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What I've Been... Reading, Wearing, Creating & Listening To

What have you been reading recently? I feel like I am finally getting back into reading new books, rather than just rereading old ones that I love. It was so exciting to read something new & different, even if I had seen the film of Bridget Jones! Baby steps right! And actually baby steps are exactly what I am taking when it comes to learning how to be a tidy person, all with the help of this magnificent book - The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying. I thought this book was going to be all hype and no substance, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Wowzers. If you are into organisation & living your best life then this is a must read.

Old School Summer Playlist

Whenever the sunshine comes out all I want to do is whack on a fun playlist, get outside and make memories with my family and friends. Recently the weather in England has been particularly glorious, but typical British weather chats aside I realised that however much I wanted to put on a 'sunny' playlist & get outside, if I didn't have the right playlist then that just wasn't going to happen. I got to work and this Old School playlist was the result! When I put on songs like these, with such sunny lyrics, I just can't help but feel super happy! What are your favourite summer songs?

Zines / Pin-spiration

It has been a while since I created a little zine and I had somehow forgotten how much I love the process of making them, and also the end result that the process produces! They are small, so quick to make, and provide an instant canvas longing to be filled with collage and art work of the like. This time around my inspiration for creating came from a want to record what I am loving right now in a more concrete form. To immortalise this moment in time and the styles I like so that I can look back on it all in years to come & reminisce. I'm a sucker for a bit of nostalgia & I know that will never change, and so I like to think I am doing my future self a favour. I'm recording the moment as it is happening and this time round that is in the form of this lil' zine. 

Video Style File: Suits You

This week I thought I'd switch things up a bit and so I have created an outfit post with a bit of a twist, enter the video. I often find it difficult to do outfits justice with photographs because I think they are as much about how the clothes look, as how they fit & how they flow when you move in them. And, without stating the obvious, you just can't show the flow of the clothes with a humble snap! I have been really loving the seemingly upcoming trend of OOTD videos and thought I'd give it a go to try and give you a better sense of the clothes I am showing you. So, here we go with our first outfit video - lights, camera, action! 

How I Edit My Blog Photos with 'A Colour Story'

From the days of using the fish bowl filter on Photo Booth to going through a phase of changing all my photos to black and white, I have loved to play around with photographs for as long as I can remember. When it comes to this blog, the images are a huge part of what I do and so I my hardest try to make them the best they can be. Sometimes this is easy, the sun will be shining and the colours will be perfect, but in the middle of winter on a seemingly lightless day it can become really difficult to get a good shot, and this is where editing comes in! I recently discovered the app 'A Colour Story' and it has been a game changer in how I edit my photos. It is such a simple app to use and today I am going to talk you through how I use it to edit my blog images!

New Finds & Current Favourites #3

In this glorious month of lots of sunshine, the centenary of the first votes for women in England and the announcement that there will be a third Legally Blonde movie, I have made lots of new discoveries that I can't wait to share with you. There are some hella' talented people out there creating some amazing things, from the cutest illustrations and honest articles, to enchanting music and products that simply make me swoon. Here are nine of this month's most noteworthy...

Pink & Practical: A Pink Parcel Review

You will all know by now that I am a huge fan of a subscription boxes, I mean who doesn't love getting post. It is actually one of my favourite feelings! It's the little things, right? In the past I have loved being subscribed to beauty boxes like Birchbox, but have never really looked into the other sort of amazing wonders that you can get delivered straight to your door, and boy have I been missing out! From kawaii toys and spa boxes, to packages of fitness clothes and kids craft activities - there really is a box for everyone out there, and today I am going to share a box I've been sent that I think alllll you ladies out there are going to love - introducing Pink Parcel.

DIY Motivational Canvas Banner

Whilst out and about recently, I have been seeing a lot of canvas banners for sale with gorgeous inspiring slogans and illustrations on them, and I'm sure you've seen them too! Aren't they just the cutest? Looking at them longingly one day, I suddenly realised that I could probably easily make my very own personal banner, unique to me, and the idea for this DIY was born. After a bit of trial and error, I have come up with a super quick and easy way that we can all make the banners of our dreams, without breaking the bank, and I can't wait to share it with you. Motivation here we come! 

