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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A once in a lifetime opportunity - grab it.

Right guys, have I got something beyond fabulous for you. 

I've recently been contacted by the makers of a new prime time makeover show who are looking for busy women in their 30's and 40's who don't seem to have any "me" time (boy does that sound familiar or what) and who would like a completely new look.  

This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a dream makeover, with the assistance of their team of high profile experts who have worked with top name celebrities, including Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley and Daisy Lowe.  On offer will be top non-surgical procedures, hair, makeup, styling advice and cosmetic dentistry. 

Here is the slightly tricky but not insurmountable surely, bit - you must be available for filming from the 12th to the 15th of October inclusive, in London. 

Now I get countless comments and emails from lovely ladies who are so keen to get out of the slight rut they've fallen into fashion wise so I know that there are some of you out there to which this would be a dream come true.  Imagine a head to toe full body makeover?  How utterly tempting does that sound?  Please please can some of you move heaven and earth to be available for that week?  You will be in the care of the most wonderful team of experts - it just sounds beyond amazing to me.  

If you would like further information (and don't hesitate to ask anything, regardless of how trivial you think it may be) or would like to apply for the show (go on go on!!!) please email or

They'll need one close head and shoulders shot of you looking like your 'day to day' self, a full body shot in tight clothing so they can see your figure and also a photograph where you feel that you look your very best!  Please could you also include your reasons for wishing to apply and a little bit about yourself. 

Time is of the essence here so there is no time to worry about whether or not it's a good idea - it IS a good idea, it's an excellent idea and you've got nothing to lose. 

Please let me know if you've applied or email me at if you have any questions you'd like to ask and don't want to ask directly.  

This really is such a great opportunity - take the bull by the horns and do something for you.  Without wishing to sound like a naff shampoo advert - you're worth it.  Boom boom!

Very quickly as I want to get the above info out there as soon as possible and I have a PTA meeting to go to tonight.  Oh the glamour.  Dear god, please let there be wine. 

I've had a couple of emails asking if I know of an alternative to the Ash Jalouse boot.   There is a Clarks one kicking around which, I know (S, you know who are!) some people like and you can guarantee that it would be super comfy.  But I came across this one from Oasis last night which definitely is the best I've come across.  

The Willow Western Boot   £68 from Oasis

And here is the original - available all over the place for £145.  Light tan suede in the winter for that price.  Erm.  Not for me.

On my boot quest (oh the annual yawnathon of my boot quest) I have discounted (for the minute clearly - fully expect me to have changed my mind by next week) the divine Ash multicoloured suede wedges in plum, taupe and black.  With the recent deluge of rain, the reality of a winter boot that I can't actually wear in any vaguely inclement weather, struck me as being moronic.  To be fair, were it cheaper, it wouldn't concern me, but for nearly £200 - hell no.   The sensible shopping fairy (darn her) had a swift word.  

So I'm back on the boot search.  Daytime chestnut ankle boots and night out black ones are on the must have list.   Must have - can't find (that I can afford).   If anyone is remotely interested I will report back. 

Now a quick round up of what I've been wearing 

Friday - that long ago, can't even remember what I did.  Am still doing lunchtime pick ups for smallest rugrat so it really can't have been that exciting. 

Breton jersey top - H&M
Distressed straight leg jeans - Zara
Navy blazer - Zara
Gold bee necklace - Alex Monroe
Gold serpent necklace - Stella & Dot
Oversized stone bracelet - Massimo Dutti
Tan Rockafella boots - Russell & Bromley
Chestnut cross body bag - Campomaggi from Plumo

Saturday - birthday party for 8 year old.  Plus a trip to the hairdressers for her.  She came back with full on Jessie J style fringe.  Utterly adorable.  Please stay this age and this delicious for ever H - I could eat you! 

Blush jersey and silk top - Phase Eight 
Camel Kirsten jeans - TopShop
Apricot tassel scarf - Mint Velvet 
Tan Cypress boots - Acne
Sunglasses - Dior
Chestnut Lily bag - D&G

Saturday night - out for dinner with friends.  Fab fab night - much deserved after party! 

