#321-“BELT UP, BETTY!” The calm…..

Belt Up, Betty! The Calm...


It’s official – I’m broke already !!   I only got paid a week ago and most of my salary has either been spent or it’s allocated to something.    I LOVE Christmas but omgolly, I have every respect for those of you that start planning early!   The company where I work is running a competition for the best decorated department – and it’s mandatory to win!!!   So – no expectations there then !?   We decided on a white winter wonderland theme and 20 of us are staying late next Monday to put in the two hours extra work to get it all up. Someone came up with the idea of cotton wall balls hanging on twine – about 10 to a strand – to put in the windows.  Yes- that’s lovely apart from the fact that we need 2000 cotton wool balls!!  So not only is it time consuming, it’s also expensive !   Ugg – I’m sounding like Scrooge – I’m not, I adore Christmas and love this time of year.  Everyone seems to be running around like a headless chicken.  However, it will be all worth it – without a doubt.

Moral of the story is:  All good intentions don’t always work – some for the best, some for the worse – but it’s not through lack of time and effort that they fail.   Sometimes, it’s just meant to be and it’s fate.   We have an amazing vision to get our office to look the best and for my department to win the competition – however, we have some tough competition, especially from our Human Resources team (I mean, seriously?  Don’t they have any work to do !!! giggles).   This time of year is all about getting into the spirit of however you celebrate and whatever you celebrate this time of year – forget your woes for a little while, embrace your childhood and just enjoy! #HoHoHo #ImNoScrooge #CanSomeoneLendMeaFiver?

The Particulars:

  • Sua” from Elegance Boutique
  • Yves” Heels from :::NOIR:::
                                                    BOTH CURRENTLY AT U L T R A ™
  • Juxta” from .shi
  • “My Cute Big Glasses” from AMD



#320-“BELT UP, BETTY!” Thankful…

Belt Up, Betty! Thankful ♥

Photographer – Kess Crystal


Okay – I admit it- I have huuuuge picture envy !   Those of you who know me well will tell you that I’m always doubting myself, I ask for feedback and I’m the worst/harshest critic on myself – so much so I’ve been known to bring myself down.  However, I’m not taking a ride on the pity train or fishing for compliments – I’m just telling you how I am and any of my friends will back me up with this.

My wonderful, talented friend, Kess Crystal, suggested doing something a little unusual for this blog for UC – she came to me and suggested that we took each others pic and blog them – so whilst this is me in the picture I’m not the photographer – Kess is!    What a great idea, I thought!!  You can see why Kess works in marketing and PR – she aces all of these ‘thinking outside the  box’ moments (me? I’m more of a sleeping inside the box, type of girl!).   Kess even announced it to the UC group suggesting it might work for other bloggers – Mr United Colors was all for it – which is very supporting!

Mine & Kess’s photography styles are very diverse – as mentioned before in an blog, I have very much an ‘editorial’ style and every one of Kess’s pictures has so much depth and tells a story.  My sister, Tessa, also has this skill – to be able to look at something and know what will work and what won’t.  I don’t have that skill, I might have a vision of what I want but it’ll take me a night to get it right,,or to find the right shot or, and usually, give up and tp back to my studio.

I applaud people who like Kess see’s something in places that I don’t – who can see the shot, the angle and isn’t afraid to take their time capturing it – something I also do a lot of is take my time (anyone having pics done with me will know this from experience) ! 🙂

Moral of this story is:  We are all different, all diverse and we bring different skills to the table and that’s what makes SL so very special.   I do have envy and have self doubt but I’m learning to embrace that as encouragement, ask for advise and help and just spend time pushing myself.   I will always have envy- when I look at Kess’s pic above, I see the warmth and composition – the pics tells a story and I so badly want those mad skills!! I am just blessed to have such talented friends/sister with superb skills that make us all very different.   However, we all have one linked skill and that is creativity!   Thank you, Kess ♥   #PicEnvy #GreenEyedMonster #Puffsoutchestinpride


The Particulars:

#319-“BELT UP, BETTY!”-Time out…

Belt Up, Betty! Time Out...


