Monday, 1 November 2021

On My Mind: Scared To Lose My Pandemic Self

Scared To Lose My Pandemic Self | Not Vicarious

Hey lovelies!

I hope you are all doing well and coping in these current times! I figured I would chat to you about something that has been on my mind since this year started. We as a society have had to come to terms with quite a lot over the last year and a half and that includes everything from physical struggles to emotional struggles but the one that hits home most is the mental struggle, which is quite often a result of the previous two. I don't know if it's the idea of becoming increasingly comfortable with who I've become in lockdown or having to constantly adapt to the unknown but I found it all quite stressful up until this year began.

When the first lockdown started, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of fellow bloggers who were taking it all in their stride and offering a way for the rest of us to take our minds off of what was happening. The community is huge and ever growing so you can understand my panic when all the ideas I was conjuring up in my head were quickly becoming popular or had already been done - once again, my desire to not fit in and be different got the better of me. In all honesty I think we all hit that point where we feel that nothing we do is ever good enough and it probably stems from that little nagging voice in our head that offers nothing but pessimistic thoughts.

My fears and worries in those first few weeks soon subsided though as I found my passion for photography and playing with the light in my golden hour series (take a look). I felt different from everybody else because I was offering beautiful photos that were calming and soothing for the soul and they were a hit! As with everything though, concepts get old and you have to quickly move over to the next thing which is so insane because just like fast fashion, fast content changes are a must in this industry!

So a few Instagram themes later and a few months not posting on social media, the start of 2021 saw a huge shift in the type of person I became. I guess my mindset changed and that is where it all begins I think. Once you have things that keep you sane and positive amidst the madness, the better equipped you are to handle things that come your way.

For me, I started exercising every day, I did yoga, I found a new artist to listen to and whose music impacted my life (sorry for the BTS spam if you've seen it haha), I found happiness in alone time which is something that I have always struggled with, I developed my love for dance, amongst so many other things. Admittedly I still had my down moments and times where I felt like I couldn't cope all that well but with every bad day there were so many days where I felt genuine moments of euphoria.

Now that everything is opening up here in the UK, the idea of 'normality' or 'what once was' is somewhat scary to me. I know that it's a learning curve and there will be a period of adjustment but I'm afraid of losing the person I have become. I like the routine I have created for myself and I love the security blanket (if I can call it that) that I have made to protect myself when things get tough. There is of course no reason for me not to be able to still implement said blanket into a new routine because even though growth happens outside your comfort zone, there is nothing wrong with having a bit of familiarity now and again.

I know that I'm not alone in feeling this way and sometimes knowing that can bring a sense of relief especially since the last 18 months have been a bit of a roller coaster for us all. Please feel free to drop a comment down below if you've been feeling the same way as me or if you have any words of wisdom that you think might be helpful!



Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Spring Playlist 2021

Hey lovelies!

Oh my goodness I have not done one of these in a while and I have definitely missed it! Time and time again I remind you all of my love for music and it has not died down one bit. Listening to music allows me to be "in my feels" and as an emotional person with a lot of feelings (haha), I need a way to channel those emotions into something to feel a sense of comfort or euphoria depending on my mood. Are you the same?

Disclaimer: you will probably see a lot of BTS songs down below...I can't help myself, they are epic in more ways than one and I'm so excited for their next comeback - sorry, not sorry? 😂

With that said, here are just 20 of my favourite songs that I'll be having on repeat this season:

1. Film Out by BTS
2. Never Not by Lauv
3. Montero (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X
4. Astronaut In The Ocean by Masked Wolf
5. Telepatía by Kali Uchis
6. 21st Century Girl by BTS
7. At My Worst by Pink Sweat$
8. I'm Gonna Be by Post Malone
9. Let Me In (20 CUBE) by Enhypen
10. 99% by GRACEY
11. Levitating by Dua Lipa
12. Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat, BTS remix) by Jason Derulo, Jawsh 685 & BTS
13. Motive by Ariana Grande and Doja Cat 
14. Who by Lauv & BTS
15. Promise by Jimin
16. Still With You by Jungkook
17. Daydream by J-Hope
18. Crazy Beautiful by Austin P. McKenzie
19. The Business by Tiësto
20. 00:00 (Zero O'Clock) by BTS

Let me know if any of these are your favourites too or better yet recommend me some songs in the comments section down below!



