Every now and then, I like to switch it up a little bit and do something different. The other day I watched an interview on YouTube with Ari Lennox and Summer Walker. It was a short conversation talking about all the things they’re “over” in light of Summer Walker’s latest album, Over It. If you haven’t listened to it, it’s amazing and has been on repeat ever since it came out.

I thought I'd take a leaf out of their book... okay, I'm just doing it in blog post form... and have my own go discussing what I'm over and what is not coming with me into the new year...

Drama…

A lot of drama comes from miscommunication and in a world with more streams of communication than ever before, why do we still suck at communicating? We have so many privileges that other people don’t have so why are we still afraid of sharing our feelings? Also, I have never had as much drama in my life as I currently do now. Life was so much simpler when there wasn’t drama. Let’s leave it to Eastenders, please. 

…over it

Body Hair…

Regrowth after a day, razor burn, cut legs... body hair grows back so quickly and it gets darker and darker each time. I’m over it completely. It’s the bane of my existence and it needs to not be. I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I’m leaving my body hair in 2019.

…over it


People’s opinions on my love life...

Do you have a boyfriend yet? No. You’re so picky, you’ll never find anyone. I’m sorry, what? One of the things I’m over more than anything is people’s opinions on my love life. Since when was it ever out in the open and up for debate? When I am emotionally ready to bare my deepest feelings and am ready to receive someone else’s, I will let you know. But until then, I’ll do me and you can sort your own love life out.

...over it.

Acne…

I’m starting to believe my skin has a mind of its own. No matter what I do or what I don’t do, there is always a pimple. A mark. A blemish. I’m tired of looking at my skin and seeing red marks everywhere. As much as I’m tired of acne, I’m also tired of all the work it takes to try and get rid of it. Spot cream, serum, moisturiser, natural remedies; I’m starting to think that either my skin is as stubborn as I am or it’s all just a marketing ploy. I don’t do anything to it and it explodes. 

….over it.


This post has been fun to write and if you’re a fellow blogger, give it a try and tag me in them. I’d love to see them! These four things are sadly the significant things that go round and round in my life and create the most negative energy. I predict that 2020 will be a great year. There are lots of great things happening such as graduating from university and (fingers crossed) getting my dream graduate job and a ton more things. Maybe I’ll fall in love? Maybe I’ll move into my own place? Maybe I’ll make more friends? The list of possibilities is endless.


Happy 2020 guys!!!

Love, Aoife xo

I have never been one of those people who are obsessed with candles. I never understood the attraction or appeal to a pot of wax and a flame. However, my knowledge and understanding of candles completely flipped when I received a candle that -no exaggeration- has changed my life. This candle is not only a beautiful specimen to look at but once lit transforms a cold dreary space to a warm cosy sensual space. 

I have never experienced anything like a Jo Malone candle. And yes, I said candle and experience in the same sentence because it most definitely is one. There is always a lot of hype when it comes to Jo Malone products especially by influencers but I can 100% confirm, it’s worth the hype. In the same way, nothing compares to taking a designer bag out of its dustbag, nothing compares to lighting a Jo Malone candle.


I received the candle as a birthday present and as soon as I lifted the lid off the candle, the scent had already enveloped me. The candle is the Velvet Rose & Oud Home candle and comes in all-black packaging with matte black wax and wick with a silver lid. Everything about it screams luxury even down to the matte black matches.


I’m not good at describing the scent but according to the website it says, “transform the atmosphere with the scent of darkest Damask rose. Wrapped with smoky out wood. Spiked with clove, decadent praline.” The scent is incredible when the candle isn’t even lit. And when it is, it’s extraordinary. The whole room is soon smelling of the greatest things in life. The wood and cloves give it a warm comforting feeling. 

I’m convinced that Jo Malone is a scent extraordinaire. Everything about the candle exudes luxury and elegance. And, I’m here for it. 

Love, Aoife xo

If you liked this post, you might like What is your Love Language?


In my first year of university, I wrote a post in line with the American holiday of Thanksgiving and shared all the things I was thankful for. It also happens to be one of my more popular posts. The post has weighed heavily on my mind ever since and I felt like I owed it myself to write another one. 

Reading over it again today, I feel quite proud of the person who wrote it. At that moment in time, I had started university, moved away from home and quite frankly had no clue whatsoever what I was doing.

