Friday 28 June 2013

I have a confession ...

I am so bad and so naughty but I bought something! AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHH I almost hate myself for it but equally I was always a rule breaker!

It's just too much to be sat playing on Avenue 57 and going to different places to find out where tops, dresses and bottoms are from and so when someone mentioned FOR THE 856th time about these bloody real leather tan sandals from Tesco I couldn't resist clicking to look - and therein lies my failure of the 100 day spending ban. I didn't even buy the tan sandals (out of stock in my size) but I did buy these

I know already what I'm wearing with these if they fit and are ok - I know it's faux suede and I know they won't last but for £12 it's worth a punt don't you think?

They are due to arrive next week so I guess if they are cheap in real life as they are in price and if I do end up returning them then that's ok right? I can be forgiven?

Here is the tan version of the pink I wanted and everyone is raving about - aren't they gorgeous?

I wish I'd put these in too - I am actually sad that if I was breaking rules I was going to do it in style!

So let's skip over very quickly the fact that I have been incredibly naughty and I promise to punish myself later. Here's what I wore yesterday and today.

Dress - Room 31 - old
Shoes - M&S - old

Scarf - Mine but still available here
Jumper - Mine but still available here
Jeans - Tesco and have never fitted before - hoorah!
Shoes - Deichmann (swapped for lovely navy Hunter Wellies because it was raining for Sports Day)

So, have you ever denied yourself anything and did you succeed? I am so lame, I know I am you don't need to tell me!


Wednesday 26 June 2013

WOW, just one dress from Sainsbury's ...

to make you feel good all day long!

Last night I had some girlfriends come over to view my bits and pieces. One of them is so stunningly gorgeous I can't put into words how much. She works for a corp and we were talking day/office/uniform wear. I said I would love to work in a formal office (the office I visit is very informal and small) and wear nice suits and dresses with killer heels and matching bags etc etc. And then I thought to myself, why can't I wear the nice dress and heels - I'm dressing for ME not for anyone else. I also own lots of nice dresses I never wear and as I'm on this ridiculously stupid  amazing 100 day spending ban and no repeating of outfits I thought I'd grab one out the wardrobe and just wear it.

AND I AM SO GLAD I DID. Firstly it was so easy to get dressed this morning knowing what I was going to wear! Secondly, I received SO many lovely comments at school today - I mean really lovely (almost embarrassing) comments from class teachers and parents and then when I posted my look on Avenue 57 I got a whole day of lovely comments. I can't tell you what it means to receive such positive comments. I urge you all to tell someone they look lovely if you think they do - it makes their day/week/month. At BritMums on Saturday I saw this gorgeous woman - she was about 50 but looked so amazing. I walked up to her and told her - well she laughed and nearly fell over - she was SO made up and kept thanking me saying no-one had ever said such nice things to her before!

So .. the dress .. it's just a £20 from Sainsbury's but I love it - the style, the fit, it's comfortable, it was cheap (you know me and my supermarket bargains!) and I am still wearing it now whilst cooking supper and washing up - oh I know how to live!

Tomorrow I will dig out another favourite dress I don't wear often. What item do you wish your lifestyle meant you could wear more of?


Tuesday 25 June 2013

Pull & Bear

I'd not heard of this brand until a friend earlier admired my shoes. I told her they were cheapy ones from Deichmann and I loved them. She then asked if I'd heard of Pull & Bear. I said who? She said Pull & Bear. I said no. I then quickly ran home and Googled - well hello new brand of mine, nice to see you.  Has anyone else heard of these? Am I totally behind the times?

I can't help but simply admire a few things because, as you know, I'm on a spending ban - I have 75 days left - I think this will be such a good thing to do but also it might just finish me off!

I'm going to dive right in with my top buys - I would love ALL of these if I were not on a ban.

And here I am day in my 25th no repeating outfit - I love this top but it's naughty - or rather it makes me look naughty. When I bend over it shows the puppies! Avril, that ones for you!

So back to this new brand - have you heard of it?


Monday 24 June 2013

BritMums Live 2013

Back from a fantastic few days in London at BritMums Live 2013. I was so pleased to arrive in style (via the  luggage baggage on the 9am commuter train on Friday.

I met with Avril from School Gate Style and we enjoyed catching up in person rather than online. We were sharing a room at the Easyjet hotel and laughed at the bathroom - it's JUST LIKE the toilet on the aircraft! The room was neat and tidy and for £75 for the night we couldn't complain (well we could because the walls are paper thin and we could hear our neighbours! Revenge was sweet at 7.30am with our over loud alarm clock and hair dryer).

BritMums is a fantastic conference that brings together a lot of Mummy (and Daddy) bloggers for the weekend. Sessions were informative and covered a wide range of topics from SEO, accounting, legal, working with brands, how to monetise your blog etc etc.

