The Big Apple Obsession

29 April 2015

NYC is the city of dreams to many people. It's a magical place that seems to be full of surprises and laced with culture. New Yorkers themselves occasionally say they don't understand the fascination the outsiders have, but there are a fair few who still see the fairytale. If I was to ever visit the city, my instinct would be to do the most touristy of things - visiting Central Park, Times Square and the Grand Central Terminal. 
The admiration may have come from the many, many, television shows and films based in the city. From The Devil Wears Prada to Gossip Girl, Manhattan and its surrounding areas appear glamorous and captivating to the rest of the world. New York Fashion Week seems to be one of the most exciting events to be held by the city, not forgetting the ever-traditional New Year's Rockin' Eve. They say the city is enchanting towards the end of the year, but I can just imagine the spark lasting for 12 months out of the year. Have you ever visited NYC? 

I'm a Grown Woman

27 April 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
Not only is today's post dedicated to a song I used to listen to on repeat, it's also a phrase I use as a response as much as possible. Mondays morning's are supposed to be pretty bleak, but I've received a small burst of motivation and I'm riding this until it collapses. Over the past few months I have been learning to understand reality. Accepting it is a whole other story, but I know 'adult' life is not like the picture school paints it to be. On New Year's Day, I got my first job; as the months have gone by, I have adjusted to the 9 to 5 lifestyle and finally spent time away from my computer stepping into the authenticity of today's world. At first, I hated working - sixth form made me lazy. Today, I still don't love it, but learning to channel my frustrated energy somewhere else has been very beneficial.

One thing I still struggle to understand is how everyone else is so 'okay' with being in a basic 9 to 5 job and doing the same thing every day, why not strive for more? Sure, having four digits in your savings account is a reason to smile, but what else does the simple routine offer? Thoughts like this are exactly what push and motivate me to seek more over the years I have left. The idea of being in the same positive 40 years from now is nothing short of depressing. I'm still wondering exactly what I want, but I know what I don't want.

I don't want to be in an office for the next 40-50 years.
I don't want my creativity or skills to be restricted. 
I don't want to be bored all day.
I don't want someone with a slightly higher paycheque to push me around.
I certainly don't want to work without a goal.

As we grow up, we begin to realise exactly what we don't want to do, in contrast to know exactly what we want to do. Throughout school, we're pushed to chose a career that will make us financially successful because that will mean you're automatically happy. Getting caught up in wondering what you want is how you forget what you don't want, you just settle. Don't put a lid on dreams and goals, let experiences in. 

Magazines I Can't Live Without

24 April 2015

Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Fashion magazines are publications I have collected from the age of 11. While going through my "I want to be a fashion designer" phase, I would spend hours flicking through and taking in the creations of other masters of flair and elegance. This obsession quickly excelled into subscriptions and a real appreciation for the hard work that goes on behind each issue. Working at a magazine would be a dream job for me, as I'm not textiles queen but I know my fair share of the media industry having studied it for five years. I have quickly learnt what works and what doesn't on a cover and within magazines. However, nothing will stop be picking up a glossy style bible for my monthly intake.

Out of the magazines I look forward to the most, Bazaar is the greatest. I love every aspect of this magazine along with it's writers and editors. One thing I really applaud is the editorial and graphic design detail that goes along with each article and page. It's not too full of advertisements which makes it easy to carry and read on the go. I tend to pick up Bazaar for my fashion reports, both their magazine and website are really useful to stay up to date on what's on the runway and in style. The photography in this magazine is also fabulous, alongside the brilliant titles and headlines featured throughout.
ELLE (May 2015)
I rely on this magazine for fashion stars and valuable topics without being flooded with and product placements. It's a superb magazine to sit curled up with in the evening with an enormous mug of hot chocolate and a pile of snacks. Elle has a really great section on beauty which is a great template for experimenting. They often have a variety of stylish topics from a large range of writers and journalists so it's very difficult to become bored while flicking through. 
The one thing I adore about Cosmo, is that it features a little bit of everything. There is something in each issue that one person will love which I think is why it has such an enormous readership. It's a really girly magazine which I love and is great for relating to other women around the country as well as friends. The magazine is full of experiences and advice in addition to fashion and beauty tips which make it perfect for my train ride each morning. 
Vogue is a fashion lover's guide to style. It's like a portfolio or scrapbook of anything worth remembering from the runway right in your hands. I first started buying this magazine for the amazing editorial and design which I idolised as a graphics student. Vogue already has such an elegant reputation, it was the first fashion magazine I came across. I also really appreciate the journalism skills featured within the magazine and often use it to help develop my own skills. The May issue also came with a More Dash Than Cash mini-mag (in association with Next) which is great for readers who tend to shop on more of a budget.
RED (May 2015)
Many people are quite surprised to find out I read Red magazine but I love the sophistication this publication brings. It's a classic women's magazine and features real in-depth articles about topics that are worth thinking about. It often features quite inspiring men and women which makes a fantastic night-time read. This magazine also features recipes that I enjoy attempting to complete. It comes with healthy options for during the day but also creative ideas to spice up the evenings.
TEEN VOGUE (April 2015)
Although I'm an older teen, I still really enjoy reading this magazine. It has a really youthful vibe (obviously) that I can still identify with. The cover stars are often teenagers too which makes them relatable to readers. The magazine covers issues that teens and young people face, from school or university to fashion and friends. Their website is also a marvellous tool in finding new bloggers to look out for or find inspiration from. Teen Vogue is one magazine designed for the younger generation that can also apply to the pre-adults too.

