Hooray for 2016
It seems 2015 was a year of challenges for me and many of my lovely friends and family. My lovely Dad always says: “You have to have a bad one, to know what a good one is”. I think he’s right – but the tough ones are usually the ones that teach us the greatest lessons. I’m looking forward to enjoying some good 2016 moments and watching my friends and family reap some well deserved shiny moments too. I put a lot of hope in the law of karma: you reap what you sow – what comes around goes around. I try to be good, I try to do the right thing, but I’m only human – sometimes I take the completely wrong road. I’m learning. I also believe that if things get tough and tiresome you should make something happen. If there is no door of opportunity, this year has taught me to just bloody well build one!
The New Year Usual Suspects
There is something lovely, shiny and new about embracing a new year and setting some good intentions to bring a little happiness and satisfaction into our lives. I feel confident I’m not the only one who looks at
(the top button of my jeans not doing up) my health, (my credit card statement which is literally crying) my finances and (too many glass bottles ready for recycling) my lifestyle choices, then jots down some ideal alternatives. However, with this in mind, I also don’t like the idea of setting myself up for failure. I want to avoid the list of 20 wishes written in January that will only have 3 items crossed off by the following December. I can’t always blame the fact there were no pens to hand on December 31st!
I can very easily go down that dangerous road of looking around and comparing myself to others. I’m the first one to congratulate and build a friend up for some fantastic weight loss, blogging brilliance or sparkly, spangly personal success. Yay!! But I’m the first one to knock myself down for not losing any inches during the 3 days I actually ate a salad for dinner – or that I can’t hula hoop to show off for the kids, without pulling a back muscle and falling arse over tit! Boo!! On reflection this approach only deserves the gold medal for being a silly old cow!
One of my approaches for the ‘New Year usual suspects’ this year is to be as kind to myself as I would to others. Well, actually others do try, but I exhibit that classic craziness of not hearing or accepting praise. I’m brilliant at hearing and dwelling on just the bad. Bonkers!! Why the hell do we waste so much bloody time with self-loathing. What a load of bloody rubbish!
This year, I’d like to “get better at things” as opposed to thinking “I must achieve this”. No one can do this for me other than myself!
So in 2016, I would like to become better at:
- Actually using my elliptical trainer to get fitter as opposed to use it as a quiet spot to have a cup of tea and watch BBC iplayer
(yes, it is possible to move slow enough on an elliptical trainer that you can simultaneously sip at a cup of tea. Don’t tell Davina McCall I’ve done it!)
- Actually looking at my daily emails without my spidey senses detecting promo discount shopping emails
- Actually placing all remnants of children’s dinner in the composting bin instead of in my mouth!
- Actually entering a shop and walking out without a single bag containing a fresh purchase
- Actually learning more about sustainable fashion and the effect fashion has on our world and not just our pockets
- Actually buying something and not returning it 30 days later because “I just had to get it at the time” – mindless shopping needs to end!
- Actually discover the true meaning of life – or maybe just the contents of the perfect capsule wardrobe….for me!
Taking my Superpowers into the New Year
So rather than focus on what I don’t have, and therefore need, for the New Year. I’ve decided this year I will celebrate and treasure what I do have. Bring on those Superpowers! What are your Superpowers? What are the talents that you want to develop further? The obvious ones for me are that I’m able to make a bottle of wine vanish on a Friday night all by myself (…Ta-da!!) and the ability to pop out for some avocados and humus, but instead return with a new coat and ‘to-die-for, had-to-get-them, they-were-in-the-sale’ boots!! It’s a talent, I tell you! But here are some others that come to mind.
My Superpower is loving my family
The sweetest thing in my life is my boys – both big and small! I’m the only girl in the house, even the Cat is a boy! I absolutely adore all of them. I’m lucky to have a fab husband who never questions the amount of delivery boxes at the front door or asks “do you really need to buy that?”. He didn’t even convulse from laughter when I told him I had started to write a blog on establishing a capsule wardrobe. I can put on the most ridiculous item or outfit. When I parade in the kitchen (looking like Edina from Absolutely Fabulous) and ask him “is this too much??” His standard response is always “well, if you”re going to wear it and enjoy it then thats all that matters”!! wtf!
