6 City Breaks on my Bucket List

It’t been a very long while since I have done any sort of travel post, mainly because the most exotic place I have travelled to since being back at university is the cultural quarter in town.

With my second year of university being in full swing (I mean drowning in work, wanting to cry but not even having time for that), it’s got me thinking how I would really like to do a bit of travelling after all this hard work, whether it would be in the summer of next year or after I’ve completed my degree. Slightly optimistic that, seeing as come 2020 when I’m freshly graduated, I’ll be in approximately £45,000 of debt, but lets not think about that…

I’ve always loved being in the city, which is odd considering I’ve been bought up in seaside towns, but I’ve always felt more at home in cities, I think it’s the busyness of them, how there’s always something to do – you can never get bored. I’ve complied a list of European cities that I’d love to travel to over the next few years; travelling buddies welcome, as of course I’ll need assistance with blog photos…

We’ll start with Amsterdam, I feel like this is the most typical European city that most youngsters visit. Where as a fair few of people that I know have gone to legally smoke the green stuff (Why pay to go to Amsterdam to do it when they do it at the local skate park every night anyway??? Logic). Anyway, ever since watching The Fault In Our Stars a few years ago – a film I’m still not emotionally recovered from, I’ve always wanted to visit. Also, apparently the cafes in Amsterdam have some of the best foods, whats not to like!

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Another very typical European city on my bucket list, Paris. I’ve been to France before, but I’ve never had the chance to visit Paris itself, I would say that this is at the top of my bucket list, it looks like such a beautiful place – need I add that the Parisians fashion is one that I’ve always been inspired by! I’ve also always wanted to go up the Eiffel Tower, imagine the views!

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Barcelona, this is where you’ll notice my Geography is kind of  very shocking, because I won’t lie, I’m not entirely sure where Barcelona is, I mean I think it’s in Spain? But I could be wrong. Either way, my friend visited here a few months ago, and the pictures that she got were so amazing, it looks like such a vibrant city!

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I’m not sure if Santorini is classed as a city, so apologies if it isn’t actually a city. I think Santorini is the most blogger-esc place on my bucket list, all white everything, stunning blue sea, IMAGINE THE INSTAGRAM PHOTOS! I’ve watched so many amazing travel vlogs of Santorini and each one makes me want to visit it even more!

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Berlin has been somewhere that I’ve actually had the opportunity to go and visit a few times, and I’m now kicking myself as I never did take the opportunity! As far as I am aware, Berlin is full of interesting history and museums, I think it would be one of the more eye opening trips.

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I’ll save the best until last, Venice. I have always wanted to visit Venice, and I mean always. It looks like such a stunning place and I honestly don’t think I would ever get bored of it. It would be my dream to sail down the river in a Gondola (You know those boat type things, I think that’s what they’re called??). Italy as a whole is a country that has always been on my bucket list anyway, mainly because of the pizza and pasta I would experience while out there (I’m a self confessed pizza whore), also the culture of course, but mainly the food, shock.

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Traveling has been something that I have wanted to do for a while now, but finding the money and time is particularly hard, I’m hoping that in the future I can gradually start to cross these places of my list!

What cities are on your travel bucket list?

All my love,

Han xx

How I’m Styling Mom Jeans

How I’m Styling Mom Jeans

Am I cool enough to pull of Mom jeans? Probably not.

Am I going to do it anyway? You’re spot on, I am. 

Now I may be very late indeed to this party, but I’ve finally got my hands on a pair of Mom jeans – something I’ve never had the confidence to wear – apparently I’ll happily leave the house in bright red trousers, but Mom jeans are a different story all together!

I have seen so many people rave about Mom jeans, I’ve read a lot of the whole ‘once you’ve tried Mom jeans theres no going back to skinny jeans’ and you know what, I think I’m converted! No more uncomfortable wedgies, no more feeling like I’m being sucked in so much I can’t breath and you know what my favourite thing about these are, I can wear actual knickers (not the skimpy uncomfortable ones that go right up) and no one knows!! VPL’s are a thing of the past! I’m not sure if thats too much information, but then again, who wouldn’t be excited about that.

