Clashing Time

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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.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Clashing Time is embracing change

A lot of people are resistant to change, and I can completely understand why. The unknown territory that you are going into is terrifying. How are you meant to be okay with the fact that there is a 50% chance that plans could go wrong? The one thing that life is not is simple...and the reason for that is because life changes. 
Every day something new happens, and you either accept it and move on, or you wallow in self pity and don't get anywhere. Making a decision as to which road I go down hasn't been the easiest, because recently I have wanted to do a lot of wallowing. Then one day I heard this quote..."Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain". I know what you're thinking, how cheesy? But in all honesty, without motivational Pinterest quotes recently, I don't know what sort of state I would be in right now. This quote has made me realise that I need to ride with the good and bad things that come my way, and that I need to make sure that I am learning through absolutely all of it. 
All of us acknowledge that nothing is going to improve by itself, so maybe there is no time to move forward like the present? Change comes in all different shapes and sizes, and unfortunately the changes in my life recently have been pretty huge and to be honest, haven't felt so great. The reality of life is that when things are tough, it is hard to come back from them. However, being the type of person that I am, if I didn't dust myself off and try and see the positives looking forward, then that just wouldn't be me.
I am a creature of habit, and when things go wrong, I struggle the most with the lack of structure. Things aren't orderly, or manageable, so when things go a little bit tits up, the main thing for me to aim for is stability. When life has been affected by things out of your control you are forced to be flexible and this kills me. After you take some time to re-evaluate the direction you are going in, you take back the reins of your life and you develop, whether you realise it or not. We are developing all the time, even from the changes that did not lead you to where you thought you were heading. That is the beauty of living life!
In every part of my life I have strived to be good, if not the best. I don't know what it is about me, but clearly I have a competitive streak. When life knocks you back, the competitiveness often either increases, or like in my case, decreases. Now don't get me wrong, put a monopoly board in front of me, or take me to a miniature golf course and my competitive side will definitely make an appearance. In life though, what I have realised a lot recently is that no matter what I am doing, I can't always be the best. Let's face it, being the 'best' doesn't always bring the most joy to your life. So unless I love myself for all my best achievements, but also for all the failures or losses, then what benefit do I get from being competitive?
Although change has occurred in my life recently, I am a big believer in not living your life with the mentality that the grass is always greener elsewhere, mainly because I think that you will never fully live in a moment if you are always thinking about the next best thing. I have now realised though that in order to grow as a person, you often need to move on to something, someone, or somewhere new, but only when the timing is right. When life is ready to move on, you will realise, and that is when looking to bigger and better things will never be a bad thing. However, making quick decisions without thinking about the consequences can leave you worse off. Time is a great healer and even though it may feel like life is passing you by, you do always have time to sleep on your decisions.
I guess the main thing to remember is that each change that happens is a new page in the book of your life. Take it in the direction you want, because even though there will be hurdles along the day, you will always be in charge of each chapters ending.

Dress: H&M  |  Boots: New Look  |  Bag: Charity Shop  |  Sunglasses: Specsavers

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Clashing Time tries the Bardot trend

Although I care a lot about my appearance, and also about fashion, I do tend to let trends pass me by without even an attempt at getting involved. Some trends I just don't think will suit me, so I let the real fashionistas rock them, whilst I stick with what I am comfortable with. Sometimes my decisions are associated with how much money I have in the bank, and sometimes my decisions are based on the fact that I don't think the trend is going to last very long. It is so difficult to tell whether you should invest in an item of clothing; because inevitably, it won't look good in a couple of months time. 
When the bardot top/dress trend came about, I was at first sceptical. As a lady with not-so-tiny boobs, a strapless number is always a bit of a struggle. You have to go through the quest of finding a strapless bra that doesn't fall down, or feel uncomfortable...or find an alternative contraption that doesn't make you look completely flat as a pancake *the struggle is real*. However, once I got past these boob issues, I was pleasantly surprised to find that a bardot style top is actually incredibly flattering. 
There is definitely something nice about having your shoulders out in the open, all bare for everyone to see. I think it is quite an invigorating feeling to have a top on that balances perfectly on your arms and shows off a bit of skin (especially as it is very rare to have this opportunity in England!). I found this blue and white striped bardot top in Primark last month and was so impressed to see that Primark had given this trend a go...and that they had actually got it right! 
You can pop this top on with jeans, shorts, or a skirt, and you won't look like you are trying to hard - which is definitely what I love about it. As trends do come and go, having the opportunity to buy items that look effortlessly nice in any situation is such a joy to me! I am now converted to the bardot trend...are you? 
Top: Primark  |  Jeans: Primark  |  Lip stain: No 7  |  Ring: Pandora  |  Sunglasses: Specsavers  |  Shoes: Walmart Australia
Photos taken after the Camb Meet Up Catesby's Blogging Event.
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