Should We Bare Our Souls Online?

Should We Bare Our Souls Online?

Jumper- & Other Stories


Skirt- Topshop (currently sold out but they’re re-stocking it quite regularly at the moment- I will post a link to my Twitter when/if it is re-stocked again)


Necklace- ASOS

Today’s post was going to be an update on how I’ve been dealing with my anxiety, something I’ve been planning on writing for a few weeks. When I realised it was International Mental Health Day on Wednesday I thought this post would be even more apt. But it was ironically that day that made me change my mind. Although it’s a great way of helping raise awareness of mental health issues, it meant that a lot of people were sharing their own stories of their own mental health problems, which, again, is a good way of helping to add to the evergrowing conversation around mental health. However, for me, I found listening to other people’s stories overwhelming and triggering. It was one of the first times I’ve really had to make myself to put my phone down and stay off social media for the day/night because it became quite a negative space for me.

This got me thinking about how much of my life I wanted to be sharing on social media. On my blog in the past, I’ve been happy to talk a lot about my personal experiences and, by doing so, I’ve been able to connect with people going through similar things, which has definitely been really positive. But after feeling so overwhelmed by hearing others’ stories on Wednesday, I began to rethink whether sharing so much really is the best thing to do.

Should We Bare Our Souls Online?

The conversation around the ethics of sharing on social media has been growing so much over the past few months. From Katherine Ormerod’s new book ‘Why Social Media Is Ruining Your Life’, and the corresponding Instagram hashtag, to Pandora Syke’s recent article for Man Repeller, it’s definitely a topic that’s hot on people’s tongues. Much of the conversation around this subject argues that we should be presenting more honest perceptions of ourselves on social media, better reflections of our ‘real life’. I can definitely see how the facades of social media can be harmful for many people, seeing people live seemingly perfectly lives and feeling like yours just doesn’t live up is definitely a negative thing. But, for me, this just isn’t the case. I use social media as a form of escapism, just I use books, TV and other forms of media. I think this was why being faced with so many ‘real-life’ stories similar to mine felt so difficult for me. I like seeing a ‘glossy’ version of people’s lives on social media and I’m very, very aware that everyone’s Instagram feeds are a highlight reel of their life (although I do like seeing a bit of ‘real life’ over on Instagram stories). I like using social media as a way of pursuing my interests, from fashion to books to food and reading and seeing photos around these topics definitely helps me switch off and feel more positive. But as real people, should we be sharing our real lives on the internet all the time?

Most people at the moment, it seems to me, would probably answer yes. The word ‘responsibility’ comes up a lot when talking about how bloggers and ‘influencers’ should be using social media and obviously there is some sense of responsibility attached to the job title, like there is with any job. But should people really feel as though they have to share every single aspect of their lives with strangers online? Is it helpful if they do? I don’t have any answers. I don’t know how I feel about it. At the moment, I think maybe users of social media should take responsibility for their own usage, unfollowing people who make them feel negative and limiting their usage of social media if they know it’s not good for them. Because, for me, Instagram, most of the time, feels like quite a positive space for me (even if I waste far too much of my time scrolling) and I can only see it becoming more negative and triggering, personally, if people were to start sharing the more negative aspects of their life on there, especially if they were only doing so because they felt they had to.

Should We Bare Our Souls Online?

I’m not advocating for social media, specifically Instagram, to be a completely honest or dishonest portrayal of ‘real life’, I think I’d like it to be somewhere in the middle, which, with most people I follow, is where I think it’s at now. I think it all comes down to personal choices in terms of posting and following. Maybe for me it’s positive to talk about some of my own negative experiences online but generally not helpful to read about other people’s? Is this contradictory? Yes. But is this ok? I think probably yes. Because if other people, like me, don’t feel good about reading other people’s struggles or ‘real life’ issues, then they can unfollow me. Maybe I wouldn’t even follow myself? Now this is really getting morally confusing. You can tell I don’t know where my mind is at on this subject. But I thought I’d put my confused thoughts out on to the internet anyway because I think there is an interesting conversation to be had about this topic and I’d like to contribute to it, even if I’m doing so unhelpfully. 

