This year we have had a pretty dismal summer; a mixture of clammy twenty-something days stuck in an office with maybe squeezing in the odd beer garden trip, but overall, there’s been nothing to write home about or yano, write a blog about.

I can’t say I’m a massive fan of summer. Being rather pale, with thighs on the larger side, means I usually shy away from having my legs out. Reluctantly though, sometimes you have no choice *sigh* and I have to sit with a cardigan over my legs for about 3 months. But then, well, Autumn comes along, and it is completely, 100% acceptable, to wear 100 denier tights without even giving it a second thought.

September and October have to be a couple of my favourite months in the year. You get the feeling that the longer, winter nights are drawing in, yet the late summer sunshine really makes an appearance, and it still manages to be quite warm outside. This year especially, I have really noticed how much better the weather has been since the ‘official’ summer is over, and how beautiful the Autumn sunshine really is bouncing off the beautiful reds and golds that you can’t help but be mesmerised by.

Below are my favourite things about Autumn, which is fast becoming one of my favourite seasons…

1. It is acceptable to layer clothes. Recently, I have noticed that the skinny black jeans + jumper combo is a real winner. H&M have some great jumpers in at the moment, which aren’t too thick, aren’t too thin, and look great on their own, or paired with a shirt – but be warned, it takes approximately 5 years for H&M to delivery anything, so my advice would be to get them in store…

2. Hot drink season. Coffee shops seem to introduce some really amazing flavours for this time of year. Honeycomb hot chocolate? Hazelnut latte? Praline Mocha? Oh I don’t mind if I do! Arteries shiver in horror… 

3. Dressing up for Halloween. Yes this may have been THE night to be seen when you were coming into your own at 6th form, and the night not to be missed in your freshers year, but there really is something fun about dressing up with all your friends. *Cue group pictures with guys dressed as tetris pieces*

4. Autumnal nail varnishes & berry lips. This trend has definitely been on every beauty blogger’s radar and instagram for the last few weeks, but autumnal colours just really suit this time of year (I’m talking your reds, your greens, your navys…) I invested in a berry lipstick last year, but I can’t say it’s seen much action as of yet, but this is my year for experimenting with makeup. You heard it here first people, BRING IT ON!

5. Dark nights. Once it starts getting dark around 8pm, it seems so much more acceptable to stay in the house with no plans to leave whatsoever. I am a massive fan of cosy nights in, which seem so much better once the autumn months arrive. And it helps you to save money too… Bonus!

6. Bonfire night. Call me a child, but there is something really magical about seeing the sky light up with so many different colours, trailing through muddy fields in wellies, and the smell of slightly burnt BBQed sausages. And writing your name with sparklers. Obvs.

7. Dusting off the slow cooker. I’ll admit, I never used or even owned a slow cooker until me and my boyfriend moved out last year, but there is something very comforting about coming home, knowing that your tea is already made, and it makes the house smell amazing.

8. Being able to eat any meal with mash.

9. Sundays. Going to the pub for a roast dinner instead of a fruity cider and being able to get dessert and not be judged. AND being able to sit inside instead of pretending its warm enough to only wear shorts. Oh its 10 degrees? I hadn’t noticed my legs look like corned beef about to fall off lalala

10. Velvet and faux fur can happily make a comeback to our closets making us look like the elegant 20 somethings we most definitely are. Welcome back you beauties.

11. Blankets, blankets and more blankets. Blankets on the sofa. Blankets in the bedroom. Blankets in the kitchen (I kid, I kid) but you get the drift. I really like blankets.

12. Laughing at people who think they can be sober for a whole month. Give it a rest you guys, and go and run a 10k like a normal person.

I hope everyone is loving autumn as much as I am x

It’s been a couple of weeks since myself and my friend Africa decided to take a trip to the beautiful Southern Irish capital of Dublin. We’d been toying with the idea for a couple of years now but never found the right time, so when we found flights for a steal of £20, we booked them straight away. I’d been to Dublin once before when I was about 19, and I would definitely recommend going for a short city break.

After the flights came booking accommodation, which, if you have ever been to Dublin, is massively overpriced, so we settled on a room for 2 in a hostel on the North side of the river (this hostel, if you were interested). The hostel itself was in a good location, only a 15 minute walk to Temple Bar, had clean rooms, free breakfast (where they had cupcakes FYI) and it was a good price compared to the hotels, so definitely worth a look if you are thinking of a trip to Dublin.

We went on a Thursday morning, and our flight was at 7:50am, which for me is a good flight time… (when did I turn middle aged?!) but it gave us the whole day. We got on the bus and arrived at our hostel about 10.30am, which was slightly annoying as we couldn’t check in till 2… but we left our stuff and proceeded to Primark, or Penney’s as it is in Ireland, as my handbag broke on the flight!

