Coffee and Cake with Chambray & Curls

laura chambray and curls IMG_9894
I thought it might be fun to start a little series where I found out something about some interesting people. Interviews sound a little formal and stressful, so I thought I'd try something a little more pleasant and relaxed, and get some coffee and cake involved, two of my favourite things! I invited the lovely Laura along from Chambray & Curls for a little chat…

Laura is a fashion and lifestyle, and fitness blogger behind Chambray & Curls and Being Pretty Strong, and I was curious to find out a little more about her style, her life and her inspiration. We met at the Ground Coffee House in Kemptown for a chai latte and a rather tasty looking slice of carrot cake and got chatting: 

Where is your favourite place to go for fashion inspiration?

I find inspiration everywhere. I love magazines, Elle in particular, and love pulling bits out to add to mood boards. I like having a mood board at my desk as I work, and fill it with inspiring images. I draw a lot of inspiration from blogs too, my favourites include Cheetah Is the New Black, I love how she puts pieces together so interestingly. Carla's Closet is the very first blog I read. Shine by Three is a favourite read too. Pinterest and Tumblr are great sites for inspiration too, I love using Tumblr and scrolling back through the things I have blogged, it's an interesting way of tracking your interests and seeing how they develop over time.

What has shaped your style to where it is now?
I actually don't really know whether I have got a style, but I think I am beginning to find one. I wear a mix of things, but have found that stepping away from the high street helps you work out what you like and don't like. I think it's important to spend your money wisely and I try to make more ethical choices. I often buy second hand, and love charity shops. I look for a more transparent manufacturing policy, and find this automatically limits your choices down to wear things are made, making it easier to find the things you want to wear. I tend to stick to simple colours, and you really can't go wrong with jeans and a jumper! I work with costumes so spend a lot of time dealing with fabrics, and find myself drawn to interesting pieces in this way.

Your blog photography is beautiful, do you have any tips for composition and arrangement?
I think the most important thing is to get to know your lens. Light settings are important and you need to adjust them depending on your set up. Have a play about, and draw upon inspiration that strikes you. If you see something you like, then try it. Move things about, change the angle, and don't be afraid to change your plan if you need to. Practising and experimenting are key. I start with an idea in my head, often drawn from tumblr or a mood board, and play about with it from there to get the image I was after. I try to limit editing as much as possible too, I'll crop, rotate etc, but brightness and clarity should come from the photograph itself.

You lead a very interesting life as well as managing two blogs, how do you stay organised?
I write everything down. My diary is the most important thing in the world! I use a blog book to write ideas down as I go. I have a few series and stick to them, and look for new posts to fit with them, which is helpful when you're stuck for ideas. I like to keep a routine with this, I try to post certain types of posts per week, and any extras I can fit in on top of that is great. I also keep a fitness book to keep track of my health. The most important thing is to write it all down!

Can you tell us about Being Pretty Strong?
Harry [Laura's gorgeous new fiancé!] has always been into health and fitness. He competes to international levels and has his own online personal training business. I personally have not always had the best relationship with food, leaving me ending up not liking my body. I am not naturally sporty, so exercise was intimidating. It felt so male-orientated, leaving me feeling like an impostor, which is so negative! Fitness and health should rest on what is best for you, and people should be respected for their own achievements. It should be less about an intense fitness mindset and more about trying generally to feel better and learn more in the process. Writing Being Pretty Strong holds me to doing these things, and record my progress along the way. I won't always do things perfectly, but it encourages me to try again!

Do you have any tips for staying inspired?
Write everything down! I generally have a backlog of posts, post titles or ideas kicking around so I can plan ahead. I schedule things for when busy weeks come along too, and having a few saved up really helps for this. I blog because I enjoy it, it's fun and creative, which really takes the pressure off! There is no added stress of it being an income source, which lets me relax and do it purely because I love it!

Thank you so much to the lovely Laura for taking the time to chat, you can check out her blogs here:
Chambray & Curls
Being Pretty Strong 

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