Last Day of Summer

31 August 2015

Top - Matalan // Shorts - Matalan // Sandals - Dorothy Perkins (similar) // Bag - TK Maxx // Jewellery - various charity shops
Just about everyone in existence is saying this, but I can't believe it's September tomorrow. A year ago, that would mean the dreaded school season returns. Today, that just means yet another working day. I have been counting down the hours to this summer bank holiday because there hasn't been a public holiday since May and it's a long time overdue. For most, the bank holiday means a day shopping or relaxing in the sun. Sadly, I live in the North and I can happily shop on my lunch break. However, I am visiting Birmingham with a group of my friends today to explore a city we haven't been to before. But first, I wanted to show off my official 'last day of summer' look because it's literally the last day of summer. 
My shorts are a new favourite, bought in a bid to look more summery throughout the warmer seasons because I never usually do. To go with them, I would usually gravitate towards a black t-shirt or something else very dull, so instead I chose to go with a bright pink top which brings out the lighter colours in my patterned shorts. My gladiator sandals have been in my closet for longer than I can remember, they're still in such amazing condition and have become my go-to shoe for the warmer weather. I was actually quite surprised that the metallic tint of the sandals matches well with most items in my wardrobe, making them some of the most versatile shoes I own. 
I hope you're enjoying your bank holiday weekend and get up to plenty of fun!

Let's Connect!

30 August 2015

One of my all-time favourite ways of finding new blogs and connecting with the ones I love is Bloglovin'. I came across the site naturally when starting my blogger and haven't logged out since. 
As an incredibly nosey Northerner, I love finding out more about the people behind the blog and I also think it's good for readers and followers to do so. 
If you have a Bloglovin' page, feel free to pop over to my profile page. There, you can find an archive of Anika May posts, for the good ones to the very, very, bad ones. You can also follow me to be notified of every time I post something new on my blog, as well as add Anika May to your collection of followed blogs. Anika May is also on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (@itsanikamay). which I can never seem to log out of and Tumblr never stops running. I would also love to get to know and interact with the people that come across my page, it's so exciting for me and a brand new experience too. Nip over and say hi!
I hope you had a lovely weekend, watch this space for a brand new OOTD tomorrow morning!

The Ice Queen Coat

26 August 2015

Coat - Matalan // Top - F&F // Jeans - Topshop // Boots - Next (similar) // Bag - Next (similar)
Before I blab on about my amazing new 'ice queen' coat, can we take a moment to be upset that summer is basically over? Personally, I'm not crazy about the fact that I'm shopping for coats (as much as I love to) and no longer having the inclination to eat salad because it's warm. I'm not the biggest fan of summer, hay fever and bumble bees tend to damper the season, but I do like waking up to the bright sunshine rather than a dull English day. 
My coat, which I bought in Matalan's most recent sale for only £12.00, is a new season favourite for me. When it gets cold, I tend to gravitate towards darker colours without noticing. This bright blue pastel piece, which I have renamed "The Ice Queen Coat" really helps to brighten up my AW15 wardrobe and pushes me to wear much lighter colours. The name for this coat was lightly inspire by Jadis the White Witch due to the colour she wears in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. My top, which is slightly cropped, is also a new favourite of mine from the summer sale. It's really easy to pair with just about everything and has a very subtle pattern to spruce up a look. It's become my go-to tee for nearly every outfit, it's just a shame a I didn't buy two!

New CID Cosmetics i-flutter Mascara Review

24 August 2015

Finding an honourable mascara is a struggle for me. I don't often find ones that work for me as I have very small and thin eyelashes; luckily, they do naturally curl up so that is never a worry. On the other hand, I do look out for products that will lengthen and add definition to my lashes without making them bulky and heavy. I came across the New CID Cosmetics i-flutter Mascara after falling in love with their i-polish, which I reviewed in July. The mascara does come in three colour, but I would always stick to black. The one thing I adore about New CID Cosmetics is the high quality products, and fair price. For a good quality, sometimes we must splash out on a little more than £10.00. For it's reputation and prices, I would put New CID Cosmetics on a scale equally between high street or drug store and high label. 
It's not often I find a lot of blogs that review mascara so I tend to shop around and find what's best. I usually stick to Rimmel, as their wide range of lash defining products have been incredibly useful over the years. Yet, I have found this mascara to top them all. The brush is soft and easy to handle, the bristles aren't ever uncomfortable or prickly which is quite common on high street products. I've also found that the brush works for all lashes, not just the inner or outer ones. The actual mascara has a very soft texture and doesn't turn rock solid during the day. I've found that this brush separates my lashes, as one of the biggest problems I have previously had are my eyelashes getting stuck together and looking like the legs of a spider. 
After around a month of using this product, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who's looking for someone who's looking for something above high street level, without spending too much. 
Have you ever tried this mascara? Or any other New CID Cosmetics products?

