Monday, 19 February 2018

Start of Something New

What am I talking about? 
Uniform 000. Uniform *insert number here, is a post idea I came up with on a Saturday evening, when putting away some ironing. The base of it is simply outfit posts however, they are going to be revolving around clothes I already own and recycle again and again. There may be repetitions in pieces used or styled in new ways, but the idea is to re-use what I own instead of feeling the need to buy new things. I think too often people endorse new clothing lines (and thats great) but sometimes we as an audience impulsively buy things we simply do not need. 
Another facet to this idea is my personal body image. I'm the first to admit that I am very self-conscious when it comes to my body and often I want to hide under a baggy jumper. Other times I trick myself into thinking I'll feel better about myself if I buy that one top or splurge on that one dress, and it never makes me feel better. By posting my uniforms, I'm hoping it will highlight what I like, feel comfortable in, and what looks good on my body type: as well as highlight the things in my wardrobe that I will never use (*gulp, that could be quite a sickening result if there is a large amount of clothes leftover). 
Maybe posting photos of myself for all to see, when I'm not too fond of my body, may not be the best idea to concur this but it's what I'm choosing to do. I have reached a point where I just want to say screw it. I hate my muffin top, the way my thighs have peaks and valleys and I know the stretch marks (or lightening bolts, as my godson calls them) will plague me til my dying day -but in the grand scheme of things does that all matter? Will that matter when I'm looking back on photo albums in thirty years time? No, and quite frankly I feel its time to give up on worrying about it all. 

I can't put my finger on what has sparked this change of perspective. Maybe its where my health has taken a switch and I want to start living instead of worrying and trying to make myself feel better with material things. Or maybe, on a bit more of a personal note, my perspective has changed because my body has changed -it manifested nothing short of a miracle last year and to be honest, I don't look after it as much as I probably should. This realisation has kind of been a knife to the back, making me stand to attention and really start loving it. 
I also want to show these outfits in a very unpolished and more personal way. Don't get me wrong posed outfit posts are great but some of my favourite photos are the raw and natural ones, the ones that may be a little blurry or overexposed like the ones I have here. I also like the concept of outfits being highlighted in my everyday life and routines. For instance, the past few weekends James and I have taken the dogs out for walks each Sunday so it felt only natural to highlight my 'boyfriend-flannel-shirt-outfit' in this way. Personally, these ones of Alfie are my favourite and lets face it -he's stolen the spotlight for this post! 
I have probably rambled on enough now and you no doubt get the general idea. **I must add a final note though, that some of the pieces I will be sharing have been in my wardrobe for years and are from shops & brands that I no longer give my money to. Some of these brands I no longer shop from because the ethics and morals they have do not fit my own. Having said this, I am also trying to reduce my waste and if an item is in the style or fit that I want, and it is already in my possession, than I will keep wearing it even if the brands morals do not fit my own. The reason for this is that, in my mind, the money I spent on that item (years ago) has already gone to that brand and pumping their practises: therefore the damage has already been done. This is especially hurtful for me when it comes to make up that I have which has been tested on animals (ie. MAC lipsticks), however again my money has already contributed so not using an item would be wasteful but also wouldn't truly make a stand because its already gone to the brand. 
I hope this makes sense and I haven't just bamboozled you, but I wanted to state this important factor before posting uniforms and then trying to address these issues in the comment sections. 

I hope you enjoy the upcoming Uniform posts
Cheerio for now! 

Monday, 29 January 2018

Almost Adulting

As a budding almost 'adult', loose use of that word, I constantly feel in a grey hazy space of fear. That grey space often turns red with panic, fear, and sometimes even despair. Yup, I suck at being an adult. It's odd because I'm twenty-two and I have 'adult-ish' stuff happening around me, I sometimes feel like I make 'mature' decisions, but yet I also feel like an anxious seventeen year old fearing the time that I'll have to move out and try to figure things out myself. Contradicting myself -I do really want to move out, it's been an itch I've had that I can't seem to scratch. See what I mean? I'm a mess not an adult. That is where this book comes in. 

