Putting a Spring in Your Step this Season

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So it’s come to that time of year again, where we’re thinking about our holidays, sunbathing by the pool or a beach, and keeping our fingers (and toes) crossed that the British weather will be kind to us this summer. I say it’s come to that time of year again, as it happens in January too – spurs of motivation to get fit, whether it’s for the new year, or to reach your dream beach bod for your holiday. The snapchats, the hashtags and the grimace that forms on your face when you force yourself to order a caesar salad over a burger. Yep, I’m guilty too.

So in light of this, I’m going to show you my favourite athleisure must-haves and essentials that I keep inside my gym bag this season…

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Sportswear

I’m not incredibly fussy when it comes to sportswear, however I am always drawn to brightly coloured and patterned details when it comes to choosing my workout clothes. I tend to go for something that I feel comfortable in, both literally and physically. Both of the black gym bottoms I purchased from New Look, and the green coloured one is 3/4 length, and blue detailed one is full length – always nice to have a bit of variety.

Although I love patterns, I tend to keep it to one patterned item at a time. For example, patterned leggings, and a plain top, or a patterned top, and plain leggings. If you want to check out some patterned sportswear, check out Adore Me‘s collection, and if you’ve not got the time to mix and match patterned outfits, they even have patterned althleisure sets! The only choosing you’ll have to do is deciding which weights you’re going to lift this session!

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Footwear

Footwear is one of the most important things to consider when searching for your gym gear – they need to be flexible, comfortable and supporting, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of cardio or running exercises. I have always been partial to Nike trainers, just because I know I am guaranteed all of these three things. I live in my Nike Flyknit Roshes, as they are not only the most comfortable shoes I own at the gym, they are also my favourite driving shoes! I would suggest investing in a good pair of trainers if you’re thinking of starting the gym or exercise, as it’s not only important to be comfortable, but if you exercise in flimsy (or the opposite – too hard) shoes, you can result in injuries.

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Gym-Bag-Essentials

One thing I cannot go to the gym without is music. Once my headphones go in and I press the play button, I am instantly in the zone. Even on those sluggish days. Keep going till the end of the chorus… you’ve got this far, might as well smash this set until the end of the song. Music is my mini PT (Personal Trainer) cheering me on. Perhaps try this type of motivation if you’ve not challenged yourself before, or find it hard to motivate yourself during a set. You’ll be surprised at how you actually can finish the set if you put your mind to it.

Another gym bag essential I always bring with me is my padlock. The gym I use, padlocks are the only way you can use a locker, so this is an absolute must!

Towels are an essential, whether it’s a sweat towel to carry around with me in between sets, or an actual body towel for my post-workout shower (my favourite bit!).

Water. If you don’t drink during or after a gym session, then shame on you! Losing sweat at the gym, it is vital that you put back the water you have lost from your body to avoid becoming dehydrated and feeling lethargic. Depending on how much cardio I perform, I usually tend to drink 1 litre of water per gym session.

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Photography by Charlotte Jackson and Rachel Jefferies

Olympus Pen E-PL8, 45mm

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How to Find Your Perfect Bag

I’m usually a one-bag-girl. Not in the sense that I only have one bag, oh hell no. But when it comes to my everyday bag, I don’t switch up my bags very often. I will most likely wear one bag continuously, until I find the next bag of my liking. Any particular reason? Yes, laziness.

Not going to lie, I’m basically Mary Poppins when it comes to having too much stuff in my bag, meaning that transporting this ‘stuff’ from one bag to another every. single. day. can be a tad impractical. Keys, purse, mirror, lipstick(s), tissues, hand sanitizer, a pen, paracetamol, Kindle… and usually an abundance of receipts that seems impossible to not exist in my bag. About 98% of the time before I have to leave on a morning, I am running around like a headless chicken, so believe it or not – I don’t have the time to transport my ‘stuff’.

What’s important when shopping for your perfect bag…

I bought this bag for the intention to become an everyday bag, meaning that it needed to be big enough to hold my ‘stuff’ previously mentioned. However, seeing as I am quite a busy girl, hopping from coffee shop to the library (and, let’s be realistic, probably to another coffee shop), I also wanted a bag big enough to be able to hold notebooks and my laptop if required.

