At the weekend, I love wearing a decent pair of jeans with some comfy trainers and a cross body. Come evening, I don’t mind sticking on some heels and getting a bit more glammed up. Now that I freelance and work from home, my weekday wardrobe almost became my weekend wardrobe. But like most ladies, I’m never sure what to wear. It’s also annoying when your partner is ready to leave and hurrying you up.
As a blogger I’m often asked to review new launches or try out products before they’re on the market. The truth is I only truly love a small proportion of them. Whilst I do love trying new bits and pieces, there are always a core selection of products that I can’t live without. Ones that I always come back to, that work. They’re the product’s I’ll use until empty and those I’ll always replace because they really are, that great.
When I set up my blog, it was a small non-profit website with very few followers. Inspired by my new hobby (tech, website design, SEO and fashion) I started it alongside my day job at a well known magazine. Back then I never intended on blogging full time. I just wanted to practice writing and constantly tweak my site to improve it. I’ve no shame in admitting that my initial posts were terrible but rather than quit I stuck with it, driven by my enjoyment of learning new things and seeing those few extra followers each week reading my posts and clicking links. I never worried about registering as a company, paying tax and National Insurance because I wasn’t earning money from it. When I did start earning money from blogging though, I knew I had to set aside 40% for tax because of my other salary too. Tax on two ‘jobs’ depends on total income: £0 – £5,000 (0% tax), £0-£32k (20% tax), £32-£150k (40% tax), £150k+ (45% tax).
Coasting through life is not something I do easily. In fact, I’m forever having a plan, goals and a calendar to abide by. This year? I found out I’m pregnant, planned a wedding, got married, learned to drive and passed my test. Right now? We’re renovating our home (moving our kitchen to an entirely different room, creating a baby room and some repairs) which can be stressful. “Are you sure the gas will be blocked off correctly?” I find myself worryingly ask my builder. We’re also preparing for our first child alongside blogging on here and LittleInTheCity.com. But whilst one could say it’s the most important time to be preparing and planning, is it wrong that all I want to do is chill out and cruise for a bit?
I’ve recently invested in a few pom pom pieces to adorn practically any outfit this Summer. No longer the reserve of 8 year olds at Sunday birthday parties, the pom pom trend has quickly made a come back on runways and High Street shops alike. I’m loving the pop of colour and the fact that I can now pretty much customise anything in my wardrobe to give it a little Summer update. Some really cool pom poms in all different colours and sizes can be bought easily at Hobbycraft or your local haberdashery. Just stick and go!
When your clothes start piling up, it’s worth considering a typical addicts behaviour to determine whether or not your items are owning you. I used to think I was in control of my wardrobe but like hundreds of women, it occasionally gets a bit too much and I need a clear out.
So am I addicted to keeping things?
It led me to some thinking. Am I at peace just so long as I have something rather than possessing something I absolutely adore? Are the things I buy things that I can look at and enjoy everyday? Am I telling myself that I can stop (if I want to) but like a typical addict, don’t?
(*Sponsored*) It’s no secret that I love a good salon treatment. For me it’s a chance to relax and have some well enjoyed ‘me time’. But let’s be real, all of these salon visits can stack up financially. Plus who really has the time for frequent appointments when you factor in travelling to get there, hanging around and coming back? With this in mind, I’ve teamed up with Panasonic to share with you some of their research. It really makes you see why their amazing offerings help you save both time and money.
Over countless glasses of wine (pre-pregnancy obviously) and cups of coffee with PR’s, fellow bloggers and clients conversation often touches upon the subject of blog post content. The ideas, the topics but more importantly, at what point do you stop sharing? Well I’ve always been a pretty open book. During my Uni days I’d tell anyone who would listen about my relationship woes or my course problems. I’d celebrate every success no matter how small with people. I’d say I’ve always been pretty approachable. So when it comes to moving to London, working for magazines and writing a blog, I’ve always been keen to offer my advice and experience. Probably a little too much sometimes.
Choosing to end my career, a career that I’d moved from South Wales to London for, didn’t come easy. My blog was around a year old when I left GQ and it was such a daunting thing to do. I’ve been in employment since I was 13 years old and spent a good eight years getting to where I did at Condé Nast so the prospect of being my own boss came with both its perks and concerns. What if the blog nose dived? Would I miss that salary? Would I get lonely?
But what if it went really well? If it grew and started doubling traffic every month? I’d saved in advance so that I’d be able to survive for three months without a salary but aside from that and filling my diary and scheduling content, there was little else I could do to prepare. Overall, with the anticipation and freedom to no longer consider the blog a side project but a full time job came plenty of optimism. But of course, ask anyone who is self employed and they’ll probably all tell you the same. The story doesn’t end there.
Right now we’re knee deep in election mayhem. Propaganda, defensive responses, ridiculously un-costed and over delivered promises… It’s difficult to switch on the TV without some element of general election news. And what comes part and parcel with election season? Election sabotage. Parties looking to throw shade at the opposition, rumours and provocative scare mongering. Particularly on social media. So of course it’s in the interest of Theresa May (etc.) to be strong, eloquent and the best they can be to not obstruct their own opportunity.
It got me thinking about the way in which we as a society let our own personal problems interfere with our goals (both long and short term). Might I have a tendency to self sabotage? Am I sometimes my biggest problem? It got me wondering about my behaviour and the occasions where I’ve let myself get in the way of my ambitions.
I moved to London knowing only a few people. One of my close school friends and my best friend that I’d made at Uni (and her then partner). Having lived in Bristol for four for years for Uni, I made it my goal upon graduating to gain employment in the big smoke. I was absolutely drawn to the bright lights (and nightlife!).
My first job was at a publishing company, Hearst, who created around 16 magazines at the time including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Harpers BAZAAR and Mens Health. I packed up and moved to Putney in a gorgeously spacious modern home shared with the people I knew. That first year, all responsibilities were a minefield and most of my money went on cheap wine and rent (average rental of one bedroom in a house share is £950 a month if you’re interested).
(*Sponsored*) Hands up if you love a beauty subscription box but are usually super disappointed when they arrive (me!). Well I feel your pain so when I teamed up with Roccabox to bring you a beauty box this May, I took everything into consideration. Value for money? Check. Decent products? Of course. Things I’d use myself? Naturally. Most of all, I wanted to offer as many full size and luxe size products as possible from some of the best and upcoming brands on the market.
With just under a fortnight to go until my wedding, naturally I turned to the Met Gala for makeup inspiration. Although the theme is dramatic (and often extreme), there are always some well made up, natural looking faces to enhance an outfit. For a wedding, I’ve surpassed my desire for thick red lips and Bambi lashes with feline flicks and am back to beautiful looking natural ways to enhance what I already have. The winner at the Met Gala? Gisele.
She turned to Marc Jacobs Artistry Ambassador, Hung Vanngo for her classic and sophisticated makeup look. Here’s what he used and how you too can recreate the look.
Do you ever get that turn in your stomach? The one when you’re about to do something that you really don’t want to do? Have you felt that fluttering all over your body when you want to say no but you’ve already said yes to an upcoming situation you’d rather avoid? I acknowledged these kinds of feelings in my post ‘How To Stop Saying Yes & Regain Your Life’. Here I talked about becoming less of a ‘yes’ person and more of a ‘me first’ kind of gal. But it did get me thinking.
A staple in any Summer capsule collection, a good pair of sunglasses are an investment I make each year. Aside from the style factor, they are of course practical and a necessity in the sunshine so I don’t mind spending that extra penny on a good pair that will last all season (and beyond). There are so many styles around (just check out Net A Porter!) from 60’s to oval, from round to aviator.