Festive Finery for November

Hello again! Yes, it's time for our monthly Style Not Age challenge and Festive Finery has been chosen by Gail as the theme. I've only recently unearthed my winter clothes which is ideal as I came across this sequinned top, perfect for the feature. Sasha bought me this from New Look as a Christmas present a few years ago and yet it's never made it onto the blog before. Nothing says festive more than a bit of sparkle, eh? So let's see what the ladies of the collective have to show us, shall we?

Gail has been shopping her closet for this lemon and lilac offering. I love the mix of maribou and leopard print that she has come up with. See more from her on Is This Mutton blog. 

Hilda found the perfect backdrop for her green velvet jacket, black leggings and Asos boots on a recent lunch date with her husband. Catch up with her latest news on Over The Hilda blog. 

Emma has opted for a mix of sequins and velvet like yours truly and doesn't she wear it well! The shimmering gold of jacket and boots surely say Festive Finery. See more on The Style Splash.

This red and black ensemble declares very Festive Finery that's for sure. Another dose of velvet from Mummabstylish looks very sleek on Jacqui. Do swing by her blog for the backstory.

I too have been shopping my closet for this festive look. The velvet trousers cost me all of £1 many moons ago and were then the subject of a bit of diy as I chopped six inches off the legs and then hemmed them, adding floral beading scavenged from an old vest top. 

I picked up the pink hue of the beading and carried that across to tie in with the brocade Asos boots (very old). I love how these boots add depth to an outfit.

The early morning winter sunshine picked up the shiny sequins and the array of colours that again tie in with the boots. 

The frosted gold rings were both charity shop finds from long ago.

I'll be back at work in the week before Christmas and am pleased to have at least one festive outfit organised for that already. Fur, velvet and sparkles are always high on the agenda for my Christmas fare. I'm in the midst of my Christmas shopping at the moment and did make the most of the Black Friday deals recently. Did you? Within the family we'll be keeping to wishlists for each other as it worked so well for us all last year. 

And finally, If you're looking for viewing inspiration on the TV, then I have to say that my latest joy is Sort Your Life Out with presenter Stacey Solomon. Dejunking is a topic I often talk about as I battle with my gathering and holding on to too much stuff. Well, Stacey and her team transform the lives of the families who are drowning under the clutter of years if not decades. I'm taking baby steps however, but following their advice to either keep, sell or give to charity and am pleased to say that I yesterday uploaded 6 items onto eBay. A drop in the ocean I know, but I promised myself not to take on any big projects over my annual leave, so am taking this at a gentle pace as it will take months to work my way through this lifetime of squirreling things away.  Wish me luck!

                                                                                                 Anna x


Back on my feet again!

Hello again! How lovely it is to be back. My previous post was a brave effort by me to get back on track, but I ended up being poorly for another five days in response to the Covid19 booster. All in all I've lost 12 days with today being the first one where I felt well enough to apply make-up and get dressed for some blog photos. Nothing too fancy as you can see, but a wonderful burst of colour therapy was just what I needed. 

My dear friend Tiggy kindly passed on this gorgeous orange sweater to me recently and I've been making plans on how to wear it ever since. The ribbed knit sloppy joe is perfect for weekend wear, but works really well too over a dress to add a lovely pop of colour (this to come on the blog soon).

As orange is the midway colour between red and yellow it seemed like the perfect pairing to put the sweater with my lovely tartan jeans. These were unearthed just yesterday when I tackled the seasonal clothes change over. As my energy levels are still pretty low I kept things to the bare minimum and have got from A to B without too much fuss. 

Today's footwear comes from another friend, Ben, who sent these to me last year but this is the first of them making their way onto the blog. The brand is Geox, that clever Italian brand which delivers dry feet through their innovative mix of waterproof and breathable insoles. They're also very comfortable too!

Both my rings are pre-loved. My bejewelled turtle handbag is a few years old now and came from a tiny boutique in St Andrews. 


It was a stoke of luck that I'd recently been gifted this Smart Temperature duvet cover from The Fine Bedding Company. As I've said, I suffered terrible fever and sweats since my booster and was so grateful to have this skin sensitive bedding to help make me more comfortable. The fabric is 100% cotton, known for it's cool touch and in addition it has been treated to respond to a rise in body temperature. The techno bit is beyond me but I've linked through to their info page here.

Not only useful during my recent fever, but I know that the bedding will be a great relief from my never ending night sweats as I attempt to break the record for the world's longest menopause... If this is a problem for you too then I urge you to look into this new wave of temperature control bedding as it might just help make your nights more comfortable. 

