Writer Sophie Isaacson discusses the harsh and busy reality of balancing a full time career along with being a loving mother to her two year old son.
Illustrations by the very talented Amy Killin.
I am all for women’s rights. I’m a proud descendent of some of the founding members of the suffragette movement in Scotland and I completely believe women and men can and do achieve anything they put their minds to every day.
However, I find myself, a young mum, working four days a week in a competitive office environment, while bringing up a two year old boy who wakes up at 5 am almost every morning feeling somewhat dismayed with the whole system for us women in today’s society. The pressure of our current equal society for women to ‘do it all’ can leave us in a constant state of guilt, feeling like we are under achieving, not giving enough to our families, not working hard enough, not climbing our way up our career ladders quickly enough, or just plain exhausted. We constantly find ourselves juggling our children’s needs with the expectations of our bosses, with some mum’s I know telling their employers that they are ill (instead of admitting that it is in fact their child who is running a temperature) in order to not be ‘marked down’ for being a parent. Instead of being supported in raising children we are all too often penalised in the workplace and made to feel inferior to male colleagues, childfree or single women. Instead of enjoying our children we are pressured into getting back to work, earning and keeping up with our colleagues. We find ourselves breast pumping in lunch breaks or crying in the office bathroom because it is so unnatural to be away from our babies for a full 8 hours.
I sometimes find myself craving to stay at home with my little boy singing nursery rhymes and reading the same stories over and over again; I sometimes sit in meetings dreaming of cooking meals and baking for my family only to look down at my diary and see that I have three more meetings and a trip to the supermarket before I can even think about going to pick up my flaked-out toddler from the arms of his childminder and then attempt to get him home semi-awake so that I can push as much pasta into his little mouth as I can before we both fall asleep before 7pm.
Whether we are working mums or not, we put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves, we give ourselves a hard time constantly for not being or doing enough, we measure ourselves up against other people, Instagram accounts, pinterest projects and we lose focus on what we are really achieving. Raising these little, incredible bundles of energy is a huge responsibility, they constantly try to injure themselves, they are irrational, wild, they don’t sleep and they refuse to eat anything healthy which is lovingly cooked for them. Staying at home with a mob of children is relentless and I would love for society to really stand up and congratulate women and all parents for sticking in there and bringing up wonderful little humans.
I believe if women want to go back to work quickly after having children, to be at the top of their game then that’s brilliant, I admire them. I admire the men who give up working to stay home with their babies.. But I also want it to be ok for women to want to stay at home, looking after their partners, raising their children, doing house work and feeding their families. For that job, from my experience is far more difficult and harder than I have ever experienced in any employment. It doesn’t have a clocking off time, it doesn’t have lunch breaks or even private toilet breaks for that matter. I would like to see a society where women are celebrated and feel empowered and proud whichever route they choose.
Keep up to date with Sophie on Instagram: @soph_iiii
Check out more amazing work from Berlin based illustrator & graphic designer Amy Killin on Instagram: @amykillingraphics
Festive season is in full swing and we are soaking up every second of it with christmas night outs, traditional markets & embracing that below zero degree weather.
December is said to be the most wonderful time of year and arguably the busiest for most of us. Be it work, Christmas shopping or simply wrapping every aspect of your life up before those New Years bells… you still got to make some time for good ol’ festive fun this holiday.
Check out what’s on in your city:
13th – EmuBands Christmas party at The King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, we’ve seen unknown bands play here that have turned out to be the likes of Biffy Clyro… we can guarantee you this will be a great night!
14th – Old Hair Xmas Party at The Old Hairdressers, good vibes and good drinks.
16th – Christmas Drive in Movie at The Riverside Museum, just make sure you bring a blanket!
16th – Winter Feast End food at the BAaD, for all our foodies out there.
17th – Vintage Craft & Design Market at Hillhead Bookclub, for all our artsy readers this is a must.
17th – BAaD Glasgow Christmas Market, cause who doesn’t love a good traditional Christmas market.
21st – The Irn Bru Carnival, to unleash your inner child and ride on the waltzers until you puke. (Are ye even Glaswegian is you haven’t been?)
9th-14th – Hidden Gems at Coburg House Art Studios, every Saturday & Sunday to view and buy some gorgeous contemporary jewellery.
9th – 19th – I’d Hate To Be An Indoor Plant at Hill Street Design House, we had the pleasure of viewing this gorgeous art exhibition by Alannah Cooper & Mairi Laird and we would highly recommend going for a visit.
