Quick OOTD : 19/01/21 Got Dressed

Tuesday, 19 January 2021


COS Jumper (old)
New Look Coat (old)
Uniqlo Scarf (n/a)
MiH Tomboy Jeans (old)
Golden Goose Mid Stars (old)

Seems to be all the rage these days - getting dressed to do the supermarket shop.


Nothing major about any of this but just wearing some good old basics which are serving me well. The only new additions in the last few months have been the scarf and the bag. The bag is the smaller version of the big tote I got the other year which I loved and when I saw the smaller one, I just waited and waited till I found it in the sale. I just find the shearling trim adds a bit of fun and interest. The scarf was a Uniqlo one, another little sale buy but has been one of my most used ones this winter - it's just the perfect, width, length and weight and provides that little hit of colour in a non in your face colour kind of way. You know what I mean.

Another colour on my radar - green. 

The M.Hulot Loe Bum bag was brought to my attention by Bean. She has the tan one and it looks beautiful.

Mittens - who wears mittens? I've always fancied a pair since I heard they keep your hands warmer than finger gloves. Is this true? Anyone know?

The green & brown, black Leon & Harper scarf - I just love a check scarf - I seem to have collected a few over the years. I do like this colourway as it's a little different with the brown tones but the black hauls it back on the contemporary side which you can pick out with other accessories.

The La Redoute jacket/coat I included as it's a similar weave and pattern to mine. Mine is an old one from New Look and is a bit of a favourite as it's a nice lighter coat and it's neutral tone lends itself to a lot.

And the other stripy Loewe scarf - I love! It's bright, it's cheery and it's modern. Just can't afford it. 😂

Last but not least - thought it would be nice to include some items from some smaller businesses - it's tough times at the moment.

Friday Five : 15th January 2021

Friday, 15 January 2021


Hi peeps! Yup, I'm here again. I couldn't really do a Friday Five last week and then disappear for another half year so I'm back with some more stuff and nonsense.

Friday Five (1 of 5) Levis 501 Indigo Straight Jeans

Well I did it. I bought myself a pair of Levis 501s with no stretch, no pre-fading or special washes. A raw denim for me to imprint my own life story. Dramatic or what? I know, I know, but it's something that I have to do. I need to get this out of my system once and for all. I first started investigating raw denim jeans in 2013 (see my post here) but could never quite muster up the enthusiasm and dedication to commit to wearing one pair of jeans ... a lot. But I saw this pair of 501s online and they looked so perfect, I had to give it a go. One thing though as I pulled them on, the fact that they have no stretch certainly makes you wonder what you're letting yourself in for but they do say, they're meant to be tight and will gradually loosen as you wear them and they will mould to your body. A few sumo squats helps though to loosen them a smidge and I've been trying them on daily and I swear they are just getting a teeny bit easier to fasten.  We might be cooking on gas here.

Friday Five (2 of 5) Blundstone Boots

I love shoes, I love boots, I love trainers and there doesn't go a week or a Friday Five when I'm not wittering on about some kind of footwear or other. I've currently got it in my head that I want a pair of Blundstone boots. I did spot them on the Toast website last year but they didn't fully enter my consciousness - I think I was still all over the Grensons at that point. However, having sold my Grensons as I wasn't getting the wear out of them, I've decided that I would now like a nice pair of boots which are easy to put on and comfortable i.e. no laces which I can wear for walking the dog through the forest. I don't want to spend all my life in a pair of wellies for the foreseeable and I can't imagine they are good for my feet long term. The easier they are to put on, the more likely I am to wear them - I didn't wear the Grensons as I hated lacing them. And what has alerted me to the Blundstone boots all of a sudden? Erica from A History of Architecture, that's what. She wears them for about 80% of her IG feed - they go with everything and she has a dog which she walks in them. Sold to me as I have a dog which I need to walk - I can relate. So I've narrowed it down to the Blundstone Chisel Toe model 1306 in Rustic Brown ...

