Clashing Time

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Monday, 29 August 2016

Clashing Time: Double Denim Lookbook

The best thing about having blogger friends is that you can head out whenever you're both free and shoot blog pictures. When I met up with my beautiful friend Cara from PollyPocketBeauty recently we decided to mix things up a bit and filmed a lookbook each for our YouTube channels! I am so pleased so say that I had the best time and I will definitely be filming a lot more of these in the future. I love watching lookbooks when other bloggers film them so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and start doing them as well. For my first lookbook I have done a double denim look. Some people have very strong opinions about double denim, and I have to admit that I was always skeptical about the trend coming back in a while ago. I think that the problem with the look is that it can so easily be done wrong, and I hope you'll agree with me when I say that the best way to avoid this is to not wear completely different coloured denims together. That look only worked when we were kids or pre-teens chucking anything on to go out. I have matched a vintage denim jacket (inherited from mum) with my favourite skinny Primark jeans. When I tried the trend I was so glad to see that the colours were pretty similar and it meant that the look was much more polished. I put on a Matalan plain white t-shirt under my jacket and added my trusty NewLook velvet choker to finish the look. Double denim can be worn casually during the day with some converse or brogues, and then can easily be dressed up with some heels for the evening. I'm wearing some Primark open toe block heels in my lookbook as I am obsessed with them right now, but I also think this look could be good with some stilettos for an evening out on the town.  Let me know what you think of this double denim lookbook in the comments!
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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Clashing Time: My Chloe Faye Dupe

I have never been into buying accessories, in particular bags, that have been created in order to look like a designer style. I was once bought a Chloe lookalike from Thailand as a pre-teen and although I loved it, I don’t think I ever really realised that the bag was in the style of a fancy super expensive designer handbag. My dad brought them home as a little present for me and my sister from his holiday and we loved them purely because they made us feel like adults strolling around with our brightly coloured handbags. I feel like having the right handbag can make such a difference to how well put together you think an outfit is...at whatever age. 
Now I am older, I feel like I have such a sensible/boring attitude to buying accessories as I want them to be multi-functional. Buying a bag for me is ordinarily a big decision as I have to think about whether it would be suitable for both weekdays at work, and also the weekends. When I make a decision to buy a handbag it tends to be a lengthly process and I am happy to spend a bit more money on a better quality handbag so it lasts longer. Recently I went completely against everything I normally do and bought myself a cheap little over the shoulder bag from Ebay...and I don't regret it at all! 
I used to be a big Ebay lover, but I stayed away from it for a couple of years because I realised I was spending far too long scrolling through items that I knew I was never going to buy. I've realised that the trick to finding a bargain is to only go on Ebay when you have decided what you are looking for. Searching for 'women's tops' and hoping you'll find items that look similar to what you saw in New Look a few days ago is completely unrealistic. You need to know what you want and then type in specific search words and without fail you will find something close to the item you are looking for. 
One of my favourite bloggers is Victoria from the blog VIPXO in Nottingham as she has completely transformed my view of shopping on Ebay. Victoria does fantastic weekly round ups of items that she wants that she has seen on Ebay and bundles them into blog posts called her 'Ebay Wishlists'. She covers clothes, accessories, homeware...you name it. Now I have to admit that not all of her items are my cup of tea, but normally there are at least one or two items that I click on to check out how cheap they are! Last month I was looking at her weekly wishlist and I saw that she had posted about this bag. I didn't realise at the time that this style was a dupe of the Chloe Faye bag (which retails at anything from £1280), but I instantly fell in love with it. I think it is the simple elegance of the black contrasting with the gold chain that instantly attracted me to it. 
As unbelievable as it is, this bag only cost me £7.75 and the postage was £6.99, which comes to a total of just under £15. I would never normally spend this little on a bag, because I know that it will inevitably not last. However, I have been so pleasantly surprised by this spontaneous purchase. It came earlier than I had expected (especially as it was coming from China), it was packaged in the most gorgeous protective bag with tissue all around and in a suitably sized box, and finally I've used it pretty much non-stop and I can't complain about the quality. I have no doubt that there will begin to be problems if I over use it, but for under £15 I am so happy with this Chloe Faye dupe. I have seen so many bloggers with either a look-a-like copy, or the real thing, and I think that they all look fab with it. The bag is suited to pretty much every outfit I've put on and it is the perfect 'chuck on' bag for a trip out into the city - day and night. Well done Victoria for finding me this bargain!
These photos were taken by the lovely Laura from Loved By Laura on her Olympus Pen camera. 
Dress: Primark  |  Boots: New Look  |  Sunglasses: Supersavers  |  Bag: Ebay
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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Clashing Time: Finding the right bikini

