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Must Have Items for the Rockabilly Gal

Hey Cats, 

If there is one style that I have always admired, it’s Rockabilly. There’s just something about that era that piques my interest and I can’t stop admiring the fashion icons of the time. If you have seen my previous fashion posts, you will notice this love of mine makes its way into my choices, with dresses taking on the traditional 1950’s cut, which is which is what this post is all about. If you love the era as I do and are looking for a few ways to introduce it into your daily fashion, here are some must-have pieces.

A Cherry Cardigan
I’m not talking about the colour (although red gets a big tick when it comes to rockabilly), I’m talking about the fruit. A cardigan with a cheery print is a staple of every rockabilly wardrobe that not only goes with everything, also keeps you warm!


Waist-High Capri Pants
The era was all about the lines, and high-waisted pants are just the kind to follow this rule. Denim is the best way to go, however, isn’t always the most practical or comfortable. This can be swapped out for a denim print if you choose, the importance is really on the high-waist. If you want to go that extra step, fold them up a few inches at the bottom.

The Dress!
If you love the rockabilly style, then I guess you also love polka dots. And nothing says Rockabilly more than a cinched waist, flared dress with a polka dot print. These dresses usually include a thick band around the waist, again, to emphasize the lines prominent in the era and are best matched with a front facing bow around the bust.


A simple circle skirt
It was all about the flair, and we don’t mean glittery jewels. A skirt with a fitted waist and a big, big flair is the perfect casual rockabilly item. Where the dress is polka dot printed, real rockabilly girls stick with a plain black. The Groupon page for Dorothy Perkins has offers on these very versatile skirts which and can be matched with a waist-tie flannel print shirt or even a vest to give more of a Rockabilly feel.



What About Socks!
If you’re going to wear a skirt in the cold, you’re going to need knee-high socks. Famous for the era, black knee-high socks with a small piece at the top are a great match. Black is usually the better choice and makes it easier to work around with the rest of your piece choices. If you can find some with a cherry jewel at the top for a flash of colour when you cross your legs, the better!


Rockabilly isn’t a hard look to achieve, it just needs the right pieces. If you are interested in trying out this style, take from the items above, and you’ll be ready to go!

What are your rockabilly essentials?

Tips For Working From Home

Hey Cats,

As you may know I currently work from home and have always worked in places with the option to work at home or not having a set desk oh the dreaded hot desking situation. When you work from home it can be hard to maintain that work and home balance as you're in a space you are so used to relaxing in. How can you ensure you get work done but still keep the well being balance of a relaxing home? Let me give you a few tips that help me out.

Get Up Early


Just because you are working from home doesn't mean you should spend every day sleeping in. In fact I find that if I get up early check my emails while I have a cup of tea and then get up and get dressed for the day I am way more productive. The other day I couldn't sleep so just got up and had 2 clients worth of work ready to send off before it even it 9am. If you stay in your pj's all day you will get yourself in a different mind set and may not be able to focus. So get up get ready and then make a plan for the day ahead.


Routine

Maybe you're more of a night owl and early mornings don't work for you? Either way you need to keep to a regular routine. Set yourself goals for the day and plan in advance what you want to get done for the week ahead. When you set to work with a goal in mind the structure will help you stay focused. If you still have a heap of stuff to do around the house make sure you allocate time for those too but it is all about priorities, no point washing up when you have a deadline in a few hours the plates can wait. I like to try and keep to normal office hours and give myself a dinner time and end of day so that I know when I stop working for the day that is time to relax. That's why social media scheduling is the best thing I have come across in so long as the social media side of work can really eat into your family time.

Work Space

if you're lucky enough to have room for an office then that is a great start you can decorate the room to your hearts content but if not you can still create a designated work space with the use of a small desk or even a nice little table that you set up every day. I sit at a table by the window so I get lots of light and am far away from the distraction of the TV. Make your work space your own, it doesn't have to be boring.  I have seen some beautiful spaces that bloggers set up at home and no matter what your business may be having a creative working area will help keep the ideas flowing. By having storage and a set area you can also keep all your work things in one place instead of scattered around giving you constant reminders when you're trying to relax. Office Furniture for work have some really comfy chairs, display boards or even a filing cabinet if you are feeling fancy.

