Putting Yourself First // When Is It Okay?

We're taught from a young age that in order to be a kind, selfless and generally good human being, we should put others before ourselves. The concept is really rather lovely; put others first and you'll be rewarded by them putting you first too, meaning everybody is happy and we'll live in a world full of bunny rabbits and rainbows.

So for years I've lived by that rule; agreeing to plans when I'd really rather have a night in, accepting overtime to cover for someone at work even if it means exhausting myself, listening to other people's problems without boring them with mine.

Despite the fact that I may have neglected to look after myself for the sake of other people every now and then, putting others first makes me feel good. Put simply, it's nice to be nice isn't it?

But sometimes it takes a bit of a kick to realise that actually, shocker, it's alright to put yourself first too.

There comes a point where you've put other people before yourself for so long that you hit a wall; you have nothing left to give because you've given it all away already without taking the time to replenish yourself.

They say you have to look after yourself before looking after other people and I think that may just be true. If you're not happy yourself then how can you make other people happy?

So in answer to the question posed in the title of this post; it's okay to put yourself first whenever you need to.

Believe it or not, you can still be a good person even when you put yourself first. You can still give to others without running yourself into the ground.

Like everything else in life, it's about that ever elusive balance. We probably won't find it or get it completely right, but we can try to do our best, not only for others, but for ourselves too.

Photos: Ashton Gibbs
Hull, UK

Style Clash // LOOKBOOK

I love the feeling of putting items of clothing together that on paper really shouldn't work and should clash really rather horribly, but that in reality look absolutely bangin' (that's the technical term) and make me feel ten times cooler than I actually am.

It's the little things in life isn't it?

So in celebration of all things clashing, I've put together a lookbook of some of my favourite recent examples. Enjoy folks...

I've always been a fan (slight exaggeration, I wasn't a fan of this when I was a baby, but 'I've been a fan since around the age of 15' didn't really have the same ring to it) of dressing things up or down; putting something smart with something casual like a pretty dress with chunky trainers or a floaty (spell check seems to think that 'floaty' isn't a word and I strongly contest this) blouse with joggers.

Another contrast I love is pairing pretty and feminine with something slightly more grungy (I'm so edgy) such as florals and leather or a skirt with biker boots. And to really be controversial I have to say you can't beat a good print clash. Gimme stripes with polka dots, florals with gingham; throw it all on and see what happens.

Amy x

Hull, UK

The Coffee Shop Guide // HULL

Sorry to be such a cliche millennial, but I spend a fair amount of money on coffee. Nothing makes me more content than a leisurely weekend coffee with a friend and nothing perks up my working day quite like a takeout coffee on my lunch break (in my v. hip and bougie KeepCup, obviously).

Having visited just about every coffee shop in Hull and the surrounding area I thought it'd be nice to do a little guide to my favourites just in case you love coffee as much as me. Here we GO;

T H I E V I N G  H A R R Y ' S  //  Hands down the best coffee I've ever had, not just in Hull but ANYWHERE. Bold claim, I know. Thieving Harry's is on Humber Street by Hull Marina; ideal for a wander, pretty views and feeling like you're not hipster enough to be there. If you like your coffee weak then it's not for you, but if you like your coffee weak you're only pretending to like coffee anyway aren't you?

J - J A Y ' S //  My go to town centre spot for my lunchtime takeout, complete with healthy (ish) snack. J-Jay's is extremely vegan and veggie friendly (if you ever fancy treating me my regular is an almond milk flat white and a peanut butter slice) and the owners are lovely and friendly too.

Z O O  C A F E  //  I'm a bit of a Newland Avenue junkie because there are so many great coffee shops down there, but if I had to choose just one it would be Zoo. It's a vegetarian cafe and it's absolutely chocka full of plants (yes I just used the word chocka in a blog post, when did I stop being able to form real sentences?). I recommend the iced oat milk latte in summer, with a side of avocado and feta on toast, obviously. 

B A R I S T A  //  SORRY it's another one on Newland Avenue, but just get yourselves down there alright? Barista is relatively new, both the interiors and exterior are dreamy and the breakfasts are mouth-wateringly amazing. It goes without saying the coffee is excellent too, hence why I've included it in this post...

