Spring in January?


Hi there!

Yes, doesn't this look like a lovely spring day? This past weekend we were blessed by the most balmy spring-like weather which prompted me to bring out this bright outfit as an ode to the season ahead. I came across the various pieces when I was having a big sort out recently and had it earmarked for when the gallery re-opens in March. But on Sunday I decided that I couldn't wait any longer...





The jacket, skirt and handbag are all pre-loved items, charity shopped over the past couple of years. I added the black dotty tights to tie in with the spots on the skirt and chose a white lace top (from Zara) and white stiletto heeled boots (from New Look) to pick out the white polka dots too.  I do like this prim look. Ever the chameleon I love to ring the changes!






Apologies to those of you who aren't keen on black tights with white boots, but in this case I do like them.







The charity shopped handbag was brand new with labels still attached and only cost me £6.99 when I was in London before Christmas.  I do enjoy a bit of pattern play and this checkered bag against the spotty pleated skirt is most definitely a fun partnership. The rings are also second hand. Sunglasses are by Quay Australia.









I'll be back again on Friday to share a rather sparkly outfit that made its debut on Saturday night. It was a special outing, but you'll have to join me on Friday to find out why ...


I hope to see you then!

Anna x

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Another reprise on the brown theme


Yes, another dose of brown!

Hello again! I'm not one to take defeat lying down and therefore I'm facing the brown challenge head-on again today, this time by adding a suggested pop of colour by way of my winter coat by Covent Garden. The brown on brown had mixed reviews the other day, both on the blog and on Instagram, so I decided that I'd push the boundaries further by adding leopard print to the mix as well as this mustard coat. Less brown, more print, more fun, more me.






The star of the show today has to be my fabulous new handbag (a Christmas present from my dear hubby). The Paul Costelloe leather and leopard print bag was a happy find in TK Maxx which also means it was a cut price bargain too. (Hubby paid, but I found it). It's my bag of the moment, my latest crush and I'm more than a little in love with it.




The granite backdrop works as a perfect camouflage for this animal print fest, don't you think? The gold flower ring was another Christmas present and the diamante ring was an airport purchase last year. The bangle was a charity shop find for a pound - yes, £1!




The necklace is from Topshop and the cardi is from H&M, although a bit ancient now.




It was another dreich day, but Lora and I dashed outside when the skies opened up momentarily to reveal a watery winter sun. I know I'm not alone in feeling the post-Christmas slump currently, not helped by the dull weather. The rest of the outfit reads like this - jeans are by Zara, as are the boots and I'm layered up with a thermal long sleeve top by M&S underneath the cardi. Sunglasses are by Quay Australia.




So that's it guys. Did I redeem myself? Are we all agreed that a fair old dollop of leopard print has the ability to pep us up out of the brown doldrums? 


Thanks for dropping by. See you again soon!

Anna x

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The Ted Baker skirt gets to party at last!


Welcome to my first post of 2020

Hello my dear friends. Have you had a lovely time over the festive period? I do hope so. I've had a super time, both at work and at home. Today I hosted a New Year's party at the Gallery giving me the perfect excuse to finally allow this gorgeous Ted Baker skirt time to shine. The skirt has featured twice on the blog before (here and here), as a Cinderella piece never quite making it to the party. Today however, it finally debuted. Not only that, this rebirth is, in my humble opinion, the best style version too.




I bought the skirt back in the summer of 2018 from TK Maxx when it was reduced from £200 to £50, proving to be too much of a bargain to be missed. But somehow that top line price meant I kept it for best, forever waiting for that special occasion to bring it out. The trouble with putting that invisible label of "special" onto something makes it well nigh impossible for the perfect event to come along. 




The robust wind played with the floaty tulle of the skirt.





Now that I've broken the spell, I can't wait to bring the skirt out again. It drew lots of compliments both for the pattern and shape and it felt such a feminine piece to wear. 






I came across these beautiful Italian courts when I was in Truro in the spring. From a charity shop and brand new, the £20 asking price was another bargain I found irresistible. The moment I saw them I knew how beautifully they would match with this skirt. Too matchy-matchy? I beg to differ.








The left hand ring was from an airport concession and the other is a pre-loved piece. Sunglasses are by Quay Australia. 




The chiffon blouse is a well worn favourite of mine (from TK Maxx) and the belt is a second hand buy.





I'd love to claim that this fabulous Ted Baker skirt was the star of the show today, but the truth is that the Tresco Choir stole that accolade. They performed at both of the parties held in the Gallery over the festive season as well as lots of other venues and were the highlight of every event. 





Fingers crossed that the video uploads!

Anna x


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Winter Opulence, our Style Not Age Challenge for December


Welcome to this month's Style Not Age challenge.

Hello to you and thanks for dropping by. This month's theme for our challenge was chosen by Emma and goodness, what a lovely idea to opt for Winter Opulence. We've all taken to this one like ducks to water so without further ado let's see how Emma starts this off shall we?




Emma looks positively regal in her velvet dress with teeny velvet bag and that crown like headband. Find all the details on her blog Style Splash




Jacqui's take on Winter Opulence is all about lace in the shape of this rich red lace dress, styled simply with red suede shoes. See more on her blog Mummabstylish.




Hilda has chosen a double helping of fur to compliment her gold brocade skirt for her sumptuous look. Catch up with her on her blog Over The Hilda.




At the mention of Winter Opulence I immediately thought of fur - but which of my many pieces was the dilemma? I've not yet showcased the velvet and fur coat which I bought in London in November... But no, maybe not. This silver fur jacket captured my attention as I rummaged through my wardrobe. 




It's a hand-me-down piece from Sasha, the brand is New Look and is quite old I think. Anyway, I like the short length as it feels young and a bit more funky when paired with this satin jumpsuit, pre-loved from H&M. 




