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

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Stylish Mamas & not a School Gate in sight!

Today I bring you three gorgeous School Gate Style followers in their fabulous frocks...
Firstly, meet Megan who's just given birth to a beautiful son, John. How amazing does Megan looks in this blue pleated detail dress that she picked up in TJ Maxx (USA) for her son's dedication...
Get Megan's look with this blue number from Dorothy Perkins..

Friday, 30 March 2012

Scarf Print Patterns & Coffee Cake

Happy Friday everyone! Closer to a new month and already the Easter school holidays have started. 3 kids to entertain for 2 weeks so I really hope this weather keeps up. Today we celebrate my husband's birthday and we've got a barbecue planned for later so I'm dressing up a bit...
I'm wearing my scarf print tunic from H&M - a sale bargain at just £7! I'll confess now that

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Thursday's Wish List - Room 31

Unless you've been hiding for the past week or so, you'll know that the competition I'm running at the moment is for a £25 voucher for Room 31. Well, there are only a few more days left to enter so I thought I'd make it easy for you by sharing my wish list from this fab online store. It's a great example of the kind of small business that we should all be supporting in these recessionary times. To be in with a chance to win, click on the competition link to the right and tell me what you'd spend the money on. Here's some inspiration..
Vero Moda Miami Flamingo Print Dress - £38
A wardrobe basic you can never have enough of:
Sadie Dark Blue Jeggings - £6.99 (sale)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Colour with Chinos

Another great day...further wardrobe quandaries! The weekend is looking cool so I'm reluctant to shed any more layers. However, we do need to make the most of this weather and get some lighter colours out. Thankfully, in the middle of my dilemma, Helen sent me this photo of a great in-between look that is on trend, spring-like yet with a cosy top layer...
Helen has matched her classic chinos from Topshop with a neon silky top from Warehouse, French Sole pumps and a black Zara Jumper (old).
Here's how to re-create Helen's look...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Another floral number...

Another lovely day and I did briefly consider getting my toes out...but then I caught myself on. Maybe tomorrow! However, today I did purchase a pair of sandals in TK Maxx and some sunglasses. Watch this space as I'll feature later in the week....if I decide to keep them. That's the downside to shopping with twins-you end up buying in a rush and having to return so much!
Today's outfit features the Boden Canterbury tunic, which is close to selling out as it's only £23 in their clearance sale.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Pretty Floral Dresses

There are so many beautiful dresses in the shops at the moment but many of them are very short and you might feel like you couldn't get away with wearing them during the warmer weather whenever opaque tights look out of place.
But these dresses are a wonderful way to 'summer' up your wardrobe without getting out too much flesh so I'll be wearing a few this week as the weather warms up a bit.
Here is a little floral number I wore with a cosy wool cardigan a few weeks ago...
Today I wore the same dress with a black cropped cardigan from H&M (similar), coloured skinny jeans from Tesco (similar on link) and a black belt (similar) to emphasise the waist.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

8 years ago today...

I met this gorgeous boy for the first time..
It's my football obsessed son! Turned my life upside-down back in 2004 and he's grown into an amazing young man. Makes me proud every day. 


Saturday, 24 March 2012

When having an off day....

keep your look simple with clean, unfussy lines and colours...
Black Short Sleeved Knit Tunic - Room 31
Stone Coloured Skinny Jeans - AWear (Similar on Link)
I just had one of those mornings where I was running late, feeling tired and not sure what to wear. When in doubt, keep it simple so I popped on this lightweight long-line knit (from Room 31, my competition partner this week!)over a long sleeved white top and some stone coloured jeans.

Friday, 23 March 2012

OMG - I've been shortlisted for an award!

