UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Time To Take Twenty

 Everything is just so fast now isn't it? It's just not enough anymore to have a 9-5 job and come home to read, cook dinner and catch up your partner's day. We've also got 52340340928 hobbies,we need to get our roots retouched, our legs waxed...we need to actually book in for our smear test and we've got to catch up on social media, our emails, the latest on I'm a celeb. We've got Christmas shopping to do. We've got to 'get back in shape'. We've got to check our accounts, book an MOT, find the perfect red lip... ALL whilst keeping our twitter updated and finding the perfect background for our next insta.. it's all about them grid goals.

Life can be real stressful right? So I've come up with a few ways that you can give a little love to both your physical and mental wellbeing in just twenty minutes. 
(You're Welcome)

1.Grab A Cuppa & Read Something Inspiring
 If there's something I'm guilty of, it's being constantly GOGOGO and not giving myself a break. Something I've learned is that actually.. taking the odd 20 minutes out of my day to have a little 'me' time with a cup of tea (two sugars) and a good book or blog catch up can do absolute wonders for my mindset. Sometimes you can feel so busy and if you're in a creative role.. it's so easy to become 'stuck' and I've found that nothing is as useful for getting rid of a mind block than having a little wind down and entirely focusing your mind on something else for a bit. If i could encourage any of you to do this every day - even for longer than 20 minutes - I'd feel pretty good about it cause well.. it really does help to give you a little 'reset'.


2.Give Your Skin A 'Pick Me Up'
 If you're anything like me, you have to schedule in 'pamper time' because the last thing you want to be doing after a long shift, or when you're rushing to get ready for work is start a full on, extensive skincare routine. Another thing you will have noticed - if you're anything like me ... - is just how good you feel after spending a little time on your self-care routine. Something I've found to be an absolute skin saviour recently is the Facetox organic face masks. Not only are they 100% vegan, suitable for all skin types and made of organic product - plus points for being animal/skin/environment friendly - but they're also just really good. You can leave the mask on for up to 30 minutes (but twenty is fine) and if you really don't have the time to sit back and relax whilst it works it's magic.. you can put it on and carry on with the washing/tidying/catching up on gossip girl for the 4th time (no judgement). 


3. Be Mindful
Feel free to do a little - oh but this is so on trend - sigh here, but seriously.. don't knock it till you've tried it. There is nothing that can't be fixed, sorted, simplified or eased with a little mindfulness. It's a skill that I'm in need of developing a whole heap more but I still try and include it in my every day life. It's about being present.. whilst calmly being able to accept thoughts, feelings or sensations without them overwhelming you and having control over you. It's a way to stop 'living in your head' and freeing yourself from the past and the future. Personally, I've found that yoga is a great addition to this and really helps build on the healthy mindset. Yoga With Adriene is great for anyone from beginner to expert and can be done in the comfort of your own home. I've also found the Headspace app to be a great introduction to meditation and these little talk through classes take only ten minutes! Errrrbody has ten minutes to spare.. it's all about prioritising your health.


4. Get Organised
Nothing, and I mean n.o.t.h.i.n.g stresses me out more than being badly organised, and as luck would have it, it's not something I naturally lean towards. Some people get a real kick out of getting everything in order but me? If it stresses me it'll probably be left until the last minute.. Now don't get me wrong, it will get done but perhaps not just in the chilled manner that I'd like. I don't yearn for organising my finances and sorting my emails but my God does it feel better when it's done. Something I've found that is really helping me be a better human -on all accounts- is to just spend 20 minutes a day organising. Whether that be doing a quick tidy, having an email session or putting things into my calander.. there is NO better feeling than actually having your shit together.
Ooh, and reminders.. use reminders for everything.

So.. are you eagerly looking forward to your next twenty minutes of 'me time'? Or are you feeling pumped about tackling your emails whilst giving a bit of love back to your skin?

X

*This post is in collaboration with Facetox, but as always.. all views, opinions, and excessive use of commas are mine.

