Monday, 16 October 2017

We Were On A Break!

It's Monday, October 16th and whilst Hurricane Ophelia is giving it shhtacks, I'm lucky enough to be tucked up inside, with the day off and the opportunity to pen the renaissance of 'A Little Amy'. It's been some time since I wrote my last blog post and I'm beginning to miss creating content for this space. I wanted to begin with a bit of preamble - 'the dog ate my homework' if you will, about my extended absence, including a mini rant about the vapid nature of 90% of fashion posts, before being a total hypocrite and probably doing just that! Let's hope this transpires to be somewhat mentally stimulating and/or vaguely amusing. We'll give it a lash, so grab yourself a hot beverage, put on some melancholy tunes (I'm currently listening to my favourite sad boy, Keaton Henson) and admiring the lovely weather ;)

Beginning with why I stopped uploading posts to this platform mainly centers on the time commitment my masters programme required. In September 2017, I began an English MA in UCC entitled 'Irish Writers and Film' and whilst I gained a lot from the year, it was at times grueling, particularly with the requirement to write a 15-17 thousand word thesis. Additionally, we were also asked to set up an academic blog which would document the research journey. To my surprise, this was a greatly enjoyable endeavour and I put a lot of effort into my new bambino, 'Fiosrach' (meaning curious/inquisitive in Irish). On that platform, I wrote about research seminars I attended and enjoyed, readings I went to and even some original poetry I tentatively dipped my toe into. The wonderfully inspiring, Dr Donna Alexander, a lecturer on the course, frequently spoke about the value of blogging, particularly advantageous for people wishing to pursue a career in publishing. These words of wisdom have been in my mind of late, coupled with the desire to reignite my passion for blogging about all things lifestyle related and huzzah, here we are! The plan of action is to write about those kinds of things, fashion, food, travel, etc here and direct more traditionally academic posts to 'Fiosrach' when the inspiration strikes. 

Compounding time restraints with the reasons I stopped uploading posts to 'A Little Amy' is the ambivalence I began to feel particularly towards fashion content. Firstly, there was the reputation surrounding fashion posts/ bloggers that I strongly wanted to dissociate myself with. Whenever someone would (very kindly!) compliment me on my blog, I would internally cringe, thinking that what they were internally saying was God, she must love herself! or Christ, she's so pretentious!, which couldn't be further from the truth (except maybe when I've got my moleskin out making a to-do list and sipping on a delicious coffee...then maybe I feel a bit pretentious!), but 90% of the time a feeling of crippling insecurity is my default mode! Outside of the fashion content I would upload, I began to get fatigued by the contrived 'outfit of the days' that all seemed to blend into one when I would scroll through my instagram feed. It's certainly a conundrum, because it would be disingenuous of me to label all 'aspirational' content as trite; I'll be the first to admit I sometimes swoon over a chic picture of a coffee and a cactus, or a seemingly effortless outfit on a super slim, naturally beautiful girl, but the problem with this kind of imagery is the value we ascribe to it. I for one instantly think the person who uploads a picture if their fancy morning coffee is highly organised, has an amazing career whilst the pretty girl is always happy, has the perfect relationship and generally breezes through life.....all from one picture! Surely this is how we have been conditioned, coupled with that brilliantly detrimental human instinct of comparison, truly the thief of joy. Whilst I do think there is a place for this kind of aspirational content, I think like all things, it should probably be consumed in moderation. Whenever I uploaded a fashion post in the past, I would always feel the pressure to live up to this perfectionism and would always feel disheartened when I inevitably fell short. Over the past few months, I've tried to consider what is at the essence of what I love about other people's style, both in my personal life and other people's blogs or YouTube channels, namely people like Tar Marz, SunbeamsJess and Zoe Sugg - they all look unique, which brought me full circle to underscoring what I love most about fashion - it's potential for self-expression and generally to boost confidence. I think moving forward for me, it's time to forget about the contrived imagery when it comes to fashion posts and embrace a more natural approach. That's what I've tried to do below when talking about a few autumn clothing essentials. They are all pieces that are practical on a day-to-day basis and will keep you warm and comfy. The pictures were taken a few weeks ago on a lovely break to Courtmacsherry with a friend whilst we were out for a walk on a breezy day! I hope you enjoy.

First up, and very apt for the current weather, is an ASOS puffer jacket which I've gotten a lot of wear out of. It's super padded to keep you really toasty and cuffed at the sleeves to keep the breeze out. The only thing I will say about this is the size runs quite big so I'd recommend sizing down if you're in between. I got mine in my regular size and look like a hybrid between a dementor and the Michelin Man when I wear it! Nonetheless it's socially more acceptable to wear than my duvet so comfort trumps style on this one!

 (Actual Dementor)

Underneath my jacket on our crisp autumnal walk, I wore an oversized (oversized being the operative word here!) Ellesse long sleeve tee. This is again an ASOS purchase and when it arrived I seriously considered returning it, because the fit is massive, especially the sleeves....I seemed to have overlooked the 'extreme sleeves' part in the description! Hoodwinked by the outrageously soft cotton material however and aspirations to pull off the 'I don't care/ 90's sportswear vibes', we kept the relationship goin'. Results of our toxic love below: 

Next up, are a super comfortable pair of shoes that have been thoroughly road tested over the past few months. They are my faithful Timberland Kiri Ups. Somewhat similar to the Balenciaga trainers that so many people have been raving about, the Kiri Ups are more affordable and more wearable in my opinion. They are part of Timberland's new collection and certainly a different direction for the brand. The Kiri Ups have a younger, cooler vibe and have been seen on people like SunBeamsJess, who styles them beautifully. They come in a variety of colours and feature some recyclable materials, such as in the laces, which is a plus if you're considering more sustainable fashion choices. 

Thanks ever so much for stopping by. I hope you'll join me again when I feel like posting.

Much love,

Amy. x

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