Monday, 21 July 2014

Back to the Beginning.

Dress: Urban Outfitters. Dr Martens: Cloggs*. Bag & Headscarve: Becksondergaard. Necklaces: One & Two.
I'd fallen out of love with my style posts. The effort of even washing my face seemed like it would require every single muscle in my body - and quite frankly that was one too many.

I'd gotten myself in this rut of simply getting dressed to take photos, instead of living and potentially documenting that via photography. And that's no fun at all.

More and more I feel my blog is becoming a place for IRL (in real life) moments. The ones that help build and shape us as individuals. (Hold up, I'm not preaching I'm some kind of life guru, just sayin' - I want to write about what matters, to me).

I'll still be sharing my wardrobe with you guys, because, it's my passion. But I don't want it to be a chore - I want to have fun, start living a little more and enjoying this wonderful world we live in.

So here it is. Me remembering why I started this blog, in an outfit that I've not taken off since I bought it. Quite possibly the most effortless dress I own, picked up in the Urban Outfitters (always fabulous) sale - it needs no description.
For forever and a day I've wanted a pair of Dr. Martens - but none have screamed out to me. Not until these, what can only be described as Jesus sandals, appeared on the internet. It's safe to say they've completed my life and are stonkingly comfortable - contrary to popular belief.

Oh, and when you can't be arsed with washing your hair - beautiful headscarves are the answer, obv.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Two Ticks With....Sophie in the Sticks

It's that time again. The wonderful time where you get more familiar with a new blog. The excitement of getting to know some of my favourite bloggers better never wears off and today it's Sophie's time!
From fashion to fitness and cooking to the country there's something for everyone on Sophie in the Sticks! Find out why she's one of my faves below....

Hey Sophie! For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of stopping by your blog before, can you give us a brief rundown of what they can expect?
Hello everyone! I cover everything that I am passionate about on Sophie in the Sticks which does happen to include quite a bit, all based in my little piece of heaven the Norfolk countryside. In the last couple of years I've grown really fond of capturing the places we go in pictures and sharing it on my blog, along with my frequent fashion posts, plenty of recipes and restaurant reviews and documenting my health & fitness journey. It's all from the heart.

You’ve recently started documenting how fitness fits in with your lifestyle. What’s your favourite aspect of that to write about? Do you find it has a different response to your other posts?
I love to share updates on how I'm trying to improve my fitness as I am so enthusiastic about keeping active and toning up. The key to staying active is to find something you really love to do, for me it's bootcamp and running. When I read about other people's journeys I find it really inspiring and I'm kinda hoping that my drive to reach new goals will rub off on others who can find their own reasons to jump on the healthy bandwagon – the more the merrier. There is so much support out there, I love to hear what everyone else is up to and if I have helped motivate them.

You’re quite the wonder woman with all the topics you cover here at Sophie in the Sticks. So let’s talk a bit about fashion. What’s your favourite type of outfit to put together?
An outfit to take a walk in, maybe on country lanes, grassy footpaths, along the riverbank or forest trails. The possibilities are endless, you cannot fail in ankle boots and something fun and lighthearted. Overdress, who cares? It's fun. My personal style is quite rural, easygoing and bright, I dress to make myself happy!  

And if you had to start your entire wardrobe from scratch and just keep ONE item, what would pick and why?
Firstly, this is something of a nightmare. How can you put this thought through my mind, Megs?! I have FAR too many clothes and really struggle to part with any of them. The vintage-y charity shop finds would have to be my most valued and the classic Jaeger tweed jacket was the first thing that came to mind so I'll pick that. It was my favourite ever buy at £7 and will forever look as charming as well as suiting my countryside style right down to the ground.

You aspire to cook from scratch regularly…for a newbie to food blogging, what would your top tips be? And what’s your favourite dish to cook?
If in doubt take a picture, the number of times I haven't taken one before it's too late and regretted it! Photography is the hardest part of food blogging and I'm still working on how to get the best from my pictures. I'm a creature of habit and there is nothing more indulgent than homemade lasagne, it's got to be the best comfort food, for sure.

Marilyn or Audrey?

And finally a quote to live by?
I don't have a quote but I do have a couple of tips
  1. Always check the forecast before getting dressed, you'll do yourself a massive favour.
  2. Be kind to people, it's rewarding because you get a warm fuzzy feeling inside and they are much more likely to be kind in return <3
If you want to get to know Sophie more, you can find all her social platforms below! 
Twitter - @sophieintsticks
Blog - Sophie in the sticks
Bloglovin - Sophie in the Sticks
Instagram Sophieinthesticks
This post is brought to you in association with the Exclusive Advertiser package. Available for blogs and small businesses you can take advantage of this 30 day service for less than £1 a day! If you'd like to snap up a package, you can find all the details here

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Turning 25 & Getting Naked....Obviously.

