Keeping warm on the school run

I’m a bit of a coat and jacket addict and I’m always on the look out for the ‘perfect’ school run coat. It needs to be warm, waterproof and have a decent hood. I’ve got coats that are warm but no hood and waterproof but not warm, I think you get the idea. I thought I’d cracked it last year when I picked up a coat with a removable fur trim to the hood. I thought I was being really clever – I could have the fur on when it was cold and take it off when it rained. Unfortunately when you take the trim off the hood is then too small to cover your head! Fail. I’ve been told by friends that I need to embrace the ‘mum coat’ or ‘teacher coat’, the often brightly coloured waterproof cagole. I’m sure you know the type.

Blacks approached me to try out one of their women’s jackets for my school run mission and this is the one I chose.

The North Face Endeavour Thermoball Jacket

I love the shape of this coat. It’s nipped in at the waist and has a long scoop at the back. Considering it’s so light you wouldn’t expect it to be so warm but thanks to the clever people at The North Face its insulation traps hot air for reduced heat loss and increased warmth. The Lightweight warmth and compressibility of down with the wet-weather insulating performance of synthetic insulation. So in theory I could go for an actual run in this jacket and it would keep me warm (but not too hot) and dry. As you might have guessed I’ve not put that particular aspect to the test yet.. well unless you count legging it to school while dragging to sleepy children along with me!

The only downside is that it has fabric arms, something I didn’t clock when I chose it. So it wouldn’t be ideal in torrential rain but it can cope with a quick down pour. 

 

All in all this jacket is the perfect addition to my school run coat and jacket line up. I’ve been grabbing it and rushing out the door most days since it arrived and I think it will transition well into Spring.

I was sent this jacket for the purpose of this review, all views are my own.

morganaKeeping warm on the school run
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My girls Mini Boden Wishlist for Autumn/Winter

Now that both my girls are at school they definitely don’t need as many clothes. When they were little I’d buy loads of t shirts and playwear so if they wore them to nursery and got messy it didn’t really matter. They had lots in their wardrobes but little of it would be expensive, I couldn’t cope with watching expensive clothes get ruined. When you’re starting out two businesses in one family and have a family to support every penny counts!

With both of them being older now and needing less clothes I’m being more mindful of what clothes we buy and would be more inclined to spend more money on less so that they will last. Like so many I am obsessed with Mini Boden and love that so many of their clothes mix and match. You can put together a capsule wardrobe of lovely prints that will make up lots of outfits, here’s some examples in my girls Mini Boden wishlist for the coming Autumn and Winter.

My girls Mini Boden Wishlist

 

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Retro Stripe T-shirt |  Sherpa Lined Anorak

Velour Sweat Pants | Pinafore Skirt |

Glitter High-Tops | Fun Leggings | Raglan T-Shirt

These are the items I’ve got my eye on for my five year old. She loves comfy, fun and colourful clothes and I think these really fit the bill. The jacket will also be perfect for school in those cold winter months. I really love the stripey rainbow prints and I know that they will be an instant hit with E too.

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Printed Jumpsuit | Skinny Jeans

Leather Chelsea Boots | Fun Breton

Shirt Dress | Cosy Parka

I like that Mini Boden have combined with the older girls Johnnie B on the Boden website, it makes shopping for my girls at the same time so much easier. N prefers more muted colours and less prints but still likes to have fun with her clothes. She does like to be different to her sister, there’s no matchy matchy outfits going on in our family. With buying from the same store however, I can sneakily get them similar colours and prints so they don’t necessarily match but they do a little.. shh don’t tell them 😉

To see more of our choices head on over to Pinterest and follow our board

 

What do you think of our choices?

Are you a fellow Mini Boden fan?

