Florals on Florals

DRESS - ASOS, BLACK TEE - ASOS, CONVERSE - ASOS

When we booked our trip to Amsterdam I went through many stages of excitement for many different things. When we booked our tickets to visit the Anne Frank house I felt particularly excited to be able to experience something so moving and be in a space where so many pivotal things happened in such a devastating part of our history. As well as the more historic places we planned to visit, our trip seemed to accidentally take a very plant based theme, and we ended up visiting the floating flower market, a shop called Wilderis filled to the brim with plants, pots and cacti and also a walk around the botanical gardens. We shot these images in and amongst the gardens and it was such a special afternoon! I feel like such an old lady rambling on about plants but there's something so calming about greenery and being surrounded by nature, especially after the bustle of being in the city. It feels like only now I'm home I can really appreciate how special Amsterdam is; although I tried to take in how magical it was whilst I was there, sometimes the perspective of being back home and feeling the wanderlust of wanting another trip really makes you realise how much you enjoyed a place.

These photos were shot with my new 50mm lens so please bear with me that they're not all perfect! We started to get to grips with it a little more towards the end of our trip so the outfit posts I'll be sharing over the coming weeks get a little better each time in terms of quality and how pleased I am with them! This was one of my favourite outfits of the week; although the denim of the dress is fairly heavy, I felt so light and cool wandering around in the summer heat! I layered a little black tee underneath, purely because I'm not too comfortable with my shoulders but I think it made for a really cute look that worked well with the black embroidery. I'm head over heels for all things embroidery at the mo. Perhaps a wish list could be coming soon? I had some little floral espadrille sandals I desperately wanted to team with this dress to really go all out flower power but I stuck with my converse for this day because of the hours of walking and thousands of steps we were doing! I love city breaks for this very reason, I feel so fulfilled and pleased with all the sights we saw on this trip that I'm thinking of doing a city guide or maybe just sharing some recommendations! Let me know if you would be interested in that! 


NEW HURR


A very trivial yet for me, very happy life change; a new hair cut! I feel like this is such a silly thing to be updating my blog about however as someone with minimal self esteem, it feels SO GOOD to feel good about myself! I was inspired, as with many things in my life, by Megan Ellaby aka blogger extraordinaire with the most bad ass style on my insta feed and I'm so pleased I was armed with photos of her hair of dreams to show my hairdresser. I've been pinning pics of Ms Chung to my hair inspo board of Pinterest for years now and with Megan's hair being very similar to hers, I felt confident with what I wanted. Until now, I've had a very simple, all one length, shoulder length do, which I liked for its ease of styling and how sleek it looked BUT I was so tempted by the textured, messy look that I was ready for the change. The addition of a fringe is something I've wanted for SO LONG but after bad hair cut experience in the past, I was super worried I would hate it and it would take 1483911 years to grow out. In the end I took the plunge, again inspired by Megs and Alexa and I absolutely ADORE it. I felt so instantly 'me' as soon as it was cut which is so odd yet such a relief! In case any of you are also after an Alexa inspired look, I basically asked my hairdresser for a longer cut 'full' style fringe that could be parted and slightly longer at the sides to blend in to the rest of the hair. For the main body of my barnet, I asked for some messy layers to add some texture and volume and a bit of shaping around my face! 


VIEW MY HAIR INSPO PINTEREST BOARD HERE

2016 - THE YEAR OF "REALISING THINGS"

