Art Style Love

A fashion & career blog written by Jennifer.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Your Workspace: Quiet Zen or Bustling Hub?

   For me, the perfect workspace is a place of zen, clarity and organisation; it's a place where I can be in the zone without any distractions, with lots of natural light and, of course, a comfy chair and a cup of tea.

   I've been known to get home from work and spend another six hours in my makeshift office at home (which consists of an Ikea desk that I also use as a dressing table, my laptop and a dining chair - it's not convenient, but it's home). Here, you can find me composing blog posts, making and editing videos and working on my social media platforms. I'm sometimes working well into the night if I've got something urgent that needs to go live first thing in the morning, so it's essential for me to have this time to myself, without interruption - this usually means me shutting the curtains, the bedroom door, and switching off any devices which might distract me. 

   A little extreme, you might think, but I find it so hard to concentrate with any noises messing up my rhythm. I'm one of those people that can't read a book when there's music playing or people talking. I guess this means I'm easily distracted. I'd go with that. I daydream far too much and my mind spins off on tangents at sporadic intervals throughout the day. Even when composing this blog post, I've browsed through my Twitter feed, scrolled through Facebook and researched electricians in my area when I should have been concentrating on one thing: writing.

   If I could have complete silence, that would be perfection. But that's not always the case. Living in a town centre with cars rushing by and people storming past, it's a bit hard to keep yourself from people-watching. I don't know how cityfolk do it. I'm fascinated by people.

   However, some of you may be of the type where you function better around noise and other busy bees. Your perfect workspace may consist of a bustling hub of activity, with a coffee shop in the same building - or even the same room - and lots of people working, chatting and generally getting on with life. If this is the case, there are plenty of places that you could go to get your fix, especially if you're London-based.


S P I T A L F I E L D S

On the edge of Shoreditch, this Spitalfields location is walking distance from food markets, cafes, bars, and transport hubs. Cozy communal lounges make it easy for you to build a community in this space. Meet for tea or coffee with colleagues and clients while taking in sweeping views of the East London skyline.


S O H O

Once a music publishing house, this inspiring Soho workspace is now a tight-knit entrepreneurial community. The historic building is centrally located and retains much of its original charm, like it large bay windows and exposed brick walls. It's the perfect spot for anyone in the creative industry.



D E V O N S H I R E   S Q U A R E

This open plan Devonshire Square location was once a warehouse for the East India Trading Company, and has been transformed into a beautifully designed home for a community of like-minded people. From designers to recruiters, fintech companies to app developers, Devonshire Square is a platform to some of London’s coolest creators.

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

For When the Wanderlust is Too Real


   My wanderlust is sporadic; sometimes I'll be completely content with staying in my room, reading a good book in bed with a cup of tea, watching the world go by and just being alive. For example, after spending three weeks in the Philippines with no hot water and persistently itchy, red ant bites on my legs, I was perfectly happy to spend the next week or so back in the UK doing absolutely nothing apart from being thankful for all the comforts that we take for granted.

   Other times, I have this wild urge to get on the next plane out of the country and explore beaches, towns and countrysides that I couldn't even dream of. Usually, I get this kind of feeling after reading Suitcase or flicking through Gary Pepper Girl.

   Regardless of my day to day feelings, one of my life goals is to travel well. I want to die knowing that I've visited all the places that I wanted to visit, satisfied in the knowledge that I've seen all that I could have possibly seen in my lifetime, as not doing so is a very frightening prospect. It's this ambition that keeps my wanderlust topped up.

   I've visited three continents and 12 countries in my life, which is a lot more than some my age, and a lot less than others. By the time I'm 30, I want to increase that to five continents and, well, a lot more countries - and this year, I would love to explore the UK and Ireland some more because we have so much right here on our doorsteps, but for some reason we don't think it's very exciting. Think of all the amazing locations - Stonehenge, The Giant's Causeway, Tresco Abbey Gardens, Portmerion (need I say more?) - and tell me that this isn't a beautiful place to live?

   However, for those times that the UK isn't enough, this top from fivepoundtee.com* sums up how I feel quite nicely. A simple cropped vest, this can be dressed down with ripped jeans or dressed up with a midi skirt - and once you've worn it out, it's ideal for wearing whilst lounging round the house, reading a good book in bed with a cup of tea...

   Shop the look here.


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Saturday, 30 January 2016

9 of the Best Motivational Stationery

   We all need a little motivation sometimes, whether it's early in the morning on a Monday when you've just got into work and realised that you've got 1,000,001 things to do, or late on a Sunday night when you're working until 2am to meet that deadline. I'm not saying that these super cute pieces of stationery will solve all your problems, but it might make you just that little bit more inclined to do the job - and do it in style.

