AM I DOING ENOUGH?






Boots - RIVER ISLAND (similar linked) | Scarf - ASOS



I think its fair to say that a huge downside to running your own business or simply living in society today, is feeling like there is always something to do and always more that could be done. As I write this post, I still haven't showered, I'm sat in my pjs at 11am & there is copious amounts of washing up to do.  I feel guilty and lazy and like I need to put on a full face of makeup and get on top of filming videos, taking photos, editing a vlog I've been putting off and everything else I should probably be doing. Even though I'm reaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllyyyyy not in the mood to do anything at all.

Yesterday's therapy session has left me feeling a little wounded. I feel extra vulnerable and drained and sad and I would love nothing more than to run away for a while and hide from the world (or at least people that know who I am). I just can't get motivated and I feel like I'm simply not doing enough.

Yes I'm busy, pretty much all of the time. Yes I have a healthyish (LOL) bank balance. Yes I'm getting enough work and opportunities. Yes I just wrote a book. Yes I post weekly and upload videos when I can. Yes I tweet daily and post most days on Instagram and yes I meet new & old brands frequently. So why do I feel this way? Why am I putting so much pressure on myself to force things & do even more?



I guess I know what I'm capable of but I'm frustrated that my brain capacity can't handle being overwhelmed, because my mental health isn't 100% right now. I'm also due on so I feel lethargic and more emotional than usual, yay to being a woman. But the leading factor in feeling this way, is because I'm seeing how much other people are doing. Or should I say, how much other people look like they're doing.

Comparison is inevitable - we're only human after all, but in comparing myself to others, I'm left feeling like I 'shit.. I should probably do that or start doing this and omfg I'm a failure of a human being'.

I wish I could take outfit photos everyday and curate a dreamy Insta feed. I wish I could drink coffee in a peaceful aesthetically pleasing cafe and live the good ol' freelance life. I wish I could afford a dreamy new lens and take outstanding beauty shots of makeup and face masks and cute little bath bombs. I wish I could upload videos twice a week (like I fucking promised myself and my followers that I would). I wish I could hire a crew to help me film a sick ass fashion video and I wish I could get my life together and save for a house and stop ordering new clothes from ASOS. I wish I could do it all, I wish I could do what I am doing, but all of the other stuff too, but I can't. 

But that doesn't mean I'm not doing enough.




I go above and beyond to make sure I can pay my bills, whilst also making sure I have my eyes set on the bigger picture - y'know.. making my dreams come true and all of that. I may not be doing what other bloggers or freelancers are doing, but I'm doing what Grace should be doing and that is enough. I'm trying to push myself and work hard, but I'm also aware of how important self care & having me time is. I guess I'm just figuring out the work/life balance whilst also being honest with myself and what I can and can't do. 

I'm doing the very best I can and that IS enough.

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10 THINGS IM HAPPY ABOUT RIGHT NOW


WA GWAAAAAAAAN my gal dem.

So I'm back from -4 New York City and its just hit me like a ton of bricks how behind I am on work. Life happens though doesn't it? And I'm not going to beat myself up over it - I have been writing a book after all, haven't I?

(Little plug but can you buy my book please?????????? Its here lol).

Now though, I'm desperately trying to get my butt into gear and push out some content. I don't really schedule my posts anymore, these days I'm more of a 'write when I feel like it kinda girl' & I like it. But that means I go days, sometimes weeks without posting. I'm super proud of most of my posts since summer 16' so I guess I'm doing something right.

Anyway. I've been slightly moody and sad lately so I thought I'd cheer myself up (and you guys of course) with a positive post.

Enjoy..

1) My new blog design. Yes, I know I keep banging on about it but *squeals* GIRL, I am just so excited. It should have been done last month but I kept changing my mind on what I wanted (typical). I just want to make sure its as close to perfect as I'd like lol. So bare with me. It is coming and I really think you're gonna like it.

2) Criminal Minds. So the American Netflix is way better than the one in the UK?! I got into Criminal Minds whilst I was in NYC. I originally stuck it on as some background noise whilst I was getting ready, but 18 episodes later I am hooked. And no, I didn't find an illegal site to watch it on now that I'm back in London. LOL! (lies)

3) Aldi prices. That thing happened to me where you run out of every damn thing in your kitchen. I looked in my fridge and it literally contained gone off milk, a block of cheese and a packet of green thai curry paste. Now thats adulting! Bae & I decided to do a big food shop; fruit, veg, meat, bagels, biscuits, juice, pizza, milk (obvs) and whatever else we could get our hands on. We went IN and the shop came to £72. Now, if that was Sainsbury's it would've literally been £120. *pats self on back*

4) Stormzy's album GSAP. And not just because I'm in one of his music videos lol. Gang Signs & Prayers inspired me beyond belief, whilst also making history. The album makes me want to slap someone and then kiss them straight after. If you're interested, Blinded By Your Grace Part 2 and 100 Bags are my faves! You can download GSAP here.

