Autumn. It smells like damp leaves, wood, spiced candles and freshly ground coffee for those chilly mornings that seem to slowly creep up on us, shrouded in fog and darker day by day. There is something unmistakably magical about the change that happens at this time of year. When the leaves start to tumble down ready to be trodden underfoot and the nights start drawing in ready for us all to start practicing our favourite “Hygee” habits (mine includes consuming multiple cups of chai tea whilst wrapped tightly in my favourite blanket).

This new season also brings new ways in which to reinvent our wardrobes, throwing out our light and airy summer dresses in favour of chunky knits and hats in all shapes and sizes. Our sandals are swapped for chunky biker boots and the hunt for a winter coat commences. 

I’ve been dipping my toe into the realms of autumnal goodness by wearing this particular jumper non-stop. I stumbled upon it while on a girly weekend in Winchester, it was the colour that caught my eye but the oversized sleeves that made me fall in love. In fact up until the point that this knit came into my life I was stubbornly ignoring the fact that the nights were getting longer and the days chillier. I didn’t want to accept that summer was on its way out, the thought of feeling cold made me want to weep and anyone who told the world that they were excited for autumn got an exasperated eye roll from me.

So here I am, in a cosy knit feeling particularly excited about crunching some leaves on my walk home and embracing all the goodness that comes along with this magical season.

 

Top – Primark

Cords – The Cords & Co

Shoes – Converse

Bag – Chloe

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This blog post has been inspired by a couple of bloggers I really look up to. Both of who not only write brilliant content but whose images are always beautifully curated. Chloe (From the blog The Little Plum) and Hannah (Of Hannah Louise Fashion ) wrote posts about themselves and who they want to be on the Internet and I was suddenly hit with the urge to compose my own rendition. So, without further ado…

My name is Fifi, real name Sophie. When I was little I apparently couldn’t say my name and so the nickname stuck. Family and close friends flit between my two names, never quite settling on one or the other. I don’t favor one name over the other and will most likely introduce myself as both during the time that you will know me.

I grew up on the Isle of Wight, surrounded by the sea, lush green countryside and my family. I hated school; from the moment I set foot inside it on my first day. It bored me, I didn’t learn as everyone else did and have always had a difficult time making and keeping friends. I still find myself flitting from friendship groups like an overgrown butterfly, keeping a only handful of people close. These girls are the ones who mean the most to me, the type of people who make my cheeks ache because I’ve smiled so much and who love me even though I can be incredibly difficult at times.

I left school with no official qualifications and moved from my little island to London to pursue modeling at fifteen. I spent the next few years of my life traveling the world with my mum while working with agencies abroad. Those memories are some of which I know wont ever fade. The laughter, tears, arguments and joy we shared in different locations across the globe are something I cherish.

I love Harry Potter. I mean, I really love it. The films, the books and more recently the audio books are a huge source of comfort to me. I re-read the books at least once per year and every time I feel a little sad or poorly I stick one of the films on to make me feel a little less shitty. I have a tattoo of the Deathly Hallows on my ankle and toy with the idea of getting another Potter inspired tattoo at least once a week. There is also something about the weather cooling down each year that makes me want to pack my bags and head off to Hogwarts for Christmas.

I met my boyfriend when I was seventeen at a time in my life where I was being your typical misunderstood teenager. We have grown together in the last six years, becoming an almost integral part of each other’s personalities. My best friend, the father to our fur baby, Mr Ping Ping and the person I intend on spending my life with. He’s pretty amazing really.

Mental health has been a big part of my twenty’s. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression around three/four years ago but the real blow came at the start of this year. I was diagnosed with Anorexia in January. Soon after my diagnosis I started treatment for my eating disorder as an outpatient. During my therapy my depression came at me with a force that totally took me off my feet. For years I had used food as a crutch for my depression when I had been low but that crutch was no longer there, so I spiraled into an episode that left me broken. But I got better, things got easier and life became enjoyable once again. I am in recovery for something that has ruled a big chunk of my life and it is really, really hard but I feel stronger and more certain that I can beat it every single day.

I started this blog as a way to keep myself entertained while I was working as a model in New York. I wrote about my travels, the city that had become my temporary home and my job. When I got home it was used as a bit of an online diary, typing about what I’d been up to, things I was loving at the moment and occasionally what I was wearing. Progressively this platform morphed into a fashion blog, which is where it seems to have sat quite comfortably up until recently. Over the past couple of years I’ve noticed that this blog has become an outlet for my mental health issues. At first I think the content I was writing could have been seen as helpful, I was trying to break the stigma attached to mental illness. However, this year I feel like it became a hot bed of negative energy for me.

I want to continue to create honest content that helps people feel less like a weirdo in a world that is willing us all to conform. To be able to do this without having a negative impact on my mental health I need to take things at my own pace. I might not have a post up every week but the posts will still be there because ultimately writing is a huge creative outlet for me. I adore it and want to continue to do it for as long as possible.

I don’t want to be confined to one style of blogging, I want to be able to write about fashion, beauty, wellness and mental health along with anything else that tickles my fancy. I would love to get back to my old school style of documenting my days with images and creative writing. But most of all I want to love everything that I am putting out onto my little slice of the internet.

So, that’s me. A girl who, like everyone else is still trying to figure out where I stand in the world but who is now learning to enjoy the ride a little more.

I would love to read more of my favorite bloggers posts like this, so please get writing and let us all know a little more about you.

