Thursday, 20 August 2015

Flying Fashionably

So earlier this year I went to Germany to visit a friend for a couple of days.  It was such an awesome trip but, I'm gonna level with you here, I hadn't been on a plane in about six years which is a long time! So my biggest concern was flying, I'm not the best at flights so I wanted to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible and while it was the usual cold and dreary grey cloud skies in England, my friend had informed me that it was pretty darn hot in Germany at the time so I also had to bear that in mind. I love the idea that you can go from a rainy city to somewhere mega hot in literally no time at all. So, I opted for this outfit - casual, comfortable and hassle free which was also perfect to go straight from the airport to a restaurant for dinner.

As I was flying out with only hand luggage, I had to stick by the hand luggage guidelines, otherwise, believe me, I would have gone all out with a  neck pillow and blanket (I'm not even joking) and so could only take only a certain amount with me so I did have to compromise. But this outfit definitely helped me keep as relaxed as possible and would recommend flying out in dresses to anyone - so much more comfortable than jeans or trousers!   

Leather Jacket; New Look // Dress; H&M // Shoes; New Look

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*This post is in collaboration with Purple Parking

Wednesday, 8 July 2015


Image source
Hello. Hi. How are you? It's been a while hasn't it? A little over a month since I've made time to plan and write out a blog post but here I am, unashamedly sharing my thoughts and promoting myself online once again. 

'So what have you been doing all this time you haven't been blogging??' I hear you ask eagerly. Well, you know, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I've had a couple of fun trips away, joined the gym and started Yoga classes, downloaded the TED Talks app and have forced myself to listen to one talk a day, had a couple of emotional breakdowns that you're prone to in your 20's, been surprised by the weather like every other Brit (and consecutively developed a fear of leaving the house without a jacket just in case rainclouds appear on what was supposedly going to be a hot day) and finally confronted my fear of water and entered a swimming pool for the first time in 15 years (it was scary and splendid and frightening and surprising all at the same time). 

Most importantly though, I've missed blogging so I've spent a couple of weeks scribbling down blog post ideas that I'm hoping you'll enjoy. I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I've missed having a creative outlet, planning posts, writing them out, sharing thoughts and getting feedback from you guys. I think blogging is a hobby where, every now and then, you just need a break. A rest. To gather your thoughts, source some new ideas and come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. It could take a couple of days, weeks or months but it definitely helps. I'm excited to start updating this little space of the internet again and have some pretty exciting posts planned to share with you guys!

What have you been up to recently??

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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Things I know to be true // Musings

Life Lessons, things I know to be true

So there's a lot of things that I remain oblivious to and will probably never understand. But, there still remains a whole world of knowledge I've come to gather over the years. Like the fact that female Elephants are pregnant for 22 months, or the fact that coconut oil is great at fading scar marks or that the light from the stars are billions of years old. 

I know that, with a single look, two people can fall in love but spend the rest of their lives with different people. And that when it comes to heartache, you can smother it in double chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and hours of phone calls to your best friends but there will sometimes be unsuspecting days where your memories are too vivid and your thoughts are focused on what could have been.

I know that sometimes you have to swallow your pride and say sorry. I know that you have to know when it's time to walk away from a bad situation and that flowers and plants really do bring a room to life. I know that yoga is not as easy as it looks but totally great at building strength and flexibility. With most things, consistency is key. Life is a roller coaster we have no control over and all we can do is learn to enjoy the ups and work through the downs.  

I know that sorting out your tax is a nightmare and that Spring is for making holiday plans with loved ones. You'll have days where you get a free coffee because your barista was feeling nice that day, or days where you stumble across old photos and call up friends to laugh about that ridiculous haircut you once had. There'll be days of adventure with your siblings and days where all you do is laugh. 

I know that there will be days of defeat, where you will feel disheartened and disappointed in what you've yet to achieve. I know that you'll push yourself and be hard on yourself and compare yourself when really, all you need to do is pause, breathe, rest, reevaluate, and move on. But, most importantly, I also know that there will be days of victory, days where things just click and everything is slowly fitting in to place.  I know that you'll learn valuable lessons, one of the biggest being learning to grow in to the person you are meant to be.

What things do you know to be true?

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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

8 things I've learnt in my 20's // Musings

'Your twenties are a time of exploration, not certainty. Get out and try, don't sit at home thinking you should already know' - Unknown
life lessons

Your twenties. A time for revelations and realisations that are set to change the way you view life. Be prepared for lots of 'been-there-done-that' type stories, ground breaking revelations and a strange occurrence called 'becoming an adult'. Adult whaaaatt?? Yeah. I know. To embrace this, here is a list of eight life lessons I've learnt while being in my twenties that I feel obliged to pass on.

1. Bringing down others is a waste of your time
It's a waste of your time, energy and talents to focus on bringing down others or trying to elevate yourself by pulling down others. Elevating yourself doesn't need to be done at the expense of others and in a world that is seemingly riddled with envy, hate and backstabbing, it's important that we take the individual responsibility to make sure that we're not contributing to this.  The success of others should be celebrated and congratulated.  This doesn't mean that your own won't come. It will. Because 'as big as the sky is, I've never seen two birds collide. There's room enough for all of us.'

