When you're your own worst enemy..

I was never very popular at school. In fact, it's safe to say that I've been a bit of a reject throughout the entirety of my education. In primary school I was bullied for being bushy browed, and gap toothed (and not in a sexy Cara D / Georgia Jagger kind of way). In secondary school I was laughed at for being an awkward emo that wore over the top liner, band tees and studded belts. Yes I did have one of those god awful Myspace XsceneX names and no I'm not going to tell you what it was. Fast forward to college and I was called more names in the corridors than, well, someone that gets called a lot of names. It was pretty much a repeat of primary school, only this time around I had a mouth full of braces and near non-existent brows, as well as a particularly questionable fashion sense. Now, I'm a third year at University surrounded by the most amazing class mates and yet, despite all of this on-going (from you guys as well) I've never been more self-critical.

I don't know what it is about our generation. Maybe it's the whole social media situation going on these days, or maybe we've simply just evolved to a point where we're all self-loathing idiots, but I know for a fact that we're all guilty of hearing it. You all know what I'm talking about here. It's that voice in your head that crops up when you least expect it, telling you you can't do something you want to, or telling you you're not as good looking as that person you just scrolled past on Instagram. It's that voice that stops you from reaching your full potential and - let's be honest - it's that voice you quite frankly just want to shut up. And I'm not gonna lie, that voice (shall we call him Gerald?) isn't going to go just by sheer coincidence. It's going to take practise to get Gerald out of our lives. It's time to stop being your own worst enemy, stop listening to Gerald and start being our own biggest supporters. Good riddance, Ger.
 

Stop waiting for life to happen

Guys, life is happening now, like, right now, so stop holding out for that day you're going to be 'perfect' (whatever the hell that means) and get to work today. If you're sitting there thinking 'one day I'll be the person I want to be' you'll never make it. Every day should get you one step closer to where you want to be, and who you want to be - it shouldn't just be another day for you to procrastinate and feel bad about yourself.
 

Stop doubting and start doing

Doubt is one of the main things that holds us back in life. Sometimes Gerald (why did I insist on calling him/her/it that?) will pop into your mind and tell you you 'can't', but do you know what you have to do when that happens? Forget about it. Would you listen to someone else if they told you you couldn't do something? Hell no you wouldn't. So why listen to that voice in your head? Amazing things happen when you step outside of your comfort zone - you just have to take the leap!
 

Stop relying on others for your happiness

Whether it's gaining joy from hitting a new follower milestone, or putting your happiness in the hands of your significant other, the only real way you're ever going to find true happiness is within yourself. Sure, it's great when other people like you, and it's great when people do nice things for you, but that kind of happiness is only temporary, not long-lasting. If you want to stop beating yourself up all the time you need to stop waiting for others to help you out, and instead focus on helping yourself. In the words of Ru Paul: If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love some body else. Can I get an amen?
 

Stop comparing yourself to others

Sometimes people will be better than you, sometimes you'll be the one owning it. It's as simple as that. Jealousy is one of the most toxic things us girls and guys expose ourselves to, and it doesn't get us anywhere in life. Think about it. If I look at five million pictures of Victoria's Secret models, I'm hardly doing to become one overnight (although if there is a formula for such a thing, please send it my way). Sure, there's always room for improvement, but - news flash - you're never going to be anyone other than yourself. Take inspiration from others and build upon yourself, don't sit there wishing you were another human entirely.
 

Stop focussing on what you can't do..

..and focus on what you can! We can't all be great at everything, but we're all amazing at something. Sure, practise does make perfect, so if there's something you really want to get better at, go for it, but if things don't go how you want them to, don't take it to heart. You're not defined by what you can or can't do, but rather who you are and the choices you make in life. Speaking of choices, 

 

What I'm Wearing:

Topshop Leather Jacket
Missguided Boob T-shirt *
ASOS Ripped Jeans
Public Desire Heels
 

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Health and fitness goals for 2016

You may be thinking to yourself 'um, Steph, 2016 started nearly a month ago, why are you only making fitness resolutions now?' and in response to that, all I have to say is that I'M WEAK! I can never let go (physically) of all the brie and bread over Christmas, and then by the time I've said farewell to said cheese we get to my birthday. And for this birthday, I ate multiple cakes - all by myself. And then the uni deadlines come about, which means very little sleep, very little little time and a whole lot of fast food.