Blundstone Dress Boot 1306

... and I've read the reviews and sent the links to the hubs as I've asked if I can have them for my birthday. He says "maybe". Which is not what I want to hear, I want a definite "yes or no" because if he's not getting them for me, do I need to get on the case myself? Drums fingers impatiently.

Friday Five (3 of 5) Snow

Photographic evidence of my snow boots making contact with actual snow. 
They're Sorel Caribou in Elk if anyone is interested.

Well it's been a few years since we've properly had snow i.e. enough to make a snowman. And it was lovely the first day when it was nice and crisp and even (yes I borrowed from Good King Wenceslas) and horrid the next when some of it was slush and the rest was ice. Hope it melts soon. Over it.

Friday Five (4 of 5) E45 Spray

E45 Lotion Spray (most supermarkets)

I first came across the E45 spray in Costco and thought it looked interesting. It appealed to the inherently lazy part of me - a quick spritz of body moisturiser, quick rub, absorb and you're good to go. I'm not one of those who like a fancy looking pot and have to stick my fingers in, gauging out a dollop of cream and then spend ten minutes slathering it around. Infact I only do the spray moisturiser if I'm looking particularly grey and scary but if you're as lazy as me on the old beauty front - this is a quick win.

Friday Five (5 of 5) Greaseproof Paper

I am so late to the party with this. I've had a roll of greaseproof/baking paper sat in my kitchen drawer for a good ten years. I've never had to replenish on the grounds that I never really used it and I didn't bake if I could help it. However, I ran out of foil one day and lined a tray with it and popped some panko breadcrumbed chicken pieces on and lo and behold, when I lifted them off, they weren't stuck to the foil like they sometimes are and I didn't have to pick off any silvery bits. I was astounded. So now I use baking paper instead of foil - where appropriate. It's brilliant. I am a convert.


Last Note :

  • I think I've lost 1lb this week. 

Veja Good.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Veja V10 vs Veja V12

I said in my Friday Five last week that I would do a little post about the Vejas I chose. I went for the Veja V10, in Extra White, Oxford grey and Orange Fluo just incase you were interested. And how did I arrive at these? Well I deliberated, cogitated, digested lots of reviews, did loads of comparisons, changed my mind several times before I reached my conclusion. Yep, that's what I did.

I'm not short of a pair of trainers and I have trainers I love and wear to death and some I look at and pass over. I know I favour a white trainer (first pair of white Adidas Stan Smiths were worn to death and lasted five years and got me through a three day city break in Amsterdam walking 12 hours a day) and I don't get on with black trainers (Nike Roshe One - still have them - worn about five times - couldn't even pass them on to the youngest) besides which I always feel like they look like full stops at the end of my legs. I also like a classic tennis style trainer more than a running style. And I love a pair of Golden Goose though they are ruinously expensive. I like my Nike Air Max Ones - they just feel a little more urban and make an outfit a little cooler. And I like my Novestas though they be more plimsoll than trainer and they are the perfect summer shoe and go with everything. Somehow, I put those on and everything falls in to place and they are a darned sight more comfy and supportive than Converse. 

I digress. I decided I would look at the Vejas again after missing out on the Autry (American retro brand) trainers stocked at Mercantile Clothing. I didn't pull my finger out when Debra (owner) had the most delicious pair of white ones with an aubergine coloured soled and trim and they sold out promptly and no more were to be had. Autry in women sizes in the UK seem to be like gold dust. Live and learn. Live and learn. See them, buy them, decide later. Or not in my case and be forever doomed to wonder what might have been. I'm being a bit melodramatic here.  I digressed again. I stopped blogging for half a year and now you can't shut me up. Go figure.