Thank you to everyone who nominated me for the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging (BIB) awards!
Just heard that I've been shortlisted under the Style section. How exciting is that?
I would really appreciate your vote so please click HERE and scroll down to the Style section. I'm lucky number 13!
Thank you so much for your support :)

Style Shortlist

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Thursday's Wish List - Dorothy Perkins

I've had a few Thursday's off on the wish-list front so I thought it was about time to have another one. This week, after a request from one of my followers, it's the high street hero, Dorothy Perkins, which has really upped its game over the past year or so and is now delivering fantastic on-trend pieces at great prices. Here are my favourite pieces from their website. 
Firstly some accessories - check out those bargain ankle boots!
Lavender Scarf - £12Red Platform Wedges - £42
Tan Tassle Ankle Boots - £15


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Colour Blocking in the Park

We took a detour on the School Run today for some pictures in our local park. 
I've gone for a bit of colour blocking today - wearing my mustard coloured shoes from Hobbs and carrying one of my favourite handbags, a pink number from Cole Haan, a US company. I bought this about 7 years ago in Connecticut and despite plenty of wear in that time, it still looks as good as new -

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Competition Time!

I'm so excited to announce my latest winner and also my newest competition!
The Warehouse Butterfly scarf is going to Ruth Loughran McCormack. Congratulations and watch this space for a picture of Ruth wearing her new scarf. 
But don't be disappointed if you didn't win, for I have another great competition starting today and running until Tuesday 3rd April.

The guys at Room 31 who supplied the fabulous jumper I wore yesterday, have generously offered a £25 voucher to spend on some lovely clothing on their website as my next prize. What do you have to do I hear you cry? Lots of ways to get your name in the hat...
1. Comment below telling me what from the Room 31 website you would spend your voucher on. Have a look through the site by clicking on this link.
2. Share my Facebook status about this competition, which you'll find on my Facebook page here.
3. Share Room 31's Facebook status about the competition (after 'liking' their page here
4. Retweet the @schoolgatestyle competition message on Twitter
5. Retweet the @Room31fashion competition message on Twitter

Easy peasy...get entering now!


Monday, 19 March 2012

On the beach with my new knit!

Vila Tunic from Room 31 Fashion - £40
Skinny Jeans from H&M £7.99
Mary Jane Pumps from Marco Tozzi (old)
Necklace - gift from my 7yo son (awwwww)

It's a Bank Holiday here in Northern Ireland today - not a Public Holiday though so v confusing! Some schools & work-places are off and others not. But our kids were on holiday so we took a trip to the seaside at Crawfordsburn and Bangor for a day out of rock pool searching, cycling and ice-cream. 
The kids loved it!


Orla Kiely at Uniqlo

This gorgeous collaboration between the Irish queen of pattern and the Japanese hero brand goes on sale this morning here on the Uniqlo website. Here are my favourite pieces. Let me know what you buy!
Blue Stole - £9.90, Vest Top - £14.90
Room Shoes - £9.90
Orange Stole - £9.90, Stem Print T-Shirt - £14.90


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Newry Style City 2012

I wasn't planning to blog today but I just found out about Newry's Style City 2012 event which kicks off this Saturday with a fantastic line-up of free and ticketed events and couldn't wait to share with you, along with some of the gorgeous promotional photos - all of the clothes can be bought locally in Newry.

7 for all mankind Jeans £129 from Silk, Ted Baker tulip print tops £99 from Silk, Orange Heels (Marian) £95 Cahill Brothers, Brown Shoulder Bag £32.50 Marks and Spencer. 4 ring set £10 from Dorothy Perkins £10, Chunky Ring £8.50 Dorothy Perkins 
Here's just a taster of what's happening over 1 stylish week....

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Fair Trade Fashion

Did you know that Fair Trade Fortnight ran from 27th Feb - 11th March this year? I didn't, until my friend Joanne sent me a picture of her wearing her new Fair Trade dress from People Tree. I was googling within minutes of seeing this gorgeous dress, which Joanne picked up for just £22.50!
Joanne wearing her Agnes Check Dress - £22.50

People Tree is a website which stocks Fair Trade clothing & accessories. Fair Trade means the products have been sourced at a fair price from some of the world's most marginalised communities. This fair price helps these communities escape poverty and ensure sustainability. Fantastic...but isn't it all going to be hippy, peasant-style long skirts and tie dye t-shirts? Oh no, we're talking on-trend, competitively priced and super stylish. And most notably... Orla Kiely designs at a fraction of the price...
Here are some of my favourite pieces...
Grace Dress - £43.50
Orla Kiely Tea Dress - £57.00
Macy Swallows Oversized Tee - £32
Orla Kiely Spot Top - £45.00
And the best bit about Fair Trade? The guilt from spending money you shouldn't have is offset by knowing you've helped sustain a small business many miles away. It's another win-win. Thank you Joanne for opening up my mind on sustainable, Fair Trade clothing. 
I've had a really busy few days and 4 late nights on the trot so going to take a day off the blog tomorrow (Sunday) I hope you don't miss me too much but talk to me on Facebook and Twitter if you do! I'll see you bright eyed and bushy tailed on Monday. Have a great weekend xx

Friday, 16 March 2012

Belfast Fashion Week - Opening Night!

