Since my last few posts have been very long, I thought I’d even things out a little bit with a much shorter, less ‘wordy’ post! I’ve been thinking a lot about fast fashion and my own part in consumerism over the past few months, as you may have seen from this post and this post, so I really don’t have the urge to buy three new coats this season! I am however having great difficulty in picking one coat…
I talked a little bit about fabrics/materials in my last post, however I think it’s worth nothing that as you don’t wash coats, man-made fabrics aren’t as detrimental to the environment. Again, as I said in that post, I’ll be talking about it in it’s own post as there is just so much information. I’m currently writing that, so if you have any questions, please let me know!
I’ve got several thin jackets and I’m really not in the market for a new one. When it comes to coats, I have a Zara biker jacket (more of a coat, right?), a long olive parka from Miss Selfridge that I picked up at least three years ago and it still looks almost new, and a Zara puffed jacket. I really would like a more structured coat, and possibly a teddy coat once it gets really cold. I thought I’d share some of my top picks with you, and I’m sure you’ll see whichever I choose on the blog over the next few months!
Thank you for reading! I have so many other coats on my radar, I just didn’t want to list literally every single one. I have no idea which I’ll choose, although I really do love the grey structured one from Topshop… I’m a basics gal through and through! What coats have you bought for the A/W season? Have you got another on your list I must see?!
As you may be aware from previous posts (like this one and this one), I’ve recently been thinking a whole lot about consumerism, what I’m buying and the way I’m buying. As I’ve touched on several times, I’d love to be a Capsule Wardrobe Girl (Anna and Rebecca, I’m looking at you) but I know it’s just not for me. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t be more mindful when it comes to shopping, and I’m going to share with you the ways in which I’m hoping to achieve this.
Matt and I are saving for our first home, and I am trying to cut back spending in various ways. My disposable income is unfortunately not unlimited (wouldn’t that be great?) I’m very conscious that over the past few years I’ve spent way more than I should have, mainly because I was so wrapped up in the world of consumerism. I also want to be more mindful of the environment, and how my shopping in the past may have had an affect on this. This post was originally centred around clothing, however it now filters out into lots of areas of my purchasing, and I hope it may inspire you to shop differently too. Warning: it’s a long one!
*these photos were taken last weekend during a woodland walk with Matthew, they have pretty much nothing to do with the post! Yes, we wore almost matching tops and yes, he’s the cutest thing I ever did see, my heart can’t take it*
Buying Sustainable Fabrics. This is a complete minefield of a topic and one I’m going to delve into in more detail in its own post over the next few weeks. To keep it somewhat short and sweet, I want to cut down on buying man-made, bad-for-the-environment fabrics. The two I’m staying away from most actively are Polyester and Acrylic. Unfortunately, I do not have the budget to completely cut these fabrics out of every item I buy, so I’m looking to cut this down to buying items with smaller fabric content of each of these fabrics. It may not be perfect, but it’s a start, and it’s something we all can do. I wasn’t aware until very recently, that when you wash clothing items made with Acrylic (among other man-made fabrics), teeny tiny particles are sent into the water system, that then end up in the ocean. I was so surprised finding this out, it just wasn’t something that ever crossed my mind.
Limit Plastic Usage/Purchasing. Okay so we’re all very familiar with those Blue Planet scenes, and as a result we have become a plastic-hating nation. Plastic isn’t necessarily the problem, however the way we dispose of it is. Matt and I always recycle, as do our families, which I have thought was a small step in the right direction. What I didn’t know was that actually so many household items (even water bottles!) cannot be recycled and end up in landfill sites. I think we all could be more aware of plastics in our environment, and do what we can to limit or completely cut out our plastic usage, especially when it comes to single-use plastics. When I go food shopping, I have a plethora of re-usable bags in my boot (M&S ones are the best – they’re lined and zip up, so they keep food cold for so long) so I never need to purchase a plastic one-use carrier bag. I have canvas totes I now take clothes shopping, and I try not to buy bottled drinks when I’m out, and opt for cans instead. I also found out recently that Starbucks’ takeaway cups are not recyclable, as they’re coated inside with polyethylene, which is not biodegradable, so I’m going to aim to carry a reusable cup when possible. I realise these are all small things but I’m excited to introduce more changes into my day-to-day life, and I think if all of us play a very small part it can make a very big difference. I definitely slip up from time to time, but I think educating ourselves on these kind of topics will hopefully be the stepping stone to begin making our planet a better place for us, and our animals, to live.
Buying Better Quality Items. I now take a quality over quantity approach to my wardrobe and beauty stash as I’m becoming more aware of what it means to live sustainably. Purchasing better quality items generally means they will last longer, wash better and in turn you get more wear out of them. For me, I’ve found I use and appreciate what I have more, therefore decreasing the desire to buy my thirteenth grey jumper. I am taking care of items I buy more than ever before – I even invested in a ‘sweater comb’, check me out – and I feel that I appreciate what I have more than I ever did before. I’ve always been a high-end beauty lover, however there are some fantastic products available in the drugstore that are eco-friendly. I think it’s very important to clarify that ‘better quality’ does not necessarily translate to ‘higher prices’ – yes, some items will be more costly, however the cost per wear/use can justify this to some extent.
Identifying ‘Wants’ From ‘Needs’. Okay, I can admit that the second a new eyeshadow palette is released I’m the first one to say I need it. In reality, I use one or two matte brown eyeshadows on a daily basis, have just thrown away/donated fourteen eyeshadow palettes that I no longer used or required, and I definitely do not ‘need’ it. In the world of beauty consumerism we’re all so used to, this is a very hard pill to swallow, and I feel like acknowledging the difference between wanting or needing an item has been a learning curve for me. I used to think I ‘needed’ a new outfit for every evening out. As soon as a restaurant was booked for date night, I’d head straight to the Topshop to buy a new outfit. Now, I can confidently shop my wardrobes for situations like this, and let’s be honest, Matt couldn’t care less what I’m wearing! If, however, Matt and I decide to book a ski trip to the French Alps (between my arthritis and his twice-dislocated knee this is highly unlikely) then I would need a whole new outfit, as surprisingly I don’t have a spare ski suit knocking about.
Operating a One In/One Out Policy. I touched on this in my wardrobe declutter post, however this is something that I know will make a huge difference to my wardrobe. I’ve still got a few items to purchase for the Autumn season, and when Winter rolls around there will be a few new additions, but other than that I’m very happy with what I have. As and when I want to purchase a new item that isn’t a ‘necessity’ for the season, I’m going to ensure I get rid of something I already have to make way for the new piece. I know this will mean I’ll end up with a carefully curated selection of pieces I love, as I’m going to struggle donating or selling something that I enjoy wearing. This will also reduce the need for decluttering, and it can be something done between seasons only – I have the space to store everything I have for Autumn/Winter together, then Summer/Spring together – so this means roughly every six months I can review on a much smaller scale.
Buying Basics. I already do this around 90% of the time, but I’d like to do it as much as possible. I’m steering away from fast fashion in as many ways as I can, and buying the new It item is something I definitely do not need to partake in. I am a neutrals girl through and through; I love blacks, greys, whites, beige and navy. It’s something that my friends have laughed at for years, because it makes me a little bit boring, but hey if it works for me and I get better use out of each item, I’d say it’s nothing to sniff at! I have also noticed any clothing that is heavily patterned (stripes being an exception, obviously) is something I tend to not wear as much. I love how polka dots and florals look, but realistically I know if I buy too many patterned items a) they can’t be worn with too many options, and b) it’s very obvious this is a piece I’m wearing over and over again. Buying basic items – plain designs, neutrals, classic pieces etc – means it’s much easier to mix and match, and get more from my wardrobe.
Taking Advantage of Discount Codes. It doesn’t take a genius to tell you it’s better to buy something when you can pay less than full price, however I am very impatient and before my spending detox began, I’d think nothing of placing a £100+ order on my favourite website just because I wanted the items ASAP, instead of waiting for the next offer to come around. I even used to pay for next day delivery without a second thought because I was so impatient! There are some brands I love, but will only shop when there’s 20% off – for example, Whistles – as I can’t justify spending full price no matter how much I love the items. It makes sense to shop during sales, and with Black Friday coming up I’d highly recommend holding off on any larger purchases – whether that’s for yourself or someone on your Christmas list!