I am so into body confidence at the moment. When you've been through a bit of an emotional time it is so important to make sure that you are happy in yourself so that you can go out there and take on the world. I know I could do a lot more to make myself feel positive about my body, but I am the first to admit that exercise has never really been my forte. I maintain my hourglass figure through a balanced diet - meaning that I don't not eat certain yummy but bad for you foods, but instead if I do indulge, then the next few days will be spent eating healthier. My shape is rather unusual (in my eyes) as for my relatively slim body (8/10), I have a 32E cup size. This means that finding a bikini for going on holiday is not that easy. Most shops do bikinis in clothing sizes, which means I would need to get about a 14 in a bikini top for the cup, but the waist would be way to big. It also means that I can't really buy triangle bikinis, unless they are the very expensive ones, as it wouldn't be very supportive (and I would definitely fall out). 
Over the years I have resorted to buying wire bikinis (much like a bra), as they feel the most comfortable and I don't have to worry as much about movement. I have searched high and low for the perfect bikini top, have spent vast quantities of money, and have normally ended up being quite disappointed...until now! Who would have thought that I would not only find a perfectly fitting bikini from a supermarket, but also for an absolute bargain? This little black number is from ASDA and cost less than £10 for both the bikini top and bottoms. Asda seem to have made it their mission to cater for women of all shapes and sizes this summer, and I for one could not be happier! I used to have to spend a small fortune on a bikini top that would end up with wires uncomfortably sticking in to me, the waist not being tight enough, or just being an ugly print. 
Now I can walk round the pool feeling confident in a black bikini, knowing that I am not only supported...but also a little bit sexy! Never did I expect that Asda would be the answer to my problems. There must have been a woman in their design department who had had enough of creating bikinis for 'normal sizes' - thank god! I love the simple detail on this bikini, as you can wear it as a halter neck, or take the straps down and wear it as strapless if you don't want any tan lines. It also has a girly touch with the black string bow in the middle. 
As I have an hourglass figure, it means that my waist is much smaller than my hips. This means that when I pick up bikini bottoms, they often emphasise my 'muffin tops' (that always makes me laugh) because they tend to be made for people with no curves. Asda have paired this gorgeous bikini top with bottoms that are created in a high-rise style, which means that they are a lot more flattering as they sit higher on your legs and hips. Normal bikini bottoms tend to sit below your hip bone, which can allow for any 'problem areas' to be on show...but these beauties don't! Although they look like they hardly cover anything on the front because they sit so high on your hips, they make up for it on the back as the material covers the whole of your bottom. 
Thank you to Asda for providing me with the perfect little black bikini to make me feel comfortable and happy! I had previously been apprehensive about wearing a bikini on holiday, but this set has made me feel like I can stroll around in Marrakech with confidence and 'pizazz'. Have you picked up any fab bikinis for your holidays this summer? Let me know in the comments!
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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Clashing Time dresses for an English Summer