The colour of your bag is everything

One thing that instantly drew me to this bag was its colour. Anyone who knows me well will know that natural/neutral colours are my absolute go-to, meaning that khaki is most definitely one of my preferred colours when it comes to my style. It matches every other colour in my wardrobe (brown, grey, black, white, beige shades), and its classic style is perfect for all-year round.

The tip when searching for a bag you are planning to wear copiously is make sure the bag is a dark(ish) colour. This means that you are guaranteed to be able to wear this bag with almost every outfit. And as a bonus, any dirt or even dye from your jeans won’t be as noticeable – win win!

My Top Tip

When I search for a bag, I also like to think about the hardware tones. It seems a little extravagant, but this really is one of my most important tips when it comes to nailing your bags. Firstly, I consider what type of bag I am searching for (casual/daytime, a work bag, evening, smart, special occasion). Knowing that this bag was going to be for everyday, I then thought about the jewellery I tend to wear on a day-to-day basis – which is gold. Choosing a bag with gold hardware accents will complement the jewellery I am most likely to wear, meaning the bag will match almost any outfit I choose to wear. This is a smart way to make sure you get the most wear out of your bags.

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SHOP THIS BAG

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Images: Harry Dyer, Rachel Jefferies

How to Style Jewellery From Day-to-Night

Up until the last 3 years or so, jewellery really wasn’t my thing. In fact, accessories weren’t my thing. And if anything, I used to forget to accessorize my outfits. However, when I started to interpret jewellery and accessories within my style, I quickly realised that something so simple, such as the small detail of necklaces, can transform your outfit – from casual, everyday wear to sophisticated evening-style.

What I wear: day

When it comes to jewellery, I am a watch girl. By that, I mean that watches are my favourite pieces of jewellery. Ironic, because I’m late to pretty much everything in my life. But hey ho, at least the watch looks good… A simplistic and modest style, my Cluse watch is an accessory I wear everyday without fail. Complementing any day-time outfit, I am hugely fond of the clear face, and the watch’s design is timelessly modern.

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I’ve never been a loud costume jewellery lover, as I always feel like the little details speak much louder when styling your outfit’s accessories. Pretty and simple is what I look for. Through the courtesy of my work with Stylist, I was given a My Shining Armour necklace and I have not stopped wearing this beauty! 18ct gold-plated necklace, this simplistic yet stunning necklace is definitely one of my new favourites to accessorize any day outfit with.

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I have recently rediscovered my love for chokers, completing any daytime outfit that needs that little bit more detail to finish its ‘look’. Velvet, lace, you name it – chokers are now available in various materials, adding that finished edge to any outfit that needs a little more oomph!

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What I wear: evening

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You can probably tell that this watch has been worn endlessly. That’s because it has. Working in a jewellery store, this was the first piece of jewellery I treated myself to, and I am still in love with it just as much as the day I did the day I spotted it behind the counter. The secret when it comes to evening-wear abides by the famous rule, less is more. Petite pieces of jewellery are always a winner, especially if you only need to polish and complete an outfit due to your evening outfit already being a statement itself. Although this dainty watch is considerably smaller than my day-time Cluse watch, this Rotary classic never fails to introduce a subtle charm to any evening outfit.

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Switching the colours up, these two pieces are my absolute favourite for when I’m feeling less gold, and more silver. Both complementing each other, the eternity ring my parents bought me for my 18th birthday, and the Casio Sheen Bijou watch I bought afterwards to match with the blue diamonds and silver tones from my ring. Casio describe their range of Sheen Bijou watches as “[showcasing] delicate and petite styles, that radiate femininity for those who love their accessories to be simple and subtle”, which is exactly what this watch does! Although I wear this ring every day, I feel as though the watch’s sparkle details completes the classic look during evening outfits.

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You can probably guess the theme here… Rose gold bangles/bracelets. Rose gold took me a long time to become fond of, as I was so used to just the plain old silver or gold. However I’d probably go as far to say that rose gold is possibly one of my favourite colours of jewellery to wear. The pretty, delicate colour isn’t too overpowering, and it is the perfect colour to transform from day-to-night.

