Orange + sequins = heaven!

Hello to you, my dear readers!

Today's offering gives more than a nod to the festive season and golly, how wonderful it makes me feel! I love orange. I love sequins. And therefore this is a heady delight for me to air once again. I wore this fabulous jacket way back at the start of the year (see here) and again in the spring (here). It's pretty bold, even by my standards and so I have to be in the right frame of mind to carry this off. 

If you're a regular reader then you'll know that I find the winter months a real struggle. This year more so than most as I'm not able to swim currently and that daily dip is what keeps me from descending into the black hole of depression which snaps away at my heels for the long dark months. But I've discovered that the discipline of a daily walk yomp has an equally good effect on my mood. Now, that may be because I've been joined by friends on some days, but even on those days when I've stamped around the circuit on my own, I've been energised and so very pleased with my efforts. 

I'm finding the walking bug has got me in the very same way that the swimming bug did. The daily yomp has become an addiction regardless of the weather. The circuit I walk is a full hour of speed walking both up and down hills, across moors and coastal paths and I just love this new found high. The other day Jilly and I were striding out in a howling gale dressed in full wet-gear, marching alongside the exposed southern coast as we tried hard to keep up our conversation. As we reached the top of an incline we were suddenly blasted by sand; it was the cheapest spa treatment ever as we were exfoliated by gusts of mica-laden wind and we laughed at each other as we struggled to see. The ferocity of the wind stole the words from our mouths, dragged the snot from our noses, and forced us to stagger bent double against it. I was grateful for my sunglasses protecting my eyes and also for the scraps of loo roll Jilly dragged out from the corner of her pockets. Afterwards as we hugged and said our goodbyes, we both congratulated each other on that life-affirming walk; the extreme weather making the challenge all the more of an achievement. Never mind ladies who lunch, we're ladies who yomp!

And so, to the outfit. Another Eight is the brand of this dazzling bomber jacket which is surprisingly cosy, thanks to the fulsome padding. I would wear it more often, but even for me it's pretty out there. Having said that, I plan to wear it a lot over the Christmas period. I'm suddenly back in love with this flamboyant piece and it fills me with joy and the "Why not?" philosophy that has served me so well in the past.

The turtle neck was second hand (from eBay) and the rings are pre-loved too.

The brocade boots are from ASOS.

The high waisted Mom jeans are from Topshop, earning lots of praise for the great fit as well as the contrasting lime green stitching. I picked them up at the end of the summer sale (£20) - result! The leopard print belt is second hand and my sunglasses are my old faithfuls from Quay Australia.

I'll leave you now, as I have to return to the task in hand, that being another few batches of fudge to be made, cut and packed before the weekend is over. I love the pleasure of giving these be-ribboned boxes out to family and friends. There's something so special about a hand-made Christmas present isn't there? For me 'tis the joy of giving, that's for sure!

In case I don't get back to you again before the event, I'll just say -

Happy Christmas to you all! 

                                                                                    Anna x


A burst of spring weather

Last week we were blessed with a spell of spring-like weather, prompting me to pack away my winter sweaters and bring out some summer dresses. (The story is somewhat different now at the time of writing, as I listen to the hail bounce off the roof of our lean-to.) Anyway, Polly and I certainly did make hay while the sun shines meaning my blog will be populated for the next little while by some sunny shots of me in the idyllic March sunshine.

My pretty dress is new from TK Maxx, the brand is Mango and I bought it for £15. I think it's going to be very useful. I cinched in the waist with a second hand leather and elastic belt. 

When I bought it I had no idea of how well it would go with these ASOS boots. Don't they look fab together? Oh how I love a bit of matchy-matchy!

Brocade boots were on trend a couple of years ago and I bought two pairs from ASOS at that time, knowing full well that I'd still want to wear them long after the trend had passed. So here they are, making a perfect entrance hand in hand with the floral frock in similar shades of orange, lilac and green. The mesh dotty tights in lilac are very old - it was a lovely surprise to find them in the bottom of the drawer looking like the ideal thing for this ensemble.

The set of plastic necklace and matching bracelet is a recent charity shop find, purchased during the same shopping spree in the hope that it would work with this outfit. At only £3 for the pair it was a good find. The ring is pre-loved too. The sunglasses are by Guess and were from TK Maxx.

There's nothing better than a floaty dress to make a girl feel all feminine...

... and in need of a twirl ...

... or two!

This is my giddy face after a few spins too many.

Here's a little snippet of island life. This landing craft arrived on the beach moments after Polly and I finished our photo shoot. It had been hired to take away all of the old vehicles and metal detritus that had accumulated over the years. The massive spring clean filled the boat to the gunnel's. After a few days of loading her up, it left on Friday in the fog.

So that's all from the lovely Isles of Scilly for the moment. I'll be back in a few days and hope you'll join me then.

Have a super week!

Anna x


Midweek muddle

Today's outfit was shot a while back when we were experiencing a brisk north wind, hence the snug fitting scarf. As long as I've got my neck covered I can cope with the chillest of winds. What about you - is it neck, wrists or ankles that need to be cosy?

The muddle I refer to is the state of mind rather than the outfit, so apologies if I'm brief. I ought to be splashing about in the sea currently, but thought I'd post this first before I go. A head cold has kept me out of the water for the past week which would normally have driven me to despair, however I've been taking part in a yoga retreat on the island so don't feel such a failure. I've been doing Iyengar yoga for about four years now in weekly classes led by Lucy Aldridge who is everyone's idea of the perfect yoga teacher - lean, lithe, supple, aka very bendy and most important of all, has a great sense of humour, often interjecting these cheesy jokes between the toughest of poses. 

Exercise is what gives me my drive; the energy expended somehow being regenerated for me to use over the day ahead. I'm sure that's one of the reasons we all push ourselves to sweat and gasp and get fit. Yoga is less gasp, more stretch and is a wonderful blend of body, mind and spirit that is the best kind of escape I know of. The retreats always give my own practise a boost which compensates for the times when work takes precedence over class throughout the summer months. The holidays tend to get booked up very quickly as they offer a lovely blend of work and play. Classes last for 90minutes and take place at 7.30am and 5.30pm meaning you have the entire day free to go boating, walking, sightseeing or relaxing in the spa where you can swim or enjoy a massage amongst the many treatments on offer. The island works its magic no matter how you choose to spend your time. 

Sorry but there's not any photos of me in class, but if you follow the link you'll see Lucy striking a few poses. 

Outfit details - jacket: Next, jeans: M&S, scarf: gift, handbag: L Credi, boots: ASOS, sunglasses: River Island, rings: charity shopped.

Anna x


Gorgeous gingham

So you'll remember last month when I went to Harrogate and had a rather splendid shopping spree? Catch up here if you missed it. Well one thing that was rather unusual for my trip is that I planned to buy a specific piece that I'd seen in the magazines. True fashionistas always keep their finger on the pulse trend-wise, but my clothes shopping is usually led by whatever I come across in the charity shops leading me to walk my own fashion path. However I'd seen that the statement sleeve was the thing and decided that if I could find statement sleeves in gingham I'd be sorted. This was one trend that I wanted to follow.

The blouse that ticked all the boxes comes from George at Asda of all places. Yes, the shops are full of gingham currently and this one (see here) came in a close second, but it didn't have the statement sleeve I was looking for. I paid £12 for this lovely blouse and considering it's currently on trend and yet will become a classic over time, I think it was a good purchase. Much as I prefer to buy vintage clothing or at least shop in an eco-friendly way from charity shops, I think sometimes I have to allow myself some freedom to step away from my own confines and enjoy fashion from the wider market place. TK Maxx is a regular haunt of mine as is Office, purveyor of the finest brogues (that I can afford). Fashion should be fun and this top certainly feels good to wear, causing me to do a little shimmy on the shore.

Details - blouse: George at Asda, trousers: M&S, boots: ASOS, sunglasses: Quay Australia, ring and pendant: charity shopped.
Anna x


Sunday - time to chill

Last Sunday (Mothering Sunday) we had glorious sunshine but also a brisk easterly wind. I decided to make the most of the bright day and took myself out for a walk in the hope of finding a good spot to take some photos. The daffodils are still out here, but many are past their best despite it only being March. We have such mild weather on the islands that our daffs are really far ahead of mainland blooms.

I've been shopping my closet for the past three months so nothing here is new. The jeans, blouse, fluffy top and rings are all charity shopped from last year or before. My boots are from ASOS and sunglasses are by Quay Australia. As you read this I hope to be zooming around the charity shops in Harrogate laden with bags after spending most of my days at the British Craft Trade Fair. I'll be taking away the obligatory empty bags to be filled with all my loot. Maybe by this time next week I'll be posting my spoils...

See you soon!
Anna x

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