#girlboss, Charlotte Tilbury, Freelancing, Sponsored post

(Girl) Bossing It

Albert - I love my boss

Doesn’t time fly? On Friday, it will have been a whole year since I was made redundant from my old job and over nine months since I set up my little social media agency, Cattington. While it’s not for everyone, I’m adamant that making the move towards becoming my own boss is the best decision I’ve ever made. I love the freedom of being able to choose my own clients, make my own hours and work from bed as and when the situation requires (which I anticipate will be ‘every goddamn day’ now the temperature has dropped.) On a more practical level, working for myself has provided me with so much flexibility about when and where I can work – something which has proved to be incredibly useful considering all the curveballs life has thrown my way in 2017.

However, if there’s one thing I hate it’s invoicing. It is the bane of my life and, from speaking to other freelancers, I know I’m not alone here. It’s one of those necessary evils – after all, you can’t get paid if you don’t send an invoice. But the process of invoicing can be hugely time consuming. Time which you often don’t have if you’re focusing on growing your business. And that’s before we get to the soul crushing, stress inducing rigmarole of chasing late payments. It can be an exhausting and emotionally gruelling process which frequently distracts you from the important things, like pitching for work, doing the work and deciding which cafe you’re going to be working in has the best cake.

Which is where Albert comes in. Albert is a free invoicing app which has been developed for freelancers by freelancers. I’ve been using Albert for a few weeks now and I’ve been really impressed by how easy it is to use. It’s simple yet powerful, including all the functionality you need to look professional while providing you with easy access to your businesses finances. Best of all, it can all be done through your phone which is perfect if – like me – your phone is your most vital piece of business paraphernalia.

One of my favourite features is the functionality to send out branded Cattington invoices while on the go and preview them before they’re sent over to the client. As someone who is never in the same place (or even the same city) for very long and always trying to juggle 101 tasks at once, this is a lifesaver for me. The same applies to their status timeline which provides you with the flexibility to change dates and backdate invoices. Best of all, it allows you to include payment terms, such as payment due dates which is something which every freelancer should include in their invoices (if you don’t know what these are – and what your rights are regarding late payments and charging interest – this is a super useful guide) as well as a status timeline showing you when – and if – your invoice has been read by the client. Once you’ve invoiced the client, Albert also allows you to download everything into a handy .CSV spreadsheet which you can email to yourself, your accountant or even your Dad.

I could go on at great length about Albert, but I’d suggest that you do your own legwork, take a look at their website and read  some of their 5* reviews on the app store. It’s definitely one of the most intuitive freelance invoicing apps I’ve used and I feel like I’ve used practically all of them. Best of all, it’s totally free meaning that you don’t have to spend stupid amounts of money on getting your business’s finances into shape.

Girlboss

Obligatory picture of me looking all professional, like. Lipstick is Charlotte Tilbury’s K.I.S.S.I.N.G in ‘Velvet Underground’.

Loathe as I am to use the term #girlboss (particularly with the whole ‘being a 34 year old woman’ thing), I also don’t think that there’s anything cute in pretending that you’re too scatterbrained and creative to focus on your finances. Even if you think it’s boring, these are the things which will help your business – and yourself – thrive. Working for yourself can be hard, lonely and exhausting at times and anything which makes the process that little bit easier is always a win in my book. Apps like Albert help me stop fretting about money and start focusing on the things I’m good at. Now, if you excuse me, I have to get back to work…

Albert is currently available for iPhone and can be downloaded via the app store. This is a sponsored post, but all of my opinions are my own and 100% honest.

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Beauty, Beauty Bakerie, fashion, Jewellery, jumpers, lipstick, Marks and Spencer, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, Primark, skirts, Toolally Jewellery

Pink to make the girls wink

It’s been a while.

For various reasons, this blog has been on hiatus over the past few weeks. I didn’t have the energy or compulsion to write about what I was wearing when everything around me felt like it was on fire. During this time, my Dad left hospital, got pneumonia, had to go back into hospital but is now home and back to WhatsApping me bad jokes on the regular. I started my own business, won some work and celebrated by dying my fringe pink. I ate a lot of cheese. I met some great cats. Life continued.

