5 Ways in Which I Have Overcome Anxiety Lately

Hello you lovely lot! Once again it's been a few weeks since my last post but life with an internship/job/boyfriend/social life is busy AF let me tell you. I felt like having a little catch up  with you today and just rambling to my hearts content because who doesn't love a chatty post, right?? Living part time in London and interning for the past few months has honestly taught me so much, and amongst that I have overcome so many of my initial worries and anxieties that I thought it might be nice to share those with you and celebrate those tiny victories! Anxiety plays a huge part in my life and so many of the decisions I make so I feel super proud to be able to make small steps day-to-day to hopefully create a more positive and capable mindset for myself! So without further ado, here are 5 ways in which I have overcome my anxiety in the past few weeks: 

1. I actually answered the phone at my previous placement! Multiple times! I know this can seem like the most ridiculous and trivial achievement to some, but I know for many who can empathise with my struggles this is a huge deal. Since a really young age I have felt unbelievably uncomfortable speaking on the phone and only really do so when it's to super close friends or family. I have to admit when I first started at Marie Claire answering the phone was one of the tasks I dreaded every morning, but as I started to do it more and more and got used to what a typical response to queries might be, I became more confident in myself and my abilities to do it! Sometimes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is the only way to tackle an anxiety trigger and it can be truly such a difficult thing to do, but by the end of my time at MC I had grown in confidence so much!

2. I now get the tube, in rush hour, every day! There was a time in my life when I would put off or avoid going to London altogether simply because I was so terrified of using the underground, and on the occasions in which I did head down to the Big Smoke, I would most definitely not be travelling during rush hour. I get hugely claustrophobic when it comes to transport so the tube and planes have always been a no go (I hate the feeling of not being able to get off if I want to) so it's a massive step for me to be conquering this fear on a daily basis. The tube still intimates me slightly, particularly when I don't know where I'm going, but with CityMapper never too far away I know I'm going to be okay! Again this is another tiny achievement for some but one that has made a huge impact to my life and similarly to answering the phone has got easier and easier the more I have done it. Practice makes perfect ladies!

3. As well as my current placement at Temperley London, I have also been working part time at home waitressing at events around Cambridge. Now this isn't necessarily revolutionary just yet because I have only done 3 shifts, but at the same time trying new things and stepping into an unknown environment is always a huge anxiety trigger for me so I feel super proud to have managed it alongside my internship for the past few weeks. One aspect of the role I was most nervous about was that each week the events and functions that I work at are in different venues and with different staff meaning there would be no sense of routine or familiarity which was definitely a factor that put me off. Luckily for me the events I have worked as part of so far have also been shifts which friends of mine have been waitressing at too making the experience far less intimidating and actually a super lovely opportunity to catch up with them during breaks! Hopefully I will get to a stage in which I can work for the agency without needing the reassurance that I will see a familiar face there too but for now I'm super proud of myself for taking the steps to get a job alongside my internship!

4. I've started making YouTube videos (semi regularly) again which I'm SO pleased about! The main reason there was a bit of a gap in proceedings was because I simply didn't have enough time to commit to my channel whilst I was interning 5 days a week and travelling home for the weekends, but now that I'm only at Temperley Monday-Wednesday it makes things a tiny bit easier in terms of filming and blogging. As well as time management, I also just got myself into a bit of a tizz about the sort of content I wanted to produce and came over quite anxious about vlogging and if I was any good etc etc (typical Charlotte self doubt moment) which totally sucks. I'm such a perfectionist that I tend to overanalyse everything which of course is a terrible move anxiety wise and most of the time only makes me feel worse. Thankfully I think I'm ~mostly~ out of that rut when it comes to YouTube and have uploaded a couple of videos in the past fews weeks and have plans for more too! V exciting! 

5. And finally, perhaps my biggest and most exciting achievement of all lately, I WENT TO A FESTIVAL AND DIDN'T HAVE A PANIC ATTACK !!!! Festivals have always seemed so appealing to me, with everything from the music, to the food and fashion seeming so exciting and care-free but as any other anxiety sufferer will know, big crowds, an uncertain environment and being surrounded by drunk people is not necessarily something that I felt I could conquer. I've spent years seeing all my friends attend festivals together and getting ultimate FOMO as every summer rolled around, so when my dad asked if I would like to head to Latitude Festival for the day along with my sister as an early birthday present, I jumped at the chance to finally attend. Last Friday we headed down to Southwold, covered in glitter and totally festival ready and we honestly had the best day. I didn't have an anxious moment at all and spent the whole day feeling blissfully happy and care-free. The main achievement and amazingly happy moment for me though was seeing The 1975 headline the festival on the Friday evening which was a performance I know I will never forget. I've been a fan of the band for so many years now but on the one occasion I had tried to see them live previously it ended in tears and a panic attack as the whole situation felt a little too overwhelming and Scott and I ended up leaving less than half way through. Seeing The 1975 at Latitude was therefore made even more special and I honestly felt like I could have stayed there for hours and hours more because it was just so amazing and empowering. I now feel like I've got the festival bug and have been browsing line ups in the hope that I could maybe attend another this year, or if not, definitely next year. I never thought I would be able to stand in the middle of a crowd and not have a care in the world, so it was so freeing and amazing to do so. GO ME!

