Friday, 31 December 2010

2010: The Year of Self-Discovery

It made me sad this morning to see the number of facebook messages of people who cannot wait for 2010 to be over. I've been very lucky this year. We are one of the only families I know to have not lost anybody this year, and for that I am thankful.For me, 2010 has been a wonderful year.

I made resolutions for 2010 and I think I've done pretty well with them, except that I still bite my nails!!

This year has truly been a year of finding out who I am.

About a year ago I decided I wanted to be a fashion journalist. Now, when I want something I am like a dog with a bone. I am determined and passionate and ready to work hard to get what I want. I dedicated this year to doing everything I could to make my CV the best it could be. I worked desperately and unpaid for 2 weeks at a silk manufacturers, hoping it would be slightly related to the fashion career I wanted. I contacted anyone and everybody to ask if I could intern with them, or write for them. I re-applied to work at College Fashion and am now about to start my second semester with them. I write for The Fashion Buzz every week. I had an opportunity to go to Graduate Fashion Week thanks to Student Fashion Blog. I worked hard on my blog and have afforded many opportunities as a result of it. I started The Lovely Ones, and I can't wait to see how we'll grow in the next year.

I started writing for a local magazine and did my first interviews and real reporting. I walked into the university newspaper office in Duluth and asked if I could write. A few weeks later I had a weekly column.
But the thing that has shaped me the most was moving away. And coming back.

Before I left I knew my life was pretty great. I know I bang on about them all the time, but I have the most amazing friends. My uni friends are my family when I'm in Birmingham. I'd finally found a group who I felt completely myself around, and I was dreading having to leave that behind. I had a good job, great social life and I loved to to busy- dancing with the dance society, writing for the paper, working, doing my uni work.I wasn't ready to leave. What reason did I have to leave?

But I went. I went away to America, 4000 miles away, and I proved that I could do it. I left all my friends and family and made a new life for myself. If you've been reading my blog you'll know all about my year abroad so I won't go on about it. But I left and after a few weeks I was settled in. I've made some amazing friends, had some amazing experiences and met so many amazing people.

But I also learnt how much I love my home. How much I love and miss England, my friends and my family. And I've learnt that nothing has changed and it never will. It feels like I've never left. My friends are still my friends. Everything and everyone I left is still here. And it's good to be home.

I'm excited for 2011. This is the year I will turn 21, finish my year abroad and start my final year of University. It is the year I will do work experience at the Sunday Express. It is the year I will go to New York and Chicago and California. Now I've found myself it's time to discover the rest of the world.

I'll be writing resolutions. Have an amazing New Year's (I personally hate New Year's Eve- I just love the excitement of a New Year and a new start) and I'll see you in 2011!!


The Low Fuel Light's Been on for Days

When I wrote a few weeks ago about my desperate need for a Little White Dress, the lovely Kristi mentioned wearing one with black tights and brown oxfords. I wanted tan oxfords but I got these lovely little beige ones from New Look on monday and they were only 20 quid so I couldn't resist.

I have been massively investing in neutral pieces the last few weeks. The fact is, I definitely have enough clothes. More than enough. So I'm trying to buy things that will enable me to remix my clothes more. I'm trying to find pieces that will work with everything; beige brogues, this oatmeal cardigan, the chunky white cardigan I wore on Wednesday and a few of chunky scarves (one oatmeal, one camel and one grey). I have far too many dresses but I love having neutral pieces I can mix up. I just hope you aren't getting sick of seeing all the same things over and over again!!

Can you believe the year is over? I'm really excited about 2011. This year has been a good year. I've written a post for later about this year so far. I've loved reading about other bloggers' years.I know a lot of people are ready for 2010 to be over but I would love to stay here for a while longer!!

dress- Top Shop
cardigan- H&M
shoes- New Look
scarf- Forever 21

Have a great night- I'll be back later :]]

Charlotte xxx

Thursday, 30 December 2010

10 Things I'd Missed About England

"I never realize how much I like being home unless I've been somewhere really different for a while" -Juno

A few days ago I watched Juno for about the millionth time and this moment really struck a chord with me. I am really, really enjoying being home. I have found myself appreciating all the stupid little things I never thought about before. Yesterday I went down to Birmingham to see my friends and it was one of those days where you just want to suck up every little moment and savour it forever. I've never been so happy to get off the train in Birmingham, to see the Bullring, to go in the shops, to get the train to Selly Oak and to spend time with my friends. I'm an only child so my friends are my family. 

Being home when you've been away so long is very strange, because it kind of doesn't feel as though you've left until you notice something that has changed, or people tell stories about times when you weren't there. And you just appreciate everything a little bit more. There are a lot of funny little things about England that I didn't realise I missed...

