This Week’s Favourites

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Sunday night again. The kids are in bed and I’m waiting for Homeland to start but first a quick update on another week that flew by.

1. I took all the children to have their hair cut at the start of the week – the boys’ fringes were getting so long they could hardly see! Clemmie and Casper were happy to just let the hairdresser get on with it but Cameron had very specific ideas about what he wanted – short back and sides (using the clippers) and longer at the front. He spent most of the journey home admiring his own reflection in the car windows!

2. Thursday morning saw the much-anticipated launch of the H&M collaboration with French designer Isabel Marant. As sod’s law would have it, the online shop opened at 9am which is the same time that Clemmie’s preschool opens. As my husband refused to take the kids to school and be late for work so that I could get first dibs on the highly coveted collection (men, eh?) , I had to race home after dropping them off only to be greeted by this message on my computer screen…

3. Until finally, after pressing the ‘Try Again’ button a million times (it seemed like it at least), I was in! Sadly, most of the items on my wish list had already gone but I managed to get my hands on these stunning shoes and also a grey jumper (rather nondescript in the picture but, hey, it’s Isabel Marant at less than £40!).  I have since read that it was one of the fastest selling collaborations of all-times – not surprising I guess, given all the hype surrounding it – so I think I was very lucky to get anything at all.

4. To raise money for Children in Need, Cameron’s school invited all pupils to dress in their pyjamas on Friday while Casper’s school asked them to wear polka dots. The first one was easy enough but as Casper was not keen to wear his sister’s spotty pyjamas (I can’t imagine why!) we ended up cutting out sticky-back felt circles and putting them onto an old plain T-shirt.

5. Finally Friday and candles lit for a cosy night in..

6. ..and a glass (or two) of bubbly to celebrate the end of the week.

7. A very dear friend gave me these four Mateus cups as a belated birthday present. Definitely worth waiting for!

8. Despite the grey, drizzly weather, we went on an outing to Bodiam Castle in Kent this morning. It took just over an hour to get there but it was well worth it.

9. We wrapped up the weekend by having dinner at Pizza Express with the grandparents.

And that’s it. Another week done and dusted! Have a great Sunday night. X

 

The Fashion Clinic #7: Back to Basics

As we had our wardrobe redecorated this week (there was mould on ceiling that had to be removed…yuck!) I was forced into a long overdue clear-out of its contents. Seeing all my clothes laid out on the bed made me realise that, for want of a better analogy, my wardrobe consists of too much icing and not enough cake. Or, if you prefer, my shopping habits definitely veer towards choosing style over substance. I have plenty of lovely tops and delicate little dresses but only three pairs of jeans that I actually like and I wear jeans on an almost daily basis. Makes sense? No, me neither. I also have twelve pairs of black boots (in different styles but even so) and umpteen cardigans and knitted jackets.

What is woefully lacking though are the everyday essentials that pull all the statement pieces together into different outfits. As we all know good basics are the backbone of a wearable wardrobe and mine is certainly crumbling on that front. I don’t know about you, but plain white vests and T-shirts don’t really set my pulse racing in the same way as leopard print and sequins do, but if I’m going to be buying any clothes at all over the next few months I need to make sure they fall into this category.

Here are some of the best basics I’ve found so far:

Gap vests2

Gap’s Pure Body range is all about basic pieces and, in my opinion, represents what this retailer does best. Just no frills, good quality essentials in super soft cotton that will last and last. At the moment there is an offer on where you get 25% off when you buy three or more camisoles.

H&M basics2

A white (or grey or black) T-shirt in a flattering fit is a true wardrobe staple but you don’t always have to pay through the nose. I bought three T-shirts in white, black and pale pink from H&M over the summer and they have lasted really well. With prices starting from £3.99 you can afford to stock up.

American Vintage3

American Vintage is one of my favourite labels for basic pieces in the softest lightweight Supima cotton that are just made for layering. The Jacksonville is the perfect slouchy shape and comes with long or short sleeves in an array of colours. I have one in gray and one in navy but could definitely do with investing in a couple more.

Rosamunde

Basic doesn’t have to mean boring. These cute vests from Danish label Rosemunde have pretty lace detailing around the neckline and come in 26 different colours from neutrals to brights.

This Week’s Favourites

This week's faves 13:10

I suppose the title of this post should really be ‘last week’s favourites’…I’m a day late but with all the party preparations last week and then the clearing up yesterday I have a feeling I’ll be playing catch-up all week. Anyway here’s a quick round-up of the last seven days:

1. My thermos mug from Ikea comes in handy on busy mornings when I end up having breakfast on the run.

2. I made another batch of low carb muesli this week (find the recipe here) – my favourite breakfast.

3. Banana bread is great to put in the children’s lunch boxes and as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea. (Recipe here)

4. The week started off very warm and we made the most of the sunny weather with a trip to the playground after preschool. As the week went on it got progressively colder and I think it’s definitely time to dig out the hats and gloves (although I think the chances of finding a matching pair are very slim, given how many gloves were lost at school last winter).

