Thursday, 31 December 2015

I Wear Boys Clothes and I'm a Girl







It always baffles me that with all the progression in gender 'accepting', more shops and brands haven't adapted a 'gender fluid' clothing range. By that I simply mean, clothes that aren't targeted to either boys or girls but embrace the two. I know that some stores have changed the 'segregation' of the genders by not labelling the 'women' and 'men' sections and have merged the gender departments. I suppose there are pros and cons of this. Pros are that it's a step in the direction of change and is challenging the men/women segregation found within fashion. But the cons are that for 'girly girls' and 'masculine men' - finding clothes becomes a little bit harder.

I'd think that my style is a combination of 'tomboy' and 'ultra girly girl'. Some days I want to wear my tiara, others days I want to wear my armour. I dress depending on my mood. Recently, I have been opting for the 'tomboy' look. I am loving the relaxed fluidity that the clothes have compared to the restricting, tight women's clothes I've been wearing for the past couple of months.

The hardest part with putting my new style vibe into action was the fact that I simply could not find the clothes I wanted within the women's section. When I was looking for a baggy, oversized t-shirt, all I found were skimpy, barely-there pieces of fabric - also known as 'the crop top'. Um, hello, it's Winter and I don't want to flaunt my Christmas food baby.

Therefore, determined and on a mission to find my tees - I waltzed into the men's section. Firstly, guys, what's with the shady side-eyes you're giving me when I'm rifling through 'your' clothes? Surely by now you've worked out why your girlfriend is stealing your clothes - they're comfier :).

So, ignoring those disdainful glances from the men, I carried on stealing their clothes. I found out a few things about menswear. To begin - generally the prices are lower. This seems neither fair nor does it make any sense to me. Men are paid more in most professions yet you're charging them less for their clothes? Ok - I see where I stand...

Secondly, there was more selection of t-shirts. I didn't see a crop top in sight and it made me excited. Plus there was less competition. Usually when you're shopping in the women's section you get a bit of competition - 'honey, that's my dress, back off' - looks that can kill.

So, that's why I wear boys clothes and I'm a girl. I don't care. The price is slashed and I'm looking 'fash'.


clothes: top & shirt - TK MAXX, Jeans - ASOS, Shoes - Topshop 

Have you seen my new 'Winter Style Lookbook' video? 



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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

I'm Single & Not Ready To Mingle!

 



This is probably the most random post that I've written on my blog yet. I'm taking spontaneity to a whole new level. I'm talking about my relationship status. Firstly, I am eighteen years old. I'm not panicking about the fact that I haven't found my Prince just yet. In fact, ideally, I would like it if my Prince didn't find me until I am at least twenty-five. Why? Because I love being single, free and alone. Does that make me a loser? Maybe, but I'm happy to join the club because this is the lifestyle that I've chosen!

I think that there's so much expectation for a girl to 'want to be' or 'be in' a relationship. Practically all my friends are in relationships. Yes, that's cool - you've got a boyfriend who will buy you pizza and text you everyday. But, I don't want that kind of attention (or calories). When you're in a relationship you're thinking about a whole extra person. Jeez, I'm struggling with me, myself and I right now. Please don't add to my stress.

I've had the chance to try-out the whole 'relationship' thing a few times and it's really not my cup of tea right now. Sure, that might change but for now, it's pretty set in stone. I feel like I want to focus on me. And really, what's so bad about that? I'm constantly being asked by friends and family who I'm 'speaking to' or who my 'boyfriend' is - with a smirk, I find joy in answering 'Teddy' (my beloved dog).

I want to put my attention on me. I enjoy my own company. I enjoy being free and young and not having to think about anyone else. I enjoy investing time in myself. I want to get to know myself before I start adding extra facts about someone else. I think I've still got a lot to learn and I'm a work in progress - let me do my 'thang' and leave me be por favor. 

There's also no denying that when you are in a relationship, your friends suffer. I love having girly nights in and while they're not necessarily put on a back-burner when you've got the 'boyfriend', they do suffer. Not to mention the time that I save by not texting someone all the time. Texting, Facetiming and phone calling eats up so much time in a day. Yeah, it's nice to talk, we get it, but seriously, I could've been watching a Disney film while eating myself into the ground.

I also love doing whatever I want and when I want. I like not having to rigidly plan my days around when I'm seeing one person. I like thinking about me, me, me. Self-obsessed? Sure - but I don't care, I'm single. Maybe I do want to take a trip to the Bahamas, but sure as heck I'll be doing it alone.

I don't think I ever really considered 'being single' as being a choice that I've made before, but it is. I don't want the hard work of maintaining a relationship with someone else at this point in my life. For the first time, I'm taking a year to breathe. A gap year is the perfect opportunity for me to focus on me. I want to fill my days with thoughts of myself. Who am I? What do I want? Well, I want to be single and that's what I am. I'm single and sooooo not ready to mingle.

Photos taken from my new lookbook, 'Winter Style'. 

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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Boohoo Fashion Resolutions / Braving the co-ord









-- I'M WEARING--



We all make New Year's resolutions - whether they're unpublished or announced for all to hear, we've made them. To be honest, we either purposefully forget them come 1st January (because let's face it, they were a little too ambitious in the first place) or we try hard to maintain them and stay proud for months after. I am hoping that my resolutions will remain intact throughout 2016.  This year I made a general '2016 Bucket List' - they were my resolutions compiled with things I want to do. However, it wasn't until I got an e-mail from Boohoo about fashion resolutions that I thought to myself - 'why have I never made one before?'.