1. That a cup of tea is always a given
Yesterday, I'd been out of bed about 5 minutes when my dad shouted me. He wasn't asking me if I wanted a cup of tea, he was asking me where I wanted it.

2. Relaxing with my family
Today I have no intention of doing anything, and I like just being able to sit around with my family and watch TV or read, something I never have time to do, or let myself do, in America.

3. Supermarkets
Six pizzas, six garlic breads, potato wedges, salad, dressing, two loaves of bread and a tub of butter for twenty quid. Dinner for eight for two pounds each.

4. Not having to cook
Food I didn't make myself or have to pay for? Amazing.

5. Not sharing a room.
Do I even need to explain?

6. Being able to have everything I normally get my mum to send me
I've reunited with all my clothes, I can buy Glamour myself and there's English food left, right and centre.

7. Trains
In one day I have travelled to Birmingham and back to see my friends, half way across the country. I love being back in a small country where no-one lives too far away.

8. Legal drinking
I was the definition of a hot mess last night. And it's great to be able to do it legally again!!

9. How different it is to America
I love telling people all about my experiences and all the differences between the two countries. It's really opened my eyes to the world and my culture. It's great to debate with people about home and America.

10. Being myself completely
In America, I am the British girl and I'm still finding my way with my friends and people that I've met and getting used to being in a new country, trying not to expose myself as the crazy girl I am. Being home with my friends means I can be completely ridiculous and stupid and they completely understand me and love me for who I am.


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Bundle of Joy.

This outfit is effectively almost every single thing I bought in the sales. I didn't intend to wear them all together, but I am currently on the hunt for both an oatmeal scarf and an oatmeal cardigan
I almost took this dress back. It's very tight around the ribcage for some reason. It makes it difficult to breathe. But I really like it and think I could do a lot with it. Plus it was in the Top Shop sale for £20 :]]

I can't really pull off these kinds of chunky layers without looking, well chunky. But I love the look of them on other people!! I can't wait til it gets warmer so I can wear more flattering clothes!!

I'm off to Birmingham to see my friends today, so I apologise for the short update and few pictures. I didn't really get enough time this morning!! I won't get an opportunity to update until tomorrow evening at the earliest so I thought I'd give you what I could!!

dress- Top Shop
cardigan- H&M
shoes- New Look
scarf- Top Shop

I can't get used to there being no snow on the ground!!
Have a lovely day,

Charlotte xxx

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Love, Lust and Links

It's clearly Tuesday, but I'm losing track of the days. Long list today because I have accumulated a number of links and I've had a number of lovely thinks to be happy about this week :]]

1. Being Home
Admittedly, I was horribly sulky when I first got back. I was homesick for America. Every single thing was better in America. Until I realised how much I loved being home. I love being with my family, at home in my house and seeing my friends. I love the free food at the lack of responsibility. I love telling everyone about my experiences and the differences. I am excited to go back but I love being home!!

2. My life as an International Student
I wrote this post a few weeks ago for College Candy and my post went up yesterday. I've had some great responses. Check it out :]]

3. Interview at HerCatwalk

I also did an interview for HerCatwalk and their blog launched this week!! This interview was really fun!!

4. Christmas Fun

Christmas is my all-time favourite time of the year and I've had so much fun coming home.

5. Treating your boy like a gingerbread man
This article is adorable and very, very true!!

6. Sleeping
Almost a week later and I am STILL jetlagged. I seem to have one normal night's sleep and then I'll sleep for about 15 hours. I am tired all the time but at least I have plenty of time to sleep.

7. Legal Drinking

After 4 months of not being able to order a glass of wine or buy a bottle of vodka, I am able to drink again!! I  had my favourite tipple of Amaretto and Diet Coke and had a Bailey's on Boxing Day. Yum.

8. Recommending Things
I'm currently forcing new music on my boy and forcing books on my parents. My Dad is being forced to read The Godfather and my Mum is being forced to read One Day.

9. Chunky Knits
I managed to find a perfect creamy chunky cardigan yesterday and a lovely camel knit scarf. They just look SO cosy!!

10.  My Camera

I'm really looking forward to learning about everything this camera can do and taking endless photographs along the way!!

11. Better Book Titles

This site never fails to make me giggle, and these two (for two of my favourite books- Less Than Zero and Imperial Bedrooms) are my favourites.

12. Tieka's Favourite Outfits

The gorgeous Tieka has done a really inspiring run-down of her favourite outfits of 2010. She is such an amazing girl and I often find her a style is a lot like mine so she is constantly inspiring!! I love her mix of girl florals, cardigans and military boots.

13. Games
Board games become a lesser part of your life as you get older. This is a travesty. I love playing games- anyone for Scrabble?

14. Writing Exercises
Michelle has an awesome list of writing exercises here, great for creative writers or even journalists like myself to keep you inspired!!

