Blog

My Interview on Brianna’s Bandwagon Blog

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to Zainab Chats! I’ve been slightly busy with school, so writing posts have been a bit of a challenge – so, I thought it would be nice to share my interview I did on Brianna Marie’s Blog as it’s a nice introduction for anybody that doesn’t really know me!

Go To This Link To Read My Interview With Brianna! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I just realised, I haven’t been engaging as much on WordPress lately – so please share what you’ve been up to, and your latest posts in the comments!

Sorry, for the extremely short post, but I hope you enjoy the interview and show Brianna some support!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day everyone!

Three Online Tools To Help Beginner Bloggers

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to the blog! For today’s post, I thought I’d share some online tools that can help beginner bloggers when they start blogging. I’ve done a similar post before, but I thought I’d do an updated version – let’s jump into it!

Canva

Canva is a free graphic design platform that allows you to create logos, graphics etc! It’s great for the beginning of launching a blog when you want to create a simple logo, brand and your colour palette! I will say, if you want to use a logo template on there, that’s great! But playing around on Canva will allow you to make your logo more unique so less people will be able to have the exact same or very similar logos to use!

Unsplash

Unsplash is a website where you can get free stock photos (as long as you credit the photographer) for your blog. It’s great because unless you have a passion for photography, when you start blogging – getting great blog photos is really tough, so this is a great alternative while you figure out your blog photography style. Or if photography just isn’t really your thing, you can use the photos to spice up your blog posts!

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a great way to organise your writing process when you first start out! You can plan when you’ll publish and post on your blog – so you can be the most efficient with your blog. This especially helps if you’re working or you’re in school!


I hope you all enjoyed this post, thank you for reading! Please share in the comments what you used to help your blog when you started blogging to help some other bloggers!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a great day!

How The Yerkes Dodson Law Can Help You In School

Hey everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back! About a month ago, I did a post where I briefly spoke about a law called the Yerkes Dodson Law which is such a great tool to think about during school – I’ll be explaining more about it today, let’s jump into it!

What is The Yerkes Dodson Law?

The Yerkes Dodson Law is a law developed by Robert M. Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson showing the relationship between pressure and performance. On a graph, the relationship between the two is the more pressure you have the better your performance – but only up until a certain point!

In more simple terms, the curve is showing that a little bit of pressure is good and will help your performance, but when your pressure increases too much, your performance will go down due to too much stress!

How Can You Implement It Into Your School Life?

When thinking about the Yerkes Dodson curve, visualising the actual curve really helps as you can see the amount of the pressure you need and the success you can get out of it!

Pressure in school is okay but remember not to stress yourself out too much, it won’t get you the results you want and can really affect your mental health. Remember sometimes it’s okay to make yourself a priority and know that it’s okay to take breaks and not work all the time!

How It’s Helped Me

The Yerkes Dodson curve has really helped my confidence in school. I used to stress myself out way too much for tests, it was too much stress to the point of my performance going down from too much stress.

When my dad introduced me to the curve and I started putting less pressure in myself, I actually saw an improvement! And I started realising, it doesn’t matter what you get in school as long as you try your best – and that’s how I’ve been thinking ever since!


Thank you so much for reading this post – let me know if you’be heard of the Yerkes Dodson law in the comments!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day everyone!

Shang Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings Movie Review

Hello everyone, welcome or welcome back to the blog! For today’s post, I’m bringing to you another movie review – this time Marvel’s latest movie Shang Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings. I watched about a week ago and I really enjoyed it, so let’s jump into the review!

Official Reviews

Shang Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings received 92% on Rotten Tomatoes as well as 8.1/10 Stars on IMDb! It was also given 4/5 Stars from Common Sense Media.

My Opinion

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Shang Chi – it was such an enjoyable movie. Everything from the cinematography to the soundtrack was executed beautifully. Marvel really outdid themselves!

One thing that really attracted people to this movie was the fact that Shang Chi was the MCU’s first Asian superhero and representation in Hollywood is expanding so much that people wanted to immerse themselves in culture through the film – which you could definitely do! The movie was such a beautiful display of Chinese culture all while including the action and adventure of a typical Superhero film – which is super unique!

The comedy in this film was also another thing I loved about it! I found myself laughing out loud while watching it in the cinema. Therefore, it was a great balance of different genres such as Action and Adventure, Comedy and even Asian Heritage (as mentioned previously!)

