It's magic

Every woman deserves to have an item of clothing that can work a bit of magic. For me, it's this bright red flouffy underskrt. Whenever I put it on I feel transformed; playful, flirtatious, joyful - it's magic! Maybe not everyday wear for some I know, but for me, if I need to inject a bit of fun into my day, out comes the petticoat. 

I've pulled together this outfit today from that bloggers standby - shopping my closet. The rollneck sweater was a brand new piece picked up from a charity shop; it caught my eye because of the gold buttons on the cuffs as well as the slimfit shape. I'd put it away in September and then completely forgotten about it. The skirt was a hand-me-down from my daughter (or should that be a pass-me-up?), anyway, it too was brand new with the label still attached. And the tights, well what a great find they were! I came across a bag of tights under the bed (like we all have, right?) and inside were a couple of pairs of these wonderful thick tights that have a slightly fleecy lining. I'm probably well behind with this trend, but golly how warm they are! I have no recollection where or when I bought them, or they may even have come from Sasha too, but hey what a find.

This month I've noticed that a few bloggers on Instagram are taking a month off from clothes shopping and I've decided to join in with the challenge. I'm not due to go away to the mainland again until April, so I thought I'd steer clear of the online sales at Office and H&M which are generally my downfall and see if I can go cold turkey until then. April in the charity shops will herald all sorts of spring and summer goodies - that's what I need to focus on. I was very lucky with both Christmas and birthday presents so I do have quite a few new clothes to add to the blog over the next few months. It's going to be an interesting few months I think. Wish me luck!

Outift details - sweater: H&M (similar), skirt: H&M (similar), underskirt: eBay, belt: New Look, boots: Office (sold out, but these are similar), rings and necklace: gifts, sunglasses: Quay Australia.

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Cherie of Style Nudge

Anna x


It's my birthday!

Yes, today is my birthday. January is not the best of months to have a birthday, but hey, what can you do? I'm at work today, but as a nod to my birthday I decided on Sunday to have a walk to one of the local beaches, taking some time to enjoy the sunshine while I reflected on being a year older.

But before we go any further, I want to apologise to my regular readers for my sporadic posts of late. The irony of my position has been lack of inspiration - this from the woman who professes to having a desire to inspire others - very funny, I know! Yes, I may have lots of clothes to choose from, but good daylight for photo opportunities during the winter does really become a challenge for me over time. I was given a very useful bit of advice when I first started blogging, and that was to be consistent with my content. I've had to make a choice between regular posts of a mediocre standard or decent posts as and when they occur. I hope you understand and that this decision will keep you coming back.

Unbeknownst to me, I had lost the stone from my ring somewhere between leaving home and getting to the beach. It was only when I came to edit the photos that I noticed. It's only a costume piece, so of no monetary value, but it was a lovely sparkly blue stone that matched my jeans perfectly. Ho hum!

This is Toby who belongs to some friends of mine. He had been enjoying the sea, but was well behaved enough to sit nicely for his photo shoot.

And talking of the sea, this was how I started my day on Sunday (and every other day of the year).

The swim had been one of the coldest of the year so far. My skin was ruddy in response to the temperature, matching the pink and lilac hues of the clouds behind, which were bathed in the rosy glow of the rising sun. This truly is the best time of the day for me. The swim gives me with a wonderful rush of endorphins which set me up for the day ahead. 

Turning 59 feels like a dress rehearsal for 60, and that's not really as big a deal as I thought it might be. I know I'm not there yet, but I was delighted to hear on radio 4 that Barack Obama, at 55, is a young and vital man with so much to give. Heck, this moving of the goalposts has come in the nick of time for me! Instead of having to write a woe is me piece I can rejoice that I too, am still young. Have you noticed that there's a lot of this going on for my generation? 50 is the new 40, and now 55 is young! I'm feeling a bit like Benjamin Button.

But seriously, I have to admit that I'm very happy with my lot and know I have a great deal to be grateful for. I'm lucky to be in a strong marriage where we are equal partners and have different interests to bring into the mix. Lucky too, that my son lives here on the island and that my daughter visits often - my family means everything to me. I'm so lucky to work in a job that I enjoy which leads me to meet and work with so many interesting and talented people. I'm incredibly fortunate to live here on this tiny island where life is lived at a slow pace in the most beautiful of surroundings.

I'm grateful too, for good health, but that hasn't always been the case. Click here to read about the battle to find my own pathway to healthy eating and consequently a healthy body. And click here to read about sea swimming because without it I don't think I'd have the healthy immune system I benefit from now. 

And finally, the icing on the cake has to be my blog. Much as it's been a bit wobbly of late, I do love having an opportunity to share my outfits of the day with you. It's opened up an avenue for making new friendships and consolidating old ones. Blogging brings to mind one of my favourite quotes from Oscar Wilde. He said,  "Be yourself, everyone else is taken." That little prompt allows me the freedom to be me, without fear of judgement. That's not to say that some may, and probably do, judge me, but I have no time to waste worrying about that. And that brings me nicely onto the subject of time. I'm aware that you may like to have a routine of days to tune in for the next feature, and I understand that. I'm sure once Polly is back on board I'll become more reliable, but in the meantime, may I ask that you hang on in there. I can only promise to give you my best, and if it's not forthcoming, then you may have to wait a little longer. Likewise if you're one of my fellow bloggers, then do take this as an apology to you too. I've struggled to visit all of my favourite blogs in the dark months, but do hope to catch up with you all as I emerge from the winter blues.