 

 

(this post contains affiliate links)

morganaMy girls Mini Boden Wishlist for Autumn/Winter
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My thoughts on the Archive by Alexa collection at Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer have been a staple feature of many a high street over the years. It’s a shop I’ve been to hand in hand with my mum as a child. Hiding in rails of clothes as she shopped and trailing behind as she perused the food hall. Now as a mum myself my own children are the ones that hide in the clothes rails and they even drag me into the cafe for a treat, or two. I often buy the girls clothes from there and pop in to grab some lunch or treats for dinner but rarely have I actually bought clothes for myself, well aside from underwear!

When I was invited to view the new collection by Alexa Chung inspired by the fashion archives of Marks and Spencer I was immediately intrigued. We know that what Alexa touches turns to gold, remember that Topshop dress she wore years ago that sold out almost immediately and then more recently the M&S skirt that had all of us flocking there to find it. As a fan of vintage and vintage inspired clothes I was keen to see what the collection would look like and how it would work on the high street.

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Alexa herself was so lovely and we had a chat about the names she’s used for each of the pieces. She searched for old fashioned names that would represent the archives but with a nod to how much these names are cropping up now and coming back into fashion. Of course I had to tell her that one of my daughters names is Effie and she confessed how much she loved the name when she stumbled across it.

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I was impressed by the range of clothes, it’s a small collection but with dresses, tops, coats and shoes it could make a cute capsule wardrobe! The price range is good too and in keeping with the Marks and Spencers price point, with the most expensive piece being the Frances Trench at £89.50.

Of course I picked up arm fulls of clothes and headed straight over to the changing room. As a ‘petite’ but curvy person I found that a lot of the more soon to be iconic pieces such as the Harry blouse and Edna shirt just didn’t suit me and of course the trousers were a lost cause as at 5ft 2 I can only buy from the Petite section. The Frances trench sadly drowned me but I was over the moon to find that the piece I’d had my eye on straight away was a perfect fit –  the Effie skirt. Of course I was drawn to it immediately because of the name but also the shape is one that I really love.

 

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The Effie skirt – £39.50

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It is supposed to be a midi length skirt but on me it’s just above my ankles, a length that I prefer anyway!

I’ve got my eye on a few pieces to go with the skirt..

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Myrtle Jumper – £29.50 Helen Trainers – £49.50

It’s a really versatile skirt that can be dressed up or dressed down and would work for both spring/summer and winter.

The range isn’t in all stores, but it is all available online and I would definitely recommend taking a look. I’ve enjoyed scrolling through Instagram looking at hashtag #archivebyalexa and seeing how people are styling pieces from the range. It definitely seems like Marks and Spencer are attracting a younger shopper without having to sell out and compete with more fast fashion styled stores.

 

Thank you to Marks and Spencer for inviting me to view the collection in and chose pieces from the range for the purpose of this post.

morganaMy thoughts on the Archive by Alexa collection at Marks and Spencer
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Bomber jacket trend – for mamas and minis

The Bomber jacket trend is huge this season, and I for one cannot wait to get my hands on one (or two) as the weather starts to brighten up a bit.

I’ve put together a high street edit for us mamas and our minis. I’ve chosen stores that have both Women’s ranges and children’s though it’s worth noting that the New Look range starts from age 9 (so perfect for my eldest girl).

H & M

I buy a lot for both myself and my girls so this is a great option for us. It has ranges for both my daughters’ age groups. I choose pink for my five year old (even though it’s not to my taste I know she would LOVE it) and a gorgeous satin effect mint green/ice blue for my eldest.

 

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MINI – Glittery bomber jacket – £14.99 (age

MAMA – Bomber jacket £29.99

MINI – Satin bomber jacket £17.99 (age

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ZARA

We unfortunately don’t have a Zara near us but I often buy from them online as they have lots of stylish pieces for both myself and the girls. I adore the bomber jacket in the middle and I’m not surprised it’s out of stock in all sizes. You can be notified when they are back in though, something I’m waiting for with baited breath!

