How to fall back in love with your blog

How to fall back in love with your blog
How to fall back in love with your blog

It always feels a bit strange writing the first line of a blog post when I haven't really been around for a while. It's like when you bump into someone from school that you haven't seen in ten years. 'Whats new?!' they say. Oh you know, just everything. About four hundred hair cuts, puberty - you know how it goes.

So, what is new, you might ask? Well puberty is still going strong and I have had a few hairdresser trips lately (more on that soon) and - you know - I finished University with what looks to be a high 2:1, I've been on holiday and developed a (real!) tan for the first time in about five years and - above all - I'm just really really happy right now. Things are good.

I mean, things were never awful, but a few weeks ago I was struggling a little bit behind the scenes. I was finishing up my dissertation, running to and from London for multiple jobs just to make sure I didn't end up in my overdraft after my student loans stopped coming in. I was taking on as many jobs as I could to make sure I got a decent start at doing this whole full time blogger thang, and that resulted in my blog turning into sponsored post central. Now, of course I only worked with brands I wanted to that fit with my blog style (I mean, I'm not quite desperate enough to start advertising continence pads..yet), but because I was posting so sporadically it felt that every other post came with a disclaimer. Sorry about that, but, you know, rent and cat food bills are a killer.

So the thing that I could usually turn to when I was feeling stressed (AKA this blog) wound up being something that I had to fully rely on  to ensure I didn't get behind on my rent or - worst of all - not being able to prove everyone wrong who said I could never do the internet as a job. But, like everything else in life, we all come out on the other side, and after a much needed holiday (seriously, I slept for about 5 our of 7 days of it) I've  

 

 

come back to my computer, more excited about blogging than ever before. 

Blogging has always been something that I just liked to do, and every so often I'd get a bit of money thrown my way or the odd opportunity handed to me, making it that little bit sweeter. But when my life became a big ball of stress and I began using my blog for work as opposed to fun (with a few pennies here and there) it ended up becoming yet another thing that I felt I 'had' to do, instead of something I wanted to do. So after finishing uni I decided to fall off the radar for a little while. I wasn't sure if I'd be gone for a day, or if I'd choose to scrap the idea of blogging altogether, I just knew I had to take a breather from everything for a while, and come back when I was actually ready to, not when I felt like I should have been ready.

A week without any real internet did me good. At first, I didn't miss my overflowing inbox in the slightest. I was quite happy Snapchatting here and there and posting Instagram snaps like any other person on holiday would. For that one week, I had no need to login to wifi unless I simply wanted to. By the last day, I was itching to get back home and answer my emails. I felt like I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do with this blog and my Youtube, and for the first time in months I actually got excited about piecing together a blog post. 

How to fall back in love with your blog

Because you see, there really can be too much of a good thing. You can love your job more than anything, you can be completely infatuated with someone, or you can just really, really like cake. But if you're forced to eat cake every single day of your life (#goals), after a while, you'll probably wind up craving some sort of salad. Unless it's an exceptional red velvet - that's a whole other story.

School holidays, bank holidays, weekends - these things were all invented for people to just chill the eff out - something I hadn't really done in, well, since my last holiday over three years ago. And after a few weeks away from uni, working blogging and just about anything that doesn't me sleeping and/or eating, for the first time in so long I've been able to blog - stress-free - just like I used to back in the day of bad photos and baggy clothes. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say. And whilst I'm not overly sure who 'they' are, they do seem to have a point. 

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Shopping: When to save and when to splurge

SAVE

SPLURGE

I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. One minute I'm quite literally injecting (stupid amounts of) money into my face, the next I'm searching high and low for the best deal on toilet paper. What can I say? I'm choosey about where I invest my moolah. Would I skimp out on facial fillers? Absolutely not - that stuff sticks around for a while. But splurging on scented 47-ply loo roll? Well, we all know where that ends up.

The same goes for my wardrobe (not that it ends up down the toilet..) - I love me a bargain, but I'm also partial to the odd buying binge every once in a while. I've grown up with the mentality that, if you can't afford it, you can't have it. I've never had a credit card, never used store credit, nor have I ever dipped into my overdraft. So when it comes to shopping I'm super tactical about what it is that I pick up, when I pick it up, and why. Seriously, never go shopping with me - I'm that person that spends about four hours looking through sale racks,  only to turn around last minute and put everything back on the rail. Sales assistants hate me. But, in doing that I have managed to 'skilfully' curate a closet that ticks all the boxes for me, without leaving me broke, and quite literally living in a box on the side of the road.


