Thursday, 26 April 2018

Six Things I've Learnt From Long Distance!

Dear readers,

It's been a while however I've returned after yet another lengthy hiatus with this blogpost which is a collaboration between my Zeki and I. I don't think i've ever gotten so personal before on a blog post so I am admittedly hesitant. If you follow me on Instagram you may be aware that my now fiancé and I embarked on a long distance relationship as of January last year. There's no way about it, long distance sucks and it's easy to wallow in melancholy at the trials and tribulations of it. However if you can look passed the obvious adversities, there are some things to be learned and gained from the experience. I'd just emphasise that each relationship is of course unique therefore our experiences aren't necessarily ubiquitous but I do nonetheless want to impart what we personally acquired from long distance. Ultimately, this post focuses on the silver linings of long distance, so without further ado...

Having a joint vision
One principle point that has guided our relationship through the distance is our joint vision and our trust in it as well as each other. When you and your partner have a joint vision with an end goal in sight whether that be seeing each other more frequently in the long run, moving in together or even getting married; you work as a team in striving towards making that goal a reality. There will be periods where there will be a paucity of time, where you won't be able to overcome the conflicting schedules and time zones. One thing that helped us cope was knowing that you as a couple, as farfetched as it may be, having paths that will eventually intersect and that your endeavours aren't in vain. This vision aided us in being able to empathise with each other, especially when we haven't been able to connect emotionally or mentally in a while. For us, that vision is marriage and God willing to spend the rest of our lives together.

Realising you've taken each other for granted
As cliche as it may sound, not having the liberty and luxury of seeing one another on a daily basis adds an element of appreciation to how you perceive each other. Especially since your main source of contact is dependent on frail internet connection. When even video-calls are difficult to arrange and meetings become scarce, you find yourself missing their company, their smell or voice, you picture how they would have responded to something you've seen or heard that day. It's those small simple things one longs for the most. You begin to appreciate every moment you spend together on the rare occasions you do actually see each other. I find that we exert more effort into making memories together than we did prior to long distance. Recently, I traveled to Turkey for my friend's wedding as well as to see Zeki's face for a week... you know, two birds with the one stone. During that week we utterly refused to be cooped up indoors and seized every opportunity to complete a pilgrimage of our favourite haunts as well as explore uncharted places.

Closing the distance 
Showing affection and making sure the other person knows how much they mean to you can be manifested in a plethora of ways whether that be vocally or as a gesture. To state the obvious, residing thousands of miles away from one another reduces your means of communication as they aren't compatible with the distance. Thus, to reduce the both literal and figurative distance between you, you have to be more expressive and invest more effort. Staying up an extra hour, reminding them how much they mean to you, sending care packages of their favourite treats when they least expect it speaks volumes and can really nurture a relationship, as schmalzy as it sounds. There's nothing more heartwarming than facing the daily grind by waking up to a heartfelt message or an adorable 'vlog' of what your other half has been up to!

'Save your arguments for the big ones'
Something my mother will time and time again reiterate  is to 'save your arguments for the big ones'. I admit I didn't fully appreciate this until I returned to Manchester. I am a hyper-sensitive, high strung and occasionally capricious person, with the inclination to become irked by matters and not address them in an effective manner which often results in matters blowing completely out of proportion. Long distance communication can be rife with misapprehensions and hurt if you aren't open about something that is troubling you. Disputes can't always be avoided however can often be resolved when two people sit down together and talk it through.  In long distance with the physical component being missing it really depends on you to communicate if something is on your mind, otherwise the other person remains oblivious and over time these things can accumulate leading to you either imploding or exploding. The aftermath of it can be even messier and difficult to salvage when meeting up to discuss matter and smooth things over isn't an option.  I've noticed that over the past year I've become increasingly selective and discerning about my arguments and will often immediately tell my other half if something isn't sitting right with me and in turn he has become much more responsive and in tune with my feelings. With time, the more this was practiced the more it was incorporated into our routine.

Successfully overcoming and combatting the hurdles within our relationship due to the distance, in turn has made our relationship as well as us more resilient to strain, failures and life events in general over the past year and a half. I find that I'm less discouraged when things don't go as anticipated and I'm more willing to dust myself off and start over which is something I wouldn't have been able to muster the courage to do beforehand. Long distance has also emboldened mfiancé in becoming even more determined to succeed in applying for his masters in the UK, regardless of the hindrances he faces.

