Tag Archives: Fashion

Competition: Win £100 to spend with Mainline Menswear



Now my boys are growing bigger, they are starting to develop an interest in fashion.

But at the same time they are becoming too tall for the sizes offered in kids stores.

Let me repeat that. My 10-year-old has grown out of children’s sizes!

Not all of them. But he’s 5ft 2in with size 7 feet – and in a lot of stores it’s just easier for me to buy him a “small” in mens clothing than it is to find something big enough for him in the kids section. And at just 8 years old his brother is not far behind.

Which is why I’m grateful for companies like Mainline Menswear.

Read More →

Que sera sera. But whatever will he be?


My eldest is at that age when he’s ready to experiment with his look.

It started with him growing his hair about 12 months ago.

Even in that in-between mop-like stage I’ve stuck by his decision. It’s driven his Dad crazy (but I think that’s part of the attraction!)

He likes standing out from the crowd, and now he’s 10 there’s a growing interest in clothes, as well as what makes the girls notice him (eeek!)

Read More →

Competition: Win £100 of kids clothes from Debenhams

I love shopping for the boys' Winter wardrobes.

In the Summer, they're pretty much hanging out at the park, climbing trees, getting scruffy. Shorts and T-shirts do the job.

But when the colder weather comes, I enjoy buying bright-coloured layers, gilets, corduroy trousers, festive jumpers, trendy boots. There are so many possibilities.

And a lot more opportunities to get dressed up – firework displays, Halloween discos, Christmas parties, nativity shows.

So when the dark nights come back, fashion helps me to look on the bright side.

I love the range of kidswear at Debenhams.

Some items on my wishlist for this Winter include these:

Competition: Win £100 of kids clothes from Debenhams


Win £100 to spend on Debenhams kidswear online.

Debenhams is giving one lucky reader the chance to win a £100 voucher to spend on their kidswear collection online.

As Winter creeps up on us it’s time to get them wrapped up warm in style with
the latest must-have items from Debenhams A/W kids clothing collection.

From playful and practical to fun and formal, there are plenty of choices available, so you’ll have no trouble spending your voucher if you’re lucky enough to win.

This competition closes at midnight on Monday, October 28.

How to enter

Simply leave a comment below, telling me what item is a must-have in your Winter wardrobe.

Then click on the Rafflecopter widget below, to confirm you've done so. Otherwise your entry will not be valid.

You'll be offered the chance to earn extra entries by doing some other social media shizzle. But that's up to you.

This competition is open to UK residents only, aged 18 or over. The prize is a £100 voucher for childrenswear at Debenhams – there is no cash alternative.

A winner will be chosen at random and notified within 24 hours of the closing date. Failure to claim your prize within 3 days of being contacted will result in another winner being selected.

Good luck. Let's get our Winter woollies on!

Three denim mistakes you shouldn’t make

Denim features in just about in every wardrobe you open.

Most people have at least one pair of jeans and because denim comes in varying weights, it’s also used for jackets, shorts, skirts, shirts, dresses and more.

You can have too much of a good thing and there are some things you should avoid at all costs if you want denim to be your friend.

First, don’t overdo the denim. A good pair of jeans is fine. A great denim jacket over a dress is fine. A denim shirt worn over a white skirt is fine. Jeans, denim shirt and denim jacket is overkill.

Whilst it might be easy to wear, denim always looks best when it’s paired with something else, so wear it sparingly and look for great colours and styles like this checked blazer from Cotton Traders. That way, you’re sure to look great every time rather than a denim victim.

Three denim mistakes you shouldn't make

Men who tend to be the most guilty of wearing denim on denim, can wear their jeans with shirts or plain polo shirts like this one from Cotton Traders.

Three denim mistakes you shouldn't make

Second, don’t buy the wrong size. This is so true for jeans, where the wrong size can be both unflattering and uncomfortable. Different manufacturers and designers use different sizing and tailoring, so what fits you in one store might not fit you in another.

On the up side, you may be able to find a brand where you can buy a size smaller!

Even if you’re buying online, be prepared to try on and send back or swap if the fit isn’t right. Denim looks at its best when it fits well.

Finally, never buy really cheap denim. It’s perfectly possible to get good quality denim without spending hundreds of pounds.

Cheap denim looks cheap, feels uncomfortable next to your skin and doesn’t have the lifespan of better quality fabric. The rule is to spend as much as you can afford on good quality denim – you really will notice the difference.

So, by sticking to good quality, good fit and a good style balance, you can make denim a strong feature in your wardrobe without spending a fortune.

