Summer Vibes

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The fact that I’m writing this post while gazing out of the window at a grey sky and spitting rain only serves to fuel my desire to escape to sunnier climes as soon as possible. Sitting at my desk with a woolly cardigan draped around my shoulders and my feet snugly ensconced in a pair of slippers, it seems like the ideal time to start planning my summer wardrobe. While the sun may elude us here in London, we do have a holiday planned to Mallorca, which means at least one week of guaranteed beach weather this summer (a vast improvement on last year as I can only recall one or two days of glorious sunshine). So here are some of the items I would like to be packing into my suitcase come August:

  1. A pair of denim shorts are a perennial summer staple and these ones from Gap have just the right amount of distressing so they look naturally casual rather than too try-hard.
  2. I rarely wear high heels in summer and these silver espadrilles from Whistles are smart enough to take you from beach to bar while still being supremely comfortable.
  3. The soft sheen of rose gold looks fabulous against tanned skin and this stunning Astley Clarke moonstone pendant can be worn on its own or layered with other delicate necklaces.
  4. I tend to stick to a neutral or monochrome colour palette all year round but it’s fun to liven up an outfit with brightly coloured accessories such as this beach bag by Sophie Anderson. Inspired by the designer’s travels in Colombia, the roomy tote has been handcrafted by the country’s skilled weavers.
  5. This gorgeous dress from Isabel Marant’s Étoile collection has popped up in my Bloglovin’ feed quite a few times over the past month or so. The drop waist silhouette and soft ruffles are universally flattering and while it qualifies as an investment piece rest assured that this is a dress that you will want to keep wearing long after the temperatures drop.
  6. Simple but oh so stylish, this striped romper is the kind of thing I imagine chic Parisian girls wear on their annual summer jaunts to the Riviera. Pair with huge shades and a wide brimmed hat to truly channel your inner Brigitte Bardot.
  7. An off the shoulder top is a must this summer and this one from H&M will look great with the Gap shorts or a pair of jeans on cooler days.
  8. Finally, a hat is also a necessity to protect your face, scalp and hair from the sun’s rays. To avoid it getting crushed in your suitcase it is best to wear it on the plane, which also helps you switch into holiday mode!

Currently Coveting #28: Patterns for Spring

My blog posting has been very sporadic to say the least since the start of this year due to both a lack of time and a lack of inspiration. January and February are not my favourite months and I’ve had no urge to do anything other than curl up on the sofa in front of the TV once the kids are in bed. But spring is finally in the air and with the warmer weather and lighter evenings comes a renewed sense of energy and a desire to start blogging a bit more again.

Last weekend I also did a mini clear out of my wardrobe to make sure it is spruced up for spring. Recently I have been really inspired by bloggers who embrace the concept of a capsule wardrobe and a more minimal lifestyle and while I am not wholly there yet I have slowly been ridding my closet of things I no longer wear.I’m happy with most of what is in there now but a couple of new pieces for spring wouldn’t go amiss. Last spring was all about stripes but this season I’m drawn to bolder prints on blouses and shirts that can be paired with my trusty jeans (current favourites: Topshop Leigh jeans in black or distressed grey) or cropped trousers. Add a pair of ballerinas or Converse and I’m good to go.

Patterns for Spring

{Any of these pretty tops from Anthropologie would fit the bill but if I had to choose one I’d probably pick the short sleeved top in the middle of the top row.}

For a slightly subtler take on the patterned trend I also love these two tops from H&M:

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What’s your must have item of clothing this spring?

Stockholm Fashion Week – Day 2

Day 2 of Stockholm Fashion Week and two of my favourite labels – Hunky Dory (their knitwear is to die for) and House of Dagmar – had their turn on the catwalk. There were also feminine yet edgy offerings from new kid on the block Valerie while Ann-Sofie Back opted for a more intimate invite-only presentation for her diffusion line BACK. H&M-owned Cheap Monday showed a punk-inspired shipwrecked look brimming with sailor stripes, big checks and threadbare knits. Not too sure about the ‘smudged mascara all over the face’ makeup though…

On a slightly unrelated note I have been bemoaning the out-of-touch seasonal cycle of fashion where, despite all the talk of fast fashion and in-season collections, it is still nigh on impossible to find a winter coat in the middle of January. The zip on my (three years old) Zara coat broke yesterday and, as it’s pretty darn freezing outside, I wanted to find a replacement ASAP. So off to town I went this morning only to find that all the decent coats were in the Sale, which would have been a good thing and saved me some money had there been ANY in my size. In the end I spent £80 on a parka style number from Zara’s ‘youth’ department. It’s OK and will see me through the next couple of months but I really resent spending money on a coat that I know I’ll want to replace come this autumn.

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Hunky Dory

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Valerie

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House of Dagmar

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Cheap Monday

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Five on Friday

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{The boys went back to school last Tuesday. For one year they are at the same school, before it is time for Cameron to move on to secondary school.}

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{Clemmie didn’t start school until today so she and I went to Sweden for three nights last weekend to see my sister and her kids. We had loads of time at the airport before our flight so I treated her to an Anna from Frozen doll. Traveling with just one child was so easy and we had a great time.}

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{Today was a big day for Clemmie but she loved putting on her uniform and going into school. Some of you may remember that I was less than thrilled about her starting school so young but after several chats with the headteacher I felt reassured that the focus in this first year is very much on play.}

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{Some new beauty buys: A Rodial bee venom serum that I bought on the flight back from Stockholm and I also managed to get my hands on the much-hyped Multi-colour Les Beiges by Chanel. I feel a beauty post coming up soon!}

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{I am a self-confessed knitwear fanatic and these two jumpers from H&M and Hunky Dory are new purchases for the coming season along with a pair of boots, also from H&M. I love the zip detailing on all of them.}

Now that all three children are at school, I hope to have some more time for blogging. I have so many ideas but time has been very scarce over the summer holidays. Thank you to all of you who kept reading and commenting despite the rather patchy updating.

