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Monday, 27 July 2015

I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!



Uniqlo Down Jacket, Aubin & Wills Blouse (not seen), Adidas Stan Smiths, New Look Jeans


I never learn. But then again I'm a bit of a lazy moo sometimes. I never expect to be recognised by anyone other than the people I already know. The cricket mums know me, the school mums know me, the mums group mums all know me. I feel quite safe rocking up as I am - no makeup, hair not brushed and in need of a cut and colour and no one says anything. I'm pretty low maintenance. I'm just Sue.

So meandering in to Margaret Howell yesterday in the York Outlet (George likes it in there because they have a bench and a box of kids books which he quite happily sits with - more shops should do this), I was suddenly aware that someone was talking to me and asking if I was Susie So So. Err yes, blush blush and then I found myself gabbling like a nutter to the ever so cool looking assistant, apologising for messy me and trying to make out I was a relatively normal sane person before eventually taking sanctuary in Hackett across the way. 

The event rather tickled me and everyone's comments on Instagram made me laugh and reminded me of a certain show. You know the one ....  "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!" :)


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Last Note :

  • Hi! To the cool shopping assistant in MH yesterday if you're reading.
  • Anyone else been spotted on their travels who blogs?





Friday, 24 July 2015

Someone Inspirational



Marlene "Kick Ass" Lee


Day 24 of the #mystylephotochallenge on Instagram. "Someone Inspirational".

I chose Marlene from Chocolate Cookies and Candies blog. I didn't go for one of the big history guys or anything like that, I just wanted to choose someone a bit closer to home and was inspirational to me. 

Marlene has one of the most beautiful blogs out there and from day one when I discovered it I was hooked. I pored over the beautiful images (she's a bit good with the old camera) and read her entire back catalogue of posts which were written so eloquently and with a healthy dose of girl power humour.  

She found my blog in the early days and supported me with the comments she left when I had virtually no followers and promoted me in her first "Pass it Forward" series where she chose three blogs which she enjoyed and wanted to share with her readers. I have never forgotten this and am so grateful that someone believed that I had a blog worth taking a look at. Incidentally her blog photos have inspired me no end and made me develop my own picture taking skills - who knew that it could be so much fun behind the camera (you're right Marlene). Sure I still use a point and click camera set on auto mode (I'm a lost and lazy cause and besides which, who reads a manual anyway?) but that's just who I am and I will never be a true shutterbug.

And she wants to make a difference and set out to do so. Her Sisterhood of the Travelling Jacket was a project close to her heart and she travelled all over to speak to ladies who had a personal story to tell and who were willing to share with others to help them through similar experiences. Oh yes, and she wants ladies to recognise their own personal beauty because being behind a camera, she has heard all the hangups and little insecurities about ourselves which no one else can see. Guilty as charged. 

Incidentally, she is also one of the most gracious, humble, funny kick ass ladies out there and I'm not just talking about that picture at the top there and the fact that she can kick butt literally (she does Taekwondo) . She tells it like it is and isn't afraid to say so. And one of the things I totally identify with her on ... be polite and gracious at all times and to treat others as you yourself would wish to be treated.

Besides, I always love meeting up with her. Especially when she treats me to a McDonalds Happy Meal. But she doesn't let me have the toy :(

Thank you Marlene. End of rambly gush. 


x


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Last Note :

  • The Sisterhood of the Travelling Jacket project can be found here


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Off the Shoulder Tops





I bet you were wondering if I was going to do this trend didn't you? Well here we are. That's the top. That's my shoulder :)

Now I love the look of these and always have but I have a niggle about being too old to get away with this look. Then I read Beth's comment on them and she said exactly what I must have been feeling about "a 19 year old's top next to the face of a 44 year old face" except mine is even older.  Arrghghg. But it didn't stop me trying. So I bought this one from River Island a few weeks back.


Just testing to see if it pings up on to my shoulder if I put my arms up. Yes it does.


So what do I think? I thought it was great when I tried it on in store but at home, that feeling that I'm trying to look like a nubile young thing is still there. Besides it's got an elasticated waist which wants to ping up and show my food baby.

So it's gone back. And I ordered this one instead from New Look which doesn't have an elasticated waist.




