Thursday, 30 May 2013

Style slump- update 1

Eurgh, I'm so frustrated with being in a style slump (which I first mentioned here). I know that LOGICALLY I really need some chic basics to wear day to day but instead I went out and purchased these Zara bad boys...

You can buy them here

Yes, they are gorgeous, yes, they're a bargain at only £19.99 but do I need them? Er, that'll be a big fat NO then!

This is why I think the personal shopper may be helpful, I'm always tempted to buy with the heart, not the head; these heels, gorgeous as they are, have no place in my life at the moment.

On  a more productive note, I have booked in with the personal shopper at House of Fraser, I have a package from ASOS with this sensible basic in (that I'll try tonight) and a giant package from J Crew due any day now. It's the first time I've tried J Crew but there is a further 25% off sale goods at the moment which made the price of their basics comparable to most high street stores and from what I can gather, they have a reputation for long-lasting, stylish basics.

Finally, I'm going to sit down later with a coffee and read this blog post here about finding your own style, I've only had a chance to have a quick glance but it defo looks interesting.

Another update coming soon, hopefully focusing on some things I need, not just gorgeous things I want!xxx

Monday, 27 May 2013

It's obvious he's a Pisces...

...just like his mammy! Finn took his first dip in the swimming pool today; we were prepared for him to hollar after about ten minutes but he lasted a full FORTY and didn't even cry when we got him out to get him changed!

The giant inflatables were also out and both Steve and I went sliding off them in a ridiculous manner. Thankfully there is no photographic evidence of this, though the memory of a six foot four giant ginger man flying off a children's inflatable will be etched in my memory forever!


Sunday Summary 2

Yesterday (Sunday), we headed up to Steve's parents to spend a few days away from home. They're still in France so it means we have the run of the whole house! 

To start, we headed to Chillingham Castle, apparently the most haunted castle in England (but no, we didn't witness any paranormal activity)!

It was quite interesting reading a recent post by Janine at A Handful of Peanuts, talking about not taking time to enjoy the moment; I'd bought a special offer on Groupon to get half price entry to the castle but when we arrived, they drew my attention to the small print: the offer wasn't valid on that day. We ended up having to pay full price and my excitement of a bargainous family day out was pooped on from a great height. Annoyed is an understatement! Then I stopped. I saw Steve and Ben running round the castle grounds enjoying the sunshine, I looked down at smiley happy Finlay strapped to my chest, I looked at the stunning sunshine that drenched the picturesque castle grounds we were sat in. I was missing the moment entirely. 

Sometimes you need to make sure these beautiful moments aren't lost to sweating the small stuff, that really, when you look back, never really mattered anyway.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Sunday Summary 1

On Saturday the weather was glorious, it was frustrating that we spent most of the day having to run yawnsome errands rather than making the most of the beautiful sunshine. However, in the evening we were off to the evening wedding party of friends Clara and Jamie, taking place on a gorgeous farm in the Northumberland countryside.

The whole thing was pretty spectacular, the most amazing part (and saying a lot about how much these two are loved) is that nearly everything was given or made for them, from the real ales, to the HUGE vegetarian banquet to the even huger marque that the dancing took place in- all made just for their special day. 

We did have our 'smart' shoes with us, but after we spotted the bride had swapped her sandals for white trainers, we took our cue from her and grabbed our wellies from the car.

Excuse the lack of decent photos, a certain 13 week old baby decided he didn't want to miss a single second and was pretty much wide awake the whole evening!

{Just after the bouquet thrown... and caught by the 87 year old grandma!}

{Ben and the beautiful bride}

{Ben and the boys}

{Fading light}

{The baby that would not sleep}

{Ben and Alex}

Congratulations guys and enjoy the honeymoon (which they are spending in a lighthouse- how romantic!)xxx

Friday, 24 May 2013

Style, shopping and, er, stuff.

Imagine a sad, slightly resigned face; that's my face every morning when I go to put something on. Rewind a year and I was sorted, I had a pretty smart work wardrobe that I liked, plenty of 'going-out' clothes for meals/ drinks/ theatre etc and, when the time came, I managed to buy a load of cheap maternity stuff that, being honest, wasn't the most stylish stuff but as it was only going to be worn short term so I was happy to compromise style for economy for nine months. 

