Thursday, 31 March 2011


Hey guys,
Sorry I haven't had a proper update in a couple of days. I've been having far too much fun being 21!
It's my birthday night out tonight so I plan on taking lots of pictures and telling you all about my birthday!
Hope you have a great day,

Charlotte xxx

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Looking back on my 20th Year

As many of you probably know, I am 21 tomorrow, cue looking back over the year and what I have achieved. I have had an absolutely amazing year, probably one of the best I can remember. I have really found out who I am this year and what I want, and I have had some fantastic experiences, from travelling across Europe with my friends, to moving to America, to going to New York and to meeting all the wonderful people I have come to know during my year abroad. I have had the opportunity to write for some great websites- an internship at College Fashion, writing for College Candy, The Fashion Buzz, Duluth Superior Magazine and my weekly column in the UMD Statesman, I have really worked hard on my future this year.

Alton Towers with my best friends for my Birthday last year

A year often doesn't feel like a very long time. A year sometimes seems to slip by without you noticing. And while in some ways, this year seems to have disappeared before my eyes, at the same time I can look back over the year and say "Yes, I have achieved a lot this year." When I look back I can see that I am a different person to who I was last year, I can see how I have grown and how my experiences have changed me. This year I moved nearly 5000 miles from home and I had no idea what to expect. Now I can say it was the best decision I have ever made, and has so far been the best, most inspiring experience of my life.

Me, dressed up for my birthday night out last year. It was cartoon themed- obviously I'm Jessie from Team Rocket and Ed is James!

A year ago I wrote a list of 21 Things I Want to Do Before I'm 21 and I suppose now, a few days before my 21st Birthday, it's time for me to review the list. Looking back, I have achieved quite a lot of things I wanted to this year, others I am yet to achieve and the rest are simply no longer applicable. Some of the things are just no longer as important to me anymore.

Here's how my list looks...

1. Be Taken Out for Dinner
Status: Done
I am fortunate enough to have achieved this goal numerous times over the last year. While I love being spoiled, both my boyfriend and I know that he can't afford to pay for me all the time and I would never expect him to. He's payed for me a couple of times, most notably, our first date, but many things he does are way more important to me than paying for my dinner. However, I'm glad I can say I've been taken out. However, boyfriend, if you're reading this, no-one has ever bought me flowers...

2. Go to New York
Status: Done
Yep, I spent all of Spring Break in New York City with my parents. I'd wanted to go since I was a kid so I'm so glad I can finally say I've been. I loved it!

3. Drink from a Red Cup!!

Status: Done
I am aware these are blue. I don't have a picture with red ones :[[
You American kids have no idea what a big deal this is to us Brits. Don't ask us why. They're always in American films and TV shows at parties and they've become synonymous with American college life, so we love them!

4. Pick my Dissertation Topic(s)
Status: Kinda Done
I have pretty much decided on the topic of my American Studies Dissertation and I have a strong idea for my English one, but I don't really start that until I go back to uni so there's not as much pressure just yet. Let's just say kinda done!

5. Get 1000 hits a day on GNDF
Status: Work in Progress
Hmm. I was almost there with this one, but then I found myself getting far too stressed out about my stats and it really wasn't worth it. I've had a couple of 1000 view days, but I don't like to get caught up in how many views I've had each day, especially as I don't always get a chance to update every day. At the moment I get around 600-800 views a day, which I've decided isn't half bad!

6. Take a photography course.
Status: Half achieved
If you're a regular reader of my blog you might know that I did take a photography course... for one class. But I have been self-teaching myself photography and I'm really starting to get somewhere with it. I would still love to take a course in the future though.

7. Be a better driver
Status: Work in Progress
In fact, I've probably regressed after almost a year of barely driving. This summer I definitely want to start driving more, especially on motorways as I still get completely stressed out by them after 3 years of driving!!

8. Get the position of Lifestyle Editor of my student newspaper
Status: Probably won't happen, but other stuff has
This is completely my fault. I've been so busy this year that I haven't had chance to keep up-to-date with writing for Redbrick and while I would still love this position, I don't think the option is still available to me anymore. But I've really enjoyed having a weekly column in The Statesman this year. Who knows, maybe my experience would be enough to get the position, but I doubt it.

