Five on Friday…

Check out this amazing kitchen make-over, with a few simple steps to update what they already had – clever! I love the yellow stools.

How to turn an IKEA bookshelf into a storage bench – great idea for a playroom or family room.

Love the calm simplicity of the bedroom.

I met up with friends yesterday and one of them was wearing this cardigan – it looked fab and such a bargain for £23!

I’m really focusing on the house again now we are back and just need to zone in on where we should start… This moody dining room is fabulous for the darker days ahead.

Happy Friday readers :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

What to Buy: September

September. The season of all change. It’s everywhere I look and read – people getting ready for the cooler months ahead and lamenting the end of summer. I actually love the Autumn. It heralds my birthday month (October) and I love those sharp Autumn days, where the sky is a crisp blue, the sun is low and the leaves are all sorts of yellow and rust. BEAUTIFUL!

A change in clime therefore warrants a different outlook on what to buy, especially since the new season drops are well and truly underway. I hope my roundup of what I think should be on your radar is helpful.

The Coatigan

 

Next / New Look / Boden

I’m not usually one for using faddy abbreviations, but this over-garment really has become a thing, and this year I’ve invested in one. Great for those chillier days before the real winter sets in, and thin enough not to get too hot if you are rushing around town or indeed carrying a baby around, a coatigan is great in-between piece. Choose one that is made from a “boiled” wool so that if it does rain, it won’t shrink or misshape, and make sure there is room underneath for a jumper – it’s all about the layering. I love the Boden one – best you can’ guess which one I have ;)

Gypsy Dress

 
Monsoon / Topshop / Zara   

Much like the Boho peasant blouse trend that led the way this summer, the Gypsy dress is going to be one that alludes me I think, although I do love seeing it on other people. There are many stores that have bought into this trend, Monsoon have done it really well with their new Heritage collection, so trying it out will be easy. Make sure the colours you choose are “your colours” – if pastels don’t suit you for example, steer clear. Zara and Topshop are good go-to options too. I also like the look of this M&S one.

Pussy Bows

  
Monsoon / House of Fraser / ASOS

All things 60′s are going to be around this AW, and the Pussy-Bow blouse is no exception. Keep it wearable by choosing a plain block colour to dress up high waisted jeans or or a pencil skirt. Super-chic. **Note of caution here for the larger chested amongst us… these work best on smaller cupped ladies – the bow can just add weight and volume where you don’t want it. There are options like this one though that start at the v on the chest – these would be best if you’d still like to buy into the trend.

Block Heels

   
Topshop / Topshop / Topshop / M&S

From flats this summer, to a heel that we can walk in and stay in all day – thank you shoe gods! Sticking with the 60s/70s trend, a block heel on your shoes or boots will see you well into the Autumn. The Topshop Mary-Janes are a great all-rounder for both trousers and skirts although admittedly the highest of the selection! I love the bow on the leopard print one – great for dressing up a pair of plain trousers.

Cropped Trousers

    
H&M / Zara

A hangover from the summer, don’t put those Culottes away just yet. The cropped trousers, especially those on the wider side, are the now trouser. Along with printed version in jewel colours they will be the staple of your AW wardrobe. Wear with block heels, or dress up even more with a high ankle boot.

So what do you think readers? Will you be investing in anything? Wishing you great Septembers’ – we are now on our holidays but I’ll be back at the end of the month. Until then… Enjoy your shopping! :)

Erin xx

What to Buy: August

Morning Readers!

So far August has been a bit of a disappointment weather-wise. I guess the typical British Summer is “shining” through although we do have the promise of warmer weather in the coming week. Fingers crossed!

The cooler days though have got me thinking about the Autumn and with it the drops of new season stock that are coming into the shops.

The items on this months list consist of some that I’ve posted before (but are still great buys if you haven’t indulged yet) and also some final sale buys which will see you into Autumn.

The Boyfriend Shirt

 Topshop / Boden

Specifically in blue, these shirts feature heavily on press images into Autumn. Worn over slim trousers to balance out the volume or easily tucked into a skirt, their versatility is great. I love the pale blue versions and the Topshop one here has added interest with a hip pocket. I’ll be wearing with Skinny trousers and flats.

