Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt

Have you ever seen something on someone else that you absolutely have to have…only to discover it’s completely sold out? Well that’s what happened with this Monki jaguar jumper. I saw someone at work wearing it, but as I didn’t know her I didn’t like to ask where she bought it. So I did what any obsessed fashionista would do and googled all the obvious search terms…”turquoise leopard/tiger/cheetah jumper”…and low and behold, google images came up trumps.

I took a bit of a gamble because it’s a small and I’d have preferred a medium. But I reasoned that I could wear a minimiser bra and breathe in.

Ok, so now I knew it was from Monki, but then I found out it had long since sold out. Groan. But still not content to let it go, I turned to eBay, and after months of searching I found one. After all that you’d think I’d have snapped it up there and then…except it was priced a fair bit higher than the original RRP, and that jars with me. It’s akin to people buying concert tickets purely to sell on at inflated prices. Well I blinked and it sold. You snooze you loose kinda thing.

So I carried on looking, and after a few more months I finally bagged one at a much more reasonable price. I took a bit of a gamble because it’s a small and I’d have preferred a medium. But I reasoned that I could wear a minimiser bra and breathe in. Yes, that’s how badly I wanted this jumper! It’s a bit snug around the armpits but not constrictive, so I’m happy 🙂

Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt

The elusive Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt make the perfect partners. It’s almost like the skirt had been patiently waiting for it all this time.

Wearing it with jeans wouldn’t really have done it justice; after all my detective work tracking it down I wanted to make more of a statement with it. It was a very grey and miserable day, much in need of a colourful outfit. So I paired it with this purple A line skirt that I’ve had stuck in the wardrobe for ages. I loved it when I bought it but always found it hard to pick a suitable top to go with it. It needs a fitted top that doesn’t overhang and obscure the belt and pockets. Well this jumper is certainly fitted, and it’s just the right length. The elusive Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt make the perfect partners. It’s almost like the skirt had been patiently waiting for it all this time.

Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt

I felt quite pleased that I’d created a completely new outfit from a mixture of old and preloved pieces.

Turquoise and purple is one of my favourite colour combinations, but I decided to add a third. I matched the pink in the jumper’s motif with a pink bag, jewelled beret and rose quartz bracelet. The lion doorknocker ring adds to the fierceness and contrasts with the sugary pink elements.

Only flats and chunky heels are feasible on waterlogged, muddy ground, but that doesn’t have to mean boring. These Kurt Geiger studded ankle boots are years old but the studs make them feel that little bit extra. And we all need that sometimes, don’t we? I felt quite pleased that I’d created a completely new outfit from a mixture of old and preloved pieces. Sometimes those turn out to be the best 🙂

Kurt Geiger studded ankle boots

J by Jasper Conran pink bag, Kenneth Jay Lane lion doorknocker ring

Monki jaguar jumper

pink jewelled beret

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Monki jaguar jumper and purple A line skirt

Monki jumper (from eBay, similar) | M&S skirt (old, similar) | Kurt Geiger boots (old, similar) | J by Jasper Conran bag (old, similar) | beret from Asos (old, similar) | Kenneth Jay Lane ring (old, similar) | Azuni earrings (similar) | handmade rose quartz bracelet (similar)

 

 

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Happy Tuesday! I hope your week got off to a good start 🙂 Welcome to the 100th Style With a Smile link up! As this is a milestone link up it seems quite fitting that it’s a special one. The last seven days have been pretty hectic, but in a good way. As I mentioned in Sunday’s post, I’ve been to London twice. On Wednesday I travelled down to the Bias Cut’s pop up shop, where owner Jacynth launched her own collection of cashmere sweaters.

I can never come away from one of Jacynth’s pop up shops empty-handed…show me fabulous clothes and I simply can’t resist!

I’ve been a big fan of the Bias Cut’s ethos and Jacynth’s mission to end ageism in the fashion industry for several years. I was even lucky enough to model the A/W collection for the website a couple of months ago. Jacynth carefully curates the pieces and only selects the most flattering designs made to high ethical standards. I can never come away from one of Jacynth’s pop up shops empty-handed…show me fabulous clothes and I simply can’t resist!

On this occasion I treated myself to something I’d had my eye on since I first saw it online. This gorgeous Pom bugs jacket wasn’t in stock when I modelled some of the A/W collection, but when I saw it on Shirley I was all heart eye emojis! Luckily for me there was one in my size so it was meant to be! I adore the bug embellishments and little tassels. What you can’t see (because I forgot to get a photo of it) is the beautiful lining. I just love everything about this jacket! Sadly it’s now sold out but there are other equally fabulous jackets still available (like this one that I adore!).

