Wednesday, 31 August 2011

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything




I decided to go for indoor photos today to get practising, and I actually quite like them. I used my flash today, which I haven't used before, and I think it definitely helped. I've had this outfit in my mind for a while- way back when I was in San Francisco, I tried on a white dress and was desperate to pair it with a denim jacket and wedges. I decided against the dress- it made me look pregnant- but thought I'd give the look a go with my lace dress. The only annoying thing is this dress isn't quite white and I always forget. It's a kind of dusty pink. If you read my blog regularly, you've probably seen this dress a million times, but I love it.



The title of my post today is from my favourite film (and one of my favourite books) Fight Club. It really hit me today and really made me think. Since Erick and I broke up, I've felt pretty lost and confused. I had planned so much for the future with him and it's been really hard to accept that this isn't the future I'm going to have any more. But this quote really made me think. I have the world at my feet now. I'm excited for next year. I'm excited for moving to London or pursuing a diploma in journalism. And despite everything, I still want to move back to America. Maybe not Minnesota. But New York or Chicago were amazing. I'd love to live there. And now, I guess I can do all of those things. I'm free to do anything.


Speaking of which, I should probably tell you my news. Yesterday, my first real published article was in the Manchester Evening News-the biggest regional newspaper in the country!! I was even on the front page!! Unfortunately, the article isn't online yet and the website isn't updated very much, but I'm hoping it will go up. If not, I will type the article out for you to read!! It's all about 30 for 30, so if you've been reading my blog for a while you know what it's all about!! Here are the photos I took anyway...



It was really awesome yesterday. I bought like 20 copies! It's so crazy to not only be featured in a newspaper, but know that I wrote it myself too!! I really hope I can get it up for you all to read.



lace dress- topshop
denim jacket- new look
wedges- charlotte russe
gold necklace- c/o Kait Makes Things
pearls- topshop


Today has been good. I always find myself stressing out when I'm at work about everything I have to do for the week, but as always, I had everything done by about 2pm, so I decided to meet my Mum in Stockport. I, naturally, shopped. My autumn/winter wardrobe definitely needs to be complete now. I added two new blouses- one mustard and one mulberry, a beige jumper, a leopard cardigan and a mulberry-coloured skirt. I'm really excited to show you them all. I really, really need to do another 30 for 30 to really rediscover my wadrobe. I hope Kendi does one again soon. Oh but I did cry in the New Look changing room. Trying new jeans has that effect on me. Especially really tight skinny ones that don't go over my hips. Buying jeans always makes me feel fat. Always.


Have a wonderful day!!

EDIT: Oh, I extended the deadline of my giveaway for another week. So, if you haven't already entered, go have a look!!

Charlotte x

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Mustard and Leopard



This blazer is, I think, the single most expensive item of clothing I have ever bought myself. It makes me incredibly nervous wearing it. I took these inside because the sky looked grey and I thought it might get wet. It is yet to rain. But still. It's not even designer- it's from Zara. But Zara is just a little above my usual price range, and unfortunately, my newest addiction. I consider this blazer to be an investment. I now own three Zara jackets (this one, my red one and my new trench) and feel the height of sophistication in them. Even when the rest of my outfit totals less than the jacket alone. This dress is my new favourite. And I may have kinda sorta forgotten about it, up until last week. I've had this for about 3 years, but it's been hiding in my wardrobe, waiting for turquoise to come back in style. Such is the case when you collect clothes, as I do.




I tried to take inspiration from one of my favourite bloggers today with these pictures. Keiko Lynn quite often takes indoor pictures and they always look fab. Mine always look a bit rubbish. Maybe I need to use my flash gun. I take them in the conservatory though, which has lots of natural light, but perhaps I need the flash to stop them looking so flat and blah.


mustard blazer- Zara
turquoise dress- TopShop
leopard belt- New Look
leopard flats- Debenhams
owl necklace- New Look


I'm still so up and down at the moment it's insane. Just today I woke up miserable, felt better, got some bad news, cried, had some better news, was very happy, and am now in some kind of neutral equilibrium. A lot of awesome stuff has happened lately and I've had a lot of fun. But I am still very down, and no matter what wonderful things happen, I can't ever be completely happy. I'm finding myself feeling overwhelmingly lost, confused and lonely. Lost, most of all. I no longer know where I'm going, what I'm doing or what my future looks like. And sometimes things just feel incredibly pointless. Confused, because I am a literature student and am excellent at over-analyses everything and lonely because, well, I miss my best friend.

