So this has been a long time coming really.
I've recently lost the love I used to have for blogging, and it honestly started feeling more like a chore than a hobby. Which is why the amount of posts I have been writing has dwindled, and then they've eventually stopped altogether.
Because of my lack in motivation for the blog, I have decided to take an extended leave from Offbeat Emily. This is not goodbye, this is a see you in a while. The past few months have been up and down, my mental health still needs to be assessed, and I've let roller derby completely take over my life.
In a few months, I WILL sit down, have a rebrand and really think about what Offbeat Emily represents and where I want it to go in the future. If you hadn't noticed in the past, I have blogged about anything and everything I am interested in, which over time became very overwhelming and I felt I no longer had the time or energy to blog about everything I wanted to.
In the next few months, expect big things from me. I will come back stronger than ever, letting all you lovelies into my new world of roller derby and the life of Betty Brute, my journey towards a settled mind, and lots and lots of amazing food!
I love you all and thank you so much for the support I have received during my blogging journey for now.
I'll speak to you all soon, if you need me, feel free to drop me an email.
Monday, 8 February 2016
I am slightly obsessed with print tops, and have been for a very long time. I usually pair tops like this with black skinny ripped jeans and my faithful creepers from TUK. But as Spring approaches, I hope I can bring my shorts out from the back of my drawer ready for some warmer, less rainy weather!
This is rather true this year, as I will probably spend Valentine's Day with a large pizza and a pint of ice cream and a movie destined to make me cry, you know, the typical single girl Valentine's day. This top is probably my favourite of the lot, and the £20 price tag makes this top extrmemly affordable (and wearable) as the big day rolls around.
Doesn't this top scream summer holidays? If you're an early planner and are already buying clothes for your summer adventures, why not splash out and treat yourself to this gorgeous top? At £75, it isn't the best for those wanting to save, but similar styles are bound to pop up in high street shops across the country sooner than you can say 'why am I dealing with constant rain?'!
Not a lot of people expect me to be a fan of Drake, but he's incredible. This quote from 'Best I Ever Had' is perfect for anyone needing a quick pick me up. Sweatshirts are still unfortunately a necessity in the UK and will be for quite some time. This sweatshirt comes in at £80, but I think it could be quite easily made at home with a plain grey sweatshirt and either an iron-on transfer, or even white fabric and mad sewing skills (or a Nan with mad sewing skills).
This sweatshirt is slight cropped, so you might still get cold, but you'll look awesome. Unfortunately, this sweatshirt only goes up to a size 16 (come on Topshop, surely you've learnt by now...) but could be styled flawlessly with high waisted jeans and a pair of boots to get you through the colder days, or with denim short and flats for a Spring time look, and at just £30, can you really say no?
Billabong is not usually a brand I take much notice of, as I really don't see myself as part of their target audience, but I have really fallen in love with this vest! The only issue I face is that it isn't available in UK, but for all my lovely readers in the US, this vest is only $23 )and for all my readers in the UK wanting to get it shipped, that's only £16). If anyone's feeling generous and kind, please point me in the right direction for finding this in Britain!
Another absolute steal, as this top is only $10, or £7 with FREE worldwide shipping! I'm not usually a fan of crop tops, but I think I'll take the plunge and try a few this year with high waisted shirts and jeans. Life is too short to stay away from nice things because society says to.
Do you have any go-to styles you can't live without? Let me know in the comments!
Friday, 29 January 2016
I have to admit that I'm a little bit obsessed with liquid lipsticks, and I would own one in every colour is it were possible, meaning there are tonnes of amazing dupes for Kylie Jenner's lip kits. One of my favourite liquid lipstick brands is Lime Crime, who create incredible colours with great pigmentation and the prices aren't too bad either. Their tagline is 'makeup for unicorns, so it's a bit obvious I'm going to love their products.
However, today during my travels (my trip purely to Superdrug for new make up), I came across an even cheaper dupe with a similar pigmentation quality and staying power that I couldn't come home without. MUA is a brand that is becoming more and more popular, and I find the quality of the products is incredible considering the very cheap price tags. Today, I decided to stray for my usual dark red shades and picked up a Whipped Velvet liquid lipstick in SPRY for £3 and a lip liner in Caramel Nougat for just £1, taking a huge amount off the actual lip kits.
The colours are very versatile and would suit a huge range of skin tones and styles. It's not my usual shade, but I will be wearing it a lot during the day as it's brilliant for casual wear, and even nighttime wear with heavy eye makeup.
Have you come across any great dupes? Let me know in the comments.
Monday, 21 December 2015
Taking inspiration from Buzzfeed's Mental Health Week a couple of weeks ago (that yours truly was featured in, check out number 21), I have decided to share some of the ways that I cope with stress, depression, anxiety and possibly now, bipolar, however, I think these tips could help anyone just going through a rough patch, because I know we've all been there at some point.
The holidays can be especially stressful with all the gift buying and food preparation, so I feel it is really important to take a step back and to look after your own health during this stressful time of year. I know all too well that if you're not feeling great over the festive period, you will end up burning out and unable to enjoy yourself at all, whilst all your friends and family are celebrating. After a mishap like this last year, I am ensuring this year that I look after myself, and I think you should do too.