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Products featured:

Rose gold Cluse watch: Cluse

18ct yellow gold tone ‘O’ necklace: My Shining Armour

Khaki material choker: River Island, £5

Pink nude velvet choker: River Island

Gold tone Rotary watch: Rotary, £175

Silver tone Casio Sheen watch: H Samuel, unknown 

Sterling silver & blue diamond eternity ring: Ernest Jones

Ted Baker rose gold button bangle: Ted Baker

Ball rose 14ct gold-plated bangle: Pia

Chamilia pink leather braid charm bracelet: H Samuel

Photograph credits: Rachel Jefferies

Stylist Live 2016 – A Festival of Inspiration

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Stylist magazine has been my post gym routine pick-up (and also my post gym pick-me-up on those lethargic days) for over a year now, and as some of you may know, I attended Stylist‘s very own magazine event last October, Stylist Live. Finding out that Stylist, my favourite magazine that I religiously collect, was holding a magazine event for readers like myself to attend, greeted with a complimentary glass of champagne and spending the day indulging in everything fashion, beauty and writing related – how long do you really think it took for me to decide whether to go or not? Five, six seconds? Most likely. And it meant I had an excuse to take a trip to London… As if my decision needed any more reasons to say yes. There was no need for persuasion, because a few mouse clicks later and my tickets were purchased.

If you want to read about my experience at Stylist Live 2015, follow this link: https://coffeeandchapters.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/stylistlive-magazine-event/

Some of you may have gathered where I am going with this… yes, you’ve got it; Stylist is back this October with Stylist Live 2016. Having such a brilliant time first time round, I have made sure Stylist Live is reserved in my diary this October. So what exactly is Stylist Live, I hear you ponder.

 

Stylist Live – A Festival of Inspiration

Fashion | Beauty | People | Life | Books | Ideas

http://live.stylist.co.uk

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Following last year’s hugely successful event, Stylist Live returns from 13 – 16 October 2016 at the Business Design Centre in Angel, London.

Stylist Live is hosted by inspiring idols, such as journalist and author, Caitlin Moran; journalist and writer, Sali Hughes; author of The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins, actress, producer and fashion designer, Sadie Frost; novelist and non-fiction writer, Marian Keyes; British television presenter (BBC), Cherry Healey; Journalist, broadcaster; cook, writer and presenter, Thomasina Miers along with many more. This year’s Stylist Live brings guests talks, workshops, pop-up shops, food & drink and catwalks… everything you could dream of, all in one place.

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Image taken by: JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHY

Talks & Workshops

Stylist Live weekend features over 150 talks and workshops across seven stages, where Stylist ‘aim to inspire each and every guest’. So if it’s beauty tutorials, tips on how to write a novel (umm, yes please!), a cooking master class, or life and relationship advice, Stylist will have you covered. Find the full list of talks and workshops here http://live.stylist.co.uk/talks-and-workshops

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Image taken by: Rachel Jefferies
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Image taken and provided by: Stylist

Pop-ups

And you’d be silly to assume that is no such thing as a lifestyle magazine event without that one thing we all go crazy for – shopping. Over 100 boutique pop-ups with our favourite brands such as Clarins, Swarovski, Tangle Teezer, Caudalie, Coco’s Liberty and many more. Not to mention the holy grail of quirky and unique gift brands – notonthehighstreet – where guests are able to ‘make and customise a range of gifts and homewares’ at the ‘Create Lab’, presented by notonthehighstreet.com. Offering tutorials and advice for this season’s latest trends, make up brand (and without a doubt my absolute favourite), Urban Decay will be making eyes pop… with make up, and probably most definitely literally. Find the full list of pop-up boutiques at http://live.stylist.co.uk/pampering-pop-ups.

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Image taken by: Rachel Jefferies

Catwalks

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Image taken by: Rachel Jefferies

 

Supported by Swarovski, Stylist’s catwalk shows run throughout the day for every guest to experience, strutting fashion looks such key a/w 16 trends featuring Swarovski’s latest season jewellery and high street style ideas. The ambience of the show is unforgettable, pulling together some perfect pieces making you leave cat-walking through the London Underground.

