Monday, 29 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas, day 12 - one to keep the cold at bay!

Given the cold and frosty weather of late, I thought it fitting to finish my 12 outfits of Christmas feature with something warm and toasty - and a ridiculous grin too but then again it was spectacularly cold!

In a post many moons ago, I referred to Cameron Diaz's outfits in "The Holiday" a film which we watched (again) on Christmas Eve. For one who was supposedly unfamiliar with UK winters, she cracked the casual/cashmere/stylish/ look with aplomb. I noticed her beautiful cable knit jumper when watching the film on Christmas Eve and then, on Christmas morning, I opened a present from Mr SG which contained this great cable knit hat - the starting point for my skiing wardrobe which is going to be a whole new area - quite possibly a disaster one at that, although I have good friends to advise me on the way. Left to my own devices I would quite happily wear a 1970's style all in one with a zip up the front but apparently that's not the done thing these days.

So on to the outfit, this is what was going on underneath, let's count the layers:
M&S vest,
M&S long sleeved top,
Warehouse lace top,
Boden Barcelona cardigan - I'm hoping that the navy one will be reduced even further in the sale soon,
2 pairs of socks - one Pringle and the outer ones are from White Company,
Whistles grey furry gloves (no longer on the site so I can't link - sorry)
North Face hat (it would be wrong to link to this given it was a pressie!)

And this is just what I wear inside! To anyone with snow, I hope that you're having a huge amount of fun in it - wish we had some. x

Sunday, 28 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas, day 11 - The printed dress and flat shoes

A pair of comfortable and smart(ish) flats are a weapon in your arsenal of essential wardrobe items. Getting the right pair can be tricky as flats aren't always the most flattering of styles. For those blessed with slim ankles they can look just fine but for those with cankles or heavier calves - which probably accounts for about 90% of us - they can be more of a challenge. A small block heel is quite often the best fix but a pointed toe or a kitten heel can work wonders in balancing proportions or adding just a weeny bit of height. Toning them in with the colour of your tights elongates your legs and a shorter hem length can have the same effect, hopefully avoiding that Miss Marple look.

I wore this Warehouse dress yesterday when we largely spent the day at home. I bought the dress last winter and it's great because although it's a neat fit over the shoulders, it's fairly straight up and down so it's an easy style to wear. No clinging, no tight waistbands - perfect for this time of year plus the print keeps the eye on the move so whatever lumps and bumps may lie beneath, no one would ever know.

For a similar style, the Boden printed Beaufort dress is a very nice little number. A friend of mine has one and it looks fantastic, it's a real winner and definitely worth a shot in the sale. It's £69.30 and there's a blue print which is also in the sale, for £49.50.

I'll be back tomorrow with my last outfit of my 12 outfits for Christmas. They have been a little sporadic and I've not always managed to include a gift but I hope that you have enjoyed them. x

Saturday, 27 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas, day 10 - Boxing Day, the Christmas jumper and a pink Boden coat....

With ten of us for Boxing Day yesterday, I thought that it would be a great idea to encourage everyone to wear their Christmas jumpers. Oh and how the family loved me, joining in with great enthusiasm.

I was given this fantastic Christmas Tree jumper (Topshop) by a friend as a Christmas present a few weeks ago now but I wanted to save it for a truly festive occasion, which presented itself perfectly on Boxing Day. Although it's now out of stock (that girl has great taste!) I've linked to it for anyone who may want the details for future reference.

For our walk after lunch, I wore the Claudia coat from Boden in jelly bean (it also comes in grey and navy), which I bought in the sale.  I love a pink coat and the one that I have from Benetton is many years old now so it's looking a little worn and it's a little on the large side so I always feel a bit scruffy when I wear it. This is a lovely coat and when Mr SG saw it he commented how he liked it and how I should keep it. Not one to argue with the fashion guru, I obediently hung it up in the wardrobe. Actually I hung it up in his wardrobe to be precise. Mine is a little full. A bit like me after Christmas really....

Thursday, 25 December 2014

The 12 days of Christmas, day 9 - Christmas Day!