But I miss blogging. When you spend your whole day working with words, sometime it’s nice to just write for yourself. And it’s not like I’ve stopped wearing clothes after all.

pink-to-make-the-girls-wink

JUMPER: Marks & Spencer

PLEATED SKIRT: Marks & Spencer (old, but this is similar)

LEATHER JACKET: ASOS Curve

SHOES: Primark (old)

HANDBAG: Osprey London (old)

EARRINGS: Toolally (old – but these are exceptionally similar)

I’ve never really been one for convention and – despite his love of all things blue – I’d like to think that Yves Klein would have appreciated the coordinating ensemble I wore to go and view an exhibition of his work at Tate Liverpool last week. Not least because of this truly awesome Marks and Spencer jumper. It’s so delightfully femme – the colour of blushed cheeks on a cold day, super soft (pulling it on makes me feel like I’m wearing a hug) and, best of all, has some incredibly silly sleeves.

puffy-sleeves

An old selfie, but I just really wanted to show you how good those sleeves are.

Despite not really being one for frills and flounces, I was drawn to these sleeves like a moth to a puffy flame. They are ridiculous. They get into everything and they’re a bugger to wear with my leather jacket. Yet, they’re the type of frivolous design quirk that makes me brim with joy. To be honest, it’s nice to be able to see something that’s fun for people of most shapes and sizes and which doesn’t involve the dreaded ‘cold shoulders’ (probably my least favourite plus sized trend of all time.)

pink-to-make-the-boys-wink

I found these awesome earrings from Toolally on sale at my local branch of John Lewis and immediately snapped them up. As a lover of the 1960s – and gigantic earrings – I adore all of Toolally’s stuff. These just happen to go perfectly with my hair which is remarkably handy. Add a touch of Beauty Bakerie’s ‘Take me for Pomegranate’ and you’ve got a look which is guaranteed to make both the girls – and the boys – wink.

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Animal print, Autumn, Beauty bloggers, coats, Jewellery, lipstick, MAC, Make Up, Make Up Revolution, Marks and Spencer, metallics, Monki, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, skirts, Topshop, wiwt, Work outfit, Work wear

Luxury Witch

Recently, I attended a job interview where I found myself explaining the concept of a ‘Luxury Witch’ to a rather bemused interview panel. ‘Imagine a really well dressed Goth who takes Ubers everywhere,’ I exclaimed before informing them that crushed velvet and pleated skirts were really in this season. They’re yet to let me know if I’ve been offered the job.

Whatever happens with my employment prospects, I’m deeply happy to have introduced the concept of ‘Luxury Witch’ to a wider audience. And – if this term ever appears in the Oxford English Dictionary – you’d probably find a picture of this outfit underneath it.

luxury-witch-leopard-print-coat

COAT: Marks and Spencer

ROLL NECK: Marks and Spencer

PLEATED SKIRT: Marks and Spencer

BELT: Vintage

BOOTS: Topshop

EARRINGS: Monki

roll-neck

My love of Marks and Spencer’s clothing runs deep – I will go to my grave arguing that they make the comfiest underwear on the market – and they are really knocking it out of the park this season. Their stuff is chic, reasonably priced and doesn’t fall apart after a few rounds in the washing machine (handy when you spill as much down yourself as I do). They do great everyday basics and on trend pieces like this gloriously witchy metallic midi skirt and leopard print coat, both of which look far more luxurious than their price tags would lead you to believe. Plus, M&S remains the only shop I can pop into during my lunch hour where I can purchase moisturiser, a skirt and a sandwich at the same time. What a time to be alive.

luxury-witch

In the spirit of Halloween, I opted to experiment with my eye make-up and try out a more dramatic look. I used Make Up Revolution’s ‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ palette (an absolute bargain at £9.99) to recreate this gorgeous rose gold smokey eye look. I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to eyeshadow, but this is such a lovely (and easy!) tutorial to follow. While it’s not quite as elegant as Nancy’s,  I’m super pleased about how well it turned out.

I completed the look with MAC’s ‘Roxo‘, a limited edition blood red lipstick. While this particular shade is sold out on their website, I’m fairly sure that you could find lots of lovely dupes without searching too hard.

