This Time Last Year..

Monday 28 November 2016

This time last year I had a mental breakdown and honestly, it was hellish. Something had been building up for months; I wasn’t totally sure what it was but one day I just snapped. Last October my parents went on holiday leaving me at home with my younger brother and Molly. Whilst Josh is 17, he is pretty capable so I didn’t really have much to worry about in terms of the looking after the house, although I have OCD and checking doors (among other things) is something that I really struggle so it was a pretty big deal for me. The first night was hard but then everything was hard back then, I had to check two ovens and three outside doors before checking every single room in the house to make someone hadn’t already broken in; and then I did it twice again. But it was fine, as I said, that was totally normal.

As well as checking things, something else I also had an issue with was my routine and when that routine was compromised, even by a few minutes I’d have a panic attack. I was constantly worried that I was going to be late for work so I used to get in 45 minutes early just to be sure. Even stranger than that, I used to be worried about my routine for getting home after work as well. My closest station was closed for refurbishments so every day, I had a 15 minute walk to the next one before I could get on. I would be out of the door at 5.30 on the dot and literally running along Oxford Street to get home as soon as possible; otherwise I felt like I was wasting my evening. I’d even walk in the road because the tourists used to hold me up so much. 
A couple of days in, I started feeling a little bit edgy. As usual, at 5.30, I ran to the station except this time, Oxford street station was closed due to overcrowding. It wasn’t exactly a shock as it had happened before but it was a disruption to my routine and obviously I was not in the right state of mind to deal with it at the time. I started to shake and before I knew it, I was curled up on the floor, crying in the rain. On Oxford Street. During rush hour. My mind was all over the place and basically started playing tricks on me. I remember thinking over and over that I had to get home urgently to feed Molly and make dinner for Josh, except neither of those things had anything to do with me. Josh always feeds Molly and always cooks himself dinner, I’ve never made him a meal in my life.

I did manage to move myself off of the main street and spent the next hour crying on the floor outside Debenhams. My parents were on holiday so they werent much help and Andrew was still working so he couldn’t answer the phone. I called him so many times that it was concentrating on the steady dialing tone that calmed me down in the end. He called me back and an hour after that, I attempted to get on a train again. 

I was an absolute state from that point onwards, I got in touch with the NHS who put me on a waiting list but by April this year, I couldn’t take it anymore, I needed help and my parents could see that so they agreed to pay for it. At first, I couldn't see how I was going to get out of this dark hole but guess what? I saw my therapist nine times and that was all I needed. All that suffering and all I needed was six and a half hours with the right person.

Life in 2016 is hard enough as it is, obviously I still find things hard, but it is so much easier to handle now that I have learnt how to deal with it. And to put it to practice earlier this month, my parents flew to America for three whole weeks and this time I was fine! Of course I was worried when they said they were going again but it was such a great feeling to see how far I've come. I just got on with every day the same way I would have if they were at home and I am so proud of myself. I feel like I've come full circle!

The Office Party: Silver VS Gold

Monday 21 November 2016

It's late November already and last week, an invite to the office Christmas party landed in my inbox. Last years was in Holborn and I wore my usual, a crop top - a sparkly one obviously - but this year it’s at a very exclusive club in Mayfair and that means firstly, I may have to dress a little bit smarter and secondly, I need to think about keeping warm because its a longer walk away this time and last year I was freezing! It's happening in the first week of December which didn't leave me much time to find an outfit but luckily for me, Very were on hand with some festive pieces.  

I'm all about the sparkle at Christmas time, usually you'll find me in a lurex co-ord (thats where my sparkly crop top came from) or a sequined playsuit but for this post (and this party), I wanted to try and find a couple of outfits that still embody the sparkle and glamour of dressing for the festive season without being too over the top. I decided to go with a subtle metallics theme and picked out two statement pieces from V by Very.
This first outfit could easily be worn straight from the office to the party and the statement piece I chose for this one is a rose gold, a-line mini skirt. It could be dressed down with a white tee and trainers but obviously we want to dress it up a little bit for the Christmas party! I've worn it here with a long sleeve black top and some sock boots - this is definitely the warmest of the two outfits. I love the shape of this skirt because it accentuates the smallest part of my waist which always makes me feel confident, even if I’m feeling particularly bloated that day and the metallic material is just hit to glamour this festive outfit needed.
 The next is this luxe gunmetal silver dress. I’ve never worn a midi dress to a party before but a few little features on this dress really made it stand out. Apart from the figure hugging shape and subtle shimmer from the slinky material; I loved the short sleeves and the slits up both sides which both gave it a bit of an edge. It also comes with a tie around the waist which I've tired up at the back. The material is super conformable and I think this ticks both boxes of looking smart and keeping warm. Simply paired with some strappy heels and that's one outfit ready to go.