Hello Oslo.

22 April 2015

At the end of this month, myself and two of my very good friends will be packing up and heading to Norway for a few days. I don't travel a lot, simply because it would become a financial strain, but I'm so excited to spend a few days exploring Oslo. Since the tickets were booked, I spend a lot of my time just reading through articles about the great events in Norway, as well as looking up things to do to create an itinerary. Pinterest is extremely helpful for images, alongside Tumblr which is where I found all the photos included in this post. Travel DIY and tip videos are my new obsession and quickly filling the Watch Later playlist on YouTube. We chose to go to Oslo for something different, as fun as a beach holiday is, I like to explore and learn about places I would have never considered which made this trip an easy decision. This little trip will tick a few things off my bucket list which seems to be getting longer each day.  I can't wait to visit the City of Tigers and share the thousands of photos I'll take with you! 
Have you ever been to Oslo/Norway? Where was your last holiday?

What's in My Work Bag

20 April 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
 Luxury is not having to lug three ring-binders around on a daily basis. Everything I need, I leave in the office, which means I can fill my bag with my 'essentials' without having to worry about folder space. This Fiorelli shoulder bag was bought from TK Maxx at £44.99. Fiorelli has remained a reliable source of handbags and accessories for me as they produce high quality products at reasonable prices. Their products are also available across a range of stores from Asos to Debenhams, so they're never hard to find. I bought this bag last summer in an eager bid to add colour to my wardrobe for the remainder of the season. Since then, I have carried this bag just about everywhere and it's remained in great condition. The bright blue coordinates well with a lot of items in my wardrobe which makes it very easy to carry. Inside, there's a small zip pocket, as well as a pocket on the back of the bag.
 Books. I have a 2015 day-to-day planner with me everywhere I go. this planner was bought from Staples at £5.50 at the beginning of the year. Inside, I plan every minute of my day because I would be completely lost without some sense of organisation. It even includes blog posts that are scheduled to go live, and times I need to remember to actually use my social networking accounts like Instagram and Twitter - which I occasionally neglect. As I'm at work for most of the day, I usually plan out my spare evenings as time just seems to slip away! In my bag, I also carry a plain black, lined journal from Paperchase. I use this notepad for jotting down every idea that ever pops into my mind. From blog posts, to feelings and so on. Having an hour for lunch is great as I spend the entire time in the library, coming up with post ideas and writing out ideas I can't forget.
 Valuables. My Karl Lagerfeld purse was bought from TK Maxx at £9.99 - that's the truth. This is one of the most valuable items in my bag as it contains the key to my bank account, along with travel passes and discount cards that I never remember to use. The purse is real leather and usually ends up getting lost at some point during the day. My iPad Mini was a bit of a luxurious, offbeat purchase as I don't really like to splash out now it's my own money. But this tiny tablet is extremely useful, for daily use as well as blogging. The iPad is wifi-only, but this doesn't stop me from using the Microsoft Word app to type up posts when I'm too lazy to write! When wifi is an option, I use the tablet just like a laptop! My glasses are incredibly valuable to me, mainly because they're my only pair. The Tommy Hilfiger frames were bought from Specsavers and there's not much I can do without them. I also carry two lip balms - you can never have too many. Baby Lips by Maybelline and Happy Lips by Blistex are my top ranking balms for the spring. They're around the same price and I would recommend both.
I'm a little bit of a germ-freak, I like cleanliness and can't live without a high standard of hygine. So I was incredibly lucky when I found out a travel size anti-bacterial gel and cleansing wipes set were being sold in the "Strawberry Laces" scent! Carex have helped me through the stuggle of public transport with their useful range. The wipes can be used on face,body and hands which makes them useful for work and while I'm on the go. The scent, unlike most antiseptic products isn't abominable and unbearable. I also carry a hand cream by Carex, which I use at least once every three hours. My teeny tiny tooth comb is from Superdrug and was only 99p! Finally, I carry a make-up bag with a few essentials such as mascara, eyeliner, lipstick and a basic eye-shadow palette to top up during the day.

