hello october.

by Suzie Bonaldi

RECENT PURCHASES


FINDING YOUR PERFECT BASKET BAG.

I don't know why I'm suddenly all about the basket bags (or wicker/jute/straw, whatever you want to call them), especially given they've been around since what feels like the beginning of time, but it finally happened and I'm totally embracing it. It all started with a small addition from Zara, but since then I've build quite the collection, with my favourites being a little harder to find. The above circular bag is from a little store on tidy street in Brighton (though there are similar but pricier one's here and WAY pricier one's here) for a whole £25 - so much cheaper than most I've seen! I would say this one is my favourite by far, but I recently purchased a new addition... My little round bag from Etsy, another round bag, but with a darker tone and not quite as spacious. It looks super cute with all my summer dresses and is great for a more casual occasion where my bright orange mini Mulberry doesn't feel as appropriate.

Then there's the "everything and the kitchen sink option, this one was a gift so I'm not entirely sure where my exact one is from, but there are similar items in the shop section below! This one is my favourite for days out and picnics where I need to carry a lot of stuff. I mean let's face it I mostly fill it with food... But they also make great accessories for your home when not in use - sometimes mine houses cushions or blankets, and sometimes my floordrobe migrates in to it and looks like a cute mess in the corner instead of on the floor. Totally timeless and multi-purpose!

MORE BASKET BAG INSPIRATION RIGHT HERE...




Thoughtful Gifting with Boots UK
*This post is sponsored by Boots UK.

So it's been almost a month since my last post with Boots UK where I announced I would be taking part in their Everyday Thoughtfulness Challenge, which focuses on thoughtful gifting all year round. Five gifts were lovingly chosen and shared with my five giftees and I have to say it was very successful and the challenge really helped me to put more thought in to my gift, and to be more selective in the purchasing process. I thought more about what my family were mentioning they loved, or what my friends were asking for recommendations for, and made little notes in secret! Not only did I manage to pick out thoughtful gifts for each loved one, which didn't just involve buying something I would like, but I also did it without the "one for you, one for me" rule, too! Needless to say, everyone loved their gifts from Boots and loved the personal messages on their gift tags too! It felt so nice to share a little joy and excitement, especially for those that might be having a tough or stressful time, or who simply deserve a little treat for being such a gem all the time!


The first gift was for my wonderful Mum, because she's always there for me, always my number one fan, and always letting me raid her fridge. She loves her fragrances just as much as I do (no surprise as to where my love for it comes from is it really?) so I always like to try and find her something new that I think she'll love and this LancĂ´me fragrance fit the bill perfectly and went down a treat! The next gift was for my friend Stevie, who I've known for over ten years now and still love to bits. Last August she gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl and has mentioned a few times that her cleansing routine has been a bit non existent through lack of time. After casually quizzing her about her cleanser preferences I picked up the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel which is perfect for when you're super busy raising your gorgeous tiny human and you need a new no fuss cleanser. Flannels not required because I know she hates them.

Then we had Fathers Day, where I decided to surprise my Dad with more than a card and a bottle of something this year. He loves Jean Paul Gautier and this superman inspired bottle was absolutely perfect for him, because he's my hero of course (and his DIY skills will come in handy now we've moved)! My next gift was for my friend Molly, who's always there to help me, always puts up with my long phone calls and puts up with my sarcastic remarks and really deserves a real treat! I picked out this Viktor & Rolf gift set for her as she is just Flowerbomb in a bottle! Her reaction was totally priceless, and left her with the biggest smile on her face (extra smiley considering she's always a bundle of joy anyway!) and made her feel so special and appreciated (her words not mine)!The final gift was for my friend Tasi, and I picked this one because she loves her skincare just as much as (if not more than) I do. Working at a skin clinic has given her an encyclopaedic knowledge to the point where she teaches me new things all the time, so I thought it would be fitting to introduce her to one of my all time favourite skincare brands, Origins. I picked out a few items from the Ginzing range which I know she will really enjoy! 

I thoroughly enjoyed my little gift giving project this month, taking the time to make others feel appreciated gave me all the warm fuzzy feels! I can't recommend it enough if you've got someone in mind who deserves a little extra thoughtfulness.  

​"Boots UK believes every great gift really does start with a thought​ and​​ that a bit of Everyday Thoughtfulness will help us and people around us to feel happier​.​ If you’ve got any gifts you’re planning on giving (or if you just fancy sharing some love!) then pop into your local Boots store for some gifting inspiration!" 


