NOT YOUR TYPICAL NEW YEARS OUTFIT










Photography by JKG

TOPSHOP Top (similar linked)

The pleated maxi skirt is everywhere this season and, its one of my favourite trends. Its a style of skirt thats wearable and can be dressed up or down. There are so many wonderful colours on the high street too, from purple to pink, black to gold. Today, I'm sharing with you, this insanely beautiful teal blue one from ASOS.

In terms of styling a pleated maxi skirt, you can go all out with a stiletto heel and sparkly top, or you can strip it right back with a super cute knit and some classic Converse. But if you want something in the middle, not too much effort, but more effort than a hoodie and leggings, then look no further babes. A New Years outfit with a twist!

I love this outfit because although it looks fucking fantastic, its actually completely effortless and pretty damn comfortable. An oldie but a goodie Topshop top that I've actually never worn lol, the main event with this beautiful pleated maxi skirt in a satin finish, and for added style that has taken this outfit to higher levels, I've completed this look with metallic flatforms and a fishnet sock. Im basically into affordable items and styling that elevates a basic outfit into 'I AM A FASHION GOD'.

However you celebrate this New Years Eve. Have a great night and stay safe. Here's to 2016!


Share:

10 GOOD THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO ME IN 2016
















Photography by JKG

& Other Stories Platform Boots (currently on sale for £63)

So its time to do one of those reflective 'what shit happened in 2016' type posts. Although I had a pretty difficult year, I wanted to spread a little positivity so I'm going to concentrate on some of the good things that have happened in the last 12 months.

-side note- How incredible is this jumpsuit? I love it! Its also available in sizes 6-28, and you all know how much I love size inclusive pieces. I often wear a jumpsuit when I can't think of anything else to wear. Its effortless yet stylish!

Anyway.. 13 good things that happened to me in 2016. Lets do this!

Meeting Vix
This may be surprising to some of you, but I really struggle in meeting genuine people and maintaining friendships. There are multiple reasons why (gonna do a video and some posts on this all soon), but this year I happened to stumble across a friendship that I am so happy about. Vix is a fellow blogger who has quickly become one of my best friends. Ive never met a more understanding person in my entire life and I love her so much. She gets me more than anyone I know. Check out her blog if you want to read about blow jobs and tinder dates LOL!

Realising The Importance Of Self Care
Taking time out for me every once in a while and doing kind things for myself everyday, has seriously helped me grow as a person. It isn't selfish, and it shouldn't make you feel guilty. Self care is identifying your own needs which is important for health and happiness.

Making BBC3 Documentaries
And the first one, Clean Eating's Dirty Secrets, getting over 1.5million views when it was aired on BBC1, what.the.actual.F lol! Talking about difficult subjects its literally all I want to do, and the fact that its happening right now and I'm being PAID too - I literally feel like I'm winning at life.

Putting In Boundaries
After a few months in therapy, we discussed boundaries and I was made aware that I rarely put any in. Not in the sense that I let people walk all over me, but in the sense I had became too attainable to pretty much everyone. Im often left feeling disappointed and drained and I realised it was because I was allowing so many people to take from me. Take my energy, my happiness, my money.. the list goes on. Putting in boundaries within pretty much every aspect of my life, allowed me to see the real from the fake & enabled me to have more of myself for me.

Admitting I Have A Problem With Food
Although I've always secretly known that I have an addiction to food and I suffer with disordered eating. Admitting it openly to myself, to loved ones and to my therapist enabled the big black cloud around me to turn into a light grey colour. The cloud is still there as I try and come to terms with my eating disorder and work on changing my illness, but its nice to know that I'm not crazy and one day I won't suffer like I'm doing now.

Falling In Love With Blogging
Whilst on a sun lounger by the pool in Ibiza back in summer, I had a real good think about the content I wanted to create for my blog. I've changed so much within the last 18months and I wanted this space to reflect that. I decided to start talking about shit that mattered to me and that enabled my voice to come through way more in my writing. My blog views and engagement have almost tripled since doing so and I am incredibly happy that you've received my new content so well. I've been in love with blogging ever since and it feels fucking good!

Spending My 26th In NYC
Surrounded by my 4 best friends who I miss every single day, whenever I'm not with them. They made my birthday so special and for once, I didn't feel underwhelmed or sad (birthdays are usually really weird for me). We drank hella amounts of cocktails, ate way too much and laughed even more. I fucking love New York, but I love my US girls even more.

