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How to Grow up as a Teen Blogger

By December 11, 2016 General

Whilst I haven’t been blogging as much as usual, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I’m doing on here, what I plan to do and what I’ve done so far, and it’s made me start to think about how the labels I’ve used have started to change and have started to develop. One of my biggest blogging characteristics is my age – I’m still a teen blogger, but I’ve started to realise that’s not what defines my presence on the internet anymore.

how to grow as a teen blogger - tolly dolly posh

When I started blogging there were only a few teen, or tween, bloggers (aged from about 11-16) that were well known within the online world. It wasn’t a commonly known thing, so whenever I was asked about my blog and how young I was, there used to always be an element of surprise and intrigue, as well as questions about how I was coping at such a young age of 11. I was asked about what my parents thought and how they handled things; I was asked whether I knew how to cope with bullying and the other darker, scarier parts of the internet. It wasn’t really about what I wrote – it was about who I was as I wrote it.

You can still read my very first blog posts; they’re still live and I haven’t archived them even though there’s been a great temptation to do so. Looking at them now as a sixteen-year-old who’s been writing and creating for almost five years, they make me cringe and cave into that tempting thought of wiping the slate clean. I used to write about how you could recreate celebrity style when five years later I still genuinely don’t know who the Kardashian’s are and why they’re such a big deal.

People used to like what I wrote though because I had feedback and interaction and there was obviously an interest because I was getting asked to feature in magazines and travel to London for events and to film a pilot for a TV show, and all these sorts of exciting things… however, all of these features and all of this interest was mainly being given to me because of one thing – my age.

how to grow as a teen blogger - tolly dolly posh

WHAT I WORE: Blue Floral Blouse (Jumble Sale) // Sparkly Black Maxi Dress (Charity Shop) // Vagabond Dioon (Mastershoe My-Shu)* // Jewellery (Unknown & Claire’s) 

I was a ‘tween’ blogger and it was what became my niche, even if it wasn’t intended. My content wasn’t necessarily unique or ground-breaking, but it supposedly was because the ground-breaking thing was who it was being written by. I wouldn’t usually share statistical matters with just anyone but if you must know, my biggest click back and referral to my website is still the article about teen bloggers I was featured in by The Telegraph Magazine. I was 12 years old, I was wearing what was technically a culturally appropriated piece of headwear and I was shooting most of my blog posts on an iPhone 3G.

I’m not trying to say that it’s all been an illusion and I don’t deserve the successes I’ve been given because trust me, it’s not been easy. Blogging isn’t easy. Being an 11-year-old and constantly updating a website and maintaining it, isn’t easy, and I can see why I was unique and ‘inspiring’, and why I still am in my own right.

In fact, all of the stresses and long nights of writing blog posts have made me understand why bigger names and voices get frustrated over the fact that their hard work is often overseen because no matter how big the industry is becoming now, it’s still seen as a hobby and something that anyone can do (well, technically anyone can, but not many are ready for the commitment).

What I’m trying to say is – now that I’m older, I’m growing out of that label. In fact, in about two years’ time, it won’t even be factually correct, because I’ll be an adult (yes, this blog is going to have seen my full transition from an 11-year-old to a fully-fledged ‘adult’), and guess what? You don’t really hear anyone calling themselves an ‘adult blogger’ do you? Unless, you know… you’re into that kind of thing.

how to grow as a teen blogger - tolly dolly posh

And these days, I know I’m not the only one who soon won’t have a blog to base upon their original niche. Although there were only a few popular teen bloggers in 2012, there were still many opening up blogs and Tumblr accounts to give it a shot (I have proof in the form of dozens of emails asking for advice and guidance).

Teen bloggers aren’t a niche anymore because it’s so easy to start something at the click of a button. I’ve found out that a lot of my readers of the same age and younger are bloggers themselves, just by clicking on their Twitter profiles after receiving a reply or a like.

I don’t get asked whether I’m coping with cyberbullying or hate anymore; my parents are barely mentioned when I’m answering interview questions, and it’s all because five years on, people know of these issues and how they work. They’ve seen it hundreds of times over. Young people can make blogs and code their own social media platforms. It’s not new anymore, and that’s a hard honest fact to come to terms with.

So, if you’re reading this as a teen blogger (a blogger who is within the age range of around 11-16 years old), how do we redefine ourselves? How do we stand out and make sure that our young voices don’t get drowned out by the hundreds of others doing the same thing? How do we grow up as a teen blogger?

how to grow as a teen blogger - tolly dolly posh

Ask yourself, why are you blogging?

If you’re known for being a young blogger, or your readers are young and they look up to you for the fact that they can relate to what you’re saying, you need to make sure that you’ve defined the niche that yourself and your readers will be able to grow up with. For me, it’s been a journey. I now class myself as an ethical fashion blogger (and aspiring fashion designer) because that’s what is important to me. If you write about teen beauty, specify what your core focus is on. You don’t have to label yourself as a ‘confidence blogger’ or an ‘acne blogger’, but make your core focus a key message throughout everything you do (more on this in the next point).

