2016: My 5 highlights


2016. What a funny old year it's been. Despite the events of this year and the impact political and social changes are having upon all of us, there have been so many ups in my life that I thought sharing them would be the only fitting way to finish another year of Charlotte's Web. FOCUSING ON THE GOOD IS IMPORTANT. I've not been able to upload nearly as frequently as I would like to my blog and that's something that is so frustrating to me and has been bothering me for some time. I'm thinking of filming a little 'Life Lately' video for my YouTube channel where I can chat more freely and openly because I really have been thinking a lot about my social media platforms lately and how desperately I want to grow them and make as much creative material as possible. ANYWAY, I digress. In no particular order (cue X Factor voice over), here are my top 5 moments of 2016: 

1) Taking a leap of faith and pushing myself to get myself onto a plane, leave the country and spend a whole 5 days in a completely unknown place was such a HUGE step for me but potentially takes the top spot as one of my favourite achievements and adventures of the year. Amsterdam now officially has my heart, and even reminiscing about my time there has me pining to book another trip away to explore another area of the world on my 'To travel to' list. Immersing myself in the culture of another country and ticking off  a number of my bucket list wishes made my 5 days there pretty magical, combined with it being mine and Scott's first official abroad holiday equalled a really special August. Visiting the Anne Frank House, eating coconut pancakes in the most idyllic location and enjoying a canal tour in the sun would only be naming a few of the amazing things we did that week and I'm just SO proud of myself for battling my anxiety and taking that leap. It may sound like I'm gushing and being OTT, but it was such an important trip for me and I couldn't have had a better time! I also managed to vlog every day during our time there and those clips are some of my favourite videos to date; the trip really made me realise how special and nostalgic it can be to rewatch parts of your life and relive those memories and I'm therefore making it my mission to continue to do so in 2017. 


2) Next on my 2016 happy list has to be the addition of new friends, both online and in real life which have totally transformed my mindset and made me realise more than ever the importance of surrounding yourself with positive, supportive and kind people! Earlier this year I was added into a Twitter group message and I cannot put into words the level of improvement in my life as a result of becoming closer to girls whom are so similar to me in every way. Having constant support and knowing I am able to get advice about anything from what to wear or my regular ~life breakdowns~ is SO reassuring and really reiterates to me how important friendships are! I've been lucky enough to meet some of the gals from said group chat during 2016, including Hayley (I pounced on her in H&M when I spotted her at work) as well as Polly who I've seen for sushi twice now and enjoyed greatly! My real life pals have also been great and I feel like I've got closer to so many of them which is so odd seeing as we're now spread out across the country at universities around the U.K; I guess distance really does make the heart grow fonder! It's lovely catching up with old friends and knowing nothing has changed, so another of my best moments from 2016 include to be the trip to Edinburgh I took back in October, my birthday picnic and quiz in August and general brunches, catch ups and phone calls that reaffirm why my pals are THE best. 

3. SURVING MY DEGREE SO FAR. Although I never thought that university would make it into my top moments of 2016, I'm really proud of what I've achieved both educationally as well as mentally and emotionally by sticking with my gut and continuing my studies. I never doubted that fashion was the subject I wanted to pursue, but living away from home for the first time in an unfamiliar environment with a real lack of support was really tough to say the least. I managed to finish in May with a first in every module which I feel SO proud of and made what was otherwise a really negative experience totally worthwhile. Second year has so far been a lot easier due to finding friends whom I feel I can speak openly to as well as living with my current housemate and pal Ruby whom has been my rock (cringe but true) in moving back to uni and all the bumps in the metaphorical road that come along with that. University has really changed me as a person, and I not only feel really proud of my independence and ability to (on the whole) look after myself, but also the grades I've achieved which have really motivated me to continue striving for a career in fashion and doing my upmost to make that happen. 2016 has been a year of real girl boss feels!!!!

4. Despite the earlier worries in this post about not uploading content regularly enough, my fourth highlight of the year is one million percent taking the plunge and starting my YouTube channel. I've been watching YouTube videos for probably around seven years now and it's always been a passion of mine but 2016 was the year I pushed myself to try it out and I'm really proud and happy of the videos I've made! Although they're not mega professional or groundbreaking, I was so keen to make vlogs and record genuine parts of my life to share the happy (and sometimes hard!) moments, as well as having those memories to look back on. The positive feedback I've had from the videos has been overwhelming and messages of support and comments saying that videos have helped them in some way are SO lovely and I'm now really motivated to make videos more regularly. My university video in particular had such wonderful feedback and it's just really great to know how many kind and supportive people I have in my life online. *ALL THE HEART EMOJI'S*. I also feel super proud of the outfit content I've created for my blog, and shooting a look a day whilst in Amsterdam against some gorgeous backdrops is definitely another highlight of my online life! I can't wait to hopefully take some more (read: beg Scott to take some) outfit photos over Christmas to share on the blog and hopefully will kick start 2017 into a bad ass blogging year!