So anyway, now that I'm starting to feel like more of a human being as opposed to an essay writing mule, I've finally set up a few goals to get me actually looking like more of a human being, again, as opposed to some form of mule. I mean sure, I may be eating literally (and I do mean literally) every single fried/carb-heavy food in my kitchen right now, but hey, my mama told me never to waste food. I don't want to eat a whole bag of mini kievs, eight hash browns, a can of macaroni cheese and two pieces of battered cod - really, I don't - it's just something that has to be done. A public service, if you will. So alas, here I am kitted out in my new Boohoo FIT fitness gear, ready to take over the world. Or at least, you know, do a sit up or two..
 

I'm going back on keto!

If you've been following my blog right from the beginning you may remember that I was doing this thing called the ketogenic diet (read more about it in my blog post all about the keto diet). Well, judging by everything I've said in the past few paragraphs I think it's pretty safe to say it didn't work out well for me. I mean, that diet is great, really great. You feel like a million bucks and I lost my little tummy pouch within about three weeks of doing it. But it means you don't get to eat any carbs. Any. Including fruit. I mean sure, you get to eat all the cheese and meat you like (sorry to all you vegans out there) but this girl needs sugar, whether it comes in the form of a Haribo fried egg or a handful of blueberries. So instead of traditional keto, I'll be switching up some of my high fats in favour of a few fruits each day. Which leads me onto the next goal..
 

I'm going to get juicing

I'm crap when it comes to having breakfast. I either wake up too late, rush out of the house or just slurp on 500 gallons of coffee instead of anything actually edible. So every morning I've made it a goal of mine to pack all of my nutrients into a Nutribullet juice. Or - failing that - at least have one of those bad boys during the day. I don't know about you guys but I definitely don't get enough of the good stuff in this body of mine, so - even if i have to hold my nose and chug it back sometimes - at least I'll be good for the rest of the day.
 

I'm going back to the gym

I love going to the gym - honestly, I do - but somewhere during the past few months I fell off the fitness bus and swapped dead lifting for deadlines. See what I did there? Anyway. Now that the latter is out of the way, I'm finally feeling motivated to get my fitness gear on and renew that gym membership that I've been neglecting for so long. I may even nab myself a personal trainer for a few sessions! Whatever it takes. It's official, 2016 is the year of the abs (or at least, the year of less flab). I hope.

Let me know your health and fitness goals for 2016, and whether or not you'd like me to include more food and fitness style post on the blog! 
 

What I'm Wearing

boohoo FIT Maisy Sports Joggers
boohoo FIT Sophia Muscle Back Vest
boohoo Black Bomber Jacket

 


Fashion Bloggers: Expectations VS Reality

I feel like I've always made it pretty clear that - despite suffering from Resting Bitch Face Syndrone 24/7 -  I've never really been one to take myself overly seriously. I say this as I sit at my desk wearing a polar bear sweater, reindeer slippers and - oddly enough - a set of leopard print cat ears. Whatever, it was wear your ow nclothes day at my work place (AKA my bedroom) today, sue me.
 

So I was going to write a post all about transforming your daily outfit into something more party appropriate. Then i realised that, actually, no party is worth going to this Christmas unless pyjamas are mandatory, so that idea kind of went out the window for me. Instead, I've decided to expand on something that happened when Ollie and I were shooting this look a few days back that really does reiterate the fact that, no matter what Instagram tells you, blogging ain't as glam as ya'll might think. Like I said, currently sat in festive-slash-cat attire.
 

Anyway, about that OOTD scenaio. It's reaally not as dramatic as I'm making out. It simply involved an old man, who was adamently clutching onto a fold-out chair (I feel like this is a vital part of the story), licking his lips and asking me to turn around so he could see my a$$. I guess he liked my dress. But uh, yeah, in all seriousness, that shitty stuff happens almost every time we shoot looks, which leads me onto my first lil expectations VS reality situ..

 

Expectations: Taking outfit photos are the easiest thing ever
Reality: Taking outfit photos are the worst part of blogging / life

I'm pretty sure I can't be the only blogger in the world thay hates having their photo taken. Sure, I might look semi composed in approximately 3 of the 800 pics we take, but trust me, every single one of them was a straight up fluke. And that's not me being humble. I'm genuinely just thankful that my fce decides to move in a way that sometimes looks remotely okay on a computer screen. But it's not even my face that's the issue in pictures - I can awkwardly stand around all day if needs be - it's the other distractions that come with shooting. Like the weather, or members of the public, or the light, or finding a decent background, or,  you know, the man with the fold up chair that stares at you for a good minute whilst licking his lips. Yeah.. Can't I just become a food blogger and take pictures of burgers instead? Please?