As a subscriber to Arden's channel, I saw her video back in 2016 and was immediately excited at the idea of an easy-to-read, experienced guide at how to 'adult' from one of my favourite youtubers. As someone who moved away from her family, six hours away to LA when she was only eighteen I figured she'd have some insight on how to 'adult'. 
This book was such a quick read for me. I completed it in a few nights and felt so much more at ease at the thought of being an 'adult' or more so about my ability to be an adult. Divided into bitesized chunks it covers everything from living on your own, adult responsibilities like washing and bills, sex life, health, relationships, family, and whole bunch of other information squeezed in too. I loved the conversational tone of the book. It came across so friendly but at the same didn't sugar coat you from the bitter truth of getting adult sh*t done. 
As a twenty-two year old young woman still living with the family, but quickly outgrowing my family home, I was surprised and partially relieved to be quite familiar with some of the topics and ideas in the book already. It made me feel like I already have a bit of handle on things already. Having said this, there was also a plethora of info which I found so reassuring: the main thing being the content covering self-confidence, body image and mental health. The idea that ultimately i'm on the right course and it's okay to not be okay, as long as you reach for help when you need it. 

I really enjoyed this read and would recommend it to anyone, especially budding 'adults'. I think this is a book that I need to keep hold for my younger relatives. 

Have you ever read Almost Adulting? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 

Monday, 22 January 2018

Things That Help Inspire Me Through a Creative Slump

Now January can be great for many reasons, most of all it represents the beginning of bigger and better things. For me January can be a little bit of a downer. I wouldn't say I get the 'January Blues' as such but I definitely feel a little off beat. The only way I can explain it is that while the new year represents a fresh start and great things to come, it also reminds me that it's still the dead of winter, we're eons away from summer and everyone is usually strapped for cash after Christmas so there's little going on. When this happens I feel as though I'm in a stalemate moment and time has stood still. My creativity and excitement for pretty much anything drifts away, and after that everything comes to a crashing halt. 

Regardless of when these moments happen, whether it be in January or the middle of summer, there are always a few things I like to do to kick me out of the funk. 

Ira Glass on the Creative process
I came across this video about two years ago and found it so enlightening and really lifts my spirits each time I listen to it. Over time it's become a ritual of mine when I'm feeling down on myself to lay on my bed with a face mask on and listen to it on repeat. I also hone in on something different each time I listen to it.  
The Crossroads of Should and Must
If you're a long time follower, you may have read my book review on the book The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna and if you read that post than you know how much I loved that book. It was an amazing read and truly inspiring. If you want to know a little more about it than head on over to my review or keep reading for a quick rundown. 

The foundation of the book is the concept of what you should do with your life versus what you must do. It's this idea that mundane tasks like having a mortgage and settling down, or taking over the family firm could be things that you feel you should be doing however, on the other side of the spectrum there are those things you simply must do. They are so ingrained in your being and soul that you think about them day after day and the bottom line is you must do it, fulfil them. Elle Luna's book opens your eyes to who you are. It involves some eye-opening exercises, stories of others journeys to their 'musts' and quotes to inspire and keep you motivated. An example drawn on in the book is the story of Mary Ellen Geist's father, who continued to play his music even while suffering Alzheimers for thirteen years. She said in a letter that even though he had no idea what he did for a living, or where he lived, and he didn't even know how to tie a tie or make his way to the stage on the day that he performed- his music however, and the performance was perfect. Now that is inspiring. And a perfect example of someones must. Something that is so ingrained on their being that even a plaque tearing apart their mind can't stand in the way of it. This concept always sets my spirits soaring. 

