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Victoria swishing in our Multi Leaves Skirt. Reduced from £60.00 to 34.99

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Skirt of the month.

 The Sunpo Structured Maxi Skirtst is made from real wax.  It is also 100% cotton. This skirt can be dressed up or down. 


My Life - Gracie Southall

My Life - Gracie Southall

Meet Working mum and part-time student Gracie Southhall. In this Q&A, she talks about her favourite icon, ideal guests at a dinner party and Maya Angelou.

Tell us about you.

I’m a full time working mum of a three-year-old who is also attempting to go to university part-time to study to be a Breastfeeding Counsellor and Postnatal tutor. I have an incredibly supportive wife who I’ve been married to for 5 years now. I love all things sparkly and I am constantly buying books to add to my never-ending reading pile.

Who is your favourite living icon?

There are so many incredible women in the world doing amazing things to improve things for the future but I would have to say Shonda Rhimes: the creator of some of my favourite TV shows. Shonda’s award-winning TV shows represent the world we live in today with a diverse cast. The characters in her shows are people of colour and part of the LGBT community. She’s also a working mum of three and is now one of the highest-paid in her field after securing an amazing deal with Netflix.

How did you meet your wife?

We met one night in our local pub but exchanging the wrong telephone numbers ( and some mistaken identities) meant we almost never made it on our first date. Luckily, we figured it out with some help from our friends and we were engaged 6 months later.

Gracie in our bestselling Ring Ring Skirt

What is your favourite TV show that is currently on?

There are so many to choose from that I enjoy at the moment! I just finished binge-watching The Witcher on Netflix which may fill a Game of Thrones shaped hole in my life. I love an epic story with a complex plot and interesting characters.

What book have you read that positively shaped you?

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I read this book as a teenager and it has always stuck with me on how Maya Angelou reinvented herself when she needed to. Also, as life threw her huge problems she found ways to overcome them.

What is the coolest thing about you?

Probably, I am not afraid to speak my mind and tell the truth when it needs to be said.

Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram all the way!! I follow some incredible women and they inspire me every day.

What is your favourite food?

Chicken and Vegetable Risotto covered in Parmesan… I could eat it all day!

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Never wait until you think you are ready to move onto the next step because you will never will. Just take the leap now and go for it.

Name five people you would invite to your dream dinner party?

My best friend Sarah as we never have enough time together, Maya Angelou as she had the most incredible life, Ru Paul as he would entertain us all with his humour, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as I’d love to discuss feminism and her writing with her and George RR Martin so I could ask him when Winds of Winter is finally being released!

What advice would you give your 14-year-old self?

You will have some tough choices to make but listen to your instincts and remember that you don’t have to put up with toxic people in your life even if they are your family. Family is what you make it and you’ll end up with your own wonderful family in the future.

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is not being the best mother that I could be to my Little Monster and that I’ll repeat the mistakes my own mother made.

What is your best quote?

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” — Maya Angelou

What are you most proud of?

Keeping a feral toddler alive? Haha! Also, studying part-time for a degree while working and having a family. I’ve had to take a year off while I started a new job, but I can’t wait to get back into it when life settles down.

What has age taught you?

Age has taught me to worry less and be honest more.

If your life was a song, what would the title be?

The Mother by Brandi Carlile, this song for me sums up motherhood perfectly.

If you had a tattoo where would it be?

It would be somewhere I could cover it up. In my weekend job when I was at Uni, (providing spray-on tattoos in nightclubs ) I discovered that I’m too indecisive to ever decide on something permanent like a tattoo.

 Connect with Grace on Instagram here

January 25, 2020
My life - Natalie Cleur

My life - Natalie Cleur

Natalie Cleur is the Client Director at Smart Digital TV Limited. She is also one of the coolest women on Instagram. She is creative, funny and very likeable. Natalie talks about free will, inspiration, and advice to her 14-year-old self.

Tell us about yourself

I am a 48-year-old married, child-free woman living in London. I am a video content producer working in the world of trade shows. I love art, colour, and doggies (although still don’t have my own). 

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? 

Locate my earplugs that become dislodged in the night and can usually be found stuck to my face. Having slept on them, I then wait for the life to return to my arms so that I don’t have to roll out of the bed.

What is happening in your life at this minute? 

Currently, my life is somewhat dominated by work... Mustn't grumble as we're a small company so better to be busy than wondering when the next job will come in. I'm planning various filming jobs at events in London, UAE, and Europe in the healthcare, casino, aerospace, telecoms and energy industries. As I am sure is the case for many of us in January, I'm also planning a few long weekends away with the hubby and mates - work to live, right!? 

Favourite drink?  

Impossible to give one answer.

Day time: Peppermint tea.
Mealtime: Red wine.
Party time: Old Fashioned.
Wintertime: Baileys – Christmas Milk, you should try it on Cornflakes.
Summertime: White port punch – summer tipple by the pool at my folk's place in France.

    Favourite food?  

    Anything spicy or barbequed. I lost my sense of smell over 20 years ago and since then I definitely require more ‘kick’ to food. I love it but cooking is really my husbands' passion and he rocks at it and has more time to do it and is exceptionally good at grilling anything – I’ve promised him an outdoor kitchen for his 50th - wood-fired oven and a fancy pants Argentine grilly thing.