Most of us focus our resolutions on diet changes, productive qualities and motivational habits. But why do we forget about fashion and beauty resolutions? Maybe you have been making fashion resolutions ever since you donned an ugly blouse and vowed never to touch something so hideous again, but I for one have never made any - until now! :)

I like to think that I am quite adventurous when it comes to fashion. I own clothes that shine with colours that people would run away from. I pair weirdly shaped garments to create angles and shapes you never thought possible. The point is, although I love wearing jeans and a sweatshirt daily, I try to be adventurous and in general - I am not scared of any fashion 'item'.

However, the 'co-ord' is something that I have never experimented with. Usually I like to mix up my outfit with contrasting pieces on the top and the bottom half of my body. The co-ord does what the title says, 'co-ordinates' - meaning 'matchy matchy'. So, my New Year's Fashion Resolution is to stock my wardrobe up with 'co-ords'. I don't know why I haven't ever purchased a co-ord. I mean, the idea is ingenious. You have an outfit all wrapped up in one and you know it's going to look fabulous.

2016 - I'm braving the co-ord and I think it looks pretty great (I hope you do too).  

What are your fashion resolutions? 

This outfit was featured in my 'Winter Style Lookbook' on my new YouTube channel! Give it a click if you fancy!!


Post in collaboration with boohoo.com. 
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Winter Style Lookbook


So, I am having a lot of fun creating new videos for my new YouTube channel. Here's my latest video - 'Winter Style Lookbook'. Hope you enjoy! A brand new blog post will also be posted tomorrow - watch this space! 



-- Outfit 1 --

Boohoo Co-ord* :
http://www.boohoo.com/restofworld/new... 

Boohoo necklaces*: 
http://www.boohoo.com/restofworld/nec... 

http://www.boohoo.com/restofworld/nec...

http://www.boohoo.com/restofworld/nec...

Adidas Stan Smith Trainers:
http://www.adidas.co.uk/stan-smith-sh... 

Topshop Jacket (old)

-- Outfit 2 --

ASOS Jeans (old)

Shirt (menswear) TK MAXX:
http://www.tkmaxx.com/men/casual-shir...

Top (menswear) TK MAXX:
http://www.tkmaxx.com/men/t-shirts+po...

Topshop Trainers (old)

-- Outfit 3 -- 

Forever21 Mickey Mouse Top:
http://www.forever21.com/Product/Prod...

UNIF Vago Hoodie: 
http://www.revolveclothing.com/unif-v...

Reebok Silver Trainers:
http://www.reebok.co.uk/reebok-x-face...

Ripped jeans (from ASOS - old)

-- Outfit 4 --

Jacket (Zara - found in charity shop)

Vivienne Westwood Jeans (old)

Adolescent T-shirt, ASOS:
http://www.asos.com/search/adolescent...

Lacoste Trainers, ASOS:
http://www.asos.com/lacoste/lacoste-l...


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Sunday, 27 December 2015

2016 Bucket List

I thought that instead of writing copious amounts of paragraphs about my year, life and what I want to achieve in the upcoming, 2016 - I would shoot some bullets your way. No, I'm not talking about lethal bullets (you may put your shield down now), I am talking about the trusty bullet points that make everyone's lives simpler. Here's my 2016 bucket list of all the things I want to do, achieve and maintain.



  • Be more spontaneous - stop trying to plan everything in life, go with the flow and see where it takes you. 
  • Stop worrying over small, insignificant things!!
  • Travel, travel, travel. I have a hunger to see more places and scenic views. If I can't afford to go abroad I should at least jump in my car and pop down to see my friends who are living away at Uni in various exciting cities. 
  • Experiment with video blogging. Notice that I said 'experiment' here - I am not totally confident that video blogging will really be my 'thing' so I shall experiment. I won't know unless I give it a proper try! 
  • Make time for relaxing. Although I am on a gap year, time is flying by and I am filling my days with blogging and other productive tasks. While that may not sound like a lot, I am struggling to find the time to even pick up my books! Factoring in some 'me' time is essential. 
  • Be confident in my clothes. This one sounds a little bit weird but sometimes when I choose an outfit it's for 'social ease'. My outfits got a little bit repetitive this year, as I dodged the more 'statement' pieces and opted for my high waisted jeans and a top. Boring! Pass me my UNIF sweater! 
  • Stay happy, healthy and motivated. Since changing my diet, I feel transformed. Sometimes I get cravings to eat a whole box of Krispy Kremes, but I resist knowing that ultimately by body is better without it. I am happier and feel like I have more energy - it's something that I plan to maintain throughout 2016. 
  • Keep blogging! I love blogging but sometimes it seems to difficult to maintain alongside a busy life. However, I am still learning and scheduling time in for regular blog posts is important to me. 2016 should see me being a more active blogger because with every post I publish, I love it even more. 
  • Get 'good' at social media.  It's no secret because I've talked about it before but I pretty much suck at social media. I feel like I should've been born in the 1920's because I simply do not 'get' it. But, I'm making sure that in 2016, I become a social media Queen - I've already started trying - do I get a crown for that? 
  • Exercise! Yawn, you've probably seen this on everyone's bucket list but it's on mine too because we can all be hopeful that in 2016 we'll all have six packs. 
  • Try something new at least every month. This could be small things like trying out a new recipe, book or tv programme. The point is - I want to explore as many new things as possible. 
  • Save money. I am really bad at spending my money as soon as it's in my pocket. Saving would serve me well just before I become a student in September! 
There's probably way more that I can add to my bucket list but I don't want to overwhelm myself with expectations and plans. Roll on 2016 - I hope you will be a friend and not a foe. 2015 - goodbye, you haven't been my favourite friend but you've taught me a lot, so cheers I guess.


