Saturday, 31 December 2016

Things I Will Not Do In 2017...

I don't really understand how 2016 is over so soon, it's felt like such a blur but oh so much has happened. And so here we are again, at the reflective part of the year when we all talk about the things we're going to do in the new year. But when I sat down to think, I realised there was nothing all that new I wanted to do, only things to change. I wanted to focus on ending my negative behaviours rather than starting new things simply to ignore them. So instead, here are things I won't do in 2017- reminders to myself, behaviours to stop, issues to tackle by denying them affect on my life.


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1) I will not forget that nothing comes from nothing.

I think one of the hardest parts of working towards a creative career, is the complete and total reliance on you to actually put the work in. If I don't write, there's nothing to publish. If I don't actively seek out new platforms, it won't be published. If I don't work on my blog or mag, it won't grow. Everything is in my hands, and in 2017 I won't forget that. My mantra will be the Beyonce lyric - 'I grind til I own it' - and I won't forget to push for what I want. 

2) I will not put myself in competition with another girl.

2017 will be a year of sisterhood, and advocating my feminism in my daily behaviours and life, not just in my politics and beliefs. I'll work to be less bitchy and not say things I don't mean about girls I don't really know. I will never blame another girl for my emotions over a boy or something trivial, and I will work to be a safe-house and a hand outstretched to the women in my life. 

3) I will not obsess over food or exercise.

I have an incredibly addictive personality and struggle to do anything lightly which often reflects into my relationship with food and exercise. Moving away and living alone has made this super clear, so I vow to try my best to not obsess in 2017. I will nourish my body, eat what I need and what I want, cook more, plan my meals, not eat out of boredom and emotion, not use food as a reward, or restrict food as a punishment, do exercise I enjoy regularly but not stress about it or get upset if I miss a session. In 2017 I will not let my issues with my body/food just slip under the radar, I will (try to) tackle them and work harder to treat myself with more respect. 

4) I will not lose creativity in the face of education.

Doing an arts degree on top of my own creative projects can be draining, and if I'm honest, I feel myself becoming less and less creative as I get more uni work. But in 2017 I won't forget to write. I will carry a notepad everywhere, and become more proactive in my journalistic work. I won't let my degree become me, and my academic work will not be more only output. 

5) I will not be sleep deprived without reason.

Being 18 and a student lacks it a little unrealistic to say 'I will not be sleep deprived', but I'm going to stop staying up till too-late-o-clock just watching RuPaul's Drag Race or scrolling insta. I won't avoid sleep when I'm tired, and I definitely will stop working too late into the night and make a cut off point to stop working and start winding down on an evening. 

6) I will not under-appreciate my friends.

2016 blessed me with the most incredible friendships with some of the funniest, most inspiring, interesting people I've ever met, and I won't forget that in 2017. I won't forget to prioritise people that are good to me, or forget to say thank you and show my gratitude to the friends that ground me. I will remember to be a rock for them, and support them as they do for me. I won't forget to make them feel as lucky as I do, and I won't forget to make plans with them. 

7) I will not stagnate. 

I will not forget that change is good. I will not become lazy in my contentment. 

8) I will not buy things that don't make me feel 10/10.

In 2017 my wardrobe will be a happy place as part of my work towards self-care and self-appreciation. I will not leave my flat feeling crappy about myself because of my outfit, it's too trivial. I will wear things I love only while I learn to care less.

9) I will not forget self-care in the face of a busy life.

I will not deny myself treats. I will not deny myself sleep. I will not deny myself skincare, nail varnish, vanity, hot chocolate, films etc etc etc. In 2017 I will work to make self-care a vital part of my life/routine and regularly check-in with myself and give myself what I need to feel as good as possible as much as possible. I won't sacrifice self-care for my busy schedule, there's always time for me. 

10) I will not stop watching film. 

I love films, I won't stop. This one will be easy.

11) I will not let boys upset me.

NOT THIS YEAR LADIES. I'm 18, I'm happy, it's too trivial, it's all experience. I'll learn from it, I'll mourn it in a healthy way but I will not cry about it in the smoking area of a nightclub. Not. This. Year.

12) I will not sacrifice myself for other people.

In 2017 I won't forget the difference between putting your emotions and health first, and selfishness. I will be mindful of what I need and what I want, and not let that slip at the hands of another. I will not stray from my path to another if it's not in my direction and won't take me where I need to be. I won't let anyone make me feel selfish for doing this. 

13) I will not forget how much I've grown. 

I will not discredit myself, or forget the strength I've displayed and own. I'll remind myself of the things I've come through, but I won't forget that I'm not there anymore. I will not forget that right now is the light at the end of a dark tunnel, and If things get bad, I will use this thought as a comfort.

Here's to a new year, here's to you for the things you've done this year and all the things you'll do in the next.



Saturday, 24 December 2016

Playlist ~ Xoxmas...


It's Christmas eve and Lucy is only on her second christmassy blogpost ahhh behind the blogging calendar as always...

But I'm coming at you with the ultimate Christmas playlists to end all Christmas playlists so hold onto your baubles people.

If like me your Christmas spirit fluctuates between allllll the festivities and 100% grinch, this ones for you. With an even mix of classics, modern remakes and new tunes there's no risk of overdosing on cringe. It's got my fave Christmas bangers like last Christmas, all i want for Christmas is you (duh) and Mary's boy child (the best Christmas song, don't even try to argue against it) to get you fully in the mood. But this season has been a long journey down the rabbit hole as I've found eeeeveryone's novelty Christmas album- Destiny's child, R. Kelly, Ariana Grande etc etc. And the result is perfect harmony of bangers and vibes. You're welcome.



I hope you have the merriest of Christmas' from my family to yours, and lets see if I'll actually get any NYE posts out on time!


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A Christmas Gift Guide For The Late And The Lazy...

Hi my name's Lucy and I'm AWFUL at buy gifts. Nothing stresses me out more than present planning, especially while I've been away at uni with a million and one things to do and think about, so honestly I'm a late shopper.

And now here we stand, 5 days till Christmas and, if you're the same as me, the panic has set in as you look in your present hiding place and see nothing but a novelty mug. Girl I got your back. I've done some digging and put together a gift guide for the lazy and the late that's all totally reasonable and easy to get last minute, all you need is amazon and a high street.

1. Books

I love receiving books as they're like someone giving you a reason and permission to just sit and chill. Hobby books like recipe books, fashion books, travel books etc are always a great go-to if you can make it specific to the person you're buying for by getting something to do with something they're into OR based on an interest they've mentioned that they want to pursue like a vegan recipe book, or a travel guide for a place they want to go. Coffee table books are just a easy, fool-proof gift that when done right can be super personal and touching. Amazon still has 3 days left for delivery and there's always next day delivery with Amazon prime so ordering a book is super easy, otherwise Urban Outfitters always has the best selection of gift books.

Alternatively, independent, beautifully made magazines are the same kinda thing but less daunting if the person you're buying for doesn't read much, and sometimes they're just cool. Some of my faves are Oh Comely, Frankie, Dazed and Another all of which are easily available at WH Smiths. Throw in a bath bomb, fancy hot chocolate and maybe some pyjamas and boom you've got a pamper kit. 



2. Homeware

Cute little home things are always good. The Urban Outfitters Home section is basically my dreams so whenever I'm trying to conjure up present ideas I always take a browse on there. Little things with these cactus tealights, or something DIY for their bedroom are good as they inspire a new year bedroom re-jig and who doesn't love a little interior design. Getting something like a picture rope and printing some of their fave photos or insta pics is a simple way of making a gift really personal, and photo based gifts are a good way of creating a lovely gift while on a budget. Homeware stuff is probably the easiest to get when you're struggling for time as you can walk into any Urban Outfitters, TK Maxx, M&S and even some H&Ms and there's a huge selection. But stay clear of christmassy themed stuff, it's tacky and people want gifts that will last past the holiday season.

