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Lockdown Life: Leaving The House For The First Time

In almost 14 weeks I’ve been shielded from the outside world and the threat of Coronavirus. I’m someone who likes to get out and explore or meet up with friends, but I also spend long periods of time at home due to a disability, just not quite this long. Over the last few months I’ve felt even more isolated than I normally do. I’d been keeping up to date with the news and events on social media for any signs of life getting back to normal. Time went by and I got use to being in my safe bubble called home.

Last week the news was announced that people who were being shielded could leave their homes for an hour a day and my reaction wasn’t quite the one I’d expected. I thought I’d be jumping for joy, instead I went into panic mode and my anxiety went through the roof. I wasn’t ready to go rushing out the front door and in to the big wide world, after all there was still a risk of catching the coronavirus.

Finally, on Saturday 13th June I plucked up the courage to leave the house for a short stroll down the road and back. All the time I was getting ready I could feel my anxiety rising and almost changed my mind. Looking back, I’m glad I made it past the garden gate because it did my mental health the world of good.

I’d decided to take a stroll to the nearest park with a flask of coffee and take some outfit shots, thinking that would give me something good to focus on.

But I got half way there and froze. My pulse was racing and it felt like someone had their hands around my neck, all because a woman showed a simple act of kindness. She was coming in the opposite direction and moved far enough into a drive way to let me get past.

I was faced with the new reality and it made me feel utterly disoriented. If you’ve ever watched the start of 28 Days Later or The Walking Dead when the main character comes out of the hospital and sees the world after the virus has taken hold, then you’ll know exactly how I felt.

Thankfully I didn’t give up, we took a slow stroll around the edge of the park, stopping at a couple of benches along the way. Luckily it was fairly quiet and people kept at least two metres away. I gradually became acclimatised to the environment I once took for granted. It was wonderful to hear the sounds of life again.

Adrian and I found a quiet corner with some large rocks which were perfect for me to lay down my blanket and have a few photos taken. The sun was shining down on us as I sipped the coffee I’d taken with me, honestly I felt so happy and relaxed.

I’ve not been out again yet, I know it won’t be easy the next time but I’ve done it once and I’m proud of myself for taking those first steps.

Dress Miss Selfridge / Bag Henrietta Spencer / Bracelet Missoma / Beach Towel Urbanara / Shoes (old) River Island / Hat (old) Jolly Brown’s Vintage Boutique

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Spring Outfits I’m Wearing Right Now

It’s been a while but I’ve finally found the motivation to write a blog post and share a few of my most worn outfits right now. I’ve surprised myself with how much loungewear I’ve fallen in love with this year but as all my time is spent at home I want to be as comfy as possible and still look chic. Of course I’ve still been wearing Spring dresses, just to feel like myself and more pulled together. I’ve styled the dresses with a few accessories so you can see how I would be wearing them if I was leaving the house. I hope this post gives you a little inspiration for your own Spring wardrobe.

Long gone are the days when I’d wear an old grey t-shirt to sleep in so I began to invest in more luxurious nightwear. I bought my very first bra from Victoria’s Secret about 3 years ago and honestly I’ve never looked back. They fit my shape beautifully making me feel feminine and glamorous. I’ve bought a few items from their nightwear collection, they make me feel extra special every night as I climb into bed. The set I’m obsessed with right now is this pink satin cami top with matching shorts, both have a delicate lace insert and a slight frill at the bottom. The top has a deep v neckline and spaghetti straps and the shorts have an elasticated waistband.

I never thought I’d be wearing tie dye, yet I’ve totally fallen in love with this pink hoody and shorts set from Boux Avenue loungewear collection. It’s the softest material I’ve ever felt and I genuinely don’t want to take it off. It’s extremely comfortable and looks cute while I;m watching something on Disney Plus.

I’m totally in love with this beautiful soft sweat top from H&M which looks great with my white Topshop jeans. I love an all white outfit as I think it looks incredibly chic. I did actually wear this before the current lockdown and styled it with a cream trench coat, camel stiletto ankle boots and over size sunglasses.

I was given this loungewear set from Victoria’s Secrets for my birthday back in January and had been saving it for best. It’s incredibly soft and I adore the cute ballerina style top. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the last few weeks it’s to live your best life every day and make the most of those little luxuries that come your way.

