Saturday, 16 July 2016

Speedy Selfie Outfit no.2

Today I've got another speedy selfie outfit for you! I've been after a tea dress for a while and got my hands on this adorable number last week in the Asos sale. It's such a cute vintage style and is very comfy and chuck-on-able. For £15 I couldn't say no! As it's very girly, I've been pairing it with my Zara biker jacket to give it a bit of an edge. I wore this same outfit to the pub last weekend, but swapped my pumps for pointed flats and buckled a western style belt around my waist... I felt feminine and snazzy. :) 

I even bought the exact same dress for one of my best friends, Kat. As soon as it came in the post, I knew she would love it, and as it's her birthday next month, I got right back on Asos and ordered one to her house too! She is equally as pleased with it and said she was going to wear it on her holiday to Berlin.

There's very limited sizes left in the sale in both tall and regular, so get your skates on! Although hopefully they'll get more stock in as it's been popular. :) 


Friday, 15 July 2016

How I'm using my Bullet Journal

I've enjoyed watching YouTube videos of Bullet Journal flip-throughs and page ideas for a few months now. But by the time I was interested, I already had my little 2016 diary. However, with Summer and more free time fast approaching, I decided to pick up a cute notebook when I saw it was reduced to £1.50 a month or so ago and give Bullet Journaling a go. I want to be productive this summer and not just sleep my days away, so I thought it was the perfect time to start one. 

Although I have watched the "proper" Bullet Journal videos by Ryder Carroll, I kinda do my own thing and just take inspiration from him and other "BuJo" vloggers/bloggers. I'm trying not to give myself too many rules and complicated keys etc. I can be quite a perfectionist and don't want to get all stressy about it. Actually, I think the whole bullet journal concept is good for people trying to chill with the perfectionism, as it's very flexible, and if something doesn't work out or you end up not using a page, you can just scrap it next month! It's a good way to keep in mind that not everything (or in this case, every page) has to be perfect. 

This is how I'm using it so far:

I started with a handy index as Carroll suggests. I made the mistake of writing every single page on the index to start with, and only taking one measly little page for it... whoops... Looks like it's going to fill up pretty soon! My plan is to only put pages such as "Blog Post Ideas", or "July 2016" on the index and leave out the hoards of weekly spreads from now on. I can always use a bookmark on the current week to help me find it fast. 

Next I have a future log for the following few months. I'm not sure if I'm using this all that effectively. So far I'm just jotting down things I know are going on that month and new things as I find out about them. If I was doing the whole task migration thing it would probably be more full... but I haven't done any of that (yet). 

I also include a calendar like page for each month in Carroll's style. To be honest I'm not too keen on the way this looks and I can't fit more than a couple of words in for each day. Maybe I'll try out a more traditional calendar style next month... I think you can see how it's all panning out better that way.

Lots of people who make bullet journal videos mentioned a "brain dump" page and I thought it sounded like good idea, so at the start of each month I make a "Big To Do List". I rack my brains and write everything down that I want to get done that, anything from buying someone a birthday present to  life admin stuff. If it doesn't get done that month, I write in on next month's list and hope it gets done then (haha)! I suppose if I decide mid-month that I'm going to do a task in the future, I could write it in my future log (and make better use of that section!).

My weekly spreads come next, although I have to admit that I haven't been very on-the-ball with it this week! Here I write down more specific lists for the day and include things to do with blogging and my part time job etc. I also added a little notes section which I find handy for reminders. 

I've been enjoying making miscellaneous list-type pages. It's nice that everything is all in one place and easy to access rather than scattered in random notebooks... and I do own rather a lot! 

As for decoration, I admire the effort some people put into the aesthetics of their journals, I just can't be doing with it myself! If start spending ages on doodles and fonts etc, I run the risk of getting into perfectionist mode and feeling pressure to make it look beautiful every month. I do want my journal to look pretty though and have been utilising easy stuff like washi tape, coloured pens and sticky notes to add a bit of fun. I might treat myself to a trip to Paperchase soon and get some stickers too... exciting. ;) 

As for the future with my bullet journal, I thinking of trying out some blog organisation and planning pages and some goal pages too (both blog and general life goals). I've seen other bloggers using their journals to track stats and habits and all sorts and I might give that a go as it looks pretty interesting! It's just so bloody flexible... you can do whatever you like with it! 

I've been enjoying using my bullet journal so far and I'm pleased that I'm keeping up with it reasonably well. I reckon I could do more with it though, so look out for an update post sometime soon! 

What kind of journal/diary do you use?


