Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Who Gives a Crap?


This post was inspired by a discussion on Plastic Free Ripon's Facebook page ... a place I often find myself since becoming part of a similar group here in Harrogate.

It wasn't necessarily the fact that this toilet paper is plastic free that made me a return customer of Who Gives a Crap (although that's obviously a fabulous thing),
rather, it was their argument that I'd never have to carry toilet paper home from the grocery store anymore, which, when you do most of your shopping by bike or on foot, is quite a powerful sales point. 

Yes their toilet paper is also made from environmentally friendly materials and they donate 50% of their profits to charity to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world, 
but is it any good?

To be honest, I'm not too fussy. 
Quilted, cashmere-enriched toilet tissue with flower print was never my thing anyway, 
so anything that gets the job done in an environmentally friendly way is fine by me ... 
but since people asked:

Should you go for the Best Value recycled version or splurge on the Premium 100% bamboo toilet paper?

Both come individually wrapped (in recycled paper).
The Best Value is nice and colourful ... if monochrome is your thing you'll prefer the Premium.

The Best Value is thin and easily tears where you don't want it to.

Both are 3-ply, and even the layers of the Premium easily separate (I'm assuming because there's nothing in them to "glue" them together but I'm not a toilet paper scientist so I could be wrong)
but it's definitely a little stronger ... and softer.

My verdict:

I was a fan even before my first order arrived. Had there not been a premium option, I would have happily stuck with the recycled toilet paper ...
the fact that I'll be paying £3 more (per box of 48 rolls) to get the Premium Bamboo from now on, and I'm not ashamed to admit it, is mostly because of the packaging. 

Also, because it's Earth Day later this week, Who Gives a Crap now offers a free trial on all their products to new subscribers.
Click here to find out more!



PS: I'm aware that any environmentally friendly & plastic free toilet paper made in the EU would have a lower carbon footprint than WGAC which is made in China ... so hit me up if you know of such a business! 





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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Creating Space


I will never look back at this picture and not feel a sense of pride.
Pride mixed with (maybe slightly misleading) nostalgia.

This was not my first store space, not the last, but definitely the one I completely poured my heart into.

The picture above was taken on Gotland in the spring of 2015.

Yesterday, most of what was left of my stock went to live with Bo in her ethical and zero-waste shop CALF in Knaresborough until they find their forever homes with Bo's customers.

As she was leaving, carrying boxes to her car, Bo said she hoped I wasn't feeling too sad ...
and if I dig deep enough there is a slight twinge of sadness there somewhere, but mainly I'm proud of my well researched and thought-through products to get out there again, instead of waiting around in my cupboards for better days.
I'm happy that the remains of my old business now pave the way for new opportunities.

I'm letting go of things to create space for something else.
What that is time will tell.
I'm guessing it's going to be a mixture of my love for yoga, holistic nutrition, exploring, nature, houseplants, photography, my newfound love for ceramics ... and my need to write, document and share,
but in what form? We'll see.

***

CALF is in the process of getting a full make-over and will reopen again on Friday, with my stuff on the shelves amongst lots of other amazing products!

It's time for a trip to Knaresborough!

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Yorkshire Dales Yoga Show




Last Saturday I hitched a ride with a friend and went to Skipton for the Yorkshire Dales Yoga Show.

I brought my camera and yoga gear and planned to take pictures of pretty much everything and take as many of the free yoga classes as possible.

There were crystals, essential oils, reiki sessions, beautiful jewellery, homemade tea blends, eco skincare, raw vegan cakes and the most delicious vegan truffles, and of course, all things yoga.
I have seen my fair share of shows but nothing ever even came close to this level of fabulousness.

Yet, the whole thing was a trip down memory lane.

Setting up, glancing at others' tables, waiting for the first customers to arrive, always a little too cold, or a little too hot, wondering if it'll be worth your while ... a slight nervousness ... the anticipation ...

I ended up not bothering with the yoga as the queues always seemed longer than the amount of available mats, and found myself talking to the stall holders instead of taking pictures (with a few exceptions - I simply couldn't resist Tarn & Moon's setup ♡).

I loved the energy. I loved all of it. 
And since Saturday, my mind's been busy. Buzzing. Occupied.

"They" say yoga helps with these kinds of conditions ... so I went to Frankie's class at Yoga Zen (one of the perks of teaching there).

I stayed after class and we played around testing adjustments on each other, doing inversions, discussing potential workshop ideas and ended up sitting on our yoga mats talking about how great it would be to live a life trying new things, acquiring new skills and then building a business around them all.

Enter Buzzing Mind. Again.

Am I too comfortable in my current life situation to throw myself out there again?
Possibly.