5) Smoked cheese. I actually got into this over Christmas, but I can't stop eating it lol. Its just so damn good with salted butter on top of crackers. Yum!

6) Chloe. Ah. My mate Chloe is just my favourite human ever. She's genuine, kind, strong, honest and loyal and in 2017 those qualities are pretty rare to find. I adore her. Check out her blog here.

7) Boohoo+ new in. Guys, guys guys, I have spent WAY too much money on Boohoo recently. I literally place orders weekly - its beginning to take a lead over ASOS (not really but I need to be dramatic so you understand how amazing all the new in stuff is). My wardrobe looks SO good right now.

8) Harry Potter. I decided it was about time I re-watched Harry Potter from the beginning all the way to the very end. I haven't actually seen the last two movies yet - I think I'm subconsciously putting it off because I know its going to be v. emotional. 'You're a wizard Harry'.

9) Orange & mango squash. Its just the best and I missed it when I was in NYC!

10) @pomelokiwie. At the beginning of the year, I was in desperate need of some style inspo. My Instagram explore page was rubbish and I was in a little bit of a style rut. My mind seems to be so consumed with other shit, that I just go blank whenever I try and out together an outfit. However, one absolute babe that makes me want to get out of bed 30mins earlier so I can figure out what to wear, is Pomelo. She has a similar frame to me, she's French AND she's outrageously stylish. Go and stalk her!

What's making you happy right now?

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MY TYPICAL WEEK AS A SELF EMPLOYED TWENTYSOMETHING




So I thought it was about time to give you, my readers, a little insight into my life. Of course I weekly vlog, but I only really share snippets throughout my day, all compiled into one lengthly video. I think a lot of people assume bloggers just solely produce content and take outfit photos, which might be true for some (no disrespect if thats you), but thats just not the truth for me. 

From panel talks to meetings, here's an overview of my week as a self employed twentysomething.



Boots - ASOS | Bag - F21 (alternative linked)

Emails Emails Emails - the absolute bane of my life lol. For professional purposes I have a multitude of mailboxes, from personal emails to blog enquiries. I find it easier to have everything separate so I can manage things in a way that suits me. Id like to say I can do my emails weekly but for me, its pretty much daily. Sometimes brand deals come in with a really short turnaround and I hate missing opportunities, so I check my mailbox frequently. Emails are a massive part of how I make my money!

Interviews/Phone Calls - I'm not sure if this goes with a lot of other bloggers, but most weeks I take press phone calls for magazines and online publications. Other times I'll chat to brands about upcoming work and collaborations I'm doing with them. 

Producing Multi Platform Content -
Blog: In terms of taking photos, I tend to bulk shoot my flatlays so I can do the writing part when I have the time, or when I get a spurt of inspo. I try to put as much effort into my content as possible, so quite often my posts take a pretty long while to complete. I'm talking 2-4 hours sometimes (it might be because I procrastinate though lol). The other part of my blog content is shooting with my photographer Jade. We usually shoot 5-6 outfits at a time, then I import all the photos (usually around 700) and then I edit them in Lightroom. In terms of editing, I make my photos brighter, cooler and crisper. Ive also recently downloaded some VSCO filters so I'm excited to play around with those.

Youtube: If I'm really really busy (which I have been lately), my Youtube schedule is the first to go. I weekly vlog and upload that content on Wednesdays, and I try to also make a main, more focused video on Sundays. Editing and filming can literally take an entire day lol, especially if I've filmed a fashion based video. Then I have to create a thumbnail, upload the video and then fill out the description box with all the necessary links and information.

Instagram: I most definitely have a theme *sort of* that I like to stick to. I opt for cool tone imagery, with a monochromatic focus, but with hints of colour. I love shots of food, selfies and outfits. I also like to inspire my followers with words too so I post a lot of quotes and beautiful writing. I use UNUM to plan my feed which I highly recommend if you struggle to stick to a planned grid. I try to post daily, but I don't force myself to post if I have nothing to share.

Dedicated Work Admin - This can be anything from updating my media kit, to changing my shopable widgets. From scheduling tweets to replying to comments. I actually find this part of my work fun.

Other Admin/Errands - things like going to the post office, opening blogger mail & trying to stay on top of my finance spreadsheets. Who knew doing all of this could be so time consuming? I also have to do the things I really really hate like cleaning, washing my clothes and tidying my office that appears to get messy every damn day lol. Don't forget therapy and food shopping too. 



Producing Sponsored Content - Sponsored content and commission are the highest earners for me. I actually make practically nothing from advertising. Sponsored content is just like my normal content but its just a bit (sometimes a lot) more long winded. Lots of different people have to sign off the content you've produced, so theres usually a fair amount of back and forth, before everything is confirmed and you guys see/read it. Campaigns can last from a week, right up to to 6 months so at times they will be a priority within my workload.

