My Fashion Reading List | 2017

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As you all know, I love fashion, and that’s why I not only write a fashion and style blog but also want to make it my future career. So, it’s no wonder that I have lot’s of fashion related things, such as magazine’s, books and even a really gorgeous Parian Street Style colouring book. I love collecting all of the beautiful things out there, that are to do with fashion and in particular I have a growing collection of fashion books; ranging from the best places to shop in different cities, to an entire journey into the history of fashion. So, as I have recently added a few more items to my collection, I thought I would share my 2017 fashion reading list with you all; talking through some of the amazing books in my collection which I really want to delve into this year…

Vogue On Christian Dior

This is the second book that I have from the ‘Vogue On’ series, and it’s a really interesting one about the life and work of the one and only Christian Dior. Originally a French fashion designer, and now the name of one of the biggest fashion houses in the world. He really is a true icon within fashion and someone who is so interesting to read about. I love finding about how famous designers came to be, their background and also what made them so revolutionary at the time they became well-known. So, I can’t wait to delve into this one and find out all about the man himself, his fashion house and how he became so iconic. Also, there’s a really good documentary, that was on All 4, that looked inside Dior and followed each different element of the fashion house; for any fashion lover it would be so amazing and I would really recommend giving it a watch.

Where Stylists Shop

This is the newest addition to my collection and one which I’m super excited to read. This book uncovers some of the amazing places, in cities all across the world, where fashion stylists shop. It sounds so interesting and especially as I not only love shopping, but would like to dabble with a bit of fashion styling myself in the future. This is definitely going to be a good book to keep with me after I finish my degree and I’m hopefully a fashion buyer. It’s also just a great read and the perfect way to find those undiscovered gems that are unbelievable places to shop.

London Style Guide

This book is a bit more of an entire lifestyle overview of London and some of the best places to visit, shop and eat. London is not only one of my favourite cities, because I just love the vibe and it’s so me, but it’s also my country’s capital city and I feel proud of how much of a figure it is in the fashion world. This will be a great one to have when I visit London and a perfect way to discover new places to go, that aren’t as widely known. I can’t wait to sit down and have a proper read of this.

The Fashion Book

This is the true fashion bible and one that I’ll be able to constantly refer back to and read, both now and during my degree. It’s a book that really takes you a journey through fashion’s history; highlighting some of the key icons, trends and periods of time along the way. It looks so interesting and a book I’m sure I will treasure forever in my collection. Although, it’s super heavy, so it will definitely not be a bed time read.

Is there any fashion books you’ve read and would recommend to me?

Rachel x

My Learning To Drive Experience | Tips & Advice

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Learning to drive has been a really big part of my life for the last year, as I’ve been regulary having lessons every week and constantly waiting to be able drive on my own. It’s been a very hectic time in my life, as I’ve had to juggle it with doing my A-Levels, having a job and whilst still trying to hang onto a social life. So, as I passed my test on Monday, I  thought I would share my experience of learning to drive and give you a few tips, and a bit of advice along the way.

How did you get started?

Getting started is by far the easiest part of the entire process, because most people have a real wish to learn drive and the chance to have independence. I couldn’t wait to learn to drive as soon as I was 17, and although I ended up waiting until January 2016 because I had a big dancing commitment before then; I really wanted to be able to get behind the wheel.

So, the whole time leading up to my 17th birthday I always knew I wanted a woman to teach me to drive and I had a lady recommended to me from a family friend. I honestly think getting a recommendation is the best way to find a driving instructor, because you know what they’re like and they’ve almost been test run before you learn with them.  I also  thought that a woman was likely to be patient and understand that you know nothing about cars. This was a really good decision of mine, as it made it so easy to make conversation whilst we were in the car and she quickly learned what type of driver I was.

Originally, before I started to drive I thought that 8 months would be plenty of time to learn, however little did I know that there was a mass of waiting lists, lessons and also frustration ahead of me on this journey. And, this was just the beginning, as there was still my theory test to revise for and my practical test to nail.

