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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Back from Italy & the last of the sales bargains

Firstly a huge apology for taking so long to get around to reporting back from Italy after all the kind kind comments I had with regards to the final outfits.  Not forgetting all the advice with regards to the previous outfits - you definitely learn something new every day and they were indeed food for thought.  So thanking you all kindly. 

Well it was indeed the most amazing break.  Fantastic hotel - if anyone is thinking about a romantic couple of days (or longer) then I can't recommend the location - Gardone Riviera on Lake Garda, or the hotel, the Bella Riva - highly enough.  Beautiful hotel, wonderful staff, made even better by the wonderful company (The Husband obviously.....). 

Now we had a complete disaster with outfit photos (in short there aren't any) bar one outfit, but we do have some photos of the hotel - which you get to see instead.  Hmmmmm.  Mostly interiors porn.  I have some great ideas for the house.  Which The Husband is Delighted about.  Definitely with a capital D.

The most exquisite pool. (no I wasn't eyeing this up for home - I do know my limits)  Holidaying like we did pre kids.  Can you imagine a noodle, rubber ring and a lilo in here?  I think not. 

Absolutely love this table. (two tables actually)  Had always thought I'd wanted a more traditional dining table but adore the rugged wood in the modern style. And just love the juxtaposition of the dark against the very light. 

My favourite thing in the entire hotel was this rug. I normally loathe a more traditional style rug.  But this I honestly would have put in my handbag if a) it would have fitted and b) if it weren't theft.  The red and navy - such vivid colours yet at the same time with a faded, aged feel to them.  If anyone at all knows where to get a rug like this (I've been googling till my eyes bleed) then please please do let me know.  Obviously I have an email out to the hotel!

Stairway - which on reflection is a really bad photo.  But white stone stairs - to die for.  There's no stair runner there - it's just the way the stone tiles are laid.  Completely beautiful. 

And now for the outfits from the day.  Actually make that outfit.  I am so gutted that we don't have a photo from the evening as I was so over the moon with the black lace & feather dress. (although maybe not as I managed to forget all my make up and was errrrrr rather warm so was pretty much bare faced by the evening. Which isn't my finest look....)

But here we go - hair was up, down, up, down, but mostly up during the day as it was warm.  Very very warm.  Hottest day of the year so far apparently.  With not a lot, make that no, breeze at all. However beats rain, hands down. 

So a quick selection but hopefully you get the idea.  Have to say, was v v pleased with my last minute day time option. 

Last one taken at dusk, hence it was verging on cool enough to let the thatch loose.

Blush chiffon pleat dress - Cos
Earrings - borrowed from a friend (thank you so so much MC - how fab do they look?) 
Stone and gold cuff - Massimo Dutti (going back as it's broken - it fell off about 10 times so I ended up lobbing it my handbag) 
Gold Renegade braclet - Stella & Dot
Nude strappy sandals - Zara
Sunglasses - Tom Ford
Snakeskin clutch bag  - Michael Kors

Just in case anyone was worried about how I was going to pack all my stuff in a bag the size of a matchbox - prepared to be impressed.  I forced The Husband to put his laptop in my bag (and admittedly my toiletry bag is in his suit carrier - wrapped in two plastic bags to quell his paranoia at something leaking in it.  Obviously.)  But everything else is in the tiny box dwarfed by my handbag.  All hail my new title as Queen of Light Travelling. 

Now before I went away I have two great purchases to fess up to.  I am not yet venturing into A/W territory - still v much on research ground.  More to report on that in the next couple of days. (hopefully........ My mother in law has assured me she has wifi.......)

This has to be the last of the sales purchases.  But boy it is a good one.  It will, of course, come as no surprise to anyone that is a, yawn, blazer from, yawn, Zara.  I've had my eye on it for the last season but certainly couldn't justify yet another jacket for £90.  However at £19.99. Well that is rude not to, surely?!  As everyone knows I will get oodles of wear out of it and yet another thing to go with my raspberry jeans which really haven't proven themselves in the warmer weather but am definitely going to be getting them out come September.

CONFESSION to make.  I bought these the day before I went on holiday and there was that much faffing around with the kids, getting the dress shortened (plus mani, pedi, spray tan - priorities and all that) that I may have just abandoned them in the bag.  Hence they look like they've been slept in.  The shame.