DRESS - AS0S , SHOES - CONVERSE, JACKET - ZARA

2016; perhaps Kylie Jenner was right and this is the year of totally, 100% realising things. The past five days for me have been spent in Amsterdam with S involving exploring, walking (and lots of it), pushing myself and obvs, a lot of ice cream and waffles. Having not been abroad in the past three years and with my last plane journey resulting in a panic attack, the week away was always going to be a challenge. Now that I'm home, after getting back just after 11pm last night, I really can resonate with the idea of 'realising things' that has been brought by the perspective of travel and moving out of my comfort zones. These outfit shots were taken after a considerably strange looking veggie burger had been consumed through sheer desperation after having only had a croissant that day and a full on tears-in-the-street breakdown of anxiety about how scared I was to be abroad. It was our first evening in Amsterdam and, understandably, everything seemed unfamiliar and worrying. This was the third location we had tried to shoot the images but despite this I am so pleased to share them because I am totally head over heels for my new lens! I feel such a sense of relief that the rest of my week away was idyllic, fun, exploration and complete happiness that I had been wishing for after the first night of anxieties. Amsterdam feels like such a safe and good place; who knows if this is a result of their well known more tolerant attitude to many things or the fact that the Dutch, in my experience, were the loveliest and most welcoming bunch of humans ever. Either way, we had a blast, and I can't wait to share my other outfit posts and recommendations for the city! It really is one of the most beautiful and bustling places I have ever been to and I feel so happy to have spent my first travel experience in years, in such a wonderful place. Amsterdam, you have my heart.


18 things I learnt whilst being 18


I've been giddy to upload this post since I realised August was approaching and my birthday was just around the corner and have since been noting down my thoughts since it's become somewhat of an annual tradition! As you're reading this, today is my 19th birthday (MUCH EXCITE) and so it's time for my lessons learnt post which, if you're a regular reader, you will know I've written for the past two years now! I will link the other two posts at the end so you can have a look at those as well if you want to see just how ~mature~ I've become in my old age. So, without further ado, here are the 18 things I've learnt whilst being 18:

1) Sushi is love, sushi is life. Prior to turning 18 I had never tried sushi and oh what a good thing I was missing out on. Yo! Sushi is now my favourite place with my go-to order being cucumber maki, pumpkin katsu and vegetable gyoza FYI.

2) Louis Theroux has become my one true love. I have always adored him but this year I think my feelings have intensified as my Netflix watch history is potentially just his documentaries on repeat. There is nothing I do not love about that guy.

3) Talking of TV shows, my 18th year of life has been the one I've found some of my favourite shows to date and in turn, ALL the binge watching has occurred. The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad are the main two in question and quite frankly I wish I could re-live the experiences of watching them both for the first time because I just ADORE them. Walking Dead wise, I'm head over heels for Rick, Daryl, Carol and Maggie and O M G wasn't season 6 just THE best thing ever??? When it comes to Breaking Bad, my more recent watch of the two, I loved everything about it from the storyline, characters and the style of filming and directing! It was stunning to watch and a show I never thought I would be able to invest in that much but in actual fact was hugely enjoyable for me. 

4) This year has been one when I've really felt cemented in my morals and ethics and have found myself so invested in the lives of others, particularly when it comes to animals. It was during this year that I finally became a vegetarian with a mission to cut down as much as possible on dairy consumption after my eyes were well and truly opened to the cruel practices of the animal agriculture business. I hate to bring a downer on this post but standing up for my ethics has been something that's been so important to me during this year and I feel like I've really grown as a hooman being in terms of sticking with my gut and standing up for the voiceless animals amongst us! I've become full on animal obsessed. 

5) Today I the scary haircut decision of getting a fringe cut in and I'm SO HAPPY. I had a bit of a 'yolo' moment when making the appointment and this is definitely something I've tried to stick with during this year in terms of challenging anxiety; spontaneity isn't my strong point but I'm learning to try!

6) My 18th year has led to my music taste really widening which is 1) unexpected but 2) so eye opening! With 1D on their hiatus and a severe lack of new tunes from them, I've been loving listening to mine and Scott's joint Spotify playlist, with the combination of his and my music together giving me a lotta love for a lotta new bands. Some I was most surprised to like include, Lower Than Atlantis, Arctic Monkeys, Sundara Karma, Fall Out Boy etc. I also have a LOT of love for Catfish and The Bottlemen and their new (ish) album!

