30 September 2016

Facing the Fresher friendship fears

How are people already best friends? Why does this all feel so false? What if I hate alcohol? Where is my Blair/Serena? WHAT IF I AM A SOCIAL OUTCAST?! 

Believe it or not, it's okay to have these fears. In fact, they make you completely and unexceptionally normal. I sincerely apologise if this rains on your Unicorn parade, but it truly is okay not to feel okay. What isn't okay is to react by hiding away in a wardrobe. Unless, of course, your wardrobe is Narnia. In this  case I suggest you ignore my rambles and be(aver) on your way... .

However, if the most magical item in your wardrobe is a hogwarts scarf knitwear, read on! Disclaimer: I'm not the most qualified person in the world for fresh advice. My Friyay night drink of choice is green tea (with Googlebox), I thought a Jaegerbomb was a German pretzel and I wore panda mittens to my first nightclub... Yet I still made friends.

So from one under-granduate to another, here are my home truths on the fear of fitting in...


photo credit: buzzfeed.co.uk
In the first few weeks of Freshers, you will inevitably encounter the FBFFs - Fresher Best Friends ForeverVery soon, the comparison trap will swing open and smack self-doubt in your face: how can one campus hold this many Helens?
You thought you were a tough cookie, but by week 3 you are in the midst of an existential crisis. 
photo credit: buzzfeed.co.uk
Breathe! Step outside the fresher fog and breathe. As a new student, I had my fair share of friendship fears. I constantly compared to those around me, worried that was doing freshers 'wrong'. So if you're feeling the same way, here's a little story from my own time at University.... I hope it can offer some perspective! 

Hiddle and Swift were two girls on my my corridor. Within 24 hours, they were virtually inseparable. Hiddle and Swift watched all the same TV shows, joined all the same societies and were soon sharing  wardrobes, vodka, boys... we'll come back to that one later! Before you know it, they're meeting the parents, house hunting and signing up to the next ski society social: nothing says friendship like being stranded on a mountain...

... then the inevitable. Hiddle realises that Swift is texting the guy they both like. Swift realises that Hiddle has a course friend outside their squad. Hiddle sees red and sleeps with the guy. Swift also sees Red and signs a house lease for 2nd year... without Hiddle. By Christmas, it's official: they're never ever getting back together

The moral of this story? Love-ins are deceiving. Not all fresher friendships crumble like a Bridesmaids cookie; however, true bonds build over time. So turn off the timer and, above all, don't compare... 
photo credit: cosmopolitan.com


Before going to University, I bought into the "best week of your life" hype. I psyched myself out completely: what if I don't find my  forever friend across the corridor? What if fate doesn't drop her in a week 2 club queue? Why does Taylor not want me in her girl squad? Why am I not Cara Delvigne? Okay, maybe that last one is just me... 

Here's the truth: freshers want to fit in, more than anything, but this can make people selfish. So  always look out for yourself and don't let anyone tarnish your University experience! Of course, this is easier said than done. I lost friends who I thought would stay the course. In most cases, we just drifted apart; however, I was really shaken by an incident with my two 'closest' friends. In short, they decided it was time to move on.... but forgot to give me the memo! 
photo credit: tumblr.com
What followed was a flurry of "what's wrong with me" and "I'm not good enough ?" thoughts. It was the perfect storm for anxiety, as I instinctively placed others on a pedestal and questioned my actions. Not helpful! With hindsight, however, I've learnt how I could have responded. Using the "friend in my shoes" perspective, this is what I would say: Other people can drop the ball! Besides, if they could move on so quick were they really worth your friendship? NO. 

So next time you turn to self-blame, be your own advice. I am the first to be guilty of over-thinking and internalising, but the "friend in my shoes" method really can work! In terms of feeling isolated post #freshxit, this is when perspective is your best friend. University is filled with students, thousands of them. Beyond University? You have an entire planet and the rest of your life! At some point, you will find your lobster. Until then? Be your own cheerleader... 
photo credit: tumblr.com


Everyone wants to belong, everyone has the same fears that you had; you are not alone! Next time you see that "Central Perk sofa" group on campus, remember that behind the picture are a thousand unspoken words; the girl who wishes she was sitting on the middle sofa, or the boy who is worried about skipping the "next night out". Everyone has worries and fears; as the wonderful Bianca puts it in her Letter to you, from the World, we all get it. You are not alone.  