5. And finally, a yearly round up wouldn't be complete without a mention to Scott and everything he does for me; cue extremely cringe and gushing moment. We've shared so many AMAZE moments this year, from our Amsterdam trip, our joint birthday weekend, a 3 day Brighton get-away and SO MANY brunch dates I've lost count. It's so special to spend a long period of time with someone and go through so many things together and I feel like 2016 is the year we've become so much closer, despite being long distance for a large portion of it. We celebrated our one year anniversary back at the beginning of the year, and in a couple of months we'll be celebrating our second which is absolutely crazy! I hope 2017 brings many more adventures for us and I'm v v excited to share some of those online (as well as many more bangin' ootd's courtesy of S) (THANKS BABES).

Writing this has made me feel SO positive about the past year despite the hiccups along the way, it's so funny how your brain can eventually block out the bad parts and focus on the good. I'm hoping 2017 will bring a lot more of that; reflection is good for the soul. If you've done a similar post or were inspired to share your 2016 highlights after reading this please let me know; I absolutely love reading these sorts of posts so I hope you did too! I'm potentially going to be putting together a 2017 resolutions type-of-thing so if that would be of interest then also leave me a comment! It has felt SO good to properly write my first long blog post in far too long so here's to many more!

A Christmas wish list!

Gerad Cosmetics Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick in 'Everything Nice', Leaf Phone Case, Star print Cambridge Satchel, Choe Roses De Chloe perfume, Charlotte Olympia Kitty flats, Topshop Beret, Commes De Garcons Converse. 
Hello! Long time no blog! They sure weren't kidding when they said the second year of university is the hardest; I have barely had chance to catch my breath in between working my butt off on a million assignments and applying for internships, which has resulted in my blog taking a back seat during the past few weeks. With only one week to go until I catch my train home for Christmas (and it can't come bloody soon enough), I thought I would compile a little wish list of things I'm lusting over and hoping for this Xmas! I've not had much chance to think about Christmas presents or anything remotely festive because I've been in full on degree mode, but now that I can just about see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to deadlines, my mind has drifted towards things I'm hoping will be under the tree this year. I've seen a lot of gift guides floating around on blogs and YouTube channels lately, and although this is a bit more broad, I thought it may be useful if you're struggling to know what to ask for, or if you're in need of a little inspiration for the lucky present receivers in your life! Leave me a comment letting me know what you're hoping for this year or a link to any gift guide posts you've written! I've got SO many posts planned for when I'm back at home so keep your eyes peeled later this month, woooo. 

Sidenote: A lot of these items are extremely expensive and only in an ideal world would I be expecting these as genuine gifts for Christmas. This post is basically wishful thinking but that's OKAY!!!!!

M&S Limited Edition Collection Wishlist!

Pure Cotton Embroidered Shirt, Metallic Pleated Midi SkirtStriped Long Sleeve T-Shirt
On a recent trip to M&S in Leeds on the desperate search for the second Archive By Alexa collection (v unsuccessful, they only had four pieces!) I stumbled across the Limited Edition collection currently available and FELL. IN. LOVE. I've never been one to shop in Marks and Sparks, purely because I don't consider it to be aimed at my demographic however I was so pleasantly surprised with the pieces they currently have in and how affordable they are! I actually picked up the multi coloured striped jumper in the image below and was super happy with my find; it's such a satisfying feeling knowing you've found a gem from somewhere unexpected! I thought I would put together a little wishlist of some other bits from the collection currently on my lust list and to spread the word about the gorgeous pieces available from a store I would usually have dismissed. My personal favourites include the GORGEOUS metallic midi skirt and the frayed hem, two tone jeans; I have visions of styling the skirt and think it would be perfect for the festive season! Let me know if any of these picks take your fancy or if you know of any stores that have some unexpected on-trend pieces! 

Frayed Hem Straight Leg Jeans, Multi Striped Crew Neck Jumper, Floral Print Fit & Flare Dress

Being a total girl boss at your degree #UNICHATS

As I've settled back into my second year at university, I thought now would be an appropriate time to share some of my organisational tips and tricks that helped me through last year and that I'll be using throughout second year too! I'm by no means an expert in managing stress and there were numerous instances last year when I panic cried to my tutors, BUT for me it's all about finding a balance with work VS life and ultimately aiming for girl boss* status when it comes to degree studying. (note: tips can be used for guy bosses as well as gals)

