Monday, 30 April 2012

Monday Morning Blues

It was a busy Monday morning today as six of us struggled for space in our smallish kitchen.
My eldest son who is at university (training to be a primary school teacher) lives at home but usually leaves after us.
However, for the next 10 weeks he is on placement at a local school where the headteacher is his former nursery teacher.
The rest of us have to be out by 8am. I like to get up around 6am which gives me enought time to run 2 miles with the dog, eat breakfast and shower in peace before all hell breaks loose in the form of our 14-year-old daughter and her equally grumpy dad.
Neither of them are good in the morning.
It is usually a great relief to be heading out of the door.
Today was no exception - another Monday morning blues.
I wonder if that was the influence for this top which I grabbed in a rush this morning.

If anyone has any tips for a calm start to the day in a busy household - please share.

I wore: Trousers - Primark Boots - Clarks Top - Dorothy Perkins Pendant - Top Shop

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Racing Stripes

I ran 10 miles this morning with the help of Bruce and Johnny.
Apart from running shoes, Garmin and workout gear,  the other essential piece of kit is my ipod shuffle.
I have two ipod shuffles. One is loaded with contemporary music for my shorter runs whilst I keep my green shuffle for my longer runs.
The green shuffle contains only Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen.
I put it on shuffle and am always surprised by the songs selected.
My favourite Bruce Springsteen album is Nebraska although I am loving the new album, Wrecking Ball, (which contains some Irish-influenced jigs which certainly help keep my pace up).
My favourite song on Nebraska is Highway Patrolman which was written by Bruce but also performed by Johnny Cash.

I had just half an hour for a shower, lunch and change before I met my friend for coffee.
I was determined to wear my new red New Look jeans and decided to opt for my go-to top of stripes.
Today they are certainly racing stripes.
What music do you enjoy listening to while you exercise?

I wore:
Boots - Clarks
Jeans - New Look
Top - Primark
Denim Jacket - Spanish store
I love my new Primark trousers. I find Spring a strange time when it comes to the leg department. I can't bear to wear black opaque tights once the clocks have gone forward yet it is too cold for bare legs. These slim cut trousers are just perfect for the leg transition. I can't wait for the warmer weather - I am still spending my evenings cuddled up with a hot water bottle as it doesn't seem right to have the heating on at the end of April.

I wore: Boots - Clarks Trousers - Primark Top - H & M

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A Tale Of Two Dresses

I was feeling a little uninspired this week. The weather is windy and cold and there is a restlessness in the air at work as exams and the end of the academic year approaches.

I have little time to think about what to wear when I am trying to inspire my students so I go for a fail-safe option. Long sleeved dress + toning camisole + boots = my go-to wear for trying times like these. What is your go-to option?

I wore:
Dresses: H and M (brown), Gap (blue)
Camisoles: Marks and Spencer
Wooly tights and Ear-rings: Dorothy Perkins
Boots: Clarks

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Saturday Stripes

I love Stripes. So much I have used a capital letter just for them.
I found this top in the back of my son's wardrobe.
How had it got there?
I decided to pair it with my new Primark trousers which I bought for cycling to work.
They are slim fitting which means I don't need to worry about them getting caught.
I live 8 miles from work and last Sunday I put on my work clothes and boots and tootled off to work at a pace that was leisurely and wouldn't mean needing a strip shower in the toilets and a change before work.
It took me an hour and five minutes.I couldn't believe it, the time just flew.
Now the mornings are lighter I plan to cycle to and from work at least once a week - weather forecast permitting.

I wore:
Boots - Clarks
Trousers & Top - Primark
Collar - Dorothy Perkins

Friday, 20 April 2012

Denim Bargain

I love a button through denim dress.
They are so versatile.
They can be worn as a dress, with leggings or as a layer over another dress. Even a coat.
I snapped up this dress on the bargain rail at Primark for just £5.00.
It even came with a belt although I have added an old favourite.
I needed to be comfortable today.
This was the second time I got dressed as the first time I got a migraine and went back to bed.
Thank Goodness for Imigran.
Although I am feeling a little spaced out now, the headache of 18 hours has finally gone and I no longer feel sick.
Hopefully, after another night's sleep I will feel revived for the weekend.
Hope your weekend is everything you wish it to be.

I wore:
Boots: Clarks
Dress: Primark
Belt: Tesco
Camisole: Marks & Spencer

Monday, 16 April 2012

Normal Service Resumed

Normal service has resumed.
Back to outfit posts.
Today I found a grey shift dress in the back of my wardrobe.
It is from Next and a little tight across the chest but fits everywhere else.
It was cold again today so back to winter woollie tights.
Today was also the first day back at work after a two week break for Easter.
The 6am start was a bit of a shock but I was rewarded with a lovely walk in the rising sun with the dog.
Hope your Monday went well.

Today I wore:
Shoes: Clarks
Dress: Next
Cardigan: Primark
Brooch: Ebay

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Nine Years Ago Today I was Celebrating...............

Nine years ago today I was celebrating running The London Marathon.
I won't tell you the time. It was slow. Very slow.
It was more than five hours. less than six!
I always said I would never run another marathon ever again but since my dad died last year I have changed my mind and today I start training for The 2012 Liverpool Marathon in October.
I will be maintaining this blog and reporting on my marathon progress in a new blog here.
I intend for both blogs to be kept in their very own blogspheres but for one day only I am sharing the same post.
After that, no (or very little) running news here.
Just clothes.
So here's the start of my new blog.
Please bear with me and normal service will be resumed soon.
Nine years ago today I swore: "never again!"
26.2 miles is too far for any sane human being to run.
I had done it twice. New York in 2002 and London on April 11th 2003.
There was no need to do this ever, ever again. Right?
There is just one more marathon left in me - the 2012 Liverpool Marathon.
And this one's for dad.
For those who don't know my dad you can read his euology here.
My dad passed away on October 17th 2010 after a six year battle with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The Mantle Cell kind.
For most of those six years he lived with cancer as well as anyone could.
He had slight relapses when the cancer became active but for the most part he would take the bus to hospital, have his chemo, get the bus home and be up on his roof fixing an aerial the next day.
He would cycle by my side as I ran, training for other races.
He would keep a lookout for me when I nipped behind bushes to answer the call of nature; he would hop off his bike ahead of me to open gates when we went cross-country and most of all he would keep me entertained with his tales.
I miss him.
So much.
Last year was a difficult one for me.
At the age of 45 I started a PGCE; I lost my dad;  I got rejected for the many jobs I applied for and I felt old and useless.
I lost all the confidence I once had.
Although I did eventually get a job I didn't feel much better until I started to run.
The more I ran, the better I felt.
I would remember the days I had dad by my side and then one night, out of the blue I began to think about running a marathon again.
The last time I had - 9 years ago today - dad was by my side.
If you look carefully at the photograph you will see him on the right.
That's how I like to think of him now.
He may not be in the picture but he is still there, travelling on ahead, making sure those metaphorical gates are still open for me.
Running a marathon won't bring back my dad but it will give me plenty of time to remember the good times and reflect on how grateful I am that he was my dad.
I am running for The Lymphoma Association which provides help and support for those who are diagnosed with the disease,  and their families. If you would like to sponsor me you can visit my page here.
I have set a target of £740.00 - £10 for every year of my dad's life.
This blog will chart the highs and the lows of my training over the next six months and hopefully, a final picture of me clutching another finisher's medal.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Happy Easter

Hope you all had a Happy Easter.
I went for an 8 mile run in the morning which was followed by watching a couple of films with my daughter (Friends With Benefits and Burlesque).
My mum joined us for a family meal in the evening.
It was a quiet day compared to Easters past but very enjoyable.

I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Trousers - Dorothy Perkins
Top - Top Shop
Scarf - Boden
Shirt - Spanish market

Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday

I am not a chocolate person and don't really do eggs but I love Easter.
Religion aside (which I am not going to go into other than to say I became a Catholic on Easter Sunday 1992), I love the way blossom appears on the trees, the smell of spring in the air and the promise of six months of light mornings and evenings.
Today I am wearing my new vest top featuring "The Boss".
I had one of these t-shirts in 1988 and couldn't believe it when I saw it on sale in H & M last week.
I don't know if I will have the bottle to wear it to the Bruce Springsteen concert in June as I think it will look a bit naff.
Whatever you are doing this Easter, have fun and for the chocoholics amongst us. Enjoy!

I wore:
Boots - Clarks
Jeans - Top Shop
Vest - H & M
Jacket - Zara

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Farewell Spotty Shirt

I wore this outfit yesterday and when I took the shirt off I noticed a rip at the bottom - just above the peplum.
The fabric is silk and it can't be repaired.
I have had a love/hate relationship with this shirt.
Initially, I loved it.
I bought it in the summer of 2008 just before I started my year of not buying any clothes.
I wore it for the first time when I went to see Mamma Mia with my husband.
But then I fell out of love. I had gone off the frill and the fabric wasn't as fresh as it used to be.
I also thought it made me look fat.
One time I put it on eBay but as it didn't get more than £1.04 in bids I withdrew it from sale.
This year I was delighted to see the peplum was back in and retrieved this shirt from the back of the wardrobe.
I have worn it a couple of times already this year and was feeling the love again until the shirt took its final revenge and split on me.
I can't bear to throw it away.
Anyone got any ideas of what I can do with an unwearable shirt?

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Waiting For A Sunny Day

The weather had already turned.
Normal service had resumed: sleet, wind and rain.
But I couldn't resist this ray of sunshone on the rails at H & M.
As soon as I saw this fabric I knew I had to have this dress.
In 2005 I bought a silver top (pictured) made out of the same fabric and which I have worn to death.
It is perfect for holidays.
It never creases and you can't go wrong with metallics.
Even better the price: an unbelievable £14.99 for a dress.
I wore the dress with my new "free" booties from Clarks.
Last winter I bought these black boots but the zip went on them.
I took them back and they gave me a full credit refund for the cost of the boots.
I chose these booties and these lovely summer sandals.
I was so impressed with the customer service.
A full refund and they did it with a smile on their face.
Five stars to Clarks.
I wore the dress for dinner at my friend Denise's home.
Denise is an excellent cook and despite having three carnivores, two vegetarians and a vegan she made an excellent meal.
Cauliflower and Cumin Soup with Bruschetta for starters; Basque Chicken/Quorn for mains and ice cream/vegan version for pudding.
There is nothing better than dinner with friends you haven't seen for a while.

I wore:
Dress: H & M
Booties: Clarks

Breton Bull Dog

  Its spring on the farm and time to break out the Breton Top. Fresh and clean but with long sleeves to keep out the chill wind that blows a...