2. Become a kick-ass host
What I've learnt is that I just really, really, really like the idea of being the hostess with the most-est. I just wanna be that person that  organizes dinner parties or barbecues with fun filled activities in the summer that your friends won't forget for years to come. Hmm, I'm working on it. 

3. Skincare first, make-up second. 
I have a love/hate relationship with make-up. I spend too much money on it and I do enjoy wearing it despite my questionable make-up skills. But, at the end of the day I still wipe off my make up and have to acknowledge my skin underneath. So deal with that first; take the time to become comfortable in the skin you have and work out a decent skincare regime to take care of it. I've learnt that focusing on having good skin is better than using make-up to cover everything up. I mean, once you've got the skincare down, then you can play around with make-up and wear as much or as little as you want.  

4. Knowing your worth when it comes to guys, friends and colleagues. 
'Once you learn how much you're worth, you'll stop giving people discounts' - a tumblr quote I came across that has now been engraved on my mind and I suggest you do the same.  Whether it's knowing that it's ok to say no, learning to walk away from toxic relationships or just understanding that you are worth diamonds and stars, it's important to know your worth and walk away from anyone that doesn't value this.

5. Pay attention to your health
Regular exercise and eating good, wholesome, non-processed food??! Pffftt ain’t nobody got time for that right, right?!  We’re so used to hearing the importance of eating healthy and doing regular exercise that we sort of tune out when our doctor mentions it for the tenth time. Well, I did anyway. I've learnt that health is one of those things that we don’t really notice until it starts slipping away, then we start frantically clutching at straws trying to keep it as it was before, something that's certainly happened to me in the past. It has since made me a little more cautious of what I'm eating and how active I'm being. 

6. Practice honesty, kindness and compassion
Treating everyone and yourself with a basic level of honesty, kindness and compassion is important. It may not be reciprocated and you may not feel like it all the time, but learning to live with honesty, kindness and compassion as one of your main principles in life really can turn your life around. It's so exhausting to be consumed by hate and unnecessary drama all the time. Rise above it, chill, relax and focus on the good people around you.

7. Kit your wadrobe out with essentials
LBD's, plain tops, a killer red dress, a comfortable pair of black heels, a good pair of jeans, you know, the usual. I've learnt that once you have the basics down, you can build, develop and find your own individual style from there.  

8. Have the courage to embrace yourself
Stop hiding from yourself, being embarrassed by who you are or what you like, and embrace your personality, your interests, your opinions; embrace everything about you.

What things had you learnt so far?

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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Three important lessons on accepting your flaws // Musings

'I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions' 
- Augusten Burroughs

Accepting your flaws, Henry Kissinger

Like every young teen, I went through many awkward stages and spent way too much time concerned about the things I didn't like about myself.  All I could think about were these flaws, both real and imagined, that I started to define myself by.  A mix of comparing myself to others and a realisation that I was not, to my dismay, the walking definition of perfection, meant that I spent more time than necessary focused on the bad rather than being happy with the good. I wanted to smooth down the rough edges as I feared the day that someone would seriously call me out on my quietness or start a sentence with 'you know what, you’re not very...' Or 'sometimes you can be a bit too...'  Wanting to work on your flaws is perfectly fine for the purpose of personal growth. But I was starting to define myself by them, wanting to be flawless in the eyes of others and was quick to disregard my own opinions. In my haste to become something I thought I should be, I overlooked three very important things. 

Firstly, Everyone has flaws. Every single person you interact with or admire is flawed in more ways than one. So having flaws doesn't mean that you're the odd one out, it simply means that you're just like everyone else. I don't know if that brings you comfort or not but it's a fact. For everything you admire about someone else, there's a whole list of flaws and past mistakes they battle with, same as you. 

Secondly, accepting and working on your flaws doesn't happen overnight.  This one took a while for me to understand and I spent many years trying to understand why I couldn't just shake off my shyness overnight. It takes time to either fully accept something about yourself and be content with it or to work on it to the point where it’s no longer an issue.  Only you can fully determine whether or not your flaws need to be worked on or accepted and only you can do this.  Others can offer advice or comforting words, of course, but true change or acceptance comes only from our thoughts and actions.

Thirdly, YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY YOUR FLAWS! Yes you may have to work on them and yes you may have to just come to terms with them, but they don't sum up who you are as a person. I mean firstly, people are complex. We can be good and bad and flawed and perfect all at the same time.  Defining yourself and what you can offer the world simply by your flaws diminishes your worth and doesn't offer much else. So for every flaw you identify,  pick out a non-flaw; a personality trait that you're proud of or a part of your physical appearance that makes you think 'hot daaaamn.' This balances out the scale and stops you from putting all your focus on the negatives. 

