Sunday, 30 December 2012

A New Necklace & Isabel Marant Style Bargain Boots!

Today's weather was pretty bad but Mr SGS still went golfing so the kids, Aunty Sharon and I headed to George's Market in Belfast for a mooch about. It was quieter than normal but I still managed to pick up exactly the sort of necklace I was looking for to wear with my new Wal-G jumper I showed you on the blog yesterday
Would you believe me if I told you it was £7 from the Vintage Pintage stall? I never fail to pick up something gorgeous from Danielle when I call in on a Sunday. Worth checking out if you're local!
It meant that I had to wear my new jumper today and I took lots of photos so you can see the food-baby friendly wrap front on it...
Today, I also wore my new boots - a Christmas present. They are Isabel Marant Dicker copies from Mango and I'm so pleased with them. Thanks to Joanna at Poppy's Style for the tip off! Gorgeous suede, really well made and oh so comfortable. Only £69.99 and reduced in the sale to £34.99 (only brown left). Click the link to read more..
Mango Suede Ankle Boots
and here's another shot of the jumper close-up to see the marl effect…so pleased with this purchase and tempted to order the burgundy..
I hope you're looking forward to a New Year - I know I am. I've loved 2012 but I always look forward to a new year, new start (and new resolutions that last about a week - I love sugar in my coffee and white wine TOO much).
Thank you for all the amazing support, lovely comments, fantastic tips and useful advice during the past year. I shall drink a glass of bubbly to you all and wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR at about midnight xx

Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Sales, The Sales!!!!

So I wasn't going to blog until NYE and instead spend time with the kids and husband but (at time of writing) I'm just back from an 8 mile cycle with my son and the girls are away with their dad so I think I deserve a blog-fix to fill you in on what I've bought (so far) in the sales.
Throughout, and I'd recommend this to those of you heading out sale shopping, I've tried to buy items that will see me into spring. I've resisted gorgeous winter coats from Zara, chunky knit jumpers from Mint Velvet and cosy fur boots from Boden…and instead reminded myself that the weather's going to improve from February and sure we'll have our summer in March like last year, so I'll work the winter wardrobe I have until then and instead focus on buying some useful transitional items.
First up and typically, this item wasn't actually reduced - tho I did have a voucher so it's a bargain in my book. My sister in law had a session with Gemma, the Belfast House of Fraser stylist just before Christmas and she got a couple of light knits from a brand called Wal-G. Dodgy brand name but gorgeous and really well priced so I picked up this one in a navy marl after seeing it on her:
Cowl Zip Shoulder Knit - £25
This zipped version comes in 3 other colours and has a flattering wrap detail across the tummy. Also comes with a stud detail on the shoulders, which looks stunning in the burgundy colour..
Wine with stud details - £25
It's hard to do it justice without wearing so I'll share it on the blog in the next week.
I also picked up these shoes in Office. Loved the strap detail and the fact that they are leather lined. Reduced to £25 but no longer available online. I saw some in-store on Boxing Day though (yes, while we're coming clean about sales purchases, I'll admit I was in House of Fraser at 8am on the 26th!!)
Office 'Back in Time' in black - £25
Also on Boxing Day, I picked up some Linea loungewear - a soft jersey draped cardigan (similar) and some wide-legged pants (similar).
Finally, on this post, I'm sharing my most favourite sale purchase. Do you remember when I had my session with Rebecca, the Victoria Square stylist and she put this jacket on me?
Boucle Biker Style Jacket - River Island
(different colour way on link)
Well, I resisted (very reluctantly) at the time and guess what? There it was - only one…waiting for me in the River Island sale. Down from £60 to £30. It is now in my wardrobe. Worth the wait I'd say!
I still have some M&S purchases to share from a visit there yesterday, and some Christmas presents to show you. As Miranda's friend says 'bear with, bear with' - I'll get it all on the blog really soon, I promise.
Hope you've all had some success either in-store or online. Please do share any great bargains. Already on the Facebook page, I've been recommended the Great Plains and the Whistles sales. Just in case you needed some more temptation...


Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

I'm about to embark on a massive cookathon - first time ever doing Christmas dinner en-mass - eek! So before I start all that, here's a quick post to show you the Christmas Day trousers..loudly patterned to disguise any cooking disasters and food babies...

Black Floral Trousers - H&M (no longer available online)
I have shortened them to just above ankle length as they were a bit loose and long at the lower leg on me. I'm going to wear them with a lightweight black knit and until I open my new black ankle boots under the tree (excited), I'll wear them with these H&M pumps which are in the sale also - only £10 (though only available in green and pink online). 

