#BossBabes with Gissings Boutique

#BossBabes with Gissings Boutique

Happy Sunday and welcome to my second instalment of the #bossbabes series. To recap, this is a new series I am introducing to the blog, to shine the light on some incredible women I have had the pleasure of getting to know in my life who are extremely talented and #bossing their industry. Today is for the wonderful Sian Gissing-McMeel, the talented founder of Gissings Boutique and my now friend. Sian and I met through an existing client at the beginning of last year, landed up speaking business and now I have the pleasure of working with her and witnessing her incredible brand grow. Not only is she an amazing entrepreneur, but she also juggles motherhood, being a wife, studying a law degree and being a support system for many other women in her Goddess tribe. She is such an inspiration and it was without question that I needed to feature her in this series. 

So, let’s take it back a little. Sian’s background is in the pageant world, learning all the tips and tricks that she is now able to use in her wonderful brand and to empower other women. For several years, Sian juggled, and I mean juggled hard. She was a single mummy to her beautiful daughter Freya, beginning her law degree and providing legal aid for those in need whilst also working to provide for her and her daughter. In this time Sian developed a real understanding of how she wanted her brand to be shaped and how she wanted to use it to help women and bring out their inner goddess glamour. 

Times have now changed a little, the brand has truly flourished and the movement has continued on. Sian is now happily married, with a beautiful baby boy, stepson and a new baby on the way. She is still pursuing her law degree and has created her platform to help women bring out their inner goddess. Gissings Boutique is a beautiful boutique in the heart of Clifton Village, with an online store too. The whole ethos of the brand is to provide a luxury and personal service to all clients, which is about so much more than just purchasing a dress. Women are taken on an experience, to enjoy a glass of bubbles, utilise Sian’s knowledge of glamour and find a dress that most of the time, they had no idea would be the right one for them. 

I too have gotten to experience this VIP service and I was in absolute heaven. A full few hours of trying on countless dresses and spinning like a princess, getting giddy on pink bubbles and indulging in all the glamour tips I could ever need to release my own inner goddess. Something I knew the minute I stepped through the boutique door is that there really is nowhere at all like this. For gowns in the UK you have two options, Debenhams or some other department store or those dodgy websites where the dress that gets delivered is the complete opposite to the picture. Not a fun experience, which I can say from experience. When we are shopping, why shouldn’t we enjoy ourselves and have a better experience than most of the high street has to offer? Whether it be for a prom dress, cruise gown, bridesmaid dresses or any other glamorous occasion, this is where you need to be. 

Sian works by appointment so she can dedicate all her energy to each client at a time, ensuring you get the right look for yourself and she can help you as thoroughly as possible. For those who can’t make it into Bristol, Sian is happy to help in any way possible with online purchases, again to ensure you get the right gown for you. The experience is all about becoming a Goddess, which really is a feeling all us women need! Please use the contact form below if you would like some more information. All Sian’s details can also be found below. Sian and I have also shared a Q&A over on Instagram… again the details are below. 

Gissings Boutique

Instagram – @gissingsboutique

www.gissingsboutique.com

Contact: sales@gissingsboutique.com

Lady Hunter

@ladyhunterblog

Best tips for organising your wardrobe

Best tips for organising your wardrobe

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Putting a positive spin on things, the best part for me about the lockdown has been having the opportunity to properly sort through and ruthlessly declutter my wardrobe. It is something that I very rarely get the chance to do and it drives me insane as I can never tell where things are or what I have in the end! However, I did learn this time that it is by no means as simple as just sorting out the clothes. There a load of parts to organising it, which is why I thought I would do a small blog post here about it with my best tips and tricks. By now I’m sure loads of us have already done it, but for those who still need the motivation, this is for you. 

So, first up, empty the whole damn thing. I know this is a scary prospect, but it has to be done. Empty all your clothes onto the bed, or middle of the wardrobe if you’re lucky enough to have a big enough wardrobe and pop all the hangers separately on the floor. Clear out the wardrobe, hoover the bottom and completely clean it to make it fresh. I love to spray a few squirts of Zoflora too, as this keep it smelling beautiful for longer. 

Next up, time to make decisions. Which side is going to be the lighter colours through to darker, with allocated parts for tops, dresses, skirts, bottoms and jumpers? So, my advice now is to add your clothes back in one by one, using as thin a hanger as possible to begin with, placing them in the allocated sections and turning the hanger around so it is facing towards you. If, in one year’s time the hanger hasn’t moved, that item has to go! Keep adding into the correct areas, making sure all the clothes are clean, ironed and beautiful. 

