Flo la vita

Lifestyle

What you might not know from just reading my blog is that I a bit of an interior lover. Meaning, I take great pride in making sure that my area is decorated and styled in a way that I like. I thrive off of that feeling you get when you walk into a room that is just so gorgeous and I could spend hours on end arranging and re-arranging different areas of my room.

My desk, in particular, is an area that I love to re-style every now and again. Possibly because I get bored of it the quickest, which isn't surprising seeing as I spend such long periods of time sat at it. I feel like theres always something that could be added to make it that extra bit pretty, which is always apparent to me after having a nosy at Kate La Vie's office - seriously, how does she have such a good eye for styling?


I've spent hours looking at Pinterest-worthy homes and work spaces online and have taken inspiration  from just about everywhere in order to create my own work space that feels very me. And now, after many H&M home orders I feel like I've succeeded in creating my very own, very pretty, desk area.



The Gold Mirror from H&M home, which I have placed on a stack of magazines along side my Oliver Bonas candle, feels like the focal point of the work top. It stands out from the otherwise fairly neutral background, which I love. 

Around this whole section, if you will, there are pops of gold against the black and white of the magazines and the one book. When styling it like this, the black and gold coming together was something I never intended to happen, it was more of a coincidence that they went so well together. And if I'm honest, a bit of a surprise. If you had asked me two months ago if I thought black and gold would look good together I would have laughed at you, but I'm actually loving this combination.


To go along with the black and white books, is this Desenio print. The simplicity of the print is something I appreciate, as I wouldn't choose to hang something much busier up there purely because the actual desk already has a relatively cluttered feel to it.
But, its a gorgeous piece which fills the wall space perfectly.





When I started my Instagram account four years ago, I used it purely to talk to like-minded people and to post photos along side my blog. While the reason behind using Instagram, for me, hasn't changed massively, the pressure has.


In the last four years things have gotten a little more serious, and I've had to start considering what I share and what I don't. And I'm not going to lie, I've had some major melt downs about what my feed looks like. Posting blurry photos of my cats just isn't an option anymore because things have changed and I should probably start considering my audience to some extent. But then again, if cat photos are your thing, give me a shout...

What I don't want is an uber professional looking, squeaky clean feed. That's just not my thing.
Writing this blog and running my Instagram account, I always make an effort to show reality and not a highlights reel because I don't want to be that girl who seems to be at fancy restaurants 24/7 with her camera man following her around just to get that perfect shot. Purely because that's not my life, nor is it any bloggers life.
But, at the same time I do want my feed to look nice, I wouldn't post just any photo because the photos have to be of decent quality.


I'm going to be one hundred percent honest here and say that I find it really difficult to be relatable enough. Meaning, I don't like sharing too many PR packages because I don't like my friends thinking I just get 'free' stuff all the time for absolutely nothing but then I don't always want to talk about the shitty bits in life because in a way, the people following me and reading my blog are total strangers and sometimes it does feel a bit personal. Trying to come across as honest and relatable is stressful.


I also feel a pressure to be active. Essentially, I feel a pressure to just use Instagram. I'm not someone who is naturally drawn to social media and I'm not someone who comments on absolutely everything. I'll occasionally interact with something that I can really relate to, like when Chloe Plumstead posted an Instagram story about catcalling, but apart from that I'd say I'm more of a quiet follower, which makes it a little more difficult to network with people and build those online relationships.

And most of all, time is an issue. I don't have enough time to be an Insta girl. I don't have the time, or money even, to be eating in 'instagrammable' cafe's and travelling around London all the time.


It's things like this that really get me questioning what I want my online presence to be?

I feel like the media only really shines a light on one type of 'influencer', the fashion blogger. And from that it can be so easy to think that a blogger is simply someone sharing their 'perfect' lives online. It's like you hear "Blogger" and think pretty cafe's, outfit of the day's and swanky holidays. But, really a blogger is just someone with a blog. A blog being a website run by an individual.

We think of the 'Blogger lifestyle' but I'd argue that the sugar-coated lives we see on Instagram is more of an 'influencer' lifestyle than a blogger lifestyle.