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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Christmas Giveaway with Birmingham Airport

A couple of weeks ago I was invited down to Birmingham Airport to do a spot of Christmas Shopping. (Yes.. Christmas shopping at the airport.. good idea isn't it?)
I have to admit, I'd never thought about doing my shopping at the airport but the selection they have is huge and let's all just take a moment to appreciate the Duty Free section.. Am I right?
So as it turns out.. this was Christmas shopping with a twist:  I was challenged to a bit of a 'shop off' with Sian who- it was safe to say - had been a little more organised than me and had already decided what she was looking for. We both got given £150 to spend to pick up some Christmas presents for our friends and family and were then let loose among the travelers to shop until we dropped (quite literally)
Of course there was a time limit and so you can imagine the levels of 'faffing' that occured on my part. Nonetheless, I found it super easy to pick up gifts for my Mom, Auntie, Brother and Boyfriend and all for much cheaper than you'd find on the high street. The whole experience really made me realise that if I was flying near Christmas.. I could just get my shopping done at the airport with no stress, rather than rushing around trying to get it done before hand whilst probably spending more money and finding it a lot more stressful.
I picked up the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette for my Mom as it's got lots of nice neutral tones that are wearable on the regs (she's not really one for a dramatic eye for a Sainsbury's shop like I'm known to be.)I also picked up a really nice leather leopard print purse from Accessorize which could totally be used as a clutch and which I'm totally going to be stealing. I grabbed some Happy Plugs earphones for my bro in copper because well: copper and I just couldn't resist giving the Armarni Code fragrance to my fella for a bit of an early Crimbo gift because GUYS.. it's a gift for me to be able to smell him on a daily basis because it's just so.damn.good. (Of course this means I've got a bit of extra shopping to do before the end of the month but if I'm honest.. one of my favourite parts of the whole Christmas build up is getting gifts for my loved ones.. even is he is so damn hard to buy for. Why he can't just like coats and boots like your gal here is totally beyond me) I also got the YSL body cream in their new fragrance Mon Paris  - which I urge you to smell immediately - for my Auntie and got given a mini YSL mascara too!
The whole shopping spree was filmed and having a film crew following us round was of course a little strange but it did tend to open up a nice little walkway amongst the shoppers so I could easily reach my chosen products!If you want to see more of what we got up to and watch me run around like a headless chicken.. you can see more here.
Now then lads and lasses.. here's the exciting bit for YOU. The lovely team at Birmingham Airport actually let me pick up two of everything.. meaning that I've got this whole selection up for grabs for one of you lovely Blunderlings to win! (Sorry.. promise not to call you that ever again)
All you have to do is fill in the form below and hope for the best! There's lots of extra options to give you more entries which in turn will give you a better chance of winning! Winners are picked at random and I'll be running it for two weeks. I HOPE YOU WIN.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!
X
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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The Importance Of Transparency In Blogging

You might have noticed that I haven't been so active over here for a while... I guess I've been working through some issues I've been having with my blog and my reasons for creating content. If I'm honest.. It's still something that I'm working through and I think that a lot of it comes down to choosing a lack of creation over the creation of something that isn't 'good enough'. Whilst this is something that I'm still working out and am actively putting changes in place to prevent (helloooo new content/design/general rebranding plans) I just wanted to drop by to put my two pence in - so to speak - on the importance (imo) of transparency in blogging. 
One of the reasons that I fell in love with blogging - not as a creator, but as a reader - is because of the underlying passion for truth and honesty that seemed to sew the community together. 'Finally' I thought.. a place to find honest and open opinions.. whether that be about products, friendships, sex.. even self-help memoirs and recipes.. 'And it's free too?' Yep.. the internet has your back.. I thought.

Since the community has grown, some amazing content creators are now earning a decent wage from a job that didn't even exist a few years ago and I for one think that's awesome. Unfortunately, with any type of success comes a buzz of negativity and the current and most recent issue seems to be transparency when it comes to earning money through sponsored content. 
I for one am an avid reader of certain blogs and websites because I wholeheartedly trust what the creator is telling me. I trust that they wouldn't say a product was great when it wasn't.. I trust that the photo's aren't edited to make the clothes look better than in real life.. I trust that they also have down days, fat days.. and that their instagram isn't actually an accurate representation of their life.

