Twit Twoo. Burberry Owl for You?

Monday 30 July 2012

So owls it is then for this Autumn. According to Burberry Prorsum.

An eye watering £795 but it is cashmere!

A slightly less eye-watering £195 but it is cotton!

These images came out earlier in the year of the lovely Kate Bosworth wearing the Burberry Prorsums' Owl Intarsia Jumper.  The jumper is cute but in this instance either Kate is a little short in the body or her owl is feeling a little cold and sitting inside her skirt for warmth.  But it's still cute.

I'm doing my own take on the Owl trend with my Hobbs NW3 owl tee which is how I imagine Hedwig to look from the Harry Potter movies.  

Owl Tee + Grey Cardigan + Purple Glasses = Student Geek Chic!

Purple Polo Smith Glasses (Hong Kong)

The Grumps can't resist taking the mick out of my Polo Smith glasses - because they're not Ralph Lauren Polo and they're not Paul Smith.  They're a fusion of the two! Only in Hong Kong!!!  I chose them simply and purely because I loved the colour, they looked okay on (I am as blind as a bat when without contacts) and they suited me.  Getting glasses in Hong Kong is as easy as pie and extremely cheap.  I think it's something to do with the fact that Hong Kong students spend so much time buried in books, it affects their eye sight and consequently there is a huge glasses market out there (I just made that up but there's probably some truth behind what I've just spec(ha ha)ulated).  I think my glasses and lenses and eye check probably came to a grand total of £40.  Beat that.  There were Prada, Chanel, Gucci ones and all affordable bearing in mind how much cheaper getting glasses over there was compared to here but I liked the Polo Smiths - name or no name.  I resort to the glasses late in the evening or when extreme hayfever hits otherwise it's contacts all the way for me - I don't have the nose for glasses - they slip off a lot. 

Anyway, I've done owls now.  What's next on the fashion radar?

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Sunday 29 July 2012

Going for a tried and tested classic this Sunday morning.  White tee & blue jeans. Tomboy chic.  It's so simple - why don't I do this more often?

H&M White Tee
New Look Straight Leg Jeans
Primark Tan Woven Belt

I guess we spend so much time thinking how we can be different and how we can stand out day to day with what we wear that we forget about the basics some times.  This slouchy tee from H&M has the perfect shape around the neck with a gentle scoop so it's still feminine and stops me looking like a "bloke".  I just wish I could find the same cut in a grey marl.  My wardrobe is crying out for a classic grey marl tee in a similar fit. If you see one, please give me a holler.  Thank you (mustn't forget my manners).

Susie Ho Lace Button Bracelet

I've got my own design bracelet on.  Close up coming .......

Love this etched lace design on the button.

And some Ugg Tasmina Flip Flops.  Stand back .... picture of feet coming up.

That's as close as you need to get!

I'm sticking with my dark grey Collection 2000 All That Jazz nail varnish - it goes on so easily compared to my numerous wipe on wipe off attempts with my Chanel Black Pearl varnish which drives me to distraction as I know it's lovely - it just doesn't go on well.  I also tried a bright coral red a couple of weeks ago to get myself into the summer mood which looked nice but it wasn't me so it came off the next day and now I'm back with my grungey grey tones - which go with everything in my wardrobe.

The sun is out and the boys walked down to the train station first thing to see the steam train passing by and came back bearing dandelion gifts for me.  I try to look upon dandelions as a gift of love rather than a weed accompanied by the old folklore that they make you wee the bed - it's good to try to see the positive in everything ;o)

A gift of love .... not a powerful diuretic!

And then it all descended in to carnage and much hair tearing from adults.  

I hope you're all having a nice weekend!

Favourite Friday - Primark Snakeskin Print Jeans

Friday 27 July 2012

In the spotlight this week, we have my Primark snakeskin print jeans.  A little bit of rock chick hotness in an otherwise quite suburban wardrobe.

Not bad for Primark ...

Surprisingly muted and subtle.

Doing one of my Tuesday morning browses through Primark last March, I spotted these snake print jeans.  They're not my usual thing, they're snakeskin print for a start but they were grey and so I fell for these .... hard.   There were just 2 pairs hanging on the rack and one was a pair of size 8 and one was a pair of size 14 .... none in my size so no jeans for me that day then. Arrrggh.  But they lingered on in my consciousness and so I scoured every Primark I came across in the vain hope that I would find a pair in my size ..... and I did!  My pair are a size 12 as these are of the extra skinny variety,  I needed to size up and squeeze in - but at least I didn't need to lie on the bed to fasten them so that's a bonus.  I understand that the general advice with skinny jeans is to buy them as tight as you can manage as they will give.  Mine don't.