Another cool thing about this movie was the martial arts that was involved. I think Shang Chi is one of the very few superheroes that doesn’t really have powers (of course the Ten Rings come into play towards the end of the film) but throughout the film, he mainly used martial arts to defend himself, as well as a lot of other characters. Which was really interesting to see as martial arts are becoming increasingly popular in mainstream movies and shows. So, it was nice to see a change from super powers – and also the fact that the actors worked super hard to learn these stunts, all while doing an incredible job at portraying these characters! Simu Liu (who plays Shang Chi) and the whole rest of the cast were great forms of representation for the Asian community and were amazing in the film!

As every MCU film does, they always link to another film in one way or another. And no exception for Shang Chi! There were so many references to other films (films from over 5 years ago!), cameos (I won’t spoil who – watch to find out!) And much more!

All in all, this movie was amazing to watch – I’d definitely recommend you all go watch it. Even if you’re not necessarily a Marvel fan, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. If you don’t believe me, it’s already hit records at the box office (learn more about that with this article) and it hasn’t even been out that long!

Synopsis

Martial-arts master Shang-Chi confronts the past he thought he left behind when he’s drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.


Thank you so much for reading this review, let me know in the comments if you’ve seen Shang Chi and what you thought of the movie!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a great day!

How Art Can Increase Your Positivity

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to the blog! For today’s post, I’m going to be doing a positivity post – which for some reason I feel like I haven’t written in a while! This post will be discussing how art can help increase positivity and wellbeing. Let’s jump into it!

It Can Relive Stress

Whether it’s scribbles or splattering paint, creating art relives stress as you’re putting all your emotions onto paper and they aren’t inside you anymore! If you don’t believe me, there’s an article linked here saying that during 45 minutes of art, 75% of participants cortisol (stress hormones) levels lowered!

It Gives You Something To Channel Your Energy Into

A lot of people feel unmotivated because they might not feel good at something or not have something to do. Well, whether you’re good at art or not, it can become your hobby and it really allows you to be able to do something fun and to help your motivation too!

It Adds More Creativity To Your Surroundings

We all need to spice up our room decor every now and again – art is the perfect opportunity to fulfil that desire! The best part is, it doesn’t even matter how your art looks because it’s such a unique thing for everyone.


Thank you so much for reading this post – I tried to keep it simple so it would be easier to read and you can spend more time actually doing the art! I personally also lov9e looking at Art too – and there are so many creators these days, I’m linking my favourite underrated artist on Tiktok (@artby_zahra) whose a self taught artist with original content which you should definitely check out (this post is actually a collaboration with her!) Let me know in the comments your favourite artists!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day everyone!

Interview With Myra Ali – Talking Journalism, Body Positivity & More!

Hey everyone, it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to the blog! Today’s post is an interview that I’m super excited to be doing, I’ll be interviewing entertainment journalist: Myra Ali. I had a great time chatting with her about body confidence, journalism advice and more. I hope you enjoy reading the interview below – let’s jump into it!


Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed on my blog! For anybody that doesn’t know who you are, could you give a little introduction to yourself?

My name is Myra Ali and I’m an entertainment journalist! I write for the BBC, The Metro, Glamour Magazine and many other publications. I’m also a BBC Guest Editor as well!

Photo From Myra’s Instagram (@myraaliedit)

That’s really cool – a lot of big publications there! I want to start by talking about your journalism career and going back to the beginning. So, when and how did you start developing a passion for journalism?

So, I’d say I always known I was a good listener and after university I worked as a translator for pregnant women in a maternity hospital. And patients would end up telling me their stories and open up to me. While I was doing that job, I was also on social media talking about my skin condition – I worked with a few charities as well.

I’d kind of always known I wanted to be in media. But about 4 years ago, I wasn’t sure when in media I wanted to be. Whether it was presenting or journalism etc! It took some time, but then an opportunity came with a charity where they asked me to interview a celebrity in London, and I said yes to it. It was all on camera, and while I was there, the photographer was actually Tom Holland’s mum! She said I was really good at interviewing and asked if I’d like to interview her son (Tom Holland) for the next Spiderman film and I said definitely! A couple of months later, it actually happened and I got to interview the other actors too.

