Friday, 24 March 2017

Trend Trial: Layering Dresses Over Jeans ( & #Passion4Fashion LinUp!!)

Dresses over jeans is one of those good old styles that's veered its ever so practical head once again. I remember rocking dresses over jeans in the 90's and early 00's, and lately I've spotted some cool people/ street style posts in articles and on pintrest.
I think what killed the trend for me was when leggings came in to affect.. and feel free to shoot me a scornful look, but i have a complete aversion to leggings and dresses, leggings in general really (exception is exercise or lounge wear only), I just don't like them (sorry). I rocked the leggings under dresses thing and just look back with regrets, to be fair it was fairly ubiquitous here in the UK at the time. But i swore i would not do it again ( I hope my sister isn't reading, she still wears leggings with dresses). Jeans or trousers however does create a rather interesting silhouette. Its fun its flirty and yet totally practical too.
I'd been dying to wear this dress a bit more as i hadn't worn it since December (which annoys me, you know me, I like to get lots of wear out of everything in my wardrobe!), so inspired by the returning trend i layered the star print dress with my favourite topshop jeans and trusty biker jacket.
It felt great!
I felt pretty in a dress, like party pretty up top, and then practical and functional on the bottom, enabling me to clean and tidy and play on the floor with out feeling 'precious' in a dress.
This particular dress is so lovely with its wave drop hem, i found myself swishing through the day.
So i think its fair to say this is a trend i will definitely be wearing again!

What are your thoughts on layering Dresses over Jeans?
I would highly recommend giving it a go.

Outfit Details

Star Print Dress Options:


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Discrepancy in Clothing Sizes on The British High Street and How it Shouldn't Effect YOU!

Last week I filmed a segment for a BBC Wales programme X-Ray. Its regarding a prominent thought that seems to be in the forefront of women's minds, on TV and social media of late.
The programme is here: (We're the last segment)

The programme shows an experiment where we shop in 6 well known High street stores for the same style pair of jeans (mid rise skinny fit) in the same size from each store.
I brought my sister along for the experiment, so we shopped for a UK size 10 for me and a UK size 12 for my lovely sister to see what the outcome would be for each retailers size.
We then tried each pair of jeans on and saw first hand what a difference in inches there actually is. It was remarkable how each pair were labelled with a Size 10 or 12 and yet they measured and fit completely differently.

The question was posed: Should UK high street retailers standardise their sizes for continuity of shopping?

Before taking part in this experiment (and making my TV debut, ha!) I read an article about a women who broke down in tears in the changing rooms due to the disheartening size system, and how it knocked her self-esteem to have to size up multiple times to get the jeans to even do up.
And this isn't the first time I've heard this, it is fairly common to hear women exclaim that they hate shopping (Jean shopping in-particular), that it can be an upsetting experience where the size they thought they were just don't fit, causing stressful situations in the changing rooms and generally making you feel a bit rubbish about yourself.

My sister admitted throwing pieces down in temper and leaving the shop immediately, finding that her mood had taken a very swift down turn in reflection of the unfair sizing of items.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever taken the item in your size in to the changing room to find it doesn't even come close to fitting even though your shape hasn't changed since the last time you bought jeans?

After seeing the difference in inches between each brand it was clear that the High Street doesn't and probably won't be standardising on sizes anytime soon, however as women we should not let this effect us.
That number on your item of clothing does not reflect who YOU are as a person. It doesn't even reflect your true size as these numerical figures that the shops have generated aren't an accurate account of our sizing in the slightest. These UK 8, 10,12,14, 16 etc are just reference to an article of clothing that this shop has given to its pieces. 

This number doesn't represent how wonderful you are, how your body is doing miraculous things each and every day to keep you standing, moving and breathing, this number doesn't mean you are a good or bad person, this number doesn't even mean that you are fat or thin or anything inbetween.
It is just a number.

