Friday, 30 June 2017

Fluted Sleeves, Culottes & A Bit of Orla (& #Passion4Fashion Linkup)


Happy Friday Ladies!
Is it wrong to love ones own outfit? I mean i really am loving this combination. Its so very simple: jeans and a tee but with a bit of jazz hands i guess, and it fundamentally just works for me.
Lets take a closer look:

The tshirt is the most fabulous red, so vibrant and a flattering shade of red too. I picked it up for £5(!!) from tesco. I love the drapey fabric and the fluted sleeves. Its basically like a normal tshirt pepped up, and to me that is super fun and also super easy.

The culottes are one of my most favourite items to wear, partly becasue it annoys the husband ("Sweetheart, you  do know we can afford trousers that fit you, right?"), but more so because of the silhouette they create. I love the ankle skimming length, the hip evening out and the shoe highlighting factor that all come via these culottes. They're also perfect now with sandals but also come winter with ankle boots.

I finished off the simple Jeans & Tee combo with some black heeled mules and the most fabulous print bag to bring a dash of pattern and interest.

We all recognise the print don't we?
You really can't miss an Orla can you, its so wonderfully distinctive and fun.
The Orla Kiely bag is from a selection at Amara who kindly let me choose a piece. I instantly knew it would be one of the fabulous bags as i'm always so drawn to the renowned prints and colours. I will often wear bold colours but generally not much print or pattern (apart from my beloved stripes, and occasionally in summer, the odd floral), so the bag works perfectly with my favourite colour scheme and bringing a ton of interest to any outfit I may be wearing (they also have this in yellow which is super pretty for summer!)
Amara have got pretty much everything you could possibly need, like one of the best online department stores, from living to life and of course style. I've been super impressed with the stock and the prices and i've already got some new luggage on order for my summer hols!
I love discovering new shopping haunts as i seem to get stuck in a shopping rut, feeling uninspired, so thanks Amara, you've made me want to spend my well earned wages, lol!

Have you discovered any new shopping haunts that you love?
And are you a fan of the Orla prints and designs? I love that they're a little bit retro yet they've also become timeless!








Jewellery: Newbridge Silverware: The Amy collection
Black Mules: Old: Try These 
Red Top(only available in some sizes) Try This or this is really fun
Culottes: M&S last season: These look super similar
Orla Bag Thanks to Amara




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Thursday, 29 June 2017

June Love List


June has been a rather fab month. The UK rejoiced when we had a lovely spell of beautifully hot sunny weather, not just because we got to wear our summer clothes, but also because it gave us all a good dose of Vitamin d (as well as a lot of sweat and a little bit of heat exhaustion, lol!) and made everyone so very happy.
I also stepped out of my comfort zone on more than one occasion, which always leaves me feeling exhilarated and pleased with myself.

So here's what I've been loving this month:

1. Fashion

It's been a lean month here on new items, which is nice as i've been wearing what i already own lots more, however I'm selling some other pieces off (find them here  and all under a tenner) and i'm looking forward to adding a few pieces to my wardrobe. i'm dreaming of this absolutely dreamy jumpsuit which would work so well for those summer days that aren't overly warm and also this bargain dress. It appears i've come over all floral as i absolutely love these two.

2. Food/Drink

I haven't experimented much this month as with our heatwave (that has now disappeared sadly :() we ate lots of salad and it was delicious, especially when the lettuce, spinach, onions and broad beans were freshly picked from our garden. However my gorgeous friend has started a Vegan cake company
and oh my word.. they are divine. She brought me the most spectacular Gluten free vegan cupcakes I have ever tasted.


