Another cup of Anxietea

Lovelies! I sincerely hope you have your beverage of choice at hand; a cup of tea, maybe an Earl Grey or perhaps a hot chocolate with marshmallows as it’s now beginning to feel cosy and autumnal.

Now whenever I take any kind of break from blogging, even if it’s just for a week I tend to apologise profusely and will sit at home wondering why I didn’t post that week… However today is a day close to a lot of our hearts (especially at the moment), World Mental Health Day. The truth is m’dears lately my absence has been due to my fluctuating mental health and I’m not embarrassed to say it; I’ve always tried to do my best not to bring the dreaded C word into the sanctuary that is my website but I think it’s absolutely fair to say that there’s a lot going on in people’s lives right now brought on by this, including my own.

Back in 2018, when my mental health truly began to affect my life “It’s ok, not to be ok” were words that I felt I needed to hear on a daily basis. Having someone to hold my hand and look me in the eye (whenever I could muster the strength to give someone eye contact, that is) tell me that it’s absolutely ok to feel the way I do and to know my feelings were valid, this may seem so simple to do and say these things and it is! When your mind feels like mush and is constantly going through so much turmoil, I can say hand on heart that it’s the littlest things that can honestly have the biggest impact on someone who is deeply struggling.

But no matter what you might be battling through, you never have to apologise and especially right now, in this moment. It’s ok.

Carrie Fisher (someone I’ve idolised for a very long time) never once shied away from the fact she suffered with mental health issues, she wore it proudly like a t-shirt and I always found this immensely courageous. It made me feel like I have never have to be ashamed or apologise, that I have struggles now and have had major struggles in the past. When you go through something that affects your mental health the way it does it’s truly life changing and it will always be a part of your story.

I had to learn and accept that my anxiety does not define who I am and allow it to be a part of the person I wanted to become, but to try and not give it the opportunity to take over my life anymore.

For me, reading Carrie Fisher’s extraordinary book Wishful Drinking was one of the most cathartic experiences I’d ever had reading an autobiography, when I’d initially read it back in 2015 it hadn’t really hit me that for most of my life I’d already been face to face with a series of mental health issues. But when things eventually came to a head for me a few years later I was brought back to that book and her immense words. In some of my darkest days, if I wasn’t brave enough to speak out to anyone I knew I could pop into that book and talk to Carrie. She was there. To quote one of her many immortal lines she tells us, “In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls”, yes Carrie it does! I eventually got to tell her just before she passed exactly what this book means to me and how her words made such an impression; that even the thought of not getting out of bed or showering was ok, because at some point in this journey I would get through what I’m going through and it would be ok.

Darling people, if you know someone who is struggling please just be your lovely caring self and offer your support. Don’t think too hard about what to say to them; if you have no idea what to say and I understand it’s difficult being on this side of things too just message them and offer to talk, or even call them and please respect their boundaries. If it’s yourself that’s struggling and you’re reading this, I know that it’s extremely hard to reach out initially about how your feeling and it can all feel like a bit of a blur or an outer body experience, but please reach out to someone around you or contact your GP for a chat.

You are loved.

My messages are always wide open, I’m here to talk and I’m with you. It’s going to be ok.

Grey Hair, Don’t Care!

Hello lovelies!

I truly hope you’re all making the most of being home more, but whatever your situation I sincerely hope you’re all happy, healthy and staying creative!

But whilst we’re all sat here growing our hair out and doing our best not to reach for the kitchen scissors, I wanted to discuss what I feel is my biggest accessory!

Mainly because it makes me look like I’m a Lego Mini Figure.

Now I make it no secret that I’m only going grey, not only that but I never hid the fact that I’ve been going grey since the age of 21. Fair to say I’ve always been punctual!

I also make it no secret that I dye my hair and that I dye it my natural hair colour (there is a point to this, honest!) A lot of this has been purely for work purposes, as unfortunately with a lot of what I do it’s always been easier if my appearance looks consistently the same. So to keep it one slick overall colour has always seemed the easiest thing to do!

But let’s be honest now, during this lock down I have not once felt the urge to reach for the box dye (yes, I’m a box dye type-a-gal haha) and cover up my grey roots, instead (like many others) I’m letting it do its thing and I’m embracing it.

