Monday, 24 April 2017

THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN, TO WOMEN











I've always been a girls girl, a Mummy's girl and looked up to other girls. This week I lost two of the most important girls in my life. My beloved dog of nearly 15 years Manya and my dear Nanny.
Both had a massive impact on my life growing up.
 
 My dog was born at our house when I was 11 and has seen me through the toughest teenage and young adult times. Being able to cuddle and talk to a dog, who will just listen, is the most therapeutic thing. Obviously she was physically unable to say anything (I'm not a complete duh brain) but she never needed to. I know she knew me so well and was there to lend an ear to me, which I would often use to mop tears on my face caused by a school drama or a boy. I was with her when she came into the world and when she left, I know everything in between was pure love. That's what the relationship between a dog and an owner is, just the purest kind of unconditional love. She was a Mum, and Grandmother and never just a dog. She was another woman to me and I will always respect her as that.
 
My Nanny was, and is, one of the biggest role models I will ever have. We were SO close. I'd often write at the bottom of her birthday cards "p.s, you're my best friend"... this still went on even into adulthood. It was true, she was one of my best friends. I cant ever sum up what she meant to me in a paragraph, it's a relationship that words cant do justice. Her house was my happy place. The smells, her voice, the little trinkets and ornaments, the flowers in her garden and she familiar feel of all the fabrics and carpets. They're all things that will never leave me. Even though she was 92 and hadn't been well, I still feel in absolute shock. I cant imagine going through the rest of my life without the incredible bond we had, but I know everything she taught me and her values will live on in me. I will make sure.
 
My point really in writing this post, is that even though I already know I'm a girls girl and need the company of other girls, this week I have been completely overwhelmed by the love of the women in my life. I have had so many beautifully written, thoughtful cards and my house looks like a florist. The afternoon after we had to say goodbye to my beautiful Manya and before my Nan had passed, I was sitting at home in my duvet covered in tears, watching made in Chelsea and looking like Barry Manilow (no offence Barry) when there was a knock at my door. My best friend has turned up with all of my favourite things; strawberries & Galaxy, magazines, yellow flowers and a cactus. How bloody nice is that? My Godsons Mum sent a parcel through with a gorgeous wooden quote inside to. I love getting a parcel at the best of times, but receiving that one was extra special and meant more than anything that could have been inside. My oldest friend, who my Nan loved, came over on Saturday and we drank 2 bottles of wine, cried and laughed. My colleagues as well have been amazing. I work with about 14 other ladies in a shop and their kindness has been unreal. Every single hug, text, hand on my shoulder and knowing smile has made it easier for me to deal with the general public, who frankly couldn't care if I myself was dying. They just want their god damn refund. I just have been so, completely overwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of important men in my life to, but the love of my gals has warmed my cockles beyond belief. It really has made me realise that these are the relationships to be cherished and held so tight. I've lost two of my most important women this week, but with the love of the others around me I think I will have the strength to make it through this and any other nasty's the future may send my way.
 
In the words of Geri, Emma, Mel B, Mel C and Victoria...
 
"GIRL POWER"
 
 
x
 
 
 
 
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Friday, 14 April 2017

SheIn Gingham









 
Black Gingham Billow Sleeve Top - c/o SheIn | Farleigh Jeans - Asos | GG Belt - Gucci | Lace Up Heeled Sandals - Sandals  | Round Gold Rim Sunglasses  - H&M
 
 
SheIn is a brand I've followed on Instagram for quite a while & I've often found myself browsing on their website being tempted to place a few orders. I'm not going to lie though, because everything on there is so super cheap and its from abroad I've always been a bit dubious of whether it would look as good in real life. This was until I was catching up on one of my favourite blogs by the absolute babe Chelcie Nicole and I saw her JW Anderson dupe bag. I was instantly in love. I panic scrolled right down to see where it was from hoping it wouldn't be like £600 from Selfridges and low and behold it was from SheIn. She had taken quite a few close up photos and the quality looked amazing. So I took the plunge.
 
