notlamb notlamb

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Catherine Summers 🇬🇧  AKA Not Dressed As Lamb, 40+ style blogger • UK Blog Awards Fashion Winner 2017 & 2018 • Anti “age appropriateness” #iwillwearwhatilike • 100% ORGANIC

AD | And now for something a little bit different: Video! Look, I’m talking... I’m not just a pretty face after all!! 😜 (Whatever you do, please take that with a big dollop of sarcasm.) This is part of a video I’ve made in conjunction with Direct Line for Business and I’m discussing my tips for how brands can work effectively with influencers (and whether working with us is even right for them). It’s ESPECIALLY aimed towards small brands and SMEs, so do please tag someone in the comments if they have their own small business or are an indie retailer. I say “I’ve made” the video with them - the fantastic Direct Line team did all the hard work filming and editing, I just provided the house (it’s my own I’m sitting in!), the outfits and the location, which happens to be the lovely Devon town where I live 🏡

Turns out Direct Line for Business is VERY committed towards SMEs, and I love the fact that they want to help them navigate the (still) new and exciting world that is brand/influencer collaborations. And if you - or someone you know - has a small business and they’ve got a burning question about working with influencers or bloggers, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments, I’d be happy to help! In my stories you’ll find a swipe up link for the full article, where there’s loads of juicy tips and tricks for getting the best out of us. Despite what the media want you to believe we’re not ALL bad - my tips will help you get the BEST people to help you promote your business and navigate the foggy world of influencing (is that a word? I still say blogosphere). And if you get it right (by following my tips of course, cough cough) then you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it ages ago…!

Disclosure: Paid advertisement with Direct Line for Business. And I have to declare that I had a REALLY great time shooting this with a lovely bunch of people. So sue me 😉

#sme #smallbusinessesmatter #indiebrands #directline #directlineforbusiness #bloggerlifestyle #lifestyleblogging #honiton #devonlife #influencercollaboration #bloggercollaboration

“Why the mixed patterns from five years ago?” I hear you ask. Well, it may be tenuous but there IS a link: 2014 was the year I started charging brands for content. I’m now very clued up about when (and what) I should charge brands, but it seems many bloggers are mixed up when it comes to the icky matter of money. It upsets me that SO many talented, hardworking creatives are bending over backwards for brands, doing everything on a huge long list for free - or they’re seriously undercharging. If a brand has approached you to work for them, you’re already what they’re looking for - no hard sell required...!

You have every right to charge a fee for (and this is the key word) *guaranteed* coverage, just as you have every right to do what you like with a gifted item that THEY decided to give you. But still I keep hearing things like...
“I don’t have high enough stats to charge”
“I haven’t been blogging long enough”
“I didn’t charge very much, they said they had no budget”
“I’m too embarrassed to ask for money” 🙈😤😡

My analogy is this: If a plumber did work for you, would you pay them with a cup of tea and say, “Thank you - you can even keep the tea”? No, because it’s an insult to their experience, hard work and determination to do a good job. You’d pay the plumber in CASH - the tea was just an essential for them to do the job well.

The simple way to approach gifted items is this: Anything given to you is yours to do with as you wish. If they start listing what you “have” to do in return, it’s time to start charging. ANY deliverables or timescales (or even just an insistence on a feature) means you should charge. And if you’re unsure what to charge, PLEASE ask someone! Some of us WILL help you out, and if we all start helping each other and stop the undercharging then the unscrupulous brands will stop taking advantage of the greener ones among us - it benefits us ALL in the long run. Have you been asked for a quote and are now stuck? DM me! I’m happy to help out. All the good bloggers out there will help you as well.

Disclosure: Party political broadcast by the Fair Wages for Bloggers Party 💰💪

#fashionover40 #over40style #iwillwearwhatilike

AD | I am The World’s Greatest Orange Lover, and what do oranges have loads of? Vitamin C! It’s no secret that orange ANYTHING is my favourite. 🍊 If I could apply one orange a day to my skin then I would because skin LOVES Vitamin C: it’s kind enough to lavish skin with a pro-ageing antioxidant that improves the appearance of skin damage (my pesky sun-worshipping 20-something years should be ashamed of themselves). But before I ended up with a sticky orange-juiced face, @avon_uk came to my rescue and created their ANEW Vitamin C Radiance Maximising Serum. I love orange, I love trying new skincare products and I LOVE a serum. This one launches today, and it’s got an impressive concentration of 10% Vitamin C, woo-hoo! I’ve been lucky enough to have been using it for a few weeks - I know you’ll want to know what it’s like, but FIRST CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE SMELL??! #drool 🤤