15. Excitement
Today I saw my best friend Steph and tomorrow I'm going to Birmingham to see my friends for a few days and then I'm off to London next weekend- yay :]]]

16. Giving and Receiving
I'm not going to pretend I don't love presents, who doesn't? But I also love finding the perfect presents for people. I hope everyone liked what I got them- although I did accidentally get Steph something she already had!!

17. New Year's Resolutions
I can't wait to make mine!!

What are you loving this holiday week?

Charlotte xxx

Monday, 27 December 2010

No Place Like Home.

It's happened. Just as I expected.
Free food, free transport, my own room.
I am so settled back home.
For the first couple of days I was a bit of a mess.
I missed America. I missed everything.
I even had lists of things I missed about America.
I hadn't brought enough clothes home.
I missed my friends, I missed my classes, I missed my boy.
I was moody and sleepy and jet lagged.
I screamed about how much I hated England and how I couldn't wait to be back in America.
It lasted about two days.
Now I'm glad to be home.
I'm glad to be with my family. I'm glad to be back in my shitty home town.
I'm glad to have been home for Christmas with my family.
I'm excited to see my friends and go out with them.
I'm enjoying having a break and a relax and sleep.
I'm looking forward to going back to America, but I really am settled being back home.
Let's call it the best of both worlds.


Well you're wasting your time if you're trying to impress me, I waste all my time just thinking of you.

I wrote this yesterday so apologises if it makes no sense today!!

It must be something wrong with my tripod but these pictures are all slightly slanted which is a bit strange. I haven't edited them because I have a LOT of unpacking to do.

I also really wish I'd buttoned up my blazer before taking these.

As you can see I got my LWD, okay well it's more of a pinky nude, but it's still what I had in mind!!. My Mum and I won it in a Team Effort on ebay on Wednesday and then somehow it arrived on Friday!! I've unfortunately left my leather jacket in America though. In fact, I've left nearly all my clothes in America. Not cool.

It's good to be home but it's still very strange. I am so busy for the next few days though, which is exciting. Tomorrow mum and I are hitting the sales (on my list; new underwear, chunky knits, more soft knee socks and scarves) and then we have family friends coming, Tuesday I'm seeing my best friend Steph, and Wednesday and Thursday I'm in Birmingham!!

dress- Top Shop via ebay
blazer- Charlotte Russe
socks- River Island
shoes- Target

I am going to go back to eating my body weight in tangerines. I've had 4 so far today.
Have a great day,

Charlotte xxx

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Christmas Day- Photo an Hour

As I told you a few days ago, I was allowed to open my DSLR (Canon Rebel T2i/D550) on the 23rd so I've been playing with it ever since!! It's actually my 21st Birthday present (my 21st isn't til March..) but I've very impatient!! Obviously it's only in Auto mode at the moment, but I have a "Canon D550 For Dummies Guide" to help me along the way!!




Presents!! Inception and The Godfather Trilogy on DVD, a book on 20th Century Fashion, new GHDs (Yes!! Mine packed up after 4 years a few weeks ago), Canon DSLR remote, Lily Allen Panda Necklace, Camera case, New York Calendar (I'm going for my 21st in March), Canon D550 for Dummies book, Christmas day dress, and fur gilet :]]


Frozen milk!! The bottle exploded when we got it inside!!


Christmas breakfast!! Christmas breakfast is a Crowley tradition. We used to have it at my grandparents but my nan is too old now so we have it at my Auntie's.. I don't eat meat so there's not much I can eat, but this year I was desperate for beans on toast!! American baked beans are weird and in some kind of sweet, bacon sauce so I have to buy vegetarian ones, and I find the bread in the US really sweet too, so I was so excited to have beans on toast back home!!


Think I was the only one expecting this photo!! I was looking through my cousin's wedding album while we were at breakfast :]]


Playing with my camera and remote :]] and a family picture :]]


Being home= endless cups of tea.


Christmas Dinner...

And my Christmas dinner!!


Yay, TopShop vouchers :DD


I can't get vegetarian gravy anywhere in America, so I have to get my parents to send it to me. I eat gravy with everything (I'm a Northern girl, what can I say?) but especially Christmas Dinner.


My Christmas drink of choice. It tastes like Dr. Pepper :]]

And even though I don't like it, Christmas pudding, because I know you American kids don't know what it is.


My mum's home-made Christmas cake.


This is a game we play every year. It always funny because it's a Men vs. Women game, and we have two men (my Dad and my Uncle), and then 5 women (Me, my Mum, my Nan, my Auntie and my cousin Jeni), but the men always win!! It's great fun!!


And the drawing game we played afterwards. According to my nan, this is a guitar.

Well after 8pm I stopped taking pictures so these are all I have!!
Hope you had a lovely day and got everything you wished for!!

Charlotte xxx