Showing posts with label Style. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Style. Show all posts

Eye mask and body spray flatlay


Everything about summer makes me happy. The long nights, the constant light and the warm weather. The list could go on. While the constant heat is nice during the day, it can be unwanted in the evening. And on most nights, I’m tossing and turning trying to find the “cool place” on my mattress. Or waiting for a cool breeze to flow through my open window. Either way, it can start to feel like a mission to have a good nights sleep during the summer.


Here are four must haves to add to your summer night survival kit:


Silk/ satin pjs: I practically LIVE in these come June. H&M do really cute satin sets with a lace detail or frilly shorts. I currently have them in black floral, pink and blue. If you’re really struggling with the heat, Hollister have some really cute cotton two-pieces which will help keep you a little cooler.


Rituals, The Ritual of Karma Body Spray: I love adding a little bit of luxury to my routines and on summer nights, it comes in the form of this gorgeous Rituals Karma body spray. Smelling of holy lotus and white tea, it's a beautiful calming scent. I spray three or four pumps and let the fragarance wash over me.


H&M Satin PJ's


Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic: There’s nothing better than those summer evening showers, washing away the suncream and dirt from the day. I recently decided to simplify my skincare routine while on acne medication to help improve my skin. You can read my latest acne post here. All Liz Earle products are vegan friendly and made from natural ingredients. This toner is soothing on the skin and the natural fragrance adds to the floral of summer. Tip- If you leave your toner in the fridge, it’s really nice and cool on your skin when you get around to applying it.


Eye mask: Did you know during the summer months of Iceland, they can get up to 21 hours of sunlight? If you’re someone who wakes up with the light and struggles to get back to sleep, it’s well worth investing in an eye mask. I bought mine from H&M last year as part of their Love Stories x H&M collection and I adore it. I really like the tie detail at the back which allows you to tie it as tightly as you like and you don’t have to worry about stretching it out.


There you have it. Four must haves I think are important for those hot summer nights. I thought about adding more but when it comes down to it, less is more. And when, it’s 30 degrees in my room, the last thing I’m reaching for is something to add more layers.


What is in your summer nights survival kit?


Love, Aoife xo



Flatlay of British Fashion Magazines

The Business of Fashion is currently running a #BOFLive series, a host of panel discussions offered virtually on Zoom during the global pandemic. In one of their latest streams, journalist Tim Blanks sat down with two members from LOVE magazine Co-Editor-in-Chief Ben Cobb and Senior Editor Pierre A. M’Pelé. The pair discussed and recounted how they put together LOVE’s two-volume book, #LOVEDiaries, chronicling the events during worldwide lockdown. 


It was a really interesting talk that covered issues on what a fashion magazines place is post-Covid-19. This is actually a similar topic to what I wrote about in my final year project on, What does it mean to be a fashion publication in 2020? The essay looked at the historical context of fashion magazines purpose was when it originally came out to the purpose of it now. It mainly touched upon the structural elements and revenue streams that magazines need to adapt to in order to continue to be successful. 


Whereas I had looked at the structural elements, the conversation was more diverted to the content of a fashion magazine. The role of a fashion magazine is a documentation of current life. It is often referred to as a "mirror or our time" filled with current trends in fashion and what’s happening in the world. If you think about it, a fashion magazine can be used as a piece of history.


In the latest volume of LOVE Diaries, there is 600 pages of photography and essays summarising "the four months of choas, emotional extremes and fleeting moments of hope". This also includes the Black Lives Matter movement and worldwide protests that ignited with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, United States. 


LOVE diaries vol 1
LOVE Diaries Vol 1 Cover shot by Sama Kai (@official_kaicapture) | Credit thelovemagazine.co.uk

Tim Blanks asked a great question of, “What is fashion going forward?”


Ben Cobb: Fashion has always been more about the clothes and accessories, that’s the store front…The culture, the time, politics, the conversations going on; that’s always driven and been wired into it. I think it’s almost like the behind-the-scenes part has moved to the front right now. It’s about humanity. Pierre and I were talking earlier about this book we’ve created is really about humanity. It’s about humans and how they connect together and all their stories. That’s always been there in the fashion conversation.


