It's ok to let go of your dreams





Outfit:
Red midi dress: Primark (similar)
Light wash denim jacket: Primark (similar)
White espadrille sandals: Next (similar)
Red leather backpack: Michael Kors (similar)

I'm a dreamer. A girl that always has her heads in the clouds. A girl who always has 101 dreams she wants to fulfil. Ask my boyfriend about all my big ideas and he'll tell you he's the one who has to be my anchor to make sure I live in the real world. My main dream in life were to work for a newspaper. There were times when I never thought this would happen. Namely when I was interning for free for a whole year gaining job rejection after job rejection. And when I was made redundant from my first magazine job and making no waves in the freelance world. But finally it happened. Finally I was able to say that I did in fact work for a newspaper. Dream ticked off. But alongside that main dreams were little ones. I've always wanted to live in London. But now I've bought a house on the outskirts in Essex. I've always wanted to travel the world. But I've only actually been outside Europe twice, both to the States. I've always wanted a Chanel handbag. But realistically could never justify spending a couple of grand on a bag when I have a lemonade purse.

You put hours upon hours of time and energy trying to make your dreams come true. Everything you work towards in life has an end goal of making that dream come true. We're taught that if we work hard enough then our dreams do come true. So it can be so soul-destroying when you feel like you're not getting anywhere. They start to consume every hour of your waking day and you feel like a failure because it's just not working out how you imagine. As you get older, those dreams seem to get further and further away. Real life gets in the way and before you know it you're tied down with a mortgage and suddenly hit the grand old age of 29. Buying this house felt so final. In a way, it felt like I was giving up on the dreams I had yet to fulfil. I think that was why it took me a good few months to get my head around it. I was mourning the loss of my dreams. Owning a house is such a big commitment and one that we would be tied into for the next 35 years.

As we got our offer accepted on the house, I realised that I probably wasn't going to live in London. We bought a doer-upper home in Essex as house prices were cheaper. It's a huge project and thanks to lack of funds, one that will probably take about five years to complete. We did have high hopes of buying and renting it out then renting in London. But that's looking unlikely as who will want to rent a building site and after all this hard work, I'll be damned if someone else gets to live in here! I've also had to accept that I might not have a year travelling the world. I'm going to have my travel fix through weekends away and a two weeks trip. Those dreams that 16-year-old Sophie had are put on the back burner and I'm unsure if they'll ever come true.

It's ok to finally put a dream in a box and accept that it's never going to fulfilled. Some dreams just aren't meant to be, no matter how much you wish they are. Instead concentrate on what you have achieved, not what you haven't. Think about everything else you've done, maybe even things that didn't even figure on your list. Sometimes we achieve dreams without ever realising they were dreams in the first place. And sometimes those are the best ones.


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Has Spring finally arrived?






Outfit:
Yellow animal print shirt: ASOS
Distressed skinny jeans: George at ASDA (similar)
Red Gazelles: Adidas (similar)
Red leather backpack: Michael Kors (similar)
Khaki military style coat: Primark (similar)
Gold hoop earrings: Sacet*

Despite the ever constant rain, it does seem like Spring might finally be trying to appear. The days are finally getting longer thanks to the clocks and the skies are looking distinctly less gloomy and dark. This Winter has felt longer than usual so am over the moon for the change in the season. I felt like I wore the same clothes every single day in an attempt to try and keep warm so am really enjoying wearing some new in pieces that have found themselves in my wardrobe.

My uniform seems to be a shirt and skinny jeans so I was keen to add some colourful shirts to my endless collection. Yellow is my favourite colour and this animal print shirt felt like it had my name written all over it. The length is perfect and it doesn't need ironing which is my idea of heaven! I'd been after a smart backpack for a while as I've given up with handbags for every day. I carry just too much too and from work and need to have comfort as my back was really struggling with all the weight on one side. I spotted this bag in Macy's whilst I was in NYC and it was reduced from nearly £300 to £105! Whilst it was still pretty pricey, it was a complete bargain that I felt I couldn't leave behind. The size is perfect and I adore the vibrant red. Special thanks to my dad who gave my mum and I some money to treat ourselves with!

After falling out of love with earrings for a while, I'm well and truly back on wagon. You only have to read my statement earrings post to see that I can't stop treating myself. Sacet got in touch to see if I would like to have a pair from their range and I fell head over heels for these simple 18K gold hoop earrings. I'm absolutely loving hoops at the minute and these are big enough to make a statement yet small enough to still be subtle. Ethically and consciously crafted, the website lists the makers who create your jewellery. It's really nice to see the story behind each piece. They come in gorgeous packaging and would make a lovely gift for someone.

