Getting Out Of The Box

As I'm falling back in love with my blog, I feel a lot more creative and full of ideas. For the past few weeks I kept thinking that I have to find something unique, something interesting in me and use that one thing to make my work stand out. Whilst I have been looking for inspiration, that mindset has started to change.

I put some ideas out on my Instagram stories to see what you guys thought about my blog. It was so interesting to see what everyone preferred to see from me. However it got me thinking, what do I want to create? Do I want to write more? Style more? 

There is so much out there to write about, see, photograph and think about it's hard to know where to start. My early blogposts were fairly 'meh', I will admit. I loved the photography and styling but I really didn't give much thought to the rest of the content.  

On my Instagram my followers voted for Lifestyle posts over fashion, which does kind of make sense now, but it did make me rethink the way I look at my blog as a 'concept'. I always named myself a 'Fashion Blogger' because that's really the only category I fitted into for a while. Although I love fashion and still try and keep up with the industry, but I'm no fashion writer! Some of you guys said you wanted to see behind the scenes posts, gym or fitness content and most of you wanted posts on my blogs scheduled to specific days.

I love the idea of people always growing and learning and it's something I want for myself as well. I don't want to get stuck in a rut or become working on a one track mind. It's important to me to stay in the mentality that growing and opening my mind to new things will always benefit me. I'm starting to look into new things in regards to my blog. I want to create content that I love, some interesting topics, new concepts and works of art. It'll be interesting to see how these ideas pan out here. 

 I'm so glad I put those polls up on my instagram stories as it's really given me a great idea of what I want to create in the future. It's realigned my thoughts and opened up my mind of what I can do. Getting out of a box that you've defined yourself in for so long is so freeing, yet maybe not as easy as it sounds. The fact you guys supported my new ideas was so inspiring for me and has fuelled me on to create more and get out of my box.

 Love Holly Anastasia xx

Photography: JKGPhotography // Styling: Holly Edwards

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

© Holly Anastasia

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