Pierre A. M’Pelé: I feel like we’re looking further than the clothing and we’re really trying to install meaning and purpose into what we wear and why we wear them and how those clothes can reflect the world we live in. Even looking at Sama Kai’s cover, it just says it all because obviously it’s clothing and fashion and that young man Marley looks fashionable but there is so much more behind it. It even makes me think of the black panther and the style. 


What do you think Fashion is going forward?

Love, Aoife xo


Kate Spade Margaux bag black floral in small

Say hello to Margaux by Kate Spade


Some people collect coins. Some people collect cars. I seem to collect bags. Well, as much as my student budget can afford. For my 21st birthday, my Mum decided to add to my collection of growing bags. This bag is part of the Margaux range from Kate Spade which is in the size mini with a black floral print. I absolutely adore it and you can see why.


Since it was for my 21st, I wanted to make this bag felt a little more special and less like something I’d wear everyday. Most of the bags I have are in monochromatic colours and are more versatile so I had a little more freedom with this one. And since it was for a special occasion, I wanted something a little more memorable.


I really like the painted flowers as it gives it a younger and fresher feel. It reminds me of Carrie’s bag in The Carrie Diaries, one of my favourite CW shows. She had a black briefcase style bag and decorated it with paint splashes and her name painted onto it. That was pretty much the main reason why I was attracted to it. The light pastel colours means its great for the summer season as well as the winter. 


Kate Spade embossed logo


I’m not really a fan of grain leather, I tend to prefer the polished look of smooth leather. However, I think the grain leather works well for this bag because the size is small and the print takes away from the texture. The bag is available in medium and large but I stuck to the smaller one. I already own a medium sized bag in a similar style but it can feel a little clunky when I wear it as a cross body. I’m a small framed person and so, I like that it isn’t too big on me. It does mean that I’m not able to fit as much in to it though so I do need to choose what I take out wisely.


It has three compartments to the bag: two open and one zipped where you can store your cards. It also has an adjustable strap which you can detach if you’d rather hold it.


What are you a collector of?


Love, Aoife xo


The first issue of Vogue hit newsstands in New York on December 17, 1892, and would soon become one of the top fashion magazines in the world edited by the legendary Anna Wintour. It’s creator, Arthur Turnure, was a wealthy Eurocentric Manhattanite who mixed with the city’s aristocracy. The magazine was divided into separate sections, like it is today, of reviews of books, music, art and articles on social etiquette. It was read by both sexes but by 1895, it became more feminine and fashion-focused. In 1909, Condé Nast purchased the magazine. In the Autumn of 1916, the British edition hit newsstands.

Now that we’re starting a new decade and with a British Vogue that is vastly different from what it once was, I thought it would be fun to see what my life would be like if I wore, did and lived how the latest issue of Vogue suggested. This post is inspired by one I read on Maria J’s blog with the same idea, which you can read here.

Compared to American Vogue, British Vogue runs their editions a month ahead so their issue in January is actually the February issue. But before we can get ahead of ourselves, it’s only January. So let’s start with what the January issue (on sale in December) has in store for us. 


There are pages upon pages of outfit ideas, trends to jump on board and must-have products. That is after you’ve flicked through the plethora of Gucci, Miu Miu and Chanel ads. Vogue’s checklist on pages 98 to 101, let’s me know that powder colours and monochrome will be all over my life from bags and shoes to clothes and accessories. According to the description, the soft textures and creamy colours will add to my feminine prowess.

Page 54 tells me I’ll be walking around in a two-piece Safari inspired suit. Preferably with a high waisted belt as a nod to the seventies (page 53). Our work attire is having a little makeover in this new decade on page 185: Think the same bold attitude but with softer silhouettes. 

