What’s happened here, then? Do I detect a whole new look to the blog…?!
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Yes – it’s a new look and a fresh start. I’m not doing things by halves: as well as completing lots of home decor and DIY jobs over lockdown I also gave myself an overhaul (expect a blog post soon about my final push towards the healthiest I’ve been in years). I then thought I should, of course, do the same to the blog.
It’s time for the blog to shine and for me to fall in love with it all over again. I have a brand new theme and couldn’t be happier with it.
Regular readers may have noticed that, as far as posting goes, my content output since lockdown has been erratic at best, absent at worst. BUT! That is all about to change.
As of 1st September, I’m pleased to announce the blog will resume normal service. I feel like where “being totally out of whack due to lockdown” is concerned, I’ve been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and now I need to go home and unpack my suitcase. Unpacking will have been completed by Tuesday 1st and I’ll be firing on all cylinders once more.
So what’s brought all this about at last?
What’s been a-happening
Back in March I wrote about how I was rethinking everything – blog, work, life, self-care. We were on the brink of lockdown and I wasn’t too sure how things would turn out for me work-wise.
After a bit of head-scratching and thinking I wrote about going back to basics a month later. I needed to rediscover that spark, to reconnect with my blog. What also happened was that work dried up COMPLETELY for me. I lost two pending jobs pencilled in for Spring (postponed till September, fingers crossed they decide to pick them back up with me again) and I didn’t have ANY new work come in at all.
Not a sausage. For literally MONTHS.
It almost killed my love of blogging. This was my career, seemingly going down the toilet.
I thought I would relish the extra time that no collaborative work would allow, but instead I focused on my home and my mind, body and soul (for want of a less cheesy expression). They all benefitted hugely from the break I took from work-work.
Luckily I received a SEISS (Self-Employed Income Support Scheme) grant from the government which tied us over and kept the mortgage and the bills paid. I’m able to apply for the second (and final) grant now – it’s on this week’s To-Do list – so fingers crossed I get that one too.
Here’s the crazy thing that happened: After no work at all since March, ALL OF A SUDDEN – in mid-August – I had two super-duper, really brilliant jobs come up in one week with two major brands. It meant one trip to London and then a couple of days at home working remotely with a top beauty brand.
It was the slap round the chops I needed to make me feel like I’d “gone back to work” along with the rest of the (majority of the) population. Suddenly I felt invigorated, and it made me sit up and have a think about what I wanted to do with the blog.
The good news (no bad this time)
So the good news is that as well as having a new look blog (I hope you like – I’ve also made the fonts nice and big because let’s face it, if you’re anything like me you can’t see sh*t without your glasses), I’ll be restarting the #iwillwearwhatilike link up from next week, Tuesday 1st September. The difference will be that I’ll be merging it with the second link up I was previously hosting, the #ShareAll link up on a Thursday/Friday.
I decided that it was simply too much admin and too much pressure on me to try and do two link ups a week. As it’s now just one, the link up will still stay as #iwillwearwhatilike, but I’m allowing ANY types of posts to be linked up, not just outfits (merging the two in other words).
If you’re subscribed to just the #ShareAll link up alert emails then don’t worry, I’ll transfer you onto the list for the #iwillwearwhatilike link up. And if you’re subscribed to both, you’ll only receive the one email reminder going forward!
My new-found love for my wardrobe
As mentioned at the beginning, I also gave my body an MOT over the last few months. It truly needed it. I’d been building up to this since last year when I first published my 3 quick tips to kickstart weight loss, and then right at the beginning of lockdown (when I thought, THIS IS IT, for real this time) I talked about the mindset you need to lose weight in your 40s and 50s.
I came back from another Slimmeria retreat break [first one this year] at the beginning of this month, and I’ll be going back for one more week next month.
(BTW this hasn’t been an overnight success from one week at the retreat – I’ve been working hard throughout the whole of lockdown and a little bit in the months before that.)
Since getting fitter, slimming down my frame and being able to get into the 80% of my wardrobe that no longer fitted me, it’s made me realise how much I’d missed being in love with clothes. The times I did put something together had become a chore. I’d unknowingly lost my desire to put outfits together. Coming back from the retreat and fitting into clothes that hadn’t fitted me in years gave me an incredible boost.
Clothes are my THING. Dressing up is my THING. Putting outfits together and accessorising them is my THING.
To have that taken away from me was crushing. So often I’d look inside my wardrobe for something to wear, and nearly Every. Single. Day. I’d see something fabulous that I just KNEW I couldn’t fit into. Or I’d go to wear something that I thought I could still fit into and found that it, too, was now too small for me. I was constantly reminded that I had not been kind to myself or to my body.
I never just wanted to buy a whole new wardrobe. I knew it would cost way too much. I’d have a ton of too-small clothes that I needed to do something with, I loved the clothes I already had and anyway – my health was suffering so getting fitter was always the no.1 priority. I was worried that buying a whole new wardrobe would mean giving in to ill-health and therefore ditching any attempt to look after the body I have.
(I didn’t mean for this to get so deep but it goes to show how much feeling bloated, lethargic and constantly unwell affected me and how much I wanted to change that.)
I never realised JUST how much I loved dressing up until I had that rampant trying-on session two weeks ago. I can’t wait to start putting outfits together again.
So there we have it – a new start. I’m actually really pumped up, and I’m pretty darn excited about it. ALL of it.
Will you be joining me for the first link up on Tuesday? And how have the last few months been for you and your loved ones? Tell me in the comments…!
Stay safe XOXO