Being Beach Body Ready


If there's one term I can't stand it's 'beach body ready'. 

It's toxic, it's destructive and it's just totally negative, implying that you have to look a certain way to be allowed on a beach. 

Growing up, I went on more 'diets' than I can remember, always striving for that perfect 'beach body' and always thinking of myself as a failure because I could never quite get there. All I wanted, more than anything else, was to be skinny. It was the only ambition I had for a long time, and tt makes me sad when I look back on my teenage years and see how much time I wasted hating myself and depriving myself of food I loved to try and make myself look a certain way. 

"Recently, I had a pretty nasty photo made of me 
and circulated around the town I live in by people 
I believed were my friends, making fun of my boobs"

Of course now, quite a few years later, my stance on self love and body image is totally different. I've spent the last couple of years learning about body positivity and self love and then using this knowledge to help me to love and embrace myself. It's been such a tough journey, but so rewarding too - I am more confident than I have ever been in my life, and I am so comfortable in my own skin that I just know 16 year old me wouldn't even believe it. 

It helps a lot that we're starting to see a bit more diversity in mainstream media now. When I was growing up, most of the mainstream celebrities I could relate to looked the same - small, skinny women with big boobs and bums who ate salad every day and looked incredible at all times. Now, I think young people are lucky because they have a far more diverse range of people to look up to - personally, I really look up to Grace Victory, Megan Crabbe (Body Posi Panda) and The Slumflower.

All of them have helped me to embrace myself and love myself exactly as I am. Megan Crabbe changed my relationship with food and how I thought about eating and food in relation to my body and mental health. Grace taught me how to fall back in love with fashion and to challenge societal standards of 'perfect' so that I can still dress like a badass babe and feel like a total Queen, even if I'm not a size 6. She also taught me how to exercise to be healthy and feel good, not just for the purpose of losing weight - which totally changed my perspective on it all. And lastly, The Slumflower, a woman who created an incredible movement; the #SaggyBoobsMatter movement. I have been teased and bullied and criticised for years over my boobs because they aren't big and perky 24/7 - sometimes I choose not to wear a bra and they look saggy (dun dun duuuun!)

All three of these women have helped me to change my life drastically. Now, at 22 years old, I feel the best I have ever felt in my life. I don't resent food, or feel guilty for eating pizza three nights in a row. I exercise if and when I want to, purely to feel good and better my health. I embrace my cellulite, my little poochy belly, my 'saggy' boobs, my chubby cheeks and the eye that squints when I smile. All these features make me, me - and I'm pretty damn great. 

I'm not saying it's always easy, because it's not. Recently, I had a pretty nasty photo made of me and circulated around the town I live in by people I believed were my friends, making fun of my boobs. Often, I have nasty comments made about my shape or size. Sometimes, I simply have to battle with myself and my own mind. But I always overcome it, and in the end it's always worth it.

"Being beach body ready doesn't mean 
being a size zero with a six pack anymore"

This year, for the first time in my life, I will be heading to a beach in a skimpy bikini feeling 'beach body ready' without perhaps fitting into societies idea of being beach body ready. I'm curvy - my hips are bigger than my motivation to get through the week on a Monday morning lol - my arse is sizeable and my boobs are so big that sometimes I find myself physically moving them around so I can get comfy. LOL. Such is life of a curvy girl. 

Because of my curves, I'll never be a size 6 - even if I had the flattest tummy, my bum and hips would not allow it! But do you know something? I don't want to be a size 6. Or even a size 8. I'm happy being me, somewhere between a size 12 and a size 16. I could never maintain being skinny - I love and enjoy food far too much and exercise not enough! And now, mentally, I'm at a place where I don't really care about being skinny either. I love how I look, my boyfriend loves how I look and I am here, able to fully embrace everything about myself. 

Self love is important. Embracing your wobbly bits? Just as important. 

Being beach body ready doesn't mean being a size zero with a six pack anymore. It means loving every inch of yourself, throwing on a bomb ass bikini and heading to the beach to live your very best life.

Love from,
Florence Grace

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Love from, Florence Grace - The Rebrand!

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I have been running Love from, Florence Grace for four years at the end of July. Four whole years! In that time, my blog - and ultimately, my career - has really evolved. I'm no longer just a blogger with big dreams. I'm a content creator living  her dreams. Love from, Florence Grace is so much more than a blog now, with 'Love from...' becoming more of a brand. It encapsulates not only my blog, but my magazine (Love from... magazine) and also the name of my freelance content creation services. Everything I do comes under the title "Love from...". My starting point, my birth place. 

