31 August 2017

Sometime in the past 2 years, I subconsciously decided to change my life. I don't know what it was or when it was but something clicked and whilst I can't say I'm living my best life just yet, I am on track for that. I feel almost like a new person, just from alternating my mindset.

One HUGE Habit that changed my life

& how it can change yours too...

Looking back, I really feel that somehow, I wasted my youth. I feel as though I sat there not doing anything because I was too scared. I turned down invites to sleep over my friend's houses with lame excuses like "I’ve been grounded" or "my mother wants to have a girly evening". In reality, neither of those two things ever happened. I was just an anxious teenager too shy to put herself out there. I never took risks, I played by the rules and that was how my story panned. I look back thinking, I really wish I'd seen my friends more, made more memories and faced my fears more actively. Had that happened maybe I wouldn't be struggling so much now as a fully grown adult who turns a quarter of a decade in a few months? But then again, maybe I would. Life does seem to do what it wants sometimes...

None-the-less these past two years have been so pivotal where self-help and self-love are concerned. Somehow I made that positive change in my mind and my perspective. And I wanted to share that with you because if someone could have told me these things before I beat myself down figuring them out the hard way, maybe I'd have fewer bruises.

Trying to please everyone

I come first in every situation. Not in a selfish way where I disregard the happiness of others and only think for myself. Not like that at all. I have realised how important it is to prioritise. Knowing what is beneficial to you and others versus what is just beneficial to others.

I read something somewhere where this person was talking about how much it sucked that what makes us happy can often leave us judged by others. When I was younger I used to get so upset if I got told off, not because I didn’t do anything wrong but because someone was disappointed with me. As I got older this left me going out of my way to only ever make sure people were happy with me. So I wasn't judged and left with leaving people frustrated with my choices.

These last few years I’ve been living in a scenario where I’ve felt like the biggest inconvenience. No matter what I did to be a shining example, I felt like I wasn’t wanted nor appreciated. When one night I just thought, ya’know what this isn’t healthy. I will always try my hardest where I should, but if it’s not appreciated or gratified then why should I continue? Prioritising these things has changed the way I hold my head. It's taught me to care where care is necessary but not push myself through holes not shaped to fit me.

Your bloopers VS. their highlight reel

You’re shuddering about how cliche that is, right? You've heard it before though. I’ve heard it before too. It’s one of those things you hear but actually never action. People like to market their successes. I know I feel considerably more successful when I’ve shared my triumphs with someone and they’ve reinforced my pride. Human being’s love to receive a pat on the back. But, one thing people don’t do, is share their failures. We live our lives comparing what we have, where we are and what we’re not achieving, to people on social media you either haven’t seen since you left school or strangers you’ve never met. 

How does that even make sense?

Owning a home before 30, or a fancy car, a designer handbag, that Olympus PL-8 or holidaying in Bali does not make you who you are or how successful you are. 

I have been very guilty of this in the past. Measuring my success against everyone else's highlights and that is 110% where I went wrong and where you are too.

“That person has been blogging for half the time I have but has double the number of followers,” I thought. But in this age, that means nothing. Success is happiness. Happiness in how you believe you are doing. I might be jobless at the moment but I get out of bed and start my day every morning like I would if I had a job and that’s success in my eye’s. Success is not a destination, it’s the journey.

That fear of social engagements

This post is all about realising the things that are holding you back. And for my entire life, I've had a fear social engagements. Social speaking. Social anything.

I grew up shy. I don’t know what it is. But it happens to lots of kids. I watch my niece, one of the most intelligent little girls, struggle to articulate during the first 10 minutes when we hang out. She’s just shy. It doesn’t matter how much I see her, she’ll always be a little mouse hiding behind mummy’s legs until she’s comfortable again. It's a kid thing.

But for me, it didn't stay just a kid thing. It stuck with me as I blossomed into who I am now. I'd dread presentations in school, even those done with groups of my friends. I'd hate parties where anyone other than my close social group was in attendance. Heck, I was even terrified in those 10 minutes before I met Taylor Swift. I practically word vomited all over her I was so anxious. Could have been worse though I guess.

But all of those things I did regardless. I didn't run away. I could have said, "Ya'know what Mamma Swift, I don't need those backstage passes!" I stood up and put one foot in front of the other and left my fear in the shadows even though I felt like I was going to simultaneously vomit and pass out.

