Thursday, 29 December 2016

ON CARRIE FISHER, MENTAL HEALTH AND BEING ACHINGLY HONEST.

I’ve been having writers block. Not a new, original or even vaguely interesting revelation for a writer/blogger/journalist/whatever the hell I am, but a truth all the same. I’ve been chasing whispers of ideas for a while now. I’ve scribbled ideas on the back of my flatmate’s bank statements and saved some in my notes with the greatest of intentions to draft, publish, post. The problem with most of the ideas I’ve come up with, and the reason I haven’t posted them on here is that they are achingly and frighteningly honest. To write these ideas down would be to give them to the world, and not be able to reclaim them if I decided that actually, I’d rather not talk about x, y or z with over eight-hundred strangers on a social network. As much as I love writing, (and you lovely readers), I’m still not sure how much I want the online world to know about me and how much I want to keep hidden.

*Note: I haven’t murdered anyone, I’m just not sure I want future employers to know about things like the time I once ACCIDENTALLY alluded to the idea that my granny had died to get out of a shift when I was hungover. She isn’t dead, I touched wood, and I’ve punished myself enough for this - please don’t troll me.*

Just this evening, thanks to the wonderful Bianca Bass and her latest blog post, I read a quote which pulled me out of this rut. The quote was as follows:

“Draw the art you want to see. Start the business you want to run. Write the books you want to read. Do the work you want to see done.” - Austin Kleon

As I read it, the words floated down and settled somewhere within me, and I knew that I had to give my two cents on something I’ve previously kept schtum on for fear of judgement.

Carrie Fisher, as we all know by now, sadly passed away this week. Whilst her acting talent is the stuff of legend and her career accomplishments enviable, what I am particularly thankful to Carrie for is her unwavering view that mental health is something which should, and needs to be talked about openly.

“I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on.” – Carrie Fisher

Carrie’s public proclamations of being mentally ill stirred up some serious emotions in me. As those of you who know me IRL, or are perhaps just very astute may know, I suffer from anxiety and depression – bedfellows in the world of poor mental health. My battle with mental illness is not something I talk about widely, and because I’ve got pretty high-functioning anxiety and depression, you probably wouldn’t guess that I’m acquainted with them unless I told you.

The crux of the reason I keep reasonably quiet about these issues is that ‘depression,’ especially, still feels like a dirty word - something to be discussed only in hushed tones and never above a whisper. In 2016, I still feel that I should somehow be ashamed of the fact that by some twist of fate I was given a mind that has a tendency to try and self-destruct. That admission infuriates me and makes me sad, and that way of thinking is just a bit boring, to be honest. I wouldn’t tell a friend that suffered that they were to blame, so why do I tell it to myself? The social media circles I run in are supportive and open about mental illness, but sadly real life often tells a different story. On top of mental illness being seen as something offensive which must be swept under the rug, I’ve often come across people who think it’s self-invented. Doctors, family members, and sceptical acquaintances alike have time and time again told me to “cheer up” or waved me away when I’ve tried to start a conversation about issues concerning mental health. These kind of attitudes don’t help anyone.

Cries of “but everyone gets nervous!” are a bit redundant when you are talking about a light flutter in your stomach before an interview, and I am talking about shaking so much that my best friend has to hold my hand, and often my hair back, when I’m vomiting out of pure, unadulterated anxiety because I have to catch a train. Exasperated sighs and the advice to “just get on with it” doesn’t really do it for me when I’m stuck to my bed, sadness crushing my chest from the moment I wake, really.

The amount of trips, nights out and other really fun things I’ve had to turn down because of anxiety is incomprehensible. I’ve booked flights to a foreign country and had to forgo them because of panic. I’ve had concert tickets to see one of my favourite bands that have gone to waste because the beating in my heart and dizziness in my head was too much to deal with. I’ve had all-night panic attacks when visiting friends that have meant hopping on a bus home at 5am, mascara stained cheeks and all. I’ve fucked up possible relationships with people I like because I can’t keep putting myself through the sleepless nights before a date. I’ve missed flights from anxiety and booked flights to escape sadness too many times to count. The reason I have been reserved in the past in conversations about mental illness is precisely due to the fear that people will judge and measure me using incidents such as the aforementioned. Somehow think me less cool, less lovely or less valid because of the daily hurdles I have to face.

