WANTED: Fashion advice please!!

It's not often that I get to seriously dress up but Crimbo is coming which means parties and events are heading our way too! 

Our work's Christmas do is going to be at ACC in Liverpool for the exciting Cirque de Lumiere event. There's going to be aerial dancers, light-shows that promise to be spectacular, a tantilisingly tempting 3 course meal, complete with bacon butties at midnight to soak up the bucket loads of alcohol undoubtedly consumed! Oh, I mustn't forget to mention the dodgems and waltzers too!!

This is a classy affair, so that means no jeans or the tunic/leggings combo. Now, where this easy for the men; chuck on a classic 3 button suit and boom, sorted! It's a tough one for me, who usually does just wear trousers to the office. 

I've managed to order an amazing peplum tuxedo dress from Scarlett & Jo that looks AMAZING (without blowing my own trumpet, like!), but my question to you guys is... what shoes??

Can you come up with anything better?

The model on Scarlett & Jo's site looks awesome with her t-bar style shoes but I'm not sure this would suit me. I'm way to short for this. I was toying with the idea of a classic pointed court shoe but thought it would look slightly outdated?  Strappy shoes could work but they tend to have very slim heels and I would much rather a platform or chunky heel for comfort. Not wearing heels all that often means that when I do, I hurt, and I hurt badly, on the balls of my feet!! 

Another thing... colour? Do I go for black, as per the dress, and team with festive gold accessories? Or do I go for something to make my outfit 'pop', like an emerald green shoe and/or bag?

Tights or bare legs?

OMG, someone help me. One thing I'm certain of though is that my hair will be up and out of the way, although all advice is welcomed, you guys!!

Let's #GetChristmassy!!

Hands up if you can't wait for Halloween to do one, so we can get festive already?!

MEEEE!!!

Christmas is the best time of year for me. From trees and twinkly lights, to the smell of paint (yes - this post here will explain all!!), it gets me all smushy inside. The time of year when nice things seem to happen more often, people are more open to eye contact and slight smiles on public transport, getting a few well-earned days off from work to spend it with loved ones. Oh I love it!!



Every year we say no to visitors on Christmas Day. Why? Because it's not fair on the littluns in my opinion. Well, I say my opinion, it's actually a learnt behaviour from my own younger years where my parents did the same. The one day of the year where rules are out the window and, dya know what kids, if you don't want to get dressed all day, play with all your goodies and have family games around the table wearing silly paper hats, then that's OK. 100% family time with no TV until after 6pm at night and 'MPFZ' as my Dad used to call it - yup, it's a mobile phone free zone!! It's just pure bliss. There's no other day like it, which probably makes Christmas all the more magical.


So, if we have no visitors on Christmas Day, what do we need to prepare? This is a question we're asked quite a lot, followed by the obligatory 'OMG, we're cooking for 9 trillion people then going here there an' everywhere, it's going to be chaos!' statement.

It all starts with the tree doesn't it! Every year I like to find some new little baubles or ornaments to add to my collection. Oh, and let me be clear - we don't do colour schemes either in our house! It's a whole mish-mash of festiveness so anything and everything goes. Shops love me, and I love shops what can I say?!


New plates are a must for Christmas. I know, I know, you're thinking 'but you're not entertaining anyone?' ... no but we do have one very special visitor who loves a mince pie and milk so, you know, needs must. We made this plate ourselves and, actually, most of our Christmas activities involve a lot of craft type things. It's all part of the fun.

One thing you won't find me crafting myself though are CHRISTMAS PJ'S! Everyone has Christmas pyjamas don't they? Oh I love a good fresh brand new pair of PJ's for Christmas. Again, this stems from childhood and is something I also make tradition in our home. Swiftly followed by crimbo bedding. Bring on the reindeer print... I could get lost in John Lewis looking at it all ha!


Christmas day entertainment requires serious thought. We make our own crackers most years (not least because, urgh, how bored are we of getting a mini screwdriver set as a 'prize!) and we can personalise them for each person by choosing small gifts to place inside. Somewhere like Superdrug or Card Factory suits us for this.

