The “FRIENDS” Guide to Adulting

So no one told you life was gonna be this way. You thought being a grown up would be fun and you could do what you want, but oh no. Welcome to the real world. It sucks! When the summer of 2016 ended, so did my days as a student. Within a couple of days, I moved from student accommodation into a flat for a grown-ass lady and a fulltime job. I was flung into the world of bills, tax, living on my own, and working 40 hours a week. The journey of adulting had begun.

As a child of the nineties and noughties, I am one of many millenials who learned the lessons of being a grown up not from school, or parents, but from “Friends”. Over the past seven months Friends has become my vital roadmap in navigating the grown up world and is now more important than ever before in validating that I’m getting by just fine in my semi-adult, “will I ever get my life together?!” state. If adulting gives you the fear, or if you’re struggling through the terrifying realm of grown-up-hood, keep reading..

 

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I always thought that when you grow up you’ll have lots of life experience that can be used as advice for your friends. But the truth is, you are either going through exactly the same problem or a completely different problem, which makes you utterly useless..

 

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..Take relationships for example; I said these exact words to myself as a hormonal 14 year old with “feelings” (eww) for someone unexpected. 8 years later and I’m still with the guy, about to move in with him and live our grown up lives together (WTF?!). Adulting and relationships are a yucky, scary and (if you get it right) wonderful combination. Embrace the feelings, even if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing or where it might end up.

 

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Oh and while we’re talking about grown up relationships, you thought that being sexy would just come naturally, didn’t you? Well, as you grow up and wait for the sexiness and power of seduction to fall upon you, you realize that it’s actually a rare talent that you either have or you don’t. I’m 22, in an 8 year relationship, and I’m still just about as sexy as a llama chewing a marshmallow.

 

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But back to those feelings.. when you’re a grown up you have to learn how to manage them and take responsibility when it all gets too much. But not only that, you have to get the balance right on the honesty scale, which is easier said than done.

 

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Oh and no one told you about how shocking it is when you first experience age. One minute you’re young, the next minute you’re still young but you’re able to say that you lived through a time where there were nokia’s instead of iPhones, cartoon network instead of netflix and tamagotchi’s instead of iPads. Now, sit down for this one ….. the kids who are turning now 18 were born in 2001; a completely different millennium to you. Sorry bout it.

HA! Gotcha! The millennials are not turning 18 yet. I did not have to just edit this because I can’t do basic maths …. (I am SO not ready for the adult world!)

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As hard as it is, you have to face the facts and admit that you are getting old. When you were a student you enjoyed drinking, sleeping, and drinking. Now that you’re an adult, you enjoy going out for dinner, sleeping, and coming home to a clean house goddamit! Once upon a time my bedroom looked like a bombsite, now I absolutely lose my shit if bae leaves a sock on the floor.

 

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As a student, you were accustomed to being skint. As a graduate, you work full time but still wind up skint with a little less payments from the bank of mum and dad..

 

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Yep, you thought you would get rich when you were grown up. You thought that when you’re an adult you’ve made it, you’re successful and you have your shit together. I don’t know if this comes from society, ourselves, or both, but I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that this is 100% not the case. Adulthood is definitely not about having your shit together, but we think that it is and that everyone around us does have their life all figured out. So we act as if we’re totally fine and happy with the way things are going for us and tell people that it’s all part of the plan …

 

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..But the truth is, there is no plan ….. EVER!

 

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Even if we did have a plan, life finds a way of ruining it..

 

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.. sometimes shit hits the fan unexpectedly. As an adult you have to make executive decisions and deal with whatever has broken, whether it’s a fridge or your ability to smile through the dead end job and questions about when you’re ever going to get married or pregnant. Some of these decisions will be good ones…

 

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..others will not. For anyone who’s ever gotten drunk, dated a (really) bad guy, or completely cremated a pizza in the oven at the age of 22 – I think we can all relate. Adulting is not about having your shit together, it’s about learning to be ok with not having your shit together…

 

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Because let’s face it, we’re all just as clueless as each other when it comes to adulting, right?

 

 

 

 

What I learned from a colour specialist

 

I’ve been having a bit of a love affair with black clothes lately. It’s the safe option, it goes with everything, you don’t have to worry so much about spilling food on it – definitely a priority for me as a clumsy food whore. Black is often our security blanket or comfort food when it comes to clothes, but.. just one lil problem… all black errthang doesn’t really cut the mustard for summer vibes.

