Monday, 13 November 2017

My Current Favourite Podcasts

Podcasts have become a style of communicating that really seems to have exploded in popularity over the past few years, but despite this I've always been somewhat reluctant to jump on the bandwagon. Having assumed I preferred the format of YouTube videos and blogs because of my love for visuals and aesthetics, the idea of a podcast in which I could only listen to discussions and conversations seemed to fully counteract my initial assumption of why I loved the world of YouTube.  Having since branched into the podcast sphere, I've realised that my love for vlogs and blogging actually stems from how relatable I find those mediums and the means of connecting with others on topics that I find important and interesting, and podcasts are the perfect extension of this! I think the emphasis on sound alone also means podcasts delve deeper into topics and discussions as there is no way of distracting from the content in the way that YouTube can with expensive equipment and high quality filming!   

Since starting my placement year and spending my weeks in London, podcasts have become my go-to on my morning and evening commutes and have helped tube rides and train journeys fly by. I'm still relatively new to the podcast world, and as a result my favourites are mostly focused around the world of YouTube, but nevertheless I thought I would share some of those that I've loved for anyone else branching into podcasts too! 

1. Anna Newton and Lily Pebbles are two YouTubers and bloggers whose friendship and humour have cemented them as two of my favourite internet ladies, and so when I heard they were bringing out a podcast I couldn't wait to see what it entailed. 'At Home With' is a 10 part series in which Anna and Lily explore the homes of 10 successful women within the beauty, fashion and writing worlds, delving into their homes and talking all things interiors, mental health, skincare, food, babies and more; you name it, they've discussed it! I love the candid nature of this podcast the most, as even with some of their most high profile guests it really feels like you're having a chat with your close pals. Their questions are insightful and well thought through, giving listeners an open and honest conversation about the career journey's of each guest, instead of relaying the same stories and facts that most will already know as fans of the beauty and fashion world. Notable episodes that stick in my mind include those with Zoe Sugg, Giovanna Fletcher and Jo Elvin but each episode is truly unique and entertaining! With episodes ranging from about 35 to 50 minutes long, they're the perfect cooking dinner/journey to work/relaxing in the bath length so I would highly recommend as easy listening if you're new to podcast world.

2. Another YouTube focused podcast next,and this one is perhaps my favourite of them all! Estée Lalonde is a Canadian YouTuber, Blogger and Author who I have watched religiously for years, after falling in love with her infectious personality, beautiful home and style and gorgeous family. Her podcast 'The Heart Of It' is a perfect extension of her unique style of content and distinctive aesthetic that really carries through in audio format, with the first episode looking at the idea of protest and it's importance, power and relevance in today's society. Estee speaks of her own personal experiences as well as featuring Nina Donovan, the 19 year old poet behind 'Nasty Woman' which exploded into the spotlight after this years Women's Marches. The production on this episode was exceptional. The audio quality, sound effects and precision that clearly went into the planning and execution of the first episode of The Heart Of It left me so excited for the future episodes which discuss topics such as tattoos, travel, identity and feminism. Estée truly is such a captivating personality, both on YouTube and through her podcast and if you were to take one recommendation from this post I would love it to be this one!

3. My third podcast recommendation is a little different to the above two, however perhaps the addition I was most surprised to enjoy! True Geordie is a podcaster and YouTuber featuring a range of guests across his channels and interviewing them in a candid and casual way. The episode of his in question featured Alfie Deyes, someone else I have followed online for a number of years now and initially felt I knew a lot about (until this podcast!). True Geordie episodes are on average about two hours long, however his chat with Alfie lasted for three hours and I listened to the entirety! When I first went to download the podcast I thought I had read the duration time wrong, but it was in fact three hours long, and to my surprise I was gripped throughout! Geordie had previously criticised Alfie's YouTube content, and invited him as a guest on his podcast both to apologise for their past discrepancies and discuss everything from privacy, money, fan experiences, clickbait, relationships and more! It was probably the most insightful podcast I've come across, partly because it was so long meaning the detail was above and beyond anything else I've heard  before, but also because of how honest and open the discussion was. If you're a fan of YouTube in general it's the perfect one for you and I'll definitely be listening to more True Geordie podcasts in the future; his honest approach was really refreshing.

Let me know what your favourite podcasts are and if you listen to any of my recommendations then please share your thoughts; I'd love to know what you think of them! 

(You can find all of the above podcasts via iTunes!)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

A Reflection: Anxiety and The Teen Years

In the weeks leading up to my 20th birthday back in August and the subsequent months following I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about my teenage years and reflecting on how I spent them. I think it’s only natural upon hitting a somewhat milestone birthday or on entering a new decade to look back on the previous years, often with a sense of nostalgia and fondness, but as well as those feelings I also had an overwhelming sense of missed opportunities. I don’t want this post to instantly become all doom and gloom, but I thought it might be insightful to some or relatable to others to discuss the ideas of the regret that come along with a mental illness such as anxiety. As the worrier I am, it’s a topic that’s been buzzing around my head for a little while now and I’m hoping putting pen to paper (so to speak) will push me to edge bit by bit out of my very established comfort zone.

