Floral midi dress from H&M

Hello again!

How has your week been? I've been really busy at work and honestly the week just seems to have flown by! The stormy weather has meant I've not managed to swim every day, but Fiona and I have wrapped up against the winds and done some lunchtime walking regardless. Checkout my Instagram feed here for my latest reel from the big outdoors on Tresco.

Shopping my closet continues as ever, and hopefully isn't proving tedious for you. This button through midi dress for H&M is very flattering both in colour and style. I love the long, lean fit helping me feel six foot tall. The tiny floral pattern is a riot of colour lending itself to endless permutations of accessories. Today I opted for red as the accent colour.

My old faithful sock boots are also from H&M, many moons ago. The combination of these and the long dress made me feel very elegant and grown up. 

The belt was a charity shop find - a £1 bargain no less! The front half is patent leather and the back is elasticated; a clever way to get a snug fit, eh?

The silver and red beaded necklace was a pre-loved purchase too. The swish sunglasses are by Radley London.

I'm a bit lacking in red rings, so instead opted for the lemon tones in the dress to tie in with these pre-loved pieces.

I braved the day with bare legs, but not without my first application of fake tan. Without it, my pale Scottish skin has a greyish hue! I don't actually fake tan - I use one of those daily tinted body lotions to just take the edge off the glaring whiteness of winter skin. 

Fiona took these shots after work one evening. It was the rush hour along the coastal road incurring a couple of photo bombs from locals Jude and Nick. Little Jude was out practising on his new bike and was uber cute and shy when we spoke to him. 

All photo bombers must, of course, be heckled!

I hope you have a lovely weekend. Do you have anything special lined up? For me, I think it'll be a mixture of batch cooking of meals for the freezer as well as some long overdue deep cleaning of the bathrooms. Such is the glamorous lifestyle of a fashion blogger!

                                                                     Anna x


Note to self...

Dear Anna, 
Sometimes you forget how to keep yourself happy, how to keep yourself well. This is a little memo for you to refer to when you're feeling cranky, low, or generally out of sorts.

  • Clean shiny hair will set you up for the day. I know it's a faff to wash your hair every day, but honestly it does make all the difference. Bouncy clean hair makes you feel bouncy too!
  • That daily sea swim is a lifesaver, mood-wise. However, if you're unwell or still carrying that lingering cough - (yes I know it's been over two weeks now), then even a walk every day helps lift your mood. 
  • On the same note, try to incorporate some downtime that invests in yourself. Find time to read a book/magazine/be outside to enjoy the view. By doing this you're putting some good habits in place to future proof yourself against the S.A.D. that plagues you every winter.
  • Have an early night. The lethargy of staying up late, zoning out in front of the TV really won't improve your lot.
  • Try to catch up on one outstanding chore every day, even if it's only a little one like running the hoover round or moving the laundry from A to B.
  • Paint your nails. It's so lovely to see unchipped nail polish and doesn't take long to do.
  • Make some time at the weekend to organise your wardrobe and try on some clothes. There's nothing nicer than knowing an outfit will look good because you've tested it out already.
  • Plan a holiday. We all deserve a break!

As you can gather, I'm finding things a bit tricky at the moment. I'm missing the lift that my daily swims inject into my routine and finding it difficult to motivate myself to do anything apart from lay about after a day at work. I can't seem to shake this cough, despite eating well and taking lots of vitamins. My immune system is clearly depressed, making my mood the same. I hate to play the "poor old me" card, but honestly - Poor Old Me!

Today's OOTT is indeed one that I planned in advance as a result of my new ankle boots. These are still in the Office sale see here. The only problem I'm having with these fabulous Chelsea boots is that I want to use them as the starting point for most of my outfits currently! They look great with skinny jeans, super with blue tights and my floral tent dress and groovy with black leather jeans. But I shall hold off from the siege of the snakeskin boots and just trickle a post in from time to time over the next few months.