I would love a space like this at home
Get Out

Some days you may find yourself climbing the walls. Just because you 'work from home' doesn't mean you have to be at home all the time. The beauty of freelancing is if inspiration is lacking or there are too many distractions/temptations at home you can get out. Take your laptop or notebook to a coffee shop or even a local park and set up camp there. Lots of writers do their best work in public places and you never know where inspiration will hit.


Do you work from home? What are your tips?



*This has been a collaborative post but all opinions are my own

A - Z Of Inspirational Women - O is for...

Hey Grrrl,

It is time to celebrate amazing women again. I can't believe we are already up to O it seems like only yesterday I started this series. I have loved writing these posts because not only can I share women I find inspirational with you lovely lot but we can also discover more with your suggestions or while I am researching. That is the whole point of these posts to keep the power of inspiring women alive.


First up is a tricky one as lately this lady has been very problematic for the body positive community deciding to become a name for a huge weight loss company when she herself has known the struggles of being a plus size woman. However there is no denying that Oprah has jumped many hurdles and been a very inspirational woman. If not just for her performance in The Color purple. If you haven't seen the film it is mind blowing with an amazing performance from both Oprah and Whoopi. Oprah was also the first self made billionaire which is even more impressive when she comes from a working class background brought up by a hard working single mother. Oprah helps so many people every year through her show and charity work she takes part in my only issue is as a strong woman who already has a huge wealth fronting a company that makes people feel bad about their bodies is far from ideal. 


Olivia Wilde is an actress most known for her role in House. However you may not know that Olivia is involved with a number of charitable organisations to try and help us her influence to make a difference. She is a part of Artists for peace and justice who ensure education and health services are rolled out across under privileged areas in Haiti. Olivia has also been know to be an activist for youth votes, fair trade treatment of overseas farmer and is a keen vegetarian against cruelty to animals. A keen an outspoken woman who fights against the oppression of women and unjust treatment of people around the world. 


ORLAN is a fascinating creative woman. A French artist who now resides in LA Orlan is no stranger to using her body as art to express a woman's place in society. Orlan has created a number of  though provoking and to some shocking works of art. Often using her naked body to make a statement including those around female anatomy and menstruation. She has taken this work to a new level and is currently working on a series Plastic Surgery which has come under scrutiny my many. With this series Orlan is once again using her body as a canvas but this time literally in which she will undergo any bet of plastic surgery procedures to alter her appearance to that of the most idealised perfection and representation of women by men. This is an extreme comment on the ridiculous ideals enforced upon women through time.

Have I missed any? What do you think of these ladies?


Making Money From Blogging

Hey Bloggers!

Recently I wrote about staying motivated while blogging and it went down so well I teamed together with UK Credit to talk about how to make money blogging. Monetising your blog is something that isn't just for full time bloggers, you can be a hobby blogger but make a second income doing something you love. Just remember to declare your earnings through self assessment and register as self employed it really isn't as scary as you would think. There are a few ways I make money on my blog which can work for you too!

Sponsored Posts

Join some good blogging networks like UK Bloggers if you haven't already. This is a great place to learn new things about blogging, ask for advice and find out about sponsored post opportunities.  A sponsored post is where you work with a client by writing a post as discussed with the PR. This can be anything from reviewing a product or writing about a service. I really enjoy doing these posts because you can discover new things yourself or share things you already love and when brands start approaching you it is a really nice felling as well as adding extra cash into your account. Make sure you know your blog stats and your DA as these are often required and will have an impact on the price you get paid. Make sure you learn the rules set out by google and always disclose when a post is sponsored to be honest with your readers.



Advertising

There are lots of ways you Can use your little space of the Internet to sell ad spaces. The most popular is AD sense which you can install little ad blocks onto your blog where companies have click able advertising when a reader clicks onto that website you can earn money. This takes time to build up though and often a click is around 1p. Always look at your ad settings to make sure that you have set out what you are willing to have advertised. You can also link this up to your You tube account.