I had interesting day at RL work yesterday!   I manage people as part of my role and, of course, have to deal with all sorts of HR (personnel) issues.  I’ve had all sorts of people issues in my time and whilst I am always professional, it’s hard sometimes not to vocalise what I actually think and have do it the HR ‘way’ – which is always carried out emphatically.   Now don’t get me wrong, I am a great listener and extremely emphatic but there are times when you do want to shake someone by the shoulders and say “What part of physically striking out at Joe did you think was okay?”!!!   So,,back to my interesting day – I had a catch up with my manager who told me that I was too ‘feisty’ and that I need to, on occasion, be aware of the impression that I’m giving.    My argument was that if someone is rude to me or talks to me like I’m a piece of shit then am not likely to take that lying down.  I won’t cause a scene but I will privately say ‘Drop the attitude’ or ‘Who do you think you’re talking too’  – which, according to my manager, is being feisty ! Apparently wearing ‘kid gloves’ and approach with an empathetic ear to try and understand why that person feels that way  is the way forward and I get that and I’m switched on enough to know if it’s a work/stress issue – years of experience of managing people makes your perceptive clearer and you can usually tell if someone is under pressure or having issues outside work.   However – when someone is rude to me or talks down to me – then, of course, I’m likely to say something – so how is that ‘feisty’?  Sighs

The moral of this story is:   Why is it not acceptable to be direct, in a diplomatic way of course?  Why do we always have to wander around on tender-hooks so we don’t upset anyone?   In a professional arena, why do we have to go with  (what we call in the workplace) ‘shit sandwiches’  Praise/Areas to Improve/Praise – so, for instance, “Rach your communication skills are wonderful, however your spelling is awful, but we love that you take time to do this” – see where I’m coming from?    Personally, I would rather someone be direct with me – but, maybe that’s just how I am!  #feistyisme #Shitsandwiches #Truth hurts

The Particulars:

#318-“BELT UP, BETTY!” Take Heart…

Belt Up, Betty! Take Heart..


Life is a merry-go-round – up and downs, swings and roundabouts, peak and troughs – blah blah blah!   Times that by 100 and you have SLife – it’s non-stop, full on and whirls around even faster.

On all SL Social Media platforms, one topic has stood out regarding a disagreement between x 2 designers – regardless of if you’re interested it or not – it’s there on my SL Facebook and it seems that everyone has an opinion – as always.

I scroll by – personally, this isn’t what my SLfb is about and am not in a position to be judge/jury or executioner – so, yeh, I scroll on by and look at the pretty shiny new things I can buy or terrorise my friends on messenger – or, and mainly, look at the amazing talent that’s out there.

Kess Crystal and I are new(ish) friends and both being fellow brits we found we have similarities in both worlds and have just clicked – almost every other day the phrase ‘OMG we are so alike’ is uttered!   Kess has created a breathtakingly beautiful sim, Take Heart, with help of her friend Sady which is not only a photographers  dream it’s also a beautiful spot to chill out with friends, explore or, for the more romantically minded, take your loved one(or ones – this is SL after all!) for a date – it’s stunning so please, take some time to check it out.

Moral of this story is:  Don’t get caught up in other peoples crap!  RL deals us way too much of that so why would we want to have it in our SLives?   Take Heart  (see what I did there!!) and appreciate all the good stuff that’s out there – all the amazing creators regardless if they are just starting out and can only make a flower box (like me!!)or those that completely blow your socks off- in any genre around the grid.   #TakeHeart #NoCrap! #WorshipCreativity

The Particulars:
Taken at at the glorious Take Heart SIM
Kess’s Blog:  The Glamour Sauce



#317-“BELT UP, BETTY!: U L T R A ™

Belt Up, Betty! Ultra...


I am so grateful to be trusted to show off amazing designs for designers and event organsisers and today am focusing on the U L T R A ™ event which opens tomorrow – 15 November.

