Sunday, 24 April 2016

• Why I've stopped eating meat •

I grew up eating chicken in breadcrumbs, spaghetti bolognese, salami, prosciutto, chicken livers, steaks, all of the cold meats on the deli counter; I'd have laughed if you'd have said I'd quit eating meat at the age of 23.

Which is why, looking back, I find it crazy to think I'd never bothered to look into how the chorizo in my pasta was made, what was in it, the process it took to get it from animal to shop. And that's ignorant. Totally, ridiculously ignorant. And another confession is; I never really cared. Now I can already see how that makes me sound extremely heartless, but my opinion was always that animals were there to be bred and killed for our food. That thought now makes me a little sick to my stomach.

1. Animals.
A few years ago, my boyfriend showed me a video on YouTube on how cows were kept and killed for meat. I was shocked at how disgusting the living conditions were and even more shocked at how us, as consumers, are not made totally aware of this. I continued to eat meat but it was always at the back of my mind, and I started to enjoy meat less and less. I then researched into factory farming and slaughter houses, and both left a bad taste in my mouth. I do recognise that some farms rear and kill their animals ethically, but after reading and watching so much online, I couldn't unsee the things I saw and this, added to the other reasons I am about to list, resulted in me giving up meat.

2. Health.
This later led to watching Cowspiracy, a documentary detailing the meat industry and the effects it has on our health and the environment. Now this documentary struck a chord, and I found myself googling research on how the meat is produced and basically, what happens when it is inside of us. I started picturing a dead animal inside of me, and imagined an animal carcass rotting in my belly, waiting to be digested. Not something you want to think about when you're browsing the meat aisles in a supermarket. It also worries me that animals are pumped with antibiotics and all sorts of rubbish that, quite frankly, I'd rather not put in my body.

I also read an article which detailed detriments to health caused by meat and later I googled research stating that red meat probably causes cancer and there is evidence supporting a strong carcinogenic effect (World Health Organisation, 2015). If that wasn't enough to make me stop eating meat, nothing was. Aside from this all, after I stopped eating meat I felt so much better; I have from mild IBS which is spurred on by bad eating habits and stress, and I can honestly say that since not eating meat (for 6 months) I have had no belly cramps, bloating or unusual digestion problems. My meals now also feel lighter and less heavy, making me feel sufficiently full instead of 'food coma' full. *I must add here that I do eat fish, but sustainably sourced fish, and if you'd like me to write post about why, then please let me know.

3. Environment.
Delving deeper into the effect meat has on the population has shown a different side to things that many people I've spoken to do not know about; the effect that the greenhouse gas emissions has and the devastating fact that our beautiful rainforests are being used for animals to graze on, to then be killed... for our enjoyment. What on earth?! This makes no sense to me! We are supposedly making an effort to somehow restore the damage we have done to our environment, yet we still eat meat. I had to give it up when I learned this.

Something has stuck with me ever since I heard it; we could reduce our carbon footprint not by driving our cars less, but by stopping eating red meat. Imagine that! We are told over and over that we are killing the environment by the pollution given off from our cars, but experts say that this is not true - it's cattle rearing that is causing the most pollution. The Guardian posted this article which links to studies (and it's all formatted much better than I could have done in this post!) along with quotes from experts, so I'd recommend giving that a read.

4. Resources.
There are unfortunately so many hungry, thirsty people in this world, yet we use many of our resources to rear animals. Lets take water for example: water is needed to grow the crops for the animals to eat, it is used to clean the factories and farms, and it is also needed for the cows to drink. Cows can drink up to 50 gallons of water a day alone. It takes a staggering 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef - just one pound - when that water could be better used elsewhere. There are people in this world who are desperate for clean water, and we use it to rear a cow that will then be eaten by us... that seems incredibly strange to me. There is tons of research online on the resources needed to raise animals, but Peta is a start.