TIME MANAGEMENT

Probably a part of university that I struggled with as much as took pride in, was managing my work load and making the most effective use of my time. I struggled in this area in a different way to most in that I became a bit of a workaholic at university and had zero understanding of a work/life balance. Tut tut. One thing that really helped me and that I tried to stick to more and more as my time studying fashion went on was treating my day like a 9-6 job. I would work for those hours and then have the evening off to Skype my boyfriend, relax and re charge (aka snack on chocolate covered raisins and watch The Walking Dead) before the next day. I would often stick to this pattern on weekends too which is not a method I would recommend; GIVE YOURSELF SOME TIME OFF PEEPS! I found it really rewarding to know I had ticked of the majority of my to-do list every day and could fully relax in the evening in the knowledge that I was on top of things. Something that will make university life SO much easier is not having the mid term panic of "oh my god I have so much to do and so little time". Granted, you might have that anyway if you're a perfectionist like me, BUT reducing your stress levels as much as possible is a good way to go when it comes to being a babe at degree organisation. *Insert fist pump emoji*


ORGANISATION AND PLANNING

To do lists!!! I honestly couldn't have been without them during first year in terms of looking at my workload and planning when I wanted to have certain projects done by and setting myself mini internal deadlines to keep on top of things. Either writing lists or getting yourself a planner/journal as I have this year is a fail safe way of keeping on top of your work, whether it be coursework like me that needs to be chipped away at constantly or simply for planning your reading and revision. I set out all my briefs at the start of term and planned what I was able to do week by week based on what we would be covering in lectures and what I could do based on knowledge I already had. Looking at a calendar and seeing the time you have can be really daunting and make it seem far easier to bury your head in the sand, BUT it's important to try and stay focused and realistic and plan ahead; that way your stress levels will be minimised hugely! I tend to sit down on a Monday morning or after my first lecture of the week and assess what I've already done, what still needs to be completed and what realistically can be slotted into my free time outside of lectures that week. Doing it this way means you have a set timetable for the week, giving you structure whilst also being flexible depending on your other plans or how close you are to deadlines. Getting organised from as early on as possible is my best piece of advice and something I will be carrying into my second year of university! 


CREATING A PRODUCTIVE AND POSITIVE WORK SPACE

It's easy to underestimate how important the environment you're working in has upon your mood and productivity levels and it's a factor I really value when it comes to getting things done! Last year in halls I was super lucky to have a desk in front of a huge window and with lots of space to spread out my briefs and folders whilst keeping things (relatively) tidy. Whether it be the addition of plants, motivational prints and postcards or photos with your best pals, I think the impact decor has can really add up to have substantial impact on your mood. Sitting and working at your desk rather than in bed is something that really helped me too! Feeling as if you're in the ~work zone~ is really important, even when it is super tempting to work from bed in your dressing gown; I won't deny I resorted to this occasionally but on the whole it's good to get up and dressed! Also working from the university library is something I did a lot last year. It meant I could separate my work and life and come home at the end of the day to relax in my room rather than associating it too much with work and deadlines. Coffee shops and cafes are another great one for working in a more relaxed environment and can stop you feeling lonely if you're struggling at uni like I did or are good in general for group work!

I hope these tips can help anyone just starting university/returning students but really they can be applied to any area of work! Let me know the ways you organise yourself or advice you have for keeping on top of your workload below!

Last of the Amsterdam Diaries

TOP: ASOS (similar here), TROUSERS: SIMILAR, SANDALS: SIMILAR
Today I'm sharing the final post from Amsterdam *cries*. I know my trip was almost two months ago but since being back at university things have been SO.HECTIC. Everything is super full on with starting second year, getting my head around the endless number of briefs I have to complete in the next couple of months whilst applying for placements for next year. I feel like I need another holiday just thinking about it. It was so relaxing going through the last of my photos from Amsterdam because this was my favourite post we shot during the whole week! We had finally got to grips with my new lens by the last day and it was a lot of fun shooting in such a gorgeous location! We had got a free ferry over to NDSM after I'd seen Pllek on Instagram; a funky industrial beach with deckchairs, beanbags, a huge restaurant which was furnished in the most amazing way and served delicious food and drinks! As SO much of Amsterdam involves water through the amazing canals that are down almost every street you turn, it was so nice to be able to sit and enjoy the open water on our last day in the sunshine. This was the perfect outfit for being cool and airy, whilst still keeping me from feeling too chilly when the sun went in and the wind from the water picked up. If you're ever in Amsterdam, visiting Pllek is a MUST! I actually put together a little Amsterdam mini guide so if you're heading to the city at some point, you can view that HERE. 

I've absolutely loved putting together so many outfit posts over the summer, it's really cemented for me that fashion is something I want to focus on here on Charlotte's Web, despite uploading being a little sporadic now I'm back at uni. If you have any posts in mind you would like to see, be sure to let me know! I have a university planning and organisation post coming next, but feel free to send your requests over and I'll try and organise myself so I can fit in university work and blogging (as well as uni blogging). DEEP BREATHS. Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed and have a wonderful week!



