Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Slow Fashion

You guys...it would appear that on the year I have decided not to have resolutions I have gone and got myself a resolution. And it's a whopper.


...I know right?! Pretty dramatic. It all started last year when I was reading more and more about the 'Slow Fashion' movement. Essentially this is the movement which argues that our current clothing situation is pretty terrible; cheaply made and easily accessible clothes are bad for working conditions, the environment and more often than not, mean that we are prioritising something other than quality. Although I did read a lot about all this I sort of didn't take it in. I read it and then walked away.

UNTIL! I took up sewing properly again. This year my sewing machine has been smoking and I've well and truly caught the sewing bug again. It was only when I gave myself the challenge to perfectly make and finish a dress (lining, pockets, hidden zip, french seams and all) that I really started thinking about how clothing is made. I spent days sewing that thing up and yet on the highstreet I could go out and get a dress for a tenner. Those two things just didn't add up to me. It seemed both horrifically unfair to those who construct the garments but also pretty unnecessary. I love making clothes and it'll make the world a better place and so why not make more?
When I was thinking about my slow fashion goals I approached the situation with a pros and cons list.


  • I love making clothes. If I can't buy clothes I will make more clothes. 
  • Clothes I make fit me a lot better and make me feel more like myself rather than someone who's failing at being a 'conventional' shape/look/style. +bodyconfidence 
  • It's a lot better for the environment and I love the environment. It's where squirrels live. 
  • I don't love the whole materialism thing. Lately (probably due to increased work/uni/life stress) the whole less-is-more approach is working for me. I'm enjoying a more stripped back and considered form of materialism. Don't get me wrong, I love things, but I think it's probably better to have a smaller carefully selected, well made wardrobe than one which is bursting at the seams with primark junk. 
  • I'm sure there will be items I really miss/ find I'm terrible at making. I'm hoping this year will really teach me what I should buy and what I should make. 
  • I'll save money, yay!
  • Urgh, shopping is so much easier! Making a dress takes me days and yet walking into town takes minutes. The times where I have been closest the caving in has been when there's an event or a party and I just want to go and get something new to wear. But I guess that just highlights why I am doing this. It's pretty disposable to get something for a night out and I shouldn't need that buying-buzz to enjoy going out prep. 
  • I'm pretty bad at sewing with jersey and t-shirting. I've tried it before and I just don't have a knack yet. I'm well aware that not everything can be sewn out of cotton so I guess I will have to try eventually but arggh. 
  • If I can't buy clothes I'll have less clothes....yeeeeaah. This is true. But hopefully I'll have better clothes. 
That kind of settled it for me. I think the pros outweigh the cons by far. 
I've been doing my slow fashion year since January and so far so good! I've been sewing a lot more and have saved money from not buying clothes. I'll be posting soon about the new clothes I've made so stay tuned!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Week 2: Wear SPF Daily

Time for my second resolution.

I am the worst at looking after my skin. All the way through my teenage years I was blessed with the most amazing glowy skin. Seriously, not a spot in sight. I think it might  be my best feature. This did mean however that I didn't really feel the need to look after it. It looked great when I did nothing so why add in moisturisers and cleansers and all the rest, right? Well, over the last year or so I've been looking a little more tired so I thought it was time to step up the skin care. Roll on resolution number 2: wear SPF everyday.
 I like to keep my beauty regime really minimal and so it was really important that I found a product which could do pretty much everything. After a load of research into what actually benefited you from moisturisers, lotions and potions I squared in on the main factor; it has to be high in SPF. I then set out on a mission to find my dream product.

After a trip round town sampling and experimenting I zeroed in on this cheeky little number: Million Dollar Moisturiser by Lush. I reeeeally love this stuff. It's got SPF 30, it's ethical and it's got a tiny bit of pigment in it to give you a subtle glow. It is a little bit on the pricey side at £32.50 a pot but after using it for a while I can tell that it's going to last for ever so I think the price is fair.
For the days when I want to be a bit more pulled together I apply some moisturiser, rub it in and then blend some foundation into areas which need a bit more balancing in tone like under my eyes. I've started using Hello Flawless benefit foundation because it's not at all cakey and also has SPF in it so don't feel like I'm wearing a load of gunk on my face. Yay!

I've been playing to this skincare routine for a few weeks now and I must say I really like it. I've never really been into beauty products that much but it felt really good to research, find and start a routine which I know is helping my skin and make me feel good.

Week 2: Nailed!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Glitter Unicorn Party

 I can't believe I haven't shared these photos yet. Last November we had the party to beat all parties. The theme: Glitter Unicorn. The dress code: pink/glitter. The night: amazing. This is going to be one of those posts where the photos aren't the best quality-wise but they are utter perfection in all other ways.
 This is Cilla the Narwhal. She was in the Marine Biology room (she is the unicorn of the sea, after all). By the way she now lives on top of Matt's wardrobe, the babe.
 We had the happiest photobooth ever.
We had a balloon ceiling. We had streamer walls. I had the best Birthday ever.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Week 1: Do My Taxes

As I said in my new year's resolution post, my plan for this year is to tackle on small resolution every week. And wooooooohoooooooo have I chosen an exciting one to start with.

I love having a business but ooohhh mmyyyy goodddddddd I hate doing my taxes. Every single January when it comes round self assessment time I promise myself that this coming year I will do my taxes month by month... and then I don't. I suppose it's better to just condense it into one week of boredom.

