Gussy from Gussy Sews

Hello there! I’m Maggie, or Gussy — whichever name you want to use is fine with me! :) A handful of years ago my mom started calling me “Gussy” after Gussy the goose in Charlotte’s Web {ya know, that one goose that talks a lot?} and it sort of just… stuck. Shortly after that I was learning how to sew and I knew I needed a name for my products; “Gussy Sews” seemed like a perfect fit. Hope you enjoy my guest post here on School Gate Style..

The weather has been pretty much perfect these days. Sometimes it’s nice enough to be able to wear shorts or a skirt for a few hours in the afternoon. Mornings + evenings are still a bit cool, which I’m still getting used to. I’m a Midwest girl at heart, you know. While we were out on another yogurt run we stopped to snap some pics.
The other week I found myself at Target and helloooooooo, pretty green skirt. Won’t you come home with me? So it did.
Oh, and look at my handsome baby — he’s a blondie some days, a ginger the other days. But, he has BIG blue eyes every day :)
As a new mama, these tank tops are my favorite. They’re really soft, I don’t have to wear a second tank underneath to cover my midsection when nursing, and they have stripes on them. I don’t know what it is about stripes but my closet is just bursting with them! :)
Last week I also painted my nails for the first time since Maxwell was born. Having my nails painted is a super easy way to add color to outfits.
By the way, Maxwell starting cooing and I’m all, YES! Let’s have a conversation, son! Hearing his voice squeak is sooo cute. 
Stealing baby kisses are the best, right? And would you look at those chubby arms? Ahhh, they are perfect and just what we ordered ;) 

Getting dressed each morning has really helped me feel refreshed as a new mama. Some nights are especially long [!] and I actually look forward to a hot shower, a spritz of perfume and my favorite mascara. Now that Max is 8 weeks old we’re getting out even more throughout the week, too, and I want to feel inspired to take on new adventures with him. The first month I kept my focus on feeling comfortable while I healed from my c-section, so it’s been especially fun to wear again my favorite pair of purple skinnies and now this new green skirt.

What’s something new you’ve recently added to your wardrobe? It doesn’t have to be an expensive piece, a new bottle of nail polish or accessory [anything that makes you smile] is fancy enough :) Oh and pop over to my blog to check out my latest posts - I'd love to you to be my newest follower!



Covering up Grey Roots!

Grey roots - if you have them, as I do, you'll know how frustrating they are. 
Not just because it's expensive to have them tinted but for me, it's the time involved in having hair coloured every 6 weeks or so and then there's the chemicals involved in hair colouring. Anything that you need ventilation & gloves to work with is, I'm guessing, not the best thing to be smearing all over your scalp and leaving for 40 minutes to absorb into your head. I've not googled it to see. I know I won't want to read about it. Because for me, I'll do anything to get rid of those greys.

But then I read about Colour Wow online and got VERY excited!

It's basically like an eyeshadow for your hair (hair shadow?!) but it's more waxy so it holds to the hair & scalp better. You use the brush to dab it onto the grey roots and voila! Those pesky greys are banished. no sitting in a salon chair for hours, no hefty bills, no nasty chemicals! Here's my parting with the front part Colour Wow'd and the back in all it's glorious grey-ness. Such a difference and it takes literally minutes to do.
Now, it's not a permanent solution obviously as it's not practical to apply it to more than a few inches of re-growth. But what it does allow is for your hair to have a break from the harshness of colouring for a few more weeks, each 6 week cycle.

Using it during May, I was able to extend my time between colours to 10 weeks. Over the space of a year, I would normally have my hair coloured about 8 times. With Colour Wow, I reckon I'll reduce that to 5.  

Pretty impressive, eh? Where do I find this miracle product, I hear you ask! Well it's just become available in Space NK - you can find it on this link. It's £28.50 but I reckon it will last me at least a year and it's a fraction of the cost of a hair colour. Oh and it comes in 4 different colours. 

Oh, one downside...if you scratch your head, you get dirty fingernails. It took me a while to work that one out....wondering why my nails were looking a bit grubby. 

Disclosure - Even though I was sent this item free of charge, I was not asked to or paid to blog about it. I'm genuinely delighted with it and couldn't wait to share with you all. If you're a fellow grey rooted girl, you'll appreciate my enthusiasm!



Competition Time!

