Sunday, 29 October 2017

Transitioning My Summer Wardrobe | Culotte Jumpsuit



OK so I know I said in this post that I wouldn't be doing any more of these transitional outfits, but I LIED. Sorry. I keep discovering summer pieces that I want to try and get as much wear out of as possible so who knows, this may not even be the last one. This jumpsuit was a fairly easy one to do and I even styled it way back in April in the transitional period between spring and summer so that's another way I'll be wearing it too. The jumpsuit itself is from New Look and I bought it in spring in anticipation of my summer holiday, but apart from actually on holiday I didn't get all that much wear out of it because on its own it is kinda fancy and I just didn't have the occasion. 

Layering it up for autumn gives it a completely different vibe though and somehow turns it into a more casual item as well as making it warmer so that's a win all round really. I've worn it quite a lot layered under different tops, but one of my favourite ones to wear it with is this white lace oldie from H&M. You actually can't see the top that well in these photos under all ma layers so you'll just have to use your imagination. 

This outfit will definitely see me through further into winter though thanks to my new favourite snuggly jacket (yes I did just use the word snuggly to describe a jacket), which is my current favourite cover up and was an absolute bargain from Primark. I was very torn when I was buying this jacket because they had the most amazing corduroy burgundy one similar, but I've wanted a denim shearling style jacket for ages so this one won out. It's SO warm and cosy and amazingly comfortable. I love that it's a bit oversized because it makes it even snugglier (there's that word again).

I seem to be wearing my old faithful chelsea boots every day at the moment - they just go with everything I own and are the perfect autumn/winter staple that have been in my wardrobe for the past five years (although I have had two different pairs in that time). I love ankle boots for dressing things down a bit too so they work perfectly at making the jumpsuit a little more casual for everyday. I think this makes a great smart casual work outfit (it is smarter without the snuggly jacket I promise) and I imagine I'll probably get more wear out of this jumpsuit over autumn than I did in summer for that reason. 




Jacket - Primark | Jumpsuit - New Look (similar) | Top - H&M (similar) | Boots - Topshop (here)

Have you been transitioning your summer wardrobe?

Amy x
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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Fast Fashion or Timeless?


I feel like it's a common misconception that there are only two types of fashion - fast or timeless. You can either be that cool Instagram girl rocking the latest Primark trends or the classic Pinterest one oozing effortless Parisian chic in her cashmere sweater she owns in five colours. Well I, for one, am neither of these. Maybe that's why I feel like I don't have a distinctive style identity, but I think it's also why I never get bored of getting dressed. My wardrobe isn't full of this season's latest trends, but it's also not filled solely with style classics I could wear over and over. It's a bit of both and that's the way I like it.

Another common misconception is that fast fashion is a waste of money so you should spend a bit more on the basics that will never go out of style because it'll be a better investment. I agree that good quality basics are an excellent investment for your wardrobe (to some degree - you're never going to find me spending double figures on a white t-shirt), but I also think that the amount of wear I'll get this year out of, for example, my cheap gingham top from Primark makes up for the fact that I might go off it next year (although it's also hard to imagine that I will). In short, I tend to wear my fast fashion items a lot in a short space of time, I won't wear my timeless classics as frequently, but will have them for much longer and keep going back to them. So basically, I support both sides of this common debate.




Another thing I find happens to me is that sometimes items I would have considered fast become timeless when I realise that instead of being a passing trend for me it's actually something I'm going to love for years to come even if it goes out of fashion. So maybe you clicked on this blog post because you wanted an answer to the question I posed in the title - fast fashion or timeless? Well, I'm here to tell you that I love both, you shouldn't have to choose and perhaps it doesn't have to be such a big debate after all.

I feel like I've got a mixture of the two in this outfit - stripes are always going to be a timeless classic aren't they? The check blazer though is very much a trend at the moment so it's probably something I will wear to death in the coming months, but less in the future. I love the slight print clash of the two together though so it's a combo I can see myself wearing a lot. When I first got dressed on the day I took this set of photos I popped on my red trousers before deciding that I looked a little too much like Charlie Chalk and changing into some denim instead. The red trousers were going to be my example of an item that's not necessarily seen as a 'classic staple', but one which I've had in my wardrobe for years and still wear, but you'll just have to take my word for it.



