5 ways to start the year as you mean to go on

Finally convinced mum to get a Fir Tree for Christmas!


Clearly the red wine got to Mike mama ...

As always a perfect christmas spread by Mike Mama

Skyping loved ones!

Christmas Dinner with the Speakmans

I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas full of love and food! I certainly did, - I maybe drank more red wine than I should have but hey ITS CHRISTMAS! I spent most of my time with family and it was cherished even more so with the lack of social media. Today was the first day I logged back into all my social media accounts and it felt good to be back. In fact the time away from it allowed me to gather my thoughts and focus on what I want out of my next year. This time of year is always a good time to reflect and plan before the year starts, so heres how I do it;

1) WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS - I call them goals instead of resolutions because   you want them to be long term things that you want to achieve over a stretch of time with handwork. Write down your small 'to do' lists too, there is something about the actual act of writing that gets me in the focus zone. Put your goals in order, and add to the list when new things pop into your head.  I always walk around with a note book and pen, and if you don't have that readily available the notes section on most phones does the job too - get into the habit of writing them down so those light bulb moments aren't lost or forgotten and make sure you are constantly looking over the goals you have set to remind you of what you want to achieve! There is nothing more satisfying than crossing out a goal you have achieved!

My two favourite notebooks of last year

2) Spend some time searching for a beautiful diary - I have an A5 Diary day per page along with my note book that I have on me at all times. It seems like a simple thing to mention but I know so many people that don't have a diary, and it makes me wonder how I'd ever function without one. I used to have a Filofax but stopped using it because it never used to have enough space to write down all the things I needed and I didn't really like the way it looked either. Simple things like taking the time out to choose a diary you especially love will make you get in the habit of writing in it more. I love this part of planning, it gets me excited thinking about all the dates and plans I'll be filling the pages with. I have a Paperchase obsession so for me spending an hour looking at all the lovely diaries and note pads is nothing!

New Diary for 2016 that my mum bought me!

3) Calendars! Since the existence of phones/computers and technology the idea of having a physical calendar has nearly become extinct. Luckily as one of my presents this year I was given a beautiful Shoe Calendar. It has all the days of the month in boxes with little images of shoes in some of them. Its always good at the start of the year to fill out the calendar with all the important dates (Birthdays, events, remembrance days for loved ones etc) So that when you have a quick glance over the month you are reminded of whats to come. Its always good to have the calendar in a poignant place in your room or house so you are always reminded. It's also a good idea to get these dates in your phone diary and paper diary so you have it everywhere.

All hail the Shoe Calendar!

4) Make time! - This year some of my smaller goals are to:

- Read more; I've always loved reading but my head usually gets consumed by shoes and fashion so I've decided to change this up by using a website my boyfriend told me about called Good Reads.com. They're great! They email you monthly with new releases and more personalised recommendations dependent on the ratings of the books you have last read. It takes seconds to create a login  and it saves you all the searching for that new book you want to read but don't quite have the time to search for. My Goal this year is to get through a book each month, which I feel is more than an adequate amount of time to finish one book. Or if you are anything like me - spend half an hour in Waterstones or Foyles  to search for that perfect book. To be fair I could spend hours in a book store but Good Reads sounds like an absolute god send for those of you that may not have the time to search!

Got my eye on this book for my next read!

- Reduce time spent on Social Media; Another small goal of mine (which I think the reading will replace) is to cut out social media at bed time. Ive been trying to get into reading mode for some time now and I have to say its a fantastic way to educate yourself while slowly nodding off at the same time. To do so i have devised a bed time plan where I'll be in bed for half past 10 and read for half an hour before a 6am wake up time ( 7 - 8 hours is just the right amount of sleep for me)

- Run/Mediation; I used to love running at school and before my dad had passed  away I had (for a brief time) got back into it. Of course the months and now years to follow, time became about family. I have decided to slowly integrate some type of fitness. So I have decided running will be my thing, along with some mindfullness meditation. Its good to take part in singular activity once in a  while to both free your mind and also gather your thoughts. The best way to make sure this gets done is to make a daily routine that incorporates this, which takes me swiftly on to my next point...

5) Daily Routines - Make daily routines the day before if its difficult to plan the whole week. If waking up early is a struggle make a list of things you need to do for the next day, the night before including most importantly, breakfast. So often people forget their breakfast, I HAVE to eat breakfast, and for this reason setting up a hearty breakfast the night before gets you star jumping out of bed and ready to take on the day.

Anyone who knows me well will know I LOVE a good list!

Merry Christmas!
...happy zone out time

At this time of year I love to just do nothing. Christmas and New Year is all about spending quality time with family and friends and for this reason, this year I have decided to totally switch off from any form of social media, meaning not looking at my two phones and laptop too, for 5 whole days (25th - 29th). So, no blogging, no Instagram, no Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, basically anything that means having my head in a phone or a laptop. It sounds super easy but the other day my mum and boyfriend pointed out just how much I'm on my social media accounts (mostly just for work purposes) and it dawned on me I can't imagine a life without it now, it connects me to people I would never have met other wise, BUT I had also been thinking about zoning out from social media more regularly (not looking at it before bed and instead reading) , wondering what a life would be like without it and figured there would be no better time than over the christmas period.

So I guess by this point the palpitations are rising at the thought of having 'nothing' to do, but this got me thinking; what things do I want to do with this time and decided that drawing and colouring would be the best form of relaxation. Of late I have been practicing my drawing skills, sketching and using all different types of inspiration, from Sex and The City books, magazines,  look books and the Fashionary hand guide to start churning out my own illustration style. Heres how I've done so far..(they still need improving - LOTS and thats what I intend on doing while I'm Zoning out.