Battling Freshers Flu with Kleenex #AD


This post has been written in partnership with Kleenex. I was sent some items to aid with the photography of this post but all views are 100% my own!

With September being almost out, and the start of the university term beginning, I'm typing this post tucked up in my new student house pondering all things education related and thought it would be the perfect time to share those musings with you! I'm currently about to start my second year of university studies and so the fear for increased work load and organising my placement for next year is SO REAL. I feel super excited to be back at uni and get into studying all things fashion again and really enjoying being so creative with tonnes of freedom on my course! As with any new term at university, the dreaded Freshers Flu is just around the corner and so I thought I would share some tips on how I survived my first few weeks at university this time last year, and hopefully pass on some wisdom. If you're not one for partying, do not be deceived. I didn't even attend Freshers last year yet STILL got so, very, ill. You've been warned. Keep reading if you want to survive.

If you're suffering from Freshers Flu, the dreaded sniffly nose, sore throat and feeling generally as though university has already killed you off already are probably the most common symptoms. As someone with possibly THE worst immune system ever, I have complete knowledge of what to do when wrapping yourself up in your duvet 24/7 isn't an option (*cries*).

TISSUE CENTRAL
Tissues, tissues and more tissues! When you've got a cold, there's nothing worse than irritating your skin further with scratchy tissues or loo roll; in my experience it's best not to channel Rudolph quite so early on. I'm working with Kleenex on this post and whether it be for on the go or in your freshly moved in to student halls, keeping some tissues nearby is a decision you won't be regretting! As well as the nights out that Freshers brings, the start of university means early mornings and feeling a little less than perky in your first few lectures. Grab some Kleenex to shove in your bag during the morning rush out of the door and you'll thank me later when you can refrain from sniffling all the way through the dreaded ice breakers that are bound to be coming your way *nervous shivers*. If you want go to the extra mile in making pals with your room mates, pick up some tissues with your weekly shop and leave a box in the kitchen for everyone to make the most of. They'll be sure to thank you later PLUS you get ultimate room mate brownie points. YUS! 


EXPLORING GALORE
Getting out of your bedroom and exploring your new university city is another way to feel a little more perky and banish those germs whilst also getting to grips with your new home! Grab some of your flat mates or if you're confident enough, just have Apple Maps handy and explore the city you're going to be living in for the next few years and get your endorphins flowing and make use of the fresh air. Staying in bed probably seems like the easiest and most comfortable option but often once you're out and about you'll start to feel the benefits of being active and the fresh air. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, a jog or run is always a great way to banish a hangover and will be sure to make battling Freshers Flu ten times easier!



YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Possibly a tip a lot of new university students would be likely to scoff at is the idea of eating healthy and nutritious meals to keep your body functioning well, but getting the right vitamins whilst you're feeling rubbish can't be a bad thing right? Grabbing a few fresh ingredients on your weekly shop rather than the standard pot noodle and ready meal combo is sure to have your body feeling better in no time; NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE VEGETABLE. Even meals as simple as pasta bakes, risottos and stir fry's are often packed with vegetables to heal your body but in general will help you feel a little more human than a packet of super noodles. You are what you eat after all!


INTERIOR DESIGNS
A tip that is probably not commonly associated with helping rid Freshers Flu but was something that made me feel a lot better last year was the importance of unpacking all your things and making your uni halls as cosy as possible. It's so easy to underestimate the importance of the environment you're in when it comes to your mood and general wellbeing so I can't stress enough how much I would recommend really making your halls your home. Blankets, cushions and TONNES of photos on your pin board are probably the first place to start when it comes to making your bedroom as cosy as possible but other additions like fairy lights and plants all work together to make your room feel like your own! I did a blog post featuring some photos of how I decorated my university room last year which you can view HERE and maybe get some inspo! Pinterest is also great for getting storage ideas and unique ways of personalising your room! 


GET THAT H2O
Staying hydrated! If you're planning to consume a lot of alcohol during Freshers, make sure you keep drinking plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and banish any sign of a hangover! Water will also help flush any toxins out of your body so is super important and will have you feeling motivated and ready to tackle your degree in no time! Fruit teas are another great option when it comes to getting some goodness back in your body as they're packed with antioxidants and overall are a great alternative to fizzy drinks. 


If you're reading this post from your bed, surrounded by a sea of tissues, I hope this has sent some helpful tips your way and you can battle through Freshers Flu to feel a little more alive and ready to start university! Good luck! This post has been written in partnership with Kleenex although all views on surviving illness (from someone who is ill SO VERY OFTEN) are mine.

