Belfast-based, clothes-loving, shopping-obsessed, mum of 3. Wearable fashion on a budget for busy women

Friday, 28 August 2015

#LittleLoves - Feeling Old, Flapjacks & Fish

It's been too long since I did a #LittleLoves post! Ever week, I get to Friday and do a face palm when I realise I've missed the boat. So I started this one 5 days in advance to be sure I got it ready on time for today! As usual, you can join up via Morgana's blog on this link.

I read two book in the last fortnight. The Sudden Departure of the Frasers is a great page turner, in the style of The Girl on the Train, with alternate chapters following the past and present. I finished it in 3 days and even enjoyed the ending, which is often so disappointing with these kinds of books.
The other one I flew through was Us by David Nicholls. A heartwarming and hilarious account of a couple whose son is about to leave home and whose marriage is wobbling. Again, it alternates between the present and the past to give background to the challenges they're having as a couple and manages to make you laugh out loud while also feeling a great sadness for what's happening. Thoroughly enjoyed it and I now want to visit Venice like you wouldn't believe.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

ASOS Delivery & Cream Top PERFECTION!

I've had an ASOS delivery today - we'd just come home from our 2 days away so it was lovely to see the Hermes van pull up to take my mind off being back to porridge. In the parcel was a couple of pairs of cropped wide trousers that I spotted in the sale last week and had to order as together they cost just over £20...with free delivery and free returns - nothing to lose.
The first ones are from the Tall range - my thinking was that they would definitely be long enough - as all of the other pairs I've tried so far in my search have been too short.
First impressions were that they looked TINY! I ordered the 12 and the waistband looks more like a very small 10...but luckily, the high waist means it hits at my slimmest part and I just about fit them. Here they are on me - 

the top isn't quite what I'd wear with them but overall, I do like the shape and the material...length wise, they may be an inch or so too long but that's easily fixed. They're a fairly lightweight material with a texture going through them and they hang really nicely.
Size-wise, they're definitely more like a 10 so you may need to size up - especially if you're more of an apple shape. But the best bit - they're £ brainer! Keeping these.

Next up, it's another bargain - these have since been reduced to £8.50 but I paid £11.
They're more lightweight and floaty and size-wise, are true to size. I ordered the 12 and they fit bigger than the last pair. They sit wider & baggier though - not quite as 'flowing' as the navy pair so for that reason, I think they might look better if they were a bit shorter too. In this photo, I've turned up one leg a bit just to see how it looks (note the uncertain face!)
The colour is more green in real life and they are lovely and cool to wear so I am considering keeping and using some magic tape to turn them up a couple of inches with a view to wearing with trainers (as styled above by ASOS) or sandals

Overall, I'm not sure if this style of trouser will be too dressy for my school run but I'm thinking if I wear them with a denim or biker jacket, they will work. I'm also looking forward to trying the navy ones with long boots in winter.

Finishing with what I'm wearing today and as per the blog title, I've found cream top perfection - once again from Hush. Meet the Laura top...
Hush Laura Top - £40 (10% off and free delivery/returns using AWXX15)
What is hard to see on this photo is that it's got a quilted jersey finish which is lovely and soft and not rigid like quilted tops can sometimes be.

Size-wise, I'm wearing the 12 and I need every bit of it around the hips. With a zip at the rear neckline and a great length of sleeve, this top is going to be worn and worn. While Hush gifted this top to me to review (knowing my love of a cream top), I will be buying a further one as I'm so pleased with it and as you know, I wear my cream tops ALOT! There's 10% off with free delivery and returns, using the code AWXX15.
I'm also wearing my best charity shop purchase in a long time - some pointed navy flats from M&S (with Insolia). They'd never been worn and cost only £4.95 from the Barnardos Charity Shop in Limavady - my new favourite town!
Jeans - Gap Outlet
Necklace - Warehouse Sale
Pointed Flats - M&S

Hope you're all having a good week...we had panicked school trouser exchanging this afternoon. Fingers crossed he doesn't grow again before Friday's first day at big school (blubarama awaits!)


Monday, 24 August 2015

Ripped Jeans - all patched up!

I'm a lover of distressed jeans but the rips can be so hit and miss - rips that look cool when you're standing can be deeply unflattering when you sit down! Equally when you're a busy mum, you find yourself bending and kneeling lots, meaning that the rips can become bigger over time.

My first distressed pair of jeans were my Only patch jeans, bought last year from ASOS. With two small rips, they were perfect until repeated wearing resulted in this...
I tried an iron-on patch I bought online but it just didn't work. I guess the rip is in a place where there's lots of pressure and after just one wear, it started to peel off so I brought them to The Zipyard to see if a professionally applied patch would work....and I have to say that for only £6, the result was pretty impressive...
Inspired by this, I decided this week to regenerate a few other pairs in my wardrobe. First up, a recent purchase I got in the Gap outlet at Junction One for just £11. They have their rips a few inches above the knee so they were particularly awful looking when I sat down. But the fit was good otherwise (I find Gap jeans really great for fit) and I liked the colour.
Next, another fairly recent addition to my wardrobe, my Vero Moda jeans, already had patches underneath the rips but they all peeled off after one wash, which was disappointing as these had become favourite jeans of mine.

