Live Anyway...

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I'm having a bit of an off-month.

My blog isn't really going in the direction I want it to go, and because of this, I'm having a lack of motivation to even post at all - it's like a vicious cycle.

But I'd be lying if I said that was my only worry at the moment.

You may or may not remember that I briefly mentioned about my uncle's passing earlier this year. He was diagnosed with cancer and within a couple of months he was gone. I never really had time to wrap my head around it, and although I cried (a lot), it's only just now starting to sink in.

I find myself thinking about him and the conversations we'd have - he'd always ask me about this blog and how it was going, and we'd talk about university and education and work, and he'd pour me a glass of port on arrival at his house as soon as Christmas started to approach.

It's taken a couple of months but I'm actually starting to realise that the person who I did all of those things with is the same person that passed away and is no longer with us - I've only just tied the two things together and it's hit me quite hard. I find myself in tears at random points of the day if I think about it too much, and I feel selfish for doing so because he had daughters and a wife and sisters who were closer to him than I was, so I feel like I shouldn't be allowed to be upset.

Grief is a funny thing, isn't it? I suppose what scares me the most is that he was so young and no one saw it coming. He was an active, healthy man and it shouldn't have happened to him. It worries me because I feel like I am failing at where I want to be, and I need to get there ASAP because life is too short.

I will put out there what other bloggers have too much pride to say: I want to be one of those 9364927648 subscribers - have-my-own-beauty-range bloggers. And what's wrong in admitting that? I started this blog four years ago at a similar time to Lily Melrose and Zoe Sugg and so many other well-known bloggers that are doing so unbelievably well, and I feel like I got left behind a bit.

Don't get me wrong, I have a weird sense of blogger pride for those girls and it's my own fault for not being strict on my regular posting and making sure my outfit photography was on-point, but is it too late to change that? Because at the moment, it feels like it is.

I'm so unbelievably passionate about writing and blogging, so it's only natural that I want this blog to work and to be noticed for the effort that I put into it. I don't think there's any harm in admitting that at all.

Anyway, I'm rambling far too much, and I will look back on this post in a week and realise I'm just being a bit mardy. But sometimes, we all need to be reminded that behind these blogs are just normal Twenty-something's who are struggling with things, and sometimes just need a virtual hug or an outlet to cry to.


Debenhams A/W Style

If there's one place I love to shop at this time of year, it's Debenhams. My local store is pretty huge, and I just love to wander round and take in all the different Autumn and Winter fabrics and textures that all the designers have on offer.

At the moment, I really can't get enough of thick wool jumpers and the deep Autumnal colours - I just LOVE this time of year for fashion!

So when Debenhams challenged me to style up an outfit for myself and a friend from some of their favourite trends, I really couldn't wait to get stuck in. I just absolutely love putting outfits together - no one knows this more than my Mum!

She is my ultimate favourite person to shop with. Not only does she put up with me trying on 83678 things and spending hours in the shop, but she gives me her honest opinion, and quite often treats me if she likes it (nice one, Mummy Slack!). You have no idea how much I wish I could treat her back - there's no one who deserves a shopping spree more than she does, believe me!

So as my nominated friend, I've styled up an outfit for her too, and hopefully one day I'll be able to treat her to it!

On our ideal Mother/Daughter day together, we'd go for coffee in the morning, then tackle the shops before heading out for dinner, so the outfits I've chosen are casual enough to shop in, yet smart enough to still be super fashionable.

Being a lover of colour, I chose my outfit from a selection of Pinks and Berries, which are two of my favourite colours to wear this season.

Although I loved last years pink coat trend, I could never seem to find one that was right for my skin tone. I'm quite light skinned, but it's also olive, so the light pinks would totally wash me out. This amazing coat is ideal. A pretty shade of raspberry, I would team it up with this amazing jumper and some berry skinny jeans for a cosy and comfy style.

Now, as I said we'd spend our day shopping, heels are probably not the best choice of footwear, but I couldn't resist these shoes! They are just to die for - I'm a sucker for a shoe with a bow!

For my Mum's outfit, I based it on her favourite colour. I always tease her because everything she buys is usually some shade of green, but I can't blame her because she looks so lovely in it. So naturally, her outfit was chosen from a selection of Winter Greens!

The first piece I chose was this shirt, because I know how much she loves a floral pattern, and she would look so great in this shirt, especially paired up with these cute trousers.

Mum always goes on about wanting a new handbag, and I think she'd fall in love with this J by Jasper Conran number. With some heeled shoes to match, this would be an ideal outfit for her. Plus, all of these pieces are so versatile, she can keep them as staples in her wardrobe!

And there we have it - that's our outfits. I nominate my wonderful Mum, who I know really deserves to be spoilt for a change.
Why not have a go at styling some outfits for yourself? Find all details here!


Fishy Bubble and Squeak

The Fashion Diaries | UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog | Fishy Bubble and Squeak Recipe

Now, I'm never usually one to boycott Fish and Chip Friday, but after making this dish, I think it's the perfect fishy substitute.

Bubble and Squeak is an all time favourite of mine. I only usually have it on Boxing Day when we mush up all the Christmas leftovers, but this is just something you've got to try.

In case you don't know what Bubble and Squeak is, it's basically mashed vegetables. Typically potatoes and cabbage, but you can basically use whatever is in your fridge and cupboard!

To recreate this recipe, you will need:
- 2 white fishy fillets. I used cobblers.
- 3 leeks
- A small bunch of spring onions
- A handful of broccoli stems
- 6 asparagus sprigs
- A handful of sugarsnap peas
- Small tin of garden peas
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Baby new potatoes (another great alternative is sweet potato or swede - or a combination of all 3!)
- Parsley sauce (I was naughty and bought packet sauce!)
- Milk
- Coarse sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper

First up, find some delicious white fish. I got 2 cobblers fillets, but you can use cod or haddock if you wish.

The Fashion Diaries | UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog | Fishy Bubble and Squeak Recipe

Season your fish with coarse sea salt and ground black pepper. Don't go too overboard as you don't want to overpower the fishy taste!

Pop it in the oven on gas mark 6 for 25 minutes. Once it's in, start to boil your potatoes. I usually leave a couple aside to fry.

The Fashion Diaries | UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog | Fishy Bubble and Squeak Recipe

Then start to prep the greens. Seeing as it's Bubble and Squeak, you can use pretty much whatever you've got in your fridge. I like to go for leeks, spring onions, garlic, broccoli, asparagus and sugarsnaps.

Put your broccoli, asparagus and sugarsnaps in a pan of boiling water for around 6 or 7 minutes, until soft.

Whilst they're boiling, chop up your spring onions and garlic and pop them into a pan with your boiled potatoes. Add a splash of milk and a knob of butter if desired, and mash until silky smooth!

The Fashion Diaries | UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog | Fishy Bubble and Squeak Recipe

Once your other greens have boiled, fry them off with the chopped leeks, some potatoes, and some garden peas.

The Fashion Diaries | UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog | Fishy Bubble and Squeak Recipe

Now you want to mix all of this in with your mashed potatoes, leaving some asparagus to decorate the top.

Take your fish out of the oven and place on top of your bubble and squeak. Drizzle parsley sauce all over and VOILA! The ultimate fishy supper!

The Fashion Diaries | UK Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog | Fishy Bubble and Squeak Recipe

Don't forget to tag me in any photos if you recreate my recipes! Find me on Twitter or Instagram to share your snaps!