A Timeless Gift*

Despite everything having been a total whirlwind over the last few months, Matthew and I have had a lot to celebrate lately. We bought our first house and became homeowners in May, celebrated our two year anniversary in June, and Matthew finally started his new job at the end of July, so its been exciting times all round.

Of course we celebrated all of these wonderful moments at the times they occurred, but with all the craziness going on, I felt they were a little rushed, and I wanted to commemorate them with the right gift, which I was really struggling to find. Matthew has always supported me in everything I’ve done, and he’s worked so hard over the last few years to get his dream job, I wanted something that wasn’t just an every day sort of present, I wanted to get him something that was special. So when I was contacted by the wonderful team at Jord Watches, I instantly knew that this was an opportunity I wanted to share with him.

A watch makes an amazing gift for a special occasion, but these watches are in a world of their own. This stunning Hyde watch is just one of the wonderfully unique wooden watches that Jord have to offer – and no, you read that right, its actually wooden!

Matthew chose the Ebony & Iron finish, which is beautifully subtle but every time I see it I’m absolutely amazed at how intricate the design is. The darker colour makes styling the watch effortless, and it goes well with everything in his wardrobe. It was custom sized to his wrist measurement, and came in this incredible presentation box, which just added to the whole unboxing experience.

And while I did let Matthew choose the watch itself, I did surprise him by opting to have the back of the watch engraved with our anniversary date to add that extra personal touch to commemorate the last two years we’ve spent together.

This watch just made all my gift choosing worries disappear. Being able to have it engraved meant I could use it as a way of celebrating our special day, but also what’s wonderful about giving a watch is that in Matthew’s new job as a pilot, he’s actually required to wear a watch at all times, so I could also use this opportunity to gift him something that he’ll wear and use all the time, but that’s more than just practical, its stylish.

Jord make these incredible wooden watches in both men’s and women’s styles, plus they also do amazing wooden straps for Apple watches, so there’s really something for everyone, and with that in mind, how do you fancy winning $100 credit towards a watch of your own, or so that you too can give someone a truly timeless gift? Simply fill out the giveaway form here – plus you’ll get a 10% off code just for entering! Giveaway closes September 9th at 11:59pm.

Wooden Wrist Watch

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*This post contains gifted items. All views are my own.

What I’ve Made Lately

So back at the start of the year (can you believe that was almost 3 months ago now?!) I announced my plan to have a Creative-18. Well, the concept has been a little fluid since then, and while I may not have done something every day as I had planned, the last few months have been wonderful and I’ve never felt so confident with my creative abilities, while also throwing myself totally out of my comfort zone.

My Etsy has somewhat taken over my life in the last two months, and I’m certainly not complaining. January was my best month for sales ever, and I made over triple of what I set as my goal, but it wasn’t until February that things started to get interesting for me.

I was contacted by the wonderful Natasha from EarsEverAfter, who commissioned a custom order unlike anything I’ve ever made before, but what came out of it was something that I am so incredibly proud of, and has sparked further orders for similar items. That’s right, I’ve been making a bunch of little co-ord sets..

Upon finishing Natasha’s set, I instantly decided that I was going to need one to wear to Aulani next month, but rather than a Disney print I found this gorgeous lightweight cherry blossom fabric in my local fabric store and without wanting to blow my own horn too much, I just threw this together one evening! In fact, I wore the top to work with a pair of jeans yesterday I love it that much.

I’ve also had another Disney set commissioned, this time an adorable Winnie the Pooh print! I’m having so much fun being totally out of my comfort zone, and I have a load more custom work in the pipeline so stay tuned for those designs when I finish them!

Another out-of-the-comfort-zone creation was this adorable little girls dress which I made last weekend. I haven’t made kids stuff since my cousins were quite a bit smaller than they are now, so maybe 3-4 years ago, so it was quite strange working on a much smaller scale to what I’m used to, and also going back to using a pattern – for my own designs I make my own patterns or work off the cuff, so a proper pattern is a rare thing for me. HOW CUTE THOUGH? The fabric was chosen by the customer and I decided to do the sash in a single colour as a contrast and I just love it so much! I’ll be making this style of dress available to buy on my Etsy store this weekend if anyone’s interested!

Now right back into my comfort zone – skirts.

This is a custom order and how stunning is the fabric that they chose?!

I fell in love with this holographic silver fabric that I found in my local store and within an hour of getting home it was already a skirt – although I’ve yet to have an excuse to wear it! This is available for custom order on my Etsy too.

