Wardrobe Woes

Well my friends it’s that time of the month. Oh my goodness, no! Not that!

…That was a stellar introduction to 2020 on my blog wasn’t it? Ta-dar! You’re welcome!

The time of the month I’m referring to being “it’s January – time to have that break up chat with your clothes again”.

Basically around this time of the year, every year (without fail) I have my annual ‘try it and style it’ routine; taking my entire wardrobe and trying literally everything on. Now I don’t ever go in with the notion that I have to get rid of something, it just always works out that way! My main rule (that I try and stick to as much as possible) is – that if I’ve not worn an item of clothing in the last year then there’s no doubt that it has to go, again it’s not attempting to get rid of stuff, but if I’ve not worn it a year am I going to wear it in the next? Probably not! (Hence the “sorry we have to break up” part)  

Doing this allows me to rediscover my love for items of clothing I might have forgotten about, or maybe my body had decided it was going to grow out of it for a time and now miraculously it fits again!

We’ve all been there haven’t we? Just me then…

Now I know I may sound like a neat freak by saying this (and that’s because I am, and proud!) But I actually love having a wardrobe clear out! Although it can be a lengthy process; in helping to make way for space in my wardrobe it also makes way for space in my mind. I find it extremely therapeutic and calming; I’ve always felt that way about cleaning and tidying though. How about you lovelies? Am I alone on that one too?

If you’re wondering by the way I filled two shopping bags! A good mixture of blouses, dresses and even a ballet skirt (yes, you read right). These I will split between the charity shops in my area and (an attempt to) sell some pieces and I’ve never tried selling my garments before, so this for sure will be an interesting experiment.  

But being among chums I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been noticing my anxiety has been on a downward spiral over the last few months, slowly beginning to channel depression-like symptoms. However last month I decided enough was enough and I made the decision to go back to therapy. It’s making a massive difference and I can already tell the leaps taking to get myself back to where I should be; which is good that I can notice that. Normally I’d be so quick to judge myself, doubts would instantly set in and I’d feel completely hopeless. So channeling my negative energy into activities such as this I find really help and also helps my creative soul when putting new ensembles together.

My anxiety will always be a part of me, I may as well style it out the best that I can!

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Catch-up & A Coffee, with a side of NYC

Hello lovelies!

I’m so glad to be back (for good this time, like Take That…) Now do make sure you’re comfy and have just made a cup of tea, coffee, hot chocolate (go on, treat yourself)!

So we met again dearies! We’ve been here many times before haven’t we? Now normally I would go on a tangent (a long winded one, I might add) apologising for my absence. However, if any of you have seen my Instagram page/stories from the past month you’ll probably have a good idea why I’ve been a bit M.I.A. But those darlings that don’t know please let me share with you my wonderful news!

On our recent getaway to our favourite place in the entire world New York City, on a visit to the quaint and quirky Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, my wonderful partner Lee got down on one knee and proposed. Of course I said YES! It was absolutely beautiful; he picked the perfect spot that most definitely encapsulates us as a couple; somewhere that we’ll both share forever and we couldn’t be happier.

As you can fully imagine, I’ve been in a whirlwind ever since! I get to be a bride! (cue constant daydreaming…)

Before I get completely carried away and begin hyperventilating from all the excitement, I’m going to delve into our New York trip a little more over my next few blogs. Honestly I have so much to tell you all!

But for today I just wanted to have a little general catch-up with you.

So it’ll be my birthday in a week’s time and I’ll be 31. It may (or may not) surprise you but It’s not really something I’ve thought much about this year. I suppose it’s just one of those times where I’m kind of embracing it with open arms and seeing what happens in the year to come. Last year brought me face to face with a lot of realisations about myself, who I was and just how strong I’m capable of being (although I hadn’t realised most of this until early this year). I’m so different today from the person I was 6 months ago, I’m now a lot more aware of how certain things affect my mental state and can assess situations I find uncomfortable much more quickly and I’ve learnt how to deal with them much more effectively. But yet I’m still realising that a lot of the time I need to be my own cheerleader. This I’ve always found incredibly difficult and it’s always something I’ve known I need to work on. I just suck at it basically. I’m not one to champion myself and constantly wait for the approval of others, whenever I received feedback from tutors at university I got this note every single time and it’s one of the notes they gave me that they’re actually right about.