Anxiety is the sort of mental health issue that can manifest itself differently in every sufferer, and in my case it mainly comes into play in terms of meeting new people, social situations and dealing with change (not much then, lol). As a result of my qualms with social situations and feeling extremely nervy about putting myself ~out there~ I missed out on countless nights out, holidays with friends, parties and celebrations and doing the crazy, reckless, spontaneous things that are so synonymous with finding yourself and experimenting as a teen. I know I’m not alone in feeling I missed out on so many opportunities like this, but I think the important thing to remember is how to channel the regrets you might have into determination for future adventures. Looking back I now realise how although saying ‘yes’ in those situations would have felt difficult, nearly impossible in fact, it would have only given me more confidence and hope for all other opportunities that I since missed out on. Of course in hindsight it’s easy to look back and say I should have pushed myself out of my comfort zone with more determination, but I truly think it’s important to reflect on these situations in such a way that gives me an incentive to try harder in the future.

I’m the only one that can make myself take these opportunities, I’m the only one who can force myself to say ‘yes’ even when my mind is screaming ‘no’ and I’m the only one who can really reflect my words into actions and make a change in my 20s. Hitting the big 2-0 (I honestly feel so old) has given the fresh perspective I needed to recognise where I can improve and challenge myself and I’m really, truly excited about the future and the idea that it will involve happiness and spontaneity. Below are some of the things I’ve done since being 20, both as a reminder that I’m doing a good job of fulfilling the promise I made to myself, but also to anyone else feeling the same sense of sadness about pushing themselves. GURL U CAN DO IT.

1. As a birthday treat for myself and Scott, we booked a hotel in Brighton for 2 days to celebrate entering our 20s together and it was THE best decision I’ve made in such a long time. We went on the pier, wandered the shops, ate way too much Italian food and cuddled on the beach. I was determined to start my 20s as I mean to go on and I’m so proud I actually did it and made some of the loveliest memories I have of Summer 2017. I love that our birthdays are two days apart because it means I have him by my side for all the achievements I set out for the next year of my life. 

2. Another beach getaway next (there’s no stopping this gal), I headed to Margate with my dad and sister for the August bank holiday weekend and explored a city that had been on my ‘To Visit’ list for years! Although Margate was a tad different to what I expected (read: our b’n’b had newspaper as wallpaper and dolls heads everywhere) it was still so lovely to visit another UK beach destination and see Dreamland in the flesh, which let me tell you, WAS SO DREAMY. 

3. I’ve been to two hot tub parties in the space of two weeks, one very spontaneous and one planned after the first one was such a success. I spent both evenings with some of my best pals who I don’t get to see nearly as often as I would like because we’re now spread across the UK at different uni’s, so it was so lovely to get a little bit tipsy, eat nachos and cookies in the hot tub and laugh a LOT. 

4. I've landed myself my DREAM placement as Social and Content Intern at Birchbox UK and I honestly couldn't be happier career wise than I am now. The last few months of being 19 were spent interning at a variety of places and although on the whole I learnt a lot, I did have a few negative experiences along the way. Despite those not so great times, it's actually been a blessing in disguise in helping me full appreciate my new role and I feel so excited for the future. It's actually only my second day there and I thought I would feel so much more anxious than I do so maybe my baby steps are all making a difference!

5. And finally, an achievement that will ensure I end 2017 on a high. Scott and 7 of my friends are heading to Edinburgh for New Years Eve for a few days of exploring, laughing, eating and drinking some amazing food and seeing in 2018 in style. It was a big decision for me to book this trip yet now I only feel excitement towards it. 

I know this post has been fairly short and sweet compared to my usual ramblings but I truly hope it's provided hope for others in the same position or provided a perspective of an illness you have no personal experience with. Thank you so much for reading (as usual) and I would love to hear of any achievements you've made this year <3 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

A New Chapter

Trousers: Topshop Similar HERE / Shirt: H&M  Similar HERE or HERE / Bag: Topshop Similar HERE / Jewellery: Accessorize and Dorothy Perkins or Similar HERE / Shoes: Primark. Similar HERE.
The title of this post and the reality that comes along with it is something I've been so excited to share, despite the 'pinch me I'm dreaming' feeling still lingering along with it. I've mention my degree and placement year plenty of times here on my blog and other social channels and I've found documenting the ups and downs of the process to be so therapeutic and a real outlet for all the highs and lows I've experienced. Since moving to London in May and beginning my interning journey, I've spent a lot of time trying to narrow down exactly where I want to go with my career (and life!) and in the process have felt every emotion from inspiration and motivation to being so overwhelmed that my most preferable option seemed to be hiding under my duvet with some Alpro chocolate milk. Not an effective solution I can assure you. Despite stepping out of education for the first time and moving to the Big Smoke alone being totally overwhelming experiences, I feel like over the past 4 months I've finally established where I want to go with my career and how I plan to get there. I adore fashion. The personal expression and creativity, the ability to be totally and unapologetically yourself, and career wise, I adore the fast pace and collaborative efforts behind so many success stories. Of course it took me some time to adjust to my new lifestyle but as of now I can finally step back and see how many obstacles and anxieties I've overcome during the past 4 months which fills me with so much hope for the future! London can be a lonely place, and I think my only real wish is that I could have had my closest course pals/boyfriend/family/friends by my side. Despite that I think the experience has proved to me that I am capable and that I can do anything that I set my mind to.

