Featured Self Care

Cuffing Season Is Coming: 5 Pro Tips To Prepare Your Love Life

Summer’s over and cuffing season is finally here

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are falling, the weather is changing, and the Pumpkin Spice Lattes are emerging. All of that can only mean one thing, cuffing season is here. Yes, friends, with the changing of the weather comes the changing of the romantic season, as we shift from summer fun in the sun to committed partnerships, almost overnight.

Cuffing season is the time of year usually starting around September when there is a sudden scramble among single people to find a partner. So, what causes this almost imperceptible shift in the romantic climate? It usually comes down to the fear of facing the impending winter months and various important holidays alone. And, let’s be real, bringing a partner home for the holidays not only guarantees you a seat at the adults’ table, but it also might just keep your Uncle Joe on his best behaviour. It may even temporarily stave off the when are you going to meet a nice (girl or guy) and settle down questions. Not to mention you have a couch potato partner for all those cold, lonely, and generally desolate winter nights between holidays.

We get it, it’s tempting. But, the catch to cuffing season is that many people are just interested in a partner, not necessarily the partner. And, being a placeholder simply to fill a seat at a table or the hole of someone’s loneliness can get old pretty quickly.  So, how can you stave off the siren song of this season? Check out these 5 Pro Tips below!

1. Figure Out What You Want

Cuffing Season
@ Getty Images

Being in a relationship during cuffing season isn’t a bad thing, but being in a relationship because of cuffing season, well that’s something else. So, before the musical chairs’ madness of the seasons begins, take a moment to think about what you genuinely want.

If you do want a partner, then think about what qualities would create long-term compatibility. You want to be with someone for a reason, not just a season. Making a list can help you get your thoughts organized and figure out the details that are actually important to you in a relationship. What qualities do you want your partner to possess? What do you need and want out of a relationship? And then think about why you even want to be in a relationship at this time in your life. If the answer revolves around anything about staving off loneliness or the seat at the adult’s table scenario, then maybe this isn’t the right time for partnership.

Timing in life can be everything, and there are times in our lives when partnership just isn’t a good option for us. So much of having a good relationship with others revolves around us having first and foremost a good relationship with ourselves. And maybe that is the relationship you will need to work on this cuffing season.

2. Don’t Settle

Cuffing Season
@ Getty Images

So, now that you’ve figured out what you genuinely want, stick to your guns! If the choice is between coupling up with someone you aren’t that interested in, or who doesn’t seem that interested in you, or being single. Stick with being single! While partnering up may seem like a solution to some of your winter month problems, generally cuffing relationships turn out to be far more trouble than they are worth.

Once the season ends one or both parties are in a relationship they quickly realize they never wanted to be in. Hurt feelings, harsh words, and hurtful behaviors generally ensure causing all sorts of chaos. So, go with your gut. If something inside you says that getting with this person feels an awful lot like settling, then go with that feeling. It is better to be single than to be the wrong person, trust us on that one.

3. Fill Your Calendar

@ iStock

Ready–Set–Book! Finding a few (or many) things to fill your calendar with is a great way to ward off loneliness during the fall and winter months. Even if you end up not attending all the events or parties you initially plan to, at least you will have the option. And, sometimes that is all it takes.

Sometimes the winter months can feel bleak, with shorter, darker days and more people spending their evenings in instead of out, the loneliness of singledom can feel amped up. But having a few things on your calendar gives you some things to look forward to.  It provides assurance that you will not waste away alone in your cave, which, let’s be honest, is sometimes how winter months can feel. Many cities and towns have all kinds of fall and winter events, lots of people plan parties and you can even offer to host a few of your own! And remember, you don’t have to do every single thing you come up with on your list, but even having the option can really help with the winter loneliness.

4. Feather Your Nest

Cosy home
Stock Image

Feathering your nest is all about making your home and life as comfy as possible before the cold winter months arrive. With shorter days sometimes our energy is just not the same. Think about it, the winter is generally a time of rest. The animals are hibernating, the plants are tucked away for the winter, and everything is resting. That means sometimes we just aren’t as motivated to go out on the town as we are during the active summer months. We tend to stay close to our cave, aka our homes. So why not make that home as comfortable and entertaining as possible? Fill your home with fun activities and crafts, stock up on books from your must-read list, and check out upcoming Netflix series. Then you can think about how to make your cave comfy, some fall candles and decor paired with some fuzzy blankets can make your home feel warm and inviting. Make your home a place you really want to be, and then it will feel more like a pleasure than a punishment to stay in.

Feathering your nest means not just filling your home with things that make you feel comfy and cozy, but that you fill your life with people that make you feel that way too. Then you know that if loneliness starts to call, you can put it on hold and call a friend instead. Reach out to your friend network or attend some festivities to make a new one! Make sure you have friends or family nearby to create an impromptu holiday movie fest with, to grab a coffee and a hike with, or to create a trivia or game night crew! Making sure your nest is feathered with fun, festivities, and friends is how you can and will make it through cuffing season single and thriving!

5. Make Alternative Plans

Cuffing seasonOne of the top reasons for Cuffing Season is the allure of not having to face family functions alone. Which, while understandable, begs the question, why? If family functions are that much of a downer for you, is attendance really mandatory? A lot of people in the Millennial and Gen Z generations are taking a good, long look at if facing the family fortress, is really in their best interest. Because here’s the thing, there is no law that says you have to go home for Christmas. There is no rule that says interaction with family over holidays is mandatory.

