What’s In My Handbag First Day At Work 

This is a throwback post.

Twelve months ago today, I walked through the doors of my office after murdering the surname of my supervisor. I remember feeling distinctly overwhelmed after reading through some of the forty SLA’s, and being shown the processes that would fit into our day-to-day lives, watching Dee answer an email faster than seemed physically possible (with hind sight, she was using auto correct shortcuts). One thing I did twelve months ago was start a post, which I didn’t publish, linked to preparing for my first day:

  • Lunchbox
  • Waterbottle
  • Fruit
  • Trail mix
  • Purse
  • Glasses
  • Umbrella
  • Scarf
  • Pencil case
  • Make up
  • Handcream
  • Kindle
  • Spare canvas bag
  • Ipod and headphones
  • A tub of brownies

Some of this is from previous first day experience; I’ve had jobs where there was no stationery on my first day, and another where there was no desk. So bringing a notebook, and a few pens meant I knew I could take the 10000 notes I wanted, the water bottle avoided the potential politics of using someone else’s mug, and the brownies linked into a joke from my final interview.

– Emily

– Emily

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Nine Things I Learnt From Being A Bridesmaid

I don’t if I’ve mentioned it, but I was recently a bridesmaid. A few weeks ago one of my best friends married her best friend at the prettiest Dorset venue and I got to play Bridesmaid along with three of the other women who she loved dearly. Anyway, what I wanted to do was pull together a lost, on the things I learnt from being a Bridesmaid;

Your best friends best friends, are probably awesome

I shared my bridesmaid duties with three lovely girls, who cared as much for Hannah as I did. Through being involved with the planning, helping arrange a Hen do, decorating a venue, and all other wedding duties I have made at least one friend I expect to have for a long time.

Group work is just as stressful outside of university

The day I graduated I was doing a secret little happy dance (whenever my stress migrane wasn’t trying to destroy my brain) at the knowledge group work was over. How wri3ng I was; there was a Hen do which needed planning by my friends nearest and dearest in my near future. I think planning anything with a group of people you don’t know, when your only method of contact is a group chat is naturally and inadvertently stressful.

How to dethorn roses

Whilst setting up the venue I asked the florist (which was a friend of the couple) if she needed a hand, and I got set about de-thorning roses. It’s ridiculously easy, you just use a nail to pop the thorns off (being careful of the tiny ones).

How to make a pocket square 

Josh didn’t have a pocket square to match his tie, and it was my job to fashion the thing. After over complicating how to cut the darn thing, I sat in a corner sewing those four corners by hand as neatly as I could.

There are some wonderful photos of my moody little concentration face in the background of people getting thier hair and make up done.

I can, actually, go braless

I don’t own a strapless bra, once I passed an E cup I found the style didn’t work for me, and I wasn’t about fork up £40 for a Basque I’d wear once, so I nervously went braless for the day. I didn’t embarrass myself, or look as terrible ad I worried I would sans brassiere, thank goodness for corset backed dresses and the supported they offer.

Flower girls will become your BFFs


Hannah had two adorable flower girls, one who was around three and shy, and the other incredibly charming and enthusiastic eight year old. All the bridesmaids spent the prep, wedding day, and reception chatting away, playing with or dancing with her.

Small things will be unintentionally overlooked 


The centre pieces were really beautiful hurricane lanterns (which had been hand polished the night before!) filled with Moss, ivy, fairy lights and candles. After the Wedding Buffet Connie and I (along with our partners) blew out each candle, switched on the lights, and re lit each candle.

We also made the boys move the seating plan before the meal, because it wasn’t in the best place.


Wedding withdrawl is a thing

I am still missing Hannah and Josh’s Wedding. From the excitement of getting the venue ready the night before, and the 7 am start time on the day to add some finishing touches, walking down a aisle ahead of my friend in her fairy tale dress to giggling with one of the bridesmaids and our partners throughout the day. I can see why Heidi and Seal renewed thier vows so often.