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Social media is a minefield when it comes to learning to love ourselves.

Actually fuck that… Instagram is a minefield when it comes to learning to love ourselves.

My perception of myself can be totally warped within moments of scrolling through the explore page on Instagram. My self conscious brain is bombarded with images of lithe girls in swimwear, draped across inflatable unicorns in the crystal clear waters of far flung lands. The constant comparison that we put ourselves through when using this app just isn’t good for our mental health. Its taken me far longer than I care to admit that, but its true. Everyones life seems more tanned, toned and exciting than my own and with each flick of my thumb I can purposely make myself feel worse about the way I look.

I’ve been on a journey of self love this year after enduring a long standing issue with my shape from the moment I started puberty. At school I remember feeling like my body wasn’t changing like everyone else’s, my distinct lack of boobs and curves made me feel like a boy compared to my friends. It was when I left school however that the way that I looked really became an issue to me. I vividly remember a family member agreeing with my modelling agency’s comments on my hip size. I had gone from being a sixteen year old with the “ideal body type”,  to a seventeen year old who needed to loose inches from her hips and butt in order to work in the fashion industry. I went from not having much of an opinion about my body, to feeling disgusted by what was reflected in the mirror. Suddenly, I was so painfully aware of my shape and size and found myself diving, head first into in the diet culture that seemly rules so many of our lives.

By societies standards my body is acceptable, not only am I white, but I am also tall and slim; yet I can’t actually remember a time since hitting puberty that I liked what I saw looking back at me in the mirror.

I know I’m not alone with these feelings of dissatisfaction when looking at my body, the media has taught us that if our skin isn’t poreless, smooth and the right shade of tan then we aren’t beautiful. It has drilled into our subconscious that we have to be a long, lean, size 8 with curves in the right places otherwise our bodies need to be hidden away or changed to fit the mould they have carved for women to sit in. I am aware that this isn’t true, that our self perceived “flaws” are what make us, us but accepting myself and my body is what I struggle with.

My therapist told me that negative body image is the hardest thing for us to make positive change with and she is right. Becoming “body posi” doesn’t happen overnight, in fact its taken me a year of trying and I don’t feel any closer to liking my reflection than I did when I started this journey. I do however know that it is worth it because we are so much more than our outward appearance. We are smart, funny, caring and strong. So, if it takes putting my phone down and avoiding those Instagram models who make me feel not so body posi then that is what I plan on doing.

 

 

Cords – The Cords & Co

Top – AG Jeans

Jacket – Missy Empire

Bag – Chloe

Shoes – Primark

 

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Self care: its a phrase you hear a lot of when in therapy and its something we don’t often do enough of. I’ve noticed that the words have been thrown around on social media recently, appearing in instagram captions and hashtags next to pictures of Lush bath bombs and luxury face masks.

Yet this isn’t all that self care has to mean, when I was at my most depressed sitting in a bath is a face mask on was too much effort. The bath was just going to make me wet, hot and uncomfortable and I couldn’t have cared less whether my skin looked or felt nice. Instead self care meant moving myself from my bed to the sofa to watch Harry Potter from a slightly different angle for the day, or brushing my teeth because that was all I could cope with. Now I’m feeling better self care is taking an hour or so to read a book or treating myself to a coffee and a chocolate muffin while I tap out blog posts in the hipster coffee spot over the road from me. It isn’t complicated or luxury but it makes me feel good and takes the monotony out of the every day.

Self care should be something we aim to work into our every day lives especially (but not exclusively) if you find yourself suffering with mental illness. So go and make time for yourself, be selfish and enjoy whatever it is that brings you joy. Whether thats meditation, exercise, reading or even just settling down under a blanket with a candle lit, a good series playing on your TV,  a tasty, treat ready to be munched on and a cup of tea ready to be slurped. I certainly know what my plans for this evening will include.

 

Top – Missy Empire

Hat – Asos

Jeans – Mango

Shoes – Converse

Bag – Prada

 

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I have always been a bookworm, I remember feeling the excitement flood my body the first time I had access to the schools library. Rows upon, rows of stories that I could throw myself into week after week. It wasn’t often that I would get the same book out after the seven days were up, almost always finishing them days before and waiting impatiently for the next adventure to start.

I remember my mum reading to me when words were still a jumble of indistinguishable letters, taking on the voices of each character so to bring the story to life. Each night there would be at least ten minutes of bargaining, trying to get her to read just one more chapter before I went to sleep.

I still consume books with the same feverous ferocity, I throw myself head first into the stories, immersing myself in the characters lives and keeping my eyes glued to the words until the last page is done. It is then that I sit in my book hangover, mourning the end of another book that I’ve devoured until I’m whisked away by another tale.

I’m not fussy about what I read, I favour fiction over real life stories and I think that is because I’ve always used books as a way to escape and become someone new. The stories I read allow me to become someone braver than I could ever wish to be, they let me slay dragons from my bedroom and complete quests on my way to work. When I read as a child I escaped the bullies at school, as a teenager I buried my angst into the pages of the stories I loved and as an adult I flee the monotony of daily life within the pages of each new story.

Here are some of my current favourite reads, each of them are great for their own reason and each were demolished hungrily which is always the sign of a well enjoyed story for me.

The Handmaids Tale – Margaret Atwood

The Girls – Emma Cline

Bloom – Estee Lalonde

I’m Travelling Alone – Samuel Bjork

 

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