Location Pics v Studio Pics

For a change, I thought I would approach my picture in a slightly different way.  Any of you that view my blog will know that I’m a huge fan of the minimalist style of pictures (aka Editorial style) -usually just me and a studio wall!   These style of pics are usually well received and lots of people comment on them, which is always fabulous and even more so when your sponsor likes your picture and the way you share their wares !    However, I see some gorgeous location pictures out there and thought that I’d give this style of picture a try out – I used to do location shots a lot when I first started blogging three years ago but I felt that there was a lot of pictures out their with the same ‘look and feel’ – hence why I favoured the ‘Editorial’ style pictures which reflects my fashion background and shows off the styling.  But – I will admit, location pics do seem to ‘tell a story’ and capture the imagination slightly more than studio shots.

All those close to me will know I’ve been fretting a lot over what style to favour. My friends say that my Editorial shots are my ‘signature’ but I try to explain to them – I HAVE PICTURE ENVY!!  (There!  I said it,,,finally!)  LOLOL

So,,with the start of a new round of  U L T R A ™, I thought I would try a different approach – final version above – and I’m super pleased with the result.  I hope my event sponsor/s and designers are too.

Moral of this story is:  Don’t be afraid to change and experiment.  It’s a great way of learning a new skill set and to think slightly different about the final ‘product’.    Also – and this is a big or me – if you do have any constructive feedback or you have an opinion in which style of picture you prefer and why (Location v Studio) then I welcome you with open arms ♥  #Rachellovestohug #Timeofachange #Dontchangewhatworks

The Particulars:
  • “Chrysa” Skirt from [SYS]


#316-“BELT UP, BETTY!” Goddess…

Belt Up, Betty! Goddess...

So, when you’re not having a good day or good week – or year even – what do you do to make yourself feel better?   What makes you smile?   For me,,a quick fix is a pamper!  I rarely spend money on myself but this month I decided to go all out – get my nails done, nice hair cut and some colour put through.  However, instead of going for the ‘quick trim’ that I had planned too – I had a complete style overhaul!  I went from having nice shoulder length brown curls to very short geometric style cut with balayage blonde colour put through. To say it’s a complete change of appearance for me would be understatement but, you know, I felt like a million pounds!!  A Goddess as I walked out of the salon doors.

Moral of this story is – treat yourself, be kind to yourself.  You don’t need to pay a fortune like I did for major pamper session – just give yourself a treat once in a while – whether it be a new lipstick, aftershave, manicure or full on make out – be kind to you !   Can be as simple as having a nice hot bath or treating yourself to that fabulous bottle of wine or curry takeaway.    Be kind, enjoy and treat yourself.  #giveyourselfabreak

The Particulars:



#315-“BELT UP, BETTY!” Where is the love…?

Belt Up, Betty! Where is the love?
“Whatever happened to the values of humanity, Whatever happened to the fairness and equality, Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity, Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity”  The Black Eyed Peas


The last few days have been horrid – doesn’t matter what part of the world you live in you can not have failed to notice the hate and discontentment going on.    I don’t know where this all stems from – all this hate.  I suspect that social media has a lot to answer for – we’re all easily enraged by something we’ve read or seen – we’re all reactive (I’m as guilty as the next person!).  But where does it lead us ?  What does it achieve?

It’s not only in the US, on the other side on the pond, us Brits recently went through the same thing when we had to vote in or out of the European Union (aka Brexit).  It felt so different to voting for government or a member of parliament in every way possible.   Brexit was different, everyone felt differently.   Conversations in the workplace turned nasty, conversations around the dinner table got out of control and even families felt the pressure.    My father always told me – “Never discuss politics or religion, Rachel  as everyone has a right to an opinion and whilst healthy debate is of course encouraged, you need to respect the other persons view”.   So during this difficult time in GB, when asked which way I voted or my thoughts I just gave the same generic answer “It’s not something I want to discuss, it’s personal”.   To this day, I don’t know which way my family voted, my close friends, my work colleagues because, basically, it’s none of my business.    However, when the subject has come up in conversation, I’ve been respectful and listened to their views because, at the end of the day, they have a right to their opinion.   I choose not to share mine in such circumstances – my choice.

I guess the moral of this story is the word ‘Respect’ – we need to do more of it, we need to embrace it, we need to acknowledge it and we need to accept that we’re all different.  Turning against each other isn’t the answer- we all need each other and it’s about moving forward.  Hard as it is, those are the next steps.  #whereisthelove

The Particulars: