Christmas Markets – Frankfurt

Christmas Markets – Frankfurt

Last weekend we visited Frankfurt and its Christmas markets. We packed jumpers, coats, hats and scarves but the weather was just the same as the UK.

My aim was to have a Baileys hot chocolate, come back with a mug and have a pretzel the size of my face – which I did.

We arrived really late on Friday night and stayed at the Bristol Hotel next to the train station. After someone (Oliver’s dad) forgot the directions, we eventually made it to the hotel after 45 minutes but it should have taken 5 😂

We woke up, had breakfast and walked to where the Christmas markets are. We stopped in a store that reminded me of Flying Tiger before heading into the markets to grab hot chocolate with amaretto.

We stayed out for a few hours to take pictures, buy drinks and get some food. There were so many stalls, from food, drinks to hardware and Christmas ornaments. I’ve never seen a market so big. We also walked over a bridge the other side of the river where there were a few flea markets and we also went into a large church with a choir performing.

We went back to the room for a while and caught up on I’m a Celeb before going out again at 7pm to see the markets in the dark.

We ended up having a Maccy D’s. We always like to see the difference in food choices when we go away. You can make your own mcflurrys and get different types of burgers. In France you can even get seafood.

On Sunday we got up, had breakfast at the Bristol Hotel and headed off to the markets again. This is when I bought my pretzel (it only cost €3.50). I also managed to get myself a Baileys hot chocolate! First time I’ve ever tried Baileys and I definitely approve.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed attending my first European Christmas Market. It was so festive and I can’t wait to go to a new Christmas Market again.

A few tips for anyone thinking of going to a Christmas market:

  • If you buy a mulled wine or hot chocolate, you’ll pay more for the mug and get a token. If you take the mug back, you’ll get some money back. If you decide to keep it, just swap it for a clean mug.
  • Bring warm clothes such as a coat and hat but don’t worry about bringing gloves and scarves as it’s currently the same temperature as it is in the UK.
  • Check times of when markets open and close before you go and see if you can find any secret markets or indoor stalls.

Boycotting Black Friday

Boycotting Black Friday

If you’re anything like me you’ll love a bargain. Black Friday is the ideal time to get that new dress or make up palatte or console you’ve had your eye on. But when we take a look at the facts, will we really want to be spending our hard earned money on unsustainable items?

So, before we take a look at how unsustainable Black Friday actually is, let’s take a look at how it effects you as a customer and as an employee.

Over a 100 injuries occur on Black Friday and 12 people have actually died since 2006 while shopping. Can you imagine being so desperate for a sale that your life actually depends on it? Not only is this horrific for the customer but imagine what the staff have to go through; late nights, early mornings and dealing with bloody rude customers.

Now that we’ve had a look at the cons for customers and staff, let’s take a look at the unsustainable side. It’s averaged that the UK will spend around £5.6 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. Think of the amount of Fast Fashion retailers taking part in this. The amount of clothes that will be bought and thrown to the back of the wardrobe without another thought; or tossed into landfill after one use. Think of how much time has gone into making these clothes from workers who aren’t even paid a minimum wage. As a country we have bought into this mindset of how we need the latest staple piece from Topshop or we need these amazing shoes from Missguided. The amount of clothes bought in the UK alone is astonishing.

However, there are some fashion retailers who are abandoning the tradition of Black Friday such as Monki. On their website they have written a statement about how they will not have any deals and they’ve called it “Black Fri-nay” which is kinda cliche but catchy if you ask me. To me, even though Monki is only rated as “It’s a start” on Good On You, I would much rather buy from a brand such as this than I would Pretty Little Thing, one of the worst fast fashion companies there is.

Did you know more than 83% of Black Friday shoppers say they would buy their items and gifts via mobile? It may be great for people who work or don’t want to be trampled by crowds, but in reality, it’s scary to think that a new pair of boots or a new tee is only a click away. Fast fashion retailers have so much power over their customers. There’s always a sale section, but Black Friday is their day to shine.

But why are we conditioned to want the latest item of clothing or the newest accessory? I read an interesting article recently about the Diderot Effect. “The Diderot Effect states that obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption which leads you to acquire more new things. As a result, we end up buying things that our previous selves never needed to feel happy or fulfilled.” It makes sense that we buy items we don’t need, we just think we need to have them. This, to me, is how fast fashion retailers get us.

So, what can we do to boycott Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year?

For a start, do not give in to the deals you see pop up on your Facebook feed or click on a link to Boohoo deals that your best friend sent you. As hard as it can be if you’re new to the sustainable approach, you have to have some willpower.

