Thursday, 30 October 2014

Handbags - My One True Love

I live my life by one quote and one quote alone;
"Relationships come and go, but handbags are forever."
...Okay, I lied, that's not a real quote (and I live by more than one, for sure), but it's definitely true of my feelings in life. I could never, ever pin down my top handbags but I thought I'd at least offer you my top three for the season.

Tan Cambridge Satchel


The Classic
Tan Cambridge Satchel Company Satchel

My love for my Cambridge Satchel comes in waves, and I often have to dig it out from it's hiding place and use it obsessively until a new wonder comes along. Although pricey, Cambridge has become the satchel brand to be seen with, and the engraving options are amongst the best if you're into that sort of thing (I very much am, try to steal my bag by all means; but you best make sure your name is Sam.) My particular satchel is The Classic 15" in "Vintage" (£120) and it's perfect, my mum picked it for me and it's just big enough to hold everything I need without allowing me the room to hoard junk. I'd recommend getting a bigger size rather than a smaller one as, being leather, there is absolutely no give in them at all - which does mean that they stay a perfect shape. Pick carefully, and you could get a timeless bag for under £150.

The Season Favourite
Purple New Look Bag

I picked up this beauty from New Look (£24.99) earlier in the Autumn, and although they have it in a few different colours, the purple is perfect for A/W in my eyes. In Winter I need a bigger bag because, on top of the three notepads and a diary I insist on carrying year round, I also need a dumping place for the scarves, hats and gloves that will start to annoy me and be cast off during days out. This is the perfect bag for a "shove-everything-in" sort of deal, and that makes it desirable number one for me on a daily basis.

The Newcomer
Pink Fawn Bag

This is my newest bag and I'm completely in love. I bought it because the colour really caught my eye, and I've seen a couple of other people rocking the same shade so I might have hit on a winner here. This indulges the girly part of me as well as the grungey one, and the fact that it zips is a huge, huge selling point to me as I'm nearly always running late for the bus with an open topped bag full of paper of varying importance. I got this bag using a discount code for £10 off from Fawn Clothing in return for some feedback about their service, and they kindly gave me a discount code for all my readers so if any of their bags catch your eye (and they have some gorgeous ones) you can use discount code LITTLEFICKLEBLOG to get 20% off of your entire order (you can use it on clothes, too!)

I'm still lusting after a Michael Kor's Selma Satchel, but until then, these are definitely my top three go to bags. Do you have a favourite handbag? Share any sites or brands I should know about, please!

Sammy xo.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Insecurities

Give me an issue, a controversial topic, any subject at all and I'll be able to research, write up my argument and argue my point until I'm blue in the face (ask my old debating society. Or any of my ex's.) Give me a compliment, though? Well, you better be prepared for the squirming, disbelieving girl that you're about to have on your hands. That's right, against my better judgement, we're talking insecurities.

Before stripy after fluffy
Left; Shortly after turning 18 // RIGHT; Shortly after turning 20

Up until I was 18 years old, I was what my dad liked to call chubby. I'm relatively small, about 5'4 and on my 18th birthday I weighed nearly fourteen stone and wore a size 16/18. I was happy; I had a lot of friends, I wore clothes that suited me and that I liked, I was known for being argumentative, funny, smart (although, my A-Level results would disprove that particular one soon after.) I was pretty confident in myself and, although like most teenagers I had worries and hang ups, I spent a lot of time socializing with various amounts of friends. I was happy with my weight, I would say now, because it hadn't occurred to me that I shouldn't be - until someone pointed it out to me. I had other insecurities; stretch marks, scars, the skin on my arms is bumpy and my second and third toes are the same length - but until someone had said the words "you're fat". It hadn't occurred to me that my weight should be on that list. After the words were uttered and, in fact, even after the person that said them apologized and we moved forwards (as we're still friends now) - they hung around, determined to worm their way onto that list - and it worked. Gone was the happy girl, I spent pretty much the next two years solidly dieting. I rapidly lost about three stone, and later another two, and now I'm looking back I'm willing to say something that should have been clear at the time - I was miserable. Really, really miserable. There were days I didn't get out of bed, days I did things I wasn't proud of, days when I skipped meals and lied about eating to keep my intake under a ridiculously low amount of calories a day. As my weight dropped, so did my confidence; I covered up more, I wore the same clothes even though they were now 3 and 4 sizes too big, I shrugged my weight loss off, I stopped going out with my friends, mostly I just watched American TV and stayed in bed. 

Now, I can honestly say I'm in a better place, but it's taken me months to cajole myself into eating properly, to learn to love the body that I have now, to put a stone back on as hard as it was to do so. Writing this down, I feel sad for that girl that I struggle to believe was me - even though I still have days now where eating a sensible amount of calories seems too much. I feel sad for that girl, but more than anything, I'm mad at her - for letting somebody else change how she felt so drastically, for letting her insecurities get the best of her. I should know better, we should all know better. I am not the sum of my insecurities, the number on the scales, or the number of my clothes size, the number of scars or stretchmarks that grace my skin or the number of nights out I have a week. I am a sum of so many other things, things that really matter. Things like the number of tweets that I send out to people checking that they're okay if they seem down, the number of people I make think in a day, the number of people I smile at in the street, tell a joke to in work, open the door for in a shop. I am a sum of a million things, and I know now that they are each individually more important than all of my insecurities put together and, even if it takes me a lifetime, I am determined to see myself in a much more positive light. I am going to find the time every single day to pay at least one of my friends a compliment, and to pay myself one too - self love is every bit as important as love for friends, and a lot harder to believe in. I leave you with an important thought, that I think we should all pay more attention to;

"Your value doesn't decrease based on someone else's inability to see your worth."

