Monday, 30 January 2012

two years


 Tee: Metallica; leather biker: New Look; skirt: Motel; belt: ASOS; bag: ASOS; boots: Debenhams

I had originally planned to post a giveaway today on account of my blog being two years old today, however one of the items I planned to give away was supposed to be delivered today but the idiots at the courier company (cough, Hermes) decided they couldn't be bothered finding my address so didn't bother showing up with it. The number of times now that I've had to complain to various companies about their inability to find my address is just plain ridiculous. You'd think with the availability of Sat Navs and even just Google Maps on your sodding mobile phone that they'd be able to find an address, especially one that's actually on a main road. So until my delivery shows up the giveaway will have to be postponed and you'll have to just put up with some outfit shots for now! 

Anyway, this outfit was from the weekend, it's one of my fail-safe combinations of band tee and maxi skirt that I often turn to when I fancy wearing something grungier. Although I'm  really not a fan of how dumpy I look in these photos, or any of my recent photos for that matter. I really need to lose a whole load of weight but currently can't really find the motivation to do so. My self-esteem is pretty rock-bottom at the moment and it doesn't help  that various other stressful things seem to keep cropping up. If any of you follow me on twitter you might have seen my massive rant about Student Finance, at this point I've pretty much had enough of all the crap that has come with withdrawing from university and really want everything to be dealt with so I can just move on, but it's such an unnecessarily convoluted process that I can't seem to get away from it. Hopefully it will be dealt with soon so I can stop worrying and concentrate on more important things!

Friday, 27 January 2012

staple




























Dress: Staple via ASOS; jacket: River Island; bag: Accessorize; skull necklace: Topshop; cross necklace: Urban Outfitters.

I have a real thing for shirt collars at the moment. Theoretically, I shouldn't really suit a buttoned up collar, as I have a reasonably sizeable chest and an annoyingly chubby, round face, but I find that I strangely kind of suit the buttoned up look and the cut on this dress means that the collar sits at just the perfect height. The dress was another of my well-planned sale purchases from ASOS some time last year, I'd loved it ever since it appeared online, although at originally £85 it was a bit steep. So I naturally waited around with it sat in my Save For Later list until it went down in price to a measly 22 quid. It's pretty much my go-to dress when I feel like being comfy/simple as the loose, maxi shape is very forgiving. The only issues I've had with it are that the fabric is a slightly annoying crinkly texture so it can look as though you haven't ironed it in a while, plus it's gone a bit bobbly where my bag sits on my hip but other than that it's probably one of my favourite dresses ever, which is saying a lot. I only wish I'd got it in black as well!

And no, don't worry about me freezing my bum off only wearing this with a lightweight jacket in the middle of winter as these photos were taken back in November when the weather was a lot milder and I could get away with only a few layers. I can't wait until its spring again and I don't have to worry about coats and scarves and gloves anymore!

Finally, it's my blogs 2 year anniversary on Monday so I am hoping to finally hold a little giveaway for all you lovely people who've kept following all this time, as well as all of you lovely newbies as well, so watch this space!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

leopard print

























Coat: Topshop; top: ASOS; necklace: Topshop; skirt: River Island; bag: ASOS; brogues: ASOS.

I have become more drawn to leopard print these past couple of seasons, I used to avoid it pretty much outright as it reminded me a tad too much of my emo/scene kid days (check out the two links if you fancy a laugh at my expense) where leopard was the print of choice. However I've found that in small amounts and in more of a monochrome palette I've found that it works really well. This first outfit was another of my weekend shopping outfits, my mum and I had to photograph it really quickly as we were a bit pushed for time so it would have been nice to photograph the shape of the top more as its a lovely slouchy square-cut (a bit like this) that actually works really well layered over the shape of the skirt, but I didn't get the chance.


















































Jacket: River Island; top: H&M; skirt: Topshop; belt: ASOS; bag: ASOS.

This second outfit was actually taken a few months ago when I had first come home, my mum and I went to the Hepworth gallery in Wakefield after meaning to go ever since it opened earlier in the year but we just hadn't got around to it. I would recommend it to any of you who are interested in art or sculpture, the building itself is amazing and the exhibitions are actually quite varied and cover all sorts of movements and eras. There's also a really nice cafe offering lovely local food which is always a bonus! Anyway as you can see I'm liking my rust coloured coats/jackets at the moment, there's something about the colour that just makes it really versatile. The skirt is another example of leopard print that I have in my wardrobe, this one is much more of a subtle, ditsy leopard print which is a really lovely variation on it, again in a colour palette of black and grey which I think makes it that bit edgier. What do you guys think?

Friday, 13 January 2012

favourites



























Coat: Topshop; fur collar: Topshop; shirt: Acne; skirt: H&M; brogues: Topshop; bag: ASOS; ring: Topshop: skull necklace: Topshop; cross necklace: Urban Outfitters.