As for my little boys, they’re bonkers and brilliant. I’m so proud to have two cheeky monkeys full of life & curiosity. There is also nothing these two can’t make out of paper. They make me laugh countless times in a day while driving me crazy at the same time. Both of them are so different in their personalities, but both of them are growing up to value their family and others around them. I really want them to learn to appreciate these things. When I asked them on New Years eve what their hopes and wishes were the new year, they both answered: “more family time, more hugs, more reading, more board games, more paper and more chocolate”. For a minute then I thought they were the Von Trapp kids, but there is the reality final reminder!
My Superpower is enjoying my opportunity to blog
How lucky am I to have lovely mates in my life. This blog all came about from a chat with my amazing friend, Diana, in her kitchen. She asked if I had ever considered writing a blog? (She’s the super talented Content Marketing and Marketing Strategist at InnovaMap) I told her I loved reading my British fashion blogs, but hadn’t even considered writing one. When she mentioned it again to me a couple of months later, I thought I had nothing to lose. I had no idea how this little blog would help me on so many levels. Yes, I’m ridiculous and so any chance to be daft, share some retail silliness and have a few laughs is always welcome. Yes, I love shopping and fashion, so any chance to soak in this topic is a winner. But being a homesick British birdie living in Canada, it has connected me with so many lovely people in both Canada and the UK. It has shone a light onto how many fabulous, kind, supportive women there are out there. Love it.
Writing the Love a Good Stripe blog has:
- Given myself permission to accept it’s ok to ‘think in outfits’………. it is, really!
- Enabled me to truly look at my individual style and what I like to wear as well as what actually suits me
- Helped me on the path to looking at what items should be in MY capsule wardrobe
- Made amazing new connections and friendships for me in both in Canada and the UK
- Helped me discover that Instagram and other social media can breed kindness amongst women
- Helped me stop soul-searching and asking: ‘how did I end up with this life?” and instead ask: “how am I going to enjoy and nurture the passions in my lucky life”?
My Superpower is being able to say something
Those who know me are aware I like a good laugh, some silliness and fun. However, the last year has taught me the importance of having a voice. I also learnt the importance of being confident in your voice (and yourself) and never letting the
(Tit Heads) negative people dull your sparkle. Be strong – stand up for yourself and your beliefs. If you look for the negative people, you will find a bucket full of them. If you ignore them, you will eventually start to just spot the happy crew. Stick with the happy crew, kids!
Celebrate, congratulate and treasure the good people who cross your path – however long they may or may not stay in your life. I love that saying that pops up regularly on Instagram: “Find your tribe and love them hard”. This is the perfect message to encourage you to connect with those who mean something to you, and truly cherish them.
Share the sillies people. It’s fundamental to laugh.
Love a fellow Superwoman
In fear of ending this post by being just a little too ‘Oprah-like’! I wanted to mention the fabulous artwork I have featured above. This series was created by Missy Marston Shmelzer, who I met when I first moved to Canada, 10 years ago. I absolutely adore my friendship with the talented Missy and her lovely hubby, artist Peter Shmelzer. Even when busy, crazy life gets in the way, she is one of those mates that when you finally meet up for a pint in the pub, you instantly catch up like you saw each other yesterday. This stylish superwoman created the fabulous “Superpower” artwork for an art show she curated for La Petite Mort gallery in 2014. Missy has also published her first novel “The Love Monster” and is currently editing a second. The love monster won the Ottawa book prize 2013. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Such a brilliant read. Get your Tea or G&T and curl up to read this gem.
All hail the lovely Missy and Diana – along with the other superwomen that I’m lucky enough to have in my circle. See you in 2016 with more of my superpowers as I try to master establishing a capsule wardrobe when I’m a hopeless shopaholic!