I don't know if it is the same where you're from, but in Cambridge, it seems to be like we are having all four seasons in one day. When you walk out the front door you don't know whether you should be bringing an umbrella or suncream. As a result of the typically British inconsistent weather, I have come to the conclusion that although you can never be fully prepared for it, you can wear outfits at the moment which suit an in-between weather state. These outfits generally consist of a pair of jeans and a light blouse.  
This outfit was worn to the #InstaPrettyParty in Ramsey organised by the lovely Laydey Katabella a little while ago, and we shot these photos before heading to meet the other girls. I thought it was going to be a beautifully sunny day, so was about the leave the house in a dress, then I saw the clouds coming towards me. I ran back upstairs and chucked on this outfit, and was pretty pleased with how it came together. I have been living in these Primark jeans recently as they are a great for this time of year. They are a lighter colour than my Autumn/Winter jeans, and they have the added bonus of being slightly high waisted and a stretchy material. This combination makes them perfect for Summer as although they are fitted, they are light weight which means that you don't get too sweaty when the sun does come out. 
I paired these jeans with a loose white Primark blouse with a a cute bit of string at the top which can be worn either open or in a bow. This top is so versatile as you can wear it with jeans and shorts, or alternatively tucked into a skirt = perfect for all year round. I also like it because it can be dressed up with some smart black trousers and heels and still look acceptable to wear to work, or it can be worn in a more chilled way on the weekend like I have done in these pictures. Even though this top has quite a high neck, I am obsessed with the choker trend at the moment so I had to put on this New Look beauty. I have never been a huge person for accessorising, and tend to just stick to a necklace, or a bracelet, but hardly ever together. So when this simple choker trend came back from 1970's, I jumped at the chance to wear them with any outfit. I feel like they really add something to what could be seen as a fairly simple outfit. 
To finish off the look I added my bright red sleeveless Primark jacket and my Walmart open side shoes that I bought for a bargain in Australia earlier in the year. So many people I know don't see the point in sleeveless jackets, and let's face it, they don't have much use. I personally love them though as I feel like they give you the opportunity to add something extra to your look, and they are the perfect staple item for a British Summertime when you don't want to go out with a coat, but don't also want to go out without anything. The thing I like about this jacket is that it gives a pop of summery colour to the outfit and compliments a light red lipstick too. What have you been wearing to dress for this Summer? I'd love to know in the comments!
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Thursday, 4 August 2016

Clashing Time plays dress up at Lilac Rose

A couple of weeks ago, a few of the Camb Meet Up bloggers were invited along to the loveliest little store in Cambridge. Lilac Rose is a women's clothes, jewellery and accessories shop in the city centre and it is the go-to shop for presents for any woman in your life. Lilac Rose aims to source beautiful products to suit everyone, and I feel like the way you can tell that they have achieved this is by the fact that every time I go in there, I say 'Oooh I like that' about 10 times. Since they opened in 2010 I have bought so many cute items from here, and when I need to get something for an especially girly friend, then I know I will head here over anywhere else. They sell everything from books and stationery, through to jewellery and clothing - a one stop shop.
One of their favourite designers that they stock is the beautifully feminine Emily and Fin, and we had the pleasure of meeting the Sales Manager of Emily and Fin during the evening. The brand launched in 2002 when two friends decided that they had had enough of badly fitting women's clothing, so they thought the best thing to do would be to create clothing that concentrates on not only the quality, but the fit as well. As I had invited some ladies along to the evening, I was asked to play dress up so that I could show off their upcoming collection. The thing I like about the clothing is that each item is so unique and quirky. I think that the dresses in particular are the kind of dresses that I would pull out of my wardrobe on a sunny day and would feel super comfortable in it, and as if I could take on the world. Emily and Fin definitely had that idea in mind and intentionally created each design with features that are aimed at making you feel confident. 
They aim to make flattering clothing for all sizes and provide for size 6-18. It is so refreshing to hear about a company that cares so much about each individual body type, and tries to cater to them in every item. As a lady with a stereotypically hourglass figure, I love any item of clothing that accentuates my smaller waist, and Emily and Fin definitely does that. Unfortunately when me and one of the Lilac Rose staff members tried on the dresses, they didn't fit us perfectly, so we had to pull the designs in at the back. I think that this demonstrated how versatile the items are though as you can add a belt and completely transform the dress shape, depending on your figure. I had such a nice evening playing dress up with Lilac Rose in Cambridge, and it was really lovely to find out about a brand that I didn't already know about. Blogging gives you so many exciting opportunities, and I am grateful each and every day for that. If you are in Cambridge any time soon, definitely head to Bridge Street and check out Lilac Rose for yourself!
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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Clashing Time tells you why you should go to blogging events

I have been blogging since 2009 and originally I found that it was quite a lonely hobby. Although there were a few bloggers about at the time, as blogging wasn't as widely accepted, people weren't letting others know if they had a blog. Nowadays it is the complete opposite as everyone has a blog, or is really into social media - hurrah! I haven't been to a huge amount of blogger events over the years, mainly because most of them are too far away, but when I have been to a blogging event, I have left feeling unbelievably inspired and motivated to kick my arse into gear and get my blog in shape once and for all!


