Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Salute to 2011

Me, Summer 2011

All over the web, yearly review posts much like the one I did for 2010 are popping up, mostly exclaiming that 2011 has been great. For me, however, 2011 was a little bit of a kick in the nuts. If I had nuts, that is. If you've purchased Ambitious Happiness and read the introduction, you'll have a little bit more of an idea why.

2011 was a year that gave plentifully, as my tarot reading predicted, but it was also a year that took away in equal measure: I gained a First Class degree; I lost a great love. I gained roots in a lovely little flat to call my own; I lost a sense of adventure.

Because it was a dodgy year, I haven't really felt inspired to wax on about how great it was. Though I do know in my heart that it would probably make me feel better to focus on the tonnes of awesome that did go down, I'm way more into the idea of getting excited about 2012.

Aberaeron Beach, Summer 2011

I have decided that 2012 will be a year of what I'm calling a personal evolution; there will be an evolution of this blog, and an evolution of myself into career-woman, grown-up and bona fide adventurer. I've been given back my independence and I intend to make the most of it; it's what you might call rolling with the punches or, in the words of author David Whyte, "the need to catch the tide while the tide is in and travel out with it as it ebbs."

I'm travelling out with the tide, kids.

But down to business. I might have had somewhat of a tough ride this year personally, but dang did I do some great writing off the back of it! So, to celebrate that facet of the year that was, let's take a stroll through the past twelve months of Charade.

// January was when I asked how do we value? And decided we should all just keep getting better:
"What matters, of course, is that we try; that we attempt our goals. Just by trying, you are one of a magical, minute percentage of individuals who go after what they want, as opposed to what is conveniently presented to them. You may not know it, but you’re already up there with the greats."

" can’t hate yourself and improve yourself simultaneously, things just don’t work that way. There is a stark difference between aiming to develop yourself, and aiming to substitute yourself."

// March was when the year really started to get a bit shaky, but I asserted that emotional crisis need not destroy you and that you should let yourself cave-in - you can rebuild yourself better.

// The end of May brought the end of my adventures in Spain and I gave you a free-spirit manifesto.
"Dreams are there to be followed, and only if we can free ourselves from the constraints of “shouldn’t you...” or “hadn’t you better...” by not minding how our life-résumé looks from the outside; by knowing innately that we’ve got it going on, regardless of popular opinion – only then can we say we are following those dreams authentically."
// In June I challenged you to get ahead of yourself and gave you 25 ways to feel better.
"But the magic is in pulling it back; feeling the pain, healing the pain, and using the pain as progress. If life were a computer game, these periods would be the level changes; the points where you have to fight the big bosses, to ultimately move to a higher point in the journey."
// During July I asked you to stay smiling and consider whether the universe might be preparing your upgrade.

// In August we went all archive-y with vintage classics such as the ultimate geek's guide to fashion budgeting. And Charade turned three, yippee!

// September saw me ask you what do you do when life gets in the way of your dreams? And suggest you have a restart.

// In October we discussed letting go of the thread and I cobbled together a guide for the newly single.

// In November I shared a suggestion to start a good news diary and 7 ways to celebrate yourself daily:
"Recognise that your life really is the product of the intention you are investing it with. Intend on enjoying your first cup of tea of the day. Intend on getting the most from your work day. Intend on walking home rather than catching the bus to get some exercise. Intend on celebrating."

// For December, this glorious month that we are still only just in, I chose to share my thoughts on how to be happy.

A beautiful Welsh garden, also Summer 2011

My last salute of 2011, of course, goes to you. You with the precious, priceless ambition. You who had your heart broken along with mine. You with the fears, acting out your dreams regardless. You having your voice heard in the comments. You quietly enacting great change.

Thanks to all of you, for lending an ear into which I've had the opportunity to do my web-whispering. You are all in my heart, all of the time. 

I wish you a 2012 to be proud of, whether it brings challenges or lucky chances; joyous leaps or hard leg-work. You'll be up to it, and it'll be worth it ♥

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas 2011 was a goody!

A Christmas-cracker moustache.

Reading grown-up books on childhood sheets.

Homemade soya lattes.

A sniff of Spring.

Treats, treats and more treats!


The big day very-veggie dinner.

