Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: the sunglasses edit


The sun may have disappeared and the bitter cold days may be back in force but that doesn't stop me from admiring and lusting over various pairs of sunglasses on both the high street and stretching towards the designer world. I've said to myself that this year will be the year I find some sunnies that A) aren't too oversized for my oddly shaped head, B) don't make me look like an alien and C) will be a staple pair that can be worn with pretty much every outfit come summer, winter and every other season between that (which is a hella' lot in Yorkshire!).

I don't think I have a certain style of sunglasses that I'm drawn to. I love minimal, simple designs and colours but then again I like the ones which are a little off key and more 'out there', like the Zara striped ones I featured up at number one. I'm currently digging the cat eye trend but I think I'd have to try a pair on to decide whether or not they'd suit me. I'd probably end up hating the way they fit and immediately start wishing I could be that girl that could wear novelty Primark sunglasses and still look hot. I suppose it's worth a go, I'll update you on my verdict once I get sunglasses shopping!

Are any sunglasses tickling your fancy this season?

Bridie x

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Beauty: The Body Shop goody bag

As I mentioned in my previous The Body Shop post, we were leaving the luxurious event with a heightened sense of smell, experimented hands, a wishlist as big as the knowledge gained and most importantly, a kind gesture of a small goody bag for us to take home and try out some of the newbies (and the oldies). That I have done, and I'm now well and truly blessed with refreshing goodness. In the silver striped sealed packet I was given a sample pot of the Honey & Oat 3 in 1 Scrub Mask, Fuji Green Tea Body Scrub and Body Butter, Virgin Mojito Body Butter, a smaller sample of the Drops Of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask and Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser, Coconut Body Milk, Shower Cream, and even a Twinings tea bag thrown in to fit the theme of the night. Aside from my beloved Coconut Body Milk and Shower Cream (thank you TBS for ultimately feeding, reminding me and encouraging my love for coconut and providing me with two of my favourites!), luckily everything handed over was completely new to me. I hadn't tried either sample product which made me eager to give the teeny snippets a go and truthfully, there wasn't anything I was unimpressed by.

As I'd focused on both the Fuji Green Tea and Virgin Mojito range in store, I was desperate to pamper myself after a long, stressful week and all three body samples did the job of unwinding perfectly. Despite the size of the containers and the fact there weren't a ton of product in there, I still managed to identify the positives and the distinctive qualities from just a small portion and the fact you didn't need a huge amount is what I loved the most. The Fuji Green Tea is amazing, it has such a unique, subtle scent which has that cooling, zesty effect on both your skin and your whole relaxation mode. I found the body butter to be much creamier than other body butters I've owned in the past which was one thing that stood out for me. It doesn't have that heavy feeling, it feels much lighter, less greasy and nicer to rub in and it absorbs quickly leaving skin feeling super soft. It also works hard at hydrating that pesky dryness the harsh weather and lack of moisturising can bring (which I'm certainly guilty of, whoops!). The body scrub also has the same effect and when combined together, produce nothing but silky results, making your whole body feel invigorated and as though you've had a healthy detox. It's such a gentle scrub in a gel like formula so isn't harsh on the skin and still feels lovely and mellow when exfoliated in. Used before the body butter and followed up by a thorough moisturise gives you the full skin recovery and I've found them both to be long lasting both smooth and fragrance wise.

I've already raved about the Virgin Mojito range but I seriously can't get over how gorgeous it is. I used a smidgen of the Body Butter sample and smelt so dreamy. I could have sniffed at myself like a curious animal all day. I didn't, but I could have done without fear of looking strange. Like the Green Tea, it has a lighter, fluffier feel and keeps your skin nourished and moisturised. Although in terms of aroma, I definitely prefer this; It's a winner all round in my eyes. I was already persuaded to buy the full sized collection when it becomes available but now I'm pining for the release date so I can go on a mad spree.