Happy Christmas to everyone! Hope that you have had a fantastic day. I thought that I would do a quick outfit post today as deciding what to wear on Christmas Day can be a tricky one I think. On the one hand there's a feeling of wanting to look slightly more dressed up than usual but on the other hand, tottering around at home whilst dressed up to the nines just doesn't feel right.

I think that I finally decided what to wear today just before I went to sleep last night. Clearly I was pondering the important issues on Christmas Eve!

So here I'm wearing a sequin heart sweater from Whistles (£70 down from £125) which I bought in the sale last week. I'm also wearing some luxe joggers from Topshop (these are similar and are in the sale for £20). Don't tell anyone but I have some Uniqlo thermals layered underneath them. I'm also wearing a grey shimmer crew t-shirt from GAP (£11.99) and silver Zara shoes which are just on the right side of high.

I have to admit that the shoes have now been swapped for woolly grey socks with silver spots on them and the luxe joggers for my comfortable fleecy ones. But I haven't been separated from my sparkles!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas, day 8 - An easy to wear day dress (with sleeves and which doesn't flash your pants) from &Other Stories

Yesterday we went to see my Mum for a Christmas visit. In a very generous and giving type fashion I took our recycling to put in her (relatively empty, or it was) bin, pinched a "Snowman" kitchen roll and loo roll, scoffed her choccies and mince pies and left. I know, such Christmas spirit!

 I wore this & Other Stories pleated dress now £33, which I bought when we were down in London a couple of weeks ago now. It's a man made fabric but it's quite silky and also fairly thick which is good for me. With its three quarter sleeves, just above knee length and nipped in waist, it's an easy to wear day dress.

And as for a couple of other outfits - this is my favourite New Look "Love" jumper, with just a white shirt layered underneath to break it up a little.

And this is a chunky Jaeger scarf that I've had for a couple of years now, with an M&S coat that I bought new this winter. A great cover up for when whatever lies beneath needs a little work!

 As for the present of the day. How about something in one of these boxes???!!

Wishing you all a really, really, happy, stylish (but comfortable) Christmas. Thank you so much for reading. Oh and speaking of which, I have gained myself a new reader. Mr SG has now subscribed to the blog. To be honest, I didn't think that he would ever be techy enough to manage it but he has so, from now on (if it's all right with all of you) everything is at least 5 years old and if I did buy it new, it was no more than £40. OK? xx

Monday, 22 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas, day 7 - a pretty much go anywhere look...

So when I agreed to a party for 35, fifteen and sixteen year olds tonight, I didn't realise that not only would my phone be confiscated as it was needed to play music through but also that there would be so many people trying to use the wifi that the internet would crash. The rest of the family and I have been confined to our bedroom whilst the house shakes around us.

I'm hoping that I can load several more outfits as this post was going to be about outfits that I have worn casually recently. Nothing particularly special, just a few different outfits which may offer some ideas. I'm not sure that it's going to work though....the internet is still not happy (and nor, it has to be said, is Mr SG who is complaining, at 19.36 I have to add, that he has to go to work tomorrow, that everything will be broken, that there will be lots of clearing up to do and that no more parties will be allowed. Party flippin pooper.)

Now you've all seen this Whistles dress many times over but it's a favourite of mine and here I'm ringing the changes slightly (I know, how many ways can you wear one dress but I need to get the cost per wear down) with red Kurt Geiger shoes and a coral H&M necklace.

Sadly the rest of the photos won't load - in fact I don't know whether this post will even publish but I'll have a go and bring you the other photos once calm has been restored.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas, day 6 - One from Zara and & Other Stories for the rounds of Christmas jobs and chores.

"Are those jeans new?" Mr SG asked me a couple of days ago. To which I replied "Yes."
"What you bought them with those holes in? Please tell me you're joking."
"Yes I did and no, I'm not." The poor man was at a loss for words - incredulous and utterly confused by the whole thing but I think that it's fair to say that, on occasion, I suffer at the hands of his sense of humour so I didn't feel too bad.

