LUSH Thanks Mum Gift Box £15.95
Yankee Candle Pink Hibiscus Yankee Candle £21.99
M&S Spiced Apple Pie Martini (case of 6) £60
Not on The High Street Personalised Best Mum Notes £13
Barry M Natural Glow 2 Palette £6.49
Next Mink Butterfly Robe £40
Urban Outfitters Pastel Keyboard Cover £15
M&S Rose Plant, White Wine and Chocolates Hamper £32.00
Urban Outfitters Start Where You Are Journal £11.99
L’Occitane Orange Blossom & Orchid Eau de Toilette £52
Not On The High Street Personalised Sofa Socks £15
I’m one of those wenches that has a Mary Poppins bag – the kind that seemingly contains everything you could possibly need. I’m pretty sure McGiver could make some incredibly cool escape device out of it’s contents. I don’t have the memory for taking things in and out of it or swapping bags much so I stick with this owl satchel most of the time (which also seems to go with everything).
The Trusty Owl Satchel
Where ever you are in the room it looks like they are looking at you.
Teeny Tiny Torch
The bloke randomly bought me this and it’s surprisingly light weight and bright, plus it has a great battery life.
Mathew Williamson Purse
This folds out to fit a massive amount of club cards and notes and change are easily accessible and countable. It’s feminine but not kitschy and I’ve never found a purse that is so dyspraxia friendly before or since.
One that’s great for fidgeting around with when I’m bored/waiting for something and a magic one with ink you can erase. I found the latter at a bus stop but don’t worry I sprayed it with Detox!
Moisturising lipstick (Neil’s Yard) a balm (Sleek) and a gloss (Neil’s Yard) because my pout dries out so quickly so these are utterly invaluable! My lips are naturally really pale compared with my medium/yellow skin tone and because I don’t want to look like I’ve aimed for a tacky 80’s make up look these are all in warm colours.
A tiny one for important stuff and a big one for general ideas. The tiny one is from The Great Orme in Wales and the other has a cover made from recycled car tyres.
I should throw in a few safety pins, hair bobbles and my strawberry Tic Tac’s, to be sure.
Why Designed by Humans?
I always like to support independent businesses and artists so I was pleased to find Designed by Humans a website where illustrators submit their designs and get commission. Most of the designs are references to popular culture with a few essoteric references which you will only get if you are a major fan. There are also some tees and hoodies with beautiful illustrations which are totally unique and don’t specifically refer to anything.
Search for your faves!
I searched for Miyazaki (Totoro), How To Train Your Dragon and Rodolphe Salis as I love the poster he did for Parisian club The Black Cat Club. Amazingly I found a wonderful mashup of the last two!
Obviously the print on the hoodie is meant to look like the pattern and stitching on a Christmas jumper, although it’s subtle enough for me to wear it at the very start of December and maybe January as well.
Sizing and quality…
For some odd reasons the women’s tees come in Junior sizes?! I’m 34″ around the skinniest part of my torso with various big curves else where Lol Basically I’m a 10/12 so I ordered a Large (size 10 equivalent) and XLarge (size 12 equivelant). I should have bought both in XL as I had to stretch the L a bit so it flattered my mini belly.
The tees are of great quality, failry thick cotton fabric, nice matt printing, straight seems.
Which is your favourite and what character/game/cartoon would you search for?
Yes, it’s another one of those National days but it’s also every geeks fave day of the week: Fandom Friday! This weeks theme is ‘Favourite Cupcakes’ er…..? So I’m doing a bit of a theme mash-up and substituting cupcakes for wine instead lol
Olivia Pope – Scandal
I’m not going to lie, the only thing we would be talking about is men, or rather a very particular handsome and powerful man, whilst drinking from one of her giant wine glasses.
Samantha Jones – Sex and The City
After re-watching a few episodes of this a while back and realising how whinny and self absorbed Carry really was, I appreciated Samantha and Miranda’s characters even more. I’m sure I’d get a lot of REAL advice on men and relationships from them, rather than clunky similes and platitudes. We’d have to have a wine based cocktail of course so Bellini’s maybe.
Tyrion Lannister – Game of Thrones
Now this dude can drink! I’m pretty sure he’d be scrapping me off the floor at 1.00am on his way to the cellar for more wine. I’d love to have a right gossipy bitching session about his horrible family, although Jamie Lannister does have a lot of redeeming qualities, I’d have to agree with him on that.