But now...

Now I stand in front of my wardrobe with a sad, slightly resigned face. I seem to have very little 'casual' stuff that I actually feel comfortable in, everything seems to either be too frumpy, too impractical/ young (e.g. skirts too short) or too 'clearly fashion from 18 months ago'. Everything is just a little, well, bleh.

So, I've decided to do something about it. 

I'll keep you posted on progress, it'll be slow as I don't have bags of money, but here's what progress looks like so far:

1. Make an appointment with a personal shopper
I'm going to make an appointment with a personal shopper; I've left my contact details with the one at my local House of Fraser, though by all accounts, Debenhams and John Lewis have good ones too (they don't work on commission and are free). Hopefully the professsionals can offer some inspiration as I'm currently walking round the shops like a zombie, buying things then returning them within a few days as they don't feel like 'me'.

2. Get some role models
I'm going to try identify those who have similar body shapes to me (where I also like their style) and take inspiration from there. I discovered this part of the Vogue website recently and it's a great source of inspiration being able to see how style evolves. I have since developed a bit of a girl crush on Alexa Chung, not that we have a similar shape mind you (I happily have more junk in the trunk, and everywhere else), I just love her style.

3. Use blogs as inspiration
I love browsing at blogs such as Cupcakes and Cashmere for the gorgeous, 'put together' clothes but, realistically, they don't suit my lifestyle or budget. Occassionaly though, I'll be inspired by a blog to purchase something I can afford. Tonight I purchased this simple grey t-shirt based on a review on Buy Now Blog Later. I bought a Cheap Monkey dress from ASOS last year based on one of Laura's reviews and was really pleased with the quality. I think it's useful to find a blogger whose opinion you trust and whose style you admire, and then shamelessly steal be inspired by their ideas.

4. Sort my hair out
As you'll have noticed, I had my hair dip dyed for a couple of years and while I loved it, I was really bored of it. I went into the hairdressers and asked for this type of cut...

And this type of colour...

Well, the result was more blonde than brown (cue photo from night out stolen from Facebook)...

I am defo NOT a blonde! I looked all washed out and ill. I went back and had a brown semi put on but it's already starting to fade which still leaves me with the question, what the hell should I do with my hair???

Anyway, rant over. I'll keep you updated and hopefully I'll find my casual/ chic/ mama mojo again soon!Happy Friday. xxx

Monday, 20 May 2013

Sunday Summary 2

Once a year, Newcastle comes alive at night (or rather, more so than usual)for The Late Shows. The concept is pretty cool: numerous venues that are normally closed to the public or, at least closed at night, open their doors to everyone. Everyone who attends gets a funky glow stick so people wander round the city illuminated, as though we're all part of some secret society.The best bit? It's all pretty much free of charge. 

In the past, I've attended with friends and was usually accompanied by a cheeky bottle of sloe gin in my bag for top-ups when walking round the venues. This year, we had the boys with us and it added a new, more placid vibe to the night. We began with dinner at a local Lebanese restaurant Albaik.

{Falafel is probably one of my fav foods of all time}

{Amusing how in every photo Finn is eye-balling the food}

We managed to fit in a visit to a pottery, a print works and Seven Stories (the national centre for children's books aka heaven for two English teachers) where they had exhibitions on Enid Blyton and 'How to Train a Dragon'.

{In the story telling chair with my boys}

{Ben trying his hand at being a Viking}

{The Gruffalo and his little friend}

{Handsome boy}

{Funky graffiti}

{Runaway horses above a doorway}

{Ben tries his hand at operating the printing press}

Another lovely weekend, and the best part? Next week it's half-term so Steve and Ben are off for a whole week!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sunday Summary 1

The North East Children's Cancer Run has been a bit of a family tradition, both for Steve's family, my own and, well, probably most families in Newcastle! 

The aim of the day is to raise as much money as possible for running five miles around the course (or a mile round the children's course). This was the first year that Ben was able to do the full course and, motivated by the free picnic all runners receive at the end, they ignored the mud and came in at a respectable time of one hour three minutes.

{Well done boys, you make me and little Finlay proud} 

Extra special thanks to my parents who sat and kept me and Finn company while the boys ran.

We had a busy weekend so part two will have to wait until tomorrow, until then...Rx