They're strangely not in your face.  I remember telling my friend L that I had bought a pair of snake print jeans and she had that incredulous look that said "what are you thinking of" and "gone off the rails".  She took one look at them and said "err... they're not actually that bad".  She didn't actually say that they were that good either but that's by the by. They are actually quite muted and teamed with an oversized jumper and scarf, they don't scream rock chick at all.  Strange how I can make the coolest things look ... well normal and every day.  This is how I teamed them way back in April when it was still cold and scarf and boots were de rigeur (not mocking the weather at all much).

Amazing how not rock chick I look.

Due to the lack of give, I have to say that these are not my most comfy jeans (it's always a relief  to take them off afterwards) but they are the nicest pair of snakeskin print jeans I have seen and tried.  They were a pleasant £13 compared to the more expensive version done by J Brand which averages £145 (originally £290) depending on where you buy them from.  You can probably breathe in those though.  

So anyone rocking any snakeprint jeans out there or am I on my own on this Friday favourite?

Everything Happens for a Reason ......

Thursday 26 July 2012

Remember the shenanigans with the Shadow bag which was too big for me.  Of course you do - I harped on long enough about it.  Don't worry - I didn't go and buy it again.  I persuaded myself to move on ..... to the Philo scarf instead. 

aka Shadow Scarf

I don't know what took me so long to click on to the fact that the bag and the scarf had the same print (blind springs to mind) but when the lights went on - it was like "Oooooooh" and then a big smile spread across my face because I can work this scarf even if I can't work the bag.

More shades of blue grey again!
My favourite colours.

I love it.  I'm happy as a happy shadow scarfed lady can be who couldn't have a shadow bag.  Everything happens for a reason and my reason for not having the bag was because I was destined for the scarf.  The colour is  described as a "lavender blue" with the dark grey/black shadow print being described as leopard on the shopping tag but it's the shadow scarf to me.    This is my new favourite scarf till ..... my next favourite scarf comes along.  

If you like it, it's available still on the Plumo website and there is an extra 20% off discount code FINALSALE which can be used till 31st July. 

Holiday Wardrobe - Shorts. How many is too many?

Wednesday 25 July 2012

The only time I wear shorts is when I'm cleaning the showers in the house or when I'm on holiday.  I don't give much thought to the shorts I have for cleaning but I have been thinking a lot about the shorts I will need for my holiday coming.  Infact the thinking a lot has led to buying .... a lot of pairs of shorts.  Not expensive I hasten to add (should the Grump Meister be reading this by any chance) but I seem to have acquired errmm 4 pairs in the last month ... since we booked the holiday.  

H&M Boyfriend Denim Shorts.  
Yes it has taken this long.

This is my first pair of denim shorts...ever.  It has taken me to the grand age of 41 to get a pair of denim shorts.  There's a part of me which says at 41, I should not be going there but there's a devilish part of me that says, if not now - when? When my legs get more dimply and crepey and cellulitey? I swear, as I grow older, I get more daring or should that be, I care less?  I have come to realise, people are more concerned about what they are wearing themselves than to look at what you're wearing.  I'm not that impressed with my legs from the knees up but now, I think "okay, not great but hey - I've seen worse on people half my age and they're still wearing belts for skirts!"  Does this mean I am growing old disgracefully?

Primark Yellow Denim Shorts.  
Shield thine eyes from the glow!

I've been wanting a pair of bright yellow shorts.  The ones on the J Crew website were lovely but too expensive a purchase for what will literally be a very brief wear.  My friend took one look at these and said "love the colour but aren't they rather short?".  My friend wears hers about 2 inches above the knee though she's tiny as anything and has great legs.  I was her until these last couple of years when I thought - heck - let's just go for it (within reason).  At £5, I'm loving these.  These look great with an ivory/black stripe combination - a bit like a bee having a colour run incident.  Think about it.

Primark Bright Pink Linen Shorts.  
Shield thine eyes again!