I've had this Pea coat since last year when I bought it in a charity shop in Truro for £10. The condition was like new and the brand is Kew159 which apparently went out of business in 2012. The 3/4 length sleeves and slim fit are both very figure flattering. The geometric pattern looks very contemporary and I do love the colourway of blue, zesty green and soft lilac. The long ditsy print dress was a bargain in the H&M sale when I was in Manchester one time last year. 

My rings are both pre-loved and the lovely embroidered Fat Face leather belt is too. My white and black sunglasses are from Quay Australia. I've enjoyed putting this collection of patterns and colours together today. For some, a patterned dress might call for a plain coat with accessories, but this mish-mash is such fun in my eyes.

Thanks so much for dropping by today. Hopefully by this time next week, I'll have shaken off the last of this blooming virus. In the grand scheme of things I know this is nothing and have pangs of guilt when I think of others battling much more serious health problems without a word of complaint. 

I'll be link with -
Patti of Not Dead Yet Style
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Jacqui of Mummabstylish

Until next time, take care!

Anna x


Springtime dress and some shopping

How's your week going? Like a true Brit I'm gonna talk about the weather and say that after a whole weekend of rain, the sunshine has returned therefore all is well in my world. The forecast is for a sunny Easter weekend which will be ideal for us as we're hosting our first exhibition of the year on Saturday and I do love it when the opening night party can spill outdoors, drink in hand, to enjoy the vista in front of the gallery.

Today's outfit has been aired before, but deserves to be seen again I thought. Polly has named her theme as "the year of the dress" and turns up to work in a cute little number most days now. Following on from her lead, I'm pulling out some of my favourite dresses too. This ditsy print shirt-waister was from H&M last year and has a very grown up feel to it. I wore it before with these H&M red sock boots too, so there's nothing new here at all. I decided that it still warrants another look though. 

The seaweed and high tide had left the rocks a bit slippery - we really ought to have done a risk assessment!

Easy does it!

My pre-loved accessories are belt and rings, my much loved sunnies from Quay Australia and the gold chain necklace was from Primark earlier this season. 

I call this my master of illusion dress simply because it draws the eye to all of the right places. The red belt puts the focus on the smallest part of the body as the dress skims over the hips and thighs, the floral pattern disguising any lumps and bumps which may be lurking there. There's not too much material either which could cause bulk and it's long and flowing giving the impression that I may be long and flowing too, hahaha! I've just about talked myself into buying another of these, but I won't ....

I stumbled across this limited edition print in a charity shop in Harrogate recently and it couldn't have hit me at a better time. If you're a regular reader you'll know that Harrogate charity shopping is some of the best for me, resulting in a mammoth shopping spree. But this year I've had a fair dose of retail therapy over the past few months. I had decided to rein myself in, use my powers of self control and only buy pieces that would be really useful within my existing collection. I'm having this print framed up to act as a reminder of this new mindset. Pity I found this at the end of my stay and not the beginning!

Anyway, with this statement firmly to the fore, here's what I succumbed to -

I'll confess that these neon sweaters may not be the most stylish, in fact when I got them home I did a double take at how terribly bright they really are. But this is what seems to happen to me when I get my first sniff of the shops. A friend of mine who lives just along the road said she suffers the same problem. We go a bit stir crazy you see. Living on this tiny island (only one mile by two) with very limited retail opportunities, well it can make you impulsive when you get to the mainland and have your first dose of retail therapy. The excitement can go to ones head, resulting in some rather dodgy purchases. Thank goodness this was only a Primark splurge - it didn't break the bank!

The two pairs of dressy courts are a completely different ball game. Each of them was £20, both are Italian made and are indeed very classy (I think). These will be ideal party wear for our summer exhibitions.

In the sale at TK Maxx for £24 the brand is Tokyo Laundry and is a very practical purchase indeed. Ideal for dog walking or for wearing on the boat, this jacket is cosy and fits like a glove.

