Finding Inspiration


I'm certain we all experience those times when we don't feel particularly motivated or inspired, and it can often be difficult to pull ourselves out of those phases. Thankfully, sooner or later some time will pass and we feel inspired by the world around us again. I sometimes feel this way about blogging, I don't always feel like I have exciting things to share and I don't always feel very comfortable standing in front of a camera.

I think it's easy to underestimate the time and effort that so many bloggers put into making their content look polished. So many bloggers that I follow make it look so easy! Sometimes when I feel uninspired, I find it helps me to just take a step back and return to what I'm meant to be doing a little later on, with fresh eyes. It's true that we are often our own worst critics. When I find myself starting to a bit overly self critical, I know it's time to take a step back and not let myself get too sucked in to social media and how I look online. After all, life is too short to let things like that get us down. I always feel that it helps to sometimes step outside of the social media bubble and tune into the world the world around me. For me, that is where the real inspiration can be found. In the films I love to watch, to the books I love to read, to meeting my friends face to face and hearing their stories. There are always new things waiting to be discovered.

Fashion is also very inspiring to me, especially wandering around vintage shops and imagining the stories behind each garment. I have quite a simple style but I am always drawn to more extravagant garments that I don't think I could ever pull off, I always want to know the story behind them. (Nerd fact about me: I love origin stories!) I do love browsing the high street but vintage shops just have so much more personality to them, and you'll never find the same thing twice.

Sometimes I find myself in a bit of a style rut, and often when this happens, I find that adding just one key piece can completely open up my wardrobe. I'm calling 2016 the year of denim for me, as it has quickly become the thing I purchase and wear the most! I think I've bought something like four denim jackets, three denim skirts and five pairs of jeans; which are all constantly rotating around my wardrobe. I think I have probably gone a bit over the top with my purchases, but denim is so classic, I know that much of what I bought this year will carry me through next year too. These denim overalls are actually from the ASOS sale, I got them for £9 and they are one of the best purchases I've ever made. They go with everything I already own and are so comfortable - perfect for uni too!

Hope you all had a great Halloween and a great start to your week so far. I'm going to get an early night and catch up on Planet Earth...

Karen x

Jacket & Bag - Vintage
Dungarees - ASOS
Socks - Topshop
Shoes - Dr Martens

Photographs by Rachael Gordon<3 p="">

Almost Twenty-Five


This time next week I'll be 25. I can't believe it! Where does the time go? We all change so much as life goes on, but I feel like our 20's are rapid ups and downs of figuring out long term game plans, relationships, screwing stuff up and so on.  Life is full of odd little moments leading up to right here, tomorrow, ten years from now, and forever. All just intersections of strange coincidence and being in the right or wrong place at the right or wrong time. 

You could live your life over and over and over again but it would never be the same. I'm learning to treat every day like that, allowing myself to awake without the burden of the day before or the day after. It's way easier said than done but don't let that stop you.

Note to self: Life is full of things that go wrong, don't collect those instances unless they are helping you each time you look at them.

Be Kind To Them Always


Hello! How's it going? I know we're only half way through but 2016 has already been an incredible year.  It has shown me how to grow, how to put others before myself, how to make mistakes and how to keep going. It has shown me why I make mistakes, why I mess up, how to fix situations, how to leave broken things broken. I have learned that not everybody will deserve a part of me, but how everyone, even an enemy if I have one, deserves respect. As I continue through the rest of this year, I remember that I am here because of the kindness of others. My only wish is to honor this sentiment and to treat kindness as the backbone of my intentions from here on out.

The remaining months of 2016 will not be perfect, it will be a continuous journey of progress and self-discovery, but I guess one thing that should never change throughout it is your kindness. I am feeling incredibly inspired lately by the kindness of others and I know sometimes it sounds little bit of mushy to talk about it so much, but sadly these things are often taken for granted.

Life is short and I think it's important to celebrate all good things. I love to hear stories of random acts of kindness, so please share yours with me if you can.  Let's show the world that bad things aren't the only thing that deserve our attention.

Living With Less


We all carry worries on our shoulders. Each and every one of us. What do you do with your worries? Do you bottle them up or spit them out? I've had a lot of thought provoking conversation with my friends and family lately and I've been reflecting on my life over the past few years. Looking back, one of the things that strikes me the most is how much I used to stress out about stupid little things. I swear I would have let my worries ride me to the grave! However, sitting thinking about it now, I feel that my perspective has shifted. I think maybe it's because I had a massive health scare last year and maybe it's also the fact that I'm turning 25 this year. It's probably a culmination of everything. Whatever it is, it's changed me for the better and I've never been so glad.

I was having a conversation with a friend recently about the luxury of laziness. Obviously I'm not speaking for everyone the world over, but for me and the people around me, it's incredible that we have the chance to do nearly nothing and get by. All in all, this world is a pretty easy place for me to live in. I never worry about surviving here. And yet, we find ourselves constantly scared about things that are so menial in the long run. We can hang out, be free and we have so many opportunities, and for the most part, survival is taken care for us. 

