Black, totally black.

I know I recently published a post claiming to be wearing only black (see here), but I cheated by adding a splash of orange. So here we have the real thing. Black from top to toe. A lick of orange lippie is all I've added to lift this monochrome outfit. I usually find an all black look very boring, or draining at least, but today I decided to give it a whirl again.

As you'll see I'm still smiling, so it surely wasn't too painful after all. I will interject, though, that despite being a simple black outfit, the look is far from plain. My skirt is by Fahri, of Nicole Fahri and therefore never to be mistaken for run-of-the-mill. See the beautiful flower detail below and you'll get what I mean.

I bought this from eBay a couple of years ago, but when it arrived I wasn't convinced it was very me. And yet today it feels very me indeed. By pairing it up with this ruffled blouse I felt the two were pretty much a marriage made in heaven. The skirt is cotton lawn, so in principle is very fine and light, but the flowered appliques make the hemline have a lovely, weighty swish. The cotton poplin blouse was a gift from a friend and is such a great fit, very long and slim, with a zip up front and adorned with these uber feminine ruffles and frills. 

The gold coloured cuff is actually brass and is by Almost Perfect. The gold edged ring was from Boots recently and cost me the princely sum of £1. And the perspex ring was a gift.

Shoes are from New Look. I love the laser cut holes and the angled front gives a great easy roll when you walk. And my old faithful sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

Good ol' Polly has brought on a fit of the giggles again. 

OK, you've caught me out here. Yes, this smidgen of pink crept into the mix as I was looking for a necklace. It's a new purchase of mine from the Emily Nixon range of silver jewellery which is a mainstay of her range. The silver hearts come with a velvet ribbon - I've got a grey and a pink ribbon to swap around. I love the rough organic nature of the silver and had the hard decision between the large size, which this is, or a smaller, but equally cute one. 

So there you have it, my all in black finally achieved. I think for me black in the depths of winter is a real challenge as I'm so very pale skinned, but sporting a bit of a tan the colour is not so draining. I'm really pleased with this outfit and can see I'll be wearing it again over the forthcoming months. Maybe with a pair of colourful sandals next time and my bright orange necklace? We'll wait and see. Your feedback is welcome as ever and I'd be delighted to have your ideas for my monthly feature "As suggested by..." so do share your thoughts on that one too. Until next time, 'bye!

Linking with
Cherie of Style Nudge 

Anna x


Could this be the perfect little black accessory?

I decided that I wanted to have a bit of different look for my photo shoot this week, so took myself off on my bike for a tour of the island. The obvious feature was to find a fab beach view of which we have many. The view behind me is of St Mary's, the main island of the Isles of Scilly. I've lived on these islands for the past 38 years. Those 38 years mean I'm classed as a local now. My children were born here making them islanders, but not Scillonian. Seemingly to be given that status you have to have parents and grandparents all born on the islands. Complex hierarchy system eh?

The misty background was great, and the windswept look was genuine, but I wanted something else.

I really like this elephant's graveyard of timber otherwise known as the log pile, but my monochrome outfit blends rather than pops. Time to move on.

And here it is, my perfect little black accessory. This cute two seater chopper would be ideal to hop over to the mainland on a day trip for a spot of shopping. Well, a girl can dream, can't she?

The island may be small, but is very geographically diverse meaning there are plenty of nooks and crannies to feature. Today was another snapshot of what we have to offer despite being only one mile across by two miles long. The world famous Abbey Garden is behind me. This garden attracts thousands of tourists every year, many of whom arrive on cruise ships to see the huge variety of tropical plants and trees which thrive in our mild climate. One of my fellow bloggers Kezzie (see her blog here) is taking a cruise of the British Isles this summer and will be visiting the garden as part of her cruise itinerary. She and I plan to have a bloggers meet up that day and also hope to fit in a sea swim together on her whistle-stop tour. Learn more about our beautiful group of islands here where you can find help to plan your trip.

This was the sight which met me this morning as I headed off to the beach for my morning swim. A big cruise ship was being brought into the island's shallow waters by pilot boat. All of the passengers will be ferried into the various islands over the course of the day. (Kezzie, this may well be the kind of craft you arrive on in a couple of month's time.) This is Appletree Bay where I have my daily dip, and in the distance you can see the large cruiser anchored up.

My sweet jacket is by Zara (via charity shop) and the trousers are from my go-to shop for clean cut trousers, H&M. The patterned top is also from H&M. The sandals are from TK Maxx and the brand is Sixtyseven these are similar. I picked up the tiny bag up in a charity shop in Penzance. And my old faithful sunglasses are by Quay Australia. All my jewellery was found in various charity shops in Cornwall. 

Linking up with 
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Patti of Not Dead Yet Style 

Anna x


Like my new shoes?

Well, they're not exactly new, more like new-to-me, but that's just the same in my book. I found them in a charity shop in Harrogate in April and this was their first outing. I love the shape of the heel. What do you call it? Anyway, I think it's quite a cute style for £5.99.

I'm wearing a leather jacket which was a wonderful purchase in a Truro charity shop for the grand sum of £10. The black blouse is from Uniqlo (this is similar)and was £9.99 in the sale. Belt and trousers are from H&M. My beautiful yellow jelly "Candy Bag" is by Furla and is available in so many mouth-watering colours (see here for my other favourite), that I had to close the page quickly to avoid temptation of another. Sunglasses are by Quay Australia. Silver rings are charity shop finds, and the olive green real pearls are by Almost Perfect in Cornwall.

"It's always Friday" is what the mother of a friend of mine used to say. I must admit I thought it was a bit of an odd saying when I was a girl. But as a working woman who juggles a full-time job with family, home, blogging, book club, sea swimming, yoga and the wistful notion of downtime, I have suddenly found that "It's always Friday" in my life too. It hardly seems any time at all that I was publishing last Friday's post, and here I am again. We all lead such busy lives nowadays. Is it rivalry, one-upmanship, and our basic competitive nature that pushes us on to do more, be more, have more? Even living on this idyllic little island, I'm aware that we are still affected by outside influences - oh, there's no escaping the power of the Internet, even in paradise. 

One important area of my life seems to be that of personal development, and more recently taking control of the increasing amount of stuff that I/we as a family have collected over the 27 years we've lived in this house. I keep hearing of friends and family who have moved house which resulted in a huge de-junking process. Much as I might like to blame my new found hobby of fashion blogging for the amount of stuff bursting out of every cupboard, the fact is this that snowballing has been part of our lives since my husband and I got married 35 years ago. History shows that Homo Sapiens have always been hunters and gatherers. My husband and I are typical specimens of the species; he hunts and I gather. But I've reached that stage when something has to change. I want to reclaim some control, and to this end I've enlisted the help of these three books.

1. Stuffocation. Living more with less by James Wallman. Buy here.
2. The life-changing magic of tidying by Marie Kondo. Buy here.
3. The miracle morning by Hal Elrod. Buy here.  

Book 1 was a brutal confirmation of all that I already knew. Of course I know I'm suffering from stuffocation, but the truth of the book was too much for me to bear. Our future as mapped out in these pages looks too chaotic, over whelming and downright scary for me to finish it. I expect the author will go on to show the reader how we, the individual, can contribute to change. I'm just not brave enough to read on. I will gird my loins and finish, just not yet.

Book 2 has been much more motivational, and I can report that some of the changes are already taking place. I haven't quite mastered the clever folding technique, but am excited at the prospect of the life change ahead. The idea of tidying once, properly and it will always be tidy, is proving itself to be true - my knicker drawer has never looked so good!

Book 3 looks like an amazing system, one which my daughter advocates and is practising herself. As yet I've not found time to embrace either the book nor the lifestyle. But somehow, just having the book around makes me feel I could be on the right track.

Some cynics might argue that buying three more books just adds to my stuffocation problem and yes, the irony of that does make me smile. Personally, I see these as building blocks for a way out of my particular problem. I've resolved to implement a new system within the household. For every item introduced into the house, I promise to move another out, for it to be sold, given away or donated to charity. On top of that, the tidying technique will continue within which there is a huge element of clearing out and moving on too. I'm doing what I can, as I can, when I can. There's not point in looking for a huge stick to beat myself up with. These three books are much more productive and may even act as inspiration for you too. And on that positive note I wish you a wonderful weekend!

Anna x


Boho summer

So here we are on the 1st June and it's looking like summer. Last week I was feeling sad at the prospect of packing away the last of my winter togs; the brogues, the fancy tights, the cashmere sweaters . And today I'm in my element, sporting sandals and light cotton separates. It makes me realise how much we're living in the moment. Yes, I can look forward to holidays and the like, but whatever season we're in, I'm committed, grounded, enjoying where I am. We human beings are adaptable creatures eh?

I'm delighted that the 1st June is stepping up to the plate, giving it's very best. And by the same token, so am I. My motto is never more true than today when I'm really having fun with colour. Orange makes me feel vibrant, alive and full of energy. This positive energy has carried me through a busy day at work, interjected by a lunchtime swim, and then back to work for a hectic afternoon session in the gallery. I'm so lucky; I love my life.

The jacket came from eBay last year and brings with it a real sense of joy. It makes me smile, and so does this boho sequined and mirror speckled skirt which I think came from Monsoon, many, many moons ago. The sandals are from New Look (these are similar), and the little tee shirt hails from Primark. The armful of jangly bangles were a charity shop scoop, the rose gold watch is by Michael Kors, the rose gold bangle is by Kate Spade. The pink ring and pink bangle were both gifts. Sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

Please keep an eye out for your favourite summer item this month and do let me know if you'd like to see it, styled differently, again. I'll feature the piece as your idea on my monthly feature "As suggested by..." and give you a name check too. Join in the fun, add a comment or just email me with your thoughts.

Linking with 
Cherie of Style Nudge 

Anna x

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