Chats with James: Creativity, Proving Yourself & Unexpected Inspiration

When planning blog posts it is easy to get into a cycle of hauls and favourites posts, without stopping to think about what you are creating. That's not to say that those posts aren't great fun to put together, and hopefully lovely for you to read, it's just that sometimes it is good to mix things up and get inspired by trying out new ideas. So, with that in mind, today that is exactly what we are going to do with a first for The Art of Being Holly - it's time for an interview. Here with us today, to provide the ultimate creative inspiration, is musician, artist and very good friend of mine, James. A bundle of fun, James is the definition of artistic and I know if anyone can help us all to make the most of our creativity then it is definitely him. Enjoy!

Style File: For the love of Vintage

Something that you may not know about me is that shopping for vintage homewares and clothing is one of my all time favourite things to do. Take me to an antique market or charity shop and I am in my absolute element! Over the years I have collected quite a few gorgeous, one-off pieces from various places, but I'm not sure any quite compare to my latest find. Enter the summer dress of dreams. Yes, you did hear right! I think summer is finally on the way and I know exactly what I am going to be spending my long summer days wearing. Any guesses? 

4 Ways to Wear Le Beret

Today, inspired by Georgia Nicholson and her friends plight to find the best way to wear their 'outdoor' school berets in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, I thought I'd share my four favourite ways to style the good ol' beret. Unlike the characters in the film, I absolutely love my these little french hats - maybe because I never had to wear them as part of my school uniform, but who knows - and think they are such a versatile choice of headwear. At risk of making you all look like pompous art students, maybe avoid wearing them with already 'out-there' outfits, here are the four ways you can wear this season's hat of choice. Le beret.

Card Haul and 3 Must-Visits for Stationary Lovers

As I spoke about in my last Card Haul, I love the process of buying cards. Finding a card that is perfect for someone you love is one of the best feelings in the world. Full stop. Since my last haul I seem to have amounted quite a few new cards for my nearest, dearest and as back ups for every occasion. This is my way of saying I have bought way too many, oops! Today I thought I'd share a few of my favourite purchases and where I bought them from. Alongside this, let's chat about how you can save a tonne of money, whilst still buying beautiful cards; and three companies that have caught my eye recently, which are all must-visits for anyone who adores cards & stationary as much as yours truly. 

The Battle of the Micellar Waters

A few years ago micellar water wasn't even on the radar, apart from for the French - lucky things. However, nowadays it is a completely different story, suddenly it is everywhere and I for one am a huge fan. As someone with super sensitive skin this magic product has been a lifesaver. Why? Because the micelles in the water act like magnets to cling to all the dirt and makeup on your face without you having to rub your face until it's sore! It cleanses and removes makeup all with the swipe of a cotton pad making it easy, quick and soothing. The winning combination. But which of these magic waters is the best? I have put three different brands to the test, using an entire bottle of each (maybe two of some!) to see which one would come out on top... and here are the results!

Style File: Florals for Spring. Groundbreaking.

One of my favourite lines from the film Devil Wears Prada is uttered by the character Miranda Priestly, the editor-in-chief of a high-flying fashion magazine, and is her response to someone suggesting they do a feature on florals for Spring. Her reply? In her classic, sarcastic fashion, "Florals? For spring. Groundbreaking". For me this line sums up exactly how I feel about Spring fashion, which year on year seems to be dominated by pastels and pretty flowers. You all know that I like pastel colours and I am a huge fan of flowers (because who isn't), but that doesn't mean when the sun comes out I want to deck myself out head to toe in 'pretty' because it just isn't me. No thank you! That's not to say that it is wrong to love these classic Spring trends, it isn't, but today I thought I'd share a different perspective. Today let's chat about how I am dressing MY way this spring and how you can do the same.

New Finds & Current Favourites #2

The last month has been one full of fabulous new discoveries and I feel like I have made some absolute classic finds that are going to stay favourites for a long time to come. I may even have a new film for my all time top 10. I know, so exciting right! It was lovely to finally find some fresh sources of inspiration after a few weeks feeling really stuck in a creative rut. Boo. Are you lacking inspiration, or maybe just fancy finding a new cosy programme? Either way, don't fear. I've got you covered, just read on to find some gorgeous new shops, eco-minded websites and prime tv viewing. You will be back on a creative roll in no time!

