Sunday, 12 March 2017

How to minimise your space in five simple steps.

Okay, I'll admit it. I am a massive hoarder. Not that I go around collecting bits and bobs, or that my bedroom is overcome with piles and piles of crap or anything. It's all super organised - there's a place for everything and everything is (usually) in its place - but I just have too much... stuff. I have heaps and heaps (and heaps) of clothes, shoes, handbags and jewellery. I have files and notepads and books that I've read time and time again. I have a makeup cupboard, overflowing with products. 

It got to the point where I would dread having to open the cupboards but tomorrow I move into my very own flat (read my homeware wishlist here), so what better excuse than to have a massive clear out and to "minimalise" my space in the process? 

1. Take it a task at a time

I'm so guilty of deciding to spontaneously clear out my room, and then a few hours later I'm surrounded by piles of crap, not knowing where to start and feeling like tearing my hair out. This time, however, I've tackled each section of my room in stages. I firstly started with my jewellery, clearing out unbroken pieces and crazy neon items that are no longer wanted. Then I tackled each section of my wardrobe separately, starting with my tops, then skirts, then jeans, and finally cleared out a whole hoard of "clubbing dresses" from my teens. (I'm talking leopard print, sequins and cleavage galore!) I split this up over a number of days, taking on a section each evening after work, and it made it so much easier as there was always a light at the end of the tunnel.

2. Bin it, keep it, donate it

Separate your clothes, jewellery, makeup etc. into piles of items you want to keep, items that can be donated, and items that are better off being recycled rather than hanging in your wardrobe. If you've not worn the item of clothing in the past year, then you're unlikely to wear it any time soon, so give it a new lease of life and donate it to a charity shop, friend or family member. If your beauty cupboard is overloaded with unwanted products, bin the ones that are looking a little worse for wear and anything you've not yet used can be donated to a women's refuge centre. Give things away to those that need it more than you.

3. Make use of vertical storage

That space above your wardrobe? Use it! I've bought pretty boxes to place on top of my wardrobe to fill with scarves and handbags that would otherwise take up heaps of storage space. The boxes make a pretty addition to the room, too! After sorting through your wardrobe, take the accessories you want to keep, place them in a box and pop it at the top of your wardrobe. Perfectly organised and clutter-less.

4. Make use of other rooms

Living in a small flat means you may find your bits and bobs spilling over into other rooms. If you've got a little space in the hallway, why not place a chest of drawers there to hold seasonal pieces of clothing? Or on the landing outside the bathroom hold towels and toiletries? It provides more bedroom space and keeps things neat and tidy.

5. Have a killer playlist 

No organising can be done without some motivational music to keep you going. I find a gym playlist works perfectly well for a little spring cleaning, and it's great for pushing you to finish the job when you're sat amongst piles of clothing and bags of rubbish when you feel like tearing your hair out!

Lots of love. xoxo

Sunday, 5 March 2017

How to mix up your makeup for springtime.

I am so happy that spring is finally here. It felt like winter was dragging on forever, and despite it still being pretty grim and wintery outside, March to me signifies the start of springtime. I'm really excited for the nights to start getting lighter, for blossom on the trees, little animals hopping amongst the fresh flowers, sunnier and warmer days, and Easter, of course. 
I love shrugging off my winter coat in favour of pretty jackets, skirts and dresses; and I also love mixing up my makeup, saying goodbye to the gothic glam looks created by deep plum lip shades and heaps of liner, in favour of a sunnier, neutral FOTD that'll take you from morning to night. Here are the ways in which I shake up my look for spring... 

1. In the nude: I absolutely love wearing bright and bold shadows and lip shades, but it's always so nice to embrace dewy highlighters and nude glosses when springtime strikes. Experimenting with neutral eyeshadow palettes, experimenting with lighter and darker shades, is a great way to brighten around the eyes, and adding a brown lip shade finishes the look off perfectly.

2. Add a little shimmer: I always feel like shimmer highlighters and sparkly shadows are out in full force in the lead up to Christmas, but as soon as the January blues kick in they're shoved to the bottom of your beauty bag in favour of a boring old mascara and subtle cat eye. Ladies, it's time to bring the glitz back! Pile on that highlighter, add a subtle glittery bronzer to your cheeks, apply a little glitter on your lids to make that smoky eye pop. Summer is just around the corner!

