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No more over-packing.

This post is basically me planning my packing for my upcoming holidays, but I thought I could make it useful. I have always been an over-packer and a 'just in case' person when I pack my clothes, because I never want to feel without when I'm on holiday. Having a capsule wardrobe has helped in this area, because I have put more thought into my style and what goes together, so when I pack I instantly know what I wear all the time and what thing go together so I don't need that random extra top just in case. This is just a fashion packing post, because I can go on for hours about packing which no one wants. I am in no way a packing expert, but I thought I would share my process and simple rules. 

What is your style? First of all I always try to continue what I learnt in 'The Curated Closet' about knowing your own style because if you get that down then everything will fall into place. If you haven't got your style down then not many things are going to go together so you will probably need more items to create an outfit. Cohesive means less I think.

What kind of holiday is it? Another obvious point is think about where you're going because there is no need to back a crop top if you're going to Iceland and you don't need a winter coat in Tenerife. This year I am lucky enough to go to Cornwall and St Andrews so I wont need a bikini but I need to appreciate our random heat waves this month. This is something to think about when you read my list as it may it is a guidline/inspiration especially if your style is different or are going somewhere particularly hot or cold. I also think about what I'm going to be doing while on holiday because this can affect our outfits me than you think. I'll be doing lots of leisurely walking in Cornwall around Nation trust properties and going to the beach which means I need to be comfortable but I don't need to go full D of E practical.
I know it sounds painfully obvious, but think how long you're going for. Think about how often you change outfits in a normal week, because many people won't wear a pair of jeans for one day and then leave them, so why do that on holiday?

Write a list.  Before I go searching for my suitcase in the spare room I will right a list. I usually form it in a day to day style, so I can see what my week will look like. I will write out what particular items I want to take like a certain top or jeans then I will plan my outfits day to day, so I don;t keep adding items endlessly hoping I can make something work when I get there.  I'm not too rigorous with this as the weather can change and I might fancy something different. I wish I can be like my Dad who can pack a few t-shirts and be done.

Leave space. Purely because it means I haven't over packed and I have space for anything I want to buy while I'm there.

So Bon Voyage!

This is a really basic list to start with. It doesn't have to be much more complex though.
Clothing. (For a week)


Denim Skirt

2 Light knits

4 tops.
(Mixture of long sleeves and short sleeves)

2 dresses.


'Nice' shoes.

My F Word.

This post comes from two things. I was seriously inspired by the book; 'The F Word' by Lily Pebbles and my best friend. Our female friends are amazing and I don't think that relationship is given enough airtime.

This mostly came from a conversation in Tesco where me and my best friend were buying snacks as usual and she joked about me writing a post about her. We laughed but the idea came came to me that I really wanted to say how much I loved that Lily Pebbles didn't just write about herself or romance, she wrote about something equally as important but is often forgotten about. The idea of a girl group  or having a best friend is clearly seen in books, films and tv shows, but can be put aside to a main romantic plot or if it is the centre theme then it tends to go along the lines of bitchiness and drama. This is not the stereotype good friends deserve. 

I thought I would tell my little story about friendships. I have always loved making friends, because I am so sociable. A friends mum once said I was the most sociable little girl she had ever met which could have been a very polite way of saying talkative, but I'll take it either way. With such a big age gap between me and my siblings I had to make friends because I didn't have a little brother or sister to play with. Mine were adults and had adult things to do, however if you include gentle sibling tormenting as playing, then yes. We played. When they weren't threatening to put me in our water barrel we did have fun. Even though she is my sister, she is basically one of my best friends as well. 
The story is short because I grew up in a village where I went to Pre-school, Primary school the Secondary School. I didn't even change when I did A-Levels, so my friendship group has stayed very similar all my life. I'm still bestfriends with people I knew at Pre-school and I'll be completely honest, I feel so lucky, because, Lily, I could not have survived without you from being cheering me up to keeping my hands warm on the way to school. Through primary school you develop your social skills and learn to spot a true friend and that is a lifelong skill. 
 And at secondary school I found my tribe so to speak. It was The friendship group and still is and it doesn't matter that we have all gone off to uni all over the country, (get ready for the soppy) because it doesn't matter how far away we are, we're still best friends. Gross, I know. However, there is nothing wrong with having different friends as we all have our own hobbies we made friendships through those. Something I have learnt is that there is no point getting jealous about other friends because their friendship does not take away from yours. I have actually made new friends by meeting my bestfriends' other friends. And although we are a solid group you do get the occasional drama, but if you're mature that you can get over it quickly or avoid it all together. Have patience and remind your friends that they are important to you every now and again, because they will always have your back. And friendship is always quality over quantity. At my secondary school there was a massive group of populars as you get at all schools, they thought they were so cool...But I lost count of how many times I over heard them saying horrible things about each other. On social media they appeared to have all the fun at their parties, but I'm pretty sure most of them couldn't stand each other. I'm not going to get into mean girls even though when you're 13 this is the worst thing ever (not to be dramatic), but this is a positive space, but I will say this; I was told that the best revenge is to live well. Just focus on your real friends. 
Starting uni can be challenging for everyone, but you're all in the same boat, so you're all trying to make new friends. I was very lucky to find my best friend on the first night of freshers week. Which makes it sound like a couples 'how they met' story, but here it is anyway. We chatted a little bit then agreed to go shopping the next day. The next day summed up is, we got lost. The first thing I learnt is that she has no sense of direction, so we walked around Sheffield talking for so long. Then we continue to talk when we got home. The conversation flowed for hours and still hasn't stopped one year on through the ups and downs uni has provided. Its amazing to think that someone has you have only known for a few months can be so important to you. But back to my previous point, my older friendships are still just as important.  And as Lily said in her book, the reward of friendship is so much greater than any friendship fall backs. 

