Friday, 24 February 2017

Bright Pink & Faux Leather Trousers (& #Passion4Fashion Linkup)

I have been craving some brights of late. I feel like an injection of colour is exactly what is needed this late in to the winter, and with Spring in the not so distant future it seemed like a good idea to add a few pieces to my wardrobe that will see me through.
This obnoxiously pink, and i use that as a term of endearment, jumper is just fab. Cosy, soft, bright and just shouts FUN at the top of it pink knitted rows. It made for a perfect date night outfit as it's still cold in the evenings, but the extroverted colour made the outfit sassy and enjoyable to wear. As did my trusty faux leather trousers, that i have really not worn enough this winter. Super happy to have them back on these legs again.
The contrast between the faux leather and the soft knit is one of my favourite combinations, soft and tough, black and pink. Add in a hit of leopard and the silver clutch and i was dressed to my happiest.

Pink is such a great colour as there is pretty much a shade for everyone. With pale pink and blush reigning predominantly, its great to see some punchy pinks back in action. I would also hazard a guess that these bright shades will be big through spring, so grab yourself a pretty pink number now.
They are also a great deceiver of tiredness. The instant pick-me-up in sweater form. The colour will radiate and make you instantly look more glowing, happy and will bring colour to your cheeks. The next time you feel absolutely drained to your core and grey to the skin, try a bright pink jumper, I promise you it adds instant pep!

This jumper will work well with causal jeans as well as my faux leather skirt, so i hope it will see a lot more wear in the next few months, plus i just really enjoy wearing it. Its fun. And dressing should be fun, Amiright?

Also sidenote: these photos were taken after just after 5pm.. i apologise for the slightly dim lighting.. But hallelujah! Bloggers breathe a collective sigh of relief, as taking photos starts to get that little bit easier! Hello light nights, you've been missed!









 So bright pink? Do you dare to wear?


Pink Jumper Options: This one is my favourite &  This one from Topshop is great too
Vegan leather trouser options:
Cupcakes & Cashmere here or French Connection Faux leather trousers
Leopard Print Shoe 
Silver Bag


**EDIT**
My apologies that Passion4Fashion link up wasn't available, I've had some HTML issues.. feel free to join now!
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Chatting Over at Laura Ashley.. come say Hi!

Happy Wednesday All!

I just wanted to drop in and say I'm chatting Transitional Spring Trends to try over on the

Laura Ashley Blog

Would love for you to swing by and come have a read. I'm also wearing this totally awesome jacket that is well worth the look.. is yellow...it's gorgeous.. it's the yellow coat of dreams!
Be sure to swing by here

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Monday, 20 February 2017

Interior Inspiration: Living Space

Interior Inspo



Last year saw me taking on (sometimes single handedly) the redecoration of some of the rooms in our little home. We've been here nearly 4 years, so I thought it was about time that we put our stamp on it. I started with the living room (of which, thankfully the husband helped), and then i went on to our bedroom. Both undertook a big white wash thanks to my handy paint job and then styled with pieces accordingly.
I still love the fresh white walls (although, how are you supposed to keep areas white with kids is what i want to know? Show home my house will never be!!)but am excited to add some new pieces this year to finish the room off completely.


I absolutely love this set i've created, i just wanna crawl straight inside and lollop on that sofa right there.

The key pieces I'm looking to add this year are:

The Perfect Green Sofa (if they could do this sofa in the Uk, that would be great, as i have a feeling shipping from the US could be a little excessive;)

is top of my list in life goals right now. Sounds extreme I know, but our current 7 year old sofa is just awful. We all hate it. But getting a new sofa we all love and that the dog can't destroy seems to be harder than finding hens teeth.
All i know is against my white walls a green sofa would be sublime.

A Funky yet Comfy Chair

I have this thing with personal space, and as much as i love snuggling up with my tribe on the sofa, sometimes i like to have a chair all to myself. I have this thing with chairs. I bought two great chairs last years (one in my reading nook and one in my bedroom), the husband thinks I'm some crazy chair lady, and he's probably not wrong. Viaduct have some splendid options, investment, key pieces that are game changers.. or uh.. room changers. Full of character and excellent for the derriere also 😉

A Minimal Fireplace

I am desperate (and i'm mean absolutely desperate!!) for a central point in my living room that is not my TV. We aren't big Tv watchers in this house, granted the rest of my family are big gamers, but I hate having the central point as the TV. With a few switches of the layout we could manage to have a small fireplace, granted it won't be a beautiful log burner, but i'm happy to advance on this non-tv option at least. I like the minimal fireplaces, no fuss, black and white equals perfect.

