Saturday 29 November 2014

Houndstooth Coat

houndstooth coat dorothy perkins (similar here) | purple jumper charity shop | denim skirt asos (link) | black chelsea boots topshop (similar here

My gosh it was a mare and a half trying to take decent photographs today. My mum (who is the lucky soul usually dragged convinced into taking my photographs) came to the conclusion that in Autumn the natural sunlight can be so freaking deceiving. What looks stunning to the eye can result out in a washed up mess after that shutter clicks, and thus we adventured around our local park looking for photograph-y spots, getting our shoes very muddy in the process. 

As a self-confessed bargain hunter I'm especially proud of this houndstooth coat. It was originally £89 due to being part of DP's 'luxe' range. Then somebody returned it to the branch I work at (a massive cheers, whoever you are) and it went on sale for £45. And then after noticing it was actually in my size - a rare occurrence - I snapped it up with my staff discount on top. I don't know about you, but by the time it dropped down to £33.75, I was all over it

Now I'm a bit overwhelmed at the moment, but in the best way possible. It's my favourite month in 2 days (!!!) and I've got an university interview this upcoming Tuesday. An excuse to collect my work together and buy some new interview-appropriate clothes? I was completely up for that. So a smart pair of ankle flats, tailored trousers and a few too many Black Friday purchases afterwards, I'm feeling ready. I'm so excited for December.



Tuesday 25 November 2014

Why I Love Travelling So Much

Melbourne, Australia | February 2002

Ever since I was a very young girl, my parents have raised me to love travelling. Now, by no means was this adoration forced. My parents enjoy travelling lots - my Dad has lived in England, Scotland, Canada, Singapore and India, and my Mum's native Australian-ness has meant she's travelled to a fair share of places too. I still remember the day we flew Australia-bound from London Heathrow in 2002. I was four years old, and we were returning to my favourite place in the world. Since then I've been fortunate enough to tick off a number of more countries off my to-visit list, and this list of mine is somewhat ever-growing.

Buenos Aires, Argentina | December 2012

Travelling has an impact on me that I don't feel when I'm not planning my latest trip or reminiscing on my last one. The word 'wanderlust', expressing a great desire to travel, sums my thoughts up in one word. However, to me, travelling is so many wonderful things rolled together in an eclectic and cultural mix. Here's why I love travelling so much...

Wherever I have visited, regardless of location, I have felt a sense of freedom. Now this varies from place to place, as you would imagine, however there's definitely something about being in an unknown place that makes you feel free. It can be confusing at times, overwhelming to say the slightest - but never in a negative way. 

Koh Samui, Thailand | August 2014

Exploring Foreign Cultures
For me this is the most fun of them all. Nothing irritates me more than hearing about people travelling and then not dipping their toes into the foreign culture, which they can do perhaps by eating traditional cuisine or speaking to a local. One of my favourite quotes is "the fool wanders, a wise man travels" as said by Thomas Fuller and I couldn't agree with it more. Sure, spend a considerable amount of time relaxing if you get the chance to go abroad - but pretty please, dedicate a few hours to explore the behind-the-scenes of the place. It deserves it, after all, and it'll probably enrich your mind in ways you won't even believe.

Bordeaux, France | June 2010

Global Languages
I'm a firm believer that foreign languages are the key to the wider world. And yet, I only speak one language. Hmm. When attending international school I always felt like a bit of a loser because compared to many, I was challenged when it came to foreign languages (translation: the cool kids were bi/tri-lingual, and well..I wasn't). I love being abroad and overhearing someone chat to their friend or speak on the phone having absolutely no clue what they're talking about. Was it what they ate for lunch yesterday? Was it their latest (horrific) pun that nobody found funny? I'll probably never know. And it's not knowing that makes it so intriguing.

