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A few of my favourite Instagram Story Creators

I love Instagram stories.

It’s small, daily doses of why I love youtube so much, in an organic manner. Today’s late post is a curated list of the instagram stories that make me smile. Ivehyperlinked all the accounts below so you can check the, out too, if you fancy.

   
MillyDayDreams

Milly is an absolute girl boss. From blogger mail to little snaps of her day as a blogger, mum, and her work with a men’s fashion brand. She is unbelievably lovely in person and her stories are a real highlight.

   
HannahRuthTea

Blogger, student, tea enthusiast and social media guru, Hannah is a force of nature. Hannah never really stops and embraces every opportunity that comes her way and this really comes across with her stories, alongside with a glimpse at her tea collection.

   
HannahGale

Another Hannah, but one I only stumbled across late 2016. Fashion, lifestyle and a peak into the behind the scenes of a self employed blogger are what you get in these stories. Hannah’s Boomerangs are always my favourite.

   
LivPurtis

Nicole introduced me to Liv, and I love her content. She has a great eye for style, shares little looks into her day and has the most adorable Westie Maggie. Dogs and style = 👌🏻
   

CarolineHirons

I’ve only been following Caroline a week or so, and I can’t get enough of her stories. Alongside really knowing a thing or two about skin care, she is hilarious and has an incredible wit that makes her easy to watch.

   
MikeDeForce

The other half of FleurDeForce (another favourite instagram stories-er) Mike is very funny and a natural story teller. I go to his feed for the animals (they have 3 dogs and two cats), food and just general Mike-ness.

   
Waterstones

The only brand to make my list, Waterstones have me screenshoting books with their teeny curated stories. Sometimes these will be themed around an author, possibly an event, or just a topic of their choice. One for the book worms!

   
Clumsybaby

This is the account you need for healthy food goals. Lauren has the snack game down, and always gives me food envy.

   
HelloOctober

Suzie is a blogger/youtuber with a great sense of style and a perchance for liquid eyeliner and premium/luxury style pieces. I love her feed for inspiration, and a glossy look into how social influencers live.

   
If you are a fan of Instagram stories too, please share a few accounts I should follow below.

   
– Emily

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You’re Never Too Old For A Playground.

January is over! Well if those aren’t three of my favourite words. January is done, its all up hill from here. There has been some horrendous weather these last few weeks, vicious wind and thundering rain but in-between the sun has been forcing its way through. So a friend and I decided to get out while we could, so I took us to where I spent my childhood playing for hours. We went to the Cargreen playground and stood in awe of its beauty, then we played in the play park. Age is just a number people.

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One day I will have a house that close to a river or the sea.

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Despite sunny pretences, there has been and there will be rain. Not long before this was taken a child in wellies was having the time of his life in that giant puddle.

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I played on this aeroplane over 20 years ago. Its the only piece of play equipment that has survived the upgrade of this park.

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This place is beautiful and filled with memories of the happiest childhood anyone could ask for. I can’t wait until its warm and sunny and can take pictures here again.

Outfit details:

  • Top – New Look
  • Jacket – Matalan
  • Trousers – H&M
  • Shoes – Nike SB

Anyway for now its back to lesson planning. Thanks for reading. Speak soon – Sally 🙂

 

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Beautiful blue Asos Curve shirt dress: Another workwear piece

My style has always been a little on the preppy side. I found a picture from an aunts birthday when I was about 15 years old and I’m wearing a black vest with a silky high sheen blue blouse. I have a very distinct memory from sixth form of wearing a black 3/4 sleeved button up blouse with my jeans and being asked if I was going for an interview. For me, Blair’s style wins hands down over Serena’s every time. 

 At about 18 I moved from these preppy smart nods to more casual looks, I spent years of my life working in retail wearing uniforms I disliked and dressing for the weekend. However, studying for my degree a few years later meant volunteering and updating my wardrobe, so I was office smart. These volunteer hours, and the office hours I have invested since graduating have brought back my love of preppy, smart, more tailored looks. Especially when I see so many gorgeous stylish women day in, day out.
Add ASOS Curves incredible workwear range, and purchasing this dress was inevitable:

You are looking at a shirt dress, in a size smaller than I would have purchased last year which fits over my bust without any pulling. This is the first button up top I have bought in the last eighteen months, which I haven’t had to hand stitch hook and eyes into, to retain my dignity. This dress screams office appropriate to me, it’s from a lovely cotton material(which is a touch thinner than I would expect) which layers beautifully ,sits nicely and the colour does wonders for pale ladies like myself. It creases very easily but I will forgive that, and it can easily be lifted for a social occasion or evening drinks.


