What to Wear: Capsule Style Post #1

It’s been 2 weeks that I have officially been wearing my capsule wardrobe now, or at least since I revealed it to you all, so I thought it was time to share some outfits on the blog. This isn’t what I have worn everyday as I don’t always have Pete around to snap a photo, but it;s a good representation of the styles I have worn so far. I hope to keep bringing you new outfits every couple of weeks or so throughout the capsule period showing you different ways I wore it.

So let’s start off with one of my favourites… probably because it feels the most ‘me’, baby or no baby. I wore this outfit shopping with Pete and felt pretty presentable. Dare I say, normal!

Henley dress // Leather Jacket (similar) // Knee boots (similar)

Henley dress // Leopard slip ons // Military jacket

Here is the same dress, worn to Grand Designs Live. I needed to be comfortable and casual for an all-day expedition with a baby in tow, and this outfit fit the bill perfectly.

Grey Knit (old) // Khaki Joggers // Military jacket // Nike Air Max 1

This outfit was for swimming! It was a miserable day (as you can see,) and I was dreading being all cold and wet in the changing rooms afterwards so I pulled out something cosy and comfy. Somehow these trainers always make the comfiest outfit look like I made a lot more effort than I actually did. As you can see, I’m LIVING in this jacket.

Sequin long sleeved top // Boyfriend Jeans // Military jacket // Nike Air Max 1 // Leopard belt, GAP (old)

Here comes the jacket again! And my go-to uniform… a tee and boyfriend jeans. A lot of the combinations in this capsule are a variation on this theme. I love the metallic trainers and sequin embellished tee giving this outfit a real kick of personality though.

Nursing dress // Pony spot flats // Monica Vinader necklace

This one was worn for a family get together for Pete’s Mums birthday. I wanted to dress up a little and it was still warm, so the point flats added a bit of extra smartness too. Do I love this photo? No. Can I see the extra baby weight and mum tum? Yes. Am I trying to give myself a break 12 weeks on? Yep, trying. *Grimace*

Navy funnel neck knit // H&M Henley // Skinny Jeans (similar) // Leopard slip ons

And lastly, this weekends outfit – a perfect Sunday outfit in my book. Skinnies, flats, a chunky knit (worn over a layering top with buttons for feeding access) and no coat as it was warm enough to go without. I like wearing knits layered instead of coats in the winter.

So what do you think readers? How are your autumn wardrobes going?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. If you’re new here, Welcome! Here is my whole capsule wardrobe and why I’m doing this.

Raspberry, Lemon and Yogurt tea loaf

It was my mum’s birthday at the beginning of October and as she’s not a big fan of chocolate cake or anything with cream or buttercream, Francesca decided to try this Yeo Valley Cookbook recipe for lemon and raspberry cake. I’ve made cakes with dairy ingredients in them before and they never fail to produce a moist cake. This one is kept fresh and light with the fresh raspberries and the addition of a sharp lemon drizzle.

Ingredients:
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
115g soft butter
225g caster sugar
finely grated zest and juice of one large lemon
2 large free range eggs
100g wholemilk natural yogurt
25g ground almonds
200g fresh raspberries
100g granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

How-to:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line your tin with baking paper.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cream together the butter and caster sugar then add the lemon zest. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with the second egg. Fold in alternate spoonfuls of the flour and yogurt, then finally fold in the almonds.
  • To distribute the raspberries evenly add a layer of cake mix to your tin, and scatter 1/3 of the raspberries on top. Repeat with 2 further layers finishing with a layer of raspberries on top.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown on top then a further 20-25 minutes with foil covering the top.
  • Allow the cake to cool out of the oven for 5 minutes, then mix the granulated sugar with the lemon juice and spoon over the cake. Cool on a wire rack and remove the paper to serve.

The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook (Yeo Valley) is a fabulous recipe book with loads of dishes perfect for autumnal and winter gatherings, so I’ll no doubt be sharing a few more here  in the coming weeks…

Enjoy readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

A Modern Halloween

As much as I love pumpkin carving and fun halloween festivities (you can see the kind of pumpkins I carve here,) this year I have been hankering after something a bit more modern and in keeping with my usual decor. That way, I can use it as Autumnal decor for a little longer than the usual halloween week. I thought I would round up some ideas I have seen for different pumpkins and see what you guys are doing.