18 Things I Learned While I Was 18

23 August 2015

I always look back on the past year like it was a lifetime ago. I started my blog when I was 18 and thought everything I posted was fantastic. Just looking back at the photos (including photo #1 - my first blogger profile picture) makes me cringe a little and it was only around a year ago.  Most of the valuable knowledge I have acquired, I learned during my 18th year of life. For the first time (in forever), I was alone and didn't have anything to fall back on. There was no excuse for being a child, because I'm technically an adult. I am always treated adult which came with a huge sense of pride and an extra topping of responsibility. It really means that I need to think about what I do, before I take any action. Of course, the world doesn't revolve around me but 2014/15 taught me how much I want every day to be different. Right now, I'm in a 9-to-5 office job doing the same thing, day-in day-out. Being there over the past eight months has also really aided my sense of adventure and pushed me to realise I want so much more.

Each day will bring it's own anxieties, stop stressing.
It's likely no one is looking at you.
Friends can fade away, and it's not always a bad thing.
Finding a job is really hard.
I still read to many fashion magazines.
My confidence is down to me.
I will probably never have a consistent work-out routine.
Writing is what I enjoy most.
Having a diary isn't juvenile.
My music taste can be whatever I want.
I'm really ambitious.
I like being independent.
Being tall is awesome.
A sense of adventure keeps my mind alive.
I would travel forever if I could.
I'm really bad at singing.
Romance is nothing like the movies.
I will never stop blogging.
When I look back on starting my blog at 18, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing (and my bedroom was embarrassingly decorated). But almost a year later, I still know how much I love writing about anything and everything. Photography and media still remain key interests in my life too. My photos have changed quite a bit over the years, and I've experienced a lot despite it never feeling that way. From getting my first job to being able to write freelance and never feel shy about it. In the moment I don't ever feel like I'm learning much; but reminiscing over the last year has assisted me in appreciating how experience in the outside world has educated me so much more than I could ever imagine. 
PS: make sure you follow my blog on Bloglovin'! You can find all my posts on there too.

Office Party

19 August 2015

Office parties are a rare thing nowadays. No one seems to have time for anything, me especially - but when the chance arises for the team to get together and celebrate a strong flow of hard work, I'm the first one to say yes. Office parties began as quite a formal affair, the highest of heels and puffiest of dresses were worn for the big event. Today, you wear your best booty jeans and try to keep it casual, this is the North after all.
For this look, I chose on of my favourite blazers which has become a reliable source for making my outfits seem mature. As I get older, I start to ditch the hoodies and tunics and try to dress more for my age. The cropped cotton top I'm wearing is proof that monochrome could easily be stronger than colours. The vibrant pattern is eye-catching enough to become the centre of my outfit, and compliments my blue denim jeans well. Finally, I did want to add a little high to the colloquial get-together so I chose my leather booties that have a tiny heel on. They're formal enough to smarten an outfit without going full-blown 9-to-5 for the evening.
Blazer - F&F // Top - F&F // Jeans - Next // Boots - Next // Watch - M&S 

The 8 Office Worker Clichés

17 August 2015

I've worked in a 9-to-5 office for a while now, and I finally understand why people opt out of full-time work - it's exhausting! Although, during my time in the office, I have started to notice a trend throughout each desk - employees can easily become stereotypes. They morph into the kind of characters we see all over television and it seems like programmes like The Office, 30 Rock and The IT Crowd aren't just for comedic effect, they're absolutely spot on.

The Comedian
The one who gets a real thrill from making someone laugh, and is unable to tell the difference between a "go away before I punch you" laugh and "I feel sorry for you" laugh. Their jokes are never  funny and either consist of inappropriate sexual humour or making fun of others. They have endless amounts of self esteem has the energy to tear down.

The Slacker
The one "worker" who gets away with doing absolutely nothing. When they are given a job, they resort to unloading the task to the next available employee and will infamously visit the in-office kitchen every hour for an hour. They are way too relaxed in the workplace and don't realise the ream meaning in 'team player'.

The Know-It-All
Also known as the boss' baby. They're the employee that loves to teach, even though their wage or position is no higher. They believe the office benefits from their (useless) knowledge and love nothing more than spreading their words of wisdom wherever they can. The know-it-all is the first to answer a question and will do absolutely anything to please the manager.

The Wannabe
The worker who dreams of fame and fortune but isn't quite their yet. They spend all day browsing social media and idolising the Insta-famous and Twitter royalty. Everyone does their fair share of social media stalking, but The Wannabe takes it to an extreme and lusts after anyone with a few thousand followers.

The Socialite
An employee who will never refuse to stop talking. The Socialite is either texting, taking phone calls or distracting others with pointless conversation while barely completing a workload. They usually get on very well with The Wannabe and The Slacker and find themselves dragging others into their circle of incompetence.

