Sticker Planning

So i am very new to the sticker planner girl community, although i am a long time sticker lover and have always been an avid watcher of PWMs and Sticker hauls on youtube. Elle from Glamplan being my guide and guilty pleasure channel for ages.

These are things i have learned so far:

  1. I am terrible at laying down stickers
  2. Stickers are expensive
  3. Planning is time consuming
  4. Planning can be stressful!
  5. I am fussy
  6. The community is amazing – Literally everyone is a fantastic person, caring, loving and supportive and i am so grateful to have found such an outlet and group of people to vent to and seek assurance from
  7. I need to search etsy more
  8. I need to reach out more
  9. You can cover any mistake if you need to
  10. Boring things can be fun and pretty

So admittedly some of these things are superficial at best, but hey, its my planner, only i need to see it and only i need to use it, so what if i like pretty stickers, whatever motivates me to do something is a bonus!

So here are a couple images of my first attempt to a more recent spread, so you can see the slow transformation. Shout out to Sugarloop (NZ based) and Lovecloud Creative (AUS based) for the beautiful stickers! There is a lot to work on and to work out, and my style i imagine will mature, but we all have to start somewhere!

 

10 Item Wardrobe

So i have just been sat here watching a poorly shot but interesting TED talk on a theory called the ’10 Item Wardrobe’ – if you want the full effect and explanation this is the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3CLRL32Mcw

My first  impression was of immediate horror and the idea seemed impossible. To cut down my wardrobe to 10 key items, 4 bottoms and 6 tops and just continuously wear the same items over and over again. In our society the idea of wearing the same outfit once a fortnight is ludicrous! Although i am a big repeat offender in that respect, i generally try to avoid wearing the same clothes around the same people as much as my wardrobe allows and continuously complain at its lack of variety and choice to help me avoid repeat outfits. So, this idea of cutting even more from it is very alien and very scary.

However by the end of the talk it seemed quite liberating. The idea that you present yourself in your best clothes all the time, that you represent you in your truest self in your style and your comfort… sort of just makes sense. Why am i buying all these pointless clothes that i don’t feel amazing in just so i have more choice of things to put on? What i should be doing is using that money and time and investing in things that make me feel amazing all the time and worry less about what other people think, or whether i am repeating an outfit… because heck, that outfit looks great on me and makes me feel confident and sexy, which is a much better accessory than a purple crop top i bought to inject some colour into my wardrobe.

So maybe 10 is a little radical for me, i need some variety, i live in England our weather changes so often that layers and clothes for all weathers are a must have. But maybe the excessive amount i do have, even now when i am on the other side of the world with one suitcase that i don’t wear half of, should be the wake-up call i need to cut it down. So this is my promise to myself that i will get it together tomorrow, throw away anything with a stain or a rip, or that doesn’t fit me quite right and start enjoying the clothes i do wear, everyday, not just when its been long enough since the last time i wore it.

Stained

“You’re still all over me like a wine-stained dress i can’t wear anymore”.

We have all had that one ex that was your everything, your all encompassing world and who broke your heart and left you lost and alone in a world you didn’t know, with a person that you didn’t even know existed without him.

Clean by Taylor Swift i think gives an interesting and relatable approach to what it feels like coming out the other end of that relationship. And i could do a thousands posts on him, and that relationship and the aftermath of it, but for now i don’t feel like this is the place to share that.

But i want to discuss one line in the song that has stuck with me. The idea that you continue to wear that person and that they still have a place and hold in your life. And me for one completely believe that to be true. They are your past, they defined you for a long time, and they helped to form you into the person you are today and truly without them you wouldn’t be you, even to this day. Which is not the most comforting reality for the majority of us, who like to cut them out of our lives and show how we have ‘moved on’. But i don’t think it necessarily has to be a bad thing, i think we should be proud to wear that stained dress, because that’s the newly tie-dyed better version of yourself that may no longer be in its purest form, but has the colour of life and learning and shows how far you have come.

So i don’t want to be clean. I want, just like in the immortal words of rocky horror and Christina Aguilera to get dirty.

I want to get stained by the people who have changed me, who have impacted my life for the better, or even for the worst, because where i stand today is only as a result of me and how i have overcome the hurdles they created. But a life without hurdles to climb would leave me lazy, lonely and boring… Which are not the words you would use to describe someone in a wine stained dress.

Be My Valentine

On what a cliche of a day, and oh what a joy or torment it can be.

