August 2017 Fashion Favourites

You know the drill, here's six of the things I've loved and worn most this month... enjoy!


The Aviator Jacket You Need This Autumn

Aviator Jacket, Zara; Tee, Asos; Jeans, Marks & Spencer

If, like me, the Acne jacket of dreams looks as though it's set to remain one of our dreams and not a reality then this post is for you... The Aviator jacket is a trend that just keeps on giving, everyone and their mum had the classic black style from Zara last year and whilst I loved how cosy it looked it just wasn't very me.

I didn't buy into the trend as it just didn't feel like it'd be a jacket that would fit into and work with my existing wardrobe. So when I spied this forest green style on Zara's website I immediately added it to my bag - you can catch up on everything else I picked up from Zara in my megga haul here

Super soft and fully lined in faux-shearling they are literally the cosiest and most snug pieces in the world. So whilst I'd been eyeing up the dreamy and now surely iconic Acne style for years and years I'm pretty certain that this number is the next best thing. So, not only is it guaranteed to keep you unbelievably warm all winter long it's such a warm and versatile shade that it'll work with everything - even giving your wardrobe a little extra colour into your everyday looks. Like pretty much everything in Zara I'm certain this forest green Aviator will be a sell-out to pick up one while you can and invest in your winter coat early - this is my go-to move each season as it affords me a little extra time with my boyfriend as, come October he'll have totally forgotten that it was meant to be my only winter coat purchase for the year! 

However, if forest green isn't your colour then don't fear as trusty Topshop have several great options, as do Asos (as ever!) and I've popped together a little edit of a few of my absolute faves...


Two New Marks & Spencer's Dresses

So, as most of you might have already spied over on my insta I've treated myself to two new dresses. One's bright, bright yellow and the other's a very classically cute 'Sarah-Rose dress' - navy ✔️ floral ✔️ fluted sleeves ✔️ They're both the total dream and I totally shouldn't have bought either - especially as summer's basically over.

I therefore felt compelled to share them both with you on here as they're a little too good to just be Instagram exclusives, ha.

First off... the not-so-mellow yellow dream -

Dress, Marks & Spencer; Bag, Asos; Shoes, Marks & Spencer

This bright, happy yellow style is the dream dress to soak up the remaining few sunny days in so even when the weather forecast isn't all that bright your wardrobe can be. Yellow has been this summer's happiest hue and can make even the grossest grey day feel a little less mellow.

Whilst this would be a dream for any late summer wedding's it's also great option to wear into the office on a Monday to dissipate any Monday blues or a Friday to start the weekend early.

As this dress is oh-so bright and fun I'd keep the accessories quite neutral, either opting for a cute straw bag and sling-backs or heeled sandals and an equally as bold cross body bag. Throw a mid-wash denim jacket over the top and pair with primary coloured earrings for maximum impact.

The floral fancy

Dress, Marks & Spencer; Bag, Topshop; Shoes, Marks & Spencer

So, this dress has almost entirely earned it's cost per-wear back already as it's saved me on two occasions where I've had to attend work pitch meetings with advertising clients and my usual go-to of jeans and a tee hasn't quite seemed appropriate. Smart and sweet this lovely floral maxi is cute enough for a summer wedding yet stylish enough for a day date. I realllllly, really love it.

Whilst dresses used to make up a vast majority of my wardrobe and weekday staples they'd rather fallen out of favour so I picked this up almost in spite of the recent me who would have purchased the top version of this dress (should it exist) and paired it with my go-to light wash jeans every-single-day. I'm so happy I opted for something that 17 and 22 year old me would have loved as it made 26 year old me remember how great a really great dress can make you feel. 


Life Saving Denim:

As you'll be able to tell from both my blog and instagram I bloody love a good pair of jeans. And, whilst a great pair of jeans can be a real life-saver on those morning's when you just need something familiar and flattering to throw-on-and-go, they're not really lifesavers. Well, at least not until the 22nd September aka Jeans for Genes day comes around. 

Despite there seeming to be endless days dedicated to absolutely every conceivable thing now, this is one of the remaining few days that truly does make a real difference and one I'm proud to support each year.

Jeans for Genes are dedicated to helping disorder-specific charities and patient groups, offering support services and equipment to children affected by genetic disorders. With around 30,000 babies and children diagnosed each year in the UK alone it's a cause that's close to many people's hearts. With all the money raised each year going towards providing grants for day-to-day support, equipment, nursing and patient support services, and events which bring together affected children and their families. 

Whilst wearing your jeans and donating to the charity on the 22nd is a great help, getting fully involved and sporting the cause in their 2017 tee is even better. This year's super sweet style was designed by Glasgow School of Art graduate Molly Lindsay and this graphic tee is effective yet sleek, handily working as well with light-wash vintage jeans as it does with your darker wash styles.