How to become more confident in yourself

Confidence is something that a lot of people struggle with and we all have moments in our lives when our belief in ourselves will take a hit for one reason or another. Not fun, but probably inevitable and it is important to remember that it's ok! There are things that we can do to help ourselves, and each other, get back up and build/re-build our confidence from that not so fun place - and with that we can all feel that little bit more awesome! On that note, today I thought I'd share a few confidence boosters that have helped me over the years. I hope that these top-tips can help you have a little more faith in yourself - *gotta have faith, faith, faith* - and get your mojo back if you are struggling. So, in no particular order... 

DIY Time: Homey Home Earring Holder

Here is a random fact: I absolutely adore house shaped things, as you can see from this adorable set of little wooden houses I have by Suzy Ultman - so cute! After falling in love with this tiny city, I thought to myself wouldn't it be great to do a DIY that incorporated the shape that I have come to love, but was also functional too. As I was brainstorming ideas I first thought about creating a tiny pinboard, however soon realised that pinboards are big for a reason, and a pinboard that only held two things wasn't exactly useful. So, that idea was scrapped. I wanted my tiny house to be able to display things & get a job done, and then suddenly it dawned on me. No more lost earrings, no more rogue studs, an earring holder was exactly what I should make. And so here you have how to make your very own DIY Earring Holder. It's super easy, so let's get started with what you are going to need... 

Quotes Inspiring Me Right Now

I am always looking for new ways to get inspired and my latest discovery is the power of a good quote. Since this discovery, I have begun starting my days by reading quotes to get me motivated and in the right mindset for the day ahead. You might be thinking that sounds so cheesy & cliche because, quite frankly, it is, but if it works then who cares? As cheesy as it sounds, it is surprisingly effective. It is similar to the concept of reading positive affirmations, which is something that you might have come across - explaining and repeating positive statements about yourself & your life.  As people say if you tell someone something enough times they will begin to believe it, so why can't we use that in a positive way too. There is nothing wrong with a morning pep talk to get you going for a great day where you can face all the challenges thrown at you. Reading quotes refocuses me and today I thought I would share a few of my favourites and where I discover the quotes I love...

Style File: Spring Sisterhood

It feels like SO long since I shared any outfits with you guys, maybe just because it really has been quite a while. I feel like I have been in a bit of a fashion slump recently and have struggled with where to turn next. You know, just really lacking inspiration. Normally when this happens I go shopping to pick up some new pieces that I can pair with some old bits & bobs, and 'voila' I escape the rut - but not this time. Instead of shopping for new inspiration I have actually done the opposite & boy did it feel good. I had a big wardrobe clear out, found a few items that I had forgotten and scoured Pinterest for outfits that I could put together with what I already had. The result? No more fashion slump and this killer outfit. Yay for new approaches! 

Winter Boots Lovin'

It is now March and in the UK that means that last week the official first day of spring happened. Well, apparently. It actually couldn't have felt less like Spring had arrived, as we were deep in snow and battling minus temperatures... definitely not spring weather. Luckily, I hadn't yet broken out the denim jackets & pastel colours. Phew! In fact, instead I had made a new winter purchase that has proven to be perfect for our ongoing cold weather. Meet my new furry friends, the winter boots to trump all winter boots. You guessed it, it's Dr Martens time! 

March Goals

I know I'm going to sound like a broken record, but how where did February go? I feel like it sprinted past me calling goodbye as pranced into the sunset, and now here we are in March. Can you believe it! For me March is actually looking like it is going to be a really busy month with visiting friends, family birthday celebrations and getting stuff done. I'm really looking forward to it, but there are a few things that I want to do that I know will make it even better. Something that I really like to do is to set myself a few personal goals each month. It is a really great way to learn to 'seize the day' (as they say) & get stuff done. This month I seem to have a few more goals than usual and so I thought I'd share my ambitions with you in the hope that 1. you can hold me to them and 2. they inspire you to set yourself a few things to aim for this March. Let's reach for the stars people! Or at least to a notepad to begin planning what we want to achieve...

