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.

I Feel Pretty, Oh Sew Pretty

Lovelies, I’m now the very proud owner of a dress and blouse that I made myself.

As someone who only a few months ago was still suffering with severe anxiety, panic attacks, with symptoms of depression and agoraphobia… I’m sure you realise just how significant this moment is.

Through doing this I honestly feel as though I’ve reached an important milestone in my mental health journey and the healing process. I know that if I’d have attempted this a few years ago or even back in February I would have told myself I was untalented, worthless and I shouldn’t even bother because what’s the point?

It’s a very different story to how I feel right now.

Making clothes is something I’ve always imagined myself doing; my eclectic fashion taste unfortunately doesn’t lend itself to the high street and I find reproduction clothes although gorgeous they can also be extremely expensive! So this was always an option I wanted to explore, but knew I wouldn’t be able to get to this point without looking after my mental health first.

In making my own clothes I’m able to find patterns that not only suit my personal style, but I’ve been lucky enough to find that my nearest vintage store has heaps of beautiful vintage fabric! So at the end of the day, I not only get a garment made to fit my petite yet curvaceous body type (finding clothes to fit exactly can indeed be a challenge, anyone with me?) But in order to achieve this I’m not using newly made fabric in the process; therefore being sustainable and having a truly vintage garment as the result. I mean, can you say win-win?

However instead of using the phrase “I tried to run before I could walk”, I think it’s fair to say I ran the London Marathon before I could even crawl and decided I would make this dress with it only being my third time using a sewing machine! I’m one of those that seems to learn better when doing and if I need to learn a specific stitch I’ll have trusty YouTube tutorials at my side to guide me through. I definitely don’t recommend this for everyone, I’m just extremely stubborn… and as I type that I can hear a distant echo saying “YES SHE IS!” from my loved ones haha.

So I’m trying not to steamboat ahead… Y’know like I did when I started all this, but I have some major plans for the future and where I’d really like to take this skill. Honestly I’d love nothing more than to take my cosplay game to a whole new level, making lavish costumes on the scale you’d see at New York Comic Con. As well as creating an entire wardrobe of reworked and personally made clothes and making me true feel like I’ve walked out of Sterling Cooper (Draper Price)… You know I have to mention Mad Men at least once!

Ok, I’ll freely admit that these garments are far from perfect! Nevertheless I personally think it’s pretty nifty being able to see my whole progress right before my eyes and what I’ve achieved so far. I’m teaching myself a completely new skill and I’m prepared for the fact it’s going to look at little ropey for a while yet!

During these last few months have you happened to pick up a new skill, or did you rediscover a love for an old skill? Or, have you been thinking about it but haven’t tried it on for size yet? Take it from me lovelies, if you’re thinking about learning a new skill, whether it’s sewing or something completely different I feel you should absolutely go for it! It might just be the beginning of something truly special.

Comic-Con with a cuppa tea, you say?

Hello there my lovely chums!

How are we all? Please do let me know, wherever you are how you are all feeling at this time.

Now I know that this year has been an interesting one to say the least and a lot of us are sat here wondering “oh my goodness, whatever next” and although there are places opening for business here in the UK, I’ll be perfectly honest I’m just not prepared to go back to normal yet… Not that I’ve ever known what that was to begin with having dealt with severe anxiety, staying indoors had become my new normal a couple of years ago. But right now, aside from my walks in the park and feeding the squirrels (yes, I’m that person) I genuinely enjoy staying at home; I designed it to be somewhere that I’d want to spend a lot of my time and therefore love it.  

So you can imagine my sheer delight when San Diego Comic Con suddenly announced that they’d be doing a virtual comic con, everything as it would be just online. A place where everyone (no matter where you are in the world) could access all the panels online and the event wouldn’t be ticketed; simply tune into YouTube log onto the Comic-Con international YouTube page and enjoy 4 days of virtual panels!

Amazing, right!?

Now I know what you’re thinking and I hear you! I understand that this doesn’t give you a proper idea of what comic-con is usually like. It’s difficult because you can’t replicate the comic con atmosphere via a screen and there’d be no real buzz from the comic con floor. Sadly there’d be no meeting new people and being able to marvel at each other other’s cosplay’s in person.

But I love comic-con and although we can’t physically be in the room together I still have to applaud the way it was laid out and the variation of panels that were given screen time. For me personally there were many panels dedicated to cartoons and the voice acting community spread across the 4 days, including a wonderful 80th Bugs Bunny Anniversary panel and if you know me you’ll know that I was completely in my element; all of this gave me such joy to be able to participate.

