fashion

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I have put away my winter coats. Call me reckless, but I am ready for spring. We have already had some lovely days in the past couple of weeks (though we have also had a couple of cold, windy days). But I have decided to dress for the weather I want, so my wardrobe has had a bit of a spring overhaul. I've been adding colours to my usual monochromatic colour scheme and I have a new camouflage jacket that is jazzing up my outfits.

Camouflage and khaki are really big this spring. I was a bit nervous that I was too 'mature' for camo, But you get to a point in your life when you have to say 'f*ck it'. No 40-something wants to be accused of dressing too young, but I think fashion is more fluid these days. Teenagers and women in their 60s can be found shopping side by side in places like H&M. So I'm trying not to think of my age, and to just wear clothes that make me happy.

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Ever since I was a teenager, I have had a fondness with peace sign jewellery. It started with a beloved pair of earrings, then it was a chunky ring. In my mid-20s, I began to dress more conservatively. When you're young, and working in an office, you're desperate for people to respect you. But I've been out of the traditional 9 to 5 for over five years now. And I've stopped listening to fashion rules and I just wear whatever makes me happy. Cue my new peace sign bracelet from Chlobo.

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Dressing Down In My Dressing Gown

If you follow me on Facebook, you will know that I recently bought a dressing gown. Emma from BrummyMummyof2 is often sporting one in her Instagram and Facebook posts, and I was feeling a bit jealous. Dressing gowns look so comfy, especially in winter. And I've needed something to make me feel more snuggled up at home. After some research on The Google, I decided upon the third one above. But I thought I would share some of the other robes that I liked.

1. Striped Wrap - this beauty from Marks & Spencer was a close second. It looks so elegant. Plus it's long so will keep your little calves warm. And those stripes appeal to many of us ladies of a certain age. What is it with stripes that sends so many of us in our 30s and 40s all a flutter?!

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While most of us have been thinking about our autumn/winter fashion, how many of us have extended these thoughts to our accessories? I'm talking about watches in particular. A couple of months ago, I got a new watch to update my autumn/winter style. And not just any watch, but a wood watch from Jord. I have received numerous compliments on my new watch, as you can imagine.

I had seen these Jord watches on Instagram for quite some time. I thought they looked pretty, but a wood watch did not seem very practical. Surely they would be heavy and uncomfortable, and then they would probably warp at the first sign of rain. When my Frankie watch arrived, I was happy to be proven wrong. I chose the Frankie because I loved the zebrawood and champagne combination. It is so elegant. Also, as zebrawood is a stripy wood, it looks quite unique. It is not just one colour, which makes it even more obvious that it is indeed a watch made out of wood.

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Last week, I had a night out at the Roof Garden at the John Lewis on Oxford Street in central London. I was invited to a Christmas party for bloggers, and I got to take one of my friends along too. If that wasn't enough of a treat, we were given the most amazing cocktails from Background Bars and delicious Scottish fare from Mac & Wild. We were then given ideas on how we could Make It Thoughtful this Christmas.

Christmas can be so stressful. Many children have lists of presents they want, which in a way makes life easier. But what do you get your other family and friends? People that you care about, but might not be too sure what they would like. John Lewis are encouraging shoppers to be more thoughtful when it comes to gift-giving. One way to do that is to add a bit of personalisation.

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Winter Party Style

Have I ever mentioned that I love the Tu clothing from Sainsbury's. It was only a few years ago when people used to make fun of mums for buying clothes from the supermarket (me included). But these days, everyone knows that the cool kids buy their food and their fashion at the same time. Even the fashionistas are heading to the grocery store for their affordable but stylish clothes. Well, I'm no fashionista but I love pretty clothes and I love a bargain. So last week I went to Sainsbury's as they were running a 25% off sale on clothes.