If nothing else, you’re going to want to smother this over your WHOLE BODY because it smells... like Audrey Hepburn. It smells like afternoon tea at the Ritz. It smells like French elegance. In other words, you’re going to feel like you’re putting a seriously expensive liquid gorgeousness on your face but of course it’s by AVON so indubitably reasonable at only £14! 2-3 drops worked upwards into your skin after cleansing and before moisturising (I treat mine in the evening but morning’s good, ask your epidermis) and you’ll be left with a smooth, Vitamin C-infused complexion that can't WAIT till its next treatment of nourishing nectar. I can’t promise Benjamin Button status after a few weeks, but healthy-looking, smooth skin is a good compromise, no?

GIVEAWAY: Win a set of the Vitamin C collection! Simply tag one other person, follow @avon_uk and me - that’s it. T&Cs: Closes 24 May at 11:59pm UK time. UK residents only. One winner will be picked at random, contacted by DM & must respond within 48 hrs or another winner will be chosen. This giveaway isn't sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram

Disclosure: Avon paid partnership 🧡

#ExclusivelyAtAvon #avonbyme #skincarenatural #vitamincserum #healthyskincare #healthyskincareproducts #redheadsdoitbetter

I would like to thank the Irish for the wondrous colour combination that is the Irish flag: orange, white and green is nothing short of O-M-G DELICIOUS. Though my formal thanks need to go to my pile of laundry for the actual inspiration for this outfit: clean, dry clothes brought in off the line and gently placed (er, dumped, rather) on the armchair. I looked down... emerald green trousers next to tangerine sweater next to white towels jumped out and declared, WEAR ME.

And if you want even more highbrow fashion like THAT, you know where to come, eh?!!!! 😏

Disclosure: clothes all worn and provided by me. I was gifted the jacket about five years ago, but you’re probably not interested when it was that long ago, are you...? Though over on the blog I’ve shown four other ways I’ve worn it over the years and linked to a close alternative. MUCH more interesting.
#midsize #midsizestyle #midsizefashion #midsizeselection #iwillwearwhatilike #over40fashion #modestfashionblogger #modestfashionista #dressfun #redheadlove #over30style #fashionover40 #fortyandfabulous #redhaircolor #redhairlove #gingersdoitbetter

Wearing blue but not feeling blue... quite the opposite, in fact: I’ve been contemplating the month of May and how it’s my favourite month. WHO ELSE is with me?! 🙋🏼‍♀️ (It’s THE BEST.) Each day gets longer from one to the next, each day (in theory) gets warmer from one to the next, and there’s a goddamn riot of birds singing, flowers blooming and leaves growing. (Autumn’s got NOTHING on all of that.) So today I chose a blue sweater to echo the sky, pearl hair clips in celebration of the clouds and fiery red hair for the sun 💙🌤

Actually that’s all a load of pretentious Instagram CODSWALLOP... My hair is 50% dry hairspray, clips kept it from annoying my face and the sweater was the nearest one that was clean (Sunday laundry and all that). Real life people, real life. 😏

Disclosure: nothing to declare. Straight through customs.

#iwillwearwhatilike #redheadlove #over30style #fashionover40 #fortyandfabulous #frecklesmakeup #girlswithfreckles #frecklesonfleek #frecklesfordays #redhaircolor #redhairlove #gingersdoitbetter #over40beauty #makeupover40

If we don’t see some sun and get some warmth soon then this dress (as seen here last year) WILL FEEL UNLOVED. It will sit and weep at the back of my wardrobe. I’m so looking forward to giving this flashy floral frock a flurry of fuzzy feelings that only summer can bring. Aaaaaand with THAT amazing alliteration (god, I’m exhausted!) I’ve decided I’ll probably wear it to London next week when I’m up there on a jolly. What jolly, I hear you cry: well, prepare to destroy yourself with envy because I shall be going to see the Dior exhibition at the V&A. I’m buying membership especially to jump queues ... THAT’S how much my devotion to fashion runs through my veins!! (It doesn’t really at all. But it’s more fun if you think it does, makes me more mysterious than I actually am 😜)

Disclosure: dress bought by me with my own pennies 👛 . I even dressed myself without a brand telling me to do so 💪🏻