Labels aren’t everything, though. You don’t have to feel like you’re fixed in one position, because of the fact you’re going to change. You’re what you are in this specific moment in time, not forever.

Write a mission statement…

If you want to make a point about what you’re doing and you want to stand up for what you believe in, shout it! Write a mission statement and make it clear and precise as to what your goal is. Your readers will know what they’re there for and what they’ll be gaining at the same time. Start defining what part of being a teen blogger is most important to you. Here’s mine from my about page

Mission Statement:

My mission is to inspire others to be more confident in themselves and what they wear, whether that be in terms of their physical appearance (becoming more comfortable in the real you) or in terms of the actual clothes that are in their wardrobes (becoming more aware of who made them and where they came from).

It is also my aim to become more comfortable and aware of these topics myself and bring you along on the journey. I believe that not everyone is perfect, whether that be in terms of embracing their personality or living a more ethical life, and I want people to know that, that is okay. I want my blog to be a place where you feel comfortable in sharing your journeys too!

how to grow as a teen blogger - tolly dolly posh

Let things change…

Don’t feel like you have to stick to a certain style or to a certain aesthetic just because that’s what you started with. I believe in creating a strong branding, but that doesn’t mean you can’t branch out and become the blogger and person you truly are. Allow your blog to grow up organically. Don’t force yourself into writing content just attract a certain audience. Let things change and develop. Think of yourself and your blog as a flower – you need to blossom and bloom.

…and accept it.

The hardest part is knowing that things have got harder and that being someone young online isn’t going to cause a stir. It might not have been why you started out, but it might have been what got you off the ground. It caused attention and it created your audience, but it might not necessarily do that anymore. It’s not just because of your age, it’s because of how much more choice there is. You have to accept the path things go, which is in fact, part of blossoming and blooming.

I’ve started to take this quote on board a lot, whether it’s to do with confidence or life in general – flowers are pretty but so are fairy lights and they look nothing alike. You can still have your own unique voice and still bloom into something individual and undefined by your age or another part of your personality or general being, and be successful and stand out. It really is about knowing what that is to you and watching people follow. In fact, I guess it’s about growing up in general – you have to work out who you are, first.

If you’re a teen blogger – how are you growing up online? Let’s chat in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Being 16 in ’16 | Take Part Big Issues

By September 7, 2016 General

A couple of months ago I shared a behind the scenes picture of a project I was asked to be a part of, and today, I am super excited to be able to share with you what exactly it is! Now launched, you can take a look at Take Part’s newest Big Issue – 16 in 16…

take part big issues 16 in 16 #16in16

take part big issues 16 in 16 #16in16

take part big issues 16 in 16 #16in16

Watch my #16in16 video here

Turning 16, to most girls, means becoming a young woman and exploring oneself. It’s an exciting time, but it’s also full of challenges, especially for those in far-flung corners of the Earth. For some teens, being 16 means starting to drive and experiencing love and dating, but for others, it can mean taking on inequality and conflicts in everyday life.

So, to learn a little more about what it’s like to be 16 years old in 2016, Take Part asked myself and 15 other girls what it’s like to be as a young woman, whether they might be, in the hopes of sharing why teen girls should have access to education, economic opportunity and basic human rights. It was all quite exciting to be a part of, but now I look at it all put together with the other girls’ stories, I’ve started to realise why it’s such an important message.

The feature is a small video series which highlights certain topics like relationships, family life, future careers and ambitions, and what struggles 16 year olds have to face. Some of the stories are genuinely, truly inspiring, so I feel very honoured to have played my part the best I could! I spoke a bit about why home education gives me more freedom than traditional schooling, but there’s a small bit more when you click through to my personal segment.

Ethical and sustainable fashion. I’ve become interested in the True Cost movie. I don’t believe in labels and fancy clothes and things like that. I would rather have my wardrobe like I do now; it’s secondhand, and it’s ethical brands.

What I'm most passionate about...

take part big issues 16 in 16 #16in16

Watch all #16in16 videos here

Some of the other girls include Monica from Nairobi in Kenya, who’s ambition is to become a journalist; Emma from Pennsylvania who’s an aspiring writer working hard for equality and the LGBTQ community; Haiana, a Syrian refugee now living in Germany, and Savannah, who’s an aspiring marine biologist who’s been coping with her mother’s drug addiction most of her life. All of the girls have such inspiring messages and are obviously destined for great things!

You can take a look at my feature, as well as the other videos and other girls, at the link above. Please do take a look and give it a share if you can! Take Part (part of Participant Media) will be rolling out the campaign for the months ahead, so I’m sure you’ll see the link floating around for a while too.

