UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

I'm Blue

Am I in some kind of dress heaven recently? Yes. Yes I am. 
I recieved this dress in the post from Jones + Jones quite a while ago and literally have not had a second or opportunity to wear it let alone shoot it. Thankfully that day came and I was able to show you the gloriousness of it. New word. What can I say?
To be honest, I think I'm pretty much always all about the lace.. it's something that doesn't ever really stop looking amazing (providing it's done right) and this dress is no exception. It's also totally weird for me to be wearing something blue. I know that might sound bizarre but I think it's maybe the only blue thing I own.. other than the occasional striped tee so it was nice to be pushed slightly when it came to styling it. 
As you all know... not one for overly girly yada yada.... so I decided to chill the outfit out a little bit by adding a chunky knit - which I actually picked up for £15 from a vintage shop in Nottingham when I used to live there - and some simple grey boots. I like how the knit contrasts with the delicacy of the dress and I feel like it makes the outfit more wearable and especially super cute for festive times where you want to dress up but also be cosy.
Always be cosy.
Jones & Jones Dress, Primark Boots, Vintage Cardiagan
All photo's taken with this beautiful creation , the Olympus Pen.

So what do you think of blue lace? Into it? 
Would you ever mix something as dressy as this with a chunky knit?
I've been thinking and I might not catch you guys this side of Christmas again (unless I do a sneaky sneaky blog post) and so if that's the case, I hope you all have a wonderful time, full of laughs and food and all of the good things.


Sunday, 20 December 2015

Boohoo Does NYE

So if this isn't the most beautiful dress you've ever seen then I don't know what you've been looking at because GUYS. CAN WE JUST. 
It would be super perfect for NYE or basically every day and night for the rest of your life ever ever ever. The lace & sheer detail is just insanely beautiful and if you're not too shy, (which I don't know if you have noticed, but I'm not ) then it's nice to wear a lacey bit of lingerie underneath because it kind of looks part of the dress but then it also totally doesn't. Y'know? 
My fave place for extremely tumblr esque lacey bra's is Urban Outfitters but I've seen SO MANY amazing ones on Missguided recently too... especially this one.
And now you should mentally prepare yourself for resting bitch face below. Soznotsoz.
Also, just in case you haven't seen my insane amounts of tweets or my latest selfie on instagram, then YES..... I have new hair... and YES.. I'm more than a little bit in love with it. I had it done at Outcast in Northampton and everybody there was just the absolute loveliest. I even got a shoulder & neck massage after having my hair washed... it was basically like a hair miracle making dream and I would thoroughly suggest checking it out if you're anywhere near that area because it was GREAT. We're also working on a little somethin' somethin' together so expect even more changes in the new year!
The lovely Vicky who spent about ten years tactfully covering my head in foil also has a blog, so definitely check out Whiskers & Wedges if you get a chance.
Boohoo Dress*, Boohoo Gilet*,  Urban Outfitters Bra, Similar Here, Topshop Boots Similar Here

Anyway, back to the matter in hand... the dress (which did I mention, was a whole £21 from boohoo?). You know by now that I'm not one for all of the super girly things so I decided to edge this beautiful number up by adding a bit of texture in the form of a fur gilet and my trusty gothic boots from Toppers. I feel like the whole outfit is just THE DREAM and I can't wait to wear it at every possible opportunity. Unfortunately for me, I won't be able to wear it out on New Years Eve as I'll be working (shock), but that won't stop me wearing it in the run up to Christmas and afterwards and just all the time, so I'm good.

Do you have any plans for NYE? 
What will you be wearing? 


Friday, 4 December 2015

Ideas On Blogger/Youtube Fame : Are We Friends Or Fans?

