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Sunday, 30 June 2013

School Summer Fair



Went down to the school summer fair today. I have to say, I toyed with the idea of a dress or a skirt but the wind was up a little and any excuse is an excuse for me not to wear either. I went for an old favourite instead. The Whistles chopped down dress top and jeans.

Whistles dress top, Gap Boyfriend Jeans, River Island Espadrilles, Tatty Bag (all old)


The old tatty bag came out for the express purpose of holding any junk that the boys might bring back with them. And the espadrilles were to hand so they went on the feet. They don't go with what I'm wearing but they are comfy and offer a little covered up protection from tickly grass (I'm one of those people who can't walk around in bare feet on grass - a little bit too close to bug life for my liking). Where possible, I also lay a plastic bag on the grass to sit on. The thought of real ants in pants makes me antsy (geddit)?

I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with the school fair this year - we had Maypole dancing, we had a dance team there to entertain, we had stalls and games aplenty to raise money for the school and what did my boys enjoy the most? Cupcake decorating. Who would have thought?

Just a few more sprinkles ....


Anyway, I made a friend whilst I was sat watching the entertainment. He seemed quite taken with me.

You looking at me???


And Ben took my picture ....

Pimms anyone?


Second time in a week with a drink. Crikey - you're going to start thinking I'm a bit of a lush!

Anyway, I've been racking my brains. We've had view from the loo, feet on the street, well my latest is lass on the grass. What do you think?

Lass on the grass.


No? Not working for you? I was pushing it a bit. Okay, I'll leave it at that. Hope you had a good weekend all!





Saturday, 29 June 2013

Princess of Darkness



I wanted to wear a dress the other day but I didn't want to wear a short dress. For some reason, I wasn't in the mood for a bit of knee flashing. I didn't get on with my navy jersey maxi as it is rather plunging and I didn't want to wear a floral one as I wasn't feeling that way inclined. So I dug out a very old French Connection black linen maxi that I have never worn in the ten years I have had it. I don't even know why I still have it in my possession but I keep thinking, I'm sure it will come in to it's own one day ...  let's try today!

New Look Jersey Cardigan, French Connection Dress, Monsoon Sandals (all old)

Itching to chop off the frill at the bottom.



Anyway, I put it on, stuck on a black jersey cardi and stomped downstairs. George's jaw dropped.

George : Mummy, what are you wearing?
Me wearily: What do you mean? (I've had similar conversations with Ben when he was younger)
George : You look strange?
Me warily : Why do I look strange?
George : You look strange?
Me : Is it because I am wearing a dress?
George grinning : Yes - you are wearing a dress! You look like .... a beautiful princess!!!

Oh! Well he blindsided me with that one! I have to say, if I do indeed look like a princess, then I must look the Princess of Darkness and my son needs therapy.

Later on George ran round the school playground shouting "My mummy is a woman!" for all to hear. I think this dress wearing thing is seriously affecting his mental health. Back to the jeans tomorrow.




Thursday, 27 June 2013

Lunch in Leeds!



Blogging is a funny old business isn't it? For some people they use it as means to keep in touch with loved ones from afar, for some it's been a lifeline and therapy to be able to voice fears and find support, for some people it's their business and livelihood and for me? Well it's become an opportunity to link up with lovely likeminded people I would never have had the opportunity to meet let alone know they exist. Like Joanna from Poppys Style for instance.

I've met Joanna before in February when there was a gaggle of us all meeting up in London. It was fun and manic but I only managed to spend about 10 minutes chatting to her and I felt I'd missed out somewhere along the way. Then she said she was in the country again and had a day free. What's a girl to do but suggest a get together?

And we agreed to meet in Leeds - yay! And with kids in tow - oh! 

Anyway, a couple of snaps of what I wore before I headed out the door .....


Aubin & Wills Annaside Top, Gap Khaki Mini Skimmers, Primark Sandals, APC Bag


This is my first pic of Joanna outside the agreed meeting place - Harvey Nicks! Where else???

Mrs Poppy (aka Joanna), Ms Poppy and Master Hugh.


And this is what George and I were doing before they arrived. Taking pics of feet on the street!