I’m not saying it’s all Daisy's and puppy kisses. I still walk up to the door of blogging events and job interviews dreading every step and wondering why I put myself through it. I still scroll through my Facebook feed and feel that gut dread as my path veers off in a different direction to my school peers. But the difference between this rainy day in August to that one rainy day 2 years ago, is that I 100% believe this doesn’t define me.

If today’s the day I learn to fly, then by damn I’m going to. It doesn’t matter that I’m scared of heights and not the biggest fan of aeroplanes. I'm still going to travel the world because my anxiety shouldn't be the author of my story. That one habit that changed my life was not letting my inner monologue win. And you shouldn't let yours win either.

So it's that *completely un-related* point in the post where I tell you about my outfit and you say "not Primark again Melissa, c'mon!"

Well, you're just going to have to endure it because I'm absolutely wearing Primark again. I'm just obsessed, jobless and desperately trying to save pennies for when Taylor releases concert tickets later this year. 'Cause you'll be damned if I only get to go to one show, I'm not making that fateful mistake again!

Anyway, my jeans, yep Primark but they're identical to the TopShop Joni jeans if you're really that much of a snob about my love for Primark. My shoes, again Primark but aren't they a killer pair of pumps which really transformed this outfit. Yes, yes they are.

This top, on the other hand, is an absolute steal from Everything £5. It satisfies all my childhood dreams of being a pirate. The billowing sleeves. The slits up the arms. How could you not be in love. 

I really, really from the bottom of my heart hope that if you suffer from any sort of anxiety, depression, anything that stops you from living your life, that you have the courage to make a change. It's never going to be easy, it's probably going to be something you live with always, but it doesn't define who you are, your aspirations or your dreams. You're not alone and you're most certainly don't have to go through it alone. Be Fearless.

Love Always,

17 August 2017

I've always been 'into' fashion but never invested in the trends. Turns out quitting your job and having no money is what changed that all for me. Talk about bloody typical. Hopefully, I won't be jobless for much longer though because I have big plans for my Fall wardrobe and all the fashion trends it will encompass! 

This year, one of my personal goals was to be more bold and brave with my fashion choices. Which on a regular year, would have been something really fun to work on. But I don't think I could have picked a more difficult time to try.

I've not been quiet about the fact I went traveling for 4 months earlier this year. And with the expense of traveling, comes the obligation to not shop. At all. For pretty much an entire year total. Say what!

I spent 8 months total saving up to travel over the end part of 2016 and I don't think I've been shopping since. Well, I lie. I've been a near-permanent resident in Primarks across London but apart from that, not a dime has been spent on clothes, jewellery or shoes.

In the time that I've been back, I've near constantly been trawling through Pinterest dreaming about all the different styles I wanted to try before 2017 ends.

Hopefully - and I say hopefully with all my mite - that I'll get a job fairly swiftly, and thus will start my bold, brave and fashion conscious goal for 2017.

This is how I plan to do it...

Mom Jeans, Embroidery and Relaxed Fashion

Let's start by talking about Mom Jeans. I know, I know I'm about 2 years late to the party. But this is the start of my fashion journey after all so I think I deserve just a slither of slack.

I love the relaxed vibe they have and I love how comfortable they look. I live in high waisted skinny jeans, literally, they're the only pre-20 degree bottoms I own and they've been the only style of jean I've worn since I was 15! I think it's fair to say that 9 and a half years is enough and it's time to branch out a little.

Plus, how uncomfortable are high waisted jeans when you've just eaten a meal. A meal of any size. Even that cheeky bite of chocolate you've been hiding in your bedside table. Talk about making you feel guilty! I've been pushing the 'top button undone' vibe for years but so far no-one else seems to be catching on.

V Necked Tops and Cute Little Bralettes

I'm a turtle neck sort of person. I have fairly small breasts so when it comes to dressing in a way that makes me look a little luckier in that department, I will. Low neck tops seem to emphasize the lack there of to my chest. Which is no way is a bad thing, but they can look rather disproportionate to my hips in the wrong items of clothing. But, it's something that I want to learn to not care so much about.