So I've been wanting to write this post for a few weeks but just hadn't managed to find time until now which is a shame.. I feel like my feelings were a lot stronger and a lot more coherent at the time. Nonetheless, I still thought that it was something worth talking to you guys about and getting your opinions on. It's good to have a chat, isn't it?
There's been a lot of conversation around Essena and her departure from social media recently and I guess it's put a bit more focus on those who make a living out of social media and the internet.
If you're anything like me, you'll have more than a few firm faves that you like to keep up to date with on allofthesocialchannels . You might look forward to their youtube upload days or perhaps get a small buzz of excitement when you see their new hairstyle all over instagram. Perhaps you take an active interest in their life and their opinions on things and find yourself feeling like you 'know' them. Do you do that? Because I know that I certainly do.. but does that make me a 'fan'? It's not like I've got anything against being a fan as such.. I mean I'm a fan of all my mates y'know? I'll back them til the end and I'm their number one fan but I'm also, their friend? 
The internet is a super weird thing and with blogging and youtube it's hard to not feel like you really and truly know someone because of the bits of their life that they choose to click publish on.  Now both you and I aren't naive enough to think that everything we see online is an accurate representation of somebody's life because let's face it.. we actively pick the best bits of our own to post too. Still, that doesn't mean that they don't accurately represent our personality. You might not know from my instagram that I'm having a hard time at work or that I'm dealing with distress... but you'll probably still get my sense of humour, you'll see the people I'm friends with, you'll read the quotes I feel are most relevant and you'll get an idea of the things that really make me tick so yeah.. I'd go as far as to say that you know me. And.. if I might be as bold.. perhaps you might be interested in what I write because you feel like maybe we'd get on? Y'know, if we were to hang out, maybe we'd have a laugh, maybe we'd have the same interests and just generally have a great time.
 So what happens when you've got 1.5 million people that feel like they know you? 
I really struggle to make that mental bridge between having a group of online mates that are interested in what you're doing, to having a group of people who get giddy when they meet you and stop you in the street for a photo because omgit'syou. 
 I mean.. as you all know... it's not something I have to deal with and it's not something I'm familiar with in the slightest and never will be so you might be wondering why I'm even so bothered about this whole thing and I guess my real reason is this:
There's a number of people who I follow on twitter... watch on youtube and catch up with on snapchat and I'm pretty sure that I'm doing that for the same reason that you guys are.. right?
I'm not doing it to buy into some massive fandom and to get butterflies if someone big time tweets me back. I'm not doing it because omgimyourbiggestfan and pleaseacknowledgemeit'llmakemyLIFE.
I'm doing it because actually.. I think you're kinda cool and I reckon we'd - if given the option - probably be pretty good mates. 
I guess it's not like that with every blog I follow and every video I watch.. sometimes I'm just interested, or I love someones sense of style... but there's certainly a group of 'influencer's' that I like because actually, I see through those instagram filters and that enticing hand held camera action to something more. I see in them something that I see in myself and to me that's not 'being a fan'.. although I am a fan of what they do, and what they say.. it's not because of their level of following or because they're 'internet famous'.. it's just because I think they're a bit cool. End of. Right?
So.. now that's clear I can just calm myself down and go back into hiding right? Well no.. not exactly.. because recently it was brought to my attention that actually.. these people may not realise that I have that 'Ithinkyou'reabitcoolendof' mentality and actually, I might just look like some superfan that just wants a photo with the famous person and for whatever reason, I'm being totally eaten up by it. 
I think.. that if for example you didn't have millions of followers and I was like , 'oh hey, wanna grab a coffee?' you'd probably just think that I wanted to hang out because we might get on, (or perhaps you'd think I was a massive creep, but that's up to you) but as soon as I become just a number.. a name amongst the masses that follow your every move, I guess that statement is ruined a little.. it's tinged with something less real and I guess it's that. That is what I have the issue with.
I can't imagine having that many people interested in my life and I can't imagine having to be cautious because of it but nonetheless, I'd like to think that if I was ever graced with that opportunity, I wouldn't start seeing my followers as fans because to me.. there's a very real difference. 
If we're just talking about having a strong interest in someone, or admiring their decisions and creative outputs then sure, I'm a fan I guess.. but please don't think that I'm caught up in the movement of the moment because actually... if all of that was to disappear and your online presence was no longer.. you've still got a friend in me. (And if you're not now singing the Toy Story song then I might have to re-consider that statement)

Do you ever feel like this about the act of following people online?
Do you think there's a difference between being a follower and being a fan? 
Is it just me that doesn't want to queue up outside for a 'meet up' but actually just go and grab a cup of tea and have a chat?

I would very much like to know you, in the way that you know me and that will always run through the veins of my online existence for as long as it's alive.
So.. let's chat.
After all.. if we're not all here to make friends then I'm sorry but what is this about?
(If you're thinking coats and shoes then you're only half right)

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Urban Renewal

So I guess you could say that I'm kind of in love with everything Urban Outfitters related at the moment. (I guess I always have been but have perhaps restricted myself a little more than I have of recent times ha!) I picked up this body suit on a whirlwind visit to the UO store on Oxford Street when I really should have been rushing for my train but I don't regret that little extra jog I had to do one bit. I mean.. it's more than a little risque which I'm not gonna lie.. does make me feel pretty uncomfortable and I think it'd probably be more suited so someone with smaller breasticles but what can I say.. sometimes I just like a plungey neckline. I basically figured that if everything else I was wearing was kinda unstructured and loose than it was totally fine to have ALL the chest on show. I have a few lacey bra's (also from UO) that actually look pretty fancy under the bodysuit as they cover a bit more of the chesticle area but still look all sexy and stuff. Not that I'd ever lend myself to being 'sexy' but that's another matter entirely now isn't it.
ANYWAY, I digress. The star of the show here for me is my beautiful new/old Levi's jacket. Don'tyoujustloveitsomuch? In case you weren't aware, Urban Outfitters do a whole range of Urban Renewal garms that are basically vintage in some form that they've helped bring into the modern age ( this jacket being one of them ) and BOY do I need every single item ever... But again.. that'd be another story. 
The jacket is so perfectly roomy without being unflattering y'know? You'll all already be aware of my love for clothes that are basically just baggy sacks but sometimes that can kind of hinder the whole body shape situation and well.. I end up looking a bit sack shaped. My point really is that this jacket does none of the negative things and all of the positive things in all of the positive ways. It's warm, it's levi's (swoon), it's comfy, it's trendy, it's worn, it's got decent pockets and it's basically every single season appropriate.
Urban Outfitters Jacket & Bodysuit, New Look Boots, H&M Jeans, Daniel Wellington Watch
Photo's by Megs 

So today we have learned that I'm in love with a jacket and would probably marry it if I could.
Make me feel a little less weird and share your garm love too?



Thursday, 29 October 2015

Being A Guest In Your Own City

For those of you that know me outside of the blogging world, or perhaps those who keep a bit of an eye out over on twitter, it will probably be no surprise to you that I haven't always been the biggest fan of Birmingham. I think part of it is a natural need to flee my childhood home and I've always felt that there just isn't enough going on for a city of it's size. Nonetheless, when I was invited to the #sleepwellshopwell event with PremierInn & Propellernet a few weeks ago I was super excited to head into town and meet some fellow Birmingham bloggers because actually - to my surprise - they do exist! The event was centered around Megs guide to Birmingham with a lovely blogger dinner and a stay in Premier Inn. Oh.. and shopping (of course). 
After checking in to the hotel ( and enjoying how large and marshmallow like the bed was) we all grabbed a drink in the bar, before heading over to Lost & Found which was a short little wander down the road. For some weird reason I've actually never been before and put it this way, I'll for sure be heading back soon. The cocktails were amazing, the food was divine and most important of all, so was the company. It made such a lovely change from allofthework to be able to head to an event and meet some of the people I've been twitter stalking forever (Sophie & Claire I'm lookinatchoo), and of course, any chance to spend an evening with my pal Megs is going to make me all kinds of happy.
After lots of lovely chats and laughs - and quite a couple of yawns on my part - we headed back to the hotel to what was one of the best sleeps EVER.
The bed in the Premier Inn was literally the comfiest thing ever and I'm not ashamed to say that after dropping my bag by the door, I did a joyful little skip and jumped onto the bed with glee. It was a struggle to get back up to take my makeup off but I was intent on having the most peaceful and lovely sleep ever so I fought against the struggle, added all of the lovely face oils and climbed back into bed to catch up on some youtube and drift off to sleep. Bliss.
So it was hard to get up. 
However, once I did, I collected Sophie & Charlotte and headed down to meet the others for breakfast - where I ate all of the hash browns - obviously.. and then after packing up my things, we headed over to Yorks bakery for a cuppa, a cake and a chat. ( Oh, and to take my most favourite flatlay so far) After talking to Sophie (who was bloody lovely by the way) about how much she loved being at Uni in Birmingham and all of the cool places there are within it, I kind of realised that perhaps I'd never really given it a chance. When I lived in Nottingham for three years at Uni I really explored what the city had to offer and fell head over heels in love with it but I guess I've never really done that with Birmingham. I wasn't really aware of the independent cafe's and cool resteraunts.. I wasn't really aware of how peaceful and serene it could be and at that point I made a pact with Sophie that she would show me all of the amazing places in the City I've called my home for over 20 years. There's something to be said for being a guest in your own city I guess. 
Something I've never had an issue with in Birmingham is shopping (ma fave) and with the new addition of Grand Central Station (which has a Tiger.. & an Oliver Bonas btw), Selfridges - the home of all things Paperchase & Charlotte Tilbiry and a brand new WAY bigger Topshop in the Bullring, there's not really much to complain about is there. 