With the lathering coconut bath products and the choice of body butters and scrubs, my skin thinks it's in heaven so I had to let my face join in and have its fair share of indulgence. The first product I used was the Honey & Oat 3 In 1 Scrub Mask, a three in one face mask which cleanses, polishes and moisturises. It's said to be directed for normal to dry skin which is why I was a little conscious of piling it onto my ├╝ber troublesome oily skin but after trialing it I can confirm it works just as well, if not better and more helpful than other aimed oil balancing cosmetics. I used the mask on the night of a bad skin day, my face was in need of a boost and I wanted rid of the gross greasy, cloggy feeling. As I applied the mask I couldn't help but admire the divine scent, it smelt like fresh baked on the day ingredients and certainly reminded me of an oaty porridge with the thick, fluffy consistency and pieces of oatmeal which gently exfoliate the skin cells. The mask does dry into the pores giving you a deep cleanse but doesn't leave you with the hard, clay like aftermath texture. After washing off with a warm cloth my skin was noticeably softer, my face felt soothed, smooth and relaxed. It didn't exacerbate my oils or irritate my skin and it did seem to calm the harshness down. It's a definite pick me up product for when you lack lustre to leave you with a brighter complexion and a radiant, revitalised face satisfaction.

The Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser really reminded me of the Origins Ginzing but just with a stronger, more intense and fruitier fragrance. It had the same effects and a similar ambience when applied. It maintains moisture lightly without that over produce of heaviness and tightness and the texture has a cooling, gel like feel which glides easily onto the skin. It left me with the same energised, zingy feeling and gave me that pop of renewal leaving my skin feeling well rested and saved from dullness. It definitely brightens the completion, so much so that it evens out the skin tone and can bring out all the redness for it to relieve (I still don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing). Obviously, with me only using it a couple of times I've only become familiar with the short term influence but it certainly left me with a glow and I can see it becoming a popular product! 

Finally, we have the Drops Of Youth Bouncy Sleeing Mask and it works exactly as it says on the tin, giving you a bouncy spring in your step as you're replenished overnight. I have only used this once but I was so pleased with the results. Now, I'm not ancient, I'm still in my youth but this is the sort of product which enhances the natural flush and keeps the young-looking, beaming glow intact. The scent is gorgeous, such a rich pleasant smell which is also gentle and not too overpowering on the skin. It is a little sticky at first but once it soaks into the skin it makes you feel alive and you really can see the difference; my pores and scarring appeared reduced and my face more healthy and highlighted. It even made makeup application the next morning a smoother job as my skin looked plumper and firmer, like that natural freshness you gain in the summer.

Have you tried any of these products or are you (like me) waiting for the day you can purchase and really make the most of the perks?

Don't forget, you can enter my 500 follower giveaway to win a NARS Audacious Lipstick of your choice. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm now going to make a cup of green tea!

Bridie x

Sunday, 26 April 2015

500 follower giveaway: win a NARS Audacious Lipstick of your choice!

As I've been suffering with severe writer's block this weekend, today's Sunday post isn't one we can natter about; as you can most probably tell with the lack of debatable contents (a Nars lippy just doesn't open for discussion) but what it does do is treat your lips to some luxury. I recently delved into the world of Space NK and made my very first purchase after I was tempted by their £10 off £40 spend. I'd heard so much about the Audacious lipstick's and thought it was about time I tried one for myself. After some profound um'ing and ahh'ing as to what shade I should pick, I went for Anita, an antique rose with warm undertones and a satin finish, and I haven't looked back since. Not only is the packaging super slick and the NARS engravement so pretty, it's also an extremely wearable lipstick with a beautiful long lasting formula, it's the perfect staple colour and really does look the part.

Aside from pretending I'm a successful millionaire strutting around the classy shops, another milestone I reached this week is my 500 bloglovin' followers goal (with some regular losses along the way). It may seem only small to some but we've all started somewhere and I'm beyond happy that I've gained a steady audience whom provide interaction which keeps me on my toes. To celebrate and thank you all for taking the time out to take an interest in my blog and to entwine one of my new favourite beauty products, I decided I'd love to give away one Audacious lipstick of your choice to the lucky winner. Every comment, like, retweet, favourite, and follower really do mean a lot to me, no matter how big or small, which is why I do my best to bring in some opportunities for everyone.