A big part of adding the clothes in is about adding clothes that you genuinely wear. If something is too small, think seriously to yourself… will I ever wear this again? If the answer deep down is no… it’s got to go sister. Don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. 

Next up, shoes! My biggest battle in life is keeping my shoe addition under control. Again, have separate categories for your different shoes, stick to it and order them in colour. I also turn them all around and again, if they don’t move, they get thrown out. One thing I love to do with shoes is pop nice smelly things in them, like little lavender bags or tumble dryer sheets to keep it all fresh in the wardrobe. I also pop lavender bags on a few hangers in my wardrobe, again to keep it fresh. 

Last up we have your chest of drawers… the place where everything gets stuffed in and lost for months on end. My first tip for this is to buy the amazing IKEA drawer separators. These are amazing as they are easy to put together, can be moved around and fill the drawers so you don’t waste any space. They are so easy to keep on top of and organised, making it easy to allocate sections to everything and stick to it. As with my wardrobe, I also hoover out the bottom of my drawers and Zoflora them, using a lavender bag or two to keep them smelling fresh. 

So, once you have made your wardrobe all organised and beautiful, how do we stay on top of it. Well, first things first, don’t be lazy. At night-time, hang your clothes back up, or fold them back into the drawers… don’t just throw them on the floor. When you have washed your clothes and put them away, make sure you put them back in their sections, regularly having a look through and getting rid of things that no longer work for you. Last thing, when you buy something new, try to get rid of at least one thing. This keeps your wardrobe under control! 

What are your best tips for keeping your wardrobe under control? 

Shop this post: 

Top – New Look

Wardrobe made by J B Carpentry. 

Rose doorknobs – French Grey

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

What is really meant by a ‘balanced lifestyle’?

What is really meant by a ‘balanced lifestyle’?

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

I am writing this blog post whilst in the car, coming back from an extremely restful and much needed tech free week away in the Scottish Highlands. Don’t worry, I am a passenger in the car, not designated driver for the next hour. Before heading away last weekend, my stress levels had reached their peak. I was juggling multiple work plates, keeping my hobby up, trying to maintain a social life and basically trying to be the girl who can just do everything. It became apparent that I simply am not that girl on the morning that we were leaving, when I had a complete breakdown, literally sparked by not being able to find the pyjamas that I wanted to take to Scotland with me! Forcing myself to really switch off over the last week I have learnt a lot about myself, and how I simply have to make some big changes to better my health, mentally and physically.

Over the last few months I have invested a lot of time into myself. Listening to audios, reading books and taking the time to learn from others in order to go further in my career and most importantly, become a better version of me. Everything I have been learning seems to have come to the surface over the last week, as my body has had a chance to catch up with itself and reflect on the wise words, I have taken in.

A big lesson for me has been to appreciate that a balanced lifestyle is about so much more than just the food and drink we choose to consume. A balanced lifestyle really includes everything in life that we choose to do, in order to enjoy ourselves, live a healthy life mentally and physically and most importantly, grow, evolve and embrace the changes we all go through. In this blog post I am briefly summarising all the things in life that I believe shape a balanced lifestyle, with a few pointers on how to achieve each of them and focus on becoming a better and more balanced you.

Our attitude to food

So, this section of the blog post is very much inspired by a book I have recently been reading, called ‘Hungry for More’ by Mel Wells. I cannot recommend this book enough if you are feeling a little lost and in need of some direction. I first heard of Mel Wells when she spoke at our Arbonne conference back in September, where she gave the most heart-warming and moving talk, which resulted in the whole arena of 3,000 people sobbing at the thought of their goals, dreams and realisation that anything in life is possible. From this moment I was hooked and have not been disappointed by her words in this book. The main takeaway for me is how our relationship with food reflects so many other relationships in our lives, whether that is the relationship we have with friends and family, possessions, our goals, our overall lifestyle and ourselves. The attitude we have to food in the 21st century can be extremely damaging to our minds and bodies, especially with regard to a balanced lifestyle. A lot of us follow the all or nothing method, as well as turning to food to fill something that is completely separate to our need for the feeling of a full stomach. This attitude is often the reason as to why we mentally struggle with following a balanced lifestyle, as when one barrier falls (like eating a whole pack of biscuits), everything else just seems to follow. So, the first step in achieving this balanced lifestyle is to heal our relationship with food and everything else can then follow. I would recommend picking up a copy of this book if you feel that this is something that you really need to focus on first.

