Being Open Minded in 2020

Being Open Minded in 2020

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

So, this is something I have wanted to talk about on the blog for such a long time, however wanted to wait until I felt I had the knowledge and a little more experience of open-minded actions paying off in my own life. The world we live in has changed so much in the last 100 years, heck it as changed so much in the last 5. Employers are looking for those who can carry a conversation rather than those with top marked qualifications, Instagram influencers are bringing in more income than barristers and somehow Donald Trump is the president of the United States. See, times have changed, and it is an inevitable movement that we all have to embrace. Being open minded is such a huge part of this, not just to help ourselves develop but to ensure we are working towards the lives we really want and working smart to make sure we get there.

The biggest thing I have noticed is the determination and yearning for more from so many young people. None of us are willing to settle anymore and I love it! Why the hell should we?!

So, with this being said, it’s all good having our big dreams and goals, but how do we actually achieve them? I 100% believe that it is down to two things: working smart (see blog here) and being the most open-minded version of yourself that you possibly can be… with a sprinkle of stepping out of your comfort zone and consistency. Over the last few years I have made so many key life decisions that were totally out of my comfort zone, not following the ‘norm’, but I can feel already that they are starting to pay off so early in life. I truly believe that we only succeed in life if we push boundaries, do things we don’t feel like doing and jumping at new opportunities.

When I left sixth form having completed my A-levels with adequate grades I knew one million percent that I was not going to university. It would so have been the wrong decision for me, and I was fully prepared to face all the backlash for my decision not to go. There was a lot… not from my family but from my school. Let’s be real, schools want students to go to uni as it increases their stats and makes the staff and school look better #real talk. This I feel was the first time in my life that I was open minded as I strayed from the normal route of attending university and decided to work to earn some money instead of getting stuck. During this time, for a year or so, I enjoyed life. I got to experience having my own real money for the first time, I had countless hours to pour my heart and soul into blogging and I really started to discover who I was as a person. A major turning point then came in my life when I had my heart surgery, as I very much started to see life in a very different way. Something that is extremely precious, to be lived to the max and most importantly never to settle as you don’t know what life is going to throw at you.

I was very lucky that just before my operation I was given the opportunity to try something new, simply by networking and talking to a lady where I got my nails done about my blog. She offered me the chance to run her social media for her business as she was impressed by my personal blog and platforms. This for me was a big turning point as I had a light bulb moment where I suddenly realised that my real passion could become a reality through helping others do what I loved. So, my first piece of advice for being open minded is to talk to everyone. Never not have a conversation with the person next to you and always engage as you really never know what it might lead to.

After my operation and throughout my recovery I was able to build my business, reaching out to other business owners and simply never not talking about what I did to everyone I met. I loved and still do love to talk about my work and feel privileged to get to work with so many other businesswomen absolutely nailing their careers. A huge part of being open minded for me is the people I have got to meet and the incredible relationships that I have developed. It has seriously changed my life for the better and is all thanks to saying yes and getting a little uncomfortable. Life is way too short to stick to the same group of people your whole life… don’t get me wrong they are incredibly important but getting to know new people is just as important.

Next up we have taking on something new to better yourself. Last year I had a bit of a panic moment, as I suddenly realised that if social media got shut down or I changed my mind I would have no idea what else I would like to do. So, I decided to take action and start a degree with the open university. This was extremely scary for me and massively out of my comfort zone as I had vowed never to put myself through formal education again. However, now I realise it is very different as it is totally on my terms, for my own benefit and enjoyment and I don’t have to give up the job that I love, having worked so hard to build it. Being open minded isn’t just about accepting new opportunities thrown your way or choosing a different path, but it is also about evaluating your own life and figuring out a way to change it for the better on your own terms.

Last up I am going to discuss saying yes to opportunities thrown your way. I personally think that nowadays people are so quick to judge a situation or opportunity based on one fact, when in reality they know nothing about it nor the person offering it to them. The 21st century has brought us a whole new variety of ways to create better lives for ourselves and there really is something for everyone. I really believe that if someone approaches you asking to tell you about something, or you get invited to an event to support someone’s new business, or they start talking in person, always take the time to listen. You never know nowadays what could be right for you and what could totally transform your life for the better.

Send me a message in the section below if you are keen to learn about a new opportunity or simply would like some advice on how to make a change.

Shop this post:

Coat – Zara

Jumper – New Look

Belt – Gucci

Skirt – Zara

Boots – New Look

Bag – Louis Vuitton

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.