After that, there was a really good response to the interview, because they put it on their Youtube channel so I just reached out to a lot of outlets asking to be an interviewer for them. And a few months later, I was interviewing for the London Film Festival (which was my first red carpet event I did) where I interviewed Timothee Chalamet along with other actors, producers and directors, Then after that, I was approached by Marie Claire Magazine to write an article about myself and my journalism. I wrote the article, and it was published. And I carried on reaching out and just built good relationships with publicists. I think it was January 2020 when I interviewed Michael B Jordan and Jamie Foxx for their new film

Then, covid hit so I just carried on writing articles for different publications and in that time, a Netflix movie called 365 Days came out and I got to interview one of the actors with The Metro and it really helped my social media as it got me a highly engaged audience and enhanced my work in terms of interactions with people. At around that time, the Black Lives Matter movement happened at around this time as well and I did an article about the lack of diversity in journalism and wrote it with Stylist magazine and it got picked up by the BBC and they asked me to guest edit one of their programmes. To be honest, I didn’t know the article was going to be that popular, I just wrote it and then saw the response.

A lot of other interviews happened after that as well! I also wrote for GQ, which was more of a fun article about Christmas drinks – so my work is really varied.

I actually heard about you from your Spiderman interview, and it was really good! So, it’s clear from what you said, that being proactive is really important – why is that?

Journalism is a very competitive field, most people would want to do journalism because they think it’s very glamorous and that you can meet a lot of celebrities. That is true, but there’s a lot of hard work that goes with it, and if you don’t have that work ethic to put all the hours and effort of building relationships with people. You’re not going to get very far with it! And you need to be a real people person, because you will come across people who are downright rude. Unfortunately they can be assistants, agents etc who are very busy people and you can write a polite long email, and you can get a one word answer. Which I’ve had many times, but you just have to get on with it. You’ll even get people saying, ‘you won’t be able to do that!’ or ‘oh, that’s too big for you!’ but you have to have that drive and confidence within yourself. So, by building relationships with other people and other journalists it’s always good to get advice on how to enhance your career.

I would say it’s so important to know your ultimate big goal and smaller goals as well. Because if you don’t have that, then you can feel all over the place because journalism is so big!

Yes I do agree that having an ultimate goal really keeps you n your path towards your dreams! So you mentioned that there are many different fields of journalism: Sports, Political etc! You mentioned you’re specifically in entertainment, so have you ever branched out into other fields? And for anybody that’s unsure of what field of journalism they want to go into, what advice would you give them to pick a field?

I would say to think of what you’re really passionate about because it will be very obvious what your likes and dislikes are and what excited you. Will you write an article in the early hours about politics? If you can’t or you won’t, don’t do any kind of political journalism. However, if you think that you want to write about sports, and you can write about sport any time of the day, that would be a clear indication that you really like it! Because, of course, I do entertainment journalism and I got given an exclusive story which I sent to the BBC and they said I could write about it and it was about a whole load of Hollywood starting a petition for disabled people in entertainment getting the same rights as them – and I was up till 4am finishing up and it cam out at 7pm the next day. So, you have to work really fast but the reward is I wrote for BBC News. So, you have to be passionate about whatever subject you’re writing!

A lot of people say to try a few areas, you can do that but I think deep down people know what they like. You might also come across a certain area you might want to try out while working on another area already and you could get introduced to it. So, you don’t know what happens but I think deep down you’ll know and make that your starting point!

Photo From Myra’s Instagram (@myraaliedit)

I agree passion is super important! Interviews and writing different pieces are key parts of journalism as well, which you’re very good at – I love watching your interviews! So, what are your go to tips for preparing for interviews, or writing articles?

For interviews, your editor will be someone who will guide you because they will want a certain piece. So for instance, you should have an idea of what questions you’d like to ask the person, and then work with the editor to get their angle to get what they want – so you kind of work together. Then, you will do the interview, and after you get the answers and the conversation from the person, your editor will read the transcript and they can say what’s a good angle to do the article on and what the headline would be. But you will also get the gist of that as well and you can always say to your editor what you think is a good angle and if they don’t agree with you that’s fine because at the end of the day they’re your boss so you have to go with what they say. It really depends, but if you have any idea on how you’d like to do your article, you can always cater your questions.