3. Keep your skin feeling fresh: As the days start to get more heated (feels so ironic writing this as it pours down outsider), your skin is going to need a little boost. I love doing a regular exfoliating mask  treatment to clean out my pores and rid them of grease and sweat. Your skin can get a lot oilier in the spring time, so try switching up your moisturisers for alternatives which still bring heaps of hydration without overloading it. 

4. Brighten your blusher: I love adding a little pink pop to the apples of my cheeks in the spring time. It's a great way to add some colour to your face after the dreary winter months, and gives a sun kissed glow even if you're more likely to be heading on a rocket to the moon than on a plane to a sunny haven in the next few weeks. 

How do you mix up your makeup for spring?
Lots of love. xoxo

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Is the blogging industry sustainable?

You know that feeling when you've got a million things to do but you're itching to open your laptop and rustle up a blog post? Yep, that's me right now. I'm drowning in packing hell as I try to pack for the next few days away for work - my first shoot with the BBC which is so exciting! - but I had a little light bulb moment, and now I just want to write all about it. 
Let me firstly say that this post is just a complete and utter ramble, and I apologise to anyone who was hoping for a little structure in their blog reading today - this post just ain't it. I'm literally typing whatever comes into my head and it feels fantastic. It's quite liberating really, the fact that I have built this little platform where I can openly share whatever comes into my brain, but after reading several Twitter debates, lots of bloggers' Facebook statuses, and micro-blogs on Instagram about this topic, it got me thinking...

Is blogging a sustainable industry? Or is it coming to its end?

I started blogging almost four years ago, and back then it was a relatively new phenomenon. Yes, blogs, personal websites and similar micro-blogging platforms had been around for years, and some may say I was late to the party, but the blogging industry as it stands today was just emerging. A little seed planted amongst the soil of the web that was just starting to grow, and I was a part of it. 

When I first created my blog back in 2013, I'll be honest when I say I knew nothing of the community. I stumbled across the blogosphere whilst looking for a beauty product review, thought it seemed like a really fun way to combat my university homesickness and to get my creative juices flowing, and within ten minutes had set up my own. My friends didn't really understand when I explained that I had this new digital hobby, and were even more flabbergasted by the fact that I got invited to promotional events and had a new bunch of online buddies to talk to. Nevertheless, I absolutely loved blogging and soon become completely immersed in the industry and all it had to offer. 

Fast forward four years and blogging, and indeed bloggers, are everywhere. My friends who have absolutely no interest in the industry or the media follow a load of these up-and-coming influencers on Instagram. High street stores are dominated by blown-up photographs of bloggers modelling and promoting the brands' offerings. Bloggers are fronting television programmes, charity campaigns, gracing the front covers of magazines, and the front rows of fashion weeks. Heck, there's even a blogging story line currently causing more havoc for the Platt family on Coronation Street. 

But amongst all of this incredible success, I can't help but feel a little bleugh about the whole situation. While I am absolutely in awe, and so incredibly proud, of how many of the bloggers I started following four years ago have blossomed into these fantastically inspirational girl bosses; I can't help but feel like slowly, but surely, the industry is starting to dwindle. 

Am I being completely pessimistic if I say that "making it" in the industry is becoming increasingly difficult? 

I don't know. I just feel like the industry is so over-saturated at present that it's becoming more and more difficult to find your "niche". There are basically a handful of bloggers who are presented with these amazing opportunities, and I can't help but feel that so many seriously talented people are overlooked as it's all a numbers game. What's more, people are moving away from traditional blogging platforms in favour of micro-blogging sites like Instagram, and more visual entities like YouTube and Snapchat. How many of the "big" bloggers that you follow still spend time writing and photographing? It seems that the industry is evolving again, and it's quite the challenge to keep up. 

I don't want this post to sound like a complete moan because it's not; I absolutely LOVE blogging. It's something that's always on my mind, and I'd definitely say that I still have phases where I become completely obsessed with it. I love having a platform where I can write and ramble, and a place to look back on in the future. I love that it's taught me so much about the media, the world and myself too. And I absolutely love that I've met so many amazing, wonderful and interesting people through it - many who I now consider lovely friends. I certainly won't be hanging up my blogging shoes (FYI, they're super fierce and sparkly) any time soon, but I can't help but wonder how the industry will evolve over the next four years. Or whether there'll still be one then?

