Saturday, 28 May 2016

Playlist ~ Finish Line In Sight...

Exams have kicked in big time now as I've officially finished college and am now on study leave ahh. For me, once the exams start then I start to be able to see the finish line and it actually becomes less stressful and easier to revise. But revision now is like SERIOUS no messing around revision so of course I made the ultimate heads-down studying playlist.

I'm the sort of person that gets way too into a song and when I was listening to other playlists, revision time basically became karaoke time. Then I found a playlist called "music for concentration" that was all instrumentals and like classical pieces and I was honestly so much more productive as I wasn't skipping songs or getting carried away singing along. So I made my own!

This playlist has 7 and a half hours worth of music in it so it's perfect to just press play and get your head down. It full of super chill pieces of music as well as the scores from some of my fave films like 500 Days Of Summer and The Great Gatsby. So much ambiance!

Give it a listen and I promise it will help you get so much done!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

How I Style Embroidered Jeans...

I've found heaven, and It's a pair of Marks & Spencer's embroidered mom jeans. YEP MARKS & SPENCERS! I've been lusting after some embroidered jeans for ages so when my mum pointed these out on the M&S website I had to have them as I love love love the quality and fit of their jeans. And oh my oh my I'm in love.

I thought they be a hard piece to style due to the detail but nope, so effortless and easy. Here's how I'm wearing them...

Jumper- H&M
Bag- Next
Belt- unknown
My new go-to college outfit is just the jeans and this black H&M jumper. Honestly these jeans are so so comfy they're perfect for a casual outfit as you can pretty much throw any plain jumper/top on and you're good to go. For the weird, on-off weather we're having at the moment something simple like this is perfect as I can easily throw a jacket on, or the jumper is really light in case the sun decides to make an appearance. Super casual but I'm feelin like a 90s BABE.

Cardigan- Primark
Crop Top- H&M
I bloody looove this outfit. I love a crop top and mom jeans combo, I think it's so slimming and flattering on the waist but also don't feel too daunting as the jeans aren't tight. Having the little flowers makes the look so dang cute and girly. LOVE IT. Just need the sun back so I can get my belly out. Suns out, muffin tops out u know.

Charity shop queen back at it again. This simple striped t-shirt was such a good find as it literally goes with everything, been loving it under my dungarees. But when I'm feeling a little more colour and pattern I think it's so cute with these jeans, makes me feeling like I've stepped out of That 70s Show or Girl Interrupted. Also this is possibly the most comfortable outfit ever. Honestly, if you're looking for comfy mom jeans, these are the ones. Go get em.

Top- Mind (originally topshop)
Another charity shop win was this lace top which is so so beautiful, the detailing along the bottom and round the sleeves is glorious. Can't wait for the summer so I can wear this top with the jeans as the lace with the flowers makes for the best summer outfit ever ever. Also think this would be so cute for like going out for drinks or something. 

Shoes- Clarks (HERE)
I'm in love with my new shoes as well. I've wanted some of the Clarks Desert Boots for aages but I prefer shoes that give me a little height, so when I saw these I was like heart-eyes. They took ages to break in but it was so worth all that pain! So wearable, they literally go with everything. Gotta love Clarks!


Monday, 16 May 2016

'Why Are You Vegetarian?" ~ #NationalVegetarianWeek

It's National Vegetarian Week and as vegetarianism is close to my heart I decided I wanted to dedicate some time to it this week on my blog, sharing a whole bunch of perspectives and posts to burst some (super ridiculous) myths and questions about vegetarianism. I've been vegetarian for almost a year now and I've honestly never felt healthier or happier about my diet!

Probably the most common question vegetarians are asked is...

"Why are you vegetarian?"

Personally, I'm vegetarian as I realised how hypocritical it was to care so much for domestic animals and love animals in general but be fine with funding the murder of milllllions of animals. But also until I became educated on it, I had no idea how much the meat industry contributed to global warming, world hunger, poverty and pollution, the meat industry causes so so much devastation and I didn't want to support that. And really, how can you feel fully, completely alive when you're sustaining yourself on death???

But that's not the only reason, so I asked instagram and here are some reasons from all my favourite veggie pals, giving you a whole load of perspectives on the lifestyle...

