Working from home

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my “office corner” of my living room

I’m lucky enough to have a job which lets me work from home from time to time. There is something quite decadent replying to emails in your pyjamas! A few of my team work from home on a regular weekly basis but I just do it from time to time. So when I was contacted to chat about AXA‘s new competition about work for home, I was more than happy to chat about my experience of working from home.

I thought the easiest way of doing this was to talk around the pros and cons I’ve found when I’ve worked from home.

Pros:

  • You can wear what you want! Your pjs, your slob gear, just your underwear, nothing!
  • You don’t have to make any effort to look smart.
  • You can listen to music – and sing – without upsetting your colleagues
  • You don’t have to hot desk – unless it’s a battle between you and the cat. And in my house, I always win.
  • You don’t have to go far for snacks.
  • You can watch TV during your breaks.
  • You can concentrate on work without being interrupted.
  • You don’t have to work set hours. You can start at 7am and go back to bed at 11 for a nap.
  • You don’t have to face the commute. Rolling out of bed and starting work in less than 3 minutes is bliss!
  • You can run errands and get stuff done around the house – without having to battle everyone else on the weekend.
  • You can finish work and start to relax in seconds rather than having to come home first.

 

Cons:

  • It’s lonely. There’s no one to have a chat to when you’re stuck and need to brainstorm an idea or just to have a natter too.
  • You look a mess and have no motivation to not look a mess!
  • You end up working more hours. I often find I will log back in to work later in the evening. Even if I have been working since 7am.
  • It’s easier to procrastinate. When you have no one looking over your shoulder (or at least the risk of that), you find yourself on social media more and before you know it an hour has passed. Ahem.
  • It’s too easy to graze on snacks all day. I always find I eat rubbish when I work at home. A whole bag of haribos will vanish, as will big bags of crisps, bars of chocolate. Then I feel sluggish.
  • You miss out on gossip. Things always tend to happen at work the day you aren’t there. You get back into the office and everyone is chatting about something and it’s often “you had to be there” type of situation.
  • You miss out on team bonding (see above).
  • The work you tend to bring home is usually the really boring stuff that needs you to concentrate.
  • The remote access system not working is really frustrating!

 

Overall, I like my job, I like my team and my commute – although at times is rubbish – overall is pretty easy. So I don’t mind going into work. I have a laugh and although there are times where things could be done quicker, I still get my work done on time and to a high standard. So would I work from home on a permanent basis? Not really. Once in a while is lovely, otherwise I’m happy to be part of the rat race.

What about you? Do you work from home? And office? Mixture of both?

 

Lochs and Glens

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For the second year running, the husband and I spent a week in Dunoon – a small coastal town on the shores of the Clyde. The quickest way to Dunoon is by ferry which for me is always exciting – not matter how many times I do it!

This time my family – mum, brother, sister and brother-in-law – joined us and we stayed in Toward (pronounced tollard as I was corrected!) – a small village about 6 miles outside of Dunoon. The setting of the house was not as pretty as last year’s one was but it was a massive house, big enough for six adults to have space and no (well not many) fights.

The husband and I did a few things with the family and a few things on our own. Here are some pictures of my favourite bits:

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This picture reminds me of Totoro for some reason!

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First up – our hike up Benmore. It was a dreich day but that didn’t stop us and the views from the top were magnificent. I think I love Scotland in the rain more than the sun! However, because of the mild winter the midges were in full flight and I was eaten alive in the two minutes it took me to take off my coat and cardigan and put my coat back on. I had over 100 bites. Little bastards!

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Next up – the penultimate day saw down by the shores of Loch Eck - my favourite of all the lochs fact! I’m not sure why. Maybe because its so untouched. Maybe because you can swim in it without fear of drowning, being killed by a motorboat or by Nessie. Anyway, last year it was too cold to get my feet wet but this year I took full advantage.

I didn’t take many other pictures but I’m glad I got these ones. Looks like we’ll be heading back to Scotland next spring with our friends for another adventure. I’m also seriously looking to move up there … one day!

 

Pinspiration: Look Three

Becky and I have been doing this challenge for three months now, so hopefully you know the drill (but look here if you don’t). It was Becky’s turn to choose this month and she went for this outfit:

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source here

Here is my interpretation of it. Before we see the pictures, my photographer is currently in-between cameras (he’s purchasing a new super dooper one which has a waiting list) so you’ll have to make do with some mirror shots – sorry!

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Trousers – ASOS curve (sold out)

T-shirt – ASOS curve

Blazer – c/o Curvissa

Necklace – Evans

I have worn stripes and florals together with skirts and tops but I had never thought of wearing them as a blazer and trousers. I like it! This will be an outfit I wear in early autumn for sure.