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MAMA – Oversized Bomber Jacket £49.99

MINI – Embroidered Bomber Jacket £22.99 (age 5- 14)

MAMA – Nylon Bomber Jacket £29.99

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NEXT

I wasn’t blown away by the choice that Next offered for Women, but I do like the kids bombers, particularly the middle green one. I can see my eldest in that one for sure.

Next bomber

MINI – Pink Quilted Bomber £26-£32 (age 3-16)

MINI – Khaki Bomber Jacket £26-£32 (age 3-16)

MAMA – Indigo Bomber Jacket £24

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NEW LOOK

This is a store that I rarely went in after having the girls but I think it’s really upped it’s game recently. It has a fantastic Petite section and now that my eldest is old enough for the 915 clothes we are often in there having a look. It’s great to update your wardrobe with a few pieces for the new season. You could definitely twin with these jackets, though I don’t think older kids get quite so excited wearing the same as their mum as little ones do!! 😉

New Look bomber

MAMA – Shell Pink Sateen Bomber Jacket £29.99

MINI –  Teens Shell Pink Sateen Bomber Jacket £24.99 (age 9-15)

MINI – Teens Khaki Lightweight Bomber Jacket £24.99 (age 9-15)

MAMA – Khaki Sateen Bomber Jacket £29.99

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What do you think of our choices?

 

Will you or your minis be rocking the bomber jacket trend this Spring?

 

 

morganaBomber jacket trend – for mamas and minis
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Back to Black Jeans

I don’t know if it’s the same for you but I find it really hard to find jeans that I love and that fit me properly. I’m 5 ft 2 (just) but don’t have the typical tiny petite figure. Let’s just politely call me curvy or even pear shaped. There’s no way I can buy jeans or trousers in the ordinary sections of stores it always has to be petite, which thankfully a lot of major shops have now. Gone are the days of my teen years where I would buy a pair of topshop jeans and fold up the ends and tape them or staple them (I know!). My poor mum was horrified by this and grab them off me to cut and hem properly. However they would never look quite right, especially if they were a boot cut style which was so popular back then as the proportions would be all wrong. So, yes, I’m so thankful that most of my favourite shops now have petite sections that carry a lot of the main styles.

Now I have a selection of black jeans that I LOVE they are worn in and fit me perfectly. The only downside is, now they are all starting to fade or have completely faded to a grey colour. I’ve not even had a few of them for very long! I could go out and buy more but I’m loathed to do this especially when I’m trying to lose some weight. I decided to try dying them. Personally, when I think of dying stuff I’m transported back to the nineties at camp tie dying t-shirts in buckets of pink or blue dye. Which for the record I was rubbish at. I had a tshirt with two tiny blobs on because I hadn’t tied the string tight enough! These days it’s much more convenient, and I managed to pick up dye kit that you use in the washing machine.

I’ll admit that I was a little dubious so I tested it with a pair of jeans that were really faded and that had been sat at the back of my wardrobe for a while. When they were done and dry I literally could not believe my eyes, they looked brand new again. So of course I hopped straight back on Amazon and ordered another lot!

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Dylon Wash & Dye Black Machine Dye Fabric Large 350G

I kicked myself for not taking a before and after shot of the first set of jeans but anyway, here’s the next pair that I tried.

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This is my favourite pair of jeans so I was reluctant to use them on my first try of the dye but as the first lot went so well I was happy to give these the chance to get back to black.

This dye is crazy easy to use. You empty the whole sachet in the drum along with the jeans and run it on a normal 40º wash. When it’s finished keep the jeans in the machine and add your usual detergent and run them through again. This is meant to clean the machine but I noticed remnants both times so don’t wash anything white straight after. I washed our grey towels on a hot wash just to be sure and after that there were no issues.

It’s really that easy!

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This pair has a whole new lease of life for a fiver and I couldn’t be happier! My thrifty mum would be so proud.

 

(please note that there have been reports of people getting flecks of black dye on their white laundry after using this, please make sure you read the instructions thoroughly before use.)

morganaBack to Black Jeans
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