Culottes

 Leather / Black

Huge for this current season, the culotte is a modest way to wear a skirt – no flashing here!

A leather pair like these Autograph ones will see you nicely into the Autumn but are equally wearable now with sandals. The Warehouse pair are a bargain. Limited quantities on line but plenty of sizes in store at both Warehouse and John Lewis. I’ve also seen them in House of Fraser for £15. Still a deal at under £20 and the weight of the fabric is just right.

For something a little different and a bit more for now, this jumpsuit is a find. Lovely fabric and print, and very easy to wear.

Suede Skirt

 Jaeger / M&S

This trend isn’t going anywhere and I am still favouring the Midi style. The M&S version is my go-to here but there are other versions to be had. The Jaeger one above is good for the discounted price.

For something even more achievable and for a nod to the trend in a different way, this New Look button through version is great and comes in three colours. Size up to get the fit right so the buttons don’t gape. This style reminds me of being in Year 10 (or Fifth Year as it was called when I was at school). I had a black version back then ;) I know it may be tempting but do try and get a real suede version. The faux one can end up looking a little cheap.

Embroidery

 Sequin Jacket / Skirt / Coverup / Shirt

You may think that embroidery needs to be kept just for summer. By and large this is true but I’ve spotted some very grown up, autumn appropriate embroidery in the shops. Whilst the White “jacket” from Zara above is a summer piece, there’s hope we may have an Indian Summer so this would act as an excellent coverup. The colours are stunning. For true Autumn though, the H&M Trend skirt is lovely – K.I.S.S (can you tell I’m a marketer?!) it with a black polo and boots (the jacket in this sold out immediately!) The magpie in me also loves the Sequins on the Mango trophy jacket. Again, something to throw over even the simplest of outfits for that WOW factor.

Statement Flats

 Studded / Snake / Red

Hurrah! The flat shoe is big for A/W15 and the more statement the better. Here are some that are a nod to that trend in that they can multitask for you – not too out there but still something a little different. I like the Aldo ones as a nod to the Valentinos I covet every year. Another good option are the Russell Bromley Chester Loafers. I picked up a multi-coloured suede bargain in the sales after covering for ages and can’t wait to wear them!

Enjoy the rest of your Month readers. Do share any purchases you happen to make!

Erin xx

Summer Capsule Part 3: [Dresses & Round Up]

So I guess this is a kind of Friday Frock in disguise post. The final instalment of my capsule wardrobe! You all know I love a dress and I am finally taking full advantage of not needing 24/7 boob access. I was still feeding 2-3 times a day when I started this capsule and just took it off if I needed to feed when wearing a dress, now it’s just morning and evening so I can wear what I want. I have loved having dresses back in my wardrobe!


Denim dress // Digital print dress

This denim tencel blend swing dress was the first I bought and as my bust settles down it’s looking better and better. The Boden shift was a no brainer for a summer and holiday dress that I mentioned last week.


Jumpsuit // Maxi // Jumpsuit

The only dress that has been pulled from storage is this Gap maxi. I had it last year and hoped to wear it feeding but couldn’t in the end as it didn’t fit. It’s light and super comfortable so it’s a bit of a beater dress for everyday. The strappy tile print jumpsuit was bought when I couldn’t get hold of the Boden one, in hindsight I didn’t need it, but I’ve already worn it to playgroups when we had the recent heatwave and at £20 I don’t care about crawling on the floor!

So let’s do a little overview shall we?

I ended up with 27 pieces. (Don’t forget, this doesn’t include PJ’s, ‘loungewear’, stuff I paint or do the gardening in and exercise (ha!) kit.)

  • 8 work wear items (included in the below)
  • 10 tops
  • 3 knits
  • 6 dresses
  • 2 trousers
  • 2 jeans
  • 3 skirts
  • 1 shorts

And the prominent stores I bought from? Boden, GAP, Hush, New Look, Baukjen and Komodo – stocked in a local boutique and a new ethical brand find to me.