Global warming mainly.. Not good for the poor planet.. And also the animals it's not fair that we have the control to use them and farm them in the way that we do and they have no control over it..
And I wanna eat better foods like I now eat vegetables every single meal basically whereas before I wouldn't even have then once a day so I feel more sassy now - Megan @meghetherington_

Mainly ethical reasons, the way the animals are treated puts me right off, even when they're stunned there's no way they don't feel fear before they're killed. But also the health reasons, nowadays we know red meat is a carcinogen and in a world where 1 in 2 people will get a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime why tempt fate when there's plenty of other, more healthy options that give you exactly what, or more than meat does. - Estelle @estelledf

I'm just all about the animal welfare haha. I don't believe animals were placed on this earth for us to eat, I also don't agree with some of the ways they are raised and killed, I don't believe we, as humans, have the right so essentially 'play God' and decide what can live and what can die just to satisfy our own species, they have as much right to life on this planet as we do. - Georgia @geoxgiarich

For animals and the environment I'm 14 so can't go vegan but when I'm 16 I'm going vegan. - Hannah @cha0s.calm 

Originally it was to try and lose weight and then it made me realise that eating meat is just so unnecessary and I don't think I could ever go back now. - Ben @benharrisxn

I believe animals should be treated how humans are and they feel physical pain too and I'm sure it would be classed as weird if you were eating a humans leg at Christmas. - Ellie-May @fl0ralpastel

I'm vegetarian because i genuinely believe that it is wrong to kill animals for our own consumption. Many people argue and say "although you're vegetarian there are still people going to kill animals to eat them so you're not actually changing anything", yes that is partly true, sadly people will keep killing animals due to the society we live in that is heavily dominated by people who assume that humans are the most important species, but at least I wont have the guilt of killing animals on me, and within my lifetime I would have saved at least 2 animals purely from not eating them. There are so many arguments saying "but you still kill animals for materials and products so you may as well use all of what they have to offer instead of wasting their lives", and I have to agree. Although I am vegetarian I know I still wear wool clothing and leather shoes, and I know that this is wrong which is why I want to be vegan, but giving my current living situation (I'm still at college, living with my parents with little say in how the weekly shopping money is spent) its difficult. I hope that in the near future I can change my ways and stop making excuses, but for the minute I am doing all I can. - Rachelle @rach.e.lle

I'm vegetarian for the benefit of my own health. I'm reducing my risk of heart disease and certain cancers. I'm vegetarian for the benefit of the environment. By cutting meat from my diet, I'm also cutting down the amount of fossil fuels in the atmosphere. But most important of all, I'm vegetarian for the benefit of all the animals who have suffered and been slaughtered for the benefit of - well...what really is the benefit? We are not superior, nor is it natural for us to eat animals. there's no reason for which something so cruel and harmful for our health and environment should be considered acceptable in modern society. - Amelia @ammmelia

I'm vegetarian cause I can't bear the cruelty shown to animals who are killed for us to eat and the complete lack of respect for animals shown by the food industry. Killing and frightening animals for a burger just doesn't make sense to me. Plus the environmental impact of rearing animals is fucking up the planet massively. And, to be honest, animals are cute, I couldn't bring myself to kill one so I couldn't bring myself to eat one. - Helena @helenasmadfatdiary

I was brought up as a vegetarian, so the notion of eating animals seems like an alien concept to me. It is for this reason that is suspect I will remain a vegetarian for better or for worse, forever. That said, I am not morally opposed to the very act of eating meat; I do not necessarily wish to unconditionally universalise vegetarianism either. Yet, I am an advocate of animal rights, and therefore I believe that the decision to eat meat does entail the perpetual suffering of a variety of species of creatures. Peter Singer, a noteworthy Utilitarian, notes that this suffering is the chief reason to avoid eating meat, and in many ways I agree. If it wasn't for the nastiness of the factory farm industry, and the brutality with which animals are treated, I myself would consider indulging in a hamburger on occasion. But, given the West's excessive style, I don't really foresee a world where the meat making industry has reduced suffering at cost to its own profits. So, for me, eating animals causes unnecessary suffering that cannot be justified, but I do not believe that someone who eats meat in moderation is therefore innately evil. After all, I have no claim to the moral high; find me someone who seeks to be entirely morally pure and I will show them to be a fallacy in pursuit of an unachievable end. - Izaak @groovy.cactus

When I was ten I saw a tv programme about turkeys just before Christmas, and it's put me off eating meat for life. I can never get my head round the idea of having what used to be a living, breathing, feeling thing, on my plate for dinner. It sounds cliche, but meat IS murder, and I resent the idea that an animal has been bred to be killed so that I can have a burger. Although my vegetarianism began on an ethical basis, I've recently become more tuned into the environmental impacts after watching 'Cowspiracy'. It's equally repulsive as it is fascinating to learn how much water and fuel is used on meat production, and how many forests are being destroyed for farming purposes. It's so wasteful. I don't, however, hold any judgement against people that do eat meat - I respect that it's a personal choice and a matter of opinion. - Mhairi @mhairi_music

