Sensational Baby Boomers

Friday, 14 September 2018

THIS SEASONS MUST HAVE - LEOPARD PRINT


This season's must-have fabric is definitely animal print - there is just so much of it in the shops at the moment.  While I haven't bought anything new, I have raided my wardrobe to find pieces which will see me through the Autumn/Winter trend without actually spending any money, which means none of these clothes are currently available!

The coat (above) is lightweight, so perfect for Autumn, and surprisingly, came from Tesco.  I have teamed it with black, so a black tee and black smart trousers, as always from Marks and Spencer - similar here.  The black ankle boots are also mock-croc and came from Faith (similar here). 

Animal print has to be accessorised carefully, since we don't want the Bet Lynch look (for non-UK readers, she was a barmaid character in the long-running soap Coronation Street - famed for her leopard print wardrobe).

Red or pink are two favaourite go-to colours for accessorising animal print, so I've gone for red with this red scarf, also from Marks' and a red and black leather bag bought in Greece.




Black always goes well with leopard print too, (and I'm dodging the rain here in this shot), so I am wearing leopard-print trousers with a black linen shirt to keep it simple - but I have snuck some red with the lippy!!

The trousers are again from Tesco bought some time ago, and the shirt is one I've had for years, but there are several similar ones in the shops.  The long necklace was from a local boutique, which keeps the overall look casual. The chunky watch is in fact a FitBit which was a birthday gift from my daughter (need to keep my steps up!)



I'm not a fan of wearing dresses - though I do love a pretty frock for a dressed up occasion.  Here's a more casual one I rescued from the back of my wardrobe and which I may wear for work in the winter months, teamed here with thick black tights and heels, but would look ok with knee-length boots.

Since it isn't a "dressy" dress on its own, I have accessorised with chunky pearls to try and liven it up a little - and of course the red lipstick!

All the shops are now displaying their new stock, and you can find almost any kind of animal print - leopard, ocelot and even zebra so it's great to find your own style and see what works for you.

But I think I may have to stick with trousers!




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Friday, 31 August 2018

BIRTHDAY VISIT TO LONDON


Anne C here. We all love to receive presents, but I think at 65 I've got to the age where there really is nothing I need, although there's nothing stopping us coveting a fabulous pair of shoes now and then!

So when Anne H asked me if there was anything I would like for my birthday, I really couldn't think of anything.

Instead Anne offered to take me to London for a couple of days where we could wander round the shops, eat delicious food and call in to see her lovely daughter (my God-daughter).

Travelling first class was a treat I haven't had for many years, since my corporate days when I was up and down to London several times a month, so to have breakfast on the way down and afternoon tea on the way back was fabulous.


We stayed in the Portobello Hotel with its quirky interior, which was a few streets from the main shopping area and bars/restaurants in Notting Hill. The room was lovely, though it did have the smallest bathroom we have ever seen. And keeping things up to date, Stanley Gardens was the area cordoned off by police during the Notting Hill carnival to be used as police cells!

Obviously there is lots to do an see in London as a tourist, but to be honest, over the years we have done just about everything we wanted to.Tours around Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London with the Crown Jewels, the Planetarium, Madam Tussards Waxworks, museums, riverboat trips, the London Eye (eew hated that because I'm so scared of heights!), shopping in Harrods and Oxford Street. I have even been fortunate enough to go up the BT Tower as I worked for the company for many years, and have also been lucky enough to attend a private reception at St James' Palace.



You will no doubt have read about Notting Hill - and even seen the film with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.  It is a fabulous area with beautiful homes within amazing buildings - worth staggering amounts of money too!  But the area is home to wonderful independent shops, bars and restaurants.  We spent a very pleasant afternoon browsing around bookshops, antique shops, cafes and the more up-market stores, before heading out to dinner in a fabulous little Italian restaurant.

My travelling outfit was from Madeleine, with my favourite pink jeans (now in the sale) and lovely pink sweater edged in lace.  The pink suede pumps are from George at Asda some time ago. Anne H wears a simple T shirt from Cos which is current season stock, and only £15, teamed with jeans from Levis and shoes from Geox that she bought in the sales.  The jacket she was wearing on the train was from the Reiss sale in John Lewis and featured on a previous post here.  Her glasses are the ones she finally decided upon and are MiuMiu purchased from OptiFashion - the online frames supplier - and really nice they are too!


For our night out I teamed my favourite summer purchase - a pleated bardot top from Zara (sold out), with trusty white linen trousers from Marks & Spencer.  The bag was from Zara and although I do like it, the chain handle rips everything to shreds if I wear over my shoulder! They have now done one very similar in black, but if you value your woven fabric clothes - avoid!!! 

