Summertime Madness and the Insta Funk

Hello ๐Ÿ‘‹

It’s been a while. I thought I should get my arse into gear and back to the the blog. Truth is I’ve been busy. We are all busy I know, it just feels like life has been on overdrive since the new year. My new favourite name for myself in mocking terms of course is #busybitch she’s too busy to call, make plans, and as my friend Amy says, too busy to shit ๐Ÿ˜‚ so yeah I’ve been busy babes. But not too busy for a selfie ๐Ÿคณ ๐Ÿ˜†

Truth is you find time to blog sometimes, and other times you don’t right. Blogging isn’t my job so sometimes it does have to take a back seat. So thanks for being patient you lovely lot.

I’ve also had somewhat of an insta and blogging funk. Questioned what it’s all about/for/blah blah blah and if I’m being brutal, also questioning my own practice, inspiration and reach. There is so much sameness, competition, bitchiness, falseness and comparison on here that at times it’s overwhelming so I took a conscious step back. Whilst I love chatting shit about clothes and listening to others do the same, the amount of people I actually want to listen to is diminishing. And what do I want to write about and share? I’m not sure? Latest trends? Styling tips? It all seems a bit wanky at the moment.

So until I get my blogging mojo back I thought I’d share some of my summer madness tips because they make me happy and I hope they make you smile too ๐Ÿ˜ that’s why I write this. To share my thoughts, creative musings, inspiration and positivity as well as interact with other like minded women like you.

A self confessed creature of the sun, the summer is my favourite time of year, a time when I do indeed go a bit more bonkers with the styling. It’s about fun, frivolousness, glamour, creativity, and total and utter sun unashamed sun worship ๐Ÿ˜Ž so here is my summer madness shit to wear and love ๐Ÿ’— happy sun seeking ๐ŸŒž

1 Kimono ๐Ÿ‘˜

Not just beach cover up oh no. These beautiful garments can be just as fab dressed with jeans and heels as over a bikini. Short, long, and differing prints. This lace one was from a market in Ibiza and is a firm fave.

2 Crazy Vintage Prints

Er yes please to Pucci esque psychedelia

3 Trackie Top Innit

I cannot get enough of retro trackers. Great lightweight jacket. I like to wear mine with heels ๐Ÿ‘ 

4 Daisy Duke

I recently heard that denim cut offs should never be worn by women over 30. What utter bollocks. And here I show you why ๐Ÿ‘Š

5 Lumo Heels

I’ve gone for green but also have pink and yellow too ๐Ÿ™Œ

6 Glitter Maxi

Because it will make you feel like a million dollars. Hint – get a leg spilt for ease of movement and dancing ๐Ÿ’ƒ

7 Slip Dress

Super sexy and perfect to dress up or down. Loads of gorgeous bias cut ones on the high street at the moment (Topshop in particular) this one is 70s vintage.

8 Head Wrap

This gorgeous print and design is from London based Teiko Dorner. Half head wrap and super easy to knot. Perfect cover up for hot days

9 Wide Leg

Or culottes. Super stylish, cool and effortless. These are Zara.

10 A Line is the Best Line

Finally my favourite dress in the whole world. 70s style white work Ibiza number which I live in during the summer. Smock dresses and A line look fab with bare feet, sandals, or a pretty high wedge.

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Winter: Survive or Thrive?

‘Jules, you need to find things that you like about winter’ a lovely and well meaning friend said to me a week or so ago on yet another of my rants about being cold, tired, and generally pissed off that I’m missing the sun.

‘Er Christmas?’ I said. And that was all I had. ‘I really don’t think there is anything I like about the winter.’ Where my friend is from they have proper winters. Winters that are in the double minus figures for months. Winters that make ours look, well, a bit pathetic really. My friend told me that winter can fuck with your head. Some people lose their shit in the cold and dark where he is from and shoot themselves ๐Ÿ˜ณ so I think he wants me to get a winter hobby and get happy ๐Ÿ˜‚ So whilst I haven’t totally lost the plot, or considered a gun yet, I have really thought about our conversation.

I’m a creature of summer. Most happy found skipping barefoot and denim short clad outside, preferably near or on a beach.