When I did my article with The Metro with the actor from 365 Days the editor said the headline would be about ‘controversy’ and why the film was a bit controversial so I had that in mind that it was the main question which is why that was at the top to start the feature. Then, you can pair it with other films and actors that have been a bit controversial. So, there needs to be a good flow and you need to be good at writing, essentially essays as they’re really similar to articles. So you need to learn how to do this, which you can learn through doing a journalism degree or workshops set up by other journalists – you can learn via those as well!

That’s cool! Would starting a workshop ever that you’d maybe be interested in?

Maybe in the future! I don’t have time, presently. But definitely in the future.

I want to move onto a topic which I think is super important, but isn’t talked about enough: Body confidence and positivity. You’re a huge activist for this! So, do you mind giving us a brief description of your story and journey in terms of your body?

So I have a skin condition called Epidermolysis Bullosa and it’s like having permanent burns. I kind of show and write what my condition is about because it’s unpredictable and has given me a lot health issues. But what I show is, it doesn’t matter what you look like and what you’ve been through – with passion and positivity you can get through it! It doesn’t really matter what your circumstance is. So, despite having a lot of plastic surgery and operations, I feel that it’s a part of life and I get on with it – it doesn’t stop me from work or anything.

I think you have to try and show if you’re comfortable within yourself and confident, other people will see that and they will respond to you the same. Whereas, if you say and show how much you lack confidence, people will pick up on it, and reflect that back. So, I’m a big believer of putting out what you want!

I saw a very similar quote – and your motivation is really inspiring! Many teenagers (especially girls) can struggle with body positivity and confidence, so just for you personally, when and why do you think you truly learned to love yourself and how do you think that happened?

I would say it’s probably when I started working as a journalist, because probably in the early days, in the back of my head I would think there are not many other journalists that look like me – so would I get what I want, in terms of my ambitions? Then I thought, ‘No don’t think like that!’ because it’s not very positive and you’ll hold yourself back. Just be confident, and you know you’re talented at what you do, so just go for it!

And really what gives you confidence is your talent and if you’re good at your work. If you know you’re good at your work, then it will be obvious! That’s really what matters because it doesn’t matter what you look like (it’s not going to get you so far) but if you’re good at your work, you know how to build relationships, you’re confident and you have a strong work ethic that is what will get you far!

Photo From Myra’s Instagram (@myraaliedit)

Yes work ethic is super important! So, could you share advice for anybody struggling with confidence to do with their body?

I would say if you feel something is really holding you back, you may need some extra support in terms of counselling – and there’s nothing wrong with that because everyone has therapy these days. But, if it’s a bit of low confidence, you’re not alone at all because everyone feels like that. You could watch TV and see a girl that’s absolutely perfect, and she will have the same insecurity as you – so you’re not alone. And in this day and age of social media, it’s harder for young people who struggle with body positivity.

But, the media is becoming a lot more diverse so what sorts of images are mot accepted? But, again, if you don’t love yourself and embrace yourself then no one else will. If you don’t, then that lack of confidence in the area of what you look like, that will stop you from excelling in other areas!

Yeah that’s so true! So, why do you think it’s important that body confidence should be talked about more and there should be more activism around it? 

Well, there has been a lot of talk about it because of artists like Lizzo and Ashley Graham etc. But, I think why it should be a topic that it should be continually talked about because, people need to see themselves. So, no matter who you are, everyone wants to be part of the conversation, nobody wants to be excluded. People want to feel they can relate to people.

So, I hope the conversation keeps going and bigger brands help people no matter their ethnicity, weight etc all have a platform so everyone feels involved, and feels that their beauty is shown. Because, we can’t have one type of beauty because it’s also very boring as well. Everyone is unique and everyone likes to see bits of themselves on the screen or on social media.

For the final part of this interview, you’ve already accomplished so much in your journalism career, but could you share some of your future plans, and goals with us?

I’d like to have a platform where I can interview whoever I like, and I don’t need a publication to back me up. And there are a lot of journalists who do that, but it takes time. Because normally you have to be approved by an editor and the publication, whereas on my own, I can just go to the agent/manager of the artist, and it’s done. I have done that before with some other actors and models, but with A List actors, you have to have that publication backing because they’re so big. So, that is my aim, to make my own platform even stronger!


