Thursday, January 23
Test-driving Hyundai's new i10 in Lisbon | #GoBig

Lisbon, Portugal

Test-driving Hyundai's new i10 in Lisbon | #GoBig

Thursday, January 23

*this post is sponsored by Hyundai
, however all opinions, anecdotes and rambles belong to yours truly

moving to london has come with a whole host of ups but there’s definitely also been some downsides to doing so. sacrificing driving being one of them. now i know it’s not the be all and end all, and i could’ve technically carried on having my car whilst i was up here but from past experience, it began to become a little irrelevant for the day-to-day and was ditched in favour of public transport, simply because i was already near to where i needed to be. living in brighton meant i had to travel further to get to places because we lived on the outskirts but now being in brixton, this is less of a necessity. 

and yet, i realise, something i hugely miss.


driving, for me, was never just to get from a to b. it was an experience; it was an escape and most of all ( and probably strangest ), it was therapy. it got me through some of my toughest times and being able to have that freedom, whilst also maintaining an environment of comfort and homeliness, as well as providing a distraction, created the perfect balance to nurture my anxiety. 


being offered the opportunity to test-drive Hyundai’s new i10 was, therefore, never going to be one to turn down, especially after seeing it was pretty much built to cater to all of our modern day needs ( and is the ideal size i love to drive ~ little cars are the way forwards imo and this still even manages to pack in five seats ). throw, also, into the mix, the opportunity to do so in lisbon ~ a city i’ve always dreamt of visiting but never quite followed through, and i had my suitcase packed before you could even say ‘i10’.

Hyundai have really focused on streamlining each aspect of the driving experience so, despite it being my first time on the opposite side of the road, and brenda ( the car’s new, given name ) being an automatic which i’m not entirely used to, i felt fully at home and in true comfort. it’s sort of tardis-esque in its function; appearing small on the outside but can shuffle around a full family, a whole loada luggage and probably the odd furry animal without feeling cramped and for that, i can only applaud ... the #GoBig campaign tagline meaning is made abundantly clear by this, on entry. 


some features worth noting, available on the new i10 :

~ eight-inch central navigation touchscreen
~ wireless charging
~ apple carplay and android auto connectivity
~ bluetooth connectivity
~ heated front seats and steering wheel
~ rear-view parking camera
~ Lane Keep Assist and autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning ( using the front camera to monitor road lines and distances between other cars to avoid or minimise accidents )
~ cruise control
~ GPS vehicle locating ability
~ smartphone navigation control and remote locking

i think we can safely say i came away with, not only a strong desire to return to lisbon ( hello quaint, little corners and hand-painted tiles dotted in between incredible pieces of street art and some v v tasty, vegan natas ), but also with brenda firmly stuck in my mind and i’m already missing her companionship. there are ten colour variations available of this model, so you'd be hard-pushed not to find your match but let’s be honest, i was always going to opt for a mono/neutral palette with mine ... what say you ???

cheers to hopefully being behind the wheel some more in 2020!

*outfit co-ordination may or may not have been planned in advance

Friday, August 2
My Hair Transformation with TONI&GUY

London, UK

My Hair Transformation with TONI&GUY

Friday, August 2
 if you're familiar with the 'heartbreak bob' then hi! i went for it! i sure as hell (but slightly unwittingly at the time) went for it ... 

if you aren't, then it essentially goes along the lines of every girl wanting a drastic appearance overhaul and chopping all their locks off shortly after their heart has been smashed into teeny, tiny pieces... the proverbial comeback that is greater than the setback. fun, huh? and that's essentially it in a nutshell

THE CONSULTATION

before my consultation with TONI&GUY, we were discussing their Colour Menu - you see, I wanted to move away from the dull, one-toned brunette (pictured above) which took me back to my teen years, when i first started caring about my hair and boys and all that nonsense, yet i still wanted to keep it natural

but as time went on, a loada crap happened in my life and we moved closer to the actual consultation, all i could think of was 'i want to go back blonde'... oh and also 'can i chop all my hair off????'

so that was where we were at.

the Colour Menu was created to make the world of hair colouring a whole lot easier - you simply pour out your hair's life story in the initial consultation, discussing end results, past mishaps, hair length, hair style etc etc and voila! they suggest the most suitable route, colour options and personalised aftercare routine to achieve your best, desired result

we went searching through a giant book of hair samples, selecting the perfect colours to produce a multi-tonal outcome, which incorporated warm brown roots, copper and of course, blonde

as always, i did not make their lives easy...