The giveaway will be held through Rafflecopter and all you need to do is enter the mandatory options (and any more add ons of your choice) to ensure your entry. The giveaway is already live and ends in a months time, on the 26th May. Unfortunately, the giveaway is only open to UK and European international destinations due to ridiculous postage prices outside of the EU. The winner will be picked entirely from random and contacted straight away. Good luck! Bridie x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 24 April 2015

What I wore: staying casual with Blue Vanilla

*Top - C/O Blue Vanilla | Trousers - Topshop | Bag - New Look | Shoes - New Look | Hat - Primark

If there's one thing I love it's a monochrome outfit, add in one of my favourite brands, some slouchy cigarette trousers and a carbon-copy of the Aquazzura pointed lace up flats and you have a winner. As much as I love to dress up for absolutely no reason apart from my own personal style interests, there's nothing better than throwing on some basics and staying casual and comfortable on a cool, 'not too warm but not cold' kinda day. 

This Blue Vanilla top is the ultimate snug piece, the sketch print and frilled sleeves make it a staple with a twist but the versatility of it means I knew exactly how to style it on a simple day at the end of what seems to have been an extremely slow week. I hope you're all bearing through this Friday lunchtime ready for a well needed weekend break! It's a shame the lovely weather isn't going to last.

Bridie x

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: current Zara wants

Is it me, or does Zara go through stages of bringing in a batch of beautiful clothing all at once, for the list worthy items to then go out of stock once you save up the money to fund your shopping habit? I made the mistake of 'just popping' into Zara again the other day and spotted so many lovely summer orientated things and my mind instantly switched to holiday mode. I feel like it's reached an appropriate time to think about holiday shopping and Zara have ticked all the right boxes. Not just for abroad, but for at home on these light, muggy days too. I'm currently loving flowing, airy shirt dresses and tunics for that cool fit, as well as the clean looking staples and the more dressy types like the lace top and patterned co-ord.

I'm also on the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans as I lack in the jeans area of my wardrobe. I always shove the thought of them to the back of my mind because no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to find the right pair for my body shape without them making my legs appear stumpy. I see so many bloggers and lovely ladies in general who rock the distressed, boyfriend style and I'm anchoring on giving it a go. Plus, light denim has always been my favourite kind!

Have you browsed Zara lately? What are you currently loving?

Bridie x


Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Sunday Natter: the perks of living up North

*image source

Being a born and bred Northerner, it's the norm for me. Common dialect, country roads and a whole lot of Yorkshire Puddings are all I know and am used to, but the fact I'm a not so mere 4 hours away from London becomes a realisation when A) the weather is forecast warm, B) the opportunities and events arise and C) no matter how hard you try you cannot escape trees and a group of chavs rocking their Umbro tracksuits blending into your outfit photo background. This week saw a glorious few days of sunshine and high temperatures... but not up North. This was when the delusion really hit and is the sole reason I thought of developing this post. How we can be bustled up indoors with the heating full blast whilst the lucky Southerners sunbathe and have picnics on the beach is beyond me. When you look at it like that, it's totally not fair but when you turn it around and view the bigger picture, you discover it's not all that bad. Afterall, this is my hometown (okay so I'm not the further end of the North but Yorkshire is still pretty northern). I may miss out on the cliche London antics and be forgotten about by many sources but there's also many perks to living in the land beneath the M1.

1) It's a friendlier place up here. It's proven the North is a more friendly environment with a laid back approach and an instinctive sense of humour. With a Northerner to Northerner conversation there's an instant bond. Meet and ask a question to a stranger, you don't have to worry about them reacting in alarm. Smile in public, and you're not welcomed with a frown. The air just seems to be less tense and less busy up here.

2) Everyone knows each other. I don't know whether it's just me and my ability to get into a random conversation at every hurdle but it seems the people that cross Northerner's paths become people you know forever. The post office expect you at the same time every day, the supermarket staff save you their best grub because they know what you like, and if you take a trip on the bus, it's guaranteed you see half of your local area on there.

3) It makes a holiday abroad a more pleasant experience. I don't think there's a better feeling than being greeted with a fellow Northerner as you arrive at your holiday location, and usually that means you become friends and make plans throughout the entire time you're there (and furthermore). Cue chats about the local football team, whereabouts you live, and what your favourite pubs are.