But I live in Britain. For the moment at least, and do I really want to write off at least half of the year in my search and longing for sunnier times, and hotter temperatures? I need to take action, so I thought long and hard about how I felt about winter and how I can help myself to stop being a seasonal grump. I also consulted some well known authorities on handling winter, keeping well physically and mentally, and most importantly having some much needed fun ๐Ÿ‘Š

In doing so I’ve come up with Jules’ Winter Survive or Thrive guide to not losing your shit when it’s cold and dark. And whilst I’ll still struggle to compose a list of things I love about this season, I’m slowly changing my attitude, and my mardy winter face is a smiling that little bit more ๐Ÿ˜

1: Get Lit

It’s all about the light girl, you need those sun rays and the lack of vitamin D this time of year has massive impact on our health and wellbeing. Moods, energy, skin, and immunity are all affected. Answer? Grab any natural sunlight you can. Get out, preferably before midday and don’t wear a factor, just soak it up. Alternatively get yourself a light therapy box (check out amazon and eBay) and a vit D supplement. Fake it till we make it to proper sunshine.

And don’t forget the evenings when a string of fairy lights, some scented candles and a touch of neon will make it super cozy innit ๐Ÿ™Œ

2: Get Fresh

Fresh air babes in all its forms. Come rain and shine you need to get out and breathe. Central heating is drying and stuffy and a blast of the elements, as well as moving your body, helps us to stop feeling tired and sluggish. Get outside at least once a day no matter what the weather ๐Ÿ‘Š

3: Head set and slow down

Whilst we can’t hibernate for the winter (if only) I’m learning to lean into it and try to slow down. I’m terrible for feeling guilty about just doing nothing, or resting. I should be doing, making, helping, fixing. Actually no babes you should be resting hon. Don’t be a dick and help everyone else before you help yourself.

4: Eat Right

Simples really. You are what you eat. Eat shit and you’ll feel like shit. A wonderful blogger mate of mine Sally Aka @womenwithsparkle has taught me to consider everything that passes my lips. That’s not to say I’ll deprive myself of treats and guilty pleasures, but I’ll understand what and why I’m eating.

Is it nutritious? Is it going to boost and help me? Or am I just eating it just because it’s gorgeous and satisfying? All valid, but it’s important to think and understand what our bodies need and want this time of year.

Eating less is not an option. We need calories for warmth and well-being. Eat more but eat well. Fill up on hearty wholesome soups, casseroles and stews. Fearne Cottons Cook Happy Cook Healthy has some great family tested recipes that satisfy even the most fussiest of eaters.

5: Get the Gear

Seriously, winter sucks even more when you’re friggin freezing right?! Invest in some great outerwear and be practical about what you need for your lifestyle. Also think about thermals (my winter best friends) which layer up perfectly underneath but are also super cozy for lounging. They don’t have to be costly. Good old M&S have some great therms.

Oh and all the faux fur and animal print babes. Style and warmth. You go this! Inspo? Prentend you’re a Viking ๐Ÿ˜‚

6: Get It On

Have sex. It keeps you warm, makes you smile, is great exercise and it’s something to do on the dark nights innit ๐Ÿ˜‚

7: Colour Me Good

Greyness. Thats what kills our mojos this time of year. Combat they grey days and dark nights with colour.

Colour had a huge effect on our moods and colour therapy is real. Give it a try!

8: Making Plans

This is time to plan. I’ve learnt for me that winter is not a natural time to be super productive, and where I can control what i do I try to slow down. Instead of pushing myself to do loads in the evening when I’m on my knees and thinking of my bed, I try making plans, lists and projects. Plotting and scoping or starting things off, rather than rushing to complete.

Remember that this includes fun stuff like outings with friends, holidays, date nights, and time on your own. I’m still learning with this, and have to remind myself it’s ok to stop and rest. Plus I’ve started planning g and saving for the summer ๐Ÿค—

9: Nap Club

Babes you need sleep. Sleep when you can. Lie in or go to bed early. Take a nap on a day off if it’s possible. Sleep when the kids sleep. Our bodies recharge, heal and detox when we are sleeping. Charging up those batteries ready for the longer days of spring and summer to come.

We can cope with all that winter throws at us if we get enough sleep. Don’t feel guilt about saying no, turning down or nailing out. An early quiet night is what you need sometimes.

