I've tried wearing loungewear all day long and I've also spent time putting together a nice outfit in the morning and doing my hair and make up. And really it's whatever works best for you but for me the latter is better. I just feel a bit more myself and I'm 100% more productive on the days I make an effort. I've actually brought zero clothes during lockdown, so if you need some inspiration of what to wear making the most of what you already own than this post is for you! 

For me the key is wearing clothes that are comfortable enough to wear in the house all day long, but stylish enough to bump into someone I know on my daily walk. Or at least just having a really put together top half for zoom calls and catch up with friends. Lockdown is a great way to re-fall back in love with some items in your wardrobe. (You might want to read my post here which gives you tips for Spring Cleaning Your Wardrobe.) What I love about getting dressed up in the morning is, in the evening when I get into my pjs or other comfy clothes I feel like the day is broken up rather than all rolled into a blur. 

Outfit 1

I'm someone who is very much drawn to colours, wearing certain clothes makes me feel really good. My favourite colour if you can't tell already is pink. If I wake up feeling a bit rubbish adding some pink to my outfit will always make me feel a little bit better.  The skirt is from Topshop and is velvet which I love as this tends to just be a trend during autumn/winter. That being said I could team this with black tights during the colder months.  

Outfit 2

I've always been a lover off tee's but especially now as they are so effortless and need very simple styling. I always team tee's with shorts or jeans. My flamingo one is years old from Oasis and it comes on every Summer holiday with me. And this year I'm wearing it in my back garden to feel like I'm on holiday! 

 Outfit 3

Can you tell by now that I love Flamingos?! Again another old item...but one I love. This playsuit is from Rebecca Rhoades. I love this print and it screams summer vibes. Dress up Friday has become my new favourite thing to take part in. So I wore this a few weeks ago for virtual drinks! 

Outfit 4

Blue is another one of my 'feel good colours' I got this playsuit from Zara a few years ago. And I've had a few from them over the years and they are super comfortable which is one of the most important things for me when wearing outfits at home. 

Outfit 5

One of my favourite prints that never goes out of style is florals. I'm pretty sure most of you will have some sort of floral print in your wardrobe. It's one of those prints where you will probably end with a few items of clothing that are all similar. My favourite is by far black against coloured florals because I think it stands out more and I love statement pieces. Again this outfit is super comfy, loose dresses have to be one of the most comfortable fits especially when wearing them all day at home. 

I hope you like these outfits and it gives you some inspiration of what to wear! 

Love
Nicole 
xx    


Before I start this post I just want to say YOU DO YOU! I've seen so many things across social media telling people what they should/shouldn't be doing during this time. People are being put down for being super productive and those who are watching Netflix all day and just using this time to relax are also being put down. Turns out you can never really win. However if you do want to use some of your time being productive and you want/have a creative career this post is for you! 

I decided at the beginning of lockdown that I want days to fully relax but I also really enjoy learning and want to add more to my CV. I feel after doing quite a few different creative learning related things over thee past few weeks I'm now in a position to share my experiences and give advice on the good things I've found. 

1. Create a vision board, this is a really fun and creative way to look at how you would like your future to be in terms of work. You can do this by printing images from the internet or using newspaper cuttings and gluing them onto card. Or like me you can do this on Pinterest. (Also remember with Pinterest you can create secret boards so no one else has to see them) When you have day's you're not feeling so inspired go back over and look at your vision board to get that boost of motivation again. 

2. Four weeks ago I joined Grow and Glow, which is a platform to help bloggers/small businesses grow their online channels. (Check the website out here.) I can honestly say without Grow and Glow I wouldn't have been about to do 1/4 of the things I've now done for my blog over the last month. Grow and Glow have different bundles/courses you can work your way through. So far I've upped my Pinterest game, really narrowed down my niche, worked on my SEO the thing we all love to hate and put off doing for ages yet it's so important. You pay a monthly fee of £15 which is 100% worth it. Think of it as one less London priced cocktail a week once things go back to normal. Once you join you also have access to their Facebook group where you can ask other members questions and advice. 

My blog/instagram channels have always come up in interviews and it's something that employees are so interested in when you apply for a creative job. Creativity is something that you are so passion about outside of your work life so it's good to show extra dedication and things you do on the side. 

