What do wide-leg trousers and Trafford Centre yoga have in common?

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Photos by Clare.

Trying something new.

Last weekend, when these photos were taken, was a weekend of firsts. I know that I can be pretty blasé when it comes to giving things a go (I direct you to most of my activities in life), so this may come as no surprise to you, but these photos sum up two very big (well...) firsts for me.

1. Fast yoga in the middle of the Trafford Centre.
Picture this: email pops up asking if you'd like to give yoga a go. Sure? you think. Why not? you nod. And without a second thought you and Clare (we missed you Laura!) are in your gym kit, headed towards the Trafford Centre. Now, I'm no yoga aficionado - getting there, maybe one day - but I've been to a few classes and sort of know what I'm doing. Add the fact you're in the middle of the bloody Trafford Centre in the mix and things start to get a little terrifying. Of course, when faced with this kind of situation you have two options: drink, or laugh your way through it. Seeing as it was about 3pm, the former wasn't really an option, so instead I accepted the situation for what it was and chuckled my way through the entire session. A massive thanks to Lighter Life Fast for inviting us as, despite my misgivings when I saw its location, I did end up enjoying it. And when I do yoga next time, I'll be able to boss it in the comfort of a purpose-built studio.

2. Wide-leg trousers.
Thought this was a let down after point one? Mate, you don't know the struggle. Since my pair of Tammy Girl flared jeans I LOVED as a little one (I was probably 13, but whatever), I've been a skinny jean wearer through and through. Of course, being a long-time Alexa Chung fangirl, I'd been keeping an eye on M&S's collaboration with the IT girl and headed to the massive one in central Manchester to form my own opinions of the collection on launch day. I took a few bits to the changing rooms, and couldn't have been more surprised with the outcome. The Harry dress, what I'd thought would've been a dead cert, is so see-through I don't know how anyone's managed to convince themselves it's a worthwhile purchase, and the Ada blazer fits way too boxy for anyone with more than a B size boob. But, slap me silly and call me Susan, I was impressed with the Ada trousers. I'm not sure what's happened to me, but in a funny half hour I handed over forty quid and took them home with me. Don't get me wrong, they stayed in my wardrobe unworn for a good fortnight, as I ummed and ahhed as to whether I ought to return them or not, but I thought this weekend were as good as any to give 'em a go. I've worn them as pared down as possible with my new shoes (cue: it must be love, love, love) and my ever-faithful white tee, and you know what? I don't know what I was stressing about: it's all okay.
Top tip: if your wide-leg trousers start to go a little static-y and stick to your legs, spray the inside with a light layer of hairspray and it'll fix the problem right away.

Back to the present: this weekend's first was Northern Soul's grilled cheese sandwich and I'm never looking back. brb, cheese coma.

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And so the the story begins: city dweller.

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Making a rented house a home

What I started with:
A bed, bedside table, teeny tiny wardrobe and beautiful windows.

What I've added:
Pink velvet cushion, bell jar base lamp, pink lampshade, make up rack (which is technically a spice rack, but you just try and stop me) and stone base candle holder: all c/o Laura Ashley.
Roberts radio (which was a very kind birthday present), Homesense vase, M&S photo frame (I bought it in the January sales, so there might be 1 or 2 hanging around), and cards from lots of lovely people.

Bedside table essentials:
Evermore London candle, M&S candle holder, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, Caudalie vinosource eye cream, Kiehl's moisturiser, Morris & Co hand cream, good books and a couple of issues of Stylist magazine.


After weeks and weeks of staying in airbnbs, who would've thought I'd actually end up here? Everyone's had their moments of homelessness (or is that just my friends and I?), but I moved into my new place in Ancoats with Laura almost two months ago and it's finally starting to feel like a lil corner of Essex in Manchester. As I moved up with my faithful suitcase in tow, I didn't cart up all my belongings in one go, which meant I had to do one thing: go shopping. Obvious things aside (me carting a duvet and pillows back from the Arndale centre was a sight, I'm sure, it bloody felt it), there were just a few things on my list to make things feel a little bit more like home. As anyone who knows me is well aware, I'm a big ol' fan of the guys at Laura Ashley. I often pop into their shop in Chelmsford to get away from Missoula's DJs the hustle and bustle, and love making mental lists of Things I Need, and pinning them for later. Turns out, they look just as perfect in Manchester as they did in Essex, and I was lucky enough to be sent a few pieces as a little housewarming (flatwarming?) present.

I won't chat for too long, but if you want to hear my tips on how to decorate a rented place then hop on over to the Laura Ashley blog.
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I'll have the usual.

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The new monochrome uniform.

Is it a blogger sin to upload two almost identical monochrome outfits, one after the other? Cos, it's happening, and I'm not even about to apologise. I've found myself reaching for the same old pieces time and time again, relying on what etailers constantly call "basics" (mate, you trying to tell me something?), whatever the weather and whatever the season. Of course, my leather jacket is my child and cost about the same, so it will always, always be a staple in my wardrobe. Add in this super soft (and super cheap: £8!!) white tee that I now have in several colours, a slightly straight, slightly a-line faux leather skirt and my kinda boxfresh trainers 100% inspired by Natalie, and you've got yourself an outfit straight out of Cohen-ton. Maybe it's because I'm not a morning person, or maybe it's because I'm slowly developing a sense of style, but it sure is handy when you wake up after snoozing three alarms and need to shower and be on a bus to work stat.

Much like walking into the pub, making eye contact with the bar-tender (HI SCOTT) and then immediately cracking open a cider, it's always good to have those things you can rely on. If we're talking drinks, cheeses, shops and coffee, then I don't see why clothes, shapes and fits don't fit onto the same list. I like my slouchy tees and crew neck jumpers, and find that they're the kind of things you can dress up and down to make the most of whatever crap you decide to spontaneously purchase from asos after you've had a gin and missed the returns cut-off date for.

I'll never stick to monochrome outfits 100% of the time, but as long as I've got the same reliable shapes and fabrics, it's fair to say I'm on to a winner. And, as the saying goes, if it ain't broke wear a stripy t-shirt. And I have a lot of those to hand.

What I'm wearing:
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Hello, I'm Rebecca: social media exec, new-ish coffee drinker and loafer-wearer.
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