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?

 

Shop this post:

Nightie – M&S

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

 

Pulling off your Winter #GirlBoss look

Pulling off your Winter #GirlBoss look

We are officially into my favourite fashion season and I couldn’t be happier that my tights and Winter coats have made an appearance! I also couldn’t be happier that I am back to writing my fashion posts revolved around this season. I find Spring and Summer incredibly hard to talk about on the blog as they are frankly seasons that I just don’t enjoy dressing for, therefore feel uneasy when having to write my style tips. Don’t get me wrong, they are not untrue as I honestly write about how I feel and what I choose to wear, however it is just not my favourite thing to write about. There is just something about Winter that makes me happy; something about it that makes me feel confident and empowered. I wake up each morning eager to put my outfit together and walk out the front door happier which seems to be a feeling that many others who I have spoken to, don’t seem to actually share.

Pulling off a look is about so much more than looking good. In my opinion it is about feeling utterly gorgeous and in control of yourself, having the confidence to ‘boss’ your day and most of all, tackle all obstacles life constantly throws our way, even as minor as a twit in the car behind you.

I wanted to put this post together, as even though I feel very confident in the Winter, it is not a feeling I share with everyone. Having spoken to a lot of people over recent weeks, I have found them to all say a few similar things that in my opinion will definitely supress this confidence. I want to help women, indeed men too, to really utilise what this season can bring and not let the general feeling of depression and tiredness that we get here in the UK during Winter, get the better of us. This is a long season, and yes, I completely appreciate why it has such an effect on our moods, although I am here to say it really doesn’t have to. Fashion can have a major impact on us mentally and is one of the few things we can do on an everyday basis to express ourselves and take control of how we feel. So, how exactly do we make this work if it isn’t quite working yet?

Black is not the only colour around…

First things first, I couldn’t not start with this. Everyone I have spoken to in the last few weeks, indeed over my life, has said they love Winter because it means they can ‘bring their black back out’. Where on earth did it stem from that we all wear black during the Winter, ALL THE TIME?! I once went on the tube in London during Winter and could not believe how many people on that train were wearing bloody black. Yes, I agree black is a great colour, however I have learnt this year during my style session that out of the four possible fashion seasons we all fit into, only one of those seasons can actually pull off black. With this, it is also not on all days. This means, not only is black not the colour for our skin tones, but it actually makes us look even more tired and dull, which in the Winter is really not what you want. So my first point, put the damn black away and get creative with your colours. This is something I have already avoided during the season and I am telling you now, I feel so confident stepping out of my home wearing my brightly coloured coats and dresses.

Style AND Warmth… So, one of my biggest tips for the Winter that I have been caught out on too many times is looking and feeling great but being bloody freezing!! Having a nice outfit is all great, however if you are too cold, you are not going to feel confident or empowered. So, my advice, wear your nice outfit but it is all about the layers. Adapt your outfit to fit the temperature and I can assure you that you will begin to feel a lot more confident during the day, and night!

Coat Collection

So, this is one of my biggest loves in the Winter, a killer coat collection. I used to think my coat collection was seriously excessive and just getting a little out of control, but last year I suddenly realised that I really was wearing them all and was able to create so many different looks as I had a variety of options. Now, when you really think of it, in the Winter you don’t so much revolve your coat around your outfit, you generally will revolve your outfit around your coat. The reason for this is obvious, it generally is the only thing you ever show off/ anyone sees. Therefore, having a collection is extremely beneficial as you then have the luxury of creating many looks, giving you a new sense of confidence each and every day. Start small and work your way up. Having the basics is key and then getting into some more fun pieces too. My go to for coats is Zara, Ted Baker and Mango.

Accessories

Let’s be honest, Winter is all about the accessories. In order to experiment with your looks and give you that sense of confidence you need to have the eagerness to accessorize. Be bold with your jewellery and your handbag choice, experiment with your scarves like a Parisian and most importantly, don’t be afraid of gloves and hats. The accessories alone can make your outfit and often will be the thing that makes you happier with your overall look.

Heels

This is different for everyone, I am well aware, however I have always found wearing heels makes me feel so much more confident. They don’t have to be huge and can even be tiny ones, nevertheless having just a little height can really elevate your legs and the overall look. I find it much harder to do in the Summer as I just want to be comfy in the heat, whereas in the Winter it is so much easier as they are often very comfortable if it is heeled boots or more block heeled shoes. Also, they are a god sent for making your legs look thinner!!

