Are Words Dying Out?

Are Words Dying Out?

Photography by Ell Field.

I’m back today with a more ‘thoughtful’ post (i.e writing about something that’s been on my mind that has nothing/very little to do with the photos I share alongside it). These types of posts, as opposed to posts about fashion and style, tend to be my favourite ones to write and tend to be received the best upon sharing so you’ll probably be seeing much more of them on my blog. I’ve even created a new category to my blog called ‘Thoughts & Musings’ to allow myself this space on my blog, so do head over there after reading this post to read more of these types of posts. Also, final sort-of disclaimer before starting the post, you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting on my blog as much recently, which isn’t down to lack of wanting to do so but a lack of time as I have been working A LOT. For now, my aim is to get up a blog post once a week on Sunday evenings but don’t be surprised to see an extra post up (probably on Wednesdays or Fridays) on the weeks when I’m working a little bit less.

Anyway, let’s move on to the discussion point of this post, something that’s very close to my heart, words. I’ve always been a reader and a writer, both in and out of school. As an English Literature student, I spend most of my time doing these two things during the academic year and as an avid reader and someone with a blog, I spend most of my free time doing the same two things. I simply love words (hence the name of this blog), whether I’m reading them or writing them. But in an age where most of our communication and entertainment is in the format of  photos, videos and even voice-notes, are words simply unnecessary? As you can probably guess, I’d argue against this and although I love Instagram, Netflix and Snapchat as much as the next person, I get the most satisfaction through reading something that is above the 140 character (or is it 280 characters now?) limit and writing something longer than an Instagram caption.

Are Words Dying Out?

This post isn’t designed to be an insult to anyone who doesn’t enjoy reading or writing because not everyone does, and I’m not going to act all high and mighty just because I do! To my shame, I’m really not interested in anything remotely science-y and I even find Blue Planet (maybe stop reading now if you’re a big fan) pretty boring. Everyone has different interests and they’re definitely not always as simple as preferring English to Maths or History to Science but sometimes people simply do not like reading or writing and that is fine. The problem today, in my opinion, is that many people don’t know whether they do or not because today’s fast-moving, visual-orientated society doesn’t give them a chance to find out. When I was listening to The High-Low podcast the other day (10/10 would recommend), someone sent a question in asking about how to improve their attention span in order to be able to read for longer, worried that social media had essentially shrunken theirs. The discussion that ensued following this was so interesting. Pandora and Dolly discussed how social media essentially provides quick-fixes to everything, allowing you to consume so much varied information in one go, which is perhaps why the ‘task’ of reading one book that is on one topic sounds like too much and boring for many people. After this, they thankfully assured their readers that it is impossible for our attention spans to ‘shrink’ and that, with practice, almost anyone can become an attentive reader. Despite this, it is still interesting to think about how social media is changing our habits and our ways of thinking.

Even as someone who loves to read I still find myself reaching for my phone rather than a book 90% of the time, a habit that I’m trying to change, and skipping through articles to the ‘important bit’ and ignoring most of what has been written. I think this is part of the way modern life is becoming more and more fast-paced and social media is obviously becoming such a big part of it. Since starting my blog I’ve found that I’m on my phone even more now but, because I use social media to promote and go alongside my blog, I can kind of count it as being productive. And it is a lot more productive and positive than it used to be, but I know that turning to a book or an article would be much more beneficial for my brain and my mental health than scrolling through Instagram for the 20th time that day.

Are Words Dying Out?

Finally, I wanted to discuss how the gradual death of words is affecting blogging. I only started my blog a few months ago but it’s already clear to me that people would rather scroll through my Instagram than scroll through my blog, which is fine because scrolling through my Instagram is less time-consuming and probably a quicker way to get to know me and see what I’ve been up to. Does this mean that blogs are going extinct? I don’t think so. I think/hope that there will always be people who love to gobble up words as much as I do and therefore blogs will always be able to survive through them, if not on such a large scale as photos do on Instagram. I think there is an element of compromising as well because putting a blog post up without photos is pretty much a no-go, which is saying something in itself. This can sometimes be annoying for me because sometimes I want to discuss something and don’t have the photos to go with it but I also understand this need for a visual aid and enjoy it myself. I compromise with this by just adding photos to a blog post that are, more often than not, unrelated to the topics that I’m discussing. And this seems to go down with readers of this blog just fine!

So until words truly do die a death, which I know the book-lovers of the world would never allow to happen anyway, I will continue writing on this blog, whether anyone reads it or not! And if you are someone who likes reading or writing but perhaps has fallen out of it, there’s no time quite like the present to start again- you could even take a look at my blog post on the best holiday reads for some reading inspiration! I’d love to hear your thoughts on how social media is affecting our reading and writing habits and maybe even some ways to ensure that you still get your dose of words in the comments or on social media.

Are Words Dying Out?

