Dress up Friday, again



Happy Friday!

Hello my lovely readers and thank you for coming back. As promised, here's my second offering of Dress Up Friday. I'll be honest with you - it's great to have the chance to dress up again. After 4 weeks on furlough, I'm chomping at the bit to put on my finery and this is the best reason I could find. The trend is gathering momentum on Instagram for this feature, so why not check it out when you get a minute.




I'm missing the routine of work. The daily dressing up is always a joy, rarely a headache for me. I like nothing better than to rummage around in my colourful clothes collection finding the pieces that reflect my mood of the day: sometimes playful, sometimes arty or bohemian, others I'll strive for a sleek professional look with a quirky touch making it all mine, but never is it a chore. 




The flower strewn top and silver ankle boots are from TK Maxx, but aren't recent purchases. Delving deep into my closet revealed this fabulous pleated skirt (from Tu at Sainsbury's and also old) that has pale golden tones that shimmer to silver depending on the light. The waistband is elasticated making for an easy to wear fit. 




The leather boots are by Buffalo and cost me £50 a couple of years ago. I still love them as much as ever, probably because they defy the expectations of what a woman ought to wear when she's classed as "older". I do wonder if the rebel in me will eventually fade away or if it's just part of my character.




This fluffy feathered handbag is almost vintage by now. I bought it in a boutique on Ghandy Street in Exeter many moons ago. I only bring it out every couple of years and yet it gets me lots of compliments whenever I do. The handles are suede, the lining is satin and has a popper to close it. If I were a handbag, then this would be it - totally over-the-top and attention seeking! The rings are both pre-loved. The rose gold knot bangle is by Kate Spade and the other one I bought at the Barbican Centre a couple of years ago.




Radley sunglasses.








Today's outfit surely has twirl appeal!




I'm happy to say that my focus has been better this week meaning that I've managed to get lots done on the spring cleaning front. I've finished the entire upstairs of the house and am now based in the kitchen. I bit the bullet, attacking the oven first of all. I couldn't bear to show you how bad (filthy) it was with baked on grease on the racks and glass door making it a two day marathon clean. I don't like those heavy chemical cleaners that tell you not to get it on your skin and have lots of fresh air so that you don't inhale the fumes - yuk! 



First of all I soaked as much as I could in the bath for two days (racks, side bars and glass facing), refreshing the water every 12 hours. I used Biotex as my pre-soak. Yes, I know it's meant for clothes, but it  also works like a dream on this most tricky of jobs. After soaking, it really didn't need too much elbow grease to bring them back like new. I dread to think how long it's been since I cleaned my oven, but I would like to try to make it a weekly habit now. The only problem will be when I return to work and become that crazy over-run creature again. Will I be able to sustain that routine? The alternative is not to allow anyone to use the oven ever again!




The highlight of our week here in the UK has been the celebrations for Captain Tom Moore, fund-raiser extraodinaire who has prompted us to dontate over 32 million pounds for the NHS through his walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on Thursday. Captain Tom embodies all that is great about Britain, proving his grit and determination despite his frail stature. He has stolen our hearts, lifted our spirits and shared his gentle philosophy, that the sun will shine again and we will all be okay. We have taken this humble hero to our hearts and are all the richer for his presence in our lives. Hurrah for Captain Tom!

                                                                                       Anna x

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Yay, it's my birthday!




And this is what 62 looks like!


Thanks so much for joining me today. Yes, it's my birthday today and I'm 62. January can be a rubbish time to have a birthday, but the older I get, the more I understand that every birthday is a blessing. I've nothing special planned for today apart from having the day off work and lounging around, but I did go out partying last week to celebrate my birthday with some girlfriends (hubby was too exhausted after a very long day at work). Partying for me just means dancing and that's exactly what I did. There's no photos of that I'm afraid, but here's the outfit that this 62 year old bird wore.






The shirt is pre-loved (£3.25), the brand is ASOS and the metallic trousers were £30 from my favourite retro shop in Truro, Enjoy Clothing.  I think the brand is Urban Gypsy, but I snipped the label out and it got mixed up with some others. I love to have a rummage around Enjoy Clothing as it has all sorts of retro pieces and the best dressing up clothes you can hope to find in Cornwall. The prices are reasonable, the staff are very friendly and remember me from previous visits even though I don't get there very often. They've expanded into the premises next door which offers not only more lovely clothes, but also blankets and rugs, ornaments, bric a brac and furniture too. All so very tempting!






I was maybe the oldest lady on the dance floor, but at least I was the most sparkly too!









My silver leather ankle boots are by Buffalo, purchased from TK Maxx some time ago. Two hours of dancing was my limit on heels this high, but golly what fun I had!






This was me taking a little breather while the band rehydrated during the break.






Thanks to Fiona for taking these birthday shots on the night - these were the only kind of shots for me as I'm tea-total, but being stone cold sober didn't stop me having fun! 






Thank you for joining me today. I'll be back on Monday with the Style Not Age Collective when we'll be showcasing our Jewel Brights as chosen by me. I do hope you'll drop by again to check out if we managed to shine bright for that.