I wonder if part of the 'problem' is that as a reader, we have a responsibility to understand -to a certain extent - what's going on behind the scenes. It's important that we understand that instagram isn't real life and constant trips abroad don't actually mean 'holidays'. We need to understand that bloggers are becoming business women and brand owners in their own right... That they follow certain aesthetics and make money from what they do and that actually.. that isn't an issue in the slightest. Personally? I don't have a problem with bloggers having carefully curated content that perhaps doesn't mirror 'real life'.. we all like a bit of escapism now and again don't we?
COS, Shirt & Trousers, Dr Martens Boots, Daniel Wellington Watch
Photo's by Megs

As soon as bloggers start creating dishonest content and producing adverts without saying so... working with brands purely for the money rather than because they're relevant to the blogger or their readers... well that's when it's all going to go to pot.. isn't it? Essentially.. people love to read blogs because they're more real and relatable than magazine content. And that's just it.. it doesn't mean that blogging can't talk about high end products or designer bags.. because it's all relatable to someone... what's important is that it's honest and I think we've been missing a platform for honesty up until literally just a few years ago. I think that as a community, we've helped create something so powerful, and I for one aim to help sustain that.. by being open.. honest.. and staying true to myself as a person which in turn means staying true to myself as a blogger, and true to you guys.. whether you're regular readers or because you stumbled across this by making a few typo's on Goolge.
Either way.. I've got your back.

X
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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Duality

Duality : an instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism.
For as long as I can remember I have struggled with a sense of duality; although up until Sunday afternoon I called it many things; 'confusion', 'confliction', 'contradiction'...
I have struggles with decisions, not because I don't feel strongly enough about either option, but because I feel so strongly about both options.
Do I want to be a Paramedic, or a Creator? Do I want the melted cheese or do I want to go for a run? Do I follow my head.. or my heart? Do I want to be an independent woman, or half of a whole? 
I guess the truth is that I want it all and none of it at the same time (of course)
I feel like I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that actually, maybe it's not the situation that I'm in that makes me feel so unsettled.. maybe it's me.
 I guess I've always had a strong sense of purpose it's just quite difficult when that sense of purpose is dragging you in two opposing ways. 
I think that this started at a young age when I didn't understand how I could feel both love and dislike for someone at the same time. It wasn't just that though.. it was choosing between playing football with the boys and trying to make friends with the girls.. investing in spiky belts and baggy jeans whilst also cooing over the newest adidas tracksuit. It was wanting to make art but hating art lessons.. wanting my brother to get in trouble for dropping me on my head but also desperately not wanting him to get in trouble... wanting wholeheartedly for my family to stay together but desperately wanting it to part because surely those struggles would be better than these ones. 
It's not that I feel 'torn' with everything... but it's something that affects my life on a regular enough basis for me to have considered it a problem. 
I guess what I find hard is that there just isn't a right answer. I mean hell... do I just LOVE a right answer. I find myself overthinking every element of my life because I want to do the right thing, the best thing, the most appropriate thing, the most genuine thing, the most honest thing.
And I mean really.. the thing is that actually maybe either option could be fine. Maybe it's fine if I choose to dye my hair brown again.. it's probably equally fine if I keep it pink. Sometimes it can be hard to apply this logic to bigger decisions.. decisions that actually matter and aren't just to do with my hair.. or food. 
It's in my nature to be 'an overthinker' but that's due to my need to understand everything.. to be able to construct an informed opinion.. to make an informed decision. 
I wonder if it's something that a lot of - pardon the phrase - millennials suffer with, because there's just so much more choice than there used to be. We have a lot more freedom to think and speak than generations before us did and the life we live is changing at a much quicker rate. Information is more freely available and 'out of the ordinary' is less used because everything is just so much more accessible. 
We're told to 'Have fun and travel the world' but 'Are you on the property ladder yet?' 
'Follow your dreams' but 'Make sure you have a proper job'
 'Decide on your lifetime career at the age of 17' but 'Don't study the wrong thing at University.. think of the debt!'