Anyway, after reading various reviews about the overlong tongues on the Vejas which dig in and hurt and had people up in arms and crying (I may have made up the bit up about the crying), I was a bit put off. But I had a chat with my mate Michelle who did have a pair of Vejas and she said they didn't really come up that much higher than the Adidas Stans. So I bit the bullet and I ordered the Veja V12's in white with neutral detailing to go with everything. They arrived - they were lovely looking trainers but they were just "nice". If you're going to pay a bit for a pair of trainers, they need to be more than just "nice" don't they? Where did I go wrong? I basically had played it too safe. I needed them to have a little something to bring them to life for me. So I ended up ordering the V10s with the fluro orange heel trim and I also thought it would make sense to see the V10s and V12's actually next to each other before I sent the V12's back and regretted it if I didn't like the V10s. You know how some things grow on you over time - the V12's might have been slow burners. One thing of note - I smiled when I opened the box with the V10s in and caught a little flash of the coloured trims. I put those on and they felt like me. Just remember this is all personal and relative - fluro orange trims are not for everyone however they just work for me. You be you and I'll be the one with the fluro orange trims.

So I guess you'll want to know what I think about the Vejas in general? Well I've not actually had them that long nor places to go to try them out properly (Lockdown 3 at time of writing) but this is what I have surmised from first impressions. I also keep focusing on the tongue of the Vejas as this is the area which causes the most complaints.

  • The V12's feel a little stiffer on compared to the V10s. I'm not sure if it's because the pair I chose had suede parts on the V10s which just make that model a little comfier but they just felt better on first try. But both are not as immediately comfy as say a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths.
  • The tongues on both the Vejas do come up high on the foot but only just fractionally more than Stans. For comparison I noted that the tongue on a pair of Adidas Stans is also high but considerably more padded (see below) and curves gently in the middle so it lies better against your foot without jabbing in. 

  • The tongue on the V10 is not padded whereas the V12 is lightly padded/lined which adds a little stiffness to the leather tongue and why I think it feels a little "sharper" and may dig in to the top part of your foot a little bit more than the V10.

  • I'm not sure how much the tongue on the V12 will soften over time but from googling, people tend to slide the tongue to the side to minimise this problem. This is okay if you don't mind a lopsided tongue but I know this drives me mad on the Adidas Stans as I'm forever trying to straighten them back up. But sliding the tongue to the side on the Vejas to make them more comfortable is apparently a thing and a recognised Veja hack.

    • The V12's feel a little dressier and smarter than the V10's which have a slightly more casual and sporty vibe to them with the perforated detailing. 

    Casual or Smart? Which one are you?

    • Both the V10s and V12s appear to be true to size for me and the fit on both is quite similar with no toe pinching going on. I know some people say they come up big but I guess that depends on whether you have a slimmer or wider foot. I can wear a thin sock with both styles comfortably but not a thicker sock. I might mention at this point that Clarks Shoes had my feet down as being wide fit when I was a child and nearly made me cry when they said they only had these Clarks Polyvelts which fitted me. I refused them outright as I considered them crimes against fashion - I can't believe they are still being sold forty years on!
    • Both pairs seem fairly supportive and the sole is cushioned adequately. In fact I don't think there will be much breaking in with my V10s.
    • Last but not least, the back of the V10s come up a fraction higher than the V12's - not a problem unless there is a chance that they might rub your ankles if you have problems in that area.

    So I hope that helps you understand my thought process a little. I like the Vejas (both styles) and I haven't come across any real discomfort wearing the V10s around the house so far and a couple of 2km walks around the village. If the tongue starts to dig in which it hasn't so far I'll just put a padded plaster at the top of my foot and try again. And failing that - my contingency plan when lockdown is over is to take them to the cobblers to get them to cut about 1.5cm off the length of the tongue half way down and then restitch it back on so it sits lower down on my leg. The stitched join would be hidden by the laces. Now that's a plan eh?


    Last Note :

    • Generally, the lower the tongue on the trainer, the more flattering it is on the leg. My Golden Goose trainers have tongues which sit much lower and are more flattering on the leg as they show off more ankle.
    • This post is really more an observation than a review but it might help if you have been considering the Vejas. I favoured the V10's and V12's as I preferred the profile of these compared to the Esplar and Campo which are a little simpler in design. The soles on the Esplar and the Campo are slimmer/flatter which I didn't really want - I like bouncing down the road. #boing
    • Whilst breaking in the V10s around the village, I was wearing socks to prevent any potential rubbing - I know some people think I'm a bit daft but I'm certainly not a masochist.

