BlogConf 2015 in Bristol

BlogConf Bristol 2015

BlogConf is a wonderful blogging conference aimed at bloggers of all levels and genres. It’s a new conference on the UK scene, which held its first event in Swansea during October 2014. It’s second event took place last Saturday in Bristol at the Racks Bar & Kitchen. Tickets were £45, but early bird tickets were £35, if you were able to snag one (like I did). Tickets included the full day of talks, a pen with a custom notebook for the day, lunch, the option to stay afterwards to network, and a great little goody bag from their sponsors.

This was the first blogging conference I’ve ever attended and I was a little nervous about what I might get out of the day. I’ve only been on the blogging scene for about a year, but I think it’s time to start putting a lot more effort into this space to see where it could go. So, I thought I’d cough up the cash and see what BlogConf could offer. It turns out that BlogConf was exactly the kind of event I was looking for to get equal doses of valuable information and easy networking. The full day event was filled with wonderful information from a variety of speakers with plenty of time to chat and make new friends.

Lara Watson & Lottie Stoery at BlogConf

The Bristol event took place at Racks Bar in Clifton where the staff were helpful and conscious of the fact that our event space was right next to their bustling kitchen. We arrived just before 10am, settled into one of the tables and had time to introduces ourselves to our neighbours before the first talk. There was a slight mix up with the first speaker and we were unable to have the full talk on monetizing blogs, but this didn’t put a damper on the day as it was absolutely chalk full of valuable information.

Danny T at BlogConf 2015

The Speakers

The speakers at BlogConf all had their own form of wisdom to share and style of presentation. One talk included exercises for us to do among ourselves, one was a kind of Q&A session, one had live demos, and others shared personal experiences of bloggers to help newcomers and veteran bloggers alike connect with the realities of blogging. There was range of personal and professional expertise for all us attendees to benefit from. And we did! Between each speaker we all feverishly talked about the great and interesting facts we had just learned. My little BlogConf book was a burst with notes by the end of the day.

Our talks included:

Joe Stutter – How to Improve Your Online Presence for Success

Lara Watson & Lottie Storey from Mollie Makes – Freelancing & Magazines

Danny T – Photography

Gemma M & Mel Peck from Trunki – Working with Brands

Will Guyatt from Instagram – PR & Social Media

Olivia Wellings – Vlogging

Sophie Bolton – My Blogging Story

Will Guyatt at BlogConf 2015

By the end of the day, I was completely knackered but feeling highly motivated. I was happy that I’d bought a ticket (which had completely sold out!) and committed my Saturday to BlogConf. I’m sure I’ll be able to revisit my notes again and again for guidance and inspiration.

Throughout the day BlogConf ran a competition for activity on their social media pages. I would have spent a portion of my day tweeting and instagraming interesting moments anyway, but I made an extra effort with the running competition. I was very pleasantly surprised at the end of the day when I actually won! That never happens to me! As a prize I was given a lovely gift box from Lush which I’m over the moon with as I’ve been dying to try some of their products!

Lush Box Prize at BlogConf 2015

One of the best aspects of the day was all of the amazing people I connected with. They made the day so much more enjoyable and added a lot to the experience. I met a bunch of new bloggers and business owners that were simply inspiring to talk to. I hope to have made a few new friends that I’ll be able to see regularly in Bristol!

Goody bag from BlogConf Bristol 2015

BlogConf moves around the country for its events, and the next one is already scheduled to take place in Glasgow. For more information, or to get involved as a speaker or sponsor, take a look at their website. I would highly recommend BlogConf to anyone who is looking to get their blog off of the ground and connect with like minded bloggers.

If you have any questions about my experience at BlogConf, please feel free to comment or email me!

Do you know of any other great blogging conferences or networking events? I’d love to know.