3. Beauty

I've been going super easy with makeup this month, but making sure i wear lots and lots of moisturiser. This month i'm currently trying the Etern'l Collection from Harmony Life. I'm a big fan of Harmony Life (its where i got the hair growth treatments from, which were incredible) and their products, so thought this month i would try some new potions. The Etern'l range is a French favourite winning multiple awards. So if its good enough for those gorgeous ageless french chicks, well its worthy of a shot isn't it! I'll keep you posted on my results in a month or so as its always great to find new creams that actually do what they're supposed to. So far i am really like it, the consistency is a beautiful thick viscosity that feels very luxe, when i wake up in the morning my skin feels softer, which is great.



4. Media

Reading like a demon as per and i actually joined the library last week in order to save my purse as i was buying 2-3 books a week at some points. So i am not a proud member of the community run library. They were so nice and accommodating when i joined too which was just so sweet.
I'm currently reading Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny and enjoying its wit and interesting views.

5. Life

Of course this months highlight was The Lucky Things Meetup. Filled with uncontrollable giggles, inspiration and non stop chatter. I left the day exhausted and with face ache from all the smiling and chatting. The full catch up post is here if you missed it




So lovely friends, its share time! What have you loved during June? I honestly love to hear what you've been loving/doing/trying!
Let me know in the comments below!

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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

#BodyPositivity :: Drop your Flaws, Embrace Your Strengths!


Today i'm hitting you up with the third instalment in the #BodyPositivity series, a series i've implemented here on RTH as we all need regularly reminding how absolutely amazing our bodies are, how we all come in different, shapes, sizes and colours and how each one of them is equally amazing.
For years I have constantly berated my body, told myself i am not as good as someone else, how my tummy isn't flat or taught enough, how my boobs aren't big enough and how my thighs have way too much thunder.
But its time to stop.

Last week the GORGEOUS Vicki talked to us about writing down our flaws in a cathartic way to process our feelings. This week we shall be looking at also doing the opposite.

In the LuckyThings Meetup on Sunday we had an inspiring talk about dressing with confidence. Now for me dressing isn't my problem, I love getting dressed and clothes are my armour; its whats underneath I've never been that keen on!
We can all ring off a list of parts of ourselves we hate as quick as a wink ( i mean i managed to still get them in in the opening paragraph for crying out-loud, stealthily snuck them right in there), but if you sit a woman down and ask her to list 5 things she like about herself she will struggle and just point out more of her flaws.
The stylist Lucy at our talk says this happens every time she styles a lady client, however when styling a man they are normally quite at ease with pointing out their best bits.

Funny isn't it, how it seems to be ingrained in women to not accept compliments from others OR to even accept our own good points?
Its time we all start to change this, too long has this gone on, from one generation of ladies to another.

Just imagine that!




So here's the thing:

List 5 things you like about yourself. 

Yep, at first you will do exactly what i did and think
"5? I cant even think of 1!"
or
"Oh i don't know about good, but i don't like this, and this and this"

But really, we can do this, it just takes a little bit of courage and a little bit of self belief.

When i start down this road i always fear of coming across as big headed or showy, hence why i am also terrible at embracing my strengths, i class myself as a woman who is very down to earth, what you see is what you get, but there is absolutely no harm in being happy with the woman i am? Its not bragging or boasting, its about having a positive attitude towards yourself, which is what we all deserve to have.

The more positive vibes you feel for yourself the more you radiate on to others too.


So... 
5 Things I like about ME

1.My height
At 5ft 6 i'm quite tall and i like it. For years i hunched over to make myself appear shorter. All i wanted was to be short and the same size as my petite girlfriends. But i like how clothes never have to be altered and that i can often see above a crowd ;)

2. My hair is my crowning glory
Neither curly nor straight and extremely course, after years of wrangling it i have learned what works best for it, how to style it and how to manage it. I like that it holds a curl for days and can also be straightened.

3. My small boobs
I am finally at a place where i am happy to embrace something i have hated most of my adult life.

4. Strong legs
I have very strong long legs, these bad boys carry me around a lot and yet i never previously gave them any credit.

5. My shoulders
I like how my shoulders are slender and elegant (even if i am not in the slightest bit elegant, ha!)

Done, done and done!

