IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO REINVENT YOURSELF

I was always the girl that did things first, that did things early, (get your head out of the gutter pal, that is not what I'm referring to) forever the baby of the gang. I took all of my exams early - lol to the fact that you definitely thought I'm a blonde bimbo with a combined total of two braincells - I started working in TV at 18 when most people start at around 22 post uni. I was a producer by 21, engaged at 22, self employed/running my own business at 22, a homeowner by 23... basically I was the one that everyone always thought had their shit together. thought I had my shit together.

And I suppose, I kind of did, because just because life has a way of pulling the rug from underneath you, it doesn't mean that that's a reflection on you and oh sorry pal, f**ked up your life, back to square 1, you failed.

I think a lot of people reading this - and according to my stats, a lot of people in general [insert monkey covering eyes emoji here] - will know that things changed for me at the end of 2016 and now I'm the girl that no longer owns a home and is now single and blah blah blah. Basically I'm not the girl that has her life planned out anymore and at the grand old age of 24, is starting again.

And d'you know what, through all of the shit at the end of last year, I think that's what scared me the most, the prospect of going back to square one at 24 (for anyone reading this thinking f*ck off bitch 24 is so young, I am aware that 24 is young... this is just coming from the girl who's life was completely settled and planned out at twenty-bloody-two). Yes I was mortified and heartbroken and lonely and just downright sad AF... but mostly I was terrified that my life was not planned out any more and anything can happen and oh god kill me now.
I can't tell you exactly when it happened, but at some point (I think around 2 months ago), I went from being terrified at starting over to being excited at the prospect and let me just tell you that this little nugget of joy was such a pivotal moment for me. It completely changed the game, it took me from being a moping myrtle that dwelled on what I didn't have any more to somebody that all of a sudden realised that the world was my oyster. I booked in a crazy amount of travel (Paris/Copenhagen/Paris/Rome/New York/Miami so far this year with many more to come), I made a very loose blog plan - loose because I'd rather be spontaneous with a little direction than too robotic - I think I upped my photography/content game (according to many of you bloody lovely humans I did), I saw friends (a lot!), I spoke/speak to my closest friends for hours on a daily basis, I saw family even more, I kinda felt like, without trying to sound like a sassy independent woman knob head that I'd grabbed life by the balls and decided to be the best version of me that I could be. To reinvent myself. Deciding exactly what I want from life and not to settle for anything less. 

I absolutely have to state that this makes it seem like my process was easy and straightforward and it absolutely wasn't. I think, if I'm honest, so much sassiness came from the anger and resentment I still felt about the situation which helped me be strong... but when that faded away, I did go through a pretty long and tough period of underlying sadness. I was OK, I was getting on with life, but omg I was sad, and I wasn't sassy, I was sort of just crawling along because, well.. you can't really not can you?
I 100% have to stress that actually, what I want in life isn't hugely different to the life I already lived. And please don't think I'm having some sort of major personality transplant and reinventing myself into somebody that goes out clubbing 24/7 and doesn't spend all of their time watching Grey's Anatomy and Harry Potter because mate, not even Dumbledore could make that happen. I still love my nights in (all night, ehhr night), I am still a total homebody, I would still always prefer to laugh at myself and put myself down rather than say anything remotely nice because can.not.deal.with.arrogance. I still want to settle down and get married and live a boring life with takeaways and Netflix and candles and epic bubble baths... but I'll be doing those with a more positive, calm and free me. A me that doesn't rely on anyone or anything for happiness or confidence. A me that can do me and be me without treading on any egg shells. Somebody that works well in a relationship because I'm a banging girlfriend LOL but is also completely fine on my own. 

