The weather has turned - the air is a little cooler - I can hear the rain falling outside. Yippee! I can wear a jumper!   

Primark Cream Tape Yarn Jumper
And jeans.


New Look Slim Boyfriend Jeans (2 years old)

I feel like me again. Scruffy me. But that's me. To a tee.  

So no more dresses for the time being. I'm all dressed out. You spend half your time wishing it was warmer so you can wear something lighter and summery like a dress and then you spend half your time thinking - when can I wear jeans again? And a jumper.

I ran through Primark the other day with the sole intention of doing a return. But no one really runs through Primark blinkered do they? I always have a quick scan of the scarves - no new interesting oversized ones at the mo - any funky jeans - too many funky jeans actually - how about a nice jumper which doesn't look like it's going to go "pooouff" as soon as you are anywhere near a naked flame? And lo and behold - I found one. I found a jumper that is - but it probably should carry some naked flame warning but I liked it.

Peekaboo

It's just a nice tape yarn jumper which suits me fine as it's light and airy enough for the temperatures we are having at the moment - it's unlikely to pill (I have a real bugbear about pilling) and it would have probably cost about £35-45 in somewhere like Topshop but it cost me £12 so I'm as happy as a happy person who got a bargain £12 jumper. I can wear any colour top I like underneath it to funk it up. I've gone for for a strange flourescent violet/pink tee but I couldn't resist the colour.

Cheap and colourful.

I was hankering after some of the beautiful tees on the J Crew website but I couldn't be bothered to order from overseas and then deal with the returns should nothing fit. But then as I ran through (I do a lot of running through shops) H&M, this lovely little scoop neck tee caught my eye. Very soft vintage washed tee in this glorious hue. Mine for the princely sum of £3.99. The price softens the blow that I had to buy it many sizes bigger to get it to the nice slightly loose fit that I wanted but it was also £25 cheaper than any of the J Crew tees I was looking at.

So I've not totally bowed to the weather and gone for my usual grey blue grunge tones - I chose to have a little colour today to cheer the soul and keep up the spirits. And because it is raining as I type, I smile because I don't have to water the geraniums I potted yesterday.


Pretty.

What are you wearing on this wet dreary day?







Anyone remember the Lewis Caroll poem which starts  

"You are old Father William," the young man said
"And your hair has become very white" ..............?

I should really change it to something along the lines of 

 "You are old Mummy Sue", young George said   
"And you now drive a Volvo estate" ..............


George Dude in Mercedes Benz (start as you mean to go)

Excuse me while I just have a scratch


Can't believe I've got a flat! That will be squillions of £s!

We changed the car recently. Nothing wrong with the new car - don't get me wrong and I am grateful for what I have - it's a lovely shiny new car but it is at the end of the day a Volvo estate. Yup. A nice, safe, solid, reliable sensible car.

We had a 4x4 previously which was a concession to having 2 children and a need for a bigger car. I got on okay with the 4x4 even though I struggled heaving my baby bump into it when I was pregnant but it did the job without making us look "too old". We were teetering on the edge of middle-aged but hadn't quite stepped off the edge. But now we have a Volvo estate. We've definitely fallen into the middle age ravine.

We had some friends round for lunch and bloke Nigel said "what's the deal with the Volvo?" Grump Meister muttered stuff about £30 road tax for the year and something about 60 miles to the gallon. "What do you get to the gallon, Nigel?" "Err ... about 20". "What's your road tax for the year Nigel?" "Err ... about £250. Blokes eh?

When Nigel got back in his own Alfa estate and started up the engine, Grump Meister called over to him - "You hear that Nigel? "Hear what?" "Can't you hear it?" "Hear what?"  

"That's the sound of money burning" grinned Grump Meister. Trump Card.




Grump Meister granted me a Day Shopping Permit today sans children. These permits are a bit hard to come by - rarer than Willy Wonka's golden tickets. I packed him off to a friend's (L's husband) armed with a case of Peroni and the promise of a barbecue to soften the blow of having to look after his own children for a few hours. L and I worked out the logistics that if the men were perfectly happy and settled and could talk all the rubbish they wanted and only had to check that the children still had all their limbs and hadn't killed each other by the time we got back - we wouldn't be held to any time constraints. That's the plan.

So today was another beautiful sunny day. A short train ride in to York and lots of wonderful shops at our feet. Everyone is obviously prepping for the Jubilee and it's nice to see the effort which some of the shops have put into their displays.  A small selection of pictures of what I managed to capture today - I will get the hang of this taking photos thing at some point.

Gratuitous shot of  York Station Rafters

I can't believe someone made all these

Monochromatic Jubilee Decorations (Nice Change)

And not a single real bloom in the whole room!