Unsubscribe to retailers emails that will undoubtedly be sent to you today and Monday.

I recently noticed I still follow some fast fashion retailers on Facebook and finally got around to unliking the pages so there’s no temptation to look or support them in any way.

You can also create your own blog posts or share your thoughts on your social media channels.

There’s even events going on you can take part in. My sustainable friend Becky is speaking at an event this weekend. You can find the events here.

You can also support small businesses hosting black Friday deals such as etsy businesses or buy on depop or ebay. There’s still ways to get the deals you want, you just have to be more eco conscious!

What are you doing to boycott Black Friday?

Sources:

https://www.finder.com/uk/black-friday-statistics

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/what-buy-what-skip-black-friday-ncna1091706

https://jamesclear.com/diderot-effect

What is SAD?

What is SAD?

Trigger warning. This post contains talk of suicide and depression.

SAD is short for Seasonal Affective Disorder. 29% of adults will experience SAD during the Winter months, especially when the clocks go back – 1 in 3 adults now experience and suffer from SAD.

Have you felt that your depression worsens in the colder months? Or that you have no energy whatsoever and no motivation to get up and do anything? This is how I’ve been feeling for the past few weeks. I asked my Twitter followers whether they experience Seasonal Affective Disorder and I was surprised at the amount of people who responded with yes or offered to collab on a blog post. Therefore I took them up on the offer and I asked them to write a short paragraph on what SAD means to them.

@chloemetzger at Chloemetzgear.com

 

@chloemetzger at Chloemetzgear.com (2)

 

Symptoms of SAD

Here are just some of the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Have you experienced any of these?

  • Low energy
  • Feeling depressed most of the day
  • Losing sleep
  • Feeling sluggish or irritated
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Changes in appetite or weight

Do you have any symptoms that aren’t listed on here?

Did you know there is such a thing as Winter and Summer depression? There are different symptoms for each one. Such as Winter, you may experience oversleeping, weight gain, tiredness or appetite changes. Whereas in the Summer you may find yourself experiencing these symptoms: insomnia, loss of appetite, weight loss and anxiety.

Causes of SAD

If you have sudden onset SAD, you may wonder why this is. Sometimes to relieve anxiety, it can help to know what the cause is. SAD can be brought on from a range of things such as:

  • Your biological clock. Because of how dark it gets in the evenings in Winter, this can mess with your internal body clock, therefore making you have depressive thoughts/episodes.
  • Your serotonin levels. Serotonin is responsible for your feelings such as happiness. Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in your serotonin levels which could trigger depression.
  • Melatonin levels. Melatonin plays a vital part in your sleep patterns and mood, therefore a change in season can make these levels unbalanced.

How to Beat SAD

If you experience SAD you won’t be looking forward to Winter. Which is why I have come up with a list of things to help you combat SAD and live your best life (as much as you can). Here are just some of the things you could do to relieve the stress of SAD:

  • As much as we all hate it –  exercise. I go swimming every week which helps release serotonin in the brain which essentially makes us happy. Even a walk in nature will do!
  • Wear warm clothes. It’s proven that being cold can make you feel more depressed, so wrap up warm, drink plenty of hot drinks and cosy up by the fire if you have one.
  • Eating healthy. As much as I love my chocolate it makes me feel depressed after I’ve eaten it. You don’t have to go around eating salads five days a week for lunch, but switch up your meals, do meal prep with your partner or friends and try something new.
  • It’s proven that having a light box or dawn simulator (can be bought on Amazon for under £30) can help improve your mood.
  • Take up a new hobby. It will help distract you from your SAD thoughts (get it? No okay) and help you concentrate.
  • Socializing is a great way of warding off SAD (all my fellow introverts out there, I feel you)
  • Join a support group, or any group for that matter!
  • Make sure to take your Vitamin D.
  • As hard as it is to sleep with SAD, going to bed and switching off your phone at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning will help your sleep schedule and make you feel less tired, which in turn will help your mood swings.

I hope this post has helped at least some of you! If you have SAD, what are some ways you combat it?

Sources:

https://getridofthings.com/get-rid-of-seasonal-affective-disorder/ 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/

Anxiety: A Poem

Anxiety: A Poem

Hey guys! This week I’m going to be sharing a poem about what anxiety feels like for me. I hope this can help make others feel a little less alone and maybe create a tiny bit more awareness for mental health in general.

Anxiety is more than just being shy around strangers and having panic attacks in shopping malls;
It’s looking up what you want online before you go to a restaurant
It’s having meltdowns in the middle of the night
It’s struggling to stand when you need to keep going
It’s feeling so alone even when you’re surrounded by people.