Where I'm at with all this is still - surprisingly - some strange mixture of acceptance and panic. There's pro's and con's to being this way.. much like there is with everything I guess ( I say 'I guess ' but lets be honest there's no guessing here.. I've probably already listed all the pro's and con's and found myself falling equally for both sides)  
What I once thought made me 'weak', 'incapable' and 'clueless', I know see can also make me 'open minded', 'capable' and 'aware'. It's not that I don't know things.. it's that I know lots of things and I like to make informed decisions... It's not that I don't care, it's that I care SO much that I want to have all angles worked out...It's not that I'm incapable.. it's that I'm capable of seeing two opposing viewpoints and really feeling both of them.

So here's to being continually stuck in existential crisis, and both loving and hating it - in equal measures - at the same time.

 X
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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Boohoo In Birmingham

A little while ago, one of my lovely friends at Boohoo got in touch to see if I'd be interested in sharing some things about my city with you and I thought ' YES!.. I'm so down for that'.
I realised that since I've moved into my own little place on the other side of the city I haven't really let you know how I'm getting on with things and in short.. I'm loving it.
I've always had 'issues' with living in Birmingham - I think that this can be quite natural when you stay in a city that you were born in.. it's the inner adventurer in us trying to get out, am I right? - but since moving to the other side of the city I've seen a totally different side of it and I've started to feel comfortable and at home here which is basically the best thing.
Obviously Birmingham is a massive city with pockets of energy and creativity scattered all over the place. I guess that the great thing about it is that there's something for everyone depending on what you're looking for. Personally, I'm more than a bit into the independent shops and boutiques in Digbeth and I could spend hours upon hours browsing (and spending) in Cow.. (It's also a pretty instagrammable area if that's what you're into) There's also tonnes of awesome coffee shops and pubs if you follow the canal through the city or ever head further afield into Harborne and they also have a Boston Tea Party which I think we can all agree is a great place for a shake stop. (Is that a phrase or did I just make it one?.. Either way I'm pretty happy with it..)
 Birmingham can also be a great place to get some style inspo. Due to it's diversity, you'll see all sorts of styles and outfit building (some more questionable than others of course) and it's great to just grab a window seat in one of the coffee shops and just people watch for an hour or so. If you head over towards Selly Oak and Edgbaston you'll see that there's a large student population which of course gives way to a whole host of trends and styles and as you head more into the center of the city you'll be met with a whole range of styles, shops, restaurants and bars. It really is the perfect place to have a wander around at 19:30 after a few too many prosecco's. (No judging here)
Aside from the awesome shopping and eating opportunities, I guess that I've started to feel more settled here and I'm gaining more and more reasons to stay as time goes by. Originally I'd planned to leave Birmingham and head to the seaside as soon as I qualified as a Paramedic but this city, and the people in it, have grown on me and entangled my soul for at least a little while longer. 
I'm in a pretty unique place right now and despite being constantly torn between one thing or another - something which I've realised is actually probably just another element of my personality rather than a reflection of my current situation - I'm pretty happy with where I'm at and actually... If given the opportunity, I'm not sure that I'd change it.



X

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

An Illusion Of Confidence


I've lost count of the amount of times that I've been told that I must be 100% confident with my body and my thoughts because how else would I put 'everything' online.
 It's not something that bothers me intently.. but as social media and the online world can often present an entirely false image of our lives.. our best bits, best angles, and best days.. I thought I'd just pop by to say 'Hey.. it's not always like that.' 

I started to think about how it is possible for me to put myself 'out there' online when I've had such crippling issues with my body image in the past and then it hit me.. that's precisely the reason I do it.
I think that within the blogging community I have found acceptance and there's no doubt that it's given me confidence. I've realised that subconsciously I seek approval from others and even a 'Girl, you styled that shirt so well' can do wonders in clarifying what I might have already thought myself. 
Whereas some can look in the mirror and be comfortable with the image they're putting out to the world and not question it.. I guess I'm still seeking something. I'm not sure whether that's a self confidence issue or an openness to different ideas, and to change.

I know that it's nothing new here but with the digital age pumping out 'perfection' on a regular basis, it's hard not to get caught up and I think that there's more focus on 'beauty' now more than ever. Societies standard of 'beautiful' women are used to sell cars to men and quick fix diets to women and although we all probably have an achievable body that is tighter, fitter and more 'instagrammable' than our current one.. there's definitely something to be said for being comfortable in our own skin too.