3. BoF, I had access to some amazing websites during my university days at London College of Fashion. But once I left and no longer had access myself through university I didn't join any membership programs. However after a recommendation from my friend at work about BoF. I decided to join. It's free for the first month then £33 a month after that and you can cancel at any point. You can check the website out here.  Monday-Friday BoF have live talks via Zoom with industry experts which has been really interesting. I think it's super important not just now but all the time to keep up to date with industry news again something that will make you stand out at an interview as you will have more to talk about. They also have so many articles and reports on what's going on right now and changes within the beauty/fashion industry.  

4. Do an online course, I'm currently doing a course on BoF called build your dream career. They have 6 courses on BoF the others include styling, merchandising/buying, marketing, history of fashion and building a brand. If you are not sure if you would like a career in fashion and haven't yet been to university or want to change you career path this would be ideal for you to get a taster as to what some jobs would be like. Also I think it's so important to remember that whatever your job title is, it would look so good to have some knowledge on other key areas in your industry. As all departments have to work together and you will do a better job working with the marketing department for example if you're a stylist if you have a good understanding of marketing. 

5. Download skills share, (the first two months are free at the moment then it is £7 a month after that check the website out here.) This is something that I have only just discovered and think everyone should be apart of a the moment. Skill share has 100s of online lessons about a whole range of different creative topics. I've completed the lesson with Emma Gannon called unlocking your potential. Emma talks through 5 exercises to build creative confidence. The thing I found most helpful was identifying your patterns looking at a 24 hour period and what makes you feel motivated and what doesn't. It is particularly important when working in the creative industry or any in fact to take a step back from time to time and look at how you're working and if this is benefitting you. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, and please leave a comment if you have any other tips/advice! 

Thanks, 
Nicole
xx


Five reasons you should shop at independent brands  fashion bloggers


I love independent fashion brands, one of my favourites being Darla. Run by my close friend Amy. Independent brands offer some unique differences that separates them from big high street names. So for today's post I'm talking about 5 reasons you should shop with Independent brands. 

1. You get a real personal shopping experience, you get to know the person behind the brand and they get to know you. I think this all comes down to most independent brands having a real niche with their products that most of their customers will love. 

2. Leading on from this you get to build a relationship with the owner, they are likely to be the one who writes the newsletters and publish posts on social media. So if you have question you are likely to get a response from the owner themselves. 

3. You will find a lot of independent brands ask their customers what they would like to see more of and what trends/designs you are loving at the moment. As their target audience is smaller than the big high street brands your ideas are more than likely to be taken on board when putting together new collections.   

4. Designs have more originality and individuality. The downfall of big high street brands is that so many products look similar across multiple stores, however independents tend to have a different offering. Meaning that you don't have to worry about turning up to an event wearing the same/similar outfit to everyone else. 

5. They can focus on being more environmentally friendly, because they are producing their products on a much smaller scale than high street stores. You will tend to find that most independents try to work with recycled material or if not they will just buy enough material for the amount of products being made. This reduces the amount of waste. Also brands can be a lot more transparence about the history and making behind the clothes. Information that big high street brands either won't or can't offer their customers. 

As I've said before Darla is one of my favourite brands and I've had the opportunity to work with Darla on a number of occasions over the years.  Including styling for their latest photoshoot (all of the images included in this post.) 


Five reasons you should shop at independent brands fashion bloggers


'Darla is a lifestyle and womenswear label. Combining timeless silhouettes with modern fabrics and thoughtful details, our brand was made for creative everyday styling
Darla offers a playful and free-spirited range of clothing taking inspiration from around the globe while also promoting ethical and sustainable practises throughout our making process.
Designed for muses, romantics and starry-eyed daydreamers; at Darla you can shop our namesake collection along with independent brands, accessories, vintage and reworked clothing.'
I love how all of the Darla items are so versatile and you can style them all year round. Most of the designs are made in house and Amy is always asking her customers what they would like to see next, meaning they can get involved in the brand. All pictures from this post are from Darla and you can check out the website here
Five reasons you should shop at independent brands fashion bloggers


Hope you enjoyed this post, I would love to know who your favourite independent brands are?
Thanks, 
Nicole 
xx


I love positive quotes it's amazing how a few words can really lift your mood and change your whole mindset. After I published my interview blog post with Mary-Anne here, (all about HeartyNotes) I decided to ask my followers over on instagram what their favourite quotes are. So here they are along with some of my favourites added to the mix. This could be a good post to screenshoot on your phone and look back over every now and again when you need to see some positive words.