Especially since I’ve never been to San Diego Comic Con and trying to afford a single day ticket (let alone a 4 day ticket), accommodation and flights; it was always highly unlikely I’d ever be attending! But I still count myself immensely lucky to have been given the opportunity to go to New York Comic Con last year. So for my nerdy self over 5000 miles away, to be sat across the pond with a cup of tea and a cinnamon roll to be in with all the comic con feels, it’s a wonderful thought for all of us to feel included.

One of the things I flippin’ adore about comic con season… y’know aside from everything I’ve mentioned so far is having the opportunity to shop for comic con exclusives, including some of my favourite vendors Loungefly and NECA and they definitely came through with some amazing pieces this year… Unfortunately, as always with Loungefly the term ‘you can look but no touchie’ still applies as we have to wait for their items to be available in the UK via Truffle Shuffle/Shop Disney/Zavvi websites… But y’know oh well!

Incase you missed out on San Diego Comic Con at home and you want to see what went down, don’t fret it’s still available on the comic-con international Youtube and if it peaks your interest there are now other comic cons following suit. There will be a comic con dedicated to all DC properties called the DC Fandome which will have all of its content available on DC’s website; this will occur August 22nd only – I can’t tell you how excited I am for this one. Did I mention that it’s a full 24hr immersive event?! I’ll get the coffee in now, shall I? Ahem, but before that excitement unfolds (breathe Quinn breathe) ReedPop (the company behind NYCC and MCM Comic Con here in the UK) they have their online convention on August 15/16th on the NYCC youtube channel. However they’ll have a mixture of free panel’s, pre-paid virtual signings and chinwags with their guests available to choose from. I will most definitely be watching all the panels made available to me, I like to have options!

Although all of this nerd culture content makes me insanely happy and it does (honest)! I will also stress to you all that I cannot wait for the day where it’s safe for us all to be at comic con again, I miss it dearly but right now it’s just not the right time. So grab a cuppa, bake some treats; download Bill and Ted 3: Face the Music on VOD and enjoy having comic con at home!

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!

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad TV Show!

Hope you’re all safe and sound my lovelies! Keeping sane and being creative I hope. I’m pretty good at spending a lot of time indoors, I must admit. Presently I’ve been putting outfits together and trying to be creative with my ensemble choices (y’know so I can look utterly fabulous, once I emerge from my cave of wonders) and it got me to thinking just how much of what I wear is actually influenced by what I watch! This also works the other way around too; a lot of what I watch is definitely influenced by what I wear!

This has been most apparent with Mad Men.

Yes I know! But don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything for those that haven’t watched it on Netflix yet… hint hint.

I remember when I first watched the show I instantly resonated with the wardrobe of Peggy Olson, played fantastically by Elizabeth Moss! Am I right?

Firstly, I think it’s fair to say I could easily sit through one episode and vocally express that I wanted (nay needed) every single outfit from every character… Including the supporting artists!

Yes I actually did that, if you were wondering.

Peggy’s array of bows, peter pan collars and not to mention her bangs! It was crystal clear that there was a lot I could take away from this character and already had unbeknownst to me.

Now please bear in mind sweeties I had all these clothes in my wardrobe whilst doing this blog post, I bought nothing new for the occasion! I wish! I know that these are not in any way accurate depictions or cosplay’s of Peggy’s costumes, but I found it interesting just how much of what I already owned lent itself to the iconic TV series.

As you all know (unless you’re new here, then welcome lovelies!) I have a penchant for retro and vintage clothing, particularly that of the 1950s and 60s. However when my putting these ensembles together the hair was the hardest thing to get right! Oh my goodness, no matter what I do to my hair it just naturally wants to form itself back into the 1920’s flapper bob that it is… But thanks to unwashed hair, pin-curling the night before (and a sleepless night due to bobby pins sticking into my skull), some severe back combing and a big tin of hairspray I managed to achieve (only just) this look!

What I love and adore most about the costumes created for Elizabeth Moss is that they always put her in a combination of patterns and textures and were never afraid of a pop of colour!

They clearly showed her evolution through the changes in fashion and trends at the time- I’m now going to blame the stylists for my growing obsession with the colours mustard yellow, rust and green!

These costumes creatively designed by Janie Bryant concentrated on Peggy’s journey, not only through the decades of the show but her important transition through the period of time as a woman and what it meant to be a woman in what was a male dominated world. The women on this show were (let’s face it) positively badass! They were not afraid of the men around them, to assert their authority when necessary and knew how to achieve exactly what they wanted to; they were go-getters and will always be (in my opinion) considered as some of the best written characters on TV and I think we can all agree some of the most stylish!  

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”.

Collar I.D

Good afternoon luvvies!

