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.






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.







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.



The Effie skirt – £39.50





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..

alexa Collage text

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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Little corners of my home

I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages but find myself waiting for that time when the house is tidier so I can take the photos. Sadly in our house that time never seems to materialise, so I’ve just gone for it anyway. Brace yourself for a lot of ‘shelfies’!

Our living room and dining room make up my favourite space in the whole house – they are the rooms that are done completely to our taste and I think really reflect our style.


As you can see I’m a little obsessed with succulents, I think this is partly because they are so hard to kill off. Let’s just say I didn’t inherit my mum’s green fingers! I’ve bought mine from Homebase, our local garden centre and M & S. Apparently there are lots in IKEA too, but unfortunately our nearest store is about an hour away, and I know I love succulents, but that is stretching it a bit!

I find myself sitting in this little corner whenever I get the chance.


I love collecting prints for our home, and the great thing about putting them on the picture shelf is you can chop and change which you display.

Print by Dottie Rocks


I’m really happy with the girls’ bedrooms too – despite E still protesting that she’d much prefer pink walls.. and I won’t even mention the fact that they never stay tidy!

Wall shelf from This Modern Life – though it is now out of stock. We also have a similar one from H & M.


We have lots of home improvement bits still left to do – like the upstairs bathroom which is being renovated next month (hurrah!) and the flooring that needs finishing downstairs. I’m looking forward to sharing with you the progress we’ll be making with the bathroom, keep your eye out for my ‘before’ post.


Collaborative post

morganaLittle corners of my home
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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.


handm Collage

MINI – Glittery bomber jacket – £14.99 (age

MAMA – Bomber jacket £29.99

MINI – Satin bomber jacket £17.99 (age



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!

zara bomber

MAMA – Oversized Bomber Jacket £49.99

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

MAMA – Nylon Bomber Jacket £29.99



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



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


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!


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.


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!

machine wash dye

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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Our living room and dining room makeover

When we first moved into our house nearly 6 years ago we decided to wait a little while before we did any redecorating or renovating. The idea was we’d settle in and then make decisions once we’d lived there a little bit. Unfortunately with both of us being self employed and starting new businesses we reached a point where we couldn’t justify spending money on the house. This meant that I lived with what I considered to be horrendous wallpaper, and a yucky cream carper for way more years than I expected to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful that we own our own home, something that a lot of people our age don’t have, I just wanted where we lived to be more ‘us’ and not so old people chic!

The wallpaper was textured and painted pale yellow and it had a brown border in the living room and brown floral border in the adjoining dining room. The carpet was cream and a thick pile which is lovely when new I’m sure, but horrendous to try and clean when there’s trodden in playdoh and food.. oh and potty training in those rooms – don’t even ask. I swear I could smell wee whenever I sat on the floor! Nice. I’d spend hours and hours on Pinterest pinning ideas and dreaming about what I’d do to the rooms when the time came.

I hated taking pictures of the girls in those rooms and made them stand against our white doors if ever I took a photo. It annoyed me that so many of the milestones I was capturing had such awful backgrounds! As a result of this I don’t have many photos of the rooms to share, part of me wishes that we’d taken a load just before we started renovating but I think I was so desperate to get on with it I didn’t give myself a chance to think about it! I’d spend hours and hours on Pinterest pinning ideas and dreaming about what I’d do to the rooms when the time came. Last summer we finally took the plunge and started renovating and let me tell you I rejoiced the day the wallpaper was stripped and the stinky carpet was chucked once and for all!


We stripped the layers of paper off and then got the plasterers in to sort out our very crumbly walls. After it dried and we got on with the painting I couldn’t believe the transformation. The rooms seemed so much bigger and lighter, just what I’d wanted. We decided to take out the double doors that separated the rooms and that made the alcoves in the dining room into space we could use. We even created a homework nook for the girls.

In the living room we had a gas fire with a marble style surround and hearth, which which lovely just wasn’t our style and with having central heating we just had no need for it. We decided to pull the whole thing out and get it replastered and tiled. We might get a woodburner in the future but for now I love it the way it is.

fire place Collage

We have a beautiful bay window that originally had metal blinds and dark brown curtains, these both had to go as the plaster around the windows needed re-doing. As it stands we currently have no curtains, but we’ve ordered some shutters that are due to be fitted after Christmas. I love our new ‘snuggler’ two seater sofa that goes in the bay I think it looks great next to my beloved Welsh Dresser that I inherited from my mum.


living room

I’ve really enjoyed adding little touches to our rooms, like the IKEA picture shelves so I can rotate what I display – I can rarely commit to hanging things on the wall! I also love the letter banners that I picked up at Violet and Percy, I’m a sucker for a motivational quote!

room tour colllage

When we first got married we bought ourselves a brand new suite from DFS and well after ten years this poor sofa and chairhad seen better days, it was one of the first things we bought as a couple and after being abused by two small children it’s looking rather sad. I’d been itching to get rid of it for a couple of years but we dug in and decided to wait until E started school. We now have my dream sofas, they are part of the French Connection collection for DFS.