I just love the colour.  I haven't always done colour but I have been trying to branch out a bit more in recent years since all this colour blocking stuff has been going around and if I'm going to do pink - it has to be the bright shocker stuff.  None of this wishy washy pale pink stuff.  I don't do nice pink.  I do attitude pink.  Watch me eat my words in another post in the future where I will probably be extolling the virtues of some baby pink garment I have fallen in love with.  These were £5 too but I personally think they look more expensive - at least £6!  I find the trick with cheaper clothes is just swap cheap buttons, trim threads, a really good iron and it all looks so much better.  You don't always need to spend a lot to make it look a lot.  You just need to put in a little effort.

Tesco White Denim Shorts.  
Pam A - eat your heart out!

I know, I know, who do I think I am.  Pammy Anderson comparisons anyone? Red bathing costume next?  I was having a mooch through the clothes department in Tesco's when I should have been doing the food shop and I spotted this single pair of white denim shorts hanging up on their lonesome with a tag of £4.  I had my doubts but they looked okay on.  So in they went with the Alpro Soya.  I was thinking of teaming them with my grey Zara vest top to channel my best Coachella look a la Kate Bosworth and the rest of the stylish people (read in a very light hearted manner please and not too sarcastic a tone).

Zara Blue Relaxed Shorts.  
You can eat till you pop in these!

And whilst rummaging through the overflow boxes in the top bedroom, I happened on another pair of shorts which I had totally forgotten about (I blame age yet again).  These blue Zara ones are a kind of smarter short and quite flattering and also you can't beat an elasticated waistband for comfort in a hot climate and an over indulged belly.

So, I have 5 pairs to choose from.  I'm only going for a week. I can't take all 5 can I? They are only small.  We'll have to wait until the final edit to see.

And for those who can't imagine what a bee who has had a colour run incident looks like:

Channelling my best J Crew/Aubin Wills look here.

See!  All the colour has run in to my shorts!!  You don't get it do you?

Don't you know? There's no such thing as a ..... Gruffalo!

Monday 23 July 2012

If you have kids, you'll know all about the Gruffalo.  I love the Gruffalo and the kids love the Gruffalo but I'm afraid I didn't love the Gruffalo show as much as I wanted to.  Gosh - I'm such an old trout.  We decided it was time for George to experience his first live show and we chose to take him along with Ben to see The Gruffalo at the Leeds Grand on Saturday.  As we rounded the corner to the the theatre, the shrieks from the many terribly excited and very noisy children threatened to kill off my hearing for once and for all - I'd forgotten the ear plugs again.

As it was promised sun for this weekend and indeed it did peek its head out, I donned a dress.  I love dresses but I don't love wearing them as much as I love buying them so I did make a mental promise to myself at the start of this year that I really needed to get on with it and wear some of the dresses I had hanging in my wardrobe.  So out came the bunny dress.

Closet Bunny Dress (2011)
G21 Cardigan (2011)

Breeding like rabbits!

The Bunny dress so called because of the quirky bunny print which you only really notice when you are close up and it makes a nice change from all the other bird and butterfly prints going around.  The dress is very comfortable, doesn't blow up in strong winds and best of all - it has pockets which I love jamming my hands in.  Have pockets - will jam hands in.... like a sulky teenager.  Topped off with a cotton cardi and the Carvela Krimble sandals.

Yes ... back to the Gruffalo show.  Errr ... it's not bad.  It's just that it's not that good either.  I guess if you don't know what to expect, you build up your own expectations and they did have to make a 5 minute book last 55 mins.  Which is okay because you get something for your money because you wouldn't want to pay for just 5 mins entertainment but in dragging out the show - you lose the lovely rhythm of the book.  Sitting in a theatre with small children is also very different to an adults evening out watching a ballet or play where you get the odd little cough and a polite "excuse me" as someone gets out of their seat to answer a call of a nature .  You go to see a kids play and there is just ...... noise.

Sneaky photo of the show
And yes that strange thing is the Gruffalo.

I had to pay £1 for the privilege of hiring those!

The boys seemed satisfied so money not entirely wasted. The Grumps muttered something about "Thank goodness, that's over" and so we trotted out in to the sunshine once more and had a wander around Leeds - something which we rarely do together because it raises my stress levels as the Grumps and Ben hate shopping and George likes to chase after the pigeons.  

"Leave the pigeons alone George!"

Are those giant tentacles in the window?

They are.  Could someone tell me what this is all about?

We lunched in our regular little Chinese restaurant (Ho's Bakery) which we adopted a few years ago and Grumps wanted to go to today as he had man flu starting and wanted some comfort food in the guise of Congee and noodles and Dim Sum.  For those unfamiliar with congee - this is a kind of savoury rice porridge eaten in Hong Kong/China usually as a breakfast dish.  I call it poorly food - a bit like having chicken noodle soup for when you're a little under the weather.  I didn't get many photos of the food because it was devoured as quickly as it arrived and if I didn't stop taking pictures, I was going to go hungry.