Sunshine in the City


DRESS : ZARA, SHOES: CONVERSE, BAG: ALPHABET BAGS TOTE

With sunshine in the city, comes frolicking around in your favourite dress, clocking up thousands of steps on the iPhone health app and eating way too much ice cream. That was pretty much how mine and Scott's year and a half anniversary (yep we're making that a thing) panned out and it was one of the most fun days I've had in a long time. It was coincidentally our first full day in Amsterdam which meant we were awake bright and early, our stomachs full with croissants and Dutch biscuits and wandering the streets of Jordaan, a beautiful area of Amsterdam away from the bustle of tourists in the centre. We wandered local shops, cafes and houses and crossing canal after canal, in awe of how beautiful the city looked in the sunshine. Amsterdam really is a truly idyllic place with the combination of the unique and quirky architecture giving it a distinctive feel that seems to set the city apart from anywhere else I've visited. 

When I spotted this gorgeous embroidered smock dress on one of my favourite bloggers, Kristabel from IWantYouToKnow, I was head over heels for it and bee lined for Zara as soon as I could commit to the not so cheap price tag. With embroidery being huge this season, I knew it was a purchase I would get wear out of time and time again, both in the last dregs of the summer sun and with some wooly tights throughout A/W. I'm not one to closely follow trends and buy pieces only because they're in fashion, but sometimes it's nice when the stores are full to the brim of clothes in a particular style to bag yourself one and feel a little like a put together kinda human. I know I'll be wearing this dress for years to come even when embroidery has taken a back seat in 'fashun' because it really is one of the most beautiful pieces I own. Similarly to some of my other Amsterdam looks, a slightly more masculine touch was added with addition of black high top Converse which made exploring the city by foot possible without the inevitable blisters my sandals would have caused. My Alphabet Bags tote bag was also a welcome addition on the trip to lug my daily essentials plus my vlogging camera and big ol' Canon without my shoulder giving way mid day (always a bonus!). I'll always think fondly of this day which was filled with ice cream and the most delicious cheese pasta of my LIFE, as well as the fact I was floating around in my dress of dreams. Sometimes fashion can be underestimated in the impact it has on our self esteem so I for one will be pulling this dress out every time I need a little pick me up!




An afternoon in Vondel Park

SHORTS - TOPSHOP or similar HERE, BOLO NECK TIE - ASOS, WHITE TEE - ASOS,  FJALLRAVEN KANKEN BACKPACK - URBAN OUTFITTERS, MAROON CONVERSE - OFFICE

Y'know those outfits that at first are kind of out of your comfort zone but soon become one of your favourites? This is totally how I feel about the denim shorts in question and as a result I'm SO pleased with how the images came out! We shot these photographs in the warmth of the early evening sun in Vondel Park after wandering around Amsterdam for another day and feeling deflated that the next day would be our last. Amsterdam seems to have the perfect balance of hustle and bustle in its centre yet only a few minutes walk along a canal or two you can end up in an idyllic street surrounded by its crooked houses and architecture and locals sat outside enjoying the summer sun. Can you tell I'm head over heels for the city? We ended up in Vondel Park on the hottest day of our trip and it only made me wish we could have stayed longer and planned a picnic amongst the trees and other tourists and locals relaxing with drinks, snacks and friends. Located just a few minutes walk from the Van Gogh museum which we sadly didn't get a chance to look around, the park is a welcome sense of calm amongst the busy streets just outside it. I was lucky that I (unintentionally) seemed to plan my outfits directly around the weather on our week away and so hurriedly throwing on this simple shorts and tee combo was such a blessing on this day of non stop sunshine in the city. 

As I mentioned before, I initially wasn't sure how I felt about these shorts and after having bought them back in May and only having worn them once, I was determined to have a 'YOLO' moment on holiday and get my legs out; it is/was summer after all! I don't know what it is that seems so safe about skirts to me yet so daunting about shorts but nevertheless, I did it, and felt great! I'm so glad I opted for these Topshop shorts with the colourful embroidered phrases and words covering them, they're such a welcome fun twist on a classic denim short and add a playful aspect to an otherwise simple look. This might also be the first time I've shared a proper shot of my Kanken backpack on my blog which is MADNESS because I wear it so so often! It's perfect, especially when travelling, for chucking in all my essentials (read: rubbish I seem to think is essential day to day) and still looking cute AF. I've added a few enamel pins which I just adore the look of! If you have any cute pin suggestions, send all the links my way; I would love to expand my collection! Looking back at these photos is really making me want another trip ASAP. Any travel companies wanna sponsor me to be a travel blogger? PLs. Lemme know. 


An Embroidery Wish List!

