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

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Double Denim Halloween Fun

On Sunday, we were invited to Ferguson Flowers on the Belmont Road, Belfast for a special Halloween fun day. It was all about the kids - with Halloween floral arrangements that the kids could make themselves, dunking for apples, cupcakes and dressing up. 
Me? I dressed up in Double Denim for the occasion..
I took my inspiration from the lovely Michelle over at MyFashionable40's, I used a jumper and a scarf to break up the denim a bit. I also think the patchwork denim gives some contrast too.
As it was a freezing cold day, I put my new navy BHS coat over. This is a super bargainous coat that I was lucky enough to pick up on a 20% off day. It feels so soft and I was asked today if it was cashmere! Unfortunately not - you get what you pay for but it's just the right cut of navy coat I was looking for. I am wearing a size 8 - they come up big.
Coat - BHS
Patchwork Jeans - ASOS
Suede Ankle Boots  - Mango (similar here)
Handbag - Fiorelli (old)
Scarf - SGS Shop (also available in red & cream/orange)
Jumper - H&M (AW12 - similar here)
Denim Shirt - TU at Sainsburys (AW12 - similar here)
The kids really enjoyed the day - even my oldest who's a bit too cool for all this Halloween dressing up..but not for dunking apples clearly!
and the girls made two gorgeous floral displays that they gave to their Granny later on.
Will leave you with this cool pumpkin that was displayed in the shop - just the inspiration I need for this year's creation...
Happy Halloween - hope you have a good one

Ax
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Monday, 28 October 2013

Pearly Jumper & Leopard Details

I've been trying to embrace jumpers this winter. I'm not a huge fan - I've always preferred open fronts so would tend to wear cardigans. But I spotted a couple of lovely lightweight jumpers in the charity shop a few weeks ago and decided to try them out. If it didn't work out, they only cost me £10 and it was a charitable donation so a win/win.
This one has turned out to be the hit. It's a mohair mix lightweight crew neck in a creamy colour with little pearls all over the front and the arms from Dunnes Stores and it was practically unworn - no bobbling at all. 
Pearl Jumper - Savida @ Dunnes (similar here & here)
Jeans - Tesco Lift & Shape
Boots - Office (and similar here & here)
Scarf - Heatons AW12 (similar here & here)
It's just the right shade of cream for me and it's not got that tight waistband and looseness around the tummy area - a bugbear of mine with traditional cut jumpers. I wore it with an animal print scarf from Heatons, a local Irish chainstore, suede ankle boots from Office and my Specsavers leopard print glasses..
Believe it or not, when I took these photos, it was too warm for a coat - the sun randomly came out and we left the coats in the car. It was last Friday after swimming classes so not a great time to get a co-operative 4 year old photographer but they didn't do too badly between the two of them!

So with it being half term, I'm taking a break from the blog this week to spend more time with the kids and Mr SGS. I do get a bit wrapped up in this and the shop and it's easy to spend hours working on them without realising, which is fine whenever the kids aren't about but this week, I really want to do some nice family things...with photos for next week's blogs!

The shop will remain open but I am unable to dispatch items until Tuesday 5th November. To make up for this delay, until midnight on Monday 4th November, I am offering FREE UK shipping for all orders. EU shipping will reduce to £2 and International Shipping to £3.

Thanks for your understanding. 
Hope you have a lovely week and keep dry and safe in this awful weather today! 
Ax



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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Kaleidoscope 'Complete the Look' FINALISTS - Now Closed

Thank you to everyone who entered my Kaleidoscope competition during the past week. It took me ages to wade through them all and pick 4 finalists. There were at least 10 jackets or coats I'd never noticed before on the Kaleidoscope site and that I fell in love with. Dangerous work I tell you!
So this part of the competition is where I showcase the 4 outer layers that got through to the final. All of these finalists have already won themselves a scarf from my shop so well done - I'll be in touch to arrange delivery. 

