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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

K.I.S.S. in a Whistles Graphic Sweatshirt



K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. Or we could have the nice version which is Keep It Simple Sue.





Whistles Graphic Sweatshirt, Zara Jeans, Mulberry Bag, Next Pumps


A white sweatshirt. How criminally impractical. But I love it. I can't go near children in it. What a shame.  :o)

Some of you are dying to stick a scarf on it. Some of you are dying to stick a statement necklace on it. I am dying to do none of that. 

I am just going to keep it seriously simple.

I did also try it not so simple :


Matalan Skirt, Next Boots (old), Burberry Scarf


Just to prove that I have legs. And that I sometimes wear bottoms which aren't jeans. And just to try something different :o)


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Last Note :

  • I didn't keep the skirt. I decided I wanted a skirt after seeing all the skirts featured in the Zara Lookbook and then woke up and smelt the coffee i.e. I don't like wearing skirts. So I returned it but I thought I'd show you the pics any way.






Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Black Boots



There are a few blogs which directly influence my wardrobe. One of them is Marlene's. She says what's floating her boat and I go "yeah". I am a sheep. Baaa.

And not only am I a sheep, I am a cheap sheep at that. Baaa.

She featured these See by Chloe boots a few times in her montages.



Love them. Only £350 for ownership privileges. Hmmm. Guess I'll be taking my usual walk on the cheap side. 

These are the Medwinds Cavallet boot. The similarities are not lost on me :o)






I was having a browse on the Instyle website a couple of months back and they were doing a feature on boots. The Medwinds featured on them and I thought "Hmmm ... nice". And then forgot about them as I played a game of chicken on Ebay over a pair of Allsaints boots which I should have purchased during the summer sale. Needless to say, I didn't win them. Needless to say, I won't have learnt my lesson. Needless to say I'll probably do it again. Pah!

The Medwinds boots that I forgot about were chanced upon once again when I was browsing through Yoox and I thought -"Hmm ... those look alright!" and then I realised they were the boots I had seen previously. The Boot Gods work in mysterious ways you know! The heel height is perfect for everyday stomping and the toe is a lovely almond shape - I can't do with overly pointy and I can't do with too rounded. They have to be the perfect shape to elongate your feet which has a knock on lengthening effect on your legs. Oh yes, they also come up higher than your average ankle boot - good for balancing out carrot legs. They are also a nice soft smooth leather and something which you don't often get, they are leather lined. But bestest, best of all, you don't even need to fiddle with the buckles to put them on. Big yay from all us lazy moos out there.


My boots - being gently broken in - note the soft creasing.


I did actually buy some M&S ones before I got the Medwinds but then wised up over what wasn't floating my boat with the M&S ones. They were basically too high for an every day boot though they made my legs look good which in the past would have been reason enough to keep them. This enlightenment coincided with this insightful post from Kali which explains what she considers when she purchases something. Her example of what made her perfect boots echoed my requirements almost exactly.  I found myself nodding like that dog from Churchill.

And to prove a case in point. I used to have a lovely pair of Belstaff heeled boots. It took me ages to take the plunge to purchase them as they weren't cheap but I eventually gave in to the call. I wore them probably a handful of times in the 7 years or so I had them. I finally let them go to a new owner who compensated me enough to buy my Medwinds and a few other bits.

God love Ebay.


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Last Note :

  • Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Which blogs inspire and influence your purchases? And what did you buy?
  • Got your boots sorted out for winter?





Friday, 18 October 2013

Dear Santa Grumps .... (Part 1)



Dear Santa Grumps,


I have been a really good girl this year. Points in my favour include ...
  • I've done a bit of real walking in the countryside rather than pounding the pavements of Leeds 
  • I made my first apple crumble ever - no mean feat from the woman who can burn water. 
  • I've tried to keep my joggy bots wearing to a minimum and in the house.
  • I've not yet succumbed to a fleecy onesie (but by jove, it's getting ever more tempting)
  • I've never once asked you to change the cat lit.
oh yes ...
  • The children haven't disowned me yet and still call me mum.
So please can I put the following on my Christmas handbag wishlist? I also thought now might be a good time to let you know that there may be other wishlists to follow, like footwear wishlists, coat wishlists, jumper wishlists etc. It's only right that you are forewarned.