Food and Drink

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Image taken by: Charlotte Jackson

And if all of that isn’t enough to look forward to, Stylist Live 2016 partnered with Chambord means that receiving a complimentary cocktail on arrival will kick start your day the best way. Additionally, The House of Peroni, Toastits and Crosstown Doughnuts will be available to tempt, and satisfy (once you inevitably give into temptation) your taste buds. Stylist Live 2015 introduced me to Pukka tea, converting me into a herbal tea lover, transforming my dull, solo choice of Breakfast Tea into an exotic herbal selection. Cheers Pukka.

Give me the deets!

Stylist Live 2016 – A Festival of Inspiration is held at London’s Business Design Centre, commencing between Friday 13th and Sunday 16th October 2016, and tickets are available now. ‘Standard tickets allow purchasers to reserve a place at their choice of talk or workshop as well as one catwalk show. You can attend more than your reserved sessions on the day, on a first come, first served basis.’

Tickets are available as Standard or VIP, where VIP includes exclusive access to hair styling, a make-up station, cocktails, shop & drop and more, plus a Stylist Live goodie bag. For more info on tickets click here.

Sounds like your cup of tea? See you there!

To view the full programme, buy tickets and reserve your place for talks, workshops and catwalks visit live.stylist.co.uk

For more info please contact fiona.swanson@stylist.co.uk

Stylist Live

13th – 16th October 2016

Business Design Centre, London, N1 0QH

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All images credited in image captions.

All quotations (of information) given: Stylist.

My Hair Confession

So here’s a little bit about my life:

Age 5: First time I went swimming

Age 8: First time I got my ears pierced

Age 12: First time I owned a phone

Age 12: First time I got a detention (and cried so much she took it back lol)

Age 13: First time I went abroad without my parents

Age 17: First time I started working  (paid)

Age 18: First time I bought my own alcoholic beverage

Age 19: First time I got my hair cut in a salon

Age 20: First time I will worry I’m getting old

Wait, what?

Rewind back to 19. First time I got my hair cut in a salon. WHAT?

Yep, it’s true. And I sincerely apologise to any hairdressers reading this. I am ashamed. I am ashamed that I have completed thirteen years of compulsory education, drank (probably too many) shots of vodka, maintained a hobby of swimming for twelve years, passed my driving test, moved away from home to attend uni – all before I have had my hair cut in a salon. And to rub a little more salt into the wound, when people asked me how I have managed grow my hair so long, I would have to embarrassingly reply about how I hadn’t had my hair cut for a year and a half.

But before you jump to conclusions and pity-close this tab, I’m going to save my ass and say it doesn’t mean I’ve never had my hair cut. Now that would be silly, right? The entire time up until I reached secondary school, my mum used to cut my hair for me. So for 7(ish) years, she worked her magic with a pair of scissors, giving me plain, simple, shoulder length hair. Possibly with a full fringe if she felt adventurous, making me look like a real-life version of Boo from Monsters Inc. However, when I reached secondary school and I undeniably became pickier, she handed over the responsibility to my cousin, and also hairdresser, Lauren. Coming to my house for (yearly – and I take full responsibility for the lack of) hair appointments, meant that I had never undergone the full salon experience. So with the inspiration of a new hairstyle, and cringing at the state of my dry split ends, I decided that I should make a change.

Cutting Edge

Uni friend, Abbi, decided she wanted her hair done too, so we both spent a good few hours hunting online for an adequate yet relatively cheap salon (#StudentProblems). Eventually, we stumbled across a salon which is 5 star rated, and only a 20 minute walk from our halls – Precision Designs Cardiff. I guess you could say I booked the appointment pretty quickly, which is kind of a big deal as you can probably guess how easy I find putting off making hair appointments. *A YEAR AND A HALF! the voice inside my head screams*. So when Friday came around, I was ready to say goodbye to my very own lion’s mane.

I did feel a swarm of anxious anticipation whilst sat waiting for my appointment, and I’m not afraid to admit that. Why? Because being daring with my hair has gone about as far as being absolutely ludicrous and asking for layers. Or breaking the law and ombréing the ends of my hair myself. Get the picture? I’m not daring at all when it comes to hair. What if I don’t like my hair short? What if I can’t pull off my new hair change? What if too much gets cut off? ran through my head like a stuck record, however when I was called into the Chair of Change – I shall call it – I knew it would be a positive experience when they offered me a latte… the key to my heart.