I have been in love with the polka dot blouses with plunging v-necks and wrap around design that seem to be in rotation at the moment. I also love the sweeping tops with dramatic sleeves and billowing cuffs that kind of make your childhood dreams of being a pirate feel like reality. It's all about living those dreams, guys!

Embrace the cold and not be scared to get my legs out

If there's one thing about me, it's that I run about 5 degree's colder than everyone else. Meaning that once Autumn hits, right around until Summer re-appears again the following year, I covet all the big knit jumpers. Whilst that is exciting for the first few months (don't get me wrong, I'm the first to crack out the cinnamon candles, wooly blankets and Christmas DVD's) after a while it does get a bit dull.

Whilst it's not too cold, I want late September and October to still see me in skirts and dresses. A tea dress with a cropped jumper and Chelsea boots is the epitome of Autumn is it not? I am determined to not peak too soon with the jumpers and jeans this year!

So there we have it, nothing crazy. I'm not trading in the striped tee's and skinny jeans for metallic culottes and fluffy mules but it's a start. It's definitely a bolder desire that my 2016 autumn wardrobe ever had. I won't be sending my last season staples to Oxfam in favour of designer handbags and belts with a price tag of a small mortgage but I'm very excited for my fashionista future.

Love always,

P.S. Ok, it might be the middle of Summer, so pulling off this "autumnal" look wasn't too courageous. Having my legs out in 20-degree sun on a Tuesday afternoon is quite the treat. But none-the-less, it's bolder than I'm used to.

I picked up this black slip dress from ASOS. I do consider myself of average height but I had to snip a couple inches off the bottom because it was much too long for my liking. Evidentally I went a little too gung-ho with the scissors and I can't bend for fear of flashing my knickers. You live and you learn. Regardless the dress is a staple and I can see myself - carefully - wearing it all throughout Autumn and winter. It's a great transitional piece year round I think!
The shoes and choker were from my favourite shop as a penniless person, Primark! And this western belt was also bargain, from SheInside. However, word of warning, if you do decide to invest be prepared because delivery takes months. I'm not even joking. Such a shame too because there are some real bargains to be had on that website if you're willing to search for them!

8 August 2017

How on earth do you find personal style? I know what I like but that differs to what I wear. What is personal style? I'm so eager this year to experiment with fashion, learn more about what works for me and what doesn't but ultimately, find my own personal style. And I've been doing this the only way that I know how, by keeping an eye on some of my favourite bloggers, their style and how they rock it...

There are fashion trends and then there is personal style. Personal style - I think - is those key pieces, shapes, colours and styles that you keep going back to. The ones that are authentically you. The ones that when you walk out of a changing room to show your friends, they all scream "YES!". Something that has your personality written all over it.

Now, don't get me wrong, don't judge a book by its cover but I'm a huge believer in the idea that fashion is a great expression of someone's personality, their likes and dislikes. Granted this doesn't work quite all the time, take it with a pinch of salt and all that. You can learn a lot from reading a book but you also learn a great deal from the blurb too.

Martha Jane Edwards

I love this girl. I love her blog, I love her Instagram, I love her YouTube videos. Martha is an incredible blogger with incredible skill and style. It still baffles me now that she's averaging around 1K followers on her social media platforms. She is definitely one of my biggest inspirations in this community but also in my trek to find my own personal style.

Martha covets the fashion we're all very aware of. Like loafers and the infamous Gucci belt. But she does it with a twist that just screams her. She follows the trends but turns it into something that is entirely her own at the same time.

Emilina Love

If there is one thing about the blogging community, it's that there is a very distinct style when it comes to fashion. Yep, I'm talking mules and cigarette trousers. Yep, I'm talking layered flute sleeves and denim skirts. Emilina is someone who doesn't take notice in Blogger stereotypes. She is the embodiment of the everyday girl who can covet out-there celebrity fashion and completely rock it.

Emilina wears the sorts of items you see in Zara that make you wonder how they made it any further than the runway? The average girl can't pull off these styles. But Emilina has this gothic vogue type style that I don't see anywhere else and that can absolutely rock these boxy dresses and chunky shoes.

Media Marmalade

Melissa's feed is a delicate mix of premium high-street brands which together make a beautiful, always put together style. You know the type, tailored jackets and culottes with not a pair of Topshop Jaime jeans in sight.

