Iris Apfel, accidental icon

Iris Apfel, accidental icon: Musings of a Geriatric Starlet

The name Iris Apfel is not one that the everyday Joe would know. Hell, my boyfriend didn’t know who she was. But if you have an interest in fashion, wisdom, or are just up to date on the pop culture scene you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about. The bold little lady wearing every colour imaginable, usually sporting at least five chunky bangles on each wrist and always sporting her signature thick, round spectacles and swoosh of red lippy.

She’s everything you want to be when you’re in your 90s.

Young in spirit, she embodies everything wonderful about the fashion industry but at the same time doesn’t conform to any fashion trends or rules. She plays with fashion and accessories wonderfully: putting together the most creative and unexpected ensembles, which is so refreshing when we are used to seeing the black and grey drab outfits or the perfectly co-ordinating ones.

I never want to be an old fuddy-duddy; I hold the self-proclaimed record for being the World’s Oldest Living Teenager and I intend to keep it that way

Iris Apfel

A true icon full of vibrant panache, Iris Apfel shares anecdote, maxims, and passages on all topics from technology, style, interior design, textiles, and all things in-between. Her pearls of wisdom fill each sentence alongside pages of vivid colours and eye-catching prints. Iris embodies everything I wish I will be when I’m older, and not even older but now. Entirely awe-inspiring, I hope to breath fresh-air into my wardrobe with prints and colours in the future; and over all try to be fearless and go with what I like rather than what ‘goes’ together.

Full of practical advice and inspiring stories, this book is a must for anyone: especially women. I think there is a lot of ‘take homes’ for women, especially from Iris’ experience in the workplace and just growing up in general. The insight I have personally gained from this book is something I wish I had come across in my teens -which I honestly think would be the perfect time to read it for anyone. With so much good sense within its’ pages, it is one of those books I wish I could give a copy of to everyone I know. I can’t recommend it enough!

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!

The Room: December & January

The work on my bedroom is finally done!

Well, my room was officially finished on the 20th December, which made Christmas entirely stressful trying to move in beforehand. Anyway, I decided it might be a good idea to document the progress on here -not just visually but also how it came together, piece by piece. So, with that said, this is what we got done in December and January.

Obviously the first port of call is a bed. With the space being quite long and narrow (at least compared to my old room) I decided the best way to fit a double bed was to do so lengthways with the room. My room is on the ground floor to aid my mobility and give me a bit more of a family life. Because of the layout of our home, I had to have a larger window to double as a fire exit -which I totally love, however I haven’t been able to enjoy due to the lack of blind. Because my room was completed so close to Christmas, and due to it’s unusual measurements, it was impossible to get a blind up before Christmas. Many places take around 3-6 weeks to make custom blind and that’s before fitting it. Due to this, and other contributing factors including nosey neighbours, my mother and I wrapped my window in Christmas paper.

Once we had these two things sorted, we then worked on the next biggest piece of furniture: my desk. I went for the Malm desk with the pull-out panel purely because of how big it is and how much room it has underneath it. The pull-out panel is ideal for extra room but also great to not have it out permanently too.

The next things we did were move my chest of draws, which I had to significantly downsize on, and then bring a clothes rail in. This was about all we could do in the short timespan we had leading up to Christmas but it was enough for the time being.

I also found that I had massively underestimated how many belongings I had so as I moved into the room I found had to offload a lot of my belongings and reassess some of my furniture choices. These images depict how my room progressed in late December and throughout January -the main difference between the two months being the wrapping paper cloaking the window changed from Christmas themed to normal wrapping paper.

Cheerio for now!

things that have inspired me lately

I always seem to have a post full of links to videos or articles in my drafted section, which quickly grows over time. Quite a few links in this post are from last year. There are things that I have found over time and a few newer links I have added more recently. All of them have inspired me though and so, I wanted to share them with you. Who knows you might find them inspiring also.

Now I can’t remember how I first came across this blogpost but I can say that ever since I first read it I’ve had it bookmarked on my laptop and gone back to it multiple times to reread and take in its’ insight. Cait writes in such a beautifully honest way about blogging and what it has become over the years, as well as going into some of the details of why she is retiring her personal blogging. It is so refreshing to read someone talking about how they feel about something which has become so evident within the blogging community. While I love sitting with a cuppa and going through my Bloglovin’ feed, I do find myself being more mindful of which blogs I spend my time reading.

I have found myself taking part in an ongoing purge of blogs and YouTube channels I follow, as they are simply too consuming. Even with the remaining sites that I follow I find myself cherry picking which posts I read and which I just simply click ‘mark as read’. I tend to steer clear of hauls and any type of promotion of ‘trend’ pieces, or newly released brands; purely because I find myself persuaded into buying things I do not want or need.

