Smells like Spring

Well, hello there from my very own back garden! Or should we call it flower heaven? My Birthday is at the end of this week, so now I’m going through the fun part of trying on and deciding what to wear for the upcoming celebration dinners. Gosh I love a Birthday dinner! All the fancy drinks, good food and oh, almost forgot, lovely presents!

This dress came just in time for that, thanks to the lovely team at Goddiva. They specialise in occasion dresses and wanted to make sure I get to celebrate wearing their brand. I recommend checking their website especially if you’re after the perfect wedding guest dress. Maxis, Midis, Florals, Sexy – you name it, they have it! I picked this green Spanish looking piece because it made me think of spring. I could easily pair this with heels or sandals. I also love the idea of having flowers in my hair while rocking this dress. And a glass of red in my hand, because who are we kidding, I am turning 29, I need the wine!

Occasion dress gifted by Goddiva | Flower wall gifted by the previous home owners

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I’m Ready for the New Chapter

Tomorrow is the 1st of March, a day that’s pretty big on my calendar. It’s our one year anniversary since we got the keys to our first home, it’s also the month I’ll be turning 29, which means my last year under 30’s (no pressure, Andra, no pressure..)
And it’s also the beginning of Spring!
I love that it’s light outside when I wake up, I love driving to work with my sunglasses on, singing out loud. I love that our neighbourhood is full of flowers, neighbours outside with their dogs and my kittens laying in the sun like two mini lions. I just love this feeling, of all sunny and bright, kind of like a new chapter. And I love that I’m almost 30 and I’m totally rocking these cat shoes!
I’m suddenly feeling very refreshed, happy and positive. I know I usually am like that to begin with, but now it’s like the next level! Having 3 coffees a day might have to do something with this too. I have a lot to achieve in these 12 months.. after all, like Monica says in FriendsCompetition with myself is my favourite kind of competition! 
 
So yes, bring it on Year of 29, I’m ready for ya! Cheers to a (hopefully) very proud 30 year old Andra. 
Top – Ralph Lauren (old, similar here)  | Skirt – & Other Stories (old, similar here or here ) | Shoes – Charlotte Olympia (all colours here )  | Scarf/Bandana – H&M (old, similar here )
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It’s All Relative

Today I want to talk about family. Here I am, wearing my mother’s 30 year old dress,and the boots my husband gave me as a Christmas present, photos taken by my father, featuring the new family member: my parent”s dog Bruno. Today I want to talk about how much I resemble my family and how much I don’t. I am the girl that has her mother’s features but her dad’s colours. A perfect blend of personalities of both of her parents. And yet, a very different personality from her brother. I’m also the girl with a set of values my family embedded in me both by example and education.

But I’m also the girl who left home 11 years ago and shortly after built her own life in a different country, that has a set of friends that couldn’t be more culturally diverse. A girl that speaks English with her Romanian husband. A tourist that when people ask me where I’m coming from I don’t know whether to say UK or Romania. A Romanian that when I go back to my home country I can’t find my place and I’m not sure how the system works.

I am not the only one, there’s more and more people like me. People who choose to build a life far from their traditional family. Far from that feeling you get when you know someone is always there for you, far from your mother’s cooking and the feeling of belonging. It wasn’t easy but now I can finally say I’ve found my peace, a type of peace that comes with guilt. The more comfortable I become in a different country, the less chances I’ll be there for my parents’ birthdays, doctor appointments, Christmas and so on. I’ve got the perfect family, too bad it’s split between two countries.

P.S. If you are a Friends fan, you know where the title comes from. It’s Dan’s favourite episode, when Chandler & Joe compete with Rachel & Monica on the apartment. It’s All Relative are the set questions about family.

Dress & Belt – Vintage | Boots – Louis Vuitton

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5 WAYS TO BE A BETTER YOU

This blog post started as a personal project. I was writing down ideas on how I can improve myself, when I thought – why not share some of these thoughts with you? I picked some that I think are relevant to everyone and I do hope I’ve inspired you to invest more time and effort into becoming who you want to become.

