Quarterly Round-Up: 2018 – Part 1

As some of you might know from my IG, I write a weekly gratitude diary. I started it to help me with my anxiety and feelings of hopelessness. In a previous post, I’ve discussed my journey with mental health and right now I’m in a good place. I thought it would also be beneficial if I did a round-up every few months to help keep me on track, especially during testing or stressful times. Anyway, here’s the first one – let me know your thoughts.

Me

I’ve had success with my no-spend in preparation for my trip to San Francisco in April. I’ve bought two tops, three vintage saris, a pair of earrings and a beret since January 1st. Selling and giving away things I don’t need or want has had a positive impact on me – I also have a bit more space in my flat. At the start of the year, I gave myself a challenge to break my fear and hatred of running (definitely linked to horrible memories from school). With the right playlist, I’ve managed quite a few 5Ks on a treadmill. I still prefer boxing or rowing but I’m not afraid to run now.

Family

I see my mum and sister at least once every two weeks. We generally hang out, catch up, cook and eat. I’ve had A LOT of great dinners round my mum’s but I definitely need to practise making dishes that aren’t in my repertoire. I’ve previously written about my grandma’s dementia and my reactions to it (you can read about it here). I’ve been round my grandparents a couple of times this year and I’ve not left in floods of tears; we’ve managed to laugh, reminisce and look after each other. I don’t feel so anxious about going any more.

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Friends

Through reflection, I’ve definitely come to the realisation that I prefer small meet-ups to big ones – I’m much less self-conscious and I don’t feel so overwhelmed. In the past three months, I’ve had a two group meet-ups in London and I’ve got a couple more planned later in the year. It’s much easier now I know people a little better. I’ve continued my monthly dinners with my friend Becky (we also fit in a drag show). I feel like we’ve developed a solid friendship – I can talk to her about anything. Kelly and I hang out (when we can) and miss Rhina. We’re going to be long distance friends for the foreseeable future but we have plans! This month I finally met Salina and we’re already thinking about our next meet-up – it’s always good to find a kindred spirit.

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Work

I always find the winter months at school the hardest; waking up in the dark and going home in the dark make me quite miserable. Thankfully, it’s getting lighter now. Over the term, I’ve had the usual stresses of teaching but I’ve been working with a really solid and lovely team which has been great for my anxiety.

Outfits

Here are some of my favourite looks from the past three months:

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I feel like it’s been a positive start to the year. I’ve got so many plans ahead of me though – there’s not enough time!

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Spotlight On The Diverse World Of Pin-Up and Vintage #2

At the start of the year, I said that I wanted to shed more light on diversity in the vintage subculture. You can read the first post in this series here.

Here are ten more wonderful examples of diversity – I’ve linked their IG accounts and added a short description.

Miss Mozzy Dee

@kittyluvphotography Photo Credit: @kittyluvphotography

As well as being a stunning pin-up and talented singer, Mozzy is campaigner for diversity and representation in the world of pin-up and vintage. Most recently, she has focused on the Miss Viva Las Vegas competition. She took time to bring pin-ups from diverse backgrounds to public attention, using social media as a platform.

Boo Brown

boo Photo Credit: @boo_brown

Incredibly intelligent and hilarious, Boo Brown is firm believer in looking and feeling amazing no matter your size. As well as sharing her fabulous outfits on IG, she blogs about travel, clothing reviews and her pin-up activities. Check her out (and also send her pictures of cute dogs).

Barriodandy

barrioPhoto Credit: @barriodandy

J.C. is one well-dressed chap, posting about fashion, history, art and styling. He believes that representation matters and celebrates his own culture and history, sharing images from past and present.

Jenny Rieu

portrait_madame.jpgPhoto Credit: @portrait_madame

Jenny Rieu is a beautiful creature. Not only is she a lover of vintage style, she’s a model fighting against body shaming. Jenny is happy to share her successes and struggles, always with the message that beauty comes in all forms.