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Look at how gorgeous that latte looks. Can a latte even be described as gorgeous? Looks like it just has.

 

Side note: I am aware I have taken plenty of pictures for this experience, however this was a very exciting time for me. And yes, I won’t deny possibly squealing “I’m so excited” to Abbi before the appointment. Please don’t judge me. Besides, it makes your reading experience on this blog much more visual… it’s a win win if you ask me.

Hair Re-Vamp

Seeing as I have had long hair for such a huge period of my life, I felt like I wanted a change. However umming and ahhing whether to actually go short was a bipolar decision for me. I would convince myself short was the way to go, yet I would find myself fiddling with my hair, appreciating how long it is, wondering if I will regret it soon after it gets the chop. But as soon as I plunged in the deep end, telling Shauney (my hair Stylist) that I wanted to go a lot shorter, I had no choice but to have faith in my decision.

So what did I actually have done to my hair?

Step 1: Bye Bye Hair

Well, my limp and lifeless hair had even looked like it had enough of being long and neglected of care. I guess I would too, so I understand. Sorry, hair. So it was time to say good riddance to having to brush out weekly knot clumps, and malting more than an animal. No seriously, some flatmates have told me they have found my hair around the flat and in their rooms, even when I haven’t even stepped foot into their rooms. My hair has a mind of its own, and now apparently can grow legs too.

Step 2: Highlights

Chopping my hair to an inch or so below where I wanted, I then had highlights (half a head) of blonde put in my hair. Considering my desired style, Shauney faded my highlights from my roots to allow a less obvious, and more sun kissed look of blonde to gradient throughout my hair. The inspiration of my hair colour is called “bronde”, and for those of you who are thinking “what the hell is that?“, it’s brown hair with the subtle gradient of blonde – beautifully worn by my favourite blogger, Lydia Elise Millen. However, due to my hair being such a dark colour, my hair didn’t take to the blonde dye as strongly as I intended. To cool down the blonde that had worked, I had a toner put on my hair, and my hair Stylist assured me that it will be a working progress to get it to the bronde colour I had wanted.

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Highlight of my week. Ha.

Step 3: Tone, Wash & Dry

I sat through reading trashy gossip magazines – my pet hate, sorry not sorry. But hey, at least I am all clued up about Liam Payne and Cheryl’s X-Factor sparked relationship. And how Leonardo DiCaprio is bouncing from chick to chick at parties and clubs. *Grimaces weakly*. And after my brain was transformed to slosh from reading gossip stories, slightly burnt around the edges from the smell of bleach dye, my favourite bit finally arrived – wash and blow-dry. Therapeutically revitalising and relaxing, my head was smiling again, surrounded by soap suds.

 

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Step 4: Style & Curl

After framing my face with a subtle fringe, my hair was treated, curled and styled. And voila! 4 hours later, and my new ‘do was complete. Smiling like a cheshire cat, both Abbi and I were pleased with our bouncing curls.

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Hello, hydrated locks

 

So there you have it, my hair confession. And if you hadn’t already gathered by the amount of pictures I had documented, which were obviously taken for blog purposes – I mean, who gets that excited about getting their hair cut, to need to take pictures? Oh, me apparently. So I think that it’s safe to say that my salon experience lived up to my expectations (and more), and I felt incredibly pampered as I walked out. Belly-button length hair is now no more, and I am loving the change.

Links to those mentioned:

Precision hair Design Cardiff website: http://www.precisioncardiff.co.uk 
Lydia Elise Millen blog: http://lydiaelisemillen.com
All images above: Taken by Rachel Jefferies

P.s. I don’t know about you, but I could not relate to something more than this.
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Guide to Finding Your Own Style

Hello all, firstly I hope you all had a lovely Easter break, and haven’t drowned in too many chocolate eggs. I certainly didn’t, because my two (*crying emoji*) lasted me about 10 minutes. And if you think I’m eggxagerating, then the yolk’s (joke’s) on you. Eggxcuse the awful puns. I’m here all week… *tumbleweed travels across your screen*

Sorry. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce a new section to my blog: Fashion. (Well, that a dramatic entrance). I have always been interested in fashion, but never passionate enough to stamp and rave about it due to difficulty in finding my own style. However I feel like I can comfortably say that I have found my inner fashion frenzy that has been flowering for a while now, so I though why not make a section of my blog for it. Now let the stamping and raving commence.