Pretty and practical, these Replay trainers were £35 in TK Maxx. Being pretty alone would have been fine, so it's a real bonus that these are comfy enough to be drafted in as afternoon shoes when the heels from the morning session are playing havoc with my tootsies. 

This Topshop skirt was a charity shop find and like so many pieces you come across it was stained. I trusted my instinct (and stain removing prowess) et viola, it's as good as new.

Another charity shop piece here, this time by Classic brand and coming in at under £5. The apricot shades are what attracted me - such a flattering colour for me.

And yet another charity shop find. By Boden, I thought this might look good with a black polo neck sweater and some pink or silver brogues - what do you think?

It was very exciting to find these snakeskin boots in New Look in Harrogate. I'd tried these on in Truro a few weeks ago, only to discover that one was a size 5 and the other a 6! The sales assistant scoured the entire store to see if she could find the other odd pair, but with no success. Clearly someone had bought them believing they were a pair. These were a 5 and had been reduced to £10, so it was a win-win.

This M&S dress is brand new with tags still attached. The retail price was £89, but thanks to the Scope charity shop, I only paid £14 for it. I've come up with a kooky plan to stop this looking too frumpy - watch this space.

Last of all are these leather and hessian sandals by Dune, from TK Maxx. They are nice and broad and the wedge belies the fact that they seem to be high, but the angle of them is very slight, making them all day sandals.

The next thing on the agenda for me clothes-wise is to change over my wardrobe for spring and summer wear. I'm keen to see what I've had packed away for these past few months. What about you? Do you do a seasonal changeover or are you someone who believes in layering up for the winter instead of having a complete change of clothes? Do share!

                                                                                           Anna x


It's show time!

Easter weekend is generally when we kick off the season with our first exhibition of the year, and this year is no different. On Good Friday Polly and I worked late, stripping the gallery and rehanging with brand new works commissioned for the show. You can see the entire collection online.

Another thing that doesn't change from one year to the next, is the last minute flurry as I try to find the perfect outfit for the occasion. The sunshine belies the very cold temperature thanks to a chilly north wind which just added to my stress. 

"Give us a twirl" demanded Polly, but the camera couldn't quite keep up with my moves. I wanted to include it anyway as it shows the mood and movement despite the lack of my camera's technical abilities.

The dress has been showcased on a previous opening night, but not with these boots. The kitten heel sock boots are from Primark and I seem to recall that they were only about £15. I added an extra petticoat to counter the static that had built up during my wardrobe malfunction. 

And what one was that, you may ask? With only five minutes to spare, I decided that my frock did indeed need an iron despite it's crinkled effect and so I attempted to iron the skirt part whilst I was still wearing it! Please don't try this at home!!!! The result was that I could barely remove the wrinkles and also it just created a whole load of static. A lightweight net underskirt did at least douse things down.

For those of who haven't succumbed to the charms of the sock boot already, may I just tell you that the combination of kitten heel and soft fabric plus gentle grip around the ankle all go to make for an incredibly comfortable boot. At the last count I seem to have four pairs, but I don't think that's the end of it by any means.

For once I'm not sporting any charity shop jewellery - the pendant is by Vivienne Westwood, the citrine solitaire is c/o Gemporia and the other citrine ring was a purchase in an airport terminal somewhere. 

The evening was a runaway success, so much so that we had no time to capture the support team as they and I were working right up to the last minute. My thank-you shot of the group may be missing but my thanks still go to Polly, Hannah and Connor for making everything run smoothly. While the youngsters went off to party I stayed late and packed up paintings ready for despatch first thing in the morning. And that I'd say, was pretty much as it should be.

On Friday I leave the island to travel north to Harrogate for my annual buying trip. Please do drop in again on Sunday though, as I plan to post my outfit of the day that I'll be wearing. In the meantime, have a great week and I'll catch up with you again on Sunday!

Anna x

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