Are Words Dying Out?

Are Words Dying Out?

Top- Topshop

Skirt- Topshop

Shoes- Topshop

(yes, I really like Topshop)

Bag- ASOS

June 2018 Favourites

June 2018 Favourites

I thought I’d share some things that I’ve been loving throughout June and maybe make this a monthly thing. Quite a few of these things I mention I actually started using in May but have grown to love throughout June. Also, just a quick disclaimer, this bag is not one of my favourites as I only bought it last week but I just thought it made a cool background. So, with that, here are my favourites from the month of June:

June 2018 Favourites

1. My Burberry Perfume

I recently rediscovered this perfume after getting home from UNI and having a big clear out. I knew I still had it’s box but I thought the perfume was long gone so I was really excited to discover that I had half the bottle left. I’ve been using it a lot recently and, although it reminds me of the winter a bit because it was a Christmas present, it’s definitely a classic scent that can be worn at any time of the year. And I really like the packaging too, which is always important.

June 2018 Favourites

2. Francessca Woodman

When my friend Maisie came to visit for a day out in Liverpool, we went to an exhibition on the phtoography of Francessca Wooodman at the Tate Liverpool and it was incredible. I’d never heard of Woodman beforehand but I’ve become obsessed with her work ever since this exhibition. Her photography is all black and white and shot on film so it’s provided me with a lot of inspiration and I’m definitely hoping to shoot on black and white film soon! There are a lot of elements of fashion photography in her work which I really like as well. You should definitely take a look at her work if you haven’t already and, if you’re in the Liverpool area, go to the exhibition at the Tate!

June 2018 Favourites

3. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

I bought this on the plane on the way to Corfu and I’ve been loving it so much. Going to bed often makes me feel really anxious because nighttime is when many of my more panicky moments have come on. So a really relaxing bedtime routine is essential for me. I’ve been using essential oils all year to help me sleep and have wanted to invest in this sleep spray for a while now but the price tag put me off, so buying it duty-free felt like the best time to do so. It has really helped me sleep and the ritual in itself makes me feel relaxed so it was definitely worth spending the money on. I didn’t really like the smell at first but it’s definitely grown on me and I really like having a smell that I associate with sleep and relaxation.

June 2018 Favourites

4. Le Specs Sunglasses

These sunglasses have been another rediscovery of mine as I bought them over 3 years ago now and haven’t worn them for the past couple of summers. But they’re my only pair of black sunglasses and probably my biggest pair too so they’re really great for those days when I don’t want anyone to see my face. The lenses are also much more protective from the sun than some of my other pairs which means they’re perfect for sunbathing, so I’ve been wearing them 24/7 on holiday and during this heatwave.

June 2018 Favourites

5. Missha SPF

I bought this spf for my holiday as the SPF I use throughout the year is only SPF30 and it isn’t waterproof, so it wasn’t really going to work for a beach/pool holiday in a hot country. This one is SPF45 and totally waterproof, smells really nice and doesn’t do any damage to my oily, acne-prone skin. I am so impressed by it! When I was in Corfu, sunbathing and swimming in 30 degree heat all day, I only applied it twice a day and my face didn’t burn once, which is a bit of a miracle as I always seem to burn my face on holiday! This brand is actually a Korean one and has definitely got me thinking about buying more Korean skincare products as this one is seriously amazing.

June 2018 Favourites

6. Alex Monroe Necklace

This necklace has been a firm favourite throughout the month of June. I picked it up at a sample sale Alex Monroe held at Foundation Coffee in Manchester for an absolute steal of £25. I’m trying to invest in my necklaces more as I wear them every day which means necklaces that aren’t real gold fade so easily. This is the start of this investing and a good one if I do say so myself!

Let me know if you enjoy these types of posts and if you’d like to see more! This will be my last blog post until next Friday now as this Friday I’m heading to Barcelona for 5 days and really want to make the most of my time there. Plus, I’m currently working pretty much full-time so there isn’t as much time for me to write blog posts! But I’ll be posting even more than normal over on Instagram because I love a good holiday photo, so see you over there!

 

 

Why I Love Film Photography

Why I Love Film Photography

Film photography is something I got into a couple of years ago and I absolutely adore it. There’s nothing quite like dropping a roll of film off somewhere and feeling the excitement (and the fear that the camera shop will mess it up) of getting it back to see all these photos and memories. In a digital age where you can get most things with the click of your finger and make everything look perfect, there’s something so refreshing about having to wait for your photos and not being able to agonise over them during and after taking them.

People often find the fact I use a film camera very strange, with questions on it ranging from ‘who still uses film?’ and ‘what’s the point?’ I’m hoping this blog post will show those of you who are little skeptical about film how great it is and maybe even convince you to give it a go yourself. After going through multiple disposable cameras and loving the photos I took from them (and the novelty of having printed out photos) I decided it might be time to move on to a film camera because, not only is it cheaper than buying multiple disposable cameras but the photo quality is obviously better too. I asked for any old film camera for Christmas from my parents, after my researching came to no avail, and ended up with one that, looking back on it now, was actually pretty good- good job Mum! If you’re wondering it was the Olympus Superzoom 700XB- it lasted me about a year and I got some great photos with it, but it unfortunately broke after that just as I arrived in Rome, which I was absolutely gutted about as I was so excited for the photos  I was going to take on that trip. That is probably the worse thing about film photography, how unreliable it can be. Film cameras are no longer being made so you’re always going to be using a second-hand camera which means they are prone to breakages. This is something that comes part and parcel with all the good things about film photography and I still think it’s worth it. After all (most of) the cameras aren’t expensive, (I’ve spent as little as £10 on one and as much as £40 on another) this one in particular cost around £25 I think. And these little mishaps make getting amazing photos even more exciting.

After this I gave up on film for a few months, not intentionally but because I never got round to buying a new camera. When I did, I bought one for £10 off Depop (the Praktica G8000 autofocus). I only managed to get one roll of film out of this camera because the second roll I took came back blank, which I was so sad about (I might have cried a little bit). I’m not sure if this was my fault or the fault of the camera but to avoid it happening again and because I wanted a better camera anyway, I bought the Olympus MJU II Zoom 170 (what a mouthful). I paid £40 for this camera off eBay, making it the most expensive one yet, but you can definitely see the price difference in the picture quality. For reference, you can see some photos I took on my Praktica camera in this blog post from my trip to Berlin and photos I took on the Olympus camera in this blog post from Corfu and this one with lots of random photos. I’ve been loving using my new camera and, since buying it 2 months ago, I’ve already gone through 2 rolls of 36 exposure film, which is a lot for me!

Why I Love Film Photography

Anyway enough about the quality and the cameras, I want to talk about why I go through all of the trauma involved with film (broken cameras, empty rolls etc.) and why I love it despite and because of these aspects. As I mentioned, shooting on film just feels so refreshing. Having printed out photos (and seeing them before you see them on a phone screen) is such a novelty and something that will always make me feel so happy. I actually started putting them all in scrapbooks last year which I know will be amazing to look back on- note to self: must continue with that soon. The spontaneity of taking photos with a film camera is another reason why I love it. Whether I’m taking a photo of a scenery, friends or someone else is taking a photo of me, it feels so good to take the photo and leave it at that, with no feelings of dissatisfaction because you have no idea what the photo looks like. By the time I get the photos developed I’ve usually forgot about most of the photos I took as well and they always come as such a nice surprise, both because of the memories and how the photos actually look. Which takes me to the main reason I love film, and the reason I think why most people shoot on film, how the photos look! A film photo is so distinguishable in my opinion and I can’t even describe why I love the way it looks so much apart from saying that it looks real. I don’t know if this makes any sense but photos taken using film always feel so authentic and that’s what I probably love about them the most!

People are definitely starting to appreciate film photography more and more and if you’re thinking about getting a film camera, I’d definitely recommend doing so! They’re all easy to use and you could always start with a cheaper one if you’re not sure if it’s something you’ll carry on with. One thing I will mention is the expenses involved in getting photos developed, which are steep. It ranges from about £10-£15 to get a roll of film developed (if you want them on a CD and the prints) which is why, up until now, I’ve only shot maximum of 5 rolls a year. But now I’m coming to realise just how much I love film photography, I’m hoping to start doing it more frequently. Because £10 a month doesn’t seem like that much for photos I love and will (hopefully) cherish forever.

The photos here are ones that were on the same roll of film as my Corfu pictures and I thought this would be the perfect way to share them. All of these photos came out so well from the quality to the colours and they’re some of my favourites because of that and the moments they capture. I hope this blog post has inspired you to order a film camera and I hope you’re enjoying my film content as I’m hoping there’s going to be a lot more of it! If you’re looking for more film content definitely check out Lizzy’s blog Shot From The Street. She is the queen of film photography and is consistently creating some incredible content with film, always inspiring me. Let me know in the comments or over on social media if you have any questions about shooting on film (although I’m definitely no expert) or if there’s anything specific you’d like to see on my blog film-wise!

Why I Love Film Photography

Why I Love Film Photography

Why I Love Film Photography

Why I Love Film Photography

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Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

I’ve now officially finished my first year of university which is a very weird feeling as this year has flown by and it doesn’t seem so long ago that I was moving into my little room in halls. This year has brought lots of ups and downs but, looking back on it, I know I definitely made the right decision with what I chose to study and the university I chose to study at and I have had a really good experience. So I thought I’d talk a little bit about the best and the worst parts of my first year at UNI, what I’ve learnt (other than the fact that there’s only so many Jane Austen books you can read until you begin to want to bang your head against a wall every time you turn a page) and how I feel different since last September. I wasn’t sure about the cliche that university is ‘the best years of your life’ back in November when my mental health was at a low, but I really do feel now that first year truly has been one of the best years of my life, because of it’s difficult times and the things I’ve learnt from them and, of course, because of all the people I’ve met, the things I’ve done and the books I’ve read. The photos included are taken in my favourite area of Manchester, the Northern Quarter, with some of Manchester’s signature graffiti, which I thought were apt for this post.

Freshers week was a weird one for me, as it probably is for everyone, but, really, it felt like freshers lasted for the first two months of university and they were probably two of the best. The novelty of being in a new city and constantly meeting new people was great and any sense of homesickness hadn’t really kicked in yet so I was really able to soak everything up in a positive way. I was also really excited about my course as, at this point, it essentially just consisted of reading lots of fiction, listening to people talk about it, and discussing it, which really didn’t feel like work to me.

November and December were probably the shakiest periods of my university experience, as I spent most of my time writing essays and less time socialising and the homesickness really started to kick in. It was difficult but it also taught me how to be resilient by myself and, although it didn’t feel like it at the time, helped me to become more independent. It was also a time where a lot of the foundations of my current friendships were set, despite everything that was going on in my head, so, really, it was an important period of university for me. And, of course, it was Christmas, my favourite time of the year, which meant making the most of everything Manchester’s Christmas scene has to offer from the Christmas Markets to seeing ‘Nativity!’ at The Palace (a highlight of my year- truly a masterpiece.)

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

After some much-needed time at home with my family and a couple of weeks of revision, I went back to UNI feeling much better about myself in January and one of the first things I did was sign myself up to the university’s counselling service, which helped me immensely and allowed me to enjoy semester two so much more than semester one whilst being in a really good mental place. Whereas the first semester’s socialising activities consisted mostly of going out and drinking, I was now socialising in lots of different ways too, which was definitely a really positive thing. With the strike period during February and March came a period of uneasiness as there was nothing forcing me to leave my room and see people but it also allowed me to socialise at different times meaning I could do different things, get some extra hours at work (I worked as a Secondary English Tutor at high schools around Manchester for pretty much the whole year) and spend some more time on my extra-curricular activities, which is when this blog started coming into the works.

The post-strike period is a bit of a blur to be honest but I think it mostly consisted off doing lots of reading, writing essays and spending time with friends and then, before I knew it, I was back home for Easter for a few weeks. This was the period when I actually started my blog and since then, I’ve been feeling constantly inspired, if also constantly busy. I went back to UNI for a few weeks and juggled probably the most work I’ve had all year with essays to write, exams looming, lots of extra tutoring hours and writing for my blog 3 times a week but I feel like I managed pretty well and the fact that I was feeling a lot more content in myself and with the people and places around me definitely helped me to de-stress. I then spent a week in Corfu, which I won’t go on about because social media has definitely seen enough of that trip, came back to sit my exam and before I knew it it was my final week of first year. This week feels like it was the best yet because Love Island started. No, I’m joking it wasn’t because of that although watching Love Island with my friends in eachother’s rooms was definitely a highlight of the week and it really was the best week of first year for me. I spent the entire week with my friends and finished it off by going to Parklife, which was one of my favourite weekends and festivals in so long. I said it on my Instagram but it was the best way to end my first year at UNI because it was so much fun. But also because drinking and ‘partying’ are things that usually make me feel very anxious but it was a totally anxiety-free weekend, which made me feel so happy and proud of myself. The fact that my first year ended in the best way possible makes me feel so optimistic for the rest of my time at UNI.

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

I’m home now and have been for a couple of weeks and I’m already missing my friends and university generally. Although I’m definitely going to make the most of this summer, I have a new job that I’m loving and have some plans to go away, it’s such a nice feeling to know I’m already looking forward to going back to UNI in September because 7 months ago I couldn’t have imagined myself feeling this way. I absolutely love studying English Literature, feel so lucky to have met some amazing people and Manchester is such a vibrant and exciting place to be (even if Liverpool will always have my heart). I’ve learnt so much about myself this year, mostly how obsessed I am with working hard and being busy which, although does carry some negativity which I’m trying to let go of, has made this year very worthwhile and meant I truly have got lots of shit done. With this though, I’ve realised that grades don’t mean everything and have made myself busy in lots of areas of my life, not just UNI, thanks to the reassuring mantra of the student, ‘first year doesn’t count’. This has allowed me to expand myself in lots of different ways but has also improved my mental health so much and I’m now in the best place I’ve been in a long, long time.