Thanks so much to the team for this opportunity, and for creating a project with such a strong message. Here’s to being 16 in 16!

Images taken from the 16 in 16 videos.

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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I Experienced an Earthquake

By August 28, 2016 General

(Definitely not a fashion related post, but an important one nonetheless.) I don’t mean to be dramatic as I write this. I don’t mean to worry anyone or make my experience seem worse than others, because I know it wasn’t, in fact, I’ve never felt luckier.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

My experience of the earthquake was minor compared to others.
Please donate to Croce Rossa Italiana to help those in need.

You may have seen on Twitter or Facebook or wherever else I post, but if not, then you won’t know that on Wednesday 24th August at 3.36am, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit the region of Italy where I am currently staying. Again, I am safe and even after not knowing where she was for four hours of the morning after, even our travelling cat Paloma was found without a scratch.

But, I have never and I hope that I will never again experience something so terrifying. I know that earthquakes happen all over the world fairly frequently, whether that be big or small, and I know that there are even more scarring experiences to go through, but even the sound of a car driving down our road is now enough to make me feel like crying again.

I’ve learnt about earthquakes before. I’ve researched them, my family even planned out the sort of thing we would do if one hit before we started travelling through Italy, so it’s not like we knew it could never happen… it’s just you never really think it will. And when it does, there’s no warning. There’s no gradual build up. In a matter of seconds it can feel like your whole world is about to shatter, and unfortunately for some, this time – it did.

For me the worst part is exactly that; how sudden it was. I go to bed fairly late. I fell asleep at about half past 1 in the morning, after watching an ASMR video because sometimes I find them relaxing to watch before I drift off. I put my laptop down, turned off my side light and closed my eyes. I hadn’t said goodnight to my parents or brother, and I hadn’t given my cat a cuddle; I’d just simply fallen asleep, as you do, normally, definitely not thinking about what would happen in 2 hours’ time.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

I feel rather stupid now, because when I go over the events (which let me tell you, isn’t pleasant to do – I’m crying as I type this) I remember sitting bolt upright in my bed when I first heard the rumbles and felt the shakes (more on this in a moment) and thinking – ‘What’s that?’. It only really clicked in my mind when I heard my mum call out, “Get under a table!”, a phrase we’d discussed when researching what to do if it ever happened.

My first conscious action was to scream.

I then attempted to get under my bed, because I’m fairly slim and I’ve done it before in order to get a box out from underneath it, but in the pitch black, with your heart racing and nothing making sense, climbing under a small space is near impossible. So I crawled as quickly as I could to the desk at one side of the room, crossed my arms over my knees and closed my eyes.

Last night (as in, the night before I wrote this – 27th August), we went to a restaurant by the sea (where nothing was effected by the earthquake) to try and calm ourselves. We were by a railway line and a train came past. My dad put his hand on my arm and said “It’s just a train.”, and I was a bit confused, but as soon as it passed, I froze, because I knew exactly why he’d said it. For a split second I thought I would be fine, but all of a sudden the tears came spilling out and I had to try my hardest not to close my eyes so I didn’t think back to the night.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

The train was nothing in comparison to what I felt and heard, but anything can set me off now. It’s so hard to explain.

In my opinion, it’s like the earth roared. It was so dark and so sudden that I couldn’t even allow myself to see what was actually happening as the building shook. I can’t explain it. You don’t know what an earthquake feels like until you feel one – and I hope none of you reading this ever will, or ever have, because trust me, you really don’t want to.

I believe the main quake lasted about 20 seconds. In that time, I got under my desk, my mum found a space under a table outside of the bedrooms, my brother stayed put upstairs where he sleeps, and my dad attempted to get to my room. Also in that time, I finally managed to open my eyes as the shaking and roaring faded. Things were scattered across the floor, ornaments were broken and the cupboard doors had opened to let things fly out.

I was crying through all of it, but the tears and hyperventilating didn’t come until there was light from somewhere (I still honestly have no idea where from – one of my parents’ torches? The main lights?) and I looked up at the wall above the bed.

There’s now a diagonal crack from the bottom corner to the top corner, with brick exposed and plaster completely gone. I looked to the floor and I could see dust and paint and as I finally got to my feet, I had to try my best to tip toe around broken glass. The scary thought I have is that I had no idea any of this was happening at the time. The only thing you worry about in terms of destruction, is how to avoid it – not what’s actually being destroyed.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

My brother came in my room at one point, and tried to join me under the table… once the shaking had stopped, my dad dashed downstairs as safely as he could to get bottles of water, and once he was back, we huddled in the hallway under tables and turned up sofas and decided what to do next.