Late night panic attacks and crying fits are just the tip of the iceburg
You know nothing until you look into my dark, twisted mind.
The lies I tell myself creep in through the window
Consuming every waking moment.
Am I a failure?
Am I going to survive this episode?
You may think I’m a social butterfly
But wait until you see what’s really inside
There are thousands of butterflies screaming to be let out
There are times when the pain is too much to bare.
But you know what they don’t tell you about anxiety?
“You’ll survive.”

Let me know in the comments your thoughts and whether you have experienced similar feelings. This poem is quite raw and unpolished so I’d appreciate the feedback ❤ Until next time, love, Vee.

12 Bookish Facts

12 Bookish Facts

Hey guys! In this week’s blog I’m going to be talking about bookish facts. If there are any facts that I haven’t listed but you think are interesting, then please comment them below!

Bookish Facts

1. Abibliophobia is the fear of running out of reading material.

2. Dr. Seuss wrote his first book in 1936 on a luxury liner called the Kungholm. As he crossed the Atlantic the sound the engines made annoyed him so much that his wife proposed he use the repetitive rhythm to help him write the book.

3. Goodreads was established in 2007 and in July 2013 it was reported that they had attracted 55 million members.

4. In Kansas City there is a parking lot for the public library designed to look like a huge bookshelf.

5. There are over 8.2 million copies of all three of The Hunger Games books published in the U.S.

6. The Winnie the Pooh books have been translated into 50 other languages including Yiddish and Esperanto.

7. Beatrix Potter wrote The Fairy Caravan in 1926 which was only published in America because Potter thought it was too autobiographical to be brought out in England in her lifetime. The book was released in the UK nine years after her death in 1943.

8. Jacqueline Wilson’s first book for children was called Nobody’s Perfect.

9. When Roald Dahl was at school he was a taste tester for Cadbury. This is probably what inspired him to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

10. Books used to be chained to bookshelves in public libraries.

11. Alice in Wonderland used to be banned in China because General Ho Chien believed it was an insult to the human race that animals should be given speech in books.

12. About £2.2 billion in the UK is spent on books a year and a fifth of this is spent on children’s books.

I hope you enjoyed these! Until next time, Vee x

Why Your Job Will Never Make You Happy

Why Your Job Will Never Make You Happy

Did I get you with the clickbaity headline? Good, now I have your attention, let’s dive in.

Now, I’m not saying you’ll never be happy with the career you’ve chosen, the people you work with or some of the tasks you do. But, in my experience, no matter what job you’re in, there’s always bad parts that come with it.

I have waitressed, worked in retail, in marketing, admin, social media and volunteered. When I was in retail, I hated it, I wanted to move and become a waitress. But then the hours were shit so I moved back home and became an apprentice on little to no money. Again, I moved, worked in marketing and had to work with women who didn’t like me. While I was working this marketing job I was looking into becoming self employed because I had wanted to make the leap and become my own boss for a while.

I knew that because of my mental illness and the negative experiences I’ve encountered over the years, that I didn’t want to ever experience it again. So I delved into freelance work and left my job.

Now, freelance is great. You get to work from home, choose your own hours, answer phone calls in your PJs. But the harsh reality is that you may still have to work with people you don’t like. Or you’ll have to attend meetings with pretentious people or work on weekends. Unfortunately, no matter whether you’re self employed or work full time in an office, as a waitress, in retail ect, you’re always going to encounter issues.

I was naive when it came to becoming freelance. I didn’t realise how lonely it would be, the amount of motivation you have to have and the amount I’d have to deal with.

I just want to tell you not to have high expectations for every job because there will always be something to make you upset. It’s unfair, but I’m learning that that’s the way life is. There are hard parts, but the hard parts are outweighed by the good.

The advantages for me are that I get to spend time in the place I feel most comfortable in; I don’t have to ask if I can eat or use the bathroom and I don’t feel like I’m doing something wrong if I finish work early. I get to spend more time with my partner, have more holiday and control my future. And that makes me happy. What makes you happy in your job?

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower: Book vs Film

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower: Book vs Film

In this weeks blog I’m going to be comparing The Perks Of Being A Wallflower book to the film. Let me know in the comments which you prefer.