As we all know, a new pair of jeans can work wonders at breathing life into your wardrobe. I saw these jeans in a magazine a couple of weeks ago so went to try them out in Zara (£29.99) earlier this week. They're a low rise but not ridiculously low and they're actually very comfortable plus I liked the frayed hem. I haven't bought any trousers or jeans from Zara for a few years now, since a pair I bought ripped right where you wouldn't want them to but I thought that they deserved another chance.

With this new blouse from & Other Stories (£45) which I bought in London last week, I was sorted for a day of Christmas jobs. As an aside, the fit of this blouse is lovely - not too tight and I also managed to get a long sleeved cotton T underneath as an extra layer.

More of a decoration than a gift, I'm currently loving Eric, our stag head from Cox & Cox (£25). He's probably the most decorated (and camp looking) stag that there is, adorned as he is with Monsoon Christmas glasses and decorations from Selfridges and John Lewis. When you have to relinquish control of the the tree to the children, you need a little bit of something to call your own - and on reflection, if this is what I do to Eric, it's probably just as well that I'm not in charge of the tree.

Friday, 19 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas, day 5 - sparkly sweatshirt dress

[Outfit: La Redoute dress, Damart gilet, Jigsaw shoes, Whistles bag]

I love this dress because you can eat shed loads without worrying whether anyone is going to ask when the baby is due. And it's sparkly! Also I can layer a long sleeved top underneath it which adds warmth....

...and I can put a fur gilet over the top which makes it even toastier, which can be great on these chilly nights.

A relaxed shape such as this sweatshirt style dress but with some sparkles or a print is a good way of being slightly glam but in a comfortable way. Looser shift style dresses and dropped waist dresses are also a great way of achieving this. What they lack in a fitted shape you can make up for by adding in some heels.

See you tomorrow! x

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas, outfit 4 - one for travelling in....

I've got to be quick tonight because Mr SG and I are off to the cinema. We're going to see "Gone Girl" which I've read and which I thought was great but I'm slightly concerned because it's an 18 and I don't do 18's. The write up says something about strong language and bloody scenes and I don't do either of those. I can just about manage a 15 on a good day, otherwise I'm a U, a PG or a 12A all the way.

Right, having rambled on about that, I've now left myself 10 minutes for the rest of the post. So, here goes.....I wore this outfit when Mr SG and I went away for the weekend. It was great for travelling in as there was plenty of room in the skirt. Layered underneath it was a grey jumper (always bearing warmth in mind) and a Whistles jacket from last year which is really soft. I love the colours in this ChloBo necklace that was gifted to me by Marianna Boutique in the summer and it seemed a shame to keep it hidden away until the sun shone again, so it came along with me. Whilst chatting over a drink, Mr SG asked me whether my skirt was leather. "No" I replied, it's not, it's sort of fake leather. "Oh just like the Mercedes leather he replied. Not quite real leather." "Exactly". I replied,  "Just like Mercedes non real leather." Eh?

Now I've left myself two mins to chat about a gift. Well, you know me. Bracelets, friendship bracelets - I love the lot. Pile them high, layer them with a watch or up to your elbow and they're a great way of finishing an outfit. I love this one from Topshop which costs £5. They come in a huge array of colours - the one I am currently wearing is navy with a pink dangly bit - rather like the bracelet version of my necklace above really.

Right, really must dash. We're about to go and I'm still here in my tracksuit bottoms - the less than glamourous 5th outfit of Christmas perhaps!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas, day 3 - from day to evening....

This is one of those outfits that can take you from the day to the evening quite easily. During the day, it's a simple outfit of a pale grey cashmere jumper and dark grey skinny trousers. For the evening I added a silver/grey jacket, a grey statement necklace, boots with a bit of sparkle on the back and a clutch bag. I wore this to the ballet and whilst heels would have made it slightly dressier, there was a risk that I was going to have to carry our 6 year old from the theatre to the car, which would have been a disaster in heels.

