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I am rather anxious this morning as I am helping at Youngest Child's Egyptian Day. I saw footage of toga-togged youngsters rampaging through the streets of Dunedin in New Zealand a couple of days ago. I hope our class of tunic-clad children are slightly better behaved - the fact that they are 9 years old and will not be drinking alcohol should help, one would hope.

I have 'helped' at these themed days in previous years with varying degrees of success. On Viking Day I was in charge of soap carving. At the precise moment the teacher explained to the wise children about the perils of putting their fingers in their eyes after handling soap my fingers were scratching my eye. Too late! I spent the lesson with a very watery red eye and what must have seemed like a nervous tick. Another year the teacher had hidden an IKEA rat in a basket at the wise woman table (I was that wise woman - now there's a laugh!) As soon as I saw it I yelped and scooted from the table. I could see Youngest Child shaking her head and giving me a withering look from across the room. Then there was Mexican Day when I was entrusted with making guacamole with rock hard avocados and blunt knives! Hopefully today I will be given a relatively easy task whereby I will not disgrace myself and more importantly the unfortunate children under my charge will come to no lasting harm.

My poor children - when I think of it I do seem to have let the side down on a number of occasions. Hopefully they have forgiven me and as they get older they will realise that humiliating your children is one of the perks of being a parent! I cannot guess how today will go but on previous form I think a career in education probably doesn't beckon. I guess I should probably stick to picking out season must-haves which I hope you will feel I do with a greater degree of success.

 

 

This Limited Collection Tulip Hem Mac from Marks & Spencer comes in light sand or violet storm. The design and styling detail is second to none and make it a truly delightful piece. Remember this isn't any old mac this is a Marks and Spencer Tulip Hem Mac (did you say that in the deep voice of Dervla Kirwan?)

 

Limited Collection Tulip Hem Mac

 

This Mood For Love Skirt from White Stuff has the most attractive embroidered flower detailing. I'm going to wear mine with a white t-shirt and chunky beads, what about you? (P.S. Delivery is free at White Stuff until 3/3/09!)

 

Mood For Love Skirt

 

This Katrina Tee from White Stuff is fab and it comes in White, Forest or Tobacco. The 100% cotton top has a rolled edge neck with decorative buttons, slight ruching at the chest and across the back and cap sleeves. What more could a girl want? Well how's about free delivery - you've got it - White Stuff are offering Free UK Standard Delivery on all orders until 3/3/09 - just enter promotional code 'pancake' at checkout.

 

Katrina Tee

 

This Limited Collection Short Sleeve Tunic from Marks & Spencer is stupendous - I love it! The pleated scoop neckline and broderie detail are exquisite.

 

Limited Collection Short Sleeve Tunic

 

These Limited Collection Pure Linen Wide Leg Belted Trousers from Marks & Spencer are fabulous and oh so smart.

 

Limited Collection Pure Linen Wide Leg Belted Trousers

 

Having Jones as a surname I do sometimes pine after a more exotic name but then I read yesterday about Justin Case, Stan Still, Terry Bull, Doug Hole, Paige Turner, Anna Sasin, Hazel Nutt, Anna Prentice and Annette Curtain or my 3 favourites - Barry Cade, Carrie Oakey and Tim Burr. What on earth were their parents thinking? Maybe they had a favourite first name and never actually said the whole name out loud to see what it sounded like together. These poor people have gone through life with this affliction, it's a wonder they have stuck with these names.

Father of the Children reminded us of years ago when he worked in a travel agency. There was an initiation ceremony whereby any new recruit was asked to call a customer to let them know their tickets were ready for collection. Unbeknown to the unsuspecting staff member the number to be called was London Zoo and the customer to be asked for was a certain Mr C. Lion, or for variety, Mrs G. Raff or Miss L.E. Font. All extremely childish and yet quite hysterical at the time.

Some people do succeed in escaping the ignominy of an unfortunate name - I saw in the announcements column (still addicted - see blog) that Miss Bore is to marry a Mr Ferrari! Her world will change beyond all recognition. Even the most innocuous-sounding name is no guarantee of anonymity. Sarah Coggles, one of our featured retailers, takes it's name from the mistress of the husband of the founder! The by-now famous Sarah Coggles brand serves as a constant reminder of the error of the now ex-husband's ways - yikes!  Without further ado here are some delightful finds from the likes of Mr Boden, Miss Perkins and Mr Marks with his friend Mr Spencer.

 

 

Isn't this Paul Smith Polka Swimsuit from Sarah Coggles just divine? The 1950’s style black and white polka dot swimsuit has a halter-neck tie, padded bra and frilled trim and I'm in love!

 

PAUL SMITH WOMEN'S ACCESSORIES
991H-U22 Polka Swimsuit

 

This Black Lucy Paysuit from French Connection is bang on trend this Summer. The sleeveless cross over playsuit has belted waist detail and an ultra feminine slash back. Tres chic!