Well, didn't June just fly by? It feels like yesterday I was stressing about packing and voting and now it's bloody JULY. I thought I'd bring back The Sunday Post again this month and make it a bit of a monthly thing, I wish it could be weekly but shockingly this chatterbox does run out of things to say eventually! So is monthly okay? That way we can really break things and have a good old catch up!

WE MOVED!
If you missed my last post, you might not have heard (although I can't deny I have pretty much plastered it everywhere by now) that we've moved! There are moving vlogs on my youtube channel if you fancy a watch and a little snoop at what life in June was like, and I haven't vlogged since as I've been enjoying nesting and soaking it all up. The weather has been beautiful this month which made paying a fortune for the extra garden space so worth while (though I have barely used my office due to working in the sun and I am now VERY VERY tanned...) and I've been trying just to take things at a slower pace, which brings me to my next point...

SLOWING DOWN
This month it felt especially important to practice the art of slowing down a little, busy months just fly by and I always feel like I missed everything. I didn't want to move in to our lovely new home and then have to fly off for work, straight away. So I've been focusing on my content from home, and really taking my time to enjoy our new space. There's something to be said for not being so go go go all the time and working silly hours. I'm always a fan of balance, but this month I've really enjoyed being a little off balance in a good way. My thoughts feel clearer, my mood is better and hopefully that will start to filter through to my online world too (if it hasn't already!)

LOVING INSTAGRAM
One platform that I've loved posting on this month is Instagram, I know it's not every creators favourite right now, but I can't get enough. I feel like I'm really starting to find my place again online, after feeling really lost for the past year, and I'm loving not worrying too much about things being perfect or polished and just posting the photos I like. I've also gotten really into Nala's Instagram again which has been super fun because I just post anything on there and I love it.

AMAZING PROJECTS
This year I made a pact with myself to be truly selective with the projects I work on after putting so much pressure on myself to say yes to everything I wanted to do last year. Even if I means I have to turn down things that I love, I wanted to really enjoy my projects and not have too much going on all at the same time. I know I sound like a bit of a dick saying that as not everyone has that luxury, but I'm sure we've all been there where work was so busy we didn't enjoy it anymore. I think it's important to take control of your workload where you can, in the best way for your business. I'm so fortunate that I have full control, and for me it's quality over quantity. Six months in I'm so happy with my decision and this month I got to work with Selfridges on this post here and Boots on their Everyday Thoughtfulness campaign. I'm really excited for my July projects and I'm even more excited to finally get the ball rolling again on a new project of my own! It's very early stages, but I'm excited to get the ball rolling on something I've been dreaming up for a while...

THE EVER EXPANDING WARDROBE: 
Seeing as we moved in to a new place with a wardrobe triple the size of the last ones, I couldn't resist filling those extra hangers. The summer style bug well and truly caught me this year and my summer dress wardrobe has pretty much taken over the wardrobe. I picked up a few bits from ASOS, as well as a tonne from Urban Outfitters which you can see in this haul right here. I also picked up this dress from Realisation Par which I posted on Instastories today (I'll try and post it on twitter for those of you catching up over 24 hours later).

Latest Additions to My Wardrobe


*This is not a sponsored post, however some links may be affiliate links.


We Moved!

Title say's it all really doesn't it? We're finally out of our dark little flat (which I did my best to keep up the appearance that it was light and airy - and did a cracking job if I do say so myself) and have definitely upgraded somewhat. I'm currently writing this from a sunshine soaked garden, awaiting yet another mirror delivery (screw gallery walls and shelves, I've gone for a very different approach this time around) and feeling so incredibly happy and grateful. We moved in to an area that as a child I dreamed of living in, so not only was this move an exciting one for us due to more space, it's also been an emotional one for me. I still wake up each morning and can't quite believe this is where I live now and I can't wait to start sharing more interior related posts and videos with you as our new bits and pieces start arriving!


In above photos: Mirror: Perch and Parrow / Vase: Unlimited (Brighton Store) / Baskets: Next / Rose Gold Plant Pot: Next / Candle: Diptique / Fake Aloe Plant: Next / Rose Gold Frame: Oliver Bonas / Planter: Next / Plant: Spiderplant (Brighton Store) / Palm Leaf Photo Holder: Oliver Bonas 


In this photo: Vase: Unlimited (Brighton Store) / Coaster: Anthropologie / Baskets: Next

