Reducing our time online

Reducing our time online

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

As you can probably imagine, being a blogger and working in social media I spend a lot of time on the Internet, particularly on social networking sites. I really love what I do, and at the moment I don’t think I would change it, however because of how much time I spend online I am always in need of a good detox. An online break for me can be categorised in different times, such as even having an afternoon or an evening off is still what I would consider a break. Although, I would argue that the positive effects of it are much less than when you have a longer period of time off. When I first ever visited Scotland a few years ago, one of my favourite holiday destinations, I had eight days away from my social media platforms and my phone in general as there was literally no way of accessing it anywhere. To begin with I found it challenging but that soon faded, and I very quickly became used to not grabbing my phone during any interval. Towards the end of the holiday I really noticed how much better I was feeling in myself and how refreshed I felt. In fact, I think it is the most rested I have felt since I was a small child.

I am not someone to criticise social media entirely, as I do personally love it, however I do think it is sad that we have all become so addicted to it. I personally believe that the best way to enjoy social media is by also being able to enjoy your life without it.

Anyone who knows me would probably laugh if I said I could survive without social media, but that it just because they know how much time I spend on it. In all honesty, if it all disappeared tomorrow, I would feel completely fine, in fact maybe even a sigh of relief. I mean, ignore the fact that I wouldn’t have a job anymore 😉 When I started my blog, I had no idea how much of a large part social media would play in it, and I have found it very stressful over the years. I have gradually overcome this and really found a way to help myself switch off, making my time online more productive and my down time much more enjoyable.

With all that being said, I think many of us would agree that it is much easier said than done. We all love being online now and connecting with others, having a nosy at people’s lives and switching off from our own. I find it scary how I can be looking at someone’s Instagram and then twenty minutes later would have found their best friends, uncles’ daughter who now has a baby. It is pretty scary how much we can find out about one another from these channels and it is quite hilarious how invested we become in other people’s lives. I personally believe that the first step in being able to switch off is realising that your life exists in the real world and what you see online is very much only 1% of what is happening in someone else’s. We all choose to post the ‘perfect’ parts of our lives, and it can be easy to believe that that is all there is to the story. There is always so much more going on that isn’t shared, and it is usually those things that define a person and their life.

The second step is being strict with yourself. I had to really reign in the amount of time I spend on my own social media a few months ago, as when I saw the stats of my average time per day, I was shocked. I always complain about not having time to get to the gym or cook from scratch every night, or even just get around to all my emails in a day, but somehow, I accumulated a ridiculous amount of time on social media. The problem is, because it is generally lots of small chunks, we don’t realise in the moment just how much it adds up. I will now limit my morning time to 15 minutes (and I will get up earlier to do so), a little look with my lunch and then an hour or less in the evening. I am also trying my hardest not to let myself go on Instagram in bed… because that is when you fall into a bad habit! Limiting yourself and keeping busy in other ways is the best way if you need to reduce your time online.

The next step in reducing your social media time is leaving your phone. I have become much more aware of how often I have my phone with me and am making such an effort to stop. When eating out or meeting friends, my phone stays in my bag. When chilling on the sofa in the evening and watching something, I try my best to keep my phone in another room. We don’t need 24/7 contact with our phones and not having the temptation is a big part of switching off.

Finally, tech free holidays. I have become a pro at this, as I really felt the huge benefits of not being on my phone during those eight days in Scotland. Whenever I go away, I allow myself a little time on my phone, but apart from that I keep myself busy with other things such as swimming, exploring, reading and a hell of a lot of napping. Holidays are your time to switch off from the world and having a real rest is the only way you will feel like you’ve actually got away and recharged your batteries.

 

Shop this post:

 

Skirt – New Look

Top – New Look

Shoes – New Look

Bag – Mulberry

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

Make a Statement in White

Make a Statement in White

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

I think white is a colour that the majority of us have in our wardrobe and at some point, we have all grabbed that white t-shirt and jeans look on a day we don’t know what to wear, however I do very much believe that it can be the statement colour in so many outfits rather than just a filler. Perhaps this is more the case in the Summer, but as we are in that season it seemed like the appropriate time to publish this post. I will always reach for white in a clothing store and usually will dress my outfit around that one colour – not only does it compliment my skin tone so well, but it is so easy to adapt a variety of other pieces with that colour.