Another bonus of the headless mirror shots – you can’t see my horrific hair! I really need a haircut but can’t quite find the time to go and get it done. It seriously needs it – I’m starting to look like the Hulk!

Don’t forget to go and see how Becky styled the outfit.

Through the looking glass

So I’ve been a bit slack on updating the blog. I missed my 4th anniversary and everything! The reasons why? Well, busy real life workload, my photographer deciding to change direction (into video!!) and a general lack of oomph!

If you follow me on instagram you’ll have seen my outfits – snapped in my bedroom mirror. I decided to put them all together in one post just to see if it re-en-lights my love of blogging!

Here goes – apologies this WILL be picture heavy!!

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First up – I love these winter floral trousers from ASOS. I originally bought them back in the early spring and returned them because they were made from a lot thinner material than I wanted when it was cooler AND I didn’t think they were worth the price tag of £30. But when they popped up in the sale at £21 I got them (I think also with 20% off so even cheaper!). I have worn them LOTS since and they are perfect for warmer weather.

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Next up for comfort during warm weather are these trousers I got from Simply Be about two years ago. I fear this may be their last year as they are wearing thin on the inner thighs. I’ve not worn them loads this summer because of this but they have been a staple part of my summer wardrobe that last two summers.

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As we’re speaking about hot weather wear here are four hot weather outfits. First up is one of my many kimonos I have purchased this summer. This one is from Forever21 main range – it fits perfectly. I teamed it with a new look top which I also picked up in ASOS sale and my old peg leg jersey trousers – also from ASOS (can you see a bit of a theme here?!). The top is great albeit see through! I wore this outfit a few sunday’s ago – for my sewing bee with friends and then dinner with other friends.

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The next two are warm weather work outfits. I love a maxi – dress or skirt, no matter! The skirt is a couple of years old from New Look, the top is Alice and You from ASOS. The top is ok – the material is a bit weird as is the fit. But it looks good with a skirt.

The maxi dress is from last year. It’s made from cheesecloth which is crushable and will be perfect for shoving in a suitcase for holidays. The kimono is an old one from Evans I’ve had a few years.

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The jumpsuit and cover-up were purchased for my upcoming hot holiday in Crete (my first sunshine holiday abroad since my honeymoon in 2008!!). The jumpsuit is from ASOS (yes it would appear to be the ONLY shop I buy stuff from!) and the cover-up is from Simply Be.

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JEANS! Boy my obsession with jeans has imploded a little. I did reduce my jeans right down to four (!!) pairs but it’s slowly crept up to around 10 again. My current love is boyfriend jeans and jeggings. The first picture features my ASOS jeggings. I got them in a 24 and they are really generous. I am tempted to pick up a pair in size 22 and pop these ones in the swap bag as I spent all of Tuesday hauling them up!! The mustard jumper is Alice and you. It’s great all apart from the sleeves which are really baggy.

The next two pictures feature the same pair of jeans but in different sizes. Gina linked me up with these jeans after she bought them. Because ASOS jeans never fit me I went for the size 28 originally which were so generous they fell right off. So I sized down to the 26s…and these are only just staying up. So when Gina was giving away her size 24s I grabbed them and lo and behold they fit! So if you are a size 26/28 definitely try the size 26 – ASOS still have them in stock.

The last two pictures feature my very old jeans. The baggy wide legged are Joe Browns – and are around 4 years old! My jumper is from Simply Be – I sized up to a 30 because I wanted it oversized but actually it was a good job I did because the sizing is really small. I’ve found this with a couple of Simply Be things recently.

And the last pair are a great pair of Evans jeans I got around three years ago and are still going strong. I was inspired by Gabi Fresh with the sequin top. I’ve yet to wear it but intend to rectify that next Friday when I go and check out the new night market which has opened near me.

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Next up – I’ve fallen in love with Junarose recently. These bright blue jeans are great! I’ve worn them heaps. Outfit one is a typical work outfit for me and the second outfit is ALL Junarose and I wore it to spend the day with the husband on his birthday.

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And here’s the birthday boy wearing his new H&M blazer I bought him. Isn’t he a handsome bean?!

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Next up are the same jeans but in grey. I had been hunting high and low for grey jeans and so glad I found a pair.

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Some of my favourite outfits recently.

The denim smock dress should not make me feel good but it does! I put it on and feel amazing! Along with the tartan jacket, I felt very trendy!

The red floral dress is from New Look and I loved it for that first wear. Alas its shrunk during washing and is now a tad too tight to feel good in it. So its gone in the swap bag. Sad times.

The third picture features a H&M main range Breton jumper which I love. Plus my gift to myself – Lucien the Lobster. Whenever I wear this bad boy it creates lots of conversations (apart from my work colleague who was like “what the HELL are you wearing round your neck?!” It’s called a lobster Michael!)