SPLURGE

- STAPLE ACCESSORIES
- HIGH QUALITY MATERIALS
- WARDROBE STAPLES
- ONE OF KIND ITEMS


SAVE

- TREND PIECES
- HOLIDAY CLOTHES
- GYM GEAR
- OCASSIONAL WEAR

 

WHEN TO SAVE

Whenever possible, save. This doesn't mean you can't go out and buy the things you want, but just try and be smart with it. Have you checked online for discount codes? Could you get it cheaper somewhere else? There's always a pretty penny to be saved, and hey, it adds up! I swear, even if I woke up one day to millions sitting in my bank (yes pls), I'd still shop on the high street, and I'd still scour the sales. Bargains feel good. Bankrupting yourself in order to buy the new it-bag on Instagram, does not.

Trend pieces are one thing I always make sure I skimp out on, because - chances are - I'm not going to be loving in a few years down the line. There are some things I've splurged on in the past because it was cool at the time, but now? Well, now I'm having a hard time flogging them for even a few quid. I've bought brand names before only to find an exact duplicate of it on the high street two weeks later. Better quality? Of course. But will I be wearing it in six months time to even care? Probably not.
 

WHEN TO SPLURGE

That being said, I do think it's important to invest in staple pieces whenever possible. I must've spent literally hundreds of pounds looking for the perfect white tee on the high street. They'd start out great (and so worth the £10!) but after a few washes they've lost their shape completely. A few years ago I bought a T by Alexander Wang V neck for - gulp - seventy quid, and you know what? It still looks exactly the same as the day it arrived on my door step. I must have worn it over a hundred times, taking that cost-per-wear down to a measly 7p. Call me crazy, but I'd say that's worth the initial splurge.

Another reason that I'd be more inclined to get spendy comes down to, quite simply, not being able to find anything else like it. Take a Chanel bag for example. Sure, you could buy a super cheap fake, but it won't last. And yeah, you could go and buy a really great quality dupe, but if you want a Chanel bag, you want a Chanel bag, not something that just looks like one. The great thing about designer bags is that they keep a lot of their value too, so if you suddenly decide to sell your 'Boy' bag (ahem, call me) you can be sure to get back a nice hefty chunk of the price you originally paid. And of course, if you fancy saving a bit of moneys along the way, grab yourself some second hand Chanel.

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Do we share too much on social media?

Do we share too much on social media? How to wear knee high boots
How to wear knee high boots outfit
How much should we share online

Last week I decided to share what was probably my most personal Youtube video yet. It was something I wasn't going to upload - and something I very nearly didn't - but it was also something I felt like I needed to say at that moment in time. I feel like this has been a bit of a running theme with my blog posts as of late. Completely impulsive, somewhat sporadic and utterly raw in their entirity (and by raw, I mean I just type and type and type until my brain/fingers stop working, hence five million typos per post). I rarely even read through half of the things I've written on here any more, purely because I know that - once I started - I'd end up over-analysing every single word I've ever written, treating it more like an english essay than what I guess is nothing but an online diary entry. 

So this got me thinking. Ten years ago half of us never would have even dreamt of writing how we actually felt on the internet. Could you imagine? Sitting down to an empty Myspace bulletin and writing about something other than the fact you had a new profile picture. PC4PC anyone? Please tell me I'm not showing my age here.

Anyway, these days, everyone and their gran (literally, my gran now has Facebook and it scares me) seems to be posting Facebook statuses or Tweets about their latest issues in life, or even their current relationship status. Personally, I love it, because hey, sometimes it's good to know that I'm not the only person in the world that cries when their hair goes wrong, or that I'm not alone when it comes to having absolutely zero idea with what I'm meant doing with my life. Stuff like this makes you feel normal (whatever the hell that means) and less of like a crazy human being coasting their way through life.

But then there's the other side of it. The nasty side. And - whilst I'm lucky enough to not be on the receiving end of it just yet - I've seen so many other bloggers suffer at the hands of others, just by sharing a little chunk of their life to the outside world. Come on, I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you that sharing yourself, exactly as you are, completely un-apologetically, is hard. Real hard. I mean, don't get me wrong - these days I struggle to even keep my mouth shut at the best of times when it comes to, well, just about anything in life, but a few years ago that wasn't the case, and I know for a fact that it's not the case with other people tapping away on the internet either.

See, the thing is - and this goes for both real life and online life - people aren't as tough as they make out from the outside (yes, I'm talking to you too, tough guy). Thanks to our good pals the media It's now nestled in our brains that, actually, it's not cool to feel uncertain about things, it's not cool to feel depressed or anxious and oh, don't even think about talking to others about why you feel bad. That's really uncool. So here we all are, trying to be cool (or whatever adjective you'd prefer) and secretly driving ourselves crazy because we've convinced ourselves that, actually, sharing ourselves with others is wrong. Talk to a friend and you're confiding in them, type it out on the internet and you're an attention seeker.

Right? Wrong. We're all friends here. I've said it before, and I'll damn well say it again. You share your screw ups, I share mine, and then we all laugh about it a week later. You guys have helped me and I've been told I've helped some of you guys too. So, what? Are we all supposed to stop sharing our lives with each other in fear of the fact it might actually help someone - even ourselves - along the way? Doesn't that sound absolutely awful? Can you sense my sarcasm/ Anyone!?

Ladies, gents, grans, whatever. Share away. Share to your hearts content if you feel like doing it. Say nothing if you don't. Go ahead and share your latest selfie because, let's face it, you look great, and rant about how crap your day was to a stream of Twitter followers because sometimes it just feels damn good.

Now if you don't mind, I'm going to share these pictures of my shoot by Ollie the other day because, you know what? I actually don't mind my face (and thighs!) in them. Sue me.
 

So tell me, do you guys think we share too much on social media these days!?

 

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How to find your signature style

It feels good to post today. Still strange (I don't think I'll ever get 100% used to posting pictures of myself on the internet) but still, pretty good. Now I'm sure you geniuses out there have noticed a bit of radio silence lately - especially in regards to my oh-oh-tee-dees - and I thought it was about time I did some explaining. I promise you - honestly, I do - I haven't been slacking in the picture taking sides of things. It's just that every time we go out to shoot I've come back, shoved the memory card into my laptop, scrolled through the snaps...and then felt like I was looking at a completely different person. I've been trying so, so hard to look how I thought I wanted to look. And you know what? That was my problem all along.

I think it's safe to say that my style has always remained pretty monochromatic, from the clothes I wear, to my home decor tastes - even to my choice of transport (okay, so my car might be more silver-blue than monochrome, but still, I'm dreaming of a new all-black DS 3). Just one Google of my name (don't try to deny you haven't done this) and pretty much every outfit through the ages (yes, even those embarrassing Tumblr selfies from 2012) has consisted of black and white basics. You know that saying 'a girl can never have too many shoes'? My life revolves more around the idea that I can never have too many white shirts and/or black jean combinations. Sure, I've tried to do colour (and failed), I've tried slinky dresses (and failed) and I've tried to systematically copy other people's style in an attempt to find my own. Think it's safe to say that that one was a big fat fail too.

See, when it comes to finding your signature style, chances are it's already right under your nose (literally, just look down and see what you're wearing!). If you find yourself gravitating towards a certain look, or if you have that fail-safe outfit that you go to after over-sleeping, then that's more than likely your style. During the past few weeks I've fallen in love with so many looks on the catwalk. I've loved the ruffles, the frills, the flared cropped jeans and - yes - I've even loved the sequins. Will I be first in line for the full AW16 collection? Maybe not. But will I incorporate these trends into my own look? You bet ya. Just because the latest 'it' designer sends a floor length sequin gown down the runway, it doesn't mean you need to don h-t sparkles as well. If you like it, go for it, if you like it in moderation, that's perfectly fine too.

A lady on the complete opposite style spectrum of me is the lovely Iris Apfel. She's all about opulence, I'm all about minimalism. She rocks colour from top to bottom, I feel adventurous if I wear navy. She has her style, and I have mine, and it's great.

