Wednesday 16 October 2013

Packing for a trip to LA

YAWN .... if I'm NEVER bored of me turning 40 then you really must be! I can't actually promise that this is the last I speak of it because the truth is I am going to celebrate on EVERY occasion that comes my way until I turn 41!

On Friday I fly to LA. Logistics have deemed it impossible for the husband to take me to the airport. I do not want to valet park because the drive home is hell on earth and I want to be picked up and driven home (by family) so I will start my journey via a taxi/train/bus and then plane.

I already know I will not sleep Thursday night - I never do before a flight and the fact the taxi is arriving at 7.20am means I DOUBLY won't sleep at all (fear of over sleeping means I will be awake all night!).

Here's a rambling thought process and photos of outfits. I won't blog again for a few weeks so this is it - the last for while (don't sigh a sigh of relief .. that's not kind!).

Packing and weight limits on British Airways
When did BA say you could only take 23kg on as standard baggage??? That's just 3kg heavier than the cheap airlines.  NOT HAPPY. I am lucky that I don't have to take any toiletries as my sister has all that covered but even still I am struggling with keeping it under control.

Note to self: REMEMBER REMEMBER REMEMBER YOU WILL SHOP OUT THERE ............... but also remember you have to bring it home too!

Blagging a free upgrade on BA
I have a friend who is senior crew on British Airways. She has done all that she can to get me a free upgrade but at the end of the day I cannot compete with the £12k+ (if return ticket were booked today!) price tag a first class ticket will cost you.  So here are my top tips to blagging an upgrade:

1: Arrive on time. When they say 3 hrs before check in for a long haul flight they mean it
2: Dress smartly - this is the BIGGEST part of my dressing dilemma (what with the having to pack lightly I couldn't JUST have a SINGLE OUTFIT just for travelling
3: Smile - seriously! If you approach the check in desk and smile then it's going to be better than the miserable stressed person who's behind you.
4: If all else fails, just ask for what you want - this is what I'll be doing 9am on Friday morning!

Travelling in:
Wax coated skinny jeans - Oasis
Black round neck jumper - Sainsbury's
Big Bertha - Avenue 57 Pop Up Shop
Black Blazer - Long Tall Sally
Animal Print shoes - TK Maxx

Things were are doing - not sure what I'm wearing for what:

  • Shopping - outlet mall
  • Shopping - normal mall
  • Shopping - any other store I want to find and shop in
  • Wine Tour
  • Welcome party for me hosted by my sister
  • A friends daughters 7th birthday party
  • Soccer match
  • Pedicure
  • Bike ride
  • Walking/exercise

It's 80 degrees out there right now but we're not sun lovers and the air con is fierce in home/car/mall/restaurant so I'm packing layers and my faithful denim jacket for good measure.

I'm also super giddy to be flying on the new Airbus A380 (our family have a LONG history in aviation and so things like this get me very excited #nerd)

See you on the other side folks and enjoy the next few weeks, I know I will!


Monday 14 October 2013

A good poncho

I love a good poncho don't you? They cover things on days when things need to be hidden and if you buy a good one then it will last you for years.

I own 3 ponchos and I love them all but my absolute favourite one is this chunky polo neck one from TK Maxx (years ago sorry!)

Boots - Tesco - £22 (these are AMAZING!)

1) Tesco - £16

2) TK Maxx - £19.99

3) Matalan - £22

4) Wallis - £28

5) Debenhams - £28

6) Wallis - £30

7) Marks and Spencer - £99

8) Jigsaw - £119

If money were no object I'd be adding the jigsaw one (8) into my wardrobe

Do you own a poncho? Where did you buy yours and when?


Wednesday 9 October 2013

How much do you spend each month on clothes?

I don't think I spend a lot of money on clothes. I know I don't spend a lot on individual items. I want to document what I buy each month and so I've created a new page on this blog and it's on the top menu bar. It's called What I've Bought .. and I shall update it each month with what I've bought, where I bought it and how much it cost. I will either be surprised at how little I spend or how much more I'm buying than I thought.

What I also need to do is be honest with how much I steal out of the shop! I think at the moment it's a couple of items a week. Could you have a clothes shop at home and NOT take anything from it? No, me either!

Here we go - October so far and the total is at £19.99

Here I am in that shirt of £19.99

And here I am today in my comfort zone

How much have you spent this month so far? 


Tuesday 8 October 2013

Online personal stylist for men - The Chapar

Bare with me here ... I know this is a blog about my style and what I wear, but you know what? I am married to a man that doesn't like shopping but does have to wear clothes! Sound familar? I have so many male friends (not as bad as it sounds), husbands of friends etc that are either:
  1. too busy to shop
  2. stuck in a style rut
  3. want to bother but can't be bothered
  4. do not have a wife/girlfriend who buy their clothes for them (my husband is in this last category)
So TA DA .. a new service just for men who fit in one of the above.

