Staying Stylish When It’s Freezing Out There!

So temperatures have plummeted this week and I’ve been scouring my wardrobe for ways to look stylish while not wrapping up like I’m on a ski holiday. Only yesterday I was swanning about in a leather biker jacket and dress, this morning, totally different story. The only problem was today, I had various chores to complete from walking the dog, dropping my youngest to preschool, heading over to a nearby town to get some Christmas presents, an important meeting and equally important mate date o coffee.

and I didn’t want to run back home to get changed in between.

So what does one wear when they want to make sure they look stylish mooching round the shops, but comfortable enough to dash around after a dog or 3 year old.

Firstly start with the accessories, here’s where you can lift a so-so outfit to an I’ve-made-an-effort. Think cashmere gloves ( Mine are from Woolovers if you’re wondering ) Sometimes simply knowing you’re wearing something luxurious helps you exude confidence. Clothes should not only make you good, you should feel good. Top this outfit off with a faux fur headband from Joules

Same goes for footwear, I’m a huge boots fan come the winter. Whether it’s with skinny jeans or a dress, I feel much better going about my day in sensible shoes. My go to’s are Fly London boots, they’re super comfy and the subtle wedge helps elongate the legs while still being easy enough to walk in.

And last but by no means least, choose a functional coat which looks just as good as you strut down the high street or if you’re walking the dog. I live in my Jack Wolfskin jacket it uses only natural down insulation for tons of warmth without the bulk. (and comes with a pocket to wrap it up and tuck it away if you get too hot while out sale shopping!) Having a hood and being water repellant, you’re covered if you get caught in a shower too.

How to stay stylish when the weather's freezing

So there you go, some simple capsule items which will see you through the cooler months, a go-to which takes the pressure out of choosing what to wear each day.

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This is a collaborative post with affiliate links 

 

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Stepping out in Vionic Shoes For Autumn

I’ve pretty much lived in my Vionic sandals this summer, as well looking pretty darn fabulous, they bloody comfy too. Definitely on my must by list next year, I’m sure my leopard print beauts will last another season but when I say lived I MEAN lived; dog walks, town trips, beach days, holidays. You get the idea! Being podiatrist designed footwear, featuring patented FMT orthotic technology, I’ve not managed to trash these as quickly with my slight over pronation. The knock on effect has been a much better gait over all. So I’m sold on how a decent shoe can help.

It’s time now, though, to put those tootsies away as cold feet just ‘aint ma thing (unless it’s a night out, then it’s all about the pedicure bearing heels) so I’m swapping my sandals for some Vionic trainers for out and about days. The nice thing about this style is it’s more of smart / casual trainer which I can wear with jeans and still look relatively cool, although my teens aren’t too impressed that Mum’s sporting the must-have black and white footwear which they both own!

I on the other hand relish at any opportunity to ‘get down with the kids’ and embarrass my brood.

Fancy following suit? It’s all about the share game on here so if you’re looking for funky yet practical, no reference to age here, it’s all about combining comfort with looking good without compromising on style, something which any age can follow. Then read on…..

My latest Vionic shoes are all about combining comfort with looking good without compromising style, something any age can follow
If you’re still reading and haven’t scooted off to their website to see what I’m on about, I’ve teamed up with Vionic to share offer you 20% off their entire range using the code below

 NUTSHELL20

20% discount site-wide VIONIC shoes UK website.

Valid from today until midnight Tuesday 19th September 2017.

 

 

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This is a collaborative post 

 

 

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Quality Time & Family-Style Dining At Prezzo

One of my favourite meal times are the occasions when everything is piled into the middle of the table and we all tuck in. With 2 teenagers as my regular dining companions, it’s usually a case of shove food in & go while the toddler and I try to decipher the adolescent grunts. But those meal times,  when it’s all laid out and we have to share are much more sociable so for a change of scenery, we took one of these family meal sharing moments to our local Prezzo to see if the La Familiagra   Sharing pasta bowls had the same effect.

Try out the La Famiglia sharing dish at Prezzo wile combining precious quality family time
Sharing a huge bowl of pasta was the challenge, so the first task was to decide which one. After much deliberation

me; “So kiddos, it’s spag bol, ham or chicken. What is everyone fancying?”

kids; “chicken”

Words are kept to a minimum between the ages of 13 & 17 in our house!

We went for a Penne Alla Rusticana – a tomato sauce and chicken & bacon pasta dish and our meal also came with 2 sides of garlic bread, great for mopping up the sauce. (Being vegetarian at this point took a side step as both Maddie, Jordi’s girlfriend and I were left to pick out the meat!)

We were on a tight schedule for getting back to pick up Ronnie from my mum & step dad’s so not having to browse a menu for too long meant we’d ordered drinks and our main dish within less than 10 minutes of arriving and the food being on our table pretty quickly afterwards. This all seemed way too easy and stress free!

Try out the La Famiglia sharing dish at Prezzo wile combining precious quality family time
Arriving in a large sharing bowl, it was up to me to play mum dishing up to each of us. There was none of that diving in, each man for themselves business, it was all very conservative. (Probably due to Jordi’s girlfriend joining us.) And bizarrely, with 3 teenagers in the group, we had leftovers, even after I  dished up a round of seconds, sneaky making sure we all got a share of peppers to boost our 5 a day.


My sharing style is based on age order for the kids. Even with Ky’s appetite catching up with his brother’s, it still has to be quite tactical as Jordi will always demand the biggest share in honour of being the eldest and then the smallest portion for yours truly. It must be a family trait as I remember my mum always having the smallest portions when we were growing up.