This time of year I always love a bit of gingham, it makes me feel all Little House on the Prairie-esque and super Eastery. I love getting into the spirit of any occasion and have been known to force my colleagues at work to wear seasonal/festive head gear. I also went through a phase of making my favourite celebrities out of hard boiled eggs at Easter when I was younger. I think my David Beckham actually wont a competition at school. I reckon it was the fact I used hair from my own hairbrush that sealed the deal for me and David. Anyway, this is all off topic and my point is that this year, I love gingham more than ever. Teamed with a bit of denim its just the perfect combo. So when I was scrolling through the Shein website I had to pick up this little bad boy. It ticks all the boxes for me with the light cotton feel gingham and statement billowed sleeves. They also do a really similar one in a high neck version, which I think I can just about justify investing in as well. They are only $19 which works out at about £15 for us over in (not to) sunny old England, I think they might also have a discount code running at the moment to. Even better. 
I have to say as well, when the package arrived I tore it open quite nervously. Like I was saying, I'm always a bit tentative about ordering from super affordable overseas websites and wonder what the quality will be like... but I really was not disappointed. The fabric is so lovely and the fit is spot on. It's completely dispelled all my doubts. Below I've put together a few of my favourite gingham pieces on the high street at the moment, but to browse the rest of the gingham collection at Shein (which trust me, you need to)... just click right here ...(Baby blue top on the 3rd row down is going to be mine!)
 
 
 
 
 
x
 

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Monday, 10 April 2017

Does being a blogger make you confident?



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I cant help but notice on twitter and what not recently, quite a lot of bloggers and reality TV celebs getting negative and nasty comments that they have to defend themselves against. Whether its what they're wearing, their make up or their body. Why is this ok? Is it because they post photos of themselves all the time & "need taking down a peg or two"? I think that might be the mentality behind it.
 Obviously I don't have tens of thousands of followers, so this doesn't affect me day to day directly, but as females whoever we are, we are very similar. We will all have days where our hair wont go right and the possibility of wanting to buzz cut yourself a number 1 hair cut will become real. We will all look forward to a night out, then half an hour before we have to meet our friends we have tried on 8 outfits and don't like any of them. Then, inevitably, they will lay strewn across the floor while we will sit with our head in our hands on our bed after a major tantrum. We will look at photos in magazines, then look in the mirror prodding our faces about and wondering if a cheeky bit of Botox or fillers would be ok. Just a little bit, like 0.5ml. We will have fat days, days where all our nails have broken off and we feel like little boys and days where we lay in the bath wondering if these big white blobs are our thighs or in fact a pair of beluga whales. My point is, it happens to all of us. Even the girl on Instagram who posts a photo in her Calvin Klein's holding a protein shake. So just be kind. She is bloody well getting out there and taking an opportunity, who is anyone to knock her for that?
 
 Then I started thinking about what people think of me, the people that don't know me well or at all. Yes, I get my boyfriend to take photos of me nearly everywhere we go, but its not because I love how I look. If I am completely honest, there are two things I like about my appearance; My hands and the colour of my skin. That's it. I don't do this because I think I look great, quite often I wont look at the photos back after I post them, otherwise I will pick myself to pieces. I have never been a confident person and I don't think I ever will. It's probably a good job for me that I'm not rich, I'd probably be one of those ladies from botched bodies who ends up looking like Pete Burns (RIP). I do this because it is such an amazing community to be part of and I have been lucky enough to work with some of my favourite brands since I started blogging. These are opportunities I have created for myself and whatever people think of me for posting all these photos of myself, I will not be sorry for that.
 