I strongly believe that the key to a good outfit is having the base on spot, for example a bold skirt or dress, t-shirt or even pair of shoes. Choosing this one item and then working around that is not only going to make life easier, but it is going to have a great effect on the overall look.

The dress featured in this post was a purchase this Spring in Mallorca, from Mango, which is one of my go to Summer stops. I knew instantly that I had to have this dress in my life, as not only was it the perfect shape and fit for my hourglass figure, but it also had texture and beautiful features, giving the colour a whole new leap of life. The dress has quickly become a key piece in my Summer wardrobe and as with any item of this colour it has been easily transitioned from day to night for a variety of occasions.

 

When it comes to styling white, my biggest attraction to the colour is block colours. So, welcome my new red espadrille wedges. Oh. My. They are GORGEOUS! I knew these had to be in my wardrobe and I have already got so much wear out of them, particularly with white. Red and white seem to be colours that just elegantly bounce off each other and are such a classic combination. What I love even more about this dress and shoes together is that they can very much be worn from day to night!

To add more contrast, my baby pink bag had to be the perfect addition and red and pink is one of my favourite combinations. The outfit just screams Summer and even though the accessories and shoes are bold in themselves, I still personally feel like the white dress is the main star of the show. To finish, possible more in the evening, I would sling my denim jacket over my shoulders for a little warmth and a lighter addition than a leather jacket or coat.

Finally, I find that the best way to accessorize a white outfit is with subtle jewellery, that matches your colour tone. For me this is delicate silver pieces, such as an elegant necklace, Pandora bracelet or even set of silver rings. The accessories should match your colour tone and be what you love to wear, but you don’t want them to steal the show, so not something overly heavy.

 

Shop this post:

 

Dress – Mango

Bag – Mulberry

Shoes – New Look

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

Pulling off your Summer party look

Pulling off your Summer party look

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Want to hear something ironic? My favourite fashion posts to discuss here on the blog are always evening and party looks, but they are the looks that I wear the least as I hate being out past 7pm! Pathetic excuse for a 21-year-old I know! Nevertheless, it is my favourite fashion looks to create so I am going to post all about them anyway. I find Summer party looks often a lot more difficult than other seasons to pull off, mainly because of the temperature uncertainty, however they are also the ones that you can have the most fun with.

One of the main reasons I love dressing up in the Summer is that I find it a much easier season to really express myself and have fun with an outfit. In the Winter I automatically go to darker colours and much heavier accessories, so in the Summer it just feels like there are many more options.

Summer often caters to a much larger variety of parties and occasions to celebrate from birthdays to weddings, christenings to proms and even a Summer garden party. With this, there is a much larger selection of outfits available, many of which can be picked apart and transitioned from one event to another. When I had my colour analysis a couple of weeks ago it opened my eyes to so many more looks that I can create, and most importantly has made me get so much more creative with my summer looks, day to night. In the analysis it was very obvious that black is not a great match for my skin tone, however it is a colour I have in abundance in my wardrobe, so I have had to play around with it to out my clothes to good use. So, that brings me on to this year’s Summer evening look.

Wedges/ Block Heels

So, for me the first component of any Summer look is a wedge or block heel, contrary to what you see in this blog post. My feet got tired during our shoot and I forgot to put my heels on!! Block heels and wedges  just scream Summer and let’s be honest, they are a hell of a lot more comfortable. I think the majority of Summer evening looks just look so much more elegant with this chosen shoe, particularly with the huge midi trend of 2019. Dune London have always been my go-to for a good wedge shoe, as well as Asos and Topshop for great block shoes.

The Midi Dress/ Skirt

The midi trend of 2018/19 has been huge, and I hope that it is a trend that goes on and on as it is my absolute favourite look. Yes, it may very much be an easy to go to day look, however for the evening they are so easy to dress up in any way for any occasion. The key ways to do this are with accessories, the right shoe and of course a bag. The midi dress featured in this post is one of my latest pieces in my wardrobe from New Look and it has quickly become one of my favourites. I would describe it as a very ‘Summer toned leopard’, that can easily be adapted. Trying to tone down the black, I chose to pair it with a white top and silver accessories which compliment my skin tone and give the outfit an overall very Summery feel.

