Saturday, 30 July 2011

What Lies Beneath




Still wearing those leggings but managed to hide them under my maxi dress.
Spent the day shopping with my mum and daughter - the first time I have ever been shopping and not come back with a single thing for me.
Still, my daughter and mum were very happy.

I wore:
Dress - Miss Selfridge
Shoes - Birkenstock

Friday, 29 July 2011

A Blue Day



This dress comes from my new holiday wardrobe.
It's a French Connection dress I bought in the sale when I went shopping with my daughter recently.
My daughter encouraged me to buy it.
To be honest I didn't need another holiday dress but as it was 70% off I decided to buy it because I did love it.I think it works well with leggings and will work with flat shoes and heels.
I absolutely love the button detail on the waistline and the fabric is a kind of cheesecloth that will not crumple in my suitcase.
I think this may turn out to be one of my holiday heroes.

I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Dress - French Connection
Leggings - Lytesse

Like Mother Like Daughter





There was an interesting feature in the Daily Mail yesterday about mothers and daughters sharing clothes.
It made me smile.
My daughter has been raiding my wardrobe for nearly two years now and she is 14.
I am a UK10 and Briony is a UK8. She is a few cms taller than me and has slightly bigger feet which means our wardrobes are interchangeable.
The other week we bought our first shared item - a Top Shop maxi skirt.
I couldn't justify spending £40 on a skirt but with my NUS student discount and the fact that it would be used in two wardrobes seemed to justify the spend.
Amazingly, the light has changed the skirt from red to coral but the real colour is somewhere between these two pictures.
I think Briony looks much better in it than me but it is very useful for covering up those damned leggings on a night out!

I wore:
Skirt - Top Shop
Top - Next

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Favourite t-shirt dress + leggings


My husband was not impressed when I went to bed in my leggings last night.
"What are these?" he asked.
I was forced to confess my leggings experiment and to say that to make them work I needed to wear them for eight hours a day and as I hadn't put them on until 4pm (due to taking youngest to see new Harry Potter film) I needed another few hours in them.
He was not impressed.
I took them off.
If my legs don't look like Jennifer Aniston's then it will all be his fault!

Dress - Ciel
Leggings - Lytesse
Shoes - Mantaray

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Skirting The Issue of Leggings



I am still playing with leggings and have been looking around the blogsphere for some advice.
Imogen supplied the best advice I could find although any suggestions would be gratefully received.
I have to wear these leggings for 21 days (minimum 8 hours a day) with only a 3 day break for maximum effect.
As I am short and rather well padded in the legs department I don't want to wear them under trousers or jeans.
I could have tried wearing them under a maxi dress but as I am trying to clean up the house this was not practicable.
Last time I wore this skirt was here on holiday in Barcelona.
Maybe it is one way of getting in the holiday mood.

Today I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Skirt - Dorothy Perkins
Top - Marks and Spencer

Monday, 25 July 2011

Potted Plants




Today I spent a few hours potting some plants that I had bought months ago.
I am sure this influenced my choice of dress with its splashes of pink.
There will be an excess of dresses with leggings for the next few weeks as I am trying out these to see if they work for my holiday.
They are supposed to get rid of cellulite and help you lose weight.
I know I must be mad but there are just a few weeks to go.
I will keep you posted on their effectiveness but already I am BORED with black leggings.

I wore:
Dress - Next
Shoes - Clarks
Leggings

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Metallic Blue


I am never sure whether Kaftans do it for me.
However, this Jasper Conran one caught my eye at Debenhams the other day.
I will be taking it on holiday with me to Barcelona in the hope that I will be able to dress it up or down.
I have to say; I am still not sure.

I wore:
Shoes - Marks & Spencer
Jeans - Top Shop (Martha)
Vest - Gap
Kaftan - Debenhams

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Last Supper


Tonight was a final a farewell for the mums at my son's primary school.
For 16 years I have walked down the same path to my children's primary school.
But last Friday marked the final day.
My youngest son was leaving primary school.
The last one.
My eldest son who will be 20 in September led the way when he was four.
Where did the time go?
I know I will see some of the mums again but never again will we all be part of that same group.
Although most of the children will be starting the same High School I know from experience that they will make new friends and there is not the same parental involvement at High School.
I will miss the teachers, the grounds, the annual events such as The Gala, the Nativity Plays and special assemblies and the friendly receptionist who always had a smile for the harassed mum turning up with forgotten dinner money, trainers and inhalers.
I do hold a tiny hope that I will return one day.
My eldest son is training to be a primary school teacher and maybe, just maybe he will end up there.
And then there is always the grand-children.
But back to the glamour of the final farewell.
It had to be a dressy event.
I live in WAG-land where it is not unusual to see Steven Gerrard or Joe Cole in our local restaurant.
Although wisely they stayed away tonight.
It was 2 for 1 Cocktails so the Pina Colada certainly took the edge off the sadness.

