Another pop of pink!

This time last week I was advocating a hefty dose of colour as my prescription against the winter blahs and this week I'm back to reinforce that message. A pop of pink can work wonders when it comes to chasing the blues away. 

The main event here has to be this rather fabulous trench coat, a charity shop find from last month's dash around town in Truro which yielded a very rich seam of treasure. The brand is Topshop and cost all of £4, but I have to add a dry cleaning bill to that as it was quite marked, although that's remedied now. It has a rubberised finish meaning it really is waterproof rather than just masquerading as a raincoat as so many do.

The other great feature of the coat is the gingham lining, of course. I'd already found this mini skirt earlier in the day (another Topshop pre-loved piece) so when I saw this coat it felt like one of those meant-to-be moments. I've been itching to put this outfit together and must admit it did live up to be all that I'd hoped for. Pink and grey do pack a mighty punch, especially when you throw gingham into the mix. The grey polo neck was from Primark last year, the elastic belt was from eBay a couple of years ago, the necklace was a boutique find earlier this year, but the rest of the ensemble is second hand. 

Oh well, I've put off mentioning these for long enough - yes, I've finally succumbed to over the knee boots! I know I've debated this dilemma in the past, trying to talk myself out of this desire to buy a pair before it's too late (for me as opposed to the trend). This year seems to be my sod-it year where I'm blasting all the rules out of the water. All the reasons which held me back previously still remain, in that my legs are still too short/chunky, I'm still not tall enough to be the willowy creature who owns this look and that I yearn to be, and surprise, surprise I'm a year older than I was last time I shared this longing with you. So what this means is that at the grand old age of sixty I've come to realise that life's too short to wait for my stars to be perfectly aligned and for me to become the woman of my dreams! This is my (and yours too) only chance at this life and I'd better get on with it!

These beauties are by Clarks, leather fronted with elastic on the back. This combination gives a great fit which is probably what convinced me to buy them. Ideally I would have preferred to have a slight high heel (not a Pretty Woman heel, just enough to help elongate my not-so-long legs). However, when I tried them on in the shop (TK Maxx where they were retailing at half price for £75) I was wearing black skinny jeans and these boots looked great, well great enough for me to jump at them. 

The clutch is another pre-loved piece, stashed away for months waiting for its timely debut, et viola! And you'll no doubt recognise my most favourite pair of Quay Australia sunglasses that look as if they were just made to wear with today's ensemble. (Big sigh, as I swoon at this blissful coming together of these elements!)

The boots also look fab with the micro mini skirt from last week (see here). I thought I'd just add that before Jude or Sheila come back at me with that suggestion - don't worry girls, I'll show you that another time! My photographer of the day was Steve and I did suggest how more suited this outfit would be for an outing in London, and bless him, he agreed. I fancy we won't get away together this winter, but maybe we can have a mini-break in the spring ...

I thought it might make a nice change for you to see a bit of different scenery today. The cottage behind me is called Pentle Cottage, one of the holiday cottages, near to Pentle Bay. My attempts at gadding about as Polly and I do, somehow didn't quite work, but I kinda like them anyway.

I hope you've enjoyed today's pop of pink and that you might consider a sweep of pink lipstick or perhaps a mohair scarf in this sweetest of colours to add a touch of fun to your day. And my finishing words might cheer you up too - take heart, I've not bought one single Christmas present yet! 

Anna x


Keen As Mustard - Style Not Age challenge for November

Hello and welcome again to our monthly Style Not Age challenge!

This month Hilda came up with "Keen As Mustard" as our quest and it seems to have been a breeze if I may say so myself. The shops and adverts are brimming with ideas for this lovely warm shade of yellow. Personally, I love mustard as it works well with my skin and hair tone. I'll give you all the details of my outfit anon, but first let's see what the gang came up with shall we?

Hilda is all wrapped up in her oversized mustard scarf which looks toasty warm. Hat and gloves complete the essentials for the cold snap too. I have to mention how clever her photographer was to line up this shot with the golden foliage behind as it matches perfectly! Read Hilda's feature on her blog Over The Hilda. 