Copper Garden

I am envious of Jess in many ways aside from her fashion sense heartwarming personal style. Being able to constantly travel with a Boyfriend who takes seriously bomb photos for her blog. What more could you want?! Whilst I was travelling, finding the time - but more importantly money - to shop and hone my style was not an option. But Jess manages to constantly live the dream and look the bomb doing it.

What I love the most about Jess' style is it's super laid back and organic. With a fairly muted colour palette and a pop of stripes here and there Jess' style is relaxed. But with different cuts and styles, her fashion is much more interesting than your average shorts and t-shirt or dress and jacket.

Phases of Robyn

This girl is absolutely not afraid of colour and injects it into her wardrobe in a really wearable way. I think most of us are guilty of a black and white wardrobe and a fear of colour. I most certainly am. Aside from the occasional muted pink (and this beaut of a skirt), my wardrobe is awfully monotone.

Robyn, however, uses a monochromatic wardrobe and accessories with pops of colour here and there. It's very versatile, very fun and this style is very much accessible to everyone.

What all of these bosses do is not copy the trends, they exude them. They take them into consideration and turn them into something of their own. Something authentically theirs. This is what I think personal style is all about. Yes follow the trends, then break them down and find what you like. Make the trends personable, make them yours!

This is what I'm working on over the last few months of this year, so hopefully, when you see me in 2018 I'm going to have a wardrobe I'm proud of as a sense of personal style.

Do you know what your personal style is? Do you even have one?

Love always,

In this outfit:

Embroidered Skirt - SheIn
Flute Sleeved Top - H&M
Watch - Olivia Burton
Bracelet - Pandora
Bag - Warehouse
Sunnies - & Other Stories

3 August 2017

I'm not going to cherry coat this, at the moment I'm not a fan of Instagram. There's a lot of bad press regarding new algorithms, shadow banning and 'fake news'. But amongst the haze of negativity, I've spent the last few months learning how to unearth the good stuff. Another thing I've spent the last few months doing is travelling but I haven't kept that much of a secret (sorry, not sorry!) Which has resulted in my passion for travel bloggers and grammers. Particularly those with honest intentions and real experiences.

Melissa Lou, smiling, using Instagram.

Firstly though, can we just remember the good times... when Instagram was a fun way to connect with your friends? I remember when it was only available in the app store and it was the first app I downloaded when I got my first iPhone. It was the most intriguing thing for a creative hipster-wannabe 16-year-old like myself to share with my friends outside of MySpace.

Then once blogging took off, Instagram turned into a really great, fun way to connect with other bloggers. Granted, my favourite way to reach out to bloggers I admire is on Twitter but Instagram connects you in an innovative, visual way.

Now it just feels like Instagrams knifed you in the back. I told you I wasn't going to cherry coat this issue. Especially given Instagrams naivety to address said issue.

And because of this, I have lost a lot of love for the platform. Heck, I even considered giving it in for a while. If it wasn't for the friends and dreamy grids I follow, I probably would have done the deed a long time ago!

All black outfit with embroidered bag.

But realistically, I am a millennial. And a millennial that also dabbles in blogging. So, there's nothing I like better than scrolling endlessly through Instagram whilst snuggled up in bed. Particularly when it's cold and rainy outside. I follow so many different types of accounts from beauty to fashion, artists to musicians, from home decor to travel grams. I think the broadness of it all is what keeps me coming back, even when I'm so demotivated. I can go from seeing brand new beauty releases to some of the most remote beaches in the world. It keeps me on my toes and continuously thinking about what I want and how to get there.

But before I left, I was non-stop scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest at all of the amazing travellers, taking incredible photographs hoping I can do the same whilst I'm away. (Maybe you could check out my insta too, tell me how I did). Anyway, longest introduction ever!

Melissa-Lou, reaching for her sunglasses wearing. Fashion photo, all black.


Lauren is the sole reason I changed my mind and decided I needed to head back to Asia at some point on my trip this year. I've been many times and it's just as good as the first every time but I was convinced that I'd had enough. Then I discovered her feed and the itinerary changed to spending the majority of my time away back in South East Asia.

It is scrolling through Lauren's photographs that give the best sense of what it's like to travel in Asia. The beaches, palm tree's and sand, yes. But the locals, the long boats and the dogs that live on the beach too. All of which encapsulated Lauren's dreamy feed.