Today is my birthday - the day I turn 25.

And this second half of the year is where everything changes. There are so many things in my life that I am sat on the fence with - whether it be my career, blog, friendships, relationships or myself I just appear to find it near on impossible to make decisions based on me, because, well, what if it’s the wrong one? Well enough is enough.

Body confidence is something I’ve never had. I remember starting a new school when I was 11 and it was the first time I’d ever had sexuality pressed on me, looking back that seems so young, but these worries are inflicted on us early and from then until now I’ve been a nervous wreck about the way I look. 
There’s no denying I am a small build, to some it might seem a blessing and for the most part I’m grateful for it, but behind closed doors I have to fight to keep weight on and if my appetite slips I face battles with the public and my loved ones about how I look. 

Breasts? What breasts? That’s been my main demon to fight. I’ve been with Daniel for almost 7 years but for the first 6 months of our relationship my bra was firmly on, no touching, nada. I’ve been through a lot lately, none of which I’m ready to share but if one positive thing has come from it, it’s that I’ve learnt I need to love myself before anyone else can. I need to embrace my body, because it’s the only one I’ve got. I need to own the skin I’m in and celebrate what my mumma gave me (even if she was being a little bit stingy ;)). 

So when Laura shared her photos for project #StrongAndSexy I almost died on the spot. She was naked and beautiful and confident.  My second thought (after thinking, good GOD this woman is the bomb) was: envy. Why didn’t I feel like that about myself? Why didn’t my body curve in that way? Why didn’t I look so utterly beautiful in my own skin? Because I hadn’t owned it. Because I hadn’t let myself appreciate those imperfections I’d detested for so long. It was like the universe was screaming out to me, that this isn’t the way it should be. I am beautiful and I am sexy and I am strong and so, when Alex messaged and asked if I’d like to shoot with her, like, get naked and put it on the internet, I said yes. I mean, it wasn’t as simple as that, I fought with myself for weeks about whether it was the right thing to do and the night before was the only time I was 100% sure it was going to happen. But if there was anyone I was going to do it with, it was her. Her work is raw, emotional, you feel it – and that’s art. If I was going to celebrate my body I didn’t want it to be about being obvious, I just wanted to be me, what you see is what you get. 
Alex knew how utterly nervous I was and greeted me with the biggest squeeze and then we just chatted for half an hour about life and nothing to do with being naked at all. We started the shoot in one of my favourite dresses, because it makes me feel pretty. And then I tipped a bag of my undies on the floor and picked out my favourites. After posing in my panties I realised, it was my decision now, I just need to get naked, or don’t and so I did. I surprised myself at how blasé I was about it. My heart was pounding, my palms were sweaty and then I just let go – literally. ‘Sod it’ I said, ‘we might as well just go for it’. 'Amazing' she replied.

I felt empowered, free and liberated but it wasn’t until Alex sent me the edits through that I felt amazing. Everything I’d ever scrutinised about my body just fell away and it was (or is) quite possibly the best I’ve ever felt. 
Tears prick the back of my eyes as I write this down - anyone who finds themselves battling body confidence will understand the feeling of relief to feel comfortable, confident and beautiful. I am what I am and I’m making it work for me. From this day forward I won’t put my body down. And if I ever feel like it I’ll look at these photos and smile, because why shouldn’t I be proud that I can get butt naked in front of a woman I’ve never met and share the results of it on the internet? 
There are three ladies that made it happen. Laura, who I owe everything, for giving me the push to believe – she already knows how grateful I am. 
The wonderful Alexandra Cameron who’s skills are that of a goddess. There are few people in this world who within just a few hours can make you feel like an old friend, someone who simply understands and believes the way you do. That can capture your feelings, your life with the click of a button. She is a force to be reckoned with and I’m so privileged to have worked with her. 

Lastly, myself. Because I’m naked and ‘aint no-one responsible for that but me.
WHAT I WORE: Virgos Lounge Dress. Triangl Isabel Licorice Lingerie Set. Handmade Cream Set.
If you want to feel wonderful (naked or not!) and truly understand what an icredible photographer is made of then you're a lucky bean. Alex has kindly offered my readers a whopping 15% off any shoots booked before the end of August! 
Shoots start from less than £100 and all you have to do is quote 'Wonderful You' when you email her (contact details here).
To keep up with her work, follow her on instagram, facebook and twitter. That girl can teach us all a thing or two about taking selfies!

