Belfast-based, style loving mum of 3. Fashion, Lifestyle, Food & Fitness

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Rainbow & Grey

When I saw today's scarf in the window of a gorgeous shop called Uneeka in Truro last week, I knew it would be perfect. It's got grey as a base so that fits with a lot of my wardrobe but the rainbow of other colours really lifts a neutral outfit and at just £8.99, it was a bargain too! Here I am wearing it today on a day trip with the kids..
Getting the School Gate Style scarf tie re-arranged to show off the gorgeous colours!
Unfortunately, you can't buy the scarf in the Uneeka online store nor can I find another similar one online anywhere else. There were a couple left in the store so it might be worth phoning to ask. The girls in the shop were so friendly - I'm sure they would do their best to help. Tell them School Gate Style sent you! Oh and they have a Facebook page too - give them a like on this link.
I wore the scarf with H&M Bootcut Jeans, a Room 31 Grey swing jacket (both last seen here), Kurt Geiger cross body bag (last seen here) & my grey converse copies (seen here).
Doesn't it brighten up the grey and denim well? I'm going to wear this scarf so much - am looking forward to mixing it with bright green or yellow tops, which normally wouldn't really suit me but the grey in the scarf will tone down the brights and make them more wearable. 
Leaving you with an out-take from today...loved this yellow background but was busy yakking to my mother in law when the photo was being taken #photofail :)
The Room31 competition winner will be announced tomorrow! Watch this space x

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Monday, 30 July 2012

Holiday Capsule Wardrobe - did I wear it all?

I was so envious today seeing Beth at Style Guile share her capsule wardrobe for a trip to Cornwall. Seems like no time since I was doing the same and in fact, when I got to thinking about it, I remember Lucy at Suburban Style doing a Cornish suitcase back in early July. Isn't it funny how all three of us featured in the Daily Mail article in May and all three have ended up holidaying in Cornwall this year? Great stylish minds and all that :) 
But my holiday is over now and I'm looking back on what I wore to see how well I worked my capsule suitcase contents. Here is a selection of my daily photos from the trip away. I've saved some photos for separate blog posts and there were some repeat wears - that's why there aren't 14 photos! The first photo was taken the day we arrived in gorgeous Looe and I'm sporting my Primark floral jeans - more on these coming soon!
A cool rainy day at the Eden project required the two (reluctant) last-minute additions to the suitcase. I had a re-think on the morning we left and removed two items (blue pumps & pink jeans) to make room for long boots & an anorak. And I was glad I did - they were necessary though thankfully just for one day.
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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Child-Free Shopping Fix!

After two weeks of full-on family time, it was lovely to get away on my own into Belfast for a couple of hours this morning. Before I trawled through the leftovers of the Zara sale (miserable), I called to Fat Face. I had admired the windows in a couple of their stores when we were in England but was with the kids every time and hadn't peace to try anything on. So to have an early morning hour there today was just bliss! 
First item that I wanted to try was this navy jersey maxi dress. It has a gorgeous cut with a flattering twist detail at the bust. Loving the pink stripe across the bottom! 
Makita Colour Block Maxi Dress - £45
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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Where I wear a dress...

If you've followed this blog for a while, you may have noticed that apart from when I wear black opaque tights, I never get my legs out. It's not that I don't like my bare legs, it's just generally not warm enough and I therefore find it difficult to justify buying them. But before we went on holidays, I came across this jersey Esprit dress in TK Maxx for just £7. It's light, easy to pack and for that price, I decided it was no harm to have it just in case. And boy, have I been glad of it this week? What amazing weather!
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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

My Favourite Blogs

To keep you going for the last few days of my holidays..here is a list of my favourite blogs...in no particular order! The blogging world is such an amazing community and one of the best parts of starting up a blog is the friendships made with other bloggers. 
I follow lots of fashion & lifestyle blogs and take inspiration from them all so take a look, leave a comment, share or tweet....you'll make our day!
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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Two posts close to my heart...

I couldn't do a bloggy look back without mentioning the Daily Mail. I was incredibly lucky to be asked back in April to take part in a Daily Mail article about fashion at the school gate.
It opened up many doors for me and boosted my readership & page hits. I'm sure many of you reading today have come to the blog from hearing about or reading about this article. Say what you like about the Daily Mail - it was an AMAZING opportunity and I'm forever grateful for it. Here are the two posts that appeared on the blog to coincide with the article...

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Monday, 23 July 2012

Blush Top & Leopardprint

When I saw my neighbour wearing this gorgeous New Look scarf a few weeks ago, I just had to have one too as I knew it would work well with a couple of tops I already have. I picked up the last one in our local store...
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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Styled By You...

