Whilst I like a good ankle boot or a funky pair of Converse, by 'thing' is more bags than shoes (probably as I have silly wide, hobbit feet and can't wear just any ol' shoe!). I LOVE bags. Crazy amounts.
When I buy a new one now, I give it plenty of thought as my bag is a big part of my look and I don't just buy anything that catches my eye any more. For me, bags fit with certain looks and occasions, so each new one has to be different to what I already have and give me a different style to work with.
I'm really liking classic designs - the kind of bag that will last and last. So whilst I don't have the budget or desire to have designer handbags, I have invested in a couple of upper high street options that I know will stand the test of time and I will love over the years,
One such bag is the satchel, from THE place to buy them - The Cambridge Satchel Company.
I've been a fan of Sue since the days of Light Lunch - a kind of Sunday Brunch / Loose Women from many years ago - and I always love seeing her on comedy panel shows. I think her honest persona and sense of humour are really on point and she has a great deal to say - and worth hearing too.
She was at Birmingham Town Hall as part of a tour, with the audience being treated to an evening with Sue as she brought exerts from her book, Spectacles, to life and answered questions from the audience.
From the moment she came on and addressed the elephant in the room (her resignation from GBBO just days before since it's move from the BBC) to the way she closed the show by singing her own moving version of (who knew she had such a good voice?), she entertained and captivated her audience.
Last week, we enjoyed a rare mid-week evening meal out as a family. We don't often go out to eat, particularly on a school night just as there's not a lot of time to get together and do whatever we need to before Ethan's bedtime routine kicks in.
So last Wednesday was a real treat. We were invited to try the new Jamie's Evening Favourites Menu - which offers three courses for just £18.95 per person from a selection of four to five dishes per course, Mon-Thurs after 6pm. Being fans of Jamie (I have most his cookery books and like the Hello Fresh service he's a part of), loving Italian food and needing a night off cooking duty, we couldn't wait to visit Jamie's Italian at Bullring, Birmingham.
For at least three weeks now, we've been part of the 2am club. It's an exclusive club of three members and it involves at least twice nightly gatherings, usually, as the name would suggest, around 2am.
Since around six months old, Ethan has been a good sleeper (*touch wood*, *crosses fingers*) and aside from needing one of us to stay with him, or be close by, as he drifts off the sleep (which we don't mind really), he's slept through each night with only the odd disruption if he's unwell or had a bad dream.
So this new routine of waking up at around 2am on the dot and then perhaps again later - or sometimes earlier, depending on when he's gone to bed - has taken some getting used to.
It feels a bit like having a newborn again - but as soon as I think that, I laugh at myself as I remember the awful feeling of sleep deprivation and waking every two hours to feed a baby.
We're not sure what's going on, but we have a theory. After one or two nights of this happening, we wondered whether something he'd watched on TV was upsetting him or if the dragon in Room on the Broom was giving him nightmares.
He then started mentioning a boy. Staring at him. Who he was scared of. For a moment, we thought we were entering into some scary Sixth Sense territory, until one night he said to me, as I was settling him back to sleep, that he was afraid that a boy from preschool was going to come and hurt him.
Had this been on his mind all along?
Do you shop locally, independent or like to know where your food comes from? Following on from my Hello Fresh trial, I'm really trying to shake up what we eat have been introduced to a new online service that could be right up my street.
I love discovering new things so I was keen to find out more about Caprera; an online marketplace for independent food and drink producers, that have been especially selected for customers to choose from. You pick what you're interested in and they put it all together in one convenient delivery. Sounds intriguing, right?
I'll be reviewing them soon so will let you know how I get on, but thought I'd pop a quick post up in case this is your kind of thing to.
Recognise this kitchen? Last weekend, we went to FriendsFest at Harewood House near Leeds to relive highlights of this iconic show about six friends - and I went with my three best friends for possibly the best selfie moment ever.
I'll probably write a post about FriendsFest soon, but for now I wanted to share this photo in particular as I can't quite believe how much it really looks like we are sitting in Monica's kitchen...
And on another note, can we talk about kitchen goals?! I absolutely loved visiting the apartment set and think I may just write another post about taking inspiration from the decor...
Always one to keep playing with something, never completely satisfied, I've been making some tweaks here and there just trying to improve this little space, my social channels and have a bit of a clearer direction. My head is so muddled a lot of the time and just giving some fresh thought to who I am, what interests me and what I want to write about and share has really helped.
With Instagram being my favourite social channel, I've been keen to be more active and share, like and comment more, hoping in turn to boost my feed to somewhere nearer my Twitter following. I'm always taking photos so this space feels really natural to me and after reading all sorts of advice on how to improve your output, including this really useful post on Dolly Dowsie (thanks Fi!), I've decided to have multiple accounts.
Like I need to juggle more things, right?!
Actually, for me, it's about bringing some sense and control to things. My main Instagram account has always been for anything and everything I like or in my life and whilst I do try and focus on quality photos and thinking what kind of photo style is 'me', I appreciate that some followers follow accounts that have a strong theme. Not EVERY theme under the sun.
So, three Instagram accounts have been born and I've shifted my blog every so slightly and the new Instagram accounts reflect this.
Mums often talk about having a 'mumiform' and it's true to say that most of us probably have a go-to outfit that feels comfortable and suits our day-to-day life and our own personal style.
As I've got older, I've become more comfortable in my own skin and in expressing my own style. I'm no fashionista, by any stretch, but I am a real woman and a real mum so my tastes, choices and budget reflect this. It may be the fact I've tried so many looks over the years, or the fact that it's been a very long time since I bought or read a fashion magazine; I just don't get a lot from them any more. It's either really throw away, targeted at women in their teens and twenties, for women with a purse capacity to match their designer wardrobe or for those considered 'over a certain age'. Being early thirties, with a modest budget, squidgy middle but still a strong sense of self, I do find inspiration hard to come by that matches my likes and my reach - except for on Instagram.
I decided to not let any of the above stop me from writing about style, defined within my own terms, and to share ideas and looks on here as I continue to develop a sense of self on this blog.
So, to start things off, this To Become... Style is all about my new season staples - a chunky scarf and the pinafore dress.