If mental illness was a choice, it’d be a bloody stupid one to make.

The most important fact in all this, and the idea that Carrie made comprehensible, is that you can be mentally ill, without being your mental illness. As dull and depressing the missed opportunities I’ve listed above are, I’ve had countless moments of triumph to match and counter them. On a weekly or monthly basis I push myself to do something that terrifies me to my core, and I come out stronger for it. Anyone that battles with their thoughts on top of the shit-show of life, is in my opinion, strong beyond belief. I’ve swung open the doors to companies which house my dream job despite the fact that two minutes before saw me about to pass out on the tube from fear. I’ve gone on blind dates despite the fact my mind was riddled with self-doubt and nerves. I’ve gone to Asia, made new friends, kissed that person in spite of it all.

I may have anxiety and depression - I may be mentally ill - but I am not my mental illness. I’m so much more, and so are you.

Thank you, Carrie, for reminding me of that. 

Sara x
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Monday, 28 November 2016

5 FEMALE ILLUSTRATORS YOU NEED ON YOUR RADAR

I like to think of myself as an arty person, despite the fact that the last time I picked up a paintbrush was probably during year 7 art class. Art comes in so many different forms and doesn’t have to fit into the confines of what’s seen as ‘classic.’ It can be dark, comical, gross, beautiful, hilarious and everything in between, and social media is the perfect tool for discovering loads of exciting new artists and their innovative ways of producing. I’m big into my illustrators at the moment after stumbling across their work on the likes of Twitter, and decided to write a little list of my faves as a way to lift up and showcase the talents of some of these fabulous females. Enjoy!

Elle is a 20 year old illustrator (and drop dead gorgeous gal) whose artwork I stumbled upon via Twitter. Her intricate line detail and beautiful depictions of nature, mental health, self-love and being a girl are honestly incredible and I have been known to spend inordinate periods of time scrolling through her Tumblr page. Her mindfulness zines available on her Etsy shop are beautifully finished and you can really tell how much time has gone into their creation. When I am not as poor as I currently am now, I need to get this girl to draw me a custom portrait. She’s going places.


You know those days when everything has gone horribly wrong? When you’ve finally managed to slither out of bed only stood on a plug, then sprinted to the station and found that your tube is so busy you’re practically inhaling the hair of the person in front? Ruby’s new book It’s All Absolutely Fine basically takes all those mad bad days and produces something akin to the rare and beautiful instance when you’re having a mental breakdown and someone else says “oh my god I get that too.” It’s a soothing sigh for the soul. Her social media channels are regularly updated with darkly comical quick sketches and on a bad day her work is the hug your brain needs.



This, dear readers, is the woman whose art you without a doubt need in your life. I’m fairly sure that Julie has, at some point, snuck into my bedroom whilst I was sleeping and peered right into my brain. Her pencil sketches are based on the nuances of day to day life and touch upon the troubles and strife experienced as a twenty-something year old woman. And as any woman. And probably some men. She covers the likes of bad dates, being an anti-social hermit and weird cultural things we all do like wear Thrasher hoodies as a uniform despite knowing as much about skateboarding as we do about brain surgery. She is so damn relatable, and that’s her selling point.


4. JESSIE CAVE
If you’ve ever met someone you fancied on a night out and woken up in the morning to discover your Facebook search history emblazoned with their name, along with the names of their ex-girlfriend and their ex-ex-girlfriend, then Jessie’s love sick illustrations may perhaps strike a chord. Her colourful illustrations focus on the utter MADNESS that is the bedfellow of modern dating and in a weird sort of reverse psychology way, makes me feel a little bit better about being so utterly crackers when it comes to matters of the heart.


A new venture by a London-based gal who has ditched the corporate life to follow her dreams of being an artist (should totally be a movie, I know), Marshall Art is the brainchild of all round wonderful human Kayleigh Marshall. Kayleigh’s work includes cute pineapple and flamingo geometric prints, mixed media pieces and custom commissions of pretty much anything your heart desires. She cites her ugliest possession as her ‘sex panther jumper’ and at that, I was sold.



