A short service announcement…

Hi Readers,

I just wanted to update you all on something new as you might have noticed that there has been a bit of downtime on the blog lately – both last Monday and again yesterday. On both occasions my hosters closed the site down due to a database size warning, which was in turn due to a massive amount of spam comments I’ve been getting. You guys don’t even see these as (unlike some blogs where you might notice them in the comments,) I have a filter set up that puts them straight in a spam box. I was advised by my hosters to install a Captcha on the comments but I resisted as I hate them personally and I really didn’t want to put you guys off commenting. However in the last week, after clearing out my spam box, I received another 25,000 spam comments, resulting in more down time yesterday and making me realise I had no choice but to address the problem.

As a result, I have had to go ahead and install a captcha for the comments (for those of you who think I’m speaking greek, it’s the little box you have to retype the text in from a rubbish picture when the computer thinks you might be spam, can you tell I don’t like them?) and I have tried to keep it as simple as possible by choosing a number test instead which is super quick. I just wanted to tell you all so it wasn’t a surprise and also to please ask that it doesn’t stop you commenting on Florence Finds! I love reading your comments and it would be very sad if this stopped you as I’ve really had no choice in order to keep Florence Finds up and running at all.

Thanks guys!
(and normal post coming at 11am)

Rebecca x

Florence Finds Reader Survey 2013


Image Credit

Good morning readers! Instead of Friday Frock today I have decided it’s time to touch base with you guys and get some feedback on Florence Finds. It’s been over 2 years since I started Florence Finds and almost as long since I canvassed your opinions in my Saturday Survey series. There have been a few changes since then, topic changes, new posts and the biggest change, dropping down to one post per day. As my life evolves, there are more changes in the pipeline and I have a few new things planned already. I think my style has changed too and how I approach the blog so I would love to hear what you think about it all. Please do fill in the survey, even if you are not a regular reader or avid fan, in some ways your views are all the more important. Thank you so much guys!

Have a great weekend,
Rebecca
xo

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The Big Autumn List…

I’m a little late with my usual list this year – I like to time them with the spring and autumn equinox, so around the 21st of the month, but it was the 22nd of September already when I realised I had missed it and with moving day looming, wouldn’t be posting this until early October.


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I heard on the radio recently that now is a good time for making resolutions instead of New Year, because it’s a new season which inspires us all, plus there are only three months to stick at it before New Years, so it’s achievable. ;)

After moving last Friday (more on that soon,) I can really strongly feel a sense of change. I feel like one chapter of my life has closed and a new one is beginning, with this house underpinning it. We hope it will be our family home, so I think it will be a much more mature chapter of my life, but lots of fun too! As a result, lots of my autumn plans are home related but I hope you enjoy reading them and are inspired to share yours in the comments below…


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  • I can’t wait to sweep leaves on the grass in my new back garden and maybe even have a bonfire with sparklers and stew and hot chocolate (or mulled wine!)
  • I’m looking forward to Sundays more than anything, gardening, roast dinners, wintery puddings and reading in the afternoon until the nights draw in.
  • The crisp smell of autumn on clean days and crunching of leaves underfoot on walks in Chorlton Meadows.
  • Spending the darker nights planning our decorating projects and deciding which room to tackle first.
  • I want to find an exercise regime that I can stick with over the winter. Now the stress of moving is over I can put my fitness first again and stay toned before Christmas indulgence takes over.
  • We’re not planning a holiday this autumn but have a week off booked to really get on with the house in November. I’d like to book a weekend in the lakes at some point though to get away from house plans and reconnect with Pete after what has been a stressful few months. (Any well priced cosy B&B’s anyone can recommend?)
  • I’ll be planting bulbs in the new garden ready for spring.
  • Fashion is taking a bit of a back seat right now but my autumn wardrobe is woefully empty due to a mass clear out I had last spring thinking I would replace it now, so I’ll be scouting about for well priced pieces or workhorse investments to keep myself (and the bank) happy. :)

