And here we have some more actual pictures of my face on the blog, this is becoming a first lately! I've been juggling a few 'firsts',  I'm not sure if that's down to the fact that it's a new year and my brain is bursting with spontaneity, or if it's just the fact that I'm 20 years old now and I would like to, as much as most days adulting scares the crap out of me, I would like to actually start living and as much as it's super pretty and cosy and furbished with antique finds and my cats, live more than just inside the 4 walls of my bedroom. This post is very much inspired by a conversation I had with my friend Beth the other day, realising that we both come from a lot of feelings of anxiety and being comfortable, she told me that she has a goal to be a lot more spontaneous this year and has already booked herself in for several different things including a make up seminar, I can't say I'm entirely sure what one of those is but it sounds fancy! 
Outfit/fashion related posts have been something I've always wanted to feature on this blog eventually, but I started this blog in 2014 I think, I was younger and naively believed that I could never do that kind of thing because I'm short as hell, I've never been your typical slim build that you see most outfits being showcased on by other women or fashion bloggers, I'm no Asos model. Like most teenage girls I carried a lot of insecurities with me, that followed me around long after I'd left school and THAT group of girls would stand in the corner whilst we were all getting changed into our very flattering shiny blue P.E shorts and giggle at all the girls who had "thunder thighs". 

I believed that nobody would be interested in seeing that, that there are plenty of people better looking than me, who can put an outfit together a lot better than me. But in the last couple of years, I wouldn't really say an epiphany because I, like most people I'm sure still have those days where I look at myself in the mirror or catch a glimpse of my wobbly arms whilst I'm brushing my teeth, or the stretch marks that line the inside of them, and have a little dull moment to myself. I think all bodies of all shapes and sizes and imperfections are wonderful, the human body is an amazing thing, and honestly Chrissy Tegan sharing her thigh stretch marks on twitter after a few glasses of whine is my kind of real. I'm getting better, I'm getting there, and I've always thought all bodies/shapes/sizes should be loved, even when I was younger and struggled more with certain insecurities & spent the majority of my time in a school where if you were without a thigh gap, you were practically a laughing stock. I grew up in a home where I was taught to love and accept, and was given nothing but from my parents, but isn't it funny how we can preach love & acceptance for all, but still some days struggle to give ourselves that very same love?

I think a lot of us, a little older, a little wiser, a little Ashley Graham admiring, can agree that thigh gaps have to do with the build of the body and the positioning of the bones, genetics, rather than how attractive you are. But vice versa my sister came into me the other day, laid on my bed and let out a sigh, followed by "I swear I'm doing everything I can to put on some weight, it's just not happening, I don't like being this thin", Charlotte has always had an extremely fast metabolism and maybe that will alternate a little bit as she gets older, she is beautiful and I wish I could just shake her sometimes and make her fully realise that. I think what I'm trying to say is, male or female we're always trying to/wishing to change something about ourselves instead of fully appreciating the now, or like 15 year old me, comparing myself to some of those Asos models. There's nothing wrong with improvement, I applaud that, I enjoy exercise, it makes me feel good, releases any pent up frustration I may be feeling and I definitely notice a positive difference in my skin when I get my sweat on. But I'm not excessively putting myself through gruelling workouts and lengthy cardio sessions twice a day or beating myself up if I feel like eating some pizza either. 

Our bodies are changing all the time, my dad has mentioned before how when he was younger he was a little bit chubbier than some of the other boys in his class, so he spent a whole Summer training himself to run cross country when he was in school because he was sick of coming last & he made makeshift weights out of some big ass dictionaries, he did become fitter, and he did come first in his cross country that same year. Then as he got a little older his metabolism got faster, he found himself eating more food than he knew what to do with, but was still very thin, and believe it or not there was just as much pressure in the 80's for guys to be all muscled and six packed up as there is now. Now, at 45 my dad is "dench" as Charlotte would say, and any guy we bring home is lucky to not be scared off. But really, a friendly giant. 

