Saturday, 31 May 2014

Good stuff is all well and good but sometimes old favourites are where it's at!


Many of you will remember this Boden tunic from years gone by. I've had it for longer than I can remember but I still like it and it comes with me whenever I go anywhere that's vaguely warm.

Although (as you may have gathered) I love being warm, I'm not a sun worshipper so it's nice to have something which keeps me covered up when it's really hot. As it's linen, it has a really nice feel to it, which also helps. Boden have re-released this best seller this year in several colour ways and it costs £69. There are 128 reviews so people obviously have something to say about it but I must admit that I don't know which side of the fence they have come down on!

My £7 ASDA hat from the menswear department has done me well but after a short swim in the pool, it's not quite what it was. There are plenty of similar ones around this year though in the likes of Zara and GAP. Sadly, Cath Kidston has had a year off from flip flops, which is a shame as I really like hers and the ones that I am wearing are on their last legs. As for the Habitat bag, that's really old and also a bit tatty but I get very fond of things and don't like to part with them just because they have seen better days. I would hate to think of anything (or anyone) being traded in just because it/they are a little bit tired around the edges!!!

Having finally (it's only taken 7 years) got Mr SG to the sun, we've realised that with GCSEs approaching for one, followed by AS levels and then A-levels, it will be at least another 4 years before we can get away at May half term, by which time exams will have started for child number 2. I'm tempted to see if I can get someone to "adopt" the eldest for the next few years at this time of year so that the rest of us can go on holiday. Wouldn't it make a great subject for the Jeremy Kyle show?!

Friday, 30 May 2014

A style staple for the warmer weather - a white sun dress

Oooh, I do love a good white dress! Not that I get to wear one much at home but for a trip away to a warmer climate, or even when the weather at home is warm enough so that you don't feel completely out of place wearing one, a white dress is hard to beat. The one that I am wearing was from Mango several years ago now and they don't currently have anything similar but Hobbs has come up trumps on the white dress front, so here's my pick...

Iona dress from Hobbs (£110) - this is similar in style to the one that I am wearing in so far as it is sleeveless. The buttons can also be undone to create more of a v-neck which is good for those who prefer one/find one more flattering. It can also be nipped in at the waist with a belt.

As it's 100% cotton, not only will it be cool but the fabric can also take more of a battering than more delicate/man made fabrics. So, if anything is spilled down it (always a concern with a white dress) it will respond better to washing/vanish/washing up liquid and if all else fails, bleach - than some other fabrics. But please don't hold me to my bleach assertion!

Evie dress by Hobbs (£134.25) - this dress is also 100% cotton so much better for those who prefer a natural fibre. This one has a pretty hemline to it, similar to the one that I am wearing. Again, it can be nipped in at the waist with a belt to create a more fitted silhouette. The great thing about a white dress is that it acts as a back drop to lots of other colours in terms of accessories/shoes. So, once you get over that initial hurdle of committing pennies to one, it's actually really versatile. I particularly like them with metallics for a really summery look but they also work well with neons, pastels, primary colours and black too.

Hay dress by Hobbs (£82.50) - this one is 100% linen and has a lovely shape, especially for anyone who carries their weight around the hip/thigh area but who has a tiny waist. The way that the pleats sit are really flattering too. As you might expect from Hobbs, you can rely on them for a good length to their dresses.

OK, so now the Frozen songs have been replaced by 1D songs going round, and round, and round again in my head - just for good measure. Oh, and has anyone ever tried to describe what a minion from Despicable Me looks like to someone who doesn't speak the same language? The reason for this? Well they would be what are on the case of our son's phone, which he left on a bus. I think that I am going slowly mad....

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Time for a wardrobe update, with some wide legged trousers....

Given that they have been absent from my wardrobe for many years, I decided that it was time for a pair of wide legged trousers to make an appearance.  I love skinny jeans, utility trousers and printed tailored trousers but these wide legged trousers just felt really fresh and different - and perfect for the warm weather.

When I bought the trousers from Jigsaw (£89), the assistant and I had a little bet as to whether Mr SG would ask me whether I was wearing my pyjamas. And guess what? He didn't disappoint. "Nice 'jamas love" he said when he saw them for the first time but then, when I wore them last night, he said that he really liked them.

Now, this is quite an unusual thing for him to say (clothes aren't really his thing) so I've concluded either that he's trying to make up for his previous (and admittedly very minor) misdemeanour OR he really does like them. I'm going for the latter option, only because he wouldn't have seen his first comment as anything other than hugely witty, funny and amusing, so there would have been no need to make up for it.