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Saturday, 26 December 2015

NYE Party Outfit Ideas


Now that the seasonal stress is over, the next thing on everyone's mind is - 'what am I going to wear for New Year's Eve?!'. If you prefer a quiet night in, you'll already know you'll be wearing your Christmas PJ's whilst curled up on the sofa. For the rest of us (who are definitely secretly envious of you) - we remain clueless as to what we are going wear. If only I could depart wearing my new Olaf pyjamas paired with heels. Unfortunately, social protocol means that pyjamas would be highly inadvisable - after all, we want to keep our friends as we enter into the New Year. So, here are some 'fashionable' ideas that I've rustled up. There is just enough time to snap up something from the sales and add some new additions into our New Year wardrobe!


Outfit 1


(sale)

(sale)

(sale)


Outfit 2 

(sale)


(sale)

(sale)



Outfit 3 


(sale)

(sale)



Outfit 4

(sale)

(sale)




Sorry if there weren't a lot of outfit ideas here. I have to confess, I had to stop myself from continuing with my search because I'd rather not be poor. Unfortunately, I seem to be unable to not fall in love with every item of clothing I see - hence, making this blog post a work of torture that was self-inflicted. Enjoy your parties - I've decided it's Olaf pyjamas after all, they're underrated. 

Toodle Pip and have a good one. 


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Thursday, 24 December 2015

10 Reasons To Have A Holly Jolly Christmas...


I am a little bit confused when people say that they hate Christmas. I thought it was human nature to love such festive cheer? But, apparently it's not. This news was even worse than finding out the truth about 'Santa Claus' himself...However - I am convinced that Christmas is the best time of the year. Here are 10 reasons why!

1. Feasting

Food makes people happy. Although I am on a restrictive diet for health reasons - chances are, you aren't! Surround yourself with glorious foods. Think chocolates, cakes, Christmas pud - go all out! Plus, aren't you happy to be reunited with your favourite vegetable, 'the sprout'?

2. You Are One With Nature 

You bring the outdoors inside with a jolly, luscious smelling Christmas tree - slap bang in your front living room. Yes, a peculiar concept it may be, but bring those wilderness vibes into your home and decorate it freely. Surely that makes you a little bit happier?

3. Allowing Childhood 

You can allow childhood at Christmas for a number of reasons. The first reason being that you yourself can embrace your inner childhood excitement. Unlock the restrained childhood feelings from the past. It's Christmas, you're allowed to be off-the-scale excited - it's what it was designed for. Plus, if you're feeling a little bit self-conscious to be the child yourself, find a child within your family on Christmas day and feed off their vibes of goodness. Children + Christmas = hyperactive excitement - it's contagious and is a happy aura of energy!

4. Family Bonding 

Having a whole day with your family may actually be a reason to hate Christmas for some people. It can draw attention to the fact that you really don't get along with anyone in your family and you are forced to spend the whole day with them. Alternatively, if you are like me, you a super excited to have the whole day with the whole family. I love seeing my family on Christmas; talking, playing games, eating, pulling crackers - the whole shebang. With a busy hectic life, scheduling in family time is often hard - Christmas gives you the time needed for the family catchup! 

5. Gift Giving

Although gift receiving is pretty great, I think Christmas is all about 'giving'. I love seeing all the thought that I have put into gifts finally unleash on the day. I love the reactions. I love the anticipation just before they unwrap it and I love them finally being able to see the secrets that I've kept for the last couple of weeks. 

6. Spreading Joyous Vibes

If you spread the message of Christmas, I truly believe you are spreading a message of goodwill, joy and happiness. Therefore, Christmas must be the greatest time of the year? If you are miserable on Christmas without a sufficient reason, please, Scrooge, get yourself sorted out. 

7. Christmas Cracker Jokes

You cannot deny that Christmas cracker jokes are part of the jolly spirit of Christmas. They try so hard to be funny, yet are guaranteed to be insanely bad. Christmas cracker jokes are a little piece of my heart, they are brilliant because they are pathetic, yet everyone gives them a chance annually. I love that kind of acceptance - it can only be positive. 

8. You Can Be Sparkly & Avoid Looking Totally Naff

I love a bit of sparkle in my life - razzle dazzle, HELLO IT'S ME! However, the judgy glances you get when you're head-to-toe in sparkly gear any time other than the festive period is a little too much to handle. I love Christmas because I can plaster myself in glitter and sparkle without looking too much of a Fairy impersonator. 

9. The Renewal of Socks

There is something really comforting about the fact that new socks are a Christmas staple. If you can't love Christmas for any other reason - love it for the socks. Socks are an essential in life. Be happy that your toes will be getting some T.L.C with some new cottons! 

10. It's The Time Of Year To Smell Luscious

If socks don't make you happy, bath products will. You will smell absolutely amazing this Christmas because you can bet your new cotton socks that you will be getting some form of soap/wash. I love the soapy smell of Christmas. I love unlocking the new scents and aromas and welcoming bath bombs of colour and smell into my bath tub. So, scrub a dub dub - It's Christmas! 

If these 10 reasons to love Christmas don't ensure you have a 'holly jolly' time - well, I'm sorry, but I'm out of ideas. 

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight! 




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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Life As A Sober Teenager



Here is my account of life as a sober teenager (so far). 

Parties for an average teenager are pretty common place. At eighteen, I have been to my fair share of parties. I'm sure most of you know what a 'good' party includes - friends, music and yeah, alcohol. It doesn't matter what anyone says, there is for sure a social pressure to drink at parties. Plus, if I'm honest, parties are always made a little bit better once you've thrown back a couple of drinks. Alcohol makes you less inhibited, making you unafraid to 'bust a move' and relax a bit more. It's also poignant to remember that while it makes you feel all giggly and fun for a couple hours, it's also a poison. Would Snow White choose to bite the apple if she knew it was poisoned? What's really the difference between a hangover and an unplanned long sleep? Well, I suppose we don't always have a Prince to shake us out of our mess..