A big thank you to Myra Ali for agreeing to be interviewed! Let me know in the comments what advice you took away from her – and make sure you check out her social media and her spiderman cast interview below!

Myra’s Links

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a great day!

How Using BlogR Can Benefit Your Blog + The Blogging World!

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here – welcome or welcome back to the blog! I’m very excited to be writing this post because about a week ago, the BlogR official platform launched! For anybody that doesn’t know, BlogR is a platform that allows you to find the blogs you love (to learn more check out my interview with the founder here!) and their launch has provided assistance for us: the bloggers! So, I thought I’d share why BlogR is super useful for us (also this isn’t sponsored, writing this post is genuinely my decision.) Let’s jump into it!

Graphic Designed By BlogR Founder On Instagram

BlogR is another source of growth for your blog

The amazing thing about BlogR, is you can upload all your blog posts on there for the whole community to see. There are quite a few categories to post them on so people can easily find you. BlogR also redirects readers to your blog website so they can follow you!

You can exchange ideas through messaging other community bloggers

This is one of my favourite features of BlogR – through messaging, you can talk about blog posts, ideas and maybe even collaborations! Of course Instagram DM is an option, but since BlogR is specifically just for bloggers, you’ll know you’re chatting to the right people which I absolutely love!

You can find the blogs you actually want to read

We all know sometimes when we search a blog category on google we aren’t always going to find the relevant blogs. So, I love that BlogR has solved this problem. You really will be reading the information you want to read!


Thank you so much for reading this post guys (apologies for it being quite short, school is starting again soon and I’m trying to focus on some last minute work!) make sure you check out my Interview With The BlogR Founder: Angel and my profile on BlogR! Comment if you’re joining BlogR, I’d love to see you there!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day everyone!

How You Can Keep Positive About Going Back To School

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to my blog! As said in my previous blog post, I’m going to try and do more back to school related posts. I’ll still be keeping with the theme of positivity, so I’ll be sharing how you can keep positive about going back to school!

Remembering You’ll See Your Friends More Often

This is honestly one of the main reasons why I enjoy school. Obviously, in your summer break you will see your friends more freely without school rules and different classes. But in school, you will see each other every day no matter your class so seeing them during school is much more often then in summer as it’s 6 hours for over half the week!

You’re Learning Things That Could Probably Be Useful In The Future

I do understand that this only applies for some subjects. But, if you take a humanitarian subject especially, you’re learning things that can actually benefit you in the future. For example, in Citizenship (similar to politics) we learn about voting, the law etc! And these will actually be able to help you be better citizens when you’re older!

You Will Learn More About Your Future

As you progress through school, you start getting more information about your future (careers, universities etc!) Honestly, I’m someone that loves planning my future as I already know my future career, so when I get information about my future career, I tend to take in as much information as possible. So, if you’re set on your career, you should listen about your future as much as possible!


So guys, I hope this post helped with back to school. The summer has gone super fast so honestly I needed to write this post! Let me know if you’ve gone back to school yet and how you’ve been!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a fantastic day!

What I Wish I Knew Before Starting My GCSEs

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back! So, I go back to school in around 2 weeks but I realised a lot of people have already gone back or will do at the same time as me. I’ve gotten a lot of requests to do more school-related posts so I thought it would be fitting to do a GCSE Advice post considering last year, I finished my 1st year of courses! I asked on Instagram what kind of things you needed advice on, whether you’re doing GCSEs or just have exams. So, I’ll be sharing what I wish I knew about exams/GCSEs. Let’s jump into it!

Organising Folders From The Beginning Is Key

This is so vital – and I can’t stress this enough! If you organise your folders from the second you start your courses, you’ll already be that much more prepared. In this sense, I mean that every day after school, make structured notes of what you’ve learned from your subjects, and put them in a folder. That way, when it comes to your final exams, you would’ve already made your revision materials because you were organised!

When choosing folders, they can be very big and sometimes quite expensive! So, I would say, just get one to start with and separate by subject with dividers or plastic wallets for each subject. As you move along the course (and you see which subjects are the most content heavy) you can then think about other folders. For me personally, I’ve found Science and English to be the most content heavy, but it could be different for you!

Stress Is Okay – Just Not Too Much Of It

This is another important thing I wish I knew. When you’re a little bit stressed/nervous, it can actually push you to do your best. However, when your stress increases you won’t perform as well, and that could really put a damper on your mental health!