I'm wearing:

Dress and beret ♥ Vintage
Boots ♥ Faith
Scarf ♥ Warehouse
Tights ♥ John Lewis
Jumper ♥ BS8 in Bristol

I hope your holidays were magical!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

How to Stay Motivated When You Aren't In Your Dream Job

Image thanks to antara

This is a guest-post from my gorgeous gal-pal, Ellen. If you haven't checked out her blog yet I absolutely demand that you do. If you would like to guest-post on Charade, it would make my day to hear from you! Drop me a line: megan[at]charadestyle[dot]com

After job hunting for six months I have found a job in a welcoming, friendly café and feel very fortunate - given the current employment crisis - that I have been given the opportunity, finally, to get out of the house, work hard and earn some much needed money. It is true that I don’t necessarily see myself working in the catering industry forever and would personally feel unfulfilled if I didn’t manage to find a job working with books, doing something that really challenged me and also fulfilling my desire to help others in the work I do (for example in a literacy charity). That said, I do gain satisfaction from doing my job well and completing tasks I am given in my café job to a high standard.

I’ve noticed that customers, clients and fellow colleagues always ask me what field I’d like to eventually work in when I’m doing stints in cafés or shops. This isn’t because they know I have aspirations to get into publishing but, I think, they assume one wouldn’t aspire to make a career working in these types of establishment. I find myself wondering what it must feel like for people who are happy in the good job they are doing making coffee, serving food and drinks and selling on shop floors when they get asked the same question. I think it would begin to feel as if people would respect you more as a person if you had a ‘proper job’.

Success is drummed into us our whole lives.Making something of yourself’ and ‘reaching your potential’ are stock phrases at school where you are constantly judged on your academic prowess and ability to perform well in tests. My decision to go to university seemed to me at the time an inevitable one. I know full well how lucky I am to have been able to go at all and did enjoy my learning experience but, at the age of nineteen, I felt I was expected to go to university and, if I didn’t, that would reflect badly on me. I don’t deny my own drive to achieve, to educate myself and have a good career but, if I felt no expectation from society, my fellow peers, colleagues and family I may well feel happier than I currently do at having a job in a café. However, it is the case that I see this job as a (hopefully happy) stop gap before finding a job in publishing. Motivation to do a really good job and find the best in everyday, sometimes repetitive or unglamorous tasks, is going to be really important for me to be happy for the time I am in the job.

Here are a few things which I find help to motivate me daily to do a good job and stay confident and upbeat:

Whatever the job, do it with style.
I find that tasks such as making coffee on a proper coffee machine can be really satisfying if you have already had some experience in it so that you can feel confident doing at least one thing in a new job really well and be known for making great coffee by customers and your colleagues. As a way of keeping the task interesting I also like trying to perfect my style, memorising regular customers’ orders and learning about the type of coffee we use and where it’s from, the machine and how it works and different coffee styles.

Note your progress.
I sometimes worry that I am doing a similar job to when I was sixteen, even though I have come a long way since then academically and professionally, but it is actually quite an interesting process to be going through as I see the difference in myself from when I was younger to now. It is really important to be confident when working in retail and catering. Coffee shop managers overuse the phrase ‘use your common sense’ but often destroy their employees’ confidence by watching them like a hawk for mistakes. I feel lucky that in my current job the people I work with are all laidback enough to let me get on with any task on my own and only help if I ask for it. I remember being younger and asking for help ever other minute because I wasn’t confident to go ahead and do something alone. Now I use my instinct and judgement and it usually works out well, and if it doesn’t I learn from it! I have also noticed that I am much less sensitive to criticism than I was when I was younger and don’t see every piece of feedback about my performance as a negative slight!

Use your imagination.
I have always made up stories in my head and I’ve noticed that in the first few days of working in the café I was imagining my colleagues reporting back to our boss about how well I had been doing. This probably sounds rather strange, or at least a bit arrogant, but I’ve found it a really helpful way of maintaining confidence in myself in unfamiliar situations. If you imagine others thinking that you’re doing a brilliant job, you will probably do one!

Make an impression.
The other way that I motivate myself, and I think all of the other staff at the café do the same, is by trying to impress the boss who is away most of the time. When he is due back everyone makes twice the effort to do everything by the book. Although he is not very vocal with praise and his approval is not actually very important to me in the wider scheme of things, it feels good to work towards a set goal with the rest of the team.