The bedding launders like any other cotton which for some may be a downside as it creases badly, but I for one, don't mind a bit of ironing to get it crisp and smooth ready for another good night's sleep. The Fine Bedding Company have found a niche in the market with this range and it extends all the way to pillows, duvet and mattress covers to offer full temperature control. I'm about to replace our old duvet with their Breathe Duvet to compliment the existing duvet cover - in fact, I wish I'd done that a couple of weeks ago before I was ill!

Another happy find in my clothes changeover was my teddy faux fur coat. Roll on winter - I'm ready for you now!

The Find Bedding Company duvet cover has been gifted to me, but all comments are mine.

Anna x


Joe Browns to the rescue!

So there was I bemoaning the fact that I've still not got my autumn/winter clothes out of storage and then Joe Browns comes to the rescue, sending me a lovely clothes parcel. I've been gifted some lovely pieces of autumn/winter wear to share with you and goodness, how fab are they are! This full length maxi dress is the first to be showcased.

This is the Fabulous Folky dress and already it's proved to be a winner on their website. The design is simple; a pull-on dress with no buttons or zip in a medium weight jersey fabric with a round neck, dropped waist and a deep hemline frill. When I unpacked it the dress was wrinkle free and ready to wear - in fact this is me half an hour later, so excited was I to receive it. 

I opted for my Besson white leather boots and thick black tights to pair with the black dress with all its autumn colours. I must admit I'm pretty much in love with this maxi dress already. The cut is generous, roomy enough to layer my go-to long sleeved M&S thermal top underneath and fluid in movement for the full swish factor. 

I may be on leave for the next month, but I can see that this will be a lovely dressing up outfit for when I tire of jeans and joggers at home. You can't go wrong with a bold floral print can you? I'm wearing an orange perspex ring (pre-loved) and a silver and gold ring by Emily Nixon. 

I don't know why, but a long frock always seems more feminine than a shorter one, don't you think? It lends itself to swooping and swishing around. Or maybe that's just me?

The mild temperature here means that I only had to add this little jacket to complete the outfit. It's fake suede and was a long ago purchase from TK Maxx. 

I took these photos on Monday last week and such a lot has happened since then, namely that the gallery has closed for the next month allowing me to have some time away from work, yay! The other thing is that I had my booster jab (the Moderna) on Tuesday and by Thursday was laid up at home with a raging fever, headache, shivers, back pain, pains in my ribs, shooting pains in my hands and other flu-like symptoms. I also lost my appetite but not my sense of taste. My previous two vaccines were the Astra Zenica and apart from a sore arm in the jab site I felt fine. How very naive of me then, to think that I would sail through this booster. It's now Monday morning and this is the first of me being able to get up off the sofa to test my strength and frankly I feel as weak as a kitten. I know we are all having different responses to these vaccines, but I didn't realise that they varied so much from one to the other. Does this big reaction signal a good response to the vaccine I wonder? Is my heightened response a sign that my immune system will be better prepare for Covid19? Oh I do hope so.

                                                                                   Anna x


Grounded, by the sea

Hello again. How are you? Is this a good time of year for you? Like many, I struggle with the shorter days and lack of sunlight over the winter months, resulting in S.A.D. I know I've talked about this before, but for anyone out there who's new to the blog then this is my method of coping. Sea swimming truly keeps me grounded, helping me cope with the challenges of the season ahead.

It's over 8 years now since I started sea swimming and to be perfectly honest, it's been a lifesaver for me in more ways than one. The idea of taking a dip in the sea in the middle of winter may seem quite mad, but increasing numbers of the population here in the UK are turning to the ocean to help them with their mental well-being. I swear you never regret a sea swim. 

I was recently lucky enough to meet Olympic champion Keri-anne Payne while she was here on Tresco running a Triscape retreat. I had session in the pool along with a group of keen improvers like myself and came away with a few good pointers. Much as I'm a competent swimmer, my freestyle isn't my best stroke and I know needs attention. I've now got a few tips to help me become a more relaxed and smoother swimmer.

Hopefully next year I'll be able to attend the entire course and come away better armed for my swimming future. I have every intention to continue sea swimming into my dotage in an effort to keep a healthy body and mind regardless of the passage of time. I like the idea of being that eccentric old lady on Tresco who sea swims every day regardless of the weather.

Ear plugs, goggles and swimcap and it's time to go.

Swimming tall, holding that leading arm up until the following arm comes in line with the head. 

Concentration one moment and a lovely sense of flow the next; I'm slowly making progress. Swimming lends itself to a wonderful watery meditation which might account for the sense of well-being that follows.

And there it is, the joy of the afterglow. I love the sense of achievement after a swim, no matter how long or short. My Swim Secure tow float gives me confidence as I know I'm always visible even in low light like today.

I've bought two new swimsuits for this winter. The white one above is by Roxy and the green is by Animal

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have a great week!

Anna x

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