Living In Limbo & Starting Again

I said to my friend that I felt like I was living in an emotional limbo of late. It’s the equilibrium of this new chapter which I’m learning to accept but feeling that unwillingness to dive in and move forward with it. Yet I know it’s just a matter of time and I need to give myself a chance to grieve and love myself, however I’m a tough cookie and it’s annoying me that I’m still hashing up stories like word vomit. I can’t help myself but it happens and the minute I talk about my feelings I’m overwhelmed with this sickness, like ‘for fucks sake girl, just get over it’.

But regardless of all this, I am moving forward and today is turning out to be a good day as I’ve caught up with a whole bunch of things I’ve been meaning to do and I’ve had the additional cash to refresh my home because I haven’t been going out as much.

It’s important when you’re feeling crappy to do the things that make you happy, rediscover what makes you tick. For me this is writing, making music, drawing. It’s discovering new podcasts to listen to while I do my chores, or spending time with friends that I hadn’t done prior.

This week I’ve also spent time spring cleaning. I’ve rearranged my furniture in my flat, which involved dragging an incredibly heavy bookcase (yes mum, I emptied it first), as well as chucked a load of clothes which weren’t being worn, yet were cluttering up my already tiny flat.

I’m lucky to have such a wonderful crowd around me. I have people checking up on me, helping me around the house, and generally there for me when I need to vent and I am so utterly grateful for them. However, I don’t want to lose them by repeating the same worries and the same concerns again and again and there’s always that niggling feeling at the back of my head that the person I want the most comfort from is the last person who can give it to me.

So yes, I have my down days but I’m at the stage now where I’m done, for the most part, talking about what’s hurting as it’s all been said before and nothing new is going to come from repeating the same old news.

However, this is incredibly difficult when you bump into your ex’s family while out shopping for self help books as they want to discuss it. Regardless, it was lovely that the family haven’t just disowned me as it would have been incredibly easy for them to just ignore me. I’m grateful for small mercies as sometimes it’s hard to see myself as the victim so when everyone is apologising to me or telling me I’ll be ok, I am suffering with imposter syndrome, as if somehow they’re talking about someone else, and soon they’ll realise I’m a bad guy in the equation.

Obviously, there have been people who have used my situation and my new found singledom as an excuse to get “extra friendly” and frankly, I find it weird that suddenly knowing a girl is single is seen as an opportunity. You shouldn’t approach a crying girl with romantic or sexual propositions just because suddenly she’s available, but that’s a different topic entirely.

This week has been a week of self reflection and retrospective thought. It’s been a bit of a turning point for me as I’ve come to the realisation that I’m a massive softie and some people have used me as a stepping stone to move onto other things. However, it has also shown me that I am a complete and utter lover and even when faced with opportunity for anger or hatred, I find I love people better and I just need to show myself some of that unconditional love and take care of myself a bit more.

How do you look after yourself? Do you treat yourself to new clothes? Maybe you have a tub of ice cream in the freezer you bust out when you’re feeling sad. Or maybe you treat yourself to a home spa day? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time.

Primark Try On Haul + Life Update

I’ve had a shit week. One of those life changing, new chapter starting weeks which felt like a step backwards in terms of life progression.

I’ll stop being facetious and tell you that in the last week the guy I’d been seeing split up with me. It hurt. A lot. As in, heart sinking into your stomach, empty hole in your chest heartbreak.

I was inconsolable. The first day after it happened, my sadness rolled over me in waves. I felt utterly despondent.

It didn’t help that I’d had no sleep and not eaten for 24 hours (The best advice I’d give to other broken hearted people is to eat, if only something little, and get your normal amount of sleep if you can. I promise it will make you feel better).

Each moment alone with my thoughts was like a stab to the chest.

Thing is, I wasn’t angry, of course I wanted the situation to be different but I wasn’t about to start chasing a man for love when they clearly didn’t want me. I was better than that.

The only thing that was left was this unbridled sadness which I could not shift.

