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Turning Seventeen…

By May 19, 2017 General

It’s tradition on my blog to do a little celebratory post when the number in all of my social media bios changes so here we are again; another year! This time around I’m turning seventeen, making me a whole six years older than I was when I started writing. I wanted to shoot a more creative set of photos in honour of my birthday (I quite like them, if I do say so myself) and catch-up with you all…

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography


WHAT I WORE: Dress (Jumble Sale) // Tattoos (DIY) // Rings (Unknown & Gemporia*) // Glitter (Claire’s)*


Being my age is rather odd, I’ve realised. I think growing up with older siblings confused my young mind because what I saw in them at my age, isn’t what I see in myself. My family will probably read this and be shouting ‘obviously’ at the screen because I’m my own individual but I suppose what I mean is, I don’t feel how seventeen seemed to me then. I used to think being in your late teens made you a super mature young adult who worked hard and played hard but upon turning seventeen myself, I’ve realised that perhaps comes down to how little I could do, being so much younger.

Being seventeen means you can do an awful lot but it also means you can do an awful little. Or maybe that’s just me. I’m pretty sure I’m actually seventeen going on seventy in my head. I like eating cheese and honey on its own and drinking cups of tea at all times of the day and I have a jacket that reminds everyone of my grandma. I’m excited by the idea of getting older. I think I was listening to a podcast recently that really struck a chord with me and has made me relax over how much I’ve achieved. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact source of this inspiration but it roughly went through the idea of peaking at a later age. And I suppose; I don’t want to peak now! I want to peak when I’m older so that I’m not sat around thinking; now what?

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography

For someone growing up online and being filled with different ideas and ways to compare myself, this realisation has definitely helped me. As much as achieving a lot while you’re young is an outstanding, I don’t think any young people should be pressurised into feeling like they have to.

It’s helped me more specifically with my future career aspirations too; I went through a phase of feeling really bogged down and worthless. I’ve cried over not feeling like I’m doing enough for my age but now I know that I want to continue learning before really going for it. Which I suppose, is exactly what my blog is for! I am achieving some great things – in fact, that’s part of the reason I’ve been quiet online recently – but I’m also gearing up for when I can achieve even more at a later stage. That’s what it’s like to be seventeen… it’s gearing up for everything.

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography


OOTD My Style Outfit Seventies Bohemian ASOS Dress 1B99 Dr MartensBIRTHDAY PLAYLIST:
Would You Be So Kind? Live (Dodie)  
Hard Times (Paramore)
Shut Up Kiss Me (Angel Olsen)
Total Entertainment Forever (Father John Misty) 
Five Years (David Bowie) 


For my seventeenth birthday, I’ll be wondering around Florence in Italy and dining at a Greek restaurant for dinner. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share some of the exciting things I’m currently gearing up to, but for now, thank you so much for celebrating with me and for following along for as long as you have been. I think eleven-year-old Tolly would be quite proud of what this place has become!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why It’s Okay to Feel ‘Okay’ | The Children’s Society

By February 22, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

I’ve recently been in touch with The Children’s Society charity because they are currently trying to get more people, and specifically the UK government, to step up to the plate and stand up for girls. As a feminist and a girl/young woman myself, of course, standing up for girls is going to be of importance to me, however, it is even more important to me when the campaign they’re running is focusing on appearance and confidence.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls

I was wondering how to go about this post but then I remembered a quote I read by Katy Bellotte on Instagram (you might know her as Hello Katy). It was one of those moments where I read it and thought to myself; that’s exactly what I mean, I just haven’t been able to express it so eloquently before! The quote was this:

There is a widely-popular misconception that confident people are completely without fear. Confidence isn’t “they will like me,” confidence is “I’ll be okay if they don’t.” – Katy Bellotte

Out of the whole quote, though, the word that stuck with me most was the word ‘okay’. My mind spiralled after reading it because it came to my realisation that, as young women, the word ‘okay’ is rarely used. And so I looked back on The Children’s Society‘s notes and wondered how I could incorporate this idea into my blog post when I scrolled down onto a quote from a teenage girl that had been part of their research – it highlighted another word for me; the word was ‘expected’.

