Monday, 29 February 2016

Strong Rich Tones and Paisley Pattern Joggers + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Layered tunic, roll neck and paisley joggers | Not Dressed As lamb
Pattern's an easy theme for most I think this week, so I went for something a little different: These paisley pattern joggers are now the first item of paisley print anything I own! In what I hope is going to be one of the last few truly wintry outfits of this year, I've gone for a very rich palette of burgundy, black and grey - with a little hit of warm tones in the form of a camel fedora and taupe block heel loafers (LOVE this shape shoe - they're so flattering and pretty comfortable thanks to the heel).

You might be amazed to know that this whole outfit (including shoes but excluding accessories) comes to a total of £66: Top marks, George at Asda!

I've been into my roll necks a lot this past winter, and I do like a roll neck layered under dresses or other tops like this burgundy asymmetrical tunic. The grey and burgundy look soooo nice together - I know they're very autumnal colours and we're approaching spring, but when it's freezing outside it still makes sense.

I'VE BEEN INTO MY ROLL NECKS A LOT THIS PAST WINTER, AND I DO LIKE A ROLL NECK LAYERED UNDER DRESSES OR OTHER TOPS LIKE THIS BURGUNDY ASYMMETRICAL TUNIC.

A quick one from me today - I've been away at a blogging conference all weekend and I'm about to shoot off to London (train leaves in a couple of hours, eek): I've got myself tickets for the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery to celebrate British Vogue's 100 year anniversary... Can't wait. (Anyone been to see it already?)

So do add all your outfits - especially anything patterned - to this week's iwillwearwhatilike link up!

WHAT PATTERNS ARE ROCKING YOUR WORLD AT THE MOMENT - AND HAVE YOU STARTED WITH STRIPES AND/OR FLORALS FOR SPRING YET? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Layered tunic, roll neck and paisley joggers | Not Dressed As lamb
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Sunday, 28 February 2016

Getting Back to Fitness | My Long-Term Plan For Future Health (New Series) #notlambFIT

Getting Back to Fitness | A Long-Term Plan For Future Health (a Series)
So the time has come: My plan for getting back to fitness following my back/leg injury last year is underway. This is no short-term thing just to shift the pounds I inevitably put on over Christmas whilst being completely laid up and immobile - this is my long-term plan for my future health.

I want YOU to be a part of it - I'm sharing everything, warts and all - and it starts right here!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about why you should never take being able-bodied for granted. It struck a chord with so many people who had suffered similar injuries or were struggling with illnesses, and I was touched by the fact that so many people shared their stories in the comments and on Facebook. Although I already knew it, it made me realise that I am very, very lucky to be in reasonable health and that my injury was only temporary.

(It didn't seem like it at the time - at one point it was so painful I honestly couldn't imagine being able to walk with ease again.)

But gradually it did get better, and I'm back walking daily and looking forward to building up my fitness. I'm about 98% better, and it's my drop in fitness levels that's now more of a concern than the residual pain from the injury itself.


The plan for getting back to fitness

So! Here's the plan. Every day from Monday 29th (tomorrow) I am going to document what I do, as I do it, in terms of my walks, workouts, food intake and sleep on Twitter via my hashtag #notlambFIT. I am making myself accountable in a very public way, so there will be no excuses.

EVERY DAY I AM GOING TO DOCUMENT WHAT I DO, AS I DO IT, IN TERMS OF MY WALKS, WORKOUTS, FOOD INTAKE AND SLEEP ON TWITTER VIA MY HASHTAG #NOTLAMBFIT. I AM MAKING MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE IN A VERY PUBLIC WAY, SO THERE WILL BE NO EXCUSES.

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Thursday, 25 February 2016

12 More Stylish Over 40 Fashion Bloggers You Should Know

A round up of 12 amazing over 40 fashion bloggers
Discovering amazing new over 40 fashion bloggers is one of my favourite things ever about blogging - it totally makes my day to find someone I've not seen before whose style I find inspiring. Since my last round up of 40+ fashion bloggers I wrote more than a year ago (where does time go?) I've been making a note of all the other fashionistas I wanted to feature in a "part two" of the same post.

There are so many more I could have included, so this won't be the last feature post about older bloggers - expect a part three, and maybe even a part four in time...!