You can also allow other bloggers or companies to purchase an ad space on your blog adding them onto your side bar. Often for this you need to offer some social media promotion and some bloggers do a sponsors round up post every month too. I will be adding ad spaces to my blog soon so stay tuned to find out what packages will be on offer.

Affiliate Links

Lots of companies offer an affiliate program in which you can earn commission from using affiliate links. When someone buys a product using your link you will earn a percentage of the sale. Amazon are popular for their affiliate links and are easy to use to promote when you have read am interesting book.



Social Media Promotion

Some companies may not want a full post and just want to increase their social media presence. You may have them approach you asking to have something shared on your social media to increase their following through yours. Remember you worked hard for that following and put a package deal together to make sure you get compensated for your time,

Write An E book

If like me you started blogging to improve your own writing then you will be excited to know that you can also make money through publishing an E book and advertising it on your blog. Write about what you know. Do you have a collection of short stories, a knowledge of how to be crafty? Put that information together in an E book and you can sell it through Amazon.

To find out some more ways to make money blogging pop over to UK Credit and find out their suggestions, Do you make money blogging? What are your tips?


*This has been a collaboration please see disclaimer 

Putting the Spotlight On Discover Film

Hey Cats,

As you may know my trade I am an independent film maker having worked teaching film to young people and running my own film festivals. Part of this is making sure I support my fellow artists as much as I can by attending film festivals, watching others films and getting my bum to art exhibitions. Independent short films are a great way to discover new talent or get a bite size taste of a genre you may not have sampled before. When I found Discover film I was so excited I had to share them with you!

Discover film is a fantastic online resource which pools together independent talent from all over the world. Show casing short films of all genres and better yet it is free to join so isn't going to cost you anything. You can create a profile and show support by rating and reviewing the short films you have watched helping new artists get their work seen by more people. Ultimately as a film maker all you want is for people to see and appreciate your art.

There are pages of films to watch so if you are a bit bored of Netflix and looking for something new to keep you entertained then this is a fabulous alternative. Easy to use and no long forms to join I managed to sign up and was watching a short film within minutes. There is something for all tastes with a wide range of categories making independent film more access-able to everyone.  There is even a point system in place where you gain points for visiting the site or watching films which can unlock additional extras such as interviews and behind the scenes or you can opt to use your points to go into a monthly prize draw.


If you are a film maker yourself  then you will be able upload your own films but also network with fellow film makers. Networking is key in the film world and is a fantastic way to find more crew or even collaborate with other artists. You can get advice on the best equipment to use on an upcoming shoot or for me the dreaded one was finding quality actors on a low budget. There is even a film festival! Last year Discover film ran a film festival in London and it went so well that in September to October this year there will be another. So much hard work goes into putting film festivals together (Trust me I ran one for 3 years) so a lot of respect goes to discover for bringing us another place to celebrate home grown talent.


If you have a quality short film you can enter your work into the festival and have a chance to win yourself some recognition for your hard work and have your film screened in the phoenix theatre in London. If that isn't an excuse to make a film then I don't know what is. You can also find out about the winners of the last festival over on the website.  In all I am really impressed with the quality of networking, film and opportunity Discover Film is offering so make sure film maker or not you go check them out and show them some support.

Have you ever made a film?


#FridayFright - Green Room Review

Hey Ghouls,

Last Friday me and the Mr were invited out to the Electric Cinema in Birmingham City centre to watch Green Room on the opening day. A great day for the release of any kind of horror/thriller as it was Friday 13th! Some clever marketing going down there. We hadn't been to the cinema in so long so was excited to go see a film on the big screen again. The electric is the oldest cinema in the UK and is a great place to go if like us you're not a fan of crowded films full of annoying popcorn chucking teenagers. You can also grab yourself a drink and even get a sofa seat if you upgrade your ticket.