Anne H teamed a silk top that she purchased in the White Company  with classic MaxMara tailored trousers both of which were purchased in the sale, and courts from Dune a style they do so well with a walkable heel height which is a godsend for city walking.  


We did manage to head up west though and wander round Covent Garden, which is always worth seeing if only for the street entertainment and the photo opps, even though it is a bit touristy!




Then it was back to Notting Hill and a quick look around the fabulous Portobello Road Market.



My other friends have taken a leaf out of Anne's book and this year my presents were mostly experiences to enjoy with people I love to spend time with - so I've also had a birthday tea party and a spa visit, with a lunch and afternoon tea lined up for later! Oh, but hubby did buy me the shoes!!!!
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Friday, 24 August 2018

A VISIT TO LIVERPOOL

TITANIC HOTEL 


Although we love to travel to warmer climes, it is always wonderful to spend some time in our own amazing country.  Both of us have previously been to Liverpool many times on business during our working lives, but we decided to take the opportunity to visit as a tourist this summer - and had a fabulous time! There is so much to do and to see, that we only scratched the surface in two days.


First of all, our fabulous hotel, the Titanic was just amazing!  We would certainly recommend anyone to stay there - it is just so atmospheric.  A former rum warehouse, it was lovely and cool on a very hot day.

The good news for us that even though all the rooms are spacious, we were upgraded to a larger room with oodles of space.


The hotel itself - built in 1855 - is red brick and stands in Stanley Dock, next-door to the magnificent Tobacco warehouse, which is currently being renovated into desirable residential lofts and flats.

The ceilings in the bedrooms are beautifully arched - an architectural feature of many buildings of that era, since it allows for the even distribution of weight.  However, Anne C. got the shock of her life as a small chunk of masonry fell from the ceiling in the middle of the night - something that the hotel warns about, since this is an historic building!



The rest of this fabulous building has everything a modern hotel needs - an enormous bathroom with power shower, twin sinks and a huge tub! There's free wifi, and modern and comfy furnishings, including a fabulous window seat overlooking the dock, which was perfect for sitting in to read.

We ate both lunch and dinner in Stanley's Bar and Grill and the staff were wonderfully friendly and helpful.  We would definitely go back there again, if only to try the pool and spa which we never managed to get to! 


To note that the hotel is not right in the centre - it takes around 15-20 minutes to walk to Pier Head from The Titanic.


Although The Titanic never visited Liverpool, it was registered in the city, the White Star Line had its head office there, and its New York service sailed from the city until transferring to Southampton in 1907, five years before the tragic sinking.


LIVERPOOL LANDMARKS 



A visit to Liverpool would not be complete without a walk along the Mersey River, past the iconic Liver Building. Built in 1911 by the Royal Liver Assurance company, it is now home to a number of businesses.

The "Liver Birds" which stand atop the two clock towers are in fact condors, with one facing the city to protect its citizens, while the other faces out to see to welcome incoming sailors.  However popular myth has interpreted that quite differently - the male bird looks to the city to see if the pubs are open while the female watches out for handsome sailors!  Legend dictates that if the birds were to fly away, the city would cease to exist!





The city itself has a sea-faring history, with much of the fabulous buildings being built in the Victorian era, when the bustling port brought wealth to the city with its fabulous array of goods from across the seas.

Popular culture also grew from the sailors who came into the port looking for a good time to relax and enjoy themselves after weeks at sea - they wanted a drink, some great music, and probably a pretty girl on their arm!



The Albert Dock area is a testament to the history of Liverpool, with the old buildings restored to their former glory, housing the Maritime Museum, the PierMaster's House, and further along, the modern Museum of Liverpool and The Beatles Story.


Liverpool is also home to some of the cruise liners - so if you ever book your cruise from the city - take a couple of days there to enjoy it before you embark!




THE BEATLES 




Of course we couldn't go to Liverpool without mentioning the FAB Four, so a visit to the Cavern Club where it all started was in order! The original entrance has moved a few yards along the street, but the club itself is still a bar, featuring live bands and a very lively atmosphere.



TERRACOTTA WARRIORS



This was one of our primary reasons for visiting Liverpool - to see the iconic Terracotta Warriors, on loan from China until 28th October.  These are the terracotta figures which date from 210 years BC, and were buried by the First Emperor of a unified China Qin Shi Huang.

If anything we were slightly disappointed - not because they weren't amazing since they had been buried undisturbed for centuries, but because the Museum was so busy we couldn't get close to the exhibits - and there were very few actual warriors, though there were plenty of artifacts taken from the same burial grounds as the warriors.