People seem to think that because I can post full length shots of myself on this little space in the internet that I must be head over heels in love with myself and the truth is, most of the time, I'm not even comfortable. I can't even tell you how many photo's I used to take to find one that I was comfortable with sharing. 

As my blogging life has continued, I've learned which angles work best for my body and hide the bits I'm more conscious of which makes the editing and selection process a lot easier to deal with as I'm not confronted with my worst angles as often as I used to be. 

I think that part of the beauty of blogging is that we're all so different and doing things in our own way, yet we can all share these things in common at the same time. I'm not really one for the term 'real women' as let's be honest.. we're all real... but it's nice to have some differentiation in the women that inspire us, and I think that the blogging platform really is an awesome environment for that.

For those of you that also dabble in sharing yourselves in this wonderful little online world, you might agree that it's a strange situation we find ourselves in.. wanting to balance portraying 'real life' whilst also keeping up a certain level of aesthetic that is not only appealing to your readers/viewers/pals, but perhaps also to brands too..

I guess I've just been in a bit of a 'funk' with my appearance lately and I wanted to share that with you.. not for sympathy or reassurance but as a way of saying 'Hey, behind that Instagram filter and occasionally hilarious hashtag, I feel exactly the same as you might do sometimes and for some reason.. at the moment I'm finding it more difficult than usual to snap myself out of it. Essentially, I guess it's about accepting that you can't please everyone and actually.. why would you want to? Strangely though, I don't think it would really matter if everyone in the entire world was like 'DAMN GURL YOU FINE' because actually, I'd still be obsessed with how my hips jiggle after a little too much (is that even a thing?) pasta.

As a teenager I had an incredibly unhealthy relationship with my body but as I've gotten older, I've managed to level it out a little and no longer go to the extremes that I used to in order to make myself 'pretty'. I think my job helps a little with that too.. sometimes we can become so incredibly focused on the way that we look that we forget how amazing our bodies really are and how hard they work every second to keep us alive. Seeing people in less fortunate positions sometimes helps to give me a little perspective. 

I guess that's the thing isn't it... it's so easy to become disillusioned into thinking that people really put everything out there to be judged but I for one, have a very carefully curated amount of myself that I'm willing to share with the online world. Now don't get me wrong.. this is a transient thing and sometimes I feel more like sharing certain things than others.. Sometimes I'll get a bit personal and sometimes all I want to talk about is shoes but I like to think that I've got a good balance going on. 

I try to share enough with you so that you can get to know me... so that we can become friends and we can all relate on some level.. but I also like to keep parts of myself private because essentially, I guess I'm still that person who's scared of being judged or being called out on something that I'm insecure about.

How much do you share online? And do you think that it's good to keep certain things private, or are those the things that you want to read more?
Do you find it refreshing to read the occasional 'honest thoughts' posts.. or does it drag you down?
I think that in some cases, we almost enjoy the intrigue of a perfect life that is totally not achievable because it gives us hope and a distraction from our own lives.. would you agree?
X

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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Styling A Shirt Dress

Hey Pals! 
How're we all diddling?
I just thought I'd drop by with another outfit post....Yes I've been spending and no I'm not even a little bit sorry. ( Well I might be come 'bill paying day' but for now I'm all good)
Anyway, onto the good stuff (Clothes. Always clothes)
I picked up this dress on yet another one of my Asos scrolling days and basically decided to buy yet another hat to complete the outfit despite already owning a wall full.. still.. a gal can never have too many hats amiright?
The dress is a thick chord material so it tends to hold its shape and has a bit of structure to it, as well as a little bit of warmth to help us English dwellers out with our so called 'Summer'.
Having said that.. not to go all British on you but have you FELT how warm it's been lately? I've for sure melted off many facefulls of makeup and despite being ever so slightly more tanned than I was perhaps a week ago, I'm also significantly more sleep deprived because: too warm.
I was about to tell you about how I collected a fan from my Mom's house to have over at my place to help me actually breathe during the warm nights but then I decided that nobody cares and you really didn't start reading this to hear about the weather that you already know about because you've probably been living through it yourself - but oh look.. I just happened to keep it in anyway.
Asos Hat & Dress, Dr Martens Boots, Daniel Wellington Watch