Living so close to Liverpool One, as I wrote about just this weekend actually, I love that all of my needs are taken care of in one place. From stationery & books, to clothing & bedding, I really don't have to venture all around town. It's also pretty snazzy for crimbo food and drinks mid-way through shopping!  With all the other things to do in Liverpool, we'll be sure to visit several times over to make the most of this magical season upon us.

Why not come and visit Liverpool One yourself this year, let's #GetChristmassy together. That's their hashtag, check it out for news and updates as to what's coming up by following them here @Liverpool_ONE. Ahh, I've said it before and I'll say it ten thousand times more, I'm so lucky to live so near here.

Oh, and if I offended any Halloween lovers by the start of my post, this one's just for you... Bah Pumpkin!





Our weekend in Liverpool

The weather has been absolutely glorious, I can hardly believe we're only 2 weeks away from Halloween! So making the most of it, we decided to venture over to Liverpool yesterday. 

I've talked before about how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place, right on the edge of the River Mersey in New Brighton, Wirral. A literal stone's throw from Liverpool, we have endless entertaining places to go and fantastic shopping trips to do.


We decided on going to have a nosey in both the Disney and Lego shops with the kids in Liverpool One. It was heaving so we decided to go get some food first. It hauls in some serious crowdage and it's not really surprising given all the other things to do in Liverpool.

Upstairs is a food lovers heaven. I'm not joking either: mega amount of choices available from Five Guys to Las Iguanas to Wagamama, there's something for everyone. We opted for Pizza Express as it looked like the kids inside were having a whale of a time so seemed like a good choice!


The irony of ordering the super food salad with a large Peroni made the waiter giggle but hey, it's a weekend - I deserve a beverage after having worked all week ha! Actually, shout out to Shaun (our waiter) who was incredibly friendly, helpful and funny throughout our visit. I LOVE a good service, don't you? 


With chef hats and a dough ball area to play around with, Carson was in his element (can you tell?). And with the colour pack on our table, Finley was well entertained too.

After we'd eaten we had a walk around the shops to burn some of the calories off! It's starting to feel Christmassy already around town, I can't wait for the Crimbo markets to arrive and set-up! 


Today consisted of finishing touches in my bedroom with the addition of some twinkly lights on the chimney breast and having a good old move around of the furniture. It took a whole day of lugging stuff around but I don't half feel accomplished now!

So here ends one very busy weekend  and another whole 5 days before the next one. Bring it on.  What did you get up to?



The Summer Sale’s Autumn Wardrobe.

End of summer sale shopping. Now is the most perfect time to be stocking up. Not quite winter woolly weather, the summer ranges on offer are still great for layering during the autumn season. 

A couple of weeks ago, my mate Steph was telling me how managed to get a whole wardrobe of stuff from New Look for just thirty odd pound. "Most of them were a quid" she smugly advised. All I could think was - how is she finding these sale items?! I even laughed it off and suggested it was merely 30 pairs of knickers she managed to bag! I can't be the only one who's noticed that the sales never end when it comes to knickers? Nope. All legit outer clothing.

Myself and Steph

Whilst this excites me, (seriously, fill my wardrobe up, right now) half the battle is thinking of which online shop I want to browse in, never mind heading to their clearance section and drilling down to items or size required etc. By the time I find a shop's range I like, I've been way too late to join in with the fun, with the most unpopular sizes of items left in stocks.

So, how do we 'do' the Autumn wardrobe easily, which a) won't cost the earth, or b) waste hours of your life whilst trying? With these 3 simple rules, that's how...

Layering

Firstly, use what you have in already. Simples. All them vest tops - use them! With the likes of cold shoulder shirts that were rocking the summer looks, they will give that extra body warmth needed, without being swamped in woollens. If you don't have enough (seriously?) use something like Lyst to find the cheapest 'on sale' available online - don't browse individual stores sales sections. Why pay a fiver a pop when they're available elsewhere for a quid? A vest is a vest, it doesn't require serious investment.