Our living room is the most "together" of all the rooms right now, only because our main bedroom is still filled with boxes, we're still waiting on a media unit for one of the alcoves and that's it for now. Over time we might replace our sofa's and repaint, but it's not a huge priority right now, and I'm definitely not itching to take on another big project so soon after moving! As for new items, I posted a tweet showing our fireplace last week and I'd never had so many favourites or questions on where something was from! It's actually from Perch and Parrow which I discovered through my friend Poppy, and though it wasn't cheap I knew it was the perfect size and design to balance out our huge marble fireplace. We also ditched our gross old TV stand (previously stolen off my parents around 4 years ago) and went for this one. I'm in LOVE. Previously when shopping for home wear I've always gone for affordable, easy options, but this time round I spent so much time deciding on the perfect pieces and not necessarily going for things that are hugely on trend. The house itself is quite old, (thankfully not victorian though, we swore we'd never go back after our first flat) so we've furnished accordingly and gone for more timeless pieces, with more modern pieces sporadically slipped in here and there.

In this photo: Mirror: Perch and Parrow / Vase: Unlimited (Brighton Store) / Baskets: Next / Rose Gold Plant Pot: Next / Candle: Diptique / Fake Aloe Plant: Next / Rose Gold Frame: Oliver Bonas
Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg DVF Knot-waist Cotton-poplin Shirt DressSelfridges Diane Von Furstenberg tie waist Cotton Shirt DressSelfridges Diane Von Furstenberg DVF White Shirt DressSelfridges Diane Von Furstenberg DVF White Summer Dress

Finding the Perfect Day to Night Summer Dress.

Post in collaboration with Selfridges.

Despite being an October baby, summer dressing is kind of my jam. But that's not to say it's easy, I often spend hours trawling online and rooting through stores to find the perfect additions to my summer wardrobe. One of the items I always feel I lack is that perfect, all occasion summer dress. The one that can take you from brunch in the city, or a sun soaked stroll, to beachside drinks on your summer holiday. But Selfridges came through with this little white number from Diane Von Furstenberg which has filled the gap in my wardrobe nicely! 

Selfridges always have an amazing range of designer dresses and whilst browsing I realised I'd never purchased any Diane Von Furstenberg dresses before, and whilst there were a fair few summery shirt dresses that caught my eye, it was the DVF knot-waist cotton-poplin shirt dress that I knew would fit perfectly in to my wardrobe. Light, and floaty, with pockets and a skirt that is just screaming out for me to do a little twirl in it. It's love. It's such a gorgeous fabric, which is so breathable and perfect for warmer weather, all finished off with a gorgeous nude trim to the inside panel of the collar and button holes and a tie waist which is one of my new favourite additions to any dress, playsuit or jumpsuit as it cinches you in at the waist and is so flattering! 


The length is also a winner for me, and I think it would work beautifully whatever your height. It's designed to hit around the knee, which is perfect for me, as the length is more midi length - one of my favourite dress lengths for summer. Mini dresses are great, but there's something so flattering and pulled together with a knee length or longer cut. Whether I wear it with lace up sandals and a basket bag (my new obsession! Full post coming soon!) during the day or a pair of dainty strappy heels and a cute clutch in the evening, it just works with everything and is totally perfect for a summer holiday and beyond. 

SUNGLASSES: RAYBAN
SHOES: CHLOE
JEWELLERY: MONICA VINADER

Selfridges Designer Dress Diane Von Furstenberg DVF Knot-waist Cotton-poplin Shirt Dress
Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg White Holiday Dresses
Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg White Designer Dresses
Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg DVF Tie Waist Cotton Shirt Dress
Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg Knot Waist Cotton Poplin Shirt Midi Dress
Selfridges Diane Von Furstenberg DVF Summer Holiday White Shirt Dress

Summer Gifting with Boots UK
*This post is sponsored by Boots UK.

Gift giving is one of those things often associated with the latter part of each year, and for me most gifting situations outside of the last quarter are met with a sudden gasp and a palm to the face, the day before said gift is due. What follows is often a rushed gift, with a gift tag stating "because we all know how much you love socks...". So this summer the lovely team at Boots UK have challenged me to take part in their Everyday Thoughtfulness project, encouraging me to not only be more thoughtful on general gift giving occasions (e.g. father’s day, the national gift giving holiday that escapes me EVERY YEAR) but most importantly, on an everyday basis. So challenge accepted, I've picked out a selection of gifts from Boots for five of my favourite people with thoughtful little gifts I know they'll love!