10 + 3 =

Styling Pastels in Winter

Styling Pastels in Winter

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

In November last year I had a colour session with a local personal stylist. I had been feeling a little blue about my wardrobe, mainly because my body had changed a lot and I was struggling to find clothes that made me not just feel confident but like me. The results of my colour session showed that I am a Summer, meaning that my colour tone craves light and bright pastel tones. Last Summer this was easy to adopt as they were all the rage, whereas stepping into Winter it was a bit harder to carry through the colour palette. Despite the slight difficulty, I have been making a conscious effort as much as possible to be more adventurous with my wardrobe and stray away from the dark and boring looks I constantly wore last year.

For me, I love having items in my wardrobe that can be adapted all year round. I used to always be someone who would grab for the black and brown in the Winter, constantly wearing the same outfit. However, now I have a much bigger appreciation for how an outfit can affect your mood and really want to brighten up my Winter wardrobe.

I think the task of doing this can be quite daunting to a lot of us, for two reasons. Firstly, we are a nation of habit. We all do the same thing day in and day out, season to season, never really changing much up and always sticking to the same rules. A few of these being, in the Summer we opt for bright colours and a Summer pedicure, then in the Winter we go more towards the dark side and hide everything away. So, the first step in bringing some more pastel tones into your Winter wardrobe would be to break free from your dark habit and attempt to be more adventurous. I think the best way to do this is to shop in your own Summer wardrobe and create a few layered up outfits that are bright and happy but still going to keep you warm. My best advice for breaking this habit is to take ten minutes out in your evening and pick out your outfit for the next day. This will help you resist picking up the black dress in a rush the next morning and give you more time to really experiment.

The second reason I believe is we all really struggle to shop strategically in the Winter. This isn’t just because of the constant stream of black in the shops on the high street but also because we would all rather be in the warm, under a blanket from 5pm each day during the season. So, how do we all overcome this? Well firstly, shopping online is your new best friend. I can honestly say that I don’t remember the last time I even went into a clothes shop. I always shop online nowadays… less people, no queuing and I can do it right in my home under a warm blanket. The next thing I do like to recommend, especially if your wardrobe really affects your confidence levels, is perhaps investing in a personal shop with a stylist. You would be amazed at how reasonable it can be, how much you will learn in a session and how much you will gain from the session. From just my colour session alone I learnt so much and have found shopping in my own wardrobe so much easier. In fact, I will leave the details down below for my fabulous Bristol based stylist.

This outfit for me is the perfect version of a pastel toned Winter look. My pink coat has been my best buy so far this Winter, being worn with all my work outfits and casual outfits at the weekend. I have had so many comments on how nice it is to see a bright coat in the Winter, especially one that is as versatile as this. I think the main thing to remember when it comes to styling pastels in Winter is that you don’t have to go cold Turkey Malibu Barbie in one go. The skirt to this outfit is something I wore a lot last year with an all-black outfit, this time switching to a cream top instead of black and nude boots instead of black, of course with the hot pink coat on top. To accessorize, my baby blue over shoulder bag has been incredible, and I can’t believe how much I have worn in during the Winter. I always find the most effective way to style pastels is by using them together and having to different ones in the same outfit such as pastel pink and blue.

I am absolutely loving my pastel Winter wardrobe and am definitely going to be creating new looks to share here on the blog. Have any questions about this? Please feel free to send me a message below!

Shop this post:

Skirt – New Look

Top – Mango

Boots – New Look

Coat – Lipsy London

Bag – Mulberry

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.

Working Hard vs Working Smart

Working Hard vs Working Smart

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Last Summer I was introduced to a new business idea and jumped in as I instantly saw the amazing benefits from it. One of the key things I picked up on quickly and have a developed a much bigger understanding for is the idea of working smart as opposed to working hard. I had never heard of this principle really before, and if I had, I certainly didn’t know what it meant. This meant that I had a new understanding of how I needed to make essential changes in my life to achieve the things I really want and exactly how to get there. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you don’t have to work hard because obviously to achieve anything in life it needs dedication, but there is definitely a difference between working hard and smart and working just hard to get nowhere.

The idea of working smart is mainly about the choices that you are making to further and better yourself in life. There are so many options around in our modern world and we really don’t have to settle for anything less than we desire anymore. However, one thing that definitely is true, to work smart and achieve your goals you have to be in business.

