Saturday, 31 August 2013

A wee night out with himself...

It doesn't happen very often so when it does, I like to get me a bit of sparkle on. This time (a few weeks ago) it was a meal out near Queens University and on our post-meal walk, I got himself to take a few photos outside Friar's Bush Graveyard - ok a bit morbid but it's a historic site now and I love the gate and the cobbled pathway outside.
I went for muted shades and a few items that had been neglected up to now on the blog. The time since I took these photos is given away in that I actually sold the jacket in my blog sale a few weeks ago (so behind with blog posts right now!). While I loved it, seeing it in these photos reminded me that it's too petite a fit for me - I need a slightly longer line in my jackets so it had to go to a new home.
Jacket - Fenn Wright Manson (similar)
Top - Random boutique brand (similar)
Shoes - Room 31 (similar)
Jeans - French Connection
Bag - Fiorelli
(all past season)
The top is an oldie that (I am embarrassed to say) still had its tags on. It's a vest shape with sequins on the front and back. I got it a few years ago in a boutique and I'm not sure why I've never worn it or indeed, given it away as I usually do with anything I don't wear. I always loved the colour and the shape. 
The shoes are a sale purchase from Room 31 last year. They were hugely reduced and I figured everyone should have a pair of patent nude shoes in their wardrobe so I bought them. I can see me wearing again and again now I've broken them in. 
The jeans are French Connection and the handbag used to belong to Rosanna over at silverbrogues blog - I bought it from her at the Style Fair last month!

I haven't forgotten the hen photos - I promise they will feature soon...just editing out the ones that I'm not allowed share :)

Have a great weekend! I'm off now to sort out uniforms...fingers crossed they all fit!

Ax

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Friday, 30 August 2013

Back to School Wishlist with John Lewis

Following on from last week's post where I was looking forward to getting the boots and coats out again,I've started doing my wish lists for the cooler weather and today's one is from John Lewis...

I adore this tunic/dress from new brand Whistle & Wolf. I think it would work well now and with the addition of some opaque tights and a black jacket or cardigan, would take you through winter. Fantastic horse print!


Grey is going to feature heavily this winter with me and in an effort to wear more dresses and skirts, I am on the look out for a tunic just like this one from Joules:
My love of patterned trousers is ongoing and these ones from Oasis are perfect for anyone a bit nervous of this look. They have a fab bird print but with the black background, they are easily toned down with a black longer line top or jumper.
Navy is a continued favourite this autumn winter and a navy leather handbag will be on the present list for a certain day in December. Love and adore this Somerset by Alice Temperley one which is reduced to £127 - still slightly above budget but just in case hubby needs a very early present idea!
Coat-wise, I'm loving this neutral one from Mango, which is really well priced for 75% wool. Will go with black, browns and greys and will look as good on the school run (dry) as it will on a night out.


Finally, just because...they are not really autumn...but they are in my size and in the sale and they are shiny and lovely!

What do you think? Have you any must have autumn items on your wish list or am I just too early with the planning? 
Ax
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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Heatons AW13 Lookbook - in the flesh!

Well, the hen took its toll - you probably guessed with the lack of blogging for almost a week! It was such good fun with a gang of lovely girls and I managed to remember to take a couple of pictures that I'll share soon. 
I came home to back to school, last minute prep and the pre-September massive house clear out that I always have to do this time of year...so the blog has suffered. Lots of blog posts to catch up on - prepare to be ambushed for a few days to make up for my absence!

First up, I took a trip up to Heatons to see their AW13 range after receiving their lookbook in the post.
I've featured Heatons on the blog before and their skinny indigo jeans are my most worn jeans in my wardrobe this year. At £12 a pair, that's pretty good going!

Not all of the range is in-stores yet but I still spotted a few great items like these dark brown ankle boots for £15 and this dipped hem navy sparkly jumper:
Still loving their denim - these dark blue jeggings and black skinny jeans are both great value wardrobe staples.
 And this spotted blouse with stud detail on the collar comes in two different patterns. This burgundy version is lovely..
I did buy a few bits and pieces - well you'd have to at those prices. As well as some school supplies for the kids (Minnie Mouse & Hello Kitty feature heavily!) and some contact for wrapping school books (on 3 for 2!), I fell for the cage print dress big time..
 First up, I tried on its own (with heavy filtering...my legs are so white!) but then tried it in a more realistic outfit for me - black tights & ankle boots
And then a smarter option for the office or for a more formal occasion...and a close up of the print..
A really pretty dress for just £15 - with sleeves too! Currently, Heatons deliver to the island of Ireland (NI/ROI) and have free postage with all orders of £30/€30. Worth checking out in store too on the guise that you're looking some last minute school supplies :)

I'll be back very soon with my hen outfits but will leave you with my favourite images from the Heatons AW13 Look Book! Hope you're all having a good week,
Ax 




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Friday, 23 August 2013

Owls, Moons and a Hen Weekend!