The width of the trousers meant that they need a fitted top and I'm wearing a cream cotton jumper, also from Jigsaw (£69). For info purposes, the trousers are quite generous in size - I'm wearing an 8 and they can be hand washed. Jigsaw also have another couple of pairs of wide legged trousers - one in linen and one in navy viscose. I've tried the navy ones and loved them but as they are dry clean only they weren't for me however they are rather lovely and would be great for work, or for a summer event with a pretty top. Just saying!

Now, what I would like to know from the other Mum who is accompanying me (plus our respective daughters) to the 1D concert in Manchester on Sunday, is whether she too has been doing her 1D homework and listening to their latest album? I'm throwing this one out there - does anyone know from which song the lyrics "So your friend's been telling me, you've been sleeping with my.... sweater" comes? I must admit to having to go back so that I could listen to the lyrics again to see what the girl had been sleeping with - partly because I couldn't have imagined 1D singing anything vaguely raunchy but also because I couldn't quite believe that it was a sweater she had been sleeping with either. Bring on Sunday!

ps Mr SG has just come up behind me to see what I'm writing about and his exact words were "nice trousers, what are you writing about - nightwear?" See what I have to put up with.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Having fun in the sun in flowery shorts and a sequinned vest

Another wardrobe must have for the hot weather is a huge scarf. I find that scarves can be used for a multitude of functions - both wardrobe, and non-wardrobe, related and I picked up this striped scarf from GAP (£19.95) a week or so before we came away. I knew that the colours of it would work with lots of things that I had already and it just had that slight "holiday" feel about it that I was after.

I am also wearing the sunkissed printed shorts from GAP (£24.95) in a UK 6. As you might expect with  GAP the sizing is generous, added to which they are 55% linen so they get even bigger with wear. Going down a size or two is not a bad idea. The fit is good though and they're not tight on the thighs, unlike some styles. I really rate GAP for lots of things but in particular their shorts. Their styles, colours and prints are pretty much unrivalled on the High Street and there are always offers on, so the prices are good. I'm also wearing a blue sequin front vest from Next (£16), which comes in a total of five colours. 

Here's a closer pic of the GAP shorts which come in a variety of different finishes. I'm not going to attempt a closer pic of the Next vest - the wifi is just too unreliable for that.

It's only been a few days and amazing as it is being away, we're missing home (and particularly all the episodes of Coronation Street that are on this week.) Oh dear, what an admission - how sad!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The bare necessities of life - a beach dress and new PJs!


There are definitely some things in my wardrobe which get updated less frequently than others, which is why when it came to thinking about what I might need for our trip away, a pool/beach dress was up there along with the more obvious items of shorts and t-shirts. With time short, this one from H&M did the job in terms of price (£7.99), plus I liked the print and the fact that it is slightly scooped down at the back.

I'm really sharing this little number with you more because it's cheap and cheerful and it will do a good job of taking you to the beach and back, rather than because it's super stylish. The good thing is that it won't matter if it gets covered in sun-tan lotion and salt water. I love the idea of some of the more expensive beautiful beachwear but I must admit that I really don't see the point. In all probability I would just leave something like that at home for fear of ruining it, which kind of defeats the object.

I decided that my pjs also needed a bit of an update. They are quite often another thing that also get neglected.  More a fan of shorts and a vest, I found the set on the left at M&S. The shorts on the right came from GAP and because I wasn't too fussed about the vests there, I bought the white one from H&M.

I still can't quite get over the terrible book that I read on the flight on the way out. And because it was so terrible I'm going to share it with you all. I had to go back and re-read bits just to check that it was as bad as I thought and to make sure that I hadn't missed something. But no! So here goes...

The book contained the clich├ęd mothers - one stay at home mum who grew her own veg and made her own clothes from old curtains, one full on career mum who loved her job and her child but felt more competent at work, one mum who worked part time, had a nanny and missed her kids and one single, unhappy mum, who was after a rich husband to support her extravagant lifestyle. Bad in so many ways! Not only that but there was talk of the unfriendly London mums with kids who were scheduled up to the hilt with activities. Anyway the husband of the main couple was being stalked by his children's nanny who was convinced that he would run off with her because he had told her how much he liked her lasagne and wait for it....her ironing! Anyone else had the pleasure of that particular book?!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Time for a new Hush frock!