 Hope you enjoyed this little run down & please let me know if you know any other talented artists you think I'd like!

Sara x



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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

THE FEMALE-WRITTEN PLAY YOU NEED TO SEE THIS WEEK


 Since being down in London, I have (rather shamefully) not done anything very cultural. Well, that is unless you count sinking pints in the pub with your mates cultural – which I sort of do. Anyway, after spending an afternoon scrolling through The Debrief I came across this fantastic article which gave a run-down of the best female-written plays to go and see in London. It seemed like a sign, and one that I’m very, very glad I took heed of.

I dragged my mate Jack along with me for company, and last night on a dreary Tuesday, we found ourselves in Soho Theatre, settling in to watch Girls. The play is written by Therea Ikoko (did you know that only 30% of plays in the UK are written by women?!) and let me tell you, she is seriously talented. The premise of the play centres around 3 sparky, audacious teenage girls who at the opening of the play, have found themselves in a terrifying situation. The action that plays out deals with themes of terrorism, race, religion and feminism, and the narrative somehow manages to stay current and cool throughout.

"Why is everyone so bloody obsessed with hashtags? Can you use it to shoot your way out of here?"

The dialogue within the play is incredibly witty, powerful and SO relatable. At numerous points throughout the night I heard murmurs of approval through the audience and at the end of the play, the girls received a well-deserved standing ovation. The thing I loved most about this play was the fact that the dialogue didn’t tip-toe around the scary issues which face millions of girls today. When it came to the issues most of us discuss in hushed tones and the tough subjects we put walls up to conceal, these girls broke through the bloody bricks. 

If you’re after an evening of sass, sarcasm and serious topics (with a sprinkle of BeyoncĂ© quotes to boot) then this is the play for you. It runs until the 29th October (this Saturday) and tickets are selling fast, so book yours now. 
This a cultural commentary you don’t want to miss.

Sara x 
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Sunday, 23 October 2016

LONDON CALLING

I’ll let you into a secret.

I love Autumn. I love icy winds. I love sitting inside and hearing torrents of rain running off the awning of a coffee shop. I love walking home after work with a quickened pace, hands shoved deep into woollen coat pockets. Summer is sticky, hot, and sweat-inducing. Autumn is like the cooler older sibling you’re outwardly resentful of, when deep down, you’re fascinated by their every move. 

Every year, I find myself joining in with the majority of the public and ranting about the quick turnaround of our good old British weather system. Handing over change at a shop till, riding a lift up a few floors - the conversations are all the same. “Eugh, where did summer go?” “Bloody hell it’s a bit frosty isn’t it, I practically had my barbeque out a few days ago” – you get the gist. Moaning about the shit weather is an act of camaraderie. Truth is though, I just don't agree. 

I get the arguments against it, I really do. Having to go outside for a cigarette at 8pm with the wind whipping against your cheeks is punishment enough for smoking. Not being able to nip to the corner shop without at least 7 layers and visions of Rose from Titanic balancing perilously close to her icy grave can be a bit of a buzzkill. Regardless, I just can’t get enough of crunchy leaves, being swaddled in a scarf and the feeling of pure unadulterated joy when someone offers you a cup of hot tea.


Polo neck – Zara | Flared trousers – Zara | Shoes – Nike Air Force I | Coat – Missguided | Earrings – Topshop

This outfit, for me, is the perfect autumnal choice. This camel coloured Zara polo neck is a recent purchase, and so comfy that I fear it might have to be surgically removed from my body. Part of the same shopping spree, these flared black trousers are the perfect mix of pizzazz and comfort, and my trusty Missguided long line black coat is an actual lifesaver. It goes with everything and it feels like a blanket – what more could I possibly need?

As you may or may not know, I’m currently gallivanting around London. I’m here for a month as an Editorial Intern at Esquire magazine, and so far I’m loving it. My bank balance has substantially depleted since my arrival, but my happiness levels are on the up. The fact that there is ALWAYS something interesting to do in London is such a bonus. I’ve already found myself drinking a little too much and eating out a little too often, but I’m having a merry old time, so who cares?

