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Fat girl in horizontal stripes | OOTD

Hello lovelies,

It's been a loooong time since I did an outfit post and this one is from October, which shows how organised I am! I went to Westfield Stratford with my cousin Sara and her friend Violetta on this day and this is what I wore to walk round the shops.

I'm some kind of idiot because I've since sent this dress to the charity shop, which I regret, but there'll be other dresses.
We ate at Rhythm Kitchen at Westfield which does the most amazing soul food. The fried plantain was to die for! I highly recommend it if you're at Westfield Stratford. I'd definitely eat there again, especially as it was very affordable for such a lot of food.

I hardly ever take photos of my clothes now because I'm not really buying new things. I'm wearing old things over and over again, but primarily being dumped so suddenly knocked the stuffing out of me and I've lost almost all my confidence. Hopefully I'll recover in time.

I'm wearing:

Dress, very old Asda
Leggings, Yours Clothing (maternity ones so they pull up under my boobs)
Skechers
Bag (no longer available) Spiral

Thanks for reading, those of you who still do. Leah xoxo

Funding Your Blogging Lifestyle When You're Just Starting Out*

Hi lovelies!

*collaborative/pre-written post

Lots of people love the idea of becoming a blogger and writing articles for a living. However, it can take a long time to create a reliable revenue stream, and so many folks find it hard to pay the bills in the meantime. With that in mind, this article will offer some advice on the best ways to reduce spending during the early stages of your new career.

Reduce the cost of your bills

Firstly, you’ll need to bring the cost of your bills down if you want to reduce some of the financial strain. There is an infographic at the bottom of this page that provides some excellent suggestions that should point you in the right direction. Switching energy supplier is essential!

Haggle over every purchase

You never want to spend more than is necessary on anything you buy. So, get used to the idea of haggling when you visit small businesses and market stalls. Companies like Tesco aren’t going to listen, but less established brands and entrepreneurs might.

Send your blog posts to news companies

If you write a lot of blog posts, there is a decent chance you could get some of them published in a magazine or newspaper. So, be sure to build a list of journalist contacts and forward your articles. You never know when someone will offer to buy it.

Now you know how to fund the early stages of your blogging lifestyle; nothing should stand in the way of your success. With a bit of luck, these suggestions will assist you in avoiding having to take a part-time job.


Infographic by sunny.co.uk

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Does Your Diet Affect Your Mental Health*

Hi lovelies,

*This is a collaborative/pre-written post. 

Disclaimer

I know the subject material in this post may be sensitive to some of you who may have issues with food and eating disorders so I'm putting a Caution Note on this post for diet talk, although this post mainly refers to diet as food intake rather than a diet of restriction. There is some advice in the last paragraph about what we should be eating in moderation - foods high in fat and sugar - but assuming you're an adult if you're reading this you're in charge of yourself. I feel happiest mentally when I'm eating lots of fruit and veg, but pizza features in there occasionally too!

Image Source

Mental health sucks. There is now a study that has shown that one in four people will have some form of a mental illness. A shocking figure to reveal, and the awareness of mental health has always been rather low. People see it as a bit of a taboo subject still, and there is still a stigma around it. However, slowly but surely, people are understanding mental illnesses more.

Diet is one thing that can massively affect mental health, rather than just health. Today we’re going to explore a few points, and whether a good diet can alleviate some symptoms.

The Basics

Two of the most common mental health issues are anxiety and depression. With so many things going on in the world, and our lives always being so busy, it is easy to understand why these issues are so common. There has been research done in the last few years that suggests what we eat in our diet can influence our mental health disorders. The study suggests that nearly two thirds of people who eat fresh fruit and fruit juice every day are twice as more likely to not get a mental health disorder. So, this is what the study suggests we should be eating and doing to relieve symptoms.

There are some diets out there that really boost mental health, and make you feel wonderful about yourself. One of them is a vegan diet. A lot of people aren’t willing to try this, but it is a sure fire way of making sure you get all the vitamins and minerals that your body and mind are missing. For all the things you’ll lose from switching to a vegan diet, such as protein and omega 3, there are replacements out there. Vegan omega 3 is easy to come by, and tofu is an excellent replacement for the protein lost. This diet will see you eating so many more fruits and vegetables, which is feeding the mind with all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function at an optimal level.