So instead of setting girls against each other we should empower each other, because we're better together. Empowered women empower women and that is what we need right now. Its time to step up our game encourage one another, because girl power can help change the world for the better. 
 And I wanted to say thank you to all my friends who put up with me. 
Below I thought I would include some photos which aren't too embarrassing. 

The Basics. #capsulewardrobeseries

The next installment of this capsule wardrobe series is about the basics that can kick off a cohesive wardrobe. We all have those pieces that we would happily live in and go that one extra day without washing it because we're so desperate to wear it. In my last capsule wardrobe post I said I would write a something about getting the basics of a capsule wardrobe together. Before I get into it, I'd just like to point out that these are items that suit my style. In my previous posts I explained how the fantastic book, The Curated Closet, gives step by steps to really understand your own personal style and how your wardrobe works for you -- although I think these items would be great for anyone. It's so important to have feel comfortable in your own skin. If your basics are trainers and leggings, then that's great, whatever works for you.

As I'm starting with the basic, I made sure that the pictures really represent my wardrobe -- me with no make up, in a jumper and jeans. It may not be exciting, but that's what I wear. When I started planning my wardrobe, I thought about what I wear everyday and the things I feel comfy in, because I wasn't about to get rid of all my clothes and start again -- that would be expensive and wasteful. These are items that I already had that have formed the foundation for the rest of my clothes, so this is also a little nod to doing a capsule wardrobe on a budget.

Instead of going through item after item, I thought I would put them together in outfits to show why they are my basics. My casual every day outfit is a pair of jeans, a stripy t-shirt and my Converse. I love both black and blue jeans, and as I live in both and it wouldn't right to not include one. There isn't anything particularly interesting about jeans except knowing what fits. In most shops, jeans come in your usual 8s, 10s, etc., but that doesn't mean the size you usually go for will fit perfectly. I've been buying my jeans from Asos for years now so I can get my waist and leg length correct. I have the problem that so many people have: it will fit my waist but no way are they going over my bum, so I have to resort to getting a size to go over my bum, but it ends up being too big around my waist. I'm a pretty average height at 5 foot 5, which isn't tall but not short enough for petite jeans, so Asos lets you chose the length of your jeans which is one of the best things I have ever discovered in the fashion world. I no longer have the baggy ankle look and I think clothes that fit well can often look more expensive. I know Topshop do the same thing, but Asos are nearly half the price.

My Joules Harbour tee is such a weekend item, in my opinion. It encapsulates relaxing days out and having pancakes for breakfast. I can't wait to write about this gorgeous brand when I visit Cornwall next month -- it definitely suits the countryside and coastal towns of Cornwall. I don't think I could ever be without a stripey t-shirt because I don't think they will ever go out of fashion. Prints come and go, but you will never look bad in stripes. I'm adding to this outfit with my cosy grey jumper that I can wear with skirts, jeans, and cigarette trousers. I really recommend looking for jumpers in H&M because some of their jumpers are as soft as cashmere, like I said, we're on a budget! I've previously written posts about both my Converse and black Chelsea boots, so I wont bore you and repeat myself. I wear them all the time  -- that sums everything up.

My next outfit is called 'I actually want to look put together'. This outfit gives the impression that you've got your life together when you really just want to go home and watch Bake Off in your pyjamas with some chocolate. My navy cigarette trousers were in my spring favourites because I have been wearing them every week without fail. My favourite thing to pair them with is a simple white blouse and leopard print shoes, to mix the plain and interesting. The theme with my basics is that they will never go out of fashion because they are more of a style than a trend. That sounds really pretentious, but I purely go for that because it saves a lot of money.