My latest new chapter is one I'm the most excited for yet, as in less than a week I'll be starting my new role as Social and Content Intern at Birchbox UK! I've never come across a position I feel so excited at the prospect of or that I can 100% see myself fulfilling and I feel so lucky to be on such an exciting new journey for the next 6 months. Of course I will keep my blog as up to date as possible along the way and can't wait to throw myself into this new adventure! Social media and content creation should have been such an obvious route for me, having worked on my blog and other social channels so hard for so long and I can't tell you how crazy it feels that soon I'll be able to channel the love I have for my hobby into an industry role! I wanted to share this post initially to keep you all updated on my new adventure, but also to show that hard work really does pay off in the long run and if you're caught up right now in whatever struggles life is throwing at you, just know that it will only make you stronger and more capable in the future. I can't tell you how many times I've cried down the phone to my dad or on how many occasions I've worried tirelessly over the future but in the end, things somehow seem to slot into place just when you need them to most. Lots of love to you all!


Friday, 18 August 2017

My Current Beauty Favourites

Hello everyone! It's not often I talk about beauty on my blog but there's a few products that have really revolutionised my routine lately and I thought a favourites post would be the perfect way to share some pieces that are making up my daily face. As a bit of a disclaimer, I'm slowly phasing out products and brands that test on animals, so although a few of these items are unfortunately not cruelty free, please know I'm slowly working towards having a fully CF make-up bag in the near future!

My base is always the hardest thing for me to get right, as covering scarring and active acne is always tricky. I'm definitely not a natural when it comes to make up, so a foundation that is easy to blend but heavy enough to give me the coverage I need for my troublesome skin is a must. Nars Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc is a product I come back to time and time again, as it's glow inducing formula but full coverage finish means I can achieve naturally healthy looking skin whilst not needing to feel self conscious about my spots! I've suffered with terrible skin for a few years now and so foundation is the real make or break product in my routine, and Nars continually helps me feel confident and happy with my skin, even when it is having a bit of a freak out. I'm so disappointed to learn that Nars are no longer a cruelty free brand; it's such a shame to see companies moving in this less compassionate direction. If anyone has any recommendations for similar bases then please do let me know for when I'm all out of my Sheer Glow love! 

My make up collection is extremely streamlined, with my everyday look of a glowy base and winged liner being my go-to in helping me feel like 'me'. Lipstick is the one thing in my routine that I tend to switch up daily, and Mac's 'Faux' has been a firm favourite of mine since I received it as a gift last Christmas. It's the perfect everyday shade for me skin tone, with it's rosy finish adding a some colour to my face without being too high maintenance. I love the formula of this lipstick, as the creamy texture means it's easy to layer up and re-apply if it's worn slightly after meal times! I love liquid lipsticks for their staying power but find them impossible to add to without them appearing slightly gloopy in their finish. Mac's Faux on the other hand is the perfect product for touching up on the go, and is a shade I carry in my handbag, always. LURVE. 

As is typical with acne prone skin I also experience an extremely oily complexion making it difficult for me to keep my base looking perfect for a full day. My routine was completely revolutionised by the addition of the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder a couple of months ago, and since then has become a true staple in my routine. I tend to set my foundation with this powder first thing in the morning, and then use my normal Rimmel Stay Matte throughout the day as I find I can achieve the best results by combining the two. Make Up Forever has always been a brand I was curious to try, and their powder has been the perfect introduction as I'm now super keen to see what else they have to offer. I find setting my make up with their loose powder in the morning is a fool-proof way of keeping my make-up in place for longer, and I really can't believe my routine was ever complete without this product! 

And finally an eyeshadow that similarly to Mac's 'Faux' has become a complete essential in my everyday routine, and that is a quad palette from Suqqa in the shade 104, Natsusango. Suqqa is a Japanese brand that I was previously unfamiliar with, however was kindly gifted this little palette when I left Marie Claire, and it's pretty much been love ever since. I gravitate most towards to the two lightest shades, with my favourite being the pink shimmer for the perfect everyday wash of colour across the lid but I'm also DYING to experiment with the brick orange shade in the autumn months! As mentioned previously, I'm really not the best when it comes to make-up application, so easily blendable yet pigmented shades are my fave for an easy to apply look! I love pink shadows and find them especially flattering with my lighter hair so I'm super happy to have found my new go-to!  


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

19 Things I Learnt Whilst Being 19

Today is my 20th birthday! If you're a long time reader of Charlotte's Web you'll know that pretty much since the start of my blog I've shared an annual post around the time of my birthday looking back at the past year and any lessons I've learnt during that period my life. I'm super glad I've kept up the tradition for so long because it's lovely to look back on the things I've overcome and learnt as I've grown up, and this year seems extra special because as of today I'm no longer a teenager. HOW TERRIFYING. This post is going to be  a super long and chatty one (as seems to be a common theme with all my content actually) so without further ado, here are 19 things I learnt whilst being 19:

- 1 -
One of the biggest lessons I've learnt during my time being 19 is the importance of being sure of myself, my morals and in general ~who I am~. Being a teenager can be difficult enough, and especially in the late teen years I've found myself with lots of responsibility and adult 'stuff' I wasn't expecting or totally sure how to deal with. The last year has definitely had it's ups and downs, but I think dealing with the downs has been 10x easier having found an inner confidence that I know myself and my limits, and it's such a reassuring thing to know I now understand me!

 - 2 -
This has been a lesson from the past two or so years really but has been truly emphasised whilst being 19, and that is the importance of my friends, family and boyfriend in my life. Despite my second year at university definitely not being as rocky as my first, there were still low points and times in which I relied on my family more than ever for support and I honestly don't know where I would have been without that. Starting my year of interning back in May has also provided it's fair share of anxiety provoking moments and has been mentally challenging to say the least, so the support of those I'm close to has been a constant and welcome source of positivity and reassurance when I've been feeling down. During my 19th year I really learnt the importance of having a strong support system and it's not something I will be taking for granted in the future!