A few days passed and I realised I had a wonderful selection of friends and family round me who were willing to sacrifice their time to talk to me and try and bring me out of the pit.

My parents drove the 100+ miles to console me for the night, filled my fridge, washed my clothes and cuddled me while I cried.

My university friend Dan drove the four hour round trip to pick me up on Saturday and we, plus a big group of others, went out out for a birthday party.

It was a wonderful distraction.

When I arrived back in Eastbourne, my pregnant bestie and her Matt Damon lookalike of a boyfriend had driven the three and a half hours down to see me and give me a much needed cuddle.

We had pizza and hung out watching Bridget Jones’ diary before heading off to bed to catch up on some much needed sleep.

I’ve also not been able to put my phone down in the past few days as I’ve had countless messages, phone calls, all from people wishing me well.

So all in all, yes it’s been a pretty shit experience but I’ve realised that I have a lot of people who care for me and love me dearly.

Obviously I’m still hurting. Who wouldn’t be? But I cry a lot less now and have used this as an opportunity to better myself. It was also a great opportunity to do a bit of retail therapy and try on some new clothes to make me feel better.

So I thought I’d end this update with a few new pieces from my try on haul from Primark.

Without further ado…

The Loud Print Trousers

Unfortunately, I did have to size up in these unforgivingly unstretchy trousers but they looked fabulous on, the tropical print is on trend and would suit a variety of events, from workwear to holiday.

The White Crop

Everybody should own a white crop top as a part of their wardrobe. They’re comfortable and go with most outfits. The burgundy skirt from last season’s try on haul paired perfectly with the light top. It turned the outfit from a winter one to a spring/ summer outfit and inspired a fresh look for my wardrobe with, less admit, minimal effort.

The Slogan Crop

 

Who doesn’t love a motivational speech on a Crop tee? Not this girl. The ‘try it, do it’ tee was super soft, came in baby pink and had a raw hemline with a cute front tie detail which made it stand out from the other cropped tees on the wall.

 

I also bought a pair of black open toe wedge sandals (I already owned the orange pair and wanted a pair to suit more outfits) which were so comfortable that I’m seriously debating making them my everyday shoe.

Until next time.

Ups & Downs Of May

For those of you who read my last blog post and follow alongside, through the ups and the downs, I thought I would drop you an update from the world of TheRoamBlogger.

Aside from a hasty pat on the back and the promise of a brighter future, my appraisal was a tad lacklustre. However, my outfit (black skinny high waisted jeans, white blouse and my checkered black and white blazer from Paris, all together paired with my Chelsea boots) had achieved many positive comments from my colleagues and so I consider the day to have been a success.

TheRoamBlogger wearing “appraisal ready” clothingOn my way to get my morning coffee!

This week has been another rollercoaster ride and I have had a rather hectic time trying to manage my schedule.

Good news though, my elderly and in dire need of TLC Corsa passed its MOT first time without any advisories so at least I have Avril for another year. This means I can also look at my options of selling her with a full years MOT and trade her in for a newer model. So the auto trader game has begun and I’ve already seen a few strong contenders.

Mazda MX-5 1.8 Euphonic Limited Edition 2dr
Mazda, anyone?

As aforementioned, my appraisal was this week and it ultimately was fruitless in terms of outcome. I was given the promise of more responsibility for no pay increase which ultimately puts me in a tight spot financially and also creates this unnecessary tension in the workplace. However, if the money isn’t there within the company then they can’t magic it out of thin air.

I am glad that I opened the lines of communication by talking to the bosses and asking for my appraisal, regardless of the outcome.

This week I also don’t know if it’s something in the water or what but I’ve also had infrequent moments of loneliness and sadness. I’m acknowledging my feelings and trying to address what’s making me feel this way and trying not to beat myself up about it.

I combat these feelings with a confirmation I tell myself: that it’s ok to feel a bit sad, that I should talk about any worries I have with whomever I have them with, but also shed no blame or anger, especially if the outburst is purely based on an anxiety spiral.