Interestingly no two warriors are the same - they have been painstakingly portrayed as a cross section of the population at the time - from peasant-like warriors to noblemen and soldiers.  And although the first figures were not discovered until 1974 by farmers digging a well, there are reputed to be several thousand more still undiscovered.

Our advice would be to go very early or very late to see them at their best. There are also hundreds of banners and information about the Chinese dynasties that it became mind-boggling to try and read everything while being jostled by the crowds. It was absolutely worth seeing - but avoid busy periods!



Of course we only saw a fraction of what this fabulous city has to offer in the couple of days we spent there - there are river cruises (we took the Ferry across the Mersey of course but didn't get off, so we missed the full size UBoat Exhibition in Birkenhead).  There's also the Tate Gallery at Albert Dock, Spaceport at Seacombe Ferry Terminal on the Wirral, a hop-on hop-off bus tour around the city, two stunning cathedrals, and even the Mersey Tunnel Tours, which takes you beneath the city.




However, we did manage a quick coffee in the city centre at the fabulous Liverpool One shopping centre, home to most of the UK high street shops!

There are still lots of summer activities planned for the city - there's plenty happening at the Pier Head until 9th September.  This Bank Holiday weekend sees the Creamfields Festival at Daresbury until the 26th August, the Fusion Festival on 1st and 2nd September features David Guetta, Jess Glynne, Clean Bandit and Sigala to name a few, Liverpool Comedy Festival from 14-30th September and Liverpool Food and Drink Festival at Sefton Park on the 15/16th September.

Have a great visit!



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Friday, 17 August 2018

VERSATILE SUMMER TOPS


Although we've called this versatile summer tops, in fact the white dress/top was a holiday buy in Thassos a little while ago.  Anne C has quite a few silk tops which are hip length, but this is the first longer length top, which she has worn as a dress in these photos, though it would be ok to wear over slim trousers too.


This was one of those items where she had been into a shop and bought a cardigan, then spotted this as she was just about out of the door and had to have it.

She has teamed it with the sliders which were also bought in Greece.  Note they look slightly too big for her back in the UK, but when the weather is boiling hot, she tends to wear a larger size in shoes.  A lady in a Greek shoe shop who told her that us Brits and the Scandinavian women all have this problem - less than continental women, who presumably are much more used to the heat.


We keep accessories to a minimum during hot weather -  neither of us us can be bothered with heavy jewellery, because it just makes us feel hotter still.  However, the gold chain is another Greek purchase from some years ago, while the earrings are from an Austrian brand called Pierre Lang - which used to offer jewellery to women to hold parties in their own home, but seems to have completely disappeared in recent years - if anyone knows what happened to them, we would love to know! However, Anne did find her earrings still for sale on eBay!

The watch is from Swarovski, and probably too heavy for summer wear!






Anne H's top was a sale purchase in John Lewis from the Reiss range and is their Brie Animal Burnout Blouse and goodness only knows why they came up with the a name like that.  It is in a fabulous silk blend with long sleeves and a luxurious feel that only silk can give.  Half price as well which was great, it is still available in a silver grey on the John Lewis site and in this pink tone on the Reiss site.  A great addition to the wardrobe as it is so versatile and would be amazing worn with a leather skirt or smart trousers.  



Her sandals which were purchased from Kurt Geiger also in John Lewis, are a classic grecian style flat and strappy sandal with toe strap. So easy to just throw on and wear around the house or on the beach.  Despite the High Street now firmly turning their focus to autumn we are still in the height of summer in the UK so they are getting a good wearing.


Jeans are her current go to brand Levi's and are from the 714 range. A straight stretch denim in black in the signature Levi's styling, they are a decent length to wear with heels so are great for a night out or just day to day wear.  They are currently on sale for £42.50 from Levi's and there is a huge range of colours to choose from.



And of course Daphne just had to join in to!  Rather good co-ordination with this outfit.



The navy and white top is from Quiz, and is currently in their sale at a ridiculously cheap £8.99 here, though sizes are limited.  This is a brand which is aimed at young women, but occasionally I find something suitable for an oldie like me!

Having said that I do find the flared sleeves a bit of a faff - I might have to cut those off as they get in the way!


The jeans are a budget buy from Florence&Fred@Tesco - you may have read that they have closed down their online business due to its non-profitability, though you can still buy clothes in-store.  I do have a habit of slipping some item of clothing into my trolley when I've just popped in for bread and milk!


The shoes are a sale buy from Monsoon - which were a fabulous buy at £11.70 here, while the "sapphire and diamonds" ring and earrings are actually costume jewellery from Buckley London and also includes a necklace here.


If it's not too late - there are still bargains to be had during the sales - you just have to look for them.

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