Blazer - Bershka (here| Jeans - Monki (here | Top - Boohoo (here | Shoes - TX Maxx (old)

Amy x
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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Getting Back Up After a Confidence Knock


Whether you're a shy little bean like me (not quite sure where that description came from, but I'm rolling with it) or a super confident sass queen, we all suffer the occasional confidence knock (I mean, if you are a shy little bean like me then you probably suffer more than an occasional one let's be honest). Knocks to your confidence aren't the nicest thing - personally they leave me with a knotted stomach of doubt in myself and a whirring brain of self critical thoughts, ranging from 'I should never wear a short skirt again because ew legs' to 'I should probably just quit my job because I'm clearly not very good at it.' As someone who is getting fairly used to these little knocks of confidence I've built up a few ways of getting back up after them and carrying on.

P E R S P E C T I V E | Usually it's the little things that we can get bogged down in isn't it? Maybe you overheard someone saying they don't like your dress, maybe you were told that there was room for improvement in a task you did at work or maybe you just spilt coffee all down yourself just as you were about to leave the house (the latter happens to me more than I care to admit). These little things all have a bigger impact on our mood than they should so it's always a good idea to look at the bigger picture. The thing that has knocked your confidence is tiny in the long run, will probably be forgotten down the line and might even make you stronger.


B R O O D | Have an evening in on the sofa with blankets, your cats (if you have them, if you don't I would recommend getting some as they're particularly helpful in this situation) and a big bar of chocolate. Let yourself feel rubbish for a bit because the ritual of treating yourself to a night off will benefit your mood in the long run. Reflecting on what has knocked your confidence will quite often end up making you feel better as you begin to put it into perspective too. 

S E G M E N T A L I S E | I totally thought I'd just made up a word, but it turns out that segmentalise is actually in the dictionary so no points to me for that one. I like to think of my life in segments. There's a family segment, a friendship segment, a relationship segment, a career segment...you get the idea. So hey, maybe someone rained on your parade at work, but are you healthy? Do you have a loving family and friendship group? I always find it helpful to focus my energy on the good segments when I'm not feeling my most confident. 

S A S S | Almost as if you've just broken up with a guy and want to show him what he's missing, the next day throw on your favourite dress, some red lipstick or just whichever outfit makes you feel like the best version of you then head out with the sassiest attitude you can muster because if you can convince other people that you feel great you might just be able to convince yourself too.




In keeping with the last point, I wore my current sassiest outfit for this post, which is this beaut denim culotte jumpsuit from Asos. I'd had my eye on it for a while, but couldn't justify the price then the dream that is the Asos sale came along and it was a very attractive £22 so I snapped it up and I'm oh so glad that I did.

Jumpsuit - Asos (here) | Shoes - Next (old) | Bag - Primark (old)

What do you do to make yourself feel better after a confidence knock?

Amy x
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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

An Autumnal Glamping Trip and Staying Real


If you follow me on Instagram (hey shameless self promotion I'm over here if you don't) you may have seen that on Monday night I went glamping with some of my favourite girls. We went to Soho Farmhouse, which FYI is just as dreamy as everyone says it is. We had a bell tent with actual real (very comfortable) beds and a log burner, the shower facitilies were nicer than my bathroom at home and the continental buffet breakfast was the tastiest I've ever had. It's a super relaxing place while also having plenty to do - there's an indoor and outdoor pool, a spa, tennis courts, a gym, a cinema and onsite restaurants - you'll never get bored, but you'll manage to chill out at the same time. 

One of the loveliest things was just spending time with my friends. We all live in different places so don't get together that often so it's always nice to catch up and do silly things like decide which character from The Inbetweeners we would be (there's four of us - I'm Simon if you're interested.) We had a little swim and a chill out in the sauna, had a (rather short) row in a boat and spent hours at dinner chatting and drinking wine while trying to be nonchalant about the fact that Patrick Stewart was at the next table.

I'll go into a little more detail about the actual site - for accommodation there is the option of the bell tents or cabins, which I believe you can get different options of too. I can't speak for the cabins, but the bell tents were lovely and cosy. Inside was a double bed, two chairs, a clothes rail and some storage as well as a log burner plus an electric heater and a fan. Towels, robes, eye masks and earplugs are also provided. As well as the leaisure facilities there are three onsite restaurants and a deli/cafe. We had lunch in the cafe, which did the tastiest salads and then ate dinner and breakfast in the main barn (I'm not sure of the name of the restaurant, but it's the main and biggest one). This barn is huge, but on an evening becomes really cosy. The food was lovely and even if we hadn't had 50% off it would have been fairly reasonable for a treat yo'self kinda meal.

