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What I've read so far

1. Read more book. That was my first New Year's Resolution and I think a lot of people can relate. We all love the idea of reading more, drinking more water (I'm an actual prune) and doing more exercise, but how many of us can actually stick with it? I tried to make the goal as realistic as possible, so my target was to read 2 books a month. That's it. I don't need to read more or read a certain type or length of book. Nothing wrong with baby steps.

I have always been a huge book worm and I spent my teenage years with my head in a book constantly. I don't even think that I am exaggerating that, because I never went anywhere without a book. My family can vouch for this. During my A-levels and starting Uni reading books unfortunately went on the back burner like my other hobbies hence my Fresh start blog post. But I started to get my read on. 

Its so nice to have something that stops me scrolling through my phone endlessly because it is so unnecessary to check Instagram a million times and there isn't anything quite like losing 
yourself in a story or learning something or feeling empowered to make a change.
 These are the books that have made me feel all these things. 

It by Alexa Chung. I'm kicking it off with an easy read. I flew through this book, cover to cover. Its basically a collection of her thoughts and images about her life. Alexa has really added her personality into the book and it sort of feels like she is talking to you which I love. Its like a good old chat with your girlfriends. The whole book gives you a taste of her laid back sense of humour and classic style. I feel like even if you're not a huge fan of her like I am, you can enjoy her aesthetic and fun outlook. Also, its very photogenic. 

Women and Power by Mary Beard. Now this book was perfect for International Women's day. I read it back in January, but I gave it a quick flick through again last week, because wow. Mary Beard's intellectual nature mixed in with the history and information and everything else was fantastic. I found it so interesting and it really opened my eyes. I don't want to try and explain it, because I wont do it justice, but please give it a read! Get your girl power on!

How to be Parisian by Sophie Mas, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret and Anne Berest. 
I wish this book was my life basically. The authors give a fun and amusing version of the traditional Parisian stereotype. It made me laugh out loud at the fun contradictions and I was definitely inspired by the fashion because that is the look I try to achieve. (Try being the key word) I think this a great edition to anyone's coffee table. I'm totally ready to wear a red lip every day now. 

The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees
I spoke a little about this book in both my Capsule wardrobe posts because it is the holy grail and Bible of creating a capsule wardrobe. The thought that has gone into this book is amazing and I actually felt like I learnt something. If you have ever thought about investigating the world of capsule Wardrobe this is where to start. I thought the book might be a little boring because I thought surely there can't be that much information about a wardrobe clear out, but it is so many details that are important but may skip over, like how to find your style and how your wardrobe fits into your life.  It will be your new obsession though. 

The Sun and all her flowers by Rupi Kaur. I had never read a book like Milk and Honey which is Rupi kaur's first poetry collection. Her words and images are truly beautiful and empowering. She speaks about sexual assault and a variety of important subjects. Again, this is a book that makes you think and could bring a tear to your eye. 

Some other reads that deserve a mention.
The Balance plan 
Undergroud Railroad
In order to live
How it works; Sisters
Bad Girls thoughout history. 

My Capsule Wardrobe experiment #capsulewardrobeseries

Do you ever feel like you have a ridiculous amount of clothes but till have nothing to wear? So many people can relate. I would wear the same items on repeat, the same jeans. skirt and selection of tops. I always went back to my favourite clothes so it seemed obvious once the lighting struck; I should try a capsule wardrobe, so this is how I created it. 

 I have talked about my inspirations and what made me want to start a capsule wardrobe in this post, so we can skip to the fun stuff so here is how I have started my experiment. I call it an experiment because I am still creating it and finding out what dynamic I like and dislike. A little disclaimer is that I haven't yet included shoes in my capsule wardrobe. That is a work in progress. A little conversation with my boyfriend sums up my relationship with shoes.
Him; "You only have 2 feet"
Me; "But my feet go many places".

My interpretation on the capsule wardrobe is that the classic magic number, 37 is a guideline. If you're a few items under or over then that is okay. This isn't about having restricting rules that makes you hate your wardrobe.  My other issue that I am going to trial keeping my seasons apart. The capsule wardrobe queen; Caroline who writes the blog; Unfancy, moves her wardrobe around every 3 months so her summer clothes are stored away while its winter. What I'm trying to do is first of all find a place to store my items because I currently live at Uni and secondly, I am very much of the mind set; 'What if I need it?'. In some ways this silly because I obviously don't need a pair of denim shorts right now in March, but I am slightly justified because in British Spring time we can get freezing days as well as beautiful hot day. I remember having a BBQ in the Easter Holidays last year, so I am currently trying to separate my clothes more. 