On Friday night there was an awards ceremony. It was a fantastic evening and I was so proud to be sat on a table with a few winners. Congratulations to Marlene from Chocolate, Cookies and Candies for WINNING her Best Photography category.

I was totally and utterly moved and inspired by Katie Piper and her keynote speech on Sunday morning - I can't begin to describe  how good she was. If you were there, you will know what I am trying to say and if you weren't then trust me, she is totally and utterly inspiring.

A special thank you goes to the founders of BritMums - Susanna Scott and Jennifer Howze - the two of them have done such an amazing job (along with a small army of helpers) to bring a great conference together. It ran like clockwork, was very well organised in a fantastic venue and it was just brilliant to be a part of it.

Avril and I were invited to be a part of the Style Panel session and whilst I don't have any photos of us sat on the sofa, here is the opening slide.

I was thrilled with my personalised Coke Bottle from the Coca Cola stand

It was also great to meet Emma from Fashion Mommy too. Here is a pic of her and Avril

And so on to what I wore. Thank you to Mint Velvet for my gorgeous top for the Friday night awards and to ME+EM for my maxi dress on Saturday. I wore my own scarf (currently sold out sorry!) and UGG Sandals (now in the sale) for extreme comfort on the Saturday.

It was so lovely to spend time with Avril, Kat and Marlene and I LOVE this photo of us all together.

Were you at BritMums? Did you enjoy it? Would you go next year if you didn't go this year? What did you think of my two outfits? I felt really great in both of them and I can't WAIT to wear them again!


Thursday 20 June 2013

Packing for BritMums Live

I am so excited that in 24 hrs I will ACTUALLY BE AT BritMums Live 2013! I have many reasons to be excited:

  • I got my nails done especially by my beatician friend - TREAT (for me)
  • I get to take the day off work and leave the home without baggage (children) at 9am.
  • I will be on my own on the train for 90 mins and no-one will talk to me or demand anything from me (other than the ticket man but that's ok, it's his job)
  • I am meeting Avril from School Gate Style for coffee and a mooch around the East End of London to buy stock for our shops (mine, hers)
  • We are then heading to our hotel, where we are sharing a room and to freshen up before heading over to the conference site to meet with Marlene from Chocolate Cookies & Candies and Kat from Does My Bum Look 40. Hoping also to meet up at some point with Emma from Fashion Mommy.
  • I cannot wait to hear the keynote speech from Kirstie Allsopp on Friday and Katie Piper on Saturday
  • There is the awards ceremony on Friday night that is set to be much fun (please don't let me over drink!) - Water water, wine, water water wine ... yeah right who am I kidding?
  • I get to share a room with Avril - I think she is the lucky one sharing with me!
  • I get to wear two outfits from two amazing companies and who are sponsoring me for the event - Mint Velvet have very kindly given me a gorgeous top to wear and ME+EM have given me the best dress in the whole wide world - FACT*

*according to me and my world

Preparing to go away for a 2 day, 1 night 'thing' is proving time consuming - I've been writing notes so I don't forget anything

and leaving things on the stairs to take up with me to put in the bag

And then the whole deal of packing - fortunately I'm packing JUST what I need so no need for excess clothes. I have a lot of shoes, I know I am packing lots but I have heels AND flats because I know my feet won't last in heels all day.

Here's a sneaky peak at my outfits from my wonderful sponsors Mint Velvet and ME+EM

Right, enough of this chat, I need to crack on because I'm on the Style Panel with Avril on Saturday talking about blogs and blogging!  I also have supper for the smalls to get ready, make sure the house is at least half tidy before leaving tomorrow am, scoff a Chinese takeaway with the husband because neither one of us can be bothered (or have the time) to cook and then one final check that I have everything and THEN I can go to bed!

If you are going to BritMums, come and say Hi


Tuesday 18 June 2013

Day 18 - no spending

Should I be embarrassed that it's day 18 and I have not struggled in any way, shape or form to not buy anything AND to wear something different every day for the month of June so far? I think I will be absolutely fine to do this challenge for the 100 days I set myself.

I do love looking back at my own outfits on Avenue 57 and I will be doing that more as the days go ahead and I struggle for inspiration.

I'm very excited to be joining Avril from School Gate Style at the BritMums Live conference this weekend and I KNOW we are going to have lots of giggles at the awards ceremony as we will be joined by Marlene from Chocolate Cookies & Candies, Kat from Does My Bum Look 40 In This? and Emma from Fashion Mommy. I am GUTTED that Joanna from Poppy's Style is unable to get a ticket, she's flying in from the US and even that didn't get her the ticket she wanted/needed/deserved. We will raise our glass to her for sure.  Are you going to Britmums this weekend? Let me know, I'd love to meet up and say Hi. In the meantime I have a talk to prepare for about blogging as I have a 10 minute speech to give - eek!

So, what have I been wearing these past few days?

Saturday we had a party here for 20, the wonderful husband cooked in the rain outside whilst I drank wine. We started at 1pm and the last guests left with their children at midnight. Guests were dancing in the kitchen to 80s tunes and I may have taken part in a headstand challenge against the 5-9yr olds in the house. I WON TOO - wahoo! (fortunately no photo evidence!).

Top - Avenue 57 (currently sold out in green but coming back in stock this weekend, other colours are available like this stunning orange)
Jeans - Zara (old)
Shoes - LK Bennett (old)

Sunday was fathers day so I got up early with a banging headache and headed on over to see my folks for lunch in Christchurch - I felt vile all day and went to bed like a good girl at 9pm! 

Top - Tesco (old)
Jeans - Matalan (current)
Shoes - TK Maxx (old)

Love this photo of my dad and I - he's a great guy :-)

Monday came round far too fast and it said it was going to be warm, it was not, hence the winter like outfit.
Jumper - Mint Velvet (old)
Jeans - Primark (old)
Necklace - Avenue 57 (current)

And here we are on Tuesday already! I decided to dress down today, some days I just can't be bothered with tight things and heels and all matchy matchy samey samey so it's a simple tshirt, jeans and scarf with converse sneakers (all old apart from the scarf)

Are you as exhausted as I am after reading that? Do you have dress down days? If you are going to BritMums Live let me know!


Monday 17 June 2013

Me + Em = love

Sometimes a brand catches your eye when you are least expecting it and it's often then that you fall in love the deepest. I came across ME+EM only a couple of months ago and I am so in love it's a bit obsessive.  If I could buy everything they hold in stock I would. They have dresses, bottoms, tops and knitwear. I was sent this amazing maxi dress in navy (comes in olive too) and as soon as I unwrapped the tissue paper I knew I'd fallen head over heels in love. It's hard to describe sheer luxury but take my word for it, this dress is above and beyond worth the £98 price tag. 

I always want items in my wardrobe that I can mix and match and/or I can dress up and dress down.  This dress is perfect for that. I've styled here in a few ways to show that it's really a dress up or dress down item. I didn't put high heels on because at 5ft 9 I figured I would look like a giraffe!

Simple cream necklace and ballet pumps - just look how flattering it is around the middle!

I know you might think 'look how long it is' but it's really a dress that will fit any height because you just pull it up accordingly and create a feature in the middle. It skims the hips and then hangs so well to the ankle.

Back view for those that fancy a Pippa Middleton style bum shot?

If I were going to a wedding or evening party I would team with a statement necklace and pashmina. I would also keep to the flats for comfort.

So, what can I wear with the dress to play it down for more everyday wearing? Denim jacket, converse shoes and an accent scarf of course!

Any scarf will totally make this outfit. Any colour will go with it too.

I am so thrilled to have this dress in my wardrobe - you will be seeing it again on Saturday as I'm off to the Brit Mums Bloggers Conference and I am going to wear it casual with converse and denim.

To view the dress in detail online at ME+EM click here. It comes in navy, olive and black.

A quick sample of other things I NEED are:

                              A Line Shift Dress    Cashmere Throw   V Neck A Line Dress

If you like what you have seen here then jump on over to their website. They are also on and on Twitter and Facebook.

Here is my friend in the dress too - she wanted to buy it for a wedding but they were out of stock so I gave her mine to wear and I think she looks fabulous. She's camera shy hence the head chop off!

What is your favourite item from their website? Also how would you style this differently?


Thursday 13 June 2013

Clothes really affect your mood and ...

vice versa. Yesterday I woke up in a foul mood, the weather was crap and I was TOTALLY uninspired with what to wear. I was doing nothing other than a few chores in town with my 6 and 9 yr old boys and it was cold, wet, windy and down right miserable.

I love the jeans/trousers I am wearing, they are super soft and stretchy and I wanted to wear this jumper (bought last year, never worn) but together it just matched my mood - bleurgh. Check out my miserable face!

Jumper - Sainsburys - old
Jeans - Sainsburys - old
Ballet Pumps - Debenhams - old

I took the photo and posted on Avenue 57 but after 5 mins I HAD to get changed, I felt horrid! Bit of a better pose but still sodding miserable.

Jumper - H&M - old

So today I was determined to make an effort - brighten my day by dressing in something that made me feel nice and good and happy. I bought this vest top in Tesco and it's ace - it's super long in length, has a secret support panel and makes my boobs look bigger than they are!

Top - Tesco - current
Jeans - Sainsbury's - old
Shoes - Deichmann - old
Necklace - Avenue 57 - current

I wanted to wear heels today, I'm getting better at wearing them (2 years ago I didn't wear them ever) and I love a bit of neck bling during the day.

So are you affected by the clothes you wear, the mood your in and how the two can affect each other?

11 days in and still I haven't bought anything and I haven't worn the same outfit twice - go me!