Friday, 10 May 2019

Turning Twenty-Five

As you will probably be able to tell from the title of this post I recently turned 25. I don't know why but 25 feels like such a big number. Maybe it's because it's a quarter of a century but it feels so grown up. I had dabbled with idea of having a big 25th birthday party but with my health being as bad as it is I think I made the right decision to take a week off in Scotland instead. 

We had a wonderfully slow and relaxed week full of lots of treats. It was a week of celebrations with my birthday on the Monday, my mother in laws birthday on the Saturday and Easter Day on the Sunday. We ate, and drank (yes I actually drank alcohol on my bday, turning 25 must be getting to me!) and laughed lots. After an incredibly hard few months of my chronic pain getting worse and worse, moving house and the stress of what we will do if I'm not well enough to go back to work, we really needed this holiday. 

Seeing as I have now hit the wise old age of 25 I thought it would be interesting to share some of the things I feel I've learnt about life, particularly in the last few years. They say you change completely from the age of 18-25 and I think I would definitely have to agree. I've gone from a fast fashion clad Liverpool party girl living life at 100 miles an hour to a woman who enjoys slow and natural living, nature, knitting, buys only ethical and sustainable clothing and dreams of living in the countryside. I definitely prefer who I am now and have found my heart is much more full then it ever used to be. So here are the things I've learnt about life so far... 

1. Slow is always better - I've been forced to slow down over the years having suffered from mental health problems and now physical health problems. It's been hard but I can also see the huge benefits in taking time to actually enjoy life. I was always so stressed, so worried about getting everything done that I never took time to just be. Now my priority in life is taking time to be in the present and connect with the world around me. This time will go very quickly and you never know when it will change, it's very important to take the time to enjoy what you have now and not to always be looking to the future. 

2. Don't sweat the small stuff - I have my husband to thank for this one. When I first met him at the ripe old age of twenty I was a little stress ball. I grew up in a house where stressing over tiny details and fussing a lot was completely normal. I didn't know that life didn't need to be this way. My husband taught me to calm down completely. Instead of shrieking and jumping around grabbing tea towels when some one accidentally pours a drink on the table I can now just calmly deal with it. There is no need to get stressed over a drink being spilt, getting lost, breaking something e.t.c these things don't matter that much. And once I learnt not to get stressed by the small stuff I also learnt to deal with the bigger stuff better. I am able to take a step back and think, does this really matter? Is this really as big as I think it is? 

I'm definitely not perfect or an expert at this and I do still have a tendency to get anxious and stressed easily but the little I have learnt has helped an incredible amount, especially recently. Life is just too short to be stressed and worried. 

3. You don't need to have it all figured out - I read a statistic somewhere that our generation will change career eleven times in their life time. I don't know if this is true but I have certainly done my fair share of chopping and changing in just the last seven years never mind a lifetime. We get a lot of pressure from our culture to be completely sorted from day one. We are supposed to know exactly what we want to do, have a five year plan at all times, be at the top of our careers or at least on our way and never give ourselves times to wonder if we are actually happy. 

For a long time I thought this was normal. I threw myself into careers I didn't really want desperate to find something that worked for me. But the reality was it took years of different experiences to form some idea of who and what I wanted to be. I've changed completely since I was eighteen and I'm so glad I had the chance to explore many different jobs and different studies. It's made me who I am today and I can now go forward making informed decisions because of the experiences I've had. 

I still don't know what I'm going to do with my life. I have a vague idea and some hopes and dreams but I know I can still live a great life without having it all planned out. In September I will go back to studying part-time and I'm really excited. That's as figured out as I am at the moment and that's good enough for me.

4. It won't go to plan and that's okay - Following on from the previous point even if you do have it all planned out it won't necessarily go to plan. I spent two years trying to get my perfect job in a school library and when I finally did I was ecstatic. After only seven months I became so unwell I have had to be put on sick leave. I keep hoping I will be able to go back but as my health is at the moment we really have no idea when and if that will be possible. The plan I had had for years of becoming a school librarian surrounding by books everyday, teaching creative writing and inspiring young people to read and then spending my holidays writing my own books, has just gone out the window. 