I also don’t feel compelled to share every aspect of my life anymore or take my camera everywhere I go incase I want to turn any trips into content for here. I wouldn’t say I’m retiring this space but like Cait, I don’t want to feel obliged to keep up a facade of posting continuously, pay attention to the number of readers, grow an online brand and presence, etc. I just simply want to live and share things along the way that I feel passionate about. Even if you don’t have a blog or even follow blogs, I still think anyone would find Cait’s post interesting.

This amazingly relatable post by Emma Hill. Growing up I was never the maternal type. Don’t get me wrong, kids are great but I don’t get that broody feeling that others do every time they walk through the baby section of stores or smell that ‘newborn‘ scent. I grew up telling my grandmother that I’m never having children and when I became chronically ill that phrase quickly changed to I can’t have children. When I said those words it weren’t just in the medical sense of my lifestyle but also the fact that, whenever I dreamt of being well or healthy one day, I weren’t settling down or having a family; I was out there, travelling, working, living the life I had missed out on. I have always felt an internal guilt for feeling this way however, when I came across this post by Emma Hill a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could give a sigh of relief that someone was somewhat on the same page as me about this topic. Her post isn’t just relatable for me in terms of her feelings about children but I also find her storytelling about a flight from hell because of children so comedic and yes, yet again soooo relatable. All these years I have had an inner monologue, slagging the little demons off and feeling like the worst woman ever and now I come to realise there’s others just like me out there!

If you’re a total mumsy/child-loving person then I wouldn’t read this post, Emma Hill even writes a short disclaimer at the top warning folk about the posts contents. However, if you’re like me and ever had this inner guilt and turmoil over these ‘unnatural’ thoughts than I would highly recommend giving the post a read. I have read it so many times and feel more better after each read.

The idea of living a zero waste lifestyle has always been appealing for me, however the one area of life that my mind constantly flies to when thinking about zero waste is the bathroom. I have been following the site A Considered Life for quite some time now and have found some really helpful information from the content. This post in particular has really helped open my eyes as to how many options there are out there, and it has definitely inspired me to keep pursuing a zero waste, or more-so ‘less waste‘ lifestyle. I would definitely recommend taking a look at A Considered Life if you are interested in a zero waste lifestyle, minimalistic/simple lifestyle tips, sustainable fashion or even cruelty free beauty. The sustainable fashion directory is regular go-to of mine.

I absolutely loved this video by Lwany. I have been following her youtube channel, How To Five Two, for quite some time and I’m constantly inspired by her visual style but actually seeing and hearing her thoughts and feelings about everyday life is so inspiring. Her thoughts about her profession and the type of career she finds herself in are so similar and relatable to my own that this video just warms my heart every time I watch it. I’d give her channel and instagram a peek if your into style or the aesthetically pleasing (aligning of course, with self-authenticity).

As a chronically ill person going to the gym and doing hardcore workouts just doesn’t work for my body, however I do like to do some form of movement so I don’t entirely stiffen up. Because I’m not well enough to do the types of workouts that everyone else is capable of it’s easy to get downhearted or just simply beat myself up. This video by Arden came to me at exactly the right point in time. She says a lot of home truths in this video that I really needed to hear. The overall premise of the video is finding what works for you as opposed to just going to the gym and doing cardio because that’s what everyone else does; or more so, what society says we should be doing.

This video really put a lot into perspective for me, and helped me wrap my head around certain things to do with my own body and health; as well as coming to the conclusion of what is healthy and attainable for me going forward. If your having hard-time with working out, or not even a hard time but just wanting to find that extra inspiration to work out -give Arden’s video a watch and you might also find some of her insight enlightening too.

Cheerio for now!

The comfort in discomfort

The weather has always had an effect on me -not in a bad way, but rather a thought-provoking way. As I listen to the Summer rain cascading down my window, I can’t help but let my mind wander from this to that. I never started this space with anything in particular in mind to share. This is not a space devoted to beauty or travel (although those things do appear from time to time), but rather just the written word in general. And so, I find myself typing away: jotting down my idle musings. Perhaps these words shall never be read, which is quite alright. 

For the past three years now, I have been in an area -more so a full on arena- of discomfort. When I say discomfort, I mean physical unrest; and I mean this within the realm of my physical habitat.

Now I know, I have mentioned my living situation more than once on here -but it’s really difficult to not talk about something when it effects you in such an evident way.

With my bedroom being on the ground floor, and not being insulated at all, I have found myself in a cycle of floods and damage from rainwater which have felt never-ending at times. Just as I would find a new way to cope with this dishevelled way of living another curveball would be hit my way and another pair of Birkenstocks would be ruined from the dirt and grit that the flow of rainwater brought into my make-shift bedroom.

I don’t want to sound like this is a p!ssed off rant because quite honestly it isn’t. It’s merely a sigh of relief as I throw my hands in the air and let go of all expectations for what’s to come. I think the more expectations you have the more let down you become in the long run; and my mental health just doesn’t need that.