 

Expectations: Everything looks Instagram-ready and flawless
Reality: The floor is normally covered in clothes and/or photography equipment

Sure, my Instagram might give off the impression that I'm super tidy and minimalistic, but my house kind of says the opposite. Don't get me wrong, when I'm in the zone my very non-Pinterest-y house looks somewhat photogenic. But when I'm snapping away for the blog or doing anything remotely productive, all of my possessions just seem to pile onto the floor in one big mess. Of course, they're usually squished into a corner and kept well out of view of the camera.

Oh, and ever wonder why I don't often/ever post pictures of super healthy kale salads and matcha lattes? It's because I'm busy stuffing my face with a double cheese burger and fries. And that doesn't exactly fit with my Instagram theme, so..

 

EXPECTATIONS: BEING A FULL-TIME BLOGGER MUST MEAN BIG MONEY
REALITY: YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOUR NEXT PAY CHEQUE MIGHT BE

I'll admit, there have been times in my internet life where I've been offered a 'pinch me' amount of money in exchange for a really easy blog post or collaboration. I know, pretty cool right? And it is, but, just because I get paid a nice sum one month, doesn't mean I won't get paid pennies the next. I know loads of bloggers that work alongside their blogs because you simply never know when you're next going to get paid. So sure, the odd post might pay off nicely, but when it's the only thing you're gonna get for the next few months, minimum wage looks pretty tempting.

 

EXPECTATIONS: WE WALK AROUND IN HEELS ALL DAY EVERY DAY
REALITY: PLEASE, I BARELY EVEN WEAR A BRA UNLESS I'M BEING PHOTOGRAPHED

I remember thinking to myself once upon a time, 'how on earth do these bloggers walk in those heels all day long?' and the simple answer is that they just don't. Unless they're taking Ubers everywhere they go, or unless they have a super fancy driver following them around, those heels get slipped on for the pictures and get swapped for flats straight after. And don't get even begin to think that us bloggers do our thang all dressed up when we're at home. It's pyjamas and sweat pants all day, erryday my friends. Hey, sometimes I even brush my hair if I feel like impressing someone.

 

EXPECTATIONS: BLOGGERS HAVE TONS OF BLOGGER PALS THAT THEY SEE ALL THE TIME
REALITY: BLOGGERS SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME AT HOME BY THEMSELVES

I wrote a post ages ago about why blogging is a lonely business (#subtleplug) which basically talks about how blogging is very much an in-office (or in my case, bedroom) type of jobby. Sure, there are super fun parties and blogger events that happen every so often but - especially when you live outside of London - this sort of thing isn't exactly a daily occurrence. It's all about tapping away on our keywords, editing pictures, answering emails, sending invoices. ROCK AND ROLL!

 

EXPECTATIONS: BLOGGERS DON'T APPRECIATE EVERYTHING THEY GET
REALITY: I BLOODY LOVE WHAT I DO

Despite all the not-so-glamourous things I've written above, I really can't stress enough how much I love doing this whole internet thang. Even with my un-brushed hair, money woes and messy house, it's pretty damn great. So, thanks for helping me work a job that doesn't require me wearing a bra. My boobs and I are very grateful.
 

What's your dream job?

 

What I'm wearing:

AX Paris Maxi Dress *
Steve Madden Ankle Boots *
Missguided Leather Jacket *
 

Shop the look:

What to wear this Christmas

When the words ‘fashion blogger’ enter your mind, I’d imagine one of the first things that pop into your head has some kind of relation to shopping, and how much I’m bound to love doing it. Right? Wrong. Shopping - to me - is the devil. I love getting dressed up, and I love looking at different outfits and such, but when it comes to me putting together looks - especially those fit for the party season - my mind goes black, and I struggle. And by struggle, I mean I pretty much just give up half way though December and spend the rest of Christmas in some form of animal onesie or Christmas jumper. Or both, depending on how cold it is.

However this year I’ve decided to step outside of my comfort zone and go all out for Christmas in my own little way. No no, don’t worry, there won’t be any glittery dresses or sequin shoes on the blog this year (or any year, for that matter). Instead, I’ll simply be piecing together some comfy basics along with a few trend-led additions to keep me looking, well, trendy. So here goes..

The dinner party

I think it’s safe to say that a lot of food comas are going to happen during Christmas, so I always like to opt for for a loose, comfortable outfit t hide all of my (carb-induced) sins. For this look I’ve decided to go all out on the seventies vibe, and focus on a variety of statement pieces such as the snakeskin boots, tassel necklace and the chunky matte black Omega watch from Watches of Switzerland, so that I can - you know - keep track of how long the waiter is taking to bring me my dessert..