Coming Off The Pill
I actually need to do a full video/post on why I decided the pill was no longer for me, and what played out when I eventually came off it because, I was absolutely fucked lol. My body is now finding itself again and my hormones are regulating. Ive had three periods since May which is better than none. Hopefully in 2017 my cycle goes back to normal (having a period every month).

Signing My Biggest Deal Ever
Although I can't talk about it yet, a few weeks ago I confirmed my biggest accomplishment, career wise to date!!!!! Excited isn't even the word. I tear up just thinking about it. I can't wait to share my news in the New Year. I hope you all love it, the way I do. Eeeeeek!

Facing My Flaws
There have been some real eye opening moments for me in the last year. Moments that made me wake the fuck up and work on myself. Im a good person just like anyone reading this, but I definitely have my flaws, just like anyone reading this. I'm a complete perfectionist so I'm constantly working on myself, my life, my career, but in doing so, I've stumbled across flaws that are not so cute. Flaws that I want to change because if someone else acted how I do sometimes, I would want to punch them in the face lol. Losing friends, gaining better ones, going to therapy, going through a break up, losing myself and then re-finding myself again has given me a whole heap of clarity that I didn't even know I needed. I hate the term New Year, New Me, but there are definitely some aspects of myself that I'm leaving behind in 2016. Amen to that babes.

So there you have it. 10 good things that have happened to me in 2016. It has been one crazy ass year and at some points, I didn't know how I was going to make it through (as dramatic as that sounds). But here I am and I am so fucking ready for a new start and a fresher outlook on life.

I hope you all have the most incredible Christmas & New Year.

Thank you for your continued support, love and light you bring into my life. Thank you for believing in me and being a part of the crazy journey I am on.



Share:

HOW TO COPE THIS CHRISTMAS IF YOU HAVE DISORDERED EATING


I've been pretty vocal about my mental health issues, but in terms of eating problems and a recent diagnosis of an eating disorder, I've never really spoken up.

My issues around food are really hard to explain but as I get better, I am more aware of how messed up our eating is in society as a whole.

I plan on doing a video in late January about my eating disorder, but for now, I thought I'd share with you tips on coping this Christmas if you have disordered eating. Remember, disordered eating doesn't necessarily mean you have a full blown eating disorder, it just means you struggle with 'normal' eating patterns.

If you'd like me to talk more about eating disorders, disordered eating and general issues with food then please let me know. I am slowly learning how to change my eating behaviours and why people have issues with food, so its a really important subject to me. Id like to raise more awareness across all my social sites.

What is disordered eating?
So let me start by saying that Christmas can be a difficult time for many, especially those with mental health issues. And if that MH issue plays out in food - it can be even worse. The pressure to be happy, the disruption and lack of routine, and the enhanced focus on food can lead to anxiety and stress. 

With that being said, here are ways that I will be coping this Christmas.

Stick To Your Self Care Routine
Although your day to day routine may be all over the place around the festive season, its important to take care of yourself still. Whatever your self care routine is, try and continue to do it. For me, its warm baths, candles, blankets and a nice balanced breakfast. I also start my day off with meditation whilst burning incense or sage. Doing those things as soon as I wake up sets me up for a calm day (doesn't always go to plan but you get the picture). Im really into relax music so I often listen to this song in the mornings.

Don't Overthink Food Comments Or Conversations
If you struggle around food, you might get moody, anxious or paranoid when someone discusses food in your presence. Its important to remember that everyone talks about food an awful lot during December. Try not to take in what people say and understand that if the topic of conversation is overeating, calories or 'bad' food, its not aimed at you. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, politely remove yourself from the convo or situation.

Plan & Think Ahead
Life isn't always about planning ahead, but if its about your health and enabling life to be just that little bit easier, then I am all for it. If you know your Christmas plans and food that will be on offer, its easier to stay calm and not panic that you might overeat or want to restrict - for whatever reason that may be. Ask relatives and friends for a heads up on all the festive delights and if thats not enough, bake or prepare some food that you and others can nibble on.

Be Kind To Yourself
There is a misconception that eating disorders are just about food, but for the most part for most people, its not about food at all. My eating disorder has stemmed from childhood trauma and because I never dealt with what I went through, it plays out with negative food behaviours. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received is to simply be kinder to myself, and I urge you all to do the same. Understand your self destructive thoughts but reply to them with 'I am beautiful, I am good enough, I deserve great things'. You can also add in things that are relevant to you and your situation like 'I am worthy of life' and 'I love myself enough to eat this biscuit' or 'I deserve to enjoy these vegetables'. 