There are more reasons as to why I no longer eat meat, but I didn't want to ramble, and these are the four main ones. I read recently that as you grow up, you change and you grow mentally and spiritually an incredible amount, and that is so true. Compared to my 18 year old self, my political views have changed, my views on animal welfare have changed, I'm questioning things more and more. No matter what age you are, it's good to learn and it's good to base your opinions on real research and evidence. If there is one thing I'd love you to take from this post, it's just that: to do your research. Even if you go away now and have a beef burger, that's absolutely fine - hey, enjoy it - just do your research first. So often in life, we are told this and that, and we are just expected to believe it. That was me 5 years ago. But now, probably following lead from my boyfriend who is constantly reading and watching documentaries, I'm questioning everything. And that's healthy.

Please note, I'm always telling people to not believe everything they read, so if possible, please research evidence conducted by scientists and reputable organisations. This is a quick post telling you my personal reasons for giving up meat. If you are 16 or under, I would advise discussing things with your parents and conducting even more research into where your food comes from - don't take this post as gospel, as these are just my reasons and I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do.

Wow, it feels good to actually write a blog post again!
I hope you enjoyed reading this. I'd love to hear your views on this and
what you think of giving up meat. Leave a comment down below or email me :)
Daniela xo

Monday, 28 December 2015

• How I Stay Calm in Anxiety-Inducing Situations •

After a few years of dealing with anxiety (which I'm sure most people have at least some point in their lives), I've worked out ways to 
cope in anxiety-inducing situations.

These tips have helped me, and I'm not saying that they will be good for everyone, but I have recommended them to some of my friends with anxiety and they've said they they have helped. Coming from a psychology background (which is what I did my degree in), anxiety is definitely a 'mind over matter' situation - it's just about controlling your thoughts in a positive way, instead of letting them ruin experiences and opportunities. There is the common theme of distraction in these tips as I've found that's what has helped me, and others, the most. I wish that when I was in the thick of it, I was given practical tips; so here you go, I hope these help you as they did me. *I must say now that I am in no way an expert, these are just personal tips that have helped me. 

1. Focus on a material object
I've realised that if I look at something and focus really hard on it, such as it's colour, shape or it's uses, it takes my mind off the rising feeling of anxiety and gives me something else to concentrate on. I've done this so many times and there will always inevitably be some sort of object around you such as a book, a purse or even a gear stick! Really focus on the details until your anxiety reduces and you feel more calm.

2. Move a part of your body in a rhythmic, repetitive way
What I like to do is cross my legs and bob my right leg (the one that is on top of my left) up and down. This encourages me to focus on keeping a rhythm going in another part of my body and basically gives me something to do. It distracts me from what is really going on (a racing heartbeat, sweaty hands and finding it difficult to breath) and I've found that this works really well - I've been doing this for years; in lectures, at meals when I'm with unfamiliar people, even on the bus on the way to somewhere. I sometimes also rub my left thumb with my right thumb over and over and that helps to take my mind off things, too.

3. Remember - I'm okay
Panic is just our body's way of saying 'shit, I'm in danger here'. It dates back to years and years ago, where we would come across a threat (eg. a tiger) and would have to fight or flight. Some of us channel that adrenaline in a positive way, and some of us fear it. I, for one, fear it, therefore anxiety creeps up on me. I then have to keep telling myself, in mantra form, 'I'm okay, I'm fine, nothing is going to hurt me, I'm safe'. I've found that when I tell myself this, I start to relax and the anxiety dissipates.

4. Be mindful of your surroundings
It's amazing how much us anxiety-sufferers live in the mind. I've been told so many times by my boyfriend to try and not catastrophise and to realise what is really happening right now. And it's true. We forget to look around us and focus on the things around us so much because we are too busy imagining the worst possible thing that can happen to us. So my tip is to look around you, live in the moment and recognise that there is no danger. It might help to try and listen in on a conversation or to smell something familiar (eg. I have a 'This Works Stress Less Rollerball' which I sniff every time I'm anxious - I never travel without it).

5. Make sure someone you're with knows how you get in stressful situations
It's so important to talk to other people about your feelings, which is obvious I know, but even more so when dealing with anxiety. I can't tell you the amazing feeling of a weight being lifted off my shoulders when I started telling people about how I 'get' when in certain situations. The more people are aware, the less pent up anxiety there is, as I think to myself 'well, since they know how I get, there isn't the added anxiety of 'oh crap, they're going to wonder what's going on with me when I'm freaking out''. 