This weekend we’re going to Bristol to visit an old friend of mine. Last time we went it took us over four hours to get there so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the traffic will be light. Hope you have a fantastic weekend whatever you’re doing. X

Stripes Galore!

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Never let it be said that I don’t follow my own advice! Although I will freely admit that this time I may have gone slightly overboard. The problem is that once I decide I need a specific piece in my wardrobe – be it a pair of boyfriend jeans, a floral dress or pair of metallic pumps – and start searching for it, all of a sudden the said item seems to be everywhere. Being super indecisive, I then end up buying two or three very similar things. So, somehow I have now ended up with five striped tops (although one is more of a tunic/dress) to my name – three long sleeved ones from H&M and two short-sleeved from Topshop. Only one of them cost over £20 so at least my splurge on stripes didn’t break the bank. I am confident that I will get plenty of wear out of all of them but I also have a niggling feeling that two may have sufficed!

Does anyone else have the same problem? If so do you give in to the temptation to buy several very similar items or are you disciplined enough to limit yourself to only one?

Pink Breton

And one more! This one I bought from the kids’ section in H&M last summer (seriously, if you’re petite it’s a great place to pick up some fab pieces!). The bright pink stripes helped brighten up the dull, rainy day we’ve had today. Sunshine forecast this weekend though!

Hope you’ve had a good Wednesday. X

Five on (ehrm..) Sunday

I’m a couple of days late with my Five on Friday post. It is all very well having a posting schedule to follow but sometimes life just gets in the way (as it should, I’m sure you would agree). The best laid plans as they say…

We’ve had a busy weekend, celebrating my mum’s birthday and also finally starting in earnest on the spring cleaning projects I’ve been planning for weeks. It is a mammoth task so we still have plenty to do but at least I’ve bagged up lots of old clothes, toys and crockery, ready to go to the charity shop. Some of the nicer bits that I cleared out from my wardrobe were dropped off at a ‘Labels for Less’ dress shop yesterday so hopefully I will make a little bit of money out of my old purchases. We will be tackling the loft and the garage over the next few weeks…

Last night my husband and I were supposed to go out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The babysitter had been booked, the present bought and outfits (mine anyway!) decided upon, but again things did not  turn out quite as planned. Just after we had finished eating the birthday cake at my parents’ house yesterday Clemmie suddenly came down with a temperature of 40 degrees and started complaining of a sore throat. She has had several bouts of tonsillitis in the past (a couple of times she has even ended up in hospital – once her tonsils got so big and inflamed that she struggled to breathe and turned blue, and another time her temperature soared to over 42 degrees) so I wasn’t prepared to leave anything to chance. The babysitter was cancelled and we made an appointment to see the out-of-hours GP at the local hospital. Luckily it turned out to be a virus and after some Calpol and a lot of sleep, her fever was almost gone this morning. My husband went to the party on his own for a couple of hours while I put the kids to bed, had a glass of wine in front of Revenge and then went to bed myself. Such a shame, but the main thing is that Clemmie is OK and rather than dwelling on the missed party, here are some good things from the past week:

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{The walk home from preschool takes twice as long now that there are flowers to pick!}

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{It’s rainy today but we had some lovely sunny days last week so I grabbed a moment to sit outside with my coffee and magazine}

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{I’m enjoying having a new bottle of my favourite perfume. The kids were very generous and bought me the large size of Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb for Mother’s Day. After years of switching between different perfumes I think I’ve finally found my signature scent.}

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{School’s out for Easter! Cameron’s school celebrated by holding their annual Eggstravaganza – a chocolate fueled frenzy of raffles, tombolas and fun games.}

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{Clemmie and I in matching stripes on Friday. I love this jumper from H&M, it was only £7.99 so I have just ordered it in a couple of other colours.}

Hope you’ve had a great weekend! X

Currently Coveting #18: Stripes for Spring

Stride into spring wearing classic, crisp Breton stripes. Teamed with skinny jeans, colourful flats and a touch of sparkly jewellery, it is the perfect outfit for channeling that particularly French brand of effortless daytime style. Did you know that the Breton stripe has been a sartorial staple of chic Parisians since 1917 when Coco Chanel famously transformed a fisherman’s top into the iconic piece?

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{Skinny jeans by Current/Elliott at Asos; Amelie Sparkle Bracelet by Stella & Dot; Colorblock Breton Stripe Cashmere Sweater by Vince; Ballet pumps from H&M}

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Here is some more inspiration from my Pinterest board, appropriately entitled ‘Stripes for Spring’!

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Wrap it up

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Scarves in all different colours and patterns are an essential part of my autumn/winter wardrobe. Not only do they keep me warm but they also instantly update my “boring” uniform of skinny jeans and baggy jumper. I already have a rather large collection of scarves tucked away in my wardrobe but on my Christmas list this year is a warm, tartan scarf to snuggle up in when the really cold weather hits (typically in January/February). A classic Burberry scarf in the softest cashmere would really hit the spot but I have a feeling that Father Christmas will be on a budget this year, so a nice one from Zara or Topshop would do just nicely.

{In the picture above, clockwise from top left, is just a small selection of my current favourites: Grey and white star scarf from Danish brand Becksondergaard; Pink with stars from another Danish label Kudibal; Black & white leopard print from Swedish brand Ester Elenora; Flowery tube scarf from H&M; Another favourite from Ester Elenora; My favourite winter wrap-around in grey and white, also by Ester Elenora; Classic Alexander McQueen skull scarf; The perfect summer scarf in the softest pink with tiny white hearts from Becksondergaard.}