Monday, 30 September 2013

F&F - How You’re Wearing It

I was thrilled to be approached by the Tesco F&F marketing team as part of their Inspire Me section on their website.  Picking things from the F&F range is actually really difficult because there is SO much lovely stuff to choose from.

I am very much a jeans and boots type of girl and this is my comfort zone. It's no surprise that I opted for the most amazing jumper and biker boots!

One problem I have when blogging is the photograph taking. My husband leaves the house at 7.15am and doesn't return until at least 8pm. So, left in the mix is a 6 yr old and a 9 yr old. So it is with HUGE apologies that I give you my 7.45am 9 year old photos! I've added a selfie because that's the way I do my photographs for Avenue 57.

Jumper - £14
Bike Boots - £22

I couldn't not highlight this amazing grey jumper too. Same as the yellow I have - gorgeous back zip detail, super soft and a total bargain at £14 (vs the other one I love from Whistles at £125!)

       Skint Grey Jumper - £14         Minted Grey Jumper - £125


Do you like my yellow jumper? The sizes come up quite large (or is it that I'm wearing it quite tight when it could be a sloppy jumper? I'm wearing a size 6 in the jumper). The boots in Tesco this year do come up large so my advice is to downsize by .5 or 1 size.


Monday, 23 September 2013

Dressing when it's cold

I both love and hate this time of year. I love it because I'm getting all my winter things out and wearing them. I hate it because I am always so cold and can't 'think' about style when dressing.  I always resort to jeans, boots, lots of thin layers and a jumper. I am going to be paying close attention in the weeks ahead to see how others manage to dress with style and also keep warm! The great thing is there are so many stylish women posting on A57 that I don't have to go too far for my inspiration!

Here are my looks from the past week - do you spot a casual jeans and boots theme going on here? I really do need to make more of an effort - I promise to try harder this week!

Also what I love about winter is the ability to wear a scarf - oh how I have missed them so. I think I own (not excluding what I stock in the shop) about 30 scarves - of all colours. I think a scarf is an amazing way to jazz up an outfit (pretty much the same theory for summer and a statement necklace). Here are my top favourite scarves available online via the Pop Up Shop today!

Do you like Summer or Winter? Are you a scarf lover?


Thursday, 19 September 2013

25% off at H&M

The reality is it's 25% off one item (use code 0747) and I was all ready to pop online and buy that one item but whilst I was there I got sucked in to loving all of these items. I have similar in my wardrobe already but not exactly the same and for that reason alone it justifies a sneaky purchase!

I think out of all of these it's the denim shirt, jeans and jumper dress I'll be buying. I want to buy them all but I need to start saving some pennies for holiday in October.

The great thing is with all the above you can mix and match to create lots of different looks.

What about you? What are you missing from your wardrobe for the season ahead?


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Who is Fiona Blake?

Last night I was thinking .. I would like to get to know MORE about the bloggers I like and I thought I'd start off with myself.  Here are some not very interesting things about me that you may or may not know about me.

Full Name - Fiona Blake

Place of Birth - Derby

Places you've lived - Derby, Bristol, Reading, Newbury

Where do you live now? Newbury, Berkshire

Date of Birth - 27 September 1973 - YES YES YES I am soon to be the big 40!

Special Talent - I can play a lot of tunes on the recorder by request. I used to have lessons when I was 10 but I discovered my talent when my little boy started playing at school. I grabbed it off him and picked up where I left off 30 years ago!

Party trick - I think I can put my legs behind my head. It's been a couple of years since a party warranted such a trick from me. The next party I go to I shall endeavour to try this I promise!

Favourite TV Series - Breaking Bad

Favourite drink - Champagne

Family - Married to Mr Avenue 57 (James) for 13 years, I have 2 boys (Alex is 9 and Oliver is 6) and I have a twin brother who lives in Australia, older brother who lives in Bristol and older sister who lives in LA. My parents live in Dorset.

Some of my favourite photos of my family ...

Sometimes it's not always about the clothes, it's about the person behind the blog!