                                                                                Anna x

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Summer show 3


It's not by chance that we always have our group shot taken after the exhibition party rather than before, as by then the sheer relief and perhaps a glass of wine or two help us all look beautifully relaxed. The third summer show features artists Iona Sanders and Richard Guy (shown here) along with Neil Pinkett in a glorious collection of work (find the third July show images here). Each of the July exhibitions has been a diverse showcase of the artists' work and this final one is no exception. Red spots were dotted about, sales were made and we all had a splendid evening. Painting stories were exchanged between artists as to where's the best spot to see the finest Agapanthus blooms at the moment with my own particular highlight being when Iona's lovely father regaled me with tales of his time at sea as Coxswain aboard the ships that serviced the Trinity Lighthouses around the UK some 25 years ago. It was fascinating stuff.


And so on to the frock. This week's outfit is a mix of old and new; the new by way of this maxi dress by Zara which is on the website currently if you love it - see here.  I must admit I'm still utterly enchanted by these longer length summer frocks, not just for the romantic nature of them, but for the cool waftiness (made up word) which has come into its own during these wild summer temperatures we're having again. Loose fitting and lightweight fabric is a winning combination for this super maxi. I'll be dressing it down soon with simple sandals or those natty white trainers of mine for a cool and practical summery look.



This week's dress may not have the same big swoosh factor as last time but it makes up for this in its sleek contemporary styling. I know that white and black is an understated colour choice for me too, but sometimes I like to throw in the odd wild card with something unexpected. 





Pretty summer sandals would have been an obvious with this dress, but I chose these silver stiletto heel boots (by Buffalo) to give a bit more of an edge to the outfit. Polly tells me that this is Zara's dress of the moment as it's turning up all over Instagram. And if that's the case then styling this is more of a challenge to find that individual touch. I carried on the silver theme with all of my jewellery. The disc necklace was from M&S a few years ago, but still gets lots of admiration. The sunglasses are by Quay Australia and just happen to go perfectly with this black and white get up, don't you think?


The pre-loved accessories go a long way in helping this dress looking different. The Vogue clutch, bangles and rings are all charity shop finds, each one a delight at the time. These inexpensive trophies help me to stamp my personality onto an outfit. There's no better thrill than finding an unusual piece in a tiny charity shop, knowing it will one day add that certain twist to an ensemble. What simple pleasures I have!







My next post coming up will be on Monday when the ladies from the Style Not Age Collective and I will be delivering our latest offering. This month's theme is "Steal her style" which has certainly had me chopping and changing my mind over the past few weeks. I'm still in the throes of getting the look together, but fingers crossed, I'll be ready in time. I do hope you'll pop back to see how it goes. In the meantime, keep hydrated, keep slapping on the factor 50 and enjoy the sunshine!

                                                                                           Anna x

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Recycled fashion, our May Style Not Age Challenge


Hello again and welcome to this month's challenge with my blogging friends as we present our Style Not Age challenge for May. Recycled fashion is the topic this time, as chosen by yours truly which I thought was very fitting given my love of charity shopping. So without further ado let's see what the ladies made of my suggestion shall we?


Jacqui of Mummabstylish has been tied up with a family wedding this weekend, but has still found time to put a post together. Her offering is an M&S dress with a story behind it, so do skip across to see exactly what ...


Emma features a denim jacket, gifted from a girlfriend which she has customised with patches and badges - see more of this over on her blog Style Splash.


It's another denim jacket from Hilda of Over The Hilda with hers being a charity shop find paired up with this cool maxi dress borrowed from a girlfriend. See more of this plus the update from Hilda regarding her TV debut - quick, get over there to see it!


My recycled fashion comes in the shape of this fabulous blue suit that I bought recently in a charity shop in Truro. It has no label, but the tailoring is top notch making me wonder if it's a sample suit. I found it in the ladies section, but when I took it to the tiny changing room to try it on, why the shoulders of the jacket nearly filled the space! It's either a very small men's suit or is a wonderful 80's piece. Whichever, I don't mind as I think it's rather sexy. Sexy for me isn't about cleavage or thigh skimming skirts, no it's about that feeling an outfit imbues and this is cool and sexy to my mind.


The bright pink chiffon top adds that feminine touch to this masculine suit. The blouse is by Shubette Separates and is a vintage piece. I've done a search on the Internet and most of these pieces are coming up as 1940's. 


Steve and I nipped into the Abbey Garden at the end of the day for our photo shoot. I love the drama of this blue bridge and thought it would be a great backdrop for my blue and pink ensemble. The only problem was the combination of my silver boots, or rather the stiletto heels and the gaps in the planks of wood - I kept on getting stuck!


Another recycled item is my monochrome clutch. I've had it for a couple of years but it got lost at the back of my closet. Not a bad find for a couple of quid, eh?



The rose gold belt is another charity shop piece - £1.99 for this one.


Both rings are recycled but the rose gold bangles are new - the one with the knot is by Kate Spade and the other was from the gift shop at The Barbican when we stayed there in 2017. See the post here.


More rose gold by way of these Guess sunglasses and the ripple rose gold pendant was from a small boutique in St Andrews when I was there in January.




I think you may well be seeing this outfit again, perhaps for one of my summer exhibitions this year. The silver Buffalo boots add an edge to the look which says more than summer sandals (I tried those and couldn't find anything that worked as well) so it may have to be a complete re-run. But surely that's the point of good fashion? We ought to wear and wear something we really love which is the complete antithesis of fast fashion isn't it? I do hope you've enjoyed our Recycled Fashion feature today - maybe you'll drop in again ...

Wishing you a fabulous week!

Anna x

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