How to get the Instagram Lifestyle, and is it Worth it?
Instagram is hardly instant anymore, so it comes as no surprise that people’s feeds are heavily curated. I think it’s fair to say that most of the people dedicating their time to it have distanced themselves from the original ‘meaning’ behind the platform. And why not? It’s almost become a portfolio of sorts for budding photographers, influencers and socialites alike. My own Instagram is littered with photos from my travels, right down to my daily activities. My friends look at my Instagram and the reactions range from positives such as ‘wow your apartment is so stylish’ to the more negative ‘you only care about trendy, pretty things’. Neither could be further from the truth, but who better than a friend to keep you grounded, am I right?
Is the Instagram lifestyle worth it?
Curating an instagram feed isn’t easy. There are so many things to consider, from colour palettes to posting times, using the correct hashtags…the list goes on. For some it’s their job, which in some ways can make things a little bit easier. However when you’re working a full-time job and just do blogging on the side, well that’s when things begin to get a bit more stressful. I’m lucky enough that my career is in marketing, so I get to read articles on the latest algorithms (yay) for a living. That said, after a long day curating someone else’s Instagram feed, I don’t necessarily feel like coming home and working on my own. In fact most evenings I turn my phone off entirely, purely to avoid stress.
How to get the Instagram lifestyle
My advice for people who want to start an instagram, or take their own more seriously, is to relax and take it easy. Don’t look at it as a full-time job (unless it is your job), and take it step-by-step. You’ll enjoy the whole experience a lot more if you don’t associate it with numbers and anxiety. That doesn’t mean you can’t be ambitious though. It’s about finding a happy medium where you can put some time aside to do your research, and work on it. In a world overflowing with social media content, genuine TLC is more noticeable than ever.
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Why I Buy Expensive Clothing and You Should Too
A few years ago I had an epiphany. I was doing fashion all wrong. I was spending a ton of money on cheap clothing that I didn’t really care about. It would fall apart after a few wears, and if it didn’t I would throw it out (read: give to charity) after only a few months. I decided it was time to change the way I viewed clothing. I decided it was time to start buying expensive clothing.
Before we get into things, I’d just like to say that this is in no way me boasting, let me make that clear. I save for all of my clothing, and I don’t buy anything when I don’t have the money to do so. I also realise that not everyone can save, and sometimes you just need or want to buy something inexpensive and trendy. At the end of the day this is just a simple guide for those who want to try and be a bit more conscious with their wardrobes.
Why I Buy Expensive Clothing
When I say expensive clothing I’m not talking about £500 t-shirts. I mean spending £30+ on a t-shirt or £100 on a pair of jeans etc. All of which are much cheaper than their designer counterparts, but relatively expensive compared to the fast fashion you find on the high street.
But why should you be spending more on clothing?
- Fast fashion is…fast
- It is not made to last. It’s trend based, which means that it has to be created quickly and cheaply (for the brand). This often means the wages and working conditions of the labourers creating the pieces is low too. I’m not saying more expensive brands are immune to this, but it’s certainly more prevalent in fast fashion brands.
- Don’t buy trends, buy timeless
- Trends can be cute & fun, but they’re also stressful to keep up with, as well as being heavy on the pocket. Consider buying pieces you can see yourself wearing over and over, for years to come. Example: a pair of quality jeans, or a fitted blouse.
- Invest in quality over quantity
- Honestly this should be my life motto because I throw it about so often. Quality pieces last, which means you don’t have to buy a new item of clothing every other month, year etc. Example: I try to only buy natural fabrics as they last longer and are much more comfortable.
- It actually saves money
- Be considerate of how much you’re spending and what you’re spending it on. A few years ago I was buying countless amounts of clothing from high street brands, and I was actually spending more money (on a monthly basis) on clothing than I do now.
- It helps you appreciate what you have
- It’s quite easy to not put any value on fast fashion. It comes and goes with our tastes and trends. When you save for something it has meaning and sentiment. You’ll also be more likely to think twice before throwing out something expensive. I know I do!
Would you be willing to buy expensive clothing? Let me know in the comments!