Bring out your Goddess

Ultimately, your look should make you feel like an utter goddess. You should want to feel happy, confident and most importantly capable of doing absolutely anything you want. This is going to be different for everyone so let me tell you what gives me this feeling. My go to #BossLady look has to be a midi dress, colourful midi coat in a tailored style, heeled boots, warm tights and a chunky scarf to stay warm. To finish, a handbag flung over my elbow or shoulder to complete the look. This is my go-to. What is yours?

 

Shop this post:

 

Leopard Dress – Gissings Boutique

Chain Dress – Gissings Boutique

Shoes – Carvela (a few years ago)

 

 

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

 

Managing your time and your life

Managing your time and your life

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

If you are anything like me, you will understand that balancing a busy schedule can be extremely difficult. I have always found it very hard to juggle everything in my life, particularly because I try to give each thing so much attention. I love working, I love my blogging hobby, I love having a social life and I love keeping my home up to date. With that I also try to dedicate enough time into getting to the gym, preparing healthy meals each day and then of course fitting in much needed down time. All this together can be a real struggle and I am someone who keeps going and going until my body physically won’t let me anymore. So, what is the answer? All these things going on in life for me are things that I can’t just get rid of, so really the only way to make them all manageable is by addressing them and figuring out a better way to fit them into my life and everyday schedule.

I remember seeing a post on Facebook years ago that someone had created, which was a circle and all the things they/ everyone tried to juggle each day. This was the first time in my life that I really took notice of how life can become stressful and that other people too were struggling with everything going on.

First things first, like my grandma has always told me, get writing. The first way that I can get everything sorted and prioritised is by writing a list weekly of everything that needs to be done, as well my appointments and the friends and family I want to see. This way you can pick apart the list and fix it into your diary. This is where my paper diary and weekly planner becomes very useful as it is all laid out properly and can be used each day to make life just a lot easier.  Just remember this can be done anywhere, at any time, and usually is the first thing you should do when you feel stressed and just frankly overwhelmed with everything.

The main thing to remember when splitting up your time and trying to fit everything in is that you do have to be realistic. If you set unrealistic goals and days for yourself, it isn’t going to happen which will make you even more stressed and usually highly unmotivated. You have to factor in how much real time everything takes, a section for things that may arise out of the blue and most importantly just time to chill out.

The next three steps for me are simple. If you are taking care of your mind and body, being productive and getting everything done is going to be much easier. So, the three steps include:

  • Eating well – make sure you are eating all the nutrients your body needs at the right times of day.
  • Exercise – the biggest excuse we make when exercising is ‘we don’t have time’. I have learnt that if you are realistic, you can get it done. I used to set very silly goals for exercise and now that I am more relaxed about it, I find it much easier to get done.
  • Sleep – I have always been awful at getting enough sleep and still now am by no means amazing. However, I make much more of an effort. It’s simple really, if you get enough sleep you will get more done the next day.

For me the next thing to remember is to separate your work and leisure time. I have had to really get strict with myself on this as I work from home. I now have set times during the week that I work, at my desk, making sure I don’t get distracted. By doing this I get all my work done as I have the set time and then the other time can be separated between everything else in life. I know for many people this isn’t so much of a problem as you physically go to work, however even mentally it can be hard to separate everything.

Finally, the good old saying, work hard play hard. If you are working hard enough ensuring you get everything done, you then have the ability to really enjoy your other time, whether you want to get to the gym, go for drinks with friends, enjoy a romantic meal or even spend the evening in bed doing bugger all. Your time is only yours and you can decide exactly how you want to spend it.

 

Shop this post:

 

Dress – H&M

Shoes – New Look

Bag – Mulberry

Earrings – Skinny Dip London, Amelia Liana Edit

 

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

Como 19 | My Summer Style 2019

Como 19 | My Summer Style 2019

AD – this blog post contains some products that were gifted*.

Last week in Italy I tried to me very minimal with my packing and outfits, taking the time to just simply relax and enjoy the culture. However, fashion is my passion and five years into blogging, I couldn’t not at least try and document what I chose to wear. Therefore, welcome to this year’s very casual round up of my Summer holiday look book featuring all my favourite trends of 2019.