Plants Galore

Each week my husband comes home to see a new plant has found a home in our living room. I love filling my room with these beautiful living things, they bring a wonderful energy to a room and are a great reminder that sometimes i need to pay attention to whats around me more (i.e remember to what the poor things!!). Plus again the green leaves against white walls bring the most glorious contrast.

Art work

My Husband used to paint. He is a fantastic abstract artist. I want to hang more of his work on ledges and display it amongst some modern pieces also. I also want to put a paintbrush back in my husbands hand as its been way to long (and i want more art work!).


So this gives me a good framework of what i want to achieve this year, maybe adding a piece every couple of months.

Do you have any major decor works planned for this year?

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Friday, 17 February 2017

Warehouse Try On's (& #Passion4Fashion Linkup)




It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Warehouse clothing. Many of my favourite pieces in my capsule through out the last year have in fact been from Warehouse. The dress i wore out on my first date with my husband was the most terrific striped wrap dress, from, you guessed it, Warehouse. Weddings attended and my dresses have been from Warehouse. If there was ever a go to shop for me, it would be without a doubt Warehouse. (It's worth noting here that this isn't sponsored in the slightest)

For me they bring practical, fashionable and wearable. Three main things i'm looking for when making clothing purchases. We all know that things straight from the runway may not be practical for everyday life (ie the school run, supermarket shop or a play gym in my case) but I also don't want to have to forgo style in order to be practical. I think this is why  have a love for this brand, and no matter the occasion, I always find what i may need (and sometimes just damn well want) in their shops or online.
I don't know about you, but I'm completely and utterly over the winter weather (say i'm not the only one?), I'm looking fully in to Spring territory. I want florals, i want nautical i want nice things that i can wear now and also when these frigid temperatures finally do one.
Transitional Spring pieces are what I'm looking for. And let me tell you, Warehouse had an abundance.
The lovely staff in the Cardiff branch informed me that there is a new head designer in Warehouse HQ and it really shows. There are varied patterns, avant-garde cuts and something for every occasions and every shape.
I found the sizing to be more consistent than previous years, i've fluxed from an 8-12 just to get the right fit previously, but everything I tried on is a UK size 10 and was pretty much perfect(and that's with my dreaded winter weight, which i wish would just magically disappear along with the frigid temperatures!)
I picked out some of my favourite pieces on a couple of shopping trips lately. (please excuse the lighting.. Warehouse changing room lighting was my only bugbear.. Terribly unflattering harsh lights that made my face look ghastly.. you're forewarned.. about my face that is, not the lights) 

(have also found a sneaky 20% off, so be sure to scroll to the bottom. Its due to expire, but definitely not to be sniffed at)

First up, this combo. I just wanted to plain old walk out in it.
The bias cut wrap maxi is just a delight on. Flattering cut in the wrap waist, v-neck and length. It would work like a dream in your wardrobe as a pretty much all season piece. Now with boots, even a fine knit turtle neck underneath, then come spring summer, bare legs and sandals. An all season dress is not to be sniffed at. The floral is just the right all season print, as it isn't overly summery or wintery.
I would have bought this, but I already have my Mango floral maxi dress and felt i would be doubling up.. But alas, i would buy this in a heartbeat if i didn't



Next up was my actual reason for starting the changingroom-athon. I'd seen this dress online and thought it could be perfect day to night dress. You all know that i love a workhorse of a dress, a piece that can work for dressy(as dressy as i get) or casual. I love that this dress is a. stripey (big tick in the love list box there) b. a maxi dress (no need to show off my not summer ready legs) and c. Has on trend sleeves (tick for fassshun dharling). I really liked it, like really liked it, still debating whether to buy it-liked it. The only thing for me is there is an open back/tie back situation, which isn't  abig deal, a black top could be worn underneath, but its also clingy around my midriff which is not my most favourite assest to say the least. I was tempted to size up, as, although the fit was perfect, the feel is just as imporatnt to be, and maybe with a little extra fabric i would feel a smidge more comfy.



