5 Good Things That Happened This Week

A few weeks ago I was feeling really rough, the kind of thing that leaves you flopped in the bed, absolutely miserable and utterly sorry for yourself. I’m sure you’ve all been there at some point. Thankfully I’m much better now, but it did give me a chance to read through a few more blog posts than I normally get chance to do and watch a few extra YouTube videos, so it wasn’t all bad.

I have been reading Amie’s posts for a number of years and she is one of only two people that I know who love Autumn more than I love chocolate. Her posts are so warm and cosy, and can brighten even the dullest of moods. Amie is such a lovely blogger and has been there to support me  whenever I’ve felt ready to give up. It was her blog post 6 Amazing Things From The Last Couple Of Weeks that inspired me to write a few of my own and to remind me that life is not all bad even when I’m not feeling that great.

So here goes.

5 Good Things That Happened This Week

1 I found out that my sister from Canada is coming over and staying with us for a few weeks, I am so looking forward to seeing her I’m bursting with excitement. We’d never met until a few years ago, we both have the same dad and were brought up in different countries. I feel as though I’ve known her forever as we’ve become so close.  I’d better start getting in a few supplies and making the spare room look pretty. It definitely needs some lovely fresh flowers for when she arrives.

2 The latest Blogosphere Magazine dropped through my letterbox, it’s so much better than searching round different WH Smith stores only to find they haven’t got it in stock. I always find loads of inspiration from amazing bloggers. I’d treated myself to a raspberry muffin and a large cappuccino to enjoy while I flicked through the pages. Pure indulgence, I know, but we all need a little me time every so often.

5 Good Things To Happen This Week

3 Hurray, Strictly is back, bringing glitz and glamour to my Saturday night TV. I love everything about the show, the dancing, the music, the costumes and this year sees an amazing line of celebs all fighting for the glitter ball trophy. Another show I’ve been absolutely gripped by is Bodyguard. It stars Richard Madden, who is better known for playing the role of Robb Stark in Game Of Thrones. I’m sure there will be a lot more twists and turns before the series finishes.

4 I finally finished a crochet blanket that I’d started years ago, then lost all interest. After watching a few YouTube videos where people are either knitting or crocheting, it gave me the motivation to carry on. It’s nothing special and literally made up of scraps of wool I’ve picked up in charity shops, but it’s the cosiest blanket ever. I’m pretty bloomin proud of myself for actually getting it done.

5 On a final note, can I just say I’m finally ready for Autumn. The shops are full of it, everyone seems to be talking about it on social media. I sent Adrian up into the loft to bring down the boxes that have been in storage all over summer. I dug out the autumnal candles, thick fluffy throws and most of my autumn clothing. I found some items I had forgotten all about, like the Monsoon animal print clutch bag and Topshop heels that are in the main photo. I’m bang on trend, just by shopping my own wardrobe. How great is that?

And I’m sure before the month’s over I will have bought at least one pair of new pjs!

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Hitchin Lavender

A few weeks back Adrian and I spent the most relaxing afternoon at Hitchin Lavender. The last time we visited was back in 2014 and considering I only live a short distance away I can’t believe this is only the second time I’ve been. This year we made a conscious effort to go and make the most of the beautiful flowers over the last few weeks of summer.

I’ve never been one to just pack a bag and go anywhere on the spur of the moment, I’m the kind of person who needs to both mentally and physically prepare for an outing, even if it is just down the road. Since I started my blog I won’t relax until I’ve got the photos I’m after. The visit to Hitchin Lavender was going to be more of a challenge than normal. I’d seen everyone’s gorgeous photos pop up all over Instagram,  I began wondering how on earth I was going to get any kind of content without having a bench to sit on and not include my wheelchair. Thanks to my very kind husband and an old picnic rug I think we managed quite well.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

I’ve been to a couple of lavender farms before but none quite as large and beautiful as the one in Hitchin. There are around 25 miles of lavender rows which you can walk through and pick your own fresh flowers from. I had forgotten the amazing smell that hits you the moment you arrive, then you are immediately greeted by a sea of purple as the views from inside are quite simply stunning. The farm is well equipped for all visitors, including a gorgeous cafe and gift shop, which I obviously had to pop in before we left.

I hadn’t realised how many other bloggers came to visit Hitchin Lavender, there was a number of fashion bloggers taking photos for their Instagram and parent bloggers taking photos of their little ones collecting lavender. I was determined to get my shots too, however difficult it was.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

It was a boiling hot day when we visited the lavender farms and I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to stay. I’ve been taking a white umberella out with me to use as a parasol, I’m sure people wonder what on earth I’m doing holding a brolly in the middle of a heatwave but it’s one way of keeping the midday sun from directly beating down on me. There are a couple of shaded seating areas right near the entrance, on the day we came it was full up with people sheltering from the heat, but it is something to bare in mind if you are planning to visit.

