I'm a Bad Blogger

I would say that life's been hectic, but too be fair, I finished my exams a month ago. I've just lost all my blogging mojo (and confidence) and I'm praying it will return over the summer. I'll post where and when I can (hopefully there will be some Berlin content in August *fingers crossed*).

I've had this blog since I was thirteen (coming on 5 years *gulp*) and I think I've been trying to stick to similar content and that's just not working for my nearly-adult self. I want to produce more fashion content, but my body image issues are getting in the way, so I need to have a serious sit down with myself and discover where I'm headed with 'ESP'. If you have any suggestions please let me know!

So, again, I hope I'll have some fresh content for you this summer. If not, I'll be on hold til the Autumn. See you soon, folks.

Father's Day Gift Ideas 2017

I think we can all agree that men are easily the hardest people to buy for. I don't know what it is about my father in particular, but whatever you buy him - even if it's specifically what he's asked for - it still ends up being the wrong thing and is returned. I still have no idea what to get him this year (I'm thinking beer... it's a failsafe, right?) however hopefully these ideas will help you to pick for your dad come Sunday 18th June.

Booze is always a safe bet in my view - unless the receipient is teetotal. My dad's a whisky or beer man, but I like the idea of getting a few bottles of artisan beer that's a little more interesting than a can. Beer Hawk has a section of worldwide beers to pick and choose from, or if you can't decide there's also the option of buying a mixed crate. Perhaps if your dad isn't a drink a coffee machine could be a good choice - it'll save them money in the long run if they're a Costa addict!

My father loves greenery so I always find plants make good gifts - he like succulents and has his very own terrarium! If your father isn't as green-fingered, IKEA has a fab selection of fake plants that look surprisingly real also.

We love travel in our house so the Lonely Planet guides are a must - I love the idea of their new 'Where to go When' which suggests destinations for each month of the year. Oliver Bonas have a fantastic selection of coffee table books like these - I know my father would love this 'Great Pub, Great Walk' book! However, if your father likes fiction over non-, you can never go wrong with a classic 'read this before you die' novel, such as 'Trainspotting', one of my favourites, or something from a prize longlist.

Music was a big part of my life growing up thanks to my dad - we have an entire wall of our home office covered in shelves of CDs staring at me as a type this! He really enjoys using his portable bluetooth speaker on holiday and in our garden, so maybe that would be good for fellow music lovers? I also bought him some concert posters for his birthday last year from concerts he went to in the 80s and we're curating quite a wall full now; I picked them up from Spitalfields Market (on a Tuesday, very nice man selling vinyl also). 

I think every man deserves a proper leather wallet but the one pictured from Aspinal is just fabulous - it's green! For younger dads (or older dads if they fancy), the Kanken backpack trend is one they could get on board with, for taking to work or for family days out or holidays? And finally, aftershave or cologne is always a hit with male members of my family (and perfume for the ladies) as it's something you never tend to buy yourself but is always nice to have.


Three Acid (AHA) Exfoliators

Since upping my skincare game last year, I've been converted to acid exfoliators - the 2017 equivalent to St Ives scrubs. It seems every brand from Clarins to Superdrug's own has an acid-based exfoliator on their shelves. With ingredients rarely varying, it's easy to see why budget brands like new favourite The Ordinary are becoming front-runners in this race. I have a range of price points tested here, and as a budget-skincare proponent, I think I've found a favourite that makes me (and my purse) very happy indeed. Personally, I'm a fan of AHAs (lactic, glycolic) over BHAs (salicylic) now as my skin is no longer acne prone and I'm looking for a glow over spot treatment, however if you are looking for acne-fighters, perhaps try BHAs first.

Firstly, the £££ option: Alpha H Liquid Gold, the original liquid exfoliator at £33.50. I have the mini here and it has lasted me a fairly long while with twice-weekly use so I'd argue that it's a reasonable price point (even more fair with frequent 20% off codes). This product leaves my skin a lot smoother and brighter the morning after I use it, but it's a hero for pigmentation - this cleared my acne scars around my chin and jaw fabulously. I'd definitely recommend for those with scarring or dark marks as it has worked wonders due to its glycolic acid base (AHA).

The mid-priced product is the REN Wake Wonderful Night Time Facial which I have spoken about before - I love the glow it gives me and the smoothness of my skin the day after I use it, alongside the wonderful peach scent. This one is definitely not suitable for sensitive skins, however, as there is a substantial tingle immediately after application which is noticeable even on my not-sensistive-at-all skin. I've put this at a mid-price point as, even though it is £32 full price, it is often found in beauty boxes or on sale.

Finally, my personal favourite is a new find - The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5%. I opted for the lower concentration so I could use it more frequently, and with use every-other night I have seen vast improvements in my skin texture - the bumpiness on my forehead had disappeared and my makeup applies far smoother and cleaner than before. One slight glitch is the scent - lactic acid has a very strong odour that I can only compare to rotten eggs. However, once on your face, you can't smell it! And for the price, a mere £5.50, I'm willing to put up with the smell for the savings!

I urge anyone reading to pick something up from The Ordinary - my next purchase will be one of the new foundations, but due to the waiting list of 25,000 I think I'll make a trip to the store in Spitalfields (or the new one opening in Covent Garden soon!).