And I have great great breton news!  Just lobbing it in here as I shall be taking it with me to Ireland to wear, I am completely over the moon with this.  From H&M.  A pretty fantastic £12.99.  Whether it makes more than one wash remains to be seen, but it is lovely thick jersey.  3/4 length sleeves, slash neck, boxy shape with the addition of a cute zip at the back, I just wish I'd seen it in more colours.  Haven't had time to check it out online but if they do (and they wash ok) I shall be snapping them up.  Every now and again H&M have some fantastic tops (my blush oversized jumper is one of them which I wish I'd got in more colours).  This is one such item.  Buy immediately. 

Now a round up of what I have been wearing the last two days. 

Blush vest - By Malene Birger
Leopard Print skit - Zara
Denim jacket - Red Herring at Debenhams
Black glitter hav rip offs - Primark
Tan leather rivet cuff - Mulberry
Black Faridah hobo bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Black sunglasses - Christian Dior (new sunglasses - impromptu airport purchase.  Absolutely love them!  The hugest glasses I've ever seen) 

Blush & black tie dye loose top - All Saints
Washed black brush leather jacket - All Saints
Paint splash skinny jeans - Zara
White gold and diamond key necklace - Theo Fennell 
Black sunglasses - Christian Dior
Leopard print ponyskin and black patent sandals - M&S
Chestnut Lily bag - D&G

Tomorrow I am off to Ireland with the 3 kids to see Nanny.  On my own.  Flying Ryanair.  Which seemed like an exceptionally good idea at the time.  In for a penny, in for a pound.  On the upside, there's always Dunnes.  (& obviously Brown Thomas........)  Am hoping to report from there.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Italian Outfits

Clearly it's been such a trauma I couldn't just have one...... 

Actually I'm not being a massive drama queen (for once), I did reread the invite and it said "opportunity to change outfit" and frankly, with a licence to wear more clothes, it would be rude not to. 

Plus, in the end, the outfit that I've selected for the day ceremony and champagne reception, is very understated.  And I therefore get to put my jazz hands on for the evening dinner and club.  (dear Husband - be scared.  There will be dancing) 

So just a quickie as I really should be packing.  In my exceptionally small carry on.  The Husband who normally travels with a pair of pants & a toothbrush in his pocket, has decided as Best Man that his outfit warrants a massive suit carrier which is clearly Not carry on size.  But we have only booked one bag as a) he loves the fact he's Mr No Luggage and b) it was £50 a bag to check a bag on.  (guess which classy airline we're flying with?)   The plan Stan had been of course for that bag to be mine......

However I now have to pack my stuff into a shoebox.  And I realised 10 mins ago that I also had to put my handbag in there as well.  My handbag which my Volvo actually thinks is a person when I put it on the passenger seat and demands the seatbelt gets put on.  This just isn't going to work.  The Husband is going to have to carry my handbag.  Revenge will be sweeter when he realises I may well be taking my fuchsia one.  Ha. 

But I digress. 

Here are the two outfits - the blush dress was actually purchased yesterday.  Important Outfit shopping for me is the equivalent of exam revision.  I can only do it at the last minute. 

Blush pleated crepe chiffon dress - Cos (this is actually a full length dress that I had altered today)  The one way to guarantee that no-one else will have the same outfit as you!
Nude strappy sandals - Zara
Snakeskin clutch - Michael Kors
Marble stone bracelet (that has already broken. Grrrr) - Massimo Dutti
Nude ball and gold earrings - borrowed from a friend (thank you so so much MC xxx)

And for the night outfit 

Nude & black lace & feather dress - Zara
Suede ankle strap sandals - Zara 
Jewellery as before.  I'll also carry my black jewelled bullet bag from Coast. 

et voila!

To be honest with the rest of the outfits, I have just regurgitated what I wore in Greece.  Am beyond excited now (despite having to do a reverse loaves & fishes miracle with regards to packing.....).  I may well try and patch in from Italy - am taking the Ipad and The Husband is taking his laptop (which, thinking about it, he's going to want to put in my shoebox carry on.  And take up valuable shoe space?  I thinketh not.)

Curry on the way, The Newsroom to watch, life is good.  Enjoy and I'll speak to you from Italy xxx

Classic call one

The black ankle boot. 