These are just a few of the people in my life whose love and support I really value, and it feels nice to show them how much I appreciate them. For me they are a key part of living a healthy, happy life, so it's always important to remember to show them I care. We all lead such busy lives now, and it's easy to let the little everyday thoughtful moments fall by the wayside and sometimes a thoughtful treat is the perfect way to show someone you care. Whether it's a mascara that you overheard your mum has run out of, a surprise picnic in the countryside for your partner, or a gorgeous fragrance that your bestie is always saying she loves. It's a lovely idea really, and something I'll be embracing with open arms over the next month.

So this month I'll be starting my journey in to everyday thoughtfulness with Boots, treating my loved ones to the perfect gifts from their store. So keep an eye out on my Instagram, Instastories, Twitter and of course, over on the blog for updates! I'll also be doing an extra Father’s Day special, putting myself to the test to get my Pah something super thoughtful, and for once, totally not last minute!


Personal Style.

My twenties have seen a lot of things, a varied career journey, huge personal growth, as well as physical and mental change, so much change. It's such an interesting experience, even more so when it's documented on the internet in front of so many people. In addition to learning new things about myself everyday, I also learn things about my style and my preferences everyday. Over the past three months I've had the biggest breakthrough when it comes to feeling sure of myself and my wardrobe (I have shopped no where near as often as I normally would as I'm just so comfortable with what I have!). I'd previously been under the assumption that personal style involved knowing exactly what you like and sticking with that 90% of the time, but I recently came to the conclusion that "personal style" is still open to change. People grow and change throughout their life, and year on year, therefore personal style can too. It's not about dressing the same all the time, but knowing the key features and preferences that run throughout your wardrobe. Does this make the whole "personal style" thing a myth? I don't know, but I've been doing a lot of thinking about mine...

I'd love to be a minimalist, or a super chic tailored girl, but what I've realised over the past year is that I will always love a mixture of everything, from statement jackets to girly dresses and a well tailored jumpsuit. Despite those varied floral or embellished pieces with zero consistency, I know love a classic denim or biker jacket, and pairing everything with converse. I love to dress things down, and feel comfortable and casual in my clothing. It's not about having a rail of perfect "classic" items, because I just find that boring, but it's also not about buying in to every trend - but it is about having fun with the ones that I'm drawn to (most of the time these don't feel "trendy" to me at all). I recently started to shop differently and pick items that, though they wont necessarily go with everything, make me feel a 10 with the fastening of a clasp. I used to shop this way around 6 years ago, never worrying about how things would work out, and most of the pieces I bought because I absolutely loved I still have now.

Summer is definitely a time when I feel I can clearly define my style (maybe because it's not hidden under a million layers) and right now more than ever I have such a clear idea of how I want to dress and what I want my wardrobe to say to the world. It's laid back, light, free flowing, comfortable, dark, casual, textured and feminine and occasionally a little rough around the edges all at the same time. It has so many contradicting pieces and though it doesn't scream "clear sense of personal style" in the traditional format, but this multi faceted sense of style perfectly reflects me. Much like an onion, I've got layers. And embracing those layers rather than just focusing on a few feels so free. Possibly the most free I've felt in a long time. 


Finding Your Personal Style.

Streamline.
So, how did I get here? Well, aside from deciding I no longer gave a crap whether someone either on the internet or IRL deemed me "not stylish" or "not different" enough to have personal style,  I started with a wardrobe clear out. I've actually done a lot of these over the past few months due to moving and I can't recommend it enough. Culling a large amount of unloved items and just seeing the left over pieces that #bringyoujoy really does help you to see what it is you like, and also where it is you go wrong when shopping. Though I'm still a magpie for a silly purchase, I can now see one coming a mile off, and so far I haven't bought anything that feels "un-me" or doesn't fit in to my wardrobe.

Embrace Your Signature Feature.
For some people, their defining feature might be really clear, always wearing a clean cut silhouette, five inch heels or something with a ruffle. But for some it's not always going to jump out and smack you in the face, and that's okay. Your defining feature that you always rock doesn't have to be through your clothes, think accessories. It can be the messy waves you style your hair with every single day, a bold red lip, huge oversized sunglasses or some seriously statement earrings. It could even be a pair of reading glasses. For me eyewear is the defining feature, they're always dressed, first with liner and secondly with glasses or a seriously oversized pair of sunnies. 

Shop Without Influence.
In terms of filling my wardrobe, I've stopped myself looking to Instagram for inspiration before shopping. This might sound crazy but hear me out. Following a lot of international bloggers, it can be easy to see gorgeous, girly, whimsical pieces that look great, but might not be suitable for me or my lifestyle, figure, or climate. There are a few ladies I follow who live locally and I love their style, but even so, looking to others for inspiration right before shopping was clouding my own personal style. So now I shop completely alone, whether online or in person with no outside influence. Occasionally I might see something on a fellow shorty on Insta stories and take the plunge, but that's rare and I see it more as inspiration finding me, more often than not I don't go looking on Instagram pages for ideas. When shopping I now find myself picking out pieces that are really interesting to me and my wardrobe has so much variety now instead of a million same-y lace shirts.

