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5 in Five: A Few Of Our Favourite Things From 2015

Reflection and realisation, gratitude and grace, the finish line and fresh foundations: all hallmarks of a new year.

As we get older, we often remark how we wish we could press pause on the years, which seem to speed by faster than ever! But alas this isn’t possible and so, as we begin to make plans and set goals for the new year, we thought we’d take some time out to round up a few of our favourite things featured on My Little Black Book in 2015.

1. Favourite Influencer

Jordanne Whiley at the Australian Open 2015

Having met a whole host of inspiring women, it was always going to be difficult to pick a favourite. And, in truth, favourite is the wrong word, for we have been humbled and heartened by our real-life role models, many of who have dared to go where no woman has gone before. If there is one individual you need to know about as we head into 2016, however, it is Jordanne Whiley, the most successful wheelchair tennis player in Britain ever. Having clinched her seventh Grand Slam title at the US Open in August, Whiley is looking not only to replicate her doubles success this year, but also to win the inaugural wheelchair singles competition at Wimbledon and come away with two golds from Rio 2016. With her determination, drive and down-to-earth attitude, you’d be hard pressed to bet against her doing so.

Read our full interview with Jordanne Whiley here.

2. Favourite Icon

My Power Outfit: Cassandra Thorpe, Business Analyst and fashion blogger

Here at My Little Black Book, it has always been our mission to celebrate real women, rather than proliferating a media-tinted ‘reality’. We operate a no photoshop policy, and work with role models, not runway models. We were thus excited to launch our Everyday Icon column, profiling smart but stylish women, proving that the two are not mutually exclusive. Whilst we loved the French-inspired flair of hedge fund professional turned fashion blogger, Stephanie Peers, it was the passion and personal style of business analyst, Cassandra Thorpe, which really stood out. For Cassandra, clothes are an escape, and she finds that fashion easily inspires her as much as a person can.

To find out more about Cassandra’s life through clothes – and ogle a pair of stunning Stuart Weitzman sandals – click here.

3. Favourite Sweet Treat

Mad Hatters Tea at The Sanderson Hotel

This was always going to be a tricky one! Nothing can come between a girl and her sweet tooth, after all. In fact, Amelia Scholey is proof that even when life gives you lemons (and really sour ones at that), there is always something worth fighting for – something such as chocolate. In 2015, we also used the excuse of Afternoon Tea Week – yes, it’s a real thing! – to sample some of the best cakes in the country, and couldn’t get enough of The Sanderson’s imaginative Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea. Thank you for making our jeans a little tighter this year.

Read our roundup of the best afternoon teas in the UK here.

4. Favourite Tipple

Blue Lady Negroni, Peony

If there is anything we like as much as cake, it’s cocktails. From Bloom Pear Bellinis at Epsom Ladies Day – created by Britain’s first female master distiller, Joanne Moore – to Tozi’s superfood inspired Celery Cure, we supped some superb concoctions in 2015. Gin (naturally) dominated, and we discovered some awesome artisan offerings which are most certainly not just for those with a blue rinse or bad reputation. New kid on the block, D1 London Gin, particularly impressed, and we loved its use in Peony’s summer aperitif, Blue Lady Negroni.

Find out more about our top artisan gins, and where to drink them, here.

5. Favourite Advice

The best career and life advice from some of our favourite real-life role models

Part of our mission is to help every woman become the best version of herself, finding a clear identity at both work and home. We want women to make the most of their current situation and find their fit, whilst also remaining true to themselves. To say we love a quote would be an understatement, but when it comes from a real-life role model whom we look up to, well, then we know it really pays to listen. In 2015, we asked all our ’10 Minute Muses’ for the best advice they’ve ever received, and what better way to start a new year than by taking a moment to revisit some of the most memorable:

“Take every opportunity given to you, even if it seems overwhelming. It’ so much better to try things than always wonder why you didn’t go for it!” – Gather&See Co-Founder, Stephanie Hogg

“See everything that you could perceive as ‘bad’ as an opportunity to learn and grow.” – IAmMusic.TV Founder, Carly Wilford

“Give yourself time to learn. Don’t expect to get everything right first time.” – Quintessential Brands Account Manager, Sophie Brooke

“My parents told me it’s important to always be myself. That never fails, and leads me to the right places.” – Sophie la Girafe Cosmetics CEO, Jonna Jalkanen

“I was once told that the worst type of advice was unsolicited advice, so therefore I would say that the best advice is solicited.” – MILK Beauty Founder, Lucy Patterson

“To my twenty year old self I would say: worry less about what other people expect of you and focus on the things that make you happy.” – The Women’s Chapter Founder, Michelle de Klerk

“There is never a perfect time. Just do it and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.” – Malée Founder, Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao

Written by:

Victoria is an award-winning writer with a penchant for pintxos (and pudding). Her days revolve around business, barre and bellinis. In reverse order.

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