I’m sure the next two years of university will fly by and so I’m determined to make the most of them in every way. I’d especially like to take advantage of all the wonderful things Manchester has to offer next year as one thing I haven’t done enough during first year is explore the city. But, as I said, I have a few months till I’ll be back- living in a house not halls (yay!)- so I’m putting that to one side for now so I can enjoy my summer. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I’d love to hear about your university experiences in the comments!

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Top- New Look

Jeans- COW Vintage

Shoes- Primark (bought in the last 2 months so should still be available in store)

Bag- ASOS

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Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

I’m back today with the last of my photos from my trip to Corfu, which I’m feeling happy about because, to be totally honest, I’m getting a bit sick of them, so I’m sure you are too! But I do love this outfit and this dress, which you might have also seen on my post about dressing for yourself. Here, it’s styled a little bit (read, a lot) differently in a much more feminine, formal way. It’s probably the most ‘dressed up’ outfit I wore in Corfu and editing and looking through these photos made me think about dressing up and why I’ve perhaps done it less over the years. I came to the conclusion that the reason this is the case is because I am, in fact, most comfortable when my clothes feel comfortable (makes sense right?). But sometimes dressing up is necessary and I do really enjoy it when I’ve got the right outfit. So in today’s post, I’m going to give you some tips on formal dressing if, like me, your clothes being physically comfortable is something you’re rarely willing to give up, based on how I’ve styled this outfit.

1. Ditch the High Heels

It honestly baffles me how and why people still wear high heels. I mean, no disrespect, in fact I have a lot of respect for people who were high heels regularly because HOW? For about a 2-3 year period, I would wear high heels every single weekend (and when I say high, I mean anything ranging from 4-6 inches) but I feel like I’ve well and truly got that out my system because now I avoid them like the plague. I have very wide and blister-prone feet so high heels and I just don’t go together and whenever I did used to wear them, my nights would often be ruined by ridiculous amounts of pain and, if they weren’t, the next day 100% would be.

So, my tip is to simply ditch the high heels. I don’t think I’ve worn any in well over a year and I can vouch for the fact that nights out, and any occasion where I would otherwise wear them, are much better now. You don’t have to be tall to wear flats (I’m 5″4) and people care about whats on your feet a lot less than you think. Alternatively, try a pretty flat shoe, maybe something pointed to make it a little bit formal or something with a slingback. Those types of shoes are appropriate for most occasions and all-year round. If you would feel better wearing a little bit of a heel, go for a heeled boot with a platform in the winter for less formal occasions- these are much comfier than any type of court shoe. In the summer, sandals with a small chunky heel (just like the ones I’m wearing in this photo) are formal, comfy and season-appropriate so you can’t really ask for more! I’m also a fan of (controversial opinion ahead) the Mary-Jane and my patent, slightly heeled pair have been a great, comfortable replacement for heels (I wore them in this post here).

Here are some examples of the shoes that are available to buy:

The Pointed Slingback:

This Red Mango Pair (£15)

This Gold ASOS Pair (£14)

This Simple Black ModCloth Pair (£22)

The Heeled Boot:

This Black Velvet MissGuided Pair That I Already Own (£17)

This Red Faith Pair (£41.30)

This Boohoo Thigh High Pair (£38)

The Heeled Sandal:

My Topshop Sandals (£29)

The Mary-Jane:

This Office Pair That Are Very Similar To My Old ASOS Pair (£32)

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

2. The Humble Slip Dress

I truly believe that the slip dress is a comfort lover’s ultimate wardrobe piece, it’s certainly mine! Not only are they so versatile and can be dressed up and down for so many different occasions and seasons but they’re just about the comfiest style of dress ever. They usually don’t require a bra, even for bigger boobs because the style of dress isn’t figure hugging whatsoever and you can eat as much as you want in them without having to undo any buttons and without anyone seeing your lovely full belly- they honestly feel like wearing a socially acceptable nightie. Have I sold you on them? I hope so!

I usually go for a mini slip dress worn with any of the aforementioned shoes, which always makes a great and simple outfit for a night out. But here I’m obviously wearing one with more of a midi length, a first for me! I think the midi length makes the outfit even more formal and I think this polka dot number might even be wedding-appropriate. I can’t recommend slip dresses to you enough if you’re all about being comfortable at more formal events, and especially if you’re number-one wedding/event activity is raiding the buffet table!

Here are some of my favourites:

This Sequin Mini For All Of Your Partying Needs (£36)

This Sexy Satin Midi For Your More Formal Events (£32)

For some reason the dress I’m wearing in these photos isn’t and never has been on the Zara website but for other polka dot midi slip dresses see here, here and here.

3. It’s All In The Accessories

I wear gold jewellery with pretty much all of my outfits. Namely, I’m always wearing gold layered necklaces. I think they add something interesting to every outfit but they’re especially great for making an outfit more formal. By co-ordinating my gold necklaces with the gold hardware on my shoes in this outfit, it just looks like I’ve put that little bit more effort in and ties the outfit together. I also think hoop earrings are a great way to dress up an outfit although my lobe piercings are still recovering from having them pierced in March (yes that was 3 months ago and no I’m not happy about how slow my ears are recovering) so I couldn’t wear mine with this outfit although I do have a beautiful Anthropolige pair waiting for me.

