Let’s talk about alcohol

“I’m not drinking”

Generally, the reaction I’ve experienced to these words has been pretty shocking. It starts with “why?” or “are you on meds?”, usually followed by a shit pregnancy joke and one of the following scenarios:

  • Just have one. You can have one. Why don’t you just have a few? You could leave your car. We’ll just get a taxi. Oh go on, just one.
  • Oh my goooood, I feel so baaaaad! I can’t drink if you’re not drinking too. *reluctantly sips large Sauvignon in between sentences*

Both are awful. So I’d like to break things down here…

The idea that what we see as ‘normal’ is filling yourself full of something that dehydrates you, encourages bad decision making and inhibits self-control, while also giving you an absolutely banging head the next day, just hit me like a ten-tonne lorry (more on that later) as ridiculous.

It was only by taking a look back that I really started to appreciate how the pattern had formed in my own life.

From around age 15, most people enter into the countdown to adulthood and with it, legal drinking. At this age, the world is against you, your friends are everything, and peer pressure fills the air in equal amounts to Impulse body spray. Jagerbombs & vodka very nearly killed me on more than one occasion. You’re expected to drink. And this inevitably sets a tone for the adulting we have to come…

Most of my adult social interactions have been based around alcohol. Bars, clubs, dinners…even the theatre. Everything starts with a drink or two.

And then you start to associate drinking with relaxing and unwinding and having fun.

And then you find yourself with a glass of wine (or three) every evening after a ‘hard day’ at work.

And then you don’t feel like you can have fun without having a drink.

And then you start to feel tired and fatigued all the time and your eating habits get hella crazy and you can’t quite put your finger on why you’re feeling so shite…

These aren’t necessarily all things that everyone goes through, and there can be any number of reasons for not feeling yourself, but alcohol is never going to help. Like ever.

It’s difficult to put into words how much cutting out alcohol for a few months has changed my life so far. I feel like I’ve got more hours in the day, I’m more motivated, I’ve lost weight, I feel more confident, my skin has improved massively…I basically feel like the best version of myself. Literally living my best life.

I would encourage anyone to try cutting down or cutting out alcohol, even for a few months. But most importantly, we need to shake this goddamn stigma attached to ‘not drinking’.

Pressuring someone who is making a choice not to drink, whatever their reason may be, is bollocks.


To anyone reading this, the next time you find yourself on either side of this situation, please stop and think. Don’t be part of the problem, and don’t let anyone bring your fine self down for making healthy choices.
You do you boo.

This isn’t a speech on how alcohol is the root of all evil, it’s just to say that nothing is a thing until we make it a thing.

And, for anyone who’s interested in going sober for good, or just wanting to have a short dry-spell, I’m going to be sharing my experiences around the world, including cocktails and mocktails alike.

Let me know your thoughts and keep an eye on the blog for my next adventures.

How to chill the f*ck out

I’ve come to realise that everyone has an existential crisis over their eyebrows, not being able to open something edible, the weather, Thursdays (worst day of the week by far) and 1,000,005 other nonsense things, at some point. It’s fine, we’ve all been there, you can put down the tweezers.

And then there are the times when there is nothing wrong at all…except there is. You just get irritable and start to hate people for breathing and feel like you’re never going to get comfortable again and your skin itches and none of your clothes fit and that’s it, everything’s going to be awful forever.

We all have these moments.

So I’m sharing the top ways which I like to de-stress and break out of emo mode.

DRINK WATER
It’s good for you and a wise woman once told me that you can’t drink and cry at the same time.

TAKE A SHOWER OR WASH MY FACE
Guaranteed to make me feel refreshed in less than 10 minutes. It’s literally like you’re washing away all of your emotional shit. I try to buy one shower or skin product at the airport before I go on holiday and use it while I’m away. Then, when I get home, I keep it for times when I’m not feeling super cute and it immediately takes me back to amazing holiday memories.

HAVE SOME TIME TO MYSELF
Switching off and being on my own is just necessary sometimes, and it can get really hard to do when work involves being around people all day. Starting a blog has really helped on this front because I feel like I have a reason to hide away in a corner somewhere. I hear going for a walk or reading a book work just as well though.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
There are tons of mindfulness apps out there right now, it’s a huge buzzword at the moment. I’ve heard really good things about the likes of Headspace, however, my digital meditation guide of choice is Calm. I started out with the ‘7 days of Calm’ feature and worked my way through the free bits (there are some great music tracks to help you focus & sleep – oh, and Stephen Fry can read you a bedtime story…) and then it’s £9.99 a month to unlock all of the content and keep getting your ‘Daily Calm’. It’s also very pretty – I’d recommend it to anyone who’s a sucker for nice branding and still wants something that will do the job. They even have a book to go alongside it.

LISTEN TO ASMR
This is my ultimate. I came across ASMR a few years ago now, and it’s got quite the cult following. You have to come at it with an open mind , but in short, the online application of ASMR involves some very patient and talented people, who happen to have extremely relaxing voices, acting out different situations for online videos in order to help viewers relax and/or sleep. Imagine someone reading you a bedtime story via the internet. It’s like that. My favourite, and the most subscribed to creator (ASMRtist) is Gentle Whispering ASMR. Check her out, she’s great.

So that’s my top 5. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with stress, but if you’re looking to try a different approach, I hope you can take something from this. Let me hear your thoughts and any tips you have for handling day-to-day stress.

My obsession with KARL LAGERFELD

By day, I’m in marketing, working for a designer retail outlet on the South Coast of the UK (plus freelance clients when I can). It’s introduced me to some pretty insane brands over the past year and a half, but a girl can’t help having her favourites…

Here’s an introduction to the top of my list, KARL LAGERFELD.

As a designer, Karl Lagerfeld is best known for his association with ultra lux brands, Chanel and Fendi, both of which he currently stands as head creative director for. But what about the eponymous KARL brand?

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Far away from the super-rich heights of the designer giants he works with, Lagerfeld’s own brand is a reflection of his personal style and likeness throughout. It’s not uncommon to find cartoonesque images of his famous profile (often joined by his cat, Choupette), across entire collections. It really is all about the fashion guru himself…

KARL LAGERFELD continues to be popular throughout many European countries, including a number of collaborations with high street brands, such as Vans & H&M. Here in the UK however, it’s much less well known. And this brand really deserves some love.

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It’s definitely a “look”, but the consistent delivery is what does it for me. I don’t like too much quirk in my outfits. I’m very into monochrome, greys and general darkness. But I do love a statement…just one item or accessory, set against a paired back outfit, is exactly how I like to wear my style.

And for that, KARL comes through. (I REALLY WANT THIS ONE)

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This brand is playful and sophisticated at the same time, mixing glitter and motifs with sharp edges and classic silhouettes. It’s also a lot more realistic in terms of price tag than Karl’s other designer projects with price points from around £60-£800 for ready to wear.

Oh, and the man is also the absolute king of sass…check out some of his ‘Karlisms‘.

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Take a look at more from the WORLD OF KARL and tell me all about your brand crushes. And if you live on the South Coast, why not visit the KARL outlet store?

MLM

Embracing the double cleanse

It’s a simple concept, but double cleansing has come into its own in the past year, alongside trends such as using a sheet mask on a plane (I do love Chrissy Teigen for this).

Basically, it involves adding an extra step to the cleanse stage of your skincare routine in the evenings (when you’ve had a day of pollution, stress, carbs – you know the days…). You start out with an oil or balm based cleanser to disturb any dirt, makeup etc on your face, and then go in with a gel or water-based cleanser.

The idea is that doing this allows the second cleanser to really get into your pores, and leave everything super-squeaky clean. And I’m giving it a go✨

THE BALM CLEANSER
Now I’ve had some really bad experiences with balm cleansers. We’re talking serious breakouts followed by serious breakdowns. And very quickly, I give up hope. But let’s leave that at the door for this one, because actually, I figure adding the water/gel stage will help balance things out.

My balm of choice was No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm, which I bought from Boots for £9.50 (It was actually in a 3 for 2 on expert skincare deal – so it cost me absolutely nothing). On first impressions, it’s a very different texture to any balm I’ve used in the past, it feels more like a thick moisturising cream, whereas others have been slightly tacky and greasier, a bit like hair putty.

You apply this one to dry skin, massaging all over your face in circular motions before removing gently with a damp cloth.

And after this stage, I think I’m hooked.

My skin feels soft, fresh and springy, with no dreaded oily layer sitting on top whatsoever, which has really been a problem before. On with the next stage…

THE GEL CLEANSER
This was a lot easier to choose, as I already use the La Roche-Posay Effaclar three-step system as part of my daily skincare routine (you can get this from Boots for just over £30 – definitely recommend as an easy base skin regime if you’re prone to evil breakouts and oily skin). So for my gel cleanse stage, I went with my usual Purifying Foaming Gel (get a big squirty 400ml bottle for £15 at Boots).

This one, you apply to wet skin, and it lathers up gently while you massage all over your face. It’s a really light cleanser with ultra-fine bubble but works really deeply into the skin (particularly after having balmed up in stage one).

I absolutely love this cleanser. It’s my all-time favourite and giving it a try for the first time just after Christmas was the best skin decision I’ve made so far, like ever. It cleans my skin so well, without stripping or tightening it like some gels or micellar waters can. Honestly, give it a go.

I’m now about a month into double cleansing nightly, and so far, I really do believe the hype. I’m using less toner (which can only be a good thing for my crazy skin) and waking up the next morning, I feel like my face has had the chance to replenish and balance itself, rather than being dried out or oily.

I’ll be sharing my full daily skincare routine soon, but let me hear your thoughts.

MLM

Well Hello

I’m hoping what you see here will be interesting to some people. There are some absolutely great bloggers out there that have really inspired me at times, so giving it a shot seemed to make sense. Failing that, I go to some shit hot places & like taking pictures of my feet ✌🏼

I’m not aiming for any particular frequency to this thing, so watch this space and hit me up if you’d like to work with me or just fancied saying hi.

Amy