  1. Read Read Read

I’m a big fan of personal development books. I find them extremely motivating and that is, if you read something that resonates with you. To give you an example – last year I was suffering from depression and had no clue about it. I just had no idea that’s what I was experiencing. And then I heard of this book, started reading it and it all made sense. I was a completely different person the next day. Not because my depression disappeared, but because I finally understood myself better. Sometimes we need to make more sense of what’s happening to us and our thoughts and feelings. And a good book will always help. If you start reading a book and you don’t feel anything after a while, maybe it’s not the right one for you. But keep on looking and the right one will completely change your mindset!

  1. Find Your Tribe

When we’ve got jobs, and a great family and a lovely group of friends, we forget to socialise outside of our comfort zone. If you want to grow, try and make an effort to meet people from the same industry, people that are amazing at something you aspire to be. Knowing someone that’s already there, will inspire you so much you have no idea. And you don’t necessarily have to meet everyone for a drink, don’t be afraid to message people on social media. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with some of your idols – you never know who will reply!

  1. Turn off your phone

I cannot stress this enough.. I don’t know about you, but all this constant noise is becoming extremely exhausting. Messages, Emails, Watsapp, Notifications.. it never stops! I personally have stopped all social media notifications. I also turn off my internet in the evening and only have it up the next day. I don’t want my life to be run by my mobile, I’d rather choose how and when I want to check my work emails, procrastinate online or anything in between. There’s no need for extra stress, we’ve already got enough on our mind.

  1. Talk more about Money

 I’ve always loved talking about money, I’ve always said I want to have a lot of money and I don’t understand those who despise talking about this matter. Having and understanding how money works gives you more freedom, more opportunities to spend your time and energy on things that you like rather than worrying on how you’re going to pay your bills. I personally meet so many people that suck at managing their finances. And instead of reading into it and improving their situation, they prefer to say money’s cursed and let it be. You can’t let money run your life. So if you wanna become better at budgeting, having savings, going on holidays, buying a house – then talk more about money and don’t be ashamed about it.

  1. Keep a Gratitude Journal

I’ve mentioned this a couple of years back, but this is such a life changer. I call it therapy, because that’s what it does long term. So what does this mean? It means writing down every day 5 things you’re grateful for (on that day). What this does is make you focus on the positive things, gives you hope and the right mindset to tackle your challenges. Nobody’s life is perfect, but focusing on the good things will always make you stronger. Good things come for those you wait, or those who can see the good things coming.

What are your thoughts on the above? What are some things you think are worth adding to this list?

In this blog post I’m wearing one of the prettiest dresses I have at the moment. You can buy it directly from here. I would advise going a size up if you have a bigger chest. Even if it comes a bit loose around the waist, you can tie it in the back and it’ll look perfect. The dress was a gift from NA-KD , I wanted to feature some of their pieces as it’s currently one of my favourite high street brands. They’re also running a 70% off promotion available here. 

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Keep your goals high

2018.. what a year!

A career change, a new house, made some new very good friends, visited Asia for the first time, followed by many other trips, gained my first 1000 followers on Instagram and also was part of a blogger campaign that I couldn’t be more proud of. You guessed it, it’s the time to sit down and reflect on our previous twelve months!

I love beginnings, and I always get excited over a new year. If 2018 was great, well 2019 is going to be even better. If 2018 was bad, now is the time to click refresh and make a change. It’s always a win-win situation.
You see, I am a very goal oriented person, always have been and I’m writing this to encourage you to embrace this habit of goal making. There’s still many out there that like to eye roll every time someone mentions new year, new me. I know it’s cliche and I know that sometimes we forget about what we want and we get comfortable and lazy. But you know what else we get? Frustration. and wasted time. So how do you want to feel this time next year?

I find that there’s two types of people out there: those who have goals, like to revise their past actions and like to plan their future. And those who just go with the flow and think you’re too stiff if you plan everything. And I get it, planning everything can be extremely boring. But you don’t have to have a million goals, start with one. I’m sure there’s at least one thing you really want to change or improve but you keep postponing it.

 

I for one am very happy with this year’s achievements and very grateful for all the opportunities I had. You know the saying, the harder you work, the luckier you get. This is the biggest lesson 2018 has given me: consistent hard work pays off. Because you see, everything I’ve put in the first paragraph of this article has been written in my diary a year ago. And that’s why I think this yeas has been  good one for me. Because I’ve achieved what I wanted.

