February 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

Monday 27 February 2017

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February has been very good to me the past few years.

Favourite part?

I’ve made so many good memories in February, honestly.

At the beginning of the month, a large group of my friends and I went to see the Billy Elliot Musical on its UK tour. It was incredible. We all cried and laughed and I think it’s up in my favourite musicals!

A week later, on Valentine’s Day, we went out again (with few more people) and practically took over a section of a Nando’s. After eating, we went to a nearby light show to celebrate the completion of a new part of our local shopping centre.

Then it was half term! And I needed it so much - if only to let my mental state improve and for me to relax. I spent the first weekend barely doing anything, then have been able to be productive at my own pace the rest of the week. In fact, the Monday was spent café hopping, writing blog posts and doing Politics revision. On Wednesday, my mum and I went up to London to attend a Foyles event on getting published with two women leading the Mantle imprint of PanMacmillan publishing. It was a lovely day spent mooching around Covent Garden and listening to professionals talk about topics I love.

On Thursday, my friends Anna and Nicola and I met up for a creative coffee date (though I like calling it a meeting because, you know, it sounds professional and all that jazz) to discuss a project we have in the works which I will be discussing on here probably later this month. Exciting stuff!

Friday was a day spent working in a café again, although this time I was accompanied by my friend Alex. We worked for a while then went out for a very tasty lunch at Bella Italia! That evening, two of my friends and I had a movie night and I was introduced to the amazing film that is Pride. Definitely go and watch it if you haven’t already!

February has definitely been the month of friends for me, and I am so grateful for every single one of them.

Best read?

This month I’ve read Emotions of a Book by Guido Parisi after I was sent a copy by the lovely people at Troubador Publishing, and a review of which will be on the way soon. Obviously, there is the standard Odyssey and The Handmaid’s Tale for my A Levels. I also started reading the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh myths and fairytales.

Favourite tunes?

This was the month I finally cracked out the La La Land soundtrack, and oh – my – god. It’s so good and I love it so much. The score is incredible and it’s now one of my staple go-to choices. I was waiting until after I’d seen the film to listen to the soundtrack properly, but I couldn't wait and I hadn't had the chance to see the film until yesterday and I loved it so much and cried until my eyes were sore and my face was all puffy. I just loved it. I may have to go into a bit more detail about that at some point...


Also, Rumours (Fleetwood Mac) and All the Little Lights (Passenger) have returned as major favourites (when were they not, let’s be honest here) and I’ve fallen in love with them both all over again.

What did I learn?

Just how much I love my friends. (Please never leave me.) Also the extent of how introverted I am! I spent a hell of a lot of time with people and, while I enjoyed it and loved spending time with them, I was drained and had a minor breakdown. I need my time alone people.

What’s happening next month?

A few things. I have a D of E practice expedition, a trip up to London with my college and possibly a few mocks. Let’s not forget St. David’s Day!


What’s been on my mind?

Trump, May, politics in general. It’s pretty stressful right now.

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

I’ve been a bit obsessed with Crash Course and Ted Talks this month. I’ve loved learning so much new stuff that I wouldn’t have got from state education and I can tell you something: it’s addictive. I love learning and gaining new perspectives on things. I would definitely recommend YouTube as a method of discovery and learning.


Favourite post?

I’ve honestly been feeling so happy with my content lately, and I’ve got lots more posts planned actually quite far in advance (yay me!). I’ve loved writing more political posts (for example, my two on Trump this month) and my collab with the wonderful Ashleigh on our experiences with different subjects.

Biggest inspiration?

The talent of my friends. They’re all doing such incredible things and that pushes me to want to do well and create. Also my desire to help other people, which has been enhanced due to reasons that I think I’ve already mentioned.

Any other favourites?

Can I mention This Is Us again? You get the message of how great it is? Okay.

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5 Feminist Bloggers You Should Be Reading

Friday 24 February 2017

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I have a lot of love for a lot of feminist bloggers and I think it’s very important that we read posts on feminism, particularly in the current climate. There’s also never a bad time to support other bloggers, so make sure you all go and check these lovely people out.

1. Nerdy and Wordy

Minerva is such a wonderful human being! We share a lot of interests (including a strident love for Peggy Carter) and she discusses various topics, as well as frequently talking about her fictional female icons, which is such a pleasure to read.

2. Hannah Witton

I actually love Hannah. I think I’ve watched every one of her videos and would recommend them to anyone – young or old. The videos she makes spreads awareness and positivity on feminism and sex. Her relatively new series, The Hormone Diaries, is one of my favourite aspects of her channel. There, she talks about her experiences after coming off the pill and anything you could think of that comes under the topic of periods, contraception, etc. I am definitely going to buy her book Doing It when it comes out later this year.

She does have a blog as well, so she can have a place on here as both vlogger and blogger.

