Our Tutti Frutti Style Not Age challenge for June

Welcome to this month's Style Not Age challenge! We're all very Tutti Fruitti this time thanks to Emma and her very summery theme. I love how we've each interpreted this differently, but oh-so-coulourfully too!

I felt I just had to start with Gail who's set us off in the right vein with her tee shirt which is actually called "Tutti Frutti". The top and skirt both come from Kettlewell, but not from the same years. She has shopped her closet for the rest of her outfit. Read her style story on Is This Mutton

Jacqui's rendition of Tutti Frutti comes thanks to her daughter whose dress she borrowed - how blooming lovely is this? Her cute Steve Madden handbag and strappy green sandals finish off the look to perfection. Catch up with Jacqui's news on Mummabstylish.

Emma's fruity shirt and bag are from Fabienne Chapot - a brand I've not heard of before. Paired with zingy green trousers from Asos and lots of bright orange accessories she really has embraced the colourful theme. Find Emma's blog Style Splash here. 

Hilda has opted for this stunning kimono from Zara as her main featured piece, complimented by a Hugo Boss dress and Clark's shoes - none of these are new and yet are all totally fabulous! Catch up with her on Over The Hilda

The Tutti Frutti element of mine surely has to be this vintage Jaeger skirt. A customer of mine recently declared this a very Christian Lacroix design, which I suppose you could say is true. I've featured it on the blog before, but that doesn't detract from its charm. It was a charity shop find from a few years ago and gets an airing at least two or three times over the summer months.

The net underskirt is always a bit of fun and works really well with this look, although I must admit it does make me prone to flashing a bit of net from time to time without any warning or particular reason. Not sure if an ol' gal like me ought to do that, but what the heck!

The voile spotty sleeved top (from TK Maxx, old) adds to the flamboyance of the outfit. I have a black version which works equally well with this. 

Rings and pink Candy bag by Furla are all old too, but still pretty as ever. 

My black buckled and studded belt was a gift from a girlfriend many moons ago and is ideal for sleekly pulling a skirt and top together - great for those days when back fat and tummy bulge are in danger of becoming the focal points!

My dear old faithful (H&M) sock boots are still wearing well. Also going strong as these floral sunglasses which came from Sainsbury's years and years ago. This work outfit sparked lots of chats about women of my age making a style statement in the workplace and also earned me compliments from quite a few men too. So far, I'm still not invisible and hopefully never will be!

Thanks for joining us for this month's challenge. Do pop over to read the back stories from my friends if you have a moment!

                                                                            Anna x


And yet more agapanthus!

Hello lovelies and yes, here I am in my back garden again! The beautiful agapanthus flowers are still in bloom and offering up such a splendid backdrop that I couldn't resist another home photo shoot. How are you this week? It's already half way through August and I'm more than a little bit panicked that the summer is almost over. As always, I had great plans for lots of off island adventures in our little boat and very few of them have materialised. Never mind, we've still got a few weeks of sunny weather left hopefully.

I dodged about from one spot to another trying to capture the best show of flowers for you -  they are such a joy, they really make me smile.

This was the last spot and probably the best as it also has the bright orange montbretia flowers too. But, let's chat about the outfit of the day, shall we? I wore this a year ago too, but it never made it onto the blog for some reason, so here (below) is that version with different necklace, earrings, no belt and slightly longer hair. Is it me, but does that 12 months make me look younger and fresher too? Yes, I know I'm my own worst critic!

Steve took this photo so maybe that has something to do with it...?

Anyway, on to the outfit. The skirt is a vintage Jaeger piece, blouse is by Jovonna from TK Maxx, belt from eBay, and flatforms are from TK Maxx too.

I totally love these sandals and am gutted to say that these two times are the only chance I've had to wear them. I say that because on the second wear I was rushing down the stairs at work when suddenly the back strap broke! I've got the shoe packed up ready to send to the cobblers on the mainland in the hope that he can stick it back together again. It needs to be pushed right inside the base of the sandal, not just glued otherwise we would do a make-do and mend job at home.

The rose gold heart pendant was a boutique find in Truro years ago and the rings are both charity shopped.

I'm pleased to report that I've had a few swims this week and do feel better for it. The pace at work seems to have plateaued out and I'm not doing so many hours (exhaustion put paid to that), which is no bad thing. I've got the weekend off and have already nipped to St Mary's to have my hair cut and then had a swim on the high tide on my return. Next on the agenda - waging war on the laundry pile and then some cooking for the freezer. Fingers crossed for some nice weather tomorrow so that Steve and I can have a trip out in the boat and have a picnic on a deserted beach somewhere.

Wishing you a super weekend!

Anna x


My signature colour - July's Style Not Age challenge

Welcome to another Style Not Age challenge!