Make it about more than just money.
Pay and holiday are classic incentives to get employees working at their best and it is always nice to receive a tip for the effort you are putting in to provide a good service. Strangely, after getting paid for the first time in three years this week, the bonus of making money now has not really registered with me yet. I am more intent at the moment on making new friends at work and becoming a part of the family atmosphere of the café. Making a good impression, chatting to really friendly customers, doing a brilliant job (even if the task is making coffees, stacking dishwashers and clearing tables) is what really motivates me and, as long as I am doing that and am happy working with a supportive team of people I am going to view my job for what it is- a much needed, much sought after, much appreciated, much tiring job!

What is your strategy for staying motivated at work? Does it work!?

Monday, 26 December 2011

Words to Live By #173

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

What a brilliant quote for the beginning of a new year. Use it as a mantra-reminder that any epic, gargantuan goals you have - even if you feel they are impossible - will start with the smallest, measured actions from you right now. So start. Here's one sneaky Christmas pic and, just to give you an idea of the ridiculousness of the internet situation, it took around ten minutes to upload. Doh. Pub tomorrow for a speedier connection!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Saturday Salute 24.12.11

Image thanks to yvette

It's nearly Christmas, folks! Excited? I've definitely shed my blues from last week now that I'm comfortably ensconced in the bosom of my family. I arrived to our little corner of the Welsh countryside last night to a roaring fire, Christmas jingles and plenty of prezzies under a beautifully decorated tree, rather magical indeed. Unfortunately the internet has gone snail-slow so I've retreated to the local pub and am sat amid the other patrons sipping a hazelnut Americano, wearing a pink sparkly jumper and tapping away on my pink laptop - girl loves to stick to a theme!

My early gift to you? The links:

// How to Overcome Overwhelm. This is an article I wish I'd written! So on the money, and a generally wonderful blog that I know you'll love!

// 5 Strengths I Forgot I Had Until A Drunk Man Wandered Into My Room. A tale of good old girl-power from The Fab Life Project.  

// I'm definitely going to try this self-discipline trick.

// If you're expecting to have a bit of free time over the holidays, you know you could still grab your very own bumper-copy of the Ambitious Happiness eCourse. The perfect way to spend ten free days: harvesting some happiness!

// Quite extraordinarily beautiful:

I will attempt a little Christmassy post tomorrow with pictures, but with the internet the way it is I make no promises!

All the love and blessings in the world for the big day ♥

Friday, 23 December 2011

Friday Feature: Make it a Cozy Christmas with Marks & Spencer!

By golly it's got chilly around here, so it's time for a seasonally appropriate post about staying warm! At this time of year, there is really nothing more frustrating than having – literally – cold feet. It's a time of year to curl up inside and stay warm and cozy, and to bundle up big-time if you do decide to brave the outdoors. One of the best ways to keep your toes toasty this season are, without a doubt, the furry boots and cozy slippers offered by Marks & Spencer.

For instance, these Per Una faux fur pom-pom boot slippers - could they look any more comfortable? Or any cosier? A fashionably furry grey boot slipper that almost resembles an Ugg boot, save for its fuzz ball tassels and soft slipper soles. The boots also come in a dark beige or purple, and would be simply amazing for lounging around the house, or even curling up on the couch. 

A last minute addition to your Christmas list? Or, for those of you who like to look ahead, even something to hint at for Valentine’s Day... It’s easy to browse through the selections, and who wouldn’t enjoy getting you the gift of comfort? Finally, they are all completely affordable, making them perfect gifts for anyone (that includes yourself!)

Charade hearts Marks & Sparks!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Make Your Life Amazing 2012’s back! In 2010, as many of you know, we spent the 31 days of January striving to make our lives amazing. At the beginning of 2011 I put all the posts together so that you could complete the programme alone, but this year I think it’s time we all came together again!

Over the first four fabulous weeks of 2012, I will be initiating you into the wonder that is: your own amazing life. That’s right! Every single day of January 2012 I will be posting an uplifting, enlightening, inspirational article – that’s thirty-one articles altogether. Phew-ee.

I will be posting all the original articles right here on the blog, along with my very own journal entries, with a few tweaks, surprises and extras along the way! And it’s all totally free, baby.

The articles featured will include:
♥ How to Reclaim Your True Individuality
♥ Getting to Know Your Productive Self
♥ Improve Your Life by Playing a Character
♥ Take Yourself on a Creative Date
♥ How to Find and Follow Your Bliss

Each article will be made up of three parts:

A foundational, inspirational idea to get you thinking
A summary for straightforward development
An item of ‘homework’ to undertake if you’re really serious about that amazing life

Here’s what you had to say the first time around:

"If it doesn't help Make Your Life Amazing, I will eat my hat."
Neysa, reader and MYLA participant.