Emma from The Style Splash has chosen lots of nature's colours to compliment her mustard top and courts. I could do this, yes I really could, and by that I mean that I too have camo jeans like these and a green suede jacket almost identical to Emma's! Click here to read her style story.

Jacqui and I had similar inspiration with this challenge, pairing mustard with animal print to great effect. I'm intrigued to see what footwear she chose - race you across to Mummabstylish blog to find out!

My own style story began with this new jacket which I bought in the Topshop sale recently (all sold out, sorry). I'm a sucker for these denim/jeans jackets at any time, but when you throw checks into the mix I'm a hopeless cause. It was the last one, but again that's so often the case with me. I wonder if they see me coming and stash all of the others away to induce a sense of panic in me? No matter, I love it and can see it will be a long term fave. The black polo neck was one of three essentials that I bought last year in Primark, the others being grey and cream.

These flower strewn trousers are by Massimo Fabbro Italy, bought in TK Maxx last year. The masculine cut sits really nicely, skimming over the thighs rather than clinging in the wrong places. The fabric is man-made, a heavy drape and seems to be pretty crease resistant too.

I've had these pony skin, animal print ankle boots for years. The brand is Bertie, the quality is top notch and I'm sure they'll go on for a long time yet.

I bought this cute little bag in Rome when we were there a few years ago. It's just big enough to fit in a lipstick, hairbrush and purse - what more does a girl need?

The rings are pre-loved which is a relief as I hate to appear totally extravagant, hahaha!

It made a nice change for me to go full out with my pattern play - it seems to be ages since I've mixed things up like this. On paper, checks, florals and animal print may not seem to be happy bedfellows, but hey I think I've proved that they are! And finally, I'm going to blame the mid-day sun for highlighting my recent decrepitude aka the jowls that I've not noticed before. I think I've always tried to hide this gradual decline by sporting a huge grin which acts as scaffolding for the face. Note to self - more smiling equals less jowls.

Well, that's it for another month. I do hope you'll take a moment to visit my co-conspirators for the full write-ups from them. I'll be back soon with another dose of colour to chase the winter blues away.

Until then, I wish you all a super week ahead!

Anna x


My antidote to the winter blahs

Hello again and how are you? Well, I hope. Today I'm sharing my antidote to the winter blahs, which as you can see it a blast of colour. Every winter I struggle with the winter blues aka Seasonal Affective Disorder and this year I've deliberately introduced some eye-popping colours to my wardrobe in an attempt to hold things at bay.

Let's talk about the elephant in the room first though. The micro mini skirt is completely out of character for me - as a rule I don't do mini skirts (or cleavage) on principle, but this riot of colour caught my attention on a recent trawl of the charity shops in Truro and I just couldn't say no. The brand is Topshop and I must that admit on seeing the shots of it, in particular how very short it is, I do wonder how many more times I'll be brave enough to wear it. 

You can see the attraction of this Navajo inspired skirt though, can't you?

Moving swiftly one then, let's talk about the star burst brothel creepers shall we? I bought these in one of my most favourite (non-charity) shops in Truro, Enjoy Clothing, which is bang in the centre of the city. The shoes are by a brand called T.U.K. and are rather fabulous don't you think? The day I tried them on I was wearing my bright pink and red woollen winter coat and the shop assistant said "Well, of course you'll have to buy those!" and how right she was.

I think I gotta call these my cosmic creepers from now on.

The orange puffa jacket is by Topshop and was in the sale last month. It's super cosy and will be perfect with jeans too. I have to get out and about a lot in the winter, mostly on my bike and this will be ideal for keeping me warm as I buzz about on my winter chores. The pink fluffy jumper was another happy find in the retro shop - the brand is Wild Flower and this wasn't second hand either. The pop of pink will cheer up any dull day.

I managed to hijack Steve at the end of this lunch break to do a quick photo shoot of this version of the outfit. This is the beach right in front of our house at New Grimsby. The shots with me in the long coat were done at Old Grimsby on my own with tripod and timer. 

The pink resin ring was a gift and the orange one is was made by a local lady some time ago.