- 3 -
The year of being 19 is one in which, for the first time in 4 years, I've been able to fully challenge my eating disorder and reach a point in which my life isn't constantly absorbed with thoughts of restriction or calories. I have by no means recovered and still have a lot of issues with eating which I'm not sure will ever fully go away, but on the whole I'm in a healthier and happier place with food and my general body image which is something I didn't perceive would potentially ever be possible. I've learnt to allow the joy that comes with food back into my life and now can go out for dinner and enjoy spontaneous ice creams in the summer and apple crumbles whilst curled up on the sofa without so much as a second thought. GO ME! 

- 4 - 
My efforts towards helping animals and mission to move towards a more compassionate diet has well and truly begun during the past year and I now feel super happy to have a long term vegetarian diet. During the past year I've also attempted various ~vegan weeks~ to push myself with my cooking, try new recipes and help the environment and animals in the process! I've found veganism to be quite challenging but this is primarily because of my eating disorder and complicated relationship with food, however have found so much joy in experimenting with vegan cheeses and new recipes in general and it's something I still try to strive towards. As well as my positive experiences with channeling a compassionate outlook into my food choices, whilst being 19 I've also learnt the importance of not putting pressure on myself to instantly transform my diet and that any effort is better than none! I am a huge perfectionist so when I set my mind to something I always want to achieve it 100%, but when it comes to food I've tried to be patient with myself and accept that diet is a journey and cannot be transformed overnight. 

- 5 - 
Despite earlier mentioning the importance of friends in my life this year, I've also come to accept that with growing older also comes the reality of knowing when to let go of friendships that have had their time. I've put a lot of effort into various friendships this year and I think sometimes it's important to remember it's OKAY to stop when you're getting nothing in return. Maintaining friendships can be tiring and I've come to accept only truly continuing with those who I know put in the time and effort for me as well. I think a huge part of growing up means losing friends along the way, but I hope that those I have in my life now will continue to be there for a long time more! 

- 6 -
As mentioned in a previous post of mine from July, I've overcome my anxiety in a number of capacities this year and in doing so have acquired a real sense of wanderlust. I've always loved holidays, aside from the anxieties they brought me but this year I have found myself endlessly scrolling the Instagram explore page and pining after an excuse to pack up my life and travel ze world??? I know this is partly down to the fact I began interning two weeks after finishing my second year at university and so have bypassed my summer break, but I also feel so much more confident in myself and my abilities to challenge my anxiety that I'm ready for the adventures I've always longed for. Hopefully next year will be the time I can truly make the most of my last summer break as a student and I plan to fit in as many holidays and adventures as possible. Copenhagen, Berlin, Santorini, Paris, Positano and LA, you're all on my list FYI.

- 7 - 
Since starting placement I've really learnt how much I'm going to miss uni once I leave, which is a statement I never thought I would make. It's not secret that my university experience has been a rocky one, but it's undoubtedly been an amazing way for me to challenge my creativity and express my ideas in so many mediums which I've absolutely adored. Starting my career interning has brought led me to harsh but no doubt normal realisation that university is the time I'm going to have the most freedom with my work in comparison to in a real life environment when working for someone else, and I'm already itching to start third year and begin working on my magazine brief, dissertation and final major project. Of course once I'm back I know I'll miss the 9-5 hours of interning with no weekend stresses and never ending to do lists, but for now I'm longing for the routine of student lift. 

- 8 - 
As a bit of a late developer alcohol wise (and tbf in most aspects of my life I seem to be the last one to the party, oops) my 19th year was the one I learnt to take it really easy when it comes to vodka. I'm able to confidently share this lesson after a 2 day hangover well and truly killed me off earlier in the year and I ended up in the kebab shop toilets NEXT to the club without actually making it on a night out. RIP past me. 

- 9 - 
Back in January of this year I managed to overcome one of my biggest anxieties and something I worked SO hard towards and that was passing my driving test first time! I had put off learning to drive for the longest time, however finally took the plunge last summer and it paid off just after Christmas when I was able to push myself completely out of my comfort zone and prove myself wrong. There's so many lessons I've learnt from this, but the main one is that moving outside of the realms of what feels comfortable is sometimes completely necessary for a fulfilling and accomplished life. After all, great things can rarely be achieved without pushing yourself into the unknown. 

- 10 - 
With so much going on in the past 12 months, the lessons I've learnt have not just come from personal experience, but rather a bigger picture in which I have seen political turbulence cause a wave of uncertainty in so many aspects of the world. I've therefore learnt the importance of looking out for one another and recognising my privilege in certain situations. I try to stay educated on world events as much as possible and in doing so have become more and more aware of the many injustices and tragedies that take place so often. I've therefore tried to be extra kind, extra compassionate and extra respectful <3 

- 11 - 
Whilst being 19 I feel like my love for relaxing in the evening with my favourite TV shows or YouTuber has really been cemented, and I've fully learnt the importance of self care in the form of taking time out for these everyday things that can really positively impact my mood. TV wise I've ADORED The Walking Dead (as per usual), Line of Duty (Steve I luv U), Stranger Things (so pumped for season 2) and Riverdale which has probably been my ultimate love (Archie be mine???). In terms of YouTube I'm utterly obsessed with Rhiannon Ashlee, Lizzie Hadfield, Megan Ellaby, Helen Anderson, Lily Melrose and Liv Purvis. My subscription list is endless and these days I don't always have time to watch as much content as I once did, but I have really been learning the importance of making time for the things I love more and more! 

