Flo la vita

Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle

With all the chat about 'the instagrammer taking over the blogger' circulating the blogosphere, it did worry me that I had taken a two month (unintentional) Instagram detox.
To be honest, I never thought about it as though it were a bad thing and it happened naturally. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to take a break, I think I just didn’t have anything I was desperate to post.
But, every now and then for the first week or so of my accidental detox, I would suddenly think "Shit, I haven't posted anything in a week" and silently hope people weren’t unfollowing. 
Though at the same time, It wouldn’t have bothered me if they had, and they did.

I don't know about anyone else, but for me Instagram is one stressful social media site. The pressure to post photos on a daily basis, or to have a feed full of photos that compliment each other, to be active on Instagram stories and now to be sharing videos on IGTV. It's a lot to keep up with and has got me questioning the way I share my content.

I don't want to share 'perfect' photos 
Something I've felt a lot of pressure to do in the past is to post 'perfect' Instagram photos. Perfectly lit, perfectly edited... you know what I mean. But, newsflash: I don't have a camera man following me around 24/7. And I don't have all day to be out taking photos. My photos are taken all in one day and I use them to cover the next two months. Which is why you'll see the same outfit popping up again, and again and again.
What I'm trying to say is that I'm not at all interested in posting photos that look stunning. However, I’m not saying I'm going to go ahead and share my blurry, non-thought out shots. I'm still one hundred percent up for making an effort with my photography, but I'm not going to get caught up in producing photos that are 'perfect' because what is a perfect photo anyway? It can be stressful, especially when comparing your work to other peoples. It's not fun and it's not what blogging is about.

Influencer or blogger? 
I think Instagram is a platform suited much better to (excuse my language) influencers. However, I've come to realise that that is not what I am. I personally believe that a blogger can be an influencer, of course they can, but a blogger isn't always an influencer. I would class myself as a blogger. 
But, of course anything you read has some sort of impact or influence on you, which is why what I write will have some sort of influence on people reading, but I would never say that what I specifically do is influence. I would always say I blog.

Before taking a lengthy break from the Instagram world, this was something I was quite confused about. Typically, when you think of a blogger you think of the brand collaborations and the press trips and the 'glamourous' lifestyle they lead. Heck, I change my outfit in the McDonald's toilets when I'm out shooting, but that's beside the point.
Throughout my Instagram break I did ask myself many times if I would be able to carry on my blog in the same way without Instagram. And the answer is yes, because I'm not blogging as an influencer, I'm blogging as me.

Keeping it real
Speaking of the 'blogger lifestyle', I would like to make one thing very clear: It's an illusion. No, bloggers do not have it all together, despite what you might think. It all comes down to the fact that nobody wants to show their bad days on Instagram, so... everything we share sums up our happy moments. To be honest, if your having a shitty day you're not really going to whip out your phone and take a quick selfie for Instagram are you?

As much as I know all this, seeing a sugar-coated version of everyone else's lives can get me down, and the internet can be such a negative place. Despite the fact that this blog and all of its social platforms are nothing but positive, just being online and on a screen so much can have it's down sides. Which has definitely become apparent to me since limiting my screen time to this blog, and this blog only.

I don't actually care that much...
If there is one thing taking a break has taught me, it's that I couldn't care less about numbers. Obviously, with being a little quiet on Instagram (one of my main sources of traffic to this blog) my engagement has gone down a little, but I don't even care at all. Sure, I did think "Oh, that post hasn't
done as well as I expected" but after that thought had passed I was fine. Because what difference do numbers actually make?

Another thing Instagram made me realise I couldn't give a f--- about is what celebrities are doing.
I've never been one to obsessively follow the media, or care much about who's dating who, but what I realised is that I honestly couldn't care less about wether or not Selena Gomez is back with Justin Bieber or what Hailey Baldwin and Shawn Mendes' relationship actually is, because it benefits my life in no way.

So, this is me waving goodbye to the stress that comes with Instagram, and saying hello to a chilled out version of what I've previously been doing.
Oh, hey Summer!
I'm just so glad it's that time of the year again. Although, living in the UK you can't guarantee a summer with nothing but sun, it is SO nice to have a little break and time to relax. And even just a tiny amount of sun with that would be something I'm grateful for.

01. Holidays

Usually my family like to go abroad for our summer holiday, last year we spent two weeks in Greece.
However, this year we decided to change it up for something a little more simple. Instead, we've decided to spend a week in the Lake District. It's such a scenic place and somewhere I've never actually been, and I'm actually quite excited for a shorter holiday!

02. Getting a puppy

After years were FINALLY getting a puppy! It's a Norfolk Terrier crossed with a jack Russel, who we plan to name Dylan, but knowing my family that is likely to change to something a little less common. This is actually the reason were going on a shorter holiday, so we have time to go to puppy classes and get him settled into the house. 

