Self care, skin care,
& nurturing Mother Nature.

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Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

Looking Back on 2018

2018 - what a year it's been huh? I feel like I can speak for most of us and say that it's been one hell of year; one which has been pretty negative and that just seems to be a general consensus. I don't know why that seems to be the case, but it seems this year has been hard for many of us - myself included - for a number of reasons and most of seem happy to say goodbye to it ASAP so we can move onto new ventures and hopefully more positive things. In terms of NB, blogging has been a huge positive for me this year as I've not put pressure on myself to post regularly, to post things I don't want to etc. and that has definitely helped in the overall quality of my posts and how pleased I am of the content I've put together. My photography has improved over the past 12 months, my writing is something I take more time with to ensure it's as true to me as possible and comes across as passionate and thoughtful, and my interests are shared more openly across this safe space because if blogging isn't for your own benefit, then is it really worth it?

As this awful year draws to a close, I thought I'd compile some of my favourite posts I've written during 2018 to prove to myself that not every aspect of the year has been negative or bad and that actually? Northern Blood can be a gem sometimes and I'm very proud of the work I produce with this wee hobby of mine:

Me & My Other Interests: Serial Killers I'd have a Cuppa With
Back in 2016, I started a series discussing all of my different interests that I may have not spoken about on the blog before but for some reason, this year I didn't really write many of this kind of post - except these ones about serial killers. I've always had a strong interest in serial killers and true crime but I've always felt like it didn't "fit in" with my blog content. It took until 2018 for me to realise that that's ridiculous and I can post about whatever I want on this wee blog and so, I did. After writing the first post I quickly realised that I could write essay after essay about various different serial killers I've shown an interest in researching and knowing more about over the years so Part Two and Part Three were born out of this "hobby". I had *so* much fun collecting information for these posts and writing them (and loved the fact that you guys enjoyed reading them so much too!).

Sustainable Sundays: Making an Eco-Friendly Home
2018 saw a continuation of the sustainability posts here on NB. Becoming more eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable etc. has been a huge passion of mine and I've definitely been learning and growing more and more in these realms over the last few months and documented this along the way. One post in particular that I enjoyed writing (and photographing) was some tips on how to have a more eco-friendly home that might not be initially obvious to anyone making a more conscious effort/switch to be more sustainable. Finding ways to make it easy for myself and others to make better decisions which have a better, more positive impact on our planet will always be something I enjoy publishing on this blog.

Astrology for Beginners - a Little Guide
One hobby/interest of mine that I talk about a lot over on my Instagram stories is astrology and horoscopes/birth charts but for some reason, I had never really discussed here on NB. So I threw together this introductory post into the world of astrology and what it all means, how it can be used, and why I have such an intense fascination with it all. I am 100% *that guy* who asks new people I meet what their sign is and boy oh boy, does it get some reactions. But, I absolutely adore exploring people's personalities and traits based on their signs and simply wanted to share the love in a fool-proof way. I also really loved the photos from this crisp and clear post!

Go Outside
Another big passion of mine is nature. I adore being in the great outdoors whether it takes the form of the woods, the seashore, the mountains - I love it all and honestly believe it is a form of medication, spirituality, and more. Nature is incredibly important to me and often, like so many of us, I can take it for granted or simply overlook how wonderful it is. Discussing how beautiful nature is and all of what it has to offer for us all was a nice breath of fresh air on my blog and I look forward to bringing more nature into my blog in 2019.

Sustainable Sundays: Stop Suppressing Sustainablity
Another Sustainable Sundays post I have to mention in this round-up is a bit of a rant I had. Sustainability definitely had it's moment in the spotlight in 2018 and I hope it continues well into future years, but it's not necessarily an easy decision and lifestyle for people to fully delve into as it can be expensive, reliant on external factors, and expectant of good health/dedication amongst many other things. Having an outlet to talk about the stigmas of sustainability and the struggles it can produce was healthy for me because I feel that it's very easy to promote such a clean and kind lifestyle but as someone who actively encourages such a lifestyle, I see myself as being extremely responsible to also be completely transparent so sharing the negatives of sustainability is also important, y'know?

Real Talk: It's just Nipples
Although I didn't post many Real Talk posts this year, I did post on topics I had a lot of feelings on and therefore I'm quite proud of. One of those topics was the oppression we are still facing with "Free the Nipple". I, as much as the next person, don't see the issue with nipples, regardless of the gender attached to them and find that the rules and regulations of the autonomy of our bodies - in both real life and virtually online - is sad to still see in 2018. I can only hope it carries on changing in 2019 and we see more and more freedom, but having a good ol' rant about those changes I would like to see happening was very therapeutic.

How to be a Fashion Revolutionary & Ask #whomademyclothes
Back in April, it was Fashion Revolution Week and people were asking #whomademyclothes. I think FRW is extremely necessary as I'm a firm believer that fast fashion brands, particularly those big names on the highstreet, should be held accountable for how their products are made and sourced and should be completely transparent. It's important for people to know where their clothing, shoes, accessories etc. come from, who made them, and in what environment. By asking these brands #whomademyclothes, they can see how interested people are in ethical work environments, equal pay and rights etc. and that many feel more strongly about these things than they do about the latest fashion trends. So if you are someone who wants to know more, this might be the post for you.

Reasons to Thrift & Shop Second Hand
Following the clothing theme, another post I loved preparing and posting was the reasons why you should thrift/shop second hand more because boy oh boy, do I love a good charity shop rummage. Being someone who has been consciously avoiding fast fashion for the past year and a half, writing this post was so much fun because it gave me a chance to share the love and explain just how beneficial secondhand shopping can be on the environment, for charity, and even on your bank balance!

Real Talk: You are Enough
The last post I wanted to mention is the only other Real Talk post I published this year. Self love is something I always struggle with - I'm very good at convincing others that they are worthy of all the love in the world (especially their own) but not so good at practicing what I preach. It was very calming to compile this post and just completely write from the heart and convince myself that I'm worth some self love. I'm going to make sure I read it when I feel I need a pick-me-up and ensure I practice little forms of self love whenever I can.
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I'm excited to see what 2019 brings for me in terms of Northern Blood, my life generally, my career, and family. 2018 has certainly been a hard one and there's many things that happened and many feelings that were expressed that I am more than happy to be saying goodbye to and hoping that I won't ever see again. But now that I'm heading into 2019, I'm *so much* happier than I'd ever thought I could be - within myself and also with decisions/plans I am making - but I'm also much more optimistic. It's easy to slip into a nostalgic stupor as the year draws to a close or you can take the reins and steer that close into a positive ending and ensure you start January right. I'm definitely backing that latter mindset.

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