Nevertheless, the comparison trap is everywhere, which is why you keep Mr Perspective on speed dial. Happiness isn't measured by the number of Facebook photos in a "Freshers Week" album. Anyone can caption a selfie with "soul sister" and social media will believe it. Yet, just like Instagram, there is a freshers world beyond the filter.

Finally, remember that even Elle Woods and Queen B had their moments of doubt. It's called being human!
photo credit: vogue.com


Please don’t be a hermit! There is a time for that; the summer holiday, for example, so I hope you booked some prime time in with me, myself and I. Come freshers, it's all about meeting your fellow muggles. So please avoid this... 
photo credit: exepose.com
... for one thing, Harry had Dobby for company. We (most regretfully) don’t have a cool house elf with a tea cosy hat. I will hold my hands up and say it: I was not the most sociable person pre-university. Okay, that's an understatement: one time, I moved my watch forward by an hour to make an early bid for freedom... my friend caught me and has never let me live it down!  

Suffice to say, I arrived in Exeter and was every so slightly terrified. So what did I do? I took a leaf out of Elsa's book and tried to LET IT GO. Looking back, I'm so glad I did; from gaining my cheese stamps, to belting out “Angels” at 2am, I have some great moments to look back on. 

I may never understand the logic of going to sleep at 4am - if I wanted to be an Owl, I would become an animagus - but I honestly did surprise myself! Still not convinced? Just ask Neville... 
photo credit: exepose.com


Student Minds have launched a brilliant campaign, which is designed to counter the night-out narrative of social media: "It's time for us to stop feeling like we are missing out every time we choose to stay in." Exhausted by the endless club selfies or pre-drink tweets? Tag your Bake-Off evening or Blanket Fort with  #BestNightIn  and post! Okay I really want to make a blanket fort right now... 
Trust me, the majority of freshers are secretly longing for a night in; for starters, who wants to miss Mary Berry? With 15 million views, I can guarantee you won't be the only bake-off fan on campus, so host a viewing! Who needs sambuca shots when you have soggy bottoms? The blanket forts and  Pillow fights are optional, but encouraged... 
photo credit: cosmopolitan.com


Be yourself. I admit this statement has more cheese than a fondue party, but it's true! While it's important to have an open-mind, you can't ignore 18 years of experiences, likes, dislikes, memories... everything that has made you you.

The first people you encounter are usually in your accommodation; while you may just click, don't be disheartened if this isn't the case. Don't feel an instant bond with the people on your course? There are other opportunities to meet people. I really encourage Society Tasters; try that Harry Potter or Disney social, as you're guaranteed to find like-minded people! Conversely, if you meet anyone who hates Dobby and Olaf...
Moreover, don't be afraid of unchartered territory; just think of yourself as Neil and or Buzz (Aldrin/Lightyear, I'll leave you to choose). One small step could lead to wonderful thingsExepose was the giant leap of my University experience... but I didn't even join until November. 2.5 years on, it gained 2 editorial positions and 90% of my friends from  this wonderful society. Not bad for a wing and a £5 prayer.

Exepose It provided a ready-made family, where socialising was about more than getting smashed - blessing: people actually wanted to have a conversation... about more than guys and getting smashed... hallelujah! I'll be honest with you, there is some truth to the "down it fresher" stereotype... especially at the start. My best advice? Stand your ground. If Marge and Rita aren't your jam - or you'd sooner bolt jam than a jagerbomb -  it's okay. For starters, we all saw what Margaritas did to Ross Gellar:

Moreover, it does get better. Truly. So please be patient! It may seem crazy right now, but as long as you're Sasha Fierce and say no from the start, you will get through it and find your feet. As a certain Oscar-worthy playwright reminds us, "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken". So go Wilde with  whimsical, witty and wonderful YOU.
photo credit: tumblr.com
What are your thoughts from Freshers? 


25 September 2016

Satireday Night Live #1

Welcome to the pilot of a new post series, Satireday Night Live! Ever since I discovered the weekly joy of Newzoids, in addition to the return of Mock the Week, I've dipped my toe back into the pool of political satire. 