I would love to know if you've overcome any of your own anxieties lately so please tweet me or comment below and share them. It's felt so lovely to have mine written down and I know I'll come back to this post when I'm feeling down about myself or my achievements. We can all get there in the end <3 


We all know gingham is having a huge moment right now; it's pretty impossible to scroll your insta feed without seeing someone rocking some black and white ruffle hems trousers or the more ~school uniform~ red and blue gingham which I'm so on board with. This Zara number has seen me through the heat wave this year and I know will continue to be a summer staple for me as the tiered style and smock shape are common themes in my personal style. I'm currently working towards filming a Style Evolution video and so my evenings recently have consisted of sifting through photographs from years gone by in an effort to collate a narrative of my style journey, with one of my most loved pieces clearly emerging as smock and babydoll dresses. In recent years I feel like my style has matured and become more confident; I no longer feel nervous about wearing exactly what I want and instead have become more daring with my fashion choices. Despite this change, the smock dress has remained a constant within my summer wardrobe and so when I picked up this Zara number I knew it was a worthwhile investment. I think it can be quite difficult to avoid buying specific trend pieces as new seasons come around, but from my experience, selecting a few pieces that can fall under the umbrella of that seasons trend, whilst remaining true to your personal style is an easy way to ensure they will carry you through for months or years afterwards. 

I'm becoming hugely more aware of the impact of fast fashion, mostly through discussions I have seen surrounding the topic online and have therefore been trying to make more informed and mature choices around my consumption of fashion. As a fashion student, I know I'm always going to have a love for shopping and feel empowered by the way clothes make me feel, but I also know it's important to face the facts of an industry I love and take responsibility for the changes that need to happen. I think my limited student budget is actually a great help in refraining some of my spending choices as I have to really evaluate if buying a certain piece will see me through for the foreseeable future or if it's likely to be something I decide I hate in a few months time. I definitely feel like this post has taken a little bit of a tangent (oops) but the one thing I love about blogging is there are no rules and restrictions in the direction of my posts! I hope this little ramble has provided a little insight to my thoughts right now, and be sure to let me know if you're slowly mulling over the fast fashion world in the same way I am. 

The best vegan brownies ever

Is the term 'Girl Boss' problematic?

Use code 'charlottesweb20' to receive 20% off Richmond and Finch phone cases!
I've been planning this post for a little while now yet every time I come to write it I feel even more conflicting emotions. It's hardly a ground breaking issue but it's been on my mind more and more lately and I thought it was about time I put pen to paper (so to speak) and just shared the ramblings of my mind. I first thought about the term 'girl boss' and it's meaning when I was at Scott's house last summer and saw a copy of Fabulous magazine brandished with the cover title 'The Female Boss'. At the time I thought this was odd, mostly because the term female boss is used far less commonly than girl boss and it made me fully notice the added gender specific noun used. If the cover star of the magazine had been male, would the title have read 'The Male Boss'? I suspect not. I said this to Scott at the time and received an eye roll in response, making me wonder whether me picking up on such subtle and otherwise insignificant choices of words was just me being especially pedantic. But as I've considered the issue more, I've come to the conclusion that although it is just a choice in words that most people wouldn't see a problem with, it feels to me like part of the underlying yet constant issue that men are more advantaged and superior to this day within our society.  Realistically why do we feel the need to add a feminine word prior to 'boss' when celebrating women's achievements and successes? Predominantly I think this is because the structure of our society and general theme when it comes to those in positions of power and authority is that men come first, women second. Feminism is a hugely important part of my life and I feel so passionately about championing the movement which I think is one reason I was so keen to share my thoughts on the issue today and hopefully get people thinking a little. 

Perhaps in addition to positions of power being dominated by males, women that do have authority are not celebrated enough in the mainstream media and recognised as equals. Adding the term girl or female in front of 'boss' could therefore be a means of creating greater representation for women in male dominated spheres and acts as a voice for those who aren't typically seen as the obvious when it comes to being in charge. I personally use the term girl boss frequently, and I find it so empowering to do so. There's something about it that just makes me feel super positive and successful, but now when using it I do consider that adding the word girl just isn't necessary. In no other sphere would a female pronoun be added; doctors, teachers or come to think of it ANY other profession doesn't add an extra word to make it gender specific. Part of me loves the term girl boss, and I truly embrace anything that makes women feel empowered, but another consideration I'm trying to make is whether or not we need to label something femininely. I think it’s SO important to encourage women to be independent, fearless, confident and successful, and ultimately maybe terms like girl boss help with that. I just wonder whether we’re subconsciously contributing to an issue of putting women in a separate category when in reality we should all be striving for the same goals regardless of being a male or female. Like I stressed at the beginning of this little ramble, I am potentially overthinking an issue too deeply and although it seems insignificant, I think it's often society's norms that can be discriminative without us even realising which in the end all add up to create bigger and more widespread issues of inequality. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject whatever they may be and like I said, I'm 100% still figuring this out for myself! Feminism is a very complex issue but I think the more open discussion that is promoted the better. With that said I hope this post has provided you with some food for thought!