Personal growth
In the absence of your significant other, you unsurprisingly have an abundance of time on your hands and an opportunity to improve qualities and skills you may already posses or you can broaden your repertoire by acquiring more. This doesn't mean that nothing gets done with your partner around, however in order not to brood over things which I have the tendency of doing when left entirely on my own, it's best to put that superfluous time to good use. This could be as simple as improving your photography skills, to taking up a hobby, to recommencing education. With the amount of time I've spent on my own in the past year and a half I've managed to immerse myself into a diverse number of self improvement projects; I've started university again, I've learnt how to sew (there's a blogpost dedicated to that), I've opened up an Etsy shop and I've become an active reader once more.

Outfit details

Dress: Marks and Spencer Constellation dress:
Velvet mary jane shoes: Mango
Chain clutch bag: Accessorize
Chiffon hijab: Ebay
Arm candy: Zeki

Friday, 2 February 2018

Outfit Post: Where I Acquire My Clothes featuring My Classic Novel Tote Bag!

Hello there my dear readers,

I come to you today with some of my a curated list of where I acquire my clothes. I think it's safe to say that I have a passion for shopping (euphemism for problem more like) and will happily ramble on fervently about style and decades to anyone who will listen. Therefore it should come as no surprise that I'm fairly eclectic about the sources of my most worn and cherished items.
The shops that I find myself again and again gravitating towards and which cater for my style and budget are:

Zara: Where to begin, I discovered Zara when I was 18, I happened to be passing by and curiosity got the better of me as I'd heard of it often but associated the store to beyond my student budget. It was towards the end of the January sales and I emerged from the shop, proudly clutching a bag containing 3 midi skirts costing me a total of £20. Thus began my love affair with Zara and its sales which perpetuates until this very day.

Mango: Admittedly I'm not drawn to multiple items at a time in Mango however each season there will always be the one item that captures my attention entirely! 

H&M: I rely heavily on H&M for my affordable basics, more specifically for my opaque chiffon shirts which have proven to be so versatile that I've amassed one in every colour they supply!

Charity Shops: They're a hit and miss, but I love the uncertainty and element of surprise to rummaging through the masses of frogs and squealing with delight when I encounter a beautifully made vintage skirt or cosy jumper!

Depop: I discovered Depop properly last September and it has been an absolute game changer! It's an app for buying and selling clothes that have been previously owned. Via Depop I can access items that have seasonally discontinued or even current items that are beyond my budget range for a much much discounted affordable price. For instance I have recently acquired the adorable Miss Patina Space Walker Jumpsuit in pristine condition for £17 from a seller who had second thoughts, similarly I was miraculously able to snag the Miss Patina Cat Collar Shirt that I've coveted for the longest time for £14 (yes I'm very pleased with myself)! Feel free to follow my Depop @vintagonista!

Dressmaking: Over the past year I have become increasingly more self reliant when it comes to my clothing and accessories. Unless it works out to be more costly than the retailing version of an item, I will proceed to fashioning my own! There's something so satisfying about being able to wear something that you have created and are the sole owner of. I have also recently started catering to a larger audience with my dressmaking which brings us on to my final source of obtaining clothes...

Etsy: Etsy is the home to all things quirky and made with love! I've currently begun selling reversible tote bags in an array of themes; if you're a literature/classics aficionado, a mathlete, a photography enthusiast or just an appreciator of quirky tote bags, then I highly recommend you give my Etsy shop a browse! Depending on demand more bags will follow with themes such as music, cacti and rabbits! As a means of giving back, 10% of proceeds go to Amnesty in the hopes to make with world a more humane and just place! Feel free to follow my shop and remain updated on new arrivals!

My classic novel bag is featured in today's outfit post for you guys to behold in all it's glory!


Outfit details: Handmade Etsy bag, Zara coat, plaid wool skirt made by me, Zara embroidered peter pan collar bluse and Clarks brogues!

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Handmade Novelty Tote Bags!

Hi there folks! So I've returned from the woodworks to announce that I've set up an Etsy shop selling handmade novelty tote bags, makeup bags and pencil cases! Should my venture be successful I hope to branch out to custom dressmaking orders!

My first listing is this beautifully crafted, applique, classic literature novel librarian tote bag! I'd also like to state that 10% of all proceeds will go to Amnesty!

My second bag for sale is this quirky vintage camera print  and gingham reversible tote bag!

Thirdly, this math calculation print tote bag for all the mathletes out there!