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It's OK To Feel Overwhelmed In January

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

It's OK To Feel Overwhelmed In January
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Mid-way through January I was feeling really crap about my blog and it felt so weird, I kept asking myself why was I feeling so rubbish about my blog in the new year? I expected January to be a fresh start, where everything would fall into place and run smoothly but when that wasn't happening it felt like the new year was already taking a turn for the worse.

I took an unintended two week break which really threw me off my game. I love blogging and I felt like part of me was missing when I wasn't active but I'm also a perfectionist and didn't want to be publishing content for the sake of it. I was in the Maldives which was absolutely incredible, I knew I wanted to switch off from social media (bar Instagram of course) but I only expected this to last a week. Yet two weeks later I found myself with no new blog posts scheduled, no new videos going live and a new blog design that was taking longer than I had planned. My mind was filled with content ideas which I couldn't wait to put out but as with everything, it takes time. 

I pretty much got off the plane after my holiday and had to head straight back to university with little to no normal content under my belt (that is, nothing that wasn't centred around my holiday). So I spent two weeks at university working on the content you've seen but dying to get back home to London and work on some new winter ideas. As much as I have loved putting together holiday posts it just isn't that relatable is it, most of us are living in the UK where it's bloody freezing right now!

So I was feeling pretty overwhelmed after spending two weeks away from the blogosphere and if that wasn't enough I just felt like a bit of a failure because it was the start of the new year and I didn't have my sh*t together.

Nonetheless, I think I've managed to get back to some sort of normality. I spent the last weekend in London working on lots of new posts, shooting some winter looks, Valentine's Day features and planning my upcoming season at London Fashion Week which has come around so quickly! Thank you if you've stuck by me and my turbulent posting over the past year or so, I really appreciate it and I'm always striving to better myself and my content. I hope it comes across. This year I'm going to try and make my posts more personal too, which I hope will help us to get to know each other a bit better. Here's hoping all will fall into place and things can go back to normal; can we restart the year from February please?

SHOP THE POST:


Coat - New Look
Jumper - Miss Selfridge via ASOS
Jeans - ASOS
Boots - (c/o) Jigsaw
Crossbody bag - (c/o) Marc b.
[Photos taken by Maria]