These women all show that style has nothing to do with age appropriateness - so many of them put together outfits that would suit girls 20, 30 or even 40 years younger than themselves, and they look nothing short of fabulous in their choices. They're proof that style is ageless, that we don't have to stop dressing up or having fun with clothes when we reach 40.

You'll find nearly every type of style included here: Classic, minimalist, creative, preppy, eclectic, romantic, bohemian... The list goes on. Women of any age can take inspiration from these bloggers. Yes, they are all over 40 (some a lot older than that), but their different styles are undoubtedly timeless - and ageless.


WOMEN OF ANY AGE CAN TAKE INSPIRATION FROM THESE BLOGGERS. YES, THEY ARE ALL OVER 40 (SOME A LOT OLDER THAN THAT), BUT THEIR DIFFERENT STYLES ARE UNDOUBTEDLY TIMELESS - AND AGELESS.


So no matter what your age, grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy perusing the blogs of these lovely ladies - you won't be disappointed!

HAVE YOU FOUND ANY NEW-TO-YOU BLOGGERS THAT YOU'RE NOW TOTALLY OBSESSING OVER? (I HOPE YOU HAVE!) TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

12 Amazing Over 40 Fashion Bloggers
Image credit above: The Online Stylist | Top image, L-R: Fake Fabulous | Elegantly Dressed and Stylish | Fashion on the 4th Floor | Fashion Fairy Dust | The LIFB Issue
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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

My Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links - February 2016

Favourite Fun & Fabulous Links February 2016 | Not Dressed As Lamb
In this month's Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links I'm sharing YouTube's most hilarious mum, a romantic adult indoor fort, seriously helpful tips for beautifying your Instagram and thoughts on identifying your style personality. And a whole lot more.

Hope you like the links, and until the next fave links post on the fourth Thursday in March - enjoy your extra day on the 29th for Leap Year! If you're thinking of proposing to your man you may want to read my story of how I proposed to my husband...!

WHAT LINKS DID YOU ENJOY - AND HAVE YOU FOUND ANY FABULOUS NEW BLOGS TO FOLLOW? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Favourite Fun & Fabulous Links February 2016 | Not Dressed As Lamb
(Photo credits: Top left | Top right | Bottom left | Centre | Middle right | Bottom right)

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Blair's fairytale-inspired all red outfit shoot may be the most impractical outfit ever considering its snowy location, but is it worth it? Good lord, yes.
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Monday, 22 February 2016

A Rose Gold Metallic Raincoat With Flared Jeans + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Rose gold metallic rain coat, oversized round sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb
Over the weekend it was mild enough to wear my new rose gold metallic raincoat - obviously it's perfect for this week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme of metallics! It's an item of clothing that's a total contradiction: Something that's suitable for walking the dog in a fabric that's perfect for a full-on drag act. And I absolutely love it.

IT'S AN ITEM OF CLOTHING THAT'S A TOTAL CONTRADICTION: SOMETHING THAT'S SUITABLE FOR WALKING THE DOG IN A FABRIC THAT'S PERFECT FOR A FULL-ON DRAG ACT.

It was the very last one in the only size available - and actually one size too big for me as well as being from the Tall range. But when you see something this fabulous that's also cheap as chips, you can either buy it too big and take it in, or wear it oversized and proud. It only needed a Fair Isle sweater, flared jeans, Converse and my new oversized round sunglasses for a comfy weekend shopping and running errands.

I'm simply obsessed with all things rose gold right now (hence yesterday's post featuring two metallics-themed outfits to shop), which is probably something to do with my latest hair colour. And talking of hair, some of you may have already seen on my Instagram feed that I've gone even shorter again! It's a proper shoulder-length bob now with a shorter fringe too - and I'm so glad I finally had the balls to have it cut this length at last. The ease of washing, drying and brushing much less hair makes it all worthwhile, and I think it's updated my overall look somewhat.

What I didn't plan for, however, was almost gale-like conditions at the weekend making my new hair look like it hadn't been brushed for a week. Damn the British weather thinking Devon is actually Chicago...!

