Rockalily Style - Turning 33 in Collectif

I actually wore this Collectif dress for my birthday last year (Tiki Party) and I thought it would be perfect for a lovely restaurant I'm going to (more to follow on that!). Use REE10 for a discount to Collectif by the way. Anyhow, I wiggled into it (its hard to squeeze into it alone!) and I'm left feeling pretty shitty about myself. Which is horrible and quite unusual for me.

It's a kickarse dress, and yet I'm sat here feeling really low about it all. I'm almost trying to force myself to wear it, but I may cave. I rarely get my chest out, and I think its making me uncomfortable than I expected. I'm no longer used to feeling like my confidence is this fragile, so its just taken me by surprise.

Watch this space.

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to (I'm not crying)

On the eve of my next birthday, I'm sat reflecting how we're meant to feel about birthdays as adults. Tomorrow I turn 33, and I'm a tad conflicted as to what I'm feeling. In actual fact, as I'm sure most grown-ups agree, we tend to feel a little empty. We know we're expected to be excited, we spend the first 21 years of our lives indulging in and anticipating our special day. The one day that is about us. Yet as grown ups we just don't feel much anymore.

I was asked recently whether I was where I'd expected myself to be at this age. The question surprised me somewhat, as in actual fact I have almost zero clue what I'd thought or hoped for; my memory is pretty shoddy. I think that's one element to why I've always written, an attempt to create memories for myself long after I've forgotten them.

I've travelled alone and worked abroad. I've had a career in education as well as starting two of my own businesses. I've taken responsibility for my own nature, and become a kinder and happier person (always working on that of course!). I don't have any regrets, and I have a fabulous group of friends who love me. I've developed ambition, and carved myself a little part of the universe where I seem to belong.

I was a miserable teen, and life was challenging. I started to find happiness in my 20s, and found a confidence I'd never thought possible. However, as much as I hate cliches, my 30s have been kickarse, and make my 20s pale into significance. I didn't find myself, I finally created the me I'd always needed to become.

Moving forward another year, celebrating the fact I've survived another 365 days and I'm feeling thankful. I'm thankful for those who make me feel 'good enough', and sometimes even 'more than enough'. Thankful for the opportunities I was able to seize and run with, and for all who cheerleaded me along the path.

I'm excited for all that this next year will bring, and all the new chapters I'm yet to write.

Customising T-shirts...Can you do better than me? Prove it!

I suffer from a syndrome that currently remains nameless. A small excitable part of my brain loves to get crafty. I enjoy the mess, and the thrill of the chase; what on earth will I end up with? However, I also suffer from a pretty terrible ability to control my own body. My sense of coordination and spatial awareness are my weak spots, which generally means all craft activities end up with disappointment.

I got enthusiastic about making myself a new customised Rockalily Cuts t-shirt, and got scissor happy. My only rule was no sewing.

I got slicing, knotting and cutting. I have a natural aversion to planning, so I just leapt right in, and changed my path a few times along the way.

After my energetic but generally failed attempt, I decided I should put it out to those craftier than myself! Could that be you?

If you're a blogger with a crafty side, and you fancy showing me how its done, I'll pop you a tshirt in the post, if you'll show me your efforts! I can then get inspired, and perhaps try again!

Drop me an email on and I'll get a tshirt out to you!

Rockalily Style - Going Gaga for Gingham

This is a homemade dress that my mother gave me 5 years ago. It's from a Vintage Vogue dress pattern, and despite being a well-versed seamstress she said it was the most challenging item she'd made!  It was a surprise gift too, so she didn't get to measure me or make any adjustments in the way you would usually when making a dress from a pattern. Five years on and it's still going strong!