Birthstone Beauties

Hello and welcome to this month's Style Not Age challenge. Jacqui has chosen this month's theme inspired by our birthstones and I'll be frank with you - I really don't like my birthstone (garnet). I have a few things in my winter wardrobe that might have worked for this one, but not in my summer collection. This lovely red jumpsuit is borrowed from Fiona my blogging photographer. But more of this later. Let's see how Jacqui  tackled her own challenge shall we?

Emerald is Jacqui's birthstone, the colour of her shoes leading Jacqui to create this zingy outfit in greens and yellow. Her jacket is from F&F, trousers from Zara and top from Matalan. See the rest of her story on her blog Mummabstylish.

Ruby is Emma's birthstone and she has opted for various tones of red to echo the different shades of the stone. Her jacket and trainers are from Zara, top and trousers from River Island and her bag is from eBay. Emma's backstory can be found on Style Splash blog

Hilda's turquoise birthstone has me more than slightly envious. Her daughter's handbag was the inspiration for this look paired with these fab white mules and pretty summer dress. Read more from her on Over The Hilda

Gail too has an enviable birthstone - topaz. She's wearing a topaz pendant with her casual denim jacket and white M&S jeans. Did you know that topaz comes in orange too? Find out more on her blog Is This Mutton.

My offering this month was virtually thrown together at the last minute. Fiona and I had been for an end of the day sea swim followed by our flask of tea and chat ritual when I remembered the outfit challenge. After a cycle dash home I managed to find this floral top to compliment the floral jumpsuit. It's very old, so old in fact that I don't recall where I bought it. I added this ornate belt (eBay) and these neutral sandals to complete the look.

My matching rings are charity shopped from long ago. 

My gold coloured chain is from Zara, a gift from a girlfriend. 

I bought these uber comfy sandals from TK Maxx earlier on this year. 

I must admit that if this were my jumpsuit I'd definitely be wearing it as a regular work outfit. The fit is loose, yet with a belt is a flattering shape, is lightweight for the summer and would look just as pretty with a simple tee shirt underneath. Platform sandals would be another great addition too. 

So that's pretty much it folks! I do hope you've enjoyed this month's challenge. I'll be back next week with... goodness knows what!

                                                                        Anna x


Statement sleeves for our Style Not Age challenge

Hello and welcome once again to our monthly style challenge! Statement sleeves is Emma's idea this month and it seems to have been embraced with glee by all of us. For once there was an instant piece that came to mind when I read about the theme and I was  pleased with the results of the outfit and photos which my dear friend Fiona caputured for me. But more of that later. Here's how my style sisters approached Statement Sleeves.

This hot pink top of Emma's was an absolute bargain from River Island and one that I'd have snatched up too if I'd seen it. The leg o' mutton sleeves with shirred elastic cuffs make for a stunning look. Catch up with Emma's news on her blog Style Splash here

Hilda's double dose of denim also includes these fabulous sleeves. See them in close-up below.

Ever stylish Hilda has borrowed her hubby's hat to lend a cool edge to her denim ensemble. The mini pleats on the puffed sleeves are very unusual and effective too. See more from Hilda here

Fluted sleeves from Jacqui in this pretty summer top fit the bill nicely don't you agree? Grey crops and handbag work well with the pastel hues of her top and pumps. See more on Mummabstylish here

These huge frilled sleeves certainly fill the remit Gail! The blouse is another River Island gem - I clearly need to be checking out their website. Catch up with Gail's blog Is This Mutton here

I had great fun swooshing about in this pleated sleeved top in the golden evening light. Fiona and I had the beach to ourselves allowing for much uninhibited exhibitionism by me. We were there to swim primarily, but I managed to combine the photo shoot with our daily dip too. The location is Cradle Porth, my favourite beach of the moment.

My top was a charity shop find from years ago; so many that I forget when exactly. It was an eye catching piece that I knew was a worthy addition to my clothes collection. I haven't worn it often as it's quite a memorable piece.

I had great fun hamming it up for the camera! It's been a while since I've had a photographer to help out so I was making the most of it.

The mint stretch jeans were a £5 bargain from Tesco's a few summer's ago and the sandals are from TK Maxx, again some time ago. Nothing new in fact. 

There's nothing new jewellery-wise either. The rings are both pre-loved and the pearl necklace with glass lozenge is rather ancient, well at least over 10 years old. The Quay Australia sunglasses were given to me by a friend.

I've no idea what G means with these sandals. I've looked up shoe brands and there seems to be many using a capital G. Do let me know. 

I'd like to finish with a big shout-out to Sandra, my sister, who had a rather significant birthday yesterday. She lives on a tiny island on the West Coast of Scotland and consequently we've not seen each other for some time now. 

Many thanks for dropping by again. It'll be September before you hear from me again!

In the meantime, have a great week!

Anna x


White Stuff aqua top

Hello again!

Golly what a busy week I've had! So sorry to neglect the blog, but I've had to prioritise my time with work coming first. We've had a rush on sales this past week and next week will be equally busy as I have to pack these all up and despatch them to the mainland. The last big shipment I sent off got caught up in the Bank Holiday weekend which complicated matters terribly, so hopefully this next consignment will be a bit more straightforward.

Anyway, here I am on the beach wearing the second of those White Stuff linen tops I recently showed you. See the first feature about them here. The aqua one is perfect to go with my paisley harem pants which are kept solely for beach romps, purely because they're very see through. Steve and I cycled to the beach yesterday to take these shots as I was worried that this might be the last summery weekend we have before autumn properly sets in. When I appeared in the doorway with these trousers on he raised his eyebrows in question at the prospect of me cycling in them without them getting caught in the chain. But I had a trick up my sleeve...

