It seems mothers, lunches and bracelets are like the number 9 bus. They come along all together. This time the mother was my mum. The lunch was me taking her out for her birthday and the bracelet, well let me introduce you to BohoBetty UK site and BohoBetty USA site.
Following my boho look a few weeks ago I wanted to try layered bracelets and keep that vibe going. This set from Boho Betty would be perfect. It is comprised of one long elasticated turquoise strand that is wrapped twice around the wrist plus one silver shade bracelet with a charm. I can see it being perfect for the summer, can't you. I can just envision it with a white shirt for work with the sleeves rolled up, or accessorising short sleeved Ts. I think you will see me showing this frequently in future posts. I apologise now, no I don't.
The jewellery arrived beautifully boxed and carefully wrapped around a cushion
For my outing with my mother I decided that I wanted to try the jumper tucked into a pleated skirt look which has been banded around instagram the past two winters. Ideally in my head it would have been a chunky knit but after the snow I optimistically put my chunky knits away and the first sweater that I came across in my drawer was this light beige H&M basics. It works. Do you buy the basics? I think they are very good value. Zara basics are too. Anyway I'm off track.
I added a turquoise pendant from Accessorize (although linked below is a perfect Boho Betty tassel pendant that would work really well with this type of outfit). My bag was my Boden leather boho like bag that is second loved.
However there is still something missing from the outfit. A completer. Would it be her?
Well, although she colour co-ordinates nicely I was thinking more of a jacket.
I chose my few years old Massimo Dutti leather jacket as it was in keeping with my outfit colour scheme.
I was pleased with the camel and teal look I had going on here. The skirt and bracelet complimented each other I think, hope. I had kept the look to two colours.
The prima donna (not me) insisted on another photo op, and so did her brother, the Collie at my feet. Although there are shadows as the sun is low in the sky I did like this pic.
Off to lunch. I do like gastropubs, good food and the ambiance sells them to me too. Unlike the chain restaurants a good gastropub is worthy of dressing up for isn't it.
Worthy of my new love of bracelets.
I had a wonderful homemade steak and ale pie
followed by a pavlova.
Boho Betty are a British jewellery brand which was started in 2012 with the aim of "creating a contemporary, high quality, globally inspired accessory line at affordable prices" . I think they achieved that don't you.
So, dear followers, today I am posting something a little different, little being the operative word. I am writing about a couple of small rooms, my bathroom and my shower room to be exact and their makeovers. Over the last 7 years I have desperately been trying to declutter our ensuite shower room. I eventually decided that the issue isn't us, it's that we don't have cupboards in there! Not one. Not even under the sink!
The builder put in pedestal sinks which a carpenter once told us was impractical for a cupboard to be built around. A wall cabinet was also impractical as we didn't have a free wall. One wall has the toilet and sink, another a floor to ceiling heated towel rail, another a shower cubicle the span of the wall and another a window.
I was delighted with this as it was a vast improvement on the crate that we had been using. (On a side note our clutter has grown rather since that picture in the post referenced was taken 2 years ago...ooops, bad us.)
But a few weeks ago I found a neater solution. Yes, a cupboard, finally. Also from Amazon Colonial cupboard. This one fits nicely under the windowsill. Job done. The only issue is that we do have to keep bending down and interestingly on reading my post here bending down was one of the things we had tried to avoid when choosing the ladder unit. Hmmm, time will tell whether that will be a problem for our mid years bodies.
Moving on quickly, I also bought a new bath mat from Primark (and this is currently in stock)
as our old, and fondly loved, one from America in (Bed Bath and Beyond) had seen better days. I was sorry to lose this souvenir from our trip to Hilton Head Island but we still have the memories, for as long as they last (mid years life problems.)
Now, for the main family bathroom. We finally decided to add a shower tap to the bath as we were fed up with the mid twenty year olds using our ensuite (honestly we had expected them to have moved out but...)
This meant tiling the walls too, . We chose wooden shack affect tiles. Have you seen these?