Starting at the cheaper end of the scale should you be a bit hard up this year, I wouldn't mind one of these classics. It's kind of light and fits a bit of shopping in along with the usual necessities. I was hoping it might make me look a bit more put together than some of my little shopping totes - it might  actually make me look totes amaze!



But if you're feeling a little more flush, I'd love one of the leather versions. A messenger strap wins me over every time because you know how I need to keep my hands free with my two scallywags. It's nice and understated isn't it? 



And I also saw this one from Whistles which I am rather taken with. It's like a grown up posh version of my tatty bag and that is looking a little worse for wear these days. Cue violins and much sobbing.

Whistles Duffy bag


... but if you're struggling to track one down as there are none left on the Whistles site or on John Lewis, you could try ringing round the stores? Just thought you could do with a heads up should you have any problems. But if you're really really struggling, you might like to know that I really like the grey version too. Honestly, I don't mind either one :o)



Or if you were thinking of something a shade cheaper - just so you have some money left to fill my lovely Jo Malone leather Christmas stocking, I'm quite partial to these seventies styled bags. I had a play in Jigsaw with it so I can honestly say, I do like this and really appreciate the fact that someone must have heard me moaning about the buckle on my Zatchels bag because they made this one with a magnetic catch. 



And this is sweet. Yes it's the Chloe rip-off but honestly, I had my eye on a cream Zatchels saddle bag last year before I gave in to the navy. I had a play with this in the store and it is just perfect and would look so lovely against all the grey jumpers I have. I do love a bit of grey and cream together.



And if money was no object,  I'd like to include this .....



The perfect dark and light bag. Lush beyond lush. Good thing it's not me choosing eh? It's your choice darling Santa Grumps at the end of the day but any of these would be welcomed with open arms ;o)

Anyway, I just thought that would be helpful. Be back with another list soon.

love

Sx 


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Last Note :

  • The tatty bag is getting very tatty. Time for an upgrade.
  • There might be a part 2. There might not. I'm quite forgetful.
  • You might have noticed that I would like either a black bag or a pale coloured bag. There seems to be a theme here doesn't there?
  • What bag(s) have you got on your Christmas wish list?







Monday, 14 October 2013

Always Be Prepared - Dyb, Dyb, Dyb, Dob, Dob, Dob



This morning, the larder was bare. A trip to the supermarket it was then. No casually thrown in items of clothing amongst the brocolli and the orange juice today although I may have sneaked in a copy of Vogue. Got to keep with the trends and all that, you know.

And guess what? I was recognised whilst grocery shopping! Someone actually recognised me from my blog. Again. Let me tell you now, it is really weird. You go round throwing things in your trolley nilly willy and then someone says "Hi, I recognise you ...." and then you think "Eeek" and then you think "Bog (substitute with stronger word for full impact), I have no make up on, I haven't brushed my hair and I hope I haven't got anything weird in my trolley". But hi Cheryl! Lovely to meet you! Excuse me while I curl up and die in a ball of excruciating embarrassment.

Anyway what was I wearing when I was spotted? Nothing very exciting as I was dressed for the dreary weather and not for being spotted.

M&S altered coat, Uniqlo down jacket, Uniqlo Heattech vest, Zara belt, H&M Jeans


The Uniqlo down jacket has been worn a few times now. It's quite easy to pull on over a jumper or a light top but I'm going to be honest, it's warmish but not that warm. I'm not sure if I'm expecting too much but the jurys out on this one for now. If I remember I'll let you know my views on it come January when I've put it through it's paces.

The grey altered coat has come back from the dry cleaners and will be worn a lot again this year - I can feel it in my bones. I think this is just one of those workhorse throw it on coats. It's grey, it fits big jumpers underneath, it has great pockets for jamming your hands in - what's not to love?

And the Burberry cashmere scarf? I love this scarf regardless of whether it's in fashion or not but I'm so glad I "acquired" this especially after flicking through the afore mentioned Vogue and spotting a Burberry cashmere scarf featured in one of it's trending sections. There's nothing like a bit of Vogue affirmation to make you feel good about your sartorial choices.

