A little life update, why I’ve been slightly AWOL and some news

27 June 2017

It feels strange to start a blog post with anything other than a leading statement or witty joke, but today, we’re going to start with hello. So hello! In typical British style and in line with every email I’ve sent over the past month, I hope you’re enjoying the weather and not roasting too much at night time. Today I thought I’d hypothetically sit down with you (although, technically, I am sitting right now and you too may be - on the toilet, perhaps, where my friends and family tend to catch up on my posts?), enjoy a brew and catch you up on all that’s been going down in my life lately.

T-shirt - H&M (ASOS alternative)
Skirt - Missguided*
Swallow Earrings - Roz Buehrlen via Jewel Street*

I realise the title seems slightly ominous, but other than the odd hiccup here and there, things have been going pretty well. As you may have seen Keiran moved out into our first rented home together, an affectionately old, slightly shit but definitely beautiful old Victorian house with high ceilings, faux fireplaces and a lovely case of damp in the kitchen.

We’ve been in the house about two months now and I’d say for the most part, the decorating is complete. It took a while for our landlord to agree to fix some of the issues in the house (we haven’t had a shower screen the whole time we’ve been here, so every morning leads to a very wet bathroom floor), but now we have a date for the builder in the diary, we’re well on the way to completing our home and I can stop my nagging daily emails to the property manager.

Having moved into the house, however, I feel like my day-to-day schedule has been turned completely on its head. Living at home, you take for granted how much time is freed up by somebody else taking over chores like ironing or handling the gas and electricity or watering the plants. I’ve never been a clean freak but I can feel myself tensing up when things need to be done in the house, even more so when I know I have work deadlines to contend with and, you know, those things called social commitments. I want our home to feel like our kingdom so I don’t particularly like hiding the impending ironing under the bed, but when the chores never seem to end, needs must.

The house, amongst other things, explains why I’ve been slightly AWOL as of late. I’m also still working two days a week in the office, and I’ve had a couple of festivals and breaks booked in over the past two months so the time to sit down and write has been pretty few and far between. I don’t even feel like I’m running myself into the ground because, being honest with myself, content has been fairly slow, but I do feel like life behind-the-scenes has been busier than usual so my Instagram existence has taken a little bit of a back seat.


Speaking of content, I’ve also felt a little disillusioned with the blogging world as of late. I haven’t known what to say or what to show that I feel is of any proper value, and so much content now has been organised, positioned and manicured to within an inch of its life that I’ve honestly been a little pissed off. I remember scrolling through the whole Instagram-bot saga and feeling like I just couldn’t care less. Yes, it’s annoying when people cheat to get ahead, but I felt like everybody on Twitter was reading from the same script sheet. I’m tired of reading bloggers write about bloggers, and I’m even annoyed at myself for bringing it up now, but I almost felt like I was getting sucked into it against my will, losing the elements of myself that made me want to write about vaginas and personal image and funny stories from my weird childhood.

But that’s coming back. I’ve recently written a sponsored post that I couldn’t type fast enough (you’ll know what it is when it’s up, it’s very me), and I’m getting back into the swing of shooting outfits that I love and want to share. More than that, I’ve also finally taken the plunge and officially quit my job. My two days in the office will now become no days in the office, bar the occasional odd few as I’m staying on as a freelancer. This news has been met with mixed reviews; Keiran was slightly apprehensive, probably because we have rent to pay and bellies to fill, my Mum just turned around and said “why?”, my brother told me he was very proud and Hannah gave me a high five over coffee.

I’m feeling a mixture of excitement and fear. My blogging career had reached the point where, if I wasn’t going to dedicate any more time to it, it had roughly plateaued in terms of what I could do. I’ve been trying to pick YouTube up again (which is definitely more time-consuming than I remembered), and I really want to get more than two blog posts out a week which, factoring in the admin, the house, the boyfriend and the friends, was going to be impossible minus two full days being spent in the office. I feel like I’m ready to grab the bull by the horns and really go for it - just really have a good old crack at making this thing take off - but at the same time, I’m absolutely terrified that in a month’s time, when my bank balance is depleted and my boyfriend is annoyed and my resolve is depleted, that I’ll regret it. But I have to take that risk, otherwise I never will (FYI my boss has been incredibly supportive and I never would have gotten this far without her, so I’m willing to raise her from boss to certified BAWSE).

And that’s where I am right now. Somewhere between here and god knows where, sailing through emails, eating a lot of pitta bread and begrudgingly admitting that I, too, am now addicted to Love Island. I’m ready to face the end of an era and a new beginning all in one, and, hopefully, I’ll be sharing some pretty cool and pretty positive things with you from hereon out.

Until next time lovelies x

The Busy Girl’s Guide To Oversized Denim

24 June 2017

In the words of JoJo, it’s just too little too late… Well, actually, it’s not, but sorry that this week’s ‘The Busy Girl’s Guide To…’ is a day late. My friend Ellena arrived yesterday to spend the weekend with us, so I spent my Friday frantically cleaning the house, ironing bedsheets, blowing up airbeds and wondering if everything was just quite Pinterest enough. As I sit here now, ceramic mug in hand, giant gold circle mirror reflecting back my tropical leaf MacBook cover and new Zara  diffuser spreading ‘Jasmine Chic’ throughout the house (thanks Ellena), I think I’m safe (and a total cliché).