What lessons have you learnt about accepting your flaws?

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Step in to Spring // Musings

My dear, 
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.

In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.' 
- Albert Camus


Spring has definitly sprung and beauty is in the air.  Blink and you'll miss it, but if you care to slow down just a couple of seconds as you de-ice your car or rush to catch the bus, you'll notice flower buds peeping through the ground, the trees as they begin to bloom again and the sun as it illuminates the morning sky. Spring is here and warmer weather is in the not so distant future.  This spring/summer, I'm looking forward to longer days, holiday planning and unforgettable summer nights with unforgettable people.  What are you looking forward to?

Currently I am loving:

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Start somewhere, start anywhere, start now // Musings

'You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great' 
- ZigZiglar
Image sourced from Tumblr
There is a common preconception that in order to achieve great things you have to be good, real good, before you even begin to give something a try. For me, there have been things like learning a new language, travelling or learning how to swim that I have put off and avoided for a long time now. While I'm excited at the prospect of being fluent in a foreign language or being able to go on holiday and swim, words of self-doubt float around until I've convinced myself that it's not worth pursuing anymore

'It's going to take me ages to learn this... There's no point, I'm gonna be rubbish at it anyway... Maybe Ill try it some other time...'

The flaw in this way of thinking is that stopping myself from doing or trying something new means that I'll never achieve anything. As awesome as it would be to just bypass the embarrassing failures at the beginning, they are an integral part of every learning process.

There are very few things in life that a person is naturally gifted at. So if you never embark on a new adventure or attempt a new skill because you don't have the natural born talent to begin with, you stay stuck. Every expert was once a beginner and for every single success story, there's probably numerous undocumented accounts of failures, frustration and desires to quit.  Everyone knows Thomas Edison right? The guy who invented the light bulb? Yeah, well, before his revolutionary invention, Edison went through 10,000 failed attempts. 10,000. Can you imagine that??! The amount of perseverance and dedication is astounding and so is the fact that, despite the failures, he knew that he was on to something special enough to keep going. He even famously said 'I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.' which is a great perspective to have on failure.  Then there is JK Rowling who received 12 rejection letters for Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone and, when it was finally picked up by a publisher, was told not to quit her day job. But now, Harry Potter is the biggest franchise in the world. While they are great, these success stories all stem from the same place -  a beginning. A start. A decision to stop the deliberating, the umms and ahhs, the I'm not sure's, the what ifs and just start. A start somewhere, even if it's on the wrong path, will eventually lead you on to the right trail. You don't have to already be naturally talented but you do need to have an abundance of ambition and drive to keep going and moving forward, even during times of confusion and failed attempts.

This blog post was definitely a reminder to myself as much as it was to help you reading this.  I think writing posts like this is a way to make sure that I practice what I preach, so, with that in mind, here are some  personal goals that I have been putting off for a very long time and vow to start on:

- Learn Spanish
- Travel to at least three (or more) different countries
- Learn to swim
- Start writing my book
- Meet Will Smith (well, a girl can dream)

What are some things you have been putting off doing? As of today, make a pledge to yourself to stop wanting and start doing!

Currently, I am loving:
(I know. I'll shut up about him now)

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

How to be unemployed // Musings

Its nice to think that a university degree, and maybe even a masters too, is good enough to get you into the job role and sector that you've been working towards for the past three or four years. After graduating from my undergrad in 2012 and having just graduated from my masters late last year, I've spent quite a depressing amount of time looking for work, writing job applications,getting rejection letters, attending interviews, getting rejected again and questioning the Universe as to how it could be so cruel. Ok, melodramatic sentences out of the way, this post is all to say that I have learnt a couple of things about how to be jobless and unemployed and, I gotta be honest, it takes more skill than you realise:

Image Source
1. First you start your days with a clear plan. Focused and organised, you estimate to be in a job by the end of the month. I mean, once employers read your CV, they'll practically be begging you to work for them. It's only a matter of time.

2. Then you spend your days wondering whether you should go into journalism, or publishing, or digital marketing or maybe force yourself to gain an interest in sport and become a sports journalist. You gotta be flexible with these things, people keep telling you.

3. Scratch that, maybe you can move to New York and become an Investment Banker on Wall Street. Kinda ignoring the fact that you still use the calculator to do the simplest of equations, just to be sure.

4. Realise that you haven't left the house in three days but all your friends are working because it's only Thursday. So you make plans to go for a walk but, after a quick glance outside, talk yourself out of it because of the rain/wind/snow/general laziness

5. Spend hours on the Prospectus website, searching for different careers and wondering why you never listened in your science classes all those years ago, you could have been a doctor by now!!

6.  Get excited that your local supermarket are doing an offer on your favourite ice creams and chocolate bars. Proceed to buy all the ice cream and chocolate bars and tell yourself it's enough to last a while. Do the same thing next week.

