IWD – volume 3

Happy International Women’s Day!!!!

IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It’s also a day to do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women. Here is my final blog post in my IWD series with my #pressforprogress.


As mentioned in my previous post, last year on IWD I made a #beboldforchange pledge to buy from women owned businesses and companies that support women.

This year…


I will press for progress and challenge stereotypes and bias.

Basically I will:

  • question assumptions about women – “she needs a man in her life”… erm no, why?
  • challenge statements that limit women – if I hear “oh she can’t do that, she’s a girl” one more time… grrr!
  • use inclusive language – not just for gender, but disabilities, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

So if you’re going to gender stereotype around me… watch out!

Hope you all have a lovely IWD!

Ciao, Anna x

IWD – volume 2

This post was supposed to be Volume 3 (coming up on Thursday)… but seeing as Lauren Laverne’s focusing her Radio 6 show this week on women in music for International Women’s Day (IWD), I thought I’d get in early before she steals my IWD Playlist thunder.


The Brits, Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA’s – they’re all full of the #metoo and #timesup campaigns. Not just because of sexual harassment but because of misrepresentation, lack of opportunity and lack of recognition.

Unsurprisingly these figures mirror most industries, which is just shocking considering half of the world’s population is female. Undoubtedly the showbiz industry get’s a lot of media coverage on the feminism topic and whilst sometimes this is frustrating, it has started opening up conversations in ‘normal’ workplaces.

Just like my last post where I declared my support of women owned businesses and companies that support women, in this post I will show my support for women in music, books and TV/film.

IWD Playlist

Found here on Spotify – go on give it a listen! 1 hour 15 minutes of pure #girlpower.

IWD Reading-list

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge – A book about frustration around race as well as feminism. Very intelligently written, one to concentrate over. But I learnt A LOT reading it.
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women – Elena Favilli – I’m not even a child and love this bedtime story book about the lives of women from the past and the present. It’s also beautifully illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.
  • Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body – Sara Pascoe – A combination of Sara’s autobiography and evolutionary science facts, resulting in a very a funny insight into the way modern women work both mentally and physically. A one I’d recommend men reading more than women, you might just learn something lads!
  • How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran – An insecure teenage girl growing up in the 90’s. Very unoriginal I hear you say? Not likely. Caitlin Moran is ridiculously funny and puts a great spin on the trials and tribulations of growing up, being poor, being a woman and finding one’s identity as a person.
  • Everywomen: One Woman’s Truth About Speaking the Truth – Jess Phillips – Just started reading this one on Sunday, but love Jess Phillips (Labour MP) anyways, so already know it’s going to be a winner.


IWD Watch-list

  • She’s Gotta Have It – Netflix – A remake of the 80’s Spike Lee film. Nola Darling, lives in Brooklyn juggling three boyfriends, a job, her art and her friends. The soundtrack is top.
  • Young & Promising – 4od – Or Unge Lovende as it is called in Norway where the third series has just come out. I’m currently waiting patiently for it to arrive on 4od.  It’s kind of a Scandinavian version of Sex and the City, but more real and with beer not Cosmo’s.
  • Ladybird – out now – Written and directed by Greta Gerwig (a woman!) about a troubled teenage girl with a controlling mother. I’ve not yet seen it, but a trip to the pictures is on the cards this weekend. It’s meant to be hilarious.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Purely for when Hermione punches Draco.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Not even ashamed, purely for the scene where Mrs Weasley and Bellatrix are duelling.


P.s You can’t get rid of me this week, I’ll be back on Thursday with my #pressforprogress. In the meantime, head over to the International Women’s Day website to make your own pledge!

P.p.s Pledges aren’t just for women!!!

IWD – volume 1

On Thursday 8th March it is International Women’s Day (IWD) and tomorrow is the March 4 Women in London. As I can no longer make the March (cheers Beast from the East…) I’ve decided to pay homage through a series of blog posts.


Last year on IWD I made a #beboldforchange pledge to buy from women owned businesses and companies that support women. And over the year, I did just that. Here are three of my favourites:


Brought to my attention by my good friend Chloe, Everything Sweet Threads is a couple owned business inspired through attending the Women’s March in 2017 and wanting to give their daughter exactly the same opportunities as if she had been a son. They sell stupidly cool t-shirts for adults, children and babies. They are printed in Manchester and 10% from every sale goes to the Pankhurst Trust and Manchester Women’s Aid, I just couldn’t resist getting myself one!

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about menstrual cups. They’re the new fad, and so they should be for many many reasons. They’re better for the environment, better for your health and much more convenient. Mooncup are one of the more popular menstrual cup companies and also where I purchased mine. They are owned by women, used by women and support many charities such as ‘Mobilise a Midwife’ helping midwives to reach mothers in Uganda, ‘Rowley Project’ supplying Mooncup’s to young women in Kenya and as a business they do annual beach cleans.


Finally, Jyoti Fair Works who are an absolute favourite of mine! I’ve mentioned them on the blog before, they are a German-Indian fair fashion label that employs socially disadvantaged women as seamstresses in Chittapur, South India. Jyoti are a non-profit enterprise, meaning 100% of their profit goes back into their workshop in India providing the women permanent employment, opportunities for training, health checks, and a fair salary.

Do you have a favourite women ran / supporting business? How will you be celebrating International Women’s Day?

I’d love to hear from you!

Ciao, Anna x

P.s coming up over the next few days:

  • VOLUME 2 – IWD playlist, reading-list and watch-list
  • VOLUME 3 – my #pressforprogress

Mams Day: Ethical Gift Guide

MEMO for those of you that may have forgotten; Mother’s Day is just two weeks away.

