Pros + Cons of Singledom (plus fashion things)

Style blogger in pink coat, leopard print skirt, white boots outside retro building
























Firstly, can we appreciate the aesthetically pleasing nature of this Thirties art deco bus station at Seaton Carew beach? I've been doing some scouting for good North East shoot locations recently – so stay tuned for more – but this is definitely a great start. I'm glad it looks as good in these photos as it did in the ones I found on Insta (ye Insta is the primary tool of all the research in my life – restaurants, bars, hotels, potential boyfriends etc).

Anyway, on a similar subject to the latter point, and following on from my previous Valentine's/Galentine's fashion post, I thought I'd discuss the pros and cons of being single because this past year has been the most single year of my life, and, overall, I've loved it tbh. 

(If you want to skip the chat and go straight to the 'similar items' fashion widget, scroll all the way to the bottom!)

Style blogger in pink coat, leopard print skirt, white boots outside retro building

Pros


  1. You don't have to worry about being in the wrong relationship when you're not in one (been there, done this... & I think tbh it's put me off relationships in general lol)
  2. You can do what you want, when you want and never have to watch/talk/think about football if you don't want to
  3. Every night out is slightly more exciting cos you could meet the love of your life (not that this has happened to me or any of my friends literally ever but y'know)
  4. You can avoid shaving your legs for weeks (months) and no one will know/care
  5. All that money you were going to spend on their birthday/Christmas/Valentine's gift? FAB news guys – you can spend it all on yourself now. Get yourself to your nearest Mac counter

Style blogger in pink coat, leopard print skirt, white boots outside retro building
Style blogger in pink coat, leopard print skirt, white boots outside retro building
When you remember you can spend all your money on yourself

Cons: 

  1. No Boyfriend of Instagram means roping friends/your mum into taking photos like these for you
  2. You don't get the gifts mentioned above (kinda sad, but kind of not because you know yourself better anyway, hopefully, so just buy your own with the spare $$$)
  3. FAMILY GATHERINGS. Especially as you get to your mid-twenties (poor me), people will ask you about your relationship status and being single is never met with enthusiasm for some (out-dated) reason
  4. You don't have a go-to plus one to attend events with when you just don't want to go on your own because you cba socialising with lots of strangers constantly and holding the conversations all on your own (is this weird? It's tiring!)
  5. No one is buying you gig tickets. This really should be higher in the list tbf.


Style blogger in pink coat, leopard print skirt, white boots outside retro building

Overall, although this has been tongue-in-cheek, I do think it's important for us all to celebrate being single a little bit more, because there are so many plus points. Obviously, if you're in love -– that's great, but if you're not in the perfect relationship, it's an amazing opportunity to really enjoy being young, spending time on yourself and fitting in all those experiences that may not be possible or totally appropriate once you're more settled. I almost definitely wouldn't have gone travelling if I was in a relationship and I'm so glad for all the things I've experienced as a result singledom. You're only young once pals!x




Alternatively, if you're totally over single life, hang outside the gent's and hope for the best...*

North East Fashion blogger outside retro toilets


Obviously close your eyes à la myself as this will also be a MASSIVE help.

*JK do not do any of this pls
         
       
         
       
     






















Valentine's Day Outfits

*This post was paid for, and marked items gifted, but opinions & fashion choices are my own!*

Hi all! Last week, as you may have witnessed on my Instagram (try-on vids are still viewable in the 'Fashion' highlight!), I was lucky enough to be invited along to Silverlink Shopping Park in North Tyneside for a Valentine's Day/Galentine's Day shopping extravaganza! (Galentine's being 100% more appropriate to my relationship status atm lols). 

I love a good styling challenge, so was in my element picking Valentine's-appropriate ensembles. I covered Outfit, New Look, H&M, Next, River Island and M&S, and tried to create an outfit for every occasion – from casual drinks with the gals to a sophisticated soiree with your partner.  This is what I came up with...

Look no.1 – smart/casual – perfect for drinks or a meal out




This is one of my absolute favourite options. It's the perfect smart/casual combo and ticks multiple trends. Silk midi skirts are having a HUGE moment, as is the colour green and hair accessories (more so hairbands moving into next season). So here they all are in one handy, effortless ensemble. 

I added these chunky lace-up boots cos I was wearing them at the time, but they actually work really well I think! I also added a faux leather jacket from Topshop. Both these grungy accessories help take the look from prim and proper to edgy chic, which is what I prefer no matter what the occasion.

Skirt*, jacket and hairband are Topshop from Outfit.



Close up of the hairband bc it's a babe:



Look no. 2 – Sexy, dressy level: optimum – perfect for a posh event or evening meal at a castle or something (lol I'm totally going to refer to this list when/if I need future date ideas, I'm nailing them)

This is the 'sexy' option – you'll certainly catch their eye with this. Of course, it does 'hot' in a sophisticated rather than OTT way. Low slung at the back and not too tight but clinging in all the right places. It also has a leg slit  – the designers pulled out all the sexy stops with this one gals!