I haven't been a vegetarian for long, at the start of the year I finally felt in control of food and therefore could properly take on a vegetarian diet with the right mindset and for the right reasons. My small time as a vegetarian may make me less of one to some people, but I'm being honest when I say it's now proudly a part of my identity and it feels like I've been vegetarian my whole life.There are so many different reasons to become a vegetarian, I think if people were forced to watch documentaries like Earthlings and Vegucated many would actually be more inclined to take on the lifestyle, but I think for me what did it were my questions about my own life and myself.Did I want to be someone who was happy to contribute to the torture and murder of animals? When I ate meat I felt extremely guilty, and towards the end of my relationship with meat I even started to have nightmares and panic attacks, it became a trigger. The discourse between my diet and mental health was becoming so intertwined that it just wasn't worth it.I have absolutely nothing against meat-eaters, most of my family are so, it's a choice and you need to do what makes you feel comfortable and happy. So I'm now around 5 months vegetarian and I'm immensely happier, healthier and looking forward to eating again! - Ellie @eldwards 

I never felt fully comfortable eating meat but I was never sure why. Initially, I decided to commit to vegetarianism - I was pescatarian to begin with actually - for selfish health reasons. I wanted to feel better and change my experience of being alive a little. And then the more I got behind it, I realised how important it is for our planet and for maintaining the beauty in this world. To protect the innocent animals that are slaughtered by the millions. I'm still learning more and more about how meat really is murder and how harmful it can be to the human body, but it's clear from even the most basic research that the benefits of a meat-based diet are drastically outweighed by the benefits of vegetable based diet. Also, a friend of mine put me onto the idea that if an animal lives it's whole life in a cage, in agony and then you consume it's frozen, defrosted and refrozen rotting flesh, the level of negative energy you're ingesting is maniacal. It's so easy to be vegetarian that I barely even think about it. It just means I get to try new food at restaurants, as oppose to a burger and chips. Being Vegetarian/vegan is the only diet choice that really makes any sense, if you ask me. - Lucas @lucassjoness

National Vegetarian Week is encouraging people to go meat-free for one week, what reason do you have not to give it a try? You can't ignore the benefits! Make the connection between your pet and your plate, if you saw how your food got there, would you still eat it?

Friday, 13 May 2016

The Strength Project #7 ~ Ellie-May Loveridge...

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."

I've followed Ellie for a while and her instagram is possibly one of my favourite corners of the Internet, it's bursting with colour, and positivity, and love. It's impossible to visit her profile and not feel happy, yet Ellie herself has battled with eating disorders and body image. I was eager to chat to her about both personal and public strength and see how her positivity online coupled with her personal struggles has shaped her view on strength...

What does strength mean to you? 

Strength, for me, is not about just getting through everything and doing amazingly; it's when you can feel so terrible and horrible in yourself but you let yourself feel it, you let yourself have bad days. It's okay to feel this way and feel that today won't be the best but it's always having that little bit of you inside saying 'you have to carry on, you can do this' and no matter how much you have to go through you still remember that.

Could you tell me about a time when strength was evident in your life? 

Fighting an eating disorder. I have a while now and I used to feel like I should give up because it had gone on too long and maybe it would be easier if I let it win, but I didn't and I won't, I still have these thoughts but my strength will not let me act on them, it's why I think of Luke (Ellie's best friend) as my strength.

Do you think strength is something you’re born with, or something you develop?

I think everyone has strength just sometimes people don't see it as strength as they're being so hard on themselves, like for me I believe so many people are strong for still getting out of bed every morning and doing what they can even if it's just going on a little walk.

Your social media is so full of positivity and positive messages for your followers, do you think helping others helps you feel stronger in yourself?

This is definitely it. I still struggle very much with eating problems and self confidence, but when I do something like post a picture of me or how I look now I panic about it and it does make me so nervous about what people think but once I see those pictures helping others it really helps me to feel more confident in myself.

Do you think that practising self love and self care is essential to strength? 

I don't believe it's essential to begin with as I believe so many people wouldn't feel they could when first starting seeing the problems they're having. So I'd say a good place to start with strength, like I said before is just getting up and telling yourself today will be a good day or leaving an alarm with a positive message as that really helps me to wake up and feel better about having breakfast.

In a society so influenced by media impressions of what is beautiful and harmful standards presented in magazines etc, do you think the relationship people have with their body can have an effect on their strength?

