Outfit: Uniqlo grey alpaca / wool blend crew neck jumper (love it. £15. Love it) | Primark black cotton long sleeved top | TopShop White Baxter jeans | Marks and Spencer Autograph ponyskin ankle boots (love these boots – cannot stop wearing them) | Zara grey floral necklace
Am a little –hungover– tired after going out for my birthday dinner w Husband last night, so its a super quick outfit post only, from me. While I gulp down another coffee and try and get my enthusiasm up for helping in the Santa’s Grotto at the Eldest Bolter’s school today [wince].
I’m not dressed and look like hell, so this is definitely a photo from the other day!
Outfit: Massimo Dutti black wool pea coat | Mango black and cream checked top | TopShop Baxter skinnies | Aldo Frorani red leather ankle boots
I think I’m going to have to get my sparkle on soon… Wincing again at the thought.
It was my birthday yesterday, so I bought myself a pony and some flowers. Here is my pony:
Oh how I love these Marks & Spencer Autograph ponyskin boots! So glossy and luxe, and comfortable. And only £69, so, thank you Marks & Spencer. I had wanted them for a while, but they had sold out. Except that last week I just looked and 1 pair in a 6.5 must have been returned and was showing as available. I ordered them within seconds! These boots come in a few different colours and finishes, some of which aren’t available any more, but you can still buy the pewter and wine versions (which I admit that I also have and love). Of course, there are lots of other, horrible boots still available at M&S – why do they make the odd fantastic item and then promptly sell out of it? Focus your efforts on the good stuff, M&S!.
Anyway, ponyskin is a recent love of mine. I like having and wearing black in various textures and finishes, and ponyskin is more deeply coloured than leather (as is suede), and the sleekness of it looks wonderfully luxe. If you want a pony, too, how about these Mango ankle boots?
Now for my flowers, here they are:
As I was saying to the other WornOut ladies, I don’t actually want to shop in Zara, as its so ubiquitous, but no other retailer can match their quality and styling at such a reasonable price point. Where else could I get a heavy, wonderfully detailed necklace like this for £30?!
Mango Touch has some similarly lovely jewellery, but Mango clothes can be so hit and miss, and its not easy to sort through it all (doesn’t stop me trying!). For another example, I went into Banana Republic and, while a lot of their clothes are superior in quality to Zara, its comparatively conservative (so, I choose carefully, so I don’t look too prim) and much of their jewellery felt light and plasticky (some of it is very good, though). So, if I was only able to shop at one shop (the horror, the horror!), I would choose Zara. Do you like this argument of “Its not my fault I shop at Zara”?
Now, talking of Zara, this top looks incredible on the hanger, but, when I tried it on, tinsel flew off it, and my hair literally stood on end. However, if you can cope with that (I couldn’t), I expect this would look amazing over a simple sleeveless bodycon dress or leather leggings. its a strange cut, though – see the very high side cuts. Still, I am including it in this post as its quite spectacular looking, and ’tis the season for all things that sparkle.
I should admit that I also bought this fabulous iridescent sequin and velvet skirt from TopShop (£42), which I plan to wear with a plain black knit and opaques and the pony (or some shoe boots). Its ridiculously theatrical, but I love it.
While I was in TopShop, I also admired this jacquard skirt (£34), which is a little less flamboyant, but very beautiful, if you are looking for something festive:
As to what I wore, my outfit was: H&M girls’ faux fur scarf (old) | Massimo Dutti black pea coat | Banana Republic breton (which I have managed to shrink, but actually its more flattering a little smaller) | Zara super skinny jeans | Marks & Spencer Autograph ponyskin boots (a 7.5 just came back in stock!)
A couple of life’s greatest pleasures and I indulged in both today, how lucky.
The weather was raging outside; gale force winds, rain, snow, it was all happening…. Meanwhile, I had an absolutely blissful afternoon of baking and book shopping (online) for my soon to be 5 year old boy.
The books first. I love The Book People and shop there often. Lots of real bargains at the moment. I prefer hardbacks for childrens books and ordered the following.
Again, we have all the paperback books – this is one to keep when the others die.
Lego – say no more.
All 3 , well 6 actually, for less than £20. I used the code AFHOLLY for a further 15% off and remembered to buy via Quidco.
I also ordered some Usborne Sticker books (2 for £5!!), the Save with Jamie book for myself (cheapest I’ve seen it and very good, I ordered from the library first to road test) and this fantastic doodle book.
I’ve bought quite a few beautiful hardback books from Amazon recently too. I’ll share them with you another time.
Now the biscuits – Chocolate Oaties - too easy and sooo good. Painting the melted chocolate onto the biscuits is a particularly soothing activity, when the kids are at school, natch.