That mini skirt doesn't seem to look any longer when I wear it at the other side of the island!

And golly, when I sit down it looks just like a colourful belt!

Anyway folks, I do hope that today's outfit has acted as a pick-me-up for you too. Before you all rush to say the skirt is fine, I'm honestly okay about my Bridget Jones Absent From Work skirt (hope you remember that scene too). The thick black tights (cotton/bamboo and very comfy) do help enormously. And I've decided that if I can't bear to wear it again, the skirt will make an utterly fabulous cushion cover!

Until next time, my lovelies, have a great week!

Anna x


My new Nordgreen watch plus an exciting offer for you

Hello my lovely readers and welcome to another week at Anna's Island Style. Today's post sees me in collaboration with Nordgreen who have gifted me this beautiful rose gold Philosopher watch. And you too can benefit from my collaboration by using the VIP Black Friday Offer Code with runs from today until 27th November. By simply using this code PARKES35 you will receive a 35% discount on any watch from the Nordgreen website.


Nordgreen is a new Danish brand borne from the desire to create watches of the highest quality, in the best design, at an affordable price. To use their words - 

Our watches were meticulously designed to be able to be worn every day, regardless of what clothes you have on, where you’re going, or how you’re feeling, allowing you to focus on the little moments that make life worth living. Our watches don’t just tell the time: they remind you to treasure it.

Guided by traditional Scandinavian design, a love for watches, and a desire to completely change the way we look at them, we knew there was only one designer who could bring our vision to life: Jakob Wagner.

With his ability to strike the perfect balance between minimalism and functionality and his artistry in embedding Danish values into everything he creates, Jakob Wagner is our key to making true Scandinavian lifestyle and design accessible.

To find out more about Jakob and his designs see here.

My choice of watch was indeed informed by the simplicity of the Scandinavian design along with my passion for rose gold. With a clear easy to read face, including the date, and an adjustable mesh strap, I love the functionality of it. The Philosopher will be my every day watch, the clean lines making it perfect for any outfit, any occasion, not too ornate, nor underplayed. It does in fact, feel terribly grown-up and elegant and was just right for my first wearing at the recent wedding of my close friends Kate and Andy, as featured on the blog here recently.

I'm aware that many of you may have returned today in the full expectation of seeing what I wore to the big island wedding from last week, and if that's the case, please do feel free to gallop on right ahead - I completely understand!

Our photo shoot took place at the rear of the church away from the action, in fact it was before the ceremony had begun and well before the guests started to arrive. I had been asked to turn up early to help with any finishing touches needed in the church, but it was all ready, perfectly turned out, bedecked in beautiful floral decorations and lit up with candles. The local ladies had worked their magic by turning our tiny church into a fairy tale venue.

The outfit is a suit, but if I were being cool, it'd be called a co-ord which is how fashion has renamed co-ordinates this year. The three quarter length jacket and skirt are by Clements Ribeiro, a find from one of my visits to TK Maxx in Manchester this summer. The minute I saw the jacket (they were being sold separately, in different parts of the store) I knew it would be perfect for Kate and Andy's wedding. I wanted something dressy, stylish and yet timeless too which is what this says to me. It was only on my way to the cash desk that I came across the skirt and hey, can you believe it, these were the only ones in the store and just happened to be in my size!

The blouse is a vintage piece and has been featured on the blog before.

I added this cream waistcoat which is pre-loved and by Toast. It was essentially an extra piece to keep me (Toasty) warm in our chilly little church.

The pistachio coloured bag is vintage, bought from a charity shop in Bath many years ago, but as you can see the handbag, adorned with velvet, lace and gemstones, is still smart enough to be taken out on a special occasion such as this.

My choice of shoes for the day was all about comfort, well that, plus a bit of style too I suppose. These high heeled brogues (a purchase from Portugal a few years ago) have quite a chunky heel and also a platform sole meaning that they're not too steep an angle. I love the ribbon laces which add that extra touch of femininity.

