Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year & My Style Challenge for 2014

Last week, I got to thinking that most of my readers were just as busy as I was and would rather spend quality time with family and be fabulous multi-taskers at home so I took a break from this blogging madness. And it was bliss not taking photos or having to think too much about what I wore each day. But mostly it was lovely not being on the computer for a while. I totally switched off Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and only used Facebook on my personal account. I had movie time with the kids, took them to swimming & soft play, made endless sequin art and jumping clay pieces, played Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit with the board game obsessed son and went for family walks. The recipe for a chilled out Christmas.

 I do have one Christmas outfit post - from our Boxing/Stephen's Day walk with the kids at Hillsborough Forest Park. Gorgeous baltic, muddy day...perfect for my new Boden Fairisle cardigan...
Parka - ℅ Target Dry (15% off with SchoolGate15)
Cardigan - Boden
Cream Top - Joules (similar here)
Jeans - F&F at Tesco
Wellingtons - Old but fab ones here and here
Welly Socks - similar here
I don't know much about colours but this cardigan just seems to brighten up my skin-tone and I love the neon vibe going on. Has been worn more than once over Christmas.
And in the next photo, I show you the best gift ever..
Yes - I've got my iPhone 5c...along with £20 worth of indestructible protective accessories. I'm a real klutz with phones but this one has to last 2 years so I've got a Survivor cover and a military grade Zagg screen protector wrapped around it. Following up on my Christmas wish list, the Uggs were received on Christmas Day too but they've already been returned. I've another post coming up on that one....

Apart from that, the most notable fashion update from the past week is that I've not been to the sales. For the first time ever! Ok, ok, so I did the order from Boden before Christmas (see this blog post - some kept, some went back) but I've not ventured to Belfast....yet...

So it's 2014 now - the year my eldest child goes to double figures! Hard to believe that this time 10 years ago, I was 30 weeks pregnant...not a particularly stylish Christmas Day then I seem to remember. But what about the blog for this year? I'm about to enter my 3rd year of blogging and I want to challenge myself a bit more with my wardrobe and here's where you can join in too.

For each month in 2014, I'm taking on a different style challenge...without breaking the bank. I did consider a few radical options like a whole year of not buying ANYTHING. Cue paper bag moment. But after discussing it at depth with Gemma Louise, we decided that was too boring and by the time April came round, you'd have all switched off as I wear the same stuff again and again - believe it or not, my wardrobe is not that extensive.

Instead...and thanks to GL for her idea...I'm going to do something different each month and I'd love if you'd join me in it. As I type, I've only got Jan, Feb, March & April planned in detail. A couple of exciting things in May stop me going further - I will reveal all when I can.

January is Sale Bargain month. I've identified 5 items that I feel are missing or need replaced in my wardrobe and I'm going to secure the best quality and lowest price options in the sales during January - and let's face it, the sales are pretty amazing this year...I've got a post coming up tomorrow about one sale in particular that you need to check out.

February is Frugal month - no shopping ALL month. I picked Feb as the sales will be mostly over by then and it'll be too cold to be thinking about SS14 clothing. And it's a short month too..

March is Clothes Swap month and I'm going to give you full details on how to host a Clothes Swap in your home with your friends...as well as having one myself! I had one just over a year ago and it was just a great night..perfect excuse for catching up with friends and a great way to clear out your wardrobe ahead of spring/summer AND bag yourself some free clothes.

April is Charity month, where I'll be scouring the charity shops of Belfast for the best items to add to my wardrobe.

I hope you'll join me in the challenge this year either for a month here or there or the whole thing. I'll set up a linky (if you don't know what this is, click here!) each month for other bloggers so that there's more than me to follow...I'm particularly excited to see the linky for the clothes swaps at the end of March!

All that's left for me to say today is HAPPY NEW YEAR! I'm so grateful to all of you for your support during the past 2 years. Your comments, emails and page clicks are what keep me going on this blog journey. And your support of my shop has been amazing. I hope to keep bringing you great new stock during 2014. Oh and a January sale too - anyone want a January sale?? I'm off to work on that one too! 