The first place we headed for was of course the rows of lavender, after all that’s what we came for. The entrance fee to Hitchin lavender costs £6 for each adult (£4 for wheelchair users) and £3 for a child, the price includes a brown paper bag which you can fill with lavender cuttings using a pair of scissors you’re loaned for your visit. We collected two bags full of gorgeous lavender and it’s now in a vase in my bedroom, the smell is absolutely incredible. Once it’s dried out I plan on making little lavender bags to go in my wardrobes and chest of drawers. I still have a bowl of potpourri in my living room from lavender collected on my last visit and it still smells lovely.

The farm is wheelchair accessible, however the ground can be a little uneven in places but you are in the middle of a field. We were both laughing ay how I was bouncing around in my wheelchair, that’s just our sense of humour, life’s too short for taking everything seriously and I want to make the most of every moment while I can. I’d taken a large bag with me and made sure to pack sun cream, my large flask of cold water and a few other essentials.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

The view of the lavender and sunflower fields were absolutely stunning. Adrian pushed me up the slight hill to where it was a bit quieter. Being the gentleman that he is, he laid the rug down amongst the lavender and lifted me down onto the ground. These are the kind of experiences I would never be able to enjoy without him and not a day goes past when I take him for granted.

It felt wonderful to be rolling around amongst the lavender, I felt totally free. There are more than one type of lavender and you can see all the different colours as well as some wild flowers. We took loads of photos and, let’s face it, the backdrop is pretty amazing. I think we both enjoyed a little time relaxing for a while, the farm was very busy yet still peaceful at the same time. Despite the heat we headed up to the field of sunflowers, however the ground was much more difficult to get across so Adrian cut me two beautiful sunflowers to take home (which you are also allowed to pick.) For about a week afterwards they were in a vase on my desk and made me smile every time I saw them. It’s always the simple pleasures in life that seem the best.

Hitchin Lavender

Adrian and I both needed a sugar boost before we went onto the next part of the fields, I had to sample a slice of one of the delicious cakes in the cafe. I was really impressed with the choice there was, not going for my normal chunk of chocolate cake, I sampled the passion fruit sponge instead and it was rather yummy. We both sat outside the cafe under a parasol and enjoyed the views, it was too lovely to sit indoors even on a boiling hot day. It really did feel lovely being with nature, even the bees didn’t bother me too much, just be careful if you are planning on walking amongst the lavender. You can literally hear the buzzing where ever you go.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender is such a dreamy place to visit and close to both London and Cambridge. It’s open later in the evenings on certain days, how amazing would it be to watch the sunset over the beautiful fields of lavender. Can you imaging how amazing the photos would be? Well there’s always next year.

It really was the perfect summer’s afternoon collecting flowers from Hitchin Lavender. we felt so relaxed when we got home, not sure if it was from the gorgeous fragrance or that we’d both switched off from everyday life. I recommend this place to anyone planning a visit over the summer. On certain days throughout the year there are workshops, events and cinema nights, so you really do have a little bit of everything while you’re there.

Have you been to Hitchin Lavender or another farm just like this one? Are you planning on visiting one next year?

Top: Izabel

Broderie Anglaise Culottes: Topshop

Shoes: River Island

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Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

A couple of months ago I was out in town with my husband and he happened to take a few “snaps” on my mobile phone, when I checked through them I absolutely loved them. They were never meant to be for a blog post but everything felt right and I felt more confident than I had done for a while prior to taking them. They seemed such natural photo’s rather than posed, so before changing my mind I quickly typed up a post on How I Style A Pleated Midi Skirt. It’s now one of my favourite posts this year.

Considering I had always been a fairly confident person, I had always felt comforable in front of the camera, but last year a few things happened that really knocked my confidence. I stopped writing fashion posts and concentrated on Beauty and other kinds of posts. I desperately wanted to get back to sharing my outfits, which was one of the reasons I started my blog almost 3 years ago.

Slowly but surely my confidence has started to come back. Now I’m no expert when it comes to what you should or shouldn’t do in your photos. I only know what’s worked for me, so I thought I’d share a few things that have helped me when I’m in front of the camera.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

What You Are Wearing

You’re outfit should never make you feel uncomfortable, you need to feel fabulous in what clothes you’re wearing. If it’s not your normal style then you won’t feel good about yourself and that will come across in any photos you take, we’re after confidence here. I made the mistake once of wearing an outfit just because everyone else was and it was “on trend”, I felt awkward all the way through having my photos taken and when I looked back at them I hated every single one. Pull items out of your wardrobe and try on every single piece of clothing you own, stand in front of the mirror, take a snap on your mobile and look back through them. If you feel 100% amazing in each outfit then those are the items you’ll feel good wearing for a photo session.