#over40fashion #modestfashionblogger #modestfashionista #dressfun #midsizestyle #over30fashion #40plusfashion #fashionover30 #iwillwearwhatilike #redheadlove #over30style #fashionover40 #fortyandfabulous #midlifestyletips #midlifefashion #fabulousflorals

AD | What do you think is the no.1 thing that irks older women about clothes aimed at our age group?! 🤨 My guess is seeing them modelled on tiny 20 year olds. THIS is why I love (and yes! shop at independently!) @jdwfashion. They use a gorgeous, diverse range of women (not just professional models) in their advertising campaigns AND on their website, and their sizes come in 10-32. Basically, JD Williams is a breath of positive message-spreading fresh air in the (often so youth-orientated) fashion industry - in their world life does NOT stop at 40... in fact, it can only get better, hurrah! And on top of that they come up with pieces that make my colour-loving heart sing with joy: this orange floral batwing top! The berry cropped trousers! The tangerine crossover mules! On their own they’re a deliciously delectable delight 😋, but put them all together with some mustard yellow and I’ve got an explosion 💥 of colourful happiness.

If you skip on over to the blog (see my stories for a direct link) you can read more about it all, like how the trousers are stretchy and skimming WITHOUT an elasticated waistband! Now that’s pure magic 🐇🎩🃏

Disclosure: Top, trousers and heels gifted by JD Williams. Paid partnership with a brand which, believe it or not, I’ve been working with and buying from for ages and genuinely like - never mind the collaboration. It IS possible to have both...!

#JDWLife #stylehasnoage #perfectfit #jdwilliams #fortyandfabulous #iwillwearwhatilike #midsizestyle #dressfun #over30fashion #fashionover30 #over30style #overforty #fashionover40 #over40andfabulous #styleover40 #over40fashion #modestfashionblogger #modestfashionista

AD | You KNOW what these are, don’t you? Can’t you tell?! 🤔 Why, happy toes of course! 🦶😁 What you can’t see is that the happy toes are joined by happy heels, and the happy heels are joined by happy arches… In other words, my feet are wearing some right comfy (and very pretty) sandals. So comfy, in fact, that they were worn for a bit of a longish walk on their first ever wear, and did they rub? No, of COURSE they didn’t, because these are from @lotusshoes1759 👡, AKA The Shoes That Never Rub! I’ve worn Lotus shoes, sandals, boots and heels for years and the one thing they all have in common is SUPREME comfort. 👏🏻👏🏻

But wait, what’s that sound? I can hear something… It’s coming from somewhere far away… Oh my goodness it’s your feet, they’re literally crying out for some comfy sandals this summer! Poor little tootsies - go and put them out of their misery, they can’t bear the thought of standing around at yet ANOTHER long wedding or summer event in painful heels when they could be treated to some of Lotus’s SS19 summer beauties.
SWIPE LEFT to see how happy they are with a floral jumpsuit! Go love your feet! 👡🦶💃🏻

Disclosure: Sandals gifted by Lotus. Paid partnership with a brand I believe in and have been promoting for years. Toenails painted by me.

#MyLotusStyle #MyLotus #iwillwearwhatilike #midsizestyle #dressfun #over30fashion #fashionover30 #over30style #fashionover40 #over40andfabulous #styleover40 #over40fashion #modestfashionblogger #modestfashionista #tootsies #summerpedi #orangepedi


Ooh sorry, let me just breathe into my paper bag for a sec... I was in my own little blossom-filled world there. One where a floral jumpsuit makes my day. One where go faster stripes make you feel ready to conquer the world. One where you’re wearing comfy af sandals* that go with everything in your summer wardrobe. One where the bathroom issues that inevitably come included with the purchase of every jumpsuit (almost) don’t matter. Anyway I think you get my drift - I like a jumpsuit 😏🌸🌺👡

*Disclosure: sandals gifted by @lotusshoes1759, this is part of a paid partnership that’s already gone out on the blog but the next Insta post that I publish is the one they’ve paid for, if that makes sense. Aren’t the new disclosure guidelines a bundle of laughs and not at all confusing?! 😆🙄

#jumpsuits #iwillwearwhatilike #midsizestyle #dressfun #over30fashion #fashionover30 #redheadsdoitbetter #over30style #fashionover40 #over40andfabulous #styleover40 #over40fashion #modestfashionblogger #modestfashionista