I’m now 31; and it is a known fact among my family that I am indeed greyer than my own dad (no shade)! You see back when I was 21 and I discovered not just my first grey hair but a cluster of them (clearly one didn’t want to be the first to the party so decided to bring friends), this was immensely difficult to cope with. Especially being around the time I was graduating university and I had this horrid feeling that I was aging quicker than everyone around me!

This was always made ten times more difficult when someone would point out “Oh my god, do you realise I can see 10 grey hairs just from where I’m standing!” Cue me, (insert sarcasm here) Geez thanks for that, nope I clearly had no idea… Now I hear you lovelies, you’re probably thinking along something of the lines of “kids can be so mean, can’t they?” However this was actually said by people that in theory were considered adults and yes adults can also be incredibly mean.

Needless to say Mr Lee, my wonderful partner has always been incredibly supportive and truly loves me for the person I am and feels I can rock anything… Unless I suddenly decide to grow out my fringe, then he’s told me something’s would be extremely wrong and I would require an intervention, haha! As he knows this is something I will never ever do! The bangs stay.

But truthfully it’s the confidence that I; myself have built up over the last few years that have allowed me to be fully comfortable with this change.

Over time I have come to love and embrace what I’ve been given, which is very thick, healthy hair… It just happens to be going grey! I’m going to be honest, I know this process for some might be incredibly stressful and you may be struggling with your confidence and if dying your hair makes feel confident and it brings back a sense of normality, then you do you hun!

I just count myself considerably lucky that I have hair and if going grey is all I have to worry about… Then bring it on!

I’m not saying I’ll never dye my hair again, haha! For certain scenarios there’ll no doubt come a time where I’ll have to cover my silver strands, but right now for the purposes of a cheeky selfie for the Instagram or a zoom chat with the besties I’m going with the “I am who I am” look… Oh, I feel a song coming on! I should quit while I’m ahead.

I digress! What I saying is, whenever the day arrives and I do go the whole hog; you’ll find me rocking my chic bob as per, applying my favourite red lipstick, styling with my retro eye-wear I’ll be good to go.

Just call me Dame Judi or Dame Helen… But minus the Dame part!  

(Side note: Please remember my lovelies, if you do decide on a radical change and happen to reach for the bread knife at this time, if your hair meets the requirements consider donating your locks!)

Bisous!

Feig-ing Fabulous

Paul Feig – director, creator, fashion icon and one of my favourite people!

Now my lovelies you know his movies: Spy, Last Christmas, Bridesmaids (just to name a few) and if you’re like me you’ll also know the fantastic TV series Freaks and Geeks! But what many of you may not know is how much of a style icon this gentleman is and how his style has influenced the fashions of his own movies.

He is (in my opinion) one of the best dressed people I have ever had the pleasure to come across, he even collaborated with J. Crew on a range of stylish suit accessories and recently has been entertaining us worldwide with a series he calls “quarantine cocktail time” a quaren-tini, if you will, on Instagram live. Every night (without fail) he has a little cocktail party in his home, joined by his delightful wife Laurie for a jaunt around their kitchen as they chat, make a cocktail and have a boogie.

Honestly it’s become one of the major highlights of my day!

But I digress, this post (that I’ve been desperate to write for AGES!) is to have a chinwag about the fashion from two of my favourite movies by Mr. Feig Ghostbusters and A Simple Favour.

More specifically I really want to talk about the everyday fashions of the characters; Erin (Kristen Wiig) with a smidge of Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) from A Simple Favour.

Please remember hun’s for these posts I don’t buy anything new in order to put these ensembles together and I’m not trying to cosplay either, I’m definitely not talented enough for that (my sewing skills are minimal to say the least)! This is simply me playing dress up with my own wardrobe, talking about characters whose fashion I resonate with or have clearly been inspired by… albeit subconsciously. Yes, safe to say I see some similarities and a penchant for tweed.

With Ghostbusters what really caught my eye was (everything because I bloody adore it) their use of patterns, textures and layering used for Erin’s Columbia University outfits and Holtzmann’s ensembles. Brilliantly designed by Jeffrey Kurland he created clear, distinct characters and made fashion such a statement in the movie and that’s even without mentioning how amazing the Ghostbuster’s flight suits are (swoon)… And yes, I do have one in case you were wondering.