If you want to do the same I would love to be nosy and read!


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Tan Knee High Boots

I love tan boots, very much indeed! I own 2 pairs and wear them a lot. So much so that I think they are going to fall apart very soon .. and then I will be sad. I am missing some tan suede ankle boots from my life ... watch this space for an update on those in the forthcoming weeks.

I have worn them a few times over the past years

Here is my choice of tan knee high boots for when the 2 pairs above completely fall apart!

Left - Clarks Mara Vale GTX - £130
Right - Clarks Licorice Pop - £140

Left - Daniel Tan Idal - £159
Right - Daniel Tan Mica Boot £84.99

Left - Moda in Pelle VonnieTan - £129.95
Right - Moda in Pelle Vixon Tan - £169.95

My favourite ones that I think I'm going to order are the Daniel Tan Mica Boot and at £85 that's a bargain!

Do you own tan boots? Do you need some in your life?


Monday, 16 September 2013

Meeting Online Friends for REAL!

Yesterday was a fab day. I met some real Avenue 57 ladies in the flesh! This is my 3rd meeting of a group of 'strangers' in the past 10 years. Some people My husband thinks it's weird to meet strangers but I don't consider them that. I first met a bunch of 'online friends' 10 years ago. We spent a few years getting to know each other because we were all pregnant at the same time in 2004. We called ourselves the July Mums 04. We met in 2005 and I really enjoyed it - we are all still in touch and talk regularly via a group on Facebook.

This year I met a bunch of fashion bloggers that I'd been speaking to (again online) and we had an AMAZING day and night getting to know each other in person. I've since met some again and we are planning a big weekend in London already next year!

Yesterday I met some great ladies. They post online via Avenue 57 and we finally plucked up the courage to meet in Birmingham. Everyone was nervous beforehand but there really was no need - we all clicked, chatted, moved around the table to speak to everyone and it was absolutely fantastic to put real names and faces together. I have to say that we were THE MOST STYLISH table at the Jamie Oliver restaurant!

Here's what I wore
Necklace - Wallis (old) (but they do have some amazing necklaces online and in the sale)
Jumper - Avenue 57 Pop Up Shop
Wax coated jeans - Oasis (similar here)
Boots - so old - I mean like 15 years + old!

Here's what they wore

Here's us all at lunch (I love it that Jane from My Midlife Fashion has the menu up to protect her anonymity!)

Here's my surprise dessert which was so sweet of Helen to organise. Who knew a nearly 40 yr old could blush quite as much as I did. It's WEIRD blushing as a grown up and not knowing what to do about it!

The ladies were SUPER kind and bought my lunch as a birthday gift to me. I am very much looking forward to the next meet up which will involve an overnight stay, lots of alcohol and shopping!

Thank you ladies for making me feel VERY VERY special and I love it that I have made some new real friends :-)

Have you met 'strangers' in real life after striking up a friendship online? Also, when was the last time you blushed?!!


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

What to wear - LA

In a few weeks time I am 40, I know can you believe it?! I have wanted to turn 40 for so long. I know some women cry at the thought of getting older but I have always embraced it. There is nothing I can do about getting old so why worry and fret? Just enjoy the ride! I know I am getting old because my face/hair/skin tells me so but in my head I am still 25.

I am a very lucky girl because my kind parents have bought me a ticket to see my sister, who only happens to live in LA! I have seen her so many times pre-children but it's been a while since I last went. I did visit her 3 years ago but she lived in Texas then - IT IS TOTALLY NOT THE SAME!

So, in October, I'm off on my own (au revoir kids and husband) for 10 days of Californian sunshine. I am already thinking 'what to pack'? The absolute beauty of posting on Avenue 57 every day is I have a 365 daily clothes diary to look back on and to select the outfits I think I am going to pack/take.  Here is my selection of what I would like to take. I need to leave space for the clothes shopping that I hope to do (she lives 15 mins from a super large outlet mall) and I can't resist a bit of Old Navy/Target when I'm there for a bargain.

