The New Hat

The New Hat

Regular readers, and friends, will know that Dubz loves a hat. After losing his beloved summer trilby, we have struggled finding a comfy hat for him. But last week I spotted the above grey beauty at Matalan. Dubz has been wearing it all day everyday for the past four days. Oh, the happiness and joy on his face. How can a trilby make a toddler so content?! I should probably better go out and buy a spare hat (I bought the last one of its kind in my local store). For right now, I am just happy that Dubz has a hat he enjoys wearing.

The New Hat


My Christmas Outfit, Styled by my Husband and SimplyBe

Can you think of anything scarier than letting your partner pick out an outfit for you? What about a festive Christmas outfit? When SimplyBe asked if Husband and I were up to this challenge, I felt nervous right away. Husband is a wonderful father and husband. But a clotheshorse he is NOT. His hair is normally scruffy and his clothes are often wrinkled. In fact, Husband hates shopping so much that I normally buy his clothes. So the prospect of him picking out an outfit? That I have to wear in public? Terrifying.

My Christmas Outfit
Such a sweet face, surely he wouldn’t pick out a leather mini skirt and matching crop top?

But, I have spent years trying to cultivate a sense of fashion awareness in Husband. And I wanted to see if he had an idea of what I like to wear and what styles suited me. So, armed with my sizes, Husband spent FOUR HOURS on SimplyBe putting together an outfit on Polyvore. And this is what he picked out.

Husband styling Californian Mum in London


What a pretty dress. I love the velvety fabric and the bit of tulle at the bottom. I have a tough time finding dresses that fit me since I wear a smaller size on top, but this fits extremely well. I don’t normally like a cap sleeve, but I like this one. It fits well and I can wear a normal bra with it. I find it hard to feel festive when I’m wearing a strapless bra. I don’t have any other clothing from Joe Browns, and am really impressed with the quality and fit of this dress. I will definitely shop that brand again. The dress looks nice with or without tights, depending on how cold it might be. I added some burgundy tights for some Christmas colour.

My Christmas Outfit

My Christmas Outift

I would have liked a brighter or sparklier dress, as it is a Christmas outfit, but I think the cardigan was put in for that touch of glittery fun. Although the cardigan is lovely, I would not wear it with the dress. Husband does know that I adore a cardi, so he gets bonus points for that. I think a shorter cardi or a shrug would have looked better. This cardigan is boxy, and would look great teamed up with a white tank/vest or t-shirt and with skinny jeans or a simple mini. Teamed with this dress, it looks like I am a member of the 1950s girl gang, The Blue Ladies.

My Christmas Outift

Oh, these ankle boots. Beautiful, soft grey suede. Divine, and so comfy. Husband knows that I can no longer wear proper heels. Last year I fell down the stairs and broke one toe and sprained another. My feet need to be held in well, otherwise they ache. I will definitely be able to wear these boots all night whilst feeling festive.

For anyone that follows me on Twitter or Instagram, you might have noticed there was an incident with the boots on Sunday. When I opened the parcel from SimplyBe, the first thing I did was try on the boots. While I was putting on the left boot, my two-year old threw the right boot into his sister’s bubble bath. Disaster. Luckily the boot dried well and the lovely suede was not ruined.

My Christmas Outfit

The handbag has a cool, retro look to it. I probably wouldn’t have picked it out but I’m glad Husband did. And for this outfit, I would have preferred something silver, gold or pink, just to brighten it all up. But it really is a gorgeous clutch. One side is black leather and the other side is black and gold. There’s also a handle that you can use, but I prefer it as a clutch.

My Christmas Outfit

My Christmas Outfit






I wear a lot of grey and black and navy blue. So all these colours fit really well into my colour palette. But as it is Christmas, it would have been nice to see some gold or burgundy in the outfit. Then again, jewellery and tights can really add a splash of colour and sparkle to any outfit.

There was no jewellery included in my outfit, so I grabbed a necklace that used to belong to Husband’s paternal grandmother. I don’t wear too much jewellery but I like to at least wear a necklace or earrings on a night out. Husband likes my hair down, so I styled it straight. I wore just a little bit of make-up as Husband does not like the stuff caked on my face. And neither do I (I don’t even own foundation). All in all, I’m quite pleased with my outfit. The dress, boots and clutch work really well together. Simple and elegant. Husband did a pretty good job. What do you think?

My Christmas Outfit


This post is linked to Real Mom Street Style on Reasons To Dress and Fashion Friday on Mummy’s Got Style.
SimplyBe sent me the outfit, that Husband picked out, for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

House of Fraser Women’s Fashion SS15

House of Fraser press day2

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to view the Spring/Summer 2015 Press Preview at House of Fraser. I got a little sneak peek of the gorgeous fashion that will be available online and in shops in January/February 2015. I completely ignored the men’s clothes and went straight to the womenswear.