Melissa-Lou wearing a rose-gold Olivia Burton watch, reaching for her pink embroidered bag!

Le Backpacker

It's all in the landscape. When you think travelling, you typically think of the white sand beaches in the Maldives, the temples in Thailand and rope swings in Bali. But I can assure you, Lauren's feed is the only one in this post that exhibits the 'typical' traveller vibe you think of when you put Instagram and Travel in the same sentence.

Johan Lolos, the visionary behind 'Le Backpacker' introduces the secondary, less travelled landscapes. We're talking the emerald lakes of western Canada, rocky peaks in Germany and one hundred foot tree's in Belgium. It's a fresh look at travelling and a magical take on landscape photography. The type of travel I want to try more of in the future.


Murad Osmann

I'm sure if you're into travel, then you've heard of Murad Osman and his Instagram series 'Follow Me To'. And if you haven't heard of it, I'm absolutely positive you'll have seen his work. He practically invented this style of photography.

His series features his girlfriend leading him, first person perspective through their travels. His photos have a sense of realism that other #tbloggers miss out on. That ability to make you feel a part of the photo. But it's just a sense of realism, Murad has the most vibrant editing and some great parodies on his feed too. So it's not the most realistic grid you'll lay your eyes on.


I like to follow a variety of different travellers and Ming doesn't exclude from that. Not a traveller as you'd first have thought. Ming is a fashion photographer who travels for work but her feed is nothing short of a fashion lovers wanderlust dream!

Her subject matter not only exudes some of the most beautiful scenery but some of the most beautiful models from all around the world too. Her work is typical Vogue editorial, exhibited in a much less traditional format.

Hello Emilie

You know how 'Pinterest' is a style, well there isn't a travel blogger out there with a more Pinterest worthy feed than Emilie's! It's beautiful, feminine and soft. Makes you wonder how so many truly beautiful landscapes exist. But they do and Emilie has captured them in a way that excites a younger audience to Instagrammers I've featured so far! Emilie's feed is one to make any blogger's heart flutter.


George introduced Mo's feed to me whilst we were away, and not because of the landscapes or the photography but because of his gorgeous Australian Shepherd that he travels with. I can tell you with all of my heart that you have never seen a dog this beautiful. And what's more, this dog has probably seen more of the world than you too. Gutted? I am. And they have a camper van. If you read my latest post about what's next for me now I'm back from travelling, then you'll know how much I want a camper van now! (Hint, if you haven't I linked it up top, but because I care, here's another 😉).

Wanna know what I'm wearing? Oh, girl, do I wish I could get my shop on and show you some sick outfits but alas, all I have is this cami-top from the ASOS Basics range. Which actually has a super low back to add a bit of pizazz to an otherwise boring top. These jeans are from Primark which I chopped the ends off because I was bored. Guess that's what happens when you get desperate with fashion!

My shoes are a diamond find, also from Primark. Super comfy look great, kind of similar to those Chanel espadrilles that everyone went bonkers for a while ago!

My bag was another diamond find, from one of the Night Markets in Chiang Mai. How beautiful is it? And it was only about £3! The belt, also Primark, of course. My watch is Olivia Burton and my those sunnies are & Other Stories.

And finally, this beaut leather jacket is from All Saints which I stole from Rhaea because that's what sisters are for! 

I seriously love these feeds, and it makes Instagram much more worthwhile now that it only shows me the posts with the most engagement. And these feeds have that engagement for a real good reason! Do you follow travel Instagrammers at all? If so, who are your favourites? Are there any travel grams you think I need to know about, (because I do need more travel in my life. Always need more travel).

Love always,

1 August 2017

Do you know what sucks? Coming home from a holiday and thinking that's how I should be spending my life. Making childhood dreams of becoming a great explorer, discovering new and far destinations. From the bottom of my heart, that is the life. But do you know what sucks more? Getting the chance to explore and travel but having to come home at the end of it all...

That sounds incredibly selfish of me, after all, I did get the chance to travel. I wholeheartedly understand that in that sense I am one of the lucky ones. But even so, I reckon, even the biggest of home-bodies would struggle to give up a life of wander for something more structured. Or maybe they wouldn't. Maybe that's just me.