Accessorises is always key. According to page 73, January is about keeping it short and sweet with necklaces that sit on the collarbone. I quite like the classic rose gold and diamond number from Cartier but at £33,400, I think I’d rather use that to help buy a house. On my arm (or I should say, across my body) will be a vintage quilted leather Balenciaga (page 61). I’m not mad at this suggestion. 

Page 24 lets everyone know our secret that underneath our khaki armour will be a matching black mesh Victoria’s Secret set. One I’ve actually had my eye on for a while. Sexy and comfort are going hand in hand this decade, no doubt about it. 



It’s a new decade, so time to get rid of things that weren’t working before and putting things right. Well, kind of. Upcycling will be big this January and if you’re not already a transparent company then you need to get with the programme, start treating workers fairly and source materials sustainably. Waste not, want not (page 151). Let’s look in our own wardrobes that are full of designer pieces, hmm, and give them a rerun. In case you need a little extra help, check out my post on how you can join the sustainable fashion conversation

The New Years’ celebrations got a little heavy after drinking too much champagne and heading straight back to work. So a much needed tranquil break is on the books and it’s looking a lot like the seaside resort of Deauville in Normandy (page 88). 

What else is on our New Years resolutions list? Well, Pat McGrath says we should add skincare to our list (page 111). A little bit of self-care in the evening never hurt anybody and our skin certainly won’t be complaining. According to Jada Pinkett Smith on page 220, the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mask is the secret to dewy skin. Sam McKnight says we should stop being afraid of our hair. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be too out there. Maybe a simple braid or a fringe. Since I already have a fringe, I might try wearing my hair in a braid more often or use some hair accessories.


If you could live your life like the pages of a magazine, which one would you choose?

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

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



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

Photographs by Rashidah Beatson.

Having an argument with your best friend in the middle of Westfield probably isn’t the best way to share your struggles with anxiety and eating issues. Sorry hun!

It was #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek last week and following a conversation between my two flatmates, a recent post from Grace Victory, I thought I’d share my story and my relationship with mental health. As well as give a few pointers on what helps me feel better when it seems like the world is caving in. 

Mental Health doesn’t necessarily display any physical signs. Of course, the physical signs can come a little later. But my point being, that you never always know what is going on up there for someone unless they tell you. And that’s the sort of relationship I have with my mental health. I have struggled on and off with anxiety for around four or five years now. It tends to come in waves. Thankfully, it’s getting much better. From the outside, I always make sure I look put together as I’m very good at separating my thoughts from my facial expressions. So while I’m panicking upstairs, I’ll look like the calmest in the room.

It was over the summer before year 11 when in the space of one week, I had dropped one stone (about 6KG). As I was already slim, it had quite a negative impact on my body and mental health. I’m pretty sure I was underweight. I struggled to eat; my stomach had shrunk from having nothing in it for a week. I experienced full-blown anxiety for the first time and I struggled a lot with controlling my breathing. 


When I returned to the weight I was before I still had bouts of anxiety, but the second year of A-Level was the absolute worst. Some days I’d turned back home because I worked myself up into a state on the way to Sixth-form. I never sat the mocks for one of my subjects and I sat my final exams in a separate room. I started to lose count of the number of times I practised breath control during A-levels.

At university, I feel anxious at times. My living situation has not helped at all and as a result, I’ve been to wellbeing a couple of times for it. However, for the most part, I manage and a little pep talk always helps.

There are not always obvious signs when someone is struggling with mental health. There can be little subtle changes in their behaviour; a little quieter than usual or not quite in the present. They may act differently towards you or even be a little more annoying than usual. These changes often happen because they have a lot going on internally, that they are less attentive to what is going on around them.


The easiest way to find out is to ask them how they’re feeling. Instead of the 'hey, how are you?', try 'Hey, how are you feeling today?' or 'How are you, mentally?' Ask more pointed questions because from my experience, if someone asks how you are it’s very easy to brush them off and evade how you’re really feeling. My best friend and I often ask these questions now, to avoid a repeat performance in Westfield, and it works as a silent 'I’m here when you need me'.