Here’s the whole summer capsule wardrobe 2015, en masse:


27 is just the number that works for me and I feel comfortable with. Last time I did this I ended up with 35 pieces but I included 8 shoes… so it’s exactly the same. I haven’t done that here – maybe I’ll post a selection on Instagram later today, and I forgot to shoot this top which should be included here. I’m really happy with what I’ve ended up with. I wear all of it, and fairly equally too, weather dependent. nothing feels like a waste or a splurge and my clothes seem to be striking a balance between being functional and fashionable.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and soon I will bring you a few posts on the pieces in action.

Have a fabulous weekend readers :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

What to Buy: May

Morning Readers!

I totally was not expecting to be writing this post so apologies its late, but Bubba No.2 still hasn’t deemed it appropriate to make their appearance (perhaps they are taking after Princess Charlotte and have decided to be fashionably late too).

It’s not going to be a terribly long one though, as to be honest, I’ve mostly been ensconced in getting back into our house after a 4.5 month hiatus whilst we had an extension done, and not perusing the shops in favour of decorating and moving back in (we are now back in! YAY!). There’s nothing like a deadline (or hard stop as I’ve come to say thanks to my US colleagues) to make one more productive. If however you wanted advice in choosing the best grey for your walls, or which flooring to choose for a kitchen, then along with Rebecca, I’m currently probably your woman.

That being said, there are a few trends below that I think you’ll need to jump on sooner rather than later if you’d like to wear them over the warmer summer months…

Broderie Anglaise

M&S // Whistles // French Connection

I remember my Mum making me dresses using this beautiful fabric when I was younger but in my early teens I rebelled thinking it was way too “babyish” and pretty to be wearing at my age. I’m now eating humble pie. The prettiest sun-dresses are made from this lovely fabric, and the best bit is that it’s 100% cotton meaning nice and cool for those scorching days. There’s nothing nicer than crisp white with denim and sandals for a purely summer feel.

Ghillie Flats

New Look // Topshop // Office // Next

So named as they are the shoe that Scottish or Irish dancers wear, there is no getting away from them this season. They literally are everywhere. I have the New Look and Next pairs here, but the Topshop version are a great alternative and come in three colour ways, and I have it on good authority that the Office versions are very comfortable. Great to dress up a look and still wear flats – either for the office or otherwise.

Multi-use Bags

Mango // Topshop // Gap // ASOS

Not the most technical of terms I realise, but what I mean here are those bags that can be just as easily used on holiday for the beach as they can for work purposes. OK, so the basket is probably less of a work bag, but some of you may have dress down Fridays, so why not?! I really like the Mango option – ticking both the boho and monochrome boxes for this summer. I actually have a version of the Gap one below (in thinner stripes) to use as a nappy bag for No 2 since some lovely people bought me this as a gift (in a different colour) which I can just drop inside it :)

Off-the-Shoulder

Dress // Warehouse Top // New Look Top // Jumpsuit

There’s no getting away from it, a bare shoulder is where it’s at right now. I wouldn’t condone this look for work, but for a weekend look, or even for something more dressy, showing your collarbone and shoulder is quite easy to do. I really like the ease of this New Look top as it’s not clingy and therefore you aren’t in 80s Fame territory. The same goes for the Warehouse one – it’s a a good price point to try out the trend too. Styled with some of this seasons wedge sandals and a denim skirt or flares, you’ll be good to go for embracing the 70s thing that’s around at the moment.

Jungle Drums

Topshop // Warehouse

Apt that this is actually the colour of one of the rooms in our new loft extension, but there is something quite fresh about a palm print, and this season doesn’t disappoint. The Warehouse dress below is so eye-catching in the flesh – and easy to wear. The Topshop shirt dress could also be a winner – especially in the BF stakes. We’ll have to see.

Occasion Dresses

Karen Millen // Topshop // Karen Millen

Lastly I thought I’d share a few “occasion” dresses I’ve seen as we are headed into Wedding season. If I had something to go to this summer, I’d be wearing one of these, probably one of the Karen Millen ones as I seem to have become obsessed with the retailer of late. Their summer collection is amazing, not least their new Art Atelier collection. Stunning.

So there we have it readers. Before I go I thought I’d just mention that the Shirt dress I had talked about in March is now available at The Outnet. Let’s see if it lives up to the picture I have in my head!

Have great week’s all, and hopefully next time I post, I’ll be able to share some exciting news with you ;)

Til then (…and wish me luck)!