I pondered whether to include more coffee shops, but I really just wanted to do the absolute best ones and focus on good coffee so there ya GO.

Amy x

Hull, UK

Call Me Monthly // MAY

Fun fact: while writing the title of this post I accidentally misspelt May as Amy and that's actually my name so that's interesting isn't it? Okay, fun fact over. Here's what I've been listening to, reading and watching throughout May...dive in pals.

I've been really quite appalling at taking any outfit photos this month so I don't really have a 'wearing' section and you'll have to just take my word for it that I've been very into floaty dresses (see above), mustard and generally beige clothes.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds // I'd Pick You Every Time

The Kooks // No Pressure

Laura Marling // Night Terror

Bastille // The Descent

Feist // My Moon My Man

Natty // Bedroom Eyes

The BPA // Toe Jam

Yeah Yeah Yeahs // Gold Lion

Coldplay // Princess of China

DMA's // Do I Need You Now?

Listen on Spotify 

Line of Duty // There certainly aren't any spoilers here because I've only just started watching this from the very beginning. So far I'm not as gripped as I expected to be from what everyone else says about it, but I'm soldiering on so we'll see.

Game of Thrones // Yes this was in the last monthly round up, but I couldn't not include it when it's been the finale and all that could I? No spoilers here either, but I think I was a little underwhelmed. 

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay // I finally got round to reading the book everyone and their dog has been talking about and I bloody loved it. It's in equal parts funny, gross and heartbreaking and is just so real. Would 100% recommend if you're as late to the party as I was. 5/5.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty // I love Liane Moriarty's books, but I'd say this was my least favourite of hers so far. It was good, but a little far fetched. 2.5/5.

Amy x

Please Can We Stop Measuring People By Their Achievements?

Society as a whole tends to judge people on the things that don't matter so much; having a good job, being a straight A student, being able to afford your own house in your twenties.

Society as a whole is kind of missing the point.

Why does it matter if someone has a good job when they might actually hate said job so much that it's making them really unhappy?

Why is being a straight A student more important than being a kind, honest and giving person?

Who cares whether you own your own house or not as long as you have a roof over your head and you're grateful for it?

We're brought up to believe that there are certain things we should achieve in life, usually by a certain age and done in a certain way.

To be seen as functioning adults we should find a job that not only do we love, but that earns us a decent amount of money. We should find a person who we love, who we'll marry and start a picture perfect family with. We should buy a house with the decent amount of money that we earn from the job that we love and fill it with the picture perfect family we're supposed to have.

Tick all those boxes and society will tell you that, yes, well done, you've done an excellent job at living and you should now be very happy. 

But, (excuse my language please mum) that's all bullshit really isn't it?

The same things don't make everyone happy. Ticking boxes doesn't make everyone happy. Sometimes boxes that are ticked end up with a big red cross through them instead.

Life isn't about doing what you think you should do. It's about finding what makes you really, truly happy.

And hey, maybe ticking those boxes does  make you happy, and that's fine too.

Either way, we need to start judging people for who they are rather than for what they are.

Ultimately it comes down to that awfully tacky and overused phrase you do you, which I never thought I'd use in a blog post, but I suppose it sums up my point quite nicely doesn't it?

Amy x

The Happy List // 2.0

Catching up with a friend you haven't seen in years and immediately remembering why you were friends in the first place

Beige clothes

Having so much fun you forget to check your phone for hours

Buying someone a present you know they'll really love

Coffee and croissants

Sticking to your guns, however difficult it may be

Too much pizza

Sleeping with the window open

A supportive comment from someone who doesn't realise how much you needed it


The people who just get you when you think that nobody will

Making plans, big or small

Looking to the future, not the past

Cooking a meal from scratch

The smell of fresh air after it's been raining

Getting lost in a book on the train

Minty lip balm

Brief moments where you feel like it may just be possible to actually get your shit together

I'm Obsessed With Gold Jewellery // LOOKBOOK

I blame Pinterest (and, I suppose, my newfound obsession with getting various parts of my ears pierced) for the influx of gold jewellery that's made its way into my shopping basket, and therefore my life recently.

