Wednesday, 30 May 2012

What to wear to a Boat Race?

I've been invited to the Queens University Belfast Boat Race this Saturday, 2nd June and it got me thinking, what does one wear to a Boat Race? So I headed to Boat Race sponsors, the Outlet at Banbridge to try on some potential outfits..


First up, it was the LK Bennett outlet for some dressy options for the Boat Race enclosure. This high-waisted cream skirt caught my eye. Beautifully cut, it's reduced from £145 to £75. The silver silk top (similar) is just £30 and the coral & cream blouse is £40.
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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Marks & Spencer Winners!

Wow - what an exhausting couple of days facilitating at a business event. Met some lovely people and we were lucky to be in an amazing venue so watch out for the photos on the blog over the next couple of days. My work colleague, Colette, was wonderful as my temporary photographer!


In the midst of all the excitement, I managed to do the random draw for the Marks & Spencer competition. Thank you to everyone who entered. Here are the 10 winners along with what they chose as their favourite M&S summer item...
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Monday, 28 May 2012

White Jeans & More Shoes!

I'm actually working today - a proper ex-career consultancy opportunity that came up out of the blue. So the blog may be slightly neglected for 48 hours or so. Though I will do the Marks & Spencer draw later on this evening. This is your last chance to enter!
I'll post on Wednesday what I wore today and tomorrow at work - it's smart casual so not full on corporate dress thankfully. Today's photos are from the other day when I wore rather a lot of white..
Donna Ida (jeans guru) says that white jeans are actually more flattering than pastels/pale blue
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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Easy Living Competition Winner!

Firstly, a huge thanks to everyone who entered my Easy Living competition this month! It got a phenomenal response with  to win a 12 month subscription to Easy Living magazine and a free Caudalie Serum - a total prize fund of over £60!
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Saturday, 26 May 2012

A Handbag Story

There's a handbag vibe going on in the blog this weekend. Have you entered my competition yet? It closes on Sunday night (27th May) so don't delay. 10 prizes up for grabs!
But back to today's blog...meet my nude patent bag - 5 years old or thereabouts..

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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Bare Arms & Cowl Necks

At long last - we can get our arms out as it's proper hot! I don't get my legs out unless it's boiling and I'm in a foreign country and have had too much sangria. So I make up for it with lots of arm exposure in the summer months.
This is the first morning in a long time that I've had a couple of hours to myself. I'm a lone parent until Monday as husband is away so I need to get as much done as possible while the kids are at school so I'm dressed for a bit of tidying up and some paperwork (in the garden)..
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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Styled by You - Coloured Jeans!

One of the common themes in the emails I receive from School Gate Style fans is what to wear with coloured jeans. They are a great spring/summer trend and can really brighten up your wardrobe but so many people are unsure about how to wear them. So I worked up a few photos myself wearing red French Connection jeans...

Striped top - eBay purchase, Blue shirt - French Connection, Black linen dress - Kookai (last seen here), Denim shirt - Gerry Weber (last seen here), Navy Breton Tunic - French Connection
But my wardrobe is limited so I decided to ask my wonderful blog followers for their styling ideas - and I had a great response. I'm kicking off with my gorgeous niece Lilias in her neon jeans from Du Pareil which she wears so well with navy. And how cute are those Boden pumps!
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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Workwear Part 2

Firstly, apologies that this is a day later than I'd planned. The weekend was busier than expected so I'm a day behind on my blog posts. Also, now that the weather has dramatically improved, these outfits are looking slightly more spring/autumn like BUT because Claire's wardrobe is such a great capsule, all you have to do is replace the black skirt/tights with a pair of white, stone or black linen trousers or get those pins out - Simples! 
So here we go with Claire's second instalment of work-wear...

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Monday, 21 May 2012

A Titanic Day

I finally visited the amazing Belfast Titanic building today, via a long walk by the River Lagan with the kids. And here's the photographic proof:
Today I'm wearing chinos - hurrah! It's taken so long for it to be warm enough to bare the ankles. I was sent these lovely chinos from the PR team at Next - so a big thanks to Gemma for organising and sending them to me so quickly!
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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Uniquely Different

I was looking everywhere to find a statement necklace to wear with this cream/yellow top from Marks & Spencer, which looks nothing like it does on the website - it's gorgeous in real life. Loving the chiffon detail over the shoulders...
This is the 'before' picture - scroll down for the 'after'!
so it was great timing that I'd arranged a coffee with Karen Gribbon, one of my Twitter buddies. Karen is a stay at home mum who along with her sister in law, Claire, started up Uniquely Different, making stunning one of a kind jewellery pieces at affordable prices. I first met the girls at Belfast Fashion Week and we've stayed in touch since. Here's a selection of the pieces Karen brought with her yesterday to the cafe..
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Friday, 18 May 2012

Do I Need a Bright Coral Blazer?

Yesterday, as well as meeting up with blogging Belfast Mummy, Clare, I took advantage of being in Belfast for a kid free hour and nipped into Zara to try on some of their new range. My favourite piece was this coral blazer... 
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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A Proud Mummy & Wife

I don't talk too much about my kids on this blog but indulge me for once because my amazing 8 year old boy won 'Try-scorer of the Year' at his Rugby Club this week. He got a big silver cup with his name engraved on it. I couldn't have been more proud. So I got a photo with him immediately afterwards..smiley happy faces!
Today I'm wearing a taupe breton tunic which was sent to me by Boden last week.
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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

An Evening with Poppy D

I was delighted to be invited along to hear Poppy Dinsey talk last night about her fashion blog, What I Wore Today. Poppy has grown this blog from a personal record of what she wears every day to a social network site where users from all over the world upload pictures of themselves and what they are wearing...see, it's not just me who takes pictures every day! This is what I wore to the event...
Black jeans from Miss Selfridge, Blazer from ASOS, Silky top from Marks & Spencer (sale stock so not available online), Shoes from New Look, Necklace - old (from a local boutique).
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Monday, 14 May 2012

Workwear - Bargainous Navy Trousers!

Following requests for more workwear on my blog, I approached Claire, a regular contributor to my blog who works as a classroom assistant. I knew Claire was in the middle of a 30 day challenge - trying to do 30 days in a row without wearing the same entire outfit to work. What better woman to help with a workwear dilemma. Claire's first post features her bargain Primark navy trousers. In her own words - 'These are amazing - washable, have pockets, a deep waistband and belt-loops and are only £5! Run, run, run to Primark!!!'
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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Butterflies & Grumpy Sailors

Today I'm wearing a top I haven't worn since last summer. I love taking down my summer storage bag. Thanks to 3 kids, my memory is so bad, I totally forget what clothes I have after just a few months of storing them away. So it's like a big summer shopping trip getting them all down again from the attic <easily amused>
I bought this butterfly top with some birthday money last June and got so much wear out of it over the summer months....we did have a few sunny days - here and there.... 
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Friday, 11 May 2012

A New Top in Four Seasons

Yesterday, I got a lovely surprise in the post. The team at Room31 Fashion (use SGS25 for 25% off your next order) sent me this gorgeous Vero Moda top! So I just had to wear it today...