One of these finalists will also win £200 worth of Kaleidoscope vouchers...and you can help them! Simply look at the 4 different looks below and using the comment section, Facebook, Twitter or email (schoolgatestyle@yahoo.co.uk), vote for whichever one you like the best. Just pop the number in the comment. No need to explain why - it's as simple as that. The item with the most votes next Saturday, 2nd November at midnight, wins the vouchers. So get voting and if you're one of the finalists, make sure you get your friends and family to vote too!

Please note - more than one person chose some of these options 
so a random draw (via Randomizer) was used to chose one name in these cases. 











Over to you - get voting and watch out on Sunday 3rd November when I'll announce the winner! 
Ax
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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

If Carlsberg Made Wednesday Mornings....and new coats!

A few weeks ago, Sue from Susie So So shared a coat that she loved on our blogger forum. Now Sue is a discerning shopper. She is very particular about fabric content and how well items are finished so I knew it was a good 'un if it got her approval.
However, the coat was sold out online so I headed to my local Matalan where the fashion fairies ensured I got the last one in the shop in a size 12...a bit big but I didn't want to miss out as I could see why Sue loved it so much. But it's an oversized fit already and the 12 really felt a bit shapless. I watched the website for a few days to see if a 10 came back into stock. But none did...

And then the fashion fairies struck again...Sue decided not to keep hers. A size 10. She offered to sell it to me. It arrived the next day. Love it when a plan comes together! And here it is on a trip to Belfast in front of my favourite street name..
Long Line Hybrid Quilted Biker Style Jacket - Matalan
Distressed Skinny Jeans - Maison Scotch (similar here)
Black Ankle Boots - Clarks (via eBay)
Scarf - School Gate Style Shop

The photo was taken just after I'd had my hair done at Andrew Mulvenna's salon, the official hairstylist of Belfast Fashion Week and most of the other big fashion events in the city. Feeling like I was in a shampoo ad with my hair bouncing all over the show.
Here's a close up of the coat and my scarf..
If the coat looks a bit navy in the photos, I can assure you it isn't...my camera phone thinks navy is the new black.
What's good about this coat is that it's almost 50% wool (apart from the arms) so it's very warm to wear. Yet, it was only £40. Fab value.
Smaller sizes sold out online but you may be lucky and find one in your local Matalan. Or if you message me quick before I bring back my size 12, you can have it for £50 (factoring in UK postage and Paypal charges). Email schoolgatestyle@yahoo.co.uk

I mentioned the blow dry - what a fab experience! I went with my blogging buddy Gemma Louise from That Belfast Girl and it was lovely to chat with the main man himself, Andrew Mulvenna who runs a tight ship in his state of the art salon beside George's Market.
After getting our bouncy curls, we headed to have a nosy in the shops. Check out GL's reaction to finding a whole corner of orange (her favourite colour) in River Island..
Love it!
Onwards then to Bubbacue on Callender Street for a BBQ style lunch. First time there an it's a fab set up - great service and awesome food! We met Jeff from Belfast Times there too and he remembered to bring along the Belfast coasters I wanted to buy from him. Check out his Etsy shop here for amazing graphics and photos with a unique Belfast theme.

I heard some sad news this afternoon about a young mum I know losing her fight for life so the special moments I had with friends and family today were even more cherished. 
Hug everyone close to you today. Life is precious.
xx
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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Burgundy Jeans & Merino

I initially put my burgundy jeans in the blog sale last week and then I changed my mind. A new cardigan purchase from TK Maxx swung it..I realised if I added my H&M scarf from last year I'd have a great outfit so the jeans got a last minute life line.
But first up, the cardigan. It's 100% Merino wool from Deane & White, a brand I've seen before in TK Maxx and the reduction was great - from over £100 to £34.99. Excellent value for merino but even more so as this is in fact closer in weight and warmth to...brace yourself, it's one of those awful fashion words...a coatigan. Ugh...up there with snood and jeggings...but it does what it says on the tin. It comes somewhere in-between a coat and a cardigan.