I immediately watched the film after I had read the book; this may have been a mistake because all I could think was: this didn’t happen in the book; they’ve missed this out. Although some parts of the book were missing (like his sister being pregnant), you can expect this from films because you can’t fit everything from the book in it.
I thought that Logan Lerman did a fantastic job portraying Charlie and I loved seeing Paul Rudd as Bill (although he’s called Mr. Anderson in the film and Charlie does’t get invited over for tea in the film). I thought they picked a great cast and my favourite has to be Patrick, played by Ezra Miller. If you haven’t seen the film, I suggest you read the book first so that the characters don’t become the actors in your head.
I like to read the book before I see the movie so that I can read the book without it being ruined. Although the film did do the book some justice (after all, it was directed by Chbosky himself) I still preferred the book because there was a lot more detail. If you’ve seen the film before reading the book I think you’d be left with some questions.
One thing that’s different in the film is that Sam and Charlie seem to be together, whereas in the book it’s pretty much left down to “we’ll see what happens” and “we’ll write to each other.” There are a lot of things that bother me about the ending; does Charlie feel better? Does he make new friends? He was starting to be okay again and now it’s all come crashing down. Will I know what happened to him? How did he become depressed? There are so many unanswered questions; but that’s just like life. Everything is a cliffhanger.
If you’ve read the book or seen the film or both, let me know in the comments what your thoughts are and which version you prefer. Until next time, love, Vee x

Poetry Review: Those Were The Days

Poetry Review: Those Were The Days

In this week’s blog post I’ll be reviewing Ryan Harbold’s debut poetry collection, Those Were The Days.

About

“Those Were The Days” is a poetry collection that is, the entire life I’ve lived and all the crazy from it.It’s all about your youth and all the nights that turned to days. Being drunk and stupid, falling in love and knowing absolutely nothing but thinking you do. It’s nostalgic and all about what life was like when you’re growing up. The confusion. All the teen angst emotions. The best friends that are now strangers and of course all the good memories you forgot about. It’s about time you lived in your car. It’s the girl who left you speechless with butterflies that you don’t know anymore. It’s all the drugs and stress you drowned your head in. It’s just everything you felt under the stars back then.

Review

I enjoyed reading Ryan’s poetry; it’s all about being a teen and how he got by at the worst points in his life.

His writing is smooth and he says exactly what he thinks and I love modern poetry like that.

I think it’s important to know that everyone goes through bad and good in their life, even at 19. Ryan writes about the friends who got him through and the girl he loved. He writes so honestly that I admire his work and the fact he’s able to spill his heart out. We need more poetry collections like this one.

If you’re looking for poetry about love, loss, teen angst, growing up and friendship, then I definitely recommend reading Those Were The Days.

You can follow Ryan on social media and his username is @wordsryan.

You can find his book here.

Until next time, love, Vee x

Book Review: The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

Book Review: The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

In this week’s review I’ll be reviewing The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.

Blurb

In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.

Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.

So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.

Review

I don’t usually read historical romance, but I was compelled to read this since having visited Anne Frank’s House and reading her diary. I want to also visit Auschwitz and reading this made my heart break.

I was apprehensive at first because I was worried about how I would handle hearing about the torture and torment these people went through. But Morris writes beautifully of Lale’s love for Gita and I couldn’t put this book down for a second. Their heartwarming story makes you have faith in humanity. I was constantly praying that they come out alive since I had never heard about Lale’s story and didn’t want to ruin it.

Expecting the worst, I read on to hear about all the tortures the women, men and children went through. From the crematorium to the beatings Lale receives, it is all heartbreaking.

I won’t ruin the end for you. But I will say that Lale and Gita’s story lives on in this book. Morris has done a wonderful job reciting Lale’s story. It kept me on my toes, made me want to cry, pray and be thankful. Everyone will be in tears after reading this.

Hearing about what they went through is excruciating and no one should wish someone so much pain. Their bravery, all of them, is admired and will live on in every heart that reads this beautiful love story.

If you haven’t already, you need to read this now. Until next time, love, Vee x

A Trip to Nice

A Trip to Nice

For Oliver’s 21st, Oliver’s parents took us to Nice in France for the weekend.

Day One

We took off to Gatwick at 3am for our flight at 6am. We arrived in Nice around 9am and made our way on the tram to Hotel Brice.

For a while we pottered around the town and had pain au chocolates. It was rainy but it was lovely to explore.

We had some lunch in McDonald’s while it poured down and went back to the hotel for a nap before going out to pizza.

Day Two

Oliver’s birthday! For his birthday I got him basketball tickets for London and his parents got him a lamborghini experience in Monaco.

We went into the Monte Carlo casino and had some lunch in Cafe De Paris before getting the bus back to Nice. We had some delicious hot chocolate and an ice cream to share.

We all got a gift from Oliver’s parents saying we were going to Frankfurt in December to see the Christmas markets!

Until next time, love, Vee x