The professional photos, seem to take forever 


As I have mentioned here, my partner is a wedding photographer and I know first hand how time consuming editing photos from one incredible day can be. This is the first time I’ve experienced what it’s like to be on the other end, and I cannot wait to see everything from the formal shots to the portraits, first dance and everything in between.

– Emily

😘👰 🎩

Four New Beauty Bits I’m Loving


I never really need an excuse for a lunchtime browse of Superdrug or Boots, add a wedding into the mix and I have a few new bits that won’t be far from my washbag for a little while.

Birth of Venus

This Jelly facemask leaves my skin feeling soft, moisturised and just amazing. It lasts six months, doesn’t need to be chilled, and you only need the smallest pinch to cover your whole face. I was gifted a tub of this at a Lush event a few weeks back, and I’ve used it about once a week (including the night before Hannah’s wedding).

£6.95 shop here

Batiste – Stylist Texture Me Texturizing Spray

This came in a Glossybox a couple months back, and I really like what it does to a braided hair style. This really adds some grip and hold to a style, without stickiness like hairsprays. I only use this on dirty hair, it’s impossible to brush this out without doing damage to my hair in the process so I wash it put instead.

£4.49 shop here

Collection Velvet Kiss Lip Cream Cotton

I knew after the makeup trial I wanted a dupe for the lipstick I would be wearing at Hannah’s wedding day, mainly because I found the delilah version so drying. A wondeful lady in my local Superdrug helped me swatch lip products for about 10 minutes to find a close match, and I adore this colour. It’s not drying, long lasting and lightly staining, wears nicely and has been in my handbag ever day since the wedding.

£2.99 shop here

Mitchum Advanced Control Anti Perspirant & Deodorant 

With a full day of bridesmaid duties in a maxi dress, I knew I needed a heavy duty deodorant. Fleur De Force frequently sings the praises of the Mitchum Deodorants, so I grabbed one to try out. And it’s now easily my favourite deodorant /antiperspirant . It was incredibly effective, both at the wedding and during the week whilst running around with my cousins.

£2.89 shop here 

– Emily 

The Importance of Looking After Yourself 


Roughly this time last year, I was at a garden party celebrating the engagement of one of my best friends. All the girls had grouped together discussing hen dos in the most vague way possible and whilst describing budgets I discreetly shared with the other bridesmaids “I’m not sure if I’ll still have a job in a few months…” 

I was struggling, trying desperately hard to make a success of my new role which was an incredible opportunity as a recent graduate. Fast forward a year; The hen do has passed, and I’m running through the list in my head of things I need to pack for next week.

In the twelve months since I voiced my worries to relative strangers so many small things have changed in my life. I have joined the gym and started Slimming World, I have a small savings account, passed my driving test and; I have a new job.

Moving to a new job really helped me take control of my life.

Those months of really struggling to do well taught me that you can’t achieve everything just because you doggedly want to. Some goals needed to be retired, so others can be focused on. Dreading getting out of bed, the increasing knot of anxiety when someone comes to your desk, and quiet tears appearing on your journey home as you worry that the work you’ve done isn’t good enough are not acceptable ways to live.

Teasing your colleagues, and being mocked for your inability to capture anyones name first time on a phonecall are. Knowing at the end of the day you have really achieved something, and that you are part of a team that enjoy working with you and care about each other, is.

I am not a mental health blogger. At best I am a beauty and fashion blogger with a perchance for books, but the importance of looming after your own mental health has been so heavily on my mind. My previous work situation was something I had no experience with, and really learnt from. That change spurred me to change other aspects of my life, and those changes have made me so much happier.

Emily

Les Filles – A Slogan Tee from River Island

I’ve seen enough slogan Tees on my instagram and blog feed over the last few months to have fuelled a mini obsession. Cue discovering this amazing little top in the River Island Sale.