There’ll be no bouncing while eating chocolate on these beauties!

I’ve loved styling these rooms and definitely think white walls are the way to go for me, a gorgeous blank canvas that will enable me to switch things up every now and again. As we add bits, like the new TV unit, and change things, like painting the dining chairs I’ll do a little update, as after all I’ll want to show you our new shutters too!

I cannot tell you how much I love spending time in these rooms, and I don’t care if that sounds a bit tragic! Having space that we’ve created and that’s so ‘us’ is just perfect.

Take a look at my pinterest boards for more room decor inspiration.

Follow Morgana’s board Dining room inspiration on Pinterest.Follow Morgana’s board Living room inspiration on Pinterest.

Thanks to Red Candy for the Umbra Trigg small wall vessells, everything else we’ve bought ourselves.

morganaOur living room and dining room makeover
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Green People gift sets just in time for Christmas (with a giveaway!)

I’ve been a big fan of Green People, and their organic beauty and skin care products for a long time now, and not just for me but for our whole family, and if you read my former blog you’ll know that we’ve worked together a lot in the past. I’m happy to say that Green People have decided to continue working with me at my new home and we’ve got a gorgeous little pre-Christmas giveaway for you.

Green People have teamed up with the Woodland Trust and put together these special limited edition gift sets where a donation is made to the Woodland Trust with each purchase. I’ve been lucky enough to get a preview of the range and have been testing out the Hand Collection.


The Hand Care Collection contains:

Ho Wood & Red Mandarin Hand Cream (50ml)

  • Rich, non-greasy hand cream with a naturally sweet and warming aroma
  • Deeply hydrating and protects against moisture loss

Lavender & Rose Geranium Hand Cream (50ml)

  • Soothing and restorative hand cream nourishes ‘hard-working’ hands
  • Enriched with the organic essential oils from Rose Geranium and Lavender

At this time of year especially my hands need a little extra TLC and these hand creams are just what I’ve been in need of. I love the smell of Green People products, the combination of Lavendar and Rose Geranium is gorgeous but not overpowering and definitely not fake smelling like so many other brands can be.

Green People gift set

They are the perfect size to pop in your handbag, in fact I have one in mine right now, the other one lives on my dressing table.

green people gift set

There are other gorgeous sets in this collection to choose from,

The Men’s Collection

The Men’s Gift Collection contains:

Orange Peel & Clove Body Wash (100ml)

  • Nourishing SLS-free body wash that retains skin’s natural moisture
  • Vitamin-packed with an uplifting spiced citrus aroma

Peppermint & Eucalyptus Body Wash (100ml)

  • Energising and refreshing body wash with cooling minty scent
  • Yucca effectively cleanses skin without stripping its natural moisture


The Facial Collection


The Facial Care Gift Collection contains:

Rosemary & Sandalwood Facial Moisturiser (30ml)

  • Vitamin-packed organic moisturiser with a subtle Sandalwood aroma

Calendula & Geranium Facial Cleanser (30ml)

  • 2-in-1 organic cream cleanser removes all impurities and make-up

Mandarin & Bergamot Face Scrub (30ml)

  • Organic exfoliator gently removes dead skin cells and impurities for instant radiance


The Body Collection

The Body Care Gift Collection contains:

Lemongrass & Ginger Body Lotion (100ml)

  • Organic pampering lotion blended with warming Ginger and zesty Lemongrass
  • Rich in natural actives and suitable for even the most sensitive skin

Lemongrass & Ginger Body Wash (100ml)

  • SLS-free body wash creates an uplifting shower experience and locks in moisture
  • Gently and effectively cleanses the skin with stripping its natural oils


Now for your chance to your hands on one of these giftsets, whether it’s a treat for yourself or a gift for a loved one..

Just enter the giveaway below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

morganaGreen People gift sets just in time for Christmas (with a giveaway!)
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October’s wishlist – the 8th birthday gift guide

It’s October and well it’s actually nearly the end of October, not really sure how that happened, this means it’s nearly my eldest daughter’s 8th birthday. Normally I’m more organised than this and have her gifts sorted, but I’m finding myself woefully under prepared this year.

