How To Raise Your Instagram Game

I'm very much on the record when it comes to my issues with Instagram. Posting on IG- for me- is about as pleasant as having a bikini wax. I do, however, enjoy "the creative process" (wank wank) and a few props and tricks have helped me get someway towards filling my feed with the pictures I want. Now, I'm deffo no expert and far from "successful" on there (whatever successful means), but I thought I'd try and share what I've learned thus far.
But First Coffee
Coffee is such a huge thing on IG I can actually smell the caffeine coming off my iPad. Which is all the more tormenting because I can't and don't drink the stuff. But.How.I.Wish.I.Freakin'.Did. So what is a frothy cup of the alluring liquid doing in this flatlay? It's a prop that's what. And one of the cheapest and easiest you'll find. *Of course you're probably normal and go out for coffee and drink it off of lovely marble-top tables but Muggy here doesn't. This cup smelt so so good when I was shooting this, I nearly undid six months of Anti-Inflammatory Diet Strictness in one big gulp. But I stayed strong.
Gaining My Marbles
So, because I don't go out for coffee on the regz (or indeed ever) nor do I have pots of dosh to buy this beaut I decided to fake the aforementioned table top too. And Wilko have come up with the perfect budget-friendly way of doing it. Of course you're supposed to carefully (read: avoiding air bubbles) cover some foamboard with this faux-print sticky back plastic, but I'm lazy and can't be arsed so I just roll that shit out when I need it. The shine sometimes gives the game away, but you can deal with that via some careful post production (hark at Wes Anderson's art director over here). And a marble background is hella handy for lots of different flatlays you may wanna share with the world, not just for cawfee.
Giving You Props
I also find that gathering together an array of accessories can enhance your IG no end. These include:- white card (also for your flatlays), vases, flowers (fake and real), magazines and framed graphic prints. *Obvious Claxon. I also recently bought a plain white sheet as nothing repulses me more than shoes on a bed. And coz it's very definitely a thing- to sit on your bed and take pictures of your feet that is- I needed to jump on that hype too. Plus, you can then move your sheet to the best light source- whereas that can be a teeny bit impractical when it comes to shifting your double divan. Of course, you may want to just use IG as Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger intended- for just throwing on your snaps and documenting your life in a fun and carefree kinda way. In which case ignore everything I've just said. Toodles. Catch you soon  x
Rings- Other Stories//Vase- Ikea//Marble Print Paper- Wilko



Beige Renegade

So, this post was supposed to be about this incred oversized twill jacket. Doubtless you'll have spied it on Ellen and Queen C (as I did) and thought, 'let me at it'. I was buzzing to track it down in H&M at Oxford Circus, an even more excited to flex my Elle discount card at the till. But when it came to shooting, however, my heart was rapidly broken. In short- it looked absolutely minging on me. (I realise this keeps happening, and I keep having make excuses for my inate lack of- well- everything. A rethink is deffo in order, along with a diet and possibly, a dramatic haircut). I ended up taking off said jacket and snapping in just a vest and skinnies. Can you imagine what would Miranda Priestly say? Exactly. But don't let me put you off. It's just the most on-point, oversized shape in the history of the world evvvvah. And Ellen and Camy prove it. Thank you and goodnight.
Jacket- H&M//Vest- Zara
Skinnies- Zara//Flats- Mango//Hat- H&M