Erin xx

 

What to Buy: March

Happy Friday Readers!

Spring is definitely arriving in the city, and my thoughts are turning to less layers and warmer weather. Last week, I spent a few days in Miami doing my Maternity Leave handover with my Boss and it was so nice to feel the sun on my face. To be able to sit outside at 9pm having dinner was wonderful.

There are a few things I’ve been seeing in the shops this month that should make your “What to Buy” lists this month, and I’m a firm believer that if they aren’t snapped up now, you’ll regret it when the weather DOES get warmer to wear them.  I’ve been a little bit inspired by Laura in starting a Summer/Post-Maternity Box with a few things that will see me through the season, once Bubba has arrived.

Classic Kicks

Adidas Gazelle / Adidas Stan Smith / Adidas Superstar / Converse All Stars

I’m not sure about you, but I grew up with classic trainers. Mine in fact were a pair of Nike Air Cortez that were white with a navy swoosh, and they pretty much saw me through three years of my late teens. I mustn’t forget to also mention some white Converse All Stars which I’ve replaced countless times and still have today. The brand du jour though has got to be Adidas and I’m seriously tempted by a pair of Stan Smiths – something I’ve never owned. My boyfriend during my early 20s was an absolute “sneaker-freaker” but only for the classics so I have learnt from him – the shell-toed Superstars are also making me look twice. Great to wear with any outfit from a dress or skirt to denim, they are an easy way to effortless cool.

The Shirt Dress

alignone

Mango / ASOS White / New Look

I guess it’s no surprise to you all that these are all striped. I think you know me well enough by now, and how my obsession runs through most of my wardrobe. I like the easy feeling of these dresses, that they can just be thrown on either with heels for work (dressed up with a statement belt) or a pair of the aforementioned sneakers. I’m waiting to see what this Iris & Ink version will be like too – it may be a bit too lux for a new Mum, but I do like the idea of the shirt element for easy BF access.

D’Orsay Shoes

Zara / J Crew / ASOS

This is a term I’ve recently learnt, and the perpetrators of these shoes upon having done some research seem to be US brand Vince. Not a new style I know, but they do seem to be more readily available than I’ve seen in the past. I happened to start thinking about this shoe style after going to see 50 Shades for the second time (I know, please don’t judge me, Jamie Dornan is just so HOT!), as Anna wears them in a few scenes. I really like the tassles that give the J Crew pair something different, and I did try the Zara ones, but they are a bit narrow at the front for my wide feet. They are a great option though and a beautiful mix of pony skin and leather for those of you with nice petite hooves ;) I know Rebecca has also mentioned the ASOS Little Rock ones before (and has in fact worn them recently), and these come in various colours too (all of which happen to be on sale). On the subject of 50 Shades, the soundtrack is FANTASTIC. Definately one to download, although it does now conjure up scenes from the film in my head when listening to it ;)

70′s Denim

H&M / Marks & Spencer

Two trends in one here, since Denim and all things 70′s are around at the moment. Flares are something I’m just getting back in to – it’s liberating for the ankles that’s for sure! I also remember having a button through skirt that I wore A LOT when I was about 16, and it was my Mum’s from the actual 70s, so I’ll have to try and dig that out (nope, I don’t do a lot of throwing away much to the despair of my Husband). The M&S one above has been really popular and it actually sold out on line, but there are a few around in the shops if you call up customer services. These TopShop jeans are a good introduction to flares too if you’ve been a “skinnies girl” until now.

Super Soft Suede

Wrap Dress / Jacket / Boots / Bag 

Another 70′s revival is all things Suede. From footwear, to accessories and clothing, it’s in most shops – both the real deal, and some faux versions. Whilst faux is probably more practical, there’s something very tactile about real suede. I’m hankering after the M&S Autograph Skirt that EVERYONE is talking about (how very original of me) which is due in May, but you can introduce it in lots of ways. For me, tan is the classic shade (who remembers the Suede jacket stage at school? That was 5th Year and Sixth Form in my world) but softer neutrals are a good way to go as well. The Accessorize bag above is one of a few from their new leather range which is gorgeous. The baby blue and bucket shape are very on trend for now.