1: TOPSHOP BRA, 2: TOPSHOP SKIRT, 3: ASOS CLUTCH, 4: ZARA SMOCK TOP, 5: ZARA COAT

After I uploaded a previous outfit post featuring the embroidered dress of DREAMS from Zara (which you can check out here FYI), I decided a little wish list might be in order as I really am lusting over all things embroidery. First up, I'm completely head over heels for all things triangle bra's and bralettes (ultimate comfort) so when browsing the Topshop website recently, the need for this navy number was so real. I love the contrast of pink and teal against the dark blue, almost sheer bra and although it might not be an addition to your wardrobe that everyone can appreciate, having matching, pretty underwear is the perfect start to thinking up the ultimate outfit. Possibly the item I'm pining over the most from this wish list is the Topshop A-line denim skirt featuring the most intricate, almost oriental looking bird embroidery (and pockets!) which I just ADORE. I have plenty of plain denim skirts in my wardrobe already but I feel I could definitely, 100% justify the addition of another when it's so unique and pretty. And for the sake of being on trend right? I am a fashion student after all? 

The little ASOS clutch has some serious summer festival vibes going on with the colour palette and pom poms but it's way too pretty just to confine to one season. I love how small it is yet how much of a statement and pop of colour it would add to a more plain or causal look. The last two piece on my wish list are from Zara which seems to be the ultimate one-stop-shop for all things embroidery at the mo. I adore a drop waist and smock style tops and dresses in general, and at under £20, you really can't go wrong with this striped number. Super cute for the transition into the autumn months but with a playful vibe that I really can't get enough of for adding little twists to simpler looks. Finally, the coat of dreams that is an absolute must in any embroidery fangirls wardrobe. I love the colours, the style and it's got the vibes of children's clothing that we all know by know I can't get enough of. Dungarees, smock dresses with tights and now this Zara number with the embroidered yoke. I'm obsessed.

I seriously need to get a job once I'm back at university or win the lottery to fun this new trend obsession. Preferably the latter. 

A mini Amsterdam city guide!


Hey peeps! I've been meaning to do this post ever since I got back from Amsterdam but have been putting off doing it a bit because of just how many recommendations I feel like I have to share! Instead of listing every single thing we did, all of which I would recommend if you're visiting Holland, I thought I would write about a few of my favourites here and direct you over to my YouTube channel where you can see everything we got up to in full! That way I can share some photos and info here whilst you can see everything we did without reading a 3,000+ word blog post; it's a win-win!


Ceintuurbaan 282-284, Amsterdam

Coffee and Coconuts was one of the places I was most excited to visit once our trip was booked and the planning began! I had seen it on SO many people's Instagrams and so already knew about their Pinterest worthy decor and ~those~ pancakes; *DROOLS*. It's a little way out of the centre but with our tram passes for the week it was super easy to get to (tram road works aside)! The building itself is an absolutely huge renovated 1920s cinema filled with locals working away on their laptops and other city visitors like us enjoying the chilled environment and taking in the gorgeous decor. Scott went for the Full CT breakfast involving avo and egg on toast, granola and yoghurt, mini pancakes and fruit whereas I opted for the full sweet version of coconut pancakes with a red fruit compote and maple syrup; the waiter actually brought me over some extra maple syrup, I didn't realise my love for pancake toppings was so obvious. Their orange juice was also to die for; so fresh!! 100% the breakfast of dreams and a must visit if you're in Amsterdam!


Rozengracht 24, 1016 NC Amsterdam
We stumbled across Kessens after we visited the Anne Frank house early in the morning and were in need of some breakfast and time to think about how moving the experience had been. I have to admit, I was mainly drawn in by the marble tables and street seating in the sun but was so pleased we decided to go in for breakfast as I ended up with a HUGE bowl of granola, nuts, berries and yoghurt for only €4!!! The staff were super friendly and it is definitely one to visit if you're planning a trip to the Anne Frank house too; it's about 4 minutes walk from the museum! 
An absolute must visit if you're in Amsterdam and possibly my favourite part of the trip as a whole was a visit to the Anne Frank house. This might be because I've always had an interest in history and the Second World War in general but I think any visitor would have a huge appreciation for how important and moving it is being in the space where Anne penned her many diaries during her time in hiding. I found the experience so moving and I actually felt really emotional walking around the house and being in the same space that Anne and her family once were. The extracts from her diary displayed on the walls around the house really allow you to fully get to grips with what Anne and her family were dealing with during the war when you can gauge the small size of the rooms and the darkness they were living in to prevent outsiders from knowing about their residence. Of course it's impossible to ever know how Anne felt in hiding as the scale of their fear and bravery is unimaginable but being in the space in which she lived was, I think, the closest you could get to understanding just a tiny percentage of what happened in those walls.
I had been told by so many people to book tickets in advance, which we did, although may have made a slight mistake with! Tickets go on sale two months in advance and so I eagerly booked ours about a month and a half before our visit for fear of not being able to see the house. The website explicitly says that once tickets are sold there are no more however after I had booked ours for 8.45am (!!), I checked a few weeks later to find that more tickets had been put up at slightly less lack-of-sleep times. I'm therefore assuming the site puts tickets up in batches and once the batches are sold out they are gone; obviously there is no way of knowing if more will be put up annoyingly but going so early meant we had the whole day ahead of us so it wasn't too bad! 


