Saturday, 16 July 2016

Dreamland

DAMN, I've missed fashion fierceness here on the blog. Seems like a while since I posted anything fashion-y but rest assured I've been out and about shooting so many ootd looks that I can't wait to show ya! This one was shot with Graham at Mersea Island, Essex. These beach-huts have to be the dreamiest I've ever seen. POWER to the PINK one especially! They're definitely straight outta fairytale territory, us bloggers and our babelicious beach-huts make for girl gang goals. The dress is from the cool kids at Kiss The Sky, it literally jingles and jangles every-time I walk due to the coin embellishment on the hem which throws up a lot of mystified stares from strangers and bemusement from work colleagues alike, but what the hell, it's all good fun. The bright burnt orange hue screamed sunshine, and my trusty ASOS holographic beach bag finished off the summery soul of the ootd. 
I made the tough call to quit my job last Wednesday. Sometimes things get a little too hard and I've been trying to juggle a full time job, my blogging and writing my book, giving all three a good shot but struggling with each. I've got a month before I go and am definitely feeling mixed emotions, but I know ultimately I've done the right thing for both my health and happiness. My anxiety's been bad, I come home from work to do nothing but work, usually getting late nights, feeling drained day in, day out and getting frustrated that the book I'm writing is frozen on page 248 in the midst of a dramatic, tumultous rooftop scene (and has been since March). My blog posts have been (for lack of a better, less Cher Horowitz phrase) happening way too sporadically. I will probably never be one of those super organised bloggers who can post every day of the week but nevertheless, a post once a month, or (if I'm lucky) every two weeks isn't cutting it for me, especially when I want to make this whole business boom. Regarding my job, I'm definitely going to miss a lot of people there that I've been lucky enough to strike up friendships with, and when the times comes I know I'll be sad. 
I feel lucky to have such a strong support system; namely my lovely boyfriend Graham for always believing in me and standing by me, especially when talking dreams, not to mention my parents & of course you gorgeous girls that have been there for me from the start of soinspo! There are a few people that I try to forget about that I've felt judged by in the past when talking blogging and writing, certain people that urged me to carry on with admin, even though the people at my actual job are 100% supportive - urging me to go and follow my heart. It's nice as my work colleagues have been really sweet and supportive about my blog, my book and my decision to leave. Most people I've spoken to have a really forward-thinking encouragement when it comes to going for goals and dashing towards dreams which makes a nice difference in comparison to some previous jobs I've worked at where those values were never really understood or respected. Blogging, Youtube and starting your own business has become the norm with an upheaval of the population reading blogs and watching vlogs which means it's more relatable and admired than even a year or so ago. 



In other news I've bought two more pool inflatables and have decided that perhaps that's enough for this year, you know, seeing as I don't actually own a pool and all. Quick question, if I moved into this dreamland and took up residency in all of these beach babin' homes, do you think the owners would mind? I really don't wanna leave.....  

Update: I've just seen that gorgeous Georgia from Tea and two sugars has graduated, and I wanted to say a massive congrats to the moon and back! Georgia is such a dazzling star, someone so special, so talented and so inspiring, always killin' it with such gorgeous, beautiful shoots and she has the most magical, wondrous way with words. I feel so lucky to know her through this blog. I just know you're going to soar to the stars in life, your talent knows no bounds. Hard work pays off! Love to you babin' butterly! 



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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The Happy Mail

I know us bloggers notoriously love boxes delivered to our doors, but despite a brief (and admittedly disappointing) flirtation with GlossyBox a few years back, I’ve never really given many of them a go.  Most of them don't hold my interest for too long and can look pretty samey. However, with a jazzy, colourful persona The Happy Mail looked right up my street and I'd been wanting to try for a long while. After craving some sugar I placed my first order in a cloud of sweet dreams. 



I loved the originality of the sweet treats; nostalgic goodies brought bang up to date with a bang. Old school biscuits on a stick, chocolate donuts dusted with glittery goodness? HELL YEAH! There are a vast range of boxes available, and The Happy Mail also caters for special occasions; weddings, Easter, Birthday's, you name it! The themes of the boxes are also pretty cool; boxes that fit neatly through your door are under the Junk Mail section, obviously the best kind of junk mail, period. For my first order I plumped for the 'Tea Time Dippers Junk Mail Box' and the Pig 'n' Mix Junk Mail Box for a Friday night sugar hit. The Tea Time Dippers Junk Mail Box priced at £10 combined retro biscuits like jammy dodgers, bourbons and custard creams with melted chocolate and sugary sprinkles on a stick.  I found one dipper very rich but gorgeous as hell. Definitely a remedy for that late night choco-craving. 

 Graham took the Pig 'n' Mix box into work (pictured below), priced £12 and everyone seemed pretty taken by the retro-pop of colourful treats. Chocolate biscuits shaped like doughnuts glazed in sprinkles, icing and sugar coated treats. Can anyone say #ABMLifeissweet? Sure his male co-workers wouldn't be too familiar with that hashtag, but my fellow bright blogging beauties will! Talking of IG, I also love that The Happy Mail's feed tells the story of a dream being dazzled into a business. Anyone with talent, creativity and vision that turns glitter into something gold is an instant hit with me and I'm totally in love with all things Happy Mail related!
A heads up; I've just had another look at the site and have found out The Happy Mail is closed between 22 July - 5 September so any sugary show-stoppers wanting to place an order, dash your dazzling self over to the sweet aisle stat! Next on my mail box delivery hit list: The Lucky Dip Club! 


Has anyone else tried The Happy Mail?
Are you a fan of sugary treats? 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Sweetheart

I'll be truthful, usually I come back from a blog-shoot on a high, it feels like a sugar-fied rush, running like a sweet treat through my veins, but I've been suffering from bouts of anxiety for the best part of two weeks and that wasn't the case last weekend. Last Saturday I was having one of those "girl days" where I felt pretty vulnerable and the last thing I wanted was to pose in a tight dress, but, determined to keep up the spirit and slay the shoot I'd wanted to create for the past few months, I went for it. We had a good time but unfortunately there were a group of idiots standing there purposefully, laughing, threatening to photobomb and making it increasingly difficult to shoot (and this was before we even brought the ice cream pool float out, fortunately they'd pissed off by then) I heard them making little remarks like "how many photos do they need to get, they're all the same anyway." (Insert a C U Next Tuesday slot here). Strengthened by our resolve to get the shoot we wanted, we kept on and looking at these pictures now, I'm so happy we managed to carry on. 

This rainbow babe is from Skinnydip London of course. Talking of Skinnydip, I'm thrilled they've released an intergalactic cowgirl range, loving it. For a while after their unicorn and mermaid dazzlers I was eagerly awaiting some new babe-licious bags and now they've stunningly stayed. And the infamous ice cream pool float from Sunnylife Australia was made for this shoot, fast becoming another of my favourite brands. 

I'm hoping I can regain control of my anxiety as I've been doing so well this year. For me it usually comes in fits and starts. I end up in a vicious circle; worrying myself to sleep at night, feeling constant dread throughout the day, terrified I'll make myself ill which leads to feeling ill and constantly drained, down, shaky, dizzy. It's little moments like receiving a text from my favourite boy whilst sitting in the garden, surrounded by fresh air and a cup of tea, getting lost in a good book, dreaming up the ending of my own, getting inspired in the intrinsic world of Instagram, driving endlessly through botanical lanes filled with flowers, chilling with Graham by the beach, and of course, this blog and the whole magic surrounding it that sees the solution and the silver linings for me. That and taking one day at a time. 









I forever thank you guys for being there and always believing in me, I overuse this expression to the moon and back, but it really does mean the world. All the ice creams, rainbows and pool inflatables sent from my soul to yours, let's celebrate summer like the babin' babes we are! High five to that. 


What's everyone up to on this (not so sunny) Saturday?
I hope you all have a fab weekend! 


Rare London Ice Cream Dress
Skinnydip London rainbow bag

Monday, 30 May 2016

Travel: Our trip to Portugal

Back in April my boyfriend Graham & I took a trip to Albufeira (not just 'cos it rhymes with my surname Sierra, FYI). If you know me, you'll know I've definitely got travel jetting through my veins and a wanderlust list that's endlessly burning at my brain. Europe has never interested me half as much as America but Spain and Portugal have always been two countries on my hit-list. We flew out to Portugal on Graham's birthday and the holiday felt all the more special for it. We were both a bit nervy about the flight but thankfully it was only about 2 hours 45 mins, so therefore fairly breezy. The trip also signalled our first tropical holiday for a good few years and it came as such a blissful break for us both. 