7) UNIVERSITY IS HARD AND NOT HAVING YOUR CATS WITH YOU SUCKS

8) Brighton is still my favourite place on earth and it has been fully cemented that it's the one place I can really see myself living when I'm a fully grown up lady with a house deposit and babies. 

9) The North of England is cold and raining. Always. 

10) I've really learnt the importance of pushing myself but not pushing myself to the point of wanting to die anxiety wise. I've loved The 1975 for years and finally pushed myself to get tickets to their gig in Manchester back in February which resulted in a panic attack and leaving after about half an hour. It was really disheartening knowing that everyone else was having such a good time and I just wasn't but it taught me that baby steps are a thing and that's okay! A couple of years ago I wouldn't have even been able to psych myself up to buy the tickets so I'm doing OKAY.

11) Being able to do my food shop myself and having full control of meal planning is an absolute god send for someone with an ED. I frickin love doing my food shop and my obsession for broccoli has increased x10; I WILL incorporate it into every meal. I've seriously become addicted to vegetables. 

12) HAVING ! A ! REST ! IS ! OKAY !!! Whilst not having a great deal of friends at university, I spent a lot of time in the library and a lot of time doing work which led to a workaholic lifestyle and extreme guilt when taking the tiniest of breaks. It was S who messaged me saying that sometimes it's okay to have a break and it really hit home that I had become way too invested in doing uni work 24/7 and losing sight of what was important for my mental health. Regular breaks and a work/life balance are so important and it's definitely a lesson I'll be taking into my second year of university. 

13) I really learnt the importance of friends this year after moving to university and seeing my closest pals on very rare occasions. This summer I've tried to do ALL the fun things in between working and driving lessons and I've loved feeling like as much of a ~social butterfly~ as possible for an anxiety suffering person. 

14) I LOVE MAKING VLOGS. I've had my blog for about 4 and half years now which is crazy and it will always be my main priority but, my 18th year has seen me start making lil youtube vids which I've been totally loving! My friends had mentioned me making YT vids in the past but I was never that keen because I don't love my voice/face but I'm adoring doing it!! I only have a few vlogs on my channel but I've loved filming and editing so much that I'm super excited for more in the future! The amount of positive comments I've had on Twitter as a result has got me feeling so humble to have such a happy and lovely following online; I'm just very very grateful for everything!

15) I ADORE ASOS. I had a really irrational fear of ordering clothes online for ages (I think an anxiety fear of having to return things at the post office lol?) but I've become 100% addicted to the site and now a large majority of my wardrobe is made up of ASOS gems. 

16) Doing the things that scare me can help with confidence and anxiety SO.MUCH. I was so worried about getting a job and starting driving lessons when I came home from university for the summer but the hurdles I had to overcome to do them are so outweighed by the positives of confidence and happiness I have gained! My job isn't that complex but it's been a huge step for me and I feel so much happier in myself and super proud for pushing myself to do it. 

17) Pinterest DIY's are really fun and I'm still addicted to planning my future house vicariously through my interiors board. White floorboards now PLS.

18) And finally, the best part of 18th year was having the support and love of my boyf (cringe but true) and all he has helped me with whilst struggling at university life and now being home and happy. Scott really is the best thing in my life and I hope he gets a mention in many more birthday posts to come. ILY S bear.

So that's it! Another birthday, another annual post! Let me know if you enjoyed it and if you've written something similar before; I would love to hear about your growth and lessons learnt! 

My previous birthday posts:
16 things I learnt whilst being 16
17 things I learnt whilst being 17

My 2016 goals - Under Review


Hello and happy August! As we enter my favourite month of the year (except for December because of my crazy Christmas obsession) I'm feeling reflective on how 2016 has panned out and the goals I set myself at the start of the year. Logically, perhaps this post should have made an appearance at the 6 month mark of the year, but in true Charlotte fashion, some of my goals have taken a little longer to get into action than planned. If you haven't seen my original post where I mention my resolutions and hopes for 2016, you can read that HERE before this one! I was eager to look back at what I had written in my January post and see how well I've done in achieving my own personal milestones and I feel quite proud of everything I've managed to do!! With anxiety, it's not always the case that I can achieve everything I hope to but I'm so glad that most of the things I mentioned back at the start of the year, have come into fruition; baby steps are *fingers crossed* going to start equalling bigger achievements!