I have come up with my top ten reasons why you should attend a blogging event. Hopefully you will read these and will go on to find out about a blogger event near you!
  1. You can promote your blog to new readers. Not everyone will automatically like your writing or photography style, but you will find that most people you meet at events are keen to find new blogs to read and will be open to checking yours out! Sometimes people think the only way to promote your blog is via social media, but actually it can be a lot more effective offline when people are able to put a face or a personality to a blog. I'd advise getting some little business cards made with your key information on it so that you can hand it out at events.
  2. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Going into a social setting where you potentially don't know a single person is an incredibly daunting thing to have to do. But look at it this way...how bloody courageous are you for putting yourself out of your comfort zone by forcing yourself to do something you would never normally do? Go you! A lot of bloggers admit to having anxiety issues, and that they find their blogs to be a private safe haven for their thoughts. So when it comes to having to meet people in real life, you're terrified. Telling yourself that you are going to take the plunge and are going to go along for even just half an hour is something that definitely deserves a pat on the back!
  3. You meet new people. What could be better than being in a room full of people who all have one common connection? Find one person in the room and I absolutely guarantee that you will be able to talk for a little while about something! Whether it is photography, social media, videography, products...anything. You will be able to relate to their issues and will probably laugh afterwards at the fact that you thought you would have nothing to talk to people about. I would recommend that you ask for their blog or social media details and then follow them straight away. There is nothing nicer than receiving a tweet after an event from someone saying how lovely it was to meet you!
  4. You meet brands. I worry sometimes that newer bloggers think that blogging is all about 'getting free stuff' as that certainly isn't why I do it! Blogging has its perks, there is no denying that, but often,  it is more important to meet the right brands than to work with anyone. You may have a specific idea about the type of content you want to publish, and might meet a company at a blogger event that you had never even thought about working with that would be perfect for your blog. Make sure you have your best smile on and simply explain your blog to the brand whilst you're there. Confidence is everything, so make sure you leave with a few contacts to get in touch with once the event is over. 
  5. Content. Attending an event is something that readers will inevitably want to read about. Grab your camera, go to a blogging event and you have not only had a good day out, but you have also got something to write about. It might be that you talk about specific brands you met, the venue or maybe the people you met...whatever it is, you will have got a new blog post out of it! If you enjoyed it and are able to write about it with enthusiasm then your readers will want to read it.
  6. Experience somewhere new. As I mentioned, often events are far away in London, or another big city, which means that you are probably going to have to make a conscious effort to attend the event. I think people need to realise that if you hop on a train and have to use your google maps to find your way to the venue, then you are experiencing something new! How awesome is that? Blogging has brought you to somewhere that you've never been to? I've spent most of my life going back and forth to London and I am still so pleasantly surprised to know that blogging takes me to so many new and exciting places. 
  7. You get inspiration. If you really know how much work goes into blogging, then when you are surrounded by like-minded people who also understand the work involved then it can be such a relief. No one blogger is the same, and you can learn a hell of a lot from each other. The blogging community is incredible for sharing tips and tricks, so take advantage of it! Why not try something new on your blog that was recommended to you by someone at an event? Be inspired by the people around you and ask questions. The inspiration might be huge, or it may be minor, but I have no doubt that it will show in your future blog posts.
  8. You develop your knowledge. Often blogger events involve workshops or talks from people in the industry, or 'bigger' bloggers. It is easy to think that you know everything when you're cooped up in your room with your laptop, but be open to developing your knowledge and you will be surprised how invigorating it is. Listen to everything that everyone says whilst at a blogger event, as you may just learn something new! 
  9. You may win something! This may seem like an unusual reason to attend a blogging event, but you would be surprised at how many competitions are going on at blogging events. I am a big believer in the fact that if you don't give it a go, then how on earth would you win anything? I went to a blogging event last year and won the runners up prize - an awesome goodie bag. The winner won a fricking DSLR camera! All because we put our business cards in a pot and that lucky devils name was pulled out. Embrace every part of a blogging event and take advantage of the fantastic opportunities in front of you - who's knows what will happen?
  10. It's FUN! I feel like I don't need to go into much detail on this point. If you let your hair down a little bit then blogging events are really, really fun. The organisers put in so much effort and it is really admirable that they do it all for us. Blogging brings people together, whether that is through creating new friendships, or through connecting with brands - either way, it all happens because some lovely people have decided to put their blood, sweat and tears into it. I guarantee that if you don't have a good time at a blogging event, then it will be because you haven't made the most out of it!