Hearts and blogger power,

Colette xx

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Black Heart Creatives Jewellery Workshop

Black Heart Creatives Workshop

Calling all big sparkly heart lovers! On February 12th, I attended a fabulous little workshop by Black Heart Creatives, hosted at The Crazy Fox cafe in Bristol. I’ve never tried my hand at jewellery making, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought it would probably be a very straight forward “how to” on the basics and we’d all end up walking out with the exact same set of Valentine’s themed heart earrings and matching single pendant necklace. Well, I should have known better considering that Black Heart Creatives was at the helm of this workshop.

BH Creatives Workshop

The Business

Black Heart Creatives is a custom, statement laser cut acrylic jewellery brand. Founder, designer, and jewellery maker Charlotte is an amazing spirit. She’s all personality and sass, with a strong sense of her brand and industry. It’s no surprise that her labour of love has quickly become a recognized contender among independent brands providing affordable, unique, and custom acrylic jewellery. I was totally in love with her fun, open, straight-talking nature. And a quick look at her website shows you her pieces are too-die-for if you love bright, bold, and chunky jewellery.

Black Heart Creatives Jewellery Workshop

The Venue

Entering the inviting Crazy Fox cafe, I skipped over the idea of an evening coffee or tea and grabbed a cider. And in typical Colette fashion, I bought a delicious veggie panini only to find I was the only one eating. Not too surprising as I’m ALWAYS eating! Anyway, luckily someone else showed up a bit peckish and ordered a tasty looking bagel to level the snacking field a little. The Crazy Fox is an independent coffee bar. Their staff were really sweet and helpful. The cafe itself had a nice vibe, and I can’t wait to revisit for a coffee. I’ve been waiting for a cafe like this to appear around Broadmead, especially after my old favourite one closed down.

Custom Jewellery Workshop

Custom Acrylic Jewellery Black Heart Creatives

 The Workshop

Lovely Charlotte brought pre-cut acrylic hearts and arrows in various colours and everything we needed to create our own bespoke earrings and necklaces. Her wealth of knowledge helped us create pieces that represented our individual flair within the two hour workshop. The atmosphere was very relaxed as we chatted away, balancing racy conversation and polite compliments. I had so much fun vibe-ing with these women and finding a different outlet for my creativity.

Acrylic Jewellery Workshop

I was very happy with the way my necklace turned out. I wore it on Valentine’s day and I’m sure I’ll find many more reasons to don my sparkly hearts and arrows. Using the skills I gained, I should even be able to fix a few broken pieces of jewellery at home. Black Heart Creatives plan to keep the workshops going, and I definitely recommend hitting one up. So stayed tune to their twitter, or events page for an opportunity near you. This workshop was £16. But there’s no reason to wait, you can buy your own custom piece or one of their fabulously kitch designs on their website.

Colette's Custom Jewellery Black Heart Creatives

I’d love to know if you’ve attended any workshops lately? Or maybe you make your own jewellery too? I love independent brands and creatives of all types, so I’d be really keen to hear all about it!

Hearts and sparkles,

Colette xx

Tarot Card Reading from Kisses & Chaos

Kisses & Chaos Single Tarot Card Reading January can be a bit hectic with all the momentum of doing EVERYTHING we envisioned for ourselves at the end of 2014 all at once. I’ve definitely been feeling a little bit like a hamster in a running wheel trying to keep up with everything I need to do and everything new that I’m trying to make work. A great way to counteract this is with more fun new things! No but really, a little outside perspective and clarity can help you regain your composure.

I’m also all about trying new things and one of my driving feelings that I’m trying to bring into the present moment is to feel magical; so really nothing makes more sense than having my first tarot reading done. Luckily I was in possession of a discount voucher for a single tarot card reading from Kisses and Chaos, which I received in my goodie bag from the Urban Retreat I attended last month.

Kisses & Chaos Tarot Readings

Kisses & Chaos

Getting onto the Kisses and Chaos website is already an experience with all of the weird and wonderful work by the lovely Alli Woods Frederick to check out. Among a number of things, Alli is an intuitive, photographer, artist, and blogger. And among her products are Single Card, Three Card, and Year At A Glance, an yearly subscription tarot card readings. Perfect for a taster experience, I grabbed my coupon code and sent away for my blind single card reading. Generally, Alli gets back to you with your beautifully laid out results in 2 business days, but it can take a bit longer over busy periods (like the new year).

