A fashion and style blog for the over 40s covering body shapes, colour palettes, how to wear neutrals, style personality and capsule wardrobes. Come on in!


My Other Job!

Yes, really. I do actually do something else other than blogging. I'm a script writer for a company called Global Filmmakers. Sounds glam hey? Action movies, comedy, soaps. Not quite but it is interesting. 'Global' make short films for companies, a kind of online advert, often more powerful than just a website.

This is the first one that I ever wrote. It's a little bit different as it features the partners of the company. It's probably the one that I'm the most proud of because the clients allowed me free rein and I think it really shows that the firm has character.

My First Voice-Over Script! < click here

Often, owners prefer not to speak on camera (I don't blame them, it's really hard) but when they do, it makes the video so much more real and personal.

I've written scripts for funeral directors, hairdressers, wedding planners, bakers, kitchen manufacturers, hotels to name but a few. I never know when I'm going to get them and what the subject matter is about. The company could be huge or it might be a small family run business. And they're located everywhere in the UK and beyond. That's what I love about it!

I receive a brief from HO which gives me a good idea of what the client requires and then look at their website to get a feel for the business. The video ads tend to last between 1 and 2 minutes but sometimes more. It's really important to get the 'feel' of the business across. There's little point in merely listing products - you can look at the website for that. It's about showcasing the company at it's best, hilighting their unique selling points, showing why they're better than their competitors. Larger companies often require a more corporate feel and family businesses prefer a more intimate friendly approach.

Sometimes, I haven't got a clue what the company actually does particularly specialist manufacturers. I often do extra research (Google - I love you) so that I know exactly what I'm writing about.

The company in the next script has an amazing story. It was set up by a Polish man called Frank Klucznik in 1969 and now has over 500 employees. Even today, Frank is remembered at IAE as every truck bears the inscription "it's that Pole in Leek". Don't you just love a good story.

Anyway, the directors wanted the video to be informative but also to showcase their impressive plant by way of a guided tour. Luckily I was provided with comprehensive notes and I now feel able to talk about galvanised steel and powder coatings with a certain amount of confidence (I've yet to use this new found knowledge by the way).

A Technical Script! < click here

Sometimes the inspiration for the content comes to me immediately. Take this one for example. Aimed at retailers looking for new business opportunities. I knew what I wanted to say as soon as I saw the product.

It's all about nuts! < click here

And then sometimes, I get that condition known as writer's block and no matter what I do, it's not going to happen. Normally a cup of tea and a biscuit solves that problem!

I work on the premise that we speak 2 words per second so a 60 second script gives me 120 words. That's not a lot when there's so much to say. And, any regular reader will know that my blog posts are never short! It's a challenge.

Of course clients are free to provide as much input as they wish so are able to edit my words. But I do pride myself on having had very few edits and only one rewrite. 'Polishes halo'.

And that's my job pretty much done. Of course behind the scenes, the film crew are doing their bit, the editor is doing his bit and the voice over person doing his voice over bit. I'm a very small piece in a large jigsaw.

It's a really clever and cost effective way to showcase a business. So next time you're browsing social media or You Tube or even a website and you come across a video, it might just be mine!

Anyway, that's probably something you didn't know about me. I'm still waiting for one of my favourite fashion retailers to call Global Filmmakers. Come on Johnnie Boden or Mrs Baukjen pick up the phone and let's do a video.

And if you're interested in finding out more, give the office a call on 0844 3751701 they're lovely people. By the way, this isn't a sponsored post, in fact the boss, Nigel doesn't even know that I'm writing this.

It certainly beats writing about the dregs of the sales - I am so ready for autumn.

Final note:

1. I get a huge kick out of getting the word count spot on - it doesn't have to be but oh boy the satisfaction. You know that feeling when you pop to the supermarket for a loaf of bread and a few bits and it comes to exactly £90 (no pence). That feeling!

2. When I read back a script, I do so in the accent of where the business is located. Bizarre I know, but it helps. Generally, I'm rubbish at accents but my Irish one is coming along a treat.

3. There's a certain satisfaction in seeing the finished article when the film has been edited around my script.

4. I've discovered so many new websites - in fact my kitchen has had numerous virtual makeovers. It could be dangerous to the bank balance!

5. The feedback from satisfied clients is simply the best!

The Perfect White Shirt Alert

I mentioned last time that I'd ordered this white shirt from Me&Em. It arrived today. Actually it probably arrived yesterday but our lazy postman stuffed it into our mail box and me being even lazier didn't empty it until today.

Anyway, as wrinkled as it is (you would be too if you were stuffed into a mail box), I love it. Why it's made it to the sale I don't know. It's just the perfect white shirt.

