Moozles loves a dress. So she was thrilled when I presented her with two new dresses last month. To be honest, the girl is not too picky when it comes to clothing. I, on the other hand, am very pernickety. I like dresses to be made of cotton, durable and able to handle stains. I also don't like slogans or cartoon characters. But I don't want her clothing to look boring. And the girls and boys clothes from Milk & Biscuits fit that bill to a tee.
The tropical leaf print dress is definitely my favourite. The cotton is really soft and the print is really cool. Moozles has been wearing this dress loads. It is perfect for sunny, but not sweltering, summer days. But I can see her wearing it loads in the autumn and winter as well. And I love three-quarter sleeves as it makes the dress feel quite modern. Also, we have washed this dress many times - I have managed to get stains out every time, and the dress has not shrunk one bit and doesn't need any ironing (the last bit is my favourite).
I know that today is the last day of school, but it is difficult not to think about September. My girl is moving to Year Four, and the boy is starting Reception. That's right, my baby boy is actually starting big school. *weeps* Aside from the tears, July is the perfect time to get school gear. That way the end of August/beginning of September isn't filled with such panic. Also, if you have a child starting Reception, be aware that the smaller-sized uniforms are often sold out in August. So in the spirit of getting ready for school, I ordered Dubz his school uniforms from Debenhams last week as there is a 20% off discount on uniforms. Moozles wanted a new PE bag (she has had the same Princess bag since Reception and she feels it is 'much too babyish' for her), and Dubz needed his first PE bag. *weeps some more* So I thought I would share their cool new school things.
Dubz needed everything (except for some school-logo jumpers that he would be inheriting from his sister). I got him a two-pack of the white polo tops, and a two-pack of the blue polo tops (£4 each pack, what a bargain!). Blue tops clean better, especially when you have mucky children like mine, but I thought it would be handy to have some white ones anyway. I also got him a two-pack of grey trousers, one pair of slim cargo trousers and two pairs of the cargo shorts. And of course some socks. Dubz loves his superhero and Star Wars socks so it is a big deal to now be wearing grey socks most days. But he loved the uniform and wants to wear it all the time. It all came to just under £38 which I think is wonderful for this quality of uniform.
For the past few months, I have been trying to update my wardrobe. After years of wearing the same thing (my safe and comfy dress-legging combo), I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone. I have decided that just because I am not at my ideal weight, it does not mean that I should stop trying out different styles. I've been experimenting with blazers, testing out midi skirts and showing off my shoulders. Next, I knew I needed a maxi-dress. Now, I know that maxi-dresses have been around for ages. But I have always felt like they only look nice on tall, slim women. I'm happy to report that I was wrong (a very rare occurrence indeed).
A couple of weeks ago I got this dress from House of Fraser. For a curvier gal, I do think you need to be a bit careful about what maxi dress to choose from. A flowy viscose or jersey fabric hangs nicely without clinging to all your lumps and bumps. I know lots of full-figure women who are happy to wear tight clothing. I am not one of those people. I really wish I could be more carefree about my body, but I just can't.
But I don't think you have to pick a boring black dress, just because you are curvy. I do love a bright print or stripes. This striped dress from Dickins & Jones would look lovely on just about anyone. Horizontal stripes be damned. The v-neck is flattering without being too low-cut (bonus: I was able to get away without wearing a bra with this dress). Although I wore the dress with wedges, they would look fab with trainers or flip-flops too. And if you're wearing a maxi-dress? No one knows if you haven't shaved your legs. Double bonus!
There's nothing like new clothes to brighten up your day. But sometimes, when you have a fuller figure, you don't want to buy new clothes. You buy a new handbag or shoes and just keep wearing the same old clothes. But there is something healing about a new outfit. A couple of weeks ago I got two new dresses and a t-shirt from Pink Clove, and they have definitely cheered up my dull, grey June.
As you may know, I wear a lot of dresses. My 'mummy uniform' is normally a dress, leggings and trainers/sneakers. I have been moving away from skater dresses to midi dresses. I find that a longer dress elongates, and looks a bit more grown-up. And with my knees covered, I am more likely to skip the leggings on a warm day. I have been wearing my chevron print dress loads. The sleeves cover my upper arms and the v-neck is very flattering. I can add a wedge for a night out, but I normally wear with my Hotter sandals or trainers during the day.
My other new dress has a lovely tie at the waist and a plunging neckline. This is a great everyday dress, perfect for running errands and doing the school runs (with my trusty leggings obvs). But with a jazzy necklace and wedges, I've made it a dress I can wear for meeting up with my girlfriends or a date night with Husband. I've also added a vest/tank top underneath for modesty but you could go without in the evening.
You might remember that I recently bought a rain jacket from Joules (which I adore, btw). So you can imagine my excitement about going to the Joules 2016 autumn/winter preview recently. Joules is a British brand that are known for quality and style. And they are not deviating from this image for the next season. Bright, eye-catching colours and beautiful prints are everywhere. So I thought I would share some of my favourites.