What are your plans, dreams and goals for the next three months readers? Please join in in the comments box!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS -

My Month: July

I realised as the weather turned that we had a whole month, give or take, of glorious, hot weather. Pretty incredible for the UK and finally we can stop saying that we ‘deserve a summer after the last few’. As a result my Instagram is littered with sunny summer snaps amongst the many summer social gatherings I’ve been dashing between. Here’s a little peek into my day to day this month…

  • Chilling at a pool party in Cambridge.
  • Officially starting my new job.
  • Rocking a flower Crown on Jessica’s hen party in Bath, not to mention the temporary tattoo I temporarily fell in love with.
  • My new chest of drawers and a (cheap) new favourite summer nail shade.
  • Enjoying the chance to eat alfresco (that’s one thing ticked off!) on balmy summer nights, too many G&T’s, homemade mango and yogurt lollies, and raspberries from the allotment.
  • A tour of my bedroom.
  • Walks in the woods at dusk.
  • A new favourite summer dress and eating as many peaches as I can get my hands on.
  • Cooking raspberry and dark chocolate brownies from the Yeo Valley Cookbook.
  • The best memories – photobooth fun from Artisan in Manchester
  • And the only wet weekend this month was the one in which I found myself in a tent. Still, there’s nothing like being snug in a tent and listening to the rain fall… :)

How was your July readers?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

My Month: February 2013

How was your Febuary?

Love
Rebecca
xo

PS Follow Rebecca on Instagram here...

#JanuaryJoy – Reflect

It’s January 31st and I’m sad #JanuaryJoy is over!

Todays prompt was to reflect. In a moment I’m going to share what I did for each of these prompts but really, for me, January Joy wasn’t about the individual activities but the overall feeling it has given me, and I hope some of you. There’s always a reason to feel under the weather, a hard day at work, miserable weather, life not working out the way you had planned. #JanuaryJoy was about making time for yourself, finding joy in the little things, feeling proud of things you can do, making the most of new experiences and fitting in things you never manage to prioritise. Prioritising is the key word – we all have a finite amount of time in the day and certain things can’t wait, work commitments, and hopefully family are pretty high up that list, but taking part in #JanuaryJoy has made me prioritise myself and ultimately my own happiness. It’s a resolution I’ll be keeping this year. ;)

So, how did my January Joy go?
1. I made some resolutions and am doing okay with them so far… more on this later.
2. #DryJanuary was tough, and I had a couple of slip-ups, or shall we say intentional ‘breaks’ but it has really changed my outlook on alcohol and I’m drinking so much less. I no longer head for the fridge after a stressful day and I’m feeling so much better for it.
3. Pete and I finally got our date on the 18th, better late than never! (We went here,)

4. Walks this months have been everywhere from my local walks in the Mersey Valley to the Elan Valley in Wales this weekend… many of them in the snow!

5. We talked skin care and I reminded you all to treat your spots properly – sharing my acne treatment.
6. Penny introduced me to Haim (who I later heard on Radio 2!)
7. I pledged to do more Yoga this year (and managed to do it for the first time last night!)


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8. I shared my plans for a grand trip this year and since then have plotted my route in South Africa – now to book the flights!
9. I went to the Movies, and saw Les Mis.

10. For a mid-month cheer up, I tried the silhouette or crescent moon manicure
11. I discovered The Glass Palace through Gemma’s reading recommendations for January
12. I updated you all on how Pete and I were getting on with our new financial arrangements and talked savings.
13. I’m getting my better-late-than-never hair cut today (hurrah)
14. I shared some medical know-how on how to prepare yourself for pregnancy if 2013 is the year you’ll be starting a family.

15. Meatless Monday saw me sharing my latest meat-free recipe
16. Now the temperatures have settled down, I might be able to get on with my Craft project!
17. I started on my photobook of our road trip last year.
18. For my clear out I tackled my shoes, purchasing new ikea boxes to store them in, and Michelle taught us how to tackle your whole wardrobe.
19. I planned a trip to the Opera, and Victoria shared her Girl about Town tips for nationwide culture.