It can have an effect on their self worth and self confidence which can make them look down on themselves and this can cause them to feel they should give up yes; but for me I believe once we start to give ourselves positive words or comments, or even just things like buying ourselves new clothes or food it can make us start to see that maybe we're not the girl on a magazine but no one is, every front cover is different just like we are and we can't change that so we have to find what we like about ourselves.

Is there anyone in your life that really inspires you through their strength?

I cry whenever I get to this but Luke will always inspire me for everything he's been through. I can't say it enough but he's been through so much and still he fights and pushes through, and I know he doesn't see it like I do but it means the world to me to see him where he is now, and I will keep helping him as much as I can. He's just done so much and he inspires me to keep going everyday, I don't know what I'd do without him .

When do you feel strongest?

There's days when I'm very determined and just ready to fight through what I'm going through and those days I treasure so much, but I also know that those days do not last for ever. But the more I keep going the more I'll have them and I know that summer will be spent with my sunshine.

Could you describe what strength means to you in 3 words? 

Honesty, smiling, breath 


Ellie's instagram is a must-follow, she's like a daily dose of sunshine and inspiration.

Find Ellie-
  • Instagram- @Fl0ralpastel

Monday, 9 May 2016

Monday Muse ~ Joni Mitchell

"She's so busy being free..."

Joni Mitchell is possibly my favourite singer, she's an artist I never tire of and never skip. I talked a little bit about why I love her music so much HERE but in short, I love Joni's honesty in her lyrics. Her songs are so personal that it makes them simultaneously vulnerable and powerful, and I love that. She's a women that truly inspires me and I love love love her.

Joni's discography contains so many classic folk songs such as 'Case Of You', Woodstock' and 'The Circle Game' making her totally worthy of the tile of one of the greatest songwriters of all time. She's spanned decades and crossed genres but her music remains loved and powerful with her album Blue (my personal fave) being labelled as one of the top 30 albums ever made by Rolling Stone. But as well as being a folk music queen, she's also a total 70s babe, encapsulating the ultimate laid-back 70s vibe.

Joni is one of my ultimate fashion icons and someone I always have in mind when shopping. Her look is so effortless in that true 70s hippie style. Think floaty smock tops, A-line dresses, maxi dresses and vintage t-shirts. I love that photo of Joni playing guitar in just a t-shirt and flared jeans, it's so natural but also what a look. I'm so tempted to get myself some flares...

I think really the key to her look is comfort, her outfits were never extravagant like other 70s stars. Her pieces are simple and her looks never over-done so less is more. Get in the 70s hippie mind frame and you're half way there. Alternatively, put on Joni's song 'Chelsea Morning' when you're getting dressed and you'll naturally want to put on a maxi dress and skip around.It's all about the mind set!

If you've never listened to Joni Michell honestly what are you doing. I can't recommend her enough, what a beautiful spirit. She continues to leave such a huge mark on both music and fashion even now in her old age, she's a true artist and I couldn't love her more.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Exam Eating...

Exam time is here and that only means one thing- stress stress stress.

And I don't know about you, but when I'm stressed I fall into bad habits eg. eating a whole easter egg instead of revising, or congratulating  myself for doing work with like 10 sweets. But no longer! Lately I've been focusing a lot more on what I'm eating, and trying to give my body good stuff rather than junk. I know the temptation to just pig out during exam time is strong, but here's a couple of food swaps I've been making and things I've been loving to make exam eating a little healthier and happier for my body.

Having a good breakfast will 100% set you up for the day, and breakfast food reigns supreme over all other types of food. Lately my porridge addiction has hit a new high and I'm not even sorry. Porridge is full of fibre that helps to sustain you throughout the morning and the slow carbs in the oats will give you long lasting energy unlike sugary cereal which will give you a high and then a painful crash. Also, taking a little extra time to make proper homemade porridge is so worth it as the instant porridge isn't as good for you (and totally doesn't taste as good)

I've been loving mine with some cinnamon mixed in while cooking, then I put some blueberries in the microwave for like 20 seconds until they burst so when I put them on top of the porridge the flavour mixes in, and then I sprinkle on some chia seeds and sometimes some maple syrup for sweetness. LUSH and nutritious. It only takes like 5 minutes to make so super easy for a college/work morning.

GEOBAR snack bars (*)

Another really good way to sustain yourself and fill your cravings for something sweet is to have a cereal bar. I was recently sent these new and improved GEOBARS and I honestly love them. All 3 flavours are super good and fill the craving for sweets or chocolate that stress often brings. But instead of being full of junk, these bars are packed full of good stuff like fruit, oats, rice, honey etc which will keep you going as well as providing the sugar that your brain needs to work its magic. They're also a source of fibre so again will give you sustained energy to make the most out of your time and get the studying done. GEOBARS also do fruity bars, all natural energy bars and granola bars as well as these cereal bars, so you can totally choose what you like best.