How do you try to overcome your insecurities?

Sammy xo.

Monday, 27 October 2014

OOTD; Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer

I think for the most part I completely fell in love with this skirt because it was the adult version of the tutu's that my mum wouldn't let me wear except for fancy dress when I was a kid. I actually bought this over the Summer but I've struggled to dress it down enough to wear it every day, I think I might have hit on something now though. Maybe. Also, I may have hit somewhere between grinning like a lunatic and angry staring - I don't look completely crazy here. Or maybe I do and I can't tell?
Tulle Skirt
Tulle Skirt and Grey Beanie
Beanie - Accessorize // Leather Jacket - Dorothy Perkins // French Bulldog T-Shirt - New Look // Skirt - Lola Skye at Dorothy Perkins // Boots - Dr. Martens

Jack Wills Beaded Bracelet
Gem Bracelet - Old [Similar] // Coloured Bead Bracelet - Jack Wills // Stud Bracelet - Old [Similar] //  Stud Necklace - Old [Similar]

Probably not a look for everyone but I think I like it for a little stray away from the norm. As always let me know what you think, and how you'd wear the skirt!

Sammy xo.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Myself, My Brother and Feminism

NB: For this particular post I will be using the following Cambridge Dictionary definition of feminism;
"The belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power and opportunities as men, and be treated the same way."

Since writing about my opinion of the reaction that incurred after last week's Zoella Article, I've felt like a little bit of a cop out. It's not because that wasn't my honest opinion, as it was, it's just that I felt like I'd somehow managed to write an entire post on feminism without actually giving much of an opinion at all. For the last few days, I feel like all I've really done is read articles and watch videos, varying from Laci Green, to FckH8, to Matt Walsh. I've asked for countless opinions and answers over on twitter and to my friends, I've googled definitions and I've formed a view based on all of this and one other important fact - I have a brother that I love and respect, and I want him to have every right in life that I do, and vice versa.

A lot of you were very forthcoming with your feminist views, and they generally amounted to the idea that men and women should have the same rights, privileges and chances as their opposite genders counterparts. Although it's an increasingly dirty word, I definitely consider myself a feminist and, in my view, this includes men achieving the same privileges that we hold over them as well as us, as women, achieving the privileges that they hold over us. It's because that seems like basic human right to me that I'm a feminist. I mentioned earlier that I have a brother, a fact that I feel contributes to my view; let me explain.

My Brother and I

I am a feminist because, as awful as it is that (according to Rape Crisis) 1 in 5 women aged 16-59 has experienced some sort of sexual violence since the age of 16, it is just as appalling that if my brother ever experiences being sexually assaulted then it will be up for debate between many as to whether that can be considered a legitimate crime. I am a feminist because my Christian name being Sam puts me and my brother on an equal plain applying for jobs that don't include disclosing gender; however had my parents called me Samantha, then my chances of achieving a job over him in career areas such as engineering, plumbing or gas fitting could be considerably higher, even if we possess the same skills. I am a feminist because as much as calling my brother a pussy is offensive due to the connotations it holds, telling me to grow some balls is in the exact same group of insult. I am a feminist because although I'm less likely to get a higher position job due to my reproductive organs, my brother will only get 2 weeks paid paternity leave. I am a feminist because if someone punched me it would be a police matter, but if someone punched my brother he would all too often be expected to endure it and move on. I am a feminist because I can wear pants, but even if he wanted to my brother couldn't wear a skirt without ridicule. I am a feminist because bodies making decisions about my body are too often predominantly made up of men, because my brother was made to feel embarrassed for crying at My Sister's Keeper whereas I was comforted, because me speaking about politics is taken much less seriously than my brother doing so, and because him speaking about fashion is taken much less seriously than me doing so. I am a feminist because non-binary genders and non-traditional sexual orientations still aren't taught in schools, because there are still countries where I can't vote or drive, but my brother could be conscripted into war. I am a feminist because all of this needs to change.

In my eyes, feminism and equality are one in the same and, as much as I hope that I achieve the same rights as my brother, I also hope that he achieves the same rights as me. Feminism has become a dirty word for the much greater idealism that every single person irregardless of gender, binary or otherwise, should have the same rights as the next man (or woman, or otherwise.) and I think we can all agree that that's something worth fighting for.

What are your views on feminism?

Sammy xo.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Things I Love #2 - My Top 3 Songs

If you didn't see the Things I Love #1 post, you can read it here.

Some of you may know that I find it difficult to wear headphones on the bus or in public lately (it's a weird thing to do with people judging my breathing) and, as such, the only time I really listen to music is getting ready in the morning, in the bath/shower or in bed at night. As such, my music taste has grown and adapted to the new situations, gone are the screamo bands that blocked out the cackling of children and in are love songs and acoustic covers. As I've been listening to new music, I thought I'd share my top 3 songs with you at the moment.

Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran

"I will be loving you until we're seventy, and baby my heart could still fall as hard at twenty three."

I know I'm not the only person in love with this song right now, but given that my last love was a music video based around a dance, it seemed appropriate to start with this. Although the song in itself is so completely, undeniably beautiful, the video is unbelievably captivating, and there's something so lovely about seeing Ed Sheeran laugh at himself doing it.  If you haven't watched it, go and do that now (and keep watching it over and over and falling in love, if you're anything like me.) My one wish is that the radio station I listen to in work didn't play this every third song, I don't want it ruined for me by overplaying!

Stolen Dance - Milky Chance

"I want you, and we can bring it on the floor, you've never danced like this before."

I honestly don't know what it is about this song that I love so much, but I do. It's actually a sort of really sad love song at it's core, or that's how I've always seemed to perceive it, but the name makes me think of all of those scenes in TV shows where characters have danced together and then had to tear themselves away to go back to real life (Chuck and Blair, anyone? Or am I talking rubbish?) This is a song that needs a lot more recognition as it's actually gorgeous.


"If the heavens ever did speak, she's the last true mouthpiece."

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know how underrated I think this song is in the UK right now. This starts slow and then builds into something a lot more dramatic and, as good as it sounds now, I can't wait to hear an inevitably brilliant remix of this in the near future. The lyrics of this are worth paying attention to, and there's something really striking about it. It was used as the soundtrack to a video based around the abuse happening against the gay community in Russia, which went viral overnight; not only a great song, but it's helping make such a profound impact for such a worthwhile cause.

What are your favourite songs at the moment? Be sure to leave me some to check out!

Sammy xo.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Feminism vs. Human Decency

I don't usually post on a Thursday, but I'm going to make an exception for this one. I can't make it clear enough that this isn't a post directly about the Zoella article written by Chloe Hamilton and published by The Independent on Tuesday, but rather the reaction, nor is it directly aimed at any blogger(s) in particular.

There's no denying that the article about Zoella this week came across as cruel, irregardless of whether people were for or against Chloe Hamilton's points, but the whole thing (and the bloody aftermath that graced twitter) has made me wonder - Why is it always "Girls For Girls"?  As a blogger, most of my followers run beauty, fashion or lifestyle blogs (or somewhere in between) and, as such I am in the centre of a predominantly female circle. Based upon this, I don't think that it would be unreasonable to assume that a few, if not a majority, of us strive for feminism at least as it's very core value: equality. So, that begs the question - why did we react to the article in the way that indeed many seemed to do? Taking to twitter with passive aggressive tweets laced with an undeniable sense of "girl power". I suppose that, in a nutshell, is what riles me.

I'm not talking about passive aggressive tweets, if you follow me then you'll know in the past I've sent my fair share of those, but rather the message that girls need to support other girls simply because we were born into the same gender. I find it frustrating and, in fact, downright angering, that when men do wrong, we talk about them as people; how people should support each other, we talk about basic human compassion and decency. Yet, when women do wrong, we talk about them as just that- women. We are all too quick to step down off of our feminist soap boxes that we've been using to campaign for equality to remind everyone that "we've accepted that men won't respect us, but we definitely have to respect one another, as women". Never mind whether Hamilton was or wasn't correct, nor whether her tone was completely appalling, focus on my timeline seemed very much aimed on her jealousy at another woman and - not forgetting that dreaded "girls for girls" issue - the fact that, irregardless of her opinion or the tone that she used, the bottom line was that she was mean to another female. It's true that this particular post is one about feminism and was both about a woman and penned by one, but it could just as easily have been penned by a man. The issue with the article and the tone used has nothing to do with women grouping together and being nice to each other, but everything to do with something that we all too regularly seem to overlook; basic human decency.

The issue shouldn't be that Hamilton was mean to another girl, we aren't in the playground. The fact in itself is that Chloe Hamilton was unnecessarily cruel to Zoe Sugg, one human purposely writing offensively about another - irregardless of the gender of both parties. Maybe you're all sitting there disagreeing with me, but something about the whole suggestion just grinds on me. The (perhaps unintentional) suggestion that had someone talked in the same manner about a male, or had the writer himself been male, reactions would have different. Perhaps it would have provoked less of a reaction overall, given the reasons behind the hateful tweets I've seen sent to Chloe Hamilton more than once today (which is hypocritical in itself, by the way.)

I'm not saying don't defend Zoe, by all means you're free to voice your opinion the same as Chloe did. I'm not saying step back and watch girls be mean to other girls, just make the fight about human decency and not feminism, defend someone for being a human, not a gender. Feminism will come with equality, and this is a prime example of where we can make it happen. Furthermore, if you're going to defend Zoe by saying she's free to wear make-up and do whatever she wants if it makes her feel good, make sure your further tweets about Renee Zellweger don't contradict your point.

What do you think about girl power?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Growing Up A Girl

For The Love Of Something

Why is it that, as human's, we are so hard-wired to complain? I'm guilty of it as much as the next man, probably more, but I find it an intriguing concept. You will nearly always find me complaining about things I dislike, be it having no money, a day at work, a TV show that I tried and was rubbish. You will find me angrily telling people about bad experiences, complaining about people who wronged me and stuff that I hate regularly, but why is it that very rarely I, and indeed most of us, take the time out to talk about the things that we love? I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that I'm not the only one all too prepared to let the things that I dislike define me, because it's suddenly uncool if we want the things that we love to do the same.

I'm not saying you have to love everything; I personally dislike throwing away empty boxes (they might come in handy), early mornings, non-sugarfree juice, the fact that I have to cleanse, tone and moisturize twice every day (you all know this is seriously boring). I dislike ex partners, the taste of cinnamon and not knowing the nutritional information of food. I'm not saying you have to declare your love for everything and disregard your hatred, I'm just saying, let's start letting other things be the things people like us for.

Supernatural Names
Please understand this photograph was taken in jest to represent my love for American TV

I can think of a whole list of things that I'd rather people knew me because of than the things I hate. I obsessively love Supernatural, How To Get Away With Murder, Pretty Little Liars, American Horror Story and Gossip Girl, in fact I obsessively love nearly every American TV show ever made. I love watching dance videos on Youtube, I listen to the song Chandelier by Sia literally at least once a day, I like to arrange my nail varnishes by colour, I like brushed cotton duvets, new sheets, my legs to be freshly shaved. I like reading vogue, I like scouring the shelves of Boots, I like those days where it rains so hard it feels like it never gets light. I love a thousand and one things, and it might be horrendously uncool of me to admit it, but I would rather be horrendously uncool and known for things I actually like. It's like fangirling has become a bad thing, and I'm not talking about fourteen year old girls turning up at Harry Style's hotel room, I'm talking about loving something so much that you can't stop talking about it. Why on earth have we made this a bad thing? 

All I'm saying, I suppose, is embrace your inner fangirl. Be known for the things that you love, and if it makes you happy, feel perfectly free to talk to me about it until your voice is hoarse.

What things do you fangirl about?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Handbags My One True Love

Monday, 20 October 2014

Pumpkin Soup

Okay, if you follow me on Twitter you'll be all too aware of how I feel about pumpkin given the fact that in the last week one of my top used emoji has become the pumpkin one. I've got a post that will go up later this week about pumpkin cupcakes (as I scored some canned pumpkin from the American section of Tescov) but today's post is some good old fashioned comfort food, in the form of pumpkin soup.

First up, take a whole pumpkin and gut it. If you've never done this, it's pretty easy. Slice away the top and use a spoon to scoop away all the stringy bits and the seeds, then throw it away as all of this is essentially useless to you (it does smell sort of earthy and gross, though, be warned.) Then you want to cut the pumpkin into little pieces and cut away the skin from the flesh, throw away the skin and chunk the flesh and you're done. 

Then do essentially the same for a whole butternut squash  (it's easier to half it, scoop out, cut away the skin and then chunk the flesh) and peel two parnips and chunk them, too. Chuck it all in a roasting tin, give a liberal covering of oil and roast on gas mark 4 for about 2 hours, or until soft.

Take 900ml of hot water and mix with a stock cube or melt (I used a Roasted Garlic and Parsley stock melt and added a cube of frozen chilli) chuck in a big saucepan and blend down with a hand blender (alternatively, split the veg into two batches, add half the stock to each and use a regular blender.) Add more water if you like your soup thin, or less if you want it more chunky. Serve up with bread and season to taste! Yummy (and a good way to get rid of the inside of a pumpkin if you plan on carving one for Halloween!)

What's your favourite pumpkin recipe?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Cinnamon Cupcakes With Biscuit Spread Buttercream

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Karma

I'm not a big one for superstition, sans having to touch wood or salute to magpies, but if there's one thing I think I'm coming around to the idea of, it's karma. I don't know if any of you remember that show, My Name Is Earl? Well, like the beginning quote used to say; "You know the kind of guy that does nothing but bad things, and then wonders why his life sucks?" Yeah, I could relate.

Bad Things I've Done

I always knew, when I was a teenager, that I was shady at best. I always seemed to be doing something I shouldn't with someone I shouldn't be doing it with. When I got into Sixth Form I pretty much stopped going to school, or when I was there I was in the Common Room doing pretty much nothing at all, playing games on Not Doppler in the Maths I.T room or making crappy excuses up so I could leave early. I lied to my parents about where I was, which was nearly always where I shouldn't have been, and I was one of those girls that knew everything about everyone. I always had my ear to the ground, and I used it to my advantage as best I could; I always had something to say about someone, and the worst part was that I wasn't afraid of throwing myself under the bus to get someone else in trouble. Every single thing on the lists above is a true confession, if any make sense to an outsider, and honestly I could have filled pads and pads of post it notes with things I'd done that were pretty crappy. The thing is, though? Back then, my life was pretty crappy, too. I had "friends" I couldn't trust as far as I threw them, I was (unsurprisingly) completely failing school and whilst all my "friends" headed off to university? I ended up stuck here, with pretty poor A-Levels and so few true friends that I could count them on one hand.