 

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I just can't get enough stripes and this Navy/oatmeal batwing jumper from Dorothy Perkins is right up my street. It will look great worn with jeans or white trousers. It comes in coral and cream too.

 

Navy/oatmeal batwing jumper

 

This Limited Collection Cotton Rich Pussy Bow Shirt from Marks & Spencer is amazing! The round neck and over-sized bow creates a beautiful stunning modern look.

 

Limited Collection Cotton Rich Pussy Bow Shirt

 

These Suede Toe Pumps from Boden are a classic for your wardrobe. Brill with jeans or in the Summer with shorts - available in Antiqued Gold, Denim Blue, Orange, Rhubarb, Sea Lion and Silver. As featured in Red Magazine, March 2009 issue.

 

Suede Toe Pumps

 

I hope you had a flippin' good pancake day yesterday. I consumed far too many of course. I went to a friend's house for lunch and she made the most delicious American-style pancakes for pudding topped with blueberries, syrup and extra thick cream. They were made with whisked egg whites and other complicated ingredients which is probably why they were so delicious in comparison with my own more modest milk/flour/egg recipe.

On returning from school Youngest Child informed me she'd been dreaming of pancakes in class and could she have some now? The batter was duly whisked and off we went - lemon juice and sugar is her admirably-restrained topping of choice. My confidence was somewhat knocked when my tossing skills were called into question as, apparently, she can toss pancakes over 100 times in 'Cooking Mama 2'. I launched into my explanation that computer games and real life are not the same but she remained singularly unimpressed as I continued to chase pancakes around the kitchen.

On the return of Eldest Child from Netball a little later she wanted some too and so the process was repeated, this time with lashings of syrup. Commendably, she was less concerned with how my prowess compared to an animated cartoon character, and more concerned with how I could improve my approach! With the aid of some research she reliably informed me that, apparently, Dr Fairclough, a lecturer of mathematics and statistics at Wolverhampton University, has created the ideal formula for the perfect pancake. The secret recipe, and it isn't Delia's, is: 100 - [10L - 7F + C(k - C) + T(m - T)]/(S - E) with the closer you get to a 100 resulting in the better the pancake. Seemingly 'L represents the number of lumps in the batter and C equals its consistency. The letter F stands for the flipping score, k is the ideal consistency and T is the temperature of the pan. Ideal temp of pan is represented by m, S is the length of time the batter stands before cooking and E is the length of time the cooked pancake sits before being eaten'.

So, as I listened politely to where I have been going wrong all these years, I ignored all the above, ate far more than I should have and they were all jolly tasty! All this talk of food is making me think of lemon, sugary pancakes so to stop me from getting out the frying pan again here are some delightful finds online to keep my mind occupied.

 

 

Wallis have weaved a very clever tale with this Green Beaded Shift. It is 'launched' today, 25th February, and they trace the history of the dress manufacture starting with the find of a vintage emerald dress in Portobello Road on Friday 30th June all the way through, via design, press days etc, to the exclusive internet launch! Be quick if you like it as the 100% silk dress has had loads of positive press so should fly!

 

Green Beaded Shift

 

This Grey Boyfriend Fit Jacket from Dorothy Perkins is so smart and I love the way you can turn the sleeves up for that casual look.

 

Grey Boyfriend Fit Jacket

 

This Black Marzotto Suit Shift Dress from Austin Reed just oozes style and sophistication. The neckline and cut of the dress is phenomenal - I adore it!

 

Black Marzotto Suit Shift Dress

 

Oh la la! These limited edition Nautical Wedges from New Look are sensational. They come in Red Pattern or White and are just the thing for the nautical look this season.

 

Nautical Wedge

 

This Single Breasted 3/4 Sleeve Contrast Trim Blazer from Marks & Spencer is fabulous. All you need now is a motor cruiser on the Riviera and a glass of campari - oh how presumptuous of me I apologise, you already have the motor cruiser moored off Antibes! I'm sure you're as thrilled as me about finding this heavenly jacket - spot on for the Summer season.

 

Single Breasted 3/4 Sleeve Contrast Trim Blazer

 

Today sees the much awaited opening of the exhibition put together by the milliner Stephen Jones called Hats: An Anthology at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Hats on show range from a 2,600 year old Egyptian hat, which is made from linen, papyrus and plaster to Darth Vader's helmet, the hat the Queen Mother wore on her 100th birthday, Sarah Jessica Parker's hat she wore to the Sex and the City premiere, Marlene Dietrich's beret not forgetting a Barbara Cartland ostrich-feather creation. Jones spent 2 years travelling the world looking at over 7,000 hats for the exhibition. The chosen ones are made up of a third from the V&A collection, a third by Jones himself and the rest are from private collections, museums and other designers.