You never know what is around the corner. It's good to have a plan, it's good to set yourself goals but it's important to remember it's okay if they don't all go exactly as you want. That's life and it would be very boring if we could plan and predict everything right now. Having ambitions are great but also having the flexibility to cope with life's changes is essential. 

5. Go with your gut - I struggled a lot in my early years of adulthood trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I trusted other's opinions far too much and didn't trust myself enough. This resulted in two failed degrees. Looking back I always knew I wanted to go to university to study creative writing but it took me until I was 22 years old and independent from my parents to actually have the guts to do it. Obviously I am glad I hadn't done it from the get-go as I would never have met my husband and he is the best part of my life full stop. I wouldn't choose anything over him. But I do wish I'd been strong enough to trust my own instincts and trust that I knew what I wanted. 

Over the last few years, thanks to my husband being my biggest cheerleader, I have had the guts to go for things much more. I've trusted myself, my ideas and what I wanted and it has paid off. I've moved from quite a few jobs but managed to get some amazing experience. I know how hard it can be at times but I think you do just have to make a decision and jump in life. It may be ridiculously scary but life shouldn't be about taking the safe road, risks pay off and you will thank yourself later. 

My biggest piece of advice would be to trust yourself. Go with your gut and dive into life head first. None of us can see the future but we can make informed decisions knowing who we are and what we want. Just go for it. 

What I Wore:
Dress - People Tree | Shoes - Supergas | Sunglasses - Old

So there you have my five lessons learnt over the last seven years or so. I hope they are helpful to some of you and that I've encouraged you to go out and live the life you want. I'm by no means an expert and I will spend my life learning about who I am and what I want to do but for me that's the best way to live. Always learning, always improving, always living. 

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Friday, 12 April 2019

The Perfect Style

Today I really wanted to share one of my top tips for creating and sustaining an ethical and sustainable wardrobe and that is to create a style over following trends. The ridiculous speed and growth of fast fashion has meant that we now have new styles and trends coming out almost weekly. These encourage us as consumers to drop whatever we are wearing and loving and instead adopt a new trend for a few weeks. We seem to have lost our unique style in this country and instead I see groups full of girls all dressed the same way.

 I remember my first few weeks at university being horrified as I stepped out with my new flat mates to go on a night out. I was the only one not in disco pants, a crop top and heeled boots. It was like a line of clones twisting its way down the street waiting to enter the club. There I was in my vintage white skirt and red spotty crop top standing out like a sore thumb. The funny thing was though that I got a ton of compliments and none of my friends did. This encouraged me to not allow my style to change at uni because of what others were wearing and instead stay true to myself.

Of course in the last six years my style has evolved with age. I've gone from being super cute vintage to a bit more classic but I still have a huge vintage influence in my wardrobe and there are pieces I've had for years that I still wear. For me this is the number one way to keep your clothes going and create a sustainable wardrobe.

So how do you figure out what your unique style is and how do you keep it fresh and current? I would suggest you look at all your clothes and try to find the common theme. What always jumps out at you when you're shopping? What do you see on Pinterest or in magazines that you love? Whose street style do you always covet? For me it's always the classic, elegant, pretty styles that I love. I like anything with a vintage twist and my fashion icons are people like Amal Clooney, Kate Middleton, Julia Engel and Audrey Hepburn.

You want to create a unique style that is timeless so that your clothes will last. Create a Pinterest board full of all the styles that you like and that inspire you and then keep going back to it for inspiration. When shopping think about your style and what is already in your wardrobe. Have a little look at your Pinterest board. Try not to be too influenced by trends and instead go for pieces that will stand the test of time. For example this striped tee I recently picked up from the People Tree sale is such a classic piece. I knew it would go with lots of the trousers and jeans I already owned as well as bags and accessories. I also knew a striped tee never goes out of style and would fit in perfectly with my classic look but also added the feminine side I needed with the peplum bottom. I love it and have already worn it ten times making sure I definitely get my #30wears.

