with an opaque leg and pretty floral lace design. RRP £51.99. Purchase from UK tights here.

Review

The leggings arrived in an elegant cardboard box, which is well presented so would make a nice gift.

Trasparenze Leggings from UK Tights in box

As they are an Italian brand, I was advised to ignore what size I would normally be and actually check the sizing guide. I did so and went for medium (I am normally a size 10 – 12) which fit perfectly.

Whilst these leggings aren’t organic, which is my preference wherever possible, they are exceptionally good quality so will hopefully last much longer than a cheaper brand. I try to adopt a slow fashion approach that is kinder to our planet than fast fashion, so I generally make a point of only buying clothes that I know I will wear often, and/ or at least around 30 times. (Yes, I know that is alot!)

Therefore, it seems more logical to me to invest in more expensive items that will last the distance. With all that in mind, I think that these leggings are wonderfully versatile and of sufficient quality to be worth the price tag.

Review: Trasparenze Leggings from UK Tights

Summary

I love these leggings! They are expensive, but feel comfortable and look stylish. They are a unique elegant design that stands out and is different to usual, but can also be worn in a number of ways for different things. I would wear them on a proper night out with heels and a dressy top, or they can also be worn on a more casual night out – as pictured below – as well. I received quite a few compliments wearing them and was happy with my outfit choice!

Selfie of Living Life Our Way wearing leggings on a night out

 

* Disclosure: these leggings were sent to me for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. 

What Food Can You Grow In Winter?

If you enjoy growing your own food, you maybe wondering what you can grow over the colder months and how to prepare your garden now autumn is here, ready for winter. So here are some tips…

What Food Can You Grow In Winter?

Greenhouse

Whilst some plants can survive directly outdoors in winter, is useful to have a greenhouse to successfully grow your own food during the colder months here in the UK. Variable temperatures, hard frost and possible snow means that some won’t thrive without help. If you don’t already have a greenhouse, it is worth investing. Even if you don’t have much space for something larger, there are plenty of options such as these lean to greenhouses for sale from GBC Group for example.

What to plant

There are several things you can still plant outdoors or in a greenhouse to grow over the winter months. Don’t forget you can also plant herbs inside to. Here are some ideas of what to consider planting around October, if you haven’t aready:

Winter salad

This is best planted in a greenhouse, as it will need some protection from the elements.

Leafy Crops

Rockets, chard, kale and other leafy crops manage over winter with some help. Cabbage also does too.

Broad beans

These tend to do quite well over winter and can then be harvested much earlier than those planted in spring.

Peas

Peas tend to be quite hardy so these can be planted outdoors if you wish.

Onions

Onions don’t need much care but they do take a long time to grow. If you plant some now they will be ready next summer. So no time like the present!

Growing onions

Garlic

Growing garlic is similar to onions; planting now will mean they are ready to harvest next summer.

Carrots

Carrots will both just about manage over winter with a little protection. Pop them in the greenhouse and they will do just fine!

Parsnips

Parsnips are also hardy and will do well over winter.

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts take up alot of space for a fairly long time, but they do well over winter so are worth considering.

Tips

• Protect your plants from hard frost by covering them over with a plastic sheet, tunnel, frame, or grow them in a greenhouse. Adding a layer of mulch will also help protect them.

• Use netting to protect your crop from birds over winter. Also beware of insects during these months, as you would throughout the other seasons.

• Water your crop sparingly over the wetter winter months.

Do you have any tips for preparing your food garden for winter? What else do you grow? 

*This is a collaborative post.

 

 

Planning a Trip to the Philippines

The relatively open door policy adopted by Philippines has made it one of the most easiest of countries to visit with hardly any barriers in place for entering tourists. Residents of over 150 countries, which have diplomatic relations with the country can enter Philippines and stay there for up to thirty days without having a visitor’s visa. The only condition being is that you should have proof of return passage and a passport with at least six months validity.

There are some exceptions to this rule for a few different nationalities which your Embassy or Consulate can verify in your home city. Customs allow you to bring in your personal belongings without paying duty as well as unlimited foreign exchange. However, when leaving the country you are forbidden to carry any currency in excess of USD 10,000 or equivalent. To make the most of your trip you will need to set aside at least two to three weeks for your Philippines holiday. Suggested itinerary,with top attractions, is described below….

Planning a trip to the Philippines

MANILA (two days)

Once you have arrived at the International Airport, the rest of the Philippines can be easily visited by budget airlines(as there are no road links), which fly to most of the popular places of this charming island country. Many travelers like to skip Manila in order to save time, but they are making a huge mistake. This metropolitan city is full of diverse culture, history and entertainment. The city’s museums, broad streets and shopping malls, make Manila a must all types of tourists.

Manila, Philippines

THE CORDILLERA RICE TERRACES (two days)

A nine hour road trip, over treacherous mountain roads, high into the Cordillera mountains, where even the Spanish colonists feared to enter, will bring you to this special UNESCO world heritage site. Walking over tricky hiking trails you will discover the unique terraces of rice fields, carved out of the mountain, dating back to 500 years.