If you haven't got, you haven't got
This is my major rule for any gift or food-buying period, whether that's birthdays, parties or Christmas. I find myself stressing out over the smallest of things. I fear I haven't bought enough presents, I haven't catered for everyone or I haven't shown the people around me that I love them. The one thing I've learnt over the years is that the people who matter will love you no matter what, even if you forgot them off your Christmas card list, or couldn't afford the gift they have been hinting at for months.
If you have the perfect presents and haven't missed a single person out, that's great too, but it's important to keep calm about the situation, and remember that there is always a plan B. If you're on a tight budget, why not consider making your own sweet treats or skincare goodies for your loved ones, or if you're stretched for time, only buy presents for those you are going to see until you can head out to the shop again.
Take time for you
For most people, Christmas and other winter holidays are a time for love and making others happy, meaning you'll eventually end up spending more time worrying about other people's happiness levels before your own. Making sure you make small pockets of time to look after yourself are essential.
If you're a huge music fan, take time to listen to your favourite album, or create a happiness playlist that you can stick on to boost your morale and eradicate stress. Crafting is a great hobby to have around the holidays, and small projects can keep you busy during your breaks from festivities, and will even help you with those pesky last minute presents!
Whether meditating or moshing is your thing, make time for it during the season. You want to start the new year feeling as positive as possible, instead of feeling frazzled and burnt out from all the stress of the holiday period.
Learn to relax
This one is a biggie for me when my anxiety takes hold, but it a really simple way to make sure you have an enjoyable holiday. Using apps like Pacifica or Pause will provide new ways to relax that have been proven to help anxiety and stress. Trying different forms of meditation and calming breathing techniques will help you focus and dispel the woes of the holidays.
If apps and guided meditation aren't your thing, try some methods that have relaxed you in different situations in the past. Taking a bubble bath, colouring in and reading a favourite book are all great ways to combat stress and bring some relaxation to your routine at any time of year. With so many resources online, it would be impossible to say you cannot find a relaxation method that suits your needs and routine.
Have a great holiday
The most important tip I can provide is to have a great holiday. Whatever you celebrate and whoever you spend it with, make sure you're having a great time. Try to let loose and enjoy the hard work you have been putting in for weeks.
Spend time with those you love and take care of yourself. After all, it's not just your physical health that matters.
*All pictures are either created by myself or are labelled for reuse on Google Images*
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Can you believe there's only 9 more shopping days until the big day?! Christmas has come around so quickly this year that I have found it difficult to get into the spirit of the holidays, even when I put the tree up which is not like me at all! However, now all of my present shopping is done, my cards are bought and written and I have all my projects planned for the season, I am looking forward to spending a week with my closest family and celebrating being together.
Whether you want to admit it or not, gifts and presents are a huge part of Christmas, and for some the meaning of the holiday (my personal meaning of Christmas, not being a Christian, is food, family and alcohol, but we'll get to that later) and whilst some people can reel off lists of gifts they would like (I'm looking at you younger siblings), it's usually the older female figures in our lives that are awkward to buy for. Mums and grandmas around the world utter the classic line for months before Christmas - 'I don't want anything but a good day', but I think we have all heard the horror stories of from the people who took this too literally and didn't get them anything, I bet there was hell to pay!
Going off my own personal experiences with buying presents for my Mum and Nan, there are a few fail-safe presents that is guaranteed to impress even the most fussy of mothers.
I have to admit, my Mum's obsession with candles has been passed down in my blood, as both my 10 year old sister and myself don't feel settled unless the house smells wonderful and there are at least a few candles flickering. One trendy scent this season is Vanilla and Bourbon, not the biscuit, but the alcohol. Yankee Candle's Christmas range features a gorgeous sweet version in a variety of sizes. This small votive cost just £1.80, however you would need to buy a votive holder to burn the candle in, which range from around £1.50 to approximately £10.
The larger candle was a bargain. I love shopping in TK Maxx and find the homeware products to be incredible and amazing prices. This larger Vanilla and Bourbon candle came in at £4.99 and has about 50 hours of burning time. I can guarantee that our house will be smelling amazing on Christmas day, all the way up to the New Year.
This one is a bit more unique. If your mum is a wine lover, why not treat her to a Corkcicle Air? The original Corkcicle was simply an in-bottle cooler for wine that chills to the perfect temperature, unlike an ice bucket or, more simply, the fridge. By popping the giant icicle into the freezer until it is completely frozen, you can have perfectly chilled wine each time.
The Corkcicle Air, however, is a little more high-tech. Aerating wine has been popular for years, and is most common with red wines, however, it has been proven that white wines are also improved when aerated. Gifting this gadget will guarantee restaurant-standard wines from the simplest of bottles and for just £19.99, it's a steal!
I have never met a woman who doesn't have her favourite perfume. My mum's usual perfume is Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique EDT, however, as I am shopping on a budget this year I've had to take a cheaper route.