Things To Do In The Maldives

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Things To Do In The Maldives
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So here we have, finally, a roundup of what I did in the Maldives. You've already seen my desert island experience but this time I wanted to share with you what you can do on the islands, specifically Kandolhu island. I don't think I've explicitly said where we stayed but I've definitely mentioned the island a few times; we stayed in Kandolhu which is a tiny island with approximately 30 rooms. There was a real familial atmosphere because of the size of the island, we got to know our neighbours (who weren't keen on us playing loud music, we had quite a few visits from them requesting we turn our music down - oops!) as well as the staff on the island. It always surprises me just how friendly everybody is, when you're from such a big city like London coming to a small island where everybody appears to be happy all the time is pretty much a shock to the system! Kandolhu is the only Maldivian island I visited so I can't compare it to any others but I'm assuming that each island is more or less similar in terms of what's on offer.
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One of the first things we did was go on a sunset cruise, I believe we went on either our second or third day on the island. I don't do too well on big boats like these, I don't know why but I feel every bit of motion so I really wasn't feeling too good. It's strange because on smaller boats, or even speed boats I don't feel any sort of sickness or queasiness at all. This meant I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped but everybody else had a lovely time. We were treated to canap├ęs and champagne, although I don't actually drink so Andre got two glasses to himself instead, and sat in the bow (which I've googled and hope means the front of the boat) we watched the sunset as we sailed into the sea.
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From what I gathered, snorkelling is the thing to do in the Maldives, with such crystal clear waters I'm really not surprised. I'm personally not a confident swimmer, and I particularly don't like being in the ocean because it's just so vast and I end up worrying I'll be taken by the current or bitten by a shark, or anything else that sounds remotely scary and/or gory. I did pick up some snorkelling gear anyway and gave it a go from the shallow end where I could kneel down and stick my head underwater (it all sounds very glamorous doesn't it haha!) I did venture out a little further towards the end of our holiday in an attempt to spot some bigger fish but I was still so scared I didn't enjoy it, and then I got salt in my eye and it was downhill from there. The boys on the other hand loved snorkelling. My uncle and Andre went snorkelling daily and got lots of underwater snaps and footage too! I was happier floating around in my giant pink flamingo.
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Talking about giant pink flamingo, it was my favourite holiday accessory. We were known on the island for our bright pink pal and I don't regret it in the slightest. It did cause some embarrassment and even lead to upsets, my auntie and uncle became devious children on holiday and one evening they kidnapped my beloved flamingo! That was the start of a feud between us, all in good spirit of course. We played quite a few pranks on each other and it was all fun and games until one evening when my auntie called me in a panic to say my flamingo was floating away into the sunset, hopefully now the photo above in the middle makes more sense, that unidentified object is my flamingo! Andre and I made a mad dash to their room and we couldn't believe our eyes as we walked to the pool villas. We could see something bright pink in a speed boat being brought back to shore. Yes, you guessed it, the team had rescued my flamingo! Embarrassingly, the team said they initially thought someone was on the inflatable - which I think is why they went out of their way on this rescue mission - but I genuinely think that was one of my holiday highlights. I still can't believe it!
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As I said previously, I didn't enjoy snorkelling so instead I would often go out onto the beach in the evenings when the tide was low. I think it was on the first evening when we decided to do this that Andre spotted a turtle in the water and we quickly rushed to try and get a glimpse of it. It was absolutely incredible to see a turtle up-close; I saw a total of three turtles and each time was as exciting as the first time. There are also lots of small sharks in the Maldives which casually swim up to the shore and although they're tiny and harmless I couldn't help but panic whenever we'd spot a shark so close to us. I'm pretty sure I always ran out of the water, just in case.
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We were in the Maldives on the night of a full moon which was quite a big affair. We had no idea that this was celebrated, or at least it was on our island, so it was a nice surprise. The Kandolhu team invited all guests to the pier for an evening watching the sun go down and the full moon rise. Personally, this was the most memorable sunset for me. We got some incredible photos from the night and every time I look at them it just reminds me of how beautiful it was. That evening there were also some traditional Maldivian drummers who performed some of the local music.
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You can do as little or as much as you want in the Maldives, the possibilities are endless. One thing I would say is make the most of it and take it all in. We were lucky enough to see some incredible birds and sea life during our stay as well as experience some of the Maldivian culture and I would urge you to do the same if you visit.

A Day on a Desert Island

Thursday, 26 January 2017

A Day on a Desert Island
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One of the things we were adamant to do was head to a desert island, in my mind I imagined being on a desert island would be like being on an episode of shipwrecked - who remembers that show? I almost wanted to be set tasks and try to survive on an island with some coconut trees and little else.

Obviously, that wasn't the case. We had a little slice of luxury on this island, the team brought us onto the island on a small speed boat but that wasn't without its challenges. The speed boat was very fast, as I'm sure you can imagine, which led to very strong winds hitting us in the face which became stronger as we got further and further away from Kandolhu. As we were approaching the nearby desert island my auntie's hat ended up flying off of her head and we circled the waters in a bid to retrieve it. We genuinely circled this floating hat for a good five minutes before we realised we just wouldn't be able to reach it from our boat and as much as we stressed it was fine, the hat could go, one of the guys jumped in to get it. With a very soggy hat back in our possession we continued the journey to the island.
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We got to the island and well, it was deserted. We did a little bit of exploring when we arrived and were greeted with a swarm of jellyfish which had been washed up onto shore. Safe to say we didn't go near the ocean for the rest of the day. Jellyfish are such odd creatures, they just float around wherever the current takes them yet if you happen to touch one accidentally things could get pretty bad. We made sure we didn't get too close and instead tried to keep busy. Andre and I actually ended up digging a hole big enough for the two of us to fit into (which I really didn't like, especially when everybody thought it would be funny to laugh at me attempting to get out - and failing might I add - rather than help me out). Andre is pretty proud in saying that he makes a hole big enough for him at every beach he goes to so I guess we were just keeping that tradition alive and this time I joined in on the fun too. As the morning came to an end, the boys went out to sea to do some snorkelling and my auntie and I stayed basking in the sun, perhaps a bit too much as we all came back looking a little more red than before!