Suddenly it's the last Monday in July and time for this month's style challenge. Where has this month gone? Since returning to work three weeks ago I've fallen back into that crazy headless chicken mode again. In fact, it's as if I never had all of those months on furlough, getting on top of chores and making home a place of order, tidiness and calm. Now it's back to the chaos that seems to come with normal working life. But hey, let's focus on the challenge of the month - My Signature Colour. As you can see I have opted for a veritable rainbow of colours as I have no single one that is my signature. We'll have a closer look at the outfit in a minute, but first let's check out the rest of the Style collective to see what colours they chose.

Jacqui from Mummabstylish is bit like me, not able to choose only one colour, instead she's opted for this pretty pink and blue patchwork dress that she picked up in the Next sale.

Style Splash's Emma is a big fan of red and is sporting this fabulous creation by Dark Pink from Asos with co-ordinating shoes from M&S.

Blogger Gail from Is This Mutton has chosen lilac as her favourite colour and how very flattering it is! I do love the pink accessories too Gail. 

Hilda says orange/red is her colour and this looks stunning on her. She's recently had her hair coloured and it, and she, look great. Catch up with Hilda on her blog Over The Hilda.

I'm never happier than when I'm wearing bright colours and this look has it all! The Jaeger skirt is a vintage piece, pre-loved of course and a much loved favourite of mine. 

The net underskirt gives body to the skirt and add that bit of pizzazz that I so love. There's nothing understated about this outfit today, but sometimes I'm just larger than life!

The white ruffle blouse is by Jovonna, a find from TK Maxx last year and perfect for this over the top bit of dressing up. 

Much as I think the skirt and pop art shoes are perfect together...

... by adding this handbag it takes the outfit to a whole other level. It's pure riotous assembly in colour and yes, represents my signature style colourwise. 

The handbag has no label and is a charity shop find from my November shopping trip in London with my friend Ben. My rings are both charity shopped too.

A show-off outfit deserves show-off sunglasses and these old favourites are just the job! In case you've missed them before, the brand is Quay Australia.

Steve and I had an interesting time when we did this photo shoot last weekend. Within a minute of leaving the house (which is actually exactly here in this photo) the heel of my shoe came apart from the sole. In true the show must go on style, Steve bashed said heel and squeezed it back into place so that I could walk about (albeit gingerly) for the shots.

The heel came off the other shoe almost a year ago so I posted it to the cobblers in Truro to have it mended. And then when it came back, a funny thing happened. I had lost its partner. As it sat on a book shelf during the winter I kept looking at this beautiful solitary shoe mocking me for having paid £30 to have it repaired and now it seemed that it would forever be a showcase piece with its wearing days a thing of the past. I even put it out of the way at one point, annoyed at my stupidity. I questioned the chain of events. Had I just thrown the partner away when the shoe broke as I was appalled at the quote to have it repaired? The shoes had cost me £8.50 in a charity shop in Harrogate, worn only once before and now it'd cost me £30 to have it fixed? Yes, clearly I'd been so cross that I'd chucked the other one away in disgust. From time to time throughout the winter I'd come across the single shoe and get all excited that I'd found the other one. Only it wasn't! And then when I was unfurloughed I was digging through a pile of boxes at work and hey presto! The partner was in a shoebox under some files. So here's another £30 gone as I have this one repaired too. Man these shoes aren't quite the bargain I thought they were!

                                                                                   Anna x


Not Square With Gingham - our Style Not Age challenge

Hello and welcome! Thanks for joining me today as I gather together my Style Not Age friends who between us are presenting "Not Square With Gingham". It was Hilda's choice this month, and one that had me scratching my head a bit as I wondered what to wear. I really only have three gingham pieces, one of which I've already featured on our monthly style challenge (here). With no shopping trip in sight and a clampdown on spending this month due to far too many expenses with out little motor boat, I had to give up on my idea of eBay solving my problem. Anyway, as you can see I've gone all bright and colourful (oh what a surprise!) wearing this floral gingham top that came from a charity shop last year, but more on this later.

Hilda wears gingham check fitted trousers by Puno Roma and a classic Zara shirt. Why oh why, does that half tuck look stylish on her and yet half undone on me? Hilda's feature can be seen in full on her blog Over The HIlda.

Emma from Style Splash wears a summery pink and white gingham skirt and tee shirt both from Zara. (Have these ladies both been cashing in on the Zara sale site I wonder?) Her sleek and stylish summer shoes are from River Island. Do pop over to see more from Emma on her blog too.

Jacqui has given us a double dose of gingham with these crops and matching brolly, but she's also added some pattern play by way of this sleeveless duster in summer florals - fab! Last minute photos brought about this weather-led shoot which turned out both cute and playful for her. See Jacqui's post on Mummabstylish.