I’d absolutely love to hear your views on the topic of sharing online. Do you feel a responsibility to make sure your Instagram page is a completely honest version of you? How do you go about avoiding the bits of social media that you find negative? Let me know in the comments or send me a message over on Instagram or Twitter.

Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

I have been shopping A LOT during the month of May. Not that I don’t shop during other months but I really have gone a bit crazy, for me anyway, over the past few weeks. I think it’s because, firstly, I’ve started exercising more and eating healthier so am feeling better about what I look like in clothes, secondly, because I’ve been saving up some of my wages, and thirdly, because of the change in weather and the fact I’m going to Corfu this week (eek!). Because I’ve picked up quite a few bits in a short space of time, I thought I’d share them with you! You might have seen some of them styled already on my blog or on Instagram and if you haven’t, you certainly will have in the next few weeks. I’m really happy with everything I bought because some things have filled gaps in my wardrobe and others are just beautiful pieces that I feel great in and adore.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Starting with these incredible vintage jeans because LOOK AT THEM! I picked them up from Cow Vintage in Liverpool after spotting them on my way out of the shop for only £14. I immediately grabbed them and took them to the changing rooms and they fit like a glove. This must be the best feeling when vintage shopping as it can sometimes be a disheartening process of trial and error. They’re my favourite style of jeans, a straight leg with frayed hems but with this added super cool star print. I really didn’t need another pair of jeans in my wardrobe but these are so cool, and a little different from your average pair, that I just couldn’t leave them behind.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

After bagging those incredible jeans, I realised, to my excitement, that COS have opened a store in Liverpool and went in to have a look. The store itself is beautiful, so airy and light and totally fitting with the feel of the store. As most of the colours of their clothes are fairly neutral, this pink top stood out to me, along with its stripes as I wear striped tops so frequently. It only cost £15 and I got it in a size small so it fits nice and loosely. This top is unfortunately out of stock on the COS website so you might have to go into store for this one. They do have the yellow version online here as well as the navy version.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

I finished this trip, with the reason it started, by heading to Zara to find this dress that I had been swooning over online. I’m so into cream dresses with tortoiseshell buttons at the moment and Zara have an incredible collection. After trying on a few button down midi dresses in some other shops and just not being able to find the right one, I had a good feeling about this one because the neckline and the sleeves are a little bit more interesting than some of the more shapeless ones I’ve tried on. I didn’t actually try it on in store because, as you can probably imagine if you’ve ever been to the Liverpool store, the queues for the changing room were ridiculous. So I bit the bullet and paid £35 for the dress (I had £5 left on a Liverpool One voucher to put towards it) and I’m so glad I did because I feel so great in it and I now its going to be a real stand out piece for my summer holidays. I bought it in a size XS if you’re interested.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Next is a piece that I actually bought a few weeks ago now (it might have even been at the end of April but I thought I’d include it in this post anyway). I’d spotted it on Instagram a couple of times and had been eyeing it up on the H&M website for a few weeks before deciding to go into store to try it on and buy it. To my delight when I arrived at the store, it had been reduced from £35 (the price I was expecting to pay for it) to £15, which is an absolute bargain because it feels as if it’s good quality and blazers can often be pricey! Baby blue is one of my favourite colours to wear in the summer and I have got tons of wear out my grey check blazer so I thought it made sense to update it for summer. The blazer is still available to shop online here but it’s unfortunately gone back up to full price- I obviously got really lucky!

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

I’ve been keeping my eye out for a new beach cover up for my upcoming holidays for a while now and I knew I wanted some kind of shirt. This one from H&M fits the bill perfectly. I bought it in a size 16 so it fits really oversized like a dress and I think it would actually look really nice one evening on holiday. It cost £12.99 which I think is pretty decent for a shirt that can be worn in so many different ways. You can shop it online here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