Do scroll down and add your outfits (metallics or otherwise) to this week's iwillwearwhatilike link up - can't wait to see what you're wearing this week! Don't forget to check out last week's best pink and/or red outfits that I've featured too ❤️‍

ARE YOU DRAWN TO ANY ONE PARTICULAR METALLICS COLOUR - OR ARE YOU LIKE ME AND LOVE THEM ALL? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Rose gold metallic rain coat, flared jeans, Converse | Not Dressed As Lamb

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Sunday, 21 February 2016

How to Wear Metallics | A Daytime Casual and An Evening (or Date Night) Outfit

Metallics accessories inspiration
Thinking in advance for tomorrow's metallic theme for the #iwillwearwhatilike link up, I've put together two outfits showing you how to wear metallics... Because of my new(ish) hair colour I'm especially obsessed with rose gold at the moment!

Metallics can be quite tricky to style if you're looking at cheap shiny fabrics (very unflattering) but at the opposite end of the spectrum there are some gorgeous rose gold, pewter and brushed silver accessories in the shops at the moment. Fabrics with metallic thread running through them are also a gorgeous antidote to all that chrome-like 70s silver. Styled with some warm textures or bold patterns they can look extremely stylish - no shiny disco fabrics necessary!

I've put together two outfits - one for casual daytime and one for evening or a date night - that incorporate some beautiful metallic leather, metals and/or fabrics.

STYLED WITH SOME WARM TEXTURES OR BOLD PATTERNS METALLICS CAN LOOK EXTREMELY STYLISH - NO SHINY CHROME DISCO FABRICS NECESSARY

Mixing your metals definitely works - if you make all your metallics the same you may end up looking too matchy-matchy. It's a good idea to keep warm metallics with warm metallics (for example rose gold and bronze) and cool with cool (silver with pewter). But to be honest you can mix them up - no need to stick to the rules all the time... Just have fun with it and experiment!

I hope you like the picks here, come back tomorrow to check out what others link up to the #iwillwearwhatilike link up (metallics and everything else), and add your own outfits if you have them on your blog or Instagram!

Are you are metallics fan? What are your metallics of choice - and what's your most daring piece (or what do you currently have your eye on)? Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Metallics outfit inspiration | Casual daytime
1. Jacket | 2. Sweater | 3. Hat | 4. Trousers | 5. Necklace | 6. Heels | 7. Bag

This outfit started with the bag - and everything else worked around that gorgeous, soft rose gold colour. The sweater has a subtle gold thread running through the stripes, and the statement necklace has all those beautiful mother of pearl colours. The Jaeger jacket is new season - the pretty orange and blue stripes are the perfect colours for spring.


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Thursday, 18 February 2016

How to Style a Plain White Roll Neck | With a Peach Coat and Mustard Yellow Trousers

Winter style: Peach coat with mustard yellow and white | Not Dressed As Lamb
I'm most definitely continuing this winter's theme of pastels and brights with this concoction of peach and mustard yellow - I'm wondering whether I'm subconsciously trying to "outbright" (new made-up word) my previous colourful outfit each time...?

This was one more coat I got in the crazy-reduced sales due to our incredibly mild December. It's a shame Marks & Spencer never seem to stock enough of anything - whatever I buy seems to go out of stock almost as soon as I've clicked on Add to Basket. Or maybe it's just me, I don't know.

Some of you may think you've seen the coat before - I will admit it's almost identical to the peach jacket I'm wearing in my (now not so) new avatar, but I bought this coat because it meant I had a winter version of that jacket which I absolutely adore. That one is nowhere near warm enough to wear in winter, so I now have a warm weather version and a cold weather version.

So all peach outerwear bases are, essentially, covered...!

I BOUGHT THIS COAT BECAUSE IT MEANT I HAD A WINTER VERSION OF MY PEACH JACKET WHICH I ABSOLUTELY ADORE. I NOW HAVE A WARM WEATHER VERSION AND A COLD WEATHER VERSION.

Instead of going for darker colours to wear with it (especially as I paired my orange animal print coat with navy), I went for the lovely mustard yellow tailored trousers I first wore a couple of years ago.

A white roll neck is the perfect staple for winter - I would never have believed a few years ago that they'd be back on trend (I wore many fitted roll necks in the 90s), but in a looser fit they look so modern right now. I think the double-breastedness (another made-up word) of the coat with a white roll neck looks really retro - very late 70s/early 80s. In fact, I went with Dynasty-style big backcombed hair on the day that then proceeded to get blown flat by the gale-force winds. Story of my life.