Now I’m sat here in our office, making a plan for the next year to come, thinking of my recent trip back home. My dad put up all my old paintings and I was looking through them. There’s this one with an ant, climbing on a tree. And there’s a text attached to it that says something like: I’m just an ant, I can’t see the sun when I’m on the ground, all the flowers and grass are covering everything. So I need to climb higher than ever to see the sun, to see the hills, to see the bigger picture and to enjoy all of it. That was back in highschool and I think what I was trying to say was Keep Your Goals High.

Wearing Karen Millen Skirt | Primark Top | Ray Ban Sunglasses | TK Maxx Boots | Bag borrowed from my friend

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It’s time to talk about activewear

I am one of those people that love new beginnings, new years and new challenges. I’ve had one of a hell 2018 and I hope you did too, but now it’s time to put on paper everything we’re proud of and everything we’d like to change in 2019. For me personally, I feel I overachieved some of my goals this year, with the exception of one big frustration: I minimised my gym visits, ate more sugar than ever and kind of let my body down.

So for 2019, as cliche as that it may sound, I want to get back on track with my fitness routine. And there’s no better incentive than a brand new working out outfit, right? Well today I’m all about the right outfits and wanted to show you some of my favourite from a website called Simply Beach, they not only specialise in activewear, but also  bikinisswimming costumes and kaftans.

One style that I’m particularly drawn to at the moment is the long sleeve tops/bodies. I mean, how cool do these look? They both can be used as swimwear too, which is brilliant. I always say pick black to go with everything, but then I do like these details on the leggings below.

Let me know which ones are you favourite working out pieces. Have you got any fitness goals for 2019? I’m off now to do some online shopping. And because Simply Beach also offers a wide variety of  bikinisswimming costumes and kaftans, I might as well shop for my upcoming holiday right? Maybe Santa will bring me a beach getaway (you never know!)

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Let the outfit do the talking

We’re approaching the festive season, a period where we have at least one reason to dress up. Maybe it’s a work-do, a friends reunion, a Christmas party, fancy dinner or just the NYE, there’s no excuse! I love this time of year for so many reasons, and fashion is one of them. I tend to get overly busy these days, I rely way too much on my dry shampoo, forget what shaving means and let’s just say I’m lucky to be blonde because gosh I do tend to forget about my eyebrows! It’s comfortable don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t feel that good. I love it when I get to play around with makeup and get to wear a sexy dress. It’s a similar feeling I have after I’ve been eating healthy for a while or I’ve been working out and I can see some results. I think we should all put some effort into our looks sometimes and now is the perfect occasion to do so.

This silky midi dress is a great example of a chic, yet very comfortable choice. I paired it with these pearled kitten heels. It’s quite a regular shirt cut dress, but because of its silky fabric and high leg slit, this piece could not be sexier. It’s also a great alternative for the ladies out there that don’t feel comfortable in a bodycon dress. And let’s face it, most sexy dresses out there tend to be very tight or very revealing.

Have you thought about what you’ll be wearing at your upcoming events? Let me know, and if you’re still after some ideas I’ve prepped a blog post all about it, coming up soon after this.

Silk dress from NA-KD – find it here | Heels – Zara (old) – found a pair on a website here

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Keep Your Summer Midi Dress for Autumn / Winter

Today I’ve had the best day, with the exception of painting the front door which has still not dried yet and contemplating how on earth I’m going to go to bed with my front door open 😂 Other than that, I got to enjoy a gorgeous day out with my friend Anushka, and got to wear my favourite midi dress, again. If you’re a friend of mine, work colleague or family member, you have probably seen me wearing this so many times I can already see you eye-rolling. But it’s so pretty, I’ve got to share it with the world!

It’s not the first time I’m saying this, but please don’t put away your summer dresses just yet! There’s nothing prettier than a flowy summery dress combined with chunky boots and a fluffy cardigan or jumper. I always use mine in the cold season, it’s such a fun way to play with textures and keeps more money in your bank account (cha-ching!). Today I wore this cocktail party midi dress with a black top underneath, some very warm tights and my go-to heeled boots. I got this initially to wear it on nights out: take off the undertop and you’ve got yourself some sexy sheer going on, paired with some gold heels and it’s the perfect dinner date outfit. But I adore the prints so much that I’ve started wearing it during daytime. I mean, how perfectly does this match with the autumnal surroundings!