Accessories

Accessories are the key way to dress up an outfit, particularly a Summer outfit that can exist with all the other components in the day and then a simple necklace to give it an evening edge. I am very much a silver toned accessory girl, so accessorising for me in the Summer is a lot easier as it is much more of Spring Summer toned colour. I would say however that your accessories shouldn’t depend on the season, they should only depend on what looks right on you and what you enjoy wearing.

Hair Accessories

The biggest trend of 2019 so far seems to have been the introduction of bold hair accessories, such as ribbon hair ties, knotted and ‘diamond’ hair bands and those o so gorgeous pearl hair clips. They are all so beautiful and I do think they look utterly divine in the evening with any evening look. What’s even better? You can get them for a complete bargain across all high street stores.

Glitter

Let’s be honest, we all love a bit of glitter and in the Summer, it really works! In fact, I have been on the hunt this season for some gorgeous glitter pieces to add to my wardrobe, but they are surprisingly hard to find. I think a glittery cami with block coloured trousers are a huge yes for an evening look, or a plain top with a glitter midi skirt is just to die for. This trend can be used anywhere on an outfit for that extra touch of glam, and just looks so beautiful in the Summer when it catches the sun.

Shop this Post:

Skirt – H&M

Top – Primark

Shoes – Zara

Bag – Gucci 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

My favourite higher high street brands

My favourite higher high street brands

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

As a fashion lover, I admire and love so many different brands across the industry. So today I wanted to discuss my favourite higher high street brands, which are the brands I choose to shop at for key pieces in my season wardrobe and items that I invest in knowing they are going to not only last me a long time but not go out of fashion in my eyes. When I look at my wardrobe, or my style, I would say that I have a very much high street wardrobe which I then use my more expensive items to complete any look. I don’t believe in spending a fortune on all areas of my wardrobe and I have to say, clothes themselves are where I do generally spend less money.

I can very easily separate my wardrobe into three sections. The first being my core items that are the building ground for any outfit, followed by my higher end high street items to bring the other items to life. Followed by my much higher end pieces to really complete a look.

If I had to explain these higher high street brands to anyone, I would very much summarise them as brands I shop at a few times a season for key pieces, compared to my basics which I shop at regularly each month. They are the brands that I get such a buzz from when getting to shop at them, and they are the brands that I would say I get such good value for money from in my wardrobe.

Zara

So, you probably read Zara and thought ‘no way is that high end’ but bear with. Yes, Zara is amazing for basic pieces and seasonal trends, however there really are categories of Zara that I would summarise as high end. For me that would be there higher quality coats and blazers. Zara is my go-to when I want a good blazer or seasonal coat and as you are probably aware, they are by no means cheap, hence why I categorise them as being higher end. The blazer featured in this post sums that all up perfectly, as it is something, I have had my eye on for a really long time and adore the quality of it. This blazer for me screams Chanel vibes, and can be dressed up or down for an elegant and utterly chic look. The blazer cost £90 and was such an investment for my wardrobe.

Dune London

I have raved multiple times here on the blog about Dune London and will never stop… I absolutely love them! They are my go-to for good quality, value for money footwear, all year round. They have so many beautiful styles of shoe for every season, are so well made and amazingly manage to follow the trends with all their looks. The shoes featured in this post were a treat to myself as I branded them ‘my birthday shoes’ and I have worn them so many times since. They are the perfect shoe for day to evening, Summer and Spring and most importantly, they are so comfortable. If you are looking for new shoes, Dune should be your number one!

Michael Kors

I think a lot of us can agree that Michael Kors is a great brand for bags and accessories. I have loved their handbags for years and have lost count of how many I have had come and go in my collection. The red bag featured in this blog post is one of my absolute favourites and the style itself I have in three colours because they are so easy to use for different outfits. Every bag I have had from this brand has been amazing quality, they all work with so many different looks and they are extremely hard wearing. A definite go to when I am looking for a new handbag that is mid-range in cost.