TT Neveritaweg 59 | 1033 WB Amsterdam 

We visited Pllek on our last day in the city and it was one of the best parts of our trip! Pllek is  a super cool industrial beach next to the water with deckchairs, beanbags, aztec blankets and loads of outdoor seating serving ah-mazing food and drinks. You could spend a whole day here in the summer sitting by the water, listening to music (I think they also have bands playing in the evenings!), eating yummy food and enjoying the relaxed yet bustling atmosphere. We got there fairly early as it was our last day for exploring and wanted to make the most of our time but by the time we left at about 2.30pm there were no tables left in sight and even the indoor seating was full! I would definitely recommend getting there early to bag yourself a seat or beanbag and spending a day taking in the beauty of this place. You can get a free ferry to NDSM (where Pllek is located) from the back of Amsterdam central station and they go every 15 minutes! We had the most delicious hummus, olive and roasted veggies on toast and a delicious hot chocolate too; super good food in an amazing location. 


WAFFLESSS GALORE!

You cannot take a trip to The Netherlands without sampling at least one waffle on your trip. I can't remember the exact name of the place we bought this amazing chocolate, custard and strawberry one from because I was too busy eating it to note it down but there's loads of places to choose from around Dam Square so you won't have trouble finding one! I'm not usually a huge waffle fan but the combination of the fluffy chocolate covered waffle with the lighter custard and fruit really balanced out to be the perfect mid afternoon snack. We shared one as they really were huge but I could totally have eaten a whole one if necessary ;) 


Bilderdijkstraat 165F
1053 KP Amsterdam

A bit of a random recommendation next but one I enjoyed SO much nonetheless and a must see for any other plant lovers out there! Wildernis is a gorgeous store, completely filled to capacity with every plant imaginable. There are plants hanging from ceiling planters, terrariums galore and just about every type of leaf variety you could imagine, all in a bright, open store which is just so so beautiful. They also stock some gorgeous ceramic plant pots which I would have loved to bring home had it not been for fear of breaking them, as well as prints and tonnes of plant focused books! The store is a little out of the centre but like I said before, with our tram passes we were able to hop on and off whenever we wanted and really there's no way you could see everything you wanted to without using public transport in Amsterdam. I hadn't realised when we visited but Scott mentioned that there were menu's on the little tables in the window so as well as admiring the leafy surroundings, you can order yourself a coffee too! A unique experience that I'm so glad we visited. 

ps. When we visited Wildernis, we also took a trip to the FoodHallen just 5 minutes down the road. It's an amazing building full of a range of stalls selling every cuisine imaginable in a huge, bright and fun space! I opted for a goats cheese wrap from a veggie stand called The Green Brothers and Scott got a fancy looking hotdog with loads of toppings. It's definitely worth a visit and if I had managed to take any photos before inhaling my food it would get a mention in its own right! 



The Meatless District
Bilderdijkstraat 65-67 H, 1053KM 


Every time I finish writing about one recommendation in this post and move onto another, I keep thinking 'OH WAIT, this was the best thing we did'!! We just had such an incredible week and so many things we did stand out as amazing. The Meatless District is a super cool vegan restaurant with gorgeous interiors and outdoor seating as well as THE friendliest staff I've ever come across. As a veggie, I love going to restaurants where I can choose from the entire menu (such a treat!) rather than a couple of options and when a restaurant specialises in vegan or vegetarian food, it feels so nice to know you're eating somewhere that shares the same ideas and ethics as you! Scott and I both had the tomato tofu burger with the most ah-mazing fillings, delicious chips and vegan mayo and it was out of this world! The waiter we had was so so friendly and spoke amazing English so we had a super long chat about our trip and his studies in England! It was such a nice and unexpected part of our visit! 

OTHER ADVICE:

Getting around in Amsterdam is best done by tram as I've mentioned a few times now! Public transport tickets are SO reasonably priced in Holland compared to England with our three day unlimited tram travel ticket costing about £15?! Like I said, it would be difficult to see the city and all it has to offer whilst just staying in the centre and so the tramlines really are a saviour. We did our fair share of walking too, clocking up about 75,000 steps in 5 days and it's such a beautiful city to see by foot but using transport services was great in ensuring we could see everything we wanted to!

