Friday, 19 December 2014

festivity !!! // an xmas masterpost

Me as a lil' one (feat. carrots for Santa's reindeer)
There was a time, many years ago, when I was the Queen of Festive. Christmas was planned months in advance and just the thought of the festive season gave me goosebumps. I miss that 

Now the whole thing seems to be an end of year blur. I’m too busy being angsty or obsessing over someone and the whole damn thing goes over my head. So in an effort to get both myself and you into the festive spirit and to get some mammoth Christmas vibes going, here is my Christmas mega post. 

Run the bath. Make an exciting, outrageous drink such as this one. Use Lush’s Hot Toddy or cherry bath product of a similar variety. Sip in the bath. Then get out warm and smelling of cinnamon. Get dressed into something comfortable. Load your phone with Buble carols and She and Him’s Christmas album. Go somewhere with pretty Christmas lights. Sigh 

There are only 2 festive films that really get me going: Love Actually and Home Alone 2 in NYC. Classic. 


❅ cinnamon 
❅ making gingerbread 
❅ elaborate coffee drinks from Starbucks (the taste of consumerism!!)
❅ DIYS from A Beautiful Mess 
❅ paper snowflakes 
❅ hot chocolate with friends late at night 
❅ twinkling lights 
❅ making a conscious decision to feel warm inside 
❅ calling your family up 
❅ making cards 
❅ sentimental gifts! My favourite is giving people lists of ‘THINGS WE WILL DO IN 2k15’ because you can make cute plans and warm their lil’ hearts.
❅ confetti 
❅ going for long walks through Christmassy areas with a close friend 
❅ buy or make or get out cute festive pyjamas 
❅ going on from that cute festive outfits are fun too 
❅ help people!! volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to the 1000000s of charities that genuinely need your help, feel the warmth of your own privilege! 
❅ buy expensive chocolate 
❅ festive makeup? a cherry lip and a winged eyeliner? 
❅ festive manicure? 
❅ take cute festive portraits and photographs. send them to me! 
❅ make something festive inspired! perhaps write a short story, make a collage. 
❅ dance with your friends to Christmas music 
❅ have a party! 
❅ read every festivity article you can find on the internet
❅ smile…it’s Christmas! 

Christmassy lights and festive love, 
Bella xx 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

art collective 01 // mixed bag

People say shit about the internet all the time, grandparents, teachers, godparents. There's a constant flow of the old fashioned, 'what has happened to your generation,' talk of addiction and lack of social skills...and you can almost believe it...until you open your eyes. Because the sheer mass of creative work that's being produced on this little data base is extraordinary. Exposure to online art, predominantly queer and female based art has well and truly reshaped the way I feel...the way I think and it's wonderful. The whole damn thing wouldn't be possible without the internet. 

The Art Collective will be a monthly feature on Sincerely, Isabella and will highlight the creative work of underground and unknown young creators, in particular female ones. Our first instalment (this very posT!) is nice and little with the theme 'Mixed Bag,' and I'm super happy with the submissions. Our next instalment will have the theme 
secrets of the deep so send in your photos & poems & paintings of anything the theme might remind you of, whether that be mermaids or the dark things that sit in your chest...keeping you awake. All submissions for the next installment will be due on the 20th of january! All of the art collective archive can be viewed here.

Rachel is Sydney based writer and blogger, you can find her here

Inés is a writer and photographer based in Spain, you can find her here.

And a lil' poem from yours truly... 

Hope you enjoyed, remember to send in submissions for our next instalment! All submissions are due by the 22nd of January! 

Much love, 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

snapshots // a really damn good day

breakfast at 5pm // overdue homework // vietnamese iced coffee // an adorable lil’ darling

drenched in perfume samples // red lipstick // an o(ver priced)ld school coffee house // a beautiful girl who you should follow on instagram

c'est moi // aesop // ice chai and smiles // an old playsuit // a vintage jacket // art deco shopping arcades

Over the last few weeks, I've been designing blogs for some of my wonderful friends. I'm sure a lot of you remember when you first started blogging, for me it was super unrewarding in that my blog wasn't being read and I felt insignificant. I'd hate for these wonderful gals to feel the same so I'd love love love for you to check out Ella Pearl and Lotte Forever!

Hope you've had a lovely weekend, 
Bella xx  

Sunday, 9 November 2014

coney island queen // shades and tones of the last week

It's like when you spend the day at the beach and everything feels sun drenched in a lazy, wonderful way. Or when you embark on what could possibly be your 100th health kick, writing lists about 2 litres a day and exercise. When you spend the day drinking coffee and laughing and you feel good that people can be so so complex and interesting and dynamic. And you take pictures of flowers, and drink pomegranate juice and everything around you is in motion and changing and it's all a lil' surreal.