Oh chopsticks!!!

All gone!!!

And then home as we were all feeling contented, full and very very sleepy.  And I tried to stay in my dress as long as possible but eventually gave in to the joggy bots as it's murder on unprotected knees crawling around building train tracks.


If you are not familiar with the Gruffalo but if you ever get the chance - try and get hold of the wonderful adaptation which was shown on the BBC at Christmas time. It is fab and the actors doing the voices of the characters are fantastic.  Who couldn't love Robbie Coltrane as the voice of the Gruffalo and Helena Bonham Carter as Mother Squirrel?  I love it so much I refuse to let it be deleted off the Sky Plus because I am so thoroughly charmed by it and possibly the reason why I am not so delighted with the play. It's a hard act to follow.


And last but not least, I couldn't resist sneaking this picture in of mine and Ben's Gruffalos which we made for one of his homeworks this year. 

Sitting under the shade of the Basil plant.

Favourite Friday - Pied a Terre Boots

Friday 20 July 2012

Well if it isn't that time of the week again and here we are at Favourite Friday.  Second week - so far so good.  Not bottled it yet.

Today, I have decided to dedicate my post to my 10 year old Pied a Terre Boots who have given me incredibly good service and look only slightly more dilapidated than when I first bought them.  Yes - another item of mine which I paid good money for but which look like they are at the end of their lifecycle rather than at the beginning. 

They came like that - honest.

Admittedly, I put in the extra creases through 10 years wear.

I picked up these little beauties (may I remind you of the dictate - beauty is in the eye of the beholder?) at the York Outlet for the princely sum of £30 which admittedly wasn't that expensive even then.  I loved them on sight and clutched them to my busom as I made my way to to the sales desk and handed over the credit card most willingly.  And ... I sat them proudly on the passenger seat so I could peek at them every now and then as I drove home (what do you mean I'm weird - you mean you don't do that?).

Grumps didn't get them at all.  He called them my "builder boots" but credit to him that he never declined to go out with me whilst I was wearing them with whatever strange skirt ensemble I decided to pair them up with.  Think a bit Sienna Miller in the boho days but shorter, fatter and not as pretty.

I did say when I started this Favourite Friday thing that this was about something that rocked my boat - it's not all about pretty things - it's just about things which have a story or which hang around or just mean something to you.  These boots have served me ten years, they've been to Hong Kong, they've been to New York, they've survived friendships, they've survived longer than some friend's marriages, they've taken me shopping many a time so credit to them - they've earned my love and respect.  They get a reheel or resole as and when required and if I play my cards right, they will still be here when some of my other boots have come and gone and died.  Once I had a lady who tapped me on the shoulder in a children's soft play centre and said "excuse me" and all my friends and I stopped and held our collective breaths as I waited for her to tell me my child had just knocked hers out or something but she simply said "excuse me, I love your boots - can you tell me where you got them from as I've been looking for something just like them" and the relief I felt as I gladly but apologetically told her that they were years old and she was unlikely to find them.  I love it when something like that happens as it just reaffirms that you did actually get it right.  And this year with the military theme coming out strong - I think they may just come in to their own again especially if paired with any of the below.

Loving the bow detail on the back of this jumper.

So here's to my Pied a Terre old boots - let's hope we have another 10 years together!

In at The Deep End.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

I'm not really sure why I volunteered to help with the school trip to The Deep in Hull but I did.  I do remember before volunteering thinking "you don't need to do this, your son will not thank you, walk away now".  But the words came out before I knew it and then I found myself getting all worked up because I really wasn't sure what I was letting myself in for and why I was doing it.  It's not that I don't like kids - I just couldn't eat a whole one.

So what do you wear on a day like this with 50 or so 6-7 year olds?  You pick a pair of not too holey jeans - so not the ripped at the knee ones because I'm sure it's not the done thing to look scruffier than the kids and a stripy top and Converse or the equivalent.  Just like two of the other volunteer mothers who were also wearing the same but in different colourways -this must be the school trip uniform of choice for mothers all over North Yorkshire.  I did take my Gap trench with me but left it on the coach as I figured I would be warm enough running after small children.  Oh and an old hands free messenger bag which came in handy for fitting in unfinished lunch bits which they wanted to take home with them, and which they promptly forgot about once they were safely ensconsed in my bag.  I'm glad I am writing this post as this has reminded me to remove the half eaten slice of cake and slightly squished satsuma from my bag before they take on some kind of weird mutated form.