03. All the Summer barbecues

I don't know about anyone else but I am a HUGE fan of a barbecue. They can be a little difficult for me as I'm vegetarian, but barbecued Quorn hot dogs are a firm favourite of mine. I plan to have a fair few this summer.

04. And Relax...

As usual my favourite part of the summer holidays is just to have a bit of down time before everything gets busy again. 

Recently my room has been getting just a tinsy bit of a make-over. Many times have I swapped where  the furniture sits and changed the photos on the walls, but this time, I gave my little area a re-vamp from top to bottom.

For me, having a tidy space that inspires me is essential. I haven't always been like this, but lately my inner Monica Geller hasn't even let me sit down to write a blog post unless my rooms is spotless.
So, I've given it all a small change. And if I'm honest, I do really love it!

Before all of this re-decoraing madness, I had a HUGE grid shelving unit from Ikea. It was in between my two windows, and not only did it block the light, but it took up the whole wall. The room is pentagon shaped and has five walls rather than just four, so it can be hard to get furniture that actually fits its odd shape.

So, I decided to replace it with a much, much smaller ladder shelf from wayfair.
I've decorated each shelve in a minimal style because I didn't want it to look too messy or have too much colour bursting out of it.

As for the rest of the wall space, which has been freed up since investing in a smaller shelf. I have a chair in the corner which I've got a cushion on (made from a £2 New look bag) and hanging above, a gorgeous hexagon mirror from my absolute fave for homeware, Oliver Bonas.
I also have a plant around the other side of the shelves because I thought it would be nice to let the room feel a little more fresh with all the greenery, rather than it feeling  cut off from the outside world.

My desk area is definitely my favourite. The desk is from Ikea, and I've made up for it's plain-ness with the corkboard covered in polaroids, and the print from Desenio.
I also found these beautiful shelves on Urban Outfitter for £15, and I fell in love with them straight away.
I bought them intending to absolutely cover the copper one with plants, but being my clumsy self I accidentally bought plants that were far too big, so they've been hanging out by the window instead.

And as for my actual desk, I've got the essentials, like notebooks and pens which I keep in a candle holder which I got from tiger. I've also got the cat candle which I use in ALL my flatlays, from Oliver Bonas and a golden wire paper tray, again from tiger (this time for £2) to hold all my stationary.

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A couple of months ago if you suggested I listen to a podcast I would have laughed in your face. I haven't got a clue why, but I thought the podcast world was the section of the internet where grumpy old men would talk to a microphone about politics and the benefits of retirement.

It seems so stupid now, and after giving podcasts a chance, my assumptions were soon proven wrong. 
Now, I can't get enough of them. Though I did have just a tiny issue when I first started getting into them, I couldn't find any I particularly liked. However, after a trusty google search I found hundreds, if not thousands of podcast I HAD to listen to.

Love Stories with Dolly Alderton

Dolly Aldreton's podcast, Love Stories is a firm favourite of mine. In each episode she interviews different celebrities about their love life, and most importantly their first love. It's got a chatty vibe, but asides from love Dolly and whoever she's interviewing always end up having a chat about some serious, yet interesting topics.

One of my favourite episodes was with Marianne Keyes, an Irish Author and Journalist. They talked about the abortion referendum in Ireland, male testosterone and how women being the breadwinner in a family can often make a man feel his masculinity is under threat, and how with life expectancy increasing, marriages could be short lived because couples could possibly get sick of the company. 

Ctrl Alt Delete - Emma Gannon 

Ctrl Alt Delete was the first podcast I truly loved. Emma Gannon interviews such successful and inspirational women about their careers and I always find myself feeling so inspired after each episode. 

An episode I particularly liked was her interview with Dawn O'Porter, another Author and Journalist who I absolutely love. They talked about not following the crowd, Dawn's new book 'The Cows' and how she's found being a new mum. Something about the podcast just inspires me SO much.

 Get it on - Dawn O'Porter

On the topic of Dawn O'Porter, she also has her very own podcast, which I also very much enjoy listening to. It's another interview style podcast, where she interviews celebrities of all different fields about their lives in general.

My favourite was by far the episode where she interviewed Jo Elvin, editor of Glamour magazine. 
They chatted all about Jo's style and her well known hashtag #clothesmyhusbandhates, as well as what her job as editor of Glamour magazine is like. 

 Keeping it candid - Millie Cotton & Sophie Milner

If you are a blogger then you would most likely ~love~ Keeping it Candid, hosted by bloggers Millie Cotton and Sophie Milner. They have a very real take on the blogging industry and are open and honest about their experiences in a way that is unusual in this industry. 