Getting through a bad mental health patch

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I felt it would be the perfect time to put together  a post sharing some of my experiences and things I've learnt along the way. Mental health can be a hugely vulnerable subject to discuss, but over the years I've opened up about my struggles and low points online, as well as celebrating the little victories and times when I've conquered whatever it is that's getting me down! I've been diagnosed with anxiety and eating disorder related MH problems, but I think these tips can be helpful with any struggles or mental health issue you're experiencing. I often see posts like this and it can seem a little trivial to think that getting fresh air or taking time for yourself can actually make a difference, especially when problems are often extremely deep rooted, but these things have all made a difference for me in the past and I think can ultimately create a more positive mindset in general. If you're too depressed to get out of bed or you're anxiety is so bad you don't feel ready to face the outside world, then there are ways of dealing with those things that require v minimal effort and I know from experience can make things a little more bearable. I know it can seem ridiculous that small changes in your life can make a dent in the overwhelming struggles you might be facing, but from experience I can tell you that things always start to look up eventually and keeping going is a hugely important achievement that you should be SUPER proud of! You're great! *insert all the heart emojis*

Sometimes the most basic things can help the most so quit trying to conquer the world in an afternoon and get yo'self hydrated. Water and fresh air help me tonnes when I'm feeling down, so if you're struggling right now, ask yourself how much water you've drunk today. Add some lemon and a straw if you're feeling fancy and you immediately seem like you have your life together; yay! Fresh air and leaving my room is vital in keeping me sane, so although it's not always easy, walking round the block and moving your legs can really help your peace of mind. Alternatively open your windows and let some fresh air inside; I promise the benefits of clean air are really underrated. Get these basic things down and you'll for sure be on the road to clearing your head a little!

Even when you're in the midst of feeling so down in the dumps it hurts and your head is aching, there's honestly nothing that helps me feel a little more human again than being showered and putting a little make up on. I really feel like myself when my hair is styled, I've got a nice outfit on and some winged liner, and it's super important not to underestimate the power of self care and a little skincare routine to help you along the way. It may seem really superficial but I promise feeling like 'you' is so important in getting through a rough patch. It can be a bit of a feat to shower and get ready, but if you're up to it then I guarantee it will help you feel slightly more put together and ready to take on the world. A bubble bath is also preferable to a shower in my opinion. For gods sake go wild and add some bath bombs too! Why not! Having a bit of a pamper in general is really beneficial for my mood, so if you have any face masks and nail polish lying around then it will honestly not do you any harm to treat yourself a little bit and take some time to focus purely on doing those things. 

Food helps my soul, and even as someone with an eating disorder I still find so much joy in cooking. I understand this might not be the case for everyone but if you can, cooking yourself a meal or baking some cookies (or sweet treat of your choice) can honestly do you the world of good. Even if you don't eat it, I find the act of baking and cooking to be SO therapeutic and is a really easy means of setting yourself a target and achieving it. Sometimes if you're feeling down then it can seem like even the smallest tasks are impossible, but if you can manage cooking yourself even the simplest thing like beans on toast (a personal favourite of mine) then it can help your self esteem and worth tonnes. Also keeping your body fuelled is really important and it only makes me feel worse if I stop eating altogether, so keep your body happy and your mind will hopefully work with you! 

Surrounding yourself with positive people can also have a remarkable impact on your mood and general outlook. I always find that I can rely on my (now former, CRY) housemate Ruby to cheer me up when I'm sad, and in general can go from feeling a 0/10 to an 8 or 9/10 after having a chat and getting things off my chest. If you don't have friends nearby or leaving the house seems like a battle that's a tiny bit too big right now, FaceTime or a phone call are equally as helpful in keeping you feeling good! I ring my dad a lot from uni, and I find after 30 mins speaking to him I can feel so much more calm and content. I think keeping in contact with your friends and family is especially important when you're going through a rough patch, and even applies if you're still living at home. Try not to shut people out, and if you can then let them know how you're feeling. Getting things off your chest can be vital in overcoming things, and I truly believe that things often don't seem as bad once you've said them out loud and rationalised them a little. Even if this isn't the case, a catch up with a friend or FaceTime call with your family can never be a bad thing.

