I have recently embarked on a bit of a creative/ business venture with one of my oldest and bestest friends Louise ( we are literally family) and I have to say I am loving it!

Louise is the founder and mastermind behind Vivanails. Viva nails is a professional and creative nail service born from a passion of nail art. They provide a range of services from mobile nail artistry to custom press on’s for any occasion. Although I may be bias, Louise honestly produces some of the best hand designs I have ever come across. I have frequently been stopped by people in the street, marvelling at my nails and wondering where I got them done when wearing one of her designs. She will literally take your nails from bla to hurrah! If you don’t believe me, you can check out her skills for yourself here

Louise had the idea of designing nails to compliment outfits for some time now. Like many of us it’s an idea that she sat on for some time. This is where I come in! Having advised friends with where they can source their outfits for years as well as inspire them on how to put items together, I have been encouraged to persue the path of stylist more times than I can remember and it is most definitely my dream job.

After a random conversation, Louise and I came up with the idea of working on Fashion Nail Fridays together. It just made sense. Now we know why Louise didn’t take the idea forward earlier!

What is Fashion Nail Fridays?

Fashion nail Fridays is born from a concept of providing a new and unique styling solution. We team fresh “on trend” nails designed exclusively by Vivanails(Louise) with simple but effective outfits curated by stylist CM a la mode (Me). Our dream is to leave you inspired with outfits which compliment your nails seamlessly!

Why its great collaborating with someone I know

Although Fashion Nail Fridays is very much in it’s infancy, we have big plans for it coupled with bags of passion. Because we have known each other for so long, it has really been easy to merge our skills in order to take this venture forward and quite simply we just get each other.

All of us have the power to unlock so much potential. Whilst it is important to make time for your individual goals, there is a lot to be gained from combining your skills with someone elses to further elevate your success.

Just think the ideal person for you to collaborate with could be right underneath your nose! I encourage you right now to give that some thought. Please do share with me what you come up with.

Outfit details

Me

Yellow dress is from topshop. Buy it here

Black and white striped bag from zara. Buy it here

Multi print dress from Zara. Buy it here

Striped slides. No longer available. Buy a similar pair here

Louise

Orange sundress from boohoo but no longer available. Purchase a similar style here

Love as always

Shanna

Hello friends.

It’s been a while. I hope this post finds you well. Can you believe the first quarter of the year is finito?

The reason for my absence in blogging is that I certainly don’t feel as if I have had a great start to the year. Perhaps with all the highs of 2017 (my wedding and several other weddings, starting my blog and travelling well) it was inevitable.

I mentioned to my aunt the other day that i think I may well be having a quarter life crisis. Since I started promoting this post,i’ve been told by several people that ive passed the quarter mark in life. Third life crisis just doesn’t have the same ring! In any case the point is as I approach the awkward and unsexy age of 33, I find myself lost and panicky about several areas of my life.

First off is my career. Having recently run into some difficulty and issues at work, I have had to take a step back and really think about what I want to do with my career. One thing I decided a long time ago is that i am no longer interested in my sector. Having done it for 10 years this is an alarming thought! What do i do now? Luckily for me I have taken steps over the last couple years to gain a set of more generic skills which should allow me to jump from my current sector. I am however facing a large pay slash if i start in a more entry level role in order to work my back up.This has left me extremely conflicted. Success for me has always been linked to how much money i am making. I am sure i am not the only one who thinks this way seeing as this is how society conditions us to feel.What’s more with everyone appearing to be “living their best life” on social media, the pressure to keep up with the Jones’ is more ryfe than ever before. So of course I am feeling incredibly conflicted. I can’t spend the rest of my life doing something that i no longer enjoy but this doesn’t mean that i am not suitably miffed at the prospect of having to bring home less bacon which will result in an adjustment to the lifestyle I have become accustomed to. This unsurprisingly is causing me a great deal of stress. Having discussed this with my cousin just yesterday she said to me that “sometimes you have to change lanes to get back on the right track”. I think she is absolutely right and i’m just going to have to walk by faith on this one.

With all this time I’ve spent thinking about my career, I have also come to the conclusion like many of you, I’m sure that i have no desire to work 9-5 for the next 40 years or so only to stop in time to struggle along for the back end of my life on my pension. It’s definitely time I started “adulting” with my finances. I have been doing a great deal of research on investments, budgeting and side hustles, all of which can help us to secure long term wealth. The amount of information and resource on this this out there is actually astounding.This of course is a whole other topic so perhaps i can share with you my findings at a later date.

Another area of life I am most certainly struggling with is settling down and being a proper grown up. Having recently got married, I am of course now expected by many to produce offspring. Having been told for many years that ” I dont want to leave it too long” I can literally hear the clock ticking constantly in my ear. Also rather unhelpfully i’ve watched a couple of programmes recently which touched on the rapid decline in the number of eggs we produce in our 30s. YIKES! I really do want to have children of my own, I always have. The thought of having children when my career is not where it’s meant to be however is quite frankly terrifying as we all know 9 times out of 10 having children slows down our career progression. FACTS. Plus I’m now facing the prospect of possibly starting a new job and not qualifying for maternity pay if i don’t wait out the entitlement period. More stress. In addition to all this, as much as I do dream of being a mum one day, I’m still not feeling completely ready to hang up my party shoes. I see many of my friends slowing down and getting into family life while I’m trying to run as far away from the cosy slippers, early nights and bed time stories as i can. More conflict and more stress!

Finally and perhaps more trivally what an earth do I wear at the age of 33? I genuinely feel this is an awkward phase of life fashion wise. With many of the shops i habitually purchase my clothes from being aimed at “20 somethings” I’m left wondering where should I be shopping at 30 something. Add in my 5ft10 frame, I am facing yet more turmoil although arguably not as serious as the aforementioned topics.

Anyway that’s where i am at folks. Although i have written this in a comical tone, i am not feeling so great at the moment. The walls literally feel as if they are closing in around me. I’m sure some of you can relate to at least one of the pointers I’ve raised. Life is certainly very testing. I wish i knew as a kid that things would get waaaay harder, the more that time goes on. Probably wouldn’t have been in any hurry to grow up. One thing I have learnt however is that pain and discomfort is always temporary. With that being said, I will leave you with a quote which i pinched from my godbrother’s Instagram story which really resonated with me:

My jeans are from New look and are now on sale. You can get them here

All pictures taken by my favourite creative Leeanne Simpson. You can check her out here here

As always thanks for reading and it’s always great to hear your thoughts. See you next time

Shanna x

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Now I have to be honest, I have always thought the combination of pink and red was horrid, a fashion faux pas, just plain yuck. It’s kind of like navy and black, you just don’t do it, or do you..

I have been seeing the pink and red colour combo everywhere and somewhere down the line, I’ve clearly been converted.

I teamed this oh so cosy dress from Asos Tall with this pastel pink coat also from Asos. For good measure I added some red sports socks from H&M and my trusty converses. This was a bit of a controversial look for me but I have to say I loved it. I wore this outfit for a fun day out at Stylistlive at Kensington Olympia. Anyone who knows me well knows that the free weekly Stylist magazine is literally the highlight of my week so I was thrilled to be at this event where they bring the magazine to life!

Thanks for stopping by

Shanna xxx

Photography by Abisola Abogunrin

Every Wardrobe needs that staple trouser. A style you don’t want to sleep on this season is  the paperbag waist. Paperbag trousers are high waisted with additional material at the waist which can usually be cinched in. I am quite tall at 5ft 10 and have an inverted triangle body shape, yet they work really well on my frame. They are such a versatile piece and can flatter a range of body shapes.

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