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Speaking of mustard! – I got this beaut in the Zara sale for about a tenner last week, and it’s already a hit! It’s been on a date night, out for drinks with the gals, and picked up a couple of compliments along the way. Now, the sleeves are challenging for the clumsy food whore that I am, but I’m willing to be extra careful for this one.

This colour has neeeeeeeever EVER been on my radar. So what made me brave enough to take the plunge? A consultation with a colour specialist that’s what. And nope, I had no idea such a thing existed either until mother dearest enlightened me. For months, maybe even years, mum has been going to a colour specialist and showing off her little wallet with swatches of the colours she goes looking for in the clothes she buys, because they’re guaranteed to suit her skin tone, eye colour, etc. She doesn’t wear a lot of black. She always gets compliments. She had to hook me up.

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So two weeks ago mum took me to a consultation with Linzie, a colour specialist for Colour Me Beautiful. We went to her g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s house tucked away in the countryside and after an essential cup of tea, Linzie sat me down in front of her mirror and got to work. First, she experimented with colour palettes by draping some collars around me, one collar had bright shades, one was more muted, and others she instinctively dismissed without having to bring them anywhere near me. She decided that my dominant colouring is soft and muted, but with some deep shades thrown in there too; so I should wear gentle colours but they aren’t necessarily dull. This also means that I should wear tones that are from the same colour groups (different shades of blue), or shades that are only a couple of shades lighter/darker. So taupe can be worn with a natural beige, or light navy with salmon pink. Basically “nothing shouty”, as Linzie instructed; I ought to avoid wearing colours and shades that are too contrasting against eachother, and .. wait for it .. no black!

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So the question to all of this is WHYYYYYYY?!?! Why can’t I just wear all black errthang, or go wild and throw on royal blue with pumpkin orange?! Well, because then it’s not you wearing the clothes; the clothes wear you! You want to wear colours that are going to highlight your best features, not hide them. Linzie told me that my eyes are my strength, and the soft, deep shades will showcase them rather than distract people away from them, while the warmth of the chosen colours will keep my skin tone looking warm too. To demonstrate, Linzie held up different colours against me which was something of an illusion. With the wrong shade, the colour would drain from my face and your eyes went straight to the colour; with the right shade the warmth was injected back into my skin, and your eyes went straight to mine. Some wise words from Linzie; “if a woman wears the wrong colour, people remember the colour; if she wears the right colour, they remember the woman”.

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After Linzie carefully chose my swatches, we got to makeup. Linzie told me that for a night out – let my makeup do the talking, but for the daytime, let my features do the talking. Then she told me something that I was glad to be sitting down for – blue eyeshadow. Blue. Eyeshadow. I was sceptical and absolutely dreading it. I don’t think I’ve had blue eyeshadow on since I was 11 and at a sleepover, listening to Girls Aloud. But, Linzie performed something of a miracle and I am well and truly converted; blue eye makeup really does showcase brown eyes people!! Only a tiny bit in the outer corners and my eyes became the first thing you would look at rather than the makeup. I was very pleasantly surprised.

After experimenting with lipstick and blusher shades that tick the soft and muted boxes, Linzie’s work was complete. I have my own little wallet of swatches with the colours that will suit me and highlight them big brown eyes. The colours I’m excited about – sky blue, shell pink, and soft violet. The colours that still scare me – evergreen, coffee brown, and pumpkin orange. But, I’ve been given a little nod of approval I often need and the confidence to go forth and wear a mustard yellow blouse with blue eyeshadow. Black can take a back seat for a while.

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I love learning about what works for me and what doesn’t in terms of what I wear, so meeting Linzie and hearing her expert opinion was amazing. I’m feeling excited about injecting more colour into my wardrobe and being a bit braver with what I throw on. To me, fashion is about art, trends, creativity, but style is all about YOU and who you want to be, what you want to say, and knowing what makes you look good and feel good.

 

 

Have a great weekend!!

An Update

So first thing’s first.. WHERE THE FUCK HAVE I BEEN?!

