Sequins and camo for daytime

Eeek, it's only another 7 sleeps until Christmas and I'm so far off being ready! But let's move swifty on... Today I'm touting this daytime look that throws sequins on top of camo print in the loudest of colours. As you may know, I love orange, can't get enough of the colour and therefore when I came across these cargo pants on Vinted (new with the labels still attached) I just knew they were meant for me.

The trousers are so practical for work, yet eye poppingly bright and breezy that they yell out fun. I'll be wearing them this week while I do my final preparations to get the Gallery ready for opening. I'll swap out these orange leather boots (Asos) for my baseball camo ones and add a big cardigan for warmth.

My glitter top was a charity shop purchase from years ago and the orange sequin jacket came from TK Maxx a few years ago; I bring it out every Christmastime and it always makes people smile. The padding makes for a lovely snuggly winter jacket as well as being totally glam.

Glitter, sequins and camo meant I could get away with the minimum of jewellery. The classic black sunglasses are by Radley London and orange belt is from Primark.

Well, I suppose I'd better get back to my fudge making again. I've only one more batch to make this afternoon, making a total of over 24 pounds of the sweet stuff for family and friends. 

By tomorrow this will all be wrapped and packed into colourful boxes ready to distribute to my family here on the islands. It truly is the joy of giving!

I'll be back on Christmas day with my style sisters for our monthly style challenge, so if you get a quiet moment over the festive period please do swing by to see our take on Christmas Dressing.

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas!

Anna x


Outdoors versus indoors photography

Hello lovelies! I thought I'd check out what you think about my recent indoors photography for the blog and if you prefer to see my outfits outdoors. It's a terrible dilemma at this time of year when the weather is so changeable and the light can be dull and uninspiring. I'd hoped to catch the early morning sunshine, but by the time I'd chosen my outfit and done my make-up the weather had changed and it was even raining in the distance.

Obviously artificial light is much more reliable and highlights much more in the way of detail, but I do worry that you'll tire of the same old backdrop, especially when I normally feature some lovely vantage points on Tresco. So today I'm mixing up indoors and outdoors for you in the hope that you'll comment with your thoughts.

You'll probably have seen my orange sequinned jacket before as I always bring it out at this time of year. I found it in TK Maxx a few years ago and still love it as much as ever. The mixture of sequins plus cosy padding equals a wonderful winter layer with lots of glamour! I've recently unpacked my Christmas suitcase and think I need to be wearing some sparkle every day from here on to give it all an airing!

My faux leather trousers were a recent purchase from Primark. They're great for this time of year as they are wind proof and rain proof too. I added an old leather belt and an orange roll neck to complete this festive look. My jewellery is all old as are my sunglasses.

It was great to rediscover these olive green sock boots in the back of my wardrobe, a perfect match for my new trousers. They were from Zara years ago - love the silver heels!

So that just about rounds it up for this week's post. I'd love to hear back from you as to which is your preferred location at this time of year. Or even if you think it's not relevant. As we're in the run up to Christmas I know I'll be battling with the elements but do want to keep you entertained! 

                                                                                                               Anna x


New year, new challenge!

Hello and welcome to our first Style Not Age challenge for 2022!

January's challenge comes from Emma who has alighted on the Eye of the Tiger, relating to the Chinese New Year which starts on the 1st of February. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger and we fashionista friends are all interpreting this in our very own way. My choice of outfit was guided by the simple fact that I only have one item of clothes with a tiger and this sequined top is it!

Gail has opted for a red and black outfit to showcase her Tiger's Eye pendant. Catch up with her on the blog Is This Mutton?

Jacqui's tiger print blouse is from New Look, paired with faux leather trousers from F&F with slouch tan boots. See her back story over at Mummabstylish.

From top to toe Emma's outfit reads like this - hat from eBay, shirt from Topshop, trousers from Zara and tiger necklace is from Palava. See more from Emma on her blog Style Splash

Hilda's tiger print piece is this fabulous handbag, borrowed from a local boutique - way to go Hilda! Find out more on Over The Hilda blog.

My sequinned tiger tee was a sale find in H&M some time ago. I've not worn it very often so am delighted to bring it into play today. A bargain basement piece for only a fiver I have to mention! My shark's tooth necklace was from Charlie Dodge jewellery and my rings are  preloved, sunglasses from Radley London.

The rest of my outfit is all old, seen before, but still makes for a good show, don't you think? The orange sequin jacket is padded and therefore lovely and cosy. Steve says that it's so sparkly it can be seen from outer space! 

I deliberately chose to take myself off to a remote spot on the top of Tresco so that I wouldn't dazzle any passing traffic. I'd hoped to be pretty inconspicuous out at King Charles' Castle until I looked out to sea and there was the local gig crew thrashing on their way down the channel. I think I was a bit more exposed than I planned!

My faux leather jeans are from H&M (old) and as are my patent Chelsea boots (Topshop). My sequin jacket was from TK Maxx and is one of those pieces that stays in my wardrobe all year round. It manages to avoid the seasonal changeover as the sparkly orange vibe can work for any time of year. 

I'll leave you with this splendid view out towards Shipman's Head on Bryher with the wild Atlantic Ocean beyond. This is a terrific vantage point as well as a great spot to escape from whatever may trouble you. There's nothing like the big outdoors to help you get things back into perspective!

                                                                              Anna x


Everyday sequins?