I was quite excited about wearing my new Lisa dress from Hush (£60) which I had ordered especially for our holiday. It was partly because wearing a new frock is always exciting and partly because it was a little bit different for me. I wouldn't normally choose an empire line (something to do with having had three children/wearing maternity dresses) but because the fabric beneath the empire line wasn't too voluminous it didn't create a bump, or make it look as though I was trying to hide/accommodate one. Well at least I don't think that it did!

For me the dress worked because it is slightly longer at the back, which for some reason always makes me feel a little bit safer. For info purposes, the one that I am wearing is an xs. One thing that I should say though is that the dress is utterly and totally see through - which I hadn't appreciated when trying it on.  A really long vest underneath it gave me the extra coverage required.

I'm still really fond of the bright red shoes that I bought from Topshop last year, so it was nice to wear them again, together with my Marc Jacobs clutch. 

One of the many things that I like about the hot weather is planning an outfit the night before - albeit a simple one of shorts and a t-shirt and knowing that's what I'll be wearing the next day. No last minute changes of plan due to rain/fog/hail or snow! We currently have a good game going on here which involves Mr SG putting the air conditioning on full pelt and me switching it right down. It's a bit like the game that we play all winter with the heating, only in reverse. Never let it be said that our household isn't full-time fun and games!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Our first day in the sun - cut offs, neon and sparkles!


Remember the Clarks sandals from my last post that I couldn't wait to wear? Well I didn't have to wait long. As they were so comfortable, I thought that they would be great for travelling in - and they didn't let me down. 

Whilst I'm away I will try and post (some of us like a siesta, others don't feel the need!!) but I don't think that I will be able to include links. Everything is a bit slow out here! However for anything that is new, I will try and give you as good a steer in the text as I can.

On our way - in Jigsaw boyfriend jeans (I like loose things when I am travelling), the Lacey top from Whistles in yellow bought in the sale after Christmas and a GAP cardi, just in case it was chilly on arrival.

Doing a little bit of outfit planning - which I quickly abandoned as I realised that whilst I may have planned my outfits, there was a risk that I wouldn't have time to pack them, or anything else for that matter!

For our first day away, I went for my oldest cut off denim shorts. Many moons ago they were a pair of boyfriend jeans from Topshop but they were given the chop! The t-shirt I bought only last week and it is also from Topshop. They have  wide range of colours and at £12 I thought that it was good value. It is a modal/cotton mix so I like the way that it falls and it comes in a variety of colours. The Boden sparkly flats have, at last, had their first outing!

Friday, 23 May 2014

From stylish Whistles sandals to totally nerdy shoes in one fell swoop - but for some reason I really like them!

When you fall in love with these Gia block heeled sandals from Whistles but just looking at their heel height makes your eyes water and their cost makes you have palpitations, what's a girl to do?

She goes to Clarks and buys these Sandcastle Art sandals, which cost £44.99 instead. No-one would ever pretend that they are as stylish but at least they are wearable and affordable.  I really like them - true nerdy sandals at their best!

Sorry for the absence for a few days. Thanks to the ladies last night we had a great event and  tomorrow we are off on holiday - so there's lots to be done but whilst I'm away I hope to be able to bring you some outfit posts. Somehow, despite booking the holiday quite late and not really having had any time to myself to shop, I seem to have accumulated one or two new bits and bobs which I will share with you soon.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The striped dress - a summer essential


I've spent the last couple of days shopping for an event that I have later in the week. This is my rail of lovely clothes, which I can't wait to try on my models. I've got pieces from Zara, M&S, Phase Eight, Jigsaw, Coast, Reiss, Whistles, Betty Jackson, Warehouse, Dune, Boden, Kate Spade - the list goes on! All of the shoes and bags are packed up and ready. I just need to finalise the running order, get the goody bags sorted and then we will be good to go.

For today's trip to the shops, I wore the jersey striped column dress from Jigsaw £79 with Dune brogues and I accessorised everything beautifully with white legs (actually they aren't as white as they look on the photo - bright light can be so unflattering!!!) On Friday I'm going to see my friend "Ange" at the beauty clinic at the end of the road and she will spray me a lovely golden brown in preparation for our holiday next week - so everything will look a whole lot better.

In the same way that I like a Breton top, I'm also drawn to a striped dress for the summer.  They are easy to wear, can take a statement necklace and go well with lots of shoes from skater trainers to block heels, wedges, or wooden soled sandals. A white stripe on a darker background is more flattering than the reverse and this Jemma dress from Hobbs (£75) is striped to perfection, especially for a pear shape. The stripes at the top are broader, widening the top half. They are narrower around the waist, so really emphasise it and because the bottom half of the dress is a dark, block colour, it narrows the hips. Anyone who doesn't think that stripes are for them should try this - it's really flattering on.