This is why I’m grateful for my surroundings – we were able to safely get out of the house and sit on sunbeds in the open garden where nothing could fall on top of us in the event of an aftershock. None of us had injuries – our main concern of wellbeing was our cat, who like I said, we didn’t find until four hours later when the sun had come up. She was upstairs where the least damage had occurred, hiding behind some drawers and a sofa. I’ve never been so happy to see a cat in my life.

I’ve also never been so happy for WiFi. The connection where we are isn’t the greatest, in fact it drives me mad most of the time, especially when it comes to blogging, but somehow it was still going strong for us to use. My brother had his iPad and was Googling what we should do next – what we should check, where we should go, and whether anything was going to happen again.

The internet couldn’t give us exact answers, but it made us feel like we weren’t so alone as we sat under the stars (and what seemed to be a meteor shower – a detail of this story I keep forgetting to mention to people) and tried to compose ourselves, which is what I’m still doing four days later, and what I expect I’ll still be doing in four weeks’ time at this rate.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

What I’ve written really hasn’t explained the pure terror of that morning. My brain was trying to figure so much out all at one time. I didn’t have my life flash before my eyes, but I’m certain at one point I gulped and realised I still hadn’t met my newborn nephew who’s just turned a month old. I was shaking outside from the shock rather than the cold and I didn’t want my dad to let go of me.

The aftershocks started soon after. The biggest one we’ve experienced so far was about an hour after the main hit, rumbling for a good few seconds and knocking whatever we heard in the distance to the ground (we believe it may have been an abandoned farm building nearby). Aftershocks are still happening, and they’re what is keeping me from going inside to write this.

There are two very different sensations – an aftershock outside and an aftershock inside.
Outside, it’s mainly under your feet. You feel it and you hear it, and it unsettles you, but if you’re in an area where nothing can fall, you know you’re safe. Inside however, it’s all around you; the building shakes and almost sways, like it’s about to push up from the ground, and even if it lasts two seconds, you’re already looking for the nearest table.

Apparently it is extremely rare for a strong aftershock to hit again, but it’s not impossible. What should happen from now on, is tiny rumbles until they fade away completely. It might take a week, it might take two… we still might feel something in a month’s time. That’s the thing with earthquakes – you can’t ever know.

So we’re still sleeping outside. Our cat stays in a locked room during the day, before joining us in the tent during the night. We could go back in, because we’ve had a builder take a look at the damage in all of the rooms, and we’ve had the gas tank checked for leaks (“It’s the Season 4 of my life!”, I joked to a friend recently – you can make me feel better by understanding that reference) but it’s just the thought of experiencing it again, in the same place, barely a week after, that is terrifying (me, mainly).

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

My experience of the earthquake was minor compared to others.
Please donate to Croce Rossa Italiana to help those in need.

I really wish I could turn back time. If I could ask for anything right now, it would be to go back to the day before when I was getting on with my work and life and being productive and feeling safe. I’d really like a nice sleep in my bed without having to look up at the ceiling which has cracks in it.

But that’s why I started this post by saying ‘I don’t want to be dramatic’.
I know it could be worse.

I could have no bed to go back into at all. The cracks on my phone could be because it got smashed under rubble, rather than the fact I dropped it a few months ago. The tent we’re sleeping in could be because we have no house to return to, rather than just because we’re afraid. We could have been an hour and a half away, in a town we had a coffee in last winter, watching everything we know and love fade away.

My heart breaks every time I think about the fact that other families who experienced the same thing at the same time as us, are no longer whole. I hate that I know a girl younger than me had to survive 24 hours under the rubble of her house, and that babies have lost their very short lives. And I hate how there was nothing anyone could do to prevent any of it.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

But I feel so grateful that we’re in a country where there are resources to help those in worse conditions, and that it took me all of two minutes to donate to the Italian Red Cross to help in a small way, and that a friend of mine is helping in the preparation for food to be delivered to effected villages… and that with every day it’s going to get easier and that I’m safe.

This trauma isn’t going to be easy to get over. Driving up and down the unpaved road nearby feels rather similar to how my bed shook and moved, and I’m going to be reminded by it every day with all the damage, until the redecorators finally leave at some point. But I’m okay. I obviously might not be blogging as much until I feel comfortable at my desk again, but I’m okay.

I experienced an earthquake and I guess it’s just another story to add to the list. A list that will hopefully make me stronger, and a list that I can hopefully pass on to help others.

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Emotional Sustainability and Why Sentimental Items Have Value

By July 25, 2016 Ethical

We’re all guilty of keeping a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes in our wardrobe simply for the fact it reminds us of a certain time or moment in our lives, right? When it comes to a spring clean, there’s always that one item that you pick up and say, ‘I’ll throw you out one day’ to (yes, I personify my clothes – you’re probably guilty of that too), but never actually get around to doing so. But upon thinking about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s value in sentimental fashion and clothing…

ethical and sustainable fashion - emotional sustainability

My first pair of Dr Martens // My blue Maid of Honour bracelet // A bracelet bought with my mum // My sister’s old ring // My mum’s old ring

The value is that it’s sustainable. Yes, keeping that dress you’ve had for four years is sustainable, because it’s lasting; it’s staying put and not being chucked away or replaced. So, you might not wear it very often, but you might have stopped yourself from buying something similar that one time because you know it’s there. You’re keeping an item and prolonging its worth, and whenever you see it, you’re being thrown back emotionally to a time you loved and appreciated.