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

A bag can also make an outfit more formal and interesting but, due to limited space in my suitcase and a comparatively poor bag collection, I just stuck with this plain black over the shoulder bag. Although worn as a clutch it probably would have looked much more formal. Clutches aren’t really my thing though as they’re endlessly impractical and so instead, maybe try a bag that co-ordinates with your jewellery (i.e. a gold or silver one) or a beaded bag.

Some Gold Jewellery I Have My Eye On/Own*:

This Lucy Williams X Missoma Fang Choker (£95)

This Lucy Williams X Missoma Beaded Coin Necklace (£145)

This Alex Monroe Bunny Necklace (£135)

These Anthropologie Gold Hoop Earrings (£38)

Some Formal Bags That Aren’t Clutches:

This Zara Black Beaded Bag (£29.99)

This Anthropologie Sparkly Metallic Bag (£48.95)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that it’s been helpful! Formal dressing can be one of the most difficult styling tasks so I hope I’ve provided you with some ways to make it easier and, most importantly, more comfortable. I’ll see you on Sunday with a new post with some photos that aren’t from Corfu (can you believe it?) but until then, you can find me on Instagram where I’m active on a daily basis @aliceporter16.

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

 

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Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

Today I want to talk a little bit about the difference between copying and inspiration because there’s definitely a fine line between the two. This fine line can often be the reason why people are scared to take inspiration from people, especially in the age of social media where everyone is free to scrutinise and criticise your actions from behind the protection of their computer screen. I often see bloggers and vloggers with a  bigger following complain about people copying their ideas and I can imagine that this is so infuriating. If I were to create a series on YouTube, for example, and put hard work into the logistics behind it for someone else to totally steal the idea without any acknowledgement of it being mine, I can’t even imagine how I’d feel. But that is straight-up copying. You can’t really view it any other way. But if, continuing with this example, said copier was to acknowledge that they took the idea from me (this is totally hypothetical by the way, I don’t even make YouTube videos), would that be taking inspiration rather than copying? See what I said about the fine line?

The photos included with this post are actually what gave me the idea for the topic of discussion because I was very much inspired to create this outfit by the blogger, Samantha Maria, someone who I always find myself taking inspiration from as I have spoken about before in my post on styling red and pink. I saw her wear a similar outfit during her trip to Dubai- you can see how she styled the outfit here. Because I put together this outfit based on the inspiration I took from Sammi and because the outfits are similar, I thought this would be an interesting sort of ‘case study’ to dissect the differences between taking inspiration and copying stylistically.

Comparing my outfit to Sammi’s, they look extremely similar. You might be surprised that I’m actually wearing totally different pieces by different brands to Sammi. But I think even if I was wearing the exact top and skirt as her, this still wouldn’t necessarily be a case of copying. I think that’s because I’ve styled the outfit to make it my own.

Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

Sammi’s outfit very much gives me ‘summer in the city’ vibes, whereas mine, I think, is much more ‘summer on the beach’. This, in part is to do with the locations that we both wore these outfits in but it was also a conscious decision on my behalf to wear this outfit on holiday so I could change it up from hers a little bit. I also think the colour schemes of the outfit are significantly different considering we’re both wearing black and white polka dots and denim. Sammi has gone for a monochrome colour scheme whereas I have added some colour into my outfit. I mainly did so because monochrome isn’t really my style. Another way in which I made my outfit my own is by using a natural brown coloured straw bag rather than a black one, as Sammi did. Again, this was to ensure it had those summer holiday vibes and to change up the colours of the outfit a little bit. Styling my hair in a loose bun rather than in a messy ponytail and hoop earrings also changed the outfit to one that is a little bit more relaxed and holiday appropriate.

‘Making it your own’ is probably the second most important thing in order to cross the line from copying to taking inspiration, the first most important thing being acknowledging the original source of inspiration. Acknowledging that you’ve taken inspiration from someone removes any tension from the situation and, usually, is flattering for the person who has inspired you. People who copy usually are trying to make something that is someone else’s look like their own, so by acknowledging that this thing, whether it’s an outfit idea or anything else, isn’t your own, you remove yourself from that category, in my opinion.

Taking inspiration is such an important thing for me creatively whether that’s for my blog design, photography or, usually, my style. I’ve recently got very into Pinterest and it has been providing me with so much inspiration that hopefully will help to improve my blog content! I have boards for inspiration for each season of the year, a moodboard, a board of imagery that I love and one for photography inspiration (that mostly consists of Francessca Woodman’s photos after seeing an exhibition on her work at the weekend). So far, it’s been really positive for me creatively and is also a really good way of pinpointing (see what I did there?) where I’m taking inspiration from so I can go back there for more. If you’re interested in seeing what’s inspiring me, you can take a look at my Pinterest page here!