I started to write satire during University; however, I wasn't planning to post on here, as I worried that it was a bit too different from my other content... but diversity is good, right? God knows there are enough MAC reviews to rival Kardashian selfies... So I've decided to take the dive and see how it goes down! 

Ft. BrangelixtLord Blairdemort and bendy-banana cakes, this is Satireday Night Live... 

*Disclaimer: this isn't a real reflection of my political views, so please read with a pinch of salt, pepper and caviar... if you're feeling really Westminster. 
          MONDAY 19.09.16          
“We need a new strategy,” Bill Clinton announces. “We need something that people like and something that people trust.” He pauses in contemplation; he hasn’t been this lost for words since Hilliary found Monica's bra in the Oval. That was one lacy secret Victoria couldn't keep

“So we need people to trust Hlliary?” asks Campaign manager Stephanie. “That might be tricky, given the email…”

“…Well they seem to trust Trump”, interrupts Clinton, “and apparently trust is a big deal to some people…” On this note, he recalls with bitterness the ‘trust management’ course he and Hillary attended in 1998, following the Lewinsky Scandal. The Public lapped it up at the time, but one round of Kar-Monic debt was enough.

“Trump has been ferrying out his wife and grandkids," Stephanie revealed, “So we could follow suit?” Given your MILF – Monica ‘Intern’ Lewinsky Fail – I’m not sure we can wheel you out. We could see if Chelsea and Charlotte is available?”

“Chelsea? Charlotte?” Bill’s forehead furrows.

“Your daughter and granddaughter.” Stephanie exasperates. “You know, public evidence that Hilliary is actually Human?”

“Oh yeah,” the ex-President recalls. “I forget it myself sometimes.”

          TUESDAY 20.09.16          
Back in the UK, Tiny Tim prepares to speak at the Lib Dem Conference. He had been worried that the venue is too big, but turnout exceeds all expectations; with 2 guests more than the number of seats, the #LibDemFightBack has never looked stronger.

“We entered the Coalition with Great Expectations,” the embattled leader begins. “Yes, we fell on Hard Times at the General Election, but we can come back.

“The support here today proves there is another choice. This is not a tale of two parties my friends. We are the third way, the right way…” 

“…Don’t you mean the LEFT way, Tiny Tim?” one member asks. 

“Wait! I thought we were the centre way?” another cries out in confusion. 

“Yes, we’re all those things too.” Tiny Tim splutters. “We are the party of inclusion; the party that will stop Brexit.  The party that will tell our European friends, ‘God bless us, everyone!" 

On this bombshell, Atheist Nick Clegg exits the room.

          WEDNESDAY 21.09.16          
The 13th page of The Daily Mail reports on “CLEXIT”.  It’s the most coverage the LibDems have had since the election; sadly, in other news, no one cares.  There’s bigger fish to fry. 

Over in America, The UN conference is Underway. Much to the British’s PM’s dismay, however, the subject is not immigration. Another story has moved across the world… 

“What are your thought on Brangelexit, Theresa?” an ABC News commentator asks. “How will you respond?” 

“Brangelexit means Brangelexit.” Ms May barks. “I’ve made my views on this topic quite clear!”

  When the media asks for a statement from President Putin, he is outraged. “Ms Jolie is Russian Spy.” He seeths. “Did you not see film Salt?”

“But earlier today Mr President, a source revealed that Brad Pitt hired Russian prostitutes.  What are you thoughts on these claims?” Suddenly, Putin’s anger turns to a smirk. 

“Well, maybe he not think Russia so bad after all.”

Boris Johnson is also asked to comment, but he's otherwise engaged with Donald Trump. They've bonded over the revelation that they share the same hair stylist.

          THURSDAY 22.09.16          
Hilliary has summoned her team.

Bill and Stephanie pitch their “Humans of Hilliary” idea, expecting a firm rebuttal. They are shocked with the response.

“I LOVE it!” Hilliary proclaims. “Humans of Hilliary, so it’s still all about Hilliary!”

“Of course!” Stephanie gushes, “the plan is to make it all about you… just without you actually being there. We'll have a film crew follow Chelsea and Charlotte, as they lead the day-to-day life of your average American.