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I’ve been making a conscious effort recently to dress more to how I want to dress and not hold back. All my life I’ve been worried about what others might think about my fashion choices, that I’ll get odd looks for wearing double denim and docs, or wearing pinstripe trousers, but in all honesty, I love it, so why should I care, right?! Watch me say this, then go back to wearing skinny jeans and biker jackets next week…I tried..

So I had been on the hunt for a pair of Mom jeans for the longest time now, and I mean the longest time. I’d seen so many of my blogger friends wear them and look incredible, and I thought you know what, lets give them a go…reckless, I know. I had a wander round town and couldn’t find any I liked in stores, so hopped straight onto Missguided, long and behold they had the Mom jeans of my dreams! (I hope you’re just as satisfied as I am that that rhymed). I had been after a pair that were slightly distressed, I’ll emphasise the word slightly because the jeans that I have gone fore a very distressed (like me really). I mean one wrong move when putting them on in a dazed state in the morning and I’ll probably end up with a pair of shorts.

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Anyway, when they first arrived, I tried them on when I was pale, make up less and in need of washing my hair, it had got to the point where even French braids could hide the grease – a rocky mistake. So of course, at first I hated them, but long and behold, an evening of pampering that included, tanning, face masks, exfoliating and a good hair wash, I woke up feeling like a new woman and I feel in love with these jeans. I will probably be wearing these with every outfit for the foreseeable future, and I’m not mad about that at all.

Going onto styling these jeans, I think they are so versatile, lending themselves to be paired with anything. Oversized tops, body suits, jumpers, heels, docs, you name it, I’m probably going to pair it with them. The outfit that I have opted for in this particular shoot, is just a plain nude, front twist jumper from Femme Luxe, and a pair of taupe suede boots from New Look. A super casual, yet stylish, very blogger-esc outfit. I cant wait to experiment with different styling ideas with my new favourite jeans! I actually have a few gigs coming up, I think these jeans will look super cool with a band tee and a pair of docs!

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What’s your favourite way to style Mom jeans?

All my love,

Han xx

Outfit Details:

Jeans: https://www.missguided.co.uk/blue-riot-high-rise-ripped-jeans

Jumper: https://femmeluxefinery.co.uk/products/nude-front-wrap-knitted-jumper

Diaries of a Textile Student: Take Two

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We’ve successfully made it to week 4 of second year, and we’ve had the first set of stress tears too, I mean I’m pretty impressed I made it to week 4 without crying, go me! Anyway my idea to make these a weekly thing has already gone to pot seeing as I’ve had so much work to do I haven’t even had time to chat about it!

However the past couple of weeks have been fairly similar, I’ve been very stressed, lots of work, sketchbook illustrations for days, and enough samples to make a full outfit. I’ll admit, despite being very stressed I’m still loving every second – I had a realisation the other day that I’m more or less halfway through my degree soon, and that scared me a bit. I think I’ve taken the experience so far for granted a bit – this realisation has made me think that I do need to be making the most of my time. Because after this, it’s 9-5 until I’m 65…cry…

I’ve spent a lot of these past 2 weeks doing a hell of a lot of sketchbook work, this is part and parcel of a creative course, any spare moment I get, I’ll be improving my sketchbook work, creating new artworks, ideas and pushing my project even more. Alongside this, I’ve been undertaking a lot of fashion illustration, something that I never thought I would enjoy doing. Through all of college, I would do anything to have to not illustrate my designs, but long and behold, a year and a half into my degree and I love doing it. I’ve really started to find my drawing style and how I enjoy working – I think this has really helped my illustration skills develop as I’ve now found a way of working where I produce results I’m happy with!