3. Cattitude & co.

Tara is the essential feminist blogger. She unabashedly talks about all sorts of taboo subjects and is a key part of the feminist blogger community. Tara shares my love for planners and organization and I have such a crush on her blog layout and pictures!

4. Tape Parade

Laila is a fantastic writer and very articulately discusses her points of view on pressing issues. I don’t feel like I can describe Laila’s properly. Just trust me on this, and read her posts.

5. A Fabulous Feminist

And last, but not least, my lovely friend Anna, whose blog name really should tell you the general theme of a lot of her posts. She’s such a great person and her writing certainly reflects that. I am a huge fan of Anna’s poetry – you can see some of it on her blog and more on her poetry Instagram account @wildpetals.

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Trump and the Global Gag

Monday 20 February 2017

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On the 23rd January, two days after the global Women’s March that emphasised the importance of the rights of every kind of woman, President Trump, along with seven other men (if you had assumed they were all white, you would be correct. Who could think otherwise??), signed an executive order to reinstate the Global Gag Rule, or, as it is otherwise known, the Mexico City Policy.


The policy was first introduced into American law by Ronald Reagan in 1984 and is, in its essentials, a foreign aid ban on any non-governmental organisation offering, or supposedly “promoting”, abortions. Since then, the policy has been lifted by any democratic Presidents and reinstated by any Republican presidents, so it came as no surprise to many when its reimplementation was announced and we knew from his campaign that his presidency would be pro-life, although there has still been a considerable public backlash.

Such a policy would always be detrimental globally, by cutting funds to many organisations and harming the sexual and maternal healthcare given to the women who need it most. However, Trump has taken the traditional Republican policy further. He has expanded the funding cut to $9.5 billion as opposed to the usual $600 million, according to the Population Action International. Trump’s version of the Global Gag attacks a wider range of healthcare. If the organisation offers something even vaguely involved with abortion services and does not provide actual abortions, it will receive no US funding. This order will affect HIV/AIDS treatment, contraception distribution, maternal health care, family planning (including organisations such as IPPF, who support people in over 180 countries), vaccinations, etc., which will harm the health of those living in low and middle income countries, including men, but particularly that of women and children.

Banning abortions, or attempting to limit access to them in places where they are legal, does not prevent abortions from taking place. Banning abortions only increases the number of illegal abortions taking place, with further threats to women’s lives and health becoming a consequence of that.

I have a read a lot about this issue, including articles from The Hill, The Guardian, Vox and Amnesty International among others. I would advise anyone and everyone to educate themselves on the policies Trump is implementing to understand how everyone is affected and how to combat the changes he is putting forward.

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5 Ways You Can Stand Up to Trump

Friday 17 February 2017

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As you’ve probably heard, recently a bigoted cheese puff with blonde hair, has taken over control of the United States of America. I am fervently against Trump and his policies, and I know that many others of you do. However, I know that those of us who are not in the US can feel quite helpless in this situation, but there are some ways you can help!

1. Donate to ACLU

ACLU is the American Civil Liberties Union, and they are an organisation which helps protect the individual rights of the American people in all areas of life. By donating whatever you can to the ACLU, you are enabling them to hold Trump to account by taking up legal cases against him which could remove some of the restrictive laws he puts in place. Don't feel pressured to donate anywhere and only do so if you can afford to. Anything will help.

2. Attend a protest

There will be hundreds of protests over Trump’s time in office on the variety of different issues that become exacerbated by his policies and ideology, which means you will inevitably have the opportunity at some point to have a good shout with a sign at something he’s done or is planning to do. I myself am attending a Women’s March in London in March and am keeping an eye out for any others more local to me to get involved. By spreading the images of other international and American protests, the movement against him can be given more of a voice and more pressure can be put on both Trump and his cabinet to change.

3. Hold fundraising events for the organisations Trump is cutting funding for and the charities that will help those affected by him

Many organisations have had their funding cut due to Trump’s policies, including IPPF and services around the world that offer abortions, due to his reinstating the Global Gag. This means that vital health care services are being reduced and the people who need them most are suffering, not just in America. Charities who focus on helping immigrants and refugees are also having to work harder as Trump’s clear anti-refugee stance is making it difficult for those who have no same home to return to. By aiding these organisations and charities you can help make up just a little of the funding Trump has cut, and help lessen the blow to them, even if it doesn’t seem like much. People will benefit from your help when things seem more desperate.

4. Call out any individual who is acting in a bigoted manner

By giving power, the American have inherently allowed his ideals and prejudices to trickle down and be voiced, acknowledged and spread by everyday people. There will be so many people who will feel that their racist/sexist/homophobic etc. views have been validated and will start shouting them out in both real-life and on social media. If you see this, calmly put across your view and explain to them how what they have said is bigoted or stand up and show support for the person who may be on the receiving end of their words or actions - and if they still don’t understand you can be less calm haha. If needs be, block the person or walk away and don’t put yourself in a position that may endanger you.

