Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Just(ifying) Jackets

One of my all time fashion weaknesses has been coats and jackets. Regardless of the season.

For a while there, I had a thing for blazers, and I built up a collection in a range of colours and fabrics. Quite handy when you work in an office really, but they can work pretty well for casual wear, if done right.

They're so easy to throw on over a print blouse or plain tee with a pair of well-fitting jeans. (These, I'm still searching for).

These days though, I've taken a break from the blazer in favour of the bomber jacket. Not a day goes by where I don't add to my bomber wishlist either in store or online.

With so many prints, colours and fabrics to choose from, theres sure to be one to suit all tastes.

My personal fave is one I got in Penneys a while back, a black quilted version with a floral print. Pink, like you had to ask... this one is a lighter fabric so it may have to make way for a warmer counterpart soon.

I've got my eye on some potential replacements like a black sequin one coming to Penneys, a longline black and royal blue from River Island, or a pink reversible one also in Penneys. I know, I know.

I haven't been able to get out shopping much these days, so I'm hoping Penneys will have some left for me :-)

I'm thinking sequins for the upcoming season we won't mention, but I could be persuaded to go sporty or floral again too. Let's keep our options open!

Here are some styling options I put together in case you need further persuasion..


Sunday, 16 October 2016

Gratefully yours..

If the last few weeks have taught me anything at all, it's the power of gratitude. I've heard it said many times that either beginning or ending the day by recalling three things you're grateful for can actually affect your mood, and what you attract into your life. 

So, here I am having returned home from hospital/rehabilitation with mixed feelings and lots to take from the experience. 
If I'm honest, I didn't really know which angle to take here, so I've created a 'gratitude' list from the experience of being there, and now that of being home.

  • A cheerful 'good morning' to start every day and drag me out of my usual morning grump. "Emmmmmaaaaaa". (See vid below)
  • A choice of lying-in or setting a noisy alarm, with time for tea before having to converse.
  • On-site coffee shop with tea or hot chocolate on tap.
  • My own kitchen open all day with access to my fave hot beverages for free. And tea just how I like it :-)
  • A remote-controlled bed.
  • Sleeping in my own bed under the Eiffel Tower. With no curtains around it.
  • Girlie roommate chats over Lidl marshmallows, anytime day or night.
  • No bathroom queues, anytime day or night.
  • Comfy trackies are a must for physio, who am I to complain?
  • A wardrobe full of options.. Jeans...skirts... chunky knits..oh let me at it!
  • Meals handed up every day like clockwork.
  • Making my own grocery shopping list and my own menu.. oh where to start.. healthy fruit..unhealthy non-fruit...
  • All-singing, all-giggling staff to entertain, who needs TV anyway?
  • 24 hour uninterrupted Wi-Fi, or TV, whichever :-)
  • Yoga and relaxation classes.. cos who makes time for that at home?
  • The prospect of getting my social life back!
  • Breakfast in bed with 9.30 lie-ins on Sunday. 
  • Breakfast? Don't you mean brunch?
  • New friendships and shared experiences creating a support network and bringing new perspectives on life.
  • Time to appreciate precious time with family and friends. 



Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Who IS she?

Student? Patient? Public servant? Graduate? Patient? Public servant?
Confusion reigned in my life these past few months, when I've found myself wondering, 'who the hell am I?'
Ever find yourself just drifting through life's routines, assuming you know who you are and what you're doing?
Then all it takes is one major lifestyle change and a few unexpected surprises to knock you for six and have you questioning everything you thought you knew about yourself. Who am I really? What am I doing with my life? What SHOULD I be doing with my life?
These are questions I've been asking myself a lot lately, usually at 2am when I should be asleep, and can't do much with the answers anyway.
Me too.

The past year of my life has gone past in quite a blur, for the most part. Literally.

In relatively short time slots I've found myself going from your average public servant, to student, to patient and back around again, with little time to adapt in between!

It all started with what some may call stepping out of reality for a bit, I prefer to call it dream-following myself.  Amazing really how we spend so much time going through the motions and with one small change (by choice or otherwise), life can turn you upside-down, seemingly overnight.