There we go. That's how I'm still testing the water so bear with, but here is how I started. 

Know your style. I think this is the hardest because if you don't know then you will just have to wait and see it develop. Also, you may never find a specific style because you are your own person and not a carbon copy of someone else. I take elements from my inspirations but the way I sum up my style is mostly monochrome, Parisian chic (which sounds pretentious, but I'm really into those classic pieces) and mmmm...let me think, probably smart casual. I'm pretty pleased I could say that because the one of the things the Curated Closet challenges you to do is to describe your style in one sentence which can be harder than you think. Don't be afraid to give it a good think and to ask others. Their answers might surprise you.
A little tip is to sometimes go through the styles you don't like if you're struggling. I know I'm not into the sporty chic purely because its not me, but it looks cool on other people.

Whats your lifestyle? You need to be aware of your lifestyle and how your wardrobe will reflect what you do. For example if you work in an office 9 to 5 Monday to Friday then your wardrobe is going to focus on versatile pieces suitable for the work place instead of loads of casual items that would seriously limit you on a day to day basis. For me, personally, I am a student so I am in my 'normal' clothes everyday as my work as a specific uniform that I have no control over. Its ugly...Anyway, my average day is going to uni and being with friends so I have no need for 5 smart shirts in comparison I don't need super practical clothes for a on the go person.

The Basics. I really didn't know where to start. I had a big mess of clothes that I didn't like and a limited budget, so I made a list. Oh I love lists. I wrote down the basics that makes up a wardrobe. (for my lifestyle) I was really lacking in so many basics and I thought no wonder I'm finding it hard to get dressed. I'm missing so many simple things like a plain grey top for example. You need to find the back bones of your wardrobe that supports the metaphorical body of your wardrobe.
I'm going to write out a full basics list in a future post where I explain what is exactly in my wardrobe. 

Don't get lost in Fashion. From this point you can start to get more specific items. Those things are my style, but I like picking fashion pieces to compliment each season. Quoting Yves Saint Laurent; "fashion comes and goes style is forever". I'll be doing a future post on how I shop with a Capsule Wardrobe because I think there is a knack to avoid those impulse purchases and fashion items that you are not going to be wearing in a years time. I'm so guilty of that, but I'm getting better.
I excited to show you my capsule wardrobe and how I style my clothes in each season.

I am hoping that in the future I can do a full starting a capsule wardrobe step by step post when I'm happy and sure with my new wardrobe, but at the moment I am still testing the water. 

More Girl Power pls!

What a wonderful day. A day that is dedicated to being a woman and everything that means. No matter what shape, size, colour, origin or religion, we can all celebrate how cool it is to be a woman. We've never had it so good in the history of 'civilised' society. (Side note; The Ascent of Women on Netflix is amazing and it shows that in some of the first groups of people, there was complete gender equality, as men and womens' contributions were seen as the same) However, I think we can do better.

There are amazing individuals and groups that have been dedicated to girl Empowerment longer than I have been alive, so I am but offering my very humble story.

My story of girl empowerment or feminism or whatever you would like to call it started off with my parents. As a little girl I was encouraged to get outside and explore, play with a variety of toys and be my own person. My parents tried to stop gender stereotypes before it was a'thing'. I was taught to have my own thoughts and opinions, and believe me I did. I was always slightly different to the girls at school who had more barbies than a child could ever want or need. But as much as my parents did to encourage me to be an independent person, guess who I wanted to be like? Yep...the Barbie girls. I loved pink and dolls and pretty things which is no bad thing but it must have been a little frustrating for my parents who were not Disney people.
This hideous theme of pink carried on for years and my mum didn't really know what to do with 'that girly stuff'. There were so many tears when I had to have practical school shoes and not pretty ones. (Who else can relate?) But underneath the pink everything there was a little girl who loved a million other things like tree climbing and muddy puddles and castles which I wish I could have shown more.

As I grew up I couldn't help but find my true self bit by bit and that meant I didn't exactly fit in, because I wasn't being a carbon copy of someone else. I loved to read and I loved to know things, but at secondary school that means you get teased. And as a little 12 year old I didn't have the self security of myself that I have now. Horrible people, 1. My self esteem, 0.