Anyway, what have I learned from this little experience today? That I should always be prepared (like the Scouts) and wear a teeny tiny bit of makeup (unlike the Scouts) when out in public places. And I have started by buying this ....



Baby steps, baby steps. This blogging mullarkey is setting me off on make up roads unknown.


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Last Note :

  • Have you ever wondered what the Scout saying "Dyb, dyb, dyb. Dob, dob, dob" means? It means, Do your best, do your best, do your best. Do our best, do our best, do our best.

  • You have been enlightened. As was I when I googled it.




Thursday, 10 October 2013

Scarf Tying ... But Not As You Know It.



Brrr. Well they were right about it turning cold today. Brrr. Brrr. And an extra brrr for good measure. Brrr.

Scarf weather? I think so too.



H&M men's scarf, H&M Jeans, Gap Cotton Jumper, Medwind Boots, Uniqlo Heattech Vest just seen


I'm not quite ready for the full on dark side yet. I'm easing in to autumn - season of mists and mellow fruitfulness according to Keats. So I'm in cream and varying shades of grey with touches of black - a little bit softer methinks. Winter will turn me in to the Princess of Darkness soon. Watch this space.

I'm on the lookout for the perfect grey scarf. It looks a lot like the one I'm wearing but is ideally made from cashmere or failing that, a lovely soft fine wool. The one I'm wearing is made from viscose. But until then, this comes close - it has the look I'm going for, but the lightness of cashmere or a fine wool will make it tie better. Go through your scarves and try them - you will notice the viscose pashmina type ones droop and drag a little. This grey one just about passes. Just.

When I sometimes have a problem knotting my scarves i.e. they are too short to knot properly or they are just not playing ball, I employ this little trick. 

Now you see it ....



Now you don't!


Ta dah!


I get one of those little non-snag hair bands to tie my scarf ends together!



My original use for the snag bands i.e tying up hair didn't work. I have hair as strong as wire - every time I put one on. Ping. Ping. Ping. You give up after a while. But at least I didn't waste the remainder of the pack. Wrap your scarf round your neck as per usual. Bring the two ends together and slip through a snag band where you would have the knot. Cover the snag band with the rest of the scarf. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Bet that's a new one for all you scarf loving gals.












Sunday, 6 October 2013

Baseball Hat



Well if you can't wear a baseball cap for your boy's first football match, when can you wear one?

Matalan baseball cap, H&M scarf, Primark Parka, F&F cashmere jumper


I donned this for Ben's first football match. The match where we were slaughtered 3-0 and I became embarrasing mom shouting stuff like "COME ON GUYS, WHERE'S THE DEFENCE????". 15 mins spent watching a football game and suddenly I'm an expert.

I don't think it's that bad - it doesn't have any logos or weird stuff printed on it - just a plainish grey tweed. And the Grumps didn't clutch his sides laughing when he saw me in it. Actually, he didn't say anything  at all but gave me that quizzical look as if to say "If you must darling". 

I love Joanna's cap - now that's a statement baseball cap but I'm too scared for anything like that. I like Jamie-Lee's hat too but can't rock it in that fashion way. However, I think I can just about get away with this cap on a football pitch. Yes?

The other good thing about this is it acts as a good sun shield when you're driving if you angle it just right. Just thought I'd tell you that. 


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Last Note :

  • My cap was £2.50 in store but full price online. I just got lucky I guess.
  • Stella McCartney does a rather luxe one here. And if she's doing baseball caps, it's fashion right?
  • I actually know the offside rule.





Thursday, 3 October 2013

Simple Pleasures : Black Ballet Pumps





These are my current favourite shoes. A pair of black leather ballet pumps. They are simple and classic. They do not date and they will be still around when the latest obsession with pointy flats has exhausted itself. Do not get me wrong, I love a pointy flat as much as the next fashionista but there will come a point (no pun intended) when we will find ourselves marching back in to our little round toed ballet pumps again. 

