Thursday, 22 January 2015

Outfit: Classic

Ah, the classic red lip. I could easily live without any nude shades, but red lipstick is such an essential for me. I feel like it just improves every outfit. And just your daily life in general.

Top: H&M / Bag: Vinted / Leather jacket: TKMaxx (old) / Skirt: New Look (old) / Boots: Primark

What is it with shops only selling mini or midi length skirts? Because neither really work for me. Just above my knees? Yes please. But it seems near impossible to find skirts that length on high street shops at the moment! I find plenty of dresses with perfect length hem, but somehow similar skirts are an anomaly.

I got this midi from New Look (kids section, haha!) in the sale over the summer for £4, and while it is a slightly awkward length, it's such a nice basic. The skirt looks nicer with heels, and indeed, if it had been a little warmer and I wasn't going to be walking around a fair bit, I would probably have opted for nude tights and a pair of heels. But as it was cold and walking was inevitable, I opted for comfort with thick black tights and my trusty heeled Primark booties.

The more I look at these photos, the more I feel like I should probably let go of the leather jacket and put it up on Depop or Vinted. It's just too big, even though I love the style of it. Time to go searching for a new one... in the petite sections.

Photography by Nick.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Lifestyle: Health Kick

This time, I'm here with a bit of a lifestyle post. It will be wordy, and if you feel like just skipping to the end and seeing my goals for the new year, feel free. But if you're interested in a longer version of my journey, I hope you enjoy reading this.

Without going too much into it, I've lost quite a lot of weight over the past 4 years, going from size 16 to size 10. I might fit size S in some shops, but I'm not skinny (I'm short, and size 10 looks quite different on someone who is 159cm and someone who is 169cm). I'm no longer overweight, but only just.

The big change was moving to the UK and starting to cook my own meals (my family believes in cream, butter and plenty of meat). I took up dancing alongside my gym going, kept eating healthier and walked everywhere. At first, the pounds just dropped away without me making any conscious effort.

In my third year of Uni, I was doing really well. Gym was a 3 minute walk away and I loved going there (4-5 times a week, in addition to dancing!). My eating, exercise and sleeping habits were all good. I was energetic and despite being recently thrown into a long-distance relationship, I was happy. At the end of third year, I started working at Cineworld. Though I certainly indulged a little bit more of unhealthy snacks on breaks at work and the late closes (coming home at almost 3am was almost a weekly occurrence) took their toll, I was still managing fine.

When my final year at Uni started however, it wasn't so fine anymore. In a last minute panic, me and one of my flatmates ended up moving to a flat far from the gym, and from my workplace. The flat, which I am still living in, is cold, damp and generally just makes me feel a little miserable. The workload of fourth year, working on average 20 hours a week and being in a long-distance relationship weighed me down, and the further the semester progressed, the less I went to the gym (barely once or twice a week), the more crap I ate and the worse I felt.

Now, I don't agree with the whole 'new year, new me' thing, but as I tend to overindulge over the festive period, the new year is a suitable time to get back to the 'healthy bandwagon'. This time it also coincides with the beginning of my final semester at Uni, and I want to finish it feeling good. Both academically and personally. Quitting my job was the first step, as it was affecting both my grades and my personal life negatively. Now it's time to make more changes. I made a little list of resolutions for the coming months to help me get back to the mindset I had in third year, when I was feeling the best I have.

1. Take better care of myself
I have had breathing problems outdoors (and sometimes indoors if I'm doing very strenuous exercise) for as long as I can remember, but despite multiple people telling me to do so, I never got it checked out as I just blamed it on my poor fitness. I can't really blame it on that anymore though, so it's time to get it sorted out. I mentioned my breathing problems to a nurse when I came back after Christmas and she gave me a peak flow meter and a diary to keep track of my readings. I've got a meeting with a specialist in this week and I hope I can finally find out what's wrong.

2. Run 5K
Due to the breathing problems, I've always found running a struggle. I can power through all the gym classes I go to and dance for hours, but breathing while running is always a struggle (especially outdoors). My lungs tend to give out before my legs, as it were. I've just signed up to Colour Me Rad Aberdeen in June though, so I better start running! I'm taking baby steps, and hopefully my breathing will improve.