While the majority of us have learned the hard way when it comes to intoxicating ourselves with a few too many glasses of champers, some of us ignore the siren calls and drink ourselves into the ground. I guess there's a reason that teenagers are at the forefront of a few media articles for their 'binge drinking' ways. You're only young once, right? While I'm not at University this year, I am also no stranger to the fact that 'Freshers Week' is the supposed 'fun' week of your whole entire time at University. Who goes to Uni to learn anymore, right? Perhaps I am being a bit sarcastic but from a bystanders view - it all seems a little bit excessive. I am definitely not a party pooper. I love parties, I love spending time with friends and yes, I have also been known to enjoy my drinks. 

Since I have put the drinking aside and welcomed sobriety, I have become far more aware of just how many times a week I was drinking. Social activities seem to centre around drinking, ranging from the spectrum of 'just a few casual drinks' (but let's face it, is there ever such a thing?) to 'getting drunk'. I would be lying if I said I sometimes didn't wish that I could just join in with the fun. Sometimes, it's all I want, to revert back to the normal ways of being a teenager and let loose because being the 'sober' one really isn't all that fun. Yes, you can have your own measurement of fun but the fact of the matter is that you are sober and they are drunk. It is an inescapable divide. 

Choosing to be sober at a party also unravels a series of related questions; 'Where's your drink?', 'Why aren't you drinking?', 'What, not even one drink? That won't harm, surely?'. Obviously, it's an alien concept and I understand that, because previous to me putting down the drinks - I myself would've asked these questions. I have incredibly understanding friends who know my reasons for my alcohol ban and support it all the way. The observations I am making don't relate to my 'close knit' but the rest of them - a.k.a everyone else. I guess, if I could have one wish it would be to shake people's perception of people who don't drink. I would ban all mental associations with the concept as being 'boring' and would welcome all opinions that support the choice - 'Wow, it's awesome you're not poisoning yourself tonight. I am inspired.' I am actually giggling to myself as I type that because I know that if it were ever to be said, it would be in the tone of sarcasm.

Yes, being sober at parties sometimes makes you a freak of nature. Yes, it is difficult not to give in and just hold a glass of alcohol to please people. No, it is not impossible and I've never been one to truly care what people think of what I do and who I am. Like it or lump it. I'm not really trying to inspire anyone to stop drinking because I miss it sometimes. Plus, my drinking hiatus is really more due to the health reasons (no I am not an alcoholic, I am just on a healthy drive - pass me my greens, mother!). But, not drinking has also unlocked a lot of benefits. I am in control of my actions, my decisions and what I'm fuelling my body with for the first time in my life. Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle to obtain maximum health is not easy. However, the benefits make it worth it. I feel energised, happier and my anxiety on the whole has been reduced. Plus, I really don't miss the hangover in the morning. 


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Sunday, 20 December 2015

This Elf Shopped Online This Year...



To clarify, I have been one of 'Santa's little helpers' for a few years now. I'm not going to deny it - when the season is in full swing, so is the stress hormone. There are many Elves like me rushing around at this time of year. Some get their jobs done far sooner than December - these Elves have my utmost admiration; my Elf hat goes off to you, my friend. However, the majority of us are a little bit unorganised, leaving all festivities and planning until the month of December. There's a part of me that thinks Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the mad 'pressie' dash. Where's the fun in a super organised, structured Christmas? Christmas is supposed to have its 'moments' - just like life. But when it's Christmas, everything will be okay in the end - even if you end up with burnt turkey (what are processed turkey slices for, eh?). That being said, this Christmas Elf wanted a fairly relaxing Christmas, but there was nothing worse than the thought of joining the 'Christmas crowds' in a shopping centre. I thought that I'd take a leaf out of mother's book this year when I decided to do all my Christmas shopping online. Was it less stressful? Absolutely not.

There are pros and cons to every experience and there are definitely pros and cons in the development of technology. It is absolutely top notch that we can stay connected all the time with friends. It's also absolutely fabulous that we can spy on people who are miles away with their constant feeds of pictures and tweets. It's also too good to be true that you can shop thousands of products all while sitting on your derrière. No longer do we have to be brave and face the crowds of Christmas past. Goodbye are the days where we're forced to stare at fleeced shelves post Christmas dash. We can say farewell to the gym work out that we didn't sign up for because F.Y.I, hauling heavy shopping bags from shop to shop is certainly harder than it looks. And yes, we can also avoid the surging panic we feel when we hand over swarms of cash and then find our purses to be empty - we can just click and forget. Yes, there is no denying that by avoiding these factors the experience would be more enjoyable. Hence, shopping online becomes more of an appealing method for purchasing gifts. In fact, when it comes to Christmas shopping, it almost feels a little too easy. I was tracking down my presents in seconds as I typed at lightening speed into the google search bar, clicked on the item, added it to my basket, proceeded and BAM - purchase was complete. I almost felt enlightened. A few days later, 'Knock, knock' - 'who's there?' Why it was Santa Claus of course (a.k.a - Postman Pat).

But obviously, there's a spanner in the works to be found with the whole process. Shopping online made me feel a bit deflated. Christmas shopping is supposed to be a 3D experience. I want to see the shops decked out with tinsel, baubles and it's a bonus if the store has a tree. The sightings of frantic shoppers remind me I'm not alone. I want us to all dash together around the store. I want the ''Hunger Games' are about to begin'' moment as we dive for the last Christmas box set in sync. I want to hear Christmas songs on a loop, irritating me while also bringing music to my ears. I want to wait in the queue, glance down and savour the moments of admiration at the fantastic gifts I've just selected as they beam in my basket. There isn't so much as a Christmas jingle after making a Christmas purchase online. Instead, I just have a headache from the glare of the screen and find myself in recovery after being assaulted by a massive 'THANK YOU FOR YOUR ORDER' message once again. Shopping online didn't give me any festive experience - I just got to know my postman very well.

