This monthly roundup has taken me a while to write because the last few weeks have been a bit all over the place.
There have been some big life changes which I am not quite ready to reveal yet (argh! I know, super annoying), but it’s all very exciting with a sprinkling of STRESS.
On top of this serious adulting I have also been ill; this constant tiredness and flu like symptoms that I cannot shift have been going on since I had a sinus infection back in February but I just put it down to weather, my hectic lifestyle, quitting my job, mercury renegade, and – you know – general life. However, this month it finally got the better of me.
I was frustrated at feeling constantly unwell and missing out on life so, once again, I returned to the doctors, was prodded with needles and after 4 appointments was finally diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (aka, ME). Not a great prognosis but at least now I have answers, I have something to work towards. Recovery is going to be a long road and one of the things I am going to find hardest is slowing down my pace of life; I love being outgoing but of course I don’t want to make myself any worse. Although I may never have the energy I once did, I’m sure as hell gonna give myself the best chance possible of a speedy recovery.
Obviously this diagnosis was unexpected and came at a time when I had challenged myself to take part in vlogtober; because of this I know that my videos may not have been as exciting as I expected I am proud that I stuck with it and hopefully created content that felt authentic, because noone’s life is great all the time.
Enough of the doom and gloom because despite it being a tough mouth it has been my favourite time of year – Halloween season! I am a spooky bitch all year round but Halloween get’s me childishly enthusiastic. I had to cancel a lot of my plans for this year; but snuggling up under a blanket, surrounded by skull candles, eating pumpkin curry, and watching Stranger Things hasn’t been too shabby.
That take me nicely onto Stranger Things and my undying love for Hopper – what a guy and what a season! I was super nervous that the second season couldn’t live up to the hype but, holy shit, did the Duffer Brothers knock it out the park again. I couldn’t contain myself and binged the whole lot in 3 days so now I am going to have to fill the void in my life with the new season of The Walking Dead and a weekly dose of the other dream man in my TV life: Daryl Dixon.
Away from the doctors and TV there has been a bunch of other stuff happening in my ‘quiet’ month.
Autumn/winter is my favourite season for fashion and, boy, does my credit card know it. Being stuck in the house more has been super dangerous and I have made a few online orders. Mainly I have been splurging at Missguided and Nasty Gal who not only have had amazing 30% off days but also have totally banging stock in. I’ve pursued many an online store from my sick bed and, seriously, these guys are killing it! I have a couple of hauls up on YouTube if you want to see what I’ve been buying. I am still fully into the vinyl trend but have also been branching out a little with a new shiny puffer jacket and wide legged trousers.
Out-with online shopping I also picked up a few bits at the new Weekday store on Regents Street. I know I already told you guys how excited I was about this brand coming to the UK, and I wasn’t lying; since opening I have made 3 trips. To add even more fuel to my spending fire this month they are opening a new store in Stratford, which is even closer to me. I wish you could mute shops from your credit card in the same way you can mute words from Twitter, because I know this is going to make me even poorer.
As well as high street shops I also made a purchase from Mary Wyatt London, an awesome independent store based out of Parliament Tattoo. As I write this the new collection is dropping and I cannot wait to see what they come up with.
The weather has been weirdly warm this autumn, which means that some of my favourite purchases like leather trousers, my leopard print lined aviator jacket from H&M and my new snuggly jumper from Weekday are on standby until it cools down, which I cannot wait for. Maybe it’s my Scottish blood, but I love a cold, clear winters day.
Something that I have been wearing on the daily is my JUST GO pendant that me and some of my favourite blogger babes (Bangarang) collaborated on with Zeal and Heart. You can read all about in its own post.
Talking of Bangarang, the girls all clubbed together and gave me a very generous Debenhams voucher for my birthday back in June which I finally spent on all things Kat Von D. I went for her ride or die Trooper Liner and the sample set of her Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks; words can’t describe how fucking amazing the Saint and Sinner Palette is. Seriously guys it’s a thing of beauty!
Other big news in the beauty world was Fenty and Glossier coming to the UK and with so much hype I caved to both!
Though I was super keen to try out Fenty I was not willing to literally queue for hours outside of Harvey Nichols in London so instead I waited a week and swanned right into the Edinburgh, store picking up my perfect foundation with no wait time. The foundation is one of the best I have tried in ages: a matte which does not stick to dry areas, is high coverage without looking fake, and last all day only letting a hint of natural oils shine through. We may have a winner for foundation of the year! I also picked up one of the Matchstick Highlighters in Yacht Life and though it is a thing of beauty, it doesn’t look good on my skin tone, so is one I’m experimenting with.
Glossier hit the UK and the blogosphere freaked the fuck out. I had tried a few products before but admittedly got excited about the 10% off code and made a few extra purchases. I know every blogger and their cat has now reviewed this brand so I’m just gonna say they are great products for travel, or everyday no-makeup makeup look, but they are not ground breaking. I say: ignore the hysteria and if you like the look of them, then “Treat Yo’ Self”.
