The One: Perfume


I’ve always felt quite drawn to scents. I feel as though scents can often be quite personal and conjure certain emotions or bring up memories from just a whiff. Personally, I think thats quite beautiful and there’s a nostalgia within that always keeps me reaching for perfume bottles. Tresór by Lancôme always reminds me of my mom when I was little. Every time I smell it i’m brought back to the memory of laying on her bed before school, watching her sit at her dressing table, applying her face for the day. I always thought it was so grown up: her sitting perfecting her make up, putting her hair in the right place with some spray, getting her jewellery on and then that final touch with a spritz of perfume. Tresor reminds me of that.

I could list multiple scents and the memories or people they remind me of – but I won’t ramble. I remember someone once noting that they loved a scent by Dior however, it didn’t suit their skin. I heard this when I was about twelve and thought it rather bizarre. How can a scent not suit your skin? It’s not a shade of make up. A few Christmas’ later I suddenly realised what they meant. I was gifted Lola by Marc Jacobs. I already had, and loved, Marc Jacobs Daisy and Daisy Au so Fresh (which I still reach for now) but had mentioned I wanted to try one of his other fragrances. Lola was the one I tried and although I absolutely loved the scent, it just didn’t fit me. It wasn’t the heavenly scent I had smelt on my friend or even on the slip of card at the perfume counter. In all honesty, it was quite nauseating. 

Now, many years later, I feel as though I have really got to grips with what scents compliment me as well as what I personally like to wear. I like light floral scents with a musky and woodsy undertones. I love oud and patchouli, but at the same time love orchid and vanilla too. Regardless of this, nothing could of prepared me for the scent I now come to wear everyday -and that is no lie. Even if I’m spending the day in my pyjamas, sick in bed, I still spritz this perfume. 

Yes, as that header said – Sun, by Lush. I remember when I first smelt this scent. I was in Lush with one of my best friends, Hannah, trialling every lush scent in front of us when a shop assistant came over and offered her help. She pointed out her favourite scent, Sun, and explained it was a citrusy scent. I immediately turned up my nose. I strongly dislike citrus things however, Hannah gave it a go, and ended up buying a bottle. Later that evening, as we were devouring our Five guys burgers I caught a whiff of this heavenly scent -practically climbing over the table, I discovered it was Hannah’s new perfume. The citrus one that I had turned my nose up at. I turned out to love the scent, it was amazing and a couple months later Hannah grabbed me a small bottle of it for the following Christmas which I ended up carrying everywhere with me in my bag. Within a few months I’d used it all, and got another. Again, a few months later that bottle was gone. This pattern happened again and again until my birthday rolled around in the following October: when my friends got me a big bottle and in my mind I had made the ultimate commitment to this perfume as the everyday one. It was the one

I have also purchased the solid form of this perfume. In a compact little tub, it’s ideal to throw in my bag and touch up during the day. I also recently learnt that you can warm some with your finger tips and run it through the ends of your hair for that extra touch. I really love the ideal of that, especially when you consider the fact that every time you move that scent will stir and be heavenly again. 

Sun is, as I have already mentioned, strongly citrus. Made with Brazilian Orange oil and Sandalwood oil it is of course, incredibly strong in terms of citrus however, quickly mutes into a subtle scent that lifts the spirits. It very much is what I’d call a ‘happy scent’ – the type of scent you smell and have a little smile on your face as you feel giddy from the infusion. It truly is a beautiful scent and although I really want to try more Lush fragrances, I truly am content with this one. My one perfume go-to. 

Do you have one perfume that is your solid go-to? If so, what is it? 
Cheerio for now! 

The Great Escape

**I’m sharing this purely to reminisce happier memories. If you’re struggling with or finding isolation hard than I wouldn’t recommend reading or looking at the pictures on this post; due to the fact that I do lust a little over our experience camping in Wales and the great outdoors in general. I apologise if this isn’t the content that you want to be consuming at the moment however, I just have been meaning to share my photos for awhile and this is the first chance that I have had. Enjoy!

Last summer, my boyfriend decided that it was time for us to take the next big step – investing in our first property… a tent. Maybe that’s a bit anti-climactic for you reading this but for us it was terribly exciting. The only problem was trying to then find a slot of time available in both our calendars to be able to get away and use it.