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Alongside the sketchbook and design aspect, of course specialising in knitwear, a lot of my time is also spent in the knit room. I’ve had a fairly good run in the knit room this year, that was until last Friday, when nothing was going right for me, and I mean nothing. Knits falling of the machines, patterns not working out – the whole hog. I spent 6 hours in there, and left with 3 samples, it’s safe to say I felt fairly deflated after that session. I wasn’t going to let it stop me though, come Monday morning I was raring to go again and had an absolutely awesome day in the knit room bashing out experimental samples. I have attached some pictures below – bare in mind they still need to be steamed and tidied, once done so they will look a lot more professional, but you get the idea.

I briefly touched upon placement year in my previous textiles diaries post; when I last updated you all, I was in the midst of writing my CV and cover letter, the absolute torture that was, you’ll all be pleased to know I finally finished them both, well done to me!! Honestly writing a CV when you lack self confidence is such a struggle, but after plenty of drafts I got there in the end! I’ve got very mixed feelings about placement year, I really want to do one as I know it will benefit me so well in the long run, having said this, I’m really struggling to find placements that appeal to me. After all it is a year of my life I’m going to be spending doing it, so of course I want to pick something that I’m going to love doing. I’m trying to stay optimistic, and if placement doesn’t work out, I still have other plans, so we’ll see how it goes!

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur in all honesty, I have no idea where the time is going and all the weeks are just merging into one, but I’m starting to think that thats just how the next few years are going to be! I hope you are all enjoying these little snippets into my course and what I get up to when I’m not airing my problems on twitter or posting over posed pictures on Instagram!

See you for next weeks instalment,

All my love,

Han xx

River Island Knit Picks: Autumn 2018

River Island Knit Picks: Autumn 2018

Although I straight up hate the colder weather; it makes me a moody little bugger. The one thing that does make it slightly more bearable is that all fashion stores up their knitwear game. Although it does cheer me up, I’m not sure that my bank account feels the same…especially after looking through River Islands autumnal knitwear  for this season.

River Island is definitely up there with one of my favourite high-street retailers, one of those shops that whenever I walk in there, I’ll probably walk out with something. However much I love RI, whats all this about them not doing student discount!! It’s one of the very few high-street stores that doesn’t partake in the student fun, but I suppose thats forgiven because they never fail to meet all of my fashionista needs. I’m going to stop rambling because there’s a fair few knits that I’ve been loving this season – it could be a long one, so grab yourself a cuppa.

I’ve tried to mix it up with jumpers and cardigans so you don’t all get bored of the same thing cropping up. Starting with this burnt orange/coral (I’m not quite sure what colour you all this), cable knit cardigan. Lets be honest, you can’t go wrong with cable knit, one of the classic knitwear patterns that never goes out of style. Something that will crop up year on year and this year RI have come out with a cardigan that not only looks incredibly cosy (what more could you want) but also very effortlessly stylish.

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Another cardigan, this one slightly more cropped and not as cosy looking, but I was drawn to the technique used in this cardigan. Whats used here is called ladders and lace holes, both very basic knitting techniques, but its been designed in such a way that they both work in unison together. With the lace holes creating an almost fanned look and ladders subtly weaving in, this pattern will do the talking for you when it comes to styling.

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This jumper isn’t a want, its a need. I recently bought the cardigan version of this jumper and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t worn it everyday since. Surely thats all the reasoning I need to go ahead and spend another £46 on a cardigan??? I can just scrounge of little food in the name of fashion right? No?? Okay…

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I’m naturally drawn to anything yellow, I’m not sure why, maybe because I relate it to being happy and summery, so in autumn this jumper is the perfect one to add a bit of sunshine to those cold autumn days. Admittedly the off the shoulder might defeat the whole point of a ‘warm jumper’ but again, all in the name of fashion. Also, the lace hole technique crops up here too, creating a sort of ripple of the holes which adds both texture and interest to the jumper.

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It has bell sleeves. It screams ABBA. It just had to be on my top picks. Anything that is remotely ABBA esc just has to be featured; making me question my degree and whether moving to Greece to start my own hotel really is the way forward? This jumper has a very feminine neckline, showing off some of the chest, all whilst it still being a very classy number.