Biba didn’t disappoint with its usual gorgeous and bright colour scheme, plus lots of golds.  And there were some gorgeous handbags. Biba, Lulu Guinness, Ted Baker, Dickins & Jones and Label Lab. Oh, the handbags. So lovely, so free of porridge stains and those little raisins that have fallen out of their boxes.

Hello snakeskin bag next to leopard print skirt!
Hello snakeskin bag next to leopard print skirt! Come to mama.
Feathery goodness
Feathery goodness
Headphone handbag! Practical schmactical.
Headphones! Practical schmactical.







My favourite pieces came from Label Lab. A brand that I’m not familiar with, but whose clothing seemed made for me. Tops were slouchy, with a Scandinavian touch. Lots of greys and yellows. I like clothes that are comfortable, but I still like to look a bit edgy. I’m not ready to dress like a pensioner, despite my various aches and pains. And there was a gorgeous dark grey biker jacket. If only I had a handsome and kind husband who would surprise me with such an item. if only. Biker jackets seem to be a hot item for Spring/Summer 2015, so don’t pack yours away in the back of your wardobe this winter.

Before I left, I had just enough time to coo over the sweet Liberty-print dresses and tops for little girls from Little Dickins & Jones. Can’t wait for Spring!

House of Fraser SS15


Fashion Friday on

House of Fraser invited me to their SS15 Press Day. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.


Discovering Beauty at John Lewis Kingston

John Lewis Beauty

That’s right, yet another post about John Lewis. What can I say? I love JL. Two weeks ago I dragged my bloggy friend Sam (far right) from And Then The Fun Began to John Lewis Kingston. I say dragged, but I mentioned that there was a Beauty Event at John Lewis, and Sam agreed to go before I finished my sentence. And whilst there, we saw the lovely Steph (in the middle) from Sisterhood (And All That). Beauty AND friends, is there anything better? Oh yes, there was Cava too!

John Lewis hold beauty evenings at their various stores a couple of times a year. You get to indulge in an evening of complimentary makeovers, skincare analysis, mini-manicures and mini-facials. And Cava. All for £5, which is redeemable against a purchase. And as all beauty products were 10% off on the night, it really was hard not to buy every indulgent item I sampled. I went to the last Beauty Event at John Lewis Kingston in March of this year (blogged about here). It is such a fab treat to get out and get pampered with gorgeous beauty and skin products.

This time, I got to chat to the lovely people at Clinique about my skincare needs. I was also given some products to try. I am getting to that age (*cough, cough* 39 *cough, cough) where I feel like my skin regime needs a bit of an overhaul. I then had my make-up done at Benefit. I had a bold eye and a light lip, which is the opposite of my day-to-day look. But it is fun to look a bit more glamorous than usual. Before the night finished, we went to the women’s wear section for a fashion show. Some of the staff at John Lewis Kingston showed off the fashion highlights of the new season.

John Lewis Beauty John Lewis BeautyJohn Lewis BeautyJohn Lewis Beauty photo 2

Have you ever been to a John Lewis Beauty Event? When was the last time you had a make-up makeover? Are you in need of a new look?


I was invited to attend the Beauty Event, with a friend, for the purpose of this review. All views expressed are entirely my own.

Falling for Fall Looks from John Lewis Kids

Okay, I know that British people call this season ‘autumn’ and not ‘fall’, but for the purpose of alliteration in my title I had to go with ‘Fall’. For those of you who read my blog regularly, you will know that I love John Lewis. They’re an all-round great department store and they also have a fab line of kids’ clothing. John Lewis Boy, John Lewis Girl, Kin by John Lewis and the new Donna Wilson for John Lewis range – these lines are fashionable without breaking the bank.

I have picked out some of my favourite items from the kids’ autumn clothing. The girls’ clothes range from ultra feminine to funky tomboy to Scandi-cool. My six-year old daughter, Moozles, edges towards the latter two so these are our top picks.