Really what I wanted to get at - which I still haven't even touched upon - is that sometimes it's nice to just have an item that you can just throw on and it looks like you've actually put some thought into your outfit rather than just jeans and a t-shirt.... again.... which I'm becoming more than a little bit guilty of. It was nice to wear a dress again as I've been pretty much living in trousers for what feels like 6 months and sometimes - even if you're pale AF - it's nice to get your legs out and actually be a girl. 
And of course.. when I say be a girl, I mean wear all black and toughen your dress up with a pair of Docs. Sorry.. I couldn't help myself.

What do you think of this take on a shirt dress?
Would you wear it any differently?
X
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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Benefit : Doing Brows Right

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that Benefit recently launched a whole new range of brow products to help us ladies out in that oh so important department.
SO.. that being said, I headed down to my local John Lewis at Grand Central in Birmingham to find out a bit more about the products and in true Ally In Blunderland style.. came home with the whole lot.
 I wouldn't normally post about a whole heap of brow products like this but I'm genuinely so impressed that I basically just had to and so here we are! If you've got #browprobs then girl, I've got you sorted:

You WANT Defined, Textured Brows with Easy Product Control // 
Prep your brows with Browvo! conditioning brow primer as this will help everything stay in place as well as condition those hairs so that they're more likely to grow and you'll have thicker & more substantial brows in no time. Then, using the Ka Brow! cream/gel colour, start to work in hair like strokes to fill in your brows from the base upwards. Something I love about the Ka Brow colour is that its buildable.. so you can have as much or as little product as you like. Alternatively, you could pick up the Brow Zings kit and use the awesome 12 hour powder to build and sculpt your brows. Then, to make the brows a little less flat and a little more natural looking, just sweep through the 3D Brow Tones, highlight your brow bone using the High Brow pencil (personally I love the pink toned one) and you're good to go.

You WANT Textured, Styled but Natural looking Brows that Don't Budge //
As always, prep with Browvo! conditioning primer, and then start to fill in your brows with the Goof Proof Pencil. This pencil legitimately makes it so easy to get a great shaped brow as the pencil tip is the perfect brow shape and as daft as it sounds to have a favourite spooly? This pencil has mine. If you want a more precisely filled brow then Precisely My Brow will be your gal. This will allow you to draw on the individual hairs for a way more natural look. Then... my absolute favourite product of the whole bunch (I know.. who'dve thunk it) you're going to want to use your Ready Set Brow to set these mothers in place. And guys... let me just make one thing clear.. after using this gel your brows will not. budge. They just won't. This means that when you push your brow hairs upwards to create that desirable textured look a la Cara Delevingne... those hairs will actually stay up.. all day. Don't forget to highlight your brow bone with the High Brow pencil and you're done. You slay Cara, you slay.

You WANT Fuss Free Brows with a Hint of Texture & Colour //
5 Minutes to leave the house and looking like Shrek? Story of my life. That's just enough time to sort your brows and add a little mascara to help you feel a little more human going into the day. So, simply use the Gimme Brow in your shade to instantly transform your brows into those with texture, shape and colour and then finish off with the 3D Brow Tones to add a few subtle highlights and girl, you've still got 4 minutes to give some love to those lashes.

 If you head into John Lewis yourself to check out the Benefit stand.. make sure you take along your current brow product as they'll give you a brow makeover, teach you about all of the products, and then give you a free mini from the new collection when you say goodbye to your current product (believe me.. you'll end up putting yours in the brow bin just as I did)

Let me know if you give any of these products a go! 
I'm pretty much in love with all of them and couldn't be happier with the options I've now got for my brows!