Bib Front Pleat Shirt was £98 now £29.40

I ordered a Medium (Me&Em is a generous fit) as I wanted it to be slightly roomy. It's fitted across the bust and then slightly flares over the belly (that's a good thing by the way).  It's a soft viscose fabric with some stretch which makes a change as this kind of shirt is normally stiff cotton. A great addition to my wardrobe which I'll wear with jeans on a day to day basis and dress up with heels and black trousers (if I can find a replacement pair) in the evening.

Me during the trying on session. Rubbish photos - sorry. It's fared pretty well considering it's ordeal in the mail box.

Of course being Me&Em it will wash like a dream - their stuff always does!

By the way, the other 2 colour ways have also been reduced to £29.40 as well now. Link here and here.

Ladies, go forth and shop.

I've had 4 days at home and am literally crawling up the walls. We have the decorators in for the second week running and there seems to be mess in every room. You know what it's like, you clear one room and it affects all the others. I need to start reclaiming my house.

I'm taking the son over to Manchester to Jump Nation tomorrow. A giant room full of trampolines. It's noisy, it's sweaty (them not me, I don't jump) but kids of all ages have the time of their lives. I'll be sat drinking coffee with a friend. Beats watching paint dry! We're in our 5th week of the summer holidays already and I'm just about surviving. How are you guys doing?


Sale Shopping For Next Season (not a tassel or boho top in sight)

Blinkers on, I'm sale shopping tonight and I'm only looking at things that have longevity. A few sale bits that have caught my eye.

A Basic Jacket (reduced to £20.24)

I know I bang on about buying jackets in neutral colours - this is pretty inoffensive as china blue goes! Great to wear with skinnies, boyfriends and flares (it's a clever jacket). I struggle to wear this length with a tucked in shirt but a basic layering top or t-shirt would work a treat.

A Classic Shirt With A Twist (reduced to £29.40)

Bargain alert - this was originally £98 and most sizes are still available. If the Boden boyfriend shirt is a little out of your price range, try this one. Great under a shorter jumper and jeans or with black pants and a classic stiletto for a dressier look. Consider it ordered (it isn't August yet, so I can spend).

A Sweater With A Twist (reduced to £29.40)

Ideal for women who carry their weight around their tummy amongst others. And it's a little more feminine than the classic sweater. Can be worn layered or on it's own. Also comes in a dark blue and still a bargain at £49.90

Easy Wear Black Skinny Trousers (reduced to £13.49)

You can't go wrong with a pair of black pants. These look more skinny than cigarette style. Sometimes, just sometimes when you're fed up with jeans, these are a great alternative. Or keep them for 'best' but why would you at this price?

The Loose Fit Top (reduced to £7.99)

A woman's go-to top. So, so easy to wear. Flattering 3/4 length sleeves and this one has stripes (yeay). But it comes in many other colours too (including leopard print)!

The High Heeled Cage Shoe (reduced to £12.99)

Granted not everyone's cup of tea but I had to include these. If you're looking for a neutral statement shoe that will take you through the winter season (I'm thinking Christmas/New Year and beyond) these could be it.

A Go With Everything Leather Bag (£28)

Ok, I cheated with this one, it's not actually in the sale but at £28 and for leather too, I had to include it. It's one of those bags that will be used over and over and over again because it literally goes with everything. Cross the body strap and a lovely rich tan. Oh and did I say it's leather. Any guesses where it's from? You'll need to click on the link to find out.

There's stacks and stacks of bargains out there but at this late stage, you'll need to sort the wheat from the chaff or you'll be stuck with a bag of one-season wonders. I mean come on, don't you agree that every single item above could be worn for years to come (subject to quality of course).

Any 'classics' in the sales that you've spotted? You need to let me know quickly - I've got 1 week before my spending ban is put in place. Wah wah!

I'm feeling all upside down and inside out at the moment. We've got 4 rooms that are being decorated.  Actually that's 2 new rooms plus 2 rooms that are being rescued from dodgy paint jobs before Christmas (courtesy of ratedpeople.com - needless to say we didn't rate them). I really should be doing housey stuff tonight but it'll still be there tomorrow and some of these lovely bargains might not be. Sales shopping wins!

I'm quite liking simple outfits at the moment, of course that includes jeans (at least they're not white - my Instagram account is getting very boring).

Outfit from yesterday.