I really hope you can take something positive and helpful if you're going through a tricky time at the moment (sending lots of love), or if not, bookmark this post for future reference should you ever need a bit of a pep talk. I like to think I'm a bit of an expert when it comes to coping with mental health issues (lol) so I really hope that my experiences can help you a little, or perhaps offer you some comfort that you're not alone. I promise you'll get through this <3

Pre Placement Musings

As I keep banging on about at every opportunity possible, in less than a week I'm going to be starting my year in industry as part of the sandwich aspect of my Fashion Communication and Promotion degree. Despite all the stories of fun and amazing experiences from students in the years above me on my course, I am absolutely filled with fear at the prospect of entering the fashion world, FOR REAL. I'm kinda hating past me for watching The Devil Wears Prada so many times because that film has definitely contributed to my perception of how scary and intimidating the experience might be. Despite this, a rational part of my brain knows that in reality it's not going to be a hell on earth experience and it will most likely be the best year of my life to date. I thought it would be nice to do a post before starting my placement year, and one in 12 months time when I've made it out the other side to see if my expectations were right and generally if my time interning turns out to be as terrifying as I'm anticipating. Here's hoping I look back at myself in a years time and wonder what I was making such a fuss about!

1. I'm terrified of getting lost. I'm not a pro at navigation during the best of times, and definitely not when in London. The concept of the tube is a truly baffling one to me so god knows how I'm going to survive for a whole year. Let's just hope I get used to my daily route and don't have to stray too far from that! CityMapper is going to become my most used app for sure, and in the past it's actually helped me out massively so here's hoping that continues. My memory when it comes to navigation and remembering the route I've taken is one of my strengths, so fingers crossed my ability to remember directions quite quickly will be of use!

2. I'm so unbelievably excited to be living in London for potentially a whole year! I cannot wait to immerse myself in all the free tourist fun I can possibly find and in general live out my dreams of being a London fashion gal (albeit a very poor one). One of my closest uni pals has secured a couple of placements in London too so I'm really happy to be able to begin our experience of interning together and hopefully it will bring a lot of adventures our way! I'm mega excited for brunch and Pimms in particular. 

3. I'm really quite concerned about how many 'first days' I'm going to have throughout the year at the range of companies I'm going to be working at. The first day at any job is bound to be the most terrifying, so it fills me with dread that I'm going to have LOTS OF FIRST DAYS and have to live through the anxiety fuelled experience many times. Hopefully once my first placement is out of the way I will find a sense of confidence in my abilities and be able to accept that the experience is going to be a huge learning curve and that's okay! 

4. I'm terrified of scary fashun people. What happens if I'm asked to assist someone and they're basically a fire breathing dragon and I'm tortured by the fact I have no idea who the mega famous people who I should definitely be aware of actually are. This is probably my biggest fear and definitely the one that's been caused by The Devil Wears Prada (remind me to never watch that film again). I know that again I'm being completely irrational and I'm sure most people that I'll work with will have been in my shoes once and be super willing to help me and give the best experience possible, but I do have little niggles of doubt in the back of my mind. Here's hoping I'm just v pessimistic. 

5. And finally, I'm feeling a real sense of anticipation and excitement for what the whole experience is going to bring and the doors this could open for my future career! I'm definitely feeling on the cusp of tonnes of new opportunities and friends in this next chapter and I have such high hopes for what the experience is going to bring me. I can't wait to really appreciate this year in my degree and hopefully I'll go back to university in September 2018 with such a fresh perspective of the industry from my own first hand experiences! 

I'm going to aim to update my blog as much as possible throughout the whole experience and hopefully share some insight to the industry and life as an intern as well as to document this exciting chapter for myself! Like I said, I think it will be really valuable to look back at this post in a years time and hopefully be able to positively reflect on the experience and dismiss any negative perceptions I had at this point in time. I'm sure there will no doubt be negatives to my first step into the industry and challenges along the way but on the whole I'm hoping to overcome all my fears and anxieties and girl boss my way through the whole thing. Wish me luck peeps! 


Jeans: Topshop Jacket: ASOS T-Shirt: Topshop Shoes: similar HERE Bag: similar HERE Earrings: Claire's Accessories

Slogan tees are my one true love right now, and with my ever expanding collection I'm having loads of fun styling them in different ways. Topshop are my go-to for female empowerment vibes right now, and one of the first additions to my collection was this 'Females of the Future' white tee which I've been wearing non stop! I've never been a huge denim lover in the form of jeans, always finding it impossible to find a pair that fit me perfectly all over, but I'm loving these old Topshop Mom jeans which I dug out from the back of my wardrobe when I was home over Easter. I was recently browsing the Man Repeller site (Leandra has my heart <3) and found the definition for Home Clothes: "The random crap you wear when you go home for the holidays, typically unearthed in your childhood bedroom closet, drawers and the plastic bins under your bed" which pretty much sums up the process of rediscovering these jeans. Despite their crumpled exterior upon pulling them from the depths of my drawers, I've been wearing them non stop since shooting this post and adore the way they look with slouchy and relaxed tees in particular. I've definitely had a jean-shaped hole in my wardrobe which has now been fulfilled; YAY.