Me and Master Grinning George Monster


And before that, we had "The Chat". The chat where George was bribed with the possibility of two Kinder eggs if he was on his best behaviour today. And I was rather amused to find that Joanna had had the same chat with her two though what bribes she used, I'm not sure. I was also told by Joanna that in America, Kinder eggs are outlawed but you can have a gun. I'm trying (very hard) to see the sense and logic in that.

We decided to decamp in Giraffe - it looked like somewhere which could cope with our motley crew and we had the most accommodating lovely waitress called Rosie (Hi Rosie, if you're reading! Please get started on writing your blog!) who really looked after us even though we trashed/destroyed/bombsited the place by the time we left (sorry ... really sorry). The children were really well behaved or as well behaved as could be expected for three caged animals for three hours. Enough time for that bottle of white wine to be drunk which Joanna insisted we have.

Little Angels. Ha ha ha.


We chatted and chatted about everything we possibly could in the time we had. We did a lot kid cajoling, we let them eat pancakes, chips and ice cream and gave them everything they could want so we could drink our wine "peacefully". In the same boat - you'd do the same right?

Picture Credit : Poppy

Oh yes, talking about the wine. I was only going to have the one as I'm a bit of a lightweight but Joanna was terribly persuasive about how it's cheaper by the bottle. So one phone call later to a rather bemused Grumps meant that he was driving the car home for me (thank you and I love you!).

Anyway, the day ended far too quickly for us both and not quickly enough for the small people. This is George and Hugh doing the great escape!

You go this way .....

I'll go this way .....

Gotcha!


Thank you Joanna for coming across the Pennines to come and see me. I know you made it back in one piece. And do you know what I saw on the way home on the train as I stared blearily out -  a field of poppies in the distance! What a lovely way to end the day!

Honest - it's a field of poppies!

So when's the next date??








Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Bonkers in Topshop Pentathalon Sneakers/Trainers






OR






So of couse I went for the confused as hell pair. The yellow bit is the texture of pony skin but then dyed to look like jaundiced guinea fowl feathers. A little weird but somehow it works. 

Strangely beguiling.


The colours got to me - they're grey and yellow! Two of my favourite colours! And it's a little bit different from the norm isn't it? Besides, how often do we get yellow pony guinea fowl? These are actually part of the Topshop premium range and now reduced from £65 to £30 and some of you are thinking - yup - can totally see why and who'd buy those (apart from me) but I like them and it's good to fall prey to a touch of whimsy every now and then. Since February, I've looked at just about every sneaker/trainer going on the high street and then I spotted these funky things on Topshop a little while back but held back because to be honest, they scare me a little because they are quite "loud" for little ol' me.

But right now I have them in my possession - thank you Topshop sale! And when I opened the box, I could feel a smile creeping across my face. They made me happy. Sometimes, you buy something and it arrives and it fits and it does the job but it doesn't make you smile because it's just plain, boring and practical. These are fun and make me smile and .....want to stroke the yellow bits ... a lot.

Besides, my argument for them stems along the lines of, we can wear them with something a bit like this .....





Or like this if you have something similar in your wardrobe :



Or as I would wear them ... just like this because this is the kind of thing I normally wear anyway. Swap for white skinnies if you have the legs for them (I haven't - sob).


H&M Cotton Jumper, H&M Low (not very) Skinny Jeans, Mulberry Camera Bag (old)

Gosh - when I first got them, I thought they were a bit out there but looking at these pics, they don't look that weird now or as outlandish as I first thought. I make everything look tame!

And I dug out the Mulberry Camera bag because Grazia said we need a camera bag to update our look ... apparently.

Phew! One fad I don't have to spend money on.


So tell me - how bonkers are these sneakers? Or have I somehow just managed to make them look unusually normal?



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Update 26/06/13 @ 08:13am :

  • I woke up this morning and the fog lifted. I'm returning them - I'm not going to get the wear out of these. But I like them and can recommend them to anyone else who will get the wear out of them. I think I'm a Converse girl really.
  • I will probably regret my decision after. As usual.



Saturday, 22 June 2013

Persian Red & Ecru Again and Again.



Persian red and ecru. Ring any bells? Remember my disaster with my Persian red and ecru breton from Saint James? Well guess what? I had a disaster with my second one .... and my third one too. Yes, there was a third.