Skip a few embarrassing teenage years,  I was procrastinating as usual and I started reading all these articles about feminism that I agreed with so much. Yes, of course we should have gender equality. It's so obvious. But then I looked for more information and I came across negative comment after negative comment about how feminists are crazy women who have become so radical that they are now sexist themselves. When I started talking about feminism at school people made those negative links as well.

But I am an independent woman who knows better than to listen to those voices. I am a proud feminist who believes that we need to help both men and women for a better future for everyone.
I have come full circle and now I know that I can love fashion and beauty as well as reading, learning and being outdoors. It's okay to be me and it's okay to be you.

 Being an empowered woman comes with some fun perks like confidence. I love having confidence even if it just means that I have the confidence to do little things by myself which opens up a world of possibilities and fun. But don't get me wrong, I still get self conscience and worry about things but that is okay when you have loving people to support you!
Something I heard and love is that 'empowered women empower women'. I love spending time with my girlfriends who are all amazing women in their own right which inspires me to believe in myself. We can all be girl bosses.
But very importantly being empowered allows you to see the problems in the world and it makes you stand up and listen and then speak out. We can all do it especially when issues are constantly having light shone on them with campaigns like 'Times up' and 'Me too'.

Girl power takes time but its pretty cool in my opinion when we get rid of that girl on girl crime and surround ourselves with empowered people.

 I wanted to mention some amazing people who have helped empower me.

•My Mum has taught me how to be independent. I know I can rely on myself which makes me feel pretty sassy.
•My Dad taught me to have my own thoughts and opinions and that you don't need to follow the crowd.
•My Sister has taught me that you have to love yourself, because it will be a lifelong romance.
•My Boyfriend's Mum has taught how to be a strong woman who doesn't need to take sh*t from anyone.
•My Boyfriend has taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to. (He is a fantastic poster boy for feminism)
•My Auntie has taught me that it is always right to speak out against what is wrong in our society for a better future. 

So I think in order to celebrate Interntational Women's day and gender equality we need some more girl power and to work hand in hand with men. Lets not preach to half the sky.

Things that are making me happy right now.

We are almost half way through the season of lent, which for me as a Catholic is a period of time to prepare for Easter. I have given up chocolate this year and wow I miss it. But I am sure I will survive. Lent is also a season for positivity and reflection, so I have been trying focus in on the good things in life and also setting my ducks in a row. That's the right phrase, isn't it? So, here are a few things that are making me happy at the moment.

Ignoring my view out the window, it's spring! And that means beautiful flowers and fresh Spring fashion. I am so excited to share my capsule wardrobe with you in next week's post. I'll explain how I have put it together and certain rules I am trying to keep. Nothing too strict though. I have been making a list of clothes to add to my wardrobe so it is spring appropriate, because before all this beast from the eat nonsense came I could leave the house without a jumper on. But my wardrobe dynamic has briefly gone back to jeans and jumpers. And 5 layers underneath....but bring on Spring! I'm ready.

As of yesterday it is 3 weeks until I get to see my boyfriend again and that makes me the happiest person in the world. I talked about my long distance relationship in my Valentine's day post and how well we have dealt with being so far apart, but nothing can beat that first embrace. Internally it feels like the GIF of screaming Jonah Hill and externally it probably looks like that too. I'm not that cool and collected. But you do happiness however you like.

Something else that has been keeping me cheerful is that I have so far kept my new years resolutions. The main one was to read 2 books per month and I have actually gone over that. Once I got back into the swing of settling down with a book, finishing book after book became very natural. A great tip for keeping a reading resolution is make sure you always have a book in your bag because when you're out and about you have the option to get a chapter read instead of scrolling through Instagram for the millionth time. I am very guilty of that. I will be doing a book post in a couple of weeks about the books I have read so far and the books I am planning on reading. There is mixture of genres for everyone so I'm pretty pleased.

The final thing that is making happy is that I am slowly, very slowly getting organised. One by one I am ticking jobs off the never ending to-do list. It's all about the list making for me because there isn't a happy feeling quite like ticking those annoying and boring jobs off so you can relax and have fun. To be honest I still need a little motivation in some departments but we will get there!

I would love to hear about what is making you happy right now and keep an eye out for a cheeky midweek post coming on Thursday for International Women's day.