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5.4.16

Uninspired


I don't really have a point to this post, other than the fact that I wanted to draft something as more of a reminder to myself that it's OK to get into a creative slump sometimes.

As someone who partakes in the blogging world as a hobby, it's easy to forget that that's all that it is. It's fun, it's how I spend my free time and it's something I do out of choice. And I think that's the key word here, choice. I choose to do this, as and when I want, however often I want, about what I want, but being that blogging has become what it has become, it's very easy for me to forget this and put pressure on myself to create. Now I'm not someone that likes to do things by halves so of course, I set goals and expectations for myself, just like I would with anything I care about. I want to upload regularly, I want to create meaningful but also creative content and of course, I want to grow my platforms.

I took this picture on Sunday as I hadn't uploaded to Instagram for a while and felt guilty for not doing so. Despite the fact I didn't have any images I'd taken that week, nor was I feeling particularly inspired, in fact this weekend I probably felt the most uninspired I have for a while, I just didn't want/couldn't be bothered to create anything, but I still felt I needed to...so I ended up with this. Which in actual fact sums up my weekend perfectly, a much needed two days of nothing much but tea, bed and magazines.

So really, the point of this post is this, if I don't feel like creating, I simply don't have to. In a time when blogging has become centre stage for so many, it's easy to get caught up and feel like you're not doing enough, or if your blog isn't your job why are you doing it? Well I'm doing it because I enjoy it, I love to create and despite having the odd creative block, I simply couldn't just stop. I don't do it because I think people are reading, I do it ultimately because I love the process. I think it's really important when you do work full time to have something that's just yours, that you love to do and makes you happy. And that's ultimately what this does, but sometimes I just need to be reminded, it's quality not quantity.

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30.3.16

Let's Eat | Brunch at Balthazar








One of my favourite things to do has to be going for a good brunch. There's something about the anything goes factor to it that just makes me sublimely happy. It's comforting, it's social but also leisurely and if I didn't have to hold down a full time job, I would absolutely be a lady who brunches, pretty much everyday.

My old flatmate Angela was over from Kuwait so we decided to meet up at one of my favourite London spots, Balthazar. I don't know what it is about this place but I just love being there. I've never been to New York (and there's also a branch there) but I'd imagine being in Balthazar is what it feels like. I feel really Sex and the City when I'm there but can't put my finger on why. It's quite art deco in design, similar to The Ivy, and just one of those perfectly traditional but still very classy places to eat.

Of course poached eggs and avocado was the order of the day for me and this comes with a delicious, crisp and fresh salsa on the side. And when I say fresh, I mean literally just chopped tomatoes, red onion, chillies and coriander, no pre made sauce; it's the perfect accompaniment. Angela opted for scrambled eggs with crab and we couldn't resist getting an order of pancakes to share, which definitely didn't disappoint. The pancakes were nice a thick but perfectly light and fluffy with the most delicious maple syrup and freshly chopped bananas on top. We washed this all down with Flat Whites and sparkling water and were left sufficiently stuffed but not uncomfortable.

So if you're heading to London and you want somewhere that's wonderfully decadent but welcoming at the same time, Balthazar is the one. I absolutely recommend everyone eats here once in their life and who knows, perhaps one day I'll make it to the New York one!

*If you're into afternoon tea definitely head down there before September as they are currently working with Bobbi Brown to celebrate their 25th anniversary with their exclusive Bobbi Brown Afternoon Tea; it's defo in my diary, any excuse for lipstick and cake ey!

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26.3.16

Oversized










One of my favourite things when it comes to my wardrobe is rediscovering those lost items right at the back that for whatever reason, just get forgotten.

I bought these Cos trousers last year sometime, they were the last pair in the sale and so are slightly too big despite the fact they're supposed to be oversized. Being that they were the only pair left and so comfortable when I put them on, I din;t care that they drowned me, I just had to have them. They're basically like leaving the house in pyjama bottoms...what more could you want.

To be honest because of the cut and my frame being on the poor petite side, they aren;t the most flattering fit, especially around the hip area. But, if I pair them with my old faithful Monki duster coat, or any long line coat for that matter, this hides all that and I think they look really good as a super comfortable, but well thought out ensemble.

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23.3.16

Three Favourites


I was having a think about new beauty things I'd been trying recently and realised there were a couple (or three) that I'm yet to talk about. I've been using these three pretty consistently for well over a month now, and this (in blogger world) defo constitutes a favourite.


At first glance you'd be right in thinking this is just the Eve Lom Balm Cleanser in a tube, however, it's a much smoother formula and is a twist top so a lot more hygienic than the usual tub of balm cleanser. I find the consistency a lot more malleable to work with than the original balm cleanser and smoothes over the skin like melted butter. I know Eve Lom is known for using mineral oil and not the best ingredients for the price, but I really do love this product and my skin seems to as well.


Now this was something I never thought I'd own. I remember first using it in the bathroom of The Ivy and then once again in Bistrotheque, and I fell in love with the scent. When I say it's orangey I don't think that sounds appealing but there's something really fresh but also very calming about this scent. After a long day in London, the first thing I do when I walk through door is throughly wash my hands with this. I then sometimes breathe it in as well, particularly if it's been a stressful one! Of course the packaging is exquis and I really do love the product. It doesn't leave your hands dry in the slightest and the scent lasts really well.

This was actually a gift from my BAE Grace but call me crazy, I will 100% repurchase this once it runs out. What can I say I work hard for my monies these days and if an overpriced hand wash in a beaut bottle makes me happy, then so be it.


Now this was a purely aesthetic purchase. I'd seen it cropping up on my favourite interior instagrams and after a quick google, I found it on Amazon. It's basically a toothpaste...and that's it. It's not particularly amazing, the taste is lush though, really fresh and lasts really well but all I can say is I paid for the packaging. I never thought I'd ever get taken in by toothpaste branding but here we are. I may not repurchase purely because it's hard to get hold of but the time we did spend together made me, and my teeth, truly happy.

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20.3.16

An Ode to Cos





When it comes to dressing for work, there's nothing I love more than being comfortable but feeling put together. And this is why I love Cos. 

I picked this dress up in the sale and as soon as I saw it I just had to try it on. The neckline is my obsession and I love that it has concealed pockets. Because of the length and style of the dress I knew I wouldn't wear it alone, but layered over tailored trousers, it's the perfect addition to my wardrobe. It also helps that if you overdo it at lunchtime, no-one needs to know if you undo a button or two due to the beaut fit and fall of the piece. My &otherstories loafers are my go to when it comes to spring, they just look great with jeans or trousers and I love how the shape appears masculine, but actually wears quite soft thanks to the shape of the toe.

All in all when it comes to the office, I'll always choose comfort, but that doesn't have to mean sacrificing style. There are so many ways to fake effort when it comes to business dress and this is just one of them. Essentially anything in Cos is usually a good bet so if you're yet to dip your toe in the oversized pool that is their flawless collection, you gotta do it.

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16.3.16

Meet Your New Fav Homeware Brand


Call me a granny but if there's one thing I can't get enough of, it's a good homeware brand. 

I think it's a given that as soon as you move into a home space you actually care about, ie. out of student halls and into your own place, you become slightly/hugely/borderline obsessed with homeware. I honestly can't tell you the excitement I feel when I find a new coffee mug or unexpectedly come across bed linen in the perfect shade of grey.

Murmur is a brand I've never heard of, but one I discovered on a recent trip to Bentalls in Kingston. I was only walking through to get to the car park, but stepping off the escalator onto the 3rd floor, I was presented with a range of perfectly rustic but 'Scandi' inspired crockery in current fav shades of grey and dusky pink. On further inspection it transpired this brand also did the most luxurious but again perfectly 'Scandi' bed linen sets. 

One quick browse and I was hooked, it also didn't help that Bentalls had a home event on offering 35% off. Although I couldn't quite stretch to a new, and much needed, set of bed linen I had to get something. I definitely didn't need a new mug but I couldn't resist this dusky pink one. I love the size and shallow depth, plus, I kind of thought of it as my nod to this season's must have shade which almost certainly won't make it's way into my wardrobe (blogger reasoning ey). I've also wanted a 'display' hand towel, I know what you're thinking and yes I mean for display purposes only, for a while. I have a thing about these tea towel looking hand towels, I suppose I've been looking at too many copies of Kinfolk but something was telling me I need one and this was the perfect one. They also do a couple of other shades but you really can't go wrong with blue.

I defo have plans to treat myself to a new bed linen set at some point and I also have my eye on this core dinnerware but those can wait. It's definitely not items I desperately need but if there's one thing I've learned, when it comes to homeware, it really does pay to invest. So let the saving commence!

Have you heard of Murmur, if not are you gona check it out?

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11.3.16

Grey Area









So this was my first attempt at shooting by myself. I bought a Canon Remote a few weeks and haven't really had a chance to experiment, so as I had a couple of days off this week, I thought I'd make some time to give it a go.

Living by myself and working full time can make it quite difficult to shoot outfits. Usually I'll rope Hainsley in on the weekend to help me out but this, my favourite spot to shoot, isn't always available as it's actually the car park outside my flat and come the weekend, there's always a car parked right in front of this wall. As mentioned I booked a couple of days off work this week as I've had events the last two weekends and thought I would take the opportunity of a quiet car park to have a play around and see if I could actually shoot solo.

To be honest I'm not over the moon with the result but it's a first attempt and I'd say I'm quite happy. Due to the lens I use - the Canon 40mm - I'm unable to get full body shots as the remote infra-red doesn't read that far away, but it's good to know that if worst comes to worst, I can shoot by myself if I need to.

Onto the outfit. Of course I've been wearing this coat non-stop since I bought it. I love the relaxed but structured fit and the colour is great for transitioning into spring. I bought these Monki culottes a while ago and have hardly worn them as it's been so cold. Culottes are so comfortable but look really put together so I'm definitely going to be reaching for these more regularly as the weather (hopefully) warms up. The neckline of this Monki jumper has to be one of my favourites, not quite a full turtle neck or a roll neck, but just enough to create some structure. Stan Smiths are pretty much uniform now right and I use this Alexander Wang Rocco on a daily basis. I was lucky enough to find this on The Outnet about a year ago and if you've been umming and ahhing about them, I'd defo say do it. It's small enough not to look too intrusive next to your outfit but big enough to fit all your essentials, basically the perfect everyday handbag.

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9.3.16

My Get Up & Go Green Smoothie


Over the last few months I've really been getting into smoothies. I bought a Nutribullet a few months ago and cracked it out once I moved into my flat back in November and I haven't looked back.

As someone who's pretty fruit/veg shy, it can be really difficult to get my daily quota in but since using my Nutribullet, I've been putting away those greens like never before. Seriously I can't believe how much fruit & veg I consume daily as opposed to what I used to, I could honestly go like 2-3 days with neither which is so bad.

One thing that can be hard to figure out though with smoothies and juicing is a decent recipe. So I thought I'd share my go to green smoothie as I make this pretty much everyday. I should really switch it up but this is just so good!

Ingredients

2-3 handfuls of Spinach and/or Kale and/or Spring Greens - I favour Kale
1/4 Cucumber
1 Celery Stick
1/2 Granny Smith Apple
1 Medium Banana
Handful Blueberries - I'll add these if I have them for LOLs
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Piece of chopped ginger - about the size of a 20p piece but do add more if you like ginger
Teaspoon of ground Chia Seed
1/2 teaspoon of Honey or Agave Nectar

To Make

Add all the ingredients into the cup and fill the cup with Coconut Milk to just below the max line. Top up with water and blend to your preference. I blast it a few times as I prefer it to be as smooth and light as possible.

Enjoy!

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28.2.16

Why you don't need to figure it all out in your 20s

...because believe it or not life doesn't stop at 30.

I've been wanting to write a post like this for a while and after seeing yet another vlogger announce a book launch, as well as the growing number of vloggers/bloggers/instagrammers/friends of friends taking their front row seat at London Fashion Week this week, I thought now was the right time.

Firstly I want to say the age of the internet does bring great opportunities and I don't want this to come across as a rant. To all the self made book publishers, product CEOs and ambassadors that have come out of this crazy digital age, I honestly and whole heartedly congratulate them...but you know me, I have to give some balance and talk about the realities of being in your twenties when a book deal doesn't come so easy...and neither does paying rent.

A close friend of mine turned thirty this month and it was during a conversation with her I realised; why is there such a huge hang up about turning thirty? Both of us exchanged fears of how, for some reason, thirty became the cut off point; as soon as you hit that age, all opportunities will cease to exist, you're placed high up on that shelf and life as you know it is over. Perhaps it's living in a tough city like London, perhaps it's the fact that Kylie Jenner has a net worth of $5 Million, whatever it is, we were definitely not alone in thinking this.