I’m a big fan of shopping my wardrobe, so everything I’ve styled this with in my post is past season. The hat is from a vintage fair last year, the scarf is an ancient New Look beauty, The full skirted Mac is a Primark staple, the boots are from Schuh (thier EBay outlook specifically), the necklace is an old Debenhams piece, and the scarf was a birthday present. Three clear ways to style a new purchase, which makes me much happier about purchasing something I didn’t need, but really wanted.

Best thing about this dress?  It’s currently in the sale at £16.50! Link here if you wanted to check it out.

– Emily

Please forgive my slightly awkward modelling, slowly getting the hang of this!! And thank you to the lovely boyfriend for shooting these back in 2016.

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The incredible Poppy Print top from TU that I can’t stop wearing

So for my first post of the year I didn’t think there could be anything better to write about an my favourite top of 2016. I have a thing for button up shirts, so this was always going to a firm favourite, but there are so many aspects of this TU top that make me reach for it every single week.


It’s cute and comfy for a weekend brunch, or a cinema trip yet it’s smart enough to wear to work. This is paired with the first pair of black jeans I’ve ever loved: my New Look High Waited jeans from the Curves range. Stretchy and slimming they make an incredible base for most outfits. These boots are an old pair of Clarkes beauties that badly need reheeling.

I realised this year how much I love 70’s inspired prints, and thanks to Sally how fashionable and affordable Sainsburys clothing range is.

– Emily

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Some of My Favourite Reads.

Reading is an absolute pleasure that I never have enough time to do. When I was younger and had a seemingly un ending amount of free time, I loved nothing more than getting lost in a world of words. The feeling of belonging I always longed to find with my peers, I found between the pages of books that introduced me to worlds I would have never normally come into contact with. And as I took on university and went into the world of full time retail work whenever I was feeling lost I would find my solace in great books. Books have never let me down, books have never hurt me and books will always be there for me. As is said in one of my favourite plays and films The History Boys:

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something — a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things — which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.’

A good book can change your life. So here are some that have truly touched me in some way.

 

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1). To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee.

I first read this book when I was 14 years old. That first time I didn’t quite understand the magnitude of the court case storyline and found myself focusing on how much of myself I saw in Scout. I have since read and re-read it at least half a dozen times at differing times of my life and I’d like to think I now understand the varying nuances of this fantastic story, but still I can never read it without Scout’s character resonating with me. In Scout I found a like minded soul whose voice always feels like its echoing a version of myself that still lives in the child in me. From the themes of racial injustice to childhood innocence to gender roles and many more there is something in this epic piece of literature that will excite and inspire anyone. If you haven’t yet you must read this book, it will touch your heart in a way you can not even begin to imagine.

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2). Regeneration – Pat Barker.

This is one of the few books I have been required to study, that was not ruined by the analysis process. Set in Craiglockhart War Hospital in World War 1, it tells the story of soldiers with shell shock (what we would call post-traumatic stress disorder) and the radical therapeutic treatment they received. In it we hear stories of fictional characters such as Billy Prior and we also get fictionalised accounts of War Poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. The novel deals primarily with the idea of the effect that war has on the psychology of the soldiers, specifically the hugely damaging effects of the trench warfare of World War 1. Told with harrowing beauty this book really makes you think about what we have put our soldiers through.

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3). Wild: A Journey fro Lost to Found – Cheryl Strayed.

I powered through this book on a holiday in Ibiza. I opened it up and was riveted. Telling the story of a woman who drops her life to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and through the trial and tribulations finds her way back to herself. If you’ve ever felt like you’re floundering, or that you don’t know what you’re doing with your life or that you are just completely lost this book will undoubtedly kick start you on your way back to path. It did for me.

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4). Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer.

An expansion of an article about Christopher McCandless, the book tells the story of how this young man ended up dead in a bus on the Stampede Trail in Alaska.

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Chris McCandless’ life long quest for truth is documented alongside tales of other liked minded maverick truth seekers. It will make you reevaluate everything you believe and how you view society and the way it works. It will make you want to find your own truth.

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But listen to his lesson, no matter how disillusioned you feel with the world ‘happiness only real when shared.’

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SPECIAL MENTION: The Wild Truth – Carnie McCandless.

Written by Chris McCandless’ sister it informs Into The Wild as it fills in the gaps she asked Jon Krakauer to leave. It also details her own inspiring story of overcoming struggle with no one to help her but herself.

 

So, what books should I read next? I’d love to hear about the books that have touched you.