You get to choose how much or little time you spend with your family. So, if you find yourself going to drastic lengths to ease the pain of family functions, such as beginning an entire relationship you’re not that into, then now is the time to re-examine your plans.

Many people opt, instead of white-knuckling their way through a family holiday, to instead enjoy time with friends at events like Friendsgivings. You could also check out what events your neighbourhood, town or city has going on during the holidays. There could be day festivals and volunteer opportunities or, if you don’t see anything you like, why not create your own? Maybe you can be the answer that others are looking for! It’s a great way to get creative, meet new people and avoid the annual family feud. Maybe you could have a luau-themed Thanksgiving, or a Christmas Day BBQ, why stick to tradition? And doesn’t all of that sound like a lot more fun than an awkward holiday with your family with a partner you’re not that into by your side? It does! So, put on your planning hat and start making alternative plans!

Cuffing season can be tricky, but with these 5 Pro Tips, you can navigate this time with festivities and fun instead of cuffing and chaos! Give these tips a try and see how you not only can survive cuffing season, you can thrive in it!

Featured Self Care

Fall Trends That Double As Self Care

5 fall trends to make sure you always look and feel the bomb!

Let’s be real, fashion isn’t always the most comfortable; stiletto heels, botox, fake eyelashes. There are lots of things we do to look good that don’t always feel so good. But these 5 Fall Fashion Trends actually do both! So, check out these fashion trends that double as self-care, because they will have you looking AND feeling good all fall!

1. Pumpkin Bath Bomb

fall trends
© Lush

Who doesn’t love a good bath bomb? So, how about a festive fall-themed one to celebrate the season? Well, don’t worry, cosmetic companies are way ahead of us! For example, Lush cosmetics features a pumpkin-themed bath bomb, full of all the fizzy, fun, and fall-themed self-care we want in our lives.

But the bath bomb doesn’t just look good, it’s made to make us feel good. The pumpkin powder softens skin, the cinnamon leaf oil is warming, and the lime oil adds a hint of zest to your life and your skin! Plus, it’s totally affordable. Check out this fall trend that is taking over the charts, and our bathtubs.

Lush makes a great one as pictured, as does the Body Shop and several others. So, stock your bathroom with this fall-flavored self-care trend that will have you looking and feeling fresh all season.

2. Oversized Sweaters

fall trends
© Everlane

Finally a fall fashion trend we can get behind! Goodbye constraining summer wear, hello comfy fall wardrobe. These oversized sweaters are here to stay and we could not be more thrilled. Cozying up in some fall designer fashion that actually feels good, is something we definitely can get excited about. These oversized sweaters are great with leggings, jeans, and even skirts.

They are chunky, knit, and oh so comfy. Not only do they feel soft on the skin, but they are also soft on the psyche, as loose-fitting, knit clothing can actually mimic the effects of a blanket for us. It can help us feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed, and that is something we could all use a little more of right now.

So, check out these oversized sweaters of luxury in stores of all kinds. We found this cutie in Forever 21 but they are truly everywhere, from Free People to Pacsun. Find your color, find your fit, and find your style because you are probably going to be needing several of these.

3. Organic Fall Scented Candles

fall trends for 2022Fall is in the air and with these candles not only will it feel like it, but it will smell like it too! Fall-scented candles are always a trendy fall go-to, and when they are organically made, that’s even better.

Also, aromatherapy is amazing for decreasing stress and increasing joy. They have proven aromatherapy cures all kinds of ills, everything from a stinky apartment to migraines. So, what better way to ring in the fall festivities than with a fancy-smelling apartment? Self-care really is the gift that keeps on giving and this fall-scented candle trend is exactly the kind we need this season. P.F. Candle Co has an awesome variety, including the ‘Apple Picking’ candle shown above. Voluspa also has some dreamy varieties.

Just follow your nose! But wherever your scent takes you, just make sure to peruse the ingredients list to make sure there are no pesky pesticides, parabens, added fragrances, or sulfates. We want to keep our self-care squeaky clean and organic candles, are exactly that.

4. Fuzzy Boots

Sorel Caribou boots
© Sorel

Fuzzy boots are back! In our minds, they never fully left, but there was definitely a lull between The Hills days of Uggs and the boots making their comeback this fall. But, they are back and there are more fuzzy booted varieties than ever! Not only are they warm but they are very comfortable. We all know that women’s footwear isn’t always the most foot-friendly (stillettos, heeled boots and even tight-fitting ballet flats can be tough on the ol’ toes), but these fuzzy boots are made to please.

There are a wide variety of colors, styles, and brands but one thing they all have in common is that they are sure to be seen all over this fall and winter season. They are definitely one fall trend we are here for. Fuzzy and fashion? Yes, please.

Brand-wise, there are the classic Ugg’s, or the extra fuzzy Sorels as pictured above. Even Dr. Scholls and Birkenstock’s are getting in on the action if you’re looking for comfort that goes above and beyond.

5. Pumpkin Spice Lip Care

fall trends
© Thrive Causemetics

Pumpkin spice lattes are a fall staple, but pumpkin spice lip care? Now we’ve seen it all! Pumpkin spice lip care is making its debut and we are ready to wear it, loud and proud. Not only will it give you the perfect pucker for fall, it actually improves the health of your lips. Pumpkin is a major player in the self-care game because it is chock full of vitamins and this spicy little treat includes warm vanilla and cinnamon. The balm helps heal lips while highlighting their best qualities.