I was talking to my step daughter about this and how women feel pressured to fit in to certain 'Number Size'. I explained to her that this fictious number is a loose reference at most. It is a way for the shop to reference stock. It is not a representation of any given person.
I don't want her to grow up fearing sizes. I don't want her or any women to try to prise themselves in to certain 'number size' because society dictates which size is cool and which isn't.

It is so important that we look past the numbers and look at who we are and what we feel comfortable in.

For example, if we removed all the sizing tags and referencing from 6 pairs of jeans we would choose the ones that fit the best and feel the most comfortable.
The  dreaded 'Number Size' would be irrelevant.
We would just be happy in the fact that we got ourselves a lovely new pair of jeans and they fitted just as we want them to.
That's how shopping should be!
Yes sometimes you have to try on multiple items before you get the winning pair, which i know is an inconvenience, but surely its better to try before you buy and look for a winning pair that fit like a dream rather than getting upset over a retailers reference.

So after our shopping experiment there is some sound advice to partake for ladies looking to go shopping without feeling the shopping blues:

  • Be open minded. Get those certain numbers out your head straight away.
  • Take a number of different sizes in to the changing rooms with you, don't be afraid to try on a size bigger than you think or smaller. The stores products really do vary in inches, it is not a representation of you, it is about finding your best fit.
  • Try new shops. We are all prone to falling in to the same old haunts when it comes to shopping, but branching out and trying new shops may open your mind to new clothing pieces. Plus each store cuts their products slightly differently. For me I love Topshop jeans and highly recommend them (this is because they work on waist inch basis rather than their UK sizing of 10,12 etc), my sister would never have stepped foot in Topshop previously, deeming it to young, but lo and behold the jeans were her absolute favourite out of all 6 that we tried on. It all goes back to being open minded.
  • Make shopping a fun experience. Get your mate, sister, mum (or me!) to go with you. Someone you trust and who is fair and honest. There's no need to shop alone if it depresses you, bring someone along who can help keep the mood light and offer practical advice.
  • If you're ordering online, try a company that offers free returns (most do these days) and order a few sizes if you can. This way you can gauge in the comfort of your own home what fits you best.
Remember you want to look your best, we all do, and that has nothing to do with the retailers number system. I have sizes 6, 8, 10 and 12 in my wardrobe and i wear all of them because they fit me, i no longer care what the tag says and just go by how they look, fit and feel.

Ditch the labelling ladies! You will be a damn site happier for it i promise you.


Monday, 20 March 2017

March Love List

March has been one rainy day after the other (or so it seems!) I'm hoping we've had our allotted amount of April showers early maybe? Lets hope as this constant rain is DEpressing! Ok so enough of weather chit chat, you don't come here to talk weather forecasts now do you ;)

March has flown by at a crazy rate( i'm aware i say that every month, seriously am i going to be like 90 in the blink of an eye??!) and the weeks have kind of blurred, but a few things have stood out and those are these things:

1. Fashion

Some of the mid season sales are in action and I have bagged myself a couple of goodies, in particular this maxi dress from Warehouse  and some panel leg raw hem jeans from Next, both absolute bargains. I've already worn the dress and can not wait to wear it again but with my red boots- another sale favourite, and i'm currently awaiting the arrival of the jeans, but shall keep you posted.

2. Eats

Zizzi's Gluten free vegan pasta is uh-mazing! So is their strawberry sorbet which is the tastiest sorbet i've ever tried.

3. Face

So i ran out of my Elf foundation and for a while reverted back to my Chanel old foundation to tide me over whilst i ordered and awaited delivery of the Elf product. What i realised however was how much i actually prefer the Elf foundation (which is cruelty free and vegan) and what a better foundation it is for me and my skin. When i apply the Elf product it lasts the majority of the day, is build-able and gives a great coverage and most importantly doe not go greasy/oily.
As a contrast the Chanel makes me look oily after about 3 hours and by lunch time i would say there is not a great deal left coverage wise. I also find it clings to dry patches and can be quite 'clumpy' in areas when applying.
The ELF Studio finish flawless foundation is a fraction of the price and is by far (for me) a superior product. I'm currently wearing the shade 'Natural' but progress on to Sand come summer, both are perfect matches for my skin through out the year and is an absolute delight for the skin.