Hauls, Boys And Life, Actually

I love a life update post, don't you? So much so, that I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring and attempt to spill (hopefully in a mildly diverting manner) on what's going down wit' me. So, first up-
Life As We Know It
My health, unfortunately, continues to dominate my existence. I've never been an "ill" person, and having to deal on a daily basis with so many difficult issues has left me in despair much of the time. *Soz to start on a downer, but let's get this shit out the way first. Health Problem 1: my eyes are still severely fucked up. When they say blepharitis is incurable, they really mean it. My day begins with rounds of eye cleaning, massage and eye drops. It's massively time consuming and massively annoying. I've basically forgotten what it's like to look and feel 'normal'. I miss wearing make-up so much (and in one of many illogical moves- I just keep buying the stuff-  but it's an oddly pleasurable torment all the same). There's no respite anywhere with bleph as heat, light, darkness, food and just about everything else trigger unbelievably painful symptoms. Also, having to take 'conventional' medication troubles me greatly- I'd love to stop as I want to try and heal properly and 'eat myself well', but I get scared every time I attempt to phase out my tablets. Plus, there's a money factor to all this- one that exacerbates my stress even more- every single eye cream, lotion, wipe, tablet and drop costs a freaking bomb. Some of that stuff is available on the NHS, some ain't. 
Then there's Health Problem 2: my brain infection. In 2013 I contracted a virus that affects the part of your brain where it meets the inner ear. It affects your balance and makes you feel shit. The symptoms are similar to those of Lyme disease (and if you know anything about that you'll know it's utterly terrifying). The best way I can describe it is when you're walking forwards, it feels like you're walking sideways. You feel drunk at best, and on a bad acid trip at worst. And in the last few weeks it's returned to haunt me. I had to have rehab in 2014 to help me walk again in a 'balanced' way, and now I'm feeling so devastated that it's back to blight my life. The only thing that relieves the symptoms is lying down and sleeping, and I have to fight the whole day not to give into that urge. I have zero energy and wake up knackered. Most days I honestly don't know how or why I even get out of bed at all. And then there's Health Problem 3: about a month ago I cracked my front tooth. I looked like an old gypsy. And after 3 rounds of dental work (drilling, injections, the whole nine yards- and a hefty bill of £500) I'm now the owner a new gnasher. One that is.....a completely different sodding colour to the rest of my teeth. The dentist has said it will 'settle down' and blend in more after a few weeks, but I'm doubting that. I can't actually face getting it done again- but I can't go around looking like Worzel Gummidge either. Don't get me wrong- I know there's people out there with way worse problems, and lots more pain than me, I'm just not the kind of person who can 'power through' their problems. And speaking of problems (which I very much have been doing) let's move onto:
Unsurprisingly (I guess), I don't have a boyfriend. I can almost hear Lloyd Grossman now "Who'd go out with a girl with a face like this?". (Feeling ya Lloyd). In many ways, being ill has taken me so far out of the dating game it's actually a relief. There is a manchild, however, I like. A lot. I met him about 18 months ago and if you look up 'bad boy' in the dictionary you will doubtless see his beautiful little face staring back at you. I like that we're a mismatch, I like that he's too young for me and I like that he's trouble with a capital T. I think of him daily. I stalk him on FB. (Obvs). I was *this close* the other day to liking one of his extremely frequent selfies. (In love with himself he certainly is). But what would that achieve? Absolutely nothing (I think). Sure, he might respond. But how could I possibly meet him looking like this? Could I kiss him when he still smokes and I've had to give up? (Actually, imbibing 2nd hand tobacco sounds quite appealing come to think of it). I can't drink, I can't eat out, I can't even go to the cinema (the extreme dark and light hurts my eyes). And not that he'd go- but I doubt I'll ever see the inside of a theatre again either (ref: cinema for explanation). All routes of being social and of being normal, are cut-off for me. The only things I can do are work, walk, and shop. Which brings me to:
So I've been prattling on for hours now when all you wanna really know about is these shoes, right? Heaven aren't they? There was no point (boom boom) me buying them as the only time I'll wear them is on doctors appointments, but I desperately need little hits like this to cheer me up at the moment. So I went for it. If I hadn't had to pay for my tooth you may well be looking at pictures of a ChloĆ© Faye instead. But the God Of Canines wants me to spend my dollar elsewhere. The bastard, eh? Catch you soon xx

Shoes- Topshop//Jeans- H&M//Jazzy Cushion & Picture Frame- Ikea



Can I Kick It?

I bought these little kick flares from Zara last year, and I'm super-pleased that I did. Turns out, they're much easier to wear than the full-blown, full-length, big voluminous versions flying around (with which I'm still struggling majorrrly- I think it's a shoe thing. Mostly). I've paired them here with a striped shirt (also old) and it's deffo revived my love for a preppy button-down. I can't resist a bit of seersucker and pretending I'm slightly Euro, that I holiday at the Cala Di Volpe and that I'm distantly related to Lilly Pulitzer. Back in the real world I stand in an alleyway (to the bemusement of everyone that passes by) and engage in a series of Artful Dodger poses (Oi! Oi!). Reasoning: to show that baby flare off to its best advantage. If you're feeling a pair of starter flares then these are dope, and these look kinda nice too. Catch you soon xx
PS Uggghh- you know when you do a shoot and your eyes are half closed in every single frame? That was me, doing this. PPS Yes, there is some jean-wrinklage going on. Soz for that. They are a nice fit, I'm just a mess. I think I need to get on these incred photoshopping tips from Stephanie ASAP. 
Shirt- Topshop//Jeans- Zara
Hat- H&M//Sneaks- Adidas
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