Sunday, April 8
Big Changes & Tough Decisions // My First Post as a Full Time “Blogger”

London, UK

Big Changes & Tough Decisions // My First Post as a Full Time “Blogger”

Sunday, April 8
three things:
i moved flats, left my job and neglected this blog SO far to the point where it would almost be an injustice to bloggers to call myself their 'fellow' anymore

but it's time to change that.

leaving my job was not a decision i took lightly and i won't be going into the nitty gritty about why i finally chose to do so; it was certainly no reflection on the people themselves and i fully believe i'm a wiser, more confident human for working there

what i will say is, it's a decision i've been contemplating a long while. and as time went on, those gut feels we all tend to ignore but realise we probably shouldn't, grew stronger. my happiness in the situation grew weaker. and so i took the plunge. i'm my own agent. the world is my oyster, yada yada. but what this really means is i need to focus on this corner of the internet which has almost sole-handedly got me to where we stand today. provided me with the option to give up working for others and have a go at being my own boss. given me the chance to transform a tiny, old, time-filling hobby into a pretty fun and rewarding, yet difficult nonetheless, career. and it's high time that it, and you guys (if any of y'all have actually been patient enough to stick around), get shown the respect you deserve.

what i'm wearing

jacket | c/o & other stories
top | c/o new look
trousers | c/o missguided
hat | c/o new look
bag | gucci

personal standards are what predominantly keep me from posting so often. thrown in with a lack of inspiration, of course, until i think ~ but am i really lacking inspo or is the topic/blog post i want to produce just not worth putting out there?

note: i wrote 'personal' standards. because this is in no way discrediting those talented humans (some of which i am v lucky to call my pals) who are able to post so regularly, consistently and eloquently to say the least. side referencing chlo and soph mainly here tbh. 10/10 not biased about the fact they own two of my favourite blogs on the internet

the issue lies here:
if i have only a few lines to say, i won't say them. if i don't have enough 'decent' pictures to fill a post, they'll be restricted to a shorter life on our beloved 'gram (you'll be surprised at how many times this has happened). but who made these rules? who determined that those words amounting to a paragraph (probably a sentence in some cases) weren't worthy of being shared? that those four images (out of four hundred, let's be real) don't deserve a space on my own, personal internet shelf?

short answer: me. i decided. and do you know what? i don't even know why. *story of my life* alert.


i can also appreciate i'm not alone on this subject. and this is no 'woe is me' piece, don't worry. just one of those rare, self-observations which has actually helped and not hindered

so i thought it may be worthwhile to anybody thinking similarly.

and with that, i've decided to lower my standards a little. allow myself to post more often with less words. maybe even loads of words with little imagery but only if it's flowing. hell, if i can ramble so much in every insta caption, why can't i share half the pointless bs i spew over here? it goes down surprisingly well on there (don't ask me why). i still can't promise i'm going to be the world's best blogger. and i still can't admit there won't be weeks where this space is left untouched. but i'm making a vow to be easier on myself. kinder. more accepting. something we're all programmed not to be.

you're now probably wondering how the totally irrelevant, initial mentioning of moving flats fits in here. well, to be honest, my first thoughts were that i should probably just update you; been a while, seemed like a good idea. but secondly, i finally feel like i have some sort of home again. and it's been a long time coming. actually wanting to spend time where you live is a whole new phenomenon after an unfavourable, previous place and that, on top of going full time has given me ... i'd like to say a new lease of life but let's be honest, there's still days i struggle to get out of bed, put on pants and face the world. a fresh outlook is more appropriate here.

it's not easy to change your mindset. but it is easy to change little aspects of your life. don't get me wrong, moving house and quitting your job are absolutely not 'little' things and should be approached with much research and rationalisation. but altering your morning/evening routine, exploring a new area, making a new connection (or reigniting an old one) or even walking somewhere you'd usually drive or get the bus, can help considerably

now, will somebody please send over some advice on kittens? furry friends are quite clearly the true key to world satisfaction and i want in.

Wednesday, January 10
The New Year's Resolution I Didn't Decide On // Life Cycles

London, UK

The New Year's Resolution I Didn't Decide On // Life Cycles

Wednesday, January 10
if any of y'all have come from the 'gram, you'll know i spent my NYE in bed, in agony, unable to hold down food. oh and pretty much everyday, since then, up until recently too. i'll look at the positives in that, with feeling so unwell, my currently permanently-domed, pregnancy-resembling stomach has been confined to four walls, saving those awkward public transport moments of being offered an unwarranted seat.
 the urgent care centre sends me away, after a two hour wait, with nothing but meds and a friendly smile on the 30th december and whilst i'm eternally grateful that there are selfless souls who give up their time to help people in need over the holidays, my lack of knowing what was really wrong with me and the little effect of said meds didn't instil the greatest of faith

i return to london and, by miracle of baby jesus, get an appointment with my gp for the following day. she informs me i most likely have gastroenteritis. gastroenteritis. otherwise known as 'stomach flu'. otherwise known as an umbrella term which is SO BROAD neither i, nor she, can even confirm whether i'm contagious or not. whether this is a long term condition or one-time little shit that's holding on for dear life. and winning.