As I'm writing this, it's my second to last week at university until September 2018 which is honestly blowing my mind every time I think about it. It's crazy to think that these deadlines are the last I'll have in over a year, but also SO refreshing and exciting to be on the cusp of experiencing the industry first hand. I'm v v vvvv apprehensive for what the next few months will hold but I'm planing on keeping my blog updated as regularly as possible with my thoughts and experiences as a diary both for myself and to keep you all in the loop too; obvs! I'm also so excited to explore London and immerse myself in as many free activities as possible (lol) so keep your eyes pealed for some tourist-y fun as I fully enjoy being a Londoner. I always feel so ~alive~ when I visit the capital (how cringe), but there really is something about the hustle and bustle which feels so film-like! I'm sure the novelty will wear off pretty quickly, but for now I'm definitely relishing in my excitement. 

Florals, for Spring? Groundbreaking.

Good evening all! I'm writing this post on an extended study break after spending the past 4 days cooped up at home working on uni projects for my impending deadlines, so if I start sounding a little bit crazy, you know why. I'm actually coming to the end of my second year of university in a couple of weeks which I honestly cannot comprehend! I remember moving into my first year halls like it was yesterday, and I'm potentially sounding really old now but it really is hitting me how quickly time passes as an adult (lol, help). Anyway, without dwelling too much on the passing off time etc etc, I'm SO pleased to finally be sharing another outfit post on my blog! I know, I know, it's taken me since January to get a style post up but as stated above, the past few months have been spent constantly in the library, with occasional trips to ASDA and a couple of brunches here and there. I can't tell you how excited I am at the thought of one day graduating and not having my life ruled by deadlines! I managed to escape from uni work for a little while last weekend, as the Easter bank holiday meant Scott and I ventured to Wimpole Hall; a National Trust property and rare breeds farm not far from where we live. It was SO lovely to spend an afternoon wandering the grounds (help I sound like I literal old lady) and seeing tonnes of baby animals! If you're a long time follower of mine you'll know my obsession with pigs is quite something, so seeing lots of little piglets was the perfect way to spend a bank holiday (as well as eating a cream tea obvs). 

I've been dying to wear this jumpsuit ever since I snapped it up in the ASOS sale a couple of months ago and have been waiting for the warm weather to come around so I could rock it with some sandals. Although the miraculous spell of warm weather from a couple of weeks ago has long vanished, it was just about acceptable to bring out the florals and bare ankles without catching frostbite. I teamed it with my new Primark metallic loafers which I love but are also the most uncomfortable pair of shoes I've ever owned. I stupidly wore them for the first time on a trip to London a couple of weeks ago and acquired the blisters from hell which have still not healed. Aside from the TMI details, I'm still totally in love with metallic shoes so I'm hoping these babies decide to break in ASAP! They're super similar to the Gucci loafers that just about everyone and their mum owns right now, so whilst I'm still on a student budget, the £6 Primark versions are cool for me! Let me know if you enjoyed this post! I'm super happy with how the photos turned out and that I managed to catch some blossom before Spring comes to an end!

Jumpsuit: ASOS (Similar HERE and HERE), Shoes: Primark, similar HERE and HERE, Bag: Cambridge Satchel Co.

Spring ASOS Wishlist

White Slingbacks, Star Bikini, Purple Gingham Dress, Gingham Jumpsuit, Mint Mini-bag, Mesh Top.

I'm writing this whilst sat in my uni library (my actual second home) after another day of non stop working and as a result my brain is a little bit frazzled. I've been wanting to share this wishlist for SO LONG that I decided, frazzled brain or not, today would be the day. Apologies in advance for any non sensical rambling. 

As I'm discovering more and more as the years go by, I'm a tiny bit of a shopaholic, and preventing these tendencies from getting out of control as the poor student that I am is always worryingly difficult. So instead of spending money on the clothes I want but really don't need, I've compiled a wishlist of my FAVE things so others can buy them and I can live vicariously through them. I told you I was feeling delirious! This wishlist was first intended to be a general Spring edition, but it seems to be completely ASOS focused (but hey, who's complaining? Their points scheme is scarily motivating) so I hope you're all online shopping lovers too! My saved basket is a weird mix at the moment, particularly in reference to the AMAZING star print bikini above which I just absolutely need despite having no holiday plans this year. Gingham is another key player for me this season, and although it's being worn by anyone and everyone I still can't get enough of how versatile it is! I'm particularly keen to get my hands on the purple cold shoulder dress with ruffle detailing because it's an embodiment of all my fave things in one. Moving onto shoes, after seeing so many stylish ladies on my Instagram feed rocking loafers and sling backs lately, the above white ones have been on my mind ever since. I'm really trying to move away from buying leather and so I feel like these would be the perfect addition to my Spring wardrobe! I definitely cut this wishlist short from the embarrassing length of my actual ASOS saved basket but I hope this has provided you with some spring/summer ideas or even just inspired you if you're in a style rut during this weird mid season period. Hopefully speak soon if I haven't shrivelled up in the library due to lack of sunlight. SOS. 