The posts I've most enjoyed doing over the past few months have been the Styled By You posts. They take the longest to pull together but are SO worth it and remain among my most popular posts. Thanks to everyone involved...you all look fab out there!


I'm looking forward to doing more Styled By You posts over the coming months...the next one is a scarf challenge. Just a couple of days to send your scarf pictures in for a chance to win a little Stella & Dot prize! Click here for more information and email your pics to schoolgatestyle@yahoo.co.uk
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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Holiday Competition : NOW CLOSED!

NOW CLOSED! 
To celebrate being on holidays, I've teamed up with Room 31 again (my favourite online shop) to offer you the chance to win some new holiday clothes. For a chance to win, you need to check out the Room 31 website, sign up to their newsletter and chose your one holiday essential item. Then, leave  a comment here to tell me what it is. Simple! 
To help you on your way, here are my Room 31 holiday essentials...


Violetta Dress in Navy/Peach
gorgeous over jeans or leggings too!
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Friday, 20 July 2012

Top 3 Posts - have you read them?

Click on the links below to see the 3 most popular posts of all time on School Gate Style...

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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Wellies & Neon Pink

We've just become members of the National Trust. Mainly because we're holidaying in England this year and there are lots of NT properties where we're going. But it was also a prompt for us to visit some beautiful locations in Northern Ireland (and get our money's worth says Mr SGS armed with his National Trust spreadsheet to ensure we maximise our investment!!) 
First up, Rowallane Gardens in Saintfield, Co Down...where I wore Neon & Wellies...
Just like it said on the tin - Neon & Wellies
Neon Vest - H&M
Jeans - French Connection (old)
Wellies - Karrimor
These photos were taken in the walled garden where the kids had great fun running about and looking for tadpoles in the pond...
I layered this little jacket over the vest to tone down the neon a bit! I picked it up in a charity shop in Belfast a few months ago.. 
I'm as guilty as the next mammy in thinking there's nothing for kids to do in a lovely garden like this but I was reminded today that kids don't need face painters or bouncy castles to have fun. My three never stopped running about having a ball and they were surprisingly interested in the different flowers (they get that from their dad). Add in a few trees to climb and it was pretty much the perfect day out!

If you've a recommendation for a National Trust property near you, please add it to the comments below for everyone to see (and for me to potentially visit!). I'm particularly interested in ones in the Berkshire area and in Cornwall. Thanks girls!!

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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

My helpers along the way..

I am endlessly grateful to my regular contributors
who have helped me along the way
Thank you everyone who's sent a picture but especially 
Claire, Rachel & Helen who've sent me so many great shots...



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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Awesome Changing Rooms!

I know this title doesn't sound like much but stick with me - it's a good 'un! 
It's a real PITA shopping with kids...but for most mums, it's unavoidable and if you're a shopping addict like me, you will struggle in to actual shops no matter how much real life tries to stop you. However, shops don't seem to want us to....they would rather we didn't bring our kids...or so you would think if you've ever man-handled a double buggy around Primark. Online shopping took on a much greater appeal after that experience.
But wouldn't it be lovely to find a shop that actually welcomes kids, gives them something to do while you shop AND gives you the most amazing changing room experience with room for humongous buggies? Well, I've done the hard work for you..welcome to White Stuff!
Sorry the first photo is a bit fuzzy but I think you get the sense of the size of these fitting rooms...with leather armchairs & a tented den for the kids to play in. And now for the best bit, the actual changing rooms themselves are decorated like rooms in a vintage house, each one different. Here's just a few of the 10 changing rooms:
Garden!
Boys room - complete with an Atari & football wallpaper
Bathroom (without fittings!)
Garage
Retro Bedroom
Garden Shed
and my choice...the kitchen
where Katie got to play with some fruit and veg while I tried on clothes
Such lovely touches - retro groceries on the shelf!
There was plenty of room for me to try on and even though I thought White Stuff wasn't for me, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the gorgeous prints in the sale.
Didn't get to try on the last two items - nature called (not for me). The joy of shopping with children once again! But I still have my eye on that maxi skirt.
As if that wasn't enough, there's also a small cinema room with cartoons playing on a big screen and proper cinema seats. Ihear it's a firm favourite with the dads!
So a plea to other retailers...look and learn. I had never been in White Stuff before but I will be back because I feel welcomed with my children. Well done for investing in an important demographic White Stuff :)
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Monday, 16 July 2012

Where it all began - my first blog post!