I wore:
Dress: Next
Shoes: TK Maxx
Bag: Gap

Friday, 22 July 2011

The Secret To My Dream Job



The past year has been a challenge in more ways than one.
The course has been difficult, life has been difficult and finding a job even more difficult.
I have to be honest and admit that by January I realised I didn't want to teach English in schools.
But I kept plodding on.
I felt I owed it to my family who had supported me throughout the course to apply for jobs.
I have never struggled to get a job before.
I have walked into almost every job I have ever gone after.
I was shocked to find my letters of application ignored.
I thought my past life and work must count for something.
Yet deep down.
If I am totally honest - I don't think I was a great secondary school teacher.
By March I had begun my second school placement and it was tough.
Don't get me wrong; the school was brilliant.
I just didn't feel up to the job.
My confidence dipped.
For the first time in my life I felt old and washed up.
Then I was clearing my desk and I found a necklace I had won on Boutique Girl's blog.
It was a Make A Wish necklace.
I had been saving it for a time when I really needed a wish to come true.
Now was the time.
I opened the box and there was a tiny silver angel with some pink thread which clasped around the neck.
I decided to give it a try.
What did I have to lose?
I put the necklace on and made a wish to find the perfect job for me.
I began to settle into the school.
I loved being a tutor and I loved teaching PSHE (Personal, Social & Health Education).
My class of 13-14-year-olds enjoyed their lessons but said they wanted to do more feel-good lessons as they'd had enough of sex and drugs and runaways!
I introduced a Happiness Project and challenged each pupil to create their own Happiness Project for the last lesson of my placement.
The lesson was the best ever with collages, videos, letters, playlists and random acts of kindness collated.
Meanwhile, I ploughed on with the job applications and started to get a few interviews.
In May I had two interviews for teaching jobs in two weeks and was devastated when I was not offered a job.
Then I was called for an interview as a Progress Coach at a sixth form college.
This was a new role at the college and there would be nine coaches starting the term in September.
Over 70 people had applied for the jobs including teachers, lecturers, career tutors, librarians and many more.
It was the only non-teaching job I had applied for but I loved the look of it.
I would be a personal tutor, mentor and teach life skills.
The application included a task to find out how I would deal with challenging situations facing a couple of imaginary students.
A month after applying for the job I was asked back for another test.
I had to write a University reference for a student.
A week later I was called back to the final stage.
I had to give a presentation on Life After College for Year 12 students (aged 16-17); lead a discussion between sixth formers; calm an irate student down in a role-play situation and finally, the panel interview.
I was told I would have to wait until the following week to hear if I had the job as they were still interviewing.
That final stage almost wiped me out but when I returned home that night I was enjoying a glass of wine when I felt my neck and the charm had gone.
The string had snapped on my Make A Wish bracelet which was the sign that my wish would be granted.
Two days later I got a phone call to say I had been selected for the job.
I am so grateful for the gift and in absolutely no doubt that the necklace from Boutique Girl granted my wish.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Graduation Day







Graduation Day at last.
During the long months of planning and teaching and lectures and assignments, I had this date in mind.
It drew a line underneath the hours of family time that had been lost to my studies.
I wanted to celebrate with a big family meal.
As I explained, I missed the graduation ceremony as I opted to attend my son's Leavers' Mass instead.
However, the graduation celebrations took place as planned.
My mum bought my a wonderful bouquet of flowers and made me a lovely card.
My mum, husband, children and my eldest son's girlfriend enjoyed a wonderful meal followed by drinks with friends in one of our local restaurants.
It was everything I had hoped for and more as we all graduate to a new stage in our lives.
Tomorrow I will explain a little more about my job and the amazing gift I received from a fellow blogger that helped my secure a dream job.

I wore:
My favourite Poppy dress from Oasis.
Shoes: TK Maxx.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Almost Ready To Come Back


My course is finally over and I am so looking forward to catching up with you all again.
I have missed you.
I am now a fully qualified English teacher but.........
I will not be working as an English teacher.
One thing I learned from the course is that I do not want to be an English teacher.
But the experience has been so worthwhile as I have a wonderful new job to look forward to in September.
I will be working as a Progress Coach at a sixth form college.
It is a fantastic college with around 2,000 students and I will be working with the teachers there to make sure that each and every one of the students in my cohort fulfill their potential.
I can hardly wait.
It is a term-time only job which means I will have some spare time to write.
The past year has been a challenging one with the loss of my wonderful father but there is still so much to look forward to.
Tomorrow should be my graduation and I was hoping to post a picture here but it clashed with my son's Leavers' Mass.
Both events were scheduled for 2pm.
Can you believe it?
Of course there is no contest.
I cannot miss my son playing "The Lazy Song" on his electric guitar.
So here we are raising our glasses to a bright new future.
Both of us will be starting brand new schools and fantastic new adventures in September.
See you all very soon when a normal service will be resumed!