Friday, 16 August 2013

Stylish Dressing For Back To School & The School Run From F&F....

 
 
 
 I'm really excited to have collaborated with  F&F at Tesco again, and where we are given the opportunity to review items from their Back to School  range. We have thus far been super impressed with the school wear range from Tesco and again the quality and value for money is second to none. With Miss. Poppins growing at quite some rate, it can be challenging to find suitable sizes for her, though Tesco offered items in sizes that fit her really well. We always buy a 'spare' pair of shoes for the new school year in case of any eventuality and she absolutely loved a F&F pair of school shoes so we couldn't help but try them out. At only £10 they offer real value for money too, with a fashionable wedge heel great for her, and also very practical looking for me.


As well as the shoes, which I have a feeling shall become the 'main' pair, we opted to try out a pair of cotton rich navy cycling shorts. These come in a 2 pack, and are perfect for P.E. at school. She said they felt super soft on, and of a very high quality. She also tried out the girls jersey zip through hoodie. As Miss Poppins is hoping to join many sporty groups at school - this really is a perfect buy. Even I had a little try on and it really is super comfy.
 
 
Next it was Master Poppins' turn and for him we chose some staple items - two sweatshirts, including one from their basics range and which I have to say for £2 is not bad at all. The two pack sets of shirts, the long sleeve set and short sleeve set are indeed as it says on the label, easy to iron, good quality and very smart!


The 2 pack school shorts have special dirt defence, adjustable waists which are very handy for my skinny minny  - I think he looks very preppy!


His school trousers, with Teflon fabric protector at just £3.50 are a great value choice, and the 5pk of fresh feel ankle socks I think are just the cutest!

 
We have all been very impressed and shall certainly be going back to Tesco for any other back to school items needed.
 
 Prices: (can be dependent on sizes)
 
1x Basic Sweatshirt - £2
1x Unixsex School Sweatshirt - £4
1x School Trousers - £3.50
1x 2pk School Shorts - £5.50 (Sale)
1x 5pk Ankle Socks - £4
1x 5pk Sports Socks - £1.50
1x 2pk S/S School Shirts - £4
1x 2pk L/S School Shirts - £4.50
1x School Hoodie - £6
1x 2pk Cycle Shorts - £5
1x School Shoes - £10

So eleven pieces of school wear items for the grand total of £50. I think Tesco offer great value for money in their back to school range, and they really are quality items too.
 
The team at F&F Women's also very kindly offered an outfit for myself to test out and wear on the school run. Being the fashion loving shopaholic I am, I couldn't wait to get browsing! Being somewhat of a thrifty shopper I headed straight over to their SALE and found some lovely items I thought perfect for drop off. Early September can still be warm (here's hoping) so I couldn't resist the little jazzy denim skirt! The pretty pink crochet detail cardigan is so me and the camisolse a perfect staple to go with many outfits. With some simple canvas pumps I think a cute little outfit to maybe head off and grab a coffee with one of the school mums. 


Skirt - £8 (Sale)
Cardigan - £8 (Sale)
Camisole - £3    
 
Again, great value for money and when the items arrived I was really impressed with the quality. Well I couldn't leave it there could I, so I popped these in the basket too - again two items from the sale being the jeggins and shirt. I thought a lovely outfit to wear on cooler days. I love the slogan snood and a perfect scarf for between the seasons.   


Jeggins - £5 (Sale)
Polka Dot Shirt - £7 (Sale)  
Snood - £5
 
On my more comfy days I loved these on trend aztec pants - they really are so comfy and having a hint of pink right up my street. A pretty lacy waistcoat creats a very relaxed feel and they go perfectly with the camisole too.

Aztec Pants - £6 (Sale) 
Camisole - £3 (As Before)
Waistcoat - £7 (Sale)
 
So some great items there, 8 items, and 3 outfits for just less than £50 - probably more than 3 outfits in fact as you could mix and match. F&F I occasionally find tend to be quite a generous fitting so a couple of these items had to be returned and different sizes purchased, and I have to say the customer service was ace!
 
As I was in a spending mood and have this 'big' birthday in less days than I care to think about, I thought I'd treat myself to something to wear on the day. Again I headed to the sales and fell in love with an outfit that cost me less than £20! I thought I could also perhaps incorporate the camisole.


Oh I just love it and it fits perfectly - I was thinking I could wear tights if a cold day and go bare legged with some vintage style sandals if a little warmer. The waterfall jacket is just lovely and I think shall go with many items. Of course I couldn't resist a little try on ;) The cute sunshine bag is also a F&F item and was a gift from the children for Mother's Day.
 