7. On the days you decide to head in to town, bump in to every single person you know and listen to them as they tell you about their new job/promotion/boyfriend/home/iphone that you can't afford

8. Spend your time contemplating the meaning of life and also decide what you'd do as Prime Minister. You know, just incase this miracle happens.

9. Search for, fill in and send off approximately 289,957 job applications. Hear back from 5 companies. Be interviewed by 2. Lose out on the jobs to someone with more experience. 

10. Try to understand how you've found yourself in this strange loop of not being able to get a job because you don't have enough experience but also needing a job in the first place to get that experience. Whaaaaaaaaat??

Someone once told me that activly looking for work is pretty much a full time job in itself. Which is true considering how much goes in to the hunt, applications and interview prep. Arguably though, you still have a lot more time on your hands which means you can do stuff. You know, like develop new skills, pick up interesting hobbies, perfect your obscure talents, or just keep up with the Kardashions. 

Who else has been in this position? What are your tips (useful or otherwise) on how to be jobless?

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Feeling good about your appearance // Musings

I stared at my reflection in the changing room mirror and asked myself a serious question 'will I genuinely wear this??' I came to town not to browse the shops but to attend a meeting, yet somehow I managed to wander into Topshop 'just to have a look around.' This was rookie mistake number one. Rookie mistake number two was actually picking up the coat, ignoring the price tag, heading over to the changing rooms, trying it on and proceeding to spend the next ten minutes thinking of a list of reasons as to why I should get it and a list of reasons as to why I shouldn't.  I don't usually spend that much time deciding on one item of clothing but erm, it was £90 which is a serious investment, so I had to do some serious thinking.
Is it worth it? I mean really. Also, realistically how often am I going to wear it? What can I wear it with? Does it even look that nice??? Damn it Topshop, you know I have a thing for well tailored blazers and coats that make me feel and look as badass as Jessica Pearson and Olivia Pope, you know this!!
Then I thought about the one thing that I knew would stop me from spending £90 on a coat - my mum. Thoughts of my mums incredulous cries of 'are you crazy??!' upon me trying to sneak it home, her finding it anyway, and proceeding to ask me how much it was (yep, this still happens people!) No, no, no, no, I took the coat off, rushed out of the changing rooms and made my way on to the bus. 

Normally I wouldn't even consider trying on something out of my budget but I was instantly drawn to it as I walked in to the store. And when I tried it on, oh my goodness guys, it looked good. Better than good, it looked great. Super chic but also really casual too like 'oh I just threw this on' kinda thing, you know?? I know you know what I'm talking about - when you wear an outfit and your make-up is perfectly done, you catch your reflection and think 'daaaaaaamn, I look good to-day!' Or maybe it's more of a quiet 'oh I look nice, I'll wear this more often' remark to yourself but either way, you look good and you know it which means that your confidence levels are considerably higher for the rest of the day. Those days are awesome and I think it's perfectly ok to acknowledge when you're looking good, just as long as your 'I look good' doesn't turn into a 'I look good so everyone should worship the ground I walk on' because then you've gone way too far.  But it's ok to know that you look good today, and if someone compliments you on it, then it's perfectly ok to accept it without replying with an 'oh I don't think so but thanks.'  Feeling good about your appearance is a really small thing that can have quite an affect on your mood. Buying a new outfit, doing your nails or having a pamper evening can be the perfect pick me up for a day that feels a bit bleaurgghh.  Of course, it goes without saying, that feeling great on the inside and nurturing your personality is a more important place to put your time, focus and energy on.  But taking care of yourself also includes taking care of the exterior too. There's nothing wrong with wanting to look good or wanting to invest in that. It doesn't have to be about wearing uncomfortable clothes for the sake of 'fashion babay' or spending all your money on the latest make-up products.  It's simply about wearing clothes that showcase and express your personality, learning to own your appearance and body and being comfortable enough to let yourself know when you are looking mighty fine. Plus, it doesn't happen every day, so you may aswell cherish the feel good vibes while they're around!

Did I just write an entire blog post based around a coat that I didn't buy? Yes. Yes I did.

What makes you feel good about your appearance / looks / body?

Check out my latest YouTube video: Joy of Living 
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Monday, 16 February 2015

She who is brave is free // Musings

'May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears'
- Nelson Mandela

Image Source: Ella Grace Denton

A couple of weeks ago Ella from We Need To Live More shared her illustration on instagram and it's been playing on my mind ever since.  She who is brave is free... To be brave and to be free are two concepts that encompass a wide range of elements but one underlying thing remains clear - being brave and letting go of fear truly uncaps our potential to be and do what is necessary and vital for our personal growth. She who is brave is free to cast her fears aside long enough to know what it's like to make decisions not out of fear, but out of hope, love and sheer determination and she who is brave knows that any whispers of doubt must quickly be turned into words of encouragement.