Two years later, not much has changed. I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing but I do know that every day I’m doing something I love and am passionate about. So, there’s that. I know I’m stealing blog post ideas from myself but I wanted to write another one because there is so much that goes on in life that we can forget all the great things that have happened and we’re able to do. And, I just want to take a moment to share and reflect. 



The first thing I am grateful for, like in the last one, is for all the opportunities that have come my way. And like back then, I took them with both hands. Over the summer, I had the internship of my dreams at Marie Claire. Where I was given actual responsibilities. All the people I met were incredibly nice and the atmosphere was so welcoming. I’ve made lots of new contacts which that in itself is amazing. 

I am eternally grateful to have the privilege of travelling. I love travelling to different places, exploring different cultures and trying the local delicacies. Every summer, I save up and travel somewhere new. This summer was no different. I went to Venice with my friend in August and I absolutely loved it. We explored every inch of the islands, weaving in and out of alleyways, and crossing bridges. I didn’t quite realise at the time, but Venice is sinking and who knows if it’ll still be there by the time I have kids or have grandchildren? But, I have a million memories to share with them.


Lastly, I am thankful for having such amazing friends who have been an absolute rock this past year, especially the ones who gave me their shoulder when I cried. And there were a lot of sleep deprived tears falling. I am thankful for the ones who took me on therapy sessions to Tesco. To the ones who called me up and motivated me when I needed it. And, for all our lunches at Las Iguanas. 

The past year has taught me a million lessons about life and myself. Life will not always be the happy dreamland I thought I could get stay in. Sometimes it’s a lot harder than that. One thing I’ve learnt is how incredibly strong we all are. Even though it doesn't feel like it, we will never be faced with something we can’t handle. It just requires a little digging to find the strength you need.

What are you grateful for this year?

Aoife xo

It’s been almost two years since French brand La Roche-Posay revolutionised my skincare routine and my skin has never felt or looked healthier. I wrote a review on the Effacular range last year, which you can read here. The review is one of my most popular posts so I thought I’d come back to do an update of what my year has been like since using them.

I was introduced to the brand when they kindly sent me an email asking if I’d like to have some of their products. They didn’t want anything in return but they did turn me into a convert. And more importantly, a French skincare convert. All of their products are made with special thermal water meaning they are filled with goodness. <- My interpretation. 

In my current routine, I use the Effacular face wash and Effacular corrector cream. As well as their BB cream for light coverage. The Effacular range is targeted at acne-prone oily skin. The price range is in between high street and luxury. The most expensive thing costing you £16 for a BB cream and also the corrector cream. 

Before I started using La Roche-Posay, I had a lot of chin acne that would often flare up and I’d also get these annoying pimples popping up on my forehead or my cheek. I was really self-conscious of how red the spots would be against my pale skin so I did end up wearing a lot of foundation. Don’t get me wrong, I still get spots around my chin and other parts of my face like you can see in the picture but very rarely are they clusters of massive vibrant red volcanos. They are more like little bumps that never quite form into proper spots. 


The face wash is £12 or £18 depending on the size. I bought the £18 bottle for uni and I have to say, it’s lasted me longer than a year! You only need a coin-sized amount of face wash as it foams up really well. It’s my favourite product from the range and I feel it really helps to reduce the amount of excess oil my skin produces. It leaves my skin feeling a lot more balanced and actually cleaner from within. 

This review is similar to my last one as I love all of the products. I still buy the corrector cream even though it is the most expensive part of my routine. But that and the BB cream are my little splurges. In my last review, I complained that I didn’t feel the corrector cream was hydrating enough and the instructions on the packet confused me. It still does. However, I’ve figured out how to use the cream- yay! I only use a small amount as it is expensive and apply it to the key problem areas on my face such as cheeks and chin. I also find it easier to use and it glides on when my skin is healthier and not dry.

I occasionally use the Serozinc toning spray but only when I feel my skin is feeling really oily. When I first started using these products, my face used to feel so oily but it's definitely calmed down since. Something I accredit to a mixture of these products and a better diet. I don’t really eat greasy fast food or dairy as much as I used to and that’s really improved how my skin feels and looks. The spray contains zinc, which is common in a lot of oily skin products. It’s a very cooling and refreshing spray.


I’m still amazed at the Effacular range and how well it still works. Sometimes I find products become less effective the more you use them. However, I feel my skin has found balance with these products and I still recommend them to anyone with oily skin. My skin definitely feels fresher and free of oil (without that dry feeling) after every wash. They are pricey but they’re definitely worth the coin and you can see results within a week of using them. Plus, the face wash lasts you ages so it probably works out cheaply per wash.