4. Media

So i haven't been reading much, which makes me a bit sad, so I'm making a conscious effort once again to pick up a book. I read The Stylist which was a great fun light hearted read and now i'm wizzing through a short stories book by Victoria Hislop.
TV wise i absolutely LOVED and watched in 2 sittings Catastrophe on Amazon Prime. Hilarious, slightly wrong humour which is just my thing. Even the husband loved it. Written and starring  by Rob Delaney and Sharon Hogan it tells the story of an unlikely couple who suddenly find themselves together. Comedy gold.

5. Life

Bit of a different day in my life last week. My sister and I filmed for BBC wales a segment for the TV programme X-ray. Its being aired tonight at 7.30pm so if you can get BBC One Wales in your area and fancy seeing me on your TV then please go have a watch. The subject is about clothing sizes on the British High Street, which i will be following up with a post too, but i think its something we as ladies can all relate to.
So yes, that day Rhiannon and I saw how a TV segment is broken down and filmed and often then repeated and filmed again from different angles. I was so impressed by the sheer amount of work and tenacity from the staff filming, it made me realise how hard they work to piece an episode together.
Great fun and a very different type of day for me.

So my lovelies, what have you been up to in the month of March? What have you read, bought loved?
Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments, I love to hear what you've been up to!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Green Coat of Dreams (& #Passion4Fashion Linkup)

Ok so i've been banging on about this Green Coat since i got it a mere few weeks ago. It has been on constant repeat and i don't even care if every outfit is based around this coat right now. Seeing as we're still in what feels like the depths of winter most days its nice to have this giant cuddle of a coat to wear. Plus it just seems to go with everything. So wear it I shall be, for the foreseeable at least. I also picked these Red boots up after being on the hunt for the perfect pair (not too high, comfy yet smart) and they're a delight for the feet. I was a little bit cautious that the red and green in the outfit would scream 'Christmas' But i think being at opposite ends and broken with the neutrals makes it work.
It always feels a little late in the season to be buying coats and boots, especially as all the shops are being filled with pastel floaty pieces. But in truth, it will still be cold here for quite a while enabling much more wear before they get put in to storage for their return appearance in Autumn.
The other great thing about shopping late in the season is, of course, the bargains. Both these items had a huge saving on them (30% off i believe) which makes me love them all the more. 

Have you bought anything you love late in the season?

Green Coat
Cropped kick flare jeans


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

My Personal Happiness Project

2017 didn't get off to the best of starts here in the Turone household. With one thing or another breaking (namely our evil car, but also the husbands fairly new van also decided to have problems.. vehicles..huuuff!), job situations massively changing without warning, little work on the blogging front for me, plus huge bloggers block and bills flooding in quicker than we could even contemplate our pennies, I felt engulfed with an overwhelming urge to curl up into  the foetal position and cry for the foreseeable.
Life is never easy for some, and we just so happen to be in that some category.
All sounds pretty terrible doesn't it?(No teeny tiny violins necessary, I promise I'm going somewhere with this)
And if I'm honest (which if you've been here a long time you know i always have been, even through our lowest point 4 years ago where we had to close our 7 year business, move out of our house and lost pretty much everything) I felt incredibly low.
Low doesn't even cover it. Screaming to the ceiling "WHY US??!" in amongst shed loads of tears and frustration was closer to the mark.
We have been through A LOT in our nearly 11 years together.  Sometimes a stroke of luck would be nice.

Through the fug of anxiety and melancholy I started to think about what makes me really happy.

