My PollyannaLife changes and evolves and what I’ve come to realise is that you never really do get things 100% sorted. In fact it’s much easier to accept a situation and just move on, go with the flow. It feels like most things I do now are stripped back and made as simple as possible, exactly for this purpose. I eat better (huge thanks to the Hemsley sisters for this!), I spend better quality time with my girls and I’m more productive in the time that I have*. It just took a little get used to!

Although the blog has been neglected for a few months, it’s always been in my mind and niggling away at me. The thought of not doing it again just didn’t sit well or really make sense. It just had to work for me and my new life with Hero.HeroSo I decided to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. And here it is – a new look blog. It’s feels much better to me, easier to breathe with much less going on. No adverts, no complicated menus and categories (or at least that’s the idea!) just simple blog posts that you can read without clicking through.

I’ll only be blogging once to twice a week but it means I get to share what’s going on at Hero and anything else that feels right at the time – which I think is what a blog is really about isn’t it?

I’m really pleased with the new look and I hope you like it too. Have a great week.

Laura

*it’s not as perfect as it sounds, but I can but try!

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Last week I could resist no longer the Jemima Vine red slipper loafers. They’d been staring at me in the shop for a couple of weeks and so I went for it.  I was going to go safe with the python (which are equally as beautiful) but went for the less safe option of the red and have not looked back. I’ve worn them with my coated jeans and a chunky knit to add a pop of colour and been completely surprised with how much I can wear them with. Today I’m wearing them a tartan shirt and skinny jeans.

My Pollyanna red shoes

Wearing them last week with coated jeans and chunky knit jumper.

My Pollyanna Jemima Vine shoes

I’ve worn them here with my Nobody high waisted skinnies and tweed coat.

Same goes for my new embellished denim shirt. I’d had my eyes on the one from J.Crew last year but didn’t want to commit to the £££ price tag. Then I saw this earlier in the week from H&M and it was perfect and the ultimate bargain at £29.99.

My Pollyanna H&M denim shirt

 

Bejewelled double denim

More Christmas work at Hero this week with a video coming up of our favourite picks of Hero goodies. Have a great weekend!

L x

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The first proper Winter’s day had me a little (very) excited yesterday. Bright blue skies and icy, frosty windows (our boiler has broken!) had me routing around for all my favourite winter wardrobe items and I managed to pull them all together in one outfit. Layering is always my favourite way to stay warm as I just can’t bear feeling the slightest chill.

My Pollyanna tweed and fur

Furry gilet (old but similar here) / Tweed jacket, J.Crew (similar here) / Cashmere two tone jumper, Hero / Nobody high waist skinny jeans, Hero / Wedge boots, Ash

Here’s to more sunny, frosty Winter days!

L x

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So on the 3rd November I undertook the Whole 30, 30 day detox. I’ve felt like I’ve needed to do something drastic with my diet for a long time. I’d been surviving on way to much sugar and not at lot else. My week would be made up of healthy breakfasts of eggs and spinach and other days of marmalade on toast, finished off with a mug tea.

I’d then fill up in the morning with two cappuccinos and throw in a pastry for good measure. Skip lunch and gorge on sweet treats like biscuits, chocolate or those irresistible mini cake bites you buy in tubs. Pick at my girls’ tea (sometimes deliberately cooking more so that I could snack) then eat my own dinner later on. Always cooked from scratch and always including vegetables of some description but with a healthy portion of carbs too! The day would then be finished off with a satisfying amount of sweet things, as a treat you trust. I was never that heavy on the alcohol, apart from weekends.

Whole 30

This was pretty much my food diary for a good number of months. A constant cycle of “treating myself” where I believed I deserved it in some way, even if it was just because I was tired.

I felt utterly horrid. I am lucky with my genes and don’t put on weight too easily so this lulled me into a completely false sense of security. If I could get away with it then why not keep treating myself?! But I just knew I wasn’t healthy and was nowhere near performing my best everyday.

Then one day, one of my best friends Penny told me that she was about to embark on a 30 detox, the Whole 30. I was interested. I wanted a lifestyle change and the thought of detoxing my body sounded perfect. It also sounded hardcore. No sugar, no dairy, no beans, no alcohol, no grains…pretty much nil by mouth.