 

Thanks for reading. Speak soon – Sally 🙂

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Gloria In The Mist – A Backstage Peak 

So last Thursday I was on the bus into Plymouth to attend the second event of the Plymouth Bloggers Scheme. I’d had one of those days at work where I barely stopped, and ended up leaving nearly half an hour later than I planned because of things I needed to finish off. In short, I was in a proper mood.
However, cue 18:34 and I was sitting with the other bloggers on the scheme waiting to see backstage of the evenings performance of Gloria in the Mist. Becca gathered us up, and took us through the windy backstage area, where we could hear incredibly talented people rehearsing for the evenings opera. Its the level of talent that leaves you slightly awestruck, and was the perfect little moment to start the evening. After a few more windy corridors we found ourselves on the stage of The Drum where the incredible Spitz & Co were setting up the stage for that night.
What we ended up with, in the time before the show, was an insight into what makes a two woman show. This show consists of Susie and Pauline (a lighting expert, a director and a designer), who met in a comedy workshop where the piece of advice shared with attendees was to go and make comedy as a duo. Susie and Pauline took this literally, and Gloriator (the first in a trilogy) was created. 
Alongside hearing some of the pairs history we were able to pick their brains for favourite comedy acts, how a theatre company wins funding for a project, and how the pair cope with jokes that land flat. We were taken to a dressing room, where Pauline showed us the bed and chicken filets present. The overexcited child in me was particularly impressed by the lighting around the mirrors, with it meeting my mental picture of a dressing room. Sadly, the dressing room journey also resulted in the temporary loss of Brett and Hazel as they discovered firsthand how labyrinth like backstage really is. 
One of my favourite aspects of the evening both before and after the show, were the props. The pair took us through which of the props were their favourite (a light up skyline and a toy helicopter were Susie’s personal favourite), talked through some prop issues they are faced with (anyone know where you can find a child’s triangle tent with three entry/exit points?), how everything has its place and needs to be accessed incredibly quickly. Props are a lot more complicated than they initially appear.
A little while after this, we left the pair be and sat around chatting waiting for the show to start. I have not laughed as much as I did last Thursday in a very long time. Live comedy is incredible, and I need to add it to my To-Do list over an over for 2017. The comedy is accessible, physical, situational and just bloody brilliant. With everything from interpretive dance, to snowball fights the show was unpredictable and incredibly original.
Running until Friday 23 December and priced at less than £15 a ticket the show is worth putting in your diaries. As I write this, I’m sitting here trying to work out how I can fit the show in again before the tour ends…
– Emily

The tickets were gifted as part of the Blogger Scheme at the Theatre Royal, but the somewhat gushing words above are entirely my own.

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A Book Review: Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

I first discovered Rainbow Rowell around eighteen months ago. After reading a snappy review of Eleanor and Park in a magazine, the title jumped out at me when it was a kindle deal. I picked the novel up a couple months later when I needed a distraction, and quickly lost a lot of sleep to a story I couldn’t put down.m I have since read a fiar bit of Rowell’s back catalogue.

So in September when I suddenly found myself with a lot of time on my hands, my mum and I went on a trip around Truro charity shops (I love charity shopping), and I found Fangirl. For a pound.

The book focuses on Cath and her experiences when she first goes to university college with her twin sister. It touches on themes of first love, discovering yourself, familial relationships, friendships and most importantly and very importantly: fanfiction.

Cath(er) has a twin sister Wren, and university is the first time the two of them have existed as separate entities, a choice that was not Cath’s. The story is very much about Cath managing her anxiety, developing herself as a new writer whilst continuing her well established fan fiction, and standing up for what is important to her.

The characters are well rounded and believable, and very loveable. Reagan is a definite favorite. One thing I love about Rowell is when she writes less convetionaly beautiful characters, such as Reagan, rather than making her characteristically bubbly and happy she is herself. All imperfections accepted, confident in her own skin and a force to be reckoned with. If you enjoy Young Adult stories which have strong female leads, witty writing and a bit of love story its one to pick up.

A good book to pick up after this would be Carry On, the fan fiction that Cath writes throughout the novel is focused on the Carry On series a magical fantasy story which is more than inspired by Harry Potter

If you’ve yet to read Fangirl the wonderful Goodreads have a sample of the first thirty of so pages which you can find here.

In case you needed convincing that she was an absolute babe, Rainbow has a board on Pinterest entirely curated of Fangirl fan art. It is a thing of beauty, and was the perfect thing to help with the comedown after finishing such an awesome book.

– Emily

I will actually be dropping this off at my local charity shop soon, unless someone would like to take it off my hands?