Because denim works so well with practically anything, it’s a must-have in your clothing collection, but by understanding what suits you best and how to match jeans, shorts, jackets and skirts with other styles of clothing, you can always be sure that you’re looking your best.

Check online for sales, discounts and bargains that help you lay your hands on good quality denim for less.

Passing memories From You to Me

Passing memories From You to Me

Apart from being home to my general ramblings, rants, and realities, I like to think of this blog as an online diary my kids can read one day.

Just if they’re ever curious about what life was like when they were little. The holidays we took, the music we listened to, our favourite things…

And maybe a bit of what their mum was passionate about.

But then, if I continue writing it throughout their childhood (and I intend to) there’ll be a hell of a lot of pages to get through.

So the From You To Me range of journals really appeals to me, as a way of leaving an easy-to-read legacy to your kids.

Equally, if you’d like to know your own mum or dad better, you could buy one of these and ask them to fill it with their memories and stories – to be passed down through the generations.

According to research, only 14% of us know how our father proposed to our mother (I certainly have no idea).

And 62% of us wish we knew family members better. It’s so sad we don’t take the time to listen to their anecdotes and tales.

Mr G has been doing his family tree for the last couple of years, uncovering stories about his ancestors. And it’s hit home to him that his grandparents would have been such an amazing source of information – if only he’d thought to ask them to share their stories when they were still alive.

From You To Me offered me a couple of books to review.

I opted for Dear Mum and Our Story for my son.

Both are fantastic ways of preserving memories to pass down to my boys.

Passing memories From You to Me

Dear Mum – from the Journals of a Lifetime range – is a way of writing my own story. At the top of each page there’s a prompt, including:

“What are your earliest memories?”

“What did you want to do when you grew up?”

“Tell me about the dreams you have for your life…”

At the back, there are some blank pages to jot down anything else you’d like to say/share with your children.

This range includes Dear Dad, Dear Grandad, Dear Sister – pretty much a book for any member of your family to fill with their precious memories

Passing memories From You to Me

Our Story – from the Parent and Child range – is more of a baby book, to write down your memories (mostly of your child) each year until he/she is 18.

You have 6 pages for every year, in which to record things such as:

“What you are like”

“Things you have done and said”

“Adventures we have had this year”

“Things that have happened in the world this year”

“My predictions of what you will be like when you grow up”

It’s a beautiful book – and can be personalised with family pictures on the cover. But it’s probably better as a gift to someone who is pregnant, or who has a baby under a year old. Because even though my sons are my world, I struggle now to remember some of the finer details, like what ailments they had in their first year.

Looking through these fantastic books made me think about what stories I’d like to pass down to my boys.

Like the night I met their Dad – while I was on a date with his friend.

I’d tell them how I never gave up when people told me I couldn’t make it as a journalist (not because I wasn’t any good, but because I grew up in a council house and my family was working class).

And I’d remind them what a fantastic character their Grandad was, before asbestosis took him from us too soon.

We all have stories to tell, don’t we?

Which brings me nicely to the best bit…..


From You to Me are giving 3 competition winners the chance to choose one book from their extensive range.

As well as the journals I’ve mentioned above, there are also diaries based on love stories and relationships, and even books where you can share your talents and hobbies, like cookery or gardening, passing tips down through the generations.

To enter, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post, explaining what story or piece of advice you’d most like to share with your children. Don’t forget to leave your email address or Twitter handle, so I can contact you if you win.

Then click on the rafflecopter widget below, to confirm you’ve done this – and get details of how to earn extra entries. You must do this for your entry to be valid.

Passing memories From You to Me

Terms and conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only, and closes at midnight on Wednesday, June 19.

Winners will be chosen at random and notified within 24 hours.

The prize is one journal of your choice, from the From You to Me website – no cash alternative.

Failure to claim your prize within 5 days will result in another winner being chosen.

Good luck.

Ahoy there sailor! Win a pair of Chatham Marine shoes

+07-04 04=31 IMG_3406

When it comes to shoes for my boys, I don’t mind admitting I’m a bit of a skinflint.

They’re rough and tumble kids who are heavy on their feet – which means they go through shoe leather like Katie Price through husbands.

So I don’t bother getting them more than a couple of pairs of trainers to hang around in, along with the shoes necessary for school and nursery.

It’s just not worth spending money on footwear to go with every outfit, when they’re going to be ruined.

But it does mean we’re sometimes caught out when there’s a special occasion which calls for smart attire.