Know you best features and focus on them. Do you have amazing legs or do you love your beautiful cleavage? If you’re like me, then you’ll find it so much easier to point out areas of your body that you dislike.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Stand in front of a mirror, and practice different poses, yes you may feel strange at first, but believe me it works. Move about, find which angle you like best, we all have a side of our body that we feel more confident with. Practice with your mobile and take photos from different angles. Next time you’re in front of the camera you’ll start to feel much more confident, it’ll come naturally and you’ll just feel as though you’re taking a selfie.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Be Inspired

Scroll through Pinterest and Instagram and check out some poses you’d like to try. I don’t mean the ones of models on magazine shoots, I’m talking about bloggers or maybe you have a super confident friend who always knows just how to stand in front of the camera. experiment in front of the mirror first until you find one that’s naturally you and makes you feel really confident. Create a board on Pinterest especially for poses you like, so it’s always there for inspiration if your mind goes blank.

The Location

I’d think nothing of having that family snap taken on a day out or busy town on holiday, yet as soon as I thought about an outfit photo my confidence just fizzled away. Find somewhere quite for your first few sessions, even your back garden if you have one. These photos were taken on a quiet afternoon at Broadway Gardens in Letchworth Garden City, so there was hardly anyone about to watch what I was doing and put to put me off having my photo taken.

For me, I need to not only think about the location itself, but also there needs to be somewhere for me to sit as well, such as a bench, wall or a place to lay a rug. I honestly don’t feel confident in photos where I’m sitting in my wheelchair and thankfully I have a husband who is able to assist me out of my wheelchair onto something else.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

What About Those Hands?

I never knew quite what to do with my hands and very often ended up looking like I was trying swat a fly. I always had a laugh afterwards but they weren’t quite the look I was going for. I found holding some sort of prop made it much easier. Use whatever you’ve got, a bag, sunglasses, book, magazine, flowers, a coffee cup and even holding the loose folds of a skirt or casually placing your hands in the pockets of a pair of jeans will stop those arms flapping about all over the place.

Know Your Photographer

You wouldn’t have a photographer turn up on the morning of your wedding without getting to know them first. Research their work, scroll through the gallery of their website and meet up with them a few time to discuss what sort of photos you’re after. If it’s a friend, your mum, sister or partner who will be taking the photos explain to them what kind of photos you’d like. Maybe show them your Pinterest board and those angles you took of yourself on your mobile. Explain whether you’d like close ups of your bag or shoes and do you want to include more of the background in some of the photos. Most of all, trust them. They may take a few photos at angles you’d not thought of simply because you’re moving around naturally as they are snapping away. You might even come across some photos they’ve taken which you absolutely love and will want to share with the world.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Get Moving

Don’t be afraid to move about, turn around, move your head up, look over your shoulder towards the camera, walk about. Let the photographer take as many shots as they want with you moving around naturally, even if you end up deleting most of them, there’s bound to be some amazing shots in there and ones that you’ll look super confident in.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Have Fun

Some of my most favourite photos are ones where I’m doing something daft and it’s obvious I was having a great time, like this one below. There are photos on my blog where I’ve got the fit of giggles and Adrian’s taken a photo at that precise moment, it shows that I was really enjoying myself. If I get tired or start to feel uncomfortable, then I’ll have a break, go for lunch and a coffee and try again later.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Don’t Worry About Anyone Else

It’s so easy to think about what other people might be saying when you’re in public having your photo taken. You might feel like someone will judge you, even after you’ve posted the photos on your Instagram, Facebook or Blog. It’s easier said than done but wipe all those thoughts out of your mind. If you’re in a town or busy area having your photos taken, most people are just getting on with their own business. So what if couple of people stop to look, it’s only because you look absolutely amazing in your outfit, looking super confident and having the time of your life. Ignore and delete the odd negative comment you may get on social media and completely forget about it. Concentrate on the positive feedback people leave you so that the next time won’t be half as scary.
Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

And remember, even if you end up with 10 photos after the photographer has taken 500, those are the ones you’ll look at and feel great about yourself. There may be some hilarious photos were the camera has gone click when you’re mid sentence or faffing around (his words) making sure everything is in place. I’ve kept some on my computer where I’m telling Adrian something and the expression on my face is priceless, it makes me laugh every time I see it. I won’t delete it, but I definitely won’t be sharing it either.

Do you have any tips on taking outfit photos? Are you super confident or a little on the shy side when it comes to having your photo taken?