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Fashion Fix

As you’ve probably guessed by this blog title post, I will be talking about how finding your own style can actually ruffle some feathers. Growing as a person and being surrounded by different styles, well… it can appear to be dauntingly overwhelming to say the least, and trying to depict which style you prefer can be more confusing than you realise. Looking back over the years (and hatefully cringing at tragic old photos, eugh) I can certainly see how my own style has changed and developed. You’re probably all-too familiar with the “ew what was I thinking, going out of the house looking like that?” panic thought, reflected in your widened eyes when reminiscing with old photographs. Yep. Me too. However it’s only taken me until the past year or so to realise that looking back on your style change, accompanied by these epiphanies, really does allow you to find your feet. And not the ones that are wearing a sickly lilac coloured pair of Crocs. (OK, I was 10… moving on VERY swiftly).

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Placid Sweats Vs Pretty Shirts

Looking back, I remember it being particularly frustrating how I could wake up one morning and feel like chucking on a boyfriend tee (the only type of boyfriend in my life lol) and jeans, and the next morning channelling my girly style, choosing to wear a pretty lace top. Makes sense, huh? No. It absolutely  infuriated me how polar-opposite my fashion style would change on a day-to-day basis, and how I would feel confident in one style and perhaps a little more shy in another. And one of the worst parts about it was that I was aware I was doing it, making it even more annoying, not cool. Not to mention how stressful shopping became, falling in love with an item to then find myself looking at it in my wardrobe with remorse a few months down the line, when I’m flaunting a different style. But despite the tantrums and heartbreaking waste of money, I am actually glad I can say I experimented with my look, and even if I was an innocent teen, ignorant to what I should and most importantly shouldn’t wear, I put (mostly) down to the fact that I wasn’t confident with my undecided style. Instead, I resulted to hiding behind what I thought was “me” during finding my own style, which seemed compatible at the time.

This Day and Age

Age is a HUGE factor when it comes to fashion, and growing in and out of styles really is a thing mentally, not just physically. Playing such a strong impact on finding your individual appearance, and deciding whether to follow the crowd or be slightly more unique is completely your decision to make. I am going to put my hands up now and admit that I look back at old photos and have to chew my own lip to stop myself from blurting out a sentence that sounds a lot like “what the f*** was I wearing?“. I have never dressed in bright, pretty, pink floral patterns, and I realise now that I don’t think I probably will. I’m not saying I can’t dress girly, as my style has definitely become more of exactly that over the years, however I have found my own twist of personality within my style, feeling confident in my blossoming and maturing style.

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How I Would Describe My Style…

Although I will have the odd item that might make my style slightly more interchangeable, I would say the general gist of my own fashion consists of plain or minimally detailed items. The colours of my wardrobe tend to follow a monochrome theme (black, grey and white), and nature related colours (khaki green, beige/ nudes, browns, navy blue, and creams), along with the odd and very rare splash of colour when I’m feeling bold and adventurous. I’m not one for bright colours unless it’s a statement item, and the only type of pink you will ever see me in is pastel pink. Other than that, pink has never been a fond colour of mine.

I have recently found a love for structured items, especially blazers/ structured coats or pencil skirts. I am absolutely digging the whole casual-yet-formal look, and I always feel good wearing something that makes me look sophisticated and well-dressed. Alternatively reflecting this style into a slightly more chilled look, is another favourite with a turtleneck jumper that I pull out from the abundance in my wardrobe, particularly on a crisp morning. But aside from the (slightly more relaxed) Office Girl look, there certainly are days where I push my boot heels aside and still rely on the comfort of my Converse or Nikes.

Anddd You’ve Still Got Mixed Fashion Feelings?

So if you’re like me and have found yourself bouncing along in booted heels one day, and the next you’re wiggling your toes in a pair of Stan Smiths, your style is a learning curve so (try to) embrace it. And you probably most definitely won’t have a eureka moment about your style overnight. It is okay to not know where you stand with your style, and experimenting with different styles will enable you to shape your style within time.