Using up Beauty Products. I am pretty embarrassed to admit that I would think nothing of having five primers, four mascaras and three cleansers on the go at any one time. I had no respect for what I was using, how much I was using, or the price these items cost. Using up all of the products I had already opened was a huge eye opener for me. Don’t get me wrong, there are some exceptions to this – for example, I like to use various perfumes throughout the weeks/months, I change up my foundation now and then, and I do enjoy a variation of makeup products like lipsticks, eyeshadows etc. As any regular readers will know, I live between my house and my boyfriends, (have I mentioned that?!) so I often have two of the same products open at once – such as shaving foam, a body butter etc, however these are being used and loved on a near daily basis, and are not being wasted. I know which brands/products/scents I like – especially for toiletries, and I’m making a promise to myself not to buy the Next New Thing on the market, just because it’s been raved about all over the Internet. As and when one thing is used up, I can then purchase whatever I like going forward, but the need to have so much stuff is no longer there for me.
Keep up with the Kardashian’s on TV, but don’t try to keep up with the Jones’. The age-old saying of keeping up with the Jones’ couldn’t be more applicable in today’s society. Vloggers, bloggers and social media influencers are constantly posting clothing hauls, make-up hauls and PO box openings. We live in a world where teenagers are expecting to get Gucci bags for Christmas, for goodness’ sake! The world of luxury living is more accessible than ever, or so we think. Through your laptop screen it may seem that your favourite blogger is living the life because they have luxury goods coming out the wazoo, however you do not have to emulate their life onto yours. The reality is the big social media stars make a lot of money, and to them buying a three grand handbag is most likely the same, contextually, as us mere mortals heading to Topshop and paying £30. I have been guilty of feeling like I needed to have the new product releases, the newest It clothing item of the season (yes, I am talking about that Zara bag) but in reality that is not true. Your stuff does not define you, and there is no need to feel obliged to purchase on the same level as people you see on social media. Also, it’s worth noting that so many of the big bloggers and influencers are gifted lots of items – beauty products, clothes, shoes, even mattresses these days – that is amazing for them and they work hard for it, but it is not relatable to those of us in a regular 9-5 job.
Loving and Using What I Have. This is the main goal from changing the way I shop; I want to feel content with the items I have, and to fully love and appreciate each item. I’ve always been a very grateful person, however this never transpired into my shopping – buying thing after thing just because is fine for some people, but it’s no longer something I want to be a part of. The reality is haul videos/posts are going nowhere – people will always love to watch them, myself included, however I do fully believe we all need to be a little more conscious of our environment and the effect we are having on it. Living a less consumer-based lifestyle is not for everyone, but it’s a journey I’m looking forward to experiencing, and (little) step by (little) step I hope I can achieve my goals.
Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know if this post gave you a little food for thought? Do you try to implement any of these ways of thinking into your shopping habits? Do you have any tips for me?!
I’m so incredibly excited it’s almost the weekend! Matt is back from his work trip this afternoon and I just can’t wait to head home to kiss his cute little face!! We’re going to have a snuggly smushy night and I’m pretty much giddy about it, I’ve missed him so much. We also get to have a lazy Saturday morning together, then I’m heading for lunch with my lovely friend, Meg. Matt and I are driving down to Liverpool first thing on Sunday for a spa mini-break, as if the weekend wasn’t dreamy enough. Any recommendations for Liverpool would be great as we’ve never been before! I’ve been reading lots of Savannah‘s blog (I love her!) and figured I’d fill you in on my plans similarly to the way she does in her #WhatUpWednesday posts. What are your plans for this weekend?!
I’m posting out of my normal schedule again, because I just couldn’t resist getting this post up ASAP! I have so much content planned/scheduled right now, and at the rate I’m going with ideas coming out of my ears, I’d not be getting this post up until December. The lovely Abbie tagged me in her Autumn Tag, I’d suggest you head on over to check it out ASAP! My favourite recent posts of hers are this one and this one, she’s such a great writer and I laugh out loud reading her posts all the time! Now, without further ado…
What signifies the start of Autumn for you? Okay, so any regular readers will know I’ve been anticipating the start of Autumn for a very long time, it’s my favourite season! I wrote a post all about the things I was excited for in August for goodness’ sake. I know Autumn didn’t really start until 23rd September, however for me I think from mid-September it really started to feel like Autumn. The leaves were beginning to change colour, the weather was cool and crisp, and Homesense was stocking all of the pumpkin candles!
What is your favourite Autumn scent? I have a lot of favourite Autumn scents, I can’t pick just one! My favourite bath/body scent is absolutely anything from The Body Shop’s Vanilla Pumpkin range; their body butter is my favourite moisturiser. Any and all of the Autumn scented candles from DW Home are right up my street, my current favourites being Sea Salt Pumpkin, Pumpkin Bourbon and Frosted Leaves.
What is your favourite Autumn colour? Assuming leopard print isn’t a colour as such, I love to wear lots of dark emerald greens, navy, deep burgundy’s and anything camel coloured. Of course I embrace my inner witch, and wear lots of black, too!
Are you a fan of a PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) ? I unfortunately don’t like any coffee, I just can’t get into it. I do love a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice hot chocolate though, which isn’t technically on the menu but it’s delicious. As I said in this post, I always ask for it extra hot, and I get it without whipped cream!
What is your favourite Autumn drink? Other than a PSHC (doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?) I love the Bonfire Spice hot chocolate’s from Costa this year, they’re one of the best things I’ve ever tasted! Matt and I have a cup of tea together every morning – in bed if we have the time – and I love that more than anything, although that’s more the quality time with him than the drink, I think. I’m a sap.
What’s your favourite coffee shop and their drink of choice? Lots of drink related questions! I’ve been a loyal Starbucks lover since I can remember, but Costa have sneaked in there at the moment with their Bonfire Spice hot choc. They also do the best ham and cheese toasties!
Apple pie or Pumpkin pie? I love both, but I’m going to have to say apple pie with lots of cinnamon and custard. Matt and I had the most amazing rhubarb crumble the other night, which I’d actually choose over apple or pumpkin!
What TV show, new or old, are you looking forward to in the next few months? We are so behind the trend, but Matt and I are going to finally start Power in the next few weeks! We’re also really excited for the new Narcos: Mexico series as we loved the first two seasons so much. We’re still obsessed with Hell’s Kitchen, and as I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been re-watching Gilmore Girls, it’s giving me all of the Autumnal vibes!
What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend? Leopard print everything. It’s a favourite all year round, but it’s so popular right now and I’m in my element! I also love all of the chunky knits, scarves, chunky heeled boots… the list is endless.
What is your favourite comfort food to enjoy in the colder months? Ooh I have so many! Any kind of sweet sugary crumble with custard is a winner. I love soup with tiger bread for lunch; my favourite is M&S Tarka Dahl, it’s so warming on the cold, dreary days. For a good hearty dinner, Matt and I often go for patatas bravas with garlic bread, and we’ve really been into cooking various pasta and chilli dishes.
What is your favourite Autumn activity? Autumn is the best season for cosy nights in with my favourite person (Matthew, obviously) before the Christmas party season begins. I’m so not ready for the madness of being out almost every night! We also love morning walks and going for breakfast, it’s so fun when it’s a little chillier and we can cosy up with a hot chocolate after. Another favourite is going to watch Newcastle United, we love to go to the matches together!
Are you a fan of horror movies? My kind of Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus… Matt hates it but I love it, and he loves me (so that means we get to watch it)!
Do you ever do anything fun for Halloween? My mam’s birthday is on Halloween (my younger cousins really think she’s an actual witch, it’s the cutest/funniest thing) so we typically go out for a family meal around the date. Up until I turned 20/21, I’ve spent almost every Halloween in Florida, exploring Disney World. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is a personal favourite, but it’s very different here, and since I got older. Last year Matt and I just had a cosy night in which was perfect, this year will be the same unless our friends talk us into other plans.
What was your favourite part about Halloween as a child? Obviously the sweets, what a silly question! Also, spending most of them at Disney World was pretty damn good.
Are you a bigger fan of Bonfire night or Halloween? Probably Bonfire Night. Matt and I went to an amazing local display last year and we’re planning to do the same again, although this year I’m making a mental note to wear thermals because it was so cold. We also spent a lovely night with our friends setting off fireworks and eating food, so fingers crossed we’ll get to do that again!
Where is your dream destination to visit in the Autumn? Much like Abbie, I’d love to go to Banff! It’s on Matt and I’s travel wishlist and I know we’ll go one year, the sooner the better. I’d also like to go to Amsterdam, another place on our wishlist, although I think we’ll probably head there in the Spring.
Do you always forget about the clocks going back? Yes! All I know is it’s the ‘good one’ meaning we gain an hour of sleep. And that means we gain an hour of cuddles. Winning!
