Recently I was at the re-launch of Bubbacue, a delicious Barbeque themed restaurant in Belfast. Actually that synopsis doesn’t do it justice at all! Bubbacue actually tell us on their website that they ‘Embrace the art of the relaxed American tradition which uses smoke to tenderize meat’, a method that produces delicious results! And you have to try their sides (the macaroni cheese!!) and actually my favourite, their lemonade!
Although the calendar said August, the weather said November but that was not going to deter me. Like many of us, I like to make the best of the time still called ‘summer’ and wear the wardrobe that works with the name! I took a quick trip to Dublin a few weeks ago, and having spent much of the holidays day tripping with my little boy, I had managed to miss all the sales up to this point. Zara is my favourite store to shop the sales in, I always find something that will carry me through to the next season at a bargain price. But my focus this time was different. I wanted to find a few extra pieces for a few days in the sunshine. So I took the opportunity to scour the final sale rails, loading my arms with lots of changing room options.
I found a beautiful blue dress with pretty stitched detail along the bust. I tried it on and knew it would be perfect for the heat of the Croatian sun as it was floaty to where it fell, just around knee length. It was only as I strolled along the beach front that I realised there were pockets in the strangest of places. Yes, it was actually a skirt! But in the name of wearing cutting edge fashion, well actually, because I loved the look of it as a dress, I continued to wear it this way.
So now being home and still having a little tan on my skin, I ignored the autumnal weather and headed out for dinner. I added some straps to the dress (being small chested, I don’t really suit strapless tops), threw on my denim jacket and wore it with my trusty trainers. And as I was now taking any spare opportunity to get back to the routine of blogging, I wore my new Mi-Pac, gifted from Menarys, filled with magazines, books and my laptop to complete the look. Not only do I love the soft touch and the polka dot design of this backpack, but with it’s interior including plenty of pockets and separations, it is perfect for carrying anywhere!
Thanks to Jane Williams at JPR, all the lovely staff at Bubbacue and Menarys for sending me my backpack!
Today’s post has taken many different routes. It began as an outfit post. It moved on to a wearing your summer wardrobe in winter. It was due to incorporate a lovely dinner at a new restaurant in Belfast and now it has moved to how to be confident even when your dress is wrinkly!
So let’s bring all of those ideas together…
I had a lovely invite to come along to a family dining night at Kua ‘Aina, a new Hawaiian inspired restaurant in Victoria Square, Belfast. I was already stretching the ‘family’ definition by taking the opportunity to catch up with my friend and fellow blogger, Ruth from Willow Lane fame. Then, following a sleepover and lots of hours playing football with a friend, my little boy was ready for zoning out…so took control of my phone and it’s games while waiting for his dinner and waiting for us to finish catching up!
Browsing the Coconut Prawns and Tropical Granola on the menu, and debating over the Seared Ahi Tuna with avocado or the Teriyaki Chicken with pineapple, I ended up picking the tuna and was not disappointed (and a tip, the avocado completes the flavour combinations, don’t order without it!). I saved my pineapple fix for the Eton Mess delights that completed the meal. There were no complaints from the six year old as he enjoyed his cocktail of orange juice (he felt very fancy!) and managed to clear the sweetcorn from his meal without an argument! Mind you the Morellis chocolate ice-cream may have been the biggest hit! And for any parents out there, you will understand the joy when a pack of colouring pencils arrived at the table and they were sharp! Brownie points for this one!
As the weather has been brightening, I was in the mood to get something that was not black or grey on. Mixing the summer and winter wear, I chose to wear my denim dress (bought last summer during the Zara sale, and worn then with bare legs and trainers) with tights, loafers and my fur coat. I bought my coat in a second hand sale last year and love the 3/4 length sleeves for the transitional season. I was happy with my choice…until I stood brushing myself down ready for the photos to be taken.
And so to the final point. I love choosing my outfit, mixing different things together, wearing items that haven’t left my wardrobe for months. Wearing something different actually gives me a renewed confidence. But wearing a dress with wrinkles ruins my photo opportunity, as if I don’t generally stand awkwardly enough! But I decided not to worry, to show you how delicious the food at Kua ‘Aina was and to give a little example of how to make your summer clothes work in winter! Now I’m off to do a little bit of ironing;)
I have a really strange way of shopping, even I can’t really figure it out. I hate sale shopping, but most things I buy are on the sale. I don’t really ever find things in charity shops, but lots of my clothes are second hand. But what I’m writing about today – Many things I buy in shops I think I’ll never wear and then they become my staple pieces!
So how does that work?! I’ll give you an example. My Topshop skirt. Tried it on (from the sale rail I might add – £55 to £15), took the customary Instagram shot, left it back on the rail, left the shop. Moved to next shop, saw a top that would work perfectly with Topshop skirt, back to buy the skirt. Top did not work perfectly, but many other items from my wardrobe did.
Initial mirror selfie…
Why did I leave it back in the first place? Primarily because of the fabric. It’s made from the polyester that looks and feels like neopreen, which I love, but which is not the most flattering of fabrics. As mentioned before, my biggest area is my hips, so drawing any attention here is not a good thing. But I also felt the length would work best with heels, so I wouldn’t get much wear out of the skirt. Silly thoughts that were quickly removed upon seeing the beautiful top!
Skirt purchased, home to try on, and then attempts to never take off again as it just worked!
Thanks to Ruth from Willow Lane for this photo…
Keeping with the blue tones and worn with grey top with feature pocket by local designer Nor Lisa
My friend who I love to go to Galgorm Spa for the day with for this one…
Worn with a printed tee from Masato Jones
And my six year old who I am training up to be my photographer for this one!
Scenic tarmac shot;) Worn with cropped Tee and neon
And the trusty Converse added when the rain came again!
Moral of this story – you really can make any item the style that works for you. As you browse the new A/W collections, if you love something, buy it, take it home, try it on (broken record here!) and get mixing up your style a bit – you might surprise yourself!
And keep an eye on Instagram for a shot with the heels!