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

Friday, 29 November 2013

What to wear to The Dirty Onion?

I was in Belfast last night for the opening of The Dirty Onion, another feather in the cap of the owners of The Merchant Hotel. Any excuse for this mamma to skip out of the house at 5pm, leaving Mr SGS to deal with dinner and bedtime!
But what to wear? Belfast's newest pub has an open fire and live music and there's an informal rotisserie chicken restaurant upstairs called Yardbird. So not too dressy - but I wanted to make an effort for GL's birthday so it was the turn of my Maison Scotch jeans from Feather & Stitch to get a night out (last seen here in a more casual outfit). I promised to wear them in a night-time look weeks ago but never got good enough photos to use on here. Until now...




Maison Scotch Sateen Skinny Chinos - Feather & Stitch
Black Tuxedo Jacket - ASOS (AW11 - similar options below)
Cream Jersey Top - TK Maxx
Statement Necklace - M&S (out of stock - similar here)
Black Ankle Boots - Clarks (AW12)
The Prada Baby (not available online - similar here)
I never get bored wearing these jeans - I think it's the subtle pattern and the muted colours that make them so easy to wear. I also have to mention the jacket, which has really earned it's keep. It was the subject of my very first blog post almost 2 years ago and it's still going strong - I love how it smartens up every outfit. It's no longer available on the ASOS site but I've done an edit of my favourite tux jackets below if you scroll down. Every wardrobe should have one! 

What about The Dirty Onion, I hear you ask? Well, I learned last night that It's actually the oldest building in Belfast and used to be a whiskey warehouse. A large part of the venue is outdoors with exposed struts and joists from the original building forming a stunning effect in the courtyard. Amazing looking - you would thinking you're going into a derelict building - but the bar and restaurant itself are safely indoors....it is Belfast after all. Yardbird, upstairs, prides itself on serving delicious free-range, rotisserie chicken and it certainly delivered for us. The kids will love it so I'm looking forward to a daytime trip with them soon.
Oh and before I went to The Onion, I was at a special Mexx Christmas shopping event in their Belfast store on Arthur Street. I may have made a purchase that will be worn at my first Belfast Community Gospel Choir concert tonight....I'll pop some photos up over the weekend!

Have a great Friday...I'm off now to try to memorise 18 songs...black jacket edit is below...

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

New Hair, Photo Bombing & Pink Coats

Today, I spent 5 hours getting my greys covered. Before you fall over with the shock, it's not because they were that difficult to hide - I was a model for 1 of 6 hairdressers doing their L'Oreal colour degree exam. I got my colour done by a fully qualified hairdresser completely free of charge. My top frugal tip. Phone the best salon in your local area and ask them if they need models. Some salons charge a nominal fee of £10 or £20 but if there are exams on, it will usually be free. I normally don't take this option for a cut but for a colour, it's a no-brainer! Here's the finished hair - ok, ok, not that different looking - a tad lighter and with some more variation to the colour to soften the overall effect. Greys covered and a lovely blow-dry to finish. Couldn't ask for more!  
Pink Coat - Warehouse
Only Distressed Jeans - ASOS
Navy Suede Ankle Boots - M&S (AW12 - similar here)
Navy Breton Top - Petit Bateau
I made the school run with the skin of my teeth and had a quick few minutes to get photos before the dinner/drama/bedtime madness started. But kids - seriously....NOT helpful!
It's a simple outfit of stripes, distressed jeans and navy boots with my Warehouse pink coat to lift it all a bit. Still looking for that perfect shade of pink scarf and still not finding it. But it was mild today so I got away without one.

If you've got a pink coat itch that needs scratching, here's my pick of the high street...
The first three are from House of Fraser where there's currently up to 40% off in their brand event:
Hobbs Lacey Coat
Ted Baker
Coast (with an additional 20% off at checkout!)
Next up, Debenhams
Red Herring 
John Rocha Cashmere Blend
Lastly, Zara's offering in a gorgeous blush colour
Zara Pink Coat

Linking up with Alison at Get Your Pretty On!

Shop the look...

Homebase
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Monday, 25 November 2013

A Burgundy Breton Top

When I saw Sue in her burgundy breton, I had to have one too. After some googling, I found this one on the House of Fraser website in the sale and I'm loving it. Not only does it have this lovely shoulder detail, the pocket has contrasting navy stripes. It also comes in a navy stripe with a burgundy stripe pocket.

I was also drawn to this particular top as I had seen it on Liz's blog over at What Liz Loves. Love how she has styled it on this post. (Thanks Liz for the link!)

