Sustainable Fashion and The Capsule Wardrobe

As much as I love going out and buying new clothes I have been thinking a lot about sustainable fashion lately.  It's currently a hot topic and especially with fashion week now on and the urge to buy more clothes as we transition into winter.  But is it really necessary to keep buying new clothes?  What's wrong with our old clothes or buying second hand?

As much as I love buying new clothes I must admit I am quite the hoarder.  I definitely think twice before throwing something out, especially if it hasn't been worn much and always donate a lot to charity every so often.

Adidas trainers - 3 years old

I don't think there's anything wrong with keeping an item for more than 2 years but for some reason people seem to be embarrassed or feel the need to constantly keep updating their wardrobe.  I get that obviously trends change and you don't always want to be seen in something 'so last season' but that is why I have tried to create a capsule wardrobe for myself.

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of items that are classic, timeless pieces that you can wear again and again.  I now look for this when I feel the need to shop; will it last forever?  will it go out of fashion quickly?  will I wear it a lot?  do I have something similar already?  These are the questions we need to be asking before purchasing something.

Here are some of my most loved items that I've had for over 2 years.

Faux leather jacket from Miss Selfridge - 6 years old

Vest top from Forever 21 - 7 years old

How do you feel about sustainable fashion?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

On Blackheath 2018

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend On Blackheath which is a music festival taking place on Blackheath, London.  I went on the Sunday and got to see the amazing Paloma Faith as well as the hilarious Lightening Seeds and the oh so funky De la Soul.  The weather was so beautiful and it was just such a perfectly chilled day.

We got there about 3pm by taking a train to Greenwich and walking through the park.  We went straight to the VIP area which had it's own bar and toilets.  There were also comfy seats and lots more room to sit and chill whilst listening to the music.  The only downside to the VIP area is the huge fence around the edge so whilst people can't see in, you also can't see the stage but it was nice all the same.



When De la Soul came on we decided to go out into the crowd for a little dance because how can you not when this band performs!  After a good dance we had worked up an appetite and decided we wanted to check out some of the food stalls.  There were so many to choose from I think this was the hardest decision of the day!

I was really pleased by the amount of vegan food that was on offer too and in the end decided on Vegan Vice as I'd heard good things about them from the Vegan Nights events.  I went for the truffle shuffle burger which consisted of a seitan patty which is the best alternative to meat EVER, vegan cheese and mayo.  It was honestly one of the best burgers I've had and I definitely want to try more from them.



Lastly we went to see the amazing Paloma Faith.  She has such an amazing voice and what I love about her performance is that she really interacts with the crowd.  She explained the meaning behind some of her songs and talked about a recent loss she went through which just made her even more relatable.  After that we walked to Lewisham and took the train home after an awesome day in the sunshine listening and dancing to live music.

This was my second time attending On Blackheath and I'll definitely be attending next year.  I would highly recommend it to anyone in the London area.  It's also super family friendly.




Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

How To Enhance Your Career

I recently got a promotion at work.  It was such a relief that my hard work had finally paid off because there were certainly times when I wanted to give up.  I'm no expert on how to work your way up the career ladder but I've definitely had my fair share of set backs and that is the inspiration behind today's post.


Don't give up

If I'd given up after every set back I had I would not be anywhere near where I am now in life.  In my early thirties I am just about to qualify as a lawyer and buy my own 4 bedroom house in London.  However, I can't tell you how many nos and fails I've had along the way but I'm now I can look back and realise I'm so glad I kept going.

There's no substitute for hard work

I didn't do particularly well at school and I thought this would never get me a good enough career to live the lifestyle I wanted.  However, it's not always about good grades and top education but hard work.  I did have to go back and study to get the qualification needed to be a lawyer but I did it all whilst working full time and that was way more beneficial for me than any degree and debts I would have ended up with.



Believe in yourself

This is one where I need to practise what I preach.  I am not very confident in myself, maybe because I've had a lot of knock backs and feel like I'm not 'as smart' as everyone around me but if you believe you can achieve.  Sometimes you have to be your number 1 fan and trust that you will get to be where you want to be if you just have a little more faith in yourself.