My photos were weather-led too as I panicked at my last minute attempt to find somewhere out of the high winds and between showers to capture my gingham offering. Steve kindly did the honours in his lunchtime. If he had zoomed into the sea in the distance you'd have seen the white horses driving over the tops of the waves. Heavy showers for the past few days has brought inches of welcome rain to the UK which is long overdue as you can see by the parched grassland of Jimmy Cox's field. (Jimmy Cox is long dead, so we weren't in danger of being chased off!)

I pushed the boat out by adding these pop art courts by Chockers to my jolly vintage skirt by Jaeger. They cost £8.50 in St Michael's Hospice charity shop in Harrogate in the spring.

My gingham top is by F&F at Tesco's but was sourced in a charity shop last year. I like the feature of the split sleeve which was a great compromise for me when off-the-shoulder tops ruled the roost, but weren't my thing. The addition of flowers and greenery to the gingham appealed to my need to break with convention. 

Today's jewellery is all preloved apart from my favourite gold chain necklace which was a gift from Sasha. This pretty pink cuff is a recent and welcome addition to my stash.

My other go-to accessory has to be this pink stretch belt which I found on eBay a couple of years ago. At £5 the cost per wear must have dropped down into the pennies by now as I seem to wear this belt at least once a week - it's turned into a signature piece of mine - not the most stylish, classy or expensive, but certainly useful!

The final flourish to my outfit was my black net petticoat, adding fun and fullness to the skirt. The simple act of adding a net underskirt instantly adds a sense of occasion to any ensemble - a favourite trick of mine.

Thank goodness that there was no-one about to see this windswept scenario as they were out for a woodlands walk - what would they have thought?

Thanks for joining me today on this last post of July. I can't quite believe that August is upon us! The summer is rushing past me with so many things left behind in the rush and tear of life; no link-ups as I'm too time challenged; far too infrequent exchanges with blogging friends; not enough miles clocked up ready for my big sea swim challenge - oh dear, I must try harder. On the plus side, I'm drawing on my mindfulness training from earlier this year (see here) and remembering to take a moment which has been a life saver. The "musts" and "shoulds" and "have tos" are being dropped in favour of power naps, picnics and revelling in the outdoors life. Counting my blessings is a great way of grounding myself and stopping the runaway train of thoughts that can sometimes drive me to exhaustion. Summer on these beautiful islands is in itself a huge blessing and one not to be overlooked. On that note, I shall leave you, my lovely readers and wish you well. Downtime is just what the doctor ordered methinks!

Until next time, take care!
Anna x


Hurrah for 2 years of blogging!

No-one can be more surprised than me to discover that it's two years since I posted my first feature on the blog (see here). When I started out on this adventure I really had no idea how long I could keep up a good head of steam, as it were. Would I get bored? Would you get bored? Would I run out of outfits that were worthy of a photo shoot? Would I run out of ideas to keep you interested? Today these very same questions still loom over me and all I can promise is that when the joy of running this online diary starts to wane, I'll bow out gracefully before the ratings become too embarrassing to read.

In the meantime I will take a moment to gush and say thanks to my readership without whom this whole thing would be pointless. Thank you for coming back time after time to follow my antics and for the occasional email you send me out of the blue to talk to me about your life and what the blog adds to it. Hello to my lovely reader who returned from abroad to settle in Truro and was excited to visit all the same charity shops as I do - maybe we'll bump into each other one day. Hello to my far flung readers in Australia and New Zealand who are always out of sync with our season and yet still join me to see the outfit of the day. Thank you to my readership in the far East who surprise me with a massive hit of 3000 or so every six months - I wonder if I'm the subject of some college course or a network who follows me? Hello to Angela, Joan and Jude with whom I have become friends through their support by email. And a huge thank you to the blogging community for welcoming me into the body of the kirk. Your comments keep me on the right track, and encourage me when I'm not sure about my clothes or even my choices in general. The blogging world is huge and I realise that my blogging community is tiny in relation to that, but that somehow makes it all the more special. We all search out our niche, our crowd, those that we identify with most and I'm so happy to be part of a blogging family, who like many families may be too busy to catch up from time to time, but always, always regroup and are there to support each other.

Last of all, let's not forget that a blog is only as good as its photographs and mine are always better when Polly is around to do the honours.

Thanks to her for her ideas, advice and technical skills and most of all for her ability to make me laugh! Poor Polly is a captive audience, forced into the position by default, but takes on the role with enthusiasm and good humour every time. In these last few shots she captured the fun when the wind decided to play havoc with my skirt and despite my warnings she just carried on snapping anyway. Thank you Polly x

Outfit details - top: H&M, skirt: vintage, Jaeger, net petticoat: eBay, shoes: TK Maxx, belt: Dorothy Perkins, clutch and rings: charity shopped, bangle: gift, necklace: Noel, sunglasses: Quay Australia.
Anna x

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