Ironically, I actually started writing this post weeks ago and looking back, I think whilst I was feeling a lot better... I can hear a girl desperately trying to convince herself that everything will be OK. 4 months on, I am genuinely the happiest I've ever been in my life. My life is very different now, and whilst there is a lot about being in a relationship that I miss dearly, oh my god I have gained so much more than I lost and I honestly feel so thankful to be in the position I'm in now. With the best friends that I have now. With the incredible opportunities that I have now. With the additional 3948358 stamps on my passport that I have now. I'm so thankful to be the me that I am now. 
"Life is too short to be anything but happy"
"A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there"
"Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire"
"She decided to start living the life she'd imagined"

... that's not just proof that I spent too much time on Pinterest/am cheesy af, it's just a little inspiration for anyone feeling stuck in a rut. For people who aren't happy, for the ones stuck in their comfort zone, for the guys too scared to follow their dreams and the girls too scared to have them. No matter how old you are, or where you are in life, it is never too late to reinvent yourself. It is never too late to be the person you always wanted to be. It doesn't mean dying your hair pink or changing into an entirely different person, it just means being a little braver with your life.

It doesn't take a new year or a shitty situation to make this possible.. it just takes a little self worth, the belief that you deserve to be whoever you want to be, and the realisation that life is too short to be anything else.


xx

Photos by the insanely talented Ella 

STEPPING INTO SPRING

If I’m being totally honest, I am very much struggling to know which day it is, what month we’re in, what the time is and… am I even back in England at the moment? Before you all think I have totally lost my marbles, let me explain. I have just arrived home from America where I spent 10 dreamy mc dreamboat days exploring NYC and Miami and whilst it was beyond incredible, I went from “LOL LOOK AT ME POSING IN MY LITTLE DRESS BUT OMG NYC YOU ACTUALLY FREEZING”  to “LOL LOOK AT ME TRYING TO LOOK POISED WHEN I SECRETLY HAVE SWEAT DRIPPING DOWN MY BACK BECAUSE MIAMI YOU A SEXY 28 DEGREES”.

So I’m struggling you see, to gauge any concept of time, the months, where I am - to put this into content, in the next few weeks I will also be visiting Florida again, Paris and Crete - what the weather is telling me and what the hell I should be wearing. What I do know however, thanks to the many many blossom tree snaps and omg bare leg weather instagram’s is that Spring has definitely Sprung in London and not only is it drop dead gorgeous, but the spring fashion is also pretty darn perfect too.

I’m not much of a trend girl, I wear what I want, when I want… but I do happen to have fallen into a trap of obsessing over all things ruffle, floral, embroidery, romantic sleeves and basically I just want it all.

Today’s look however, apart from being one of my all time faves touches upon many trends this season including florals, mules - omg I love a good mule - the classic cross body and the Look at me lips... all from one of my all time favourite stores, Debenhams. So grab a cuppa - and a handful of hobnobs - and let’s discuss my new favourite outfit, yeah?

Omg this dress.

Let me take a moment.

OMFG THIS DRESS IS MY FAVOURITE THING EVER.

Soz, I’m clearly finding my sartorial enthusiasm difficult to control today - alongside writing this on no sleep and a 8 hour flight which included two bratty kids in front and behind kicking my seat all night long [insert upside smile emoji here] - but this dress has become my wardrobe staple for spring. I am a red girl anyway - because red equals sass, no? - but this stunning floral number combines florals, bold colours and ruffles all in one. It’s the perfect “does it all” dress. Wear with flats in the day, heels at night, or some comfy mules and you have genuinely got yourself a look for every occasion. Perfection!
Then we have the mules. I am a big fan of mules and I love that there’s always a mini revival - I say mini because I and many others wear mules all year round too - every time the warmer months come around. The thing is, mules are just cool. They’re the not too try hard heel that makes every outfit look stylish and especially when going for a classic black pair, you really can’t go wrong! Also, did I mention that these are super comfy and lasted a 1 hour walk over bridges, through the busiest tourist spots and basically just hellish conditions and my feet were still in one piece/totally comfortable at the end of it? Yep, you read that right. [insert smug face here].
The quilted black crossbody bag has been a favourite of mine since I discovered Pinterest - and therefore, fashion - and was like, ooh that bag’s pretty, maybe I’ll get one.

(I then discovered it was the Chanel flap bag and lol’d into my peanut butter and nutella toast when I saw the price tag). 