Seriously, what has happened? Why haven’t I been blogging? What have I been doing? The past few weeks have been a bit of a blur, and not in the “busy, exciting, making amazing memories” kind. It’s been more  of the “tired, uneventful, I’ve done nothing but where has the time gone?” kind. It’s rubbish feeling like that, I really don’t want my life to go by with nothing significant happening to the point where I can’t even remember what happened or where the time went. So enough is enough, I’m back on the blog bandwagon and ready to get my shit together (or try to) once again.

 

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As I try to piece together the puzzle of what I’ve done in the past few weeks, it becomes more and more clear that there is someone who is putting me down and lying to me by telling me I’m not doing enough with my time. That’s right, it’s me! Because although it feels like I’ve been living the Rihanna life – work work work work work work and I’ve no idea what in between, a lot has happened and a lot has changed in the world of Clo.

 

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I took an online course in social media marketing and got a little certificate to prove that I’m an educated human. I also had a long overdue date night with bae, had a long overdue visit back home, and a long overdue night out with my bestie. I moved a little step up my career ladder and had a training thing in Manchester. I had a consultation with a colour specialist on what shades I should be wearing (more to come on that). I got the fitness bug and have been hitting the gym three times a week, surprisingly I’ve been enjoying it, my muscles are telling me otherwise right now. I said goodbye to what has been a big part of my life for nearly 2 years – being a ChildLine volunteer counsellor, and racked up 300 hours of listening to other people who need my ears. But somehow I tell myself I don’t do enough.

 

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Life is too short to waste it or feel guilty just for living it, so it’s time to take the pressure off, love what we do and do what we love once and for all. Coming up on the blog you’ll hopefully be seeing some better photos as I am now the proud owner of an Olympus pen! And I have an exciting little fashurn project coming up next month with a certain someone. Stay tuned!

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5 Instagram Accounts for flatlay inspo

Spring has finally sprung!

It’s light when I go to work in the morning, it’s light when I come home, the sun is coming out from time to time, and I’m feeling that “new season, new me, new everything” vibe.

So with that in mind, I’m hoping to shake things up a bit with the blog and get this baby going, because I feel I’ve neglected it a little bit in my attempts to educate myself and earn the rent money (sorry blog!). BUT, after many failed attempts at sourcing the olympus pen, I FINALLY bought the camera of dreams and blogger clichés, and am currently waiting on the well dressed and reliable delivery service of mum to bring me the goods. So with the new baby on the way I’ve been finding inspiration from (a.k.a stalking) the instagram accounts with the most beautiful flatlays you ever did see, in phase one of the Chloe Dangerfield blog improvement plan: take better photos of things.

Without further ado, here are my five fave flatlayers on the gram right now. Let me know what you think in the comment box below, I would love to hear which account is your favourite and what has been inspiring you lately!

1. @justlikesushi

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2. @cupofcouple

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3. @mrpaddingtonbear

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4. @thepinkdiary

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5. @designbyaikonik

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Finding Motivation in 3 Simple Steps

 

Hey Stranger,

Not too sure how this has happened but it’s been about a week and a half since my last blog post! Where the hell has that time gone ?!?!

So I just wanted to write a short and snappy post on how to find motivation, because goddammit we’re nearly TWO months into the year already, it’s almost SPRING time, and I feel like I’ve got to get my ass moving and hustle hard before I end up in December ’17 with no goals met and wondering where the hell this year went! If, like me, you haven’t started any new year’s resolutions yet, can’t even remember what they are, and aren’t really in a motivated place right now, read on my fellow goal-getter wannabes.

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Be Specific AF and plan like a boss

I am the absolute worst for this and no matter how hard I try, I can’t escape my role as Chloe, Queen of Vague (damn if only that “a” was an “o”). My brain is programmed to think that if I’m super vague and non-commital with a goal, it will be easier to achieve and I can protect myself from failure. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work!! In my experience, there is no way you can reach a goal or even find the motivation to try if you aren’t precise with what you want and how you’re going to get it. You better get ready to make a mental or actual hand written note of your overall goal, when you want to achieve it by, and a whole load of sub-goals of how often you’re going to work on it each week and what you’re going to do so that your overall goal is within your reach. It’s all in the planning babe.

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 Be Realistic

Something I’ve learned is that a goal is waaaaay harder to reach if it’s hard to fit into your lifestyle. Once upon a time I would set myself the goal of going to the gym 5 times a week, when I hadn’t been to a gym in 6 months, had so many other things to do with my time, and didn’t really love the gym anyway. It didn’t work. Shocker. I would feel so rubbish if I only went twice a week that my health kick fizzled out quicker than it started. Moral of the story: be realistic, set a goal that you can fit into your everyday life, and remember that every little step counts!

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 *Insert Nike Slogan Here*

That’s right, there’s no use in reading this then doing nothing, and your goals won’t suddenly be met by writing them down. You have to actually start doing something that will get you to where you want to be (are you surprised?). If you want to start going to the gym after work, get your membership, take your gym clothes, and just go. We often think that the motivation must come first but in my experience, sometimes it only comes once you’ve started on your mission. So don’t wait around for a spark of motivation to impart its energy on you, just get going, drag your ass to the gym (or wherever you want to be – physically and metaphorically) and force yourself out of your comfort zone if you have to. No one else can do it for you, and you only have one life, so if you want to do something just do it, or at least just begin and the rest will follow one step at a time. Also, motivational mugs are good too (see photo below).

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Hope you’re feeling fired up and ready to reach a goal, I’d love to hear what any of you are trying to achieve right now, whether it’s big or small. For me it’s moving up the career ladder, growing my blog and maybe going to the gym from time to time.

Have a great week!

Valentine’s Day: A Love/Hate Relationship

 

So Valentine’s Day is only four days away and while many people get excited over this day of love, I’ve been feeling a bit “ugh” *eyeroll* about the whole thing for the past few years. Call me negative but I just don’t really understand why we’ve created ANOTHER day in the year to feed our egos and materialistic desires, show it off on social media, and make other people feel a bit shit as a result, without meaning to.

Now, any of you who knows me, I know what you’re thinking – “but Chloe, you have a boyfriend, you have someone to get presents from and do nice things with on Valentine’s day. What do you know about how rubbish it is being single on Valentine’s day and having no one?” Well, the truth is, I don’t know what it’s like, because the last time I was single I was 14 years old. Now I’m not trying to brag, so before you singletons get sassy with me, hear me out..

 

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On our first Valentine’s day together he gave me a red rose, and a cute card with cute stuff written in it. I went round to his house and he had made me a romantic candle-lit dinner of chicken nuggets and chips (don’t laugh! We were 15 and he made it all from scratch!). It was classic Valentine’s day romance, mixed with hormonal, teenage, cringey-but-at-the-time-super-cute first love. It was sickening. But at the time I felt like a princess, and it was as if all my (realistic) Valentine’s day dreams had come true. Fast forward three, four, seven (!?) years, and February the 14th is a completely different ball game! There’s a lot of inner conflict going on in your head during the lead up to the day: “Do we still “do” Valentine’s day?”, “will bae get offended if I don’t buy him anything?”, “does he really give a shit about Valentine’s day?”, “does ANY guy really give a shit about Valentine’s day?!”,“Should I ask him if we’re doing anything for Valentine’s day?”, “no because it’ll make it sound like I want presents (..but I kinda do)”, “we could go out for dinner?” “no because everywhere gets booked up like a month in advance”. Also, what TF you even get a guy for Valentine’s day?! Seriously, what do you actually buy the stereotypically less emotional and romantic gender for the most romantic and emotional day of the year?! It’s not such a nice and romantic day now is it!

 

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So this all started in third year (no not uni, third year of me and bae being together!). In the end, after all the self-questioning over the degree of romance that will take place on Feb 14th between me and bae (sorry to anyone who hates the word bae!), I opted for a lovingly chosen and relevant card (it had a chemistry reference and he studies chemical engineering. Cute eh). It was a nice, gentle, not too over the top way of “expressing my undying love for him” (eww), and I went on over to his flat to present him with this token of love I had carefully selected, hoping that he would have one for me in return. He didn’t. Turns out we don’t do Valentine’s day anymore. He didn’t really see the point and didn’t think it was a thing we did anymore. As you can imagine, I was absolutely gutted and a little bit irritated; I had been thoughtful and got sweet FA in return. It also confirmed the classic fears of being in a long term relationship; “oh my god, we’ve lost “the spark”, we don’t do cute things anymore, we’re not “in love” anymore”, “oh god this it it, we’re an old married couple and we’re not even 25/30 years old yet! – or in my case, TWENTY years old!” *shivers*

 

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But he had a point (don’t trap yourself a smart guy, you’ll never win an argument), and it made me think. Why do we have to have one set day in the year to show our love for someone? Why do we have to do it through buying eachother things? Why does it have to be about girlfriends and boyfriends and exclude other kinds of love, like friendship?  I started to realize that Valentine’s day is very illogical and makes no sense. So we sort of decided, without actually saying it out loud, that maybe we’ll do something like go for a few drinks, cook dinner together, or maybe even go out for dinner if we’re feeling particularly organised and loved up, but Valentine’s day is not a card/present giving occasion, we’ve got enough of those to worry about.