Document.
Documenting your outfits also helps, even if it's just going through your Facebook and identifying moments where you loved what you wore or perhaps didn't love it so much. I've learnt that in situations where I feel I'm expected to dress a certain way, I never feel entirely comfortable with what I wore. Understanding this helped me to make a few changes to avoid this, like not asking friends what they're wearing, or buying an outfit specifically for an occasion. In the past these habits have lead to panic purchases, and a muddled wardrobe with no clear vision. Now I look at my rail each morning and feel inspired and excited, even with old favourites such as this Topshop number which I've had for over three years now and I still love it (I've actually just had it repaired because it's been through the wars and I'm still not giving up on it). 


And finally, try not to give a crap about whether something fits your personal style or shape. Most of the people I know with the best sense of personal style have never used the words "personal style" in their life. They get dressed each day and even when it doesn't work, it still works. I realise there's such an irony in this. So cut out the noise and ignore what's "on trend", know what you like and don't like and have fun with it. And embrace your layers. All of them.

Shop The Post.





*This is not a sponsored post, however some links may be affiliate links.

Yeah, you read that right, a Sunday Post. It's been a while. But as I type this it's 1am on Sunday morning and I felt like getting a little life update out. I'm working on a bigger post (for which the above photo is a little teaser) but I have so much to talk about I felt like I wanted to get some things of my chest before I come back with a chunkier post.

BEFORE I START...

This week has been an emotional rollar coaster, I think for most people in one way or another. The attack in Manchester has left so many feeling lost for words, and it's something that will stay with me forever. I wanted to take a moment to touch on this here, as it's so hard to say how you feel in 140 characters on Twitter, and felt wrong to try and eloquently say something to my vlogging camera, but equally, it felt wrong to say nothing.  My love goes out to everyone affected by the attack on Monday, rest assured whilst it looks like everyone is back to business, it's not and Manchester is still in my heart.

PRODUCTIVITY AND PRIORITISING...

On a smaller, more trivial scale, this week has been one where I try my best to keep my head above water. I feel like I'm forever battling trying to be a domestic goddess (or just a normal clean human, who remembers to wash their hair and tidy their kitchen) with running a business in a balanced, responsible way. It's so important for me to have a good work life balance at least 90% of the time. Over the last year I realised how much we romanticise being "busy" all the time and working ridiculous hours. So whilst some days I kick myself because I haven't been able to get through every single item on my to-do list, or I didn't all my chores done, I'm still giving myself a pat on the back for doing the most I can in the time I have, whilst not running myself in to the ground. I've spoken a little about my experience of anxiety here, but being realistic with my expectations of myself has really helped me manage my anxiety and the pressure I put on myself on a daily basis. I think it's important to not equate working all hours with success, as everyones perception of success is so very different. Define what success means to you, and then decide what you need to do to achieve it. For me it's been so important to stop looking to others around me and really work on what really is my priority for myself. If you're feeling overwhelmed or unsure I can't recommend this enough!

MOVING MADNESS!

One of the reasons I've been battling my to-do list a little more than usual this week is because we're actually in the process of moving! I mentioned it here but in case you're more of a blog reader than YouTube viewer, we're moving! Same old Brighton, bigger house. There will officially be a space for me to work, and plenty of space to play too. (Side note: what are your favourite stores for interiors? This girl needs to know!) Whilst I'm so excited I was reminded this week that we really don't have very long to go and I need to get my act together. One thing that definitely helped with my focus a little this week was having my dedicated laptop hours out in the heat and sunshine - I've never been more ready to get on with my admin than with the promise of doing it in 20 degree heat. What can I say, I was born for warmer climates...

THE BEST BIT...

And finally to round off this week, I was asked to be a god mother for one of my best friends gorgeous little girl! Aside from feeling very aware this means I probably need to start acting like a responsible adult for her, I'm so thankful and feel so blessed that they chose me! It was a much needed moment of joy after a crazy week.

And that's this week in a nutshell, tomorrow is a "bank holiday" in the UK though for me you'll find me glued to my desk as usual. But changing my working practices recently has me feeling refreshed and ready for another Monday!

Love,
Suzie xx
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