Hello! You made it! Welcome to the home of the Spot on Shopper! This is where I write about my love of style, adventures with my family and how much I enjoy eating and drinking things I shouldn't! Living in Yorkshire with my 3 crazy daughters and ravishing husband, (ahem!) we enjoy time at our 2nd home (the caravan!) and the lifestyle of a family in the North. Hope you enjoy! xx
The place that is personal to every woman in the world. The place no gentleman dares enter. The sometimes bottomless pit that even we are shocked by its contents. There are many variations of the handbag. We call them many things, but essentially we have a day bag or in my case, 'a Mum bag', 'a going out bag' and probably 'a work bag'. The 'Mum bag' contains sticky things, wrappers, toys from £1 machines that come in a plastic ball and a packet of those wax crayons that contain a red, blue, yellow and green that you get in a pub with free colouring sheets. This is the least of the glamourous bags, I'm sure goes without saying. The 'work bag' is slightly more sophisticated. Small make up bag containing concealer, lippy and Vaseline for those dauntingly air conditioned offices. Probably a pen, possibly even a notepad, a small piece of fruit, bruised of course and a wandering hair bobble. The 'going out bag', the one I want to champion today is the most glittering of all, in the collection of bags. Its sometimes forgotten when buying an outfit, you always think you have one in your wardrobe that will suit, plus another £20-£30 on a bag would in fact get you more in a way of cocktails than in actual wardrobe snaps. I'm totally guilty of this. Surely you cant get to 30-something without having a medley of suitable going out bags. However, my recent wandering fashion eye has spotted that the high street is teasing me with a new type of going out bag that I really need to add to my collection. Call it what you will, Camera bag, Boxy bag, Shoulder bag, they are all of similar small size, but large enough for essentials, phone, purse, lippy, eye liner. The ones that have caught my eye are below, now its the choice of which one will I use the most!
At £20 and less, I'm sure I can stretch to that and once used more than once, the cost per wear makes it totally deductible! Treat yourself girls and spare the liver that extra Cosmo!
When one part of your life is successful, does another suffer?
For example, if your job is going well and you're promoted, does that mean longer hours? More time away from home? Husband? Kids?
If your house is spotless, wash baskets empty and kids on time for school everyday, do you look like an 80's throwback with a cardigan, that now you think about it, would your mum even wear it?
Its not just women! Blokes, if you think you're going to work, coming home, play fighting with the kids, hitting the gym, getting to the rugby on a weekend, does your lass smile at you through gritted teeth?
If I sit and think about the daily things on my mind, my brain physically hurts. Even the things you do without thinking, that you do automatically.
How do we balance the immensely busy lifestyles that we have now become accustomed to?
From personal experience, I try get up, showered, dressed, bit of make up and then go do kids breakfast. Guarantee I'm screaming like an old fishwife 5 minutes after we should leave the house for school every morning. But is this just me needing to get up 10 minutes earlier or do I leave the shower and make up bit out?
Sometimes I think, Hey, I'm nailing this week! Done some washing, kids been on time for school every day, I've not looked too bad for the school run and then that sinking feeling pops into my head, when was the last time I washed the girls hair?
My most recent accomplishment is hitting the gym 3 times a week, making my Slimming World class (and staying for group - those that know, know!), planning my meals but then I realise I haven't researched any work for 2 whole weeks!
And yes I've wittered on for 3 paragraphs - but can you imagine this and working a 9-5 or worse, even longer?!
How is it flipping done? How do you get it right? How do you pick and choose what to focus on?
And you know what, you don't. Simple.
Screaming fishwife section aside, those things that I didn't do or was late for, didn't stop my world from turning round. I left a pile of washing on my living room floor (proof on Instagram 😶) for a whole 12 hours this week, but it meant that I played cafe's with my little girls and read them a story in bed. I even had the cheek to sit on the sofa with my husband and watch TV, while it sat there! And you know what, I don't care!
We need to stop being so hard on ourselves, no one else does it. We do it to ourselves.
When it comes down to it, all of the above means I've got a family, a home, food on the table and my health.
No one is Wonder Woman, even Linda Carter gave that up and as for Superman, how many has there been now?
Enjoy the every day, put the guilt away and focus on what you do, not what you don't.
Remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile!
I've worked in retail my whole career, whether it be in store as Deputy Manager at Warehouse or Store Designer at Mamas and Papas. I love it! I love the entire experience of shopping. It should make a person happy. The store, the staff, the merchandising, it should all make you want to spend your hard earned cash. Yes, I know we are in the age of online shopping and things are so much more accessible, however I refuse to believe that the good old fashioned shop, sales advisor and till will ever go away. High Street stores are too engaging to ever disappear.
