My antidote to the midweek blahs - colour therapy and beach walks

Hello again! Today sees me walking the walk as far as colour therapy goes. I bought this pink trench a couple of years ago (pre-loved from Topshop) and after the initial flurry of excitement, I put it away in the wardrobe in my daughter's bedroom and promptly forgot it. How easily done that is. Anyway, I found it again the other day and introduced it to my matching pink sock boots and oh my, didn't they get along well!

My much loved Lee jeans and a simple black sweater (Primark) are all that's needed for this pared down look. 

The perspex rings are all charity shopped, the pink perspex and silver bangle was a gift, the tree of life pendant came from a small boutique in Truro and the black leather belt is from H&M.

Jamie gave me the sock boots (from H&M) for my Christmas last year. He's raised the bar quite high - what on earth will he manage to conjure up this year I wonder?

Another part of my mood-lifting therapy is to get out for more walks this winter. The next day I did a small circuit of Old Grimsby and took some shots to share with you.

The frothy sea is being washed in from the big rollers at the North End of the island.

I'd forgotten how therapeutic it can be out get out, away from the chores and do-to lists. I was absorbed by nature; the crashing waves and rhythm of the sea. I walked the beaches and didn't meet a soul. The island is in winter mode and is as beautiful as ever.

                                                                                            Anna x


Very Ralph

Hello my lovely readers. What a treat it was to watch the documentary Very Ralph that aired on Sky Atlantic on the 15th of November. If you didn't see it then I urge you to find it on catch up TV. I was totally enthralled for the duration and duly inspired. It was like a running buffet of every delicious food you could possibly imagine, only it was clothes not food. And not just clothes, of course, as Ralph Lauren encompasses an entire lifestyle brand - his vision is breath-taking. In the words of Vogue 

'Very Ralph' Is A Future Classic – And The Most Stylish Documentary Of The Year

Today's outfit is my attempt to recreate a look I had a fleeting glimpse of amidst the technicolour fashion fest. Ralph is all about elegance, understatement and flair. Here's my rustic translation of his style. That little mocking voice in my head was all set to tell me that I'm not 6 foot tall, nor a willowy young beauty with legs like bean poles and for me not to make a blooming fool of myself with my copycat efforts, when I just said "so what?" and got on with it anyway. That's the whole point of fashion isn't it? To inspire us to copy.

Designer fashion this isn't, but the magic of Very Ralph caught my imagination, firing me up to find an outfit that echoes his ethos. Ralph's main influences were the film stars he saw in the movies as a young man. 

I've shopped my closet for this outfit, but more than that, the clothes are all second hand. The beautiful woollen Oxford Bags are by Escada but I have to admit that the luxury brand makes my eyes water at the their prices. The rust frilled blouse (no label) adds a feminine touch to the otherwise masculine look. I bought the burnished leather bomber jacket (House of Leather) a couple of years ago and seemed to pick myself a bargain at only £20. The nude leather belt (another second hand purchase at £5) is as good as new, by Country Casuals.

I bought these high heeled brogues in Portugal about five years ago and especially love the ribbons. I can't read the brand name now as it's too smudged. They're wearing well.

All my jewellery is pre-loved too. I'm doing well with my luxury-for-less look today!

My friend Jilly and her dog Boo photo-bombed us, in the nicest way possible of course.

And she returned the favour by capturing Steve and I together which doesn't happen often enough. Please let me know what you think of the documentary. I loved it, but want to hear your opinion too.

Thanks for dropping by. See you next time!

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


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


Autumn dressing and a shopping spree

Hello again! How's your weekend gone? I'm having my first good day in ages and have managed to get some blog photos done as well as a few chores at home. It's good to know that I'm getting back on track. 

You may remember seeing me wearing this Topshop dress in the summer. I styled it then with white footwear too (see here). I bought the dress way back in June and it has received so many compliments over the months. I'm such a convert to the ease of wearing an all-in-one, whether it's dungarees or a dress; I just love not having to worry about matching separates. I'd like to think that's because I'm busy, not lazy!

The white patent boots by Marco Tozzi are a recent purchase from TK Maxx and were £34.99. 

The tweed jacket is pre-loved, the brand is Next and such a great classic piece. I've had it for over a year and yet this is the first time I've worn it. Not sure why it's taken me so long. It fits really well and is great for this time of year.

I swapped the belt over and replaced it with this charity shop one which picks up the gold and white of the dress.

The silver ring with gold etching is by Diana Porter, the flower ring is pre-loved.

I'll not keep you waiting any longer ... Here's my little bit of shopping from Truro recently. I succumbed to both high street fashion and pre-loved pieces from my top charity shops in the town. I'm pleased with the balance and collection that came together over the few days I was there.

This lovely velvet jacket is the start of my charity shopping finds. It was originally from Debenhams and cost £4.

The over-sized shirt was £5. I like the idea of a polo neck underneath this for the colder months and then it can be worn alone as the weather warms up again.

This cotton jumper is a nostalgic piece. I used to have a similar one way back in the 80's and foolishly passed it on to one of our jumble sales. I've no idea how I'll style it, but am delighted to have acquired a replacement. Good old Laura Ashley!

The Tu blouse cost £3. At that price I thought it would add a ray of sunshine to my winter wardrobe.

This hand knitted cardigan appeals again from a nostalgic point of view. The baby blue colour will be great to wear with jeans over a thermal top for those chilly autumn days. Worth the £3.50 it cost, without a doubt.

I'm sure this pre-loved stretch jersey shirt will be a useful addition to my collection of tops. It's from M&S, and cost me £4.50.

The woollen skirt is also pre-loved and again from M&S - it cost me £5.

And so, on to the high street purchases next. This cute tweed mini skirt is from F&F at Tesco, costing £15.

The blue leopard print top was from TK Maxx, costing £19.99. Love it!

This cute navy, white and red dress is from Primark at £15. Worn it already with a cream polo neck underneath. 

Another Primark purchase. I fancy that I'll keep this one back for wearing over the festive period.

Please tell me that you love these as much as I do! By Steve Madden, they were from TK Maxx, reduced to £34.99. 

And last but by no means least, this beautiful vintage dress has solved my dilemma as to what to wear on Christmas day. In the traditional red, green and gold, I just couldn't resist the charm of this lovely gauzy frock. A gold belt and some glitzy shoes will transform it into something very a la Anna's Island Style!

This week I'll be chasing up some old friendships and maybe some new ones as I'll be linking up with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb 
Jacqui of Mummabstylish 

Anna x

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