Buy John Lewis Girl Brittany Tripple Buckle Hi-Top Trainers Online at johnlewis.comBuy John Lewis Girl Herringbone Shorts, Red Online at johnlewis.comBuy John Lewis Girl Contrast Sleeve Denim Dress, Light Blue Online at johnlewis.comBuy Donna Wilson for John Lewis Girls' Tree Leggings, Black/Multi Online at johnlewis.comBuy Donna Wilson for John Lewis Stripe Dress, Multi Online at johnlewis.comBuy John Lewis Rabbit Ear Muffs, Grey Online at

Buckle high-top trainers, £19-£20    Herringbone shorts, £16-£18    Denim dress, £20-£22
Tree leggings, £10    Stripe dress, £25    Rabbit ear muffs, £9


Boys’ clothing is a bit more difficult to source. Just because you have a son, it doesn’t mean that he must be dressed for a play in the mud. I like Dubz to wear more than just tracksuit bottoms and hoodies. But he does not want to feel constricted or be dressed too formally. John Lewis have some super cool boys’ fashion. The boys’ hats, gloves and scarves are especially cute. I mean, ridiculously cute. I could probably do an entire post on the accessories alone. But I have included my favourite, the balaclava below (Dubz just adores monsters).

Buy John Lewis Boy Spiders Long Sleeve T-Shirt, Blue Online at johnlewis.comBuy John Lewis Boy Robot Jumper, Blue Online at johnlewis.comBuy Kin by John Lewis Colour Block Long Sleeve T-Shirt, Charcoal/Yellow Online at johnlewis.comBuy John Lewis Boy Skull and Crossbone Pyjamas, Pack of 2, Blue Online at johnlewis.comBuy Donna Wilson for John Lewis Boys' Badger T-Shirt, Grey Online at johnlewis.comBuy John Lewis Boy Monster Balaclava, Navy/Red Online at

Spiders t-shirt, £11-£13    Robot jumper, £16-£18    Colour block t-shirt, £10-£12
Skull & crossbones pyjamas, £20-£22    Badger t-shirt, £15    Monster balaclava, £12-£13


So those are my favourite autumnal pieces from the kids’ clothing lines from John Lewis. Do you like the pieces that I’ve picked out? Have you seen any items that are making you get your purse out?


Fashion Friday on

Aww, Autumn Clothes from M&S

Last Sunday I went to M&S in an extremely last-minute effort to stock up on back-to-school essentials. Instead of buying school shoes for my daughter, I was overcome at the gorgeous autumn collections for both boys and girls.

So I decided to put together my favourite items from M&S. First, the girls’ clothes had a great mix of tough, funky, feminine and cool. There were loads of great items, in mustard, navy and purple. And is there a girl who would not adore the leopard print faux fur coat? My six-year old loves a fur coat, and they are normally roomy enough to last a couple of winters. I expect some of these items, if not all, will end up in my daughter’s wardrobe quite soon.


I was also pleased when I saw the autumnal clothing range for little boys. Boys’ clothes can leave many of us underwhelmed. My two-year old son, Dubz, is quite particular when it comes to what he wears. He loves his clothing to contain animals, monsters and robots. I like him to look nice but to feel comfortable. Have you seen anything cuter than the fox welly boots?


Do you love autumn clothing? Have you started your autumn shopping? Will any of the above items be making their way into your little one’s wardrobe?


Fashion Friday on

Back to School And Looking Cool

I can’t believe that summer is almost over and that my daughter will be going back to school next Wednesday. I wish I could say that I had sorted out new shoes and new uniforms but I haven’t done a thing. Yikes! I think I may have been in denial that my baby girl is about to begin her final year of infants’ school. From her first day in Reception, Moozles has changed so much.

Back to School

Luckily Moozles can still fit into her summer dresses as she will be wearing those for the first couple of weeks. That gives me an extra week to get her a new skirt, polo tops and a new jacket. But I will have to get the shoes next week. I had a look at the Debenhams website to see if I could get my daughter kitted out for school for £100. I managed to find some great items which won’t break the bank (especially as there is a 20% off sale on back-to-school essentials at the moment).

These shoes are girly and cute, but look like they will be comfy and allow Moozles to run up and down her school’s adventure playground with fervour. Moozles had patent shoes last year and they actually show less scuffs than the plain ones she has had. And at £12.80, I won’t feel distraught if she goes up a shoe size in three months.

This skirt (£7.20) is lovely. I love the pleats, and Moozles adores pockets (you would be surprised how many stones and twigs such a girly girl brings home). Moozles won’t wear school trousers, and can still fit into her pinafore, so a new skirt would be perfect.

Moozles also needs a couple of new polo tops. I thought girls were supposed to be neat, but she normally comes home covered in dirt and paint. Hopefully these tops (two for £5.60) can handle some staining.

Last but not least, Moozles will need a warm winter coat. This one will not only keep her cosy, but is the prettiest shade of pink. At £54.95, it is the priciest thing on our list, but it needs to be of an excellent quality. Moozles’ last winter coat lasted two winters so I am hoping this will do the same.