I was immediately drawn to their midi pleated skirts. I have tried so many on in the past eight months and have not had any luck in finding one that is flattering and comfortable. Sainsbury's had a gorgeous khaki skirt but they didn't have it in my size so I got his grey one instead. I am debating whether I should order the khaki online. The skirts are sized from size 8-22 and only costs £13.50 in the sale, which is amazing. I've added my black brogue boots from Dune to keep the skirt from looking too girly (here are this year's version of the boot).

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Wowed By Winter Boots

I know it's still autumn, but in the past week it has started feeling like winter. The temperatures have dropped and I'm living in knits and boots. I've had a few outings recently that I would like to look not-so-casual, and nice winter boots would be an asset. I can't always wear trainers/sneakers or Gore-Tex boots. So I was thrilled when my parcel from JD Williams arrived.

The first item were these gorgeous suede ankle boots (first three photos). They are so soft and pretty, not to mention the fact that khaki is quite big for this autumn/winter season. Although you could wear these all year long. I love the cowboy style of these boots. They would look equally nice with jeans or a dress and tights. I'm wearing them with new favourite jeans, which are from Sainsburys. I've been really impressed with the style and prices for the clothing at Sainsburys (the skirt is below from there as well).

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Laura Ashley Has Me Thinking of Spring

Last week I headed to Chelsea to the Laura Ashley head office for their spring/summer17 preview. One of my favourite parts of blogging is getting to go look at lovely fashion and interiors. And I love Laura Ashley. I'm not overly girly, but I do enjoy florals and pinks. If I wasn't married and living with mucky children, I can imagine living somewhere full of flowery wallpaper, a pink armchair with candles all around. Hmmm.

For now, I am making do with lovely accents. I was especially taken with the blush. Even Husband can't argue with a little bit of light pink. And team it with grey for a cool, Scandi vibe. Speaking of grey, I saw some grey candles that looked fab. And only when I got close did I realise that they weren't real. Perfect when you have small children and you don't want to worry about them burning themselves.

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These Boots Were Made For Walking

Do you know those women who always wear pretty heels and generally look quite elegant yet cool? Well, I'm not one of those women. I'm the practical one wearing trainers/sneakers. Recently I've started going for regular walks in Richmond Park with various mum friends. Sometimes this results in wet toes. Trainers aren't that great for muddy walks. So I've been wanting to get some Goretex boots for ages. And last week I finally got some.

Along with some other bloggers, I was invited to an event at Hotter Shoes in Guildford last week. Not only did we get to find out about the history of Hotter, we got to go crazy trying on lots of boots. Hotter was founded in 1959 making slippers. These proved so popular that they started making an array of comfortable shoes and boots, and now there are currently 70 stores in the UK. And all the shoes made for Hotter, are made in their factory in Lancashire. That's right, their factory is based in the UK. I became a fan of Hotter shoes last year and was already the owner of two sandals, one trainer and one heeled party shoe, but no boots. Not until last week.

Most of the bloggers were trying on cute heeled boots, and of course Mrs Practical here was looking for boots that would enable me to walk for miles in comfort (and stay dry). The problem was that there were so many comfortable boots - even the ones with heels. But then I found some Gore-tex beauties and I knew that I had to get them. They didn't have the Orla boots in black, in my size, so the store ordered them for me (with free delivery!) and they arrived at my house four days later.

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Mummy Makeover with Regatta

I live in dresses and leggings. And even though I have many outdoor adventures, I am not dressed like I am about to go creeping through tall grass or stomping in the mud. In September, Regatta invited me (and three other mummy bloggers) to a style masterclass with Vogue Williams. Vogue is a model and TV personality, and is the new face of the Regatta AW16 Heritage collection. Vogue and Regatta helped me find a sportier look for my weekends.

Regatta considers me to be a 'Weekend Explorer' because my family and I spend our weekends walking and discovering new areas. I like my clothes to be practical and warm. This is all true, but I never seem to be dressed appropriately for our walks. I normally wear my trainers which always leave me with wet toes. And my winter coat is made of wool rather than a fabric that will keep me dry.

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