So after two days of positive thoughts of how good this was going to be and staying to the strict guidelines, I was feeling amazing. A constant level of energy all day – who knew that all those health gurus had been right all along?!! The high levels of sugar in my diet before was giving me huge highs then leaving me really, really hungry.

It Starts with Food

A breakfast of bacon, avocado and egg, replacing my tea with hot water and fresh lemon, followed by two cups of black coffee. Lunch of mackerel salad and some sultanas to snack on during the after noon and a dinner made up of meat and vegetables and I was flying. In some ways I hate to admit their right but I loved that I never felt hungry (my worst fear), my energy levels stayed constant and I knew that what was going into my body was healthy.

Ten whole days I did this for and then I folded. No one likes to think of themselves as a quitter but I had begun to really resent the program. Boundaries are great, being healthy is amazing but I missed all these wonderful indulgences. I had a measly slice of toast on Wednesday and yesterday I had a slice of pizza. There it is, failure.

But actually, I enjoyed it. It gave me immense pleasure and it realigned my thinking on the detox. I know I won’t get the full effect of the Whole 30 but it has given me boundaries and proven that I can change my ways. So, I’m going to stick to it and allow myself one treat a day – whether that’s a frothy, milky cappuccino or a slice of cake or glass of wine. Balance. That’s what we’re all after anyway isn’t it?!

 

Hero Stockbridge

Today we’re adding our Christmas section to the Hero website that’ll be full of gift ideas and of-course tweeting and instagramming. But most importantly I’ll also be deciding what my treat will be for the day…

Would you consider the 30 day detox?

Have a great weekend.

L x

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Life has got pretty hectic the last few months and the blog has most definitely taken a back seat. I read an article in the Summer about blogging with tips on how to be better and there was one quote that really stuck. Elsie Larson, founder of uber blog, A Beautiful Mess said that

“It was never about not having enough time, but just not planning well enough”. She’s definitely right.

All the other elements in my life have been completely overwhelming the past few weeks and months that most of the time I’ve felt that I haven’t had any more capacity to think about something else. Because having my own business and two children is a whole new lifestyle change for me, I’ve also spent time getting used to how this is all going to work.

It has been an incredible experience and I wouldn’t change one tiny bit of it but there are times when I feel like I’m keeping several different plates spinning. Some of the time they’re all spinning but there are times when one will fall or have a wobble and I can just about get it back it again and other times when I feel like half of them have fallen off the stick. But that’s life I suppose, everyone’s busy and everyone has their own priorities.

It’s not my intention to make this post one long excuse but it’s probably more a cathartic exercise to get some focus back on the blog and feel like I can still do it! It seem easy for me to lose confidence in what I’m doing if I don’t do it for a while. But the blog is where it all started and it’s an amazing world to be a part of.

Hero

 

As for Hero, it has been amazing. So much more, so much better than I could ever have anticipated. But it would be great to make time for blogging again. I’ve learned so much about my own style since starting Hero that it seems right to get back to the blog. So this this my first step to doing it!

In other news, although it pains me to say it, I’ve also been feeling so much healthier after undertaking a detox. Details coming later in the week….

Any tips on how to juggle work/life would be gratefully received!

L x

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So last year it was all about the pink coat and it looks like it’s not going anywhere. Pink coats are here to stay. So in the last of this week’s Winter coat collaboration with Shop Formula here is the Dree Bouclé Belted Coat in Maple sugar by Won Hundred.

Won Hundred pink coat

Won Hundred pink coat

I couldn’t wait to get this one on. A lovely sugary, pastel pink it will lift your spirits on any Winter’s day.

Styled with another classic ensemble, the denim shirt, black super skinnies and red wine suede chelsea boots*.

Won Hundred pink coat

Again, Shop Formula have styled in a more formal way which works brilliantly for the office or even a Winter wedding. Making another really versatile coat.

Shop Formula Won Hundred pink coat

All of the coats that have been featured this week are available to buy online from Shop Formula – take a moment to check out the rest of their collections too. It’ll definitely be one to add to the favourites bar.

Shop Formula winter coats

Thank you to Shop Formula and here’s to some crisp winter days.

