Friday, 28 February 2014

Seven Boot Lane Perfection

When the Seven Boot Lane people contacted me again to review a pair of their SS14 collection, I might have done a happy dance around the office. Meet the only ankle boot you'll need this spring and summer - the Bali Ankle boot in Grey
Bali Ankle Boot in Grey - ℅ Seven Boot Lane
Skinny Jeans - Autograph @ M&S
Scarf - M&S (AW12)
Merino Cardigan - Deane & White @ TK Maxx
Grey Jersey Top - M&S (ancient)
White Vest - Primark
Grey Cashmere Beanie - TK Maxx
Glasses - ℅ Firmoo
I can already see these in a ton of outfits this season. As well as this reliable school run outfit of skinnies and a scarf, I know they are going to look amazing with my grey jersey maxi skirt and with my denim dress (still to be purchased!) when the warmer weather arrives.
They are just beautiful from every angle so I've taken a ton of photos from every angle. The colour is pretty much as per these shots - not a cold grey colour but more of a sandy grey. Size-wise, I got the 39 and they are a perfect fit for my size 6 foot.


Fully lined in the softest leather for comfort. I've walked the distance in these over the past couple of days and they're like slippers...so they may be accompanying me to London this weekend!




So if you're looking for the most versatile boots you'll ever own, head over to Seven Boot Lane and checkout their new range. You'll be joining an impressive clientele, including Pippa Middleton! And if you buy before the end of March, you will get 10% off your order:
Ax

Disclaimer : I was gifted these boots for the review however I was not obliged to blog about them. All opinions and images are my own.
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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

#blogtools event at Maven Belfast

So Monday night was #blogtools night! Myself and Gemma-Louise from That Belfast Girl decided to share our blogging knowledge at an informal get-together in Belfast interiors shop, Maven, with all money taken at the door going to Belfast Community Gospel Choir's USA fund. 
Oranges & Lemons - GL & I pre-event
We had a lovely turnout of just over 20 people - a mixture of new and existing bloggers and a couple of people interested in blogging for their business:

and once everyone arrived and had a glass of bubbles and a cupcake from The Lily Pink Bakery (thank you Claire!), we talked about how to start up a blog, grow your audience and make some money from blogging.
It was a lovely event and Gemma-Louise and I would like to extend our thanks to everyone who came along on the night and helped us raise £200 for the fund. We would also like to thank Patricia and Catherine, owners of Maven for allowing us to use the shop premises for the event, free of charge. If you're local, do drop in for a look around this gorgeous shop, it's on Maryville Avenue off the Lisburn Road (at Templeton Robinson) and is open from 10am-5.30pm Tuesday-Saturday. If you're not local, please show them some Facebook Love on this link.

What to wear? Well, I promise the orange and lemon colour scheme wasn't intentional, in fact, we both changed our outfits at the last minute. After much tossing of clothing on the bed that afternoon, I opted for the trusty Gap boyfriend jeans, a neon top, statement necklace and my new suede ankle boots from Seven Boot Lane. 
The boots are stunning, as you'd expect from Seven Boot Lane. The most gorgeous soft suede in a perfect neutral colour and I'm going to wear them endlessly. I'll blog about them again...as they deserve a post of their own.
Bali Boot in Grey Suede - C/O Seven Boot Lane
(10% off with SGSSS14 until the end of March!)
Neon Yellow Top - Linea @ House of Fraser 
(SS13 - the twins call it my builder top as it's high-vis!)
Neon Statement Necklace - Accessorize (AW13)
We've had a few people ask if we would run the event again as they were keen to attend but the date didn't suit. Please drop me an email on schoolgatestyle@yahoo.co.uk if you're interested in attending a similar event and if we can get the numbers, we'll certainly look into a second date.
Right, next challenge for this week is to pack for London! So excited to be meeting up with the blogging girls again and I'm sourcing some new shop stock while I'm there so keep an eye on Twitter and Instagram to follow the weekend as it happens!
Ax