The Rebrand

Because I've been doing this for so long, my branding has kind of been... well. Non existent, and all over the place at best. I've never been able to slot myself into any kind of niche, like a fashion or beauty blogger, because I cover such random things. I like to class it as "real life", but it just doesn't seem to fit. I blog about anything and everything, from dealing with heartbreak to signs of an abusive partner, from embracing your body to ways to get fit whilst avoiding diet culture, from things you learn whilst working in retail to how to land yourself your dream job. After analysing my blog for a while, it seemed clear to me that my content landed in four main sub sections; self love, body positivity, relationships and careers. 

I already cover self love and body positivity hugely across Instagram when I'm microblogging, and I pay a lot of attention to relationships and careers in Love from... magazine, so for my blog, why not focus on all four of those areas to tie it all together across my various platforms and create some consistency? 

My brand is a piece of me - I want people to see work, branded as Love from... and know that it's mine. It's got to be recognisable and it has to carry my own traits; sassy, bold and relatable.

So that's what I'll be doing. No more accepting irrelevant sponsored opportunities just for the money, no more posts trying to fit into a niche that I'll never be apart of! I'm switching my content up and changing it to really bring the Love from... brand together. The logo's are already sorted, and have been for a while, my colour scheme will be as it is for the magazine - predominantly pink and white - and my tone of voice will remain as sassy and outgoing as ever. The brand will scream Flo-ness and will hopefully be recognisable across all social media platforms and beyond.

The Content

In addition to rebranding and switching my content up, I also want to create more regular content on my blog. I seem to be blogging less and less nowadays, which makes me sad as I really do love it and it's helped me to get to where I am today - I honestly wouldn't have achieved any of my successes if it wasn't for my blog, so I really am grateful to it and don't want to neglect it! At one point I blogged every single day for a year, even whilst I was on holiday, on my birthday and on Christmas Day too! I don't want to go to that extreme again but I do want to up my game a lot

I'm going to try my very best to post at least once a week now - even better if I can get two up a week! I already post on my other social media platforms every single day, and try to microblog on Instagram everyday, so I really want to create a similar level of consistency on the blog too. Maybe things I microblog about, I can blog about in more depth here - who knows?

I often lack inspiration when I throw my all into my magazine content, but I'm going to try and keep it exciting, interesting and open as I always have done. 

Let's get going!

So I guess I'd better get started! I'm really excited about taking my blog, and my brand, to the next stage and can't wait to see what new opportunities this presents to me. After four amazing years, I never think it can get better, but it always does (which is nice) - so hopefully this lucky streak will continue!

I hope you're as excited about this rebrand as I am - and please, if there's anything you want to see from me, be that a certain blog post or a whole new venture for the Love from... brand, please don't hesitate to let me know!! My content is for me of course, but ultimately, it's for you!

So let's get going!

Love from,

Florence Grace

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Scents for the Summer*

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I'm a big perfume fan. I own more perfumes, body mists and sprays, fragrances and eau de toilets than I can count (or even remember!) and I spritz myself from head to toe multiple times a day to make sure that I'm always smelling fabulous! Sadly for me, my taste is expensive - Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors are three of my go to's, with Chanel Gabrielle being a firm favourite of mine.

Marc Jacobs perfume is always a winner in my eyes due to it's gorgeous bottle design, and more recently I decided that Honey was going to be my scent of the summer. It's light, sweet but not too sickly and I fell in love from the very first spritz. I thought that I was dead set on that being my scent of the summer, the one that would take me through the muggy days to make me feel fresh, the rainy days to make me feel sunnier - and then I came across an amazing collection of summer perfumes on Clive Christian. 

Initially, I was looking for some aftershave for my dad, what with Father's Day coming up, and at first glance it did appear that Clive Christian catered only to men. However, upon further investigation, I found they had a wonderful women's range too! Describing their fragrances as "luxury British perfumes", you can see from the get go that this brand oozes elegance and sophistication in every possible way.

The bottles are all exquisite in their design, with regal bottle lids designed to look like traditional crowns, and gold in colour of course. The bottles themselves are simple in shape and are coloured in only 'royal' colours - greens, golds and black. All are marked with the name of the perfume and the Clive Christian logo in gold.

Even the website design is smooth and grandeur in it's design - hover over the image of the perfume you're interested in and the main floral ingredient used within the fragrance appears. The site is a dream to use, the perfumes are heavenly in design and scent - honestly, what's not to like about this newly discovered fragrance brand?!

Well... maybe the price tag. With perfumes ranging between £100 and £400 a bottle, you really have to love your perfume and be willing to make the investment in these fragrances. But can you ever pay too much to smell so good? I don't think so. There's no denying that it's absolutely worth the hefty price tag to smell like a Queen (or King!) all day long. The look, the feel, the smell - you really will spend the entire day feeling like royalty if you've given yourself a spritz of this!

