Monday, 30 January 2012

Have I missed wearing leopard print?

I hoped that I’d end this challenge feeling inspired and looking forward to wearing my leopard print items again, but I’ve come down with a horrid cold - my throat feels like it’s been sand papered and I feel sick -so I’m just moping around in my pj’s.  

I did manage to pull together an outfit for my last day, but I think you can probably tell that I wasn’t really up for it.
Shirt from Asda, jeans from Donna Ida, shoes from Ash, scarf from Miss Selfridge, bag from Angel Jackson
Anyway, the question I need to ask myself is: have I missed my leopard print items? YES!  But that’s only really because most of my footwear is of the animal variety, so I’ve been left with a very limited selection of shoes to wear all week. 

It’s not until you take everything out of your wardrobe and really look at what you’ve got, that you can see what you’re repeatedly buying.  I’ve been through so many different wardrobes and know that most people get in to the habit of buying particular items over and over again (the most popular being jeans, black trousers or cardigans) but I didn’t think I was doing the same.  Well, it turns out I am.

So, while I’ve missed my print ever so much, I’ve been able to determined the gaps in my wardrobe that if I fill (bank account willing) I will be able to create an ever more versatile wardrobe… all in all, it was a very worthwhile exercise.

Is there an item you can't help buying...again and again, and again?

Sunday, 29 January 2012

I'm, spinning around...


Things have been a bit rushed this weekend, so I’ve only just got round to posting my outfit from yesterday.  I’m wearing the maxi skirt from this post and have teamed it with a simple white jumper, tan belt and mix of bangles.  I wanted to wear something quite relaxed and comfortable and this just fitted that perfectly.

Following on from my last couple of posts, I wanted to try out a different shot.  Instead of just standing there I wanted to try an ‘action shot’ :)

Skirt from Warehouse, jumper from Zara, bangles from various places, belt for another pair of trousers and shoes from Ash.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Colour and print.

Days in the office are the perfect excuse to experiment with my outfits a little, but I’ve got to be careful as I can get a bit carried away and I’ve got loads to do today.  I bought this vintage dress about a year ago in York, when Al and I visited for a weekend.  If you’ve never been, it’s well worth a visit it’s crammed full with quirky shops and vintage boutiques. You'll probably notice that this dress is a little different for me as it’s quite a bright colour and is patterned, two things that I don’t wear a lot.   I’d normally team this dress with some leopard print loafers...I love the way they clash, but today that’s not allowed so it’s black flats instead.  I felt a little girly in it so added a studded waist belt to give the look some edge.

I managed to convince Hendrix to be in the shots with me again, I love him being in them with me, I think it makes the photos far more interesting than them just being of me.

Dress is vintage, belt is from Hennes kids department and the shoes are from KG
 Despite the loud print and colour, this is actually quite   a versatile dress, it looks great in the day with flats, but I can also swap my flats for some statement shoes and it’s great for something more dressy.  My favourite discovery though, is that I can wear a skirt over the top of it…

This skirt is from Joy

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Day four and I'm trying out some different shots

I’ve been getting a little bit bored with taking my photo in front of a plain white wall so today I took the tripod around the house and tried out a few different locations.  I really want to start taking some more interesting shots, to think about the composition and the lighting and not just whether I should smile, look away or look at the camera.  I think I've got some learning to do.
How do you take your photos?  I don’t have anyone around in the day who can take my photo so I use Al’s grandpa’s old tripod and put my camera on timer.   I’ll set up the shot, press the button and then run in front of the lens and pose in one awkward way or another.  I’ll do this about ten times in the hope that there’ll be one decent shot, any longer and I just feel silly.  There must be a better way!  

I’ve heard that it’s possible to get a wireless remote to take pictures with, so I may have to invest in one of these if they’re not too expensive.  