Chiang Mai, Thailand | August 2014

Airports. Need I say more?
I'm one hundred percent one of those weird souls who has a strange adoration for airports. Knowing that entering one usually means I'm within a few hours of seeing somewhere different and somewhere new excites me beyond belief. It's reached a stage when I actually rate them - my personal favourite's Singapore Changi (indoor palm trees are a big yes from me) whereas I wasn't such a fan of Bangkok's Don Mueang. Think I'm weird? Part of me doesn't even care. Air travel is my absolute favourite, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Vatican City | July 2013

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" - St.Augustine

The Memories
I have uncountable good (and bad) memories from travelling abroad, from my mum being attacked by monkeys in Gibraltar to waiting two hours in Rio's summer heat to visit Sugarloaf mountain...only for it to be so cloudy that the view was nonexistent. You begin to associate memories with a place that stay with you once you've left. Photographs capture the moment, but your memories are what make them complete. You'll miss them and reminisce, and ultimately never regret exploring that new place. Or eating those foods. And on that note, I begin to think about the beautiful beef empanadas I had when in San Antonio de Areco, Argentina. For any South Americans out there who may (although probably won't) be reading this, I am so jealous of you. 

Montevideo, Uruguay | December 2012

Travelling makes you jealous of what others have and grateful for what you do have. It works to complete your understanding of the wider world in incredible ways. So next time you're feeling outrageous, close your eyes and dot your finger on a map and add it to your to-visit list, provided it isn't in the centre of an ocean, obviously. Although that would lead to incredible photographs, I imagine...

"Don't tell me how educated you are. Tell me how much you have travelled" - The Prophet Mohammed


Friday 21 November 2014

Is CK One my 'the one'?

CK One | £18.50 for 100ml | The Perfume Shop (link)

You know those beauty bits that you have on your mental wishlist for more than a while (in this case, literally four years) and then when you finally buy them you wonder what on earth was going on on all of those occasions when you put off getting it, claiming "maybe next time" or "hmm, not now". When I ventured out to Reading earlier this month to catch up with my friend Nadine, I was feeling unusually impulsive when it came to shopping. Now as a blogger I do admit, I love shopping (who doesn't?!) but typically I think about a purchase before making it. My friends would say that because I'm ultra sensible/organised/uptight etc, but it helps me justify my purchases. Needless to say, this justification process wasn't going on when in Berkshire and this was among the bunch of things I picked up that day.

Now I'm not quite ready to announce a life-long commitment, but at 17 that's probably for the best. However, for the time being, this is my weapon of choice and for less than twenty quid, I'm not complaining.


Tuesday 18 November 2014

rust jumper in Autumn

rust jumper tesco | black a-line denim skirt asos (link) | black shearling coat mango | black textured flats new look (link) | silver mini watch casio

My goodness it's been a long'ol while since I posted an outfit on here. It was during a moment of deep thought/daydream that I remembered that within my blog name importantly lies the word 'fashion', and so I figured I oughta get my act together. Now don't jump to conclusions - I have been wearing/loving/buying clothes as much as the next girl, yet I've seriously struggled to find the ideal time x place x light combination. Spending every hour of sunlight at sixth form leaves a navy sky upon returning home at the end of the day, as well as a missed opportunity to take pictures. I'm sure every other blogger in the UK/a light-deprived nation will understand. It wasn't that long ago that I used two small focus lights and my bedside lamp in a desperate attempt to photograph the two little lush pots that I wrote about not that long ago. Times are hard, and I'm not pleased about it.

On a less serious/melodramatic note, life is going well at the moment. The whole idea of thinking about life too much feels more philosophical than necessary but I really mean it, things are looking up at the moment and I'm really happy about it. I mentioned recently that I applied to university (and I documented my struggles applying in my Live Mag UK article here) and fortunately, the UCAS/admissions Gods have listened to my calling and responded. I have currently have 3 offers and 2 interviews, and somehow managed to rack up the quintet within the space of a week. However, I did have to wait nearly two weeks to hear anything, so I did feel the pain of the waiting game. Alternatively, one of my best friends got a response in two hours...a record, I think. I'm working hard and feeling so so motivated and just ready to end my time at school with a bang. Or preferably, ABB.