Truth be told, I'm not an Insta girl. I hate the pressure to be constantly reeling out new content and I don't even enjoy using the app. So, why did I even bother with it in the first place? Because I didn't realise that a blogger and an 'influencer' are two totally different things and I thought that to be a blogger I should be posting outfit photos and doing what everyone else was doing.


Thinking about it, I started this blog four years ago because I liked magazines and I wanted a space where I could in a way, write my own. I didn't start this for 'free' stuff or because I wanted to make some extra money from PR's and brand collaborations. That is the way it's gone but all the commercial side of things, like Instagram just isn't my cup of tea.

So, I'm waving goodbye to Instagram and welcoming back a simpler blogging style.









We're heading towards that time when suddenly it's not summer anymore and we have to start getting our shit together. I hate to break it to you, but very soon it will no longer be acceptable to slack off and spend the day sunbathing in your back garden. It's time to get back into the grind of everyday life, and my god it can be exhausting. The first day of getting back into things after summer.... does it take anyone else 10 million taps of the snooze button and a full-blown cry into their cereal bowl just to get out the front door in the morning on that particular day?

I always find it helpful to try, and I mean really try, to treat it like any other day. Doing simple things like sticking to your usual weekday routine, if you have one.


Get up and ready right away...

I'd be lying if I said there hadn't been mornings when I've been so exhausted and uninspired that I end  up staying in my pyjamas until two in the afternoon and not getting anything done. And sure, sometimes a day like this is much needed, but if you're planning a productive day then maybe staying in your pyjamas isn't the way to go? Mind you, some people work better in their pj's, but not me. That's why every morning I get up and ready as soon as my alarm goes off. But please, I'm not claiming to be superwoman here, we all know I'm far from it, but truthfully I just hate lie-ins (I know...) and not feeling fresh in the mornings. So, if you fancy being an #girlboss for the day and getting shit done then get out of bed, no matter how hard it may be, I promise it's worth it.

Eat a good breakfast

Although I eat breakfast every morning, my stomach will often be rumbling by 10am and that's most likely because I haven't eaten a filling breakfast. I mean, I'll usually go for the glam option, Shreddies, but clearly that's just not cutting it. So, I've recently started making breakfast smoothies and I kid you not they have saved my mornings. 
I think we've all gone through that week-long phase where we're like "I'm going to eat really healthily, I'm going to have Acai bowls for breakfast and Quinoa with salad for lunch" it never really lasts. But, I do find that I have a similar attitude with breakfast smoothies and it doesn't take much effort to continue making them and they are actually tasty, not to mention quick and easy to make.
I think the reason I'm so madly in love with making smoothies is because I'm a really terrible cook (trust me, my first attempt at making pancakes resulted in a pan bursting into flames...) and you don't have to have any talent for cooking to throw some fruit into a blender. All you need is a good sense of what food goes well together, and I'd say I have a decent knowledge in that area. Mind you I did make the mistake of blending milk and apple together...



Make a to-do list and prioritise 3 tasks

If you know me well then you'll know that to do lists are most definitely my fave. And as a result I can often go a little over the top when making them. So, I like to prioritise 3 main tasks, usually three things that I need to get done that day or anytime soon. However, when I say main jobs, I don't mean big jobs. Usually I'll try and get one big task done first followed up my other two prioritised tasks, which will often be a bit smaller. And if I have time I'll get some more done. But, I like to start off with three.


Get rid of all the distractions

What I'm trying to say is... turn off your phone. If you're attempting to have an uber productive day then having your phone next to you pinging with notifications every five seconds is not going to help you out AT ALL. I mean, the temptation to just read that text is going to distract you from what you really want to be focusing on, and once you've read it you'll most likely be typing a reply at a million and one miles an hour which will lead to a reply from whoever you're texting and then you're going to reply and then suddenly you've sent so many texts that it would be rude to ignore their messages now. You've well and truly fallen down the rabbit hole and oh look, you've waisted half an hour sending texts that really could wait until you're not busy. 