    Friday Five : 8th January 2021

    Friday, 8 January 2021

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    Happy New Year everyone!

    I disappeared for the best part of half a year but thought I'd pop back on for old time's sake. Shall I just carry on like I've never been away? Well here goes for anyone who misses and likes a Friday Five ...

    Friday Five : (1 of 5) New Sneaks

    Other Stories Jumper (Old)
    Levis 501 Skinny (Old)
    (that's the colour description on the website)
    I finally jumped on the Veja bandwagon. Well to be fair, I was on the Veja bandwagon a few years ago with my Veja Watu but as I didn't really get on with them, I resisted the more recent leather offerings which everyone is much more familiar with. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with which style and colours but I'll save that for another post so you can see what strange warped logical and illogical arguments I used to arrive at the pair you see above. But for now, that smokey grey blue suede and fluro orange is giving me all the good feels. And we're in serious need of all the good feels aren't we?

    Friday Five : (2 of 5) Snoods

    Cos Donegal Wool Jumper (old)
    Levis (old)
    Primark Snood (in store when they open again)

    Can I fess up now? I don't actually like snoods. Or infinity scarves or whatever they are called. I never have - it's just one of those things. Please don't be offended if you love and live in them - it's a personal thing. But yes a snood has somehow made it on to my list of Friday Fives this week - tis strange times we're living in right now and anything and everything goes. Just before the latest lockdown I picked this grey one up from Primark and it's not been off my neck since. What has caused this great turnaround? Well, all my current scarves are just a little bit too long or cumbersome to wrap round and wear comfortably during the day when I'm pottering around the house - yes I am a proper nana now. If it's a long scarf, you wrap it round and round and you end up mummified. Also when it comes undone, it lands in the kitchen sink at an untimely moment and you have wet bits. But a snood - that doesn't come undone and it doesn't get trapped in dishwasher doors and it's really very practical. And now that I'm in my fifth decade, I'm really all about the practical things. And for the record, this does not make it okay to buy me a snood!  I'm not that much of a convert - one is enough for me unless you want to buy me this lovely Toteme cashmere one - then I think I can make room for one more. 

    Friday Five (3 of 5) Picture Mounts

    I get my rollers from the Pound Shop.
    But I like a good Harris brush.

    New year - got the spring cleaning itch? I've got a hallway which needs a fresh coat of paint and I probably need to put a few new prints up. I've got some old Ikea Ribba frames but the mounts have discoloured and yellowed over the years. It's not a problem though  as it's easy to refresh these in a slightly off white shade - I don't like too bright a white. I tend to use a little mini roller as this gets the nicest finish on something like this but a brush is just fine too. Make sure you cover the inner rim of the mount too - Last time I did this I spotted some bits I missed after I finished and had to touch up. 

    Friday Five (4 of 5) Reading

    The hubs was watching and listening to something on his iPad loudly. I think he's a bit deaf. Pardon. Anyway, it was a guy talking about how he set himself a goal of reading a book within a certain time frame and it was to help him with his studies. He would take the book and if he wanted to finish it within seven days, he would divide the book in to seven even sections and each day he would need to reach the next section to keep on target. Although it seemed a bit of a bind initially, the guy stuck to it and eventually it became more of a habit and he even started to look forward to sitting down to read and basically it opened up the world to him as he read not just course books but all manner of books about everything. The hubs decided to try it and took his Troy by Stephen Fry book on Saturday and finished it by Wednesday, ahead of schedule. So I took it upon myself to download a book to my kindle and read it within 2 nights and blatantly ignored the experiment. But if you want to commit to reading a little more - set yourself little goals of x number of chapters by a certain day and you might find yourself rising to your own challenge and reading all those books you've stockpiled next to your bed.

