Although this year has been the one I have posted least on my blog, it has, I believe, been my most creative year yet. 2018 for me has been a year of healing and incredible growth regarding my self-esteem, self-worth and independence.

I have learnt to accept and move on from the past by creating and seeking new opportunities for myself, and am realising what's important to me to live a fulfilling life of purpose.

thank u, next year: Reflecting on 2018

You may know that Chouchou is where I interned in summer 2016, which gave me the additional opportunity of living abroad for the first time in Barcelona for 10 weeks. Since then, Silvia (founder of Chouchou) and I have kept in touch working on a couple of exciting projects together. So I was thrilled when Silvia asked if I'd like to style one of her newest and most colourful designs - the Kimono Love Top in the bold floral Bombshell print.

Chouchou is an independent brand founded in Glasgow by Silvia Pellegrino. I'm so glad to continue to be involved with the brand as Silvia is an incredible business woman. She may not know it but her enthusiasm, success and belief in my abilities gives me the confidence to strive to be a go-getter myself.

While I was interning for Chouchou, Silvia created a one-of-a-kind denim-look kimono jacket with faux fur edged collar. For this summer, she has reimagined the kimono design into a lighter top perfect for the warmer weather we're currently being treated to in Scotland.

When planning how to style the Kimono Love Top, I just couldn't decide on one way, so here are two for you to enjoy. The first with red asymmetrical dress underneath makes me want to salsa the night away whilst the second below features a floral sequin skirt I bought from Topshop last week. You might have seen this mini skirt as part of a co-ord on my Instagram a few days ago - it's giving me ultra psychedelic vibes.

The Kimono Love Top comes in a second print called Candy. Candy is also floral but in a pastel pink colour and not quite as graphic as Bombshell. Take a look on Chouchou's website and see which print you prefer.

And if you're loving this beautiful top as much as I am, you should definitely check out the rest of Silvia's new designs including bodysuits and co-ords in more standout prints as well as an all-sequin black hooded top which is just incredible.

Which of the new Chouchou designs is your favourite? Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram @copperpink!

You can keep up to date with Chouchou on Instagram @chouchoucouture or by signing up to their newsletter on their website.

Styling Chouchou's New Kimono Love Top

Hello hello!

If you follow me over on Instagram @copperpink, you may have already seen this Amsterdam travel vlog on the new IGTV platform. But if you haven't or if you're not a fan of vertical/portrait videos, then I have good news for you! I have managed to edit the IGTV version into horizontal/landscape dimensions and have now uploaded to YouTube. You are most welcome.

Vlog: Amsterdam Antics Day One

Aside from my patchy lobster sunburn and ridiculous hay fever, I have been loving the sun we've had in Scotland the past few weeks. One thing I especially enjoy about warmer weather is my wardrobe. I am someone who loves to chuck on a top and shorts without having to worry about layers, how cold it's going to be, should I bring an extra jumper just in case and oh yes where will I put my 10 jackets once I arrive to wherever it is I'm going?

One summer piece I have wanted for a while now is my very own Hawaiian or Aloha shirt. I used to think they were only for 'shit shirt' nights, but with 'dad style' trending and the hot weather requiring looser fabrics, I decided to give them a go. I think they're pretty cool now. And I'm cool for saying 'cool'. 😎

copperpink copper pink scotland scottish edinburgh leith shore fashion fitness wellbeing summer ootd hawaiian aloha shirt startup waterfront canal hot weather forecast

copperpink copper pink scotland scottish edinburgh leith shore fashion fitness wellbeing summer ootd hawaiian aloha shirt startup waterfront canal hot weather forecast

Photography by Alice from Twenty-Something City

I went for a classic tropical palm leaf print with bright red (hibiscus?) flowers. If you're going to get a Hawaiian shirt you may as well go all in. Mine is from the beautiful collection of retro-looking shirts at Pie in the Sky in Edinburgh on Cockburn Street. This is a fab shop loved by both locals and tourists, selling a mix of groovy clothes (including Isolated Heroes), feminist pins, pride patches, Manic Panic hair dye and so much more.