Copying VS. Inspiration

I hope this post has showed you how beneficial taking inspiration from others can be and maybe helped you to figure out how to do so in a positive way for everyone involved! Sammi actually shared a photo of this outfit from Instagram on her stories as part of her #sammisstylediaries which was really nice because it kind of proves that you can be directly and obviously inspired by someone without causing offence and maybe even flatter them in the process.

I really recommend following Sammi (I mean, if you aren’t already) because she is killing it this year, especially on YouTube! Here are some links to her different platforms:

Sammi’s Blog

Sammi’s Instagram

Sammi’s Youtube

 

Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

 

Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

Top- ASOS  (limited stock, Sammi’s Topshop version is here)

Skirt- Pull & Bear (old, similar here)

Bag- Zara

Shoes- Mango

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Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

This outfit is probably my favourite out of all of the outfits I wore in Corfu so I’m really excited to finally share it on my blog. Sorry if you feel as though I’m dragging the holiday content on a little bit but I’ve had a busy few weeks since I got back and so didn’t have time to share the blog posts all at once but I do want to share all of the blog posts I planned because I like how the photos have come out for the most part! But I promise there’s only one more week of content from Corfu coming up. Although, I have just booked a trip to Barcelona in 3 weeks so there will be more holiday content before you know it.

Anyway, as mentioned this happens to be one of my favourite outfits I wore in Corfu and I’m so happy with how the photos have come out. I was actually expecting this to be my least favourite outfit from the trip seeing as it’s the most basic, just a t-shirt and a skirt. But maybe that’s just what I feel most myself in? I’m also a big fan of colour co-ordination, as you might be able to tell from past outfits I have shared, and baby blue is one of my favourite colours to wear so it’s unsurprising how much I love it.

I think the main reason I’m so happy with these photos is the location. Luckily, the hotel we stayed in in Corfu (Gretocel Eva Palace) was so beautiful and had a pastel colour palette of dreams. This particular location was on my route from the beach to my hotel room every day and I was eyeing it up for a while before I took these photos here. Pinky/peachy walls, which are a common feature of Corfu’s architecture, along with white railing, wicker chairs and a bit of greenery are my idea of an aesthetic dream and made me feel like I was on the French Riviera during the 1950s. The setting actually feels reminiscent of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is The Night which, although I personally think is painful plot-wise, provides some beautiful imagery of the south of France in the 1920s.

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Speaking of France, you may have noticed the slogan on my top, of which I have dedicated this blog post to, is in French. It’s one I picked up from & Other Stories, as you might have seen in my blog post on the new bits in my wardrobe, that I was immediately attracted to because I am always a lover of white T-shirts, anything baby blue and the French language. I obviously had to google translate the writing in the changing rooms to ensure it didn’t say something like ‘Pizza is life’ and was pretty pleased to find out it translated to ‘Sunset Boulevard’ as I think that’s pretty non-offensive and maybe even a little bit cool? The French language has always been something I’ve wanted to learn as I’m fascinated by it and the culture of France, you might even call me a Francophile! Although my GCSE in French put me off a little bit (2 hours straight weekly of copying from a textbook and equally painstakingly boring tasks was far from enjoyable), it’s always been a goal of mine to have a decent understanding of the language. Not only is the language in itself beautifully romantic (a cliche but one that holds lots of truth) but I would love to live in France one day, not forever but for a few months or a year or so and so obviously knowing the language would be necessary. Apart from said GCSE French and inevitably failed attempts to complete DuoLingo, my French language skills don’t go very far. Maybe (hopefully) this will be the year when I take this goal of mine a little bit more seriously and attend some real-life classes or something like that. Let me know if you’ve ever learnt a language independently or in an unconventional way (i.e. not as part of your full-time education) and if you have any tips for doing so as I’d love to hear them!

France seems like such an inspiring place to be creatively and I think spending an extended period of time there, namely in Paris, would be so good for me. It’s something I really hope I’m able to do when I finish university. I have considered a year abroad but if I was to live there I’d want to dedicate most of my time to being creative in ways that don’t involve my degree so I’ve ruled that out. But I hope I’m able to live out this dream one day, learning the language would certainly be a good start!

Anyway I thought everything in these photos came together quite nicely, from the French slogan tee with the Riviera esq location, to the vintage style sunglasses and skirt with the old-fashioned feel colours and style of this part of the hotel. I’m now off to play, if you can call it that, on DuoLingo in hopes of fulfilling my Parisian dreams!

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Top- & Other Stories

Skirt- Topshop (it’s now £15 in the sale!)