Shopping for Christmas gifts online was also very overwhelming. Pop-ups of 'the world's greatest socks' flashed in my face and I felt like I needed to buy them. Temptations were high and before I knew it, I'd signed up to buy a litter of tigers from Africa. I also battled with delivery charges - they made me question my whole purchase. £4.99 for standard delivery? I felt like I may as well have bought the delivery vans. Sure, I have saved some time in my day by doing my shopping online in one way. I haven't had to hunt the shops head to toe for the products I wanted. I also haven't needed to even tie my shoe lace and move any muscles other than my hands (only manoeuvring around the keyboard, mouse and my snack bowl). However, I completely forgot about all the days that I would need to hideaway in my house waiting for the postman to deliver my vast amount of orders.

If I was lucky, an email would send me a chirpy message telling me exactly when my package would arrive. The majority, however, were elusive and liked to keep me on my toes. Would I be able to shower or would the delivery man decide that it was an apt time to deliver the goods? I was living in suspense and I can tell you now, the whole experience put me a little on edge. I was the creepy girl who never got dressed. I peeped though my blinds spying on any potential vans that might host the man that would deliver my much anticipated parcels. The 'small talk' involved was also painful - 'Delivering many parcels today?' I'd sing - obviously, it was his occupation. A memorable chat was when one of them thought I was ill - can a girl not wear her polar bear dressing gown with no makeup without being questioned?!

I can safely say that I am happy that all parcels have arrived. While I'm not best pleased that one was lost along the way and will be a belated Christmas gift, on the whole, my online shopping was successful. However, what I didn't realise was that I missed the 'real life' Christmas shopping experience. I like playing 'dodge 'em' with the other customers as we weave around each other grabbing gifts from the shelves. I also miss being handed my purchased items in a Christmassy bag and a 'Merry Christmas' wish from the employees. But what I missed the most were the Christmas decked shops - I really could've done with seeing a Christmas light this year.... Hey ho - an Elf has got to live and learn, right? All I know is that if I see another cardboard box addressed to me - next time, it better be from Santa and not from my credit card.



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Saturday, 19 December 2015

Healthy Hot Chocolate Alternative



So by now you might have read the post where I talk about all the things that I can no longer eat. If you haven't seen the post or perhaps more importantly, my list of forbidden foods, check out 'Why I gave up sugar, dairy, wheat & more..'.  As the days get chilly and the nights get darker earlier, I can be lulled into a false sense of cosiness. Curled up on the sofa, preparing to watch 'Elf', wrapped in my snuggly bear-ear dressing gown from Topshop - what more can a girl want? Well, a nice cup of cocoa wouldn't go a miss. Actually, in my case, 'hot chocolate'/'cocoa' has to be given a miss because I'm intolerant to dairy and chocolate. I suppose any chocoholic out there reading that would probably faint from shock at the prospect. Trust me, I took the news pretty hard. However, my hot chocolate alternative is not only dairy, chocolate and sugar free, it is also healthy! I'm not going to lie and say that this drink tastes exactly like your favourite Dairy Milk instant hot choc mix - it doesn't. But, it does taste delicious in its own way and will for sure fool your body into thinking it's having a glug of something chocolatey and delightful!

To make this cup of splendour all you need is;

Your all-time favourite mug 
Hot water
Almond, Soy OR Coconut milk (personally my favourite is coconut.)
and
Cacao Powder 

- To start, heap up a tablespoon of cacao powder and put into the empty mug. I buy the Creative Nature Cacao Powder from my local supermarket but you can use any natural cacao powder of your choice.

- Next add a quarter of boiling water and mix the cacao powder to dissolve it into the liquid, adding the almond/soy or coconut milk next.
(You could re-heat the drink in the microwave if the milk has chilled it too much.)

- Stir, stir, stir! To avoid clumps of cacao powder lingering in your mug, you need to give this drink a good stir! Make sure you have mixed in enough boiling water to dissolve the powder. 

This recipe is all about getting the quantities right to suit you - so experiment! 

I experimented with almond milk for a while but after finding out I was slightly nut intolerant, I swerved to soy. Soy isn't my favourite taste which is why I opt for coconut milk when making this lovely beverage. I also feel like the coconut milk gives the drink a bit more of a creamy taste. I also sometimes add in a small teaspoon of coconut oil to make the drink extra creamy but this might be too intense for you! 

Next time you have a chocolate craving, try this hot cacao drink to bust the cravings! Cacao has so many beneficial healthy properties and has also been known to beat the feeling of hunger! A miracle tasty drink with no guilty feelings afterwards - perfect! 

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Friday, 18 December 2015

50 Facts About Me


Originally I sat down and wrote 50 facts about myself in my notebook for a starter YouTube video. I'm still on the fence about entering the YouTube world. It's pretty daunting and unlike the creation of my blog nearly four years ago, this channel would need to have a lot of thought and planning before I created it. I have tried filming a few videos but haven't been happy with how they have turned out and their content so far. So for now, I'll just be blogging - so here are 50 facts about me!

1. My Mum wanted to call me 'Skye' which I personally love but Dad wasn't too keen so they settled on 'Holly'.

2. I am eighteen years old and my birthday is on the eleventh of February.

3. I am on a gap year but have every intention of going to University in 2016 and have sent off my application for English Literature.

4. I have two babies.

(Well, I have two dogs but they're like my kids so technically I wasn't lying.)

5. I am left handed and I still get confused when people act like this is an alien part of existence.

6. I have no piercings.

7. I have two siblings; one older (half) sister (29) and one younger sister (16).

8. I have a ridiculous obsession with Disney and practically own the whole collection of DVD's available.

9. I am not a massive fan of social media. I think that it is awkward and un-nautral to gibber on about your random day but I guess that's exactly what I do on my blog..

