Instagram 'realness' vs traditional media.

Instagram 'realness' vs traditional media.

Instagram vs traditional media.

I feel like everyone is a little fed up with Instagram at the mo, and if I'm honest, so am I. It all started with this bloomin' algorithm, making it super hard to get your posts seen, to get decent engagement anymore and to really grow your following. Queue Instagram pods, more cross promotion than ever, and of course, the recent Instagram bot fiasco that blew up on Twitter last weekend. Part of me just wants to quit Instagram and say 'I'm done.' And the other part of me has worked really hard on it, and still secretly loves it and is saying 'don't be silly, you're not going anywhere, yet'. 

Anyway, that wasn't even the ranty purpose of this post. What I actually want to discuss, is how someone recently told me that they don't see my Instagram as being 'real', because they felt that I only post for my blog and 'following'. 

They meant how I sometimes post a photo of an outfit on a day when I might not actually be wearing said outfit. Or how, there'll be a perfect breakfast pancake flatlay, when I'm actually still in bed with a bowl of shreddies. Or how, I'll post a photo of Liverpool when I'm actually at home in Preston that day. 

For me, and (I think) for most other bloggers particularly, we see absolutely nothing wrong with this. We all know that Instagram life and real life are two totally separate things. Instagram is a platform for us to be creative, to curate a feed that fits into an aesthetic or vibe that we want to create, and it's a platform that's quite often an extension of our blogs. 

But, I think the reason this comment has stuck with me so much that it's made it into a blog post, was because of this; Instagram is a form of media, right? And when you think of other traditional media outlets such as radio, TV, magazines etc, they all do the same thing. 

They create content. 

Content which is pre-planned, there to build and entertain an audience, and that is put out consistently and usually fits a brief or the brands 'vibe'. 

So, why is it that some often roll their eyes at bloggers doing exactly the same? Now, I am in no way saying that it's acceptable not to be 'real' in the sense of making up stories for content purposes, or in a sense of heavily using photoshop on your images. I guess I'm talking more about how it's okay for your content not to be 'live' or 'real time'. 

Just because I'm not wearing that outfit today, doesn't mean I never have. Just because I'm not having avo on toast this morning, doesn't mean I never have. I mean, how else would I have got the bloomin' photo?

My Instagram will always reflect 'me'. It will always show the fashions and things that I love, places that I've visited or simply something that I thought was pretty. Yes, it may be pre-planned and scheduled, and yes I do have a posting schedule in order to keep up some kind of engagement. But it will never not be real and it will never not be me. I promise.


Take yourself on your own adventures.

Take yourself on your own adventures.

If you follow me over on Instagram, you may have seen snap shots from my little day trip to Wales over the Easter Weekend. I'd realised that I had no plans for Saturday, and when I spotted that it was meant to be the nicest day of the holidays, I last minute decided that I needed to do something.

So, at 9pm on Friday evening, I was scrolling through hashtags on Instagram and trying to figure out where I should go. I'd already considered heading back to Caernarfon, as I used to have a lovely client there from my old job, and so every April for 3 years, I'd drive over and spend 2 weeks in this lovely little town. And part of me had kinda missed it last year. So that was when I decided to make a quick stop at Bangor pier along the way, and then head right up to the very edge of Anglesey to South Stack to see the light house, and made an unintentional stop (I was literally only looking for somewhere to stop for a wee and got a bit lost) at Llanfairwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysilogogogoch.

It's just taken me about 5 minutes to type that correctly, never mind say it.

Anywho, as I was updating you all (obvs) through my Instagram stories, I had loads of people, both guys and girls, DM'ing me to say how they loved that I'd just taken myself off on my own, and that they don't think they could ever do something like that. And my response to each of those messages was, of course you could.

Just because you don't have someone else to take you, doesn't mean you can't take yourself on your own adventures.

When I sat down to write this, I realised that I mean this in more ways than exploring new places. I guess you can apply the sentiment to anything in general life. You wouldn't find it acceptable to wait for a significant other before you did something with your career, or before you moved into a different flat, or before you went on holiday.

For the last 5 years or so, I've been the most independent gal ever. Since moving out of my Mum & Dad's and into my own little flat, I've never had to depend on anyone for anything. And it's truly the best feeling. Knowing that you can do anything on your own, from picking yourself back up again when you're feeling like crap or if you've had the worst day, to taking yourself for coffee, or even dinner if you really fancy it, is simply great. And the second you realise that you've got this, it's really quite liberating.

