Wow so much has happened in the last few months, therefore I apologise once again for my lack of posts recently.
So we officially became homeowners in March which was such an exciting milestone for us. Since then it has been a whirlwind of unpacking, major renovations and adding our personal touches to our dream home.
I am sure if you are homeowners yourselves, you will have a few steep learning curves stories of your own. When we first moved in, we had no hot water for the first few weeks so even mundane tasks like washing the dishes involved boiling kettles and it was absolutely freezing in the house until we had our new boiler installed.
Having a whole house of windows replaced was something I could never have prepared for. Seeing a gaping hole in the front of your house, with the roof being propped up by a few planks of wood was not for the faint hearted.
This summer we have spent a lot of time and effort on the garden removing a wall of conifer trees, having the soil flattened, the rubbish taken away and laying some more lawn. It has been so rewarding to watch the transformation each week and now I cannot wait until next summer when we have beautiful luscious lawn all the way through.
One thing I have really noticed is my love for fashion and being creative has transcended to my home too. Does anyone else plan an entire rooms decor around accessories like bright cushions, art work or a feature wall like me?
Much like picking a fabulous outfit, having your home be a tranquil, comfortable space for relaxing and entertaining, is a reflection of yourself and I get no greater joy coming home each day, closing the front door behind me and knowing I am in my happy place.
To my lovely fashion loving followers, have you seen the Netflix documentary about the extraordinary woman who edited Italian Vogue? If not, watch it NOW! For this months edition we are doing a deep dive into all things Vogue.
During this strange period of COVID and how it relates to fashion, one person who I have admired who has always pushed the boundaries between current news and fashion is Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani who reported controversial topics until her heartbreaking death in 2016.
Can you my dear readers think back to a headline that really struck a chord with you either emotionally, politically or spiritually? One situation recently where I remember feeling a sense of overwhelming emotion was when we went for our first COVID -19 vaccine. I remember walking into the vaccination centre feeling like this is something hopefully the rest of the world is going to experience and we are all working towards a common goal on the planet of eradicating the virus from our generation and generations to come hopefully for good.
One article from Italian Vogue which really resonated with me is the article that this amazing woman published about the oil spill in Mexico – Deepwater Horizon. Franca did a heartfelt piece on how the oil spill affected marine life and biodiversity with models posing with oil covering their bodies and it really struck a chord with me. My day job is working in the Oil and Gas industry and seeing those images made me think long band hard about the impact I myself am having on the world.I genuinely feel like renewable energy is the way forward in 2021 and it’s something I would like to explore deeper in my career but I love how she just pushed those controversial topics into a different ether and tested those boundaries.
The world has evolved so much, fashion has become pretty much on the back burner whilst the human race globally survive this pandemic but also where there is a will, there is a way! Now face masks have become a fashion statement have you noticed? What’s your mask of choice? It can literally be Gucci, Prada or H&M as long as it matches your outfit. Have you found your style of choice?
One thing I really hope will return even with all of the restrictions of the UK leaving the EU is being able to still afford sustainable fashion. One amazing talenof this is my mother handed down to me a Burberry trench coat which she wore in her 20s which I still wear each year in my mid 30s. The leather cuffs are worn and the shoulders are shabby but I still love wearing it as to me what is vintage is wearing a trench coat that my mum used to wear at my age. Have any of you got a family heirloom which has been passed down to you? Do you frequent vintage shops for classic finds or raid your own parents wardrobes?
What I loved about Franca Sozzani and something that I believe will be her lasting legacy was that she blurred the boundaries between fashion and real life journalism from the war in Afghanistan to celebs going to rehab or having plastic surgery – no subject was off limits and I loved that about Franca. She did not shy away from controversial topics and for that amongst many things you will always be remembered Franca ❤️ May your memory live on always and forever ❤️.