Please note that my skin has cleared up from a mixture of these products, other skincare products I use and a change in my diet. I have cut out as much dairy as I can and I eat dairy-free alternatives. I also wash my face twice a day and a regular routine will help make a noticeable difference. 

La Roche-Posay is available online or instore in Boots and it's often on special offer. Also, if you're a student you can get 10% off. Bargain!


Love, Aoife xo

It’s no secret that skincare is one of my favourite things to purchase. In this new series, I want to put to the test whether some of the holy grail and most talked about products are worth the hype they receive. In the first post I’m reviewing Pixi's Glow Tonic.  

Pixi’s Glow Tonic is a staple feature when it comes to skincare products appearing on my Instagram feed. The bottle’s iconic packaging of an orange tinted plastic bottle with a pea green lid and label is instantly recognisable anywhere. The 250ml bottle retails for £18, but 100ml and 500ml are also available to buy from most beauty outlets. The 250ml bottle lasted me about nine months.

The Tonic contains 5% glycolic acid which is a micro-exfoliant. (Read here what glycolic acid is and it's benefits.) On the label, it recommends using the tonic either in the morning and at night or when needed. At first, I used it at both times at the day before switching to only at night. I actually prefer using the product once a day as two times is too strong for my skin. After consistently using the product for about a month, I slowly started using my exfoliating scrub less and less. However, I still exfoliate once a week to smooth my skin and give it a little TLC boost.


It also contains Aloe Vera to soothe and hydrate the skin as well as ginseng to improve circulation for a brighter, healthier looking complexion. I agree that the tonic has helped improve my skin’s appearance in looking brighter and healthier. My pore’s have also been looking pretty great at the moment.

It took me a little while to understand this product. It might seem a bit silly but at first I wasn’t quite sure what its purpose was. I understand slightly better now that it's a light daily chemical exfoliater. The results were quite gradual and for the most part, I’m still on the fence. However, I stopped using the tonic for a week and I could really feel and see a difference in the texture of my skin. 

Overall, I’d say this product is worth the hype. It’s a bit of a luxury to add to your routine and I like the simplicity of it. It’s a micro-exfoliant that works best with regular use.

Have you tried Pixi Glow Tonic?


Love, Aoife xo






Sweedish high street retailer, H&M, has often collaborated with designers to release a limited edition capsule collection. Previous successful collaborations include Moschino, Erdem, Karl Lagerfeld and now Giambattista Valli. The Giambattista Valli X H&M collection features lots of stunning tulle dresses, blouses and also tights. With the collection's release date looming, I thought I'd share an unpublished blog post from last year featuring their GP & J Baker X H&M collection.

*   *   *

I hardly ever buy from limited-edition designer collections. Mainly because I don’t have the type of money to go around spending it like that. But…. I am learning that it’s okay to be a bit more spontaneous and fun with my choices when I shop. As long as my purchases aren’t totally impulsive and I know I’m going to wear it plenty of times.

It was back in the summer, while I was out shopping with my Mum and brother down Westfield when I walked past H&M and spotted a mannequin in the window wearing the cutest jumpsuit I had ever seen. So I went instore to have a proper look at it on the rail. I didn’t buy the jumpsuit on that day; I tried it on, fell in love and begrudgingly put it back. But I managed to track down the last one a week later. As the collection was limited edition, the jumpsuits had pretty much sold out except from a couple of size 4’s (US size 0) left. 


The jumpsuit in question, which is adorable, is part of the GP & J Baker x H&M collection for SS18. The brand in collaboration with one of my favourite high street retailers is a wallpaper company who specialise in prints. So a lot of the pieces used their famous prints. 

So yeah, I just wanted to share these cute pictures taken inside The Shop at Bluebird in Covent Garden just before my friend and I headed to an exclusive premiere of Crazy Rich Asians back in September. I’ve worn the jumpsuit a lot since then including to work (I was interning at Marie Claire) and to a friends birthday meal.


Love, Aoife xo


The French have a saying, “La vie appartient à ceux qui se lèvent tôt,” which in English means “Life belongs to those who rise early!” Now, while I agree that waking up at 6AM gives you the whole day to use to be as productive as you can, sometimes you can be just as productive waking up a little later. 

As a third-year student, I have lists upon lists coming out of my ears of all the things I need to do. Even more so as a journalism student. I'm only in two days a week so the other three days are used for chasing up people for interviews, research and writing. Sounds simple but it's really not and fellow writers and journalism students will understand, especially on NCTJ accredited courses. 