This pic is a closer shot of the Jigsaw dress that I am wearing. 
Whilst working with M&S over the weekend, I also spotted this grey and white striped dress with a yellow trim (£35), which is a little bit J Crew like. I kept on checking to see whether any of them sold during the three days that I was there - but none of them did. I think that it was probably more due to the fact that it was quite hidden rather than anything else but it's a shame as it's such a gem.The fabric isn't massively thick but it's definitely worth a closer look.

I like this Shona striped jersey dress by Whistles (£95) for its shape as it nips in at the waist and then flares out slightly. The curved seams are also a nice detail and it's good for those who prefer to have a sleeve in their dresses.

This striped T-shirt dress by Jigsaw (£49) is a good alternative to the one that I am wearing. It's not as thick, which some will prefer.

M&S also has another great striped dress, which I can't find online. I'm pretty sure that it's a Per Una one, knee length, navy and white stripes. I'll have another hunt and post it if I find it! I'm sure that there are others around at Me & Em, Baukjen and such like. Has anyone come across any other gems?

Monday, 19 May 2014

The silver Oushka bag - ooooh golly it's lovely!


"I'd love to write about your bags" I wrote to Oushka after they started to follow me on twitter. Luckily they didn't think that it was such a bad idea and, having fallen in love with the metallic totes, I chose to write about the Clover handbag in silver (£155). It also comes in Rose Gold and Gold as well as Ginger and all are equally beautiful.

I don't know about anyone else but I'm a huge fan of a metallic bag, especially in the summer months and this one will go with everything from my favourite navy pieces through to pastels, neons and whites.

The bag is soft, unstructured, roomy and smells lovely - just like a leather bag should. No doubt that it will be perfect for those who carry a sleek ipad, a phone, a make-up bag of Chanel make up and some beautifully organised files - but it will work just as well for those of us who are more likely to be carrying a spare of flat shoes, a Boots lip gloss and some bashed up oat cakes.

It also comes with a detachable clutch bag, which could be used as an evening bag - or as a handy place to store keys/phone etc to stop them from dropping to the bottom of this beautifully tardis like bag.

See what I mean about its size? It can also be used to disguise your entire legs. I can imagine walking around the supermarket making strategic dance type moves with it to shield my legs from the unsuspecting public!

You can follow Oushka on twitter and facebook. For anyone on the look out for a gorgeous bag their Dover bag is definitely worth taking a look at.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

A couple of days spent in one of my favourite places - M&S!

For the last couple of days I have been working as a stylist with M&S at their loyalty event. It started on Thursday night with me pulling all the product I wanted to talk about. I love that part - walking around the store choosing the pieces that I think do a good job style wise and which will have hanger appeal to the people watching.

When I arrived on Friday morning, KJ the technician was hard at working setting everything up. It always amazes me how much goes on behind the scenes at these things.

Having hung everything up, it was time to get my basket of goodies so that I could start dressing the stand. As we were based in the home ware department it allowed me a chance to have a good look around there too, selecting flowers and candles - and the cot quilts were great for stuffing the bags so that they didn't fall over.

I'm never quite sure whether it's the goodies on offer that attracts the customers or the presentation itself. Everyone is always very welcoming though and the gents always make me laugh, so we have a good time whatever the reason!

The top that I am wearing is Limited Collection £25. I'm wearing a size 10 which was a bit roomy  but OK. I've just checked and there are only 10 and 12s left online. The shoes are M&S Collection (£25). They have the insolia padding in them and having worn them for two days solid, through 18 presentations, I can confirm that they are actually pretty comfortable. As for the trousers, they are the cotton rich ankle grazer trousers from Per Una (£35). They were great to wear and they also come in white. The fabric is quite thick and supportive so for a white trouser option, they are one of the best that I have seen this season.

Closer shot of the shoes!
In this shot the top looks as though it has a panel down the front of it but it's just the way that it's folded.
So, my days with M&S are over for a short while. I love seeing the regulars come back time and again. For some of them it's a real day out and they stay in the store for hours. Chatting to them can be a bit like chatting to my Mum! 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

They make me feel frumpy and dumpy but boy are they comfy!

The problem with putting deeply unflattering things back in the cupboard....

