My favourite Instagram Accounts: Part 1

Instafave

After having such a great response to my blogging favourites a couple of week’s ago (here) I  thought I’d share a few of my instagram favourites. These are three account’s I follow that I just can’t help but like every photo they post.

@melodramablog

This account is run by a fab lady based in the US of A. She is a creative blogger, and is always posting cool and quirky things that she’s either made or found. I love this Vnyl sign, (and the ‘M’ because I just really want one of these for my own bedroom right now!) There is always lots of colour, and fun in her post’s, and the captions are amusing too! What more could you want!

@carnetprune

This beautiful minimalist account is run by a blogger in Paris called Angeline. Now I’m a sucker for any Paris based instagram account, I think the city is pretty much the most aesthetically pleasing place on the planet, and I’ve always had a deep rooted love for it, so I probably am biased. But, basically, I just want all my photo’s to look like her’s all the time. There is a great mix of food, fashion and everything in between. And this lady has got that instagram theme thing DOWN!

@_hollywhite

Holly has one of those accounts where it’s all just lovely and monochrome all the time. She’s got the art of a good pic down to a T. Like Angeline, she has a nice mix of fashion, beauty, lifestyle (and of course the obligatory morning cup of coffee snap). And her account is less of a ‘If only that could be my life’ and more of a ‘That could actually be life if I just spent more time arranging my photo’s’ and I mean that as a good thing. (obvs – she’s in the favourites!)

So if your after some new accounts to follow, these ladies come highly recommended by myself! And (cheeky plug) you can find my account here too, if you would like to come and say hello!

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TopshopXOlympusPEN: Photography Basics.

light

Now, don’t get me wrong I am by no means an expert when it comes to taking a photograph. In fact, until a few weeks ago I could get to grips with composition of a photo, then stand there with my camera in auto and hope for the best. But then I attended the TopshopXOlympusPEN workshops, and I basically learnt the basic’s of operating a camera in manual, and I’ve found it SO useful, that I thought it would only be fair to share my knowledge!

The Event

The event itself was brilliantly organised, and well thought out.  The session I attended was taught by Cleveland and Victoria from In the Frow. We had nearly an hour, and were all given an Olympus Pen to try taking the perfect flat-lay with the props Topshop had provided. The camera was lovely to use, I also brought by own along and used that for some of the shots as well, and these are the ones I’ve used here.

Both the teachers, and the other Olympus staff there were super helpful, and now I’m so much more confident using my camera, and I hope my photo’s are starting to slowly improve too! So here’s a summary of what I learnt, and hopefully it will be useful to someone out there who was as clueless about this as me!

 

What I learnt

This is the before snap –  when I shot the photo in auto, (my camera does normally take better photo’s than this in Auto but given that we were undergound in Topshop with TerHERible lighting, this is what it produced.)

DSC01063

So exposure is basically to do with how much light is coming through your camera lens, this is important for quite obvious reasons. Too much light = photo is too bright. Not enough light = photo is too dark. You get the idea. But the exposure can be controlled but changing these three elements.

Aperture 

This is the setting that controls the size of the opening that is letting the light through the lens. Aperture is measured in f-stops, and basically the lower the f-stop number, the larger the opening and the more light will come in through to your lens, and vice versa.

Aperture is also what allows the focus to change between the items in the foreground, or background. Basically when you see those great looking photo’s with a product nicely in focus and a blurry background – this isn’t done in editing, but by changing the aperture settings! A high f-stop should be used for this effect, and low f-stop for a landscape or similar where you want both the background, and foreground in focus.

Shutter speed

Shutter speed controls the amount of time that the light is let in for. Changing this allows you to take photos of moving objects.

ISO

This is useful if you are shooting in different lights. So for example, a lower ISO on a bright day, and your image will come out crisp and sharp. In low light, you will probably need to have a higher ISO, but too hight and it may decrease the sharpness that’s achieved with the lower ISO.

And this is the after photo, after applying my new knowledge. As you can see I spilt a LOT more nail polish after this process, and the photo is brighter, sharper and less shadowy than above!

IMG_5165

I hope this helped even a little – if you have any tips to share please feel free!

Bonus snap: me practicing at home with better lighting and the amazing items Topshop gave every participant in a goody bag! I’m now completely addicted to these Vita Coco coffee things!