4) The food is better. Chips and gravy, Sunday roast dinners, Yorkshire tea, pie and a Greggs wherever you turn a corner. Who wouldn't want easier access to that? It does no justice to any current diets but by god, is it good. (We also serve a mean beer but being an avid non-drinker I'm only going by the stereotypical old men in flat caps' opinion)

5) We have the nicest seaside resorts and countryside. Being in Blackpool on a donkey in the summer, visiting the stunning Yorkshire countryside and visiting Dracula's cave in Whitby. There's something utterly traditional about Northern seaside places and there's some serious hidden gems lurking in there. It's where a childhood should be!

6) You can say words without them being offensive. Ey'up, duck, love, mate, canny, you name it; some of the greetings and general chatter may not be taken as sweetly down South as they are up here. It's all about those certain phrases, sayings and the way you pronounce words but I feel it's only a Northerner to Northerner understandable click (seriously, how can you not call a narrow alleyway a ginnel?!)

7) We've created some of the best famous people around. Especially the comedians. Peter Kay, John Bishop, Johnny Vegas, Sarah Millican... I could go on. Our TV shows and musicians aren't/weren't bad either. Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Heartbeat, Arctic Monkeys, and have you seen Neville Longbottom lately? Hubba hubba.

8) We're made of stronger stuff. We're used to hearing about cloud and rain, our bodies have become immune to the freezing temperatures. We have no choice but to accept the fact we will encounter winter all year round which is why we're tougher when it comes to the weather. Walking around with no coat and a mini skirt on a snowy night out is not even questioned.

9) It's inexpensive. It's no secret that life today is expensive. Living alone takes up half of your income, so I struggle to imagine how the people of London afford to rent/buy a property, and stock up on their daily necessities as well as treating themselves from time to time. There may be a lot more going on in and around London but it's safe to say we can eat out and jump in a taxi without the fear of daylight robbery.

10) We tell it how it is. You know you're going to get the truth when you're speaking to a Northerner. Northerners (especially of the older generation I've found) seem to be so outgoing and forward that they won't be afraid to tell you your bum does look big in those jeans or that you are making a huge mistake. Apart from me, obviously, because the awkward kind are an exception.

How about you? Are you a Southerner or a Northerner? Do you think there's a big difference between the two or have you found some of these things actually apply to both? Let me know your thoughts!

Also, just to mention; this isn't meant to be offensive in any way. It's just a jokeable piece of gabble expanded from my overriding brain and I can assure you, there are lots and lots of people from the South of the country that I love, admire and have huge respect for. Where you're situated has absolutely no relevance to you as a person (although I still stick to the fact Northerners are better all round).

Bridie x

Friday, 17 April 2015

Life: The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea White Rose Leeds Event

Last week, on a beautiful (and extremely rare up in Yorkshire) sunny day, I attended my very first The Body Shop event in aid of some of the new and upcoming ranges they have in store for us all. As well as some compatible bonding with fellow friendly Leeds bloggers, some general comical chit chat, and making the most of camera opportunities without feeling as though the whole world is wondering why on earth I'm snapping a bowl of water and a hand swatch, I also had the chance to get a preview of the exciting forthcoming spring/summer assortments and get an insight into their already launched products. There were 4 focused selections; the Fuji Green Tea, Virgin Mojito, Vitamin C and Honey Bronze, with some makeup bits and bobs thrown into the mix and with the super helpful Tom and Shannon aside to inform us as we moved along, I learned a great deal about each one and had nothing but delightful scents graced along my nasal passage all evening (even with a cold!). 

We started with the main focus of the event, the Fuji Green Tea ceremony. We all know about how healthy and benefiting green tea is on the digestive system, packed with nutrients and antioxidants it has powerful detoxing effects on the body which for the skin, will make you feel exactly the same; rejuvenated and revived. The range is split between 3 parts; cleanse & detox, replenish, then refresh and is made up of 9 individual products that are bound to energize your senses. 