Learn from your mistakes

You're never going to get it right every time and particularly not the first time so don't be disheartened if you get it wrong.  Sometimes getting it wrong is the biggest learning curve.  Whenever I get something wrong it then sticks with me to never make that same mistake again.  Remember, that most people you work for will have been in your position at some point.

Ask questions

I was always so afraid to ask questions at the risk of sounding stupid but actually, there's no such thing as a stupid question.  What's more stupid is to sit there quietly not knowing what to do and wasting time.  Ask the questions and do the work.  There is no shame is admitting you don't know something.





What's your best piece of career advice?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Do We Still Marry For Love?

Today's society is such a strange one, with Millennials taking over the internet [world], feminists finally having a voice and veganism being the fastest growing movement of 2017.  But yet we still aren't anywhere nearer to getting world peace and it makes me wonder about love and whether we still even marry for love?

If we go back to the 18th century, no-one really married for love.  Girls from high society families would be set up with a man from a similar social class by their parents and would marry for money.  The girl would then be reliant on the man and his family to provide for her and any children she may have.  



Marrying for money, however, makes you very vulnerable.  If you are then reliant on the man to look after you you would have to be willing to turn a blind eye to his affairs or abuse he may put you through.  If you don't, you will be divorced and poor.  Obviously the situation is not as bad in this day and age because girls can go out and get good jobs and look after themselves.

Even so, it does seem like some people just settle and put up with stuff just because they think they will have a better lifestyle if they do.  I think as always the media is to blame for this.  They blast all over the internet these glamorous lifestyles and some girls think the only way to achieve this is by getting with a rich man.



Ladies, we are strong independent women, please know your worth.  Just look around at the #MeToo movement and see how strong some of those ladies are.  We don't need men to have beautiful things, we can get that ourselves.  Find someone who has a good heart and fall in love.  Once you have found that special person you will feel like you have everything you could ever want anyway.

What are your thoughts on love today?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Belgium

At the beginning of August my friend and I took a weekend break to Belgium.  I've been to Bruges before but I really wanted to visit Antwerp after seeing it on Lonely Planet's top destination for 2018. I mentioned this to my friend and, as a food blogger, she was game and said she would like to visit Brussels so I said why don't we do both!

We took the Eurostar to Brussels and stayed 2 nights at the NH Collection in Brussels and then did a day trip to Antwerp as it was only 45 minutes on the train.






Where to Stay

Belgium isn't a huge country so it's easy to get about.  We decided to do 2 nights in Brussels and just travel to other cities if we wanted.  We stayed at a lovely 4 star hotel in the centre of Brussels and it was so easy to get about from here.  The hotel which was part of the NH Collection group and the staff were so accommodating.  I actually stayed with them last year in Berlin so I knew I was in safe hands.

We left London early and arrived in Brussels around midday.  We didn't think we would be able to check into our room until 2pm but when we arrived at the hotel they said the room was all ready for us and we were able to go straight there and put our stuff down which was perfect seeing as we were tired from being up so early.



The room was a perfect size, we each had our own bed and when we wanted extra teabags (so British) they gave us a whole variety of them.  They couldn't be more helpful and even had a cute little sweetie trolley in the foyer to help yourself to.

Where to Eat and Drink

Now if there's 3 things that Belgium is known for it's beer, fries and waffles so obviously we had to make sure we tried as much as we could.  We were eating waffles for breakfast, lunch and dinner and every flavour of beer.  Literally heaven.



We went to an amazing place for brunch that did savory waffles.  We even went back twice.  It was called Peck 47.  I had the mushroom flavoured waffle with eggs, spinach and pyscho sauce.

In terms of the sweet waffles there are literally places everywhere.  You have the fancy places where you can sit inside and get tea with them or there are the little stalls that sell them from 2 euros.  Honestly, I would just go to the stalls because they are just as good and the service is way better.  We went to one of the famous places called Maison Dandoy and we literally had to wait almost an hour for one waffle.  Needless to say we ended up walking out.



