Posts tagged Instagram
Get on my Instagram

My relationship with Instagram has long been a tumultuous one. To start, I refused vehemently to get the app. Then, of course, I developed major FOMO and caved. Then, year after year, I saw how Instagram came to increasingly control everyone's life. Everything revolved around Instagram. How to get more followers, how to get someone to tag you in their post, how to become Insta-FAMOUS and thereby live a life of luxury on a yacht with P-Diddy throwing dolla-bills into the ocean.

I am on Instagram. Yes. But I haven't always enjoyed it. And, I'm guessing you haven't either. 

Jennifer Inglis Johnson's Shut Ins State Park

Wow. Look how pretty.

How transparent do you want to be?

Anxiety. Self-doubt. Severe, crippling fear that you are on the OUTSIDE... looking in at strangers/brands/friends who have something wonderful that you do not have, that you NEVER will have. Magic. Sparkles. Heart eyes. It isn't real. 

Often I have wondered (and continue to wonder) why I am even on Instagram. Why do I have it on my phone? Why do I look through my feed? Why do I take time out of my day to post a photo or a story? Is it worthwhile? Is it productive? Is this setting a good example for my daughter and/or my friends? Am I fueling the fire that holds the hearts of people who feel inadequate?

But a part of me likes it. And it isn't even necessarily because of the likes or followers or the warm fuzzy feeling I get when someone (my friend who I haven't seen in 3 years) leaves a comment saying "BEAUT".

There is something therapeutic about sharing a part of who you are and making a connection with someone else. 

In the past I have unfollowed every account (down to zero) and started from scratch. The people whose photos you see in your feed are a reflection of who you are and what you want your mind to be filled with. Do you want to see women/girls/brands every day showing bikini bods? Do you want a feed full of #blessed freebies that leave you wondering why you aren't getting those? Do you want art and history and culture? Do you want to see your friend's kids? I don't know. What I want changes and that is why the people I follow are always evolving. 

Just like five years ago, when I was fighting the temptation to get an iPhone AND Instagram, today I am fighting the temptation to follow accounts that make me (ultimately) feel bad about myself. And that changes. Sometimes I can handle following my friends who I haven't seen in a few years who are doing amazing things in amazing places. Sometimes I feel happy when I see their photos and excited for them and the life they have created. But sometimes it makes me feel like I'm missing out. Sometimes it makes me flirt with feelings of regret. And that isn't something I want for myself. 

All this to say, be conscious of who you follow on Instagram (or any social channel). The images and words have an impact (whether you realize it at the moment of consumption or not). You have a choice about what you consume. Input goodness and hopefully, then, output goodness too.

See below for a few accounts that offer me a bit of fresh air.

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Insider Access

PAUL SMITH head of marketing & digital

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Unpretentious Luxury

Sarcastic. Beautiful. Plus, a killer tattoo.

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Abstract Obsessions

Unexpected and oh-so-covetable. 

 

 

// THE LIST OF MY DESIRES //

Lately I’ve been trying to disconnect from the online world. Sometimes I find myself constantly glued to a screen - whether it’s the TV, my laptop or cell phone. There is so much inspiration online that it can be overwhelming. Scrolling through Pinterest, looking at blogs, stalking Instagram, or watching films... it’s all so fast and so all encompassing. 

This past week has provided the perfect excuse to take a step back. It was Easter weekend and then my birthday on the 22nd. We had my husband's family visiting from Sweden and so made the most of the long weekend. Instead of sitting on my sofa in front of Friends, I was out exploring Zurich. I love it when people come to visit because it gives you the excuse to be a tourist in your own town. I was totally reminded of how beautiful Zurich is and how lucky I am to live here. 

For my birthday I was given 'the list of my desires' by Grégoire Delacourt. I just finished it today and, I've got to say, it really got me thinking about what I want from life and how to go about getting it. 

Something I've always loved is hearing about what inspires people. I'm a firm believer in the idea that inspiration is everywhere and that you just have to open your eyes to see it - whether it's food, traveling, books, art or just buying a new striped romper at American Apparel. Sometimes the littlest things can be the most inspiring. I'm trying to get back in touch with what originally made me love blogging. The spontaneity of it and the ability to put across how you're feeling without having anyone edit your work is what I loved so much about it when I started this bad boy back in 2009. When I started blogging I never thought twice about who was reading what I wrote and I just posted about whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I want to get that spontaneity back but I also want to have some structure. To give some regularity to my posts I'm going to start a new feature that focuses on individual people and what they find inspiring. I want to look at all sorts of sources like books, magazines, food, culture, the outdoors and art. I also want to ask people what's on their list of desires. Whether it's something little like a new swimsuit or something big like starting a charity. In order to accomplish what you want you've first got to admit to yourself that you want to achieve it. 