SIARGAO (two days)

Long kept as a secret, Siargao opened its doors to the outside world only in the seventies. This Pacific Ocean coastline town is known to have some of the most challenging surfing spots in the world. Cloud 9, as it is named after, boasts of a reputation of having powerful waves and rocky bottom backsides. Numerous resorts and hotels can be found here, which take visitors to the outlying popular destinations on conducted tours.

PALAWAN (four to six days)

This 260 mile piece of paradise, runs along the archipelago’s western flank and is often referred to as the best island in the world. The capital Puerto Princesa is famous for its local craft beer and a variety of food delicacies. A short distance away from the city is the underground river – one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. Here you will come upon an archipelago of over 40 stunning limestone islands, where one can hike up to the edge of the cliffs or simply go island hopping. At the extreme northern end of Palawan lies Coron, with its gorgeous beaches and lagoons and the site of a World War II wreck.

BOHOL (two days)

The once laid back and sleepy island of Bohol has today earned a reputation of leading travel destination due to the presence of the Chocolate Hills. The karst limestone which gave these hills their origin are full of deep gorges and valleys, ideal for rappelling and ziplining. Bohol can be easily accessed from the Tagbilaran airport in Cebu or by ferry from the same place. Once you have found your stay in any of the island’s many resorts, take time out to go to Panglao to catch a glimpse, if you are lucky, of the dancing spinner dolphins in the Bohol sea.

DAVAO (two days)

The city of Davao, acts as the gateway point to the three major island groups, which constitute the majority of the Philippines. This major metropolis, is situated on a relatively unspoilt marine and forest habitat. As it affords easy access to both the mountains and the sea, Davao has become a topmost adventure sport destination today. The added attractions here are some animal conservation centres such as, Philippines Eagle Center and Monfort Bat Sanctuary, which are well worth a visit.

PAMPANGA

The cultural hotbed of Pampanga, lies to the north of Manila and showcases the colonial way of life of the Spaniards who once ruled here. Everything from the unique architecture to the food flavor and culture has a mix of Latin in it. The place tops in culinary eats as on the bucket list of food lovers who want to taste the best of the Kapampangan food.

BORACAY

It is said that most people, on return, have left their heart in the beautiful island of Boracay. The experiences here are so unique that visitors have fallen love with the place. Travelers have compared the island and the beaches with best in the world, and not surprisingly Boracay has always stolen the show.

The now unforgettable sunsets and miles of powdery stretches of white sand have made Boracay legendary. To get away from the hordes of tourists, a visit to Alta Vista de Boracay is highly recommended. From here one can have a commanding 360 degree view of the whole island. Thrill seekers can opt for diving from the cliffs on Magic island, which caters to both first timers and professionals alike.

The Philippines has a whole lot of other attractions, but make sure you don’t lose out on the ones mentioned above. Enjoy what this paradise country has to offer and do all what you have not done before.

Boracay, Philippines


*This is a collaborative post.

The Berry Berry Designer Bags: Stylish Sustainable, Ethical Fashion

Have you heard of The Berry Berry designer bags yet? If not, you should have done! This ethical fashion brand was set up in 2014 by Lucia Jombikova;  she has developed a range of seven gorgeous bags out of fabric offcuts, reclaimed clothes and even upcycled magazines and sweet wrappers. Her bags come in a range of sizes from a small clutch bag and mini clutch purses to large tote bags and messengers, including one perfect for men. Each bag is unique and ethically made by a team of mumpreneurs.

Messenger bag. Girl and boy sat on wall next to river. Both have a bag

Protecting our Environment

In the UK alone, there are 1.3 million tonnes of textile waste each year, and in Europe 4.3 million tonnes. Fast fashion is an ongoing problem, but there is a much needed rise in sustainable and ethical fashion developing as consumers begin to increase awareness of this issue. The Berry Berry helps to tackle this; for every two handbags made, one kg of textile waste is saved from landfills.

Dominka Berry Berry Bag

Giving Back

For every five bags sold, The Berry Berry donates a bag filled with female essentials to Project Purse, a NGO who distribute them to homeless women, women in refuges and those who need assistance.

Lucia says: “it was important to me to create an ethical handbag range, as I found only either good looking but expensive handbags or cheaper, non-ethically made handbags. There was a definite gap in the market which now I hope we, at The Berry Berry can close so that women don’t need to compromise style, cost or the environment and no one needs to suffer in the making of the handbag. Women can wear our handbags with pride knowing they’ve empowered other women, the mumpreneurs I employ to sew and make the bags and those other women at Project Purse who also benefit from them purchasing one of our handbags”.

Justina Bow Bags. 3 bags on wall next to water

Kickstarter Campaign

The Berry Berry is running a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to fund the larger scale production of their first batch of bags. The campaign aims to raise a minimum of £10,000 and, in return for your support, you will receive your chosen handbag in time for Christmas. To buy a bag and support the campaign please back them on Kickstarter before 24th October.

Types and names of The Berry Berry bags

Giveaway

I have teamed up with The Berry Berry to giveaway a gorgeous clutch bag to one lucky reader. Enter via rafflecopter below. Competition ends 11th November 2018. Good luck!

Clutch bag made from sweet wrappers

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This is a collaborative post with The Berry Berry.