What makes this shirt so special to me is that I bought it whilst with my friend Mona, who was staying with me in Edinburgh for a few days. Although Mona and I both go to RGU in Aberdeen, we actually met for the first time in Toronto, Canada during our study abroad semester last year. This was Mona's first time in Edinburgh and it was incredible showing her round my hometown. I always feel so proud and grateful to live in Edinburgh when I see how much admiration newcomers have for the city.

copperpink copper pink scotland scottish edinburgh leith shore fashion fitness wellbeing summer ootd hawaiian aloha shirt startup waterfront canal hot weather forecast

copperpink copper pink scotland scottish edinburgh leith shore fashion fitness wellbeing summer ootd hawaiian aloha shirt startup waterfront canal hot weather forecast

But it's not just Mona's visit that makes this shirt and outfit special to me. Oh no, there's another part to the story. Do you see these high waisted denim shorts with the sensually deep pockets? I can't resist a practical deep pocket or two.

These shorts, now my favourite shorts, were bought in Toronto, Canada during Mona and I's study abroad semester last year. I remember arriving late August, not realising how high the temperature would still be. I was expecting autumn (or fall as they say in Canada) and was met with a burning summer followed by an unexpected heatwave. So in my first week I headed to vintage shop Public Butter and picked up these shorts for just $20 (about £12).

I pretty much only wear high waisted garments now. I think the cut is so flattering and yes it does help to suck in my lower stomach when I'm bloated from periods/life or have just eaten too much lol. Not only that, I feel more secure in high waisted than low waisted items and hence much more comfortable and confident when going about my day.

Did I mention the practical deep pockets? These are definitely my favourite shorts.

copperpink copper pink scotland scottish edinburgh leith shore fashion fitness wellbeing summer ootd hawaiian aloha shirt startup waterfront canal hot weather forecast

copperpink copper pink scotland scottish edinburgh leith shore fashion fitness wellbeing summer ootd hawaiian aloha shirt startup waterfront canal hot weather forecast

Check that low-angle shot. Am I a model yet?

Another thing I do love about my shirt is how many different ways you can style it. I do like to wear it open in summer to keep me cool, but sometimes I'll wear it closed to fool people into thinking I own more clothes than I do (this doesn't work).

I am also a fan of buttons as if you are having a day where you're not feeling very body confident (which we all do), you can wear the shirt closed. But if you do feel more confident during the day you can unbutton as much as you like. This also means you can dress it up for night and play about with tucking it in, wrapping, tying and safety-pinning all over the place. I have two safety pins in below.

My next challenge is to attempt this very creative styling with my Hawaiian shirt as shown by Sheri/Betty from Forever Yours Betty.

A post shared by Mairi πŸ’– Lifestyle Blogger (@copperpink) on
I don't know if you have noticed or not, but I have recently been trying to create more and higher quality outfit shoots and images for the blog and Instagram. So whilst I'm still a little out of my comfort zone in terms of posing for photographs, I hope you'll start to see improvement and that I can provide you with some really valuable content through these pretty pictures. Each shoot gives me the motivation to keep pushing forward regarding my creativity and self-esteem, even if I sometimes feel a little awkward during.

Big thanks to Alice from Twenty-Something City for actually inviting me to shoot with her, otherwise I'd probably still be on my sofa wishing I was out doing them!

One way for me to feel comfortable during shoots is to wear clothes that I genuinely feel confident in. The special memories I associate with my Hawaiian shirt and high waisted shorts give me that confidence. If you're feeling a little less fab than usual one day, try wearing a piece with a special memory for you.

How is your summer going? Do you have any special summer pieces in your wardrobe?

P.S. I uploaded my first vertical vlog on IGTV - it's a travel vlog about my first day in Amsterdam and you can watch it here. Let me know what you think!

Aloha Summer: Hawaiian Shirts and High Waisted Shorts

I love discovering super simple ways to lead a more sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyle. This post is inspired by the Today We Will newsletter which I have been signed up to for a while now. Created by Olivia Gossett Cooper, the not-for-profit newsletter shares a variety of sustainability tips which are easy to incorporate into our daily lives.