There are some items you might own that you never want to lose, so you take extra care of them when you do showcase them to the world. I own a ring (pictured) which my dad originally bought for my mum many moons ago, and I go into a state of panic whenever I can’t find it – Note to self: always check leather jacket pockets.

These items are irreplaceable. They don’t keep up with the trends. They aren’t part of the profit gaining cycle of the industry. They may not even be long lasting items which were made of the best fabrics, but because we want to prolong the memory; we prolong the item.

ethical and sustainable fashion - emotional sustainability

I remember buying this bracelet from a small little shop with my mum.  It was nothing special in the moment, but she treated me to it and it always reminds me of that day. 

There are also those items that one day you might want to pass onto your children (just like my mum did with that ring). If you buy something of value and quality, it’s more likely to last longer, meaning you can pass it on in the future. Buying an expensive watch which will last several years, gives you that option to then pass it on to your child. “But it will probably be broken by then” I hear you say… repairs are an option, which is exactly why DIY fashion is promoted as sustainable.

For me, I’m clinging on to my first pair of Dr Martens. It sounds ridiculous, but yes, one day I hope that I can pass them on. They’ll remind me of a time in my life and how much I treasured them, and because I know they are of a certain quality (okay, not necessarily of an ethical and environmentally friendly quality), I know that they are going to last just that bit longer and I know that they can carry on being sustainable for much longer than a pair of shoes I could buy some time in the future. They were second hand, they’re being sustained, they can be repaired, and they will be passed on again. It’s a much more beneficial cycle than that of something new and temporary… which brings me to the idea of the sustainable fashion industry as a whole…

ethical and sustainable fashion - emotional sustainability

This silver necklace used to also be my mum’s and I hold it very close to my heart (a pun which was very much intended).

Sustainable fashion is about stepping out of the profitable cycle of fast fashion, and stepping into the cycle of clothes and items that last longer than the trend they were produced for. Fast fashion is all about trends and keeping things ticking along. To quote a line from ‘Stitched Up by Tansy Hoskins‘ (that I will be reviewing soon) – “It is a commodity cycle of newness that makes clothes go out-of-date and keeps retailers in business.”

Sustainable fashion has no sell-by-date or best-before label. It lasts. Buying a product which is made of higher quality fabrics and has been crafted in a way that not only prolongs the item, but prolongs the wellbeing of the earth, is going to be so much more beneficial to everyone (and the children that it gets passed on to).

The idea and meaning behind what a sustainable item is doing, brings us back to sentimentality. If consumers start to be aware of where their clothes are being made and by whom, they’ll start to appreciate their items and will stop seeing them as disposable items. We all need to start seeing our clothes and fashion as a whole as something that lasts longer than one season and a few weeks on a rack. If a moment can keep us clinging on for years, then the stories and effects of what we’re buying should be able to, too.

What’s one item you’re sustaining for sentimental reasons? Have you bought anything specifically sustainable recently? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you’ve been liking my posts recently. I feel like I’m back in the blogging game and really know where I’m going with it. I also hope you liked these pictures in this post! I’ve discovered that I’m in love with ‘Scanography‘ (the art of using a scanner as your camera) and I absolutely love the look and feel of them. I’ll talk to you soon!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why Using Your Blog Audience to Make Change Is So Important

By July 21, 2016 General

The word ‘influencer’ has started to creep into my vocabulary recently, because I’ve come to the conclusion (along with the media/press) that bloggers (including myself) are now much more than just bloggers. We’re influencers.

influencing your blog audience - teen blogger Tolly Dolly Posh

WHAT I WORE: Faux Leather Jacket (DIY & Peacocks) // Maxi Dress (ASOS) // Floppy Hat (ASOS) // Rings (Unknown

Bought something you’ve seen a blogger wearing? They influenced that decision. Had an opinion changed by a blogger you read every day? They’re influencing your thoughts. That sounds rather 1984/Big Brother levels of scary, but if we can be influenced by brands and magazines in that 1984 scary way, then there is nothing to stop us from being influenced by bloggers (again – including myself), just the same.

I’m not here to talk about beauty standards and societal conformities and that kind of influence though. I’m here to talk about positive influence and my irritation over the fact that Not. Enough. Bloggers. Are. Using. Their. Audiences. To. Make. Change.