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and other stories, Autumn, Beauty, Beauty bloggers, fashion, jumpers, lipstick, Make Up, Marks and Spencer, MDMFlow, personal style, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, Primark, psbloggers

Autumn Leaves

After a year which could charitably be deemed to be ‘a bit difficult’, I am freaking overjoyed that Autumn is finally here. It’s always been my favourite season, mostly because it feels like a new beginning, that bigger and better things – crisp cold days! Big coats! Opaque tights! Excuses to make soup! My birthday!  – are just around the corner. It also means that I can legitimately purchase all the jumpers I’ve been swooning over for the past few weeks.

autumn-leaves-full-body-selfie-1

JUMPER: Marks & Spencer

JEANS: Marks & Spencer

SHOES: Primark

NECKLACE: Oliver Bonas (old)

EARRINGS: And Other Stories (old)

autumn-leaves-full-body-selfie-2

The theme for Autumn 2016 on the high street appears to be ‘Barb from Stranger Things chic’ which is an aesthetic that I can totally get on board with. The ultra femme side of me loves frills and flounces in all the right places, even more so if they come in delicious shades of mustard, like this Marks and Spencer jumper. Everything about this is perfect, from the lovely ribbed details to the fact that it’s just the right length to wear with jeans. Too short jumpers are a big bugbear of mine, as there’s nothing worse than leaving the house feeling your look, only to spend your afternoon constantly tugging your top down.

I paired this with my trusty skinny jeans (MARKS AND SPENCER, NEVER STOP MAKING THESE) and a pair of gold block heels from Primark, which – surprisingly – happen to be the comfiest pair of heels that I have worn in a long time. So much so in fact, that I recently managed to spend a whole weekend in them while lugging a wheelie suitcase around North London.

autumn-selfie

My new favourite lipstick at the moment is Supreme from MDMFlow, a rich warm reddish pink which is perfect for the season. I’ve been raving about MDMFlow’s make up for a while now, as it’s everything I love in a beauty brand. It offers affordable products in bright bold colours, all created by a bad ass woman of colour. I am in total awe of Florence Adepoju, the woman behind the brand and I totally recommend reading this brilliant Buzzfeed piece about her. If you’re thinking about tinkering with your look this Autumn, their products are a great place to start.

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Bbloggers, Beauty bloggers, Charlotte Tilbury, lipstick, Make Up, Make Up Revolution

In the Pink

I am an absolute lipstick fiend. I tend to carry (at least) ten in my handbag at any time and that’s before we count the fifty or so I have in my makeup organiser at home. To quote Charlotte Tilbury, they are happiness in a tube. I pride myself on having a different lipstick for every mood, and I never feel entirely put together until I put some on.

At the moment, I’m loving pinks, so I thought I’d showcase two I’ve bought recently – one for a daytime ‘work friendly’ look and one which is a bit more daring.

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips

My love for Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup has been well documented here over the past few years. All of her products are absolutely gorgeous, great on super sensitive skin and look so luxe. Pulling out a tube of her lipstick on the train to work always makes me feel that little bit more glamorous, like Jane Russell in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ if she was trying to put on her lippy on the 7.25am to Manchester Piccadilly.

Secret Salma

I visited her makeup concession at John Lewis in Liverpool last Saturday with a view to picking up a tube of mascara. I ended up leaving with mascara, lipstick, a bag full of samples and a pretty stunning day look. I’m posting this here for posterity, because I will probably never look this good in a post-hangover-post-yoga-class fug ever again.

Here, I’m wearing her ‘Hot Lips’ lipstick in ‘Secret Salma.’ It’s a beautiful shade of warm  rosy pink which was developed for someone with darker colouring than me, but really brings out the blue in my eyes. While it’s very matte, it feels like cashmere on my lips and has real lasting power. I’ve found that it can withstand my morning breakfast routine of a bagel and a coffee, which is impressive work. At £23, it’s not the cheapest, but I’d definitely recommend picking one of these up if you’re feeling flush and in need of a treat.

Make Up Revolution

On the more budget end of the scale, we have Make Up Revolution’s Salvation Lip Lacquer in ‘Rebel,’ aka ‘the shade of fuchsia I didn’t know I needed until I saw it.’ Make Up Revolution is one of the best budget beauty brands out there. Their stuff is incredible considering how little it costs.  Their lip lacquers appear to be an updated version of the lip velvets that are a great dupe of Lime Crime and Lip Tar’s products. While I would have liked slightly more staying power from their lip velvet (I found that using a lip liner on top gave it slightly more staying power), it went on pretty easily, was remarkably pigmented and didn’t make my lips dry out. Plus, it was £3 which is a ridiculous price for something so good.