Tuesday, 4 May 2021

"Where did she go?" I hear you ask...

Hey lovelies!

Long time, no see right? It's been almost eight months of silence on here and for that I'm sorry. People often wonder why I apologise for being absent when I need to be but I feel like I owe some sort of explanation to you all. This is probably where you say that you didn't notice I was gone hahaha! For those of you who did notice though, I guess this post is for you.

If you watched my stories around February this year then you may have seen me talk about why I suddenly lost contact with social media and how I didn't feel like I had a place there. The same can be said for my blog as it revolved around the same type of content plus my "identity crisis" throughout the pandemic started intensifying towards the end of 2020.

I wish I could say that I was stronger than to let the negative thoughts about my worth in this industry get to me but I honestly felt and admittedly sometimes still feel that I do not bring anything of value to the table that people have not already seen...stupid I know. The spiralling thoughts are usually what get me in trouble and more often that not I find reasons that I'm seemingly not good enough rather than providing actual evidence as to why I AM good enough.

I think the phrase "life got in the way" is fitting here as I stepped away from posting and focused on what I loved in real life. I delved into new music and reignited my passion for dance, I started working out consistently and eating better, I developed my sense of personal style and took inspiration from my newfound passions, I challenged myself physically and mentally, and I learnt more about myself than I did trying to fit the mould the blogger world created. I felt free and I felt happy but that's not to say I didn't have low points because I did and sometimes they consumed my days without any reason to in the first place.

With that said, I'm grateful for the change and I'm grateful that I have new things to share with you all from here on out. The things I love are bound to always change but what I hope won't change is my passion to come here to my little corner of the Internet to tell you all about it. You may not always relate to the what I love but I hope you find something, even one small thing, that makes you happy too.

Thank you for listening, I love ya for it...



Sunday, 13 September 2020

It's Shacket Season!

Shacket Season

Hey lovelies!!

It's happened...I've fallen in love with everything warm, cosy and checked! September entered with a flourish and suddenly I was immersed in what can only be described as shacket, flannel, burnt orange, knitted heaven. I'm not complaining though because as Blogtober fast approaches, I know that I'll be scrambling to find more gorgeous pieces to suit the colder weather that nips at our noses...oops too far, I've headed into Christmas season!

I'm sure that a few of you are confused by the title of today's post, particularly if you're not familiar with the term 'shacket'. I can confirm that we have indeed become so lazy that saying a "shirt style jacket" or a "shirt jacket" takes us far too long to inform others of what we've chosen to adorn ourselves with today. You will however be pleased to know that you don't necessarily have to know the lingo to wear said piece.

In fact, we can skip that whole step because the very best shackets are flying off those in-store and online shelves and making their way into the wardrobes of those don't particularly care to stop to understand the meaning of 'le shacket'. So what are you waiting for? Shop my faves down below and get styling!

*Affiliate links featured*



Saturday, 12 September 2020

Black Chunky Boots | An Obsession

Stradivarius Black Chunky Boots

Hey lovelies!!

I just wanted to start off with a quick note to my mum: I know you hate these style of boots and that they make my feet look massive but I promise I can style them really cool and I'll wear them so much!

Phew! Does anyone else have to convince their parents that those bold purchases will actually be good decisions in the long run? Lucky for me I had a pair of black chunky boots years ago and would never take them off because I loved them that much. I eventually had to give them up and throw them out but ever since they've come back into the spotlight, I have been lusting after a new pair and boy did a find good ones!

If like me, you're looking for a sturdy pair of grungy and super edgy black chunky boots, look no further and shop my faves down below! 

