Going with the understanding that it can be a cathartic process, I decided to have a good old sort through my wardrobe and ‘get my stuff in order’!!

It was a mammoth task which needed to be tackled. This initial job was basically so that I could ‘see the wood for the trees”, i.e. trying to create order, instead of a load of old clutter.

My handy storage box.

This is the perfect time of year to do this – in preparation for the switch from winter to spring/summer – a wardrobe reshuffle, if you like – giving my summer dresses, shirts and tee’s a more prominent position. This was a crucial exercise, especially when space is an issue, which, it is for most.

The first thing I did was to put the winter items to one side, which I know I won’t be using for, hopefully, quite a few months. Some woollens were washed and stored (folded and flat) to keep their shape. Living in the North East of England, sweaters and cardigans rarely stay in their moth-proof storage bags for long, due to the occasional icy blast from the coast. So, they are stored loosely, within touching distance.

My coats were stored to the side of the wardrobe and I stole some space in my hubby’s wardrobe area to hang the rest (he hasn’t mentioned it so mustn’t have noticed!).

All my winter scarfs were neatly packed into a clear perspex box. You can usually buy a pack of three for £10.00 and they are so handy to store stuff in, plus they are clear, so you can see what is in there. I used another to put all my swimming and holiday items in. Prior to this, I’d had everything stuffed in a bag and you can imagine the creased state they were in when I emptied it prior to packing for a holiday – not ideal. So, hopefully, all items will be “good to go”.

It was very cathartic, getting everything in order!!

I put all of my summer clothes on the bed and categorised them – dresses, tee’s, skirts etc…. then I started making piles of items. 1. Keep; 2. Not sure??; 3. Sell (which I’ve never done so far); and 4. Charity Bag.

It can be tricky when you are unsure about parting with an item. I’ve made the mistake a few times of getting rid of something, and then regretting it. I did try some items on to see if they still fitted, looked good, or, if I could do a quick tweak to make them current and on-trend. Sometimes you come across that little gem that you had forgotten about. You’ve probably guessed that I’m not keen on throwing things out or parting with ‘stuff’ until I’m totally sure.

I use this small basket to store socks and tights in.

Following this mammoth de-clutter, I feel so much better, and know most of my clothes are where they are supposed to be and are easily accessible.

I have made a few updates to my summer wardrobe by freshening it up. It’s great to bring in a few welcome additions and, now, because I’m mindful of what I already have, I can think of items that will complement the new clothes. I am more aware of what I already have, which, has opened some wardrobe/styling possibilities for my old favourites.

The unsure pile – do they stay or go??

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it.  If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Alison

xxx

This is not a sponsored post. All items are my own.

“Mint Velvet” Celeste Print Midi Dress – which was £119.00 is now £79.00. Check availability

Time works differently in the fashion world. While most of us are thinking of packing away our cosy woollen sweaters and suede ankle boots, designers are planning for the year ahead.

Checking out the major brands online for Spring/Summer, the dominant colours seem to be yellow, neon brights and neutrals (which I love).  I’ve also noticed a lot of florals, plus, a touch of tie-die. 

Style wise, there are Spring jackets plus repeated themes such as puffy sleeves – very popular in the 80’s.  I remember them well!

Maybe, I’m being a little over zealous, planning which dresses I may like from the Spring outfits currently on display, while leaving the house in warm tights, woollens and big cosy coats.

But, there’s nothing wrong with having a wish list.  While doing my research, I did notice some dresses I’d be excited to wear when the weather warms up.  There are also some options out there that I can wear from now through till Summer.

All it takes to transform an item into a wintertime-approved piece is a little layering action with the help of turtlenecks, cardigans or tights. 

“Mango” Beige Linen dress with a pop of leopard!! Click here to check availability

Now, with Springtime just around the corner, it’s time to check our wardrobes.

“Mango” beige linen dress. Styled with a “Mango” leather short jacket and ankle boots

I try to be organised in my wardrobe (not always succeeding), separating my Spring/Summer from my Autumn/Winter.  I will then go through my current items and decide which clothes I am keeping, or not, as the case may be.

“Mango” beige linen dress styled with my “French Connection” tassled bag.