3. Miscellaneous

I like getting gifts that can really only be for that person. Something that's purely theirs to use and play with is perfect as it makes the whole thing way more special and luxurious when you don't have to share. The massage bars from Lush are always amazing as they're so pampering and a treat to your routine in this busy day and age. Lush stuff in general, although cliche, is always appreciated and with so many products and scents it's easy to find something for anyone and everyone. Also, simple fashion pieces like a scarf is good as there's less risk of it not suiting someones taste. A big chunky scarf in neutral colours won't morally offend anyone's aesthetic and is definitely a wintery appropriate gift without screaming "ITS CHRISTMAS" and begging to be disposed off post-jan 1st. Topshop, H&M and Zara are good for well made accessories that won't break the bank and at this time of year they're guaranteed to have a decent stock. 

Otherwise, something more fun and playful (and possibly better for a boy idk) is something like a mobile tense kit (which i really want!) or some sort of gadget accessory. Again, Urban Outfitters gift section guys! Lenses, I-phone projectors etc etc all crowd-pleasers but also the fun kind of useful.

4. Make-Up

If you want to get something that really is just for the receiver, makeup is a great go-to. However, picking shades can be so tricky when everyone's taste varies so massively. Unless you know your friends make-up opinions like the back of your hand, here's my fool-proof picks.

Topshop's Matte Lip Bullet in Fling (gift edition) - Topshop have loads of gift specific beauty products at the moment that come in nicer wrapping, and the lip bullets are currently on sale for £3. This lipstick is the ultimate dark nude, 'my lips but bolder' kind of shade that's not too scary but is still something. For friends that like the routine but are a bit shade-shy, this is a good one. 

Lush Cream Eyeshadow in Sophisticated - I love the Lush make-up products are they're so simple and versatile. This shade is a classic bronzey nude that suits everyone, it's a one shade kinda job, swipe it on and you're done. The packaging of these in the little bottle's also classes up the gift and makes it feel a lot fancier. 

Sleek Highlighting Palette - I swear by this palette so it's officially Lucy approved. The packaging is beautiful and gives it a much more high-end feel, and the product itself is just breathtaking when you open it. I have the Solstice palette, but sleek also does a more bronzey/gold toned palette called 'Cleo's Kiss' for darker skin tones, so it's easy to match the skin tone of the person you're buying for which is often an obstacle to make-up gifts. 

So that's my last minute gift guide for all us unprepared little souls, sending you luck for when you hit those shops. 


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Semester One ~ Thoughts & Lessons...


Ya gal survived her first semester of uni and all it took was about 100000 chai lattes, too much halloumi and a whole packet of star sequins. it's been tough obviously, but I can honestly say I've never laughed so much or been so happily busy in my life. Here's what I've learnt...


Social Life

These past months have taught me that I love a boogie and can always, without a doubt be talked into a spontaneous night out. Moving from a super small town to a city completely opens up your social life as you're surrounded by not only new people, but a new level of freedom and ease. You no longer need to run your plans by anyone, or really advance plan anything as all your friends are in such a small proximity. 

I think that's my favourite thing about uni life. I can text my friends like "coffee?" and within 5 minutes we're belly laughing over a cappuccino. Or how quickly a night out or a party is planned where one minute you're telling your friend you're feeling a little blue, 10 minutes later pre-drinks have started and you're off for a cheer up boogie. 

Sometimes it can be hard to keep up. For me, I went from having a pretty small social life, I had my best friends and that was us sorted. Also, having my first right in the middle of exams, I really wasn't a seasoned sesher before I moved, so the sudden boom in my social life was a bit of a shock to the system. But I've never been happier. 

You learn very quickly to go with the flow (and be able to get ready in approx 10 mins for any situation). Not so much freshers week as largely nights out and activities are planned in advance, but for the rest of the semester the majority of my best nights out and times with friends have been a last minute "I've got no work, want to hang?" kind of thing, or a sudden decision to go out. You have to leave your organised, stressy self at the door when it comes to your social life as when your entire circle is 18/19 year olds newly free of parental control, things very rarely get organised, or go to plan. One minute you're eating smash, the next you're dressed in a school uniform drinking aldi fake malibu with all your best friends. The moment you let loose is the moment it gets fun.

Before I moved I was definitely worried about the drinking culture at uni. Suffering with emetophobia where alcohol is sometimes a bad trigger for me, I spent a lot of my freshers week in a state of constant panic and anxiety. However, a big part of moving away is learning to fully and completely care for yourself, learn your triggers and how to calm yourself which has been something I've really focused on this semester. But honestly, it's not as bad as the media makes out. there's a million and one things to do that don't involve drinking, and everyone I've met is so chill and accepting of other peoples opinions and limits when it comes to that sort of stuff. 

All my fears were so quickly dispelled while my expectations were met and beat. 


Friends

My faaaaaaave bit. 

Ahh uni you beautiful little promising pool of new friendships and bonds, the big shiny sea of smiling faces. It's as great as everyone says it is. 

My biggest fear about moving was making friends, dealing with having had a crappy time in secondary/college with friends and being pretty shy and introverted, the thought of having to introduce myself to new people sent shivers up my spine. And really I started on a bad foot. I suffered terribly with anxiety and soul-crushing panic/homesickness during my first couple weeks that I really clung to my friend from home and my flat, I shut myself off and really made 0 effort to talk to new people apart from a couple girls from my course that I talked on on facebook before moving (which is literally the best thing you can do). But after reading week I made an effort and it's payed off. I'm suddenly surrounded by the most incredible people ever. All I wanted from uni was a solid little girl gang, and wowzas I got it. The women surrounding me are the smartest, funniest, strongest most incredible gals I ever did meet and every time we hang out I feel so privileged to know them. So many smiles and belly laughs.

The speed of friendship at uni is like lightning. The proximity, the ease of organising to hang and the total freedom means that it's so easy to slip into that immediate, intense beautiful kinda friendship where one day you're going for that first coffee and a week later you know all each other dirty little secrets and you're borrowing sesh garms from each other. Being at the same school surrounded by largely the same people for 7 years, moving to a new place and having this amazing new open opportunity to bond with new people has been the best and I really feel like I've come out of this semester as the best version of myself (cringeville)


Academics

The most boring of them all but still a 10/10.

For those that don't know, I study English Literature and Language. If you're thinking of doing the same course I'd really recommend looking into the content of your course/uni as some universities don't have a specialist lit/lang department so you have completely separate sides of your course. I'm lucky that Sheffield has an amazing department so my classes combine the two aspects which is exactly what I wanted.  

However, semester one is painful. I've battled through the most boring modules of basic theory and introduction to things like grammar, prose and speech sounds, and older students have promised that semester one is the lowest point of the degree. You're often left in the dark as the jump between the hand holding approach of college to the independence of uni level study definitely took us all by surprise as you're sent off to write essays without three months of essay prep and classes on HOW to write the essay like you get in school. But it's so rewarding and interesting. As much as it can feel tenuous, even my basic modules have taught me so much and I've found areas of my subject that I never thought I'd be interested in but actually love. 

A lot a lot a lot of people drop out in semester one as it really is a sink or swim kind of situation, or maybe more a sink or float. It's very easy to get left behind as the work and reading is constant, and for me, I struggle knowing when to switch off from work as you're basically living in your school. But that's all part of the learning experience, and semester one has really just been me trying to get into a routine that works and keeps me on top of work as well as allowing room for my growing social life. It's tricky, but do-able. I think a lot of the issues come when people never really get out of the freshers week mentality and forget that uni is now there home and they need to function rather than just survive. The balance of study, looking after myself (food wise, mental health wise, sleep wise etc) and social life is something I've never really had to handle before living at home, but when you crack it, it gives you a whole new level of independence and understanding of something called adulthood that everyone keeps talking about??

Let me know about your uni experience, or if you're applying to uni feel free to ask me anything on social media, I'm your gal. Here's to semester 2.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

2016 Fashion Awards Faves...


What do you do when you A) can't afford a fancy outfit, B) have no reason to own/wear a fancy outfit? You judge what other people choose to wear of course!

The 2016 Fashion awards took place on Monday so all the top names in fashion (and fame in general) were there, meaning there were some stellar outfits. Lets discuss...

Pixie Geldof - Pixie looked typically ethereal in this glorious white flowing gown. The shape of this would normally cause a big question mark in my mind but with the low neck line and pulled in waist it's so flattering. I also appreciate the choice to wear a glowing white gown when most other people went for the classic black dress or metallics. Pixie's style seems to have changed loads recently as she's moved into music more, possibly a change in inspo on her part?