Seems rather ridiculous sat here typing this when a) the sun is beaming through the windows in our late arrived but more than welcome summer and b) I'm heading off to an even hotter Italy tomorrow morning.  Black winter boots really shouldn't be on the agenda. 

However on my last minute, desperado calling, shopping trip yesterday, it became evident early on that there is absolutely diddly squat left that's remotely summery.  Unless you count rifling through a solitary rail of crammed together, usually damaged, tut, aka the sale rail. (actually having said I got an absolute doozy of a bargain which I shall show later - I am really on a sales roll this year!) 

But, as I was still partly in my no go shopping zone, (I did say it wouldn't last forever) and was on a different mission (one beginning with I and ending in talian outfit. Yawn yawn yawn.  Again more on that in a bit) I didn't do an indepth persual of the new collections.

However I had already spied a couple of great black boots and they are one thing that are definitely a staple in my A/W wardrobe - a black medium heeled every day ankle boot.  With the popularity of the Acne Pistol boot last year and the string of tributes that flooded the High Street there is a pretty great selection out there. 

There are obviously lots of variations on the black ankle boot and what works for you depends on the sort of trousers or skirts you wear.  And you can wear them with skirts as well. Yes you can!  My favourite way to wear them is with a skinnier/straight leg - no huge surprise there seeing as it's my go to leg shape.  But I think they would also definitely work with the looser tapered trouser this is proving very popular this A/W.

So here is my first foray into the black ankle boot quagmire that is out there.  It's still very early in the season and I haven't done a full sweep yet so there will be some gaps and shops I've missed out.  I will try get round to exploring more later but I'm happy that this selection will keep you going in the meantime!

Firstly a surprise contender for me - New Look.  People rave about their shoes but I've always found them hit and miss to be honest.  However these two pairs of leather books look fantastic.  I haven't seen them in real life so they could be the result of a great photographer but they're a great price if they're as good as they look online. 

These Limited Black Leather Ankle Boots are the most fantastic combo of two of my favourite boots by Acne - the Cypress and the Pistol.  Genius.  Really really genius.

These Limited Black Leather Chelsea Boot also look like a great classic option as well.  I love the dull tone to the leather. 

Back on to more familiar territory with one of the most perfect ankle boots I've seen in a long time.  Popular for the last couple of years in the US but bound to be more prevalent here now with the opening of their shop on Sloane Square.  The Rag & Bone Classic Newbury Boot.  However a not to be sniffed at snip at £345.  Faint. (if I'm being honest though, I have to say I'd probably go for them in the Chilli.  Hubba hubba.  They will no doubt sneak into another blog post if not, alas, into my wardobe.)

Now where better to look for a classic black ankle boot (and usually I would have been using classic in a slightly pejorative term but no longer - preaching to the converted) than Clarks. (still can't believe I'm writing that!)  They don't have a huge selection that float my boat but certainly these do look like they're worth a try on - the Macay Holly in black. (thank you actually to my friend S for bringing these to my attention.  I do believe there's a 20% off discount code floating around as well......)

I did see these Nubuck panel boots yesterday in Cos and they're lovely.  A slightly smarter option than some but still easily worn on a day to day basis.  

Going back to a Pistol stylee we have these from Topshop - classic style, the Mighty Black Leather Zip Boots (I'm not inferring that they're super duper - that's their actual name)

These are also from Topshop - The Alanic Croc Mix Boots.  Again, you can see perhaps where the inspiration is from.... hmmmmm.

If something with more of a western twist on classic chelsea boot floats your boat, then I'd definitely take a look at the Star boot from Acne.

Or a much cheaper version - the Anarchy Western Chelsea Boot from Topshop

If you are after something with a slightly higher heel, these I think are gorgeous.  Absolutely stunning and although they're £120 from Topshop, I think they look more expensive.  Love the detailing on the sole and the strap.  The Power Gold Trim Boots. 

And finally, a blog from me wouldn't be the same without a Zara nugget, would it?  These are stunning. I completely love them and they are definitely top of my wishlist.  Perfect for day (albeit a bit high) but an easy transition into night as well.  Would look fantastic with black opaques.  I just love them.  Ankle boot with double zip. 

Are you in the market for black ankle boots?  Will be doing a tan feature soon if that's more up your street?  Or do you prefer a knee high boot?  Maybe you're a flat boot lady?  Talk boots to me!!