I’ve been trying not to bog myself down too much about it and luckily thanks to a visit to see my fantastical mum, many chats with my partner and the lovely Daffny (A Vintage Nerd), who reached out to me. I’ve since realised I’m not being stupid in the slightest and basically come to the conclusion that I need to give myself a bit more self-love.

Sounds simple when you put it like that, doesn’t it?

Although in the midst of all of this, I did have something truly wonderful happen the other week!

I was attending a drag competition a friend of mine was been competing in (their name is Anna Toni; they did absolutely incredible and made everyone including myself very proud). But before the competition began I was waiting at the cloakroom (this story has a point, bear with me) and as I hand in my coat I strike up a conversation with one of the lovelies behind the counter. They ask me if I’ve ever made youtube videos, in which I tell them that it was a while ago now but yes I used too but in a rash decision deleted all my content due to anxiety last year and refused to put myself on camera since. Turns out they knew exactly who I was and actually watched my videos (WHAT!) To that dear person, I just want to say the biggest thank you! You still have no idea quite how much your kindness made my day.

Since that moment, I have been thinking about the prospect of vlogging again… Maybe not everything, but certain events or conventions… Hmm maybe, even if it’s just for myself!

But do tell me, how are you all? What’s been happening in your lives lately?

If you’ve been having a bit of a rough week, please remember “be enough for yourself first, the rest of the world can wait”.

I Idoliza You!

Earlier this month I was completely overwhelmed with happiness (understatement of the century) when I got to see one of my idols the Barbra Streisand live in Hyde Park. Oh my lovelies, to be able to stand there hand in hand with my mum (aka the most important lady in my life) and watch (through all the tears) this goddess whom we have both looked up to for many years; it was quite simply a dream come true (as I’m sure it was for many of the others we were stood with!) It got me thinking about how important it is to have someone to look up to.

Personally for me, an idol is someone whom I look up to because of their talent, career, charisma and all-round presence.

Four people who I feel encompass all of these traits are (as mentioned) Babs, Lucille Ball, Liza Minnelli and of course, my mum. They’re ladies I’ve always known and can’t imagine my life without them. They influence a lot of what I do, how I dress and how I present myself to the world on a day to day basis (ask any of my friends or former colleagues… On second thought don’t!)

My mum is an incredibly strong-willed woman who continues to empower me every day and teaches me to never settle for less. She’s always taught me to be persistent, and even though the road to success maybe a bumpy one has never once deterred me from what I wanted to achieve in my life. I’ll always be eternally thankful for her and for introducing me to the other amazing ladies I look up too.

Liza has been an idol of mine for as long as I can remember. I fell in love with her performances in Stepping Out, Cabaret and Arthur (not to mention her collaborations with choreographer Bob Fosse) and knew I wanted to perform just like her; the energy and facial expressions she possessed had me hooked from day 1. She’s an utter powerhouse, but yet when she’s vulnerable it’s beautiful to watch. What makes my admiration for her even more worthwhile is when I was working last month, an absolute sweetie made a comment that I resembled like her without even knowing I was a fan. If only I had her voice and could move like her, that is! Is there anyone you’ve been told you look like and do you find it strange, or like me the biggest compliment!? What I’ve always loved about Liza is that she still adores her mother and the legacy she build, but Liza well and truly carved out her own legendary career! Believe me; watch her episode of Inside the actors studio with James Lipton and try your hardest not to fall in love with her infectious personality! (See my dedication to the woman below in an impromptu makeover I did yesterday…)

One thing all my idols have in common is: comedy.