So there you have my top tip for creating a more sustainable wardrobe and to always make sure you get your #30 wears. I would love to hear your tips in the comments below.

What I Wore
Top - People Tree | Jeans - Old | Shoes - Old | Bag - Old
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Monday, 8 April 2019

Knitters Do It Better

You may have noticed if you follow me over on instagram that my stories have been rather taken up by knitting over the last year. In January 2018 I decided I really wanted to get back into knitting having dabbled with it a lot over my childhood and teenage years. I was inspired to learn how to knit by a lovely family friend. I was amazed by the beautiful things she could create and found watching her knitting needles go back and forth so mesmerising. I was about 10 when I told my Auntie Sarah I really wanted to learn how to knit and so she taught me the basics one evening. A few weeks later I went to visit my Granny who encouraged me to learn more about knitting and found me lots of odds and ends of wool in her collection for me to play around with. And that was it! The knitting seed was planted. 

I knitted on and off through my teenage years but I never seriously devoted any time to learning how to do more than two types of stitches. I also never learnt to read a pattern and it was more of a random relaxing past time then anything else.  

As I got more into ethical and sustainable over the years I discovered how hard it was to find clothes that really suited my style. There are only a handful of brands in the UK and only some of them make clothes in a style that I feel suits me and my personality. And so I decided to learn to make some clothes myself. 

At first I thought about learning to sew having played around with sewing machines during my teen years but unfortunately my sewing machine was broken and I didn't have enough money to buy a new one and so my attention went to knitting. I started off easy with a small knitted jacket and matching hat for a baby. This helped me to learn how to read a pattern properly and I learnt so many new techniques and stitches with the help of youtube and my Knitty Gritty book. I then moved on to harder projects like a jumper for my nephew and then a cardigan for my husband.  

In the last few weeks I have finally knitted my first garment for myself and I absolutely love it. I found the pattern for this jumper in a knitting magazine and was lucky enough to find the exact wool it suggested in my local yarn shop. The idea of knitting my own clothes is to create beautiful unique garments that are both ethical and sustainable and so I am very careful to choose materials that adhere to this. For my nephews jumper I used a yarn made from 100% recycled textiles. For my own I used this beautiful wool from West Yorkshire Spinners which is guaranteed 100% British wool meaning it is not only ethical and sustainable but also helps feed a local industry that is at risk of dying.  

I have absolutely loved learning to knit over the last year and am now officially bitten by the bug. I can't seem to put my needles down and I have even started to design my own patterns. I love being able create beautiful garments that really suit my style but also know exactly how they were made and what with. It has also given me a much bigger appreciation for clothes as I am now aware just how long it takes to create a garment and how much skill has to go into it. It's a slow process to create my own piece of clothing taking weeks but that just makes it even more special and precious.  It's such an exciting part of my sustainable and ethical wardrobe and I can't wait to learn even more. 

Learning to knit has also encouraged me to learn more skills so that I can create even more sustainable and ethical bespoke garments. Over the next few years I am hoping to learn how to embroider, sew clothes and up-cycle old ones. I love the idea of having a sustainable and ethical wardrobe full of hand made clothes, up-cycled clothes, vintage, second hand and new pieces from amazing brands. For me it is all about creating a unique and beautiful wardrobe that helps our planet and it's people. 

I hope I've inspired you to maybe have a go at knitting yourself or learn another skill like sewing or embroidery. There are so many ways we can be more ethical and sustainable when it comes to our clothing and it certainly doesn't have to be just a plain Fairtrade organic cotton tee. Let me know in the comments if you are a maker and what you like to make. Or if you're feeling inspired I'd love to know what you might like to learn to do. Wishing you all a wonderful week!  