This one is a bit of an unusual piece for me because animal print isn’t really my thing. But I saw the dress version of this top on the Topshop website and was leaning towards it for a while. When I went into store to try and find it though, I was told that they no longer stocked it, which I was a bit gutted about. I spotted (get it? spotted? leopard spots?) the top version and wasn’t so sure about it on the hanger but it’s really flattering on and I actually think the top will be much more versatile than the dress would have been. It’s the perfect piece for a night out and can really elevate any outfit. It cost £19 and I got it in a petite size 8. You can shop it online here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Moving on to & Other Stories, I had *a bit*of a spree in their Manchester store the other day. I absolutely love the brand and the store experience however I usually restrict myself from buying too much, or anything, because it is more expensive than your average high street store. But I really do think there’s a reason for this- the clothes are great quality and trend-led but also have a sense of timelessness to them. Anyway, the first piece I picked up was this knitted black tank top with tortoiseshell buttons (if you can’t tell I kind of have a thing for them). I tried a similar, more expensive, version on of this in Urban Outfitters but the quality wasn’t nearly as good as this one, nor was the fit. I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of this over summer, and maybe even layered up in the winter. It was £23 and I got a size 8 (I think- the European sizes in & Other Stories confuse me endlessly). It’s available to buy here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

I also bought this white printed t-shirt which I was immediately drawn to because, as mentioned, baby blue is my favourite colour for summer and white t-shirts are something I get the most wear out of in the summer months. Of course, I couldn’t be sure about this top till I knew what the French meant. But after a quick google translate to find out it meant ‘Sunset Boulevard’, I decided this was very cool and something I wouldn’t be embarrassed to translate for people, which is good as it’s never fun to be living in fear of someone asking what your the writing on your top means for it to be something cringe-worthy. Or even worse, you having no idea! So I’ve got my damage limitation sorted with this one. I also got it in a size 8 for the price of £23. Shop it here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Then I bought ANOTHER striped top (although I did actually purchase this one before the COS piece- sorry for the lack of chronology within this post). You can’t really tell in the photos but this one has navy stripes and it’s a bit more slim fitting than some of the other ones I own so I thought it would be nice for more formal occasions. Plus, I really do wear striped tops so often that I could never have enough because there constantly in the washing pile. Again, in a size 8, costing £23. They have it available online here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Moving on to this skirt of dreams!! I swooned over a similar skirt from & Other Stories last year but never picked it up because of the price tag. But this year, when I spotted this extremely similar one, I decided to go for it. With this classic print that will never go out of style because it isn’t anything in particular and the on-trend tortoiseshell buttons (here I go again), it’s really the perfect piece for summer in my opinion. Also, serendipitously, they didn’t have my usual size, an 8, only a 10 but it fit perfectly, which I took as fate because I needed a bit of a push to hand over the £49 this skirt cost. They have most sizes available online here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Last but not least, I ordered this bag, a little bit impulsively off ASOS. My current go-to black bag, a bucket bag from Zara, is being held together by sellotape at the moment so I’ve been keeping my eye out for a new one. This satchel style bag fit the bill perfectly- it’s a great size, roomy but not annoying to carry around. Plus it has croc print and gold hardware, both of which I love. Buy it on ASOS here.

I hope this post hasn’t inspired too many impulse purchases but if it has, let me know in the comments! Summer styling is my favourite and it’s always the time I spend the most money on my clothes so I tend to let myself go a bit wild every so often. You’ll see these pieces styled on my blog and Instagram over the next few weeks so keep an eye out for that!

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The Power of Sunshine

So today I’m going to be talking about the weather- how very British of me! Seriously though, I can’t even believe the heatwave that we experienced a couple of weeks ago actually happened now I’m back in my jumpers and coats. But it did! And I have photo evidence to prove it! British people really are obsessed with the weather but there’s good reason for it in my opinion. The weather has such a significant effect on my mood, motivation and social life and I always feel so much happier during the summer months than in the winter. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas but I really feel like summer brings out the best version of me and I’ve recently decided that moving to a hot country would be worth what I’m sure would be a weird and disorientating feeling of experiencing Christmas without freezing cold weather and lots of layers.

During the UK’s week of sun, I threw my university deadlines to one side and really made the most of it. Something I did with relative ease and would not have been able to do without serious anxiety and guilt usually. But as warm weather is so rare in our country, I really felt a sense of carelessness, which was so unusual and liberating for me. I feel like the sun loosens everyone up a little bit- well I’m certain it must do really if it makes someone as uptight as me loose track of my work. Obviously this might not be a good thing for everyone (aka those who are already a little nonchalant about their workload) but getting a little bit behind on work to enjoy times with friends and family surely doesn’t hurt anyone.