They are the current tile trend but I am hoping that its a trend that will be current for a good 10 years and so we won't look dated when we sell the house.
The base tiles are the white original ones around the bath that would have been too complicated to remove, and we wouldn't be able to match them. We also needt to buy a shower door as well as the shower head unit and tap
The helpful assistant in our local tile shop recommended the wood shack affect as a contrast. I rather liked the idea of hubster showering in a shed and Miss 23 could pretend it was a beach hut so I went along with the idea eagerly.
I added a nemo bathplug as a fashionista accessory.
Please do follow me on Instagram and Pintrest and subscribe to my blog (up at the top)
Last year I discovered one of my current favourite brands of jewellery. Kookytwo. In the summer I bought this beautiful and delicate gold swallow pendant
Then in the winter I acquired this crystal pendant and chain. If you follow me on IG you will know, absolutely know, that I wear this frequently.
With Spring in the air it was time to grow my collection. This time I chose a bracelet with a delicate heart.
What perfect time to christen it then Mother's Day. Last Sunday my oldest daughter took me to lunch. She had booked the Mother's day special at Zizzi for us a few weeks ago and told me to put it in the diary.
It was a warm day. How much changes in a week! The previous Sunday we had the remnants of snow still. A week later I didn't even need a coat!
I wanted to welcome spring so chose pastels and dabbled with leopard and blush. I like it. Now there's an idea for you fellow leopard fans.
These are the Marks and spencer everywear trousers
My new bracelet compliments the pastels well. I chose a clutch bag for a change. (I mean when have you seen me with a clutch before?) I surprise myself all the darn time sometimes when I turn out ladylike.
Okay, where did February go? One minute I was posting my January January goals and outfits and the next it's March! So before this month runs away too I am quickly going to update on my goals, outings and my Instaoutfit favs of February.
Firstly the most liked office outfits were
and for casual the following two were most highly rated.
I'm mentioning these outfits as my theory is that if they have 'likes' they would be good prompts for you, dear reader, if you want to work your wardrobe.
Onto the goals.
My diet is still on track after its rocky start in January. I'm losing about 1lb every 10 days and so is hubs so do take note of my tricks mentioned last month. And this is despite having my birthday and a lovely meal out with my family.
I am keeping up the gym activity. Yes I'm surprising even me! LBT is legs, bums and tums class by the way.
This rather amused me in February. Sky TV trying to be funny, haha.
I was given these M&S crackle wine glasses as a late Christmas present. I rather like them, a lot, haha.
I had a couple of London events for work and decided to wear my Boden London decorated shirt, to tease those city types, you know.
I was stunned at the view of the cranes. So much building work still going on.
I also went to an event at Pewterers Hall, and no I am not a worshipful Pewterer, before you ask. I do find these Livery Halls fascinating though, and I am still waiting for a Worshipful Bloggerers Hall to be created. Who will join me in calling for this?
This month I thought I would join the Blended Blog and answer the questions posed. You never know, I might learn something. Actually I did. In answering I did learn that my characteur is very rough and ready. Natural. I found that if my answer for one question was, you have to be kidding, me! Then the answer to another would be, er no, of course not. Take question 4 answer, well really, do you need to ask question 7, haha. So here we go.
1 Eyelash curler yes or no?
No. I'm lucky to have long thick lashes. I also have hooded lids and so curling causes mascara smudges
2 Favourite nail shade?
Um, what time of year and occaision I'd ask back. I don't think I have one favourite. My current love for spring is byButterlondon called Dahling
3 Favourite lipstick shade?
Again what season and occaision! I find Daniel Sandlers Cherub the most versatile if I'm in doubt. It suits my warm colouring and most of my wardrobe.
4 Blow dry or air dry your hair?
Air dry for me. Even when the hairdresser has washed and cut it. My hair falls so much better if I air dry it. Occasionally I will give it a quick blast if I'm in a hurry.