IMG_5222

 

Picnic Perfect

Dress and Jacket

Ducks, ice cream, and tiny sausages

Really is there anything more classic “Summer in London” than a walk along the Serpentine with ice cream in hand, and a spontaneous picnic? Not in my opinion friends.

And this time, I even decided to be extra prepared for any spontaneous picnic-ing by wearing the picnic blanket on myself! I jest, but this outfit is pretty heavy on the gingham, in a good way of course because really – what could be more fun than frolicking around in a frilly gingham dress? And what gives you a better excuse to get over-excited feeding ducks and having Ice Cream than being dressed just a teensy bit like a five year old? Very little I tell you!

You can just about tell that we are in London, thanks to some building’s peeping out over the tree-tops (and one very large one!) But if it wasn’t for this, the endless reems of Boris bikes, and the concrete pavement (and people of course, so. many. people) you’d think it was somewhere out in the lush green countryside!

Hyde Park

Hyde Park with and without jacket

Back of dress

I took hair inspiration from the ever-stylin’ Little Miss Katy, as I have a theory that pollen in hair might be cause of a certain particular kind of sneezing that can wreck havoc, and ruin a lovely summer picnic faster than those pesky grey clouds you can see in the distance! (That, and I left my replacement Frizz-Ease under my desk on friday night…)

I’ve had this amazing Topshop shirt since last year, and it’s a definite summer staple for me, but I always wear it as a thin, throw-on jacket. The back of this dress is so pretty, but in the interests of full disclosure, I have to admit, the Jacket did not come off once, excluding the taking of the above photo. I’m a pretty pasty one, and however lovely the back of a dress might be, getting my un-creamed skin out is not worth risking lobster syndrome (stay safe in the sun my friends.

Shirt – Topshop (similar here / Dress – Zara / Shoes – Converse

Travelling – Fantasy’s and Fears

Travel

Travel

‘I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list’ 

So if you’ve ever entered the world of pinterest, you may have seen a inspirational travel quote or two floating around, and these are often followed by pictures of lots of incredible places all over the world, that no I have never been to, and in reality probably will never go to. It’s not that I don’t want to. Believe me, I can think of nothing I would rather do than spend the rest of my life seeing those places – that is – as long as I could snap my fingers and be there.

People often talk to me about travelling, and all the marvellous places they’ve been, and want to go to. I always feel a little like I can’t join in when the conversation turns global. I have travelled to a few places, and only ever really on holiday’s. I’ve never been backpacking, I’ve only once been to a different continent and that was to the USA – again on a very comfortable family holiday.

People often tell me I’m just the sort of person who like’s being near home. Although that is I guess in some way the case – I do feel more comfortable at home, of course I do, who doesn’t? But there are several reason’s I’ve not yet made the time to travel.

‘And then I realised. Adventures are the best way to learn’ 

I’ve been busy. Terrible excuse I know but I have been. When everyone else was on a Gap Year – I was doing a foundation course, then already a year behind I couldn’t start uni any later. Every summer I needed to work, or had week’s of work experience and internship’s lined up, and I never made the time to go anywhere. I also thought it was more important, and that I could travel any time, and everywhere would still be there when the time was right.

‘If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine – it’s lethal’ 

Well guess what destinations have always been top of my list?  Venice is sinking, and Cuba’s on the path to Starbucks and Mcdonalds. Suddenly I’ve found myself in a full time job, with quite little holiday time, and restrictions on when I can take it, and I don’t know when I’ll ever be able to go.

But then, I brought this on myself a little. This is surely what I wanted when I put in all those hours over summer volunteering and interning – surely this is what it was for?

But in reality, I didn’t make that choice because I would have rather one than the other. Really I was scared. I was scared of the flights, the trains, the hostel rooms. I was scared of getting mugged (when I live in one of the areas of the country with the highest crime rates…make’s no sense) scared of eating something that has a secret nut in it that might kill me. I’ve made excuses and found reasons not to go, and now my anxiety has come to fill me with fear of what I’ve missed out on.

‘Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it’ 

Well if you are still reading, I hope you’ll be pleased to know that I’m taking steps to overcome this. I’ve booked a week in Paris in August- it’s not far, and it’s not new – but I am going completely solo! I am terrified, but also excited. Hopefully it will help me get over some of my fears, and I’ll be travelling a little further away from home in no time!