X
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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Breathe In

Happy Tuesday friendlings! How're we all doing today? 
I've been enjoying the mental weather on my week off from work and trying to make the most of the beautiful sunny moments between rainfall and thunderstorms. It's made a nice change to actually put together some outfits again rather than living in my uniform and pajamas - oh, and any opportunity to take my new Doc's out for a spin has been used and abused.
I managed to fill my week off with lots of socialising and I also had quite a bit of time to myself in my new place which has been a little weird. I've finally got most of my rooms sorted and having an actual sofa to sit on has been a pretty dreamy addition to my living situation. It's still taking lots of getting used to.. especially when I come home after work and there's no-one to ask how my day has been. There's also the pro's though.. like walking around in my pants whenever I want and starfishing in my bed until whatever time I like.
Asos Dungarees, Asos Bag, Doc Martens, Urban Outfitters Jumper, Jewellery Box Bracelets & Rings*, Daniel Wellington Watch 
Photo's by my favourite human: Megs 
 
I've also found some pretty sweet places to shoot near my new home so expect a few different backdrops for the forseeable! I'm planning to make a huge effort with the old blog so am hoping to have some more regular content up for you guys. It's always hard to fit in with work and shifts but it's something that I really want to make a priority. On that note.. massive thanks to all of you who have stuck with me through the periods of silence when I'm on nights or just generally having a manic life. It doesn't go unnoticed and I've got major love for you all.

Would you ever wear dungarees? Part of me feels like a 12 year old but I'm also comfy enough to just not care.

X
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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Ideas On Being Unapologetically Vulnerable

If we could firstly just all agree to move on from the fact that my elbow looks really weird in this photo then that'd be greatly appreciated. (I know.. now you've seen it you can't ignore it)

I've wrote this intro about fifty times and not once did I think it would be about elbows.

So here it is: being vulnerable is something I struggle with. Like most, I have experienced the highs and lows of life's natural journeys and through this, have seemed to reach the conclusion that allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a bad thing. It's dangerous because, well.. you're clearly more open to being hurt.. ruined.. right?
Well I've been thinking (now that's the dangerous part) and actually, I'm not so sure that I believe my own thoughts anymore... They do have a tendency to steer me off track a little.
For those of you that don't know, my nine year relationship ended in January and although this is not at all what this post is about.. I feel like it's relevant just to say, 'Yeah, I gave absolutely all of myself to someone and it still wasn't enough.' And so of course, why would I then ever be open and vulnerable and honest with another human ever again in my entire life because surely this will just happen again.
Well then what...?
Well then if it just does... I just deal.
I think that it's quite natural, especially as a woman, to feel 'ashamed' of our emotions or our vulnerabilities because too often they are seen as weaknesses. How often do we apologise for showing our real reactions to things...The actual raw grit that defines us and makes us individual but yet also so incredibly human? Ever notice how everyone's ex girlfriend was a 'psycho'? I think that it's subconsciously ingrained in us to be apologetic for being 'sensitive' or as I like to call it, 'in touch with our emotions and having the ability to be empathetic' 
By keeping those parts of our self internal are we not just devaluing the most natural elements of our being? I think there's a lot to be said for intuition, gut reactions and actually allowing yourself to be seen. 
I guess what I'm tying to say is that I'm desperately attempting to live a more authentic life that has room for vulnerability and if anything, actually requires it. 
I actually believe that however terrifying it may be, it is important to allow yourself to be open and vulnerable with yourself and also within your relationship with others because otherwise.. what's the point?
Suppose I was to be 'agreeable' for the sake of avoiding tension... ( I know that this doesn't seem like something I would do in a million years but you'd be surprised).. at what point would I get what I require from that relationship, whether it be a friend or more? 
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not planning on spilling my guts to every man and his dog but more that I am trusting in those that I actually want a close relationship with because it just makes sense that when you're around those who give you all the good feelings.. that you're relaxed, open, and not anxiously overthinking everything that you say or do as to not appear 'too much'.

