Sunday, 29 January 2017

Women that inspire me: The importance of supporting each other

2016 was a rocky year for a number of reasons within politics, and now, a month into 2017, I fear the same route is being taken leaving me fearing for the rights of so many and questioning the system we live by. Despite those concerns and fears, the Women's Marches of late January have left me with a sense of empowerment and inspiration as I saw men and women of all backgrounds, identities and ethnicities come together to challenge the changes which are an infringement on the basic rights of human beings. I've felt a sense of disbelief and fear that this is what the world is becoming, and so although this post may not be revolutionary, I thought it was important and much needed in sharing some positivity and love. I'm constantly inspired and motivated by the work and achievements of other women and so today I'm giving mention to those who push me to become a better person and channel some girl boss vibes whenever possible. 

First things first is Ruby Tandoh, baker, chef and columnist extraordinaire who I first discovered after she was a contestant on one of my favourite shows of all time, The Great British Bake Off. A powerful voice within the LGBTQ community, Ruby brings a whole lot of sanity to my social media feed by challenging the wellness and clean eating industries and bringing joy and love back to food which I feel we all need a little more of in our lives. Ruby inspires me to be unapologetic in challenging industries and people I disagree with and is in general one of the most compassionate and bad ass women online. Her love for One Direction further fuels my admiration for this lady and I can't help but feel I would get along with her so well IRL. If you're looking for some sanity in the food industry which can often be dominated by cacao nibs and superfood powder, follow her to bring a guilt free attitude to food onto your feed! Life is too short not to eat the cookies!

Next up are the two Charlotte's from Betty magazine, AKA the ultimate independent mag for all things fashion, lifestyle, food and the best Instagram feed to ever exist. Like ever. I am constantly inspired by the determination these ladies have shown in making their business a success, and adore both their physical magazine, social media feeds and website for the best travel recommendations going! Charlotte Jacklin is one of my fave Instagram Story contributors, and snooping at what adorable items she's bought for her future baby has quickly become my favourite pastime. Their account is one of my go-to's for style and brunch location inspiration; basically Betty is a one-stop-shop for aesthetically pleasing EVERYTHING, and I apologise in advance for the dent this is likely to leave in your bank balance. I'm super excited to see what is to come for Betty in the future and look forward to supporting these girl bosses throughout! 

Estee Lalonde has consistently remained up there within my top 5 YouTubers and bloggers because of her hilarious sense of humour, gorgeous family and totally goals sense of style. Estee inspires me for a number of reasons, but largely because of her distinctive style of videos and continuing to do 'her' rather than taking the easy route when faced with negative comments. I love her determination to stand up for issues she values, particularly when participating in the recent Women's March in London (she had one of the best placards going) and general 'no f**** given' attitude to life. I love women that support other women, and so have a lotta love for Estee and the positivity she brings to my Twitter feed daily. Her style is effortlessly 10/10, and everything about her attitude and outlook on life inspires me to be a happier and more positive human!

If you aren't familiar with Polly Vadasz then honestly, where have you been. I met Polly for the first time in 2015 after following her and her business ventures for years and she's included in this post purely because she is THE most determined, entrepreneurial and talented person I have ever met. Her online store Sighh Designs stocks an incredible range of products from phone cases to enamel pins and tote bags and everything is of the highest quality that I'm left in awe of how incredible Polly is. Not only has she begun her own business at such a young age, but she juggles a degree, boyfriend AND social life which almost puts my efforts of having my life together to shame. Her style of work is so unique and it's been a pleasure watching her shop's journey through the years; she's definitely one to follow if you're into supporting smaller businesses and the perfect human to have on your radar if you ever need some girl boss inspo. 

Although this post is intended to take a step away from politics, I couldn't help but give mention to Abby Tomlinson AKA the creator of the Milifandom from 2015s general election and all round politics queen. Making politics relevant for a generation that seems to be labelled as not interested is quite a feat, but judging by her over 30,000 Twitter followers (including Ed Miliband and Sadiq Khan themselves) she was a success in doing so! Similarly to the women above, her determination and resilience against the odds has earned her ultimate respect from me and I aspire to be as educated and all round talented as her! The way Abby tackles negativity is another of her amazing qualities and I can't help but wish I was as all round inspirational as her! Definitely a must follow.

I would love to know which women inspire you in the comments! Let's share the love and support one another, now more than ever.