An active lifestyle vs inconsistent exercise

This is a big one for me, as I am still very much on my journey with this. Over the last few months, exercise has really been pushed back for me as I have always had an excuse, usually related to work. What’s worse is that I know how ridiculous this is. When I am consistently exercising and being active, I am so much healthier, happier, energised and focused on other important parts of my life. However, I still very much live in this cycle where I will be consistent and then suddenly, I will have an overwhelming week and it will all crumble and I will start again in a few week’s time. Let’s be honest, for it to have a positive effect and help you with a balanced lifestyle, your exercise and natural activeness level needs to stay consistent. I have learnt a few tips from my PT to help with this: walk up and down the stairs twice whilst having a 5 minute work break; get up 30 minutes earlier and do a short home workout; get outside for a walk in the fresh air between work and preparing dinner. Just a few examples there of what can be done.

Work hard, play harder

This one is very much a piece of advice for me too. What is the point in working hard if you can’t also enjoy your life too? I have been pretty horrendous in the last few weeks, working non-stop without really taking any time out for me to relax and for myself. Having spent a week away and being completely switched off, I know that this is a big change that I need to make. I am promising myself that each weekday evening I will give myself 2 hours before going to sleep to eat properly, watch something or read, have a bath and unwind, as well as completely stress-free weekends, prioritising time with my family and friends over working. Hopefully this will make my work time much more productive Monday to Friday, and the quality of my me time so much better. I will keep you updated on this.

 

Balancing your free time

As well as balancing our work and play time, I also think that it is very beneficial to balance your free time too. I want to be much more intentional with my weekends and evenings, giving myself time to focus on my personal mind and mental health, mixing up time with different friends and family members and trying new things. It can be very easy to fall into the trap of doing the same things all the time with your free time, spending it with the same one or two people and never really feeling like you have achieved much. Be more intentional, plan your free time and try something new at least once a month.

What tips do you have for maintaining a balanced lifestyle?

Shop this post:

Jumper – Mango

Skirt – New Look

Boots – New Look

Belt – Gucci

Bag – Mulberry England

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

Styling ‘the’ Zara dress of the season

Styling ‘the’ Zara dress of the season

Images by Hana Dallimore Photography

Getting back to writing some of my favourite posts this weekend, my style posts. I find it hard to find the time to write these lately, not just because of the volume of work in my life but also because I spend most of my time in jeans and leggings working from home… so styling myself has become a very rare occurrence. Having said that, the Zara dress of the season has been my most worn item in my wardrobe after the last few months, of the ease of styling it in the morning and its comfort throughout the day.

Often with these on trend pieces it can be very hard to put your own stamp on them, as we frequently want to follow the trend as a whole and not just the individual item. I adore making a look my own and items like this can be very easy to do as they are massively versatile pieces in our wardrobes.

This dress is technically the second version of the Zara ‘It’ dress, in the Autumn Winter version. The original white one caught my eye instantly; however, I have always been wary of white dresses/ skirts as I’m terrified that they’ll land up being see through. Not that I’m saying it was, it is just a fear of mine! I love the black version of the dress as it is much more suitable for my style, I think much more versatile throughout the seasons and with the white dots it is still light and bright in colour.

Body Shape

The first thing I have learnt about this dress is that it can look so different on many different people based on body shape. A friend of mine wears the same dress, however she is much straighter bodied than I am, so the dress falls beautifully on her. I have an hourglass body shape, so the dress does not fall perfectly on me as my hips are much wider. In order to make the dress work for me I have to wear a belt which really brings the dress in for me, flatters my figure and adds the perfect accessory to the dress.

Accessories

One of my favourite ways I have seen the dress accessorised was on someone on my Instagram who wore it with a big chunky necklace that was quite long and fell to just below her waist. She had chunky heeled boots and I just thought the whole look was effortlessly chic and styled the dress perfectly. When I wear the dress, I only really wear a small necklace as all the drama usually falls in my belt.

Heels vs Flats

With any midi dress I always wear my block heeled boots. It has become a staple for my personal style, as I always feel like the look gives me so much confidence and sense of motivation. Having a shoe with a heel with these types of dresses always works beautifully as it lengthens the body and forces the style of the dress to work much harder. I also love the look when worn with flat trainers in the warmer months… so chic and Chelsea-esque.

Outerwear

My go to look with this dress is always something relatively long, usually tailored and structured. I feel like this totally completes my look and is just my style down to a tee. Even though I usually reach for a black coat I actually think that this ‘it’ dress looks so much better with a bright coloured coat like a hot pink or a red. Let’s be honest, life is too boring to only wear black forever.

 

Shop this post:

Dress – Zara

Belt – Gucci

Shoes – New Look

Bag – Mulberry

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

15 + 2 =

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 + 10 =

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.