For dinner I really enjoyed Manhattan Burgers.  It was an American joint which isn't exactly the most cultural thing to do in Belgium but sometimes you just want a good burger and this place did not disappoint.  I had the veggie option.  The famous fries place is called Fritland but unfortunately we didn't make it there because the queue was always so big but they basically do fries with a tonne of sauce options.

As with the waffles you can pretty much get a good beer everywhere and lots of places have offers on.  My favourite fruit beers were the strawberry fruli one and the cherry kriek.



What to do in Antwerp

On the second day we got up early and took the train to Antwerp.  It only took about 45 minutes and so we were there in time for brunch.  Perfect.  We visited a place called the Goodie Foodie where we had white chocolate malteaser milkshakes and omelettes.  Not as good as the food in Brussels but still pretty satisfying.

We then explored the city and the weather was beautiful.  Antwerp is a lot more trendy and cute than Brussels with lots of pretty alleyways, flowers everywhere and impressive buildings.  We decided to visit the Chocolate Line whilst we were there which smelt like heaven.  It was free to walk around unlike some of the museums in Brussels.



What I also loved about Antwerp was the fact that it had loooooads of shops.  You could definitely spend a good day just browsing the clothes stores and picking up the latest trends.  We then went and had a drink in a bar and chilled for a bit before getting the train one stop outside the city and walking to one of the parks to relax.

How to Get There

For some reason it didn't instantly cross my mind to take the Eurostar to Brussels.  I was just going to take a plane.  However, we got a much better deal by booking on lastminute.com any of the stops between London and Kent.  My friend lives in London so she wanted to get on there but as I live a little bit outside London in Kent it was easier for me to drive there and leave my car.



I took the train from Ebbsfleet and literally walked straight through check-in and passport control in under 5 minutes.  It was so easy and stress free, I couldn't recommend this station enough.  When I boarded the train my friend was already on it and we then headed off to Brussels.  On the way home I just jumped off at Ebbsfleet and she stayed on to London.  I left my car at the station for 5 pounds per day and was home in 30 minutes.  It couldn't have been easier.


Have you been to Belgium yet?

I think if I went back I would just do a day trip or 1 night as there isn't loads to see and do but it's definitely somewhere worth visiting, especially if you're a foodie!

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Jumpsuit

This silk jumpsuit is from Topshop and can be dressed up or down.  I wore in Dubai with a cardigan and trainers for a more relaxed look.
This smart black jumpsuit is from Oasis.  I wore it to an event evening at work with heels for a more elegant look.

What do you think of jumpsuits?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

How To Make Your Concealer Look Invisible

Concealer is possibly my favourite makeup item.  I love how a good one can covers all flaws and sins.  Sometimes if I want a more natural look I ditch the foundation and just put a little concealer over the parts that need more coverage.  When it comes to foundation I normally go for a light-medium coverage and then get a more full coverage concealer.

However, the problem with getting a fuller coverage concealer is that sometimes you can really see it and it can look cakey which is not a look I like to go for at all.  I love keeping my makeup as natural as possible.  So how do you avoid your concealer looking cakey and get it to look more invisible?



Less is more.  If your concealer is thick then start with a little bit and build it up until your happy.

Use the correct shade.  If you want the concealer to be less obvious then you need it to match your foundation and skin colour.  I know some people like it to be highlighted but this is different if you are using it to cover up.

Blend, blend, blend.  If you do feel like you've put too much on then be sure to blend it out properly so that it all matches in with your foundation.



Set it.  Lastly, once you have your concealer how you want it be sure to set it in place with a good powder so that it doesn't crease or smudge off during the day.

What are your favourite concealers?  I've always loved the MAC prolong wear.