what i'm wearing

c/o coat | warehouse (similar)
c/o cardigan | mint velvet
c/o trousers | dorothy perkins
c/o boots | dorothy perkins
bag | gucci (similar)
sunglasses | celine

 want to know what else my gp informed me?

she said, in order to alleviate (note: alleviate. not cure) my current condition, i must alter my diet. 'alter' is putting it lightly, susan (her name's not susan)

the day before this appointment, myself and my sister had a conversation. she's given up sugar and alcohol for january. that's right, two of us humans' biggest comfort blankets. in one of the most depressing months of the year

i told her she was brave but silly. that she'll most likely hit rock bottom in terms of moods because she's abruptly cutting out two of her go-to coping mechanisms

always a realist, never a sugarcoater. pun unintended.

i told her she should start with one, and gradually introduce the other, so as to slowly wean herself away from her vices. she reluctantly agrees but sticks to her commitment

*fast forward back to friday, sat in susan's office*

"for at least a month, please avoid the following:

acidic foods/drinks

i laugh to hold back the tears

and at that moment i learned never to doubt somebody else's new year's resolutions. that words can and will come back to bite you. that the universe works in some very strange and cyclical ways and

that you're never really, fully alone in anything

rock bottom, we're ready for ya. together.

Sunday, December 10
The Highs and Woes of Skincare : My New Routine

London, UK

The Highs and Woes of Skincare : My New Routine

Sunday, December 10

when i was younger, i surprisingly (despite my awful diet because i’m a fussy human to this day here), always had pretty good skin. it wasn’t until further into my teenage years, when that ol’ chestnut -late puberty- and hormones kicked in, that i began to run into some issues. that, and most probably using crappy £1 make up products, wipes and washing my face with whatever available foamy product was for-the-taking on the sink. 

i’ve never had acne as such, but becoming an adult (as much as i still like to pretend i’m not because oh lord is it a struggle) did bring me a whole load of random pimples on my forehead which i didn’t ask for, and i do react pretty rapidly to meds, vits and perhaps *occasionally* going overboard on the chocobons or accidentally sleeping in my makeup (we’ve all been there, kkkk? :| )

all of that aside, the thing that’s bothered me above all else is those damned dark circles which have set up camp beneath my eyes. being anaemic since childhood, combined with being a questionable sleeper in my latter years, has certainly not aided this and i was verging on making that desperate decision between ‘i need help’ and ‘do i embrace that i am officially half panda?’.

well, when panasonic decided to offer me some new tools, plus the advice of skin expert, louise thomas-minns as part of their ‘shaped around you’ campaign, i bet you can guess what i went and did ... i took it.

now i’m not here to sit and preach about the importance of skincare ‘cause you all know that by now and you also all probably have your certain routines and go-to’s. but what i loved about this campaign is that the whole idea is based on how these panasonic products can help enhance and seamlessly fit into your existing lifestyle. because change is great an’ all but us humans are a little scared of too much of it ...

i’ve been testing two products for a couple months now, and whilst initially skeptical over how much the micro-current facial enhancer (pictured left) and facial steamer (right) could actually do after not noticing a great deal of change within the first few weeks (i actually had to ask for a deadline extension, one : because i was pretty damn ill and looked like a zombie, whatever i tried and two : because i wasn’t convinced i’d noticed enough to write home about), the comments from both friends and strangers, online and in-person, helped me realise how far my skin had actually come. 

it’s amazing how much of a harsh critic somebody who looks at their own face daily can become without taking a step back to look at the bigger picture. 

the 3-in-1 micro-current facial enhancer, as the name suggests, comes with three skin-saviour settings which work alongside your usual toning and moisturising products :

purifying ~ a subtle heat and alternating current which helps to open pores and remove any stubborn dirt/grease, which wouldn’t otherwise want to let you live, with minimal effort (= more time for productive things like shopping and netflix)

moisturising ~ after applying your personal pick of face cream, the current helps to push its moisture-providing ingredients deeper down to where they’re most needed, making the most out of the product on which you choose to spend your pretty pennies 

cooling ~ my favourite of the lot. it’s like a refreshing spa sensation which soothes, tightens and firms your lovely face. this has been my dark circle saviour and leaves me feeling and -according to my colleagues- looking rather radiant too. i honestly think it would help me chill in the midst of a stress-fest (which occurs far too often these days, ty life)

speaking of spa sensations, the facial steamer is literally an at-home, mini version of that. whilst i don’t use this as often, when you live in london (one of the highest polluted cities in the world, please pray for our lungs), it’s a handy little machine to have about the house, whether you’re wanting a thorough facial detox or a quick pick-me-up after a cocktail-fuelled weekend. simply add water and you’re good to go. 

if only that rule applied to everything in life ...

on top of these, louise advised i also exfoliate less. yes, less. i became so obsessed with glycolic pads that i’d apparently been over-exfoliating, which was most likely making me break out more and adding to the oiliness mumma blessed me with in my t-zone. learn something new everyday eh?

so there you have it. all the improvements with minor changes ~ the updated skincare practice which is keeping me panda-free and radiant in winter.

you don’t need to alter your entire routine to make a difference!