The Great Gatsby 
Now this is probably a bit of an odd one but hear me out. It's not so much the film its more Nick Caraway's narration of it. The way its so melancholy but also thoughtful and raw. The phrase 'within and without' truly makes me think. It makes me take a step back and assess the situation clearer: which, when you are in a creative slump, definitely helps look at the big picture and take something for what it truly is. 
The Pixar Documentary
Again, this is something I wrote a post about which you can read here but I'll still give you a rerun. The Pixar Documentary is a behind the scenes look at how Pixar happened. It is narrated alongside interviews of everyone involved including illustrators, technicians, family members, assistants, and the three main guys that kicked it all off: the creative scientist Ed Catmull, the visionary entrepreneur Steve Jobs and talented artist John Lasseter. My favourite quote from the documentary is from Steve Jobs who says 'Pixar's seen by a lot of folks as an overnight success, but if you look really closely most overnight success's took a long time'. Those words always strike me more and more powerful each time I hear them. And I mean, of course for that reason this documentary always helps me. It also helps because you get to go behind the scenes of some amazing films like Toy Story, Cars, and my personal favourite A Bug's Life. 

Now obviously these are very specific things for me personally but almost all of these things I actually heard about from other people so I think it's always good to share and maybe someone will stumble across something they feel drawn to here. And of course, there are more general things that help me get out of a funk like getting outside and exploring somewhere new. One thing in particular which is always quite interesting is hanging around with younger or older people: generally anyone who is quite an age gap away from you. That gap can really make a difference in perspective which can be eye-opening to new things and ideas. 

So those are just a few things which inspire me through a slump, what helps you? 
Cheerio for now! 

Monday, 15 January 2018

Book Vs. Film: The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton 
This idea, of comparing book and film adaptations, came about when I was watching The Miniaturist over Christmas on the BBC. Having read, and loved The Miniaturist (you can read my review of the book here),  I found myself, as I watched,  mentally preparing a list of similarities and differences between the book and film adaptations. I say film, it was actually spread across a two-part series, with each part being an hour and a half long. 
Now there were many things I liked about this adaptation but there were also things I really could not tolerate. For instance: 
  • The Miniaturists interactions: in the book the lady sending Nella the miniature items is a passing ship. She's someone who reappears every so often and then disappears without a trace however, in the programme she has far more of a prominent role within Nella's life. When Nella finally manages to get a response at The miniaturists shop, in the book, it is an elderly fellow who turns out to be the lady's father. Between Nella and him they piece together the mystery and Nella gets to hear a bit about this mysterious lady sending her these spine-tingling figures. In the programme, Nella actually explores and finds her way into the living area above the miniaturist's shop and once she realises the miniaturist lady is there, they have a conversation. I wish I could say that I liked this part of the programme, but to be honest I much prefer the end note to the book -that the miniaturist who has plagued Nella is simply a mystery: and just like throughout the book, she disappears. 
  • Marins Love Life: as with many things about books, I feel as though the book revealed a little more, or maybe even implied more, when it came to Marins love life and even just her personality. Although she definitely opens up more to Nella in the programme, once her secret is revealed, I do think that the book revealed more about her character: which I personally preferred. This is also the case for the character of Otto but you can obviously reveal far more with hundreds of thousands of words in a book than two hour and a half programmes. 
Having said this, there were also things that I really liked about the adaptation and even a few things I preferred about the programme compared to the book.
  • I loved the setting. It was just dark and cold enough to embody the eerie-ness of the story without coming across too gothic. I also really loved how well they portrayed Amsterdam as a religious setting with the characters devoted to religious ways. I think they covered this element of the story really well which only helped to contrast Johannes lifestyle and the surrealness of the miniaturist and her figures. In a setting like this the miniaturist would no doubt be deemed as practising witchcraft. 
  • The character of Nella came across much stronger in the programme versus the actual book. I can't put my finger on why or how but even before she finds out about Johannes lifestyle and Marins secret, she appears a strong young woman; even in the strange home environment she's landed in. 
  • The casting was perfect. I think every cast member involved really relished in their characters role and I think that really brought the characters to life from the book. I also loved the bond the characters had with one another. The friendship between Nella and Cornelia, the respect between Nella and Marin, the thoughtful teamwork between Johannes and Nella: everything just seemed seamless when it came to the casting. 
I could ramble on comparing the book and programme all day long but I think I'll draw a line there. Like with any adaptation, there is a lot of ground that producers and writers' neglect to cover simply because they deem it irrelevant or don't have the time to cover it. Ultimately, I really enjoyed the programme and the way they brought the book to life. 