Finally I was treated to a new haircut from Rush* in the St Paul's Cheapside branch. I didn't have too much cut off it as I'm growing it to eventually donate it to charity. But I'd been pretty slack at getting my hair cut so it actually had a lot of spilt ends. So I had to have more than I wanted cut off but it feels so much nicer with a fresh cut. As always my experience in Rush was so relaxing and I came out feeling so refreshed. There's actually an offer on at the salon which gives 50% off for first time customers if you fancy sprucing up your look for Spring!


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My tassel statement earrings collection

Like everyone else on social media, I've fallen hard for the statement earring trend. In particular the tassel statement earring trend! H&M and Primark seem to be killing it with their selection at the moment. Here are a few that have tickled my fancy.


Navy blue tassel
I showed my mum these and the first thing she said was 'ugh they're disgusting' which means they are bloody brilliant. Sorry mum! I spotted these in Primark and thought they were an absolute bargain at only £3. I love the fact that they're completely over the top and are so long. I think they're a great pair to jazz up a casual jeans and tee at the weekend.

Hot pink tassel
I loved these so much that I've bought them in three different colours. My red pair are currently broken and are waiting to be fixed. I first saw this style on Hannah Gale and knew that I had to hunt them down. I would buy them in every single colour if my bank account let me. In fact I have my eye on the mustard pair. I love the fact they have slightly more going on rather than just a huge tassel. My favourite way to wear them is with an all-black outfit alongside pink lipstick. That way I can pretend I'm at least 5% cool.


Black tassel
Again these are a Primary purchase. I think they were slightly cheaper at £2. Bargain eh? Admitted the last pair I bought from Primark fell apart so I'm hoping these last a little longer than a few months. I feel like these are the most subtle out of the four and a great introduction to the trend if you don't want to go all out at first.

Gold tassel
I only wear gold 'proper' jewellery so I feel like these are just a supped up version of that! They're so tacky and remind me of Pat Butcher who is a massive earring style icon in my books. Again I like to wear them an all dark outfit or a crisp white shirt with skinny jeans. Paired with a bold lip, they really help to make you look fierce. Did I really just write that?
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My flight essentials

I'm off to NYC on Friday! Have I spoken about that on social media a lot? I have a few trusty things that I take on every plane journey - long or short haul. I've been lucky enough to visit a far few places and feel like I have my backpack down to a tee now. Looking at these photos, I feel like my kit is looking pretty scruffy. But it's all well loved! Here is what I always make sure I have before I board a plane.


My backpack
First things first, I get my travel backpack out of storage. My trusty Kanken may have seen better days but it's been on me to six different cities now and I can't bear to part with it. For such a small size, it can carry a surprising amount of things. Sometimes I think it comes from the Mary Poppins department of bags. Its so lightweight and I love the fact it can be put on your back or you can carry it by its handles.

Passport
This is without a doubt the most important thing you will pack because how can you be a Brit abroad with this eh?

Scarf
Even if you're not visiting a cold country, a scarf is a great multi-purpose item to pack in your backpack. I find planes really cold and tend to send up sitting next to someone who is a very hot person and insists on having the air con on so I use this as a blanket. It can also double up as a pillow when you fancy a nap.

Relevant guidebook
I'm a guidebook addict so I always carry one - or three - around. I've spent endless hours before hand making lists upon lists of sights I want to see, places I want to eat and bars I want to enjoy a cocktail. I love to read them as last minute research on planes, just incase I've missed anything. Plus it helps to get even more excited for what is to come!


Kindle
Most of the time I don't actually read this as I have been visiting a lot of city breaks so I've been too busy trying to explore every nook and cranny. But I have a few train journeys and beach holidays this year so this will be my best friend. I always bring it just in case because you never know when you might have a spare 30 minutes.

Holiday purse
I have a special holiday purse that I always take away from with just my spending money, bank card and driving license in it. As a person who is the Queen of forgetting things I always think it's slightly tempting fate to bring my everyday purse.

Headphones
These are my second pair of UrbanEars and I love them. I think for the money they're really good and I love the fact they come in such bright colours. I picked these yellow ones up from TK Maxx for £16. The light colour means they go grubby pretty quickly but I love how bright they are.

BONUS: Bottle of water
I always make sure I buy a bottle of water airside as I don't want to take out another mortgage to buy one on the plane. And it's never about getting dehydrated before you've even arrived at your destination right?

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The pressure to do it all - it's ok to say no





Outfit:
Hot pink coat: ASOS (similar)
Black ruffle shirt: Zara (similar)
Distressed blue denim skinny jeans: George at ASDA (similar)
Gold pointed midi heels: ASOS (similar)

As much as times have changed over the years, there's still the age-old expectation of being a women and what it entails. It's something that I've been thinking a lot about since I've entered the last year of my twenties. Social pressures increase and people start implying and making comments about issues that I really have no interest in talking about with them. Everyone and their uncle Jack seems to have an opinion about everything you should be doing. The pressure almost becomes unbearable.

As a woman I do feel there is the pressure to absolutely boss it at work, give our all to both family and friend relationships, keep our homes ticking over as well as be independent and do the things that matter to us. We're expected to literally be superwoman and there's something wrong with us if we don't fulfil it. But there are only 24 hours in a day. And sometimes, this really just isn't possible. I feel like the pressure society puts us under makes me do a half-arsed job. I feel like I'm not actually giving anything my full attention and as a result I find myself running around like a headless chicken.  Then I feel like even more of a failure because nothing is being done to the best of a ability. It's so hard to hold your hands up and admit that you really can't do everything.

It's ok to re-evaluate, take a step back and say no. It doesn't make you lazy, it doesn't make you unappreciative and it doesn't make you a failure.  Think about what is important to you and not about what is important for society. If you don't want to do the washing up for a week and would prefer to go out to the pub with friends, then that's your decision. Who cares if your house is a little messy when you're living your best life enjoying the two for one bottles of prosecco on a Monday night?  It's ok to prioritise one thing above the other. It's also ok to ask for help if you need it. We all need a little helping hand at one point or another. It's what makes us human.


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Not being a Girl boss doesn't make you a failure





Outfit:
Beige oversize mac: ASOS (similar)
Skinny jeans: George at ASDA (similar)
Red gazelles: Adidas (similar)
Red checked scarf: Accessorize (similar)
Burgandy rucksack: Fjallraven kanken via ASOS

Girl boss is one of those buzz words at the minute. Women all over my social media timeline and in real life seem to be absolutely bossing at life. They're setting up businesses, choosing to work for themselves and climbing to the top of the career ladder. Without seeming to take a breath, they're at the top of their game and doing it with ease. I love seeing women do well, it gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

But I'm not a girl boss. Most days I feel like I can barely keep my head above water and I'm drowning thanks to poor time management skills. I don't really have any side hustles unless you count making an extra £30 a month on eBay selling my old clothes. After working 9-5 every week I just don't have the capacity in my brain to think about anything else. I can barely sometimes find enough energy to write on this blog even though once I settle down, it's one of my favourite things to do. I'm not an over-achiever, in fact it could be said that I'm probably a little bit of an underachiever because all I long for is a quiet life. Working to the point of exhaustion tends to be a badge of honour. I don't get enough gratification from working that I feel the need to own this badge.

But most of all, I don't want to to be a girl boss. Work really isn't the be all and end for me. I don't think I really want to climb to the very top of my career ladder. It may be lack of ambition but all I ever wanted was to have a job that I enjoy going into work every day in the career that I always dreamed off. That's always been enough for me. I've never been motivated by money and never wanted the insane responsibility that came with a large wage packet. I work hard, I try to do everything I can to the best of my ability so I know I gave it my all but I don't want work to define me.

It's ok to not want to do it all. It doesn't mean you're a failure.


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OOTD: Shades of grey





Outfit:
Grey waterfall coat: Miss Pap*
White shirt: Boohoo (similar)
Black skinny jeans: M&S (similar)
Silver glitter sock boots: ASOS (similar)

Miss Pap got in touch just before Christmas to help me spruce up my winter wardrobe and this coat was one of the things I was very kindly gifted. It's great to help jazz up a simple outfit and I love it paired simply with a crisp white shirt and statement boots. Speaking of boots - how lush are these? They were a surprise Christmas present from my parents and I'm so in love with them. Sparkles are not just for Christmas!

I can't quite believe we're in the third week of January already. I'm now the grand old age of 29! I feel like I've been non stop but I have been kept busy with the best things so I can't complain too much. I had a wine and cheese night as an early birthday celebration with friends, we've been trying to give everything a place (as much as we can) in our new home and I've been excitedly planning our trip to Bordeaux at the end of the month. So far all I really have are restaurants, the wine museum and wine bars - I don't really need much else do I?!


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OOTD: Statement ankle boots





Outfit:
Grey tailored coat: New Look (similar)
Black ruffled shirt: Zara (similar)
Black skinny jeans: Matalan (similar)
Brown leather rucksack: Gift from Marrakesh (similar)
Buckled black ankle boots: LOTD.co.uk* (similar)

Boy am I glad its boots weather again - I'm a sucker for a pair of ankle boots if my collection is anything to go by. So I was glad to be able to add these beauties to my stash from LOTD.co.uk. The pointed toe and the buckles really caught my eye. I think a statement pair of boots make all the difference when jazzing up an outfit.