Bag- Zara

Sunglasses- Primark (similar here)

Shoes- New Look (old)

 

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The Best Holiday Reads

The Best Holiday Reads

I’m back with a bit of a different post today, although it is the type of post that I was planning on writing a lot about on my blog, a post about books. As I’ve just been on holiday (did I mention that I went to Corfu?) and it’s summer holiday season, I thought I would create a post with my holiday reading recommendations. I don’t know about you, but when I go on a beach/pool holiday, I spend 80% of my time during the day reading (the other 20% is spent eating and sleeping) and so I’m always prepared with lots of books. I find it a little bit scary taking books on holiday because I’m always worried that I won’t like a book but will have to carry on reading it or, even worse, won’t have anything to read at all. If you feel the same way, this post might be useful in providing you some trustworthy recommendations so you’re not left in this position. My recommendations are split up into three sections, each with some books that I’ve already read. I hope you find this post helpful and be sure to let me know if you’d like to hear more about my opinion on any of the books or, if you live near me, if you’d like to borrow one of the books from me! Here are my categories…

1. The Page-Turner

This category is probably the one that most people’s holiday book of choice falls into. Page-turners are easy-going, addictive and offer some serious escapism, which is perfect for a relaxing holiday where you’re going to be spending a lot of time reading. I always bring book like this on holiday with me because I tend to read more ‘serious’ and ‘literary’ books throughout the year. I’m very aware that this sounds snobby but I can assure you it’s not at all. I HATE book snobbery and people who refuse to consider any book as worthy if it hasn’t been nominated for a Man Booker or was published post-20th century because I think, not only is this attitude offensive to those who read these books and, in many ways, inherently classist, but there’s nothing wrong with reading a book purely for entertainment purposes and nothing else. Plus, these books are often interesting analytically and contextually because of their genre. Anyway, that was quite a tangent. But yes, I always read a book like this on holiday because I do tend to reach for more literary books throughout the year because they’re usually the ones that have been on my reading list for the longest and I’m really eager to read and because my reading time is limited during the year, I really have to narrow down my choices. Anyway, here are some of my favourite page-turners to devour on holiday this year:

My Number One Choice- The Millennium Series by Stieg Larsson 

This series is better known as the one that starts with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This trilogy is often hailed as the biggest page-turner and if you read it, you’ll find out why. I won’t even try and explain the plot because it’s beyond complicated but they are crime novels and they are so gripping. They’re also pretty long so are perfect for your holiday as they will take you a while to get through if you’re just reading a chapter every night. I’m currently half way through the last novel and am thoroughly enjoying it as a form of escapism (along with my other favourite escapist activity, Love Island). A fourth book has recently been added to the series written by a different author, as Larsson died before the books were published. I don’t really know how I feel about that and whether I read it or not will depend on how much of a cliff-hanger the ending of the third novel is.

Other Page-Turners I Like (Perhaps More Literary Than I Previously Mentioned)-

  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
  • 1984 by George Orwell

2. The Classic Novel That You’ve Never Got Round To Reading

As mentioned, a holiday is a time where lots of reading can be done quickly. So it makes sense to read that book that you’ve always wanted to read but have been putting off due to something like it’s length. You might think that a classic book is a little bit of a heavy choice for a relaxing holiday but I can guarantee that you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you read it all in one go, rather than over a month or so at home, so a holiday is the perfect chance to do so.

My Number One Choice- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’m choosing this purely because it’s my favourite classic book and I’ve read it on holiday a few times before. There are many more chunkier books that perhaps might be a better choice for your holiday but this one is short and sweet and will certainly allow for other holiday reads if the thought of taking just one classic on holiday scares you.

Other Classic Novels I Like:

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • Lolita by Vladamir Nabokov
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

3. The Non-Fiction Book That Makes You Think

Once again, this sounds a bit heavy for a holiday. But these are the types of books that need to be gobbled up in one go in order for them to have their full effect. Putting them down and coming back to them just won’t make you think as much as reading them in the space of a few days will. Plus, reading a book like this might be something you’ve been putting off so this is a good time to pack it in your suitcase, leaving you with no other choice than to read it.

My Number One Choice- Sapiens by Yual Noah Harari

I read this book on holiday last year and it’s honestly so brilliant. It’s a reflection on the history of the entire world. Educational and thoughtful, it is the ultimate book to make you think. If you read this on holiday, you will come back home feeling differently about the world and knowing more about it than you did before. I’m looking forward to reading the second instalment to this book on holiday this year!

Other Non-Fiction Books To Make You Think:

  • The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Women & Power by Mary Beard
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  • A Room Of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  • Revolution by Russell Brand

I hope you’ve found some reading inspiration for any upcoming holidays in this post! All of the books I’ve mentioned I have read and can thoroughly recommend but do do some extra research on any of the ones that I haven’t explained if they sound like they interest you. Happy holidays and happy reading!