9. Help SFB become huge.
Status: Work in Progress
I have recently gotten involved again with SFB and am now a partner in the company. With all the other writing I was doing this year I just got completely behind with writing for the site, but I'm hoping to start writing more for them again soon.

10. Vintage Shop
Status: Getting there
I thrift and vintage shop occasionally but I just never seem to find anything! I do often have days when I'm home though when I look through all the charity shops in the villages near me, so I guess that counts. I've definitely vintage window-shopped!

11. Learn a New Skill
Status: Done
I was lucky enough to get my DSLR camera as an early birthday present at Christmas and I absolutely love it. My boyfriend is really into photography too so it's nice to be able to share it with him. I really enjoy photography and can't wait to develop my skill more.

12. Get Awesome Work Ex.
Status: Done
I am going to be working at The Sunday Express Style, Love it! Magazine and the Sunday Express this summer and I can't wait! It's great to have all my hard work pay off!! I've also been lucky enough to write for some fantastic websites and publications in the last year which I worked my arse off to achieve, so I'm really happy with my current work experience and looking forward to gaining some more over the summer.

13. Stop Biting my Nails
Status: Work in Progress
One day I will stop biting my nails. 21 years and still going strong...

14. Get something published
Status: Done
While I'm at home I work for View magazine, a small free local magazine. I have written a couple of articles for them now which was really exciting. I also have a weekly column in The Statesman newspaper and online for Duluth Superior Magazine.

15. Write for the student newspaper in Minnesota
Status: Done
Yep, I've had my weekly The Girl Next Door column now since September and I still love seeing my name (and often face) in the paper!

16. Start a new blog
Status: Change of circumstances
I decided not to do this, despite setting up a new blog for the purpose. I love it here at my blog and have found it's been much more fun to blog about my life and experiences abroad here instead of somewhere else. It's nice to have a mix of style and travel, so I have no regrets about not doing this.

17. Love every minute of next year
Status: Done
While this year is far from over yet, I can definitely say I am having the best year of my life and I absolutely love it here. This is the best experience I have ever had.

18. Be more spontaneous
Status: Done
Okay, I'm still obsessively organized, but I think a lot of the experiences I've had and friends I have made wouldn't have happened without some spontaneity. I would never have made such great friends or met my amazing boyfriend if I hadn't asked the girls to hang out with me. I've had to bite the bullet and approach people a lot this year, but I'm so glad I did!

19. Be on a target for a 2.1
Status: Done
So far this is looking good. I got a 2.1 in my second year and I got As in all five of my classes last semester so hopefully if I keep working hard I can get a 2.1 in my degree. Fingers crossed!!

20. Host a dinner party
Status: Work in Progress
This hasn't happened yet, but hopefully when I come home for the summer!!

21. Fall in love
Status: Done..ish
Okay, I've only been with my boyfriend, Erick, for a few months so we're not ready for the "I love you" thing, but I am absolutely crazy about him and think he's amazing. I am so glad he came into my life. He is so good for me and so wonderful. He really is an amazing guy. I am so happy to call him my boyfriend and am really looking forward to the future with him. </vomit-inducing-girlfriend>

Well you know what they say, 12 out of 21 ain't bad. I don't even care. This last year has been absolutely amazing and I can't wait to see what my 21st year will bring. I have learnt so much about myself and the world and the people around me this year, it's exciting to look back and see how much I've grown. I can honestly say I'm excited for the future. Of course, there are a lot of things I'm not looking forward to, like leaving the States and my life and friends and boyfriend here, but I've been so lucky maintaining my relationships with people back home that I really don't think anything will change.

I also re-read my Twenty Things I Have Learnt Now That I'm (Nearly!) Twenty and it's funny looking back and seeing how much I've changed. And also how the same things I knew what I was nineteen I still know now, I just forget about them a lot. These are the lessons I should live by. This year I have learnt to take risks, be more spontaneous, worry less and to take my happiness into my own hands. I also like to think I understand boys a little bit better too!!

So here is my last post as a 20 year old. Tomorrow my lovely boyfriend has taken the day off work so after class I plan on Skyping my parents and opening my presents, having lunch with my best friend and then maybe going for a drive and to take some photographs with my boyfriend, going out for dinner and then hanging out with him and my best friends and having a few birthday drinks. I can't wait!!