I can’t say I’m perfect. I haven’t spoken about racism in the fashion industry, or politics (but I guess with that one I’d be expected to talk about Theresa May’s shoes, wouldn’t I?) on my blog before, and I’m not making petitions and getting you all to sign it, but I am doing my small part in sharing my views and opinions on certain things, specifically ethical and sustainable fashion, and how fast fashion is getting kind of old. So, I am doing something… but just the odd blogger, here and there, in my opinion, isn’t enough.

influencing your blog audience - teen blogger Tolly Dolly Posh

I’m not here trying to guilt anyone who is a blogger, but I hope that you will agree with me saying that there is a need and lack of bloggers using their audiences to make change happen. Perhaps my frustration comes from the fact that I’m not a huge blogger… yes, okay, I have a few magazine features under my belt (way to blow your own trumpet, Tolly) but I am nothing in comparison to the superstar YouTubers and followed-by-200k-on-Twitter bloggers, yet I am trying my best to put out a message that will only reach a few hundred. These bloggers, with a power and influence that they know they have, could be doing massive amounts to change the minds of literally thousands (if not, millions) of people. But they’re not. Why? Well, that’s the answer I want to figure out.

I’ve seen a few arguments to this question, including ‘It wouldn’t fit in with my aesthetic/blog topic’ and ‘I want my blog to be a place to escape’, or even, ‘There’s somebody else already doing it’. They’re all valid, and if that’s what you believe, then it’s your blog; sure, stick with that. But think about the possibilities of what you could be doing.

If you get comments on your posts, it’s because somebody has taken the time to read the majority of the words within it (and finds it worthy of adding to). That means that somebody is listening to you. Somebody is being influenced by you. Even if it’s just one… that’s somebody who could learn about something important and topical, that they might not have thought about before.

influencing your blog audience - teen blogger Tolly Dolly Posh

Let’s take me and ethical fashion, for example. I’ve had quite a lot of readers commenting on my blog and saying ‘I never really knew about this before, I’m definitely going to learn more’, which is exactly what I want whenever I talk about it. So what if a blogger with 100 times the amount of readers as I have, spoke about the same issues? That would be 100 times more the amount of people being influenced.

The argument of ‘It wouldn’t fit in with my aesthetic/blog topic’ is a bit of a weak one for me personally. It takes me back to one of the reasons I even wrote this post – Vivienne Westwood (and Ian Kelly)’s book about Vivienne’s life and career. You probably already know, but Vivienne works closely with climate change and combines fashion and her activism into one. When she spoke about this in the book, she said that everything is connected, it’s just finding a way to comfortably connect it that can become a struggle… but, it can be done.

Obviously, if there’s no cause or topic you feel worthy of talking about, then don’t force it just to influence people. Talk about something that you are passionate about and believe in strongly. If you’re a beauty blogger, you can still talk about such topics as ethical and sustainable fashion, because fashion links in with beauty and trends and how consumerism and capitalism do their part. If you’re a book blogger, talk about books which discuss these types of topics.

influencing your blog audience - teen blogger Tolly Dolly Posh


 Tweet about it
 Retweet other people’s tweets
 Use Facebook to post lengthier updates (there’s no 140 character limit!)
 Blend in subtle messages within other blog posts
✓ Write a mission statement for your about page

 Ask your readers questions about the topic
 If you’re not; admit that you’re not perfect (especially with things such as ethical shopping etc)
 Bring your readers along on your journey
 If it’s important to you – let it be important

Whatever kind of blogger you are – you have an audience that listens, trusts and is influenced by you, so you may as well use that to your advantage. Even if you don’t do it on your actual blog, speaking up about things on social media is important too, because it is even more easily shareable, which means the people you are influencing can then influence their friends and family and their own audiences.

I think it probably hits home to me so much because ethical and sustainable fashion now seems to me, unquestionable. I don’t really understand why more people aren’t talking about it. I’d love for people who do have bigger audiences than me, to start spreading the same awareness. Especially those who have millions of beady eyes watching. I’ve only seen a couple of people who have started to do this, like CutiePieMarzia, who worked on the Fashion Revolution ‘#Haulternative’ campaign, and more recently, Tanya Burr, who is working on the Global Goals campaign which focuses on gender equality worldwide.

The most important part about people such as Tanya spreading these messages, is the fact that she is reaching out to teens. Younger people are being fed knowledge and are starting to question things because someone they watch and admire is telling them that it’s important. She’s using her influence, and really – it’s just that simple.

If you’ve been contemplating writing a post about a topic that is close to your heart, then write it. Use the power you have at your fingertips. If just one person reads it and decides to learn even more, that’s one person you’ve influenced. That’s one more person who might just go off and change the world (even if that sounds rather over the top).