Personally I think living with less and truly just being ok with where you are in that moment is one of the best weapons you can have against stress. Just being able to honestly say to yourself, "Look, this is ok, I will get through this part, tonight will end and tomorrow will come all the same, and I will be fine."

We all worry. I know I still do from time to time, but perspective and purpose are two things I am constantly reminding myself of. Don't be so overwhelmed by the amount of options you have in this life that you forget to choose a direction to go in. Whatever you do, don't let too many choices keep you from choosing one at all. Don't live in fear. I think the most important thing you can do with your life is to just go out and live it. I wasted so many years feeling so hard done by, because of genuinely bad things that happened but also over really dumb things that don't actually matter all that much. We're so lucky to just be here at all and I never want to forget that.

I say we should shrug as much of the bad stuff off our shoulders and embrace the moments we're in head on. As a person who has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I'm slowly learning to take things one day at a time without any medication. Unless you count working hard and drinking too much Jameson on a Saturday night as self medicating?  Though it might be tough and overwhelming some days, I venture onward. Always.

Worrying about something will never really help in any way. If there's a problem you need to fix - you know what you need to do. If you simply can't tackle the problem, move forward. Keep going. Persist.

Side note: I honestly feel so proud of myself for writing honestly and worrying less about what other people think. I still love fashion, but as I mentioned a few months ago, I've grown bored of only talking about my outfits when there's so much more to say. Thank you for sticking with me through all the changes here.

Outfit: Jacket - ASOS, Everything Else - Topshop

Twenty Sixteen : Hopes and Dreams


Resolutions... in April? Yes. I think about them at the beginning of the year just like everybody else. It's hard not to, but I guess I can't always adhere to the prompt in the same way. I wake up every morning with a thousand resolutions for that day alone, most of which are forgotten by the evening. They always come back around though and I've spent the beginning of this year trying to narrow them down. My resolutions aren't at all strict, I guess I'm not very good at sticking to rules. We often exclaim our resolutions at the start of the year and by the time Spring properly rolls around, the enthusiasm has almost disappeared completely.

My resolutions might seem a little weird, a little whimsical perhaps, but that's just me. Here's to you 2016, here's to working hard and having fun, here's to making more friends, here's to worrying less because life is going to be crazy no matter what you do and we're all going to die some day. This isn't a morbid thought from me, but one I remind myself of as much as I can. Every breath we take is a stroke of luck and life is wonderful. Each day is a gift no matter how tough it might be, and it's something we will never appreciate enough. You're alive right now and that's all that matters.

Here's to you 2016, and here's to YOU! Thank you for sticking by me and my blog through the changes and the silence.

These are my 2016 resolutions. Make your own list, live by it, glance at it from time to time to remind yourself, or throw it away. Who cares?

Here's to doing whatever you want!

Indulge my thoughts as they come, no matter how silly they may seem. Such as taking up a hip hop dance class because I'm addicted to watching dance videos on Youtube.

Rediscover the poetry I studied at university. Read, recite and write down the verses I can't understand. Read more and when I think I'm finished, keep going.

Drink less coffee and sleep more. Drink more coffee and sleep less. 

Stop worrying about aesthetically pleasing filters and if I've posted too many selfies on Instagram. These things don't matter.

Open my mind. Push open my perspective when it comes to friends and romance. This is a door that is only partially open would you believe, but opening up is the only way to let the great ones in.

Spend less on things I don't need. I work in retail and love to shop, so this one will be tricky... but do I really need another roll neck jumper when I already have about 25?

Avoid spending more than 20 minutes on my physical appearance every day. I've nailed swooping a cat eye across my lids in 30 seconds, why should the rest take so long? 

Stick with the gym. Yeah it's hard but it feels fucking fantastic. Remind myself that there was a time when I was too sick to get out of bed, now I can run a mile without feeling like I'm going to die.

Grab a notebook and write down my favourite lines from the books I'm reading.

Keep a note of interesting things, no matter how insignificant they may seem. 

Understand that some things take time. Quit trying to rush everything. Get this permanently etched on my retinas to avoid forgetting. 

Travel somewhere beautiful even if it's only for one day. Leave my phone behind.

Photograph by Luke Joyce

Berlin Travel Diary #3


Hello! As you might have noticed, a few things have changed over here - I finally took the plunge and changed my blog name! If you follow me on social media, you'll probably know that I've been going on about changing it for the best part of a year, but I just couldn't decide on anything I really liked better than A Stitch To Wear. Then a few people did suggest blogging under my own name, but I was never sure because, well let's be honest here,  my name isn't very cool or interesting is it! After thinking about it a bit more seriously though, I decided to go ahead and change my domain to my full name because I already use it across all other platforms anyway, so it sort of streamlines my social media, which is great! I really didn't like the look of it as part of my blog design though and nothing makes me more uncomfortable than poor design! After wrecking my head for quite some time, a friend of mine suggested Ron; which is a nickname I've had for ages. I thought it was a bit silly at first but then I started writing it out and thinking of designs and I loved it! I went to Kyo Studio for a custom design and I can't recommend them enough. They had it perfected for me in less that 24 hours and I'm so pleased with how it's turned out. 

Please let me know what you think in the comments section below because I would really appreciate some feedback on the new name, design and also what sort of content you like to see the most! I can't wait to get sharing new looks with you too. In fact the main reason I wanted to change up my blog was so it would reflect my personal style better; so much has changed since this blog started out as A Stitch To Wear two years ago and I'm really pleased to have a space that reflects where I'm at now. I hope you all like it as much as I do!

This is my third and final Berlin travel diary, as I don't want to go too mad just because I have so many photographs! However if you would like to see more from our trip then you can pop over to my Instagram here where I shared a bunch from before Christmas (warning: prepare to scroll forever!)

Most of these photographs were taken in and around Mitte. We spent a lot of time walking around Rosenthaler Platz; it's great for places to eat and it's full of cool little shops too. Rachael and I both absolutely love Asian cuisine and if you do too, I would definitely recommend you try Aiko, Sushi Circle and Transit. Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming about the incredible sushi we had! Pro tip: go there, eat everything, come home and proceed to hate yourself for not being able to eat the amazing food all over again! 

When we booked this trip, I thought I would photograph loads of outfits and spend every day planning new content for here, but it rained almost every day and I was secretly glad to be honest because I really did just want to have a holiday! It was just what I needed after a tough few months; we had so much fun exploring every day and drinking every night! We were also celebrating five years of friendship, so we wanted to go a bit crazy. You only yolo once as they say!

We went to so many great bars all over the city; some of my favourites were White Trash, Zur Fetten Ecke, 8mm, Wowsville. I guess each neighborhood has a different sort of nightlife so it really depends on what you like to do on a night out. I personally loved the rough and ready dive bar vibes around Kreuzberg; which is also home to the infamous Burgermeister! I never thought one of the best burgers I've ever had in my life would be from a former public toilet, but I guess stranger things have happened... If you love good burgers and handsome bearded men with tattoos, I recommend you check out Revolver Burger. The halloumi burger is out of this world! 

I think I've covered most of the highlights in my travel diaries, but if you have any questions let me know! We had such a wonderful time; I've talked about the food but it really was amazing, the beer was great, the people are lovely - so helpful and really fun! The city offers so much to do, there's lots you can squeeze into just a few days. It's also really easy to get around, but I'd recommend picking up a map or downloading an app such as Citymapper, just so you can work out which station to get off or change at. I also thought it was really affordable considering all the stuff we did. I think I spent less than I expected to and that includes a few wild nights of going over budget! We managed to score some super cheap flights too which I think worked out at just under 100 euro for two returns. I can't wait to go back!

Are you planning a trip to Berlin? 

Berlin Travel Diary #2


Brandenberg Gate, Jewish Museum and Memorial

Hello there!

I hope you've all had a great weekend. Sorry for being so quiet on here, I've been absolutely swamped with college work again and I'm pretty sure my brain still thinks it's Christmas. I'm excited to share more travel diaries from my trip to Berlin with you! This evening is all about some "touristy things" we ticked off our list.

A few days into our holiday, we took a trip to the Jewish Museum and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. I've always had a big interest in history and theology, in fact I almost studied theology as a minor instead of Film at university! We spent an entire day there so be prepared to set time aside for it. It was one of the best parts of the trip, however some parts of it were understandably harrowing.

Rachael and I took our own separate routes around the museum; we could barely speak to each other when we met up again because it was really unsettling. The building itself is spectacular, however in some parts it is designed to make you feel trapped with no hope of escape and it can be quite difficult to walk around. I really enjoyed the Jewish Memorial, however it's designed in the same way that it it leaves you feeling pretty unsettled and claustrophobic. I actually felt so overwhelmed while walking through it, the walls were growing around us and the voices of other tourists sounded further and further away; and I just burst into tears because I felt so emotional over it! I'm really sensitive and cry all the time anyway, but this whole experience was understandably very moving.

We did quite a bit of tourist stuff, including a stop off at the Topographie Des Terrors. It was very upsetting at times but an incredible amount of history that's definitely worth seeing. If you only do one tourist thing while you're in Berlin, I would fully recommend you make it the Jewish Museum. It's absolutely massive and it covers everything from the foundations of the beliefs, traditions, Jewish people of note and also of course the Holocaust, the war and the aftermath. There are also some brilliant exhibitions and installations, including a robot writing the Torah at human speed. If you;re at all interested in history and theology, then it's the place for you!

This was all very affordable too! The Jewish Museum was 8 euro entry and the Topographie Des Terrors is free.

What are some of your favourite "touristy things" to do in Berlin?

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