The second Breton I ordered was not from Atterley Road but a company called Olive Clothing. I ordered what I thought would be the size down from the first one. Hmm. The two stores operate on different sizing for the tops - I didn't expect that one to come and bite me.

I ended up with a top two sizes down from the first one which I could barely get over my bootay. Snug as a bug with fat hips in a rug. So back it went.


There's snug and there's snug.

And then I spotted the size 8's had come back on Atterley Road - so I ordered the size 8 thinking, it's got to be right this time having ordered the size 10 previously! But no! Still snug as a bug with slightly less fat hips in a rug. And I was so hacked off this time, I couldn't even be bothered to take a pic. Pah!

Anyway my mistake was that I didn't check thoroughly the sizing according to the different places I ordered from and I also deliberately ignored the fact that the top is sold as a unisex item in some places. The thing to remember is men have big arms (hopefully muscled) and slim hips. Women have slimmer arms, smaller shoulders and child bearing hips, therefore making it quite difficult for the two to come together successfully. What's that saying - never the twain shall meet successfully in the Saint James Meridien II top?

Anyway, I've given up, I've surrendered. I slink away with no breton top on torso. But full marks for trying right?

But I did manage to satisfy the persian red and ecru colourway in the guise of another garment. Hallelujah! But that's another story.

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Last note : 

  • Still love Atterley Road. I sent them a tweet about my blog on the Saint James tee and they replied! I'm so used to tweeting in to the ether that on the whole I don't bother but I'm trying to get down with the young'uns and this social media gumph. Three tweets a day - I set my targets low and I still miss.
  • And yes again - they are fast on the delivery front. Can't fault them on that at all.







Thursday, 20 June 2013

Seche Vite Topcoat



If like me, you go to bed with your feet hanging out for fear of smudging your freshly done pedi, you need a bottle of this stuff. Seche Vite Top Coat. This stuff works. Nice sized brush, super quick drying times, lovely shine! I know - I've tested it!



As a long time user of Sally Hansen's Insta-dri top coat, this one beats it on super quick drying time. Hard in seconds.


Sounds a bit rude that doesn't it :o?











Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Lunch with Miss Posh Flat Cap & Whippets .... and Tassels.




I went out for lunch a few weeks back with Claire. Claire's a lovely reader who has been in touch with me and whilst conversing, we found out that we don't actually live that far from each other. It turns out she's actually a soft southerner who's moved up "north" and lives in what we deem a "posh" part of Yorkshire. So I call her Miss Posh Flat Cap and Whippets. You don't mind do you Claire?


Zara jacket, Mulberry Araline bag, KG Margot Sandals, Jack Wills Jeans, Splendid Tee


So a lunch meet meant another outing for the white Zara jacket. I've worn it twice now. Cost per wear so far - not good but ask me in five years and it will be down to pennies. Or a tenner a wear at least. Everything on here has been seen before. But I just wanted to bring your attention to the tassels on my bag. 


The joy of perfect tassels. 


I love these tassels. They give me joy ... and something to fiddle with. They are so neat and tidy and precise - they satisfy that strange weirdo perfectionist part of my brain.  I bought the bag almost purely for the tassels and I have judged all bag tassels by these tassels since - seriously I am that anal and sad about such things. And given that the bag is around 8 years old, the bag and it's tassels are holding up well. I think that's enough about tassels.

Anyway, I had a lovely girly day with Claire where we had a good old chatter and she said I wasn't actually that quiet. And do you know why? Because there is no one else there to do the talking for me. Put me in a group and I am the quiet one with nothing interesting to say so I sit there quietly and take it all in. Put me in a 1-2-1 scenario - I have to do some work. Told you I was lazy.

Anyway, we had lunch, we shopped and we had drinks. Well just the one. A nice G&T in the Victoria Quarter. We would have had more but Claire needed to get home for an evening do. But next time, we can start earlier on the G&T's right?  Lovely to meet you Claire!


Bombay Sapphire please!




Monday, 17 June 2013

A Simple White Shirt aka the Whistles Freya Shirt



You can't beat a white shirt ... with a big stick (Avril's favourite saying).

So she's just a teeny bit cool. An iddy biddy bit.


I think she has a point. Here's mine.