Patsy – Absolutely Fabulous
I can’t even imagine what outrageousness you would get up to going on a night out with Patsy! Nothing would be out of bounds, crazy wise really. You know when you have taken time over your appearance and you go out looking perfect only to be terrified by the reflection of your drunken self in a bathroom mirror a few hours later? Patsy would be the best person to understand this after a few bottles of Bollie, or vodka, or really anything sweetie.
Marge Simpson – The Simpsons
In the few episodes that Marge has gotten drunk accidentally on purpose she has been a lot of fun singing and dancing, tactlessly honest and a bit of a light weight. OMG my wine drinking personality is Marge Simpson!
Penny from The Bang Theory is someone who I thought I’d like to share a bottle of wine and have a giggle with but then I realised I’m just to geeky these days to get along with her. I really would want to slap her after she’d screwed up her face or rolled her eyes at my geek references for the 20th time. That’s just plain ignorant Penny!
Who would be your favourite TV character to share a bottle or two with?
There are a lot of ‘National’ days and after reading some such as ‘National Bubble Bath day’ and ‘National Dress Up Your (poor) Pet Day’ I’m starting to wonder who the hell comes up with these things. However, ‘National Random Acts of Kindness Day’ is a really lovely example and some would say a well needed one! Here are some ideas in list format because who doesn’t dig lists?
- If you see a Mum with a pram, it’s easier for you to get out of her way than for her to manoeuvre around you. I tried it once, babies are surprisingly heavy!
- Do a household chore NOT because it’s your turn but just because it’s a nice thing to do.
- No one needs 7 packs of loo roll (and if you do, please don’t ever tell me why) so be kind and leave the last one on the shelf for someone else.
- Give up your seat on a bus or anywhere to anyone who seems to be struggling – not just the pregnant or wrinkly.
- Give pastries. Unless person is on diet, or wheat intolerant, or suspicious of your motives…..Think about giving pastries.
- When you have finished reading a book leave it in a cafe or on a bus at rush hour for someone else to enjoy.
- This might be a dodgy one depending on what area you live in but if you see someone struggling with their bags offer to carry them. Just offer, don’t automatically grab them obviously!
- Give a stranger a genuine compliment. If you like the cashiers teal coloured hair then tell them.
- Leave a loved one a Post It in their lunch bag or tool box etc. with a smiley face and a nice sentiment on it. Nothing too embarrassing for your kids/teens though parents!
- Give flowers.
- Feed the wildlife in your area, even if you just hang up a fat ball for small birds in winter.
- If you have an elderly neighbour that you say hello to in passing, you could ask them if they need anything from the shops seeing as you are “going anyway”.
- After using a vending machine, leave the change in there as a surprise for the next person. Less cringey if there isn’t a cue so you can escape unseen.
- At least offer to cook tea if the chef of the household looks stressed or exhausted.
- I know it’s hard but when you are out and about, try to have more patience with the general pubic.*
*Not a typo
This post was inspired by the lovely and geeky Scruffy-Little Nerd Herder.
Roy – Blade Runner – Rutger Hauer
He has the perfect post punk look, with the white tee, leather jacket and ice blond hair. He also combines wit, determination and throws in a beautifully poignant speech.
Lucius and Draco Malfoy – Harry Potter – Jason Isaacs and Tom Felton
They really are cruel but that doesn’t stop them from being very easy on the eye, even with those hair do’s.
Lestat – Interview With a Vampire – Tom Cruise
Some would say the most attractive, charismatic and die hard vampire of them all.
Max Cady – Cape Fear – Robert Mitchum
Laid back, very charming, handsome and utterly terrifying, he really is the perfect sociopath.
Loki – Thor – Tom Hiddleston
Almost too pretty and at times slightly whiny to be a convincing bad guy and then he throws one of these looks and things get rather confusing for a girl!
The Joker – The Dark Knight – Heath Ledger
This is definitely a case of charisma over looks but then as soon as you know it’s Heath Ledger under that makeup it’s easy to be smitten by this psycho. I didn’t pick Jerad Letto as I think his look is just too far removed from the original Jokers we’ve seen in print. Obviously his Joker is very fit though!