Although I adore shopping, many people don't. Some don't have a clue what to buy, what suits them, what colours or shapes to go for. Many people hate the thought of trying clothes on in a tiny cubicle that usually smells of feet. Others purely don't have the time.
My goal is to change this for you!
When it comes to style, fashion and shopping, I can't get enough!
Here are the services offered by the Spot on Shopper, please get in touch by any of my social media channels or email firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries.
This will tell you what colours accentuate your natural tones and which colours to avoid.
I will assess your existing wardrobe and tell you what items you may need to get rid of, need altering, repairing and items you are missing that would give your wardrobe more strength. Personal Shop
This is as it sounds. Its personal to you. You can decide how, where and when this takes place. It can be for a full wardrobe, special event or even just additional items following a Wardrobe edit. We can discuss your specific needs. I can shop for you or with you. Its completely personal to you.
If you don't have the time or the knowledge of what to buy someone as a gift, I can do this for you.
I have a simple, short email that you would fill in to give me the info I need, in order to get the perfect gift for your loved one.
If you think you'd benefit from any of these, please get in touch with the Spot on Shopper at email@example.com or any of my social media channels.
Instagram - @spotonshopper
Facebook - Spot on Shopper
I would love to hear from you!
All prices are available on request.
Remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile!
The inspiration for this weeks blogpost comes from my youngest daughter. Her collection of sparkly tights, matches that of my shoe collection (oh its big!). Every day we 'discuss' options of tights to go with her school uniform. To this day I've never let her go in anything other than navy, black or grey. However, this got me thinking, my 4 year old who cackles like a witch and doesn't have a care in the world, wants to sparkle every day. She wants to skip out of the house in her glittery dresses and tights regardless of wherever she's going. Now, wouldn't that be nice. If you could get up on a morning and wear something shiny, even if you're only doing the school run. January is dreary enough without the thought of black and grey thermals!
So thanks to my little dude's philosophy, I've decided to add some sparkle to my school run! A daily dose of something glitzy that may just make me want to leave the warm cosy house and stand outside 2 different schools every morning! (Oh the joys of over subscribed primary schools!)
Yes I may look eccentric, but I'll be a happy eccentric! I think everyone should wear a little something on a daily basis that makes you sparkle!
These are some pieces from my wardrobe:
Pink Metallic Converse
White Tee with Foil Animal Print - French Connection
Metallic Midi Skirt - Warehouse
Pink Suede Diamante Pumps - Miss KG
The High Street are also trying to get us dressing a little more sparkly and glamourous, here are a few simple pieces that can add instant daytime sparkle to your wardrobe:
Long Sleeve Silver Foil Sweater - £17.99 Zara
Imitation Leather Trousers Grey- £24.99 H and M
Metallic Pleat Back Top Dark Green - £25 Warehouse
Pom Pom Cross Body Bag Gold (Girls Acc's) - £12.99 Zara
Remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile!
And...it's over, normality resumed! Whether you've returned to work at the beginning of the week or the school run has just started to rear its ugly head, you can guarantee that the alarm won't go off or the kids stay in bed later than they have done in whole two weeks they've been off! Not only that, but the thought of that washing pile you've not touched (it was your Christmas too!), the general cleaning you've dodged (who knew Christmas decorations could gather so much dust!), and yet Monday, once again, is only 3 sleeps away! (Sorry!)
So now I've depressed you just that little bit more, here is my list of 7 things to help beat those January blues...
1. Reminisce your laughter...
At this point it's probably hard to remember how much you've laughed in your lifetime. Me, I've laughed a lot. A hell of a lot. Thinking about the memories that made you laugh the most, can bring you back to a happier time.
The time your friend walked into a bollard in Benidorm and you ran off laughing or when your friend came to your hen do with a spray tan that would put an Umpa-Lumpa to shame.
The fact that your friend snorts when she laughs and that makes you laugh even more!
Thinking of all these things can instantly and without cost, bring a smile back to your face.
2. Do something for someone else
Although above I have taken delight in the misfortunes of my friends, I do like to do things for others. Its not selfish to make yourself feel good by helping someone else (whatever Joey says to Phoebe!). Spread the love! Its much nicer to make more than one person feel good, including yourself. Go see that elderly relative that you haven't seen for months, take a shortbread to a neighbour and see if they want company for a coffee. Even bag up all that stuff you've been meaning to take to the Charity shop since June (you won't need summer clothes now, its freezing!).