10: Layer Cake

Don’t hide away those dreamy summer numbers. No babes layer them up!

I for one get as bored as f*ck T wearing a winter uniform of jeans, big jumpers and skirts with black opaque tights. Instead I’m bringing in summer numbers but layering with turtle necks, thermals and a ton of attitude ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘Š

So there we have it. I’m still learning but trying to embrace all that is winter. Pretending you’re a Viking, sleeping more, eating more, candles, lights, and more sex. It’s growing on me a little ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜˜

Big love Jules (MotherWithStyle)

xxx

Always Fabulous: An Interview with Yvonne Telford

I first met Yvonne in a South London pub at a Lucky Things meet up. Greeted with a huge smile and confident big brown eyes, I liked her immediately.

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Yvonne is the mastermind behind the brand Kemi Telford. Known for empowering slogan tees and super hot but practical women’s clothing, Yvonne has developed a fashion power house. But what makes her so special? Yvonne really and truly believes in herself, her brand, and her vision, and despite a few wobbles has totally stayed in her lane. It’s paid off. Kemi Telford is going from strength to strength as more women discover the style, comfort, and uniqueness of her designs.

I love Yvonne collections as she combines beautiful fabrics with practicality and comfort. Inspired by her Nigerian heritage, Yvonne encourages women to own their look and not be afraid to stand out and use their clothes to express themselves. This really resonated with me, my style, and the whole ethos behind my Mother With Style blog. After becoming a mother I totally lost my mojo. A combination of exhaustion, hormones, body changes, and media pressures made me feel shit. Yvonne has designed beautiful clothes that empower and make you feel fabulous, but are also practical and wearable for busy women.

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Yvonne kindly agreed to let me in to a few secrets about herself and her business. So here is a little interview with this total babe and mum boss.

What inspired you to start Kemi Telford?

My daughters challenged me to start Kemi Telford. I was a stay at home mother for over 7 years. All they saw me do were the housework and caring for the family. These are all great things but I did not want them to grow up thinking that is the only role a woman plays in her life.

What is the best thing about working for yourself?

Working for myself is hard work but it gives me flexibility.

What is the hardest thing about running your own business?

For me, the hardest thing about running my business is lack of balance in regards to working hours. I never seem to stop.

Where do get ideas and inspiration to inform your designs?

The actual designs are simple but the fabrics we use are bold. The inspiration behind the boldness of the fabric comes from Nigeria where people are not afraid to take up their space through the clothes they wear.

What item can you not leave the house without?

My phone and keys.

What is in the current contents of your handbag?

Phone, tissue paper, wallet, and keys.

What would you say is the hardest working item of clothing in your wardrobe and why?

I donโ€™t have any because I only buy what I know will be worn.

Heels or flats? Can you choose?

Flats. My busy lifestyle has banished me to wearing flats only.

Youโ€™re a busy mum of two gorgeous girls, what is your go to look when you are short of time?

When I am feeling overwhelmed or short of time, I ask my daughters and husband for help. Right now, my daughters are at a stage where they are able to help me.

Any tips of what to do when you are feeling far from fabulous?

Wear beautiful clothes and listen to great music. Music in particular changes everything.

What a legend she is! Please check out her Instagram feed and website for a visual feast of wonderful designs.

http://www.kemitelford.com

@kemitelford

#kemitelford #sloganwithmeaning #womeninfashion #womeninbusiness

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Fashion with a Conscience

I love beautiful things. Who doesnโ€™t? But recently I have been thinking a lot about some of my beautiful things, more specifically my wardrobe. Whereโ€™s it from? Do I wear it? Do I need it? How was it made? Where was it made?

Following some recent collaborations with ethically centred brands, and Inspired by a recent visit to the V&A Fashioned From Nature exhibition Iโ€™ve decided to write a post on how we can make small or big changes (depending on your means and circumstances) to support a more ethical approach to fashion. With some surprising and stylish results like these sustainable fabric high tops from Nike.