Now let's explore what you should be eating in moderation. There’s already plenty of knowledge out there that we’re sure you’re aware of. Two of the things we’re sure you should be eating in moderation are foods high in sugar and fat. When you first eat something really sugary, such as a chocolate bar, the sugar within it is absorbed pretty quickly, creating a sort of high from the sugar. But what goes up, must come down, which is what happens to your mood. There has been evidence to suggest that chocolate is somewhat addictive due to the rise and drop of dopamine levels. As soon as the dopamine levels drop, you’re left wanting another one to bring yourself back up again, even if you don’t want to. Fatty foods can leave us feeling sluggish and lethargic, as well as make us put on weight. If you suffer with depression, the last thing you want is a reason to feel any more sluggish and down!

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Wooing Your Partner for Valentine’s (or any) Day*

It doesn’t seem five minutes since the turn of the year and already we are thinking about Valentine’s Day – the most romantic day of the year bar none. However, whilst well-intentioned, it does seem a little sad that the day seems to be used as an excuse to splash out and make that little extra effort. Surely you shouldn’t need an excuse to spoil that special someone?


Anyway, whether you want to sprinkle rose petals for Valentine’s Day, or regard the 14th February as just another day in the calendar to say ‘I love you’ to your partner, below are some great ideas of how you can woo your significant other.

Cook Their Favourite Meal

Anyone can reserve a table for two at a plush restaurant and have their favourite meal brought out to them, but it takes skill and precision to be able to cook your very own feast. Chefs will say that the very best food is cooked from the heart and that’s exactly what you do when preparing your partner’s favourite meal.

Whether it’s a traditional Sunday roast, a simple pasta meal or a steak dinner, home cooked meals almost always taste better, and certainly more appreciated. Set the table, get out the fine cutlery and treat your partner right – after all, the best way to the heart is through the stomach!


Fine Wine

Along with that slap up meal you have prepared, you are going to need a bottle of something delectable to wash it down with. The art of serving wine is knowing how best to store it – some bottles are better lightly chilled while some are best served at room temperature.
For serious wine connoisseurs, a wine rack in the kitchen or cupboard makes for a welcome addition to the home. This way you can stock up on fine wine from across the world, ensuring that you have the perfect bottle for any occasion. Check this site out for more information on the types of wine racks that you can find.

Setting the Mood

If you are planning a romantic evening in with your partner for Valentine’s Day, or just because, then you have to set the mood beforehand. Ensure that love is in the air with scented candles, romantic background music and dimmed down lighting. What would be even better is if you have the option of lighting a fire to provide that truly passionate feel.

When the mood is just right, love can blossom regardless of whether you are in the early or later stages of romance. It will be a night that neither of you will forget in a hurry.

Speak From the Heart

This isn’t for everyone, but if you really want to allow your romantic side to run loose then open up your heart and write down whatever it says. A love letter or poem may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but to the right person it can be regarded as the best present that one can ever hope to receive due to the thought that has been put into it.

If penning your feelings doesn’t sit quite right with you, then say them out loud. Look into your partner’s eyes and tell them exactly how you feel and why you are lucky to be with them. Communication is the cornerstone of every solid relationship and, sometimes, we can all be guilty of not telling that special someone what they mean to us enough.

Whether you make use of any of these ideas for Valentine’s Day, or any other occasions, you will undoubtedly make someone feel pretty special by whisking them off their feet.

*collaborative post

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

At This Moment #8 | Lifestyle


WATCHING

I'm currently watching Season 2 of Frontier, which features my bae Jason Momoa. Here's the trailer. Season 2 is a bit slow so far and doesn't have much J-Mo in it but hopefully it'll pick up soon.



READING

I'm not really reading any more as bipolar makes it REALLY hard for me to focus. I'm either too sluggish or too hyper. I'm skim-reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay at the moment but it's a bit hippie-dippy for my current frame of mind. One day I hope to be able to immerse myself in books again, especially as at some point I'd like to get back into education.

MAKING

Right now I'm making my hair fall out from stress and poor diet. My bipolar tablets interact with my anxiety meds and make me throw up nearly every time I clean my teeth, which sucks. They also make me feel really nauseous at all other times, affecting my appetite. On top of that I'm on such a low income I can't feed myself properly, so I'm probably malnourished, hence the hair loss.

STARTING

To take a daily walk, no matter how exhausted I am.