I'll probably post some self-indulgent Birthday post tomorrow :]]
See you when I'm 21!!

Charlotte xxx

Just another manic Monday...

This outfit idea came to me just as I was going to sleep last night. Does anyone else ever have that? I was too tired to write it down so I just hoped I'd still remember in the morning!! I adore this dress but it's really, really difficult to style and I have no idea why. I really wanted to go all-out with this and quiff my hair and wear far too much makeup but I wasn't feeling it at 6.30am when I got up this morning!! My one memo for today was "DON'T WEAR RED!" It was such a challenge- I feel like I've worn red almost exclusively the last few weeks.

It was such a gorgeous day here today!! I struggled at first with the lighting until I found the spot where it was just right. I'm really happy with these pictures. When I finished taking them though I thought "ahh, my last outfit post aged 20!" Still can't believe I'm 21 on Wednesday. SO EXCITED :DDD

Today has been kinda boring and stressful. I had a presentation this morning for my Victorian Lit class but I think it went okay, and then I had an interview to do for my next Journalism story. I'm now spending my life in the library trying to get it written before tomorrow. I technically have a couple more days to get it written but I refuse to do work on my birthday so I'll have to get it all done tonight. Luckily, my boyfriend doesn't finish work til 10 so I'm hoping to get everything done before he picks me up. I'm really excited to see him. I've only seen him twice in the last 2 weeks due to Spring Break and him going home for the weekend, but it'll be really nice to catch up with him tonight- even though I'll probably be exhausted!!

dress- new look
leather jacket- H&M
boots- xavi
tights- Top Shop

Well, I'd love to stay at chat but I have to go write a story! Enjoy my huge dump of photos- I'm sorry, I'm indecisive and can never choose my blog pictures, and I'll be back tomorrow- when I'll be even nearer to being 21!! Eeeek!!

Have a great Monday!!

Charlotte xxx

Saturday, 26 March 2011

British Redcoat

I will start with two disclaimers. One, I literally had no idea this skirt was so short until I went to edit the pictures. It's too big on my waist so I belt it, but I think maybe it's supposed to be a hip skirt so this could explain the length. I apologise for exposing so much leg in my last two posts. Two, the lighting today was a little bitch and I just couldn't get myself in the right position. Therefore there aren't many pictures because the only ones I like are basically all the same. So I apologise.

Not an awful lot to report today. I went for dinner and to a Feminist event last night with my friend Michelle and then watched a movie with some of her housemates. Today, I went to the library and for sushi with Michelle but I ended up coming home early cause my cold, which I thought I'd gotten rid of, has come back with a vengeance :[[ Tonight I am going to a drag show on campus and then to a friend's for a sleepover with the girls! The rest of the weekend will be spend doing the usual- homework! But the boy is back tomorrow so I'll see him on Monday and then it's my 21st Birthday on Wednesday- eeek!!

jacket- zara
skirt- primark
blouse- H&M
shoes- H&M

This jacket is my new baby. As you might have read, I wanted a trench coat in New York but it turns out they're not really my style. Fortunately, I found this gorgeous red blazer instead. The material is really thick and gorgeous and it's such a great fit. It was exactly what I wanted. I've worn it a couple of times but I've seen so many bloggers in red blazers- I can't wait to see what I can do with it!

Well I want to try and squeeze a nap in before I go out so I'd better be going :]] I might get time to come back tomorrow- I really loved this week's Friend Friday questions so I might make it Friend Sunday :]]

Have a great Saturday!

Charlotte xxx

Friday, 25 March 2011

One night you were so drunk that you said you could be with me forever. And I thought I was so cool when I said "My dear, that'd be my pleasure"

Admittedly, this outfit is not that dissimilar from yesterday's, but I told you you'd be seeing a lot of this cardigan! I got this dress back from Laura yesterday as it had been out travelling the world as part of The Lovely Ones Clothes Swap. I was really excited to remix it again as I loved what Laura and Sian came up with. One of the struggles of this dress is that it's so perfect at what it is- 90s grunge. Last time I completely played up to that with a leather waistcoat and military boots...

wow, how short is my hair?!

but today I decided to try to bring out a girlier element to it with my new red shoes and red cardigan. As I think most of the other bloggers found, this dress is indecently short though!! A lot of the girls are shorter than me but at 5'5" I have almost been flashing people all day!!