Moozles isn’t the only one who needs a new school wardrobe. Her little brother Dubz will be starting at the local pre-school three mornings a week, beginning next Friday. *sniff, sniff* Luckily, he will be able to wear his usual clothes. But it would be nice if he had something new on his first day of school. Although he is two, he wears size 3-4 clothing as he is quite tall. Here is a cool outfit he will love but that will be survive the rigors of pre-school. The top and trousers come to £20 so I have reached my £100 limit. But I’m pretty pleased that I have found everything for Moozles and even something for Dubz. Smart clothes for my two little smartypants.

This post is my entry into The Debenhams Back to School Competition on


Summer Dressin’

tulle skirt

We have had lovely summer weather. But with the heat, the kids need to dress to stay cool. In both aspects of the word. Here’s my little gal. She loves a long skirt or dress. And her favourite thing to wear? A tulle, ballet-type skirt! We got this pink number from Marks & Spencer, and it is soft and comfy. Plus I can just throw it in the washing machine. I do not have time for handwashing, and my girl gets messy. We dress the shirt down with a plain tee (as pictured) and crocs. For parties we add party shoes/sandals and a pretty top.

As for Dubz, he is obsessed with shorts. I don’t know what I’m going to do when the weather gets cooler. For now he wears shorts every day. And he has to wear a t-shirt with an animal motif. If any of his shirts are plain, he refuses to wear them. It’s a bit of a pain but I’ve given up fighting. What do you think? Don’t they look happy in their outfits? And cool too!

kids clothes kids clothes 2 shark top

Why not pop on over to Mother Geek and Clearly Bex for more fashion fun on Trendy Tot Thursday.

Personal Styling for the Pernickety Shopper

When I told Husband that I was going to see a personal shopper, his reply was ‘She has her work cut out for her’. I had no snappy comeback because, for once, he was right. I am such a pernickety shopper. With a six-year old and a two-year old, I don’t have time to go to shops and try things on. But I love a bit of retail therapy. So normally I buy things from the internet (on which I spend hours), and for every 20 items I buy, maybe one item gets to call my wardrobe home. This means that I waste a lot of time at the post office or doing Collect+.
As I need a new outfit for Britmums Live (which is in two weeks–woohoo), I thought I would try a new approach to clothes shopping. John Lewis offer a complimentary, one hour ‘express’ session of their Personal Styling Service to help find a particular/special outfit. They also offer a complimentary two-hour service if your wardrobe needs updating. I went to the John Lewis in Kingston on Sunday and was greeted by a amiable personal shopped named Alison. I told Alison what I was looking for, my dress and shoes sizes, and we discussed flattering colours. While I relaxed in the comfy styling suite enjoying some water and a magazine, Alison went to get me some possible outfits.
I am looking for a dress that looks nice with or without leggings. Something not too short that suits either trainers/sneakers or sandals. I need something that can be dressed up or down as I spend most of my time on Mummy Duty and don’t normally go out more than once or twice a month. One of my issues is that I gained three stone (42 pounds) when I was pregnant with Dubz. He is now two years old and those three stone stubbornly remain. My shape is different than what it used to be and I am still adjusting to dressing a big tummy.
I tried on about eight or nine tunic dresses and dresses, two pairs of shoes and a necklace. Alison introduced me to a couple of brands I had never heard of, including Mint Velvet. Unfortunately for me, Mint Velvet seems to be flying off the shelves and they didn’t have a lot of the type of dresses I like in my size, in the shop or online (I am wearing Mint Velvet in the last pic). In the end, I was torn by two tunic dresses. But I have decided to keep looking. There was no pressure to buy anything that day, which is the kind of service I have come to expect from John Lewis. I have since spent a couple more hours looking for the right outfit. After all, I still have two weeks.
Please note that I was not paid for this review. All opinions expressed are completely my own. I just really like shopping at John Lewis.
Family Fever

Violeta from Mango

A couple of months ago I received an email from Mango about their new range of plus-size clothing, Violeta by Mango. I was excited since Mango seem to have very few of their clothes available in size XL and I am still carrying the baby weight. Today I received an email from Mango. I was excited to check out the collection, which has clothing from size 14 to 24. Here are the some cute looks that I would wear:
Slim-fit Royal jeans Striped slub cardigan Tencel shirt dress
Although there were a few pretty items, for the most part the collection was quite bland. I had assumed the clothes would be for a similar age bracket as the regular Mango clothing. But it looks like some of the clothes are for older ladies. I’m no spring chicken at 38, but these clothes would age me twenty years. And I don’t know many 58-year old women who want to look 58. These are three looks that are neither fashionable nor flattering:
  Paisley shirt dressBelt flecked cardiganPolka-dot blouse
If you want affordable, stylish plus-size clothing, I suggest checking out ASOS Curve or New Look Plus Size.