16th – Out of the Blue Xmas Art Market, for a relaxed day of shopping direct from some of Scotland’s most talented artists and designers.
16th – Xmas Record Fair at The Wee Red Bar, for people with a fineeee taste in music.
16th – 17th – Indoor market at the Biscuit factory, live music, food and crafts? What more do you want.
Below the border: We may be based in Glasgow but we always say hell yeah to a little trip down South.
1st – January – Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, a total classic at this time of year… guaranteed to get you in the Christmas mood.
11th – Mariah Carey at the o2 London, heyyyy we won’t judge, All I Want For Christmas is the ultimate Xmas banger.
8th – 23rd – Christmas films at HOME, view some of the classics!
24th- 7th – Elf the Musical at Theatre in Salford, who doesn’t want to see buddy the elf singing and dancing live.
5th – 19th – Christmas at the Ark, fancy visiting some reindeer? of course.
Merry Christmas From us at 94
Reykjavik only really came onto my radar when my Canadian friend mentioned it to me and my interest in Iceland surfaced when stunning pictures of hot baths in a snowy landscape started swirling around my social media. It’s weird how Iceland has actually just popped out of no where to become one of the hottest (not literally) destinations to visit… In fact, during my time there I got speaking to a lovely lady who moved there from Columbia and she told me that Iceland was an extremely grey and depressing place before the tourists lit it up. Weird to think, considering my impression of Reykjavik was it’s very modernised and holds a somewhat comforting vibe.
With a small population of under 350,000 people, I was left in fits of laughter when a local guy at the pub told me there is a website for Icelanders to check that they aren’t related to a person that they have a little love interest in… pretty handy because six months down the line it would be very awkward to find out that you were in fact second cousins. Just wow!
Stunning landscapes, northern lights and the famous blue lagoon… It’s been said that Iceland is a place for the rich to visit, and to be honest I partly agree with that statement. I bought a bottle of water in a supermarket and converted it back to pounds to realise it was a fiver – just about passed out. However, all crappy currency exchange pushed to the side… Iceland is doable on a budget, you just need to plan and be realistic.
If you’re a ‘skint’ graduate like myself then budgeting is your life right now… but that’s not to say you can’t travel and live a little! Listen up here, because I have five top tips to doing Iceland on a mega budget:
1 – Hire a car:
Sounds like a bit of an expensive thing to start with right? But trust me when I say hiring a car will SAVE money, public transport in Iceland is ridiculously over priced and you need to drive everywhere if you want to see some of the really beautiful parts of the country. We shopped around online and got a very sweet pre-booking price, which meant when we arrived everything was ready for us to pick up and freely roam wherever we pleased. Petrol prices in Iceland are surprisingly reasonable and we had a diesel car that was even cheaper so win WIN.
(To my fellow Brits who worry about driving on the other side of the road, my advice is simple this – grow a pair and do it, it’s really not difficult.)
– Extra tip: don’t hire your car at the airport… That is seriously just taking another £100 out your pocket and burning it right in front of your eyes.
I feel as if hostels have this shadey reputation thanks to horror films, BUT honestly they’re not bad at all and especially in Iceland. Now, I was on a mega budget so a hotel or airbnb was out of the question and we stayed in two different hostels during our time there and both were super clean with practical kitchen space and decent sized rooms… Hostels worked out like £12 a night.
-Extra tip: Bring ear plugs… Snoring is not cool.
2 – Bring you own food:
This is also good for fussy eaters! My travel buddy and me packed our cases with food such as cereal, peanut butter, noodles, cous cous and soup… We only ate out once and the money we saved on food we used to explore more of the country.
Extra tip: If you’re road tripping for the day, pack yourself a little snack to save yourself having a f*ck it I’m hungry moment. The budget is real.
3 – Bonus the super market:
Pretty much the only reasonably priced supermarket around so I highly suggest hitting up ‘Bonus’ for anything that you need during your time in the very lovely but bloody expensive Iceland.
Extra tip: The country in general is not very vegetarian/vegan friendly… There is one vegan restaurant in Reykjavik and sadly it was not part of my budget. * cries *
5- Avoid tourist traps:
So my question to you is do you REALLY want to pay the equivalent of £80 to go on a bus journey where you may or may not see the Northern Lights? I can guess what your answer is and that is a big fat NO! Which then leads me back to h-i-r-e a car, simple.
Extra tip: If you want to see the Northern lights you need to travel out of the city so be prepared for longish drives.