I have always been extremely passionate about business. Basically, I have never had any yearning to be bossed around by someone. I am fiercely independent, incredibly strong willed and ultimately, probably very unemployable. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a bad employee… if someone gives me a task, I will do it and I will do it well, but I just simply always have an urge to take over the show towards the end of my time somewhere. I used to think this was going to be my biggest weakness and downfall in life, but then I started my business and realised anything is possible with dedication and a clear outlook of what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.

Career Paths

So, let’s talk careers. I am going to be straight with you, I have never really known what I wanted to do. This meant that in the end my sensible voice inside focused much more on all the things I didn’t want to do. I figured that if I didn’t fall into doing something, I didn’t want to do then it was much more likely I would find what I did. Funnily enough, it worked out pretty well. I pretty much fell into doing what I do and absolutely adore. Social media has been a passion of mine for a long time, so landing up working in it, being able to run a business as well has been a huge blessing. Which leads me on nicely to my now much newer business in social media which is social marketing role which has obviously stemmed from my other business.

If you don’t know much about social marketing, I am going to briefly explain it now. Social marketing is a business model whereby you partner with a company, get all the benefits of running your own business and zero of the negatives! The idea of it is basically all about sharing, talking and networking. Something I already do! You have to partner with a company you love, which I do, and you have to authentically share, which I have been doing for years on here. So, win win for me!

My advice when deciding on a career path is going to come in the form of bullet points:

Really evaluate what you are good at and what you enjoy doing

What do you actually want out of life? Is that career going to get you there?

Will this career fit around things that may come in the future, such as a family?

Does this career give you the potential to grow within the industry?

Are you going to be well rewarded for your hard work?

Is it REALLY what you want to do?

5 Year Plan

This is a relatively new concept for me but something I have started to religiously refer to; my five-year plan. Back before starting my social marketing business I was asked the question ‘if you keep doing what you’re doing now, where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?’ I had a bit of a light bulb moment and suddenly felt quite nauseous. The truth was I felt extremely scared because I felt suddenly worried that what I am currently doing isn’t going to get me to where I actually want to be in five years’ time. So, I decided to make a change and jump into a new and exciting opportunity. Would you have done the same?

Plan of Action & Realistic Goals

So, I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. A goal without a plan is just a dream. For every goal on your list, make yourself a master plan for how you are going to achieve each one and get to work. Otherwise, you will definitely regret it.

Beneficial Hobbies

So, this one for me is very personal. I started my blog as a hobby back when I was 15, just because I wanted a space to share my love for fashion, food and everything in life that was just for me. I now owe everything I currently have to that hobby I decided to embark on when I was 15. There are so many things in my life that I have now because of it including: my social media management business; my social marketing business; many of my now Instagram friends, a strong working ethos knowing that dedication is extremely important, a space where I can still be creative and many many blog opportunities that have just been incredible. It really has been a blessing for me and my life. So, when I say beneficial hobbies obviously, I am not talking just about a blog, but something that you consistently show up to do that is going to positively benefit you at some point in your life.

Working on YOU

The main thing I have taken away so far from my social marketing company is the importance of always working on ourselves in order to put us in the right headspace to focus on our business. Working on you can come in a lot of forms and will almost definitely be different for a lot of us. My ‘working on me’ includes a much healthier and more balanced diet, regular exercise, everyday reading, personal development audios in the car, small everyday changes such as herbal tea instead of a coffee etc… The main thing to take away from this is that it is about incorporating healthier things into your everyday life until they become a much more stable part of your routine. Working on you has to be consistent in order to gain any benefits.

So, let me ask you, do you think what you are currently doing is working hard or working smart? And, if you keep doing what you are doing now, where do you think you will be in 5 years’ time?

P.s. time for a change and a new adventure? Leave me your details in the contact form below and I will get back to you with the answer!

 

Shop this Post:

Dress – New Look

Coat – Lipsy

Boots – UGG Australia

Belt – Gucci

Bag – Louis Vuitton

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.

 

2 + 13 =

How to really switch off this Christmas

How to really switch off this Christmas

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

This may seem like an odd thing to be talking about, as generally at this time of year it seems quite easy to switch off from work and relax, however I have learnt in recent years that it doesn’t quite work that way. Most of the time, when we take time off work, we usually are going somewhere or have plans. Christmas is different, as it is an unusual amount of time to be at home, with family, not actually having much to do besides seeing people, travelling, eating and lots of drinking. I used to find that I would use this time to catch up on work and my to-list with the things that just never seem to get done when leading a busy life. I have now learnt that in order to start the new year off on a good foot and make it a success, your mind and body needs to be properly rested over the festive holidays in order to refuel.