Here's the top up close - the grape and vine pattern is coral/pink/dark grey on a cream base and there's a cute pleat detail on the neckline and over the shoulders. You can find it here on the website. I started the day with a cream cropped cardigan over as it was nice out but a bit nippy...
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Thursday, 10 May 2012

My Boden Wishlist

I've got Boden on my mind today. Today was their Autumn/Winter 2012 Press Preview day and I was delighted to be invited along but the downside to living in Belfast is that I can't just pop over to London for a few hours..more's the pity! So instead of spending the day lusting over the AW12 range, I spent this evening lusting over their current range and compiling a wish list of what's great on their website right now. As it's a wish list, I can be a bit more generous with my budget - a girl can dream :)
Smart Leather Bag £79.20 
Embellished Gladiators £63.20
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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

And the winners are....

yes, I have two winners this month to celebrate an amazing week on the blog. First prize goes to..
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Stained Glass Windows

Today's photographs are taken at the church were I've worked for the past year (8 hours a week). I made the decision about a month ago to leave this job partly because it will cost me too much for childcare over the Summer months and partly because the blog and associated endeavours have started to take over a lot of my spare time...which is very exciting!
I'm looking a bit smarter today which is hopefully useful for those of you who need a working wardrobe on a budget. I've had a few emails from working mums recently, asking for suggestions for this time of year.
I'm wearing white bootcut trousers from H&M. Got these in a flash sale they had a few months ago. I shared the news about this sale on Facebook and I know some of you picked up great bargains at the time. These were just £7! Unfortunately no longer available online but these ones from Marks & Spencer are similar. 
You know my fondness for tunics by now and I bought today's black sleeveless linen blend tunic about 15 years ago in Kookai and have worn it endlessly since. I've had a little look to find some similar ones available online...
Billie & Blossom Black Shift - Dorothy Perkins £15
Cowl Neck Tunic - Amazon
For some colour, I've got a H&M cropped cardigan in turquoise. These are not in stock in H&M anymore but New Look have a great range of coloured cropped cardigans on 2 for £18. My scarf is also from from H&M. It's a summer weight scarf that has lovely shades of blue, purple and tan through it. New Look also have some great scarves on this link.
You can just see my M&S hairy black pumps from my post last week. Have decided to keep them but the jury's still out on the others...what do you think? 
See you tomorrow :)


PS The competition winner will be announced later this evening - lots of entries to process :) 



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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Dressing for the Mail

I hope you all enjoyed the Daily Mail article featured yesterday. My blog has been so busy since - thank you to everyone who's come over for a look, liked the Facebook page and followed me on Twitter. The comments have been amazing - I'm still on a high today!
As I've been asked, I thought I'd share with you what I wore for the photos that appeared yesterday...

I got only a few hours notice for this photoshoot and with the no black and no denim rule AND having to get the kids dressed too, it was a real challenge. My twins are not yet in school but the Mail really wanted a uniform on them so I had to buy their new nursery uniform 6 months in advance. Thanks to a very understanding school secretary & good old M&S, it wasn't as difficult as I'd thought.
My own outfit ended up being what I was actually wearing that day, due to time pressures. I suppose it kept things realistic if nothing else! I added a statement necklace from New Look and had my hair blow-dried at Peter Mark in Forestside and my make-up done by Emma Hanna at Space NK on the Lisburn Road. It was lovely to not have to worry about hair and make-up and just focus on keeping things chilled for the kids.

So the photoshoot was for a National newspaper, but my outfit cost less than £100. The jeans are from Sainsbury's (£18), my top is from Dunnes (£7), my leather patent pumps from Clarks Outlet (£20 similar) and my coat from the Boden clearance last year (£40). Necklace from New Look (old) and my sunglasses from M&S (£9.50).

I've no more professional photos to share now so it is really back to normal tomorrow. I help out in a church on a Wednesday, while the girls are at playgroup so it'll be a slightly more dressed up look. See you all then and a final thanks to everyone for your lovely comments, emails and messages. It's been an amazing week so far and it's only Tuesday! 
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Monday, 7 May 2012

I'm in the Daily Mail Today!