Do What You Can
Please don't feel bad if you can't manage to partake in all the Christmassy gatherings. You know what you can and can't do so just do your best - thats good enough. This Christmas, for the first time in my life, I'm spending Boxing Day with my best mate instead of my family. She needs me for her own personal reasons and deep down, I don't think I can manage seeing so many people when I'm not very well. Its sad, but its life and I know next Christmas will be different. Take a bit of control and make it clear to your loved ones what you would like to do. Your opinion and choice matters.

Enjoy Yourself
Most importantly, Christmas is a time to relax, indulge in your favourite things and to have fun. You don't need to force yourself to be happy, but a little effort in doing things that bring you joy will do you the world of good. Watch your favourite films, cuddle your baby cousins & remind yourself of all the little things you're grateful for. You've got this!!

If you need further help and information please contact The Recover Clinic here. 
Remember, I'm not a therapist, but I am going through all of the above and the advice and tips I have shared, are what I've learned in therapy and from first hand experiences.

Share:

41 AMAZING GIFTS EVERY GIRL WOULD LOVE THIS CHRISTMAS


Now please take 'every girl would like' with a pinch of salt because thats a blatant lie lol. I guess this gift guide is for every girl thats like me lol. Or girls who are into blogging, beauty and shit like that. However, I'm 99.9% sure fluffy socks, candles and trainers are 3 essentials that every women needs. Am I right or am I right? 

I whipped up this post for all you last minute shoppers struggling to find the perfect gift for a sibling, cousin or bezzie mate.

From notepads for university students and girl bosses, to oversized scarfs because its freezing, to a designer travel wallet if you have the budget to flash that cash.

BRB whilst I buy this entire post lol.


Share:

MY NEW FIVE YEAR CAREER PLAN & HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN



So I kind of want to talk about careers and working life a little bit more. I think because blogging is my job, I don't have that much to say that hasn't already been said before, but I guess my opinions and talking about things in my own words may be interesting? I bloody hope so.

Firstly, I'm ambitious as hell and I always have been. Secondly, although I definitely believe in taking risks and living life for right now, I also believe in making goals and longterm plans - especially when it comes to your career.

In today's post I thought I'd touch upon my five year plan and how you can put together your own. Five years for me is a realistic amount of time to make my big boy dreams come true, & without putting too much pressure on yourself. I usually complete my five year plan within 2 years so thats proof that hard work and focus really does pay off.


What is a five year plan?
A list of things you want to achieve within the next 5 years. Your five year plan should scare you & it should make you focus and work hard. It can be bigger than your wildest dreams - but thats what makes it more exciting. It doesn't need to be long, it just needs to be manageable for you. Its a break down of goals you'd like to smash and with self belief, you can smash every.single.one.


I've been doing five year plans for as long as I can remember. If I write something down, it makes it more 'real' and enables me to really work towards something. For the past 18 months though, I've been living in limbo. Although my career is on the up at a pretty rapid rate, if BBC3 stopped making docs with me and brands didn't want to work with me anymore, I would literally not be able to pay my bills. I also want to really think about where I'd like to be when I'm 30 (which is in 4 years GULP). My career isn't all about money or paying my bills either, I want to help people and really spread the message of self love and the importance of talking about taboo subjects. I want to step things up a level, surprise people and more importantly surprise myself.

I don't just want to be a blogger, or someone who makes Youtube videos (no disrespect to people who do), but for me, my career is bigger than that.


My Five Year Plan

Make A Series With BBC3.
At the moment I'm making one off short form docs (30mins) and although I love that, I'm completely ready to tackle different subjects for an entire series. I basically want to be on the level of Stacey Dooley & Reggie Yates. Id love to do a series about children in care, the affects of having a missing parent during childhood & maybe even one on contraception. I want to be a leader in making taboo subjects less taboo.

Develop An App.
To have an app thats an extension of what I already do here and Youtube, but on a bigger and better scale would be amazing! A section dedicated to self affirming quotes, body image and confidence. Another section on mental health, ways to cope and help pages for when life is just too much. A section on sex, periods and how to deal with shitty boyfriends and even shittier friends. A section dedicated to music so we can sing with each other like James Corden & Adele. Do you get the picture?