Read more of my articles on wellbeing and style.
5 Tips for Slow Living in London
Last year I wrote an article discussing the art of slow living and whether it was possible to do whilst living in a busy city such as London. I talked about the difficulties involved, but also the importance of wellbeing. I simultaneously ran a poll on my Instagram, asking my followers whether they thought it was possible. Most people believed it wasn’t, and as optimistic as I am, I can understand why. So I decided to update my slow living series, and bring you all some tips for slow living in London, because I do honestly believe there is the possibility for us all to bring a little bit of calm and wellbeing to our everyday lives.
5 Tips for Slow Living in London
- Make time for your mental wellbeing
- Living in London, a city full of opportunities, it can be easy to just say yes to everything. And before you know it your calendar is heaving with social activities. But it’s important to realise when you can, and should, say no.
- Turn your phone off/say goodbye to social
- Social media and messaging apps can cause a lot of stress, whether it’s intentional or not. Try putting aside a few hours everyday, where you switch your phone off, and put your laptop down.
- Less is more
- Visiting new restaurant openings, or buying the latest on-trend items can be tempting in a city like London. But it’s not always rewarding. Try doing/buying less, and focusing more on the quality of the experience or item. It will help you appreciate it more, and it will save you some money along the way too.
- Make more of your evenings
- Working 9-5 can be draining, and a lot of people cherish their free time in the evening, so why not make more of it? Light some candles, put your favourite music on, have a bath, make a meal from scratch. All little things that when put together can be incredibly satisfying and relaxing.
- Don’t compare yourself to others
- One big underlying problem in most people’s lives is the fear of missing out, or the idea that someone else has a better life than you do. It’s important not to compare yourself to others. After all, the grass isn’t always greener, and the world isn’t going to end if you don’t attend a social event.
If you have any tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments.
If you enjoyed my tips for slow living in London, check out more of my wellbeing articles here.
I’m all about that hygge lifestyle. Whereas the trend may have died down in the UK, I’ve continued to adopt the concept. I believe in the art of slow living, and I’m always trying to bring a little bit of it into my home and life. I also know that a lot of my readers have a similar outlook. So for my second instalment in my Christmas gift guide series I decided to go with something a little different. Here is ‘The Hygge Gift Guide’, and it’s jam packed full of awesome products to bring some warmth, cosiness and comfort into your Christmas.
The Hygge Gift Guide
- Food & Drink:
It wasn’t easy breaking such an intricate concept into three categories, but I don’t think I did too bad a job, right? A cosy home is the perfect place to start, shortly followed by plenty of comforting food & drink. And last but certainly not least, some lifestyle items to keep you going in and outside of the house. As always, I have placed an emphasis on quality items from a selection of independent stores and makers, as well as some well-known brand names. With this gift guide, you’re bound to impress any hygge fan.
If you enjoyed The Hygge Gift Guide, check out the rest of my Christmas Gift Guide series.
Slow Living: Is It Possible In London?
Several years ago I decided to up and change the way I looked at my approach to life. Basically I wasn’t happy. I decided that I was moving too fast, and I needed a break. That meant looking at the way I live, and the everyday things I do. A lifestyle and mentality rebrand, if you will. But let’s be honest, nothing is that straight forward. And is it even possible to incorporate slow living into a London lifestyle?
Slow Living in London
Over the past year I set out to try and find a way to bring the lifestyle concept of slow living into…well, my life. Our society is based on fast fashion, fast food, and even fast lifestyles. If you’re not living fast, then you’re not living at all. At least that’s what people say. I soon realised it wasn’t going to be easy, and the hardest part was figuring out what ‘slow living’ even meant to me.
- Stop being so materialistic. I told myself it’s good to have nice things, but it doesn’t mean anything if they have no value, and I don’t mean monetary. I’m talking about objects/experiences that have meaning. Like the expensive pair of sneakers I had wanted for years, which I finally bought myself with the first pay check from my new job.