Right, back to the cooking prep now. I hope you all have a lovely, happy, safe Christmas with your family and friends. I'm taking a blogging break to spend time with Mr SGS, the kids (or blograts as the husband calls them) and the rest of my family and friends. See you soon! xxx

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Moustaches & Mince Pies

Today I wore my moustache, bow and top hat dress from Yumi, kindly gifted to me by Ruth and the team at Room 31. It's such a cute dress in a dark grey shade so can be dressed up or down. Oh and the moustache is an apt theme given my threading trauma from earlier in the week. Long story with TMI!
Dress - Yumi @ Room31 Fashion (in the sale PLUS 25% off with SGS25!)
Cropped Cardigan - H&M
100D Tights - Marks & Spencer
Ankle Boots - River Island
The preparations continue for Christmas as I headed to my friend Alicia at Bliss Nails for a gel manicure. Went for a plum/brown shade that has a little bit of sparkle in it. Bless Alicia, I had to bring one of my girls with me and she had her room all set up for her with colouring books, some yummy chocolates and Home Alone on the TV. Gemma was a wee angel for the full hour thanks to all this. 
After the nails got sorted, the girls and I made Mince Pies - perfect rainy day activity
and I took the opportunity to show them off on my Christmas cake stand - the first time I've ever used it as it was a January sale bargain from House of Fraser.
I'll fess up, I never make my own pastry as it's always SO disappointing. Instead, I make my own mincemeat and buy the Jus Rol sweet shortcrust roll-out pastry. Works a treat and the girls had a further hour of fun playing with the off-cuts!
Before I go, here's a close up of the fab pattern on the dress. I'm wearing a size 12 as I find Yumi comes up a bit small (normally I'd get away with a 10 in a dress). It's reduced in the Room 31 sale to £20 with a further 25% off if you use SGS25. Bargain :)
Next post will be my Christmas day outfit. I made a mad purchase in H&M the other night. Put it this way, if it doesn't work out, I've got some gorgeous material for a couple of cushions :)


Friday, 21 December 2012

Charity Finds, Christmas Cakes & Literary Debuts!

I have a whole lot of random stuff to share with you before Christmas! Firstly, I'm so excited to finally see the finished version of style and image book, 'Your Best You' by Sonya Lennon & Brendan Courney.
You may remember earlier this year, I travelled to Dublin to take part in some photos for this book so it was great to see the final shot appearing in the book (twice!)..
I'm really impressed with the book. As well as being full of fashion and beauty advice, it's got a great 'dressing for your body shape' section and lots of advice on exercise and diet. You may be wondering why I have two of the books - watch out for a giveaway in January. But if you can't wait that long, you can pick it up on Amazon.
Also this week, we went to the nursery nativity play (cue non-stop blubbing)..the cuteness of it all! 
I've had several supermarket dashes and lots of food preparation for the big day. In the midst of it all, this lovely delivery came from The Fat Gherkin.
The Christmas cake is made and iced - so relieved to get this job out of the way. Hope it tastes as good as it looks..
I've also had a couple of shifts to do in the Cancer Research shop - wearing my new M&S dress today - loving it with this H&M white shirt and River Island ankle boots..
and look at this absolute beauty of a handbag that's sitting in the Lisburn Road shop at the moment. Dark grey Lulu Guinness in excellent condition for only £40. PM me if interested. Can't promise it will still be there after a busy Saturday though...
So, like everyone this time of year, it's going to be a busy 3 or 4 days but I'll squeeze in a couple more posts before I take a break with the family for a few days over Christmas. Oh and the Christmas sales - I need time off to explore them too - for research purposes only :)

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Tan Boots & Christmas Cookies

I shared my new (to me) tan boots on this previous post so I thought it was about time I showed some photos of them on my feet. Incidentally, since my last post, Kitty has been in touch to tell me she found a pair on eBay also but is struggling to pull them on. So I should warn that they are tricky in that respect. Mine are a bit big for me as I wear a specialist insole in my flat boots so I think that's why I've not had an issue with them. But just be aware if you are looking for a pair online.
I wore them today with a cosy knitted dress from Still. It's a cashmere mix heavy knit dress that I save for very cold days and today was one of them thanks to some freezing fog here in Belfast..
Knitted Dress - Still (local boutique - similar on link)
Navy Skinny Jeans - Gok for TU @ Sainsburys
Scarf - Pull & Bear
Boots - French Connection (eBay - limited sizes on link)
I then put on a short navy wool jacket from Primark for the school run but on seeing the photos, I agree with Mr SGS that it didn't quite work with this outfit. In my defence, it did seem better in real life!
Tan Cross Body Bag - Fat Face
Navy Wool Jacket - Primark
After the girls came home, I decided to try out a gift that one of my friends brought me last week. Chocolate Reindeer Cookie Mix!
Basically, you get the flour mixture in this bag, along with a cookie cutter in the shape of a reindeer and full instructions. All we had to add was some butter and eggs. It was so much fun cutting out our little chocolate reindeer..
then the girls put sprinkling sugar on top before baking..
and here they are fully cooked but cooling.
Definitely the easiest Christmas cookies I've made ever and the kit makes a great present to bring to someone over the holidays. I googled and you can pick them up in Lakeland or in John Lewis (similar).
Hope your Christmas preparations are going well. Cleaning the oven is my next job - rock 'n' roll!