So, how exactly is this golden principle done?

Indulge in Festivities

The first way of course has to be indulging in all that the season has to offer. Don’t shy away from socialising and make the most out of everything going on at this time of year. Not only does this get you into the festive spirit, but it also relaxes your mind and helps you to switch off from everything serious in life, which after 2019, we all definitely need. Say yes to the Christmas markets, wrestling the queue at your local shopping centre, drinks with friends and even family dinners with those inevitable awkward conversations with those you only see once a year!

Indulge in Food and Drink

I always find that at this time of year I really relax because I am out of my routine and I let myself go in terms of treats that I don’t get during the year. Over the Christmas break I let myself get up late and stay up late, I eat and drink whatever the hell I want and most importantly I just do the things I want to do rather than need to do. This attitude always relaxes my mind as it is a luxury, I don’t give myself all year around. Don’t deprive yourself… it’s Christmas!

Digital Detox

Let’s be honest, especially after everything going on in 2019, we have all spent way too long with our heads in our phones, watching the TV and using all other devices. It can be easy to overindulge in this at Christmas as we have lots of spare time but really, we aren’t properly switching off if we do this. As much as you will inevitably spend more time on them, you also need to ensure that you are doing other things, such as simply talking to those around you, being outside and having fun in other ways.

What do you do to switch off?

Shop this post:

Red Coat – Zara

Boots – Zara

Hat – New Look

Jumper – Barbour

Handbag – Michael Kors

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

Time for a digital detox

Time for a digital detox

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

I have always found that at this time of year, technology has started to become overwhelming and a digital detox is usually in order. Nowadays festivities start in September, the days get shorter and the hours we spend with our heads in our phones definitely gets longer. After a mere two months of this, it can start to have an effect on our minds, which can also lead to tiredness and an even bigger case of ‘the Winter blues’. Now, you may be reading this and disagree with me, in which case this blog post isn’t for you, however if you are agreeing, please do carry on reading.

Technology is overwhelming at any time of year, and the intense amount of time we each spend online always needs to be balanced out by a healthy amount of fresh air, human interaction and of course, screen free time.

I am the Queen of having my head in my phone, laptop, computer, iPad as I have to be on one for work, for my studying, for my blog and most of the time even to connect with my friends and family. We all lead such busy lives, so sometimes indulging for hours in a family WhatsApp group is the main way you keep up with each other! I may be the Queen of this, but I am also very good at switching it all off and appreciating everything else our wonderful world has to offer. My brain physically can’t handle too much time online, so regular day time breaks and digital detoxes are totally my thing.

Now you may be thinking that it is impossible, you just simply can’t help reaching for your phone when you’re on the sofa, sat in the car or even having a peak during your meal, but believe me it has to be done for the sake of your mental sanity. So, my five easy peasy ways to detox include:

Regular Breaks – this one will only apply if you spend all your day on a computer, tablet or phone like I do. The key is to have an alarm, always set it for 30 minutes and then when it goes off you need to stand, stretch it out, look out the window and take a few deep breaths before returning to work a few minutes later. Staying hydrated during the day is also essential as the lights in our screens put a lot of pressure on our eyes, so if you are well hydrated it will just make everything a little easier.

Instagram Time Limits – now I am pretty lucky nowadays that I don’t tend to have the free time I used to in order to spend hours every day scrolling through my Instagram, so I don’t have to do this as much, but it is still an effective tool. When you go on your phone to look at your social media apps, or play a game etc.… set yourself a timer on your phone. I used to set and still do sometimes at the weekend a 15-minute timer, where I would then go on the app and as soon as it went off I would quickly finish he last thing I was doing and put my phone down. It takes discipline, but once you start you do very quickly get into the routine.

Phone Free Bed Times – this is one I still struggle with if I haven’t been on my phone much in the day and I want to catch up, but banning your phone from the bedroom is such a positive thing. I always have mine in the room in case of emergency, but I try to be as strict as possible not to go on it before bed. You know what it’s like, before you know it an hour has passed and all you’ve done is look at ridiculous videos on Facebook and then you can’t get to sleep!

Socialise when you’re socialising – this one always makes me laugh. I can’t stand it when I see groups of people, friends, family etc.… out and about together, with their faces in their phones!! You might as well be at home on the sofa just texting each other! You may think I spend a lot of time on my phone and everyone, but one thing I have always tried my best at and been reasonably good at is not being on it when I’m socialising. Also, whilst we’re on the subject, I don’t need to watch the entire concert you went to through your Instagram stories…. I would have just gone myself!! Sorry not sorry.


Do something practical every single day. This is something I was told a few years ago and it always kind of stuck with me. At least once a day, every day, we should all be doing something with our hands. This can be making a meal, cleaning something, drawing something, writing with pen and paper, even creating a fancy makeup look. It is something practical, but it also has to be something that you are completely focused on. I always find, when I dedicate an hour or so to doing one of these, usually cooking, it feels like my mind has hit the reset button. I feel instantly refreshed even though I’ve been busy. It really is a great way to enjoy a small digital detox.

 

What is the best way you find to switch off?

 

Shop this post:

 

Dress – New Look

Coat – New Look

Boots – Zara

Belt – Gucci 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.

7 + 6 =

Surviving dull winter days

Surviving dull winter days

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

The Winter is really starting to set in and there seems to be a general lug in the air since the clocks changed again. I hate to write it down as I feel like I am being extremely negative, but let’s be honest, the dark and grey days are depressing. It can have such an impact on us mentally and unfortunately, there really isn’t much we can do about it. The British weather isn’t going to change any time soon, so the only way to take control and work towards a happier ‘YOU’ is by working on you. There are many things we can do to help ourselves, and these things are all going to be different depending on our own personalities. I wanted to write today about these Winter days and share the small things I do to help myself overcome them.

I mean, let’s get one thing straight first, if you are going through a difficult or a stressful time at the moment, this is all going to be about 100 times harder. However, rest assured, doing a few small things every day and consistently can make such a huge difference.

Start your day by moving. This one sounds a bit odd and the first assumption would usually be to that I am talking about going to the gym. I’m not. I mean, going to the gym is one version of it but definitely not the only one. Every single day for the last few months I have made an effort to ensure that the first thing I do is move my body and stretch it out before starting to get ready. This can be going to the gym and working out, swimming, a little yoga, or simply just walking around the flat for a little while whilst sipping my coffee. This doesn’t just get your body ready for the day, but it totally readies your mind.

Let’s be honest, what we put into our bodies has such a major effect on what happens with the outside, and of course our minds. At this time of year, the importance of a healthy balanced diet is crucial, however often something that is the last thing we want to do. Yes, being on the sofa every evening with a glass of wine or two and a whole bar of chocolate is definitely wanted, it really does have such a negative impact on us mentally. We can all have our treats, but to help us mentally we all need to be getting our daily nutrients and feeding our bodies with the ingredients that lead to happier and healthier minds.

Saying YES! At this time of year, it is so easy to put life on hold and switch off from the real world for the sake of feeling comfortable. Don’t do it! Within reason, say yes to as much as humanly possible. Get out the house, network with new people, enjoy socialising and most importantly make some memories from new experiences. Life can become very dull when nothing much changes and you never push yourself, so always remember to say yes before saying no!

Don’t just wear black – I love this one as I know how true it is. At this time of year, we are all amazing at falling into our Winter habits and one of these has to be a constant black wardrobe for the duration of the season. Believe me, if this is your go-to every single day, it is going to start to take effect on your mood. Start experimenting with your wardrobe and be confident in some bolder colour choices and styles that are guaranteed to lift your mood time after time.

Flowers, candles and fairy lights – my three must haves in my home at this time of year to counteract the grey and dark days to evenings that we simple must endure. I have all three in abundance throughout my home.

Fresh air – often we all shy away from being out at this time of year as it is cold, often raining and let’s be real, just not exactly appealing. But I can assure you, even by having ten minutes out in the fresh air, it can do the world of good for your mind. I see it very much as pressing the reset button, using it as a little time to switch off from devices and the real world.

Phone free hours – moving swiftly on and complimenting my last point well, some phone free time is ALWAYS a huge factor is surviving these days. Social media sees a huge increase at this time of year, with many of us opting for our beds and sofas as opposed to beer gardens, which ultimately means we are all sat on our phones aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, possibly opening the app more than 30 times a day. When you are struggling a little, choose to put your phone away and engage with everything else going on around you.

Organisation – I have personally found that the best way to keep on top of these days and be as productive as possible is by always being organised. I give myself quite a strict routine and do find that when I stick to it both these things become so much easier. Focus on being organised at this time of year and I can guarantee that you will find the days so much easier.

What are the best tips you have for overcoming a dull day?

 

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Nightie – M&S

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.