Trust me, you will feel better. (and if you don't get the Joey and Phoebe comment, you need to watch more Friends - see my next idea!)
3. Comedy TV
The other night I watched Fawlty Towers with my husband. He literally cried with laughter at it. Personally, not so much. I'm more of an Only Fools or Ab Fab girl myself (and Friends of course). Give me Del falling through the bar or Patsy and Eddie air kissing any day.
What I'm saying is, watch something that makes you happy. Curl up with a blanket and a cuppa, kids, husband, dog, tortoise, whatever! and chill your little ass out watching something that makes you smile.
4. Wrap up and face the world
Now you've had your cosy day watching TV, its time to get your hat and coat on! If there's blue sky, get yourself outside. It might be freezing but you all own a coat and I'm sure you all got a knitted scarf from an Aunty that you never see, for Christmas. I love wrapping the kids up and walking with the low Winter sun beaming at us. If you're lucky enough to have a Temple Newsam or Roundhay Park near by, there's little or no excuse to get some fresh air. Failing that, walk to a friends house. The blue sky and fresh air will put you in the mood for coffee and a natter.
5. Speak to Friends
Remember when your house phone had a wire? My kids certainly don't. Brought up in the new age of social media its easy to forget that your friends are actually human and not an online robot.
Physically go see your friends. Go to their house, invite them to yours, meet for coffee. If you can't get there, dial their number (or look in Contacts!) and speak to them. Not WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat. Actually have a conversation with a human and not a keyboard! You'll be surprised at how much you enjoy it.
6. Small Pleasures
What's your favourite thing to do? One of mine, is to sit on my bed with a cup of tea and magazine, reading with no interruptions, it doesn't happen very often, but it's still one of my favourite things to do.
When was the last time you baked a cake? Coloured in a picture? Painted your nails? Those little things that you say, I wish I did that more often, do them! Whatever it may be. That small treat increases your happiness like you wouldn't believe.
7. Plan for adventure
Yes its January. Yes we're skint after Christmas but no that won't always be the case. That trip you want to take, research it. That place you always wanted to go with the kids, when does it reopen. That summer holiday, price it up. Having something to look forward to is always a happiness booster. When my kids can't sleep, this is what I tell them to dream about, what adventure will we take next...
Remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile! xoxo
If you could cross a feminine rock chick with lace and
florals, you would find her here.
Coachella began in 1999 and gained head way by being dubbed
the ‘anti-Woodstock’. Booking acts based on artistry as opposed to radio popularity. Notable acts included Foo Fighters, Sir Paul
McCartney, Madonna and Amy Winehouse, to namedrop a few.
If I could choose one act to appear at Coachella, in their
heyday of course, it would be Jamiroquai. The frontman himself, Jay Kay, was
made for over the top hats and jackets, much like those showcased on the
revellers at every music festival since the beginning of time! His eccentric
look makes you want to become a ‘Space Cowboy’ and live in his ‘Virtual
Insanity’. His husky voice and ability to get into the crowds mind, would be
enough to blow you away in any venue, never mind the mass of open desert of
Coachella, filled with quirky and colourful vibes.
All the artists booked for Coachella come with their own
creative flair. This is shown in their music, stage sets and of course, their
outfits. I love that many artists draw us in with their music and their
As mentioned earlier, that feminine rock chick, drizzled in
lace and florals, is me. I love nothing more than denim cut off shorts, tired
groupie t-shirt, cropped lace waistcoat and flat sandals with a pop of colour.
One of the best things about fashion is its ability to bring out the best in
people. It shows how they are feeling. Festivals are full of floral
headdresses, feathers, bright colours. Even the darkness of black is brought to
life by colour. You can instantly feel alive in what you’re wearing.
The fashion, music and the socialising at Coachella is
definitely why it would be my go to music festival.
My most recent favourite purchase is something I've not possessed since I was 8 years old (1993). The 90's have had a recent facelift and we've had bands reform, celebrity presenters resurface and designers introduce scrunchies, bombers and platforms galore!
A pair of good dungarees are definitely a 2016 wardrobe staple. Dress up with heels or down with slip on trainers, this versatile item is one of the seasons must haves.
Materials, colours and styles are, of course, each to their own. Dresses, trousers or shorts, all are widely acceptable. My personal favourites are these Black Denim Ankle Grazers (£27.99 New Look).
Many high street stores have plenty to choose from: