Sunday, 30 November 2014

Thoughts on loneliness // Musings

'Negative emotions like loneliness, envy and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; They're big flashing signs that something needs to change' 
 Gretchen Rubin 

I recently read an article about loneliness and how it's becoming a great concern for young people, and shouldn't be seen as something that is exclusive to the elderly anymore. Feeling isolated is often seen as a trait of growing older but now this 'epidemic of loneliness' sees that our 20's are riddled with late nights, lonely days, FOMO, stress, anxiety and maybe even depression. While I definitely don't have these feelings now, I have felt a sense of loneliness in the past during a certain period of time at university and the effect that loneliness, or a certain type of isolation, has on your mental health is striking.  And even then I shouldn't really call my experience loneliness because all I had to do was Skype a friend, arrange a lunch date, a shopping trip, a walk in the park anything simply as a way to force myself out of the house.  Sometimes that's all it takes - the effort to spend quality time in the presence of a friend or family member and more often than not this can be enough to banish the dull feeling of isolation and remind you that you have people, you are not alone.

But what happens if that isn't enough? What if you get to the point where you find that you have no real friendships, just mere acquaintances, no close family members, just mere relatives?  Don't get me wrong, I think knowing how to enjoy your own company and how to spend time alone is an invaluable thing to learn and is often needed in a world of constant communication. Being surrounded with the wrong people in order to fill an empty void is just as bad on your mental health as feeling lonely in the first place. But being lonely for a prolonged period of time in a town, city, school, place of work or, even, the entire world, can seriously affect you mentally, physically and emotionally. And by being lonely I don't mean being single, I mean no close friends, no close family, no close...anyone.  Maybe I'm over-thinking this but it's something I seriously worry about happening to me. I feel so incredibly grateful and lucky to be surrounded by loving, caring and happy friends and family that it's hard to imagine somebody not having the same.  And sure, it is easy to blame things like social media because being connected in the digital world is no substitution for face to face communication, no matter how real it may be. But I think our 20's are filled with great change, growth and maturity which causes you, the people around you and your circumstances to change drastically, sometimes multiple times. Concentrating on education, work, romantic relationships or even starting your own family of course takes up our time and energy and if everyone of your friends are doing the same, it may feel like you're on your journey alone.

Some say loneliness is part of the human condition but, ultimately, we are social creatures - we crave community, intimacy and a sense of belonging. Maybe you had this in the past and don't have it any more, maybe you are still searching for your own community or maybe you have a great close group of people in your life right now.  I'm happy that I can say that I have my own group and individuals who I know I can count on but wherever you are on your journey, if there is one thing I do know, it is that any feelings of loneliness need to be met by action - small steps to finding those that feel like family and more often than not, you won't have to look that far because great people can be found in great places.

What are your experiences with loneliness?

Check out my latest YouTube video: Thoughts on Letting Go
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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Wardrobe Basics // Shirts


Print Shirt; Vintage, borrowed from my mum // Black Shirt; Primark //
White shirt; Vintage, also borrowed // Mint green; H&M
Jewlerry; Primark, H&M & River Island
A couple of posts ago I shared some of my favourite cosy jumpers for the winter months and wanted to do the same with shirts as they are my second fashion love.  I have quite an eclectic collection and wanted to show that with these picks; one with some pretty cool prints to add a little SHAZAM to your outfit (yep, that is a word...), a crisp white shirt with small detail to make an office outfit more interesting, a classic black shirt and a mint green one for some colour.  My favourite has to be the white shirt, I just love the small embroidery detail and the slightly large collar which makes it perfect for wearing underneath jumpers with a v-neck or just on it's own, paired with jeans for a casual look or a black skirt for a smarter look. I think that's the great thing about shirts - they are pretty versatile and can be worn for pretty much any occasion.

Are you a fan of shirts too?

Currently, I am loving (taking it back old school)
Usher & Alicia Keys - My Boo (Used to LOVE this song)
Jennifer Lopez - Love don't cost a thing

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Friday, 21 November 2014

American Eagle comes to the UK!

American Eagle - Denim X

I love shopping. Shopping with friends, with family, with my sister, online or by myself - I mean who doesn't love it?  But when it comes to shopping for some new jeans I'd rather just re-take my final year exams ten times over. Ok, so that's definitely an exaggeration, but when I have to buy new jeans I just cry a little inside at the thought of countless hours strolling through shops to find jeans that fit right, you know? Not tight on the legs then big on the waist, or too short or too long or just not right. And being 5ft8, it's a bit of a struggle. So when I found out that American Eagle Outfitters had opened some stores in the UK (Westfield White City; London, Westfield Stratford and Bluewater Kent) I was pretty excited.

They're are known over in America for their great quality denim and jeans which, when you're as fussy as me, is vital.  Their recent collections Denim X and Shine Thru The Night both look perfect for winter, whether it's for keeping warm or dazzling at your work Christmas Party. I always love buying new jeans, jackets and jumpers for winter so their recent collection is pretty perfect if you're looking at updating your winter wardrobe.