    Friday Five (5 of 5) Seven Pounds

    Seven Pounds. Or shall we say half a stone. To-mae-toe. To-mar-toe. Same difference. Any way, three years ago I was seven pounds heavier than what I was used to so I did something about it. I'm at that point again now because basically I went nuts on Yorkshire Puddings and Madagascan Vanilla custard (not together) over the festive period and some of it might be to do with last year's Lockdown snacking but my jeans are wagging their fingers again at me and telling me they don't like being so severely stretched. I like the jeans I have and I want to wear them comfortably again so I'm putting it here for the record - seven pounds to shed. It will probably still be seven pounds next week too because I am weak.


    Last Note :

    • I bought my Vejas from Working Class Heroes who actually have a promotion on their Vejas currently - it's rare to find them discounted or most places usually remove them from promotions - I know as I've been looking for the last few months. 
    • My Primark snood is probably made of the finest acrylic known to man and likely to go poof near a naked flame but do you know what - it's damned warm and soft, not too cray cray and it does the perfect loop round the neck twice without strangling me so I'm okay with that. 
    • And how the devil are you all? Is anybody out there and still reading? Hello! Hello!

    Friday Five : April 24th 2020

    Friday, 24 April 2020

    Hi. I thought I'd bang out a Friday Five. Nothing fashion related - just things and tings off the top off my head. I've not done one since we started lockdown and I've not even been sure what to talk about but I just felt that now we're a month in, I can do my thing again. So not many pretty photos apart from one of some tulips and my usual lot of gibberish.

    Friday Five (1 of 5) Tulips

    Pretty ... but I prefer white ones.

    I normally buy white tulips but they didn't have any white ones in Aldi when I did my weekly shop so I decided to opt for a super cheery coloured bunch as there was a little something in me that said "we need a little happy colour". I stared at them for a few days till they did my head in and moved them somewhere out of sight.

    Friday Five (2 of 5) Fruit Flies

    I spotted an online discussion about fruit flies and how there seems to be an increase in them of late and more importantly - how to deal with them. Have you noticed how apart from fruit, they seem to land in your red wine if you drink red wine that is? They seem to be drawn to the vinegary note. So put a little dish out with some red wine vinegar (if you want to hang on to your precious wine) and cover it with some cling film. Pop a few holes big enough for the flies to get in. They get drawn in by the smell, pop in through the holes and then get addled and can't find their way out. I caught about 20 today! #SuetheFruitFlySlayer

    Friday Five (3 of 5) Rich Tea Biscuits

    That's my biscuit of choice currently. Oreos are George's choice. Custard Creams are Ben's. And Ginger Parkin biscuits are the hubby's. What's your biscuit of choice?

    Friday Five (4 of 5) Spaghetti 

    That hole in the spoon actually has a purpose.

    Do you have one of those spaghetti spoon things? One of those funny shaped utensils which help with ladling out spaghetti? Well have you noticed they have a hole in the middle of the spoon? Did you know the size of that hole is exactly one portion of spaghetti?

    Friday Five (5 of 5) Banoffee Pie

    I'm bored of banana loaf so I thought I'd make banoffee pie. I'm not sure why as I don't even like bananas that much. So I bought a tin of Caramel Condensed Milk - this is the shortcut if you don't want to boil a tin of condensed milk for hours to make it caramelise. Shortcuts all the way for me! However, you need a loose bottom flan tin to make it easy to lift out your "pie". I don't have one of those. Back to banana loaf then.


    Last Note :

    • It goes without saying. Thank you to all the people out there still working and trying to keep this world of ours ticking over during Covid 19. I'm not great with words but just "Thank you".

    Get Crafty : Bandana Sandals

    Thursday, 16 April 2020

    Ignore the title - there's not a bandana in sight but the original bandana sandals from Arizona Love were what my fabric wrapped sandals were based on and "Fabric wrapped trekking sandals" doesn't have quite the same ring to it does it? Anyway, it's been a while since I've done a crafty post but I had a couple of queries asking how I made my little fabric wrapped trekking sandals on Instagram when I posted them on there so I thought for those of you up for the challenge, I'd give you some tips on how to make your own. This is not an out and out tutorial - it's just the basics and some of it you will have to fiddle with and work out - like how you like to tie the bows at the joining points.

