When the seasons change, your wardrobe has to do likewise. You need access to suitable clothes for the weather and trends of the season, without cluttering your wardrobe with unnecessary items tha obscure what you’re really looking for.

The transition from summer to winter to is easy enough in theory: light dresses, swimwear and other summer essentials are packed away and you get out, air and press then hang your winter essentials like thick dresses, jumpers and sweaters and onesies. That’s in theory. In practice autumn and spring are awkward crossover times, when the weather and temperature vary wildly and it’s hard to judge what the correct outfit might be. Putting all your summer clothes into storage on the 31st of August is going to leave stuck for options if the autumn is a warm one.

Changing Seasons

The art of facing the changing seasons with your wardrobe is one it’s tough to acquire and that’s why we’re putting it under the microscope today.

All Weather Clothes

The first key to successful season change is keeping a core of clothes that can work for you at any time of year. A few sweaters or cardigans in luxury cashmere are stylish insulation on the coldest days of winter and a useful wrap around your shoulders on a long, warm summer night. A smart pair of jeans is a good foundation for an outfit on any but the very hottest of days and most formal of occasions.

This core of round the year clothes will give you options on those difficult days when the weather itself doesn’t seem to know the season. The one thing you should always ensure for yourself is options. For your clothing choices to be expressive of your style, and empowering they need to be choices, not the only thing you have available!

Phasing Out

Work out a plan for putting things into storage – whatever that storage solution is. A different wardrobe in a spare room, vacuum packed and put under your bed, you have lots of options, just take care that your clothes remain dry while they’re stored.

When you know your last holiday of the year has past you can dispense with clothes you’d only wear in extreme heat: this accounts for your first set of packed clothing. Identify the clothes you’ll wear less as the weather gets colder, and set a date to put them into storage too.

This phased withdrawal helps you to manage the change of seasons without restricting your choices, and leaves you able to cut a bold and distinctive figure 365 days a year.

ethannevelyn.com

How are you sleeping? We know that we should spend a lot of our life asleep. This is vital for our mental and physical wellbeing. In an increasingly busy world, it can be difficult to switch  off and get good sleep. With so many of us leading active online lives as well as juggling responsibilities in the  real world, getting good sleep can seem impossible. I want to let you know about a sleep campaign that will help us all put shut eye at the top of our agenda.

Sleep Campaign

Bed Guru’s sleep campaign

Bed Guru is an online bed retailer who are sleep specialists. They are determined to help solve the sleep loss epidemic by raising awareness through the Choose Sleep campaign. The campaign educates people about the importance of sleep and ways to help get the most from a good night’s shut eye. I wanted to get involved in the campaign as I am keen for people to have their best chance for great mental and physical health. As a busy parent, I know how damaging it can be to become sleep deprived. I spent many years of my early parenting in a depressed state and looking back I think lack of sleep contributed to this condition.

Tailored to individual needs

Bed Guru understand that no two people share the same sleeping requirements. I like how they recognise we are all individuals with our own  needs and circumstances. The negative effects of poor sleep are only just being acknowledged. Lack of sleep causes negative effects on human health and well-being, and the long-term effects of sleep deprivation has been associated with numerous conditions, such as diabetes, depression, hypertension and obesity.

Choose Sleep And Improve Wellbeing

Personal sleep issues

As a busy mum, it is easy for me to see how my sleep deprivation led to mental health  issues and becoming pre-diabetic. Recently, as someone who gained weight and struggled to lose it after becoming a mum, I have watched the links between obesity and sleep loss with interest. I am also very aware that when I am tired, I can be irritable and grumpy which impacts negatively on relationships with  family and friends. I long for those days of yesteryear when I could sleep as long as I wanted which made me so much able to cope with the day ahead. As I get older and wiser, I am insisting on more self-care and recognising that by getting good sleep, I can be my best version of me. This in turn means my family and friends get quality time with me.