If you didn't catch The Miniaturist over the festive season then you can watch it here, on BBC iplayer. It's not available for much longer so catch it while you can! 

Did you watch The Miniaturist? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 

Friday, 12 January 2018

Book Review: Uprooted, Naomi Novik

Uprooted, Naomi Novik 
Uprooted was a book title that kept popping up in my related reads, and I guess it falls into the fantasy-fairytale genre. The story is centred around a valley which is near the wood, enchanted with dark magic that corrupts all who enter. Agnieszka's, the main character, village relies on the Dragon, an infamous wizard to protect them from the wood's dark magic. However, his help comes at a steep price. Every ten years he picks a girl from the village to serve him for ten years. Agnieszka and the rest of her village assume he will pick her best friend Kasia but when the 'choosing day' comes, it isn't Kasia who he leaves with. Spoiler: he picks Agieszka, but its' with good reason. 

This book felt like a modern fairytale/folktale. I felt as though it transported me into Agnieszka's world and I experienced what the characters went through, alongside them. There were many plot twists to this book and many elements that I really liked, such as the development of relationships such as Agnieszka and Kasia's as well as Agnieszka and The Dragon/Sarkan. I felt torn through the book part of me wanting to know what happens and part reluctant for it to finish, and about half way through I felt it slowed down for a few chapters however by that point I was so engrossed within the world it couldn't put me off wanting to know the ending.

Have you read Uprooted? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 

Friday, 5 January 2018

Lush | Dark Angels

Are you sitting down? Because I'm about to say something that some folks may find shocking. I've never understood the fuss when it comes to Lush products. Hear me out -I grew up with a mother who would get a headache when we passed by the Lush store at our local shopping centre. She'd spot it a mile off and rush us past it as quickly as possible. Growing up, many of my friends had the same reaction. In fact, I can think of only one friend of mine who can actually tolerate the scent enough to step inside. So because of that, I've never really explored the realm of the Lush store -until lately.
It was a few weeks ago, I spotted the store and suddenly wanted to go inside. Inside I purchased two products, one a bubble bar and the other this cleanser, Dark Angels. The labelling says this product is a Face and body cleanser but believe me when I say that it is so much more than that. You know when you stumble across a product, use it and have to stop and marvel at the wonders it works -well that has been a constant routine of mine since I have been using this product. 
Dark Angels is not just a cleanser, its both an exfoliator and cleanser all in one. It has Charcoal and Black sugar to exfoliate, but also has Rhassoul Mud to cleanse and Avocado oil to soften and moisturise -so as you can see there's a nice balance to the ingredients of this product. Not only does it remove dirt and cleanse the skin, but I've noticed it also leaves my skin with a glow that I have never experienced from any other product. The mask itself is black and makes you look rather terrifying if you don't warn the people you live with that you're using it, however, it does apply and remove really easy so that's a nice little bonus. 
It's pretty much up to you how much or how little you apply, and it's the easiest to make. You simply take your chosen amount out the tub, add a little water, mix around in your hand and apply to your face or body. Once you've graced your skin with its amazing qualities, then rinse off with water and follow with any steps you require. I usually sweep a pad around my face with some toner sprayed onto it, just to remove any little excess bits of the cleanser that I didn't manage to rinse off. I follow that up with my moisturiser or some coconut oil. 
I have noticed a huge difference in my skin since using this product and although it can be a bit more of a messier product (if you're not careful), I really notice the effect it has on my skin and can't imagine using any other product other than this now. 