How delighted was I to be offered a ticket for the opening night of Belfast Fashion Week 2012! When I started my little blog in January, I never thought that a mere 2 months later, I would be sashaying my way through the Europa Hotel, sipping on a West Coast Cooler and admiring some high-end runway fashion. But first things first...what did I wear? Here's me almost on the runway...
Blazer - ASOS, Dress - River Island, Shoeboots - M&S
I wore what I always wear when I'm not sure what to wear. Clean, simple lines and heels. You can't go wrong. 
But back to the task at hand...what did I see on my evening out?

Thursday, 15 March 2012

New Yellow Shoes

I have been hankering after some coloured pumps and frustrated by not finding what I wanted in the shops, I had a look on ebay and found these beauties...
They are made by Hobbs NW3 range, worn just a couple of times, in their original box with dust bag and tissue paper. They're leather lined, leather soled, beautifully made and retailed at £139. I paid £20! I call that an eBay bargain.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Stylish Mums @ Toddler Group

At yesterday's Toddler Group, I spotted some stylish mums chatting and just had to get a photo...
Having 5 kids between them hasn't stopped these girls from looking their best - loving the following items in particular.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The Power of a Belt

We've had the Power of a Scarf but now my neck surgery is temporarily halting my scarf habit, I bring you the Power of a Belt and my first ever photo montage - and trust me, it was a challenge on a mac. But I got there in the end and I hope you like it...
From top, R-L
Gold - Dorothy Perkins, Tan Obi - ASOS, Multi Strand - ASOS, 2-Pack - Dorothy Perkins
Green Braided - Cos, Pink - M&S, Canvas - French Connection
Magenta - ASOS, Linked - M&S, Lepoard - ASOS
I'm a recent convert to belts and am enjoying how they bring an outfit together and emphasise the waist - good if you are a pear or hourglass shape.

Monday, 12 March 2012

My Competition Winner

Technology prevented me from posting this at the weekend so belatedly, here is a photo of Lynne Douglas, the winner of my February Carmine Beauty Box competition. I used to work with Lynne so this was a good excuse to meet up and catch up. The Fat Gherkin was convenient for both of us so the lovely Olwyn took our photo...
Lynne enjoyed finding 5 gorgeous make-up treats in the Beauty Box and luckily, all the colours suit her skin tone well. I'll shortly be drawing the winner of this month's competition! Check out the link for more information and get your entry in before it's too late. This scarf is gorgeous - worth £22 and is from the Warehouse SS12 collection.
Good luck everyone. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Boot Cut Debate Again...

Claire has sent me in some more lovely photos of her recent purchases and it got me thinking about the whole bootcut and skinny jean debate. Claire is a petite slim pear shaped girl who can wear pretty much anything but when I saw these two photos of the same top with different jeans it brought home the fact that a pear shape is always enhanced by a properly fitting boot cut jean.

Claire seems taller in the second photo - and she's still wearing flats! I rest my case! The slightly sparkly jumper layered over a white top is from Marks & Spencer £35, Skinny Jeans from Primark £11, Bootcut Jeans from Gap.


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Marnia Mania

The Marni @ H&M collection launched on Thursday morning at 9am. Not a huge fan of Marni, I wasn't planning to buy anything but I got sucked into the frenzy while confined to my bed and added a few things to my online basket. However, at the last minute, the pictures of the huge queues in H&M's across the country put me off a bit as it's a distinctive range and in a city as small as Belfast, you're sure to meet someone wearing it.
But then, on Friday morning, I happened to be in Belfast and wandered into H&M on Royal Avenue and saw two rails of Marni stock left - plus some necklaces, scarves, sunglasses and shoes! 