Brand Meetings - If I could give bloggers some advice, it would be to create relationships within this industry, outside of emails. Its professional, personable and also just really nice, to speak to people away from a computer screen. If you make the effort to meet brands/PRs it can actually benefit you in the long run, in terms of support on new ventures, aswell as getting opportunities and paid work. At the start of my freelance life many years ago, I was having 5 meetings per week! I wanted people to know who I was - I think it worked.

TV Meetings - These usually go into my diary super last minute but they take high importance. My goal is to make factual documentaries full time. Think Stacey Dooley & Louis Theroux rolled into one lol. Some days I'm at BBC3, other days I'm meeting production companies to share each others ideas.

Book Writing Sessions - So on top of everything else, I'm writing my book and it still doesn't feel real lol. My debut book NO FILTER, will be out in July, but if you'd like to pre-order it, you can by clicking here. Writing about my life is fun and weird and brilliant, but its also pretty draining. I usually take a few hours during an afternoon to plough through a chapter - my most recent one is all about sex haha. You're in for a right treat!

Personal Time & Social Events - Although I'm a workaholic, this year I made the conscious effort to take more time for me. Self care is a huge part of my life whether thats, lighting candles and eating a bar of galaxy chocolate, or spending the day at a spa with my favourite humans. I try and find the work/life balance as much as possible, so if I'm working a lot, best believe I'm playing (mostly sleeping) a lot too.





So thats it, my typical week as a self employed twentysomething.

Usually at this point, its Friday night and I've cocooned myself in my favourite fluffy blanket, on the sofa watching The Big Bang Theory. 

Obviously what I get up to differs from week to week. Some weeks I'll be on panels talking about Youtube & travelling up and down the country doing numerous different things. And other weeks I'll be sat on my ass eating cheese and crackers, whilst binge watching Criminal Minds. 

Thats what you call balance babes.


Shop My Look
Boots - ASOS | Bag - F21 (alternative linked)


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I THINK IVE LOST MY BODY CONFIDENCE


So I think I've lost my body confidence.

I'm struggling massively and I can't pretend anymore.

I've been losing it for a while. Although its not really obvious is it? Im still posting selfies on Instagram and trying to be positive and upbeat and happy and inspiring, but to be honest, I don't really feel any of those things at all. 

Quite the opposite actually. 

I feel ugly and unworthy and fat and gross. I feel insecure and uncomfortable and I have an overwhelming urge to restrict my food and go on some insane diet to lose weight. What is it with us women with thinking that losing weight is the answer to all our body image problems? 

I know that part of my negative thoughts about my body is my illness. My bullshit eating disorder that pisses me off at the best of times, but even more so when it makes me want to hide and cry and not be me anymore. The other part of my negative thoughts is comparison. I occasionally get into a place where I compare myself to everyone and I get stuck into scrolling through Instagram wishing I looked like a Nicki Minaj style video vixen or an Australian beach babe - anyone but me. I don't discriminate lol.

For the past month or so I've literally woken up everyday and wanted to do nothing but lay on my sofa in my comfies, forgetting about all of my responsibilities. I've dreaded going out because I'm paranoid that people will look at me and think 'ew'. I've struggled to simply get dressed because the curve of my stomach and the dimples of my thighs make me feel really sad. I've read fat shaming comments about myself which has filled me with self doubt and questions like; do I need to change? should I eat more 'healthily'? will losing weight make them stop? (spoiler, it won't). 

I've even cried on my boyfriends shoulder asking for him to reassure me that he finds me attractive and you know what? ITS SHIT.

Its absolutely fucking shit.

I hate my new hair (I look like a tragic 80s flashdance performer). I hate my clothes (who knew spending £1000s a year on ASOS wouldn't provide me with a wearable wardrobe). I hate my skin (I have a giant red angry spot and I'm losing my tan). I hate my bum (its not round enough). I hate my belly (its not flat enough). I hate my chubby fingers (I just do). I hate my neck (isn't it obvious?). I hate my vagina (I need a wax - its out of control LOL). I could go on but I'm supposed to be giving up negative thoughts for lent.

There is also an added pressure being part of the body positive community, to love myself day in and day out. But right now I just can't. Right now, I've lost my body confidence and I don't know how or when I'll get it back. 

I know its normal to feel this way, but it makes me even more upset that feeling so bogged down about my body is acceptable? Its so common that I bet 99.9% of my readers (you lovely bunch) can relate to pretty much every single thing I've mentioned in this post. 

So what happens now? (takes a long hard deep breath lol).

Im taking today out. Im going to have an evening to myself to indulge in self care, both physical and mental. Yes I'm going to have the longest bath, wrap myself in a blanket and watch crime shows. But I'm also going to go for a long walk, make myself a sexy dinner, read, meditate and place a small (I'm lying) order on Boohoo for some new threads for my upcoming trip. 

I know I'll be back to feeling myself soon enough but for now, here's to a mini digital detox and some time out to find a little happiness.

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