Saturday, 30 May 2020

Fashion | ZARA SUMMER HAUL


Anyone else get caught out during the hot spike last week? Because I certainly did! So much so I decided to pull together a little Zara order to fill the missing spaces in my wardrobe of clothes I threw out last year, and thought I would be able to replace a lot easier this year! Zara isn't always my cup of tea, but when they've got some good pieces online they're one of my favourite places to shop. Hopefully these staples will be easy to wear with what I already own and be perfect for Summer days out in the garden, because let's face it we're not going on a holiday anytime soon! 


I loved how simple this white t-shirt is. The frilly pocket makes what is something boring a little more fun and I know I will get lots of use during the summer with shorts, but also in the cooler months as a layering piece. I also needed some updated denim this year, especially post lockdown! Zara is usually a hit or miss with bottoms so I ordered these in a couple of sizes. I would say these hi-rise shorts with ripped detailing fit true to size but would suggest ordering one size bigger if you want them to be super relaxed. 



I saw this relaxed vest with bows and fell in love! It was actually out of stock when I placed my first order but put my email down to be reminded and got it the next day. Much like the white t-shirt above I love how simple this is and I know it will be easy to style. The polka dot skort is also a favourite of mine from this order. It's simple but can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Although I am happy with this purchase I have decided to order again one size up as the fabric is a little tight and I want it to be comfortable. 


Then I saw this relaxed t-shirt dress for £7.99 and thought I would see if this style suits me. Sadly I don't think it does, and it's a little shapeless for my liking, but I love the idea of it! I am going to be keeping this one despite my views on it, as know it will be great when the weather gets even hotter to sit in the garden in! 


I then found this cute gingham dress with a small puff sleeve and fell in love. I love the puff sleeve trend going around at the moment and think this dress will be great on a summer picnic, even if it is just in the garden. I also loved the idea of dressing this up with a pair of wedges on holiday when the time comes! 


Again, I needed another pair of denim shorts so tried out this style. If I'm honest I am not sure if I will be keeping them as they make me feel...big. They fit perfectly on the waist but the leg holes just don't sit right and the weird panel on the front looks odd to me. I'll be having a think about these ones! 


Finally, I saw that I owned 0 maxi dresses so decided to try out this little beauty. I love the gorgeous coral colour, ruffles and the fabric of this. The neckline is more plunging than I probably would have chosen, but the straps are adjustable to give some support. 


So there we have it, my little Zara haul. I know my picks aren't that adventurous but what can you do on a furloughed budget! There were a couple of misses that I haven't shown above as they didn't fit correctly. I think Zara's sizing has and will always be a risk when it comes to ordering online. At the moment I vary from size 8-14 depending on what the product is which isn't great. 


Until next time, 

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Living life in the new 'normal'


It still blows my mind how different life has become over the last 2 months. If you had told me this would be the state of the UK back in January I would have called you a liar. The country seems to be all over the place with varying views depending who’s doing the daily update.... let’s not even begin discussing Boris addressing the nation with what could possibly be THE most confusing instructions in the world. It seems when we think things are beginning to feel somewhat normal another change is made that makes the world seem uncertain again. This week has been highlighting World Mental Health Awareness, and I couldn’t think of a better time when it could be needed more. It’s not secret I’ve struggled with my own mental health, but if I’m being open the last few months have been tougher than ever. I’ve been taking certain steps to make sure I’m looking after myself and my MH during this time. 


I’ve made sure to take some time for me as and when it’s needed. This can sometimes be the last thing on your mind especially if you’re feeling anxious but it’s so important. Keeping busy has helped me to focus on something other than the continual negative news we’ve been receiving on a daily basis. I’ve been keeping busy by being creative and using my time on furlough to restart my crafting business. If you’re in need of cake toppers, cards or anything else personalised I’m your gal! Staying connected with family isn’t a new concept, especially with the introduction of Zoom to my life, but it is so important. My wider family and I have been talking on zoom every Sunday as a way to just talk, have a little quiz and to catch up. It’s been so nice to speak with everyone and ironically I feel like we’ve become closer than ever before. Now, for something I could never have thought to read on my blog...exercise!! Yeah I know, I hate myself for saying it too! But exercise has really helped me focus my energy on something positive. I downloaded the BBC couch to 5K app and find it easy to follow and quite enjoyable to do. Take it from someone who could run for less than 20 seconds at the start, the fact I’ve just ran my first 5K after 5 weeks should speak millions! Dare I say I’m actually finding it a little bit enjoyable now?!?! Again, I HATE MYSELF TOO! Finally, keep talking. It’s easy to want to curl up into a shell when times get tough, believe me I've been there, but making sure to keep conversations open with family and friends is so important. Sometimes a quick little 'I'm ok, but would like to spend my day sitting in bed playing Animal Crossing' is enough to get the message across and lets them know you want some time out. I've certainly been using that excuse on more than one occasion! Talking with family/friends also helps you to check in and make sure they're ok too. Times are weird for everyone and people cope in different ways, showing you care can help you feel loved and supported. 