Something I really love is that GEOBARS are full of fair trade ingredients, and as a result of their products school books, water tanks, generators and sewing machine have been bought to help those in communities less privileged than ours. Knowing the products I buy are doing good to both my body and the world means a lot to me, so that's a huge benefit of GEOBARS for me, it's ethical eating. Grab yourself a box!

A change I'm trying to make in the run up to my exams is to cut down on coffee so I don't feel tired or reliant on it. Instead I've been swapping coffee for fruit teas as I'm not a fan of normal tea. I love love love fruit teas as they really hydrate you unlike milky coffee, and your body neeeeeds water especially when it's stressed. Caffeine can cause insomnia and heightened anxiety which is not something you want to be dealing with right now (or ever). So cutting down on your caffeine consumption by swapping to natural, caffeine-free alternative like fruit tea; or even decaf coffee if you wanted, will stop you having highs and lows and help you stay calm and focused all day as your brain won't be as dazed with coffee. There so so many flavours of tea so it pretty much a guarantee that you will find one you love, so tea for everyone!

THIS IS MY ADDICTION. Really though why are dates so underrated? They taste like actual caramel dreamy goodness and do so so much good for your body! Some science person did a study and found that students that ate dates in the run up to their exams actually got better grades than those that didn't eat them, so I'm gobbling them down like nobodies business!

The best healthy alternative for sweets is these date sandwiches, they're gooey and sweet but give you so many nutrients and benefits like fibre, antioxidants and boost brain health as they're a huge source of vitamin B6 (which you're gonna need for exam season!) All you need to do is grab some dates and some peanut butter, spread it on and put them together. It's so simple but these give me such a boost so they're great for a revision snack. Also if you don't like peanut butter you can swap it out for something like nutella or almond butter and it will taste just as amazing. Honestly you need to try these, you won't regret it.

You could also make some raw brownies with some dates, I shared the recipe HERE. They're even yummier, trust me.

Obviously you have to indulge every now and then so don't deprive yourself of sweets every once in a while. But food that will give you sustained energy and make you feel good will stop you feeling tired and gross as exams loom. Eating well is so simple and doesn't have to take 10000 hours, there's so many blogs and youtube channels fullllll of tasty ideas so get your browse on!

Let me know any other exam eating suggestions you have, cause god knows I need them!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Met Gala 2016 Favourites...

When I woke up this morning all my timelines were blessed with Met Gala pictures and honestly I cried a little tear of joy. The theme was beautiful, the outfits were divine and here's a few of my fave looks...

Amandla Stenberg in Calvin Klein

I bloody love Amandla, I think she's so incredibly intelligent but also always kills it in the fashion game. I love her this in crop suit, it has just a powerful, girl-boss vibe that totally fits her. Yet the silky material and crown gives the look a sense of decadence. Its the perfect mix of classic and other-worldly. Yes yes yes from me, I love girls in suits at big events like this!

Lorde  in Valentino

Lorde looks like a dreamy fairy ballerina in this tulle layered gown. It's so refreshing to see her in light colours rather than her signature black, and I think she looks so amazing. The pastel dress and her pale skin set against her black hair creates the perfect contrast and makes the look even more dramatic. I just think this look is so delicate but still so powerful as the layered tulle creates an amazing texture to the dress. Love it, and I also love that Lorde got celebs like Taylor and Kanye to sign her cast at the event. What a babe. I can't waaait for new music from Lorde!

Dakota Johnson in Gucci

Straight up I think this could be my favourite look of the night. I love everything about this Gucci dress- the star print, the flowing material, the neck-line and the delicate lace. It's so simple in its shape but Dakota wears the dress so beautiful and the pattern and little details make it so interesting. The minute I saw this dress I fell in love, so insanely beautiful. I don't even know what else to say, it's dreamy.

Nicole Kidman in Alexander McQueen

Nicole got the theme perfectly in this space gown. So shimmery, so decadent, she looks like a queen. But really when does Nicole Kidman ever not look 10/10 on a red carpet? I think for me, this look met the theme- fashion in an age of technology- the best as it's so futuristic but so classic in its shape and cut. And the insane detail on this dress is out of this world, breathtaking. Imagine seeing this dress in daylight, would reflect so much light ahh magical.

Some of my other favourites were Lily Alridge, Florence Welch, Lily Rose Depp, Juno Temple and Lena Dunham's squad all in suits and glasses. What were your fave looks of the night?