- FYI ensure you use SPF after use as they make your skin more susceptible to UV rays -

10 songs to play on repeat in May

Honestly, far too much time has passed since my last music-related post, mostly because I've been listening to the same old songs. However, I've discovered some new favourites recently that I thought I'd share, especially now I'm actually on Spotify (seriously late to the party on this one I am aware).

Ed Prosek's new song is so good and I wish he got a tad more recognition! I've also fallen back in love with The Academic who I *guiltily* forgot about for a while whilst they were on tour. Tom Walker's new EP is out this month too and I am buzzing - his work never disappoints, and 'Blessings' is no exception. I was also pleasantly surprised by Harry Styles' first solo single; it's got a good vibe to it. Nevertheless, the other artists on this playlist are all favourites too so it's definitely worth a listen whilst you're getting ready for bed, doing the dishes or perhaps writing a blog post? The playlist is your oyster, if you will.

A Spring Wishlist

I'm writing this in the midst of the least Spring-like weather which inspired me to collate a list of all the things I am currently lusting after for the next season, from high street to high end.

Wardrobe-wise, these ASOS trousers look super comfy and perfect for a holiday (if and when I get round to booking something) and I have wanted one of these boater hats since last summer so will definitely be biting the bullet this year! I've been seeing basket bags everywhere and have a few on my radar (notably this one (£), this one (££) and this one (£££)). In the shoe-department, I'm in serious need of a new pair of white trainers and these Superga Leather Trainers fit the bill perfectly, it's just a matter of getting to the Westfield store now! Another blogger-induced purchase will be the CastaƱer espadrilles although I'm undecided -white or pink? Let me know your preference! I also love these Miu Miu sunglasses but I don't think I can justify the pricetag!

From the beauty hall, I spied (and sniffed) the Replica fragrance line from Maison Margiela in John Lewis and I pretty much want every scent! Speaking of scent, I'm still lusting after the Diptique Roses candle and I may cave the next time I'm in Liberty! I've become a tad obsessed with The Ordinary skincare line of late, and I have the Lactic Acid 5% but I now really want to try the foundations and hylauronic acid. The Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint looks like it would be a perfect summer base product too, and who could resist the ease of a foundation in a tube? A touch of the miscellaneous with this Fluffy Pink Cushion but it ticks all the boxes; on-trend blush pink? Check. Texture? Check. Snuggly? Check. And it's only £8!

Best Pens for Bullet Journalling

I've recently been converted to bullet journalling and, a few months in, I think I have formed my perfect kit for using in my Leuchtturm1917. Here are the best tools (writing-utensil-wise) for bujo-ing.

1 - Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens
These are a firm favourite in the bullet journalling community. I bought this little set from amazon with a very teeny one (S) which is perfect for writing along with the 'F' pen, the 'M' is great for drawing in lines and the 'B' is useful for titles. They don't bleed and dry really quickly. They are slightly visible through the pages in the Leuchtturm, though not noticeably.

2 - Muji Gel Pens
These are far more easily accessible if you're London-based like I am. I LOVE the 0.38mm for writing notes, as it's super skinny and neat, and the 0.5mm for bolder statements, however these do take a tad longer to dry so can smudge a little if you're not careful.

3 - OhhDeer Biro
I use this to just write in any notes and plan ahead (not for main spreads etc) as it's really easy to write notes quickly, however these Ohh Deer pens are super black (unlike grey-tinged Bics). 

I also use the ever-so-handy Uniball Signo Pen in White to cover up any mistakes - it's like super precise Tipp-Ex. To add colour, I use these super cheap pencils from my local pound shop and Staedtler Colouring Pens to add bolder details, although I'm considering investing in some of the infamous Tombow Brush Markers - any comments?

Spring Style Inspo

With temperatures reaching 18 degrees in London last week, it's only reasonable to assume that Spring has sprung - and to start planning wardrobe updates, of course! I've taken inspiration from some of my fave bloggers (Liv, I'm looking at you!) and from Pinterest to start a mood board for my spring style for 2017.

I am in love with this red slogan tee trend - it's all very Parisian and I am totally on board with that. H&M has a few good offerings, however I'm thinking of doing a bit of a DIY on this one with iron on transfers and something slightly rude - in French, obviously.

Since Lizzy Hadfield has been harping on about the ASOS straight leg jeans for a few months now - and she is Goddess of denim - I know I'm going to need a pair for Spring, which I think will be quite flattering at balancing out my hourglass frame. Thinking of looking to Topshop or ASOS for these for a better fit.

Red shoes are going to be a must in my wardrobe this season, especially as I'm bringing out the navy suit for Sixth Form. I love this pair from Next, as seen on Megan Ellaby, but Marks and Spencer has a pair of backless loafers which I love too!

Finally, I am a huge fan of this skinny stripy jumper trend that has been blossoming over the past few months. I'm not sure how well the horizontal stripes will suit my slightly bustier chest but we will see. Urban Outfitters has a few pretty offerings, and I love the multicoloured one shown from Gap, although I may play it safe and look in Primark or H&M for a bargain to test this one out properly.

What are you lusting after for the Spring season?

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