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

The Athleisure Trend

I might be a bit late to the party here (but isn't that fashionable anyway?) but I am really into the athleisure trend that's going on.  It's basically sportswear that you can dress up and wear outside of the gym which means it's super comfy and I'm all about that comfort life now.

Here are some athleisure looks I've been wearing lately:

Swimsuit by Weekday via ASOS

Trousers by Only via ASOS

Snow boots by ASOS

What do you think of the athleisure trend?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

True Vit Naturals Retinol Serum Review

As woman now in my early 30s I find myself thinking more about my skin and how I can slow down the ageing process.  I've always had quite dry skin which means I am more prone to wrinkles.  With this in mind I am always on the look out for skincare products that provide hydration and oils to keep my skin plump and youthful.



So when True Vit sent me their new natural serum with retinol I was most excited to try it.  Retinol is an ingredient that fights the appearance of fine lines, uneven skin tone, blemishes and scars.  So not only is it great for anti ageing but it is also great for anyone suffering with acne, scarring or discolouration.



Retinol has vitamin A in it which we all know is great for the skin and collagen production.  It can improve texture and pigmentation and acts almost like an exfoliation without the harsh scrubbing.  Since using this product I've noticed a really healthy glow to my skin.  I use it in the evening after cleansing.  



I prefer to use this product in the evening rather than the day.  If used in the day an SPF should be applied overtop as retinol can increase sun sensitivity.  I use 2-3 drops on my face and it feels super hydrating.  When I wake in the morning my skins feels so smooth and looks radiant.  I would highly recommend this product if you are looking for a new anti ageing skincare serum with natural ingredients.  And as an added bonus, it's also vegan and cruelty free!

Have you tried any retinol products?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

My Favourite Fragrances for Summer (from my own collection)

I like to swap my fragrances upon depending on the season.. and sometimes just the weather because we all know that summer doesn't necessarily mean sunshine in the UK!  However, this summer these are the perfumes from my collection that I've been reaching for the most:



  1. Maybe Baby by Benefit - this has a really fresh scent and is perfect for everyday and work|

  2. Heiress by Paris Hilton - this is a more fun weekend fragrance.  You can say what you like about Paris but the girl knows how to make a good perfume, I have most of her collection!



  3. Apple by DKNY (the green one) - this a fruity fragrance and I love the smell of apples.  It's not too overpowering so another good daytime staple.

  4. Rock and Rose by Valentino - this is a really girly scent and perfect for date nights.

  5. Dot by Marc Jacobs - I find this one quite a heavy scent so more for nights out and lasts ages.

What are your favourite scents for summer?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

My Best Fashion Buys Of The Month

I love this time of the year.  So many sales going on and so many bargains to be bought, especially if you're like me and plan for a later summer holiday.  I normally like to take a little trip during September but this year we are moving house so we have pushed it back a bit to November for some winter sun.

Sunnies - YSL
Top - ASOS
Jeans - Berhska
Trainers - Adidas

Shorts - Boohoo

Vest - ASOS
Trousers - Vila
Bag - Topshop
Shoes - Valentino

What have you bought thus far this summer?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Are The Spice Girl's 90s Makeup Looks Making A Comeback?

If you were alive during the 90s, no matter where in the world you lived, you would remember the Spice Girls.  And you would remember the impact of the Girl Power movement.  You may also remember the bright coloured eyeshadows and girlish makeup looks. But are they, in 2018, making a comeback?  There's certainly been similar looks on the catwalks in Paris and Milan recently.





What do you think about a Spice Girls' makeup comeback?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

How To Get Over Heartbreak

Everyone will experience heartbreak at some point in their lives.  Whether it's a failed relationship or the loss of a loved one.  It sucks and it hurts.  Like, it really really hurts but in a weird sort of way I think it's a good thing that everyone should go through because it makes your stronger and realise that you can get over anything.

Obviously there are some situations that are more difficult than others and everyone deals with things differently but I think what's important to realise is that to not compare your situation to others.  If you are going through something bad and so is someone else except you think there's is not as bad as yours, don't question it.  You don't know the details and what's bad for you could be worse for someone else.