Regardless of whether you're on top of your game, or in the pits of despair, procrastination will inevitably set in. I've come up with four tips and tricks to help you stay motivated, productive and less stressed. And to help push procrastination back a few hours.


ONE // Make realistic to-do lists

This was something I figured out quite early on. I would make myself a to-do list with everything I wanted to do and when the day finished I hadn’t even completed the first thing. Sometimes to-do lists are full of really big things that require a lot more time than we have to give to it. Instead of listing all the big projects that need completing, specify the parts that need doing. When you break them down into smaller tasks, they become more manageable and you’ll be ticking a lot more things of your to-do list.

TWO // Set the time

Setting yourself working hours encourages you to use those hours productively. I procrastinate less when I know I have a couple of hours of free time in the evening. The amount of work that needs doing will increase and fluctuate throughout the year but I find it helpful to set a cut off point to allow my mind to reset. I usually stop working at 6ish but I might continue on longer if I’m in the zone and happy. 



THREE // Get Active

A lot of the work I set myself is mind-based, getting active and working out is exercise for the body and allows your mind time to have a little break. A lot of my procrastination tactics involve doing something physical so this tip really helps me to focus. Whether its a walk around the block or workout at the gym, both are just as beneficial. After all, it's important to keep a happy body and a happy mind.

FOUR // Set Incentives

Sometimes we need a little incentive to help motivate us in reaching our goals. Of course, knowing you’ll reach that goal is an incentive in itself. But a little help along the way just sweetens the deal. For example, I told myself if I went to the gym consistently for two weeks then I'd buy myself some more sportswear. Or if I posted consecutively on my blog, I'd buy myself some Air Force 1's. And let's just say, I have a new pair of trainers and I've earned myself some new gym wear. 


What tips and tricks do you do to help you be more productive? Comment Below x

Love, Aoife xo

You know the saying “you can take the girl out of London but you can’t take London out of the girl.” Well as it turns out you can’t take the girl out of London either. 

I am a city girl, through and through. Anyone who knows me will clearly see that I thrive in a big city. It’s the place I feel most comfortable and empowered. It’s home. And the moment you dare to take me out of the city: I start to crumble. It’s been two years since I took up part-time residency (left feels so final) in a smaller city to go to university. It has been the hardest transition I’ve faced in life despite everything else that has happened.


You see, London, you are freedom. I learned to navigate you growing up, thanks to my Dad, and it’s almost like being in control of the world. Whether it’s to hop on the Victoria line and arrive in town 20 minutes later. Or to jump on the central line and step out onto the charming roads of Notting Hill. I can navigate you even with my eyes closed.

Sometimes, I find it ironic how a city that’s so crowded provides me with the same amount of freedom that others may find running through a country field. I’ve learned that freedom is me being able to navigate myself. I am in control. It’s me, my two legs and my Oyster card. 


I think what I love most about London is how it's constantly changing. It evolves and opens discussions. Creates spaces that let me and others explore our passions. Excites us and keeps us on our toes. It always keeps me amused and amazed at how much talent one city can breathe. 

London, you are home. You make me and others feel like we’re on top of the world. You continue to buzz and thrive. My Mum calls you a playground and I agree. You’re one big adventure where nothing is ever the same. 

Like I mentioned earlier, moving out of London is one of the hardest things I’ve done. I miss it so much and much to my parents' annoyance, I always return to keep the affair going. 

Are you a city or country person?

Love, Aoife xo

One of the things I love about living away at university is having freedom in the kitchen. With my own budget and only myself to feed, I have freedom in what I can buy and what I can make. And, I love to take advantage of it every day. My new found freedom and the added fact of how much I hate that student stereotype (which sadly wiped out the number of times I ate my favourite type dish, pasta *sad face*), I became motivated to try new things. 

So, how does a falafel salad equate to trying new things? Compared to the simple diet I had back home, a falafel salad is something I wouldn’t really have. I have been trying to introduce more vegetarian based meals into my diet and the occasional vegan one. I find they taste much better than normal meat meals. Plus, there is so much more you can do when meat is not involved.

When I made this salad, I wanted it to more than a bunch of dry leaves. I seasoned each part differently which really helped in adding flavour. The couscous is soft and delicate contrasting to the crispness of falafel and slight crunch in the fried peppers. It’s one of the nicest things I’ve ever made.


