New Year's Rockclimbing Adventure


I've done rockclimbing once or twice in the past and I loved it, but there was never anywhere near by that I was able to go to for practice. I always thought it was an ideal activity for me, because I'm not much of a runner, I can't lift weights, and I've fallen off a bike more times than I can count, but I'm not scared of heights, and I've got gangly long limbs. So, when I was home visiting my parents for Christmas, I was so excited to find out that Spireroxx had opened up not too far from where we live. 

Literally the next day after I arrived home, I dragged both my parents with me to try out the wall. My dad loves stuff like that, he's really into cycling and camping and all that. My mum is scared of heights, has vertigo, bad balance, and gets dizzy, so she was a little more difficult to convince (I have vertigo too, but I get dizzy just lying down, I'm fine when I'm climbing).

 
The place was great, we got a lovely instructor called Ben who took us around the walls, from easiest to hardest, giving us little tips, and letting us climb away to our heart's content. There's even a wee cafe in the back that we could sit and have a cuppa when we were finished (and trust me, we needed it, it's a lot more knackering than it looks.)

The first time we went, I managed to climb to the top of a few routes, but there were a couple of the harder ones that beat me. So I went back in the new year with my dad and Scott, to see if we'd get on any better.


We pushed ourselves even harder the second time, and both me and my dad managed to conquer the routes that we'd been beaten by the last time. I was so proud of myself, even if I did leave with a few bruises on my knees and blisters on my hands. 

It's a great work out, that doesn't really feel like a work out. Don't get me wrong, your arms, hands, shoulders and legs are on fire, but the adrenaline keeps you going, and when you're done, you're left just wanting to do it all again. 

Highly reccommend trying rock climbing, even just one, and especially reccommend Spireroxx if you're in the north of Scotland/Moray and you like to climb. They're so friendly, helpful, and it's just a great facility with a great atmosphere (they even played ACDC for my mum to pump her up.)

What's something new you've tried and loved this new year?

Hope you all have an amazing week.

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Black Friday and Indy Shopping

#godivaedinburgh

The entire concept of Black Friday might be controversial to a lot of us, especially in the UK, as many argue that it is just another step in the Americanization of our country. We've all seen the footage of people being shoved and trampled in order for someone to get a telly at 70% off, which in and of itself is despicable and inhuman, but that's not even what I want to talk about..

As you'll know if you've been with my blog for any length of time, I like to support and promote sustainable shopping, which means buying from brands and companies who are independent, or ethically conscious.

It's really not that hard, much easier than you'd think actually, and there's still plenty of options. What's even better, you know you're getting something that has been made with love.

Laura Sherriffs, owner of the independent Scottish brand, Fernweh, posted something to her company Instagram today that I found very interesting (and true).

"While these huge retailers can afford to drop prices by 50% and STILL make huge profits - its says a lot of how much those items cost to produce and how little those who actually make the items get paid, someone always loses out on Black Friday and its not the huge retailers."

It's something that people don't often think about, and that's where our goods come from, who makes them, and how much do they get paid. Obviously big companies and retailers who can afford to slash prices must be adding a huge markup to the value of the goods in the first place. 


"It also makes it so difficult for very small businesses around the world, who can't afford to drop prices so much and still pay the bills but feel compelled to in order to compete against the High Street. Small independent businesses have higher costs, handmade goods are costly and time consuming to create and are of a much higher quality, yet they are expected to drop to the same level as the mass produced high street."

#godivaedinburgh

That's the complaint I hear most often from people when I talk about shopping ethically - the price. And yes, independent and sustainable brands do tend to come with a bigger price tag that not everyone can afford. I appreciate that. I get it. I know what it's like to be skint. But for those who can afford it, I honestly think it's their duty to. 

There's people buying several big appliances like TVs and game consoles during the Black Friday or Boxing Day sales just so they can sell them on, and that's appalling in my eyes. Leave them for the people who can't afford them at full price and for whom the sales are a godsend in order to be able to get presents for their family at Christmas.

"I think Black Friday offers consumers a chance to look at their shopping choices, to choose well and buy less. Black Friday feeds the over consumption, throwaway nature of the fast fashion industry, which is unsustainable in all aspects."


I know myself that if I looked at all the money I've spent on frivolous purchases over the years, on stuff that's ended up in the bin, I know I could have saved up and bought something that actually lasts. 

I'm not saying not to pick up the bargains while they're there, if there's something you need, or you want to get presents at a cheaper price. But unnecessary spending isn't good for anyone. So I implore everyone (myself included) to think twice about where you spend your money this holiday season. 