To keep up to date with my antics, follow me on Instagram or Twitter

Sara x
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Saturday, 8 October 2016

3 SIMPLE THINGS IT'S TAKEN ME 21 YEARS TO LEARN

Essentially a list of things the world has always known, but that it’s taken me 21 years to get to grips with.


1. Making your own money is WAY better than being handed it

You might read this first point and be like “well, obviously, what adult doesn’t like making their own money?” ME. I DON’T.
The thing is, I’ve always been an extremely hard worker when it comes to something I’m passionate about (take writing for publications - I’ll have my work in on time, every time. Organising a fashion show – I’ll be there an hour early with a bag full of pins and scissors and extra call sheets), but hanging up clothes I can’t afford and being paid a pittance for it? I’m a self-confessed Lazy Girl. I’d like to think I’ve always done my fair share of a tasks when on a job, but given the chance to pick up an extra shift or borrow a tenner and shamefully, it’s always been a no brainer for me.

Or so I thought, until I recently graduated, quit my summer job to intern and volunteer and am now surviving off the dregs of my summer earnings. Being scared about money is shit. A well paid mate treating you to a coffee is lovely, but shit. Being wired emergency cash from my parents when a phone unexpectedly crashes is very helpful, but shit. I really miss the rhythm of getting up, going to work and complaining about a terrible 12 hour shift whilst being secretly proud I did it. I miss working hard and seeing a tangible result. Who’d have thought it?

2. Boy best friends are brilliant

Before your eyeballs roll back into your skull, hear me out on this one. I too understand the image of that girl we all know, who exclaims at every given opportunity: “All my best friends are boys - girls are way too much drama,” when really, the definition of drama was scribed at co-incidentally the exact moment she was spawned from the womb. I am not that girl.

Since I’ve been a baby, all my best friends have been girls. I’ve been surrounded by a sister and aunties and millions of female cousins all my life, and I went to an all-girls high school. For me, having boy best friends is a relatively new concept. I met some of my best friends 2 and a half years ago when I was a little baby fresher and a few of them just so happened to be of the male persuasion. A few important things to note:

1) They’re not all gay.
2) I don’t secretly want to have sex with them.
3) They are all bloody brilliant friends.

A lot of the misconceptions about men I’d been fed growing up have certainly been dispelled through these friendships, which I’m eternally grateful for. Not all boys are inconsiderate. Not all boys are laddish and loud and vulgar. Not all boys just want to shag you then forget about you. I’ve been taken home sobbing after one too many trebles by a very kind (male) friend. I’ve been cooked dinner by a best (male) friend when I was homesick and quite literally could not afford a can of spaghetti hoops. I’ve just finished having a gossip with one of my lovely (male) friends who Facetimed me all the way from Barcelona for a catch up.

Men. As friends. Who would’ve thought it? (Everyone else in the world bar me, it seems).

3. Other girls are not benchmarks, competitors or threats. 

Print it out and stick it on your forehead.

Much like the infamous Finding Nemo scene where Bruce the shark is made to recite “fish are friends, not food,” a similar Girl Power mantra should be made part of the curriculum at all-girls schools and recited daily. Actually, hourly. Every minute. Hell, just paint it on the bathroom wall, Chamber of Secrets style.

Years and years of observing hierarchical lunch room layouts and selective party invites (of which I’ve been on both sides) has taught me that one-upmanship and unhealthy competitiveness is just Not Worth It. It’s nasty, it’s draining and it’s destructive. I’ve never really been one to bristle, ready for attack, when I feel threatened by another female, but I’m certainly guilty of inwardly collapsing when faced with what I deem a cooler, happier, more successful version of myself. You used to catch me lowering my hand and zipping my mouth on the reg when surrounded by confident girls, because why would you want to listen to my opinion when you could listen to hers?

Whilst we’re all familiar with the concept of bullying as a reaction when one feels intimidated, what it’s taken me a little while to realise is that both these aforementioned reactions are negative, and both equally damaging. I wish someone would’ve sat my peers and I down aged sixteen and truly drilled that into us. Dulling your shine because you think someone else’s is brighter is not going to make you feel any better, as much as it’s not going to help you to steal limelight from someone else. Yes, it may offer short term benefits, but you’re going to feel fake, and they’re going to feel robbed.