That brings me nicely on to my next point about the power of sunny weather- it really gets an introvert like me out of the house a fair bit! I spent time in beer gardens, getting some work done with my friends outside rather than tucked up in my room as well as going on a night out, which was so nice. Leaving the comfort of my own space is always a tiny bit of a chore for me when the skies are grey and depressing but any time I had to spend indoors during the heatwave was spent rushing to get back outside. As mentioned in my last post about being comfortable with yourself, there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert and enjoying staying in but sometimes it can be too easy to get a little bit carried away with how much time you’re spending with yourself, which before you know it leads to feelings of loneliness and isolation. So I think a little push from the weather that makes you feel eager to spend time with other people is always a positive thing!

I spent the final day of sun we experienced, which just so happened to be a Saturday, in my favourite ever city and hometown, Liverpool. After sitting in a pub to watch the football (only a tiny bit against my will) Sam and I went to The Bagelry for lunch, which I would 100% recommend- I had the most amazing vegan pancakes and it’s super affordable. We spent the rest of the day wandering around some shops and then went on a night out to Heebie Jeebies with his housemates which was so much fun. It was such a nice day/night and I was in a great mood the whole time (which, I have to admit, is rare), which I’m putting down to the weather.

The skirt I’m wearing I bought only the week before from Topshop, thinking I wouldn’t be able to wear it for months or even ever in the UK, and so I was super excited to have a chance to wear it only the week after. This vest is also from Topshop and it’s one I picked up last year. I also have it in white and they were both staples in my wardrobe throughout the entire summer of 2017. I think they’re really flattering and I was obviously very pleased by how well these two shades of blue co-ordinate. Whilst my dark-wash denim jacket adds another shade of blue to the outfit, I especially love how the contrast stitching highlights the whites of my outfit. It’s kind of ironic that I’m wearing an outfit that consists of various shades of blue whilst talking about sunny weather and happiness but I promise there really is no symbolism behind these colours.

I’m also wearing what is my current favourite bag from Zara. You’re probably going to become sick of the sight of it because it’s going to be featured in lots of upcoming posts. But I absolutely love it and I would 100% keep an eye out on Zara’s website for a re-stock of it if I were you. These slides are so simple (and were such a bargain) but they really do elevate every outfit I wear. I particularly love styling them with some boyfriend/mom style jeans for an effortless look that is also clearly put together. And finally, these sunglasses that I’ve definitely neglected a bit too much over the past few years. They’re a little bit OTT but I actually really like that and I think they’re also quite flattering for my face shape.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I’d love to hear about how the weather affects your mood. Are you a summer person like me or do you prefer the winter? I’d especially love to hear your reasoning behind the latter as despite the joys of Christmas, my birthday and all the other festivities I just can’t get behind the cold weather and so would love to hear your thoughts! Let’s hope for more warm weather in the UK! (Although I haven’t got my hopes up too high- classic British cynicism hey!)

Top- Topshop (no longer available, similar here)

Skirt- Topshop

Jacket- Topshop (no longer available)

Shoes- New Look (no longer available, similar here)

Sunglasses- Le Specs

Bag- Zara

My Ideal Saturday

 

Happy Friday! I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful sunny weather as much as I am and that you have a nice chilled out weekend ahead. Today I’m sharing an outfit from last Saturday and I’m going to be telling you all what I got up to during the day because it was my favourite type of Saturday ever- one that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. I was intending on including some photos of the day taken on my film camera with this post however I actually took some film to get developed on Saturday and it came back totally blank- a sure sign that my camera was broke, so I couldn’t take any pictures on it that day. That was the only part of my Saturday that wasn’t ideal. Anyway, some photos of my outfit will have to do for now- hope you don’t mind!

I spent Friday night at my boyfriend’s so woke up at his beautiful house in the Georgian Quarter of Liverpool, where these photos were taken. The Georgian Quarter is one of my favourite areas of Liverpool and I am unbearably jealous that Sam is renting a room in a student house there this year! We spent the morning lazing around in bed, watching the end of the film from the night before whilst eating crumpets, before getting out of bed just before lunch time to get ready for the day.