Everything about the grounds is extremely picturesque, from the tents themselves to the pool that's situated within the lake to the bikes that you can pick up and ride around the site whenever you fancy. It's an extremely Instagrammable place and although they're quite strict with photos there (it's supposedly a fairly private place that affords the rich and famous some time away without being harassed by fans) I did manage to get some pretty shots for the 'gram. Which brings me onto what I really want to talk about in this blog post. I was just going to do a write up of our time away because I could definitely bang on about that for a full post, but while we were there one of my friends said something to me that got me thinking. 




She told me that I'm her kind of blogger because what she sees on Instagram is me, it's real and it's not a falsely positive representation of me. I think that's the perfect thing for pretty much any blogger to hear and it was so nice to hear that from one of my friends. It's comments like that that motivate me to never try and be someone I'm not just for the sake of more Instagram followers or higher blog views because unfortunately I think that would be an easy trap to fall into and one which I'm sure some of us do. 

I had an amazing time glamping at Soho Farmhouse, I really really did and I got the pretty Instagrams to show for it. I was planning on just doing a little write up of our trip and what we got up to, but I wanted to talk honestly because I never want to not be real. It would be so easy to show off my pretty pictures and act like I'm the type of person who regularly visits amazing places like Soho Farmhouse (which FYI is the type of place where they park your car for you and where there are Cowshed products to use in all the bathrooms). In all honesty, it was amazing and I would 100% recommend it to anyone who can afford it, but in reality I can't. I got lucky because my friend has a membership that got us 50% off everything (including our tent), but full price? No way could I pay that for a night of glamping, however lovely it was. I don't want to put a downer on what is an incredible place that I had a lovely time at, but at the same time I don't want to be like 'hey you should definitely go, it's amazing' because it's expensive and I would never want to encourage people to spend money that I wouldn't (if that makes sense). 



I would 100% go back and hopefully will at some point because I had such a lovely time. I haven't felt as relaxed as I did when I was there in a long time and it was such a luxury to have an actual bed in a tent - I have to say I think I'm a total glamping convert because the comfort is real and I had an amazing night's sleep even though LOL nice one, go glamping while Storm Ophelia hits the UK (I'm so glad we weren't just camping because that would not have been fun in that wind).

Have you ever been glamping?

Amy x
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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Transitioning My Summer Wardrobe | The Summer Dress


I think this is probably going to be the last post in this little mini series (first two here and here if you're interested), mainly because the 'transitional' period between summer and autumn seems like it's just about over and before long I'm pretty sure it'll be woollies all the way (which I'm actually now super excited about - gimme allllll the jumpers).

This dress is one that I barely wore all summer bar when I was actually on holiday, which I'm kind of gutted about because it really is the perfect summer dress so I'm not sure why it got pushed to the back of my wardrobe. Realising this, I pulled it out the other week and layered it up before noticing that it would make the perfect outfit for one of these transitional posts. I would never have thought that it would look right with such dark colours, but the contrast works fine and the dress looks totally different than during summer. The dress itself is an oldie from New Look, which is well on its way to becoming my favourite shop ever (sorry Topshop).

Throughout summer I would wear this dress by itself just with sandals (you can see how in this post from way back when). You can't see in these pictures, but it's strappy and has a nice little tie detail at the back so it's one that I've always taken at face value and worn when it's been really hot. If I'd thought about it more, I'd have come to the conclusion that it's still a really nice dress even when you can't see the back detail and midi dresses really are perfect for this time of year when you'd still like to get away with no tights, but don't want to alarm people when your legs go all goose-bumpy. I've also generally started to wear midi dresses more and more, mainly because they're work appropriate as well as being a nice comfortable option for the weekend.





As I said, I was surprised that this contrast works as I went for all black apart from the dress itself. This means that the dress is still the standout piece in the outfit, but the black really pulls it into autumn by making the outfit as a whole a little moodier. The top I've layered it over is an old crop top from Topshop, which I bought mid crop top obsession when I was at university and could get away with flaunting my belly, but I don't think that would go down so well at work so I never wear it anymore. The faux leather jacket and boots are both from Topshop too and despite being a year old are both still available - I find Topshop are great for keeping things in stock for a long time, which comes in very handy when I'm in need of a new pair of chelsea boots or jeans. 

I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to get away with midi dresses without tights, but I'm really enjoying pairing them with boots and I'm finding that as long as I wrap up on my top half I don't get too nippy so I'm planning to do it for as long as possible.






