Fortnightly Favourites #4

The past fortnight has been all about preparing for holiday, so my reading list reflects this. I've added a "creating" section just for Penny, while "wellbeing" is focused on perfectionism; I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself to be 'anxiety free' in New England, but I can't expect too much. It's about planning ahead and putting things in perspective! 

I hope you enjoy exploring these blog posts as much as I did! I've included more on cruelty-free beauty, with a few exciting discoveries, and there may be another Cambridge Satchel for the wonder-list. Gosh it's becoming a long list... 

Creating

What settings do I use? Stylenylon is a photography bible for the Olympus Pen! Before this post, I didn't have a clue what the Aperture setting was... or any setting, for that matter. My photo-cabulary  featured two words: "on" and "capture"! Well, I can now tell you that a low aperture helps with that "bokeh" blurred background, aka the blogger dream. I also know about white balance and exposure. In short, I'm practically Mario Testino, so let's do this Penny!

5 Tips for your Olympus Pen - I know I had a little rant about blog advice posts last month, but  Media Marmalade is the Delia Smith of the blogging world; she just knows it! Since putting the 'super control' menu on my main screen, Penny has become a photo ninja. I also had no clue about the iPhone remote, but oh my gosh it is genius! Basically, this post is a godsend for all newbie Olympians. Now who's up for Rio? 

DIY Rope Camera Strap - I love the DIY tutorials on a Pair & a Spare! As a self-confessed craftaholic, I literally want to try it all... somedays I wish I was an Octopus; those extra arms would come in handy. Nevertheless, the DIY Rope Camera Strap is top of my list. As New England will be Penny's first trip abroad, I want her looking her Olympus best. That gives me 4 days to DIY? Challenge accepted...

Styling

Everyday Princess wardrobe essentials - Jordan is now on YouTube! I am a longtime fan of  her main blog, Hello Miss Jordan, but she is truly a girl after my own heart with this debut vlog. Seeing as my last fortnightly favourites had a whole section on Cambridge Satchels, I was just a little in love with Jordan's traveller bag. Yup, I knew the name of the bag from first glance. Is it obvious I've spent the past month wonder-listing their entire website?

The unfortunate reality of the Bardot - I love those posts where lol actually means 'laugh out loud'; I hate strapless bras too!  Especially when you're running to catch a bus and it ends up around your waist... Yet, like Kat, I can rant and rave about the bardot! I had 'pinging arms' yesterday in a changing room, yet still went on to buy the dress. I just need to hold off on that bend & snap... 

Nyx Cosmetics review and swatches - After committing 100% to cruelty free beauty, I've been familiarising myself with all the CF brands. When I discovered that this includes Nyx, aka the blogger brand-of-the-moment (RIP MAC), I waded through  a lot of reviews to find this gem by Jodie - I love swatches, but it's also balanced. It Now I know to be weary of the 'lingerie lip' hype, but will definitely be investing in a matte lip cream... or three.

I Gave into the Hype - I'm pretty sure you will have heard of the Kylie Lip Kit, unless you're my dad - the man who said he would remove our skybox if I ever recorded Kardashians... I was sceptical about the Lip Kit, but after reading Jordan's post *and learning it was cruelty-free) I decided to go for it with Koko K. Verdict? Jordan is spot on - lip liner is a game changer! So even if you don't invest King Kylie, add Little Miss Liner to your lip kit.

Travelling

It's good to get away - If you struggle with anxiety and breaking routine, read this post! I've definitely fallen into an avoidance cycle, being scared of change and the possibility of failure. So this line jumped out: "If you're um-ing and ah-ing about a decision, consider what it could do for your happiness." Aka, focus on the possible success. I loved Holly's honesty and perspective in this post, so I'm going to try harder to be glass half full!

Dealing with mental health on holiday - I adore Nicole's blog, because she is so true to herself and open with her experiences. This post is a reminder that mental health recovery is not a linear process, but that's okay. Stumbles are also learning curves; Nicole has made me feel less anxious about my own holiday, as before I was putting huge pressure on myself. She is an incredible girl and a staple on my bloglovin' feed!

Packing for Holiday - Colour Capsules - Another one from a Pair & a Spare, this time Geneva has saved me from suit-chaos. I'm usually such a haphazard packer, but the colour capsule concept is going to change this! I know that one colour capsule will be centred around my new Periwinkle Push-Lock, so we're talking dreamy princess pastels! Blair would definitely approve

Best coffee shops in Boston - I've made no secret of my love of coffee, so this post was gold dust for my New England plans. I'm all for the element of surprise, but ultimately we are only in Boston for two days; I don't want to miss any potential gems! The Thinking Cup looks like it could be just that... their website has a photo of macarons. Who needs Paris?

Wellbeing

Define your own success - Sarah is wonderful for these types of post; we need more of them in the blogosphere. The final paragraph, where she mentions the success in finishing a meal, particularly hit home for me. It's so easy to negatively compare to friends who have graduated, but where does that get me? As Sarah puts it: "So what if your portrait of Marilyn Monroe looks more like a stoned Danny Devito?" Amen. Along with her Elle Woods gif, this post wins all the brownie blog points!

Why it's okay not to have a tonne of friends - This is quite a sensitive topic for me. Since taking leave from University, I've struggled to go on social media and not compare to the idyllic images of "friendship goals". I'm sure I'm not the only one, so I really recommend giving Katy's post a read: "Society may make us believe that having a huge friend group is the norm, from Friends to Taylor Swift squad goals." Life is too short to live in a bubble of comparison.

I'm Grateful For - "Cotton candy clouds so fluffy I could wrap myself in them and fall blissfully asleep." After reading this, I'm grateful for the english language! Aurora's blog is a hidden gem - her post "where you come from doesn't determine where you're going" really hit home for me. In short, I predict a lot more bloglovin' hearts to come for her blog!

The Truth about not good enough - Every so often, a post comes along and clicks. Last week, Freyas blog did just that: "painful thoughts can’t survive if you just go back to what you love most". I'm a huge advocate for creative wellbeing, yet it's all too easy for self-doubt to take over. I will definitely be going back to Freya's post in those moments. Ps: her horse photography is breathtaking. It's made me quite nostalgic for my riding days!  

What blogs have you been loving? 

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