Are you into roll necks - or the trend for all things 70s (midi skirts and boots, patchwork, etc.) - even? Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Winter style: Peach coat with mustard yellow and white | Not Dressed As Lamb

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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A Simple, Everyday Make-Up Look for the Over 40s and My Go-To Nail Colour

An everyday make-up look for the over 40s | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Following on from last month's post about optimising your skincare routine to fight ageing, I'm bringing you part two which is my everyday make-up look and go-to nail colour. Judging by my current reader survey many of you are keen to see make-up tutorials and more health/beauty posts on the blog, so I thought showing you how I wear my make-up on a regular basis - and the products I use - would be a good place to start.

(If you haven't yet completed my reader survey I'd really appreciate it - you could win £30 of Yosa jewellery or accessories, it's open till the end of February!)

What you may or may not notice is that my go-to make-up look is not what you tend to see on Instagram or Pinterest - if you're wanting a lot of contouring, false eyelashes and Instagram eyebrows I'm afraid that's just not me. Like clothes, everyone should be free to wear their make-up however they want, so I think it's great that girls are experimenting with make-up and being bold with their choices. But what you'll get from me are more natural looks that I believe work for my face, lifestyle and 43-year-old skin. Another example of #iwillwearwhatilike...!

Like last time, I've teamed up with Seven Seas, the vitamins, minerals and supplements supplier, to bring you two posts about the Simple Things, their campaign encouraging us to embrace the simple things in life that make you feel young.

Please do note I'm not claiming to be a make-up or nutrition expert (I'm nothing of the sort!), but I'm hoping that these two posts highlight how what you put into your body has a huge effect on the outside - a lot of it is good, old-fashioned common sense.

I'M HOPING THAT THESE POSTS HIGHLIGHT HOW WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY HAS A HUGE EFFECT ON THE OUTSIDE - A LOT OF IT IS GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED COMMON SENSE.

What you will also notice about the make-up posts that I do is that I use mostly drugstore brands - very rarely do I buy high-end brands. I'll also have roots showing from time to time (getting grey roots retouched is costly, so sorry if that offends!) and you'll be seeing my skin with all its fine lines without any retouching. There's no point in showing make-up for the over 40s (that I'd like to think is also relevant for the under 40s!) with all the wrinkles and pores Photoshopped out because I think it's important to see what 40-something skin really looks like close-up.

So yes, I'll look a little shiny (I like to call it "dewy" - I won't be caking on thick, matte make-up just to look good in the photos, though the lighting used is very forgiving), my roots will show and my fine lines will be there for everyone to see. But hopefully the make-up will be real and practical, and for all women.

So without further ado, scroll down to read about my everyday make-up look, I hope you enjoy it!

What is your go-to everyday make-up look? And what are your thoughts on my first proper make-up post - tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

An everyday make-up look for the over 40s | Not Dressed As Lamb

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Monday, 15 February 2016

Valentine's Day Brights of Red, Pink, Lilac and White + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Winter brights of red, pink, lilac and white | Not Dressed As Lamb
I think we've all known for a while that pink and red can be worn together - it's yet another fashion no-no that's now a definite yes-yes. So whether you wore pink, red, or pink AND red for Valentine's Day (or at any other time or for any other reason), do add your outfits to this week's iwillwearwhatilike link up! As always the theme is optional so all outfits, accessories and make-up looks are welcome.

My husband and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day, but we did go out this year because it was Sunday and it seemed wonderfully ironic to go and see Deadpool at the cinema. (If you're wondering, it was awesome and Ryan Reynolds is, of course, absolutely hilarious.) An early morning showing of 9:15 means you miss the crowds and no one is chomping popcorn or rustling sweet packets at that time of the day... It makes cinema-going a relaxing treat!

I thought it'd fun to wear pink and red anyway, and cold weather dictated a coat, scarf and boots. It's the first time I've worn my snakeskin boots (sadly sold out, but these are almost the same) since wearing them just the one time before I slipped the disc in my back. I'm back in heels now and then (when I don't have lots of walking to do) which makes me rather happy. I think these bright colours of red, pink and lilac look rather beautiful with winter white to set them off.

I THINK THESE BRIGHT COLOURS OF RED, PINK AND LILAC LOOK RATHER BEAUTIFUL WITH WINTER WHITE TO SET THEM OFF.

The location where we shot is actually one of the exits at the cinema (last since here) and I can't thank Vue Cinemas enough for providing glass walls on the first floor and a bright orange interior. A fashion blogger's paradise...!