This week I plan on taking some time to reflect on the good things I have learnt and the skills I have gained since lockdown began. Perhaps I will share them in a post soon! For now stay safe and stay positive. 

Until next time, 











Monday, 13 April 2020

Welcome back...

Why hello there, long time no speak. Last time I published anything on this little section of the internet was back in December 2019, so to say life has changed rather is quite the statement! In the short time from December to April, I have started a new job, celebrated my birthday and discovered how versatile and comfortable I can be without leaving the house. At the time of writing, we are currently on week 3 of a UK lockdown, and I'm in week 4 of isolation due to the Coronavirus. I've always been an introverted person, and enjoy my own company however even this is testing me! I struggle with change and nobody could have guessed that this would be the new way of life when entering 2020. Personally for me I fear that life will never get back to where it was. I can't imagine getting on a train and going into Central London for work, popping down to our 'big' Tesco's to do the weekly shop (what's that?) and I don't know about others, but I feel all of the precautions we've taken over the last many weeks will be hard to forget. We will look back on this time in years to come and remember the month the world went crazy for toilet rolls and hand sanitiser. The time you had to queue for over an hour to grab a few essentials from the supermarket.

It's funny how in times of fear people unite stronger than ever. I don't like to spread controversial opinion or political views, but one thing that needs to be remembered when this has all become a memory is the fearless fight from our wonderful NHS. What hero's. I'm lucky to have Emma, my brothers girlfriend, as part of a courageous nursing team who are first hand fighting the virus. She's truly heroic and although she won't accept any compliments, thanks or well wishes as she considers it just 'her job', I hope she knows there's many people thinking of her and all the good she is doing today and always. Thanks Emma. 

I hope everyone is coping well during these hard times. I know I am struggling with coming to terms with life and am lucky that, for now, I am still able to work 9-5 keeping some form of normality. I'm going to leave this post here for now, but have plans to create some content, self shot as always, to fill my feed with positivity. Enjoy the little throwback of the last few months. Stay safe & stay home! 
















until next time,




Wednesday, 25 December 2019

BLOGMAS 25 || HAPPY CHRISTMAS



It's Christmassssssss!

The day we've been counting down too has finally arrived and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. Today's blogpost is a short one as I want to make sure I'm spending as much time with my loved ones today, but didn't want to pass the opportunity to thank you for reading my Blogmas posts this year - who knew I would be able to do the whole 25 days without missing one! 

So until tomorrow, hope you have an incredible Christmas!

Love, 


Tuesday, 24 December 2019

BLOGMAS 24 || CHRISTMAS EVE TRADITIONS


It's finally Christmas Eve and this time tomorrow we will be stuck in with full festive cheer and no doubt already be on to the 5th Mince Pie of the day! As crazy as it sounds though, I enjoy Christmas Eve just as much, if not perhaps a little bit more, than the big day itself. I love spending time with my family doing all the small little traditions that have followed us through the ages without the huge pressure of trying to make the day 'special'. I found an old post of all my Christmas Eve traditions and it's funny how relevant the post still is! 

Christingle
Ever since I was little, my family and I would all go to the Christingle service at my local church on Christmas Eve. There was always something quite magical about walking there in the frost bundled up in coats watching the twinkling of the fairy lights. I’m sure when I was little, I was probably more excited at the fact I was allowed to be up late at night. The Christingle service itself is just so lovely with lots of families joining in with carols as a way of celebrating together. Growing up in a Christian family, Christmas always meant that little bit more to us, so it’s nice to take time out of our day to celebrate that on Christmas Eve. 

blogmas day twenty four

Christmas PJ’s
This is a relatively new tradition for my mum and I. We both love to snuggle down in a pair of super cute Christmas jammies. The past couple of years I have bought us matching PJ set’s for us to wear to bed on Christmas Eve. To go with the PJ’s I also remake my bed so I have a fresh pair of linen for the night.