I was disowned by my two friends (L & L2) as I brandished my happy snaps camera on the grounds that I looked like a tourist. And I was disowned again when I banged my head into a shop glass window whilst ogling the lovely vintage Omega mens watches and the shop assistant started laughing at me rubbing my head. 

Vintage Omega's & Other Watches

We always coo over the bags in the Mulberry Outlet store and leave buying nothing. L and I have previously tried to negotiate a zebra and a giraffe from their window displays for our little boys but they are "accounted for" apparently. Ah well. You can but ask.

Cool Inflatables

Giraffe for you?

A zebra for me!

 I also fell in love 3 times today.  

1st time. Over this gorgeous Jigsaw black suede belt with some lovely gold cut out detailing. I don't really mind spending on accessories as I believe they make the statement on your clothes for you. I was wearing a plain black ASOS midi dress and just adding the belt totally lifted the dress. It looks much more gorgeous in real life - the picture doesn't do it justice.... but I didn't purchase.  


2nd time. Over these Jigsaw butter soft boots. They had my size and they even made it on to my feet. So close. I even asked them to reserve them for me for a couple of hours whilst I had a think. It took all my willpower not to go back and buy them. It really really did. 


3rd time. This lovely dress from Coggles by Orla Kiely. I picked up the dress and my friends cried "that's you!". I picked it up and then put it down. I then picked it up again and wafted around the store with it a few more times and then left the shop. I didn't buy. My will power was amazing because I knew I didn't have £355 to spend on a dress which would ultimately spend most of its time languishing in my wardrobe. But it was beautiful and the print is unusual but not in a garish kind of way. And the colour "ink" was really selling itself to me. Me and my grunge tones.


Close Up Detail of the Print


So what did I buy? I blame it on the sunshine - I bought a green dress. Yes green. I was looking in my wardrobe the other day and just thinking I didn't seem to have much green. Well I guess that's been remedied then. That's not the way I shop normally - I don't look to see what's missing - it was just coincidence that a jade green cotton beach dress from M&S presented itself to me  For the princely sum of £25.  Lovely soft cotton and though not lined, not see through either. It went with my tan wedge sandals. I found a tan camera style bag there too. It was a whole outfit just like that. And my friend had a 20% discount voucher to sweeten the deal.  


But now that I'm home and I've tried everything on again - I'm not feeling the love. I've decided that the dress is not me and and is to be returned along with the bag so I can put my money towards an investment buy because there's a funny little voice in the back of my head which keep saying "the Jigsaw boots were special weren't they?" and do you know what, I think I'm inclined to agree.  Am I right or did I have just a little bit too much sun today?





It's my own fault. I've had too many. Plain toasted bagel with butter and honey. Yum. Or Cinnamon and Raisin. Yum. I've got the boys doing the bagel thing in the morning too except they run round a lot more than me and they're not getting a bagel belly. It is just me that has this affliction.

But I've tried to hide it behind a big belt today. And I thought if the dress is bright enough - no one's going to be looking at the belly. No they're going to think she looks like a brightly coloured barcode instead!

Primark Dress Spring Summer 2011

The dress is a Primark number - not sure if it was £8 or £10 and bought last year on one of my fun shopping trips with my sister where we take an armful of clothes into the Primark changing rooms and have a giggle. Every now and then, we find something nice and usually at a bargain price. The thing that most impresses me about this dress is the fact that the stripes match up at the seams! I have noticed with a lot of the stripy dresses that the stripes are not matched up which cheapens the whole garment. I understand that this is one of the areas where the chain stores cut corners to give us the cheap prices as they can't afford to waste material pattern matching but it makes such a difference to the overall finish. The stripes on my dress match! The pattern cutter must have been feeling generous when they put my dress together.

Matching seams - woo hoo!

The sandals are from Zara - I saw them on the website a while back and said "they're mine!" and lo and behold they did become mine. I'm glad I got them when I did as I've noticed that my size has sold out and they were only stocking them in the London stores at the time. They only had a couple of sizes available online last time I looked - they're selling out fast.


I attempted the school run in these today as well. They weren't as comfortable as the Primark sandals I wore yesterday hence the fact that I asked for a lift from a friend on the way home. A girl can only suffer so much in the name of fashion. Now lets go and find those flip flops!




.... little darling!  Here comes the sun!  It's alright, it's alright ..... and the rest ....

Makes you want to sing doesn't it this lovely bit of sunshine we are having? And I feel obliged to get the legs out today and put the blue jeans away. So here I am in my Asos bright blue midi dress and my very old Oasis white cotton cardigan. For those a bit shy about getting their legs out - a midi is a pretty good option. I'm a titch so I usually trip over maxi's but this length makes me feel like I'm joining the Sunshine club without going too overboard. The dress is £25 but I managed to get it for £18 when ASOS were running one of their many promotions. And because it is so comfortable when ASOS ran another one of their promotions - I got the black one too. Be rude not to.