We stayed in the Inntel Hotel in Zaandam which is about a 15 minute train journey from Amsterdam Centraal station and so worth the roughly £5 we spent on our train tickets a day to get into the city. Staying in the centre of Amsterdam is so much more expensive and we had an amazing stay in Zaandam that I would wholeheartedly recommend. Our hotel had a pool and sauna that we were free to use as much as we wanted and our room had both a bath and shower (!!) which I loved! The room itself for huge and so bright and airy. I can't recommend it enough and would stay there without a doubt if I was ever in Holland again! 


So that's it! If you've made it to the end of this post then thank you so much for reading and I hope it's been helpful if you're off to Amsterdam soon, or to bookmark for a future trip. We had such a great time and I've loved looking back at these iPhone snaps and reliving it all again. I was hesitant about putting this post up because I didn't get many fancy camera shots of places but I was keen to share all our experiences nonetheless and I hope the phone quality photos are okay. Please link me to any Amsterdam city guides you have written or seen floating around the internet, I'd love to have a read if I'm ever back in the city or just general travel guides. Despite my anxiety I feel really excited about travel so a good ol' city guide for an amazing place I've yet to consider might be just the push I need! 

The Insta Inspirations #2 - My Liked Posts!

FAYE'S INSTAGRAM, LIV'S INSTAGRAM, LUCY'S INSTAGRAM
Since I've been back from Amsterdam and worked so bloody hard on taking outfit photos every day on my trip, I've become full on OOTD obsessed and decided to share some snaps from my Instagram liked posts. This is the second edition of something I'm hoping to add to every few months to give me some extra fashion inspo and also share some of the total babes I get my fashion fix from daily. First up is Faye, a recent fashion graduate now working at ASOS who, in my opinion, rocks casual day to day style with a twist. I love looking to her for her simple yet so effortlessly put together outfits, and did I mention she has the shoe collection of absolute DREAMS?? I particularly loved the pin embellished bag and red boots in this look and haven't stop thinking about her princess hair ever since ..... 

Liv from WhatOliviaDid has had a fair few mentions already on Charlotte's Web so I won't ramble for too long about my total girl crush for her. I really loved the star print number in one of her recent Instagrams; I feel like mine and Liv's style is so similar in terms of floaty, smock dresses and dressing slightly like a small child so I'm always stalking her social media when I'm need of some inspiration. I love the drop waist and tassels on this dress and really what is there to say about THAT Michael Kors Gabriella satchel. I NEED ONE. Next up is Lucy from the blog ShinyThoughts whose Instagram I obsess over daily for colourful outfits, colourful food and well, colourful everything really! I had planned to do this post for a while and so have been screen grabbing outfits as I go, and this was one I was one I've been head over heels with for a long time! I really love the tiered top she's rocking and the confetti pattern is right up my street and works perfectly with her statement earings  another thing I think are part of Lucy's signature style! I'm not really a skinny jeans wearer but the light wash paired with the bright red accents of her shoes work so beautifully together. I think I need to go jeans shopping. 

MEGAN'S INSTAGRAM, MEGAN ELLABY'S INSTAGRAM, SOPHIA'S INSTAGRAM
I haven't followed Megan for too long online but her super cute style suits her arty personality down to a tee! This denim pinafore dress is SO BLOOMIN' CUTE and paired with the almost pastel floral shirt, gives the look a very cool toned vibe; perfect for the transition into A/W! I'm also obsessed with tote bags at the moment so seeing her rock one with a really casual look has reminded me I was on the look out for another funky one; send recommendations please! Another Megan next! I think I might have mentioned Megan Ellaby in my last Insta Inspo post which only goes to show how utterly obsessed I am with her style. Seriously I don't think there's anything she's worn in the years I've followed her that I haven't liked. Not only do I adore the laid back stripes and cardie vibes of this look (total primary school teacher but cool vibes) but I'm so IN LOVE with those tassel jeans! Like I said I'm not usually one for jeans but as I'm moving back up north in a couple of weeks and with September just around the corner, perhaps finding the perfect pair is a wardrobe edition I can totally justify. And finally, super cool Sophia is my last fashion inspiration of late. I love the contrast within her style and how she channels both quite grungey looks as well as super girly smock dresses, which as I mentioned earlier I am all about! I saw Liv (mentioned earlier) rocking the same The Smiths jumper on her blog a couple of months back and my love for it has been fully cemented when seeing Sophia style it so wonderfully. Despite my mention of autumn about 200 times in this post, the mini skirt she's rocking has got me pining for summer to stay around a little longer so I can get away with the bare leg and skirt combo for a few more weeks pls??

So that's it! Another instagram post rounded up and done! I'd love to know who inspires your style via social media so whether it be Instagram, Twitter or blogs, send me links in the comments and let's share some love for those gals whose style we just can't get enough of.