One way to take your outfit into the evening is to add a darker lipstick. For today's gift I'm showing you the Bobbi Brown art stick in electric pink (£19.50). I bought one of these a couple of weeks ago and for me it's a real winner. It comes in eight shades and being like a big, fat crayon, it's easy to apply. It's also easy to increase the depth of colour by layering it up. Equally, I use it in the day time but I apply a layer of gloss first as that makes it slightly lighter, more sheer and less heavy than otherwise.

Anyone hit the sales yet? They're everywhere with some more biggies starting soon, so keep your eyes open!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas day 2 - Girls' night out

[Outfit: H&M skirt, Whistles jumper, Liberty bag, LK Bennett shoes, Whistles cuff]

So today's outfit is one that I wore a couple of weeks ago now. It's just as well that I had one or two outfits up my sleeve as I twisted my ankle last night whilst running and I'm a heel free zone for now!

For anyone interested, these were my thoughts when putting this outfit together, although before we get there I think that it's worth noting that I'm generally happiest in about 55 layers, flat shoes or trainers and trousers - but I accept that's not a good look all the time. Even when I up my game during the daytime I still need warm tights and not too high shoes so for a night out it's good for me to see what else I can get away with. 

So back to my thoughts, this was the process which meant that I ended up where I did: Yep, heels are good as I won't be walking too far. As I'll be inside all evening it will be fairly warm which means I can go without tights, which also means that I can wear open toed shoes but if I lose any more clothes I'll a) be cold b) most probably asked to leave so I'll wear a lightweight knit. Equally if I wear anything short with the no tights/open toed shoes I'll look like a bit slutty/muttony so I'll wear a midi length skirt, which, being fairly demure, means that I can get away with a slightly less demure shoe. 

So that's how it came to be that the H&M skirt and the LK Bennett shoes got an outing. I had bought the cropped sparkly turtleneck from Whistles (£75 although I bought it with a 30% discount) a few days before as I've got a few things that needed a shorter knit to go with them.

Moving on to today's gift, I've looked over this Cath Kidston  purse trio (£20) on more than one occasion and I think that it/they are lovely. They're brighter in real life and just so handy to have. They're big enough to use as a bag (well that is unless you're still in that nappy stage) rather than just a purse. I have several that I take on holiday in the summer and they're nice to have when going down to dinner, or just by the pool when not too much is required. Failing that, they're easy to find at the bottom of a dark handbag!

Warehouse has this flat wrist clutch (£8) which is in a beautiful colour - great against black, grey or navy and good for those people who (if any of them do exist) perhaps don't like sparkle - perish the thought.  

Hope that everyone's Christmas preparations are going to plan. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Monday, 15 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Day 1, casual glamour (Clamour)

[Outfit: Seven boot lane boots, Cos jeans, Jaeger boutique jumper, Miss Selfridge scarf]

So today I've decided to start my 12 outfits of Christmas feature. It's the third year that I've done this now (I think) but I'm sure that by day 4 I will have run out of ideas and I will be asking you all to contribute - which of course you are all more than welcome to do anyway. Maybe my Mum will even let me have a photo of herself in her New Look Christmas jumper. She's just had her hair permed so I'm sure that she's feeling on top of the world right now. 

My aim is to include outfits for lots of different occasions so whilst the outfits may not all be "live"  hopefully they may give some ideas - whether they be ideas of what to wear or what NOT to wear. As with last year, I'm hoping to include a gift idea each day too. I won't lie, they will be girlie all the way! 

OK so clearly I'm not up to anything overly glamourous today but even on those days when you're doing lots of jobs and ferrying children around for their MOTs (dentists/opticians etc) there's no reason not to include a little something special. So I've come up with the term (or maybe I haven't at all but I've not heard it anywhere before) of Clamour - casual glamour - which is really your scruffs but with a bit of bling, fur, sparkle or whatever takes your fancy.

I've added this fur scarf from Miss Selfridge (reduced from £25 to £12.50) to my outfit, which I'm also using as my gift idea for the day. They come in several colours - pale pink, mint green, black and mine is the grey one. I'd been after a fur scarf for a while but all the ones that I had come across were pretty pricey. Then I saw this one and thought "that will do nicely thank you very much" and I haven't taken it off since. Although it isn't furry on the back, it has a nice satin lining so it still looks nice and it's also slightly gathered at the bottom which makes it sit well. I reckon that receiving something like this on Christmas morning could make that enforced after lunch walk a whole more appealing, especially when all you really want to do is to sit on your bum watching telly and eating chocolate. 