5. Beautiful autumn colours on a crisp, sunny morning.

6. I had been looking for a new ‘smart’ winter coat for a while but not found anything that was quite right. I have a padded coat from Zara which is great when it gets really cold but I wanted a slightly dressier one to wear for nights out. Usually buying coats is a nightmare as I’m small and unless I find one in a petite fit (which means much less choice), the sleeves are too long and it swamps me. But I went into town mid-week to take a few things back and there it was – the perfect coat. As luck would have it there was one left in my size and, being H&M, it was a total bargain at only £39.99! I tried to find it online to link back to for a better picture but for some reason it’s not up on the H&M website, so you’ll have to make do with the picture I snapped in the changing room. The main body of the coat is a black and white tweed type of pattern, with black sleeves and a detachable fur collar which you can of course wear with other coats and jackets as well.

7. It was only a quick trip into town but I did manage to have a wander through our local department store where they were setting up the Christmas display. I know a lot of people complain that the stores bring out the Christmas decorations too early but I kind of like it. The boys’ birthdays are at the end of October and beginning of November but after that I like to start planning for the festive season – I can’t stand stressing about it in mid December when the shops are full of people and things are starting to run out, or worrying about Internet deliveries arriving in time. Only ten weeks to go until Christmas Day folks!

8. Every Friday Clemmie and I go to Gym Tots with my friend and her daughter. The girls love running around, climbing on all the gym equipment and bouncing on the trampolines.

9. As you probably know by now the week culminated with a birthday party for my husband which went on into the early hours of Sunday morning. We all had a great time and he got some fantastic presents – almost all of them golf related!

Hope you’ve all had a fantastic start to the week! X

Weekend Photo Challenge: OOTD for Mummy and Child

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The boys were not keen to participate in today’s challenge so here’s another picture of Clemmie (in Zara waistcoat, H&M skirt and shoes which my friend bought for her in New York). I will get them next week when the theme is sleeping, no escaping then!

And because she asked so nicely, here is a picture of me in my new Yoga tops especially for Eszer. My eldest son asked me to also mention that he took the picture 🙂

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday. X

PS. I think the challenge is really meant to be for the Saturday but it’s such a busy day for us that I usually struggle to post anything, let alone take any photos. So I’m always a day late!

Yoga 1

Weekend Photo Challenge – OOTD and Eating

As some of you may remember, I was invited by Ezster (check out her blog Kukolina here) to take part in the Weekend Photo Challenge. This week the challenge was to post a picture of Saturday’s outfit and (if you have kids) a photo of your child eating.

OOTD3

I’m afraid my outfit today is not vastly different from last Saturday’s – the same boots, Paige Denim jeans in a darker colour and another white H&M tee, paired with an H&M scarf. Same jewellery as well – how unadventurous of me!

Clemmie Eating

This picture of Clemmie eating her dinner was actually taken last weekend at my parents’ house. Sometimes my kids are happy to let me take photos of them and other times they go all camera shy on me. Today was one of those days, hence I had to use an old picture.

Wishing you all a great Saturday! X

Currently Coveting #10: Isabel Marant for H&M

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I realise that this is my second Currently Coveting post in as many days (how will my bank balance keep up?) but, with the excitement building over the forthcoming H&M and Isabel Marant collaboration, I just had to put the spotlight on my favourite pieces. Photos from the lookbook – with its impressive cast of models, including Lou Doillon, Alek Wek and Milla Jovovich – leaked online yesterday, plunging most of the fashion world into yet another frenzy over this hotly anticipated collection.

Those who, like me, lust after the inimitable Mme Marant’s ready-to-wear collection but whose budgets don’t quite stretch that far, will not be disappointed. The French designer’s bohemian aesthetic runs through the entire range, which encompasses not only womenswear but also menswear and accessories.

Some fashion commentators have criticized H&M for putting the price points too high (the most expensive piece is a jacket for £199.99) but, while the collection is dearer than the high street chain’s own brand, in my view the prices are justified as it is a collaboration with a designer whose brand of effortless chic is practically a uniform for off-duty models and movie stars in the know. In any case, the prices are still only a fraction of Marant’s mainline collection (and lower than her diffusion line Etoile Isabel Marant).

The collaboration will hit stores (and online) on November 14 so start drawing up your wishlist now as it’s bound to be a sell-out. If I can’t get my hands on the H&M version of last year’s embellished tie-dye jacket (in the main picture) I would happily settle for any of these pieces:

Marant Collage

10 Reasons to Fall in ♥ with Fall

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Going for long walks and breathing in the crisp air and kicking up the colourful leaves

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Cups of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and mini marshmallows

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Homemade apple pie

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Roaring log fires

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Halloween

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Bonfire night

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Sheepskin slippers to keep your feet nice and toasty (these are from The White Company)

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Spicy mulled wine

Makeup

Dark berry shades for lips and nails. The Nars sheer lipstick in Vendanges is my go-to lip colour for both day and night while Chanel’s Rouge Noir nail polish is a modern classic.