Hi-Five for Hi-Shine

10 April 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
Barry M has always an ultra-popular brand after it's successful nail polish range. As someone who prefers painted nails, I am in a constant search for a good polish to promote and wear on a regular basis. With nail polished that are at an affordable price, they're often quite low quality which is usually why the price is so love. Barry M's Nail Paint is quite the opposite. Out of their whole range, I have taken a liking to their Gelly Hi-Shine varnishes after reading positive reviews in the blogging atmosphere; plus a few metallic paints too. For those who don't love a shiny look, Barry M also do a range of matte finish polishes online and in stores. The great thing about the Nail Paint is the wide range and durability. For me, it's important my nails stay chip-free for at least a week. Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine can last around 11-14 days with two coats before any chips appear. That's excluding the fact that I usually smudge my nails seconds after painting them. The gel paint is also very easy to remove, which is great for me as someone who love to change the colour of my nails frequently. With a lot of high-market brands, the nail varnish is almost impossible to remove with a cotton pad and remover which gets really frustrating. I prefer the Hi-Shine as it dries in a reasonably quick time and can be removed without having to dig out the chainsaw.
Colours L-R: Blood Orange, Blue Grape, Plum.

YouTubers I'm Obsessed With

7 April 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
I spent a little too much time on YouTube. Over the bank holiday weekend, I have been catching up on my subscriptions and a few creative minds I just can't live without. Their videos are entertaining and great to watch on the go,  and they have become the five YouTubers I'm obsessed with.
HeyClaire aka Claire Marshall
Claire is by far my favourite YouTuber. Her channel is a mix of fashion, beauty and vlogs, alongside the occasional food and lifestyle video. The first thing that drew me to Claire's channel was her phenomenal editing skills. With a lot of subscriptions, I find myself skipping through videos simply because I lose interest. However, when I watch a new HeyClaire video I enjoy every minute. From her New York Fashion Week and everyday life vlogs to the top tips on eyeliner and what beauty buys are worth a try. I also love Claire's personality, she's a very relatable person with a hilarious sense of humour which makes her really easy to watch. I adore her cat Bruce, and her incredible creative lifestyle.
Clothes Encounters aka Jenn Im
I discovered Jenn's channel after spotting her in one of Claire's videos and falling in love with her sense of style. The fashion videos on the Clothes Encounters channel range from outfits of the week to closet favourites and "what I would wear" tags. Jenn's fashion choices are a great inspiration and template for creating your own unique wardrobe. I was also really impressed with Jenn's description of clothing - not usually something most viewers point out. Her voice-overs are clear and descriptive which makes her videos so enjoyable to watch!
LustreLux aka Katy
If I'm ever in need of a new make-up look, this is the channel I head to. Katy's make-up routines are spotless and incredibly easy to follow. She recommends products that are genuine, and would be beneficial to her viewers, rather than just plugging anything that is offered. I learnt how to blend eyeshadow and create out-of-the-ordinary looks for each day. This channel is great if you're wanting to experiment with different looks, or even if you prefer to refine the eyeliner skills you have. It may take a while to master the perfect cat-eye Katy has, but with the help of her videos I'm sure I'll get there.
Shameless Maya aka Maya Washington
Maya's videos don't have a set theme, but I had to include her in my life simply because I adore her. She is a very inspiring person, and after watching a few of her videos, you feel motivated to get up and work hard for what you want or where you want to be. Her channel also includes fashion and make-up videos which are great for gaining that extra style stimulation. She has a series called Maya's World which features vlog-like videos and updates on her life which I love to indulge in!
Lauren Elizabeth
Lauren's videos have become a favourite of mine after recently subscribing to her channel. I came across Lauren on Twitter and quickly realised how entertaining she is. Her videos always leave me smiling are great to binge on if you're feeling down and need someone relatable to watch for a few hours. Lauren is very active on social media so you can never miss and update. Her twitter feed is constantly buzzing which is great from an almost-addict like me.
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