Let me know in the comments what you’d like to see influencers talking about, and how you think it can be done!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Style: Me? Sarcastic? Never!*

By July 11, 2016 My Style

Although my style is definitely heading into more versatile, bohemian territory, it’s always fun to revisit different styles and aesthetics, so in today’s outfit post, that’s exactly what I’m doing! With the help of a novelty Skinnydip number of course…

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

WHAT I WORE: Embroidered Blouse (Charity Shop) // Mom Jeans (Pull & Bear) // Strappy Buckle Heels (New Look – old)* // Sunglasses (Topshop – old) // Liquid Sarcasm Bag (Skinnydip London @ House of Fraser)*

I haven’t worn a ‘kitsch’ outfit in a while, but there are definitely still elements of styling cutesy things up that I enjoy, like mixing bright colours with monochrome and denim. White and black work well with any colour and any texture, hence why everything in this outfit seems to blend perfectly, even though the blouse has western almost cowboy-like influences and the heels are modern with silver buckles.

Speaking of that blouse – as you can tell, I’m really not slowing down on this blouse obsession! Although this post lacks in ethical brands, I will let you know that every blouse I own (bar one) is second-hand or from ASOS Africa… so although I’m buying them at a ridiculous rate, they’re not doing any harm. Few!

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

I’m still loving my mom jeans too… although, I haven’t really worn them other than in this post recently because it has been about 100 billion degrees outside (slight exaggeration there, Tolly) and I am not going to risk melting myself to death… hm. Really, I’ve been opting for a floaty off the shoulder gypsy blouse and a pair of my Reclaimed Vintage mosaic trousers  (yes, you read that right ‘a pair’, because I own two as they’re just too good).

I actually just want to make a note and say that I recently tweeted ASOS to ask where their Reclaimed Vintage pieces are made and I had a response from their manufacturer to say that all of the pieces are made in England. Pretty cool, huh? I’m going to have to take their word for it because as soon as my next pay day comes around (heh – blogging life, who knows when that will be?)… well, let’s just say there’s a dress I have my eyes on.

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

In terms of accessories in this post, I finally own a classic Skinnydip London bag! It was a lovely little treat from House of Fraser and I have to say that’s it rather photogenic! Plus, I’m like totally not sarcastic or anything, so this bag totally doesn’t match up to my personality or anything… nope.

Also, on top of the novelty handbag, can I just point out our cliche pool donuts? I had my eyes on them for a while so it was quite a fun treat when they arrived in the post from Mama Posh! That actually is a positive to the amazing weather right now… going in the pool for days on end!

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

skinnydip london house of fraser ootd fashion blog

This blog post felt rather chatty, which is quite nice after my recent posts! I hope you’ve been enjoying this boost in quality (over quantity) and that you’re looking forward to the next weeks and months to come! July is quite an exciting one as my sister is due with her second baby in a couple of weeks time which will make me an aunty to two! And then we have August which is a month for family, visiting the David Bowie Is exhibition in Bologna (finally – I cannot wait!) and waiting nervously for something rather exciting I was recently filmed for, to be released into the world. Stay tuned!

Also – so! many! exclamation! marks! Tolly! When! will! it! ever! end?!

What have you been wearing recently? Have you ever gone back to an old style? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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The Official Tolly Dolly Posh Sock Shop

By February 6, 2016 Shop

Today’s post is just a quick one! So… you may have noticed recently, that there’s been a bit of a change in terms of my banners up there beneath my header? Well, there’s been a bit of a change elsewhere too because my very own collection of socks is now just that… my own! The (originally known as) #MooiEnLiefbyTDP collection is now underneath the Tolly Dolly Posh name! Exciting 🙂

The shop is now back open and you can have a quick purchase of your favourite pairs! But be quick as this is the last stock of them before they’re gone. Who knows, there may just be another product in the pipeline sometime in the future. I really hope you enjoy picking up your socks again! Make sure to give a tweet with “#TDPSocks” this time, so I can see who’s been buying pairs.


Let me know if you like the new shop or if you’ve made an order, in the comments!

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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My Style: Good Morning Sunshine!*

By July 4, 2015 My Style

Long time no outfit post, heh? The days fly by and when I look at the date of my last one I think, really?! Jeeeez, it’s been a while! Anyway, today’s post is in celebration of the ridiculous weather right now. Some days you think “Ahh, so beautiful, sunshine and warmth…” and on other days you think “This is too hot. Where is the rain?”, but I’d like to celebrate the beautiful side of it today. Let’s talk more about what I’m wearing for it then, shall we?

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

WHAT I WORE: Good Morning Sweatshirt (Wildfox Kids)* // Super Crop Top (ASOS) // Multi-print Maxi Skirt (Jumble Sale) // White Flats (Random Store) // Sunglasses (Polaroid)

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

I’ve decided that this is a very “me” outfit. I always take a fairly ordinary outfit and make it weird somehow by adding a bold (and beautiful) skirt, but hey ho! The most “normal” (I mean really, is there such a thing as “normal”?) piece in this outfit is my new Good Morning Wildfox jumper which I am simply in love with! Grey slogan tops are such a simple way to pull an outfit together and this is my most recent addition to my collection. I love the slouchy vibes and the frayed edges. What d’ya think?

The more “weird” part of this outfit is my crazy skirt which was a jumble sale find, from ages ago. I absolutely love it… once again, it has a rather slouchy fit to it like the jumper, but the print makes up for the casual vibes. I love how floaty it is and it probably is one of my favourite skirts to date.

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

To be quite honest, I’d probably only wear the jumper with this outfit, in the evenings, so to make it a bit more daytime friendly, I also wore my Super crop top, which still keeps the slogan in there. I also like how it pops out on your shoulder when you are wearing the sweatshirt on top!

That GIF took me way too long to make, so you better watch it about 10 billion times and truly appreciate it. Look at that spin! I’m a ballerina. Like, a legit ballerina…. I kid. Although, I did use to be! I think it lasted a year when I was about 4, so it probably doesn’t really count but erm… oh well!

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

Sunglasses time! I’m a big sunglasses fan, so when I see a pair I like, I take them… quite literally in fact. I’m pretty sure Mama Posh has no idea that these have been stolen adopted by me! I love the vibe they give off though… they have that retro French feel to them and they make me feel pretty bad-ass when paired with a black floppy hat. I’m not sure they’re available to buy now though, I’m afraid! I think they’ve possibly been in my mum’s drawer for a few years…

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

Good Morning Wildfox Jumper OOTD Fashion Blog Summer Outfit Ideas

Finally, the shoes… this pair are not only good looking, comfortable and affordable, but they’re also great for making my tan look a bit darker than it really is. I can definitely count it as one, right? 2 days at the beach in one week, can do that, can’t it? Speaking of shoes, I recently passed on my floral Dr Martens as they were too small and now I really want a new pair… must resist! 

Is it full on summer where you are now? What have you been wearing in the sunshine? Let me know in the comments so we can chat!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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A Closer Look At Recent Valentino Pre Collections

By June 30, 2015 Fashion

Very recently I have become truly mesmerized by the beauty of which is, Valentino. I feel like I should have been a big fan ever since I became interested in Fashion, but only recently has it really occurred to me to look deeper into the latest collections and the in’s and out’s of the fashion house. I’ve more specifically fallen in love with Valentino’s Pre collections. If you don’t know what that is… it’s another full (or half) collection inbetween a season. It could also be called a “Resort” collection too!

Valentino Pre Collections S/S 16~ VALENTINO PRE SPRING/SUMMER 2016 ~
(Images via

First, let’s discuss the most recent ‘pre-collection’; Spring/Summer 2016. I recently read a comment on an article where somebody was saying that Valentino was getting boring. I can see why (and you will probably) but I personally can push through all of that, starting with this collection. It is utterly divine.

It’s the most intricate mix of South American inspired pieces, heavily embellished and embroidered florals and sleek silhouettes. As you will see from the other highlights in this post, my heart always falls for the embellishments and embroidery. It honestly makes me squeal inside and I almost find it making me feel speechless. There is something so beautiful about fashion when it becomes more of an art form, and this in my opinion, is a great example.

Valentino Pre Collections A/W 15 ~ VALENTINO PRE AUTUMN/WINTER 2015 ~
(Images via

This was really the collection that started my adoration for Valentino, and it’s the latest Autumn/Winter edition. When a collection is so clear in direction, it’s another way to make my mouth fall open in awe. I love what Valentino did with the pieces… inspiration coming from both the sky and the Earth, with the beautiful patterns of botanical plants and flowers, and (of course) the embroidery of the stars and planets.

There are also the more simpler and wearable pieces which I believe are representing the “core” of both the collection and the world. The collection was meant to emphasise the fact that fashion can’t change the world, but peace and love can. Honestly the thing that makes me smile the most, is the sheer amount of detail that goes into every piece. It’s beautiful.

Valentino Pre Collections S/S 15 ~ VALENTINO PRE SPRING/SUMMER 2015 ~
(Images via

I think this collection shows that Valentino still has the cool factor. There maybe a few repetitive styles (including the ridiculously amazing embroidered dresses), but the collections are still fresh and modern. With this being the collection that most people would be wearing currently (…feels weird seeing as this was on show such a long time ago…), the seventies vibes are spread on thinly throughout every piece.

But, if you go and take a look at the collection for yourself, you’ll see that the real showstopping pieces didn’t feature any suede tassels. A wave of bold prints in rainbow colours attract the most attention. What do you think of the sudden twist in the Valentino Pre Spring/Summer collection? Did it fit in or was it too much of a daring contrast? I like it!

Which Valentino “Pre” collection has been your favourite? I can’t decide! Let me know in the comments…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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