We then headed into the centre of Liverpool and our first port of call was Max Spielmann to get my film developed. At this point I was cheery and excited to get my film back (notice how I’m going to skip over the part where I collect my film to make sure this post stays true to its title). We then headed to Pret-A-Manger for lunch. Pret is my favourite place to go for lunch as they do so many great vegan options and are always switching them up and the food tends to be quite healthy, which is always a plus.

Then came my favourite part of the day- shopping! I wasn’t intending to buy anything (famous last words) but did actually end up buying a chunky knitted jumper in Urban Outfitters (which isn’t really appropriate for this week’s heatwave but it’s never a bad time to buy a jumper in the UK) and some more summery pieces in Topshop including this polka dot crop top, which I’m already getting my wear out of thanks to the heatwave, and this skirt.

Before heading home, we stopped for some ice cream at Paolo & Donato’s- they do great vegan ice cream (and non-vegan too) and seeing as this was one of the warmest days so far this year (will I ever stop talking about the weather?), it felt wrong not to stop for ice cream. After we finished eating, we headed back home, stopping to take these photos on the way.

The evening seemed to come around really quickly, probably thanks to our late start, and pretty much as soon as I got back to Sam’s, I was leaving again to meet my friends for some food and drinks in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. We started off in The Botanical Garden- an outdoor gin bar which is so picturesque (although, ironically, I don’t have a photo of it) and had such a nice atmosphere with great music. After one drink here, we crossed the road to the Baltic Market, a warehouse with various independent food stalls, a bar and live music. This is definitely one of my favourite spots in Liverpool and is just as good in the day as it is in the night so it’s definitely worth a trip. I enjoyed a delicious veggie burger and chips (not quite as healthy as my lunch) and spent the evening chatting (and singing) with my friends. I’ve felt so lucky to be able to spend so much time with my friends who have been part of my life for 8 years, some of them more than that, over the Easter break whilst being home from UNI. I’ve been wanting to write a post about valuing friendship (and especially female friendship) since starting my blog now because it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, so look out for that in the next few weeks (or possibly months depending on how efficient I am).

After my idea of a perfect day, I was home to my family and in bed by midnight, which honestly made it all the better because I bloody love a good early night (I’m such a 19 year old granny). I think I enjoyed this day so much because it was the perfect mixture of relaxed and busy, plus I got to spend time with lots of loved ones, and this is how I would spend every Saturday if I was able to.

I feel like I can’t just not talk about my outfit when all of the photos in this post are based around it, so I’ll tell you a bit about it. Starting from the bottom up, I recently picked up these Nike Cortez trainers in the ASOS sale because I’ve been looking for a pair of pastel-coloured trainers for a while now and these seemed to fit the bill perfectly. They are unbelievably comfortable. I am the most blister-prone person known to existence and I wore these for days at a time without breaking them in with no blisters in sight. I wasn’t expecting them to go so well with this top but they really do and I feel like these co-ordinating pastels are what make this outfit so spring-appropriate. I didn’t actually like these jeans/trousers from Topshop when they originally arrived on the post but, stupidly, I took the labels off and so couldn’t send them back. But they’ve actually really grown on me now and I felt confident in them all day. Although it’s not something that shows in my blog posts, I use tote bags almost every day because they’re so practical and easy to wear. This one I picked up at one of Black Honey’s shows a couple of years ago because I love the print (and the band) and it’s lasted so well- the cost per wear is probably down to less then a penny, thanks to how often I use it and the low price.

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my ideal Saturday and it’s maybe given you some ideas as to how you can spend your weekend. I’d love to hear about what your perfect Saturday would sound like in the comments!

(Just a quick disclaimer- some of these photos were taken on my phone and others on my camera so sorry for the differences in quality/location!)

Top- Nobody’s Child (old, similar here)

Jeans- Topshop (only available in petite and tall now)

Gilet- Topshop (sold out and can’t find anything similar, sorry!)

Shoes- ASOS

Tote Bag- Black Honey Merchandise

Sunglasses- Warehouse (old, similar here and here)

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