This isn’t a new concept for me. I’ve written about it before when I spoke about curating your own personal style and how in some respects, I felt as if I was expected to be a certain way; expected to dress a certain way at a certain point in my life. I’m sure it isn’t a new concept for you either if you’re a girl or a woman. All sorts of phrases lead back to the idea of expectancy, like ‘fitting in’ and ‘conforming’. If you feel as if you need to fit in; you feel as if you’re expected to be a certain way. If you feel as if you aren’t good enough; you feel as if there’s an expectation to live up to.

According to research by The Children’s Society, 1 in 7 girls feel unhappy with their lives in general, with 1 in 3 unhappy with their appearance. There’s pressure and there’s expectancy and there’s the idea of living up to a certain standard. What does ‘okay’ have to do with this, you ask? ‘Okay’ is a word stripped of expectancy. It’s okay to feel a certain way; it’s okay to feel down and it’s okay to feel as if you don’t live up to these societal pressures because as Katy’s quote suggests, confidence isn’t about not having fears. Confidence is about being okay with having them. Confidence is saying I’ll feel okay if I don’t look like this or I’ll feel okay if I don’t live up to what might usually be expected of me.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls

I would say I’m a confident person, in fact, I’ve stated it many times in blog posts like this but in no way does that mean I have no insecurities or worries. I haven’t spoken to many people about this because it is rather personal to me but more recently, I’ve started to notice how much I focus on the size of my chest (Hi Dad!). I’m very small chested. I’m almost 17 and I still don’t wear bras (Hi anyone who knows me!) because there is quite frankly no need for them and yeah, there’s no difference when I wear slightly more fitted tops to when I wear baggy ones – there’s nothing there to see either way. I worry that I look younger than I am, I wish I could wear more open summer dresses that aren’t just straight up and straight down without feeling as if I’m a flat piece of paper and I really wish I could wear delicate triangle bras without feeling as if there’s no point.

It’s not that I necessarily want or need to be any different than I am but I know that in western society there is an expectation put on women for us all to have something in that department. It’s about understanding and realising that there’s an expectancy rather than developing upon on an idea or an image that is just there. It’s engrained within younger people to feel this way because there aren’t enough people shouting out and saying that it’s okay not only to realise there’s a pressure but that it’s okay to not be defined by it or expect ourselves to rely on it.

It’s okay to be who we are because that is who we are. We shouldn’t expect ourselves to change for anyone or anything but it’s also okay to listen to that pressure and start to understand it. This can be taken on for more than just insecurities, this can also be taken on board when we think about more mental issues and the health and wellbeing of our minds. Opening up about mental health is what we all need more of especially when insecurities and fears are often caused by anxiety and depression.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls


~ THE OKAY CHECKLIST ~

Make a list of your insecurities
 Ask yourself where they came from
 Ask yourself who brings out your insecurities and who lessens them
 Make note of when you don’t feel insecure; what made you feel that way?
 When you do feel down or insecure, tell yourself it’s okay
 Tell other people it’s okay too
✓ Try to listen and understand yourself more and more each day
✓ Read The Good Childhood Report and spread the word!


I always try and leave my readers with something to learn from so I’ve made a small checklist of questions to ask yourself and small ideas to remind yourself of on a daily basis. I’m also going to link you up with three of my previously written articles and works on similar topics. There are checklists and helpful ideas within them too and I hope they will start to open your eyes up to why it’s okay to feel okay…

How to Combat Feeling Judged and Self-Conscious

“How do we skip out those thoughts that make us pressured? How do we stop ourselves from shrinking back down into that mold of ‘being normal’ or ‘being perfect?’. Well, I’ve thought about it, and I know you’re no doubt going to think I sound crazy but… I like to think about the size of the world and the universe. Yup, you read me right… I’m getting deep.”