After a few weeks of waiting, today sees my little blog featured in the Daily Mail - yes, the actual DAILY MAIL! If you're reading this because you saw the article, thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoy it and please enter my competition before you go :)
If you're reading this and you've not got your Daily Mail yet, what are you waiting for?! 
In the process of pulling the article together, I ended up doing two photo shoots - can you imagine the stress!! What to wear - especially when I was told there was no black and no denim allowed! The first lot of photos weren't used in the end so I thought I'd share them today..
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Sunday, 6 May 2012

Investment Pieces - French Connection

Since becoming a stay at home mum, my meagre clothing budget makes stores like French Connection a real treat. When I worked, I got most of my working wardrobe there...those were the days! However, when I have an investment purchase to make or new jeans to buy, French Connection is one of the first places I visit as the cut of their clothes, particularly their trousers, really suits my pear shape.
I headed into the Belfast store, which also stocks Great Plains, on a monster try on session to pick something special for a photo shoot...and there was too much choice..
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Breton Jersey Scarf - £26
Stone Tote - £95
Firstly, I tried on the summer weight skinny jeans by Great Plains. The fit was wonderful and the material perfect for this time of year. I'm wearing them in the first photo with a FC breton tunic which is a great summer buy. It's just the right length, not too clingy and I love the solid navy over the shoulders.
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Friday, 4 May 2012

More Red & More Shoe Decisions!

I did some more jeans dyeing yesterday and am really pleased with the results. My H&M blue skinny jeans were really faded at the knees (as visible on this post - blush). Using Dylon Denim Blue, I've transformed them to a dark blue denim colour and the best bit is that the stitching stayed yellow so they don't look like they've been dyed! 
Today, I stayed on the red theme from yesterday, wearing a long sleeved top from Dorothy Perkins in a gorgeous bright red, layered with a white vest underneath. I'm a big fan of layering block colours like this. The addition of the white vest just breaks up a very simple look and makes it look more stylish. Shoes are a pair of classic black leather courts from New Look. Every wardrobe should have a pair.
Oh and on the subject of shoes....I was returning my shoes from the previous post as I had decided to go for the nude wedges when what do you know? M&S had a sale on! With lots of shoes on half price....nude wedges were abandoned and I bought three TOTALLY different shoes (it's an addiction, I admit it). Here's pair 1:
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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Red Blazer & Stripes

What a gorgeous day today - made even better by the blog hitting 50,000 views! Thank you to all my readers - next stop, 100k!
It was the perfect day to wear my Clothes Swap red blazer for the first time! After my recent post where Claire styled her red blazer, I had my eye on this one when it appeared on the swap rail. Luckily, I was able to secure it and I'm looking forward to wearing it all summer long - thanks to Claire's styling ideas!
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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Shoes, shoes, shoes...

I brought home a few pairs of shoes from Marks & Spencer yesterday that I thought you might like to see. Really impressed with M&S's range this spring/summer. I was really spoiled for choice and the quality is great - particularly in the Autograph range. I was looking for some nude wedges firstly and spotted these ones...
Autograph Peep-toe Leather Wedges - £45
These are surprisingly comfortable on and a lovely nude shade. With some tan and a lovely pair of 3/4 trousers, I think they would be amazing and very leg-lengthening.
Next, some coloured pumps..
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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A Spring Scarf on the Sofa

A new day and a new month - I cannot believe it's May already! 
Mini-me 1 took the photos today. I've got 3 year old twins and Mini-me 2 is really interested in fashion, in what she wears and what I wear but has no interest in photography. However, Mini-me 1 has no interest in clothes or fashion and wears whatever I lay out for her, but boy, does she love taking photos. And the thing is, she's really good at it! She takes her time, turns the camera this way and that and today, she even did a close up when I asked. Then she gave me a shy smile and handed back the camera. Love it! Here are the results..
Scarf - Soaked in Luxury (old)
Jersey Cardigan - Room31
Pink Vest - Room31
Tan Loafers - Hobbs (via eBay)
I wore this outfit a few weeks ago while cavorting in the local park (and getting told off for going on the swings!) but today I've added the Soaked in Luxury scarf, which picks up all the colours so nicely. Here's the close- up..
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