10. I have so many food intolerances. Check out my list - I'm sure you'll find it amusing.

11. I studied Art, English Literature, Drama and Welsh Baccalaureate at Sixth Form/College and got three A's and a B in Welsh Bacc (which was a compulsory qualification to take at my school and is unique to Wales' education system).

12. I used to be super sporty when I was younger but I started filling up my days with all kinds of other hobbies and slowly sports became a lesser part of my life.

13. I am petrified of snakes.

14. I have only been abroad to four different places - I have a lot of exploring left to do!

15. I would love to do a road trip around some of America's hotspots.

16. I have awful eyesight and have done ever since I popped into the world and saw a very blurry view of the earth.

17. I'd much rather watch a TV series on repeat than watch and experiment with new films (unless they are Disney).

18. Jumpers are one of my favourite things to wear - Winter being my favourite season and giving me the excuse to be snuggly and warm at all times.

19. I love accessorising outfits and rings are my favourite piece of jewellery to wear.

20. I have the weirdest music taste ever. My favourite artists at the moment range from Justin Bieber (obviously)and Marilyn Manson to Buble's Christmas song selection.

21. I once had two goldfish called 'Carrot' and 'Bean' who died shortly after purchase - it was a traumatic moment for both me and the badly destined fish.

22. I wanted to be an actress for the majority of my life but then my fashion interest really kicked in and I begun writing on my blog. English and Drama were my favourite subjects in school. I really have no idea where the future will lead me but I know that it will certainly involve one or the other or even a combination of everything if I'm lucky.

23. I have moved house twice.

24. I love change and clutter clearing. There is nothing more refreshing than sorting out stuff and donating to charity - a win-win for all!

25. My favourite film is Disney's 'Frozen' - I am not alone and I am also not ashamed despite being eighteen years of age.

26. I am never satisfied with the length of my hair and I am constantly changing the length up.

27. I passed my driving tests first time (theory & practical).

28. I love stationary. Seriously, give me a notebook and watch me smile.

29. I do not like pizza - it's gross, greasy and combines everything I'm allergic to in one dish.

30. I don't drink coffee or tea (unless herbal).

31. I have dyed my hair once with henna and would never do it again - regrets, regrets, regrets!

32. I like my personal space and I am not too fond of people being all up in my space and face. If that makes me an uncertified Diva then so be it.

33. I think a positive, calm and rational attitude in life is so important.

34. I am a firm believer in only surrounding yourself with positive people who make you happy and will lift you higher. Wave goodbye to the 'friends' who don't have your back and aren't around when you need them.

35. My favourite time of the year is Christmas.

36. I prefer sweet tastes over savoury.

37. I like crystals - I find them calming and pretty. Zen of me, I know :)

38. I automatically cry at any scary film. It's an instinctive reflex and it is not very helpful. It is, however, an effective way of not seeing the film as it blurs my eyes with the copious amount of tears.

39. The only film I have ever cried at is 'The Notebook' - yep, not even 'Titanic' made me shed a tear. (I have a soul I promise).

40. I love the taste of cinnamon and ginger (not combined although I am now intrigued..).

41. I hate being too hot (in temperature obviously..).

42. I love being around nature.

43. Although, inconveniently I am allergic to nature and have a devilish spell of hay fever every Summer.

44. I don't have a favourite colour but I tend to wear a lot of green - so I suppose that's a colour I'm attracted to when it comes to clothes anyway.

45. I am completely against the use of recreational drugs unless prescribed for medical reasons. Pugs not drugs people - that stuff isn't cool and messes you up big time.

46. I had braces for a year when I was younger.

47. I don't like being told I can't do something unless it's related to safety and is justified.

48. I have a sweet tooth not a savoury - which has obviously been a major challenge since cutting out sugar completely!!

49. I went to an all-girls school from ages eleven to sixteen. It was tough but I am very grateful for the education it gave me despite the intense pressure it inflicted on its students.

50. I don't tend to collect books that I read, I usually read them once and pass them onto either friends, family or charity. However, recently I have started building up my collection as I miss the books I've given away in the past (darn my clutter-clearing instincts).


 ♥

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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Writing In Loving Memory



As I type this post I can already feel myself getting a bit emotional. I am partly holding back the tears to avoid electrocution from my waterworks, while manning an electrical device such as this computer and partly because once I start, I'll probably struggle to stop. I'm not sure how successful I'll be in holding back the tsunami that is revving up in my eyeballs, but I'll try my best. This post is overdue and I'm so happy I'm finally writing it.

My earliest experience with writing was writing letters back and forth to my Great Grandmother - Doris Morris. I know that if she were alive to read my blog, she would not be too happy about me sharing her name - she had a marmite relationship with the rhythmic hilarity of its structure. Personally, it's a name that I think suited her - it brought a smile to your face, just like she did every time you spent time with her. Granny was one of the bestest friends I will ever have in my life. No one will fill her space. We laughed so hard that I cried with joy while curled up with stomach cramps due to vivacious laughter. Meanwhile, Granny would fill the air with her contagious, roaring laughter and throw her head back as she 'roared'. We were very close despite the enormous age difference. Like any friends, Granny and I liked to stay in touch. Back then, neither Granny or I had a mobile phone (thank goodness for that). We communicated via letters in the post - both equipped with sets of stationary - paper, envelopes and stamps at the ready. This was when I first began writing for a personal purpose and in a way, I haven't stopped since. Granny's words still resonate with me today, 'Never stop writing'. I promised I wouldn't and it's the most important promise I have ever made.