I told the boys we were walking to school today to which Ben said"that's boring". I said "tough". The boys usually scooter or bike. Walking is a bit alien to them but I had my Primark wedge sandals on today and I was not running after them today for love or money. I did get them a couple of months back and they cost £15 - that's expensive for Primark isn't it Anyway, they are very comfortable and very light which I have found to be the crucial factor in wearing "clompy" shoes like this. If the heel wedge is heavy, the ankle strap has a much tougher job hanging on to the shoe.


Primark Tan Wedge Sandals - In store.

School bags, phones and keys went in my Paul Smith orange tote. I got it a couple of years ago from Whateverittakes.org and I dug it out last week from the depths of the bag cavern that exists under the bed in the spare room. I told you I didn't need to buy any more bags. Whateveittakes.org seem to do collaborations with designers who contribute the artwork for these fabric totes. Have a look - they start from only £12.99 for something a little bit more original and quirky.  


Close Up Detail

And finally finished off with one of my own necklaces. Just a little pearl on a copper toned leather thong.  Simple.

A Susie Ho design

What are you wearing today on this lovely day?





Can you guess I don't like swimming?  But I owe it to George Dude (aka darling son two) to provide him with some basic life skills such as making toast, heating beans, ironing a shirt and swimming.  I ommitted the "boiling an egg" skill as he has an egg allergy. 

So far, I have managed to avoid taking George swimming unless we have been on holiday. For Ben (aka darling son one), I did try to take him to the toddler swimming sessions at the local very cold pool but as soon as he was three and old enough to go to the sessions where I just had to pass him over to the instructor and wave bye bye for half an hour - I did.  

And I only bought a swimming costume to take Ben swimming because prior to this (1) I didn't actually have a costume and (2) I couldn't see any point in spending money on something I didn't want and need because (1) I don't like swimming and (2)  I can't swim. 

See - no reason for a swimsuit.

But now my friend has suggested that I should take George and she can take her son to the swimming baths again.  Oh joy.  My old trusty BHS swimsuit has served me well for the last 5 years or but is now looking a little tired.  The white spots on the brown background have even turned cream.  Which means it's time for a new (cue fanfare) swimsuit!  I have to get some pleasure from this swimming mullarkey!

I have my eye on this lovely number from Toast.  


Yes it's spots again but it's on a carmine (I love fancy sounding colours) background - a lovely deep red.  I think as I get older, I like colours more.  Strange but true.  A few years back I would have run screaming from anything red but this red costume has been on my radar for some time now and Toast seem to put it out year after year so it's obviously one of their staple pieces.  I am delighted to find that it is still available as to be honest, I have never been able to justify spending that kind of money on a swimsuit before especially if I'm not going to get much use out of it - but ..... it is rather gorgeous.  It also appears to give ample bottom coverage - something I am quite keen on.  I shall order said costume to put myself out of my yearning misery though it ultimately depends on the fit.  Also if the costume and I get on - I will not be modelling it but I believe it's supposed to look a bit like this when on :

Picture from Toast Catalogue circa 2009

And because £69 is £69 for a small amount of fabric - I had to have another look at what else was on offer and Monsoon have come up with my second choice costume here.  Yeah - more spots.



And as my old BHS costume has given me such good and loyal service, I stopped past the BHS website and spotted the following which are also worthy of a mention.  I'm drawn to the top two costumes because they look to be cut identical to my old brown spotty one in that they give you full bottom coverage and have an ingenious front piece which ruches to disguise the tummy - however, ultimately a little too girly for me.  And the bottom row - I just like the retro feel - a little bit fifties.


I did look in the regular Topshop, New Look and more "yoof" stores but the costumes all look tiny with too many bits cut out or cut low at the back and too high up the bottom.  Lets face it, 40+ , I ain't what I used to be so let's not scare anyone unnecessarily.





I  have a thing about not "trying too hard". I don't do the manicures, perfect hair, neat, tidy, girly thing very well. Every time I've been to the hairdresser's and they spend a good hour blow drying the life out of your hair so you look like Moonface (remember Enid Blyton?) I have to go home, rub some product in and mess it up. Then I feel better. 

My friend said it's because I am petite and cute and I was rebelling by dressing like a tomboy. She has a point. I'm 5ft 1.5" unless I've shrunk again since I was last measured and when I was younger, people did occasionally pat me on the head and say  "awww - isn't she sweet?" It's funny how these events sit in your subconscious until one day someone says it out loud and you think "wow - you might actually have a point!" Anyway, I digress - all I wanted to say was I dress "casually".