There's no timescale for how long it's going to take to get over your heartbreak.  Again, everyone is different you just have to go through the motions and find ways to ease the pain or learn to cope.  For me, I found the biggest help was to change my routine.  It sounds off but by having a different daily and weekly routine from before the heartbreak almost felt like I was starting afresh instead of being stuck in my past.

Keeping busy also really helps and surrounding yourself with happy positive people.  I lived by myself when I was going through the heartbreak but I decided to rent out my spare room just to have someone else around.  I also booked loads of holidays and really threw myself into my studies and work.



How do you cope with heartbreak?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Summer Shoe Style: Espadrilles

Espadrilles have been the shoe of the summer for decades now.  I remember my mum owning numerous pairs in the 90s and then finally getting my hands on some myself by the 00s.

I think the reason they have always been so popular and have always made a comeback is because of how versatile they are.  They come in so many different styles ranging from super casual flats to evening appropriate wedges.  With so many colours and patterns and that cute little iconic tie up ribbon around the ankle, not to mention how comfortable they are, it’s easy to see why the espadrille is here to stay.

And because of their ever increasing popularity it means that everyone from Kurt Geiger to Primark are designing them which means they are affordable for every price point.  Here are some of my favourites for this season:

ASOS - £38

New Look - £15

Kurt Geiger - £99


What do you think about espadrilles?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

How To Be More Positive

We're all guilty of getting a little down every now and again, some more than others but even the most positive of people can think negatively at times.  Sometimes it can be one little thing that just sets you off and puts a dampener on your entire day.  In an industry like the blogging one it can be really hard not to compare yourself to others and think negatively of yourself.

Here are some top tips I use to stay more positive when I start to feel a little down.




Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

As I said above, comparing yourself to others is one of the easiest ways to make yourself feel rubbish.  However, no-one's journey is the same and we all suffer knock backs.  Even the people you think are doing really well have properly suffered set backs along the way.  You may not be where you want to be yet but you're on the way and that's what matters.

There's Always Someone Worse Off Than You

This may seem a little mean to think of but it's true, there is always someone out there in a lot worse off position than you so count your blessings and think yourself lucky.  Someone out there would kill to have your bad days.

You're Not Alone

Don't think that you're the only one who has ever felt like this or come across this hurdle because we all face them.  We all feel the same but at different stages.  It's getting through the rubbish that makes us stronger.

This Too Will Pass

This feeling will not last forever.  This crap situation will not last forever.  You will get through it and feel yourself again.  Just stay strong and focus on the better times ahead.

There's Nothing Music Can't Fix

And if you still feel down in the dumps then play your favourite song, have a little dance, go shopping and treat yourself to some new threads or even just buy your favourite food.  These are all instant mood boosters!

What do you do to stay more positive?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

The Bright Eyeshadow Summer Trend

When I think of summer fashion I always think of pops of colour and brightness.  Makeup is no different.  A bright lip looks gorgeous with a tan or pops of colour on the eyelids is so cute with freckles and glowy skin.  One of the most popular eyeshadow palettes for creating these kinds of look is the Urban Decay Vice palette.  However, this can be pricey and so I looked to the high street for a similar alternative.

This one by Technic I picked up on Amazon for around £10.  It has 12 colours from brights to bronzes.  All perfect for creating a summery look.  This is what I came up with.







I went for blue and purples on the lid with a pinky nude lip.

Do you like the bright eyeshadow trend?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

My Favourite Summer Co-Ords


This summer it’s all about coordinating.  I’ve seen so much inspiration in the media, online and on the catwalks.  I think what I love most about this trend is that you don’t have to try too hard.  You already have the top and bottoms so there’s no need to try and find something to match, just accessorise and go!

Here are some of my favourites I found via Pinterest.






What do you think of the coordinate trend?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

How To Be More Plastic Free

Single use plastic is a huge problem for the environment and not to mention killing our sea life.  So much so that lots of companies are now trying to reduce their use of plastic such as doing away with plastic straws and charging for using plastic carrier bags.  Here are a few ways that you yourself can do your bit to live a plastic free life.