My bargain blouse

I teamed my lovely new Pom bugs jacket with skinny glitter jeans and a gorgeous Hawes & Curtis blouse that I found in a charity shop. It must have been my lucky day because I found three of the same design in different prints in my size. The blouses fit perfectly, and best of all…they only cost £3.75 each! What a find! They are fitted at the waist and have a little stretch in the fabric so they’re really comfortable. I’m obsessed with pussy bows at the moment too!

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Pom Amsterdam jacket from the Bias Cut (sold out) | Hawes & Curtis blouse (from a charity shop, similar design) | Mango skinny glitter jeans (similar) | Jennifer Hamley Mini KT bag (now sold out but new collection coming soon!) | Zara hat (similar) | Kenneth Jay Lane ring (old)

A surprise blogger meet up!

And look who I bumped into at the pop up…Jacqui, Anna and Valerie! It was such a lovely surprise to finally meet up with them after being friends online for so long 🙂 Meeting up with other bloggers is so much fun…I need to do it more often! Jacqui was with her lovely goddaughter Esther who takes her blog photos, and she kindly took some group shots of us…thank you Esther 🙂

 

Last week’s favourites were…

Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style, Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots and Grace of Color and Grace!

 

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Blogosphere Festival 2018, leopard print faux fur coat

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my posts from the Blogosphere Festival in London yesterday. It was held at the Landmark Hotel directly opposite Marylebone station, so very easy to find. It was the first time I’d attended Blogosphere so I had no idea what to expect.

Living in Cheshire makes it a bit of a trek to the capital, so to make two trips a few days apart is highly unusual for me.

This was actually my second trip to London this week, as I’d travelled down on Wednesday for the Bias Cut’s pop up shop (which I’ll post about later in the week). Living in Cheshire makes it a bit of a trek to the capital, so to make two trips a few days apart is highly unusual for me.

The weather’s been dreadful this week, which made deciding what to wear even more difficult. Trains can either be swelteringly hot or cold and draughty. The tube however, is always oppresively hot and stuffy. All of this poses a style dilemma!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, leopard print faux fur coat

I’d put two outfits out the night before so I could decide on which one when I got up in the morning. My alarm was set for 6am so I’d laid everything out. I decided on a loose metallic mustard batwing top (first seen here) with black high waisted skinny jeans. The top is loose and not too thick, which is ideal for travelling in. I topped it off with one of my leopard print faux fur coats. It may seem a bit extravagant to have three, but they are all different styles! I haven’t worn heels for ages because my feet have been aching so much, but these wide-fitting ankle boots are ok for walking moderate distances in. Thick socks help too 😉

This flower wall was like catnip for bloggers, so just as well it was double-sided!

The hat was both the cause of, and the answer to the problem of a bad hair day. It wasn’t behaving at all that morning, and by the time I arrived at the hotel it was totally flat and limp. I would have felt a pillock wearing a hat indoors all day, although it was tempting! It definitely made for better photos. This flower wall was like catnip for bloggers… just as well it was double-sided! I really want one in my house!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, leopard print faux fur coat

Meeting up with Suzi

I was looking forward to meeting up with Suzi (aka Alternative Ageing) more than the actual event. We first met at the 3040 Blogger Meet two and half years ago and have stayed in touch ever since. It was wonderful to spend the day catching up with Suzi. We chatted about veganism, menopause and the TV industry (Suzi was a journalist before training as a nutritionist and starting a blog). Her book, also entitled Alternative Ageing, has just been published and is available at Amazon…put it on your Christmas wishlist!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, Suzi Grant Alternative Ageing

The other three panels just confirmed what I already knew: don’t promote a product you don’t like just for the money and don’t buy fake followers.

There were four panels throughout the day discussing different topics – two in the morning and two in the afternoon. To be totally honest, I learned very little from these. The Importance of Audio was one that didn’t really apply to me, but as I knew nothing about podcasts, I did learn a few things. The other three panels just confirmed what I already knew: don’t promote a product you don’t like just for the money and don’t buy fake followers. That really was it in a nutshell. But we all know that already, right?

I actually learned more chatting to Suzi who really knows her stuff, and is incredibly tech savvy. She’s also very generous with her knowledge. That’s what I love about the blogging community – especially the 40+ blogging community – everyone is so helpful and supportive 🙂

Blogosphere Festival 2018, Vionic shoes stand

I had a chat with the Vionic team and tried on a pair of ankle boots that were so comfortable. The way they support the arch and take the weight off the ball of the foot is genius. My size eights look humungous…made worse by wearing skinny jeans. If only someone would design comfortable shoes that make big feet look smaller!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, Vionic shoes stand

There was a steady queue for the hair styling. I gave up waiting in the end because the last panel was due to start and I was only going to put my hat on anyway. Those beach waves will have to wait!