We are allowed to feel down sometimes. It’s life. Accepting our feelings as just feelings and not a permanent aspect of our personality is incredibly vital to form us as well rounded individuals. When we can assess our feelings, move past the initial outburst and really assess what’s affecting us, that’s when we begin to grow.

I still remain hopeful for the future, as there are many plans in the works. TheRoamBlogger t-shirt designs are still being drawn up, my blog still continues to grow and support me, my affiliate programs are beginning to show signs of reward, and there are many new adventures to be had in the coming months.

What’s going on in your lives? If you want, you can let me know in the comments below.

Until next time.

Dressing For Success: Hints and Tips For Your Wardrobe

I have had a busy week. With the arrival of an appraisal, as well as added responsibilities, this week has been both physically and mentally exhausting. Yet, somehow, I feel more energised than when there’s not much on my plate.

I find myself more active after work, more able to fit in the odd chore, more inclined to cook healthier, more interesting meals.

Obviously there are days which aren’t so prosperous. There are days where I am completely knackered and I can’t do anything when I finish work but that’s okay. Life is about finding balance, which means some days will be good, and others bad.

With my appraisal imminent, I want to have everything planned in my mind of what I’m going to say, what my ultimate goals are. I’m even considering how to act, how to dress to feel my most confident and put together.

With that being said, this week’s blog post is all about dressing to feel confident in the workplace and dressing ultimately for success because when we feel like we are able to achieve what we want to achieve, our lives tend to follow suit.

So what are my key tips for dressing to succeed?

1.Know your body shape.

Yes we’ve all heard it, hell, you probably already know your body type however, it needs to be reiterated because when we know our body type, we can then choose clothing which fits us appropriately.

It’s obvious our bodies change over time with age, and I am no exception to that rule. When I was eighteen I was a constant 34,28,34 and had an hourglass figure to be envious of (it helped that I dabbled with a bit of waist training and religiously went to the gym) but now, in my mid twenties, I’m a bit more bodacious around the hips. I’m not ashamed of my body. I just know that some of the dresses I would have worn back in my clubbing days probably wouldn’t suit my body shape now that I am more of a pear than an hourglass.

This post will be biased towards those with a similar shape to me, to those who have wide hips, a smaller bust and smaller waist. For other shapes I will try to find some links and add them at the bottom of this post for some added guidance.

2. Know what clothes suit your body shape.

For me, I know that sleeveless dresses, or fitted tops which accentuate my waist or highlight my prominent wide shoulders, are winners.

Think about your best features of your body. You may have a snatched waist, or broad shoulders like me, or you may be tall, or petite in shape. Either way, know your best features and dress to highlight these.

3. Know which colours suit your skin type.

A colleague recently told me that their friend works as a personal stylist, offering their clients hints and tips as to how to dress for your skin colour. So me being me, I decided to do a bit of research and find out a bit more about skin tones and fashion.

Turns out, the main two skin tones are cool and warm. The best way to find out what tone you are? Check your wrist and look at the colour of your veins. If they appear more blue than green then you are more likely to have cool toned skin and vice versa, if you have more green toned veins than blue, then you are likely to be warm toned.

Woman in yellowPLT Bandeau Top- Warm Tones

Those with more cool skin tones are more likely to find blues, cold pastels, and silver jewellery to suit us whereas warm tones are more likely to suit summery hues; oranges, warm reds, and golden jewellery.

Woman in blue crop top co-ordPLT Crop Top- Cool Tones

Obviously there are exceptions to the rule. There are those of us who don’t fit into either category and luckily, this means they can wear either warm or cold colours but often find solace in neutral tones.

4. If in doubt, black is always slimming.

I recently read a post where the blogger was discussing the reason black was always slimming, and I was fascinated with the reason why. Apparently our eyes are drawn across the solid black colour to our hands, our legs, our exposed bits, making us less likely to linger on any lumps or bumps that we have.