- Quality over quantity. Whereas before I probably bought myself an item of clothing or went to a new restaurant every week, now I do it about once or twice a month. I put more thought into what I want/need, and the design and quality of the piece. I’d rather spend a little more on something that lasts longer and works better, than buy a bajillion items that don’t.
- Enjoying the little things. Because sometimes having a G&T by candlelight at home with my friends is much more mentally rewarding than going to the latest ‘on-trend’ bar, and wasting a ton of money on overpriced drinks.
- Slowing down my lifestyle. Admittedly this has been the hardest step out of them all, and it’s something I’m still working on today. A lot of people in London can’t (or won’t) grasp the concept of it, and it’s understandable when you live in a city that pulls you in all directions. After a rather successful end to 2016, the first half of 2017 was pretty rough for me. But I’m now trying to get myself back on track again. It may take some time, but if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
You can follow my attempt at ‘slow living’ and read more of my help posts here.
A Year of Self Help & Making Big Decisions
2017 has started a little differently than 2016. Last year I decided I wanted to say “yes” to as many things as possible. That actually went pretty well…well, in the sense that I did it. Unfortunately it also meant my social calendar became pretty hectic. I had to balance my social life and work. And I burnt myself out. So 2017 has seen me saying “no” to things instead.
Why? Because I soon learnt that saying yes, and wanting to please everyone was really not the way to go. Unless of course I wanted to stress myself out to the point where I knocked 10 years off my life.
A Year of Self Help
You see, I’m highly susceptible to stress. The last few years have seen me manage it relatively well, but sadly last year I didn’t give myself the time to re-energise. Something which is extremely important when it comes to keeping my sanity. Because of this, at the end of 2016 I saw my mental and physical health plummet. This isn’t entirely to do with my social life, of course. There was a death in my family, a close family member was taken ill, and other factors came in to play (again, thanks Trump/Brexit).
So I decided that this year I want to make some big changes, and some bigger decisions:
- Take better care of myself
- Both my mental & physical health
- Be happier
- Travel more
- Seriously consider moving abroad
- London life is a big contributor to stress
- It’s something I’ve been considering for a couple of years
- Amsterdam & Copenhagen are on the table
- Think about buying a house
- Ben and I have been wanting to buy somewhere for a while
- It would give us a project to work on
- No noisy upstairs-neighbours
I might mess up a little along the way. In fact I can almost definitely say I will. But if I keep my main goal in mind – take better care of myself – then I believe I can make a difference in 2017. And at least I can say I had good intentions.
How to Create a Hygge Home
What is a Hygge Home?
A home that is inviting. Not pretentious, ostentatious, or any other kind of -ious. It’s a place you can come back to and forget all your worries. It may sound silly, but it’s about creating a space where you feel safe and comfortable. Having a space where you are able to drop all of your work and social worries is tough. But I truly believe that your home can be a safe haven from this kind of stress. After a long day at work, I look forward to coming home to a hot chocolate, a comfy sofa, and some good food…with the occasional cuddle thrown in for good measure. That’s hygge.
Interiors and design obviously play a big part in this too though. If you have a home that looks good, you feel good. And no that’s not shallow or fickle. It’s scientifically proven that pretty things make us happy. They can even de-stress us! That doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a ton of new stuff, or redecorate your entire home though. I’ve put together some some useful tips,
How to Create a Hygge Home – Tips
- Functional, but stylish
- Quality over quantity
- Good food, good drink, good company
- Craftsmanship – choose items with a story
- Lots of plants – bring a little nature into the home
- Lighting is very important! Keep it soft, and comfortable.
- Yes, that means lots of candles…
- Natural fabrics and materials
- E.g. wood, cotton, stone, glass, wool
- Soft furnishings
- Go on, go buy that cosy throw you always wanted
There you have it. My how to create a hygge home…in a nutshell! This is definitely not the be all end all of guides, but it is a handy go-to for those who want to bring a little hygge into their home. Don’t forget though, it’s as much about the ‘feeling’ as any material object. And now is the perfect time of year to invite people over, and spend more time with your loved ones.
Check out the rest of my ‘How to Hygge’
Read more How to Hygge