When do you usually start preparing for Christmas? I typically start buying any time from now, as in the build up to Black Friday lots of websites and shops start having good sales/discounts. I already know pretty much everything I’m buying for people this year and I’ve (naturally) made lists, so I feel quite organised.
What is your favourite clothing item you’ve purchased for the Autumn months? Without a doubt, my grey jumper from & Other Stories, one I’ve been banging on about for the past ~however many~ blog posts. I’m going to buy the blush one soon as it’s beautiful, and I know I’ll get so much wear out of them both!
What are three of your must-have beauty products for the season? I am currently really loving my Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede perfume, NARS Madly blush and Pixi Glow Tonic. I also really flipping love Eliabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, but I just raved about it in this post, so I’m not going to say anything else on the matter! I’m desperate to get my hands on Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk eyeshadow palette which is just absolutely beautiful, but it’s currently sold out.
What does your perfect Autumnal, rainy day look like? Okay I’m thinking this would be a weekend day; Matt and I would have a lazy morning (more than likely watching Soccer AM – I’m too soft!) and go out for a late breakfast with very good hot chocolates, followed by a cute woodland walk. Our afternoon would be spent shopping and wandering around town before going to watch an NUFC match, maybe (definitely) grabbing a donut! We’d head back to Matt’s for a cosy night in watching a film, splitting a bottle of wine (or two) with his parents and I’d also like a Chinese takeaway because, well, we love Chinese food!
I loved doing this tag, I found it so much fun and very reminiscent of the old YouTube trend of tag videos. They were some of my favourite videos and it was so fun to participate in my own way! I added three questions of my own on the end, just for fun. I’ve tagged a few girls whose content I truly admire, I’d love to see you guys do it!
How is it already Wednesday?! I’ve loved the beginning of this week, however at the time this post goes live I will be taking Matthew and his colleague to the airport as they’re heading off on a work trip. I’m so excited for him to have a great time with his colleagues but I know I’ll already be counting down to being reunited on Friday evening! Being apart, even for two nights, sucks! Hopefully your week is more fun?! Anyhow, on with the post… if you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll already know I love Autumn, and everything that comes with it. I talked about all of the things I’m most excited for in this post.
I love reading monthly favourites posts, and of course watching monthly favourite videos on YouTube, but I just don’t think I use or try enough new items month-to-month to be able to share with you, and keep it somewhat interesting. If it’s something you’d like to see, I’d love to do these kind of posts on a seasonal basis? Today I’m talking all about my current favourite products, activities and items during the past few weeks, it’s all about the cosy Autumnal vibes!
Autumn scented candles.
I’m a sucker for a scented candle, and my favourite time of year to buy them (and burn them) is always during the Autumn/Winter months. As you may have seen from this post, I went a little crazy buying candles in the last few weeks, but no regrets… right? Matthew and I have candles burning from the minute we get home and they’re definitely an essential for our cosy nights in. When it’s cold and dreary outside, having a candle lit seems to make everything a whole lot better! My favourites are from DW Home at Homesense as they smell incredible, last for so long and, let’s be honest, they’re very aesthetically pleasing. I’ve been loving Frosted Leaves, Sea Salt Pumpkin and Apple Cider, especially.
My evening skincare routine.
This combination of products has been my ultimate favourite to help my skin cope with the colder weather we’re experiencing. Since buying the serum back in June, and the eye cream just a few weeks ago, I can’t recommend these products highly enough. Moisture Surge is absolutely my favourite moisturiser for the colder weather and one I use religiously during my day-to-day evening skincare routine. I’ve already raved about these products in previous posts, so I’m not going to repeat myself too much, but I can’t recommend them highly enough!
Chunky scarves. Scarves and bobble hats are my favourite accessories to pair with my Autumn/Winter outfits, but sadly it’s not quite cold enough for a bobble hat just yet. It’s still that awkward kind of weather where it’s freezing cold early morning and late at night, but during the day the temperature sits somewhere between 12 and 16 degrees, so dressing appropriately for the weather is hard! Plaid and leopard print scarves are my favourite (naturally), and I feel like they go with any outfit. Leopard print is a neutral, right?
Berry toned lips. I love nude lipsticks/lip glosses as much as the next girl, but boy do I like a berry toned lip at this time of year. Mademoiselle from Chanel, Kristen from Anastasia Beverly Hills and Dolly from Buxom are my top three lip products for the season. Dolly lip gloss also smells like cinnamon, which just makes it perfect. I think berry-toned lips paired with gold or copper toned eyeshadow looks so pretty, it’s such a good season for sparkly makeup! Spoiler: a post with all of my Autumn make up favourites will be up in the next few weeks.
Chunky jumpers. Okay, so my love of chunky jumpers is absolutely not limited to Autumn, but it is finally getting cold enough to wear thicker knits and my obsession is bigger than ever. This one from & Other Stories is perfect; it’s made mostly of sustainable materials and it’s so warm and cosy. I love wearing grey, especially with blue jeans! This jumper is just perfect, and I’m definitely going to buy the blush coloured one at some point. I’ve already raved about the jumper in this post and you’re definitely going to see it all over my Instagram and blog for the next few months! Sorry, not sorry. I’ve also had several compliments whilst wearing this, which makes me very happy.
Options Belgian Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. I love hot chocolate and the colder weather means I’ve been enjoying them much more often. I have been a huge fan of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice hot chocolate for the past few years and I highly recommend, tip: ask for it extra hot. This year I’ve discovered the bonfire spiced hot chocolates from Costa and oh my goodness they are literally Autumn in a cup! Unfortunately I can’t camp out in Costa, so when I’m at home I opt for an Options salted caramel hot chocolate. Matt loves the Options White hot chocolate, which is also so good! They taste best when made with milk, and of course adding marshmallows is a necessity. We’re also mildly obsessed with Lotus Biscoff biscuits recently, they are just the best! *How amazing is this mug – a reminder we all need in our lives!*
Cosy nights in with Matthew. Again, definitely not a favourite just during Autumn, but I’m welcoming the cooler weather and in turn, all of the cosy nights in! There’s a weird pressure to be outside more during the Summer months, but when Autumn rolls around it disappears. Matt and I always love a cosy night in no matter the weather, but it does feel even better when it’s cold, dreary and rainy outside. Spending our evenings cooking, cuddling and watching Netflix are the norm again, and we are loving it! We’re together every night (yay for Matthew’s new work schedule!) and we tend to stay at his house one night, mine the next, and so on. As we’re getting up in the mornings for work I’m usually already counting down the hours until we can snuggle back up… I’m a such a creature of comfort (and I really like cuddles *shrugs shoulders*).
Autumnal bath products. Okay, so we all know Lush and The Body Shop are the places to go for anything bath-related, and their seasonal ranges are always my favourite. The Vanilla Pumpkin range from The Body Shop is incredible; it’s a light, vanilla based scent, and the products are such good quality. I especially love the body butter; it smells amazing, is so moisturising and the hydration lasts all day. My picks from Lush’s Halloween range have to be the Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar and the Lord of Misrule bath bomb, they’ve been favourites for the past few years and I always repurchase lots before they disappear until the next year. Also, not bath-related, but I love The Body Shop’s Vanilla Pumpkin hand cream, and Bath & Body Works’ hand sanitizers, too. My favourite is Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, it literally smells like Autumn in a pot!
Enjoying treats. Much like the pressure to go outside being lifted during the Autumn/Winter months, so is the pressure to eat super healthy. Matt and I are partial to a few snacks during the evening, we get peckish after dinner! Percy Pigs are Matt and I’s favourite treat, but let’s be honest, they taste even better in Halloween form! We absolutely love them, and go through packets a lot quicker than we’d like to admit, they are just so addictive. We recently have eaten lots of Godiva chocolate and Malteser truffles, definitely our current favourite chocolates. (I didn’t even have any truffles to photograph as we’d eaten them all, oops!) We were also very happy to find out last week Smarties McFlurry’s are back at McDonald’s, they’re our favourite and we’ll be making the most of them before they’re gone again!
Another favourite is absolutely a potato side-dish Matt and I have been making pretty much every other day, that I’m going to talk through in an upcoming post. It’s definitely a comfort food, goes with anything and it’s delicious. I can’t stress enough how much I’ve been enjoying Gilmore Girls (for possibly the third? fourth? time…) I’ve been watching it whilst getting ready in the morning when Matt has left for work and I just love it. Lorelai is one of my favourite TV characters ever, Stars Hollow is just a dream place! Hell’s Kitchen has been Matt and I’s TV show of choice for the past few weeks, and after missing out on the hype for the past few years, we’re definitely on the Gordon Ramsay train.
