Saturday, 31 August 2013


Thank You For The Music

 A last minute invite to an Abba Tribute night with my husband, son, his girlfriend and a party of 20.
What to wear?
No time to find blue lycra leggings and a beanie hat so I went for white and this new Boden dress I had  been saving for my Silver Wedding holiday to Mexico next February.
It was a great night - sometimes the best nights have been organised at the last minute and this was no exception.
Unusually for me I dance and danced all night.

"Supertrouper beams are gonna blind me." 

Sophie and Sam

Sam and his jaded mum.

Dad and his lad.

Sam still going strong at 1am.

I wore:

Dress - Boden
Sandals - TK Maxx
Bag - Gap

Friday, 30 August 2013

Shopping With Mother

My daughter and I went for a shopping trip today in a bid to spruce up our A/W wardrobes.
And after much deliberations this is what I bought.

A Paul Costelloe jacket in TK Maxx reduced from £195 to £34.95.
Just what I was looking for - a heavyweight jacket that will keep me warm in winter and act as a mini coat in autumn.

A Top Shop blouse in ivory which was reduced from £38 to £30 .
I was looking for a top which would look good on its own and stand up to layering above and on top.
A heavyweight knit striped top that would stand alone and offer layering options.
A bargain at £16 from M and Co.

In a bid to steer away from black I opted for this soft knit from Gap in a light grey. It was £34.95 but I had a 20% off coupon.

I am hoping these buys will see me through the next two seasons and beyond.

I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Jeans - Gap
Top - Dorothy Perkins
Jacket - Primark
Bag - Clarks

Thursday, 29 August 2013

New Jeans

I have managed to find a replacement for my Martha jeans on eBay.
But before they arrived I was in my local Gap store and spotted their straight leg jeans which I love.
They are not Martha but they may one day  become a very close contender for my favourite jeans.

I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Jeans and Jacket - Gap
Top - H & M

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


I have been looking for a new winter coat.
I want one that I can dress up or down and this Zara coat seemed perfect .
On the hanger.
This is the reason why us petites need to shop early and shop around.
The sleeves are too long.
The button is too low and the shoulders are too big.

I feel like I am drowning in coat. 
Back to the drawing board!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Autumn/Winter Rules

I have spent some time looking through last autumn/winter's outfits to give me an idea of what to wear this season.
When I look back I cringe at some outfits where the colours and shapes did nothing for me.
But as always I prefer to move onwards and upwards.
I have picked out some of my favourite outfits which I think will give me some style rules.
And here are my magnificent seven.

1. Never wear black next to your face - if you want to wear a black top, make sure the neckline has a scoop of skin. 
2. Ideally wear a lighter shade next to your face either a scarf or necklace.
3. Grey and brown are a much better bet than black.
4. Make sure your skirts are knee length.
5. Black is for bottom half only.
6. Stripes always work.

Do you have any style rules for the coming season?


I have been experimenting with a side bun.
I was amazed to find it stayed in all day.
I am aiming for a few chic hairstyle for the autumn and I think this one may make the grade.

I wore:
Shoes - Converse
Skirt - South
Top - Fatface

Monday, 26 August 2013

Bank Holiday Bike Ride

A Weekend Walk In The Woods

Amazingly, this year has boasted excellent Bank Holiday Weekend weather.
The sun has shone and we have been able to make the most of the lovely countryside where we live.
Fisherman's Path is my favourite woodland walk where, if you are lucky you will be able to spot a red squirrel or two.

I wore:
Shoes - Converse
Jeans - Top Shop
Jumper - Boden

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Saturday Date Night

Take one new top.

Add a favourite bag.

And my old jacket - found in the back of my daughter's wardrobe and I am all ready to go for a meal out.

I wore:
Shoes - New Look 
Jeans - Gap
Top - Dorothy Perkins
Jacket - Gap
Bag - Gap

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Raiding my piggy bank

Every year I save £2 coins and 20ps  to feed my Clarks habit.
I always try to save enough cash to buy a pair of boots and a pair of shoes.
This year I had managed to save £200 - enough for boots, work shoes and to replace my favourite leopard flats which are now down to about 0.5p a wear and showing signs that they won't last another season.

Each year towards the end of August Clarks always have a 20% off code for their new season shoes which means I saved......

......£16 on these £79.99 boots,

£7.00 on these £34.99 shoes,

and £11 on these £54.99 shoes.

The total cost of my shoe/boot haul was £134.97.

And I saved an extra £13.60 as I used the cashback site, Quidco to make the purchase which was offering 10% cashback for Clarks.

The extra £78.60 will go towards my winter wardrobe.

I am off to buy a new piggy bank for next year now.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Back To Work

Back to work albeit briefly.
The college opened to enrol new students after results day.
It was lovely to see so many excited and enthusiastic students who are climbing the walls after a summer off and desperate to  get back to some routine.
And that includes my daughter who, after getting her results yesterday, decided to enrol at the sixth form college where I work.
I think it will be a very steep learning curve for us both!
Thankfully, she did very well and we are very proud of our clever daughter.
I will be off again next week and back to the grindstone from September 2nd.
Secretly, I am looking forward to it.
Hope you  have a happy Bank Holiday weekend.
I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Jeans - Gap
Top - H & M
Jacket - Gap

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Shower Dodging

Rain means a bad hair day for me.
There is little I can do with my fine, flyaway hair once the raindrops start.
Today I am starting a quest to find some hairstyle which will keep my hair neat and tidy if I am caught in a shower.
Today starts with a plaited pony.