Ted Baker

As with Michael Kors, Ted Baker is another brand that I adore and, in my eyes, they are very on par with each other. I do love Ted Baker handbags and accessories like Michael Kors, however I also absolutely love all their clothing and other pieces such as sunglasses and swimwear. Everything they produce is great quality, always such pretty and unique designs as well as being timeless in style. The few Ted Baker clothing pieces I own a cherishes items in my wardrobe and they have all definitely had their cost per wear!

Mint Velvet

Mint Velvet is the latest brand that I fell in love with and I would definitely call it higher high street end in terms of cost. Since discovering them around a year ago I have had quite a few pieces and I love wearing them each day. I have had a lot of jewellery from them, shoes, day tops and this year a few Summer dresses. They all fit into my wardrobe and style perfectly and I can’t fault them on anything. They are also lovely shops to visit and it is always a pleasant experience when you buy from them, in store or online.

 

Shop this post:

 

Blazer – Zara

Jeans – Zara

Top – Zara

Shoes – Dune London

Bag – Michael Kors

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

Styling Silk this Summer

Styling Silk this Summer

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Silk has been the biggest trend of 2019, and it is something I have adored, however found extremely difficult to style on myself. The classic straight cut, silk Topshop skirt that everyone has been wearing caught my eye instantly, although when I put it on it was a very different story. I have a very small waist, followed by hips that go out a lot. Therefore, a lot of skirts look strange on me as they go out and in way too much to be deemed anywhere near flattering. So, long story short, the skirt didn’t work for me. Wanting to be involved in this trend I searched high and low for an alternative, and finally found something a lot more like me. I headed to trusty ASOS and found the perfect skirt for me, a midi skater style skirt, in gorgeous champagne, and most importantly, silk! I adore this new item in my wardrobe and have had a lot of fun over the past few weeks styling it for different occasions. It has been worn for work, special occasions and even dressed down for a chic day look.

Silk is a texture that can be adapted to suit you and the occasion in so many different ways. This is one of the many reasons that I am so thrilled that silk has become a big style trend of the moment.

Perhaps you are like me and love this trend, but are also struggling like me to get it to work for you? I wanted to put together a little blog post based all around silk, styling it for different occasions and most importantly making it work for you. This can often be the hardest part of new trends on the scene, as we all love what others are wearing but really struggle as obviously it is never one size fits all.

Alternative Styles

First things first, as I have had to do, always search for an alternative to the on-trend piece. I loved the straight cut silk skirt, however it didn’t work with my body shape, so I had to search for an alternative. Silk is the part that I loved the most, so I knew straight away that I was able to mix this up and find a silk-based skirt in a different style. Luckily for me, a midi, flowy skirt is just up my street so stumbling across one in silk was a great find for me! So, in this case, I found the texture I love in a style that really works for me.

Casual Accessories & Tying Knots

I think the biggest trend in terms of silk is styling it down as part of a chic and effortless day look. The first way of doing this is with extremely casual accessories, such as lighter toned silvers and rose golds rather than in your face statement pieces. Followed by dainty handbags, shoes and easy look hair dos. For me, I always style my hair in a low bun or with simple waves when wearing silk in the day. Another way of dressing down this material is tying knots, especially with a silk blouse. I think a pair of denim jeans with a white silk shirt, tied in a knot at the front is such an elegant and chic off duty look.

As an underneath item

If you think of a silk blouse/ shirt, a great way of wearing it as a day item is underneath another item, such as dungarees, a Summer jumpsuit/ playsuit or even a dress. This kind of look is perfect for a dressed-up situation such as a Summer wedding, christening or even day time lunch. This is something I have seen a lot recently around London, and particularly with those attending the latest year at Wimbledon.

Biker and Denim Jackets

Silk works great when contrasted with another texture. In the evening I love the look of silk with a denim or biker jacket to give it an amazing contrasted edgy feel. Again, take a white silk shirt and jeans, with a biker jacket thrown over, or a silky white dress with a denim jacket thrown over with Summer sandals. Both these looks are my kind of dream, and it is just making me want to invest in a lot more silk for my wardrobe!

Mis-match Textures

As with the jackets, silk works best with an obvious mix-match of textures. I always think that my silk skirt works best with a cotton based top, or even a jumper in the cooler months. This difference in texture adds so much to an outfit and completely finishes off any silk look.