There are different bands of happy isn't there, like life altering all-blazing happiness: unequivocal family love, then there's surface happiness: Pretty Flowers and nice makeup, and then there is daily happiness: taking that long walk, reading a great book, laughing out loud at a sitcom.

It is so easy to get hung up on the bad stuff I'd forgotten how to be happy. I'd forgotten how to enjoy even the smallest of things.
I realised I needed to find my happiness again and that it wasn't just going to fall in my lap, I had to make an effort if I wanted to actually feel that emotion that had become so distant from me.

Firstly, Life is all about attraction. What you attract in to you life is what you create.
I had to start attracting more positive things rather than constantly focusing on the negative. Its easier said than done i know, but these are some of the steps I've taken towards my own 
Personal Happiness Project. 

I hope these may help you or just inspire you to make your own Happiness project.

Take a Digital break

Sometimes the digital world can be a place of inspiration, sometimes it can be a place of compassion leading to depression. I find when I'm feeling low i need to take a small step away from the perfect reality that those Instagram squares portray. I, like everyone, only post the best bits about the best, prettiest, nicest parts of life, but it can leave you feeling like life is perfect or better for others.
Take a step back from social media and read a book, preferably a good ol' paper book as there is less temptation to browse the internet than when you are on a tablet/pad/kindle, plus to feel the book secure in your hands is a very grounding feeling.
In February i picked the book Happy by Fearne Cotton. It gives simple relatable advice and exercises for those times when things are just not great. Fearne openly talks about her walk with depression, and her honesty makes this book an empathetic read full of comfort for the fact you know someone else has felt things that maybe you're experiencing.
Now if i'm feeling the lowness creep in, i retreat to my bedroom and read a few chapters and it brings me back to a happier position or at least give me the tools to take on any struggles i may have.

Make Plans

When i was going through a low point the mundanity of the day to day rat race of life was really getting me down. The consistent pack lunch, school run, make dinner, supermarket shop routine was making me irritable and feel low (I'm a Sagittarius we crave adventure and change), and without anything to look forward to it all started to get me down. 
To have something to look forward to really helps my mental state. Whether that be a small date night with my husband, a day out with my family or a special event to plan, it's just nice to have that something to break up the monotony. Our brains need fresh stimulation, so for me visiting new places and doing new things helps my mind and feeds my soul. I love visiting beaches and feel my soul sigh whenever i'm beside the sea. Its my happy place.
Since the low point that was Janurary, I have visited Bristol, taken Husband to a show, visited a new vegan restaurant, filmed a segment with the BBC for TV, had a few mini dates to the cinema with Salvatore, visited the beach and booked a summer holiday for the family.
I also have more plans to break up the months to come, such as a Date day once a month for Salv and I, discovering new Vegan restaurants and taking in a few more cities.
I need these plans to help me feel excited for life, as lets face it, scraping the squished sandwiches out of your sons lunch box every day sometimes doesn't feed the mind or soul... just the bin;)

Don't become a recluse

I'm renowned for doing this, whenever things get a bit low i retreat to my house and don't leave for the foreseeable, thinking it better I just stay in my safe place. Before you know it one day bleeds in to the next and you've spent weeks just in one place, venturing out just for the school run in my case.
I can't stress how important it is to go out. 
Force yourself to go out for that walk, it'll probably feel like the last thing you want to do, but just take that step outside the door, go for a walk, even if it's just around the block.
My friend Karen is aware that i easily fall in to the trap of becoming a recluse, so she takes charge and makes plans for us to meet up. Often it will be just down the road from me, understanding that sometimes when you've' been in one place for so long it suddenly becomes a big deal to leave it. Anxiety can often follow. Starting close to home helps. 
That hour out for a coffee can really change things, it can make you see that the world carries on and so do you.