Being a blogger, a model or a celebrity does not mean they are any more confident in their own skin. They have just decided to put themselves out there and do their best, who on Earth is anybody to judge them for that?
 
x
 
 
 
 

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Saturday, 1 April 2017

HELEN HIRD ILLUSTRATIONS BLOGGER PROMO


If any of you read my blog regularly or follow me on Instagram, you will know that as well as blogging, I'm also a fashion illustrator. Now, no one can deny that the fashion world, probably fashion bloggers, have a reputation for being bitchy and some what stuck up. My experience could not be more different from the stereotype. Since starting my illustration business a year ago in January, I have had nothing but love and support from my fellow bloggers. I really have been overwhelmed by it, and it has completely dismissed the dated myth of bitchy "fashionistas"... (that word makes me want to be a little bit sick, but there, I've said it). Supporting each other is so important to me as a female & a general human, in whatever it may be. I really am a one women band, trying to chase a dream all by myself. So the fact I've been shown the same kind of love that I believe in really warms my cockles. Whatever they are.
 
As a big thank you to all the bloggers that have encouraged me, had my back  and shown me love over the past year and a bit, I wanted to run a little promotion exclusively for this wonderful community. For the whole of April, you can book a personalised illustration with a big fat 25% off, just for you guys. Whether you want to use your bespoke illustration for your business cards, headers or just frame it to pop up in your offices, I'm your gal. All you need to do is email me at info@helenhird.co.uk with your link & we can have a chat about all the options. Viola. That's it, its as simple as that.
 I'll leave you with a few of my recent blogger pieces for you to have a sneaky peak at. If you wanted to check out more of my work you can visit my website at www.helenhird.co.uk or my Instagram @Helen_Hird_Illustrations
 
 
 
Chloe Plumstead from The Little Plum
 
 
Olivia Blankson from Liv in Fashion
 
 
Sinead Crowe from Love Style Mindfullness
 
 
 
Debora Rosa from Fashion Gone Rouge
 
 
 
 
 
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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

WEARING WHAT YOU WANT

 
 
 








 
Dr Denim @ Asos Wide Leg Trouser | Zara V Neck Tshirt | Topshop Boots (similar) | H&M Sunglasses | Topshop Jacket (sold out)

Now lets start by saying I realise how much of a man repelling outfit this is. It's everything my boyfriend doesn't like. I could see his little face wincing when he was taking the photos, but I like it. Recently I've had a lot more "if I like it I'll wear it" attitude, something I haven't had in the past. This outfit is a prime example. I saw these trousers on the Asos new in page, I liked them and brought them instantly, without giving it much thought. It felt really good not to um & ar about it and just buy something because I liked it. Probably for a few years I've been obsessed with having a style. I'll see something I really like online or out shopping, but I wont buy it because it wont fit in with "my style". The stupid thing is, I don't even know what the jebus my style is. I'm not afraid to say I'm really easily influenced to, or I have been in the past. We all know what its like, we're scrolling through Instagram and stumble upon someone who is less human and more Goddess. We get a bit stalkery, like every photo she posts and we know every holiday and city break she's been on for the last 2 years. Embarrassing I know, but I know you're nodding right now. When I find said Goddess, I want everything she wears and in turn "my style" is actually her style. I wont buy something unless I think she or any other of my 10 Instagram crushes would wear it. What about me? What if I want to wear it? Why am I depriving myself because some other Tom Dick or Harry wouldn't wear it. I've only realised really recently that this is something I do and its something i'm going to change. I think this is the perfect time, with the seasons changing, to start a fresh and buy what ever I like... In terms of items I like, not go on some wild shopping spree and buy everything that remotely takes my fancy. It's so easy to get sucked into social media, these people aren't called "influencers" for nothing. They don't earn a full time wage by dicking about. They're professionals in inspiring us. We want to be like them and ultimately they influence our purchases. Now there's absolutely nothing wrong with this, we have been influenced by the media and magazines for a bloody long time. I think the difference is we get attached to certain people and fixated on their life and style. Whilst I still will follow all the same people and keep up with pieces they love, I am also going to make an extra effort to wear what I like.  Not what someone else likes or what I think will fit into the image I want to perceive of myself. I think it will make me happier and make shopping a lot less stressful. It's become a bit of a chore lately and that is the last thing I want shopping to be.
 