'Sister' Styling: University Lookbook

Photographs taken by Hayley Sellars and me!

Hello! Today I'm sharing a little more of my ~creative/professional life~ and giving a snippet of a lookbook I recently styled as part of one of my university projects! It was SUCH a fun (albeit stressful project) but it's really cemented for me that styling is a sector of the industry I want to be a part of. The lookbook (which autocorrects to cookbook every god damn time) is for a brand we were tasked to create and provide a supporting brand handbook for and our group have had a great time completing this assignment! Our brand is called Sister, and celebrates all things inclusivity, accessibility and being unapologetically proud to stand out from the crowd. I think the fashion industry still has a way to go in regard to showcasing females that don't fit the typical white, slim, straight females and we really wanted to channel a more varied vibe that was truly representative of each and every time of woman! As students, our resources for this project were slightly limited, and with the typical British weather turning against us on shoot day, things took a bit of a stressful turn but overall I'm really proud of the outcome! We've still got three weeks to go until our hand in so the assignment isn't over yet but it's honestly been one of the most fun/rewarding/hands on things I've done within my degree and I've loved every second! 

We worked with some of the loveliest ladies as part of the shoot and the models in particular were such a dream! I will link their Instagram's at the end of this post if you wanted to check them out further because they're all super talented! As well as collaborating with a photographer from our university, we also worked with a fashion design student who created the blazer from one of the shots above! We added some badges to create a more Sister vibe and I think it looks ├╝ber cool! I'm thinking of sharing our brand handbook too when it's complete because we've spent SO long on packaging mock ups, social media profiles, brand values and logo design that I think it would be really interesting to get some feedback on it all. I hope you enjoyed this insight to my degree!

Our models:

Doing enough vs doing too much

Ironically, writing this post has taken an entire week of umming and ahhing, hesitation and procrastination, largely because it has seemed so difficult to put into words. I'm writing it now however, with the hopes of clearing my head by getting physical words down on my blog and also potentially to strike a conversation with others on a feeling I'm sure I'm not alone in experiencing! So. Let's get down to the nitty gritty. Like so many others my age, I'm currently completing my degree (potentially this is why I'm having an existential ~what am I doing with my life~ crisis) but also attempting to balance my blog and social channels, search for internship opportunities and write endless amounts of cover letters, whilst finding time to attend lectures, do my food shop, get enough sleep and see family and friends. This potentially doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary when so many others are facing the same expectations, however university brings a new level of independent learning in which I've struggled increasingly with where to draw the line of working. Worrying I'm working too much, or sometimes that I've given myself too much free time is a constant concern, and coupled with my determination to succeed in my placement year and the need to keep working to secure an internship is EXHAUSTING. This post sounds like a whole lot of complaining, but really I just want to share my thoughts on the anxieties of an uncertain future (how deep) and how my brain is struggling with that a little. 

My anxiety and eating disorder are very much based around control. If you've met me in real life, you probably know me as a v stressy yet v organised person, largely because I like to know what's going on at all times and be prepared in every eventuality. The control side of my personality is struggling a little (to say the least) with not knowing where I'll be or what I'll be doing after I finish my second year of university in May, and as a result I'm going crazy in terms of trying to prepare for it. Despite the fact I'm juggling a degree, attempting to keep my blog up to date and search for placements, my brain is still convinced I'm not doing enough and am too lazy to succeed. Perhaps it's not wise sharing these thoughts online, but if you're anything like me I'm sure you'll understand the stresses that come along with the constant fear of not being good enough. I think this is really where my struggles with balancing work and life come into play, with my main problem stemming from the worry that if I'm not constantly working, then I'm not doing enough. This term the introduction of more group based as opposed to individual projects on my course have come into play, and with that feels like a lack of control over certain parts of my degree. I'm so used to working non stop in the library on my own assignments and completing things early to satisfy my brain that I have a bit of extra time for emergencies or printing problems (so far things have always gone to plan) that having more free time as a result of completing work in a group feels totally alien to me. In actual fact, having free time then pushes me to think I should be doing more outside of my academic work to further my knowledge and learn new skills, which I in turn beat myself up about when I watch YouTube videos or scroll Instagram instead. Anyone reading this is probably thinking that yes, if I have free time then I should be making the most of this and brushing up on my Adobe skills, but sometimes, just sometimes, I would rather do nothing. AND THEN THE CYCLE OF WORRYING IM NOT DOING ENOUGH BEGINS AGAIN. It's exhausting let me tell you, and really I just want some reassurance that I am doing okay, and it's fine to not be working and bettering myself 24/7. 

