For as long as I can remember, I've been on the hunt for that perfect pinafore dress. Maybe it's because I've rewatched season one of Gossip Girl far too many times than I'd care to admit, but more often or not, my outfits are very influenced by a certain Miss Waldorf. So when I was browsing my local New Look store the other week, I knew I'd have to get my hands on it. Whilst it's potentially not the most flattering (nor windy-weather appropriate as I found out the hard way...) it's one of those pieces you can wear all year round, and I can't wait to pair it with my roll neck jumpers once it gets a little cooler.
Since the sun made it's appearance in Newcastle the day I was taking these photographs, I decided to go for this white blouse that is one of my summer staples. With a tie-front neckline and cute polka dot print, it's a nice little twist on a classic which I really like. I've been pairing it with everything from more formal pieces to raw hem denim and there isn't a single thing it doesn't go with! And of course, we can't bypass the amazingness that is this backpack, right? If there's one colour this season that I can't get enough of, it's silver. I'm yet to find my dreamy pair of silver shoes that fit (boo!) but for now, this adorable mini backpack is with me every day. It's big enough to fit in all of the essentials (camera included) whilst not being too bulky or back-breakingly heavy which is perfect.
Ps. Did you know that you now have the opportunity to feature over on the New Look blog? Just head over to their #ThisIsNewLook page, upload their picture and you're entered into a competition to win a £200 voucher. Pretty cool, eh?!
So what are your summer staples this year? Anything you think I need in my wardrobe?
As bloggers, many hours can be spent at the weekends and evenings typing up posts, editing photographs, scheduling social media etc. It can be rather tricky at times to stay inspired and motivated, so in the past few years I've learnt some tips along the way which have seriously helped me and my productivity levels that I thought I'd share with you today!
- Make yourself an inspiring workspace - One of my main priorities when it comes to working from home is getting my environment just write. I like to surround myself with things that keep me inspired and don't distract me from my task in hand. For a lot of my blogging I tend to work from a tiny desk in my room, filled with my favourite reads, plenty of notebooks (because notebooks) and of course, all of the copper stationery (stapler, pen & tape dispenser - Tom Dixon set from Mayfair Home Furniture) - aren't these featured in the above photograph incredible?! They are all of the stationery goals, right?! I like to make sure everything I could possibly need is within reaching distances, because let's be honest a quick 5 minute break to get a drink always turns into an hour!
- Have a clear difference between where you work and where you relax - Related to the above point, it is so so so important to have a different space to work and a different space to relax. For the longest time, I used to write each blog post whilst sat comfortably in bed and then I realised, whenever I went to bed, I couldn't sleep because I felt guilty for not doing work. I'd stress over what was still left on my to do list, what I could be doing with my time and what I'm struggling with - none of which were healthy, and actually led me to numerous sleepless nights and anxiety attacks, which I can confirm are not fun! I've since started doing my work elsewhere, and I've noticed a huge difference; I'm able to sleep well (for me) and I don't feel bad for choosing to relax over doing work.
- Get into a routine - This is something I really struggle with, but getting into a day to day routine is so important. Set your alarm for a sensible time, make sure you get dressed, make your bed (because it can be all too tempting to blog from there!) and give yourself a cut off time at the end of the day. Everyone works their best differently, so take that into account and create a schedule around that - depending on which times of the day is your most productive!
- If a task is only going to take 2 minutes, do it straight away! - I love a good to-do list, but one thing I've learnt, is that if a task is going to take a couple of minutes, then instead of putting it off, it's quicker (and more productive) to just get it done and out of the way. Maybe it's just me, but it gets me feeling more ready to work and in the mindset that I need to be in to get my jobs of the day done.
- Eliminate distractions - It can be really easy to get distracted when doing work, especially so when in your home, so trying to eliminate any distraction is a must. For me, if I really need to knuckle down, I'll switch my phone to airplane mode, try and find a quiet area to work in and close all social media tabs from my macbook. And if something is really bugging me, I'll tell myself that I'll have a 5 minute break for every task that's completed - whether than 20 more photographs edited or 100 more words written.
- Plan your day - At the start of each day, I like to make sure I know what plans I've got for the day ahead. It stops me from procrastinating so much and I find it makes me more productive on a day to day basis. You've got to be pretty harsh with yourself and think, would this be acceptable to do at work? If not, you probably should get focussed on doing your task.
- Maintain a social life and get outside - Working from home can be really lonely at times, and falling into a routine of sitting alone in your house day in day out and not doing much else is super unhealthy. A few weeks ago now, I found myself in a position where I couldn't afford to get a bus into town or anything. So instead of going for walks around where I live, I sat in my house for weeks on end, and it wasn't my finest idea. I felt my mental health worsen and it was a generally bad time for me. So it's crucial to ensure you spend time outside of your house and with other people. For me, I love spending my evenings catching up my friends. Don't let work overlap with your life!
So what are your tips on working from home? I'd love to hear your suggestions!
So I hope you don't mind how late these posts are, but this is another outfit post from my holidays a little over a month ago. For me, if there's one thing I'm really self conscious over - it's the tops of my arms. They're an area I could definitely do with toning up (I really almost didn't put up this post at all because ew) so for me, sleeveless/strappy tops tend to be a total no-go. However, when I found this one (originally from MANGO) in my local charity shop for a few quid, I couldn't resist. Its colour palette really caught my eye, with its earthy tones being something I knew would match with a lot of pieces I already own in my wardrobe.
For this outfit, I decided to keep it quite casual, pairing it with this pair of navy culottes I picked up in Urban Outfitters a few years ago. They've actually been tucked away on my 'to sell' pile in my room for the past 12 months, however, I thought I'd give them another go and looking at these pictures - I think I'll just have to keep them! Can you remember when wearing fake birkenstocks with everything was a huge trend two summers ago? Well, I've fallen back in love with them. I remember wearing them every day for months on end, but they got threw into the back of my wardrobe and forgotten about until now. They're the comfiest shoes on earth, I love how they tie together an outfit, making it look totally effortless and laid-back. It's definitely not my usual style, but sometimes you just have to try something a little different and that's totally okay - I'm really happy with how this outfit turned out!
Just a little short post from me, I'm currently swamped in University prep as I'm hopefully returning to complete my third year in September after a two year leave of absence (due to family issues and my own mental health being generally rubbish) so things are pretty hectic and I've already failed on the whole posting every other day thing, doh!. I'll probably do a big ol' life catch up post on here in the near future - but I've had a productive few days so I finally have some time to focus on here again, yay!
So what do you think of this outfit? Anyone else totally scared of sleeveless tops like me?! Also, who spotted that my nails are painted on one hand and not the other in these photographs - OOPS!