White vest - Primark
Snakeskin blouse - Zara
Pink blazer - Zara
Coated skinnies - Cos
Black suede cut away stilettos - Zara
Earrings - shamelessly borrowed from a friend which I must return (Sorry M!) 
Snakeskin clutch - Michael Kors
Gold renegade bracelet - Stella & Dot

Sunday - another birthday tea at home for the extended family. Nothing like milking your birthday when you're 8.  I wouldn't mind, but it's the 5 year old's birthday next week.  My kids' birthdays are like buses. 

Gold metallic jumper - St Tropez (from a local Danish boutique - it's a Danish brand) 
Khaki zip skinnies - By Malene Birger
Oversized stone bracelet - Massimo Dutti 
Tan Cypress boots - Acne
Fabulous finches scarf in owl brown - Mulberry 

Yesterday - recovering from the weekend.  It's already a blur.   (5 yr old took this photo and loves it so I promised him I'd post it.  Here you go M)

Blush vest - Miss Selridge
Breton jumper - Zara
Distressed biker jeans - By Malene Birger
Navy pleather jacket - Primark 
Black Madonna stud wedge trainers - Ash
Black Faridah hobo bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Gold pine cone necklace - NW3 by Hobbs
Glasses - Dior

Today for the gym and then lunch with friends - lovely day.  Punctuated by incessant whinging from the 4 year old who can't wait to be at school full time.  Me neither......

White vest - Primark
Navy ruched top - Jigsaw
Khaki linen cargo pants - TopShop
Navy/khaki boucle jacket - Zara
Clay Thelma wedges - Ash
gold bee necklace - Alex Monroe
Chestnut Lily bag - D&G

Next couple of days I have a coat (ish!) blog and a night out boot blog to come.

PLEASE tell me that you've applied for a new you.  You must you must YOU MUST!!!!!!  

Thursday, 20 September 2012

A more wearable wedge?

So the wedge ankle boot that isn't a trainer.  As I've discovered, to some, wedge trainers really are the most hideous things (for me that would be the brothel creeper) but wouldn't it be a dull world if we all liked the same thing. 

However I do think that a wedge boot is a great addition to an A/W wardrobe and the best thing is that they'll keep you going through till Spring as well.  Perfect with my beloved skinny jean but also great under wide legs, cigarette legs, bootcut and even a maxi skirt. 

So here is a round up of some on the market that have caught my eye . Now randomly they're all suede.  I didn't set out to specifically look for suede and they're not the most practical but these days, some great protective sprays means that they're not a no no anymore.   I think maybe in leather, they're just a bit too clunky - certainly the ones in leather that look good are a much more delicate, dressy looking boot.  So here we have a sweetie box of suede goodies. 

These from M&S are great.  In fact, I'm going to see if I can track them down instore in the black - I think they're very Camilla Skovgaard but for £35, yes please, they'd be my preference!   A brave choice in the pale grey (get spraying with the protector girls) but a really easy, wearable wedge.  I'd also wear these with a shorter dress actually.  

Monsoon have a great tan suede option - The Leon Boot (spray spray spray!!) 

A very simple, stylish and cleancut black option is available at Bertie 

If you're looking for more detail, I'm really partial to these from Dune - the Pope.  I'd say definitely for trousers and maybe under a maxi. 

Lovely back detail 

If buckles are your thing then I think these from Kurt Geiger are cute - the Stefani.   Of course being KG they're not cheap and come in at £140. 

These with a western style stitch detailing might float your boat - good heel height for every day - the Sugar from Kurt Geiger.

But these - Wish boots - are one of my faves obviously as they're completely impractical for every day at 12cm!  Wedge or no wedge that would equal pain at the end of a day on your feet. 

And in an even more impractical colour combo - Camel.

If you're looking for a different colour, then Dickins & Jones at House of Fraser have the Polleta boot. 

Moving on to lace ups - I have to say I would definitely be checking out the black and burgundy ones I listed yesterday from Primark. 

A very similar option is available from Dune - the Petworth D boot.  In black, burgundy or tan.   Have to say personally I prefer the Primark ones.  These wouldn't float my boat personally but I can see that they would definitely suit a certain style - very Ali McGraw.  Yum. 

If these are your thing then it's also worth looking at Clarks - they have some very similar ones which are even lower I think - the Yarra Desert boot.  Again, not my personal bag but I bet they'd be comfy.

A version that I find more interesting are these Rodeo D boots, again the same crepe sole style from Dune again.  These would be more along the lines of what I would personally prefer but I will absolutely admit that they're a smidge high at 11cm for a long day.  

I am still in Wedge trainer hell. (ever the dramatic, me)  Duh.  Definitely sending the Matalan wedges back.  Decided that I don't want a full on plum colour but would like a more neutral colour with a plum accent - ie I've managed to talk myself into the Ash ones.  That, thanks to a fantastic comment left by someone, I've found!  Now do I order them or wait until I've been to Bicester... Oh decisions decisions. 

Anyway, I hope that gives those of you who weren't interested in a wedge trainer, something wedgey to think about. 

Fantastic day today - school coffee morning, fitting for a charity fashion show coming up and a 40th birthday lunch for a lovely friend of mine.  Kids had playdates here for tea so the peace ended at pick up and the carnage began.  Thank heavens it's still decent weather and they can all run around like loons in the garden. 

White vest - Primark 
Off white silk front, knitted sleeve top - Zara
Distressed biker jeans - By Malene Birger
Embellished blazer - Zara
Gold bee & bead necklace - Etsy
Tan shopper - Zara
Sunglasses - Dior
Gold Renegade bracelet - Stella & Dot
Gold link bracelet - my grandmother's
Washed black suede Ohio ankle boots - Pied a Terre

Will be back soon!  Any joy on the wedge boot?  As always am loving the comments, thank you and keep them coming.  Off to do my replies xx

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

On your Pri-marks, get set.....


As you may or may not have noticed, I have a total love hate relationship with Primark.  Hate, as in I hate going there - we don't have one anywhere near us so it's a complete trek and unless you get there 5 mins after it opens (as I'm sure anyone who's ever been there is aware), within 10 mins they resemble the most hideous jumble sale known to man.  Really selling it to someone who's never visited, aren't I?

But if you're determined, have true grit and are punctual (and do not ever, EVER take small children with you - that is up there as the 10th Circle of Hell) then honestly it can be worth it.  

Seeing as my Matalan burgundy wedge trainers arrived today and errr, they're ok.  They really are ok but tiny things like the fact the sole isn't completely straight all the way round (what do you expect for £22?) and the burgundy has bled ever so ever so slightly into the white of the sole and they're not that comfy means that I'm taking them back.  To cut a long story short - I also don't think I want a plain burgundy colour, I really really want the tri tone Ash ones that obviously I can't get my hands on for love nor money. 

But let's assume I manage to.  It means therefore that I have 2p to spend on the rest of my clothes. 

Which means that the A/W Primark preview pics were of huge interest to me.  Now, I do need to premise this by saying that, in complete contrast to M&S, Primark have cleverly always employed the most fantastic photographers.  Their products always looks amazing.  Sometimes they are.  Often they're not.  Which is why you will have to drag your sorry behinds to a store (here's hoping you have one nearer than I do) and check out the items in the flesh.  Or wait for me to and report back.  As there are just too many fabulous things for me not to be hot footing it there next week. 

So without further ado - let's crack on. 

Firstly knitwear 

This first jumper reminds me of a more wearable version of the Neon Acne jumper that is everywhere at the moment.  The chances of it being 100% scratchy acrylic are high but I have actually had some fab knitwear from Primark in the past (a jumper that is on its 3rd year, wiping the floor with its far newer Reiss counterpart for example.  Boo hiss)  Let's go see it with a PMA.

I think this lime would be lovely with navy and khaki.  Yum.
This back zip sweat top would be great for the gym but I'm loving it with either a denim shirt underneath and a leather jacket over it or with a longline vest and huge scarf, jeans and boots.  I've seen very similar and I'm willing to bet, a lot more expensive, somewhere - can't remember where, but will be checking this version out first.  Love it. 
Again, ignoring the potential naked flame dangers of this one, I love the 70's vibe of it. Can see again over a denim shirt, distressed faded jeans, boots and a trench for the Autumn. 
This sequin armed number I don't care how hideous it is - so long as it doesn't give me an electric shock when wearing it, I'm tracking this down.  I shall, however, be leaving the gold jeans to someone 20 years my junior.  No-one would thank me for sporting them.

Again, the bottoms below I will leave to those younger generations who have no idea what net curtains are (as I remember too well the hideousness of them and have no intention of wearing them as a skirt), but the jumper I have naively high hopes for.  Perfect shape, perfect knit, perfect colour.  Please please don't set my teeth on edge.  I'm also thinking that necklace might be finding its way into my basket.....

On to trousers.  Not that I can recall buying any as I haven't worn "trousers" in years really apart from jean style but it's my resolution to try and move slightly (I can't give them up - I truly am addicted) from skinny style jeans.  So the peg/straight/cropped leg is a very easy alternative. 

Love these baroque style ones which would look just fantastic for a night out with black killer heels, black top and tuxedo style blazer.  (all of which I handily have...!) 

Ditto these - but I think these would also work really well during the day - black slipper flats, black tee and black blazer.  Or with white tee and pink blazer.  Love the geometric print that Prada did on the catwalk (love love LOVE it but am not blowing my budget on a pair of Prada trousers - I would have to do paralytic shopping trip to come home with those as opposed to normal drunk shopping which has resulted in some "interesting" purchases over the years)  These have to be worth checking out. 
A reminder of how great the skinny coloured jean selection for £11/£13 is at Primark.  Have been very impressed with the quality - especially for an item that you're not going to have for years and years.  A fabulous seasonal addition to your wardrobe that isn't going to break the bank.   Get them in every colour!
And ditto with the printed jean.  These look just gorgeous - how easy to wear during the day but how great for wearing out in the evening?  As much as I've said I shall be attempting to wear more trousers - these definitely have my heart beating that little bit faster.

Again we can probably guarantee that this will be vile fabric but assuming it's not, I've got my eye on this for my Christmas Day dress.  Nude tights (yes I do wear them - sue me.  American tan has come on in leaps and bounds my friends) and shoots.  Oh hello.......

One of my favourite trends of this season which I shall be exploring is embellishment.  And what's more appropriate than sequins.  I am such a complete magpie that I am drawn to a sequin like a moth to a naked flame.  Can't keep away.  I don't have a gunmetal/grey/goldy jacket so this one has my name all over it.  The shorts?  Errr, mmm, not so much. 

Now I'm not in need of a parka and have a trench with my name on it as a showerproof coat, but if not, I would definitely be giving this a go.  Have seen this in store and it's a great buy.  A popular look on the High Street but this is by far the best value. 
Interestingly I've always found Primark coats to be of really good quality.  If I were looking for a more structured coat for either work or to wear as a casual coat (I love a smart coat over scabby jeans and a loose jumper and boots) then this would make my shortlist. 

Now I need this like I need a hole in the head but I must must check it out as I'd love it were it 20 times as much money.  A complete luxury item (ok so it's not going to be top quality but let's assume it's vaguely as good as it looks) that for Primark prices, I shall be snapping up.  LOVE.

I am absolutely kicking myself at not buying a very similar jacket that Zara had at the beginning of last season.  I assumed it would go into the sale.  Error.  I love yellow, black and denim.  Don't need this jacket but I shall be getting it as it will sit in my wardrobe for years and years and years.  And I will wear it every year.  I'm going to stick my neck out and say a classic. 

Ok I may have had a glass of wine (or two) but NOT THE DRESS.  Necklace peeps, necklace.  And the earrings.  Need to see.  Just divine.  And they'll be peanuts!

I am in no need of biker boots myself (I have a Kurt Geiger pair that are still going strong 3 years on) but were you looking for a fashion forward studded pair then these might be worth tracking down.  They "look" great but I'll reserve judgement till I see them in the flesh.  (actually I say I'm not in need but I do still salivate over the All Saints super spikey stud ones that most people thought were utterly gopping!) 
The last two shoes are a sneak hint at my wedge ideas as opposed to the wedge trainer.  Love them.  And I'm going to hazard a guess at them being a fraction of the cost of the others on my list.  Interestingly I find not real suede much more palatable and easier on the eye than non leather leather shoes.  Clear as mud?

And so there we have it.  I hope there are some gems that that may have whetted your Primark appetite.  Would love to know what you think and if you agree with me or if you think  I'm talking out of my behind?  And more importantly, please please do let us know if you've seen any of the above instore!  Or do you have any other Primark gems that you would like to share with us.  

Finishing with what I wore today 

Blush vest - Primark
Beige linen tee - Zara
Paint splatter skinnies - Zara
Pearly king and queen jacket - Phase Eight
Black silk jersey scarf - Cos
Gold bee necklace - Alex Monroe
Tan leather cuff - Mulberry
Gold link bracelet - my grandmother's
Tan shopper - Zara
Black velvet slippers - Primark
Black sunglasses - Dior 

Enjoy!  Can't wait to hear what your Primark thoughts are! 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Knitwear bargain anyone?

I can't believe that we're already into the mid season sales.  How on earth can that be?!  Anywhichway, the bargain that one of my very good friends pointed me in the direction of, is one that I have just to share and don't really give a stuff whether it's mid season or end of season - it's too good to miss. 

I have actually been starting to do research into knitwear, having just thrown out a whole host of bobbly, decrepit jumpers that were cluttering up my wardrobe.  Regrettably not were all cheap - in fact the two worst culprits were the most expensive and the most recent.  Reiss & Nicole Farhi, shame on you.  Both items were 100% wool and had been worn a handful of times and genuinely looked like I'd given them to the dog to sleep with.  Knackered.  Beyond redemption.  Slightly (very) gutted.  

However it does mean that I have knitwear gaps in my wardrobe.  Thinking about the sorts of jackets I'll be wearing, ideally I'd like ones that aren't oversized (and god forbid my body is way past the very fitted stage) but slightly loose and boxy - finishing just below the waist band (neatly hiding the muffin thank you very much).  Ideal to layer with a slightly longer vest, hiding a multitude of sins and also adding colour and texture. 

But looking online is largely a waste of time I've found, as these days, I honestly think fabrics need to be felt.  I'm not the biggest fan of acrylic generally, but there are the odd times (and they are few & far between but getting more frequent) when it doesn't make my teeth stand on age and I know that I'd be able to wear it without fearing a naked flame. 

At the moment, I am in purgatory with the midday pick up of RR3 from school.  And it goes on for another couple of weeks (I've blanked out how long exactly as it makes me itch.  Not that I want to wish my little one's life away but frankly he's a miserable git when he comes home - I'd rather he was miserable at school.  No amount of cake can appease him at the moment.  Enough said.)  

Unfortunately a trip round the shops doesn't float his boat either (quelle surprise) and so knitwear is something that will have to take a back bench for the next week or two. 

Apart from this little striped gem from H&M which is 100% cotton.   It was a bargain at £7.99 but is positively worth ordering in every colour for the reduced price of £3.99.  It is perfect on my friend - boxy, loose but not oversized.  I have high hopes for it on me (she says optimistically knowing that it will therefore be a pile of pants)

The above are the colours that I've gone for but they also do it in a pink and beige and an orange and beige.  Have never ordered from H&M before and I've managed to not pay and select to have them send me an invoice which sounds hugely odd but we'll see. 

They're not the most cutting edge jumpers on the planet but for that price, hell they're a fantastic staple, leaving more money in the coffers for some fantastic scarves and jackets!  

Hope that keeps you going in the meantime, till I can report back on other knitwear. 

A quick round up of yesterday and today's outfit. 

Beige vest - Primark
Beige linen tee - Zara
Distressed vintage biker jeans - By Malene Birger
Black and offwhite knitted jacket - By Malene Birger
Resin and shell necklace - By Malene Birger
Sunglasses - Dior
Clay Thelma Wedges - Ash
Vanilla Roxanne - Mulberry 

White longline vest - Joseph
Khaki longline tee - Joseph
Paint splatter skinny jeans - Zara
Navy/khaki/cream boucle jacket - Zara
Navy and black leopard print scarf - By Malene Birger
Black Faridah hobo bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Gunmetal high tops - Ash
Sunglasses - Dior
Tan leather cuff - Mulberry 

Can I please point out that for some bizarre reason, I'm aware that I look randomly slim in these photos.  I am slim but not remotely as svelte as these pictures appear to portray me as.  Much kudos to my kids who seem to have the knack of taking skinny photos.  They're available for photo shoots at a very reasonable rate.