I’m So Glad You Tucked In

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Reflecting on 2018, Patting Myself on the Back and Expecting the Unexpected

People, kids, humans, guys and gals, we did it, we made it through 2018. Hurrah.

What a year it was, hey?!

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It’s impossible not to feel reflective when the clock strikes 12, the bottles pop and the fireworks explode on the last day of the year.

It’s true, looking back over the year isn’t easy for me; it’s been one of the bumpiest journeys to date and I couldn’t be further from where I thought I’d be.

Having said that, and despite all the pot holes, scratches and turns in the road, I’m still proud of where, who and what I am right now.

As a Brit and a girl, it’s easy to feel like shouting about your achievements is just showing off, but why the heck shouldn’t we? Looking back is all part of moving forward in my opinion, so what have I learnt and what have I achieved this year?

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I Learnt to Enjoy Life 

The biggest lesson so far (and one I’m still struggling with) is learning to enjoy life. While working for myself can be stressful and hard to juggle at times, having the freedom to start and finish when I want, the freedom to take a holiday when I want and the freedom to choose my days off is an absolute luxury. For a long time I beat myself up about this, I’d conditioned myself to belive work should be painful and miserable and when it wasn’t I worried I wasn’t working hard enough. Which was not the case!

I Took my Career into my Own Hands 

At the beginning of 2018, after five years of writing for free, I was desperate to get paid for putting words onto the screen and I was determined for 2018 to be the year it happened. After pitching to hundreds of different publications and thousands of editors, I finally started to get paid for my work. Amazing!

I Got Published on the Huffington Post

The end of summer was a particularly difficult time for me this year and when my mental health issues really came to a head, but despite this I still managed to have not one but TWO articles published on the Huffington Post website. This was one of my proudest moments and a huge highlight of 2018.

I Swerved Binge Drinking

For years I’d toyed with the idea of being alcohol-free and after my summer of hell, I decided it was time to give booze the elbow. Although I haven’t stopped drinking completley because, well, mulled wine, I have stopped binge drinking. I didn’t set myself any unrealistic goals, I didn’t swear I wouldn’t drink a drop ever again, I just wanted to see how it went and yeah, I’m going to continue to see how it goes. So far so good.

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I Walked the Walk and Talked the Talk 

When I went freelance this year I had no paid writing work (don’t try this at home); I was pitching, writing my blog and dog sitting to make ends meet, but I told people I was a freelance writer/blogger and slowly that’s what I became. I do believe if I’d been coy about this, I wouldn’t have got as far as I have. You have to believe in yourself.

I Ghosted Diet Culture

The ‘Don’t Salt My Game’ podcast has been my absolute saving grace this year. I’ve been on a ‘diet’ since I was about 12-years-old. Desperately punishing my body, restricting food, counting calories and over-exercising in order to obtain my ‘dream figure’. It’s safe to say, despite all my efforts, it never worked and I was never happy. Listening to this podcast gave me the courage to drop out from diet-culture, to trust my cravings, get in touch with hunger and realise what I eat or don’t eat, doesn’t equal my worth. It’s not always easy and I still have days when I feel fat, wish I could get into ‘those jeans’ and had legs like ‘her’, but I keep pushing. It feels unbelievable to say finally, after 16 years, I’M NOT ON A DIET and I want to keep it that way.

I Broke up with Foundation

No, I definitely don’t think I’m the best looking person on the planet, nor do I think I have the best skin, but I do know I’m pretty lucky when it comes to my complexion. Still, I was terrified of going anywhere without lashings of foundation on my face. It wasn’t until a colleague said I looked better without it I decided to go foundation-free and honestly, I haven’t looked back; I take pictures, I go to big events and even nights out without it. I’ve broken up with the bitch and all I can really say is thank you, next.

So What’s Happenin’, 2019?