 

Shop this Post:

Skirt – ASOS

Top – Zara

Shoes – ASOS

Bag – Gucci

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

My Favourite Jewellery Brands

My Favourite Jewellery Brands

Today I wanted to talk about something a little different here on the blog, jewellery. I have always loved jewellery and have always been the first to notice a lovely piece of jewellery out and about, however it is only in recent months that I have started to really utilise the accessory and wear the things that work best for me. I think when it comes to this accessory, a lot of us are very prone to sway towards items that others and more so what is deemed to be on trend. A lesson I have learnt is that jewellery should be a timeless edition to an outfit and something that should be a true reflection of you without going out of trend. If any of you have watched Riverdale on Netflix, you will know what I am talking about when I say that Veronica owns those pearls. It is a simple design, and a classic stone that normally you wouldn’t expect to see on someone so young. However, the simple accessory very much resembles her personality and now when you see her without them it definitely looks like something is off. This is the way I want to be with jewellery. I would like key pieces in my collection that compliment my style and I, as well as can be transitioned for many different reasons.

I thought that doing a blog post purely based on jewellery brands I love is something that is way overdue here, especially as it is a part of my love for fashion that is continuously growing.

I don’t have the funds in my life to spend a fortune every time I shop on extremely expensive jewellery, and if I am being honest, I don’t believe you need to. The first brand that I adore is Mint Velvet for their accessories and mainly jewellery. I have had countless pieces from them over the last year and can do nothing but rave about their quality, unique design and value for money. The earrings featured in this blog post are from Mint Velvet, in the silver and rose gold star design. I simple adore this design and have found them to be very versatile in my wardrobe. They can be worn with a simple top and hair up look for effect, or they can be worn with other accessories to add the ideal finishing touch to any look. If you are a fan of the star design that is very popular nowadays, you definitely need to check out Mint Velvet across all their stock.

My next favourite jewellery brand is probably my longest standing favourite, and it is the only brand I have ever loved the watches from. Olivia Burton is a brand that I got into many years ago when it was really very trendy to have one of their watches and they were probably one of the most instagrammed things for a while. I loved them straight away for their simplicity, intricate design and overall selection of colour tones, shapes and sizes. I have had many of their watches since the obsession began and can’t really picture myself ever wanted to try another brand again. The one featured in this post was a present from my boyfriend over three years ago, and the light pink toned strap with the gold makes this my usually every day go to. I absolutely love the design and look of it on my wrist and think that it really compliments my style to a tee. As with Mint Velvet, I think that Olivia Burton is such a good bet as they are all beautiful and great value for money.

Pandora is a brand that is obviously very much a trend and we all love because everyone has items from them, however I do think in the last year they have really stepped up their game and started to release a lot more jewellery that is unique to them. Some of their limited-edition ranges have just been to die for, and I am gutted that I didn’t manage to get my hands on a few. Nevertheless, I am very happy with my main Pandora piece, which is the classic charm bracelet. I know it is a bit of a cliché and something everyone has, but I love my bracelet. It goes with most of my wardrobe, can be put on for added depth to an outfit and most importantly the charms do remind me of big things in life that I have gone through. I don’t wear it every day as I want to keep those memories special, although when I do, I love it.

The next item is from Tiffany and Co and is the classic small ‘open-heart’ necklace. I chose this for my 21stpresent as I wanted something that could be worn every day, that goes with everything, can be easily layered and most importantly will sit above all my tops. Due to my operation scar, I am often very prone to choose tops that are high, so having a necklace that was shorter meant that it is still able to be seen. For me this necklace signifies so much more than a beautiful piece of jewellery, as it is something, I received for a day that was a big deal in my life and it is a constant reminder each day of my operation that I overcame. Things like this do make me realise how much people can underestimate the power of jewellery. I don’t yet have anything else from Tiffany and Co, however after sitting in one of the London stores swooning over everything, I am sure that in my life time that is going to change.

Shout out to the independent designers

Finally, after talking about a few larger brands, I would also like to make it very clear that a large percentage of jewellery in my collection is from independent designers that I have bought at times when I haven’t been looking. Holiday markets have always proved to be great for me, as well as small independent shops in small villages and towns. I choose to shop in a variety of different places for everything in my wardrobe, so think it is only fair to mention that I personally find some of my favourite original pieces do come from smaller businesses.

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.