Et viola! From long shorts to harem pants in one easy step. 

The side buttons and ladder stitch insert are little touches that add to this very simple boat neck top. Both the white and aqua versions are proving to be very useful, if somewhat tame as my dear blogging friend pointed out. I suppose I must have a reputation for being flamboyant most of the time! Hahahah. Considering I buy the majority of my clothes from vintage and charity shops it's inevitable I'll end up with some pretty mainstream items, but the brand of White Stuff was too good a bargain to miss. Linen for the summer is a no-brainer isn't it?

The whole outfit today is all about sea colours. I had intended to have this photographed on the sandbar where I recently showcased my mermaid dress - see here. The only trouble was that it's probably a 15 minute boat ride plus hopping in and out of the dingy which I thought would result in a very creased top indeed. 

The only jewellery of the day is this turquoise anklet, an airport purchase from a few years ago - it was from Accessorize. 

My orange leather sandals are very comfy, functional and are still going strong after several years of beaching. The brand is Autenti by Penta and they came from TK Maxx.

This was the view from the banks above Pentle Bay yesterday. Steve and I had been off for a picnic in our boat on Saturday, spending the afternoon on Nornour Island. I posted a feature about this beauty of a desert island in 2018 if you'd like to see more. Sunday was a family day for us as it was my son Jamie's 29th birthday. He and Sasha came round for dinner and I did that mum thing of getting out his baby album (as if he's never seen it before!) - we just can't help ourselves, can we?

Ah, the joy of a sleeping baby eh?

Anna x


Episode two piece

Week 46 of 2019 (November 11th to 17th be precise) I was on the mainland, in Truro and the reason I know that is because I uncovered this gem in my wardrobe recently. It's a linen two piece that I'd bought and hidden away as a surprise for myself for the summer. At that time, little did I realise that I'd be deep in the midst of a 12 month shopping ban! What a great gift therefore to unearth it this summer just when I was needing a little retail therapy. I wore it to work for the first time last week with white trainers in the afternoon, but had started the day with sandals, like this -

Steve took these shots at the Old Blockhouse castle on Saturday after my return from the hairdressers. Not that you can really tell I've had my hair done! Storm Ellen was just on the wane, but it was still very windy up on the ramparts.

I ducked out of a revamp of my hair as I wasn't really sure what I wanted. Instead I opted for a tidy up of the ends plus fringe and had a few highlights and lowlights added to give a richer colour overall. For the moment I'm going to carry on growing it as Steve likes me with longer hair and in the meantime I'll try to find some style inspiration for next time. The salon experience was great - my stylist was in mask and visor and there were only two clients in the salon at a time. I was sat by the door which was open and it all felt very safe and clean. 

So, back to the outfit. The linen two piece has big shoulder pads which indicates this may be from the 80's, the decade of power dressing - a proper vintage find then. That, plus the shorter length dress place in in that era. It's in very good shape, feels hardly worn and the colour is strong and bright making me think it's been one of those old gems where it was kept for best. The lovely gold and green colour is a great combination. I got lots of compliments when I wore it the other day.

The shiny gold buttons led me to add gold in my accessories with my go-to gold chain necklace, gold rings (preloved) and gold cuff. The retro sunglasses are from River Island.

The gold coloured cuff is an old piece that I bought in the gallery from Almost Perfect, a brand that doesn't seem to be trading currently.

The gold wedge sandals were from TK Maxx, but not this year.

The neutral (see how I avoid using the word beige?) handbag is a beautiful Radley piece, second hand from a charity shop in Harrogate a few years ago. Every time I bring it out I wonder why I don't use it more often. It's a lovely size and the quality is superb.

The rest of my weekend was filled with ordinary domestic chores. I did have a lovely long swim on Sunday morning on Pentle Bay. The yachts around the islands are beginning to thin out now and Pentle Bay was completely empty. I do love to have a beach to myself in the morning. My swims have been few and far between of late due to the pressures of work, but when the tide is high in the morning I feel the call of the sea quite intensely and will juggle what I can to create space for this chill time. Storm Ellen had curtailed swimming for a few days too and it was a real bonus to get back in the water again. One of the results of the storm was finding a line of detached thongs of seaweed, each about four foot tall, which were staggered along beach in the sea at about chest height. They were each spaced about 20 feet apart, maybe about 10 of them in total, drifting in the water showing a round knobbly head on the waterline like sentinels. As I swam the length of the beach I could observe them underneath the sea, resembling Dementors from the Harry Potter movies, their long cloaks of seaweed billowing beneath them, hanging in a strange limbo unlike anything I'd seen before. The high tide was creating a rhythmic dance, wafting them this way and that as I passed by them. There presence was all the more spooky as the sun kept disappearing behind the clouds making the sea gloomy and dark. Typically, I didn't have phone or camera with me to capture this strange sight!

Thanks for taking the time to visit. Apologies to my blogging friends for my lack of contact recently, but as you know, work is all consuming at the moment (work, eat, sleep, repeat). I'd like to think that September will see an easing up for me. Fingers crossed I'll be back at the end of the week with something else to share with you. The forecast isn't too good and I've not got any photos taken yet, but hopefully I'll be on top of things by then!

Have a lovely week all of you!

Anna x

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