VOYA – The 100% Irish beauty brand that you should be proud of!

      If you haven’t heard of the brand VOYA before then don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. I only know about it from working in Avoca and they love to promote home grown talent. (A lot of … Continue reading

Finally….I’m Not a Failure!!

I left uni unfinished, with 3 years of accountancy knowledge under my belt (Most of which, I knew, would drift away after a few months out of practice) and moved back to the city I SWORE I would never return to.

3 years later I’m writing this post.
Why? Well, I have finally come to the realisation that I am NOT a failure.
You might laugh or think “Silly girl, your SOOOO young”, “You have your whole life ahead of you” – Yes, in hindsight its easy to say this, but in reality, in MY eyes, I was the biggest disappointment to myself and my family.
I chose now to write about this situation because the more I come across articles about “Hitting Bottom” and “Finding Yourself” I have begun to realise that I went through something similar. Yes I know, people lose children, houses, spouses etc …(THAT IS HITTING BOTTOM don’t get me wrong) but I suppose I’m saying I went through a transitional period in life and thought, “Okay, the life you had planned just isn’t going to happen”…And that’s alright.
Once you accept this, once you sit yourself down and say “Lets just give it a go” ..the life you thought was grim and only a temporary solution, starts to turn around and things don’t seem so grey and dark. The funny thing is, you don’t even realise until waaaay after. I probably only realised this like 6 months ago. But things have turned around in the last year. Relationships, work, friends…things are looking good..
Something that I strongly believe is to try not to expect too much from yourself.
People always seem so quick to dismiss these feelings as something menial/trivial and not a big deal. But it is! The years from 18-24 are possibly the most important in your life, you start to become the person your mean’t to be.
I am by no means say that I am “Settling” . Luckily the job I had opened a window and I decided to jump through. I realise that taking this opportunity mean’t that I was committing myself to this company, to this city and a potential new career. But I am happy, for the first time since I got accepted into university have I felt like I was actually doing something with my life, that I felt I was good at.
I know I’m not the only person to have went through this. Maybe this could be read by recent graduates and be something to help them to understand why they feel angry, disappointed etc. A beacon of wisdom…who would have thought it!!
University was the best years of my life, and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. But I am definitely now on track to being the person who I’m mean’t to be. Having decided to let go of my expectations of what I wanted my life to be like, I have actually found myself nestled in a pretty good set up.
My Rules to Live by:
  • Don’t have it all figured out! Chances are, reality will kick in and only 20% of what you think will happen, will happen. (Unless your Taylor Swift…She gets everything!
  • Don’t push everything away, opportunity will come in all forms so be open to all offers.
  • 50% of your friends will move away..FACT.  So keep in touch, surround yourself with people who keep you laughing. Organise drinks when you can, this is crucial! Reminiscing about old memories is the best…and wine makes it so much better!
  • Remember you are allowed to feel however your feeling. You will have good days and bad days. So immerse yourself in a good tv show, distract yourself from life. I still do this regularly. It helps me to take my mind off the rigmarole of daily life. (Im currently watching The Good Wife as I write this!!)
  • Plan trips regularly.. Work can be so tedious. I used to see endless pictures of people off on holiday every other month and it used to depress the life out of me. But you need to put your foot down. I have made a rule this year to travel at least thrice. You need plans to look forward to and you need to see the world!! You will think you can’t afford it but you can, flights can be so cheap and I swear by Air BnB! You can survive a few skint weekends to make way for an amazing european city break!
Amz x
p.s Follow Anna_e_hobbs on Instagram …. She has such beautiful calligraphy – Props for the feature picture.

Atonement…Extraordinary Style

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Keira Knightly wearing Jacqueline Durran designed Green Dress

 

Having recently seen that Keira Knightly is staring in that new Jack Ryan movie, I decided to have a think back to previous roles. Alongside Pride and Prejudice, my favourite movie she appears in has to be Atonement. When considering this movie, I don’t automatically think of the heartbreaking love story, beautiful settings and ridiculous role of Benedict Cumberbatch as a peadophile, I was absolutely mesmerised by the amazing costume design.

 

I remember the issue of Grazia that featured the original sketches and designs of the costumes by Jacqueline Durran, especially the green dress, and knowing then, that I wanted to someday design something equally as beautiful. 

 

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Heres a few more of my favourites from the film.

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Keira Knightley in Atonement

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Keira Knightley Swimming Costume – Atonement

Amz x

Girl Crush… Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Autograph

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Rosie for Autograph 2014 – Silk Padded Plunge Bra £25 Silk Brazilian Knickers £12.50 (Antique Rose)

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has come leaps and bounds since walking for Victoria’s Secret. Needless to say the experience and understanding of the lingerie industry has lead her collaboration with Marks & Spencer.

Since the launch of the Rosie for Autograph line in 2012, stores have sold out nationwide of the beautiful, french inspired lingerie regularly. I’ve always been a fan of Huntington-Whiteley before the line was announced so hearing about it really excited me. I was eager to see if she would go down the Victoria Secret-esque, fun and quirky style or whether to keep it simple and elegant.. I’m very happy she chose the latter.

The first collection highlighted the main styles that would continue to feature throughout the following seasons; Padded balcony bras, all-in-one teddies, brazilian and high-waisted briefs and nighties.

