Inspiring Places

Sometimes I will come across a place which floods me with inspirations, peacefulness or just a feeling of content. These sorts of places don't come around often so it's always a feeling I'll remember. I have been so lucky to be able to travel to a few places over the years and I've found some places that I've just fallen in love with.

One of my favourite places is and always be London. I've heard some people saying they're 'over' London but I feel more and more inspired every time my feet step out of the tube station. Seeing the people talking and taking in the atmosphere is the most refreshing feeling for me. Being stuck in my house, town or at work is so claustrophobic sometimes, and with nothing new going on there's no excitement either. In my eyes London could never become boring, it's one of the places that just fills me up with so many ideas.

I have also had the opportunity to go to countries that I may have never thought to go to as my first choice of destination. A few years ago I went with my school to Malaysia & Borneo; it was the most incredible experience and one I'll never forget. I experienced so many new things and although it was challenging, I got to see some stunning views that I would never see closer to home. We went from living in the jungle for a week to relaxing on an island for another - both of those extremes were amazing. It gave me such a hunger for more - more trips, new countries and amazing cultures. The time we spent on the islands was one of the most peaceful periods of my life.

The third place that I constantly wish to go back to is Paris. I fell in love with it when I was lucky enough to go on a school trip with my art course. We visited huge museums, the Sacré-Coeur, the Eiffel Tower amongst other things. Despite there being a lot of people in those places, they were just so peaceful. I went to Paris a second time with my family and it was so great to experience these beautiful surroundings together. 

In my daily life, I really forget about the beautiful things I have around me. Looking back on photos I have makes me realise how lucky I am to have been to these gorgeous places and how excited I am to plan more trips. Even stepping back into London, the place I first fell in love with, feels like the biggest breath of fresh air, no matter how many times I go. I can't wait to fall in love with more of the world.

What are your most inspirational or exciting places to visit?

Girls Should Never Be Afraid To Be Smart

As many of you know, today is International Women's Day. I'm hoping you've been exposed to lots of inspiring, educational and motivational pieces like I have. 

I trawled through hundreds of quotes to find one that summed up how I feel about today, what it means to be a woman, the struggles and the triumphs. I have to admit to you all, there is not one single quote that encapsulates all of those feelings and points. I think this is a really good thing because you are so individual, wether you're a female or male reading this, you will relate to something or some one differently to one another.

One thing I found really interesting whilst looking into these quotes is realising how important they all were, but some were poignant to me than others. It may be my age or situation in life that makes me feel and understand these quotes differently from others, but that's okay. 

I feel uneducated and privileged when it comes to feminism, however I have had my own challenges to overcome as a women. 
By uneducated I mean I understand, but not to the fullest extent. My sister is such a great example of a women who understands and she is an absolute inspiration to me. She always stands up for herself and others regardless of who she's talking to or being challenged by. She is always ready to educate me when I ask for help or her views and opinions. I look up to her in this respect and I will admit myself I probably need to be louder when it comes to my voice in all of this.

When I say I am privileged I don't mean to say I am wealthy, but privileged in the sense that I have not had as greater struggle as others around me. I am aware of the fight women of colour, transwomen, muslim women and disabled women had have and still have today. I understand the difference between our journeys and respect these women and the many more I haven't mentioned here.

In my workplace I have worked hard to be respected in a position of management as a young woman. I am grateful for my many mentors but I am also grateful to myself for pushing through the challenges. At some points in my career I have been surrounded by a male dominated team. I was lucky in that most of them were supportive of me and my goals, however at times it was a struggle to feel equal. I have been challenged directly and in-directly because I was a woman in a position of management and for me it was hard to believe that would be a reason for the situations arising.

What I think is beautiful is that despite all of the past and current battles each woman is facing, we are all one. Personally I am always learning from the women in my life. Wether they are a member of my family, a friend or even another woman I follow on Instagram, I am always learning.

I did find one quote I liked from Emma Watson - 'Girls should never be afraid to be smart'. 

For me this brings to mind a few things...

I should never be afraid to show that I am smart and intelligent, despite having been marked as stupid before. 
I should never be afraid to voice my opinion, though I may be scared of what people might think of me, it will always be smarter to speak up than be silent.
I should not be afraid to admit I am worth as much as the next person. 
I should never be afraid to be smart. Girls, Women, you should never afraid to be smart!

Who is your biggest female inspiration?

Holly Anastasia xx


Invest In Yourself

Does anyone else ever feel so motivated and so lost at the same time? One minute I'm insanely inspired and the next I am incredibly flat. I've always had big plans for myself and ever since I was young I've had a very determined - albeit sometimes very stubborn - mind. I believed I could do anything as long as I put my mind to it. For some reason that strong mind hasn't been with me recently and I've been trying to understand why.

Most of my friends are finishing their last year of university in a couple of months and I find it strange to see some of them being able to leave with a job and a full life plan, others with no idea at all. I chose not to go to uni, although I knew I would LOVE the social side, I was very fussy with courses and wasn't into the idea of studying something I wasn't 100% passionate about. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I had gone to uni but you can only have a 'what if' story and I'm not sure it's very healthy to do that.

I have always praised my friends dedication to their work and it will be such a huge proud friend moment for me when they all get their degrees! When their graduations come round, I do come back to the thought of wondering what I can show for those 3 years.

Maintaining motivation is hard work in itself and I think you have to have such discipline to do that, so I admire anyone who does! It's so easy to watch other peoples successes on social media and I am so into supporting one another, especially in the creative industry where it is so competitive now. However sometimes I feel like I get so involved in other peoples ventures that I stop watching and supporting myself.

One of my friends Sasha recently told me something and I've been thinking about it a lot recently. She said she could see that I am ambitious and could achieve so much but I need to put myself first. Not in a selfish way or to start disregarding other people and their feelings. Just that it was my time to look after me, do things that I want to, not just to please other people. 

After thinking about it a lot, I think she's right. I am such a people pleaser, I try and make everything work for everybody and hate to be told off or challenged for a decision I make. Even if it's the right choice for my body or mind, I still may do the opposite if someone wants me to. Her words resonated with me and I'm so glad she said it.

Being 21 years old I feel like I am at some sort of crossroad where every decision I make now will set my path in stone. That I only have 4 more years to achieve everything I need to or that I'm wasting time by not doing something or other. I know this is a feeling I have seen a lot of other 20-somethings express so at least I'm not the only one! For my next goal I will be trying to live out Sasha's words. 

I need to remember that I have already achieved so much in not many years and there is so much time for more! I'm going to start looking out for me. Of course I will continue to look out for others but I will be thinking about how my decisions effect my body and mind. I'm excited to think about my future and what I can make of it. I'm hoping if you're feeling a bit like me, that maybe my words (or Sasha's) may help you remember how much you've achieved, small or big. Remember how important you are and invest in yourself. 

Holly Anastasia xx

- Photography JKGPhotography
- Sasha's Instagram Here


Make Me Smile

So I am currently sitting in my lounge writing this post, full from a homemade dinner and tired from a busy day. I'm really not a morning person, however when I do get the motivation to get up early, it feels so good. Having a productive day getting things done just feels so uplifting, especially for me as I generally leave things I don't want to do to the last minute.

Todays' agenda was shooting more outfits, organising my room and gym. However the organising didn't happen as I had walked home from the train station in the snow and was wearing my slippers with a hot chocolate and the Kardashians on within 10 minutes of being in the house.

As some of you may realise, this top is just so ironic seeing as I basically never smile in photos! This is one thing my Mother gets very upset about.
I saw it and just thought it was so apt for me. In general I am a smiley person, I'm always laughing with my friends and for some reason I feel like I'm the ONLY person who smiles at strangers when I walk past. Does anyone else do this or is it just me?

My Mum says she used to call me 'happy Holly' because of the amount I smiled when I was younger. I reckon I've just become a bit of a poser and need to get back into the smiling in photos thing haha! I'll agree with anyone, any time of day on the fact a smile does look better on me!

For now though, I think we'll have to accept the irony and wait for those smiles to appear on my posts. I can assure you Mum, they will...

Holly Anastasia x

Holly Anastasia

You may notice my blog has changed a bit since you might have last seen it - mainly a name change. It used to be under the name 'Love From Anastasia'. However I felt I needed to re-vamp this so my blog is even more personal to me. As I've grown and developed my ideas in regards to my blog, my styling is becoming more 'me' rather than going with the flow and following trends. I'm still so inspired by fashion shows, editorials and other bloggers, however I'm starting to make decisions based always on my taste, rather than an exact outfit I've seen.

This change encouraged me to use my own name to post under. I love 'Holly Anastasia' as it really identifies me and who I am, so it feels right to link my blog with that same identity.

Recently I've been feeling so motivated and ready to get back to creating my own content! I recently shot with Jade and it felt so good to be styling again. I'm starting to fall back in love with fashion. Looking at London Fashion Week shows have also been inspiring and to see what's going on on the runway has inspired my own outfits.

I've definitely started to explore different looks recently as I feel I've forgotten to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. Being in full time work with a uniform for 40 hours a week doesn't give way for much time to go crazy when it comes to styling and trying new looks I like. 

Recently I went shopping with my friend in Brighton and I made it my full on mission to find interesting pieces that I loved. I thought it'd be so hard to put things together after taking such a long time out of styling, however it was actually so enjoyable. It was so uplifting to be so creative and feel so confident in these outfits. 

These trousers are from Pull And Bear here, however below is an option for a pair with a drawstring which I love!

I can't wait to share my new content with you!

Lots of love,
Holly Anastasia xx

Photography / JKGPhotography

© Holly Anastasia

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