OOTD // MID-SIZE STYLE UNDER £50.

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I love the high street.

And high street pricing too! Because who doesn't love feeling like they came away with a bargain?

I'm sometimes asked about more affordable alternatives to some of the pieces I wear and share, so today I wanted to show that you don't need to spend a lot to look put together. In fact, you can pick up this entire look for under £50.

THE INSTAGRAM TRAP.

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I've a love/hate relationship with Instagram.

Aside from it being a veritable goldmine for inspiration, eye-candy and things that bring me joy, I really enjoy using it as a space to curate my own collection of photographs, memories and moments. I mean, heck I'll say it, I like my feed right now!

But there's also so much about it I, well, hate? Hate seems a strong word, but they evoke pretty strong emotions so perhaps in this case, it's justified.

Firstly, there's the algorithm, building/losing followers, buying followers/likes etc. I spoke to a blogger a while ago who bought followers, grew from 1K to 10K overnight and no one batted an eyelid. Now they're at least four times that and are getting brand requests left, right and centre - I mean each to their own but that doesn't seem fair or.. 'proper conduct' to me? I don't think I'd be able to justify that to my conscience! But really, that's not what today's post is about because I'm sure none of you want to hear me moan and complain about the algorithm etc for a few paragraphs straight (although can we just mention how particularly bad it is at the moment? At least for me anyway!).

I'm falling into a different trap with Instagram - and at both ends of the spectrum.

It's really hard for me to perpetually remember that a lot of Instagram is somewhere between a 'highlight's reel', and just down right fakery. It's hard not to get sucked into people's picture perfect moment after picture perfect moment and not compare them to your everyday, comparatively very ordinary life.

I often check in on Instagram upon waking and seeing photograph upon photograph of countless expensive holidays, extravagant lifestyles and seemingly too-perfect-to-be-true female bodies can (and let's be frank, often does) leave me feeling utterly inadequate. And I can't imagine that I'm alone in this.

And the reason why I feel like I'm falling into the trap at both ends, is that I might be guilty of portraying a 'more perfect than normal' lifestyle too..

In life, not every perfect moment has to be a picture perfect moment.

Or more specifically, an Instagram-worthy moment. Contentment comes in many forms, and not all of them arrive when you've styled your hair and are dressed in your best clothing.

But a lot of the time on Instagram, the picture perfect moments are what we're driven to produce because they 'perform better'. And our eyes are glued to the numbers. My own feed is by no means how my life runs everyday (the latest shots show beautiful little cafes and me swanning around in a twirly skirt, whereas the reality of today is that I'm sat at my desk surrounded by partly opened boxes of PR, clothes, and general mess because I strained my lower back almost a week ago and can't bend to pick anything up. Not to mention my hair hasn't been washed for four days.), but the algorithm already hates me, so imagine how shocking my stats would be if I posted 'ugly' photos of my mismatched, untidy living quarters?

I also think that it's encouraging a life of materialism. Seeing what everyone else has and thinking you need it too. To me, life is more about moments than commodities - it's one of the reasons I started my 10 Things That've Made Me Happy series.

I love taking and editing photos so I'm not going to stop treating my feed like a bit of an 'art gallery' (ergh, so pretentious, but I hope you know what I mean!) and posting the photography I want to, but I am going to make an effort not to be so wary/hesitant of photos taken on my phone, to try and share a bit more of the 'mundane', and to try not to compare myself and my life with those on the internet..


xx


SUMMER DRESSING AS A SIZE 14 (AND UP).

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Whilst I'm not saying that I couldn't wear denim hotpants, tiny camisoles and skin-tight summer dresses if I wanted to (it's your life and your body, wear what you like), my body is frankly not made in such a way that certain clothing styles and my comfort levels don't clash horribly..

And although I try to exhibit a general trend towards being somewhat stylish and put together, I am The Comfort King.

In my time, I've pretty much been every size under the sun, from a gaunt, slip of a girl, to a round, Rubenesque figure. And I suppose that, and my sheer detest for exercise, has left me in no way taut, nor toned - giving the hot, humid weather potential to be incredibly uncomfortable.

Today I'm sharing some of my go-to pieces and styles that I covet when the warmer months come around, as well as a few tips to surviving summer in both comfort and style.