Getting right to it, this year my favourite trend has been the flouncy midi skirts and dresses featured a lot here. The blue midi skirt and red dress were two huge go to’s for me over the Summer and so easy to wear whilst I was away. I love items in my wardrobe that make me feel glam and on trend, but also being comfortable and extremely easy to wear. My blue flouncy skirt, which was a 2018 purchase, was perfect for day to night with simple t-shirts, flat sandals or trainers and then dressed up with block heels and accessories. I have always found skirts like this to be very flattering as they hug my hourglass figure and, in my opinion, only flatter it more. The red dress which in my eyes resembles this skirt a lot got a lot of wear over the trip as again it can be worn casually in the day and dressed up in the evening. It was also a lovely item to throw on over a swimsuit for lounging around the pool. Items like these for me are absolute must haves as every holiday suitcase needs to have plenty of versatile pieces.

Following on from the poolside look, this year I decided to opt for a much more covered approach. I am not afraid to say it; my lumps and bumps have been incredibly frustrating me recently and getting everything out just wasn’t really an option. So, I decided to make the best of the situation and take along some chic swimsuits that would look perfect around the lake, especially topped with some simple black or white sarongs. My red swimsuit happened to be my favourite and was one I purchased from Topshop just before this trip. It had slits down the side, so I felt quite modern, however I also felt secure and relaxed whilst wearing it. Also, I don’t think you can really get much more sophisticated than a good swimsuit and an oversized hat!

The next item I loved was my pastel pink midi dress from Angeleye Fashion*. This dress was perfect as again it could be dressed up or down from day to night and was so comfortable. The light shade went with all bags and accessories I chose to take increasing its versatility and most importantly it also made me feel very confident with its flattering fit. What I also loved was that it could be unbuttoned at the front, again giving me another option to wear something over a swimsuit around the pool. The same can also be said for my trusty denim mini dress that has been another go to this season. It can be unbuttoned to wear over a swimsuit and then dressed for the day or night again.

Two items that I reached for continuously during the trip as the weather could sometimes be unpredictable was my light linen blazer and a denim jacket that belongs to my partner (I forgot mine!). They were both perfect for the slightly cooler days to be worn or placed over the shoulders for a chic effect with all the dresses and other items I chose to take with me, particularly in the evening. Looking good is great until you feel super chilly and can’t enjoy sitting outside with your Aperol Spritz!

The last item in my suitcase that was worn everyday was my white belt. I have become very strict with myself when choosing which accessories to take away with me, so sticking to one belt has been a must. I chose white as it simply goes with everything and boy did it get its use. Whether it was wrapped around a dress to pull me in, with my shorts to keep them up or even just to add some colour to a simple look, a simple belt is an absolute must.

My style in Italy was probably the most minimal holiday wardrobe I have ever opted for, but it was just what I needed. Something relaxed and casual that I still felt confident in. Do you have a favourite of the looks?

 

Shop this post

Red Dress – Zara

Denim Jacket – Primark

Monochrome Dress – Asos

Belt – Gucci

Red Wedges – Harvey Nichols

Denim Dress – Zara

Red Swimsuit – Topshop

Skirt – H&M (similar)

Linen Blazer – Mango

Pink Bag – Mulberry

Blue Bag – Mulberry

Pink Dress* – Angeleye Fashion

Pink Skirt – Mango

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

 

Reducing our time online

Reducing our time online

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

As you can probably imagine, being a blogger and working in social media I spend a lot of time on the Internet, particularly on social networking sites. I really love what I do, and at the moment I don’t think I would change it, however because of how much time I spend online I am always in need of a good detox. An online break for me can be categorised in different times, such as even having an afternoon or an evening off is still what I would consider a break. Although, I would argue that the positive effects of it are much less than when you have a longer period of time off. When I first ever visited Scotland a few years ago, one of my favourite holiday destinations, I had eight days away from my social media platforms and my phone in general as there was literally no way of accessing it anywhere. To begin with I found it challenging but that soon faded, and I very quickly became used to not grabbing my phone during any interval. Towards the end of the holiday I really noticed how much better I was feeling in myself and how refreshed I felt. In fact, I think it is the most rested I have felt since I was a small child.

I am not someone to criticise social media entirely, as I do personally love it, however I do think it is sad that we have all become so addicted to it. I personally believe that the best way to enjoy social media is by also being able to enjoy your life without it.

Anyone who knows me would probably laugh if I said I could survive without social media, but that it just because they know how much time I spend on it. In all honesty, if it all disappeared tomorrow, I would feel completely fine, in fact maybe even a sigh of relief. I mean, ignore the fact that I wouldn’t have a job anymore 😉 When I started my blog, I had no idea how much of a large part social media would play in it, and I have found it very stressful over the years. I have gradually overcome this and really found a way to help myself switch off, making my time online more productive and my down time much more enjoyable.

