A Fashion Blog By Gemma Talbot

Monday, 13 January 2020


Happy new year people. I hope you have all settled into the first week of 2020. Actually writing 2020 down seems rather satisfying, don’t you think? I am certainly excited to see what this decade has to offer. I did want to round off the year with a blog post but I took some time off over Christmas, something I rarely do. Whilst I do share a large chunk of my life with you, there were some things that happened in 2019 that were just a little too personal to share on the internet. It felt weird completely trying to skip past them so I think I will save my yearly round up post until December. Note to self, start jotting down key events in the notes section of your phone. Anywhooooooo, moving on to 2020 for a year of opportunity and prosperity. Fingers crossed, let’s make it our year girls (and boys). 

I am going to start off my weekly round up with the feeling that the mondayest of Mondays brought to me. This was 6th January for those who may not be up to speed. For most, this was the first working day back from the Christmas period and for many mums the first school run of the decade. After deciding to finally read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, I’m really starting to adopt the idea of manifesting your thoughts into your life with the Law of Attraction. Ultimately, attracting what you want through positive thoughts. One thing The Secret has taught me is to not let my thoughts consume me from the moment I open my eyes and ultimately affect my day. It could be something as small as saying out loud the things you are thankful for as a starting point. All of which can be done in your morning shower. Honestly, something so small really has set me up for much better days ahead. 

I happened to stumble across the Law of Attraction daily planner whilst on a browse on Amazon, which I bought back in October last year. For months, I have been itching to use it because it looked that good. Being self employed, I need to be inherently organised and self motivated to get things done. Whilst I have no boss breathing down my neck, I am my own worst enemy and will always strive to complete my daily as long as my arm to-do list so I don’t feel like I suck at my job. Anyways tangent, but this planner has changed my daily planning so much so I urge you all to get one. There are sections in the planner where you write down your daily goals, to do list by priority and daily affirmations. There is also a weekly reflections page and goal setter which is suited to everyone’s needs. It’s honestly made me so much more organised and as though I am on top of my day which by the end of it fills me with a great sense of achievement. Consequently, I’m going to bed content and happy and ready for the day ahead. 

January can seem like a really dull time and I’m definitely not here to make it any dryer than with dry January, that’s for sure. No offence to anyone who is doing dry Jan but this month has already shaped up to be pretty boozy. First there was NYE, which had me ordering shots of café patron I mean drunk Gemma, who do you think you are?! Then there were engagement celebrations and there’s still friends birthday bottomless brunches to follow. If I wanted to hit the reset button after the party season of 2019, January was definitely not the time to do it. I can practically hear my bank account crying in agony but I had an alcohol free weekend. Go me. Did anyone else do this too? I am actually sat upright in bed finishing this blog post off with a coffee rested on my stomach, whilst Louis sleeps wrapped up like a duvet burrito baby. I’m humouring myself because at 08:50am on a Saturday morning this is me. Usually it’s the other way around. New year, new me?

I was actually thinking of doing veganuary after having a little pep talk from my Dad who watched The Game Changers on Netflix. I still can’t bring myself to watch it FYI. Whist I rarely eat red meat, I do get a lot of my protein from eggs, lean meats and fish. I know you can get your daily protein intake from plant based foods, however a lot just don’t agree with my stomach. I don’t mean this in, I’m a princess and pretend to have intolerances because I’m so millennial and it’s like ugh 2020. I picked up a salad from the M&S food hall and whilst it did taste delicious, the chickpeas buried underneath the rice gave me the worst bloating and gas! I’m sorry but there really is no way to sugar coat it. That evening I put on some elasticated gym leggings and felt so uncomfortable that I just wanted to go home. You know it’s curtains when the gym leggings are tight. It’s a toss up between wanting to be a better human and kinder to the environment but also not feeling unwell. This happens whenever I eat lentils or pulses which would lead me to believe that I may have an intolerance to legumes. If anyone else has some suggestions I’d love to hear them from you. For now, the vegan food choice quest continues. In other words, Pret-a-Manger now serve a vegan croissant and do not charge for any plant based milks in their coffee. YAY. What a time to be vegan. 

Speaking of coffee. I am currently working on an exciting collaboration with Bó Budget. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s a banking app that encourages you to spend less and save more by making you more in control of your spending habits. One habit that springs to mind, is my love of oat milk coffees. I even have some of my lovely followers DM’ing me on Instagram whenever a new Oatly product launches. I’ve had screenshots of “your oatly brings all the cows to the yard” sweatshirt sold by Sassyspud.com sent to me more times than I can count. That really goes to show I’m an Oatly addict. Oatly Barista edition come at my morning coffee bro. I definitely say “can I have an oat milk cappuccino, please”, “is that definitely with Oatly” and “do you serve Oatly here” way too much. Cough cough Oatly, you’d be my dream collab. To be fair they probably don’t even need the promotion LOL. 