Now, I'd like to think I'm a very different person these days (or I sincerely hope that I am). I try to see the best in people as much as I can, it's not easy at all, but if I can avoid gossip I will, and I certainly don't go out of my way to spread it. I try to be loyal, friendly, compassionate; and the way people treat me in my job has certainly made me consider the way that I treat others around me. This isn't a bad girl turned good story, this is me telling you why I believe in karma. At a fundamental level, Karma isn't some magic spell, nor is it a woman sitting on a cloud making sure you get your comeuppance. Karma is something far more basic, that our parents have been teaching us all these years; you'll be treated the same way that you treat others.

When I was a crappy person, my life was pretty crappy. I let myself down in school, I let the people that should have been my friends down, and I had to deal with the consequences and, actually, it was really hard. Now I'm a better person, I'm not going to say that life is amazing, but it's sure as hell better. I have better friends than I could ever have imagined, I've met some amazing people I sure hope I can call friends through blogging, my blog is doing really well, I've been in a solid job for two years, and it's down to nothing but basic human kindness and straight up hard work. So, when people do bad to you then you can rest assured that the crappier they act, the crappier their life is sure to be; it's basic science. But if your life isn't going your way? Maybe look at the way you're acting, karma works both ways.

Do you believe in karma?

Sammy xo

If you liked this you might like: White Rabbit

Friday, 17 October 2014

3 Blogs You Should Be Following

I've seen a lot of blog love flying round lately, and even received a bit for myself (for which I am massively grateful!) So I thought I might send some myself. Here's my current top 3 blogs that you should be following. So, in no particular order...

Danniella - Famous In Japan
I'm sure many of you will know Danniella (@famousinjapan), and she's so sweet and helpful it's easy to see why she's so widely liked. Her blog is seriously cute and, although her beauty posts are not to be sniffed at, her reviews of perhaps more unusual boxes (usually Japanese themed, as you might guess) and her reviews of the products within them are definitely the best around. I suggest a quick scour through, although don't be surprised if that quick scour through ends up being a whole lot longer.
Notable Posts;
Another Japanese Beauty Swap with NicoleinTokyo (I got spoiled!) (What, I love a good box swap, it's a guilty pleasure!)

Lauren - Britton Loves
More commonly known this week on twitter (@LaurenShipleeey) as "St. Lauren Of Healthy Bakes". I got talking to Lauren this week on a chat and not only is she a lovely, really down to earth blogger but she's also a fab healthy food enthusiast and her photography is absolutely gorgeous. Even if food isn't your thing; Lauren blogs about relationships, skincare, her personal style and everything in between, there's a little something for everyone!
Notable Posts;
Coffee Caramel Sweet Potato Brownies (well, it earned her a St. Lauren title, it would be rude not to!)

Jessica - Blonde Of Carbs
Jessica (@Blondeofcarbs) is genuinely one of the nicest people in the entire blogging world, if not beyond. She's been struggling with migraines lately but she's still managed to keep up with her blog. Her outfits are completely gorgeous, and I love flicking through the pretty little knick knacks that she's sharing with the world. Definitely worth a nosy, get yourself a brew and settle in for a long session of reading. Also, as it's getting closer to that season again, be sure to check her Christmas Cocktails page out.
Notable Posts;
Blaze On Fairy Lights (remember the pretty little knick knacks thing? Yeah, that.)

I'm always on the look out for new blogs, so be sure to leave your favourites in a comment below!

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Honest To Blog

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

B(ex)st Friends

If you asked me what my kryptonite was (although, I'm not entirely sure why you would) I wouldn't even have to think twice, it's my ex-partners. It's not that I still love them, although I suppose that I do in a way, it's the much more simple fact that, of my four best friends, three are people who I've been romantically involved with in the past. I thought, just in case any of you out there are thinking ex-partners might make good best friends, I'd put a list together of my top 5 pros and top 5 cons to consider. You're welcome.

Ex Boyfriend Pictures

Pros
1: If you're considering an ex as a best friend, chances are you were best friends before. Preserving a friendship is always worth the hard work and, post having a romantic relationship, you will always have a better understanding of each other on every level possible.
2: They always know what you need. They've dealt with you ugly crying over the little mermaid, they know exactly when to stroke your hair or buy your ice cream. 
3: You're more open with each other. Hey, if someone's seen you naked then you basically have no qualms discussing your period with them in great detail.
4: It's out of your system and, usually, there's no weird sexual tension like a standard male/female (or female/female, male/male) relationship can have. You've been there, done that, ruined the t-shirt, and it's not on your list of holiday destinations to visit again anytime soon.
5: You can err slightly more on the clingy side. Even if you text them three times in an hour, there will always be a time during your romantic relationship that you were more clingy. By comparison you are now the coolest cucumber to ever grace the Earth.