3. Keep up with exercise
I'm hoping that I can drag myself to the gym more often this semester. I do actually really enjoy the classes, particularly yoga and all the Les Mills ones, so it's just about whether I can bear the 30 minute walk each way in the pouring rain and the howling wind. Or sleet, as I did yesterday (it was terrible, but I'm glad I went). I also want to improve my swing dancing... but that will depend on how much time and money I have to travel as well.

4. Sleep better
My sleeping patterns haven't been great in the last 6 months, but I should be better now that I've quit my job. No more 2.15am finishes! I'm trying to make an effort to close my laptop a little earlier as well, and not to play around with my phone when in bed.

5. Eat better
This is the easiest one, as I genuinely love healthy food. As long as I don't buy unhealthy things (biscuits, I'm looking at you) and I make sure to have fridge and cupboard stocked with healthy food, I'm okay. Empty fridge and Domino's just a few minutes down the road is a dangerous combination.

So, there they are. We'll see how I get on! If you got this far, thank you.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Outfit: Winter Florals

Dear me, it's been so long since my last post! I hope you'll excuse me — my boyfriend finally got time off and I abandoned internet almost completely for a week to spend time with him (it'd been about 3 months since I last saw him). It was lovely and relaxing, so I'm ready to power through my final semester of Uni. Sadly, this was also the last time I'll see him before my dissertation deadline (April 3rd!). I would love to be able to say that it makes it easier to concentrate on my work to not have him here, but I actually work much better when he's around (evening cuddles are a good motivation to get work finished in time). It's good to know that this was our last longer goodbye for at least a few years now though, as he's coming back to the UK at the end of May. Which means new exciting things, such as moving in together (hopefully somewhere nice)!

Now, while I did abandon internet, I didn't completely forget about my blog. Nick (the boyfriend) is interested in my blog and very supportive, so he volunteered as camera help ().

He generally doesn't photograph much besides aircraft and sceneries (maybe the occasional animal), so he did need some pointers about outfit photos. Not that I'm helping much with my awkward posing. I'm very thankful that he is so supportive and helpful though, since it's really not his thing. But I'll definitely need to give him more instructions about framing. And ask him to take more than one photo per angle (see weird skirt flutter in picture below). ;)

Top: Forever21 / Jacket: TKMaxx (old) / Skirt: New Look (sold out, similar
Bag: Accessorize (sold out) / Boots: Primark

I do love the print but I think I might have to cut the skirt a little shorter. Midi length doesn't do much for my 5'2'' frame — it's just too long. One thing in this outfit is utterly perfect though, and that is the bag. Nick got it for me as a Christmas present (he got me far too many things, I feel so spoiled!). We exchanged gifts when I was visiting, celebrating our own little late Christmas — complete with Christmas dinner and Christmas cake at his grandparents' house. We didn't go so far as to get out the crackers, but it was pretty close.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Outfit Inspiration: Movies

I love watching movies, and occasionally, it's the sartorial aspect (rather than the plot) that holds my attention long after I've left the cinema. Here's a few of my current favourite film inspirations, some older, some newer (like What If and Magic in the Moonlight).

What If


I found this movie both entertaining and incredibly cute, but I also could not stop looking at Chantry (played by Zoe Kazan), whose wardrobe I adored throughout the film. And that face!

via Pinterest // via Pinterest // via Twitter (cropped)

I could not find a picture of the incredibly cute tartan dress Chantry (Kazan) wears at the end of the movie, but let me tell you, it was so cute.

via Pinterest

I completely fell in love with Zoe Kazan in this movie and the rest of her movies are now on my watch list. I love her style, both in- and off-screen. Her face reminds me a lot of Juno Temple (who is also a major girl crush of mine)!

Magic in the Moonlight

via Pinterest // via Pinterest

Emma Stone, 1920s... do I need to say more? My own body shape is not suited for the 1920s style, but I love admiring it from afar. I do wish I could wear a cloche though... *sigh*. 

via Pinterest // via Pinterest // via Pinterest

This movie has all the hats!

via Pinterest

And this nautical outfit. Winner. Though admittedly, Emma Stone is pretty much flawless in my eyes and I love most things she wears. But Magic in the Moonlight gets a special mention!