To make up for abandoning the blog for a couple of weeks, I've got another great competition for you....check out the prizes!

First up, I'm giving away this gorgeous brown leather Fat Face cross-body handbag and a Fat Face white polo shirt, celebrating 25 years of the brand:
Next up, I'm giving away my best-selling  a fab scarf and necklace from my own shop:
Last up, it's an iPhone5 cover from Speck
Total prize fund - over £100! The competition is open to UK and European readers and closes on Monday 5th August...follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to enter. Good luck..

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Janise from Mama in Heels!

Hello everyone!  I'm Janise from Mama in Heels and I hope you enjoy this guest post I've written for Avril!

It’s a known fact that I love to shop, especially for deals that I can scour from places like sample sales, online flash sales, TJ Maxx or outlet stores.  One of the places that I need to pay attention to is my own closet.  I don’t think I have a lot of clothes but some friends that have seen my closet said I had too much while others thought it was not enough.  I personally think it is subjective…a girl can never have enough clothes, shoes, accessories, etc…!
I’ve learned in my early 30s (yes, I’m a late bloomer in almost everything!) that buying staple pieces was worth the investment.  A peak into my closet will find that I have a fair amount of classic staple pieces  that I can go back time after time.  This is one of the ways that I shop to stretch my dollars so that I don’t have to spend a bundle to look stylish for each season.
//dress: Armani Exchange //earrings: Zoetik //necklace: Olivia Welles //bracelet: Zoetik //shoes: Steve Madden//

Recently, while rummaging through my closet, I found this maxi dress crumbled with another dress.  So, it was in hiding for the past few years and I had forgotten about it.  I was so happy because I’ve been looking for it for the past couple summers and sort of gave up.  I remember purchasing this dress 4 years ago at the Armani Exchange outlet store.  I wasn’t going to buy it but the dress was made of 100% silk, the colour was black, and it’s a maxi style (still on trend today).  All pointed to “the investment piece” staple.  What sealed the deal was the price.  The original price was $159 but was marked down to $29.99, and on top of that I received an additional 30% off.  That was a steal!
Each time I wear a staple piece like this I try to refresh the look by adding a statement necklace, bracelet, and/or earrings.  Thank goodness the maxi trend is still alive and well.  For this look, I paired it with the bib necklace that I recently received from Olivia Welles.

I love the color of the stone, and the size of the necklace fits just right for my small frame.  If you have not heard of Olivia Welles, check out their entire collection here, and they are having 30% off on all regular price jewellery right now.  

Thank you so much for reading, have a fabulous day and do drop by my blog today!


Alison from Get Your Pretty On!

Hi pretties! My name is Alison and I'm so excited to be guest posting today. I'm a mom of three and former actress from Dallas, Texas. My blog, Get Your Pretty On, is all about easy, affordable ways for moms to look put together without a lot of effort. I love translating trends into everyday, wearable style.
Today I'm going to show you some of my favorite simple summer outfits that I've been wearing to keep cool and look put together. It's hot here, ya'll!
Maybe you'll find some outfit inspiration too.
All-American red, white and blue.
Red Shorts Blue Oxford 34
Floral shorts and a fedora.
Fedora Floral Shorts
Mint jeans and a yellow tee.
Mint Jeans Yellow Tee
Simple white on white with a splash of color.
Emerald and White Scarf
Lace shorts with a coral blouse.
Coral Blouse Lace Shorts 3
Classic denim shorts with a floral blouse.
Denim Cutoffs Floral Blouse 3
An easy maxi dress look, perfect for a summer wedding.
Coral Beige Striped Maxi Full
A dressed up Sunday church look.
Black and White Dress Full 2
I also have an affinity for wedges...or maybe it's an obsession. They just seem to make every outfit a little better. Here are some of my recent favorites.
Sole Society Orange Wedges
maxi skirt and wedges
Denim Cutoffs Wedges
Printed Jeans, Coral Wedges
Paisley Wedges
A big thanks to Avril for allowing me to spend some time with you today. I hope you'll stop by and visit sometime. I'd love to share a virtual glass of sweet tea with you on my back porch.
Mint Jeans, Navy Cardigan, Printed Wedges
Until then, pop on over to Get Your Pretty On and introduce yourself. I love making new friends!


Taking a Break....

It's time to take a complete break from the shop, the blog and all associated social media for a couple of weeks. No matter how hard you try, blogging takes over all your available spare time (I'm writing this at 1.20am on Thursday morning!!) so I've decided to turn everything off and channel that spare time into family stuff, reading, lying in the sun and catching up on my sleep.

While I'm offline however, I'm not letting the blog rest! From Monday, you'll start seeing guest posts from some new (to me) stylish bloggers that I've recently added to my blog roll. There will be a competition kicking off on Friday and I've also prepped a few posts myself and scheduled them to run while I'm away. I hope you enjoy.

See you in 2 weeks my friends..




Boden Summer Sale Haul

A quick one before we head for the coast to enjoy this weather! On my last post, I promised to show you a few other items I tried out from the Boden summer sale so here goes..

First up, the Colourblock Points in Dune - nude and navy.
Beautiful to look at and just what I was looking for - a more on-trend ballet pump with the added comfort of an ankle strap - but my feet just didn't seem to work in them. I have a wide foot so had some overspill on the sides but mainly the point in these shoes gave me too much toe-cleavage..making it look like they didn't fit me right. I'm sure I could have grown to love them and was wavering a bit but hubby's face confirmed my doubts - back in the box they went. If you have a narrow foot, they would be amazing and at under £30, a total bargain. For info, the soles are leather in these shoes.

Next, some breton love - I ordered the Stripy Breton in peach and citrus.
I already have the blue colour in this top in a UK size 10 but I ordered these in a 12 as I wanted a slightly looser fit. Loved them both but budget dictated only one so I opted for the peach.

Next up - you can never have enough scarves...the Lightweight Scarf in Pineapple Poppy Field
Love it and at £11.60, it's a keeper.

Next up - the Colourblock Wallet
It was exactly what I was looking for. My current wallet (as seen in the photo above) is a bit too long for some of my smaller summer and evening handbags so I had a clear out of excess receipts and cards and I'm loving my new, bright, streamlined wallet. The leather colours are deep orange/red with cream and the lining is navy with a white pattern. There are plenty of card slots either side of the zipped coin section and you can also store cards either side of the outside of the wallet - where the orange leather meets the cream leather. At just over £11 - a great buy and a perfect stocking filler or teachers present actually!

Because I loved the wallet so much, I got a bit carried away and ordered the matching cross body handbag - the Colourblock Bag
It has the same lining as the wallet and the same cream and orange/red leather with the addition of a taupe leather flap with a brass twist closure. It comes with a cotton woven adjustable strap that clips in both sides. I've not taken the tissue off the buckles of this strap in the photos. The bag can also be used like a large clutch with the strap removed.

Lovely leather again and an absolute bargain down from £89 to £35.60. It is spacious inside and easy to open and close and the colour combination is fab but while I loved this bag, I was tied to an overall budget and something had to go back. The breton and the scarf won over this bag. Back it went....regrettably. Maybe next month if it's still available.

And that's the lot - my postman can relax knowing that's the last of the spotty packages for another while! Have you been shopping the Boden sale yet? Free delivery is now available on sale items until midnight tonight - Thursday 18th July, using the code A1FD.

For info - my shop has closed for a couple of weeks while I re-stock with some lovely new lines and take some time out with the family. It will re-open on the 5th August.



Boyfriend Jeans & Boden's Modern Woven Top

A slightly cooler day today saw me wearing my boyfriend jeans again - it felt so strange to cover up my legs after a weekend of wearing shorts! I made up for the heavier trousers by wearing my super-light Boden Woven Top. The mix of silk and viscose makes it so lovely and cool...
Moden Woven Top - Boden (in sale!)
Boyfriend Jeans - Gap
Coral/Gold Pumps - M&S
Necklace - Next (similar)
Handbag - Orla Kiely (past season but often available on eBay)
Loving this top as it's a nice relaxed shape but it's not too long. I'm wearing the 12 and apart from a little re-adjustment at the neckline now and again, I'm happy with this size. Nothing worse than a non-stretchy top like this in a neat size. It doesn't get great reviews online - seems to feel a bit big to some but I have broad shoulders so it works for me in the 12.

Looking forward to wearing it like this now but also with a navy or denim jacket on cooler days so I know it'll take me through until about October before I store it for the winter.
Necklace was bought back in April for my mum's 80th birthday. I've worn it a few times since then as it's not a true red - it's actually got a bit of coral going on too, hence it matches this top really nicely.
The bag has been on the blog a few times before. It's from Orla Kiely's pear range and is a few years old now.

I will now confess to a few sneaky Boden sale purchases but apart from this and one other top, the rest went back. It was all for research purposes...promise! Will do a separate post on all I got if I can get 5 minutes to myself tomorrow.

Before I go, I wanted to tip you off about a cool competition that kicks off at 10am on Wednesday 17th July and runs until midnight. It's from a company called Charles Fish (lush website) and they are giving away amazing pieces of jewellery on their website as part of an ongoing competition called Finders Keepers. Make sure you sign up here on their website or like them on Facebook so you see the clues for tomorrow's giveaway!

Till next time, Ax



Next Sale Haul

I've maybe built that up a bit - it wasn't so much of a haul in the usual blogger style but a few bits and pieces I picked up this afternoon...yes...the afternoon!
Friday night/Saturday morning saw me up several times with a little girl who has a horrible cough that doesn't seem to bother her too much but is impossible to ignore. So despite going to bed early, I only got a very broken 2 or 3 hours sleep between 10pm and 4am. As I fell back into bed for the last time at 4.10am I did briefly consider getting up & going to the sale but I knew it would make Saturday really tough. As I considered this, I must have fallen asleep and next thing I knew, it was 8am. With a cinema trip already arranged at 9.30am, all I could do was wait until the afternoon.
I rocked up at 1pm, 8 hours behind schedule but do you know, there was plenty left to satisfy any sale fan. I was mainly looking for a pair of khaki trousers and I quickly picked up these for £12. 
Then I spotted this lovely necklace that I had seen in the shop the other day. Was amazed it was still there at this late stage. It was down to just £7. 
I've seen this same necklace on eBay for £30!
I've been keeping an eye out for a scarf with navy and brighter neon colours in it - so this fitted the bill perfectly for £6.
Total spend : £25. Last of the big spenders!
But did I see more that I was tempted by? Definitely. My trainer aversion was challenged as I quite liked both of these pairs:
But I knew realistically, I'd never wear them. I love them on other people but not on me.
I also was tempted by these two jackets both still available online (as I type) on this link:
On balance, I felt the pattern in them both was limiting and the budget wasn't going to extend to them anyway. Decision easily made :)
Armed with my haul, I took a quick look-down shot outside Next. You didn't want to see the head of me today - no hiding the effects of sleep deprivation.
Scarf Print Top - Mary Portas
Sandals - LK Bennett
White Jeans (not seen) - Boden
Ampersand Necklace - Pluck & Devour
Prada Baby
The consensus online seems to be positive about the sale today. I'm glad I didn't sacrifice my sleep as I was happy with the few bits I picked up...the spending ban is broken but not by a huge amount. That may happen with a small Boden order...I'm good to keep breaking the ban now, aren't I??! Sheep as a lamb and all that...



Bank Holiday Heat & The Next Sale...

As I type, I'm sitting in the garden in shorts and a vest top at 9pm. Love this weather! 
It was a bank holiday in Northern Ireland today so we got up late and at about midday, headed up to watch some of the 12th of July parade. 
It was 27 degrees with little or no breeze so I braved a garden outfit OUTSIDE the garden..(with lots of help from Sally Hansen)
Pocket Breton - Boden (in the sale!)
White Shorts - Mango (years old)
White Canvas Pumps - Tesco
Cross Body Canvas Bag - Mandarina Duck @ TK Maxx (SS11)
On my mind this evening is the Next Sale. I'm asking myself (and those of you who follow on Facebook) is it worth heading there tomorrow morning at 5am? Hubby can mind the kids and I'll probably be home before they wake so it's not going to disrupt our Saturday at all. I've loved some of the range this season but is it madness to get up at stupid o'clock for a high street sale? I actually worked the Next sale many years ago (long story) and was open-mouthed at the crowds that literally ran in the door when it opened...and the piles of stuff they bought. But it did put me off going as a customer ever since - the panic, the elbowing, the frantic shopping
Photo Credit - Detroit Free Press

What about you? Will you be at your local Next at 5am tomorrow? If you're reading this on Saturday, have you been already and scored a bargain? I'd love to hear all about it...
Oh and I'll let you know how I spent my Saturday morning in the next post! 

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