Because one thing we can guarantee that will not be on any fall trends list this year is chapped lips. It’s not a good look, babe. But plump, pumpkin spice lips? Now that’s more like it! Plus Thrive Causemetics as pictured above, is completely cruelty-free and vegan and they make sure their products have no parabens and no problems.

Fall trends that double as self-care? Tell us we are dreaming! But no, as we’ve seen even though those products may make you look and feel dreamy, they are oh so real. Check them out today and make your next fall fashion trend, self-care, because it truly never goes out of style.

Featured Self Care

Decompression Zones: What Music Festivals Really Need

A targeted approach to decompression zones may help attendees with post-festival recovery

Mud, grime, rain, and slime may be pretty consistent with every festival-goer’s experience. And the physical or spatial anxieties of attending a weekend-long music festival in the countryside are by no means trifling. The sleeplessness, the noise, hygiene (or lack of it), and the sensory overload, none of it is easy. Any seasoned festival-goer will tell you they’ve had moments when they’ve questioned their commitment to an erratic festival itinerary or to $30 fries. And, it’s worth noting how physical discomfort or inconvenience bleeds into the overall experience of attending a music festival. So, when it comes to dedicated decompression zones or chill-out spots that are designed to help attendees de-compress or relax, certain parameters are of utmost significance.

Mental health first aiders are usually trained to look for signs of stress, anxiety and panic attacks, and provide immediate psychological care. However, music festivals can also make an effort to help alleviate the physical constraints of a frantic weekend. But, do all music festivals need spaces for attendees looking to wean themselves away from the visual or auditory overload? In a way, yes. 

decompression zones at festivals
© Instagram – Creamfields South

It boils down to what makes a festival experience ‘worth it.’ Is it the music, the camaraderie, the lack of routine and the sense of being a part of something relevant for a weekend? Or, is it something more elementary, like being away from home for a weekend and not having to think about rent or inflation for 48 hours? While the answer may vary on who you ask, assistance with mental flare-ups is a necessity for all. This calls for physical spaces and set-ups that can act not just as a retreat but also as a sort of therapy – one that also helps in the transition to post-festival recovery.

The priorities

Attention to substance usage and a realistic approach to the psychedelic experience is a must-have for the post-pandemic festival circuit. One organization working to tackle this issue is The Loop, a UK-based non-profit NGO promoting harm reduction and wellbeing through drug checking, especially at festival sites. One of their main priorities is to educate festival-goers about the importance of the set and setting.

“When someone decides to take psychoactive drugs, they are taking something which has the potential to change their perceptions, feelings and thought patterns. How this shift in conscious experience unfolds is still influenced by other factors,” their website points out.

decompression zones at festivals
© Instagram – Shambhala Music Festival

“If you’re too cold – or too hot – when taking drugs you’re more likely to have a bad time. The weather can also increase your risk of coming to serious harm. Hot weather increases the chance of you getting too hot on MDMA and suffering hyperthermia, which can be fatal. If it’s very cold you can pass out on drugs like alcohol and GHB and suffer hypothermia,” it adds. 

PsyCare is another such organization run by harm reduction specialists that works towards protecting the mental and physical health of festival attendees (they’ve worked with festivals like Sofft Nights and Another Love Story). But, besides crisis management and psychedelic first aid, health services at music festivals can also provide decompression zones equipped to help attendees with post-festival recovery.

Down to brass tacks

For attendees in their 30s or 40s, a music festival is a gruelling affair. According to American Addiction Centers, fifty-seven% of people attending live music events admitted to using alcohol or drugs, with more than 93% consuming alcohol. It’s important for all attendees (especially older ones) to stay hydrated, flush out toxins and also work towards reducing inflammation and soreness. Returning to work after a three-day stint of sleeping in cramped positions and relying on beer and chilli cheese fries for sustenance is truly hard, and no number of Instagram reels can make you feel better. Unless of course, your post-festival recovery begins from the site itself.

Grounding, DIY activities, decompression zones, and attention to some basic endurance-building workouts can truly help festival-goers maintain their stamina and also recuperate quicker post an unpredictable weekend. Immersive indoor experiences are a great way to help attendees cope with the rigours of a strenuous weekend. 

©Instagram - Magnetic Fields Festival
©Instagram – Magnetic Fields Festival

Massages and some basic sleep care units are also great ideas and can help attendees cope with a demanding festival itinerary. The idea is to help attendees get back to their lives as painlessly and quickly as possible. Educating attendees on natural supplements and helping them balance their serotonin levels after the festival can go a long way in post-festival care. 

Certain foods can also help festival-goers replace the serotonin levels in their brains, which can help regulate their mental health the morning after the festival (pairing high-tryptophan foods like turkey, chicken, milk and tuna with high-carbohydrate foods can spike your insulin levels and move a greater amount of the tryptophan to the brain, producing more serotonin). 

At their core, festivals need to graduate to a more intelligent design – a more resourceful, informed, and helpful model that can offer leisure and care to a broader demographic without them having to resort to luxury experiences or premium services.  

Featured Self Care

5 Dating Apps You Need to Try: Say Goodbye to Tinder!

Swiping left is so last season. If you’re tired of the hookup culture of Tinder-type dating apps, then you are not alone!