Dress: Topshop

Look no. 3 – stylish & sophisticated – perfect for a lunch date or theatre trip



Animal print is hot RN, obviously, as you've probably gathered from going to a bar at any point in time since about Sept and being faced with at least five leopard print-clad females. I'm also loving (as inspired by Faye Ellaby), the floaty midi-dress and high boots combo. Thank u, Next.

In case you didn't get that Ariana pun, this outfit is from Next lol

Look no. 4 – the cool & casual – perfect for a gig, comedy club, edgy bar

Another big trend at the moment is semi-sheer body suits/tops. And I am loving these two with jeans and boots (I also think this outfit would be fab with heels and heeled boots, these are just the ones I rocked up in on the day).

I think these tops are perfect for a Valentine's or Galentine's involving an edgy bar, live music or a day time activity. Make sure you wear with a cool non-Bridget Jones style bra – this could make or break the cool vibe.




Tops* & jeans: Topshop from Outfit


The accessories...


I stumbled upon shed-loads of amazing accessories to snap during my day at Silverlink so here y'all are:

Hairband & clips: H&M

Both pairs of shoes: Next (how good would these heels look with the black dress above?!)

Shoes: M&S

Loving marble/tortoiseshell earrings! All New Look

The tortoiseshell vibe extends to bags too... Topshop at Outfit

Aaand layered gold necklaces – perfect with a low-cut dress (like the black one) or top. Topshop at Outfit


*All items marked with (*) were bought with the gifted shopping voucher at Outfit, Silverlink Shopping Park (lucky me, TY Silverlink!)



ASK Italian's Vegan Menu


NORTH EAST fashion blogger vegan food review


This week I was invited to try out ASK Italian’s vegan menu at intu Metrocentre. While I’m not vegan, I try to limit the amount of meat and dairy I eat, and occasionally I like to switch to a more plant-based diet. It helps up my vegetable intake, improves my skin’s appearance and encourages me to be a bit more creative with meals, as well making me feel like I’m at least doing a bit towards saving the environment and animals (if the U.S. population did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road! Every little helps...)

So, anyway, I was very excited to hear ASK Italian has introduced a vegan menu – it’s rare to find dairy free pizza and pasta, especially if you’re not going to a specifically vegan restaurant.

Ask Italian Vegan lemonade
It all kicked off with shots! Non-alcoholic shots, ofc, of vegan lemonade.

The menu itself features breads and nibbles, starters, mains, desserts and sides. Plus a kids section (which had labels next to meals showing if they had one of your five-a-day – I liked this and think it should be introduced to the adult menu tbh).
It was such a struggle to decide as everything sounded amazing, but for starters, we opted for the Tuscan Bean Soup and Bruschetta, there were dough balls too, but we thought we’d go for one bready item and one lessy bready item – for variety. 

I loved the soup! Anything with lentils and beans I’m going to like, but this was flavoured so well (spicy tomato – yum) and had full spinach leaves mixed in – another of my favourite healthy additions to any meal.

Ask Italian Vegan Tuscan Bean Soup

The bruschetta was also fab, and both options were a very decent size. To the point that I was concerned I would be too full for the next two courses.


It was even harder to decide on mains, primarily as there was more choice. They did the classic Penne Arrabiata, which I do always enjoy as a safe option, but, I love a bit of veg so was drawn to the Spaghetti Lentil Ragu with green lentils (again, I love lentils lols), mixed veg and sundried (the best kind) tomato sauce. The Fetuccine Con Melanzine had grilled aubergines – another of my favourite vegetables, so this was a must too. We shared but I accidentally ate all the aubergines haha – they were fabulous. The spaghetti was also very similar to spag bol, I couldn’t eat loads of it as I had already filled myself up on aubergines, but I’m glad I got to try it because I’d definitely order it next time.

Ask Italian Vegan fettuccineAsk Italian Vegan Lentil Ragu


And then, fabulousness happened. The dessert options were Sorbetti (sorbet) with a choice of flavours from mango to prosecco (the latter was obviously a must) and Blood Orange and Chocolate Tart. In an ideal world, we’d have got two of the tarts, but as this was a review, I thought it wise to order one of each. Unfortunately for my mum, the tart was epic so I ate it all in addition to some of her sorbet (for review purposes). I’m so thrilled somewhere has a vegan dessert! It was made from nuts and dates, and was thus like the much more lavish/glamorous sister of the Nakd bar. Top points – would go back just for this.


Ask Italian Vegan Blood Orange tart
Close up; just look at the beauty
Overall, I’d rate the experience 10/10 for a vegan Italian dining experience (can’t say I’ve had many to compare it to tbf, but I doubt it can get much better). And I’d give it extra points for location – any venue residing in such close proximity to a Topshop and Nars counter is winning in my eyes. 


Let me know if you've been or have any recommendations for vegan options in the North East!

Head to askitalian.co.uk/menu/vegan to see the vegan menu or find out more & head here intu.co.uk/metrocentre for more info on intu Metrocentre