So it's made from a nice substantial jersey fabric though I will say, it doesn't have much stretch. I got a size M and it's on the neat side - definitely more a size 10 than a 12 but I wanted a couple of neater tops to wear with boyfriend jeans so I'm keeping. Though today, I wore with skinnies...my ankles were too cold!
Wearing with my tartan checked scarf from the shop and navy Gok skinnies. 
Navy Pea Coat - BHS (current)
Scarf - School Gate Style Shop
Jeans - Gok for TU (AW11)
Navy Suede Ankle Boots - M&S (AW12 - similar here)
Breton Top - House of Fraser
Hope you've had a lovely Monday and if not, at least it's almost over! 

A couple of things for my local readers. My choir, the Belfast Community Gospel Choir are singing in Lisburn Cathedral on Friday night and it's my first gig with them! EEK! There are still tickets available from Lisburn City Management Office if you'd like to come along and 'Feel the Joy'. We're also at Fisherwick on the 14th December for our fabulous Christmas concert though it's almost sold out so contact the Belfast Welcome Centre fast if you'd like to come along.

Ax


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Friday, 22 November 2013

Denim & Pink and ANOTHER New Scarf...

I've been a bad blogger this week. A combination of not feeling well and having lots going on at home meant I hadn't much to blog about and no time to do it in anyway! And a busy weekend ahead won't remedy this either but I'll be back on the blogging wagon next week, I promise...with a brown boot update! 
Thank you to everyone who re-assured me as I worried about my son on his first overnight school trip. He bounced back in the door this afternoon and rated the trip as 9.9 out of 10. He slept 9 hours each night, ate his greens and only brought me back a Tesco grocery bag-full of washing. Not what I was expecting at all. 

So here's what I wore today for work, pick-ups and swimming classes..
So excited to be sharing this new scarf from the shop. As soon as the delivery arrived, I pulled it out and put it on. Love it! It's the same as my Fabulous Neon scarf but with more autumnal colours, pinks, plums, greens and browns. You can have a closer look over on the shop on this link..



Scarf - School Gate Style Shop
Bright Pink Wool Jumper - Gap (old - similar here & here)
Denim Shirt - TU at Sainsburys (old - similar here)
Skinny Utility Trousers - Uniqlo
Black Ankle Boots - Seven Boot Lane
Grey Leather Cross Body Bag - Siopaella Consignment Store (similar here)
Shop the Look...

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Johnnie B Fur Gilet

Last week, I read at least 4 posts from my favourite bloggers about fur gilets and I admired several outfits on Avenue 57 too (here, here and here). The post that stood out for me was Joanna's from Poppy's Style, who'd bought her gilet from Boden's teen range - Johnnie B. I loved the colour and the way she styled it so I decided to take advantage of their 22% off last week and try it out too....
 
It looks quite short in the first photo but seeing it on the model and on Joanna, I took a chance on the age 15-16 size and I'm really pleased with it! It seems to be around about a UK size 10-12. 
By the way, if you have a *really* funny man in your life you will be asked how many Golden Retrievers were harmed in the making of your outfit. You'll just have to suck it up. Men don't seem to get the faux fur thing. There were several more remarks made while he took these photos....


Faux Fur Gilet - Johnnie B at Boden (20% off - only age 15-16 left)
Biker Style Coat - Matalan (sold out - similar below)
Black Skinny Jeans - Gok for TU at Sainsburys (AW12)
Black Wool Long-Line Jumper - H&M (AW12)
Long Black Riding Boots - Carl Scarpa (AW11 - similar below)
Neon Leopard Scarf - Heatons (SS13)

Here's my selection of similar items...
Fur Gilets 
Black Biker Style Coats

Long Black Riding Boots

I'm away now to worry for 2 days solid about my first born on his first ever school trip away. He's up the Mourne Mountains during the coldest week this winter & 60 mph gales...and he's only 9! All re-assurance from mums who've been through this already is welcomed!
Have a great day... 
Ax
PS the boots from yesterday have had a second coat, a suede brushing and are ready for wearing. I will share them on the blog tomorrow, weather permitting...
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Monday, 18 November 2013

Dyeing Suede Boots...

I've made the most of a quiet day today doing something I've been meaning to do for a few weeks now - dye my Office Namesake boots. 
Why on earth, I hear you say? Well, they are a light beige colour and they had an encounter with a leaking fat green marker - GRRRRR. Co-incidentally, I had been on the look out for a dark brown ankle boot for a while so decided to dye these boots, seeing as they were pretty much un-wearable with their green smudges.
Here we are beforehand - aren't they fab boots? Very Marant-esque. Here is the link to the 2013 version of these boots - still a reasonable £68 on the Office website (similar here & here)
I'm using Dylon Suede dye in Dark Brown. You pour it into a bowl, don some gloves and apply it with the supplied brush...
Here we are with one complete and one to do. I love how the dye hasn't taken to the stitching so you can still see the detail on the front of the boot.
However, after finishing one, I could tell there wouldn't be enough dye for the second boot. Bummer. Second bottle ordered. So that's my handy tip - if doing boots - get two bottles! It's also a good idea when making such a big colour change as you'll always need to go over some areas again to ensure you've good enough coverage.

I'll share them on here when they're all done and dried. But hopefully I've inspired you to give it a try if you've a pair of coloured boots or shoes you don't wear as much as you should. It's so easy and not too messy.
In other news, I'm still recovering from the birthday weekend here - definitely brewing some sort of chesty cold so echinacea is being consumed 3 times daily. But I'll hopefully be back tomorrow with some outfit photos...
Enjoy the rest of your Monday,
Ax

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Saturday, 16 November 2013

What I've Been Wearing This Week (and a massive twin bump!)

This week has been so busy in the shop that I've not been sharing my outfits so today's post is a bit of a catch up. Tuesday, I was in the charity shop and it was a case of tons of layers as the shop gets so cold this time of year...

Merino Coatigan - Deane & White @ TK Maxx (similar)
Scarf - Savida @ Dunnes (old - similar colours here)
Blouse - TK Maxx (old)
Cream Heattech Top - Uniqlo
Grey Utility Skinnies - Uniqlo
Beige Suede Boots - Mango (2013 version on link) 
Wednesday was scarf delivery day and I spent most of it photographing the new stock and getting orders out the door. Here I am playing with one of the new scarves - just sold out but more coming next week..
Scarf - SGS Shop
Breton Top - Petit Bateau @ Atterley Road (available here)
Jeans - Gok for TU @ Sainsburys (old)
Beige Cardigan - TU at Sainsburys (old)
Boots - as before
Thursday was Disney on Ice day...when I remembered about it. The tickets were a birthday present for the twins from their Aunt and just before school pick up, I remembered about it. Cue very rushed change out of Pilates gear into something cosy for the Ice rink at the Odyssey.
Grey Coat - Zara (old - similar here)
Scarf - SGS shop
Grey Long Line Jumper - Benetton (old)
Skinny Indigo Jeans - French Connection (older)
Long Black Riding Boots - c/o Daniel Footwear
I have to say that apart from the rip off merchandise stalls, it was an amazing show. A talented group of performers and I must confess to shedding a tear at the end of the Rapunzel piece when they had a little girl from the audience help them launch a lantern...maybe I'm hormonal??!
No photo from today as I'm back in the Pilates gear. A few of us were asked to come along this morning for a photo session for the studio's new website. It was great fun and I'll share the pictures when they're ready. I didn't get changed after that as the birthday party preparations immediately began. The twins are 5 on Monday but we've told them their birthday is tomorrow (Sunday) so I've been making cupcakes and rice krispie buns all afternoon...
I'll leave you with a photo from this day 5 years ago. It's of me sitting with my wee man trying to choose names for the twins the night before I went into hospital. It's not the best quality as we were clearly having a great chat when the picture was taken but I still can't believe my tummy was so big - that's what 13lb of baby looks like...thank goodness for Pilates is all I can say!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend - I'll share the party outfits on Monday!
Ax
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Thursday, 14 November 2013

A Warehouse Pink Coat for a Jack & Jillaroo night out!

Yes..I've gone and done it - bought a pink coat! I actually bought it a few weeks ago but haven't worn it on the blog yet. It's from Warehouse and in fairness, it doesn't look very pink in these photos (phone photos as I don't have a camera atm...sorry!) but I can assure you it's a lovely blush shade - pretty much the same as my LK Bennett Annina bag. I think it's a pink shade that's easier to wear over time. I know I would tire of a bright bubblegum pink. 
Blush Boyfriend Coat - Warehouse
Black Jumper - Warehouse (old)
Boyfriend Jeans - Gap
Ankle Boots - Zara (AW12)
Blush Annina Handbag - LK Bennett Outlet (SS12) 
 It's a perfect match for this statement necklace I bought in as a sample for the shop. Gorgeous to look at but the quality is rubbish so I won't be stocking them - sorry. I had to use the pliers on this one to fit it together as it had broken en-route.

Worn with Gap boyfriend jeans and Zara studded ankle boots, which I picked up in the sale earlier this year.
The occasion was a lovely evening at LK Bennett at The Outlet in Banbridge for the launch of Jack & Jillaroo - my friend's new website which sells her gorgeous bamboo organic cotton bibs and burp cloths for babies. It almost makes me broody looking at the cuteness...almost...


 
and here's the beautiful woman behind all these creations - the super talented Cath.
Lovely evening and I even met a couple of girls who follow the blog - so nice to put faces to names. Thanks for saying hi, Lorraine & Linda!
So what about the pink coat thing....have you been tempted?
I'm off now to Disney on Ice with my birthday girls....wish me luck!

Ax

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