6. Look at the sky
This is a very personal one and may not work for everyone, but looking at the sky (where possible) really helps me as it makes me feel free. I can imagine myself as a very small being in a big world and that there are bigger problems than my current situation, and this really helps me so much. It's more a perspective thing and makes me realise that my current state is only temporary. I also just think the sky is pretty beautiful and I've associated it with feeling calm. That's actually another tip; find something that you associate with relaxation and try to ensure it's something you will always have at hand.

7. Remember past victories
I've overcome so many stressful situations that I would never have thought I'd be able to do! An example of this is that 4 years ago, me sitting in a cinema would have caused a ridiculous amount of anxiety, whereas now I don't even think about it. Now this is because I've practised these tips and also because I constantly remind myself that I have done this before and can therefore do it again. Remembering past victories and successes is so important at giving things another shot and being able to do them again.

8. Meditate
I found an amazing book a few years ago called 'The Little Book of Mindfulness' and it was the first book that ever gave me the idea and the confidence to practise meditation. It makes it seem so easy and also includes lots of other tips for staying calm. Meditation is extremely important for calming the mind. Sometimes we forget to take care of our mind as we're too busy with our lives - or even too busy exercising our bodies - but our wellbeing is equally, if not more, important. I was always so sceptical of meditating but I do it the night/morning before I know I have a stressful or anxiety-inducing situation coming up, and it really helps to clear the mind and focus on positive things. Many people don't realise that you can also meditate on a bus, on a bench, anywhere really (obviously not when driving etc!) but you don't need to be in your living room to do it. Meditation can also be from anywhere between 5 minutes to 5 hours (and more) - you just need to be willing to give it a go.

9. Try not to use the term 'panic attack'
One of the worst things I ever did was dub myself as having 'panic attacks'. The term itself is just bloody scary. The term 'panic' already makes my heart go, and the term 'attack' is completely irrelevant as there is nothing attacking you when you're feeling anxious! So putting those two words together was a match made in anxiety heaven as they induce so many negative feelings. Try to think of yourself as having an overreactive system - one that feels emotions strongly and reacts to them unwillingly, but a system that you can control.

10. Control your breathing
And finally, the most important tip (in my opinion) is to control your breathing. This means listening to your breathing, recognising that it is going too fast, slowing it down by taking long, deep breaths in and out, and recognising the slowing of your heartbeat and relaxation that then follows. It honestly feels amazing. Something so simple as this can virtually make my anxiety disappear within a few minutes. The reason we feel anxiety is because when we begin to panic, our heart rate speeds up as we feel as though we're in danger. This then makes us worry even more as we feel as though we are in danger due to our fast heart beat! It's a viscious circle that unfortunately only the anxiety sufferer can break - but what an incredible thought it is to think that we have the power to control this with a simple breathing technique.

Please let me know if any of these tips help you, or even if you have any tips of your own. If you'd prefer not to comment, then email me at dannidiraimo@gmail.com as I'd like to hear of your experiences.
As I said before, I'm no expert, but these tips do help me.
You're in control, your anxiety does not control you.
Daniela xo
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Sunday, 29 November 2015

• HELLO! •


HELLO...
(Anyone else just sing that to the tune of Adele's new song?... it can't have just been me)

So... my first blog post since June. JUNE! And to think that since 2013 I'd been writing, scheduling and photographing for blog posts at least twice a week. And now I'm sat here on a Sunday morning, casually painting my nails and feeling like I should just grab my laptop and write. Something I didn't often use to do. Let me explain.

I've had lots of emails from people who are subscribed to my blog asking me where I've been - and to those of you that have emailed me, thank you so much, thank you for taking the time to email me, thank you for wondering how I am and how teaching is going, and thank you for the two of you who emailed asking me for liquid lipstick recommendations! To know that I'm in some of your thoughts and to know that you still search for danielascribbles.co.uk really does mean the world to me, and is one of the reasons I'm writing this post.

Basically, back when I started this blog, I started it as a random way to express my thoughts and interests. I was in a weird place. I was at the start of a university course and finding things extremely tough, and to be honest, I wanted an outlet and a way to forget about work and studying. I've always absolutely loved make up and have been fascinated at how one day I can decide to look completely natural, and other days I can go out with an orange lip and and a smokey eye - and in both instances, feel completely comfortable. Then things started to get crazy. 