What did you enjoy?

The number one thing I’ve loved about driving, right from day one, has been the independence it gives you and the ability for you to go anywhere you want. You’re not tied down to buses, strict time schedule’s or relying on you own personal taxi service. That was something that was always so important for me, throughout the entire process, was to be able to look after myself and not feel dependant on someone else.

Although, I wouldn’t say I enjoyed doing my theory test and learning all the mass of content you need to know, this was one of the easier parts for me. It came quite naturally, as I got the driving theory app and practised every morning and afternoon on the bus journey to and from college. This was like my dedicated time to do the tests and this worked really well for me. Even though I didn’t take my test until June, because I wanted to focus on my exams, I easily could of taken it around March or April. There’s a lot to learn, but I would 100% recommend you get the app, spend small amounts of time doing it, but do it often. Also, don’t book it until you feel ready and please don’t be one of those last minute revisers who thinks they can learn everything in a week, or even a night, before the test.

I’m also really enjoying the fact that I’ve now finally passed my test and I’ve driven myself to college and back home again, for the first time today. I’ve got to admit that I was super nervous and bricking it a little bit, but I’ve loved being able to be independent, have my own music on and never have to rely on the bus EVER again.

What did you struggle with?

The actual driving has been a real struggle for me over the last year, and the fact that I felt like it was such an impossible task. I know it probably sounds ridiculous, but I’m used to being quite good and anything I try to do or learn, and so not being able to nail driving straight away was so frustrating for me. There was so many times, about July/August time where I honestly felt like every lesson was struggle and I was going up such a steep hill that I would never be able to get over. It was just being able to grasp everything, think about the car, my observations, indicating and then there was my manoeuvers and looking at all the road signs. There’s just so much to do when your driving, and although it’s taken me a year and 3 months to pass my test, I honestly think it’s made me a better driver and I’ve had a lot more experience than some people my age.

I also really struggled with failing my first test, as there was nothing more in the world that I wanted but to pass my test and be ale to drive on my own. So, I was devastated when I failed the first time I took it. I felt so crap about it, thought I was an awful driver and it knocked my confidence. But more than anything, I didn’t want to have to wait any longer for be able to drive, and the amount of money I felt I’d wasted was unreal. The driving test process if not only the hardest part, but you also have to pass out a fortune for it and you have to wait ages on a list to be able to take it.

However, I know all those struggles and especially when I failed my first test, really made me have to fight and be determined to pass next time. Although I didn’t want to fail originally, it helped me so much with what to expect second time around, and took all the fear of the unknown away form my second test. What’s funny is that everything was different about the second time around, different route, different instructor, different manoeuvre, different independent drive, and I had to do an emergency stop. But, I think that was what I needed to pass, because I tried to completely forget about my first experience and go in with the intention of passing.

With you practical test I would honestly recommend that you make sure you’re ready before you book it, as it’s so expensive and you’ll just waste your time and lower your confidence, it’s honestly not as bad as you think it’s going to be, and just stay calm and give your self a pep talk before hand. That’s what I did and it instantly got me into the right frame of mind to really prove myself in my second test.

I’ve written a more in depth and detailed post about the theory test and the basics of getting started, which you can go and read HERE.

Rachel x

“Inside Vogue” | Book Review

IMG_2918[1]IMG_2920[1]I’m not only a massive lover of all things fashion and style, but I also have a real interest in reading and I love picking up a good book; getting immersed into it’s own world. A really good book grips you from the beginning, draws you into the life of the main character, throws you through twists and turns and gives you utter withdrawal symptoms, as you read that final page. There’s something so magical about reading and when it’s mixed with a true passion of mine, then it can’t get much better.