Talk about it

Us women like a good natter don't we. I can talk about the weather, fashion, holidays, celeb gossip and general light hearted banter with the best of them (My husband finds it highly amusing, he thinks i could keep a conversation going in an empty room), but when it comes to feelings and emotions, i clam up. I don't share my complaints or thoughts in-case i appear a bit moany or a Debbie downer. But the truth of it is? There are people who want to listen. We all have those true friendships in our lives that will listen to our highs and lows and we will do the same in return. I have my sister, she is my confidante and will give me her ear any time of day and in return gives me her honest opinion and help.
The fact of it is, seek out someone who will listen and cares for you, a problem shared is always a problem halved. There is nothing ever to be ashamed of if you genuinely feel down. You are entitled to your emotions and your significant person (my sister in this case) will always recognise this, Talking helps your mind to unravel any thing that may have gotten knotty in your mind.

Write it down in a Gratitude Journal

I started this as a way of seeing the good.
It is so easy to be swept up in the bad and therefore be engulfed with all the crappy things going on that you can't see past them. By focusing daily or weekly on writing 5 good things that happened really brings to the forefront of the mind that this is good to be seen. I love to do this. Not only does it help put things in to perspective but its also lovely to read back on previous entries especially  when you're feeling low, it will act as a reminder that life has some wonderful moments too.
I like to do my gratitude list of 5 point once a week. I have a beautiful note pad dedicated to my happiness and i enjoy taking 15 minutes to write my entry each week.

Do something that pleases just you!

As mothers and wives we often will be spinning multiple plates at one time. School projects for the kids, sorting things for your husband/partner and everything else inbetween.
I can get lost in there sometimes amongst all the humdrum of daily chores and forget I'm a person with hopes and likes too.
So i've started to do something for me once a week. Whether that be taking myself shopping, having my nails done in a salon, or just going to Starbucks with a book and having an hour out with a coffee. Its often just face value things, but sometimes that's all i need. A pretty manicure, those lovely flowers you bought yourself or that delicious coffee you just enjoyed. Focusing on just you for one hour a week brings much more patience to give others. Its win win.

And that's it, my happiness project is something i constantly have to work on and make mental provisions for. But just as we try and take care of our bodies, its important we take care of our minds too.

And if all fails have some puppy cuddles.. if you don't have a dog just come around to mine and borrow cassy, she gives cuddles willingly all day every day πŸ˜‰

What do you to create your own Happiness?


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Racing Into Spring Fashion

It’s that time of year again when no-one quite knows what to wear. The weather can really throw you off track in your fashion choices and nowhere is this more visible than in the glamorous world of horse racing.

The sport of kings is inextricably linked with fashion, particularly at Royal Ascot of course – which was always part of the dΓ©butantes’ traditional “coming out season”. But at this time of year, it’s amazing how many people simply get it wrong, turning up in a summer dress on a freezing day at the beginning of spring. The best policy is to have two outfits ready - so that on the morning you're headed to the races, you can plump for the one that's going to suit the weather the best.
 "Cheltenham racecourse" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Carine06

The third week in March is the culmination of the racing season (for which read hurdles and jumps races for the uninitiated).

Traditional Cheltenham Festival style is all about a muted classy look, with tasteful tweeds and discreet fascinators for the ladies, and most sensible racegoers sporting riding boots rather than high heels. It has much more of a country feel than the big flat race meetings at the height of the summer. However, there's no dress code as such and over recent years, Cheltenham has become as much a talking point for its fashions as other big meetings such as Ascot.

There's even a prize for the best-dressed lady on Ladies' Day!