You can find Make Up Revolution’s products in most branches of Superdrug and I totally recommend picking a few of these up if you feel like experimenting with bold colours.

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ASOS Curve, L'Oreal, lipstick, Monki, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, silver, Topshop

Sparkle Sparkle

I told myself that I wasn’t going to post any more poorly taken outfit selfie pics here in 2016 (particularly ones which feature my manky feet). But hey, New Year’s Resolutions are made to broken. I wanted to show off this gorgeous silver Monki kimono as it’s absolutely wonderful and is bound to fit a whole heap of chub beauties. I’ve worn it a handful of times since buying it a week ago, and each time I’ve had loads of compliments.

Monki changing room selfie

KIMONO: Monki

DRESS: ASOS Curve

BELT: Little Mistress (old)

I’m wearing a large here, mostly because I have giganto-boobs and wanted something which would adequately cover them. I’m a size 20 and am pretty sure that a large would fit most people up to a size 24. However, I’ve also found Monki’s medium sized items to be quite generous, so if you’re close to one of their stores, it’s definitely worth popping in and trying this on. If silver’s not your thing, this also comes in gold. Sparkle Sparkle indeed.

Smug face

The only niggle I have with this item (and it’s a very minor one) is that it snags quite easily. I wore it out recently and accidentally tore a small hole in one of the sleeves when I caught it on a door handle. It’s something which will easily be fixed with a needle and thread, but it’s something to bear in mind if (like me) you can be a bit heavy handed with your clothes.

Monki face

I’ve been pairing this outfit with these gorgeous Topshop earrings and L’Oreal’s Colour Riche lipstick in Cassis Passion. These lipsticks are a bit of an underrated gem -great colours with real staying power. I own five of them and intend to buy many more.

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Charlotte Tilbury, Collectif, lipstick, Outfit post, outfits, pin-up girl, psbloggers, retro, Sleek, Tatty Devine, vintage, wiwt

Hello Sailor!

My brother turned 30 this week, a fact which I am trying to ignore as it makes me feel incredibly old. It doesn’t feel like that much time has passed since we were kids and hitting each other over the head with plates because we’d watched too much Reeves and Mortimer.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, my family decided to visit our favourite cheap Lebanese restaurant and eat a metric ton of hummus. What better reason to wear a slightly-too-big-for-me swing skirt emblazoned with lobsters and star fish?

Full body selfie 1 Full body selfie 2

Bolero cardigan: Collectif

Top: Collectif

Swing skirt: Collectif

Head scarf: Vintage

Earrings: Topshop

Necklace: Tatty Devine

Shoes: Primark

Rock lobster

                                                         Rock lobster

I bought this Collectif skirt in their huge sale over the summer, and I simply adore it. It’s just so swishy and fun, plus it contains satisfyingly deep pockets. You can shove everything from lipsticks to corkscrews to hip flasks in there and they’ll barely make a dent. Collectif’s sizing can be a bit odd, so I sized up. While it turns out that I probably didn’t need to (which is a good guide for any swing skirts I intend to buy from them in the future), it does mean that this skirt is satisyingly roomy, meaning that you can eat a shed load of food while wearing it without feeling as though your stomach is going to erupt from acid reflux.

Most of all, I love this outfit because it’s so me. It’s comfy and makes me feel as cute as a button. I do wish more plus sized retailers would make swing skirts like this one. They’re just so great to wear and suit pretty much everyone.

1975 Red

I decided to break out my new Charlotte Tilbury 1975 Red for the occasion. It’s such a great lipstick – a coral red which comes in some of the most beautiful packaging I’ve seen. However, I feel that it makes me look a bit washed out. While I love it, it’s a shade which may have suited me better when I had red hair.

Russian Revolution

Praise be then to Sleek’s Russian Roulette. I raved about this budget lipstick in my last post, but seriously – this stuff is the bees knees. A combination of that and some seriously good Autumnal lighting led to me taking my best selfie in months (despite me being in the throes of a cracking hangover.) When a lippy can do that and only costs £4.99, it’s got to have some magical properties that aren’t listed on the label.

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