Lastly, my Replay skinnies are a fab fit but they were just a bit too long. Over the winter, this wasn't a problem as I cut them and wore ankle boots to cover the hemline. However, I've not been able to wear them all summer as the ends are a bit tatty from my less than perfect scissor action.
I brought all three to The Zipyard this week and had extra large patches put into the Gap and Vero Moda jeans and a hem put on the Replay ones. Because I chose large ones, each patch was £6 but I felt that was well worth paying because not only do they sew around the perimeter of the patch, the team there also sew around the rip itself. It's a double securing of the weak point and as I've found with my Only jeans (which I had patched back in May and have worn lots since), those patches aren't going to budge easily.

To make 3 pairs of jeans wearable again, I paid £37 in total - 5 large patches & 1 hem. The quality of the work was first class and super fast too. Yes, if you're handy with a sewing machine, you'll probably feel that was expensive but for same day fixing up of 3 pairs of favourite jeans, it was a better use of my time to get the experts to do it for I don't have a sewing machine anyway :)

It got me thinking that perhaps you might like the look of ripped jeans but feel they are too revealing so this could be a good option to still get the effect without having to tan random parts of your legs (I have actually done this).

Finishing with Sunday's outfit which includes my new Gap jeans and a graffiti wall...which I got very excited about when we came across it on our walk to the market in Belfast...
Jacket - Dunnes Stores (8 years old!)
Jeans - Gap Outlet & patches!
Shoes - Dune London (AW14)
Top - M&S (SS15)
Cross Body Bag - Prada (SS13)
Necklace - Next (SS15)



Sunday, 23 August 2015

Review - Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion - #AveenoSkincareSecrets

A few weeks ago, I was approached by the people from Aveeno to see if I'd like to review their Daily Moisturising Lotion for a couple of weeks and report back. Now while I'd heard of the brand, I'd never used it before but clearly I was out of the loop here because as soon as I shared the product on social media, I was inundated with comments from readers:

'Excellent lotion. Motorising cream is terrific. I use it for my son's eczema when it flares up. The only cream that doesn't leave me with big greasy hands!!', Diane
'Really great lotion... my daughter has eczema and this is great on her skin.. I use it too!', Celine
'I use this as a hand cream - it's AMAZING', Fiona
'Love it! Use it on myself and my girls. All of the Aveeno range is fab', Kimberly
'It's the best moisturiser in my opinion', Suzanne
'I love #aveeno I use it all the time, and have it at work and in every room of the house!, Caroline
'I use this moisturiser every day faithfully, one of the best', Geraldine
'I have used it for years. It has really helped my skin and that of my family. Our doctor and dermatologist recommended it. We all suffered from horrific eczema and using the oil and cream daily has meant we have not had an eczema attack for many years. I'm so thankful for Aveeno - the products changed my life and that of my family', Nicky 
'Can't live without Aveeno', Lyn

and the ladies of Avenue 57 love it too...

'Been using it for years, love it!', Ellie
'It's brilliant. I have eczema and this stuff stops dryness and calms irritation almost immediately. There's no sting and no grease - feels lovely. Can't recommend it enough!', Ruth
'I've used this on and off for about five or six years. Very good stuff', Tracey

I could go on and on - that's just a taster. I soon realised that I've been missing out on an amazing product and a budget one at that. It comes in 2 sizes - the 200ml has an RRP of £5.10 & the 300ml has an RRP of £7.14...though you'll often find them on offer, I'm reliably informed by another reader :)
It's difficult to find a non-greasy lotion that actually moisturises. Well Aveeno has this nailed - it soaks in fast and leaves skin feeling soft and soothed but you can get dressed pretty much straight away without risking greasy stains on fabrics....and the pump dispenser makes it so simple to use.
Two weeks on, I'm completely sold and can see why you guys all love it. It's a pleasure to use and my skin feels softer and healthier. The annoying bumps I get on my upper arms are less obvious and my knees are super smooth. It's been fantastic for my summer fake tan regime too, ensuring a less streaky and patchy bronzing experience....and the tan is lasting longer.

As part of this review, I was asked by Aveeno to share my #AveenoSkincareSecrets....mine is as simple as it gets but it works like you wouldn't believe. Drink more water! I never used to - I always found myself in the car on the school run realising I was parched with thirst. I'd been running around all day and hadn't stopped to take a glass of water.
A suggestion from a friend back a few months ago, led to me buying an 800ml reusable flip top water bottle that I fill in the morning first thing and bring with me in the car. This means that every time I'm stuck in traffic or about to park up, I drink from it. Once I am back home, it sits on the kitchen counter or beside my computer and it gives me the constant hydration that is more beneficial to skin than gulping down full glasses at longer intervals apart. So simple but it works!

And because the best skincare secrets come from friends, I'm tagging my friend Nic over at Strawberry Blonde Beauty Blog because when it comes to beauty, she knows her onions.

Please feel free to share your #AveenoSkincareSecrets on my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed - using the hashtag. 

Disclaimer - this post was sponsored by Aveeno - all words & views are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog...and for supporting this blog in the first place!
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