"So we’ll show her shopping at Bloomingdales, where the ordinary people shop. Talking to other humans, like ordinary people do. As well as juggling the demands of a working Mother… We've asked to keep the 6 nannies off-camera.”

“I LOVE it!” Hilliary proclaims. “What should we call it?”

“How about Made in Chelsea?” Suggests Bill.

“Stop being such a Pratt, Bill,” Stephanie shouts. "That's already TAKEN."

“HELLO!” screeched Hilliary, “are we forgetting it’s all about ME? I vote for Made in Hilliary, after me. VOTE HILLIARY!”

At least she can count on one.

          FRIDAY 23.09.16          
It's one day until the Labour leadership results and it's not looking good for Owen Smith. Corbyn has officially become the most searched for Jeremy on Google, beating superstars Clarkson and Kyle to the top spot.

Smith has faired less well, ranking 666th out of… 666. Actor Owen Wilson came top, with Corbynite Owen Jones a solid 7th. Even Owen’s local greengrocer, Owen Swede, places higher.

Controversial Mr Swede made headlines this summer, following his appearance on Channel 5 documentary “Owen Smith and Friends”. Despite being introduced as a "longtime comrade" of the Labour hopeful, Swede condemned the EU's discrimination of bendy bananas and Smith's own bendy policies.

"He couldn't give a straight answer if his soggy bottom depended on it," Swede ranted. "His policies are as inedible as a straight-banana cake". The greengrocer is rumoured to be replacing Paul Hollywood on Bake Off.

Smith was, understandably, disappointed by Swede's comments and wider reactions to Owen Smith and Friends. The Daily Fail declared "a Welsh Chris Evans,", while the The Hard Times nicknamed the show "Flop Gear".

Nevertheless, Smith is undeterred. He's in talks with Love Me! Productions to film a second series, which would cost broadcasters a whopping £7. In the last hour, the BBC confirmed that they cannot afford this. Channel 4 subsequently confirmed that they don't give a Smith.

          SATURDAY 24.09.16          

"But I had JK Rowling supporting me!" Smith sobs to his wife. "How could I lose?"

"The trouble is Owen," she reasons, "JK Rowling isn't actually magic, "what's more, you probably lost it as soon as you mentioned Tony Blair He Who Must Not Be Named."  

 To try and console himself, Smith phones the one politician whose downfall was was more tragic than his. To his shock, it goes straight to Voicemail. 

“Hello, this is glitterBalls! Please call back on my new number, the Strictly voting line.” 

“He’ll be hosting bloody Bake-off next,” Smith grumbles.

On that note, he goes to check on his straight-banana cake, a star bake that could be following his political hopes to the dustbin. God knows what a bendy banana cake would taste like, but that’s one risk Smith wouldn't be taking. 

Some unions aren’t meant to be. g

20 September 2016

Fortnightly Favourites #6

It's that time again, where I round up my blogging favourites of the fortnight - I hope you love them as much as I do! Since starting my job at Joy, I have been bumbling a bit with the the blog-life balance; I still need to finish my post on Boston - the highlight of my New England trip - and missed my first GG chat in months; absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder. 

Nevertheless, I will always find time for a bloglovin ramble - even if it comes on the 13th day of the fortnight. The sixth edition of Fornightly Favourites features home truths on #instagoals, blog strategies and self-esteem demons, plus a guide to the Hygge-hype that's calming the world... one   cable cardigan at a time! 

As ever, blanket forts and coffee cups are the best reading companions. Or if you're thinking really Hygge, light a few dozen candles and quit your day job. All ready? Let's start exploring...


So on Friday I officially found a new staple for my blogroll! This post by Dainty Alice sprinkles some much needed satire onto our #instaready world: "thou shalt drink Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Lattes" and use MAC makeup. So if you don't like that Seasonal Starbs, get out your best biro, write the "PSL" part on yourself and snap away - #bloggergoals right there guys. Thank-you Alice for putting the Yay in Friday, we need more posts like this! 
See my own satirical take on blogging trends in 7 Steps to Stars and Stats...