I still treasure some of Granny's letters, but I wasn't wise enough to keep them all at such a young age. I wish I had more of the letters to read and re-read - she wrote like she spoke and her writing was loud and colourful - just like her personality. In the picture above is one of the letters Granny sent me, (Charlie was my chocolate labrador dog - just in case you were snooping at the picture up close). Our letters included poems, snippets of what we did in our day and what we would talk about when we saw each other next. We wrote regularly, until Granny's health deteriorated and her sight meant that she found it tricky to both read and write - our letters suffered until they came to a final halt. I still visited Granny though, so although our communication wasn't on paper any longer, I still had my friend to talk and laugh with (for a few years more anyway).

What happens next is sad and tormenting to even recollect. Granny started to suffer from dementia and slowly but surely, my friend slipped away and so did many of her memories - including me. As far as Granny was aware, I was just a nice, unnamed visitor. I remember crying on my bedroom floor countless times after visits; I mourned her while she was still alive in body but not in spirit. Dementia really is a truly devastating disease. The person you love is still there to take photographs with, to hug and kiss but they are not the same. The most difficult part of this period of time was accepting the situation. I got angry with myself for not being able to be happy when I saw Granny anymore. I was angry that I was being selfish - all I wanted was for her to remember me. I'm sure that all Granny wanted to do was to remember me too. I don't want to focus this blog post on the final moments of Granny's existence. It's heartbreaking for me to remember her like that and I try desperately to focus on the important times that we had together. Dementia stole Granny and robbed her of her memories but it can't steal my memories that we had together.

Granny taught me a lot of lessons. Living past one hundred years of age, she taught me to enjoy every second of life and exactly how to do it - laughing. I also think my 'direct' and 'honest' tongue is inspired by her. However, my tongue isn't as free spirited as hers was as she sometimes got in trouble for speaking what was on her mind. Granny taught me the importance of enjoying food, filling my childhood with delicious homemade welsh cakes, pancakes and chips. I'm not sure how she'd take the news of my discovered intolerances years later! Most importantly, Granny began my love of writing. I fell in love with the process of documenting my day to her in our letters. I got excited at the prospect of each new letter arriving through the letterbox addressed to me. Our letters were special and we both treasured them dearly. Although I may have lost Granny as time stole her away a few years ago - her lessons, her words of wisdom and her laughter will always stay with me. I know that Granny would be proud of my blog and the fact that 'I never stopped writing' - just like she asked. As I continue writing on this blog, I will always subconsciously be writing in loving memory of my very special, Granny.



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Monday, 14 December 2015

Healthy Veggie Curry



My relationship with a good ol' curry hasn't always been easy. I'll admit, we've had some rocky stages. I would normally rule out a curry dish in fact, not even considering it for even a second. Why? Well, as some of you already know, I'm pretty much allergic to every food on the planet. While that's hilarious to some, it's certainly not amusing for moi. However, sometimes the benefits outweigh the negatives and I like to think of this allergy discovery as something that is positive in my life. For starters, I would never in a million years have picked up some fabulous, healthy cookbooks containing recipes that will quite frankly change my life. Yeah - they're that good. 

This healthy veggie curry you can see here is just one of the many dishes I intend to create over and over again. It's out with the old and in with the new. As I wave goodbye to the unhealthy, oily infused curries, I say hello to my healthy dish of wonder. This recipe was based on Saskia Gregson-Williams' 'Tumeric-roasted cauliflower, garlic rice and tahini-cumin sauce' (phew that's a long title!). I made a few tweaks here and there to quantities and threw in some peas and minused the onions to suit my preferences. The basics to the recipe are all found in her 'Naturally Sassy' cookbook (page 136). It's definitely not my place to copy out the recipe and tell y'all how to make it because I'm not Saskia and this isn't my recipe. But, the basics to the recipe are a combination of cauliflower, rice and chickpeas - all dressed with tasty combinations of tumeric, cumin and garlic.

I can honestly say that if I'd been blindfolded and been asked to guess what I'd been eating, I would've answered - curry! The recipe isn't actually created as a substitute to a good pig out on curry dishes, it just simply reminds me of curry. You might try the recipe out and think I'm deluded, but my taste buds vote that this dish is delicious nevertheless. It's super filling and filled with nutritional benefits which makes every bite feel even more fulfilling.

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to start a healthy diet and lifestyle, I would definitely recommend Saskia's 'Naturally Sassy' cookbook. It's one of my favourite cookbooks of all time and is perfect for my diet with easy recipes for new cooks (such as me!).

 ♥

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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Somewhere Over The Rainbow





I have been living every day in my UNIF Frost Jumper ever since I managed to steal it from their website. Unfortunately the jumper is super hard to get your hands on, selling out practically instantly as soon as it's restocked. It's no wonder this jumper is such a hit though - it is literally a rainbow of happiness. Whenever I wear this jumper I always get compliments and often a smile. It quite literally spreads happiness. So, seeing as you are what you wear - I'm a rainbow for today and I'm totally fine with that.

 ♥

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Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Truth About Blogging; Struggles, Failures & Resolutions



Recently, I've started blogging about things that matter to me in my life at the point that I am writing them. Of course, I will never stop blogging about fashion - my blog is called 'I Blog The Fashion' for a reason. I'm also not going to start blogging about world news anytime soon, however, I am unconsciously increasingly making my blog a place where I share my thoughts and a few life events. Hopefully, in some way, I hope that this makes my blog more relatable and as a result more of my personality will escapes into the posts that I am writing. I want to blog more frequently. I have said this countless times on my blog and for one reason or another, I fail to succeed for a long duration of time, in uploading regular posts. 

To be perfectly honest, I have disappointed myself this year with the lack of posts that I have managed to upload. I don't really like to say that I am disappointed with myself very often and even typing it now makes me feel bad about myself. But, the truth of the matter is, unless I recognise where I've gone wrong, I'm never going to be able to fix it. I recognise that the reasons I've failed to post more regularly over the past few months were due to a few factors. The main reason was the pressure I put on myself to put posts out that I simply couldn't fulfil. It can be hard as a blogger to keep a constant stream of endorsed content flowing. I always want my posts to have originality. However, it can also be hard to block out other influences - other blogs, magazines and voices that can inspire you but also intimidate you. I would be lying if I said that I had sat there reading other blogs and hadn't thought that they were so much better than mine.