After Penney’s, we had a bit of a wander and came across the Leprechaun museum. I’d been recommended this place by someone from work, and we were just in time for the next tour, so we thought why not. It started off with a tour guide telling us the history of the Leprechaun, and then we moved into a room full of big furniture, to make ourselves feel like one. After this, there were a few more themed rooms that related to the history of Irish folklore, and then a gift shop, obvs. If I’m honest, I wouldn’t rush back there, but it was quite cheap and interesting for killing some time.

After the museum, we walked to Temple Bar and went for some lunch at the nicest café, with the most amazing cakes. When we were sufficiently full of eggs and brownies, we walked to Trinity college, which is the main university of Dublin, and is absolutely gorgeous. I do have to say though that if I was at university there, I would be pretty annoyed with all of the tourists constantly walking around…

When we were finally allowed to check into our hostel later in the day, we got changed and headed out for a free walking tour of the North side of the city. The tour lasted about 90 minutes, and for something that was free, I would highly recommend it. The Facebook page is here and you just turn up at the right time.

After walking aimlessly around for quite a few hours now, visiting different bars and shops (the shopping in Dublin btw is amazing!) we went to a Turkish restaurant for some meze, which was delicious, followed by a visit to the Temple Bar pub, which was pretty overpriced if you ask me (but it did look cute with fairy lights outside, so I’ll give them that!)

On the morning of the second day, we had breakfast at the hostel, and headed out to the Guinness factory. I’d visited the storehouse on my last visit to Dublin, but I really wanted to go again and I enjoyed it much more this time round. After the Guinness factory, we walked to the castle and had a nosey around there – FYI, not a proper castle, and not worth the money.

For dinner that night we went to a restaurant called Skinflint, after deciding that we both were craving pizza, and look! They were rectangles, which made them even more delicious! I went for Palma ham and leeks, which sounds strange but was in fact amazing. They also provided pots of honey which is supposed to bring the flavours out more when you drizzle it on (I can’t say I tried this…)

On the last day, we did the other walking tour of the city (yes we are massive cheapskates) and this time it was the South side. For lunch we had the most amazing pancakes (mine was a New Yorker, with pastrami, emmental, gherkins and it was honestly the most amazing thing in the world and omggg so hungry). We had a final walk up to St Stephens Green where they were hosting a free concert in support of those with mental illness, and then back to the hostel.

I would definitely recommend Dublin if you were looking for a short city break, and to be honest, I wish I could have gone for longer. Dublin has this stigma of being very overpriced for a city that uses Euros, but I personally thought everything was quite reasonable, and who can complain at flights being £20?!

Not me!

I’ve seen a lot of these positive posts going round the Blogging world at the moment, so I thought I would give it a go and spread a little bit of love. I’ve listed some of the blogs I keep going back to time and time again for my daily fix – some new discoveries and old – but hopefully you will be able to take something away from this!

1. Lily Kate

Ok, I might be slightly bias here because Lily is a good friend of mine, but she’s also a fantastic blogger and Youtuber. I met her back in April, and since then we have grown closer and closer. She looks like a model, and is only 18 if you can believe it, but her writing makes you want to know more. Expect lots of instragram-worthy travel destinations, legs to die for, and general updates of life as an up and coming blogger.

2. The Anna Edit

After going through a recent rebrand (previously Vivianna Does Makeup) Anna’s blog is definitely up there with one of my favourites. I’ll admit that I first found her through her Youtube channel (when her and Lily Pebbles used to do Beauty Chat) but since then, her gorgeous photography and relatable content have completely won me over. You’ll find lots of beauty, fashion and travel tips and the occasional foodie post too!

3. Hannah Gale

There’s no way I could have done this post without a mention for this absolute mega-babe and one of the main reasons I got into blogging. Think hilarious lists, fashion for real girls, beauty tips that won’t break the bank, food porn, and a healthy dose of her two cats and you’ll be forever hooked. Always one I come back to, AND she even donated to my 10k run. What a girl!

4. Hannah Gets Hench

Ok another slightly bias one as Hannah is one of my best friends, but before she was, I used to read her blog all the time. Her fitness posts I find very inspirational, and she’s recently been talking more about body positivity, exercising the mind and dealing with anxiety which is refreshing in a world full of Pinterest-perfect content that some other bloggers publish. She also won the Vuelio award for best Newcomer!

5. What Olivia Did

A professional blogger, Youtuber, model and overall sweetheart. Liv’s blog is beautiful on the inside and out, and her style is effortlessly cool (she has a pretty cute dog too, Maggie!) With content so glossy it looks like it belongs on the pages of Vogue, ‘What Olivia Did’ shows it pays to have a photographer boyfriend (and model good looks!)

6. Gabriella Manchester

I’m really lucky to have worked with Gabi in the past, and can confirm that she is as chic in real life as she is on her blog. Her style is affordable, yet she seems to make everything look incredible and straight off a runway! If you need inspiration of where to eat in Manchester as well, you’ve come to the right place…

7. Gemma London Life

If you don’t want to live the life of a London blogger before you visit Gemma’s site, you definitely will afterwards – a mixture of blogging events, high-end beauty, travel and fashion all rolled into one. Definitely one to check out if you already live in the big smoke as there is a section dedicated to London itself, as well as fashion, beauty and travel. The choice is yours!

Let me know your favourite blogs in the comments!

I’m always looking to discover new ones x

This post comes as a result of yesterday’s migraine, and my body’s attempt to tell me to calm the f*** down and take a break…

I have suffered from migraines since I was 14 but they are very sporadic and have no real trigger; I can go a year without having one, or I can have 3 or 4 in a month. But this isn’t a post about migraines… it’s more of one to teach myself a lesson and stop getting so stressed about the little things.

With everything that’s happened this year, it’s fair to say that life has been more stressful than usual – these were things that were completely unexpected, life-changing and you guessed it, stressful to say the least. Stress is a funny thing because in all honesty you might not even know you are suffering, and then bam, you body flips out at you and encourages you to slow down. It’s no real surprise then that I have been suffering from migraines a lot more in the last few months than the past couple of years.

Sometimes as an adult it’s hard to take a break – we have limited days holidays, work 5 days out of 7, and so weekends feel wasted if we don’t cram-pack all the things into them that we can’t do Monday-Friday – that’s my way of looking at it anyway – but we also need time to regroup, relax and wind-down.

As a person, I have a very reactive temperament, meaning that if I get something in my head, I usually have to do it or research it straight away. I guess in a way its a coping mechanism to keep myself busy with suffering from anxiety, but it’s something I only really became aware of this year. Sometimes it can be apparent, but most of the time people won’t even realise it, and it’s something I’ve sort of self-diagnosed. To be quite honest, I’m not even sure if its a real thing, but understanding that side to my personality has helped me to become aware that sometimes I need to listen to my body.

You might be wondering how this links to being stressed, but in my eyes, if I didn’t have such a reactive personality, I probably wouldn’t wind myself up so much with unreachable, unattainable thoughts, therefore wouldn’t get as stressed, and here comes the 360… probably wouldn’t suffer from as many migraines.

It’s completely understandable for us to strive to have a perfect life, perfect relationship, perfect job, etc. we are constantly striving to update everyone else with the foolproof, instragrammed, social media-ready life that we are pretending to live, when in reality life isn’t perfect or beautifully filtered. But it’s what we’re used to.

Striving for perfection does not equal happiness. We need to cut ourselves some slack. Life is already hard enough as it is without getting worked up about things that you can’t control, and sometimes it’s ok to want to get away from it all – something we should never feel ashamed about.

We live in a world now where everything is so immediate. We can get the news instantly, get a taxi whenever we want, get food delivered 24/7 (that one being the main priority) yet sometimes all we really need is right there in front of us. We need to stop punishing ourselves for not being the best, because quite frankly, that’s not going to get us anywhere.

And in all honesty, we need to give ourselves a break. Whether its a night off, a weekend of country walks or a holiday. These little experiences help us to not completely lose our minds as twenty-somethings. Sometimes its good to step back, take some time, and remember that you are only human – needing to take a break from work life, social life or even just life in general does not make you weak – it helps you cope.

xx

1. Having no shame when it comes to pulling your tights up in public.

2. Not wanting to name your first born daughter after the Queen Bee – even if it is the name of your boyfriend’s Grandma.

3. Being unable to look at a stick of concealer without remembering that makeup look.

4. Crying a little bit each morning that you actually have to get up and work instead of skipping first period for a lie in.

5. Wondering why everyone assumed you’d turn lesbian.

6. Not quite getting the sexual connotation with knee high socks.

7. Wishing you could still wear a uniform instead of having to think about your appearance.

8. Missing the days of only using a Max Factor compact and a pencil eyeliner.

9. Feeling a bit like a rebel that you were on report more than once.

10. Wanting nothing more than being able to see your bezzies every day.

11. Not feeling comfortable wearing a skirt that isn’t rolled up to your belly button.

12. Wondering how you managed to eat the same thing for lunch for 5 years.