Try out the La Famiglia sharing dish at Prezzo wile combining precious quality family time
Just over an hour later, after washing it all down with ice creams, we were on our merry way. Our conclusion;

This was a perfect midweek treat for a busy family without getting in the way of homework, yet still long enough to spend much-needed quality time. Moments like these are perfect for catching up while sharing a nice meal and definitely one we’ll be doing again sometime.

Try out the La Famiglia sharing dish at Prezzo wile combining precious quality family time
This post is an entry for the BritMums #PrezzoLaFamiglia Challenge, sponsored by Prezzo.

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Why Every Woman Needs A Pair Of Luxury Slippers

Imagine you come home from a long tiring day. You’re tired and yearn for an evening sat on the sofa. You take off your shoes, feel the hard ground underneath,  for a moment it feels nice having the freedom to wriggle your toes. But that feeling is soon over taken by a conscious feeling that the ground is little harder than you remembered, a little cold and not as comfortable as it first appeared.

You reach for your slippers, your old, tatty, worn slippers. They’re leaning on one side, your gait a permanent reminder and offer little relief from the cold and hard floor you’re trying to distance your self from.

Now imagine coming home from a long tiring day. You’ve walked what feels like the length of Britain and you need comfort. You’ve worked hard for comfort. This is what you’ve slogged for, your down time is now, this is your time  to relax.

Only this time you reach for a little bit of luxury, your moment when you feel like a queen whatever the day threw at you. Think matching underwear, Egyptian cotton sheets and scented candles, not the cheap type which never smell as good or as potent as the label makes out, I mean the ones which linger like perfume in a wax filled heavy glass jar.

Only this time that luxury is a pair of Morlands Sheepskin slippers, created with the finest sheepskin and craftsmanship only 150 years of expertise would know and right here, right now, they’re enveloping your feet, a treat to both your eyes and your senses.

there are a few luxuries in life which ware that welcome home after a long day, sheepskin slippers are one of my little luxuries.

This is why everyone needs a pair of luxury slippers.

I didn’t actually realise I needed real sheepskin slippers. Which is crazy as I’ve owed, and fully appreciated, the same pair of Ugg boots for 10 years. All be it a little battered now. I’ve tried the cheap, imitation ones. They were pathetic. Strong words for a pair of shoes, I know, but they offered nothing, da nada, zilch. They made me walk funny, made my feet sweat, and threatened to leave me with a constant pain from clenching my toes to keep them in place when they lost their shape within a few weeks.

So why should slippers be any different?

And why should I compromise of style and comfort simply because I’m at home.

Morlands sheepskin slippers are the most indulgent and practical footwear that grace the bottom of my stairs right now. Waiting for me arrive home from the muddy dog walks, the food shopping trips and the daily errands.

Who cares if The Daily Mail said you shouldn’t wear leopard print after the age of 40 (or was it even 30?) I’m growing old disgracefully and rewriting the rule book! My leopard print, sheepskin slippers have pride of place. Offering me a pat on the back on the back,

Ali, you earnt this. You’re a busy mum and  I’m going to make life as comfortable as possible while you go about your time at home.

This is why you need a pair of luxury slippers.

there are a few luxuries in life which ware that welcome home after a long day, sheepskin slippers are one of my little luxuries.

Disclaimer

I was gifted these slippers for the purpose of sharing how amazing they are with you all! 

Family Fever
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Simplifying Family life With Hello Fresh

I’d like to share a little secret with you. Please don’t tell anyone else, it’s just between you, me and these four walls. I’m getting a little help with the weekly shop. It’s not that I’m too posh to shop, far from it, it’s just I got bored. Bored with cooking the same boring old meals as I simply don’t have the time or imagination to sit down a plough through my dusty collection of cook books. So after a very kind friend saw my foodie plight, she offered me her Hello Fresh delivery voucher.

The rest is history.

I can write off a whole morning driving to the shops, walking round the supermarket, and coming home to unload and pack away. Time it wrong and I’m chasing round a mischievous toddler who refuses to sit in the trolly who then falls asleep in the car, depriving me of my golden hour of work time. And my culinary imagination is non-existent. As sole vegetarian in the house, I was just omitting the meat from family meals or replacing it with a bean burger. Bean burgers are nice, just not 4 times a week.

Then my family decided to join me on a clean eating mission but we needed a sure-fire plan to make this life switch a success. Knowing that previous attempts have lasted a few days and our fridge of healthy food has been neglected in favour of quick to prepare meals. Not this time, we were doing it properly with our ready prepared meals delivered to your door….

Hello Fresh is a weekly meal subscription service. You sign up to the meals you fancy; family, classic or vegetarian. How many people it’s for and how many meals you’d like. It’s all managed online and the best thing is that you can pause your deliveries easily through your online account if you’re going on holiday or have a busy week coming up. You just need to do it a week in advance.

Each delivery comes in a large cardboard box, insulated with natural wadding and with ice-filled plastic cool bags. And everything you need is there, right My initial worry was that there wouldn’t be enough but that simply wasn’t the case.

making family life as a busy working mum so much easier with Hello fresh boxes!

Our first box arrived containing ingredients for mushroom panzanella salad with mozzarella and caramelised onion which was every inch as fabulous as it sounds and even better, I cooked it! The following evening I came home to find Daz cooking up paella de verdurous de tempered con frijoles (seasonal veggie paella! with the music cranked up all the ingredients spread out infant of him, he was definitely more Jay Kay than Gordon Ramsey, finding the recipe card super easy to follow and producing a restaurant worthy family meal.

It was never my intention to share our Hello Fresh experience on here but I am so impressed with how it’s changed our meal times for the better, not to mention simplifying family life by taking the headache out of deciding what to cook and then shopping for them that I thought it would be wrong to keep it all to myself!  making family life as a busy working mum so much easier with Hello fresh boxes!

 

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