The Cashmere Collection set from Next includes a 30ml EDP, a solid fragrance, a gorgeous candle (can you see what I mean by obsessed?) and a 10ml handbag-friendly EDP. This perfume was discontinued from Next a few years ago for apparently no reason at all, but the look on my Mum's face when I told her that it was back in stock guaranteed that I had made the right decision in buying her this set. Let's hope she is just as thrilled on Christmas morning!
I hope you find this helpful for the more awkward people to buy for. What have you bought for your loved ones this year and what do you hope to find under the Christmas tree on the 25th? Let me know in the comments!
*I was gifted the Corkcicle Air to review, all views are my own*
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Well, it's been a crazy year to say the least. Who knew when I started a lifestyle blog on a whim last year that I would be a year in with incredible new friends, connections with amazing brands and even a second blog? I just wanted to have a personal, selfish post about looking back on my achievements over the past year, not only to cheer me up but also to spur me on.
Yes, that's right, I did the impossible. It's probably my most recent achievement from my year of blogging but in September I graduated from the Juice Academy with an advanced NVQ in Social Media. The road was tough and there were so many times I told myself and the other incredible people around me that I was giving up, but I pushed on and I couldn't be happier to say that I stuck it out. Not only did the Juice Academy provide me with a start to an amazing career I didn't even think was available to me, I have also come out of my experience with lifelong friends and priceless experiences. A year full of ups and downs has come to an end and I'll be honest, seeing everyone as a full cohort with our tutors and mentors together for the last time was really emotional.
Bake With Bake Off
Okay so this seems to just going back in time as I go along, I really need to start planning my blog posts!
As you probably remember, a few months ago I was involved with Bake With Bake Off in association with Silver Mushroom. It was an eye opening few weeks, who knew how stressful baking in your own kitchen could be, but the time I spent discussing Bake Off and sharing my recipes with you all was fantastic and I can't wait to see if there is anything for me to get involved with next year. The experience gave me the chance to chat to other bloggers and introduce me to food blogging (which I loved so expect to see a lot more where that came from!). My biggest achievement of the whole event was winning on bread week! My focaccia came out top, so why not try it yourselves?
Since I started blogging, I feel my confidence has really been boosted. I'm not talking about my confidence just walking down the street, but I now feel like my writing is getting better, and I actually have something to talk to people about now when they ask what I do in my spare time. At job interviews, interviewers are always keen to talk about my blogs and what I write about, and it makes me feel great that people are actually enjoying what I'm putting out there.
Offbeat's Baby Sibling
I started 4.3.5 after realising Offbeat had taken more of a lifestyle turn. My biggest passion in life is and always has been music, and it was something I really wanted to write about, so I started a sister blog. I have to admit, I have neglected 4.3.5 over the past few months because Offbeat comes first, and as you may have noticed, blog posts on here have been sporadic for a while, but in the next few weeks I am looking to relaunch the blog and I already have tons of unsigned acts chomping at the bit, getting excited to be featured. I have so much to share with you all and I'll warn you, not all the music I feature will be your cup of tea, but for rock and indie lovers, say hello to your new music fix.
I just wanted to use my round off to say thanks to everyone who has been supportive and has given me great feedback to the content on Offbeat. If it wasn't for my readers and the other bloggers I have met along the way, I do not think I would have made it to this milestone that once seemed so far away. Here's to another great year of Offbeat and many more in the future.
Thursday, 15 October 2015
This year though, I think I'm going to avoid a Frozen chocolate advent calendar, maybe even the Spiderman one too, because I have found a new love during the past few months, Yankee Candles. Over the past few months my bedroom and living room has smelt like everything from birthday cake to dark berries and candy canes to Christmas spices. When I found out that Yankee Candle actually create their own full advent calendar with a different scent every day, I very almost wept with joy! From the first of December to Christmas Eve, my house can have a different Christmas inspired scent, which is honestly a much better treat than a chocolate every day.
The first thing I noticed about the advent calendar is it's beautiful decorations. Nothing too nontraditional, but just modern enough to make me want to display it from now up until Christmas 2016. The stunning artwork on the pentagonal box is breathtaking and immediately screams Christmas. No huge numbers on this one, the small numbers on the doors blend so well into the design, it is hard to tell from a distance that it is not just another Christmas decoration, which I love.
The design of the box means it has to be tied at the top, making it easy to give in to temptation and open it all at once to see the scents that have been added, but a lot harder to use all of them at once which I have never done with a chocolate one... (Disclosure: I have eaten a chocolate advent calendar all at once. I am not proud of it and deny it at every chance I get. The rounded dome reminds me of a well wrapped Christmas present from a department store, so even though this is meant to lead up to Christmas day, I feel like this would be a gorgeous present for a loved one, especially if they love candles like my family.
The Internet Gift Store kindly provided me with this sample. They sell high quality goods from brands like Yankee Candle, Disney, and Ted Baker, often offering up to 80% retail price in their clearance section. With free delivery on orders over £35 and optional next day delivery, I would highly recommend the Internet Gift Store for all your Christmas needs.