Home certainly is where the heart is, and my not-so-secret Pinterest addiction has certainly fuelled my love of decor and interiors, particularly bedrooms because after all, they are considered ones sanctuary. If you've been following me on twitter, you'll know that I've been doing a fair bit of DIY work in regards to my own little sanctuary. After a few years away at University, i'm now settled and back into the routine of things the London way and one of the things i've wanted to do for a while now is re-jig my bedroom. It used to be an awful shade of lilac and not particularly inspiring, but after three weeks of stripping off wallpaper and working well into the night to erect a very complicated bed frame, we finally finished and now I have a very bright, airy and comfortable space to work, relax and blog from! My only issue now is that I need to fill it up with lots of beautiful artwork, lush plants and little bits and bobs to make it feel a little more 'me'. So here's a 'Currently Coveting' list of things I'll be adding to my shopping basket come pay day...
In terms of decor, I don't really think I have a style or a theme, but anything that is bright, colourful or retro looking usually catches my eye. I'm not really a fan of the whole black and white minimalism thing that's currently doing the rounds in the blog-world. Life needs a bit more colour! Let me know what's on your decor wish list and leave me links below!
DRESS - ASOS | HEELS - BAKERS | RINGS - TOPSHOP | BRACELET* - LINKS OF LONDON
Kimono style dresses are fast becoming a favourite in my wardrobe. The shape is so flattering on my figure and I had heaps of compliments on this dress when I wore it for a day at the V& A a few days ago. I also wore this dress to my graduation along with a beautiful Navy Links of London friendship bracelet I was kindly given so they both hold very happy memories for me. I won't go on about it too much but our ceremony was held in Lincoln Cathedral, a place that has been mentioned on this blog many a time, and it was so wonderful to graduate it a place that held so many wonderful memories for me, a place I could go when I was tired, stressed or simply not feeling my best, and be able to feel at peace as soon as I was in it's towering (pun intended!) presence. It was just as majestic on the day and all in all i'm feeling pretty proud of myself. I chose something simple to wear so as not to clash with my Cap and Gown and I thought it worked very well, especially with such a beautifully delicate necklace. I felt like, dare I say it... An adult..
Nothing, and I mean nothing will ever top the feeling of putting a fresh cup of well made coffee to my lips. Growing up in Britain, I've always shunned the Brit love affair of tea and taken on a love for 'Un Cafe'. I drink it for pleasure, for the caffeine buzz and for the happiness I associate it with. Some of the greatest moments of my life have happened with a steaming cup of coffee in my hands.
Lately I've been avoiding high street coffee shops and instead i've been supporting local coffee artisans because a.) the coffee is much better and b.) It's better to support smaller companies, with that being said I found myself in Soho Grind a few weeks ago after a long day on Carnaby Street and I was blown away by how friendly the staff were and how great the coffee was. Any shop that blasts M.I.A on their stereo and serves Raspberry Nata's is my kind of place. I generally buy their Cappuccino's but I'd also highly recommend their Mocha's (oh and their freshly made flatbread's too if you're hungry!). If you're ever in the area, make sure you give them a visit.
Denim is very hard to get 'right'. Or should I say it's hard to get good denim to suit a multitude of shapes and figures and as my body has changed over the years (aka I've eaten one too many hot dogs) I've avoided clothes that are tight on my lower half and rather I wear a lot of stuff that is cinched in at the waist and almost always a-line, which is fine but sometimes change is good and it's nice to go a little out of your comfort zone. Oasis invited me down to their Argyll street store for some breakfast and a little chat about their new denim collection, Oasis are probably most known on the high street for their colour prints, but i think soon they'll be known for their jeans too! I had a chance to try on a few pairs so I could get a good impression of how they'd fare and i've got to say they are very sturdy jeans! I even did the trusty jeans squat in each pair i tried on just to make sure and they still felt comfortable!
The pair I'm wearing in the photos above are the Cara Mid Blue Denim Leggings (which are also high waisted yay and on my to buy list for payday!). P.S Oasis are holding a twitter giveaway so you could win a few pairs yourself to test out! All the details are here.
"You will be lost, you will be alone, you will change.."
I'll be honest and say that I was incredibly naive to think that life after University would be sunshine and rainbows, so after quickly being thrown into the very real world, I was terrified to discover that things don't pan out how you want them to. There are thousands of graduates currently in the same boat feeling very lost and afraid because no one ever tells you about how difficult life post university is. It took me a while to post this because I wasn't quite sure where to start but I think sharing one's journey could very well help someone else out there.
"Apply. Apply. APPLY."