Owl Pumpkin // Mini-pumpkins as candle holders // Double dipped pumpkin // Gilded place cards // Chalk paint pumpkins // Gold glitter pumpkin candle holders // White vase pumpkin

So what do you think readers? Will you be carving a pumpkin this year or have I persuaded you to try something different?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

AW13 Street Style

I’m still feeling a little behind when it comes to AW13 fashion, partly due to the house move and partly due to the weather. It really hasn’t been cold enough to force me into my Autumn clothes yet. To stop me making wear-once purchases I always try to think at the beginning of the season what trends I want to buy into and what goes with my current wardrobe.


Jenna Lyons // Sweatshirt and Skirt

I’m past fashion fads if I’m honest and the last couple of years of experimenting has refined my natural style. With the abundance of street style photos around at the moment following the fashion week marathon and bloggers trying new trends, I have rounded up a few of my pins and styles that I’ll be trying to recreate this autumn.

Short and Sweet
Tartan skirt // Olivia Palermo

I love cute skirts worn with a bulkier top and this new flippy style looks fun and flirty paired with opaque tights and ankle boots.

Shades of Grey
Grey knit, skirt and sunglasses // Long grey coatigan

I’ve long been obsessed with grey but the all-grey looks I have seen look luxe and super modern. I’ll definitely be giving this a try…

Biker cool
Leather jacket and full skirt // Alexa Chung

Leather is huge this year and happily the trusty biker jacket is everywhere too. I love it teamed with a feminine skirt and pointed heels.

The Big Wrap
Parka with fur scarf // Emerson Fry chunky knit

Who doesn’t love wrapping up for autumn? Again this look is about balanced proportions and volume contrasted with slim bottom halves. I’ll be re-investing in skinnies and hunting down the biggest chunky knit to layer under my winter parka.

So what do you think readers? Do you like any of these looks or have you had any ideas about what you’ll be wearing this season? Let me know!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Big Autumn List…

I’m a little late with my usual list this year – I like to time them with the spring and autumn equinox, so around the 21st of the month, but it was the 22nd of September already when I realised I had missed it and with moving day looming, wouldn’t be posting this until early October.


(Modified) image

I heard on the radio recently that now is a good time for making resolutions instead of New Year, because it’s a new season which inspires us all, plus there are only three months to stick at it before New Years, so it’s achievable. 😉

After moving last Friday (more on that soon,) I can really strongly feel a sense of change. I feel like one chapter of my life has closed and a new one is beginning, with this house underpinning it. We hope it will be our family home, so I think it will be a much more mature chapter of my life, but lots of fun too! As a result, lots of my autumn plans are home related but I hope you enjoy reading them and are inspired to share yours in the comments below…


Image

  • I can’t wait to sweep leaves on the grass in my new back garden and maybe even have a bonfire with sparklers and stew and hot chocolate (or mulled wine!)
  • I’m looking forward to Sundays more than anything, gardening, roast dinners, wintery puddings and reading in the afternoon until the nights draw in.
  • The crisp smell of autumn on clean days and crunching of leaves underfoot on walks in Chorlton Meadows.
  • Spending the darker nights planning our decorating projects and deciding which room to tackle first.
  • I want to find an exercise regime that I can stick with over the winter. Now the stress of moving is over I can put my fitness first again and stay toned before Christmas indulgence takes over.
  • We’re not planning a holiday this autumn but have a week off booked to really get on with the house in November. I’d like to book a weekend in the lakes at some point though to get away from house plans and reconnect with Pete after what has been a stressful few months. (Any well priced cosy B&B’s anyone can recommend?)
  • I’ll be planting bulbs in the new garden ready for spring.
  • Fashion is taking a bit of a back seat right now but my autumn wardrobe is woefully empty due to a mass clear out I had last spring thinking I would replace it now, so I’ll be scouting about for well priced pieces or workhorse investments to keep myself (and the bank) happy. 🙂

What are your plans, dreams and goals for the next three months readers? Please join in in the comments box!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS –

My Month: October

When I started looking through this months Instagram images for my October re-cap I realised I hadn’t taken as many as usual… probably a reflection of how busy this month has been. I’ve been  to London twice, once for the Cosmo Blog Awards, spent a weekend at home for my Mum’s birthday, the following weekend at my nephews Christening and the one after that marked the start of our holiday. Anyway, here’s a round up of the little things I’ve snapped this month. You’ll have to wait for more holiday updates!