Although, I am chronically ill and very much reliant on those around me, I still try to do what I can. As any Spoonie knows, pushing our bodies is about the worst thing we can do however, we do sometimes fall prey to it and it inevitably comes back to bite us in the ass. I feel like that had been me for much of last year. Just about the time when I felt like I was getting my head above water, I thought I could do something and then bam -back to hibernation I had to go. And I won’t go into the details of my living arrangements here but after going through the motions of a nomadic lifestyle, along with the emotions that come with that I was beyond ready to get away.

Me and the Bearded Boyfriend toyed around with a lot of different areas to take the new tent to but we quickly decided to head back to Brecon Beacons, Wales. Somewhere that is both familiar to us and somewhere we both love. So, late August we played Tetris: Car Edition and set off for Grawen Farm.

Grawen is a quaint little farm (not sure if it’s still working) that is in a great location, being just down the road from Merthyr Tydfil and Brecon but also in the shadow of Pen Y Fan, which makes it the perfect place to pitch a tent. The farm has showers and toilets open all hours, a plethora of helpful info for visits (including those ever-important takeout numbers) as well as the friendly folks who run it. It is quite honestly the perfect place to recharge.

It’s the best thing about camping, the remoteness of it, the rawness of living, the lack of any m!ndfucks

Bearded Boyfriend, 09.07.17

One of the things that I love about camping is how grounding it is. In the fast-paced world that we live in, it is so easy to get caught up with and influenced by insignificant things. When I go camping, or not even camping but to the Brecon Beacons in general, my phone stops working, human contact becomes few and far between and through this I’m reminded of what truly matters. It reminds me of the small, inconsequential things that add to the quality of my life regardless of how silly they sound. Like going to bed in a warm and safe place. The first sip of tea in the morning and the pleasure of reading a book without being disturbed by notification sounds or the worries that I could be spending my time doing something else. Being re-introduced to the art of conversation, along with bickering and then cracking up laughing at each-other. The pleasures of driving around aimlessly until we come across a pub to eat at. Randomly pulling over to explore something we’ve only just noticed or to simply pause and take in the view. It’s pure bliss.

Camping will always hold a certain magic for me and, while I can’t wait to explore new places, I know the Brecon Beacons will have a place close to our hearts.

Cheerio for now!

things I’ve found solace in | isolation edition

I started self-isolating mid March due to pre-existing health conditions and while I am used to spending a lot of time at home because of my health, I think there’s something very different about not being able to leave your home because of an epidemic than just simply from chronic health conditions. Because of just how much time I spend at home already, I have a variety of go-to’s which always work however, this obviously isn’t the usual circumstances. Since being in isolation I have found some new features that I’ve come to rely on through this time and wanted to outline a few of the specifics below incase they can help you.

First of all, how can I not mention Emma Hills isolation vlogs. When it comes to hauls and content such as that on YouTube I’m not interested, but certain peoples vlogs I eat up so quick! Emma Hill is one of these people. I love her vlogs as it is but there is something so raw and interesting about vlogs at the moment, when we’re all in the same boat and struggling to pass the time away. In this sort of situation people true colours come out and I think there’s something really refreshing about connecting that way. Not with sponsorships or plugging social media handles but just connecting with one another in a way that encourages and helps people through these days… the 5B’s help a hell of a lot too!

Another person who’s youtube content I have really been loving right now is Kate La Vie. Her weekly vlog vids are always welcome with open arms in my subscription box; and miraculously, she’s someone I can handle hauls with. Her home is an endless source of inspiration and she just radiates such a positivity about her, even on those days when you can tell she’s maybe having not so great a time, she still seems to have an upbeat energy to her. I also love the content on her blog too.

I always love seeing Orion Carloto’s instagram content. Her sartorial aesthetic is so satisfyingly pleasing that it makes my heart flutter a little bit (is that sad to say?). Her Youtube content is great too, although few and far between. But what has really helped lately is her book Flux. Flux is a short book of poetry in a variety of approaches including hand-written notes and diary entries too. It’s so alluringly deep that you can’t help but keep turning the page. It also is a great starting point if you’re only just getting into poetry.

I think poetry in general is something that I have found myself feeling quite drawn to right now. I have been spending my evenings curling up with a book of poetry to try and divert my mind for the current state of the world. I find it so soothing to unwind with it and a tea before I go to bed, and if truth be told I don’t think I would be able to have an evening without it now. While I love reading in general, poetry has a lightness to it. The experience depends entirely on the reader. You can either analyse each stanza, reading between the lines for hidden meanings, or you can simply enjoy the musicality of the words chosen by the writer. My evening reading usually falls into the latter, deciding to enjoy the words, imagery and emotion that it gives me; which I find so helpful when trying to unwind.