What I wore...
Jumper - Hand Knitted | Jeans - Old | Shoes - Old | Bag - Cambridge Satchel Company

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Friday, 5 April 2019

Power In The Pound: How Choosing to Spend Differently Can Change The World

I am often asked by friends and family or at the talks I do on ethical and sustainable fashion, how we as individuals can best affect change. People often want to help with so many issues in the world such as slavery, sex trafficking, exploitation of workers rights, poverty, starvation, lack of education, women's rights and so many more, but they just don't know how to get involved. People feel the only way they can change the world is by working for a top human rights charity or devoting their time abroad to amazing projects but this simply isn't true.  

We as individuals have such a great power to affect change simply by choosing to spend our money in a way that will help change the world. And I'm not just talking about giving to charity, although that is a great way to help. There is so much power in our pounds but we often don't realise it. We shop for food, clothes, jewellery e.t.c in the way we always have done but what if we chose instead to do it differently? What if we choose to buy only clothes that have come from a brand that refuses to have slavery or exploitation in its supply chain? What if we choose to only buy food from local farmers markets where we can be assured that the farmer and his workers are being paid correctly? What if we choose to only buy things that make a difference in our world? 

This beautiful bracelet from Eden Ministry is a wonderful example. I was actually lucky enough to be given this as a gift and I have loved learning all about what a difference it makes. Eden Ministry was started by two women who wanted to find a way to break into the sex industry and change the lives of those working in their local red light district. So many of these women have been trafficked, coerced or forced into the sex industry and as Christians, Eden Ministry knew they needed to find a way out for these women. 

They do amazing work offering safe houses, creative therapy, counselling, training in many different areas such as beauty and barista, and language skills. They have funded their work by creating beautiful jewellery with the survivors of trafficking that they work with. Jewellery that not only helps funds their projects but also encourages it's wearer to "Speak Up" and make a difference in the world. 

Eden Ministry is just one of many brands that we are seeing emerge recently who are trying to change their world. It was so exciting to see a few at the Ethical Christmas Shopping Event I spoke at in November and if you would like to learn about a few more brands doing amazing things please pop over to that post and take a look. 

It has now become so easy to find brands doing amazing things and this is where we have our power. If every time we want a new dress, a piece of jewellery or a gift for some one we choose to buy it not just from a brand who reaps the profits but from a brand that is trying to make a difference, then we in turn will make a huge difference ourselves. For Christmas 2018 I did my best to buy every member of the family gifts that would help change the world. We spend over £350 at Christmas by choosing brands that make a difference that £350 could help change so many lives. 

Today I really want to encourage you as an activist for change you can make such a difference simply by spending your money better. Whether it's for you or for someone else, if we continually strive to choose beautiful things that mean so much more than what we find on the high street, together we can change lives. Never forget just how much power is in your pound. 

What I Wore...
Top - M&S | Jeans - Old | Bracelet - Eden Ministry 

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Saturday, 16 March 2019

It Begins With Sleep

Today marks the end of Sleep Awareness Week 2019 an initiative started by The Sleep Foundation to encourage us all to learn more about the importance of sleep. This years theme "Begin With Sleep" is all about highlighting the importance of good sleep health for individuals to achieve their goals and perform best in life.

For the past few years I have struggled quite a lot with sleep. As a teenager and young adult I could sleep for 10 hours straight no problem and always made sure I got at least 8 hours. But after I turned 22 it was like something just switched in my brain. Suddenly I found myself up at night with anxious thoughts, easily disturbed by noises and always waking up and feeling like I hadn't had enough sleep. As I have been suffering more with my chronic illness which causes me a lot of pain the problems I have with sleep have only got worse. This has lead me to try really hard to get a good nights sleep and I have managed to pick up a few tips and tricks that really do work the majority of the time.

I thought today would be the perfect time to share my tips and tricks along with my new favourite PJ's bought from Sancho's and made by People Tree. These are literally the best PJ's I have ever owned, they are so comfy and cosy and perfect for a good nights sleep.