Tom and Shannon were on hand to demonstrate each product which meant we were able to test, smell, and conclude for ourselves how lovely they were (and they definitely were). First there was the 'typical' pampering bath goodness, the Fuji Green Tea Body Scrub, Fuji Green Tea Shower Gel, Fuji Green Tea Exfoliating Soap and something ultimately unique and something I was highly intrigued by, The Fuji Green Tea Bath Infuser and Bath Tea. This little gem works by popping the bath tea into the infuser and then dipping it into your bath as the tap is running to surround the water with uplifting and unwinding results. During our exploration of this specific product, one volunteer (which happened to be Rhianna from robowecop) had the chance to experience the feel of the Bath Infuser and Bath Tea, followed by a hand massage later on. Although my hands weren't dipped in there, I had a feel and couldn't believe how silky the water felt; I can imagine being soaked in an entire bath would be luxurious. 

The following steps contain the moisturising and conditioning treatments for the skin; the Fuji Green Tea Body Lotion, Fuji Green Tea Body Sorbet, and Fuji Green Tea Body Butter. Like every other TBS product, these seemed to apply like an absolute dream and felt amazingly hydrating on the skin, in particular the sorbet. I first tried the sorbets last year and absolutely fell in love with how light and cooling they felt. As you can probably guess, this was another hit and with the Green Tea scent, it made it even more invigorating. Finally, there was another awakening addition to The Body Shop's list of products, the Fuji Green Tea Eau De Cologne which completed the crisp, herbal scent of the Green Tea range in a very wearable way (and it even had a hint of my beloved jasmine). Topped off with a provided cup of Twinings Green Tea for ourselves, we rounded up this successful taster.

Next, were a couple of newbies from the Vitamin C range, the Instant Glow Enhancer and Glow Boosting Moisturiser. Once again, the staff were ready to show us all the key factors of each product and we were up close and personal to see the effect they had on the skin! The Instant Glow Enhancer is there to give an instant fix for healthy looking skin and can be applied after moisturiser and in between moments in the day to touch up any dull places, in particular those that catch the light such as the forehead and cheekbones. Just from a tester on the back of the hand I could see the way it enhanced the skin and gave it that rosy, natural glow with a soft, velvety finish. The same relates to the moisturiser, it brightens up the entire complexion and leaves you feeling revitalized with the fresh smell of crushed berries and orange which of course, does no wrong in my eyes (or nose). 

Now onto my favourite of the bunch, the brand new Virgin Mojito range, due to be released at the end of May/into June. There were 5 products presented on show, the Virgin Mojito Body Scrub, Body Butter, Body Sorbet, Shower Gel, and something unfamiliar to those standard sets, a Body Splash, to bring in a twist of frequent fragrance. There was no doubt about it, I loved each and every one. The scent was unreal, I can't quite put my finger on it but the mix up of mint and lime made a delicious fruity and zest exhilaration. Some were under the impression you'd step out of the shower smelling like you'd been on the lash all night until morning. Now, I'm not a regular cocktail drinker but if alcohol did come across that delicious with absolutely no after effects and instead plenty of freshness, I'm sure I'd be more of a drinker. 

When we got told we were the first ones to be let in on the Mojito products I not only felt special but was also quite concerned I wasn't going to be able to shout from the rooftops just how heavenly it is. Luckily, we were able to spill and now I can't wait to get my hands on it. I reckon it would make the perfect summer holiday collection!

Lastly, we were enlightened with the makeup stash, beginning with the eyeliners which are already out on the shelves ready to grab. Passed down the line and trialed out on even more hands were the Matte Kajal in black and white, the Bold Oversized Felt Liner, Skinny Felt Liner and Gel Pen Liner. As an eyeliner novice, I only really go for what works for me and I was certainly more biased towards the Matte Kajal and the Skinny Felt Liner. The tips of the pen were fine enough to create a steady stroke and held enough boldness in there for an in depth look. 

Then, to finish off, there was the gorgeous Honey Bronze selection plus a few vibrant eyeshadows for us to admire. I feel like I struggle and slack on both experimenting with bright, risky shades for the eyes and instant tanning my utterly pale torso. I don't particularly mind being pasty all year round. If it was a choice between accepting my inner ghost or walking around looking like David Dickinson, I'd go for the first option in fear of taking a complete wrong step during the tanning process. However, all the Honey Bronze products revealed to us seem to be suitable and easier for the likes of me and may just be a mind changer. 