Shirt - Fabric Boutique (similar)
Jeans - M&S 
Bag - Boden
Sandals - Old (similar)


What I've Been Buying: Stocking Up For Autumn

Looking at my Instagram feed over the last few days, I've noticed that many of the big-hitting bloggers (you know the ones; they have a gazillion followers and their follow back ratio is 100,000 to 1) well, they're already sporting autumn wear. I mean gosh, you have to be ahead of the rat pack right? Forget that it's 30 degrees celsius in New York, you've got to be the first to sport the wide legged, calf skimming black trousers yes? And the longer line bolero jacket. Ha! fashion fools I thought. But actually I'm no better. I've poured over the A/W catalogues that have started to drop in my mail box. They can't come fast enough. It's a morning passion of mine. Cup of tea and a half hour drool over the latest offerings.

Even on holiday I bought with the A/W in mind. Not that I follow current trends to the nth degree or anything. So here's a round up of what I've bought over the last month.

Bags: 3

I didn't mean to buy this many, it kind of just happened. I've been looking for a more structured navy bag for ages, they're pretty hard to come by. Until, I popped in to Coach outlet in Orlando and was spoilt for choice. 

I chose this one, haven't a clue what it's called. I like the size, the true navy colour and the long strap so it was bought. It won't win any fashion awards but I think as a go-to bag, it'll be very useful.

I also picked this one up from Coach, a pewter clutch with a black chain. I never have the right bag to go with an outfit. Some have silver chains, some have gold and I always seem to be wearing the wrong colour jewellery. So, bingo this one with a black chain will go with everything.

We were handed a 50% voucher as we entered the shop and I've just got my credit card statement through....£127 for both. Ding dong. Harvey Nics have a similar clutch in store and that alone is £180.

My final bag purchase for a while is this little cutie from Boden

Chancery Clutch £79 (use code A2T5 for 20% off)

I've already used this one and two people stopped me in the supermarket to ask where I'd bought it from.

All 3 bags, good wardrobe staples me thinks!

Striped Shirts: 3

One day I'll set myself a challenge; to wear every stripe in my wardrobe over a month. And I'm sure there'll be some left over. I have many! But at least they're worn so it seemed fitting to add to the collection.

I picked this one up for a song in The Loft in the U.S. I think it was something like $12 in the sale.

Yes new shoes, we'll address these later. Sometimes I wonder why these things actually make the sale. I mean, what's not to love about this shirt. Expect to see it lots!

I also picked this one up. It deserves to be in the sale, it's polyester and I'm wondering now what I was thinking of. To be fair, I had a particularly jacket in mind that it will work well with. Another cheap purchase (less than $15 I think).

Actually looking it again, it's minging. What was I thinking. Boho meets workwear. Oh dear!

There's also another navy and white (vertical) striped shirt which is in the wash sporting a very nice bolognese stain down the front.

Jackets: 1

I had literally 4 minutes to do a mad dash around J Crew outlet. Big mistake. It was full of delightful goodies and no time to try anything on or indeed buy and return at a later date. Their tee-shirts were reduced to ridiculous prices, perfect for wearing under my many blazers. Why I didn't pick up half a dozen I don't know. Anyway, I bagged this fab little blazer and until I wore it the other day, I hadn't realised how nice it actually is. It was reduced from $139 to $40. Whoop whoop. At the cash desk there was a further $20 taken off it. Ha ha ha ha ha. I was literally doing a little tap dance on the way out of the shop.

Chambray Shirts: 2

I've been searching for a chambray shirt for aaaaaages, one in a decent fabric that doesn't crease the moment you put it on. When Boden released their new range last week, I hot footed it to the computer and ordered this one.

The Boyfriend Shirt £59 (Use A2T5 for 20% off)

And I've worn and washed it too. IT IS SO WORTH THE MONEY. The white will no doubt wing it's way over to me at some stage too. It comes up big so size down.

Sorry, no full length shot but I wore it with the Chancery clutch above the other day.

And then as I was putting an order in, I threw this in too. Bargain! The husband asked why I needed two of the same. They're not the same at all. Ok they're both blue and have collars but the fit is totally different. He doesn't get it.

The Casual Shirt £15.60

It's a keeper although I won't be showing the inside of the cuffs. Not really me! Perfect for wearing under jackets and jumpers later in the year.

Knitwear: 2

My flash visit to J Crew resulted in another purchase too. A long sleeve thin knit in beige and white stripes(!). Again, it's in the wash but I'm sure you'll see it on the blog at some stage. 

My jacket collection is a cause of many discussions in this house. No one seems to understand why I have to take an oversized double wardrobe to store them. But I wear, every single one of them (some more than others). My knitwear collection isn't so vast. I need to build on this. So I slipped this into the Boden order. 