The satin bowed trainers (new with labels) were a recent purchase in London. The brand is Kelsi and I've found the same ones online here. I thought the silver pumps were a great match for the silvery hued jacket. 






My bejewelled turtle handbag continues with the Opulence theme perfectly don't you think? I bought this in a boutique in St Andrews almost 12 months ago, but there's no label to show the brand/maker.




No brand with the necklace either I'm afraid. I bought it in London too at the Crisis shop in Finsbury Park. The necklace was one of many bargains I found at only £6.95. I can see this will be a great asset to my jewellery collection. Both rings are pre-loved too. And my sunglasses are by Quay Australia.




Fur, satin, velvet, lace and brocade - we've pretty much covered the who gamut of Winter Opulence here. What do you think of our outfits for this month's challenge? Do drop me a line or post a comment if you have something to add. Next month I'll be starting us off with our first challenge of the new decade. What on earth will that be I wonder?




Until then, I'll wish you all a very 
Happy New Year!

Anna x

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Anna does Kirstie at Christmas


Happy Christmas my lovelies!

Hello and thanks for dropping by today. I bet I'm not alone in wondering how Christmas has suddenly been and gone already. All that hype, all those preparations, all that food and packing of presents and suddenly - it's over! 




This is my Christmas day frock a la Kirstie Allsopp. I'm a huge fan of her pre-Christmas bonanza of programmes in which she wears the shirtwaister dress in all sorts of colours and patterns. I found mine in a charity shop in September and stashed it away ready for the big day. It's a vintage piece by the brand Kerena. The red, green and gold theme screamed out festive dressing the minute I saw it and the voile fabric was too pretty to resist. 




I changed the self fabric belt for this gold trimmed woven one (pre-loved) to add a bit more Christmas pizazz. The ring is also pre-loved and my necklace was a gift from Sasha a couple of years ago - it's been one of my most featured pieces of jewellery thanks to the simplicity and therefore versatility of it.




(Just a little aside here. I spent most of Christmas day thinking I'd forgotten something and it was only when I reviewed these photos that I remembered - the deforestation of my eyebrows! A tad more lipstick wouldn't have gone amiss either.)




I wanted to lift the dress out the conservative dressing bracket and gave it a touch of tartan to create something more "Anna's Island Style". The boots were from M&S ages ago. The red glitter tights add a touch of glamour - maybe too much for some, but a dash of fun for me.




Anyway folks, I wasn't sure if anyone would be checking the blog over the festive period so thank you for calling. I'll be back on Monday for the last of our Style Not Age challenge for 2019. The theme is Winter Opulence and I'm sure it's gonna be a corker! Do pop by for that if you get a moment.



I'll leave you with this fabulous sunset shot taken from my garden this evening.


                                                                                   Anna x

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Orange + sequins = heaven!


Hello to you, my dear readers!

Today's offering gives more than a nod to the festive season and golly, how wonderful it makes me feel! I love orange. I love sequins. And therefore this is a heady delight for me to air once again. I wore this fabulous jacket way back at the start of the year (see here) and again in the spring (here). It's pretty bold, even by my standards and so I have to be in the right frame of mind to carry this off. 




If you're a regular reader then you'll know that I find the winter months a real struggle. This year more so than most as I'm not able to swim currently and that daily dip is what keeps me from descending into the black hole of depression which snaps away at my heels for the long dark months. But I've discovered that the discipline of a daily walk yomp has an equally good effect on my mood. Now, that may be because I've been joined by friends on some days, but even on those days when I've stamped around the circuit on my own, I've been energised and so very pleased with my efforts. 




I'm finding the walking bug has got me in the very same way that the swimming bug did. The daily yomp has become an addiction regardless of the weather. The circuit I walk is a full hour of speed walking both up and down hills, across moors and coastal paths and I just love this new found high. The other day Jilly and I were striding out in a howling gale dressed in full wet-gear, marching alongside the exposed southern coast as we tried hard to keep up our conversation. As we reached the top of an incline we were suddenly blasted by sand; it was the cheapest spa treatment ever as we were exfoliated by gusts of mica-laden wind and we laughed at each other as we struggled to see. The ferocity of the wind stole the words from our mouths, dragged the snot from our noses, and forced us to stagger bent double against it. I was grateful for my sunglasses protecting my eyes and also for the scraps of loo roll Jilly dragged out from the corner of her pockets. Afterwards as we hugged and said our goodbyes, we both congratulated each other on that life-affirming walk; the extreme weather making the challenge all the more of an achievement. Never mind ladies who lunch, we're ladies who yomp!




And so, to the outfit. Another Eight is the brand of this dazzling bomber jacket which is surprisingly cosy, thanks to the fulsome padding. I would wear it more often, but even for me it's pretty out there. Having said that, I plan to wear it a lot over the Christmas period. I'm suddenly back in love with this flamboyant piece and it fills me with joy and the "Why not?" philosophy that has served me so well in the past.




The turtle neck was second hand (from eBay) and the rings are pre-loved too.




The brocade boots are from ASOS.




The high waisted Mom jeans are from Topshop, earning lots of praise for the great fit as well as the contrasting lime green stitching. I picked them up at the end of the summer sale (£20) - result! The leopard print belt is second hand and my sunglasses are my old faithfuls from Quay Australia.











I'll leave you now, as I have to return to the task in hand, that being another few batches of fudge to be made, cut and packed before the weekend is over. I love the pleasure of giving these be-ribboned boxes out to family and friends. There's something so special about a hand-made Christmas present isn't there? For me 'tis the joy of giving, that's for sure!


In case I don't get back to you again before the event, I'll just say -

Happy Christmas to you all! 



                                                                                    Anna x

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