In keeping then with last month, I thought I’d share another beauty bit that I’ve been using for a while and really do whole-heartedly recommend. I am a big fan of Dermalogica products as my skin can be temperamental – dry one minute and greasy the next – so this range really manages that for me. After a facial last year (where she used Dermalogica products anyway), I started to use the Total Eye Care cream. Honestly, it’s made such a difference to the skin around my eyes and I’ve really noticed a difference in lines and now lack thereof. Now it’s not cheap, but is lasts for AGES.

Hope you liked this month’s recommendations readers. Please do, as always, let me know if you buy anything – I’d love to see your choices :)

Have great months!

Erin xxx

 

 

#JanuaryJoy: Refresh your Style

Hello Readers!

HNY to you all. 2014 was certainly a blur but I enjoyed the pace of the final two weeks where I had the time off work to spend with Hubby and son. Returning to work on Monday was a big struggle!

I know I didn’t recap what I wore in December but I’m sure you were all too busy enjoying your festive periods to care anyway ;) Thank you to all those of you that joined in with #fffestivefun – it was lovely to see your interpretation of the daily prompts.

January can be a bit of a mixed bag. With the Media serving up initiatives like Dryathalon (all for good causes though), the inevitable return to the norm (be that work, school or just regular life after the buzz of Christmas) and the fact that it can be so long until Pay Day for some, it’s not surprising that January is often billed as a depressing month.

However, fear not! This month’s What to Buy features some great pieces that you’ll mostly find in the remains of the Sale, and as some of you may be on a budget, nothing exceeds £40. Coupled with Rebecca’s #JanuaryJoy, we can make this years Jan a bright one!

A Classic Jumper

My love for J Crew knows no bounds and although my American boss doesn’t know what all the fuss is about (“It’s like M&S isn’t it?”… erm No!), the Tippi Jumper is one of my favourite pieces. Bracelet length sleeves and a close enough fit to be worn smart or casually, the Tippi is a good alternative to a T-shirt for the Spring. These two colours are reduced in the sale and are actually great Spring colours. Uniqlo and Gap are also good places to find really good alternatives, also in Merino Wool.

J Crew / Uniqlo / Gap

An Oversized Knit

These are everywhere and since the winter months firmly still with us, you’d get a lot of wear out of it. I wear mine either as a Jumper dress for work or with faux leather leggings for easy weekend wear. I especially like the camel H&M style – not a massive lover of a polo neck, this is loose enough to be cosy and not make me look too top heavy.

H&M / H&M / M&S / Topshop

Something Lilac

This notorious “Granny” shade is set to be big for SS15. Ranging from the palest purple to something more Neon Parma Violet, it would be a good time to pick up one of these pieces to add to your wardrobe as a nod to Spring, but at AW14 sale prices.

New Look / Clarks / H&M / ASOS

Sparkles

The Magpie in me will never die and anything Sparkly always cheers me up. The F&F flats above have a whiff of Tabitha Simmonds about them. For £7 just click and collect with your weekly shop. Also, I’ve mentioned this shirt before, and now it’s in the sale ;)

H&M / F&F / Zara / Monica Vinader

Lace

Again, lace was big on the SS15 collection catwalks and you could easily nod to the trend early with something you pick up now. Granted, the lace seen on the Runways was beautiful pastels and whites, but really, lace is lace right and these colours are much easier to wear in January…

Next / Next / Whistles / Zara 

So what do you think readers? Will you choose something here to brighten up your Jan? My Month has kicked off with our Renovation Project starting at home – meaning we’ve had to move out for a while. I’ll be back later in the month with “How I Wore” January but please forgive any less than salubrious places that my outfit post pictures are taken from. #realliferules after all ;)

Erin xx

What to Buy: December

Morning Readers!

I’m back again with the last “What to Buy” of 2014. I find December such a magical time. In years past, my Hubby and I would always go on holiday in the first week of December and come back around the 16th/17th, and whilst the winter sun was welcome, we always lamented missing the build-up. Working in a big city makes things very festive with brass bands and Carolers welcoming you at the station when you arrive in the morning, not to mention the Christmas Lights, and I always feel I ought to dress according to the season. Here then, is my round-up of things to buy, not only for the cold weather (wow, the temperature has REALLY dropped), but for the magic too ;)

Metallics

Blue Skirt / Silver Skirt / Foil Sweatshirt / Gold Trousers

Subtle, or a bit more in your face, something with a little bit of bling is a sure-fire way to light up the season. As I mentioned back in my November “How I Wore” post, this skirt is a really nice way to introduce the trend, and I also love these trousers. Available in limited sizes on line, when I went in-store, there were plenty. Wear with something red to really get into the Festive spirit!