More and more contemporary daters are looking for ways to connect more deeply with potential partners and for something more than the often solely looks-based ‘swipe left or right’ culture. If that’s you, then no worries because we get it. We get it so much in fact that we have compiled a list of five hot dating apps that you have to try. The apps boast higher chances of success and lower chances of being grossed out. So, have a look and see which app might be right for you and your love life!

1. Hinge

Image Via Hinge

Hinge is a dating app with a premise as simple as its logo. It’s the dating app ‘meant to be deleted.’ The whole point of a dating app is to find love and get the heck off the thing. So, why waste time? Hinge is here to help you get down to business, get your partner, and get out.

Hinge boasts a whopping 1.2 million users nationwide so they must be doing something right. The app features profiles with questions, photos, and even voice prompts so you can hear the voice of your soon-to-be beloved.

Best of all, it’s free! It costs nothing to join or use. There is a premium option that does require payment, but it also unlocks the filter feature, so you can set it to filter out anyone that is not your ideal religion, political view, or even height! It’s pretty advanced. It also boasts that 72% of its first dates lead to a second date, implying its ability to match up compatibles, is pretty high. So, ditch the guesswork, and get the phenomenal filtering power of Hinge.

2.  Match.Com Dating apps
Image via boasts over a million babies born thanks to their services. That’s a lot of babies! They also claim to have ‘led to more dates, relationships, and marriages’ overall than their competitors. It’s all right there in their promo video, along with lots of reasons their users joined and what they were specifically looking for.

Match is considered to be one of the more ‘serious’ dating sites, as in if you want to get serious with someone, this is the app for you. It is definitely not the hookup culture of some of the others, this app is meant for those who are ready to get committed. So if that’s you, then this app might be your perfect match.

P.S. There is a free version but to access all of its benefits many users opt for the advanced paid option.

3. E-Harmony

eHarmony Dating apps
Image Via eHarmony

“Every 14 minutes someone finds love on E-Harmony.” That’s a whole lot of love! E-Harmony is another dating app that is pretty on par with Match as far as success rate. It could have something to do with the intentions of its users. Similarly to Match, E-Harmony app users are generally looking for long-term commitment and relationships. No one-night swipes here!

In fact, in 2018 E-Harmony won the ‘Highest Quality Dating Pool’ survey. The app provides extensive profiles with photos and in-depth questions to determine long-term compatibility. Questions like religion, political views, kids/no kids, height, weight, and even astrological signs. The basic version is free but to get more bang for your buck, it’s recommended to get the advance paid version as it gives more access to benefits.

4. Bumble

Image via Bumble

Bumble is the ladies’ choice of dating app. While either party can express their initial interest, once matched it is up to the ladies to speak first or forever hold their peace. If not, the match simply disappears within 24 hours. It’s like speed dating via an app. The goal is to keep long, lagging, pen pal-type situations from occurring. It also ensures that women are not inappropriately pursued by anyone they are not interested in. It’s an extra layer of safety embedded right into the app’s mainframe. Isn’t technology great?

Aside from that, the app boasts extensive profiles with spaces for multiple pictures. Bumble also consistently ranks in the top five lists for success rates and user satisfaction. So, if you’re tired of your dating app experience feeling more like an ambush than a choice, then take back control and give Bumble a try.

5.  Elite Singles


elite singles dating apps
Image Via Elite Singles

Elite Singles, as the name implies, is exactly that, for elite singles! This app aims to curate the most ‘elite’ dating user pool it can. It boasts that 85% of its users are university graduates and their success rate is equally as impressive. They also provide daily profile checks to ensure their users are real and really safe. Their tagline is also “serious online dating for single professionals.” No mincing words there, this app is for the serious dater, who is looking to get serious with their special someone.

Elite Singles also has a premium feature that allows for advanced filtering, so if you are looking for a partner in a certain age range or religion, it can help you find them without having to comb through hundreds of incompatible profiles. It also includes personality testing to help create matches based on long-term compatibility. If you’re looking to get serious, then this app could seriously be for you.

With hundreds of dating apps, millions of users, and endless profiles, it can get overwhelming, not to mention frustrating. When you are looking to get serious and everyone you meet is just playing games, it can make dating a real chore. Thankfully, these five dating apps will help you say goodbye to Tinder and the wild world of swiping for good. Instead, get ready to say hello to a fun dating life and just maybe, your special someone!

Featured Self Care

Reality TV Dating Shows Currently Casting

Are you tired of looking for love in all the wrong places? Well, why not find love on one of these reality TV dating shows?

Sometimes making big changes means taking big steps outside of our comfort zone, and finding love on reality tv dating shows–is pretty far out of most people’s comfort radius. So, what about you? Are you willing to put it all on the line for love? If so, we just happen to have a list of the hot dating and marriage shows, looking for someone just like you! And who knows, maybe your special someone is looking too.

The Bachelor/Bachelorette

Reality Tv Dating Shows
© Bachelor Nation

Bachelor Nation (the official producer’s website) for The Bachelor and Bachelorette has made their announcement, if you are single and looking, they are looking for you! Both shows are currently casting for their new seasons and if you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply now.

Eligibility requirements include age, availability for love, filming, and a few other finer print items. You can also nominate someone, so even if you are coupled up but you have a friend or family member who isn’t, here is their shot. Don’t miss out on your (or their) chance at love! Check out their requirements here and if you check all the boxes, apply here. 

Married at First Sight

Reality Tv Dating Shows
© Married at First Sight

Talk about a leap of faith. These hopeful singles not only meet their partner sight unseen, but they marry them too! No half-hearted commitments here, this modern-day matchmaking special pairs up its participants sight unseen and then weds them on the first day they meet.