For their store opening they've even teamed up with the babe that is Daisy Lowe, who looks pretty  in their ad:

So if you're near Westfield White City Westfield Stratford in London or BlueWater in Kent, why not check out the new American Eagle store nearby!

*This post has been sponsored by American Eagle, 
but all thoughts are my own

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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Sponsored Video: Inspired By Women // Inspiration & Musings

I recently came across the #InspiredByWomen campaign by Moroccan Oil which celebrates the work of six women who are inspiring and impacting the lives of those around them and I wanted to share this with you guys.  It's so great to see women using their knowledge, abilities and experiences to do and achieve truly remarkable things and this is exactly what this campaign celebrates.  The campaign follows Jessica who provides energy for children who live in homes that receive very little electricity which, in turn, impacts their education (her idea is actually quite cool and one of those 'I wish I'd thought of that!!' things), Allyson who provides free clothes for at risk teenage girls, Kavita who has come up with a remarkable way to keep fruit and vegetables fresh for longer, Rebecca who works with at risk children to help them feel comfortable enough to express themselves, Chrissy who rescues abandoned dogs in terrible states to find new homes for them and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who is the campaign ambassador. If you have the time it's definitely worth checking out these women and their stories. (If you do, let me know which one is your favourite story!)  It's great to see women successfully inspiring quite possible hundreds of thousands of people in very unique ways and even better that Moroccan Oil have decided to build a campaign celebrating inspiring women.

Coming across the campaign actually made me think about myself and what I find inspiring in my own life. I think everyone at some point has had that moment in their lives where they feel like they want to inspire, make a difference and change the world (which is a pretty big dream to have - changing the world). I certainly felt like this for a long time growing up -  I'm a dreamer at heart and the idea of doing something as extravagant as changing the world seemed like the ultimate dream. Whenever I would mention this to my mum however, she would always reply with one thing - 'you want to change the world but you can't even wash the dishes for me.' And maaayyybe this was just her way to get me to wash the dishes ha! But I never really knew what she truly meant by that until now.  Fast forward a couple of years and I've come to realise that, as noble as wanting to change the world is, it really starts with changing the world of the people in your own lives.  Inspiring people in your life, adding something of value to their lives because of who you are and being a positive influence on anyone you encounter is something I consciously try to do and by choosing to help or simply to listen can have such a long lasting impact. You're not going to meet everyone on this planet or even have a way to contact every single individual but, with the ones you do meet and interact with, changing their individual worlds is good enough. And like I said, it doesn't have to be extravagant and can be as simple as a kind gesture or your time. I'm so grateful that many of my own girl friends have inspired and helped me, probably more than they will ever know - and to me that's the great thing about inspiring others. It doesn't have to be this great, extravagant, exhausting feat but simply striving to be the person who can give guidance, advice, faith, honesty and adventure to your friends, family, colleagues and people you encounter on a daily basis slowly adds to changing the world.

To find out more about the #InspiredByWomen campaign check out their Facebook Page and Website

What do you guys think about the idea of changing the world?
Who inspires you in your life?

*This post has been sponsored by Moroccanoil, but all thoughts are my own.

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Monday, 17 November 2014

A Few Moments With: In My Sunday Best // Interview #10

In My Sunday Best is one of my favourite blogs in the blogosphere right now and I'm super excited about sharing this interview! Sade's style is the perfect mix between elegance, grace and casual wear that all blends seamlessly together, whether it's layers for winter or cute dresses for the summer months, her style is pretty much flawless.  Her blog is pretty great for style inspiration and often infused with lifestyle and personal posts which proves to be the perfect addition. Oh, and her photography? It's pretty awesome!! To find out more, I decided to ask her a few questions on her style, photography tips and staying creative.

Hello Sade! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello! I'm an Architecture graduate, coffee connoisseur and floral fanatic. I write over on

 How and why did you get into blogging?
I'm honestly not really sure, I think it began more as a place for me to share my illustrative and photographic work and just spiraled into so much! I read blogs like Jazzabelle's Diary, What Olivia Did and Shirley's Wardrobe for serious inspiration when I first started!
In three words, how would you describe your style? 
Difficult question! I think I'd like to describe it as an eclectic mix of lady-like wear with a bit of kitsch to it!

What are you looking forward to for A/W 14?
Oh it has to be the crunchy leaves, warm mugs of hot chocolate and having multiple snuggly duvet days!

You've just graduated from university after studying Architecture! Congratulations! Did your blog help shape your creativity in your professional life? Did your course ever influence your blog posts?
It has helped keep me creative, and granted me a lot of opportunities, but unfortunately in the case of Architecture (at least where I'm at in life now) the two have yet to collide! My course has influenced this blog post, in which I talk about the realities of life after university.
Last year your blog was shortlisted for 'best use of photography' at the Company Magazine Blog Awards! How do you manage to incorporate such beautiful photography with a simple OOTD post?
It was indeed! And it was such an honour to be up against professional bloggers! I have to give the credit to the people who have shot my outfit posts over the years haha! 