As the title suggests the main thing I’ve learnt from this year is to expect the unexpected. So much can and will happen in a year, I hope I can continue working hard, spending time with the people I love and taking care of my mind and my body in a way I wouldn’t have done if 2018 hadn’t panned out like it did – I’m so f****n’ grateful for 2018.

 

Getting Back to Basics: A Year of Hormonal-Free Contraception. Did I Make the Right Decision?

Warning: I’m about to air out some dirty laundry. You ready for some girl talk ladies?

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Back in 2017, I threw in the hormonal contraception towel.

I. Was. Done.

If you’ve been following my blogs and articles this may feel like yesterday’s news, but I promise I’m not about to repeat myself. This post is taking a slightly different direction.

First, some background info: I started taking the pill when I was 15 years old and had different forms of hormonal contraception until last year, when I was 27. I thought it was messing with my mental health, my weight and my sex drive, so I decided to swap sticks, pills and coils for rubber.

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I know exactly when I’m ovulating

Over the past thirteen months I’ve slowly got to know my body. This sure as hell didn’t happen overnight, but I’ve learnt to read the signs.

Now I know exactly when I’m ovulating: my breasts will be huge, painful and tender (even hugging a teddy bear feels like torture), I get a twinge in my ovaries, I get really hungry, my discharge changes, my weight increases (ugh) and my libido goes through the roof (more on this later).

My moods swing as much as a sweet chariot carrying someone home. I hoped this might disappear if I stopped pumping my body with hormones, but while they haven’t improved per say, knowing why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling helps a little.

For two weeks before I’m due on I’m irritated, (everyone starts bouncing on my last nerve), I’m impatient, I’m less motivated, it’s harder to socialise and I will probably cry. Like I said, it doesn’t fix this, but knowing I’m more sensitive stops me punishing myself for being quiet or hating myself for feeling lazy. It allows me to be kinder to myself and let things go. I give myself the space I need from other people, I allow myself to have a cry and I allow myself to take a nap – it’s not going to be the end of the world!

My periods have changed

Sadly, my periods have become heavier and more painful. As I sit in Starbucks right now there is dull ache in my lower abdomen. It feels like crabs grabbing at each of my ovaries – piss off you little bastards! This is probably the biggest negative for me, especially as I was period free for years thanks to the implant in my arm.

Over the past year my monthly cycle still hasn’t evened out. I was having periods every 21 days when I first went ‘au natural’ and it really sucked. Recently they’ve been 31 days..so who knows, maybe this is my new normal.

Clothes off, rubbers on

Depending on just condoms to prevent pregnancy can be quite scary. My boyfriend and I are SUPER careful but when you’re eleven days late, you feel sick and your PMS is mirroring the signs of early pregnancy it’s not enough to put your mind at ease (neither is a two negative pregnancy tests and a trip to the doctor).

As for ruining the mood or making ‘it’ feel shit? Well, it’s just part of the foreplay and not to bear all but ‘it’ couldn’t feel any better quite frankly.

While we’re on the subject of getting it on, and to add to what I was saying earlier, the best thing for me is getting my mojo back! My libido was as dead as a dodo when I was on hormonal contraception, but not anymore! I feel like a proper female again and it’s liberating.

So here it is, the big question: have I made the right decision? Definitely. I feel like the positives outweigh the negatives and I feel like my body has become a good friend I need to take care of, not an acquaintance I’d rather forget.

 

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Bag, Skirt, Trainers, Headband – Topshop, Jumper, Roll Neck – eBay

 

Following the Yellow Brick Road: Life in Colourful Clothing

One of things I’m super passionate about is wearing loads of colour. For me, there is nothing that makes me happier (or more confident) than a bright blue coat, a red dress or a pink suit.

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Coat, Trainers, Trousers, Socks – Topshop, T-Shirt – Boohoo (ASOS)

Yeah, I might get a few strange looks from passers by or the odd comment from a ‘friend’ saying: “I wouldn’t dare to wear that”, but it doesn’t really bother me. It’s all about feeling good, being true to myself and having a load of fun.