20. My bread recipe sparked the idea of a monthly bread post.
21. The month ended with some me-time and TLC for our neglected winter bodies
22. And here we are, reflecting.

Now I’d love to hear how your January went – did you do any of the activities? (I know many of you did lots if not all of them!) Thank you so much if you got involved and watch out for a post soon rounding up all my favourite blog posts inspired by January Joy :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

My Month: October

When I started looking through this months Instagram images for my October re-cap I realised I hadn’t taken as many as usual… probably a reflection of how busy this month has been. I’ve been  to London twice, once for the Cosmo Blog Awards, spent a weekend at home for my Mum’s birthday, the following weekend at my nephews Christening and the one after that marked the start of our holiday. Anyway, here’s a round up of the little things I’ve snapped this month. You’ll have to wait for more holiday updates!

  • First outing for my coloured tights this year.
  • Transitional dressing in primary brights.
  • Loving a pillar box red mani this Autumn.
  • My favourite new flats.
  • Make up essentials for a post workout touch up: Laura Mercier Tinted moisturiser, Smashbox High definition concealer, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge and Extreme Party Mascara.
  • New High-tops.
  • No.7 Total Renewal Micro dermabrasion exfoliator (read my review here.)
  • Cosy winter socks
  • Oxblood Autumn outfit.
  • Choosing dresses for the Cosmo Blog Awards & choosing nail colours for a holiday manicure at Nails Inc.

  • My latest food obsession, porridge.
  • Cocktails with Mum and Francesca for her birthday.
  • Apples in my garden and cake for post Wedding dress shopping analysis at And the Dish ran away with the Spoon in Didsbury.

What have you been up to this month readers?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

My Month: September

It’s time to recap on my goings on this month and it’s a confused looking collection of images that’s for sure. We seem to have started the month in a hazy last tease of what summer could have been and ended it heading for the Ark, amidst the floods and storms. I hope you’re all safe and dry wherever you are reading this.

  • The standard bits of kit that go everywhere with me these days: x100, camera cable and charger, Macbook Pro and charger, phone charger.
  • What’s in the bag?!
  • The tipi wedding we attended at the beginning of the month.
  • The view from our hotel room at The Llawnroc in Cornwall – review coming soon!
  • Accessories laid out for the second wedding of the month: Kurt Geiger heels, Zara Clutch, Accessorize earrings.
  • Cocktails at sunset at the Aviator.
  • My two puss cats enjoying far too much time on the bed.
  • A gorgeous candle sent to me by Fox and Crow – more coming soon!
  • Re-discovering my leather jacket from Whistles - 2 years old and practically paying for itself in costs-per-wear. Psst! Did you know the Whistles 25% off with Grazia is on right now – you can buy online!
  • The catwalk at London Fashion Week.
  • Sunset on a glorious indian summers evening on route to Any Other Party (and Gemma & Anita, plus the AOW team.)
  • Pulling out all the stops in an effort to look less tired – Radiance primer, Bobbi brown shimmer brick and a ton of concealer!
  • Dressing up as Mario for my brother in laws fancy dress engagement party.
  • A new addition to our decor ;)

What have you been doing this month readers?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

All Change…

I’m not going to lie, this is probably one of the hardest posts I have ever had to write. I write it in fear of your disappointment but knowing that it has to be done.

I always strive for Florence Finds to be a reflection of real life, not a glorified glossy representation of the unattainable. I want it to inspire and reassure you that whatever woes you may have, there’s somebody else out there having it too. That’s the main message, with plenty of inspiration for improving all the textures of your life too. I have always felt strongly that I should practice what I preach. Recent posts I have written about work and life have meant that something has to change in mine, and it’s news of that that I’m sharing today.