Ask your friends and your parents how they’re doing. Nothing is worse than finding out a few months or even a year later that someone close to you has been struggling internally for a long time because they didn’t feel like they could talk to you. Let them know that you’re available to lend an ear or give some advice when they need it. Use this time to encourage a conversation about something you never really talk about. Not saying you have to change the way you live but start talking about it.

As for yourself, having good mental health isn’t all about baths, candles and treating yourself. Sometimes, it’s about looking after your body and your environment. 
  • Think: cleaning, paying bills, buying groceries. It’s the simplest of things but looking after your environment is quite important. 
  • Wash your hair or give your body a scrub. I notice a big difference in my attitude when I haven’t shaved my armpits for a long time. Take care in your physical appearance. After all, when you look good, you feel good. Make an effort on the outside and you’ll start to internalise that good feeling. P.S- I'm not saying you have to shave your armpits but if you 'let things go', your mind does too. Look after your body.
  • Go to the gym/ Take up an exercise. It's been proven that working your body physically helps with mental wellbeing. It really helps me with my anxiety. Focusing on exercise and the way your body moves, for even 30 minutes, has a massive impact. It takes you away from those spiralling thoughts leaving your body to relax.
  • Change location. I find that by removing myself from a room I spend a lot of time in or the house itself, makes me feel a lot better about things. I often associate places with feelings and changing the place, clears them away. Even going for a walk around the block can help to clear your head. 

With all that said, use this week to care of yourself and to talk to those around you. Whether you share your problems with them or they share theirs; it’s a start. There’s a whole spectrum when it comes to mental health and while I put myself on the somewhat healthy end, if you’re struggling then there's is plenty of support out there from your family and friends to organisations such as Mind and Samaritans.


Love, Aoife xo


What is the meaning of life? You tell me.

What is the difference between right and wrong? It’s about feeling; knowing what you shouldn’t do versus the better option.

Nature or nurture? Nurture. 

Is it more important to be liked or respected? Respected. You don’t necessarily have to like someone/ thing but you can appreciate them/ it. I get really frustrated when people can’t appreciate the time and effort that goes into something.

If you could be remembered for one thing what will it be? For being passionate and encouraging others to find theirs [passion]. 

Who or what is your greatest love? Fashion. 

When did you last lie? Yesterday. A woman came up to me and I had no clue who she was but she obviously knew me. So I pretended like I knew more than I did when she spoke to me.

Does the supernatural exist? If you want it to.

Are you fatalistic? Yes. And also no. I believe we are given choices and it’s up to us to decide which ones to take. But, also, that it will all work out in the end. Even if we’ve been dealt with the wrong cards; know that it will get better.

What is your greatest fear? Being lonely. I don’t mind being alone and living by myself but to be completely lonely and have no-one. That’s quite scary.

Animals or babies? Babies. 


What talent do you yearn for? Being able to sing would be awesome.

Do you like to be complimented? Yes, who doesn’t?

Do you have a high pain threshold? Define high. Haha! I can cope with a bikini wax but that’s about the only pain I can cope with.

What book do you recommend most to others? I don’t think there’s one book that I recommend to others. Everyone I know is going through different things and has different personalities. But if I do, then it’s probably a Sophie Kinsella book.

Which lesson has been the hardest to learn? You can’t control everything and everyone. People have their own paths to follow and stuff to figure out. And not everybody will treat you with the same respect you give to others. Same, with what they do as well. 

What food sums up happiness? Thai Green curry. It smells divine and warms you up from the inside. It’s a dish full of love.

What have you never understood? People.

What is one thing you want to know before you die? The French language. 

Are you scared of dying or what happens when you die? Touchwood, that won’t happen for a while. But, isn’t everybody?

Quinoa or Quavers? Quinoa. My body is a temple and all that.


I came across these questions in the back of Stylist mag with Little Simz and I thought I’d share the philosophy too. They’ve been fun to do and if you’re a fellow blogger out there have a go and tag me in it. I’d love to see what answers everybody has. Comment below what has been your hardest lesson to learn and how you dealt with it.


Love, Aoife xo