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Trainers, Skirt, Bag, Headband – Topshop, Socks – Poundland (no joke), Jumper, Scarf – ASOS

On the odd occasion, when I want to hide myself from the rest of the world, I’ll pick a darker colour scheme, but it ends up making me feel so much worse. It never gives off that ‘edgy rock and roll’ vibe I might be trying to portray, instead, I end up feeling dull, drippy and boring.

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So here are some of the most colourful outfits I’ve been rockin’ these past few weeks. Mabe you’ll think they’re a little too much, or maybe you’ll be inspired to brighten up your outfits too!

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Trainers, Blazer, Bag, Headband – Topshop, Jumper – ASOS, Socks – Poundland (I swear!), Jeans – Pull & Bear (ASOS)

 

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Trainers, Suit, Bag – Topshop, Socks – Sports Direct, Top – ASOS 

 

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Jumper, Boots – Topshop, Jeans – ASOS, Bag – eBay

Have a super duper week guys!

Peace, love and kisses,

L x

Old Things in New Places: Moving from South to West

So what the hell have I been up to? Well, this week I made the move from Elephant and Castle to Chelsea, to live with my boyfriend, George. I do love a bit of change, but it was hard to wave goodbye to Elephant, the flat I’ve called home for three years and my younger brother, who I miss loads – ew, soppy!

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Having said all this, I’m so excited about this new adventure and can’t wait to see what these West London streets have in store for me.

Moving is great because it gives you the chance to have a good ol’ clear out. I’ve re-fallen for some clothes and been making special efforts to style them up in new ways this week.

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This tartan skirt is a vintage piece I’ve had for..oh God, I don’t even know how long, but each time I pop it on it feels as good as new..so here’s me raising a toast to old things in new places!

 

 

That’s A Wrap

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Yeah, it’s getting colder, there’s no doubt about it. I’m not a huge lover of any extreme temperature, hot or cold, but I try my best not to let the drop in temperature get me down.

9A09FEDD-C281-4F4B-90F0-FE31152AF768It’s easy to engage in conversations about how cold, awful and miserable the weather is, but sadly that won’t make the sun come out, the rain go away or the days any longer.

I try to make the most of this time of year, to celebrate all the things you can do in winter like wearing great coats,  sitting by a crackling fire and taking long winter walks feeling more wrapped up than a pig in a blanket on Christmas Day.

Granted that’s not always easy to do, especially when you’re on the way to a party, it’s tearing it down with rain and your umbrella has just been blown inside out. Yeah, I’ll be the girl in the corner with the curly fringe and red cheeks – line up now new friends and aquaintances. However, I think it’s good to try!

So what are the things you love most about winter? Do you love or loathe this time of year?

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Coat, Scarf, Skirt, Sock Boots – Topshop, Jumper – ASOS

 

 

 

 

 

Learning Curve: It Doesn’t Have to be Picture Perfect

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Since going freelance in September I’ve been trying to put more effort into my social media. I can’t lie, it’s not been the easiest journey for me. I’ve always been terribly camera shy; I hate looking up in photos and I don’t believe I have a photogenic bone in my body. Having said that, I love styling, I love blogging and I love Instagram.

Although social media has its flaws, I LOVE seeing ‘normal’ girls styling and wearing outfits. It’s pushed me to be more experimental with my own style, to wear things I may have believed I was too fat or ugly to wear and to get infront of that TERRIFIYING camera.

I’ve pushed myself to create my own platform: a platform where I can publish my own articles, write about whatever I want and demonstrate my own sense of style. I can be creative and have loads of fun!

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I took these pictures a couple of months ago and I was tempted to delete them. They’re very blurry, my hair is a mess and they’re edited differently to my recent images, but I’m going to leave them (for now, haha), because social media isn’t supposed to be picture perfect, it’s not about getting it ‘right’ everytime – that’s what those glossy magazines are for right?!

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Coat & Rainbow Jumper – ASOS, Jeans – Topshop, Western Boots – New Look