Stepping out of the comfort zone I'd been in for 13 years was more than a little scary for me, as it would be for most.

But if I'd only known what other challenges life would throw into the mix, returning to student life for a while would be the least of my worries!

After all my researching, questioning, list making, and mind changing, here I am two (academic) years later.  Two QQI certificates, several distinctions, two surgeries and numerous spells in 'rehab'.

Ironically, despite life's efforts at interrupting my new direction in life, it kind of did so at the right time. Creative activities can have a positive effect on our ability to handle stress, so I'm told. And you could probably put a fashion course into such a category. It certainly got me through a few toughies.

I think what I've learned over this topsy-turvy time is that life is short and too unpredictable to be taken for granted.

My advice, (to myself as much as anyone else) is to listen to your instincts and take the hints life is trying to give you. The longer you ignore it, the more extreme the hints become, trust me!


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

It's a Wrap

Looking for new ways to style my favourite colour for Autumn.. 

I absolutely LOVE this blush pink wrap dress from Topshop. Tried it on in store on one of my wheelchair-using days. Unfortunately although a good fit, it wasn't ideal for sitting in a chair. Perhaps with some skinny jeans or leggings to offer more coverage and protection from the elements?
It could also be layered over a bodysuit for a bit more warmth as the days get colder.

Love this combination of pink and burgundy for Autumn, inspired by the tones of the Burberry bag - a bit out of my price range, but maybe someday.. 

As always, I try to find a high and low heeled shoe option, and burgundy brogues are already a feature of my wardrobe - mine are from Penneys but similar to this Boohoo pair. 
Do you have a favourite colour you'd love to incorporate into your Autumn/Winter wardrobe?


Thursday, 6 October 2016

Rehab ramblings

Positivity is a word we see a lot of these days, from inspirational rose-gold-n-marble decor, to social media quotes and images. Easier said than done you could say, to practice gratitude and positive thinking in an age where we are always striving for "more". 

One thing I have noticed though, I always seem to come across it in the unlikeliest of places and from the people I least expect. 

I could (ok, I do) go to work every day and moan about the traffic, pay cuts, workload and state of the public service with the best of them. 
In comparison, I could (and also regularly do) come into a rehab/hospital situation and be met with the most positive environment - despite the difficult or traumatic circumstances that have led people there. 
It's a strange one.

These are the likes of such situations that take away the basic things we take for granted every single day. 

You meet people for whom having a coffee in the afternoon is the treat of all treats. People who look for the good in every day, be it a surprise visit or a sweet treat after lunch. (I kid you not, even bread and jam comes under this category).

When you hear people around you express pure gratitude and appreciation for a simple hot shower, it doesn't half put life in perspective. 

These are also the same people who would do anything for anyone, and take pleasure in doing so. Brightening someone else's day almost becomes a hobby, be it buying a hot chocolate or lending a DVD to break the boredom. 

Finding myself in these situations a bit more often lately has led to some moments of self pity. C'mon, we all do it, let's not fool ourselves. But here, these moments don't last long, they're not given the chance to take hold. 

It could be a singing or joking staff member or a giddy fellow patient, or a gift from a stranger, there's always someone to knock that bad mood right outta you. You might even feel lucky to be here. 

And you know what? I probably am lucky, having the medical support I need, while meeting some of the nicest people at the same time.

So, the next time I find myself back in the office, about to moan about the rain, traffic or some other insignificant misfortune, I'll think of these people I've been fortunate to meet. 

Next time you feel down because a holiday has ended, think instead how blessed you were to have a holiday and treasure the memories you made. Look forward, by all means to the next, while considering those for whom a holiday is a Sunday afternoon 'at home'. 

In a world where we are always wishing for more, we could really learn a lot from those who really appreciate what they already have. 

I realise this post isn't necessarily fashion or style related, but I've come to learn something these past few weeks:

Style isn't always achieved by buying the latest camel coat or grey ankle boots. Cliche as it sounds, it also depends on what's inside, and how a person can radiate a grace and sense of humility that can't be bought or rustled up on a sewing machine. 

I think we all need a person like this around us.

Who's your 'person'? :-)

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