Now a quick round up of the last couple of days outfits. 

Monday.  Very lazy day running around after the children and then taking them all swimming with friends and having a late picnic supper.  Laid back.  This top looks pretty nasty in this pic but I can assure you it didn't look this drab & mumsy - well I hope not, as three people said what a lovely top it it was!

Oh and yes I am very very tired.  Sleeping ridiculously badly at the moment.  But onwards & upwards. 

Nude vest - Primark
Mink jersey & silk edged oversized top - Taylor Stephens
Off white coated zip ankle skinny trousers - Zara
Rose gold Gigi sandals - Sam Edelman
White ball & gold leaf earrings - Etsy
Cheetah print ponyskin bag - Zara
Sunglasses - Accessorize

Yesterday - morning spent charging around after the kids, afternoon spent in London shopping and then drinks with The Husband.  Great day.  And yes, I did finally get a new dress for the Italian Outfit.  Which is handy as we fly out for the wedding TOMORROW morning.  I'm about to go and try the outfit on - in my head it all works.  (which is very very very dangerous......)

Off white linen and stone crochet top - By Malene Birger
Distressed straight leg jeans rolled up - Zara
Rose gold Gigi sandals - Sam Edelman
Cheetah print ponyskin bag - Zara
White ball & gold leaf earrings - Etsy
Sunglasses - Accessorize

Today, a day of (rushed) pampering before we head off to Italy tomorrow for 4 days.  I am determined not to look like harassed mum of 3, chewing her way through the school holidays, clinging to a gin bottle.  Therefore today I have had a mani, a pedi, a hair cut & a spray tan.  OMG.  To those women who do this on a regular basis - I applaud you and wonder how on earth do you find the time?!  It's taken me all day.  This is a once in a decade treat for me but it's also a day I'll never get back........!   I think the fact I'm still me and not Elle McPherson might be irritating me slightly. 

Navy & tan maxi dress - New Look 
Faded shrunken denim jacket - Red Herring at Debenhams
Tan wide hipster belt - Fever
Faded gold hav rip offs - Primark
Sunglasses - Accessorize
White gold & diamond pendant - Theo Fennell 
Cheetah print ponyskin bag - Zara

I am now off to pack.  The plan is to wear the black lace and feather dress in the evening - I've reread the invite and it says that there is the opportunity to change so fingers crossed it will all come together.  What I have for the wedding itself?  Watch this space...........!!!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Hold the front page..... this is something you don't hear me say very often at all.  

I don't need any clothes. 

Yup, you read that right.  I don't need any clothes.  

I should probably preface that by saying "at this moment in time"  ie today.  Not tomorrow clearly.  And definitely not next week.  But for today, I am satisfied with my wardrobe. Nay, I would go so far as to say, completely sated. 

This random, out of character stance occurs only twice a year.  At the same time at the beginning of the A/W and then the S/S seasons.  I am surrounded by magazines full of delicious new season stock. I am bombarded by tantalising emails forwarding me to websites full of divine goodies that I simply can't live without. 

Except I get to a day - and today is that very day - where I shut down.  It's all too much.  I can't have everything - I can't "do" every new fashion trend that's out there.  The choice is too overwhelming.  And so the shutters come down and I retreat into the comfort of my own familiar and much loved (this is for today only may I remind you - tomorrow I shall want to bin the lot) wardrobe.  From chatting to friends yesterday, it seems that this is a common occurrence for women.  But most don't just have "trend overload" for one day - they have it permanently.  

It also appears that the older you get the more difficult it is.  The magazines don't seem to age - but we do!  So in the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be looking at some of the trends which are big in A/W12 and give my opinion on how I think they can be worn so we all nestle happily on that fence between mutton and frump. 

If there are any trends which you would like me to have a look at, please do just email me or leave a comment. 

Now of course, when I say that I'm completely satisfied with my wardrobe, yes I do mean sated but me being me, I can of course dream........ And whilst today only dreaming of new trends gives me the fear, I turn to dreaming about classics.  

"If" I were to purchase anything for A/W (and right now I'm obviously saying I don't need anything.....) it would make sense to add a couple of good quality classics that I can wear year in year out and will happily fit in with what I already have in my wardrobe. 

