Mood-boosting outfit #1: after the baby

mood boosting outfit

By Terri Cluckie

These trousers were the gift to myself for after my baby was born. I haven’t had them on since he was two days old. That day I last wore them I had no make-up on so the dark circles under my eyes looked especially dark, my hair was up in a shitty bun and the white t-shirt I had on was full of holes and did the worst job of covering up the fact that my nursing bra gave me cone boobs because it is made entirely of one layer of cotton fabric (no padding whatsoever). I was not looking or feeling good that day, especially because my precious newborn was hating life and would not stop crying and given the fact that we had only met two days previous, both my partner and myself had no idea what to do with him so the screaming continued for most of the day.

But anyway.

Fast forward three weeks and life has settled a little. I still have no time for anything but every night just before he finally sleeps I take a few seconds to think about what I’m going to wear the next day because it makes me feel really good. I’ve never been so experimental in what I wear than I have been the past few weeks and I think it’s because I’m putting a lot of effort into the little things that make me feel good during a time when I don’t always feel so good.

Today I decided to wear my special trousers with a crop top I bought from Topshop almost three years ago but had yet to wear. I planned on wearing a red lip too but screaming baby = no time for precision = no red lip.

Make-up aside, I was really pleased with this outfit. So pleased I decided I needed to get out the house just to make sure at least one person I don’t know witnessed its greatness. That and I needed to go to the shop for fish for tea.

P.S. How good is Stranger Things? Is anybody else watching it? (stupid question).

[Image: It’s me]

Topshop acid denim jacket

Denim jacket one

By Terri Cluckie

The last time I owned a denim jacket it involved months of searching and ended in an epic Ebay bidding battle which cost me way more than it should have. It was a vintage Levi’s with a shearling collar and it ultimately turned out to be one of my favourite jackets even though everybody else hated it.

Even if it was well loved by me, the fact still remained that it was a men’s size small and way too big for me so it retired to my wardrobe and hasn’t been seen in about two years.

But now my denim jacket days are back.

This is the Topshop Moto acid wash oversized denim jacket. It fits way better than my last one.

It cost £45 which I think is quite steep but I’m willing to overlook the pricetag given how versatile denim jackets are and therefore how easy they are to wear. They are light enough for the summer and somehow heavy enough for the winter and considering that I live in Scotland, the most indecisive place on earth when it comes to weather, it’s one of the most ideal jackets I could pick.

Also, how timeless are they?

[Images: my own]

Gucci Princetown leather slipper dupes

By Terri Cluckie

Three weeks ago I put in my order for Christmas to my other half. He laughed at me and said no which is how things usually go but I thought I was doing him a favour by giving him a six-month head start on savings. It’s only a pair of Gucci slippers. They only cost £380. They are amazing and I’m allowed to dream.

Gucci Princetown leather slipper - £380
Gucci Princetown leather slipper – £380

I’ve said for the past 9 years that my first designer purchase will be the greatest moment of my life. I gave birth to my son two weeks ago but I still stand by that statement (just kidding!). I’ve dreamt of opening a pair of designer shoes or designer bag on a birthday/ Christmas since the day I first bought the December issue of Vogue way back in 2007. That’s where it all began for me and even though I was pretty sure by this point in life I’d have a designer wardrobe sorted with my job at Vogue, things haven’t quite went to plan and I’m still only dreaming.

Where that might still be the case for the Gucci shoes, I have found something that has suppressed my appetite for now; Topshop. One week ago I was window shopping on their website and found the answer to my dreams.

These are the Kylie backless mules and are £331 cheaper than the Gucci version. They come in black or leopard and are perfect to me. I already know that my friends will hate them but I’m learning to accept the fact that that’s generally how it goes with my choice of footwear.

I’ve worn them once and they made my baby blues disappear for a good two hours while I was down town shopping on a quick baby break at the weekend.

I’ll still be crossing my fingers that I get my wishes granted at Christmas time but for now, thank the lord for dupes!

[Images: my own and www.gucci.com]

The big issue: Birkenstocks and fast fashion

alexa chung in birkenstocks

By Terri Cluckie

Lately it has come to my attention that people don’t like my Birkenstocks. I know, it’s shocking. I thought we all loved Birkenstocks too.

I actually thought I was doing myself a favour when I bought my Arizona-dupe Primark fivers that are very comfortable and also very versatile but apparently I’m not the most fashionable person in the room. It wasn’t until recently when one of my best friends found my pair in my kitchen and thought they were my boyfriend’s that the cogs started turning. My other best friend has actually always hated them so I guess the signs have always been there but still, I’m shocked. How could I have been so wrong?