Unveiled to us were a combination of both liquid, powder and cream products. The Honey Bronze Bronzing Gel For Face and the Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist were first up; the Leg Mist being another newbie. I love the idea of this because it means legs no longer have to be the odd ones out. Its easy blending immediate natural tan fills in those pesky pale patches with a simple spray application and without that oily residue being left behind. Next, there was the Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder with two brand new shades included in the range. This honey-enriched mattifying powder is said to give skin an even finish with a subtle sun kissed glow and with all this in mind, as well as the cutesy bee hive inspired packaging, I'm now on a mission to find the perfect shade for me (because the irony of this is bronzers can often look cakey on my pale complexion). The last of the Honey Bronze products were a pair of highlighting sticks, shaped very similarly to a certain hyped lip balm which personally, for me, were the stand out of the bunch. I absolutely loved the compact style and the fuss free applicator and the way they appeared on the skin once brushed swiftly along the cheekbone. Both shades illuminated the complexion with a delicate shimmer and a beautiful, natural flush but the lighter shade (of course) won the competition for best results on fairer skin. 

Tom's hands seemed to radiate all products greatly and the same goes for the selected eyeshadows. The Colour Crush Eyeshadow's and a tropical Cube Palette weren't something I'd reach for as everyday shades but somehow I think the warm to dark ratio of the greens, blues, beiges and yellows would work when creating an intense, killer eye. (Top tip: we were advised to slightly wet the brush before applying the eyeshadows to give it that more softened look).

As you have most probably presumed with the picture and text heavy post, I came away from there full of newfangled logic but that wasn't the only thing I left with. We were kindly given a goodie bag with lots of samples and miniature goodies for us to try out which was enough to stop me from purchasing everything in sight (I'm a trier before a do-er and I wanted to give the products a go first - stay tuned for a separate blog post!). It was such a brilliant, fun filled evening enjoyed by all! A huge thanks to Leah for inviting me along and to Tom and Shannon for all their in depth passion and enthusiasm - it was really lovely and refreshing to see. 

What are your favourite The Body Shop products?

Bridie x

Also, just to mention a huge thank you to everyone who entered my Blue Vanilla giveaway, I picked a winner at random yesterday and that so happened to be Chloe from Big congrats to Chloe and I hope she gets some good use out of the perfect summer dress!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Wishlist: the Urban Outfitters homeware edit

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a homeware hoarder. I could solemnly swear to the fact I waste half my life browsing for the best pieces even when I don't have my own space to display them in. One place I can never get enough of is the Urban Outfitters website (and surprisingly, not for clothes this time!). Their homeware collection is so dreamy and often sends me into a wishful, mindful thinking process of owning my own bright, airy home complete with huge windows and white walls.

Lately, I've found myself really into those little extras which can transform a dull room into something personal and adventurous. I adore accessories with quotes on and quote prints placed in frames as I think they're such a lovely addition to a room and can be the sort of thing you look and smile at on a bad day whilst you put your feet up and attempt to relax. I don't think I'll ever get bored of copper and monochrome designs which most probably reflects throughout this wishlist. Anything fresh looking with an inch of essence and I'm sold!

Is there any specific shop you instantly go to for homeware pieces? What're your favourites?

Bridie x

P.S. There's only 14 hours left of my Blue Vanilla giveaway so get your entries in whilst you can! I'm looking forward to announcing the winner!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Sunday Natter: staying motivated in blogging

As bloggers, we all know how much of a roller coaster ride this hobby and/or occupation can be. There's times we we're full of enthusiasm, tons of ideas are sparked up and put to work, but then there's the days where you're feeling completely unmotivated and tired, as though you're stuck in a never resolving rut and it feels like you're going nowhere. Feeling like you just want to give it up does happen, it's normal and most probably healthy in order for you to grasp that balance but it's finding those pick me ups which proves difficult. 