If you’ve met me, you may think I’m a little quirky, off-beat and most definitely kooky (these traits I definitely got from my dear mama!) So I suppose it’s no surprise that I relate heavily to all of the quirkiness these ladies flourish with. Like Liza, Barbra and Lucille are comediennes in their own right and I live for comedy! If you’ve never watched an episode of I Love Lucy before, might I recommend Lucy does a TV commercial or watch Barbra in Funny Girl and I defy you not to not belly laugh at some point! I find that even when the TV is on mute their facial expressions alone can leave you in fits of giggles. But did you know that if it weren’t for Lucille Ball you wouldn’t have Star Trek? I know right! In addition to her amazing comedic talent, she was the first woman ever to run a major TV studio! I mean, I don’t know about you but I certainly find that inspiring (even where we are in 2019). Moving swiftly back on the topic of Babs! Now she can make me howl with laughter one minute, make me sob with her effortless voice the next and still have plenty of talent to spare directing, producing and starring in two of her movies (one of which is my mum’s absolute favourite!)

What I’m trying to say through all of the ramble is – these fantastical ladies push me to do better. They’ve gone through personal battles over time and chose to come out on top and I know that if they can do it- so can I. I love my idols and they’ll always remain a massive part of my life. Even if some are in the entertainment industry or unfortunately not with us anymore and will never know that I exist, I’ve found that they can still support me just as much as I support them.

Chinwag time! Who are your idol(s) and why do they inspire you??

I’m nerdy & I Know it!

Afternoon darlings!

Now something I’ve not really gone into detail about on this blog (yet) is that I’m a MASSIVE nerd (and very comfortable with being called such) and right now one of the greatest annual events known to humanity is currently taking place, San Diego Comic Con (SDCC for short). I do realise that by just simply stating I’m a nerd that it can sound quite generic, as I geek out about many things! Fashion, musical theatre, movie scores and Liza Minnelli – just to pick out a random few! However, my love for comic book/sci-fi/fantasy nerd culture is something that’s been deeply rooted in my soul for as long as I can remember. Watching classic Wonder Woman with the iconic Lynda Carter and discovering my love of Patrick Stewart as none other than Jean Luc Picard with my mum, my utter obsession with The Goonies and Beetlejuice (both of which are still going strong by the way, thank you for asking) and as I got into my teenage years I fell head over heels in love with The Lord of the Rings.

(Not to mention everything else, this is merely the cusp of my geekiness!)

But I know what you’re thinking “Quinn, are you feeling ok hun? You seem to have left Star Wars off the list” Heck no! It’s common knowledge that I bloomin’ adore Star Wars.

As always I digress! As I was growing into an image conscious teen, I don’t know about you but I began to notice the lack of clothing options available especially if you were like me and knew you were different. At this time (as you may recall me mentioning) I was an alternative teenager with a penchant for Tim Burton inspired stripes and a severe lack of colour within my wardrobe. I had to make do with jeans (with the widest legs I could find) from Tammy Girl and an array of HMV t-shirts that were extremely ill-fitting and although unisex definitely weren’t meant for shapely hips like mine (do remember that in the year 2000 there was no Primark m’dears!) In my hometown the only other option was a shop called Kinda Majik, and no there’s no spelling mistake. This was your goth/alternative store, and I frequented here as again there was not much else available. A case of needs must!  

Fast forward to now, 2019 and nerd girl clothing is much more than just a galaxy far, far away! Most importantly we have brands such as Her Universe and Loungefly. These brands truly understand what it means to be a nerd, a geek and a fangirl (if you will)! You can be all of these things and do it in style; it’s exactly why the amazing lady behind Her Universe developed the brand in the first place. Ashley Eckstein is a wonderful actress both on screen and in the voice-over booth. Every year she holds the Her Universe fashion show at San Diego Comic Con unveiling new geek couture and uniting those that want to transfer their love of nerd culture and put it in their everyday wardrobe.

Like Her Universe, Loungefly is nerd chic through and through! However they specialise in accessories. I first discovered this brand in early 2015 (instantly fell in love, obviously) but soon learned I could only buy their items if I ventured to the US, which lucky for me I did and made my first purchase without hesitation! They basically had me at “Star Wars purse”. Their bags and purses are now available everywhere from Disneyland Paris and the Disney Store, and websites such as Zavvi and Truffle Shuffle. Her Universe has yet to make the bigger transition to the UK and believe me; I’m waiting for the day with my star wars purse in hand.