A wild card for me, a clingy little bardot number which i utterly and unexpectedly fell in love with (see, it sometimes serves to try things on that you wouldn't usually pick up). The fabric is thick on this top, thick as though its pulling you in, in a  good way! It left me feeling a million bucks (quid? British equivalent?). I was actually going to go back and buy, but we ran out of time.. still contemplating this now. 
Really love the idea of it with jeans, culottes like below, under a denim pinnafore style dress and with skirts.. (i really need to go press buy don't i?)



The culottes were also dreamy, and are sublimely comfy. The length on me (5ft6") was perfect and the skimming light fabric was extremely flattering on these birth bearing hips. Perfect for pear shapes like me.

Ok so my second little jaunt was this week whilst out shopping for my step daughter birthday present.

I love the idea of a ballet wrap top. So pretty and elegant and bang on trend. Great with culottes, trousers or jeans. Notewothy point here. I'm smaller on top than my bottom half and this was a size 10.. I could barely get it to cover both my boobs and to say i'm not well endowed would be a massive understatement. Size up if you look at this pretty pink top.. it is worth it though as the tie waist can create a lovely soft siloutte.


Emerald green.. Gosh i love this colour, i really don't wear it a lot but i think its such an opulent looking shade, filled with character. Again this fell beautifully, and the tie sleeves are bang on trend. It could look awesome with a black biker jacket and ripped jeans, or dressed conservatively for the office with trousers and a trench coat.


Stripe dress number 2. Short this time, as opposed to the maxi. This was very flattering. Figure hugging in all the right places and comfy without being sack like. It is a navy and cream which was very lovely colouring on a thick stretchy fabric. The tie sleeves are a great way to modernise this classic piece. 


And finally, another piece i really though i wasn't going to like. It looks colourful here, but in real life its super bright, what i would call obnoxious pink.. but in a good way. The fabric has a slight sheen, the sleeves are perfect and it has an elasticated waist band. Paired with a biker jacket and black boots and this would be dreamy with a capital D. I honestly thought this would look naff on, turns out its pretty.. pretty much want it that is. Again for Spring: perfect, a summers evening (or summers day..Lets face it the UK is never banging hot now is it) it would be great and come winter just add black 100 denier tights and a big thick cardi.






Poppy Printed Dress





So there we have it. Some of my favourites, and oh there was more, far far more, but
changingroom-athon is tiring and this was all i got.
Which seeing as i want it all, is plenty.

What are you loving for transitioning in to Spring?
Are you a fan of Warehouse's range this Spring?


Oh and 20% off ends imminently, code is :WARE20FEB


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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Interview with Top Online Influencer: Vicki of HonestMum.com



You know when you meet somebody and you instantly feel inspired by their warmth, generosity of spirit, tenacity and ingenuity. That's how I feel about Vicki, and I've actually never even met her in person. Yep, even through the power of the internet, this fabulous lady radiates positive vibes and always leaves me feeling uplifted, like i want to be my best self.
Over the past 7 years her blog has become her brand and she has worked to not only better her career but to promote and help other women to do so to. She is kick ass. She is a rock star. She is about to be an author of her first book.
Meet the Inspirational Vicki of Honest Mum.com



Why did you start Honestmum?
I started my blog in November 2010 when my first son, Oliver was 10 months old, at a time I felt pretty broken and identity-less to be honest. I was suffering from a traumatic birth, and along with therapy, a move closer to family in Yorkshire and starting my blog, I slowly began to rediscover my voice and with it came my confidence. With every small milestone met I felt stronger and by milestone that could mean a simple like on FB when I shared a post or an email that made me feel people were listening to what I had to say and appreciated my blog. Becoming a finalist at the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards in the Fresh Voice Category, 4 weeks after starting was a huge turning point for me. That nomination got me back on set and eventually blogging full time.