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#Throwback to when I was tanned (sigh)

 

Images: All images are my own.

#STYLISTLIVE Magazine Event

Only in the past six months I have discovered Stylist magazine, and Saturday 17th October, I had the immense pleasure in attending their very own StylistLive magazine event in (my favourite place in England; London, of course). Rewind back six months, where my motivation for my summer beach bod was ridiculously sky-high, and after every Monday session at the gym, my favourite familiar post-workout feeling was always accompanied by picking up my free weekly Stylist magazine. During my gym body blast, I aimed to workout five times a week and eat endless vegetables, but inevitably that was short-lived. Want to know why? Cake. Always. Wins. So when my morale proved to be low and Netflix got the better of me, the thought of receiving my Stylist magazine would somehow dig out an ounce of motivation to go to the gym. Too many times I reluctantly pulled the warm quilt covers off, let my feet touch the chilly laminate flooring and brushed the biscuit crumbs off my pyjama shirt to go to the dreaded Place of Sweat. The Gym. However I finally approved my once-thought reckless decision when my exhausted body was sat in my pyjamas with my freshly washed hair wrapped in a towel, reading my copy of Stylist. I introduced Stylist to my best friend, Charlotte, and she would also religiously pick up a copy each time she went to the gym. We would even pick up a spare copy for one another when we were on holiday, unable to access the Stylist magazine pile in the gym (now that’s commitment, if you ask me). With an abundance of copies of Stylist stacked up on my bookshelf, each week would welcome a new member to the pile; and when I found out about Stylist Live, I knew it was something I couldn’t miss out on.

After purchasing the Stylist Live tickets online with Charlotte, it was only the matter of waiting (eagerly) until the special weekend arrived. Even though it was just a day trip to London, I still had an appearance of Early-Morning-Before-Holiday-Excitement that everyone’s experienced, knotting inside of my stomach when I woke at 5am to depart for London. When we reached the Business Design Centre in Islington, huge images of Stylist Live advertised the event, making the experience seem much more professional and official. I’m pretty sure I squealed with excitement as well. Multiple times. I felt somewhat exclusively important. I felt official, attending the event of a magazine I (much like so many others) read on a regular basis.

When we walked onto the top floor balcony of the main building, we were greeted by the most phenomenal view. Giant characters spelling out ‘STYLIST’ and blown up canvases of Stylist magazine front covers were hanging from the ceiling. The open ground floor below us was maze-like with the booths containing mini boutiques and well-known brands such as Clarins and Benefit make up stalls (I felt my purse wince slightly). A complimentary glass of champagne and Stylist bags were given out to every Stylist Live ticket holder. The enthusiastic atmosphere unwaveringly buzzed throughout the entire day, and at least everyone seemed to be inspired by the busy events which were taking place. Who wouldn’t when you have a make-up artist from NARS showing you how to achieve an autumn berry smokey eye? I wanted to whack out my make up bag there and then and try it out! Workshops, talks and make up tutorials were held throughout the day, as well as a catwalk show in sponsor of Swarovski Crystals. The catwalk was one of the highlights of the day for me at Stylist Live, as not witnessing a catwalk before made the new experience seem much more surreal and impressive. I felt like I was part of the Made In Chelsea cast (which felt incredibly good I must say). Due to the high popularity of the workshop talks, it meant that they were first come first serve; however we managed to get into the How to Write a Crime Novel talk by Kate Griffin, where she discussed her experiences, dos and don’ts, and advice on how to write a gripping crime novel. The engaging discussion was hugely inspiring for every single person in the room, and I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the only one who walked out of the talk wanting to immediately sit down at a desk and start writing my own thriller crime novel.

Stylist was definitely an event that I shall never forget; the organisation was so well thought out and every single member of staff were friendly and animated. I hope that Stylist Live is an event that will occur yearly- I’d definitely be there without fail! I have a lot to thank Stylist for; for forcing me to stop being so lazy, for providing my evenings with something to read after my dreaded workout, and most importantly, for not only putting on such a fantastic event, but for also providing me with such motivation and inspiration to continue working hard to work in the magazine or publishing industry. Thank you, Stylist.