As for the outfit - I freaking love this skirt. I've said it a million and four times before but I'll say it again, this skirt is simply 'the one'. I also own it in blue and I always have more colours hopping onto my saved list (berry acid wash, anyone?). It is so comfy, so wearable and is hands down my most worn item of clothing. This rust coloured beauty of a simple jumper is a Tesco find from eons ago (correction: probably 3 years ago) and is easily the comfiest thing I own. It came with a matching snood and really is a go-to Autumnal piece. I can just imagine it being the sort of item you'd see in a cute catalogue, with the model artistically throwing leaves into the air and with luscious-looking locks. Needless to say that isn't me for now - I'd get too impatient and receive numerous confused-looking expressions from fellow suburban London dwellers. I'll ramble about the coat another time, and that's a guarantee - I just know this fluffy goodness will be worn non-stop this Winter, and right now I can't get enough of it.


Thursday 13 November 2014

Meeting an Idol | Alex Crawford

It's not very often that you get opportunities to meet people that really inspire you. So when they come along, for crying out loud, please take them. I learnt last week that taking those chances is completely and utterly, one hundred percent worth it.

"Nothing is thrilling about being shot at. There is something thrilling about being in the centre of history".

I got an email from One World Media about six weeks(ish) ago about a day all about foreign reporting careers, which consisted of three mini-seminars/talks. They all looked really interesting - and at £30, was a brilliant deal for such a valuable trio. But one of the three stood out to me - the talk with Sky News' Alex Crawford. She's inspired me big time for a while now - the reporting from Libya in 2011 made such a huge impact on the world and proved that some people are simply willing to work their arses off to show others the truth, no matter how difficult or controversial it may be. And also, it can be women that kick butt. Ever since, I've looked out for her on Sky News - whether this be when reporting from many locations around the globe or from the recent Oscar Pistorius trial.
I learnt a number of valuable lessons during the hour and a half-long talk with her:
  • There is nothing that replaces experience.
  • Safety is the most important thing.
  • Something is wrong if you do not get upset - as a journalist you must feel the story. It's impossible not to get affected.
  • [On the topic of interviews] "Don't be so set on the questions that you don't listen to the answers".
  • Do not be afraid to make mistakes or decisions.
  • You build a 'scar tissue' when you see bad things - you become stronger and learn to cope with them.
  • Have faith in yourself.

I can report that she is absolutely lovely in person - you would think that having experienced so much, she would have a permanent 'shell', but that really isn't the case. She answered numerous questions afterwards, and one of the responses in particular really struck a chord. The question was something along the lines of becoming famous as a reporter, how that is, whether that was the goal and whatnot. And Alex's response essentially declared that it is the story that you want to become famous, not the reporter. And that being famous as a reporter would probably do you no favours whatsoever.

And it was at that moment that reality kicked in. This woman has a family, lives in South Africa, and travels all around the world for her job. The intention was never to become well-known. It was to tell the truth and shed light on the situations you may not even want to be informed of.

And to me, that's incredibly inspiring.

Towards the end of the session, I asked a question about how living in Delhi made an impact on her life as a foreign correspondent and the influence it had. I did this as a fellow previous expat-Delhiite who was interested in the impact it made on her. And this was her reply (along with how she loved India, and that it made a definite impact).

"Travelling opens up the windows of your mind. You're always learning. You should always travel".

And I sat there, nodding happily (probably to the extent that I looked like an absolute lunatic), thinking 'yes girl 100% preach it yes yes yes'. Yes. Travelling is the way forward. And having someone else remind me of that had me itching to hop on a plane and explore another crevice of the world.

At the end I spoke to her and she signed my book, gave me advice and even got in a photo with me, despite how my camera refused to co-operate and took a good two minutes to do anything. It's times like that when I'm standing next to one of the most inspiring women on the planet and my camera simply refuses to photograph and I'm thinking 'please seriously this will probably never happen again, do not give up on me'. 

So that was the day I got to meet an idol. I've wanted to be a journalist since I was twelve years old. I recently applied to study it at university (and fortunately, in the past week I've had some pretty decent responses and things are looking up). But even if they weren't, I wouldn't stop now. I couldn't. Alex mentioned in the talk that as an aspiring journalist, you must really want it - interviewers can tell if you do or not. And I do. And I'll always look back to the signed message in my book. 

I refuse to give up.