Have you ever tried Dark Angels? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now!

Monday, 1 January 2018

Five Manifestations for 2018

It's 2018, what?! 
Yes, ladies and gents we've reached the year of '18. I know everyone says this, and I hate it when they do, but where does the time go. And is it just me, or is it bizarre how so much can change in a year?  

Save Money
Bit of an adult one but I really want to become more efficient at saving my pennies. I have realised over time that I can be quite a frivolous spender (especially when it comes to ASOS) and then when it comes to other things I don't have the money, for instance I'll spend £30 on a top that I like but when it comes to something I need I can't get it because I already splurged. There are things I have wanted to invest in for years but have never had the money because its been wasted on trends or fads so I've made this manifestation in the hope to trying save money and find a good balance with my spending habits. 

This also comes into play with another thing I need to manifest within 2018 and that is to get a credit card. I feel like this will come later in the year, once I've truly got into a nice habit of putting away my money. The idea of a credit card being in my hands is quite scary so I'd feel so much better if I had some savings, no matter how small as almost a little security blanket. Also I'm hoping the routine of saving money will make me less of a frivolous spending in the long-run so I won't have the urge to reach for that dangerous little card. 
Let Go (Do You Boo) 
I can't believe I just typed those words but hear me out. There have been many things in the past that I have put on the back burner because I simply was to worried about what people thought of me. It's the same with clothes, a lot of the time I shy away from certain styles because again I'm worried what people will think. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter what people think of an outfit or what I'm doing. In 2018 I want to practise just letting go of the worried voice inside my head and simply have fun, doing what I love. 
Enjoy the Beach hut, as much as possible 
The past two summers I have felt as though I haven't enjoyed the beach hut as much as I did for my first year there. The second Summer we had it, the bottom floor of our house flooded and so life was just very hectic and everything felt turned upside down. Last Summer, we went down there a few times but still nowhere near as much as that first year. I'd like to try enjoy it as much as possible this year. It's so lovely just heading there, grabbing food on the way to bbq and just sitting by the sea. It is my favourite. 

Something I have wanted to do for awhile but never truly taken the plunge. When I say YouTube, I don't mean become a daily vlogger or aspire to be like Zoella (no offence), I'd just simply like to record moments of my life to look back on one day. James and I have visited some amazing places, and even had some great days out: I think it would be pretty cool to be able to look back and watch them one day. A few years ago my mom had all our home videos transferred to DVD's and I'm so grateful that she capture so many precious moments from my childhood. It would be quite nice to keep that going and record some moments from mine and James' life. 
Become More Mindful 
This one is kind of linked to the first point of saving money but I'd like to become much more conscious of what money I'm spending and what I'm spending it on. I'd like to become more frugal when it comes to possessions and what I choose to hold onto -I think this has come from living in a relatively small room with little storage space

Something that has also prompted this thought is seeing this post by Haley on Colour Me Classic. Haley set herself the challenge of not buying clothes for 6 months in the hopes of seeing how she could grow without buying clothes on Asos -I resonated so much with the Asos part of her post she shared. Her post about this, and seeing the results from this 'clothes-shopping ban', really inspired me. Having looked back on the year and some of the things I've thrown away £30-70 on, definitely made me realise how much money that I have wasted throughout the year. As someone who needs to expand and get new furniture in the new year, pay off debts and hopefully save money, Haley's post definitely came at the right time for me and a spending ban is something I am seriously considering for the new year (-I'll keep you all posted on this though). 

So, these are the things I'd like to manifest within the next year. I'd like to think they are quite attainable so if all goes well, in a years time I'll be updating you all on how this has gone. 

What are things you would like to manifest in the new year? Let me know in the comments below.
Cheerio for now! 
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