Thursday, January 31, 2013

Outfit: 30x30 Day 2, Outfit 2




Georgia Rose red booties

I don’t have much to say today really, so I’ll keep it brief. I love the lace tights over the red tights so expect to see this again with other colours as the underneath layer.


Last night I had a lovely lazy evening. I watched an episode of Gossip Girl, did the ironing and fiddled around online trying to find a solution to my comments problem. I think it’s all fixed now but I just need to test it from my iPad. I think the problem was that Disqus for mobile devices wasn’t enabled. Fingers crossed it’s all sorted.

Black cardi – New Look Tall
Black dress – H&M
Red belt – mall market stall
Red tights – Primark
Black lace tights – gifted
Red suede booties – Georgia Rose (c/o Sarenza)
Grey leopard print scarf – c/o Moodys
Red beads – Claire’s
Silver hoops – gifted

Total Est. Cost £61


I seem to be having some trouble with my comments still, I'm not sure Disqus has installed properly.  I think I know what I need to do to fix it, I just need to get time to do it.  I published the comments I got last night but they don't seem to be showing up on the posts.  I can see them in the Blogger Dashboard though, and I replied to one but that isn't showing up either!  I will try to have this rectified by the weekend.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Outfit: 30x30 Day 1, Outfit 1




It’s a polka party today! I couldn’t resist putting my spotted skirt over my spotted dress. I toned it down a bit with the cardi but overall I am pleased with the effect. This skirt is usually in my spring/summer wardrobe but I added it to my 30 items as I really like it. If I wear it with fleecy tights and boots (as I am today) I think I’ll be warm enough in it.


Last night I went to step class at the gym and when I got back we had a Weight Watchers sticky toffee pudding with custard. Not bad for a low(ish) points treat. We watched Mythbusters and I played on my iPad a bit.


It’s so windy here today. The radio this morning said that they’d had gusts of 129mph in Scotland last night. It keeps pouring with rain too, which is nice. I’d wish for the snow to be back, but that could be a reality at the weekend looking at the forecast. Ah January, are you nearly done?

Black cardi – New Look Tall
Navy spot dress (worn as a top) – Topshop Tall
Black and white spot skirt – New Look (charity shop)
Black tights – Primark
Black leather boots – Arturo Chiang (Century 21)
Blue glitter belt – H&M
Blue beads – gifted
Silver hoops – gifted

Total Est. Cost £133

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

30x30: The List of Items!

30x30 Sweaters

4 Sweaters:
Bench black crew neck
New Look Tall grey v neck
LTS black polo neck
LTS red polo neck

30x30 Skirts

2 Skirts:
J Jasper Conran denim pleat
New Look black and white polka dot

30x30 Short Sleeve Top

1 Short Sleeve Top:
H&M navy ruched top

30x30 Shirt

1 Shirt:
H&M denim

30x30 Long Sleeve Tops

5 Long Sleeve Tops:
LTS turquoise
Forever 21 navy and cream stripe
LTS red
Kew 159 red stripe
H&M teal

30x30 Jeans and Pants

4 Pairs of Jeans/Trousers:
Armarni straight legs jeans
MiH flared jeans
New Look Tall red jeans
LTS navy cords

30x30 Jackets

2 Jackets:
LTS black blazer
Topshop Tall grey check jacket

30x30 Dresses

3 Dresses:
H&M black dress
Topshop Tall navy and white polka dot dress
Kew 159 grey knit dress

30x30 Cardis

2 Cardis:
Next Tall navy crew neck
New Look Tall black v neck

30x30 Boots and Shoes

6 Pairs of Boots/Shoes:
Arturo Chiang black heeled knee hight boots
Georgia Rose tan flat knee high boots
LK Bennett navy patent wedges
Deichmann Shoes tan brogues
Georgia Rose red suede booties
Bocage leopard print booties

For those of you who have joined us recently and don’t know the rules of this challenge – there aren’t really any rules. The idea is that you choose 30 items of clothing and use them to create 30 different outfits over a period of 30 days. You can do 30 days straight (which is what I intend to do), weekdays only, or whatever you choose. There is a shopping ban that comes with the challenge but as I had already put myself on one of those for a couple of months from the beginning of January anyway, that’s by the by. You choose your 30 items and then can add whatever accessories you wish – tights, scarves, jewellery, etc. I will be counting leggings as tights because as we all know: leggings are not trousers! You are also free to wear whatever coats, snow boots and outerwear that the weather dictates necessary.

I have tried to incorporate items that are different from the last time I did this challenge (2 years ago), but there are some old favourites in there.  I guess that's just testament to the longevity of certain items in my  wardrobe.

Outfit: Trainers on Tuesday




Esprit Lexa Wedge Trainers

This is something of a departure for me: trainers in the office. Such a rebel, I know. But I really wanted to give these a wearing before I start the 30x30 tomorrow (list of items coming later today!) and am restricted in my footwear choices. And yes, I could have put them with jeans at the weekend, but I wanted to challenge myself to style them a little differently.