What top tips would you give to someone wanting to improve the photography on their blog?
It's a difficult one, because on one hand you can get some pretty good shots with a phone, however they will never be the same quality as using a good DSLR and a good lens. Don't put yourself out of pocket though! I've been using my Pentax Ist DS for about four years now, and I currently use a 50mm f 1.8 lens which is amazing for blog photography as it gives you that gorgeous depth of field.
How do you manage to maintain your creativity?
By blogging and being sociable! The best part of being a blogger is meeting new people and sharing interests! 

So tonight you're meeting friends for dinner! What look will you go for?
Most probably a LBD, some vintage jewellery and some killer heels. Add some red lippy and you've got my look down to a T!

Thank you! Where else can we find you?
You can find me on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest :)

Find me on: YouTube | Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram: @thatgirlsaadiya

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Wardrobe Basics // The Cosy Jumpers


Hat; Matalan // Mint Green; Tesco // Dark Blue; Primark // Bright Pink; H&M //
Green & White; Found in the back of my wardrobe, I suspect it's from a market of some sort

Autumn and Winter is upon us. Which means dark nights, scented candles and cosy jumpers (among other things).  I have to say that I much prefer Spring and Summer - everything is so much lighter and happier, but sometimes nothing beats a big old jumper, layered over a shirt with a chunky scarf, hat and your favourite pair of boots.  I have far to many jumpers to count (yep, self confessed jumper horder over hereeee) but these four are my favourite.  The first mint green one from Tesco is oversized and is the perfect throw-on-and-go jumper. It's big, it's comfy and it's a great colour too. The second blue one is also oversized (hmmm, I'm seeing a recurring theme here...) from primark and is long enough to be worn as a sort of jumper/dress type thing. Imagine pairing it with some knee high boots and a great winter coat and you're good to go. So the bottom two are actually my size with a perfect fit and thick enough to keep warm. I found the green and white one at the bottom of my wardrobe when I was having a clear out and couldn't really bring myself to throw it out and I bought the pink one from H&M because WELL, IT'S PINK. The nights might be darker earlier but it doesn't mean you can't rock a bit of colour through November and December, amiright, amiright?? Ha.

I hope you guys liked this post! Been a bit of a struggle trying to get ootd posts up so I thought I would adapt it slightly! Let me know if it works or if outfit posts are best when they are worn and photographed, not just folded neatly on the floor!

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Sunday, 9 November 2014

You are Golden // Tumblr Inspiration

Some Tumblr inspiration to get you through this Sunday...
This is legit how I dance, no word of a lie. And my friends have the same facial expression as Lisa whenever I do.
All images sourced from Tumblr
Currently, I have been loving:
Tumblr, obviously. 
You can follow me here if you wish!

Check out my latest YouTube video: 'Beauty in the Mundane' 
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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

I know this great little place... // Lincolnshire

A couple of weeks ago my friend and I decided to head a little further up North to Lincolnshire for a day visit. It was pretty spontaneous actually as she called me up the night before and since I've officially finished uni now (ohhhhh yeeeaaaah) I have quite a bit of spare time at the moment. So I decided to put the job applications to one side for the day and went along with her.

Lincoln is just under two hours away by train and the best way to describe it is a sort of hybrid between a town and village.  It's so pretty and I can imagine it being even more stunning during the summer months. We wanted to head to the Cathedral which is about a 10 minute walk from the main city centre and it's situated on top of what is quite possible the biggest hill I've ever had to climb. Ever. One of the streets leading up to the Cathedral is actually called Steep Hill and, let me tell you, it lives up to it's name. At one point me and my friend were half way up and there was a woman walking up behind us who was pretty much wheezing as she was walking up and it just made me feel 1000x more sorry for people who lived at the top and had to do the walk everyday!

This was about halfway up the hill and already the view was pretty incredible.
The Cathedral was HUGE.  The design and architecture of the building was so great you have to just take a couple of minutes to take it all in. 
We also decided to visit Lincoln Castle and climbed up one of its towers to see such an amazing view. I must have taken so many pictures up there but this was one of my favourites, It's of the Cathedral from afar and just shows you how big the building is and also how high up we were.  My camera doesn't really do it justice but if you're ever in Lincoln make sure to also visit the castle and go up one of the towers - it's the best.
I made my friend take a quick ootd photo for me!
Top; H&M // Denim Shirt; New Look // Jeans; New Look
I've never been to Lincoln before and walking around reminded me of when I used to live down in Devon. We lived in a sort of town/village about half an hour away from Exeter that was filled with one off shops and tea rooms that felt quintessentially British.  Living in a main city it's quite nice to take a trip to somewhere a bit quieter.

Where is one of your favourite quick getaway places near where you live?

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