The couscous is mixed with Italian Style Seasoning (from Sainsbury's) and I added a little more water than usual to keep it moist. The peppers and courgettes where lightly fried and mixed with a paprika-based season mix. I love cooking Kale. It's such a versatile vegetable and I have a lot of fun making it differently. This time, I steamed it and mixed in some chopped garlic to give it a little taste. When it comes to cooking Kale a little tip is to massage it when you wash it. It softens the leaves up and gives it some more taste.

There’s a scene in this film called Ramen Girl where the chef serves up ramen and talks about placing the ingredients in certain places to create harmony in the dish.  Ever since then, I’ve tried to recreate a sense of harmony in my dishes. It sounds a little silly but when everything is placed just so it tastes nicer and it somehow cleanses your mind and palette before eating. I could be on some weird voodoo zen thing but try creating a sense of harmony when you serve up food.

Love, Aoife xo


If you’ve read my post on joining the sustainable fashion conversation then you may have gathered that as of recently I’m trying to encourage a change within my lifestyle. There is currently six of us at home and between us, we create a lot of rubbish. The kitchen bin gets full pretty much within a day or two. And, it’s starting to get quite disturbing at the amount that gets thrown away.

Looking at my own lifestyle and beauty routine, I decided to try and change one of the main culprits that fill up my own rubbish; cotton pads. Cotton pads are awesome. They’re so versatile; removing a full face of makeup, putting on toner, removing nail varnish, putting on cream… the list goes on. On an average day when I don’t wear makeup, I probably go through three cotton pads. When I wear a full face, you’re looking at five or six. And if you add that all up, using them every day, that’s a lot of cotton pads in my bin. 

Reusable cotton pads are something I’ve seen buzzing around on the internet. People are using them in tutorials and tweeting about how much they love them. So, in true Aoife fashion, I decided to put them to the test. 

Need to know: 

Reusable makeup pads are typically made from organic bamboo and have a texture similar to a microfibre flannel. To clean them all you need to do is put them in with your clothes wash. Most reusable pads come with a little pouch to put them in. I picked up a box of 20 Eco-Friendly Reusable Makeup pads made by a company called Bamboo Feels on Amazon. The general price range of most boxes fit in between £10 to £20, which can seem a little costly but you are able to use these a lot more than disposable ones. Therefore, in the long term, they can work out cheaper.



My Opinion 

The cotton pads, or Eco-friendly reusable makeup pads, I bought come in three different colours; white, grey and black. They are larger than normal cotton pads and are double-sided. I use them mainly for removing my makeup and I’ll use both sides of them. They are quite good at removing all my makeup, however, there is occasionally some residue left behind. 

With that said, I haven’t completely eliminated disposable cotton pads from my routine. I only use them for applying my Pixi Glow Tonic because it’s quite expensive and I feel like there’s less product waste on the disposable ones.



Conclusion:

I really like them. I like that they’re effective at removing makeup and good for the environment. Being able to wash them with my normal clothes wash is really handy. They're not as soft as I thought they would be but are still gentle on the skin. 

These are alternatives for removing makeup so I haven't used them for anything else such as applying toner or removing nail polish.

Even though I haven’t fully swapped my disposables, just incorporating them with has helped drastically reduce my waste. I’ll definitely be keeping these on.


Love, Aoife xo

Don't we all wish to be as calm as composed as a Buddhist monk in the hills of Tibet rather than be like Bianca when she's screaming "RICKAYY" across Albert square? I made a new years resolution to myself, well I make the same one every month, that I want to try and be more zen. 

I like to think of Zen as a kind of mindset. One where you have the ability to be aware of a situation and not let your emotions control your actions. It's being aware of the present moment. I've done some research on it and the closest definition of a 'zen attitude' that I relate with is by Wikihow. Reliable, I know. But here it is,

"Having a Zen attitude means finding mindful awareness of the present moment. This will help you release yourself from stress, anxiety, frustration and anger. Instead, focus on positive thoughts and actions that will help you relax and respond in a more balanced way to your everyday life."

I used to get really angry and annoyed when I was growing up, fixating on the tiniest of things. I'd give it more attention than necessary. Since then, I like to think I've found my inner zen. I'm in no way a master at it but I do find myself much calmer and aware of situations. So with that said, I thought I'd put together some tips that work for me when I'm looking for my inner zen in the hope it might help you. 