Monday 10 November 2014

Two Little Lush Pots

Mint Julips - £5.50/25g | Mask of Magnaminty - £5.50/125g or £9.75/315g

So the situation was that I'd walked an awful long way one day in central London last week, and feeling a little sorry for myself, I accidentally splurged. I think it's fate that London Waterloo's Lush branch is situated right in front of the only four platforms I ever use, so whilst waiting for the train I had to pop in. On that note, can I just holla @ whoever decided to put Lush there. Whenever I get off the train I be smelling 100% fiiiiine, and this makes me very happy.

With only a few minutes to spare I thought it wouldn't be wise to smell every single soap there (though trust me, I would have if time had permitted). Instead I left with the two minity-licious products that filled my mental I-seriously-need-this-now Lush list: Mint Julips and Mask of Magnaminty. Now I've used this mask before and absolutely loved it, so I felt it was only good of me to go back to it...right? The last time I got it was two years ago from Lush's Cardiff Queen St branch (another personal favourite, may I add) and I remember constantly smelling it on the train home to London because it smells so damn fine. It's really good for acne - something that is really irritating me on an on-and-off basis at the moment. 

I've never used a lip scrub before - admittedly I was under the impression that you should only use them if your lips were flakier than the numerous flake-based cereals currently on offer, and only in the deep and dark depths of the Winter. Boy, was I wrong. Mint Julips not only softens my lips but also gives me the sensation that I'm eating mint chocolate chip ice cream when I am unfortunately nowhere near this aforementioned pot of dairy goodness. Now I don't know about you, but in my opinion that is completely and utterly ideal. Who doesn't want to be licking their lips and tasting absolutely beaut - that's my question.


Saturday 8 November 2014

Winter Wishes from ASOS

Oasis classic rose gold face watch | ASOS black and white check top | ASOS Whitby ripped jeans in Alaska wash | ASOS khaki sleeveless wrap blouse | New Look red block heel Chelsea boots | New Look ankle strap flats | ASOS multipack mini hoop earrings

It's no secret whatsoever that I'm a huge ASOS obsessive. In fact, I'm a believer that one of the best decisions I've made in 2014 was signing up for their Premier scheme. Unlimited next-day delivery for a year for a tenner? Yes please. And with ten issues of their brilliant ASOS magazine thrown into the mix, I really can't complain.

I realise that my above selection of ASOS picks don't scream the words 'inevitably long British Winter' to you but hey, I already have my cold weather fundamentals sorted out, so I'm after a few smaller bits to cure the many upcoming freezing nights with a little bit of retail therapy.

I'm really feeling an injection of houndstooth, burgundy and khaki into my wardrobe at the moment and well, that's a big ol' tick for three of my picks. The New Look heeled chelsea boots are such a gorgeous colour and have a bit of height that may do my 5"2 frame a bit of good. New Look have always had a firm spot in my heart when it comes to footwear, so these ankle strap flats have mysteriously crawled onto my list too. I actually tried them on a couple of months ago but decided no due to lack of funds (life of 17 y/o student for ya) but over that time I've been craving for them more and more. The only black flats I have as such are really small and thin loafers, and well, thin shoes simply aren't going to cut it nowadays. This calls for a 'replacement', non?

What's on your ASOS saved list at the moment?


Wednesday 5 November 2014


300 posts ago I didn't think I'd ever have the opportunity to have my photos taken by a full-on established fashion store. But here we are, guys. (Note to self: anything is possible if you work bloody hard for it). 

These photos were taken by the lovely lot at CAGECITY when they hosted their pop-up store in Brockley last month. I had received an email from them (I sign up to them, if you're a blogger I would highly recommend you do so as well) offering free photoshoots to those who pop down and visit so I thought 'hey, why not?' It wasn't something I actively wanted to miss out on.

One Saturday last month I had a full on travel around the city, from my home in Merton, SW London, to the University of Westminster in Harrow, NW London (for their open day) and down to Brockley, which is in SE London so is on the complete other side of the city. Times like that makes me so grateful that London's transport system is second to none, and I can do all of that without having to use seven trams, a hovercraft and a donkey I found on the side of the road in order to get to places. Wow, the day in itself was tiring but so so worth it. 

Something I've really been thinking about lately is taking every single opportunity that life gives you. Also, that I should 100% take advantage of living so close to the centre of one of the most amazing cities in the world (I'm biased but still, London is pretty brill). 