I went into Leeds on Sunday with my mum to pick up a few things and have a look in the sales and this is what I wore. I paired my new Acne shirt with my faux leather midi skirt. This skirt has been worn to death recently, it's definitely one of my favourite purchases of last year, it's perfect for cold weather plus it's kind of water proof! The Acne shirt is pretty much perfect as well. Comfortable, flattering and the silk is lovely and cool, which is nice when you've got used to synthetic materials making you overly hot and sweaty all the time.

The only notable things I picked up while shopping were a pair of new pyjama's since my old ones are all full of holes (does anyone know why they get so holey when you're basically wearing them while surrounded by soft squishy things? I just don't get it!) or really short on the legs from shrinking in the wash (I have two pairs of Cookie Monster pj's that have both met with the same fate) plus my mum and I bought up a load of Paperchase wrapping paper, as it was all on sale for a bargainous 80p a roll, ready for next Christmas. It's nice to feel prepared!

Friday, 6 January 2012

worth










































































Acne "Worth" Silk Sleeveless Shirt from net-a-porter.com

A beautiful Acne shirt that I treated myself to in the January sales. I've wanted an Acne piece for a while now plus I've been looking for an oversized sleeveless shirt so when this turned up on Net-a-Porter for £60 I just couldn't help myself. It had originally been reduced to £100 but I waited to see if it would end up being reduced further and thankfully it was. It's something I know I'll get plenty of wear out of as it's such a simple, staple piece plus the light, airy silk will be perfect for spring and summer. I'm really looking forward to pairing this with one of my many midi or maxi skirts, so hopefully you'll see an outfit post featuring it very soon!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

bits and pieces

I've got a few catch-up posts to do, so I thought I'd start with posting about some of the things I got over the Christmas period. Apologies for posting this now, I'd imagine that Christmas is probably the last thing you all want to hear about now it's over, but please just bear with me! First off I was very lucky to win the November Glossybox via a competition run by Motel a few weeks before Christmas. I've never had a Glossybox before so I was looking forward to seeing what all the fuss was about. If I'm honest I've never been one for pampering myself with various beauty products, mainly due to laziness and the belief that no matter how much preening I do it's hardly going to actually make me pretty, but receiving a few free items has definitely altered my opinion somewhat.

Any way on to the contents of my box, obviously I've never had one before so I'm not very sure on how they work, but on their site I saw that they detailed a number of products, however I only received a select amount. As I said I am unfamiliar with the process so those of you who are regulars will have to let me know how it works. Personally I'm not sure the £10 a month subscription fee is worth the number of products that you get really, but that's just me. Still the items I got were lovely, it included Nail Rock Nail Wraps in Black and White Stripe, Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Pre-Shampoo Treatment, Arbonne FC5 Cooling Foot Creme, Dead Sea Spa Magic Facial Wash and Illamasqua Freak Eau de Parfum



































My favourite item has to be the nail wraps, they're so easy to use and great for us lazy types who aren't up for doing complicated nail art ourselves. I put them on in time for Christmas Day and they've lasted quite well up until now. I had to replace a few of them that started to peel a little but other than that I would definitely recommend them! As you can see they aren't exactly perfectly applied (also I apologise for my dry, bitten fingers, that's what worry does to me!) but I imagine application is something I'd get better at with practice! I'd really love to try the black and white polka dot set so they're next on my ever-growing wishlist. Another item that I really love is the Dead Sea Spa Magic face wash, it cleanses my skin beautifully so I've been using it twice a day and it's almost run out! I reckon I'm going to try and get my hands on the regular size as I'm not sure I can manage without it once it's gone! I was also really looking forward to testing out the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer as my hair has been feeling really dry of late so I was hoping that this would help improve the quality and texture, however the sample size really wasn't enough for it to work properly. My hair is ridiculously thick so I ended up using the entire tube on my hair, yet it hardly covered it so I didn't really feel any difference which was unfortunate. I imagine if I had more it would have been a lot more effective but I don't really have £20-£30 to spend on a hair treatment that may or may not work at the moment!

I also thought I'd share some of the Christmas presents I got (plus the card I made for my sister) because I'm pretty pleased with them, plus one of them will hopefully have a positive impact here on the blog...





























Yep, I finally got a DSLR! It's a Nikon D5100 and I'm chuffed to bits with it, I physically hugged the box when I opened it on Christmas Day! My dad had been sneaking around getting me and my brother a DSLR each, seen as my brother had been moaning about wanting one as well, which meant my dad could go into Jessops and have a good haggle (two of his favourite things to do). He also got my sister a Sony Handycam so I can't imagine what he actually spent in there, a bit of a discount is the least they could do! The Glossybox pictures above were all taken on my old camera, whereas the shot of my nails was taken with the DSLR and I'm really pleased with the improvement in quality. I'm looking forward to improving my outfit shots as well.











































































































Further gifts include: 1: Sony Docking Station; 2: New Look Leather Jacket (yes I know I already have a perfectly nice biker but this one's cropped!); 3: Super pretty tea-light holder from my auntie and uncle; 3: Blu-rays of Captain America and The Fifth Element (probably my favourite film, it's mental but I love it); 4: New Protest the Hero album and an old Queens of the Stone Age album I've wanted for ages; 5: Necklace from Topshop, although this one technically wasn't a gift as it was an after-Christmas purchase (i.e. a gift to myself!); 6: Made cards for my family, this is the one I made for my sister (i.e. photoshopped a pink santa hat onto a drawing I did of my rabbit, then surrounded it with scribbly polka-dots); 7: Midi dresses from Topshop; 8: Max Factor Lip Tint and cute little cross earrings from Urban Outfitters, both from my sister.