1. Ecojot Believe A5 Notebook, £8 - Paperchase
2. A & C Black I'm Over it Notebook, £7.99 - John Lewis
3. Personalised Travel & Adventure Journal, £12.75 - Not on the High Street
4. Follow No Crowd, £4.95 - Ohh Deer
5. Carpe Diem Journal, £10.99 - Waterstones
6. Start Today Notebook, £8 - Etsy
7. Work Hard Notebook, £2.95 - Ohh Deer
8. New York & Paris Notebooks, £14 - Quill London
9. Start Somewhere Notebook, £5 - Etsy



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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

7 Nutritious Breakfasts for Rushed Mornings


   I'm a massive hypocrite when I say that we should always eat breakfast as it's the most important meal of the day; you can usually find me getting up around 8am, realising I have around twenty minutes to get ready (bearing in mind I wear winged eyeliner), running through the shower and leaving the house with a piece of fruit and a pastry chucked into my bag to eat at my desk.

   This isn't ideal, as this kind of high sugar breakfast will probably keep me going until around 10am, at which time I'll tip an extra strong cuppa down my neck to stop me from nodding off. For this reason, I'm going to make 2016 the year of the breakfast, starting with 7 nutritious breakfasts ideal for those in a rush. I hope you can try a few of these out and, if you do, please send me a link!


1. Greek Yoghurt, Muesli, Honey & Berry Parfait (4 minutes)



Grab a Kilner jar, spoon in a layer of yoghurt, then muesli, honey and berries - and keep layering into you fill the jar! Eat now or screw on the lid to enjoy on the go.


2. Wholemeal Breakfast Burrito (10 minutes)



Place a wholemeal tortilla in the microwave for 30 seconds, scramble some egg in a pan, chop up a tomato, grab a handful of spinach and place everything in the centre of the tortilla. Fold and enjoy.


3. Almond Butter & Apple Porridge (5 minutes)



Pour some porridge and skimmed milk or water in a bowl, heat in the microwave for 1 minute (stirring halfway through), stir in a dessert spoon of almond butter, slice an apple into eighths and place on top.


4. Frozen Banana with Almond Butter, Granola, Cinnamon & Blueberries (3 minutes)


With this, you'll need to freeze your banana the night before.

Cut a frozen banana in half (lengthways) and place it in an elongated bowl, pour over a dessert spoon of almond butter, sprinkle on some cinnamon and granola, chuck a handful of blueberries on top.


5. Fruit Kebab (6 minutes)


Chop up a banana, cube some pineapple, quarter an apple, gather a handful of strawberries and stick everything on a skewer. Lay the kebab on a plate and drizzle some honey on top (or if you're feeling naughty, some melted dark chocolate).


6. Chocolate Chip Mug Cake (6 minutes)



Combine 1 egg, 1 tbsp almond flour, 1tbsp coconut flour, 1.5tbsp dark chocolate chips, 1 tbsp honey and 2tsp vanilla essence in a mug. Stick in the microwave and blast for 90 seconds.

7. Breakfast Pizza (2 minutes)


Slice some wholegrain bread, spread on some low-fat ricotta or cottage cheese, add on your favourite toppings like sliced ham and pineapple, or tomato and fresh herbs.
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Saturday, 23 January 2016

I Wake at the First Cringe of Morning


HAT - CRAFTED (similar here) / SUNGLASSES - QUAY AUSTRALIA / JACKET - ASOS / CARDIGAN - JDY / TOP - MISSGUIDED / JEANS - H&M / SHOES - NIKE

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Friday, 22 January 2016

Body Confidence in Practice


   I'm in a beautiful hotel right now (the Grand Hyatt Martinez in Cannes, to be exact - and to brag on a whole new level), surrounded by gorgeous architecture, stunning views of the Riviera (a place where I thought only existed in the lives of A-list celebrities and my rich Aunt Maud), and fun, fantastic, intelligent people who know much more about anything than I do - but that somehow seems irrelevant because all I can bloody well think about is how big my thighs are.

   Aren't I supposed to be in my twenties and care free? That's what everyone tells me, anyway. But I'm not care free. Not at all. Not when it comes to my thighs. These damn Bratwursts of legs that are attached to my ever growing hips are the bane of my life, and have been so for maybe two or three years; but, recently, they've got so bad that I've begun enshrouding myself in long, loose layers, squeezing my legs together when I'm standing still with the deluded intention of appearing thinner, and NEVER going out in a bikini (I've actually had to tell people that I'm hydrophobic so that I can get out of wearing one).