Yes, THIS IS THE SCARF. Which scarf?! The scarf that’s got everyone talking, of course (well, me and my blogging mates, anyway). Swipe left and ZOOM 👀 to see it in all its fashionista-drenched glory! Take one pretty silk scarf, paint lots of gorgeous street-style outfits on there, and Bob’s your uncle*. Except Uncle Bob doesn’t appear on this aaaaaachingly-gorgeous @karenmabon scarf because he ain’t fierce enough, OR colourful enough. Sorry Robert, you need yourself a pink faux fur with a polka dot midi dress and stripey pants before you’re deemed worthy enough for this awesome accessory.
And before anyone wonders, the scarf wasn’t gifted, but it WAS a gift [from a loved one]. It sets off the white of my FAAAAVOURITE dress and can be seen on the blog at the moment. And then the white dress has made friends with my new pearl hair clips (a sartorial bandwagon I’ve jumped RIGHT up onto. Try getting me off it). What else to say? I’ll stop there. Happy Wednesday lovelies, despite me thinking it’s been Thursday since 6:45am today 🤦🏼‍♀️

*As Keith would say, “Bob’s your uncle, Fanny’s your live-in lover”. Best Google that one if the nuances of British English confuse the hell out of you (seriously, I have no idea where THAT crazy expression comes from 🙄. The Brits are total loons when it comes to expressions...)

Disclosure: nothing paid/sponsored/gifted by brands. Nope, none, nada, nothing.

#midsizestyle #over30fashion #fashionover30 #iwillwearwhatilike #redheads_of_insta #redheadsdoitbetter #redheadgirl #redheadbeauty #redheadlove #over30style #fashionover40 #over40andfabulous #styleover40 #over40fashion #karenmabon #modestfashionblogger #fashionistadiaries #modestfashionista

I’ve described both MY reaction AND Keith’s reaction to this dress (the first time I tried it on) on the blog today... let’s just say that when I come downstairs feeling like a million f***ing dollars in a new outfit, I tell him to close his eyes so I can do a big “TA-DAH!” reveal (rather than seeing me stomping down the stairs out of the corner of his eye. It’s all about the mystery, people). He’s trained well enough to know that unless I get anything other than a “WOWWW” after he’s been told to open his eyes (this is despite usually having unwashed hair and no makeup on), then it’s divorce. No questions asked, just Where’s the decree nisi, soon-to-be-ex husband? 🤨😂

Anyway have a little swipe through at my latest styling of this most-flattering-silhouette-for-me @mango dress (bought last year) that I’ve worn lots but not featured online before. Even better, hop on over to the blog (I won’t say that phrase that rhymes with “wink in hoe-file” because apparently the Insta gods slap an Insta fine on you. Or they shroud your post in nothing but misery - and maybe mystery? - who knowwws what they do) aaaaaaand read it there! Month of May tomorrow, happy days 💃🏻🌸🌺

Disclosure: nothing paid/sponsored/gifted by brands. Nothing to see here.

#midsizestyle #over30fashion #fashionover30 #midlifestyle #dressfun #iwillwearwhatilike #redheadlove #over30style #fashionover40 #over40andfabulous #styleover40 #over40fashion #mididress #whitedresscode

Now NORMALLY I wouldn’t be leaping about because it’s raining. Ohhh nooo, give me a big old hot ball of sunshine any day! But here I have reason to rejoice: WELLIES THAT FIT ME. Are you the bearer of larger calves like me? Do you too lose the Calf vs Wellington war? Have you often tried to tuck two pairs of thick socks AND your jeans into your welly boots, only to have the boots fiendishly win with their sneaky slenderness? If so, you are also in need of some wide wellies like my striped beauties here, gifted to me by the lovely people at the @widewellyco! Why no one has done these before I have no idea... they’re a total godsend, I can wear wellies again and couldn’t be happier 😁☔️

Disclosure: gifted to me by The Wide Welly Company, no obligation to feature. But if you want to read more about them I’d say first of all SWIPE LEFT FOR MORE PHOTOS then go to my blog and check out Tuesday’s post... there ye shall find a ton of gush about how great I think this brand (and their product) is! 👌🏻

#midsizestyle #over30fashion #fashionover30 #iwillwearwhatilike #redheadlove #over30style #fashionover40 #over40fashion #rainydayoutfit #aprilshowersbringmayflowers #wellyboots #redandblue #jumparound #hobbslondon

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