UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Blogging From Outside Of London

Something that I always find when attending events, press days or meetings in London is that most people are a little shocked that I don't live in London and that I've actually travelled down from Birmingham. As I'm sure most of you will be aware - most things that are going to happen, are going to happen in London, and I guess that for some, this can be quite difficult - especially if you're just starting to grow your blog and could really do with a few networking opportunities. 
So, I wanted to pop together a little post all about how I make blogging work for me, and things I've found that really help me get the most out of opportunities when they arise.
When I first created this little space on the internet, I was working in Topshop, living with my mom and spending most of my money on clothes and makeup. Living at home with my mom meant that I had more spare cash than I do now and I was able to set aside some money each month to put towards travel and seeing friends. Having a railcard was SUPER useful and saved me so much money on train fare (I die a little death every time I realise that I'm now too old to qualify for one) and I found that trying to schedule everything into one day meant that I'd get to see lots of people whilst also not having to spend too much money on travel or hotels. I'd also say that being 'picky' with what you attend is never a bad thing, especially if you're travelling quite far and paying out quite a bit of moolah to get there.
Needless to say, things have changed quite significantly for me and I'm now working in the ambulance service by day ( and night.. many many nights) and I try my best to fit blogging in around it. It's harder to swap shifts to attend events and I'm a little more strapped for cash as pretty much all of my money goes on bills - the life of an independent woman eh?
SO, I now tend to navigate my travel to London a little differently and so far? It's working out pretty well. I still try and fit everything into a short space of time but I tend to spread things over a couple of days and stay somewhere for one or two nights to really help me absorb the atmosphere and to allow me to make evening plans without rushing for the latest train, which, in my opinion.. is never quite late enough. 
My most recent venture down to the big smoke was for an exciting shoot with Look Magazine ( I know.. I'm pretty sure they asked the wrong person too but I was obviously never going to highlight that) Whilst I was down there, I stayed at the Citizen M Hotel in Bankside and let me tell you.. it was glorious. Staying overnight immediately took away the stress of travel, and it meant that I was able to fit in seeing my girl Elle and have a spot of dinner with my brother too before heading home.
The hotel itself was absolutely perfect for a stay with work, or even just for a night with the girls and it made my time in London super easy and incredibly comfortable. Did I mention that the beds are basically the size of my flat? The room had a floor to ceiling window (something which all Citizen M hotels boast) and mood controlled lighting, free films and blind controls - all from the touch of a tablet. Of course I couldn't be kept away from the bar for long because: cocktails and the breakfast in the morning was perfect to set me up for a day of shooting in the big city.
On the night between prep day and shoot day, I didn't really venture far from the hotel and opted for getting cosy in the dreamiest bed, watching Bridget Jones and Bridesmaids (because : my life) and catching up on some emails and photo editing for some upcoming posts. I've honestly not felt that relaxed in a long time and the fact that all of the drinks and snacks in the fridge were FREE..? Well.. I guess that just added to the success of the night.
Vintage Shirt, Primark Jeans, Topshop Necklace

As well as finding the perfect place to stay ( Yes, Citizen M have got you covered, even at the airport if you're flying in) you can also network outside of events by meeting up with some twitter pals that you may have been RT'ing on the regs. If I haven't met my blogging pals through events, I've probably met them through sheer stalkerish behaviour on twitter and just dropping them a message saying 'hey, wanna grab a coffee?'
I've found that the majority of the blogging community is pretty damn ace and most people are usually down for being a bit social - and of course, taking a trendy instagram photo ( we are bloggers afterall). And, I've gotta say.. it's the friendships I've formed through blogging that are the sole reason I owe so much of my happiness to it. The events and the opportunities are incredible and I'm thankful for them every day, but mostly? I'm thankful for those I get to share it with, people I now get to call friends.

- Vlog coming soon! Check out my channel to keep updated -

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Taking Ownership Of Your Body

So here's the truth. 
No Bullshit.
I've spent the majority of my memorable life despising my body. The only time I remember being remotely happy with it was after an operation where I wasn't able to eat properly for months. 
I've had 'episodes' where I've felt a little more in tune with my body.. after regular yoga practice and meditation and I guess there's also a small sense of acceptance that comes with age. (Yes I know I'm not 80 but honestly.. I feel like the negative relationship I have with my body is at much less of an extreme than it was in my teenage years) 
I guess part of it has been not feeling ownership of my body. For as long as I can remember, it has been someone else's body.. to accept.. comment on...hold.

No More.

I don't think it's just about acceptance either.. it's about acceptance because of the 'flaws'.. and not in spite of them.

I grew up - like most of you I'm sure - surrounded by images of women.. slated if they weren't fitting the very 'specific' mould, or praised for loosing weight. Widely unachievable bodies are used to sell products to men who want to be seen with those unachievable bodies, and to women who want to have those unachievable bodies.
Surely it's about time we saw 'women like us' as inspiration too. Women with big hearts and an open mind.
 Women of different shapes, sizes and colours.
Women who truly represent the reality of what it is to be female.

Something that I've always used a form of 'feminine protection' - if you will - is having long hair. I don't feel confident in my body and my dress sense can be a little grungey at the best of times. Having my hair cut short was something I feared as I felt like I was getting rid of the one thing - if anything - that had the potential to define me as 'pretty'. 
And so.. when the time came to take these photos.. with shorter hair and a low self esteem.. I wasn't exactly buzzing about it. 
Something I realised during the process.. was how much dressing for myself could make me feel so on top of things... like I'd got my shit together and could tackle whatever the day would throw at me.
It made me realise how much of a boost I can get from wearing some sexy AF underwear just for me.
 I'm obviously not trying to claim that wearing a good bra will solve all of life's problems (although how fab would that be) but more that there's something to be said for for forcing yourself to get up - get ready - and power your way through the day, faking it until you make it.
I've been making a real effort recently to boost my self esteem - not just by trying to limit that judgemental little gremlin in my brain but also by heading to the gym, reminding myself that it's -okay and also possible - to eat and still change your body shape, and by taking care and actually - pride - in the materials that I choose to wrap around my body.

Simply Beach Lingerie *

Thanks to Simply Beach  (who create the most confidence boosting swimwear AND lingerie ) for giving me the opportunity to treat myself, and for allowing me to see myself with an outsiders eyes.
I guess my aim in posting this is to say that it's okay to look like me.
It's okay to look like you too.
I've got a long road ahead of me.. but if I can walk it whilst wearing some beautiful underwear? That's got to be a good start right?


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