Sunday, 31 August 2014

Zara Green Jacket & Scarf - #realmomstyle

Linking up to #realmomstyle today on Maria's blog!
A quick post tonight as we're all back to school tomorrow and I need an early night after being up late last night ironing on labels! This is the long promised post to show you what I bought in Zara when I returned my colourful sale purchases.


I'd gone in fully intending not to get anything more in the sale but then I spotted this jacket and just loved the colour and shape. I carried it around with me for a while and once I saw the scarf, the deal was done as it's the perfect way to bring this jacket into autumn.
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Wearing with double denim in these pictures....my denim shirt bargain from The White Company outlet in Portsmouth (similar here) and premium skinny jeans from my local Gap Outlet (similar here). My boots are from Seven Boot Lane SS14 range (this season's version & similar on sale here & here)
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And about 2 minutes after these photos were taken, one of the twins started screaming and ran towards me with blood dripping out of her mouth and nose.....and I had no handbag with me...just one tissue in my pocket! So a big shout out to the mum who came to my aid and gave me the end of her packet of wipes to help clean her up. As always, it looked worse than it was - she'd slipped in the playground and bumped her upper lip on the see-saw but was right as rain as soon as some Percy Pigs were mentioned. Top mummy tip - keep a pack in the car at all times...well hidden!
Back tomorrow with a school uniform review - can't believe the holidays are over! Roll on autumn...


Ax

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Girls' Night Out

After so much of the summer spent in jersey separates, it was lovely to put make up and some sparkly (flat) shoes on for a meal out with some friends.

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The top is one I picked up last week on a long overdue visit to my favourite consignment store, DejaVu on the Lisburn Road. It's from Mexx and I really liked the colour and the shape. It's also a first outing for this pleather jacket I bought on eBay over the summer. It's from Warehouse and not exactly what I was looking for as it's a little short on the body. But I knew it would look good with this top and for that reason, I'm going to keep it for a little longer to see if it gets out for a few more wears.

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As I'm still off heels, I wore my Johnnie B gold sparkly flats...a total bargain at £16. They're only available in navy online now, though the navy has a leather upper so are well priced. Size wise, I have the 40 - perfect for my 6.5 feet.  My Jeans are from Gap. Untitled Untitled

My handbag is the Cole Haan one I bought in New York and my necklace is an oldie from Freedom at Topshop. My arm candy is a mixture of gifts - a sparkly bracelet from India that my friend Catherine gave me, an Gucci watch that my Mother In Law passed onto me as she wasn't wearing it enough and a magnetix healing bracelet that was sent to me when I was unwell. Untitled

And as I loved this outfit so much, I substituted the sparkly flats for a pair of ankle boots and was able to wear it again the next day...result!

Before I go, just to let you know that I've just got in the first of my new jewellery stock in - on this link. I've bought a couple of stunning statement pieces for special occasions and also some more delicate layering pieces.

Ax
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Monday, 25 August 2014

AW14 High Street Picks

Last week I finally got my MRI appointment - at 8am on the other side of Belfast. Instead of thinking about the 7am start that would require, I instead focussed on the opportunity. I knew I'd be finished at about 8.30am so rather than cut across town in the rush hour, I decided to park up at Castlecourt and have a quick look in the shops while returning my Zara order.
It was short and sweet as I'm not up to walking far but I managed to find some nice pieces in New Look, Next, M&S and Zara....fur and pastel coats seem to be the order of the day, starting with New Look:
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Black Fur Coat (£44.99) & Pink Wool Mix Biker Style Coat (£49.99)


And these oversized tartan scarves are gorgeous:
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Pink Tartan & Orange Tartan
Kimonos are still featuring - loved the colours in this one:
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Went up to Shoe Heaven but there were too many heels for my liking ...
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I then went over to Next where there were some more great coats. The one on the left is a gorgeous pink colour and the one on the right is a mix of charcoal grey & navy. Stunning.
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Pink Waterfall Coat (£65 - more pink coloured in real life) & Navy/Grey Zip Coat (£55)


I'm forever drawn to coral colours so this jumper really appealed. It's got gold flecks through it so is perfect for my colouring. I also spotted this faux leather jacket which is really similar to the one I got in H&M last year I'm always asked about.
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Coral Boxy Jumper (£22) & Quilted PU Jacket (£55)


Onward to M&S for a fur & pastel coat update...the blue coat was in the sale though in limited sizes. I can't find either of these online.
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The pale yellow coat was also in the sale (but I'm all over yellow coats now)...and then there was these boots (only available online in light grey). Just as nice in real life as they look online and they come in burgundy also. Very tempted. How many pairs of ankle boots are too many?
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Finally it was into Zara where I had high hopes for their fur coats. But it wasn't to be....behold Mrs yeti woman:
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I tried them all, long, short, leopard and plain. All awful. My fur coat dreams are in tatters....I can't even bear to link to them all. But they're all on the Zara website if you think they'll work for you.