Have a great weekend, L x

(*also available from Hero)

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Today in my Shop Formula collaboration I’m featuring this grey blanket coat. Don’t judge it on it’s name – it’s gorgeous.

Great plains grey coat

Great plains grey coat

I was completely cocooned in the softest wool-blend fabric that, like the green coat from Monday, I didn’t want to take off.

Great plains grey coat

If I’m being completely honest, if I’d seen it on the peg I’m not sure it would have made it into the fitting room with me but just goes to show how wrong you can be!

I’ve styled it with a very classic combo of skinny jeans and a grey cable knit cashmere jumper. Not the most dynamic, I’ll be the first to admit but a classic all the same.

Shop Formula Great plains grey coat

I love the way this coat can take the outfit from dull and boring to fun and adventurous. Shop Formula have styled it here with the same super skinnies and killers heels – another very versatile coat. Tick.

This is a super easy coat that’s perfect for the school run or thrown over a dress and a pair of opaques.

What do you think?

Lx

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The leaves are starting to change, the days are shorter and there was a distinct chill in the air this morning. Autumn is on. it’s. way. And I for one, am really pleased. Time to put away those summer tees and sandals and start thinking fine knits, ankle boots and coats.

This week I am delighted to be featuring a Winter Coat collaboration with Shop Formula. Shop Formula are an online boutique known for their great mix of established brands and emerging labels. I was initially drawn to the online store because of it’s classic, wearable fashion as well as trend-led pieces – the perfect combo.

Today is the first in a series of three posts this week where I have styled three coats picked by Shop Formula and all available to buy online.

Baum und Pferdgarten green coatBaum und Pferdgarten green coat

The only way that I was going to style these coats was exactly how I would wear them. The variation in my lifestyle of doing the school run and my blogging (and now shop) work means that I can’t afford to be precious about my clothes but I also want to look smart – it’s also a must to be comfy and warm. I live in jeans and jumpers in the autumn and winter, so they had to work within all these parameters.

Baum und Pferdgarten green coat

I was a little concerned at first about the cropped sleeves but I love the way the colour pop comes through.

Not that I needed it for warmth on the day that we shot these photos but you could feel how cosy it was and despite the 20degree weather I didn’t want to take it off. That was the warm and cosy box ticked. It was perfect with these jeans too. Winner.

Baum und Pferdgarten green coat

// styled with yellow jumper, Topshop (old). Seven for All Mankind skinny jeans. Seven Boot Lane ankle boots* //

It wasn’t heavy either so would make the perfect throw on as the temperatures start to drop.

Shop Formula have dressed the Baum und Pferdgarten coat up with super skinnies and killer heels to give a completely look.

Shop Formula green coat

 So, are you ready for Autumn?

L x

(*a little heads up…these Seven Boot Lane boots are coming soon to Hero)

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My Pollyanna

I have dreams, I have aspirations and I want to realise them. I don’t want to get to sixty-five and feel that I didn’t fulfil my potential. Do I even have potential? I’ll never find out if I don’t give it a try. It’s not about living life to it’s fullest but more about satisfying an inner curiosity of how far I can go and what I can achieve.

Albert Einstein

I love to feel inspired but I’m fed up of reading about other inspirational people and their achievements. I want my own achievements. I come from a regular family where my parents were ambitious and successful but they worked hard. They always strived for more – and still do. Not because they want or need more but because they thrive off it.

I’ve always felt that this entrepreneurial spirit is in me somewhere and so Hero is the beginning of my own journey.If not now, then when

There’s so much I need to do to be a better mother but this is one way I’m trying to do it. To be a female role model for my girls. To show them I can think for myself, that I can set goals and work for them. To show them how to be the best they can be.

I’ve been a stay at home mum for six years and I know how that feels. I’ve played with them, I’ve shouted at them and I’ve spent days ironing, making beds and endlessly picking up toys from the floor. But life is different now, it’s the beginning of a new era. They are both at school full-time so it’s time to find my identity again.

The girls

Without question, writing this blog has been a stepping stone to where I am now. It’s been amazing to connect with so many people and find a passion I never truly realised I had.