Glorious 39

via Pinterest

Moving on from 1920s to very late 1930s. Though Glorious 39 is a good movie, what really stood out for me was the wardrobe of the entire cast. Eye candy all the way!

via Pinterest // via Pinterest // via Pinterest

Just look at that red and blue outfit on the right. Yes.

500 Days of Summer

Zooey Deschanel, you babe. I love her girly style and its vintage vibes in New Girl and 500 Days of Summer is just more fashion eye candy for similarly inclined. All of your wardrobe, please? And I don't even like light blue (which features rather prominently in this film)!

Do you find outfit inspiration from tv or movies?

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Outfit: My Uniform

May I present to you my uniform? A body, high waisted skirt and black tights is something you can spot on me every week — it's the sort of thing I'll automatically pick up from my closet on the days where I just cannot decide what to wear. It's easy, and comfortable.

Top: Primark (old) // Necklace: Aliexpress // Skirt: Forever21 (here) // Tights: Primark // Shoes: local shoeshop

I thought I was going to be good with outfit photos in Finland. There's plenty of good reasons for it, not the least being that my mum's home is far more photogenic than my student flat that I share with five other people. My hometown also has plenty of nice outdoor photography spots and I had the excuses of various Christmas celebrations and New Year to dress up.

Turns out, however, that without tripod, and someone to take photographs, the -10 to -20°C and snowfall make outdoor photography impossible. Being the holiday season, everyone was also home all the time and that made indoor photography less appealing (cue awkward posing in the kitchen above). I also massively underpacked for a three week holiday. Unheard of in my case, but I guess it was bound to happen one day. That's not to say I have nothing to wear — but I do repeat my outfits quite often.

So instead of outfit photos, I've mostly lain around reading and consuming inordinate amounts of food. I don't mind too much though — it's nice to be lazy sometimes and not feel guilty about it.

I got the shoes on sale (70% off!) at a local shoe shop on my second day here. I'd been wanting new brown shoes since I threw my old ones to the bin after wearing them through and I was quite excited to spot this pair — they were the last pair left in the shop!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Haul: Sales (The Finnish Edition)

As anyone who has read my posts before probably knows, I love a good sale! So I can't say I'm not slightly miffed to miss all the Boxing Day sale bargains in the UK. In Finland, everything was still closed on Boxing Day (not bad thing at all) and in here "sale" generally means 20-30% off the original price tag. The original prices are already higher than the UK equivalents (good example being Lush massage bars which are £6.50 in UK and £9.80 (12.50€) in Finland — say whaaaat), so Finnish sales generally don't excite me much. With few exceptions.

Finnish brands. I'm a dedicated buyer of Arabia dishware, Iittala glassware and Finlayson home textiles. I wish I could say I was a dedicated buyer of Minna Parikka, who designs the most beautiful shoes on the planet, but I can only say I am a dedicated visitor of her website.

Arabia and Iittala usually have good sales, particularly around Christmas time, but so far they've been a little sad (only 30% off most sale items). I'm waiting for January to kick off the 50% sales, but I've already caved and bought some little things. Tuokio jug (the one with blue marks), seasonal Moomin mug and Kimara jar (red fruit printed one on the right).

Finlayson offered 50% all sale items, so I picked up some Tove 100 items. I was already looking at these in January 2014 when they came out, but waiting was clearly a good idea, since I didn't desperately need them at the time. Not that I do now, but at least I'll have brand new things in my home when I graduate and move out of student accommodation — I'm preparing!

Though I did manage to get some bits from the Lush online sale in the UK (and what a nightmare that was), I picked up Yog Nog soap and So White bath bomb from the Lush store in Helsinki as well. The prices are extortionate though and I don't understand how anyone can justify them at full price.

I also got this wool blend blazer with suede-like elbow patches from H&M. It's out of stock in the UK website, so I won't link it. It's got the same problem as I always have with coats and jackets, sleeves being a little too long, but I liked it too much to care. It's got lovely lining so I can always turn the sleeves (like in the photo).

What have you found from post-Christmas sales so far? And please, someone tell me I'm not the only 20-something who gets excited over dishware and home textiles!