I'm very excited to be going on my first Hen Weekend in more years than I care to remember! It's up on the North coast with a lovely group of girls and I'm right in the middle of stressing about what to pack but I thought I'd take a break, do a bit of blogging and hope that it gives me some inspiration for what to bring...

Took these next photos on a quick jaunt into Belfast the other day. It was a nice day but not warm enough for just this kimono top if I'm honest - I braved it all the same as it was too pretty to cover up.
Kimono Top - Primark (SS12)
Cream Vest - Jigsaw (via TK Maxx)
Jeans - Maison Scotch (AW12)
Sandals - Clarks (SS12)
Handbag - Orla Kiely (past season)
Pendant - SGS Shop!
I've worn it before on the blog - it's such a pretty top that transforms a jeans and t-shirt, in much the same way as a scarf I guess. I love the colours in it although I've struggled to find a vest that matches exactly but the cream works well enough I think.
It needed something to bling it up though so I opted for my Pluck & Devour Owl & Moon pendant in mirrored gold perspex. This has been such a versatile piece. I worried I wouldn't wear it much but because it's plain gold and not coloured, it works with so much. It also gets lots of positive comments when I wear it. Every shop I was in that day, someone complimented it, which is nice! I have one left in the shop - check it out on this link!
Hubby enjoyed photographing it with various things on the reflection...as I shivered on the footpath!
Right - off now to pack for the weekend. I'm thinking a bit of black, some neon, some heels, and those reliable Maison Scotch jeans, which I can't get enough of at the moment...sorry if I'm boring you with them.

 Hope you have a good weekend - if you're in the UK, enjoy the bank holiday and if you're in Ballintoy, Co Antrim...beware the hens! 

Ax
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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Date for your Diary - Boden Winter Party!

I am so ready for autumn winter - bring it on! I want the sales to clear off and the kids to go back to school and my ankle boots to come out of storage...there, I've said it. I'm sure some of you are loving the warm weather and the bargains in the shops at the moment - I'm SO over it.

To get you in the mood for winter fashion, I'm delighted to announce that I'm having another Boden party in my house (glutton for punishment!) on Thursday 3rd October, 2013 from 10-10pm, in support of the MS Society. If you are a local reader, you can sign up to the event on this link, or just email me at schoolgatestyle@yahoo.co.uk to let me know you are coming. As well as 20% off on the day (with free delivery & returns), there will be a gift for the first 30 customers and £25 account credit for every new customer you bring along with you (if they place an order too). So bring some friends to join in the fun.

It's going to be a fantastic chance to try before you buy and it will include the new winter range that launches on the 16th September. But for those of you who are not local, you can still avail of my discount code - more details on the blog closer to the time.

Quick outfit update - completely zonked today after a late and long drive up from Tipperary last night. It a cooler day today so I wore shades of navy & my Fenn Wright Manson patterned top (now reduced to £25!) - the perfect transitional piece..

Bella Rolled Sleeve Top - Fenn Wright Manson
Indigo Skinny Jeans - Heatons
Navy Textured Jersey Jacket - Next
Navy Pear Oilcloth Bag - Orla Kiely (past season)
Pink Ballet Pumps - M&S (past season - similar)
Clock Necklace - Room 31 (past season - available here)
Hope you're having a good week! I'm away on a hen weekend on Saturday...first hen in a LONG time. But what on earth to wear....? I'll take lots of photos, I promise!

Ax
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Thursday, 15 August 2013

Belfast Fashion Week AW13 Launch

I love Belfast Fashion Week - it's a 'keeping it real' event. No looking at bikinis in winter time. Instead you get to see what's available in stores now - stuff you can actually buy. And it showcases a wide range of brands and designers from budget to high-end. There really is something there for everyone.  

Today's media launch event was a great example of this as outfits from M&S and Asda rubbed shoulders with Armani and local designers like Grainne Maher and Nor Lisa. 
 With autumn in the air, I was finally able to embrace the burgundy, leather and palest pink wool coats. I was however UNABLE to embrace  tartan...please go away with the tartan <scrubs eyes>

Here's what I wore to the event, organised by the CMPR team at the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast city centre (and a special thanks to Gemma-Louise for taking the photos with her fab new camera!)
Wearing an Esprit jacket that I bought at the amazing summer sale in Moore's of Coleraine. I can't remember exactly but I think it was reduced to about £27? Cream silky top from Zara, jeans (turned up) from Heatons and pumps from Zalando (no heels as I was on public transport)

Accessories wise, I wore my gold Owl pendant from Pluck & Devour (available in my shop FREE POSTAGE until Saturday) and my Prada baby - she comes to all the best events with me..

