Lessons From My Mum: Part II

This post is sponsored by PANDORA

I hope you all enjoyed the first part of this post, written by my mum. As promised, I am back with my own thoughts on this, sharing the most important lessons she passed down to me and some gorgeous PANDORA jewellery again. Mum and I have the same taste in most things, the same shoe size, most of my coats fit her… nothing I own is safe. I can’t tell you how many times I have put on some boots and she's gone ‘ohh they’re lovely’ hint hint. So it seems safe to say the same applies for jewellery. When we unboxed all these incredible PANDORA pieces (opening up that luxe white box is always a treat too) it was lots of ‘ohhh I will wear that one’, ‘no I will wear that one!!’. The long and short of this is that we swapped over from the previous post. Mum has on the Family Tree Necklace, and I got to wear the Luminous Droplet Ring this time, which I think is my favourite piece from this collection (as I said, this is mine, she isn’t having it). And I think the Family Tree Necklace looks incredible on mum, she always wears long necklaces with her longline tops so this is a very her piece, and would be the most incredible gift for someone. It’s a piece that is ready for sentimentality, I love the idea of wrapping this one up, and popping a note inside sharing what you appreciate about your mum. I’ve spoken before about how when you’re buying for someone who has everything, adding some sentiment makes something completely unique. 

Our taste in fashion and accessories isn’t the only similarity we share, we are in fact incredibly similar in so many ways. Our humour, our mannerisms, our opinions and (many) of our interests all align with one another. I say ‘many’ there because mum goes line dancing once a week and that is up there with the ‘things I could not care less about’ category in my life. But, aside from weekly dancing, we are incredibly similar. For the most part I think that it is because she is a huge inspiration in my life, and if I continue to be this similar to her as I grow older then I would be more than happy about that! She has taught me so many important things in my life, and is hugely instrumental in my blog and helping me manage my work load. From helping tonnes with my accounts, taking my photos and always being at the end of the phone when I have a question - this blog would not be where it is today without my mum’s support. 

But, let’s take a step back from there, to the pre-blog days. One of the biggest things my mum (and dad, but this one is all about mum) taught me was that I could achieve anything I wanted, so long as I was willing to work hard. The idea of not being the best was always fine, so long as I did my best. I would imagine lots of parents tell their children this, and I know I would pass this down to mine, but they really really hammered this one home. It has made be believe in myself so much, and also feel willing to share any thoughts or ideas I might have with my mum. I know she would never shut me down. As I grow older she will of course talk to me about the practicalities of things, but everything is always presented as a possibility in my life. I cannot begin to tell you how much this helped me when it came to pursuing this career. For a while I didn’t know if my blog was going to work, but it was second nature to keep doing my best, never give up, and to keep going until you got the outcome I wanted. I think it’s only as I get older I realise how lucky I am to have that confidence, and to know how much of that is down to my mum. 

My mum always worked when I was little. She worked late, and her and dad were always equals at home. Mum always taught me not just to be independent financially, but to take control of your own happiness. To be independent enough in every way to make decisions for you, that will make you happy - not wait or rely on someone else to take control, which will always leave you unfulfilled. The idea of ever ever not having my own independence is terrifying to me. I always want to know the money in the bank is mine, to spend how I want on what I want, and that I control the decisions I make, and therefore my own happiness. Seeing my own mum as someone so independent, with such a successful career was massively important in this mindset. She had her own business, took risks, worked incredibly hard, and made the life that she wanted for herself. Nothing can be more inspiring, and I have no bigger goal in life than to say I have done that for myself too. 

Through all of the hard work and success my mum has had, she has also brought people with her. The friendships she has were forged at school and beyond, and her loyalty as a friend is admirable. She always makes time for them, always acknowledges the importance of them, and is always there for them in whatever capacity she can. Having a strong group of girlfriends around me is so important; those girls are my allies, through thick and thin. While life often gets in the way of friendships, when work schedules are packed and time is short it can be hard to pick up the phone for a weekly catch up. But, put the work in where you can, and you find yourself with friends who understand those moments because they have them too. They don’t hold grudges, they always understand. The friendships I have watched my mum nurture have taught me this. As the incredible PANDORA Moments Bangle serves to remind, those friends make you realise just how much you are always loved (I literally want to go and buy SO MANY of these bracelets and give one to everyone I love!!) 