Its brands like these that can make you feel empowered and truly represented, because I believe how your able to freely express yourself is important. Although I identified as Goth and wore that very much on my sleeve… and the rest of my body for that matter, underneath that veneer was my true self bursting at the seams. I chose hide that part and lock it away in my teenage bedroom, where it was safe. Yet that’s the part of me that has always remained a constant, as the Goth exterior surely enough faded away as soon as I left high school and entered college. I suppose I hid that huge part of myself away to not give kids another hundred reasons to bully and tease me; especially when those ‘things’ meant so much to me and helped me to escape. Although teasing me for whom I was and things I couldn’t change hurt, weirdly I knew teasing me for what I had utter love and admiration for would hurt so much more.

Now I wear my favourite movie properties and cartoons as a fashion statement and a symbol of just how proud I am to be a nerd.

Chinwag time! Are you a little bit geeky about something? If so, let’s have a geek out together!   

Cruise Diary 2: Copen-hurrah-gen!

I’m head over heels in love with Copenhagen and I think it’s serious.

It may sound completely and utterly absurd, but having only stepped off the ship for a mere 10 minutes I already had the strange feeling I’d be heading back to Copenhagen again in the future. This may also have had something to do with the fact that this would have been the first time we’d have set foot on land in almost 72 hours. If you’re thinking “wait, you did tell us why this was but I honestly can’t remember” – then let me catch you up m’dears! We were scheduled to head to Brugge as our first port and due to a storm called Hannah (apologies to any Hannah’s out there reading this, it’s nothing personal) this would not be possible. We thus had to spend a day extra at sea and our first port of the trip would be Copenhagen. TA-DAR! 

But let me reiterate, Copenhagen is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever set my eyes upon and completely different to other cities. Say you like the concept of being in a city and going sightseeing, but maybe you’ve tried somewhere like London and it’s really not your cup of tea. Sometimes it’s the sheer volume of people and I understand that at times it can feel fairly claustrophobic, I completely hear you! If all this rings a bell, then why not give Copenhagen a try instead? Now although it’s a city, believe me nothing makes you feel like you’re wandering around one. My mum likened it very much to Amsterdam, if that comparison helps at all? There’s no real sense of hustle and bustle, the people are incredibly friendly and the food, oh my goodness the food!

If you’re not so keen on trying new foods and want to stay fairly close to home, don’t worry most restaurants (especially on the front in Nyhavn or the city centre) have plenty of options to keep everyone’s tummy’s happy! But if you’re a bit like me and cannot wait to get stuck in for lunch, then you simply must opt for an open-faced sandwich more commonly known as Smørrebrød. You can find so many different toppings for these to try and almost everywhere in Copenhagen serves them! In the end my mum and I decided on beef, horseradish, crispy onions, sun-dried tomato and pickles on rye bread. I know it may sound like a simple combo, but my goodness when you put all the flavours together it tasted like the most incredible comfort food! I could have easily had a second helping if I weren’t so full.

However if I’ve managed to win you over already and you’re now desperate to visit yourself, let me be open and honest about the prices! Do be aware it’s a fairly expensive trip, a touch more expensive than London. To put it into perspective, the Smørrebrød and a coffee came to around £15 per person. But I wouldn’t let this sway you from booking a trip to Copenhagen immediately my lovelies! This is something that didn’t really faze me when visiting; it’s just something to take into account before going.

Now even though we only spent around 12 hours here, I feel like I’m only getting started when telling you all how truly glorious this place is.

You’ve probably seen on countless instagram accounts (or even this blog) the famous multi-coloured houses in Nyhavn and the statue of The Little Mermaid. Basically not discounting these wondrous sights, but everywhere you turn is a photo opportunity and a photo simply does not do these sights justice. There’s so much to see! To try and conquer this we managed to book a canal cruise and I feel this is an absolute must. In doing this you will see sights that otherwise would be quite difficult to see in such a short space of time, the canals are the easiest way to get from point a to point b of the city- without skimping on any of the sights along the way. I also found it absolutely fascinating to learn about their history; honestly I can’t recommend it enough. Tip: if you take the canal cruise in the evening you’ll also see the sun begin to set throughout your journey, which allows you to see the city in (literally) a completely different light!