I've talked before about how I'm a total introvert, and so maybe that's why I love taking myself off sometimes and why spending time on my own is some of my favourite time. You don't need anyone to do anything with; if you want to do something and feel like you can, you should do it.

I can't even tell you how much I enjoyed my little Wales adventure. I was able to explore wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I loved being able to stop and just take photographs to my hearts content. To go from one place to another on my own schedule, and even being able to sit on the edge of the cliff, breathing in the sea air and just thinking about life and clearing my head a little was pure bliss, and a welcome luxury compared to the busyness of normal life. 

I also climbed up a big rock, helped someone's Nanna who'd lost the rest of her family, and made friends with a 6 year old girl called Sophie, who was fascinated that we had the same name when I stopped to offer to take a photo for her Mum & Dad so everyone could be in it (the Dad's selfie skills were leaving something to be desired, so I felt like I needed to step in!). 

Here's what I've always believed;

It's not fair, realistic or healthy to expect one person to fulfill all of our needs and to make us happy. Yes, our partners and closest friends make us better people. They should complement us and challenge us and make us laugh, but putting your happiness in the hands of others is dangerous and most probably the easiest way to land yourself in a world of disappointment and hurt.

'If you're putting plans on hold until you find a co-pilot, you may just be waiting forever.'

Instead, let's just do the stuff we love anyway, take ourselves on our own adventures and realise that we're capable and independent enough to do just that.

You'll love it, trust me.


5 realistic aspirations for the rest of 2017.

5 realistic aspirations for the rest of 2017.

Bloomin' heck. It's the middle of April already and I still don't feel like I've achieved anything yet. This time last year, I'd changed jobs, bucked up my blogging ideas and booked a holiday. And although I've been crazy busy recently, and there's been a lot happening, I just feel like I haven't got anywhere so far. Does anyone else know what I mean?

So, in a bid to try and feel like I'm being more productive with my life, I thought I'd sit down and think about what I really would love to get out of this year, and achieve before the year is out and it's April 2018 already and I'm having even more of a life crisis.

1.  U N D E R S T A N D  M Y  F I N A N C E S  B E T T E R.

Considering I was an accountant for over 3 years, I've never really took the time to understand my own finances. I've never really sat down and looked at how much I spend on what. I couldn't tell you how much my monthly outgoings are (I mean, I could work it out, but it could take me a while!), and this is something that I really want to change.

I think we all like to save. It provides a sense of financial stability if you have a savings pot somewhere, right? It's reassuring to know that you can support yourself if you need to, and I've decided that I'm going to take this saving thing a lot more seriously. I'm going to put my previous job to a little more use, and I've got a 'How to Budget' post coming your way, soon!

2.  H A V E  M O R E  F U N

Anyone else get so bogged down with life and work stuff that you forget to have a little fun every once in a while? Yeah, me too.

Running a blog alongside a full time job, pretty much means that most of my spare time is already taken up. But I need to remember to cut myself some slack.

This blog isn't going to go anywhere if I don't write anything for a few weeks, as I discovered recently. I've also recently been doing a lot more things for me. I've been having pamper nights and taking myself to the theatre. I've been heading to adult inflatable play centres (this was so much fun I can't even explain!) and taking myself off for 3 hour walks in the sunshine. And I've loved everything. So I've made a promise to myself to do more of this, see my friends and family more and just generally have a lot more fun.

3.  L E A R N  S O M E T H I N G  N E W

Last year, I learned a hell of a lot. But starting a new job in a new industry kinda does that for you. And so this year I want to continue to learn something new. They say that you learn something new every day, and I'm constantly thinking of things that I want to know and questions that I want answers to. I already have a few plans and ideas for something that I want to do in the next few months, that will hopefully not only help my career a little, but will help me to fulfil this little goal, too. And boy, I'm excited!

4. C R E A T E   M O R E,  C O N S U M E   L E S S.

I think I may write a blog post dedicated to this one all on it's own, but after having a little blogging slump, and trying everything to get the creative juices flowing again, I realised that there was only way I was able to get back into it; start creating again. I read countless posts, discovered a number of new blogs and spent hours scrolling through Pinterest. But the one thing that made me want to write again was when I shot some new outfit photo's for my previous post. As soon as I'd started to create again, I just wanted to create more.

Working within a creative industry, with people who have to create 'stuff' daily, I probably should've picked up on this one a little sooner!

5. S T I C K  T O  M Y  B L O G G I N G  G O A L S

I wrote this post a few weeks ago, about how I wanted to become a better blogger, and the exact ways that I was planning on doing this. However, I'm not doing very well so far. My little blog hiatus hasn't really helped matters, but I'm really taking steps now to achieve a little more of what I want.