Another launch this month was the Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara which also has mixed reviews. My opinion: I like it, it lasted well, and added length but left a natural look which is unusual for a waterproof mascara. It’s now my everyday go-to, saving Too Faced Better Than Sex for more dramatic looks. In other Urban Decay news, they also started selling Look Fantastic this month and I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Covent Garden store to celebrate. I always get beyond nervous about turning up to beauty events solo and was so grateful for colour queen Siobhan (Just A Uniform) for taking me under her wing and introducing me to a bunch of lovely bloggers.
Another lovely blogger I need to say a massive thank you to is makeup master Maryam for coming over and doing me a solid by agreeing to be in my first ever collab video. It was so much fun having someone else to bounce off of and I loved watching a makeup professional at work whilst I just slapped everything I own onto my face.
Since the theme of the month has been to relax, I treated myself to some of the awesome Lush halloween products as well as some of my favourite staples. My mum, knowing me all too well, also topped up my Halloween pamper session by sending me the gorgeous (but hard to come by) Vanilla Pumpkin Body Butter and the Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask from The Body Shop, which have both been major hits.
Most of my time in London has been spent inside working and resting, but despite slowing down I’ve still made a few trips out and about.
As well as the aforementioned Urban Decay Party I also made the trip central to check out the Topshop Stranger Things collab which turned the store into an upside down extravaganza. Though I had fun visiting Castle Byers it was a little disappointing that you had to spend £25 to gain access to the other areas, especially since most of the £22 t-shirts were already sold out. I consoled my disappointment by shopping in Weekday and grabbing lunch at my favourite low-key sushi joint, Taro.
A few other foodie favourites included lunch at Number 90 (Hackney Wick) who did a mean burger, delicious tomato and balsamic soup and loaded sweet potato fries. An added bonus was getting to see Sara’s (Hello The Mushroom) amazing artwork. Number 90 celebrates street artistry with guest artists exhibiting their work inside, and an exterior decorated with stunning murals by Martin Ron and Jiant. On my previous visit I had loved the interior but been let down a little by the food, however, they have really stepped up their game and it may be one of my new favourite spots in the area.
I’m gonna be honest here, since going vegan back in February, eating out has been more difficult. Although London is pretty vegan friendly, it does require some planning and branching out to new areas. This month’s best find was The Birds Nest in Deptford. I had never been to this part of London before but after working up an appetite pumpkin picking I needed a hearty meal. The Birds Nest is a grungy pub and live music venue which served up two vegan Sunday roasts, as well as meat options. We went for the chicken seitan pie and the traditional vegan roast which were both bloody delicious and kept me full all evening. We only dropped by for a quick meal but this is somewhere I would love to spend more time hanging out.
Another kind-of new place to explore was Peckham, I had only been to this hip part of south London twice briefly: for a friend’s birthday at the amazing pop up Italian Forza, and for my tattoo from tiny hut studio K-Ink, but was desperate to explore more. Hopping on the overground Pablo and I took some time shooting these images then went to The Nines to grab a vegan toastie and schnitzel – which were both awesome. The last time I was in there I have a hazy memory of holding a G&T whilst dancing in a dark room, so it was nice to see this cool venue in the daylight. After a few more pictures we celebrated a successful blog shoot with a pint at Brick Brewery, a craft beer microbrewery right next to the train station.
This is an area of my life that has taken a back seat, but it was lovely starting out October in Scotland catching up with friends in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dundee before heading off with Pablo’s family to the Isle of Lewis; a magical place that surpassed all my expectations. Spending a little more time in Scotland has inspired me to explore more of my homeland. Knowing this, Charlie (Charlie Distracted) invited me along to the Visit Scotland pop up Instagram travel event which left me feeling even more determined to do the North Coast 500 next year. An added plus of the event was finally getting to meet Yaya and Llyod – the awesome talent behind Hand Luggage Only.
This week Pablo is off to some sort of web conference in Lisbon and there was no chance I was letting him take his 10th solo trip this year, so I am tagging along for 3 nights. I went to Lisbon a few years ago but only had enough time for a one night stay, so I can’t wait to explore more of the city’s alternative side.
For being a “quiet” month that’s one hell of a roundup! Because this has turned into a full blown essay I am aiming to break these roundup posts into weeks again.
During Vlogtober I loved creating diary style content and want to bring some of that element back into my blog, but this time instead of a mishmash I am going to accompany each weekly post with a fashion look. If you do want to see what I have been up to, as well as read about it, I’m bringing back the weekly vlog to my YouTube channel and I share loads on Instagram stories so you can follow along there.
Have you guys been up to anything rad this month? Let me know in the comments below.