I think I am most excited by the fact that these trainers have Velcro fastenings. When I was a child I always had abnormally large feet due to my height, and so the cutesy little girl trainers that had Velcro on them never fitted me. It was lace ups all the way for me, and by the time I was about 12 I had to wear mens’ styles as ladies’ only went up to a size 7. Thank goodness for enlightenment in the footwear industry that they now make women’s shoes in a size 8 and beyond!


Last night I went to the gym and spent time on the cross trainer and the treadmill. I am trying to get back into using the equipment because over the past year I’ve just been going to classes. I did find out that my Monday night abs class has been re-instated though so I’ll have to see whether I can fit that in again. I distracted myself from the fact that I was exercising by watching half of Coronation Street via the subtitles and with my mp3 player on, so that was an interesting combination. Add to the fact that I only recognise a handful of characters and had no idea what was going on as I don’t usually watch Corrie and it was very distracting indeed!

Black polo neck sweater – Long Tall Sally
Black skirt – Long Tall Sally (eBay)
Black tights – H&M
Burgundy wedge trainers – Esprit (c/o Sarenza)
Leopard print scarf – H&M
Silver and cream beads – New Look
Silver hoops – gifted

Total Est. Cost £72

Monday, January 28, 2013

Outfit: Monday, Monday



Matalan Snakeskin

It’s Monday again! I’m sure they come around quicker than every other day in the week. I have pattern mixing in triplicate going on today – snakeskin, leopard and


Last night I spent ages making various tweaks to the layout of my blog, and marvelling at the power of the internet to provide answers to all the questions I had about fixing HTML errors and things. I also finalised my 30x30 list so I just need to pull out all the items and photograph them now – I find having a visual aid helps me to create outfits from my items too.


Tonight I am going to the gym – there is no snow to get me out of it today so no excuses. I’ve even put a new battery in my mp3 player so I’ll have some good tunes to work out to.

Grey knit dress – New Look Tall (eBay)
Grey stripe top – Dorothy Perkins Tall
Burgundy tights – H&M
Snakeskin belt – local boutique
Snakeskin shoes – Matalan
Leopard print scarf – c/o Moodys
Red beads - eBay

Total Est. Cost £52

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I have just installed Disqus for commenting on my blog and it is currently importing all existing comments across.  This could take up to 24 hours apparently so if your comment has disappeared it is (hopefully) only temporary and should reappear soon!  I love getting comments on my blog so if you have something to say, please don't be shy and feel free to leave me a comment.

Weekend Recap




Hunter wellies black

On Friday night we got another big snowstorm so when we woke up Saturday morning it white over everywhere again. I spent the morning making soup, cleaning the bathroom and vaccing whilst the young man joined some of the other chaps in the street in clearing the snow.


After lunch we headed out for a walk. I took a snap of the back garden before we went – you can see how deep the snow had got from the footprints.

Black cardi – New Look Tall
Grey stripe top – Dorothy Perkins Tall
Grey thermal top – F+F at Tesco (men’s)
Burgundy jeans – Dorothy Perkins Tall
Hunter wellies – c/o Fitness Footwear

Total Est. Cost £57



Merrell Waterproof


Pateley Bridge park - green grass is visible again!

What a difference a day makes. There was heavy rain overnight last night and so much of the snow had dissipated by the time we got up this morning. We had a lazy morning then took a drive up to Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale. We had tea and scones in a tea room by the river and then had a wander up the high street. We went in The Oldest Sweet Shop in England and bought Liquorice Gums (the young man) and Rhubarb & Custards (me) and then went into The Crown pub and sat by the fire for a while. We took the scenic route home over the hills and then had a quiet evening in.

Navy faux-wrap top – Long Tall Sally (eBay)
Green and navy stripe top – H&M
Jeans – New Look
Blue infinity scarf – gifted
Walking boots – Merrell (c/o Fitness Footwear)

Total Est. Cost £40

Reader Question: Are there any colours that don’t go together?

When I saw this question my first instinct was to say no. No, there aren’t really any colours that don’t go together any more. Old taboos can now be freely broken – pairings such as navy/black, pink/red, pink/orange, brown/black etc are all fine these days. My colleague was wearing pink and burgundy the day I wrote this, and it looked great!

I will add my usual proviso here though, and say that when you wear say navy and black together you should look as though you meant to do it. A navy dress or trousers with a black top, black shoes and perhaps a blue or navy scarf is good; navy tights with a black dress and black shoes is not. As long as it looks deliberate (as opposed to looking like you got dressed in the dark) then you will be fine. I say this a lot but a good way to tie together two colours you are unsure about is to use a print that incorporates both colours. Leopard print is a great example for making a black/brown pairing look intentional as it will usually include both colours, plus a mix of oranges, creams and possibly yellows.