Bravery can be majestic and it can be small. It can be packing up your bags and moving to the other side of the world with no concrete plans or it can be introducing yourself to a stranger at an event. It can be personal like being open and honest with someone in your life and it can be public like starting a blog and sharing your love for photography.  From personal experience I know that fear can be sneaky, causing you to avoid a certain situation or person without even realising why. So to be brave can be as simple as being able to tune in to your emotions - being honest, open and compassionate with yourself in order to evaluate what's going on.  I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Being brave is whatever you need it to be.  See fear and bravery as being on opposite sides of a spectrum and take small steps everyday to move away from fear in order to embrace bravery.

What does bravery and freedom mean to you?

Check out my latest YouTube video: Joy of Living 
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Friday, 13 February 2015

Janelle Monae // Current Girl Crush

'One of my core values is to help redefine what it means to be a strong and beautiful woman in the music and fashion worlds and to empower the wonderful things that make us unique.'
- Janelle Monae

Ok guys, I'm gonna need a couple minutes of your time to talk about Janelle Monae. She's the perfect mix of class and elegance and her music grabs you with incredible vocals and infusions of jazz and pop. She has such a signature style which is pretty flawless, unique and makes me want to spend all my money on the perfect tux.  Ok, that is all. 
Images sourced from Tumblr
Check out some of her music:

Check out my latest YouTube video: 
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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Making the most of Now // Musings

'Whatever you want to do, just do it now. Just do it. Make it happen. You have to. You just have to.'
- My x-ray buddy

A couple of years ago I had to have an x-ray and I remember sitting in the waiting room, completely alone, wishing to be anywhere but there. I don't know about you but I hate hospitals, for a variety of reasons, so the less time spent between hospital walls, the better.  As I tried to take my mind away from my surroundings, a man was wheeled in and directly placed next to me. He was white, around 50 years of age and looked tired. He was slouched in his wheelchair and looked like he was reluctantly fighting a battle he did not care about winning anymore. I gave him a small smile which he took as an invitation to start a conversation.  He introduced himself and I did the same. Once we moved on from polite formalities, he told me the reason of his hospital admission.

'I was diagnosed with cancer' he said matter of factly.
'I am so sorry to hear that' I replied. No matter how many times you hear a sentence like that, either from someone you know or don't know, it still hits hard every time.
'Eh, it's all the smoking apparently. Shouldn't have ever started... Stupid habit really...' he trailed off and silence fell between us.
'Do you live nearby?' I asked, trying to steer the conversation away from such a heavy topic.
'Yeah, yeah, I'm local. But I grew up in Wales. Have you ever been? Ahh it's a beautiful place' 

There was a sudden jolt of excitement in his voice as he started telling stories from his childhood and teenage years growing up in the Welsh Valleys. How quiet it was compared to the city and how beautiful the landscape was.  He talked about how breathtaking the sunrise was in the mornings, illuminating the world, and how, for miles around, there was 'nothing but greenery'. Stories about his parents and hanging out with friends kept me intrigued and words such as 'beautiful' 'simple' and 'relaxing' were often repeated. Despite there only being two of us in the small waiting room, we had enough time to swap stories and, as I had just graduated at the time, I told him some stories from Liverpool, moving away from home, studying Law, and what I had planned next.  This must have stirred more memories for him as he began to tell me about leaving the Valleys for the City, learning on the job and setting up his own home maintenance company.

'I don't regret anything you know. But if there's one thing I've learnt over the years it's that, whatever you want to do, just do it now. Just do it. Make it happen. You have to. You just have to. You never know. Just make the most of now and just do what you want.' 

Our conversation ended in silence, each of us pondering what he had just said and wondering exactly what 'just do it' and 'make the most of now' really meant.  For him, perhaps, dreams and ambitions that were sidestepped and left behind for other goals and for me, dreams and ambitions that have yet to be achieved. When you have a goal, there are only ever two outcomes - either you achieve it, or you don't and this is entirely up to you. Simple and obvious, right? But maybe that's all you really need to know in order to understand that your future is determined by your actions of today.

Although this encounter happened a couple of years ago now, I still find myself thinking back to his words.  What he said was nothing new - search for any 'inspirational and uplifting' content on the Internet and you can read articles conveying similar themes. But nothing really compared to the simple words of a stranger. (My conversations with strangers tend to range from politely listening to a gardener telling me about his three daughters to an in depth conversation with a man in my local gym about the existence of God and I tend to enjoy this.)

There's a lot to pick up on from what my x-ray buddy said but something I've spent the past couple of days thinking about is making the most of now.  How can we do this exactly? I don't have all the answers, not yet anyway, but there are a few simple things I know that will help:

Be mentally present | Put away distractions, focus on what you're doing, thinking, listening to, eating and fully engage in the present.  I remember catching an interview with girl group The Saturdays and they told the story about how they met Oprah Winfrey at an event.  Despite the fact that they were talking to Oprah Winfrey, you know, one of the most successful and powerful women in the world, she still made them feel like they were the only people in the room, giving them her full attention. I've never met Oprah myself, so I can neither confirm nor deny this claim, but how amazing is that??!