I can't imagine anyone not liking the boots in the top photo. Brown leather and leopard spots, be still my heart. And I spotted gorgeous black leather boot with zebra stripes that my little girl would love. I've also decided that I need welly boots. I've lived in the UK for 14 years now and I need to embrace this part of my life in order to prevent the dreaded soggy feet.
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the House of Fraser autumn/winter 2016 press day. It is such fun seeing what is going to be in the shops and online in July/August. House of Fraser have really made me want the spring/summer to end. First, let's start with the fashion. There were so many gorgeous knits - all in an array of colours: grey, navy, pink, yellow, camel and burgundy. There was suede and lace and fur and leather. Oh my! Autumn/winter is my favourite fashion season, and I am dying to wear some of these beautiful, and cosy, things.
I grew up in Northern California during a drought. This means that it rarely rained. In fact, I don't recall even wearing/owning a raincoat. California in the 1980s is a long way from today in the UK. I have been living in London for 14 years now. It rains quite often. Like a lot. A lot a lot. Before I had children, I didn't have to worry too much about a water-resistant rain jacket. I would carry around an umbrella in case it rained. Then I had to push around a buggy, and didn't have any free hands to hold a brolly. And I ended up getting drenched on many outings. And the rain became my nemesis.
I have tried many so-called waterproof rain jackets in the past few years. But I would always get soaked through. Then in April I decided to take a chance on this yellow beauty from Joules. The jacket is fully lined in soft, stripey jersey. The hood is big enough so that it covers one's head (and keeps long hair dry). There are two secure pockets where you can keep keys and a mobile phone covered and dry. There are a further two pockets where you can keep your little hands cosy. This really impressed me. I also managed to get the jacket with an online discount code (lowering it from £79.95 to 59.95), which really made my day.
Gone are the days when I can wear cheap, uncomfortable shoes. I am 40. I like to be comfortable. I do not like my feet to hurt. All whilst liking my shoes to be pretty or cool. Tough order, I know. And it doesn't help that I fell down the stairs almost three years ago and broke a toe (the toe has never fully recovered and I now have to wear shoes that securely hold my feet in - that means no more flip flops or ballet shoes, *sniff, sniff*). Last year I bought some party shoes for my birthday from Hotter Shoes. They have a small heel, are comfortable yet are very pretty. I have received loads of compliments on them, so I was thrilled when Hotter invited me to their Kingston shop recently to get myself a new pair of summer shoes.
I tried on lots of shoes and sandals before deciding on some super cute black sandals that I can wear every day. My new sandals have been worn loads over the past couple of weeks, and there has not been one blister. They will be comfortable on the school run, but I won't look frumpy. I can also dress them up as needed. I live in dresses and leggings, and my new sandals look fab. Have a look below at one of the many ways I have styled them.
If you've never been to Hotter Shoes, there are some things you need to know. First of all, you will be overwhelmed by all the cute shoes available. But don't let that deter you. Go in, try on shoes. Lots of shoes. All the shoes I tried on were comfy, the final decision was made on style rather than comfort. The shoes are cushioned and light (you won't be clomping about in heavy shoes).
I don't know about you, but I find myself wearing the same thing time and time again. I wear a baggy but comfy dress, a cardigan and leggings. During the week, when I'm all about school runs and errands, this uniform works. I add trainers for most of the year, boots during the winter. But I'm 40 now, and getting tired of dressing like I did at 32. I want to look a bit more sophisticated and more polished, while still remaining relatively casual and comfortable. So, when the team at George at Asda challenged me to mix up my #styleYOUniform, I had to give it a try.
As a Stay-At-Home-Mum, I don't have loads of money to spend on my wardrobe, so I normally just buy clothes for nights out and weekend outings. I don't normally treat myself to weekday clothes, bar the occasional sweatshirt (I love sweatshirts). And recently, I haven't wanted to get any new clothes, as I have put on all the weight I lost last year (20 pounds, eek!). But with being 40, I am trying to be kinder to myself and not waste energy beating myself up over my weight gain.
It has been a long, grey winter. But the past couple of weeks have seen spring slowly arriving in the UK. There is sun, people. Warm, wonderful sun. I won't be wearing my sandals just yet, but I will be ditching my black woolly jumpers. And I will be bringing an array of colour into my wardrobe. Pastels, fuchsia, yellow and turquoise. And I'm kicking it off with my new colourful cardigan from Joe Browns.
Joe Browns's spring/summer range is bursting with funky, bright prints. There are some pretty floral and Hawaiian-printed dresses and a gorgeous tropical satchel that I have my eye on. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I love a cardi. I have them in many styles and colours. I wear long sleeves in winter, and 3/4 sleeves the rest of the time. There is something about a 3/4 sleeve that just makes me happy. And my new cardi makes me happy. It is a lovely mint colour with brightly coloured buttons (they alternate between red, purple and yellow).