I will just give one caveat to the above and that is you might want to avoid wearing red and green together if it’s not December. There’s nothing wrong with pairing these colours and if you want to do it, go for it, but to me they tend to look a bit Christmassy together so personally I would avoid it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Week in Instagrams...

The second mammoth snowfall of the week - the garden on Saturday morning
The lads at work built a snowman on Monday - he was 'armless!

Working from home means a cooked dinner - scrambled eggs on toast on Monday
Monday's snow
Tea on Sunday: hot pot

Cosied up by the fire last weekend
Chocolate melting middle pudding from M&S, a snowy Saturday night treat
The snow in my village on Monday dinnertime

How To Make Custard With Skimmed Milk

When I asked what you wanted to see on this blog, someone said they’d like some recipes as I am always cooking and baking. Happy to oblige, here is my custard recipe. It’s not from scratch using eggs or anything fancy, but it is ‘proper’ custard as in custard powder and milk, none of this instant nonsense. Making custard is not difficult, but when I switched to skimmed milk last year I suddenly found I’d lost my knack. The milk kept burning on the bottom of the pan and custard that tastes of burnt milk is not good. So I thought I’d share my tips for making my healthy custard. This has 2PP per portion on Weight Watchers if you make it like this.

You will need (per person – scale up as necessary)
¼ pint skimmed milk (plus 1 dessert spoon for mixing)
1 heaped dessert spoon custard powder
½ dessert spoon sucralose sweetener (you can use white sugar but it will be more WW points)

Put the ¼ milk into a pan and put it on a high heat
Mix the sweetener, custard powder and the rest of the milk together in a jug (you may need to add a little more if it won’t mix) until you have a smooth mix with no lumps.
When the milk starts to steam in the pan, pour it into the jug and mix. Now here’s the trick. Pour the whole lot back into the pan and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens.

Ordinarily when making custard you’re supposed to heat the milk until it boils but I found that this is when it started to catch and burn on the bottom of the pan when using skimmed milk. By making it into custard part way through heating, then putting it back in to thicken it won’t burn and you will have fabulous custard!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Outfit: Pink and Burgundy



Next black & cream

There is a TV in the kitchen at work and more often than not it is tuned to Challenge TV. If you’ve ever caught any of Challenge TV during the day you will know that they show reruns of quiz shows (Supermarket Sweep seems to be on a lot at the moment) from the early- or mid-1990s. Sometimes when I catch sight of these shows I can’t help but marvel at some of the things the contestants are wearing. Did we really dress like that? I wonder whether my niece will look back in 20 years time at pictures of my sister and me from now and think the same thing. Skinny jeans? Really? Ugg boots?


Last night I did the supermarket shop, mostly at Aldi but then I went to Tesco for the few bits Aldi didn’t have. (You don’t sell custard or oxtail soup Aldi? What’s that about?!) Then I went home, unpacked the shopping and watched a couple of episodes of Gossip Girl with some tea and toasted muffins. Just the way to spend a cold evening.


It’s the weekend and we have no plans as far as I know which is just fine by me. I’d like to get out for a walk if possible but I think there’s some heavy rain forecast.

Pink top – H&M
Black cashmere sweater – F&F at Tesco
Burgundy jeans – Dorothy Perkins Tall
Black jacket – Long Tall Sally
Black and cream shoes – Next (charity shop)
Pink beads – gifted
Silver hoops – gifted

Total Est. Cost £92

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tall PJs

If you are tall (like I am) you may be getting fed up with pyjama trouser legs that flap around your ankles (or mid-calves, depending how short they are). Why are pyjama trousers only made in one length in the regular shops? My sister who is only about 5’7” even finds them too short.

I had a query from a reader a while back (and this is a post I’ve been meaning to write for ages) asking where I bought pyjamas as her elder daughter is 5’9” (and possibly still growing) and needed something in a longer length than the high street could provide. Luckily, many of the tall shops stock PJs, so here are my picks for the best of the bunch.  Mums with tall teens, listen up!

Long Tall Sally
LTS’s PJ sets are quite expensive I find but last season they started selling just the 36” inside leg trousers as separates, which could then be mixed and matched with one of their long sleeve t shirts, or any other top you already own. Genius! Their summer range is now in stock so check out these gingham pyjama bottoms for £25

Next Tall
Next’s tall range is usually a good place to try but their selection of ridiculous onesies and sheer backed PJ tops this season leave me struggling to recommend them. Perhaps have another look in August when the A/W range comes in?

Tall Girls
This navy blue set looks like it has a lovely long top as well as long trousers legs. I find it really annoying if my PJ top is too short and I end up with a gap on my back because of it. Being someone who is cold the majority of the time, that’s the last thing I need when I’m trying to stay cosy and sleep. The inside leg is 36” and they are £45.