While perusing the internet and having a wander around the shops, I found two dresses that caught my eye, which I have recently purchased.  I thought you may like to see how I have styled them. 

“Mango” beige linen dress. Styled with my brown “Zara” Jacket – which was a bargain at £29.99 in the sale!!.

The first dress is the “Celeste Print Midi” from “Mint Velvet”.  This is a “fit and flare” style.  The print is floral.  The colours are ink blue and blush pink.  The dress has buttoned three-quarter sleeve cuffs, which I find so flattering. The hem has asymmetric ruffles, which, again, I find flattering and which. I must add, attracted me to it.

The second dress is from “Mango”.  It’s a beige linen mix material, with a flared design and a midi length.  Because of the colour, this dress is very versatile, and I know I will get a lot of wear from it – either with heels or by adding various jackets. 

 

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Alison

xxx

This is not a sponsered post.  All items are my own.  There are however a few affiliate links. This means that I can potentially earn a small comission (At no additional cost to you).  Thank you.

We replaced our lighting with the Steampunk Style ‘Corinthia’ 3 Way Over Table Light in Aged Brass Finish.

We have recently been updating/improving our kitchen, so I thought you may be interested in the lighting we have replaced.

Our kitchen has seen many changes over the years. Not only in our family life, but cosmetically, too.

This is the lighting we replaced.

We had a major “refurb”, 12 years ago. This comprised: extending the side of our home (making the kitchen much bigger); installing a new kitchen suite and workbench; building a wet room; and upgrading the kitchen/adjacent patio area – enabling us to enjoy more outdoor living, in the summertime.

All of this major work could have been a seamless exercise. Instead, it nearly caused a  “nervous breakdown” due to the builders we unwittingly chose. Following months of stress – plus a bout of shingles thrown in (husband!!!), for good measure – it finally got finished.

I will, in future posts, show you “before and after” shots as we made progress. For years, afterwards, I wanted to forget the journey!

Once we were free of the builders, I asked an old trusted school friend, Gary, who makes a living installing kitchens, to come and install ours. He is so talented and did a fantastic job.

 

The kitchen has a lot of natural daylight, due to it being South facing. We had large patio doors and a large kitchen window installed to enhance this.

The kitchen has three light sources, one being the uplighters under the kitchen units which light up half of the kitchen. Then, at the other end of the kitchen (we call it the “snug end”), we have two wall lights, controlled by a dimmer switch. This is where we eat or entertain, as it’s nice to have a relaxed low light atmosphere. Then the third source is the pair of three overhead lights at either side of the whole kitchen area.

These overhead lights are an essential feature, but do need to look just as good switched off, as switched on. Hence choosing the right ceiling light is so important when you are planning the style of your kitchen.

The main lighting that we installed when we did the refurb was looking very tired and worn. We were looking for a more on-trend, funky, mood booster of a design enhancing the look of the kitchen.

Home lighting is one of the most important factors in the decision-making process. The way that you light up your home can make or break a room and can be one of the most common mistakes that people make when planning their spaces.    The right glow can create just the right atmosphere to the all-important finishing touches.

I love low level lighting. It changes the look of a room at the flick of a switch. Subtle lighting, is generally the way forward when it comes to areas made for relaxation.

I trawled the internet and eventually found these vintage/industrial black metal pipe suspended ceiling pendants. I bought them from the “Long Life Lamp Company” and cost £42.99 per set. The picture looked amazing and just what I was looking for. I was a little apprehensive when they arrived in case they weren’t the appropriate “fit” for the kitchen – but they look great!!

The large bulbs, a main feature of the lights, can be expensive. I bought them on-line at a reasonable price (approx. £3.00 per bulb). I am very impressed with the lights – they have definitely improved the look of the kitchen. The perfect ending to my kitchen revamp – for the moment anyway.

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Alison

Xx

 

I learnt a few weeks ago that House of Fraser (HOF) are not honouring gift cards in store or online.  My gift card for HOF is worth £80.00.   I have followed the process for getting my money refunded but I’m not holding my breath.  So my question is “are gift cards a safe bet”??

Since this discovery, I have been told it’s probably best to spend gift cards quickly in this present climate.   More importantly, I feel concerned for the staff of House of Fraser. It must be the worst feeling in the world for these employees to not  know what the future holds, and it makes the slight problem of a gift card seem trivial. But, nevertheless, £80 is no small amount!!!

Recently, I went to Newcastle to make sure my youngest son was settled into university for his final year.   We all met up in the city centre for coffee, then and I went into Fenwicks Dept Store.  This was a conscious decision as I had another gift card that I had received from Christmas 2017.  The whole House of Fraser gift card situation made me think that maybe I had to spend it quickly!

Wandering around Fenwicks, I couldn’t resist this pretty blue Daria Print Ruffled Skirt from Mint Velvet (£89.00).  It is chiffon material in a layered silhouette. This midi skirt sits high on the waist and I have already worn it quite a few times – pairing it with a Zara dark blue fitted jumper, or a cream fitted cardigan.

I particularly love the movement of the skirt and thought it looked good with this old leather biker jacket that I have owned for ages, along with some blue suede ankle boots.

This skirt could easily be dressed up in heels and a silky blouse or even a stylish t-shirt and sneakers with a little denim jacket – that would look cool!!

I know I will get a lot of wear out of it as it is so versatile and flattering – and I also love the midi length, which is my favourite.

Alison x

Some girls are so certain of their style from the beginning.  I remember, in my young days, these girls stood out from the rest and were an inspiration to me.  I have been friendly with a lot of women throughout my life whose style has inspired me.  Whatever age and size, their confidence and their flair shone through. There is nothing more fabulous than someone who is comfortable in their own skin.  Style wise, they are such an inspiration and have no fear of looking a certain way or wearing something they really love and are not afraid of what people think, or say.

photographer – Viktor Hanacek

I loved nights out, in my younger years – the girls would turn up in their ‘get-ups’, which had been so meticulously put together.  Of course, these were the late seventies, early eighties – the time of big shoulder pads and “New Romantics”.  I also had a few mates who were “Punks” and “Goths” (now, that took time, effort and style).  I wonder what they are doing, and where they are with their “style”, now.  I don’t think you ever quite leave your young style behind as you get older –  it’s part of who you are. As we get older, we have had time to rehearse and practise.

Photo by Sabina Ciesielska on Unsplash

I like to think I have a little bit of an idea when I’m trying on things that don’t suit me – they just feel so “wrong”. For example, in my younger years, I had some “not good” moments with woollen dresses which made me look like a giant snowball – think the whole colour block thing doesn’t agree with me, and the odd (very eighties) rah-rah skirt.  This  was the first successful attempt to revive the mini skirt and, hands up, I was a fan at the time!   It wasn’t very forgiving if you know what I mean.

Photo by Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash

Oh, and there was the odd bad hair-do just to add to the overall mix. I once came back from the hairdressers looking like Tina Turner which, as much as I love Tina Turner, this was not my intention or what I had asked for.  I think the hairdresser got a little bit carried away.

Me out for a saunter, in the direction of the pub! I do love “easy to wear” chilled out fashion that makes me feel good, though I’m not averse to a lovely little bit of dressing up!

I believe style in midlife years is continually a “work in progress”.  For example, I will see a great outfit on someone, or in a shop and love it.  Sometimes, I’ve been brave enough to ask the person where they had purchased it.  But, on me, it will either look equally good or really terrible.  I once read somewhere that style takes time and maybe that’s true. I believe, at this age, I am still trying to look good and that, for me, it’s on-going.  Some women make wearing clothes look effortless. Whereas, for me, alas, that’s not always the case!!!

 

Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash

I also believe it is very important to be comfortable, and know what suits me.  I’ve done this through trial and error, and taking good advice along the way from expert fashion stylists.  There is a lot of great “style gurus” out there.  I believe some of them are brilliant and give out great, constructive advice. But, I also believe that, whatever advice you read, you still must feel happy and relaxed in what you are wearing.  Because style is such a personal thing! We all know people who wear something because of the label or because they think, if it’s one of the most expensive, exclusive garments in the shop, then it will have to look great on them. Unfortunately, as we know, that’s not always the case.

Thank you for reading, let me know if you have any comments and please subscribe to my blog.

Alison x