Plan adventure |  I say plan because, for most of us, spontaneous trips are just not that practical when we have commitments like Work, School or Uni. So plan your adventures, anywhere and everywhere, and get out there. No adventure is too small and no plans are too big to see through.

Write down your goals | Mood boards of any images or words to remind you of what you're working for act as both daily reminders and motivation as it can be very easy to forget and put off going for certain things.

Productivity is a great skill | Oh procrastination, how I loathe you, but yet, here you are.  I'm trying a new approach when it comes to banishing procrastination and it is simply thinking - the sooner I do all the necessary things that I don't want to do, the sooner I can get to doing all the things that I do want to do. It seems to be working so far. If you have any tips on staying productive, leave them below!

Becoming self aware | I guess this is similar to the first one, but becoming aware of your self, your emotions, feelings and thought processes is important.  This can simply be asking yourself questions such as 'how am I feeling about this? Why am I doing this? Do I even want to do this?' which can help stop you from just going along with something that you don't actually enjoy, simply because the majority of people are doing it.

How do you make the most of now?

Quite a long, rambly post today but I hope you enjoyed it. If there's anything in particular you'd like to see me cover on the blog then feel free to let me know!

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Friday, 30 January 2015

A Few Moments With: Nubian Skin // Interview #12

In October 2014, lingerie company Nubian Skin launched with one simple aim - to provide us ladies with 'a different kind of nude.'  I remember first coming across Nubian skin on Instagram a couple of weeks before its launch and immediately thought 'oh my goodness, this is amazing!!' instantly followed by a sigh of 'why has this not been done before??' You see, I've never thought to own skin coloured underwear or a nude pair of tights simply because the word 'nude' in the fashion industry never applied to me. Skin coloured tights never went so far as to include my skin tone and if I wanted nude, I had to brave the cold and go tight-less or mess around with strapless bras and suitable enough dresses. This doesn't just apply to underwear and goes right through to makeup and even lack of representation in magazine pages and I know that, on the other side of the spectrum, those with pale skin have this exact same issue. The reason why is because 'nude' or anything that claims to 'blend in with your skintone' tends to sit comfortably in the middle; neutral without daring to go darker or paler but now with the introduction of Nubian Skin, this is all set to change. OHHH YEEAAAH. Nubian skin is more than just brown underwear, it perfectly matches skin tones of women of colour, allowing us to wear that dress without ruining the look with a pair of black tights or to hit the town with a sheer top and not worry about an obvious black bra underneath. Basically, it's genius and I am so happy it exists. So, to find out more, I decided to ask founder, Ade Hassan, some questions on Nubian Skin, diversity in the fashion industry and get her opinions on the blogging community. 

Hello Ade! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m 30 years old and live in London. Before starting Nubian Skin, I worked mainly in the financial services industry, so it’s been quite a change!
How and why did you decide to start Nubian Skin?
Nubian Skin was essentially born out of frustration.  I wanted a product that I couldn't find in shops, so I decided to create it.  I knew I couldn't be the only one who felt the same way.

Why do you think it has taken this long for the term 'Nude' to include a wider range of skin tones? 
I believe a lot of this has to do with who the decision makers in the room are and their personal experience.  The reality is a lot of the people making these decisions, probably don’t have the issue of finding a nude bra or hosiery that matches their skin tone.  

What do you think this says about diversity in the Fashion industry? 
There is always progress to be made, and I believe the fashion industry will get there.  I think part of it is realising that if you give people what they need, they will support you.

Do you think the blogging and YouTube world has had an impact on diversity in the fashion and beauty industry?
Blogging and YouTube has given people a platform to express themselves to whoever will listen, and I think this has a positive impact on diversity in the fashion and beauty industry.  All of a sudden a woman in Manchester, UK can voice her frustration or champion a brand that works for her, and she realises that there are women in New York, Atlanta, Lagos, Paris etc. who all feel the same, and that can start a movement.

How do you get the colours just right?

Over a year’s worth of research went into the colour selection.  No fabric will match anyone’s skin-tone exactly, but the aim of having “a different kind of nude” is for women of colour to have lingerie and hosiery that looks close to their skin colour and disappears under sheer or light coloured clothing.  After a lot of talks with make up counters and artists and testing on countless women, we decided four colours would cover the majority of our target market.
The response leading up to the launch of Nubian Skin has been amazing! How has it made you feel?

We have been truly overwhelmed by the support from different communities of colour and the mainstream media.  It’s been wonderful to see how supportive so many women have been, and it’s amazing to get emails from women across the world just saying “thank you”.
And finally, which women do you look to for inspiration the most?
My mother.  I think the world of her, and she’s my biggest champion.


So, there we have it! A lingerie company offering us a different kind of nude. Make sure to check out the entire Nubian Skin collection here and if you want to know more, check out the behind the scenes video. Also it's recently been announced that Nubian Skin will be stocked at ASOS which is super cool. Oh, and one last thing, Nubian Skin are currently expanding their size range, which you can read about here. Ok, I think that's everything! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go and place a very big order...