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Shall I start by explaining what I mean by ethical fashion? I donโ€™t want to split hairs or sound condescending, but I think itโ€™s helpful to clarify what I mean, and give some context so I can explain some of my choices. Ethical fashion is an overarching term used to describe an approach to fashion life cycles that addresses negative impact on the external world. Phew, that was a mouthful so in real terms it means looking at fashion at design, production, retail, purchasing and disposal in an ethical way. The term covers cover a wide range of issues such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, environmental & sustainably, and animal welfare.

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Real fur has many alternatives and not just the expected. This Jean Gaultier dress is made entirely from beads, I kid you not!

But for me this also goes far wider. Iโ€™m not an Instagram wanker and I donโ€™t purport to be some big fashion blogger Iโ€™m just Jules, who likes chatting shit about clothes and sharing ideas and inspiration with other like minded women. So for me fashion with ethics also means a sense of responsibility when I post and share my outfits and ideas.

  1. It really is what I am wearing or what I would actually wear IRL
  2. Its is affordable and accessible (you wonโ€™t find much expensive clobber on here โ€“ soz)
  3. Its from a brand/person who (as far as I am aware at least) adheres to the same ethical standards as me
  4. I actually really love it

I feel particularly strongly about B . Affordability. I hate the idea of anyone feeling shit about themselves because they canโ€™t afford the latest trend, object of lust etc. Most of us have bills to pay and kids to feed before we make our next shiny sequined purchase. That said it is possible (see many previous posts) to wear what you love on pretty much a shoe string, albeit it takes some time and effort. With a limited clothes budget I spend wisely, and proudly build my collection up with second hand clothes. When I buy new I invest in hardwearing high street separates, or support smaller clothing brands.

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Brand like Familyhood (self love tee above)!whose empowering slogans, tight business ethics, ย and sustainable fabrics win hands down on my book.

Iโ€™m also not suggesting that you stop ever buying new things, use rock crystal deodorants and live off grid โ€“ unless you want to of course! So there you have it. Thatโ€™s Fashion with Ethics by Jules! So now for some handy hints and information on how I approach this minefield

  1. re-use and rarely buy new –ย  I donate & sellย  preloved items

Shop my own wardrobe (change seasonally & Fix and revamp)

Charity shops

Clothes swaps

Preloved & vintage sales

Ebay and Depop

Boot fairs

Borrowing off my mates (and family)

Flog my stuff second hand or donate to causes

  1. I try to think. I know that sounds bloody obvious but how many times do we rush out and buy something new without stopping to think is it ethically produced? Do I know where the fabrics are from, how it made and is the reason its super cheap? Whilst our budgets and time are crucial factors in our decision making, By pausing and considering our options and choices we might be able to make a more ethical purchase
  2. I read. If itโ€™s not advertised as being made from sustainable materials it probably isnโ€™t. Look for information on websites and blogs and check garment labels. Climate neutral, organic, season less, ethically sources, are phrases to watch out for that referring to more ethical textiles and production practices.

So there you go. We can make a difference. We can have an impact by where we choose to spend our money and the products we buy.

I hope you find this helpful and are inspired. Below are also some familiar at not so familiar brands to get you going.

Lots of love Jules x

  • Asos recycled Denim
  • Asos Eco Edit
  • H&M Concscious Exclusive
  • Monsoon (committed to ethical trading)
  • Ebay,Depop, Preloved Kilo & Vintage Kilo Sale
  • Kemi Telford
  • FamilyHood
  • Family Merch
  • Stratum London

 

Familyhood : A New Approach to Dressing your Brood

Not long ago I discovered a unique clothing brand with stylish threads for all the family. I’m honoured to be an ambassador for this brand and I’m eager to share with you more about this fab British label who specialise in empowering statement tops.

Familyhood is the baby of mum and designer Stacey Hazell. Like a lot of parents after the birth of her first child she found it hard to find fashionable and ethical clothing for herself and kids. She wanted clothing that was practical and exciting, and stood out from the often bland options on our high street. So she did something about it and Familyhood was born!

Inspired by everyday families, real people and music. Particularly music. Like the Beats International 90s classic Dub be Good to Me Tank Fly tee (worn below twinning with the little dude)

Stacey says ‘Familyhood gets its name from something really important to us, we are hugely inspired by everyday families and as you can tell from our designs, music.’

Music unites and connects and often transcends cultures and backgrounds which Stacey and her team find embracing.