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Rosie for Autograph 2013 Range

Rosie has chosen her colour palettes and materials smartly, she has definitely learnt a lot from her previous lingerie experience. She uses soft colour palettes to compliment the skin tone, and delicate lace and silks to keep the lingerie luxurious and also comfortable. The great thing about this range is that it is an affordable indulgence..which is perfect! Most women lust after this style of lingerie but it always comes with a 3 figure price tag. It’s about time a high street retailer took the initiative to bring what the customer wants, to them. I think it was a perfect move for Marks and Spencer, as it has always been known to offer good quality underwear.

Rosie for Autograph 2014

Rosie for Autograph 2014 – Silk Chiffon Bralet £19.50, Silk Chiffon Shorts £12.50

I feel this collaboration, and the introduction of Belinda Earl as style director, has allowed Marks and Spencer to become one of the leading trendsetting shops on the high street. It has definitely become somewhere I know I can go into and pick up a statement piece/perfect shoe/amazing underwear. So Ladies.. if your lost for something to treat your man to tomorrow, or maybe you fancy treating yourself (We all love to feel sexy, even if nobody sees!), you have to try this underwear. I guarantee you will be back!

(Psst!  M&S love a good 20% lingerie sale every now and again too!)

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Rosie for Autograph – Silk Teddy

Amz x

Victoria Beckham….the Love of my Life

Victoria Beckham at her Autumn/ Winter 2014 Show

 

Yet again this woman makes me crumble at her feet. 

Victoria Beckham is an absolute genius and her recent New York Show cements this fact to the absolute core. She has really adapted from the original figure hugging, waist clenching power dresses, which first brought her onto the scene 5 years ago. 

 

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This season sees sleeveless coats, tailored mannish trousers under long floaty skirts and, of course, her signature structured handbags.  I am loving these side chained coats, especially the sleeveless white one (See above) As always, we see a lot of colour blocking in this range, but unlike most autumn/winter collections, this collection is brighter. 

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It’s so refreshing to see her throwing away the waist clenching dresses, and go for more fun, drop waisted, oversized shapes. I am also loving this blue injection; When thinking of autumn, you automatically think purples, greens, browns etc.  It’s amazing seeing royal blue standing out so prominently with such a respected and influential designer.  

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Another notable detail of the range are the beautiful midi skirts. This trend has really taken off over the last year and VB steps it up a notch with the visible slits towards the front of hers. This gives a nod towards the Cullottes trend thats coming on strong. 

I love everything about this collection, this woman and what she’s doing. I am forever in awe of how far she has come and how much she’s achieved herself. My inspiration forever..

Amz x

A Key Autumn 2013 Essential..

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“Fashion is a kind of communication. It’s a language without words. A great hat speaks for itself.”

On getting dressed this morning, I looked in the mirror and thought “A good hat would 100% complete this outfit” 

 

 

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Coral Jumper – (Selected Femme) , Skirt – Vintage (Sorry!)

 

 

I’ve always loved fedoras and a good trilby but never actually invested in one. More so because I never properly took the time to do a bit of research to find a good reasonably priced one. I did come to the conclusion that it is something that is going to serve a long time so I wouldn’t mind spend a bit of cash on it.

So I have compiled a shortlist of hats that i think would add a bit of oomph to any Autumn outfit.

 

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Barbour Dalton Fedora £50 | House of Fraser

 

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Burgundy Felt Fedora Hat £25 | Miss Selfridge

 

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Black Ribbon Trim Fedora Hat £22 | River Island

 

Enjoy, Amz x

Another amazing Campaign from FCUK..

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What an awesome new campaign from the design house FCUK!

‘From Sketch to Store’ is the new AW 13 campaign, shot by Rankin and illustrated/designs by Jo Bird, which continues the theme of edgy and alternative advertising. It’s all a very simple concept with Rankin shooting 3 models in their natural form (Starkers!…fair play.) and then Jo Bird used the original shots to sketch on the new designs. It’s simple, elegant and edgy..

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Known for their effortless style and sartorial designs the sketches are of clean cut, MOD jackets and blouses.

This wasn’t entirely all FCUK however..

Rankin is part of an agency called The Full Service who French Connection approached to materialise the idea.

..and what a great job they did. Its an interesting concept that will have everyone turning their heads which is just what FCUK wanted. I’m absolutely loving this and hope that they get a lot of recognition for it!

Heres the rest!

Amz x

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(This is a gorgeous sketch!)

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Oh Hello Sunshine!

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Im not the only girl in Belfast that rolls her eyes when the sun come out. Yes, initially I get all excited and think about how many lovely little dresses I can go through, but I get the dread of having to make sure that my legs can on display for longer than a few hours a day. 

So the no.1 tip I’ve gathered over the years is to always carry a good moisturiser…simples. Even if you don’t suffer from dry skin or anything, once you slap on a quick layer of a decent moisturiser, your legs look immediately slim and radiant.

So heres my pick of a few favourites! 

 

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Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion £7.65

(also available in handy travel sizes)

 

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Body Shop Olive Body Butter £13

 

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Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Body Butter £4

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Vaseline Essential Moisture Cocoa Radiant £2.99

(My favourite!)

Amz x