Taking inspiration from Cher Horowitz

Thanks to being on a strict budget as I save for Malaysia, I've taken a step back from my shopping habit. For someone who likes to see her wardrobe constantly updated it's been hard. But I am discovering things I completely forgot I had so this cloud has a silver lining. Despite my lack of funds it hasn't stopped me browsing the internet like a mad woman, frantically saving things in my wish lists just in case I win the lottery. A lottery which I never do. I should probably start doing it each week if I want to be in with a chance...

Now one thing I have noticed on my website travels is how checked patterns seem to be taking over the high street! They remind me of Cher Horowitz, Clueless never gets old for style inspiration does it? Now I'm sorry to bring this up but before we know it we'll be heading straight into September and it's that 'back to school' feeling. So can dressing like Cher be anymore apt?!

Here are a few things that have been catching my eye. Pinafores, skirts, co-ords and shirts, there's something to tickle everyone's fancy! If you're on a budget like myself, it's worth keeping an eye out for any online discount codes to help save a few pennies. There's lots of different websites out there, you just need to know where to look. One such site is Groupon who offer discounts for Clarks, JD Sports, Guess, Nike and M&S. The more savings you make, the more you can spend. Isn't that how it works?!

Are you going to be taking inspiration from Cher when the autumn hits?
Without meaning to jinx things, is anyone else looking forward to starting to shop for autumn? No? Just me then - this sunshine is great but it's kinda lasting a bit too long now.... 



ASOS red checked shoes £28, ASOS check mini skirt £30, ASOS pink checked blazer £52, Topshop orange check mini skirt £32, River Island blue checked heels £42, River Island boucle mini skirt £15, New Look mustard cardigan £27.99, New Look red and black check backpack £17.99, New Look black and red jumper £24.99
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Dealing with travel anxiety




Outfit:
Nude flat sandals: Matalan (similar)
Blue striped cotton sun dress: Zara (similar)
Red tassel earrings: H&M
Gold boyfriend watch: Michael Kors (similar)

I don't really have a list of places I want to visit in the world because I want to see every single place that I possibly can. I've been lucky enough to visit some amazing places but have yet to venture anywhere that is too out of my comfort zone. Probably the only place that comes close is Budapest. We stayed in Pest which is traditionally the 'working class' district and I came across some sights down the side streets that really threw me a bit. I've visited quite a few cities in the States and whilst it's a place that has a few culture shocks, it's a country that English is the main language so it feels slightly familiar to home. I've managed to muddle around every place I've been too so far because they've spoken a decent amount of English. So although I've been able to jump in feet first into all these incredible cultures, its always been done with a bit of confidence.

I've been dying to spread my wings and visit Asia but there's always been something holding me back. If I'm honest with myself I think it's because I've been too scared. Scared to go somewhere that is completely different to what I'm used too. I just know it will be so far out of my comfort zone that I'm frightened to take the plunge. Last year one of our good friends moved to Malaysia to teach for a couple of years. I've never had such a great opportunity to finally tick south-east Asia off my list so we booked flights to visit next February for a couple of weeks. We're staying with him for a week during his school holidays then Connor and I are heading north for a week to explore on our own. I am so excited yet feel absolutely petrified.

I know as soon as I get there I'll have a whale of a time and won't want to come home. I've been dying to visit south-east Asia since I was 16. But there's just little niggle at the back of my wine that wonders what on earth I'm doing. I'm worried that I'm going to be on edge in a country so vastly different to my own that I'm not going to be able to enjoy it. Which is absolute absurd as I love nothing more than discovering new places. I'll be a bundle of nerves on the 13 hour flight over there but we've got to keep pushing ourself out of our comfort zones otherwise we'll never grow right?

Do you suffer with travel anxiety too? If so, how do you deal with it?


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Learning to pick your battles





Outfit:
Silky black wrap top: H&M (similar)
Skinny black leggings: Matalan (similar)
Red pointed shoes: Next (similar)
Gold tassel statement earrings: H&M

I'm very highly strung. A trait I have inherited from my dad. And probably my mum too. We are a family of quick tempers which causes for some lovely explosive arguments. Something that first freaked out my boyfriend when we first started going out! I'm not one who is afraid to voice my displeasure and often lash out. Part of me thinks this is great as people will always know exactly how I feel. I don't have a poker face and I know personally, I like to know where I stand and know how other people feel. But the other part? The other part thinks this is tiring. It is tiring to always be fighting. It consumes so much energy and if I'm honest, I really can't be bothered anymore. I increasingly just want an easy life.

Learning when to stay quiet isn't about 'losing' or appearing 'weak'. If anything it means you're being the bigger person. It's so liberating to take a step back and and admit that this is one battle that really isn't worth losing the energy over. By picking to fight every single battle doesn't get you anywhere. You reach a stalemate and if the two of you are as stubborn as each other then that stalemate will last for a long time. All that negative energy doesn't do anyone any good.

Next time someone really gets under your skin, take a step back and really think. Wonder if it is really worth it going in all guns blazing and try not to act immediately. Arguments always have consequences and sometimes they're not consequences you always want to deal with. So make sure that the issue you're fighting over is truly worth it. Ask yourself if the battle will matter to you as much tomorrow or next week as it does currently. Chances are emotions are just running high and it's not actually that important. It's amazing how much better you will feel after opting for the quiet life!


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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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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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