On the first day of an internship a while back, I looked around at the all-female team in complete awe. These women were incredible writers, fiercely funny and insanely talented. I felt that familiar bubbling feeling of inadequacy rising up in my stomach during the first hour or two, convinced they were all going to hate me, expose me for being beneath them or dismiss me as utterly rubbish. After a while, determined not to give in, I decided to adopt a ‘fuck it’ kind of attitude and poured myself wholeheartedly into the work. Turns out, the whole ‘Girl Power’ thing isn’t a myth at all. The team welcomed my ideas, made me feel at ease and went above and beyond to help me out.

Girls are stronger together. Great things happen when you build another girl up. The karmic wheel goes into overdrive and shoots out a rainbow of cotton candy, or something similar, I’m sure. Next time you see a girl with a cool outfit on, instead of looking down at yours in disdain – compliment her. When you start a new job and sit down next to the most talented girl you’ve ever met – ask her for some pointers. Viva forever. 


What about you? Are you as slow as I am or have you always had this life thing down? Lemme know.



Sara x

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

WEEKENDS IN HACKNEY: NETIL MARKET, LONDON FIELDS AND BROADWAY MARKET

Suede tan jacket – Vintage | Bralet – Topshop | Culottes – Missguided | Trainers – Nike Air Force 1 | Rucksack – Savida 
First up was Netil market, a teensy tiny market full of fashionable people. The market featured a wonderful spectacle shop full of glasses that wouldn’t go amiss in Urban and stalls of food/drinks to die for. A rustic looking sign for mojitos meant I was perilously close to adopting the hair of the dog hangover approach (has that actually ever worked for anyone?) but thankfully I came to my senses and settled on spending my pennies on a pair of rose gold cat eye sunglasses from The Little Deer instead.
Next we stumbled into London Fields School Yard market which was absolutely heaving with artisan food and amazing looking alcoholic ice-cream – again, one for another day. I didn’t take any pictures because, well, to be honest - I was violently hungover and trying not to be sick. Good job I was in a Primary School surrounded by families, then.
Broadway Market nursed us back to health with its stalls FULL of delicious food. I went for salted beef in a brioche bun and honestly, I think I tasted heaven. Thankfully it was a sunny day, so we spent pretty much a full afternoon sitting on benches and soaking up the atmosphere provided by street musicians and cute little dogs. Thanks to a spot of gentrification, Broadway market is – dare I say it – a bit of a hipster haven. Naturally, this meant a lot of French bulldogs were available to coo over, perfect for a hangover.
I’ve been to a fair few London markets and this trio is by far my favourite. The clothes stalls on offer are definitely more up my street, and there is absolutely no tat to be found. It’s a little on the pricey side, but I mean its London, and I didn’t expect any different. It’s worth noting that summer opening hours are a little different and the markets aren’t all open at the same time, as far as I know. I’ve had a google and provided the times below:

Netil Market opening hours: Sat 11am – 6pm // Sun 11am – 6pm
London Fields School Yard Market opening hours:  Sat closed // Sun 10am – 2pm
Broadway Market opening hours: Sat 9am – 5pm // Sun closed

Like this? Follow me on bloglovin
Sara x
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Monday, 15 August 2016

THE ART OF DOING NOTHING (AND NOT FEELING GUILTY ABOUT IT)



It’s time for us to stop perpetuating the obscene notion that if you’re not busy, you’re not trying hard enough.


The idea for this blog post came to me a couple of weeks ago, fourth cigarette and 167435435th mental breakdown into a miserably grey Wednesday afternoon. Perched in my garden with nothing but a wooden chair and a golf umbrella to separate me from the pouring rain, and wearing only a pair of Umbro sports shorts and a leopard print coat, I was in the middle of my most recent existential crisis. For the trillionth time since finishing University at the end of May, I found myself panicking about the future and what it holds for me. As usual when crisis strikes, I turned to my ever-faithful Whatsapp group for comfort. Thoughts were tumbling out of my head and onto my frantic typing fingers at a million miles an hour, and none of them were particularly positive.