As you can hopefully tell, I tried to step it up a notch with my photos for this post and I’d love to know what you think? What are some of your current favourite products? Do you have any Autumn essentials I should check out? Thank you so much for reading!
Today I’m taking you through the top twelve pieces in my wardrobe; items that are a must-have for me personally, and things I think all of us ladies should have in our wardrobes. I recently decluttered my wardrobe, as I talked through in this post, and I’m really focusing on buying key pieces; timeless, chic items that will go with things I already own and be wearable season to season.
I’m looking to only buy sustainable, good-for-the-environment (little to no Polyester, Acrylic etc!) and good-for-me pieces going forward, although I’m not discarding anything I had previously which doesn’t fit into this category. A blog post all about changing the way I shop will be up in next week, it’s a very long one and I’m very excited to share my thoughts with you.
A Slogan Tee I am a sucker for a slogan tee! I have several, even after the Great Wardrobe Declutter of 2018, and I really think they come in so handy. They’re not a seasonal piece, and you can pair them with any bottom – I love wearing a fun slogan tee with a midi skirt and leather jacket at the moment, transitional dressing between seasons is actually quite fun! This one was a present from my lovely boyfriend for our anniversary, and I bloody love it. It’s from Whistles and it’s a perfect fit/shape for me. I have to admit, slogan tees with French writing might be the ultimate fave!
A (Faux) Leather Jacket Whether I’m heading out day or night, dressy or casual, my go-to throw it on cover up always has been and always will be a leather jacket! You can’t go wrong with a classic black one (I especially love that this one has silver detailing also, as I only wear silver jewellery). I am a neutrals girl through and through; black, white, greys, beiges and navy are all right up my street. I picked this up from Zara’s TRF range in the Spring (a great range if you want to pick up a bargain, in my opinion). It has such a smooth, buttery feel and I think it looks way more expensive than it is! It is the perfect cut on me; lying just between my waist and hips, so although it’s a boxy fit it doesn’t make me look too wide.
A Breton Top I say ‘a’ Breton top, but what I really mean is all the Breton tops you can justify purchasing. If there’s one thing every girl needs in her wardrobe, in my opinion, it has to be a striped tee! I have tons – short sleeve and long sleeve, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll always purchase another, no matter how many I have. (The whole curated wardrobe concept hasn’t completely sunk in yet, I guess)! This one from & Other Stories is perfect and it’s 100% cotton; versatile and sustainable. I like to throw a Breton top on with skinny jeans for a casual day of running errands, I just feel like it’s a very simple look but feels chic and put together without much thought. Pair with white converse and you’re good to go!
A Thin Knit The perfect go-with-everything piece for this time of year. This does the same job as a slogan tee, it’s just a little more understated and will keep you warmer. My favourites are always from Zara’s basics collection – they’re £19.99 and worth every penny. I find these wash well, never bobble or lose shape, and I definitely get a lot of wear out of these each year from early Autumn through to Spring. I have several colours, but camel, grey and black are essential for me – they go perfectly with jeans, a skirt or fitted trousers, and are very cosy. I, like with pretty much any top I wear, like to go for a half-tuck in the front, and leave the sides/back out – the only exception being if I was tucking into a high-waisted skirt.
‘Classy’ Lounge Pants Yes, you read that correctly! While the general consensus of this post is all for cute, chic dressing when you leave the house, there’s no reason you can’t do the same when you’re in the house. These lounge pants from Next are my favourite – they are so incredibly soft, comfy as can be and wash really well (always a bonus, in my opinion). I picked up a grey pair around two months ago, then picked up a black pair in the last few weeks, and I’d like at least one more pair! I think it’s worth noting I’m one of those people who likes to take their makeup off and get into comfy clothing as soon as I know I’m not required to leave the house for the rest of the day. During this time of year especially, the second we get home from work Matt and I love to have a hot bath and get into our comfies to enjoy our evening, as the nights get colder the desire to be warm and cosy is stronger! At £22 they won’t break the bank, and if you’re after some pretty swish PJ pants – that you can also run to Sainsbury’s in without getting a death stare – I’d highly recommend!
A Plain Bodysuit Bodysuits are a funny category for me; I see so many styles that I love, but they almost always come with a full-knicker style bottom, and I hate that! I do not like nor do I own any underwear other than thongs and I just can’t stand the thought – something my friends get a laugh out of as I’m so particular about it. Bodysuits are a must-have because they can be worn with pretty much anything, and there’s never a risk of a bulk in your clothing where a top is tucked in, and you also don’t have to worry about it coming untucked. I love this one as it’s so plain and comfy – I can wear it day or night, with jeans, trousers or a skirt. This also will work well as a layering piece in colder months under jumpers!
A Good Pair of Skinny Jeans Topshop Jamie jeans are my go-to! I also really like Zara’s TRF Mom style jeans (the ones that are £25.99) but I don’t think they’re as versatile as a good pair of Jamie’s. I have several pairs of these, and am always looking to pick up another as I wear them approximately every other time I leave the house. They are high-waisted and a very flattering style; they hug my bum in the best way and aren’t too tight that I have to undo the top button after a big meal. Been there, done that. The black ones do fade pretty quickly with regular washing – as do all black jeans – but I dye mine back black every few months and they look good as new. Also, skinny jeans go with all of the tops mentioned in this post – if a dog is man’s best friend, a good pair of skinnies are definitely a woman’s. And maybe diamonds.
Statement Boots If you had have asked me a year or two ago, statement boots would certainly not have made it into my ‘must-haves’ but now I couldn’t recommend them more! My three options here are all with a chunky heel which is my preference, I love a good block heel as they’re way more comfy and means nights out don’t end in Matthew carrying me to the taxi because my blisters have blisters. (That being said, alcohol consumption may lead to an occasional carry to the taxi, ha!) I think a good pair of statement boots – whether that be print, texture or decoration – can really jazz an outfit up. I especially love wearing them with a super plain outfit, like a black cami and black skinny jeans, as it keeps the focus on the boots.
The Perfect Jumper In my opinion, finding a good jumper is hard. I picked this one up from & Other Stories (one of my favourite stores and one I wish I could browse IRL – come on, Newcastle!) a few weeks ago and I’ve already worn it three times. Does anyone else do that? Get a new clothing item and wear it to death because it’s just so exciting to find something you really love?! This is the perfect shade of grey for me and it goes perfectly with any shade of denim I wear. I love the crew neck shape and cosy sleeves, I think the design gives it a little more shape than your bog-standard jumper. One thing I especially love is that it’s not too long, which means I can easily tuck it into skirts, or do my standard tuck-the-front-in-to-jeans style with no issue.
A Black Jumpsuit Move over LBD, the LBJ is in town! I love jumpsuits, and nine times out of ten I do prefer them to dresses. No risk of cold legs or flashing your underwear – what’s not to love?! The only issue I do have with a jumpsuit is the whole getting-naked-to-go-for-a-wee situation, but I can deal with that. My favourite kind of jumpsuits are tailored and nipped in at the waist; it’s a flattering style and makes me feel dressed up in seconds. The cigarette leg on this particular jumpsuit is also very flattering, it’s fitted but not tight, meaning it’s comfy, roomy, and hides the bloated stomach I often am blessed with after one too many gin and lemonades! I picked this one up last year from Miss Selfridge and have worn it so many times since. It is the perfect throw-on piece for a spontaneous date night or drinks with the girls.
A Cami If Matt and I are going out on the weekend and I need an outfit to go from day to night, my go-to outfit will pretty much always be a cami tucked into high-waisted jeans or a midi skirt with a pair of heeled boots. I’d wear this with my afore-mentioned leather jacket during the colder months, and go without when it’s warm. I picked this one up from Topshop and I just love it, the square neckline is so flattering. Most importantly it can be worn comfortably without a bra – something I love as when possible I tend to not bother wearing one, nobody likes boob jail! I am currently in the market for a plain black cami with lace in the front and I think I’m going to purchase the one linked below.
Trainers Not the kind you’d wear to the gym (although I do love a good pair of Nikes), the kind you can throw on with any given outfit and feel comfy, but still put-together. My favourites are either my (previously) white Converse or black Old Skool Vans as I think they’re the most easy-to-wear shoes with any casual outfit, and as you can see they’re very well loved. Over the past few weeks I’ve worn my Converse with midi-skirts a few times and was surprised by how much I liked the look. It took me a long time but I’m ever so slowly getting into mixing casual and going-out clothing and I am a big fan. You just can’t go wrong with either (or both) of these.
Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know what your essential pieces are? Do you have all of my top twelve pieces in your wardrobe currently, and do you get lots of wear out of them? I would love to do a similar style post all about jewellery and accessories if that’s something you’d like to see!