For me, this week has been one of those weeks. I'm only just starting to feel human again after a viral illness struck me without warning. Not only have the troublesome germs wiped me of all energy, they also seem to have taken all my desire of blogging on the road to sneezing and stomachache along with them. Maintaining my interests and willingness has gone for a burden over the past few days. I haven't felt like posting or planning at all this week and I don't know whether that's because I've been under the weather and all I craved was my bed or because it's becoming more clear how challenging and time consuming blogging can be. I'm not sure what's wrong nor what's happened to my optimistic outlook but I suppose you don't always have to have a specific reason as to why you're feeling disheartened. I'm aware how common these (usually over dramatised) moods are but it starts becoming a problem when you're frustrating yourself with the inability to keep up with content. I adore blogging and everything that comes with it but I always feel like I'm letting not only myself, but my readers down. It's hard to keep pumped without little to no progression but it's also helpful to remind yourself of the reasons you're doing what you're doing which is why, for today's post I thought I'd list the ways I try and stay motivated. It's hopefully for the benefit of you but it's also an ideal post for me to have in hand (or should I say in view) for when I need another boost.

Find inspiration | one thing I find helps more than anything is seeking influence from all kinds of aspects. Whether that be reading your favourite blogs, flicking through the latest magazines, browsing Pinterest or Instagram and collating a little group of  things that deserve a heart eye emoji, or even remembering the real world - stepping away from the internet which can sometimes be overwhelming and exploring the latest trends and attitudes through your very own lens.

Appreciate and build on the little wins | it's good to pick out and remind yourself of the achievements you're most proud of and it's even better to make a comparison of where you are now to where you started. From the writing content, the imagery and the quality - I don't think you quite realise the immense change until you have it right in front of you. Even looking back on comments or emails which made you smile and were the sole push you needed to carry on providing, helps. Recognising even the smallest of accomplishments is a contributor towards keeping your mind in a positive place. It allows you to move forward in terms of future blog plans and urges you to keep going.

Plan goals | being the forgetful person I am, I always have to jot down any random thoughts or ideas, as well as the captured inspiration I've found elsewhere. No matter whether they're single words or sentences, whether they're big or small, or don't make any sense to anyone but you - it all goes towards a list of subjects you can grab and paint a bigger picture with. With brainstorming and getting everything down on paper comes setting yourself goals and with every little new factor, you have an opportunity to work towards something different. Slow and steady wins the race, once you start with small aims, you can reach for the more advanced goals. Praising yourself when you study and learn, when you reach a milestone, are impressed with your photography, or even when a post goes down well will benefit your motivation and determination hugely. Celebrate and rewarding yourself at every hurdle is key for recognising your efforts.

Stick to what you love | there is no point blogging if you don't enjoy the topics you blog about. It's important to write about what you feel passionate about, not just jumping the bandwagon and writing about something mediocre because everyone else is. You can totally tell when someone's heart and soul isn't into a post which is why it's important to stick to your morals and interests. Pushing yourself towards a talking point that you're not sure of won't benefit you in the long run. Blogging is a way of expressing your personality and you can do this by following your genuineness which in turn will boost your ambition as a writer. Your readers will appreciate your authenticity and you'll start to appreciate yourself. 

Ask advice | it's easy to hold back in fear of acting cowardly but seeking help and advice can actually do you the world of good. If you need to ask questions regarding blog concerns or just general chatter to someone more expertised, then go ahead. It could be guidance from my favourite blogger, or from someone whom I've trusted for a long time like family and friends but whatever I choose, taking on and including their input tends to spur me on in promoting my blog content, It's also ideal to ask  your audience (no matter whether that's 50 readers or 5000) what they'd like to see and whether there's anything specific they'd like you to comprise. After-all, they are the ones listening to what you have to say and could even provide you with ideas you wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

Take a break | to avoid piling yourself with too much pressure, I think it's always important to take a break when you find it's getting too much and when you need to analyse what you need to differ in order for you to be happy in moving forward with your blog. I find getting a good night's rest and waking up feeling refreshed clears my head, gives me a new sense of direction and builds up my readiness to get cracking. Whether it's for one day, or even taking out a couple of weeks for yourself, if relaxing is what you need then make use of the freedom. I often find myself being afraid of disappointing if I don't blog for a while but most of the time it improves and contributes towards renewing my creative side. Coming back into it with an reinvigorated mindset could also equally be an advantage of how your blog comes across. Focusing on one element for a week or so would allow you to bring lots of exciting changes to your blog - and all for the better!