Wednesday, 18 January 2017


Jacket: H&M / T-Shirt: Nobody's Child / Skirt: M&S (similar HERE) / Tights: ASOS (similar HERE) / Bag: Cambridge Satchel Company / Shoes: River Island (similar HERE) 

Shooting these outfit photos alongside the River Cam as punts glided along the water and tourists took in the spectacle that is the Cambridge Colleges reminded me just how much I adore this city I call home. Taking these photos resulted in an afternoon of film watching and blanket snuggling after completely underestimating the sub zero temperatures and just how chilly this would feel in fishnet tights. Would not recommend. I'm now back at university for my second term of second year and reminiscing over possibly the best Christmas I've ever had surrounded by family, friends and of course Scott and my cats. What more could a girl ask for? I always find the first few days after moving back North to be the most difficult; despite loving the independent university brings, I still find it so challenging to be away from my loved ones and in a place SO far from them. I'm trying to channel some ~girl boss~ vibes, and one the whole I am feeling super positive about what 2017 has to bring, both in my professional and personal lives so keeping a focus on that is my motivation for tackling this term head on! 

Speaking of girl boss, this is one outfit that makes me feel just that! I embraced fishnet tights earlier last autumn and have since not looked back. Despite their inappropriateness for January weather (I definitely couldn't feel my legs half way through this shoot), fishnets add another dimension to any look and are perfect if you're already craving bare leg weather and want a change from your normal tight look. I paired a PVC skirt with my fishnet, which is another item I've fallen head over heels for during the past couple of months. It was (surprisingly) the only addition to my wardrobe from the most recent Archive By Alexa collection but I love everything about it; especially the A-line shape and how flattering it is both for day time, or jazzed up with heels in the evening! Other notable mentions HAVE to go to my new star print Cambridge Satchel, which I think we can all agree is the bag of absolute dreams. This was a Christmas present from my v generous mum and I've used it almost every day since opening it and squealing on Christmas morning. It's the perfect size for both day and evening, with enough space to fit my essentials without tempting me to carry around items that I definitely do not need (I'm talking about you polaroid camera, 3 types of lip balm and enamel box of plasters). I'm still hanging on to a bit of festivity with the star print and navy colour but I can already tell this bag is going to remain a firm favourite for me for the rest of 2017; albeit slightly on the pricey side, Cambridge Satchels are an investment piece I would buy in a heartbeat because of just how versatile and timeless they are! 


Thursday, 5 January 2017

The 2016 favourites edit

Hello there, and a happy new year to you all! I'm coming at you today with a slightly overdue post, but with my Christmas holidays taking a completely jam packed turn, it's been a little difficult to fit in blog post writing. I've been busying myself with internship applications, writing for my uni blog, shooting outfit photos for Charlotte's Web, as well as filming for my YouTube channel; which combined with Christmas socialising and catching up with family has left me with v little spare time. Anyway, enough with the rambling and more onto the topic of today's post; my 2016 favourites, including beauty, lifestyle and food! In the past I think my yearly favourites posts have been purely focused on beauty, but since my blog has moved away from that and begun to explore different avenues, I thought it was only right that my 2016 round up reflected that! So without further ado and in no particular order, here are my favourite products/items/foods of the year:

1) Starting from the top, a skincare lifesaver that I discovered earlier this year is the La Roche Posay Serozinc toner which has become a staple in my routine, being repurchased time and time again throughout the months. La Roche Posay in general is a brand I really love; I find their products to be so calming on my problem skin and on the whole have a huge selection of reasonably affordable skincare offerings. My love for this toner extends beyond the aerosol dispenser (perfect if you're as lazy as me when it comes to toning FYI), and draws me back time and time again by how much this calms my angry spots and leaves my skin with a clean and hydrated base for make up. The toner adds a dewy look to the skin, and in combination with my Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (hint: this has also made the 2016 faves cut) is a dream team in creating soft, moisturised and clean skin! For £8.50, I can't recommend it enough and I shall definitely be using this again and again throughout the new year! 

2) Second on my 2016 love list is a book! It's the most cliche of resolutions BUT I really tried to make the effort to read more last year (when I had a spare second) and in turn I discovered what has become my all time favourite book. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is everything I love in a novel; from the characters that I felt such affinity with, to the rollercoaster of emotions that created so many different feelings for me throughout. Being a bit of a history lover, the German war time setting was one I adored and the range of perspectives through which the narration is told makes for a story that is complex and emotive. The basic story follows a young girl named Leisel whom is given up by her mother to live with an adoptive family as she can no longer care for her. It follows Leisel's life in her new home of Molching and documents the everyday happenings of a young girl growing up in an unfamiliar place, with the impact of war becoming greater as the novel progresses. I've read so many books related to the topic of war but this one really touched me; if there's one book I recommend you to read in 2017, it's this one!

