Squirrelled Away

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sohomode dress

 Dress: Sohomode

Tights: Big W

Shoes: Miz Mooz

Happy Easter, everyone. I hope you’re all enjoying your weekends, long or otherwise, and you’ve been able to spend it with those you love, and/or plenty of chocolate.

I’m three days into a four day weekend myself (yay!) but have unfortunately spent two of them incapacitated with a migraine (boo!). They’re usually brought on by stress, so instead of attending to my Great Big List of Things To Do I prescribed myself a few days of Lilli-time and spent a lovely day today catching up with friends for leisurely meals and a movie.

This year (I can’t believe we’re already knocking at May’s door) is passing at terrifying speed and it just occurred to me that I have a birthday coming up in less than a month. It’s hard not to feel apprehensive about it; the last few have been anticlimactic for various reasons, and this one will obviously be particularly poignant. I’m not anywhere close to where I thought I’d be at this time in my life. In fact I’m further away than I’ve ever been from achieving my personal life goals, and it’s hard not to feel frightened that they’ll remain out of my reach forever.

Still, if The Year of Sheer Awfulness taught me anything, it’s that a LOT can change in a few short months, and I’m still hopeful that the next path I choose to take will finally be the one that leads me towards the future that I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember.

Meanwhile, this year’s birthday couldn’t possibly be as bad as the last one, when (in keeping with the spirit of the year) I gave myself a spectacular black eye. I feel like I’m on solid ground for the first time in a long while. My sister is well, my family is strong. I have my incredible friends around me, a home that I love, and a job that I’m valued in. Plus I just got voted into the Kidspot Voices of 2014, so things are looking up.

And look! I’m showing my knees! Sort of. In tights. It still counts.

This cute little shift dress was a gift from the most wonderful Louise at Sohomode (whose generosity and warm welcomes were always a highlight of my visits to NYC). It’s a much more versatile and modern cut that her traditional 50’s-style tea-dresses, but still has all the elements that I love about her range: Carefully curated vintage cotton fabrics, beautiful finishing, and pockets (pockets!).

I love it with tights and boots in winter. It can be layered over skinny jeans or under a long cardigan for added warmth as the days turn cooler. In summer it’s light enough to wear with cropped leggings, or (if you’re less knee-shy than I) bare-legged.

She picked this one out especially for me, on account of the little squirrel mascot who sits on my hip.

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Around my neck I’m wearing a necklace that my mum and I spotted a few months ago when we were trawling through a craft market together. It caught my eye, and the jeweller promised me was the “key to my future happiness”.

Whilst I don’t believe that happiness can come from external forces, I’m happy to wear a symbol that reminds me that I alone can unlock it in my heart.

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28 thoughts on “Squirrelled Away

  1. I totally love this dress! The secret squirrel made it absolutely perfect. What a fantastic piece!

    And I know the past year has been awful – it’s been more than 1 person should be asked to bear – so I’m sending all my good thoughts & wishes for Wonderful Things to happen. So happy to hear yr sister is doing well, and I must admit I send happy, positive thoughts your way as often as I can. Big hugs to you, brave & beautiful woman!

  2. I had a truly terrible year once so I remember the fear that I’d never be where I wanted. But things eventually turned around and it all fell in to place, I hope the same happens for you.

  3. This is my favourite outfit of yours in a long time, you look fantastic! Wish I could rock ankle boots as well as you. Birthdays can be hard, especially when you feel like you’re so far away from where you want to be. But I admire your strength and your resolve and your positivity so much and I know you’re going to be rewarded for it soon x

  4. Oh this is gorgeous!!! So so so lovely- adore the colors and your squirrel protector!
    I love my bday…I see it as a good excuse for celebrating and getting together with friends and family. It’s tough when you’ve had the year from hell, and worried about the future. Sigh. But. Spending time with good people who love you is a good thing xxx

    • Thanks Shell. I’m so aware of lucky I am to have such a wonderful network of friends and family around me. I couldn’t imagine going through these kinds of challenges without my “people” – I shouldn’t complain, really. It’s just a bit of a sad and scary time.

  5. Lovely, lovely, lovely! Everything – the dress, the squirrel, the butterflies (I should be careful not to let my daughter see it! Butterflies is her today’s must :)) and the knees 🙂 I hope you’ve had some proper and good Easter time.

    • Thanks Alena – I’ve had such a lovely long break, have managed to catch up on my reading and writing, and spent some time with Suki and made some new friends. It’s been good.

  6. I had a terrible year once and ended up homeless, a cheated on single mum and penniless. Exactly one year later I had a new baby, an adoring boyfriend and the nicest place I had ever rented. It just happened crazy fast. That was seven years ago and we’re now married, living in a big house we own and the biggest problems we face is digging up the patio to fix a leaking pipe.

    Hang in there. Your own Mr Completely-clueless-about-women-but-tries-really-hard-to-make-you-happy could be just around the corner.

  7. SQUIRREL!!!!!!

    I love it 🙂 I understand what you mean about anti-climactic ones, I don’t have particularly good luck with them myself & in fact I feel so blah about it this year that I’m not doing anything about it (it is very soon).

    Take care of yourself & be kind to yourself lovely Lilli 🙂

  8. This dress is a great shape and looks very cute. I particularly like the fabric of the sleeves and the way it simultaneously matches and contrasts with the body. And here’s to this being a year that unlocks lasting happiness for you and all your readers!

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