Not sure if this lockdown has been more difficult to stay positive for you as it has done for me but if so, please read my handy guide on staying upbeat as the lockdown lifts in the UK. Please subscribe if you like the content and you will get the new post emailed straight to your inbox each month when I post a new entry. Thank you for the support 😊 x
Good afternoon to you my warmer temperatures lovers,
First off, where have the last few months gone? Even though we have been in a near enough year long lockdown in the UK, the months have just flown by. I hope that you and your families are all safe and well wherever in the world you may be.
A lot has changed for me personally in the last few months. I am proud to say I am now a home owner (eek whoever would have of thought it) so it has been a whirlwind so far of renovations, paint getting into places that it shouldn’t and also some time to just enjoy being still and quiet in the garden.
Have any of you found during the pandemic you really struggled with feeling cooped up and not being able to be outside? We spent the whole of winter in a rented house without a garden and I can safely say now I cannot get enough of having a patch of turf to call my own!
I hope that in your own countries restrictions are also starting lift slightly? I cannot tell you how happy I was yesterday to be able to go and have my nails done. It isn’t even just the fact they look nice, it’s just so amazing to feel pampered and relaxed for that hour. I am not a huge make up person (mainly because I do not even know where to start with all of the blushers and eyeshadows) but I do like to have my eyebrows shaped and my hands and toes to be manicured. What is your pamper treat of choice?
I know for a lot of men at the moment the one thing they cannot wait to have is a haircut. There is only so much slicking back or wearing a cap a man can do, am I right? I have giggled so much seeing all the memes of home hair cuts going completely wrong. I am sure we all have thought I can use a pair of scissors how hard can it be, much to our dismay when it goes catastrophically wrong 😊
Have any of you managed to go out for a meal or for a drink in a pub beer garden yet also? I have managed to book a Sunday dinner this weekend in a pub garden and on the reservation it said to bring warm clothing as heaters are limited! I think we will be happy to go out in a beanie hat and scarf, as long as we can have food that we haven’t had to cook ourselves at the moment. Haha.
Whatever it is that you are most looking forward to about life getting back to some sense of normality, still remember to stay safe, look after each other and most importantly dress to impress at every occasion from now onwards.
As is much of the world right now, the UK is in our second lockdown of the year. When I saw the news of this announcement from our prime minister, I like many people felt a familiar sense of doom and found myself saying “oh no, not again!” This negative outlook did not last long however as I decided in that moment that I am going to do this lock down differently. Hopefully with these top 5 tips, it may help you see the light at the end of the tunnel also. This months post is all things POSITIVE 😊
1) Be at one with nature.
During the first few months of this year, we actually moved home from the bustling hub of London to the rural countryside of the Dales. I have always been a outdoorsy person, preferring long walks or bike rides in the forest to busy, loud bars at the weekend and I literally feel in my element having so much green space on my doorstep. Even if you live in a busy city, really try to make the concerted effort to take an hour at lunch to go for a walk in a local park or if you are fortunate to have a back garden, go out and tend to your veggie patch or walk a friends dog around the block. I cannot stress enough how being in the fresh air does absolute wonders for your well-being.
2) Make an effort with your appearance.
If like me, your working from home attire has been comfy loungewear and a messy up do for the last six months, you will be amazed at how much better you will feel blow drying your hair or putting on a little mascara. I make a concerted effort on the weekend to put on a nice outfit or make myself feel good by having a pamper session at home because self love is incredibly important, even more so in these difficult times.
3) Stay in contact with your family and friends
Just because we are unable to see our loved ones at the moment, still let them know they are in your thoughts by having a once a week video call or just sending each other silly memes throughout the day. Many people are alone at the moment and even though they have family members close by, it can still be incredibly lonely so sometimes just a 5 minute catch up can really make someone’s day. Anyway, who doesn’t love a good belly laugh when they can!
4) Take regular breaks from your home office.
I am incredibly fortunate at the moment to be able to do my day job from home 100% of the time which I am more than grateful for. One thing that I’ve really noticed though is are you also getting so many more emails and teams calls now? Can you relate?
I went through a bit of a hard time about 6 months into lockdown where I felt like I didn’t have much of a work/ life balance because even though we are at home it can be easy to forget that we still need to take a lunch break or to make a cup of tea. Things which are usually part of your working day can sometimes take the back seat which is why it’s imperative to still get up from your desk at least once every hour to stretch your legs or have a glass of water. It is not sustainable to be “on” all the time, be kind to yourself!
5) Time to look within
Although 2020 has not panned out the way many of us would have ever imagined so far this year, one of the real positives I have found during this time is we have never had more of an opportunity to be at home with our families more than now. Usually we are caught up in the daily rat race of commuting to work, perhaps school runs or extra curricular activities or taking part in sports or working out in the gym, when that has been taken away though, what are we left with? Ourselves and a whole lot of reflection time. Are you using this time wisely if you are being honest with yourself? Are you unhappy in your current role or career path? Unhappy with your level of health or fitness? Or perhaps just stuck in a rut? I can tell you for me personally, I have really struggled to write this blog during this time because it can feel inauthentic to be talking about fashion, lifestyle or holiday destinations when there is so much devastation worldwide right now. But I have come to realise upon reflection that I feel creatively at ease as soon as pen hits the paper every time I sit down to write an entry. THIS is my happy place. Have you found yours?
Firstly, I sincerely apologise for my lack of posts in the last six months, I know – can you believe it’s been six months already – we are already into Autumn of 2020.
I just felt what with all of the devastation the pandemic has caused (and still causing sadly), it was insensitive to be writing about Fashion or lifestyle when let’s face it, if you are like me you’ve lived in shorts, t shirts and a messy bun whilst working from home all summer anyway.
But, I can assure you I have not forgotten about my lovely readers and I have genuinely missed bringing you all thought provoking content each month. I sincerely hope you and your families are keeping safe and well in these troubling times.
For this months post though I wanted to open up the floor to you. What has been the biggest challenges for you during these last few months? Has it been not being able to visit elderly grandparents or relatives, parents or siblings? Has it been getting all the way to the supermarket, only to realise you left your face covering at home? Overuse of hand sanitiser or face coverings leaving your faces and hands bruised and chapped? Has it been the daily pandemic update on the news causing you worry or stress? Or was it, trying to think of creative ways to entertain your children whilst we were all forced to stay at home? Perhaps it was all of the above?
I can completely understand why there has been a huge spike in individuals suffering with their mental health or feeling worried about how to keep their loved ones safe? But in all of this, one really positive side I have seen is how some of the best side of humanity has also been shown. The sheer scale of people donating home made face shields, the amount of money raised by everyday people in support and the clap for the NHS on a Thursday evening was an incredible, albeit small part of the display.
Have you thought about what little things you can do to make yourself feel good in these times though? We have recently moved into a new home in the rural countryside and for me, my simple pleasures have been going for a jog around the country lanes or at the weekend putting on a little mascara or a pair of jeans just to make it feel a little different from every other day!
Your health inside and out depends on these daily little acts of kindness to YOU! Giving yourself that pamper night – painting your nails or relaxing in a hot, Himalayan salt bath, calling your best friend to have a catch up about normal things or even having a great, big belly laugh at a silly movie curled up under a blanket with some popcorn. Try it, you will be amazed at how you feel 😊
As I write this, like much of the world right now I am in self isolation at home due to the Corona virus pandemic which has rocked the world.
Although it is so great to have my nearest and dearest around me and safe in the knowledge that we have no symptoms, it is so heartbreaking to see the chaos this illness has caused and it’s only still in its most premature stage.
Videos of fights and disagreements online of people in supermarkets panic buying toilet rolls and tissues are terrible and even when we go to our local supermarket, the shelves are near enough empty. What is the world coming to when humanity are being disrespectful to the elderly or arguing with staff over the three item limit in shops. It is so upsetting.
Although there has been a lot of negativity in the press, the very best of humanity has been shown too however. The tireless employees in the medical profession who are working day and night for multiple days taking care of those confirmed positive cases and other good samaritans who are taking supplies to homes of the most at risk is amazing to witness and shows that we, as a nation will do whatever we always do in moments of crisis – we keep calm and carry on as best we can!