Woman in black blazer PLT Blazer

When wearing comfortable clothes which suit you, embrace that ‘can do’ attitude and face the challenges that life has thrown at you.

Until next time.

Disclaimer: The images included as a part of this blog post are links to the PrettyLittleThing website as part of their affiliate program.

The Spring/Summer Outfit Challenge

It appears that summer is beginning to creep in early and what a better way to celebrate than with a summer outfit challenge.

The challenge: take photos of your best summery outfits and upload them to insta using the #summeroutfitchallenge

This weekend has been a beautiful day for BBQs, catching up with friends, meeting new ones, but as long days in the sun turn into chilly evenings, it can be tough to decide what to wear.

Personally, my best suggestion for this weather is the maxi dress as a beautiful flowing and light material makes them ideal for summer days, pairing perfectly as a garment to throw over a bikini or swimming costume but also as an early evening outfit which saves on gnat bites and chilly legs.

If we look back at my How To Pack For Vacation post, you’ll see that part of my wardrobe were two of my latest Religion Clothing dresses which were ideal for the 18 degree temperatures in Portimão, Portugal.

I’ve posted a few of my favourite Maxi Dresses below to hopefully give you inspiration, as well as offer some styling tips for the upcoming seasons, I hope you enjoy.

Click the images for more details.

Leopard Print Jacket Wrap Style Maxi Dress view main view

Nude Metallic Dobby Sheer Sleeve Maxi Dress

Red Floral Print Kimono Maxi Dress image 1

Cobalt Print Satin Kimono Maxi Dress image 1

Alina Khaki Plunge Maxi Dress image 1

White Dobby Mesh Plunge Long Sleeve Maxi Dress image 1

Until next time.

Don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for 30% off Ted Baker (T&C’s apply- valid at time of publication).

 

 

 

Saying “Yes” To Everything?

I’ve found someone who matches my unbridled enthusiasm for life which has meant that the past few months have been jam packed with activity after activity which has been fantastic. However, as much fun as we’ve had socialising and generally enjoying life, it has meant the day to day things have rather lost their scheduling.

As someone who likes to plan, my spontaneous lifestyle of late has been rather refreshing. It has allowed me to let loose, learn that it’s not the end of the world if someone is a few minutes late, or changes plans at the last minute. Life is about adaptation, learning to be malleable and go with the flow and it has transformed me into someone I like very much.

There’s many a film, including Yes Man, which pose the question, what if you said yes to everything. Obviously blown out of proportion into something made for the big screen, the concept is still one worth considering.

Saying yes to more things instead of squirrelling away in my flat, for instance, has led me to new friendships, and exciting experiences. Saying “fuck it” and doing it, i.e booking a weeks holiday in Portugal on a whim, is also a great conversation starter and has been the beginning of a great adventure with Darren.

However fun the adventure is, we have to deal with the monotonous in order to make way for new experiences. We can’t travel the world without fresh pants after all.

We need to balance the mundane and the exciting in order to live a fulfilled and fruitful life and if that means spending Monday evenings washing my clothes and cracking out the ironing board then so be it. There will be other evenings for adventures.

Life, I believe, is about finding balance.

Until next time.

Managing Your Life: Dealing With The Unexpected

I seem to do my best writing on a Sunday morning. While my partner sleeps, I write, his calming presence accompanied by the early morning bird song really gives me a chance to breathe, and access my creativity.

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations we can’t control, or are unexpected. This weekend I had a nasty surprise, a lady who I had thought was my friend who had betrayed my trust, popped back up unexpectedly and the encounter wasn’t pleasant.

This encounter knocked me for six and I needed a moment to compose myself but obviously, seeing as I’m still writing about it, it has been playing on my mind.

There’s something very Freudian about thinking about the people that don’t like you. I suppose it’s a self reflection and retrospective view into my psyche and how I strive to be liked by most people I meet but that’s an impossibility and I know that. So why did it affect me so much that this one person so obviously didn’t care about me any more?