Teri-May over at A Cup of T gives another comedic take on the blogosphere - I'm loving all the satire right now! Quite tempted to suggest a Satireday Night Live blog chat... I was laughing out loud from start to finish, but my highlights have to be: "Visit a popular watering hole of British bloggers - any pastel coloured street" and "inspect your surroundings. You may spot cacti, IKEA plant pots holding a variety of rose gold make up brushes". If you ever want to join the cactus club, visit my workplace Joy: is a blogger's paradise! Rainy-day England blues? Adopt your own personal desert...


My biggest blogger pet peeve right now is commenting. So Life of a Glasgow Girl hits the nail on the head with this - Jordanne, trust me, you're not alone! I particularly empathised with her point on mental health posts - I've seen this firsthand and it's so inappropriate. Don't reply to something you haven't read!
The one that really gets my goat is "nice post!" *insert blog link*... When the promo is longer than the actual response, I detect a a spam sandwich - and no one likes spam, guys! I don't expect people to dish out lobster rolls to every blog they read; simply respond like they've actually - you know - read it   


I think it's so easy to get caught up in blogging goals and stats; I can't count the number of "how to gain followers" posts I've seen in the blogosphere. So this post by Lauren, a long-time favourite blogger of mine at Britton Loves, was so refreshing to see. 
Her description of the "4-page list of how to grow social media" is one I think many us of will relate to. Yet if we no longer "enjoy the process" - if it becomes a chore - how helpful is it? Lauren is right; by finding balance, you will be happier and possibly more successful. After all, you can't have a lifestyle blog without a little thing called LIFE!



Scandinavia is a top destination on my travel bucket list, motivated by my Sister's trip to Copenhagen last December. So I was just a little excited to see this post on What Olivia Did - I am officially going here as soon as possible! If only to drink coffee at the Royal Smushi Cafe or swoon over succulents at Bast.  Based on the homeware in Olivia's post alone, I can see me needing an extra suitcase... or six: Scandi-Style has stolen my heartIf you've written a travel blog on Denmark, please send them my way!


Moving up the world from Denmark (geographical knowledge via Pheobe Bouffay) - I've also found a friend in Sweden - credit goes to The Anna Edit, whose travel guide is true scandi-serenity. The more I learn about Northern Europe, the more I'm convinced it's my kindred home. With cycle paths, coffee culture and plantware (this should be a word), Norway has joined my ever-growing Wonder-List! I think an all-out tour of Northern Europe is calling...


... and that's before I've added Norway! The home of Elsa and Anna, The Northern Lights, my experience thus far stems from the World Showcase in Disney's Epcot - as much as 6-year-old me loved the water ride, Brooke's Fjord photography is a true showcase of Norway. She completely captures her blog name - World of Wanderlust - and makes me wish that Apparation were real... My Hogwarts letter could still arrive at 22, right?  


Forget Hiddleswift, it's all about getting Hygge-Swift this season. Scandi-Style has been in-vogue for years, so Hygge (Hoo-gah) is the long-overdue move from styling to being. Think cardigans,  slow cooking, jigsaws, jumpers and The Simple Things; story of my life, in a nutshell!
I've seen a lot of posts on The Little Book of Hygge lately (after all, how could a blogger resist those #instagoals?), but the list on Sophie Cliff steps outside the box of blankets and brew; everyone can make a cup of tea, but book-swaps and board games is real Hygge heaven! Now please excuse me while I track down our Disney Trivial Pursuit... 


I think around 99% of Arora's posts have been hearted on my bloglovin' page. Her virtual home - Arora Appleby -  is like cup of tea on a rainy day; if Hygge was a blog, this would be it! I was actually torn which post to put here, but her AW bucket list really inspired me: when I discovered paper-crafts earlier this year, I sent a few handwritten letters
Yet since getting my job, I haven't found time and I want to change this. I'm also want to start leaving my laptop downstairs and reading before bed; that way I can read more and cut down on internet, so  it's a win-win situation!