  
Stripe Jacket - £10 (Sale)
Stripe Shorts - £7 (Sale)
Camisole - £3 (As Before)
 
 So there we, are a very Tesco-tastic post, some super items from F&F and I can't wait to see what new ranges they bring out. Whats so great about ordering is as I have discovered, if you don't want to wait in, with click and collect you can pick up your order from your chosen store for free! And, if you order before 3pm, you could collect it the next day! So a really good service too :) As for me, I have to be careful I don't get to click happy - as I could spend a small fortune - at least for now, my wardrobe is looking much prettier :) 

 
 
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Disclosure: F&F at Tesco contacted me to be involved in their 'back to school' campaign. We were provided with vouchers for schoolwear and a school run outfit for the purposes of this review post. Some items I purchased myself. All words and opinions my own.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Wedding Anniversary Gifts - Tradtitional Style!....

My how these summer holidays are whizzing by! I hope you are all enjoying the break if you are having one. With me having a 'big' birthday coming up, my thoughts are turning to how time is indeed flying by, memories of old and special times in my life. One very special memory I hold deep in my heart is our wedding. It shall be our 14th wedding anniversary in November and when I look back over old photographs I really am so glad we went for a classic themed look. Even nearly 14 years after our wedding photographs were taken, I feel they could have been taken yesterday, apart from me obviously looking 14 years older! 
 
 
When it comes to wedding anniversaries and any potential gift/treat for loved ones - I would always, always favour traditional over modern. For example a 'modern' gift idea for a 4th anniversary would be an appliance, yes very practical, but I know I would much prefer the traditional idea of pretty flowers :) Wedding Rings Direct, who have just launched a new vintage style collection of wedding rings and who do some gorgeous wedding sets and also have a stunning white gold collection challenged me to come up with a list of inspired gift ideas for him, her, or the special couple for the first five years of marriage. Of course, there is only one route I can go down, and that is the traditional gift idea route so here goes.
 
1st Wedding Anniversary - Traditional gift idea is Paper - I've chosen for her...
 
Who doesn't love pretty writing paper, I think a lovely gift from him to her. Especially if a love letter. When I worked abroad, missing home and loved ones, my 'husband to be' wrote me the most lovely  love letters, they really kept me going and I generally love receiveing hand writen letters from friends and family through the post. Here's an example of writing paper that I think would make a pretty wedding anniversary gift for that first year. I really like this set from Cath Kidston.
    
2nd Wedding Anniversary - Traditional gift idea is Cotton - I've chosen for him...
 
At first glance a tie may appear a little bit uninspiring and perhaps boring, but with a certain Matt Smith from Dr. Who wearing one of these - it has to be cool! And being cotton a perfect gift for the man who likes to dress with a certain panache. Oh I just love this hand crafted bow tie from Dina Malkova, the ties are made in limited numbers from vintage fabrics and packaged in a vintage style gift box made from recycled paper. As is tradition, a bow tie should be hand tied, so it too comes with instructions.
 
 
 
3rd Wedding Anniversary - Traditional gift idea is Leather - I've chosen for the couple...
 
I had to think a little on this one but came up with an idea that I think is perfect for both him and her. Presumably the couple shall have set up home, and have gathered some special momentoes from their wedding, I thought a leather vintage trunk the perfect storage gift to keep all those special memories, wedding cards, photographs, perhaps even her treasured tiarra safe. It could also even double up as a coffee table! Searching on ebay similar leather ones like this can be found for less than £30 so bit of a bargain too.
 
 
 
4th Wedding Anniversary - Traditional gift idea is Flowers - I've chosen for her...
 
Possibly my most fabvourite year for traditional gift ideas! The most obvious choice would be a beautiful hand tied bunch of in season flowers, however I always like to take a theme and put my own spin on it. Many women love clothes, fashion, dressing up, and like me many also love the floral look. Oh, who wouldnt love this pretty floral dress from their husband to celebrate their 4th wedding anniversary. I love it! And it still incorporates those traditional flowers :) I love this pretty bandeau style one from Accessorize.
 
 
 
 
 
5th Wedding Anniversary - Traditional gift idea is Wood - I've chosen for the couple...
 
Wood on the face of it can be a bit tricky to think of a unique and inspiring wedding anniversary gift - so I have decided to think out of the box a little on this one. I have always wanted to have a romantic weekend away staying in a traditional wooden shepherds hut! Perhaps not everyone's cup of tea, but how could you not fall in love with The Bluebell Shepherds Hut near Abergavenny in Wales. Oh my goodness I would love to stay here! And what a perfect 'Wood' themed wedding aniversary treat. You even get two huts all to yourself,  'Blue' with its washing/cooking facilities and 'Belle' the relaxing and sleeping quarters.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And somewhere to leave my hat and wellies :)
 
 
 
So, there we are, my traditional gift ideas for those special wedding anniversary dates. I think I may have to leave this page open for the husband to see, think he may need a little inspiring. For our 13th wedding anniversary, lace being the traditional gift idea, look what he got me...
 
 
 
 
 Yes I definitely married him for his sense of humour ;)
 
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Disclosure: Wedding Gifts Direct approached me to be involved in this inspiring gift idea challenge, and I have received payment for my time and input. All words and opinions my own.