Let me know your opinions on this subject in the comments, I'd be really interested to know your thoughts.
 
x


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Sunday, 26 March 2017

THINGS I THANK MY MUM FOR



Anyone who knows me will know it's Mothers day pretty much every day for me. Although I do love actual Mothers day, because its more socially acceptable to talk about her as much as I want & spend every minute of the day with her. She really is the apple of my eye & my best friend. I even live opposite her and see her every day. She has taught me so much & I have so much to thank her for, so I thought what better day to share some of these with you...
 
"Respect your elders"
 
My mum has always taught me to respect & look after the elderly. Now this is something I probably have taken to an extreme over the years, I'm bordering on obsessed with old people. I make old people friends wherever I go, and I will use any excuse to talk to them. At work, we have this one man who goes to the Greggs opposite us nearly every day. I used to watch him from the shop window, with his medals on his blazers, the tie he wore everyday and his little saggy cheeks. Until one day I saw him struggling to get out of his scooter on a hot super hot day. I went over and helped him out and gave him a glass of squash and introduced myself... we have been friends ever since. I look forward to seeing him and help him if he needs me, one time he toppled over and I caught him. A little bit of his dribble went on my top, but that's ok. We're friends and I love to think the smile I see on his face when I walk over to him stays with him for the rest of his day. My mum also made a massive difference to my relationship with my Grandparents. When I was a bit of stroppy teenager and just wanted to watch SMTV live or hang out with my friends, she sat me down and told me how important it is for me to visit my Grandparents regularly. I had never really given it much thought until then, I assumed they were living the dream being retired, but she told me how much they love seeing me and that some old people don't have people that visit. Since then I always made an effort and visited them at least once a week. I loved seeing them to. My visits and chats with them helped me get to know them as adults, and in turn I learnt so much from them. I used to sit with my Granddad and talk about history and the Romans, my nan taught me to knit and cook and the other I spent hours with talking about philosophical things and she told me so much about her life that I never knew before. I will always be grateful to my Mum (& Dad) for stressing how important these relationships are, because they don't last forever. Two of my grandparents have passed away now and I treasure the little visits and moments alone I had with them everyday. I was with one of my Grandmas when she passed away, which was obviously an awful time, but I took such comfort in my great relationship and friendship with her. I knew I did everything I could have done for her whilst she was here and we loved each other deeply. I will always thank my Mum for stressing how important this is.
 
 
 
 
 
My tanned skin
 
Its my favourite thing about myself, on the outside. I love the Sun and I love being brown. I know its not that good for you (although I don't go on sunbeds) but I feel so much better when I have a tan. Admittedly, I still stay quite tanned in the Winter. In the words of Will.I.am "I got it from my Muma". My dad is quite fair, so I definitely get my olive skin from my Mum and with it being my favourite feature, I have her and her genes to thank for it. Something she didn't intend, but that I am eternally grateful for.
 
 
Stick to your morals
 
I have been brought up with super strong morals and I know am I am good person because of the things she has taught me. When I was in year 8 & 9 at school, a lot of the girls in my year would to go Superdrug or Boots and steal pots of Dream Matte Mousse or that Rimmel stay matte powder, that I swear has been around since the Victorian times. These said girls were cool girls and obviously I would have  loved a bit of "free" make up, but her face was always in my mind. If I even thought about joining in, I would think about how disappointed she would be in me and I'd get that sick feeling right at the bottom of my stomach. I could never let her down and I will always work for what I have.
 
 
Saving Money
 
I bloody love online shopping, holidays and going out. When pay day strikes or I get paid for a job I've been working on there is nothing more tempting than knowing Asos is only a couple of clicks away. My mum has always taught me how important it is to save money, probably on the verge or scaring me into thinking I'd one day end up homeless if I didn't. For this I am ever grateful. I am shit at so many things in life but I can proudly say I'm a bloody good saver. I wont go into details because money is such a tricky subject, but I have stored myself away a nice little nest egg when I can eventually buy a house, and I will continue to save to make it how I want it and have the nice things I would like to have in the future. I never get out loans or buy anything on finance either (obviously were not counting a mortgage here)... she always told me to never buy something I cant afford at the time, instead to save for the things I want. Which I do. Strictly. She has drilled this into me so hard, that I know I will always be ok because of it.
 
