UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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)

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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
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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
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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!

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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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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Sky High

So it will probably come to no surprise to you all that I've been shopping.. and I'm totally not sorry about it. I picked up this shirt/dress/beautiful sack from Cos last week when I had a day in Birmingham city center with my gal Megs. (We've also filmed a haul for her channel so make sure you're subscribed so you don't miss it!) Over the last few years I've really fell head over heels in love with Cos and their pieces. They're always beautiful quality and they always hang so perfectly and I just need everything. Every, single, thing.
These photos were taken on the top floor of a car park and I really love the location. It was awesome for photos but even just to be up there, with no other cars or people and to be alone in such an open space but still be in the middle of town was quite surreal in the best way. It made me feel a little bit 'free' and I'm pretty much all about that feeling.
Cos Shirt, Daniel Wellington Watch, Missguided Boots 
Photos by Megs

Is it weird to say that I'm excited about wearing this shirt again? It's just SO comfy and effortlessly cool and I can't wait to bundle on some tights and a scarf and a big comfy coat as the weather gets colder - which it is definitely doing right now, amiright?
I also vlogged our shopping trip and photo taking sesh so if you're interested in a little behind the scenes then keep your eyes peeled (anyone else hate that saying? ) over on my channel for an upload pretty soon!

What's your favourite store to shop in right now? And how the hell are you?! I feel like we haven't caught up in ages!

All the love 
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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Boots & Superdrug Haul

So I finally got my film on after getting my spend on and I thought you might like a little insight into all of the things I've been picking up recently! I'm in love with pretty much everything that I picked up and it's all super affordable too so why not share! Let me know if you've picked up any of the same products recently and what you think of them, and if you fancy taking a gander at any of the products I mentioned, then you can find the links below!

Schwarzkopf got2b Mind Blowing Xpress Dry Styling Spray / Schwarzkopf got2b Mind Blowing Fast Dry Hairspray / Schwarzkopf got2b Mind Blowing Quick Shape Mousse / Collection Eyes Uncovered Palette in Nude Bronze / L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique CC Cream Anti-Redness / L'Oreal Paris True Match Foundation /
Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush / Rimmel Soft Khol Kayal Eye Pencil / Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Waterproof Eye Definer / Rimmel Exaggerate Auto Eye Define Eye Liner / Schwarzkopf Diamond Colour Range /Zoella Fresh Fizz Fragranced Bath Fizzer

Expect plenty more hauls to be coming your way soon!
Big Love!
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