*Affiliate links featured*



Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Bali Body Gradual Tan & Face Tan Water | AD

Bali Body Face Tan Water | Not Vicarious

Hey lovelies!

I really hope you're not sick of me talking about Bali Body yet because I have so many more goodies to talk to you about! This brand has such incredible products that it's hard not to give them the time they deserve and of course Bali Body Babes are the best! Today's post is all about a couple of products in their self tanning range - the Bali Body Gradual Tan and the Bali Body Face Tan Water - which is made so much more entertaining by the fact that prior to this, I had NEVER self tanned before. Let's just say I was nervous and had a little trouble because of my inexperience.

Starting off with the Gradual Tan, this was a really nice and easy product to apply. I specifically asked for the Gradual Tan over the tanning mousse because I knew that on my first time self tanning, I would need all the help I could get and if the process was simple then I couldn't go wrong!

I first tried this product at the peak of the lockdown because like many others, it was the perfect time to try something new without worrying that it might go wrong and I would have to go out in public looking like a mess! I was pleasantly surprised to find that it all worked out okay and I had very few, minor problems that were mostly caused by me haha!

Bali Body Gradual Tan | Not Vicarious

The Gradual Tan, with its white lotion consistency, applies extremely smoothly but as with other tanning products that do not have a colour guard, it can be difficult to remember where you have applied the tan. With that being said, that is a small price to pay for the great tan that you are left with and it's something that can be easily combated by simply starting from the bottom of your body (i.e. your legs/feet) and working your way up.

I loved the fact that I didn't have to be dark from the get go but instead had the option to build the tan up as I already had the base from the first application and it was perfect for adding more tan to the couple of patches that I had missed on my back...yes I had the typical first timers issue of not doing my back properly!

The total developing time is around 8 hours but because of my plans and the way things generally worked out on the day of application (evening), I ended up leaving my tan and showering it off the day after. This definitely gave me a lot of time to assess how the colour was developing, gradually of course, and it was so cool!

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Gradual Tan was filled with nourishing ingredients such as coconut oil, coffee seed extract and cocoa butter. They all added to the pamper side of my tanning session and made it less annoying if I had forgotten to apply mosturiser to any dry areas of my body beforehand.

Thankfully I picked up some tips from my first time experience with a self tanner:
  • Make sure to moisturise all dry areas of your body prior to application
  • Ensure that the mosturiser has soaked all the way into the skin before you proceed
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after applying the tan to your body
  • When it comes to your hands and feet, use the excess tan for application because wow does it go wrong if you don't...

On that last point, I thought it would only be fitting to let you know about another tanning faux pas I had. I'll keep it short and sweet but I honestly found it quite hilarious how confident I was applying the tan straight from the bottle, to a paper towel, onto my hands and then waking up to find the tan had settled into every crease on my hands in a slightly orange looking fashion and seeming surprised that my "trick" didn't work out well - amateur I tell you! Trust me, this was very much a problem with the user, not the product! If this ever happens to you, just read my Bali Body Self Tan Remover post for a quick and easy solution.

Finally, the self tanner smell of this product was actually quite nice and unusual. I don't know what others are like but this was one that only rubbed off on the clothes I was wearing after application (i.e. my pyjamas). Once you have your shower the only thing that has a very light scent to it is your skin but again, this is the nature of any skin product that has a slight fragrance.

Here are a few before and after photos for you:

Now onto the Bali Body Face Tan Water! This is another really cool product and one that I hadn't heard of before - self tanner virgin over here and all! Just like a toner, you pump a couple of drops of the Face Tan Water onto a cotton pad and apply it all over your face and neck, ensuring that you evenly distribute the product.

Just as Bali Body state on their website, "it's skincare meets self tan" and I have never loved the idea of anything more and this is most likely what made me want to get my hands on it. More importantly, the Face Tan Water with its 4-6 hour developing time can be added into your daily routine at the mosturiser stage; simply add a few pumps to the mosturiser of your choice and watch as your face slowly begins to gain a glowy tan as the hours pass.