But I've got news for you darlings, life doesn't stop at thirty, you don't just have your twenties to make a real go of things and then that's it, game over. And from the common feeling between myself and my girlfriends, things actually get better.

As I got closer to 30 and the fear of all I hadn't achieved was looming above me, I looked for solace in those around me who had not only made it to, but surpassed this hideous age and still somehow seemed quite happy. The most natural thing to do was turn to my sister, three years my senior she could tell me the truth, 'it's not that bad in your thirties is it?' to which she assured me it wasn't. This was then echoed by a number of friends and colleagues mirroring this sentiment.

As I mentioned previously, the digital age is a fantastic one; the opportunity for the individual and the control that is available over your life and what it becomes is vast. But with this comes the inevitable feeling of jealously, insecurity and just not feeling like what you have, what you've done and what you are doing, is ever going to be enough. With the hoards of social platforms to stalk people on, this generation is bombarded with thousands of people (young people at that) who are much more successful than most are or ever will be. They have more money, better style and seem to have it all figured out by the age of 25 and younger. With the biggest issue focusing on the urgency of success and how everyone wants everything to happen now and more to the point everything that I want, should happen because I want it to, or because I've worked so hard to get it. When the reality is, things actually take a long time to come to fruition and most things don't happen just because you want them to, but it's how you deal with these situations that really aids in your development and overall success.

But one thing these digital prodigies don't have, is experience. I don't want to generalise as I'm not one to say who's life is richer in experience than anyone else's but those formative years of adulthood, let's say between 18-26 are some of the most valuable in terms of finding your confidence, finding yourself and finding where you fit. I'll talk from my experience in order to try and make my point as clear as possible.

Upon graduating from uni and entering the world of work a lot of things happen and a lot of firsts happen. For me it was having my first desk, my first email signature and the first time I was the given actual responsibility rather than being protected under the guise of an internship. In those times you meet and interact with people you probably never would do had you not had to seek employment in order to fund day to day life. Living in an expensive city like London is also a lesson in itself. Having to spend money on food and travel instead of bags and shoes is a lesson that unfortunately, most of us have to learn at some point, but one I'm grateful for. Despite the struggle of holding down that first full time job, having to impress difficult bosses, never feeling like you're good enough and never feeling like you have or will ever have enough money, what you must take from your twenties is this is the time to do whatever you want. I had so many chops and changes and yes, perhaps if I'd got my shit together earlier I'd be far more successful than I am at this point, but this is my journey and my struggles and if these are the lessons I've had to learn so be it, eventually it's all come together and only now is life starting to make a bit more sense.

The one thing I knew was inevitable was change, nothing is constant and as long as you keep going, you will end up somewhere. And I really do see that now. For all the challenges and hiccups that just don't seem to make sense along the way, I honestly believe everything happens for a reason and even if you vear off track slightly, all you need to do is refocus and your human instinct will find a way of bringing you back.

So as a 31 year old, I urge you to make the most of your twenties. It's the decade when you can make a ton of mistakes and are still young enough to change things. There is so much possibility in your twenties and as soon as you realise that, everything else will eventually follow. Try out everything you could possibly want to do and stop comparing your success to that of others. Life isn't actually the competition it's made out to be and in the words of Baz Lurhman, 'the race is long, but in the end, it's only with yourself'. Experience everything you can because at the end of the day, there's a lot of life to be lived after 30, and where's the fun in having it all figured out by 25?

Of course when I was a keen young graduate, Youtube was just a glint in my eye, but I can tell you one thing; I wholeheartedly would not change my experiences in exchange for a hugely successful youtube channel. Yes having the money would've made life a whole lot easier, and getting to travel would have been pretty great, but sacrificing those parts of my personality and character that were really nurtured in my twenties through all the people I met and interacted with is not something I'd want to risk. Things like having to work with people you don't really want to and getting out of bed when you really can't be bothered, or doing that presentation when all you want to do is just runaway are the things that really are the making of you. Meeting some of your best friends because they were sat on the desk next to you, getting hideously drunk at the Christmas do, sharing a flat with annoying strangers and finally finding a boss who really sees the potential in you, is what your twenties is all about!

Value everything that comes your way and more importantly, learn from it. Realise that you have the choice to make your life anything you want it to be and no, that may not equate to millions in the bank and the perfect home office but the choice is there, and it's always there, you just have to be brave enough to make it.

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