I am lucky to not have to spend it alone this year, and have the solid not presents rule, but just taking it as an excuse to treat ourselves and have some truly quality time together. Which is a shame, that it takes an almost made up holiday to stop you enough in your tracks to actually spend time and enjoy the company of your partner. Obviously it would be impossible to treat yourselves everyday, or spend that much quality time together that you wouldn’t kill one another or the specialness of it be significantly reduced. But, maybe it shouldn’t be a once in a blue moon affair, we need to take more time away from the screens, from work, from lovely but interfering friends and really work on the core relationship itself and that unique bond. Because sometimes if we don’t take a minute to check in and be present, we lose the time we have with that person and eventually them altogether, because no one can live just waiting for that one day a year that they become your priority.

Having said all that, i don’t necessarily think valentines day has to be about couples. It never was for me when i was a kid, my mum used to get me and my sisters a card and some chocolate every year just to show she loved us. It was an excuse to show love, in any form. This for me includes self love. The utter importance of showing yourself love, really taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and financially are the basis for a happy, secure and fulfilled life. Valentines day may just be that check in point early enough in the year to get you back on track from the faltering new years resolutions. So this year treat yourself and be your own valentine before you are anyone else’s. Take the time to have some ice cream, have a bath, watch a movie all snuggled up, have a takeaway or go out to eat, just refocus on you and binge because tomorrow will be a new day and maybe a good place to restart that new year kick up the ass!

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO used to be, and still on occasion is my own personal torture.

In a world that is telling you to say yes to more, to go and explore, to just leave the house. Sometimes you just want to say no. Sometimes you just want your duvet, not leave the house for a couple of days and live in total bliss that the rest of the world doesn’t exist and isn’t going on without you.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, that little luxury is very quickly killed by snapchats, tweets, instagram and the ease of communication. Because, of course, the one time you don’t go out will be the day they all take photos and put them up everywhere for the world to see how you aren’t there, how ‘lame’ and ‘not fun’ you are in comparison.

So, inevitably, you drag yourself out of bed, have the long over due shower and force some kind of clothing on to make yourself look photo ready. Because, god forbid, you miss out if you don’t.

The reasons to drag yourself out when you just aren’t feeling it are countless… more than likely you will enjoy yourself when you get there, you rarely have the chance to see everyone in one go, you haven’t been out in ages. Unfortunately, we all know the real reason we are putting ourselves through this torture is because we don’t want our friends to think we are boring.

And we need to get over that. Our friends are our friends for a reason, and that won’t change just because we don’t want to go to the club this Friday night. They won’t think you are boring if you take the occasional night to yourself, although they may tease you are getting old, or some other rubbish in a last ditch attempt to drag you out.

We have created a culture that doesn’t allow you to just fancy some time at home, but instead guilt trips us into not allowing it for the literal fear of the social ramifications. Those social ramifications meaning you can’t join in that story, that something big might happen and you’ll be the last to know and worst of all you won’t be in the group shot that everyone has as their cover photo. Maybe i am getting old and boring, but, i am just sort of sick of the ridiculous amount of pressure i put on myself to go to things i just don’t want to do. I know i can just message my friends another day for dinner or to come round for a movie night, or something that just feels better for me. And that’s how i want my friendships to be, on a mutual happy little level where i don’t feel like i have to do anything or go anywhere to avoid judgement and loneliness.

So screw the FOMO, if i miss out, i miss out. At least i will wake up to hear plenty of gossip, of which none will be about me, I still have the killer group shot from last time to have as my cover photo and i know i will hear the story enough times that i will basically feel like i was there anyways. So yes, life might be about making memories and the big moments, but its mostly made up of small ones and boring mundane nights in, and you know what, that makes a pretty cracking life all on its own.

 

Success For A Woman

Many people have spoken about success and what it means to be successful, and most of them have been men, because for a long time, only men had the opportunity to achieve it. If you will, they had a monopoly on success, not only as an idea, but also in practice.

The door is opening for women to come forth and be more present in not only this discussion but also in this practice of achieving success.

But again, how do we measure it, what does it look like, how do we achieve it?

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence” – Colin Powell

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come” – Dwayne Johnson

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” – Mark Twain

But what is it that makes you successful, that lines you up for success? Is it ignorance, consistency, perfection, enthusiasm? Or is it something else?