Layering scarves, vests, net jumpers: perfect Autumn style!

Scarves

Using scarves keep the chill off of your chest, and they're much easier to take off if you do get too warm. Better than this though, you can completely change the look of one outfit several times over, just by changing the scarf you wear with it. I'm not talking about woolly ones here either, go for a lightweight, brightly coloured or printed one like these from Accessorize.

Wingz AND a scarf!


Wingz

This is the third time I've mentioned Wingz on my blog. I posted about them this time last year and they still remain one of my go-to items, transforming short sleeve shirts into layered looking long sleeve tops. So versatile, from plain black jersey style like mine in the picture above, to red chiffon angel sleeves to add a touch of glamour, there is definitely an option for you. 


I’ve written time and time again about how Autumn is my favourite fashion season and it’s all down to the fact that you don’t need a new wardrobe.  Just recycle, re-vamp and revitalise the summer pieces!

What’s your favourite fashion season and how do you prepare for it? 


Why Bettering Yourself Should Never be a Chore

I thought long and hard about the title of this blog because let’s be honest, doesn’t it sound a bit patronising? We’ve all seen those self-help books in shops or magazine articles about the top 10 ways to improve your self-development, boost employee engagement or expanding your knowledge, haven’t we? And if you’re like me, you'd just roll your eyes and think "I don’t really need that, do I?" So, whilst this post might seem a little hypocritical, bear with me because I was thinking recently about the challenges I’ve faced in life and how I’ve grown into a better person because of them.

Things haven’t always gone to plan in my life and I am sure that plenty of my readers already know that - but let's face it, I don’t think anyone has gone through life without facing a few challenges along the way. It's facing these challenges that's made me a better person. They haven’t always been fun, far from it, but they’ve taught me new skills and expanded my knowledge base along the way, be it personally or professionally.

There's always time for YOU.

If you’ve read this far and are wondering what the point of my ramblings are, well… you should be used to it by now! It’s all there in my bio, I love to ramble about my life and so today I am going to share a few tips about how you can better yourself.
 
Be Optimistic

Bettering yourself isn’t all about expanding your knowledge and skills it can simply be about changing the way you react to things. Being optimistic sounds simple but it isn’t always easy, trust me I’ am speaking from experience.

But if you’re serious about self-development then learning to be a little more optimistic is a great way to improve your life. Just a few minutes of reflection can help a lot, it’s an old-fashioned saying but try to look on the bright side. Bettering yourself shouldn’t feel like a chore and learning to be optimistic will help you feel more confident and active about it.

Fitness

OK, this is one I have plenty of experience with and you know what I am okay with that! When I knew I wanted to get fitter and healthier, I knew what I would have to do and that’s why there’s a section of my blog dedicated to it.

But self-development is about tackling things you need to change and it even relates to my first tip. Now am I ever going to be a supermodel? Probably not. When I was having Finley I relaxed my fitness regime yes but even though my journey isn’t over yet. Having recently been diagnosed with PCOS it has enlightened me as to why my weight battles have been so arduous. The goal posts may have moved slightly but I am optimistic and whilst I know that I'll never be a model I will be a fitter, healthier person one day. I am now several months in to a new eating and exercise plan and am really feeling the benefits already!

I may never look like this physically but mentally and fitness-wise, I am well on my way here.

Pursue Your Passion

Now, this tip will ensure that bettering yourself never feels like a chore because it’s all about having fun and pursuing your passion. We all have dreams but many of us have to leave them behind because the real world gets in the way. But while you might not be able to turn it into a career it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy it.

Pursuing your passion is one of the best ways to better yourself and it will improve your skills, knowledge, and mood. Whatever you love, find a way to enjoy it even if it’s just for an hour a week, if you like writing start a blog (just like me) if you like art why not start painting or join a class?


There are plenty of ways you can have some fun and pursue your passion and trust me it will make you a much happier person and you will feel a lot more fulfilled. Bettering yourself is easy when you know how and you don’t need to buy a guidebook to learn how to do it.