My pretty new Zara blouse




Hello again! How was your weekend? Mine seemed to go past in a bit of a blur of cooking, cleaning and yes, dejunking. The boxes are mounting up as I clear out cupboard after cupboard, moving out anything that's not useful, beautiful or loved by us. Even poor Steve was involved as I attacked his guilty area of workwear calling on him to help cull his large, but very tired, collection of checked shirts of which there seemed to be many. We're still in the midst of the job, barely half way through the entire house, but as they say, out of chaos comes order!




So, this is my new blouse, a birthday present from my friend Bo who lives in Portugal. It's from Zara, but I can't find it online here. The fabric is lightweight and will be wonderful to wear in the summer (I'm imagining it with white jeans and sandals), but I was so impatient to try it on then decided to winterise it with my pre-loved Ralph Lauren fairisle vest.




I teamed up the blouse with my ochre Kate trousers from J D Williams - see them here on sale now. I love the fit of these slim trousers mainly because of the stretch which makes them super comfy. This is the first time I've worn them despite having them for years - yes, I really mean years. It's only due to the big clear out that I rediscovered them, still with tags on, and decided to try them on. How fab is that to find a great new pair of trousers hidden away? And doubly fab when they match my new blouse perfectly!




My pre-loved perspex rings pick out some of the colours in today's outfit adding to the pattern play too. Dark green pearls and Quay Austalia sunglasses complete the accessories.




Russet platform boots give a bit more leg-lengthening height to the look which is never a bad thing. These are very old indeed and were from Office.




And just to add a bit more pattern to the mix, I wore my Joe Brown's woolen 3/4 length jacket. This one is out of stock now, but I did find another cute jacket - see here.  The lining is a wonderful bit of pattern play too!






It seems that here in the UK we'll all be hunkering down for the rest of the week as we have two gales lining up to give us a bit of a battering. I'd planned to get some outdoor photos taken on the beach at the weekend, but I'll maybe have to come up a plan B just in case. Do take care, wherever you are and thanks for dropping by!

                                                                            Anna x

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Floral Converse boots and purple agapanthus




Hello again! How's your week been? I've had the day off today and even though the weather wasn't perfect, Steve and I took ourselves off in our boat and headed out to the Eastern Isles. White sand, clear turquoise water and a few glimpses of the sun as we lazed on an uninhabited island were enough to create our very own chill zone. A couple of beers with our picnic and we pretty much set the world to rights in a few hours.




And so on to the outfit of the day. I've recently bought a new pair of Converse boots which inspired this look. The floral boots are on sale from Office currently (see here). Increasingly I seem to be wearing flats for work and these are a bright and breezy way of lifting an outfit out of the doldrums.




Aren't they totally funky and great fun too!




I've paired the boots with with these patterned wide legged crops from H&M (pre-loved) which I've had for a couple of years now. The white floral top was from New Look in a summer sale, but not this year. Setting the whole shebang against the purple agapanthus is a riot of colour, one that will be over very soon, hence I was keen to capture the flowers while they were still in bloom.




I picked out accent colours of pink and turquoise for my statement rings, adding my favourite Quay Australia sunglasses for another jazzy aspect. My sea glass pendant is a tiny blue droplet made by Drift jewellery out of sea glass I collect from our beaches.




The pressures of work are gradually calming down now meaning I'm more able to fit in my wild swimming again. I'm back at the ever-so-heavenly Cradle Porth in the shots below. 








I'm so lucky to have the chance to swim in these clear waters all year round. I feel the mental health benefits are almost more important to me than the physical ones. My solitary swims in particular take me to a calm place; a welcome state of zen, an escape from the norm and into a watery world where my senses are devoid of sound (with earplugs in place) and are taste and sight oriented. The delicate shades of sea greens and aquas lull me into dream world where under sea creatures like bold little brown crabs fend me off and purple globe jellyfish pulse their way on by. Nature unwinds me, undoing the knots of tension in my shoulders and emptying my buzzing brain. I emerge refreshed and revitalised, ready for the next challenge that life may throw my way.



Anna x

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Back to work!




Hello again!




How are you? I hope you're well. So here's me in my back-to-work outfit yesterday. And straight away, I have to tell you that all's well and the transition has been made from housewife to Gallery Manager. It was seamless, much to my relief, as the very act of dressing the part and sitting at my desk and trawling my way through emails dragged me back into the role. All my fears of suddenly finding that I hate my job evaporated as I felt my way through the many aspects of the job, both physical and mental. Phew!