I'm not going to lie, yes that was hard to do, but wow, it feels great to actually send myself praise instead of negativity.

I've asked some friends the same question:


Bristol Based Mama of 2

1. My Legs:
I'm 5ft 9 and love being tall

2. My Eyes:
To quote Tyra Banks' Girl you gotta 'smize'' (That's smile with your eyes) I like to think i do this on a very regular basis! Plus they're a nice blue.

3. My Teeth:
I always hated my teeth and was really self conscious of them as they ere wonky so i had a fixed brace for a year which came off late last year and now they're off i spend most of my time smiling!

4. My Arms:
I'm blessed with slim arms whenever i exercise (which is rarely) my arms are the first to tone up- i really should do it more often!

5. My Hips
I a classic pear and after years of hating them, covering them up wherever possible etc, i am finally learning to love, embrace and show off these bad boys. My mum always told me they'd make child birth easier and 2 super quick births later i can confirm shes right!


And please welcome

Mama of 2 and Vintage enthusiast

1. Marilyn eat your heart out:
After battling with my changing shape after pregnancy, I now embrace my curves and love that my hourglass figure allows me to wear my beloved vintage dresses. 

2. My baby blues:
I have always been told I speak with my eyes, I like that I have big eyes that hold a lot of expression.
3. Legs Eleven:
I was always lanky in my youth and as a teenager I resembled a baby giraffe learning to walk but I've grown into my limbs now and like that I have long legs, even if it means I usually have jack ups!
4. A bit cheeky:
I have dimples when I smile and my children have inherited them, I like our smiles have their own fan club. 

5. Goldilocks:
I feel like after experimenting for years with short hair, long hair, dark hair, highlights and all sorts, I've found a colour and style that feels like me...for now anyway!

Aren't they fabulous? Absolutely amazing ladies, thank you for sharing!

So here is where i ask you dear reader/friend/gorgeous lady. This isn't just an exercise for me, this is to hopefully encourage you and all women to love themselves a bit more each day. By highlighting our positives it weighs out some of the negative thoughts we all have day in day out.

In the comments below write 5 Things you love about your body.

Think about it but not to much, just write and see what comes out.. I promise afterwards you will feel fantastic!

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Getting Ready For A Formal Wedding

Wedding season is in full swing isn't it ladies, and that means formal frocks at the ready.
The Italian wedding of a family member i'm attending is fast approaching (mid July) and I have pondered long and hard as to what to wear, (because this is me, and lets face it, when am i not thinking about clothes in some capacity), what accessories: to hat or fascinator and how I'm going to do my hair and what makeup.
I thought I'd share my thought process on getting ready for weddings as its something that i think we all put a lot of thought in to when they come around. We wanted to look our best and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. So hopefully these simple steps and tidbits of advice will show the only things that you need to be doing to be immaculately wedding guest ready.
First up

The Dress

For me Coast Dresses are always perfect wedding attire.. you simply can't go wrong in a Coast dress. Whether you're mother, cousin, sister or friend a timeless classic cut and modern design will see you right. I have scoured the internet and whiled away many an hour looking for suitable wedding guest dresses, but i always, always come back to Coast. They just work and have a whole designated heading for Weddings on their website, they really are pro's at wedding guest dressing and if you're in need of a special little number, well you can pretty much guarantee you'll find one here.
  I mean..wow



Oh my word they have so many resplendent dresses i could barely choose just a few.
My favourite quite possibly being the first red patterned one, its just so different!
All available at Coast


With your dress finally sorted, its time to move on to

Accessories

To hat or not to hat? Or to half hat with a fascinator?


Now I know a lot of ladies who really don't feel comfortable in a hat, deeming it too ostentatious, uncomfortable, and out of their comfort zone. My advice would be to try a few, Yes you will feel a bit silly to begin with but once you have found a style that fits your head and face shape well, you can really start to work the trend.
Also in regards to it being out of the comfort zone, are weddings ever really in a comfort zone? I mean comfy to me implies my pj's and a big old bag of popcorn with my ass safely on my sofa. Weddings are that one time where you get to go all out and enjoy, and be a part of the splendour, so why not try it? I love to wear a fascinator, it just instantly makes me feel wedding ready.
Another tip would be to start smaller, with a hair clip or a small fascinator (like on the left) that can be discreet and also easy to manage.
I often will wear mine for the ceremony and photos, sometimes even the wedding breakfast and then take it off for the evening, give my hair a quick shcujj and feel freshly made for the evening events... Which leads me perfectly on to...

Hair

Hair up, hair down, half and half,curly or straight or even a bit wavy... choices choices.
The thing with hair is to make sure you feel you. I would never leave it to the day to try a complicated fishtail braid as its really not something i usually do. Go with a tried and tested style that you know will last the day through and still look great by the time you kick your shoes off at midnight.
I love a low bun, which works brilliantly for a a hair clip or fascinator to be added, and as the day goes on and it gets slightly messier, it still will look great in an un-done sexy dishevelled way;)
My second is curly.. Always my go to.  By using the Babyliss wand i take small sections and  curl the whole head of hair. I then liberally spray it with setting spray (my absolute favourite is by The Bardou as it smells incredible, keeps fuzz away in humidity and holds all day without feeling crunchy) and leave to set for 10 minutes. After 10 i take bristle brush to it and brush through to stop it looking poodle and more soft siren waves.
The waves last me all day and even in to the next day. I like the look of softer hair with a smart dress too, it adds a bit of contrast and saves the look from appearing over polished (altough some people rock that too.. i could never as i'm too clumsy to be polished.. exhibit a: below.. on the dress is a lipstick stain from where i banged my glass of vino against myself in excitement... none of the grace, but at least my hair and fascinator look nice;)
And lastly

Makeup

I think a great base that will last you the whole day and evening is important. Get your foundation right and the rest falls in to place. For me it is my Embryolisse BB Cream which has an amazing amount of coverage for a BB cream and finishes my complexion off well, making me still feel light and not claggy (if that makes sense?).
Tarte cosmetics are my favourite shades and for longevity in eyeshadow and blusher form, whilst my most favourite mascara ever ever is the W7 Lashtastic for full length and body lashes. But if tears may be on the cards for that particularly emosh day, try the Oh So WaterProof.
Finally of course a lipstick is the finishing touch, but so important that you wear one that lasts at least until the photos are all done and you can reapply ;)
I always opt for a matte when it comes to lasting wear as they cling to the lips much longer than a gloss or a silk. Colour preference is obviously personal as bright red won't be for everyone (always my favourite), but W7 have a great selection of mattes from nudes to berries and classic pillar box reds. My experience of wearing them (which is a lot as the Ruby red is my all time favourite lipstick) has always been great, they last as well as the high end brands (my Chanel lipsticks never lasted as long in fact!) And when they do fade its a done gradual leaving some colour remain, but not in a claggy way. Highly recommend.



Simple straight forward and not complicated, this is how i like to tackle weddings. To be yourself, but dressed as your very best self can be. I see no point in dressing in something you aren't comfy in or doing hair and makeup that is totally alien to you. That's why each of these tips are my tried and tested formulas that won't let me down come the day.

Do you have any wedding guest attire tips?
And are you off to any lovely weddings this year?



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Monday, 26 June 2017

When Insta Meets Real Life

Yesterday (Sunday 25th) saw me attend the Lucky Things Meetup in Bristol.
The event was organised by the spectacular Sunita of Lucky Things Blog who managed to arrange a gorgeous venue, amazing goodiebags and for a 50 strong group of diverse ladies from the social media world to attend.

Now i have been around this block a long old time, I've been blogging for 6 years and been on Instagram for as long as its been on android, but i have never been to a blogger meet up.
Living in Wales there just aren't many meetup organised here, and i can never attend the London PR days i'm offered or even manage to organise to get to the meet ups as it's often just not possible for me with family commitments etc.