"I can't possibly say how much I loved the MYLA posts. They've been amazing, such a good start of this year."
Greta, reader and MYLA participant.

"It made me really stop and think about what I have, and what I want from life."
Fee, reader and MYLA participant.

What a wonderful bunch!

I can tell you that I really need MYLA this year – 2011 has tossed me around a treat and I’ve been left feeling a little dazed to say the least. I think this will be the perfect way for me to get some clarity and direction back, to make 2012 (two-thousand and swell) a year to remember.

Are you in?

If you would like to spread the love, I give you free reign to repost the whole 31 days at your whim through whatever medium you choose – just be sure to credit me and the blog with a link. You can also share this cute little button I whipped up:

PLUS all participants who leave a comment on this first post will be entered to win one of FIVE FREE COPIES of the Ambitious Happiness eCourse, which I will announce at the end of the month. That way you can continue your journey to joy and delight into 2012 and beyond!

See you here January 1st to get cracking on your own personal existence upgrade. (Swanky new journals optional, but you know I’m using my Rob Ryan one.) I honestly CAN’T WAIT!

[Credit: Banner background thanks to Shandi-Lee]

Monday, 19 December 2011

Words to Live By #172

Image thanks to i.anton

"You've got to know yourself so you can at last be yourself."
D.H. Lawrence

Sunday, 18 December 2011

A Peek at the Week: Feeling Blue

Nearly-bare trees, a sweet outfit and even sweeter treats!

I don't know if it was the colour choice of my get-up today, but despite starting the day in high spirits I'm feeling a little bit down this evening. I think sometimes the hype of Christmas can impose a sort of forced cheeriness that can actually be oddly depressing - do you know what I mean?! Also, my washing machine has broken for the second time in less than four months and I just can deal with more days waiting in for elusive tradesmen! Sigh. I think the remedy might be a mug of tea (always) and an early night with a good book...

I'm wearing:

Cardigan ♥ H&M
Dress ♥ H&M (charity shop find)
Beret ♥ Vintage
Necklace ♥ an old favourite, from A-Wear

And a reminder to myself of how I started the day - chirpy! I hope you had a lovely pre-Christmas weekend.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Saturday Salute 17.12.11

Image thanks to shandi-lee

Well hello there, and a very warm welcome to your weekend! What do you have planned this fine fin de semana? I did the bulk of my Christmas shopping today - leaving it so late - but luckily I found some great things and town wasn't nearly as hellish and heaving as I'd imagined it would be! Last night I danced to dubstep and drank Amaretto with ginger ale. Tonight I'm taking it easy, and tomorrow I'm off for a spot of craft-shopping. I leave you with the links.

// Life crush. Watch this video and try to be inspired rather than hideously jealous (which is the emotion that I had to suppress!)

// This will make you giggle.

// will this!

// The Art of Being an Ambitious Female from Justine Musk - it may even encourage you to get Ambitiously Happy (here's hoping!)

// Lovely:

That's all, friends! Good luck with any last minute Christmas prep you have planned!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Here's to the Crazy Ones...

Image thanks to hillary

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things.

They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

How to Be Happy

Image thanks to yvette

Being happy should be so simple, and yet it isn’t. How to be happy is a question many people struggle with everyday. Some days perhaps you feel elated, invigorated, inspired – but then some you feel dismal, down, distraught. What you should know is that happiness is a continual evolution – not a conclusion. You can be happy without a happy ending by making it a priority to perpetuate practices of happiness in your day-to-day life.

Here are nine easy, proactive steps you can take in your quest for that elusive halo of happiness.

Write an ‘it’s done!’ list. I love writing lists, but recently I’ve noticed just how many To Do lists I write, without ever stopping to notice or reward myself for what I’ve done. As the year draws to a close, of course you should get excited about all the magic you’re going to make for yourself in 2012 – but I encourage you to celebrate the ways in which 2011 was a great year, and all the things you gained from it as an individual: emotionally, physically, spiritually, materially, financially... For example, I got a First Class degree – it’s done! I got a lovely place to live – it’s done! I significantly grew my web of wonderful international friends – it’s done! I doubled my blog income – it’s done! It feels GOOD to focus on your achievements rather than your aspirations for a change.

Give Up. Give up on the goal that your heart isn’t really in. Give up dreaming and start doing. Give up the thread. Lighten your load by letting things go – if it isn’t setting you a-spark; if it isn’t exciting and inspiring you anymore – no matter how much you want it to, or how much it once did – give it up. You’ll feel so much better for it, and your energy is always better invested in the things that excite you.

Spend some time alone – and get happy in your own company. Since the end of my long-term relationship, I’ve spent a lot of time alone. Quiet, reflective, often sad, but mainly joyous time in my own company, and I can tell you it has been so incredibly enlightening. I’ve learnt to listen to my own voice – to the things I tell myself, good and bad. I’ve learnt to look after myself – to make wholesome meals, to keep the space around me tidy, to cheer myself up (a revelation!), to let myself off when I need to and also to push myself when it’s necessary. I’ve learnt to be my own favourite person to be around and I believe this will be so incredibly beneficial to my next relationship, because I won’t be reliant on a partner for emotional support; they will be in my life purely to love and be loved by me. I will strive to treat them with the respect and care that I’ve learnt to treat myself with, whilst continuing to care for myself so that it won’t frustrate me when they can’t be my sole source of support – I’ll be supporting myself too. Even if you are in a great relationship, and even if the thought scares you, try to spend a little bit of time alone – a long quiet walk in the country, an afternoon reading books in bed, an evening at home cooking for just you – try aloneness on for size and find the bliss in it.

Be your own best friend. I know that the above isn’t easy for everyone, but loving your own company is such a valuable practice – because you never know when life might ask you to be alone for a while. One way that you can learn to be kinder to yourself – to be your own greatest ally – is one I took from the book, Solemate. Close your eyes and visualise yourself as a small child. See what a precious little light you are in the world, and how you need care and encouragement to reach your potential – then strive to treat yourself with that level of care every day. One thing that is bugging me about living alone is washing the dishes – I loathe washing dishes! And now I don’t have a sweet boy to do them for me when I don’t feel like it. Rather than feeling angered every day by this inevitable task, however, I decided to change my mindset, and now I dutifully do them because it is a nice thing to do for myself – just like it would be a nice thing for somebody else to do for me. If I leave them, the mess is only going to get in my own way, so I recognise that in doing them I am giving my future self the joy of a clean kitchen! Simple but revolutionary.

Image thanks to amy

Reach out. Whilst it is important to love your own company, it is also important to build a group around you whose company you also love – and who inspire you. This is especially important if you verge on the introverted, like I do. As life is always changing and evolving for us, it is so important that we are continually challenging ourselves to meet new people; to thrash around outside of our comfort zone. This doesn’t make our old friends any less important, it just means we can learn to put a little less pressure on them to fulfil our friendship needs. It also means we are constantly learning – because there is nothing like a new person to surprise and educate you in different ways of seeing the world. How you do this is down to you – you know the usual suggestions of going to a new class, volunteering etc. – what’s important is that you are nudging yourself into challenging but ultimately rewarding situations.

Set your own goal-posts for happiness – and make them stick. Isn’t it funny how the goal-posts for what makes us happy are always shifting? For the last, oh, lifetime, it has been an important goal of mine to have my own home – that was a kind of happiness. Now I have it – I’m living in that goal. And yet, inevitably, I have mentally illustrated a whole new version of happiness. Happiness would be solid wood floors; a free standing kitchen; a pastel green Smeg fridge; an iron bed; a wall covered in vintage mirrors... the list goes on! Unless I’m prepared to sink myself into unholy amounts of debt, however, I cannot have these things right now. So does that mean I’m officially unhappy? And, when I do eventually get those things – two, three, or five years down the line – from experience, won’t I just illustrate a new version of happiness? A wet room and sauna, a pony paddock, an open fire... The material hunt for happiness has to be stopped in its tracks, because it will never end in satisfaction – that is the very nature of consumerism: to keep consuming.

The solution is to set your own goal-posts, beyond the material and external conditions that life might freely give, but also freely take away. This is probably just a case of re-focusing yourself to look at the great gifts that you already have – your health; your family; meaningful work; your own precious path that comes with inevitable trip-ups but that you walk with joy regardless; money in the bank which spells freedom and opportunity not just a heap of stuff, and a comfortable place to live that you can adorn in myriad ways without any financial investment whatsoever (see below).