Usually the fist thing I do when I come home is take my bra off, I want to feel free. While I’m in isolation I’ve found the perfect alternative to an uncomfortable underwired bra. This pink lace bralet from Boux Avenue has a beautiful embroidered pattern with a frill bottom, it’s comfy and still gives me some support throughout the day.

Each year I try to pick up at least one basic top in a classic style that I’ll get a lot of wear out of. This ribbed short sleeve jumper literally goes with everything from skirts, trousers and shorts. I love the square neckline which is a little different for me.

There was something about this pretty green polka dot dress that caught my eye on the Nasty Gal’s website. I hardly ever wear green and thought it makes a nice change from pink or white. I love the fit and flare style with short puff sleeves and a shirring bodice. It’s super comfortable to wear with or without a bra, yet I still feel ultra feminine. I also love wearing pink accessories with this shade of green.

It wouldn’t be Spring for me without at least one new white cotton dress, they’re easy to wear yet look chic and stylish even whilst at home. Again it has a square neckline and button down front, this classic design will be in my wardrobe for many years to come. It’s feminine and floaty which keeps me cool in the warmer weather. When we’re allowed out again I’ll be styling this with a straw hat and basket bag for the ultimate summer look.

This 60s inspired pastel floral dress from River Island is simply gorgeous, I wouldn’t usually have gone for a swing style cut but it fits beautifully. I love everything about it, the design, the pattern, the pretty cuffs and frill detail at the bottom. If I’m having an admin day I still like to get “dressed up” as I feel a million times more productive.

 Adrian and I have been enjoying lunch out in the garden and I still want to feel like me. If I was meeting friends in town for lunch I’d normally have worn a dress so I’ve been wearing last years pink broderie anglaise dress with frill sleeves, it’s perfect for garden picnics. It has many special memories, including our holiday to Norfolk and a day trip to London. Those occasions I’ll never take for granted again.

I was so excited to start wearing my Spring Summer dresses after months of heavy knitwear. This first dress I bought for my friends birthday afternoon tea, sadly it was cancelled but we decided to have virtual tea party instead. This pink floaty chiffon dress from Roman Originals is just beautiful and it seemed a shame to keep it hidden in the wardrobe. I wore it for our virtual party and again on warmer Spring days.

This stunning cream crochet button up dress from River Island definitely has the look of a Zimmerman dress but much more affordable, I feel super feminine every time I wear it and being on lockdown certainly hasn’t stopped me. It’s been my outfit of choice for our anniversary dinner and a cheese and wine date night at home.

Which is your favourite from all of these outfits? What sort of thing are you wearing at home?

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What’s New In My Wardrobe: Autumn 2018

What's New In My Wardrobe

It’s fair to say I’m a little excited to see this Autumn Trends, I’ve pushed the boundaries this year and tried some styles that I would never normally have worn. As you know I’m a pink, floral girl, through and through, yet somehow when I tried these pieces on I felt confident and chic, they will be worn quite a lot over the coming months. I don’t know about you but I always find it tricky to style at this time of year, too warm for some things and too cold for others. Give it a few months and all I’ll be wearing is knitted dresses and knee high boots, oh and hats, lets not forget the hats. In the last few weeks of checking the on line stores I’ve practically fallen in love with everything I’ve seen. Our styles do evolve over time, but I think I’ve found some gorgeous items that fit with the Trends for Autumn 2018, yet I still feel like me when I wear them. They are the perfect pieces for my Autumn transitional wardrobe and I’ll be able to style them with so many things I already own.

You seemed to like my Spring Fashion Haul so I thought I’d show you all the new pieces I picked up from various High Street stores over the last few weeks.

What's New In My Wardrobe

Ankle boots are perfect for this time of year, this pair from Topshop are such a gorgeous neutral colour and extremely versatile. They’re great worn without tights if you want to pair them with cute skirts or dresses, as this shade is very flattering. And when the temperatures do start to drop they will look amazing with a pair of light coloured jeans or trousers. I absolutely love the block heel and pointed toe, which is very on trend for winter. It’s been ages since I bought a new pair of ankle boots and I can’t wait to start wearing these.