Accept failure | unfortunately, you're not going to go through the blogging journey without making a few mistakes here and there. Things aren't always going to run smoothly but that's what makes it so unique. It's living proof that if you're failing, you're doing something and acting wisely. With failure comes learning and with learning comes improving - it's all one big learning curve. Punishing yourself isn't the answer which is why you shouldn't be too hard on yourself and over scrutinize the situation. If something's not worked out how you wanted it to be, only time will tell until you know that was for the better because your current performance is the one that's thriving. Remember, the more you fail, the more you succeed.

Go with the flow | don't be unrealistic and set yourself a crazy schedule - take a laid back approach and go from there. It's great to plan continuously and consistently but telling yourself this is not a race, it is not a number game nor a competition, and you don't need specific elements to be deemed victorious is also essential. I often notice that once I get into writing a post, I can't stop and I find those posts written from scratch are not only which represent me best, but which seem to get the most traffic. It's the getting started which impacts the most and once you do that, you're on your way to staying focused!

What keeps you motivated? I'd love to know!

Bridie x

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

What I wore: suede, denim and skinny scarves

Top - Zara | Denim Skirt - Miss Selfridge | Skinny Scarf - ASOS | Hat - Primark | Boots - eBay

Hello, and happy 'Easter is officially over now we're back to reality' Wednesday! I'm now back from my mini break; well, technically, I came home on Monday but have since been recovering from a poorly neck. I somehow strained a muscle and wasn't able to move my head without representing a crippled old lady. Apart from the slight injury, I had a delightful weekend with all the family. From dancing to some throwback 90's tunes, winning absolutely  nothing at bingo, and having a good old natter with a cuppa and way too much chocolate, to taking long walks on the beach in the sunshine and blue skies and dreaming of owning a luxury caravan venturing out onto the lake. We were so lucky with the weather! When travelling in the pouring rain and darkness  I was under the impression we were doomed and I'm still trying to fathom out how it's transformed so quickly. But I won't be one to complain, in fact I'm trying not to praise higher temperatures in case I jinx it. You've got to enjoy it whilst you can when you live in the UK!

As I've been away, my blog routine has been interrupted (not good for us who like stable plans) so today, instead of a wishlist, you have an outfit. Words can't describe how happy I am just to be able to showcase my choice of clothing in a different environment. It's amazing how making the most of an alternate background adds all the character to a photo. Even the ducks joined in with the fun of the park whilst I pretended I was your typical London blogger posing beside a post box. I'm really digging the 70's trends at the moment and with this outfit I've thrown a bit of everything into the mix. From camel suede, to my current favourite a-line denim skirt, and I even attempted the skinny scarf look (which I'm still not sure I pull off but it's worth a go, aye?!). Denim is huge this season and I'm looking forward to the summer days where I can trial out some more fab pieces. Topped with a staple hat and some pointed boots, it completes the perfect casual but still acceptably stylish outfit.

Don't forget, you still have time to enter my Blue Vanilla giveaway. As I've been away from the internet for a few days I'm considering extending the duration just so it gives more people a chance to get their entries in so I'll update as soon as possible!

Hope you're all enjoying the sunshine!

Bridie x

Friday, 3 April 2015

It's Easter break time

So, the Easter weekend has arrived. It's officially acceptable to eat your own body weight in chocolate eggs, use the bank holiday as an excuse to do absolutely nothing productive and jet off on a long car journey to the coastline, and I'll be doing all three. The family and I are taking a trip to a caravan park for the weekend but only half of my family know we're heading over. We've kept it a secret for a few months now and to be quite honest, I'm surprised none of us have slipped up but we managed and now we're currently dodging the traffic in the misty overcast with an Oasis sing along to keep us company. It'll be a lovely surprise, it's always nice to escape from the same old scenery and let's be fair, who doesn't love a road trip?!

As it's a well needed break, I'm going to be taking a small break from my blog from now until Monday. Mainly because there is next to internet signal (just so you don't think I've disappeared off the face of the earth) but I'll be back soon enough. It's always the longest weekends that seem to pass by too quickly...

I hope you all enjoy your time off whatever you may be getting up to, and don't forget you still have time to enter my giveaway whilst I'm absent. Happy Easter! 

Bridie x
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