Monday, 22 December 2014

A new Christmas tradition: Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason


A lot of people I've chatted to this year have all said they were struggling to get in the Christmas spirit and just hadn't got the festive feeling, myself included. So I was on a mission to spread some holiday magic and get myself and others in a Christmasy mood. That’s where a trip to the Fortnum & Mason Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon came in.

Fortnums is one of my favourite shops in London and is a must visit at any time of year, but at Christmas it’s like stepping back in time. There are endless varieties of Christmas biscuits, chocolates and other delectable delights and their Christmas Shop is simply beautiful. If Fortnum & Mason can’t make you feel festive, nothing will.



So some friends and I all decided to give ourselves a little Christmas treat and have the famous Afternoon Tea in the stunning Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon on the fourth floor of this magical emporium of prettiness. The best bit is you can go after work as Afternoon Tea is served until 7pm, making it more Evening Tea!

As soon as you ascend the garland-wrapped, grand staircase to the fourth floor and enter the lobby of the tea rooms you’re greeted by a grand piano and a stunning Christmas tree and then shown to your table. We had a gorgeous and cosy corner booth, and the salon to ourselves pretty much, in one wing of the salon. The Tiffany blue and velvet finishes make you feel like you’re staring in a period drama and that you should be your most ladylike self. We failed miserably at this, but c’est la vie.


Once you've chosen your tipple from the extensive tea list, Assam Superb for me please, and the sort of Afternoon Tea you want you have to make polite conversation with your companions/chaperones until the treat arrive. Then the fun starts!

The mouth-watering selection of fingers sandwiches, scones and petit four appear all at once and you can start off savoury, just as mother taught you, or break all the rules and work from the tiny cakes down. You can do what you want, you’re an adult. And I promise not to tell your mum.


The food is beautiful and plentiful. Don’t be fooled by the ladylike, bite-size proportions as the attentive waiters will ask you several times if you’d like the selections restocked. It’s the poshest version of an all you can eat buffet, so skip lunch, ladies.

We had such a fabulous time we've decided to make this an annual Christmas event, so thank you Fortnum & Mason for getting us in the mood for Christmas. Keep up the good work!


Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

My Autumn Style: Ankle Boots


Well it's officially winter and I'm officially too late to post this, but it's my blog so I'm going to do it anyway. So we're pretending it's autumn, k? I'm continuing the 'My Autumn Style' series after I've shown you my two other autumn essentials, wax jackets and skinny jeans,. The final and most important part of my autumn/winter uniform has to be the ankle boot.


I love ankle boots with everything from jeans and tapered trousers to pencil skirts and skater dresses. They're so versatile and are also weather proof - amazing. The other thing I love about them? They're very often flat, or with a very low heel, which as a person who doesn't really do heels is a huge bonus.


I'm a material snob when it comes to ankle boots and always try to buy leather or suede. If you invest in anything, beside the obvious winter coat, ankle boots are a no-brainer. My favourite places for ankle boots are ASOS on brand, they're surprisingly good quality and great value, and New Look's real leather range of boots.



What are your autumn essentials?

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Monday, 24 November 2014

Five winter skincare tips you need to know from Venus Proskin


Winter is coming. Your skin will start to show signs that it's not very happy about going from the freezing cold outside and then at home or in an office all day with central heating. You're trying to hide it under jumpers, opaque tights and lots of layers, but you can't hide sad skin syndrome.

If your skin is tight, dry, flaky, dull or generally a bit sad, then you really should think about stepping up your skincare game for winter. The harsh conditions and dehydration can leave your skin looking very below par. Just think of all the effort you make with your skin in the summer. I bet you shave more regularly, you probably use body lotion at least once a day and are strict with that SPF - sound about right? Well don't let the fact it's winter mean you give up on skincare. It's just as important in winter and will make coming out of hybernation in the glorious spring months that little bit easier.

I've been speaking to the beauty guru from Venus, Nathalie Eleni, about five easy things we can all do to make sure our skin looks and feels its best all winter long.
  1. Skin is more susceptible to dehydration and dryness through winter so it is especially important to exfoliate regularly and give skin an extra moisture boost for a gorgeous glow - cocoa butter, palm butter, borage oils and shea butter are all fantastic for parched skin.
  2. Frequent shaving can actually help improve the appearance of skin during the cold-weather season by removing layers of dead skin cells, which cause dryness and flaking. I would recommend the new Venus ProSkin Sensitive razor.
  3. I suggest switching to a rich body butter day and night to protect your skin from the winter elements. Avoid using perfumed products and try to have showers rather than baths, as the latter tend to aggravate the skin due to the excessive heat. Having a lukewarm shower cools sensitive skin and will also help with overall circulation.
  4. If you’re heading for a night out, mix a body oil with a moisturising cream and apply evenly over your legs to really seal in the moisture.
  5. If you’re wearing a short dress, make sure you keep the skin around your knees looking soft and supple as dry skin can often be ageing, by applying a small amount of petroleum jelly to the area.
My personal, additional winter skincare advice would be... ​
  • Use a richer day and night cream - I particularly love Ila Spa face oil!
  • Drink lots of water! This is easy to do in summer, but don't forget to drink at least 2 litres per day.
  • Mix it up. Even if your face cream and make up works a treat in the summer months, it can start to look flat, cakey or just a bit crap come winter, so why not try a different formula for a while. For example, I like a light CC cream in the summer, but in winter I like a bit more coverage and use a long lasting foundation. 
Do you have any great winter beauty tips?

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Friday, 7 November 2014

My Autumn Style: Skinny Jeans


I'm continuing my new blog series showing 'My Autumn Style' with a post about one of the hardest working pieces in your autumn wardrobe; skinny jeans. There's nothing that won't go with skinny jeans and they're super flattering on almost every shape and size. The secret to wearing skinny jeans is finding the perfect pair for you. Then buy at least 15 pairs in case they're discontinued. No joke.


Finding your perfect pair of jeans is like winning the style jackpot, it doesn't always happen and once you've found them you won't even want to try any other brands or styles. My favourite skinny jeans are from Dorothy Perkins. I've had loads of pairs of the ultra stretch skinny jeans, in every colour, and I love them all. They have loads of stretch for the perfect fit, they're slightly high waisted, they're lovely and long, and they hold their shape, wash after wash.

People always ask me where my jeans are from when I wear these indigo jeans, as the faded sections are so flattering. Now I've let you in on my denim secret, will you try these jeans?



Read my first 'My Autumn Style' post all about wax jackets here.

What are your autumn essentials?

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Penny Loafers

http://www.russellandbromley.co.uk/loafers-lace-ups/chester/invt/123193

It's Wednesday and that means one thing - Wednesday Wishlist. Top of my shopping wishlist this week are penny loafers. This design classic will always be in style, so spend a little more and really invest in a pair that you can wear for the next 15 years. They're the perfect shoe for the transitional season and are a really smart alternative to heels.

The home of the quintessential penny loafer has to be Russell & Bromley. No one can top them when it comes to subtle updates on the classic loafer or quality and fit. Your new loafers will be stiff and may hurt for the first few wears, but after that they'll mould to your feet perfectly and feel as if they were made just for you.

http://www.russellandbromley.co.uk/loafers-lace-ups/downton/invt/122912

http://www.russellandbromley.co.uk/loafers-lace-ups/brewster/invt/121107

http://www.russellandbromley.co.uk/loafers-lace-ups/chester/invt/123207


Here are some of my favourite styles from Russell & Bromley penny loafers.

Want some more edgy, trend led loafers? Then try Topshop or ASOS.

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Halloween make up ideas: Zombie-Vampire Snow White

It's about to get spooky! Halloween is this weekend and if you're still panicking about your costume or how to do your make for that Halloween party, I'm here to help. One of my all-time favourite Halloween costumes that I've worn was my adaptation of a Zombie-Vampire Snow White a few years ago.

Halloween is one of my favourite excuses to wear fancy dress, because I get to play on my natural paleness and it's the perfect excuse to contour like you've never contoured before! Go for that lovely Zombie look with chiselled cheekbones to envy Kate Moss and layer on the eye make up for dramatic, scene-stealing eyes. Fake blood optional, but strongly recommended!



You don't have to be a make up wizard to do spooky Halloween make up and here are some of my top tips and ideas.

Halloween Zombie Vampire Make Up Guide


  1. Invest in some face paint. This is the easiest way to create a blank canvas and give you that dull skin look. The key colours you want are white, grey and black. You can order face paint online or even find it a the supermarket!
  2. Skip the moisturiser. You want a matte surface to put on the face paint.
  3. Take a small sponge or a foundation brush and dip it in water, then work this into the white face paint. Apply this all over your face as you would foundation and let it dry. A dab of loose face powder will make this last all night.
  4. Take the grey face paint and a small brush or sponge and start contouring! Apply to the hollows of your cheek, either side of your nose, along your hairline and jaw. Then take it all around your eye socket. Unlike normal contouring, you're trying to make yourself look tired and haggard!
  5. Take the black face paint or a black eye shadow and draw a line under your check bones and around your lash line. This is where the blending starts! Take your foundation brush or sponge and gently blend the black line to create a hollowed out look.
  6. A bold red lipstick will add to the vampire look and really pop against your white face paint. I love Mac's Ruby Woo lipstick for this look.
  7. Finish your strong eye look with loads of mascara or go all out and add some doll-like fake lashes. Go for the false lash look with Benefit's They're Real! Mascara.
  8. The fake blood is really realistic now and nothing says Vampire like some blood dripping from your lips. And you're done!

What's your favourite Halloween make up look?

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

How To Lose Weight: The 7 Easy Ways I Lost 30lbs

This is an odd post to write, as it feels like I lost 30lbs accidentally. That's not to say I haven't worked bloody hard to lose the weight, it's just that I never set out to lose that much weight, or any weight really. But I have seen real results in just three months and as other people start to notice my weight loss I'm getting endless questions - How can I lose weight? What diet are you on? - I figured it was much easier to just write a blog post about how to lose weight and how I lost over 30lbs.

This healthy makeover started in the oh-so-stereotypical way of me wanting to look and feel my best for my wedding in May next year, but was also for my health and most importantly, for me. I've always had a very hourglass figure and it's ranged from a size 10/12 to a 16/18 since I was 14 years old to now (I'm 28 now, you nosy beggar). I'm not really one of those girls who's had an issue with her size, I have my wobbles, but I was generally happy with what I had and I always knew what worked for my body shape and what didn't. I'm also lucky to be 5ft10", which as everyone likes to tell me "you can carry off being size 16 because you're so tall".

I've tried healthy eating and diets now and then, but never really seen results. So when I was asked to review some detox shakes from Almased I thought why the hell not! I've never tried shakes before, but people's reviews were really good so I thought I'd give it a go. I lost 8lbs in two weeks and it really spurred me on to keep going. You can read my tried and tested review of Almased here.

So how did I lose the other 22lbs I hear you cry! Well I'll tell you. This isn't about before and after pictures, this is about changing your lifestyle and your relationship with food. Here are my seven easy ways to lose weight, from what keeps you motivated to diet ideas and what exercise will work for you.


I'd love to hear all about your weight loss experiences and if you try my guide above. As for me, I'm still going and want to lose another 15-20lbs. This should get me down to a size 12 which is where I feel my best. I'll update you all soon. Any diet questions? Just leave a comment on this post.

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Thursday, 23 October 2014

My Autumn Style: Wax Jackets


Something has happened to me in my old age. I've gone all sensible! I never thought I'd see the day where I went out walking wearing sensible footwear and a waterproof coat (with a hood, no less!) but there you are. And do you know what? I bloody love my wax jacket from F&F. I got it last year as a Christmas present and it's become an autumn wardrobe staple, so much so that it got me thinking what other essentials items do I have in my autumn wardrobe? And thus a new blog series was born.

Introducing 'My Autumn Style' where I'll be bringing you ... well, you get the point. And what better place to start than the quintessentially British wax jacket. While I do wish I could upgrade to a classic Barbour for my next wax jacket, I'm definitely a convert to this preppy, practical style of outerwear.



This F&F version is a really rich navy blue and has a gorgeous and cosy checked lining, elbow patches and a very roomy hood. I can also confirm it really is waterproof - sadly rare with a lot of wax jackets on the high street, which is especially surprising as it's only £40.

Next week I'll be showing you my must have jeans for autumn, how I'm wearing them and where I buy all my denim!

What are your autumn essentials?

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

P.s. if you're wondering where the devil I am that is so darn pretty, it's Minadew Fields above the pretty Cornish coastal town of Kingsand.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Lily Collins Looks Incredible In Elie Saab On Love, Rosie Red Carpet


This red carpet look from Lily Collins is everything. I may go so far as to say this is my favourite red carpet look so far this year. And definitely my favourite red carpet look from the elfin Lily Collins. This ombre Elie Saab dress is just magnificent and Lily's short bob with vintage waves and no jewellery just makes this look pop even more. Just look at her smile, that's a girl who knows she's going to be on every best dressed list for a few weeks.

I just can't take my eyes off this gorgeous dress that Lily wore to the premiere of her new film Love, Rosie. The dainty belt, the square cut out neckline and back detail, the detailed train, the billowing chiffon, ... I could go on. Let's all take a minute to look at this dress again. You may want to grab a cup of tea...



Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Monday, 20 October 2014

Five Freelance Copywriting Sites Perfect For Fashion Bloggers

I started my blog Carina100 five years ago and didn't see it as much more than a hobby, definitely not something that would lead to paid copywriting jobs. It was the safe place I could come and write all my ideas and interests that I wanted to share but wasn't able to in my day job doing marketing for fashion retailers. Basically my diary, which I forget other people can read! But now people are contacting me and asking them to write for them, to create blog posts for their businesses and to help with their content. This is awesome as that's exactly what I love to do! From writing about fashion trends and creating interesting beauty articles to compiling travel guides and varied lifestyle pieces, I've been writing about all sorts of amazing topics lately and stretching myself with new challenges - and you can to.

So how have I taken this leap into becoming a freelance copywriter and content creator, turning my hobby into a paid gig? Well besides reaching out to business and pitching for work, there is now a huge selection of online copywriting sites where you can supplement your main copywriting projects and earn a bit of extra cash. The best bit? No endless pitching and emailing - just lots of content creation and writing to hopefully attain the elusive "working from home" holy grail.


Textbroker 
A worldwide platform which was started in 2005, Textbroker has processed over 100,000 orders for unique content. Like many of the other content sites this is a no-bid site, so once you're registered and accepted as an author the orders come to you. Their client base is really varied, from small independents to huge SEO companies. You could be writing about anything from computing to beauty, but you get to pick what you do and don't want to write. The amount you're paid per word depends on your level but the average pay per word is €1.3 cents, so on a 500 word blog post you could get paid €6.50.
 
Timeetc
While not a pure copywriting site, this virtual assistant company looks for people with copywriting and marketing skills and matches your skill set with companies who need someone just like you. You set the hours you can work and as long as you have somewhere quiet to work at home and have a few years office based experience you can apply. The pay is quite good, at £11 per hour, but work isn't guaranteed. There are opportunities to do blog posts and social media for companies so perfect for fashion bloggers!

Copify
Founded in 2009, Copify has completed over 50,000 orders and has over 1,000 copywriters registered on it's site. Similar to Textbroker and Wait.co.uk, Copify offers no-bid copywriting work after completing a registration phase to test your copywriting skills. While the jobs can be quite low paid and the turnaround is a tight 24 hours there is a constant stream of jobs and the payment is very reliable. While it's stated that you can get up to £20 for 500 words, this is rare and you're usually looking at around £0.01-0.02 per word, so you'd get roughly £5-10 per 500 word blog post. But not having to chase invoices is a big bonus!

BloggingPro Job Board
If you're a blogger like me, then this job board will get you very excited. Put your blogging skills and knowledge to good use and find jobs that are perfect for you. The pay varies from job to job, but is generally pretty good, but you may need to check back regularly to find the right fit for you. This is a great resource and the plus side is that you're doing exactly what you love - blogging!

Wait.co.uk
With copywriters in the UK and the US, Wait.co.uk is similar to Copify and Textbroker, with up to 30 jobs available at any one time, so you really can pick and choose what you want to work on and what you want to write. They say you can make £11 per hour, which puts this site above the competitors in terms of pay per hour. While the back-end is slightly clunky to use, their client list is really good and as they're part of an SEO agency the work will always be there.

While the per word price can be a little on the low side using the no-bid copywriting sites, it's a great way to build your portfolio and to see if a copywriting or freelance content marketing role really is the right fit for you.

Have you tried any of these copywriter sites? Are there any other sites I should add to the list?

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Winter Coats From Boden

http://www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Coats-Jackets.html

My must have purchase at the start of autumn/winter is a lovely new winter coat. I now have quite a selection of different styles and colours, but somehow each year I convince myself I need a new one. I've been having a shop around - so you don't have to - and I'm hooked on the bold, bright and sharp styles from Boden.

I'm a long time fan of Boden and they offer exactly what I want in a winter coat. Colourful styles, quality finishes and subtle twists on classic coat styles. So whether you want a double breasted pea coat, a classic trench or a classic wool coat, I think you'll love my Boden selection. But back off the Kate coat in navy and red - she's mine!


http://www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Coats-Jackets/WE460-NAV/Womens-Navy-Red-Kate-Coat.html

http://www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Coats-Jackets/Coats/WE454-ORA/Womens-Orange-Peel-Ledbury-Pea-Coat.html


http://www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Coats-Jackets/Coats/WE451-NAV/Womens-Navy-Print-Autumn-Trench.html

Have you got your winter coat yet? Which one of these is your favourite?

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Friday, 10 October 2014

Wedding Inspiration At Brides The Show

I'm worried I may be going a bit wedding crazy. I've spent the last two weekends in a row at wedding shows in London. I'm drowning in a sea of chiffon, cake and candy colours. But I can say this, Brides The Show was well worth a visit. It felt like a very carefully edited selection of wedding suppliers and specialists, very different to the mass-produced, national suppliers you get at other wedding shows. Everywhere you turned you had a face-full of pretty!

I knew some of the suppliers already from doing my own research. The lovely Dottie Photography was there, check out her photos immediately if you haven't already, Bubblegum Balloons, in the words of Winnie the Pooh "No-one can be uncheered with a balloon", and Aurus London, who we have booked to make our wedding rings. But what I really loved at Brides The Show was the catwalk. Not your everyday meringues or dull wedding dresses, but a beautiful and varied selection of gowns from designers such as Halfpenny London, Naomi Neoh and David Fielden.

Stephanie Allin Couture


The catwalk was transformed into an enchanted English garden thanks to the unnaturally beautiful floristry of Zita Elze Flowers. Eerie, stunning and delicate - the wild meadow flowers and undone bouquets were exactly what I'd like for my wedding. I won't say the dress which stole my heart, as I'm still looking and don't want to give the game away for what I'll be wearing down the aisle next May.

Charlotte Simpson


Halfpenny London


Stephanie Allin Couture


Naomi Neoh


Halfpenny London


David Fielden


Which dress is your favourite?

Need some more wedding dress inspiration? See Kate Moss, Kate Middleton and Lily Allen wedding dresses.

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Day To Night: The George Snake Print Skater Dress

I'm a girl with many dresses. Many, many dresses. But there's always room for another, right? And there's no better excuse to add to the collection than the new season. Despite the warmer than usual weather we've been having I'm getting excited about dressing for autumn/winter and gladly excepted the challenge from George to create a day to night look featuring one of their key dresses for the season.

My dress of choice is an incredibly versatile snake print skater dress, which is a ludicrously affordable £12. Animal print was seen all over the A/W14 catwalks, but not just any old animal print. This season animal print has been updated with varying scale, colours and textures. And if you're unsure about going wild for animal print, snake print has to be the most luxurious and easy to wear option of them all.



Day

Night

So how can you take a simple skater dress from day to night? That's easy! For day just add clever, unexpected layers like a crisp white shirt to create a seriously high fashion look. Keep it preppy by layering the shirt under the dress and don't forget to button right up to the neck. Team with chunky ankle boots and a continue the preppy feel with a satchel bag.

To take the dress from day to night lose the layers and add some sparkle. A statement necklace in muted colours will really work with the cool greys. Swap your chunky boots for delicate ankle strap sandals and your satchel for a fold over monochrome clutch and you're ready to party the night away!

How would you wear this dress?

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

*This is a sponsored post, but all opinions and content are my own*

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Altuzarra for Target has landed at NET-A-PORTER.COM

http://www.net-a-porter.com/gb/en/d/Shop/Designers/Altuzarra_for_Target?pn=1&dScroll=0

It's here! Altuzarra for Target has arrived on NET-A-PORTER.COM just in time for the Fashion Week season.

If you don't know, Altuzarra is a high-end designer offering sleek styles for glamourous city types, think of him as a blend of Michael Kors with a dash of Roberto Cavalli. Everyone has been very excited about his first collection with US giant, Target and it's finally available here in the UK thanks to NET-A-PORTER.COM.
Joseph Altuzarra’s eponymous label seamlessly blends French sophistication with American ease. For Fall ’14, the award-winning designer has collaborated with US retailer Target to product a limited edition collection that aims to “instill a feeling of power, confidence and beauty in women everywhere.” Available globally at NET-A-PORTER.COM, the line features Altuzarra's signature sleek tailoring, feminine dresses and accessories.
I've already ordered way more than I should, including the crane embroidered jersey sweater which I'll be wearing with a black pencil skirt, the claret wrap-effect satin-jersey dress which looks ridiculously luxe cosidering the £40 price tag (yes, really!) and while I didn't opt for the show-stopping orchid-print satin-jersey maxi dress I did go for the slightly easier to wear orchid-print georgette and cotton-blend sweatshirt.

http://www.net-a-porter.com/gb/en/d/Shop/Designers/Altuzarra_for_Target?pn=1&dScroll=0

The best bit about this glossy collaboration? It's all under £100 and with sizes up to a UK 20, it's fashion for everyone, not just the size 12s and under!

Shop Altuzarra for Target at NET-A-PORTER.COM

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Holly Fulton for Radley

http://www.radley.co.uk/explore/hollyfulton/

I'm not going to lie, when the press release for the Holly Fulton for Radley collaboration landed in my inbox last week I let out a little squeal. The second collection of covetable handbags and accessories for Radley from the renowned London Fashion Week designer, Holly Fulton, blend her iconic graphic designs perfectly with the classic styling of the Radley.

http://www.radley.co.uk/explore/hollyfulton/

I sometimes find Radley a little traditional for my taste, but boy oh boy - this collection is about as exciting and attention grabbing as it gets! From clutch bags shaped like the iconic Radley Scottie Dog to the simply stunning embossed Canteen bag, the mix of tongue in cheek fashion and pop art inspired colours and graphics makes the timeless bag shapes every fashion lovers dream.

Inspired by Holly’s love of pop art, this new collection introduces bold new silhouettes in a vibrant fresh colour palette. Intense bright blue with hits of mint green and ice white are grounded by deep navy, providing a refined vehicle for the embossed graphics. The detail continues to delight inside each bag with spherical leather embossed coin purses and mirrors to complement each design.

I don't know about you, but The Envelope bag is right at the very top of my wishlist!

The full Holly Fulton range is available at  Radley.co.uk. Prices £129 - £279.

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Friday, 22 August 2014

How to Reach Out to Someone


I have never had any problems talking about feelings, mine or other people's, and like to think I'm good at seeing when someone needs to lean on me, get something off their chest or even have a little rant. My mum has been very ill for the last few months and I have been down in Cornwall with her while she's been in hospital. I'd rather not go into all the details, as it was a very painful and difficult time for me and my family, but the one amazing message from all of this I want to express is the power of reaching out to people.

I don't want this post to sound like a crazy self-help guide, but I was not expecting or prepared for the amazing effect that people had on me when they sent a facebook message, a text, made a phone call or wrote an email saying that they were thinking of me. To say I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who got in touch would be an understatement. But just knowing that people where there and that they cared was just so incredibly powerful and uplifting.

So I've decided to put together a little guide to how you can reach out to someone who's going through a tough time and really make a difference. I promise it will help them!

How to Reach Out to Someone

  1. Don't be afraid. Whether they're your best friend or someone you went to school with 20 years ago and never speak to, if you feel compelled to contact them if you see they're having a tough time, just do it.
  2. No one will think you're a busybody being nosy! Every single message I got made me feel so much better.
  3. Keep it short and sweet if that's easier and just let them know you're there.
  4. If you've been through something similar it may really help to say this so they know there are people out there who really understand and can offer advice.
  5. If you don't hear back, don't panic. They probably don't have the energy or time, but know that you've helped so much. 
  6. Try not to ask to many questions that need a reply or may add something to that persons 'To Do' list.
  7. Keep checking in regularly if you feel that may help.
  8. Try to be as positive as you can while also acknowledging that they're going through a really hard time. 

Remember, don't just assume that "they'll reach out to me if they need something", often they'll be so exhausted and insular that they really won't and it's up to you to reach out to them. And don't assume they know that you care, it's just so much more powerful to show it, even with a text message or an email, and only takes you a moment.



I really don't want this post to sound preachy, judgemental or that I'm angry or disappointed with anyone who didn't contact me recently, I just hope this helps anyone who's um-ing and ah-ing about whether to contact someone else who's going through a hard time. Believe me, it will give them no end of hope and it may make them feel less alone. Small actions mean so much when you're struggling through something.

And I of course want to say a massive thank you to all the people who reached out to me during my tough time, I can't tell you what it meant. I will try and pay it forward and reach out more often.

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Reformation


I think everyone is a little in love with the new brand on the block, Reformation. From 90s inspired maxi with a hint of Halston to co-ords good enough for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, there's not much I'm not coveting to be honest.


What really caught my eye recently is their dreamy collection of wedding dresses. You have to pretty secure in your level of coolness to attempt to wear one of their wedding dresses, even more so if you want to dress your bridesmaids in a smorgasbord of mix-matched reformation maxis to compliment your oh-so-boho bridal look (see above). This is probably best left in the hands of models, such as Miss Rosie H-W. But I am very tempted to look her for bridesmaid dresses and they are seriously romantic.


But I digress, let's get back to talking about the main collection and how darn gorgeous it is. You know I love the 90s and all the fashion it brings, and Reformation brings back the things I love most with more than a splash of 70s cool. I think their muse would be 90s Gwen Steffani and Biana Jagger's love child. Actually, that's most definitely who I want to be when I grow up.


They even have a range for girls with a fuller bust, where they've 'recomboobulated' (their amazing word, not mine!) their must-have styles to fit a people over a D cup - yippie!

So let's all take advantage of their free worldwide shipping and join the party. I know I will!

What do you think of Reformation?

Cx

By Carina Sullivan

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Why Cos Is My New Favourite Shop


It's taken me long enough to cotton on to the not-so-secret secret shop of the fashion elite, but I am now hook, line and sinker for Cos.

From classic Breton stripe basic tees to statement circle skirts and killer dresses, Cos is where I've been spending my hard-earned cash recently. I'm a now total Cos-head and keep telling people to shop there.

Cos to me used to be very minimalist, very monochrome and very boxy (and therefore not very me!) but now there's colour, and fitted styles and just so many covetable pieces. All of which have the edge on places like Zara and Topshop Unique as the quality and finish is just spot on while the prices are still affordable.


Dress - Cos (similar)
Bag - Market stall in Venice
Sandals - Birkenstock

This sunshine yellow dress is my current new obsession from Cos and it always makes me feel happy (and amazingly comfy) when I throw it on. It's unbelievably easy to wear AND it has pockets, what's not to love?!

Have you started a love affair with Cos yet? Try it, you might like love it.

Cx

By Carina Sullivan