The importance of a side hustle

The importance of a side hustle

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Side hustle = a piece of work or a job that you get paid for doing in addition to doing your main job.

Today’s blog post is all about a side hustle.  I have wanted to do this for a few weeks, as it is a topic that I have been thinking a lot about during the pandemic. In addition to my full-time job and law studies, I also have my own side hustle which I started back in August, which has been a welcome distraction during this time. The industry I am in as a whole has popped over the last few months, as I think a lot of people are starting to understand the importance of always having a back-up plan in life. I am extremely grateful to have my very own back-up plan; however, I also love that it is something I do by choice, that I get to have a lot of fun with and be a part of an amazing community. For me, I guess you could also say that blogging is a sort of side hustle, however it feels very different as I do it totally alone with no one to guide me. 

So, the first question I think that always comes to light on this subject is ‘why do so many people explore the option of a side hustle’? For me, it was all about giving myself options and securing myself for the future. I absolutely love my job, and my studies, but how on earth do I know that it 10 years’ time my job is going to exist, not to mention that I might actually hate it. The world is constantly changing and as humans our dreams and desires constantly evolve, so for me a side hustle was an option I wanted to explore in case either of the two ever happen in the future. A rich life is about so much more than finances – it is about true happiness and fulfilment each day which comes from spending time with loved ones and never overly stressing about life. If you are getting what I mean, I would definitely recommend reading on. 

Next up, ‘what is meant by a side hustle’. So, this can come in many different varieties, but essentially it is going to be something that you do on the side of your time, that you make some extra money from, have fun with and perhaps one day could become a full-time thing. For me, I made the sensible decision of joining a social marketing company, where I have my own business underneath their umbrella. I get all the help and support I need, as well as the community, without the everyday stresses of building a company and the time that you would need to put into it. That was a choice I made as I fell in love with the brand, however there are many other varieties. You love photography? You may start a side hustle running your own photography business in your spare time. You love writing? You may start freelance writing for your local magazine on the side. You love makeup? You could start a makeup artist business to run at the weekends or during Summer for weddings. These are all side hustles as they are done around your life and main job, but create an income, however big or small. 

I have so many people I speak to who voice their dreams and passions to me, yet never explore the option of a side hustle for one reason… time. Now, yes I agree, we all have busy lives and a lot of us do not have time to spare, however, there is one thing I always say when someone says I don’t have time – ‘do you not have time, or is it just not a priority right now?’ So often, when you chat further and explore what everyone gets up to each day, you learn that they do spend around 1-2 hours a day scrolling through Instagram, often sleep for longer than they need and probably spend around 2-3 hours each evening watching TV. I am not saying that we don’t need down time because we do, however I know so many people who could just switch some of their daily habits and build an epic side hustle by simply giving up the daily scroll or watching EastEnders and Coronation Street. That may seem blunt, and you may think I am absolutely incorrect, but if you ask yourself deep down, you always can make time. Each week I run my full-time business, study my online law degree and do my side hustle. It isn’t easy, but the way I do it is by simply giving up time in my life that wasn’t serving me before and utilising it to build and grow my businesses and myself. To add, when I do have my down time, the quality is so much better as it is less frequent, more structured and often much more enjoyable. So, ask yourself… could you spare an hour a day to make your dreams come true? 

Finally, let’s talk getting uncomfortable. Any side hustle you start is going to require you to acquire the knowledge you need to make it work, the dedication and self-discipline to keep it going and the courage to make it a success. To put it bluntly, you are going to have to get uncomfortable. But, like they say, if nothing changes… nothing changes – being uncomfortable is when you grow and become the person you want to be. So, when you do start your side hustle, my biggest piece of advice is do not give up on it. If you work hard enough, if you are disciplined and if you have belief in yourself, you can make ANYTHING happen. 

If you would like more information about what I do, or would like a little more advice on starting your own side hustle, please do email me at ladyhunter@abigailhuntermarketing.co.uk

… 

Shop this post: 

Dress – New Look

Shoes – New Look

Belt – Gucci

Bag – Mulberry

……………………………………………….

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

Thank you for reading x
Making Spring fashion trends of 2020 work for me.

Making Spring fashion trends of 2020 work for me.

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

One of my favourite things about the recent lockdown has been having the opportunity to really sort through my wardrobe, find my style again and fill in gaps properly as opposed to buying items aimlessly not knowing what I really need. The Spring styles available this year have been incredible and my personal style exactly. I adore the pastel shades flooding the online stores, beautiful floral patterns, flouncy skirts and sleeves, not to mention gorgeous accessories. The colour palettes are so feminine, and I have loved filling my wardrobe with new life, colour and textures. 

That being said, a big lesson I have learnt is that as much as these styles are beautiful, they are definitely not made for every single body shape, nor season colour palette. I have seen so many items and then tried them, only to be disappointed with how they look, which is a battle I have 365 days a year. Although, I am very much into adapting fashion and making it work for me, so this season I have worked harder than usual to force these trends to work on me. H&M has been my biggest go to this year. In my opinion, they are miles ahead with their Spring line compared to other high street stores and I cannot fault them for their quality and movement towards being a more sustainable fashion brand. 

Again, because of my hourglass figure, the second part of my outfit to make it work for me is a chunky heel, whether it be wedges or a block heeled sandal. This added height and length to my legs is crucial to make the dress work for me as with flats they can look a little frumpy. My favourite place for good summer sandals and wedges has to include Dune, New Look and my latest love is Castaner, an incredible espadrille company who make sustainable espadrilles and wedges. 

In terms of accessories and jewellery, I think the minimalist look is the trend of 2020, with dainty earrings, necklaces and bracelets taking a stand and further promoting the dainty feminine look that this dress is offering. I collected a few gorgeous jewellery pieces last year with this ethos in mind, as I fell in love with so many lovely items from Mint Velvet and even an incredible selection from Asos. I am all about reasonably priced jewellery as what I like changes frequently and you can get some truly beautiful pieces nowadays for a better price point. So, in essence, the flouncy frilly dresses are in and I am loving it. 

What is your favourite trend of Spring 2020? 

Shop this post now:

Dress – H&M

Belt – Gucci

Bag – Last Year (similar)

Shoes – New Look

#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

…………………………………

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

…………………………….

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

……………………………………………

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

5 + 6 =