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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Just breathe easy

I always said the best therapy for the soul is travelling. That, and a lovely bath. This time I had plenty of both while visiting Bali, Indonesia. I will soon tell you more about our amazing experience, but firstly I wanted to share with you the first thing I learnt from this island: to unwind. I also wanted to feature my most worn item on this holiday. Island life can’t go without beachwear, right?

I’m wearing this gorgeous Forever Unique kaftan, which goes too well with my drink hihi. I got it from UK Swimwear, an online beachwear brand based in the UK. If you’re planning a holiday abroad, they’ll have everything you need. I love their wide brand portfolio, with different sizes and fits especially for the bust area – which many of us struggle with.

We live in a society where it’s cool to be busy, everything is on your phone at all times. There’s no time to relax or just let things go. There’s always something happening, someone calling, texting, emailing, stressing. And I just feel it’s harder and harder to detach from all this madness. Mainly because of this silly mobile phone. A different continent, and a hotel with this gorgeous view were just what I needed to let go of everything and just relax. I started writing in my journal again, I discovered some new things about me and I came back full of energy, ambition and some new goals. That’s what travelling does to me, that’s why I love it so much.

My kaftan is available to buy here

 

 

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How to Afford Luxury Items

No matter what your budget is, you can afford luxury brands, you just might have to work harder than others. But if it’s something you want, then you’ll get it.

I was brought up in a modest family, in a modest town, therefore owning a designer item was never on the table. I was thought that money needs to be spent wisely, not on silly expensive fashion. I was also the only one really interested in this industry, so I had nobody to share this passion with. It took me some time of earning and saving, until I was comfortable enough to start my mini collection. I took very very small steps and I’m here to tell you my tips and tricks.

Start a separate savings account

Start a mini savings account for any items you’d like to purchase in the future. I like maths (a looot) so I like to work with percentages. Pick a very small percentage of your revenue and pop it on the side each month. Let’s give you an example: saving 5% each month for luxury when earning £1000/month. That would be £50/month, which makes £600/year. And boom – that’s a pair of designer shoes. The idea is to pick an amount that’s manageable to you, you can go lower or higher. But don’t go too high, there’s other things more important in life than a pretty bag.

Go for outlets

Designer items are rarely on sale. If you want to save yourself some money, it’s best to look at something that’s from an older collection – there’s a chance you’ll see it on designer outlets or in the occasional sale sections of the main online designer websites. My favourite are Outnet ,  TkMaxx for outlets and NetaPorter ,  Luisa Viaroma and My Theresa for sale. I have to confess, I only have one item bought full price. Everything else was either outlet price, sale or vintage (cha ching!)

Go vintage

Especially for bags, I recommend you look for vintage finds. Instead of getting a brand new Michael Kors made in China, why not get yourself an old YSL, full or character, handmade in France and at the same price? The problem with vintage is that it’s all about your personal style. If you don’t like old looking bags/classic bags then it will be harder to find something for your taste. When vintage, avoid big brands such as Chanel and Hermes – they usually increase their value in time. Opt instead for brands such as Miu Miu, YSL, Louis Vuitton (tricky), Gucci, Viviene Westwood. Some good vintage shops are Designer Exchange (shop and online) SophiaShop on Esty and Vestiaire Collective online.

Follow the influencers

Make sure to follow your favourite influencers and their Depop accounts. They often sell their items and they usually go for smaller prices. They’re usually inundated with clothes and accessories, so there’s a high chance they’ll be in very good condition. If you’re not into reading blogs and so on, just do a quick search on Youtube for Luxury Hauls – find their Depop accounts and just keep an eye on there from time to time. If you’ve seen someone wear something you like, don’t be afraid to contact them directly and offer to purchase the item. They sometimes say yes 🙂

Luxury comes at different price points

I’m here talking about being comfortable in buying luxury items, but I’m still far from getting a Chanel Boy bag. I mean, sorry but £4000 is way too outside of my comfort zone. Or should I say financial zone? The thing is not all luxury needs to be expensive. Some good priced brands are: Charlotte Olympia, Vivienne Westwood, Kate Spade, Malone Souliers, Moschino. You can also start with accessories such as jewellery, scarves, belts, purses.

Be flexible

Do as much research as you need in order to get to see what you would actually have the most wear out of. Go to Selfridges/Harrods etc and look closely at all the pieces that you find tempting. Try on some shoes from different designers, check out inside pockets of the bags – try to know as much as possible about the brands you like. When the sale hits up/outlets get more stock in – try and keep an open mind. There’s 0.001% chance you’ll see the exact item you wanted. So be a bit more flexible with your choices, kind of when shopping in a vintage or thrift shop. Look out for the hidden gems!

Don’t get into debt

Last but not least, have fun and make sure you make the most out of your luxury items. Don’t overdo it, don’t buy them on credit or using instalment payments.  Fashion is not worth getting you into dept. And if you still feel you struggle to save some cash for luxury, make it your goal to earn a specific amount of money in a year or two or five. Use it as a financial goal and work to make it happen.

Wearing Coast Dress | H&M Shoes | Ted Baker Bag

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We’re all in this together

It’s funny how things work.. Last month I had a flicker of creativity, wrote an article quickly and before I knew it, I pressed publish. And there it was. Out for the world to see my weakness. Me, a typical Aries – stubborn, ambitious and with too much personality. So for me to say I couldn’t handle it, was not easy at all.

I was overwhelmed with the messages and the amount of people that contacted me afterwards. First, everyone wanted to know if I’m ok, how I feel and if they could help. It made me feel incredible to see that many people that care.

Secondly, I felt like I started my version of a #metoo campaign. So many of you told me how you’ve been struggling, how you couldn’t do it anymore. And that, basically, we all deal with issues and it’s not as easy breezy – and that it’s harder and harder to find the best opportunity to talk about these things. How do you start a conversation about “I can’t do this anymore?”. In my case, this is how I started the conversation and I ended up talking with many beautiful friends that all had challenges much bigger than mine.

It gave me peace to share this with others and it gave you peace to share your problems with me.

We’re all in this together.

I’m wearing: dress from Shein and the bag belongs to Dan’s grandma. She used it when she was my age, to take food to workers on the fields. It’s older than me and yet, the trendiest accessory for this summer.

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My last obsession

Go through my last posts and you’ll se a theme going on: I’ve never worn so many maxi dresses in a season. And I love it! They’re such a statement, but most of all – they’re very comfortable and flattering at the same time. I used to only wear maxi dresses for a special occasion or for a holiday. But this year I went a bit crazy with the maxi. I do love it how the always windy Manchester makes these cute waves, hair and dress always blowing in the wind.

On another note, this has been my first summer in a while without a holiday abroad. And it will be my last. I just realised how much I miss travelling and how it acts like a therapy in a way. Just to escape the ordinary, get to change the landscape, food and the language. Have you had a nice summer break? Any places you would recommend? 🙂

My friend Alexander Ward took these awesome pictures, he’s a Manchester based photographer, you can find his work here. Don’t be afraid to drop him a line 🙂

Dress – ASOS

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