Blogosphere Festival 2018

There was a drinks area serving tea, coffee and mocktails throughout the day; the blueberry mojitos were delicious! There was a constant supply of food in little bowls, including some vegan options. I tried a yummy vegetable thai curry with rice, and broccoli with quinoa and pumpkin seeds. It wasn’t enough to keep us going for the whole day though, so we popped out to Pret for a falafel salad. During the break for lunch, we weren’t supposed to be in the ballroom where the event took place. But as there wasn’t adequate seating outside we sneaked back in with our salads…naughty!

There weren’t even enough chairs for people to sit and listen to the panels; some were sitting on the floor while others had to stand.

The afternoon session was clearly more popular than the morning. There weren’t even enough chairs for people to sit and listen to the panels; some were sitting on the floor while others had to stand. I’d bought an early bird ticket so I paid £25 for the whole day (which was half price). But those who’d paid that much to attend just one session and not even have a seat must have felt pretty cheesed off. It was also very noisy because not everyone came over to listen to the guest speakers. Given that there were only about half a dozen stands I’d have thought that was the whole point of going!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, flower wall

…when I saw the piles of Blogosphere magazines on the table by the door, I naturally assumed that they might give us one in the goody bag. But it turned out they were just there to get attendees to subscribe.

There was one other thing that struck me as odd, and if I’m honest a little bit stingy. Now I don’t want you to think that I’m one of those entitled bloggers who expect everything for free. We did get goody bags with a Christmas party game, a notebook and a lovely Dior palette courtesy of World Duty Free (one of the sponsors). So when I saw the piles of Blogosphere magazines on the table by the door, I naturally assumed that they might give us one in the goody bag. But it turned out they were just there to get attendees to subscribe. The organisers not giving paying guests a copy of their own magazine seemed really odd to me.

According to the website it’s £30 for four issues a year or £8 for a single issue. We received one of the magazines at the 3040 Blogger Meet and I thought it was ok but I wasn’t blown away by it. Considering I baulk at paying £4+ for a monthly glossy, I certainly won’t be shelling out £8 for it. I think putting a copy in the goody bag might have got them more subscriptions, but I guess they have their reasons!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, flower wall

Anyway, all the negative stuff aside, it was a really good day. My trains ran on time, the venue was lovely, I didn’t get soaked (as I did on Wednesday when the tube failed us) and I spent the day with a fabulous blogger friend 🙂

Do you enjoy going to blogging events? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Blogosphere Festival 2018, flower wall

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Blogosphere Festival 2018, flower wall

Faux fur coat from eBay (similar)| M&S top (similar) | Mango high waist skinny jeans | Principles leopard print ankle boots (similar) | Zara hat (similar) | Messages in Metal necklace c/o

 

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Style Not Age Collective - Keen as Mustard

The Style Not Age collective is back for the penultimate style challenge of the year, and this month we’re “Keen as Mustard” for this season’s hottest colour! It’s amazing how many items of clothing in mustard, ochre and saffron have made it into my wardrobe lately. These warmer shades are much more flattering than pastel and acid yellows.  My mustard skirt co-ord is one of my favourite outfits from the Summer, and I’ve combined my peg leg trousers with tops in several colours (cobalt is probably my favourite).

I’d been wanting a pair of camo print skinny jeans for ages and finally bought not one, but two pairs.

When Hilda suggested “Keen as Mustard” for this month’s challenge I had plenty of options. But I didn’t want to wear exactly the same outfits I’ve previously featured. I’ve worn the ribbed mustard jumper and ochre shoes before with cobalt trousers (one of my favourite colour combinations). This time I teamed them with my new camo print skinny jeans from Gap. I’d been wanting a pair of camo print skinny jeans for ages and finally bought not one, but two pairs. The other pair is a darker, more muted colour palette. This brighter camo print works better with the mustard jumper.

I completed the look with my khaki faux suede biker jacket and tan crossbody bag that I bought in France over the Summer. Although it wasn’t deliberate, I’m wearing the colours of my garden…well and truly camoflaged!

Style Not Age Collective - Keen as Mustard

Style Not Age Collective - Keen as Mustard

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Style Not Age Collective - Keen as Mustard, Scottage tan and leopard print bag

Style Not Age Collective - Keen as Mustard, Centime custom name ring

I kept my jewellery relatively understated (for me!) with a pair of pom pom earrings and a gorgeous personalised ring. Centime Gifts have a large range of stackable name rings, as well as personalised bracelets and necklaces. With Christmas not too far away now’s the time to buy those gifts for loved ones. International shipping is free, but you do need to allow 2-3 weeks as the items are handcrafted and made to order. The size guide was easy to understand (the US and UK use different sizing systems) and my ring fits perfectly.