Dress: River Island

Shoes: Topshop (Similar)

Bag: Amazon

Sunglasses: Coconut Lane

Umbrella: Free with a magazine many years ago

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Blogging Giveaway

I have been blogging for just over two and a half years, where has time gone? I still can’t believe I’ve actually stuck with it, right from my very first outfit of the day post with just a few lines of waffle. So I thought I’d host a beauty giveaway to celebrate reaching 6k on Twitter and 1K on Instagram (and a long overdue blogging birthday, oops, sorry!).

I wanted to say thank you for supporting me, reading my blog and to those of you who’ve made my day by leaving lovely comments, retweets and interactions. It’s been a huge learning curve for me with so many things I never thought I could achieve, and there’s always been someone in the blogging community who has been able to give me some much needed advice. I’ve had some amazing opportunities and I’ve got to meet so many wonderful people through social media.

I began writing my blog as a hobby for myself, it’s been so reassuring to know there are people out there who not only read my posts but enjoy them too. So thank you, you’re the absolute best! Here’s to the next two and a half years.

Now let’s get on to the good bit!

Blogging Giveaway

Blogging Giveaway

The Prizes:

  • Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette
  • Urban Decay After Glow 8 Hour Powder Highlighter
  • Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in shade Pillow Talk

This competition has now ended. Thank you to everyone who entered.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Things To Do This Summer

I know the feeling well. You’re scrolling through social media looking at what seems like everyone’s holiday photos, yet you’re going nowhere that requires a passport. I’ve often had to drag my weary butt away from the screen and do something that will stop me feeling sorry for myself, plus it gives me the motivation to carry on with the dreaded to-do list when I come back.

You don’t need to spend a fortune just to have fun, grab a couple of friends or choose something you’re happy to do by yourself. Doesn’t matter if you’re single or in a relationship, there’s something here for everyone. Even your Granny will want to tag along.

Things To Do This Summer

  • Picnic In The Park – put together some of your favourite nibbles, make a flask of tea or cold juice, grab a blanket and your favourite book
  • Visit a museum or art gallery – great for inspiration
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Be a tourist in your own town – it’s amazing what little treasures you can find and you never knew they existed
  • Visit an animal shelter – both of my dogs, Sandy and Cassie, were rescue dogs  and I’ve made crochet blankets for Wood Green animal shelter to help with their fundrasing.

Things To Do This Summer

  • Go swimming at your local outdoor pool  and lounge on the sun lounger with a cold smoothie afterwards
  • Visit the nearest Lavender Farm – great for photos and picking up a treat in the gift shop
  • Visit the seaside for the day – collect shells from the beach, walk along the pier, have cake in a quaint tea shop, run away from the tide and laugh like you’ve never laughed before.
  • Plan a girls night out – drinks in the local or a trip to the cinema followed by pizza.
  • Start a new hobby – knitting, crocheting, baking, start a scrapbook, painting, you know you can do it if you put your mind to it

Fun Things To Do This Summer

Fun Things To Do This Summer

  • Have a garden party – text friends and family, invite them round, get them to bring a different item of food or drink with them, it saves you doing the shopping as well!
  • Take a walk by the river or canal – if you go with someone, get them to take a few photos for your Instagram or outfit of the day
  • If you enjoy gardening, get outside and see to those forgotten plants, or pop to a garden centre to buy some new ones
  • Put up a parasol in the garden and get outside, listen to new podcast, read a book or play a summer playlist
  • Dig out a recipe book and try making a summer salad, just in time for your garden party

Fun Things To Do This Summer

Fun Things To Do This Summer

  • Be a tourist for the day and take yourself off to the nearest city, check out all the places of interest, it would be London for me so I’d have to visit all the Royal Palaces, Tower Bridge and take a stroll down Oxford Street and Regent Street.
  • Take your Mum, Aunt or Nan to see a show at the Theatre and then for a meal afterwards, see how much they would appreciate that
  • Start an evening class – photography, writing, painting or learning a new language (just in case you need that passport next year!)
  • Have a pyjama party either by yourself or with a friend, catch up on the latest box set, enjoy a few pampering treats like an at home facial, and open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion
  • Have a room makeover – paint the walls a different colour, buy some cute cushions, trinkets and prints for the walls.

Fun Things To Do This Summer

  • Visit a theme park – try those rides you’ve been too scared to go on and scream the place down, believe me, you’ll have so much fun
  • Start a new exercise  – at home or the gym, yoga, pilates, Spin session, whatever suits you best
  • Start a photo a day challenge – with all the exploring you’ll be doing, it should be a total breeze

Whatever you decide to do, have FUN and stop worrying about what other people are doing. You can bet you’re bottom dollar that they’re not worrying about you.

Fun Things To Do This Summer

Bag: Guess

Dress: Debenhams

Bracelet: Lilia Rose

Necklace: Etsy

Shoes: New Look

White Sunglasses: River Island

Tortoiseshell Sunglasses: Boots

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