I don’t believe there is one way to measure success, one recipe for making it, one way to celebrate it. It is a personal struggle and a personal achievement that to me equates success. Only you can measure yourself and how far you’ve come and how far you have to go, if anywhere. That’s why i believe you can find no simple answer for what success looks like or what it is the measure of.

So i can’t give you something to work on, or look at, or ponder, or in fact any answers at all. But i can let some very important women give you some wisdom, that you never know, might just inspire you to find what will make you the most successful you that you never knew you already were.

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakely

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama

“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

This is my take on success, and one womans voice in this great debate.

Why you should visit – London

Obviously i am biased! This being my hometown, but that doesn’t make it not a spectacular holiday destination. As the UK’s largest city and England’s capital, it is a thriving hub of places to explore and things to see.

Notable attractions: Big Ben, Parliament, London Eye, the Shard, Tower of London, St Paul’s & Westminster Abbey, Buckingham & Kensington Palace, Tower Bridge & London Bridge, Cutty Sark and of course Trafalgar and Leicester Square.

So although they may be the most notable things to see while wandering the old streets of central London, they aren’t the only appealing things.

For a culturally entertaining day; the countless museums and galleries. For example the Victoria and Albert, Science, Natural History and  British Museum are worth a walk around. If you fancy a more artistic day, the National Portrait, Tate Modern, Tate Britain or National Gallery might appeal a bit more.

For theaters and shows, you have endless choice in the west end, or shows at the O2 or Royal Albert Hall. For a slightly different and cheaper approach i cant recommend enough a fiver standing ticket at the globe, your legs might ache a little by the end and you are exposed to the elements, but the rustic, traditional shakespearean productions will make a fan out of anyone.

If you want to walk around some markets, you are in the right place! From the delicious selection on offer at Borough Market, to the antiques at Portabello road, to the fabulous little stalls at Spitafields, you can have a whole day out exploring the little stalls of London markets. Another recently saved and soon to be fully restored indoor market is Smithfield market, brings you the crop of the day and the finest meats London has to offer. If you want something a little more alternative and a bit further out, a trip to Camden Market cant go a miss, the array of pubs and bars, mixed with food stalls and independent shops makes an eclectic but beautiful mix.

If you are more of an outside person and just want to explore the green spaces of London, you can walk from St James Park into Green Park and then through Hyde Park, and along to Regents park and up onto Primrose Hill with relative ease. Hyde Park in particular is a hive of activity from music acts through the summer months to Winter Wonderland in the winter, and of course home to Kensington Palace. Primrose Hill is a particular favourite and home to a delicious and stunning little cake shop, aptly named Primrose Hill Bakery.

Fancy seeing some famous little spots; Baker Street, the famous home of a certain detective, Mr Sherlock Holmes. Or, Abbey Road Studios, where a very famous band, The Beetles recorded an iconic album. Maybe a walk through Whitechapel on a Jack the Ripper experience is a little more your thing? In which case, with the London Dungeons not a stone throws away you can have a whole afternoon of creepy! Maybe you are a little more of a romantic and would rather have a walk along the canal in Little Venice? Or fancy more of the orient in China Town?

Not to mention of course, one the major appeals of London is the shopping. The busy rush of Oxford Street from Primark to Selfridges! Or the technology center of Tottenham Court Road and Regents Street. To lovely Carnaby Street slightly more hidden away but still rammed full of inviting shops. Notable shops are of course; Selfridges, Liberty, Hamleys and Harrods.

I could go on forever of things to see and places to go in London, but instead i’ll round it off here with a few of my favourite little spots. Brick Lane, the best place for an Indian in the West. Hampstead Heath, endless fields and foresty areas to get lost in, and if you are brave enough some ponds to swim in. Notting Hill at the end of August for Carnival. And finally, Haringey Green Lanes, the only place to get a Turkish, Kurdish or Greek meal in the country, Kebabs that aren’t just for 2am but for a gourmet dining experience.

 

Why you should visit – Wellington

Lonely planet dubbed it the “coolest little capital in the world”, and for good reason!

Not only is the city surrounded by a picturesque hilly-mountainous backdrop, but its array of bars and pubs with multiple live music options every night and countless easy going quirky inhabitants only add to its appeal.

From Cuba Street; a cool road in the center of town lined with cute independent shops, amazing cafes and coffee shops and countless pubs and bars. Some of my favourites being midnight espresso (coffee shop), bad grannies (pub), Ekim Burgers (food van, cant have the food but can kill the milkshakes!) and minerva (independent book, stationary shop)

To Courtenay Place; one of the main roads in Wellington for bars and ‘clubs’, some of my suggestions being Danger Danger (DJ always takes requests and plays all the major hits from the 1980s onwards), The Residence (nice chilled pub), Establishment, and if you fancy a slight heading off the main road Dakotas (a cowboy inspired bar with a mechanical bull!)

