Mid Week Motivation

Mid Week Motivation – gadgets, bloggers and Ikigai (the new Hygge but not). Get your fix…

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We’ve had a bank holiday here in the UK (otherwise known as a public holiday to the rest of the world) so technically this isn’t really ‘midweek’, but I’m pretty excited about some of these finds so this post really can’t wait. Enjoy x

The Gadget: 

Fridja-Handheld-Travel-Clothes-Steamer

I’ve decided I hate ironing. You might say this is not a difficult decision to make, BUT having made this decision I also create a problem. And the solution to this problem (apart from my husband kindly ironing all my shirts for me for the rest of his life) is this very neat little gem. The Fridja f10. They are calling it the Rolls Royce of hand held steamers. I’ve just ordered mine so I can’t actually claim that it works brilliantly but if reviews are anything to go by Fridja is set to change our lives. And I’m talking reviews from fashion people who would ACTUALLY need to use it – like Vogue and In The Frow. Not QVC salespeople who continuously smile while talking (never trust a person who can hold a full teeth-baring smile while trying to sell you something, its not natural – they are hiding something, probably gas but still).

The major feature to call out on the little Fridja is the fact that you don’t need to travel with the water container. You simply use the water adapter to click in any suitable water bottle and steam like its nobody’s business. I also love that its called the Fridja. Sounds like a little Swedish gnome or magic elf. And while it won’t magically steam all your clothes for you without your help it does look set to make the job much easier. Oh and it comes in three delightful colours and a whole host of accessories like a foldable hanger. Pretty nifty if you ask me…

Purchase here > 

The Documentary:

Now if you haven’t heard anything about the new Alexander McQueen documentary you have been living under a very large, sound proof rock in the middle of the Gobi desert. The news of this is EVERYWHERE. If you knew his work and loved the enfant terrible of fashion go forth and drool as this is set to be the fashion documentary of the year. Or if you are a tween who thinks the house is just famous for designing Kate Middleton’s wedding dress then PLEASE go educate yourself. The man was a genius and must be honoured.

 

The Blogger:

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I haven’t found a good fashion blogger in a while. Obviously there is the holy grail of the blogging fashion world (some of my favs’ include: Garance Doré, Man Repeller, Song of Style and  Oracle Fox)

But my absolute favourite bloggers are the ones who mix high and low fashion (read £1million designer dress paired with £29 Zara Bag) and produce lovely content that covers travel, fashion and lifestyle in a concise, easy-to-read way. I need the beautiful pics but also want someone with a brain and a real sense of the fact that we don’t all earn never ending amounts of money. Monikh is one such blog. Yes she has the most insta-worthy life, yes she is beautiful, yes you will be annoyed and über jealous, but you will also find many beautiful and affordable things. I recently bought these cute little hair clips from Accessorize when I spotted them on her Instagram. I salute you Monikh, yours is a blog to envy.

Check out Monikh’s blog here >

The new, new Mindfulness…

fashionography

So we’ve had feng shui, yoga, mindfulness, meditation, sleeping apps, colouring-in books, knitting, bee keeping and hygge. Maybe if we change language, find a new word and create a whole other host of associated products and apps we will eventually find inner peace? Yes that must be the answer! So this week we look to Japan to solve all our first world problems.

The Japanese Ikigai is the opposite of Hygge in that instead of slowing down and focusing on scented candles and cups of cocoa, you strive forward to find a purpose in life. The word comes from two Japanese characters – iki meaning life and kai meaning the result of an action. The idea is to gain a sense of ‘flow’ in your life. You need to stop and notice times in your day when you are doing something that you are good at and enjoying it at the same time. And then you – oh who am I kidding, I’m bored already. If you want to find out more this is quite a helpful article.

This weekend I chose a rather more traditional approach to finding my inner peace  – I gardened. Yip, good old fashioned hands-in-the-dirt gardening. It’s not fancy or expensive. It doesn’t require the use of apps, journals or fancy pants accessories. You can do it indoors or outdoors, in pots or acres – whatever the space you have. But the sense of satisfaction you get from pulling a giant weed out of the ground or planting and watering a defenceless little petunia is priceless. There is something so primal about it. Getting your hands dirty and doing something that requires all your attention is rare these days. You simply can’t text while sprinkling compost (I’ve tried and failed). So get out there and plant some stuff. Its a great workout and you are also doing the environment a favour. Tick, tick and tick.

 

images: Fridja / Monikh / Fashion Editorials / Pinterest / Vogue

 

Shiny Happy People

It is stifling in London. So hot that the heat seems to shimmer off the buildings and bounce back onto you.  Zero breeze. Even the pigeons have gone quiet.

Taking the train into Waterloo is an oppressive experience. As if you are slowly being sealed in one of those airtight bags you put your winter duvets in. The air being sucked out minute by minute until you hit the next stop when the doors open and a million sardines spill out, only to be replaced by newly wilted ones.