....rather than getting rid of them completely.... that you might be tempted....

.....sometime in the future.... wear them again!
Birkenstock the only place for frumpy, dumpy, but oh so comfy shoes. Well there, together with Office, Schuh and plenty of other places that have increased their stock now that they are THE shoes of the season. Thanks for that one Normcore.

*Only joking, I know that I don't have to wear them but now that I've dug them out, their appeal on the comfort front is obvious, even if aesthetically they leave a little to be desired.

**What I can't decide is whether, way back when, when I bought these was I:
 a) way ahead of the trend (I think not)
 b) deeply uncool (more probably) and whether...
 c) I am now as fickle as the next person who has bought into the trend (quite possibly)
 d) would I wear them if they weren't trendy now (probably not) and
 e) should I just shut up? (Definitely)

And if all of that doesn't demonstrate the fickle nature of fashion, nothing does!

And here's another trend that has been written about recently - men in socks and sandals. What were they thinking? M&S schools socks and pink flowered sandals. Brave boy, that's all I can say!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Stripes, florals and a sandal for summer....


The husband of one of my friends came up to me this morning and said "I like your shoes and I like the coat with them. It's a nice juxtaposition. You're making a statement." I'm not sure that I managed a response - that was quite full on and fashiony for me 8.20am, particularly as I was thinking about how our eldest had gone into her exams wearing a Sponge Bob plaster, designed so that he could act as her spiritual guru if her mind went blank. That's more of the level we operate on in this family. Apparently Sponge Bob was a big fat fail because he fell off.

You've probably all seen what I am wearing many times before: Jigsaw boyfriend jeans, Boden cashmere jumper, M&S shoes, Zara parka and Kate Spade bag.  I quite liked the jumper and the shoes together - the colours were the same but the prints were different and because there wasn't too much of either, and because they weren't too close together, they didn't fight with one another.

I came across these sandals from Red Herring (£31.60) whilst on my travels yesterday and thought that I would share them with you. It has to be said that they look better in the flesh but they are really attention grabbing when you walk past them. It's partly the colour and partly the slightly retro feel about them - they reminded me of something that Orla Kiely would design - although I should add that these aren't leather, which for some will be a good thing. The block heel is really cute and they would do a great job of brightening up darker coloured trousers or jeans. Anyway, just another idea!


Monday, 12 May 2014

A smart/casual outfit for an hourglass figure from Phase Eight and Next

When I saw this outfit on a lady with a size 16 hourglass figure today, I really liked it on her - so I thought that I would share it with you. Even she said "Oooh, you can see that I have an hourglass figure now." Hourglass figures suit a more fitted shape, rather than loose slouchy pieces which just cover up the curves - but there's that balance between wearing clothes that are fitted but which aren't overly formal or too trussed up.

Whilst the Sabina top from Phase Eight (£23.20 instead of £39) looks as though it has a high neckline, in fact it has quite a scoop on it, so it flatters a fuller bust. The draping and the way that it nips in and ties at the waist makes it really flattering, particularly given that a lot of the tops at the moment are really square - and therefore completely the wrong shape for an hourglass figure.

Lots of curvier ladies steer away from more fitted trousers, especially if they are printed, thinking that they won't be flattering - but these Erica Trousers from Phase Eight (£55.20 instead of £69) look great on. Being from Phase Eight, they are cut well, with a slightly higher rise than lots of other brands. They also have 3% elastane in them, which makes them really comfortable and a little more forgiving.

These navy Next wedges £35 do a great job of adding height, whilst still being comfortable. The deep scoop at the front of the shoe draws the eye downwards, elongating the leg. They also come in a nude colour. These are quite a safe option colour wise, so the addition of coral, or pink, shoes would also be nice - but sometimes small steps are necessary and for anyone nervous of a printed trouser for the first time, navy or nude shoes may feel slightly safer.

I like the way that Phase Eight have styled the trousers here. It's a simple but stylish outfit for anyone who is looking for something just that little bit different - but not too way out, as the warmer weather approaches. Phase Eight currently has 20% off in Debenhams (as do Coast, starting from tomorrow) so this linen knit jumper from Phase Eight  is £47.20 instead of £59.

It's just an idea - hope that you like it!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

An outfit of 50 shades of blue, plus gems from a large ironing pile!!!