ONE // Be a little selfish (Finding inner peace) 

There’s a lot of negativity around being selfish and it can be quite a big-headed trait. However, I like to think there are two types of selfish; the kind where you can come across as a bitch and the other kind where it makes you more compassionate, well rounded and connected. Being selfish doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Sometimes it allows you to work out your own needs and get comfortable with yourself. All of which helps you when you’re in the company of others. Instead of taking care of others all the time and losing yourself within that, being a little selfish enables you to understand and be more empathetic to others.

TWO // Prioritise

There’s a lot that goes on in life. A lot of stress, drama, fun and love. A lot you find yourself focusing on. One of the things I have learnt is that it is important to prioritise, focusing on what’s important. Sit down and think about what you value in life and what is important to you. Once you understand that, you find yourself focusing less on the stuff that irritates you and more on what makes you happy. You’ll find yourself feeling calmer and more balanced.

THREE // Reward yourself. 

Like how you reward a dog but for yourself. When you're wrapped up in the rollercoaster of life, you can forget to reward yourself. This can be in a materialistic way, or by having a bath, or even by taking some time to spring clean your home. It’s just remembering to take some time out of life to look after yourself. Both mentally and physically. Allowing yourself to breathe and re-charge.



FOUR // Don’t be afraid of emotion. 

I feel like when you try and channel Zen, there’s this belief you have to be calm like ALL the time. You have to be in a constant state of one emotion. But I find it easier to be zen when I’m aware of the emotions I want to feel and letting myself feel them. They don’t need to take over but it’s important to feel them, be aware of them, and let them fade. 

FIVE // Be aware and grateful. 

Like Wikihow said, the key to being Zen is to be aware of your surroundings and understanding them. Be aware of what’s happening around you and be appreciative of what you have. Appreciate where you are in life, in your relationships and what you have the potential to do. It’ll make you see things in a different light and make you smile a little more.

Again, I'm in no way an expert in this but I hope my tips are able to help you in some way. 

Love, Aoife xo

By now you must know I have an obsession with anything created by the great designers (Balenciaga, Dior, Alaïa, Lagerfeld). I also have a great sense for sniffing out fashion exhibitions around London. If you haven’t already, definitely check out my post on the current Dior exhibition at the V&A. It's on until September!

My latest find is Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection or rather An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik. The name might sound familiar if you’re a fan of Sex and The City. When Carrie gets robbed at gunpoint, he takes her Manolos and Carrie is left screaming down a Manhattan backstreet, “He’s got my strappy sandals”. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Manolo Blahnik is a famous shoe designer. His styles are iconic and you can definitely spot a them from a mile away. They have a slight renaissance feel to them from the shape of the heel to the long pointed toe. The two not always mutually exclusive. 

During my internship at The Times, I had the pleasure of holding a pair of Manolos. I was sorting out some returns in the fashion cupboard which happened to include two pairs of the most gorgeous shoes. I was in awe of the the craft of the shoe and the feel of the silk. I did have to compose myself a little bit. 

The Wallace Collection is located just off of Marylebone High street and is free entry. It is housed in Hertford House that was bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace in 1897. It’s essentially an art gallery featuring art from the 18th and 19th centuries and is a stunning place. I always thought The Wallace Collection was a prestigious stately home that you had to pay to get into. But that’s not the case at all. It’s prestigious in its own right due to the richness of the art and its decor. And, to reiterate, it’s free. Fun fact- FKA Twigs actually performed her latest single Cellophane one of the rooms.

The exhibition is not separate from the main display but rather featured alongside it. It is mainly on the first floor (that’s the second floor to my US readers) and towards the back of the house. Underneath the paintings are little collections of three to four pairs of Manolo’s that are said to “juxtapose an icon from contemporary fashion with Wallace’s outstanding collection”. The shoes are displayed inside a glass covering which looks like the glass that covered the rose in Beauty and the Beast. The covering makes the shoes look enchanted, however, I felt like I couldn’t always see the true beauty of the shoe through the warped glass.



The exhibition encourages you to look at more than just shoes. The decor inside is stunning and you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Since it’s located away from the main busy areas and not as well known as other galleries in London, there’s not a big crowd inside. This means you can enjoy the art without feeling like you have to move along quickly. I read an interview with Manolo Blahnik on The Guardian's website who mentioned that The Wallace Collection was very special to him and often inspired him. The exhibition definitely reflects his love for the gallery and this is shown through the careful placement of the shoes and how they don't take any attention away from the art.