My final and probably the most important thing to say about the Gradual Tan and the Face Tan Water is that they DO NOT transfer!! Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at the aftermath of people's sheets after they self tan and they are left with what looks like the death of 1,000 cheese puffs hahaha! That being said, I did wear long sleeved pyjamas so if you do ever worry that it might transfer, just grab some clothes you don't mind messing up and wear those to bed.

Overall, I am incredibly happy about my first time self tanning and I was glad that I had the help of Bali Body's range to get me through it successfully. I see plenty more sessions self tanning in the future, yay!!!


P.S. Let me know your thoughts on these two lovely products if you've had the chance to try them out. What was your experience like?

Friday, 19 June 2020

What I'm Grateful For Right Now

Hey lovelies!

Oooh has it been a rough week mentally and man am I feeling it in the depths of my soul. Things have felt incredibly off this week and I've had this feeling of being overwhelmed without actually having anything to be overwhelmed about and it's safe to say that I have HATED it.

I figured that I just needed to look at the positive things in my life right now to help me bring into focus what really matters. So here are 5 things that I'm grateful for right now:

1. Sunshine & Fresh Air
I think at some point throughout this quarantine/lockdown period, we have all wildly underestimated the importance and the power of sunshine and fresh air. I know for myself that on the days where I made a conscious effort to enjoy time outside, I ended up feeling much happier, more rejuvenated and better yet I got a healthy dose of Vitamin D. In all honesty, I really haven't been getting out enough lately and I'm feeling the effects of cabin fever. I. Must. Do. Better.

2. My Bedroom
If you've been following me throughout my Golden Hour series on Instagram, you know just how much I love shooting content in my bedroom. The light that streams in at sunset is beyond gorgeous and being able to lie on the bed or take photos in front of the window to truly enjoy it is so relaxing. I think we all forget to look around at our surroundings and take it all in to the point where we become almost numb to the things that could possibly give us the most pleasure. My bedroom is my safe space in many respects and I'm so grateful to have it.

3. Virtual Date Nights
Quite possibly the biggest highlight of my week! For those of you who are also quarantined away from your significant other, you know just how tough it is being away from somebody you love a lot. Virtual date nights have been a lifesaver and my favourite go-to at the end of a working week. Plus the fact that we take it in turns to plan each date means that I can have a rest from the planning stage every other week and be surprised on the day - all I have to do is get ready and turn up on facetime!

4. Netflix Shows
I don't know about you but I have so many shows on the go at the moment! For me though, multiple shows means that I have one that I can watch in every mood. If I'm feeling down or just want to laugh I can watch New Girl or Friends, if I want to watch something that makes me think and is a little heavier I can watch Ozark, Mindhunter, Money Heist or You and if I feel like watching something light and romantic I can watch Chesapeake Shores...or if all else fails I just go to YouTube haha. Even so, the possibilities are endless and there's something for every mood and every personality.

5. My Job
I am so incredibly grateful to have a job right now because although many of those individuals who were previously furloughed or had lost their jobs at the start of the lockdown are slowly gaining normality in their working life, I was lucky (and still are lucky) to be able to have worked from home the entire time. My job has given me so much grace and flexibility in these confusing, abnormal times and not only have I had the chance to not only do my normal full-time job but I have also been able to do more of what I love in the time that I would've been commuting to and from the office.


There we have it! Be sure to leave a comment down below letting me know what you're grateful for right now even if it's something really small, I want to hear it! I'm sending so much love your way and if you've also had a rough week, take a deep breath and know that there is nothing you can't handle.

Just focus on the little things like the flowers on your bedside table, the decor you've placed beautifully on your chest of drawers or even that glass of water you wake up next to ready to hydrate your body after a good night's sleep. The little things are endless and not so pointless in the grand scheme of things especially if they make you happy and add something to your everyday life even though you don't realise it now 💖