Which isn't too bad but I'm not quite feeling it (look at the body language). I raised my arms and up the shirred neckline popped on to my shoulders! And there I left it as I thought, it looks okay actually and I can wear a normal bra with this too then. And I feel less Lolita in it.


Happier. But at least I have options.


It might feel a bit of a cop out then sort of trying the look but not quite working it but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do and another thing - be honest, those of you who have these off the shoulder tops. How annoying are they really when they ping up and back on to your shoulders?

Really annoying right?

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Last Note :

  • Remember to snip the label out of the back as it might gape a little bit (but not much) as it's actually designed as an off the shoulder top.




Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Jacksons Jute Bag





I fell in love with a bag I saw on Alex's (The Frugality) Instagram feed. It was a jute bag from The Jacksons. You know me - I love a good tote bag. I'm not particularly in to all the designer bags - I just like what I like. And I liked these jute bags from The Jacksons. When I looked online, I found there was a whole family of them. And then when push came to shove ... I couldn't choose a favourite. Drat!

By chance, I found the one and it just happened to be stocked at Libertys. And lucky me, it went in the sale. Unlucky me, I was told two weeks after I had ordered and numerous phone calls ... that it was sold out and not available. As you can imagine - one very unhappy and cross lady here. And then lucky me spotted an Instagram competition to win one of these lovely bags. Unlucky me, I didn't win it :(

But I kept looking to see who else was stocking the bags and then lucky me spotted them on Monshowroom ... in the sale. Jute Bag Gods - I thank you!

I decided on the navy Amour one as I figured navy was a good bet going in to the summer months. I  also settled on the smaller size which I thought suited me more and so far, I've carried it every day since it's arrived. 

I have to say it's Love. Or should that be Amour!







New Look Top, The Jacksons Bag, H&M Denim Skirt (old), Carvela Krimble Sandals (old)



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Last Note :


* They have a good selection online at The Jacksons but it's worth ringing up to ask what they also have on the shop floor if you've seen one you like and you can't find it online. They can take a photo of their shop floor stock and email it to you - really good customer service (I know, because I rang up)

Monshowroom have a small range of the bags with a few which are currently in the sale. Go go go!

* There's not much in it between the large and the small. From what I can gather the large is just a little taller/deeper (not wider)

*I also love this one!






Saturday, 18 July 2015

Black Dress



I have no use for this whatsoever. But I like it.



Ordered it anyway :)   #scratchthatitch #widowchic




Friday, 17 July 2015

Quick OOTD : 17/07/15 More Me




Cos Blouse, Zara Jeans, Park Lane Sandals


Have peonies, peony spam the hell out of them! Anyway, this was me just before I set off to make my end of term present delivery. No red dresses today and I feel so much better in a pair of jeans, flat sandals and a shirt top. 

More me :o)



Thursday, 16 July 2015

Ladies in Red



Katherine Ormerod : London Bridge


See that lady up there in the red dress? That's Katherine Ormerod. Grazia Senior Fashion Features Editor. Guess what? I have the same dress! I spotted my dress on her Instagram feed about a year back and did a "Yuss!". Why? Because the dress is actually from a time pre Instagram and when we didn't know what the fashion editors were wearing every day and could tell us by a tag on their pic where something was from so we could dash out and buy it. This meant, I chose something fashion editor worthy without being prompted to. Amazing. Admit it, how often do we spot something on Instagram or on a blog and immediately go out and buy it. And guess what else? the dress has appeared not once, not twice, not three times but four times on her Insta feed. Yep I know how weird and stalkerish that sounds #needtogetalife 



Me : Back Garden (oh the glamour)


So, this is my old Miss Selfridge dress from a few years back. I actually wore it on the blog in 2012 and I don't think I've worn it since. That's not good is it? Every now and then, I drag it out of the wardrobe, try it on and then put it away again. I did nearly wear it last year but the Grumps thought I looked a little overdressed for KFC. When I put it on to take the picture, my eldest son looked at me kind of strange.


Me : What's the matter?

Ben : Nothing.

Me : Why are you looking at me like that?

Ben : Why are you dressed like that?

Me: Don't you like it?