- 12 -
This year I've fully accepted the importance of clothes in my life to help me feel confident and 'me'. Until now I've always thought it a little frivolous to allow myself to place so much emphasis on fashion to be confident, but I've slowly but surely learnt that it's perfectly okay to buy a new top or dress when I'm feeling down about myself or not confident in my body, because 9 times out of 10 when I find a piece that I truly love it can 100% transform my mood. Metallic footwear, pom pom earrings and fluffy coats, I'm looking at you <3
- 13 - 
Something that was a part of my life whilst I was 18 but has been fully cemented for me this year is my true passion when it comes to Love Island. I watched the show last year but I feel like they really upped their game this year when it came to the production of the programme this year and I, amongst many others, have LOVED it. Camilla, Chris, Kem and Montana; you guys are the *Re-watches entire series after finishing this post*

- 14 -
I've slowly but surely come to accept that I can be intelligent and educated at times, whilst also lack a whole lot of common sense and geographical knowledge alongside it. I am the expert in being a contradiction of myself but I kinda like that I'm a mix of maturity and innocence at the same time. 

- 15 - 
A very valuable and worthwhile lesson I have learnt whilst being 19 is the art of training my hair into lasting longer between washes (a menial but life changing advancement in my day to day routine). I can now go up to 3, or sometimes 4 days if I have an extra large bottle of dry shampoo handy in between washes and I am LOVING this new revelation! This probably seems extremely trivial but let's be real, not everything I learnt whilst being 19 can be life changing revelations! 

- 16 - 
I'm slowly (like really slowly) learning to say yes to things. This has been something I've been trying to achieve for years to no avail, and it's probably only been in the past few months in which I've had the 'Help! I'm not going be a teenager anymore!' realisations in which I've finally been able to achieve it. Accomplishments like this for me come in baby steps, but it's been so rewarding to finally see a difference in my mindset in terms of meeting with friends, going on day trips and adventures and just life in general! I really hope when I write next years post I can look back and say it transformed the way I live my life!

- 17 - 
Dancing around my room when I'm feeling down or even just putting on my favourite Spotify playlists full volume is THE best mood booster. I had a pretty hard time whilst being 19 handling the endless placement rejections I was getting when I first began applying, and there were a couple of positions in particular I was really hung up about not being offered. Music and dragging myself out of bed to dance along to it actually really helped me through, and sometimes singing along to the top of your voice to a Beyonce ballad is honestly the best medicine. Despite this, I also learnt it's totally okay to wallow a little bit when you're sad. At certain points I expected myself to be able to move on straight away but I've learnt that sometimes when things really matter to you, it's not always possible to simply move on without processing and getting over it. Being sad is not a weakness!

- 18 - 
Speaking of weakness, I've come to the realisation that I'm an extremely sensitive person, but y'know what, that is OKAY. I feel things extremely deeply and for long periods of time and I'm often affected by what's going on in the world on a different level to the average person. For the longest time I've hated how sensitive I am, and in some respects it is frustrating to overthink and get upset by things that others might consider totally insignificant, but on the whole I've come to learn that I can't change my personality and my sensitivity actually makes me a really great person in other respects. I'm considerate of others feelings, I try to be as kind as possible and on the whole look out for my pals always. I'm trying to turn my weaknesses into strengths in my quest for self love!

- 19 - 
And finally, number 19. Whilst being 19 I've really got to know myself, what I like, what I hate, what makes me anxious and what brings me the most joy. I've learnt that life goes by so quickly and that I want to make my 20s the happiest and most fulfilling part of my life yet! I spend so much time fretting about the 'what if's' that I feel like I wasted so many of my teenage years and I'm determined not to let that happen again. My mindset has somehow switched and I feel SO ready to tackle all the adventures and fun that life has to offer. I feel terrified at the prospect of no longer being a teenager, but also so excited for the future. 


Thursday, 3 August 2017


A couple of months ago I wrote a post titled 'Doing Enough VS Doing Too Much' in which I discussed the constant internal battle I am fighting, as I forever flit between being overworked, so as a result taking a well deserved rest, to then panic that I am not doing enough. Since then I have overcome a lot of the worries I mentioned in that initial post. I have been offered two fashion PR placements and am now a few months into the second internship of the sandwich year of my degree, and on the whole feel super proud and happy with the progress I have made in my self confidence as well as adding that all important experience to my CV. But despite these achievements, I still have this niggling feeling which I can't seem to shake when it comes to working, and that is that I am never doing enough. I jotted down a couple of lines on the subject in my daily journal and thought it might be worth writing a little follow up to my previous post to assess and hopefully address the issue.

The primary reason I'm so worried about not doing enough (whatever 'enough' really is) stems from the fact my current placement is part time, and I therefore spend Monday-Wednesday interning at Temperley, to then travel back to Cambridge on the Wednesday evening and hopefully be waitressing every Thursday and Friday. Working for only half the week on my placement is really getting me down, despite the fact I initially asked if this would be a possible format for my hours and also really REALLY love being home for such a large part of the week to spend time with my family and friends over summer. I invest my Thursday's and Friday's into part time work and blogging and YouTube content creation so realistically I know I'm not being lazy, it's just impossible for me to shake the negative feeling that feels success is synonymous with a busy lifestyle. I never used to have a mindset which was intent on making me feel negative for simply switching off, and I do really wish I could give myself more credit because in reality I know I am working super hard. It's not always possible to be consistently at a fast pace in life.