But what about Fashion Week and the AW trends? These were my favourite (tho very different to each other) images from the day - Winter Pastel and Leather..
apart from the tartan skirt obviously..
Check out that leopard print coat from good old M&S. In stores already - see this link...as always 100 times better in real life (20% friends & family discount in M&S right now)
And here's all the biz about Fashion Week for all you local fashion lovers: 

The city’s independent retailers and boutiques will kick off FASHIONWEEK on Thursday 10 October with CRUISE, Liberty Blue, Blush, Helen McAlinden and Diamond Dolls in Banbridge all confirmed to take part. 

In the first of the Restaurant Week collaborations, James Street South restaurant will host a ‘Fashion Friday’ lunch demo on Friday 11 October – with chef Niall McKenna demonstrating how to cook a number of carbohydrate-free meals (including sushi making) served with a light lunchtime cocktail – perfect for those going back to work.

Then it’s off to the Ulster Museum on Friday evening for the ever popular High Street catwalk show, which sees the return of Next, Jigsaw, Mexx, CastleCourt, M&S, Oasis, Heaton’s and George at Asda - among others.

Saturday 12 October the popular Fashion Souk at Spire’s Mall, selling vintage and previously owned pieces from 10am - 2pm, swiftly followed by a delicious Fashion Tea at the Merchant Hotel where designer emporium CRUISE will showcase their high end collections from Victoria Beckham, Armani, Vivienne Westwood and Marchesa, among others. 
Saturday evening's show will feature unique creations from our local designers.  This season Nor Lisa, Goddess and Swift, Ruedi Maguire and Grainne Maher, among others, will take part.

Last but by no means least is Style Sunday, which will take place this season at SHU restaurant on Sunday 13 October from 1-5pm in association with Mencap.  This glamorous four course gourmet luncheon accompanies trend forecasts, a mini fashion show and seasonal style tips from some of the country’s top style experts. It is very often sold out within days of being launched.  Tickets cost £45.00 per person. Places can be booked directly through the restaurant on 028 9038 1655.

Tickets for the shows will be available online soon - keep an eye on the blog and local press for more info. Hope to see you there and thank you to the team at CMPR for a great morning at the launch!
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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

New In - Mint Velvet Cream Top

So the blog sale has helped me make hanger space for a couple of investment items for autumn winter and the first one I want to share with you is this cream Mint Velvet Cream top that I fell in love with when I saw it on their website a few weeks ago.

Cream suits me and I love the balloon sleeves - super flattering. I also love how wearable it's going to be for day and night.
Ivory Embroidered Blouse - Mint Velvet
This time round, it was a day occasion. A barbecue for my nephew's birthday and a change of scene for the photos - taken outside my sister in laws house. Even though I know Natalie will be disappointed not to be able to admire my husband's lawn :)
I wore it with my sale bargain Maison Scotch jeans (again!), M&S leopard heels and the neutral bag I picked up from Rosanna at the Style Fair (see this post). Oh and my leopard print specs from Specsavers had a wee outing too. And that's a random hair strand bidding for victory. I don't always have good hair days - here's proof!
and a wee lookey down angle...
LOVE - my only gripe is that it didn't come with a vest already. Luckily I have cream vests in bulk in my wardrobe. I also tried it with a nude vest which shows off the pattern a little better so I'll show that look when I wear it next.

Beware if you're checking out the Mint Velvet website and like me, you're a fan of grey. I've got my eye on THE most amazing grey jacket that I know I'll got tons of wear out of...and their sale stock is fab too...enjoy!

Ax



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Monday, 12 August 2013

Next Navy Jersey Jacket

I saw this jacket on Joanna's blog a few weeks ago when she did an epic post from the Next changing room on her trip home and as I was in the market for a navy jacket, I had to go check it out. I love that it's jersey which makes it more casual and comfortable to wear. I find blazers a bit too formal for day to day..but this ticks all the boxes for the school run.
Navy Texture Peplum Jacket - c/o Next
White Vest - M&S
Jeans - Maison Scotch (AW12)
Yellow Elastic Wedge Sandals - Dunnes (old - similar here)
Scarf - Next (sale) & SGS Shop
Sunglasses - TK Maxx (AW12)
The material is a kind of waffle jersey - so it has a bit of a texture going through it and I love the neckline - collarless but with a bit of shaping to it..
And the nipped in detail at the waist is good for a pear shape like me..
I tried it with two different scarves - the one I picked up in the Next sale and one from my own shop. I think the one from my shop is more summery looking and the Next one will work well for autumn winter.
Frustratingly, it's been a bit too warm to wear it since I got it...but I know I'll not have to wait for long before I'll be needing it every day! Meanwhile, I'm enjoying rolling up my jeans and wearing yellow wedges sandals #lovesummer

Ax


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Friday, 9 August 2013

Style Fair Steals

I heard all about The Style Fair from my friend Rosanna over on the Silverbrogues blog. Rosanna and her friend Jude were taking a table at the August fair to sell their own gently used clothing, footwear and accessories. So I decided to go along to support her stall and see what The Style Fair was all about. Overall, I was impressed. It's a lot more civilised than a car boot and there are definitely some lovely bargains to be had. In the end, I bought two items from Rosanna. First up, meet my new pumps!
I just loved the colour in these and knew they would come in handy in autumn. They are covered in a burgundy taffeta material and have gold metallic, pale pink and a green/blue detail going on too. Really unique and perfect for wearing with my pale pink lace peplum top today.
Lace Vest - Savida @ Dunnes Stores (SS12)
Boyfriend Jeans - Gap (AW12 - similar here)
Necklace - P&D Pegasus from SGS Shop
..and here's a close up of my current favourite (it keeps changing) necklace from the new range I'm stocking in the shop - the Pluck & Devour Glitter Pegasus in Pink with Swarovski crystal tear-drop: 
I bought one other item from Rosanna or the Style Fair - a gorgeous putty/mushroom coloured handbag. Perfect neutral bag for autumn winter and in a practical bowling bag style - with a long strap as well as grab handles. I've not used it yet but you can check it out in this photo from the day of the fair!
Cream Top - Zara (Spring 13)
Skinny Jeans - Heatons
Tan Wedge Sandals - Clarks (SS12)
Handbag - Orla Kiely (SS10)
New Handbag - Fiorelli
Would I go to the Style Fair again? Definitely - but next time, I may very well have my own stall...watch this space! 

Ax
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Thursday, 8 August 2013

You don't need a reason for new shoes....

I blame my mother - she also had a fondness for shoes and I spent many an hour in my younger days clip-clopping around in my mum's high heels. I even once went missing at age 4 and was found in a shoe shop.


Anyway, I was browsing online last night looking for sandals (don't ask!) and I came upon the New Look website and their tagline was 'You don't need a reason for new shoes'. Well it would have been rude not to click on through and have a look...

I started to think about autumn winter and decided I'm in the market for some new shoe shapes, namely the loafer, the slipper shoe and the brogue. I find all three quite masculine and have struggled to find ones I like up to now. But loving these three from New Look and they are well priced so perfect for trying out the look without too much of an initial outlay.



I'm also looking out for great winter boots. I have a grey pair and tan pair on the wishlist. Still unsure about long boots generally right now but these tans ones are shearling lined which sounds divine. The grey ones (top right) are also shearling lined and are in the sale! Definitely worth a try on next time I'm in town..
Oh and a wedge trainer almost made it to the wish list and then I remembered I had a pair. Yes, eBay came up trumps over the summer and I managed to snaffle a proper pair of unworn Ash! They are almost making me wish for cooler weather. Almost...but not quite. I promise I'll show them off soon...


Ax
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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Chinese Lanterns and The Pot Belly

When my mother-in-law invites us out for lunch, she knows we never say no. In fact, when she phoned me to see if we were free for Sunday lunch at the Pot Belly restaurant in Gilford, she'd in fact already booked it.

If you're down that way, I can highly recommend The Pot Belly. We had excellent service and superb food. A wee gem of a restaurant, tucked away in the Armagh countryside.

I wore a top I spied on a trip to TK Maxx a couple of months ago. I just loved the cut and the mix of colours but initially put it aside thinking it was more of an autumn piece. Then I took a notion to wear it with white crops at the weekend and it was a great choice...given the pleats at the front hide a food baby rather well.
The brand is Amphora and while there are a few (rather nice!) dresses on the TKM website by this brand, unfortunately, this top is not showing. It may very well be on the rails of your local store though.

Top - TK Maxx
White Cropped Jeans - Boden
Rich Blue Leather T-Bar Sandals - Boden
White Vest - Primark
I think the pattern is of Chinese lanterns? Anyway, there are white, cream, blue, pink and grey ones so my blue Boden sandals got an outing (reduced in the clearance right now!) as did my pink LK Bennett Annina handbag, which I've really enjoyed using lots this summer again.
Check out that blue sky! LOVE IT...mother-in-law and I could have sat for hours in the lovely garden beside the restaurant but the kids were less interested in sitting and more in running amok. Pesky.

Till next time lovelies...hope you're having a good week! 

Ax

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