I’m hoping that by expressing my thoughts I can put this whole experience behind me and develop into a much stronger and less dependent individual.

Looking at the situations that have led to this circumstance which I’m in today, I can see that the main reason it hit me so much with my ex friend was because I currently have a distinct lack in female friends and although there is nothing inherently wrong with having male friends (in fact sometimes it can be a breath of fresh air) I realised that I missed the shopping trips, the girly days out, and the movie nights.

So it wasn’t that I missed the friend, it was more that I was missing the emotional connection that only girls hanging with girls seem to provide.

So obviously, my female friendships need working on in order to make me feel like a well rounded individual again but in knowing this, I feel like a weight has lifted. I don’t feel as awful from my terrible encounter as I know why and how I can move past it which is a trick I think applies across all aspects of life.

Whether we bump into people that are now strangers, or run into situations that frustrate us, it’s important to self assess why we feel the way we do, looking deep within ourselves to the ugly parts of our psyche. In doing so, and discovering the parts of us which we don’t like, we can then actively pursue life paths which point us in a direction which ultimately leads to true happiness.

Until next time.

Overcoming Holiday Blues & Spring Cleaning

Let’s be honest, no one likes returning to reality after a memorable holiday, where you’ve eaten and drunk like kings and queens, explored new and interesting places, and expanded your cultural horizons.

Normal life can seem incredibly dull after an adventure of a lifetime.

(Just look at how happy I was to be fed swordfish!)

We can feel the blues beginning to creep in as our holiday buzz dies down, the “how was your holiday” question becomes less frequently spoken until eventually it dissipates entirely and the only thing left to reminisce with are the photos and videos you took of your trip.

There will be things you’d forgotten about doing: the washing, the cooking, even paying the bills and suddenly, not even a week back home, and you’ve been thrust into chores that seem to have a vendetta against you.

Battling against the tide, you finally reach the apex, the top of the mountain and it feels blissful. Suddenly you feel on top of everything: the chores have been completed and you can finally relax for a while.

This week, I have been firmly thrust into my holiday blues and have decided to combat this by keeping busy, especially when it comes to my spring cleaning.

When you’re someone who actively follows fashion trends, purchasing clothes like you actually have money to spend, it can mean your wardrobe can end up looking a bit cluttered. The best solution: a tidy up, and a ruthless dispatch of unwanted garments.

After all, did you know that there are places that will pay you for your textiles? When clearing out your closet, why not earn a little bit of coffee money in doing so? You’re not only helping the environment by not clogging up rubbish tips, but you’re also giving to charity and getting paid for it. It’s a win win situation.

My best method for spring cleaning? A try on day.

Pick a day when you’re feeling body positive otherwise this method won’t work, especially for those body con dresses, and try on each item of clothing, see what items it pairs with and create outfit ideas with what you have.

If you have an odd top or skirt that doesn’t seem to go with anything you have, or makes you feel uncomfortable wearing it, then ditch the thing- you don’t need it, I promise. They’ll be other clothes to replace it, especially if it’s getting old or over worn.

Another tip is to look at the age of your garments, you may have a top or a dress in your wardrobe that you feel has been a staple throughout the years but the problem with well worn clothes is that they show their age and, unlike wine, do not age well.

Ditch the scraggly old baggy tees, the age old faithful, the see-through dresses.

The idea is to scrape back your cluttered wardrobe into something more manageable so we don’t look inside thinking we have nothing to wear.

I hope this post has inspired you to do some of your own spring cleaning.

For those it didn’t inspire and for those it didn’t solve the holiday blues for, maybe check out the latest deals through icelolly.com?

Until next time.

Travel Diaries: Portimão, Portugal

It’s day five of our seven day adventure to Portimao in Portugal and I can safely say that we have explored the local town and tasted the local beverages to such an extent that this morning has been a bit of a wipe out for both of us.