    What you will need.
    • Pair of black Teva like walking sandals / Teva Sandals
    • 0.25 to 0.5m of cotton fabric of your choice.
    • Needle and matching thread.

    First of all, credit where it's due - I actually stumbled across this blog post at the beginning of the year when I decided I wanted a pair of Arizona Love sandals and then realised it was someone doing a tutorial on how to make their own version of them. I took the tips that I wanted from it and changed them to suit how I wanted my sandals to look and work.

    The most fun bit is creating the fabric strips which you will be using to wrap around the straps of your sandals. These look best with the edges a little roughed up and to do this you need to tear the strips which is roughly the width of the sandal bands. I find the finished edge of the fabric and make a small cut.

    The cardboard strip is the width of the sandal straps.

    Then I hold the fabric either side of the cut and rip. You know like when you go to the fabric counter and you tell the lady how much you want and she measures out and then does a snip with the scissors and then she tears the fabric along the rip and your heart stops for a moment and you hold your breath? That's basically what you do. It is so so satisfying. If the strips are a little rumpled, just give them a little iron to make them a little easier to work with.

    Don't be scared. Let rip(!)

    Next adjust your bottom sandal strap near your toes to make sure they fit comfortably and velcro in to place. I've chosen to make this a fixed strap on my sandals rather than an adjustable one - you can keep it an adjustable strap - just see the instructions for how I sew the upper sandal strap.

    I start wrapping from the big toe side working towards the triangle fastening. At the start, I like to secure the material with a few stitches.

    Wrap the ribbon strips around the band but to avoid the strips moving with friction as you wear them, I add a few extra stitches under neath to secure the ribbon to the sandal strap. This is the simple way.

    Or alternatively, you can sew the ribbon to the strap carefully disguising your stitching as you go along if you have time and patience. I've made a few pairs and have tried both methods and both work.

    Leave a good amount of fabric when you get to the triangles as you will be using this to create the knotted ties. You basically need to repeat similar for the other strap bands on the sandals apart from the top velcro fastening one. Where the long pieces meet at the triangles, these are where you will be tying to create the "bows". Trim to required length after tying securely and make sure you wrap around the triangle fastenings for extra security.

    Now the top band - you need to be able to use the velcro fastening but you want to keep the "wrapped fabric" appearance. To do this, create yourself a length of cardboard the length and width of the top strap. Wrap the fabric round on a slant as such.

    Iron the wrapped fabric on the cardboard strip and then unravel from the cardboard.

    And then reassemble it again (I used a running stitch along the length just to hold it in place) and you will lay this across the top strap. Pin to the strap to help you as stitch.

    Now if you're a dab hand with the sewing machine, you can sew it to the strap but I didn't fancy my chances so I just handstitched it in to place, again hiding my stitches in amongst the pattern. I used black thread and my stitches hit where there was a black bit of pattern so they were camouflaged. Finish off neatly and make sure that everything is secured in to place.

    If you look close up, you can see where the tiny stitches are.
    I've finetuned this since I first did this.

    That's essentially it. I also stared at a lot of Arizona Love images of their sandals to work out where they tied everything to recreate as close to their design as possible. In this case, I took the old saying of "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" to it's limit.

    Additional Notes.

    • I used a Rose and Hubble print cotton for the leopard ones - this is the most easy to find online if you google Rose Hubble Leopard Fabric. I found mine on Ebay.
    • The floral fabrics I used for my sandals was a Liberty London remnant and I also used some recycled pink silk sari ribbon from eBay but changed my mind about using that (too girly for me) - hence why the sandals in the very first few pics are slightly different to the ones pictured going through the post.
    • The Teva style sandals were bought from Amazon. The ones I used were Riemot. There is another brand called Fitory who do very similar ones but the sizing on theirs was a bit hit and miss - I could have just been unlucky but I think they come up small.
    • Just work it out as you go - that's all I did. It took a few times and stitching and resewing till I was really happy with the finished result but then again ... I'm a perfectionist. 
    • Apologies for the quality of the photos, they were done on the fly on a dull February afternoon where I was racing against the light going.
    • Have fun!

    Susie So So