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Monday, 24 February 2014

Statement Skirt at Titanic Belfast #realmomstyle

Finally, I'm getting round to sharing my outfit from the Titanic Cenre a couple of Saturday's ago. The choir did a brilliant flashmob at a Tourist Board exhibition. It was my first flashmob and it was funny seeing people all confused as to why the person standing beside them in the crowd suddenly started singing but once we all converged on the Titanic staircase, it made more sense. It was a great morning - you can see a video of our performance taken by one of the people at the event, on this link!
For the occasion, I wore my H&M for Marni spotty skirt - I'm enjoying my statement skirts more than my statement trousers at the moment it would appear. Tried to get some photos outside the Titanic Centre but it was blowing a crazy gale so we gave up after the first few hair-raising attempts!
Coat - Zara (similar here & here)
Skirt - H&M for Marni (can be found for crazy ££ on eBay!)
Black Ankle Boots - Clarks (similar here & here)
Black Cross Body - Boden (similar here & here)
Denim Shirt - TU @ Sainsburys (similar here & here on sale!)
Necklace - c/o Chocolat Jewellery
Here's a photo I took at home when I got back - it's easier to see how I wore the skirt. It's basically the same outfit I wore last February when I went to London to meet my blogging friends - #frugalfebruary or what?! Different necklace and boots for the eagle eyed amongst you!
Do you know, it is one of those outfits that I just love wearing. It's quite dressy for the school run, but the denim and the ankle boots dress it down a bit - I'll definitely not wait until next February to wear it again!

Co-incidentally, I ended up back at Titanic Belfast again during half term, with my sister and her kids. This time, I was bit more casual in my outfit choice, opting for trainers, jeans & my BHS Pea Coat - a similar outfit to this post...


It's such a stunning building - we didn't even do the exhibition this time...just visited the shop and then had a walk outside for the obligatory photo at the big letters!
Hope your Monday treats you well - I'll update you tomorrow on my blogging event...now I'm off to collect 30 chairs to bring to our venue ... oh and I've still to decide what to wear #stress
Ax
As always, joining up with the Real Mom Style girls today - head over to Maria Jose's blog to find the linky and check out the other stylish mums getting involved today!

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Pink Coat & Burgundy

Half term played havoc with the blogging I'm afraid. As well as having the kids off all week, we had Tipperary visitors and the shop was busy with some of the new SS14 stock coming in. But I'll catch up over the coming days - have a few outfits to share and also some wish-lists from the shops, in advance of Frugal Feb 'doing one' :) 
Today we headed into Belfast with the visitors for a last look around before they headed back down South so it was another outing for my Warehouse pink coat - this time I wore it with shades of burgundy and brown for a change..
Coat - Warehouse (similar here, here & here)
Scarf - SGS Shop
Tan Cross-Body Bag - Boden (similar here & here)
Boyfriend Jeans - Gap (similar)
Suede Ankle Boots - Mango (similar here, here & here)

Burgundy V-Neck Jumper - Kaliko (similar here & here)
White Shirt - Betty Barclay (similar here & here)
This coming week is going to be an busy one too. Monday evening sees Gemma-Louise & I running a blogging event in support of the choir trip to the USA. #blogtools still has a few places left in it so if you're local and want to come along to learn more about starting and growing a blog, you can find out more on this link.
On Tuesday, I'm singing at something a bit exciting - can't say too much yet but I'm back in the Titanic centre and I should be able to share a video of it soon. Then on Friday, I'm off to London to source more stock and to meet up with my blogging friends - a similar group to last year, along with a few new members. Already obsessing about what to wear!

Oh and have I mentioned my new blog design? It's very close to being ready...one more week of tweaking and planning ahead of a prize filled launch for the new month!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend my friends,
Ax
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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Patterned Jeans & Wellies...

Just a quick post tonight as I'm already in my thermal PJ's ready for bed. I know - I get all the most glamourous brands approaching me. There's Lisa Eldridge going to the Elle Style Awards in a gifted Chanel dress. Am I envious? Not one bit - I have cosy thermals from Damart!
Thermals - c/o Damart
So today, for a change from the usual denim, I went for a bit of leg drama. I've quite a few pairs of patterned jeans but I've not been feeling the love for them the past few months...