I still adore Honey by Marc Jacobs but I'm very taken with No.1 Violet Floriental from Clive Christian too. It's time to shake things up, I think!

What are your go to summer scents? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,

Florence Grace

This post was sponsored by Clive Christian but all thoughts and views are my own. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

Why I Won't Stop Oversharing

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There's no denying that I'm a massive oversharer. Social media is my vice, I share everything online and have pretty much no boundaries when it comes to how much of my life I make available to the big wide world. 

In the past, this is something I have been criticised for - in fact, I was bullied over it at one point. People didn't like that I put dates and locations under my photos on Facebook, they didn't like the 'cringe' posts I put up on Instagram, they didn't like some of the brutally honest content I shared on my blog.

I say "in the past" but it doesn't stay in the past - sometimes, it still happens now. 

Obviously when I was younger, I really let the criticism and the nastiness get to me. I wanted to alter my social media feeds to be exactly like everyone else's so that I could avoid the 'hate'. I became a clone, I didn't post everything I wanted to and I made sure my feeds were curated to perfection. 

To be honest, it just wasn't me. Thankfully, once I left school at 17 and went on to college, I underwent some kind of transformation where I became more secure in my own skin, more confident, happier in myself - and so I began to share everything that I had wanted to share all along. I enjoy being an oversharer, and a lot of people don't understand this, or even agree with it! I'm not asking anyone to agree with what I do with my life, obviously, but I thought I'd take some time to explain to you why I'm happy to be an oversharer, and why I won't stop oversharing! Maybe then you might understand why I do what I do...

I've always been a 'keeper'
I have always been overly sentimental, a fan of trying to cling on to all the physical parts of special memories - from the obvious, like train tickets, wrist bands, passes, leaflets and photographs, to the not so obvious, like food wrappers, receipts and chip forks (yes, really!). I used to decorate the walls from top to bottom when I had my own bedroom, making them like a ginormous collage. I've always kept scrapbooks of memories, photo albums and keep sake boxes. I'm a 'keeper'. 

For me, sites like Instagram are a digital version of that. Whilst I still love doing it all physically (and still do!), knowing I have an online version is great should the real life stuff get damaged or lost. Online, it's there forever - the longest lasting keepsakes of all time! 

I see social media like an online diary
Growing up, I always kept a diary. I rely heavily on my planners and organisers now but don't keep a diary in the same way that I used to. For me, social media acts like an online diary. I can go back to a specific date over the last 10 years or so and find the memory/moment I'm after in just minutes. And, similar to above, my 'diary entries' in the form of social media posts, are curated online forever and ever. 

Better still, when I'm older, and want to show my life to my family and friends, kids or grandkids, I'll be able too! And maybe when my memory is a little fuzzy, I'll be able to look back and see it all. I have been documenting my life online since I was 13 years old - to think I could get to 60 and quite literally look back on myself growing up, is amazing to me, and a super cool idea!

I enjoy creating content
Not only is it my job, but creating content is something I am genuinely passionate about. I almost studied photography at university, before deciding not to go, because I absolutely love taking and editing photos - hence why Instagram is my favourite social media platform! 

I'm an oversharer so that I can fulfill my content creation desires - I want to post all the time, across all platforms, because I enjoy it! If I don't have anything to post, I find or make something to post! The engagement with people I follow is the same as sparking a conversation in real life with friends and it makes me feel happy when I see people enjoying the content I've created, be that a blog post, a magazine article or a photograph!  

I'm a communicator
I love to talk. I always have done, always will do. It's never phased me to be the centre of attention, it's never phased me to have all eyes on me, to perform for an audience. I've been a dancer, a singer, a musician and now, finally, a presenter. Whether it's via my blog, my magazine, another magazine, radio, video, photograph captions or something else, I just love sparking conversations with people, creating content that allows people to debate about their own ideas, inspire people to chase their dreams and so on. I love to communicate with people!

I love to talk about myself
This one is one that will probably make you say lol and call me narcissistic or big headed or whatever else, but it's totally true that, when given the opportunity to talk about myself, I won't stop. Reason being, I've overcome so many hardships in life to get to the very fortunate position that I'm in today, that I love to share this positive message with as many people as I can! 

It works too. Almost every day I have girls and boys of all ages and backgrounds messaging me to say I've helped them by being so open about my own life, I've inspired them to follow their dreams or motivated them to improve their health... etc. etc. 

Growing up, and going through all the things that I did, I felt I had no one to talk to. There was no one to help me, no one sharing stories like mine online... I was lost and alone, and that made it a struggle. I hope that by being so open about my life, I can help countless others - but even if I only help one person, I'll be happy! I use my platforms, and the things that happen in my life, to inspire, empower and motivate other people. All of that is only made possible by being an over sharer - and so I will probably never stop!

Love from,

Florence Grace
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