Looking Sharp (and sweaty) in Ses Salines' Cactus Botanical Garden.

And Other Stories floral wrap dress | www.itscohen.co.uk
Bontanicactus Ses Salines, Mallorca | www.itscohen.co.uk
Botanical cactus garden mallorca | www.itscohen.co.uk
Botanical garden Mallorca | www.itscohen.co.uk
Cactus botanical garden mallorca | www.itscohen.co.uk
Chambray and Curls Blog | www.itscohen.co.uk
Chambray and Curls, Laura Neal | www.itscohen.co.uk
Holiday in Ses Salines, Mallorca | www.itscohen.co.uk
Holidays in Mallorca | www.itscohen.co.uk
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Rebecca cohen blog | www.itscohen.co.uk
What to do in Ses Salines | www.itscohen.co.uk

Botanicactus

We may have had something of a heatwave this year in the UK, however as I look outside at the grey skies drizzling I'm turning my memories (and clearing out my iPhoto) to last year's trip to Mallorca, and its Botanical Garden serving as a shrine to cactus: Botanicactus (got a ring to it, hasn't it?).

On our last day in Spain, Clare, Laura, Kate and I headed to this sun-trap to have a browse of what our future gardens could be like if we inherited a few acres of land and global warming kept going. A wide expanse of land dedicated to cultivating as many species of cactus and Mediterranean plants as possible, this was definitely Clare's suggestion, and I'm glad we went - even if my face looks a little grumpy thanks to the sticky heat!

Botanicactus is a bit of a trek if you're staying in Palma, however it wasn't too long a drive from where we were staying in Ses Salines. If you've got plenty of time to spare when on your holiday, then I'd definitely recommend a visit, however you're more than welcome to come round my flat if you want to see a lot of cactus in a small space of time.

There aren't currently any holiday plans for me this year - bar mine and Laura's trip to Paris a few months back - as frankly I'm skint and probably ought to spend some time in the flat I've spent years saving for. However, there is a lot going on at home with the (very imminent!) arrival of Clare and Joe's little one, Harriet and David's new arrival and wedding next year then a trip to Ibiza for Em's wedding next June - probably for the best that this year's a quiet one. brb, putting the kettle on and locking my purse away.
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A Half-Yearly Review: 2018 H1


Oops, I did it again. Another few months without a blog post, and without a long and rambling paragraph (or five) explaining where I went and why.

In all honesty, there wasn't a big "This Is It" moment which led me to stop blogging. There also weren't any external influences leading me to give up either. However, I have been thinking about dipping my toes again for a while now, and a car journey with Clare on Friday talking about the benefits of blogging for yourself as an online journal (yes I know, full circle blogging, back to the roots, blah blah blah), got me to stand on my kitchen chair and take the above photo with my 50mm lens, which has clearly seen better days.

So, just so it's on record for me to look back to on a rainy day at some point and for anyone who has a vague interest, this is my half-yearly review, looking back at the first half of 2018.


Home

Back in 2017 (3rd November to be precise), I picked up the keys to my first home.

Hallelujah, I can eat avocados again without the Telegraph raising an eyebrow and tutting at me.

I now live in the covetable M1 postcode (lol), in a two bed flat with exposed brickwork, four sash windows (of which two open) and a semi-functioning dishwasher. It's simultaneously great and absolutely terrifying. There's no letting agent to bitch about when your boiler isn't fixed within 3 milliseconds, and I now have a third bank account after my debit and credit cards that's got a big old minus in front of it.

However, as my mum put it when I was tearing my hair out with stress (more on that later) as my solicitors told me the vendor still wasn't replying to emails, the daily borderline heart attacks and reams of legal text will all be worth it when you can close the door behind you and know that it's yours. Yes, it's a flat rather than a house, meaning I don't own the building, but the secure aspect of knowing that I'm slowly working towards making sure I've got some kind of real asset in my life is reassuring. Of course, the crippling fear of the whole thing falling down one day or it depreciating in value by 50% is hanging over my head, but a lot of touching wood and stalking rightmove is helping me to panic slightly less.

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Career

You might not be able to tell, but I'm not a full-time #influencer. Yes, I have a blog I update as an when I fancy, but I've never been one to want to do that all day every day, which some people struggle to come to terms with the moment you hit publish.