I hope you enjoy my tips and tricks. I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

1. Stop Eating

My first tip would be to stop eating at least three hours before bed. Eating close to bed time means your digestive system is still having to work and break down food when you go to sleep. This can keep you up at night with indigestion and acid reflux. Sugary foods can also cause a surge in energy which is the last thing you need when winding down for bed. It's much better for your body to have a good break before sleep.

2. Switch Off

I try to switch off all screens by 9:30pm. My phone goes on do not disturb and I try to find something other than TV to do. I pick up my knitting or a magazine or a book and relax.

3. Take A Bath

This is one of my favourite things to do each night and really helps me to get in the right frame of mind for bedtime. This is also a great thing to do instead of looking at a screen. Take a book or a magazine in with you, fill the bath with bubbles and light some candles. Create a really relaxing atmosphere and let your body totally wind down for bed.

4. Put On PJs

Putting on my cosy PJs after my bath really signals to my body that it's time for bed. I get all snuggly and warm and cosy up ready for a good nights sleep.

5. Make It Cosy

For the best nights sleep experts suggest a cool dark room with cosy bedding. I will often leave my radiator off in the bedroom to keep it cool all the time. Sometimes I will open the window before my bath to fill the room with fresh cold air. I will then snuggle up in my cosy duvet and enjoy the comfort of my little nest.

6. Read

If you're still not feeling totally sleepy yet then cosy up with your pillows in bed and have a good read of something relaxing. Choose a good book to get into for half an hour. After a bit your eyes will start to droop and your body will be signalling it's time for sleep.

7. Yoga

If you're still not feeling like you can drift off just yet one thing I have tried before is bed yoga. This 10 minute sequence is super relaxing and the deep breathing at the end can really help with anxiety you might be feeling.

8. Write It Down

If you're in bed ready to sleep but your mind can't stay still it really does help to get it all down on paper. Keep a notebook by your bedside table and write down anything that's worrying you. Once you know it's written down and can be sorted tomorrow it will help you feel less anxious. Make yourself a promise that once it's down on paper that is where is will stay until tomorrow, you can't do anything about it now so just try to take it out of your mind.

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Friday, 8 March 2019

10 Women Who Inspire Me

Happy International Women's Day! This is one of my favourite days of the year as it gives us a chance to celebrate just how far we have come as women, all we've achieved and look to the future for what we can do next. I love reading about everything that is going on around the world in different organisations and by individuals to champion women's rights and lift years of oppression. 

To celebrate today I thought I would share with you 10 women who have inspired me. I love looking towards other women for inspiration and reading their stories just fires me up to keep writing my own. I hope you enjoy this post and I wish you a very happy International Women's Day! 

1. Coco Chanel 

"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."- Coco Chanel

Where would we be without Chanel?! Probably still wearing a corset every day yikes! Gabrielle Chanel is such an inspiration of mine. Starting from very humble roots she defied all expectations and became a world renowned fashion designer of what is now one of the most famous fashion houses in all the world. Chanel fought for a place in a world that told her she wasn't good enough because of the class she had been born into. 

She completely revolutionised women's fashion, getting rid of the restricting corseted fashion of the day and instead replacing it with beautiful elegant less restrictive clothing. Her style, elegance and sharp business acumen in a world dominated by male businessmen continues to inspire me today. 

2. Agatha Christie

“The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes. ” ― Agatha Christie

You'll know if you read my post yesterday just how much Christie's books have changed my life. Her writing is such an inspiration to me as a writer. Her intelligence, quick wit and unbelievable imagination continue to inspire my writing every day. She published her first Poirot novel at the age of 30 and then continued to publish over 70 books in her life time. 

Her enthusiasm for her craft and the use of inspiration that she found all around her from her archaeologist husbands digs to the medicines and poisons she learnt about during her time as at the pharmacy during the war, continue to inspire me as a writer. She has taught me that a story can be made from anything if one simply has the imagination to bring it to life.  