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This jumper has all the classic knit techniques that come around every season. What I really liked about this one was how it cinches in at the waist. Having quite a petite frame, sometimes finding jumpers that flatter this is a struggle, but this would do the perfect job. Accentuating my waist all whiles keeping me fairly warm.

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Lastly, onto the cardigan that I think everyone and their Nan owns. I’ve seen blogger, after blogger, after blogger in this cardigan. As soon as I saw it on the RI website, I just had to grab it, there was no hesitation about it, I needed it. I would go as far as saying its the best investment I’ve made this year – forget anything else, this is what was missing from my life. It’s the snuggliest jumper ever, not only this but it goes with everything – I also feel like such a fashion queen when I wear it, ready to take on the world and all that.

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I could have gone on and on about RI’s knitwear this autumn, but I may have begun to bore you. I’m currently having to restrain myself from blowing my student loan on more knitwear, practising self control…

What was your favourite piece featured in this post?

All my love,

Han xx

Fashion Students Take On London

Fashion Students Take On London

Considering I’ve been to London countless times, I still act like such a tourist whenever I visit and visiting with my university friends, was no exception. Theres’s just something about London that makes me so happy, a place that I can definitely see myself working in one day!

Anyway, as I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve just started a new project at university, so apart from the countless lectures, seminars and practicals, we also have a few pretty cool research trips thrown in there too, London was one of them.

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In all honesty, the trip was a bit unorganised, a bit all over the place and a little bit of a flop. So my day began with the dreaded 3 hour coach journey to London, which half an hour into I needed a wee and I was hungry, shock. After a somewhat bearable trip down, my group of knitters (aka 80 year olds that are actually only 19) took a trip down to Hand Weavers (this was basically the whole point of the trip, to go to one shop…). After forking out for a tube ticket an expense I hadn’t prepared for, I headed down to hand weavers and in all honesty, it wasn’t a completely wasted trip as it did allow me to do a bit of research on different yarns. That being said, I couldn’t buy any, because tell me which student has £90 to spend on one cone of yarn…not me thats for sure.

So our trip up to hand weavers was short lived and took us up to about 1PM, where I was starting to get very hangry and annoyed because all the yarns I wanted were way out of my budget, so I headed back to Oxford Circus, empty handed, but still adamant that I’d make this trip of use and worth while, which I did!

London is the perfect place for fashion inspiration, the sort of place where anything goes, and I mean anything – I think thats why I love it so much, it’s a fashion students dream. So with all the massive department stores being within walking distance of each other, we did a round trip of them all, Libertys, Selfridges and Harrods, which all proved to be of great benefit. Although, I am no where near posh enough to shop in any of these, all of their knitwear fashion ranges gave me the fuel and inspiration I needed to really get cracking with this project. There will be another post up within the next week about all the fashion-esc inspiration I found and drooled over, wishing I wasn’t a broke student. Also, they all had their Christmas decorations out; I had to be physically restrained from buying all the decorations and singing Fairy Tale of New York at the top of my lungs, apparently the people of Selfridges don’t really appreciate that?? Rude.

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Of course my trip to Libertys wouldn’t be complete without an obligatory picture in front of the flowers, I couldn’t have looked more blogger if I tried! Stood in my baker boy hat and red trousers, it screamed I’m an art student and you know what, I bloomin’ loved it! Going onto my outfit, I’ve had these trousers for almost 2 years now and I’ve probably only worn them a handful of times, I honestly couldn’t tell you why, look how gorgeous they are! Paired with my new favourite jumper from Femme Luxury, converse and a baker boy hat, I definitely looked very…fashion!

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Anyway, I did manage to turn what was looking to be a not so successful trip into a fairly successful one, with a crap tonne of new primary imagery and any art student will know the importance of this, it is literally drilled into us everyday! Like I said previously, there will be a post within the next week or so talking all things fashion knitwear of the garments that really caught my eye in the big city!

All my love,

Han xx

Can You Still Be Fashionable On A Budget?