Unlike popular bloggers, I do not get paid to write posts. This can be both a good thing and bad thing. Good because I am not pressured to write overwhelmingly positive blog posts about products just to get some money in my pocket. But, also bad because I earn absolutely £0.00 from my blog. I do get contacted by companies asking if I would like to feature their products on my blog. I respond only if I have faith and trust in their company, product and there is no pressure to publish reviews with opinions other than my own. In those cases, I have stated when I have been gifted the items. However, the only payment I will have received is the reward of being able to keep the product they have sent. This is not a complaint, but an observation. Blogging was started as a hobby and it remains my hobby, not my job.

Recently, I have had so many blog ideas that I simply cannot fulfil. This is due to my lack of money at this point in my life. As a student earlier on in the year, I barely had any money flowing into my bank account. Now that I am taking a gap year and am currently unemployed, the only money I have in my purse is a five pound note that has sat there for months. Something that is an unavoidable fact, is that to some extent, unsponsored fashion and beauty blogging costs money. Obviously, depending on what kind of content you want to produce on your blog - you can completely avoid the aspect of money. The products that I have blogged about in the past have either been presents from Birthdays or Christmases or things that I have saved up to buy myself.

The world of blogging can be intensely materialistic and superficial. In a real world, no one owns enough makeup to paint the faces of a whole country. In a real world, under normal circumstances, no one owns more clothes than they can fit into one household room. However, in a world where sponsoring and PR exists - successful bloggers can achieve the impossible, with larger than average makeup collections and closets of clothes to envy. I would by lying if I said that that wouldn't be my dream job. I would love nothing more than to be able to put together extensive lookbooks of clothes that high street companies have sent me and talk about makeup that I haven't paid a penny for. But, for now, blogging for me, costs money.

With that in mind, I have seriously struggled to find my feet as a blogger this year. Money has been practically non-existent, meaning reviews have been sparse and I haven't been able to browse sites much without feeling a little sad that I can't buy anything on them. I hope that I don't come across as unbearably materialistic when I say that, but this aspect of blogging is practically inescapable. The world of fashion and beauty is a carousel of money - with new merchandise, trends and products constantly being released and advertised. I started my blog so that I could talk about all of those things. Writing made me happy and was the perfect escape from my school work. I rarely talked about what I had bought - I was mostly focused on putting together outfits based on the new seasonal trends, creating monthly wish lists and pouring out some fashion related thoughts. I still enjoy writing about all of those things. But, the aspect of materialism weighed me down at a time when I couldn't personally indulge in it.

It is apparent that it is part of human nature to obsess and focus our attention on materialistic things in life. I am certainly dominated by thoughts about new clothes and makeup. I also enjoy watching YouTubers talk about what they've 'bought' or received from companies in the form of makeup and clothes. I will never not enjoy watching these kinds of things. At the end of the day, I still have to get dressed every morning and a little bit of inspiration won't harm. In addition, some tips on makeup certainly won't be given a miss. It's when you start comparing and wishing you had their things that the platform and the blogging world becomes a bit toxic.

I wanted to write this post to write an honest account of what being a blogger is like when you're doing it as a hobby. It is thoroughly enjoyable, and I ultimately keep it up to continue writing. I love writing. But, sometimes, I don't love what I am writing about on my blog. I do not want my blog to be completely focused on fashion and beauty anymore. I truly think that this endorsement of content that I created myself on this blog, has recently become a downfall for me. Although I really do enjoy writing about fashion and beauty, I also love writing some lifestyle posts. Like everything, I go through phases on my blog. Sometimes my content is solely focused on fashion, sometimes fashion and beauty and other times more beauty than fashion. However, writing lifestyle posts more recently, I have realised that I feel a little bit happier. My blog has become a little bit like my diary and a little bit therapeutic as I've written posts about my thoughts!

My resolution as a blogger as we near the year of 2016 is to not lose sight of what I enjoy writing about. Sometimes planning my blog posts means that my content is a bit contrived. In the early days I never planned my blog posts. I wrote spontaneously and the content came to me naturally. In a similar way, this is how I work academically. I never plan my essays before I write them in an exam - I simply let the thoughts and ideas flow through into my pen and onto the paper. It can be hard not to compare yourself with other bloggers. It is also especially hard when you see bloggers who have the funds and sponsors to create the type of content that you would love to create. In the past I have gone to take outfit idea photos and hesitated because although I have a lot of clothes, I know that there would come a point when I would run out of clothes to create new looks with. Many of my clothes I have had for years, making them inaccessible to purchase.  Again, this is something that I hope to change. I want to be able to post a picture of my outfit and not feel like it has to feature in the most recent 'Topshop' collection.

Ultimately, my resolution as a blogger is to come back to my roots. I started over-thinking what my posts would be and questioning whether their content would be interesting enough. This resulted in a few posts monthly. In the beginning, I blogged about everything from Cinderella to the knitted jumper my Grandma made me. Those were my happiest blogging days. Completely uninhibited posts that were spontaneous. Undoubtedly my posts will always be influenced by fashion and beauty in some way but if they're not, it's due to the fact that I simply wasn't feeling it that day. So, I Blog The Fashion, as you age another year, say hello to a new burst of confidence. I may have lost my blogging mojo a bit this year but instead of sulking, I'm coming back with a burst of energy! 2016 personally should be an even better year than 2015. I will be preparing for University, moving to a new place and becoming more independent. I'll be taking notebooks and a camera along the way as I document my year and my thoughts....

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