Then we come to genius that is Renee Enrlich Kalfus! Oh my life, the use of fashion in A Simple Favour is in a word delicious and so cleverly put together! The costume choices made for Anna Kendrick’s character (Stephanie Smothers) in particular show how her character develops through the movie as the plot unfolds; don’t worry there be no spoilers here! But honestly it is genius the impact the costumes have on this movie and it had a profound effect on me!

However looking at my wardrobe, it definitely doesn’t reflect the high-fashion-Ralph-Lauren-suited-and-booted Blake Lively. A girl can dream, alas I know my destiny is to live the life of an animal sock wearing blogger; that would do anything for that Alice + Olivia pom-pom sweater. Isn’t it just delightful?

Paul Feig’s own fashion styling he’s mentioned was inspired by people such as Cary Grant and the golden age of Hollywood. His own sense of style then became the vision for Blake Lively’s character and Mr Feig, I salute you!

This is a just a small appreciation post dedicated to Paul Feig and the wondrous designers and creatives he surrounds himself with, to help create something I feel is truly special. Ahem.. A Simple Favour is available to watch on Netflix lovelies and I encourage you all to watch it, that’s if you haven’t already m’dears. Bisous!

Photography credits: Ghostbusters wiki, Slash film & IMDB

A Momentous Occasion

Happy Sunday lovelies- now hold on to your cup of tea, this post is going to be a mushy one.

Today I’m sending love and appreciation to all the mum’s, mam’s, mummy’s, mama’s, step-mum’s, grandma’s, granny’s, nan’s and nana’s out there.

To the mother’s that we are still lucky to have here with us and those that are sadly not with us anymore, you are constantly in our thoughts.

The ladies that are celebrating their first mother’s day and the ladies who are about to join motherhood!

Not forgetting all the wonderful dads out there who are also mum.

While we should celebrate these beautiful people every day, this day in particular is dedicated to you.

My mumsy is a truly magnificent person. She’s one of those who will not stand to see anyone stuck and has a duty of care towards everyone she meets; honestly her willingness to go above and beyond for people knows no bounds!

I think it’s fair to say that she’s been there for me through times where I’ve been at my lowest, even miles apart she’s helped me get through countless panic attacks just by being on the phone (she even sent me the loveliest care package, paper bags with inspirational messages written on them!) Through teenage bullying, job losses, rejection, anxiety, going to university, moving out of my family home, feeling like a failure and a whole lot more rejection! She’s been my rock through it all and I honestly cannot thank her enough for putting up with me (aka this theatrical, dramatic emotional mess).

But through all of the hardships, we’ve also had some pretty amazing successes! One of my favourites would be seeing Fleetwood Mac together (I know, right?) This dream finally came true in 2013 and singing Don’t Stop hand in hand with my mama I will cherish for years (upon years) to come. Then last year I experienced not only my first cruise but we had our first mother/daughter holiday exploring Scandinavia, ticking a few things off my imaginary list of things I’ve been desperate to do! We got to be ladies who lunch for an entire week and I absolutely loved it (can we start planning the next one yet?)

I know I’m waffling right now, but I have so much to thank her for (and if she’s reading this, I’m going to assume she’s already started welling up by now… Sorry!)

Even now, in my thirties, my mum has never once doubted my ability to follow my dreams no matter how wild and ‘out there’ they seem. She has always allowed me the freedom to express myself and to be a creative free spirit, which is why I sing at the top of my lungs, dance my heart out and wear exactly what I want to. She’s always championed me for being unique and different.

I owe her so much.

M’dears If you can’t be with the ones you love right now, whether it’s due to forces out of your control or (like my mum) unfortunately don’t live around the corner, if you haven’t already send a card, text, call, facetime, skype, even carrier pigeon! But if you miss somewhere dearly and they’re not with us anymore, you can always tell me what you’re what’s on your mind today and what you miss most about them- I’ll be more than happy to listen.

But please, tell them how grateful you are that they’re/were in your lives and that you love them.

Happy Mother’s Day x

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”.