But a quilted crossbody has always been a classic option that I’ve always adored and gone back to, which is why I wanted/needed you to see my latest addition to the gang in the form of the Call it spring black cywiel bag. Isn’t she such a beauty?! Classic, classy, timeless, chic af…. this bag hasn’t left my sight since receiving it and I can’t see it doing so for a long time to come.
When it comes to makeup, I couldn’t be any less trend led. I paint my face nearly identical every single time I do it and have never really been tempted by the crazy, outlandish trends. But spring is always different for me. Spring usually screams peachy pink cheeks and glowy, fresh skin and a pop of colour on the lips and this is something I can always get on board with. So here's 1 product I’ve been obsessed with lately and that have helped me for once be mega “on trend” (ish) with my makeup, and a perfume that has got me so ready for Spring;
Apparently "Look at me lips" are in which I kiiiinda find hilariously ironic as my lips are so big anyway that they always scream look at me, but I have to say, I have been enjoying a bright pop of tomatoey, orangey red goodness on my lips of late and my current favourite is The Balm's Girls Mia Moore. What I love about this, apart from the stunning colour, is that it's a very moisturising, glossy formula making it slightly more wearable for daytime too. I am usually an out and out matte lip girl but there's something so fresh and spring like about a glossy red and this is why it is absolutely a firm makeup bag favourite now!
I'm not great at choosing the right scent for the right season. I like what I like and I wear it when I want (move over world, rebel's coming through... lol). But my current "omg I smell so good, sniff me now!" scent is the Guerlain Mon Guerlain parfum. Described as having a strong, free and sensual femininity, and containing notes of Lavender, sandalwood, jasmine and vanilla... it's a stunning mixture of femininity, muskiness, warmth and creaminess and god it just makes you feel sassy as hell. A stunning scent that definitely grabs attention but without being in your face.

And that's basically it for this Spring fashion post. I want to wrap it all up perfectly but in all honesty, all I can think about is how obsessed with the dress I am... isn't she just a beaut?


I'd love to know if you'll be adopting any trends for Spring? What's your go-to look for the warmer months?

As always, thanks so much for reading!

xx

This post is kindly sponsored by Debenhams

MY SPRING TIME FASHION ESSENTIALS

THE BLOSSOM IS HERE AND THERE'S FLOWERS EVERYWHERE AND THE SUN IS OUT AND OMG IT'S ACTUALLY SPRING.

So... if you couldn't quite tell, I am more excited about Spring than when I found out Suits had been commissioned for another series (if you know me/follow me on Instagram then you know that this is a big deal). There is just something about Spring that puts such an, erm, spring in my step - I hate myself for even having to write that as much as you probably do - and gives me a much needed little boost of motivation. Everything just seems better doesn't it, brighter, fresher, more zen... and most importantly, we can start wearing lighter layers and pastel colours and gimme all the denim and pink!

It does mean that I now have to shave my legs and fake tan for the first time in months but we can't have everything can we?

So as I have done most seasons now, I've picked out some absolute essentials for spring from my favourites Fat face. From basics, to the perfect denim, here are 6 pieces that my Spring wardrobe can't do without!


Now, I am aware that my combo of converse and dungarees means that I am sliiiiigtly channelling a toddler with this look but honestly, I give no sh*ts because it is the ultimate "I am comfy af so gimme all the coffee and lemme chill" outfit. For me this is the perfect weekend chill look for Spring. The pink breton - yes it is so cute and yes it pleases me greatly that it matches the cafe - brings a bit of girliness to the dungarees (as well as warmth when this goddamn weather is so unpredictable)... I just cannot get enough of either piece.


This dress... omg this dress. There are many reasons why it will no doubt be one of my most worn pieces this Spring/Summer and here's why. It is comfortable to the point of feeling like a nightie [insert love heart emoji here because I am the world's biggest granny], it is a beautiful midi length which isn't long enough to make you feel 90 years old but it does cover the knees and makes it perfect to wear for so many occasions. I love this for a day out exploring London, but it is also already packed in my case for Miami because can we just talk about walking along Miami beach in this babe and flip flops please?

