The Dress of the sale!

Dress - M&S
This was a complete impulse purchase as I walked through M&S in Ballymena. I saw it from a distance and did a complete about turn to get over to it. Lifted a size 10 and marched straight to the till. Didn't try it on or think about it at all. It had to be mine.


Ballymena Means Fashion | & Great Coffee

You know how much I enjoy getting out of Belfast to discover boutiques and coffee shops in other local towns. Well, on Friday last, I headed to Ballymena because the town is hosting a fashion event called Ballymena Means Fashion on Saturday 8th April and so to help entice all you local girls to come to the town, I was asked by the Ballymena Means team to take a recce trip to see what's on offer!


Spotted in the Shops | White Trainers Part 2

Some shopping randomness now as I upload some of the many photos I've taken on my travels over the past 2 weeks....starting with a try-on in Next where I loved the colour of this ruffle sweatshirt but fell foul of the long arms! This was a size 8 so size down. It's a gorgeous soft sweatshirt and the ruffles give it such a lovely feminine touch.


Letting go on Mother's Day | Asda

The team at Asda Northern Ireland got in touch with me recently with gift ideas for Mother’s Day. They were offering to send me some bits for my kids to gift me but even though they were all lovely, I politely declined, explaining that all I ever want on Mother’s Day is not to have to cook. No gifts are ever required (apart from chocolate - it's always welcome).

I got an email back asking if my kids would instead like to have an Asda voucher to cover the cost of the ingredients to make my Mother’s Day a cooking-free zone (for me). Well, the kids were delighted with this idea and immediately made a list of what to buy. The only catch being that we’d have to do it all a week early - so that I could blog about it in advance of Mother’s Day. Well, as it turns out my son & husband have their birthdays either side of Mother’s Day this year so celebrating Mother’s Day a week early actually worked out well.


White Trainers Part 1 | What I've Been Wearing

I've been wearing my Topshop white trainers so much recently that I figured it was time I invested in a second pair. Mainly because the Topshop ones are a bit flat and not overly comfy to wear for long periods but also because I get bored of wearing them and would like to have a second pair to mix things up. I do have a pair of Adidas Superstars but I've gone off them recently....they feel too 'kiddy'....probably because so many of my kids' friends have them too. I want to leave them aside for a while until teenagers stop wearing them and move onto something else!


Culotte love | M&S Sale

I'm all over culottes (and trainers) at the moment. You knew already about the late adaptor thing, didn't you? I need to see something worn LOTS before I feel happy to give it a try and more often than not, I want the item to be in the sale before I'll willingly part with the cash. Just in case. I'm notorious for returning stuff.

Anyway, I tried on some culottes last season with Katherin, the personal stylist at Victoria Square and it got me thinking about how much I liked the shape...they suit my long torso and help even up my proportions. At the time, I bought a culotte leg jumpsuit from Warehouse which is so flattering on. But as it's a jumpsuit, it's not practical for daytime wear so I was keeping an eye out for a suitable pair of culottes that I could wear with casual tops and as workwear too.

Warehouse came up trumps again with this pair of black split seam crepe culottes on the sale rail, reduced from £45 to £20. Unfortunately, they're not showing online so I can't share a nice picture. Instead, here they are in navy...which I didn't see instore but which I would buy in a heartbeat if I did!!


The Hush 'Love' Jumper | What I've Been Wearing

Quick (non-sponsored) post on this before it sells out. The 'Etoile' one last season was gone in a heartbeat so as soon as I saw this black version with 'Love' written on it in the preview, I bought one. I wear my Etoile one so much and it's washed & worn really well so I was sure, although pricy, it would be a good investment piece...

I'll be honest, first impressions weren't amazing. It's not wool - it's a cotton mix (58% cotton/42% modal). Which of course, makes perfect sense given it's a spring/summer jumper. But the overall feel of it wasn't as impressive as the Etoile - there was a real sense of the latter being well worth the money. This 'Love' one felt like less knit for your buck. But actually, as soon as I put it on, I was quite literally in LOVE!
Coat - Karen Millen (old)
Black Jeans - Selected Femme
Star Trainers - Topshop (past season - similar here - bargainous!)
I wore it immediately and in the 2 weeks since it arrived, I've worn it on about 6 different days. I like how it lifts a black outfit.
The fit is generous, as Hush generally seems to be. I got the S and it feels like a 12 to me, I'd quite like to try the XS but budget won't allow me to buy a second one!

All told, I would absolutely recommend this jumper. Be gentle with it - it's not robust but it's absolutely appropriate for the time of year. Whether I'd want to wear a black jumper all through the summer, I'm not sure but it's brilliant at the moment. I've been layering it with a denim shirt on cooler days.
Denim Shirt - White Company (past season - similar here)
Black Wool Skirt - Marc Cain (past season from DejaVu)
Black Boots - Ilse Jacobsen via Sarah Jane Boutique (past season - similar here)
Pendant - as before
Camel Coat - past season
UPDATE - It does recommend a hand wash on the label but I just put it through a 30 degree gentle short wash with a few other similar items and it came out perfect. 