At the end of the day, though, coming home sucked. And being at home sucks too. I love more than anything my friends that make me laugh so much I cry and I missed them tenfold whilst I was away.  I also love the puppy and without her, I don't think getting out of bed to battle the pile of job applications I have facing me would be worth it. But I'm not going to lie and say I had a fantastic time but it's great to be home eating healthier food and working a better sleep pattern. I mean, those things are great but it I've learnt a lot about myself these last 4 months. The main thing being, I love to be outside, exploring new places.

But what's next?

First thing's first, I've got to find a job. Travelling was beyond amazing (I know I keep saying that, sorry!) but I am officially broke. Like, actually officially, signed onto benefits and everything. So if you know anyone who's hiring, I'm an incredibly hard-working Arts Graduate with a passion for photography and design. Haha. You've got to tell everyone and anyone you're looking for work, that's what the lady at the job centre told me! So tell your friends, your parents and your parent's friends that this talented gal over here is on the hunt for some £££. 😜

Next up, I want to get a camper. That's right, you heard it. This 'never once been camping, can I bring my straighteners' girl wants to purchase a campervan! I know, I know there's a difference to camping in a tent to in a van with heating and electricity, but I bloody loved it whilst in Iceland.

So, once I have a salary and a few £K in savings, I want to get a camper van. I want to travel more, but I think I want to do lots of little vacay's and long road-trips rather than round the world adventures. I've seen a lot of Asia and only very little of Europe. Even less of the U.K., percentile I want to spend the next year or two adventuring my home ground with staycations-a-plenty.

Light the fire to my own business. As you get older, dreams fade and change into new ones. But there's one that I've had since school, that still shines as bright on my bucket-list as it did when I was 15. I've always wanted to be my own boss. Whilst the ways I was going to make that happen have changed the underlining dream stayed the same.

If you frequented my corner of the internet in the earlier months of this year, you'll know I'd been talking a lot about opening an online shop. I'm one of the percentiles of people who make the most out of the right side of my brain. I love letting my idea's and fingertips run wild with some scissors and glue or with a mouse and Photoshop on the go.

But Finally...

I love blogging. Aside from the puppy (and Taylor Swift) it's one of those things that can help me escape into the world of fearless where anxiety and world troubles don't exist. And, whilst I was away, I had a lot of time think over the future of my blog. What I wanted, where it could go, why I was doing it and where did I fit in to all the masses of incredible bloggers around me (that was a major one!)

Being home sucks and it took a while for me to get over the post-travel blues and find motivation again. But I think I've found it and I'm so excited to share this new book with you. Quite literally. Well maybe not literally, but you get the idea.

I'm going to talk a little less about beauty on here (not never, but just a little less) and more about life. I want to tell you all about my amazing adventures which is something you told me you want to hear about too. I also want to explain more about where I decided I fit in in this insane, crazy, fun community of bloggers, vloggers and online bosses. And where you do too... But more on that in a week or so...

I guess that's that. So much has changed in 4 months. I feel like I talk about my goals and dreams a lot on here but I think it's important to keep you in the loop. I love reading fashion posts and wanderlust infused content but I love it more when I know the individual behind the words. So that's what this is.

But tell me, what's next for you? Summer has just started (that's crazy because I feel like mines just ended!) what's your plan for the next 2 months? What changes are you making? What plans are on the horizon for you? I'd love to know.

Love always,

P.S. Fancy knowing what's I'm wearing...

I spent so much time watching endless Primark Haul's on YouTube whilst I was away. It was torture but pure joy at the same time. Not being able to shop for four months was possibly the biggest downside to travelling. But living my shopping desires vicariously through the people of YouTube made 10x better. Anyway, this striped Bardot top was from Primark, I forget the price but all you have to remember is I'm broke and it's Primark, so let's be honest, it wasn't expensive!

My jeans are crazy old, but they're the ripped Joni's from Topshop. My belt, also primark. My shoes, which are the cutest white espadrills with a black overlay on the toes (you can't see them so you'll have to take my word for it!) are also from Primark. And my sunnies are from a knock-off market place in Bali. You'll probably find some similar in Primark too!

And the accessories. My watch is one of the many beauties by Olivia Burton and my choker is from Urban Outfitters.