For more cultural activities the city is thriving, it has Te Papa, the best museum i have been to in a long time! It has 5 floors of New Zealand history, from Maori history to cultural and social changes in the more modern era. It has also a lot of natural history and filled to the brim with interactive and well put together exhibitions.

The city has a set of botanical gardens, admittedly not the most extravagant or most beautiful set the world has to offer, but the option to head up there via cable car which has a fun light-show attached makes it a much more exciting and fun day out.

If you fancy more of a walk you can head up to Mount Victoria lookout, not too much for a hike and the views over wellington and the harbour are to die for. Or you can walk along the harbour from the train station down to oriental bay, a nice sandy beach.

Or, if you fancy your walking more routed in shops and city life Lambton Quay is the place for you. A thriving curved street that goes from the train station and parliament (which does several free tours a day by the way) right to the end of Willis Street another shoppers paradise.

Wellington always has some sort of activity going, it has weekly food markets, to stock up on fruit and veg and grab a delicious meal from one of the stalls (every Saturday and Sunday), or the late night eatery that is the Friday food market on Cuba. It also plays host to lots of cool buskers, pop up entertainment and city organised events like ‘Welly Christmas’

It has all the classic things you expect to find in a city: Cinemas (most being independent, so slightly more comfortable and classy with the added fun of a bar), Laser tag (unlimited play from 6pm till close on a Thursday or Friday for just $15, including free arcade games to fill your time between games) and of course bowling alleys.

Any day of the week there is something going on, and most of the time you don’t even need to know where to look. A beautiful, chilled and bustling little capital city that will steal the hearts of anyone who comes to visit her.

My 1 year suitcase – a packing guide for a working holiday

A working holiday is a big commitment, even more so is working out how to pack your life into one suitcase. So here is my essential packing list based on what i wish i had brought and what i wish i now didn’t have to lug around.

  1. If you never wore it at home, you wont wear it abroad. The reality is you live in the same clothes week in week out, because they make you feel happy, comfortable and confident. You won’t want to wear that skimpy red skirt that you’ve had in your wardrobe for a year and only worn twice because every time you put it on you feel a bit self-conscious and end up changing. You will not want to experiment.
  2. Bring more shoes. I only brought 3 pairs of shoes with me, a pair of heeled boots, which in the 4 months i have been here have been worn a maximum of 12 hours in total. A pair of trainers, which i lived in while on the actual travel portion of my working holiday so far. And, finally, a pair of brown ballet flats, which since i have stopped travelling have been my go to. I wish i had a pair of waterproof flat boots, or brogues, or had the insight to bring a black pair of shoes when i got myself a little job.
  3. Bring a canvas shopping bag, you know the ones, they are always giving them away free. They will be a god send, they make the perfect day bag for a little walk, a beach day, to transport your book or some snacks rather than lugging your big holdall bag.
  4. Black clothing, seems boring and dreary for the fun-filled adventure of your life, but the reality is at some point you will run low on funds, maybe even completely out and need to get yourself a retail or waitress job to tide you over. They seem to always require you to wear black trousers or a skirt and either a black top or a white one, so save yourself having to buy them out here and then work out how to stuff them in your suitcase to get them home again and pack them before you go.
  5. And, on that note, remember to bring an interview outfit
  6. Warm clothes, now i sound like your mum nagging you about the all important coat and jumpers, but i guess sometimes we forget that hot countries have winters too and that it still gets cold at night.
  7. Cosmetics, stock up on all your beauty essentials as they will have to last you the year, all your ‘cannot live withouts’. They most likely wont stock your favourite brand or if they do it’ll cost a bomb and you’ll end up begging your family to pay extortionate fees to ship them over to you.
  8. Don’t forget your laptop and make sure you stock it up on TV shows to binge, wifi can be sparse and expensive, so having a catalogue of things at your disposal will be a godsend!
  9. More than one towel… i made that mistake and always had nightmare trying to wash my hair with nothing to wrap it in, most hostels at a price will loan you a towel, but to save those precious $$$ just bring an extra
  10. And finally, socks and tights, they always go missing, you always need them and they are the most boring thing to spend your money on!