I remember, I used to put so much pressure on myself (too much in fact) to do well, that I actually didn’t do as well! When I started decreasing the amount of stress and pressure, I actually did pretty good (of course I didn’t do well on everything!) but I was happy with my grades and that’s all that matters. So remember to be content with yourself and just know as long as you try your best you’ve done amazing!

Focus On The End Goal

I find focusing on the end result is super motivating to me when I feel like I’m slightly slacking or don’t feel like working. I know I want to do well in my exams but in order to feel like that, I have to work hard. Just even thinking of my future motivates me!

So try that next time you feel unmotivated – I’m sure it will help boost your motivation!


Thank you so much for reading this blog post guys, I hope it was useful for those of you starting your GCSEs or are going into an exam year. Let me know your goals for the school year in the comments!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a great day!

Interview With Catherine Jane – Young Environmentalist & Founder Of The Ecolytical

Hi everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to Zainab Chats! Today’s post is another interview with my good blogging friend Catherine (I actually interviewed her a year ago, but we both thought it would be fun to do an updated interview!) It’s actually fitting to do an interview now, as Catherine has done a huge brand revamp from Cath Jane Blog to The Ecolytical which I’m so excited about. We’re going to be chatting all things the environment, her revamped blog and more. Let’s jump into it!


Hello Catherine, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed! For anybody that doesn’t know who you are, could you please introduce yourself and explain what The Ecolytical is about?

Hi! Thank you so much for having me Zainab, it’s an absolute pleasure to be here. My name is Catherine, and I’m a teen blogger from the UK. I live in just about the middle of England – not quite north or south. The Ecolytical is my passion project. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted to share with the world in one online space. The combination of the prefix eco- and the word ‘analytical’ in the name summarises what it’s all about: picking apart environmental news to be more digestible and accessible to everyone.

Photo From The Ecolytical Instagram (@the.ecolytical)

That’s so cool! So how long have you had the idea in your mind to start The Ecolytical?

I had the idea for the name in January of this year but I only started writing content for it in around April. So, it’s been a long time in the making!

I’m excited to see it! Before we get into chatting about The Ecolytical in depth, I’d love to talk a bit about your blogging journey. So I’m curious to know what inspired you to start blogging, is it something you’ve always wanted or did you decide to do it ‘in the moment?’

It was a very spur of the moment decision. I have to admit, Zoella was my largest inspiration to get started! Once I had finished reading her Girl Online book series I went straight to my parents to ask if I could start a blog (I was quite young at the time) and to my surprise they said yes almost immediately. Anonymity was part of the deal but I wanted to have an alias anyway so it worked out really well. The first few years of blogging were hit and miss, just posting whatever I wanted, until last year I tried to make it as best as possible and then just a few months ago I decided to pursue this niche.

That’s quite similar to how I started blogging! Obviously you started blogging quite a while ago, for anybody that’s apprehensive or doesn’t really know where to begin with blogging, what advice or tips would you give them?

It’s the most basic piece of advice but it’s incredibly true: just do it! Don’t be afraid to try out different formats! In the beginning you don’t have much of a following to restrict you to a certain niche so this is the time you can experiment and see what feels right for you. Then as soon as you start building followers you can stick with a certain niche.

So what kind of things did you try out, that you wouldn’t normally post, when you started blogging?

I did lots of Q&As and things similar to that which I wouldn’t really do anymore. I tried to focus on lifestyle and even though I still talk about that sometimes, it’s not really what I want to do anymore. The same with fashion! I think I had a couple of moments where I wanted to do Outfits Of The Day but that’s not really what I’m interested in anymore.

Yeah I do notice a few lifestyle posts on your Intagram sometimes but it’s much more related to your current niche! Now moving onto The Ecolytical, the mission is to ‘help everyone to live consciously: of themselves and their world’ which is such a powerful statement. What gave you the idea to revolve The Ecolytical around this, and what made you start it in the first place?

So, I really believe if you’re not aware of what your world is going through, there’s no incentive to take action and participate in these larger conversations. The climate crisis is the most pressing global issue facing us at the moment, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it. 