What the fuck am I going to do now??
Move to London? Travel the world? Build a fort in the Amazon?

The post-uni hiatus I am currently in the crux of affords me and a lot of other graduates the luxury of free time and plenty of mental space – a winning combination for dreams to be cultivated and inspiration to strike. However, with mental space and more control over my own life than I’ve probably ever had, I’m encountering daily periods of sporadic but overwhelming panic. Thankfully, (and perhaps worryingly), I know I’m not alone. In the digital age we’re all living in, we are bound on an everyday basis by an incomprehensible amount of pressure to succeed.

“Has my Instagram hit 11 likes yet?” “Why is no-one liking my hilarious tweet?” “God I need to get that blog post published tonight or I might actually die.” 

All seemingly laughable worries, but with social media allowing us to make CONSTANT checks on what everyone and their dog is doing at any given moment, comparison and the pressure to do well in EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE EVER is a very real problem facing us millennials (side note: are you as sick of that word as I am?). Granted, we’re not completely to blame for the comparison climate we’re currently living in. We’re the generation who ran out of the school gates filled with aspiration and dreams, to be met by miserable news headlines and the poorest job market our nation has seen in years. As a result, we’ve adopted a hyper-motivated mindset which implores us to overwork in order to succeed. Whilst it’s brilliant that our dreams and the motivation that stems from setting goals drives us forward each day, the path to promised ‘success’ is gruelling. Unsurprisingly, I’ve not seen anyone Instagram that phrase in italics over a picture of a sprawling sunset.

As a twenty one year old female, I’m currently existing somewhere in the soul-scrambling realm between being a teenage girl and a real life bill-paying, job-having adult woman. Not a girl, not yet a woman. Britney eat your heart out. This is already a confusing enough stage of life to be in, but add social media and the #DailyGrind mantras that dominate our feeds and it’s a bloody shit show. We should be pushing ourselves to blog more, work out more, network more, be more. We’re overwhelmed with seemingly positive affirmations that if you work hard, you’ll succeed. Perhaps I’m not giving the rest of you enough credit here, but I know when I read motivational quotes like the aforementioned, I’m thinking of ‘success’ in terms of pinning a picture of my photoshopped head onto an image of a supermodel’s body, or squinting at a laptop in the darkness trying to desperately conjure up a project I’ve taken on despite knowing I was far too busy. I’m not thinking of success as the feeling of being happy in my own skin, or the knowledge that I completely and utterly love whatever project I’m pouring myself into. 


I’m thinking of success as a signposted destination I’m trying to reach. A destination up the top of a very rocky cliff. Which I’m scaling with a toothpick.

Of late, I’ve found myself in a horribly unhealthy cycle of guilt. Guilt when I have a day off work – why aren’t I picking up extra shifts to save money? Guilt when I watch another film on Netflix instead of writing – do I even want to be a journalist? Guilt when I’m laughing with my friends instead of pouring every drop of my being into creating a future for myself. This is exhausting. I am exhausted. After yet another string of panicked texts to a friend, one night recently she replied with one of the most simple yet effective reminders I’ve received: “you can’t be successful if you aren’t well rested,” - a practical, grounding sentence which suddenly brought back to earth the distant, unreachable notion of success. It’s true that success doesn’t happen without hard work, but it’s even truer that the waterfall of pseudo-motivational thoughts we’re all drowning under hinders our chance at happiness even further. I found some wise words on the subject from Charly Cox, one of my favourite writers:

"We are often foolish in that we let our obsession with creation, following the force of sizzling anxiety and adrenaline to put the intangible into a product, take over the bare materials we need to do it well: living. Taking stock and thinking. Reading, watching, crying, eating.

Our brains don't just stop because we're not wrist deep in paint or late night loomed in stanzas.

They're preparing for the next project.

They're recuperating, tidying tiny pieces into their boxes to make enough room to lay out the new ones."
 