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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Dear quiet people // Musings

'Just because you don't say much doesn't mean people don't notice you. It's actually the quiet ones who often draw the most attention. There's this constant whirlwind of motion and sound all around, and then there's the quiet one, the eye of the storm' 
- Amy Efaw

Source: Tumblr

It is common knowledge that when you hold up a shell to your ear, you can hear the sea, quietly roaring on a distant beach, wanting nothing more than to escape and show you it's beautiful ocean blue waves in all its glory. Scientifically, this sound that we hear has something to do with air, echoes and sound waves, but I really like the idea of there being an entire ocean inside of a tiny shell, desperate to get out, to be free, and to stretch before you. Maybe you've been told your whole life that you're a quiet person, you 'come across as shy' or that you have a 'reserved personality' but whatever words people want to use, it all pretty much means the same thing.  While you may have come to realise it's ok to not be the loudest person in a group, sometimes you are left feeling like a seashell - seemingly small and delicate with a whole world of thoughts, ideas, emotions, observations and opinions strong enough to make you believe that you could lead a small army or, dare I say it, a country. This is a common thing that a lot of people experience and, whether you are struggling with this fact about yourself or have come to be comfortable with it, there are often brief moments that make you question how your personality can fit in the world around you.

If only you could get your words out... If only people would slow down just long enough to listen to what you have to say... If only someone would take the chance, to pick you up and listen to the roar of your unheard words.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you feel about it), this post is not going to tell you how to 'overcome your shyness' and I have no plans to share tips on how to 'transform into an extrovert'.  What I will say, however, is that one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me was from a teacher who once told me that I was 'serenity personified' which, after years of battling shyness and lack of confidence gave me the realisation that I needed. Essentially, he was repeating what everyone else had been telling me for years, but this time, with a new perspective.  This time it made me realise that confidence did not have to be loud or overbearing and that learning to become quietly confident was just as good. And that being the quiet place, the eye of the storm, serenity among chaos was a skill in itself.

The ocean, concealed in a shell, makes it an unlikely source of great strength while simultaneously being able to calm a torn soul.  There is beauty in being a safe haven and a voice of reason - both calming qualities mixed with quiet passion that leaves passersby speechless.  This is not something to be ashamed of or to wish away. Work with what you have, find the strengths in your quiet personality and use it forge a great future for yourself.


I follow Humans of New York on Facebook and Tumblr and remember seeing this post from last February come up on my feed. It's been almost a year since the post and I still think about it every now and then because it resonates so much with me and my past experiences.  As I can't seem to get it out of me head, I decided to write about it. Let me know if you can relate in any way or have ever felt like this before!

Check out my latest YouTube video: 5 ways to get motivated 
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Saturday, 24 January 2015

5 ways to get motivated // Musings

'You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do' 
 Henry Ford

Lack of motivation is not the best thing in the world, especially when you have about 534589 things to do, goals to meet, resolutions to keep up with and a boss/teacher that seems to be on your case all of a sudden. For me, the worst thing about having no motivation is the guilt that comes along with it - you know you have things to do, and you know that you're wasting time by not doing them, but you also really, really, really can not be bothered. Don't get it confused with laziness though, because when it comes to laziness, you make the choice to not do the things that you have to do.  With lack of motivation, however, there comes a time where it can be extremely hard to get out of such a state and you can often find yourself also feeling frustrated, hopeless and sad at the situation. Sometimes it's short-lived and sometimes it lasts for what seems like months, either way, I thought I would share 5 things that usually help me in this situation. I made a video about it which you can see below or, if you prefer to read, I will summarise the points further down.

Tidy up 

I absolutely, 100%, unequivocally believe in the saying 'tidy space, tidy mind'. I find that when things around me are messy it really doesn't help the situation.  I'm not necessarily talking about cleaning and scrubbing every inch of your place (unless you want to, hey go ahead!) but giving your desk some order, tidying things up and refreshing your work space is great. My work space is a bit of an organised mess and it's situated right infront of the window so the light hits it and that works perfectly for me while my dad, on the other hand, likes his desk completely spotless and works in complete silence.  Find out what works for you, shake things up a bit if you have to, and keep your space organised.

Go outside
How easy is it to stay indoors all day and not do anything but channel hop and watch endless make-up tutorials you're not even planning on trying out? Oh so very easy. But time spent out of the house is a pretty remarkable thing and great for getting you away from feeling unmotivated - it helps you get out of your head and let's you come back to what you have to do feeling refreshed and often inspired.

Visualise and concentrate on one thing at a time
When it came to revision, I was all about hanging up revision notes on my walls, mirrors and doors so that wherever I was, I would see my work and have it constantly on my mind. Creating a vision board is also a great thing to try out, especially if you're working towards a long term goal, so every morning you are reminded of why you are working and what you are working towards. Also, learning to concentrate on one thing and taking things one step at a time is so important!! Hey, all I'm saying is that you wouldn't eat a whole cake all at once, you'd cut it up and eat it bit by bit - it's the same thing with your goals.