~ this post was sponsored by panasonic, however all opinions, anecdotes and rambles belong to yours truly
Thursday, November 30
The Gift of Gifting : Keeping Christmas Personal

London, UK

The Gift of Gifting : Keeping Christmas Personal

Thursday, November 30
in collaboration with Accessorize

as i write this, i’m sat reminiscing on the fact that it’s november, and last night, i was in a restaurant which was unashamedly blasting paul mccartney’s ‘simply having a wonderful christmas time’ and my sister and i were unashamedly singing along. 

as i write this, i’m sat thinking about twenty-seventeen, the things i’ve achieved and the people i’ve met. the ups and downs - of which there have been plenty - and of the year to come. which, might i remind you is no longer than just over a month away. ha. hahaha. i’m not laughing out of sheer terror of how fast time flies … i promise …

my mum asked me what i wanted for christmas this year and do you know what, it took me over a week to get back to her and all i could think of was a plant. i just LOVE plants. i’ve already got a name for it too, despite the fact it doesn’t even exist yet. it’s cornelia, if you were wondering (thanks, sis for the inspo) but that’s a whole other story which is heading a little off-topic so we’ll save it for a later date i guess. see, everyone always said there’d be a time where we’d struggle to think of anything we want and for me, that time is now more than ever. well, there’s always the less-than-feasible options of a happy, peaceful world, 10/10 health and a bit more sunshine in the UK but whilst my mother is a wonderful woman, even she isn’t as much of a miracle worker to provide that.

being bloggers, we’re surrounded by ‘stuff’. everyday, new parcels. every event, another goody bag. and with risk of sounding like the number one, most first world problem-er ever, having so much stuff means everything does just become ‘stuff’. am i making any sense? it’s bloody lovely stuff, might i add. and i still have to step back and take a sec to assess how all of this even became a thing but i never want to lose sight of what a gift really is. the thought which goes behind it. what it means to the giver and the receiver. the feeling each person gets when it’s exchanged and the memories it might hold, or those it’s yet to create. that is what turns aforementioned ‘stuff’ (last time, i swear) into something special.

so i cleared my mind, thought long and hard, and with the help of Accessorize, styled up a selection of products i’d love to be gifted myself, followed by an edit for my sister (who seems to have featured multiple times in this post - hey girl), thinking about our personalities, interests, connections and needs. you’ll soon learn from my choices that the extent of our similarities stop at humour, sensitivity and the ability to blend in, natively, to almost every warmer-climated country we vacate to …

shop my selection

whilst my picks are a lot more understated, alix would always opt for bolder tones and patterns. when it comes to fashion, i seem to associate her style with ‘chunky’. not the most flattering term, i know but bear with me (sorry hun). be it boots, scarves, jewellery, she’s more of a ‘go big or go home’ gal, whereas i’m a ‘minimal is the motto’ sort of human … though i did throw in some dainty ear jackets because she recently surprised me and set her sights on a pair of similar ones i wear on the reg.

the backpack and coin purse offer practicality. something i know is always a primary focus for her. she likes to carry around the contents of our fridge for when she’s peckish, so a small bag just wouldn’t suffice. and yes, we do now have co-ordinating coin purses, just like we have matching zodiac mugs in our flat. we come as a pair now we’re back to being housemates (plus, i really just wanted to remind her of when mum used to dress us up in the same outfit and she’d death stare me for cramping her pap-worthy style, hehehe).

the bougie galaxy bra (which i am one hundred percent stealing for myself) is another continuation from the zodiac mugs. and no, i cannot get through one day, blog post or minuscule social interaction without mentioning astrology. would you expect any less? 

we sort of have this tradition in the blankson flat that when we FINALLY, at some point in the week, see each other (clashing schedules + london life = r.i.p. sibling socialising), we grab some sort of chocolatey substance, sit together for a catchup, and i read us our horoscopes. i’m sure i’ve mentioned this before about our random laughs and cries together - sometimes struggling to differentiate the two. it’s all lovely and enlightening really and i wouldn’t change it for the world.

still trying to convince her to get these matching constellation tattoos however … a subtle reminder in the form of cute lingerie … will let you know how that one goes.

shop alix’s selection

although i don’t yet want to admit it, i can’t lie when i say the festive feeling has officially begun to hit me. perhaps if it’s yet to get to you, this’ll help spark up some inspiration. either that, or you can whack on some paul mccartney and see if that does the trick. it’s seriously infectious.

is it too early to wish you merry christmas? ;)

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