Today’s post is a round up of my top five lip balms, which are definitely my favourite beauty item. I am a lip balm hoarder and up until this year I was always trying out something new, and trying to find one better than my current favourite. As a result, I’ve tried and tested a lot of products, and I’ve got a good stash I absolutely love and can’t be without.
As the weather is now getting a lot cooler, lip balm is becoming more important than ever in our beauty routines, and with so many options to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s hope this post may give you a few ideas (and they’d all make great stocking fillers for Christmas… oops I said the C word!)
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream This is my favourite moisturising, thick lip balm, and I can’t say enough good things about it. I take this everywhere with me like I do with my phone, it’s a necessity! During August my lips were very chapped and this worked miracles to heal them so quickly; I use this morning, night and throughout the day, and I love how soft it makes my lips. It is a very thick, almost goo-ey texture, but that makes it work so well. This is also a skin salve, and is a great multi-purpose product. Matt’s secretly a fan of this product too, shh!
Nuxe Reve de Miel – Ultra Nourishing This is the newest addition to my lip balm collection, but already I feel like it could give the Eight Hour Cream a run for it’s money. It’s made by the number one brand in French pharmacies, and as the French ladies know their beauty/fashion stuff it’s not surprisingly become a cult favourite. The only con with this product is the packaging; it’s a glass pot, and you have to stick your finger in to get the product, which doesn’t make it very friendly for being on the go. That being said, I’ve used this every night since I got it and I feel like it does a very similar job to my beloved Eight Hour Cream, yet it’s less than half the price. I have however been carrying it round in my handbag as I’ve stayed at Matt’s the past few nights (usually we alternate between my house and his every other day) and I’ve been reaching for this over anything in my bag.
Dior Addict Lip Glow I’m not generally a huge fan of tinted lip balms, but this is an exception, and blows any other product I’ve tried out of the water. I own a few shades, but my favourites have to be 001 Pink and 007 Raspberry. I picked up the Raspberry shade on a whim in the airport when Matt and I went to Dublin, and it’s become one of my favourite ever lip products. Like everything from Dior, the packaging is just beautiful, and it looks so chic and classic. It’s a product that I tend to throw in my handbag (which, let’s be honest is 90% lip products, and the other 10% is more than likely Matt’s things that he’s asked me to squeeze in!) I’d definitely recommend picking one of these up, and I’m sure I’ll add more shades to my collection in time. I have the new NARS Orgasm lip balm on my beauty wishlist as I think it may be similar, too.
Glossier Balm Dot Com If you’re a regular reader of my blog, this will be no surprise to you as the balm dot com features in most of my beauty related posts, (like this one and this one *push, push*). We all know this is a cult favourite lip balm among the millennial generation, and for good reason. This is the perfect texture to wear under lipstick; it appears matte on the lips (except the Birthday and Cherry flavours) and I just love the formula. I own all six flavours, and I have one on my bedside table, Matt’s bedside table, my desk at work and in my handbag, whilst the other two float about in my beauty stash! This is also a skin salve, so it’s great for your cuticles and any pesky dry skin patches. It’s a go-to lip balm for me, it’s easy to travel with, and I can’t wait until Glossier inevitably come out with more flavours in their lip balm collection. You can bet I’ll buy them!
Carmex Wild A fantastic option, that is definitely budget-friendly. I love the design of the pot; the leopard print design is adorable! I have purchased Carmex products since I was in middle school and first realised that lip balms were a beauty love of mine, and I feel like I’ll never stop purchasing them. Although, because this is in a pot application is a little more fiddly, but I do think the formula is better than the stick format it also is sold in. In my opinion, the hydration doesn’t last too long on the lips, and you do need to re-apply a little more often than the others mentioned in this post, however at £2.79 a pop, you can’t really complain!
Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know your favourite lip balm? Apologies in advance if you now feel the need for a shopping spree, thankfully it’s just been pay day! Please tell me I’m not alone and you have a lip balm you need in your bag at all times too?
I hope you are all having a lovely weekend? I am definitely enjoying the cooler weather now Autumn has arrived, and of course the extra snuggly, cosy nights with my boyfriend! (Any excuse, eh?) Matt and I have been spending all the quality time together and I feel very blessed and grateful for everything we have. Yesterday before he went to work we squeezed in a little breakfast date, and stumbled across the cutest farm shop, look at the pumpkins and gourds! You can keep up with our adventures via my Instagram Story, I probably post a load of rubbish, but who doesn’t?!
Today I’m sharing with you a brief round-up of the books I’ve recently read, am currently reading or have in my stash to read in the coming weeks. I am a self-confessed bookworm and I read all different genres, although most of the time I stick to non-fiction, life-based or fiction girly books. I really prefer these kind of books as to be honest I like to escape from the real world and generally a light-hearted story I can lose myself in is my favourite way to do this. Sunday mornings are perfect for curling up with a good book, a cuppa, and maybe some chocolate… (this one’s my favourite!)
As I mentioned in this post, I really want to focus on reading more as it’s something I love to do, and it makes me feel re-energized. I read mostly in the bath and on my lunch break; I used to spend my lunch break swiping through my socials and feel even more zapped of energy by the time I headed back to my desk. I find that I enjoy those 30 minutes away from the office so much more when I can read a few chapters of my current book, text Matthew to tell him I love him and I’m so excited to see him when we finish work (I’m a sap!) and grab an ice cold Diet coke. Obviously I eat a really nutritious, healthy lunch every day, too. Obviously.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I am SO excited to read this book! You’ve almost definitely seen the trailers for the movie, Crazy Rich Asians, and I generally like to read the book before I watch the movie. The book is based on a couple, but I think it’s a little more than your typical boy meets girl story. It’s a best seller, and every review I read states it to be better than the last one did! This is apparently a hilarious read, and I’m so excited to get started – as soon as I’ve finished my current book I’ll definitely be reaching for this.
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. I may have been living under a rock, but I hadn’t heard anything about Dolly Alderton until this book started appearing on my Instagram feed day in, day out. Curiosity got the better of me, and after a quick browse of the Amazon reviews, I purchased the book. I truly loved this book, and it’s something I wish I’d read when I was younger. I have to admit I couldn’t relate to her in lots of ways; Dolly tells the story of her life growing up and she is absolutely the extrovert to my introvert, however I did empathise with her, and found relatability in sections throughout her stories. As you can see, my copy is a little well loved (this really brings it home that I have my baths way too hot as this cover is ruined, oops!)
Feminist’s Don’t Wear Pink by Scarlett Curtis. To say I’m excited for this to be released is an understatement! I’ve currently got this book on pre-order and it comes out on Thursday – I’m so excited. Written by Scarlett, but with lots of input from various social media influencers and celebrities, including Zoe Sugg, Emma Watson, Dolly Alderton and Jameela Jamil. Empowering women is something all of us ladies should feel very passionate about, and I’m so excited to read these ladies’ opinions.
This Is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries Of A Junior Doctor by Adam Kay. This is my current read and I cannot recommend it highly enough! I’m just over half way through and it is brilliant. Adam is a former NHS Doctor, and since he no longer practices he decided to tell the story of his career, based on the diaries he kept during that time. The way Adam tells a story is so clever; he looks at most situations with humour, and brings a refreshing aspect to a fairly mundane, typical job. This book is equal parts heart-warming and heartbreaking, and I really think it’s one you have to read. It’s no secret our incredible NHS staff are woefully underpaid and overworked, and this book steers that point home even harder. I’ve cried and I’ve laughed out loud several times during his stories, it’s a book I genuinely struggle to put down.
Places I Stopped On The Way Home by Meg Fee. This popped up as a recommendation in ‘Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed’ on Amazon, and after reading a few reviews I knew it would be right up my street. I’m yet to begin reading however I’m very excited about it; Meg is a blogger and this book tells of her finding herself in New York City. I’ve been obsessed with NYC since I can remember, and I’m so excited and intrigued to read her tales of life in the The Big Apple.
Hold Back The Stars by Katie Khan. I originally bought this to take on holiday when Matt and I went to Kos back in June, however I may have lost it in the black hole of my wardrobe, and found it again during The Great Declutter of 2018. This book looks great; it’s a boy meets girl kind of story, but with a sci-fi element which is something very different for me. Again, the reviews are great and I’m looking forward to reading it.