Would it be a shame not to do it?
Definitely.

In conclusion, I hope the Yorkshire Dales Yoga Show gets a sequel. I'll definitely be there. Maybe even as a stall holder ... because #whynottoday? Right?

//Aina




Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018



A new year.
A fresh start, even if it's just in your mind.

I've got quite a few resolutions, and new ones get added to the list every day now.
I've set intentions for myself as a thriving human being, as a yoga teacher, as a part of a family, as a creative person, as a body that needs the right kind of nutrition and care, etc.
Not all of those can be kept all at once, and I'm sure many will be forgotten or dropped as the year goes on, but I do think it's helpful to write them down.

I know there's plenty of cynics out there, especially when it comes to New Year's resolutions.
I'm one of them.
I laugh at overfull gyms and yoga studios at the beginning of every new year and then again when they empty a couple of months later.
Yet I'm no different.
That's why I like to split my goals for the year into smaller projects, to tackle and come back to month by month. Most of them are ongoing projects I've taken with me from 2017, the most recent ones being my 30th b-day resolutions.


Project #1 is Pottery (see previous post)
Project #2 is Photography and getting out and about giving me reasons to use my new toys.
Project #3 is Playing the guitar instead of saying I will get better.
Project #4 is Blogging more often (day 2 and I'm already on it!)
and so on.

The list is long, and will hopefully go on until I hit the grave.
because #whynottoday?

Happy New Year!

xxx

Aina



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Wallåkra revisited. Project Pottery.








I've been going through the thousands of pictures on my external hard drive in an attempt to clean up and organise my past photographic adventures and one little selection that caught my attention is this, taken in 2011 during our lunch break while at a seminar (not at all pottery-related) held in the conference room at this stoneware factory in the South of Sweden.

It turns out these pictures have already appeared on my blog before but they deserve another post because I so clearly remember the curiosity and the wonder I felt while sneaking around this fabulous workshop with my camera. How much I loved the little details. 
The tea-strainer on the notice board, the clay splatters on the windows, the broken mirror shard propped up on the taps above the sink, the pleasant natural hues, the creativity in the air ...

Now, 6 years later, I'm in the process of learning the art of hand building and wheel throwing and other clay-related things.
Today I sat at my little work station at school feeling so incredibly grateful for having discovered this craft.
One day maybe I'll have my own space, my own wheel, my own kiln, 
but for now others' spaces and pictures and finished pieces inspire me to keep exploring, keep testing, keep learning. 

Project #1 of my 21 months of Projects.



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Gotland i mitt Hjärta




I just got back from a long weekend in my old hometown (one of quite a few by now) and felt like digging up some old pictures ... I've taken plenty over the years!

There's no place like Gotland ... Honestly.

I booked my flights at a time I felt particularly homesick and in hindsight I did really well choosing the weekend of the 1st advent as the time to go back.

Not only is Visby ready for Christmas with decorations all over the place and stars in all windows, but more importantly, during advent there's so much to do in town and all over the island that literally everybody is out and about.

I hung out with my some of my most favourite people and bumped into quite a few others throughout the weekend. 
There were Christmas markets, long and lazy breakfasts, morning swims and sauna sessions, 
There was lots of glögg & pepparkakor, saffransbullar, a very ambitious apartment crawl, meals at my favourite restaurants in great company as well as an impressive julbord-style dinner at my hosts' house (love you Jenny!) and quite a few walks down memory lane ...

My heart is full and I feel like I've topped up my Swedishness-stores (if that makes sense).
I brought home Swedish things to decorate with,
my fridge and kitchen cupboards now hold lots of Swedish ingredients,
tomorrow I'll be making Swedish meatballs for the kids (I've missed lingonsylt!!!) 
& I'm counting down to Lucia for a proper Lussekatt-baking session.

I find myself listening to Swedish radio again and seeing pictures of Gotland on Instagram doesn't hurt my heart quite as much anymore.

I was worried that my little visit would make me miss my old life but as one of my friends said ... "Gotland will always be here ... "

I'm so lucky to have a place to go back to that will always feel like home (as long as my friends stay put!), wherever my home is. 

xxx

Jag älskar er!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Twenty-one Months of Projects

On September 1st I started a new project I call "Twenty-one months of Projects"

91 weeks of projects to work on & to get fit enough to climb a mountain.


Mont Blanc, ideally, but we'll see.


Among other things, from now on I'll be doing tons of yoga at YogaZen Harrogate, where I conveniently enough also teach. :) 
I couldn’t resist taking a pictures of my feet surrounded by heart shaped confetti, at Harrogate Registry office the day of my first Ashtanga Class with Charalene during my walk over the the yoga studio.