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

My Fair Skin and Me

For a lot of my life, I haven't been all that fond of my fair skin. I was embarrassed when kids at school asked me why I didn't look tanned after a holiday, and when a boy in maths told me I have the kind of skin that just goes pink. I thought that being bronzed and olive skinned was the ideal look... and I suppose that means that I thought being pale... wasn't. How silly. Even this year, one of my first thoughts when Tom and I booked our holiday to Corfu was, "I hope I get tanned." When I went to Spain years ago on a family holiday, I deliberately lay in direct sunlight and even demanded we bought measly factor 15 sun cream in hope that I would get more sun-kissed. I used to anxiously rush home from school to catch the last few hours of sun in an attempt to lessen the sneers of other children criticising my lack of melanin (children who probably didn't exist). Carefully checking in the mirror to see if I had any tan lines and even looking down while walking to dinner to see if my legs looked any more tanned in the evening light are fairly normal things for me. But it's all just such a waste of time and effort. 

I tried my best to just chill when it came to tanning in Corfu. I tried to not feel self-conscious of my light tan when standing next to a mahogany family in a bar, or worry about spending every bloody waking hour in the sun. To be fair to myself, despite my past sun-worshiping, I have always been very careful in the sun and slather on So. Much. Sun cream. Skin cancer really scares me and I hate getting burnt. Rather than forcing myself to lie in the sun for hours and get rather hot and bothered, I always lay under an umbrella whilst in boiling hot Corfu. I felt like I was getting enough sun exposure from swimming in the pool etc. I know that despite wearing lots of sun cream, bathing in direct sunlight in the past wasn't the best for my skin, so I'm happy that I was more careful this year. Plus, it's much more comfortable to read a book in shade than in unbearable, sweaty heat. 

But when we arrived back in Manchester and were waiting in a queue at the airport, I couldn't help feel kind of embarrassed at my little amount of bronzing compared with the scores of brown peeps surrounding me. I'm sure none of them were giggling to each other and slating my modest tan... but I felt self-conscious anyway... urghhhhh!! It's just so not worth it. Fair skin is beautiful!! I need to remind myself that. And I've actually never been someone who feels the need to fake tan before donning a skirt in England, so why was I feeling ashamed of my paleness?! Probably because people expect you to get a tan on holiday... but not everyone is made that way!

After being back on English soil for a couple of weeks now, I'm pleased to say that I've managed to remember that fair is beautiful and flaunt my light tan. I have tried my best not to care when people remark on my lack of bronzing and I've resisted the urge to fake tan... I can't be doing with streaks on my skin and marks on my sheets. Basically I'd rather have one less thing to worry about. I cba with stressing about whether people think I look tanned or not... it's just kinda silly. I have also accepted that with the crappy summer weather we're having here in England, I'm probably not going to be able to build upon my little tan... but OH WELL. I'm still gonna be whipping out the summer dresses and getting my legs on show (when we get some sun.. fingers crossed that we do!!) anyways. 

Have you seen that Own Your Tone campaign by Cancer Research? Well I think it's pretty great as it reminds me that my fair skin is already beautiful and that I don't need to damage it in order to look nice. Yes, being tanned is lovely and yay for you (not sarcasm!) if you go really brown... but you can defo still look like a summery goddess with pale pins. Just chuck on a cute floral dress and a sunhat, wrap a bloody floral vine thingy round your head, wear daisy chains on your fair wrists and ankles... go friggin' crazy baby. Your skin is beauts... no matter what that nasty boy said to you in year 8 maths. 

I kind of wrote this post for myself, as something I can reread when I'm feeling a bit insecure, but I hope it can help you guys too. :) 


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Speedy Selfie Outfit no.1

I'm a big lover of clothes and fashion and spending hours goggling over the style of other girls on Instagram... so it seems silly not to include some aspect of fashion on my blog. I thought I could simply post a couple of quick snaps of my outfit every now and then to share my wardrobe with you all. 

This outfit cost me peanuts as the majority of it - skirt, top and belt - is all from Primark. I'm sorry to admit that I used to be a bit of a Primark snob and didn't see the point of spending my money on clothes that I deemed to be awful quality. But after giving it a go, I can totally see what the hype is all about. Primark has some fab stuff - very on trend and very affordable. Plus I don't think the quality is bad at all. Both the skirt and top have been washed and rewashed several times and both are holding up pretty well. 

I feel like I'm channeling a bit of a cowgirl vibe in this outfit what with the denim and the western-y belt... and even with the roses for some reason! I've become very fond of sixties and mod style in the past couple of years, so an A line skirt is a staple in my wardrobe and I find them so useful. A cowgirl mod... fab haha. The shoes are my trusty Superga pumps and the necklace was a present that my parents kindly brought back from Sorrento for me a few weeks ago. It's Murano glass and is very funky. 