  • First outing for my coloured tights this year.
  • Transitional dressing in primary brights.
  • Loving a pillar box red mani this Autumn.
  • My favourite new flats.
  • Make up essentials for a post workout touch up: Laura Mercier Tinted moisturiser, Smashbox High definition concealer, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge and Extreme Party Mascara.
  • New High-tops.
  • No.7 Total Renewal Micro dermabrasion exfoliator (read my review here.)
  • Cosy winter socks
  • Oxblood Autumn outfit.
  • Choosing dresses for the Cosmo Blog Awards & choosing nail colours for a holiday manicure at Nails Inc.

  • My latest food obsession, porridge.
  • Cocktails with Mum and Francesca for her birthday.
  • Apples in my garden and cake for post Wedding dress shopping analysis at And the Dish ran away with the Spoon in Didsbury.

What have you been up to this month readers?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Monday Must-Have: Limited Collection Owl Eye Palette

This mornings find is an absolute steal and manages to tick all the boxes, being both budget friendly, lovely enough to feel like a treat AND perfect for keeping you stylish. Tough call? Not for this eye palette from M&S Limited Collection.


Limited Collection Owl Eye Palette – Marks and Spencer

I always think about changing my cosmetic choices around this time of year, choosing warmer colours reflective of natures changing palette. I love golds, muddy greens and warm browns, all covered in this palette with a navy and black shade for creating smokey eyes. I love how cute this palette is too with little owls on the smart navy compact, (it would make a lovely present too, don’t you think?) and it will look as pretty on your dressing table or in your bag as the colours will on your lids. Everything you need for Autumn beauty for just £7.50.

Get yours fast readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS! There’s 10% off until the end of today on ALL Marks and Spencer’s beauty products (not just M&S brands) and if you spend £15 you get a free travel skincare kit. Another reason to treat yourself!

Florence’s Food: Champion Bakewell tart

After yesterdays post on appreciating all that Autumn has to offer, it felt only right to post this autumnal dessert – the good old fashioned bakewell tart. I’ve been meaning to make a bakewell tart (amongst my favourites for it’s moist baked almondy interior and the layer of sweet tangy jam,) for a long while now and this one didn’t disappoint – Taken from the Delicious Baking book I shared with the scones recipe a few weeks back, it was perfect for a rainy afternoon baking.

Ingredients
Sweet shortcrust pastry
150g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
150g ground almonds
Finely grated zest of a lemon
110g strawberry jam
2tbsp flaked almonds

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius and roll out your pastry to 5mm thick before lining a 24cm fluted loose bottomed tart tin. Line the pastry case with baking paper, weigh down with baking beans or rice and blind bake for 15 minutes.
  • With a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, add the eggs slowly as you beat and then fold in the ground almonds and zest.


  • When the case is baked, allow to cool. Once cool, spread the jam over the pastry base thinly and top with the filling. Finish with a scattering of flaked almonds.
  • Cook for 35-40 minutes, until golden, risen and just set in the centre. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin and transferring to a wire rack.

Serve with clotted cream or ice cream and enjoy 🙂

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Recipe from Delicious Baking – £5.99 in your local W H Smiths or Tescos, or order online by clicking the link.

The Big Autumn List…

Saturday was the Autumn equinox and from now on the hours of darkness officially become longer than those of daylight as the temperatures start to drop. Yet despite this, Autumn is officially my favourite time of year. In truth, I’m happy most times of the year and it’s only really the slump after New Year until spring starts to show signs of new life and cheer that I feel fed up, but the months between now and Christmas are so fun, so beautiful and more often than not so busy, that I fall in love with them again and again, year after year.