5 Artificial nail yes or no?
After my gel nail experiencei am firmly in the no camp. I did buy some artificial nails recently as they were cheap and recommended but I found them soooo long it looked like claws of a sloth.
6 Foundation yes or no?
I used to be a no but I am wearing my first liquid foundation since trying foundation in my 20s. I used to avoid foundation like the plague as I really disliked the cloying clogging caked feel of it. Foundation has come a long way since. I explored mineral powder foundations in recent years and wore those but they sit in my wrinkly bits. I'm currently wearing a light Charlotte Tilbury and enjoying the even tone of my skin with lack of caking or claylike feel.
7 Hair up or hair down?
I so wish I was a hair up person. I admire the versatility and styles but as you can guess from the above answers I'm a more natural brush and go girl. Besides my hair wouldn't behave any more than my hands at preparing up-dos. I'm a clutz and my hair has equivalent characteristics. We are happy in our mutual state of wild and free.
8 Bar of soap or bodywash?
Bodywash. I find soap too drying, slithery and i don't like the soggy bottoms in the soap dish
9 Bath or Shower?
Can I say both! Most days it's shower due to time and economics but a bath is a treat, with a book and a wine.
10 Favourite Body Lotion
I'm using a L'Occitane one currently but my favourite at the moment is Gold Bond UltimateIt has sooo many nourishing ingredients.
11 Do you wear perfume?
When I remember. I'm not a habitual perfume wearer.
If so favourite scent?
I like one by Armani but can't remember which. My husband bought me Bulgari Jasmin Noir which I'm using when I remember. I also went into a perfumery last year on vacation and bought a bought of floral perfume that was locally made. That is what I'm currently wearing if I'm going somewhere special.
12 Do you shave your legs every day?
I have my legs waxed so no there is no need to. (probably as well as given the just wash and go approach I seem to favour to the other questions I'd have the body of a sloth too.)
13 Favourite lip balm
Burts Bees but I don't often wear it.
14. How old were you when you first started wearing makeup?
I was 12 and I was on a school trip and one evening a teacher showed the girls how to apply makeup. I was transformed by the time I went back home. My parents sent off a little girl and collected a teenager complete with 1970s turquoise eyelids.
Now your turn in the comments. Answer one of the questions at least, go on, I dare you.
Do you know how much I enjoy watching Offspring? Dare I say one of the best things to come out of Australia. I suppose it's because all the family members are so likeable. It's a more serious but still lighthearted Modern Family. Its on Netflix in the UK so do check it out. Most likely in the US too. Anyway many Australian women, so I hear, rave about Nina's look which is a boho style. So who can wear boho? Anyone to a degree, I say.
Nina's look is one I would have adopted with gusto in my 20's, if I wasn't such a snob then about second hand clothes. (not that anyone is suggesting that is how Nina shops but vintage stores would be a great source.) Now thrifting is derigour isn't it. Even in the real world I'm comfortable saying to colleagues that I bought something from the charity shop. And do you know, they then open up to me that they do that also. We're out of the closet on thrifting. I just hate waste and strongly believe in recycling.
But to the point. I have a tunic top in an Aztec design that once or twice a year gets an airing. Looking at pics of Nina boho style inspired me to reach for it twice in February. (You can see my Nina board on my Pintrest Muttonstyle so please do follow me over there too.)
Firstly I wore this Aztec top with my trusty black moto, black skinnies and my Topshop suede boots. We went for a meal in Prezzo as a family.
My second look was more Nina. Full of browns, textures, natural materials, and a bit of textured natural scenery too.
I added my closest boho bag. A thrifted leather Boden bag that I found 3 years ago in a vintage shop.
We were waiting the arrival of the Beast from the East (weather from Siberia) so I bundled myself in my sale item Laura Ashley coat from this year. As we were meeting hubs family for lunch in a Chinese restaurant I wanted a smart coat. I was really pleased at how the grey wool coat complimented the boots and skirt, even if Nina wouldn't need to wear a wool coat in Melbourne.