3. Audrey Hepburn

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others - Audrey Hepburn

My obsession with Audrey Hepburn has lasted a lifetime. It began as a child when I found a box of Audrey Hepburn films on video and I decided to watch Roman Holiday. It was love at first sight. Her beauty, her poise, her grace, her charm and her amazing talent as an actress had me straight away. As I grew older I began to learn more and more about the actress I had fallen in love with. After a very difficult childhood spent in occupied Holland during the second world war Audrey decided to follow her dream and become a professional ballet dancer. However a turn in her career lead to time on the stage, appearing in films as minor roles and then a sudden shot to stardom when she took on the lead in Roman Holiday

As a young girl I dreamed of becoming an actress just like Audrey. And it was not only her acting skills that inspired me. I loved to recreate her looks and even now so much of my style is influenced by her classic and elegant fashion sense. I even got myself a pixie cut at one point just like Audrey! I have also greatly admired the work she did in later life using her platform to highlight the plight of starving children. Hepburn worked for UNICEF doing all she could to help end poverty and starvation for children around the world. 

She is a style icon, humanitarian inspiration and her films still bring so much joy and pleasure to so many. She has been such an inspiration to me in my life as I have spent many years battling between my more glamorous side and my humanitarian side. As I was growing up it felt like I was either allowed to be glamorous or I was allowed to want to help the world and its people. I couldn't do both. Even now I find people judge me because I choose to wear make up and dresses as if that means I couldn't possibly care about anybody but myself. I presumed stupid and self obsessed. Audrey taught me that it is allowed to be fashion icon and a humanitarian. She inspires me everyday.

4. Jane Austen

"I wish, as well as everybody else to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way" - Jane Austen

As with Agatha Christie, if you read my post yesterday you will know how much Austen's writings, especially Pride and Prejudice, have influenced my own life. I love her books and have found so much solace and pleasure hiding in them from time to time. Jane taught me what a man ought to be and that waiting for the right one was never a bad thing.

I have been inspired by Jane Austen from the age of ten when I first read Pride and Prejudice. I loved the clever intricacies of the story, the amazing characters and the beautiful language. As I began to learn more about Austen over the years I fell in love with her writing even more.

She wasn't from a well off family and it is well documented that her family struggled. She had six brothers and a sister which meant money was tight and the best thing for her to do was to marry well. However, it is believed she refused many proposals including one from a rather wealthy man that could have changed her life completely. She was a strong believer in marrying for love and would not be pressured by society.

She was a women before her time choosing to have a career as a writer in a day when lady novelists were few and far between. She was forced to publish anonymously through her brother as at the time women could not sign contracts of their own. It was also seen as unseemly for women to be novelists as their primary roles were to be wives and mothers. But she defied all the odds, publishing four novels in her life time and two were published after her death. She is still over 200 years later one of the most popular authors of all time and her books have been translated into languages all over the world. Her strong and intelligent female characters have stood the test of time and continue to inspire my own romantic fiction writing today.

5. Michelle Obama

"No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens." - Michelle Obama

I fell in love with this woman only recently when I read her autobiography Becoming. If you haven't read it go out and get yourself a copy right now! Michelle is honestly one of the most inspiring women of our time. She came from very humble beginnings but proved to so many that anything is possible. She defied expectations attending Princeton University where she spent most of her time very much in the minority as a young black woman. She then went on to study at Harvard Law School and began her career as a lawyer in a world dominated by white, privileged men.

Over the years she decided to change career and instead focus a lot of her attention on public services before becoming the first lady of the USA. After moving into the White House she did not lose any of her enthusiasm for changing the world around her. She devoted herself to projects using her own platform to help make change for so many.

She is an incredibly intelligent, hard working and talented woman who has never let her gender or race determine who she could be and what she could do. She continues to fight for the rights of women all over the globe and is an inspiration to so many young women.