And of course, in the state of affairs the world is facing right now, I found Alice Catherine’s post incredibly grounding for my anxious thoughts. I have always found solace in her posts, naturally gravitating to her words and advice but I found this post in particular extremely helpful.

I think that’s enough to mention for today, but no doubt a ton of other things will come to my mind later on so stay tuned for another post of this kind coming your way. Stay safe.

Cheerio for now!

things I have found solace in lately

Hey there. Now I know that everyones social media feeds have been overflowing with content based around what’s going on in the world right now, and that’s fine, but like most others I thought now would be a good time to drop this post into your lap. I always keep a post in my drafts that I can quickly copy and paste anything that I am finding particular inspiring or uplifting; and right now seems to be the perfect time for that. (Keep in mind some of these things are Pre-Covid 19.

this video: now anyone knows that I’m a sucker for some book magic so this video, as simple as it seems, was great to have on in the background as I did bits and bobs last autumn.

Music by Django Reinhardt: On our trip to Wales last August, we discovered Reinhardt’s music in a community cafe theatre in Merthyr Tydfil. Swaying to the sweet tunes a kind worker told us who it was (in an inaudible accent, no’fense) and a quick Shazam later we were downloading his music to listen to as we drove through the mountains. I have been listening to his music ever since, and was even gifted a vinyl of his for Christmas which I often have playing now.

this video, this video from the Vogue Paris YouTube channel: I love these Une Fille, Un Style videos. I don’t know whether it’s where I have been focused on my own living space that has plucked my interest in them or whether it is merely human nature to be nosey that I love them. I think a space can say a lot about the person who inhabits it, and I find it fascinating to see trinkets and what not that people feel attached to or compelled to keep with them throughout their lives.

I also really loved the fact that The Fashion Citizen returned to their little corner of youtube for a few Vlogmas videos, albeit only for a few vids. I absolutely love these girls -I say, quickly glancing up at my copy of their Local Wolves cover on my shelf. I find them so refreshingly human but also inspiring. They never put on airs and graces for the camera which I think is so hard to come by these days on youtube. I also think, having seen them grow through the years via their YouTube channel to now career women is really amazing and so inspiring for us viewers.

this post by Beth over at Toasty. I have been following her blog for years and always had an interest in what she has to say, whether it be on cruelty free beauty products or her views on minimalism however, when it came to her talking about Beauty Banks and donating toiletries she truly felt like a soul sister of mine. Having always felt compelled to help the less fortunate, I have always wanted to go one step further than physically taking my unwanted items to a food/clothes bank or giving someone a hot drink on a cold day. Her post really gave me that extra bit of info to really go forward on this path.

this post by free people. I also really loved this post by them too: Now I absolutely love Free People posts however, overtime they started to move away from the earthy and DIY beauty tips that I loved towards more branding and promotion of some of their items. Now that is great and I don’t dispute it, but these two posts definitely took my back to that more earthy and maybe even soulful time of the BLDG 25 blog.

What have you found solace in lately?

Cheerio for now!

Half-Time Check Up

The first day of January I published this post, listing the things I wanted to manifest in 2018. As we are now in the seventh month of 2018, I thought it would be a good time to remind myself of those five things I want to manifest this year – and to check in with how well I have done so far.

Save Money

This one has been going pretty well so far *touch wood*. At the point of writing this, I have saved quite a large amount of money, which I actually owe a family member – but nevertheless, I am still really proud of myself and, even after my debt is paid, I will continue to save money. There have been a few hiccups, like with everything in life, and at times my debt has gone up a little however, I’m proud of how well I have done and will continue to work on this one.

I have had conversations with two friends of mine around the idea that when it gets to payday, if there is any money left from the last one they feel the need to spend it and start fresh for the next payday. This is something I have been guilty of in the past but the past few months I have really learned to restrain myself. Even though I sometimes do have the occasional peak at ASOS, it is surprising how once you have seen the results of saving money, you can’t justify certain purchases. I find myself thinking about everything I can do with that £30 if I don’t just blow it on one top.