The ‘work do’

Work dos are pretty much my worst nightmare. The awkward conversations, the ‘what do I wear’ moments and the inevitable ‘who even is that person?’ situations. Sure, I might be freelance now, but the wardrobe worries still haunt me to this day. But you know what I say? When in doubt, wear black. Chuck on a fluffy festive-coloured stole, slip into a pair of heels (if you can handle it) and let the awkward dancing commence!

The family gathering

Okay, so maybe it is more likelythat I will end up in a onesie for a family gathering, but in a perfect world this is the exact outfit I’d like to wear when sitting by the fire with mulled wine and mince pies. It’s comfy, classic (note the addition of a certain matte black watch again) and oh so chic. Chunk on a pair of thick black tights to get super snuggly. Or just scrap the whole idea completely and head straight for the festive knitted jumper from nana.

What’s your go to festive outfit?

How to get invited to blogger events

It feels like it's been ages since I posted a snap of me wearing clothes (not that I've been posting any nude shots at all - they're specifically reserved for my Snapchat fam FYI*) because of all these Christmas posts lately. Damn you Christmas, always getting in the way of my outfit posts. So selfish. But since it's been a while, and since it's Tuesday, I've decided combine all of the above (minus the n00dz) with - first of all, potentially the nicest jumpsuit in the world - and a good old fashioned Tip Tuesdays post. And this one? It's all about getting invited to those oh so covetable blogging events. You ask, I deliver, you're welcome.

*Nudes were a lie, but you can follow my Snapchat story over at 'cocochicblog'
 

Start small

We've all gotta start somewhere. You know the Drake song 'started from the bottom..'? Yeah, that's kind of how it works with events too. If you've only just started your blog the chances of you getting invited to an all expenses paid press day on the other side of the world is highly, highly unlikely. In fact, it might not even be an event for a brand you know, let alone one you love. But, you never know where these contacts could take you in the future, let alone where you (or the brand) might be in a few years time. So, when it comes to getting invited to various days out one of the main things to remember is that you're never too big or too important for for whatever pops into your inbox. If something strikes your fancy (whether you know the brand or not) then go with it and RSVP ASAP. Oh, aren't acronyms just the bomb?
 

Be a plus one

Now obviously I'm not telling you to just show up on someone's door step one day and demand they take you as their plus one, but the fact is, is that a lot of the time many events do actaully allow bloggers to take a guest with them. One way of teaming up with other bloggers is to get involved with various Twitter chats and simply ask one another about what fun things are coming up in the next few weeks. It might be a long shot, but you never know - you might end up with a bunch of new contacts, an event to pop in your diary and - most importantly - a new internet pal.
 

Sign up to event sites

Oh isn't the internet just the greatest thing in the world? How on earth did we even function without it before? Word of mouth? Pah. Anyway, these days, when it comes to finding out about some of the less exclusive blogging events all you really to know is a few handy websites that pretty much do all the hard work for you. Some of my favourites include the likes of Eventbrite and Blogging Edge, but there are loads more on the WWW. Just give em a Google and start signing up for notifications!
 

Reach out to brands

There is always an on-going debate in the blogging community about whether or not it's a good idea to reach out to brands, but when it comes to genuine introductions (as opposed to 'please can I have...' messages) I say go for it. In fact, I have it on good authority from a lot of my PR pals that they kind of like it too. So, when it comes to reaching out in regards to events, just give it a good old go. Of course, be considerate to the fact that these poor guys and gals get around five million emails a day, but if your messages are genuine enough, and if they like the sound of you enough, they might consider adding you to their next guest list.
 

Become a 'yes' person

This is something I seriously wish I could be at all times, but, what with uni and, you know, living over five hours away from London, it can be kind of tricky. Basically, what I'm trying to tell you to do here is to say yes to events as often as you possibly can - even if it's just for the practise and social aspects of things. I've met so many people from different events that have kind of become my 'event buddies' over the past few months, and that alone has provided me with more blogging opportunities than I could ever have imagined. When they say it's who you know, not what you know, they're pretty spot on (whoever 'they' are).
 

Deliver the goods

And of course, when it all comes down to it and you've been and gone to your first few events, a super important thing to remember is that you were there for a reason - not just for the free food. So, if you liked the event or if you've tested out some of the products you saw at an event, a nice gesture is to write about it somewhere on your online space, just as a little thank you/ Do things like that and you'll be sure to up the likelihood of being invited back again! Huzzah!
 

PS. Stay tuned for my book launching any day now! Woop!
 

What I'm wearing:

Boohoo leather jacket
Cameo jumpsuits from Coggles *
Public Desire 'Nikki' heels *
Forever 21 box bag *