We stayed at hotel Vila Petra which was more than affordable yet pretty paradisal to say the least. It was also only a short stones throw away from the pretty beaches lining Albufeira and was easily accessible to the local shops with a 'strip' that held bars, clubs, cafes, cocktail bars, restaurants and the best part, a load of boozing Brits. Perhaps the only downfall; the area was obviously a spot for stag nights so when we went out for a meal we often had to elbow our way through crowds of leery lads. It didn't matter that much as we rented an apartment in the hotel so mainly ate from our balcony in the evening. On the odd occasion we ventured out late, we made it through the mob without a fist in the face, always a bonus, let's face it.









We hadn't had much time to research the area so spent our days exploring the beaches; namely Oura. On the hottest day we sat by the sea, accompanied by cocktails and carbs. A few days were spent walking around, navigating the town and strolling past so many villas/houses/apartments that we bookmarked as holiday homes should we ever be lucky enough to dreamily afford one in the future. It's certainly no secret that I've always wanted a home abroad, be it a holiday home or a home, home. Our favourite discovery was a marshmallow pink row of buildings below; how f-ing cute? Literally the most soothing street I ever did see.





Graham's definitely rocking these ASOS shades better than I, they fit so well with his ootd! There weren't many Instagram husband feels to our holiday especially as I made the fatal mistake of losing most of my make-up at the airport. I spent the holiday feeling like a right troll to say the least and avoided posing for pics at all costs! The hotel also disallowed pool inflatables. Serious case of SHOCK and HORROR, so the donut we brought with us stayed safely in the suitcase. Donut and I stayed relegated to no-poser territory with a sassy salti-ness to rival the sea.





Overall we absolutely loved our time in Portugal and would definitely recommend to anyone and everyone. The locals were all friendly as were the hotel staff at Vila Petra and I'd totally be up for a return visit one day. We stayed just under a week which was the perfect amount of time for our get-away and both agreed we'd love to make a return trip in the future (and buy one of those dreamy houses....)

Have you ever been to Portugal?
Have you got wanderlust? If so where for? 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Summer dress wish-list

Any babe that knows me well enough will tell you how much I live for the summer and all the tropical style sightings it blissfully brings. One of the biggest decisions I made about my blog this year was that I wanted it to firmly focus more-so around summer style than ever before, especially as I feel it really empowers and embodies soinspo. In typical Sierra style, I've gone for hot hues and bright bolds whilst dreaming up my ultimate summer wish-list. JD Williams have got an amazing array of summer dresses to assist me in my search and get me screaming for summer (even more so than usual)... 









Bright, tropical colours are always a must for me when choosing a summer dress, followed by softer pastel accessories as a babe-like backdrop. I'm crushing so hard on this stripe shift dress; perfect for hitting the tropics, jazzing up a BBQ or lounging around in on holiday. The green shades add further elements of gorgeous whilst whimsical watermelon is always a good idea. As always Accessorize are killing it with their paradisiac holiday picks. I can imagine all the pretty pink beads of embellishment dazzling so dreamily by the sea. The fruit feels clash perfectly with summer stripes. These wedge sandals are so stylishly subtle yet totally wearable and make a nice switch up from glads. 




WOWZ, was my first thought upon seeing this sweet sweet fantasy of a maxi dress. Isn't is mesmerising? Embellishment is something I love to showcase in my summer style and I think any guest at any wedding would easily eclipse the most babin' of brides in this snazzy stunner. Perfect also for a hot holiday abroad or to sparkle up a sunshine fuelled blog-shoot. Liquid gold tones will set off the beautiful pink aura of the dress, and this leaf cuff and leather bag are perfect. Pink and gold go perfectly and make a really magical combination, especially during summery nights with the stars glittering down upon you. 



Flower power is nailed with this pretty Joanna Hope print dress. A good slogan is always necessary when it comes to us fashion bloggers and I've seen various versions of these straw hats although this one has to be my fave; ‘I’m busy’ obvs stands for sitting by the sea with a Pina colada in one hand an ice cream in the other. These sole diva ankle boots add an underlying edge to the look, a subtle toughen up to the floral feeling. 


*This is a PR collaboration, as always all views and opinions are my own