 

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And I’m totally fine with this arrangement, really, I am. This is what we’re going to do, it’s logical and it makes sense. But what about what everyone else is doing!? Every damn year, as Valentine’s day hits social media with all it’s #couplegoals, photos of red roses, cute cards, “I love you” teddies and chocolate, bottles of champagne, maybe even the odd Tiffany/Pandora/expensive jewellery item scattered in amongst sappy statuses of couples professing their undying love to eachother for everyone to see, all logic goes out the window. Because I, on the other hand, am so balls deep in an LTR that V day hasn’t even been mentioned, and I haven’t even thought to make plans with bae because of the logical reasons which I’m now questioning, all because of what other people might be doing. Jealousy is a bitch, and Instagram has a way of giving you major FOMO. If everyone else is doing it, it’s sometimes hard to resist the feeling that you should be too. if someone posts a loved up pic of all the presents they got from their other half, that means they’re in love, and if you don’t do that then you’re not in love, even though you know that you are. Stupid, but I bet I’m not the only one feeling the social pressures of Valentine’s Day. This is the harsh “reality” of the gram, and February the 14th is one of those days where it gets more intense and a tad overwhelming.

 

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So, to overcome my own jealousy and the icky, annoying, and overhyped extravaganza that Valentine’s day has become, I am encouraging you lovely people to join me in doing something nice for someone you love non-romantically. Send cute cards to your girl squad, buy your bff some chocolates, or have a mate date, all in the name of Galentine’s day (sorry, can’t think of a male equivalent). Because after all, some of the greatest loves we have are with the friends we can share everything with and be totally ourselves around. Or better yet, and perhaps even more importantly, do something for you! Buy yourself a present, do something you enjoy, look after yourself, and acknowledge your love for yourself. Or at least find it somewhere, because as the greatest drag queen of all has said; “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gon’ love somebody else?” Amen to that Ru Paul! Us girls gotta stick together and be kind to each other, and ourselves, more often.

 

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Have a lovely Valentine’s/Galentine’s day when it comes around, I’d love to hear what you’re doing to celebrate it, even if you’re going down the traditional route of cards and a romantic dinner with bae! As always, I’d also love to hear what you think of this post or if you’re, dare I say, “inspired”, by my ramblings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Career Girl Academy Lowdown

 

Hi everyone!

 

It’s the weekend again already! Any of you Instagram followers will have seen that I had an exciting trip to London this time last week, so it seemed natural to write a post on what I was doing and what I learned for any of you who are wondering, or just plain nosey!

 

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So it all started with a 4:30am start on Saturday morning (the struggle was real), but the main event I had been anticipating kicked off at around 9:30 on Sunday morning. It’s not often a time that people want to be up and at ‘em on the day of rest, but where I was going was worth it! After going to the first event in November, I was returning to the very shmancy Hoxton Hotel in Holborn (say it fast five times), to the second instalment of the Career Girl Academy, hosted by Career Girl Daily.

 

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For those of you who aren’t aware, Career Girl Daily is THE blog for fashion and lifestyle, and career (obvs), primarily for young women (obvs). They have been firing out so much great content in the last couple of years that they are an award-winning online magazine, with just a modest global following of 1.5m people (!!!). So for me it was a no brainer, I HAD to go, and after feeling so inspired after the first Career Girl Academy, I didn’t want to miss out.

 

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Like the first event, myself and the 60 (ish) other aspiring career girls there were given motivational talks from successful businesswomen. They spoke about how to cope with stress, how to set up a business, how to get your name out there, and how they got to where they are today, among other career and business tips.

 

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First up was Kelly Mars from PURE, a PR company for beauty and skincare products. She was lovely, extremely passionate, and the biggest thing I need to take away from her talk was to stop overthinking and just do it. Next, Hollie Grant – the Pilates PT and creator of “the model method”. She spoke to us in such an honest, “same-level” way that I felt like she could be my friend. She talked about how to work smarter, not harder, based on her own experience of feeling low and overworked, taking care of herself more through Pilates, and then turning that hobby into her unique business.

 

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Best friends Rosie and Alice created their high-end supplement company, Equi London, when Rosie was trying to keep up a stressful lifestyle in the London banking industry, and Alice was a top nutritionist able to advise and source the ingredients to cope with such a hectic lifestyle. They shared with us ways to cope with stress in terms of nutrition and lifestyle. Fun fact: eat protein with every meal, and have regular digital detoxes (but read my blog first plz!).

 

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Sally-Ann Stevens gave us the nitty gritty on how to actually set up and run a business, and what she’s learned from creating her own global PR company. Her biggest pieces of advice? Educate yourself in everything – even the boring stuff like law and finances, and have a no fail approach – find your way through the problem no matter what. She introduced us to Chloe Watts, who gave a really inspiring talk on how she innovated her passion of coding into her web design company, ChloeDigital. She lives by the mottos of “fake it till you make it” and “your network is your net worth”. She explained how straightforward it can be to set up your business, and encouraged us to create more than we consume, which really go me thinking about how much time I mindlessly scroll through Instagram and watch TV.

 

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Last but not least, two of the women behind Career Girl Daily gave us the career girl survival master class. Through sharing their own experiences of running their blog, Beth and Ellen told us not to stick to the safe opportunities, to find your strengths, and to remember to take care of your most important asset – you!

 

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shoutout to ideasaboveherstation and haveasafejourney (Grace and Camilla)

 

It was easy to feel a million miles away from where these women are in their career compared to where I am in mine, but their down to earth personalities, and their genuine passion for what they do made success seem possible. It was hard to believe how relatable they were despite all their achievements they’ve had in their businesses, and it was so encouraging to hear that these women had actually started off in a similar mentality to all of us in the room. You could feel the infectious warmth of inspiration and togetherness in the room, and these women had an incredible way of making us feel we could do actually create our own successful businesses.

 

Business and blogging can be very technical, faceless industries, so make the most of any chance you have to meet these amazing people in person and get ready to feel inspired!

 

As always, thank you to anyone who reads this, please let me know what you think!

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

4 Steps to Facing Your Fear

Hello everyone,

I wanted to chat about facing fears, ahead of an exciting but scary weekend for me as I go on a solo adventure to London. In case you haven’t been able to see the clue in the title, this has been a fear of mine! But, after I went and did it back in November, to the same place, the same event, and the same amazing, lovely girls at Career Girl Daily, the fear of travelling alone and going to an event had been bossed, and it was 100% worth it! Chloe 1 – fear 0.

 

 

We’ve all been there though haven’t we? (The fear thing, not the event I went to). Every once in a while you come across an opportunity – an event, an adventure, or a career prospect, and a voice inside you instantly shrieks with excitement just at the picture, or the title, and you think “oh my god I would LOVE to do that/go there/work there”. But after just a few moments of feeling like you’ve found your calling, you dismiss the chance, shutting it down completely. Why? A massive list of fears and anxieties, that’s why. Suddenly the rush of excitement is replaced with “I can’t do that”, “I don’t have time”, “I can’t afford that”, “I won’t manage”, “what would people say?”, “what if it doesn’t work out?”, “me?! Do that?! No. I can’t.” And I’m sure for a lot of us that’s the end of it.

But when you actually think about it, and you really pick apart at these fears, there’s never really much of a reason to them. I just feel a drop in my heart and think “I can’t .. because I can’t”. And any reason we can eventually think of is often fuelled by our own insecurities of who we think we are, when everyone else sees something different. Well let me fill you in on a secret – you’re actually the one who decides who you are and what you do. If there’s something you really want to do, where the thought of it gets you excited, and it scares you a little bit for all those anxiety-riddled reasons, you can actually kick those fears in the teeth and do it. Here’s how I did it:

 

What Can You Do Right Now?

 

So you’ve found an opportunity and you’re thinking “YES! I WOULD LOVE THAT!!”. Before you even think of letting any fears set in, do something, right then and there that will get you to think “actually, I really could do this”. Start looking into what’s involved, visualize yourself actually doing it, or if you’re feeling fierce, go right ahead and book the damn tickets! Make yourself see that it really is possible before your brain tells you it’s not, and keep that spark of excitement burning for phase 2 (which is basically stage 1..)

 

 What Do You Need?

 

Act fast while you’re still at the excited “I want to do this!” phase and looking into what’s involved. Think about what you would actually need to do it before the fear sets in. For me it was money and time off work for travelling to London for the weekend. As soon as I heard about the event and when it was, I added up roughly how much it would be for flights, cheap hotel and the event itself and boom! – I proved myself wrong with the fear of not having enough money. It turns out a weekend away doesn’t cost the earth as my mind tricks myself into believing – Ok I might have to eat baked beans for the last week of the month if I overspend on other things, but that’s the worst that will happen. If baked beans is the worst thing that will happen on the money side of things, then wtf am I worrying about?!

 

What Will You Lose?

 

If you’re of an anxious disposition this is going to send your panic levels waaaay up, but think about what’s the worst that could happen (are you freaking out yet?). Ok, not things like “what if I get kidnapped”, but all those little irrational fears like – “what if people think it’s stupid?”, “what if it’s doesn’t work out and it’s a waste of money/time”, “what if I forget about what to do at an airport or miss my flight”, “aaaah I’ll be totally alone!”. So now you’re freaking out a little but relax, and think about what would happen if all this stuff actually became a reality, or how likely it is – You can actually choose whether you want to care about what people think or not. Trust me, try it. If it doesn’t work out as planned, at least you’re not left wondering what it could have been, and I bet there will be at least one good thing that comes from it if you think hard enough. Millions of people get on planes every day – if they can do it so can you. And unless you’re going to a desert, or the moon, are you really going to be completely alone? I was going to the most populated city in the whole damn country and I was scared of being on my own. It makes no sense! Slowly but surely you’ll start thinking “yknow what.. I actually can do this! Can’t I?” Yes you can, you’ve realised the secret – your fears aren’t real, they’re faking it and so can you, you may not think you’re the type of person who, say, goes down to London for a career girl event run by a hugely successful blog that you love – but you can be if you want to.

 

What Will You Gain?

 

 

We often worry about “what if”, but it’s always about the bad stuff and never about the amazing things that could happen. “What if I fall? – Oh but my darling what if you fly?” – one of my favourite quotes that helps to chill me out at times like this. Maybe this opportunity that you’ve stumbled upon will be amazing! Maybe you’ll do it and love it just like you thought you would as soon as you came across it. It could happen.

For me, the fact that I was getting up off my ass, going somewhere, meeting people, doing something new and exciting gave me enough reason to go and do it and forget about what people would think and what could go wrong, because there was more for me to gain than lose. So I went to London on my own, and I marched on in to the Hoxton Hotel in my leopard print boots with my head held high and a smile on my face. I learned more about business, blogging and career in one day than I had through four years at uni, and I felt more driven and excited than I had in a long time. I loved it so much that I’m going to do it again this weekend (!!!) and being a little bit more of who I’d like to be.

 

 

 

So if an opportunity comes up that gives you all the feels and all the fear – show your worries who’s boss and go for it!

 

I’d really love to know what you think and if there’s any fears you’re thinking about facing so leave your comments below, and follow my adventure over on instagram!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prague: The Top 4

Hi everyone,

So Prague: Wow! Any of you Instagram followers will have seen that it was pretty amazing and we had a v. good time during our four days there. No big surprise then that my next blog post would be a collection of my favourite things on our trip, but y’know, I can’t be this mysterious sass queen all the time – or ever really (I’m working on it).

The Buildings

When I was planning the holiday and seeing all these amazing reviews about architecture in Prague I was thinking “ok cool but what, am I gonna just stand and look at a building all day?”, it was more of an added bonus in my mind rather than a highlight. But damn the Czechs know how to construct some nice stuff! The Charles Bridge, the Castle, the Cathedral, the Astronomical clock and literally everything in between was stunning, every time I saw the cathedral I was like “woow”. All very gothic as well so Prague is a very different city to anywhere I’ve been before, which made it all the more beautiful. Our hotel (the Grand Majestic Plaza FYI – told you I was working on my sassiness) was located right in the Old Town of Prague so this beautiful architecture was right on our doorstep, which was ideal because every day we could have a nice walk through the Old Town Square and see it all without really trying. My photos probably don’t do it any justice so go see this city for yourself, it’s stunning!

