Five Things I Did In June

Why I thought a picture of my desk (i.e. where I blog from) was an appropriate picture to use for a round up of a month where I have barely blogged, I don't know, but it's at least hopefully an indicator of my best intentions to really get my blog on in July. However, I have had a pretty cracking June so here's what I did:

The Fast Girl's Guide To Slower Living

'Slow living' is all the rage now isn't it? In my opinion, the fact that it's a massive trend and seen as the 'in thing' is excellent because we always want to do the 'in thing' don't we so when said 'in thing' is something that's actually good for us that's a massive plus. Not sure whether I've ever started a blog post with a more nonsensical sentence, hellooo bad bounce rate. 

Anyway, my point is that the slow living trend is excellent and one that I think we should all get on board with. However, that's much easier said than done because if you're more of a 'fast' (seriously how many things can I put in inverted commas in one post?) person like me, you're probably not very good at it. I've mentioned before that I'm the type of person who likes to keep busy; I like always having something to do and feeling productive. I don't think that's always a bad thing, but even fast people need to live slowly sometimes otherwise I think we'd run ourselves into the ground. So, these are some of the things I'm doing to try and make my fast self live a little slower:

Figure out what slow living means for me. When I think of slow living I conjure up an idealistic image of waking up to a bit of meditation followed by some perfectly executed yoga and some sort of super healthy acai bowl breakfast and then an evening spent surrounded by candles and blankets curled up with a good book. I've tried meditation and it's just not for me, yoga just gives me acid reflux (TMI?) and I definitely don't have time for a cosy evening every single night. Slow living is different for everyone and I'm still in the process of working out what it is for me, but it can be something as simple as a morning cup of coffee enjoyed in the garden with no distractions or a chapter of a book read in bed.

Ditch the guilt. It's rare that I enjoy some down time to myself without feeling guilty for not being productive and that's something I want to change. How, I'm not quite sure, but we need to stop feeling guilty for what is essentially taking care of ourselves.

Make time. It's very easy to start the day with a long to-do list then once you're on a roll just carry on until it's time for bed. And then repeat. The thing is, I'm never going to get to the end of a day having crossed everything off my to-do list so whether I take some time out of that day to myself or not, I'll never feel productive enough. My point being, I may as well take some time out of that day to live a little slower. So, living a little slower is going on my to-do list from now on to make sure it's something I consciously make time for.

Be consistent. My worst downfall is that I make all these grand promises to myself, I deliver on them for a couple of weeks and then I fall back into bad habits. Being consistent will be difficult, but hopefully as long as I continue putting down time on my to-do list, it'll get done.

Are you any good at slow living? Throw your tips my way if you are!

Amy x

Hello Topshop My Old Friend

I've always had a soft spot for Topshop; growing up as a teenager I used to save up my pocket money until I had enough for a Topshop 'splurge' (usually consisting of approx two items because lol Topshop prices and pocket money don't really go well together do they?). Further down the line in sixth form I spent my midweek free periods catching the train into Hull instead of revising to hand over pretty much my entire weekend job earnings in exchange for some pretty pieces. It was a similar story with my student loan because you just try going to uni in London and not spending the majority of your time and money in Topshop on Oxford Street. The love story ended when I left uni, skint and jobless, which seemed to coincide with the prices in Topshop sky rocketing and placing me firmly in the H&M/New Look camp for many years to come. But, as with all good love stories, this one has a happy ending.   

A few weeks ago it all changed (just adding a bit of drama to this story). I found myself in Topshop. Browsing the shoes led to a quick browse around the rest of the shop and not only were there lots of nice things (I'm a bit like a magpie in Topshop), they also weren't horrendously expensive; it would seem that Topshop may have actually got a bit cheaper (I mean I still wouldn't call it cheap, but the prices didn't make me cry). I didn't buy anything or even try anything on there and then, but the seed was planted and I knew I'd end up back in there one lunch break.

Not to be melodramatic, but boy had I missed a good Topshop trip. Despite not feeling quite cool enough to be in there I came away with this dress (yep, just one thing, aren't I restrained). It's fairly simple, but ticks a lot of boxes for me; denim, buttons, nips in at the waist thanks to a tie at the back. The only thing that's missing is pockets, but I can forgive it that. I use the following phrase in pretty much every outfit post so soz; it's just so easy to throw on. My favourite kind of clothes are those voila-your-outfit-is-done types. I love this with trainers because I love pretty much everything with trainers, but I especially love dresses with trainers (do you think I like trainers?!), but on this occassion I wore it with my nude slip-ons from Next, which look comfortable, but made my feet bleed so that was fun and glam and just proved that I really should have worn it with trainers.

Dress - Topshop (here| Shoes - Next (old) | Earrings - Tessies | Watch* - Ice-watch (here)

Are you a Topshop fan?

Amy x

Photos: Violet

*denotes a gifted item