I’d say it depends on the type of person you are and how interested in fashion you are in whether to go or not. The exhibition was more focused on the art inside the house as opposed to solely on the shoes. So, I’d say it was more for maturer audiences than a love-struck teen who wants to stare at the gorgeous shoes up close. 

Love, Aoife xo

An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection. Free Entry. On until 10th September.

To put it simply; the world is dying. This is something we’ve known about for a while. Except you probably thought that won’t happen until at least another five thousand years. That might be true but it will get a lot worse before then. If you look around, with climate change, running out of resources and even Brexit, the world is getting itself in a sticky situation. As much as the hot summers are nice, the cold winters aren’t and the dramatic weather is about to get a lot worse. 

Introducing the sustainability conversation. Whether it’s about plastics, fashion, beauty or waste, the conversation around sustainability is thriving and we’re taking action to reduce our pollution and impacts on the earth.

April marked 2019’s Fashion Revolution week. Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the industry (taken from Fashionrevolution.org). The week marked the 6th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh which killed 1,138 people and injured many more. They started the #whomademyclothes to demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. 

Fashion Revolution founder and creative director Orsola De Castro did a talk at my university in March. It was not only enlightening but sort of like a slap in the face. The ways in which we can help make a difference are so simple. So why aren’t we doing it already? It really is an every little help scenario, sort of like the butterfly effect.


Like me, we all need a reality check and for someone to say the things we already know. So here are some of the ways you can be a part of the sustainable fashion conversation:

Quality, get to know it. From what I’ve learnt, quality doesn’t have to be expensive. My Flatmate owns a Primark jumper from years ago and it’s still going strong. However, I think buying something a little more costly comes with a different mindset. When you buy something cheap, you see replaceable. But when you buy something a little more costly, you see durability. You paid more for something and so it won’t be treated carelessly. Being a student is slightly harder because our income is obviously limited. Therefore, a £50 white tee is clearly out of our budget. However, be smart about it. When you buy a garment, will it last endless wears and many washes? Or at least longer than a year? Two? Think quality. Quality means you won’t be in a rush to buy a replacement so quickly.

Need over want. Money in our pocket means we can buy whatever we want to. And that usually includes a quick order of cheap clothes from a fast-fashion online store. But clothes should be a desire and they should be treated as a love affair.  Every item you own should have a place and a reason to exist in your wardrobe. The top that’s been staring at you in the shop window for a while or the dress that makes you feel a million times more confident. So I challenge you, when you next go shopping, to ask yourself: “Do I need or want?” If it’s want, are you going to love it this time next week? next month? six months from now?

Mend your own clothes. I currently own three pairs of ripped jeans. On one pair, my knee has stretched the rip out so much that it looks like a giant hole in the wall. They were really cute as well and made my butt look good which can be quite hard in a mum/ boyfriend-style fit. So, I grabbed a needle, a piece of blue thread and started sewing. Clothes don’t need to be thrown away because they have a giant hole in it. Learn to mend your clothes and make the most out of them. You could even take the opportunity to add something new such as embroidery.

Swap, donate or buy second-hand. The number of people buying clothes second hand and going thrift shopping is growing. And there’s a reason. You’re helping the planet. If you haven’t tried it already, what are you waiting for? You can find some great steals there and quality brands being stocked. The great thing with charity shops is you’re also donating to a cause. Not only helping your pocket or the environment but someone else’s life too- Double whammy!

If that doesn’t sound as appealing, because not everybody wants to buy second-hand which is fine, look to buy from a sustainable designer or products made sustainably. Look beyond the clothes on the high street and look into smaller brands whose clothes are traceable and are made from sustainable materials. The ethical fashion industry is switching things up and they’re looking much more attractive than they did thirty years ago. Deakin & Blue produce amazing swimwear made from recycled fishnets. Tala workout gear is made from recycled clothes.



In summary, it’s about time we group together and start working on changing the culture. Our current culture is full of disposable elements. Our new culture needs to learn that things are here to stay and we need to learn to love our planet as much as we love the people closest to us.

The most important thing you can do is stay in the loop with the news. Be aware of the process the things in your house take to get from the earth to your possession. It’s not just about the earth but the people involved. Think of the conditions of those in the Rana Plaza factory collapse. Make a small change and pass it on.

There is nothing to lose from changing your mindset but the whole world to gain in return.


Love, Aoife xo



Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Still, I rise’ connects with me on many levels. There’s beauty between the lines and on the lines. It’s a poem about strength which at this moment in time is something I can wholeheartedly relate to.