I gained followers (again, thank you - I love you!) and brands started to notice me, I was being sent products and, should I so wish, I would write about them. I would set up my camera and photograph really early on a Saturday morning to catch the natural light (before I bought my soft box) and I would spend my Sunday afternoon writing at least two blog posts for the week. I bloody loved it. But, as with many things I do, I put so much pressure on myself. If I didn't reply to comments, or chat in the weekly #bbloggers chat on Twitter, or reply to a PR email, I would stress out. Now I should mention that this was happening right at the beginning of starting my career as a teacher. I obviously had to work very hard for my job and I also felt like I didn't want to fail my blog. Something had to give.

One morning I woke up late on a Saturday by accident (I'd missed my alarm) and I ran out of bed to go and grab my camera and tripod. I was so stressed about taking photos before the light went down that I ended up dropping my camera and falling over my tripod. I managed to miss the light (which annoyed me even more) and was in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Now, I know that compared to most bloggers, my blog was very small with around 1300 followers so there would be no need to stress, but to me, I'd still want my photography to be perfect even if I had just 1 follower. I honestly was so annoyed with myself that the next morning I woke up at about 6am on a SUNDAY just to get all of my photos taken in time for Monday's post! That's when I decided I needed to stop blogging for a little bit.

I think I've realised the direction I want to take my blog in. Now that I'm 'back' (I sound like a boyband that's had a few years off...) I have some ideas for blog posts planned. I want to take my blog in any direction that I see fit. If I want to write about an eyeshadow palette, I will. If I want to talk about teaching, I will. If I want to show my Yoga routine, I will. I won't, however, feel pressured and stressed like I did back at the beginning of 2015, because that wasn't healthy. I won't be buying make up for the sake of it just so I can post a haul and review lots of new stuff - I still buy make up, of course I do, but not at the alarming rate that I was buying it in 2014. I realised one month that I spent £240 on make up. £240!!! Now that I'm saving for a house and some travelling next year, I understand how far £240 can go.

I love writing, I really do. I keep a journal on my bedside table and I write in it when I'm stressed or had a bad day, and I also write what I'm grateful for. I do this maybe a few nights a week. And it feels good! It makes me feel like I did when I first started my blog - free, and creative, and a way to express myself. And that's where I want to get back to.

So I've written this post in 20 minutes with a cup of tea and a Wispa. It hasn't taken me hours on end fiddling with lighting, F stop, witty comments. I've just written from the heart with no edits, no nothing. And I feel perfectly happy to put this up.

I want to again say a huge thank you to those of you that still read this blog and have emailed me. It genuinely makes me so so happy to log into my emails and see that some of you are still commenting on posts that I wrote in 2013! I'm also extremely grateful to those of you that have emailed me asking how I am, telling me how much you miss my posts, and that you've recreated my 'get ready with me's'. That brightens up my day no end (and I always chew my boyfriends ear off about how lovely you all are!!)

Posts won't be scheduled like they used to be and they may not always have a specific theme (eg. beauty and fashion) but I really hope you enjoy them nonetheless. I've changed so much since I started this blog and I want that to also come across in my blog. We're changing all of the time, growing into different people and forming new opinions, and I have so much more to talk about now than I did a few years ago. I personally cannot wait to get back into blogging - but I'll be doing it in a much more relaxed way this time.

Daniela xo
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Saturday, 6 June 2015

• Meet my June Advertisers •

Ioanna: Hearting

Hi I'm Ioanna a twenty something Greek-English girl with brown eyes and curly hair. I run a beauty and lifestyle blog called Hearting. My blog is my little corner to express myself and write about all of the  things I'm hearting (loving) in life including beauty, baking, photography and anything else that takes my fancy. I'd love for you to stop by! 

My links are:


My blog is an anonymous blog, which I post on three times a week, with either beauty, fashion, advice or random posts. I don't have a set theme because I like it to be casual and interesting. I read all the comments and respond to them, I like positive feedback and ideas. I hope you enjoy my blog!

My links are:


What Lauren Did Today is a cruelty-free lifestyle, beauty and book blog run by Lauren, a 20 year old cat lover from England.

My links are:


Jessica Grace has only been up and running for a month but it has proven such a joy to write. My posts are mainly beauty but as it grows I'm hoping to incorporate some more lifestyle posts. I'm the type of person that really likes working towards something so building a blog, taking my own photos, editing them and then writing up content makes me incredibly happy and I hope that shows through my writing.

My links are:



Emma: Just Emma

Just Emma is a personal blog focusing on natural beauty, affordable fashion and everyday life. Written by Emma, a chocolate-loving Scot who lives in a little place in Dorset with her husband, bulging wardrobe and over-flowing beauty box! With beauty product reviews, personal outfits, fashion tips, weekly wish lists, and much more!

My links are:


I hope you enjoy checking out my June advertiser's blogs!
Send me an email at dannidiraimo@gmail.com if you're interested in free advertising.
Daniela xo
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Friday, 29 May 2015

• Life Rants & Raves •


I guess you could say I'm quite an extreme type of person...

In the sense that I either really love something or really hate it. It's not often that I'll go 'meh' to something as I have very strong opinions on things that I like - and things that I don't like. Which brings me onto this new 'series' that I feel like doing. This is how it'll go; I'll basically rant about things that I'm not loving then I'll rave about things that I'm obsessed with. Simples. I'm not sure how often I'll post my rants & raves, all I know is that I'm already planning a beauty rants & raves for a few weeks time - watch this space.

Rant #1 is the price of healthy food. I picked up Deliciously Ella a few months ago and I've been post-it-noting recipes that have caught my eye, then when I've gone to order the food online, I've realised how ridiculously expensive the ingredients are. Quinoa, cacao powder, medjool dates are a few of the things I have to pick up at Holland and Barrett - and if you've ever shopped at H&B, you'll know how hard it is to walk out without spending £60+. I have been buying the ingredients as I'm really determined to eat healthier and try out some plant-based recipes, it's just annoying that you can spend the same amount of money on a small jar of almond butter as a whole pizza from the frozen section of Tesco.

Rant #2 is people trying to tell you what's fun and what isn't fun. I was recently told by a friend of mine that I should go travelling at my age instead of buying a house. I was later told by a different friend that I should go out drinking and clubbing instead of snuggling on down to some Nexflix with a tub of Ben and Jerrys. Basically; wtf?! If I enjoy going home decor shopping or catching up with Pretty Little Liars, I should damn well be able to. Just because I don't drink alcohol or have a need to visit every country at this point in my life, doesn't mean I'm not as fun as everyone else - (in my opinion, anyway). I have really strong opinions about this one - can you tell? - because I've been made to feel 'different' in the past about my past-times and hobbies. If I'm happy doing what I'm doing, then I shall just carry on.

Rant #3 is (and please don't kill me for saying this) - The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. It's the slowest and most boring book I think I've ever read, and it kills me to say that because it was so hyped up and the reviews were so good; I had really high hopes for this. After talking to a few of my book-fanatic friends, they were equally as disappointed as I am. The book just goes nowhere. I'm about 75% in and nothing much has really happened, but I always have to finish a book, no matter how bad it is. I'm just trying to speed read it now so I can make a start on Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.

Rave #1 is definitely the looming summer holidays! I cannot believe how quickly this school year has gone and that we're nearly in July. I've got some really exciting trips planned in summer so I'm getting myself ready for those (including one too many trips to Primark - a girl can never have enough pairs of brown sandals)! All that's left for me is five and a half weeks left of teaching then it's lazy trips to the market and dinner in the garden for a few months!

Rave #2 obviously has to be Game of Thrones. Obsessed isn't even the word. I have to mentally prepare myself for every episode and make sure I have all of my snacks around me so I don't have to get up for the whole hour. This season, along with the others, has been incredible and I'm loving Monday evenings now! There are so many twists and turns and I'm loving the fact that no-one is safe - as soon as I start to think I know what's going to happen, someone gets killed off or captured. Amazing!

Rave #3 is my hamster, Brody. I can't even tell you how cute my hamster is. I love little furries in general as I have two gorgeous bunnies, and Brody is such an affectionate little thing. He will walk up to the entrance of his cage when we walk into the room and will just wait to be picked up. He's also in the habit of eating his dinner out of the palm of my hand; too cute!

Rave #4 is Canada. I miss Canada so much; I went in December/January and absolutely loved it. The people, the food, the scenery, the fact that there are one million things to do at any time of the day; all of it. Photographed above is my boyfriend and I at Niagara Falls and it's one of my favourite photos of all time. I can't wait to get back to Canada and we'll hopefully be making another trip there next year.

What are your lifestyle rants & raves?
Daniela xo 
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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

• My Favourite Daytime Hydrating Serum •

I don't know about you, but I am ridiculously picky with my skincare. As soon as my skincare routine is perfect, I'll stick to it for ages because I'm pretty scared of my skin going back to it's acne, oily self. 

And in terms of serums, it's even harder for me to try new ones, as I've had so many bad experiences with them in the past! Luckily, I've now found a brand that I can trust as I've tried a few serums from Oz Naturals (review of the Vitamin C Serum here) and they've done wonders for my skin. Natural products with beautiful ingredients which are preparing my skin for summer and (eek!) less make up - perfect.





For the past 3 weeks I've been through stress, illness and shitty weather, as have most people in the UK, so my skin has been acting up a bit and is much dryer than usual. I've been using the Oz Naturals Hyaluronic Acid Serum* every day to see if it would sort my face out, and it really has done. I didn't seen an improvement straight away like I do with some of my other skincare, but after a few weeks my skin was so much more plump, soft and healthy looking - not resembling how I felt inside at all! It sits really well under make up (as does the other Oz Naturals serum that I use) and keeps my skin moisturised all day. I really like this and I love how hygienic it is - you use the little dropper to dispense the product into your hands and then smooth it on your face after cleansing and toning - no dipping dirty hands in a pot (which I hate!!)

Have you tried any products from Oz Naturals?
What do you think?
Daniela xo
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I just wanted to quickly add that obviously I was sent this product, but wasn't told to write a positive review of it. I'm usually sceptical of rave reviews like this, where I know that the blogger has been sent the product, but it was my choice to post this and I'm not being paid to write about it.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

• NEW Revlon Ultra HD Lipsticks •





Revlon kill it with lip products and I always turn straight to them when I'm on a lipstick binge in Boots.


So I was surprised to find a new range when I was browsing the aisles as I hadn't heard much about the Revlon Ultra HD Lipsticks. I picked up Rose, an everyday light pink, and Hydrangea, a brighter, more corally pink. The colours look really beautiful and I swear I don't have anything like them in my collection........*angel emoji* 
It therefore pains me to say that these lipsticks just do not cut the mustard for me. They are slippy, hard to apply, accentuate the fine lines and dryness in my lips, and wear away after an hour or so. Unfortunately they aren't as pigmented as some of my other (drugstore and high end) lip products and application really does take a long time - I found myself applying three or four coats just for these photos, and even then my lipstick looks messy, uneven and, to be blunt, bloody rubbish. Now I'm a lipstick fanatic - I wear lipstick every single day, topping up whenever I need to, carrying around a make up bag full of lipsticks should I fancy a change in the day - so I have tried a great many different types, formulas and finishes of lipsticks... and I can conclude that these ones just aren't for me.
As you can see in the photos, they don't look great (side note - sorry for the crusty nose, I'm pretty ill at the moment). And as much as I don't like to be a negative Nelly, I have to be honest and say that even as I am wearing this right now as I type, they feel sticky when I rub my lips together. The lipstick also seems to bunch up around the outside of my lips so that part of my lip is darker then the rest; maybe I just need some lipliner, but for some supposedly quick and easy everyday shades, I feel like I shouldn't have to faff with lipliner when I'm in a rush. I'm just glad I didn't buy more colours as they looked so beautiful on the stand, in their sleek packaging and their pretty promo photo!

If you try these out, I'd love to hear your experiences with them.
It could just be me and my lips... or perhaps there's a reason I haven't seen many
bloggers/vloggers rave about these?
Daniela xo

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