There you have it, how to do one of the most expensive countries in the world on my ever so restricting graduate life wage. Bon voyage!
Not only are these cookies so mouth-wateringly delicious, they’re also vegan friendly! What better way to spend the weekend than indulging?
- One ripe banana
- 2 cups of ground almonds
- 1 cup of oats
- ½ tsp. of baking powder
- 1 tbsp. of your choice of nut butter (I recommend almond or peanut butter, both work great!)
- 2 heaped tbsp. of coconut oil
- 1 tbsp. of your choice of syrup (I recommend agave or maple)
- Coconut sugar
- Chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 170c.
Mash a ripe banana with a fork until it’s smooth. Next, in a bowl, mix 2 cups of ground almonds, 1 cup of oats and ½ tsp. of baking powder. Add the mashed banana to the bowl, as well as 1 tbsp. of your chosen nut butter and mix together.
Then, in a sauce pan, heat 2 heaped tbsp. of coconut oil, 1 tbsp. of your choice of syrup and coconut sugar. The coconut sugar makes the caramel so the amount of sugar is dependent on how much caramel you want. Keep on low heat until the sugar starts to combine and turn slightly golden in colour. (swapping caramel for chocolate in the batch pictured below!)
Once you have the colour, add the melted ingredients to the bowl and mix all together. It should all stick together perfectly. Then simple shape them how you want on a baking tray with grease-proof paper and bake for 15 minutes!
Once 15 minutes is up, let them cool and ENJOY!!
This recipe is great because it’s so versatile, swap the caramel for chocolate, ginger or
tasty recipes and inspiration follow Hannah on Instagram: @laceycoconut
The whole fitness and healthy lifestyle seems to be so in at the moment – not that it was every out, I mean it’s essential to keep yourself fit and healthy. What I mean by it being ‘in’ is it seems to be growing in popularity. I have friends who had never stepped foot inside a gym and now they’re hitting spin four times a week and choosing vegan style salads over a quick McDonalds run… the evidence is clear and it’s plastered all over social media, it seems that most people (including myself) have a separate account to keep track of their new found love for fitness.
I have always been a gym-goer and I could work out everyday of the week if I wanted to but what I seem to struggle with, within the whole ‘aspiring fitness model’ lifestyle is the diet. I skip breakfast, I don’t eat enough protein and I love to eat out.
I mean skipping breakfast and adding protein to my diet is all on me, but when I eat out I like to actually enjoy my meal, rather than having a side salad with a dry bit of grilled whatever. Yesterday while waiting on my friend to arrive in town, I decided to treat myself to breakfast and through my fitness inspired instagram account I had read a number of people going to a place by the name of Kcal Kitchen and I wanted to test the hype.
Kcal is a healthy menu restaurant that caters for all sorts of cool things, like your daily vitamin smoothie, high protein desserts and indulgent yet healthy main courses. I don’t know if it’s just me but when I think of high protein based kitchens I just think of the weights area in the gym.. y’know, the area where all the big guys lift weights and it’s slightly terrifying to venture over. So I was pleasantly surprised walking into the restaurant where the interior was only to be described as minimalistic and fresh! I am a complete sucker for a well-designed restaurant and to top off the aesthetics, the staff were super friendly and they were playing old skool funk music at 10:30 am in the morning – my kind of place.
Sitting down I ordered a cappuccino and I scrolled down the menu. Now, I consider myself a pretty ‘fussy’ eater, but I can say there was a lot of variety on the menu and everything was laid out nice and simple. There were options from pancakes, to burritos, to burgers and all reasonably priced. Obviously being a very healthy protein based restaurant there was a lot of meat orientated dishes, but I would definitely say they cater for vegetarians, also giving you the option of Tofu and other veggie alternatives. For vegans, I would say the selection is pretty limited but in saying that it’s definitely doable for a vegan to eat here and especially if you are wanting to get your daily dose of protein.
Another thing that might intrigue all you healthy lifestylers is Kcal do meal prepping… and not at too high of a cost either. I mean, meal prepping is an investment and if you’re willing to invest in your diet, the plans look straightforward and they are available to order online.
What I would say about my experience with Kcal is, it isn’t actually just targeted at fitness enthusiasts; it’s targeted at anyone who just wants to be a little bit healthier while eating out. So if you fancy a bit of guilt free indulgence for whatever meal of the day, Kcal Kitchen is on West Regent Street making it pretty central and easy to get to. Happy eating!
Social – @kcalkitchen
Web – https://kcalkitchen.co.uk