So when Sunita announced the Bristol event, and i saw some wonderful ladies i follow on Insta were going, well i took the bull by the horns and booked myself a ticket.
Bristol is just an hour from me and I've popped over the bridge a few times to watch shows in the Hippodrome so i was a little more comfortable going than i would be say, London or Birmingham, simply becasue i had a bit of a clue as to where to go. 

I'm honestly quite the recluse in real life, so majorly stepping out of my comfort zone was something that sent my anxiety and nerves into overload.
But i did it! And boy can i tell you, i am SO glad i did.
The majority of the group here after the inspiring talk.
Image thanks to Sunita Lucky Things
The thing with blogging and social media is that it can be such a wonderful supportive community, but it can also be a little bit lonely. I blog day in day out, on my own in my little home and sometimes it can be a little uninspiring. There's nobody to bounce ideas off, or have that chat by the copier or banter who's making the next cuppa, so as much as chatting on Insta and twitter and comments is great, there's nothing like talking to someone else the flesh, laughing and giggling and bouncing from one topic to the next barely coming up for air.

Sunita mentioned how important meeting up is for our mental health, that as ladies we should take time out and socialise with others, and i couldn't agree more as i left the meetup absolutely buzzing (and no i wasn't even drinking!)

Here's a few snaps from the day:




 Allie, me & Kim

I've pinched this pic from Kim because it was her splendid idea to get a big old shoefie pic and how right was she!!


 There was more fashionable outfits in the room than i've ever seen, beautiful dresses, amazing shoes, it was simply gorgeous to see how many ladies had gotten styled up for the occasion.
Its so lovely to have a reason to don those great shoes and rock up in that great outfit and feel like the whole room just gets it, that everyone here, to one degree or another, just loves to look good in what they wear and feel great.

Bean of Small Town Threads and I have much in common with how we often stand out from the small town dress sence that we both live in, it was great chatting to her about how we take charge of what we wear regardless of what others around us wear themselves or think of what we wear.
Sunita (in the gorgeous red dress) our kind and welcoming hostess. I could honestly not think of a warmer, more laid back lovely host than she. She brought a room of woman together united in a love of style and happiness.
 How most of the day went... giggles, banter. cuss words and more laughter.
 Allie is amazing.. i latched on to the poor girl a few weeks ago and she has had to listen to me every day since.. when insta throws two people together and they just instantly click, it truly is a wonderful thing.
 THESE PAIR!! Absolute blast!
MummasMojo & TheFashionablePan brininging a bit of London to Bristol.
We bonded over boobs and accents.. it was bloody great!

Allie & Hayley two absolute sweethearts,
travelled from Hertfordshire & Oxford to be there (and beyond lovely.. like i want them to move to wales so i can annoy them constantly)

So why was it such a wonderful day?
Well to be surrounded by like minded women was basically one of the best things ever.
To be able to unconsciously whip your phone out for a cheeky pic/instastories or to chat trade with others about how blogging is amazing but difficult, was sheer bliss for me. 
Networking wasn't a forced ... it was simply chatting with what felt like old friends. People who's snippets of life you've seen in photos or stories, who you recognise instantly and want to chat and hug.
I left feeling so inspired with new momentum, ideas and enthusiasm.. something i haven't felt for a while.
I've also made new friends who i cant imagine not having, and put down plans to meet up again soon.
And that in itself is worth its weight in gold. 
When two worlds collide, it appears fantastic things can happen.


 After we all got home with our glorious goodie bags filled with Weleda products (which i was so happy are Cruelty free and Vegan), Rude health foods,  Puka tea and the most gorgeous vase from Neptune Home, I felt on cloud nine.
What a splendid day.
A huge thank you to Sunita of Lucky Things!

I'm sure this is the first of what will hopefully be many meetups i will be attending.

Have you ever been to a blogger?Insta meet up?


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