FINISHING

I've finished taking my anxiety meds. As mentioned above, I'm nauseous on them all the time. I'd rather be anxious and not feel ill than take them and want to vomit all day.

ENJOYING

Naps! I love to nap. The nap is the world's greatest invention.

LISTENING
(This section used to be TEXTING but music is far more interesting than texting).

I'm really digging this Naughty Boy ft. Beyonce song at the moment. Although the lyrics are intended romantically, these really get me in the feels right now:

Ain't runnin' from myself no more
I'm ready to face it all
If I lose myself, I lose it all


A reminder I have to face this current time head on and I have to prioritise me.



LOVING

Hmmm.......am I loving anything right now? Think positively, woman! I'm loving the support my family and my good friends are giving me through this time.

HATING

Hate is a strong emotion. I don't think I hate anything. I wouldn't choose to go through what I'm going through, but I hope it's going to make me as tough as a uterus. I would say tough as balls but a uterus is way tougher!

I think the worst thing about my situation at present is the exhaustion. Fibromyalgia is painful and pain is tiring. ME is tiring. Bipolar is tiring and the meds they put you on are tiring. I'm a sloth, ha! I live for my daily nap. I hope things get better when spring arrives and my Seasonal Affective Disorder fades a bit.

You can read previous posts here.
One Two Three
Four Five Six Seven

Let me know what you're watching in the comments - especially if there's something good I should be checking out on Netflix!

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Life Lately January

Hello lovebugs!


I haven't blogged properly in a month or so and I just wanted to check in with everyone to see how you are and let you know how I'm doing. I hope you all had a great Christmas and new year. Mine was quiet and I was surrounded by family, which was lovely.

You may have noticed I'm posting a few sponsored posts here and there. I'm on a really low income now so every little helps. Please bear with me.

Fashion blogging is REALLY hard now. I don't have the money to buy new clothes and I don't really have a set up to photograph the older clothes I have either. In case I haven't mentioned it already, I'm living with my aunt and she's having a lot of work done around the house so I can't take photos inside. I do have a camera and tripod I could use for outdoor photos, but I''m wearing the same 10 dresses over and over again most of the time.

There's another reason I'm not blogging my outfits too and that's because I'm really, really depressed at the moment. I can't remember the last time I was this down. I don't think my bipolar meds are right just yet but it's also my circumstances affecting me too. Things are really not good for me right now in so many ways. I've been ill constantly for the last 5-6 weeks or so. I've had the Aussie flu, a sickness bug, a cold and a 5-6 week long chest infection. I'm in a spot financially. My housing situation isn't solid - I don't know how long I can stay with my aunt and I have to have lived in Kent for 2 years before I can go on the council housing list. Not to put too fine a point on it, I'm quite fucked. 😝 I'm trying to deal with being single, having bipolar, grieving for the life I once had, and dealing with the one I have now. I'm sorry if this is quite a downer of a read. I'm doing my best to get through every day with a smile on my face.

I don't know where I'm going with the blog. I really need to find my feet. It may turn into a bit of a mental illness blog and a 'this is what I did' blog rather than a 'this is what I wore' blog. I hope you'll stay with me, but I understand if not. I'm a very different blogger and person to who I was 4 months ago. I'm sending massive hugs to anyone out there struggling for any reason.

Take care and tell me what's making you smile lately in the comments.

Thanks for reading.
Lots of love,
Leah xoxo

5 ways to take down the January blues*

5-ways-to-take-down-the-january-blues

After the bright lights, festivities and celebrations of Christmas, January always seems a little…well, flat. Grey, miserable weather, dark nights without the welcoming twinkle of Christmas lights to cheer them up, everyone trying going vegan and doing Dry January. It just feels like brighter days are too far ahead to be within reach. But there some positive hacks that you can make to your month to take the sting out of January. Such as…


Build an Adult Pillow Fort


Why should kids get all the fun? Adults deserve to get their cosy on too, and it may sound silly, but building a pillow fort could be just what’s needed. Gather up all the duvets, blankets and spare pillows you can and make a nest on the sofa. Grab your iPad, load up Netflix, make yourself a deluxe hot chocolate and slide into your personal hideaway. Shut the winter world out, if only for a morning.


Plan a Trip


There’s a reason holiday bookings skyrocket at this time of year! If you’re considering going away during 2018, do some research and make sure you’re lined up for all the best deals. It doesn’t have to be a week in the sun either. Just planning a road trip with your friends to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit, but have never gotten around to, or scouring Groupon for deals on weekends away, can give you something to look forward to.


Streamline Your Life


New year, new start is deeply ingrained in us, so it’s the perfect time of year to spend some time decluttering your space. More and more of us are getting interested in things like Project 333 and minimalism, so why not commit one month to experimenting with a more minimal lifestyle and see if it suits you? Letting go of possessions can see scary at first, but the feeling of travelling light through life is really liberating, and you may find it gets addictive.


Book a Pick Me Up Treat


Often it’s the little things in life that can give us a boost. If you love books, why not treat yourself to a trip to Waterstone’s, have a coffee and pick out a new read to get lost in? If you like pampering, book in for a facial or an OPI GelColor manicure for a shot of colour in your life? The small details can give a list to this greyest and dreariest of months and perk us up every time we look at them.


Write A Letter


Most of us very rarely get anything much exciting through the post these days, but you can’t beat the handwritten touch of a personal letter? Why not pick someone in your life to write to? The act of doing it will give you a glow, especially if it's an elderly relative that’s not online. You may even receive one back. You don’t even have to have a recipient. Try writing a letter to your future self with your hopes and plans for the year ahead, or a message letting go of something negative you’ve experienced. The power of the written word can be so cathartic.



*collaborative post




What are your tips for beating the January blues?
Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

How to rock your boyfriend's clothes *SP


Who’d have thought a boyfriend could be so useful? Holding the clothes they leave behind at yours hostage is a great way to acquire a cosy, comfortable and completely versatile new wardrobe. It’s a great collection to have to add the finishing touches to any outfit - and if you have no boyfriend? No problem, you can have a meander in the men’s section of stores like H&M and Top Man in search of the perfect oversized sweater.

Keep reading to find out how to make the most of men’s wear this season.

Boyfriend jeans

Why spend money on the official women’s boyfriend jeans when you can nab a pair of your other half’s. Over the past year, the baggy and comfortable style of boyfriend jeans has grown in popularity. If they’re a little too large around the waist, pair with a super cute belt and voila! If you’re going for an extra-slouchy cut, pair with feminine tailoring and high fashion accessories for the best combination.

White button down

Every woman needs a white button down in her life, like yesterday. You know those crisp white shirts that are big enough to fit a man but fancy enough to flatter a woman. Based on the clothes and accessories that you pair it with, you can make one perfect for any occasion. Just tuck the front into a pair of black jeans or even those boyfriend jeans mentioned above with a pair of trainers for a laid-back look or a pair of wedges for a more sophisticated look.

Baggy tees

Baggy t-shirts are by far the most versatile piece of clothing out there, and I bet your boyfriend has plenty. You can wear them with pretty much any type of trousers, and an added bonus is that a baggy tee will make your pins look amazing. If the shirt is long enough, you can forget about the trousers all together and wear it as a dress. The most obvious footwear would be converses or trainers but if you’re feeling really bold, pair with a pretty pair of sandals. Who needs a LBD when you have your boyfriends tee.

Accessories

We spend an extreme amount of money on our accessories, but have you ever looked through your boyfriend’s accessory collection? It could save you huge amounts and they have some really stylish options now, I especially love the men’s leather bracelet stackable look. Pair with a boohoo style white floaty top, leggings and sandals for a wild and free iconic image. Play around with colours and textures and mix and match for the ultimate fashion statement.


Layer layer layer

Layering multiple items of clothing is a great trend we can steal from guys; it’s a wonderful technique and in the winter months keeps you that little bit warmer. Classic oversized shirts worn unbuttoned over a vest or t-shirt is a great casual and laid back look or try a baggy sweater over an oversized shirt and leave it untucked for a real chic look. For evening wear, try a short dress under his cool bomber jacket for a smooth and comfortable look.

Sports jerseys

The cool American style sports jerseys are no longer just for the lads. Paired with some black skinny jeans and converses they are a staple part of the ultimate chic look. If you’re feeling really daring, pinch his baseball cap as well and put on backwards over cute girly hair to totally rock that look.

Bottom line is, borrowing your boyfriend’s clothes is a great way to add personality and style to your outfits and as mentioned before, if you don’t have a boyfriend, no problem! Get shopping in the men’s department, not only are the clothes cheaper than women’s, more often than not they are also better quality!

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

*sponsored post