I did however LOVE this camel wool coat and this chain detail quilted bag (only in brown online), which I've seen a few bloggers wearing. It's lovely quality and real leather.


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And the tartan oversized scarves featured in Zara also - similar colours too
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What was my MRI style? Hush harem pants, H&M grey t-shirt (old), River Island skater shoes and H&M quilted faux leather biker jacket (past season). Comfort all the way!
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Hope you've had a good Bank Holiday weekend, here's to the last week of the school holidays...
Ax


 
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Saturday, 23 August 2014

Last of the Zara Sale

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I hold my hands up - I was seduced by the last chance offers in the Zara sale and ordered a few bits to the house...but was it a case of them all still being in the sale because nobody wanted them??

First up, this yellow/orange coat which was down to £29.99. I liked the shape and thought it was an inexpensive way to scratch the yellow coat itch. It's unlined and made of a mid-weight twill/cotton mix so wasn't going to work in the cold weather but I thought it would be nice for the current cool snap.
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I shared it on Instagram and decided to keep it....but 3 days on, I was still struggling to actually go out the door in it. Why? Well, the husband did comment on the colour, not in a negative way but in that 'raised eyebrow' way that only a husband can...and that made me doubt. He's got a good eye for what suits me and is rarely wrong. Roll on 2 more days and I realised it wasn't going to happen. Back in the box.

Next up, the pink frayed edge jacket that I'd admired on Joanna recently. There was only a size L available and I thought it might end up being too big but in true Zara style, it fitted fine though with my long body, it came up a bit short.
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Without taking the tags off, I got my son to take a few photos - a great idea (much better than mirror selfies) if you're ever unsure about something. Immediately, I knew it wasn't for me. Back in the box too.

The last item barely made it out of the box! I thought the paint splattered jacket would be an interesting alternative to a smart jacket this autumn but it just looked like something a (stylish) painter/decorator would have in her van. Too much pain splattering going on.image
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But all was not lost - I brought the lot back into Belfast yesterday and ended up with a different jacket (from the sale) & a scarf instead. More on that next, along with some other AW gems I spotted while in town.

Ax
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Friday, 22 August 2014

Uber Hair Belfast

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When I decided to cut my hair off back in June, I researched local salons to find a reputable hairdresser that could become a regular place for me as I knew shorter hair would mean regular trims. Jonathan McKelvey at Uber hair was recommended to me and I have to say, he delivered with the original cut. I was seriously impressed by how relaxed he was about chopping off 10 inches of hair!
8 weeks on, my greys were in need of a touch up and my cut needed a bit of a tidy so it was back to Uber for some pampering. Here's the messy before picture..
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I was still in pain with my back though and needed to keep mobile so while I was waiting for my colour to take, I had a wander around the salon, taking photos and having a chat with the owners, Maggs & Pascal. I adore the prints they have on the walls - painted by a local artist.
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The salon has been open since 2007 and Maggs' background is with Toni & Guy. She's trained Jonathan herself and it's clear that she got a good one when she took him on - he's a natural, just like Maggs herself.
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The salon uses my favourite Wella SP products as well as Label M and in fact, while I was there, Jonny told me about Label M's organic and sulphate free shampoo, which I've been using ever since. My hair has been a bit frizzy since I've been washing it myself more regularly but the difference with the sulphate & organic shampoo is incredible - my hair is shiny and easy to manage without any other product in it. It's clear to see how much normal shampoo strips the hair with the harsh chemicals. Here are some of the other products Jonny used:
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This is the second time Jonny has coloured my hair and both times, he's used a semi-permanent colour instead of my usual permanent. It's interesting as I've found that the greys are not as obvious in the re-growth and this is because there's a general fade across all of the hair and less of a 'strip' of lighter regrowth (I'm 60% grey!). I got 8 weeks from the previous colour (with a bit of Colour Wow help) so I think this semi-permanent option is a good one for me.
Cut-wise, Jonny trimmed the sides up to match with the back, which had been cut up a bit higher the last time. It gives me a more even 'bob' shape. In my experience, the best short haircuts are done when the hair is dry so I was pleased to find out that this is how cuts are done in Uber. Equal time is spent finishing off the hair post blow-dry - it guarantees a perfectly even cut, that last longer. Jonny tells me I'll not need another cut for 12 weeks. Here's the after shot with the man himself in the backgroundimage
and a close up taken at home..
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You'll find Uber Hair, on the Lisburn Rd - at the top of Tate's Avenue. It's my pleasure to recommend it to all my local readers.
Hope you have a great weekend - back tomorrow with some end of sale purchases from Zara...
Ax