There's plenty of time between now and Jeans for Genes day so, if you're feeling especially inspired and generous click here to sign up for your own free fundraising pack. Whether you show your support by donating in double-denim, hosting an office cake sale, or a school mufti day get involved this September! 

Being In A Long Term Relationship In Your 20s:

Next month marks Tyler and I being together for eight years. EIGHT WHOLE YEARS. It's quite an absurd sentence to write, partly because I don't feel old enough to have been in a relationship for eight years but also because it quite simply doesn't feel like it has been that long.

Tyler's been in my life for a very long time now, he's watched my siblings grow up and we've both moved to university, moved back home, moved back to London and become an aunt and uncle (twice, no less!) in that time. Our eight years together have been amazing but also terribly blighted by tragedies and bad luck, despite - and maybe due to these two factors, we've grown together throughout our twenties.

As our anniversary looms I've been asked more and more about my experience of being in a long term relationship in my twenties and what it means to be in one, so I thought I'd share it all with you.

First off, reaching this anniversary has oftentimes felt quite improbable. People often mention about going through tough times in relationships at different stages - mainly 3, 5 and 7 years and I can totally attest that being a thing. We're both very different people to what we were when we first got together, looking back at who I was at 18 and who I am now there are incredible differences. Thankfully, we've managed to develop together and whilst our paths, locations and goals have varied slightly we've always found a way back to each other.

When we first started dating we'd just finished 6th form and college and had already decided upon taking a gap year before we both moved to London to study at university - bizarrely we'd both decided upon our separate, yet matching plans before we met. That meant we had an entire, really easy year to spend with each other. Fitting work, gigs and festivals around dates.

Whilst we were both studying at London universities we were each at opposite sides of the city which meant we were close enough to see each other, yet far enough apart to live separate lives with different friends. On the few occasions that people have asked whether I'd regret spending my university years in a relationship should we break up the answer was always, absolutely not. Whilst I was happy at university I was happier because of Tyler and I couldn't regret something that had made me feel happy, safe and supported.

We moved back home following our graduation and whilst I commuted to London still for placements and assisting work Tyler started a Masters. This was cut short when his poor leg was really awfully broken (in two places - the little lamb!)  during a football match, it was our first real struggle as such and it was a real defining moment in our relationship. I took up a second job so I could re-start my driving lessons as until that point I hadn't realised how dependent I was upon Tyler (and his car). We basically lived out of my parents house for the following 18 months before we both, again at the same times, secured proper jobs in London and began planning our move back down.

Up to this point we'd been so busy and naive to life that apart from some awesome summer holidays we'd never really travelled together and so we took the opportunity to go on an American road trip and visit all of our dearest friends from university. It was the absolute best time of our lives and if you're reading this and haven't been travelling yet or, are undecided on travelling on your gap year or taking a gap year. GO! Literally the only regrets Tyler and I have is that we didn't take advantage of the full, entirely free year we both had before university.

So, we've now been living together in London for the past two years, with a housemate, and despite the very tempestuous times we've endured here living with my best friend has been the best thing. Whilst we both work long and often mismatched hours coming home to a best friend who you can have an honest chat with, a good moan or a good cry with is perfect - even if we're rarely ever, ever in at the same time. Nights where we eat grapes and cheese for dinner whilst watching some tv series are my absolute faves.

Your late teens/early twenties are some of the most formative and important years of your life and although mine have been greatly shaped by my relationship they've absolutely not been defined by it - something which I think is really key to the longevity of the relationship.

I really believe that you can find so much reward and fulfilment through being in a long term relationship during such a pivotal time in your life, so long as you're open and willing to change, adapt and grow. Tyler and I have changed and grown into very different people over the last six months alone - as happens each time a tragedy hits. Whilst I've grown even more protective of him because of it it's made me even more aware of what we have.

Being a part of an ongoing and developing relationship through these changing and challenging years can be so reassuring and having a constant support when so, so, so many things have changed has been something I'll be forever grateful of. But, possibly the most important element that we've maintained over these past eight long years is space. We've afforded each other the space to change, to pursue our dreams whilst knowing that we were fully supported by one another the entire time. Supported and not defined by each other, that's key.


HUGE Transitional Zara Unboxing + Try-On Haul, August 2017

Some of the all new and oh so wonderful Zara pieces I've picked up recently. I really hope you enjoy it!


How To Deal With Ageing & The Expectations That Come With It

As a few of you might know, it was my birthday in June. Whilst it wasn’t one that’d be classified as ‘major’ (I turned 26, FYI) it meant that I’ve now reached the age at which I’d always imagined I’d be a married homeowner with a baby on the way. Despite these dreams being those of a much, much younger me I’d always imagined twenty-six to be the age at which I have my shit together. This is absolutely not the case and my existential crisis is as true and as major as ever.