Keep safe in the storms!
I went to a wonderful surprise lunch party today. My friend is leaving these shores to live in the UAE for a few years; she’ll be missed.
I wore a slightly more winterised version of this outfit;
Charlie Bighams do a delicious, creamy fish pie.
Except, that, at 680g, one is not enough to feed our family (Husband is a Big Eater), so I thought I would try and make a large one of my own, from scratch. Only I am time poor (the Bolters hate me spending time in the kitchen, behind the kitchen gate), so I needed to find the quickest way to make one. I took the shortcuts from both Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson‘s recipes and here is my quick, easy, delicious fish pie. I am writing this in a hurry (as per), so please excuse any lack of precision – I don’t think it matters, anyway, as its that sort of pie.
- 700g Ocado fish pie mix (salmon, haddock and smoked pollock)
- dill or parsley
- grated cheddar cheese
- 100 ml creme fraiche (I use half fat)
- 100 ml thick cream (I use half fat)
- grated carrot, chopped spinach (up to 40g max unless you want a pie that looks like it was made by the Incredible Hulk), grated courgette
- mashed potato (this frozen mash by Waitrose is the cheapest, and its still delicious)
If you have small children, chop the fish pie mix up a bit more with scissors. Poach the fish pie mix in milk for 5 minutes. Drain.
Put fish pie mix in a baking dish. In the same dish, use the scissors to chop up some dill or parsley, directly over the dish (to taste), grate in some cheddar (to taste), pour in the creme fraiche and cream, finely grate in half the rind of a lemon, grate in some carrot (to taste), scissor up some fresh spinach (the pie will turn green if you put in more than 40g, which is half a small bag) and courgette. Or whatever vegetables your children will tolerate. Stir it all around.
Top with as much of the frozen mash (it comes in tiny bars and I put it on the pie when frozen, and then try and mash it up a bit half way through cooking. You might want to drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top. Bake in a moderate oven for 30-40 minutes.
Easy (takes me 10 mins to prepare) and delicious, even according to my very fussy children.
Picture from Jamie Oliver’s recipe
So, here I am in my painted ankle boots. Husband is still all “raised eyebrows” about them. But I don’t care – I’m so happy to have done something crafty and fun. So much so that I just bought 2 of the Jacquard Lumiere (metallic) and Neopaque (non-metallic) paint sets that contain 14 new colours for me to tinker with. I want some British racing green ankle boots, ideally in the same sort of shade as these divine LK Bennett Dillon courts.
At which point, Husband asked why I don’t just buy the boots I want. I would, if I could find any nice coloured boots under £300 per pair! Since I can’t, I will have some fun with my new paints, hopefully on some (new with defects – scratches) ankle boots I am bidding on on eBay. Naturally, I will keep you posted. Lucky you, Reader!
Oh, and do you like my new bracelet? I love it – apparently its meant to be a series of feathers, but it looks kind of like hedgehog quills, to me. I do love my sparkles, I do.
Outfit: Uniqlo black wool heavy gauge roll neck | Only patched jeans | White Stuff Daisy boots painted Jacquard Lumiere Pewter | Bracelet from the National Gallery shop (£14)
Outfit: French Connection grey wool coat | baby blue cashmere roll neck jumper | New Look black biker jeans | Sam Edelman Adena slippers
And wouldn’t these Warehouse earrings be perfect with this outfit? They are so sweet.
Need a flattering, spangly dress that’s a little bit ladylike? May I suggest this terrific number that I happened to spy in Oasis. I don’t have anywhere to wear this dress, but thought I’d try it just to see how flattering this nice tucking and ruching at the waist is. Well, it’s lovely. And seriously flattering. Get your sparkle on! DECTREAT for 20% off.
About twice a year The Beau and I get invited to some horse racing. A corporate day out is not normally my cup of tea, but I make an exception for the races, as I get to wear a hat.
Yesterday was a crisp and freezing day at Newbury for the Hennessey Gold Cup, but despite the cold, my furry Cossack hat insisted that I made plenty of trips outside to show it off, so I was able to make a in depth study of race goer style, and see if I could spot any thoroughly decent chaps in red trousers. Tweed was the hottest pick of the day; tweed and fur. My fur hat is from Faux Play, who make to order, to your measurements, have dozens of different furs to choose from, and will send you fabric samples to help you decide. I am currently trying to make my mind up on a second one. The decision is a difficult one, and I have lost my heart to both the navy and the plum coloured furs. Red trouser count of the day was a disappointing five pairs, but I suspect I wasn’t looking hard enough.