Ax

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26 comments

  1. What a fab idea - love this and will definitely follow.

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    1. Thank you! I'll have the January list up on the blog in a day or so. Hope you had a lovely New Year's Day! Ax

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  2. Happy New Year! Not so far away from you as I write this. Visiting sister who lives in Dromore. Not really the day for a walk in Hillsborough Forest today though. Wanted to say thanks - have enjoyed following you this year. You've given me lots of useful advice. I've bought the Target Parka in navy too and am currently wearing your overlapping leaves silver necklace, having wrenched it back from my 14 year old daughter who pinches it often.

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    1. Hi Doris! Lovely to hear from you and yes...not a day for the park tho cabin fever dragged us out this afternoon to Lady Dixon...dressed entirely in waterproof gear!
      Thank you for your lovely feedback - I'm so pleased you enjoy the blog and that the items you've bought on my recommendation are working well for you! That's great to hear. Happy New Year - enjoy Dromore! Ax

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  3. The Boden cardi looks fab Avril, really cheerful on you. Before I got to the end of the February paragraph I had already thought that it was the shortest month so well picked! I may just join you for Feb actually! Am also liking April's challenge. Happy New Year to you and your family! x

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    1. That's you signed up for Feb & April then Natalie :) Happy New Year to you too - I'm about to head over to catch up on your blog. I'm gradually working my way through everyone today. I've missed so many posts! Ax

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  4. I love your boots, how cool that you got the iphone 5c. My blackberry is dimping me! Happy new year!

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    1. Oh you totally have to get one Francesca! You'll not know yourself...it's an amazing phone and I can do everything so fast now - my last phone was really slow. HNY to you too, Ax

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  5. Happy New Year Avril x
    I love your style challenges. I might join you for Frugal February. I managed a frugal July, so I'm up for this challenge!
    I'm looking forward to your sales post tomorrow xxx

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    1. It would be lovely to have you on board. Would make it easier if some of my friends were not tempting me with lovely purchases!! Ax

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  6. Sounds like you have had a great Christmas :)
    Aww love the sound of your challenges, I'm doing mostly outfit posts from now on so would love to join in :) will keep popping by to find out more about the fun , oh and off tomorrow to brave the sales,,,, watch this space lol x

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    1. Please do Claire! I know you're great with your charity shop buys so April will be a good one for you. Good luck at the sales - I'm heading in myself tomorrow! Ax

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  7. Love the sound of your challenge Avril....may have to join you!! Fab ideas!!
    Your Boxing Day walk outfit is superb! The cardy is gorgeous and I love the way you've styled it with the dark denim jeans.....your wellies and coat look perfect with it too!!
    Wishing you and yours and fantastic 2014 xx

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    1. Thank you Michelle - it's been lovely coming across your blog in 2013....you give me endless inspiration as your style is simply gorgeous. Keep it up in 2014! Ax

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  8. Sounds like you've had a lovely time with the family Avril - it's what it's all about isn't it! Love the Fairisle cardi - I'm after one myself at the moment. Haven't had much luck so far in the sales but going with my daughter before she goes back to school to have another look around the shops. Looking forward to your style challenge ideas - will be following them and may even join in one or two! Happy New Year to you and the family! xx

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    1. Thanks Jenny - hope you pick up a few bargains in the sales. And yes, please do get involved any month you want...it will be great to have all my blogging friends on board - especially during the frugal months...and there will be more than 1 of them! Ax

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  9. Great to have you back, the blogging break was lovely wasn't it- I spent most of it in pj's anyway so didn't have anything particularly exciting to report! Looking forward to the style challenge- can just imagine you and Gemma-Louise plotting and planning lol!! X

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    1. Haha - we'll get you on board for one or two of them! GL can be very persuasive :) x

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  10. Happy New Year-looking stunning! Vicki from mummysgotstyle.com

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    1. And to you too Vicki - here's to a lovely year of blogging! Ax

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  11. I still have cardi envy......x

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    1. But it!!! I don't mind if we are cardigan twins and it's such an amazing price. x

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  12. Hi Avril. I have thought of two challenges you can consider for your list
    No black month (does what it says on the tin)
    Capsule wardrobe month - say 10 items you mix, match and restyle each day
    And then there is always frocktober

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    1. Julia, thank you SO much for your suggestions...absolutely BRILLIANT! I'm doing them all...thanks. That's May-July sorted :) xxx

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  13. Happy New Year Avril! Thank you for all your support & I wish you & your family a very fruitful 2014! Love the monthly style challenges! <3 Andrea x

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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