3) This next favourite really is a staple in my routine, having only purchased it first in early December it's been such a lifesaver for me that it's already made it to my 2016 faves. The Tattoo Me liner from 17 is everything I seek in a liquid liner; jet black (with no signs of losing its colour and turning grey!), super long lasting AND affordable. I couldn't ask for anything more in a product! I wear a cat eye look every single day and I was struggling with my felt tip liners drying up or losing their colour within the first few weeks, making the 17 alternative a lifesaver. The staying power of this product can't be rivalled by anything else I've tried, and I actually struggle to remove it sometimes because it's that long lasting. I would 100% recommend getting your hands on this product, whether you're a long time eyeliner lover like me, or are looking to try a different look in 2017, you can't go wrong for £4.99!

4) A foodie favourite next! 2016 was the year I fully committed to being vegetarian and haven't looked back since! Part of my journey to vegetarianism led me to understand the cruelties that come along with the dairy industry, and so as part of my mission to reduce as much of my dairy intake as possible I began to look for snacks that were (relatively) healthy, as well as vegan! Nakd bars have since become a staple in my weekly shop, and despite their not-so-cheap price tag, the range of flavours and the fact they're one of your five a day has made them a winner all round for me! I find them to be super filling as well as deliciously tasty so would recommend to anyone looking to reduce their dairy intake in the form of snacks, or simply wanting something different to try in 2017! My favourite flavours have to be bakewell tart and carrot cake, in case you were wondering.

5) I'm not usually one for blush, but 2016 was the year I fell head over heels for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in the shade Iridescent Pink, which is the ultimate product for glowing cheeks! I'm not too confident when it comes to contour, so adding a little colour into my face in the form of blush has been my fool-proof method in 2016. I particularly love this Hourglass blush, not only because of the perfect pinky tone for my skin, but the depth created by the glow makes for a finish that looks natural and flawless on the skin! The final look is soft and therefore perfect for someone like me who can sometimes be a little heavy handed with their blush; I couldn't recommend this more for other blush novices out there!

6) The Sephora Pro Airbrush Finish #55 brush has been another beauty staple for me this year, creating a natural and dewy look with any foundation I've applied with it. I particularly love this brush because it disperses foundation so evenly across my face, meaning building up coverage is super easy and with no streaks in sight! In the past I've used it for blush before and loved it equally as much, so it's a great all round product that means you'll definitely get your money's worth.

7) Onto a tech favourite now, the Sony A5000 camera has definitely been one of my biggest loves from the past year. 2016 was the year I started my YouTube channel and this camera has made that SO much easier, with it's flip up screen and easy to adjust settings! I was initially only going to use this camera for out and about vlogging, due to its compact nature and small (ish) lens, but I've found myself using it even when filming in the house over my DSLR because the flip out screen function is SO handy. Scott was the one who purchased this camera back in April, and I've somehow adopted it as the months have gone by, but I love it so much that I would totally be prepared to part with my own money for one if he wanted this one back (lol). It's great because as well as the standard lens that it comes with, there's also the option to switch to more professional lenses meaning a range of shots can be achieved from what is otherwise a compact camera! Wifi is another feature of the camera, meaning you can instantly connect to your phone and retrieve photos that way which I just love!

8) My final favourite for 2016 has to be my Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel which has revolutionised the way my skin looks. The gel to oil consistency is super hydrating, creating a dewy finish to the skin and leaving it feeling clean, moisturised and in perfect condition for make up application! The abundance of amazing ingredients have done my skin the world of good, including pumpkin enzymes, rose and chamomile which both calm my problem skin, whilst reducing scarring and obvious signs of blemishes. I love using this cleanser to remove make up too, and find it dissolves foundation and eyeliner SO easily; it really is an all round perfect product that is 100% worth the hype! 

So that's it! Another yearly favourites post done and dusted! I really hope you enjoyed the additions of lifestyle, food and technology bits as well as the usual beauty and skincare additions; I had a lot of fun putting together the things I've been loving! I'm super excited for 2017 on Charlotte's Web, so follow me on Bloglovin' if you aren't already so you never miss a post!
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