So, if you’re tired of endless dating apps and lacklustre first dates, why not jump in, both feet first with Married at First Sight? There is a small catch however, you have to live in the city they are casting in. They are currently casting in Denver, but if you don’t live there, don’t worry, they are probably coming to a city near you soon. Married at First Sight, Love Is Blind and The Ultimatum are all under Kinetic Content which does their casting, so if you follow them on Instagram, you will be tuned in to all the casting action. They also have a few additional eligibility requirements of their own so make sure you peruse them before applying.

Also, keep in mind this is a legal marriage, with no loopholes, so if things don’t work out you will have to get a legal divorce. However, the show comes fully equipped with experts to match you and provide ongoing support every step of the way. What are you waiting for? Apply now! 

Love Is Blind

Reality Tv Dating shows
© Love is Blind

Are you tired of the shallow connections and the looks-obsessed superficial culture of the contemporary dating scene? Then do we have a show for you! Love Is Blind is a unique social experiment with one simple mission, to find out if love is really blind. The contestants date in pods that allow them to talk but with a wall separating them, they can’t see a thing. Then a few lucky couples find their special person and propose. The couples who do, get to be swept off to an undisclosed vacation location to find out if their emotional love can translate into the physical. When they return from vacation,  they get to move in together to a neutral location and see if they can take their love to the next level and combine their lives. If it all goes according to plan, they walk away from the show with a spouse and a very cool ‘how we met’ story.  So are you ready to see if love really is blind? Check out the cities they are heading to and apply!

Seniors Looking For Love

Reality Tv Dating Shows
© Casting Crane

Love isn’t just for the young, it’s for the young at heart! From the producers of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette comes a dating show just for the more experienced. According to Bachelor Nation, the official site of the producers, the company is now casting for their Seniors in Love show. The show has a few eligibility requirements so make sure to check over the fine print before applying, but if you are ready for the second half of your life and love to begin now, then apply here!

P.S. The same rules apply as with The Bachelor, if you don’t qualify but know someone who does you can nominate them. So, if your parent, aunt, uncle, spouse’s parent, or next-door neighbor, could use a special someone in their lives, now you know exactly where to go.

Mystery Vacation Match

Reality Tv Dating Shows
© Casting Crane

Those reality shows people are always thinking! Apparently, Kinetic Content, the producers that brought us Love Is Blind and Married at First Sight is now casting for a brand new dating show. The mysterious Instagram post promises us love in an exotic location and we are willing to bet just a little bit of drama. The post calls for all the ‘adventurous’ single men out there to raise their hands and use them to apply. So, if the cramped city life and dating scene are wearing you down, then now is your chance to get away. Follow the link to apply!

Now you know all the hot new dating shows looking for equally hot new cast members and guess what, one of them could be you.  What are you waiting for? Check out all the eligibility requirements and get to applying. True love awaits!

Fashion + Beauty Self Care

Black British Businesses You Can Support Today

As part of Black History Month, we’ve compiled a list of five Black British businesses you can support today

This Black History Month, there’s a lot you can do to support the Black community. But, one of the simplest and most effective ways is to support Black business owners. So, if you’d like to support some of the best small Black businesses in the country, take a look at some of our favourites.

Black British Bussinesses you can support this Black History Month
© The University of Hull

Dorcas Creates

Dorcas Creates is a UK-based illustration brand that designs uplifting and bold products celebrating Black women, including greeting cards, prints, and jewellery. Their pieces capture Black girl joy and Black womanhood. 

The artist behind the brand is Dorcas Magbadelo, a self-taught artist taking elements from her Nigerian heritage to create vibrant designs.

Visit their website here.

© Dorcas Creates

Kazvare Made It

Kazvare Made It is a creative illustration lab that creates homeware, accessories and stationery. Kazvare has worked with brands like Adidas, Tate Modern, and O2 on large-scale events. They also sell pop culture-influenced prints, homewares, and books online.

Visit their website here.

Black British Bussinesses you can support this Black History Month
© Kazvare Made It

Naked Clay Ceramics

Naked Clay Ceramics is inspired by the natural colours and textures of the earth, a collection of quiet, tactile, minimal-style tableware and homeware in black stoneware and white porcelain.

Carla Sealey makes everything in Naked Clay Ceramics at her studio in Bedfordshire. Her range includes stoneware mugs, plates, wildflower vases, and neutral hues that combine hand-building and slip-casting clay.

Sealey’s pieces don’t conform to the symmetrical perfection found in factory-made items, making each of these individual and unique.

The pieces are fired with no glaze on the outside so that the clay can feel appreciated and natural, to provide their owners with a tactile connection and the opportunity to pause, breathe and savor a small moment in life.

She hand makes a limited number of items 3 to 4 times a year available online and at events, with each small batch crafted with care.

Visit their website here.

Black British Bussinesses you can support this Black History Month
© Naked Clay Ceramics

Our Lovely Goods

Our Lovely Goods is an Aberdeen-based, family-run business that sells natural, hand-crafted wax and soy candles, ethical skincare, botanical body butter and hand balms. 

Our Lovely Goods was founded by End and Emmanuel. Their business celebrates their Nigerian heritage and the feeling of home. 

The company also hosts workshops, which involve creating their own candles, facial mists, body scrubs, events, and private parties. They even have their own book right now.