Blue and red isn't a combination I often do, but yesterday this was what evolved on rediscovering these stretch woollen trousers from Tu at Sainsbury's. Sasha had given these to me a couple of years ago and yet, surprise surprise, I'd never worn them. My 12 month shopping ban may be over, but here I am still finding gems like these. Cropped and with pockets the trousers drape nicely and were uber comfy throughout the day. I went for an hour's walk with my dear friend Fiona during lunchtime and only had to change my footwear and was good to go.




The sweater was a TK Maxx purchase. It's a man made fibre that's cosy as well as being a flattering fit. I did pop a thin thermal top underneath as I knew the Gallery would feel chilly after weeks of no heating on. My blogging friend Sheila may well call this a bookends look as the top and boots echo similar prints. Not too samey-samey but delightfully playful I thought.




So here's another new-to-me piece though! This fabulous red leather mini backpack was charity shop purchase way back in 2019. I paid £20 for it and thought it well worth the money. The leather is sturdy and has that reassuring weightiness that says quality. A clasp front and zips make it feel nice and secure too. My rings are both old as well as being pre-loved.




I was really pleased with this back to work outfit. The right clothes really can put you in the right frame of mind, don't you think?




My reptile print cuban heel boots were from Office many moons ago. It was a bit of a shock though to be wearing something other than slippers all day! After my walk I kept on my simple black trainers to ease the strain.




These funky shades are by my go sunglasses supplier - Quay Australia. I'd forgotten about them and found them stashed away in the back of the drawer.




It's a relief to have gotten that first day out of the way. As so often happens, the thought of something is usually worse than the reality of it. I love my job I'm pleased to say and can't wait to open the doors to the public again on the 12th of April.




And here's our Red Cross container almost full after Saturday's collection. Sasha (left) and Hannah were just finishing off the last bit of packing when I arrived. The project was a resounding success and almost an exact repeat of last year when we collected enough to fill a whole container then too. Social distancing was an extra challenge this year, but one that all the helpers managed beautifully.




Last of all, here's my second chair resplendent in it's new covers. My three piece suite has new covers throughout, but I ran out of time and didn't manage to replace the base covers. I'm okay with that and know that next winter I can settle down to that more complicated challenge. Over this forthcoming weekend I'll pack up all of the fabrics and stash them away. I also plan to bring out my spring and summer clothes which is both exciting and daunting!

I'll be back again on Friday and do hope you'll join me again.


Have a super week!

Anna x

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A touch of sparkle, our Style Not Age challenge for November



Hello and welcome once again to our monthly style challenge! Never one for understatement, I'm kicking off this month's challenge with a very liberal dose of bright orange sequins as my touch of sparkle. However, you'll see that I'm not so out of step with my fashionista friends with this month's quest as we all limber up in readiness for Christmas.




Hilda has plumped for the glitter option of sparkle in this pretty bronze blouse with black trim to match her black chiffon skirt. Catch more from her on Over The Hilda here.




Jacqui's black and silver sequinned top dazzles in the sunshine, but teamed with these velvet trousers epitomises evening elegance. Read her blog Mummabstylish for her style story.




Gail's take on this month's challenge could be called Glitter, Sparkle and Shine as that's how wonderfully she has embraced the theme! Find out more from her on Is This Mutton blog. 




Emma's interpretation is an eye-catching mix of damson sequins and emerald green chiffon frills. What fun! Do please scoot across to find out all of the details on her blog Style Splash.




As you'll all be aware, I'm on a 12 month shopping ban currently and despite the odd wanton browsing of the Zara website (see this rather stunning bit of sparkle available at the moment), I'm happy to say that this tightening of the belt has only served to show me how much my wardrobe holds. The orange sequinned jacket was from TK Maxx a couple of years ago and the brand is Anothereight. I last wore it almost a year ago (see here) and this is the 4th time I've shown it on the blog. 




And what does one wear with a bright orange sequin jacket? Why, bright orange satin pants of course! These are from the Conscious Collection at H&M, but are quite old. Thank goodness, however, that they're not so old that they don't fit. I have a friend who used to say that some of her clothes tend to shrink in the wardrobe if she doesn't wear them for a year or two ... I know exactly how that goes!




The skinny satin trousers called for statement footwear and these old beauties came to mind. By Office, the chestnut suede ankle boots are far from new, but the towering heels and platform soles still give me buzz regardless. 




Accessories read like this: the gold framed mirror sunglasses (they were just begging to team up with this burnished ensemble!) are by Quay Australia, rings are pre-loved and the rose gold heart pendant was from a boutique in Truro some time ago.