Monday, 17 December 2012

One M&S Party Dress - Three Ways!

It's great to have a non-black party dress that can also be worn during the day. Great if you work and need to go from the office to a party and great if you want to be able to wear a going out suitable dress on the school run. I think this Marks & Spencer number ticks all those boxes so it was my first choice when I was asked to chose from Marks & Spencer's party dress range for this 1 dress, 3 ways challenge.
Limited Collection Tweed Dress ℅ Marks & Spencer
It's a lovely textured material in grey/black/cream tones with gold thread running through it but it was the pleather detail on the shoulders and waistband that won me over. A nod to a current trend and I think it's what makes this dress so good for day to night styling.
But first the working woman look. I've styled the dress with a black belt, cream silk shirt, a beaded necklace and ankle booties.
Dress - Marks & Spencer
Cream Silk Shirt - Joseph
Necklace - Local Boutique (old)
Black 100D Tights - Marks & Spencer
Suede Booties - Dunnes Stores
Handbag - Fossil from Menarys
Glasses - Firmoo
And for the after work night out - whip the shirt off, grab a statement necklace, a clutch and higher shoes and you're all set..
Necklace - New Look
Clutch - LK Bennett
Shoes - Red Herring at Debenhams (similar in this link)
And after I styled these day to night outfits, I did another quick change for the school run
White Top - GAP
Black Flat Riding Boots - Carl Scarpa
Gold Patterned Scarf - River Island
Coat - Karen Millen (past season)
Handbag - Fossil c/o Menarys
So, thanks to M&S, I've got my Boxing/St. Stephen's Day outfit sorted and another great dress that's going to earn its keep in my wardrobe. Now to decide how to style it :)
There's a great range of party and Christmas dresses in M&S at the moment - worth checking out with pre-Christmas delivery until 19th December and in-store delivery until 12pm on the 20th so it's not too late to get your Christmas outfit organised!

Oh and if you want to see another M&S dress styled 3 ways, pop over to Maria's blog at Miss Drifted Snow White to see her styling a totally different dress - LOVE it!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Boden Winter Sale!


Friday, 14 December 2012

Working Your LBD & Some Fab Neck-Candy

When Claire sent me these photos of her Zara little black dress, I was so impressed, I had to share. We're all told it's easy to style up an lbd but sometimes it's nice to have a bit of inspiration in the form of photos of a real person working their wardrobe to make up a few different looks..
Now Claire's actual dress isn't on the Zara website but this one here is very similar:
Top Stitched Waistband Dress - £39.99
So here are Claire's looks. First up with a metallic belt & heels: 
Then with a jewelled collar and some sparkly sandals:
Add a belt, black tights & shoes and a black clutch for a completely different look:
Loving the addition of the red to this outfit - jewelled statement necklace really dresses it up too:
and Claire also sent me a picture of her new 'wear with anything' necklace from Marks & Spencer. Now I can't find this one online but there is a similar one on this link.
And in fact, M&S have some amazing necklaces on their website at the moment. Check these out and the price points are brilliant. Perfect stocking fillers!
Autograph Multi Strand Necklace
Autograph Bead Bib Necklace
Per Una Chainmail Disc Necklace
Bead Waterfall Necklace
Limited Collection Fringe Collar Necklace
Twiggy Bead Starship Cluster Necklace
Enjoy your weekend, especially if you have a Christmas party to attend! 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas Competition Facebook 1000 Winner!

The random generator picked number 49 in the comments and the lucky girl is 
Claire Leckey
Well done Claire - I'll arrange delivery of your prizes in the next few days.

Thank you to everyone who entered and to my wonderful sponsors, 

To cheer up your January, I've got some great competitions lined up - including another with a handbag as the prize! Keep an eye here and on my Facebook page for details.

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