Balancing Act silhouette portrait from thepairabirds on Etsy

You see I love Florence Finds, don’t for a second get me wrong on that or think I’m tiring of it. We’re not going anywhere :) But do I love it more than my husband, my family, my friends, my life? Of course not. I couldn’t. A lot of bloggers pay lip service to their chaotic, over stressed and over worked lives and the oft repeated mantra is that ‘they wouldn’t change a thing’. Well, I beg to differ. One of the best things about having Florence Finds is that I’m control of it, rather than it controlling me. So when the workload gets too much, I can say enough is enough.

You all know I took a temporary job recently with longer hours, and my reasons for doing it. As a result, I’d be lying if I thought I could keep the blog going at the pace I have so far. Actually, I totally could, I’ve done it before – earlier in the year I did the same job and just waded through every evening spent blogging. I actually wrote this post in mid-July, planning to make the change at the beginning of last month, then limped on. Not only did the lack of ‘down-time’ make me feel one dimensional, but I wasn’t happy with the content I was putting out. But do I want to do that again? No.

So, from this week, until (and if) there’s some semblance of change in the precarious balance that is life there will be 1 less post per week on Florence Finds. I asked for your feedback a while back with this in mind and carefully considered the responses. Of course there is no pleasing everyone but I hope the changes I’m making won’t be too much of a disappointment. Monday mornings will see a lighter post but no less addictive – ‘Monday Must-haves’, which will make it a little easier for me to get back on track after the weekend and also nicely fills a gap we had at Florence Finds for sharing single items of lust.

Friday is the other change you’ll see, but do not fear, it’s Friday Food that is going, not Frocks – I couldn’t do that to you! Food won’t be disappearing from these pages completely, rather making an appearance in the week whenever I have something to share. That way they will be a better reflection of my life and also coming to you from my own kitchen.

I also want to share another change that I’m making today. Some of you might have noted the change this morning to my right hand sidebar. Right at the top there you can see a larger than previous advert and that is because I have recently taken the decision to sign up with an advertising agency, Handpicked Media. Until now, I have treated Florence Finds with the professionalism that it and you, the readers deserved, but it has never in anyway been a business. I do use affiliate links, where they fit with pre-planned content and NEVER the other way around. I do not plan content to increase the links and potential revenue. To explain affiliate links to those of you who do not already know, some of the links I place on Florence Finds earn me a percentage of the sale on any purchases that are made when clicking through from the site. This varies between about 3-8% on average and that percentage comes from the brand, in no way affecting the cost of the item to the consumer. In fact you could argue that you get extra benefits from it as I promote discount days, flash sales and free delivery offers from the brands I am affiliated with if I think they are of any use. I have a similar arrangement with Amazon. I’m not going to go into pounds and pence but the earnings I get from this are in no way enough for me to a. be swayed into unethical behaviour or b. renumerate even a fraction of the time I spend on Florence Finds. Given how much effort I put in, I decided that joining an agency like Handpicked was the most sensible way to gain some return from my hard work and retain control over the content.

All the adverts you see on Florence Finds will be personally approved by me. They will always be something that I can see myself or the average Florence Finds reader being interested in, no cash for gold or online bingo adverts here. I may from time to time also accept sponsored posts, however once again they will always be personally selected and approved, in the interests of the reader and clearly marked as such.

Lastly, in the process of making these changes you will see the long column of brand adverts have been removed for now. In their place, I have added some new buttons to highlight prime content areas that I know you all enjoy. I took my cue from the feedback in this survey for the buttons and chose your favourite posts so when you’re in need of a little lifestyle inspiration, you can have a click through and browse your favourite area instantly.

I think that’s all for now folks. I’d love to hear your thoughts as always, good or bad and hope you’ll stick with me through the transition. My number one priority is ensuring the quality of the posts on Florence Finds and these small changes are going to make a big difference to me and my life, in turn helping me to do just that. Thanks readers, just for coming back and reading. I will never take that for granted.

Love,
Rebecca
xo