THE FIRST APPOINTMENT

and lo & behold, we had ventured back to the light side again:

 goldeny, coppery, blondey goodness, using the corrective balayage technique, done by TONI&GUY's international technical director, Siobhan Golden. a highly appropriate name if you ask me

THE REFRESH

a few months later and naturally, i wanted more. there are always swings and roundabouts when it comes to coloured blonde hair - of course, it requires more upkeep, protection and maintenance, but more maintenance equals more trips to the salon and be honest, who doesn't love a good refresh, blow dry and head massage when they're at home? (/at the salon but i really wanted to use this phrase for alliteration)

i headed to TONI&GUY long acre this time, where the heartbreak bob came into full effect. i was long over it at this point, however the lust for further changes was apparently still prevalent

and so we went even blonder. and even shorter. and as blunt as can possibly be (something i've often been described as myself...)

THE AFTERCARE

having pre-lightened and heat-styled-on-the-reg hair means aftercare is a huuuuge part of my routine. my hair was naturally corkscrew curls but after a home-chemical-straightening-kit disaster in my early teens (after being told by a male human that it looked prettier this way, thank you so much!!), nowadays i'm left with, what can only be described as a horror of strange waves, ringlets and random straight sections which don't really know where they belong ... *laughs to pretend she's over it ten years later but actually her heart still hurts inside*

so, for now, the straighteners stay put.

after my initial colour, i was prescribed a strong course of 'treatment shampoo' and 'intensive repair conditioner', alternated with the 'colour stay shampoo' and 'moisturising conditioner' from label.m - i.e. the perfect product cocktail to keep both the colour and its condition tip-top. safe to say it works, as four months later, the blonde is still doing its thang despite a few grown out roots!

the two products pictured above (anti-frizz cream, rejuvenating radiance oil) are my hot weather saviours - the ones you use to avoid any monica from friends "it's the humidity" moments which would have absolutely occurred where these were shot, in bali. i'm a huge fan of hair oils and will never go on a trip without one in tow but i'll have you know, having tested my fair share, that it is entirely possible for an oil to be too oily. you know the thick, syrupy kind which leave your hair feeling all heavy, flat and sorry for itself? none of that, please. this one is a lightweight dream which, i swear to god, leaves it looking less damaged on immediate contact. a true miracle

for those unaware, the label.m brand is TONI&GUY's own professional haircare range which literally covers every possible category that locks could need. it's developed, tried and tested by their art team and now tried, tested and loved by me, so they clearly know what they're on about to be honest...


*this post was sponsored by TONI&GUY, however all opinions, anecdotes and rambles belong to yours truly




Wednesday, December 12
Not Another Mental Health & Self Acceptance Post ...

Brighton, UK

Not Another Mental Health & Self Acceptance Post ...

Wednesday, December 12
you’d never know unless i told you, but these photos were taken a few hours following a rather extreme and out of the blue anxiety attack. those of you familiar know it doesn’t just go away after the ‘height’ of it and i can reluctantly confirm that i definitely cried and freaked out both prior to and (quite) a few times after this little photo break. and i’d definitely just done a full face of cute make up before the former ... #goals

you see, it’s funny because i look back at these images and whilst i adore the location (hometowns will always be special), the colours, the compositions, the ‘couldn’t-be-more-me-if-it-tried’ ensemble (if i’m not wearing knitwear and trainers i do not feel my true form); they will forever evoke that memory of how i felt that day. and the aftermath thereafter

and you might think that this would make me hate them but personally? i think maybe that’s why i like them so much

[ the aforementioned gola classics which provided a sense of comfort amongst the chaos. i've worn these non stop since i got them and love the little, green accent on the back ~ reminiscent of an old school tennis shoe ]

SHOP MY LOOK



to an outsider, they’re just another load of street style photos, shot (beautifully, might i add, thank you @bethanyevisuals) by another fashion blogger, in front of another aesthetically pleasing building. but to me, they’re so much more

they’re proof. proof of me feeling hopeless yet still managing to stand in front of a camera and shoot. proof of me feeling like the world is against me yet still producing content i’m more proud to share with it than i’ve been in a while. proof that although i feel weak, i actually did a damn good job at being strong, willing myself to smile and carrying on. and proof that yeah, whilst that was a bloody horrible day, it was also a bloody lovely one. and i completed it. with a sea view and the sun shining, in one of my favourite cities. oh, and there was a surplus of gin to boot (not the answer, kids ~ i just like it anyway. you do you hun)

so next time you try to judge yourself for being ‘crap’ or ‘useless’, how about reminding yourself of the things you managed to achieve that day? next time you see a picture of yourself, taken during a period you weren’t at your peak, how about reminding yourself of how you felt and look at where you are now. it may even be much of the same but hey, i guess that means you got through it the first time, amirite ??