My sister Millie, who is 12 but undeniably about 5-6 inches taller than me, is very tall for her age and she came into my room wearing her dance uniform, did a little pose in front of the mirror and exclaimed "you know what, I love my curves, and I don't care what anyone else has to say about that". The sass in her is real, and it honestly made me so happy to hear and I really hope that mentality stays with her.

Top - Warehouse (sold out, ASOS alternative here)
Coat - Warehouse (sold out, ASOS alternative here)
Jeans - Warehouse but distressed by self (sold out, Warehouse alternative here)
Shoes - ASOS (& now in the sale!!)
Necklace - Alex Monroe

My way of thinking is slowly changing, I don't need to look a certain way to do a certain thing, I can leave the house if I'm not looking or feeling my best, and I know Joe isn't going to break up with me if my skin doesn't look like it's freshly airbrushed out of a Lancôme advert. I have spent the best part of my life hiding away in my house, in my bedroom, complete with big baggy jumpers, which I will never stop loving or wearing, but I would also really like to stop this 'I can't wear this, I could never pull it off, I'll just stick to my jumpers'. And thus, the comfort zone. Branch out a little more, I want to branch out a little more in ways of clothing and my thought patterns. For New Year's Eve, before we'd properly gotten together, Joe invited me to a little gathering of drinks and celebration with him, his sister and some friends and inside my head I was so excited, I really really wanted to go and of course I was aiming for that NYE kiss you guys, wink wink. But dread/anxiety got the better of me, I didn't feel like I was going to look good enough and I missed out on that.

This weekend I went to stay in Suffolk with my boyfriend & his family like I do most weekends now, which has gotten me over my fear of trains, train stations are a breeze, I can do it without thinking and maybe I could even handle the dreaded '2 changes' instead of direct if I ever needed.. But one thing at a time! A year ago the thought of getting on a train all by myself would have honestly kept me awake at night. This weekend Joe spontaneously asked me if I would like to take a trip to London, visit the Natural History Museum and I of course jumped at the thought. We did a lot of walking, tube taking and even ate some food in a very cute Lebanese restaurant, and I of course was stopping every 5 minutes to take pictures of just about everything, which resulted in a 'why are you doing this to me?' kind of facial expression from Joe and a conversation that read something along the lines of "But, you do love me" .. "Yeeeeesssssssss I suppose so". 

So at the end of this week I went to meet Beth, we drank tea in Lillie's tea room and ate some cake (lemon drizzle & rocky road to be precise), chatted, did a lot of giggling and then came outside to take these photo's.. It was awkward, like anything you do for the first time, but honestly anybody who walked past didn't even seem to care, we mostly just got smiles of curiosity and I think one guy said as he passed "well that's a very big camera!!" thank you for your input Sid the stranger. After a while I didn't much mind what people thought & who did or didn't see me, I was just enjoying myself and mostly laughing at Beth not being able to get the camera to focus because it was in the wrong setting (hehe). 

We've also booked and are planning to go to Blog Con London in March, and are thinking about taking a cheeky little visit to Charlotte Tilbury's new pop up store in Covent Garden & getting our make up done, an absolute must for a little CT make up hoarder such as myself! Whilst in London, I'm pretty positive some more outfit pictures will be on the cards.

So this year I am not vowing, but I am promising to do my best, to stop worrying so much and to just unapologetically live my life and most importantly, enjoy it. Stop waiting, stop waiting until your skin looks a little better, or until you've lost a little weight, or for life to hand something magical to you on a golden rimmed plate. Sometimes life does throw you happy little coincidences, I consider Joe, his entire family and his dog to be a few of those, but you do also have to want to do things for yourself, to make things happen for yourself, to put on that really really nice dress that you know you'll look good in, even with a little bit of arm flabber. Drink the cocktails, go to the parties, but also don't forget about the little corner of your bedroom with your bookshelf, your chair and your cat, it's your sanity, book a train ticket, plan a spontaneous trip, whether that be to Rome or just up the road to see your nan, buy that denim mini skirt, eat the cheesecake, seize the day.