Thank you, Alex - you're a gem.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Pyjama Party

Top and Trousers: Zara. Bag: George at ASDA. Shoes: Office
I walk in to Zara (more regularly than I should) and every single time there will be an outfit they've put together on the rails that I fall head over heels for. It just so happened that on this occasion I could actually justify treating myself to it and so, that's what I did.

There's something about the heavy fabric of the jumper that sits so well over the silky, loose fitted pants - that yes, look like pyjamas - and I simply love an outfit that you literally throw on and there's no need for anything else, no fuss, it just, does.

The knit jumper was on the pricey side, but is now in the sale HUZZAH! - the trousers however were under £30 which is pretty bloody awesome if you ask me.
I love the way they graze my ankles too...something I used to steer well clear of when I was at school, but an attribute I seek in trousers these days! Funny how these things change, eh?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

She's an Animal.

Coat: American Apparel. Top: HM. Skirt: Choies*. Shoes: Office. Necklace: Strange of London. Rings: Jana Reinhardt & TBC*. Glasses: Tesco.

Every girl needs a mini skirt in her life and when it exists in the form of the perfect faux leopard print fur you’ve got to be excited, right?

I took these snaps in my nans garden, which is literally the most beautiful place and I always feel so relaxed when I’m there.

You guys know how much I love my accessories and for months I’ve coveted this gorgeous wing ring from my favourites Jana Reinhardt. Just recently it’s landed in my possession and it hasn’t left my finger since. It sits perfectly in-between their flock ring and my TBC midi ring. It’s such a chunky, statement piece and the rustic finish makes me excited – it feels like every little mark tells a story and I love jewellery that speaks from someone’s past.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

#MyGreatMoment | Pretty Muddy Race for Life!

On Saturday 31st May I took part in the Pretty Muddy Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research. To say I’m no athlete would be this year’s biggest understatement - the only time you’ll find me running is if I hear the ice cream van coming down the street.

But Cancer touches all of our lives at some point and this year it’s been my time to show it exactly who the boss is. My mum, sister, aunty, cousin and I (along with their friends and family) joined forces and signed up for the race. None of us really knew what to expect, but it didn’t really matter, we all had our reasons to participate.

The day of the race came along sooner than I anticipated and as I got ready that morning, I felt the knots building in my tummy.

What if I couldn’t do it?
What if I let my family down?

I soon snapped out of it when we got in to the car and sang along to the Smiths for the 2 hour journey to Reading.

There is nothing quite like participating in a charity event – every single person that is there is there for the same reason and the energy that buzzed through the incredible atmosphere was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I don’t remember a time when I constantly smiled for hours straight, simply because everyone in my surroundings were making me happy, just by being.

A lot of people are too scared to participate in ‘runs’, whether they feel too self-conscious about their weight or the fact that they aren’t proper runners, the list is endless. I was petrified, I have a weird phobia of people thinking I smell when I work out...we've all got our things, right?

On that Saturday there was every type of person you could possibly think of and no-one was judging. We were all there to have fun, whether that meant taking the race seriously and running the entire 5k or walking and enjoying the sunshine, it didn’t matter, not one bit.

I knew I’d want to run, not all the way (see above, re: ice cream) but enough to make me feel like my body had worked hard. There is nothing like a great moment in life, that really made you sweat. That probably sounds gross, but it’s true and really quite liberating. Mum, Lily and I all used Mitchum’s 48 hour Anti-Perspirant and deodorant which gave us the confidence to get stuck in, sweat buckets and not have to worry about being stinky! Once that was taken care of, there really was no excuse for me to be self conscious, and as it goes...

Rolling around in the mud with my family, and feeling confident about letting others see me exercise was something I never thought I’d enjoy, but it turns out it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Great moments in life make you sweat. Share them.
Mitchum's revolutionary Oxygen Odour Control Technology targets and destroys odor, neutralising it all.
Switch to Mitchum.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Mitchum via Glam Media. The
opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mitchum.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


I am EXCITED (and yes I am shouting), because today, my mum has made her first EVER YouTube appearance on no other than Avon’s channel!

Not only am I super proud of her (she’s totes a natural, darlings), but she’s also discovered a wonder product to fight those first signs of ageing. At 51, she’s having to deal with the odd age spot and those pesky crow’s feet around her eyes - and having sensitive skin means it’s really tricky for her to find a product strong enough that won’t give her a nasty reaction.

Well guys, I think we may have just found it.

Whether you’re 21 and looking to tackle ageing early, or you think this might be right up your mums street, grab a cuppa and see what my mum made of Avon’s E-Defence Deep Recovery Cream.

PS. It’s only £20.

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