Visit their website here.

Our Lovely Goods
© Our Lovely Goods

Tribal Unicorn

Tribal Unicorn is a home for all candle lovers, especially vegan, ethically-source luxury fragrances.

Tribal Unicorn started as a hobby for Angelica “GeGe” Louise, who then turned it into a full-time business in East London. They use the highest quality fragrance oils, essential oils, and wax. Plus, tier candles have vibrantly playful designs. 

They also have free UK shipping for orders over £60

Visit their website here.

Tribal Unicorn
© Tribal Unicorn
Featured Self Care

Mel B Delivers a Powerful Speech on Domestic Abuse at the Tory Party Conference

Mel B gave a powerful speech as a patron and representative for the charity, Women Aid

For decades, Mel B has been the cornerstone of the Brit-pop supergroup, the Spice Girls. For those who don’t know, each Spice Girl had its own character and façade. For Mel B, she was known as Scary Spice: a tough, outspoken individual who appears to be confident and dominant. It came as quite a shock, then, to discover that Melanie Brown has been a victim of domestic violence during her 10-year marriage to Stephen Belafonte. Now, Mel B is a passionate campaigner for victims of domestic abuse and violence and is proving that anyone can fall victim to abuse, regardless of public perception.

Mel B
Mel B and the Speak Out campaign (The Sun)

“I’m probably the last person you would expect to find at a Tory Party conference,” says Mel B, breaking the ice. “I am not here because I am Mel B, Scary Spice from the Spice Girls,” she said to the conference. “I am here because I am Melanie Brown MBE.” Mel B was speaking as a representative of the charity, Women’s aid, in an event organised by the Sun Newspaper. The singer and now reality show judge became a patron of the charity in 2018 and since has been fronting some major campaigns.

Mel B publicly shared her experiences after the release of her 2018 memoir, Brutally Honest. The book was a powerful reminder that anyone is susceptible to abuse, as it documented the horrific long-term physical, sexual, verbal, and financial abuse from her ex-husband, film producer, Stephen Belafonte. Despite Mel B’s daughters corroborating the stories, Stephen still denies claims.

“We need to reform everything, the courts, the police, even GPs, even people in your work environment, HR, you need to have a safe place where you can go without any shame and know the warning signs,” said Mel B. The UK’s leading domestic violence charities are particularly concerned with the rise of domestic violence cases and the decline in funding. Now, in the midst of a harsh cost of living crisis, cases are expected to have a sharp incline. Studies show that household income has a considerable impact on the prevalence of abuse. Therefore, the cost of living crisis is a ticking time bomb.

Covid-19 also played a large part in the rise in abuse across the country. The charity, MSI Repoductibe Choices saw a 33% rise in domestic violence reports during lockdown. And, as the government’s advice was to stay indoors, victims often had nowhere to turn to when they were in dire need of support and refuge. However, it’s important to note that the cost of living crisis and COVID-19 are not the root causes of domestic abuse and violence. “We are not ready yet as a society to support women and that is the fundamental question,” says Farah Nazeer, the chief executive of Women’s Aid. “This is due to sexism and misogyny that underpins all those systems. They are not created to recognise the harm that women face on a daily basis,” she continued.

“As a Spice Girl I am the embodiment of girl power and for 10 years I was completely powerless,” said a passionate Mel B. “In these times of absolute economic chaos, with the massive issue of domestic abuse, I don’t want it to slip down the agenda.”

Featured Self Care

Libra Season: Create Balance In Your Relationship

Libra season is upon us friends, and with it, the call to get our lives and loves back in balance!

Libra is the sign of the scales and it is all about the balancing act of life. This season is urging us to ask ourselves, where in our love lives are things a little out of whack? If you are feeling like there are places in your current (or even past relationships) where things are not exactly equal, or not quite adding up, then it’s a great time to even those scales and get things back in balance. Here is a simple 3 Step Plan to take advantage of Libra season and do exactly that!

1. Take Inventory

libra season

So often in our relationships, we fall into roles and patterns. We are the caretaker, the breadwinner, the homemaker, the emotional supporter, etc. But sometimes, these roles and titles aren’t always the healthiest for us or the relationship. Relationships are a team effort and to make them successful both people within them have to carry their own share.

Now to be fair, of course, there will be times along the way when one partner will need a little more support than the other. Someone loses a job, someone gets sick, some major life occurrence happens, and one partner might need to help the other one out a little more. That’s understandable. That’s life. But, when the relationship was set up that way, or the period of assistance goes on longer than is healthy or becomes a habit,  then it’s time to make some changes. And there’s no time like the present!

So, take some time with yourself and your partner to figure out how the relationship is divvied up. Is one person always responsible for the money, the household chores, or emotional support? And, take a look back at past relationships while you’re at it, are you able to see any patterns? For example, do you feel like you are always the one carrying the financial burden? Or are you always the shoulder to cry on? Now is the time to take a good long, look at those patterns and how you feel around them, in both current and past relationships. If something feels out of balance, then it’s time to move on to step number 2!

2. Talk It Out

Libra Season

On an additional note, Venus, the planet of love is also currently in Libra, which is very supportive of harmony and balance in relationships. So it’s a great season to work out any differences that may be springing up. After you and your partner have taken inventory, talk it out! Does someone need to pick up a few more chores around the house? Is someone needing to take on a little more of the financial load?