Victoria & David Beckham - YES YES YES YES. Everything about this was great. Matching yes, Victoria's absolutely perfect nod to the YSL masculine/feminine vibe, the power poses, the love, the beauty yes. I adore Victoria Beckham, she's like a fine wine getting tastier and more exciting with age. This was so unexpected for her as she usually goes so classic, but it's two big heart eyes from me.

Lady Gaga - Gaga always goes so Hollywood starlet to awards that you just know she'll look incredible. As a fashion icon she's so versatile and adapts so easily to her surrounding and purpose and this beautiful Brandon Maxwell shows that perfectly. After her recent coming out about her battle with PTSD and emotional new single, she's looks strong and confident and majestic. No one could possibly have a bad word to say about this look, it's so elegantly put together. FLAWLESS.

Bel Powley - Bel Powley is such a girl crush of mine after watching her in Diary Of A Teenage Girl, what a face. I think the younger generation are always so exciting to watch at events like these as they're normally the most likely to take risks as seen in Bel Burberry power jumpsuit. Plunging neckline and fluted sleeves creating tailored ABBA greatest, big big fan. I think I just love trousers at award shows to be honest, and Bel's got this so right from the hair to the makeup to everything.

Immy Waterhouse - I'm going to go as far as saying that this is my fave look from the whole night. The shape of the flowy lace trousers vs the little bandeau is so so flattering and I love that Immy hasn't tried to look older as the look is super youthful and fun and doesn't take it's self too seriously. It's accessorised to perfection and topped off with the classic Waterhouse flowing wavey hair. I want this outfit, I need this outfit.

Jourdan Dunn - A quick nod to Jourdan's makeup which is flawless and glowing as always. Pure perfection, how does one acquire that face.

What were your fave looks?

Friday, 2 December 2016

Coats Of The Season ~ The Roadman Vs. The Princess...

Black puffer- ZARA
Boots - Jeffrey Campbell
Leopard print scarf - Topshop
Jeans - Pull & Bear
Pink puffer - Primark
Stripe scarf - ZARA

Tommy Jumper- UO
Leopard Print coat - ZARA
Star Trainers - Pull & Bear
Both trousers - ZARA
White coat - Topshop
Beanie - H&M

This winter I'm so into merging completely different aesthetics, my wardrobe has become a mess. I think the colder seasons are the perfect time to experiment with stuff like this as the necessity for layers forces you to add different aspects to your outfit and create combos you might not be able to slot perfectly into the fashion hole you fall down in summer.

The two coats I'm all heart-eyes for this winter show this completely - the puffer vs the fur. The roadman vs the princess. Two completely different looks from completely different fashion backgrounds and histories but I think, when done right, they can be so interchangeable, merging a more business casual, YSL fem/masc look with the sportswear that hype that's so huge at the moment. I think both of them are such statement pieces they make the outfit rather than mask it.

Someone please get me to Primark so I can get my hands on their new baby pink puffer! I'll be wearing mine with either high-waist mom jeans and boots for ultimate 90s babe vibes, or tailored trousers and trainers. I just love that mix of formal and casual. The merging of street-wear/sportswear and structured pieces used to feel so superior, kept only for big time 'spotted at fashion week' bloggers like Susie Bubble, but now the high-street is so on it, it's everywhere.

And for once it's not a case of pick your side like it so often is in fashion. The stereotypes that were once associated with these two bold coat choices have completely mutated. The view of women in fur coats as snobs or rich kids faded into nothing when the fashion industry turned its back on real fur (ew), and the idea of 'chav couture' was fully adopted the moment that Burberry print (you know the one) became a thing but also as sports brands have become a vital aspect of this era of ready to wear high fashion, possibly partly due to Yeezy and the supreme kids (?)

I love that the coats of the season are almost ironic in their styling. Like yeah, I'm going to put on my best Zara cigarette trousers, a turtle neck-jumper, some Jeffrey Campbell statement PVC star books and oh yeah, my north face puffer.

Ironic street-wear, ironic rich girl vibes. LOVE IT. I'll take both please.