How to Soothe a Sore Thumb

“The more you flaunt it, the more people will catch on to your awesomeness, which means in the end, more people will be flaunting their awesomeness, so nobody will have to feel like a sore thumb ever again.”

★ Accepting Change & Curating Your Personal Archive

“We have this incredible ability to store the outfits and the hairstyles and the make-up looks and the places we went and the inspiration we found in our own personal archives. We are the curators of our own archives. It’s scary, sure… the idea that we’ll look back and regret decisions or cringe over them, but that’s the great thing about storing it all and utilising these tools – we can gradually accept change and we can look back after a few weeks and start going ‘Oh, well I wouldn’t do that now’. We have time to process change, and we really need to take advantage of that.”


You can read more about The Children’s Society here

How do you tell yourself it’s okay to feel okay? How do you deal with insecurities? Share your wisdom in the comments!


I’ll be back soon with some fashion week content…

(Obviously The Children’s Society is a charity so this blog post is in no way sponsored. I just feel strongly about these sorts of topics.)

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Accepting Change & Curating Your Personal Archive

By June 12, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle, My Style

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about ‘making your mark’ or leaving your personal imprint in the world, in terms of how we look back on ourselves from a certain point in our lives. That sounds a bit odd, but the idea came to me when my dad stated something a while back over dinner…

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice


WHAT I WORE: Faux Leather Jacket (Peacocks – old)* // Floral Blouse (Jumble Sale) // Bohemian Maxi Dress (Pull & Bear) // 1B99 Dr Martens (Mastershoe My-Shu)* // Rings (Various Stores)


“It’s funny really, when you’re older and we look back, we won’t have many pictures of you in summer dresses, will we Tolly?” is what he said.

What he said really stuck with me, but not for the wrong reasons (just in case you’re worried Papa Posh!). It got me thinking about the idea of our future and past selves and how in the digital age of instantly uploadable photographs and Facebook ‘Memories’, we’re always looking at what we were like then and now, and how it will be so much easier to compare our past selves and cringe over decisions we made ‘back in the day’ when we have this back log of data and endless streams of photos and saved moments in the future.

What my dad was saying was true – when people look back on my younger self, there won’t be any floral dresses or what some might label as ‘girly’ photos of me, because I’m just not that kind of person. I’m not a tomboy or anything like that (I mean, I’m wearing a dress in these photos and my blog is covered in pink and purple – ugh, *eye roll* 🙄 to stereotypes) but I’ve never been the average kind of gal to prance around in little ankle socks and daisy chain printed skirts.

Having the means to digitalise memories and have them saved onto your laptops and phones (or ‘in the cloud’) means we can see all of the changes and transitions happening, and I think what we need to do is accept that. Things do change. We all change.

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

For people my age, this is probably one of the hardest things to accept. The idea that we don’t stay as this set person and we don’t always end up being the person we thought we’d be. We can try our best to mould ourselves into what we want to be, but there’s always going to be things that we can’t help doing differently. The reason I’m connecting the dot between this and what my dad said, is because I evolve constantly. I don’t wear summery items of clothing because I’m wearing faux-leather jackets and utility dresses one minute and then blouses and bohemian dresses the next. That’s part of becoming who I am – and part of that is realising, I won’t be able to look back on myself and see this one type of person. No matter how hard I try to create this one aesthetic, there will always be multiple, because I’m still changing.

As a blogger and someone who uses social media rather often, I know what it means to be putting out this specific persona and display of yourself. You probably do too, whether it’s because of what you’re posting or what others are posting. How many Instagram accounts do you go on which are neatly laid out and in a specific colour scheme? Dozens, maybe hundreds, probably… and that’s great; it’s creative and uniform and part of art, but do you know what the biggest struggle is when you start to do that? Adapting to change.

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

Accepting that change and realising that looking back on what you were then compared to now, is so important. I was listening to a podcast recently (Ladies Who Lunch, if you’re curious) and one of the ladies (who lunches, heh – Cat, I believe) said that she – as a YouTuber and online influencer – is glad that she has the ability to look back and see where she came from, because it’s an archive of her life and her journey.