    We live in London, so have the world’s cuisines on our doorstep and we love discovering no-frills eateries – Thai, Malay, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Szechuan are favourites.

    Favourite dessert? 

    I have a sweet tooth so anything chocolatey. Still, to this day, when I’m with my Dad in a restaurant I order something chocolatey, take a mouthful, smear it on my teeth and grin at him like a toothless hag. It gets him every time – he loves it. I always do the dancing napkin trick in restaurants. I will never stop doing this.

    I also happen to make the world’s greatest Tiramisu – a recipe passed to me from my Italian cousin and great aunt, but pimped with chocolate. Tiramisu means ‘pick me up’… my version does that, spins you around then gives you a hangover.

    What is your most treasured possession?  

    Hmmm, for all my love of the finer things in life my most treasured possession are my albums, boxes and hard drives full of photos. I genuinely am a little worried about my fading memory so I started my Instagram account a few years back to capture my life in pictures and I do look back at them to remind me what I've been up to. I lost my Mum 20 years ago so the older photos are there to remind me of times gone by and other loved ones no longer with us. I would be heartbroken if I lost them.

    What is your best quote?

    I don’t have any stunning quotes of my own, I’m not as wordy as I’d like to be. My sister and I both are afflicted (gifted?) with what we refer to as ‘Mumisms’. Having been brought up by an Italian woman who never 100% grasped the English language but just went for it anyway - an example being,

    Me: “Mum, what did you eat at the restaurant?”
    Mum: “I had some squid but I really didn’t like the tiny testicles.

    Other favourite quotes: "Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.", Samuel Johnson.

    I also like “Maybe I’m not too sensitive, maybe you’re just a dickhead.” - ANON

    What are you most proud of?  

    Managing to carve out and maintain a life in what I believe to be the world’s most vibrant, inclusive, exciting, cultural city.

    What keeps you up at night? 

    Work mainly and back pain, all topped off with a slathering of overthinking!

    What is your greatest fear? 

    • Losing my mind or memory and therefore becoming a burden to those around me.
    • Sharks – I blame Jaws. To this day I feel uncomfortable in a bubble bath as you never know what lurks beneath.
    • Spiders – just ahhhh!

    Describe yourself in three words.   

    • Colourful – literally and in choice of language.
    • Silly – rather that than stupid.
    • Special – in every sense of the word.

    Can women have it all?  

    I was privileged to be raised in Europe by parents who allowed me to grow into the woman I am today. I have female friends of all ages so lucky to be surrounded by strong women who are raising families, holding down careers, starting out on their adventures and generally being fabulous and rocking it at life. I have always been fiercely independent and self-sufficient so I’d say 'yes' we can have it all.

    Destiny or free will? 

    Good question, although I am not sure I’ve understood it! I do believe that all of us have something that we’re meant to do with our lives (destiny/fate) and that some lucky folk know very early what that is, some people can’t quite figure it out (me), some never know and some don’t get the opportunity to find out – all of these are influenced by either free will and/or circumstance. I am also a strong believer in the power of positive and negative thought. If you think something regularly enough good or bad, then it can become a reality.

    Who inspires you? 

    Off the top of my head - Greta Thunberg, what an amazing human being and role model to kids and adults alike. Then it would be artists & photographers who inspire me daily and lastly anyone who promotes body positivity. This wasn’t a thing when I was growing up and I truly feel one of the best bits of social media.

    What advice would you give your 14-year-old self? 

    • Don’t listen to the teacher who told you that your T-shirt with the words ‘Heavenly Body’ emblazoned across your chubby chest was inappropriate to wear on a school trip. You did have and will continue to have a Heavenly Body.
    • Moisturise from head to toe, bend at the knees when lifting and start paying into a pension NOW!

    What book have you read that positively shaped you?  

    I hold my hands up; I’m not making the time to read enough. I use to read on my commute but now I’m based at home it has fallen by the wayside. That said, I do have a number of books on the go that I can dip into depending on my mood. I love a good thriller but my current book is The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff. What a mouthful I hear you say but it’s a jolly fascinating examination of how our data is being unwittingly mined and traded by corporates and governments and how our behaviours are being shaped and modified as a result. I used to work in publishing and I remember working on financial titles covering futures and options (betting on the future price of pork bellies and other commodities). Now we are the commodity - our choices and lives being traded and betted on, all with the intention of influencing how we spend our time and money.

    If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?  

    Bit of a sweeping statement here... RELIGION. I respect that some people need faith or something to believe in, I just have a huge problem with folk thinking that their belief is somehow better than someone else’s - to the point of fighting and killing over it. If I had my way, we’d all be pagans, running around in the nude, worshipping and looking after Mother Nature.

    Where do you see yourself in ten years?  

    Painting a still life or a landscape with a doggy sitting to one side and John feeding me chocolate covered brazil nuts on the other.

    How do you do to relax?  

    Walking on my Wanstead Flats & Park; taking photos of literally anything; practicing pilates and pottering around the house with John. I also love art but that doesn’t always relax me.