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Monday, 18 August 2014

YAS Leather Biker Jacket

Back when I was laid up in bed, I mentioned on Facebook that I'd bought this jacket and I know a few of you bought it too as the price was so good. I originally saw it on Anneli's blog & Instagram feed - she's had it now for quite a few months and I notice she's worn it loads...and every time I saw her wearing it, I loved it a little bit more. I kept clicking on the link to see if it was reduced but each time, it was still too much to justify..until Anneli linked to it on the ISME site where it was reduced to £75 with the option to pay over 3 months. It was the perfect pick me up - even if I couldn't wear it for a few weeks thanks to the gorgeous weather. (New season version available on this link/Other bikers available on ISME on this link)
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I'll put my hands up and say that I thought black biker jackets were in the mid life crisis department. Seeing more and more stylish women wear them with flirty skirts & dresses and with pretty tops and jeans though has completely converted me. I realise now that the key is to wear them with something quite feminine to tone down the masculine cut and style of the jacket.
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The smell alone makes it a joy to wear but I also love the slightly different detail on the front with the studs and the only minor pleating at the shoulder - so many bikers have lots of arm detail which can add bulk.
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I gave it its first outing with a white lacy boho top that I picked up in my local consignment store DejaVu, jeans from New Look, cross body bag from Boden (current season version) and my trusty fitflops - though my feet were cold so I'm now wondering what I'm going to wear on my feet for autumn/winter if my back continues to bother me...shoe dilemmas!
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Also premiering my new hair colour and cut which was done last week by the brave man who cut my long hair off 8 weeks ago - Jonny McKelvey at Uber Hair. Separate post coming on that, along with some hair care products I've become a fan of since I cut my hair off (and gave up my weekly blow-dry).
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Off piste here on a bit of a beauty find I wanted to share as I'm LOVING it - the Glove Your Body tanning mitt. It looks like an oven glove but feels like a teddy bear. It's amazing - tans your body in about 5 minutes thanks to the texture spreading the tan so evenly and quickly and not soaking most of it up. It washes in the machine and  comes out looking like new. It's a bit pricier but if like me, you are a tanning mitt user, you'll realise it is going to last much longer than the standard foam mitts. Available online at Gordon's Chemist for £14.99 - with delivery available in the UK and Ireland. Incidentally, I always tan with St Moritz Medium Mousse (only £2.99 at the moment)...have tried all the other brands and keep coming back to it.
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Hope you're having a good week and hands up - who else has gotten their kids to work out how many hours are left in the school holidays?

Ax

 
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Hush Cargo Pants

Holding off buying the Hush Cargo Pants back in July paid off as they were further reduced from £40 to £20 last week! Unfortunately, all the sale stock is gone from the Hush site now but it's worth a look to see what's coming in for AW14. It will make you excited to wear ankle boots and jumpers again.
But back to my bargain new trousers...I sized down to the 10 and they fit well and are a welcome change from my constant denim jeans lately.
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Trousers- Hush SS14 (new season here - similar herehere & here)
Black Vest - Zara Basic
Scarf - French Connection (past season - square cotton from my own shop)
Sliders - Fitflops from Cloggs
Handbag - Boden (SS13)
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So the black & khaki looked a bit plain but it was too warm for a jacket or a large scarf and then I remembered that I had this cute cotton square scarf I'd picked up brand new from the charity shop last year. It was in a cute presentation box with tags still attached and I loved the colours..even though I wasn't sure how to wear it. You see square scarves are tricky to tie but they're amazing to wear draped like this. Simply tie a small knot with opposite corners and hang it round your neck. It was just perfect to take the bare look off and as the Zara tops are quite tight, it meant I wasn't as conscious of the mum tum (much neglected since my back injury).
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You might remember that I bought this bag last year in the Boden summer sale but returned it as I felt the colour combination was limiting. But then one night recently, I spotted a once worn one on eBay (it's boring having a bad back) and as I'd loved the shape and size of it, I thought I would keep an eye on the listing and luckily I was the winning bidder. For a bargain £20 including postage.
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Picked a few of my favourites from the Hush AW range on these montages. I'm loving looking at all the new season stock and will be sharing bits and pieces I'm liking the look of from some of my favourite brands over the next few weeks. Because we've had such a lovely summer, I'm ok about the weather turning cooler and looking forward to digging out the cosy stuff again.