This weeks edition of TBGGT is an unashamed ode to Tommy Hilfiger. Last week I met the girls from Tommy for a beaut breakfast at The Ivy in Soho (beautiful place - deffo recommend if you’ve never been) with some fellow bloggers, before heading over to the newly refurbished Regent Street store for a spot of shopping. Tommy denim is iconic, so I couldn’t resist this unisex jacket, even though the only size they had left was a large. Unintentionally super oversized - that’s basically the story of my life (just not in a cool way, unfortunately). FYI, this post isn’t sponsored, but if you are interested, The Chainsmokers are now the new global ambassadors for Tommy Hilfiger and the third TOMMYNOW launch will take place at London’s Roundhouse, with the entire show being shoppable as it’s shown!

Jacket - Tommy Hilfiger *
Shorts - ASOS
Sandals - ASOS
Bag - Tommy Hilfiger*

But back to the denim, this week we’re celebrating everything oversized, from mom shorts to the boyfriend jacket. Notable stages in my relationship with denim include being emo af and distressing as many Primark jeans as possible, followed by skin-tight jeggings that showed the band of my pants when I sat down and then, of course the Joni jeans for life era when absolutely everything had to be paired with super black (but always fading), super high Topshop bangers. Hands up if any of that rings a bell.

And as of late? Straight leg blue jeans with staggered hems and during the summer months, the seasonally appropriate, ‘Mom short’ equivalent. Post-Rome trip, I spoke about why summer dressing gives me the fear, mostly owing to the fact that denim hot pants do my inner-thigh chub rub no favours and I find myself lamenting a good old comfortable pair of jeans. But it wasn’t all bad - having found my stride with ASOS Mom Shorts and then falling back in love with oversized jackets, denim is well and truly back on my summer radar.

As always, I’ve rounded up the best that the internet has to offer for all things oversized denim. Whether, like me, you’re trying to track down a pair of shorts that won’t leave your skin red raw whilst on your holidays or you’re wanting to bag a jacket that can see you through Autumn and even be layered up for Winter, then today is your lucky day because I’ve done all of the searching for you (and, let’s be real, all of this stuff is affiliate linked so if you do decide to bag something, there’s a little treat in it for me too (total side note: do you guys feel like bloggers and influencers shy away from discussing affiliate links? Potential new post, me thinks)).

Until next time lovelies x


On fashion blogging and not taking myself too seriously

19 June 2017

On paper, this is my job: source new/desirable clothing pieces, style them up, photograph them, edit them, write about them, and share them - “glorified clothes horse”, I believe, is the term that is bandied about the internet by those less than enamoured with the blogging game. If I’m ever trying to explain what I do to somebody’s grandparents or the lady behind the desk at the bank, my go-to is “I’m basically used for advertising - but in my own way…?”.

Inevitably, bloggers all met with the same retort: “what, somebody pays you to send you free clothes?” Cue one of two routes: either trying to explain the power and merits of influencer/blogger marketing, the potential return on investment for engaged brands and the ever-changing digital landscape, or, save yourself the time and the breath, shrug, laugh, and evasively respond “well, there you go!”.

When I first started to draw an income from blogging - and, honestly, even up to the past few months - somebody questioning how I made money felt like they were questioning the validity of my career. I felt like, masked beneath the questions, what I was really being asked was “you can’t seriously be making money out of that? Is that even a real job?”. Working part-time, I found that the days I was working as a blogger instead of in the office were referred to as my “days off”, as if being my own accountant, manager and photographer wasn’t enough to warrant a grown up girl career badge.

Dress - ASOS (Petite, Tall and Regular)
Sandals - ASOS
Necklace - Mi Moneda*

Over the past few weeks, however, there’s been a shift in the way I regard myself. Cards on the table, the world is a huge shit-show at the moment and blogging about dresses, my chubby girl weight and how I feel about comfy footwear has all felt vapid. Not only vapid, but so far removed from my real life.

Online I was pushing my new favourite dresses and the affiliate links to find them through, whereas in my personal life, I was championing Labour policies and raging over the biased media representation of the UK terror attacks. That’s not to say I was silent on social media, because my Twitter feed was a sea of Labour support and unashamedly ‘Please Vote Corbyn’ efforts - but I still felt that there was a major disparity between the way the world was turning, and my efforts to make sandals seem interesting. Because who really, really, gives a fuck about sandals, even at the best of times?

My job is sometimes difficult. It’s time consuming. It’s stressful. It’s anti-social at the best of times, which is ironic, given that it’s built on the bones of social media. The truth is, however, that I’ve really stopped taking myself seriously. What I do isn’t ground-breaking, and most of the time, I can appreciate that I’ve worked hard to now be my own boss whilst at the same time accepting that I’m lucky to be able to do the job that I do.