I could never have foreseen my own journey with blogging and vlogging when I started, as the industry in the UK was very much in its infancy then. I returned to directing when Oliver turned one but by the time my second son, Xander was born in 2012, I'd found myself an accidental career I loved: a liberating, enriching way to work around my family which put me firmly in control of my work, and life. I'm writing my first book at the moment (published by Piatkus/Little Brown in March 2018) which reflects on my experiences and is jam-packed with advice for women wanting to become the mum-bosses of their own lives. My goal has always been to help empower other women to realise and utilise this democratic digital space so they can become whomever they want to be.


What advice would you give to bloggers on attaining success?
Tenacity. Talent is important of course, a dedication to honing your voice, exercising those creative muscles and refining skills but it's the commitment to achieving and picking yourself up on the down days, when things don't go to plan and in the face of adversity, always learning from mistakes and relentlessly improving which creates success. Not quitting. 

Success is relative and means different things to different people. I wanted to work in a way that suited my family on my own time and terms. My dream was to be able to work remotely and to see my kids as much as possible. 12 hour days on set as a director was not conducive to my changed goals once kids came alone. Thank goodness the rise of blogging and vlogging meant I could take what I knew (and build on that skillset) to make my blog, my job.  You don't need a media background to thrive though, you just need a laptop, a few deep breaths and a commitment to becoming a storyteller and you're set. 

My advice to those wanting to kick ass in whatever career they choose:
Work hard, have fun, surround yourself with champions: people you trust who have your best interests at heart and who will be honest with you, and know that hard work will equal positive results in time. Don't expect overnight success. No one achieves that. 


Which is your favourite social media platform and why?
This is a hard one as I love each one for different reasons, even snapchat which I always forget to use! Someone even tweeted me to tell me how pointless my snaps were. I was like, 'Yeah, I know, soz'!

So, Twitter because it was my first love and helped me connect to a community of like-minded mamas and some of my closest friends were made there. Twitter has always been there for me: as I breastfed in the middle of the night or needed answers to questions as a new mum. It is still the first place I head to online to keep up with news events. It will always have a special place in my heart. 

Pinterest is a happy place online for me. The social platform I have the most followers on (nearly 41k, I love how personal it feels there. I have lost of public boards but also private ones too I just share with my husband and friends featuring present wish lists, party ideas, photography, recipes and more. I was honoured to have made the finals for the recent Pinterest Food Awards and if anyone knows how to throw a party, it's Pinterest. 

Instagram, I was a bit late to the insta party, setting up an account a few years ago but not properly using it regularly until 12 months ago. I adore the fashion accounts I follow there like yours and the home interiors and US sites that are simply bursting with colour and scene scapes mostly of LA. There are some fab beauty and food accounts I love there too.  
Facebook: I love FB for funny parenting memes, pics and FB Lives where I love connecting with my friends and followers both on my personal and public pages. 

Snapchat. The filters are everything. I just wish I could apply them IRL. My kids adore the filters too and we always have such a laugh turning ourselves in to animals or face swapping. 

Linkedin is great to stay in touch with business colleagues from the film, tv and media worlds and I share relevant posts over there.

I also auto share my Insta posts to Tumblr too. 

Google + offers a little SEO benefit so I also share posts there too. 
  

What has been your favourite 'pinch me' moment in blogging so far?
Oh gosh, good question, there have luckily been several pinch me moments. Working in the film and TV industry pre-blogging meant having some amazing opportunities like having my film work shown at international film festivals I was flown out to and seeing my work on TV in the UK, America, France, Greece and beyond which was pretty crazy as I started directing at 21 as part of my MA... My life pre-kids and Honest Mum was quite a whirlwind when I reflect back on it. I also worked for one of the biggest film companies in the world too.. Blogging was a 360 for me in the sense I was mostly behind the camera beforehand, apart from the odd shoot where I was profiled as a filmmaker, and I also presented a one off film programme for BBC2. I had originally wanted to be a broadcast journalist and presenter but loved the creative control screenwriting and directing gave me. 

My job now is the perfect combination of all those creative elements.

Having the opportunity to work with people and brands I admire has been amazing, be it interviewing superstar Anastasia or working with Jamie Oliver.. being signed as the digital ambassador for the airline Jet2.com and Jet2holidays (a first for a blogger in the UK), being represented by Neil Ransome at Insanity and having Robyn Drury as my literary agent at Diane Banks Associates, and of course my book deal were all stand-out moments. 