But in the nature of being up and down,I will share my exciting news with you later. Promise. But those of you who are friends with me on Facebook will know. I'm just waiting for it all to go online so I can show you everything properly.


I'll be back later. Also, I'm going to extend the deadline of my giveaway this week, but if you haven't already entered off you go!!

Charlotte xxx

Monday, 29 August 2011

Week in Photos

I, unfortunately, don't have a wonderful collection of Bank Holiday Weekend photos, as I have quite literally spent my whole Bank Holiday weekend in Asda. But here's what I have been up to this week...


1. Sour Patch Kids
My absolute favourite candy ever. Ever. And unfortunately, only available in the US. I was very, very happy to receive my first bag through the mail this week from my friend Bill. Yay!!

2. Security Pass
For my week at the Manchester Evening News- exciting!!

3. Love it! masthead
Can you see my name? 


4&6. Taking Back Sunday
I went to see Taking Back Sunday for the 4th time on Wednesday. It was awesome

5. New clothes
I need an electric fence around Zara. Seriously. I can always find something I love in there. Red dress for £10- bargain. Mustard blazer for £70? Less so...


7&8. More recent purchases
My winter wardrobe is prepared- Zara trench coat and new knee-high boots. These are known as my Dick Whittington boots in my house

9. Sushi pajamas
I adore David and Goliath PJs- they even got an blog post.


10. Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette
I was so excited when this became available in the UK. I've had it for a few weeks now but I've not had chance to show it yet. I'm wearing it here, following this Keiko Lynn tutorial

11. Caramel Digestives
Steph brought these over on Friday and we had tea and biscuits. Perfect.

12. Cinema Ticket
I really, really enjoyed One Day. Obviously not as good as the book, but still very enjoyable.


13. "Snogging"
For my friend, Abby, who once asked me if we really do saying snogging in England.

14. Shoe boots
Two of my favourite pairs of shoes. My iPhone decided to delete the picture photo of my outfit last night (purple lace dress, leopard belt and leopard shoe boots) which I wore when I went out for dinner at the...

15. Red Hot World Buffet
I ate far, far too much last week. I am avoiding junk food for a few weeks now to give my stomach a chance to recover.

I hope you all had a great weekend. I am working tomorrow, but I'm hoping to squeeze an outfit post in before I start!!

Charlotte xxx

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Bonus




Yesterday was an unexpected day off. I was supposed to be doing work experience but my boss wasn't going to be in, and there wasn't much for me to do, so while I had agreed to go in, after coming home and realising I had things to do, it made sense to take the day off too. I considered it to be a bonus day- it didn't matter what or how much I got done, it was all extra. So I worked out for nearly an hour (success!!), tidied my room (well, I put my clothes away) and did a bit of writing. Then I got bored and my friend Steph came over. Steph is one of my bestest friends in the all the world, and we had so much fun together. She took these pictures for me.




Then last night we went to see One Day. My Mum and I loved the book, and despite Anne Hathaway's accent (you just have to ignore it), it was a really good film. I agree with a lot of reviews that Emma wasn't developed enough as a character, not as much as the book anyway, but Jim Sturgess was fantastic. I now wish to marry him and have his babies.


midi skirt- c/o french connection
striped top- primark
boots- thrifted
leather jacket- H&M


This gorgeous midi skirt was sent to me courtesy of French Connection to review for Student Fashion Blog. I absolutely love it and paired it with a striped Primark top and thrifted heels. I wear these shoes to death and they definitely need a coat of black nail varnish where they're fading away at the sides, but I just love them. And a total bargain at £5. I love that I'm wearing an £80 skirt with £5 shoes and probably a £5 top. I have loads of ideas for other looks with this skirt. You can read my review here. I also received another item from French Connection which I will be reviewing later in the week, so keep your eye out for that!!