But while some women hit the mark with a perfect combination of style and elegance, others end up making fashion faux-pas with garish colour combinations or looking like they're dressed to go clubbing rather than to a daytime race meeting. This selection of last year's Cheltenham Ladies' Day outfits illustrates the point.
The blue riband event on the Friday is, of course, the Cheltenham Gold Cup for which Native River, Djakadam and Cue Card are joint favourites with the bookmakers according to Oddschecker. While the Gold Cup is the race that generates the most interest, each race over the four days of the meeting is highly prestigious in its own right – and highly exciting with 50,000 spectators in the crowd cheering their selections on. By tradition, there’s a huge Irish contingent at Cheltenham always – and this year will be no different. In fact, the top Irish trainer Willie Mullins has been the meeting’s most successful trainer for five of the last six meetings and is the favourite to do so again this time.
A post shared by JG Studio Hair & Beauty (@jgstudio_hairandbeauty) on

The Cheltenham Festival is then followed by the Aintree Grand National meeting.
This year’s Aintree Grand National meeting will be held from 6-8th April and many of the girls attending the National meeting know how to enjoy themselves with a glass or two. As a result they often end up on the pages of the tabloids – particularly if they come dressed for high summer and the early April weather takes a turn for the worse as it is wont to do in Liverpool from time to time! Still, it’s all great fun and far more tongue in cheek than its rather stuffier flat racing counterparts including the Royal Ascot meeting and others at the height of the summer. But if you really want to go and fit in, then play it safe for the National Hunt meetings, keep an eye on the weather, then bring out the summer florals in late May.

Big thanks to my contributing writer for todays post: Angela Brookes


Friday, 10 March 2017

Daily Outfits and Rediscovering my Style

The past month I've been enjoying looking at my personal style. I've enjoyed a little bit of shopping and generally having a big old think about what my style is, or if i did, in-fact, have a particular style. I think it's often easier to see other peoples style rather than your own. Friends have asked me what i would class their style as, or shop for them and i have drawn from their character, their preferences and their colouring to give advice on what their 'style' is (to which they have been super happy i'm pleased to report). 
I guess the trigger has been that I'm currently studying a short course in Image consultancy, and to self analise seems a great place to start.
I know i've pondered this here many, many a time before and mentioned that i can be pretty fickle with fleeting fashion and what my style is. I know I also seem to change seasonally too; For summer I take on a more relaxed boho style, but the cooler months see me adopt a more preppy and practical style, with the odd veering off to other styles too.

After working with a solid, but mostly neutral, capsule wardrobe for a year I have found myself craving some colour. I realise I'm no stranger to colour and have dabbled many, many times with fun combinations and enjoyed the creative side of putting outfits together through colours.

Looking back over this past months worth of daily outfit snaps I thing i can summarise the following things:
  • I like basics of denim, black and white as a base of my outfits.
  • I then like to add in splashes of colour, especially reds, bright pinks, yellow and green.
  • I mostly like block colours rather than heavy prints (although on the odd occasion i will dabble,like with the floral number i've tried below, but not overly)
  • I love a good stripe
  • I also love a good slogan sweater/Tshirt
  • My lifestyle is mostly casual day-to-day, but i like to add a bit of jazz in small ways here and there (neck tie, silver shoes, fun earrings etc)
And that's it. Sounds pretty simple to me, but feels good to have realised my style (for now). 
I feel like for the longest of times i'd gotten pretty hung up on looking a certain way in neutrals, like i see so many perfect Instagrammers do so so well, and of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, hey I do love a bit of monochrome too. But ultimately, i think i enjoy playing around with colour too much to just stay one way for the rest of my clothed life ( as opposed to my non-clothed naked life, which i assume is retirement, right πŸ˜‰). 

And to realise this, feels pretty damn good.

Embrace your style ladies, love what you wear! 

Red Glove Shoes (Bargain and super comfy)
Black Ankle Grazer Trousers (The most comfy and flattering trousers I've ever bought!)

These jeans (which i get asked about all the time.. they're really amazing!)

Khaki Jacket (Complete spring staple)
Esprit trainers
Side detail jeans (try the Tuxedo Stiletto jeans By Current/Elliott )
Pink Sweater
 (go check him out.. hes so cute, he wraps around the side and has a beautiful tail that sticks out the back😁)

That striped jumper again

 The Oui Jumper again 
River Island Jeans (Allanah Style)

My ever trusty Adidas Gazelles

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