So, when I found out that Alexandra Shulman, the Editor-in-chief of one of the biggest fashion bible’s in the world, British Vogue, had written a book; I couldn’t wait to add it to my collection and have a good read. Right from the start, I knew it would be so interesting; getting to step into Alexandra’s shoes and reading what it’s truly like to be at the top, of one of the most well-known fashion magazines. Hearing a day to day account of the centenary year, and all the many events that went with the big celebration, such as the Vogue Festival and the centenary issue. Learning about all the ups and downs of being a woman, in a high powered job, and mixing that with being a mother and her day to day life. It’s an honest, heart warming and true representation of Alexandra and the build up to Vogues’ centenary year… and I absolutely loved it.

The Story

Without completely ruining the book, this is a real life account written by Alexandra herself, as she goes through Vogue’s 100th year. It follows her descriptions, views and opinions on the running of the magazine, putting together monthly issues, the vogue documentary and all the events that come with that. She talks in depth about how she feels about the inside vogue documentary and how she is going to be portrayed, in a really genuine and honest way. As well as all the little moments of life, which just get in the way, like having no hot water. It’s not just like reading someone’s diary, you feel immersed by the story, her life and all the events that go along with it. All the references to the fashion world and some of the biggest names, make it the perfect read for someone who loves fashion and ultimately Vogue itself.

The Author

Alexandra is actually a professional author herself, which you find out as she occasionally mentions it during the book, however she really does shoe her talent through this real life diary. She is so honest and open with how she talks about the events of Vogue, and even though she’s technically living the dream, she highlights the downfalls of being in her position so well. The book is written in a very causal diary form, however you can tell from the beginning that she’s a woman who means business, is strong and knows exactly what and who she’s talking about. It also shows just how much she cares for not only her family, but also have a true love for the magazine, every single issue and the people she employs.

It’s a real must-read for anyone who loves fashion and the whole world of Vogue and you can go and pick it up from WHSmith, Waterstones or even good old Amazon.

Rachel x

10 Goals For 2017

1. A Year of Self Love- In 2017 I want to spend more time doing things for myself, that I enjoy and are not to help anyone else. Whether that’s have a really long bath, dedicate some time to reading a good book or just chilling out and watching my favourite programme, which is Gavin and Stacey or Stella by the way.

2. Develop Rachelspick- I want 2017 to be a year where I grow rachelspick even more, collaborate with lot’s more brands and create so much more amazing content. Working with different brands really pushes me creatively to create interesting content for you all, and is also just really fun. So, I want to do lot’s more of it and ultimately just carry on enjoying blogging.

3. Smash My A-Levels- 2017 marks the year I finally finish school forever, and so I really want to be able to smash my A-Levels, work hard and get some great results.

4. Meet New People- I love meeting new people, building new friendships and having some really amazing people around me. So, in 2017 I would like to meet lot’s of new people which have the same interests as me and also create lots of new memories, with the lovely people that are already in my life.

5. Pass My Driving Test- Learning to drive was a massive part of 2016 for me, and so I can’t wait to be able to pass my test in 2017. I love going out in my car and practising, when I can with my mum, so I can’t wait to be able to drive on my own and be independent.

6. Travel somewhere new- In 2017 I want to visit a new place in the world, experience a new culture and make amazing new memories. Hopefully this year will mark my first ever holiday with my friends, and so I’m really excited to travel on my own and carry on my worldwide adventure’s.

7. Get Organised- Going into 2017, I really want to get more organised with both my school, blog and personal life. So, I’ve already got a calendar and 3 diaries on the go, in an attempt to be organised, so hopefully this will mean I know everything I’m doing throughout the month, have all my blog posts sorted out and don’t need to keep everything in my head; hoping I’ll remember it.

8. Don’t be late- I’m really bad at being late, I’m constantly late to family events, going out with my friends or just even going to college. So, in 2017 I really want to make a big effort not to be late. I’ve already found this goal difficult, and broke it quite a few times, but hopefully I’ll get better as the months go by.

9. Do more exercise- I know this is quite a stereotypical goal for a lot of people in the new year, however I actually do want to dedicate more time to exercising and getting more toned. I’m already a dancer and part of a competitive team, but I want to join a gym and work on my own strength and fitness levels.