I pondered my shortcomings last Tuesday when I was alone in the house and came to the conclusion that I blame fast fashion. I blame cheap prices making everything so accessible and providing me with all these opportunities to be expressive and try new trends! But this is the problem with the (high street) fashion world. It makes us do crazy things. How often do we play Risk with new trends when the price tag is sky high? I think I’m in the same boat as many people here so will go ahead and speak for us when I say not often at all.

Places like Primark make fad trends so accessible that we will all continue to make the same mistakes over and over again in the vicious circle of life meaning my Birkenstock issues are only just the beginning. Lord help us. I mean, we’ll be walking away from the EU soon so for fuck sake can we just have a bit of mental clarity to know that we’ve at least got a decent pair of socially acceptable shoes on our feet?!

I’m getting carried away but I thought my purchase of the sandals was fool proof because I seen them on one of my favourite fashion blogs (R.I.P. AfterDRK) and if you can’t rely on your everyday gal to let you know what’s in and what’s not then who can you trust? Now, yes, that was two years ago so I admit time may be spent on my beloved sandals but they’re still being sold on ASOS so how am I supposed to know they’re not cool anymore?

Life is hard sometimes. Maybe I should admit defeat and move on. Maybe I should stand my ground and buy a new pair of Birkenstocks because I like them. Maybe none of this matters and I should go read another book or something. Maybe I’ll just go ponder some more.

Another interesting take on the Birkenstock debate: Manrepeller.com

[Photo credit: google.com]

On being 36 weeks pregnant

Eight months pregnant

By Terri Cluckie

The past few days I’ve been really uncomfortable at night time. I can’t get comfortable on the couch when I lie on my side or my back, and there is only so long one can sit perched like there is a ruler running down one’s back. Sleeping has been a little on and off. Whenever I need to turn over I can feel the baby like “right there”, as I keep telling G, like he (the baby) is forever lying at the front of my stomach and in between my legs. It’s the strangest and most awkward position for him to be in. I can feel his weight on either my stomach or my bladder pretty much constantly unless I’m walking – but when I walk for too long I get tired. It’s a lose/lose situation.

I do however have a “glow”. But whether that’s because of the Mac blusher I’ve been wearing on the inner corners of my eyes and cheeks or the baby I’m not so sure. I’ll take either because it makes me happy. I still get a fright when I look in the mirror because from up top (AKA my usual point of view) my bump is pretty small. I find myself wondering if people are aware that I’m pregnant. I’m definitely clearly pregnant. I just moved my mirror from my Mum’s house to our house so now I have a view of myself from the front, from the side, whichever way I like. My stomach is huge. My baby looks massive. As far as I’m aware I haven’t put on any weight though and I pretty much look the same. For this I am very grateful because being pregnant takes its toll on your body, regardless of how much you change and I can only imagine how upsetting it is to feel/be bloated and nauseous all of the time.

I’m also grateful for the fact that I haven’t had to work during the majority of my pregnancy. I realise it’s a luxury/ privilege so I won’t dwell on the fact, but I do understand how lucky I am to have been able to rest up and enjoy my pregnancy as much as I can. I have nothing but admiration for mothers who work throughout their pregnancy. I get tired after doing the dishes, Lord knows what kind of effect a full day’s work must have on the body and mind when 8 months pregnant and carrying a bowling ball between your legs.

I have four weeks left to go (maybe) but I’m convinced he’s going to arrive any day now. With any slight twinge I brace myself for the full impact of labour, the smallest drop of fluid down there and I’m sure my waters have broken. I used to think I would give birth exactly one week late, but now I’m sure he is going to arrive a few weeks early. Our hospital bags wait for us in the living room so I feel more prepared for when the day comes.

I’m nervous about what my body is going to look like after I’ve had the baby so I’m trying to bat that curve ball as far away as possible before the time comes. When I want to feel good about myself a new outfit always helps so as my way of pre-boosting my post-birth body confidence I’ve bought a new pair of trousers especially for coming home in. I’ve wanted them for a long time and managed to snag them when they came back in stock. In fact, I featured them in my post back in April about having no money but mentally spending anyway. They’re the slouchy navy Topshop trousers with polka dots. I swear they’re very cool. I saw them on an Instagram post so have based the concept of my look on that photograph. I’m convinced they’ll relieve any kind of baby blues I might experience in the next few weeks. Ha. The power of blissful ignorance.