This outfit is for those 3 day summers that we get here in England. A button up denim skirt and a classic short sleeve tshirt. I surprised myself when I wrote my list of basics because I used to wear skirts all the time. I didn't feel comfortable in trousers until I found ones that really flattered me. Trousers are much more practical when you're a busy person, however, I always need a skirt in my life. I keep to plain, A-line skirts that come in at my waist and skim over my thighs. In the summer, I live in a denim skirt, which were really popular a few years ago. I'm not ready to let it go yet because I think it has gone from a trend piece to something a lot of people own -- probably because it goes with so many things and denim can take a little wear. It can often improve the look, so we're not held back at any point. I included this skirt over the others because, apart from a couple of dresses, it is my most worn item in the sunshine and since we had a ridiculous heat wave last week, I remembered how much I love it. I loved the heat wave until I had to go to work, because I have never resented wearing trousers more in my life. Also, getting a classic dress that you can pull out whenever is the best thing! In the future I'm going to do a post about formal dressing with a capsule wardrobe.

I hope this post has given you a little idea of how to start off and build on what you've already got. There's no need to spend a lot on these items so I like to shop at Asos, H&M, Joules and Primark. You can pick and choose where you spend more money, depending on your day to day life. For example, I'm quite happy with £3.50 t-shirts from Primark, but I do like to spend more money on my jeans, so they fit really well.

I thought I would include a list to make the items clear if you feel inspired:

  • Black/blue jeans
  • Grey jumper
  • Denim skirt
  • T-shirt
  • Converse
  • Black boots
  • White shirt
  • Striped t-shirt
  • Classic dress

My Brow story.

I thought this week I would do a little story time. I started talking about my brows in last weeks post when telling you all about my current favourite brow product, but we will get to that later, and it got me thinking about my brow evolution. And how I got the point of today where I like them.

So many of us can relate to feeling like we should do something to our brows and maybe we should do less as the in the last 8 years or so brows have really become a 'thing'. Like everything else brow stles have come in and out of fashion from the leave them alone bushing to the drawn on line. I'm sure each had their good points, but we have all seen that person who took it too far. But then again scouse brow as I have heard been called is a 'look'. Most people have a complex relationship with theirs brows especially when we look back at old photos and think why did we do that?! I think our brow thoughts have intensified buy the beauty industry who have filled the market with products over the past few years to saturation point. There are products everywhere now that didn't even exist 10 years ago. 

My story starts out like my people's; I had no thoughts about my eyebrows as a child. Why would I? But then as I grew into a teenager I started to notice that lots of girls were doing stuff their eyebrows like plucking or filling them in and as a naive girl I thought I should join the crowd. It was either year 7 or 8 that I found some tweezers and went to work and basically had Angus Thongs and perfect snogging moment. (Where she accidentally shaves half of it off). It wasn't that bad but I remember trying to get this one hair and failed to notice that I was taking more and more hairs out. It looked terrible. 
Instead of helping me or explaining what to do next time because I was only 11 so how was I supposed to know anyway, the people around me made sure I felt extremely embarrassed and miserable about the situation, so I didn't touch my eyebrows for 7 years! Apart from brushing them so they were neat and filling in the sparse areas for a presentable look. Luckily bushy brows have been in thanks to people like Cara Delevingne and Amelia Clarke, but those little hairs still annoyed me. Luckily my best friend is an export on the whole plucking brows thing and went to work on mine. After she finished one she said 'now I know what I'm doing' which made me laugh so much, because that is not something you say to someone as you pluck their eyebrows. She just meant that was getting used to someone else'es brows, but it was funny no the less. 

The ulimate brow product that topped all others is the Benefit Foolproof brows and it does what is says on the tin. It is a natural looking powder with two shades so you can get the perfect shade for your brows. The best thing about Benefit is that you can take a quiz on their website so if you really don't know where to start with the millions of brow products you can answer questions about your current brows and what you want them to look like. They will tell you what you need and also have a really fun virtual brow try on which is so helpful and funny to do at the same time. My brow routine after plucking now consists of brushing them through then using a really the Benefit brown brow powder to gently fill in any sparse areas as I found pencils look way too strong on me. Its another situation where less is more

The transformation is complete and I am so happy with my eyebrows, so please learn from me.
Don't feel pressured to touch your eyebrows because everyone else is doing it. You probably have great eyebrows. I know my sister never needs to touch hers because they are naturally good. 

And if you do want to change them then get someone else to do who knows what they are doing. Skip the embarrassing part and go straight to having good eyebrows. Its more fun that way.