It feels like forever since I’ve posted (I know, I said I wouldn’t do that again. Oopsy!) But I couldn’t be happier to be back. I’ve had a lot of up’s and down’s since my last post. Don’t worry! I’m not going to go into details about the down parts, simply because I’ve let my anxiety hash it out and to type it out I feel would be inviting all that negative energy back and that’s a big no-no (bye Felicia!)

With arrival of autumn (hey babe, I’ve missed you!) The heating is finally going on, knitwear and plaid trousers are making their way back into my wardrobe again and my tea consumption is through the roof. If you can’t tell (or you’re new here “hellooo”) it’s my favourite time of year. Let’s reminisce to a few blogs ago, where I’m trying to find my way with summer fashion. Fair to say I was struggling! Now you’ll discover when it comes to the matters of ‘autumn/winter fashion’ I have zero worries. Bring on the jumpers, I say!

I. AM. THRILLED!

Now there’s one major fashion staple that pretty much helps assemble my everyday outfit choices that I feel deserves talking about, especially at this time of year: the false collar.

Something that would seem so simple, yet takes my autumnal outfits to a whole other level.

I first decided I wanted to make these an addition to my wardrobe a few years ago, but I was confronted with a series of collars from amazon that had some pretty sketchy reviews and all looked the same. There was just nothing that popped and had zero personality; until I came across Magnus Clothing Company on Instagram. The girl just understood exactly what I wanted!

It’s as if she took a peek inside my brain and said “girl, I got you covered!” If her store wasn’t enough- she is just an absolute dream! Personable, adores fashion and to say she works incredibly hard would be an understatement. Her business attracts quirky instagrammers and fashion forward people alike from all over the world, including myself. Through her store I’ve not only met other like-minded people, but created some wonderful friendships through the power of social media… All because of the magic of ‘the collar’!! 

In addition to the collars that Magnus creates, she also offers useful tips and what she calls the ‘crew neck closet’. Here is where she thrifts shirts and dresses that would fit her collars perfectly, which you can also purchase from her store so you’re never in doubt of how to pair your collars and also encourages buying sustainable fashion. Believe me whether you live in the US, UK or Australia, what she offers is worth the extra postage to get these items to your doorstep!

What I personally adore most about the false collar is the power to completely transform your old t-shirts and tired jumpers. They’ve given my wardrobe new life! Through supporting a small business, I now have a whole new love for some of my older clothes as I can simply change them up day by day.

At this preset time I own 6 collars and I will never stop adding to my ever-growing collection, remember #livecollarfully !

Looking Ship Shape

God dag lovelies!

Now that’s just a little hint there of where I’ll be venturing off to soon- but more about that later!

One aspect I’m really enjoying about all this cruise prep is looking at outfits and seeing what clothing combinations I can put together (a capsule wardrobe, if you will and yes I learnt that from Gok Wan). If you know me, you’ll know I absolutely adore fashion (understatement of the century) and that over the years I’ve not been afraid of changing things up and experimenting with my look (apart from the bob, that goes nowhere). I love looking at where I’ll be travelling to and finding outfits that complement the place beautifully. I basically like to bridge the gap between stylish and functional! But I’m chockfull of personal style and can sometimes find it exceptionally difficult to just shop at one store.

Do you feel that way too? It’s really frustrating isn’t it! It just equals more tea and biscuit breaks, if you ask me.

I can however pretty much shop anywhere from Primark and H&M (their basic tee’s are an essential and a lifesaver!) to thrift stores and Lindybop for my key retro or vintage pieces. It takes longer to build a wardrobe that way then I care to admit. However it’s the simple matter of “you like what you like”.

However one person I know who struggles with this is my mumsy. I know over time she’s struggled to walk into a store, pick up more than one item of clothing and then proceed to walk out of that store with said item(s). I think it’s fair to say that unless you can afford designer clothing (Ah, Chanel), my mum’s age is simply not catered for.

I hear some of you exhale slowly, like I’ve just (ever so slightly) crossed over a line. But it’s just something I’ve observed in my many (30) years on this planet.

These extraordinary ladies want to look as stylish as say those in their 20’s and 30’s, and they absolutely deserve too (I mean, look at ladies like Cate Blanchett and Kristen Scott Thomas)! But without the worry that their dressing like their daughter, niece or insert younger relative here. I must admit, as someone who’s been on countless shopping trips with their mum I have seen the high street dwindle (over the years) when it comes to everyday fashion that it almost terrifies me at the prospect of getting older!

Lovelies, if this conversation screams you then please get in touch with me and tell me your fashion agony! Let me see if I can help anyway I can… I say this like I know what I’m talking about.