Whistles Freya Shirt (no longer online)


It's taken me a long time to get on board with this white shirt thing. White shirts are one of those things which appear on those lists along with a trench, little black dress, grey cashmere jumper etc etc - you know - the list of perennial classics. I knew I wanted one but I was in no hurry because I would have said they are actually quite challenging to wear outside of the work place. If you want a sort of formal white shirt/blouse for work, there are plenty to be found. But a good white casual shirt for a SAHM - they're a bit slim on the ground.

I thought I found "the one" last year in Zara. A relaxed fit and made in a kind of ramie type fabric which I thought would soften with a wash and wear - a bit like a linen shirt after you've worn it for a couple of hours and your body heat has relaxed the fibres and then it takes on that funny acceptable crumpledness. The fit was almost there ... almost. A couple of weeks later, I did what I always do when I'm not sure about something - I returned it. I contemplated the perfect white oxford shirt from Gap too. I love my blue version but I didn't get on with the white - it looked too officey. So that was a no go too. And any other ones I came across were either too detailed/stiff/formal/frilly or just not right. 

But roll on a year and guess what - I think I found the one. Okay, I know I found the one. I found the white Freya shirt from Whistles. It was one of those items which you flick past on the rail and you run your hand across it and you think "ooh Andrex puppy soft" and smile. Then you pull it out and you realise it's that cotton voile which you like so much. Then you take it to the changing room and you try it on and it all comes together and you just like what you see.

Anyway, I walked out of the shop without the shirt mainly because it wasn't the cheapest shirt on the high street and I needed to do my research. A Gap linen shirt was a potential but when I went back in to Whistles to try on the Freya shirt again, I just knew it was "the one". The shoulders just fitted, the cotton was so soft and the length was good. Yes it's rather sheer - but hey it's the summer - it will keep me cool (any excuse) and the pockets help with the modesty factor if sheer bothers you.

And the thing about this shirt is that I can style it .....

  • Tomboy style in chinos. I swear I must have been a bloke in a former life.

Maison Scotch Chinos, Converse, Susie Ho Denim Crystal Bracelet

  • APC style in button up heaven and white leather sandals. Just have a look on their website and you'll get the measure of their clothes. This is me doing the APC look on the cheap.

Zatchels Bag, H&M Low (not very) Skinny Jeans, White Primark sandals.

  • Chilled out/weekend style. Err ... I wear these chambray drawstring pants for gardening normally but they're good for hols too. And the shirt works as a good cover up.

H&M Vest, New Look Drawstring Chambray Pants, Tesco Silver Flip Flops (all old)

  • Classic white shirt & jeans style. Any old pair of blue denim jeans will do and a pair of sandals or flip flops. Or pop on a pair of heels to switch it up if you want/can be bothered/that way inclined.

Susie Ho Simple Pearl Necklace, Zara sandals (old)

  • Blogger(ish) style. Whack a necklace and a posh bag on. Reminds me ... I need to return the bag to my sis.


Primark necklace, Topshop Jamie jeans, H&M shoes, Chanel Bag

  • Trying to be cool mum in a skirt style. I'm making it up now as I go along. This little denim skirt is my holiday abroad denim skirt - it doesn't normally come out in the UK - I deem it a little too short (for me) over here.

French Connection denim skirt, River Island espadrilles, APC bag. Susie Ho necklace

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark style. Told you I was making this up. Stick on the old faithful Namesake boots and an old Russell & Bromley messenger ..... and a hat.



Office Namesake boots, Susie Ho pearl wrap necklace/bracelet, Primark hat
Russell & Bromley bag, Jack Wills jeans


Okay, leave the hat and time to quit. Anyway, I think I've more than demonstrated the versatility of my white shirt. I'm quite tired from the dressing up shenanigans and the Grumps has shook his head once too many times at me prancing about on the landing over the weekend. Will love you and leave you to contemplate your own white shirts. Do you have one? Where's it from? What's it like? How do you wear it? It's different things to different people as seen here.

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Last Note :

  • The Whistles sale has started. I checked on the first day and my shirt wasn't reduced. Yippee! Means it was a good pick.
  • It's also sold out online which is no help to you. But there might be some lurking in the stores still.
  • I bought it in the size 8 rather than a 10 and there's still room. Luvverly jubberly.