I'll always remember one quote from Ms. Apfel, and that is: 'you have to look in the mirror and see yourself. If it feels good, then I know it's for me.' If it doesn't feel good, then it isn't, no matte how many models or celebrities rock it. Your style is yours - whether you choose to wear a feather boa out to the supermarket or if you sit comfortably with me at the 'all black errythang' table. Pull up a chair! You’re all welcome here.
 


New DS 3 and New DS 3 Cabrio make a winning formula even better. Designed with a clean new look the car is the automotive embodiment of Parisian chic. Beneath its stylish exterior New DS 3 is built on the DS foundations of technology, refinement and attention to detail. From DS LED vision headlights through to 7" touch screen and mirror screen, the car is full of technology to make life easy. Watchstrap design leather seats is an example of the refinement in New DS 3, ensuring that our most compact car meets the exacting standards we demand of every DS.  It's also a car with a multitude of options to personalize so the the owner can make the car their very own style statement.


Disclosure: Compensation was provided by DS 3 via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed
herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of DS 3.
 

What I'm Wearing:

L'Academie shirt from REVOLVE *
Boohoo western belt
River Island cropped flare jeans
Primark leopard bucket bag
Dune London ankle boots *
 

#ShareYourStyle with Zalando, Shopstyle & The Apartment

Ph:  Dina Tsesarsky  for The Apartment

Ph: Dina Tsesarsky for The Apartment

Ph:  Dina Tsesarsky  for The Apartment

Ph: Dina Tsesarsky for The Apartment

Ph: The Styleograph

Ph: The Styleograph

Ph:  Tom Martin  for The Apartment

Ph: Tom Martin for The Apartment

Ph:  Ashley Verse  for The Apartment

Ph: Ashley Verse for The Apartment

Ph:  Tom Martin  for The Apartment

Ph: Tom Martin for The Apartment

Ph:  Ashley Verse  for The Apartment

Ph: Ashley Verse for The Apartment

Ph: Shopstyle

Ph: Shopstyle

Ph:  Ashley Verse  for The Apartment

Ph: Ashley Verse for The Apartment

Ph: The Styleograph

Ph: The Styleograph

Sorry for the lack of communication lately! Fashion Week, flu and starting my final year at University has kind of made me a bit of a blob - for sheer lack of a better word. I feel like I have ever intention to post to my hearts content, but when it really gets down to it all I can seem to do is eat my weight in food and/or nap for hours.

But with all that being said, last week I did manage to actually climb out of my bubble and climb onto a train to London for day two of Fashion Week. Those of you that already stalk me on Twitter and Instagram will know this already, but I was very kindly sent up to London to take part in a shoot with Shopstyle, Zalando and The Apartment to help promote Zalando's #shareyourstyle campaign. I'm guessing since us bloggers have developed quite the knack for (and by that I mean, I personally have nothing better to do with my time than) sharing and posting our outfits online, we were the perfect candidates. I mean, what's one more hashtag to add to the list?

So that Friday morning I arrived at The Apartment (which was located in a filming/recording studio this season) and obviously my first priority was food - specifically as much as I could get my hands on. I know Fashion Week is meant to be all about fashion and everything, but damn, fashion folk know how to feed people. I'm pretty sure I went up a dress size just by being there.

Either way, then it was time to get our hair and makeup did by the beauty team, with a complimentary hand and foot massage by the lovelies ladies at Jurlique. We then had the pleasure of meeting streetstyle photographer The Styelograph, who was going to be shooting each of our Zalando looks. Heh, I've only been following him for like forever. No biggie Steph.

So about them looks! First of all, I had no idea Zalando stocked so many brands (around 1,500 or so), so when it came to going through the racks of edited pieces it was a huge surprise for me to come across brands like IRO and Tiger of Sweden, as well as other familiar names such as Michael Kors and Calvin Klein. Needless to say I snapped up that CK shirt pretty damn fast.
 

First look

Freaky Nation leather jacket
Calvin Klein CK top
Dorothy Perkins suede skirt
Whistles Azara heels

-------

Second Look

Bik Bok green jumper
Dorothy Perkins skirt
Michael Kors tote bag
Zign Nero boots
 

Thank you to Shopstyle, Zalando and The Apartment for having me!
Don't forget to share your style using the hashtag (you guessed it) #shareyourstyle