 
Be kind to animals
 
This my favourite thing she has taught me in life. Be kind to everything. I have probably taken this a little too literally. If I walk to work when its been raining, I have to pick up all the stranded earth worms on the path and transfer them to safety. I would never kill a spider, I don't eat meat and I treat every creature I meet with respect. She has taught me that everything is a soul, from an elephant, to a person, to an ant. It's a little being with it's own little ways and little life. Anything I can do to make this beings life easier I will do it. My mum fosters animals for the RSPCA and we also rescue battery hens. So I have grown up syringe feeding rabbits, nursing bald chickens back to health and wiping animals bums, eyes and other orifices for them when they need my help. Whatever I do in life, it's always the thing I will be most proud of. Despite having my work published in Vogue last year (which in was super proud of) my proudest moment was creature related. It was the day we had left the EU I remember and I was sitting in the garden having a cup of tea and wondering what it was all going to mean. I saw a tired bee on the pavement, I watched him for a while and he was struggling. So I collected him and took him inside. I made him a glucose solution of sugar and water and fed it to him on a teaspoon. He seemed livelier so I put him back outside. I watched him again to make sure he was ok, but it started to rain and he still wasn't strong enough to take off. It was big blobby rain and as one drop hit him he was knocked onto his back. I ran outside like the house was on fire with bare feet, looking back in my head it was like a slow mo in a film. I plucked him from the wet floor and made him a bed in one of out rabbit hutches, no rabbits were in there obviously. I fed him again in the evening and left him overnight. In the morning I went and got him out, fed him again and put him in the sun. I had researched it you see, and apparently the sun gives them energy. After maybe an hour or so he bloody well flew off. I think I let out a little scream and I waved him on his way. I was so proud. I had saved a little life. I named him Barrington and often wonder how he is now. My boyfriend said he must be dead now, but I pretend in my head that he's living it up somewhere hot with a honey cocktail in hand. Barrington ultimately has my mum to thank. My earliest memories are animal related, and growing up I have seen her compassion to animals day in day out. She has taught me and shown me how to be kind. Extra kind.
 
So thank you mum.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

EMBROIDERED KAFTANS








 
Lately, I have found every other photo that I like on Instagram has been embroidery related. Mostly due to Sarah & Philippa over at We Are Twinset, I'm basically a very non threatening stalker of theirs. Their rail shots just get me right in the feelings. The feelings that make me want to open a bottle of wine, do an over the top online shop & probably book a holiday. Their rail posts are embroidered beach dress after embroidered kaftan, punctuated by the odd pom pom basket bag and Moroccan style sandals. I've mentioned before, mostly last year, that I feel like a loose my style a bit in the Summer. Mainly because I love knitwear, coats and boots so much. I end of not really knowing what to buy and finding myself going back to my trusty vintage Levi shorts that I brought on eBay about 5 years ago. This year however, I'm super excited about Summer dressing. I feel like I know exactly what I want to wear and I want to wear it now! I actually picked this blouse up in the Zara sale last September I think, when my impending penchant for embroidery was just a twinkle in my eye. I wore it a couple of times over winter when I went out for dinner or a drink or what not, but I feel like now Spring is here it can really come into its own. So I've dusted it off and fallen back in love with it all over again. Saying this, obviously this one isn't available to buy anymore, but I've found the best dupes (maybe even better) in the most unlikely place. Next. Not that I've got anything against Next, I just haven't really shopped there before. I also used to work there when I was about 17, which has somewhat put me off. Back then it was very much work trousers, cowl next "going out" tops and printed floral t-shirts with script text on. Memories of working the Next sale have also tarnished my view slightly, that is something I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy... but I must move on.
 
You can find said Next tops here -
 
 
Red & Blue
 
 
x
 

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