Making sleep better

The mission of the Choose Sleep movement is to encourage a better night’s sleep, not only through sleeping on the right bed, but through making the right choices in life to combat the sleep loss epidemic.

This post was written in collaboration with Bed Guru.

 

My Random Musings

It’s tough being a woman especially when you have children. Working out how to make money and give quality time to your children is a challenge. I have tried most things such as full-time work, part-time jobs, freelancing and volunteering. I have often wondered about taking on a franchise so today I am looking at the advantages of taking on a franchise. You can find a lot of franchise resources online.

So much is already in place

With a franchise there is not the great risk of starting a business with a  new product or service. Someone has already put a lot of thought and work into the ideas, the marketing of the brand and its systems. You don’t have to be as creative when you take on a franchise. If the business is good it will already be recognised in the marketplace giving you a head start in terms of appealing to customers.

 

Funding

Funding an untested business can be challenging. If you approach an investor with a business that has already proven itself, you make their decision to plough finance into your business so much easier. So many businesses fail in  their early weeks or months because they do not have funding in place so unless you have funds to invest personally you might feel like a franchise  is your best option.

People

One of the other things that comes with a franchise is contacts with useful people. That might be people who supply the product or service you are promoting. You may already have access to distributors for the product or service via your franchise arrangement. Similarly, advertising contacts may already be in place whether via traditional or digital media outlets.

Training

People often want to enter business after a major life upheaval such as becoming a parent, divorcing, losing a job or relocating. Great franchises often come with a lot of training and support which is just what is in order when life feels a bit wobbly. Aspects of the business that might seem daunting such as managing accounts, selling and so on can be tackled with the back-up of a franchise.

What do you think about franchising?

 

 

 

 

 

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The stereotype of “women love shoes” is unfortunately far from dead, but that’s no reason to stop caring about your footwear. Your feet (and the things you wear on them) are just as important as the rest of you: with the summer heat still far from over, it’s a good idea to take a step back and think about footwear. Which is why I have teamed up with Donaghy’s to put together a guide for the best summer shoes for your family day out.

Simple sandals

A nice pair of sandals gives your feet a chance to breathe, whether you’re strolling through grass or waist-deep in water. That’s not to say they’re perfect, since there’s definitely times where sandals are more trouble than they’re worth, but a decent pair can be ideal for a lazy summer day.

Sandals get a bad rep for being a bit too casual, especially since there’s not really a way for them to work in a formal setting, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to commit to using them. If you’ve got the bag space, consider slipping a pair inside for later. That way, if you get a chance to relax at the beach or take a long stroll, your sandals are only a quick show-swap away!

Short boots

On the other end of the spectrum, we have short boots, specifically the type you’ll have in brands like the Caprice boots line. These boots might seem like they’re meant for cold winters, but it’s important to remember that “summer” doesn’t mean “no bad weather”: if you’re caught outdoors in a surprise downpour, the toe-to-ankle protection makes them excellent for staying dry.

They’re definitely not perfect for summer, since your feet will probably get hot a lot faster than with regular shoes, but this is much less of a problem than it sounds. Most of these boots, no matter what brand they’re under, will have a zip on the side that can make it much easier to pull off your feet: and let’s be honest, trying to pull a tight-fitting shoe off a sweaty foot is an experience none of us would miss.

Trainers

Trainers are, in most people’s eyes, the first thing that comes to mind when the word “shoe” is mentioned. They’re light, simple and aren’t really limited to a certain type of weather: you can get them wet, leave them out in the sun or fill them with sand, and chances are they’ll be completely fine after an hour or two.

They’re best used when you’re wanting to stay active, though. A pair of breathable trainers mix the open feeling of sandals with the hard, springy base of a more practical shoe, so you’ll probably end up resorting to them for all kinds of days trips and outdoor activities.

Thankfully, trainers are freely available to people of all ages – anybody from a toddler to the eldest member of the family can find a pair that suits them, so you won’t have to look far to pick some up

Boat and deck shoes

They’re unfortunately overlooked by a lot of women and are usually seen as a men’s item, but boat shoes are surprisingly practical for day-to-day summer life. Since they were made for boating, they’re obviously great to have on family boat tours, but they can make excellent strolling shoes in the right conditions.