Jack Wills Striped Spurrell Breton Top 2011
New Look Straight Leg Jeans
Grey Linen Mix B+AB Messenger Bag
Taupe Converse

I do like their labels!
I like the little touches which make garments interesting.

I can recommend the Jack Wills Breton tops if you're looking for a new place to buy yet another stripy top.  The cotton is of a nice thick quality and they usually have nice contrast binding trim on their collars and hems.  Mine has washed and kept its shape really well.

It has seen better days but I don't mind sticky mitts on this.

My old B+AB linen mix messenger bag is a trusted friend which I picked up in one of the Hong Kong malls on one of my family visits.  It is very light and not too big (remember the palaver with the Plumo shadow bag?) and it washes well - it has had a big streak of bright green poster paint across it before when I wasn't paying attention and I brushed past the painting table at nursery.  

Anyway, I was entrusted 4 boys in my care and the bonus was I didn't manage to lose any (pat on back to myself) though I wouldn't have minded losing one small awkward one who was hungry when we arrived at The Deep and had a mawk on until he was fed.  I managed to avoid the debate over which two fingers facing which way round was "swearing and rude".  I was only hit by one small sweet on the coach.  And I admire the sheer ignorance of the dad who turned up on the coach with a newspaper expecting to read it.  What planet do dads come from?  Actually, I mustn't be mean - at least he was a dad volunteering.  Most dads run screaming from the very thought of helping with small children (a bit like me when I have my normal head screwed on).

Also, I have learnt from today's experience that if I ever volunteer to do something like this again - I will wear ear plugs and bring a carefully concealed taser gun to deal with any small person who dares to get a mawk on with me.  Besides what am I thinking ... volunteering again?  Must be like childbirth - time is a good healer I hear.

Gift Bag Goodies

Last note.  One of the entrusted children, a lovely boy called James was so well behaved, I sent his mother a text to say as much.  She was absolutely delighted to hear this as I would be if it happened to me (chance would be a fine thing).  Quite often we hear when someone or something is bad but how often do we compliment and actually acknowledge the good to someone?  It's nice to make someone's day :o)

Favourite Friday - Jack Wills Jacket

Friday 13 July 2012

I thought I'd try to commit myself to doing a regular post and decided I would do a "Favourite Friday" where I can waffle about something I like, something I own or something which just rocks my boat for whatever reason.  How well this goes remains to be seen.  I might fall off the bandwagon by next week but hey we won't know that till next week.  

The first in the series kicks off with what my friends would call my "Granny" jacket from Jack Wills.  When I tried a similar one this year whilst out shopping with my friends, they looked distinctly unimpressed and exclaimed "it's something a granny would wear" and so it has now been fondly dubbed the "Granny" jacket to me.

Granny would approve!

How girly is this print?

It's probably a bit of a love it/hate it kind of jacket.  A bit "marmite" is the popular expression.  I kind of fell in love with it when I first saw it because it reminded me of a little quilted cotton jacket I had when I was a little girl.  Mine was a mid blue with little red flowers and the Jack Wills comes as close as I think I am ever going to get to finding its replacement in navy with red pink flowers.  I confess to having looked for adult versions in recent years as my childhood jacket has definitely lodged itself into my good memories bank. 

It's a compact little jacket, adds a bit of a fun to a boring jeans and top combo and I found it very useful for my little holiday in Wales a couple of years back when the weather was neither here nor there as it proved to be quite a good layering piece - fitting comfortably under a rain jacket or just making a nice alternative to a cardigan.  Here's a couple of ways in which I wore it in the last week.

With a white cotton top and skinny jeans.

Jack Wills Colebridge Quilted Jacket (2010)
Aubin Wills Annaside Top (Sold Out)
Falmer Heritage Skinny Boyfriend Jeans (Old)

Or with a stripy jumper and teal/jade skinny jeans.

H&M ivory & navy stripe jumper (in store but not on line)
Primark teal/jade skinny jeans (in store only).

And here is a quick round up of the versions going around which are out there at the current moment.

And last but not least : 

Isabel Marant Haca Jacket 
(find one if you can)

So that's my first favourite Friday piece.  Wonder what will turn up next week?!

Susie So So