Chapar is a new clothes delivery service for men based upon their personal style. Words from their about us page says "The Chapar concept originated from a father and son who believed that the way men buy clothes is fundamentally flawed. Frankly, men don’t like to shop. They don’t like shopping on the high street and they don’t like shopping online"

I registered for my husband who was 'too busy' to do it. It took me less than 5 minutes to register and tick boxes for his 'style' - they did encourage a stylist to call me back to discuss further but even I was too busy for this. Upon registration you do have to pay £1 (which is refundable against any purchase/the return of the trunk). This makes sense to safeguard the clothes they are sending and to verify the address details/card holder etc.

You have to understand a few things before we launch into the photos - MY HUSBAND IS NOT A MODEL. HE HAS NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE. HE WAS NOT 100% COMFORTABLE ABOUT DOING IT (but as they kindly offered him an item of clothing for free he was encouraged (by me) to suck it up and just get on with it.  Thank you James for being such a good sport! 

Packaging - gorgeous, everything was wrapped beautifully in tissue paper with string around the 'outfits' - seriously, men, you do not need to think - just wear!

I'm going straight on in with the photos - here we go?

And he says I'm the clown who fools around always .. the camera never lies!

FREE POLO SHIRT!  **Avenue 57 Promotion**

When you register, enter avenue57 into the box when prompted. The promotion is for any person who registers and orders a trunk. From the trunk you do have to make a purchase but it can be something as simple as a pair of socks! Any person who uses this code will receive a free Sunspel Polo in their first trunk.

What did he say about the service/experience: "I was sceptical at first I have to say. Fiona encouraged me to try it out and I can see how it works now. I thought the way they arranged the outfits together in neat bundles was good. They also made sure that I was able to mix a shirt with a pair of trousers/jeans and change it all around for more outfits. I don't like shopping, I hate trying things on in the shops and so this was really good for me. The free delivery and free returns from venue of my choice (work or home) made it even easier"

What did my husband keep? This rather gorgeous jacket that came to Barcelona with us and was worn when we went out for lunch this weekend.

Do you know a man who would benefit from a service like this? Be sure to send them to The Chapar, I cannot rate highly enough the simplicity of the service.


Sunday 6 October 2013

My 40th Birthday Lunch - The Pig

Well all good things must come to an end and so a lunch with my family concludes my 40th birthday celebrations....... for the UK that is. I still have a 10 day stint in LA with my sister in 2 weeks time!

Six months ago talk started about where I would like to spend my birthday lunch. I spent my 30th at the Chewton Glen and so I wanted this one to be as special with memories that would last a decade also. I knew straight away it was going to be The Pig at Brockenhurst, I had heard so many good things and with a 3 month waiting list for a table/room I knew this was the place for our lunch!

The drive over, through the New Forest,  is gorgeous and when you turn into the driveway for the hotel your magical adventure begins - it is STUNNING.

Here is what I wore
Coated Skimmy Jeans - Oasis
Shirt - H&M
Necklace - Avenue 57
Shoes - TK Maxx

 My wonderful mother and I, my brother and my two boys causing hell on the oversized swing in the garden and me taking a breather in the loo after lots of white wine, red wine and champagne!

The restaurant (check out the tacky balloons my mother brought with her!) and my cheeky little one who had found a conker whilst in the grounds.

This speaks for itself - it was ALL amazing. The first pic is what I ate for main - pigs cheek with the teeth still in situ - I won't gross you out with a close up but let me tell you this ... it was DIVINE.

My best friend in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD who made a surprise entrance.  Last but by no means least - my husband!

It was one of the best days of my life. Family and friends surrounding me whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the last of the 40th celebrations (UK). Now onto to LA, bring it on!


Tuesday 1 October 2013

My 40th Birthday in Barcelona

On Wednesday morning at 7am last week my husband shouted up to me from downstairs "Fiona, can you come down here please, I need your help". Duly I went downstairs to the kitchen to be greeted with a loud blasting of BARCELONA by Queen! My husband told me to get ready, pack a bag and be ready to leave at 3pm because we were off to Barcelona that very afternoon - SQUEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My parents very kindly came up to look after the boys/take them to school etc and I quickly packed!

Barcelona in one word - AMAZING!

We ate, we drank, we walked - repeat this for every one of the 3 full days we were there and take out the walking for the one night we arrived. We found a bar, had a drink and bite to eat. Moved on to a cocktail bar and stayed until 3am - who knew we could do that still, at our age, on our own, 15 years into our relationship!

It's best summed up in pictures I think! Starting with what I wore:

Travelling and site seeing

My birthday lunch

My birthday evening

Site seeing

 Shopping - EWWWWW check out the beetle necklace!

We did do some cultural stuff!

Some of what we ate and drank

And here's the great man himself - we fell in love all over again and we are looking forward to doing this annually from now on. I need a year for my liver to recover!

My favourite photo of us both

Have you been to Barcelona? Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did