Dress - New Look (old) | Jacket - Topshop (here) | Boots - Topshop (here) | Top - Topshop (old)

Amy x


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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Playing the DUFF


Fun fact: I used to want to be an actress. And I don't mean that it was a phase I went through at age 7 when I loved putting on shows for my family, I mean in the sense that I went through GCSEs and A-Levels with that in mind as my end goal and went on to study Drama at university in order to achieve it. LOL. I did a lot of growing up at university. I'll be honest and admit that my course was extremely pretentious and completely put me off the idea of acting altogether, plus I became a realist. I knew that I wasn't the type of person who could cope with not having a stable income and I also knew that if I did pursue acting I wouldn't get the roles I'd want. 

Whenever I used to watch a really good film I'd feel this yearning towards the leading lady, a kind of emotion of wishing that it was me (funnily enough I now get this same yearning when I watch a good film of wishing I'd worked on it behind the scenes). The thing is, I came to realise that I would never play the leading lady. I would play the DUFF. If you don't know what that stands for it's the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Now, this isn't a pity post - I know this is a shocking thing for a woman to admit, but I don't think I'm ugly and I don't think I'm fat - but by film industry standards I am not a leading lady. 

The interesting thing is, I think the reason I was always drawn towards the leading lady is because I've never been her in real life either. I didn't want to play the DUFF because that's the role I've already played growing up. Note to anyone reading this far in - this post is about to get rather personal, I'm not meaning it to be a 'woe is me' post, but it's something I want to write about so I will, using my blog as a form of therapy and all that. 

I've always had very beautiful friends. Growing up, I was the DUFF in my friendship group, the one who was always there listening to her friend's boy woes without having any of her own because why would a boy look at me when I had much more desirable friends they could look at instead? My best friend in secondary school was conventionally stunning - blonde, petite and curves in all the right places. I was always the support act and although I never let it show, it made me feel hugely insecure. Boys stared at her in the street, they approached her at parties and she had a string of boyfriends in the time that I had none. Compared to her, I felt fat and I felt ugly and maybe that knock to my confidence was part of the problem.



In sixth form I had an equally stunning best friend and again, I felt inferior because I knew that given the choice everyone (including my boyfriend at the time) would pick her over me. Maybe that was all in my head, but at an age when you basically decide whether you 'fancy' someone based purely on looks I don't think it was. Recently an old friend (who was extremely drunk at the time of saying this so I should maybe take it with a pinch of salt) admitted that he'd felt we were 'never as cool as the others' and it brought everything back to the forefront of my mind. I think I'd forgotten that I once felt like that too and the fact that he vocalised what we'd never spoken about at the time confirmed to me that everything I'd once suspected was actually true.

But I guess I grew up and my perspective changed, along with everyone else's. I still have the same best friend, but I don't feel any 'less' than her just because she's beautiful. We're just different and we're completely equal. I'd also like to point out that she has never made me feel insecure or inferior, it's only ever been other people. Even just last month someone advised me to be careful what I dress my bridesmaids in because she could easily upstage me. On reflection, that's an awful thing for someone to say, but it doesn't bother me anymore. I'm proud to have such a beautiful best friend and I want her to look stunning on my wedding day.



In films there's always a DUFF, but in real life I think that stops when you get past a certain age. Yes, there are moments when I feel like her all over again, but they're brief and easily brushed aside. Yes, I played the DUFF in secondary school, but now I'm the leading lady in my own life alongside my friends who are equally leading ladies in theirs.

Dress - New Look (similar) | Scarf - Zara (similar | Bag - Primark | Boots - Topshop (here) 

Amy x


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Sunday, 8 October 2017

Little Corners of My Kitchen

After my kitchen transformation post (here) which spoke more about the actual process of renovating our kitchen, I wanted to write a post going into more detail about the different little aspects of the kitchen - this definitely doesn't cover everything, but I didn't want to write an entire essay so for now I've narrowed it down to three of my favourite little parts. 

Tea / Coffee Station





On the end of our island that's attached to the wall (I realise that makes it not an island, but I'm not sure what else to call it - a breakfast bar but with cupboards?) we keep our kettle and coffee machine and there's a little shelf above it where we hang our favourite coffee cups and keep our coffee pods. In what I suppose is a fairly 'safe' kitchen in terms of the colour scheme and style (purposefully so it'll hopefully be quite timeless) I feel like this is the corner with the most character. We could easily have not tiled this section because it didn't really need a splash back, but I'm so glad we decided to as it just makes it a real little feature. With the addition of our copper kettle and the greenery it's almost Pinterest-worthy.     