This scarf is massive and with the heavier merino, this makes a great school run outfit if like me, you are in the car mostly. I simply brought along my Target Dry Emily for a waterproof layer to throw over when the showers started.
Oatmeal Draped Merino Cardigan - TK Maxx
Burgundy Jeans - H&M (AW12)
Oversized Burgundy Checked Scarf - H&M (AW12)
Long Brown Elastic Boots - Hobbs (AW08 - yes, 2008! This year's version on link) 
Liking my windswept look? That's the way of it for outfit posts these days. The shorter days and rainy, windy weather is playing havoc with blog photos but I'm determined to get as many taken outside as possible!

Ax

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Monday, 21 October 2013

There's a Mulberry Outlet in Kildare Village

I was not the only handbag fan who got a little bit excited about Mulberry opening an outlet on Irish soil. Kildare Village Outlets are owned by the same company as Bicester across in England and it has many of the same shops - though it never had a Mulberry shop...until this month!

Now I'm a Kildare girl born and bred but a combination of birthday parties (the girls), rugby matches (the boys) and choir concerts (me) means that I'm not going to get down to check it out in person until closer to Christmas. So when I heard my friend Ciara was going there this weekend, I asked if she'd mind taking a few photos and noting a few prices. Well the girl did good and is now SGS's official roving reporter...thank you lovely lady!
So the this store has more than just handbags, it's got clothes, accessories, shoes, luggage and purses as well as a great selection of Mulberry favourites.
The sales assistant told Ciara that the two best sellers were the Lily (€434) and the Effie Hobo (€504) both pictured in white. 
 The Del Rey was there in black and black forest (purple) for €693 rrp €990.
The Alexa was available in purple (below) and was €636 for the medium size and the oversized version was €784 (rrp €1120) 
 (both pictured)
The scarves in the picture with the Alexa above were €189 (rrp €315)
These two tan Maisie's are stunning - the large was priced at €595. 

And Ciara tells me that the next new shop to open next week is l'Occitane. My resolve is weakening...who wants to do a day trip?

My thanks go to Ciara Huxley, SGS's roving reporter (pictured below at last month's wedding) for a fantastic report back from Kildare Village!
Ax
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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Complete the Look Competition with Kaleidoscope - CLOSED!

I've got a great competition for you that will run over the next couple of weeks on the blog. It's called 'Complete the Look' and the winner will win up to £200 to spend as they chose on the Kaleidoscope website!

Here's how to win - I've created a collage below of 4 items making up a classic, stylish outfit...but it's missing a top layer! I want you to have a look at the coats and jackets on the Kaleidoscope website and suggest the one you think would bring this outfit together.

Next Saturday 26th October at 5pm, I will go through all your suggestions and pick 4 finalists who've chosen the top layer I think best suits the rest of the outfit (if more than 1 of you chose the same top layer, I'll draw for a finalist). Then, I'll showcase the 4 complete looks and you can vote for your favourite for a further week. On Saturday 2nd Nov, the winner gets the vouchers and the runners up win a scarf from my shop!

So, let's kick it off with my almost complete outfit...a gorgeous neutral cream and black toned affair, suitable for lots of occasions. 
Clockwise from top left:
Peasant Style Shirt, Zebra Trim Loafers,
 It's My Secret Stretch JeansFiorelli Grab Bag
The rest is up to you - leave a comment here, or on my Facebook page or via email schoolgatestyle@yahoo.co.uk, telling me what your top layer of choice is and watch out to see if you're a finalist next Saturday morning!

Ax

The Science Bit...
Entries from the UK only 
Editors decision is final
No cash alternative to the prize
This competition is brought to you in association with Kaleidoscope
All views and opinions are my own as always...
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Friday, 18 October 2013

Embellished Jumper

Today's a bit of a wet one in Belfast - I've already gotten soaked on two school runs...and now I have the swimming lesson hell to look forward to. 

But before I do, let's cheer ourselves up with some embellished knits! I shared this picture earlier of my Savida at Dunnes cobalt blue embellished jumper from last year as it was the one bit of my outfit from today that was cheering me up. The rest is pretty much what I wore on my last post - boots, jeans and waterproof parka! 
(it's not a real cobra behind me - just a toy one that my son hid on my desk to scare me today!)
Now it's a great jumper tho it does go a bit bobbly....but a few plucks before wearing usually does the trick. Have had loads of people asking where I got it but I can't see the same one in stock in Savida this year but I've made you up a collage of others I've found..some more expensive than others. Haven't had much time to search so if you know of a similar one anywhere else, please link in the comments!

Back tomorrow with a fab competition in association with Kaleidoscope where you could win £200 worth of gorgeous clothes!

Ax

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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Parka-life....

A nice laid back post to come down from the madness that was the blog sale. Still a few items left on this link and they have all been reduced in price for the last couple of days before I remove them and re-integrate them into my wardrobe! Thank you to everyone who bought stuff - it's all winging its way to lovely new homes as I type. 
Took these photos the other day on a trip to the park with Mandy the dog....


It was a cold day so the Target Dry Georgia Parka was worn. This time with Seven Boot Lane boots, Tesco jeans, H&M burgundy jumper (OLD) and a scarf from M&S. I know lots of your have bought this coat since I first featured it on the blog. I'm really enjoying wearing mine now the weather is back to good old NI normality and I'm finding the colour great. I'm even considering...dare I say it....selling my Merrell!! Only so many outdoor coats a girl needs but I'm as yet undecided so it didn't make the blog sale. Maybe next time..

Ax

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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The Big Autumn/Winter Blog Sale....

...is over - I'm so sorry but everything is away....almost all items sold, some items are back in my wardrobe and some have been donated to my charity shop.

Thank you everyone who bought something and sorry if what you wanted was sold out. I'll just have to buy more for the next sale in the New Year!

Ax

PS Joanna over at Poppy's Style is having a blog sale now - check out her items with all prices inclusive of UK postage!
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Monday, 14 October 2013

Only Patch Denim Jeans & Star Scarf

It's Monday so what better day to show you my mad jeans? If you're an avid blog reader (thinking WIT and The Frugality here), you'll know that many an on-trend blogger has been sporting this style of jean. I'm not one to follow all the trends (did I even need to tell you that?) as mostly, they don't really work for me what with my life revolving more around the school run than working in fashion but this one I think does. I've already got over my distressed jeans reluctance (thanks to my Maison Scotch beauties) so I'm just stepping it up a notch now with these...
Only Jeans - ASOS
The 9 year old asked if I ripped them myself...


Jeans - Only (Danish brand) from ASOS
Navy Tee - Dorothy Perkins (SS12)
Scarf - SGS Shop
Boots - M&S (AW12)
Cross Body Bag - Boden Canonbury Clutch (Current)
Size wise - they come up pretty good. I'm wearing the size 29 and I'm a 10-12 in jeans usually. A little lower slung than my Maison Scotch ones but they fit well so I've not needed a belt with them.

Oh and here's where I fess up to another Boden purchase - the Canonbury Clutch (or in my case, the cross body - it works as both). LOVE it - it's filled the navy gap in my handbag collection since my quilted vintage one got damaged. And with 20% off and a £10 voucher, it was a no-brainer!

Till tomorrow my friends,

Ax
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Friday, 11 October 2013

Walk to School Coats from Tesco

To mark International Walk to School Month this month, today's blog features some practical kid's coats for the school run from Tesco and for a change, I'm on the other side of the lens and you get to meet my talented photographers - all three of them!
For my son, I chose the Dare2b warm winter coat with lots of insulation and a waterproof finish. He is only 9 but we ordered the 11-12 and it fits nicely with some room for next year too.
The girls' choice had to be pink of course - the corsage padded jacket from F&F, Tesco's own brand...

I had to size up with this one from a 5-6 to a 6-7 even though the girls are still only 4. It does come up small and like most mums out there, I'd like to get the whole year out of it. It's such a pretty coat with a fur trim and a peplum style fit so they will wear it lots outside of school too.
And here we are walking to school...


and for those of you who know me, no, I didn't make them walk the whole 3 miles to school..just the last mile or two... ;)

Ax

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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Battle of The Supermarket Jeans

This was supposed to be just an outfit post but it became the Battle of the Supermarket Jeans - sounds quite dramatic! But it's actually quite scary as you're going to see proper 'does my bum look big in this' photos. And no, I don't want the answer to that!
So we start with a photo of my outfit from yesterday - 
Scarf - Orla Kiely @ Uniqlo (AW12)
Purple Jersey Cardigan - Kaliko (old)
Cream Top - TK Maxx (SS13)
Boots - Mango (AW12)
Jeans - Tesco (current)
Now, onto the jeans...they were bought in the sale in Tesco the other night when I went in to get groceries. I do online grocery delivery for a reason....I am dangerous when let loose in-store. I bought these because they were my size and I liked the denim and they were £7. Three pretty excellent reasons, I think you'll agree. When I brought them home, I noticed that they weren't any old skinny jeans...oh no, they are Lift Sculpt and Slim Skinny jeans. Well imagine that? What a promise for £7!! They're £18 online so I'm now wondering if the price reduction was a mistake?

So I thought I'd see what the rear of them looked like to everyone else. Cue bemused son. 'Mum, why am I taking a photo of your bottom?' 'Don't ask and don't tell anyone about it'

Then I thought, well, I can't really prove they are lifting, sculpting and slimming me unless I do similar photos of my rear in an equivalent pair of jeans. So I raced upstairs and put on my Sainsbury's skinny jeans (which I like a lot and are along similar lines)...BUT which my hubby told me looked awful on my bottom last week. I did ask...he's very honest.
LEFT - Sainsburys vs RIGHT - Tesco
I can't really see any difference - my bum is there in both of them...in all its glory. The Tesco ones are higher waisted and do not need constant hoiking up (big plus) but really aren't noticeably better on me. Interestingly, hubby preferred the Sainsbury's ones when shown this photo which further discredits my research.

My conclusion is that as long as your jeans fit properly, they will look better on you than if they are too baggy, too tight or too low slung. And if you're a pear like I am, a high waisted option is always going be easier to wear. For that reason, the Tesco ones win my 'Battle of the Supermarket Jeans'

What do you think - have you ever tried sculpting, shaping jeans? Is there a brand that really gets this right? Do let me know..I could research further...

Ax

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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

My Boden Winter Staple - Off Duty Merino

So you all saw me trying on the Off Duty Merino jumper before my Boden party and I truly was smitten. 
Well, the very same day, I got an email from Boden, asking me to get involved in a project they are running in conjunction with Stylist.co.uk. As part of this, I had to pick a Winter Staple item from the current collection. Well, guess how long it took to reply to that one? On Saturday, my Winter Staple arrived and since then I've been getting increasingly excited about how much wear I'm going to get from this jumper - it's got endless possibilities. Today, I share a couple of looks to prove this

First up - with faded Maison Scotch jeans and grey ankle boots..this is going to be a popular outfit. I love its simplicity.

Add a pop of colour with my Cole Haan (ancient) pink leather bag and a great scarf and you're good to go..
Now I've had some emails about this jumper as many of you are interested in it since I first featured it. It's not cheap - even with 20% off, it comes in at just over £70. But it is 100% Machine Washable Merino Wool - so you're buying a quality fabric for a start. 
I am not normally a fan of chunky warm knitwear (apart from when it's baltic outside!) as I think it mostly adds bulk but this jumper hangs so nicely, it doesn't do that at all. It is a boxy shape so is best suited to wearing with a slim fitting trouser or jean. If you prefer a more fitted top, the Favourite Roll Neck is a neater fitting option (but size up!).
Overall, I feel for a piece of knitwear in a classic shape and colour like this, it's worth paying a little more for. The reviews online tie in with what I'm saying too so do have a read of them if you want more opinions. Oh and it comes in cashmere too if you're looking for something to add to your Christmas list!

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