My jewel bright cashmere sweater works so well with today's orange sparkle. In case you missed it last time I was gifted this beautifully soft two ply cashmere jumper by Cashmere Specialist, a mail order company in Slovakia. Please do check out their extensive website and if you quote ANNA10 you'll get 10% off your order, but be quick as this ends on the 2nd of December! 




Many thanks to the ladies of the collective for their joyful contributions and also thanks to Sasha for being the photographer of the day. I love how she managed to capture the reflection of these exotic palm trees in my sunglasses.


Take care and see you next time!

Anna x


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Colour blocking in my new winter coat


A midweek welcome to you, my dear reader. How's things shaping up for you this week? I'm doing fine and am so pleased to be able to show you my new winter coat. The brand is Covent Garden, not one that I've heard of before, nor could I find it online, but the coat was a purchase from TK Maxx in Truro last month. It looks and feels like wool, but is actually 100% polyester, but no matter - it's toasty warm which is all I need for the months ahead. The minute I tried the coat on in the shop, it just felt like me. Don't you just love that? The fit is perfect, the pockets just deep enough and the collar folds up to keep the drafts out without needing a scarf. Gloves and scarf will be the final sign of defeat that winter is truly here. In the meantime, I'm perfectly cosy like this!


I decided to do a bit of colour blocking with this splash of mustard being my starting point. The strong autumn hue of yellow goes beautifully with the punch of paprika of these flared culottes (from Zara last year, or was it the year before?). The final block of colour is the ginger of the suede boots by Office (not this season's either I'm afraid). 



I picked up the bag of the moment, aka the across the body bag, from TK Maxx too. I like the mix of colour and animal print that will make it truly versatile even once the trend is dead and gone. The brand is Carvela and it cost me £28 in the sale.


The plum spiral ring is from Venice and is made out of glass. I've had it for years and thought I'd lost it. The knotted bobble ring was a purchase in Cape Town when I was there in January - oh happy days!


The long retro necklace was a charity shop find for the grand sum of £3. The striped crew neck sweater was from Topshop earlier this year.



Am wondering if this crazy hair shot might be the next hairstyle trend? Reminds me of my blogging friend Mel of Bag and a Beret... 

                                                                                 Anna x

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Autumn florals, our Style Not Age challenge


Welcome to September's style challenge! Autumn florals is what I came up with for my theme, which feels like the halfway house to admitting that summer is over. I've unpacked some of my autumn clothes today, but I'm not convinced that I'm ready for the decline into what I find the most difficult months of the year. Drab and dull is what comes to mind when I think autumn and winter, but I mustn't confuse the weather with the clothes must I? Anyway, let's see how my co-conspirators have done this time shall we?


Jacqui gives her florals a light touch by adding white to the mix. This is a clever bit of transitional dressing if ever I saw it! Read more on her blog Mummabstylish here.


Another pair of light coloured boots lifts Hilda's dark floral frock and adds a funky element that I really love. See her back story on Over the Hilda here.


Editor of Style Splash Emma is sporting a #secondhandseptember frock for the challenge. I would have snapped this pretty offering up too if I'd seen it! And how cute is that little bag?


So let's get down to details shall we? My floral frock is by Zara, an earlier purchase from this summer. The mustard suedette jacket is by Boohoo which I picked up in TK Maxx this year too. You may remember seeing these chestnut suede boots before. I've had them for a couple of years now - they're from Office and are still comfy as ever despite the height of those heels.


The maxi dress has one side split giving the odd flash of thigh. I think I'll be happier to wear tights with this during the colder months. The tiny and beautifully soft leather bag by Gigi is preloved and was a bargain at £3.99. I was rather pleased to match the orange flowers with the orange trim of the bag.


I've got a few maxi dresses that I'm planning on wearing with boots over the next month or so to see if I can extend their life beyond that summer fling. I think a bit of layering may be needed to carry it the look off, but it may be worth a try. My cream and peach floral frock from Zara (see here) is one that I'm loath to pack away just yet, so watch out for that bit of styling soon.


Rings are both preloved, as is the leather belt by Evie and my necklace is by Daisy Dunlop. Did you notice the punched floral pattern on both ring and belt? I can't help these tiny link-ups.


Sunglasses are by my fave brand Quay Australia.


So that's another month's challenge in the bag. Thanks for joining us again. Are we inspiring you? Does autumn inspire you? If so, please do share with me what fires you up most for this new season as I do struggle with this. Perhaps you've had your colours done and autumn is you? I think I may be autumn, but that doesn't seem to make it any easier for me. 

Have a great week and let's catch up again soon!

Anna x

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