We did quite a lot more in the Maldives believe it or not, for such a small island there was plenty to do. The Maldives is perfect if you want to kick back, relax and completely switch off from the world but on the other hand, you can also get stuck in with a variety of water sports and excursions like we did. Today I wanted to share the desert island as it was something we were really looking forward to doing; how many people can say they've been on a desert island? I've still got so much more to share from the Maldives so keep your eyes peeled for newer posts.

What I Wore In The Maldives

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

What I Wore In The Maldives
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Admittedly, I don't have photos of everything I wore on holiday, it was very much a relax zone and I mostly wore old favourites from the summer before as opposed to buying lots of new things for the sake of ten days. Plus, it's incredibly hard to buy summer pieces in the core of winter! Of course I did get a few new things here and there but mostly old favourites got another chance to shine. By the way, if you haven't already watched my latest video (it went live last night) then do pop over to my YouTube channel and have a watch, it's a roundup of all my holiday outfits! Watch my Maldives Outfit Diary here.

One of my most worn new in pieces was this gorgeous satin skirt from ASOS, I picked it up in the sale and it's styled very differently on their website which just goes to show how versatile a piece like this can be. For the Maldives, I paired it with a crochet top from Primark which is a real oldie but it comes out every holiday!

Crochet bralet - Primark
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One of the new pieces I did get my hands on was this gorgeous pom pom dress from Pitusa via Beach Cafe, the back is just incredible, there are no other ways to describe it. I loved showing off my tan in this dress, it's loose fitting so really comfortable and has that wow factor from the back.

Pom pom dress - (c/o) Pitusa via Beach Cafe

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I couldn't resist dressing up at least a few times too; I picked up this floral mini dress for the evenings as when you're near the beach it always gets a little cooler in the nighttime. I wore this on one of our first nights in the Maldives for a sunset cruise followed by dinner and it was absolutely perfect albeit a little too short as most mini dresses usually are on me. This dress from Pretty Little Thing reminded me so much of the Reformation dresses and although I don't have one myself to compare the two I think looks-wise, this dress bares a strong resemblance.

Dress - Pretty Little Thing
Studded sandals - (c/o) Missguided
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On a more casual day, when mother nature decided to make an appearance if you know what I mean I just wanted to feel comfortable during the day. I took these loose khaki shorts, which sat unworn in my wardrobe from the summer before, as a just-in-case option and boy am I glad I did. I completely fell in love with them, they're a loose fit and didn't feel restricting at all, I made sure to tighten the belt so I still felt feminine whilst wearing them but it was just as easy to loosen the belt if I wanted to feel more at ease (or even just to make some more room for lunch). Paired with a white vest top which was a staple of mine throughout last summer, such an incredible Primark piece believe it or not! These are no longer in store, although they could be back this summer - I'm hoping they will be - in the meantime, I've found an identical version on ASOS which I will be buying for the summer if Primark doesn't restock these.

Sunglasses - Topshop
Cami - Primark (ASOS version)
Khaki shorts - (c/o) Daisy Street
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The final outfit I have to share is probably my favourite actually. I had this white lace playsuit sitting in my wardrobe for so long, it was in a pile to either give away or go to charity because it's simply far too short. Obviously, it didn't magically grow overnight and I haven't shrunk (at least not as far as I know) but on holiday nothing ever feels as inappropriate as it does in London. This playsuit is stunning, if you're shorter than I am (I'm around 5"11) then I would 100% recommend it because look at it, it's just gorgeous! I was a little worried about the lace top but I wore a nude Wonderbra underneath and could barely see any of it. For these photos I have on gorgeous gold heels from Dune but I didn't wear these out, a little too much leg I think and it's hard enough walking in stiletto heels on pavements let alone on sandy paths, it's safe to say I didn't even try.

Playsuit - (c/o) In The Style
Gold heels - (c/o) Dune

The Maldives From My iPhone

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Maldives From My iPhone
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Brace yourselves for a seriously photo-heavy post. I'm going to go ahead and just let you know in advance that my posts from the Maldives are going to be huge! But before I get started on the most magical trip ever, I wanted to apologise for my mini hiatus. I mentioned in my previous post that I would be taking a week away from blogging but somehow, that week turned into two weeks and it's all just been a bit of a whirlwind. It's partly down to a delay with my new blog design; I was working on it with a designer during my holiday and it's ended up being much slower than I had anticipated which in turn made me not want to post anything new until the big reveal. What do you think of the design?! Please let me know! The amazing Julie from Munich Paris Design listened to all my requests to make this design my own and I hope you find it easy to navigate.

I have so many photos to share with you that I just had no idea where to start! Strangely, I feel like a blogging-novice all over again because it feels as though I've been away from my little old blog for so long. I can confirm: it feels good to be back.

I wanted to start with the snaps from my phone which often get neglected on my blog because I try to share high quality content with you but whilst I was away I rarely picked up my camera believe it or not (apart from on the final few days where I had a major panic because I had taken so few snaps!) Having said this, my phone was never too far away so I decided to share the snaps from my iPhone - let's call them the unseen photos that usually don't make the cut.
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Cami - Primark // Midi skirt - Missguided // Strappy heels - (c/o) Public Desire // Dress - Topshop
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Although there's no flow for these photos, they're all mixed up - just some of my favourites, the above are all from our incredible pool villa in Kandolhu island. A huge room all to ourselves which I fell in love with. My mum was very unimpressed with my bikini snaps on Instagram (happens every summer!) so I tried to refrain from posting so many but I still posted quite a lot more than anticipated. Can you blame me? When you're on holiday, practically living in a bikini, it becomes hard not to. I never really know how to feel when it comes to bikini pictures, I personally think they're harmless but there are some weird people on the internet so you can never be too careful these days. I'd really love to know your thoughts on the matter - I was contemplating writing a blog post about it but that would mean sharing even more bikini photos, which I'm certain my mum would disapprove of, so I decided against it for the meantime...

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The rest of the place was pretty magical too, it seemed completely natural to be stranded on an island in the middle of the Indian ocean. For the duration of our stay at Kandolhu we didn't see a single car, road, nor pavement for that matter! And whilst I can't imagine you'd expect to see these things on an island it's very surreal when you come to think of it, especially being so used to it all in the hustle and bustle of London city. In the island it felt as though we were in amidst a jungle, there was so much beautiful greenery surrounding us and crystal clear waters filled with so many incredible fish, turtles, sharks - all of which we were lucky enough to spot ourselves - and so much more we didn't see.

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Crochet crop top - Primark // Wrap skirt - ASOS
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If you read my last post then you'll know that I went away with my auntie and uncle who stayed in an incredible ocean pool villa, you know, the ones Instagram is completely inundated with. It was as beautiful as I could ever imagine. Equipped with an outdoor bathroom where you could bathe whilst looking out onto the ocean, an infinity pool which seemed to lead to the very depths of the ocean and the sea right at your feet (quite literally) we spent so many evenings taking it all in. I seriously miss it! It was quite memorable. One of my favourite experiences was the sunset in the evenings...
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Bandeau top - New Look // Shorts - ASOS (similar)

Every day we were blessed with a sunset more incredible than the one before, we spent many evenings watching the sun go down from different parts of the island. The most incredible being on the night of the full moon but more about that in another post, for now I'll leave you with one of the many photos from that night.
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Incredible, right?