With nervous trepidation and having told no-one about it, I posted this first blog on the 29th January...and what a journey I've been on since then!
Read about it here... The Hunt for a Black Blazer





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Sunday, 15 July 2012

Bird Print & Sunday Lunch

There are lots of gorgeous patterned dresses in the shops at the moment and thanks to the rubbish weather, most of them are in the sales. But the main complaint I hear is that they are mostly too short....but in my book - the shorter, the better because if a dress is short enough, it becomes a tunic!
And at what point does a dress become a tunic? When it falls half way between the hip and the knee. Any longer and it looks wrong with jeans/leggings. It can be shorter as long as you have the all important bum coverage!
So meet my new tunic...picked up early in the sales at House of Fraser. It was reduced from £40 to £24 and I adore the colours and print..
Dress - House of Fraser
Blazer - H&M (similar on link)
Necklace - Room 31 (similar on link)
It got its first outing on a trip to the Dunadry Hotel in Co. Antrim, where we headed for Sunday lunch. No cooking for me so I was a happy smiley mum! We had a lovely walk around the gardens....
Jeans - H&M
Bag - LK Bennett
Pumps - Clarks (last seen here)
I'm liking the turned up jeans combined with the longer tunic and blazer. While I suit the structure a blazer brings to an outfit, mixing up the lengths like this stops it all looking too formal. What do you think?
Before I go, I have to share this 'outtake' photo with you. It looks all lovely and picturesque, posing beside the watermill but what about my usual smiling Gemma?
As the camera clicked she announced her need to visit the facilities with a howl of 'it's coming out Mummy'. So that was the end of the photos. The glamour of it all....
My bird print dress is unfortunately out of stock but I found this gorgeous one in Dorothy Perkins for just £26...beautiful...do you think I can justify more than one birdy dress in my wardrobe?!

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Saturday, 14 July 2012

We're all going on a Bloggy Holiday...



I'm taking a couple of weeks off blogging as it's (apparently) summer and quality time with the family beckons...but never fear, I've planned lots of lovely blogs for you while I'm away so you don't miss me too much. There's a mixture of outfit posts I've pre-prepared and blasts from the past where I share some of my favourite older posts that you may have missed.


I will still be tweeting (follow me here) and posting on my Facebook page so you can see how I'm getting on with my capsule wardrobe from yesterday's post!


Looking forward to catching up on all your lovely comments and emails when I get back! xx
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Friday, 13 July 2012

Capsule Packing

I'm all about packing as little as possible for holidays...there's nothing worse than bringing loads clothes you never wear! So I thought I'd share with you what I'm packing in my suitcase for two weeks in England...
I counted about 30 items in total, including scarves, shoes & bags..here's the breakdown. 5 tops in various colours:
Four vests - 2 white and 2 neutral:
Three pieces of knitwear. One jumper, one long cardigan & one cropped cardigan:
Four scarves - with co-ordinating jewellery:
Two jackets - a lightweight mac and a casual blazer:
One lightweight jersey knee-length dress - hopefully will get the weather to wear:
Two pairs of shoes, one pair of sandals & one cross-body bag:
Two pairs of jeans - one blue skinny & one white cropped - and how it all looks in the suitcase:
I've also laid out what I'm wearing on the plane - adding a denim jacket, coloured jeans, a scarf, larger cross-body bag and shoes (to be decided on - possibly converse)
And my cosmetics/skincare is pared right back also. I'm a Neal's Yard consultant so at this time of year, I order in lots of samples tubes/sachets to bring with me, thereby cutting down on bottles/tubes/jars in my luggage. I'm bringing a 1/3rd full deodorant and face & body self tan - all will be binned on the last day of the holidays as they'll be empty by then. Can't forget the contact lenses too!
So my staycation packing tips?

  1. Stick to one colour palette - I've kept my wardrobe quite neutral and everything goes with at least two other things in the suitcase.
  2. Bring partly used bottles/tubes/containers of skincare/cosmetics. Jettison at the end of the holiday!
  3. Ask at the make-up counter for sample sachets and tubes of skincare and cosmetics. Also pick up a sample of perfume to bring with you.
  4. Don't pack heels - they take up too much space and are not comfortable enough for a holiday - you WON'T miss them!
  5. Don't bring anything you don't normally wear at home. You won't wear it on holidays either. The exception to this is if you're going to the sun. In which case, you can bring all the summer clothes you can't wear here at home!
  6. When you've packed it all in the case, take out two items. Be RUTHLESS! There'll always be a shop where you're going and it's the perfect excuse to buy while you're away...and you'll have plenty of room to bring it home :)
Have you any packing tips or advice - please share it with me!
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