The Mime
The Mime is an office worker who never speaks. They're very quiet and don't like too much attention thrown their way. The Mime will do their workload in peace and never raise to many questions. Any sort of party or celebration in the favour is the equivalent to a living nightmare. When this worker does speak, they don't bellow or yell - they'd never want to cause a scene.

The Genius
This worker is exactly what The Know-It-All wants to be. The Genius was employed due to their impressive grades and amazing ability to learn any skill in no time. Getting the job done is absolutely effortless and they learn much quicker than the average employee. The manager relies on them like a second in command and with very little effort, they never fail to disappoint.

Football Season

13 August 2015

Gillette Stadium, 1 Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA 02035, USA
Here's a fun fact about me: I'm a girly girl who absolutely loves American Football. Anything NFL I'm interest in and after a long wait, this evening marks the first pre-season game for my team, the New England Patriots. This always comes as shock for most people. I'm not the most feminine in the world but I wear dresses nearly everyday and pink is my favourite colour (stereotypical, I know). I have no idea where this passion for the game began, non of my family members or friends are interest - but I love it. Sadly, the game in the US is at 7:30pm (EDT) which means 12:30am here in the UK. Out of the entire team, my favourite player would have to be Rob Gronkowski, a 26-year-old tight end. He's huge but lovable and extremely talented. Of course there's Tom Brady but he's everybody's favourite. 
This outfit was put together solely on the fact that football starts again and I'm way toe excited to hold it in! Go Pats!
T-shirt - Amazon // Hoodie - Amazon // Jeans - Next (similar) // Boots - Dorothy Perkins

Life as a Blogger: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

10 August 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
Blogging has helped me to grow in more ways than I could ever imagine. It's provided me with opportunities and skills I would have never attained without taking the plunge, but that doesn't mean that this hobby is all fun and games. There are a few honest truths about blogging that I have realised over time, which are only natural in such an industry.

The best thing about blogging is discovering yourself as a person. And not in an 'Eat Pray Love' way, but in a way that helps your distinguish your likes, dislikes and tastes. Before I started blogging, I was all over the place in terms of my individuality. A lack of confidence meant I would often try to imitate those who did have a real sense of assurance. There were plenty of girls who radiated poise and determination, even if they didn't mean to. So in desperate need of that ray of courage I would try to, in a sense, morph myself into a version of that person. It didn't work. It didn't work because it's not who I am, that's something I have to figure out rather than try to fit into pre-made moulds.
Since blogging, I've realised that I have a ridiculously expensive taste, not matter how much it hurts my current account; but, I also love nothing more than trying on a dress designed just for me by my mum. By realising what kind of person I am, who I like to associate with and what style I'm into, my confidence grew. It grew because I became sure of what was on the inside and the outside, which reflected in my natural demeanour. Although I'm not a complete social butterfly and extrovert, my timid trait seems to be backing down. I don't run away from social situations and will happily have a 45 minute discussion on how salted popcorn is better than sweet or how much I love Chris Evans with anyone. I'm also my own boss when I blog, which makes me very happy.

As amazing as blogging is for someone, it also has downsides. I don't want to force these points, but they can't be ignored. When you're a blogger, you're making that element of dedication to an online site based on anything you desire. As someone who's embarrassingly ambitious, I hold certain standards for my blog and, of course, want it to be successful. With that comes a lot of pressure to keep up with the movement of modern times. Whether that's getting the latest gadgets or owning the highest label of clothing. The pressure is there even if it's not spoken of and it can affect anyone.

Believe it or not, there are sides of blogging even I don't enjoy. When you create your own space on the Internet, aspects of your life are on show for the entire world to see. The more people that see that information, the less control you have. Once something is on the World Wide Web, it's impossible to erase forever. Putting yourself out there takes great courage, but it also means you're open to the opinion of others who have no regard for feelings. Harsh words burn, and are the drive behind the 'ugly' side of blogging. The Internet is something that can be used for so much good, but sadly, it's also an incredibly powerful tool for destruction.

Designer Crush: Prada

7 August 2015

Milan is the city sat right at the top of my travel list, one of the main reasons being my admiration for Prada. The luxurious fashion house was founded in 1913 has continued to dominate without losing an ounce of originality ever since. Whether it's releasing mobile phones, perfumes or luxury leather products; Prada always seems to be one step ahead in the industry. Their recent AW15-16 ready-to-wear show had become one of my favourites while scouting trends for the youthful vibe without straying from the brand's stylish reputation. Check it out below:
The classic Italian label not only stocks my favourite bags (the Saffiano leather totes), but is also responsible for some of my most cherished
catwalk looks. From their classic SS06 collections, which was crisp, clean and simple to their stunningly elegant AW13-14 ready-to-wearlooks from the runway. Prada has become an international label known for it's precise design for both men and women and deluxe prominence.
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