Interview: Laurie McAllister on Girl & Tonic, Yoga, and Living Life Alcohol-Free

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Laurie McAllister's blog, Girl & Tonic, is about living life without alcohol, and personal wellbeing. In her own words, 'my version of wellbeing means removing alcohol, reading lots of books, meeting friends (and dates) for tea and doing a lot of yoga. For you it could mean choosing to have a night in and a bath rather than another night out drinking, taking a 30 day meditation challenge, simply pausing to think before you reach for a glass of wine or some chocolate when you’re feeling sad or starting a writing practice first thing in the morning.' I love to read her honest words about her journey, and today you can find out a little more about her. We chatted about yoga, her writing, and looking after yourself.

Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Laurie! First of all, for any readers who don’t know your background, tell me a little bit about yourself and where you are today.

Laurie McAllister:
I’m Laurie, a 25-year-old based in London, UK, living life alcohol free. I’m a full-time marketing geek, part time yoga teacher in training, and writer of Girl & Tonic.

Magic & Musings:
If you could describe your blog in three words, what would they be?

Laurie McAllister:
Honest. Uplifting. Life.

Magic & Musings:
When did you first get into writing generally? Was there something that drove you to write? Did you study it formally or come across it as a hobby?

Laurie McAllister:
I studied English Literature at University but that was actually a lot more reading than it was writing. I was going through a tough time two years ago and spent a lot of time writing (or journaling as some may say) my thoughts and feelings, I really enjoyed it and decided to put my words out into the world.


Magic & Musings:
When did you first get into blogging and did you have to overcome any self-confidence barriers in order to get to that place where you could share your words?

Laurie McAllister:
Yes, I had massive barriers around putting my words out into the world – and still sometimes do. I write very openly and therefore I can sometimes have vulnerability hangovers but when people reach out and say my blog has helped them on some level it is all worth it.

Magic & Musings:
On Magic & Musings I love talking about female-identifying or non-binary artists and their work. Which writers and bloggers, if any, would you say have been influences on your work? Do you have any favourites to look at when you need a spark of inspiration?

Laurie McAllister:
I’m big on inspiration and self-improvement. Some favourite writers who I look towards for motivation and reassurance that I am on the right path are Rebecca Campbell, Glennon Melton Doyle, and Marianne Williamson. Daisy Buchanan and Laura Jane Williams are two writers I really look up to too. I love their honest voices and the breadth of their writing.


Magic & Musings:
Some fantastic choices!
This is a question I like to ask purely because of the variety of answers I get! I’m really interested in how people work and get things done. Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done, like a milky cup of tea or a particular album of music you listen to?

Laurie McAllister:
With a full time job and yoga teaching, my writing tends to be when I have a spare moment. In an ideal world I would have complete silence, burn a candle, and have a cup of mint tea but often it’s scrawling on the bus – thank goodness for Google Docs!

Magic & Musings:
What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively? Are there any books on writing and creativity you would recommend to others?

Laurie McAllister:
Yes, I love The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and would recommend it to everyone (I bet everyone recommends this book ...)

Magic & Musings:
Have you ever explored working in a medium other than blogging? Is this something you would consider in the future?

Laurie McAllister:
Yep, I work in marketing and teach yoga; combined with blogging they keep me pretty busy ... although I would love to work as a life coach or a counselor and have looked in to courses in the past (watch this space)

Magic & Musings:
How would you describe your relationship with social media?

Laurie McAllister:
I LOVE the connection that comes from social media and the real life friends I have found via Instagram, but like many of us I struggle with mindless scrolling and comparing myself to others so I try to limit my usage


Magic & Musings:
What tools do you use to keep yourself organised?

Laurie McAllister:
Google Docs, I have the app on my phone and use it on my computer so I can keep my ideas and writing all in one go. I also use Streaks – an app on my iPhone – to ensure I am keeping on track of things I want to do every day like write and meditate.

Magic & Musings:
What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out blogging?

Laurie McAllister:
What DA was! I’ve only just found out about Domain Authority & it is a work in progress to build it up.

Magic & Musings:
Onto a fun question! Can you recommend everyone reading a book you've enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song?

Laurie McAllister:
I just finished reading Ice Cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams and would buy it for everyone if I could. It really added to my thinking and has encouraged me to embrace my inner child.

Ed Sheeran, 'Castle on the Hill' – for some reason it reminds me of home and I can’t stop listening

Magic & Musings:
Ice Cream for Breakfast was absolutely fantastic. I already feel like I want to read it again.
Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work? What’s on the horizon for you in the next few months?

Laurie McAllister:
Thanks for having me here :)

More to come from me in the next few months as I will qualify as a yoga teacher, finish off my training, and add more yoga and lifestyle content to the blog.

You can find me at http://girlandtonic.co.uk, and over on instagram at http://instagram.com/agirlandtonic

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