Your love sleeveless tee

What I love about this brand is not just the striking and funky designs, but their ethics. All of Stacey’s designs are made from comfortable ethically sourced fair trade or organic cotton. And she also gets all the family on board. This lady is a total mum boss getting everyone involved to make it work. Avoiding traditional fashions seasons, Familyhood encourage short runs of lines, favouring building up a collection of workable pieces suitable for all year round.

I also love that their designs are free from gender and age stereotypes. Giving freedom and neutrality to family dressing.

I’m really honoured to represent a company that has a modern and sustainable approach to fashion, and one that encourages creativity and freedom with how we dress. So take a look ๐Ÿ‘€ there’s so much to choose from and all at affordable and real life pricesfamilyhood.bigcartel.com

@familyhood

Jules (MotherWithStyle)#gifted

#familyhood

Picasso 1932: A Year of Genius

A few weeks back my friend Judith and I visited the current Picasso exhibition, Picasso 1932, Love Fame Tragedy at Tate Modern, London.

Ready for an afternoon of colour, power, emotion, and reflection, we were not disappointed. Whether Picasso is an old friends or a new discovery, this brilliantly curated exhibition draws you in from the start.

The show plots a monumental year in Picasso’s career when aged 50 he embarked on a prolific period of experimental creativity. And it really was prolific. I could not get over the vast amount of paintings, drawings, sketches, and sculptures that filled the galleries.

Curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume, the interpretation pulls together both biographical context, family, marriage, lovers, and artistic competition, alongside the socio political climates of a chaotic and dark early 20th century between the two world wars. This approach helps the viewer to allow Picasso to get under your skin, understanding his motivations, drive and feelings.

And get under your skin he does. Judith and I were only in the first room of the exhibition when we both stood as still as statues looking, staring, and breathing. In awe of the monumental and colourful paintings before us. ‘It’s like he’s in the room with us’ Judith said. She was absolutely right we could feel him, his genius – those brush strokes were so very present. How a curator does that is just pure magic.

Judith and I toured the galleries chatting, pausing and discussing. What is genius? How do you know if you have it? We both agreed it’s something innate and spiritual. A raw talent combined with a determination and drive to follow your journey through. A restless creative always looking for more. Always challenging. This is Picasso down to a T!

This artist and this period of history have always fascinated me. Out of the most challenging and chaotic situations is borne some of the most beautiful and powerful art in the world. Many parallels to today. If you see any exhibition this summer make it this one.

Picasso 1932, Love Fame Tragedy is on at Tate Modern until 9 September

Enjoy

Jules, MotherWithStyle โค๏ธ

Family Merch

Loving an exciting new brand called Family Merch who have some seriously cool slogan tees for all the family. Here I am wearing the Mama tee in black.

Family Merch has been launched by Surrey based mum of two Janine Renee, and has a fabulous range of empowering slogan clothing and accessories for all the family.

Founder Janine and I met in Stratford, East London, at an Ola Mama event back in spring 2017, where Sunita Harley of Lucky Things was taking about career confidence. Apt for both of us as busy working mums. Janine had not long just had her first child, and we chatted babies, and about her ambitions to change direction, follow her dreams, and find a way of working that suited her young family. Fast forward to summer 2018, and another baby and a new business has all become a reality for this creative Mama.

Janine has created a brand for all the crew. See me and my son Harry twinning like pros below.

Harry is wearing the Good Vibes Only tee which he absolutely loves. Teaching our kids resilience and positivity is so important in a world full of pressure and options. I love this bold statement design and monochrome pairing.

Janine is clear about her business ethics as well. Great quality, fair prices, and fabrics and processes that are ethical. That’s why all her tees are made from climate neutral cotton. They fit great too. I went for a snugger look in a size small (I’m a dress size 8/10) and loved the shape and rolled up sleeves, which have me a retro 50s feel to my outfit.

So go check out Family Merch to deck your crew out in some fab statement looks. Family Merch has kindly offered my followers a discount on their first order until the end of July. Use code MOTHERWITHSTYLE20 at the checkout.

So what are you waiting for? @familymerch

http://www.familymerch.co.uk

Big love

Jules (MotherWithStyle) x

#famdemcrew #gifted #slogantee