I have found a few printed tunics currently available for you to browse, admittedly most useful for UK audience. Even if the links are UK once you know the item from the link I'm sure that one or two could be found in the USA and Canada too.
Keeping warm but looking stylish. A dilema but I opt for warm in the event of conflict with style, especially when it's minus 8c. You will have heard that winter arrived in southern UK during the last calendar week of, well winter. Ironic yes! I guess we felt we needed our turn at proper winter before those daffs start blooming.
What to wear for the freeze that was the question.
1. A warm hoody for a casual day at home with true farmers denim thick jeans. I knew the mom jeans would be useful! This was the eve, as it were, of the beast from the east. The snow had not yet arrived.
2 Gloves. Warm ones. I have red chapped hands from wearing leather gloves without lining. They really are not cutting it for 'feels like minus 13c'. This cold weather descended on us so late in the season that I haven't got all of my winter gear out of hibernation. I will be digging out my thick fluffy gloves over the weekend.
3. Beanie. Mine is fleece lined. It really is super warm. I'm so pleased with my purchase from the South of England show a few years ago. The trouble with looking on line for a beanie for you is that I can't tell if it is lined. I will therefore merely tell you to hunt in store or online for one that you can tell for sure has a fleece lining. There really is no point in having one if it isn't. They are available, as I have one. Maybe Northface is worth browsing.
4. Boots. Snow boots made an appearance styled with an asymetrical skirt...yeah right. More like shoved on at the last minute to keep my feet warm and dry once I looked out of the front door.
For the first few days I could make it in to work, albeit slipping and sliding down to the station.
On Wednesday I wore my Seeland wellies with a skirt as I had discovered that I was flicking and kicking cold snow up the back of my tights in the snowboots. These wellies are so warm and comfortable. The days of freezing wellie feet are long gone.
Have you heard of Seeland? Here is their website. Do take a peek. There will be stockists online and in stores so just search in your browser for suppliers. I adore my boots.
and I wasn't the only one. The office hall was littered with boot footprints
5. Scarf, but forget styling the thing! Warmly wrapped around and right up to my nose was called for instead.
6. Handcream. This needed to be available in my bag, on my work desk, by my bed and in my lounge. Mainly due to point number 2.
7. A warm polo or turtle neck fair isle sweater was useful for visiting the chicken coop with hot water to melt the ice on the hen's water. Oh, OK, I also wore it around the house too as by Thursday my circumstances had descended into work from home as the forecast was for heavy snow where I work.
At last I could use my Tu clothing grey polo that I bought 2 years ago. It has a longer back than front. If it ain't got that swing!
Funny thing about these boots. I was admiring the USA-ians who have been adorning similar boots for a few months. When it came to digging out footwear for the Beast I found these in my cupboard. I had totally forgotten that I bought these 4 years ago in a post winter sale as I haven't needed to wear them, until now. Don't you just love it when you can shop your wardrobe for something that you had wanted!
A bit of kung foo can keep you warm....if you don't slip :) (disclaimer...do not try kung foo in the snow, I was joking)
8. Coat - I used a down filled coat and layered clothes underneath once the Beast truely arrived. Do you tumble dry yours? The brand that I have recommends that mine is tumbled to fluff up the down.
9. Muffler. In the absence of a muffler my chihuahua would welcome a cuddle (and so would I).
What have I missed? Your turn to tell me how you cope in minus temperatures.
As I mentioned a few post back, I was lucky enough to be invited to be a makeover volunteer for Bonmarche (pronounced Bon-marsh-eh) recently. This was a few months in the planning but Valentines Day, was The day. In fact I told my husband that his valentines was a date with a model. He was so excited, until I turned up at the pub in the evening. Anyway that's another story.
The studio was in Wapping in East London. I caught the overground from Clapham Junction then Google mapped (I'm using that as a verb) my way to Cherryduck studio, but first a coffee.
I didn't wear nail varnish as I wasn't sure whether they'd want to put some on me
It was rather daunting to find that the studio had been booked for the day complete with crew just to photograph me.