Christmas present wrapping
Since I can remember, my dad and I have always spent Christmas Eve wrapping up my mums and brothers presents. My dad works so hard during the week and never has a lot of time to wrap his presents, so we love to do it together. Plus, I have to make sure he takes the price off of everything! 

Christmas movies
Watching a good Christmas movie is a must on Christmas Eve. The Grinch is a particular favourite of mine as it just reminds me so much of my childhood. I wish I could get away with decorating my house as OTT as the who’s do! 

blogmas day twenty four

Let me know if you have any Christmas Eve traditions! It’s nice to be able to look back on how different things get each year whilst doing the same thing. For us, we pretty much keep things the same, although instead of going home after the Christingle, we head down to the pub. 

I hope you have a very merry Christmas spent with everyone you care about the most!

Happy Christmas!
Francesca

Monday, 23 December 2019

BLOGMAS 23 || DEALING WITH HOLIDAY STRESS


Happy Monday! 
We're so close now to the big day, that I thought it was important to re-share one of my favourite Blogmas posts I had written a couple of years ago that is still very VERY relevant to this day. I hope you enjoy <3 

Baubles, tinsel and tree decorating aside, Christmas can be both one of the most exciting and stressful times of the year. Christmas to me is my favourite season to celebrate. I love the excitement of the countdown to December, and nothing beats driving at night down dark streets lit solely by fairy lights! I have always loved it and my love has grown as I have grown. If anything I have become a lot more obsessed, as I am now in a position that I can treat my family members with gifts that they will love. Although, gift giving isn’t always as simple as it seems. Quite often the idea of shopping at Christmas is easier said than done. I don’t know what it is about Christmas shopping that turns the average shopper into a stress mess, but people turn crazy in the run up to the big day. I know how stressed my mum always gets around this time of year as well trying to make sure that everything is perfect for the family. Which lets face it, it always is!
It is important though to make sure that throughout all of the excitement of work do’s, Christmas drinks, present buying, turkey eating and caroling your mental health isn’t affected. I for one love to end some of the busiest days with a warm bath and a cup of tea. Here are a few of the things I do to make sure I’m feeling stress free at Christmas.


1) Lists. Oh boy do I love a good old list! (Lets be honest, we all add things to the lists that we have done throughout the day JUST so we can tick them off.) But jokes aside having a list is a great way to clear your mind with all of the things you need to do, whilst allowing you to be proactive in the process. Gifts for people are usually one of the main things on my list, which also helps with my next tip!
2) Shopping online. I know that this almost seems a given now a days but it seriously makes everything so much easier. Christmas shopping is one of my favourite kinds of shopping to do but standing in long queues is certainly not the one. One of the things I have started to do is make a note of what I see in store so I know what to order online. This not only allows you to be in and out of shops quickly, but it also makes your life a whole lot easier as you can order in the comfort of your own home, feet up and Christmas movie on!


3) Take time for yourself. Like every other time of the year, taking time out for you is just as important during the festive period. Christmas is a time to spend with friends and family. Which is true, but amongst all of the partying and celebrating you need to remember to have some time to yourself to compile your thoughts! 
4) Live in the moment. I think one of the main causes of my stress and anxiety is the want of everything to be perfect, I think I take after my mama on this one! It’s hard not to want everything to be neat and tidy with a gorgeous Christmas theme, but let’s be honest what’s the fun in that! Last Christmas (I gave you my heart, jokes) my brother’s girlfriend Emma and I decorated the tree together for the first time. We started off with a colour scheme but like everything we had two different opinions of what would look good. Combined, the finish of our tree looked perfectly un-perfect and you know what, it was ok! If anything it made the house look more Christmassy!
I hope you can find some use with these tips. More importantly, try not to stress out if things don’t go right. I guess in the end, that’s what Christmas is about!
Love, 

Sunday, 22 December 2019

BLOGMAS 22 || A SPOT OF CHRISTMAS BAKING


It's become a little tradition of mine to bake on the last weekend before Christmas. For the last three years I've used the same Mary Berry recipe, but this time decided instead that I wanted to mix things up with a new one. I found this snowman cookie recipe and decided to recreate them! Well I tried to recreate them anyway, my designs weren't as good as their version but I think I got them pretty close. 

This recipe is super easy to make and the icing was fun to do too. I haven't used fondant icing before but will definitely be using it again. All of the ingredients were easy to buy from Tesco and didn't cost a fortune either. 









How do you think I got on? Will you try these out for yourself?

Until next time, 

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