Wilde About The Girl by Louise Pentland. This is Louise’s second book, and I actually think it was better than her first, Wilde Like Me. I enjoyed her first book a lot, and fell in love with the lead character, Robin Wilde. I personally a think a lot of Louise’s personality/life was apparent in her character in the first book, however during the second book it didn’t seem to be as prevalent. I laughed and cried throughout the day-to-day life of Robin Wilde, and I think it’s a very uplifting, girl-power read. I have to say though, I expected this would be an easy read-in-the-bath type book, however I was rushing off on my lunch breaks to carry on reading as I was so enthralled in the story.
Cordially Invited by Zoe Sugg. I currently have this book on pre-order as it’s not released until next Wednesday, however I’m so excited to take ideas from this! From the pictures shown by Zoe, and available on Amazon, it’s full of beautiful imagery, and lots of tips and tricks on what to do in each season. I’m going to be baking up a storm over the coming weeks, I’m sure! I’m especially excited for the Halloween/Christmas section of this book as, like Zoe, it’s my favourite time of year and they’re my favourite holidays to celebrate. I’m sure Matt is going to like being roped into the DIY’s, decorating and baking…
Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes. I read this book when it was first released back in 2014, however during my afore mentioned declutter, I found it hidden under a pile of skirts. Classy. This book is essentially a beauty bible; Sali is a journalist and former magazine editor (among 100 other things) and to say she knows her stuff is quite the understatement. She talks through all aspects of beauty, and this is a book I wish I had back when I was 13! I’m currently re-reading a little bit here and there, and loving it even more the second time round.
The Distance by Zoe Folbigg. This is Zoe’s second book, and I can’t quite tell you how much I adore both of her books, and her style of writing. The book is running between past and present, and the twists and turns throughout are told so well. A few chapters in I was already falling in love with the main characters; Cecilie sounds like the most incredible woman, and I was rooting for a happy ending. Filled with twists and turns, and sometimes slightly graphic aspects of real life, this is a modern day love story and is extremely entertaining. After reading, I passed this on to Matt’s mam (between Debbie, my mam and I we have a little book club running where we pass all our books to and from each other) and she loved it just as much as I did. I’m already anticipating her third book, please say there is one?!
I’ve also got the below books on my radar (okay, so they’re in my Amazon basket!):
Today’s post is the first in my new schedule – how exciting! My schedule was previously 11am on a Sunday, and 6pm on a Thursday, although after a little rejig it’s now 6am on a Sunday and 6am on a Wednesday. Now, let’s get on with it…
I’m so excited to share today’s post with you – my inner Monica is beside herself with happiness! I designed my room when I was 15 and a whole wall of built in wardrobes seemed like the best idea ever at the time. It’s still a pretty good idea, but it meant that I had got accustomed to filling my wardrobes to the brim, and using them as a dumping ground for any old crap lying around my room. Didn’t have a place? Open a door and shove it in. We’ve all been there… right?!
I love shopping, and I love buying new clothes. I watch haul videos on a weekly basis, and I order items online based on these videos. I go for a ‘browse’ around the Metro Centre and come back with items I don’t even need. I read blog posts and watch YouTube videos every day featuring beautiful clothes and I often order them. If I really like an item that’s out of my price range, I’ll scour ASOS until I find a cheaper alternative, then I’ll buy that too. I am a hoarder and I spend way too much money on clothes. < written by my former self, because this behaviour stops here.
I bet at least 90% of people will have began reading and thought oh no – this is me! Well, I can promise you; hand on heart; decluttering is not as bad as you are thinking, and once you start the process it’s actually very therapeutic. I’m going to talk you through what I did, and hopefully inspire you to do the same if you’re also in dire need of a good clear out. I would advise watching lots of YouTube videos (declutter ones are especially helpful and motivational) and constant cups of tea if you’re embarking on this task, too! In fact I’d suggest you grab a cuppa and settle down for this post; there’s a lot of information and it’s a long one!
Over the past three weeks I have been decluttering my wardrobes, and I mean really decluttering them. I’m sure you’re wondering why it took me so long to do this, but honestly I just really took my time. I took an hour or two here and there; on a lazy Saturday afternoon, if I had a little window before Matt came home from work, or sometimes late at night if I had a burst of energy to do a small section. Splitting a big, daunting task into lots of small manageable tasks gave me way more motivation, but I know some people would rather spend a whole day getting the job done in one.
I don’t have before pictures to share with you, because I am quite honestly completely embarrassed at the absolute state my wardrobes were in. My dad took four bin bags to the tip which is just ridiculous (although I’m very glad he took them so I didn’t have to, he’s the best)! I had a further seven bags full of clothes to donate and sell, so you can imagine how cluttered my wardrobes were. I had been saying I was going to sort and declutter for literally the past twelve months, but every time I thought about starting the process I was filled with dread, and to be quite honest I just couldn’t. be. arsed. All for transparency over here, you know?
Do One Task At A Time I have to admit, the hardest part is knowing where to start. I first went through and put everything in it’s place. Well, a place. I hung up and folded every single thing – I had to steal coat hangers from my mam’s wardrobes as I didn’t have enough for all of the junk during this process. I have since bought lots of lovely velvet hangers and in time I’m going to have a wardrobe full of them so I can recycle all of my plastic hangers. I also decluttered everything that didn’t belong in there; boxes from parcels, receipts I’d pulled out of a handbag, the odd bobby pin lying around (how do they get everywhere?!) This in itself took a pretty long time – I’m not exaggerating, I was gross – but it gave me a chance to look over items as I was going, and gave me ideas going forward.
It was hard not to jump ahead and start putting items into donation piles from this point; I could already see masses of clothing I didn’t want/need, and would have a better place in another home. I actually felt the most frustrated during this step; I could see in-front of me everything I needed to do, and I wanted to start there and then. I also felt quite annoyed at myself for the amount of clothing I had; I’ve been reading lots recently on sustainability and fast fashion, and I was disgusted by how many items I’d accumulated. Granted, I still have lots of clothes after my clear out which I’m very grateful for!
Take Out Every Single Item Okay, so you’ve got everything looking somewhat neat and pretty, this is the tricky part. Take it off the hanger. Unfold it. Pile everything up on your bed until there’s no more daylight coming through your window. Full disclosure; it genuinely sickened me how many items of clothing I had in my wardrobes! I have been saying the words “I have nothing to wear” for so long it was like word vomit; I didn’t even think about it. I found items I’d once loved and forgotten about, items with tags still attached and even items I didn’t know I owned (this is ridiculous)! If you’re going to take on the wardrobe decluttering yourself, I guarantee you’ll be amazed at how much junk you have; some of which you probably don’t even like!
I took everything out in categories, just to make the process a little bit easier. I first took out all of my trousers, then separated into jeans, sweat pants/leggings, trousers. I then took out all of my outerwear and sweaters, then separated into coats/jackets, nice jumpers, lounge jumpers. Lastly for clothing, I took out all of my tops (in two rounds) and separated into long sleeves, t-shirts, camis, blouses and lounge tops. I did underwear and bikinis in one go, then pyjamas, bedding and towels in one go.
Be Brutal Seriously, brutal. I last cleared my wardrobe out around 18 months ago, and I thought I’d been pretty harsh on what I was keeping and what I wasn’t. Turns out I wasn’t, because I found things like preppy neon t-shirts I’d purchased years ago in Florida. This is the time to be accountable and fully take responsibility for what you have; do you really need twenty grey t-shirts? Or six pairs of the same colour jeans? I have to say an exception to this for me is anything striped; I love a good Breton top and I will forever continue to buy more!
You have to look at the bigger picture, and you really need to be honest with yourself during this part. It doesn’t matter if you spent £10 or £100 on an item of clothing; if you don’t wear it or even like it, there is no point in keeping hold of it. If it’s went bobbled or misshapen in the wash, isn’t currently something you’d reach for or it doesn’t fit you the same way any more get rid of it! I do however think sentimental items are completely subjective and I for one am not going to judge you if you keep a top you wore on your first date with your boyfriend even though you know now you’ll never wear the fugly thing again… *holds hand high*.
One of my original aims of this declutter was to have items in my wardrobe fitting to the current season; so during the Autumn/Winter months my Spring/Summer items were out of sight and out of mind, and vice versa. Once I’d put all of my clothing items into categories I then went through each pile and made another two piles; Yes and No – keeping or removing from the black hole of my wardrobes. I then put everything from the Yes pile that would be suitable throughout Autumn/Winter into the wardrobe; in whatever space was best for me to get use out of it.
For an item to go into the Yes pile, it had to tick four boxes;
I have worn this more than once in the past six months (to a year – for seasonal items)
I just bought this item and will wear it regularly
This item goes with other items in my wardrobe and will last a while
This item makes me feel happy when I wear it
If an item didn’t fit into this bracket, and it wasn’t for my Spring/Summer storage or I wasn’t sentimentally attached, it went straight into the No pile. I later split this into Donate and Sell piles, as I go through in more detail below.