We have this incredible ability to store the outfits and the hairstyles and the make-up looks and the places we went and the inspiration we found in our own personal archives. We are the curators of our own archives. It’s scary, sure… the idea that we’ll look back and regret decisions or cringe over them, but that’s the great thing about storing it all and utilising these tools – we can gradually accept change and we can look back after a few weeks and start going ‘Oh, well I wouldn’t do that now’. We have time to process change, and we really need to take advantage of that.

In response to my dad’s statement – you’re right. You won’t see many pictures of me in fluttery dresses and cardigans, but what you will see, is a timeline of the person I’ll become and a record of what not wearing those summery prints, means to me.


Do you find it hard to accept the fact you aren’t the same person you were last year? Are you happy with your personal archive so far? Let me know in the comments!


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How To Combat Feeling Judged and Self-Conscious

By March 14, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle

I’ve spoken about this topic before in this blog post about ‘sticking out like a sore thumb’, but I’m always happy to revisit the topic, especially if you guys are asking specifically, which you did… back in this blog post! If you’re interested in knowing how I’ve personally combated feeling judged and self-conscious and how you can too, then carry on reading…

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

I’m going to start out by saying that I’m definitely not in the worst position for being judged or for being self-conscious. There are so many variables that go into making you feel more insecure, some of which include your family and support group, your friends, your school or your work place.

I’m very lucky; I have a family that is truly supportive of me and I have parents that have never pressured me into being a specific type of person. I’m not trying to be judgey, but I know that so many people out there that do feel pressured or haven’t had the same sense of support, so I really do try not to take it for granted.

I’m also currently home schooled which means I don’t have the usual pressures that come with having peers around, although that doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced that sort of thing (I have, and I’ve written about that before too).

But, (like pressure at school), that doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced feeling judged or pressured or most importantly, self-conscicous. We all have, at some point in our lives so far, because every human judges, no matter how hard we try not to. Our brain scans things over when we meet new people, and when we see new faces in the street. It may be subconscious, but we all do it, so it’s rather hard to avoid, and that’s a crucial fact to remember.

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

For me personally, I’m most self-conscious about my exterior personality, although I’m at a place now that I’m, for the most part, whole heartedly happy with things. I’m happy in myself and how I come across as a person, but when it comes to how I appear, I think that’s where I hit a stumbling block. I met someone new a while back, and whilst I was getting ready on the day, the first thought that came into my head was – “Perhaps I should wear something a little more ordinary”. So, as you can see, I still expect and worry about being judged, no matter how confident I actually feel as a whole.

So, the question is – how do we get past things like that? How do we skip out those thoughts that make us pressured? How do we stop ourselves from shrinking back down into that mold of ‘being normal’ or ‘being perfect?’. Well, I’ve thought about it, and I know you’re no doubt going to think I sound crazy but… I like to think about the size of the world and the universe. Yup, you read me right… I’m getting deep.

Seriously though, sometimes it’s just great to put things into perspective. I know this won’t work for everyone, and it could quite possibly be just my teenage brain making me think about these sorts of things (my sister said she used to the same when she was my age), but honestly, when you realise how small and pointless these insecurities and fears are… you start to feel a whole lot better about yourself, and you start to look at other people around you in a whole new light.

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

~ YOUR PERSPECTIVE TO DO LIST ~

Make a list of your insecurities
Make a list of all your biggest worldy concerns (global warming, gender equality – all the big stuff)
Make a list of genuinely big stuff (elephants, galaxies etc)
Compare your insecurities over your worldy concerns and then…
✓ Channel your energy into making a difference

 When you feel confident, make a note of it so you know what makes you feel good
Compliment other people whenever you notice something that makes you smile about them (however small that may be)
 Accept the fact that even you judge people
 Look up at the stars ☆

So, to do this, I’m going to throw in some facts about the universe. It would take 100,000 years to travel across the Milky Way. In the observable universe, there is estimated to be one hundred billion galaxies… so (according to physics.org) if you hold a grain of sand up to the sky, the tiny patch of sky that it covers, contains ten thousand of those galaxies. There’s a lot more to it than that as we all know, but those facts alone are enough to make you feel dizzy.