We had already heard about Green Room over at ETC news if you haven't  checked out cheeky Elliot and Eager Ricky's full packed entertainment news it is always a good and informative watch. We caught an interview with the ever humble Patrick Stewart talking about his experiences making a very different film from his usual Sci-fi bread and butter. If someone had told me that Patrick Steward would be playing a Skinhead in a thriller turned horror film I may not have believed you. Being a fan of skinhead culture and the films that have come with it such as This Is England, Romper Stomper and American History X, I wondered what angle this film would take.



The film revolves a young American punk band who are on a tour and stumble upon a gig at a bit of  a dubious place but being strapped for cash and needing money to get to the next venue they take the offer. Things don't go completely to plan and a bad gig turns into a life or death situation. For punk fans there are some extra in jokes and seeing a film around this culture in today's world makes me feel all nostalgic. If you are not a fan of the music it is a window into what the scene can sometimes be like....well at least the gig bits.


The suspense is built up and there are moments where you will find yourself really holding your breath. Putting you right in the Dr Martens of the action you feel like you are the secret member of the band just trying to get away. The violence is very raw and real without being mindless gore but prepare to grit your teeth at some scenes. Do the band make it home? You are going to have to watch it yourself. 



Patrick Steward didn't blow me away but he also didn't seem out of place his deceptively soothing distinctive voice was much at home adding to suspense in some scenes. You also find Alia Shawkat from arrested development (also the new pee wee film) seems born to play the role. If you haven't seen 13 sins yet check that out as the lead Mark Webber makes a shaven head appearance. 



Foxy's Fright club give it a stomping 8/10 

Have you checked it out yet? More importantly who are your desert island band?


Feminine Summer Style With JD Williams

Hey Cats,

Although summer is just around the corner Spring is still very much in swing. The sun has been shining and we have been blessed with some beautiful days. For me Spring and Summer is all about flowers I have seen so many beautiful bluebells, daisies and you will have seen them on Instagram. When JD Williams got in contact and asked me to put together a Summer outfit I wanted a floral boho vibe and there was plenty to choose from. I picked out this lovely summer dress from JD williams.

Dress - Simply Be  at  Jd williams
Shoes - Sole diva from Jd williams
 Flower crown- primark
Necklace- Black heart creatives 

In this outfit I am breaking all the rules put upon plus size ladies I have my legs out,my arms free and I am wearing the hanky hem shunned by so many. You know what? It works and I felt so pretty. Do not be afraid to bare skin this summer get a tan, don't hide away! This is a floral dress with a difference, I loved the splashes of colour with the yellow reminding me of sunshine days complimented by the pinks and blue/lilac flowers sprinkled around the dress. I have never been much of a fan of wearing white but the colours make the dress more wearable and interesting. 


Fully lined the dress is of beautiful quality but still feels really light and airy. It would be perfect to wear to a Spring/summer wedding or even for a stroll along a hot beach on holidays. The underskirt means you can feel secure when the breeze floats the light fabric of the longer hem and gives you a very feminine appeal. I opted for a 22 and it was very true to size. 



The subtle v neck isn't too low like some dresses can be. I think this is an ageless picot suitable for young and more mature ladies looking for some floral sunshine in their wardrobe. A lot of people shy away from the hanky hem thinking it has been over used and enforced on the plus size community. I personally think it works on this dress with a dipped hanky ham on the sides it really gives the dress a more boho free spirited appeal. Even those who shy away from getting their glorious beautiful legs out can feel comfortable as you feel like you're not totally on display.


No summer outfit is complete without shoes and Jd Williams has a wide range of sandals. I teamed this outfit with some chunky tan sandals from Sole Diva. They are a wider fit so extra comfortable and the chunkier heel makes them easier to walk in. I really like the cork style effect on the platform and heel of the shoe and think they are really versatile for a Spring and summer wardrobe. As I said I wanted a boho feel and accessories really bring that looks together summer is a great time to rock flower crowns and fun jewellery.

What will you be rocking this summer?


*Items were sent for review purpose but all opinions are my own


Current Skincare + coconut oil giveaway

Hey Cats,

If you watched my Body Shop video the other week then you would have seen I am currently on the quest for the perfect skincare routine. I have always tried to look after my skin but after hitting 33 last birthday I thought it was really time to kick it into gear. The most important thing to remember about skincare is it can be different for everyone. I have normal to oily combination skin but as I am over 30 I also tend to go for anti ageing products too. While I am on this journey I thought I would share the products I am currently using and how I use them. 


In the morning I start by using Soap And Glory cleanser to wash my face. It smells like peaches and cream and is so nice. I love how quick and easy it is to use so no fussing about and a little goes a long way. I always make sure after using warm water I splash my face with cold to help close my pores. 



Next I use a large cotton pad, I love the ones from primark because you only usually need one. I use this to apply my toner. I mentioned this Kueshi pure and clean toner In my favourites video a month or so ago and I love that it smells like red apples. It is so cooling so especially nice to use on hot days and leaves my skin feeling so refreshed. Also hello it's pink! 



Day cream at the moment I am using Boots Time Delay With anti ageing. It feels so light on the skin but leaves it so soft. However the last few times I have used it I ended up with some in my eye and it really irritated my eyes which I never usually have a problem with for moisturisers. It firms the skin and had a built in 15 SPF. I let this settle on my skin before starting any make up. Again a little goes a very long way so this product has really been lasting me making it worth the money.


At the end of the day I have become a legend at taking my make up off before bed! I used to always forget and was awful for just using make up wipes which can dry out your skin and not get all the bad stuff off. Now you may have heard everyone banging on about coconut oil being a go to beauty product....well that's because it is. I use it for sooo many things and one of them is to take my make up off at the end of the day. Using a spoon or knife I just take a tiny bit out half a teaspoon at max is plenty. I warm it up in my hands and then massage across my face making sure everything is coming off. Because it is an oil it really lifts all the waterproof products that can be a pain to try and remove. I am currently using Indigo Herbs organic virgin coconut oil which also supports an independent business. If you want to try coconut oil for yourself then enter the giveaway at the bottom of the page. I was this off and make sure I use a warm cloth to get all the product off.



To be sure I go back with the peaches and clean lifting any leftover dirt and making sure no coconut oil has been left in my pores. Then bring on the lovely Apple scent of Kueshi. I am not currently using any oils before bed but have my eye on some so I use a night cream. I am currently using Lacura restorative night cream. This was a bargain at only £1.99 from Aldi. Aldi have some amazing beauty products which has won awards so I am working my way through them. 


I also use a face mask every two weeks to relax and give my skin a kick. I am open to advice and want to hear what you use too!! 

Now for the competition just chose as little or as many of the options below and some coconut oil from will be winging its way to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Black Heart Creatives Subscription Box

Hey Cats,

You all know my love for Black Heart Creatives is strong and you would have seen in a haul a while ago I picked up their first jewellery subscription box. Mine was from all the way back in February and there have been several more fantastic boxes since then but I just opened for a one off box which is an option I live in a subscription box because lord knows some months are financially better than others! I thought I would show you how I made mine! Everything you need to make some fabulous jewellery comes in the box including a pair of pliers on your first order. February was love themed with it being valentines so was full of glittery hearts. 


In each box you can make a necklace and a set of ear rings. There are enough bits that you can adapt them to your tastes. I love that idea as you can adjust the chain to whatever length suits you. Every month the lovely Charlotte from BHC makes a you tube video showing you ideas on how you can put the piece together. 


I love these glittery and pastel hearts they are way too cute not to use them all. I decided the best way was to lay them out in the order I wanted them along with all the little rings needed to clip them together. You then just use the provided pliers to pop open the rings and thread the hearts through. You can use two to link between to make the necklace longer but I wanted mine close together. Then just use the pliers again to make sure the ring is shut tight. 


Next you just need to choose how long you want your chain and add the link to the clasp and awesome official BHC charm!


 Then link everything together. At this point I went back with the pliers to make sure that everything was nice and tight. Making the earrings is the same process but a lot quicker. Here is my awesome finished product.




I had so much fun making jewellery and will definitely be signing up for another box in future are they are such fun designs so gutted I missed out on under sea themed box. Black heart creatives also run workshops from time to time so keep an eye out for those too! 


Did you get a BHC box? Have you made jewellery?