Here are my 5 most longed for trips. I may put them on my before 40 bucket list (I think before 30 is probably a bit ambitious, as some will probably be quite expensive, and time consuming!) If you’ve been to any I would love to know your recommendations.

My dream trips 

Thanks for listening to my ramblings!

A British Summer and Another Button Down Skirt.

Brighton 6

Stormy Seas

After making plans for a weekend trip to the seaside, booking a BnB and train tickets, you can imagine how thrilled I was when I read the weather forecast and it showed high winds, and lots and lots of rain. As it is now officially summer I decided to just pretend that this wasn’t the case, and we ventured on regardless.

Thankfully,  Brighton is one of those places with enough to do, that even a storm can’t ruin the fun. (I actually have always really enjoyed being by the sea when it’s stormy  – it  makes me feel like I’m in a dramatic scene in a period drama movie – not sure why…). But back on topic, we had a lovely day strolling the laines, eating cake, and making up new rules to play at the 2p machines in the arcade. In one of few breaks in the rain we managed to take some rather windswept photos, so I could share my weather inappropriate outfit with you.

cars

Green house

pier

Brighton

What I Wore

Jacket-Vintage / Shirt-Zara / Skirt-Topshop / Shoes-Topsop

I’d been very reluctant to go for a button down skirt as it’s just become a bit too trendy, but my only other denim skirt is a rider, and I was need. I had a Topshop voucher, and this one had to do. But then, I haven’t taken it off since I brought it. It’s easy to wear, comfy and incredibly versatile. Ignore the hype, if you want one then buy one!

I stupidly decided that a non-waterproof, hoodless jacket would suffice and of course I wouldn’t need an umbrella – don’t be silly this is BRITAIN it’s always sunny and it never rains – ever! You’d have thought that after 24 years of holidaying round the English coast I would’ve learnt my lesson, but alas, no. I got very wet, yet again.

To top it all off, my favourite comfy walking shoes that were the only one’s I had brought down with me, are not only velvet (yet again, excellent choice considering you had actually checked the forecast Milli) and they then also got a hole in the sole. (The ever fantastically well made Topshop for you ladies and gents) So naturally, my feet got very wet also.

But the moral of the story is never let a bit of rain, wet feet, and a crumpled shirt spoil the fun!

brighton pier

Brighton 5

old pier

 

Thought of the Week: Blog’s I’m loving!

Blogs I'm loving!

So I don’t know about you but I waste a lot of time on the internet, and most of that is spent either online shopping (hello Asos) or reading blogs. Now, since I started blogging myself, I’ve started reading more and more and learning about new bloggers and different genre’s and there are a few that I seem to go back to time and again (every day) and I wanted to spread some love, and share them with you lot! Now I’ve only been in this game for about 4 months now, but these lovely blogs are all inspirations to me, and so if you enjoy my blog I imagine you’ll enjoy theirs as well.

Creativity

Foundsomepaper.com by Uli. 

I love reading Uli’s post’s because they are always so different. Her pictures are colourful, and vibrant and her writing is intelligent and insightful. She describes herself as ‘an advocate of creativity’ and there is always something you can get involved in. Her post ‘Found Some Thoughts on Creativity’ post is one of my favourites.

Fashion/Lifestyle

Iamdaisyalice.com by Daisy Alice

This girls got great style and her food photography always makes me hungry! She’s got a great balance between fashion/style posts and lifestyle, and I love the ‘Shop’ feature on her page (saves me a lot of the afore-mentioned ASOS time wastage!)

Food/Health

Brittonloves.co.uk by Lauren

Lauren is my favourite go-to blogger for healthy lifestyle posts. She has some gorgeous recipe posts, and I love reading her well-being advice. My favourite is her ‘Why you should put happiness first post!’

Photography / Blogging Tips

Mediamarmalade.com by Melissa

Now, I was trying to stick with blogs under 1000 followers, but I also thought I’d put in a blogger that I take mega-inspiration from, and someone who I aspire to have a blog even remotely like some way down the line. Although this technically isn’t a photography blog, but Melissa’s photographs are INCREDIBLE! She post’s some lovely style posts, but my personal favourites are the tips posts, that cover both blogging and general life. One of my recent favourite’s is ‘how to be a success’!