Incase you are overcome with a creative urge Stephen Jones has designed a paper hat for The Guardian newspaper and the V&A that you can make yourself! The origami specialist Nick Robinson has produced a step-by-step guide called my beautiful paper hat for your delectation! If origami's not your thing here is a variety of hats online for your enjoyment.

 

 

Waowh! This Corsage Fascinator on Headband from Marks & Spencer has a real touch of the exotica about it! It comes in this stunning blue mix colour or fuchsia. Both will look stunning for a wedding or a day at the Races!

 

Corsage Fascinator on Headband

 

This Del Moro Ladies' Soft Felt Cloche with Stitching from Forzieri is so stylish and comes in the huge Del Moro range of colours, 13 in total including - beaver brown, black, burgundy, camel, navy blue, ruby red and white.

 

Del Moro Ladies' Soft Felt Cloche with Stitching

 

This Bow & Feather Fascinator Headband from Marks & Spencer is so cute. The twisted bow and feather detail sits on a spotted mesh disc and all is attached to a headband for a lovely secure fit. I love it!

 

Bow & Feather Fascinator Headband

 

This Multi Shrunken Trilby Hat from Miss Selfridge is perfect and will look great with a black coat for that air of mystery and intrigue!

 

Multi Shrunken Trilby Hat

 

This Del Moro Ladies' Felt 'Borsalino' Hat with Stitched Brim from Forzieri is a classic and comes in a huge range of colours - deep breath (that's not one of them) - beaver brown, biege, black, brown, burgundy, camel, dark brown, dark grey, dark green, grey, loden green, navy blue, ruby red and last but not least white!

 

Del Moro Ladies' Felt 'Borsalino' Hat with Stitched Brim

 

We had a great day yesterday but boy do I ache today! We went for a huge cycle, well 7 miles actually. With this news my Father and Brother With The Same Birthday As Me, who are both doing the L'Étape du Tour this year (a stage of the Tour de France for amateurs) and think nothing of doing 60 mile bike rides, will be rolling around on the floor clutching their sides!

I made the big error of course of wearing a skirt. Father of the Children was dressed for a stage of the Tour de France. Eldest and Youngest Child were equally suitably attired but as I was wearing a horrifically unfashionable helmet I thought I should put more effort into my attire. Father of the Children looked at me in disbelief as I tottered out the door in full make up and dressed for a lunch date. He so doesn't understand! I feel I have to be ready for any occasion so it's important if I am seen as the face of Must Get That locally I don't let the side down.

I was having second thoughts at about the 4 mile mark as I tussled with my skirt against what felt like a force 8 gale. I fell so far behind I stopped for a rest and was caught, by the rest of the family who had turned back to search for me, stuffing custard creams (picnic essential on a long bike ride) into my mouth. What they forget is that the bike may have 6 gears but only 3 seem to work, I am weighed down by the wicker basket on the front which contains drinks, biscuits and all their clothes which they have shed on the way, oh and a pump not to mention the aerodynamic resistance provided by the streamers from my handlebars!

As I puffed up to the house, wrestling with my skirt I swore that the next time the bike came out the dress code of the day would definitely be trousers! So with that in mind here are some lovely wind defying, leg covering treats on-line right now.

 

 

The style of this seasons harem pants are a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it! These Black Jersey Harem Trousers from Wallis are a fine example, go on give them a try!

 

Black Jersey Harem Trouser

 

These Double Button Wide Leg Trouser from Wallis will be wonderful this Spring/Summer. Just the thing for teaming with open toed sandals and a stripey top for that top nautical look!

 

Double Button Wide Leg Trouser

 

These Straightleg Cotton Crops from Boden are perfect for this Spring and Summer. Worn with a tunic or t-shirt they are terrific. Boden have removed the front pockets giving the trousers a wonderful smooth line. They come in Chalk, Black, Khaki, Washed Navy and White - the choice is yours.

 

Straightleg Cotton Crops

 

Ahoy me hearties, these Wideleg Sailor Trousers from Boden are just the thing for you! They come in 4 colour choices Sea Lion/Ivory Stripe, Denim Blue/White Stripe, Sea Lion and Navy. The button detailing on the front pockets and back patch pockets make them oh so special. You'll definitely catch the attention of passing sailors in these.

 

Wideleg Sailor Trousers

 

These Wideleg Denim Turn-ups from Boden are guaranteed to be a hit this Spring/Summer. The flattering cut is available in Vintage Denim, Antique White, Grey Denim and Dark Olive. The button detailing at the waist and the fact they come in regular or long leg length makes them even more appealing!

 

Wideleg Denim Turn-ups

 


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Hoping the holes in the lace dress will trap air for added warmth today!


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