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Photo 17-10-2015 10 22 15 am  Photo 17-10-2015 10 48 45 am

 

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Photographs by: Rachel Jefferies

BOOK BARN INTERNATIONAL

The other week I had a few days off of work and I decided to take a trip to the Book Barn International on Wells Road in Bristol/Avon. The sun was shining and I had such a tranquil afternoon, browsing through the thousands of books and endless shelves. I went alone because I love exploring new books alone, having quiet time to myself to engross myself in potential new reads. I sat down in the vintage cafe that is located in the Book Barn, where I ordered some crumpets and a cup of afternoon tea. I read a few pages of the books that I had picked up and put in my basket, deciding whether the books were suitable/interesting enough to purchase. The cafe even included computers where you can search up a specific book you may be looking for, and you can request them to look for it in their warehouse if it comes up on the computer. I came away from the Book Barn almost four hours after arriving, feeling pleasantly relaxed and a carrier bag with thirteen new books to add to my full bookshelf at home. I would definitely recommend the Book Barn International for second-hand books (and they even have some brand new books) for just £1 each. Bargain if you ask me! An afternoon well spent.

WHAT WENT DOWN? FOALS IS WHAT WENT DOWN

Be known to some of you (perhaps all), but I am a HUGE fan of indie/rock band, Foals, and Friday 28th August 2015, they released their fourth album, What Went Down. I have loved Foals for years now, and the first time I heard their beautifully tranquil, Spanish Sahara, it has been my favourite song ever since. I am seeing them play on their tour in Cardiff in November and excited is an understatement. So the day, What Went Down came out, I especially went to HMV and bought my own copy. What a phenomenon is all I have to say to sum up the incredible new album.

“this is only the beginning for Foals”


The group of five; Yannis, Jimmy, Jack, Walter and Edwin formed in Oxford, England, releasing their debut album Antidotes in 2008. The band have come a long way since their first record and through various interviews, singer and guitarist, Yannis Philippakis voices that this is only the beginning of Foals.

Foals claim that their new album’s music is a step up from their previous I albums, and their “pop” songs will be “poppier” and their “heavy” songs will be “heavier” (as quoted by Yannis Philippakis). And indeed, he is right. Tracks, Snake Oil and eponymous What Went Down are definitely the heaviest tracks on the album, parallel to heavier tracks Inhaler and Providence from previous album of WWD, Holy Fire. I am impressed with the amount of tranquil tracks also, including Give It All, London Thunder and A Knife In The Ocean, tracks that sound even more beautiful at 3am in the morning. And last but not least to mention their groovy Foals-esque-trademark-type of music with their playful guitar riffs and bouncy bass in the background, Birch Tree, Albatross, Night Swimmers and Lonely Hunter, parallel to tracks such as My Number (Holy Fire album), Miami and Total Life Forever (both from Total Life Forever album).


Foals also played a secret-not-so-secret set at Reading and Leeds festivals 2015, playing six songs, some from their new album. Crowds went crazy for the five-piece band, their set looked insane. I am particularly looking forward to their concert in November that has completely sold out, Foals have yet again made us Foals fans extremely proud.


Check out Foals on www.foals.co.uk

BEERWOLF BOOK PUB

Cornwall might as well be be in the dictionary as a synonym for relaxing, because it is a place particularly attracted by slow-moving coast-loving holiday makers, dipping in and out of unique, vintage shops (like me!). Last year I discovered a cosy little pub hidden behind the buzzing town of Falmouth, Cornwall, which is not like any old pub. This pub is the most perfect pub I have ever come across; a library book pub. A room with shelves full of books, available for customers to buy or just read during their tranquil visit. Quiet music fills the quirkily peaceful home (heaven) to book-lovers just like myself. And seeing as I come to Cornwall every summer, I was surprised that I hadn’t discovered it before. I am currently sat in the chilled atmospheric pub with a cup of tea, Cornish pastries and my head buried inside of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (a brilliant read so far), escapism at its finest. Gutted that places like this don’t exist in my hometown, Bristol, so spending all day in here alone on my family holiday seems slightly more justified (however does reading and drinking tea even need to be justified?!)