Who else is ridiculously excited that Bridget is back?! The only thing that could top this is a Friends or Mean Girls reunion. Robowecop Rihanna's selection of Bridgetisms are made for the Hey It's Ok section of Glamour; my top two have to be "you have a talent for embarrassing yourself in public" and "your flirting skills are questionable at best".
I managed to combine these in spectacular fashion at a University night out. I was talking to some postgrads about accommodation (as you do) and ended up announcing "all I have for company is a bush outside my window - I've named him Henry." Not even a Dyson hoover could have swallowed me and my Bridget knickers up 


    OCD PROBLEMS      

I think Kayleigh is one of the blogger I would love to meet in real life, as she's simply pretty amazing! Through her blog - Very Berry Cosmo - she is doing so  much to challenge the stigma of OCD and the blogging community the world needs more people like her! I've made no secret of my frustration towards the trivialisation of OCD and I'm so glad Kayleigh included the example of Khloe Kardashian's "#OCDProblem". 
Most of all, however, I'm thankful to her for challenging one of the most common but dangerous stereotypes of OCD - that it is a synonym for "neat freak". Like Kayleigh, I am not a tidy person, but completely resonated with her description of internal "contamination". Please watch and share this video on Social Media! Only by speaking out can we end the stigma. 

So little miss Katie - mother of Penguins - is officially one of my favourite people in the world. I feel privileged to know her in real life and could have burst with pride last thursday - Born Without Marbles was shortlisted for Best Blog in the Mind Awards! If you don't have a sense of humour, this probably isn't the blog for you; however, if you've been searching for a Penguin to demystify the Mental Health Act, a Spider to cheeky tango with or a Potato to plot world domination, look no further... 
On a serious note, her post on Fighting Fear with Fear is a staple for any Recovery toolkit. As much as I would love to believe that i could motivate myself through recovery, the reality isn't quite so rose-tinted. I can't simply look at a "seize the day" postcard and eat my cheerios with glee - as cheery as the cereal may be. Katie's "fight fear with fear" is a strategy that I need to employ more: "use fear to make you do the things you are scared of by creating a far more horrifying alternative: "I am scared to eat dinner this evening, but I am more scared of being taken back into hospital". Slightly brutal? Perhaps, but sometimes tough love is the kindest - in the long run. Note to self: the anxiety you feel now will not last forever. Nor will anorexia, if you choose to fight past the fear. 



With her "musings on life, creativity and more", Bianca Bass is the blogging equivalent of an older sister. How did it me this long to discover her posts?! From "Why brilliant people take breaks" to "Be your own publicist", her advice is empowering and attainable; "self-help" posts are the new coconut, but you can't "be a girl boss" with slogans alone - you need substance! This is where Bianca steps in.
A letter to you, from the world is the reminder that "we've all been there. We get it". I could quote every line from this post, 


I think it's so I'm all too familiar with the esteem demon, so I could really empathise with Sarah's recent post on The Scarlet State. I think most of us, at some point, have fallen into the online comparison trap; I therefore loved Sarah's description of the "highlight reel", which gives an (ironically) real picture of the social media world. 
Reading about her decision to vlog with less makeup, it's made me think of how I could work on self-acceptance. I know that I've avoided wearing jeans for years, so maybe I could allocate a weekly jeans day? I could also try going makeup-free on my days off... okay, scrap the "could" and "maybes". I WILL! 
As for Sarah's concluding question: what is your favourite thing about yourself? I want to say my writing/ ability to dress like a 5 year old... gosh this is hard, I second guess everything! Okay, I'm going to go with my ability to learn new skills; a year ago I couldn't knit or crochet, but I taught myself, persevered and proved the esteem-demon wrong. Have faith in yourself! 


I discovered Hannah and her blog - Little Thoughts - earlier this month, following a particularly eventful #TalkMH chat - search #justgoforawalk on twitter for a running commentary... Since then, I've been catching up on all Hannah's blog and my oh my am I glad to find it!
I've read about "open letters" to mental illness as a form of therapy, but have admittedly been sceptical; I worried that it would make me dwell on the past. Reading Hannah's letter has changed my outlook. While she is candid about the darkness of depression, there is also a sense of hope: "the battle is mine."
What blogs have you been loving lately? 


14 September 2016

Jump for wardrobe Joy!

Hello lovely ones. Today's post is a bundle of blogging joy with a very special wishlist... Meet Joy! My new workplace and a wonderland of ruffles, pug vases, cactus earrings... not even the storm outside can steal Joy's thunder.

It's bizarre to think that, only a month ago, my job prospects were anything but joyful. When I got back from New England, Indeed recommendations included Asda shelf-stacker, lorry driver (true story) or working in a cheese shop; although I'm sure Millie would have appreciated the discount, I'm not convinced I would have appreciated the smell...

Then I saw one particular advertisement and mentally jumped for Joy - Enter... Joy! I adored the original shop in Southgate, Bath, and was devastated when it closed, so I could hardly contain my excitement that they were opening a brand new store in Bath. It was official, I had found my dream job, so I popped on my FairyYale Louche skirt and went into the store that day -  one joyful smile and a bow cardigan later, I got offered a job then and there! 

I have been a Joy style advisor for three weeks now and I am really enjoying it. It has been a big adjustment, so I'm still finding my feet, but I am relishing the new experiences; it definitely helps when you love the product - delivery days are like Christmas! 'Tis always the season to be Joy-ly, so here's a selection of my current store loves... 

     Jumper for Joy     

Dilan Waterfall jacket, £69, Joy    Jordy frill detail jumper, £36, Joy    Simcha Frill roll neck jumper, £32, Joy    Mila shirt dress, £35, Joy 
I love how Joy give names to all their clothes; nothing says page-turner like a style story! All of these items are from Joy's self-titled collection, which just launched in June and  is already my favourite section of the store! From my second day, when I opened the delivery box to find the Simcha jumper, it was love at first sight; by the end of that day, our ruffle romance was official. Simcha is now a wardrobe staple and completed my chosen outfit for The Cursed Child - now that's one magical jumper!
Fortune embroidered pocket pinafore, £39, Joy    Arabella check pinafore, £35, Joy    Streetsmart Corduroy Pinafore, £35, Joy

     Satchels and Stripes     

Jewels cropped trousers, £35, Louche    Cantara frill-hem top, £20, Joy    Liz embroidered shirt, £35, Joy    Mari Love letter necklace, £16, Materia Rica    Finesse Culottes, £27, Louche    Jaylo grid Trousers, £35, Louche
These grid trousers have been so popular in Bath; we've had customers from across 3 generations! Sadly they were a bit long on Hobbit me, but my co-worker looked phenomenal. The navy and truffle sleeve dress, which I've nicknamed Rachel Berry, is also top of my Wonderlist. I was tempted to call the love letter necklace "Taylor Swift", but she lost that one with the demise of Hiddleswift. For the record, I'm still recovering from that bombshell; Taylor, on the other hand, has swiftly moved on with a studio and a song. I predict a pop hit by Christmas: Oh Holy Night Manager?

     The Wonderlist with a Lovegood Twist     

Ukiah Peplum Blouse, £21, Valley of the Dolls    Animal flower vase, £50, Joy    Cactus necklace, £8, Louche    Elisha zoo dress, £50, Louche    Rufaro lace top, £24, Louche    Pug salt & pepper set, £20, Joy    Oola cat ring holder, £12Joy    Duckhead umbrella, £22, Joy    Thermal flask, £20, Joy    Cactus vase, £24, Joy
I tried to think what drove me to unite these items, then it hit me - Luna would love them all! I actually tried on the Elisha 'zoo' dress last month and tweeted a sneaky selfie - the response proved that the Twittersphere is as animal crackers as me. Who wouldn't bee? As for the zebra vase and cactus necklace, they speak for themselves. Who knows? The cactus could be a Mimblus Mimbletonia in disguise... I am also just a little obsessed with this duckhead umbrella; Julie Andrews was right, its' always a Joy-ly holiday with Mary!
Ives bow cardigan, £30, Louche    Bee earrings, £35 Gemleys    Bee necklace, £33, Gemleys    Bettina duffle mac coat,  £55, Louche
Luna would probably mistake the bumblebees below for nargles, but I'm certain she'd love them all the same: I wish we had in the store right now - maybe I should put in a request? As for the duffle dream, it justifies #6 in my 21 Home Truths from 21: Paddington bear coats have no age limitNor do Bows, for that matter: if it works for Blair Waldorf, we can all bow down with confidence. The edit below is a bit mustard-mad, but I make no apologies; along with the berry lip and oxblood satchels, Mustard is my go-to for autumn. What are your favourite Fall colours? 
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