3 WAYS TO WEAR A DENIM SHIRT WITH NEW LOOK #3: DRESSY(ISH)

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Outfit Details: Denim Shirt – c/o New Look, Skirt – Primark, Sleeveless Blazer – Primark, Shoes – Primark, Hat – Primark, Sunglasses – Primark, Tights – c/o Uk Tights, Bag – Helen’s
(Quick apologies for the grainy photographs – I set the wrong camera settings, doh!)

Here with are with my final instalment of the styling challenge I was given by the lovely people over at New Look. I’ve had a really fun time thinking of different ways to dress up the denim shirt, and I’m happy with how they’ve turned out, especially this final one – the dressy version. Okay, so it’s not dressy-dressy, but it’s not too casual either, and it’s certainly very wearable during the day and at night. Pssst, if you haven’t already, make sure you check out my first and second outfits.

Onto the outfit itself, which, without me even realising, is pretty much all Primark (apart from the denim shirt of course, and the bag that I borrowed off Helen). What can I say? I just love Primark and I fully support that you can find some great things in there if you’re willing to root around. My latest find is this sleeveless blazer which caught my eye the other day on a quick visit. I’d been after a sleeveless duster or blazer for a little while, but didn’t want to pay too much – as I didn’t know whether it would suit me and my wardrobe. So when I spotted this Primark offering, I had to pick it up! I love what it adds to my style, and I’m sure it won’t be the final time you see it in my outfit posts. To add some print to this outfit, I decided on this palm print skirt which I bought last summer and got a surprising amount of wear from.

I’ll let you in on a little secret here, but in the majority of my outfit photographs that I’m going all bare-legged… I’m normally wearing a pair of skin coloured tights. I know, I know, it’s terrible right, but my legs are that pale that they tend to go over-exposed in photographs and cause a bit of a lighting nightmare (l o l)! And with that I’ve had the dilemma of wanting to wear open-toed sandals and not being able to, until that is, I was contacted by UK Tights whether I’d like to try a few of their toeless tights. I think it’s pretty safe to say that they are da bomb, such a handy thing to have and you can’t even tell I’m wearing them, which gets a thumbs up in my books. Finally, as this outfit is a little dressier than the others, I thought it were a perfect time to sport a red lip (Topshop Velvet Lips, if you’re wondering) and match it with this dreamy Mulberry bag.
Who says you can’t match your lip colour and bag? I’m all for it!

xxxx

Which of the three outfits have been your favourite? I’d love to know!

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A LIFE UPDATE

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I’ve been a little quiet on the ol’ blog recently, and this isn’t me giving excuses – but I thought it would be nice to give an update and some insight into what I’ve been up to the past few weeks.
2015 didn’t start off in the most ideal way, but things are changing and I’m in a happy place right now.   Instead of wallowing in self pity and anxiety, I decided to get a grip and start fighting back at the negative thoughts – doing things that scared me, but more on that in a later post. Now I’m not saying I’m cured or anything, but I’ve started travelling alone again and regaining my independence and generally feeling a lot better about things. It’s only been a few weeks, but I’ve already had some incredible opportunities come my way and it really feels like things are starting to fall into place.
On Monday I’ll be doing a work placement for 3(ish) weeks, helping out with a local fashion magazine, attending shoots and even helping host their very own bloggers event. I’m a little bundle of nerves and excitement, but I’m ready to learn as many new things as I possibly can and tackle any challenges that get in my way. Obviously this will be taking up a lot of my time, although I’ll be updating via Twitter and Instagram, so posts may be a little over the place for the next few weeks. I’m trying to get as many posts ready and scheduled as I can, but please bear me!
I’ve also started to knuckle down with my university work, as some of you may know, I’m currently studying my third (and final – eek!) year from home. I’d originally planned on creating a fashion magazine as part of my dissertation, but I’m currently in the midst of a little crisis of indecision and may be launching a website instead. I’ll be looking for a team of writers and any creatives (MUAs, photographers, stylists, illustrators etc) so feel free to get in touch if you’d like to get involved – I’d love to have you on board!
And this is where I need your help. I’m currently needing to reach another 50 responses on this super short survey about web usage for creatives, blogging etc. – so if you could fill this in, I’d really appreciate it. It’s for my dissertation and it’s pretty important, and will certainly help with my final decision.
xxxx
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THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE

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Something that’s very present in my day to day life right now is anxiety, as having suffered from a young age, it’s unfortunately become worse over the past three or so years. I go through phases which are bearable, and I can sort of get along with day to day things – as long they’re controlled. However, the past few months have been pretty challenging for me with agoraphobia leaving me unable to leave the house on my own (hence the lack of outfit posts recently). It’s something I’m working on, but if it’s taught me one thing, it’s definitely the importance of looking after yourself and doing what works for you.

Today is #timetotalk day, a campaign which I fully support, as it encourages people to be more open about their battles with mental health, a topic that isn’t talked about as much as it should be. There’s an awful lot of stigmas that come attached to mental health in general, which to this day still bewilders me. It’s something that I’m very passionate about, after many personal experiences around mental illness have directly affected me and my family in the past few years. I’d love to raise more awareness on the subject, and I hope to do that in a future post.

Anyway, here are a few of the things that have been helping me the past few months:

– Accepting the problem. I’ll openly admit that when it comes to my own mental health problems in the past, I’m very much an emotional ostrich – I bury my problems in the sand and hope they’ll somewhat disappear on their own. In recent years I’ve learnt that this isn’t the case at all, and can actually prolong the problem (which is what I think has caused this recent spell of crippling agoraphobia). There’s this pressure to ‘be happy’ and while I think that’s all well and good, sometimes you just aren’t, and you know what? That’s perfectly fine. Accept you’re having a bad day, a bad month, a bad year even – it’s really not the end of the world. There’s always tomorrow and it will pass, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and you’ll get there. Somethings can’t easily be fixed, but you can learn ways to help you.

– Work out what you want. Our own mental health is something very personal to each and every one of us, with us all having difficult coping methods. I often hide away from everyone, pushing away my friends as a method of cutting myself off from my own problems, which I know it leads to me overthinking and becoming more withdrawn. But realising that has allowed me to change my ways. Now I know that some people prefer to be surrounded with friends while they’re going through bad times. It’s all trial and error, what makes you feel better and what makes you feel worse. But do whatever works for you (of course, as long as no harm is coming to you).

– Mindfulness. A relatively new concept, me and my family have been advised a lot recently to practice the art of Mindfulness. Now I’m planning on doing a more detailed post on this in the future, so I’ll be brief, but it’s basically a different way of training your brain to alter your thoughts. It kind of gives it away in it’s name, Mind-ful-ness, as it encourages you to think in the present. It’s very easy to fall into the habits of thinking about what if, or past mistakes, but mindfulness allows you to put all of your focus into the present moment. It takes some practice, but I’ve heard it’s a very useful skill to have – and there’s plenty of books out there now to help you along the learning process.

– Take some time out. We’ve all had those days where instead of letting ourselves chill out, we’ve thrown ourselves into a project or something to try and distract our minds. Whilst that may work for some, I’ve personally found that it’ll be the answer for a little while… until I totally burn out and find myself both mentally and physically exhausted. If you’ve got a physical illness like the flu, you’ll rest. Now, if you’ve got a mental illness, what’s the difference?

– Put yourself first. Sounds selfish, I know I know. But the importance of self-care is very much based on the idea that you need to look after yourself, because you sure as hell deserve it. If you follow me on Twitter, you may or may not know that unfortunately my family have had an awful lot to deal with in recent years and in the summer of 2014, I found myself taking on the role helping to care for an incredibly ill sibling of mine. Whilst it’s still very much an ongoing problem, I’ve learnt that my way of dealing with the issue wasn’t the best one (even if it did seem like it at the time). I put a lot of extra responsibility on myself, letting myself become exhausted, at the time when they needed my support my most and I couldn’t give that. Look after yourself, it’s so important that you do.

– Find something that you enjoy (and most importantly, that works for you), and do it. If you’ve read my blog a while, you’ll know that I took a little blogging hiatus around Sept/Oct last year, as at the time I spending a lot of my time at hospital with my family. I absolutely love blogging, and I find it to be very therapeutic, as I’m able to put my energy into creating the best posts I can. However, as some what of a perfectionist, instead of using it as an escape, I used it as an extra stress and found myself putting an awful lot of unnecessary pressure on myself. Whilst I still loved to blog, it didn’t work for me at that time, so I took a little time out and its the best decision I’ve ever made. Don’t put that extra pressure on yourself. Don’t want to blog? Don’t. Instead I’d read a book and immerse myself in that, or I’d do a word search, or I’d watch every episode of The US episode. Treat yo self.

– When Anxiety Strikes, a simple concept launched by a friend of mine, I keep this tumblr bookmarked at all times. It’s a wonderful resource page filled with positive, uplifting thoughts for you to remember on those darker days.

– And just remember, you’re just as important and worthy of happiness/peace as any one else.
Don’t ever forget that.

xxxx

Let me know you’re suggestions, I’m sure they’ll be a massive help to everyone!

(Ps. I’d love to know what you’d think about me doing more lifestyle/advice posts like this, there’s some many topics I feel like I could cover!)

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