The Food

Before we went I didn’t really have a clue what people ate over there, or if it would be nice, or if they ate weird stuff, like horses, but not tell you so you find out later and think “oh god. My life will never be the same.” (I tend to exaggerate. It’s called anxiety.) But oh my god their food is amazing! Very warming, cosy food to keep your temperature up as it’s bloody freezing over there – people said to us “oh Scotland? Ooh that’s cold”. I thought “Ha. Scotland is effing tropical compared to this! I can feel my limbs in Scotland!” The Czechs probably need all the carbs and hearty food they can get to keep warm, so a lot of beef/pork stews with dumplings (kind of like sticky bread?) featured on the Czech menu. Most Brits go to Prague (or anywhere really) to get chronically drunk or “get on the lash” as we say. And we were no exception. We did get on the lash – the goulash that is. And we did it two nights in a row because we are absolutely wild. The wild boar goulash I had at the Old Town Brewery was 100% one of the best things I’ve ever eaten and that’s not one of my exaggerations. I’ve never felt a satisfied, cosy food coma like it. And the Czech’s aren’t just good at the savoury stuff – their hot chocolates are literally hot chocolate. I didn’t know whether to drink it, have a fondue with it or get freaky and put my face in it. Holy crap it is soo good but so sickly so we stuck to a “choco shot” after I made the mistake of ordering a whole mug of it. No regrets though.

The Beer

I know what you’re thinking. Beer? You? Yes. I’m a sassy little blonde who loves fashion and girly stuff and I’m starting to enjoy beer (I told you I’m working on being mysterious). Fun fact: The Czechs drink more beer per capita than anywhere else in the world. Beer over there is cheaper than water! So on our last day we went on a micro-brewery tour which became a very exclusive affair as we were the only people on this tour, and it became a very Scottish affair as our tour guide was from Dundee of all places! This guy lived and breathed beer – ok not really because he wasn’t hammered – but he was an encyclopaedia of all things beer in Prague. Our first brewery was a fairly new one built in 1998, where we tried eight different beers from a little shot roulette type paddle which brought back some very drunken memories. Given the fact it was only midday and I’m a fairly new beer drinker I started panicking thinking oh god what if a) I get way too drunk after a couple of these because I’m a massive lightweight and b) what if I don’t like them and can’t pretend I do. But craft beer has a way of surprising you – the dark beers tasted light and the bright green potion had no hops in it whatsoever which is kind of essential in brewing beer. This was nettle beer, being Scottish and having a childhood of nettle stings made me reluctant to try this, plus it was bright green goddammit! But it tasted like good beer with a hint of “green” and I genuinely enjoyed it.

Brewery two was the longest running brewery (est. 1499), and brewery three was the oldest, being opened in 1466 but not ever since then (long story short – communism was a bitch and this brewery had to close but got re-opened after communism fell). This last brewery would be completely overlooked if you weren’t a beer geek as it was in a dodgy looking shopping centre next to a KFC. I’m not even kidding. It was so small it could only seat 40 people but the best part was that you could literally see the beer being brewed through the glass window, with a tap coming straight from the barrel. The freshest beer you will ever drink! (And yes after 11 different beers I was very boozy by the end of this tour).

The History

I scrawled through so many “top things about Prague” pages before going and, like the architecture, the history of the country kept cropping up but was something I initially overlooked. One thing I learned though was about a big red stick on top of a hill that kept moving like a ticking clock. I couldn’t get a good photo of it as it didn’t look like much and to be honest I didn’t really notice it until we were on a boat trip along the Vltava. The tour guide explained that during soviet communism, a massive 17,000 tonne statue of Stalin stood on this hill for seven years. After Stalin’s regime fell and because he was such a bastard the statue was blown up, and years later in 1991 a red metronome was put in its place to connect the tragic past with the present and future of the country as a symbol of time and democracy. It was one of those little things that made me feel a bit warm inside, and a reminder that we’ve got it not so bad these days and we maybe ought to remember that more often. And also to remember that you can’t change the past but it’s still part of the wonderful human that you are now and will become later.

So moral of the story; use the opportunities you have to travel where and when you can, try new things, learn, appreciate, repeat. Now go book your flights to this majestic city right now and have a good week!