So anyway, onwards and upwards. Here's looking forward to Day 2.....

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Meet my latest accessory, which also serve the purpose of the being able to see variety....

[Outfit: Whistles trousers, All Saints jumper, Adidas trainers, Cocinelle cuff, shirt from boutique]

I know that you wouldn't think it just by looking at it but this outfit actually took a while to pull together. First, I had to iron my shirt (not a pleasant activity for a Sunday morning).  Secondly, I had to stitch the cuff of my jumper which had come undone and if that wasn't enough....well it was actually so after that it was just a case of getting dressed. But the thing was that today I went to pick up my new (and first pair of) glasses so I wanted everything to be plain and safe. And you can't really get much plainer or safer than navy trousers, navy jumper, white shirt and white trainers can you?

My prescription isn't strong but I think that for the cinema and also for night time, or early morning, texting my glasses will make a difference. Mr SG is slightly freaked out about them. He thinks that it's rather like having a new wife. Interesting. I'm just wondering whether this new wife might possibly be in need of a whole new wardrobe???

ps sorry about the blog looking different. In getting my computer fixed, the settings have been mucked about with and I'm not sure how to re-set them. Everything is so tiny. Great timing on the glasses front really!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Camo, leather, fur, patent and embellishment - sounds a lot for one outfit!

[Oufit: Topshop skirt and jumper, Oasis leather jacket, Damart gilet, Dune shoes and no, I've no idea what I'm doing in this photo either!]
Oh crikey so much to say, so little time to say it, so I'm not going to regale you with tales of how I really want a t-shirt with the slogan on "I'm just trying to get the house tidy for Christmas" which I can point to each time one of the children leaves a wet towel on the floor, or school books in our bedroom, or shoes piled in places that shoes shouldn't be piled - all of which happens frequently. 
Nor am I going to tell you about how I'm trying to be a Domestic Goddess, using every spare second to bake cakes, make stews or whizz up desserts, all of which I can freeze before Christmas so that a beautiful meal can be produced with minimal effort. Sadly I'm lacking some of the assets of the real Domestic Goddess (namely huge boobs, big red lips and a silky negligee) but you know, a onesie will do.
That aside, yesterday I resurrected one of my favourite skirts from last winter. I bought it in Topshop in Belfast, along with the grey embellished jumper, whilst I was over there speaking at a lunch last year. I have such fond memories of that trip - everyone was so friendly.
To keep out the chill I've layered it with my old (and on its last legs) cream Oasis leather jacket and a fur gilet from Damart (£39) which they kindly sent to me to review. Having worn a few fur gilets I have to say that this is a lovely one. It's not too bulky which is great as the idea of fur can be good but the reality can be a little honey monster at times. It also has hidden hook and eye fastenings plus as it's collarless it has a nice simple line about it. I really like layering fur gilets over a leather jacket for a layered look - plus the added warmth of course. This one is a good price too so if you've not ventured down that particular road before but are considering doing so, this is a great place to start.
Must dash - time to go and order myself a silk negligee so that I can come down and eat the Christmas leftovers from the fridge in the middle of the night in true Nigella style.

Monday, 8 December 2014

When all else fails with ideas for a post, just take a photo and write! (Wearing Zara, Whistles, &Other Stories)

[Outfit: Whistles jeans, Zara boots, & Other Stories jumper, Oasis necklace]

Each day after an outfit photo has been taken, I try and think of an angle to take on it when writing the post. Whether it's something to do with the colour of an outfit, a particular trend, a styling trick, divulging a great find or pairing the old with the new, I usually (hopefully) come up with something.

However today I've come up with a big, fat zilch. My initial reaction was that I needed to get my hair cut (that's already booked) and that I look as if I could do with eating a pie or two - but honestly that's just the angle.