Become A Charity Ambassador.
I'd love to work with a charity who focus on eating disorders and childhood trauma, two subjects close to my heart. There is a misconception that an eating disorder is about food, but in more cases than not, its about something way deeper. Anorexia and bulimia are the most well known forms of eating disorders, so I'd like to possibly focus on less known disorders like binge eating and to raise awareness around how trauma can lead to serious eating problems. 

Create My Own Swimwear Line.
Great fitting swimwear at great prices is SO rare, especially if you have big boobs and/or you're plus size. I would love to bring out my own swimwear brand or collab with an already established swimmer/lingerie company. I love swimwear and I often get so many questions from followers about pieces that I recommend and the best places to shop, so in my opinion - it just works. I can just imagine having a set called 'Island Girl' with pineapples and palm trees in a mix of yellow, green and pink colours. IM SO EXCITED JUST THINKING ABOUT IT!

Write A Book For Parents.
I have a real knack of being able to talk to parents about difficult subjects that go on in society these days. Due to working in a children's home for years, I was able to really learn how to explain and discuss issues to adults about what their kids were going through. So many parents have NO idea how to be there for their kids who may been self harming or have other mental health issues. I would absolutely LOVE to write a book/manual/guide for parents on how to tackle certain problems their children may be facing. Not only will it cover behavioural problems and difficult subjects, it will also cover self love and building a child's esteem. A basic no bullshit guide on understanding a teen in the 21st Century.



How To Make Your Own


Write It Down
Like I said earlier, writing things down just makes it more real. Make a list and even a list for that list, about all the things you'd like to achieve. Even if you have no idea how you're going to get there just yet, write it down still because even just making it known that thats where you want to be, is one step closer in achieving it.

Be Specific
This makes it easier to really concentrate and focus on what you want. For example - you want a new job thats rewarding and gives you something back? Look at different jobs that might give you that and direct your attention to one, maybe two. Answering the calls to domestic violence helpline? Working in an old peoples home? You get the picture. If your mind is jumbled up with lots of different avenues, it can be hard to make something solid. Be specific with your goals and they are more likely to come through.

Visualisation
Vision boards are a great way to visualise what you want from life, not just within your career. Using one of those cork boards that cost £3 on eBay, you can create your ideal future right in front of your eyes. Use magazine cuttings, quotes, pictures - anything. Get creative and put together a collage, imagine you're in year 5 at Primary School lol. Another way to visualise is to simply close your eyes and dream. Imagine yourself picking up your award. Imagine yourself handing in your final paper for your masters. Imagine your entire life how you'd like it to be. Ive said it before but I'll say it again - what you think, you become.

Be Real
Don't set yourself up to fail by setting goals you know damn well you won't or cant meet. 'IM GOING TO BECOME A PILOT WITHIN THE NEXT 5 YEARS', just isn't going to happen is it lol? Yes dream big, but also dream with a little bit of realism. You don't want to leave yourself disappointed. Do what you're good at and have a passion for.


Was this post helpful? Im thinking about doing a personal five year plan too? Let me know if thats something you'd like to see.


Share:

HOW TO STYLE OVERSIZED DUNGAREES THIS WINTER











Photography by JKG

NEW LOOK Oversized Dungarees (similar linked)
COS Cream Roll Neck (similar linked)
F21 Leopard Print Backpack (similar linked)

So, shall we just skip over the whole 'sorry I haven't posted in weeks' chat or nah? LOL!

After the Black Friday & Cyber Week madness, my diary became unexpectedly full and trying to daily vlog on my Youtube channel as part of vlogmas, is proving difficult as fuck. Every year I do it and every year I struggle - I never bloody learn haha.

I have so many post ideas running through my mind, so I'm kicking off this cloudy, gloomy (daylight WHERE U AT?) Monday with a little style post.

I really do like the dungaree and jumpsuit vibe. Its an effortlessly stylish style that can be worn in more ways than you think. With denim dungarees I usually wear high top converse with a cute little top underneath and maybe a checked shirt around my waist for added sass. However when it comes to wide leg oversized overalls - I style things up a lot differently, especially now its baltic outside.

Due to the wide leg cut and having actual wide legs lol, wearing a heeled boot is essential. Its much more flattering than say, a trainer and it works the best with my body type (IMO of course). As its bloody freezing I'm wearing a thick, high quality roll neck jumper from COS. This piece also has extra long sleeves which adds a little high fashion to it. Pulled together with a statement bag and some oversized glasses - I absolutely love this look.

For cheaper alternatives to the boots, check out Public Desire!