To travel in I want to be smartish (better chance of an upgrade as my friend works for BA and I've everything crossed she can pull this out of the bag for me!) plus I want to be comfortable (flat shoes a MUST for walking around Heathrow). I will also put into my bag a jumper because I get cold on board and 10 hrs is a long flight.

For all other days I'm going to pack this lot as I can mix and match according to the weather and what we are doing each day.

LA is very casual where my sister lives but I would like to make a bit of an effort hence the jeans/boots/flip flops/dresses. I can bet that this isn't all I pack either - I am TOTALLY USELESS at packing and if there is space I always put things in last minute. She's also not a party girl so it will be drinks at other peoples houses instead of bars etc

I need to remember also that I will be shopping so I must leave room for that!

Are you good at planning and packing or do you just shove it all in like me and hope for the best on the other end?


Monday, 9 September 2013

100 Day Style Challenge Completed

Back at the end of May I decided to give myself a challenge. Could I wear what I owned for 100 days without repeating an outfit? I also (stupidly) tried a 100 day spending ban - EPIC FAIL after just 28 days!

So, was it easy to look in my wardrobe and wear something different every day? Yes it was. Incredibly so. The main reason being I own a lot of clothes. Second reason, the UK weather is so mixed up that summer clothes are only worn very rarely and it's more Spring/Autumn that comes into play a lot in June/July/August.

On to some of my favourite outfits in no particular order

What this really highlights is ... I have not one signature style! I do wear lots of different things depending on what I am doing and what the weather is doing more importantly!

Lots of other women post what they where every day - have you uploaded your look to Avenue 57 yet?

How long could you go, day to day, without repeating what you wear?


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Knee High Boots For Skinny Calves

I have ALWAYS struggled with getting knee high boots to fit my sparrow legs. It drives me NUTS that I cannot just walk into a high street store and pick up a pair of boots. 3 years ago a friend told me about a company that specialise in made to measure (for the calf) boots. I have 3 pairs of boots from Duo because they are:

1 Amazing quality (boots that last for YEARS not just one year)
2 Tailor made TO FIT YOUR CALF, whether it be big or small
3 Great for customer service
4 Free UK delivery

Bassey £180        Belice £210        Bach £230
Flore £195        Amora £270        Beaumont £170
Santana £160        Purdy £185        Knight £175

I know Clarks have great boots and cheaper than DUO but (for me) they don't ever fit me :-(

How do you find shopping for winter knee high boots? Do you have quirky calves that are tricky to find a good fitting boot?


Friday, 6 September 2013

River Island lushness

Seriously, it does not get better than this on the high street right now.  There are so many nice things in River Island I'm wondering if they've had a head of purchasing change because so much of it is so good.

Here are my favourite look (I'm going to buy the dress and hat!)
(I have not been paid or gifted any items. The love you see between myself and River Island is real!)

Outfit TOTAL £180

Winter Coats


Killer Heels
Total Spend = £603. If you add in another £500 that would be what I would like to spend in River Island TODAY!

What do you love?


Thursday, 5 September 2013

School Run Style

After 9 weeks of summer holidays my two boys went back to school.

I love my children, but I do love it when they are at school, *my* life gets back to normal and I can slip back into a routine WITHOUT interruption!

I worked out last night what I was going to wear so it was really easy to get ready this morning. Alarm off at 6am, out of bed at 6.15 and everyone ready to go by 7.30. Except we don't need to leave until 7.50 so I was able to quickly tidy up and straighten the house so when I walked back in at 4pm it was nice and neat.

I felt really nice in my outfit today and yet it's so simple if broken down:
Skirt - Avenue 57 Shop
Necklace - Avenue 57 Shop (sold out)
Vest Top - Target (10 years ago)
Denim Jacket - TK Maxx (similar from River Island)
Shoes - Primark (ancient)

My two little boys make an appearance dressed nice and smart for their first day back.

Other women have been wearing other gorgeous outfits as we all get back into the routine of term time.

What did you wear on your first school run?