Cons
1: Remember that time you watched that film in the cinema and you missed whole scenes because you were kissing each other? If you ever watch the film together again those will now be really horrendous, awkward silences. Anything that consciously reminds you of a date or dating scenario? Yeah, wow, those silences are painfully awkward sometimes, get used to pretending your trainers are really, really interesting; you'll be looking at them a fair bit in the first few weeks.
2: You pretty much constantly accidentally flirt, only you will be really consciously aware of it, and cutting it out completely will make you appear like a lady in waiting from Downton, clipped and short. It takes a good while to achieve and successfully maintain an easygoing balance.
3: Every new partner will assume they're your bit on the side. Every. Single. One. So will everybody else in fact, no matter how much you protest it.
4: Speaking of new partners, if you even talk to a new person - never mind kiss them - you will be made to feel guilty (even when they don't care), and expect 20 questions if you happen to bring it up.
5: Drunk kisses. I don't need to say anything more.

Basically, maintaining a friendship with an ex is just as complicated as maintaining any other relationship, only more often than not you find yourself physically restraining yourself during slanging matches to not bring up the fact that "ACTUALLY, YOU DUMPED ME." I, however, love all three of mine, even if I do want to smash their heads together some days.

Are you friends with any of your ex's?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Friends With Benefits

Monday, 13 October 2014

OOTD: It's So Fluffy, I'm Gonna Die

Basically, the minute I went out on a day where the sky was blue but it was freezing out, I knew I was officially allowed to get my jumpers back out. In celebration, I actually popped out to buy a new one (which is really soft and fluffy and cosy) or two. Or three. And some shoes. And a bag. But, if you're reading this Mum, none of that's really important though, let's just move on to the outfit. Also I swear down I'm not actually this moody, I just always look it in photos.

Heart Shaped Satchel
Jumper - Asda // Heart Print Satchel - Asda // Trainers - Nike Outlet (Similar Here) // Mom Jeans - Topshop

Dreamcatcher Necklace
Beaded Hamsa Bracelet - Old (Sort Of Similar Here) // Silver/Glass Bead Charm Bracelet - Pandora // Rose Gold Initial Bracelet - Astrid and Miyu // Silver Wishbone Ring - Old (Similar Here) // Dreamcatcher Necklace - Old (Similar Here)

A quick two notes before I sign off on this post;
1) Astrid and Miyu donate 20% of each purchase to charity in association with Breakthrough For Breast Cancer, so for every bracelet bough £6.40 goes to helping a charity.
2) If you have feet sized 5.5 or smaller, head down to kids trainer sales, I picked these trainers up in the kids section in the Nike outlet and they only set me back £17!

As always, let me know what you think!

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: These Boots Were Made For Walking

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Quarter-Life Crisis

In my opinion, there's just something insanely unsatisfying about hitting your twenties. When I was younger I imagined this would be the golden age, I would be working in a job I loved (or pissing my money up the wall at University), I would have my love life, social life, friends, family and a future career in the bag. Realistically? I could count my friends on one hand, I work in a minimum wage job, I have no future career plans and my love life took a swan dive right around when it began. You too? Welcome to your quarter-life crisis.

post it notes

Why is it that when kids turn eighteen we deem that they now know enough about simultaneous equations, translating Shakespeare and the cell structure of plants to be allowed out to roam the world  on their own, for the rest of their lives? If you took one look at me when I was eighteen, playing Papa's Pizzeria on Not Doppler when I should have been taking notes in my Politics lesson on the other side of school, it was clear to everyone that an adult I was not, and an adult life I would struggle to live. Is it any wonder that more twenty somethings than ever are suffering from this Quarter-Life Crisis like phenomenon? Your two choices upon leaving school are earn money, or spend all of yours  (and in fact even money that you don't actually have yet) bettering yourself in higher education, and neither are really ideal.

Leaving school was a real shock for me, I went from doing nothing to a full time job as a waitress, from gobby know-it-all to the customer is always right. I grew up fast, I learned to manage my money in a way I never knew I would have to, I learned how ISA's work, I set up savings accounts, I was suddenly buying my own make-up, clothes and books and my god, is life expensive! I'm nearly 21, I've been working like this since I was eighteen years old and honestly, I may have grown up in some ways, but I am still no better equipped to deal with most of the things that life throws at me than I was whilst I roamed the halls of my High School. I still don't understand how people make new friends, how new love blossoms out of something platonic, how to find a career and how to juggle work and play. I don't understand mortgages, I don't understand how to fix pipes when they break and I don't understand how screwdrivers work, even though I'm pretty sure it's straightforward. The thing is, in our twenties we are no longer the adorable set of ruffians that we were in our teens, we are now drifters, my parents might see an innocent little girl staring back at them now but in the back of their heads they're wondering what it will be like to live with me at forty when I have ownership of ten cats and I'm on the dole. The simple reason that most of us are in a Quarter-Life Crisis? We are on the cusp of adulthood and nobody warned us, nobody told us that one day we would be here, that change doesn't happen overnight. We are the inbetweens, and it is all too much and not enough in one breath.