[Image: Me at 35 weeks pregnant]

Sukin: A paraben-free skincare system worth its salt

Sukin natural skincare

By Terri Cluckie

Are you looking for a new skincare regime? Don’t know who to trust because there are a bajillion products out there calling your name and everyone is boasting about how great they are? Well I’m kind of here to sort that out for you by giving you another opinion but it’s an honest opinion so I think you should listen to me.

Background

Sukin is an Australian natural skincare company who tick all my boxes. They are paraben-free, don’t test on animals, use formulas that are free from other harsh chemicals etc.

I started using these products in January (actually it might have been December…) because I wanted to settle into a “proper routine”. I typically have combination skin, only getting random dry patches here and there while my t-zone stays oily-ish, so I was looking for “every day-type” products.

The Products (all 125ml)

1 x Cream Cleanser with rosehip, avocado and wheat germ
1 x Facial Moisturiser with aloe vera, horsetail, nettle and burdock (day time use)
1 x Super Greens Detoxifying Facial Scrub
1 x Super Greens Nutrient Rich Facial Moisturiser (night time use)

The Review

Cleanser: So let me get off to a great start by saying I don’t particularly love this product. It’s nothing personal, it’s just I’m not a massive fan of cream cleansers in general because I rarely feel like they are really cleaning my face. However, I use this after I remove my make up using coconut oil and a muslin cloth and then smother this all over my face, let it sit for a few moments and then wipe off with another warm muslin so there are ways to make it work.

Moisturisers: I use the moisturisers every day (rotating day and night) after removing my make up and cleansing my face. The day-time moisturiser is very light but still nourishes my skin. I’ve never had any trouble with it messing with my foundation either so I would say it’s a great base. It is packed with the good stuff including jojoba and avocado oils (as well as all the nice things I mentioned in the ‘products’ list above). The night-time moisturiser is fantastic. It’s a little thicker so is perfect for wearing at night to seep into your skin after a good scrub in the tub. It contains kale, spirulina, parsley, rich acai and goji extracts “for daily hydration that promotes a healthy glow” and I can attest to that. My face literally beams each and every day.

Facial scrub: I only use this exfoliator every other day because I don’t like to over work my skin. It’s great for buffing away old skin cells to make way for the new and for really feeling like you’ve given your face a good clean – just like any other exfoliator I guess… But this one is easy to apply, doesn’t leave any residue (as long as you clean it off properly, duh) and the micro beads inside aren’t too rough where I find some exfoliators can be.

Sukin Super Greens skincare range

Why so good

The main reason I chose this range was the price tag, the paraben-free formulas and the fact that they don’t test on animals. Here is a link to Sukin’s ethos to find out a little more for yourself but let’s just call them little angels who use only the best ingredients for your skin.

Price Range and Availability

I bought these products back when I was living in New Zealand so if you live there then you can get them at the Unichem Pharmacy in Spitfire Square by Christchurch airport (if you go there then please do both me and yourself a favour and go to Mexicali and order a chicken burrito with no beans, chipotle, jalapenos with both medium and mild salsa! I’m having withdrawals).

For everyone else, you can order them here:

Sukin Organics
Feel Unique
Holland and Barrett

Prices
Cream Cleanser – £8.10 (feelunique.com)
Facial Moisturiser – £8.10 (feelunique.com)
Super Greens Facial Moisturiser – £9.99 (Holland and Barret)
Super Greens Facial Scrub – £9.99 (Holland and Barret)

Holland and Barrett sell all products but feelunique.com are slightly cheaper on the cleanser and day-time moisturiser. You will also find them at places like Amazon and other natural health/ beauty websites/ stores.

[Photo credits: my own]

Hallucinations of a completely skint human being

By Terri Cluckie

I’ve clearly been high this week because my search history includes net-a-porter.com, theoutnet.com and alexanderwang.com and my bookmarks bar looks like something out of Carrie Bradshaw’s closet.

Up until recently I have accepted the fact that my current financial situation just can’t justify buying new maternity bras or food so I have been hibernating in an attempt to not spend the money that doesn’t live in my purse anyway. It’s proving to be difficult. You know how they say, “when you don’t have the money you always see something you want to buy in the shops”? That has been my week in a nutshell with no thanks to the internet. I’ve even found promise on New Look’s website. I mean REALLY.