10. Smile and laugh everyday- Smiling and laughing have to be one of the two best natural therapy’s EVER, and so in 2017 I want to smile every day, feel grateful for what I have and know that I’m working towards my dream career. I also want to laugh everyday, just because you can’t beat a good one.

What are your goals for the new year?

Rachel x

My Favourite Moments of 2016

My Best Moments of2016

Well 2016, what a year it was. It really was an absolutely crazy year full of so many new adventures, amazing moments and memories that I will always treasure. I lived the last years of my childhood and started my life as an adult, I had some amazing AS results that I was really proud of and also kicked off my dream to travel the world, by visiting the one and only New York city. It has to be one of the fastest year’s yet, it really has just flown by, but it really was amazing and I’ll treasure so many moments of it.

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This Blog- Blogging is always a highlight to every year of my life that goes by. I’m so proud to say that I’ve run this little place on the internet for another year and have been able to continue to share my love for fashion and affordable style, through this little place on the internet. However, this year has to be extra special, as I finally took the plunge to get my own domain name and invest in a blog design that I’ve always dreamt of. I wrote a post all about it, which you can go and have a read of HERE.

Having my own domain name has opened so many doors, when it comes to how my blog looks visually, but also creatively and through the content I produce and the brands that I work with. It’s pushed me to create content I love, look beyond the stereotypical blogging box and try to run this blog by my own rules. All I can say is that I’ve really fallen back in love with blogging as 2016 drew to a close, and I can’t wait to see what it brings in 2017.

AS Results- 2016 marked the second year that I had to go through the awful experience of results day. It’s not because I’ve had bad experiences at them or got bad grades, but I just hate all the anticipation behind it and the seeing so many unhappy faces, as you look around the room. However, all my anticipation wasn’t necessary as all my hard work and revision paid off, and I got results I’m still really proud of; 2 A’s and 2 C’s. I never thought I would get an A in anything at A-Level, and to get in design, which is the career I want to go into, made it even better. It really gave me the push to work super hard to finish my A-Levels and apply to uni.

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Travel- I’ve always wanted to travel around the world. I really want to see everything it has to offer; experience different cities, cultures and ultimately be able to have memories that I can treasure for a lifetime. So, 2016 was the year that my adventure’s began and I finally got to travel outside of the EU, all the way to New York City. The trip was to celebrate my 18th birthday and it has to be one of the most amazing holiday’s I’ve ever been on. It’s such a bustling city, constantly full of noise, and there’s something to do every where you turn. It really is like no other place I’ve ever been to and you can read all about my trip HERE.

Turning 18- October 2016 marked the final year of my childhood and my transition into adulthood. I can’t believe that I’m now officially an adult, and I’m able to buy alcohol, go out partying and just finally not be considered as a child. It’s weird knowing that I’m now responsible for myself, and I can’t get my mum to ring up and book my appointments, even though I still do, but it’s so good to have more freedom and to not have any restrictions. Now all I need to do is pass my driving test, and I’ll finally be able to drive myself around in 2017, and there will be no more need for my mum’s personal taxi service.

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2016 has been a great year for meeting new people and also making all my friendships even stronger. I’ve spent time with both of my two friendship groups, from my old high school and the one from my new college, and have so many amazing memories with both of them. We’ve been to parties, had sleep over’s, girl’s nights and had so many laughs. I’ve also met another really amazing friend at work, that I know will always be in my life and I’m sure one day we will both be old and grey together. I’ve loved getting to know her little girl and I can’t wait to see her grow and develop in life.

I honestly don’t know what I do without them all by my side and I know I have found friends for life, who put up with all my drama’s, ranting and endless obsession with clothes and makeup palette’s. So, thank you Sasha, Holly, Lauren, Beth and Eleanor, for being the most amazing best friends.

I hope you’ve all had an amazing new year and here’s to an amazing 2017.

Rachel x