Sequins


Trousers / Dress / Jacket

Who doesn’t like a little bit of sequin at Christmas time? From dainty embellishment to full on glamour for your Christmas Party, there’s something for everyone out there. The magpie in me is drawn to these trousers, but I also love this throw on coat. Perfect for office to after-work drinks!

Red

Jumper / Shirt

Nothing says Christmas more than red. I always used to wear something red on Christmas Day, a tradition I picked up from my Mum whose favourite colour it is, and it’s something that has stuck with me. I’m in love with the Uniqlo Extra Fine Merino Jumpers and one in Red is firmly on my Christmas list – I tend to wear the Mens small as I like the fit better. If you aren’t one for wearing a lot of red in your wardrobe choices, then a nice introduction with a red lip or nail is a good idea.

Winter Boots


Lace Up Boots / Fur Lined Boots

Rebecca started my thinking about these with her post on the delicious Ugg’s, but I have also found some other options for something that is essential over winter. Warm, partly stylish, but practical feet, especially when there are children in tow, are a must. I really like these Ilse Jacobsen ones, as well as these Zara Fur Lined bikers – a very good deal for leather at under £100.

Novelty Clutch

Pink / Yes No / Washing Powder / Chocolate

Honestly, you can’t sneeze without seeing these in all the shops. They are a fun way of updating an outfit if your budget doesn’t stretch to something new for your Christmas Party. I’d quite like Santa to bring me a Kate Spade license plate one ;)

So are you feeling Christmassy yet? I’d love to see if any of you wear any of the above as part of the #FFFestiveFun challenge ;) You won’t see me and what I’ve been wearing at the end of December, as in usual FF style, there won’t be any posts between Christmas and New Year, but I look forward to 2015 and seeing what will be around in the store to share with you all. So, all that remains is to wish you all very Merry Christmasas, and healthy, happy and prosperous New Year’s!

Erin xx

The Fash Flash: Splish Splash

Before even the first day was done of my Capsule wardrobe for Autumn, I realised i had made a grave omission (for Manchester dwelling anyway.) No wet weather gear. For autumn walks they are a must but there was enough torrential rain last week to make me want to wear wells every day of the week so there is going to have to be an amendment! I’ve bought a waterproof coat (more on that soon) and am digging out my Hunters. In the meantime, here are a few I found for you guys to waterproof your wardrobes with…


Joules flower print // Dark silver Chelsea boot wells, New Look // Joules Dog print
Strap detail wellington boot, Ted Baker // Original slim zip wellington, Hunter // Studded biker wellies, New Look
SeaSalt tideline Wellies // Hunter Tall stripe wellington boot // SeaSalt Yellow deck wellies

There are styles here for fun, city dwellers and pretty prints – all the bases are covered.

Are you a welly wearer?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Triple Temptation: Trans-seasonal Scarves

Now that the weather is getting a bit cooler, I’m already changing my wardrobe choices and embracing the layers that an english spring or autumn requires. I’ve got my leather jacket out (happily, very on-trend this season) and also started layering on the large, cosy scarf that I bought for travelling to South Africa and barely took off all holiday. Having realised how much I love it, I realised I needed to buy some more similar styles to cheaply perk up my outfits as I navigate the new season fashions, not to mention keep me warm.

  • Increasingly, I’m wearing more Khaki green (courtesy of my Parka obsession,) so this camo print Whistles number would be a great all-year round wardrobe staple.
  • I love a bit of leopard but prefer a more subtle take – particularly when translated into bold colour like this New Look scarf, instead of traditional animal print tones. This one is striking and looks voluminous enough to be warm too.
  • Trumping them all however is this tribal/nomadic print ASOS collection scarf with coloured border and fun pops of neon pink poms. What’s not to love and who said winter clothes have to be dreary??

Have you spotted any great scarves readers?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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