Relaxed Mohair Mixed Cardigan £69 (use code A2T5 for 20% off)

The colour won't be everyone's cup of tea (it comes in green and navy also) but it's a great colour for a Soft (me). It's actually not so pink in real life. I need some throw on cardigans for when I'm at home. You know, it's not always practical to clean the toilet or cook a curry in your beige blazer. I've not decided 100% whether to keep this, I might send for the navy to look at that as well.

Purse: 1

Bought from Madewell in Miami

It's lovely and slim and will be a welcomed change from mu current bulky one. 

Shoes: 1

Such a naughty girl but I've got so much wear out of my navy Lille Lace Up that I decided to order them in orange. Ok not strictly for autumn - I'll be back in boots come September but they're such a good price. And they're not as orange as they look on the website (see photo above for a truer likeness).

And finally a wild card purchase by way of perfume. I'm a bit of a funny one where perfumes are concerned and stick to just one or two fragrances. But, in Banana Republic in Miami (which had a fantastic sale), I was waiting for the daughter to come out of the changing room and sprayed this.

Banana Republic Classic 

A really fresh, light fragrance which I loved so bought it. A whole $30. There you see, that's another wodge of cash I've saved. 

And I think that's everything. I did an August fast last year and didn't spend a penny on myself for a whole month. I'll give it another go this year. Well August is a bit of a nothing month isn't it so how hard can it be? Anyone else fancy coming along for the ride?

Oh and tassels and Boho, I'm so over them. Don't show me any more fringe either. Bored silly I am.

Have you had any sales success? Anyone do the Next 5am run? Ooooh let me know, I love to hear from you.


Holiday Post Part 3: And Breathe

Our final destination this year was the Dominican Republic (for the second year running). We chose it after having really bad weather in Mexico in 2013. It rained and rained and rained. We were ratty with one another, there was nothing to do and I think we were all ready to come home. Never again! Anyway, someone suggested that we go further east at this time of year as it's less wet - I really haven't a clue if that's true or not so don't take my word for it. The big map came out and the Dominican was chosen (it's far cheaper than Barbados too).

After a hectic first week in Orlando and Miami, we were all ready for some rest and recuperation. And it did not disappoint.

The infinity pool which was a mere hop, skip and a jump from our rooms was stunning and really didn't get very busy at all. See that sun lounger in the pool, the second one in, that's mine!

The grounds were beautifully maintained.

And of course I just had to give the hammock a go. They look idyllic, they're not. Singularly the most uncomfortable things I have ever sat in!! Huge admiration for I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here contestants. But for £100k fee, I'd probably suffer for a couple of weeks. 

Surprisingly the Caribbeans seemed to throw themselves into 4th July celebrations more than the natives of Miami. I saw no preparation at all on the mainland and was more than a little disappointed. This made up for it though. A fabulous beach parade featuring cadets, motorbikes, rally cars and a brass band.

The daughter and I really didn't do very much all week other than sit on our sun loungers and read and eat and drink cocktails. Our son is unable to sit still for more than 5 minutes so he and the husband would take themselves off to play volleyball on the beach with random people.

Not a bad view to enjoy your morning coffee.

A romantic spot for dinner? We didn't dine here!

The family took out a catamaran. I didn't partake. I mean there are sharks and jelly fish out there.

But the hilight of my week was a visit to the Reef Explorer. Described as a multi-activity excursion, I almost ran a mile. Snorkelling (yak), paddle boarding (I might fall in), kayaking (ditto), swimming with sharks and stingray (errrrrm just no). But there's a spa and sun loungers. Ok so they twisted my arm. I'll go but I'm not doing anything I said.

This was the bit I was planning on using, the sunbathing deck.

The reality is that I was MADE to do the activities. All of them! I've snorkelled before, but I don't like it. Have you ever heard anyone scream underwater? It's probably me. The son had the time of his life diving with the aid of a motor diver.

But my reward was a blissful shell massage and an hour's sunbathing on the deck as we bobbed up and down in the sea.

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon!

And I got to wear summer clothes too although the evening photos are pants as the lighting was so bad. Here are a few...

An old Marks & Spencer dress

Wings optional

Clashing prints with the daughter. First outing for a Fenn Wright Manson dress.

A green Top Shop dress with an embroidered clutch.

And before we knew it, our summer hols were over and we were back on the plane home. Except it wasn't the plane that we were supposed to be on and our connection was Atlanta (not Philly). A delay meant we missed our connection but courtesy of Virgin we got back with an hour to spare.

Thanks Virgin x

So as I read my Instagram and Twitter feeds and see all you lovely people going on your holidays, forgive me if I feel a little like this.

And do you know what added insult to injury? A glossy 2016 Travelbag brochure waiting on our doormat as we arrived home. That's evil isn't it.

Ok, who's ready for autumn, I certainly am.