    To follow Natalie, her Instagram page is https://www.instagram.com/nataliecleur/

    January 18, 2020
    My life - Ina Beeston

    My life - Ina Beeston

    Ina Beeston is incredibly wise, cool and funny. Ina, is the owner of the travel blog Are You Laughing At Me? In this Q&A, she talks about divorce, turning 49 and tattoos.  

    What would be your dream holiday destination?

    Africa has my heart as I grew up in a country there. But, my ancient soul is Viking, my ancestors were Swedish.  I am torn between the smell before the rain in Africa and the tart scent of pine forests in Scandinavia. So I am going to say neither of those as I know both would be dreamy and easy and opt for a month or so in India.  I have never been and would really like to immerse myself in this subcontinent.  I am not sure I will find it easy (driving through Kathmandu left me a bit shell-shocked) as I am not good in crowds with lots of noise, so the hustle and bustle of the cities will have to be balanced with the quiet of the mountains and deserts.  Wildlife exploration will be an essential component of this trip.

    Who is your favourite living icon?

    Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand prime minister. A human and humane head of state who has her finger on the pulse of real people while living a real life of motherhood. An outstanding role model not just for our next generation but for everyone.

    What is your favourite TV show that is currently on?

    Gogglebox, not even going to apologise!  I used to scoff at the idea of watching a TV programme of people watching TV programmes - I mean how boring and desperate is that?  Until I then got over my snobbery and fell fully in love with all of them. It’s genius and it’s the only thing, apart from Graham Norton, that is guaranteed to make me laugh out loud - that’s LOL to my children.

    What book are you reading at the moment?

    Always the overachiever, several: Ultimate Knitting Bible as I recently tried to knit to a pattern and found it like the Enigma code and as a German, I should understand this and I did not. This upset me. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by S Turton as part of my two books a month target on Goodreads. It’s almost halfway through the month and not finished it yet. Best choose a slim book next! Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg as part of my quest to become a writer. 

    What book have you read that positively shaped you?

    The Animals of Farthing Wood is the first book I remember reading and being completely immersed and taken away to another world. It started a lifetime of wonder through books, laughter, and tears, oh so many tears.

    Ina in our denim maxi skirt.

    You just celebrated your 49th birthday, what excites you about life right now?

    Living more consciously.  Being single for seven years after my divorce has meant really getting to know myself, being ok with silence and solitude.  It’s not easy but it is a wonderful gift too. For me, that means making decisions consciously and not simply out of habit or boredom or stress or sorrow. I am a long way off having mastered this, but the fact that I am thinking about it has changed many things in my life for the better. I listened to a podcast this morning and a poem by David Whyte called Everything is Waiting For You was read. It included, “Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity…. Everything is waiting for you.” I appreciate that everything will include things that will surprise me in both directions, good and bad. To be ok with that is a wonderful place to be.  I want to live my life, not just exist.

    Pinterest or Instagram?

    What is Pinterest?

    What is your favourite food?

    Japanese, freshly made with the rice just lukewarm.

    Favourite drink?

    Cold German beer and Yorkshire Gold tea.

    Favourite dessert?

    A cold orange peeled in the shade of an acacia tree or homemade bread and butter pudding with custard.

    What is your most treasured possession?

    My phone. I know that is not very sentimental but it connects me to the people I love, it keeps my memories, it takes me off into the world and it helps me cheat at the crossword. It can get me out of trouble and if my house burnt down it will help me rebuild it.

    Name five people you would invite to your dream dinner party?

    Jacinda Ardern. My great grandfather who was a missionary in Namibia; I want to ask him if he really believed what he was doing was a good thing. Gerald DurrellDorothea Lange and Nigel Slater - who will hopefully offer to cook but we would all help chop stuff.

    What advice would you give your 14-year-old self?

    Be brave. Don’t listen to the teacher telling you you weren't good enough, he was wrong. Also, counting elephants is actually a career so also ignore all the people that stood in the way of that too and find a way to make that happen.

    What is your greatest fear?

    Dying alone.

    What is your best quote?

    “When you cannot change the direction of the wind, adjust your sails.”

    And: Go see.

    What are you most proud of?

    Without a doubt how my daughters have turned out. That had a lot to do with me and it’s ok to be proud of that. It was bloody hard work!

    What has age taught you?

    What I thought was important is not important but I needed to live to learn that. Other people’s anxiety does not have to become mine. This is my path. I will walk it. My crown is a bit battered, but it’s intact.

    Abstract skirt selfie.

    Describe yourself in three words

    Honour. Dignity. Decorum. I wrote these words on my wall after my ex-husband left. I was determined not to be bitter and twisted. They served me well.

    I am also: Funny. Loving. Creative.

    If your life was a song, what would the title be?

    The Four Seasons by Vivaldi.

    If you had a tattoo where would it be?

    I have a tattoo on my right inner arm. It says stubborn gladness. It is from a poem by Jack Gilbert called A Brief for the Defense.

    "We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world. To make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil”

    The day after I had it done, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  It is very apt.

    To follow Ina, her Instagram page is the.history.keeper.

    January 11, 2020

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