With all that being said, I think many of us would agree that it is much easier said than done. We all love being online now and connecting with others, having a nosy at people’s lives and switching off from our own. I find it scary how I can be looking at someone’s Instagram and then twenty minutes later would have found their best friends, uncles’ daughter who now has a baby. It is pretty scary how much we can find out about one another from these channels and it is quite hilarious how invested we become in other people’s lives. I personally believe that the first step in being able to switch off is realising that your life exists in the real world and what you see online is very much only 1% of what is happening in someone else’s. We all choose to post the ‘perfect’ parts of our lives, and it can be easy to believe that that is all there is to the story. There is always so much more going on that isn’t shared, and it is usually those things that define a person and their life.

The second step is being strict with yourself. I had to really reign in the amount of time I spend on my own social media a few months ago, as when I saw the stats of my average time per day, I was shocked. I always complain about not having time to get to the gym or cook from scratch every night, or even just get around to all my emails in a day, but somehow, I accumulated a ridiculous amount of time on social media. The problem is, because it is generally lots of small chunks, we don’t realise in the moment just how much it adds up. I will now limit my morning time to 15 minutes (and I will get up earlier to do so), a little look with my lunch and then an hour or less in the evening. I am also trying my hardest not to let myself go on Instagram in bed… because that is when you fall into a bad habit! Limiting yourself and keeping busy in other ways is the best way if you need to reduce your time online.

The next step in reducing your social media time is leaving your phone. I have become much more aware of how often I have my phone with me and am making such an effort to stop. When eating out or meeting friends, my phone stays in my bag. When chilling on the sofa in the evening and watching something, I try my best to keep my phone in another room. We don’t need 24/7 contact with our phones and not having the temptation is a big part of switching off.

Finally, tech free holidays. I have become a pro at this, as I really felt the huge benefits of not being on my phone during those eight days in Scotland. Whenever I go away, I allow myself a little time on my phone, but apart from that I keep myself busy with other things such as swimming, exploring, reading and a hell of a lot of napping. Holidays are your time to switch off from the world and having a real rest is the only way you will feel like you’ve actually got away and recharged your batteries.

 

Shop this post:

 

Skirt – New Look

Top – New Look

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.

Make a Statement in White

Make a Statement in White

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

I think white is a colour that the majority of us have in our wardrobe and at some point, we have all grabbed that white t-shirt and jeans look on a day we don’t know what to wear, however I do very much believe that it can be the statement colour in so many outfits rather than just a filler. Perhaps this is more the case in the Summer, but as we are in that season it seemed like the appropriate time to publish this post. I will always reach for white in a clothing store and usually will dress my outfit around that one colour – not only does it compliment my skin tone so well, but it is so easy to adapt a variety of other pieces with that colour.

I strongly believe that the key to a good outfit is having the base on spot, for example a bold skirt or dress, t-shirt or even pair of shoes. Choosing this one item and then working around that is not only going to make life easier, but it is going to have a great effect on the overall look.

The dress featured in this post was a purchase this Spring in Mallorca, from Mango, which is one of my go to Summer stops. I knew instantly that I had to have this dress in my life, as not only was it the perfect shape and fit for my hourglass figure, but it also had texture and beautiful features, giving the colour a whole new leap of life. The dress has quickly become a key piece in my Summer wardrobe and as with any item of this colour it has been easily transitioned from day to night for a variety of occasions.

 

When it comes to styling white, my biggest attraction to the colour is block colours. So, welcome my new red espadrille wedges. Oh. My. They are GORGEOUS! I knew these had to be in my wardrobe and I have already got so much wear out of them, particularly with white. Red and white seem to be colours that just elegantly bounce off each other and are such a classic combination. What I love even more about this dress and shoes together is that they can very much be worn from day to night!

To add more contrast, my baby pink bag had to be the perfect addition and red and pink is one of my favourite combinations. The outfit just screams Summer and even though the accessories and shoes are bold in themselves, I still personally feel like the white dress is the main star of the show. To finish, possible more in the evening, I would sling my denim jacket over my shoulders for a little warmth and a lighter addition than a leather jacket or coat.

Finally, I find that the best way to accessorize a white outfit is with subtle jewellery, that matches your colour tone. For me this is delicate silver pieces, such as an elegant necklace, Pandora bracelet or even set of silver rings. The accessories should match your colour tone and be what you love to wear, but you don’t want them to steal the show, so not something overly heavy.

 

Shop this post:

 

Dress – Mango

Bag – Mulberry

Shoes – New Look

 

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