The beauty of blogging is you just don't know where it will take you or what will come next. By far, the greatest joy has been the experiences my kids have had such as incredible holidays in Jamaica, the South of France, Spain and other destinations, and meeting their own little heroes like Andy from Andy's Adventures (Xander cried when we had to leave). 

The friendships I've made thanks to blogging and life online have seriously touched my life. I didn't think it was possible to find sisters online but I have. 



Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
The plan is to move to LA but who knows. I keep open-minded but felt a real affinity to LA when I was over there with a short film I directed years ago. I can definitely imagine my family and I settling there down the line. 

The dream is still to direct a feature film one day whilst continuing to grow Honest Mum. I have a small team now and I hope that will continue growing and building.

I see all creative pursuits feeding one another and crossing over. One thing I've learnt thanks to blogging and vlogging is that, as a creative, you don't have to compartmentalise yourself or your craft, you can go (and do) wherever your desires take you.

I would like another baby too, ideally once this current third baby (my book) is complete. I need to convince my husband though so it's not really a 'watch this space kind of thing' more let's see what happens over the next couple of years, but I'm so incredibly in love with my boys that I'd love to add another baby to the fam.  


R:
Thank you Vicki you are a complete inspiration. Best if luck with all your future plans, i just know you'll achieve them!


Seeing what Vicki has accomplished with her blog really does show how hard work and determination can pay off in abundance, and how we can all make our dream jobs happen.
Oooo i feel all tingly with inspiration, don't you?

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Monday, 13 February 2017

His and Her Last Minute Gift Ideas (for around £30.00)

So Valentines day is tomorrow and if I'm totally honest i have only just realised it. We aren't big in to Valentines gifts here, but its nice to mark the day with a little something that doesn't break the bank. Plus it got me thinking of last minute gift ideas for any occasion when you simply haven't got a clue what to get that person. This will hopefully serve as great little reference for when you're thinking to yourself "Oh my god... What the hell can I buy him/her?" whilst running around flailing your arms in the air, as present buying is just sooo hard.
Thankfully there are lots of easy ways to buy and pay for gifts these days.
So after I had my minor freak out this morning I got to thinking of a few little gifts that could work for him or her on any given occasion.








I think a cocktail kit can be a wonderful gift for two reasons. Firstly, it looks gorgeous on a bar cart or display cabinet and having them out on display can mean impromptu cocktail hours happen more often. Secondly, they are fun. Creating and making your own can be a great way to have friends over and socialise or just you and your significant other making some memories and some tasty drinks together.


 Speaking of drinks, why not buy that special someone their favourite alcoholic beverage, even better have it personalised, I've previously had this done for my Father in Law (at a time when i was obviously a lot more organised than i am now!) and it went down a storm. Their very own personalised tipple makes for a lovely keepsake also.


Modern Muse Set £30.66
 Scent is a very personal thing, but sometimes, when someone buys you a scent that you may not have previously picked up it can become a new favourite. I actually love when family buy me a gorgeous new perfume as each time i wear it i'm reminded that a loved one bought it for me.
These are both excellent value as you will be getting a lot for you money, with the scent plus extras in each. These are really great presents for him and her (hint hint husband)

Who doesn't love a good bag. Both handy and practical these are perfect gifts. Less than £30 each these make perfect travel companions or for daily wears or weekend attire. The neutrality of both means you will hopefully be pleasing the receiver as they can pretty much go with everything.

Does anyone else have headphone battles in their house? With the husband, the teenager and me all using them, its quite often they will go walkies and never return. Whether you're buying for a runner or a recreational listener, headphones could be the perfect gift. I never seem to go out and buy myself headphones, or if i do i'm quite stingy (obviously choosing to spend my money on more important things like uhh.. shoes😉), so to have a nice pair bought for me seems like a pretty great gift.




Marvel Socks 
Pink Valentine Socks

And when all else fails... Socks! You can never go wrong with some lovely socks. I love a pretty pair of socks.. is that weird? I don't know. I also love a man in nice socks that show a bit of personality. I don't think I've ever met a person who did not love socks😁


I actually really want those lovely socks, the tan bag and the perfume.. would it be wrong to gift them to myself?

Do you have any go-to gifts that you buy for people when you just don't have a clue?



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