She’s getting a hamster as her main present, which after over a year of pestering we’ve finally been worn down, this is after she’s promised that she will do everything… lets see how long that lasts! I’m also taking her shopping and out for lunch on her birthday, she’s had a growth spurt meaning all her trousers are too short so clothes shopping is a must! As we’re away on her birthday she has to wait until we are home to get her hamster so I want to have a few little things for her to open on the day.

These are my 8th birthday gift guide ideas for my fact loving, Adventure Time obsessed, Harry Potter fan.


8th birthday gift guide 28th birthday gift guide

1 ADVENTURE TIME Deluxe Mini Figures (Pack of 6) // 2 Star Wars™ T-Shirt With Sequins

3 Black Short Dungaree Set // 4 Rockahula Silver Glitter Bow Clips

5 Harry Potter – Complete 8-Film Collection [Blu-ray] // 6 Pop Adventure Time Marceline Vinyl Figure

7 Unicorn Pen // 8 Harry Potter Colouring Book // 9 Gangsta Granny //10 BrainBox – Kings & Queens

11 Top Trumps – Adventure Time


She won’t be getting all of these from us, but there are some great ideas there and it will help with Christmas buying too!

What do you think of our 8th birthday gift guide ideas?


morganaOctober’s wishlist – the 8th birthday gift guide
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Introducing byStroom for childrenswear, maternity wear and style inspiration


You know me, I love a good online shop, especially if it’s a fellow independent store, so when Danish company byStroom got in touch it was a bit of a no brainer when it came to deciding whether to work with them on a feature. They’ve recently set up a UK webshop showcasing a mix of their own brand and some well know independent labels too, including one of our favourites, Mini Rodini.

You can shop for beautiful maternity, baby, and childrens wear, as well as a few treats for mamas too. One of the first items to draw my eye were these enchanting tutus.

tutu byStroom

My girls adore them too, and they come in a rainbow of colours, so there’s one for everyone. I think my girls have their party outfits sorted for the forseeable future with these beauties! To be honest if they had it their way they would wear these tutus everyday! The byStroom Pettiskirts, as they call them, come in sizes 0-9 years and now there are super cute tiny pettishorts for babies!


tutu byStroom

tutu byStroom

tutu byStroom

What I love about this kind of skirt is that you can change it up depending on what clothes you put it with. For a fun and active party just popping it with a tshirt and boots, or even Converse is a great casual twist. For a more formal outing like a wedding these skirts can be dressed up with glittery party shoes and a delicate blouse or top.

Of course there’s lots in store for us mama’s too. They have a fantastic maternity range that I wish had been around when I was pregnant with my two. Honestly there’s so much more available these days! I particularly like this jumpsuit.

.byStroom maternity wear

Queenie jumpsuit – Black £40


It looks so comfy and would be great from the start of pregnancy right through to breast feeding as when the built-in breastfeeding function is in use the inside layer covers you so it’s simple and discreet.

They also stock a wide range of kids and ladies bags. I particularly love this gorgeous fringed suede bag, I am absolutely smitten with it and use mine all the time.

bystroom fringed bag

Perfect for all the essentials!

Go on over and take a look, you won’t be disappointed.


Thank you byStroom UK for partnering with Coffee Work Sleep Repeat.

Links – byStroom UK – webshopfacebookinstagram

morganaIntroducing byStroom for childrenswear, maternity wear and style inspiration
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Our pre-teen room makeover

Last month I blogged about how we were thinking of changing Noo’s room, giving it a pre-teen room makeover and make better use of the space she has, or rather lack of it! You can catch up on the post here.

The beds the girls have can be used separately or put together to form a bunk bed, so the first thing we did was move N’s bed out of her room and back into E’s to form the bunk bed. While we waited for Ns new bed to be delivered she moved back in with E. I knew that the transition of sharing a room again might be tricky, but wasn’t prepared for the repercussions around them sleeping, or rather not sleeping. It caused weeks of very stressful bedtimes as they would just keep each awake by winding each other up!

As I mentioned in the previous post we decided that a cabin bed would best suit the space and give her lots more storage so that she’s able to keep her room tidy. The problem we had before was that there was just no where for all her stuff to go meaning that trying to keep it tidy was such a nightmare. The hope with having a bed that had drawers, shelved, wardrobe and desk under it would solve that problem. We choose a highsleeper cabin bed from Mrs Flatpack.