Of course self improvement is a hugely important part of life, that as an adult (still not over the fact I'm 19 years old) I should be motivated to be doing, but I think often it's important to just take time for yourself and realise the world isn't going to end if I don't tick every single thing off my to-list, every single day. From writing this post, the realisation of how harsh I am towards myself is quite evident. I really don't think I give myself enough credit for the fact that I'm completing a degree and doing tonnes of other things, whilst struggling on a daily basis with multiple mental illnesses and IT'S OKAY to take time off. Sometimes doing the simplest tasks can be a challenge, so battling with that and an extremely demanding degree  is definitely something I need to give myself credit for. I feel so much better for getting these words down on a (digital) page, and so despite already feeling guilty for not completing an uni work today, I feel a little more reassured in the knowledge that I'm doing okay, and there's so much more to life than academic and career success. I really feel like I place too much emphasis upon these things, and although I desperately want to succeed in the fashion world, I need to accept that life is a much bigger picture and perhaps my focus is sometimes on the wrong things. 

Please let me know if you ever experience similar fears and how you overcome these in your life, I would love to know I'm not alone in worrying about these things and I hope this post has given you a feeling of that too! Sending love! 

Celebrating 5 Years of Blogging

Hello! Despite the fact that today is Valentine's Day and all other blog content is likely to be very lurve centred, I wanted to share a different style of post to the others floating around the internet, as the 14th of February 2017 marks my blogs fifth birthday! It seems so surreal to me that it was 5 years ago that I sat with my group of secondary school friends, whilst they fathomed blogger and how to create me my own site, and I brainstormed the ideas I wanted to create and how Charlotte's Web would take form. In hindsight, I almost wish I had gone with a less cliche name for my blog and social media platforms, but being the nostalgic gal I am, can't bring myself to switch to anything else. To celebrate the occasion and mark 5 years of ~pretty much~ consistent uploading, I worked with surface pattern designer and all round girl boss Amy Hodkin to create the above piece which I simply ADORE. I wanted something that summed up my blog and it's style, whilst including a few of my favourite things to create a really personal illustration that I would treasure forever. I will leave links to Amy's social media and portfolio at the end of this post, and I highly recommend browsing through her blog also because she is uber talented and deserves a 'lotta love! 

In celebration of 5 years of Charlotte's Web, I've gone back through the archives (so to speak) and picked out some images from my time online to share and further document the journey I've been on, not only with my personal style but also in my writing and myself and beliefs in general. It's an odd feeling having 5 years of your life (albeit the best parts) so easily accessible, but at the same time I've loved revisiting those memories and remembering the emotions and motivations I had at different points throughout. I was only 15 when I began my blog and so a lot has changed during that time for me, and although I'm often overly self critical about my efforts and successes, after scrolling back through my posts I feel super proud of what I've achieved, even if it is small in comparison to most! Enough with the rambling, here are the past 5 years of Charlotte's Web:

2013 was really a year of experimentation on my blog, as I tried to figure out what sort of content I wanted to produce and how to go about taking and editing photos (note: not very successfully, as demonstrated above). I was almost reluctant to share some of my first blog images in this post, despite the fact the original versions are still live, but I quickly realised that this post is really about celebrating development and progress and I think the above photos really show how at the beginning of Charlotte's Web I was posting purely for the love of posting and not with any real aims for growth. My blog was initially very heavily beauty based, and I think looking back over my posts from years gone by I can gradually see my gravitation towards fashion focused content and how I got to where I am today as a fashion student! It's crazy to me that although I have been blogging for 5 years, throughout which so much has changed, for the duration of that time I have remained in education and with blogging purely remaining to be a hobby and spare time activity. I think it's really important to recognise that in the scheme of my online ~journey~ and give myself credit for keeping passionate and consistent with what I love! One of my favourite posts from 2013 was a Catching Fire inspired nail art design which I remember being so proud of at the time! I think it's a great reminder to focus on the things that excite you (original Hunger Games fan over here) and as a result, only good and positives outcomes will be had! I definitely put too much pressure on myself now to write the perfect posts with high quality images, and that's perhaps why I don't upload as regularly as I did when I started CW and was all about spontaneous sharing! My blog doesn't provide me with any source of income and so really there's no pressure for me to execute perfect posts every time, and I think looking back to my 2013 beginnings has reminded me of that!

I think it's particularly clear from the 2014 photographs above that this was the year I really got into the swing of blogging and found my groove in terms of aesthetic (lol please don't think I'm pretentious) and the content I wanted to focus most on. 2014 was my busiest year in terms of blogging, in which I published over 60 posts which was a real achievement for me as someone in education and with all the other teenage problems going on. It really sounds like I'm blowing my own trumpet in this post, but reminiscing over my blog has made me super proud of the consistency and volume of posts I've produced whilst juggling so many other commitments. 2014 was the year I fully made use of the Canon camera I had received later in the previous year, and I began to experiment with photography and taking personal style photographs outside the realms of my garden or village. Some of the photos above are my favourites to date, in particular the outfit photos shot in Brighton by my lovely sister, whom up until I met Scott, acted as my resident, albeit reluctant photographer. 2014 was the year I began the birthday series which I still continue to this day, in which I look back over the previous year and discuss the lessons I learnt throughout that period of my life. This is one aspect of my blog I love to look back over, and reminds me how important it can be to document your thoughts, fears and feelings at a particular time in your life in order to recognise how much you have grown! Looking back at my '16 Things I Learnt Whilst Being 16' post is especially important to me, as this was a time in my life where I had struggled intensely with my mental health, yet was in such a state of denial that I really wasn't recovering at all. Despite this, noting how happy I was at SO many other points throughout 2014 is really important to me, particularly when remembering that this was probably my peak One Direction fangirl year, a fact that brings me so much joy to remember. 2014 was a really great year in my life, and I'm so happy to have recorded so many memories from it!

2015 is the year Scott and I became a couple and so of course the addition of a boyfriend meant an increase in outfit photos and photogenic brunches as he took the role of my Instagram husband (lols). We went on our first trip together in the August of that year to Brighton and it's some of the fondest memories I have of our relationship, largely due to the perfect weather, delicious food and genuine happiness whilst strolling the beach, sharing ice cream and wandering the lanes. Brighton also happens to be the most photogenic place on earth so obviously the pastel backdrops were utilised to their full potential, despite how nervous I was to let S photograph me after only feeling comfortable with my sister acting as my photographer until then. OH HOW THINGS CHANGE because since he's got used to the constant "Will you just take a photo of my outfit for Instagram?" and "Can you do it again but a bit closer?"; I probably haunt his dreams with the number of times he's taken photos for me. 2015 was also the year I moved to university and everything began getting a little rocky from September onwards, hence the lack of posting as my anxieties, issues with eating and general panicked state were on the increase. The first term of university was the hardest period of my life, and although I know so many other people feel loneliness and anxieties when first moving away from home, I feel like that period of darkness was a lot more intense than most deal with. I was living with people I either didn't feel any sort of connection with or simply that I wasn't close to, was struggling to eat after feeling conflicted about my ethics and no longer wanting to eat meat but also whilst dealing with an eating disorder, all whilst feeling the weight of my crippling anxiety increase by the day. I'm not looking for pity, but I want to highlight that my Insta feed showed something completely different to how I was actually feeling. I was very open on Twitter at that point and think it's important to portray university accurately, because SO often it's described as the best time of your life and for me, it just isn't. I'm so glad I persevered with it but I do still struggle being away from my family (especially cats) and Scott, but luckily my support system now is so much better than in 2015. THINGS GET BETTER PEEPS. 

2016 was a year of SO MANY HIGHLIGHTS. Despite politically and socially the year being a time uncertainty and sadness, in my personal life there were a lot of happy times and achievements I'm really proud of. Brexit was the first time I had been old enough to vote and so despite being able to have my say, I was left feeling even more helpless and disillusioned by the decision, as I struggled to accept that not everyone was as compassionate, accepting and diverse as those I follow online. In terms of blogging, I think 2016 was the year I really upped my game and I'm so unbelievably proud of some of the imagery and content I produced! I was kindly gifted a 50mm lens for my birthday from my dad, which was timed perfectly a few weeks before my trip to Amsterdam and allowed Scott and I to experiment even more with my personal style shots in the most wonderful and exciting city. These are definitely my favourite outfit images of mine, and being able to have so much fun exploring Amsterdam whilst shooting my outfits every day that week was challenging and exciting, as we found new corners of the city that we loved and have memories in. Completing my first year of uni in 2016 was a huge achievement and allowed me to share different parts of my experience on my blog which I had amazing feedback from and felt so rewarded in doing. Overall 2016 was a really exciting year for me online; I started my YouTube channel and branched into a style of content I had been consuming for the longest time which was also a hugely rewarding experience which I have also had so much support with! 2016 was the start of a lot of opportunities and I'm so excited to see where they go from here.

So that's it! It's been so nostalgic looking back at photos from the past 5 years and seeing my growth personally as well as in my content and blogging abilities which I think we can all agree were quite dire to begin with. Thank you the people who have supported Charlotte's Web throughout the years; it really does fill me with joy every time someone says they have enjoyed the content I produce, so from the bottom of my heart thank you if you've ever expressed kind words about what I do! I'm super excited to see what's to come for my blog in 2017, and I hope you stick around for it! ALL THE LOVE <3