I thought about going down the route of how Style Guile was always meant to be very much feet on the ground fashion, which it is, but that would be copping out. Then I was going to talk about how I'm preparing for my 12 outfits of Christmas posts, which gives me leeway to look like a scruffy bum before the sparkles start. That's not so much of an excuse but it's not really a good enough angle. And then I was going to write about how I was just flipping freezing and that I wanted to be warm, which is true but then again it always is, so that's hardly new. Then I was going to link to my lovely necklace (a bargain at £6 from Oasis) but it's no longer online so that angle failed too. So in the end I decided to write about how all my angles for writing a post had failed and in doing so I seem to have written a post. Hope that's OK with you all for tonight!

One thing that I did do though and which I hope may be of some use, was to visit the & Other Stories site, just to see if I could find a similar jumper. In terms of shape (a bit short and a bit boxy) this Wool pearl detail sweater (£79) is pretty similar (although in terms of anything else it's not even remotely similar) and it's also just, well, pretty really. Possibly rather nice for Christmas day I thought.....

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The best jeans in the business, from a lady who knows....

Tonight I'm doing what I see as my civic duty and bringing you a pair of jeans which I have been told, on very good authority by my friend Sal, are fantastic. They are the skinny high rise Levi's  and they are £90.

I've been given clearance by Sal to divulge why they are good because you know none of us likes what we've said to a friend being shared to the world, especially when it involves one's tummy, but as she said "they're great because you can tuck everything in and they hold it all in place."  Sounds good to me.

By way of extra info, but hopefully not too much info, Sal is a very slim size 10 apple shape which as many of you will know means that her tum, in proportion to her long slim legs and narrow hips, can be harder to dress. She looks stunning in jeans  and whilst she's not fussed by the label on her bum (or anywhere else for that matter) for her it's worth spending a little more on jeans to get them just right. Often the rise is too low for her to be comfortable, or the leg length too short. Previously she has worn Seven for all Mankind but after wearing these Levi's, which in turn were recommended by a friend at work, they seemed really uncomfortable. These jeans come in 9 colours and she loved them so much that she's going back for a second pair.

So for anyone who finds buying jeans a nightmare - you know the scenario, you get them to fit around the waist but then they swing around the hips, or when you bend over they show your bum - these could be your saving grace and just in time for Christmas too.

The composition of these jeans is good too - they're 72% cotton, 26% polyester and 2% elastane. Any more elastane and they can become more like leggings than jeans and although traditionally we perhaps turned our noses up slightly at anything containing polyester, I prefer jeans to have some in. They just feel softer and more comfortable to wear.

I love sharing what people love and swear by so if you've come across anything that works well for you, do please let me know at

Saturday, 6 December 2014

A scarf (Accessorize), Spakles (GAP) and Spots (Topshop) - not all together but not far off!


Sorry for the radio silence. I've been whizzing around the country for a couple of days, working other days and we've also had the decorators in so sadly blogging has had to take a back seat. Oh but most exciting of all - how could I forget - today we booked tickets to go and see 1D in concert in October. Already we're hugely excited!  However despite all that's been going on, it doesn't mean that I haven't been thinking about you all and wondering who needs what in the run up to Christmas.

For my trip away I took this shrunken (although to be honest I'm not sure what about it is shrunken, exactly) metallic sweater GAP (£44.95) but which I bought for £30. Last week a friend dropped by and she was wearing a lovely chunky navy jumper and a big scarf and given that the forecast was chilly I decided that it was a great combo for me. Obviously I don't own another chunky jumper, or indeed a navy sparkly one - but you know how it goes.

And I know that I'm extremely late to the blanket scarf party but I was waiting for the right one, which I found in Accessorize. I can't find it online - it must be me, sorry - but the bright colours were right up my street and it is so warm. There are stacks of them about from New Look to River Island, H&M and Topshop and if it's not somewhere that you've gone yet they are a great way of adding some colour and/or giving a new lease of life to a slightly tired coat.