Which brings me on to Maison Scotch clothes which I have a bit of a thing for. Everytime I have a look on the ASOS site, their clothes are the first thing I do a search on (to see if anything has gone down in price). They have a certain worn in, slouchy, laid back vibe which is good for a mum on the run. They're not the cheapest but I reckon if you occasionally splash out on the odd item from Whistles, French Connection or Joules - you can stretch to the odd piece from Maison Scotch - if you like that "tomboy" look which I do. I won't bore you with the details of how the brand came about - you can view the link at the bottom of the screen and browse and learn at your leisure.  

I was lucky enough to catch two pairs of their chino's in the ASOS sale earlier this year. Bearing in mind that at full price they were £100 a pair, that is quite steep. But at half price, they were a steal and hence the fact they are now residing in my wardrobe. Half price is still £50 a pair but if you pay £40 for a pair at Gap - what's the £10 in it for something a little different - I am so going to get it in the neck for that last statement aren't I?


The first pair are grey with a pale blue dot pattern - a little bit unexpected and that's what I liked about them. 


The second pair are more of a classic stone chino colour but I love the embroidered stars on them.  

Both pairs are extremely well made and I love the attention to detail as shown below such as where it says "To be worn with love" and the logo buttons.:


Both pairs also have the signature Maison Scotch dandelion stitched to the pocket :



And the inside finishing is so reminiscent of men's tailoring :



These were the first 2 items I bought from this label and I have to say I am more than happy with the chinos. They come up slightly higher at the back so there is no impromptu knicker flashing going on and even when they loosen up after wearing - they slouch in a nice way without making you look a size bigger all of a sudden.

The third item is my very luminous breton tee. Love.


You certainly won't lose me in the crowd wearing this. And the bit which earns Maison Scotch some extra points? The little necklace photographed with the tee is included. How cool is that? That's the thing with a lot of their tops - they come paired with a scarf or an accessory of some sort. In my case, this quirky little camera necklace. The top I managed to get from ASOS with a discount code and it sold out in about 2 days from when it arrived on the site. They only had the size 1 left so I thought it's now or never so I went for it. And I am so glad I did.

So what do you think to Maison Scotch then?



Grump Meister told me I didn't need Instagram as there's lots of free software out there that I can download and play with. I think he's right :



I've just taken the opportunity to edit a few of the photo's I've taken over the last couple of weeks.  What do you think?  

By the way - I love Maison Scotch - the label featured here.  More about them in another post.




Zara Linen Stripe Jumper (old)
Roses Scarf (Ebay find)

Believe it or not but there was no rain yesterday.  And the merest hint of blue skies.  And doesn't it make a difference? So no blue and grey shades today but a little bit of fuschia pink for a change.  Fuschia pink rose scarf with a splash of neon green foliage.  Very cheering for the soul.  And yes I did get a compliment today at the school gate for the scarf.  I think I can class this amongst my "happy" items along with my yellow rain jacket.

H&M Grey Long Vest (no link but plenty in store at last look)
New Look Black Grey Jeggings (sold out online but can check in store)
Florence & Fred Leopard Pumps (err sold out too)


The basic outfit is simple enough - black and white stripy jumper, grey vest for layering, warmth and covering up less than perfect bottoms and a pair of grey jeggings -  oops - didn't quite manage to forego all the grey then.  I'm sure most people have some version of it in their wardrobe but the scarf certainly helps to "pop" the outfit.  And a pair of leopard print pumps to add a bit of extra colour.  I was really pushing the boat out today wasn't I?

Talking of bright pink popping scarves - here's a few which caught my eye whilst doing a bit of online window shopping.


Accessorize Digital Bon Bon Orchid Satin Scarf (affordable)

Athena Procopiou Luella Floral Print Scarf (wishful thinking)

Kew 159 Dip Dye Colour Scarf (most likely)


The Athena Procopiou scarf is my favourite but who's got £185 to spend on a scarf?



Every year in May, I treat myself to a bunch or two of peonies when they come in season. The Grump Meister did good this weekend and beat me to it when he came home with two beautiful bunches of peonies which he knows are my absolute favourite flowers. Double Brownie Points! Apparently the lady at the till said "Would you like me to remove the price labels, sir?" to which he replied "No, it's okay, she can see how much I love her".

Peony Love

The peonies reminded of the following garment of lust which has been on the French Connection website for a while but wasn't available to buy .... until now.



Not cheap at £97 but it is 100% silk and it is most definitely a statement (read investment) piece. I think this is one of those item constants which you will bring out every year at any time of the year.  

For summer - wear with faded grey skinny jeans and high (I would like green) strappy sandals. Add a bracelet cuff and nice clutch.  Done.

In the winter - here's my practical side - add a black velvet blazer for warmth. Change sandals for black suede shoe boots.  Done.

How would you wear this?


Hi there!


Hi, I'm Sue.

Mum to Ben & George, married to the Grumps, living in suburbia, somewhere in the north of England.

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