Another reason why I would have done anything to stay another day in the city (as if I need another reason!) would be for Tivoli Gardens. We sadly only got to experience an hour in this magical, fairy-tale theme park and you must pay it a visit if you ever decide to venture to Copenhagen. It’s a very special place and so much more than a theme park! You can simply purchase an entrance ticket and have a wander, do some shopping, eat some delicious cake at Cakenhagen (and yes. That’s the actual name of the store) and pay separately for the rides, if you wish to do so. Or pay for a ticket that includes the entrance fee plus all the rides! Honestly visiting felt like a step back in time (especially in the evening), when you wander around the gardens, see peacocks walking freely around the park, delicious food stalls, pretty fairy lights cascading the buildings and trees and an abundance of family-friendly rides; you can indeed see where Mr. Walt Disney got his inspiration from for a theme park of his own…

Although nothing quite prepared me for how much I was going to freak out over seeing the home of Hans Christian Andersen. For me personally, this was the core reason for wanting to visit Copenhagen so badly in the first place. Aside from loving the Danny Kaye musical movie (a little too much), I have adored the fairy-tales of his from a very young age. As I can imagine many of you have! (I even freaked out having a photograph taken with his statue in Central Park, New York!) He lived in three different houses in Nyhavn and there are various nods to him all over the city. There’s even a statue of him across from Tivoli Gardens, in which people still leave flowers for him. How beautiful is that? It filled my heart to know that he is very much a presence within the city and that the people are still in love with his stories.     

As you can blatantly see the beauty of Copenhagen has stolen my heart tenfold. In all honestly I could hop on a flight tomorrow and travel back in a heartbeat, with zero regrets! If you want fairy-tale culture combined with awesome food, then my friends this is the city for you!

“F— it, why it?”

Hello my lovelies!!

How about we have a sit down, a cuppa and a chingwag?

Do tell me, how are you all? Apologies for yet another 3 week absence, I swear that these absences feel longer every time! So to catch you all up with life stuff, this last week I’ve been on a wonderful job with some truly lovely people and as much as my intentions were good to come home and write another blog, honestly? I was so tired, that food and bed won me over every time. However, I’m now getting better at not berating myself every time I don’t happen to fulfil a task on my imaginary to-do list (that’s normally down to the floor). I listened to my body and did what I needed to do.

Within the last month it’s safe to say there have been a couple of things that’s definitely put my anxiety to the test. The feeling that certain forces have been put on this Earth purely to test how you’ll cope. For those that are in the process of healing or starting your journey, have you felt that? Well that’s how things have been recently and I don’t want to jinx things, but so far things are in fact ok! If these forces are trying to grab hold of you once more, remember how strong you truly are. Believe me, you are.

If I’m being perfectly honest, yes during this time I’ve had a panic attack. But so far it’s only been the one. Normally I would have seen this as a step backward or a sign of weakness, but weirdly I’m feeling quite the opposite. It happened, I took control of it and although my body was exhausted for a time afterward I didn’t let it get the best of me. Now I cannot lie my friends, this is major progress.

Aside from that minor blip, I’ve been taking steps to get passed some of these testing moments that would have otherwise dragged me down, I like to call these “F—it, why not” moments.

It’s basically trying to be more open and more spontaneous to what’s out there and if you’re having a particularly good day you could be on a roll!  

So starting off small I started doing Yoga in the comfort of my own home! Yes, I know! Me! Yoga!Again, this is just something small but after one session I could already feel a massive change. During my healing process everyone around me recommended I try yoga. However at the time I was completely against it and couldn’t see how it could possibly help. It’s that’s scenario of wanting to and when you’re in a dark place sometimes the last thing you want to do is work out and meditate. It’s one of those rousing “I told you so” moments, yes I can hear you!

Here’s where I’m majorly proud of myself (I never say that I’m proud of myself, but here it comes!) I applied for not one job lately, but four!

Now to some this will probably not seem like a big deal. However rewinding back to January (of this year) the thought of even going online to just have a browse at jobs sent me into an instant panic attack with no warning, one that could have lasted up to an hour and wiped me out for the rest of the day. I had absolutely no confidence in myself or believed I had any sort of skills and basically thought I was useless and simply didn’t even see the point.

This is HUGE deal.

I digress. It’s not just the number of jobs I’ve applied for that matter, but I applied for jobs that aren’t even in this country! Believe me when I say, I would never have given these opportunities a second glance last year, January or even February let alone apply for them! Now I’m well aware that I may never get anywhere with these applications. That’s what is so thrilling about the “F—it, why not” moments, it’s about the process of spurring you on to make you happy to strive for other victories. These victories are personal to you.

If you’ve had a particularly bad day, week or even month remember lovelies I’m always here to talk and you can always drop me a line!

But if you wake up and think “F—it, why not” I’m going to do that (insert awesome achievement here) thing I’ve been thinking about for a while, then do it whilst you feel that way and you’re in the moment and just know I’m very proud of you!

Summer clothes make me feel fine

I’ll be honest lovelies; I really don’t care for summer.

From June until mid-September is a time of year I simply don’t look forward to. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I love the thought of staying out until late and yet it’s still light out, those days someone suggests having a BBQ for dinner (which is always a resounding “UM YES”) and days spent lounging in the park or wondering around central with gelato. But I have this love/hate relationship with the HEAT. Put it this way my dear readers, when I go on holiday my destination of choice is anywhere that’s 25 degrees or less… But when the UK does decide it’s going to get hot (which actually happens believe it or not. I’m staring outside right now and I see the sunshine, it’s there!) I’m always horrifically unprepared. Why am I always unprepared?

This is why. Now I’m going to give you a little insight into my wardrobe situation, (y’know, this is blog number 11 m’dears and we’re all getting to know each other now!) So the scenario is this… my summer clothes are abysmal!

Winter clothes dominate a solid 90% of my wardrobe. Now that’s bad isn’t it?

My “summer clothes” basically conclude of 2 skirts, 2 dresses and a mere few tops… I’ve been well aware for a number of years now that this has to change!

However I’ve been extremely lucky! I managed to win a prize (which never happens) with my absolute favourite online clothing store Joanie Clothing. If you’re listening to me ramble on wondering who on earth Joanie are? I shall explain my loves. Their tag line states “pretty clothes for nostalgic souls” – It’s feminine, chic but also fits my quirky personality. It was a brand I felt suited me perfectly and their clothes are extremely high quality. So you can imagine my excitement to discover I’d practically won a shopping spree, without the arduous task of leaving the house.  

It was here I set myself the challenge of actually buying summer clothes and I can honestly say I had a difficult time pick and choosing, as I naturally gravitate towards the long sleeves and those warm autumnal tones. It’s almost like telling me I’m not allowed to buy anything with polka dots ever again… It’s just not going to happen!

When I have bought summer clothes in the past they tend to be dresses that I can just simply throw on, with no effort needed. However these tend to be unflattering to my body shape and nowhere near reflect who I am or my personal style. What I like to call convenience clothing! These specific items are worn in the house and unfortunately that’s as far as they go. I just don’t feel my best self when wearing these items of clothing in public, no matter how comfortable they are. Do you have any clothes like that my dears? I’ll be honest, I have a fair bit.

But these pieces I’ve listed throughout this blog 100% show to the world exactly who I am and are also super comfortable, which is a huge bonus. What I basically wanted is a wardrobe that excites me to wear it just as my autumn/winter collection does. A wardrobe that looks as though I’ve put hours of effort when in reality all I’ve done is throw on a fabulous dress and my trusty mustard loafers (which I’m obsessed with!)

You can see why I’ve had such trouble putting this all together now, can’t you?!

Tell me your wardrobe woes my lovelies! Do you look forward to getting your summer looks together, or are you like me and try to live in your autumn wardrobe until you just can’t get away with it anymore?   

Here’s to a fabulous looking summer!