Scarf & Mittens

Wrapping up warm in a cosy scarf and woolly mittens. (Scarf from Ester Elenora and mittens from H&M)

All pictures and more can be found on my Pinterest board Fall Inspiration

The Fashion Clinic #6: Fall Essentials

Autumn Collage

One of the best things about Autumn has to be the clothes – cosy cashmere jumpers, lots of colourful scarves, thick ribbed tights and ankle boots. Don’t get me wrong, I love balmy summer days when you can just pull on a sundress and slip on a pair of flip flops but unless you can afford to escape for the whole summer, how many outings is that strappy dress really going to get?

A quality piece of knitwear on the other hand will see you through until April or even May (at least if you live in the UK). If my past experience of the English weather is anything to go by, a light jacket or heavy cardigan will usually suffice as a cover-up until mid November. I’ve had my eye on the Fortuna cardigan (8) by Swedish design trio Dagmar since I first spotted it in a store in Gothenburg two years ago, but the hefty price tag forced me to walk away. So when I saw it reduced by 30% on Farfetch I was quick to snap it up and it’s now hanging in my closet waiting for the temperature to drop.

Odd Molly’s Knit Jacket (6) is another design that I never tire of. The fit is universally flattering and it looks great teamed with skinny jeans or an A-line skirt which are two of my Fall/Winter staples. When it comes to denim, I tend to stick to the shapes that I know suit me and these Skyline Ankle Peg jeans by Paige (5) have been my go-to style for the last couple of years. With a 29″ leg measurement they’re the perfect length for a shorty (5′ 2″) like me.

“Any colour as long as it’s pink” proclaims the cover of this month’s Vogue and who am I to argue? I love this pale pink sweatshirt by Clu with feminine ruffles along the bottom (2). H&M’s take on the dressed-up sweatshirt (1) is a snip at £29.99 and the imitation leather skirt (9) from the same store is one of those versatile day-to-night pieces.

Also on my wishlist this season are these fab go-with-everything black ankle boots from Whistles (7) and a checked shirt with crochet detailing on the shoulders from high street fave Topshop (10). And let’s not forget the accessories – I already own about a zillion scarves but this neon pink one by Becksondergaard (3) would brighten up any dull winter’s day. I discovered Stella & Dot last year when they had a stall at my son’s school Christmas fair and their jewellery is amazing and not too pricey. At the moment I’ve got my eye on this Renegade Cluster bracelet (4) which is apparently a favourite of singer Katy Perry.

What’s on your shopping list this fall?

Flicking through the September issues of the fashion glossies for inspiration is an Autumn ritual for me. Above: British Vogue, Swedish Styleby and British InStyle

Flicking through the September issues of the fashion glossies for inspiration is an Autumn ritual for me. Above: British Vogue, Swedish Styleby and British InStyle

The Fashion Clinic #4: Summer in the City

So the sun is beating down and all you want to do is stretch out on the lounger next to the pool with a good book and chilled glass of rosé for company. Sadly for most of us this scenario only becomes a reality for a couple of weeks a year (if we’re lucky!) when we jet off on holiday. The rest of the time we have to contend with our normal routine regardless of the weather – whether that’s running after the children or braving the tube to go to work (or both!) – so here’s my guide on how to stay cool and look hot (but not frazzled) when the temperature soars.

Smart Collage2

Clockwise from top left: Dress by Hobbs NW3; Top from Zara; Shorts by Asos; Bracelet by Monica Vinader; Shoes by Whistles; Dress by Asos; Jacket by Asos

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Clockwise from top left: Bracelet from H&M; Dress by Free People; Vest from Topshop; Shorts by Vero Moda; Sandals from Oasis; Dress by Asos

This week’s favourites

This week has had definite highs (the scorching weather for a start) and lows (all three children coming down with the sickness bug springs to mind…).

Garden centre

A trip to the garden centre at the start of the week to get some new plants and sand for the sandpit.

Jamies Collage

Dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant with the whole family after shopping for more birthday presents for Clemmie. I had a yummy starter of deep fried squid followed by the Black Angel pasta. I then spent the remainder of the meal trying to steal spoonfuls of Cameron’s salted caramel ice cream – definitely having that next time!

Jamie food

Summer is now officially here! Faking it is the only way to tan these days and I can always rely on Fake Bake’s tanning mousse to turn my limbs from lily white to sunkissed. I also tried the St Tropez Tan Optimiser application mitt for the first time and it really helped to blend the colour and get an even coverage. Highly recommended!

Sun Collage

A game of badminton against Daddy in the garden before bedtime (which somehow seems to have moved at least an hour later than usual..):

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Breakfast on the terrace in the sunshine. Freshly baked scones and a large mug of coffee.

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On my way to a fab 40th birthday party that sadly my husband had to miss as he stayed home to nurse the sick children. The £7 H&M dress had its first outing, teamed with metallic wedges from Kurt Geiger. By the way, if you’re wondering why I’m holding my hands funnily it’s because I was rushing to get ready and had only just applied a fresh coat of nail polish!

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