Any ideas you have will be gratefully received.

I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Jeans - Tesco
Top - Boden

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A Welsh Weekend

The end of August and it must be time for a road trip to see the cousins.
When our children were small and we couldn't afford a foreign holiday our summers were spent on the beaches of Swansea and the Gower.
If it had been a hotel our accommodation would have been five star.
My husband's sister and her family live in a beautiful house overlooking Langland Bay.

This is the view from their dining table.

My sister in law is a big tennis fan and Ben got the chance to play a couple of games with her.

Meanwhile I enjoyed a lovely breakfast at the beachside Cafe.

At 13 Ben is the youngest and he can't keep still - here he is practising his swing.

Although it was a little chilly in the evening we still enjoyed a glass of vino on the decking.

Finally, it was time to go. I just love the way my sister in law's car matches my cardigan.

Now we are home all hell is set to break loose.
I am back at work tomorrow and we are preparing our 18-year-old for moving away to university.
How much easier (and cheaper) it was when our eldest lived at home while he studied.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Weekend Away

I am off on my annual August pilgrimage to Swansea.
See you when I get back.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Holiday Bargains

Today's outfit seemed a little boring.

I decided to spice it up with my new scarf which I  bought from the Tarragona branch of Zara.

My other Zara holiday purchases included this blue vest and the necklace I wore in this recent snap.
The total for all 3 items came to just 15.97 Euros.
I am so glad I had left room in my carryon for a few bargains.
Today I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Jeans - Gap
Top - New Look
Scarf - Zara
Hat - eBay
Necklace - Marks and Spencer

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

GAP Fest


It wasn't until I started listing my items that I realised today was a Gap Fest.
It wasn't until I started listing my items that I realised today was a Gap Fest.All of the items I had chosen today were from Gap.
I loved this jacket as soon as I saw it but waited for the sale and managed to snap it up for £14.95.
It is so well made and an ideal length even though it is not petite.
having said that I got an email today to say that Gap are introducing a new petite and tall range.
I just hope they have a grey winter coat in a petite size as a winter coat is top of my Autumn/Winter Wishlist along with a pair of flat brown boots, black workwear heels and cropped fitted jumper.
Have you started your A/W Wishlist yet?
I wore:
Shoes, Jeans, Vest, Jacket - Gap

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

RIP Martha

Today I bid a final farewell to my Martha Top Shop jeans which I first acquired in April 2010.
A massive rip across the top of my thigh means it is RIP for Martha.

While a designer rip may look fabulous on a leggy teenager, showing half your (rather large) backside is not very becoming for a middle aged mum.

The year Martha came into my life was the most challenging year of my life.
She was the friend I turned to when I needed reassurance on the days it was a struggle to get dressed.
Martha accompanied me to countless university lectures during my PGCE year and provided comfort during the hours I visited my dying dad in hospital.

The other sad thing about Martha is that she is no longer for sale.
Top Shop, for some strange reason, have stopped selling the only jeans that have every fitted my short, chunky legs.

I am so reluctant to abandon Martha and would like to keep her in some form - any ideas for re-purposing a favourite brand of jeans with a huge rip at the top of the thigh?

I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Jeans - Top Shop
Top - Boden

Monday, 12 August 2013

Vintage Inspired

Cork Wedges - Check
Brown Maxi Skirt - Check
Black gypsy top - Check
I remind myself of the glam teenagers that I envied as a schoolgirl in the early 1970s when wedges were but a distant dream for a pre-teen.
Pat and Carol had pageboy hairstyles, wore ribbons as chokers round their neck, maxi skirt, sky-high platforms, tiny tight vests and lots of lovely make-up.
They looked like the girls I read about in Jackie magazine.
Those objects of my envy must be heading towards their sixties by now.
I wonder what happened to them?
Wedges: Gap (2013)
Skirt: Gap (2012)
Top - Asos (2012)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Postcards from Spain: The Holiday Capsule Wardrobe

 According to a survey by Debenhams, women only wear a third of the clothes they take on holiday and on average take 150 items and wear around 50 during a fortnight break.
I know I only went for 12 nights but I packed 20 items (not including travel outfit) and wore 20 items after making a last minute swap of a swimsuit for my daughter's Top Shop dress.
I also bought a blue top in Zara.
Even if you included underwear which I washed daily it would still come in at under 25 items.

I wore the same sandals every evening and each dress twice.

During the day I wore a bikini and sarong or cover-up and the same Birenstocks sandals.

Another dress that doubled as an evening dress and cover-up.

The cover up dresses I took double up nicely for walks around the town, dressed up with a hat.

So good I wore this dress twice.

The denim skirt got three wears - with the pink top.

With the too tight top I had to tuck into my bra.

With the blue vest I bought at Zara.

 The black dress I swapped for my red swimsuit.

Joe Brown white dress, worn twice amazingly - although I did spill red wine on it the second time.

The skirt I wore to travel to the airport was worn with the orange vest during the holiday and as a return home outfit too.

For more information on my holiday capsule see here (although I did swap a swimsuit for a dress).

My holiday capsule formula:
5 dresses
2 cover-up dresses that can be worn on the beach or for sightseeing
1 sarong
4 swimsuits (bikinis and/or tankinis) that can be mixed and matched
Two skirts
3 tops
Flat Birkenstocks for day
Flat dressy sandals for evening or day out

1 multi-way bra
3 pants (make sure you can wash and dry undies daily)

Total items: 23

All of my items were packed in a carry-on suitcase although I did squeeze my toiletries into my husband's case!

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...