I know I'm not alone in feeling that I can only feel successful when I'm busy, and I think it's such a shame that so many people struggle with this equation which really doesn't make sense. I know from my previous post that my worries about doing 'enough' really stem from wanting to do well educationally and therefore working constantly at sixth form and university to ensure I had put as much into revision and assignments as I possibly could, even if this was at the mercy of my mental health and general wellbeing. I often see tweets from other people sharing similar thoughts, and I really want to readdress the balance in my brain that insists business is a measure of success, because realistically I know this is not the case. I have always said it's better to work harder than longer but somehow my mindset has shifted slightly now that I can't get immediate gratification from my own academic success and am instead relying on my placements to fill me with satisfaction. I suppose in a way that's why I'm trying to place so much emphasis on blogging and producing content for my YouTube and Instagram so frequently, as perhaps having that extra control in areas that are just 'mine' is important in allowing me to feel successful. Feeling proud of myself and in general being happy with the work I'm producing is a huge factor in making me content in life, so I'm going to put my best efforts in to producing what I can, when I can, without the pressure that I need to be working 24/7 to be doing it well. Of course my current lifestyle is never going to not be busy, as realistically I am juggling a number of things at once, but I think readdressing my thought processes when I am lucky enough to have some down time is really needed. 

Let me know if you struggle with a similar problem in your life; I would love to know how you deal with it! 


Thursday, 20 July 2017

5 Ways in Which I Have Overcome Anxiety Lately

Hello you lovely lot! Once again it's been a few weeks since my last post but life with an internship/job/boyfriend/social life is busy AF let me tell you. I felt like having a little catch up  with you today and just rambling to my hearts content because who doesn't love a chatty post, right?? Living part time in London and interning for the past few months has honestly taught me so much, and amongst that I have overcome so many of my initial worries and anxieties that I thought it might be nice to share those with you and celebrate those tiny victories! Anxiety plays a huge part in my life and so many of the decisions I make so I feel super proud to be able to make small steps day-to-day to hopefully create a more positive and capable mindset for myself! So without further ado, here are 5 ways in which I have overcome my anxiety in the past few weeks: 

1. I actually answered the phone at my previous placement! Multiple times! I know this can seem like the most ridiculous and trivial achievement to some, but I know for many who can empathise with my struggles this is a huge deal. Since a really young age I have felt unbelievably uncomfortable speaking on the phone and only really do so when it's to super close friends or family. I have to admit when I first started at Marie Claire answering the phone was one of the tasks I dreaded every morning, but as I started to do it more and more and got used to what a typical response to queries might be, I became more confident in myself and my abilities to do it! Sometimes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is the only way to tackle an anxiety trigger and it can be truly such a difficult thing to do, but by the end of my time at MC I had grown in confidence so much!

2. I now get the tube, in rush hour, every day! There was a time in my life when I would put off or avoid going to London altogether simply because I was so terrified of using the underground, and on the occasions in which I did head down to the Big Smoke, I would most definitely not be travelling during rush hour. I get hugely claustrophobic when it comes to transport so the tube and planes have always been a no go (I hate the feeling of not being able to get off if I want to) so it's a massive step for me to be conquering this fear on a daily basis. The tube still intimates me slightly, particularly when I don't know where I'm going, but with CityMapper never too far away I know I'm going to be okay! Again this is another tiny achievement for some but one that has made a huge impact to my life and similarly to answering the phone has got easier and easier the more I have done it. Practice makes perfect ladies!

3. As well as my current placement at Temperley London, I have also been working part time at home waitressing at events around Cambridge. Now this isn't necessarily revolutionary just yet because I have only done 3 shifts, but at the same time trying new things and stepping into an unknown environment is always a huge anxiety trigger for me so I feel super proud to have managed it alongside my internship for the past few weeks. One aspect of the role I was most nervous about was that each week the events and functions that I work at are in different venues and with different staff meaning there would be no sense of routine or familiarity which was definitely a factor that put me off. Luckily for me the events I have worked as part of so far have also been shifts which friends of mine have been waitressing at too making the experience far less intimidating and actually a super lovely opportunity to catch up with them during breaks! Hopefully I will get to a stage in which I can work for the agency without needing the reassurance that I will see a familiar face there too but for now I'm super proud of myself for taking the steps to get a job alongside my internship!

4. I've started making YouTube videos (semi regularly) again which I'm SO pleased about! The main reason there was a bit of a gap in proceedings was because I simply didn't have enough time to commit to my channel whilst I was interning 5 days a week and travelling home for the weekends, but now that I'm only at Temperley Monday-Wednesday it makes things a tiny bit easier in terms of filming and blogging. As well as time management, I also just got myself into a bit of a tizz about the sort of content I wanted to produce and came over quite anxious about vlogging and if I was any good etc etc (typical Charlotte self doubt moment) which totally sucks. I'm such a perfectionist that I tend to overanalyse everything which of course is a terrible move anxiety wise and most of the time only makes me feel worse. Thankfully I think I'm ~mostly~ out of that rut when it comes to YouTube and have uploaded a couple of videos in the past fews weeks and have plans for more too! V exciting! 