   I've tried dieting and exercising, but I never realised how hard it is to tone up and slim down with a metabolism as slow as a snail. My boyfriend keeps telling me that I have to keep at it for months before I see a difference, but there comes a point where you just break down and wonder if it really is you that's the problem. The determination's there, the motivation's there, and the desperation is there, but how can you continue working as hard as you do for zero results? It has destroyed my confidence, and it's hard to picture myself ever rebuilding it.

   Now, you're part of one of three schools of thought here. Either you're thinking, 'stop eating and shutup', which would be a rather insensitive response to a sensitive subject and ultimately irrelevant (as I said, I've tried dieting), or you're thinking, 'you shouldn't get so worked up about something so superficial when there are more important things to worry about like (A) and (B)', which is almost equally as insensitive because now you're dismissing something that is clearly very important to someone. OR you feel exactly the same about your own insecurities, and don't know how to beat it.

   In actuality, I'm not worried about those of you belonging to the first or second groups; what concerns me is the amount of people reading this who may feel the same way. It's clear that there are too many of us hating too much of ourselves, but we feel as if we can't talk about it anymore because of this great big contradictory subject called 'Body Confidence' which tells us to love ourselves without inhibition, but completely disregards the notion that confidence doesn't come easy for a lot of us. In fact, most people I know dislike something about their body, and are afraid to show it off for fear of embarrassment, negative comparison or ridicule.

   Now, talk about your body issues with your friends and they'll say something like: 'don't be stupid, you're gorgeous; you're silly, you're so hot; it's all in your mind, you don't really look like that', which makes you feel better about yourself for a day or two until your mum's friend makes a seemingly innocent joke about how much you're eating, or the office dickhead asks you why your jeans are so tight. The more confident woman would brush off these remarks and probably break out a witty comeback, but the rest of us spend the day sweating it, believing that we're not beautiful and probably hating our friends for lying to us.

   The problem with the world is that, unless you're close to someone who understands and can relate to what you're going through, you're pretty much on your own. You're the only one who can make things better for yourself. You're the only one who can make your life positive. You're the only one who can change your mindset for the better.

   But how can you do all these things when you've got so much working against you? Instead of giving you the bullshit transparent clichés that lack substance, like 'think positive' and 'believe in yourself', I've put together the best pieces of advice that I can find to try to help you (and me) begin the long and hard journey back to happiness:


D O N ' T   M E N T I O N   I T

   Constantly bringing up your insecurity in conversation (unless it's a serious conversation with someone that you trust and can really understand your problem) gives it life, making it harder for you to move on and let go. Nothing good comes of mentioning it in casual talk, because the conversation will move on and you'll most likely be distracted. Every time you find yourself stuck in a chat with your friends or colleagues about issues with appearance (and in my circles, it happens a lot), whether it's cellulite, stretchmarks or weight, try not to contribute. Simply listen, instead of fueling the fire.

T A K E   C O M P L I M E N T S

   Too many of us are guilty of getting all shy and embarrassed when we receive compliments. If someone says that they think you look amazing, that you have great hair, that you have excellent style, that you're smart, funny, intelligent, chic, elegant, cool - smile and say thank you. The only thing that comes of refusing a compliment is awkwardness, but indulging in a friendly, mutual social transaction will likely boost your mood.

L E A D   Y O U R   F O C U S   E L S E W H E R E

   Take your mind off your insecurity by leading the focus elsewhere; for example, try out a new hairstyle, paint your nails a vibrant colour, or wear a great pair of shoes. Consciously drawing attention to a fantastic part of your attire or appearance will make you focus more on that positive aspect, rather than the negative one.

   If you've got a tip to help with body confidence, please post it in the comments - it may help someone more than you know!
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Saturday, 16 January 2016

9 Boots Made for Stomping in to Work

   The boot game is strong this season, and with the cold weather all of a sudden arriving on our doorsteps, you'll be kicking yourself (ohh the puns) if you don't get yourself a pair of decent ankle protectors. 

   Any colour goes (although you may want to start thinking about next season's trends; try metallics á la Louis Vuitton and Loewe, or opt for bold hues as in the collections of Christopher Kane and Gucci), and the more exciting the texture, the better. Suede (or faux suede) is still very much 'a thing', but this year I'm in love with high-shine patent fabrics in pastels and brights.

   Hate the idea of a cold commute? Match your boots with a faux fur jacket or chunky knit - and don't forget socks (no one likes sweaty boot feet). A slight heel is always elegant, if you can handle the ice; if not, try a cleated sole for extra grip.

1. Public Desire, £39.99
2. ASOS, £45
3. River Island, £65
4. 3.1 Phillip Lim, £153
5. Aldo, £90
6. Dune, £129
7. Acne, £480
8. H&M, £39.99
9. Zara, £39.99
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