All these photos are from the Scarlett London Bloggers Ball from a couple of months ago. Scarlett puts a huge amount of effort into her events and she is a real inspiration to so many people in the blogging community. If you get the chance to go to one of her many fantastic events, or alternatively get the chance to go to any other event you hear about then definitely do it. Who knows...you might just enjoy it!
I filmed a little bit whilst at the event, so please feel free to take a look at my video on my channel above...
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Monday, 25 July 2016

Clashing Time ran a blogging event

All the dramas that come with being a 24 year old female in 2016 have meant that my blog has been pushed to the bottom of my priority list. No matter how hard I try and deny it, I should accept defeat and admit that I have been a very bad blogger! Ironically, my post today is about how blogging has made my life better in so many ways (even if I have been useless), and the main ways are through the opportunities I've had and also people I have met. When I began blogging back in 2009 my blog was a small space for sharing my thoughts and ideas, and I certainly never imagined that I would meet anyone through doing it. My blog has evolved over the years, and as I have grown up I have realised the fantastic experiences that can come from this little website of mine.
The Camb Meet Up was first created back in March 2015 and I never thought that it would turn into what it has today. Our online Facebook group is used as a forum to share blog posts, discuss blogging tips and tricks, arrange meet ups and invite each other to events...or even used as just as a space to complain! The group is made up of fantastic blogging ladies who are all as supportive with each other as they are creative with their blogs. Each member offers something unique and I am truly honoured to be part of this community.
When Catesby's on Green Street got in touch with me a few months ago about organising a blogging event at their store, I jumped at the chance. There is honestly nothing nicer than having the opportunity to bring local businesses together with local bloggers. We are all proud of where we come from, and love all of unique stores that make our city so special - so I had to say yes! Catesby's is an adorable homeware store and cafe in Cambridge's city centre which sells beautiful, useful and original goods for the home and garden. Their business concentrates on the idea of 'l’art de vivre', which translates as 'the art of living' and the French mentality of making life effortlessly chic. What could be better? Catesby's is a one of a kind shop that loves that they sell, and sells what they love, which meant that I was absolutely spoilt for choice when I was walking round the store trying to decide what to buy.
 They asked if I could invite a group of bloggers in for a casual brunch so we could enjoy some networking whilst learning about their business and drinking cups of tea. It was the perfect setting for getting to know new members, whilst also catching up with old members who have been with Camb Meet Up since the start. A group of gorgeous ladies turned up on a beautiful sunny day, and I was so pleased to find that each and every one of them fell in love with Catesby's and the products they sell...a few even queued up at the end to make some purchases! It is really hard to not buy anything when you have two owners who are so passionate about their business and the products they sell. It is clear when you walk around their business that each item has been carefully selected to fit into their store. You feel so at home the more you explore, almost as if you are actually wandering round Neil and Jonathon's house.
The cafe is above the shop and is a bloggers dream. The white wash walls, simple tables and chairs, and cute little plants on the tables - so instagram friendly! As we all ventured upstairs to sit down for brunch you could tell that everyone couldn't wait to get stuck in. I made everyone introduce themselves to each other properly and explain a little bit about their blog before we ate as I love to find out as much as possible about our members. Jonathon had prepared a gorgeous feast for us of pain au chocolate, croissants, smoked salmon bagels, avocado on toast, some pastries and then finally  some seriously yummy granola and yoghurt. He did an amazing job and we were so spoilt for choice, so I had to make sure that I grabbed one of each.
To finish off the morning, we headed up to the top floor for a surprise. With the rise in subscription boxes all over the world, Catesby's decided that they wanted a piece of the action and introduced us to their newest concept in store. Catesby's buys in so many gorgeous pieces and they came up with the idea of matching up a selection of items for present/subscription boxes. They would create boxes for different price ranges, and also for different parts of the house - for example, kitchen or lounge. The collection of items are aimed to transform a blank canvas and Catesby's aim to make it as easy as possible for you to mix things up in your home each season. Such a great idea for the interiors lovers out there!
I had such a great morning at Catesby's shopping, eating and networking. A Sunday morning very well spent in my opinion! Blogging has been such a rollercoaster since I began, But throughout everything I am most grateful for the incredible people that I've met, and I'm so proud of the fact that I have put myself out there and brought other bloggers together through Camb Meet Up. I genuinely feel like I've made some friends for life and I can't wait to experience more fantastic things with these ladies in the years to come. I filmed a few bits when I was at the event, so take a look at my video on my youtube channel below.
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