Clean As You Go This one is probably very self explanatory, but if you’re going through the whole process of filling your wardrobe with items that bring you joy, you certainly don’t want them sitting on dusty rails or shelves. As my wardrobes are made of wood, I dusted, then cleaned with wipes (these ones from Aldi are fab, and they smell amazing). I polished the rails and fittings, and cleaned the mirrors fitted inside the doors.
It’s a good idea to keep your wardrobes clean on a day-to-day basis anyway, but I’m planning to do a deep clean inside every 2-3 months, and at the same time check what items I have in my wardrobes. I think this will be a really good way to keep an eye on what I’m buying, and will mean I hopefully don’t have to do such an in-depth declutter again.
Organise In A Way That Suits You Again, my inner Monica loves a chance to really organise!
As I mentioned above, one thing I really would love is to have all of my clothes on thin, velvet coat hangers. They are pricey but in my opinion they’re a good investment; you can fit way more into each section, they look really good, and they hold clothes in place better than a typical coat hanger. I’m going to make a point of picking these up every time I pop into Homesense until I’ve completed this.
I began this at the end of August, so as Summer was drawing to a close I made a point of putting all items I was keeping that were specifically Spring/Summer pieces to one side. I purchased two clear boxes and used these to store all the items I’m not going to need for the next six months. I also put my sandals and most of my swimwear in here; Matt and I are going to start going swimming through the week, and we have a few spa weekends coming up so I did keep a few options out. These boxes were then banished to the loft, and I’ll switch these out with my Autumn/Winter items around March next year (I’m clearly feeling optimistic, as it was still snowing in April this year).
I really like using storage boxes inside my wardrobe too; I picked up the ones pictured from Matalan and they’ve came in so handy. One thing I really couldn’t work out how to store was scarves, then my mam suggested to roll them in a storage box and it’s now so much easier to see what I have! It’s a much less messy way to store them, and it makes it so easy to pick which one I’d like to wear for the day.
Donate and Sell Now you’ve figured out which items you’re saying goodbye to; it’s very easy to separate your No pile into a further two categories – Donate and Sell. My general rule of thumb here is if an item is a) in good condition, b) worthy of selling – eg in fashion or brand name or c) still has tags on, I will more than likely post it on eBay. The saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is extremely true; people sell all sorts on eBay, and people buy it! There are so many ways to sell your clothes and accessories, but I have always used eBay and I’ve never had any issues. It may seem like a hassle to take photos, upload your items and post them out, but you shouldn’t miss out on a money making opportunity!
Anything else in the No pile that doesn’t meet the criteria will then go into the charity bags. Most charity shops also take bedding, soft furnishings and shoes, so be sure to include them too (after checking with your charity of choice).
Nurture Your New Space Now all of the hard work is done; the extra hard work begins – keeping it this way! Ensuring everything stays neat and putting away items as soon as they’re washed/ironed seems like such a simple task but I know there will be days I just don’t want to bother hanging things up or folding things away. *Note to self: come back to this post and get a virtual kick up the butt!*
I think my wardrobe is missing a few key pieces for the upcoming season, which I’m very excited to add in, however once I’m happy with everything I have, I’m going to try implementing the one in, one out policy. I really want to become a more mindful shopper, and having to get rid of one thing to make way for another is a whole new way of thinking; and means I will be able to sell and donate on a regular basis. This also means that anything I buy will be an item I really love – not something I’ve seen in a haul or blog post and have to have in that moment; I’m taking control of my spending and hoarding. I’ll be delving into this topic in much more detail very soon!
I got rid of so many items it actually feels like a weight has been lifted; even just getting dressed in the morning is much more fun as I’m not looking through piles left over rails, or trying to pick The Only Grey T Shirt I Wear out of the twenty in-front of me. Shopping your own wardrobe is exciting; it’s fun to mix and match with items you already have, and it makes it easier to buy new items going forward. As I’ve briefly mentioned above, I want to be more mindful of what I buy; I’m making a promise to myself now that my purchases will be sustainable, good for the environment and good for my wardrobe. Items that are timeless and good quality will always be a good addition. This will also make moving so much easier when Matt and I buy our house; at least I’ll be taking things I wear and love! I’ll definitely revisit this in a post over the coming months, and I have lots more fashion related posts planned/scheduled. I’d love to know if there’s anything you’d like to see in particular.
My next project is Matt’s wardrobe and chest of drawers; he has – no exaggeration – around 100 football tops and I cannot wait to begin the decluttering process! I’m expecting him to have put chains and padlocks on everything after reading this, but let’s see how well we can do. I’m so excited!
I hope you enjoyed reading, and I’d love to know if you are now inspired to have a big ol’ clear out and restructure of your wardrobes?!
Today I’m sharing with you my pre-date night routine for when I have a little extra time to enjoy getting ready. This was before one of my favourite dates with Matthew, for our one year anniversary! I posted an open letter to Matthew on our anniversary in this post, in case you missed it! Warning: cheesier than a five cheese pizza *insert wink emoji here*
We always take the time to plan dates and spend time together, but as we’re saving for our house (and the Christmas build up is upon us!) we spend lots of our quality time in the house, cooking and relaxing. Date days/nights can be anywhere, any time, just most nights they don’t involve any of the dressing up or making as much of an effort! That being said, we love to go out for dinner and cocktails, so as an anniversary treat we booked Tomahawk Steakhouse at Newcastle Quayside.
So, picture the scene; it’s Saturday afternoon, Matthew is still at work and I’ve got a few hours to myself, so I’m about to have a good two(ish) hour bath because… well, because I bloody well can! I’ve got my new book, This Is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, a beautiful candle burning, a face mask on and a Diet Coke to hand, I’d say I feel pretty damn swish right now.
I love to have a long, hot bubble bath before going out for the evening when I have the time to properly relax. I’m not kidding when I say a quick bath for me is around 45 minutes to an hour, it’s just the perfect space for a bit of ‘me time’ and somewhere to chill out in peace. I first prep the bath; putting all of the products I’m going to need along the back, and removing whatever isn’t mine. Sorry, mam. Lining everything up means there’s no need to get out the bath mid way through to fetch something I’ve forgotten (living between two houses can be difficult if you’re as forgetful as me!) and, well, it makes for a good blog photo, right?!
I lit my candle of choice; Coconut Milk and Almond from DW Home, this is such a beautiful cosy scent, the whole bathroom smelt amazing! I also love the jar, it’s so cute and will definitely be repurposed when the candle is finished. As my bath is running I added a few products in; I used my Acai Berry bubble bath from Radox – it creates the best bubbles! It makes me physically cringe to think I used to buy Laura Mercier bubble bath when this is just as good for £1, oh how times have changed. I added one of my favourite bath bombs, Twilight, and began prepping my face.
Matt left for work at around 6.30am so I had the whole day to myself; I spent it decluttering, blogging, wrapping Matt’s anniversary presents and having a little browse* around Homesense. *By browse, I mean buying more pumpkin candles, oops. As my day was mainly running errands, I wasn’t wearing much makeup, but I took off what I was wearing with the Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm (and double cleansed for good measure). With my face feeling clean and fresh, I slathered my favourite intensive lip balm from Elizabeth Arden onto my lips. The weather really isn’t too cold yet and I’m already suffering from dry lips and dry skin! I applied a new-to-me face mask; the Diamond Dust Refining Scrub Mask by Sanctuary Spa, risky before a date night but I was so impressed by this product! I left it on for around 15 to 20 minutes as I was in the bath (who really times these things?!) then washed off with a flannel; my skin felt and looked so clean and bright. It was a very gentle exfoliator as it didn’t leave my skin red or irritated, I’m excited to add this into my weekly product rotation.
With my face mask off, I relaxed in the bath reading my book for quite a while – it’s made me cry and laugh and I’m only a quarter of the way through, I’d definitely recommend – and just feel so peaceful. I never take my phone or laptop in the bathroom when I take a bath, I used to make some kind of stand for my laptop and go to town catching up on vlogs or watching Netflix, but now I actually enjoy disconnecting from technology for a small part of my day. Spoiler: nothing bad will happen if you’re not glued to your phone!
I finally put my book down, and busied myself with all of the preening possible. I generally use a Dove shower gel (or a Molton Brown mini, strictly reserved for nights away!) as most other shower gels seem to irritate my sensitive skin. This one leaves my skin so smooth and soft, and when used with a shower pouf is perfect to prep before shaving. Speaking of which, I shaved using my usual Gillette Venus Rollerball razor/Gillette Satin Care shaving foam combo.