Simon Phoenix – Demolition Man – Wesley Snipes
This guy has insane amounts of charisma – literally insane amounts.
Caster Troy/Sean Archer – Face Off – John Travolta
John Travolta in full on bad guy mode is a wonderful thing to watch. He really works hard to make a character you will simultaneously love and hate.
Tyler Durden – Fight Club – Brad Pitt
Ok, so I know he’s not essentially a bad guy…More of a bad influence but he’s definitely sexy and no good will ever come of listening to him!
Hughie Warriner – Dead Calm – Billy Zane
You get the feeling something is off with this character from the moment he is introduced but then you quickly don’t care.
David – The Lost Boys – Keifer Sutherland
Looking back there aren’t that many redeeming features as to why this bad guy is particularly likeable apart from his bad boy look, which obviously appealed to teenagers in 1987 and beyond.
The Devil – End Of Days – Gabriel Byrne
The devil is often portrayed as being manipulative and charming not unlike vampires in contemporary culture and this devil does a great job. Sarcastic, unshaken by pretty much everything and of course darkly seductively handsome.
Bane – The Dark Night Rises – Tom Hardy
Yes, he has a lot muscles and bulk going on in general but when his characters back story is revealed you genuinely feel for him, rather than just wanting to feel him (sorry).
John Ryder – The Hitcher (2007) – Sean Bean
Mysterious and confident but with a strange melancholy about him, he is utterly menacing.
The Sheriff of Nottingham – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – Alan Rickman
Rickman’s performance is an absolute delight to watch as he camps it up as a lusty, ruthless and very sarcastic sheriff. Not the most attractive bad guy but there is just something about him that makes wenches quiver across the land.
J.D – Heathers – Christian Slater
A breath of fresh air, a free thinker, confident, sexy and a total nut job.
Tobin Frost – Safe House – Denzel Washington
He’s incredibly clever, charming and deadly but who’s side is he on?
Dracula – Bram Stocker’s Dracula – Gary Oldman
Obviously we are talking about Dracula when he appears as if young and not as an old man or some furry beast. He really is the perfect romantic anti-hero with such heartbreak in his past it’s easy to see why Nina falls in love with him and forgets about -what’s-his-name….
Stewart Swinton – Wolf – James Spader
Rather than getting type cast for his good looks in the 80’s and 90’s James Spader got type cast for playing interesting bad guys. *spoiler alert* A supposed nice guy who eventually turns out be a werwolf is pretty interesting!
Leon – Leon: The Professional – Jean Reno
He has a gorgeous accent, he loves his plant, he protects kids and just happens to be an assassin for a living.
Having personal style is that feeling of instantly knowing which type of items you want to buy because they are just so ‘you’ and knowing what type of outfit you want to put together and more importantly why. Not just because it simply suits the occasion but because you can effortlessly identify with it and to some extent it clearly conveys your personality.
I think a lot of the time when people look in their wardrobe and have “nothing” to wear it’s because they are confused about exactly what message they are trying to convey or what mood they are in. Even if you just put items together that match, your outfit will still have a certain feel to it, it will fit into some kind of style genre even if that genre is just ‘practical and comfortable’ and it will have an effect on how it makes you feel as you are wearing it.
There are so many reasons why someone might loose their personal style such as putting on/loosing weight, becoming a parent, moving to a totally different climate, leaving uni/getting older, having a crisis of confidence. However, just because circumstances have changed doesn’t always mean your personality has so you just need to find a slightly different way to express this through your new clothes without loosing, well, you!
The styles below are pretty much how I’ve always dressed (apart from night on the town) and it has always just come naturally to me. Ok so some thought is required so an outfit works practically speaking so it’s comfortable and weather appropriate but apart from that I’ve always been sure how I want to look because I’ve always been sure how I feel and who I am.
Then bit by bit I started to loose my personal style and myself. I was swiftly approaching my mid thirties – it’s not old but it’s not exactly young anymore relatively speaking, I had some serious health issues on my mind, of which one was making me very fatigued some days, it was also making me feel oddly apathetic to absolutely everything. This was the real killer. How do I feel? Don’t know. Am I in the mood for a more punky, urban or boho style today or all three? I really don’t give a damn. Ok I’m just getting cold now so I’ll throw something snuggly on.