And last but not least a surprise super dress! Lolly sent it to me and it fits like it was made for me!! I felt amazing in it and it also invoked me to pop on a pair of heels (THIS NEVER HAPPENS, PEOPLE! NEVER!) and boom – wedding outfit sorted!

So if you haven’t fallen asleep there are some of the outfits I’ve been wearing lately! Do you like seeing these quick and rough outfit shots? If yes, should I make this a weekly/monthly thing I do?? Answers via social media and the comments sections if you could be so kind!

 

 

How to make your perfect Japanese inspired bedroom

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The Japanese culture – I love everything about it. The quirkiness, the bright colours, the characters; nothing quite says carefree like Japanese inspired music, television and fashion. You only have to look at the latest Avril Lavigne video to see just how much fun the ‘Hello Kitty’ craze is – Canadian singer Avril was so inspired by our favourite little bobtail cat that she wrote a whole song about it.

If you love everything Japanese as much as me, you’ll want to look the part in and out of the home, and there’s nothing more fun than a Japanese inspired bedroom. Here are a few tips on how you can tune your bedroom in a Hello Kitty paradise.

Decisions, decisions

There are two main influences in Japanese decor – calm, serene and minimalist furniture (think relaxing health spas) or colourful, crazy, Hello Kitty-esque bedroom features. For the former, you need to start from the floor up – very popular in Japan are tatami mats, which are perfect for creating the serene environment you require.

Secondly, for a calmer room, you’ll want to stick to warm, earthy colours. A Limelight Pulsar leather bed from Bedstar has the perfect mix of whites and browns to capture this effect and complement your tatami mats.

Alternatively, for that nod to Hello Kitty, you can be as bold as you like with colour, in particular, baby pink. Bright colours are great for making smaller bedrooms look larger, so go all out with that pink wallpaper or paint to give your bedroom a new lease of life.

Be wise – accessorise!

Once you’ve sorted your floors and walls, it’s now time to add the finishing touches to really bring all the themes together. There are a range of Hello Kitty themed products out there from lampshades to curtains, which will fit perfectly alongside a pink theme.

For the calmer Japanese inspired bedroom, consider implementing some traditional icons of Japanese culture. The Maneki Neko doll is a traditional Japanese cat figurine which is said to be a lucky charm, so keep yours next to your bed or by your window to make you feel safe and at ease.

Finally, you can add a little extra life to your room by incorporating a houseplant. The Spathiphyllum, or Japanese Peace Lily, is easy to look after and will help to oxygenate your room while giving a clear nod to Japanese culture.

A tale of fancy dress and broken legs

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Back in early March I was contacted by the lovely folks at Jokers’ Masquerade to see if I wanted to review one of their fancy dress costumes. I love fancy dress but have never been able to find anything to fit me. For occasions like Halloween, I’ve always ended up making my own outfits. I picked the wartime officer’s uniform – envisioning myself heading off to one of the Blitz party events.

They also asked me a few questions about myself and costumes. Here are the questions and my answers:

1. What was the first fancy dress costume that you ever wore? The first one I remember was going as a cracker and my brother as a present to a school Christmas disco. We won best costume as well!  My mum must have spent ages making them. 
2. Do you like dressing up? Kinda. It was more fun at Uni – I had a cross-dressing fancy dress party for my 22nd – but since then not really! 
3. If you could dress as anything for Halloween what would it be? Either Maleficent or Ursula from Little Mermaid! 

4. What’s the dressing up culture like in Japan? The dressing up culture – cosplay – is pretty big and mainstream in Japan. Most teenagers have dressed at some point or another. Whether thats as their favourite anime character or trend – like Lolita, Mori Girl, Kei etc. Its not strange to see people wearing costumes out and about. Also places like Harajuku in Tokyo is renowned for people dressing up.  

5. What made you pick the Wartime officer costume? Have do you feel about 40s fashions? I like the 40s fashion style – quite tailored and masculine in its fit. Women were able to wear what was practical during this era – rather than what just looked fashionable. Although I don’t have a desire to dress like it everyday, it is a fashion era I look to for inspiration from time to time. 

 

Alas when the costume arrived, it was closer to a size 18 than a size 26 and wouldn’t go anywhere near me. So I was going to offer it up to one of my friends to review but unfortunately, she’s managed to break her leg in two places! So the costume is currently sitting unworn in the wardrobe.

The selection of costumes at Joker’s Masquerade is really good – it’s just a shame the plus size outfits are a bit hit & miss. But if you are the lower end of plus size range do give it a try! I however, will continue to home-make my outfits.

If you would like costume I have, please comment or drop me an email and it shall be yours!