So I was curious when the kind folks at Chatham Marine offered us a pair of their lovely deck shoes to road test.

These nautical but very nice shoes with razor-cut rubber soles have that smart yet casual style which says “I own a yacht – but I don’t like to brag about it”.

And Chatham Marine states their shoes are “designed to be comfortable, functional and able to withstand all that nature can throw at them”.

But could they withstand the sheer G-Force that is Mr G’s youngest son?

Well, on our recent holiday in Cornwall, they got the full treatment from 4-year-old Blake.

anchor shoeThe Anchor shoes were a good choice, with their velcro fastening they were easy for him to put on himself. And for a fussy child who complains that most shoes nip his feet, he found these comfortable from the beginning.

He wore them on the beach, on a long day walking around the zoo, at the park, and running around on the farm.

The shoes withstood a good bashing. And my favourite thing was that a wipe down with a wet cloth left them looking good as new.

A definite hit in our household. And at less than £40 for a pair, they’re within my usual budget for the boys’ footwear.

We have a christening to attend in the next couple of weeks, and he’ll be wearing these deck shoes with a pair of chinos for a smarter look.


+07-04 04=31 IMG_3032









So let’s get to the good part.

Chatham Marine are happy to give one lucky winner a pair of kids shoes from their extensive range.

Simply leave a comment below this post, telling me about your favourite pair of shoes. Don’t forget to leave your name and email address/Twitter handle so I can contact you if you win.

And to increase your chances of winning, consult the Rafflecopter thingamijig for details of how to earn extra entries.

Good luck.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms and Conditions

The competition is open to residents in the UK and Ireland, and there is no cash alternative.

The prize will be a pair of Chatham Marine kids shoes, and is not refundable or exchangeable. Chatham Marine will cover shipping costs.

This competition will end at midnight on Monday, June 10, and the winner will be chosen at random and contacted within 24 hours.

Failure to claim the prize within 7 days will result in a new winner being selected.

Dressing for my last BIG Summer

big girl in bikini


With the sun finally peeking its way through the clouds, my thoughts are turning to my Summer wardrobe.

And since I'm on a weight loss journey – and unlikely to reach target until the end of this year, I have to dress smart for the warmer weather.

I'm nearing my first stone of weight loss. But still have at least 2 stones to lose before I start to look and feel better.

But I don't want to hide away, covering myself with baggy trousers and over-sized T-shirts.

Women who are less than comfortable with their size usually make this mistake in warmer weather.

Or they go the other way and wear skimpy shorts and T-shirts which show off far too much oozing flesh.

Even if when I do get slimmer, the skimpy look is not for me.

I'm turning 40 in June and think it's about time for ladies my age to cover up.

So how can a woman look fashionable, but comfortable, as she's shedding the pounds?


Wear fitted clothing that skims your curves

Too tight and you're the Michelin man. Too baggy and you might as well be wearing a bin bag. Spending a little more on a few well-tailored items will serve much better than filling up your wardrobe with loose T-shirts or tight vests.


Go for the same colour on your top and bottom half

This gives the illusion of height, rather than cutting your body in half and making you look dumpy. So if you're short this is an especially good tip.


Large, bold prints look much better than delicate, small patterns

The latter will just emphasise that you've got a larger build to cover. We all like maxi dresses in the Summer, but stay away from the small details.


Choose clothing to accentuate your best bits

For example, if you have good legs, harem trousers are trendy and a great way to show off good pins. They are fitted from the knees down, while looser up top to give your silhouette an hourglass shape.


Go large on accessories

Pretty much the same rule goes for accessories as for prints. Small and delicate just accentuates how you’re not small and delicate. Supersize the jewellery, handbags, etc and you’ll look diminutive in comparison.


So there it is. Hopefully this will be my last year of having to resort to tricks to make myself look slimmer.

But being a curvy girl (and I don't think weight loss will change that too much) I'm still going to follow these tips, and choose some maxi dresses and harem trousers which will serve me well, big or small.

Review: Val Max dresses

Have you ever noticed your child has a gift for piecing together outfits with the most mismatched articles of clothing?

Back in the day, I would only buy clothes for Milly in browns and pinks. That way, everything went with everything else and she never ended up looking too disjointed when she dressed herself.

Then Aunty Alex gave her a silver scarf.

Oh, how she loved that scarf!

She wore that scarf with light pink tights, red shoes and a brown skirt!

Finally there came a point where I gave up and took a whole new approach to buying Milly clothes.

I stopped buying things in one palette and instead went for amazing colours and textures. And you know what? I learned that defying expectations can be fun.