I've heard that at some point in your life you're supposed to choose between whether you're a gold or a silver jewellery kinda person. I'd say I'm a ditherer; I've certainly been both and I'm not even opposed to a bit of mixing even though I've been told that's a cardinal sin. At the moment though, I'm firmly in camp gold.

I'm very much enjoying 'styling my ears' (feel free to comment and call me a pretentious idiot for that phrase) and I thought it'd be a waste of my endless collection of new (fake, obvs) gold jewellery if I didn't make a lil' lookbook out of it.

So v important question of the day; gold or silver?

Amy x

Hello, Let Me (Re)Introduce Myself

In my four years of blogging I don't think I've ever actually done a proper 'introduction' post. That's bad form on my part isn't it? You may not care all that much about who I actually am and if you'd rather just carry on looking at the sometimes dubious outfits I put together then skip this post and be my guest, but if you'd like to know a little more information than what's on my vague 'about' page then here goes...

If you hadn't already guessed, my name is Amy (you can call me it if you like), I make extremely poor jokes in almost every blog post I write (usually enclosed in brackets in the vague hopes that people won't actually read them) and I'm the grand old age of 28. I'm not going to moan about how old that is because I don't actually mind being in my late twenties, but that's a story for another time.

I live in Hull, which simultaneously makes my heart happy and has me itching to get away. I work as a Technical Operator for BBC regional news which involves, well, technical stuff. I enjoy it, but my real passion is writing and if I can ever make something proper out of that I'll be really rather over the moon.

I was born in Newcastle to Yorkshire parents and am forever bitter that I lost my Geordie accent; now it's an odd mixture of I'm not quite sure what. I'm also one of those annoying people who picks up a little of the accent of whoever I'm speaking to so if I do this to you I promise I'm not taking the piss.

If you've been reading this blog for a while then you'll know that I'd been renovating my first house and documenting it on here; well at the start of this year I moved back in with my parents and I'm now on the hunt for a little place to rent for me and my cats. That means no interior posts for a little while, but I'd like to bring them back once I'm settled somewhere else. I realise that's a rather vague way of speaking about something really quite huge, but that's all I'm going to say about it.

Now the pleasantries are out of the way I'll tell you some things that might help you to learn a bit more about who I really am, because it's hard to gauge that over vaguely sarcastic comments on Instagram isn't it?

It seems apt to start with the fact that I am very sarcastic. Well, it is the highest form of wit right?

A lot of people have the misguided impression that I'm very sweet and innocent, but get to know me properly and you'll discover I actually have a slightly sick sense of humour.

I absolutely adore clothes and find an abnormal amount of enjoyment in putting an outfit together every morning.

I'm a goody two shoes at heart; I'm not sure whether that's because I'm a good person or if it's just because I hate being told off.

Unless you know me really well I don't give much away. I'm very much a closed book and there are only a very select few who can actually read me.

I'm forever taking up new hobbies and consequently giving them up when I'm not immediately good at them.

I like to see the best in everyone, which is a lovely way to view the world, but also ends in me being disappointed by people somewhat frequently.

I'm extremely clumsy and despite having really small feet I manage to trip up over absolutely everything (including my own feet).

I would be really healthy if it wasn't for my unconditional love of pizza.

I'm a people pleaser, which sometimes means that in trying to please absolutely everyone I end up pleasing nobody at all.

I'm only just starting to learn that sometimes it's alright to put myself first.

In my four years of blogging I've never really learnt how to end a post...

Call Me Monthly // APRIL

Ello and welcome to this month's round up of things from my life and my brain (not as scary as it sounds and certainly not as scary as the fact that it's almost May already. My oh my. Here ya GO:

This month I've veered between v laid back and sporty (hello zip up hoodies of my dreams) and dressing like a 14-year-old girl (pinafore dresses and high ponytails thank you v much). Colour wise I'm feeling neutrals, greens and black (always).