A weekend over already. I've had such a lovely weekend mooching around, getting my life admin in order while my boyfriend has been away in Glasgow on a stag do. As out move in date looms,  I'm beginning to realise just how much 'stuff' I own. I've always known I'm a bit of a hoarder but now it's all been laid bare! I went to the garden centre with my mum to try and find some plants to fill my bedroom. I want a little bit of a 'jungle' theme so picked up three mini cacti and one snake plant to pop in a freestanding metal planter. I just hope I don't kill them off! I'm now after a cheese plant, a couple of succulents and an ivy plant to fill up the plant pots I seem to have accumulated over the last six months...

Special thanks to Sarah for snapping this OOTD!


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OOTD: Striped maxi dress





Outfit
White and red striped maxi dress: ASOS (similar)
Pink sunglasses: Phase Eight* (similar)
Black sandals: Birkenstocks via ASOS
Red canvas backpack: Fjallraven Kanken via ASOS

I was debating whether I should post this outfit given how sweaty and flustered I felt that day. But looking back, they're not actually that bad and this was one of my favourite dresses of the summer. Although look at the frizz in that hair! Not very seasonal but that's what you get when you're not a consistent blogger anymore... I don't think I've ever experience heat like I did this day and if I'm honest, it's put me off forever from visiting hot countries in the future. It was absolutely relentless and sightseeing was a little dramatic in 36 degree heat. But we soldiered on through and managed to enjoy Krakow. Just.

This was an ASOS sale buy in spring and proved to be a very savvy buy. The thin material is breathable, the two slits up the side help to keep your legs free and the little poms poms around the waist keep it interesting. Paired with my favourite backpack that's seen better days and my trusty Birkenstocks that never leave my feet on holiday, it was a great outfit to try and keep me cool. RIP these Birkenstocks though as they well and truly gave up in Poland and never made it home. Next I want a classy silver pair. Oh and a patent black pair please.


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OOTD: floral heels





Outfit:
Black cold shoulder ruffle dress: ASOS (similar)
Black and white pattern clutch: Primark (similar)
Floral embroidered heels: LOTD.com*

So here we are, in October again. I have to admit this really is my favourite time of year as cliché as it may sound. I'm not one for the heat and winter brings with it too much rain for my liking. But this season the weather is still pleasant, fresh with a slight bite in the air. It's warm enough to only have to wear a thin mac and the skies are still blue.

LOTD.com got in touch to see if I wanted to update my wardrobe and among the things they kindly gifted were these pretty heeled sandals. I love the detailing on the heels and they really help to jazz up a simple outfit. One of my favourite things about the colder weather is dipping back into my winter wardrobe. I last wore this dress to a wedding in Glasgow over the festive period last year and am glad to be giving it another outing.

This week is going to be taken pretty easy. I'm finally off to my friend's new baby tonight who has to be the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen. As someone who is a self-confessed baby hater (slightly OTT), I never thought I would be this excited over a newborn. But I suppose it's different one they're one of your squad. I can't wait to give her a big cuddle and teach her lots of bad habits. I'll also be helping Hannah celebrate her birthday with the rest of the crew. An evening of giggles and good food is just what is needed after feeling a bit under the weather.


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OOTD: Blue cotton sun dress






Outfit:
Blue cotton midi dress: H&M (similar)
Light wash denim jacket: Primark (similar)
Gold boyfriend watch: Marc Jacobs (similar)

While we were travelling around Poland last month we decided to schedule in a beach trip. Somehow we managed to choose a day that was the chillest out of the whole two weeks but that just meant it felt like going to the beach at home! Sopot is around a 20 minute train journey from Gdansk, making it the perfect day trip if you find yourself in the city. I've got a post coming up soon so I won't say much more about the town. But it's definitely worth a visit, if only for ice cream from Flamingo & Co. That stuff is absolutely heavenly and I still dream about it now. Believe it or not, Poland is the best for ice cream. No joke.

I've been trying to wear more stuff in my wardrobe because I can barely afford to buy my weekly bus ticket, let alone treat myself to new clothes. Have you got your violins out yet? Owning a house is tough on my finances. I have no idea how I forgot about this dress and sadly this is the only time I've worn it this year. If that isn't the sign of a true shopaholic then I don't know what is... Hopefully an Indian summer is on its way and I'll get a few more wears out of this before the year is up.


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About me
A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

Get in touch at
sophie.warner89@yahoo.co.uk.

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