So I say live your Quarter-Life Crisis, allow it to make the adult that you already feel like you should be. This is the last time you get to screw everything up guilt free. Just remember, in the words of the wise icon known as Tumblr;

"Nothing will ruin your twenties more than thinking that you should have your life together already."

Have you had a quarter life crisis? How do you plan on getting through your twenties unscathed?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Thinking About The Future

Friday, 10 October 2014

My Favorite Season: Autumn

I've always been a lover of everything cold and gloomy, it's in my blood. I love Summer, I like long holiday's in the sun and a few weeks off work, I love Winter, and my birthday and Christmas and the crisp cold, I love Spring, like Mother Nature shedding her Winter Furs and offering us pastels and delicate flowers as a peace offering. My favorite season though has always been Autumn. Absolutely nothing will compare to your first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year, or the first night in listening to storms, or the first time you get to wear your big jumper. So, I thought I'd share my top 5 reasons as to why Autumn is my favorite season.

Vogue Bedsheets

1: Winter Bedsheets 
As you can see from the picture of my (rather messy) bedroom above, my winter sheets are already well and truly on. Mine are brushed cotton and from Asda, but you all have a pair of winter bedsheets and you know it. There's just something amazing about feeling snuggly in your thicker sheets and knowing you won't wake up bordering on heatstroke by the time the morning rolls round, in fact the complete opposite, it will be almost impossible to drag yourself out.

2: TV Shows
Okay, this is probably my number one reason, realistically, but I didn't want to seem too sad.  I absolutely love American TV and Fall is when all my top shows kick back in. Welcome to long weeks of Supernatural, How To Get Away With Murder and American Horror Story, you might notice I'm absent considerably more than in Summer. It's an addiction, you can't blame me.

3: New Fashion
Before you all go mental, I know that every season actually brings new fashion,but there's just something so satisfying about the first cold weather fashion of the year. Gone are the days of perfecting an outfit only to have to strip out of some of the layers before you're hospitalised with a fever, gone are the days of misconstruing the weather and ending up shivering in your (admittedly,  very pretty) scalloped vest top, That's the best thing about Autumn fashion, the more layers the better, and scarves cover all multitude of make-up sins.

4: New Candles
Although my best friend Ruby will actually tell you that Christmassey candles can't be burned until December 1st (and must promptly be removed from sight by New Year's Eve) there's something satisfying about knowing that soon, I won't be smelling blackberry and fig at night, but vanilla frosting and snowflake cookie will be making a triumphant return. You can take all your citrus back, give me all the honey and spice you can get your hands on.

5: Nights In
I'm a homebird by my very nature and so one of the best things about Autumn? People assume you want to stay in just because of the weather, I get away with the behavior I have to defend all year round and, even better, sometimes I get a mate to cuddle up to and watch "Brave". Basically, nights in become the norm, at least for the next three months.

So there you go, maybe not the most glaringly obvious best things about Autumn, but certainly the top five in my eyes. What are your favorite things about Autumn?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: The Less Talked About Netflix Picks

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

OOTD: Dime A Dozen Mediocrities

So if you follow me on twitter there is absolutely no way that you managed to escape the fact that I went to see Wicked last night at the Liverpool Empire, and oh my days it was absolutely amazing. As I was going out I thought I'd give you the second OOTD in a row, you lucky lot. I just want to warn you I've gone from hysterically laughing to looking minorly angry. I'll hit the perfect pose/facial feature one day. Maybe. Probably not.

Checked Cape
Blanket Cape - Warehouse // T-Shirt - New Look // Pants - Oasis

Black T Bar Shoes
Shoes - Topshop [old] (Similar Here) // Bag - Cambridge Satchel Company
Cameo Ring

Necklace - Accesorize [old] (Similar Here) // Turquoise Birthstone Ring - Pandora // Cameo Ring - Vintage (Similar Here) // Red Leather Bracelet - Pandora // Birth Year Charm - Pandora [old] (Similar Here) // Red Beaded Bracelet - Homemade // Coloured Beaded Bracelet - Jack Wills

It's also worth me mentioning that the Jack Wills bracelet is actually a Malaria No More bracelet, with 100% of profits going to help Malaria Research. Let me know what you think about this outfit!

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Charlie Brown Has What You'd Call A Failure Face

Monday, 6 October 2014

OOTD: I'll Leave You In The Summertime

"I'm so awkward though." Was the first thing I whined to my photographer friend when I asked him to take my photographs for my OOTD. He assured me I'll be fine, I wasn't that awkward, he could make it work. Fast forward to four hours later and exasperated calls of, "Don't look so awkward! You need to relax your hands!". All in all, I think it's safe to say that confidence in OOTD must come with time because this was a lot more difficult than either of us anticipated. Nevertheless, I bring to you my first ever OOTD, if you had a burning desire to see what the world's most awkward person looks like doing fashion shots, your boat just came in.

Tartan Skirt

Fur Collared Coat - Dorothy Perkins // Led Zeppelin T-Shirt - Vintage (Similar Here) // Skirt - New Look // Bag - New Look 

Marc Jacobs Watch

Necklace - Etsy // Watch - Marc Jacobs // Fitbit Flex Fitness Band - Argos // Boots - Wallis 

Let me know what you think, and absolutely any tips at all are appreciated!