The Kooks // Sweet Emotion

Gerry Cinnamon // Sometimes

Picture This // Life Of The Party

Ten Tonnes // Better Than Me

Charlotte // I Tell Lies

The Go! Team // Til We Do It Together

Blossoms // Cool Like You

Bloxx // You

Listen on Spotify

Married At First Sight // My trashy TV choice for this month, usually accompanied by my girl Ashton, prosecco and pizza.

Game Of Thrones // Obviously. Aside from the drama, 
Daenerys is my main source of hair inspo.

The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley // This was the fourth book I've read in this series and although I'm finding that the structure of them is becoming vaguely repetitive I'm still v much enjoying them. 3/5.

Amy x

SWITCHING OFF // 5 Ways I Find My Zen

I've always found it difficult to switch off; I just have a busy brain, whether I'm worrying about work, contemplating a huge life decision or simply thinking about food, I've always got something whirring around in there (hard to believe sometimes I know).

In desperate attempts to bring myself some zen in the past I've tried meditating, yoga, stewing in a hot bath - essentially all the stereotypical ways you're supposed to chill out and find some calm away from the busyness of everyday life and the endless ticking of your thoughts.

Quelle surprise, none of them worked. The quieter and calmer I tried to be, the louder my brain became. Now though, I think I've finally found my own ways of switching off; they may not be the most conventional, but they're distractions and they work for me.

WALKING // Over the past few months I've really got into walking (I know right, someone tell me to calm down because I'm just out of control #staywild). Seriously though, there's nothing like sticking your headphones in and just wandering with absolutely no purpose and with nowhere to go.

CONVERSATION // This might seem like an odd one, but getting into a really in depth conversation with someone about something specific can make me switch off and forget about everything else. No getting distracted by my phone, no wondering what I'm going to have for tea and no worrying about anything else that might be going on in my life; just pure and simple conversation between two people.

MUSIC // There's no greater distraction from the rest of life than driving somewhere while singing along to your music at the top of your lungs. Just remember to stop when you're at traffic lights or you'll distract everyone else on the road too.

KNITTING // Hello @callmegrandma. I took up knitting a few years back and subsequently gave it up because that's what I do when I'm not very good at something. I've recently started doing it again though and there's something very therapeutic about it. Because I'm actually not very good at it I have to concentrate on it and not on anything else so I find myself getting completely lost in scarves and...alright just scarves because that's as far as my skills currently go.

GYM CLASSES // I'm SORRY to be that person, but exercise makes me feel a lot better about everything. I say gym classes in particular because they involve actual concentration, following instructions and they're normally really bloody hard work. There's a reason I drag myself out of bed at 6am every Tuesday morning for body combat and that's because I know it'll actually give my brain a rest, if not the rest of my body.

Trousers - H&M (*aff* here) // Boots - H&M // Top - New Look // Jacket - Topman 
Photography - Violet Glenton

What do you do to switch off?

Amy x

Is It Spring Yet? // LOOKBOOK

Apparently when midnight rolled around on March 20th, so did the season of spring. Spring is my favourite; after a wet and grey British winter that always seems to last unnecessarily longer than all the other seasons, spring seems full of brightness and optimism. In the air hangs a fresh feeling of hope, motivation and a tentative glimpse of new beginnings.

Weather wise, it may not have been the springiest start to the season (see what I did there? Much wit), but I like to live by the following:

Despite the forecast, live like it's spring.

Or, in my case, dress like it's spring. Jackets have become thinner, dresses have been hauled out of hibernation and my Asos basket is full to the brim with lace, floral prints and frills.

My wardrobe is fighting back against the fluctuating temperatures, and here are some of my current favourite outfits:

Dress - Pull & Bear (here) // Trainers - Asos (*aff* here) // Photography: Violet Glenton

Dress - Primark // Shoes - Asos (old) // Photography: Ashton Gibbs

Jumper - Asos (*aff* here) // Skirt - Bed Boutique // Trainers - Schuh (here)

Dress - Asos (*aff* here) // Top - Boden // Boots - H&M

Amy x

Finding Your Inner Confidence

Jacket - ASOS | Skirt - Bed Boutique | Top - Monki | Trainers - ASOS (*aff* here)