These are incredibly soft leather and they have that all important squidge factor. Squidge, squidge, squidge. And I found them on a little sojourn through Maison Matalan. I squealed with delight (I didn't really but lets pretend I did - it's more fun) and squealed some more when I saw the £14 price tag. But do let me tell you, I did try a fair few pairs of them on till I found the perfect pair for me even though they were supposedly all the same size, same design and made the same. One pair was cut a little shallower round the vamp, one pair had a left which felt uncomfortable compared to the right and one pair made my feet look all funny. But the pair I eventually found were just right. Gosh - that sounds like some weird hybrid Three Bears meets Cinderella story doesn't it? I do love a happy ending though don't you? Granted some people might order these on line and they might be lucky first time with the fit but I'm telling a true story here and telling it like it is - you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince ... err I mean you have to try a few pairs on till you get the right pair.

So are there any ballerina die hards out there? What are your favourite brands and colours? And for those who are lucky enough to have some of the really nice expensive ones - are they worth the hype? When I win the lottery, I might treat myself to a pair!


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Last Note :

  • Link for the ballerinas is here. They also do them in nude.
  • My perfect ballerinas are here.  Dear Father Christmas, I have been a good girl, I am a size 4 in shoes and the damson colour is just divine .....





Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Lippy



You know how sometimes you have one of those days where you just know you look a bit rough? The eyes are a bit panda. The face a bit hangdog. The hair is on par with Worzel Gummidge's and the bagel belly is well ...bagelly and big. Basically it's all conspiring against you? What can you do?

Well for a start you can stick a pair of sunglasses on. Panda eyes sorted. You can tie your hair up or tuck it in a hat. Hair sorted. You can wear a big jumper and hide the belly. Belly sorted. But the face? Hmm. What can you do about the face? A balaclava is likely to scare small people in the playground and get you arrested so best not try that one. How about a bit of lippy? Or in my case, a smidgeon of lip gloss? Just to detract from the rest of the face. A cunning tactic yes?


Me doing my best Cyclops impersonation.


That's me with a bit of lippy on. Honest. I am wearing some lippy. Look! The lips they are a touch pinker than usual!

I often see a lady in the playground - she doesn't always wear lipstick but when she does, the effect is "Bam!" She doesn't wear a pale pink or a blink and miss nude but a strong deep reddish colour and it makes her look super glam. Even when she's wearing her running gear. So I've decided for those days when I don't quite make the grade and I need to put that extra 5%, I'm going to turn to this little pot of dark red goo.


Barbara Daly lip gloss in Cherish


Bit Scary Mary the colour isn't it? Looks really dark, but lightly dab it on, smudge it a bit and voila!  You get instant pretty lips. I would liken it to that "bruised lips cos I just had my face snogged off" colour. You know what I mean ;o). I don't think it lasts that long on but then again, that doesn't bother me as a girl who doesn't want to look obviously made up and would prefer for something to fade gently rather than leave me with a lip linered bouche.

I found this little pot of goo on a Tesco supermarket shop. It's Barbara Daly's Cherish lip gloss. It reminds me a lot of the Clinique Black Honey lip gloss which I keep meaning to go and buy but somehow I never quite get round to doing. It's because it's like spending money on something I'm not going to use (much) or forget to use.

I tried smiling in to the mirror to show off my pinkish lips. For all those who used to watch Lie to Me - this is what is known as the smirk.

Do you like my fake smile? Aka smirk.


And because taking pics of yourself with your face in the mirror is actually really hard, I don't know why but I tried doing a bit of the Green Cross Code too ....

Look left                                                             Look right.


.... and I did a bit of the ear tweaking and gazing in the distance blogger pose too ....

 The Ear Tweak.                                              The Gazing in the Distance.


.... and that's me genuinely answering the phone mid photo shoot (get me)!

Multi-tasking! Give the woman a round of applause.


Honestly, trying to take half normal pics of yourself in the mirror is weird and actually really hard to do. And for all those bloggers who have their pictures taken every day - I salute your awesomeness. 

But back to where we started - so what's your favourite lippy colour which lights up your face?  And what tricks do you employ when you're having a bad day? Do share.