So it's been mooted at a number of times - fashion blog... little bit shallow.... blah blah blah.
I've always just shrugged it off but for the first time I'm going to stick my neck above the parapet and say actually - no I think it's more than that.
If I think back over the three and a half years I've been writing this blog, of the countless emails and comments I have had from women, thanking me for helping them, I can sincerely say it's not nearly as shallow as one may glibly assume. Helping them in so so many different ways I've realised. Whether it be finding that dress/those shoes/that jacket for a wedding/ball/whatever occasion - which yes, may not seem the most vital quest on the planet, but the fact they found it quickly through my blog as opposed to having to spend a day trawling round the shops with kids/dog/hapless husband in tow - suddenly makes it seem a little bit more useful than mere frippery and fluff.
Or the more moving emails (not that I don't get moved about someone finding their perfect dress - let's not forget how shallow I am....!) from people who have not only lost their fashion mojo but felt that they had lost themselves. And I know that sounds melodramatic but honestly, I have had so so many emails like this - especially from mums who have had small babies and have been consigned to the world of playdough, Infacol and Mike the Knight for years, living in a foggy baby bubble. Saying that the blog has given them the inspiration, the push, the whatever it might be, to make some changes to their lives and feel normal again. Most say they feel better than normal and feel really good about themselves.
And for me, that's the key. Feeling good, feeling better about yourself.
We're encouraged to hoover down the chia seeds, the kale and the goji berries to improve ourselves from the inside out. But I'm going to boldly say I don't think that's enough. (and Nutri bullets are REALLY expensive....)
The fact is that for most of us, if we are happy with the way we look, then we feel better. We can feel better than better, we can feel great. And yes, a pair of shoes, a good fitting pair of jeans, a new dress in a print and colour that we love can work miracles. That's not shallow - that's clever. And it works.
Getting your wardrobe and your look right so that YOU love it and feel great about yourself every day, is a massive step to just being happier.
I will hold my hand up and say, yes this is purely my opinion - well, mine and the hundreds (and it really is hundreds) of comments and emails that I have received who agree.
So without further ado - today I'm looking at the little things that can make a difference.
I may or may not have mentioned (you will be bored with me by the end of the week but it's either bore you or The Husband and none of you buy me flowers) that we are off on our hols very shortly.
And it's always a great time to buy those little extras that make it special. As I don't have to spend the Greek national debt on suncream since we're going to Suffolk (I do buy some, fear not), it means I have both funds and room in my suitcase to treat myself to those toiletries that make holiday that extra bit special. They don't even have to be expensive.
I've meant to tell you about these before but I keep forgetting even though I keep nabbing them whenever there's 20% off. (code until Sunday is JUL15EM)
The Tuscan Escape range from M&S. This isn't luxury luxury, let's mention that first off, but for an everyday shower this for me, is the perfect pick me up. And a new set is ideal for taking on hols. The smell is absolutely beautiful. A citrus, fresh tang.
I always use the shower gel but this time round I've also ordered the scrub.
Tuscan Escape Lemon Verbena £3.50
Matching body scrub £6
They also do instore, a diffuser stick set which I love but alas, sold out online. However, I'm going to try the new Green Fig one as I simply adore anything fig scented. May I please point out that I do not.... I do NOT take diffuser sticks on holiday with me. Although you know what, I might this time. Thinking as I type - there is nothing better than the power of scent to evoke a memory so a fragrance that you can bring home with you to capture those holiday moments, isn't perhaps the worst idea I've ever had. (whilst we're on the subject of random things to take away, I will fess up, I do take my Nespresso machine. With Lidl capsules which are GREAT can I just say. The Ristretto *coffee as strong as jet fuel* ones. £1.79 for 10. You're all welcome.)
Green Fig Diffuser Sticks £15
Now this is an amazing amazing bargain with 20% off - my absolute favourite cleanser ever. And this is simply the best deal there is out there. 150ml in total for the same price as 100ml WITH 20% extra off. Plus they're in a smaller pot so are ideal for travelling.