So...yeah. A boring one this week.

PS, anyone else think of Black Books when they do their taxes?

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Why New Year's resolutions don't work.

At New Year I made the best resolution-based decision I have ever made. I decided not to make any changes until February.

This year I sort of didn't have a choice; I had my dissertation hand in last Friday (IT'S OVERRRRR!!) and so I was pretty much busy all of January. January has been one of those neglect-all-jobs-which-aren't-entirely-necessary sort of months (RIP my washing bin) and so the idea of having to think about new goals and routines was just not going to happen. But having had this month I actually think having January off is a really good idea. After all, you spend a big chunk of December just indulging and building up terrible habits, by going straight from indulgence to good behaviour you are setting yourself up for failure. I think next year I'm going to do the same again, spend January returning to normality and restoring old habits and then add in some new habits in February. That way everything is a little bit more manageable and even if you do fail at keeping your resolutions it will at least look like you lasted a month longer than everyone else! Success!

So, January is almost over and I've been spending my new found freedom thinking about goals and what I want out of this year. I've never really had new years resolutions because I think they're kind of ineffective. Firstly, they are too vague to change anything. By aiming to 'be more healthy' you're not really setting any goals which you can achieve because it's such a macro goal. It's a lot better to set a goal like 'go to yoga three times a week" because you can actually do or not do this. Secondly, it is way too easy to give up on new years resolutions. If I set the lofty goal of 'being more healthy' and then have a cheeky take away a couple of weeks in that's me done, resolution broken. No more pressure to stick to a resolution so I might as well eat allll the food!!!

This year I've decided to try something a bit new which I'm hoping will work. I've written a list of tasks and goals that I want to accomplish this year. I am then going to choose one a week and try and achieve it. They range from really practical things like 'create a binder of important documents' to fun things I want to do like 'go to aerial yoga' or things I want to change about my life like 'find an organic skincare product which works for me'. My only requirement is that it's achievable in a week.

I'm really looking forward to this sort of goal setting because I think I can actually achieve something this way. If I fail at one of my weekly goals, that kind of sucks but it's completely isolated from the next week's goal. The fact I ate some chicken on a 'try-meatless' week doesn't stop me from achieving at my 'do my taxes' week.

I've been busy writing and planning this week so I'm hoping to start my goals soon. I will be sharing on the blog so you can follow along.

So what do you think? Is anyone else doing mini-resolutions this year? Do you have any suggestions for what some of mine should be? I'm all ears!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2015- The good, the bad and the ugly

In some ways 2015 was pretty standard.

There was really amazing highs. I went to Lisbon for the first time, I turned 22 and had an amazing party, we got our pet rats called Alicia and Diane, George graduated, I got back into sewing and me and Katie went to see Hamlet at the Barbican.

There were lows, too. My business took a huge hit in the first couple of days of the year when my first factory-made shipment of ukuleles turned up and was completely terribly made (still a sore point), my wonderful cat Tom died after 17 years of constant adoration, I tried out for several jobs and put all my creative might into standing out and going above-and-beyond but still didn't get anything.

So it was kind of a mix. Yeah some of the bad things cast a really heavy shadow but there were still really lovely times.

The thing I'm really going to take away from this year is how much I was able to learn about myself. 2015 was the first year where nothing big happened. In 2014 I had to move out of my flat and find a totally new friend group from gumtree (I did, they're great). In 2013 I had a lot of unsettling feelings as my living situation fell apart. In 2012 I moved to Uni. In 2011 I did my A levels after contracting an illness which put me out of school for a few months. Those were a crazy few years and though of course I learnt a lot about myself and how I cope with things I didn't learn
          "This is what I need when I feel in a rut."
instead I learned
          "This is what I need when I feel when I'm in a rut and also I'm in a very stressful environment/recovering from illness/ trying to rebuild everything."

This year was the first year that I had a control. A time when I could have normal ups and downs which weren't entirely overshadowed my major life events. It was amazing to just be able to think and try things and experiment. It was really wonderful to discover the food that my body likes, the structures which make me most productive, the interactions I enjoy rather than just feel I should have.

So in short, thank you 2015. You weren't my happiest year at times but I cannot express how invaluable you were. I cannot wait to take everything I have learnt from you and show it to your newer sparklier counterpart. Bring on 2016!!!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

My search for a watch

I have a big important grown up interview on Wednesday. Obviously I'm completely terrified and excited but I'm trying more than anything to focus on things I can control... answers to classic interview questions, comments on the industry and importantly what I'm going to wear!

It's an all day interview and so naturally I'm going to want to know what sort of time it is while I'm going around getting judged for my every move. Usually I just check my phone but I'm thinking that may seem a little unprofessional for the work place and so I need to get a watch. After searching ASOS (which is actually amazing for watches!) I compiled a few of my favourites. Enjoy!

1. Limit White strap watch £19.99
2. Sleek Minimal Watch £22
3. Vivienne Westwood Orb Watch £195
4. Premium Leather Mother of Pearl Face Watch £28
5. Clean Dial Pretty Watch £20 
6. Large Face Clean Dial Watch £18
7. Big Dial Navy Watch with Rose Gold Face £80
8. Nude Greisa Watch £20 
9. Piglet Pink Electric Watch £129 

10. Pink Glitter Dial Watch £25
11. Black Polka Dot Silicon Watch £25
12, Spot Dial Watch £25
13. Polka Dots Watch £30
14. Rose Gold Stripe Watch £35