I know talk too much about the stuff on the surface and I'm forgetting about the things that have boiled in the bottom of my stomach. The fact that while Ebola raged on in Africa for months and months it wasn't until it came to America that people perked up. That there's a nice big pay gap. That asylum seekers are being treated like shit in detention centres dotted in islands around Australia and the government can't quite find enough empathy to deal with it. To deal with it in the only way it can be dealt with...a human way.

Sometimes the world can seem so damn bad that you cop out a bit and you talk too much about earl grey and nice dresses and you go into denial a wee bit. I'm trying not to. I guess ignorance is bliss...but I can't help but think that it's destructive bliss.

Bella x

Sunday, 2 November 2014

eat yo greens // on looking after yourself

Everything is influence, everything has a sliver of consequence but sometimes comparatively to our insignificance and the vastness of the world and the kinda ideas that can make you feel very small, it can feel like nothing really has an effect, nothing matters. So you can lose sight and you can stay up all night and eat too much bacon and not move and it can feel like nothing…until it gets superficial. 

I feel like the discussion about physical health is taking place in a fair few places that I, for one, can't relate to. I zone out in PE where the talk seems condescending, the plant-based niche on Instagram is very impressive but I feel like I could never be quite that dedicated and the fast weight loss groups dedicated to counting calories are based around a hateful concept.

It’s never really been talked about in my niche of the Internet because I think it’s always been thought of as a relatively superficial thing, associated with the way we look. But this is serious shit, this is nourishment, this is fuel, this is the fact that absolutely everything we put into our body alters it in some way, for better or for worse. We are in a position of power here, we can alter our experience to make it longer, to make it happier, more fulfilling. It's odd how we could choice, toxicity over nutrition when it is the latter that seems crucial for human survival. This is not an issue of comparison, your health has absolutely nothing to do with anyone but yourself. On a personal level, this is a discussion about self worth, this is a discussion about toxicity. On a community level, I can’t help but feel that we’re letting ourselves down - and what makes it all the more shitty is that corporations are benefiting from that. 

I’m not going to talk about rising obesity levels or lack of positive body image or evil sugar empires because we know this, we’ve been fed it for years, we’re over it.  And I’m not going to sit on my high horse and say that I’m eating all that well because I’m not, this post for me is about clearing that out. I’m not going to talk about 8 serves of veggies a day or staying hydrated. We’re for the most part, across what we should do, we just can’t quite get there. 

There’s gotta be a middle ground. I feel like we need to, at least, separate the issue from the competitive body image game that we play with ourselves and everyone around us. I feel like we all need to start listening to our own bodies. And we need to make that decision for ourselves. More than anything, I think this is a subjective thing. This is finding your own middle ground. This is saying what do I want, how can I do this. Why should I do this?

For me this means everything in moderation. It means balance. It means making nourishing beautiful food but still eating cake on weekends. It means greenery and avocado on toast. It means dark chocolate after dinner. It means swimming in the sea and walking through the city for hours. It means yoga before school. More than anything, it means thinking more, thinking deeply about what goes into my body, about myself, about why this matters to me…for me. 

I wouldn't want to impose a lifestyle on to others. This is not a post waving a green flag and saying we should all jump onto the vegan boat. Let’s just think about this differently. 

Bella x 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

yoga pot and the strokes // FAVOURITES 01

A few little things I've been lovin'
+ these photos

+ The new yoga pot
+ the strokes - you only live once 
+ homework in cafes + chai 

+ The sheer mass of self-care manifestos and lists on tumblr is something to be celebrated. Female dominated, positive online communities are doing a world of good for my generation! 
This is one of my current favourites, originally found here....

things i need u to please know right now:
  • bad days don’t last forever
  • napping is never a crime
  • all the cells in ur body are working so hard to keep u healthy and happy and they love u very much
  • also dogs, they love u very much
  • instant hot chocolate takes 2 minutes to make and requires no culinary expertise please indulge urself
  • u are a part of this world 
  • and a very important part
  • don’t doubt that for a single second

+ this poem by Kuba Wojewodzki 
I enjoy controlled loneliness. I like wandering around the city alone. I’m not afraid of coming back to an empty flat and lying down in an empty bed. I’m afraid of having no one to miss, of having no one to love

Bella xo 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

a beginners guide to getting your life together // organisation tips that aren't for the faint hearted

I'm almost obsessively into self improvement. The thought that you could actually make yourself better is too good not to take advantage of. Organisation, known on Sincerely Isabella as 'getting yo shit together' is the best way to improve your life and improve you, not that you're not already wonderful. Here's a big ol' compilation of my favourite ways to getting everything in order.

There's nothing quite like a good list. When life is a shitshorm, as it often seems to be, writing a list logically clears out the trash in your mind and what you're left with is direction (!!), purpose (!!!!) and all that jazz. 

An idea I've nicked from somewhere on the internet is dividing your to do lists into categories. I break it up a little bit by dividing my lists into URGENT (for things to be done that day), OVER THE HILL (the next few days), ON THE HORIZON (the next week), ACROSS THE SEA (the next month). 
Evernote is a free programme and app and it is my favourite thing. You can sort your stuff into notebooks, there like a special tick box you can put in your notes which is the best for to do lists. Using the calendar on your phone is a pretty fun time too because it allows you to remind yourself. 

There is underrated merit in a big black note book and a felt tip. As much as I love Evernote and my phone, I always find myself coming back to my journal to plan things out. There is a point where the vastness of information you have at your fingertips becomes overwhelming and you need something simple you can hold in your hands. Also waking up, making a cup of tea and planning your day on paper is such a release of bad vibes and a wonderful way to start the day. 

Stick gold stars on everything. Cover my books in your favourite illustrations. Invest in a shit ton on highlighters. Go crazy with stickers. Make it look swell. 

Writing a list of goals, a game plan for at the beginning of a week is cathartic way of clearing away the emotions and stresses of the previous week and opening yourself up. 

I've recently discovered the gold star emoji and I am never turning back. Gold stars are ridiculous but when I've done well, there's nothing quite like em' to make me feel accomplished. It's probably nostalgia. 

Gold stars all round, 

Friday, 10 October 2014

some faith in us // celestial body vibes and an exciting new project (!!!)

There's a peak of inspiration. A point where the world suddenly feels so big and so wonderful and so ready to be explored that you can't stop you fingers from twitching and you have to scribble in your journal to keep them busy. And it's 2am and you're lying awake tapping your foot thinking about Buddhism and Berties' new film and bullshit. It's a point I've been at for the last few weeks but in a way that feels like potential energy that won't quite emancipate. It's frustrating. The inspiration's there, the motivation...not so much. My journal is full but I haven't left the house in days. 

The past few weeks have been coloured by nerves, a little bit of self doubt, avocado on toast, news shows, Graham Norton. I saw Bombay Bicycle Club a couple of weeks ago and MAN it was a good ol' gig. The kind that makes you feel alive in the way only live music can. A symphony of the senses of such. It all seemed to play out in sync - dancing in a way that was synchronised but not, light flashing in a way that felt epileptic but good (is that a thing!?), OMNIPRESENT SOUND hitting you from every angle. It's here that you start feeling a lot less like a physical human and a lot more like some kind of celestial body, especially when the band you're seeing is as talented as Bombay Bicycle Club. If you want to check them out (and YOU SHOULD): my favourites are Home By Now, Eyes off You and Come To. 


I'll tell you what else is cause for celebration: late night news shows. I'm talking John Oliver and John Stewart. I think critical and analytical media is SO IMPORTANT, because it's very easy let your guard down and absorb media without a necessary bit of salt, which allows us to be a bit more subjective in the forming of our views. Also 'the two Johns,' are always entirely on point and hilarious. 

To a similar avail, does anyone know where Russel Brand has been lately? Here, and here and also here. His show The Trews (linked above) is dedicated to perpetuating a 'new frequency of truth,' and yes it's political but there is most definitely a psychological element to it, it's eye opening and I'm a little addicted (also bonus points to Mr. Brand because he is hilarious). 

I am going to do the gratitude thing now. 

The Good Stuff

+ Rookie Yearbook 3 is on it's way!
+ Feelings of insignificance → feelings of freedom 
+ Bergamont everything
+ Sun 
+ Grapefruit 
Mad Men

So in some of the late night bursts of inspiration I was talking about I had a few ideas about the direction I want this little blog to take. The first of which is that I want you (yes you!) to get involved. 

Projects that are collaborative are often the best kind of projects, 'Art Collective' is an across the board collaboration project that will be dedicated to showcasing work of online (I was thinking mostly younger, female people but it's in no one restricted to that demographic) creators. 

SO if you have art, photography, an essay, poetry or anything the world JUST NEEDS to see, send it in {}. The theme of the first instalment will be 'Mixed Bag,' so entirely unspecific but I was thinking it could become more theme based as the project chugs along. The first ART COLLECTIVE will be posted right here on Sincerely, Isabella so pull out your party hats because it's going to be a fun time. 

Carpe that diem loves, it's almost the weekend! 
Bella x

PS. guess who got the TWITTAH. you can follow me here