This evening the eldest and I braved the Bullring. Oh crikey me. We had a great time together though and this caught my eye in Topshop (£85). Now, I have a particular friend who loves fur coats - in fact she loves coats of any description - and she loves spots. So I'm just waiting to see if she can resist it.

I'm not sure which shot is a better reflection of its actual colour - but both are pretty lovely. Worryingly I seem to be tempting myself now. So, moving swiftly on.....

This is as Christmassy as I have got yet. These lovely letters arrived today from the wooden letters company which was a great find online. They make a wide variety of different sized letters in varying fonts and finishes. It would be so easy to get carried away on there.

And I thought that I would share with you the new wallpaper on our bedroom wall. To my surprise the whole family loved it. When I said to Mr SG a few weeks ago that I thought we needed to do a bit of updating in the house, he just said "I tell you what, why don't you do what you like and let's see if I notice." I think he noticed.

I think that he's noticed the fish on the walls too. In fact I suspect that they may have been swimming around in front of his eyes last night - but it would be wholly unfair of me to say exactly why that may have been.....

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Livto - the go to jewellery brand for personalised, hand made jewellery at a great price.


When I was styling the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter Lifestyle event, I came across the jewellery brand Livto which I immediately fell in love with.  

Not only do I like their jewellery but the Livto story is lovely too. It's amazing how many businesses start out with best friends from school getting together and making "their own rules" and it was the same with Kate and Gemma, the creators of Livto. Taking simple coins, they stamp words or phrases on them - there's a selection of twelve quotes, or it's possible to choose your own quote of 17 letters for £5 extra (different criteria apply to different items).  I love the fact that the business is made of only a tiny team and that everything is made by hand and individually wrapped by the girls.

I'm wearing the double rose gold necklace (£27.99) together with the tan leather bracelet (£20). Livto also make silver bangles which can be personalised and with Rose gold being so popular at the moment, this Rose gold bracelet (£25) is a real winner and makes a fab Christmas present.

There's a huge trend at the moment for personalised things - from monogrammed luggage, to notebooks with quotes on them, to gifts bearing your children's name or indeed your own name. There's something so special about receiving a personalised gift and the Livto jewellery is brilliantly priced.

In addition to Livto jewellery and the Mint Velvet top and Boden coated jeans that I'm wearing (neither of which seem to be available any more which is a bit rubbish!) I'm wearing  the Carter boots from the Reiss outlet (£95). I whipped them off the feet of my sister in law when she was here. Apparently she was after some Reiss boots and the staff in her local store directed her towards the Reiss outlet (online) which has a great selection of past season pieces at a reduced price - so another little gem to peruse when you have a spare five mins.

Monday, 1 December 2014

A (not too) sparkly outfit for a night out...or for a night in, if you fancy it...


OK so I accept that this is not the closest shot of the outfit that I am wearing but it gives an idea of its silhouette at least. It's a two piece; a high waisted A-line midi skirt and a short top, which looks short enough on the hanger to reveal a little too much mid-riff but in fact it doesn't reveal any (luckily).

A two piece can work really well as an alternative to a dress particularly for those ladies who wear a different top size to skirt size - and a high waisted skirt fits neatly, avoiding the gaping that can come with a skirt which sits lower on the hips. So do give one a try, even if it looks as though the top will finish somewhere up near your arm pits - they are really nice for a change.

I wore this Jacquard top from Miss Selfridge (£24.50),

together with this jacquard skirt from Miss Selfridge (£31.50) and a pair of very high sparkly Dune shoes just because if you can't wear sparkle when its Christmas, when can you? It looked and felt far more expensive than its reasonable price tag. If someone had stuck me in it and said it was from Reiss or Whistles, I wouldn't have argued with them.

I spotted another double trouble outfit in Warehouse today, which isn't online but if you're passing and if you're after a two piece outfit, it's definitely worth a closer look. From memory it was black, sparkly (there's a surprise) again with a skirt - possibly pencil - and a short sleeved top combination.

And I'm including this just because I love it and one might just be on its way to be sometime soon.....a sequin skirt from Miss Selfridge (£38.50). Now we're starting to verge on the ridiculous. Is there such a thing as excessive sequinnage?