As usual, Charly’s hit the nail on the head. It’s time for us to stop perpetuating the obscene notion that if you’re not busy, you’re not trying hard enough. I’m over it, you’re probably over it, yet here we are, still buying into the notion that we MUST.DO.MORE. What I’m trying to say, in this long and rambling post, is that it’s time to reclaim the path which leads to success and redesign it for ourselves. Your worth is not inherently intertwined with how many boxes you’ve checked off or how many rungs you’ve climbed. Of course I want a career I’m proud of, and side projects to boast about with my friends, but I also want to sleep. And eat 3 packets of Wotsits on the trot. And watch so many episodes of Friends that I actually BECOME Jennifer Aniston.

You are allowed to look after yourself. You are allowed to have a break. You are allowed to (whisper it) *have fun*. You shouldn’t feel guilty for allowing yourself time to experience the things that make you feel happy, be that binge watching a TV series or saying no to a morning work-out in favour of sleeping in. It’s all helping you grow.

Sara x
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

PRETTY IN PINK


In a dramatic change from my usual monochrome, I’ve actually managed to incorporate a teensy bit of colour into my sartorial palette. This dusky pink hue is a blogger favourite at the minute and apparently a big fashion yes,  although realistically I probably chose it because it’s the closest thing to skin colour and perfect for a play-it-safe goth like me. The lace up top is a recent find from the Missguided sale, and the stripy black and white culottes are a pyjama-like dream offered up by good old Dorothy Perkins. As usual, recently I’ve been wearing my Nike Air Force 1’s to the absolute death - they are truly the most comfortable trainers known to man.

As you may have noticed, my hair is a little bit different. Just before my recent graduation I decided to fully embrace my inner old lady - chopping it up and dyeing it an ashy shade of grey (yes I know, future me is going to kick the fuck off when I have to show my kids the graduation pictures). I believe my dad referred to this change in hairstyle as a ‘quarter life crisis,’ although I prefer to see it as a Fashion Conscious Movement. Much more catchy. 
Top – Missguided (Sale) | Culottes – Dorothy Perkins | Trainers – Nike Air Force 1’s | Backpack – Savida | Choker – Urban Outfitters

Anyway, as I mentioned, I’ve recently graduated University and after the best three years of my life I am armed with a 2:1, more memories than you can shake a stick at and a healthy sense of panic and impending doom. Seriously, the graduate fear is real. Anyone got a manual? 

More soon,
Sara x   
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Sunday, 24 July 2016

THE BOOK CLUB

Summer and reading. The two things go hand in hand quite well, don’t they? When I was younger, buying a new book at the beginning of the long stretch of school holidays was literally THE BEST THING EVER. Usually I’m the first to jump up and defend the internet against criticisms of dulling our everyday experiences, but I have to say I really do miss the magic of going into Waterstones, opening up a new hardback and breathing in the new-book-smell. I for one am so guilty of opening up a book, having a quick peek at my phone, and then realising 45 minutes have passed and I’m lying horizontal on my bed drooling over a Tasty Facebook video of a spaghetti bowl made of cheese (MADE OF CHEESE!).
Kindles are amazing, blogs are great and listening to a podcast is practically a ritual of mine, but I do try to actively ensure that technology and social media don’t distract me completely from the joys of curling up with a good book, you know, in my actual hand. If I had my way, summer reading would involve a sandy white beach, ice cold pina coladas on tap and a topless Ed Westwick lookalike to fan me with a palm leaf. Sadly, I’ve got to make do with the drizzly British summertime and the odd day off from my full time job. Thankfully, the recent additions to my bookshelf pack more than enough punch to liven up such a boring setting for my book binge. This collection features poetry, non-fiction and some autobiographical type works from the wonderful Emma Gannon, Michael Faudet, Olivia Laing, Rupi Kaur and Bryony Gordon.


1. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur 
I, like many others, stumbled across the extraordinary works of Rupi Kaur through her Instagram page. Rupi is an all-round fab gal and general feminist icon who, in her spare time, somehow managed to write a book full of raw, upsetting, uplifting and ultimately honest poems. Milk and Honey is split into four sections: the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing, and guides the reader through an achingly truthful account of life and loss. The pages of her poems are dotted with beautiful line drawings too - a definite plus for an art lover like me.