On the approach to the city the sky greets you with a smoggy haze that just doesn’t shift. I feel like I’m in New York or Paris in the Summer. When everyone is just desperate to escape to The Hamptons or the Côte d’Azur but have to finish off the last few weeks of work. The energy is of such expectation. Anything could happen, should happen. The haze sits. The world is waiting.

I hope this post takes you away…

image credits: pinterest / fashion editorials / they all hate us / fashion gone rogue

Slow Sundays…

I really struggle to sit still and relax. I’m constantly on the move, planning, scheming, tidying (I tidy a lot, it’s so annoying) and generally faffing. I’ve been brought up to make the most of everyday so the idea of sitting and doing nothing is actually quite hard to deal with. Even now I’m blogging during each of the ad breaks in Sleepless in Seattle because watching TV during the day is ‘frivolous,’ or at least some antiquated voice in my head thinks so. On the one hand this obsession is very helpful because it means I tend to be quite productive, but on the other I can’t switch off. I’m restless…always restless…

Unless I’m on holiday and then I can sit still all day long. On the beach, in an airport or sitting in a cafe in Barcelona watching life happen without me in it. It’s like a switch goes off in my head and I’m happy anywhere doing anything. Or nothing. But I can’t be on holiday for the rest of my life (or at least until I win the lotto) so in the meantime the multi-tasking, tidying and general faffing will continue.

Here are the fruits of today’s insanity… x

image credits: they all hate us / pinterest / vogue

Spring Break

A moody nod to the wishy washy season. Here’s to the start of a beautiful summer.

Once again apologies for the break in transmission. I see that I last wrote in November 2017. That feels like a complete lifetime ago. For starters it was the dead of winter. The beginning of what felt like the apocalypse in London – dark and dreary with no end in sight. But we got through it, albeit with a lot more snow than anticipated (global warming what?) and now we are at the start of what I’m hoping will be a beautiful summer. I don’t want to bore you (or me for that matter) with talk of the weather but it does influence my mood. While most people find Spring to be invigorating and hopeful as it winds its way into summer, I find the odd showers and strange winds can make it forlorn or nostalgic. Like a teenage girl left to her own devices in a big old house while the grown ups are laughing and smoking in the garden. She’s all dressed up with nowhere to go.

There’s something restless about the air – an anticipation and a fear of being left behind but at the same time wanting to start afresh. I guess that’s what change is – fear and excitement rolled into one. And before you know it, the uncertainty and blossoms are over and a bright and confident Summer arrives. As if it was always there and never planned to leave. I hope you like the images…

 

 

image credits: fashionography / british vogue / fashion editorials / vague visages / farfetch /

Miss Peru? Making a feminist statement? I think not.

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Recently I came upon this Vogue post and a slew of other content written about the Miss Peru 2018 pageant. The event made a splash on newsstands because instead of telling the judges, the audience and in essence the world what their measurements were, each beauty contestant listed some terrifying gender violence statistics from their home region. “Bravo!” everyone has said, “What a way to make a statement!”

Now we all know pageants are outdated anti-feminist circuses but apparently they can now be used as a voice for change. Really? Well I would like to take a step back. Let us gently rewind to the part where we find out what normally happens at lovely Miss Peru. The beauty contestants smilingly tell the world their measurements. THEIR MEASUREMENTS! Chest, hips, waist, etc. Are these people serious? How about they tell the world what subjects they took at university? What charity work they do and where you can donate? Maybe discuss how great it is that they can speak 5 languages rather than the importance of their hips in inches?

I do of course realise that there are portions of the pageant where they answer serious questions. Where they demonstrate talent, intelligence, empathy, etc etc. Having met some beauty pageant contestants in my lifetime I can say without a doubt that these are hardworking, clever girls who, having been genetically blessed, are using the system as much as its using them. But in a scary world where Harvey Weinstein episodes are the norm is a beauty pageant really the best way to be getting that attention? Could it maybe be a bit of a marketing ploy on behalf of pageant organisers to re-harness some lost media space?

I guess any platform that makes the world sit up and start talking is a positive one, but then I have to ask – at what cost? We’re still oggling and judging barbie dolls strutting stages in stripper heels and sparkly dresses. Apart from listing statistics, the Miss Peru contestants still showcased their bodies in hideous gold bikinis, gazing into the camera like they wanted to eat it. Real 2017 role models? I think not.

Is that two minutes of talking worth the remaining two hours of plastic smiles and hairspray? Granted in the final round the contestants were asked for their thoughts on the best way to combat femicide and violence against women, sadly not something that received the same amount of attention. I’m not quite sure why…

Are we teaching our girls that we can make statements but still be subjected to the world’s view of how we should look and what we need to measure? Surely there must be a better way? I don’t know what it is – I sincerely wish I had more answers. I suppose asking questions is a step in the right direction?