Which outfit do you prefer? 
*Dress, Skirt & Boots gifted by

Winter Sun in Nerja, Spain

Monday 14 November 2016

Nerja was the sunshine stop on my trip to Malaga but before I got my dose of winter sun on one of the many beautiful beaches, we had a cave to explore! Yep. Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought a cave would be something that I was interested in either but that all changed as I stepped down below ground level.
The caves of Nerja were discovered fifty years ago by five teenage boys. They used to watch birds flying in an out of a hole and decided to follow them one day; discovering these 5 million year old caves in the process. Visiting them was quite an experience! I would highly recommend that instead of using the headset, you book an exclusive tour guide to show you around. Ours happened to be Miguel Joven, (a Spanish TV child star) and he was great! We could all clearly see how passionate he was about the caves. Miguel talked us through the process of how curtains, columns and gours were created all those years ago. He pointed out all the sorts of things that we would never have known were there otherwise but one of my favourite things happened while the rest of the group were taking photos. I was just staring at this amazing space in awe and he told me to stand on a particular spot. He then pointed his torch up and we both watched as a drop of water fell from the top of the cave and landed on my jumper, it was pretty cool.

The caves are enormous, none of my photos do it any justice but they are definitely worth a visit. They are regularly used to host a 4 days festival and if you are really brave, Miguel does dark tours on Saturday night; the big lights go off and you explore with just a headlight!
After the caves, we made our way to the seafront passing by Acueducto del Águila (Eagle Aqueduct) an spectacular 19th century aqueduct. It was originally used to transport water to the sugar refineries between Malaga city center and Nerja but today it is used to irrigate land. Even if you dont stop off, its still worth a drive past; of course we stopped - the photographers in the group were desperate to get a shot so we pulled over on the road opposite! Luckily there is a lay-by so we were all about to get off the bus safely to have a proper look.
Finally it was time for some sun! Nerja is a holiday resort but don’t let that put you off. The way it’s been looked after and its traditional Spanish charm makes it a lovely place to be. Plus look at this weather! This was taken in October; low season but still hot making Nerja the perfect place for some winter sun! We started at Balcon De Europa which was full of people out enjoying the sunshine and admiring the panoramic views over the beaches - there are 12 in total. It was a little bit windy up there but it was perfect with the heat from the sun. I totally fell in love with the colour of the jewel blue sea and the good mood that being by the seaside puts you in. 
Later, we had lunch right on the beach at Chiringuito Ayo, it was a seafood feast; one dish came out after another. The place is very well known for its paella but ate the seafood that we could see roasting on the flames behind us. There was anchovies, prawns, mussels, fried fish all followed by a whole grilled fish each and dessert!
*I was hosted my The Spanish Tourism Board but all words are my own.

Autumnal Outfit

Sunday 6 November 2016

Black is a colour I have always worn a lot of but this winter, I seem to be wearing all black outfits most days. Obviously I don't feel like wearing bright coloured clothes on a cold, miserable day (does anyone?!) when black just seems so much warmer. More often than not, I end up in black jeans with a black jumper, black converse and a black coat on top and I like it that way, it makes me feel like I've got my life together and it makes me feel warm. Sometimes though, I feel like it needs something extra to give it a bit of a lift.
Autumn leaves converse
Usually, I'll do that with a different coloured pair of converse or something like that - I'd never really thought about doing it with make up before. You know I’m not usually one to wear lipstick (or anything apart from eyeliner for that matter) but I had a brand new red one in my room that Diet Coke had sent me and a press release that said they would be great if you're looking to transform your look so I thought I'd be a good opportunity to give lipstick a go!  

It's all part of their current promotion in Boots - until 8 November, you'll receive £3 off a L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in Bois de Rose (302), Rose Tendre (303) or Red Passion (297) when you purchase a 500ml bottle of Diet Coke. Since it was Diet Coke, I picked the red to go with my outift yesterday - a black velvet tee, some high waisted trousers, my super warm Missguided jacket and of course my converse which I live in. I'm hoping Santa will bring me some Old Skool Vans from Skate Hut next month to so I can mix it up a little next year
red lipstick straw
 To celebrate the promotion, Diet Coke have also created some simple and fun lipstick hacks, which are great if you're looking to perk up your pout with a gorgeous new shade of lipstick. The simple tips were great, especially for me since I am pretty new to this whole lipstick thing; I was initially worried about having to deal with it coming off all over everything and having to reapply it whilst I was out but they pointed out, quite rightly, that if you use a straw, you wont have to worry about that
They also pointed out that the right colour lipstick could double as a concealer if used properly. Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with these photos and its definitely a different look for me! What do you guys think about my first attempt at lipstick?
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