In the past they have opened up about how much they earn, the rates they set for brands, different theories on getting Instagram likes and so much more that as a blogger I have been curious about, but haven't been able to get any information on as so many people don't share their true experiences. Their podcast really does take a look at the blogging industry, underneath the sugar coated front that it's presented as. 
In the past, a Skincare routine is something I've really struggled to commit to. It's one of those things that I can keep up for a couple of days but soon enough I just cannot be bothered anymore. I blame the many, many products out there, it can become extremely overwhelming and if I'm honest, a skincare routine with a million different products is not maintainable. You get home late one evening, exhausted and not at all interested in going through your lengthly routine, and the spell is broken. You will never bother with that Toner the shop assistant at Superdrug promised would magically remove all you blemishes, and its shoved to the back of your bathroom cabinet and forgotten about.
Now, I'm not saying we should completely banish skincare and attempt to go back to a simpler time when peel off face masks were a thing of the future. No, I'm all for skincare. However, I strongly believe that having a simpler routine is far, far better for us all as its maintainable, in a way that lengthly skincare routines aren't. Though, I understand that fully committing to a routine can be difficult, especially when you haven't found the right products that work best for your skin. 

Let me take moment to introduce you to Cocunat, a beauty brand based in Barcelona who specialise in Skincare. Their products are to die for and as a brand they most definitely cater for the needs of young people, their products are affordable, simply packaged and perfect for all skin types. Not to mention vegan and cruelty free. Here are some of my favourite products....

Cocunat Micellar water
For me, Micellar water has always been a big no, no. Purely based off of my experiences using Garnier's micellar water. Using Garnier's version I could never tell if the product was removing my make-up or not. As a result I opted for make-up removing wipes rather than a good quality product that would not only remove my make-up, but benefit my skin.
*Enter, Cocunat Micellar water*
Cocunat's version has proven me wrong, and I'm happy that it has. It removes make-up fast, with minimal amount of product, and is gentle on my skin.

Price: £15.95

How I use: I put a couple of drops of micellar water onto a cotton pad and remove my full face of make up, I never need more than five or so drops.
Cocunat combination, oily skin moisturiser
Through out the warmer months I think it would be safe to say that my skin will often start to look a little more radiant and healthy, all thanks to the sun. However, I do find that I get just a little bit (or a lot?) oily, especially around my T-zone. 
But, since using Cocunat's combination, oily skin moisturiser, my problems are close to gone. In fact, within minutes I noticed difference in how greasy my skin was feeling.
Something I really appreciate in a moisturiser is it being absorbent, this defiantly is. It also has a very milky texture and like the micellar water, it's SO gentle on my skin. Cocunat's combination, oily skin moisturiser ticks all the boxes when it comes to skincare. 

As for sizing, it's perfect. Its not so small that I'd use it up just like that, but it's big enough that I can get a lot of use out of it before either changing to a different product, or re-purhcasing it. Which I know I'll be doing, for sure.

Price: £17.95

How I use: This is the last product I use in my routine, I apply the moisturiser using my hands across my whole face.
Cocunat divine balm

This product wasn't my favourite, it's a balm for your body. Which I didn't know until sending over a preview of this post to the Social media manager at Cocunat, I wrote about it being for your face, which she very kindly pulled me up on. Told you I don't know a thing about beauty products...

However, she let me know that it is great for dry areas and areas that may be a little irritated, such as mosquito bites. 
Though, all in all I wouldn't buy this myself as it just doesn't stand out to me in the way that the others did. 

Price: £25.95

How I use: I apply a small amount to my arms and legs every evening.
Cocunat total cleansing milk
Cocunat's total cleansing milk was the first of their products I tried. Now that I've tried a range of their other products I can confidently tell you that my love for Cocunat was most definitely not limited to this particular product. In fact, from my first use I could see improvement almost immediately.
At the time, my skin was going through a break out, thankfully it's gotten over that now, and I can put that down to this cleanser. It tamed all my little spots, blemishes and the lot. 

Price: £11.95

How I use: I apply the total cleansing milk to my skin using my hands, after removing my make-up with Cocunat's micellar water. 

Cocunat's tropical strawberry mousse

The tropical strawberry mousse is a firm favourite of mine, it brings back ALL the childhood memories, thanks to the fact that its scent is somewhat comparable to Petits Filous.

Looking at the product, I did expect it to be soft and creamy, instead its hard and does need a little pressure to actually get the product out of it's container. But, I think I prefer it that way. It absorbs quickly and moisturises the skin well, leaving behind it's scent which I LOVE, it truly is the perfect product. 

Price: £19.95

How I use: I apply this product to my arms and legs every evening. 

*All products featured in this post were gifted by Cocunat, though all opinions are my own*.

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