All photos taken with iPhone 5c. Click to enlarge. 



// A SQUARE LOOK BACK //

This past year hasn't been the easiest one.

In mid 2012 I got sick. As part of the recovery process I was put on a heavy dose of medication which I had to take for a year. It was pretty intense. It made me feel drowsy and down. I lost motivation and drive. Things I would normally be excited by didn't interest me and as a result of the whole experience I lost a lot of self-confidence. This past June I was taken off of the medicine and I, optimistically, hoped that I would bounce straight back to my former self. That didn't happen. Although I was technically 'better' I didn't feel entirely that way. It has taken the last six months for me to get back to normal. Now, a year and a half after the incident I finally feel better. 

There is still one major side effect from the medicine that I'm battling: weight gain. Over the course of a few months I put on thirty pounds. Most of my clothes no longer fit. If you've been reading this blog for a while you've probably noticed that the content has changed slightly - outfit posts have been rare. Lately I've been making an effort to reintroduce them, though it's tough as I don't have many items in my wardrobe to play with. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not technically overweight but this is the heaviest I've ever been and that has taken some getting used to. With the start of the new year one of my resolutions is to take back control of my body. I'm determined to lose the weight in a healthy way. 

Usually I do a post at the end of the year looking back at all the best moments and it tends to feature lots of outfit pictures. This year I can't do that as there have only been a handful of them.

When I was thinking back on the year at first I felt a bit despondent. It has undoubtedly been tough. But then I decided to do a little Flipagram on Instagram - to collect all my favourite photos from the past year and put them into a little slideshow. When I went through them I was totally blown away by how great a year I've had. Zurich has been beautiful. I got to travel a lot and visit London, Berlin, Portugal, France and Sweden. I visited New York, shot four weddings with my sister in St Louis, and went back to California for the first time after eight years of being away. I'm lucky to be surrounded by great people and I'm even luckier because I have my health. 

That is the thing that stuck out to me most - how very blessed I am to be starting a new year healthy. Wherever you are and whatever you are currently facing, I hope you feel optimistic about the year to come. Great things are headed your way.

All photos from Instagram.

AND I NEVER WANTED TO GO BACK HOME...
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Instagram

It's been nearly two weeks since I got back from the south of France. Going back through these old Instagram photos gave me a much-needed dose of nostalgia. We left rainy cold Zurich on a Saturday morning and came back a week later... a week wasn't enough time though. I'm already ready to go back and explore the area more. We visited Nice, Cannes and St Paul - all a short drive from the flat we stayed at in Vence. I ate so much good food - loads of cake and ice cream, plenty of salmon and steak tartare, plus lots of rose to wash it all down. Each evening was spent sitting on the balcony overlooking the water and rolling hills. I've made a mental note to go back in October, autumn can't come soon enough*.

* Just joking. Summer is my favourite season and I wouldn't wish it away for anything.

 

Print is not dead
Tank cover
Tank cover

Do you ever feel like an inanimate object has read your mind?

'Why helloMr Tank, aren't you looking sultry there... basking in the hot sun on my balcony.' If you've ever been unfortunate enough to get into a conversation with me about magazines then you will know already that Tank is my favourite. Whenever I go to London it is at the top of my list of things to buy before coming home (next to Percy Pigs, obviously). Without fail I always leave it to the last-minute and get lurched into a state of panic at 10pm the night before my flight because, 'No, I won't be able to get it at the airport - WHSmith NEVER have it!!' Hah - always the calm and collected one. Thankfully, on the night I last left London I stepped out of a taxi onto the doorstep of Monocle and there, gleaming before my very eyes, were 30+ copies of Tank sitting in perfect rows across the outside of the shop. Chi-chiiing. Tank fix sorted.

More often than not, when I squeal about how much I love Tank there is a person across from me, distorting their face and trying to back away, saying, 'I've never read it.' This is something I find shocking and disturbing. 'What do you mean, why you haven't read it?!' I ask them with squinted eyes. 'Dunno, I'd rather waste my money on glossy weeklies that I can skim in 20min and then throw away.' Just kidding. That's not what they say.