this all works for how we view other people too

pictures don’t need to be surface level ‘curated fakery’ ... they often hold things we might, at first, not even notice about ourselves, let alone our peers

i’ve been trying to focus recently on accepting certain things as part of me. it doesn’t mean they have to take control, it just means i’ve acknowledged their existence and i’m subsequently better equipped to cope with them

there’s this maverick sabre lyric which forever floats around in my head:

“my insecurities don’t pay rent, but they’re living with me”

and if there was ever a perfect time to whip that reference out, i reckon it’s now (won’t be rapping it though so you can envisage that one for yourselves) ...

blazer | c/o & other stories (identical here)
skirt | monsoon
sunglasses | celine marta
trainers | c/o gola

rounding off, following the talks of my 'comfort blanket' the 'inca' trainers are my current, vintage inspired go-to's for those daily run arounds, with a timeless feel that's been taken straight from the courts. you'll be happy to hear that they feature in both the men's and women's collections, in a range of colours if you fancy a stray away from the classic!

am i the only one who finds a surprising amount of solace in wearing things where i feel most at home?


*this post was sponsored by gola, however all opinions, anecdotes and rambles belong to yours truly
Saturday, November 17
2018 : The Year I Learned to Love Travelling

London, UK

2018 : The Year I Learned to Love Travelling

Saturday, November 17
highly aware i'm starting to sound like a bit of a broken record but look who's back on the blog again!

now if you're after a profound think piece about where i've been, what i've learnt and how i've found myself, then i'm afraid you're gunna have to wait 'til i have some sort of epiphany and life becomes a little more settled and certain because right now i'm only sure of two things:

one - adulting sucks.

two - travelling is a treat for the soul.

i'm not gunna go into grave detail on the former because quite frankly, if you're reading this, i know you get it (i still look at my demographics from time to time - i see ya!)

being honest, this year has been tough. dealing with heartbreak (anyone got any remedies which don't involve sugar because my sweet tooth seems to no longer be a thing and my dentist may hate me); house moves; mental and physical health issues; stress, plus having withdrawal symptoms from my world-travelling sister whom i miss dearly, has certainly taken its toll

but the latter?

 i think i've been away more in twenty-eighteen than i have in my entire twenty-four years (okay maybe a slight exaggeration but i'm rolling with it) and whilst, admittedly, packing is no longer filled with the sheer excitement it once projected during childhood, and has somewhat been replaced with an overly-procrastinated chore, i've fallen in love with travelling. the freedom. the escapism. bonding with those who accompany you and just generally being in new environments and seeing different sights has helped abundantly.

suitcase and belt-bag both Lipault x Jean Paul Gaultier*

being a homebody through and through (won't bore you with my birth chart but just know that i'm as 'cancer' as they come), i've even surprised myself. sure, i still crave my own company and comfort but there's also this new lust to be somewhere new. to keep refreshing my mind during this time where it's all over the place and remember the familiarity i get to come back to once it's done (there's definitely been some jokes from mum on getting a revolving door fitted because i'm in one day and gone the next).

twenty-eighteen has been the year of independence. on learning to rely less on others but knowing who's there when you're in need. on doing things alone which were once impossible without being accompanied by someone you know. on learning how to be single (and watching the film more times than you care to admit). on realising that your happiness is not measured on how somebody else has made you feel but how you make you feel. on preparing to live alone ... although, not fully alone because as of next week, i'll officially be a kitten mum! that's right, i'm full on ready to embrace the crazy cat lady lifestyle and i really can't wait to share my sweet, baby angel with you.

so whilst i say this isn't really a profound, self-discovery piece, i guess i kinda have learned a lot about myself, even if things aren't currently as smooth-sailing as i'd have hoped. the hardest times teach you the greatest lessons. (not sure if i made that up or subconsciously stole it but let me have it, pls)

and whilst we're on the topic of travelling - if you haven't yet noticed my new luggage companions, where ya been? the most stylish carry-on you ever did see (also doubles up well for multiple-shoot-clothing-cart-around-erer) and the 'fanny pack' trend i thought i'd never get on board with ... brought to you via Lipault's limited edition collab with Jean Paul Gaultier. the pieces are lightweight, feature multiple compartments (which have actually begun to reignite my joy for packing, i won't lie) and take inspiration from two of JPG's faves : the pinstripe suit and Madonna's famous, conical corset. 

you can view the full, twelve piece collection here or pop into one of Lipault's four, brand new stores across london to grab twenty percent off with #JPG20


~ this post was sponsored by Lipault, however all opinions, anecdotes and rambles belong to yours truly