You've probably noticed that I've changed up my layout (again), in a bid to give a little refresh. I've got a whole notebook of brainstorming ideas and ways of really trying to find my 'vibe' in the lifestyle blogging world and I'm being a lot more strict with myself in terms of email response times.

Little steps and all that!

So, there we have it. 5 little ways I'm hoping to have a better and more productive 2017. Do you have any updated priorities for the rest of the year?


Why your personal style doesn't have to 'fit' into just one type.

Why your personal style doesn't have to 'fit' into just one type.

Why your personal style doesn't have to 'fit' into just one type.

Personal style is something that should be just that; personal. 

I don't know about you, but my style has changed a lot over the last few years. There are pieces that I wore when I was 19, that you would never catch me in now. And like everything, I feel that your 'fashion sense' grows and evolves as you do. As you and your life changes, so does what you like to wear.

My style is very eclectic, and it totally depends on the mood that I've woken up in that morning as to what I reach for in my wardrobe. My manager described it perfectly to a new colleague this week, he said; 'You'll find that Soph will either turn up to work dressed like the Managing Director, or like she's still in her pyjama's and just got out of bed.

Thanks boss.

But, to be fair, he has a valid point. Some days, I'll wear my black jeans with a nice top and a blazer, and other days I'll throw on my sports leggings and an oversized jumper. Some day's I'll find a cute little crop top and my high waisted jeans, and other day's it'll be a pretty tea dress. Some day's it's an oversized shirt and my knee high's, and other days it's my jeans and a pair of trainers.

It's only been in the last few years that I feel like I've gotten a little better at this whole fashion thing. But, I've always felt that the way you dress should be a way of expressing yourself, as cliche as it sounds. You shouldn't wear something just because it's all over Instagram and you feel like you 'have to have it' because it's on trend. 

You should wear what you want and what you feel good in.

And honestly? I've found myself much happier and much more confident since I started sticking to this rule. If you don't feel good in what you wear, you're not going to feel good in yourself. Which is why I believe that you shouldn't have to narrow your personal style into just one category, because you're not always going to want to wear just that.

Have fun with your clothes and don't feel like you have to stick yourself in a box when it comes to labelling your style. Because fashion is meant to be fun, and how can you have fun with something that's restrictive?

So, if one day you wanna dress super chic and tailored, but the next you wanna be all preppy, sporty or boho, you should totally do it, girl. Experiment and be inspired by what's around you, but most importantly, make it you.


Carvela Kurt Geiger Trainers from the Lace Up collection c/o Kurt Geiger.

Also, I just need to give a huge thank you to my flatmate for taking these photo's for me, after I roped her into helping me on one of our walks this weekend! Turns out she's pretty nifty with a camera, too!


An unplanned blog hiatus.

An unplanned blog hiatus.

Image credit: used with permission from Stylizimo 

An unplanned blog hiatus.

It's been over 2 weeks since I've posted any kind of content here on, and if I'm honest, I can't quite figure out how I feel about it. I've spent the last few days catching up on about 5 weeks worth of emails, and a clear inbox is now making me feel a little less anxious.

The thing is, it's not like I planned to take a blogging break, and the fact that I still hadn't got a post up was in the back of my mind every single day, and every day I've been trying to think of new blog ideas that I could write and post.

Unfortunately, the creative part of my brain has been having none of it.

And I've tried everything, from discovering and reading new blogs, to scrolling for hours through Pinterest, to going back through my own, old posts, but even taking myself for walks in the sunshine and taking millions of photo's hasn't done the trick, and that normally always inspires me in some way!

So, here we are. Still not feeling particularly inspired but really, really wanting to be. The frustrating thing is, that just a few weeks ago I was feeling totally inspired, with a real idea of what I wanted to do with my blog, and ideas floating around like there was no tomorrow. And then life got in the way a little and now I'm completely out of the flow.

And I know that that's all it is. That all I need to do is to get back into writing and creating stuff, and the more that I write, the more idea's I'll have again. It's definitely not a case of not having any photo's or imagery either, as I have photo's coming out of my ears that are just waiting to be utilised in a blog post in some way.

I guess this is the purpose of this post. To remind myself that I'm still, actually fully capable of writing words on a screen and I'm not completely failing at all this online content creation thing. And hopefully, it'll make me want to write some more!

I posted how I was feeling on Instagram yesterday, and it's always reassuring to know that I'm never the only one that goes through phases like this. A lot of you guys suggested I give myself a proper little break and stop beating myself up over it, so maybe I need to do just that? :)