Ben : It's okay

Me : I might wear it on the school run.

Ben : No.

Me : You said it was okay.

Ben : But don't wear it in the playground.

Me : Why?

Ben : You look kind of weird.

Me : You said it was okay.

Ben : Just don't wear it in the playground. I like it when you look normal. Sort of scruffy.

Me : Oh!


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Last Note :

  • When I do colour, I do colour.
  • Just think. In years to come, Ben is going to remember his mum fondly as a scruffy moo in a grey jumper and jeans.
  • Fashion people even have cool steps.




Wednesday, 15 July 2015

True Blue



I saw this skirt in H&M a few weeks back and I loved the shape of it and the fabric. It's a cotton linen mix, has pockets and is the most wonderful bright summer blue. It reminded me of the kind of skirt which you would find in Toast but five times cheaper. I bought it :o)


And then whilst browsing the Mango site the other day, this little blouse which I've had my eye on for some time finally went in the sale. I bought that too :o)





The top is a lovely over dyed blue cotton with nice cutwork details. If you're brave or brazen, just a good bra underneath will suffice but if not and you're modest and nesh - a little cami/vest top would do just nicely. Besides which, if you raise your arms up, your belly will be saying "hello world".

I thought it might be fun to try the top with the blue skirt for a real true blue look. It might work wonderfully, then again, it might not, either way, I lose nothing as they are good standalone items - the top would be fab with a pair of white denim shorts to offset the blue, the skirt actually looks lovely with a pale blue shirt tucked in. But it doesn't hurt to experiment a little. So I did and together I think it has a whiff of Anthropologie about it.



Mango blouse, H&M Skirt, Primark Sandals


So, it's not one of my usual looks - it's quite girly for me but sometimes you have to experiment a little. 


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Last Note :


  • I'm normally a size 10 but sized up to a 12 in the skirt as the waistband felt a little snug #whoateallthepies
  • The skirt keeps selling out online but they seem to restock. There seemed to be plenty in store though which is where I found mine.
  • The blouse is a size 10 / medium in Mango sizing and fits me comfortably and true to size. 
  • I have to say when the top arrived along with two other tops, it looked like the most least likely thing I would be keeping. It looked rather huge and shapeless - don't give up at that point. Pop it on, arrange a little, sort out the neckline and it should all fall in to place lovely. The other two tops which I had high hopes for - I'm returning.






Monday, 13 July 2015

End of Term



It's nearly the end of term. Four more days to go and I am prepared, yes I am! I am prepared for the teachers end of year's pressies. Last year, I did this. This year, I'm doing flowers again but differently. 

The other week, I bought a Mason jar. Mason jars are basically preserving jars which come with a screw lid which is made up of two parts, an outer rim and an inner disc. I removed the inner disc and left the screw rim on. I stuck some peonies in and then sat back with a cup of Earl Grey to admire my handiwork.



Looks good eh? And that's where the idea for the teacher's end of term presents evolved from. I liked last year's presents but I had one little worry about them - because it was such a hot day, the flowers were starting to wilt a little by the time I got round to handing them out. They needed a little drink to keep them at their best. So I've sorted out that problem by using Mason jars.




I thought I'd give the idea a trial run to see how they would work. So I purchased a stack of jars the size down from what I have the peonies in. I bought a bunch of Sweet Williams - you get a lot of bang for your buck with these. A bunch of these will fill 3  to 4 jars. I found some downloadable printable thank you tags and printed and made those. Last of all, I dragged out a bit of gardening twine.



Hocus, pocus, abracadabra. Teacher's thank you presents sorted!




You don't really need instructions for this - you just need to make sure your flowers sit nicely as an arrangement in the jar. You need to be able to tie a bow and attach a tag. That's it.





I thought I'd do a trial run and post this earlish just incase anyone needs any ideas for teacher thank you presents this year but they also make lovely presents to take to dinner parties for the hostess. The chalkboard tags are very pretty but I'm sticking with some white ones so George can write on the front of his tags.