A personalised piece of jewellery makes a lovely gift for Christmas or a birthday; you can even have a soundwave, signature, fingerprint, hand or foot print on your jewellery.

For such good quality – and considering the jewellery is made to order – the prices are amazing. I chose the Script Custom Name Ring which is usually $29, but currently on offer for $26.95. It’s available in sterling silver with 18K yellow and rose gold plate options. Mine is rose gold plated, which I think is more flattering on my skin tone than yellow gold. A personalised piece of jewellery makes a lovely gift for Christmas or a birthday;  you can even have a soundwave, signature, fingerprint, hand or foot print on your jewellery.

As a little treat for Style Splash readers I have an exclusive code – just use 20EMMA at the checkout for 20% discount  on your order 🙂

Style Not Age Collective - Keen as Mustard

Style Not Age Collective - Keen as Mustard

River Island jacket | M&S jumper | Gap jeans | M&S shoes | Scottage bag (bought in France) | ring c/o Centime Gifts

Let’s see how Hilda, Jacqui and Anna are styling this month’s challenge…

Hilda is keeping warm with a gorgeous mustard scarf. It looks so cosy and perfect for cold winter days. Visit Over the Hilda for all the details.

Jacqui has paired her mustard culottes with a fabulous animal print blouse. Head over to Mummabstylish to see more!

Anna really knocked it out of the park with this combination of floral print and tartan…plus a bit of animal print to boot (pun intended!). Pattern clashing at its finest, don’t you think? Head over to Anna’s Island Style for all the details.

That’s it for another month…only one more left of the year! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the different ways we’ve chosen to wear mustard. Until next time… 🙂

 

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Miss Tunica leopard print tunic and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

Any of you who’ve been to Barbados will know that the West coast is best for swimming. But if it’s stunning views of a rugged coastline you’re after the Atlantic East coast is well worth a visit. When we got married on the island in 2010 we had a meal at The Edgewater Inn, which has sadly now closed. But on our last holiday to Barbados we found another restaurant in Bathsheba that’s equally as good (if not better!).

Miss Tunica leopard print tunic and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

After a morning by the pool I decided to keep my Miss Tunica leopard cover up on for lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn. The drive across the island to the East coast is beautiful, if a little bumpy! Some of the potholes are the size of craters, and the winding, hilly roads certainly challenged the hire car! Nevertheless, we always make at least one visit to the East coast when in Barbados because the scenery is stunning.

Miss Tunica leopard print tunic and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

I first wore this tunic in Abu Dhabi back in the Spring. It has an accompanying long black jersey slip to wear underneath it, but I chose a shorter nude slip this time because it was so hot and humid. Although the tunic is very lightweight it isn’t too see-through thanks to the print. In any case, Barbados is much more relaxed regarding dress codes than the UAE!

You’ve heard the saying “more is more and less is a bore” right? Well I kept that in mind when choosing my jewellery: chunky necklace, statement ring and tassel earrings. Plus some gold frame sunglasses for good measure. It was my last full day of the trip so I really went to town! I also worked in a little pattern clashing with my bargain £6 bag from Matalan in the end of Summer sale. Surprisingly it’s really good quality and very practical for taking to the beach too.

Miss Tunica leopard print kaftan and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

Miss Tunica cover up c/o | Ribelle sandals (similar) | bag from Matalan (similar) | Roberto Cavalli sunglasses | necklace and ring bought in Cape Verde

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Vegan lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

Miss Tunica leopard print kaftan and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn

Pity I was too full to try the vegan banana cake for pudding…another reason to go back though!

As it was a very late lunch (due to a cock up with my mum’s dialysis session) I indulged in a cocktail upon arrival. The banana colada was so good, like a coconut and banana milkshake for grown ups 🙂 I was delighted to have a choice of vegan meals at the Atlantis Historic Inn – the chef is vegan so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. The burger was delicious and the thick cut chips were the best I’ve tasted in a long time! Pity I was too full to try the vegan banana cake for pudding…another reason to go back though!

Miss Tunica leopard print kaftan and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn, vegan burger

Miss Tunica leopard print kaftan and lunch at The Atlantis Historic Inn, Bathsheba

Not far from the restaurant on our way back we happened upon a troupe of monkeys…so of course I immediately jumped out of the car for a photo! They were decidedly underwhelmed by my presence, but I was certainly pleased to see them 🙂

green monkeys, Barbados

green monkey, Barbados

 

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