Funnily enough, in a moment of perfect timing, two guys just sat down next to myself and Hannah whilst we work away on our laptops and started quizzing us about what we do. “So who pays you for that? How do you even make money? So does she make more money than you? Do you want to beat her? How long do you think this will last? Can it really go on forever?” Normally this would piss me right off, and I’d shoot an aggravated text message over to Keiran lamenting the amount of nosy parkers in the world. Instead, however, I answered the questions (albeit as succinctly as I could), exchanged raised eyebrows with Hannah and continued to edit.

Shop the post

To them, two bloggers drinking coffee and eating fancy salads most likely looks like the absolute life of leisure. Whilst they head back to the office to continue their dick-swinging contest, they probably think we’ll soon close our laptops to plait each others hair and gossip about Troy from the lacrosse team. As far-fetched as that seems, the truth is that I’ll soon head home and take some Instagram shots of sunglasses or pyjamas to prep some content for my feed, so I can’t be that pissed. Before you burn me at the stake, obviously there is more to content creation than just mindlessly snapping pretty things - however, to some degree, it is kind of that.

And I feel no shame in admitting that. I take my work seriously because it’s my career, it’s my passion, and I feel that in the online spaces we create for ourselves, we can action real change in each other and the world. Alongside that, though, I also don’t take myself too seriously. I’m not a maverick campaigner, I’m not a frontline nurse, I don’t spend my times securing huge international trade deals - I create content for you fabulous huns and I share my life on social media. I know there is value in what I do, and I value myself for doing it, but I also know that that value is relative - if somebody said to me tomorrow “is you’re job really that serious?”, my gut reaction, naturally would be incensed hatred and rage, but if I was being honest with myself, the answer would be “kinda, kinda not”.

The world would keep turning if I closed my laptop lid for the last time, and moved on to pastures new. I probably wouldn’t be that missed, if at all. As strange as that may seem for me to admit, it’s also an act of freedom for myself. In not taking myself so seriously, I’ve alleviated the pressure to always create content that has value - that really, truly means something. That’s the content that gets my loins a’burning, but it’s also content that’s difficult to produce every day of the week if your life is just kind of ticking along in the background.

So here it is. A confession. I love my job, I’m dedicated to it 100% and I never half-arse the content that I create. I wear many hats, from accountant to writer of contracts to tripod-wielding-photographer, and often, I’m stressed. At the same time, I also know what I do isn’t ground-breaking. I know a lot of other people have it harder - as frustrating as micro-managing brands can be - and I now make an effort to always keep myself in check.

Shitty comment on my Instagram post? Deep breath, take a step back, and re-evaluate. I in no way subscribe to the silencing ‘somebody always has it worse, don’t complain’ ideology - instead, I’m just taking a moment to look outside of my own little privileged bubble and see the world around myself.

Now, back to those sandals…

Until next time lovelies x

The Busy Girl’s Guide To The Petite Maxi Dress

16 June 2017

Hola PYTs! Welcome back to another edition of “The Busy Girl’s Guide To…”. You may have noticed that last week was slightly quiet *cough*absent*cough*, which was all down to be spending three days in Rome, two days in the office and then the weekend in Manchester for Parklife for festival. I was a victim to fleeting time and my own terrible organisation, but now we’re back with a bang and this week, I’m doing it for the petite girls.

Petite trousers, petite jeans, petite skirts - they’re all relatively easy to get hold of. The selection is hardly outstanding, but with a little searching, you tend to be able to find some fairly good pieces fitted specifically to those of a smaller persuasion. Petite maxi dresses, on the other hand, seem to be an enigma. I had underestimated when shooting this Next embroidered number quite how difficult it would be to pull together some other shoppable alternatives - Topshop only have two petite maxi dresses in stock, for example, and both are only available in either a 4 or a 16.

Petite Maxi Dress - Next
Sandals - ASOS
Bag - Gucci

This, to me, seems bizarre. Surely any item of clothing that is floor length should be top priority for a  petite fit? Those are the pieces that especially are not going to fit a shorter frame, right? I had the same issue last season with frilled hem trousers; they may have been cropped and on-trend for all of you long-legged lovelies, but for little old me, I found myself traipsing a bunch of extra fabric across every fitting-room floor.

Petite quibbles aside, if you do manage to find a maxi that fits, they are strong contenders for some of the comfiest pieces ever. Want to dress for summer but are fed up of feeling obliged to shave your legs and tan from head to toe? Maxi dress. Want to feel comfortable but also appear as if you have your shit together in a way that tracksuit bottoms can’t covey? Maxi dress. Want to go wild at an all you can eat buffet without having to unbutton your jeans at the table? Maxi dress.

As always, I’ve pulled together the best the internet has to offer so you can shop petite maxis to your heart’s content. Let me know your favourites and if you end up bagging any for yourself, and I shall see you here, same time, same place, next Friday. Until next time lovelies x

© The Little Plum • Theme by Maira G.