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: A Girl Who Gossips Is A Bore

Saturday, 4 October 2014

To Myself, From Myself

I am a notoriously bad hypocrite. When things are happening around me, I tend to think I have the clearest view in the world, but when things are happening to me? Well, suddenly I'm trapped in one humongous grey area with seemingly no way out. Recently, I seem to disregard my gut feeling more than ever and so I thought I'd give myself my top 5 bits of advice, in the hopes I might actually listen.

take your own advice

1: Do Stuff For (And By) Yourself
Don't be such a baby, you are completely limiting yourself by your unwillingness to do anything alone. You don't need to be mollycoddled or have your hand held through life; you have made it this many years on your own and you've survived. Walk strange streets alone, watch rubbish films alone, learn to be alone and learn to do stuff for (and by) yourself.

2: Don't Expect Everyone To Like You
People won't always like you, and if they did it would be really, really weird. Stand up for the things you believe in, talk about the things that you love, talk about the things that you hate. Talk about what makes you, you, irregardless of what you think that your new "friends" will think about it. Allow people to hate you if it means staying true to yourself.

3: Fall In Love More
Fall in love with people and things, fall in love with cheesy pop songs and books that leave you feeling weird for days. It is so easy to hate things, and so much harder to find things that you love. Love so many things that it spills out of you, talk about them endlessly, become known in relation to them. It's not bad to feel something other than apathy for the life you have been granted.

4: Make More Time For Family
Boys that want to kiss you will come and go, but family are forever. Stay up later than you wanted with them just to watch TV shows that you don't even like, go out with them so you can make sure that they all get home safely when you're drunk, make traditions that you will keep up with the family that you create one day. Make time for the people who have always, and will always, make sure they have equal amounts of time for you.

5: Learn To Walk Away
Forget what loyalty you think that you have to people or situations, learn to walk away from anything toxic. For the record, anything at all that makes you cry more than twice is dangerously toxic and should be treated as such.

So there's my top pieces of advice; from myself, to myself (although, as usual, I doubt I'll listen!) What advice would you share with yourself?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: A Letter To My Future Children

Friday, 3 October 2014

FOMO

Come on, admit it, you're guilty. It's 4am, you've wandered to the toilet, popped back into bed and here you are, having a quick glance to see what's happened on Facebook (and Twitter. And Pinterest. And, go on then, maybe Tumblr) in the 3 hours since you last checked. So, I'm making a stand, I'm here to admit that I'm suffering big style from FOMO; Fear Of Missing Out (It's genuinely, seriously considered a psychological disorder, go and check it out.)

Apps

I was one of those kids, a kid who wanted to know the answer to everything, and I wanted to know why. I wanted to know the gossip about everyone, I wanted to know the secrets to everything, I wanted to know who, how and where and I hated the idea that there were things out there that other people knew and I didn't. It seems inevitable, looking back, that social media would only serve to increase the problem. Since the onslaught of social media we've seen in the last few years, I find it hard to believe that there's many people out there not suffering a crippling fear of missing out. When the whole world is editing their life, adding pretty filters and cropping out anything seemingly ugly, surely it's impossible not to worry that there's something better out there that everyone else has got that you haven't.

But isn't it just human nature? How many parties and outings have I been lured into going because, it might be crappy to go, but I'm worried I'll miss out on essential gossip if I don't (also, I might be the gossip if my physical presence doesn't serve to deter it.) In a world where technologically based human contact is 24/7, and some people are willing to use that to their advantage to broadcast a carefully tailored life, it's a basic instinct to keep up to date with other people, in a way that really just isn't natural. Gone are the days of sitting at home wondering what exes are doing, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are here to work together to create a play by play scrapbook of his messy Saturday night. Gone are the nights of losing contact of people from school, you now have at least four solid ways to obsessively check what they're doing, and if it's better than what you're doing. Gone are normal sleep patterns, so much can happen in 8 hours, and if I'm awake then you best be sure that my phone is in my hand with at least one social media app open.

Isn't this mindset something we should have left behind with our barbie dolls? The idea that someone has a better toy than us, better clothes, a better house, a better relationship? The fact is FOMO isn't a psychological disorder, it's a fact of every day modern life, and when you're in it there's simply no way out. With technology providing us more and more ways to keep up with other people lives, it's always going to be at the very least a niggle in the back of your mind that you might be missing out on something really, really cool.

 I'd say drop me your opinions, but I don't want to disrupt you from any aggressive Facebook stalking, and there's so many tweets to be caught up on...

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: For The Love Of Something

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

White Rabbit

This year has been a little bit hit and miss for me, but I'm determined to make it come good for me before I turn 21 in a couple of months time.

Why is it that when we enter a new year we're all so determined to change, to better ourselves, and we so conveniently forget that we do, in fact get 12 fresh months in which we could make the same decision, 52 fresh weeks, 365 days?

This is my pledge to at least attempt to make October good, to make November even better, then December, then I'll tackle 2015 as it comes. Who's with me?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: 2014 - A Self Portrait
 
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