Despite liking this outfit a lot, I didn't actually leave the house on this day! But I defo find that getting dressed properly and enjoying what I'm wearing makes me more productive and just feel better about the day in general. 

Hold onto you hats... more speedy outfits will be coming your way soon :)


P.S. Soz about the dirty mirror... 

Monday, 4 July 2016

My First Waxing Experience!

For my holiday to Corfu, I decided that I just could not be arsed with shaving my legs. I couldn't be bothered with doing shower yoga everyday to remove stubble from my pins and adding a good few minutes onto my routine each day. Not to mention probably giving myself razor burn and cuts and rashes in the process... not when I'm on my hols, no siree. 

So I plucked up the courage and booked myself in for a wax. Having silky smooth, totally hair free legs for at least a couple of weeks sounded ideal, and I was actually kinda excited to have hot sticky wax smothered on my shins and have the satisfaction of watching my pesky hairs be violently ripped out... I hope that doesn't sound too weird! 

The Tuesday before my holiday (two days before takeoff) was the big day... wax day. To be honest, I was nervous. I didn't think I would be. I've always prided myself on having a pretty high pain tolerance, passed down from my grandmother - definitely not my mom, there is no way on earth that she would willingly have someone rip hairs out of her little leggies. What I found most nerve-wracking wasn't actually the prospect of pain however, but simply just stepping inside the shop. I know it was silly, but the perfectly preened ladies behind the desk intimidated me... Did I look like the type that goes for a wax?! Was my makeup okay?! Did I look a tad sweaty from my little walk to the salon from the bus?! All these silly and unnecessary thoughts prevented me from tentatively pushing open the shop door until the clock told me I really had to. Also, I was somewhat embarrassed about there being a busy coffee shop right next door... and the salon being on a very busy road in general. I felt like I was wearing a huge placard with I'M ABOUT TO GET MY HAIRY LEGS WAXED plastered on it. Not that there's anything wrong or embarrassing about having a wax (or hairy legs) in the slightest... But for some reason I couldn't help feeling kind of flustered and shy. 

Fortunately, I managed to enter the salon, tell the woman behind the desk my name and sit myself in the waiting area successfully. A few minutes later a pretty, cheery girl, only a year or two older than myself called my name and took me through to the back... There was no backing out at this point... and I felt ready. I was led into a little treatment room and basically told to strip off - well only my jeans (thankfully haha). 

The "therapist" (as they call them for some reason... can't say I found waxing therapeutic but hey-ho) got what looked like a massive lolly pop stick out and began to smear yellowy, sticky, warm wax onto my pins. It was definitely hotter than I expected. Bearable, but hot. Rather than doing it in little sections, my whole entire leg was coated in the stuff... wowzers. Next came the first strip... there really was absolutely no backing out now - I had a leg saturated with wax, and there was only one way to get it off... Rip! Ouch. Okay, I hurt. Again it was bearable, but defo no picnic. Next strip, rip, ouch. Net strip, rip, ouch. This went on and on, I couldn't help notice how bloody long my legs are haha! My therapist was lovely and made the whole experience ten times better than it could have been. We nattered the whole time - we got on like a house on fire! I didn't feel embarrassed or self-conscious. I kept in mind that the therapist sees countless various body parts every week. They've seen it all before...  so best not to overthink that part. 

One thing I didn't expect was quite how sweaty getting waxed can be... sorry if this is gross but this post is an honest one! The treatment room was very compact and my bottom half was coated in hot wax, couple this with the pain... and I'm not ashamed to admit that I had quite a sweat on. My therapist said this was totally normal, and that she thinks you haven't been for a good wax if you don't break out in a sweat! 

Although it was bearable, I was bloody glad when it was over. I was disappointed that there were quite a few hairs that had been stubborn and refused to come out. Maybe my legs weren't gonna be all that silky smooth after all. My therapist had warned me of this before she started however, so I wasn't angry or anything! Just a bit disappointed... all that pain and not even a hairless leg! I think she said it was because I don't wax regularly... or maybe some hairs weren't quite long enough... either way it didn't matter too much in the long run. The left over hairs were so light and fair that they were hardly noticeable.

I left the salon feeling slightly sticky and slimy thanks to the soothing gel stuff they slather on you at the end, but also feeling rather accomplished. I hadn't cried, or even whimpered. I'd been a trooper. 