Knowing where to start when wanting to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle can be daunting, but Today We Will makes it much more accessible for me. Sometimes we have a mindset of 'all or nothing' and give up before trying because it's just too overwhelming. We can feel like our actions as an individual won't really make a difference.

But something as easy as not using a plastic straw for one week still cuts down the overall global usage. Try and think of this when deciding whether your actions are worth it or not. As Olivia states on Today We Will, it is about the "collective big impact" which wouldn't exist without our individual actions, no matter how big or small.

Nobody is perfect and it's not always possible or realistic to make certain environmentally friendly lifestyle choices, but here are five that should be pretty easy to adopt to live sustainably this summer.

1. Buy non-packaged watermelon

Ah yes, watermelon, one of summer's most popular fruits. Watermelon juices have been popping up all over the shop recently which means you may be craving the fruit itself very soon thanks to accompanying adverts. When you do cave into your watermelon craving, please buy a whole fruit, rather than pre-packaged slices. It may be easier, but that plastic is definitely not easier on the environment.

Not only will you be protecting the environment, but it's also cheaper for you. From my research at Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury's, a watermelon providing about 4 to 7kg of edible watermelon (not the rind) is £2 - £3. Packaged options are on a whole other level. Sainsbury's sells 400g of watermelon chunks for £2. So 4kg worth of chunks (4kg being the minimum edible average of a whole watermelon) would cost you £10. TEN POUNDS. Prices at time of writing.

Instead you could just buy the whole watermelon for £2 - 3 and get many more grams for your money. All whilst protecting the environment without all that plastic packaging. Now go buy that beautifully spherical green non-packaged whole watermelon.

2. Sleep naked

I sleep naked whether the sun is shining or snow is falling but I know a lot of you won't have tried this before. The first time may feel a little unusual, but I have felt very liberated since ditching PJs and bed socks. I also believe my body confidence has increased because of it. How does this help the environment you ask? Well, simply because it reduces the amount of laundry you do, saving energy.

If you wear your pyjamas to lounge around in, do what I do and have one or two sets that you use solely for this purpose (no sleeping in them!) This means you don't have to wash them every time you wear them, because it's only your household that will be subject to your B.O. If they complain, just tell them you're saving the planet. You can't argue with that.

3. Buy biodegradable eco-friendly sun screen

I had never heard of biodegradable sun screen before Today We Will brought it to my attention. The trouble with sun screen is that many chemicals found in the substance damage the ocean and coral reefs. I absolutely love holidaying on white sandy beaches, but I hate the thought I am harming the natural environment whilst doing so.

In all honesty I am still a little unsure about which brands are most eco-friendly or biodegradable, but that's why we have doctors and scientists and experts to help us out. This article by Jess Denham on the Independent lists 5 environmentally friendly sun screens. They are expensive, but while more research is done (by the scientists and myself) I think this list is a good place to start.

Right now I have my bottle of Neutrogena sunscreen by my side, which contains 3 chemicals noted in the article on The Independent as causing harm to the environment. Once this bottle is done, I'll look into buying a more sustainable alternative, hopefully one a little cheaper than the 5 listed.

4. Order summer drinks on tap, not a can or glass bottle

This is another choice I've never really given much thought to. When asked if you'd prefer tap or a can/bottle what do you say? I was pretty amazed to learn from this article (via Today We Will) that in terms of packaging per serving kegs are actually lighter than glass bottles, meaning less packaging is used overall.

What I drank from used to make no difference to me, but now that I know it's more sustainable to have a drink from a keg rather than can or glass bottle, I'll be ordering on tap whenever possible.

5. Eat your ice cream in a cone and ditch the tub

Guilty as charged. I almost always buy my ice cream in a tub simply because I don't like finishing my ice cream and being left with a dry cone. But in a lot of places these tubs are unfortunately not recyclable. Add to that the cute rainbow but not-so-cute-because-it-is-plastic spoon you also use and it's not a very environmentally friendly treat at all.

By switching to a cone you can enjoy your ice cream sustainably. And for those of you, like me, who dislike having a dry cone to eat at the end, I offer you two options:

  1. Master the art of pushing your ice cream down the cone with your tongue throughout the eating activity. This will not be graceful, but you will be saving the planet with every nudge of the tongue.
  2. Find a friend, relative or hungry stranger who will demolish the cone for you.