And as it's my birthday, I have a request. One of my favourite features on the blog is "As suggested by..."  (last seen here) and I ask that you would consider sending me your ideas. Take a look through my posts over the months and let me know if there's something you'd like to see again. Pop them in an email if you don't want to publish a comment, but please do let me have some feedback - otherwise it's a bit like a one handed applause. 

Outfit details - gold sweater: H&M (purloined from my daughter), jeans: charity shopped, boots: ASOS, shirt: H&M, bag: charity shopped, sunglasses: Quay Australia, rings: charity shopped.

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Cherie of Style Nudge

I'll finish with some of the views that give me daily pleasure in my life on the Isles of Scilly.

Thanks for joining me!
Anna x


Ping-Pong post no 11

Welcome again to our monthly global style challenge. I can't believe a month has gone past since our pre-Christmas offering where we three dazzled and sparkled as a starter to the festivities (see it here). But January is rushing past us, and I for one am not sorry to see it depart. This month my blogging partners in crime, Samantha and Ann, have accepted my challenge to style this black and gold top which as been forgotten in the back of my wardrobe for the past couple of years. Click here to find out how this whole shenanigans started.

Ann confessed that New Year's Eve party was what came to mind when she was styling this black and gold top. Hong Kong no doubt offers all sorts of celebrations on the biggest night of the year and Ann wouldn't have lacked a choice of venues in this hot mama look! Maybe I could've joined her in my mini skirt and glitter tights outfit too (here) to dance the night away.
Follow Ann on Instagram here and on her blog Kremb de la Kremb here.

Details -
Sunnies--Tom Ford
Hoops--from Bombay
Waistbag --ASOS
Skirt & Tights--Zara
OTK Boots--Ash

Samantha is playing it cool here. Put a hat on this lady and you can't fail to be bowled over by her cute features atop immaculate styling. The longer I know her, the more I adore her fun, quirky twists - the cap, the statement necklace, those boots. This girl can do no wrong.
Follow Samantha on Instagram here and on her blog Fake Fabulous here.

Details -
Boots: Clarks
Trousers: I can’t remember!
Leatherette Top: DIY from a dress.
Top: Anna’s
Cap: Gents section at TKmax
Necklace: Oliver Bonas

My styling starts with a coat on and unfolds from there. Oh, and it was windy!

These shots were taken on a blustery evening at the start of October just before I sent the top on its trip across the globe. It was cold enough to warrant a coat and this fake fur was a good shape to showcase the sleeves of the top as well as the elegant shape of the skirt. My tapestry boots had literally arrived that very day and Polly was the first to see them out of the box. Without the boots the outfit may well have been very monotone, so it was a case of perfect timing as far as I was concerned. This whole look is very me - not in the least understated - with every bell and whistle you could conjure up. 

Details -
Skirt: charity shop
Boots: Asos
Waistcoat: H&M
Bag: Giorgio Armani (find of the month, brand new, in a Truro charity shop!)
Necklace: old
Belt: charity shop
Rings: old

Anna x


Winter woollies

I know there are parts of the UK which are being hammered by sleet and snow currently, but thank goodness we in the far southwest are not. Still, we do have a bitter north wind blowing across the islands and I'm taking cover with my favourite woollen coat. 

The coat was a holiday purchase when Steve and I were on our cruise last February see here. The colours pack a punch and it's a real lift on the dark days of winter. Like lots of people I suffer from the winter blues and tend to drift into wearing gloomy shades of grey and black in the winter, so this coat is a brilliant antidote to the blahs. My handbag is a brand new addition, a great find in a charity shop in Penzance. It's ostrich hide, but best of all, it's a perfect match for the bright pink tone in my coat. I've been on the lookout for a stylish bag to take away when I go to the mainland in this fine coat and I found this bag in the very first charity shop on arriving in Cornwall in December. The bonus feature is that the bag is dual purpose acting as both a conventional handbag and a neat backpack. It's great to have a classy bag that I can pop on my back for hands-free shopping.

My other new purchase worth mentioning has to be these glitter boots. I can take no claim in finding these, as I stole the idea from my utterly sleek, style icon of a niece, Kate. We all spent some time together over Christmas and the first time she turned up wearing these wonderful boots I knew I had to have a pair too. By the time I came to buy them, they were in the sale at Topshop see here which was double the joy for me. I don't plan to pack them away until next Christmas. No, I'll be wearing them as and when I think the outfit warrants. You can wear a sprinkling of glitter any time of year in my book!

The rest of my outfit comprises - cashmere polo neck: M&S (charity shopped), trousers: HM, rings: gifts.

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb 
Cherie of Style Nudge

I'll leave you with this shot taken from my office window looking across the bay to Bryher. There was a momentary break in the cloud to give a glimpse of the sun setting and a tantalising peek at the blue sky before the next dark clouds obscured the view. The resulting heavy rain over us may well have fallen as snow on mainland Cornwall.
Anna x

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