AN INSTAGRAMMABLE GUIDE TO BATH #1

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Quite possibly my very favourite city in the UK, Bath has a special place in my heart.

Full of beautiful, classic architecture and independent stores, I look forward to coming back every time, no matter how soon after the last visit.

Whilst there's an Instagrammable spot around almost every corner (not an exaggeration), some are more well known than others. I'm sure you'll all have heard of the likes of the Royal Crescent and Bath Abbey (beautiful in their own right) but today I'm sharing some of the recondite spots, gorgeous little streets, quaint little eateries and lesser-known riches the city has to offer.

THE PERFECT SUMMER-STYLE COMBO.

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Although we've had a little respite from the heatwave lately, the temperature seems to be creeping back up again as we head into the weekend, meaning I'm ready to don my current favourite way of dressing myself - a cotton shirt and twirly skirt.

10 THINGS THAT'VE MADE ME HAPPY #15

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one. // playing 90's RnB in the car with the air conditioning entirely turned up.

two. // chicken sandwiches. I used to love these as a child - using up leftover's from mum's roast chicken the day before. These days it's the best roast chicken I can find/afford, pulling succulent pieces off the carcass, lemon and pepper mayo (homemade if I can be bothered, Hellmann's if not) and fresh homemade bread. Because everything tastes better between two slices of bread after all.

three. // Dad's been going to a special sort-of exercise class affair for his mobility/illness and the PT who runs it is just fantastic. He looks around 20 and as though he might be a bit of a 'lad' but he's anything but. Luke is incredibly sweet, patient and encouraging with my father and it's heartwarming. Gives you faith in humanity!

four. // Albeit a little impromptu, we plumped with a visit to Bath again for our recent anniversary (4 years!). I really think it's probably my most favourite place in the UK.. I love it so very much. And being back there again with my partner in crime was just an utter delight :)

five. // New Alresford. The most gorgeous, quaint little town on the outskirts of Winchester - F and I have fallen in love with the place. Not to mention the Petersham-Nursuries-esque secret they're harbouring, that I mentioned in my recent blog post!

six. // sitting out in the garden as dusk approaches with F to go on hedgehog watch! We've a fat little dumpling of a visitor who seems to have recently (rather aptly) set up home under one of our hedges.

seven. // laying awake with the blinds open at night. Partially for the breeze (or hope of one..), partially to watch the slight glow in the night's sky.

eight. // we've (somewhat) booked a holiday! Essentially just a base camp for now (in the south of France), but I'm so excited! Some pieces I've already got my eye on....


nine. // tumbling bundles of broad beans from the garden.

ten. // sitting barefoot on a set of grassy steps near the Lexicon in the evening, watching a beautifully lavender-strewn sky (and getting a touch of sweet, sweet breeze!).

eleven. // a bonus one - cottage garden planting, inspiration for it and Gardener's World. I'm not a big tv-watcher but Gardener's World is my hour of relaxed dreaminess :)


Let me know what's been making you happy of late!


xx

IF YOU LIKE PETERSHAM NURSURIES..

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If you like Petersham Nursuries, and let's be frank, I don't know a single soul who doesn't, then you'll love today's post.

F and I have fallen in love with New Alresford and the surrounding area. A quaint little town down on the peripheries of Winchester, it's dreamy in every sense. Monica, a human of impeccable taste and fellow Petersham-o-phile, recommended a visit to Long Barn so who were we but to heed her advice?

SUMMER BEAUTY EDIT.

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Boy has it been a hot July. And when the heat and humidity rises, my beauty routine becomes ever the more streamlined.

And I also bring in some of my summer favourites that are as efficient and/or multitasking as they are enjoyable to use - so read more for this year's summer beauty edit!

5 FAVOURITE ITEMS IN MY WARDROBE RIGHT NOW #2

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It's time today for the second installment of my newest style series, so let's delve into my wardrobe again for a selection of my most loved items :)

THE PERFECT, CASUAL SUMMER DRESS.

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This is what 'happy' is.

Evenings spent with loved ones, in rural surroundings, with the nigh on smouldering warmth of an intensely hot, evening sun basking on our shoulders.

And what better a dress to gleefully dance about the fields than this?

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