What with the current climate it just did not seem right to compose a fashion post this month, especially as people are house bound, so for now, I wish you and your families good health and to try to stay positive in this scary time. I will back hopefully shortly with some exciting new content.
Good morning to you my Film and Television fashionistas,
This past weekend, the 73rd British Academy Film Awards 2020 were held in the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London. This time of year always means awards season and with it comes my favourite bit – the FASHION! This year did not disappoint and I have picked my top looks from this years red carpet.
(all images courtesy of google images)
Firstly lets start with the ladies and wow what with fringing/ asymmetrical/ bold colour blocking and sparkle, it was a smorgasbord of cutting edge looks on the red carpet.
Renee Zelleweger who picked up the Best Actress award for playing the beloved Judy Garland donned a pastel pink Prada number that reminded me of candy floss and our favourite chocolate treats at Christmas time. The pale hue complimented her fair hair and pearly skin perfectly.
As you know from earlier posts, I am a HUGE fan of the LBD and it seems that was the dress of choice for a number of starlets this year. I particularly love the cut out back detail of Margot Robbie’s Chanel Haute Couture lace gown which is reported to have taken a whopping 690 hours to make. Emilia Clarke let her embellished dress do the talking with her paired back accessories and slicked back hair – something I have a penchant for also in my own style. Olivia Coleman’s floral Alexander McQueen’s masterpiece reminded me of a summer garden in full bloom – so exquisite.
Contrasting textures from fringing to beaded embroidery, feathers and pleats to all out trophy shimmer were the name of the game for some of the celebrities. I particularly love the clever illusion of dimension with the contrasting fabrics and the thick belt which accents the tiny waist of Vanessa Kirby’s Valentino gown. I also really like the sleek silhouette of Zoe Kravitz’s Saint Laurent dress. The gold tone really brings out her complexion and the way her lipstick matches her nail polish is an great detail.
And now onto the leading men of the silver screen. I am a huge fan of cobalt blue and the subtle satin piping detail of this Dior Tuxedo jacket on Joe Alwyn really makes this look young and edgy. Velvet is another of my absolute faves, especially in a blazer (I have a navy velvet jacket which I try to dig out every Spring) and this burgundy Armani look on Taron Egerton really adds some warmth to the starkness of the rest of his monochrome palette. Baroque detailing featured on John Boyega and Alex Wolff in Joshua Kane and wow what a colour explosion. The white shirt and tasseled velvet loafers paired with the post box red suit is an absolute winner in my eyes.
Although in our day to day lives, we may not be attending award shows or black tie events, we all can take away some great fashion tips from the red carpet.
Ladies, do not feel shy to be bold in your statement dresses whether it be lace, ruffles or pleats – just remember that if you are wearing a showstopping dress, tone down your accessories and hair/ makeup to really let it speak for itself.
For men, it is ALWAYS a good idea to experiment with colour, even if it is a small pop of a colourful pair of Happy Socks or a bright scarf – it will brighten up any dreary winter morning. Ankle length tailored trousers pair best with slip on loafers and no socks – this look is not limited to balmy summer days. No matter what though, fashion should be your way of showing your individually, sometimes making mistakes but also when you get it right – we all can feel like a movie star even for one day.
I am just going to leave you with a quote I saw this week which really stuck with me –
I hope you all had an amazing Christmas break with your families and a very Happy New Year. As always, I would love to thank you for taking the time to subscribe and read these posts each month and welcome to the new joiners, your support is greatly appreciated and I am so grateful to have this platform to explore my creative writing with each blog.
With the emergence of the new decade upon us, I have been thinking a lot about the notion of setting New Years resolutions. I am not sure about you but I find that each year a small sense of doom overcomes me as the last few days of December pass by, at the thought of making a resolution that I can actually stick to and not sabotage by the end of January (the usual things like giving up chocolate – I mean really, I had no chance) or not being such a sucker when it comes to a fashion bargain. Its just not a nice feeling that you have failed at something already in the first month of the New Year.