It would be so great to hear your thoughts about the changes in the industry, whether you agree or disagree entirely. It may just be the bloggers that I personally follow and interact with, but I can't help but feel that we're all feeling a little weird about the industry at the moment. What do you think?

Lots of love. xoxo

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The things I'd love to buy for my new flat: Spring Home Decor Wishlist.*

Now that I've finally found full time work I am on the hunt for my own little space in Cardiff, and I'm so freaking excited. It's super stressful as I started work today (eek!) and still have no place of my own to stay in, but luckily I have a wonderful cousin who's putting up with me in the meantime.

I'm really looking forward to having my own little space though, especially as I lived out of a hostel while I was interning in London, and I've really been enjoying the house hunting if I'm honest. It will be so nice to have a cosy place that's all mine to go home to, and yes I'm planning on it being all white, girly and totally blogger-esque!

So what better than to post a little wishlist featuring all of the lovely things I'd buy for a place of my own if my budget would allow? As I'll be moving just when spring starts, I thought I'd merge two of my favourite things - spring and home inspiration - together in today's post. Blending beautiful pinks and greys, adding a touch of metallic and a heap of floral fancies, these furnishings definitely make a house a home.

Albert Kuic Pair of Armchairs in Powder Pink - Oh my god, how Instagrammable is this chair? It would look perfect in a living room with a fluffy throw draped over the top, and is the ideal size and shape for snuggling up with your laptop to get some blogging done.

Wilko Small Chrome Lantern - This lantern is supposed to be for a garden or terrace, but how cute would it look with a little tea light nestled inside on a dining table? Perfect for when you have a romantic meal for two with your partner, or if you've got the gals over for some pizza and Netflix chilling.

Dot Com Gift Shop Cactus in a Glass - Living in the middle of a busy city means I won't have a garden or outside space of my own. Luckily Cardiff is filled with big parks and is also built by the sea so I'll get my share of nature each week, but adding a little greenery to a room is a great way to bring the outside in. I don't know about you, but plants and flowers always lift my spirits.

Cox and Cox Small Ankur Desk Lamp - Blush pink is a huge colour for this coming season, and this beautiful desk lamp will add a little cosiness to my workspace. I love the modern design and how it can be tilted into all different directions to shine a light on any space. Cox and Cox have a fantastic array of lamps and light fittings to choose from, but I just loved the pastel shade of this one.

Housing Units Hanging Heart - I absolutely love cute little trinkets like this. They make a space so pretty and homely, adding a personal touch, particularly to a rented property. The quote "You Make My Heart Beat Faster" is a pretty cute one too. You can always hang it on a door handle if you're unable to add any screws or hooks to your walls.

Cox and Cox Grey Isra Rug - As I'll be moving into a rented property while saving to buy my own home, a warm and cosy rug is a must and the perfect way to add some warmth to cold, wooden floors. I absoutely love the shade of this one from Cox and Cox, even if it is a little out of my budget price range. Nevertheless, you have to pay a little extra for quality and Cox and Cox's luxury floor rugs are most definitely worth it.

George Home Peonies in Glass Bulb Vase - I absolutely adore fresh flowers. They add a wonderfully feminine touch to a home and always bring a smile to my face, but as I'll be on a tight budget I think some faux flowers will work just perfectly. No need to refresh them constantly so you're not paying out money each week, and still giving the same affect.

Oliver Bonas Pink Little Things Trinket Dish - This little dish is gorgeous and is the perfect place to store trinkets, keys, or even your rings. To me, the little things in life are the absolute best, so this dish has such meaning and is a beautiful colour too.

Houseology Lene Bjerre Leaf Candle in Glacier Grey - The beautifully carved waxwork on this candle is a dream. I really love it and am totally obsessing over that icy grey shade. Perfect for adding a sparkle to any room.

TK Maxx String Lights - If you follow me on Twitter you'll know, I'm obsessed with fairy lights. I just think they're so cosy and homely. Sitting in a freshly made bed in my snuggly pyjamas, fairy lights and candles twinkling around me, reading blogs or binge watching reality television; now that's what I call heaven. These lights from TK Maxx are super cute and a rather great price too!

What are your go-to home decor accessories?
Lots of love. xoxo

*This post is a collaboration with Cox and Cox
All words, thoughts and opinions are my own.