It has been a great adventure so far, one full of swimming, beach excursions, and karaoke (which is no surprise if you know my partner Darren). The only disappointment was the lack in boat tours as the time of year and directions of the waves meant that entering the caves was dangerous and therefore not viable for the tour guides. On the positive side, it left us with some additional wedge which we could spend elsewhere (edit: we spent it on food!).

Since being here, we’ve witnessed a decathlon, attempted to speak Portuguese, and made friends with the local bar staff. From experience, I’ve noticed that the locals here are incredibly accommodating and are more than happy to help, far more than in countries such as France (I visited Paris back in 2016 and while I loved it, the people were totally different).

Admittedly, the offer of pot or cocaine from the gypsies has been plentiful but it’s not something to be concerned over if you are thinking of visiting as they are persistent but accept a firm no as an answer.

We, without meaning to sound bigheaded, have seemingly been the life of the party, especially since our hotel is quite reserved and posh (its 4 star after all) and the general age being much older than either of us. Regardless, Saturday evening was spectacular fun and we danced the night away to the cover band in the hotel, before exploring the local nightlife, settling on a bar called boogie where I watched as Darren sang his little heart out (out of time, mind).

The nightclubs were free to enter and played a mixture of popular English, as well as, Portuguese tunes but although full of life and dancing, is not somewhere I’d recommend visiting if you’re older than 21, unless of course you’re a clubbing seasonal professional.

Overall it has been a wonderfully refreshing break and I would be happy to visit the Algarve again.

Until next time.

Creating Your Own Destiny- Making Changes To A Stagnant Adventure

Another weekend has passed and we are well and truly progressing into the year like a train heading full speed down a track.

Sometimes it can feel as if our lives are on a set route, a track of destiny if you will, and it can be hard to see a change in circumstance, without fantasising about unreasonable and unlikely change.

Let’s be honest, the likelihood of me winning the lottery is slim at best, especially when I’m expecting to win without even having bought a ticket, but for some people believing in the unreasonable is what gets them through the day.

It’s no surprise that as a twenty something millennial, I’m broke as hell and each pay-check goes straight out of my bank to pay for the necessities (but we won’t go on a rant about that).

Even though money is an issue for me, the lack of it does not hinder my experiences too much. For instance, I’m still going on holiday, I still go out on a weekend, and I’m generally enjoying life. So much so that I had a pretty subdued conversation with my partner and friend about how much my nails had grown and how long and shiny nails are a sign of mental and physical well-being.

So it’s safe to assume that I’m not overly concerned about what hindrances life has to throw at me but regardless, there are a few things I would change, the biggest being my financial circumstance. A lot of people my age, as said before, have a similar issue, and think nothing of change, assuming life will resolve itself, or somehow your circumstance will change without you putting a shred of effort in.

Simply put, you cannot expect change if you sit on your bum all day and plod through life. Being proactive is the key and in order to change my circumstance, I have asked for an appraisal at the company I work for in the hope that we can discuss not only my work load and responsibilities but also my rate of pay, in the hope they will see the hard work and effort I have put into the company in the past near year.

Whether or not anything comes of my meeting we will have to see, but at least I have taken a step forward and tried to at least make my situation less stagnant.

Whether its finances you’re worried about, or something different, like a stagnant romantic relationship with a partner, or a dry relationship with a family member, or something else entirely, just know that it only takes you saying or doing something to change your path.

It may not produce the fantasised event playing in your head, like my fantasy of winning the lottery, owning yachts and various houses filled with cuddly dogs, but it will change up your day to day life, shape it into something more manageable, something to be proud of.

At the end of the day, our lives are malleable, like putty, and we can adapt and change what we’re working with to produce a piece of art that is not only unique to us but that is a great representative of our adventure.

Next week I shall be posting snaps and a more fashion based post from my holiday in Portugal so please follow this blog, or my insta story @kirstyawriter to see these inspirational outfit and travel ideas.

Until next time.