5. Ensure you’re educated on his actions and that you support reliable and independent journalism

With Trump and his cronies spreading ‘alternate news’ and discussing events and people in such a biased way that the public perception can be shifted to suit their own agendas. To combat this, make sure you read up using reliable sources so that you can fully understand the actual facts of the events and can, therefore, make your own independent educated opinions on them. Make sure the media you’re consuming comes from a wide range of political biases so that your view doesn’t end up being severely skewed in one direction. Free journalism means freedom of speech and the increased ability to hold those in power to account by revealing their true actions. For this, I would actually recommend Teen Vogue, who have really impressed me with their coverage on Trump and politics recently, and the vlogbrothers, who provide lots of facts and background research with a straightforward analysis of events.

Obviously, if you’re in America, there are probably more things you can do to stand up to Trump and can also contact your local representative and I would really encourage you to do so. And there are so many other ways you can get involved and stand against Trump.

What are you doing?

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3 Extra Goals for 2017

Monday 13 February 2017

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Since publishing my goals for 2017, I thought of some other things that I want to try to do more of. And seeing as goals aren’t just for the New Year, I’d like to share with you guys!

1. Buy at least 1 Big Issue a month

I really want to help more  people, particularly as I’m very aware of my privilege and want to help those who haven’t got what I have. Big Issue is UK charity, started in 1991, that provides homeless people with a means to earn a legitimate income and consequently ‘get back on their feet’, as the phrase goes. Big Issue is such a worthwhile cause and I know of a few people in my area who sell them and I want to make sure that I try to support them with whatever money I have, as they are never too expensive, which means I could just have 1 tea from Costa instead of 2 in the space of time I do my work in there.

2. Cut down on the chocolate

I tried to this in December but then Christmas hit and, well, you can probably guess what happened there. I wanted to eat less chocolate (despite my love for it) to try to help my skin, which is generally a bit of a mess. I have heard it time and time again that chocolate makes your skin more prone to stop, so hopefully, by cutting down, I can have a few more good skin days!

3. Make my reading more diverse

Having looked over at the books I read in 2016, I was horrified to find that there was only 1 non-white author among the 25 books I had read. Maya Angelou, if any of you were interested. I couldn’t believe that my reading was so white and have made it my mission to try to make my reading more diverse.

What are you trying to accomplish this year?

Jemima x

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5 Youtube Channels You Need to Subscribe To

Friday 10 February 2017

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I love watching YouTube. I love discovering new people and their opinions, I love seeing others’ adventures and I love the discussion that is created on issues I didn’t even know I was passionate about. If you like YouTube too, hopefully, I can recommend some channels you’ll like!

1. Angela Innes

Angela is lovely. I love listening to her poetry (her voice is really relaxing as well!) and hearing her thoughts on a wide range of issues. Having been subscribed to her for a while I have seen her grow and that has been lovely to watch. Last December, she did vlogmas, and I have to say that I think it was one of my favourites! She covers such a wide variety of topics, I’m sure she has something for everyone on her channel! (Also, her makeup. I aim to have that eyeshadow skill.)

2. Jen Campbell

Jen is a writer, poet and bookseller. She mostly covers books, but also discusses writing and the whole industry surrounding them, which is particularly interesting and useful for someone like me, who wants to go into the book industry.

3. SuperSamStuff

Sam is a film student and he seems like such a genuinely nice, funny person. All his videos are well edited, produced, etc. and the issues he discusses are genuinely interesting. I can’t wait to see what Sam creates in the future.

4. Daniel J. Layton (Actor)

I love Dan. He’s great. He makes me laugh in practically every video. Also, whenever I read his name I hear Hazel Hayes saying it. I feel like I’ve watched Time of the Month and PMS too much – oops… I don’t feel like I can say much here, only that you should be watching his videos. Now! Go! (or wait until you’ve finished reading this post.)

5. Kim Chance

Kim makes videos centred around writing. She is an English teacher who also writes novels and shows her viewers how to improve their end product. I find Kim’s advice and methods very helpful, and they sometimes help with my English A Level course! If you’re a writer and want to learn more about your craft, definitely check Kim’s channel out.

(Bonus! 6. Lucy Moon. Just check her out, you’ll love her.)

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How To: Physics and Maths A Level | Not a Typical Teenager

Monday 6 February 2017

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I'm Ashleigh and I am an A Level student in studying Maths, Further Maths and Physics. These subjects are really enjoyable, but also quite challenging, and today, I want to talk about a few things about them and possibly answer a few question and respond to statements.

What skills do you need for your subjects?