While I was ordering anyway, I put in an order for the Navy/Grey Stella reversible star jumper that I'd seen on a few blogs.
This was more substantial to hold but a smaller fit. Overall, I wasn't keen as it was a bit too much like a sweatshirt to me. I quite liked it the grey way around but the navy way around, there was grey stitching on the seams and I wasn't so keen on that (there are also labels that need to be carefully picked off!). But I think it was mainly the fact that navy isn't a colour I have a lot of footwear and trousers for so I'd end up only ever wearing it with jeans/trainers and would probably tire of it.
I'd definitely consider buying it if it had black or camel with the grey...or actually a black/camel one....swoon! Perhaps they will be the options for winter time. A girl can dream.

I should say, the reversible jumper comes in a blush/grey colour way also but it's not a good colour for me so I didn't try it. I think it's a nicer mix if that's a colour that suits you.

Finishing with a couple of outfits from this week, starting with a workwear one featuring some fab new culottes I got in the Warehouse sale!
Culottes - Warehouse  - current Sale Stock in store but not online 
Jacket - Marc Cain (via DejaVu)
Scarf - eBay
Trainers - as above
and a slightly more casual option for a day of racing about Belfast meeting people and returning all the Barnardo's stock I borrowed (blog reality!)
Knitted Dress - Benetton (AW16)
Grey Jacket - By Malene Birger (bought in DejaVu)
Scarf - Dunnes Stores (AW16)
Boots - Ilse Jacobsen as before

Hope your week is going well!

Disclaimer - I bought both jumpers myself



Leopard Camera Bag | Skinny Jeans Alternative

Two exciting things to share here, starting with my new Leopard Camera bag from Accessorize. This 'Ronnie Camera Bag' was all over the blog-esphere last season - specifically the red one which had interchangeable straps and my blog crush, Alex from The Frugality styled it paired with a leopard strap which I admired every time she featured it. 
It's not a leather bag though, which put me off a little at the time but then I kicked myself for not getting one - I saw and tried it on in-store several times too! All sold out of course now...
So when Alex started rocking her new season leopard camera bag from Accessorize on insta-stories this week, I was straight back into to get one. I got the last one in the shop - with 20% off thanks to a reward card promotion running this weekend. The bag is still in stock online on this link, though the 20% promotion isn't running online.
Second exciting thing I want to share is my first successful alternative to skinny jeans. I've tried them all over the years - cropped, flared, mom, boyfriend and I could never quite get the fit right - they always knocked my proportions off making me look much heavier on my bottom half. 

But I think these H&M ones from the sale rail are ticking the boxes of a more modern shape without all the bulk on the bottom half. Perhaps it helps that they are grey/black? Anyway, they were only £7 (down from £29.99) and I'm excited about wearing them. They work with ankle boots and slip on trainers (I've checked) and I think they will be good with sandals come summer (remember summer? seems so long ago)
Jacket - Marc Cain via DejaVu
Scarf - Zara (past season)
Black Cashmere Crew Neck - John Lewis (officially my most worn item this winter!)
Jeans - H&M (similar here)

I'm realising now I've taken them off that I didn't really capture a good picture of them close up but basically, they've a stepped, unfinished hem going on and what H&M call a twisted seam. These (sold out) blue ones are quite close in shape. They're not online but there were a good few pairs of them in Forestside for anyone local.

That's all my excitement for this post...hope you're having a good week so far. Back soon...



SS17 Trends | Barnardo's Charity Shops | Part 2 - The Outfits

At last...the photos have been edited and I'm back to show you the outfits that I found in the three Barnardo's shops I visited on my last post.  The remit was Spring/Summer Trends and so I thought about the kinds of things coming into the shops at the moment and took inspiration from recent street style pictures on pinterest - always a great place to look for style inspiration.

I've kept everything very wearable and real and I should say now that I've mixed in some of my own wardrobe as I wasn't able to find my size in certain items - shoes were a particular issue so I hope you'll forgive me wearing my own in a couple of these looks. I've marked on each outfit what pieces are mine and what's come from the charity shop.

1. Blush


Seven Boot Lane | SS17 Review & Discount Code!

The Seven Boot Lane new season has launched and I was honoured to once again be asked to chose a pair to review. The brand is such a great supporter of this blog and has been since the early days. Not just when I'm featuring their product - they keep in touch with me year round, comment on my posts and have even asked for my opinions on some of their business decisions. I don't think I've got a relationship quite like it with another brand and it says a lot about the company and their ethos. 


SS17 Trends | Barnardo's Charity Shops | Part 1 - The Search

Can you find the latest trends in a local charity shop? That was the challenge set for me by the team at the local office of Barnardo's. They were inspired by their colleagues across the water who ran an initiative called 'Charity Fashion Live' during London Fashion Week last week, which sourced actual catwalk looks in real time from the contents of the Brixton Barnardo's Shop. This is one of the looks - all of them are on this link.
All of their amazing looks set the bar fairly high for me though in fairness to the local team here, it wasn't catwalk looks they wanted but instead some more wearable interpretations of SS17 trends. Surely possible? I was happy to give it a go.
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