Have you ever tried being a guest in your own City?
& Have you ever slept on a bed that feels like a giant marshmallow? (Thanks Premier Inn, You're a babe)


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Why I'm Done With Saying Yes

I've kind of made the decision that I'm just done with saying 'yes' to stuff that I don't want to say yes to. I know this might not sound like groundbreaking stuff but let me just ask you a question: How many times have you agreed to something, or gone to something, or bought something, or eaten something or forced yourself to get up and do something even when your very core is screaming out for you to do the opposite?
I'm not necessarily talking huge life changing things here but even perhaps, forcing yourself to stay up for an extra hour to reply to a few more emails, attending an event because you really 'should' go, or even putting yourself in a situation you don't want to be in because if you don't you might 'disappoint' someone.. sound familiar?
Perhaps the phrase 'burnout' sounds familiar too.
Now, I'm not stupid.. (most of the time) and I know that actually, part of being an adult is doing stuff that we don't really want to do.. like... taking the bins out, or not going out for another Nando's this week because omgthosepeasthough. (Seriously.. try the peas, I'm a pea convert) And as much as I'd like to quit doing adult life and never have to look at a bowl of washing up again, I'm trying to get at something that's a bit more than that.. something that's bigger, something that's consuming and kind of heavy.
I think most of this boils down to the constant need to keep everything ticking.. to keep my head above water and to please as many people (including myself) as I can and I think that because I find myself constantly concerned about the impression I give off, I'm more likely to push myself harder than perhaps is good for me.
I'm hard on myself if I don't get a blog post out on time. I'm hard on myself if I put a bit of weight on. I'm hard on myself if my hair does that weird frizzy thing at the ends because I didn't have time to straighten it. I'm hard on myself if I don't look the way everyone else does in chunky knits and over the knee boots. I'm hard on myself if I don't get chance to reply to all of my emails. I'm hard on myself if I miss events because I'm too tired from work. I'm hard on myself if I don't see my friends often enough. I'm hard on myself if I find it hard to move on from a particular job at work. I'm hard on myself if I don't always say exactly the right thing. I'm hard on myself if I forget an important date.
My point is, I'm hard enough on myself without worrying about what other people think and actually, I'm pretty sure that about 98% of that horrible, heavy, anxious and consuming feeling is down to the  fact that actually.. we aren't really listening to ourselves, but to all of the other voices whether that be friends, family... work colleges... I can't even count the amount of times that I've done something or gone somewhere when my soul is pretty much crying out for sleep because of a fear of being 'boring' or 'lazy' or perhaps of 'losing out' on a business opportunity and actually.. I'm kind of done with it
If I've learnt anything over the past few months it's that the human body & mind is bloody amazing, so why don't we listen to it? Sure sometimes I crave pizza and I'm pretty sure that if I listened to that craving every time it happens I'd have some pretty serious health problems by now but when it comes to general well-being and giving myself a break? Well I think that it's about time that I listened to that whispering voice in the background of all of my bad decisions and actually just slow down for a second.
I think that part of this issue with 'slowing down' is fear. I'm scared that I'll be missing out. I'm scared that people will forget about me. I'm scared of what people will think. I'm scared that I'll stop getting opportunities. I'm scared that I'll loose friends or readers or viewers etc etc and actually, if you're of a similar mindset, then I feel like it takes a certain level of bravery to allow yourself to actually slow down. I'd like to encourage you to join me, because although, being in the situation yourself it can be quite hard to see... but I'm almost certain that you're doing GREAT and actually.. perhaps slowing down a little might help?
I mean.. I've forced myself to 'chill out' many times precisely because I know that it's what my body needs but yet I'll still find myself, lying in bed and just stressing about allofthethings and isn't it funny how the more that we fill our heads with worries, the less room there is for anything else? I've come to the realisation that it's more about changing my relationship with work, with decision making, with myself and also, with blogging.
You'll notice that I already don't post every day.. I don't keep on top of my instagram as much as I should ( oh look, there I go again) and my 'calibre' of posts and images isn't always as good as I'd like it to be but from now on? I've vowed to cut myself a little slack and not beat myself up about it.
I'm not going to beat myself up if I can't go to an event and I'm not going to beat myself up if I spend all day taking outfit photo's to finally decide that actually the lighting wasn't quite right & never post them. I'm not going to beat myself up when others do better than me, or are involved in campaigns that would be 'totally right' for me, or have more followers than me because guess what: I'm human.
I'm pretty sure that sometimes when we're piling the pressure onto ourselves we manage to forget that fact.... That whole human thing.. y'know?
Oh, and before you tell me that actually you're not piling the pressure on yourself and that it's all totally coming from a million other angles... why not consider the way that you react to that pressure. We've all got things going on.. some more than others but I think that the way that we are able to respond to things is what decides whether we sink or swim. Sometimes I forget about that and I think that I'd rather swim short term but sink long term because I panic that I'm not doing okay but actually.. I'm not doing too bad. 
I'm still working with some awesome brands, I've met some of the best people in the world and am lucky enough to call them my friends, I have a wonderful boyfriend who I recently celebrated a whole 9 years with and I somehow managed to stick at my training long enough to experience what it feels like to help save a life.