Let Go (Do You Boo)

This is definitely still one I am working on, but I do feel like there have been a few times that I’ve let go and simply done what I want or feel is right. I think this one will be a work in progress.

Enjoy the Beach Hut, as much as possible

My beach hut came out of storage earlier than usual this year, and I have been down there a few times. My boyfriend and I have had a few bbq’s and picnics there which has been nice. With this glorious weather, and my uni year finally wrapping up, we have also had quite a few chances to go for a dip in the sea too – which has been amazing!

Youtube

I haven’t worked on this as much as I could have although, I have been recording snippets of our life. March, especially, we had a lot going on which I have been recording here and there so I am working on a short snippet/vignette video. My editing could do with some dusting off so this may be shabby or quite raw but I want to get into it so stay tuned!

Become More Mindful 

I think this one and the first point have been the major ones I have worked on. I feel as though I have really got in a good frame of mind with money and what I spend it on. For instance, there are a few items I am looking for; like some navy culottes to replace the ones I had to throw out. I purchased a pair a while back but they didn’t fall right on my body. Usually I would forget to send the back or just make do, but if they don’t fall right on me then I know I will never reach for them. Instead I sent them back and put the refunded money in my savings. I am still on the hunt for some Navy Culottes, along with a few other items, but I am not willing to settle for anything less then perfection and I don’t think anyone else should either.

I have also been more mindful with my living area and just my way of life in general. Eating at home a lot more over getting food from the take out or restaurants has been a huge change, as well as being mindful of the things I clutter my living space with. I have a small room at the moment, which has little to no storage space. Because of this I try to only keep the necessary items in my room -and even now, as I look around, I can see five or six things I could ditch.

So there you have it, that is how I have done so far and to be honest, I am really proud of myself. True, I do have some that I haven’t honed in on just yet but there is still plenty of time and this post has served as a gentle reminder of what I still have to work on.

How are your ‘resolutions’ or manifestations going?

Cheerio for now! 

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The Pleasure of the Mundane

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetTo be honest, I have been really overwhelmed lately. Like super overwhelmed. Life has just felt hectic and so fast-paced at the moment and it’s been difficult to find moments to take a breather. Then after a busy few weeks a saturday evening became open to do whatever I wanted, so what did I do? I made a brew and picked up a book from my ‘to be read’ pile. It doesn’t sound like the typically Saturday night for a girl in her early-twenties but it was heavenly. And that was the moment I truly realised the pleasure in the mundane things which is what I’d like to share with you today.

A Brew (…or your drink of choice)

Yes, it can be enjoyed with friends over a catchup but my favourite time to enjoy a brew is first thing in the morning, when I am still half asleep and not fully engrossed in the day yet. I like to take full advantage of that first brew, just sit back and slowly wake up with it to hand. Even if I have been awake for awhile, I’m out for breakfast or have done a few bits already, the first tea of the day is always accompanied by a quiet reflection. It’s ‘my time’ and I truly have been loving these moments lately.

Walking the Dog

I hear so many people comment on the positive effects of having a dog. Because you have to get them outside for some exercise, it forces you to get up and out for some fresh air – regardless of the weather. I personally take so much pleasure in these moments. Seeing the dogs get excited when we mention their leads or that we’re going in the car is instantly uplifting. My two dogs love water so any sort of pond/lake walks or beach walks are ideal and they lap it up. This exertion also means they are dead beat once we are home – meaning all the cuddles and naps with them too. Nice quiet evenings just to chill with your pooch.

Reading your Favourite Book or Magazine

There are certain books or magazines that summon tranquil moments for everyone. For me it’s either Peppermint magazine or Frankie. I know I can pick any of their beautiful issues up and just devour it cover to cover. It conjures peaceful moments for me where I haven’t a care in the word. As a literature student, I’m noticing more and more that I find it hard reading for recreational purposes. Each time I pick up a book I’m analysing plot, characters, use of language, etc. With magazines, it is far easier to tune into the reading for pleasure.

Taking a Drive

Up there with the ‘brew moments’, taking a drive holds such pleasurable moments for me. From cruising along listening to music to having deep chats about anything and everything, even sitting in the car slurping drinks, looking out to the sea and letting the waves crash over the car. The moments can be quiet and retrospective, or filled with serenading and laughter. Whatever they are, they’re always pretty special.

What mundane moments do you love?

Cheerio for now!