In the past year or so I've somehow managed to muster the courage to shoot my Instagram photos outside. Like the in public kind of outside. It was definitely daunting the first few times, especially because I live in London and finding a quiet road is very nearly impossible if you're going central. But, I've gotten used to it and I'm relatively comfortable in front of the camera now.


'Do it for the gram' has become my moto in the past few months. There have been a fair number of occasions where shooting in front of the public has been hellish and the only thing stopping me from giving up is the thought of how gorgeous my feed will look after. Like that time outside Wild At Heart when a family with two children decided to stand right in front of me and watch. Or in Notting Hill when I was posing on a door step just when the man who lived there pulled up in his car and had to shoo away the many bloggers having their photo taken. And of course, the time in Primrose bakery when the guy sat next to me shouted "CORBYN'S GOING TO KILL US ALL." Can't say any of those were pleasant experiences...

However, as crappy as I may make it sound, shooting outside isn't as bad as you'd think. I found it quite reassuring just thinking that everyone will assume I'm a tourist, and nobody bats an eyelid when tourists have their photo taken. It's London for god sake.

It's been a year since I delved into the world of public Insta shoots and I have to say, I've learnt a couple of lessons since.


DO IT FOR THE GRAM

To get a decent picture, you sometimes have to do things that may look just a teeny bit crazy to people walking past. For example, those photos where I'm flicking my hair... did you think I'd get that shot first time round? Absolutely not. Believe it or not, I actually spend about two minutes standing in the middle of Central London shaking my head back and forth just to get that one photo. Now two minutes may not seem like a long time, but can you image how dizzy you'd be after continuously spinning your head around for that amount of time?

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SEE ANY OF THESE PEOPLE AGAIN

If you think about it all of these people are total strangers. So, who cares if they see you looking a bit awkward posing for the camera? And if they pay you any attention, it's only because they're interested. They're not, I repeat not, making fun of you. And on the very rare occasion that they are, who are they to judge?


GO FOR IT

Gone are the days of standing stock still in your outfit photos.
Move around, walk, spin, do the hair touch.

And if you are going to stand still at least use your outfit and accessories to your advantage. Use your pockets, hold your bag and my personal fave... touch your hair.


SORT YOUR OUTFITS IN ADVANCE

Whoever's taking your photos is not going to want to stand around waiting for you to pick your outfit. DO IT THE NIGHT BEFORE! It wastes so much time, especially if you've invested in a professional photographer. Picking your outfit is wasting precious time, get your money's worth of photos, please.

You know what else wastes time? Standing in line for the toilet in order to get changed. If your comfortable changing in the streets it might be a better idea, time wise. Just make sure you get yourself a pair of bicycle shorts and something to cover your tits.

I'd also recommend packing your outfits together, just to make sure you aren't caught squatting on the pavement frantically searching through your bag for that one piece of clothing that seems to have disappeared..... true story.



I may not be all that big on fashion, but I am a bit of a jewellery lover. And whilst I would usually describe myself as more of a minimalist when it comes to jewellery, I've lately started to discover that I do love a statement piece too. But it definitely has to be balanced...




Kaytie Wu's waterdrop collection is nothing less than a dream. The ring is a particular favourite of mine. In fact, I saw something similar on Emily James' Instagram feed and instantly fell in love. But if I'm honest, I couldn't find anything like it that wouldn't break the bank. However, seeing this piece on the Kaytie Wu website I was surprised by the pricing, it's SO affordable, yet SO beautiful at the same time. And no, my finger has not yet turned green so I think it's safe to say that the quality is just perfect for what you pay.



Can we also talk about how suitable these pieces are for Autumn? They could probably be pulled off any season but there is something about them that screams Autumn. I'm thinking, white t-shirt, black skinny jeans and a chunky knit cardigan, paired with a couple of layered necklaces and this ring, no?


To top it all off, I've been pairing the ring with this equally gorgeous bangle. And I've definitely been a bit in love with the whole arm-swag thing going on with all this new jewellery. I painted my nails red and now I just can't stop looking at my hands with the rings and the bangles. If it's possible to be in love with your own hands then I think that would sum up my current mental state perfectly.



* All jewellery featured are PR samples from Kaytie Wu. All opinions are my own.
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