Or maybe it’s a problem of a bigger scale, like one person always feels like the emotional supporter, but doesn’t feel they get the same in return. Now is the time to diplomatically, kindly but very honestly talk to your partner about your needs in the relationship. If you hate doing the dishes and it ruins your whole night, be honest about that. Maybe your partner will be open to a swap or investing in a dishwasher. You never know what solutions you can find until you ask! It could actually be a relatively simple fix.

And, if it’s not, that’s ok too. Sometimes relationships take us rolling up our sleeves and doing some hard work, and that can look like therapy, couples or individual, picking up some extra hours at work, or learning how to say no to outside commitments that take away from the relationship. All of these solutions may feel overwhelming at first but for the health of you and your relationship, they will be totally worth it!

3. Take Action

Libra Season

So now that you know your plan, it’s time to take action. Figure out the best ways to take that first step, then do it! We mean, a plan without action is pretty meaningless, don’t ya think? So how can you start today and put that plan into motion? Is it making a therapist appointment, pricing dishwashers, pulling out the want-ads(or LinkedIn these days) or even just telling your partner how much you appreciate them? Use all of those Virgo tools and tricks we learned from last season and put that plan into action. Make a list, make a call, whatever it is, take that first step, today. You (and your partner) will be so glad you did!

Going through these steps successfully not only helps get things into balance, but it can also create trust. When you collaborate and work out a problem as a couple it builds communication and conflict resolution skills and helps create a strong and yes balanced, foundation for the relationship. It also creates a sense that no matter what problems come your way as a couple, you will be able to work through them. So take the calm, balancing energy of Libra season, and use it (and these three steps) to your advantage!


Featured Self Care

Mercury Rx Survival Guide: Safe Guard Your Love Life

7 Ways to Survive During Mercury Rx

Batten down the hatches, call in reinforcements, and for heaven’s sake block your ex’s number! It’s time for another episode of “as the world turns,” Mercury Rx edition.

Mercury retrograde, or Mercury Rx as it is affectionately known, is a time when Mercury, the trickster planet of communication, peaks its head back into hiding. Miscommunications abound, electronic chaos ensues and any unfinished business, comes back around, including any pesky exes we have loose ends with. While Mercury retrograde might not rank at the top of our astrological wish list, it can be navigated, and even used to our advantage!

So, check out these tips for Mercury Rx survival and the 7 ways you can make sure your love life doesn’t feel the effects of Mercury’s descent into retrograde, and the astrological descent into anarchy. We are going to show you how to survive this Mercury Rx–with style.

1. Tie Up Loose Ends

Tie up Lose Ends during Mercury Rx

If you can’t beat ’em–join ’em! If Mercury Rx is here to tie up your loose ends for you anyway, why not beat it to the punch? The fewer loose ends you have, the less havoc Mercury Rx can wreak in your life! So, it’s time to take inventory.

What things in your love life are still left undone? Have you been putting off ending things with an ex once and for all?  Have you been secretly following their new girlfriend on Instagram for months? It’s time to cut the ties and start a new path.

Anything that may still be lingering in your love life will be brought to the forefront at this time and could turn out to bite you in the booty if it’s not dealt with. An ex showing up on one of your dates or your ex’s new girlfriend catching you snooping, for example. None of which is a good look. So, if you have been putting something off, avoiding it, or denying its existence at all, well now is the time to get real, get serious, and get it done!

 2. Avoid Conflict Whenever Possible

meditation during mercury rx

While you absolutely want to tie up loose ends in your love life, especially around the past,  it’s also important to use your discernment for the present to decide which issues need immediate addressing and which can wait. Mercury Rx is not the time to hash out big marital issues, long-fought battles, or make big decisions on breakups or divorces. Mercury Rx can be quite the trickster, twisting your words, causing miscommunications, and keeping the fight going long after it should have ended. Think of it like trying to communicate through Jello. Your message will get garbled, your true intentions blurred and what you genuinely want to say, could get seriously misconstrued. It’s just not a good time for big, heavy discussions.  So ask yourself, can this wait?

3. Choose Your Words Wisely


This Mercury Rx happens to fall smack in the middle of Virgo season. While Virgo-style communication can come across as cold and unfeeling, one thing it certainly is is precise. Precision in language can be a real asset, especially in communication with our partners when emotions are running high, and listening skills are running low. Using the precision of Virgo season in your communication could be a real lifesaver.

Although unemotional communication doesn’t sit well with every sign, one thing it does do is leave little to no room for misinterpretation. Just in time too because Mercury Rx is a time when miscommunication abounds, as we discovered in the last survival tip.

 4. Avoid Contracts

communication during mercury rx

To sign or not to sign? That is the question. But, during Mercury Rx, the answer is almost always ‘do not sign.’ Mercury Rx not only messes with verbal communication but it can also twist written communication, so contracts are a no-no.

That could mean anything from signing a contract on a new house, to opening a bank account together, to even a marriage license! Anything that requires a signature is better to wait on, if possible. Of course, we live in a world full of deadlines and timeframes so somethings these things can’t be avoided, but if they can, opt for that. If they can’t then make sure to read the fine print!

  5. Think Twice Before You Text

texting during mercury rx

Think of Mercury Retrograde as an annoyed partner looking to pick a fight, it is committed to misunderstanding you. So, what do you usually do in a situation where the more you say the less you are understood? You say less! That is a good general rule for retrograde, less is more.