What's New In My Wardrobe

I wasn’t sure about this Snake Print Midi Shirt Dress at first as I honestly didn’t think I could pull it off. It’s so different for me. I had desperately been trying to get hold of the Topshop one that’s all over Instagram, but sold out as soon as it came in stock. I found this great alternative from New Look and I absolutely love it, it’s such a beautiful, versatile dress. When the weather does start to get colder I’ll be wearing this with boots and a faux fur jacket, you could also wear a jumper over the top. The shirt style is different for me too, but I think it looks such a classic design and feels lovely to wear. The quality is pretty good considering it’s from New Look. It looks super chic and will be worn loads over the coming months.

What's New In My Wardrobe, Pink Faux Leather Jacket

I’d been after a pink faux leather biker jacket for ages and as soon as I saw this one from ASOS it had to go straight into my basket. I also had a £10 loyalty voucher to put towards the cost, so that was a bonus. A lightweight jacket is any girls wardrobe staple, this one isn’t super warm but great to add an additional layer to your outfit without getting too hot on milder days. It’s perfect to add a touch of Autumn to your transitional wardrobe. I love everything about it, the colour is gorgeous and the gold hardware make it look super chic. This has to be my favourite piece from the entire haul.

What's New In My Wardrobe, New Look PVC Skirt

I wanted to add a few skirts into my Autumn wardrobe that weren’t floral, yes, I know, don’t worry, I am feeling ok. There’s nothing wrong with trying something different once in a while. The first one I bought was this Tan PVC Midi Skirt from New Look which also it also comes in black and burgundy. The colour is absolutely gorgeous and looks a lot more expensive than it was and doesn’t have that cheap, plastic feel that some PVC skirts have. It’s a real classic item to have. I’ve styled it with a chunky jumper and heels, it would also look amazing worn with my snakeskin blouse, a pretty cream blouse or a thin roll neck top. I’ve also seen people wearing them with a slogan T-shirt and trainers.

I’ve styled mine with this gorgeous slouchy jumper from Warehouse, which I already owned.  I love the trumpet sleeves and the neutral shade goes with everything, it’s an absolute dream to wear. Styling it with the PVC skirt is a great way to dress up a casual jumper.

What's New In My Wardrobe

The second skirt I’ve bought is this pretty Polka Dot Midi Skirt from Nasty Gal, it’s such a gorgeous autumnal colour and the perfect length on me. It’s so easy to throw on with a top and pair of heels, as I’ve done in the photo, it will also look amazing worn with a chunky jumper, ankle boots and a jacket when the weather’s not so warm. It’s one of those skirts that will take you from day to night and I’ll be reaching for it year after year.

What's New In My Wardrobe

What's New In My Wardrobe

I guess you could say I’m an animal print convert, considering it was a print I never thought I could wear. Now I know I feel comfortable and confident these items will be with me for a few years to come, they’re classic styles and not too over the top.

This snake print shirt is from Marks and Spencer, unfortunately I can’t find it on line but it may still be in some of the stores. It fits beautifully and I love the crinkle effect throughout the shirt. Having long sleeves means I can also wear it with my cream faux fur gillet and jeans for a more casual look. I think it goes perfectly with the nude cotton maxi skirt and equally it would look amazing worn with my Tan PVC skirt or white trousers. Snake print is definitely a huge trend this season and it’s all over the high street.

What's New In My Wardrobe

Accessories are a great way to introduce animal print into your wardrobe if you don’t want wear it head to toe. I picked up these gorgeous Snake Print Slingback Heels from Dorothy Perkins while they were on offer and I’m so glad I did. The heels  are not too high, roughly 3 inches, they feel so comfortable and look really chic. They have a real 80s feel about them, I love the pointed toe and sling back strap. Considering they’re snake print I was surprised at how many outfits I could wear them with, my shoes are usually a plain colour. I was so excited to get these that I wore them straight away.

What's New In My Wardrobe

I couldn’t resist this cute Leopard Print Bucket Bag from Topshop and fell in love with it as soon as I first held it. It goes with so many outfits and look adorable. The straps are faux leather, it can be worn cross body or used by the shorter handle, and the animal print panels have a soft, furry feel to them. It doesn’t look that big but inside is actually a decent size, I’m able to fit my mobile, makeup, wallet, hair brush and keys.

Have you jumped on the animal print trend? What kind of style will you be wearing this Autumn?

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A Relaxing Afternoon At Hitchin Lavender

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

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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