Share:

HOW MONEY PROBLEMS AFFECTED MY MENTAL HEALTH + TIPS ON HOW TO GET HELP


This post is sponsored by Giff Gaff Money.

I remember crying.

Constantly crying.

How am I going to ever get away from this? Will this ever end? Im so stupid! This is so embarrassing. Im so ashamed. It would be better if I wasn't here anymore. Everyone else seems to have their life together but I don't. Im such a failure. Why did I do this? Why don't I have any self control? How did this happen? This is taking over my life..

.. And it did, for a short while anyway.

So here we go.

I, Gracie Francesca, is back at it again with an oversharing post (but who cares). I really wish people were more transparent with money problems, and just money in general. I know it can be quite tacky when someone is boasting about how much they earn, but sometimes, talking about money, especially with other women, can actually be quite helpful. You realise that not everyone has their stuff together and thats okay. 

Back in January 2015 (which isn't even that long ago), I was struggling BIG TIME, and I continued to struggle until that summer. 

It probably wasn't the best idea, moving out when Youtube income was so sporadic - but I was desperate to fly the nest and have a space that I could call my own. Yes.. I am super impatient lol.

Ive never been good with money (I definitely get it from my Mum) and I've always lived pay check to pay check. I've never saved, never put any money away for a rainy day and if I'm perfectly honest, I enjoyed spending money on whatever I felt like spending it on.

When I turned 19, my bank at the time, gave me an overdraft & a credit card. In the beginning the maximum I could spend on them was pretty low and every month (maybe not every but I'm still in denial lol) I'd pay off what I owed. After a while, I guess my credit score improved and by the time I was 23, I had a £3000 overdraft and a £7000 limit credit card. IMAGINE MY EXCITEMENT.

What can I buy? Where can I go? Do I need a new car? Well, duh. Of course I do.

You get the point right?

Soon enough, I was drowning in debt & panicking every single day. It was an absolute nightmare. I hated my reality and the constant worry.

Eventually, worry and panic turned into full blown stress and anxiety. Money, debt, bills, you name it - it was all I could think about. I worried about debt collectors, I worried about people finding out and the shame and absolute horror of everyone knowing this dirty secret. I worried that I'd never pay it off & that I'd end up going to court and losing everything. My imagination ran wild and I was too ashamed to tell anyone what was going on. 

I was embarrassed.

I was on edge. Always on edge.

I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. I couldn't do anything.

Those 4/5 months were dark, lonely & pretty depressing. I didn't know where to get help, how to get help and who to speak to. I googled 'debt problems' but nothing seemed to put my mind at ease. To put it bluntly - it was bloody shit! 

However, in my greatest despair I became very lucky, very lucky indeed. Youtube work picked up and my career really took off. I begun paying off my debt and a system was put in place with my bank so that I felt more in control with managing my money. 

The anxiety wore off and I was able to finally think straight again. It was a scary but necessary lesson that I had to learn, but I wish I learned it another way.

With that being said, I really understand what it feels like to try and keep your head above water when you're literally on the verge of drowning. The cost of living is going up, but wages are staying the same, and in some cases, they're decreasing. That girl you absolutely love to hate on Instagram has bought a brand new designer bag, and now you want a new designer bag but you literally cant even afford one from Primark so now you hate your life. I get it.

I really do get it.

I wish in my time of need someone I related to, or someone who had a voice, spoke about money, or debt, or ways in which to budget. Struggling to pay off my credit card and wondering how I was going to pay my rent really affected my mental health, so here are some money tips I wish someone had shared with me.

  • Talk talk talk! Keeping money stress bottled up is horrible; thousands of people have been where you are and it's nothing to be ashamed of - talk it out with a friend and ask for support
  • Keep a budget of all your incoming money vs outgoing costs and download one of the free money management apps to keep track of your spending
  • Build up an emergency fund for unexpected expenses - it may help reduce the panic when you suddenly realise you hadn't budgeted for a surprise cost in your monthly planning 
  • Don't fall into the trap of yourself to your friends -  there's a lot of glossy instagram snaps that can make you think you're missing out - a lot of it isn't real and definitely not worth the debt if you can't afford the lifestyle
  • Keep a positive mental attitude. Lots of people have been in debt, paid it off, bought a home and now keep on top of their money; with the right tools, support and determination you can too. 
Thank you to Giff Gaff money for working with me on this post.



video



Share:

rewardStyle: Homepage Feed

© Gracie Francesca | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Developed by pipdig