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This months spotlight is a lovely lady who has been an endless support of my blogging escapades, and one of my favourite reads around. Helen of Clear Your Heart describes herself as northern, faintly ridiculous and a weapon of massive consumption; how could you fail to find her delightful with that write up! Her blog is a luscious mix of fashion, daily outfits, amazing giveaways and feel good advice and anecdotes. She has also just bought a new house (congrats!) so her plots and plans and objects of desire for that make for great reads. Helens layout if also one of my absolute favourites; so it’s worth checking out her URL rather than just on a reader. I was really pleased when she agreed to be my FIRST monthly spotlight of 2011, she’s setting a high calibre.

If you would like to be spotlight-ed this year; drop me an email! The link is to the right, in big letters saying Email Bee.

Take it away Helen!

1. When did you start your blog & why?

I started Clear Your Heart back in October 2008. I was going through a fairly horrific break up and I thought that I could use blogging as a way to find the beauty in my life. My blog was very different back then to how it is now. Sometimes I think maybe I should delete all the posts about how sad I was but then I think that they serve as a good reminder of how wonderful my life is now! My reasons for blogging are very different now. I’m no longer a sad little bear and I post about the things I wear, the things I eat and the things I love. More superficial than my earlier blog posts, but hopefully a lot less depressing!

2. What inspired you in terms of content/theme/appearence?

In terms of appearance, I’ve had a number of different layouts/colours and am thinking about doing another redesign in the new year. For content, I just write about whatever takes my fancy! Baking, fashion, things I’d love to buy but can’t afford and, as I’ve just bought a house, home decor! I get inspired constantly by other blogs and by things I see around me but unfortunately I don’t always have the time to write as often as I’d like to. One of my new year’s resolutions is to get into more of a blogging routine!

3. How would you describe your blog in three words?

Happy, lifestyle-y and eclectic

4. What do you love (/if anything hate) about your blog?

I love all the lovely comments I get! It’s so nice when people take the time to leave a few words. I also love the fact that my blog reflects exactly who I am and the things I love. I don’t really hate anything but there are always little things that I think could be better. I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

5. What makes you the most happy and most sad?

Things that make me happiest include pigs, really nice cupcakes, gin & tonic with the perfect amount of lime, seeing elderly couples holding hands in the street, having dance parties for one in my kitchen and Glastonbury festival. Not much makes me sad really but I suppose it’s the usual things… cruelty to animals and the elderly, people who are mean for no reason and Monday mornings!

6. Who is behind Clear Your Heart?

I’m Helen. I’m 29 (horrifying) and I live in Manchester, which is my favourite place in the whole world. I was born in Cheshire, went to University in Nottingham but have just made the move to my favourite city and I couldn’t be happier! I work in the legal sector doing awfully corporate things that make me feel like a bad person so I balance it out by volunteering for the Samaritans and a local dogs home in my spare time. I love baking, taking photographs and am extremely partial to a bit of a rave up on a Saturday night. My second favourite place in the whole world is New York City and I’m constantly planning my next trip (probably 2012) and dreaming of the pizzas, the burgers and the cupcakes (food is my favourite pastime).

7. What is the best fact you know?

I love facts too. I spend half my life looking things up on Wikipedia and getting drawn into a never ending cycle of page hopping. The best fact I know is that pigs can scream at 115 decibels. The sound of a jet engine taking off is 113 decibels. Also, the biggest pig ever weighed in at 2552 pounds!!

8. Which others blogs do you feast on?

So many! But at the moment I cannot get enough of Color Me Katie for the beatiful pictures, Rockstar Diaries for the happiness (here’s a fact for you: I sublet Naomi & Josh’s NYC apartment for a week last April!), Gem Fatale Gem Fatale for the laughs and Hyperbole and a Half for the laughs that make me snort tea up my nose and then choke. Those are just a few of my current favourites but I’m about 3000 posts behind on my reader. It makes me scared.

9. What are your wardrobe essentials for keeping toasty and warm this winter?

Layers! Snoods, Tabio 210 denier tights (expensive but so worth it), leg warmers (I’ve got a fetching snowman pair that I cannot wait to bust out!), big stompy boots with knee high socks, fake fur coats (I own 5, oops!), M&S leather gloves and ear muffs. I love winter so much and I think there are just so many outfit possibilities!

10. What is your blogging soundtrack?

It changes all the time but I’m currently loving the new Take That album (does this make me deeply uncool? I’m not even sure) with a sprinkling of Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Nicole Sherzinger. I have a lot of gay friends and I hold them responsible for my (sometimes dubious) taste in music! My perfect winter album is ‘Manners’ by Passion Pit as it reminds me of all the snow we had in January this year so I may have to inject some of that into my ears sooner rather than later.

11. What are your New Years Resolutions?

I love making new years resolutions, although I don’t always stick to them. For the past 10 years or so my main resolution has been to lose weight but I’ve lost over 5 stone this year so I’ve finally stuck to it! For 2011 I’d like to get fit. I’ve signed up to run the Great Manchester Run next May so I should really devise some sort of training plan. Other than that I’d like to blog more (see above), stay happy, save more money (unlike this year when I’ve gone a little bit insane), do more voluntary work and finish decorating my house!

>>Thanks Helen. What a great interview and gal!

If you want to check out previous Spotlight features you can find them here:

December: Spotlight on Rock n Roll Bride
November: Spotlight on French For Cupcake
October: Spotlight on Fur Coat, No Knickers
August: Spotlight on Blair On A Budget
April: Spotlight on Earth vs The Wildheart

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