Nevertheless, I hope you can understand what I mean. Looking at everything in this perspective just makes me think – why should I care about that person across the road looking at me oddly for wearing something a little ‘different’ (what even is different, after all?) when there are so many bigger things to be worried about?

I also mentioned that this makes you look at other people in a whole new light, and it really does. I’ve started to just appreciate a smile, no matter who the person is wearing it. I don’t judge them or comment on the rest of them, I just appreciate what’s there and the beauty of it. Because honestly, once we’re happy in ourselves, we can start to appreciate everyone and everything else around us and we can start to make those people who felt the same way as us, get that little bit closer to being happy too.

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger


How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

  LOCATION: Sirolo, IT  🇮🇹


What you have to realise though, is that every single one of us goes through judgement and feelings of self-consciousness, so there’s no real way to ever combat it (like I mentioned in my sore thumb post). You just have to suck it up and start blurring things out because honestly, it’s always going to be there, no matter who you are… and in a way, that’s kind of the fun of it all.

When you do have those moments of confidence and when you finally do feel happy with how everything is… you’ll be able to look back and compare things with that perspective lens and realise there really was no point in worrying.



Did this blog post help you? Do you have any further questions about confidence? Leave a comment or fill out the form above!

Also… if you’d like to see a full outfit post for what I’m wearing here, do let me know! I’ve also just added a sneaky little feature to my blog in the form of Konami code. Have fun with that! Oh and just FYI, my next blog post is a good one! Watch out!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How To Soothe A Sore Thumb – Kinda’

By August 18, 2015 DIY & Lifestyle

(For those of you who have actually come here to find out how to soothe a sore thumb, you may want to walk away because I’m not actually going to be telling you how. I’d head to WikiHow for that… but if you’re here for self-confidence boosting material, definitely keep your tab open!)


How To Soothe A Sore Thumb~ 👍 = you ~

No matter how red and glowing your sore thumb might seem, there is no way to hide the redness. I’ve tried multiple theories, from staring directly back at people, joining in with their laughing and just casually dying inside, but do you know what? Nothing works. Nothing soothes my sore thumb because there is no miracle cure. There is no spell or potion that can get rid of what ever is making your thumb look red, because it’s not you, your thumb, your hand, or body… it’s other people. It’s them.

I’ve had whole families stop their conversations, turn around and watch me walk past them like I have a giant sign above my head saying, “LOOK AT ME, I’M A BIG FAT SORE THUMB!”. I’ve sat opposite a table of young girls, who have laughed at me and pointed when I’ve obviously stared back. I’ve been walking down a road whilst a lady slows down, turns her head and stares… just an arm’s width distance from me. All because I’m not wearing what most people wear… or look a certain way compare to everyone else..!

It might feel like your thumb is throbbing and glowing bright red, but really, it’s just because they’re seeing something that they’ve never seen before, and in a weird way, that’s pretty cool! Don’t ever go changing who you are because other people see that sign above your head.

One way to help relieve the pressure is to flaunt the thumb you’ve got! You have to realise that it’s their problem that they think you’re “soooo funny” to laugh at. They’re more funny for thinking that you’re an odd-one-out! You have to realise that it’s their problem that they can’t handle seeing something unique, that it makes them stop and stare. Deal with it! In fact, embrace the attention because who doesn’t want people looking at them with intrigue?

The more you flaunt it, the more people will catch on to your awesomeness, which means in the end, more people will be flaunting their awesomeness, so nobody will have to feel like a sore thumb ever again.

How to soothe a sore thumb? Well, you can’t.

If you think you “stick out like a sore thumb” did this make any sense? Let me know in the comments and we can all get rid of the “sore thumb” label together!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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