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My Mental Health Since Losing my Dog


Whoever said diamonds are a girls best friend never owned a dog

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I have never written a post, or really ever gone into depth with anyone, about my mental health so I should probably give you some background information. I grew up in a lone parent household, an only-child with one cousin who lives on the other side of the world. I was always around adults, and as a result also exposed to the harsh realities of life: I definitely wasn’t an only-child who was wrapped in cotton wool. Because it was only my mom and I, we were always together, so wherever she went, I went too. I suppose that is the main reason I was always around adults, because I went wherever my mom went. When I got to eleven years old, we got our black Labrador, Myles. It was a dream of mine, to have a black lab, ever since I was a little girl and my mom finally agreed we could get one. There’s actually a super old post here stating how we got Myles, here.
Photo 06-02-2015, 20 56 10Photo 30-08-2014, 13 11 46Last year we had to have Myles put down, I mentioned the details a bit more in my Autumn post. It was heartbreaking, to say the least. I’d never felt heartache like I did that day, in that vets room. Feeling his body still, his fur cool down, and his eyes slowly drift shut was the most helpless I have ever felt. It felt like a piece of me had died with him that day and after that it was harder to function.I’m sure some people would find it hard grasping these intense emotions that I went through from losing my dog -because to some people it’s just a dog. That’s not the case for me. Myles was so much more than a dog, or even a part of the family. He was my saviour –quite literally. When I became ill I had to give up everything, and I mean everything. With that, I lost a sense of purpose. My identity and who I was, had vanished, and life didn’t have any meaning. I became severely depressed, I left notes for my family, and my mom feared leaving the house because she didn’t know what she would be coming home to. Yes, it got that bad. But there was one thing through it all that kept me going -Myles. He gave me a purpose.Photo 29-04-2018, 22 20 38Photo 29-08-2017, 13 00 21
When it came time to have him put down, I’d say I was somewhat prepared. It wasn’t a surprise and we knew it was time to go through with it but that didn’t make it less harder. I walked in that vets office with my best friend and came out without him and half of me missing. The first week was hard but I suppressed the grief to get through an important uni assignment. Around eight to ten weeks later, I had my next big assignment and that was when I crumbled. I was burnt out but I was also emotionally drained. I couldn’t complete my assignment and so I had to forget about that and everything else, and just take a moment for me.

Christmas and all the preparations leading up to it, kept me going, They kept my spirits high and upcoming plans gave me something to focus on. I was studying the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at the time, subject matters that I really enjoyed: which definitely helped my mental state. This enjoyment filled some of the hollowness within me. Another thing which helped around this point was taking our other dogs out. I had been trying to make the most of the daylight hours a bit more, and help my mom get them some decent exercise, so seeing our other dogs, Vinnie and Alfie, get out really helped. I think it wasn’t just seeing them run around and simply getting fresh air that helped, but also the fact that even in such a low mental state, I could still be of use to my mom.
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Christmas came and went, and I had enjoyed myself far more than I had anticipated. Then came Dooms day: Myles’ birthday on New Years Eve. Every year we would cook a meaty Pukka Pie, let it cool down, pop a candle in the top and then sing him Happy Birthday. I was supposed to be going out on New Years Eve with my best friends and boyfriend however, I came down with a sickness bug the day before and my boyfriend came down with the beginnings of a major cold/ear infection so that was bye-bye to our plans. Instead we ate Chinese food and watched the fireworks on telly. Even though it didn’t work out as planned, it still kept me occupied and kept my mind off Myles.

January and February were a bit more tricky, especially January. There was a period of time lasting about three or four weeks where it was really hard and I kind of withdrew from a lot going on around me. I needed to wallow. I was studying like crazy, budgeting like an accountant, trying to stay on top of my health, I kept mysteriously throwing up, and really just wanted to curl up constantly because I didn’t have my best friend by my side to keep me going. One day I mistakenly called one of our other dogs Myles which caused an avalanche of tears for the rest of the day. Emptiness overwhelmed me once again and I was gone. What didn’t help around this time, was that I was also experiencing some awful mood swings from my contraceptive pill which didn’t help my mood or anyone around me. Seriously, I became a monster in January -ask my boyfriend!
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March was a brighter note for me. My boyfriends birthday kept me going and I also started to realise how ‘bonded’ I was with our other dogs around this point. Alfie, our red lab, loves coming in my room as soon as I’m awake. He curls up on a blanket on my bed, while I have my morning tea and start working – while Vinnie, our brown labradoodle, curls up in the sliver of space beside my bed and conks out for the day. Although, they’ll never fill the hole that Myles left, I started to realise that the bond I have with them is also filled with love but in an entirely different way to Myles. I also read the book Make Your Bed (read review here) which had a profound effect on me and really changed my perspective on so many areas of my life. It made me really accept the bad things I was going through and definitely helped confront some passed demons head on.