2.     Ctrl Alt Delete: How I Grew Up Online by Emma Gannon
Emma has long been one of my all-time favourite writers. Her blog, Girl Lost in the City, has a permanent place in my bookmarks bar and I’m not ashamed to say I purposefully have a stalk through her brilliantly sharp Tweets from time to time. When I heard Emma was releasing a book I’m fairly sure I let out a little squeal, and after reading it, I can confirm that it was in fact squeal-worthy. Ctrl Alt Delete is a witty, no holds barred account of growing up in the digital age, with tales of cringe MSN romances, how the internet can manipulate perceptions of our bodies and equally how it brings a whole host of positives. She touches upon finding your internet ‘tribe’ and the many opportunities the rise of digital technology has afforded us through a completely relatable, easily digestible tone of voice. This book catapulted me back to my youth, growing up fighting on the online battlefield that was Bebo, Facebook and MSN, and reminded me of hilarious memories I’d completely supressed. I loved this book so much that once I’d finished, I flipped it right back open to read my favourite chapters again.


3. The Lonely City by Olivia Laing
This beautifully covered book by Olivia Laing deals with the link between loneliness and creativity. I’ve always been someone who is particularly affected by the emotional ghostland that is loneliness, despite having so many lovely, lovely pals, and I’m fascinated by the fact that loneliness seemingly doesn't have a direct link with actually being alone. After a friend explained the concept of book to me I was all for it, and it was genuinely such an interesting read. The book discusses the concept of loneliness through a look at tales surrounding the likes of Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper and the author herself. It investigates the link between loneliness and finding peace in art and artistic mediums, and I feel so much more educated on the fluidity of emotions after reading this book.


4. Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet
Last but most certainly not least is this beautifully written poetry book that deals with love, lust and loss. Michael Faudet’s whimsical short poems captivated me from page one, and once I’d started turning the pages I literally didn’t stop until I’d reached the last page. His beautiful, sexy, romantic words cover the pages and tell interweaving stories of passion as well as dealing with the nuances of day to day romance. Also, as a plus, the typography used throughout this book is bloody gorgeous and right up my street. If you’re a hopeless romantic, or as obsessed with the concept of love as I am, this one is for you.

Not included in this list is Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon. I’m currently in the middle of reading this little gem and so far am thoroughly LOVING it. I’m sure I’ll tweet my thoughts on it after I’m finished, I’m always banging on about books on there.

Hope you enjoyed this list, if you have any recommendations holla at me on here or on Twitter.


Sara x 
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Sunday, 24 April 2016

CULOTTES UP?




 Jumper – Missguided | Culottes – Topshop | Trainers – Nike Air Force 1 | Bag – Cambridge Satchel Company

Hello hello hello. It’s been a while, AGAIN. When will I ever get the hang of regular posting?
Not a lot has gone on in my life since I last posted. I had a lovelyyy trip to Budapest with 30 pals from university in March, and it was wild to say the least. I arrived back in London 5 days later minus a phone charger, plus a very sore head, with a lifetime’s worth of hilarious anecdotes tucked safely inside my rucky. Apart from that, I’ve just been making the most of my LAST EVER TERM at university. How this has come about quite so suddenly I’m really not sure. It is maybe the biggest clichĂ© going, but time really does fly when you’re having fun. I’ve had some of the best days of my life at Newcastle uni, and although I am looking forward to exciting things like a new location, a new job (hire me please) and new adventures, I’m just not quite ready to give up student life. Luckily for me, I’ve still got a 10,000 word dissertation to write. (Sadly you can’t hear me but I’m groaning as I type this.)

As a bit of an essay avoidance technique, I decided to blow my last ever instalment of student loan on a few fancy goods, some of which you see before you now. The jumper was an absolutely fab steal from Missguided and is so light, perfect for summer. The trainers are Nike Air Force 1’s, which I’ve wanted for ages but just not been able to afford. (FYI, these are the boys kids version. Luckily I’m a size 5.5 UK so I can get away with these babies for £20 cheaper.)

Many days from now until the end of May will be spent slaving away in the library, so if you have any good blog posts, youtube videos or basically any form of procrastination you can offer me, feel free to leave links down below or tweet me @saramacauley_ - I’d love to hear from you.
Sara x









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