I couldn’t afford the bigger box of Rennie’s from Superdrug the other day but I can definitely afford a pair of Alexander Wang Amelia flats AND one of his bags. I’ve chosen to go with a mini version of the bag though because I’ve not forgotten I’m on a budget.

And I have a plan. I have cleared out my room of all my junk to sell at a local carboot sale on Sunday so that I can afford my new lifestyle. With all the money I’m going to make from it I have wishlisted my way through Topshop and the entirety of Marni shoes available on theoutnet.com for when my ship comes in and my swanky new house needs some sweet, sweet merchandise to fill its shelves.

In case you are interested, here are some of the items I’ve “pre-bought”… in my head:

1. Alexander Wang Amelia flats: I’ve wanted these since they graced the runway in September therefore by the laws of the universe it’s only fair I own them now.

Alexander Wang Amelia flats
Alexander Wang Amelia flats

2. Marni Embellished Leather Loafers: They don’t even have these in my size and I’m still convinced I can buy them.
Marni Embellished Leather Loafers
Marni Embellished Leather Loafers

3. Alexander Wang Mini Rockie: Don’t tell me this bag is overpriced ok? Nobody believes you.
Alexander Wang Mini Rockie
Alexander Wang Mini Rockie

4. Topshop Spot Pleat Trousers: A more realistic wish yet still so far out of reach for someone who currently relies on their mum to keep the milk stocked in the fridge.
Topshop Spot Pleat Trousers
Topshop Spot Pleat Trousers

Street style and why it will never be me: M.I.A. at Ashish

M.I.A. at Ashish

By Terri Cluckie

Don’t ask me the source of this image because I reblogged it on Tumblr and who ever knows where things truly come from on Tumblr? I’m referring to it now because I still don’t understand the sorcery behind M.I.A.’s literal take on effortless style and how she manages to look so good… AT A FASHION SHOW. Like what is this witchery?

The last time I wore an oversized jumper with leggings and unbrushed hair was yesterday because I hadn’t showered and wasn’t leaving the house so there was no need to make an effort. I only regretted this choice when my Gran paid a surprise visit leaving me mortified as she told me I “stunk” in the most brutally honest yet still loving way that only a Gran can. You know what though, maybe it’s because I wasn’t holding a clutch and wearing a pair of white trainers at the same time… Yeah that’s why she didn’t get it.

It’s amazing how some people are just so naturally cool and how others (me) are so not. Ah life.

[Photo credit: mmatangi on Tumblr]

24 and pregnant: Figuring it out

Mean-Girls-Gym-Teacher

On the fears of motherhood and what comes next.

By Terri Cluckie

When I was in high school it seemed teen pregnancy was rife. Like literally everywhere so we had to do all we could to protect ourselves against this disease because it could bite us all and then our lives would be over. We were constantly prepared for what not to do through fear of what might happen, but not for what do to if it actually did happen – at any stage in life.

Now that I’m 24 and five months pregnant, it seems the tables have turned. Somewhere in the seven years that I left high school, teen pregnancy has all but disappeared and somehow we’re all waiting til we’re in our 30s to have babies – or so the articles I’ve been reading keep telling me. The thing is though I know this isn’t true because I myself know seven women, all different ages and at different stages in life, who have either just had a baby or are pregnant right now.

When I search online for advice on pregnancy and careers, all the wonder women who are featured are older than I am, have already had a start in their careers, are killing it, and even though they struggled, are apparently definitely making it work. I love these stories; they are inspirational but they also make me scared and feel slightly under-accomplished (get over yourself, Terri).

But really, what happens when you fall pregnant and you don’t have your life sorted out already? And how many people are laughing at me for saying that? If Girls and Sex and the City has taught me anything it’s that actually nobody has it figured out, period, but that doesn’t always stop the mind from spinning.

Let me share with you my story. Up until a few months ago I was living in New Zealand as a writer for a publishing company. I am now unemployed and living with my mum back in my hometown in Scotland (my inner comedian actually loves this story). So right now I’m trying to figure out how one adjusts their life when they’ve had to leave one and start another. How do you get your “career” back on track when, 1) You have a tiny life growing inside of you and, 2) Are you sure you even have a ‘career’ in the first place? These are questions I ask myself on a daily basis and it’s a roller coaster because some days my mind thinks, ‘WHY? WHAT? HOW?’ and then other days it’s, ‘Terri, you will find your way. It’s only been two months. You really need to relax.’ But I can’t relax because that’s not what I do.

I’m not afraid to be a mother, I’m not afraid of how much my life is going to turn upside down in a mere four months. I can’t wait to meet my son and each day my stomach grows, it fills me with pride and real happiness. I’m so excited to have a baby with someone I love. What terrifies me is the thought that my son might not have a happy life (a burden that will follow me to my grave now) and the thought of losing myself in the midst of motherhood. These are scary things to me. I’m only 24 and I barely know myself, how am I meant to raise a tiny guy so that he has the best life possible while simultaneously figuring things out for myself?

It would seem I’m also terrified of already screwing up my chance at a non-existent career which is ridiculous because other than write I really don’t know what I want to do with myself anyway. And truthfully, if it weren’t for my baby I would still be stuck in a place that I was actually miserable in. So why is it then that pregnancy has me suddenly terrified of ruining something I didn’t have in the first place?

I could blame a million things but stopping reading articles that don’t relate to me would be a start. I’m usually good at switching off to things I don’t like but when something is playing on your mind that can be difficult – like birthing videos. Why are they always on your YouTube suggestions when you least need them?

Life is full of adjustments and unexpected turns and only time will tell. Maybe not much will change; maybe everything will change. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m going to have an extra best friend to take with me.

295c2370-480f-0132-41c9-0ebc4eccb42f

I haven’t figured it all out yet but these are a few sources that get me through the day whenever I’m experiencing a trough on the roller coaster:

1. Jessica Grose – she is a writer of many things, but I mainly read her work at Slate.com where she writes about women’s issues and being a parent. Her articles helped me a lot when I first found out I was pregnant, particularly this one: The Case for Having Kids in Your 20s.
2. Jessica is also the editor-in-chief of Lenny Letter which is another goldmine of information about women from all walks of life, mothers or not. I always find it provides me with guidance even when I’m not looking for it.
3. Tamira Jarrel – a beauty blogger who also happens to be a Mum of two. She doesn’t necessarily talk about being a mother but for me it’s nice to know someone around my age can be successful on their own terms while juggling motherhood.
4. The Pool – a website for women that covers everything. Check out their candid Parenting Honestly section. It’s pretty brilliant.

[Photo credits: www.bustle.com and Google Images]

It’s all in your head: Thinking you have style when actually, you don’t

Audrey 2

By Terri Cluckie

My best friend once told me I reminded her of Audrey Hepburn because we apparently share the same quirks. I still take this comment as one of the biggest compliments I have achieved in life so far, and as such, I like to pretend that in my mind I am in fact, Audrey Hepburn.

We both have fair skin, brown hair, excellent eyebrows, and a sense of humour (I’m obviously referring to past-Audrey, may she RIP). But one thing I can’t actually nail is her impeccable style. It’s probably one of the most important things about her in my eyes because she was not just a very accomplished woman, but a very accomplished, stylish woman. And I am not.

I don’t need to go through the style archives of Audrey with you, we all know what she looks like and what she wore. We all also know she would have made a dirty bin liner look good. But humour me for a second. Imagine her in an all black long-sleeved top, cigarette pants and ballet pump ensemble. Classic, easy. You would think. I would think. I mean shit, it’s an all black outfit. The thing I have the problem with though are the cigarette pants because it seems every person on the planet looks good in cigarette pants but me. Like what is wrong with my body that I can’t pull them off? Actually, it’s difficult for me to pull of anything that’s not stuck to my legs which is why skinny jeans have been my best friend since 2007.

Audrey three

But anyway. I know I can’t be alone when I talk about my frustrations in not being able to manifest my thoughts into reality. You would think it would be easy for me to recreate the above look but my ability to find the perfect pair of black trousers seems to hold me back, as does my ability to put together an outfit apparently. But how can this be true when it all makes sense in my head?

In my head I’m already gliding through town in that outfit just like Audrey would… I’ve also got a friend by my side who takes random candid photos of me for my Tumblr blog just like those others girl… but that’s just all in my head.

This trend of not being able to follow through happens to me a lot in life. It is a concentration thing – not paying attention to the little opportunities that can make big things happen. It’s acting with purpose and it really shouldn’t be as deep as this but it is.

I used to think it was a confidence thing, being too shy to dress a certain way which is something Leandra Medine has even spoken about. That shocked me because I thought she was the most confident person in the world but if someone like her can have quiet days then there is definitely hope for the rest of us.

What I’m pitching here is a pledge to concentrate and be more decisive when I’m shopping – so important in life I know, but I’ll be damned if I continue on through my twenties never really becoming the person I know I can be!

[Photo credits: Google Images]