Focus on you
So it's easy to get distracted with what others are doing, I mean, we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs and YouTube where we follow people and their lives. Ain't nothing wrong with that but sometimes you can get caught up with what others are doing, get caught comparing their successes with your failures and just feel even more unmotivated to try. So refocus your energy and time on yourself. Your life is about you, after all, no one else!

Be Kind
We are undoubtedly our own worst critiques. And while it can be a good thing that we wont accept anything but the best from ourselves, sometimes the words we use for ourselves are more scolding than encouraging. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend - honest, but comforting.

What are some of your tips to get motivated? 

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Currently listening to: International Music playlist

I thought I would delve into my Spotify playlist and share with you guys some of the songs I've been loving recently but, adding a bit of a twist, I decided to have an international focus.  I've been listening to a lot of songs from countries other than America or the UK, namely from Latin America/Spain, France and West Africa. A couple of friends from University speak Spanish (which is great until you find yourself at the dinner table not having a clue what they're laughing at because someone decided to tell a joke in Spanish!) and my sister is currently studying French at college so she decided to create a french playlist on Spotify (French rap is actually pretty cool, who knew??) that I've been listening to aswell so I guess you could say I've been influenced by them! Oh and Afrobeats because, well, this genre of music isn't exactly new to me but it's just great music to dance to when you've got nothing else to do on a Friday night!

Indila - Derniere Danse
Kendji Girac - Andalouse // Gitano
Jill Barber - Petite Fleur

Enrique Iglesias - El Perdedor // Bailando // Bailando (English Version) //
Prince Royce - Darte Un Beso
Marc Anthony - Vivir Mi Vida
Romeo Santos - Propuesta Indecente // Eres Mia

Bracket - Yori Yori // Mama Africa
Falz - Marry Me (Insert cry laughing emoji here)
Banky W - Yes/No

I can't speak a word of French or Spanish by the way (although I am learning), but a quick google search for lyric translations and it's all good! So, a couple of my favourites at the moment, enjoy and let me know what you're currently listening to!

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Friday, 16 January 2015

Saying No // Musings

'One day, I'll find the right words, and they will be simple' 
 Jack Kerouac

Image Source

Scrolling through twitter on the bus, trying to ignore how packed it was and how close some guys armpit was to my face as he clung to a railing to avoid falling over, something was retweeted on to my time line that caught my attention. I should have taken a screenshot of it but the gist of the tweet was:

'Learn to say no. Without explaining yourself after. No. Just no. Because no.'

And, let me tell you guys, this is so hard to do.  I always think that the word 'no' needs to be followed by an explanation as to why. And in some situations this may be the case. But sometimes, if you don't feel like doing something, a suitable explanation as to why might be hard to come by and that is ok. 'Not right now' and 'no thank you' are perfectly fine as complete sentences and can be used in a number of situations - at work, with friends, with a guy.

At work
Not wanting to get involved with something or if you are too busy to even think about taking on any extra work are probably the biggest reasons that you would want to decline work. I know that at work this might seem pretty hard to do, especially if you are new to the company or you are at a trainee position, declining work does not paint a great first impression. But if there comes a time where extra work would prove to be a detriment to your health, causing stress and exhaustion, then saying 'no' becomes a necessity you can't escape. Valuing your time and understanding your priorities are important and a courteous 'not right now' or offering a solution/different contribution is a great way to do this without offending.

With friends & family
Spending time with friends and family is great. Obviously. Making memories, telling stories and just laughing till it hurts are things every single person has the opportunity to enjoy. But sometimes, you need some 'me time', you know?? Saying no to a meet up date but offering an alternative date is a great way to balance it out. And besides, sometimes you don't even have to explain your 'no' - that's the great thing about friendships, they are understanding and empathetic if you're just having 'one of those days'.

With a guy
Ever been approached by a guy and the words 'no, sorry, I have a boyfriend' naturally fall out of your mouth? Yep, same. Regardless of whether or not you do have a boyfriend, this sentence is pretty standard in avoiding followup attention. It pretty much translates to 'I would love to give you my number, but because I have a boyfriend and I'm not the cheating type, I am forced to decline your offer. Gutted.' Which is wrong in all kinds of ways but the bottom line - 'No' is sufficient and 'no' is a complete sentence.  Buuuut obviously we don't live in a perfect world and you get the guys who are annoyingly persistent, even when they can see that you are uncomfortable and unwilling to engage in conversation. But with getting into the habit of putting weight behind a 'no' and not following it up with a reason, after a while, the guys gotta accept reality, right?? Or you could just do The Face and hope it will scare him away.

I think that saying 'Yes' and saying 'No' to things are two important lessons to learn - you don't want to cut things off without ever seeing what opportunities may come your way, but at the same time, you don't want to exhaust yourself by bending over backwards to accommodate for everything people ask of you or every opportunity that comes up.  After all, life is all about a happy balance.

Do you guys have any advice to offer on saying 'no'?

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