Whilst my friends and I all worked hard at school, went to good universities and passed with mostly 2:1’s there’s such a dramatic divide between where we’re all at both financially and emotionally. Although this is pretty normal and almost rather expected, every single year that goes by increases my surprise and shock at pregnancies, engagements and divorces of past school/university friends. It’s that awkward moment when you feel oh so not ready for any of those things whist also feeling the pressure to conform to all the societal norms. Which slowly but surely seemingly loom around everything.

So as my birthday approached this year I felt more and more conscious of what (younger me) I had presumed I would have achieved by now and the vastly contrasting reality of where I’m really at. So, while most people tend to look forward to their birthday and eagerly anticipate the date weeks in advance, this year mine rather loomed over me as a reminder that I’m not a homeowner. 

I tried to go along with the excitement of it and booked a holiday with my boyfriend and family on a dreamy hot island in an attempt to embrace the age and pre-empt my inevitable tidal wave of melancholy. It was all going to plan until my younger brother was taken ill (thankfully very briefly) and a whole new level of perspective was given.

As I told myself over and over when friends of friends tragically died too young age is a privilege not afforded to many and although I don't own a house, am yet to sign any form of permanent job contract and have failed to purchase any form of designer bag it's not the be or end all.

I read a really excellent quote this week that encapsulated all my anxiety towards ageing and the expectations that come with it so perfectly. 

So, don't worry. Or at least take a deep breath and remember you're not in this alone. Everyone gets overwhelmed by pressures and expectations, try to be kinder to yourself and know that you're very much going at the right pace for you. 

Try to handle your expectations. It honestly takes me a little while to work out whether I'm actually happy about something or if I just simply like the idea of it and then, whether being happy ALLLL the time is even happiness. It's all so painfully subjective. 

Whatever you do for your birthday be selfless and make it about you. Whether that's treating yourself to a pedicure or yoga class in the morning, prioritise the things you love. So whether you're feeling it or not your birthday will be a little of what you wanted and all the more rosy because of it.

But what I have learnt, amongst this jumble of thoughts is that ultimately, birthday blues are manageable - it's your party you can cry if you want to. I absolutely have and inevitably probably will do when 28 comes around too. 


The Best Summer Read's Of 2017:

2017 has been yet another great year for really great books.

I don't know whether my recent inability to read a single book apart from when I'm away on holiday which has made me appreciate a really great one all the more.

Whilst its hard to define what makes a great summer read a great summer read, holidays provide the perfect excuse to get into a good one and quickly forget a bad one. Whether it's a real-life thriller, gritty crime story, or heartbreaking novella that'll have us sobbing into our sunbed. Holidays give you a guilt-free window to read and read, soaking up plots as quickly as you soak up the sun.

So whether you're moved by memoirs or captivated by cutesy reads there's something for everyone...

The Girls, Emma Cline

An evocative and thought provoking read. I could not put this one down. Cline's debut novel came out last year but reallly picked up the heat this summer. With the focus upon a teenage girl who joins a dangerous commune in late-60s California. Inspired by the Charles Manson affair, it's so hard not to review these without giving too much away so all I'll say is go buy it now.

What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories, Laura Shapiro

Literally feed your mind with this witty memoir. Detailing everything from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's love of bread-and-butter sandwiches to Eva Braun's last supper this love story about fitness, dieting and body images also gives a whole new perspective on social history.

The Goddesses, Swan Huntley 

For thrill-seeker's this haunting story is ALL about betrayal and forgiveness. Telling the tale of a woman who moves to Hawaii with her family only to find herself getting a little too close to her yoga teacher and then irrevocably wrapped up in a dangerous friendship.

Yes Please, Amy Poehler

I re-read this again this summer. I bloody love Amy Poehler and when I first read her memoir it spoke to me and really helped me gain a fresher perspective on things I was going through at the time. It was so great that I often quote it (and her) to pals who encounter the same things. There's a whole Pinterest board dedicated to her sassy and inspiring quotes... 100% worth picking up again.

Conversations with Friends, Sally Rooney

Sharp and intelligent this novel on friendship, lust and jealously covers the unexpected complications of adulthood. A really brilliant observation of human frailty it's hard not to identify with Frances.

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Levy's follow-up to her Booker-shortlisted Swimming Home is a clever tale of duty, obsession and identity. Following a mother and daughter who embark upon a journey in search of a medical cure for the Mum's paralysis in a Spanish village. With almost expectant twists and tales its a realllll page turner.

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