Text messages are a realm where misunderstandings abound to begin with. When we can’t hear someone’s tone or intonation it can be easy to misconstrue the intent. We can start filling in the gaps ourselves and often we tend to assume the worst. We mistake a stray period for a sign of aggression, suddenly the usually innocent laughing emoji takes on a mocking undertone. These are the ways Mercury Rx can really mess with our minds and our relationships.

  6. Double Check Your Plans

planning during mercury rx

Did she say to meet at Starbucks on the 5th at 7:00 or the Starbucks on the 7th at 5:00? Double check!

Miscommunications abound during this testy time, so make sure you double, triple, and quadruple-check your plans. Leave early and allow plenty of time to get to your destination and make sure you’ve got the time, date, and location all on lock. Otherwise, you could find yourself driving to the wrong Starbucks, at the wrong time and causing all kinds of couples chaos as your partner waits impatiently at the location they thought they had made so clear. Trust us, it’s far easier to just double-check than to spend half your day driving around the city only to finally meet up with a perturbed partner.

   7. Find the Humor

Couple laughing together

Sometimes it’s so bad it’s good, sometimes it’s so wrong it’s right, and sometimes it’s so sad it’s just funny. So, find the calm in the chaos and find the humor in the hilarious hijinks that Mercury Rx can sometimes bring us. When you have to repeat yourself for the third time, laugh away, when you and your partner end up at two separate locations, give it a giggle, when your computer crashes losing half your newly written article (true story), then just chuckle and start again. Maybe it was better the second time anyway, that’s the thing about the retrograde.

Stay safe out there friends, Mercury Rx can be a real doozy. But with these 7 tips you are more than prepared to not just survive this retrograde but actually come out thriving on the other side. So walk through this retrograde with your head and heels high and remember you’ve got this. (Even if it doesn’t feel like it.)

Featured Self Care

What is Yin and Yang and Can it Help in Your Life?

How the ancient Yin and Yang symbol could have a powerful impact on your mental health

Climate disasters, pandemics and wars are becoming more common features of modern-day society. As the world is becoming more noticeably unstable, so is our mental health. Now, more than ever, we are looking toward ancient philosophies for the tools to live a balanced and meaningful life.

Yin and Yang tattoo
A classic Yin and Yang tattoo (insider)

As far as ancient symbols are concerned, none is more prevalent in western contemporary culture that the yin and yang. In the ’90s the symbol found its way into the fashion industry and it was even one of the decade’s most popular tattoos. But, more recently, the symbol has lost its cool and its time that it is reclaimed for its meaning, rather than its design and image.

What is Yin and Yang?

The essence of Yin and Yang is hard to grasp at first, but once it clicks, everything makes sense. The principle of the philosophy is that “everything contains the seed of the opposite.” Meaning that everything in life is connected and inseparable. Whether it’s dark-light, male-female, hard-soft or old-young, the pairs of equal opposites attract, compliment and are relative to one another.

According to Britannica, Yin is the symbol of earth, femaleness, darkness, passivity and absorption. Yang on the other hand consists of heaven, maleness, light, activity and penetration. Both elements are represented by the black and white of the Yin and Yang symbol and both are complete as a circle. In the black, you will see a white seed and in the white, a black – which demonstrates how both are dependent on one another. 

In your day-to-day life, you can see Yin and Yang everywhere. John Bellaimey’s Ted Talk explains the philosophy well, by using the analogy of Star Wars. Darth Vader has the potential for goodness, and Luke has the capability to follow his father to the dark side. But, Yin and Yang can also be applied to less obvious areas in everyday life: in the ocean the crest of the wave is yang, and the trough is yin; a car’s brake is Yin, and the gas pedal is Yang; an egg shell is Yang, and the egg is Yin.

Origins in Taoism 

Yin and Yang origins in Taosim
Taosim (Asian Inspirations)

Yin and Yang dates back to the third century BCE in China and has a strong influence on every area of Chinese society: from medicine to culture in general. The symbol belongs to the spiritual teachings of Taoism. Taoism believes that there is the ultimate power in the universe that’s called the Tao (the way). Taoists believe that living in harmony with ‘the way’ is the truest way to live. If you attempt to go against the natural forces in everyday life, then you will run into trouble and cause suffering: as swimming against the stream is always more difficult than swimming with it. 

How can the Tao help me?

Yin and Yang has roots in Taoism
Geographic origins of Taoism (Wikimedia)

If you incorporate the tao (the way) into your everyday life, then you may ease suffering. Most of the suffering of the world comes from the thought, and not the thing itself. How many times have you cancelled a meeting with a friend, and lay awake at night thinking about their reaction? ‘Maybe they won’t want to meet with me again,’ ‘maybe they were looking forward to it,’ ‘maybe they were going through a tough time and they needed my support.” Well, nine times out of ten, the friend will message you back the next day saying that it really doesn’t matter and that they were tired anyway. But even if they were upset with you, your worrying thoughts at night will not change the facts. Your friend will feel what they feel anyway, so there’s no point in causing yourself to suffer. Basically, each day has a natural flow, the more you follow it, the easier it will be. 

Most importantly, the symbol of Yin and Yang represents balance. It’s a reminder that happiness needs sadness and sadness needs happiness. Think about it, how many times have you had a weekend of partying with your friends, and when it’s over, you feel intense sadness, emptiness, and loneliness? This is your indication that you have had a wonderful time, as you can’t have one without the other. So, next time you are sitting at your office desk, hungover and sad, just remember, that this is natural, accept it, and move on.