You’re supposed to wear them without socks like an enclosed sandal, but they’ll grip the ground much better regardless of whether you’re bone dry or soaking wet! Water won’t ruin them thanks to their mostly waterproof design, either, so they can make decent beach and pool shoes in a pinch.

 

 

PoCoLo

A couple of months ago I decided I was going to carry out a “What if?” experiment. It struck me that we can choose what stories we tell ourselves about our lives. If we choose a negative script we can feel so unhappy. Maybe it can be as easy as looking at things in different way. Even if we have it wrong does it really matter if we are thinking positively anyway?

This has the potential to be a mortifyingly embarrassing post. It’s another of those that I just going to write and see where it takes me.

Am I attractive to men? All my life I have told myself that I am not remotely of interest to blokes. I am the intelligent one, the non-sporty one, the non-stylish one, the boring one! That had been my script all my life. When I was a teenager, my late mum would point out blokes looking at me with appreciation. I thought she was mad and could never see it myself. I remember one was a fishmonger and one was a butcher – perhaps my mum was just after a discount!

At school, boys seemed to like the ones who went pubbing and clubbing. I was late to this really starting going out at almost 17 when it felt like everyone else had been doing it for year. I was scared to dance and just use to sit there always preferring to talk over most things. Not exactly a young man’s dream.

I went to a male-dominated college where women were very much in the minority. Not only were the other women there super-bright but also incredibly pretty. And then there was me always thinking I was fat and ugly. I look back now of course and see a very obese size 8-10 that I would love to go back to! I had a lovely skin and wavy hair but just did not rate myself on the attractiveness front.

There were no boyfriends for me at college. There were no boyfriends for a long time. I was the forever virgin. I wore it heavily not because I wanted to leap into bed with anyone particularly but because back then it seemed like the worst label you could have.

So let’s change the script for a giggle if nowt else.

What if my mum was right all along? Imagine all the free meat and fish! As I have got older myself, I see things that I did not when I was younger. I see how teens are already looking with interest at my daughter. She has no idea of it at all and would respond as I used to if I mentioned it. Now seeing as everyone says she looks just like me, that can only mean I was attractive too. Also I see women who I think are beautiful denigrating their looks all the time. Perhaps we really do not see ourselves as others do.

If I flick a switch  in my brain, I can convince myself that I must have broken a heart or two in my time at college where I was so standoffish with men. After all with so few women around, I must have been considered as potential girlfriend material at least once. I did have male friends. They invited me to events. I found myself in their rooms at their invitation and they called around. So at the very least I had male friends and perhaps some of them were looking for more. Before you shout me down, remember this is just a fun exercise of the what if variety.

When I was in my early twenties, I met a writer who invited me to dinner. I thought this was to discuss writing of course and just panicked when he came in for a kiss. I was always convinced that if a bloke made a move, his mates would be just around the corner and it would be some set-up to make me look like an idiot. As I say,  doing the what if exercise at least means I can imagine that hearts were swooning at my very presence lol.

I think my lack of confidence with  men led me to getting involved with older and perhaps not entirely the best men in terms of values and so on. I was always too grateful for what I thought was their pity. I think older men are just that much more savvy and know how to break down barriers. I have lived with two men both of whom I think have treated me poorly although they will have their own stories.

Anyway, I find myself in my dotage questioning whether a certain person is interested in me. It’s a bit like being a teenager again as I analyse whatever signs I can come up with both for and against the theory he has a romantic interest in me. A friend told me at the very least I can enjoy the positive attention and I think there is wisdom in that and perhaps this time due to the what if exercise  with more belief that I am attractive and the Prince may be just around the corner not that I need him of course as a strong independent woman but hey a little of what you fancy does you good.

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

My Random Musings

Cuddle Fairy