Instead, I work for a fairly well known company within their beauty group. Yep, I made the transition from fashion to beauty in November last year, and I think it was a good choice, you know. There were a few hiccups in the changeover, but now I'm in a highly motivated team and learning things daily. It's also the first time I've ever worked as a retailer as opposed to a brand, so learning the nuances of this aspect is a learning curve, and one I know will be beneficial long-term. I'm ecommerce through and through, so it's great to get to know the fast-paced industry from another angle.


Health

Perhaps one of the hardest changes for me to deal with this year, all my hair fell out. I've had alopecia for quite a while now. I first noticed patches falling out when I was at university. In fact, I can distinctly remember taking these blog photos and point blank refusing to shoot any of the back of my head as a fair bit of hair, or what felt like it at the time, had fallen out at the nape of my neck. Fast forward five years, and I can count a grand total of three hairs on my head, so things have clearly got "worse".

If I were to pinpoint the lowest day, it's a toss-up between the day I decided to not leave the house without something on my head (a hat or wig) ever again or the day I realised my eyelashes were falling out too. The main thing I struggle with is the complete lack of control over my situation; I'm not sick with this being a side-effect of a drug, and I'm definitely not making an anti-establishment fashion statement.

I go through phases with how I feel about it. One day I can shrug my shoulders and get on with things, on other days I'll be crying through an episode of Love Island because I've seen someone brushing through cheap hair extensions, so I just take each day as it comes.


Fitness

I now semi-willingly go to the gym. I do appreciate the irony of having the time to type this blog post up, due to having sacked off today's classes, however it's something I find less and less intimidating as time goes on.

It's fair to say I'm not #bodygoals or whatever weird fitness fad is going down on the gram this week However I feel stronger and more comfortable in my body, so count that as winner. After a lot of umming and ahhing about getting on board with a PT, I've finally bit the bullet and booked in with a personal trainer in Manchester. Sarah was the person who helped me make it to the top of Snowdon, so I'm sure she'll help me with my overall fitness goals, in spite of my near constant moaning.



Friends and Family

As I become more settled in Manchester (come on, I bought a bloody house, I've clearly committed to it in some way), I've become a lot more settled with my life here as a whole. About a year ago, I quite regularly got upset about living so far away from friends and family, however I'm definitely a lot more chilled out with these relationships now.

It's always hard to feel like you're the one putting in the effort with the four hour train journeys every month. But as life here settles into a more long-term rather than day-by-day routine, I'm learning to accept more and essentially chill out.

As regards friends in Manchester, I'm more than happy with my lot! I'm lucky enough to have met a lot of people I respect and admire in the three jobs I've worked since moving to the city, and I already know that these are friends for life.


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Not being up to date.

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The Classics


Another Dublin throwback, while I sit here wearing several layers watching Sunday Brunch with rain gently (for once) falling outside. If there's something I love about the Irish city, it's its architecture. I love all the red brick in Manchester (I mean, I ought to, as I've just bought an exposed brick dream), but I am a massive sucker for Georgian architecture and its symmetry; handily, this is available by the bucketload in Dublin. We had a little wander around St Stephen's Green and Merrion Square, paid my dues at the Oscar Wilde House (sadly closed)

To complement the classic architecture, I wore my old classic combination of a wideleg culottes jumpsuit and a silk blouse. If you believe I planned this, then you're a sorry naΓ―ve fool, but I'm happy that the two so serendipitously combined. I'm still umm-ing and ahh-ing as to whether I can get away with wearing this to my Christmas party, whilst also wondering whether I should just go out and buy all the sequins: life is so darn hard. If you've seen anything standout, please do send me a link on twitter @rebeccacohen!

Other than the work christmas do, most of the festivities this year are currently pretty lowkey, taking place round people's houses or mine. Mince pies and christmas trees a'plenty, and maybe a bottle of mulled wine or five too. I've been spending a lot of time with Laura recently, which has been great, but looking forward to catching up with my girls when I'm back down South (including ones you know, like Jazmine and Kavita!). It's all been very go, go, go recently, but somehow I've managed to not make plans this weekend so I've been enjoying eating everything and can confirm I'm up to date with vlogmas - something I never thought I'd say, particularly when I'm still posting photos here from August...

I'm considering writing up a "year in review" style blog post before 2017's up as it's been a very busy one for me, so if I get another chance to have an hour or so typing up, expect to see that soon!

What I Wore.


Warehouse culottes jumpsuit. Warehouse silk blouse. Claudie Pierlot chelsea boots. Urban Outfitters bag.
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Hello, I'm Rebecca: social media exec, new-ish coffee drinker and loafer-wearer.
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