Unless you have been incredibly lucky to have secured yourself a job early on, or have a lot of contacts in your chosen industry, then you might be sad to find that getting yourself a graduate job is incredibly difficult. I was lucky enough to have a part time job to fall back on, but I know a lot of my classmates who are struggling to even get menial jobs at the moment which is awful. Luckily as you may know, I managed to find a job two months after finishing which still amazes me till now, because i'll be honest and say that I didn't expect to find anything till late September. My top tip? Apply like your life depends on it. I was very strict with my job applications and applied for a minimum of 5 every single day Monday - Saturday for about seven weeks straight, and I only received about 6 replies from those applications, three were interviews and three were instant rejections. The first two interviews were unsuccessful as both companies wanted a Part 1 student 'with more experience'. The last company I was surprised to see that they had even responded to me because their work was out of this world and I didn't have all the Software skills they needed, but I managed to ace the interview and I started a day after! Now that I look back, I'm very happy the first two companies declined me as to be honest their work wasn't that advanced Architecturally, but the company I'm working for now are amazing and i'm doing things like Parametric design which is so much more than I could ask for. So things always work out well in the end!
Get your CV looking good! Can you imagine how many dull word format CV's in Arial font 12 companies must receive? Make sure your CV stands out especially if you're wanting to work in a creative industry. It shows a good knowledge of creative software like InDesign Photoshop and Illustrator and it's much cooler to look at. Keep it creative but don't go over the top. Two A4 pages are usually the standard. Make sure to have your contact information correct as well as updated references and university grades as some companies shortlist using that info. Here are some pretty cool CV's to inspire you. Also if you have a portfolio send it with your CV even if it's not asked for, I sent to mine speculatively to so many firms! Here's a little bit of mine if you'd like to see.
Oh how it stings, but it's part of the process. I cannot stand rejection and like most people I always want things to swing in my favour but unfortunately the world doesn't work like that and put simply you just have to suck it up and take it politely. With each rejection I received I e-mailed back thanking the person for their time and wishing them the best with their newest recruit. Of all the things to e-mail back, saying thank-you for a rejection was not at the top of my list but it had to be done and is generally just a nice thing to do. You have to remember companies get hundreds of applications so for them to even get back to you is pretty amazing. Another tip, if you get to interview stage and find that you don't get the job, respectfully ask them why? If it's because they wanted someone with more experience then you know what you need to work on and it helps to prepare you for the rest of your applications.
"Connect with people"
My advice for those of you who are still at uni? If you can afford to, try and get some experience via interning under you belt, correct me if i'm wrong but I think unpaid internships are in the process of becoming illegal? So there's a plus! Also, connect, connect, connect! Talk to people about your passions, be friendly and confident, and who knows someone might remember and refer you for a job! Whilst I was still working in the beauty part of the retail industry, anytime I was doing a customers makeup, i'd talk to them about Architecture and my passions and once I managed to speak to a lovely lady who actually gave me her email and helped me search for jobs too as she worked alongside some Architects. LinkedIn is also a great tool for connecting with people and I found tonnes of recruiters looking for fresh energetic graduates so make sure you're looking on there too. I went to the ends of the internet and back during my job hunt and sometimes even applied for jobs twice because that was how much I wanted it. My retail job left me feeling miserable every morning and I hated having to cake my face up everyday with so much makeup and having to meet selling targets. It just wasn't for me, and it really powered up my job search because I simply did not want to be there.
I understand how difficult it is to be constantly told to 'keep positive' when you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel but you really have to. The more unhappy you are the harder it is to keep on track. The three things that kept me going were Prayer, My Family and You Guys! My faith really kept me strong when I felt like giving up or changing career paths, as did my family. I'd come home from a long shift at work having had customers yell at me or managers tell me off for not meeting target and come home and cry in frustration and my family would remind me that seasons change and not to give up. Surround yourself with positive uplifting people, have optimistic quotes on your phone and make it a daily affirmation that you WILL succeed and I promise you will. As the saying goes you really do get what you put in sometimes.
I hope this has helped even one person somewhat, especially those who are going into their final year at University. I'll do another post on studying Architecture at University and how it is working in practice as a woman in a very male dominated career field.
Transitional pieces are my favourite, and since starting my Investment Wardrobe Project a little over a year ago, I've found when I'm looking at clothes, I tend to choose based on how much I can layer it with, or if I can take it from day to night with ease. Great minds think alike it seems as the fine folk over at BANK FASHION had the same idea with their #GLITZTOKICKS campaign, so today I'm showing you guys how to dress up or dress down one dress (i'll stop saying dress now). Ironically when I'm going out to paint the town red I don't actually do too much, and I actually make more of an effort in the daytime! So for an evening I usually keep it simple, a shift dress, some heels and a small bag. For the second look I layered the dress with a pair of burgundy new balance, a plain grey tee, some kitsch jewellery and of course this season's must have the 'Duster Coat'. A super simple outfit for running errands! I specifically chose the style of dress as I find shift dresses to be the most versatile in terms of styling and I know I'll be able to wear it through winter with some cool tights and a good Breton tee!
Let me know how you take your outfits from day to night! (PS Thank you for all the sweet comments on my last post! <3)