Can You Still Be Fashionable On A Budget?

I’m sure I’m not the only woman out here who’s wages don’t match their fashion taste. That, alongside being a university student, means that at the end of the month there’s never really a lot left over for fashion. Having been a fashionista on a budget whilst studying – I’ve got some tips that I swear by when it comes to being stylish, with not many pennies.

It’s a fairly big misconception that being stylish is expensive – I mean this is probably due to every fashion magazine shoving the new Louis Vuitton or Gucci trends in our faces every month. Don’t get me wrong I love seeing these, but lets get real, there’s no way I’m going to be shopping in Gucci any time soon. This is mainly done to make us want to spend a bomb on all the new and expensive trends; after all magazines are just slightly more fancier advertisements, getting you to splash the cash. And, how often is it you see brands like Vouge chat about typical high street affordable stores, like Primark?! Which, may I add is an absolute god send for students wanting affordable fashion!

But, long and behold, being stylish doesn’t have to be expensive. Although it does require a bit of effort on our parts.

If your a student like myself, NUS is an absolute life saver. My NUS card comes with me everywhere, and I mean everywhere! It offers discounts in most high street stores ranging from 10-30%, but it’s always good to keep an eye out for higher student discounts as I know that occasionally places like Topshop and RI will offer 20% rather than 10%. It may not seem like a lot, but it really does make a difference! (The NUS card offers discounts at various food outlets also, so cheap pizza too, whats not to like?!)

Next find out when the sales are going to be – sales tend to take place as the season changes, when shops begin to get in their new stock. Sales are perfect for shopping a year ahead – hear me out on this one. Summer sales often take place just as autumn is getting underway, so obviously you won’t be getting your legs out in November (and if you are, hats off to you, you’re a lot more hardcore than myself), but shopping for the next summer means that you can add to your wardrobe for the following year, at a discounted price. This isn’t everyones cup of tea but we all know you can find some absolute gems in the sales in you riffle hard enough!

Leading on from this one, learn how to alter items. I’ve always had the struggle that when it comes to finding things in the sale, there tends to only ever be bigger sizes left, all the small ones were wiped out as soon as the sale sign goes up! Therefore by having some basic sewing knowledge (I’m talking really basic, nothing too fancy) you can still buy that dreamy skirt that’s 3 sizes too big, because after spending a bit of time adding a couple of darts and a belt, it’ll fit like a dream. Also means you aren’t missing out on any of the bargains!

If theres a specific item that you’ve had your eye on for a while, hop straight onto resale sights to look for it. You’ll be surprised at what you can find on Depop and Ebay, particularly if theres a certain item that you want. I always find myself browsing Depop but never ending up picking anything, unless theres a garment I specifically really want – always good to head into retail sights with some sort of ‘plan’ I guess you could call it!

Layer, layer, layer. Living in the UK, I’d like to think I’ve mastered this whole layering malarky – with it being very cold most the year round, I’m a sucker for layering garments on top of each other. Layering will also encourage you to really look at whats in your wardrobe – that basic top you normally just wear with jeans? Chuck a dress on over the top and pair of tights and boots, you have a completely new outfit. Layering will allow you to take one garment from your wardrobe and style it 50 different ways, meaning a whole new selection of stylish outfits, that cost…nothing!!!

Shop the classics. Pieces that are versatile. You can pair with anything. I talking plain white tees, jeans, you know the classics that are must haves in wardrobes. Having the classics will allow you to then style with more adventurous garments in your wardrobe – classics also tend to be cheaper as well, particularly if their from the mens section. Mens plain t-shirts tend to be so much cheaper than women’s for example; and there’s about a million and one ways to style the renowned oversized top. So again, another selection of outfits, all from one top.

Lastly, spend a day walking around outlet shops. I live near Gunwharf Quays, which is home to a huge outlet centre where if you spend some time digging around you can find some dreamy pieces for just a fraction of the price. I remember finding a Ralph Lauren shirt in the outlet, retailed at £120, and I managed to get it for just £40 – still to this day my most favourite bargain find!