- You Are What You Listen To- 
Be Yourself

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Hallloween Skull/Skeleton Tutorial

So I don't know about you guys but I loooovvveeee Halloween and if I could get away with painting my face every single day of my life then I pretty much would. SO, since it's the season, I thought I might embrace it and take every face painting opportunity I have to bring you a couple of super easy tutorials in case you're having a bit of a mind blank about what you want to dress up as. Personally? I'm actually working the Halloween weekend which totally sucks but hey, I guess it'll be a challenge to work out the real blood from the fake stuff hey? ( I'm kinda half kidding.. but also a little bit being serious so if you could just wish me a bit of luck for that then it'd be very much appreciated)
I did also pose the idea of being a 'zombie paramedic' but yeah.. that didn't go down so well.. I guess it wouldn't instill that whole safe & calm thing we like to go for with patients but still! It was an idea!
Anyway, if you'd like to see how I achieved this look then you can watch the tutorial below!

Let me know what you think of it and if you give it a go yourself I'd love to see some photos!

Are you dressing up this Halloween? TELLMEALLTHETHINGS

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Primark Does Autumn/Winter

I have two totally non surprising things to share with you today: I went to Primark & I bought all the things. You know the drill by now right? This outfit is one made up of entirely Primark goodies and I think it totals about £55 for the whole thing which is something I reckon we can all happily get down with. Just like last year (wow.. didn't that go quickly!), you can head over to my youtube channel to check out all the other goodies I picked up but for now, I thought I'd show you what my fave items looked like all put together in an Autumn appropriate outfit. Kapeesh?
The boots are something that dreams are made of : super comfy whilst also being all types of flattering and only £22, and the hat is 100% wool and has a few feathers thrown on for good measure. I headed down to a forest near Meg's for these outfit photo's - which she kindly took for me - to help set the Autumn scene a little and I'm really happy with how they turned out. The light was beautiful and the air was perfectly crisp and I was able, in that moment, to immerse myself a little in my love of autumn whilst frolicking around amongst crispy leaves and one of my favourite people. Bliss.
Primark Boots, Jumper, Hat & Bag, Daniel Wellington Watch
Photo's by Megs 

The jumper dress came in an abundance of different colours but I felt that this grey would go nicely with the leapord print bag I'd had my eye on since the press day and it's nice to break out occasionally from the classic plum/maroon autumn goodness (although I'm obviously still all about that life)
If you fancy checking out the rest of my haul you can do so here. I have a feeling that I'm due another one involving coats and scarves so let me know if this is something you'd like to see soon!
 Don't forget to let me know what your favourite item is from the haul in the comments below, I just can't choose!


Thursday, 15 October 2015

Knee High's & Chunky Knits

If you've been around these ends for a while, you might remember when this skirt first cropped up on the blog last Autumn and I love it as much now as I did then. If I'm totally honest, I'm not really that much of a skirt kinda gal but there's something about this little suede number that makes my heart skip a beat.
I paired the skirt with my new Primark over-the-knee boots which I'd been lusting after ever since I saw them on the lovely Hayley, ( Haul coming on Sunday ), a cute lace up Topshop top and my favourite over-sized cardigan from Zara and had a nice little wonder around Northampton, before rapidly descending on Dominoes with Megs, I get discount there now dontchaknow. 
When the weather gets a little cooler there's nothing I love more than over the knee boots and a chunky knit to keep warm. I love that you can still show a tiny bit of skin whilst not freezing to death and to be honest, this new obsession gives me even more of an excuse to go shopping for some new knitwear.
Zara Knit, Topshop Top & Skirt, Primark Boots, Daniel Wellington Watch
Photo's by Megs

Whilst we were awkwardly shuffling around the streets taking photos, a man came up to us to ask us if we wanted to be hair models and let's be real.. I'm in need of a mane tame so I might just do that!.... This actually reminds me.. I have about 50 million emails to write! The joys! Still.. it's nearly the weekend eh!

What's your opinion on over the knee boots? Tell me you love em' as much as me?


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