I have also grown an unhealthy obsession with these new colouring books for adults. I have happened to come across a couple that include colouring shoes (Score!) and others that have beautiful illustrations of exotic rainforests. So apart from eating and drinking this is exactly what i'll be doing, along with a healthy sharing of movie time! (I won't even be sale shopping as I prefer doing this online which means a laptop - argh!). If you do decide to zone out for Christmas be sure to have a list of things to get you through to avoid the trap of looking through social media, maybe it could be something that needs to be done around the house, some personal development - Whats your next goal? and can you do something to work towards it? Could it be reading that book you just never seem to get around to reading? Refrain from anything that means having to get a laptop out or a phone. It could simply be spending some quality time talking and getting to know your family a bit better. Which ever way you decide to spend your time make sure its doing something you love!

Annnnnnd I guess all that's left to say is - MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas filled with love and joy (food and wine of course) and lots of 'you' time whatever it is you decide to do!

Lots of love, hugs and Kisses



P.S - 'I'll be back' Arnold Schwarzenegger style on Wednesday 30th of December with a guide on how to prepare yourself for the New Year, so have a look out for that! 

The NEW YEAR'S EVE Party Edit

5 new shoes to see you into the New Year

New Year's Eve Parties come in all shapes and sizes, which is exactly the reason for this post. I know of late, social media memes have found a way of seeing the snooze factor in New Year celebrations but for me its always been about starting the year the way you mean to go on. I love spending my new year with family and loved ones at home with drinks, food and games. This is not to say I'm totally opposed to the dressy event in town ( if its all organised before hand and not spur of the moment) i just prefer having the certainty of a good night! For this reason  I have chosen a selection of shoes to fit the partygoer or the house party lover.

J.Crew £280 (from £400)

Gorgeously embellished shoes from J Crew can jazz up any outfit for the New Year and any event through out the year. These are slightly different to normal cut out courts. As they cover a large amount of your forefoot they will be comfy and not make you unsteady on your feet!

Zara £19.99

These are perfect for the house party lover, metallic and statement looking with just the right amount of heel to give you some height without over doing it!

Givenchy £750

Thick straps and low heel - for all your dancing needs there is this pair of Givenchy sandals. They have just the right amount of oomph with the chain embellishment tied in with the best colour in the world - BLACK.

Simmi £25

Now who doesn't like a bit of faux fur? with a comfy heel height and straps that wrap around your ankles these are sandals you'll want to wear for all your events after and following New Year's Eve - if not for the compliments then for the shear comfort of wearing them.

Kat Maconie X Roberta Einer (IVY £137)

Sometimes you just want to be a rainbow and what better way of doing it than these gorgeous Kat Maconie sandals? They have a small platform and thick block heels and even better the whole ankle and heel area is enclosed making sure you won't fall out of them.

SHOE of the WEEK

Brian Atwood - POM POM shoes

I love pom poms! They have been in trend for some time now and it looks like they are here to stay for a little while longer too. These shoes are just fantastic, they encapsulate exactly what a pom pom is - bright, big and fun! What is there not to love about these shoes?! They come in a range of colours and totally make any outfit!

7 Heels to get you through your Christmas parties

Ahhhh christmas, the month of festivities, eating and partying, and if your anything like me there is always more of an emphasis on the partying (and eating too). Christmas parties can seem never ending so I've put together a collection of heels that will help you get through this merry season. The trick is to pick out chunky heels (your in luck as they are totally in season) and to choose something that wraps around your ankle elegantly as well as keeping sandal straps as thick as possible. Ive also added a few little tricks and tips to help you get through the parties in style.

Zara - £39.99

Now this is everything you need in a christmas party shoe, a sensible but stylish heel height, ankle strap that keeps you secure and a whole load of sparkle!

Tabitha Simmons £485

These gorgeous heels are sexy and elegant, the laser cut flowers are totally in season and the heels are super chunky, and of course all secure with the beautiful barely there ankle strap ready for you to spend hours on the dance floor.

ASOS £40

Metallic and Christmas go like turkey and gravy. A combination of pure heaven these are! Thick chunky heel and bang on trend lace up fronts! what else could you want?

Tom Ford £780

I love these shoes, if you are looking for the wow factor and still looking for comfort these are for you. The straps are wide enough to be comfortable and the heel is still chunky even though they are high and to top that super secure around your ankles.  The autumnal tones will go with what ever outfit you decide.

Topshop - £69.00

Again the metallic is an essential for the christmas season and these do everything to keep you going for a whole night on the dance floor. Thick straps, sparkles for miles and chunky heels. With these heels i would suggest using Scholls sticky foams, which stick to the length of the insole ensuring comfort all night round!

Miu Miu - £550

You can't have christmas without its most symbolic colour - RED! I mean these are just divine! The shine on the silk screams luxury and the thick heel shouts comfort if you are looking for a splurge this is your ticket!

Miss KG - £52.50

Black shoes are just essential, but why not jazz them up with a platform and chunky heel. The capped toes and cute ankle strap reveal just enough skin to make them sexy but comfortable. Always look for shoes with a platform especially when they have heels, they are always way more comfortable!

Hints and Tricks

Pack a pair of fold away ballet pumps - you'll thank them for it when you are stumbling around the streets of London looking for the 'after party' Sinderella Flats do some awesome fold away ballet pumps - they even come with their own little bag!

Scholl do some amazing comfort cushions that could end the pain and keep you dancing the whole night. On that note party feet are another place you could head to for shoe accessories to keep your feet pain free

Primark have started to do a selection of shoe cushions that are pretty good and at such great prices so be sure to pick some up before your party.

For other hints and tips head my blog post on how to walk in heels without being in pain!