M&S Try On | Sale Preview

I was in my local M&S this week with some time on my hands so I did a bit of a try on and thought I'd share it here with the links because the word on the street is that the sale starts on Friday 28th...with some people getting preview access from late on the 26th June (today) so you might find seeing the items on me helpful if you're trying to decide what to pick up in the sale.


Race Day Style | Down Royal Racecourse

Emer Dooris and Jeff Meredith - my Race Day companions!
[AD] paid collaboration with Down Royal Racecourse
Saturday saw me glam up on a trip to Ladies Day at Down Royal Racecourse, just outside Belfast. It was the second day of the Summer Festival of Racing and I was excited to see all the style - there was a prize fund worth £3,500 for the winner and finalist in the Best Dressed competition. 


My Brazilian Blow Out | 12 Weeks On

It's been 12 weeks since I had my Brazilian Blow Out at Rogue by Jody and I've been inundated with questions asking me how I've gotten on with it and whether I'd recommend it and have it done again....


5 things you'll never buy once you make them yourself...

I'm lying low at the moment with a chesty cough so I thought I'd make use of my time and clear out some of the 'draft' blog posts that I've never got around to finishing. There are about 15 of them that for various reasons haven't seen the light of day. Some are controversial and I'm not brave enough to post them (the one about using your kids on instagram for instance!), others started off well and didn't go anywhere...and then there was this one. The reason it didn't get published is that I could only think of 4 things...until today when I remembered my amazing Pavlova recipe. So here you go....a digression from dresses and shoes. I hope you enjoy!


Father's Day | The Kids Takeover in M&S

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This blog post is about what we bought our Daddy in Marks and Spencer for Father's Day. Mum was given a gift voucher by the people in M&S but we were allowed spend it and she couldn't tell us what to buy.


Can a fashion blogger have an opinion? | Blog Stuff

Recently on the blog I was chastised for having an opinion about the Northern Ireland local elections. I used my Instagram story platform to encourage people to get out and vote and in the sequence of stories, referred to my frustrations with the currently useless government (or the lack thereof) in Northern Ireland. I used the word bigoted.

The person who took offence at this told me that they follow me for fashion and beauty commentary and that I shouldn't use my voice to discuss political matters, especially whenever my view was a strong one. Specifically I was told I shouldn't have used the word bigot. When I suggested that person might be better unfollowing me if it was such a problem (probably not the best response in retrospect) things escalated to the extent that the person told me they would report me to the brands I work with.

In the end, I deleted the stories and apologised for my rudeness. But it's irked me since that I was silenced. That I was told to stay in my fashion box and not dare to have a view about anything that's unrelated to dresses and shoes. That my reputation as an honest and transparent blogger could be damaged. The crux of it was that if I was earning money and 'getting free stuff', I need to behave in a certain way to be deserving of this.
(On an aside, there's no such thing as 'free stuff'...but that's for another blog post)

So it all got me thinking, once you earn money and work with brands on a blog, do you have to dumb down your content to a people pleasing, non-controversial level? 

To be fair, I usually don't tackle big issues on my content - I don't ever refer to things that hit the news. I actually think that a lot of modern day anxiety is because we hear every single awful story from all over the world on a constant reel. It's good to be aware of what's going on but it's ever present for us nowadays. Not very many years ago, you'd read it in the paper or see it on the news but you'd not have thousands of sad stories shared on a constant feed. You'd not get every person's perspective on an event - the ordinary people who's lives are ruined forever by what's happened or the people who witnessed it.
We're forever hearing about children getting sick, young husbands and wives dying tragically and unexpectedly, people's holidays being ruined by terrorist attacks or accidents. That 'don't worry because 99% of what you worry about will never happen' starts to feel more like 99% of it WILL happen. We are naturally hardwired to be empathetic but I think at the levels we're having to feel empathy nowadays, the amount of times we have to think 'oh my how awful', we're actually in an anxiety space where we're afraid it might happen to us.

So I stay well away from that space - not because of working with brands or because I don't have a view and feel empathy. I don't follow the fashion-focused bloggers I follow to be further reminded of a terrorist attack in a city near me. I equally don't think said fashion blogger is a heartless person for not mentioning it (I've been accused of this too).

But when it comes to positive action - like voting,  I feel strongly that I SHOULD use my voice to encourage people. We had two sets of elections in Northern Ireland in May and I was shocked at how many of my educated friends had opted out of voting in the first round of elections because they felt it wouldn't make a difference. It made me so a time when we don't have a government because of bigoted politicians on both sides, that people would just opt out. Be passive and accepting of what's going on. Allow polarised parties to continue to be in control and not compromise one bit.

I was shot down by someone who had a polarising opinion. I was silenced for having a compromising, middle of the road view on the situation. The person possibly gauged from my words who I'd likely voted for and perhaps didn't like it. I might have rushed to defend myself when I was challenged and come across as being rude in my reply but a few weeks on, I realise I was wrong, SO wrong to delete my story and apologise. I feel ashamed that I let this person bully me into doing it. If a brand doesn't want to work with me because I think some of the politics in this county is bigoted, then that's just fine. I don't want to work with that brand.

And on that, challenge me on my opinions, give your opinion, disagree with me. Both on this post and on anything I put on social channels. Bring on the discussion - it's the only way we can all co-exist. None of us should feel forced to keep our constructive opinions to ourselves or to voice our frustrations because our country has had no government for 873 days (as at the 8th June) and that in that time, MLA's salaries have totalled over £10m.



What I've been Wearing 10 | Style

A later than usual update (where are the weeks going to?!) but hopefully it's worth it! Here's what I've been wearing lately...with a heavy dash of green and some great walls!!


Things I do now I'm older Part 2 | Hair

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked on the blog is about my hair. It seems we all struggle with what's on our heads, products, cut, colour etc. So in my second 'Things I do' post, I'm covering off the 5 things that I swear by for my hair.

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