Brocade, lace, frills and brogues all came together to make my outfit of the day one that was easy to wear, a tad flamboyant and yet, not screaming "it's all about me" which some may have expected. Ah-hem, or was it only my husband who thought I'd be wearing that crazy red petticoat?

One final note about Nordgreen which I think puts them in a different league to other watch retailers. The brand has taken the step to incorporate a Giving Back Program for every watch they sell. The idea is simple: you buy a watch from Nordgreen, you choose which way you want to give back to the community and they pass on a donation in your name. The three great causes come under the headings of - Health, by way of providing clean water in Africa, Education for a child in India or Environment to protect the rain forest in Latin America. These are all very worthy causes making this choice probably the most difficult part of the process. Read about the full details of the Giving Back Program here 

Are you about to write your Christmas Wish List? If so, why not ask for a gift that gives back too? A timepiece that makes an impact for the greater good... And for the next week you can make a saving of 35%. Golly, why wait?

As I said at the beginning of this post, the watch has been gifted to me, but this review is my own honest opinion. 

Please note that if you're reading this after the 27th November the 35% offer will no longer apply but you can still benefit by using my link here where you'll get a 15% discount just for purchasing via my blog. Cheers!

Anna x


Kate and Andy got married!

Within our small island community we don't have many local weddings, although some visitors do come here to get married. It was therefore hugely exciting to see the much loved Kate Clement and Andy Lawson get wed last Saturday, the 10th November 2018. 

The proud father of the bride escorts her down the aisle. The church was full with standing room only for latecomers. Kate spent the entire day with an enormous grin across her face - she had looked forward to this moment for a long time.

Dearest Kate! I love her earnest look as Andy takes his vows. Talk about hanging on his every word!

The relief is enormous as the happy couple emerge from the church. Andy is a member of our Auxiliary Fire Service which explains the water hose above the church doorway. Kate rowed in the ladies gig crew for many years hence the gig paddles creating an archway for the happy couple to pass through for luck.

The wedding day weather had been a mixture of sunshine and showers. We were all delighted when the bride arrived in glorious sunshine. But just as Mr & Mrs Lawson stepped outside the porch to start married life together the heavens opened!

This has to be my favourite capture of the day. Kate looks radiant as she huddles together with her darling nieces.

Gemma and Elsa are terribly chic young ladies.

The bride and groom, the bridesmaids and best man all took refuge in the fire truck which transported them all on to the Abbey Gardens for a photo shoot.

Kate came to the island 11 years ago to volunteer for a week at the Abbey Garden. After extending her stay for another two weeks she was offered a job as gardener on the Cottage Department where she still works happily, enjoying the independence it gives her as well as the opportunity to be creative as she tends the small cottage gardens preparing them for the new influx of guests. 

Andy is the Head Gardener at the Abbey Garden and can be seen throughout the summer giving guided tours through his empire. He is an expert tree surgeon too as well as a skilled propagator and veg gardener. His love of plants has led him to travel far and wide, gathering specimens to add to the garden collection.

Andy and Kate have been together for 10 years now. Their joint passion for plants is a strong bond between them - tomorrow the couple are leaving to go on honeymoon to South Africa, home to many of the plants Andy cares for within the Garden.

A reminder of the other aspect of Kate's life - she loves to sea swim and we've had many an adventure together. We encountered inquisitive seals as we swam from Samson to St Agnes on a training day and we've also battled our way through a lively sea swell with a brisk head wind the time we decided to swim from New Grimsby to Appletree Bay just for a laugh. Kate is a true water babe who rocks a bikini too!

Kate and Andy are at the heart of our community, involved in all the things that cement island life, from the annual fete to weekly cricket, table tennis and card games in the pub as well as Sunday drinks gatherings on their patio which affords the best vantage point across New Grimsby. This long awaited wedding was a wonderful gathering of both families from as far as Bali, Denmark, France and Scotland and friends, also from far flung places as well as those from the islands. Congratulations to this much loved and popular couple - thank you for including us in this unique island event. Three cheers for Mr & Mrs Lawson!

P.S. Before you ask, the photos were professionally done and secondly if you want to see what I wore, then you'll have to come back on Monday...

Anna x

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