1. It's impossible to feel bad if you think good thoughts
2. I am in charge of how I feel today and today I choose happiness
3. Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud
4. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire
5. Strive for progress not perfection
6. Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations
7. Your mind is your only limit
8. Happiness often sneaks through doors you didn't know you left open
9. Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change
10. Don't compare yourself to others. There is no comparison between the Sun and Moon they shine when it is their own time
11. Today I will not stress over things I can not control
12. Be a pineapple; stand tall, wear a crown and be sweet on the inside
13. She needed a hero, so a hero is what she became
14. Be yourself, everyone else is taken
15. Real Queen's fix each others crowns
16. It's ok if the only thing you did today was breath
17. You are so much stronger than you think
18. There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy
19. Somewhere there is a past you looking over with so much pride at how far you have come
20. Spread love and kindness

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend! I'd love to know what your favourite quote is, let me know in the comments below. You can also check out my positive words board on Pinterest here.

Love
Nicole
xx

Nicole

For today's post I've got 4 of my girlfriends involved. I thought it would be fun to hear from them where their favourite places are to go shopping! To start off I'll chat a little bit about mine then scroll down to see some of my lovely friends. 

'I love Topshop, I think it was one of the first places I shopped in when I could finally fit into adult clothes. Topshop offer an amazing range of fashion focused pieces but also some more classic pieces that will last in your wardrobe for a really long time. Last year they had some fab prints on offer and I brought quite a few of them...but they are all such good quality that I will continue to wear them this year.  My favourite classic piece has to be my leather look jacket. I've had a couple now but both have lasted a super long time.' 



Victoria

'I have always been a lover of Zara and enjoy browsing the new in section of their website and in store. I think their clothes can look expensive and effortless whilst still being affordable. I have a lot of key pieces from Zara that don't date and are staples for my wardrobe. Smart black dresses, winter coats, lightweight summer dresses and blouses are just a few of the bits that I've had in my wardrobe for a while. I also love their more fashionable clothing and love looking through Instagram and Pinterest to see how people have styled them!'




Maddi

'I LOVE to do my shopping at H&M. Mainly because I love how sustainable their clothing is and how quirky their clothing can be whilst staying in-line with trends. I’m a sucker for a unique pattern and I think H&M nail this, whilst not breaking my bank account, bonus!'




Charlotte 

I wouldn't necessarily say I have a favourite shop overall but rather a favourite go-to for particular pieces. For example, I love the wide selection of jeans that brands such as Topshop and River Island offer all body types as being pretty tall (5'9"), it's hard to find the perfect outfit staple in the right length for me. If I want to add a little edge to my style but still want to keep it casual, Zara have some cute options that really make an outfit stand out. I love how quick they are to keep up with the current trends and you can pay a lot less for something that looks a lot more expensive. For casual sweatshirts and jersey pieces, I like to shop in Urban Outfitters. Although I find that they are on the pricier side, when I have a little more money to spend on the basics it's a nice 
treat. And I'm all about treating yourself. 




Lana 

'At the moment I'm loving online boutiques like Never Fully Dressed and NastyGal, to find items at great prices. I've shopped with NFD for may years now and still love the pieces I bought from them years ago - they're definitely worth investing in, but have great sales too! I also enjoy shops like Mint Velvet and White company for quality key pieces which will last a long time; and Anthropologie for unique and quirky dresses! A mix of high street and high end goes a long way - I try to be sustainable with fashion; if I need to purchase items which I know will only last a season I do so from more budget friendly chains and once they have served their purpose the clothes either get sold at our local car boot sales or go to charity shops.'

I had a lot of fun putting together this post, thanks to my lovely girlfriends for their help! I hope you all enjoyed reading it. Let me know in the comments you're favourite places to shop. You can read all my latest fashion posts here

Love
Nicole
xx
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