My dauntness didn't last long. The team were friendly and welcoming and after 5 minutes of being unnerved I dived into hair and make up and interrogation. By me I add quickly.
Questions bounced off my lips as Nadine stripped off my existing layer of feminine camouflage. What undereye concealer was she going to use on me? Are you really mixing two shades? (Yes). Do I really need to use a brow pencil if I'm brow surfeit (hairy), and the answer was, yes, again. I was shown how Charlotte Tilbury bronze made my green eyes green, and I have since bought some.
Mark Heyes chose 3 outfits for me. One, a beautiful green summer day dress with a leaf design, was too big sadly. (It was a 22 and I'm a 10.) Ever the instinctive professional he whipped together an alternative outfit of polkadot playsuit and cardigan, which I fell in love with.
I wil be buying this when it comes into store - the playsuit not the man!! I don't think they have plans to sell him
A vast number (100s) of pictures were taken of each outfit in a variety of poses but only 3 will be used in the store's summer magazine, which incidentally comes out in May. However I do have permission to give you this unofficial behind the scenes.
I kept being told to straighten my head :)
There are definitely some items coming in the summer from Bonmarche that I will be getting. The playsuit for one. There is also a chic navy sheath dress that caught my eye and a blush cardigan with a sheen.
Bonmarche show that elegance doesn't have to come at a price. So much so that I purchased this blouse in store this week for £6. Lucky me. A sale bargain. Pop in and grab it whilst its still available.
It was freezing when I took this pic but all for the cause. I wanted to show this lovely sheer blouse with my baggy mom jeans and I chose my tapestry boots. Black boots were too heavy for this blouse. See how it ties at the neck. So much the romantic trend.
Then you know me, more the natural so I've now shown the tie at the neck undone.
When I visited the store last week to look at current stock I did get a sense of a club. The shop staff were friendly and customers persuaded me that I needed the club scheme. Yes, all they need is a coffee bar and the clientele could be exchanging outfit ideas over a frappe latte cinnamon chai without sugar flatwhite in no time.
Bonmarche currently are running a Who wears the Trousers campaign. My blogger friend Laurie of Vanityandmestyle has done a piece on it here.
What do Madam Secretary and The Duchess of Windsor have in common?
They both rock red jackets. In fact isn't true red a colour that we can all rock? Or so I've heard. And what better way then a blazer.
I have two red jackets and wear them mostly for work. Why I don't know. What a waste! I have to fix that and get them into my casual wear rotation. My two jackets are coincidentally both from Precis and both over 6 years old. I have to say that when I wear them to a lunch or dinner for work I do feel good amongst the sea of black. Now an anecdote so grab a latte.
A few years ago I went to a formal lunch for business women in London. It was a large affair with 40 tables. I decided to wear a black dress and red jacket. Typically the room was a sea of black but there were dots of red as a few had done the same as I. It came to coffee and I went to the ladies. On walking in the restroom I found that it contained all the ladies in black dresses and red jackets. They had been talking about it as I walked in so on my arrival, also in a red jacket and black dress, they looked at me and all burst out in laughter. I have never made an entrance like that I can tell you. I wondered what I had on...spinach on my nose, chocolate around my eyes, confit in my hair!
Anyway let's move on. I've scoured the Internet and found a few red jackets for you. There is also Dorothy Perkins on Amazon but I can't link that as it defaults to my account.
Oh my goodness, I shouldn't have gone into M&S to return the straight jeans. I really shouldn't. You see I am now totally crushing on what I saw in store. Is it my imagination or are M&S (lets ignore my straight jeans mishap) on a winning streak.
These cropped green slim fit trousers (pants) first caught my eye. They are an olive/khaki shade of green. Wouldn't they look great with blush, and fresh with a white T?
Next I saw these cotton blend trousers and fell in love, love, love. I think they have totally nailed these trousers. On me they are ankle grazers but that's OK. So if you are petite grab these as I am sure they will be selling out fast. I did.