  1. Bring your own reusable water bottle/coffee cup preferably metal.  Can you imagine how much plastic waste comes from people that buy water bottles every single day?!  Just buy yourself a reusable bottle, there are so many places that sell them and either fill it up at home or when buying coffee out ask them to use your cup instead.

  2. Shop savvy.  When I'm at the supermarket I try to pick up fruit and veg with the less amount of plastic packaging.  This can prove quite difficult sometimes but a lot of shops are getting better.

  3. When you have leftovers rather than putting them on a plate with some plastic cling film, use a reusable tupperware box, metal bento box or even use tin foil which is at least recyclable.

  4. Use useable shopping bags when you go shopping.  This is one I am probably best at because it's so easy to just throw a bag in when you go shopping and not have to keep buying new ones.

  5. Stop buying ready meals.  They're not good for you anyway because of the amount of sodium most of them contain but they are the biggest culprits at wasting plastic.

  6. Use bars of soap instead of plastic bottles.  This is obviously harder because we are so used to using plastic bottles of soap, shampoo etc but if we can try to cut down on it then we are taking a step in the right direction.



How will you do your bit to go plastic free?

Lauren

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Get To Know Me! Q&A

I can't believe I've never done one of these before.  I found the 'get to know me tag' on YouTube and answered the questions as best I could.  Enjoy!

1. What is your middle name?  I don't actually have one.

2. Share you favorite subject in high school.  Dance, drama and music!  I loved performing acts and went to a stage school.

3. What is your favorite drink?  Cherry cola.

4. What is your favorite song at the moment?  Three Lions, c'mon England!

5. What would you (or have you) name your children? Anja, Sophia and Courtney for a boy.

6. Have you participated in any sports? Basketball and athletics.

7. What is your favorite book? The Time Traveller's Wife.

8. What is your favorite color? Red glitter.

9. What is your favorite animal? Hamsters.

10. What is your favorite perfume? Chanel No.5.

11. What is your favorite holiday? California or Australia.

12. On a scale from 1 – 10, rate your childhood. 10

13. Have you been out of the country? I'm lucky to live in London so I can easily visit other places in Europe and the World.

14. Do you speak any different languages? Une petit Francais!

15. Do you have any siblings? 1 sister.

16. What is your favorite store? ASOS.

17. What is your favorite restaurant? That's tough because there are so many great ones in London but I love Chinese food.

18. Did you like school? Yes.

19. Who are some of your favorite Bloggers? Emma Hill and Something Navy.

20. What is your favorite movie? Beetlejuice.


21. What are some of your favorite tv shows? Suits.
22. PC or mac?  Hmm, I have both.  They're both great!
23. What phone do you have? iPhone 7.

24. How tall are you? 5'7.5" or 172cm.


25. Do you have any pets? A rabbit called Panda.




What about you?  Tell me something I don't know!


Lauren xx
Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Should I Have Lip Fillers?

Lip fillers have been having a moment the last few years and I think a lot of us have posed the question "Should I get my lips done?".

I don't think there's a wrong or right answer here.  If you feel like you want a little extra plumpness or that you would feel more confident having bigger lips or if you really don't like your lips the way they are or even if you don't like the shape of your lips and want a bit of filler to even them out.  You do you.  



I don't have lip fillers myself (you can probably tell!) but that's not to say I have ruled it out completely.  I think like a lot of us we're scared it will go wrong or that the swelling will last for ages and everyone will be able to tell.  If I had them done I would just start with a small bit and work from there until I was happy.

I would want people to be able to notice a little because what's the point in having them done if they look no different but I wouldn't want it to be too obvious.  It's also quite an expensive procedure if you want them done correctly.  Please make sure you do your research if you are thinking of getting them and go to somewhere reputable that is licensed to carry out this procedure.

What do you think about lip fillers?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren