The best on the net

Every week we will trawl the internet for the best, most inspiring, important, heart warming, humorous and thought-provoking links and put them all together in one EPIC post. So here goes:

A funny but spot on overview of clothing waste by big companies such as H&M and what you can do about it.

Another helpful article to reduce the mountain of clothing in your wardrobe.

Yassmin Abdel Magied’s explains how her memoir is not really about her. 

Amongst all the anxiety and fear surrounding Muslims and Islam, a music ensemble bring peace.

Canada offering Americans a solution to the Trump crisis. 

The fuzzies- cat that guards its owner’s unborn baby. 

Husband’s drawings on love will melt your heart.

Islamic fashion comes into its own.


Autumn essentials

“Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they’re falling like
they’re falling in love with the ground.”
― Andrea Gibson

It’s officially Autumn here in Australia, and I was researching for a post on ‘Autumn essentials’ in terms of, well, stuff.

Then I came across this gorgeous little poster…


It made me admit that I was being a tad materialistic, and that the best parts of Autumn lay in the crisp breeze ruffling through the trees gracefully letting their leaves fall to the floor, the mugs of hot chocolate, heavenly figs, chestnuts, warm apple and cinnamon muffins and the pure, magical days of hazy blue skies and a cold snap in the air…

We have this obsession with needing to buy new things every season. Suddenly we need a new coat, or a scarf, or new sweaters in the ‘on trend’ colours. I mean, come on. The colour palette for autumn is generally not going to diverge far from browns, tans, maroons, soft whites and black. Right? And as an adult, your body shape and weight isn’t going to change so drastically as to need new clothing every season. Children are another matter. And at some point, you can buy them clothing that’s two sizes up, and roll up the excess (come on, admit that you do this to your kids).

The solution to not buying something new every season is to buy quality, classic items that will last you years. Of course, this may be more expensive in the short term, but it will save you money in the long run, and the impact on the environment will be gentler.

This season, give it a go. Refrain from buying a new coat just because its the latest cut or colour. Be grateful for what you have, and wear the hell out of those clothes. Until you ACTUALLY need a new coat, or sweater, or jeans, because you’ve worn the old ones to pieces.

Bouquet image via Boutierre Girls.

All about the bees (and love)

I have always loved flowers. Arranging flowers, gifting bouquets and of course, receiving flowers. Until recently, making money from arranging flowers had always been an acceptable source of income for me. Now that my interest in the wedding industry is taking a professional turn, this seemed even more likely and acceptable.

That is until I stumbled across this video. To say that I was horrified is an understatement. I was disgusted. Disgusted in the industry that didn’t have the courage or the intelligence it seems to “do the right thing”. Disgusted by ourselves and our excessive consumption and contentment to simply remain ignorant about where/how our food was being produced and the impact of it.

Ever since I had my daughter, I started to change the way I shopped, particularly in terms of groceries. I went to my local farmer’s markets and bought organic, sustainable produce. I spent hours scouring the aisles of my local grocer picking the organic and ethical/fair-trade products. I no longer buy fruits and veggies from Coles or Woolworths (my local big-chain grocers) unless they are labelled as organic.

Not only are we hurting our (and our children’s) health by eating sprayed, genetically modified fruits and vegetables that have either been grown in plastic bags (seriously) or picked when green and gassed to produce colour (like in tomatoes), but the impact on the environment and the bees is phenomenal. Any one who denies this is simply ignorant or stupid. No bull.

So when a friend posted this article on her Facebook page, I felt like the stupid one. Why hadn’t I considered the floral industry and the use of pesticides? Of course this would only contribute to the decline of bees.

Why care though? Well the answer is kind of simple; bees sustain all growth/life on Earth. Without them, everything dies. Have you all seen ‘Bee Movie’? Well it’s spot on, albeit presented in a cutesy way aimed at kids.

Personally though, I think that as citizens and members of this planet, every single one of us have a responsibility to protect, maintain and sustain the environment. This duty is wholly ingrained in my religion (Islam) as well. Being in this wedding industry however, has only further reinforced this sense of duty. Why is it that our weddings have literally thousands of flowers on show? The reason why growers use pesticides is to meet the demand for perfect, bug-free flowers. Do you really need to have that floral arch, centrepieces with towering globes of roses? That floral chandelier? The bride and groom table dripping with peonies, lillies, and more roses? All for ONE wedding?

I’m sorry, but to me it seems innately egotistical and hubristic to demand that your “one special day” has to be flooded with flowers, which ironically, kill the one species it needs to sustain it.

There are alternatives. Search for florists that use organic flowers (just do a google search). Break that need to have flowers on every single table of your reception. Get creative. I know a blogger (Young House Love) who used lemons in glass vases as centrepieces. Another bride used wildflowers from an obliging field.

This blog is not just about having humility in the way you are dressed on your wedding day. No. This blog is about celebrating your special day with utmost humility. By remembering what it’s really about- two people who have formed a connection based on attraction, a feeling of deep love and respect and have decided to take that momentous step to share their lives together. To always support, befriend and guide one another. Oh, it’s also about gaining new family members.

It’s not a show of some fairy tale romance that must be proven to the world with as much pomp and exhibitionism by having every indulgence possible.

Each and every one of us have the responsibility to be scrupulous in everything that we do. We need to question our intentions, our choices, our actions and the impact of such choices and actions. Your wedding day should not be an exemption simply because we have been brainwashed to think that it is the ‘one day’ that is ‘all about you’.

If that’s not the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is. And yet we accept this without even thinking about it, and use it to justify every extravagance (such as the $3000 plus wedding dress you’ll only wear once, the lavish reception dripping in flowers etc). In the end, is it really about you, or is it about showing your ‘perfect’ love to everyone else?

In the film ‘The Secret life of Walter Mitty’, one line struck me as profound:

“Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.”

There is humility even in love. It is not something to be cheaply displayed for the world to see, it does not seek attention.

It revels in the purer realm of quiet intimacy, where knowledge of the other’s love is recognised, acknowledged, protected, and there, celebrated.