As you can see I've been playing around with my new camera taking these pictures, I still have very little clue on how it actually works therefore I'm pretty rubbish with it right now, but I'm hoping I'll get better with practice and probably a lot of studying of the accompanying manual. Wish me luck as I'm probably going to need it!

Finally I just wanted to thank those of you have read and commented on my last post, it means so much to me that you've taken the time to read and respond. Writing a post like that is like my own form of therapy, getting all those niggling worries out and into writing takes a weight off my mind like you wouldn't believe, so thank you so much for your support.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

an evaluation

Seen as though we have reached a new year I thought I should let you all know what has happened in my life since I last posted. Things have changed quite drastically and not in a way that I particularly relish in talking about, however I would like to continue with this blog so I think it's important that I am open and use this blog as a platform for expressing myself, which is what I intended to do when I started it almost 2 years ago. In November I came to the decision to leave university. It was not an easy choice to make and it's really quite painful to think about what I would have been capable of achieving if it wasn't for the poor state of my mental health. However it was really the only direction I could take without continuing down a path that would have eventually made me even more unhappy. It sounds kind of contrary, but I know the decision I made was for the best, even though I hated to have to make it. 

University is something I have worked my entire life towards, pushing myself through school and GCSE's and A-levels, achieving the best grades I could, trying to maintain the high standards that others set me and, most of all, that I set for myself. I have always been a perfectionist, even when I was four years old my teacher told my parents that I would sit with the waste paper bin next to me ready to throw away what I was working on when I thought it wasn't up to standard. I have felt this way for as long as I can remember but have only come to understand it much more recently. However, my ability to actually control it and not let it consume me is still shaky at best. It hasn't exactly helped that the education system, to me, is somewhat flawed in the way it supports people with mental health issues. There is a real "one size fits all" mentality, and I feel as though it's at its worst when it comes to mental illness. It seems the majority of people have very little understanding about how it feels to suffer with these issues, making it incredibly difficult for those who do suffer to get the help they so desperately need, but this is understandable. After all no one really wants to know how it feels to be deeply unhappy, it is not something that we go out of our way to experience, so naturally it is a very difficult thing to relate to. 

Depression is something that I feel is not well represented in society, fundamentally, anyway. We are told that something like 1 in 4 of us will experience it at some point over the course of a year, yet  discussing it is still a taboo subject. There is also a real difference between the kind of depression that stems from, perhaps when someone falls on hard times or loses a loved one as opposed to clinical depression. I am in no way saying that one is any more valid than the other, and both should still be classed as depression and treated as such, however I feel that there needs to be more awareness of the difference between depression that is an entirely normal human reaction to something bad happening in their lives and the kind that has no tangible trigger and is seemingly endless to the sufferer. Suffering from the latter and trying to share this with others has often felt almost impossible and it is something that has ground me down over many years now. Often on telling others about suffering from depression their perception changes, we try to pretend that it doesn't but it is human nature to form judgements on others based upon ourselves and the impact they may have upon us, whether its socially, mentally or physically. Granted the changes are not always negative, you may find that someone once aware of your condition is more supportive, but my own tendency towards paranoia leads me to wonder if this stems from pity and not the genuine desire to help. And really shouldn't we all treat everyone with care and kindness regardless of their mental state? The fear that the person you confide in will judge you harshly, or even just treat you differently, is something that sufferers are often faced with and it leaves you in a vicious circle questioning whether you should seek support and risk an unwanted reaction or keep quiet and suffer in silence.

Talking about this issue here on my blog, although I'm not sure if it is particularly welcome, gives me the opportunity to discuss some of the things that have been weighing on my mind recently, as well as allowing me to make my own step in trying to make mental illness a subject people can talk about more openly. I know this tiny post is pretty insignificant on the scale of things but it feels better to know I have been open about something that I have been so secretive about in the past, and I hope with the time I have now I can maybe look at a way of furthering a cause that I feel so strongly about, or at least just do something that may help others and at the same time help me to feel more confident in myself.

If any of you wish to look into this issue further I think the Time to Change campaign run by Mind (a UK organisation) seems very informative. If any of you know of any other organisations I could also look into don't hesitate to let me know in the comments.

P.S. I wish you all a very, very Happy New Year. Normal and fashion-related posting will begin again next week.