And for last night's evening out with Mr SG, out of the wardrobe of blue came ..... an outfit of blue! Now there's a surprise! The plan was to walk to the restaurant but it was drizzling slightly and because Mr SG doesn't do rain, or mud, for that matter, that plan was abandoned. However at least it meant that my trainers weren't lurking under the table in a plastic bag which they would have been otherwise - classy! The reason for my open toed shoes, despite the rain, was because a friend of mine and I went for a ridiculously long run in the rain yesterday and my toes were too sore to put any kind of going out shoes anywhere near them.

The only really current pieces from this outfit are the Lena jersey jacket from Whistles (£95) and the silk front sweater from Jigsaw (£89). Other than that I wore my New Look (magically expanding to fit any shape you are) skinny jeans and Mango block heeled shoes - I've seen similar ones all over the place this year to include Clarks (£49.99)

and Boden (£99) which also come in gold, tan, hibiscus and navy. The good thing about the Clarks ones is that for anyone who is uncertain about wearing an ankle strap, depending on your skin tone, they blend in pretty well so you avoid that leg chopping off effect. But then again I do love the blue ones from Boden.

I've said it before and I'll say it again but getting to the bottom of the ironing pile (or cupboard in our case) opens up a whole new wardrobe.  Today I re-discovered all manner of things I had forgotten about so whilst obviously there's now more blue in my wardrobe than there was before, there are also some other colours too. And some things have been there for so long that, having gone completely out of fashion, they have now come back in again. Result! (I might just do a whole week of posts on outfits that I found in the ironing cupboard!)

Friday, 9 May 2014

Does anyone else like blue as much as I do?! I've illustrated the point with pieces from Whistles, Jigsaw, Boden, Hush and GAP

I have friend who refers to her Mother in Law's house as "The land of brown." Everything in it from the carpets, to the crockery, to the candlewick bedspread, are brown.

I've decided that my wardrobe should be re-named "The wardrobe of blue" because so many things in it are blue.  My love of navy arose many, many years ago - as did my dislike of brown (other than pieces that are in leather) - I blame the 70's!

As to other shades of blue, I remember buying a pale blue top from Whistles in 1998 on a hot weekend to Leeds, just days before I found out that I was pregnant with number one. That explained the weird feeling that I had all weekend! I didn't possess that many clothes then and I loved that top. It was worn and washed until it went frilly around the bottom.

Anyway, these are a few of my favourite blue things at the moment. First off, there's the Lisa dress from Hush (£60). It's just arrived and I have yet to try it on but that day will come soon. I fear that it won't look quite the same as it does on the lady below!

I treated myself to this silk front sweater from Jigsaw (£89) with my Mother's Day Gift Card (it's amazing how far that seems to be going!) I'm really looking forward to wearing this. Just need somewhere to go now...

Ah, now I have my eye on these - the geo print trousers from Jigsaw (£89). I think that they will work well on my hols with my Boden sparkly sandals and I fancy some wide legged trousers for a wardrobe freshen up.

Eh, you can't beat a bit of navy and when the sun comes out and the legs are a little less blue than they are now (blue legs are one thing I'm not so fond of) this navy tube skirt from Whistles (£55) will be good to go.

For a sunny day, this blue Chambray dress from Cos (£69) with its 60's neckline and neat fitted shape will be a good backdrop to lots of different accessories.

This sweatshirt top from GAP (£19.99) is also a current favourite and now you can start to see what I mean. There's a lot of blue going on right now.

For a beach cover up, the Birkby Liberty print dress from Jack Wills  will come into its own. By the time I finally ended up with the right size, it had been reduced to £54, down from £79 - so it was worth the wait.

Over the years I've flirted with lots of different colours. We all know that I have a penchant for pink, am mad about metallics, go crazy for coral, am nuts about neon and and I love lilac - see I'm in lilac here (it's not blue)....

...but I always come back to blue.  Some colours make me feel positively unsettled. We once moved into a house where the living room was decorated in a shade of terracotta. Needless to say it was soon changed - to duck egg blue.  I just couldn't sit in it. Other colours make me look like my days are numbered, or in this case, up completely. (Not that I don't love these cropped cashmere cardis from Boden (£89) and they do have some great colours - but you get my drift.)

Currently I have my eye on these Liberty print Nike trainers from Office (£74.99) and guess what, they're blue.

But then I also really, really, like these printed shorts from GAP - see, no blue! Maybe all is not lost. However on many other levels, it so seriously could be (aged 43, three children, legs on show hmmmm)! Maybe I'll just wear them when it's boiling hot and blame it on sunstroke....

..or maybe I'll just buy some in blue.