Happy-fy your environment. Despite the above, an environment that brings us joy is so important – we just need to re-imagine how exactly we gain joy from it. Life is short so use your ‘best’ possessions – roll around in your ‘best’ sheets, wear your ‘best’ dresses, use that ancient tea-set that you’re scared of breaking but that begs to be used. String up some cheap fairy-lights to add magic and warmth to a dark space. Put the items you love – like your shoes, or your favourite books, or all those photos of loved ones you have stuffed in storage – on display. Take a day off to spend entirely on making your environment – whether it be your dorm room, your old bedroom at home, or a rented flat – a space that makes you happy. Be imaginative. Hang your favourite dresses out on display; cover a whole wall in gorgeous magazine clippings; get an enormous map and place different colour pins in it for the places you’ve been and the places you want to go to. Place your most artistic CD cases facing outward on a shelf so that you can appreciate them (my friend used to have two spaced-apart pins in the wall where she would prop up a CD next to her CD player and a little notice saying ‘Now Playing’ – how cute!) Gather up a load of junk that is cluttering your space and dampening your enjoyment of it and take it to the charity shop.

When I moved into my flat I got rid of loads of stuff. Even though it was difficult, eventually I started just throwing stuff in a box and then refused to look back in the box in case I changed my mind; I gave it to my mum to take so I couldn’t chicken out! In the end if you can forget something, why did you have it in the first place? Sometimes I look around and think – where did all my stuff go? – but generally I feel so much freer having only the essential, exquisite items which I adore surrounding me.

Happy-fy your relationships. I briefly touched on this topic with my recent article on ways to celebrate yourself; I asked you to celebrate others. An extension of this is to be happy for others, and happy to be around them, and happy to have them as a blessing in your life. Great relationships – be it family, friends, lovers – are not a given in life. Not even close. Not everybody has a mum for amazing advice; a dad for practical support; a sister for unerring love; great friends for eternal giggles... But we forget to be thankful for them all the time. Tell the people in your life that you’re happy to see them; tell them you are happy for them when they meet successes. Strengthen your relationships with gratitude; happy-fy them by giving them your whole heart.

Hug it out. As tribal creatures, human contact feeds us. That’s why we run into our mother’s arms when we hurt ourselves as a child: our confidence has been knocked and her embrace will go a little way towards putting it back. It’s why we’ve developed a physical language such as hand-shaking, pats on the back, and shoulder-rubbing in times of tension. It’s also why we might seek validation through promiscuity when we are without a fulfilling relationship. But as we get older and more independent, hugs can often stop being part of our physical language, particularly that of the day-to-day. A hug from someone close to you says so much. It says “it’s okay”, “I’m here”, “I believe in you”, “you’re not alone”, “I empathise” etc. etc. These are all things we need to hear in low moments, so why not hear them through a hug?

What are your daily happy practices? And will you be implementing any of mine?
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it has inspired you a little way in How to Be Happy. As much as I don’t want to sully this post with shameless self-promotion, if you like the tips given here, it is really very likely that you will love the Ambitious Happiness eCourse – have a quick read about what I’m offering here. The course is stuffed to the brim with practical, actionable, inspiring steps to imagining and crafting some heartfelt happiness. Maybe even grab one to download immediately!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Words to Live By #171

Image thanks to i.anton

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
e. e. cummings

Saturday, 10 December 2011

The Saturday Salute 10.12.11

Image thanks to luis

Hello my pretty posse! It's got preeeetty cold around here just lately, and I'm yearning for the warm open fires, comfort food and endless mugs of tea that Christmas at my family home in Wales will surely bring. Only two weeks of workin' 9 to 5 to go. For now, link up, look sharp:

// Ooer, guess who is Lady of the Month at Girls Are Made From Pepsi? Thanks Camilla!

// I want to wear my hair like this forever.

// Major yum.

// Gift bags made from newspaper. That's some sexy recycling right there.

// Loving on this quite hard:

Happy weekend!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Edinbirthday: Part Two

Have you ever visited Edinburgh? Did you love it as much as I did?!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Edinbirthday: Part One

I turned twenty-three in Edinburgh and it was fabulous. I wore:

Jacket and T-Shirt ♥ H&M
Jumper ♥ BS8
Skirt and Satchel ♥ Vintage
Tights ♥ Somewhere in Spain!
Shoes ♥ Defshop

Part two swooping in for a landing tomorrow.