Black and white tweed tunic by Val Max (boots models own!)

Italian label, Val Max, is a recent find for Milly and me, and it is as if they have been listening to our wardrobe negotiations. They offer chic yet practical, colourful contemporary and comfortable handmade clothing for girls from 3 to 14 years.

Their latest collection VALMAXÂ AW2012Â is in love with amazing colours, rich textures and playful contemporary twists.

So why not wear this monochrome Chanelesque tweed dress with pink snow boots to dance in the garden?

ValMax Black and White dress in detail 01

The fluff skirt and rose detail at the nape of the neck immediately appealed to Milly’s sense of fun, and because the dress is so beautifully made and the fabric so strong I was sure it would withstand as many twirls and pirouettes as Milly could manage.

Do you and your daughter have similar negotiations about what she wears? What children’s clothes brands have you found that work for you?


Italian label VALMAX kindly gave Milly the vintage tweed dress for the purposes of our review. The fluffy snow boots and all opinions expressed here are the model and her mum’s own.


Never mind Santa Claus! Brad and Ang are coming to town


The small town I live in is abuzz with the news.

It’s the biggest thing to happen since the birth of Mary Queen of Scots.

And when I first heard about it, I thought it was an early April Fool.

Chanel has chosen to stage a fashion show, right here where we live.

(Well, not in our house exactly – that would mean I’d have to clean the living room and invest in a lorry-load of Febreze!)

But in the centre of town.

We live in a beautiful, historic town just 20 minutes outside of Edinburgh.

It attracts quite a lot of tourists, for the ruins of the old palace where Scottish royalty was born a mere 470 years ago.

So it sounded plausible that creative director Karl Lagerfeld would choose our town to stage Chanel’s latest event.

The palace stands within stunning grounds, bordering a loch filled with swans. If money were no object you could really do something special with such a breath-taking backdrop.

But the likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Keira Knightley? Walking around the area where we first taught Brodie to ride his bike? Where we throw bread to the swans at weekends?

You’re having a giraffe!

It seems not. Because just the morning after a neighbour told me the gossip, it hit the newspapers.

So it must be true.

A local primary school has been told it will lose its parking, as security teams and huge lorries of equipment move into the grounds to prepare for this extravaganza.

Blake’s old playgroup may have to give up its room so skinny models can change from couture gown to couture gown.

Hard to imagine Kate Moss disrobing in the same spot my little boy has made stick figures out of pipe cleaners.

Then again…

It’s like a prophecy coming true!

Our little monsters, doing the MASH



MASH Junior is a brand of Italian childrenswear favoured by celebrities.

So it’s little wonder we jumped at the chance to roadtest some of the Spring/Summer range.

And here are the gorgeous outfits we tried, both of which have been well used over the Summer holidays.



Elizabeth says:

Milly rarely stays still for long, and every outfit she wears needs to move with her.

What I love about this MASH T-shirt and skirt is that they not only look great, they feel great too.

Whether my five-year-old is cart-wheeling, cycling or trampolining, the soft cotton T-shirt is both feminine and free. The denim skirt is good quality, a great colour and very durable.

Milly loved the decoration – particularly the pink bow on the front.

I loved the fact they washed well and retained their colour and shape. The outfit is good quality as well as stylish.

Note: the model’s muddy knees are her own


Donna says:

Brodie was sent a pair of denim shorts and a stylish grey T-shirt with an anchor motif.

It was comfortable enough to wear while he was playing out in the garden.

But once washed and pressed, it also served well as a smart/casual look for a few children’s birthday parties.

Particularly a pirate party, where he felt too shy to don an entire fancy dress costume.

Because of the anchor, we only had to add a headscarf and put a sword in his hand, and he totally looked the part.

The shorts are slim fit, so for a taller-than-average six-year-old I went for the size which fits a nine-year-old. And they just fastened snugly around the waist.

Unless you have a particularly small child, I’d always recommend going one age range bigger – at the very least.



In our previous review of MASH Junior’s Autumn/Winter range, we revealed how the Italian fashion range was favoured by stars like Supermodel Giselle Bundchen and actress Naomi Watts for their children.

And it seems word is spreading fast around Hollywood….









with Gwen Stefani’s son Kingston









Sandra Bullock’s son Louis









Halle Berry’s daughter Nahla









and Geri Halliwell’s little girl Bluebell


…all sporting MASH Junior clothing.

MASH Junior is available from yoox.com


Note: We received two outfits for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are our own





















































































Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...