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Last Note :

  • Don't forget to give the inner disc lid when you give the jar so whoever is receiving the flowers can make full use of the jar when the flowers are long gone.
  • My jars were from Home Bargains and prices start at 69p for the smaller jars. The larger jar which is holding the peonies is still only 99p. Bargain indeed.
  • Don't overfill the jars with water - you have to transport them!
  • My favourite downloadable tags are here for the white Thank You tags, here for the chalkboard style ones and here for some pretty Orla Kiely'esque ones.
  • I sold a batch of these at last weeks cricket gala to raise funds for the cricket club which is when I was asked to make one for a lady who wanted a dinner party gift. Hence the dinner party gift idea!

Destination cricket gala.



Sunday, 12 July 2015

Getting Shirty



I said it last year and I stick by my word - in the warm weather, I prefer a shirt to a tee shirt. And it seems that the proof is in the wearing. Just lately, I have donned the following :


Light Blue Cotton Shirt.

This is a light thin cotton shirt so perfect for hot and sticky days. It's a looser fit and the sleeves give you a little extra protection from the hot sun so it's cooler than wearing a vest top actually.  I picked mine up last year but they seem to have a very similar version this year minus the sleeve tabs which I had to unpick from mine. Teamed with a pair of denim shorts - I feel it has a clean fresh vibe to it. 


H&M Shirt (old but similar here, H&M Shorts (old)


Greige Cotton Tunic Shirt

I saw this in the sale section online on the H&M site last year and I was drawn to the colour. Shall we call it greige or mole? Whatever it is, I like it. Again it's light thin cotton - almost twill like. It was a little long in length and the stitching was shoddy as anything on the hem but I hacked an inch or two off the length and in doing so tidied up the stitching when I re-hemmed it. I guess you'd have expected me to return it as I am fussy about stitching and finishing but I had a feeling I could make this work for me. I've turned to this little shirt a couple of times over the last few weeks and it's proved to be a good un ... it was worth that little effort.



H&M Shirt (old), MiH Paris Jeans (old), Next Cheetah Pumps (old)


Light Denim Shirt

So I was a helper on a school trip this week to the local forest. I chose my old blue denim shirt from Zara. This one is a little thicker than the previous two shirts but I figured the forest can be quite shady in parts so this would save having to wear any extra layers. Look at the colour of the sky ... when I returned in the afternoon and got back in my car, it registered 30 degrees. I was a little "waahhm" to say the least but in the morning when I set off ... it was perfect.


Zara Shirt (old), Uniqlo Jeans (old), Stan Smiths, COS Kids Backpack (old)


White Cotton Shirt

White shirts are actually quite hard to wear if you're a SAHM as you don't want to look like you've just stepped out of the office. I have a white linen Uniqlo one, a soft cotton voile one from Whistles  and although it is still not the perfect white shirt, this one is probably my preferred one out of all three. It's not too sheer, a little oversized but still thin enough to be comfortable on a warm day. And it was the cheapest ... from H&M again!




H&M Shirt, MiH Paris Jeans (old), Longchamp Tote, Topshop Espadrilles (old)


So there you have it - it really does appear that I'm liking my shirts at the moment ... I might try something else next week. We shall see.






Monday, 6 July 2015

Basket



Last year, I bought a basket in the Toast sale. Do you remember it here?

I liked it a lot despite it not being the most practical of shapes and proceeded to use it for part of the summer lugging it to various cricket matches and on days out. And then one day, I heard a "twang" and I felt something give. That was the first handle. Ten minutes later "twang". You guessed it. The second handle broke :o(

I didn't bin it. That would have been too easy. Instead I fixed it.

This is the 2015 version. 



See those gorgeous new (slightly weathered looking) leather handles? I'm rather delighted with them. I ordered myself some leather straps from Ebay and took them to the cobblers and asked if they would be so kind as to attach them for me. And they did! 





I'm rather pleased with how they turned out. Infact, I think the basket looks better than when it arrived with the straw handles. It got it's first outing this year for the cricket gala I went to yesterday. 



H&M Blouse (No longer available), Zara Jeans (old), Hobbs NW3 Sandals (old), Toast Basket (old)


I love a happy ending don't you?

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Last Note :

  • Have you mended/altered anything lately to give it a new lease of life?
  • I ordered my leather straps from this Ebay seller here.