Back in May I invited you all to join me in making a list of the things that you were looking forward to about summer and I enjoyed it so much I decided to make it a regular feature. Today I’m going to share some of my favourite things about Autumn, the things I’m looking forward to making time for and the little things that put a slice of happiness into every day.

  1. Cooking a Sunday Roast with all the trimmings as the darkness falls in the late afternoon then settling down on the sofa for Downton Abby escapism.
  2. Candlelight
  3. Making the house cosy by bringing in new rugs, throws and cushions to add texture and warmth.
  4. Harvesting the last of our produce from the allotment and clearing the ground to make way for the new plants and seeds.
  5. The first time you can breathe out and see your breath hanging in the air.
  6. Kicking piles of dried leaves on a country walk.
  7. Seeking out winter wardrobe must-haves… the perfect boots, cashmere socks, the softest scarf.
  8. Clear cold crisp mornings
  9. Perfect frost and the beautiful landscape it paints.
  10. Baking seasonal puddings, crumbles, cobblers and pies.

What’s on your list this Autumn?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. Did you comment on my Summer plans post? Head on back to see how many you managed to check off your list. (I think I managed 6 or 7!)

Autumn Colour for the Garden

Well good afternoon! It’s been a completely glorious morning here in Manchester and it’s making me turn my thoughts to the garden and getting it in order for the winter. All those tidying jobs aren’t anywhere near as interesting as some of the fiery and eyecatching plants available for the garden right now however.

After my last gardening post, lots of you were quite excited about picking up tips so I decided today would be a good day to share my favourite plants for autumn colour – which will add some interest to your garden as the flowers fade, right through to Christmas. My kind of gardening is low maintenance for maximum enjoyment, but turf or gravel throughout is kind of boring and autumn is my favourite time of year, so I naturally gravitate towards plants that lend themselves to it. Happily, these are all plants that I have experience of in my own garden, and are beautifully low maintenance, just put them in and enjoy. So let’s get started!

Acers for Autumn
One of the most brilliant shows for autumn colour is put on by the Acer family. These are otherwise known as Japanese Maple and they actually often look pretty special in the spring too with their new leaves unfurling in super bright shades. They come as shrubs, low growing specimens and small to medium trees, so there’s one for every garden and they often have striking bark too. Buy them now to see exactly the level of brilliance you’re getting!


*Acer Palmatum all from Crocus.

Berry Beautiful
Thinking autumn? Think berries! Well, I do anyway! But it doesn’t have to be holly. I’ve been meaning to buy one of these purple berried ‘beauty berry’ bushes for ages now – they don’t look real do they? Pyracanthas grow along the floor or up against the wall and are also good for security with their thorny spines, whilst the snow berry bush is super festive when the frost arrives.


*Beauty Berry (Callicarpa,) Pyracantha or fire thorn, and snowberry bush (via Flickr.)

Autumn Colour
A lot of autumn colour comes from leaves, like this burgundy-leafed Smoke Bush, but it doesn’t have to. I look forward to the leaves falling off this stunning Dogwood with vivid red branches and the Garrya’s dangling silver catkins are quite beautiful too, which start to grow in summer and rehang in great proportions over the winter.


*Garrya, Dogwood (Cornus) and Cotinus (Smokebush).

Winter Flowers
And if you just can’t live without some flowers, there are a few flowering plants that come into their own in the winter too. These are all shrubs – plants which you might call ‘bushes’, with sturdy stems, as most flowers wouldn’t withstand the harsh temperatures of winter, but their cheery flowers really brighten up the day with the weak winter sun filtering through. Viburnums are also scented.


*Mahonia (spikes of yellow flowers on prickly leaves), Vibernum (tiny pink flower clusters,) and
Witch Hazel (Bottom.)

All of the plants above can be purchased from Crocus – one of my favourite online flower stores which also has lots of planting and size information alongside general garden advice and tips. however, several of these can also be purchased in a bog standard DIY store like B&Q – often quite cheaply, just look for healthy plants.

So, will you be adding some autumn colour to your garden?

Love,
Rebecca.
xo

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