I followed Keiko's Lynn's tutorial for my brown smokey eye


If you need me this weekend, I will be at Asda. I am working Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. No bank holiday weekend for me!! However, not long left now until I go back to uni, which also stresses me out. I have about a million things to do before I go back!!


Don't forget to enter my giveaway!!

Charlotte xxx

Friday, 26 August 2011

Sponsor girl next door fashion for September!!


Here we are again!! Last month I accepted sponsors for the first time and I am very excited to have more sponsors for September. But would you like to join my September sponsors? My rates are incredibly, incredibly cheap and my blog is growing every day, so now is a great time to get involved!! If you're interested in sponsoring my blog for September, drop me a line at girlnextdoorfashion@googlemail.com for stats and rates!!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Maybe I should hate you for this, never really did ever quite get that far.




So this week has been a little crazy- sorry I haven't been able to update. I've been having an awesome time doing work experience the last few days at the Manchester Evening News. I've been working on articles, writing things up, researching stories, checking out fashion collections... it's been really awesome. It's also given me some time to think about my future. I've been looking at doing a journalism qualifications and I've spoken to people there and I think I've found a few courses that look interesting, which is really exciting.

I've spent most of this week working on an article about my 30 for 30 challenge, which is going to be in the paper next week, which is kinda crazy. Not only an article published in the local newspaper, but one about me too!! I had to have a photoshoot for it, which was kinda crazy!! I've also written a few tid bits too which I'm hoping to see in the paper. The interviews I did for Love it! magazines have been published too. Yay.






What else have I done this week? Well, not taken blog photos, for one. Or replied to emails. I did spend £80 in Zara yesterday (I couldn't resist a £10 dress. And I definitely couldn't resist a mustard blazer). And yesterday I went to see Taking Back Sunday! I'd seen then 3 times before but never really rated them live (despite being one of my favourite bands), but wow, last night they were AH-MAH-ZING. Seriously. One of the best concerts I've been to in a long time. Tonight, I got home from work and had a minor (okay, major) panic when I thought I'd broken my camera. Realised the card slot was open. Calmed down. Took pictures. Then my parents and I went for a pub tea, and then my Dad was still hungry so we got some chips and walked home eating them. It was pretty sweet. Tomorrow I am catching up on emails and articles and finally seeing my friend Steph, and then my parents and I are going to see One Day. I was crazy about the book and I'm a little nervous. I hope it's done well.



floral dress- new look
orange cardigan- primark
turquoise belt- dorothy perkins
pink shoes- new look
owl necklace- new look


I really liked this outfit and I'm glad I got to photograph it. I've had this dress for about 3 years, but never really thought much of it. Recently I thought, wait- orange, pink and turquoise? My favourite colour combination?! Perfect!! I've been feeling a little uninspired lately. I'm kinda anxious for next season and ready for autumn clothes, but I know I should really take advantage of the last few weeks of summer, especially as I moaned at weekend about not having really taken advantage of summer clothes. However, I had a Kendi Everyday bender which really inspired me. She is definitely one of my favourite bloggers. I seriously read all of her blog from April to August last year. I have a lot of inspiration now!!


Enough from me for now. Have you entered my giveaway yet?

Hope you're having a lovely week- I'll be back tomorrow :]]

Charlotte xxx

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Sponsor Spotlight: Kait Makes Things


I was lucky enough to have my first sponsor, the lovely Kait of Kait Makes Things! Kait's jewellery is all handmade from vintage or other selectively sourced materials and recrafted. The jewellery is taken apart and remade to make unique, beautiful pieces. The idea is to avoid buying new jewellery, saving precious resources and using what we have. Often, only one of two items can be made from the materials available so you can almost guarantee you are the only person to style each item. Plus, as there is such a high turn-over, the shop is constantly filled with new pieces.


I am guilty of being very lazy when it comes to jewellery. I know it can completely transform an outfit (I learnt this a LOT during 30 for 30) but I often forget all about it, or just grab a pendant necklace or some pearls before I rush out of the door. For me, statement jewellery like Kait's is perfect. It can really enhance an outfit will minimal effort. I love the chain necklace she sent me- it's so easy to throw on but makes a huge difference. I love these don't get your hoops up earrings, garden party earrings and show me the ropes ring.