I am sure you have seen on social media and on advertising campaigns, the slogan ‘New Year, New Me’ with companies promising their new wonder products can help you reach that dress size you have always dreamed of or have that glossy, shiny hair that we see on models in magazines but all that crosses my mind is, should there be a new me – what is so fundamentally wrong with the version that was left behind in 2019?
I wholeheartedly agree that if you have your heart set on perhaps quitting smoking or to get out in the great outdoors and lead a healthier lifestyle then that is a great goal to set yourself and sometimes we need a milestone like the 1st of January to break old habits but it pains me to think that people will be feeling really rubbish about themselves if they have a little slip up. Life is genuinely challenging enough, try not to put that added pressure on yourself also!
So personally this year, I have set myself a new goal NOT a resolution for 2020 and that is to just BE PRESENT. By this I mean, as adults we are always subconsciously worrying about or making plans for what is to come in the future or regrets from the past, we tend to lose sight of what is in front of us right now, being in the moment. We forget to take a second to revel in the sights, sounds, colours and variety in the world around us and that is a very sad thing to think of in my opinion.
Whatever New Years aspirations you have set in your own lives for 2020, just remember that we only get one life, so make memories, spend time with loved ones and friends, travel to those bucket list destinations or invest in that statement winter coat – just LIVE it to the fullest.
It has always amazed me how a certain scent, item of clothing or hair style (Kenzo flower, a multi coloured corduroy miss sixty skirt and who can forget the “Rachel hairstyle for me) can bring back thoughts of your younger years in an instant. For this months post, I wanted to delve into the world of nostalgia; and in my case the 90s and 00s and how style has evolved over the decades.
(Images courtesy of google images)
I have such fond memories of where my foray into the fashion world began. I always loved pouring over fashion magazines and influences for me as a teenager were from Top of the Pops on a Friday night and the annual Oscars ceremony from Hollywood where I looked on in wonder at the cutting edge creations which adorned the movie stars.
Although I admired the body con style of dresses that girls from my school would wear when we were old enough to go out, with my swimmers shoulders and tomboy, athletic build that look was not for me. As soon as I saw Kate Moss however, I knew that I had found my muse. With her understated hair, bare faced beauty and bohemian style I was hooked. I was the only one out of my group of friends who would wear an ankle grazing skirt, plain vest and flip flops to a club and some of the looks from the glamorous girls in the bars were to be desired but I have always been comfortable in the fact that I know what suits my body and confidence comes from being unequivocally YOU.
Growing up I remember the excitement of going to the Brand Centre which was a huge clothing store near to where I live at the weekend. With every designer from high street to high end there really was something for anyone there and I would be so excited if I managed to bag a steal in the bargain corner! Haha. From Evisu denim bomber jackets to Maharishi embroidered cargo trousers I loved the versatility of teaming these incredible one off pieces with a simple top and accessories or over a evening dress and heels – the key was mixing and matching.
As I’ve got older, my style is a lot more paired back now as my 9 to 5 is in the Corporate world. Weekdays are filled with fitted dresses, suit jackets and court shoes, although I still love the thrill of purchasing classic, timeless pieces which will stand the test of the relentless fashion cycle – you seriously cannot beat a well made, elegant overcoat or a silky soft pair of leather boots. Although the cost may be slightly higher than the high street, I still have a leather jacket which I’ve had since my 16th birthday which comes out every year – believe me the cost per wear is incredible.
Sometimes in these cold winter months when we feel like we are habitual night creatures going to and coming home from work in the dark, sometimes seeing a certain brand on someone you walk past in the street or seeing a pop of colour in a colleagues umbrella can transport you to those heady days of school holidays and planning an outfit for your prom and you just cannot help but smile.
Besides, who doesn’t like to feel young every once in a while hey! Pull out those retro Moschino trousers, pair them with an oversized knit and you are winter 2019 ready.