5. And finally, perhaps my biggest and most exciting achievement of all lately, I WENT TO A FESTIVAL AND DIDN'T HAVE A PANIC ATTACK !!!! Festivals have always seemed so appealing to me, with everything from the music, to the food and fashion seeming so exciting and care-free but as any other anxiety sufferer will know, big crowds, an uncertain environment and being surrounded by drunk people is not necessarily something that I felt I could conquer. I've spent years seeing all my friends attend festivals together and getting ultimate FOMO as every summer rolled around, so when my dad asked if I would like to head to Latitude Festival for the day along with my sister as an early birthday present, I jumped at the chance to finally attend. Last Friday we headed down to Southwold, covered in glitter and totally festival ready and we honestly had the best day. I didn't have an anxious moment at all and spent the whole day feeling blissfully happy and care-free. The main achievement and amazingly happy moment for me though was seeing The 1975 headline the festival on the Friday evening which was a performance I know I will never forget. I've been a fan of the band for so many years now but on the one occasion I had tried to see them live previously it ended in tears and a panic attack as the whole situation felt a little too overwhelming and Scott and I ended up leaving less than half way through. Seeing The 1975 at Latitude was therefore made even more special and I honestly felt like I could have stayed there for hours and hours more because it was just so amazing and empowering. I now feel like I've got the festival bug and have been browsing line ups in the hope that I could maybe attend another this year, or if not, definitely next year. I never thought I would be able to stand in the middle of a crowd and not have a care in the world, so it was so freeing and amazing to do so. GO ME!

I would love to know if you've overcome any of your own anxieties lately so please tweet me or comment below and share them. It's felt so lovely to have mine written down and I know I'll come back to this post when I'm feeling down about myself or my achievements. We can all get there in the end <3 

Friday, 7 July 2017


We all know gingham is having a huge moment right now; it's pretty impossible to scroll your insta feed without seeing someone rocking some black and white ruffle hems trousers or the more ~school uniform~ red and blue gingham which I'm so on board with. This Zara number has seen me through the heat wave this year and I know will continue to be a summer staple for me as the tiered style and smock shape are common themes in my personal style. I'm currently working towards filming a Style Evolution video and so my evenings recently have consisted of sifting through photographs from years gone by in an effort to collate a narrative of my style journey, with one of my most loved pieces clearly emerging as smock and babydoll dresses. In recent years I feel like my style has matured and become more confident; I no longer feel nervous about wearing exactly what I want and instead have become more daring with my fashion choices. Despite this change, the smock dress has remained a constant within my summer wardrobe and so when I picked up this Zara number I knew it was a worthwhile investment. I think it can be quite difficult to avoid buying specific trend pieces as new seasons come around, but from my experience, selecting a few pieces that can fall under the umbrella of that seasons trend, whilst remaining true to your personal style is an easy way to ensure they will carry you through for months or years afterwards. 

I'm becoming hugely more aware of the impact of fast fashion, mostly through discussions I have seen surrounding the topic online and have therefore been trying to make more informed and mature choices around my consumption of fashion. As a fashion student, I know I'm always going to have a love for shopping and feel empowered by the way clothes make me feel, but I also know it's important to face the facts of an industry I love and take responsibility for the changes that need to happen. I think my limited student budget is actually a great help in refraining some of my spending choices as I have to really evaluate if buying a certain piece will see me through for the foreseeable future or if it's likely to be something I decide I hate in a few months time. I definitely feel like this post has taken a little bit of a tangent (oops) but the one thing I love about blogging is there are no rules and restrictions in the direction of my posts! I hope this little ramble has provided a little insight to my thoughts right now, and be sure to let me know if you're slowly mulling over the fast fashion world in the same way I am. 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Is the term 'Girl Boss' problematic?

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I've been planning this post for a little while now yet every time I come to write it I feel even more conflicting emotions. It's hardly a ground breaking issue but it's been on my mind more and more lately and I thought it was about time I put pen to paper (so to speak) and just shared the ramblings of my mind. I first thought about the term 'girl boss' and it's meaning when I was at Scott's house last summer and saw a copy of Fabulous magazine brandished with the cover title 'The Female Boss'. At the time I thought this was odd, mostly because the term female boss is used far less commonly than girl boss and it made me fully notice the added gender specific noun used. If the cover star of the magazine had been male, would the title have read 'The Male Boss'? I suspect not. I said this to Scott at the time and received an eye roll in response, making me wonder whether me picking up on such subtle and otherwise insignificant choices of words was just me being especially pedantic. But as I've considered the issue more, I've come to the conclusion that although it is just a choice in words that most people wouldn't see a problem with, it feels to me like part of the underlying yet constant issue that men are more advantaged and superior to this day within our society.  Realistically why do we feel the need to add a feminine word prior to 'boss' when celebrating women's achievements and successes? Predominantly I think this is because the structure of our society and general theme when it comes to those in positions of power and authority is that men come first, women second. Feminism is a hugely important part of my life and I feel so passionately about championing the movement which I think is one reason I was so keen to share my thoughts on the issue today and hopefully get people thinking a little. 