Firstly, on my classics wishlist is a trench.  I have covered this topic before months ago during the spat of April showers I believe we had (ie the biblical rain season).  And now it's time to seriously consider one.  Much more research to be done - it's very difficult to get something quality that isn't obscenely expensive.  Case in point, I do have a trench from Principles a number of years ago and frankly, it's pants.  Thin, creases really badly, is about as functional in rain as a tea towel and doesn't keep you remotely warm.  I like the detailing on it and it now owes me nothing. I have justified the purchase of a new one.  Result. 

I would, of course, love a new Burberry but there are nowhere near enough funds in the coffers to spend on such a luxury. (why oh why oh why oh why when I bought a Burberry 10 years ago did I buy one in the Burberry check.  What an absolute eejit.  I can try and vaguely dig myself out of this fashion black hole by mentioning it is the faded check and not the Daniella Westbrook full on in your face one? Hasn't really worked has it.  I am waiting for it to come back into fashion.  Yeah right.) 

The first one I've got my eye on is this one from M&S!  I think this is the same one I tried - I could have sworn it was part of the Limited Collection but there doesn't seem to be a trench there.  It is pretty much exactly what I had in mind - mid calf (on me), thick water repellent fabric that won't crease and will hang well, lovely detailing (love the epaulettes on the shoulders) and a darn good price. 

It does of course look hugely uninspiring in this pic, but honestly (if it is the same one) it looks a ton better in the flesh.  I will in the next couple of weeks have a look instore and make sure it is the same one. 

Like I said, I do have more perusing to do - although to be honest, it's the sort of thing where there really isn't that much to choose from if a) you want a classic shape without any modern twiddles and b) you don't want to ascend into Aquascutum/Burberry etc prices.  Hobbs is another good bet as is Jaeger (we do need to go classic HS I think) but I doubt they're going to be able to beat the M&S one on quality and price. 

My next item which will happily slot right into my wardrobe with no trend to tick off, is a classic Breton. 

Now I did have the most stunning Breton top from Joseph which took me months to justify purchasing. I ended up caving, wore it once and a helpful 2 year old decided to turn the washing machine up to 90 degrees from handwash. I actually still well up thinking about it.  RIP beautiful Breton (and all the other clearly expensive things as it was a handwash cycle. Sob)

I have a number of stripey tops, it does have to be said.  But the classic slightly boxy, thick jersey, finishing just below the waist, which is what I consider to be the traditional Breton top, has alluded me.

Firstly is the classic Petit Bateau top.  They seem to have made it slightly longer and slightly more fitted this season which isn't quite what I'm after but it's a classic choice. 

Then there is another fast becoming a classic - the Breton from Boden.  Every year I say I'm going to get one and every year I don't.  Well this year I shall.  (when there is a good enough discount code. I know I just missed one for 20% due to my "I don't need anything" mood.  Fool.  But a fool with £23 in my bank account still... or that should rightly read £23 less on my credit card.  Obviously) 

Two colour ways - I'd probably go for the navy and vanilla as opposed to the vanilla and navy - the second one (clear as mud?!) as I have an off white and navy jumper which is v similar. 

Having said that, there is probably a higher chance of me getting this gorgeous one from Cos.  The mecca of all things beautiful for me - this is guaranteed to be fantastic in real life.  I will check it out tomorrow (although clearly I'm not buying anything.....)

Lastly, I will not even attempt to say this is a classic item as to some people (a lot of people) they are the most hideous things known to man.  But there are a growing number of people who are coming round to seeing them as a staple in their wardrobe all year round, me being one of them.  The beloved or dreaded wedge trainer.

Seeing as I have had so much wear out of the two pairs I have - mine both being Ash, my preferred wedge trainer - I could probably justify another pair.  If I "were" to purchase another lot, top of my wishlist would be the Bowie in Camel.  Now to me, this looks exactly the same as the Birdie in Camel from last year.  Except they're about £40 more expensive. Hmmmmm. Irritating much?  Yes.  What's more galling is that I actually had a pair delivered last year and didn't keep them as I chose the Acne Cypress boots instead.  (which I have to say I love and were such a bargain, I don't feel too bad about it) 

So - brace yourself for those who loathe them - these are the Ash Bowie in Camel. 

There are a whole host of other classics that I will be adding to my wishlist over the coming weeks.  Does anyone else have anything they feel they must be buying this A/W to add to their staple collection?