Kisses and Chaos sells blind tarot readings which means that your reading is done without them having any information about you. You don’t get to ask any questions, request that the reading be about a certain area of your life, or anything. “What? Why?!” you say. The idea is that you’ve asked the universe to give you feedback on your life, and the reading you receive is the universe sending you some vibes, via Alli and the internet. More importantly, you get the message that you need to hear, rather than the message you want to hear.

My Reading

Kisses & haos Tarot Reading

The style of the reading is attractively laid out in a PDF. It’s all very easy to follow. Having never done this before I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I received an idea of what the card means and Alli’s interpretations on how that card would relate to my life. As with any intuitive work, there were some pieces of information that I didn’t find very well suited to me, but I’m trying to keep an open mind as to how the insights I received may have different reverberations than implied. After all, the idea is supposed to be that your reading provides what you NEED to hear, so sometimes you just need to take a little time for it to sink in and make sense. There is definitely something magical about feeling like someone has connected to your energy from thousands of miles away.

I was also moved by how sincere and thorough my reading was. You can see that Alli takes her time to really get in touch with her intuition and your energy. She clearly gives even a single card reading her full attention. I don’t know that I’m ready to go in for a monthly subscription yet, but I’d definitely be interested in pulling a card from fate’s clenched fist again some time in the future.

Mission totally accomplished of feeling a little more magical in my everyday, and plucking some wisdom and perspective from the universe.

Discount Voucher!

If you’d like to see what the cards hold for you, I have a little sumthin’-sumthin’ that you’ll like! You can use my discount code created especially for you lovely people to get a deal on your very own Kisses & Chaos tarot reading. Just hop over to the website, and use the code below when purchasing ANY of their tarot reading services. That’s right you have your pick of the lot. There are only a limited number of yearly subscriptions left, so don’t delay if that’s what you’re drawn to. You have until midnight on Valentine’s Day to show yourself some love and take advantage of this gracious offer.

Kisses & Chaos Love, Letty Voucher

What do you think of tarot readings? Have you had any interesting experiences? Are you keen to get your own Kisses & Chaos reading done? I would love to know!

Love, Magic, & Perspective,

Colette xx

Photos: All images in this post are © Alli Woods Frederick

Become More Organized in 15 Minutes A Day

Organization - Christina Scalise

Here’s the truth, it IS IMPOSSIBLE to do everything, especially every day. This little tip is going to help you get a little more done each day and feel less frazzled.

One of the keys to making your dreams come true is to prioritize the things that are going to get you where you want to be. Most realistically, this means that your wellbeing should be number one. After all, the precursor to all other great things that are coming your way is a happy and healthy you. Secondly, the dreaming, planning, and creating that will get you to the next step should be a priority. And of course, there are all the important bits that you must do to get by on a day to day basis. Maybe this means working a day or part-time job, tending to your children, or helping out your parents.

In any case, there are still millions of other things that we don’t want to do, or know how to cope with that pile up all around us. I’m talking laundry, piled up dishes, your shoe closet that is spilling onto the floor and needs a good clean. As well as piled up paperwork, files that need sorting, emails you need to send to loved ones, and calls you need to make but keep putting off. There is a whole host of busy work that we don’t care for but we need to find time for at some point. The worst part is that these tasks can become vacuums that suck up all of our time. They can sidetrack whole days of productivity. They’re a procrastinator’s dream because they NEED to be done. They’re looming and cyclical. They can drive you mad and mess with your mojo. I’m talking from years of experience here, and it often just gets worse when you start working from home.

Lotus

So what can we do to defend ourselves from the beast of busywork?

Train yourself to commit to it in small intervals of 15 minute time frames. It sounds stupidly simple, I know. How can you accomplish 3 hours of cleaning in 15 minutes?! You can’t. But you don’t have to. If you commit 15 minutes a day to different tasks, by the end of a 7 day week you’ll have done 3.5 hours of busywork.

Part of the process is realizing that you need to force yourself to spend less time on tasks that aren’t moving you forward, wherever possible. I’m not saying spend less time with your loved ones (that’s all part of the most important task of taking care of your wellbeing). What I am saying is that you don’t have to tidy every room in the house right now. It’s really not that important.

The best part of committing 15 minutes a day to these tasks is that you will feel great about it. You’ll be making progress every day and sorting out something that needs to be done every day, which feels amazing! Your space will be more organized, your life will feel more balanced, and over time everything will run smoother. Initially it will be very hard to stop after 15 minutes, so try setting a timer. If your space is really driving you insane, it might be worth starting this practice after one of your big clean and organize sessions.

If you work from home, these chunks of time are a great thing to schedule in as breaks. It’s not great for your health to sit for four hours at a time, and you are actually much more productive if you take a small break from your desk every couple of hours. Spending 15 minutes focused on a task that has you moving, like cleaning the bathtub or putting out the bins, gives your mind a break from work but keeps you productive. I find this can increase your focus when you return to work.

Bee

What can be done in 15 minutes?

1. A load of laundry: 5 minutes gives you enough time to sort out all of the loads of laundry you want to do for the week. Popping it in and setting it to go takes about a minute, 4 minutes is a generous amount of time for laying it out to dry, and 5 minutes should really be enough time to put one load of laundry away. So really, after the initial sort, you should have a few minutes to spare!

2. Organize your desk: If your desk is done within a couple minutes, extend your organizing to the immediate area around including shelves etc. A clean work area does wonders for your focus.

3. Tidy a room: You don’t have to do the whole room, pick a particular task or section of the room.

4. Kitchen cleaning: Unload or load the dishwasher, do the washing up, give the hob a quick wipe, whatever needs doing and will make your life easier later.

5. Sort through mail or paper work: You don’t need to file everything away that instant. You may just sort everything into piles for the moment, and then the next day use your 15 minutes to file.

6. Create and send a few invoices or update your spreadsheets: The admin side of your business or life can really pile up. Use 15 minutes once or twice a week to get on track with admin tasks.

7. Call your dad, or that guy to fix that thing: Use your 15 minutes to connect with people whether it’s to check on a loved one, get something in the house sorted, or get a business quote.

8. What can’t be done in 15 minutes? Many of the large tasks we take on can be broken down into smaller, more manageable 15 minute or less chunks. This technique feels the most rewarding if you are able to finish the task at hand before you move on with your day.

Frog

A note on minimizing busywork

To make busywork less daunting you can also consider the ways you can keep it from unnecessarily piling up. Develop systems to seamlessly integrate into how you already operate and simultaneously reduce busywork. For example, when you pick up and open the mail, automatically sort it into piles of things you need to take action on, things to file, and recycle the rest. Or when you are finished eating, automatically wash your dishes or load them into the dishwasher to avoid a mound of dirty dishes. One way to help you commit yourself to these practices is by gently reminding yourself why you should do it now instead of later. Later = more to do + more time doing it

Stick with it

The most important part of adopting any new habit is to be kind to yourself. If you lose track of time and end up spending an hour cleaning the front room instead of 15 minutes, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just acknowledge that you did, and commit to setting a timer next time. Even if you find you haven’t been able to make it work after a week, that doesn’t mean you need to give up. It is much more effective to stay positive. Likewise, if a few weeks later you realize you haven’t even properly given it a go, then just make a note of it to remind yourself to try next week. Growth doesn’t happen over night. As long as you don’t give up, you’re already half way there.

Do you have any productivity hacks that help you deal with busywork?

To dirty houses and big messy dreams,

Colette xx

 

Photos: Top – Original Darios edited with Fotor. Second – / 123RF Stock Photo Third – / 123RF Stock Photo Bottom – / 123RF Stock Photo last three photos all edited with Autodesk Pixlr

15 in 2015

Happy New YearI know, I know, I’m late to the new year resolution conversation, but that’s okay. Last year I didn’t really set any. This year I’m doing two things instead of making traditional resolutions.

A) I’m making a list of 15 things I want to do this year, sort of premeditating some of the experiences and adventures I want to incorporate into 2015. And that’s what this post will all come around to if you bear with me a minute.

B) I’m planning to hone and improve the day-to-day systems I use in my life. By this I mean the daily practices that I use to keep me in the right mindset, as well as productivity methods, eating habits, exercise routines, EVERYTHING that makes up my day/week/month. Of course, I have some personal goals I’m setting, but this year I’m going to discover how much more opens up to you when you focus on the process rather than the end result. More on this to come in a future post.

Now I bet you’re just burning with desire to see what I’m hoping to get up to in 2015. Without further ado, the list….

15 in 2015

1. A calligraphy class

2. Try vegetarianism

3. 6 different 30 day challenges

4. Learn how to properly use my camera

5. Visit Glasgow

6. Visit Harry Potter studios

7. Make my own green smoothie

8. Write weekly blog posts 😉

9. Start Geo Caching (find 5)

10. Meet more brilliant women in Bristol (maybe start a reading group)

11. Bake 12 new recipes

12. Start keeping a journal again

13. Take a ride in a hot air balloon

14. Go to a festival

15. Grow a plant (or keep one alive)

Have you set any new year resolutions? Are you planning do to any of the things on my list this year? Let me know!

Bright dreams and big ideas,

Colette x

10 Alternatives for New Year’s Eve

NYE FIreworks

It’s the day before New Year’s Eve and I’m still not sure what my plans are for it. I’m not a fan of working New Year’s Eve into a monumental event of incomprehensible expectations, so I usually avoid anything with a queue or a pricey ticket. The best celebrations are often those with little pressure involved. My favourite New Year’s memories involve house parties, staying in with the family, and ringing in the new year with people I love.

Whether you don’t like the hustle and bustle of spending NYE on the town, or you’re looking to keep spending to a minimum this year, there a ton of ways to spend your night. I think my list below has something for everyone!

1. For Expats/People Travelling alone: Go for a long walk in your new city and wind up in the most traditional local boozer you can find. Grab a drink to ring in the new year with locals.

2. Celebration For One: Stock up with your favourite drink of choice and snacks. Take a long bath then get dressed to the nines. Spend your evening however you choose reading, watching a film, writing, or planning your new year. Ring in the new year with a good old fashioned telly countdown and then call all your fam!

3. Celebration For Two: Make NYE a glammed out date night. Go for dinner, come home to bevvies, snacks and board games. Give your darling a big smooch when the clock strikes 12!

4. Dinner & Dancing Chez Vous: Invite a few friends over for dinner. Have everyone bring some drinks and a play list. After dinner have the best dance party of 2014 in your front room.

5. Nature Lover’s NYE: Bundle up tight, pack some snacks and a hot flask of tea, hot chocolate, or a spiked tea. Go for a nature walk and meet the new year under the stars. Howl at the sky to let your inner wild side out! (Make sure you take a flashlight and be aware of any dangerous wildlife or terrain in the area.)

6. NYE Girls Night: Get your closest goddesses together in one room to hash out the past year and dream about the year to come. Have everyone wear their fanciest, glitteriest outfirts and prepare a finger food buffet. If you’re all keen you could write lists of everything you’re grateful for from this year, everything you’d like to let go of, and everything you’re dreaming for in 2015. Then rip up all the lists into tiny pieces, mix it up into confetti and glitter and throw it all into the year at midnight. Don’t forget to dance to your favourite tunes to release any negative vibes from 2014!

7. Me Time: Give yourself the love and respect you deserve. Allow yourself to do whatever it is you need to do to move into the new year feeling rejuvenated. Have a spa night, catch up on reading, check a few personal tasks off your list. RELAX. Write yourself a love letter to read this time next year.

8. Fireworks: Have some warm grub and a mini dance party at your house to get yourself feeling fuelled and festive. Then bundle up and trek out to watch the fireworks in your area go off. Invite friends or loved ones.

9. Plan Ahead: Order take out, get comfy and use NYE to reflect on 2014 and prep your plans for 2015. Review your achievements, lessons learned, and even the nitty gritty negative experiences you had in 2014. Release all these experiences and focus on everything you want for 2015. DANCE THEM OFF! Then be specific when you plan goals. Break them down into actionable steps to make them easier to accomplish. And please don’t make it all business, plan the fun things you want to do too, build them into your year.

10. Craft In The New Year: Get down with some glue and glitter. Find that DIY project on Pinterest that you’ve been dying to do and burst out your crafting gear. You can make it a crafting party, a DIY night with your partner, or as a little bit of creative therapy for yourself. You’ll have a shiny new accomplishment to bring into the new year!

Richard and I are going to attempt going vegetarian in the new year and want to get in one last tasty meaty meal at our favourite local Mexican restaurant. So our plans at the moment only go as far as dinner at Viva la Mexicana. We may also pop into our local pub The Windmill for a festive drink, but I think we’ll likely mix and match a few things from this list to do at home and ring in the new year with our fluffy pup. One thing is for sure, I’m going to be dancing at some point!

What are your plans for this New Years Eve?

Happy New Year

Glitter and fireworks,

Colette x

 

Top Photo: Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

Full Moon Urban Retreat

 

Sarah & Jayne Full Moon Urban Retreat

For a while now I’ve been feeling out of touch with myself. One way or another, we can all find ourselves moving mindlessly through our days instead of actively living. I for one don’t have anything amazing come my way during these phases and even the happiest occasions aren’t as bright as they could have been.

It’s hard to give yourself the attention you need when your schedule and responsibilities get extra hectic. I haven’t been doing any daily practices or getting time to work on the things that make my heart sing. The result has been a very stressed and anxiety ridden form of myself. I realized that as the year was coming to an end, I was constantly in a panic and confused about what my goals are and what the point is to the humdrum rhythm of my life.

When I saw that my good friend Sarah from The Laughing Medusa was putting on a retreat with Jayne from She Is The Revolution, I instantly knew it was exactly what I needed. The Full Moon Urban Retreat focused on desire by both reflecting on your past year and channelling your intentions for the year ahead. Despite being busy with a million looming deadlines, I committed to going to London for Saturday, December 6th to participate in the retreat. And I’m SO GLAD that I did!

The Full Moon Urban Retreat coincided with Gemini full moon, a perfect time for releasing the past year and invoking new intentions. It was a wonderful day filled with healthy food, guided self-reflection, qoya, meditation, and an opportunity to connect with other strong, amazing women.

Full Moon Retreat 1

What a beautiful and enriching experience! Sarah, Jayne, and their wonderful volunteers greeted us with hugs and gave everyone a chance to settle into the space with hot tea and fresh nibbles. The day more formally began with introductions from our goddess leaders and an “om” meditation, instantly unifying 40 brilliant ladies and setting a warm tone for the rest of the day.

There were so many moments from the day that I am still continually feeling grateful for. Both during the guided exercises and during the chances we got to mingle with the goddesses we were sharing our experiences with.

One of the highlights for me was definitely discovering my love for qoya. I had never experienced qoya before, not surprisingly as Jayne is the only teacher in the UK. However, I had heard about it and thought it was very intriguing. Well let me tell you, from the moment our DJ-slash-qoya-goddess-Jayne hit play and we started to move, I knew that qoya is what my life has been missing. I am sure you will hear a lot more about this in the coming days, as I am now officially obsessed and am seriously scheming to make qoya a more permanent fixture in my life. Anyway, Jayne was amazing at helping us move through our emotions using qoya, everyone in the room felt a weight off their shoulders after the experience. If you’d like to know more about qoya visit her blog.

Qoya at Full Moon Urban Retreat

After a gorgeously nutritious lunch, Sarah led us through a “spring cleaning” exercise that helped us clear our cobwebs and explore our inner feelings about our personal desires.

I’ve never done this kind of work with other people. Up until this retreat, chatting with my girlfriends over a glass of wine was the closest I ever got to exploring my inner desires among other people. Our focus was desire in its pure and simple form. For 15 minutes we each used another woman who we’d never really spoken to to sound our inner thoughts and findings off of – without judgment and without comment. I’m pretty positive that everyone in the room learned something new about them selves, or finally vocalized a feeling they’ve been harbouring. It was another one of the most magical moments of the day for me. There is something very powerful and transformative about watching another person become open and vulnerable in front to you. I am in love with engaging in this kind of human authenticity because it’s so beautiful. It is a reminder that we are all connected and can profoundly help each other in simple ways.

Qoya at the Full Moon Urban Retreat 2

The Full Moon Urban Retreat was highly successful and delivered exactly what any goddess soul needs. The event was well sponsored with treats from Rude Health and Teapigs, as well as goody bags filled with bits from Napiers, Crown & Glory, Galaxy Rox Jewellery, Veronica Dearly, Rachel Gale, and Pretty Utopian. Jayne and Sarah did an excellent job of guiding the pack of wise and willing women through a rejuvenating day. I am grateful that I was able to attend and meet so many wonderful people. It was so much fun! Next up, I hope to reconnect with some of the people I met at the retreat and search out communities in Bristol to connect with closer to home.

A retreat isn’t the only way to get clear on your desires and prepare for the new year. During the past few weeks I’ve been continuing to write gratitude lists, reflect on my past year, and prepare my intentions for the year ahead. You can do these things without spending a dime and you’ll feel so much better for it. If you need help or want to have a chat about these things, please don’t hesitate to contact me, I’d love to lend a hand.

To all your desires and dreams coming true,

Colette x

 

All photographs are by Katherine Rothman

DUO Boot Tribe – Where do you belong?

DUO BOOT RIKEDAY – Shall wrap: New Look, Black Purse: Nica, Necklace: ShopDixi, Jumper: Zara

NIGHT – Dress: H&M, Headband: Crown & Glory, Gold Purse: River Island, Stockings: Wolford

Boots: DUO Boot Rika

I have a confession to make. I LOVE boots, I wear them all year round in various styles and silhouettes. But in the late fall and winter I like my boots to be as tall as can be, making me feel right at home in the ever popular over the knee (OTK) boot. Dare I say it, that’s my tribe!

DUO boots have an amazing Autumn Winter collection of high quality leather boots. While I was perusing their styles I fell in love with the Rika OTK biker style boot. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more perfect boot. A little bit of biker edge on a classic design gives this versatile boot a healthy dash of personality. The Rika boot is basically my spirit animal. In a dream world, I’d own this in both the black and beautiful brown tan leather variation.

In my first ever style board (above), I decided to help you see my vision of how easily the Rika OTK boot can transition from day to night. All of the items above are pieces I would wear in an instant and can currently be found online through the links provided. I could easily see myself (and other stylish goddesses) rocking these boots with skinny jeans, layers, an oversized sweater and shall during temperate fall days, and paired with sparkle and sass, mini dresses, and heavy mascara during the night. You don’t need high heels to look glammed up!

What do you think of my style choices?

What boot tribe do you belong to?

Boots and sparkle,

Colette x

//

Focus on the Positives

Scardey Cat by Kurt Halsey

Today I’m trying to focus on the positives. Just moments ago, I wasn’t doing that. I was looking at my blog thinking, “You were picking up some traction, writing more regularly, and then you slipped -like you always do! If you want to have time, you need to make time!! Your baby blog can’t grow if you don’t nourish it!!! I’m killing my baby!!!!” Then I took a breath, and scrolled through my posts again. I noticed that I’ve consistently posted a blog a month for the last few months, then in October I posted twice. So really, that’s progress. I haven’t moved any mountains here, but that’s better than not having made any gains. It’s only November 3rd, I have tons of time to also post twice this month. Progress, that’s what’s important. Nobody builds anything amazing in a day! (Especially an amazing blog.)

Right?! Of course I’m right. So now I’m grasping onto that tiny slice of progress. That teeny little positive. Focusing on that, I feel hopeful rather than hopeless. That is the power of focusing on the positives.

The point is this: I try. And just because I didn’t make a vast transformation all at once, doesn’t mean I have to be mean to myself about it. And neither do you. Even if I hadn’t written an extra post in October, I could have seen that I am producing varied and interesting content, or that I went to my first blog event. There is almost always something positive you can focus on in a situation.

Negative thinking is all too easy to be consumed in. I’m not religious, as much as spiritual, but we all know that everyone is a sinner. For some reason we’re all too quick to see ourselves as undeserving of happiness and positivity. I promise you, there is nothing productive to come out of negative thinking and self-loathing. By indulging in a negative thought cycle you become closed to the possibilities around you, by finding something positive to focus on, you instantly become more open to better things that are coming your way.

So the next time you’re being a negative Nancy about your own failed efforts, I want you to stop yourself in your tracks. Take a breath to release the fear that is gripping you. Grab a pen and paper and write down the positives about your situation. If you truly can’t see anything in your current situation, write down anything you’ve accomplished recently, any progress you’ve made, and anything positive that has happened to you. Even small things, like making your bed, or remembering to water your plant should go on the list.

Open your eyes to the positives and hold them tightly to your heart.

What do you do when you start to feel negativity take over?

Love and hope,

Colette x

Image: http://kurthalsey.com/products/scardey-cat

Quick Tips – 2 Minute Makeup

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Hello my lovelies!

I’ve decided to try my hand at a Quick Tips series, which will probably feature a range of topics from style to cleaning and anything in between.

For our first Quick Tip I’ve chosen to let you in on a little makeup trick I like to use. Now, this trick isn’t going to work for people who are fervently committed to applying everything from primer to finishing powder every day, because this routine hinges on not doing most of that. I personally don’t wear makeup everyday, even when I go out (shocking, I know, the horror!). Seriously though, I often skip makeup all together, even though I do love the stuff. Even when I wear makeup I often like to go for a more natural look. (Except for when I don’t. I like to mix it up. ) Anyway, this look is for days when I want to look more “put together” or “finished” without having to dabble with foundations and blushers etc. So let’s get to it!

Get the look above in 2 minutes, or 4 simple steps:

1. Under eye concealer to hide the bags under my tired eyes. I’m using an e.l.f. concealer from one of their concealer pallets that I’ve had forever. (You can shop their whole range here.)

2. Lightly outline and fill in eyebrows with the eyebrow kit of your choice, and then brush them into place. In this look I’m using an Annabelle medium brown eyebrow pencil.

3. Apply a single coat of your favourite mascara. You want your eye lashes to have full coverage, but we’re keeping it light with a naturally, daytime look. Today I’m using Avon’s SuperShock mascara. (If you’re in Bristol, U.K., I can hook you up through my online shop here.)

4. Add a shade of lippy. The one used here is Avon’s Perfect Kiss lipstick in Berry Smooch. Which I might add is a perfect shade for the season.

And that’s it, you’re done! You can get on with your day!

The key to this 2 minute routine is to just focus in on the finishing touches. Bright lipstick, and perfect eyebrows give the illusion of a carefully put together makeup look without all the extra labour. When I’m feeling really washed out in the face, I’ll also add a quick dose of illuminating or bronzing pearls to the top of my cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. And when I’m feeling really lazy but need a pick me up, I forget everything else and just throw on a swipe of bright lipstick. It can do wonders, trust me. I even get loads of people telling me how “nice I look” when all I’ve managed to put on before stumbling out of the house is red lipstick.

Did you like this post? Would you like to see more like this? Please let me know!

Do you have any of your own quick makeup tips?

Berry pecks & cheeky eyebrows,

Colette x