Bristol Fashion Week

Bristol Fashion Week AW 2014

Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending my very first blogging event at the Bristol Fashion Week’s Autumn Winter show. The week long event features 18 catwalk shows of high street fashions. It all takes place at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway and is the largest fashion event in Bristol!

Bristol Fashion Week at The Mall at Cribba Causeway

I was excited to head down to the Mall at Cribbs Causeway. I had never been before, so there was the intrigue of both checking out the mall and seeing the show all in one go. The show I saw was the Live Blogging Show where you were encouraged to tweet and write about your experience. My invite to the event included a pass to a Friday evening bloggers showcase runway show, a raffle ticket for a John Lewis prize, a booklet full of tons of coupons and raffle tickets for stores located in the mall, and a goodie bag that came in a lovely cotton Bristol Fashion Week tote bag.

Colette at Bristol Fashion Week AW 2014

What I wore – Blouse: French label Cache Cache, Skirt: Club Monaco, Tights: H&M, Bag: Danier Leather (barely pictured!).

Leading into the show we were offered light refreshments, during which time I got to talk to a few cool people. I have to admit that I was pretty nervous and didn’t approach as many people as I would have liked this time. It can be a little intimidating being in the mix of little tight knit groups of blogger friends and notably established bloggers! Next time though, I will definitely be more outgoing. (I promise!)

 

John Lewis & Sunglass Hut BFWAW14

John Lewis & Sunglass Hut

The catwalk show blew me away! I have never attended a proper fashion show before, but I had not expected there to be so much acting and dancing as was involved. It was a highly entertaining event. The scenes were all thoughtfully laid out and in tune with the season. Models ranged in ages and sizes from adorable children to sophisticated older women. And my favourite, was a gent sporting a delicious little mun! (I have quite the mun obsession.)

 

Business Mun BFWAW14

Business Mun

Designers included John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Gap, River Island, Jack Wills, Next, Rayban, Vision Express, Lipsy, Clark’s, Timberland, CC/Viyella, Austin Reed,Β  Warehouse, Phase Eight, Oasis, and Karen Millen. And the show fabulously tied into the mall’s offerings. All of the runway pieces that can be found within the mall have “Featured in Bristol’s Fashion Week” tags on them, making it easy for fashionistas to pick up their favourite items.

 

Next Children, River Island, Lipsy, Claire's BFWAW14

Next Children, River Island, Lipsy, Claire’s

 

Warehouse, Timberland BFWAW14

Warehouse, Timberland

Tickling My Fancy: I enjoyed the amount of capes and oversized shalls that were being showcased for both women and men. I am also a sucker for coloured stockings, so the bright red, royal blue, burgundy, and silver sparkly tights were great to see on the catwalk. Over the knee socks are another look that I’ve been enjoying for quite some time, but I’m planning to up my game on that front this season. Also, hats. I love hats, but I want to branch out from the slouchy berets and beanies I’m prone to wearing.

Jack Wills, John Lewis BFWAW14

Jack Wills, John Lewis

 

Bristol Fashion Week Blogger Show Finale 2014

The Big Finale!

Hot Trends: Mixing prints and fabrics will be a huge trend, as well as flat clunky and metallic loafers. Lace in all forms is still good to go into autumn/winter 2014. There were a lot of 1970s inspired designs, though the last scene of the show was dedicated to the 60s. And if you’re thinking about your next coat purchase you’re good to go in any kind of parka, faux fur, or brightly coloured coat.

 

John Lewis BFWAW14

John Lewis

 

Phase Eight BFWAW14

Phase Eight

Another highlight of the show were styling tips from fashion stylist Mark Heyes, and hair tips from celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton. Including this one I tweeted. I was happy to hear that statement hair accessories like facinators and rhinestone hairbands are continuing trends. I’m dying to get my hands on the perfect sparkly hair statement piece… some kitty ears perhaps!

 

Fashion Stylist Mark Heyes BFWAW14

Fashion Stylist Mark Heyes

 

Celebrity Hairdresser Andrew Barton BFWAW14

Celebrity Hairdresser Andrew Barton & a gorgeous hair accessory from John Lewis!