Get my outfit from: Dress – NA-KD | Shoes – H&M (old) | Belt – Primark

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More Fashion, Less Shopping

I have recently watched a  BBC documentary that talked about how damaging the fashion industry is for the environment. It was so bad that I couldn’t sleep all night. You see.. I love fashion, I studied fashion, I work in fashion, I blog about fashion and here it is, excess of fashion damaging our planet. So today I decided to address this matter and make a promise to myself and to this planet: I need to be more careful with my habits and I want to help others reconsider their fashion purchases too.

The thing is, fashion is art in my eyes, it’s about print and fabrics, silhouettes, talent and creativity. Fashion is not buying something new all the time, always following the trends and not wearing an outfit more than once. That’s not fashion, that’s shopping. And it’s hard not to shop, we’re inundated with ads, with prices, always something new and exciting. And not just clothes, but other things too. The only difference is that clothes are more affordable and easier to change around, so we all fall into the trap of buying too many of them. I’m not here to say that we need to stop buying clothes from now on, but there are ways to reduce our fast fashion consumption. And one that I want to mention today is charity & thrift shopping. It’s such a great way to give clothes a second chance, save them from being dumped. Also by buying more vintage, you buy less from the high street – so they’ll have to produce less and less clothes and, subsequently, less and less pollution. Fast fashion is characterless, let’s go back to fun fashion!

It’s no surprise that I’m a fan of vintage shops, I’ve always been and I pride myself in always finding gorgeous timeless pieces. I still buy from the high street, but I try to keep a good balance. So far, this year has been about 50-50 and I’m very proud of that.

You always tell me how hard it is to shop in second hand shops and how you struggle to restyle your pieces. Well, maybe I can help! If you’re based around Manchester and want to make a change but don’t know how to start, I’ll be offering personal styling & shopping services startig from today. I can come over and help you rediscover your wardrobe, we can go charity shopping together and give you tips on how to find items that match your style and preferences. Any questions, get in touch! 😊

I’m wearing trousers & backpack – Charity shops | jumper – Ralph Lauren (mens) | Belt – Tk Maxx | Boots – Office (old)

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When you feel like giving up

I find that when I take on a challenge, the hardest thing for me is to carry on if I don’t see any visible results. If I’ve spent a lot of time and effort into something that’s not quite how I wanted it to be, it’s very easy to let go and move on. Or to put it straight: to give up. I mean, when do you know you’re on the right track? How long until you should succeed? How much time should you invest? What about money? When do you stop and when do you carry on? Sometimes it’s not that easy, sometimes it’s not that clear and when results don’t come, your mind is playing tricks on you, telling you you’re not good enough, you’re not made for this and you should probably move on to the next project.

This year has been very challenging from this perspective, but I promised myself I’ll carry on no matter what. It was my mission to suck it in and try and put my faith into the power of consistency. I took that saying “hard work beats talent” and really embraced it. It has been one of the most difficult things I had to do: to carry on white not getting any rewards (mentally, visibly or financially).

This made me thing of all the other times when I just gave up. Don’t get me wrong, some things had to be left in the past but some other things I regret giving up on. You know those people who have no regrets in life? I mean, are they for real? I just don’t get it, I mean .. like none at all, zero, null? I for one, have a long list of regrets. That doesn’t mean my life is ruined, it just means I got to learn from my mistakes. And because of some of these regrets I decided not to give up this time. So in a way, having regrets paid off. Another thing that helped me be more focused was a book by Darren Hardy, called The Compound Effect. It talks about the importance of small steps, how it all adds up and the power of being consistent. It’s a lovely book and I recommend you give it a try. Let’s face it – autumn is the best time to read: cosy blankets, rainy days, fireplace in the background and a glass of wine. I’d love to know what you do to keep you going, any tips and tricks I should know? 🙂

Wearing top from Shein | Old Zara Skirt | Vintage Bag | Shoes from Dolce & Gabbana 

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