Here are some ideas on what to get those important women (Mam, Auntie, Gran, Mum, Grandma, Mommy, Mother, Sister, Neighbour, Great Aunt… whoever it is) in your life.

How about a candle from the Recycled Candle Company – Made from 100% recycled wax that’s collected from hotels, restaurants, churches and the public.Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 15.44.00.png

Or a piece of jewellery from GingerHaze – Handcrafted silver jewellery made in Birmingham by my friend Krissie. She makes beautiful unique pieces from recycled silver and gems she has collected on her travels.il_570xN.1312628702_2g5p

Finally chocolate from Chocolarder – Who source their beans directly from the farmer, making sure the quality is good and that the money they pay is going to those who do the real work.Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 15.41.50.png


P.s Mam, don’t worry, no spoilers here (or are there?!)… Although you’re that psychic you probably already know what we’ve got you!

Sunday Share

This weekend I haven’t moved very far from the couch, had a very VERY lazy one. So for my blog post this week I thought I’d continue with the laziness and just share with you (from my couch) my thoughts on five things that are on my radar.

  1. Ecosia – My new search engine. A couple of weeks ago I switched from Google to Ecosia. Basically, every time you search, the search ads that pop up generates an income, with that income Ecosia plant trees. In just a couple of weeks my searches have planted 76 trees… and I didn’t even have to get off the couch!Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 11.45.47
  2. Jamestown – Started Saturday lunchtime, already 7 episodes deep. In a nutshell, English settlers in America around 1600 (little bit Pocahontaseqsue), for years there were just men in the colony, then along come women. The series is about the issues facing these women. Rape, witch accusations and general frustrating and cruel sexism. The main characters are brilliant, strong willed and intelligent. Definitely worth a watch. #girlpower
  3. Valentine’s day – Just around the corner. Please please please don’t buy your other half something they will never use, that will end up in the bin, that they don’t really want. Why not do something together? Or get them something they really need? Or, like me, just ignore the day and focus on the pancakes you will be eating instead?
  4. Plastic – Such a hot topic at the moment. Every where I look; the news, facebook, TV, there are photos and stories around plastic pollution. Big companies are finally starting to put strategies in place to reduce their packaging which is great and well overdue, but photos like this still haunt me. Be conscious of what you’re buying. Is that carrier really necessary?seaturtle
  5. Derry Girls – Absolutely hilarious Channel 4 comedy series set in the 90’s about a group of teenage girls in Northern Ireland. I won’t say any more. Just watch it!

Right, blog post done, time to get back to Jamestown and chilling on the couch.

Have a good one x

Beeswax Food Wraps

My war on plastic has amazingly rubbed off onto my Mam. Just yesterday she was showing me her new jazzy KeepCup (reusable coffee cup). Another of her recent sustainable swaps has been ditching cling film for Cling Cloths.


Aside from my Dad accidentally popping one in the bin as he didn’t realise they were reusable, she’s been very happy with the cloths. Using them on cheese, bread, fruit, packed lunches… basically anything you tend to reach for cling film or a plastic bag to keep fresh.

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 12.58.34.png

Cling Cloths are handmade in the UK from locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and allows food to breathe naturally keeping it fresher for longer. They are reusable (DAD!), non-toxic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, water resistant, biodegradable and NOT PLASTIC!

Initially the cost may put you off, but when you weigh up how many rolls of cling film you buy in a year against a pack of reusable beeswax wraps, it actually works out cheaper.

In March I’m moving in with my parents, so will no doubt have many more tales to tell on how they’re becoming more ethical and sustainable in what they buy and do.

Keep up the good work Mam and Dad! xxx

Ho Ho Ho Hospitality


How many of you will be going out at least once over Christmas for food or drinks?

I’d put money on most of you.

While you are out laughing, joking, enjoying yourselves with friends and family… think about the people serving, preparing and cleaning up after your food and drinks. At this time of the year those people don’t get time off work, time with their loved ones, time to cabbage out in front of the tele after eating their body weight in sprouts.

Until 3 and a half years ago my boyfriend was a chef. It’s not just those that are working over Christmas that miss out, it’s also their husbands, girlfriends, children and parents. I found that out first hand.

But it’s not just at Christmas that we should turn our attention to those that work in hospitality. It is an industry with a very high turnover in staff. The contracts offered to employees verge on illegal. For instance, take the next 7 days, a Chef de Partie in a hotel could work the following shifts on a £17k annual salary.

  • Wednesday – 6am-3pm
  • Thursday – 10am – 10pm
  • Friday – 10am – 11pm
  • Saturday – off
  • Christmas Eve – 5am-3pm
  • Christmas Day – 8am – 8pm
  • Boxing Day – off
  • Wednesday – 10am-10pm

That’s 62 hours (taking into account a lunch break which most do not actually get). That works out at £5.30 an hour. Considering the national minimum wage for over 25’s in the UK is £7.50 and the maximum weekly working hours are 48… it’s pretty shoddy isn’t it?

I often write about slave labour, workers being exploited and unsafe working conditions. Many of the issues I write about are concerning overseas, mainly developing countries. But this is happening right here in the UK, on our doorsteps, and it is deemed ‘acceptable’.

We even watch programmes about it! We see Masterchef and Gordon Ramsay. We see kitchens operating under pressure, the use of violence and abusive language. Yet there seems to be no urgency to change the industry.

Don’t get me wrong, not all kitchens are like this. Some employers pay their staff well, give them decent hours and treat them right. But for the majority, long unsociable hours, low pay and uncomfortable working conditions are the norm.

So this Christmas (and the rest of the year) when you go out to eat or drink, treat those that serve you with the respect that they deserve.