That doesn't mean everyone has to only shop independently, but making the change as often as you can really does make a difference. Every pound you spend is a vote towards the kind of world you want to be living in. Help us all by choosing to live sustainable as much as possible.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
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A Portrait of Japan

Okay, so I've been back in Scotland for almost a month now, and I can hardly believe it. Time has passed so quickly, and I'm still missing the wonderful people I met in Japan. I can't even describe how amazing the experience was. Wazuka, and all people I met there, will forever have a place in my heart. I learned so much from them all, their kindness and selflessness has inspired me, and I really can't thank them all enough.

I realized that although I blogged a bit while I was living there, I wasn't able to show everything, and I never did a wrap-up or look-back at my time. So, to commemorate all the beautiful, wonderful people I met, and the amazing adventures we all had, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos I managed to capture during my time living in Japan.

Matsu Family
車
Wazuka
Baby Matsumoto
Wazuka
Osaka
Osaka
Wazuka
In the fields
Nara
Osaka
In the fields
Nara
Nara
Nara
Heavenly Tea Fields
Red Tea
18/08/15
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
2015-08-14_08-35-17
Red Tea
Wazuka
Matsu-SanKaraoke
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Wazuka
Wazuka
Wazuka Hills
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Karaoke
Matsu Family
Akky-San
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Matsu Family
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Wazuka
Tealeaf
Wazuka
Untitled
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Akky-San

I know that big, amazing things will come to these people and the town of Wazuka. They are some of the most determined, creative, and hard working people I've ever met. I am honored to now call them friends, and I can't wait to see them all again.


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Autumn Pinspiration

So, I'll be back in Scotland soon. Just in time for autumn. As much as I've enjoyed the 30 degree weather here, I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the crisp, chilly, Scottish air. I've had to start packing and getting organised for moving back, which has given me lots of time to fantasize about a beautiful Scottish autumn, full of red crunchy leaves, hot chocolate and pancakes. I know in reality it'll be more like dreary grey days, numb hands, and salty porridge, but I'm looking forward to it none-the-less. 

Rain Tea and a Good Book Type Deluxe Print in 8x10 by theloveshop:
1. I need to own long-sleeved shirts - why do I never own long-sleeved shirts? 2. I like the slouchy sweater, and how it falls on her. Don't know how I feel about the sweats - it seems dressed a little too far down. Maybe if they were paired with casual heels and more polished hair/makeup: Tea ensnares the senses, keeping you awake longer and refreshing your brain for class!:
Side Dish Recipe: Maple Tahini Grilled Sweet Potatoes #vegan #recipes #healthy #plantbased #glutenfree #whatveganseat #sidedish:
Photo via: Lookbook This casual look with a camel coat, denim and sneakers has me longing for the...: Có những ngày chỉ muốn trở về quê  Nằm nghe gió rít qua hàng song cửa  Nói với mẹ: Con không đi làm nữa  Mẹ nuôi con đọc sách hết đời, nghe?:
7c5d86128f6cf83a60c562d86e18f32c.jpg (653×1115):
oversized button-down, ripped jeans & grey suede oxfords #style #fashion: urbanKOREA:
02/01/14 - Christmas is over but winter is still here! Time to get cosy and hibernate till Spring!:
Sassique: Autumn. cozy socks make me want to snuggle in bed all day Www.jessiesjuicyjargon.blogspot.com:
Nothing is better than the view from the cockpit of a kayak... Breathtaking!:
wavy hair with highlights - Subtle layers cut into mid-length hair add body and wave to the ends.  Read more: http://www.dailymakeover.com/trends/hair/fall-haircuts-2014/#ixzz3E0hlYADW: Simple and sporty:
Stop doubting yourself, work hard and make it happen. #wisdom #affirmations:
Simple and sporty: It's time to remember whats it's like to feel alive. #wisdom #affirmations:
3 sexy-stylish hairstyles you shouldn't live without:
UNIQLO STYLING BOOK: map it:
Ordinary People in minimalist grunge:
✨Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles + Cashew Sauce!✨ This recipe is healthy comfort food made with simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, just everything. | pinchofyum.com: I like the tone and hues and mood of this:
autumnal style:
Yoga Coffee Mug: "Not potatoes! Olive Oil, salt and pepper, and cauliflower. If youve never had mashed cauliflower...try it...youll love it! Better than potatoes!" data-pin-do=:

Hope you all have a great week. 




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