I even went into Grind recently and asked if they had Oatly, to which they replied “we use Minor Figures which is actually a better Oat milk in coffee”. I could feel my coffee snob nose turning up in disgust at the words because, I definitely do not like this brand of oat milk in my coffee. Sorry Minor Figures. It is what it is. 

It’s not until I got the Bó budget app that I started tracking some of my spending habits, did I realise that the £3.50 a day on average I spend on coffee adds up to a staggering £1274 a year! On some days, if I’m out and about I’ll pick up two. That’s the price of the Louis Vuitton multi pochette bag I currently have my eyes on, with change in my pocket too. Alarming, I know. This year, I really am going to make more of a conscious effort to save because I am determined to get my foot on the property ladder somehow. It’s small sacrifices like these that make a difference. I have my grandma’s voice in my head saying “Gemsy, look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”. So on Friday evening (wild I know), I took action and ordered myself a Nespresso machine with a accompanying milk frother. In a bid to spend less money on coffee. The £98 on average I spend a month on coffee but let’s round it up to £100 just to make it a nice whole number. I’m going to put into a Help to Buy ISA. I figured even if I don’t go down that route, I might as well save it someone. It will just get eaten up in my current account. 

Back to coffee for a second, I hope you’re all using your keep cups guys. I know they can be a bit of a ball ache to carry when they don’t fit into your cute mini bag but it’s in a bid to save the environment and get rid of the single use mentality. I got a really cute one from Skinnydip that has peach emojis all over it, and also a great glass keep cup dupe from Primark for £5! Most coffee shops now will actually give you a discount if you bring a reusable cup which is great incentive. You can use the short change to buy yourself a Freddo to go with your coffee #winning (although inflation now has the once 10 pence snack at 25p! Outrage). Here’s a bit of nostalgia for you, my Dad used to buy us one Freddo and one Taz bar and break them both in half. It never got old. 

Like the rest of the country, I’ve been trying to get back into a gym routine again. After receiving some new activewear from Louis for Christmas there is nothing more motivating than getting to the gym in a cute new matching set. I know there is a running joke that the first week of Jan is heaving with new members which drop off by the end of the month but the Pure Gym in Clapham Common was a JOKE. I walked in at around 7pm on Monday evening and I’ve never seen anything like it. I could forget about getting on any machines or using free weights. People were practically stepping over each other. I’m not the greatest lover of cardio but rather than turn around and feel totally deflated, I was pretty much forced into doing 30 minute incline walk. This whole month, I am going to have to make a conscious effort to get to the gym before 5pm otherwise I won’t be working out at all. I’ve got a fitness blog post coming your way very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that. There’s a shameless little plug if you ever did see one. 

Wednesday’s Instagram caption read “me looking into the distant future to see if any of my outstanding invoices have been paid 👀 nope still nothing…”. I am sure this five week month is killing you too. I am waiting for so many people to pay me it’s not even funny. The delights of being self employed where companies just treat you as a number. It just seems like bills, bills and more bills and I’m not talking about dollar bills either. The struggle is so real that I really am watching every penny I spend right now. No ASOS next day delivery orders for me this month. To make financial matters worse, I have my tax bill to pay at the end of the month. The deadline is the 31st January and all I can say is that I am grateful that I was sensible enough to put money aside from each paid job, otherwise I would be in serious kinds of trouble right now. When I first became self employed, I was only saving 20% of my earnings which in hindsight was not enough. 

If you are self employed, I would advise saving a minimum of 30% just to cover your backs because you need to take into consideration NI contributions as well as student loan repayments. Thirty percent as a minimum may seem like a lot and it sure is disappointing once it’s been deducted, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to be forced to take out a loan to pay off your tax bill. Imagine the stress of that. I think the part that got me was I also have to pay six months upfront, contributing to the next tax year. That’s next level number crunching I never mentally prepared myself for. Just go self employed she says…..
As far as first weeks go, it wasn’t too bad. I really threw myself into work, I met with Fifi to take these photos and some others for future blog posts. I also filmed someone content for IGTV and also filmed and edited a Youtube video, so I'm really starting to feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things. Slowly but surely. I have a busy schedule this week of meetings and podcast recordings. We haven’t even launched yet but Private Message Podcast got mentioned in Hello online dubbing us as the “podcast we’re pressing play on in January”. How insane is that. No pressure whatsoever for me and Soph. 

I’ve also booked myself in for a morning spin class at Psycle in Clapham on Tuesday, so I will let you know how that goes. I hope you have enjoyed this round up and stay positive and keep motivating yourself. January can be a tough one but after the five week month has been and gone, it’s onwards and upwards from here. Have a fabulous week.

Photography by Fifi Newbery 


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