And finally, a little different from my usual skater style skirts, I’ve fallen for chiffon a little bit because its so lovely and flowy! This skirt is also available on my Etsy now in both mini and midi length.

It may be taking a lot of my time, and I’m probably annoying all my social media followers with constant photos but being creative makes me so damn happy and I can’t wait to see what else I’ve got in me and what else I can do.

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Oh Mickey, You’re So Fine

I swear every year I say I want to do more outfit posts, and then either I don’t have someone to take the photos, or I’m not feeling confident enough to do it, or whatever excuse I tell myself at the time, and then my good intentions go downhill a little and I get to the end of the year realising that I’ve done only maybe 2 and I end up wishing things had been different, then the cycle repeats..

Confidence has been a big thing for me lately. I seem to either have an abundance of it, or none at all, and it can go from one to the other in half a second with no real reason. This shoot, for example, took two attempts; Matthew and I had wandered over to Barton Square from the main part of the Trafford Centre, when I decided that this was going to be the perfect location to shoot the outfit I was wearing, but for some reason as soon as it came to standing in front of the pretty stone pillars and posing for the camera, I just couldn’t do it. I blamed the sun, saying that the lighting just wasn’t right, and there were quite a few people around and as I always do when this sort of thing happened, I talked myself out of it and walked away disappointed.

Matthew, on the other hand, is becoming quite used to me having these little wobbles, and suggested that we came back in the morning when it was nice and quiet, and bright, and although I hate admitting these things, he was right. Although it was VERY cold (I mean, it was 2C and I stripped down to a t-shirt for some photos), when we went back the next morning I was in the right mood, and felt totally comfortable posing in my entirely Mickey themed outfit despite early shoppers appearing behind me every now and then!

So pretty much this entire outfit is H&M, with the exception of my well-loved Converses, trusty coat (Pretty Little Thing but years ago) and the adorable Alex and Ani Mickey bangle from Walt Disney World. The beanie I actually picked up a few years ago now but I keep seeing it pop back up in stores and I’m pretty sure its around the £7.99 mark price-wise! The t-shirt was one I saw several people on Twitter and Instagram share, and I knew straight away I had to have it – I don’t think you can tell from the photos but the rainbow part is actually glittery too! – its a size S, but has quite a lot of room in it so if you prefer a tighter fit then you may want to size down from what you would normally go for. The jeans are a different story.. These are the jeans that I’ve been ranting about both on Twitter and in Saturday’s blog post – having ordered a size 12 originally (a size larger than I am), I went to exchange them in store and could actually only fit into a size 16 (well, I could just manage the 14 but only if I had no plans to eat or breathe whilst wearing them), so if you do fall in love with them like I did, I suggest going to try them on in a store, and just prepare yourself for not fitting into your usual size, and maybe not even the next size up. They are, however, my first pair of mom jeans, and I do love feeling a bit 90s in them!

Oh, and the hoodie is from the kids section, I’m wearing a 14+ years but its still got plenty of room in it!

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Let’s Talk About High Street Sizes

So yesterday I was super excited when I got notification to say my H&M parcel had been delivered. Well no, that’s not exactly true because the email came from Hermes and I knew that there was a strong possibility that my parcel would be closer to the moon than my letter box, but that’s not what this is about.

I had ordered three items from H&M: a ladies t-shirt, size ‘S’, a pair of mom jeans, size 12 – because I’m a 10-12 and I figured I’d size up because jeans can be notoriously tricky to get right – and a hoodie from the kids section, aged ’14+’ – because I loved it, I’m quite petite so there was a possibility it would fit me, and I figured worst case scenario I’d just return it. Quite a mixed bag, right? Well, I figured I had a pretty good chance with everything fitting.

The first thing I thought I should try on was the kids hoodie, and I was super pumped to find that it fit me perfectly, yay! From the photo on the website, it was supposed to be a loose-fit style for kids, and it was a little more fitted on me, but it definitely didn’t look like I’d squeezed myself into a kids shirt. Win. I had no worries about the t-shirt fitting, but if anything it was a little looser than I expected, and then there were the jeans..

Remember how I said that I sized up? From the moment I stepped into them, I just knew that they weren’t going to fit. Despite being ‘mom jeans’, they just barely made it over my thighs, and there was absolutely no chance of them doing up. So tell me, why can I fit into a kids size item, and then not an adult size from the same store?

But this isn’t just about me complaining about my H&M order, this is about what high street stores are doing to girls and women every day. The industry is typically infamous for producing unrealistic body expectations with the use of tiny models, photoshop and various other things that make the average woman feel like a slug, but even if you take away all of these things, you’re still left with something that can be potentially so harmful, and that is the massive discrepancy between the supposed same sizes, not just between different brands, but even within the same store.

Let me put it this way: I bought those jeans a size bigger than what I am, and the size bigger than what I am did not fit me. Some of the thoughts that instantly go through my head are ‘oh my gosh, is it me?’, ‘have I gained weight without noticing?’, ‘could I actually be 2 or even 3 sizes bigger than I think I am?’. After this flood of negative thoughts about my own body, I talk myself down and remember that H&M is particularly infamous for big sizing issues, but before I could get to that explanation, I spent a few minutes feeling like absolute crap.

One time, I bought two pairs of skinny jeans from New Look – both size 10. One pair was a good fit, although actually a little looser in some places. I still have those jeans to this day. The other pair wouldn’t even go up my calf. My arm barely fit into them. Same number on the label, same shop, two completely different actual sizes.

I mean, I get that it might be completely possible to have a totally unified system, for whatever stupid reason the stores always give when challenged on this, but its not the fact that I can vary from a size 8-14 depending on where I’m shopping – I can live with that – its what this does to my confidence. Even Asos now has a ‘size recommendation’ feature, which is designed to give you a better idea of what you should order based on your personal details and previous purchases, and when I first saw it, I thought ‘hey, what a great idea!’ Well, that was until one time I saw something that I liked, selected my size, and the little message popped up saying, and I paraphrase, ‘um, you’re probably not gonna fit into that, why don’t you get the next size up?’ – yes I exaggerated what was actually said, but it actually made me feel so bad about myself that I just stopped shopping and closed the window.

In case I haven’t made my point clear enough – this is damaging. Brands can use all the curvy, un-edited models in the world, but if the size of their products doesn’t reflect some sort of consistency, girls and women everywhere are still going to be subject to the effects that the fashion industry has on body image.

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How I Upped My Disney Style

You don’t even have to know me particularly well to know that when it comes to planning Disney trips, one of my top priorities is outfits, which I guess is a little bizarre considering I don’t really think of myself as a fashion blogger as such, but honestly nothing gives me more of a buzz than putting together the perfect park look, and the comments that I get when I’m wearing it.

As with anything in life, my Disney style is something that has progressed and developed with time, and I was totally honoured by the number of people who mentioned me in a recent #disneybloggerschat as someone who’s style they really admired/loved, because ultimately its something that I love, and its so nice that other people appreciate it too.

Let’s go back 2-3 years *reminiscent harp sounds*

The funny thing is, I still look back on some of these photos and think ‘wow, this is a LOOK’, but at the same time, I feel like I’ve come so much further since then, and here are a few of the ways I’ve upped my Disney style.

Finding inspiration

I plan all my looks around the day, whether its the park I’ll be in, the characters I want to meet, the walls I want photos in front etc – I even take it as far as thinking about the poses and photos I’ll want. This might sound silly to lots of people but its a big part of what makes me happy and its driven me to want to improve my looks so much more.

It doesn’t have to be all Mickey ears

Sure, I’m the girl who in the past has been known to take 6 pairs of ears on a 2-3 day trip, but more recently I’ve been enjoying mixing up my headwear with some cute baseball caps, hair clips and bows, and even just different hairstyles. My head feels a little bare without, but it opens up so many more options!

Think outside the box

This Sorcerer Mickey Disneybound from November is probably one of my favourite looks of all time. The whole look was born out of a skirt design that I’d had in my head for maybe 2 years, which when I finally got round to making I fell in love with. This high-low chiffon midi drapes just like Mickey’s red robe and its got a dramatic element to it too, but its also super comfy, kept me nice and cool in the Florida heat and its just something a little different from my normal style.

There’s more to park style than just Disneybounding

I often get caught up in the idea of Disneybounding, but not every outfit has to be a Disneybound. I generally go about 60:40 Disneybound to non-Disneybound, but it all depends on how I’m feeling and what my plans are. For me personally, I’m not much of a t-shirt person, so that’s why I tend to lean towards bounding, but I do like to balance things out.

Don’t be afraid to make your look (or get someone to do it for you!)

For my Disneyland trio back in May, I took inspiraton from my childhood Minnie Mouse dress, and made myself the perfect Minnie skirt!

A few years back, everything that I wore in Disney would have been something that I’d bought, but now probably 1 in 3 of my outfits features something that I made myself, whether its the ears, the skirt, or a t-shirt I designed, and the main reason I started making things for myself was because I had ideas in my head that I couldn’t buy in reality, so I turned into my own fairy godmother.

Just being yourself

I can be in tulle skirts one day and denim shorts the next, I’ll probably always be in Converses regardless. That’s just who I am as a person. I have an incredibly varied personal style, and I never wear anything in the parks that I don’t feel completely comfortable in, which means you’ll see me in all sorts!

Growing in confidence

As cheesy as it sounds, one of the biggest boosts in my style is the boost in my confidence. Even two or three years ago I would not have been the girl who could stand in front of hundreds of passers by and go through a range of poses while having my photo taken. My style and my confidence have grown side by side, and while to many people I’m sure planning Disney outfits and photoshoots seems ridiculous, its 100% helped me grow as a person.

I can’t wait to share more looks over more trips!

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My Aulani Wardrobe Wishlist

Aulani

 

So as of Monday, its officially less than 8o days until our trip to Aulani!!!! (I normally hate more than one exclamation mark but one just isn’t enough to show my excitement)

Even when we first booked the trip, we only had about 100 days, which is pretty short notice by my standards, so of course I was immediately struck with the thought that I’d need to start planning outfits asap. Well, I’ve been a little sidetracked with other life stuff going on, and the fact is, I really haven’t put that much thought into it yet, not helped by the fact that I have put myself on a pretty strict spending ban for the whole of January and February while I continue to worry about paying off Christmas, various birthdays and booking everything else involved in this trip.

Problem is, whenever I put myself on a spending ban, I instantly start to window shop, and find more things that I want when I can’t spend than I do when I can, which is typical me, and of course I’ve started to think about my Aulani wardrobe. Cue wishlist..

So despite already having a bunch of cute swimwear, I’ve got my eye on more! I’m having a little dip in body confidence post-Christmas, so I’ve mainly been looking at one pieces, but just because its not a bikini sure as hell doesn’t mean swimsuits can’t be cute! I love the waterfall cut of the blue halterneck from Glamorous and I can definitely see myself lazy around on the beach in that, and I love how fun this cut-out striped piece from River Island is – its definitely got some island vibes to it! And finally, I’m a sucker for pastel and candy stripe, and while I don’t have a chest quite like the model in this swimsuit (I mean, wow!), this Missguided design has my face looking like a heart-eyes emoji.

There’s something about going somewhere warm and beachy that always make me think maxi-dress. I really love this one from Dancing Leopard, and also love the style of this red starry-print mini dress too, I think they’ll both be perfect for wearing to dinner at the resort.

And of course, I’ve gotta have my accessories! How stinkin’ cute is this coconut cocktail bag from Skinnydip?! I feel like that was made for this trip. I also figure that seeing as its technically a Disney resort, I’ve gotta bring some ears with me, right? I was searching Etsy for some more floral crown style ears, and came across this pair from MadMadamMimCo which I think are so perfect for a island look, without being too in-your-face Disney – not that that’s ever a problem for me!

I’m also hoping that I’ll be able to throw a few things together myself for this trip, but as I’m still in the early stages of planning (just without much time to go!), there’s still lots of thinking to do!

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Sailor Belle

Ahoy there shipmates! I’m really missing being aboard the Disney Magic, and so I’m sharing my favourite outfit of the trip, my Belle Disneybound.

Yellow is my absolute favourite colour, so when I stumbled across this adorable sailor-style dress in the New Look sale a few months back, I just had to have it – it was only £7! It wasn’t until a few days later that I realised how perfect it would be for wearing on the cruise and doing a sailor-inspired Belle look. Sure, the dress did most of the hard work, but I needed something to bring the outfit together, so I got my thinking cap on..

.. And bought a hat! This is, in fact, just a costume sailor hat which I bought off eBay for about £3, but it seemed to be missing just a little something, so I decided to style it up using one of my Chip patches (available on my Etsy store here!) which ironed-on just nicely!

I love the hat so much that I decided to wear it to dinner too!

I timed this outfit just perfectly, as that evening was our first dinner at Lumiere’s, which was the Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant on the ship. For dinner I traded in my sailor dress for this strapless number from ASOS, which is one of my favourite purchases of this year because its super comfy and flattering, and also so versatile because it can be dressed up for an evening out, but I can also throw on a cardigan and some Converses for going to the shops.

Anyone else suffering from Disney blues at the moment?

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