I know it’s not going to be easy. I will feel stretched (I already do) but above all I already feel like I’m a better person. I’m thriving on being my own boss, having independence and having purpose to my day. I’m surviving on around five hours sleep a night and copious amounts of tea and coffee – but who isn’t?!

So in some ways, Hero is completely selfish and all about me. But perhaps sometimes, for the greater good, it’s good to be selfish.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget you can keep up with the countdown to opening of Hero on Twitter and Instagram!

L x

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Jimmy Choo Candy bag

When the invitation to celebrate the opening of the new Jimmy Choo Townhouse arrived, I must admit I had a quick look around to see if it was really me the invitation was meant for. An invitation to London Fashion Week to see one of the world’s most prestigious, luxury brands, Jimmy Choo seemed almost too good to be true. And to top it off it was on my birthday.

After one of the most exhausting weeks I can remember, most of which was spent under a roller painting ceilings and sanding down doors, I had never felt so unglamorous. A touch of the London sparkle was exactly what was in order.

One extreme to another…

The morning of my birthday was spent travelling the countryside picking up a second-hand fridge and seeing that the carpenter had arrived at the shop to hang the new door. A quick tidy up of the shop – removing dust sheets and clearing out the decorating materials, I made it home with about half an hour to spare.

Feeling so underprepared seemed to work though. I hadn’t contemplated what I was going to wear so with just a few minutes to think about it I pulled together my black coated skinnies (possibly one of the best buys ever), a plain white tee and my Anya Hindmarch metallic cross body bag. Threw my hair in a messy bun (no time for a blow dry) and slapped on some Lady Danger lipstick by Mac (the best birthday present!) and I was ready to go. Amazing how some bright lips can transform an outfit in one fell swoop.

Jimmy Choo Choo townhouse

Taking it to the next level…

As if I wasn’t feeling lucky enough to be going to London Fashion Week, to top it off I had a car courtesy of Addison Lee cabs collect me from the station and take me to my destination on New Bond Street. And this was it!

Jimmy Choo Choo townhouse

Any last minute outfit and make up checks taken care of! The last time I was in London I was lucky to enough to have a car provided too and I can’t say how brilliant the service is. Texts to let you know how long they are going to be, the driver’s name and the registration of the car collecting you. A professional driver – all of whom have been really friendly. The perfect pick up.

The Choo Townhouse…

The New Bond Street Jimmy Choo store has been expanded and renovated to reveal the most gorgeous, luxurious store you can imagine. It’s gorgeous and sumptuous but comfortable and intimate. At the centre of the building is a stunning marble staircase that winds through the building connecting the three floors.

Jimmy Choo Choo Townhouse

I was in awe. The building was beautiful, the shoes were stunning and I was surrounded by some of my blogging idols. At this point I wasn’t quite sure where to put myself!

Jimmy Choo Choo townhouseI soon found the champagne, shoe shaped biscuits and booked myself in for a manicure.

Jimmy Choo Choo townhouse Jimmy Choo Choo townhouse

I took a tour round the store, chatted with blogging companions and closely examined each and every fabulous pair of shoes from the Choo 24:7 collection on the lower ground floor, to the newly launched CHOO.08 on the first floor, that has it’s own dedicated room. The room is slightly darker to give a more edgy feel to reflect the urban mood of this collection. There’s also a VIP that focusses on bridal, evening and red carpet styles on the first floor.

Downstairs there is a dedicated room to the recently launched Made to Order service – choose from the signature styles then from the myriad of different fabrics and colours. Where would you start?

Jimmy Choo Choo townhouse

To celebrate the new store, the Jimmy Choo Creative Director, Sandra Choi has designed a limited edition Candy bag. The acrylic clutch has been printed with an image of quintessentially British red phone box to reinforce the brand’s London roots. And it’s gorgeous.

Jimmy Choo candy bagJimmy Choo Choo Townhouse

After a gorgeous Nars manicure I said my thank yous and farewells and made my way round the corner to Sketch for a birthday cocktail. A perfect Birthday – thank you Jimmy Choo and thank you London.

This week it’s been back to the manual labour of setting up shop but the exciting news is that we’re looking at opening next week! You can follow what we’re up to on Twitter and Instagram.

L x

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