Jessica Out Of The Closet

jessPhoto Credit: @jessicaoutofthecloset

Jessica is a TV presenter, blogger and YouTuber. She is a huge fan of pin-up style and she suits it well. She openly talks about her disability and sexuality, pushing for greater acceptance and understanding.

Rockinzena

rockinzenaPhoto Credit: @rockinzena

Zena is a seamstress and vintage enthusiast living in America. Her handmade outfits are seriously impressive. She cares about the representation of people of colour, posting stories and images from history as well as her own adventures.

Ms Kitti Fatale

KittiPhoto Credit: @mskittifatale

Cristi is an awesome mum. With the help of her young daughter, she helps to educate the world about black history. It is wonderful to see mum and daughter take pride in their heritage.

The Cocoa Butter Club

CocoaPhoto Credit: @thecocoabutterclub

Brought to my attention by the gorgeous Velvet Jones, The Cocoa Butter Club is a celebration of queer POC performers. It is a place that gives a voice to The Other in a creative space.

Creme Fatale

CremePhoto Credit: @markchristopher17

Creme Fatale in a drag queen from San Francisco. Though she doesn’t necessarily describe herself as pin-up or vintage, I get a lot of inspiration from her styling. Furthermore, she is open with her views on gender, drag and art.

Ashleeta

AshleetaPhoto Credit: @ashleeta

Ashleeta is a burlesque dancer and pin-up model who is not afraid to speak her mind. She fights against racism, body-shaming, homophobia and so much more. A true blend of beauty and strength.

For my next post in this series, I’ll be looking at diversity in pin-up and vintage businesses. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Galentine’s Tea At Fortnum And Mason

February 13th – officially Galentine’s day. Now I’ve never been one to celebrate these types of things, however as a bunch of friends had organised a meet-up on said date, it seemed rude not to!

Seeing as our group opted for a Valentine’s colour theme (yes, we are that kind of group), I went for a red and white combo. The dress is from St Cyr Vintage in Camden. I added a cropped cardigan and a Jenny from Vivien of Holloway. As the weather was foul, I popped on my Elements rain coat – beret added for extra hair protection.

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To kick things off, I met up with Kelly, Becky, Lara (birthday girl) and Eve at Notting Hill Gate station. From here, we gawped at brooches at The Hirst Collection, grabbed a French cuppa and caught up with Eva at What Katie Did.

In need of calm and recharging, we got to Fortnum and Mason in time for our booking. We kicked off with some fizz, which slipped down nicely. There was a wide array of teas to choose from but I managed to settle on rhubarb, raspberry and nettle – a refreshing blend. I was pleased to hear that the entire tea service was able to be replenished – a few extra cakes and sandwiches is never a bad idea.

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The sarnies were filled with classic fillings: smoked salmon, cucumber and coronation chicken for example. All were rather scrummy. For me, the highlight of the tea was the scones. These were the BEST scones I’ve ever had – buttery, crisp on the outside and perfectly baked in the middle. Decent helpings of cream and jam were piled on top and upon eating, I was in scone heaven. I would go back just for these.

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On to the cakes, which were Valentine’s-themed. There was a rose choux, a rhubarb and custard biscuit affair, a chocolate-coffee-hazelnut fondant fancy, a raspberry and lychee swirl and chocolate and cherry heart macaron. I was quite enamoured by the the macaron and the rhubarb and custard patisserie. There was a cake trolley too but we were all far too stuffed to even consider trying any!

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Waddling like over-stuffed penguins, we took the tube to Holloway Road to peruse what Vivien of Holloway had on offer. All of us enjoyed a decent trying on session.

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Our next stop was Covent Garden for some evening mooching. Kelly and I were pretty pooped from our day out so we headed off home.

On the train home, I reflected on the day. There was so much love and joy shared between the five of us. Having struggled a lot with friendships and acceptance in my teens, I thought I’d never find people I could truly connect with. I was wrong. Online, I’ve found a small handful of people that have had such a positive impact on my life. On days like this when we actually get to hang out, I just feel content and warm. I do not have many friends but the friends that I do have mean an awful lot to me.

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