So there we go, being fashionable on a budget can be done! It just takes a bit more effort than being fashionable not on a budget I guess! Take a look at what you already own, branch out, style it with different garments you wouldn’t normally, and there we have it an whole new outfit that cost you nothing!

What are your top tips for shopping on a budget?

All my love,

Han xx

 

Practicing Self Care

Practicing Self Care

Sort of… 

As you can guess, this post is about to be me banging on about self care, but I felt obliged to say ‘sort of’ because in all honestly I get so caught up in life, most the time I’m pretty very crap at practicing self care.

As I’m writing this, World Mental Health Day 2018 has just been and gone. Controversial opinion, but I think this is a load of rubbish. Mental health is something that should be addressed every day of the year. However, it’s always amusing to sit back and watch people who would never even dream about addressing mental health, all of a sudden become experts in the matter.

Anyway, I digress. 

What I wanted to write about is how basically mental health and self care go hand in hand together. The more you look after yourself and wellbeing, the better your mental health (pretty much just common sense, I’m sure). But like I mention previously, so many of us get so caught up in general life stuff that we forget to take time for ourselves – I’m particularly guilty of this. I spend every waking hour working; whether that be university related, blog related, YouTube related, whatever it is, I never take time for myself.

However on the rare occurrence that I do chuck a face mask on, put on some crappy comedy (probably Friends, shock) and take out some time for me, I really do notice the positive effect it has on me mentally. Self care doesn’t have to be hard, sometimes it isn’t running a hot bath and pampering yourself. Sometimes it just taking the time to make a good dinner and get an early night. I thought I’d share my top self care habits (mainly for me to look back on and put into practice when I’m tearing my hair out due to stress and my anxiety is sky high), but also for those who forget how easy (yet important it is)

Exercise 

Don’t worry, I’m not about to tell you to wake up at 5:30am and go for a 10k (however that is my version of self care when it comes to exercise). I mean just get up and get active. Intelligent Han is about to come out here (don’t get used to it), but exercise releases ‘happy endorphins‘, the same chemicals in some anti-depressants, so there’s a direct corraletion between exercise and happiness levels. Even if you just get up and walk around for 10 minutes while on your break, you’ll feel better for it.

Get Up, Get Dressed 

Admittedly when I used to have particularly bad days (ya know, the ones where I didn’t want to leave my bed, spend the whole day sobbing? Those ones) I would stay in my jim jams, no make up, basically look like a homeless person on drugs, it wasn’t a pretty sight. But as soon as I started forcing myself to get out of bed, take a shower, put some actual clothes on (I don’t care how comfy your tracks are) and make an effort with my appearance I always felt so much better for it.

Eat Well 

Eating well is something that I have only just mastered, yes, yes it has taken me 19 years to master this. But eating well, for me is a form of self care. Getting in all of my fruit and veggies, and not starving myself is a big thing for me. For someone who restricted for so long, I’m definitely making up for it now, give me all the carbs!!!

Make Time For YOU

Admittedly, I feel like a wee bit of a hypocrite writing this because I some how never find the time for this. But I cannot preach enough about how important it is to take time for yourself. Take yourself away from work, your blog, your social medias. Run a bath, put a facemask on and read a book. Take time to relax and destress. You cannot get through life without having you time, you’ll burn yourself out. Shock, I’m known for doing this – I need a reminder set to chill out sometimes.

Get Fresh Air 

Living with anxiety, means somedays I’d rather just sit in my flat all day, not face leaving or seeing anyone. But every time I feel this way, I challenge myself. Force myself to go out, get a few lungfuls of fresh air. Even if it’s just a 5 minute blast, its better than sitting cooped up in the same little room all day.

I swear by all of these little self care tips when it comes to looking after my mental well-being. To be completely honest, I’ve been doing great recently – I don’t want to jinx it though. However great I’m doing though, I still know how important it is to continue to take care of myself.

What are your self care tips?

All my love,

Han xx