I hope you have found these tips helpful and that you can try and adopt even one or two this summer! If you'd like more easy tips on how to live a more sustainable life, I highly recommend subscribing to the Today We Will newsletter I mentioned at the start of the post. Let me know if you sign up!

Have an amazing and sustainable summer friends.

Outfit photography by Alice from Twenty-Something City.

5 Ways to Live Sustainably This Summer

You know that exciting project or job you want to start but are putting off until the 'right time', until you feel prepared and 100% ready? Here's the truth - you may never feel ready, and there will never be a 'right time'.

Imposter Syndrome: Pushing Through Self-Doubt and Comfort Zones

Well hello there, it's been a wee while hasn't it. Although the blog hasn't been popping recently, I've still been happily active on Instagram. And one thing I did promise not so long ago on Insta Stories was a review of my new sportswear - the Gymshark Women Energy Seamless high waisted leggings and sports bra set in Purple Wash.

Gymshark is a British sportswear brand that has gained customers and popularity partly due to its heavy use of influencer marketing, particularly on Instagram. I have followed some fitness influencers for a while now who are sponsored by Gymshark, and must admit I have indeed been drawn in by the pretty poses, crop tops and especially the super high waists which I find very flattering.

The brand has gained a mass following creating hype by introducing new collections or 'dropping new releases' at specific times with limited stock, encouraging customers to buy as soon as they are released to avoid missing out on new designs. But I want to find out if the product lives up to its hype, what I view as the digital equivalent of loyally camping outside a new store 12 hours before its grand opening.

At £42 for the seamless leggings and £28 for the sports bra, this isn't the cheapest workout wear. But it isn't the most expensive either. Thus I gave into my wants and justified the purchase to myself by promising I would review it for the blog - so here we are. For a completely honest and unbiased review from a frugal student including tales of unwelcome camel toe, free returns (for UK, USA and Canada) and VPL (visible panty line), please continue reading.

Gymshark - Worth the Hype? Energy Seamless Review

After spending the first three weeks of my recent move settling into my new surroundings in Glasgow, my sister Helen visited from Edinburgh for a day of exploring, the main event being a trip to the trendy new Gin Spa in Merchant City.

The Gin Spa was opened in December 2017 by the owners of Gin71, a bar dedicated to all things gin, and claims to be the first botanically inspired day spa in the world. Gin is probably my sister and I's favourite alcohol (although I have been cutting down recently) so of course we had to try it.

Gin Spa Review, Glasgow

Yup you read correctly.

This Edinburgh lass made the (temporary) move to the west coast to Glasgow city centre three weeks ago. As expected when moving, I was a tad apprehensive but also excited. And I can now happily say I have settled in well to my new living and working situation. Why the move?

Well, for second semester of my third year at university (Fashion Management at Robert Gordon in Aberdeen, remember?), I am undertaking a 12 week work placement in Glasgow. Understandably, I was ecstatic when I discovered I had been selected for my first choice of placement! I am now working as Fashion, Beauty and Interiors Intern for The Herald & Times Group, working within the Saturday and Sunday Herald papers distributed in Glasgow. After just three weeks in the fashion cupboard, I am confident this is the placement for me and am thoroughly enjoying my work and responsibilities. One of my main projects whilst at The Herald is launching and growing the fashion department's presence on Instagram. You can follow us at @theheraldfashion - it would mean the world to me if you show your support!

A Breath of Fresh Air - Moving to Glasgow and My Fashion Internship

A Breath of Fresh Air - Moving to Glasgow and My Fashion Internship

Yesterday I returned home from a beautiful escape in Thailand. What better way to start the year than with winter sun for a much-needed boost of energy to beat the January blues? On January 6th, I flew out to Hua Hin, Thailand, to visit my good friend Lauren who moved there just a couple of months ago to teach English. As much as this was a great opportunity for me to have a holiday with free accommodation (thank you Lauren), it was also rehabilitating mentally to spend time with such a lovely friend in such a lovely place as Hua Hin.

Top 5 Activities in Hua Hin, Thailand

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