Then me and the bloke started going out on date night every Friday which was lovely but I think the word ‘date’ threw me a bit. You know this idea that a serious date outfit is meant to make you look feminine and appropriately attractive like someone’s (wannabe or actual) girlfriend and not some fiery wenchetta on the pull? I misguidedly figured well at least this gives me something to aim for, some direction to go in when putting outfits together. I also did lots of shopping for basics in the January sales which was great as I really needed them but they were hardly inspiring. So I ended up with a bunch of outfits that were cute but they didn’t look like ‘me’ and I didn’t feel like me in them, well not the usual me, the true me.
I noticed when I asked the bloke for feedback he would carefully say “Yeah, your outfit looks nice” rather than casually saying “you look nice” like he used to. When we were at a friends birthday do one night I bluntly asked him “Is this outfit me?” to which he confidently replied “No”, without a hint of hesitation. I gave him a big grin and a thank you.
So now I’ve made the decision to not care if I’m fatigued, if it’s cold (yeah, I live in jeans 80% of the time anyway!?) or what – within reason the occasion is, I’m getting my style mojo back! Even if it’s only putting my trusty Ugg boots to the back of the shelf and bringing my pirate boots to the front (they have four wide straps that fasten with big buttons). Even if it’s simply replacing my slouchy Field & Treck fleece with a fitted black crochet jumper and vest combo. I also got my hair cut shorter and layered with a shaggy fringe so that my hair is textured, wavy, and full of movement again which I love!
You know what? It’s made a massive difference! I feel more upbeat, more confident, less ‘woe is me’. I’m really enjoying putting outfits together again rather than being apprehensive about it like it’s some bewildering challenge. However you put your outfits together and what ever inspires you, getting dressed should never feel like a bewildering challenge!
10 Personal Style Tips
- When shopping buy at least one item that’s really ‘you’ for every three practical items.
- Only buy items which are really ‘you’ if you know you have items in your wardrobe which will go with them to make an outfit (or buy more things to go with your new exciting item) otherwise your wardrobe will be a cluttered and confusing place.
- Basics are the glue which holds things together but have you thought about getting several in different colours or some with a little bit of detailing on. It’s amazing the difference lots of small details can make if you aren’t keen on wearing a statement piece.
- Never wear something simply because it is in fashion or it’s conventional. Your outfit needs to revolve around you not the other way around. The clothes are highlighting your personality, you are not adjusting your identity to fit with the clothes.
- Lot’s of things look nice but is ‘nice’ enough? If you are buying an item which you will want to wear again and again then it has to feel like you’ve been lucky to have discovered something that is so ‘you’, otherwise you will end up wearing perfectly good outfits which you aren’t remotely arsed about.
- Don’t go shopping when you are tired, stressed (unless it’s therapy), distracted or are very short on time. This never ends well!
- When getting dressed don’t automatically think “What will people think?” constantly. Unless you are cosplaying as The Joker to the funeral of your great Aunt, it’s non of their business! As long as you like it and it doesn’t feel forced, then that’s what matters.
- Obviously there will be occasions like weddings, funerals, snobby lawn parties even, when you do need to dress a certain way that is expected of you but it doesn’t mean you can’t add your own bit of flair with an accessory or print. It’s in the details remember.
- If you need a specific item it’s best to have a specific idea of exactly what type you want. In your head think about the detailing, the cut, the colour, the length. What decade or genre should it look like it’s from? More importantly how should it make you feel and what are you trying to express or convey when you wear it? Once you have this picture in your head go and track down your wonderful item!
- You shouldn’t have to grudgingly make do with items you dislike. Donate anything to charity that doesn’t fit you well or that was an impulse “what the hell was I thinking” kind of purchase. This will probably drastically reduce the size of your wardrobe but it will be a case of choosing rather than eliminating items to wear every morning. A lot less depressing and time consuming. Plus you will feel better about every outfit that you wear! You can always gradually rebuild your wardrobe with items that are suitable once you have a clearer idea of what you want and need.
Yet again the family member has automatically tried to dismiss my Dyspraxia as if trying to play down a giant zit someone has suddenly acquired. They have done this my entire life – before I was diagnosed but knew something was different about me and now even after.