Floral Jeans - TU @ Sainsburys (SS12 - similar here & here)
Navy Lightweight Top - Dorothy Perkins (similar)
Grey Wool Scarf - Benetton (similar)
Dark Denim Shirt - Boden
Grey Ankle Boots - Clarks (old - similar here & here)
I mean, they look ok and all that but I'm feeling like patterned skinnies have done their thing and it's time to move on. Judging by the street style photos coming from London and New York, distressed denim is definitely the jeans style of the fashionable peeps. But this is no time for rash fashion decisions so I've bunged these ones in the summer bag and will think about it again when the weather's a bit warmer!
In other news today, the girls got some new Target Dry wellies. I'm sure I've mentioned before that Target Dry are a local company, based here in Belfast and today we were invited to their offices so the girls could chose the pattern they liked most in the new range of kids' wellies..needless to say, pink featured heavily.
Heidi Wellies - c/o Target Dry
Ok, it's past my bedtime now so I'll bid you good night. Hope half term is treating you well - oh and watch out for some new scarves arriving in the shop tomorrow and for anyone wondering, all the leopard print colours are back in stock
Ax
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Monday, 17 February 2014

Trench Coat & Trainers for #realmomstyle

After seeing this look on Ann-Marie's blog, I just had to recreate it. It's the perfect combination of dressy and casual and a great one for any of you out there who are finding the trainer trend a hard one to incorporate into your wardrobe..
Trench Coat - Zara (old, thrifted - similar here, herehere)
Jeans - Gap
Trainers - Onitsuka Tiger
Navy Wool Roll Neck - Hobbs
Scarf - Next (old)
Navy Cross Body - Boden
(currently sold out but does come back into stock now and again on that link)

I wore this outfit into Belfast to visit George's Market with the kids and I'm loving it as it's so easy to wear. I felt casual but smart at the same time...it's one I'm definitely going to wear a version of again.
So tell me, if you're a reluctant trainer wearer, does this help?!
Linking up with the other stylish mums on #realmomstyle this week. Head over to the gorgeous Momma in Flip Flops to find the linky, check out some other stylish mums and add your outfit too..
Ax
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Sunday, 16 February 2014

#FrugalFebruary Update - Valentine's Weekend

I'll be honest - I'm struggling with #frugalfebruary. I've had two occasions over the past week where I've sat with a shopping basket and forced myself to close the page and not complete the order. Torture - I blame the rubbish weather. But it's still in place with 12 days to go...we can do this! 
Valentine's Day was a nice distraction as Mr SGS bought me roses, chocolate and bubbles..
We then went on our traditional Valentine's lunch date...and in honour of #frugalfebruary, I wore the same outfit I wore last Valentine's Day!
Though, I had to wrap up a bit more than last year, given the awful day..
and I ended up getting completely changed for the school run as we got soaked running to the pub...so it was Sorel boots and a waterproof coat (again) a few hours after these photos were taken!
Oh and I had a night out also at my neighbour's house so I gave this cream top from Mango a turn. I got it back in January in the John Lewis sale. It's got a voile front (which needs a vest) and a sparkly mohair knitted back so it's quite nice for this time of year. 
Here's a close up of the back of the top. I can't find it online anymore in this colour way but it's available in grey on this link. I bought a size M which is about a 12.
 I wore it with my Gap Boyfriend jeans, Zara wedge boots, coat as above, M&S necklace - all old - and the Boden bargain cross body bag (the one I posted about on Facebook - if you're not following, you're missing out!). Reduced to £20 on the 31st January - the perfect pre-#frugalfebruary treat. Snapped up in a matter of hours and out of stock now. I hope some of you were lucky enough to get one...it's such a lovely bag.

I can also now tell you about what I was up to on Saturday with the choir - we did a flashmob! We all sauntered into a Tourism Expo that was being held at the Titanic Exhibition Centre and started singing! The reaction was amazing. It ended with a couple of songs on the Titanic staircase - what an opportunity. I'll share some images when I can.
Enjoy what's left of the weekend and if your kids are on half term break this coming week too - good luck!
Ax
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Friday, 14 February 2014

Warm & Waterproof Boots for the School Run

I've had so many emails this winter from readers asking about warm, weather-proof, comfortable boots for the school run. Lots of you walk the kids to school and while it's become easier in recent years to find good coat options (bum-covering with hoods!), reliable boots are a bit harder to come by.
So I spoke to a few different brands about featuring some boots on the blog but when I saw Sue in this post, I was won over by how stylish hers looked so I took up Sorel Footwear's offer to review one of their range of all weather boots.
Before selecting a pair, I had a look online for some inspiration and I loved the variety of stylish photos I found of the Carly Conquest boots. Here are a few examples...
Photo Credits 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
I'm loving the mix of utility with style...and I think it's a great look for the school run. 
I'll hold my hands up here and admit that these are pricy - way pricier than most of the things I'd normally recommend on this blog but this is a quality over quantity. When it comes to weather related clothing, it's a false economy to buy anything cheap. These boots are a lifetime purchase - I honestly think they'll last forever. And the beauty of them is that they're not just boots for snow and ice because let's face it, who really needs snow boots for the week of snow we get here on average? These boots are proper bad weather boots - ideal for cold, windy and wet days  - so about 4 months of the year here I reckon? Oh and they're on sale right now - this is the best time of year to buy this kind of footwear!
Black Carly Conquest Boots - c/o Sorel
Georgia Waterproof Parka - Target Dry 

Jeans - Gap
Scarf - old (similar)
Grey Cashmere Hat - TK Maxx


Comfort wise, they're amazing. The first day they arrived, I wore them for 6 hours straight on 2 school runs and a walk to the shops. They are toasty warm too.
Size-wise, they come up very slightly big. I have the US 8.5, which is equivalent to a UK 6.5. I wear a warm walking sock with them and they fit perfectly. With a thinner sock, I could have gotten away with a 6. I'm inbetween sizes and always tend to the larger size as I hate my shoes to feel tight.
I also wore them today with this different colour ensemble as it was so much colder and I was wearing my gilet around the house all day to keep warm:
For going out on the school run, I threw over my other Target Dry coat - the Emily lightweight parka as I just needed to be waterproof, not any warmer. It's a good way to get more life out of your Emily if you have one already...just layer it with a fleece or a down gilet to save you buying a heavier coat.
Boots - as before
Emily Lightweight Waterproof Parka - Target Dry
Down Gilet - North Face
Jeans - Gap
Grey Jersey Top/White Jersey Top - M&S
Grey Leopard Scarf - old (similar)

The verdict is that my wellies have been relegated and I honestly can't see me wearing anything else while this current wet spell lingers. I also find myself willing a bit of snow to come along to try them out in it!
OK - I'm off on yet another rain-soaked drop-off/pick-up. Have a great weekend - I'm doing something really exciting with the choir on Saturday...will fill you in on the next post with hopefully a video! 
Ax

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A Boden Classic - The Rainy Day Mac

I was asked this month to take part in 'The Importance of Being Boden' Chapter 1 - all about one of Boden's most enduring items - The Rainy Day Mac. (click on the link for a chance to win one!)
At both of my Boden parties, this was the out and out best seller. To the extent that I see 3 of my friends regularly wearing theirs. Thankfully all in different colours - so you'd never guess it was the same coat actually. And that's the great thing about the Rainy Day Mac - it's such a classic item, it never goes out of fashion. 
And here's where I get to indulge a colour I love (but my husband doesn't) - green. It's a colour that suits me and that I used to wear lots of but a lack of enthusiasm from Mr SGS has made me reluctant to buy it much. But this colour in the Rainy Day Mac just called to me AND I knew it would work a treat with both of my square scarves from the shop.

Rainy Day Mac - c/o Boden
Navy Emma Top - Boden
Skinny Jeans - Gap
Navy Ankle Boots - M&S (similar)
Neon Square Scarf - SGS Shop
The key to wearing a strong coloured coat like this is to tone down the rest of your outfit so I'm wearing navy and denim underneath in the first few photos. 
I also wore the coat another day last week and that time, I kept it to a simple white top underneath and black ankle boots:
Coat - as above
Jeans - Maison Scotch
Black Ankle Boots - Mango (similar)
Harlequin Square Scarf - SGS Shop
Loving how well it works with both the Harlequin and the Neon Squares Scarves from the shop. I'd not really noticed they had that shade of green in both. 
You can check out some of the other bloggers involved on the Boden Facebook page -simply gorgeous photos and it's great to see the other colours in the coat being modelled too. Oh and don't forget to enter the competition to win one in your choice of colour click on this link!
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