I’M WEARING: LUMINOUS DROPLET RING c/o PANDORA | ESSENCE BANGLE c/o PANDORA | MOMENTS BANGLE c/o PANDORA

MUM’S WEARING: FAMILY TREE NECKLACE c/o PANDORA | ESSENCE BANGLE c/o PANDORA

A New Occasion Wear Series

Hello and welcome to a new blog series. I know I said I was dropping off posting on Thursdays but I have found myself on top of my work load so I wanted to share this post ASAP! We are going to be diving into the realms of formal dressing. Wedding season is fast approaching, and while I have non to attend (booooo) I know many of you will! So I wanted to provide a little inspiration, not just for weddings, but for any fancy occasion at all. I get lots of questions about how to dress for formal events, and I struggle with it so much too. When denim and a t-shirt is your most comfortable get up, suddenly having to get all fancy can really throw you out of your comfort zone. I am going to try and cover lots of different items in this series; trousers, dresses, suits, skirts... anything and everything that catches my eye, and is hopefully a little different too! 

Not only do I usually feel rather uncomfortable in dressier outfits, I tend to lament spending money on those clothes too. I am not interested in forking out on a dress I will only wear once, and you all know how much I bang on about 'VERSATILITY', to the point where I may as well have it tattooed on my forehead. So in each of these posts I am also going to show how to style up the fancy item in a more day-to-day way, to give you guys some inspo on how to wear these pieces beyond the big event. It's definitely going to be a challenge for me, but I already have loads of really cool outfits in the pipeline to share!!  

This one was all about the trousers. I keep seeing trousers like this popping up on Instagram and they look so good on everyone. After giving them a spin here are my main tips;

- Go for the smallest size you can, they really lend themselves to being super skinny over the bum and waist.

- If you are petite heels will be a must, they dragged on the floor a little for when wearing flats and I am pretty tall.

- They are a little hazardous to walk in, but you get the hang of it. It was a bit windy when we shot this, but the long bits at the back sort of blew round to the front and tried to trip me up a fair few times. I feel a few drinks and a dance while wearing these could end in a broken bone.

They are the kind of piece you can almost guarantee no one else would be wearing at a party, as they are definitely out there. But, I do think they still have a minimal vibe to them, and certainly lend themselves to some simple styling. For the evening look I went with a white shirt, tied up at the front. This makes the silouhette as flattering and sexy as it can be, I always find it makes my waist look smaller as the shirt billows out above the waistband of the trousers. It's also a great way to make sure you've got a top on that comes up to just the right length, showing off these trousers from hem line to waistband really emphasises the leg lengthening effect they have.

For my shoes I went with my Aquazzura Wild Thing, and get ready to see these shoes a lot throughout this series. They go with everything perfectly, are a dream to walk in, and always draw in a few compliments!

SHIRT: & OTHER STORIES | SHOES: AQUAZZURA | TROUSERS: c/o C/MEO COLLECTIVE

For the casual look these trousers really do work with any outfit you would normally wear your jeans with. Aside from the aforementioned length issue, any footwear would be permitted too. I think a cropped jacket is a key aspect as, again, it allows the pants to do their leg lengthening magic. My Maje one was the perfect length for this, and I slipped one of my many breton striped t-shirts underneath. In all honesty the trousers might be a little high maintenance to wear day-to-day when you're running your errands. A 'broken ankle in aisle 8' while in Tesco is a real possibility, so I think I will be reserving them for lunch dates of casual evening drinks. That being said, I felt really cool in these. And I love both the dressed up outfit and the casual one, so all in all the first post of this series has been a success in my books! 

T-SHIRT: ASOS | JACKET: MAJE | SHOES: GUCCI | BAG: GUCCI | TROUSERS: c/o C/MEO COLLECTIVE