Exploring | A Guide to Amsterdam

For the past few days I have been in chilly Amsterdam with my family for a short city break, very short actually; we went on Wednesday and came back on Friday! After an amazing whirlwind (or should that be snowstorm!) trip I thought what better to do than to write a blog post all about what we got up to. Firstly, so you guys can find out all the hotspots and places not to miss in Amsterdam if you are planning a trip (if you aren't you soon will be!) and secondly to act as an amazing  record of all of the beautiful places that my family & I visited together to look back on in years to come. Let's get exploring! 

How I Learned to Love Mondays

The start of the working week, the end of the weekend. Monday is certainly a day that gets a lot of stick and I can totally understand why, but what if I told you that there were a few little tricks to help you make Mondays great again. Over the years I have learnt a few things about embracing the hated day and Monday has even become one of my favourite days of the week. I know, can you believe it! Today I thought that I would share some of my secrets to loving the day that so many of you dread. It is time to learn to love Monday! Let's dive straight in...

Sunday Vibes Playlist

Sunday is one of my favourite days of the week. I have always thought of it as a day that everyone is able to be completely chilled out and totally themselves. My favourite way to enjoy a Sunday is to spend time doing something that I love with the people that I love, even if that is just relaxing with our favourite magazines. I know that a lot of people still use Sundays as a real family day and I think that is great - it is so nice that there is one day in the week that is just that bit more chilled out than the rest. It's pretty good isn't it? However you like to spend your Sunday, it is about to get even better. Today I thought I'd share some relaxed, feel good tunes to make that great day into the perfect one. Let's get listening!

9 Wardrobe Staples & Why I Love Black Clothes

Wardrobe staples are something that I had never really thought about until the other day I read a post all about how to create a capsule wardrobe. Despite the fact I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe, in reality that level of control & minimalism just isn't me. However, despite not being convinced to take on the ultimate challenge, I did pick up a few really great tips from this post that have helped me to streamline my wardrobe. Yes! The main tip was to work out what your go-to wardrobe items are and why you love them, so that when you invest in new pieces they will be things that you are going to wear over and over - rather than just a load of seasonal junk. From doing exactly that, I feel like I have got a real sense of my wardrobe stripped down to its basics and today I am going to share with you my newly discovered wardrobe staples.

Tip Top Tableware

A year ago if you had asked me what my favourite thing was to shop for was, then I probably (definitely) would have told you clothes, clothes & more clothes. Now, don't get me wrong I still love shopping for fashion, but there seems to be a new kid on the block and I just can't get enough of them. Homewares, I'm talking about you. 

I'm not sure where this newfound obsession has arisen from, maybe it has come about because I have crossed the border into the the 'terrific (terrifying) twenties' & adulthood. Or perhaps it is because I have found yet another thing that allows me to express myself, result! Whatever it is I am interiors obsessed and loving it. Long may it continue I say! Anyway, in my bid to hoard as many beautiful pieces to fill my future home with as possible, I seem to have amounted rather a lot of what I like to call 'crockery'. Today I thought I would give you a run down of some of my favourite tableware pieces, in a bid to encourage you to join me in my newfound quest for the cutest crockery around.(spoiler alert: I think I may have found it already!). 

Style File: The Modern 80s

Anyone else a fan of the 80s? I love it so much that I often think that I was born in the wrong era. It was definitely a time of amazing, experimental fashion (if you block out the leg warmers & stirrup pant) and much to my joy the trends of the day, like huge shoulders, big hair & chunky earrings, seem to be back with a modern twist and I'm lovin' it. Today I thought I would share a recent purchase that is giving me a small slice of what it felt like to be dressed up & ready to go in the 80s. The oversized blazer of dreams.

5 Magazines to Fall in Love With

Magazines have captured my imagination for as long as I can remember and I can't believe that it has taken me this long to feature them on here because they are literally one of my absolute favourite things EVER. As much as I really love to read blogs, for me they will never replace that feeling of a magazine in my hands, something tangible to hold, read and keep; not to mention that I find myself constantly referring back to them for inspiration and guidance. My collection is huge, and some would say out of control (anyone who knows a great way to store magazines hit me up), and so today I thought I would share my passion with you. Let's have a chat about some of the magazines that I just can't help keep buying and reaching for.