Now a quick round up of what I've been wearing.  Friday, had a lovely day at soft play with two of my sister in laws and my nephews. 

Tobacco silk swing top - Taylor Stephens
Leopard print jeans - Primark
Rose gold Gigis - Sam Edelman
Gold renegade bracelet - Stella & Dot
Tan leather rivet cuff - Mulberry
Resin horn and enamel necklace - Mango
Sunglasses - Accessorize
Vanilla Roxeanne - Mulberry

Saturday - birthday party for my god-daughter and then lunch with her lovely family afterwards.  Stunning weather for a stunning day. 

Navy & white striped silk jersey dress - Isabella Oliver 365
Resin horn & enamel necklace - Mango
Tan clog sandals - NW3 by Hobbs
Gold renegade bracelet - Stella & Do
Tan leather rivet cuff - Mulberry

Sunday - day spent with the family swimming and chilling out with friends.  And then a BBQ at friends which turned into a rather late night.  I had intended to get changed from my slob day outfit but never quite got round to it.  Am loving the summer holidays!  As you can see my hair, not so much. It's becoming less like hair and more like weetabix. 

White linen tee - Zara
Denim shorts - Warehouse
Dull gold hav rip offs - Primark

Gold renegade bracelet - Stella & Dot
Tan leather rivet cuff - Mulberry
Sunglasses - Accessorize

See you shortly! 

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Was I the only child on the planet who wasn't actually allowed to go to Spudulike? (and were we the only saddos to call it Spud-oo-lick-ay as well - god we thought we were funny. Not)  For no other reason than my mother thought it completely sacrilege to charge £2.50 for a baked potato and cheese that you could rustle up at home for about 30p.  And on reflection she did indeed have a point. 

However that, and not being allowed a Barbie castle, Benetton rugby top ("I am not paying for you to advertise someone's company") or a dog, are still things that clearly had some deep psychological effect on me growing up and a shrink would perhaps have a field day with.  Or, more likely, they would conclude that I should quit beefing on about it, my mother was right and I was damned lucky with all the other tat I did have that I conveniently neglect to recall. 

Be that as it may, I now present a homage to Spudulike. Of Studulike.  Because Studmelike.

I fear that the prolonged weeks spent 24/7 with the three rugrats (jaysus Greece seems like a lifetime ago) may just have affected my once sane mind.  It has certainly affected my ability to blog.  Primarily because I can't get near any internet enabled device in my house - two laptops and an ipad = the delayed breakout of WW3. Honestly you should thank me.  I am able to Tweet on my phone (@doesmybumlook40 for any other twitterers out there - am quickly becoming quite obsessed with it. It may be the only thing that's keeping me sane these hols) but am completely unable to post a blog. 

However I can peruse the internet and have been salivating at the selection of studded wonders that are about this A/W.  In all honesty, the chances of me actually purchasing any of them are severely limited.  That big 40 is looming bigger by the month and that small crusty sheep on my shoulder has started bleating BAAHHHH on a far more regular basis than ever before. 

So here, along with the Chloe Susannas from last week - which I will love from afar but will never grace my feet, is a quick selection of some of the beauties I have spotted. 

Firstly the Let it Be Rock Jacket from FCUK.  I think the key to most of the studded items that are around is to find one item that you love and stick with it.  Keep everything else to a bare minimum style, colour and patternwise.  There is only so bold most people can be.  And this jacket could stretch most to the limits.  Love it though.

Next some footwear not for the fainthearted.  I am trying desperately to think how these would fit into my wardrobe (so that I would get full use out of them) and failing ever so slightly.  Ok completely.  But they're still there at the back of my mind.  A completely marmite pair of boots.  The Cowboy Stud Boot from All Saints.

Stud boots are everywhere (this shan't be my last mention of boots this A/W fear not!) and a more user friendly version are the Amplify Studded Western Boot from Topshop.  

Now I think I've done quite well not to mention Zara so far seeing as they seem to have employed a design team this year, every single member of which has "Suzi Quatro" as their middle name.  They have gone stud crazy.  Jackets, shoes, boots and of course bags.  Which I'm just going to focus on today - this link will take you to their bag page.  Tis a page of stud porn. (which sounds wrong on every level)   But here are my personal favourites. 

Studded pony skin clutch. 