I hope you like the photos - a feature is going on CAGECITY's website pretty soon so I'll link that to the blog as soon as it goes live.


Saturday 1 November 2014

Work Experience @ Live Mag UK

the cracking view of London from the rooftop of Livity/Live Mag UK's office
I made a pledge as part of my 18 things before 18 list that this year, I would undergo some journalism work experience in person. I've just applied to study journalism at uni and have done a fair bit of online work, but I really wanted to do something in a full-on working environment. 

If you're an aspiring journalist under the age of eighteen you'll understand it is a real struggle to gain work experience. I'll hazard a guess and say a good 99.5% of places in the UK only accept over 18's. This makes it hard but not impossible guys, remember that.

So I introduce to you - Livity, a youth marketing agency located in Brixton, South London. It's home to many exciting projects, along with online youth magazine, Live Mag UK. Now I first heard about Live a couple of years ago during a typical "under 18 journalism" Google search and then admittedly forgot about it for a while. Flash forward to the early months of this year and I somehow remembered this awesome magazine existed and took a peek at their website.

Conveniently located literally right in front of my eyes was their 'Get Involved' tab. Click. Et voilà! The chance to become involved in something young and exciting which happened to be on my side of the Thames. Not that I wouldn't have gone to North London. I visit there frequently. It's just nice to have something this awesome south of the river.

So I went along to one of their editorial meetings during my Easter Holidays in April, met a bunch of cool people and spoke to the now-editor of Live Mag UK, Cherokee. She gave me the email address of Naomi, the Senior Youth Development Manager at Livity, who upon emailing her once had booked me right in for a week of work experience in the October half term break. This was all very quick and easy.

Six months passed and I did a hell of a lot in that time: took AS Level exams for five subjects (and miraculously passed all of them), visited my family in Australia, travelled to Thailand and realised that I have some of the best friends in the world. Through all of those things I was constantly looking forward to the future and specifically, my work experience at Live Mag. So this brings you guys up to a week ago.

 So here's what I got up to this week...
Perhaps my favourite feature of the Livity office is the washing line with every employee's photo on it, their official role and their less serious likes and dislikes. It's a great way to put a face to a name and to learn a bit more about the people you work with.
The Vlog Booth | The office
The vlog booth is an awesome creation they've whipped up from God-knows-what (Seriously, I have no idea how they made it). My initial confusion and wonder turned to fascination upon walking inside. It's a small, individual room with a fancy schmancy ring light and an iPad in the centre, ready for vlogging: thus justifying the name of the booth. It was awesome seeing how it has evolved and progressed since my visit in April - let's just say, there were no spooky additions back then.
I had my own desk, which may be no big deal whatsoever to some but it's something I really loved. Sitting in the same place everyday meant I could really take the placement seriously. It also meant I could improve my skills at using a Mac considerably; something that quite frankly needed to be done. So it was a two-in-one sort of situation: not only could I work and feel like part of the team, I almost became competent on a Mac (which is significant, as I'm a PC girl through and through).
As my placement was during the week of Halloween, everyone was allocated into teams and took part in a team pumpkin carving competition. This pictured pumpkin didn't win (a completely polka dotted one took the title in the end), but I still think this one was the scariest and most intricate of the six competitors.
Livity's cute plant décor and the infamous 'bong'
Throughout the week I got to do a variety of tasks, from researching brands, to analysing social media channels, to taking part in youth workshops and attending editorial meetings. It was a real mix: at one point I even spent a couple of hours on the reception. Collectively this meant I gained a real understanding of the agency as a whole, rather than just focusing specifically on what I want to do in the future.

Oh, and to top it all off, I was kindly awarded with a cute little certificate at the end of my five days at Live. If anything reminds me of primary school, it's a good ol' certificate - and Livity promotes that it is okay to be and to feel young. It's one of the only places that I've been to and never felt patronised because of my age. In fact, youth is completely, 100% accepted. I remember a post a did from a while back called 'why I am embracing my youth' and this week more than anything, reminded me of just that.


P.S - a massive cheers to the team at Livity who may or may not be reading this. I think you're all awesome.
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