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Have a great day..oh and before I go, I'm having a flash sale on all my summer scarves on this link - 2 for £10/4 for £20/6 for £30 as I'm making room for my own AW14 stock. These scarves won't be back in stock again and two thirds of the stock is already sold out so don't delay!

Ax
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Friday, 8 August 2014

Holiday Outfit Round Up

I know, I know...it's been over a month since I went on my holidays but being honest, I wasn't sure if I even wanted to do this post. The holidays weren't that enjoyable as I was in pain right from the day of departure to the day we returned, by which time, it had worsened considerably to the point that I couldn't walk...but more on that cheery topic further down this post. :)
But a month on, I'm feeling better and I can now look back on the pain free parts when I was able to get dressed and get out and about. And looking back at the photos, I'm impressed at how many days I did make the effort.
Starting with my travelling outfit. I only ever bring one pair of jeans in my capsule wardrobe and I always wear them on the journey to save on space. I also wore the heavier of my two jackets on the journey, both to save space and also to counteract the cold on the plane. A scarf was essential for the plane too...and it brought the whole outfit together too.
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Jacket - Primark (eBay)
Jeans - M&S Autograph (past season - similar here)
Scarf - Shruti - a gift
Mint Green Foil Top - Primark (past season - last worn here)
Trainers - Onitsuka Tigers (similar here)
Navy Cross Body Bag - Boden (past season - similar here)

I wore this next outfit for an explore around Chichester, the closest city to where we holidayed.
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Boho Top - Urban Outfitters USA (available herehere in another colour way)
Jeans - as before
Black Slip On Trainers - River Island
Black Cross Body - Boden (past season - similar here)

During the two weeks we were away, I wore my Kaleidoscope #bloggersabroad shorts lots - here's one of the outfits..for a day trip to Bosham - a beautiful village in Sussex
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Breton Top - Jack Wills
Shorts - Joe Browns from Kaleidoscope
Trainers & Cross Body - as before

Next up a trip to a beautiful National Trust property called Uppark - near Guilford. A really lovely day out and the kids had so much fun doing a trail around the garden.
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Kimono - New Look (out of stock online - similar)
Pink Vest Top - Benetton (past season)
Pendant - Pluck & Devour
Jeans/Trainers/Cross Body - as before

A dress next for one of the hotter days - this is a jersey number I picked up in the US and it was so easy to wear and matched my lovely Shruti scarf!
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Dress - Uniqlo
Sandals - Next (sold out)
Scarf/Bag - as before

The kimono was a real hero piece and I wore it with this maxi skirt for a lovely trip to Littlehampton
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Maxi Skirt - Matalan
Black Vest - Zara
Kimono/Sandals/Bag - as before

On our last day on the south coast, we went to Portsmouth - and I bought some granny sandals!
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Top - Next
Granny Sandals - Clarks Outlet
Bag/Jeans - as before

Back in Berkshire now and a new top from Wallis that I wanted to wear immediately.
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Top - Wallis (this colour way out of stock - available in a different colour here)
Jacket/Jeans/Trainers - as before

My maxi skirts were great for the hotter days - wearing the black one in this picture
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Maxi Skirt - Hot Squash
White Vest - Zara
Scarf - Benetton (past season)
Trainers - as before

I was so glad to get wearing this dress that I picked up in the Tesco sale for £8 the week before we went away. Loved the All-Saints vibe it had going on and I knew I could dress it up or down
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I wore it to church with the more formal cream jacket and then to a BBQ at my cousin's house with the more casual denim jacket
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Dress - Clothing at Tesco
Denim Jacket - Vero Moda (bought on eBay from Surfdome)
Sandal/Cream Jacket/Bag - as before

And my last photo? The trip home - wearing what I wore on the trip over but with an added accessory, courtesy of Gatwick Airport's Assistance Team....who were amazing. Big shout out to them...they looked after me so well.
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A world apart from Belfast City Airport, where there was no assistance as I'd not pre-booked it and we were unable to use one of the many wheelchairs without a member of the assistance staff to push it. In the end, we took a joyride in one...better to say sorry than please in some situations! Luckily no-one noticed and my son returned it intact.
So an eventful holiday - memorable in lots of ways. The important thing I think is that I didn't let it get in the way of working that capsule! It's all about priorities...
Have a good weekend!

Ax
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