Anyway,  my outfit.  Well, my morning was spent at Cribbs Causeway sourcing the last few bits and pieces for my next column in Folio.  It was a real test of my will power, the shops are starting to fill up with spring stock and it’s such a welcome relief from all the winter stock that’s STILL hanging around.
I’m wearing my old faithful black jeans (didn’t my last challenge teach me anything!?), a star blouse from Zara, vintage belt, cardigan from Mango and boots from Office.
My name necklace is from Tatty Divine and the skull necklace is from Tina Lilienthal. I'm a huge fan of her jewellery...check it out here 

Chunky knits

I know this isn’t particularly stylish, but this is what I wore today.  I had the wardrobe report to do for my client from yesterday so this, along with my next column for Folio magazine and pulling together my spring newsletter, pretty much kept me glued to my computer for most of the day.  I know it’s not too cold right now, but I got quite chilly in my little office so as the hours passed, I reached for more layers.


Sparkly cardigan from Miss Selfridge, polo neck from Oasis, Scarf from H&M, Jeans from Mimi Noor, Boots from Kurt Guiger
I love layering different textures up and when they’re chunky and warm it’s so cosy!  I’m pear shape and being smaller on the top than the bottom can sometimes make it tricky to work chunky knits, but by making sure that the under layer is fitted and can be seen, I think I can get away with layering chunkier looser items on top.
How do you keep warm and stay stylish?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Fall back outfit

Well day two of my challenge is nearly over.  I had to remove all my leopard print items from sight this morning, to avoid the temptation of wearing them.  I had a lovely new client booked in today for a wardrobe consultation so I’m looking a little smarter than I did yesterday.  If I’m seeing a client, I like to try and polish my look a little, it helps get my head’s in the right space.  It has to still look and feel like me though, otherwise it just doesn’t work.

This outfit is one of those fall back one’s, perfect for a day like today when I all seemed to want to wear is leopard print.  You all know about my love for black skinny’s well here I am in them again, they’re from Donna Ida and are definately an investment piece.  I saved my pennies for these and they’re worth every single one of them!  My blouse is another wardrobe staple; it can be worn casually, smart, or dressed up for a night out.  All I need to do is change the accessories around a little.  It’s one of those items that I think everyone should have in their wardrobe, you don’t have to go for a style that ties at the neck like this one, there are so many different styles around, for all body shapes.  I can just about get away wearing this blouse un-tucked but I think it’s a more polished look when it’s tucked in, it also gives it a bit more shape. 

Jacket from Mango, blouse from Oasis, trousers from Donna Ida, shoes from Carvella, belt came with a pair of trousers from Zara and my bag is Mulberry (it's 10yrs old this year!)
The jacket has been in my wardrobe for about three years now, and yes, it’s another key item. I find it so useful for this time of year when it’s not cold enough to wear my winter coat, but not warm enough to go without.  It works well with denim and I can throw it over a dress, it’s so versatile.

I didn’t start this post intending it to be about key items for the wardrobe, but it seems to have turned out that way…maybe it’s because I did a wardrobe consultation today which is all about identifying key items and building on them to develop a hard working wardrobe.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why my dog is in so many of the photos, it’s because I took them as soon as I got home to catch the last of the daylight, when normally I’d be rushing out on a walk with him.  It was his way of letting me know that he was ready, but to be honest, I didn't mind I quite liked the distraction in front of the lens.

Do you have a fall back outfit, or do you always know what to wear?

Monday, 23 January 2012

My name’s Niki and I’m addicted to leopard print

No really I am.  Look….

And these are just the items I've got with me, there's more in storage.  It’s got to the point now, where if I’m not wearing any leopard print, friends ask me if I’m okay!

If you read my blog a couple of weeks ago then you may have noticed my 7 day challenge, set by my husband.  Well if not, and you’d like to take a peek, then you can see it here.  After I’d finished I had some great comments and tweets from people saying how much they enjoyed it, it made my week! (thanks!!)  I was so amazed that people actually followed me on my challenge and wanted to talk about it.   I really enjoyed the challenge and the excuse to pay my own wardrobe some attention for a change so when it was all over, I asked you to suggest another challenge for me to take on, and you did!

So what’s my next challenge (as if you’ve not already figured it out)?  To go without leopard print, for a whole week.

I bet you’re reading this and thinking that’s got to be an easy challenge.  Well, you know what, it really isn’t.  Most of my footwear is of the leopard variety, and my warmest coat is too…I’m hoping the weather stays mild.  I’ve got myself into a bit of a style rut when it comes to print; I wear a lot of plain clothing and black – I just love black and there’s nothing wrong with that, but when I try to introduce some print, I somehow end up veering towards the animal kind.  So I’m hoping that this might force me to try other prints and develop my style a little further.

I was in my office all day for the first day of my new challenge.  It was an unusually productive day, I actually managed to catch up with my emails, tweak my blog, pull together two wardrobe reports for two new clients I had last week and prep for another new client I have tomorrow.

The only time I left the house today was to walk Hendrix, I waited until the sun popped out for a few minutes, took some photos and then went for a walk.  Luckily the sun was out long enough for me to take a half decent shot, although it didn’t last, Hendrix and I got rained on within five minutes of starting our walk.

I wore black jeans from Donna Ida, sneakers from Ash (a bargain from outnet.com last summer), black jumper from Warehouse and a huge vintage scarf.  My bag is by Angel Jackson.

What do you think to my new challenge?  Am I cheating a wee bit by having Hendrix in shot...a little bit of animal print :)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Winter wedding in the Lake District


Regular readers will know that last week I wrote about what to wear to a winter wedding as I was heading to one myself.  If you missed it, you can read it here.  I talked about reviewing your wardrobe and reminding yourself what you’ve got before going out to buy a new outfit, using my own wardrobe as an example.   I thought you might like to know what I ended up wearing.

The wedding was in the Lake District, I’d been there before but I’d forgotten quite how stunning it is!  We arrived on the Friday evening and had Saturday morning before the wedding to explore…




The wedding itself was lovely, and Gina looked beautiful.  Her dress had been altered to include a piece of her mum’s lace wedding dress, what a lovely idea!  She also had these wellies in case of emergency.


I know it’s nice to buy something new for a special occasion, but I love to get out some of my old favourites and wear them again.  I wore my Whistles dress, Hobbs shoes and fur shrug, all of which I’ve had for yonks but made me feel great!  

I know I look a little uncomfortable, but it was freezing and there were a group of people getting kitted up for a hike right in front of me.
Dress from Whistles, shrug from Coast, shoes from Hobbs NW3, and earrings from French Connection.

Bag from Jigsaw, ring from House of Harlow and bangles are a mix of vintage, indian and accessorize.

Do you like to buy something new or wear an old favourite?

Friday, 13 January 2012

Winter Wedding

I’m going to a wedding in the lake district this weekend, (I'm actually writing this in the car on the way there)  I can’t wait! I love weddings. I love the romance, I love the dressing up and I love dancing to the cheesy wedding tunes. I normally know exactly what to wear, but with the wedding being at the beginning of January and in the depths of the Lake District, it’s not been so easy to pull together an outfit.

I’ve recently booked in quite a few clients looking to get outfits sorted for weddings in the next couple of months, so I thought it might be useful to write a post about what to wear, and how to find it. If I struggled, then I’m sure I’m not the only one.

The first problem with getting sorted for a winter wedding is that the stock isn’t very inspiring. The best time to find an outfit is either before the sales hit, in November, or leaves it as late as possible, and wait for the new collections to come through. If you’re looking before the sales you’ll probably be sifting through a mass of eveningwear that’s in for the Party season and, well, leaving it till last minute, that can be very stressful. Add to this complication, the fact that the weather will be cold and (most likely) wet, and we’ve got a difficult event to dress for.

The first thing to do is to go and open your wardrobe, and remind yourself what you’ve got in there. Sometimes the perfect outfit is staring you in the face, you just can’t see it. Pull out anything that you think might work, this was my haul…

Dress options: Black Mango jacket that's a couple of years old, the black dress I wore to the fashion bloggers party here, my favourite blue Whistles dress that I’ve worn to death (but never tire of), a floral Marilyn Moore dress that I’ve had for over 10 years, the spot sheer dress from Warehouse a dipped hem dress that I bought recently from Zara, a green vintage dress and a fur cape that I got married in a few years ago

Bag and shoe options, a which are years old. Cream clutch from Marks and Spencer, my Mum's old clutch, LAMB giant clutch, Vintage metalic bag, navy clutch from Jigsaw, Shoeboots from Faith, Leopard soes from Topshop and buckle shoes from Hobbs NW3.
Jewellery
Not all of these are obviously weddingy, but then I’m being open minded, and with a little styling, they might just work.

Now for the fun part, start to mix and match them a little. Try different combinations and a variety of accessories. Take photos if it helps. If you still can’t find the right look, then think about whether or not you need to buy a whole new outfit, or whether the addition of a new pair of shoes will do the trick. If it’s a whole new outfit then that’s fine, but at least you know you’ll not be wasting your money on something you’ve already got hanging in the wardrobe.

If you need to go shopping then here are my top tips to help you find the perfect outfit.

1. It’s going to be cold, so think about your hosiery. There are some great choices around now, my favourites are Wolford and Falke but they’re not cheap, so head to Marks and Spencer if you want to save a few pennies. Opt for a nice high denier as this will be the warmest, it also holds the leg beautifully.

2. Think about your footwear, a strappy pair of sandals might look great at a summer wedding but in the winter you’ll just freeze. How about going for a pair of fabulous knee high boots with your dress? It can look very elegant and you’ll be able to wear a pair of warm socks inside without anyone knowing. If you don’t want to wear boots, then go for a sturdier pair, which will give you more coverage like a pair of shoe boots.

Boots from Office

Shoes from Topshop
3. If you want to wear a thin fabric, then wear a good quality slip underneath for a bit of warmth and the added bonus that it will help give a smooth line under un-forgiving fabrics.

4. You may end up doing some standing around outside, especially if there are lots of photos to be taken so give some thought to your coat. This will make or break your outfit, so it needs to be right. There’s nothing worse than spending ages pulling together the perfect look and then throwing on any old coat. If you don’t have the right one, then now is the time to find one in the last of the sales.
Pea coat from Oasis
5. Embrace the fur trend! I intend to wrap up in a faux fur coat for ultimate warmth and style. If you don’t want to go, full on fur, then there are fur collars and tippets that look just as good.
Fur coat from Reiss
6. Avoid wearing a lightweight hat or fascinator that will more than likely end up blowing away. The shops are currently full of wide brim hats, fedoras, and cloches in an array of colours, these will be far more fitting, and may keep you that little bit warmer.

Hat from Oasis

Hat from Accessorize
7. Wear a pair of glamorous gloves. There’s plenty to choose from, but my favourite is a long leather pair like these.
Gloves from John Lewis
8. Try and buy something that you might be able to wear again. If you opt for separates, then think about splitting these up and teaming them with something else.

Have fun!


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Vintage shopping in Frome

I had the afternoon off yesterday, so I took the opportunity to go to Frome. My job is quite seasonal so I like to make the most of my relatively quiet January. I’d heard great things about the shopping in Frome, I was promised vintage shops and quirky boutiques a plenty and I wasn’t disappointed!

I know this is a blog all about Bristol (and sometimes Bath) but Frome’s not really that far away and I just have to share my new discoveries with you.

The area you want to make a bee line for is St Catherines. There are around 100 shops in this area, but I wanted to share my favourites with you.

Millie Moon http://www.milliemoonshop.co.uk/

Wow, this is a little haven of ribbon, buttons and bunting! As soon as I walked through the door I wanted to get my sewing machine out and start making. There was a wall full of sewing books along one side of the shop to inspire me even more. I’ll definitely be popping back with a list of things to get.

Assembly http://www.shopassembly.com/



Mens clothing

Ant's handmade bags

 
Ant's had covered chair and cusions
 
Anthony looking very dapper!
This is one for the guys, although the home wear and gifts are great for us girls too (I wish I’d bought one of the underlay bags). It’s so refreshing to see an independent boutique for guys, selling something different from the high-street, something a little less obvious. Anthony who owns the shop makes his own bags and cushions, and these are showcased alongside some great clothing and army surplus.

Truly Sopel http://www.trulysopel.co.uk/

Truly Sopel on Catherines Hill, Frome
I know it’s not very obvious, but I do have a girly side, I just like to mix it with a bit of rock and edge. Truly Sopel appealed to my girly side. The shop was styled like a boudoir, complete with bed and wardrobe. The bed was piled high with handmade cushions and the wardrobe, with cute little floral cropped tops, reminiscent of something you might have worn as a little girl. My favourite items in here though were the knickers! www.trulyknickers.com
Poot  
Poot in Frome

I couldn’t resist going into this shop, the windows were bursting with vintage dresses and shoes selling great quality vintage clothing that sits alongside current designers Orion London, Olga De Polga & Spaghetti Western. If you like vintage hand bags, then this is the shop for you.

Make and Mend


This is another vintage shop, just down from Poot selling vintage clothing, retro toys and china along with some gorgeous, giant leather doctors bags. I fell in love with a huge carpet bag but, with it being so soon after Christmas I’m going to have to wait a little. Fingers crossed it’s still there when I go back.

Nova

Yet another vintage shop selling great quality items (I was loving going into vintage shop after vintage shop!). I spotted a couple of Burberry coats, and some beautiful silk scarfs (Pierre Cardin and Hermes no less) for £20. The clothes were in such good condition, they were clean and obviously very pre-loved.

So, you see, a visit to Frome is essential, especially if you love vintage shops!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I found a bargain...

I don’t normally go anywhere near the sales.  I spend so much time in the shops with clients that when the sales finally come round I’ve seen enough of the stock and know that the best has probably been and gone.    However, last weekend we had to pop to Cribbs Causeway so I ventured into a few shops to see the new collections that are starting to come through, and guess what?  I was totally side tracked by the sale rails.  I spotted this skirt in the Warehouse sale, I’d bought it in red back in the summer and it was such a useful skirt, so when I saw it was an amazing £7, it had to be mine.
Maxi skirt from Warehouse
I’m sure you’ve heard me say this before, but I only buy something new if it will go with at least three other things already in my wardrobe. I know this probably sounds boring, but as a result, I’ve got very little in my wardrobe that I don’t wear!

So, to prove that it goes with a few things I already own, I thought I’d pull together some outfits for this. I could have made more outfits, but the lighting was starting to get really bad, so I called it a day.

This is my first outfit and I think it’s my favourite. I’ve teamed it with an ancient cardigan of mine that’s seen better days (I just can’t make myself get rid of it), I breathed new life into it by wearing it back to front. I love the neckline on it worn this way, it broadens my narrow shoulders. I like to wear maxi skirts in a boho/grungy/rock kinda way, so to finished the look I combined the skirt with these studded boots and vintage belt.
Cardigan from Topshop (7 years ago!!)
Boots from Asos
Earrings from a Holiday in Portugal
Vintage belt
Leather cuff from Hennes mens dept
Here’s another look.  I love this leather jacket, any opportunity to wear it and I will.  This silk top is a buy from Topshop a couple of years back, and the boots are from Ash (I spotted them on outnet.com and couldn’t resist them).  I’m also wearing one of my favourite necklaces.  If I don’t know what to wear then I’ll always go to this, it goes with everything and even better than that, it was made by one of my best friends Jane.  If you want to see more of her jewellery then you can see it here and find out more here
Leather jacket from Topshop
Silk top from Topshop
Bangles from India
Shoes by Ash from Outnet
Necklace by Jane Kenney
Sometimes I like to be a little more girly so I thought I’d try and pull together a different look to the last two.   I’m wearing this dress under the skirt so that it looks like a top.  I think it works quite well, although it’s definitely not an everyday outfit and I’m far more comfortable in something a little more casual or edgy. 
Dress from Warehouse
Earrings from French Connection
Pumps from KG
Finally, I thought I’d see if this shirt went with it.   It’s become a fall back item recently when I want to be cosy comfy, so I thought it would be perfect for a really dressed down look.  It’s not my favourite look of the four, but I think it works.
Shirt from Asda
Shoes as before
What do you think?  Do you give yourself the same rule to not buy something unless it goes with three things you already own, or is it just me?!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

How to avoid costly sales shopping disasters.


Photo of Hendrix and me by Sean Malyon
Back in December, Suzanne Savill from The Bristol Evening Post interviewed me for an article she was doing about successfully shopping the sales. It’s so easy to get carried away in the sales, so just in case you missed the article and to make sure that your bargain really is a bargain, I thought I’d share the interview here.  Do you have any tips or advice?

Suzanne: Do people need to take a different approach to sales shopping compared to going shopping at other times – and if so why?

Me: Yes! Shopping during the sales is a totally different experience to shopping at any other time of year.  It’s not for the faint hearted you need good stamina.  Not only do retailers make the most of every available space, cramming the shelves and rails full with reduced stock, but the shops are busier than they’ve ever been before.  You’ll find yourself fighting other people for car park spaces, personal space and of course, the best bargains.  There may even be the odd elbow fight.  If you find shopping difficult mid season, then shopping during the sales is enough to bring you out in a rash!

Suzanne: What are some of the most useful tips you can give about going shopping during the sales?

Me: As a personal stylist, I spend a lot of time taking people shopping.  I’ve picked up lots of tips over the years and know exactly where to go, and what to source for each client.  I also know that when it comes to shopping during the sales, some of you find it really stressful, so here are my top ten tips to get you working the sale rails like a pro.

Top tips
1. Start early and do your research.  If you know what items you want to buy. Start tracking them online before the sales so you’re in with a chance of getting your size when the price is slashed. Maybe even ring the store to see if it’s in stock before you venture out.

2. Use the sales as an opportunity to invest in good quality items that you wouldn’t normally be able to afford. 
3. Be organised and work out what’s really missing from your wardrobe.  This isn’t the time to try umpteen different outfits on, you need to make a list and stick to it.

4. Get to the shops nice and early.  It always amazes me how quiet the shops are first thing. 
5. Keep focused.  It’s very easy to get seduced by slashed prices, those bright red sigs are very persuasive!

6. Before you buy something make sure it goes with three things you already own.  If it doesn’t then the chances are that you’ll get it home, not know what to put it with and will never wear it.

7. Be sensible.  There’s a tendency to panic buy, especially as most shops don’t allow you to put items on hold while you think about it.  If you find yourself 'umming' and 'erring' think to yourself ‘do I really love it, would I buy it if it was full price’?  If not then put it back.

8. Check the returns policy.  Sometimes this differs during sale time, so check that you can return it if you get it home and change your mind. 
9. Stick to your budget.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the shopping frenzy and go over budget without realising.  Check the price before you hand over your money, and keep a note of what you’ve already spent.

10. Listen to your head not heart.  If you absolutely love something but think it might not be quite right for you, leave it.  Something’s just aren’t going to suit you no matter how much love them.

Suzanne: What are some of the biggest mistakes that people make when shopping in the sales?
Me: Everyone loves a bargain and it’s very easy to get carried away in the sales, but a bargain is only a bargain if you actually wear it, otherwise you’re just wasting your money.   The biggest mistakes people usually make when shopping the sales, are buying something in the wrong size because it’s a bargain (with the intention of shrinking into it) or buying random items that they’d never normally wear...and never wearing them. Statistics show that the average woman will spend a whopping £13,500 on clothes in her lifetime that she’ll never wear.  I have no doubts that shopping in the sales is the biggest single contributor to this. 
Suzanne: Have you ever had any disasters shopping in the sales, and if so what?

Me: I once bought a pair of really cute Lulu Guinness pumps in the sale. They were about 70% off - such a bargain!  Only they were a size too small and I could only just squeeze my feet.  I thought I’d be able to stretch them, but of course I couldn’t.  I ended up selling them on eBay.

Suzanne: What have been some of your best bargains in the sales?

Me: If you know what you’re doing you can bag some great bargains.  I’m always on the lookout for premium denim at reduced costs.  Other things worth hunting down are accessories, classic knitwear, footwear (in particular a good pair of winter boots) and evening dresses.  All of these items are in abundance in the January sales, and all are key items for every wardrobe.

Suzanne: Have you ever had to do personal sales shopping, and if so what is your approach?

Me: The best time to buy winter clothes is actually during October and November, before the winter weather sets in.  The high-street’s seasons don’t run alongside the weathers, so you’ll tend to find that when the weather starts to get really cold, the shops are coming to the end of their autumn/winter season, the sales are starting and the shops are preparing for the spring collections.  I find that most people don’t start to think about their winter wardrobe until the weather gets cold and as a result, I tend to get quite busy just as the sales start.   While I try to avoid taking clients shopping during the sales (the stock becomes very fragmented and it’s often hard to source the correct sizes) I often find myself having to.  I’ve built up a good working relationship with the local retailers over the years and this helps to make it a more enjoyable and successful experience than it might otherwise be.

Happy shopping! xx

Happy New Year!!

It’s been weeks since my last post…Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and celebrated New Year in style?

I had a lovely time, my hubbie and I spent a couple of weeks traveling around the UK (Willerby, Hull, Hornsea, Newcastle, Harrogate, Buxton and Bath) visiting family which was great, but we’re both exhausted now!  Ooh, and my sister and her boyfriend got engaged!!!

Al, Hendrix and me with Al's parents in Hornsea.

My Grandma in Newcastle LOVES playing scrabble.  She lives on her own up there so everytime we visit, we play endless games of it. 
It's taken very seriously! 

Buxton with my sister and her boyfriend

The Happy couple!!
 I’ve got a couple of posts to upload over the next couple of days but before I do, I felt it right to start off the New Year with this one.  I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s New Year resolution posts; there are some really inspiring ones, they put mine to shame but every year I give myself a long list of resolutions, and every year I either loose the list, or my enthusiasm fades.  Terrible, I know!  This year, I thought that instead of giving myself a list of unachievable resolutions, I’d give myself just one, so I can really focus on it and try and succeed.  This year I’m going to be more organised – not very original I know, but something I need to work on in my personal life and with my business. 

My business has really taken off over the last year or so and I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved, but there are some instance when I know that I could have made my life a little easier if only I’d just been more organised.  My blog is very much a part of my business.  I started Hip Shapes And Bristol Fashion over three years ago (I can’t believe it’s been running for that long!) initially to promote my business and help build awareness of me and my business locally, but over the years I’ve started to see my blog as more than this.   I really love blogging and enjoy being a part of the blogging community – going to the My Street Chic bloggers party was great.   I’m starting to get comments on my posts now (thank you!), am always looking at ways to improve my blog, and am starting to find it easier to come up with ideas for new content, but I think I need to start taking it a little more seriously, be more organised and put some proper structure in place.
It's a runing joke in the family that I always loose things or forget things, so you see, being more organised is going to be quite a task.  It will need to encompass every aspect of my life.   So wish me luck and if you’ve got any advice, PLEASE tell me!