So again I ask – is this the only way us women can move forward? Oh the irony…

images: they all hate us / pinterest

Moody Saturdays…

I’m sick. Not enough to be trying to sleep through snot and a fever, but enough not to go to kickboxing with my friend this morning. The light is streaming in through the windows. Milky pale wintery sunshine (but still) and I feel compelled to stay indoors. It’s been a tough week so a dose of inspiration is in order. With Autumn firmly behind my London door I’m looking for warmth. The fuzzy caramel, warm highlight kind. Hope you enjoy this selection, its making me happy on this miserable morning.

PS – the sun has now gone only to be replaced with an Autumn shower.

PPS -sorry for the radio silence, my life decided to grow a life of its own and I have had no time for pretty pictures or blogging moments sadly. Here’s to trying to pick that up again…

 

image credits: they all hate us / pinterest / fashion editorials / style du monde /

Work Work Work Work Work Work…

It’s high summer – everyone’s talking summer holidays and train disruptions (a hazard of European living). But I am have just started a new job and so my head is firmly in the working world and the wardrobe that goes with it.

I often feel quite sorry for a lot of my friends who work in very corporate environments and are therefore limited to exceptionally conservative, corporate pencil skirts and shift dresses. At this point I would just like to state for the record that there is nothing worse than a square neck pencil dress – nothing, not even harem pants and songs by Fifth Harmony.

The joy of working in a creative industry is that you get to embrace that creativity in what you wear everyday. Some people take it to the extreme (I really don’t want to be calling a meeting for you, me and your belly button thank you very much) and most are quite casual about it (that levis jeans+button down shirt uniform looks chic and does the job). But some – and we’ll call these the birds of paradise of the working world – just BRING IT. Every day is about a mood. An effort has clearly been made and I appreciate that. I love it! I yearn to replicate it and sometimes I succeed and sometimes a topknot and a bomber jacket will just have to do because I do not have the time or brain space to think of anything else. But for the moment all I can think of is taking work, and therefore by extension my wardrobe, by the horns and committing to it. Wearing clothes that will instil in me a feeling of power and success and an inner strength that hopefully will translate into the work I do. It’s a nod of understanding to the 80’s. I’m thinking pinstripes and oversized shapes, men’s trousers and white shirts, neutral colours but interesting silhouettes. It’s all about power dressing in a smart and feel good way. I know we’re all floral dresses and basket bags at the moment, but this look is worth dreaming about. It’s a woman owning it in a man’s world. So while you are enjoying your bikinis or festival frolicks, think of me, dreaming away in an office somewhere…

image credits: Style Du Monde / Who What Wear / Sylvie Mus / Badlands / Oracle Fox / Vogue

Searching for Inspiration

Apologies for the break in transmission. I’ve had a bit of a busy period and I just couldn’t extend myself to produce any creative content. You could say I stepped into a little bit of a black hole during which time I didn’t engage with social media, accept invitations or phone calls and just generally took some time out.

I’m still not quite there but I slowly feel like I am waking up. Usually I find myself surrounded by inspiration – a stranger’s outfit, the way the light shines into a coffee shop, an old lady walking three pugs, cigarette dangling out her mouth. It could be anything or anyone. But lately I have felt a little bit blind to the world. This sounds like a terribly depressing thing to say but actually I think realising it is the first step of taking that pressure off yourself. I think we put ourselves under far too much daily pressure. Pressure to be someone, to look like someone, update the latest picture, be current, be in the know, have it all figured out. And quite frankly I think a lot of it is so superficial and unfulfilling and we race through life without taking any of it in. The idea of mindfulness or living in the moment isn’t new (and those colouring in books and mindfulness apps just annoy the crap out of me) but there is something to be said for putting the phone away and taking a step back. Work on getting some sleep, talking less, ignoring the flurry of Instagram envy inducing pictures and just sit or stand or walk. Don’t feel the need to give of yourself all the time.

Below is a bit of a mishmash of pictures that I’ve been crushing on recently. They don’t really relate or have a theme, but sometimes its just nice to look at pretty things. Enjoy x

 

image credits: theyallhateus / fashion editorials / pinterest

White Out

The breeziness that is all white…

I am a huge fan of white. I think it’s seriously underrated. Why wait to get married? Get involved now. White shirts, skirts and head-to-toe breathlessness. So clean, so fresh – so easily stained, but oh so dreamy…

 

shop the look….

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image credits:

zara / fashion editorials / pinterest / mango /

 

And Breathe…

Some days the world is just too much. Especially when you live in a crazy busy city like London. Your mind is constantly bombarded with new information – trains coming and going, people pushing past you, new languages (I actually think English is the least spoken language in London), smells, signs, advertising, the sound of conductors whistles, music, announcements, car horns, feet on the pavements – its a never ceasing hum which jolts us from the minute we wake up to the minute we get home. We are a wash with information and I don’t think we take enough stock of what this does to our bodies and minds. I often say that my heart beats faster in London and not because I want it to. So today’s inspiration aims to sooth the soul. Nothing jarring, nothing heart racing, just a break from the pulse of today.

Drift off…

 

image credits: oracle fox / Pinterest / they all hate us / fashion editorials /