Stripped, with a shirting style peplum and French script appliquéd across the bust in a lovely velvet material. Honestly, this is the only thing I look forward to on those cold damp days the British Summer time seems to be peppered with.

Paired with my current wardrobe staple; slit ankle Next Jeans and gorgeous grey suede-esk Puma trainers this outfit is about comfort, and expressing your own sense of style.

At £10 it was an absolute bargain. Now to wait until Joanie Clothing reduce thier Brunch Club shirt as I can’t quite justify £18 + £4 p&p (though Brunch brings me much joy).

Top – River Island (sold out online £10) Jeans – Next (not available online, approx £25  ) Trainers – Sports Direct (£32)

– Emily

On a side note, Hutong Cafe’s coffee is so incredible I apparently couldn’t put it down for a single photo when Nicole was kinda enough to shoot these!

My Summer Saviour: Culottes.

Summer is hot. Summer is sweaty. And chub rub is real. So, to make life more bearable in when it warms up I live it culottes. I love how flowy and comfy they are and also how easy to style and cool they look.

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These particular black culottes are from New Look via ASOS and I think they work perfectly for a casual day with the girls or smartened up for a more formal work environment.

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For this lazy Saturday spent shopping with the girls, I decided to pair the culottes with an old Topshop crop top and my uber comfy New Balance trainers.

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And you can still jump around like an idiot in them.

 

So, don’t be surprised if you see me living in culottes until the weather decides to behave itself and cool down a little.

Thanks for reading. Speak soon – Sally 🙂

My Favourite Podcasts.

In the last 6 months I have discovered podcasts, I know I’m a little late to the party but at least I’m here. Throughout my teacher training year I’ve had to commute an hour to school and an hour back, which has given me ample time to enjoy some hilarious and thought-provoking conversations. I sometimes switch back to music when I’m in the car. depending on my mood, but generally I have relished having the opportunity to listen to people talking about subjects I wouldn’t normally hear about or that I don’t have the chance to discuss in my everyday life.

 

So I thought I would make a quick list of my favourite podcasts that I listen to regularly. Some I have gone back and am listening to all of the episodes and others I have just jumped in and ran with them.

 

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First up is Stuff You Should Know. This podcast takes on a different subject every episode and sees Josh and Chuck dissect these topics with skill and hilarity. They have taken on such varied theme as Remembering Stonewall to How Seed Bans Work to How Champagne Works, all in the last few months. So if you love finding about the weird and wonderful from two really funny and knowledgeable guys (and Jeri) then this will be the podcast for you.

 

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Next is the Elis James and John Robins podcast of their Radio X show on a Saturday 1pm-4pm. These are two of my favourite comedians and listening to their podcast is like being in heaven.  With John’s Shame Well, the Light Hearted Paper Review with Elis James and Humble Brag of the Week there’s something for everyone and if you’re anything like me you’ll end up laughing out loud on a train and have old people looking weird at you. Seriously, this podcast with the Hammer Legends is just too good you need listen to it.

 

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Then, we have No Such Thing as a Fish a podcast from the QI elves and researchers. Basically, four of the QI elves go around and present their favourite fact that they have found that week. The four then proceed to discuss these facts and they end up in some odd tangents, but it is so much fun. A great mix of knowledge and fun where I always learn something.

 

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Finally, we have BBC Radio 4 Seriously a podcast of seriously interestingly stories told a little sideways. This again, tackles some really varied topics that are always told from a slightly off centre perspective. My favourite episode so far concerns a woman telling the story of her grandfather who was a witness to the 1917 Russian Revolution and he had recorded his memories. She then goes to St Petersburg to see where he lived and what he saw. A truly fascinating and personal way to look at such a huge and significant event in history. This is a seriously good podcast (I am so funny).

 

This is just a list of my current favourites, I also listen to many other podcasts and am always looking to discover more. So, if you have any recommendations please comment and let me know.

 

Thanks for reading. Speak soon – Sally 🙂