Now my mum is pretty classy woman (I think she’d be cool with me saying that). She knows exactly what suits her body type and has amazing Marilyn Monroe-esqe curves! However, I’m fully aware that although we both have similar body types she probably wouldn’t wear some of the things that I have in my wardrobe. I think it still astounds her when I can thrift a vintage dress or skirt and walk (aka strut) down the street in it like its Paris Fashion Week. She’ll always respond with “Now if I were to wear that I would just look old”. To clarify my mum does not look old and dresses exceptionally well despite what the high street has to offer.

So my dears I’ve been scouring the internet trying to find clothes and maybe stores that are solely online, in the hope that I find at least one store that provides exactly what women my mum’s age are looking for (that shouldn’t be too hard, right?) It seems such a shame that if you’re over a certain age shopping becomes less fun and more of a chore.

I just want my mum to feel absolutely amazing in whatever she’s wearing (even if it’s a paper bag), because truth be told she is.      

If any of you lovelies have any suggestions of places we could look that maybe we’ve never tried before please I’m all ears (not literally, of course).

Or maybe the answer to all this is “sod the high street Quinn and make your own clothes!!” In a kind of Mel Gibson Braveheart type manner… I mean it is International Women’s Day after all “FREEDOM!!!”

Can I have a cup of Anxietea please?

My lovelies I have something to tell you!

In a mere few months I’ll be going on an adventure, doing something I’ve never done before and possibly overcoming a fear at the same time.

I’ll be venturing on a cruise! Sounds exciting right?  

You’d think so, but here’s the thing… I actually have a fear of boats.

Now you’re probably saying to yourself “Wait. Hang on. Quinn… What are you thinking hun!?” (Or words to that effect) and quite frankly, I don’t blame you. I’ve been thinking it myself, don’t worry! However, the best thing about this scenario is that I’m not going alone (I’m not that crazy!) I’ll be going on this adventure with my best friend aka my mum. My mum went on her first cruise with my dad back in 2012, a celebration for their 25th wedding anniversary and they were hooked! They fell in love with the concept of having little samples of different places without the fuss of flight connections; especially since some cruises can journey to a lot of remote places. Although my parents have usually opted for self-catering holidays in the past, I think they rather enjoyed that feeling of being well and truly looked after and that touch of luxury. Now I’m going to experience all this first-hand, which I find both exciting and a little daunting at the same time! Is that normal?  

So let’s rewind a bit. I just told you all I have a fear of boats. Now (if you’re dying to know) this began at a very young age! Basically it was around the age of 3 (I think, correct me if I’m wrong here mum!!) and I got taken on what I can remember as a mini fishing boat. My parents clearly thought it would be a gentle ride along the sea…. Alas, no. Quite the opposite! All I can remember is screaming and crying the entire length of the trip. Yes. I was quite the theatrical child. But either way the experience stayed with me for a long time and I haven’t really been on a boat since. Somehow I don’t think an excursion on a replica of the Endeavour in Whitby for half an hour counts.

But this holiday symbolises a lot more than simply conquering my fear of boats and trying to re-enact a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean.      

Over the last year I have been suffering with severe anxiety and symptoms of agoraphobia, and within the last month have started to take action with the help of counselling to overcome things once and for all.

It’s something I’ve felt I’ve been dealing with for more than just a couple of years, but within the last year it really started to take its toll. Now m’dears first and foremost- I have absolutely no shame in telling you this! It’s something that I’m dealing with, but the important factor here is I’m getting the help I need! For those of you out there who might be going through a similar battle, whether that’s dealing with mental health yourself or have a friend/loved one who are fighting right now- know from me personally that there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, I’m in the process of healing but I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing without the support system I have around me. They’re helping me fight this battle. I know in my heart that I wouldn’t be able to conquer this without them. To put all this in nerd terms? It’s like Lord of the Rings! I’m like Frodo carrying the ring to Mount Doom, but yet Frodo didn’t do it alone. He had the help of the Fellowship. That’s what Mr Lee, my mum and Dad and my friends are to me. If you are going through a lot right now, even if it isn’t you personally going through mental health problems, but are connected to someone who is- remember you need support too!! Please speak to someone. Will you all (whoever you lovelies are reading this) do that for me? Even if professional help isn’t the first step you take (Believe me, I know it’s scary), that’s ok. But please speak to a friend, a teacher, a relative or even your hairdresser! Also, I have a contact me page- send me a message if you’d like. Don’t underestimate the power of speech! I know it’s not easy but you can get there. I may not believe in myself just yet (that’ll come with time), but I believe in all of you!

And breathe.

That’s a just brief history lesson of Quinn!

So right now I’m trying to get myself to a position where I know this cruise is going to be a piece of cake, without the heart palpitations or the panic attacks- unless those heart palpitations are from looking at pieces of cake…