When I say demons, these weren’t ‘end of the world problems‘ but they somehow felt so much bigger and harder to deal with, at the time, because I didn’t have my best friend by my side anymore. There is something so incredibly soothing about having a furry friend around you through tough days – it’s pet therapy. 

As we come to the close of April, the sixth month without my best friend, I feel as though I can finally exhale a huge breath and say ‘I’m doing Ok’. I know that each day will vary and there will be things or memories which hit me hard without him but I also know that ultimately, I have everything I need to survive within me: as well as some amazing people around me to help if I reach for it. 

Cheerio for now!

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.

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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). 
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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. 

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetI 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! 

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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. 

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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! 

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!

What’s In My Bag | Matt & Nat

This is such a classic lifestyle post, which I do usually steer clear from but to be honest I love posts like this. I think there’s something quite interesting in seeing what people carry around with them so why not do my own post.

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First of all my bag is the Vignelli bag by the brand Matt & Nat, a Canadian brand which specialises in handbags made from vegan leather and recyclable goods (post to come on this brand, they are amazing!). I received this last Christmas, which was a total surprise because it is a very pricey bag at £125, but seen as I have used it every day ever since I think it was money well spent and the best present ever! I’d had my eye on the bag for over a year before I received it and I think it was pretty popular because whenever I managed to save the money to buy it (didn’t happen often) it just so happened to be out of stock. It comes in a variety of colours but I have it in the classic black. It has adjustable straps, a phone pocket inside, a small zip compartment inside, and a zipper pocket on the outside too. I absolutely love the outer zip pocket feature on this bag. It’s so ideal having this pocket there for security but also so you don’t have to rifle through the entire bag to find anything like your keys or phone. Anyway, I’ve rambled enough about the bag so onto what I keep inside.
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Purse 2x: I have two purses. One for cards and notes, and one for loose change. This seems bizarre to some but the purse I keep my cards and notes in is a red vintage leather purse which is a hand-me-down from my nan. It was handed down to her by her aunt and so there’s a family tie to that which I just can’t let go of. Not only that but it’s the ideal purse for me. The reason I have a purse for change is that I’m so conscious of breaking or damaging my red purse (I know, I’m ridiculous but I really love it and would hate for it to break). The change purse is just a simple coin pouch which is made out of a black sturdy material.
Keys: Pretty obvious but you can’t get anywhere without them.
Phone: This is usually in my hand or pocket, although I do often slip it in the outer zip section too.
Sunglasses: It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, they are always in my bag. I’m a vampire, I need those bad boys to avoid the sun!
Lip Balm x2: I currently have two balms in my bag. This one by Forever, and this one by Winky Lux.
Tablet box: for my the many supplements I am currently on.
Compact mirror: I have a models own one.
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Medical Cards: I have an orange card from my local council which lets people know I am physically disabled. Usually, I am in my wheelchair but if, for whatever reason I am not, this card can let people know I am physically disabled and may need help in certain situations. I also have an ME alert card from the ME association which just alerts people to the fact that I have ME. It also has an emergency contact with it and my doctor’s details. 
A pouch full of bits and bobs: This is pretty much the miscellaneous section. In here I keep some blotting papers, an Eye Refresh by Tropic, a vast array of bobby pins and hair bands, a pen, Mackenzie smelling salts, strepsils, a radar key, Hydrocortisone cream, painkillers, tweezers, solid perfume, mints, earplugs, and a fidget spinner (because everyone in 2017 joined the fidget spinner phase at some point)
Snack: I also keep some cashew nuts or some sort of biscuit within my bag in case I need to eat before taking my medications. I also tend to get hangry. 
 
So that is everything I keep in my bag. Of course, every so often I do accumulate some receipts in the pit of my bag or slip a book in there but for the most part, everything listed above is what lives inside my bag. 
 
What’s the weirdest thing you keep in your bag? 
Cheerio for now! 
 
Photography: James Coleman