Enough of this chitter-chatter. Let's open the pages and see why Tank is so freaking awesome...

Editors letter on Instagram
Editors letter on Instagram

The editor's letter: on Instagram, nostalgia and the individual. Masoud Golsorkhi paints a philosophically coherent and hilarious account of how the ability to filter our lives in faux-originality is, in fact, making us ever more isolated and generic. Perfectly timed, I read this piece just a few days after posting about my love-hate relationship with Instagram.

Anais World
Anais World
Bright and bold
Bright and bold

Structure: Tank clearly credits the people (be it photographers, stylists or writers) that make the magazine come to life. This might seem straightforward but it's shocking how many publications there are that keep these points in the dark. Give credit where credit is due, I like to say.

YSL shoes
YSL shoes
Hot Prada jacket
Hot Prada jacket

The fashion: it's good. It's so good that when I flip through the pages I feel a bit confused - 'why are all my favorite things in here?' I keep wondering. It's everything I loved most about the season (see YSL shoes above and the Prada embellished jacket meets slouchy knit combo) plus a smorgasbord of brands/designers I've never heard of. I like that. Does this come down to the brilliance of fashion director Caroline Issa? I think so.

Things that make you go hmmmm.
Things that make you go hmmmm.

The words: they can be a bit tricky I'm not gonna lie. Put in a little effort though and you'll reap the reward. Think of them like a fine wine, an aged cheese, a piece of painfully sour candy or even those shoes that hurt a bit at first but then, once you've broken them in, can't live without. What I'm trying to say here is that Tank doesn't dumb it down. The writers are cutting, sarcastic and intelligent. You might need to google search a few words but, hey, that's ok. It'll leave you feeling smarter and more informed... or confused. Either way, chances are, you'll find yourself thinking back to what you read. Maybe because you agree with it or maybe because you don't. The words in most magazines leave me wanting to chew my arm off...

Okay, moving on.

The Final Frontier
The Final Frontier
Sporty girl
Sporty girl

The editorials: so good. They bring brands like Lacoste, Thomas Tait, Jil Sander and American Apparel together. No matter how beautiful it is, editorials that take looks straight off the runway and shoot them in an idyllic location aren't what really get me excited. I like seeing the best that fashion has to offer right now but in a new way. Emerging British talent mixed with good basics and a slathering of high-end drool-worthy pieces is my idea of perfection. For the record, I would like to go shopping with Pandora Lennard - she is a babe and nails it every time.

Hanneli feature
Hanneli feature
Menswear
Menswear
Photography
Photography
Hilary Walsh photography
Hilary Walsh photography
My style is about comfort...
My style is about comfort...

In short, Tank is a fashion magazine for the kind of person I want to be. It presents what is coolest and most cutting edge but with a grounded London-based perspective. Whether you're into grand ideas, photography, music or glittery ear-claws... it always has something insightful to say.

I'd feel just as confident having Tank tucked under my arm upon entering a philosophy seminar at LSE as I would walking into Somerset House in the middle of fashion week... just sayin'.

p.s. find Tank wherever good magazines are sold for £6. Can't find it in a shop? Never fear, it's all online right here.

NO, I DON'T HAVE INSTAGRAM...

If I have to explain to one more person why I don't have Instagram I'm going to go mental... this conversation happened at least 100million times (fact) over LFW. Obnoxious excited person: 'Are you on Instagram?!!' Me: 'No.'... 'OMG, WHY NOT?! Instagram has, like, changed my LIFE. YOU HAVE TO GET IT. YOU JUST HAAAVE TOOO.' O-freaking-kay. I can't get Instagram because I don't have an iPhone. Cue: 'OMG. HOW ARE YOU ALIVE WITHOUT AN iPHONE???'. Honestly? I barely am. I'm using an old Samsung galaxy that is teetering on the edge of death because I'm too cheap to fork out the cash to buy a new one. Cuz... you know... that's how I roll, I like being a little behind the times. That way you feel sorry for me.

All this to say.... just before fashion week I discovered LomatiCamHD. (cool name, huh). In my pathetic attempt to copy what all you iPhone users are doing with Instagram and Hipstamatic I snatched it right up for 1 pound I think? All the above photos were taken with it. Enjoy!