Future Friends

So there you have it 4 of my absolute favourite blogs that I read time and time again. I hope you’ve made some new discoveries!  It feel’s good to share some blogging love, and I’m always looking for more blogs to follow so please always share your links in your comments on my posts, and let me know if you have any favourite bloggers you’d like to see in one of these post’s in the future!

May favourites!

It’s that time again (where on earth has this month gone!!) In fact it’s gone so quickly, I didn’t really have enough beauty favourites to do a post exclusively on that. So instead I decided to just round up my favourites things regardless of their category – because why discriminate ey?

Fashion

Shoes May Faves

Now unless you’ve been stuck under an instagram-free rock over the past month (good for you if you have been – I’m little obsessed :/)  you will have seen a shed-load of lace-up ballet pumps, a-la Altuzarra. But if, like me you don’t have a spare 400 bob to shell out on a pair of shoes then you’ll have masses of appreciation for these Topshop beauts. Now, to be honest, I was almost reluctant to put them in my favourites, because  – oh the blisters! – but they are just. so. pretty. Find them here!

Beauty

Body

A few new piece’s I picked up this month, were this pretty delicious orangey smelling shower/bath cream from Soap and Glory. So smelly, and very moisturising, it doesn’t dry my skin out like a lot of soap-like products do!

On the orange theme, how gorgeous is this Lipstick colour from Topshop beauty! It’s orange but not too orange…it’s generally just a very nice colour, particularly if like me you are waring of branching out too far from a classic red, or subtle pink!

Confession time:  I had to look up what this eyebrow pencil’s exact name is because I’ve used it so much it’s rubbed off. It’s the Brow Satin, and for anyone with thin, fair eyebrows like me it is a beaut of a product. I’ve never had any bad eyebrow products before, but also never any that I’ve been like ‘WOW everyone look at my eyebrows!’ (that did happen) It’s double ended, one with a pencil, the other with a powder already on a sponge that fills in gaps! It’s great, and under a fiver! What more do you need!

Lifestyle

Cactus May

This is Clemence and he is my Cactus. I bought him for £2.50 at a Market, and now he is mine, and I look after him and he makes me happy, because he doesn’t die like all the other plants I’ve ever owned. That is why Clemence is my favourite.

What have you been loving this month?

Afternoon Tea at The Wallace Collection

Tea and flowers

An Afternoon Treat

After seeing some beautiful photo’s of the restaurant at the Wallace Collection all over Instagram, I wanted to give it a go myself and booked a little treat. (Instagram fomo is real!).

So of we trotted up to Marylebone on a sunny sunday to see what all the fuss was about! I’d never been inside The Wallace Collection building before, let alone the restaurant, but it is a pretty special place! A glass roof, pink walls, and pretty tree’s give the illusion of being sat outside on a terrace in Italy (albeit eating traditional english afternoon tea…).

Me at Tea

Skip to the good bit…

Of course, nice environments, and pleasant staff are important, but I’m sure you’ll all agree with me when I say that the food is what matters the most right! Well, good news, it was lovely! Some of the sandwich flavours weren’t my cup of tea (s’cuse the pun) but I can be fussy sometimes (slash I just can’t cope with cold egg it’s seriously gross why was that ever invented!) and my company for the occasion scoffed them up quickly enough!

The scone’s were tasty – and the tiny cakes were not only especially cute, but also especially delicious! It’s hard to pick my favourite between the miniature Lemon Meringue Pie, and Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Heart!

Cake Stand

Tea pot and cakes

After the tea we had a look round the collection, tried on some armour (not kidding, you can do that!) and had a little look round at the art work on display! I’m not the hugest fan of galleries full of very old paintings…it felt a little pretentious, but I did enjoy looking at the special weaponry, and The Laughing Cavalier made me smile a lot! It’s definitely worth a visit, as it’s free to enter as well!

Then a wander round Marylebone, and some fantasy house shopping in estate agent windows was definitely called for! Myself, and guest both concluded that we were far to full for dinner. So at £17.50 per person, for the setting, service, location, and food I decided it was worth every penny for a well deserved occasional treat!

If you’d like to see what I wore for the occasion, check out my outfit post here!