Studded city bag 

Plaited shopper with studs

Studded evening box bag 

Whilst we're on the subject of bags - my ultimate favourite stud bags have been for years (as I've nagged on before about - yawn) the Alexander Wang bags.  This time, let's all have a swoon over the Diego bag. 

But I have recently become obsessed with the US tv series Smash and therefore slightly obsessed with the bag that one of the main characters Karen (Katherine McPhee) has.  Two seconds on google resulted in my finding out it was the Romygold Drew Stud Hobo bag 

That pic doesn't remotely do it justice actually.  Here's one from the show, with her on the far left.  Oh helloooooo.

I honestly could go on and on and probably will end up doing so another day.  But for the moment, the jury's out which stud direction, if any I go in.  Will probably be hard not to.  Will you be doing studs this year?  Or are you firmly in the camp of if you're not a Hell's Angel, steer clear.  Steer very very clear?

Finishing as always with a run down of what I've been wearing the past week.  Two days in the middle were pyjama days - Sunday & Monday, as Saturday and Tuesday were long days in London.

Friday - day spent taking the kids swimming and for tea with friends.  Bliss.

Black bandeau harem playsuit - River Island
Gold filigree earrings - Etsy
Dull gold hav rip offs - Primark
Black sunglasses - H&M
Black Faridah hobo bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs

Saturday - day spent taking all three rugrats to London for the day for lunch and then Shrek The Musical.  The Husband was due to come but had to go on a stag do (the "only" weekend   they could do....which was handy as he would rather poke pins in his eyes as he hates musicals)   Well yah boo sucks to him, it was amazing.  The kids, my mum (who took his place) and I absolutely loved it.  Fantastic day was finished off with a fantastic evening at one of my best friend's house. Let's say a large glass of alcohol was needed at the end of bringing the kids back on the train on my own!

Tobacco maxi dress - Reiss
Gold necklace - Day Birger et Mikkelson
Gold Renegade bracelet - Stella & Dot
Tan leather stud cuff - Mulberry
Chestnut clog sandals - NW3 by Hobbs
Sunglasses - Tom Ford
Chestnut cross body battered bag - Campomaggi from Plumo

Sunday I was shattered, as were the kids, ditto Monday so we hung around at home, baking, cooking, doing lego, watching movies.  Much needed down time.

Tuesday off again - this time off to London for RR3's birthday (which was actually on Wed but the weather was due to be pap so we celebrated on the Tue instead)  A day of the London Eye, Mcdonalds, icecream, Trafalgar Square, bus ride, the Aquarium, wander down the South Bank, crisps & juice, wander over to The Husband's office, dinner at Busaba Eathai, mooch round Covent Garden and then home.  Shattered.  And that was just me. 

Bone drapey top - Phase Eight (I got this in the sale as it had a mark on it and a slight cut in it - I just trimmed the rest of the bottom where the cut was, which has a raw finish anyway - for £10. Chuffed - beyond chuffed) 
Tobacco Kristen high waisted skinnies - Topshop
Blush & gold enamel large earrings - Accessorize
Glasses - Accessorize
Tan Organza wedge sandals - Clarks
Chestnut cross body battered bag - Campomaggi by Plumo

Wednesday, trip to the cinema (to see Brave - how unbelievably fantastic - definitely worth seeing) and a birthday tea at a friend's house.  Obligatory Colin the Caterpillar cake from M&S.

White tee - Isabella Oliver 365
Khaki linen cargo pants - Topshop
Denim jacket - Red Herring from Debenhams
Wood and gold pebble necklace - Anthropolgie
Cheetah print ponyskin bag - Zara
Dull gold plaited belt - Zara
Leopard print ponyskin sandals - M&S
Gold renegade bracelet - Stella & Dot
Tan leather cuff - Mulberry
Sunglasses - Accessorize

And today for a day at home with friends visiting.

White vest - Primark
Silk patterned peasants blouse - Monsoon
Skinny paint splat jeans - Zara
Sunglasses - Accessorize
White bead and gold leaf earrings - Etsy
Chestnut clog sandals - NW3 by Hobbs 

I promise I shall try not to leave it so long next time - and I shall be replying to all comments tomorrow - thank you so so so much to those who do comment, I love reading them.  If you would prefer to email please do on

See you soon and hope those who are on summer holidays are surviving them!