Perhaps in addition to positions of power being dominated by males, women that do have authority are not celebrated enough in the mainstream media and recognised as equals. Adding the term girl or female in front of 'boss' could therefore be a means of creating greater representation for women in male dominated spheres and acts as a voice for those who aren't typically seen as the obvious when it comes to being in charge. I personally use the term girl boss frequently, and I find it so empowering to do so. There's something about it that just makes me feel super positive and successful, but now when using it I do consider that adding the word girl just isn't necessary. In no other sphere would a female pronoun be added; doctors, teachers or come to think of it ANY other profession doesn't add an extra word to make it gender specific. Part of me loves the term girl boss, and I truly embrace anything that makes women feel empowered, but another consideration I'm trying to make is whether or not we need to label something femininely. I think it’s SO important to encourage women to be independent, fearless, confident and successful, and ultimately maybe terms like girl boss help with that. I just wonder whether we’re subconsciously contributing to an issue of putting women in a separate category when in reality we should all be striving for the same goals regardless of being a male or female. Like I stressed at the beginning of this little ramble, I am potentially overthinking an issue too deeply and although it seems insignificant, I think it's often society's norms that can be discriminative without us even realising which in the end all add up to create bigger and more widespread issues of inequality. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject whatever they may be and like I said, I'm 100% still figuring this out for myself! Feminism is a very complex issue but I think the more open discussion that is promoted the better. With that said I hope this post has provided you with some food for thought!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Getting through a bad mental health patch

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I felt it would be the perfect time to put together  a post sharing some of my experiences and things I've learnt along the way. Mental health can be a hugely vulnerable subject to discuss, but over the years I've opened up about my struggles and low points online, as well as celebrating the little victories and times when I've conquered whatever it is that's getting me down! I've been diagnosed with anxiety and eating disorder related MH problems, but I think these tips can be helpful with any struggles or mental health issue you're experiencing. I often see posts like this and it can seem a little trivial to think that getting fresh air or taking time for yourself can actually make a difference, especially when problems are often extremely deep rooted, but these things have all made a difference for me in the past and I think can ultimately create a more positive mindset in general. If you're too depressed to get out of bed or you're anxiety is so bad you don't feel ready to face the outside world, then there are ways of dealing with those things that require v minimal effort and I know from experience can make things a little more bearable. I know it can seem ridiculous that small changes in your life can make a dent in the overwhelming struggles you might be facing, but from experience I can tell you that things always start to look up eventually and keeping going is a hugely important achievement that you should be SUPER proud of! You're great! *insert all the heart emojis*

Sometimes the most basic things can help the most so quit trying to conquer the world in an afternoon and get yo'self hydrated. Water and fresh air help me tonnes when I'm feeling down, so if you're struggling right now, ask yourself how much water you've drunk today. Add some lemon and a straw if you're feeling fancy and you immediately seem like you have your life together; yay! Fresh air and leaving my room is vital in keeping me sane, so although it's not always easy, walking round the block and moving your legs can really help your peace of mind. Alternatively open your windows and let some fresh air inside; I promise the benefits of clean air are really underrated. Get these basic things down and you'll for sure be on the road to clearing your head a little!

Even when you're in the midst of feeling so down in the dumps it hurts and your head is aching, there's honestly nothing that helps me feel a little more human again than being showered and putting a little make up on. I really feel like myself when my hair is styled, I've got a nice outfit on and some winged liner, and it's super important not to underestimate the power of self care and a little skincare routine to help you along the way. It may seem really superficial but I promise feeling like 'you' is so important in getting through a rough patch. It can be a bit of a feat to shower and get ready, but if you're up to it then I guarantee it will help you feel slightly more put together and ready to take on the world. A bubble bath is also preferable to a shower in my opinion. For gods sake go wild and add some bath bombs too! Why not! Having a bit of a pamper in general is really beneficial for my mood, so if you have any face masks and nail polish lying around then it will honestly not do you any harm to treat yourself a little bit and take some time to focus purely on doing those things. 

Food helps my soul, and even as someone with an eating disorder I still find so much joy in cooking. I understand this might not be the case for everyone but if you can, cooking yourself a meal or baking some cookies (or sweet treat of your choice) can honestly do you the world of good. Even if you don't eat it, I find the act of baking and cooking to be SO therapeutic and is a really easy means of setting yourself a target and achieving it. Sometimes if you're feeling down then it can seem like even the smallest tasks are impossible, but if you can manage cooking yourself even the simplest thing like beans on toast (a personal favourite of mine) then it can help your self esteem and worth tonnes. Also keeping your body fuelled is really important and it only makes me feel worse if I stop eating altogether, so keep your body happy and your mind will hopefully work with you! 

Surrounding yourself with positive people can also have a remarkable impact on your mood and general outlook. I always find that I can rely on my (now former, CRY) housemate Ruby to cheer me up when I'm sad, and in general can go from feeling a 0/10 to an 8 or 9/10 after having a chat and getting things off my chest. If you don't have friends nearby or leaving the house seems like a battle that's a tiny bit too big right now, FaceTime or a phone call are equally as helpful in keeping you feeling good! I ring my dad a lot from uni, and I find after 30 mins speaking to him I can feel so much more calm and content. I think keeping in contact with your friends and family is especially important when you're going through a rough patch, and even applies if you're still living at home. Try not to shut people out, and if you can then let them know how you're feeling. Getting things off your chest can be vital in overcoming things, and I truly believe that things often don't seem as bad once you've said them out loud and rationalised them a little. Even if this isn't the case, a catch up with a friend or FaceTime call with your family can never be a bad thing.

I really hope you can take something positive and helpful if you're going through a tricky time at the moment (sending lots of love), or if not, bookmark this post for future reference should you ever need a bit of a pep talk. I like to think I'm a bit of an expert when it comes to coping with mental health issues (lol) so I really hope that my experiences can help you a little, or perhaps offer you some comfort that you're not alone. I promise you'll get through this <3
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