Instead, I’m starting to fall into the new routine of finding comforts in my discomfort. I have started to find comfort in the small pleasures and little things which give me that smile and spark of joy in my heart. Things like a new book, a heavenly scented candle and even an early night (yup, I’m getting old).

I don’t know when this period of unrest will end but i’m okay with the idea of ‘not being okay’; and for now, I think that’s good enough.

Stay tuned

Book Review: The Loch of the Dead

The Loch of the Dead, Oscar de Muriel

**I just wanted to add a little note here. This is one of the many posts I have had in my draft section since before my hiatus but with the fifth Frey and McGray book, The Darker Arts, being released today, I figured now is the perfect time to get this baby out. Enjoy.

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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

If you are a long time follower, then you will have already seen my reviews of the previous three books in the series of cases for Frey & McGray, by Oscar de Muriel. If you haven’t read them or even heard of these book, I’d encourage you to head on over here, and give the reviews a read to get the gist of these characters and the genre these books fall into. Now onto the book itself…The Loch of Dead starts with a death threat against an unknowing heir, which leads the inspectors to the remote Loch Maree. Isle Maree, one of the islands perched in the middle of the loch, is known for its ancient burial ground although that is not the only thing the Inspectors should be aware of. The highland area is cut off from the rest of the world, and the few souls who do reside there are strange – causing many questions that need answering. On arrival, and with little time to find a stable footing, the heir’s guardian is brutally murdered which makes everyone a suspect; especially that of the Koloman’s, a mysterious family whom the young heir and detectives must stay with.

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I have to admit it was incredibly difficult to type the above section without giving away major spoilers and divulging some of the many plot twists. I must also say that, out of the collection of Frey & McGray books, this one included -this has without a doubt been my favourite. The previous elements of the grim Victorian era of the 1800s mixed with the surreal crimes and the hint of humour this duo creates, alongside the folklore element of this book makes for a terrific read. The plot lines are so cleverly interwoven with one another that even though they are there, with so many clues as to who the culprits are, you can never truly pin it on anyone.

As previously mentioned, there are three books in the series preceding this. I think this book could standalone however, I don’t think the reader would experience every part of the book at it’s best. Especially that of Frey & McGray’s relationship, which has evolved leaps and bounds, or that of McGray’s never-ending guest to cure his sister so I would recommend reading the three previous books before this one.

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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

All-in-all this was an amazing read and I throughly enjoyed every second of it. I would highly recommend it to anyone and if me rambling about it doesn’t make you pick it up, maybe the 100% and five-star reviews on Amazon will.

Have you read this new addition to the series yet?

Cheerio for now!

Where have I been?

I think it’s time to end this intermission.

I decided last year to take a break from this space. Did I find myself in a funk? Not quite. Had I gone into hiatus? Perhaps. Quite frankly I have no idea what to call it so lets just go through the motions, shall we?

I have been trying to reach a state of equilibrium -which, even as I type this now, I have yet to reach. There have been quite a few things holding me back from that destination.

Room

I am someone who is highly influenced by their environment, and as a homebody I find myself paying a lot of attention to the interiors that I occupy daily. Given that I live and work in these quarters, it’s incredibly important to me. However, after moving in early 2017, and not being firmly planted anywhere before or since then, I have found myself becoming restless for a stable abode.

The nature of my living situation has caused me to be uprooted multiple times throughout the past three years, and while I had managed to stay inspired and keep my creativity going to begin with, the past year has been a bit trickier. I find myself having all these great ideas and lightbulb moments but when it comes to executing them I hit a brick wall and the project falls flat. I have since figured out that this problem is purely down to my environment, or lack of: so I’m hoping I can get it together soon.

Take a (brain) Break

Another contributing factor to this intermission, has been taking a break from the mental exertion of social media. With blogging, there is this not-so-hidden pressure to be on all platforms of social media and to produce fresh content for each platform to remain relevant and ‘successful’. But what about those of us, like myself, who aren’t aspiring to a career or masses of success in this field? Over the past two-three years, I have felt this unyielding pressure to push myself more and more in curating the perfect social media platforms. Grooming them to be these perfectly organised and aesthetically pleasing areas to promote myself. *vom*.

With my boyfriend having taken many social media breaks in the past, I finally decided to do the same just after Christmas. I will touch on this more in another post on the subject, because in all honesty I could write paragraphs upon paragraphs on the subject; however, I will say it was eye-opening and (dare I say, with the fear of sounding overdramatic) life-changing. I could not recommend it enough, but as I said -there will be a post coming with waaayyyy more detail about this.

Back Injury

So, I fell down the stairs and aged my body by fifty years. Although, my injuries are much better now this fall put a bit of a bump in the works of everything I had planned in terms of uni and this space here. It was like taking 10 steps backwards but I feel like I am slowly getting back onto the straight and narrow.

So what now? Well to be honest -I don’t have a plan really. There are some posts I have in mind and I have a fair pile of them in my drafts which I had produced before the intermission so I might publish them soon and then the new posts. Who knows.

Stay tuned 

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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