Numbers are essential. I do hardly any writing of words in Maths and only a little bit in Physics. It's so important that you can work with numbers, but a lot of it is just expanding on work I did lower down in school, so that makes it not too bad. For Physics, I would say that the ability to think logically is pretty important. It can also be quite difficult to sit through 2 hours of theory because it can require a lot of intense thought. I have 2 hours of physics followed by 2 hours of maths, and so my brain was a little frazzled when I first started, but now I'm used to it, so it doesn't bother me so much.

What misconceptions are there about your subjects?

1. Science is for boys.

Lies. my physics class is one-quarter girls (9 boys, 3 girls) and my maths class is all girls (there are only 3 of us). I suppose that boys are more likely to pick up physics, but more girls take up further maths in my school. I certainly don't feel at a disadvantage because I'm a girl.

2. Physics is the hardest A Level

This isn't strictly true but it can be true. For me, the hardest a level would be something like history, because even though I enjoy learning about the past, I can't write essays about it without being bored out of my skull, and even when I try my best, I scrape a B. If you're good at maths, you'll be good at physics. Also, I have the tendency to overthink my physics a lot. It's really easy but because I think it's hard, I convince myself that it is harder than it is. It's all about perspective

3. All people who take science are super smart.

I took science. I rest my case.

People who take science tend to be good at science, but my class last year for Physics contained 26 people. This year, that has been cut down to 12 after people didn't get the grades they wanted, and so that is not the case.

Does your school treat your subjects differently to others?

Yes. The sciences are treated as superior to any humanity like English or History, and they are treated as superior to Art and Music. It's really strange. We are helped more with regards to personal statements and summer school applications. One of my friends was told she wasn't allowed in an advanced PSE class because, even though she had the grades required to get in, they told her that she hadn't taken any academic A Levels (she took Art, RE, and English), science students are taken a lot more seriously.

How can you revise for your subjects?

Past paper questions. All of the questions you can possibly get your hands on, answer them. My Maths teacher once told me "I took Maths because I'm a lazy learner. I don't want to learn fact after fact. I want to be able to practice something and then know it. Maths is for lazy learners. If you understand something, little practice is needed." Sometimes, you need to do questions to gain an understanding, and so they are definitely my recommendation. You can also try podcasts from websites like Audiopi.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them on Twitter, via email, or Instagram and make sure to check out my blog.

Ashleigh xxx


I hope you enjoyed this! I know I enjoyed working with Ashleigh. If you want to see my post on studying humanities, head over to her blog and check it out!

Jemima x

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Me and My Clothes

Wednesday 1 February 2017

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I first saw this on The Cardiff Cwtch, a blog by Nia, and I loved the idea. Go have a look at her blog - I love it!

What’s your go-to “I don’t have anything to wear!” outfit?

Whatever pair of jeans I can find, a t-shirt and my thick cardigan!

What’s the newest item hanging in your wardrobe?

A navy bodycon dress from H&M that I was given for Christmas. I love it so much it – it makes me feel pretty and confident.

What do you do with the clothes you don’t wear anymore?

I wear a lot of clothes out, but otherwise, I’ll donate them to a charity shop or keep them for gardening etc.

What’s your “Netflix and Chill” outfit?

I’m taking this as the innocent sense of the phrase, and that would mean pyjamas and dressing gown or leggings with a hoody/baggy jumper, either with fluffy socks!

What’s your favourite item of clothing?

I think maybe a navy dress I have from FatFace. It has lots of cute little butterflies on it and is one of those dresses you can properly twirl in!

What do you wear to bed?

Pyjamas (at the moment I’m obsessed with some Mickey Mouse ones I was given for my birthday!). I have loads of old tops that I use for pyjama tops as well as baggy leggings.

Where are your favourite places to buy clothes?

H&M, H&M, H&M!! Can you guess I love H&M? But New Look is also somewhere I often go to. This also depends whether I have any vouchers or not!

How often do you buy clothes?

Depends on how much money I have and how much I am in need of new clothes. I can go ages without buying new clothes, but then sometimes you find you keep breaking things or items don’t fit and you need to get a lot of new stuff. Thankfully, most of my clothes are alright at the moment.

What specific items of clothing do you hate shopping for?

Bras. Oh my life. It’s such a faff! At least for me anyway...

Are there any clothes or styles that you avoid?

This makes me really sad but I can’t wear maxi dresses because of my height. My mum and I have this game whenever we’re out shopping that we’ll stand next to a maxi dress and see if it’s taller than we are. I so desperately wish I could wear maxi dresses in the summer, but no one seems to make them for someone my height.

Comfort or Style?

Comfort. Always.

Is there anything you’ve bought that friends and family turned their noses up at?

I’m trying to think, probably loads when I was like 11-13. Whenever I buy something new and I ask their opinion, they’ll suggest what it could go with, which is useful. There’s still time for plenty more clothing disasters!

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