I'll understand if wearing sequins in an everyday way may not be for you, but when you have a fabulous sequinned jacket just hanging around waiting for its moment, then sometimes you just have to make up an excuse to wear it. The wind was sharp and strong yesterday morning when Steve and I had planned to scoot out for a quick photo shoot. I'd already decided to wear these Boden chinos (quite old) along with this white tee shirt with the lovely gold blocking stating "Paris is always a good idea" (by Public Envy from TK Maxx), but this was chosen when we'd had a lovely sunny day. 

It wasn't too difficult a decision to pop this fabulous jacket over my outfit making this a very happy ensemble. The jacket is by Anothereight and was also from TK Maxx, a birthday find earlier on this year. It's nicely padded and so was the perfect toasty layer. I love the practicality of it being padded but also the impracticality of it being sequinned - cosy and beautiful, hurrah!

More posing and less bossing was pretty much what Steve was saying here. 

You've no idea what joy it is to have these brocade trainers in my shoe collection. The brand is Replay and they too were a wonderful TK Maxx discovery. Jazzy shoes are the best!

Accessories read like this - necklace was a present from Sasha, ring is preloved and sunglasses are from Quay Australia.

This is a grin-a-minute outfit. I'm frankly sequin mad, a true magpie collecting all things that are bright and sparkly. My passion doesn't rival Lisa, the Sequinist though! Check out her blog for sparkles in almost every feature.

It's a glorious Sunday morning as I sit writing this. In fact it's two weeks ago since Steve and I captured that other glorious sequinned offering on the beach on Easter morning (see here). I had a lovely swim after that shoot, but that's been my only swim in the past two weeks. The flu virus has just about passed and I may have a swim later on today after work. The enforced break from swimming has been a drag, but the longer it goes on the more difficult it seems to get back into the water. I think I could leave it forever and still find an excuse not the take the plunge. Yes, it's going to be a terrible shock to the system, but it's a deed that has to be done. Wish me luck!

                                                                    Anna x


I make no apologies for being me

The past 12 months have been an amazing time for me. I've had so many new opportunities come along which I would previously never have imagined possible and then the latest adventure to South Africa really was the icing on the cake. New opportunities also meant meeting new people and that can be challenging too. Sometimes I wonder who might find it the most challenging - me or them? 

I come across as a real chatterbox, bubbly and a bit over the top, but scratch the surface and I can be quite shy really - it's all a big ruse. I used to be terribly awkward around strangers, but my job brings me into contact with strangers every day of the week and that forced me to step outside of my comfort zone many years ago. However, the role of Gallery Manager is like a coat I put on for work. I can talk forever about art, artists and the place I live, all within the workplace and I'm fine. But plonk me in the pub next door and I'm lost for something to say.

I think that dressing up as I do is a front, a ploy to take the focus off the real me and place it firmly on the outfit of the day. I can play the part of the flamboyant entrepreneur, ready to speak about what I've got on and where I found it. Wearing bright clothes is a great ice breaker too, saving people the effort of finding a safe subject to talk about. Some of us need a mask to hide behind and this is mine. That said, I wouldn't dress down in the hope of disappearing from sight, as these clothes do channel the peacock within. I love bright things, bold colours and unusual shoes. Today's bright things come mostly from Zara (the lounge suit and boots) and the sequinned jacket was from hubby for my birthday present and is from TK Maxx.

Being a peacock within a small community can make you appear to be a bit of a show-off, a court jester, you may look guilty of playing to the gallery all of the time. But as I've said before, I dress to please myself. My pleasure in my clothes is authentic, joyful and such a positive aspect of my life. When someone might raise their eyebrows at something I wear I always remember the talk my husband gave me many moons ago, the main point being, "Make no apology for being you". He too was the one to tell me I'm human Marmite and goodness, I just hate Marmite, so that caused us both to laugh like hell. 

Anyway, to get back to my point, I do know that some might find me challenging. I'm too in-your-face for some people. My first impression can leave many reeling, others could feel a little punch drunk and some, thank goodness, are pleased to have met a human whirlwind. My enthusiasm can be infectious and that's what I hope will make my readers come back for more. Or even come to seek me out on my little island home, which has happened too. Did I live up to their expectations? They never did say!

As you'll probably know, I'm a big self-help fan and am always on the look-out for a good read. My latest purchase Love For Imperfect Things has been a great help for me in assessing who I am in the grand scheme of things and if I'm good enough. The following recommendation was just the pointer I needed to make me want to buy the book and learn more - 

"The world could surely use a bit more love, a little more compassion and a little more wisdom. In Love for Imperfect Things, Haemin Sunim shows us how to cultivate all three, and to find beauty in the most imperfect of things - including your very own self" (Susan Cain, author of Quiet). 

My inner battle of not feeling good enough, comes from an unhappy childhood, of feeling unloved, which is a subject that Haemin broaches with great sensitivity. He treads lightly, offering wise words and simple suggestions as to how to move on and love oneself regardless of self doubt. It's a beautiful book reflecting his imperfect soul - no haughty preaching, just sympathetic guidance and kindness. The following quote of his has to be one of my favourites.

"If I like myself, it is easy for me to like people around me. But if I am unhappy with myself, it is easy to feel unhappy with those around me. May you become your own biggest fan!"

And so yes, I am my own biggest fan. I laugh loudly, sing loudly, dress loudly. But goodness, I'm big on love too. I hug big, I'm a loyal friend, I give genuine compliments to complete strangers, I love my family and I am a generous boss. I throw myself into both work and play with real gusto, with a complete passion for life, a genuine enthusiasm for the things that give me joy. I make no apologies for being me. I think being in my 60's has been very liberating, helping me to get over my insecurities and self doubts. I at last know who I am, am happy with who I am and am ready for whatever comes along next.

                                                                  Anna x

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