Moringa Balm £38 pre discount These are rarely instock so snaffle them whilst you can. I've never seen them about when they have a promotion on.
Now has anyone tried this serum as I am in the market for a new one and love all things Emma Hardie - therefore I assume I will love this, but it's a bit expensive to experiment with... ?
Midas Touch Face Serum from Emma Hardie £59 pre discount
One of my favourite perfumes. Love love love this and yes, I do also buy the Nuxe body oil which is fantastic and also 20% off at M&S. I can't get enough of either of these. The smell also goes perfectly over the light citrus fragrance of the Tuscan Escape shower gel. Nothing more irritating than smells that clash. (can you see why I don't do beauty often? "Smells"? Jeez)
Prodigieux Le Parfum 50ml by Nuxe £43.50
Another little treat pick me up can be a new bag. Now yes, I do like a leather bag but that's not to say there isn't a time and a place for a bargain extra - especially one you can take away on hols for a week. And I happened to spy this on the M&S site whilst I was perusing for my beauty bargains and it really stood out.
This I love. I think this looks so much more expensive than it is. Gorgeous bag and perfect for holiday.
Double Zip Across Body bag in orange £29.50 pre 20% off.
Or a magenta
Or if colour isn't your thing - then the black would be the perfect first step to a minimalist A/W wardrobe.
Now this is a total random but I have to share as I love them so so much and am perhaps more pleased with them than I should be. If anyone does follow on Instagram (doesmybumlook40 - if you're not on Insta yet, I honestly cannot recommend it highly enough) then they'll know that I have a black and white thing going on in my house (which we are very very slowly getting around to finishing. Cushions, rugs, furniture, pics etc - oh my lord, it's never ending. Towels?!) and so I was giddy when I found these for the back of the bedroom doors for the children. I'm having little gym style bags made for them for their pants and socks so they're easily accessible. And to hang up a dressing gown or a hoodie as opposed to it languishing on the floor.....
Alphabet M Door Hook £6.00
And whilst we're on the subject of initials, my new necklace arrived from Anna Lou of London which I am absolutely over the moon with. I have been after one of these for ages and can't believe I waited so long to get one!
It is the perfect pick me up and for me, the ideal outfit finisher.
This is the link to the one I have - the Initial Disc starting from £54 - I opted for each disc in a different shade of gold. Mine is on the 18 inch chain.
So there are just a couple of my instant pick me ups that I've either used and can highly recommend or will be getting as I know they'll make that little bit of difference (I'm not going to lie - seeing stuff strewn all over bedroom floors that should be hung up can be an instant red mist descender in my book... a little hook to easily hang a hoodie or a bath robe on could make all the difference between me not losing it with a nuclear style meltdown.)
I now have to go and take the puppy for a walk before I smother myself in fake tan and decide what I'm going to wear tonight. It's my best friend's husband's 50th Birthday. Hawaii Five Oh theme. And no, I didn't get the Five Oh bit (The Husband is threatening to disown me) as I'm a cretin. I thought it was just a nod to a theme, but it seems that most people have taken the *beach wear* dress code rather literally and so I have NO idea what I'm going to wear..... Am thinking about the coral floral & Other Stories dress but I was planning on wearing a super old All Saints rope dress which is very beachy..... but not very Hawaiian. GAH. (and obviously nothing like leaving it till the last minute.... like I may have mentioned, I am so over thinking about Summer outfits!)
Quick snap of outfit today. All very very casual. One step off jamas.
Black swing tee - Whistles
Boyfriend Saxby jeans - ASOS
Lace up sandals - Forever21
It will be a late one tonight I'm thinking (even though it's an early start... 6pm!) and we've got friends from Germany over tomorrow for a bbq but fingers crossed I can sneak a post in sometime.
Happy Saturday everyone x