On my Instagram recently I have spoken about the idea of ‘reconnecting with nature’. Not only does it do wonders for your wellbeing, but it brings you closer to the Earth so you can hopefully gain a bit of empathy towards it. When you’re closer to the cause, it makes you more likely to take action. 

Photo From The Ecolytical Instagram (@the.ecolytical)

Love this perspective! So would you say that someone like Greta Thunberg is one of your role models, or do you have any other role models and could you share them?

Greta is one of my hugest inspirations, but I also love David Attenborough of course. I also love Steve Backshall, I went to go see him once and he was really cool!

One of the other aims of The Ecolytical is to help people live more eco-friendly lifestyles. Is an eco-friendly lifestyle something you’ve always had or something you’ve implemented over time?

I can’t say I’ve ever been perfectly eco-friendly (and I still am not now) but growing up semi-rural, I do have an understanding of the importance of caring for wildlife and nature. My parents always made me get outside and I was subscribed to a lot of nature magazines. One thing that’s always been drilled into me is to make use of everything: don’t buy anything for the sake of it and to be as conservative as possible about what you buy!

That’s really good advice! You always stress the importance of small changes and how they can create big results. So why is it vital that everyone knows this and plays a part in a small change , and how will it help the environment?

I don’t know whether you have seen this idea floating about on Instagram, but I’ve seen a graphic where, in quotation marks, it says ‘just one plastic bottle, says 8 million people’. Now that’s quite a negative take on the idea. But look at it this way, what if 8 million people refused a single use bottle?

Even though we aren’t world leaders with big companies and sums of money at our disposal, but there is power in the people. And the more we speak up, the less the Governments can ignore us. Even just a small change can create a ripple effect and I think it’s important that you don’t feel overwhelmed by the crisis otherwise you won’t feel as inspired to take action!

Photo From The Ecolytical Blog

So when did you start learning to take action, and when do you think is the right time to start?

Obviously just as soon as possible (as soon as you can talk) you want to be kind to your planet. But, I’d say around 6-7 years old, I joined an eco club at school and we made art out of litter and then I started going to clubs such as Wildlife Explorers. So, that’s when I started being aware of climate change.

Then in recent years, with the rise of people like Greta Thunberg and her speeches, I realised the severity of it and why I need to talk about it myself.

You mentioned young people, so how do you think parents and schools can implement activism and changemaking spirits into young people?

I think it’s good to have small conversations and not be too overwhelming. So, just pose a simple question like, ‘Are you sure you want to buy that drink when you could just take a bottle with you?’ Don’t try to overwhelm children on a large scale of this, because it can cause some anxiety and that’s not necessary. But if you speak about the bees in your garden for example and explain the issue in a simple way it could be much simpler. So, just try to thread it into conversation where appropriate to avoid confusion and overwhelming children.

Making things simple is a great way for young children to understand! Speaking of simple, for anybody that wants to shift their lifestyle to make it more eco-friendly could you give us some examples of simple changes you can make to have good effects on the environment?

Of course! Buying in bulk, taking your own cup, buying second-hand, eating meat-free (even for just one day a week), signing some Greenpeace petitions. Next time you have to replace your toothbrush – go for a bamboo one (but check the bristles are biodegradable too). Resuable masks are also great (buying them from a small business is even better, my favourite is @namishopuk)

Even just talking about the climate crisis more within your school communities or sports clubs. I want The Ecolytical to have a ripple effect. I want to start conversations that will be continued, and continued, and continued.

You mentioned buying second hand, do you mind sharing some examples of where you could buy second hand clothes, items etc?

Go to charity shops – they’re the best because there are so many in the UK! Car boot sales are great for more practical items and E Bay is also great as you have to buy locally to get quicker delivery. Also, a lot of my clothes can also come from family which is another great source!

Family is a great one, there’s also an app called Vinted where you can buy second hand. So, what’s your final statement about The Ecolytical or piece of advice you’d like to share with my readers?

One last piece of advice, because I don’t want to sound egotistical and talk about myself! Don’t fall for the eco-friendly ‘aesthetic’ because it’s progression over perfection! Use up what you have, and repair what you already own before you go on a shopping spree for metal straws or glass food containers! The whole idea is to push against capitalism, not drive it. Doing your best is the we can do!


Thank you so much to Catherine for taking the time to be interviewed! I learned so much from listening to her, so make sure you comment what you learned and check out her links!

Catherine’s Links

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