I'm only going to mention this once more because quite frankly I've given it way more air time than it should. The last nine months has been one massive test. My living situation at university was just a bundle of tension and stress. And unfortunately, there's nothing we could really do about it. Or at least, felt safe enough to do something about it. I spoke to every possible person. I was so distracted over it that it had a negative impact on my work and at numerous points, I felt I had lost control over everything. Except I was so distracted over the living situation that I was less stressed about work. To give you an idea of the extent of the issues: camping out on your flatmate's floor to seek refuge from the antics of another flatmate was a low moment. So was checking up on said flatmate to see if she was okay after being shouted at to find her friend had come round (at 2AM) to make sure she was okay. But walking the streets late at night (11PM) holding a pillow on the way to a friends house was an even lower moment. We won’t mention the bottle of pinot pressed against my eye at 8:30 in the morning to reduce the massive bags under my eyes before my 9AM.

In every testing situation, there’s a balancing act to be done. Picture a weighing scale. On one side is the testing factor and on the other your desire to achieve the goal. The side that holds your desire should weigh down the testing factor by far. That’s how I always find motivation and determination to push through troubling times. If the scales are close to balancing then maybe your desire is wavering and you should think back to where that desire stemmed from in the first place. Nothing should take you away from what you want to achieve. It is your life and you have the right to determine what you want to do with it. 

So, in every testing situation remember that there are more important things to think about. Such as that goal you're on track to achieve. I know that can be incredibly hard to absorb especially when all you feel is anger but turn it into determination. If you need to, go to the gym and pound it out on the treadmill. It helps! 


In the words of Maya Angelou...
“Still, I rise”.

Love, Aoife xo

Is it just me who has a ridiculous amount of canvas bags at home? Apparently, I just go around picking them up. I even buy something or spend more just to have a branded canvas bag. Silly, I know. But who knew they were such a useful bag and one that somehow went with every outfit! I’ll even choose one over a £300 bag because it works with the outfit better and I can fit more stuff in it. So how did a branded canvas bag became the ultimate summer accessory?

Benefit, Ted Baker, Micheal Kors and the estate agent down my local high street; all of their canvas bags have found their way into my wardrobe and become a regular among my outfits. And I’m not even mad at it. It used to be fashion over practicality. That was until we realised we could have both. Not only are canvas bags gorgeous but they are so practical! They’re perfect for all my uni books, or my laptop when I go to the library, or when I go to the park and pop a blanket in it, or when… you get the gist. 


There was a time when keyrings used to be the go-to souvenir. Then we realised we had more key rings than keys and they started to look a little tacky on the chain. Hence, a change in the go-to souvenir. The canvas bag. A bag with the printed logo of the brand you're now 'associated' with or a slogan from a recent exhibition. Those Dior canvas bags from the V&A exhibition are looking really nice. Although, at this point, it doesn’t matter where the bag came from because we’ll take one anyway. They’re even being gifted as presents!

A canvas bag is lightweight, can fold down to fit in another bag and can hold a lot of crap items. Thankfully, they're not as big as a tote bag so it’s not filled with quite as much crap. I love my tote but it's a wasteland at the bottom of it. The straps vary in thickness and sit comfortably on your shoulder. Of course, it needs to have substantial contents to make it sit right otherwise one strap will keep falling down. But just like with any bag, I don’t have a problem filling it up. 

There are three bags that are in heavy rotation; BBC Radio 1, Marc Jacobs Daisy and The Penisulist. I use the Radio 1 cotton bag when I go to gigs because it's smaller and less bulky. The Marc Jacobs one, my friend won for me at a press event, I use as an overnight bag or when I go to the park. It's double lined with a satin-like material and feels quite thick. The Peninsulist bag is my favourite canvas bags and it goes everywhere with me! It's been to Milan, Cannes and Columbia Road Flower Market. It's made of thick cotton material and gets filled with my stuff for uni, groceries and stuff for the beach. 


A canvas bag is a no-frills type bag and they come in really nice designs. Even if it is just a brand name. Or a pattern. My collection of canvas bags has reached peak heights. I have so many that I’m starting to give them away. I simply can’t cope with the bags spilling out of my wardrobe. So I'm blessing my friends with my random collection of canvas bags - think estate agent logos and ones picked up for free at random company stalls.

A canvas bag isn’t a bold bag and not being too heavy on the eye makes them perfect for the summer. And that's how the canvas bag became the ultimate fashion accessory. 

Love, Aoife xo