Feel Good Fast

In need of a bit of a boost?

Inspired by a Mumsnet thread - here are my top tips to feel good fast:
  • BB cream offers flawless skin (with a bit of blending) and is perfect for days when you have to go out, even if you don't really want to.  Most cosmetic brands offer a BB choice; I use George at Asda, No 7 and Clinique CC cream.
  • In this weather wearing Sunnies instantly perks me up and simultaneously keeps the world - and it's chaos - at bay.
  • Drinking a glass of water lifts your physical and metaphysical states. 
  • Watch a silly video online for a quick chuckle.
  • Listen, and dance to, Latin music. Dance with your toddler/children and watch how entertaining they are when they dance like no one, except a giggly parent, is watching. 
  • Go window shopping and spend a fortune in your head on all the goodies you'd love to buy; if you have time try things on. Dreaming is uplifting. 
  • Apply nail polish.  This is where stored Boots Advantage points are handy because you can treat yourself to a new colour relatively guilt-free.
  • Put the kettle on and drink a cup of tea in a cup and saucer. Very mindful.
  • Block out time for you in your diary at the next free space. And plan a relaxing activity. 
  • Watch Mike and Molly, or any other 30 minute comedy show that has you chortling. 
  • Quiet time - turn off the TV and Radio and move away from the washing machine. Sometimes a bit of quiet is all you need.
Keep on styling.

How do your summer savings look?

Back in February I posted some financial advice, cunningly disguised as a prize-winning competition:

Win a guaranteed £500 shopping spree (in December 2014) 

So, how much do you have saved?  

I was doing pretty well, although further reading of this blog will illuminate that I've started spending my savings.  But I'm now keen to get back on track, because before we know it the July sales will pop up!  Usually Next kicks things off, quickly followed by H&M, Marks and Spencer, House of Fraser (with Oasis, Mango and Coast concessions), Debenhams and Gap (if ONLY they would move to Plymouth).  And if you have any late summer weddings it may be worth checking out dresses in Monsoon as they normally offer 50% discounts (to make way for AW stock).  Toddler-daughter wore a gorgeous dress at my sister's wedding last August, courtesy of the Monsoon sale. 

I just need to try not to visualise the £150 I'll have by the summer because mysteriously it disappears. Often in a TK Maxx

Shiny summer palette

It all started with a bag, as most great stories do. 

Can anyone else walk out of TK Maxx empty-handed? I really can't.  Perhaps it's the bazaar-esque rails of unique finds that tempt me in for hours at a time. 

And when it comes to their bags?  I rotate like a merry-go-round on a sunny day.

And after a few minutes, this little darling winked at me:

Emma Jordan 2014
Kipling Machida bag - Pearlized White

Yeah, at first I thought 'Er, white? I think no.' 

Who wears white?  I have monochrome, I have colour, I have a lot of red, but as I checked through my list of bags on my notes I realised I don't have a white bag; a search at home revealed nope, I definitely don't have any white bags.

Now, my colours for most seasons, are navy, red, black and green; I use white in my accessories to signify summer - a cardy or jacket, or in stripes on a tee shirt.

But, dear readers, I don't think I fully mentioned a dress I bought a few weeks ago from a House of Fraser Brand Sale...a simple grey sweater dress (at last!) with pockets (a must) and a gorgeous sparkly neckline:

Emma Jordan 2014
Linear at House of Fraser

And just like any good narrative, bag met dress

Emma Jordan 2014

The combination of white and grey mutes the white and livens the grey, so now the search is on for some shoes - I'm thinking silver metallic sandals to keep with the palette and bring out the sparkle in the necklace. 

Let me know if you have any recommendations.

Unstylish day out

Yesterday we planned to spend the afternoon out, as a family.  Even though it was raining, we were going to Go Out In It.  Toddler-daughter was thrilled at a puddle-jumping opportunity and ran for her wellies. 

But why does it take fifty minutes to get ready to go out, before you've even taken the car out of the garage?

  • Changing bag - chuck out old snack wrappers 
  • Snack box - remotely healthy and edible in eyes of TD 
  • Flask a - if I've rinsed out why are instructions and strap still inside? 
  • Flask b - quick rinse, chuck in some boiling water.  Two birds and all that. 
  • Try to get hot meal into TD (1.5 fish fingers, but ravioli ditched in favour of journey snacks*) 
  • Microwave - hot milk and coffee for flask 
  • Eat something - so I'm not hungry later 
  • Emergency Mummy snacks - throw a few Snickers into changing bag 
  • Car entertainment - teddy bear for sleepy cuddles, CD for distraction-singing
  • Milk - calculate how much (not enough) and how hot it needs to be to be drunk in three hours 
  • Cat - full dishes?
  • MrS15 - bottle of water and edible snacks that will not ruin dinner 

Not to mention the preparation that began in the morning, trying to make sure TD was suitable tired for a morning, and not afternoon, nap, and counting down from the time we need to leave the house. Style is not all about what you're wearing.

Oh, and did I mention it was raining?

But at least we were outside with a grumpy toddler, who absolutely loves splashing in her wellies, in her wellies; she could splash all day long in her wellies....

*how DO you pack snacks without a hawkeye of a toddler spotting and instantly wanting snacks and/or explaining that they are For Later (when she's having a meltdown in the car because she's tired)?

A dressing room changed my life.

I read a  mad fact on ivillage today (for those of you who haven’t yet discovered, this mid-90s, gravitas of a meeting point, is a wonderful website for women - bit of gossip and a lot of lifestyle advice/stimulation.  Coupled with the Huffington Post, we need never buy actual magazines again – although I still do, and assume that one day toddler-daughter will enjoy either cutting out for ‘art’ or giggling at the fashion; in anticipation, my Red subscription will not go unread.  Sofa. Horizontal. Glossy magazine so big it’s practically uncontrollable). 

I digress.

According to an ivillage article, we try on A Lot of clothes in dressing rooms over our lifetime.  Not normally, I scoffed, I like to take clothes home and see what works with my existing apparel.  Except last week fate intervened, and I found myself in a closet; there was a Brand Sale on in the House and I had half an hour to spare. 

I instantly fell in love with a hat stand, could only imagine it in my office-play-spare room.  In accordance with advice in a declutter article in May's Red, joy was sparked.  Regardless of what Mr S15 thought, I had to have. 

And yesterday, dear Readers, I was finally motivated to do a spot of DIY (Bank Holiday season is almost upon us).
Emma Jordan 2014 (c)
I had Amazon’d one on the bus home, bought it before my destination (my sofa) it arrived this week, and I put it up yesterday.  It takes me longer to unpack after a mini-break.

Oh, but this is no ordinary stand.   

No, this is a Bag Stand, the piece of furniture that was missing in my life and the centrifugal force around which the rest of the room remains tidy and organised.  This is the beacon in the room, displaying my obsession for years, offering inspiration, even a practical solution for somewhere to hang my daily handbag (which changes daily); my very own 3D Pinterest.  

Plus, I’ll be able to beautifully display items that I’m about to ebay AND choose outfits and accessories.

The Hat Stand is the light I measure the rest of the room with.   This room is no longer my holding pen of ‘don’t know where else to put that’ items (the on-sale possible birthday/Christmas present buys, the cardigan I have just removed, the massive pile of receipts I will sort one day, and tissues (lots and lots of tissues)).  The Family's attempt to put anything other than remotely tied to the room, in the room, face very withering looks. 

Emma Jordan 2014 (c)

So, I'm off to tinker with my beautiful bags and create a mood board of a display.  

What keeps your rooms stylish?