More Fun in the sun jumper / Jacket


This is the moment where the 80 year old in me comes out because omg I'm obsessed with this jumper mostly because of how comfortable it is. Yes it's Instagram-worthy cute and yes I'm dreaming of endless snaps with it on the beach with ice creams but mostly, mostly I just love how cosy and laid back it is. Paired with my new denim jacket which has actually become a complete Spring staple - whack it on over a tea dress with converse and thank me later - this has been my go to look for when it's not too warm but not too cold.

And that my friends brings me to the end of this post, I really hope you enjoyed my little Spring edit and are enjoying the b-e-a-utiful London weather at the moment. I'd love to know what your Spring time essentials are? Any pieces that I need to be picking up? 


As always, thank you so much for reading!

P.s I am so sorry for being a shockingly bad blogger, I am currently in JFK airport on the way to Miami from New York and I decided to just live a little rather than constantly being on my laptop. Normal service will resume shortly!

xx

This post is sponsored by Fat Face

THE PERFECT SUMMER PARTY DRESS

My crazy, hectic, manic [insert your own choice of synonym which basically means "my life is so mental I'm constantly running around like a headless chicken" here] lifestyle means that more often than not, events and occasions come up at the last minute. Or, I just don't have time to head out and find something perfect to wear because of the 3958383 things to do on my never ending to do list. And this, nearly every single time, results in a floordrobe, followed by manic whatsapps to the girls along the lines of "I have absolutely no clothes" (whilst standing in a room full of them), and then a manic dash to my favourite go-to store which never fails to disappoint every single time.

Said upcoming event that I "have nothing to wear" for, a rooftop Summer Party. Said store that always has my back every single time... Topshop
Dress - Topshop / Bag - Topshop / Shoes - Topshop / Cuff - Topshop / Blazer - Topshop

Topshop is a brand that I have spent far too much time - and money, oops - in over the years and it's still a place that I can't stop going back to. From perfect basics to cool casual wear to the perfect dresses for any occasion, it is always my first port of call whenever I have an occasion to dress for.

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I have developed a very strong love of ruffles. Ruffle tops, ruffle hems, ruffle jumpers... you name it, I have been buying/snapping/declaring my love for it. Which is why when I wanted a Summer party dress that needed to be glam but understated, smart but not too much.. I knew it had to be a ruffle dress and I knew I needed to head down to The Mothership. Otherwise known as Topshop (also known as Toppers to the cool kids).
So I found the perfect dress... and then proceeded to bore everyone to death over how much I loved it but the thing is, it's just so damn comfortable. It's stretchy, it accommodates a hefty bread basket and a prosecco with the girls, it's super ridiculously comfortable but thanks to the gorgeous ruffle running down the side of the dress looks so much more sophisticated and chic. It really does turn what is actually quite a simple dress into a little bit more of a statement (without being too much). I also adore the shoulder detail on the right side which just adds a little somethin somethin and is also super flattering.

Alongside the dress of dreams I went for a Slouch Tuxedo Jacket which omg I am totally obsessed with, a gorgeous pair of Monique Strap block sandals which are unbelievably comfortable thanks to the chunky heel. Paired with a simple but beautiful Cable Clutch and a gold floral cuff that I knew would get so many compliments (it did fyi) and has the ability to totally change the dressiness of an outfit.

Shop the post here


So in case you couldn't tell, I am obsessed with this ruffle dress. I am obsessed with the outfit. I am obsessed with Topshop. The thing is, I just love knowing that I have somewhere to go that I can always rely on, it takes away the panic of last minute events and gives you the buzz of confidence that your outfit always looks good. Whatever the occasion, Topshop always has a dress for it. So here's to many more summer parties and dresses that dreams were made of, to come!


More stunning dresses that I can't stop thinking about



I would love to know what your favourite style of dress is for summer, are you as obsessed with ruffles as I am? Are you a Topshop girl too and do we need to start an appreciation group? ;)

As always, thanks so much for reading!

xx


This post is in collaboration with Topshop
© the Elle next door

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