I was naughty last night. I went to collect my packages from Modcloth which are birthday presents from my parents that I ordered. I was going to wait until my birthday to open them, but I decided just to check everything fitted and was okay. Everything I bought is completely perfect. I won't wear them until my birthday but I can't wait to show you!

What else do I have to tell you? Well I've just found out I got full marks on my journalism take-home midterm, which I'm really happy about because it was really hard and took forever. I got As in every class last semester and I really thought journalism would drag me down this semester, so I'm really happy with my mark. That class is tough. We're running, writing and organizing an entire newsroom for an online publication called LakeVoice. I have stories to write for class every 3 weeks and I have one due on Tuesday which I'm writing on students who have children here at UMD which I'm hoping will be really interesting. The last story I wrote was on Fair Trade, and this week some of my New York pictures are included in The Week in Photos.  I am in charge of moderating comments, replying to emails and adding comment discussion ideas to the end of posts. It's really fun and exciting! You should definitely go check out our site :]]

dress- dixi (formerly Baby Says Boutique)
cardigan- debenhams
shoes- H&M
necklace- forever 21

Well I wish I had more interesting things to tell you but my life is pretty boring right now! I've spent most of the week doing homework and I'm probably going to be doing the same this weekend and hanging out with my girlfriends. My boyf is away this weekend so I'm gonna have a girly time :]]  Homework is stressing me out but I've had a productive week so I'm just going to keep drinking endless cups of tea and try to stay on top of it!

Have a lovely weekend!!

Charlotte xxx

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Crazy about Coral

So sorry it's been so long since my last outfit post. I planned on posting yesterday but I've been kinda sick since I got back from New York and I was feeling far too gross to get all dressed up and take pictures of myself. Speaking of which, I have developed a new wardrobe crisis. I have no problem remixing new outfits for days when I want to update my blog and come up with something new, but on the days when I'm just dressing for a normal day I am completely stuck! I ended up going through all my outfits on LookBook yesterday and noting down a list of go-to outfits!

Well here is the first of my new wardrobe additions. I was desperate for a hip-length red cardigan and as I've probably told you before, shopping here in Duluth isn't too great, so my Mum got me this gorgeous Red Herring cardigan from home and brought it over last week. I absolutely love the colour and the style and will probably be wearing it with everything over the next few months! I've remixed this playsuit quite a few times now and I'm looking forward to having some more fun with it. It was actually the item shown in my Delightful Dozen feature. The other new thing I wanted to show you was my new lipstick! We spent our last day in New York just killing time, so I took a trip to both MAC and Sephora to get some new makeup. I have some gorgeous coral eyeshadows to show you, but this is my new coral lipstick. I absolutely adore it. Coral is my new absolute favourite colour- not too pink, not too orange, not too red. It's a perfect lip colour because it's just a little more subtle than red.

playsuit- primark
cardigan- debenhams
shoes- target
necklace- forever 21

I am  very jealous of what I heard is gorgeous weather jack home. It's getting nice here in Duluth, and although we were told to expect one of the worst blizzards in decades on Tuesday, it's been pretty snow-free. In fact, it was very strange when I got back home from New York and so much of the snow had melted! I really want to weather to get nice soon because I'm getting horribly aware of how little time I have left here and I am trying to make the most of every single minute.

I was really happy this morning when I woke up because it was the first day I haven't felt ill! I managed to go to the gym this morning which made me feel a ton better, and I felt much more in the mood to dress up and take pictures. I took these a lot earlier than I normally do and the sun was pretty low in the sky so they're not my favourites. The lighting was really hard to work with!

Oh and two last final things. One is, as you might remember, I planned on losing 10 pounds by my birthday. Well, despite getting fed up at 8 and decided that the last 2 pounds really didn't matter and letting myself go a bit in New York, I have finally lost all 10. Yay :]]
Secondly, I am trying to get 200 followers by my birthday next Wednesday so if you have any friends who might be interested in following me, please let them know. </shamelessselfpromotion>
Well, I'd better get back to my second home- the library! Have a great day!

Charlotte xxx