One thing that I found interesting about the whole waxing experience was that it did me good to grow out my leg hair. I used to be so self-conscious about having dark hairs and felt like my legs never looked smooth even when I shaved them meticulously. Growing the hair out for a wax meant I had to deal with having hairy legs. And it really wasn't that bad. I realised that I'd over exaggerated how furry they were in my mind and that in reality, they are a pretty normal pair of pins that grow a pretty normal amount of hair. I'd also been a bit embarrassed about having hairy legs around Tom too, but he didn't mind, or if he did he kept it to himself anyway! He's a good egg. I also want to say that if you want to rock your hairy legs and say "screw you" to hair removal, good for you! Whether you go for a natural look or prefer to be hair-free, it's all good! :) 

My holiday has been and gone now and I defo have some regrowth. Although most of it is probably down to the fact that I did cave and  end up shaving the stubborn remaining hairs after a week or so. I'm crossing my fingers that I won't get dreaded ingrown hairs like I did when I epilated my legs a couple of years ago... they were a nightmare. I've been exfoliating and moisturizing lots, so hopefully that''ll help prevent those little bastards. 

So that's pretty much all I have to say on the topic. I'm glad that I went for the wax as it did  make it so much quicker to get ready on holiday and made me feel more confident in a bikini. I hope this helps any of you waxing newbies out there! 


Sunday, 3 July 2016

A Saturday Exploring Corfu Town

My boyfriend, Tom, and I just got back from our very first (and very successful) holiday together (a relationship milestone reached... go us haha!). We went to the beautiful Greek Ionian island of Corfu, and it was brilliant. We were very impressed with the island and how much there is to see and do. I'm pretty darn proud of how much stuff we managed to cram into our week away... waterpark-ing, boat tripping, pool days, town exploring, etc. We definitely did not let any precious holiday hours go to waste. 

We spent the Saturday in Corfu Town (Kerkyra), the capital city of the island. The city feels huge compared to the cute fishing village, Benitses, that we stayed in and the other quaint towns we had driven through. It's busy, full of shops, cafes, bars, endless winding streets, and is rich with history and lovely architecture.  

Much to my amusement, the first thing I spotted when hopping off the bus in the morning was... a wool shop. A shop selling wool in searing heat. What made this even funnier to me is the fact that my mother is a avid knitter who seeks out knitting shops like a lion hunting its prey... she would've bloody loved it. Anyway, we soon found a bar to have a beer in, and then I persuaded Tom to hit the shops! There were lots of boutiques selling pretty boho style clothes along with mazes of pretty, winding alleyways lined with gift shops. Tom very kindly treated me to a pretty, handmade flower ring that caught my eye... I've hardly taken it off since! I regret not getting my paws on one of the handmade tan leather bags. They had them in all sizes and in plenty of classic styles. They were't expensive either - oh why didn't I buy one?! Oh well... gives me an excuse to go back to Corfu! 

It turned out that there was a cruise ship stopping off in Kerkyra that day and we met a few lovely British couples and exchanged holiday small talk with them,.. Tom and I always make friends when we're out and about! Especially with middle aged couples for some reason haha!

After some lunch in a lovely little Venetian square with flowers trailing down from the tall buildings, we headed over to the Old Fortress. Now I feel obliged to admit that I explored the impressive site without knowing much about its history at all... how embarrassing. But I enjoyed it nonetheless, and a quick Google search has just given me some key facts... The Old Fortress is Venetian, was built in the early 15th Century and protected Corfu during several wars, sieges, battles etc. Seems that everybody wanted to claim Corfu for themselves - I can see why - it's gorgeous! 

Climbing to the top in the heat was one heck of a workout, but it was well worth it for the fab views. Tom rang his parents whilst we recovered from the climb and told them how much of a great time we were having. I rang my own parents many times during the week to fill them in on our adventures! I also asked Tom to take a snap of my outfit as I was diggin' it. Just Primark stripy shorts and a pretty cami that I picked up in the airport from Accessorize... very comfy as well as stylish - if I do say so myself!! Plus I picked up the shorts specifically for the holiday, so had been excited to wear them :) 

It struck Tom and me how there was nobody telling you not to touch certain things or to mind your step when we were climbing up the fortress. We were given free reign to explore... what a contrast to health and safety obsessed England! 

The remainder of the day involved Tom searching for a bar for us to watch football in and us both getting rather confused when finding the bus back to our village. We ended up just missing one and having to wait an hour for the next - not that it mattered, we spent the spare hour in a cute bar, sipping Mythos and watching locals play some kind of dice game and drinking espressos.

Overall it was a great day and I'd definitely recommend visiting Corfu Town/Kerkyra if you visit the island. Although it can be tempting to just chill by the pool all week, I'm so glad that Tom and I did lots of adventuring and really experienced Corfu.