Of course before ordering it I measured the space out properly to make sure it would fit, and purposely chose a bed with the ladder on the front rather than on the side as there wouldn’t be enough space for her to climb on at the end. When it came to building the bed, however, I hadn’t taken into consideration that we’d actually need space to build it. We only had centimetres between the ends of the bed and the walls. Oops. It was really quite stressful and puzzling at times as to whether we’d manage to finish it! It took a lot of strategic planning and late nights, but somehow we managed it! Phew.

The shape of her room and the fact that it’s so small makes it really difficult to photograph and there was no way I could get the whole bed in one good shot, so please do bear with me!

pre-teen room makeover

pre-teen room makeover

pre-teen room makeover


pre-teen room makeover

We decided to get rid of her old book shelves but we kept the wardrobe as the wardrobe with the bed was rather small and I didn’t want to cram her clothes in. Instead we use the hanging space in the bed wardrobe for all her school uniform.


I must admit I did enjoy figuring out where to put all her stuff and of course had a little cull of a few things that she didn’t need anymore. I love making sure that their is a space for everything so that tidying up is made so much easier. I did the same in E’s room over the summer. I order a load of underbed storage boxes and each one is themed so one for barbies and ponies, one for her play kitchen stuff etc. Makes tidying up in the evenings before bed such a breeze for them. It keeps all those little bits and pieces safely tidied away, and out of sight!

Another big thing we needed to do was buy a blind. Poor N had been complaining for months that her room was too light and she just couldn’t get to sleep. We were sent this blind from Web Blinds and it was perfect timing as you can see. I ordered a neutral grey colour (Luna Grey) and I think it works really well. Of course the best thing of all is that it blocks out the light perfectly, and as a result Noo has found it so much easier to fall asleep at night.

pre teen bedroom decor


N’s got her own little desk now which will be perfect for homework and dare I say it… make up in the future (!). We chose this chair Eames style chair in white as she loves my bigger one in my office. I’m going to get her some LED battery stick on spot lights for the top as it’s not particularly light.


pre-teen bedroom decor

pre teen room makeover

pre teen bedroom decor

pre teen bedroom decor

pre teen bedroom decor


N is so happy with her new room and we’re excited to add the ongoing touches to it as she gets used to the room and figures out what she needs. Hopefully this is a space she can call her own and will last her into her early teen years.

What do you think of our pre-teen room makeover?



Thank you to Web Blinds for Ns blackout blind, unless otherwise stated everything else we bought ourselves.

morganaOur pre-teen room makeover
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Those Autumn evenings

Despite promises of an Indian Summer it definitely feels like we’ve moved into a new season of cooler days and darker evenings. I think this shift in seasons is amplified with the change of pace. No more lazy pajama mornings, we’re now rushing around a piece of toast in one hand and a hairbrush in the other, shepherding half dressed children through the morning tasks and out of the door ready for school. Evenings are a blur of after school activities, errands and then only stopping when the children are in bed and the to do list has been ticked off or thrown in the bin! When my husband and I are both at home we really try to spend time together after the stress/bustle of the day. That 9pm-10pm time sat watching tv together or reading a book, or lets be honest here it’s more like watching tv while also looking at our phones!

I don’t know about you but I end up putting on my jamas when my girls do, sorry Mr Tesco but if you’re delivering to my house anytime after 7pm you’ll be met at the door by a topknot, no makeup wearing and pajama clad 30 something tired looking woman.

The evenings are not that cold yet, and I’m not ready for the fluffy dressing gown and slippers of winter but I need something a little more than pajamas. I’ve discovered these gorgeous and stylish kimono style gowns by Verry Kerry.

Verry Kerry are passionate about producing ethical, colourful and unique clothing. Founder Kerry Mounsey talks about how she was always a bit different, even as a 3 year old she chose to wear odd socks and always had an idea of what she likes and doesn’t like. Doesn’t she sound just like my girls? I love working with brands that have a clear identity and a story behind them, much more fun than buying from the highstreet.

They have so many lovely kimono designs to choose from, I particularly loved this one,



At 5ft 2, however, I just knew something full length like this would swamp me, so I opted for a mid length kimono.


Carmen Miranda short kimono gown



It’s perfect for pottering round the house and then lounging on the sofa ready to watch Sons of Anarchy or reading a book. This kimono is so light and comfortable and I was particularly drawn the the bright print and, of course, the black edging. I shall spend many evenings wearing this stylish kimono – much better than a scruffy hoodie!







Thank you to Verry Kerry for partnering with us and sending over the kimono, as always all views expressed are my own.





morganaThose Autumn evenings
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