Table 



I LOVE our table. I can't take any credit for it whatsoever apart from the fact that the original table was given to us by my parents when we moved into our first unfurnished flat and has been in my life since I was born (is it weird to be slightly sentimental about a table?!). Anyway, it was a very old table, it was pine which is a bit too orange-y for our taste and it was scratched, worn and in much need of a re-vamp. Nick had the idea to clad it with wood in this herringbone pattern. The wood was actually pretty cheap stuff from B&Q made to look nice with stain and oil. The sides are also cladded, but painted white along with the legs and the chairs (I can take credit for the chairs woo).

 I just love sitting and eating breakfast at our table now especially as the light streams through the window when it's sunny. In terms of the tabletop we try to keep it quite simple so it doesn't get too cluttered. Nick banished the couple of candles I'd snuck on there (he is forever banishing my 'tat' as he calls it) so at the moment we just have this fake plant from IKEA displayed on a sample tile I bought when we were trying to decide on wall tiles. Now, what else can I get Nick to make...

Fireplace




I'm so glad we knocked the fireplace through because it makes such a lovely feature and it gives the kitchen a real cosy feel especially in the evening when the fairy lights come on inside it. The wood that's made a mantelpiece comes from an old beam we removed and we have more beam left to potentially do the same in the living room. 

The old stove was given to us for free by my friend's mum - it doesn't work as there's a crack down the back, but I'd mentioned that we were on the hunt for something decorative to go there and she just happened to have this sitting in her shed! All we did was clean it up and re-spray it black. The little caddy next to it was also free as someone on our street was getting rid of it (seriously good luck for us on both of these as imagine how much they could cost from an antiques shop). We bought the mirror from Homesense, which is somewhere I'd not really been before but oh my it's my new favourite place. 

I might do a part two to this post so let me know if that's something you'd like to see! 

Amy x


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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

I'm Not Bossing Life And That's OK


I find it incredibly difficult to come up with titles for personal, chatty blog posts that actually encompass everything I'm trying to get across (I find it incredibly difficult to do that in a whole post too to be fair), but I think I've kind of got it with this one. This is one of those topics that has been bubbling under the surface of my 'to write' list for a while, in that I knew there was something to say and that I wanted to say it, but I wasn't quite sure how to actually convey it. That happens a lot and quite often I feel like I try to write posts before they're fully formed ideas and then they don't really make sense. A bit like this opening paragraph really. But why write a quick snappy intro to a post when you could have a long nonsensical paragraph right?

Being a 'girlboss' seems to be the most desirable thing at the moment - you know, having a full time job you're passionate about plus a creative side hustle and on top of that a successful blog and a constantly Instagrammable house and face - all by pure and simple hard work. I admire those people, I really do. The ones who work from 6am until 9pm, the ones who are constantly composed and the ones who just seem to have their shit together (sorry for swearing Mum). I can think of heaps of admirable people who are totally bossing life and I am in complete awe of them. Because I'm not bossing life. I wish I could, but I don't think I have it in me to spread myself so thinly and still do my best at everything.

It's not uncommon to see a tweet, an Instagram caption or even a whole blog post about how someone feels they're struggling. The comparison is too much, the Instagram algorithm is getting to them, they're sick and tired of trying and feeling like they're getting nowhere. We're a generation who work hard, maybe in a different way to how previous generations have done, but we do. And often we don't see much from it, we don't get paid a lot and it can feel like an uphill struggle to do anything worthwhile. We're a generation in danger of burning out. Not only do we want our life to be as full as possible, we want to be exceptionally good at everything we fill it with. We want to be good children to our parents, we want to be the friend who's always there, we want to be amazing at our jobs, in fact we probably want to be amazing at two jobs. I could go on.



My point is, can we be good at all these things? I'm certainly not. I've always been that person who spreads themselves too thinly. When I was younger I had every hobby under the sun, which meant that although I may have been good at a few things, I didn't excel at any because my focus was too wide. And I've just carried that on into life. I have a constant feeling that I'm not a good enough daughter, sister, girlfriend, friend, employee, blogger, Instagrammer and rather that I'm just clinging on to all of those things by my fingertips, just about getting by but not doing any of those things as well as I should or could be. And I get the feeling that it's definitely not just me who feels that way.

So I've tried, but I can't 'boss life'. And do you know what? That's really OK. I'm always striving for everything to be better, but maybe the fact that everything is good should be enough. The phrase 'girlboss' raises issues in itself in my opinion. The people who we view as being a girlboss probably feel as though they're simply clinging on as much as we do. And those of us who feel that we're definitely not bossing life are probably actually doing OK. The question to ask is not 'am I bossing life?', but 'am I enjoying life?' and if the answer is yes then you must be doing something right. 



Shirt - Bershka (here) | Jeans - Topshop (here) | Trainers - Pimkie (old)

Amy x
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