Despite the availability of a couple of items I had admired online, the only item I really liked in real life was the blue spotty pencil skirt. And my gorgeous photographer and husband offered to buy it for me - I call that a result!


Friday, 9 March 2012

Back with a Bling!

Late update today as it was a really busy day and I'm paying the price for doing too much but it was exciting to get out and about again!
Hubby brought me into Belfast City Centre for coffee after the kiddies were dropped off at school. Took today's picture outside City Hall. It's a special place for us as we got married there 9 years ago without telling anyone beforehand. But that's a story for another day...
Blazer - ASOS
Jeans - H&M
Boots - Dunnes
Blingy Tunic - Old
Scarf - H&M
Thought I get out some sparkles to celebrate my return to normality. I love this jersey tunic in a mink/grey colour with lots of beading and sparkles around the neckline. It was a dress

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Down Wisteria Lane....

Day 3 in the recovery room and I've filled about 20 virtual shopping baskets, found 100 new people to follow on Twitter and talked myself out of buying any of the Marni for H&M range. I'm escaping tomorrow. Can't do another day of this! 
The street where I live has been called Wisteria Lane by many of the husbands that live here. But we are definitely not desperate housewives. Meet my glamorous neighbour, Helen...
Have you ever seen such an on-trend dentist?
Shorts - Reiss (Similar)


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Weecycle Style

Another day laid up in bed in my Sweaty Betty hoodie! But you're not getting a peek. Instead, I'm sharing a good friend and local businesswoman's look. Meet Lisa..
Lisa's a mum of 3, owner of Weecycle in Finaghy, Belfast and a huge River Island fan. When I popped in last week to take this photo, she was wearing a River Island Gilet (similar) & Jeans, Grey Ugg Boots and a gorgeous elephant scarf from Next.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Sports Luxe at Toddlers!

It's Tuesday so must be time to head to the church for some Toddler Time! Today's photo is of Claire, an ex-model, mother of 4 and all round super mum. She's got so much on her plate yet turns up at Toddlers looking so together each week and always working a current trend. Oh, and never covered in sick or snot...must ask her how she does that? 
Claire's wearing a Maison Scotch khaki green top with sequin detail, cargo style skinnies by Hudson and past season boots from Hush Puppies (that's how she moves so fast after her toddler - comfy shoes!)

Monday, 5 March 2012

Being Upstaged

So one of my twins decided she wanted a piece of the action today. The cheek - she just ran in and posed as the photo was being taken!
So I swiftly bumped her out of the way for my photo because she's just too cute and distracting for you all! (and I promise she is not crying on the other side of that post box)

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Easy Living School Runway Competition

I found out about the Easy Living School Runway competition from another blogger and was persuaded by my hubby to enter myself. However, I want one of you to win! After all, I've hopefully inspired you all over the past couple of months and if you share your look, you could win a professional photoshoot! This is the photo I entered as it's what I was wearing yesterday (before & after my Gok changing room exploits):
It's out with the trusty Merrell Wakefield coat

Saturday, 3 March 2012

I've been Gok'd

This morning, I took small fashion-obsessed child (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree) and went to try out Gok's new range at Sainsburys. I picked my favourite pieces and took them into the changing room along with said child and a camera. Here are the results...
Loved the detail on the hangers
This dress is such a beautiful fit and the colours are gorgeous
Flared Hem Dress - £40

Friday, 2 March 2012

Friday Coffee in Floaty Florals

I love Fridays! The one morning of the week that I have all to myself. So I always make plans to meet one of my friends for a catch up. Today, I met Ciara from Smudge Illustration at the Baked In Belfast coffee shop in east Belfast.
Today I'm wearing some H&M skinny jeans, M&S long cardigan worn over a gorgeous floaty dress by Maisy & Co, that I got in the Harrison (Belfast) sale the other day - was such a bargain.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

It's Competition Time!

New month, new competition! This month, I have a gorgeous Warehouse Butterfly Scarf worth £22 to give away to one lucky fan of my blog.
Isn't it beeeooootiful?!
This gorgeous scarf will brighten up your spring wardrobe with its beautiful pastel colours on a cream base. It's lightweight and so on trend - you'll be one stylish girl wearing it.
To be in with a chance of winning, here's what you need to do...

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