Well there you have it, my first fashion and blogging event experience! Are there are any autumn winter trends that you are looking forward to testing out? Anything from your personal style that you see creeping into the high street? I’d love to know!

 

Thigh high socks and fashion muns,

Colette xx

 

 

The Mean Reds

The Mean RedsI try to be a pretty positive person. I do. I am even frequently referred to as an optimistic and uplifting person. I’m known for my boisterous laughter and smiling face. Honestly, I have a real desire to leave everyone I meet with good vibes, and to help people find truth and light in their lives. That’s part of what I try to accomplish on my blog. But I’ve struggled my whole life with the deepest darkest pit of despair that lives in the centre of my chest. And sometimes I just can’t shake the mean reds when they descend on me.

As I’ve gotten older, and found an amazing partner, I’ve been having a higher ratio of good days to bad. Sometimes I’m able to conjure and collect enough sunshine in my life to leave me on the winning side of my battle for months. But this week I’ve been losing. I feel a constriction around my heart and gut and it’s not going away. I feel on the verge of panic even though absolutely nothing in my life has changed since last week. I feel desperate for something I can’t name, everything is bleak and grey. At least this time I haven’t laid in bed all day. So there’s that. (That’s a positive.)

I used to think that I just got sad a lot. Maybe my sadness was due to being so sensitive. I used to think that everybody else’s problems were a lot worse than mine. I used to think that everything I felt was all my fault. That there was no way I could be depressed. I was just a failure, and a mess, and nothing would ever go right, and it was just because I was such a degenerate and loser. Sometimes I still believe that. I used to think that saying I suffered from depression was a cop out, another piece of proof that I wasn’t worth anyone’s time of day. Not because depression isn’t a real disease, or because I thought sufferers were weak, but rather because I believed that I was so weak I didn’t deserve any sort of legitimate reason for suffering. Somehow my suffering had to be boiled down to something I caused. This all might sound a bit dramatic, and it even feels a bit dramatic at the time. (Which leads to more feelings of guilt and self-loathing.) But this is part of my experience, my lows have often been fraught with a roller-coaster of negative emotions and spiralling dichotomies.

In fact, to be honest, I’m still not sure that I suffer from depression. I have just recently started to consider the idea that it’s possible. The materials that have been cropping up about depression lately, especially surrounding Robin Williams’ death, have made me realize that maybe my thought patterns and experiences when I’m on a low are indicative of depression. And I’m not even sure what to do with this possible revelation. I was hoping it would feel productive and maybe cathartic to write about my mean reds. Maybe someone will read this and feel a connection, like they’ve been here too. And I hope that helps them.

Audrey Hepurn, Breakfast at Tiffany's

I’ve never successfully gotten help from any professionals, and I’m obviously not by any means certified in mental health consulting. Nevertheless, I’ve put together a list of things to try to help you pull through the mean reds. These are techniques I’ve been using this week.

1. Remind yourself that this too shall pass.

“I’ve been through rough patches before, and I’ll get through this one too.” While this reminder doesn’t really make me feel anything at all, I think it’s good practice to remind yourself of practical realities when you’re feeling desperate and irrational. It’s easy to lose touch with reality when things start spinning out of control, and this can work to keep you grounded.

2. Resist shirking responsibilities.

Working from home means my productivity takes a real hit when I feel like shit. I’m distracted, I find it hard to commit to the task at hand, I don’t really care about anything. But, another practical reality is that my deadlines aren’t going anywhere. So even though I may not start my day as early and need to take more or longer breaks, I try to continue to push through. Make lists of what you have to do and schedule things to allow yourself more time than usual to complete tasks.

3. Be social, or at least go outside.

Fresh air, like a good cuppa, makes everything in life a little easier to handle. But besides that, forcing yourself out of the house can help break the cycle of negative thoughts and feelings by interrupting your inner experience. Even going to a coffee shop or grocery shopping by yourself will provide an activity that puts you amongst people, and can help shift your focus. Yesterday, I worked on my laptop in a pub. Today, I’ll meet up with some friends for an hour.

4. Primp.

Spend a little time on your outfit and yourself before you go out. There really is something to say about the affects putting some effort into your appearance before you leave the house can have on your experience. If you go out in the dirty sweats on your floor, you’re not going to feel as confident as if you like the outfit you’re wearing and have put effort into your hair or make-up. Just do whatever it is you need to do to feel more confident in the image you’re about to step out into the world in.

5. Cry, if you need to.

I’m a crier. I need a good dose of tears in my life to keep my emotions in balance. When I’m miserable, I like to watch a movie that’s going to make me cry. It’s a good release for pent up emotion. Sometimes it’s hard to feel anything but a negative cloud when you’re on a low, and a movie might just make you feel something. That said, even if the aim is to cry, pick something with a happy ending! If crying isn’t your thing, good stand-up comedy might be a decent alternative.

6. Exercise & eat right.

A little bit of exercise in the morning, a walk during the day, and a healthy dose of fruits, veggies, and protein. It’s not that hard. When you feel like nothing matters, these small things can keep you from plunging further into the black. Having the nutrients and vitamins you need are imperative to good mental health. Taking a B complex, a multivitamin, and vitamin D in the fall and winter can help you keep the right balance.

7. No binge drinking.

I used to binge drink at times like these, and while I have a few ridiculous stories that pair with these times, I assure you NOTHING good ever comes from it. For one, it’s the opposite of eating right. Your body feels like a landfill for the next day or two and life is always harder with a hangover. But also, it can put you on a bullet train to a complete breakdown. Not good. Avoid at all costs. If you know one glass of wine is going to turn into a bottle, then do yourself a favour and don’t start drinking.

8. Don’t push yourself too hard.

Yes, remaining responsible, being social, primping, and being good to your body can help you pull through your grey days sooner. And yes, anyone who’s suffered like us knows it’s all very hard work. Just don’t push yourself past your limits. Stop and take a breather when you need to. I personally, only did about a third of my yoga routine this morning, and I briefly left the house yesterday so I’m not leaving the house until I meet up with friends tonight. I’m working within my limits until I feel better. The key here is that even though you may not feel like you deserve any leniency, try to remain open to loving yourself and giving yourself what you need to get through this.

Everyone has their own inner demons and personal battles to fight. No matter what issues you are going through, you are strong enough to come out on the other side. Making an effort to stay open to the chance of positive forces and opportunities is most important when we don’t feel up to the task. If things get really bad and you just don’t know what to do, please reach out to someone close to you, or a helpline for support. You are not alone. There are people who experience similar things everyday. There are people who really understand. Don’t give up!

Please let me know if you find any of this helpful or if you have any tips you would like to add to my list. It would be great to know what you guys think.

Tender hearts, and Audrey Hepburn kisses,

Colette xx

Photos – Feature & Top: ohgoshCindy Middle: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I Finally Have Instagram!

@polka.dot.heart on Instagram@polka.dot.heart on Instagram @polka.dot.heart on Instagram YAY! I’ve been dying to get on Instagram. Until recently I sadly had a very old phone that couldn’t support it. (Yay for getting a smart phone too!) I love snapping photos, so it’s great to finally have a tool that lets me share them with friends, family and curious on lookers.

If you’d like to see snippets of my personal style, day to day adventures, and tons of my fluffy pup, then please don’t hesitate to follow @polka.dot.heart on Instagram!

The link: http://instagram.com/polka.dot.heart

Street style and autumn comforts!

Colette xx

Being Hopeful

Colette Hanson Bristol Balloon Festival

Today I’ve been meditating on hope with the guidance of Deepak Chopra’s words. I love his idea that to throw your faith into hope is to put your faith into yourself. You don’t have to make a big deal about trying to believe in yourself, (which can be difficult for many people). All you have to do is trust that there is good on its way and remember that if you are open to it, you will see that good when it appears and can invite it into your life. By acting in this way, we can learn to believe in ourselves more and be more optimistic.

The more you nurture hope the more optimistic you feel, and being optimistic you move naturally to take the openings and opportunities that come your way. This is very different from feeling uncertain and trapped by circumstances. Hope is like a thread leading out of the maze. It doesn’t get us out, but it is our connection to freedom. And if you follow the thread we can find our way out and feel the joy of liberation. Be open to becoming more hopeful and letting hope be your guide.

– Deepak Chopra

Try to be a little more open to your sense of hope today and let good things find you. Don’t forget to let me know if you’ve been meditating!

Hope and love,

Colette xx

Fuzzy Feeling Friday

Photo on 2014-07-18 at 9.50 AM

Hello Lovelies,

It’s a glorious, July Friday and I feel like giving some gratitude. Today has not been particularly rewarding, or productive and that is usually cause enough for me to feel defeat. However, today I refuse. Today is a good day.

This morning started out grey and muggy with the ongoing heat we’ve been having in Bristol. And the amount of energy it took me to throw myself out of bed this morning made me feel a bit anxious. I willed myself to the bathroom to splash my face with water and get the day going. I laboured over how to dress myself and spent longer than I should have eating breakfast. Then just before dragging myself out of the house I thought LIPSTICK. A bright swipe of a wine-red shade was exactly what I needed to help me take on the day.

DSC_0001

I took my best bud Ceinwyn out for a walk, it was still a bit grey but the exercise made me feel a little more optimistic about the day. We ran and walked about until she was hot and tired, and then we settled into one of my local pubs, The Victoria Park. I cracked open my laptop, ordered some delicious chips and started working away. But I still wasn’t at 100%. Eventually, as I took a moment to look out the window I felt renewed -SUNSHINNNEEEE! Bright and beautiful golden rays streaming down everywhere, and I instantly felt better about everything.

Sometimes all we need to get through the day are a few good omens to throw our faith into. Today I’m grateful for my bright lippy and the sunshine making an appearance to uplift me.

What are you feeling grateful for today?

To perfect pecks and golden tans!

Colette xx

Beckoning Bluebells

DSC_0120_Fotor

I’ve had a fascination with bluebells for just over a year now. I had heard that there is a quintessentially British occurrence in early May when the bluebells burst into full bloom for a few short weeks and blanket forests. I had heard that there is an enchanting perfume that hangs in the spring air when you’re lucky enough to be immersed in one of these tucked away woodlands. And I had heard that the introduction of Spanish bluebells to Britain could mean this natural wonder may cease to exist one day. How could anyone resist such intrigue and magic?

The story goes like this: There is more than one type of bluebell, the British bluebell and Spanish bluebell have evolved separately creating two varieties with different traits. But with the recent introduction of Spanish bluebells into British gardens there is now a third variety, a hybrid bluebell. Some concern also exists surrounding the possibility of forever losing the British bluebell as the Spanish and hybrids start to creep into the British wild. Dun dun dunnnn. Seriously though, these things could happen.

And ever since I learned of this whole situation, I try to investigate every little bluebell I see along sidewalks and in gardens to find out for myself. Part of my intrigue came from watching a little video by the Natural Museum, which goes through how to identify native British bluebells from other types. And, I mean who doesn’t like to play spot the differences?

Anyhow, about a month ago, the heavens cooperated with a gorgeous sunny day, and off I went with Rich, Fluffy and my good friend Sarah (who writes The Laughing Medusa) to find what we could. Living in Bristol, I’m fortunate enough to be near a few places bluebells flourish. We chose to go to Prior’s Wood near Portbury for the afternoon. And below are my spoils from the day.

DSC_0173_Fotor DSC_0162_Fotor DSC_0139_Fotor DSC_0135_Fotor DSC_0129_FotorΒ  DSC_0035_Fotor

Getting out to see the bluebells made me feel like I’m making the most of living in Bristol. It’s also something I really wanted to do this year, so I’m very pleased with myself for getting it crossed off my list!

Have you gotten around to accomplishing one of your goals recently? Or been anywhere enchanting? If so, let me know about it. I love swapping stories and good spots!

Take care lovelies,

Colette xx

Step by Step

Everyone gets buried by responsibility sometimes. I’ve been missing for too long now, and I need to get back to this creaky machine of a blog. It brings me joy to create in this little space I’ve cut out for myself and I’ve let other priorities steal it from me.

I was feeling as if it was my duty to pay less attention to the little things while I worked on the big things. But in truth, taking away my little pleasures seems to have a less than desirable effect on my productivity levels in all areas. I’ve realized now that I need to continue giving myself at least a bit of leeway to focus on small things that make me feel happy and whole in order to be my best in other areas of my life.

So I will see you again soon, my friends. Hope you are all taking time to do the little things that make you feel good.

Letty xx

Where in the world is Letty?

Saone River

…Lyon, France! I have not forsaken you, I’m just on holiday.

Since Saturday morning, my love and I have been enjoying the sites and food of Lyon. It has already been an amazing trip and we still have a few days left! The highlights so far include walking along the river banks, eating a pain au chocolat everyday and the glorious sunshine. It’s the little things that bring the most joy, after all.

Honestly, I think this may be one of my favourite vacations. Lyon itself is a lovely and diverse city with so much culture and history. But I also think we’ve struck the right balance with this holiday. We never leave the hotel before 12pm, which means we actually spend our mornings having a nice breakfast, taking time to primp, and relaxing before we’ve even done anything. Our afternoon and evenings are spent taking in whichever sites we want to see that day and our nights are mostly filled with recuperating.

This is the first trip to somewhere new where I can really say I have not been stressed or rushed once. We experience new things everyday, we eat well everyday and we enjoy the city and each other’s company everyday. It’s bliss!

I’ll be posting more on this trip later, likely after it’s over. But I just wanted to do a quick post to let you all know I’m still around… and of course gush a little about my trip!

I hope all you lovelies are having a wonderful week!

Love,

Colette aka Letty πŸ˜‰ xx

Self Reinvention

http://linkd.in/1kCG1Un

This above is an inspirational and eyeopening piece that was published on LinkedIn today. I was fortunate enough to come across it through a friend Sarah‘s share on the ol’ FB.

Self reinvention is a big part of lifestyle creation. You simply can’t create the lifestyle you want without recreating bits of yourself as part of the process. Scratch that. It IS the process.

I’m only half started down this path so I would say that despite making real changes in my life to kick-start my mission, I’m still in the first few months of “Year 1” in this article. I personally have been doing a lot of online reading, but very little book reading. Often I think I just don’t have the time while juggling my three jobs, trying to pursue personal interests, and getting decent amounts of sleep. But there must be a way. Perhaps I’ll start with 15 minute intervals. There must be 15 minutes a day I could devote to a book, right? 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there – I think that’s how I’ll have to start. And after reading this article I’m feeling an urgency to start soon… so I better get to the book store!

Overall I found this article really motivational in a tangible way. Of course, this bit of guidance is only one vision of a path, however I think it is open enough for most people to find useful.

What do you think?

Love,

Colette x

Womp Womp…

So much for a post a day. It’s insane how easily one day missed turns into many. But the truth is sometime the pressures of work deadlines are more pressing than personal deadlines. I’ve also been spending most of my blog allocated time to trying to figure out how to install a new framework for a theme makeover. I know, I know, a few posts in and I’m already working on an overhaul. But this theme just isn’t quite what I envisioned and I intend on going full tilt this time around.

Anyway, I’m not a techy person at all, which means there’s a steep learning curve for me here and I’m not doing so well yet. But I WILL GET THERE. And then you can all be like “oooh, ahhh! what a shiny new site you have!” right? And I’ll get to smile with a cuppa and pretend we’re all having tea together. Won’t that be nice?

What projects have you been getting hung up on lately?

Anything proving to be a more difficult climb than you expected?

Let me know and I’ll be a little source of encouragement.

Love,

Letty x