Kait is a fellow Minnesotan (I'm totally an honorary Minnesotan, dontcha know) studying apparel design, and hopes to expand to a clothing line in the future- I can't wait to see what she has coming up!!

Her blog also has much more than jewellery with fab features and a sneak-peek behind the scenes at her jewellery making.

Check out Kait Makes Things for more gorgeous, eco-friendly jewellery!!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Stolen Summer





Today would have been a lazy Sunday if I knew how to relax. I did sleep in and do some grocery shopping- standard lazy Sunday things- but I also wrote two articles and the abstract for my dissertation and spent far too long on my makeup. I wanted to go out and do stuff but I really did need a day off to get articles done and sort my life out. I've been emotionally drained the last few weeks. I feel constantly on the verge of collapse, no matter how much I sleep, and after 28 hours work in 3 days I really did need a day off.



I had to wear this outfit today as I've been feeling the arrival of autumn far too much recently. I feel as though my summer was kinda stolen this year. In March, when everyone in the UK was starting to get out their sandals and summer dresses, we were still wading in snow in Minnesota until May. And while Minnesota has another month or two of nice weather (I remember the fall being absolutely gorgeous when I was there last year), I consider autumn to begin on September 1st. While summer is not at all my favourite season (I love spring and adore a warm autumn), I do love summer clothes. Floral dresses and wedges, boater hats, denim jackets, converse... I love that laid-back relaxed vibe of summer. I feel sad that pretty soon these things will be tucked away until next year. Denim jackets in the winter? Ick. I was wishing away the summer a few months ago and while I'm super-excited to go back to uni (my summers are invariably long and generally involved a conflicting mix of work and boredom), I am becoming more and more painfully aware of the fact my year abroad is over. A year ago tomorrow was my leaving party. It's been almost a year since I left and I just want to throw myself down and cry that I'm not going back to Minnesota. I wish more than anything I was going back in September. It was the best year of my life and it kills me that I can never, ever relive that. Being home has been great, but it's never been the same. America really where I want to be, where I need to be. I'm restless back home. Even in London, where I want to move next year, nothing has that buzz of living abroad.



While I'm being mopey, I'm gonna be mopey (and then I'm gonna be all happy again and tell you about this necklace that my wonderful sponsor Kait sent me). The reason I got all dressed up today and spent so long on my makeup is because for me, one of the hardest things about a break up is feeling good about myself again. I've been so used to having someone who is constantly supportive, who always, always thought I was amazing. Someone who would tell me I was great and that I would go far on the days when I was struggling to feel good about myself and my abilities. Someone who always thought I was beautiful, whether I was having a fat day or wearing sweatpants or after I'd taken my makeup off. Someone who not only loved me in spite of all the things I was insecure about, but because of those things. I am not a confident person, and I miss that feeling of being invincible that love gives you. I miss knowing that somewhere, even when he was 5000 miles away, someone thought I was the most beautiful girl in the world. Erick was never, and he would admit this, the most romantic or affection person in the world, but he always told me I was beautiful and always made me feel special. And it's really hard to feel that way on my own. But dressing up and making an effort helps, if only a little bit. And I know I have to find that confidence in myself.


dress (worn as skirt)- boohoo
tank top- topshop
belt- H! by Henry Holland
wedges- Charlotte Russe
necklace- c/o Kait Makes Things


Wow, sorry, that was super self-indulgent. You can totally call me out on this in a few month's time. Anyway, to my outfit, the thing we're all here for anyway. The gorgeous Andrea inspired this outfit when she wore her maxi dress as a skirt. I love this look!! I can't wait to try to remix this skirt in the autumn time, with a black tank or jumper and a leather jacket and boots, or with a buttoned cardigan over it. And this beautiful necklace was sent to me by my wonderful sponsor, Kait. Isn't it gorgeous? Her jewellery is all hand-made and re-crafted. She has some gorgeous things in her shop. I'm going to be doing a little sponsor spotlight on her this week.


Well, I'd better get going. I have work experience tomorrow and I'm super excited about it. I have some exciting stuff coming up and I can't wait to share it with you all.

Oh and if you haven't already, go enter my giveaway!!

Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday!! I have decided, at 7.30pm, to finally embrace lazy Sunday by watching 30 Rock in my pajamas.

Charlotte xxx