LEARN TO DRIVE:
Now this was possibly my most challenging yet most necessary goal for 2016 and I'm so pleased to say it's happening! Woohoo! I started my driving lessons (albeit very nervously) in June after coming home from university from the summer and have been having two lessons a week for the majority of the time since then. I can't say it's been a complete walk in the park, but when anxiety is involved, nothing ever is right!? Despite the ups and downs, on the whole I've been feeling super proud of my progress and have my theory test booked for the beginning of September! HOW SCARY. I'm feeling quite positive about driving right now which deffo comes down to having a calm and positive instructor so if everyone can PLS cross their fingers for my theory test I would be forever grateful. If you have any tips on the best way to revise for it please let me know too!

DRINKING MORE WATER:
Now this might seem like the most mundane goal ever but trust me, it was very needed. I've been making a huge conscious effort to get on the drinking (more) water bandwagon and I can really notice the difference in my skin. As we all know by now, I have hugely problem skin and since coming off the pill earlier this year that was initially helping my spot situation, water has been my lifesaver in terms of restoring my skin back to a healthier and more glowy looking state. My skin is by no means perfect but I'm loving the effect water is having on it! 

SPONTANEITY:
This is the main 2016 goal I've struggled with and I'm happy to hold my hands up and say it's not been the biggest success. In my original post I said I was hoping to be a little more spontaneous and really get into *seizing the moment* but it's just not really turned out that way. Since being home for summer I have done some really fun things but equally, there have been times when I really wish I had pushed myself to do a little more and this is definitely something I want to work on for the remainder of the year. August is a super fun month and I'm really excited for it so hopefully it will bring some opportunities for spontaneity and chances for me to challenge my anxiety fully.

GOING ABROAD:
Hurrah! A goal I can say I'm just about to complete! This resolution was a big step for me because of my horrendous fear of flying BUT, sure enough, in two weeks time Scott and I will be in Amsterdam hopefully having the best time exploring what looks like the most beautiful city and eating lots of waffles. Amsterdam is somewhere I've wanted to visit for the longest time and armed with my list of recommendations, I'm totally ready to face my flying fear and go abroad for the first time in years. I'm aware the flight to Amsterdam is a mere 60 minutes BUT when finding the whole travel experience, from the airport, flight itself, luggage collection etc an utterly terrifying thought, I'm really proud that I've made the decision to go! If you have any tips that help you nervous flyers out there please let me know, and Amsterdam recommendations will be welcomed with open arms! 

A SOLD SKINCARE ROUTINE:
This is another goal I'm pleased to say has been mostly successful!! I've struggled with my skin for a long time now and I think sticking to the same products in a regimented and consistent routine has done my complexion the world of good! It's by no means perfect but shoutout to the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel and the Pixi Glow Tonic for helping me along the way. LIFESAVERS. I've done numerous skincare posts in the past couple of months so check out my blog archive if you're interested in the other products that have been keeping my skin under control recently! Having a job and some extra money whilst not having uni expenses has really helped in being able to fund slightly more expensive skincare goodies and I'm super happy about that because I just adore buying skincare! I know price doesn't always equate to a good product and there are some amazing skincare saviours on the high street but recently I really have been loving my slightly more luxurious products that I'm just dreading running out. Sigh. 

So that's it! My 2016 goals mid-way review done! I had sort of pushed the original post to the back of my mind for fear of what I had written in January and having the disappointment of not achieving all the things I had hoped for but I'm so pleasantly surprised that a lot of my goals have become reality! PS. Stay tuned on Charlotte's Web in August for ALL THE EXCITING THINGS like birthdays, my Amsterdam trip and outfit shots on my new 50mm lens! You can also follow my YT channel HERE for lots of new vlogs!