I think it's wrong that so many feminine traits are laced with negativity.. 'Don't cry like a girl', or even 'Man Up'... (I feel another blog post coming on), but really what I'm tying to get at here is that there is strength in exploring your vulnerabilities with others. It's all well and good to go through life with these protective layers of our personality that have the soul function of protecting us but y'know what? It's all bullsh**. No matter how much I project this 'I don't give AF' attitude to the outside world, it's me that I'm spending the rest of my life with and actually I know myself well enough to know that I do give AF about basically everything ever. 
SO, supposing I was to meet a guy... suppose I already had.. and imagine I was to actually be a little bit more into him than I felt comfortable with... but was never particularly open about this fact because, well.. y'know.. self preservation. D'you think I'm going to be any less hurt if it all went Pete Tong? I could of course convince myself that I didn't allow myself to get 100% involved so its obviously not an accurate reflection on myself but I'm not sure how much that really helps when you're halfway through a bottle of red and sobbing on the floor to Adele songs.

The thing is.. not everyone is going to find it endearing how you cry at every episode of 24 hours in A&E, are constantly walking into door frames and want to hug every old man that you see. And... I think that I'm finally coming to terms with that idea.

And so here we are. 
I'm currently in an entirely new situation and it's exciting and wonderful and also really fucking terrifying but if i actually think about it ( when I'm feeling brave, not when I'm overtired after night shifts and craving cuddles) I'd much rather embrace the opportunity of being hurt, knowing that I have been open, honest and vulnerable than float aimlessly through life, being agreeable and a shadow of myself and then end up with the potential of being hurt anyway.

Some people live their entire lives 'fitting in' and in fear of others judgement, keeping their innermost vulnerabilities locked up for no one to find, accept and love.. but I don't want to be one of those people.
So here's to being unapologetically vulnerable.
Here's to being open about my anxieties, my fantasies, and my ' I know this is stupid but..' goals for the future. 
Here's to having an open heart that allows joy to flow through it as well as pain. 
Here's to not being *stuck*.
Here's to giving 100% to the things that I'm into.
Here's to crying at the next advert with puppies on and not being even slightly apologetic about it.


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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Give Me Some Candy

Hey pals! Firstly I just want to say that if any of this doesn't make sense, I can only apologise. I'm running on two hours sleep after a night shift and I'm currently being distracted by The Incredibles and the sound of popcorn crunching in my ear.
Focus.
Last week - I think? - I had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with the one and only Hannah Gale, before heading to the most wonderful afternoon tea at the St Ermin's Hotel in London. Not only was the food and drink more than a little bit dreamy, but the company was 100% ace too. I can't even explain how good it feels to hang out with people who just 'get' you. Y'know?
I don't mean that typical 'blog friend' who understands the necessity of not eating until the perfect flatlay has been taken ( although yeah, that's pretty awesome too).. but I mean more than that...
It's just good to spend time with other creatives who understand that burning desire to 'make stuff' that can feel like it's killing us whilst also giving us LIFE. 
( Of course we also had the standard girl chat about clothes.. and boys.. I'm only human.)
 Since the weather had been pretty beaut recently, I opted to get the pasties out (note: re-read that.. I did not write pasties as in.. the vegetable kind.. but pasties as in pasty legs.. with me so far?) Anyway.. I got my legs out at the first opportunity and paired this suede Topshop dress with a good old stripey shirt underneath because a) who doesn't love a bit of layering and b) It's warm but it's not that warm.
 Of course, being the 'anti-girl' that I am, I toughened it up a bit with some chunky - and super comfortable- black boots and then twirled around in the St Ermin's grounds as if I wasn't nearly ran over by a taxi on multiple occasions. That's dedication to the cause folks.
 Topshop Dress & Boots, Primark Shirt & Bracelets, Daniel Wellington Watch
Photo's by my bae Hannah Gale

 After filling our faces with all of the cake and good things, we headed down to the Debenhams Beauty press day which was - as always - incredible, and I was super happy to run into my other partner in crime, Hayley, who had taken over their social media account for the day (and what a good job she did too). The event location was pinterest worthy and the marble bathrooms were to die for. If I could have moved in? I would have.
I then grabbed a quick bite to eat with Brother Blunderland and managed to find myself getting back to Birmingham a whole two hours late after train delays. Still.. I shared the train journey with a rather drunk man who - if I recall correctly - worked at some kind of farmers convention thing? I don't know.. but the conversation kept me awake for sure.

Have you ever been for afternoon tea in London? 
How do you layer up for the British Spring?

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