6. Livia Firth

"We (consumers) have the power...we are in charge" - Livia Firth 

I have been following Livia Firth's amazing work since I realised just how important sustainable fashion is to our world. Married to a very famous male actor, she hasn't let that take anything away from who she is and instead has chosen to use her platform as his wife for good. She is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of EcoAge as well as the founder of the Green Carpet Challenge an initiative that encourages celebrities to wear sustainable fashion on the red carpet. She spearheads multiple campaigns for environmental and social justice as well as being a UN Leader of Change.

As an advocate and keen campaigner for environmental and social justice myself I find her such an inspiration. Her dedication to changing the world through how we wear and view fashion is making such an impact on so many. She continues to inspire me and this blog every day.

7. Amal Clooney

"If you're a woman lying on the beach in the Maldives, you might want to know that a kilometre away, another woman is being flogged. And you might want to find your own way to protest that." - Amal Clooney

As I mentioned before something I have struggled with all my life is the idea pressed upon me that a woman cannot be both beautiful and change the world. Amal Clooney proves this wrong. As a top human rights lawyer and one of the most stylish and glamorous women in the world she is such an inspiration to me. She has made huge strides in her career as a human rights lawyer, taking on many major cases and helping to change the world. In a career that is normally dominated by white privileged males it is so inspiring to see a woman take centre stage.

Her intelligence, commitment to her career and fabulous sense of style continues to inspire me and reminds me that a woman can be both kick ass and glamourous.

8. Corrie ten Boom

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." - Corrie ten Boom

I first learnt about Corrie ten Boom when I was in school in a religious studies lesson and I found her story completely captivating. Corrie ten Boom was a dutch watch maker who during the dutch occupation in world war two helped many jewish dutch escape the holocaust by hiding them in her home. As a Christian she inspires me and my faith. Her unbelievable courage and trust in God during a time of such fear knowing that at any moment they could be caught. This courage and trust continued after the Gastapo arrested her and her whole family sending them to a concentration camp. Luckily Corrie survived and shared her famous story in the book The Hiding Place. She went on to write many more books about her Christian faith and they make for very inspiring reading. I hope one day to write books full of amazing testimonies like hers.

As  Christian I find her story utterly captivating and inspiring. She was such a brave woman who knew what was right and decided to fight for it.

9. Baroness Helena Kennedy

I recently came across Helena Kennedy when I read her latest book Eve Was Shamed and I was completely blown away by her work. Helena trained to become a barrister in a time when women were few and far between. She defied all the odds and although was repeatedly met with sexism in a heavily white privileged male dominated career, she has managed to help implement change for other women to step into the role of barrister.

She also campaigns heavily for the rights of women and her latest book Eve Was Shamed highlights just how much our legal system fails women. We as women are constantly fighting the battle everyday for our right to be seen as equals and Helena's work has been vital in pushing change within the legal system so that women can be treated as people not less than men.

Her book was so inspiring to me and really encouraged me to keep fighting for the rights of women around the world. If you haven't read it I really suggest you do!

10. Katherine Johnson

"Girls are capable of doing everything men are capable of doing. Sometimes they have more imagination than men." - Katherine Johnson 

Being so totally hopeless as maths and science it seems strange I would choose a mathematician in my list of 10 women who have inspired me. But the fact is she really has inspired me! Katherine Johnson is an amazing woman and I am so glad I got to learn about her story.

Katherine Johnson was an African-American woman living in Virginia during a time when women, let alone black women, were not seen as anymore than wives and mothers. But with her bright mathematicians brain she managed to defy all the odds and got a job at NASA. She was repeatedly faced with racism and sexism but continued to pursue her passion and what she knew to be her calling. She proved her place by being instrumental in the success of the first and second U.S manned flights into space. Without her maths it never would have worked.

She turned 100 last summer and a few years ago was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her determination to fight for her place in a world that told her she had no business to be there is such an inspiration to me. She was an amazing woman with unbelievable mathematical skills who din't let anybody tell her who she could be and what she could do.

There you have it. 10 amazing women to inspire you today. Let me know your inspirational women down in the comments!
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