Whenever I have a bath and need to wash my hair, I take a quick shower afterwards. I realise this isn’t too great for water usage, but needs must… *grits teeth* I washed my hair with this sulphate free shampoo by L’Oreal; my hair has been needing a lot of TLC recently, and using this has helped lots. It’s a fuss-free, basic formula but it cleans my hair like no other, and ensures it’s shiny and soft after washing. I condition only the lengths of my hair, so from about mid-ear to the ends, with my L’Oreal Dream Lengths conditioner, another product that’s really impressed me. I adore the smell of this and can always smell it on my hair once it’s dried/straightened, which is a nice benefit!
After a very long, relaxing bath (and shower) I finally get out and start on the fun part of getting ready. I first sit at my vanity table and go through my skincare routine. I take Garnier micellar water on a cotton pad across my face just to make sure my skin is totally clean. I apply my my eye cream from The Body Shop and my current favourite wear-under-makeup moisturiser, also from The Body Shop. I apply more Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream to my lips (it’s a god-send!) and begin prepping my hair. I always use my favourite leave-in conditioner from Bed He’d when I’ve washed my hair and I also use their heat protectant cream – they work so well and smell like sweets!
I love to get ready in my dressing gown – I’m so excited to get a new one for this Autumn/Winter but I haven’t found the perfect one yet! I moisturised using my favourite Sanctuary Spa body butter, and set out my outfit for the evening whilst that sunk in. I dried and straightened my hair, and began on my makeup. On a usual day-to-day basis, doing my makeup takes a maximum of 20 minutes, however when I have the time I like to spend ages – including applying false eyelashes and perfecting my base; this makes my makeup look ten times better, and in turn makes me feel better. I love using the MAC Vanilla and Copper pigments to add an extra sparkle to an evening makeup look, they’re beautiful shimmering colours and catch the light so well!
As I’m getting ready, Matt arrived home from work and is able to unwind from the day and get ready himself, I love catching up on his day when he comes home from work! I kissed him goodbye only about eight hours ago, but I feel like I haven’t seen him in forever (this is a daily feeling, hah)! Tomahawk Steakhouse was incredible; the food and atmosphere was amazing, and it was (in our opinion) very well priced! We had the best night and enjoyed our anniversary on the Sunday with a little road trip to York followed by a cosy night in with a Chinese takeaway.
Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know how your own pre date night routine compares? What are some of your must have products to get ready with?
Given that it’s mid-September it probably seems a little silly to be setting goals to achieve by the end of the year, but bear with me. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about things I want to improve on and things I want to do, but I have just been putting these off in the hope it’ll get done ‘at some point’. I decided to set myself a few goals and I’ve already put some of these into practice. 2018 has been such a good year, and I’m hoping 2019 will be even better, so I’m giving it the best chance possible with a little head start. I also encourage you to look at areas of your life you’d like to make better, in some form, and set yourself goals to achieve in the next few months!
Focus on Hobbies
As lame as it probably sounds, I didn’t really have any actual hobbies until this year. Well, I didn’t set aside any time to enjoy them anyway. I started my blog in June because I wanted a creative space to talk about the things I love and enjoy, and to branch out into a world I’ve admired for so long. I watched from afar as people posted exciting content and I’m so excited to be finally part of that – assuming my content is somewhat exciting, that is! I love that the whole process is so enjoyable; having the idea for each post, writing and taking photos; and then I really appreciate that I get a good response in relation to each post. I’m so thankful that people are showing interest in my blog, it really means the world to me. I’ve said this before, but it has become an outlet I didn’t know I needed, and I want to nurture this space just as much, if not more over the coming months.
Since I was a child, I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm, but over the past two years I’ve really upped my reading game. Whenever I get the chance for a long relaxing bath I love to read my book, or on an early Saturday morning when I’ve seen Matt off to work I’ll spend half an hour cosied up with a cup of tea and my latest paperback. I’m now actively setting time aside each day to read, even if it’s just for ten minutes on my lunch break. Another hobby I’ve recently started taking more seriously is yoga; I have practiced on and off for around three years now (self taught, Yoga with Adriene is incredible) and I really want to commit to doing it at least three times per week. I make excuses so that I don’t have to, then I regret not taking 20 or 30 minutes out of my day to relax and enjoy it.
Over the past few months, Matthew and I have started to branch into the world of cooking (yes, it took us 24 years)! We are trying lots of new foods, learning together and having so much fun in the process. Don’t get me wrong, we will always love an M&S Dine in for 2 deal, but making meals together is fun and exciting, and we get to pretend we’re on Hell’s Kitchen for an hour or so – what’s not to love?! Being serious, I really love cooking with him as we get to spend quality time together, whilst being productive and learning at the same time. We were both under the impression cooking anything other than pasta (which everyone can make, right?) was extremely difficult, however we were so wrong! We’re always on the hunt for new quick and easy recipes;,any recommendations would be much appreciated. Also, I’m planning to share a few of our go-to recipes with you – our potato and chorizo side-dish that I often post on my Instagram story has been requested several times and will be up soon!
Limit Social Media Time
This is a hard one for me; generally speaking I love social media and really enjoy posting/seeing others’ posts. I especially love Instagram stories and I often browse through location tags of places on mine and Matt’s ‘to visit’ list! (We’re going to Liverpool next month and I’ve already got a few places I can’t wait to see IRL). However, I am so guilty of spending more time than necessary mindlessly flicking through my social apps, and I’m going to make a conscious effort to stop doing this in the evenings. I’m hoping this will filter through into the rest of the day in time. Each night, Matt and I spend our evenings winding down from the day; cooking, watching a show or a movie, running errands, catching up on our day etc, then we sit on our phones for at least 10 minutes before we get into bed. We read tweets out loud to each other, browse through Instagram posts and laugh at Facebook memes, but by the time we get into bed our minds are buzzing with the world of social media again and all of our unwinding is undone! I appreciate our quality time so much, and I want this to be to focus of our evenings, rather than Kylie Jenner’s latest makeup launch. I’m also hoping as mentioned in this post, this will have a positive effect on my mental health.
Start to Live More Sustainably
I’ve already began to put this into practice, and I’m excited to see how well this comes along. I’m currently in the middle of a clear out of epic proportions; I have gone through all of my clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and am currently mid-way through skincare, makeup and haircare. It’s a very big task and one I’ve been doing over several weeks to limit the mess and improve my success rate. Doing everything in one go would definitely leave me feeling exhausted and I know I’d have given up by now. Little wins seem better, right?! My goal for this is mainly to have what I love, and love what I have.
I had so much crap lying around, and most of it does not get the love or attention it deserves. Also, this will be a huge help for when Matt and I buy our house; I don’t know where I’d start with the moving process with all of the junk I used to own! I am selling and donating the items that no longer serve a purpose for me as there is no need to hold onto things that don’t benefit me. Going forward, I’m going to apply this mind-set to any clothing purchases I make; I want to buy things for a purpose, of good quality fabrics, and stop the hoarding nonsense I somehow became accustomed to. I also am going to stop buying items with a high polyester or acrylic count. I don’t have the budget to completely cut these fabrics out of my purchasing but minimal quantities are the best option right now. I’ll definitely be going into this in more detail in the coming weeks! I’m hoping this will filter through to all my spending in every category.
Become a More Mindful Shopper
This follows on from my above point, and it makes me equal parts nervous and excited, and I’m not sure I can explain why! I’ve touched on my love of the idea of a capsule wardrobe previously, and as much as I’d love to give it a go, it’s just not for me. I am however going to become more mindful with all of my future purchases, not just clothing related, and I’m excited to see if I can meet the challenge. As I mentioned previously, I just had too. much. stuff. I have known this and joked about it for a very long time, but I feel like now enough is enough. I was buying new clothing, accessories, beauty products etc very regularly and during my clear outs I’ve been gobsmacked to find clothes I hadn’t worn with tags still attached, and items I’d forgot I’d even bought. I really love shopping and I know I’m going to struggle at first, but I think I’ll feel happier putting this into practice (my bank account will definitely benefit, too). My new mantra for all items – clothing, beauty and everything in between is quality, not quantity. *Spoiler: a post all about my wardrobe declutter will be up in the next week!* I’m currently writing a post about this in way more detail, and it’ll be up in the next few weeks.
Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to know your thoughts; are you inspired to set a goal or two for the next few months? I’m going to write another post at the end of the year and revisit these goals; I hope this will help to hold me accountable and help me achieve these!