What did you wear/do for Valentine's Day? Link up all the outfits you've been wearing below and tell me about them in the comments (or tweet me @notlamb)!

Winter brights of red, pink, lilac and white | Not Dressed As Lamb

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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Thinking of Making a Leap Year Proposal? The Story of How I Proposed to My Husband

15 years of selfies
Despite my usual protestations towards the day that is known as Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share with you the story of how my husband and I came to be married - in other words, the story of the proposal. 2016 is a leap year, so tradition dictates that on 29th February a woman is =ahem= "allowed" to propose to her man, otherwise known as a Leap Year Proposal. All utter nonsense, of course - you can propose to your other half on any day you choose - like I did.

I'd never planned to propose to my husband, nor had I ever thought in the early years about how he might propose to me, or if he ever would, for that matter. But sometimes circumstances force your hand, and you end up doing something that surprises you.

And him...!

(I've included a composite photo of some of the selfies we've taken over the years whenever we go places. It's relevant to the selfie we took on "the" day... Read on to find out why!)


Our history

We'd been together for a little over four years when I realised that we were going to be together forever - we hadn't discussed marriage as such, and I wasn't in any rush to get married because I'd been married before, albeit very briefly. But I actually wanted to take his surname more than get married, so I actually seriously considered changing my name to his.

Because I'd already had "the big wedding" and it didn't work out for me, I had no yearning for a big day and a big dress all over again. I just knew we would be together, married or not, and we never really discussed marriage.

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Thursday, 11 February 2016

How to Style a Classic Black Wool Coat | With Colour, Pattern and Texture

Styling a classic black wool coat | with pattern, colour and texture | Not Dressed As Lamb
This is quite a muted look for me, even for winter. I wanted to show you how a classic (some might say boring?) black wool coat can look a lot more interesting with the addition of some colour, pattern and texture to zhuj it up a bit.

I must just say that apart from a couple of blazers and a biker jacket, this is the only black coat I have. Everything else in my winter coat arsenal is either patterned or brightly coloured, and last winter I had a yearning for the most classic black coat I could get my hands on. I went with a single-breasted, masculine-cut wool one from La Redoute (this one is a very close match) - and I love it.

Unfortunately, it's very easy to get into a style rut in the winter where black coats are concerned. I see many, many women who have all added jeans, black boots and a black scarf to their black coat and it gets to be quite a snoozefest. It needs to be switched up from one day to the next otherwise you'll end up looking exactly the same every day you step out the door throughout the whole of winter. (Admittedly I've worn black ankle boots here, I do realise that.) But we want to have fun with our clothes all year round...!

IT'S VERY EASY TO GET INTO A STYLE RUT IN THE WINTER WHERE BLACK COATS ARE CONCERNED. I SEE MANY, MANY WOMEN WHO HAVE ALL ADDED JEANS, BLACK BOOTS AND A BLACK SCARF TO THEIR BLACK COAT AND IT GETS TO BE QUITE A SNOOZEFEST.

Textures are your friend, and so is pattern. It goes without saying that colour makes all the difference! For this outfit I added a soft, fluffy blue scarf, a blue waffle knit sweater, grey/red tartan trousers and a fringed crossbody bag. Here are some ideas for bolder pairings to put with a black coat:


So in the few (hopefully) remaining weeks of winter think about how to get creative with that black coat of yours - it doesn't have to be boring!

Are you a serial black coat wearer in the winter? Do you try to switch it up a bit or have these ideas given you the impetus to get creative? Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Styling a classic black wool coat | with pattern, colour and texture | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Why You Should Never Take Being Able Bodied for Granted

Why You Should Never Take a Healthy, Able Body for Granted (and Not Neglect It) | Not Dressed As Lamb
If you've ever had any sort of injury or illness, you'll know just how debilitating it can be. Last year this happened to me - and I've been thinking about why you should never take a healthy body for granted, and why we shouldn't neglect ourselves if we are, at the very least, able-bodied. If this sounds like it might be you, please do continue to read about my experience. I hope it makes you stop and think - and hopefully appreciate what you have...!


Living with an injury

As many readers of my blog will know, I slipped a disc at the end of November last year. I went to Paris for (less than) 24 hours for a press launch which involved two long train journeys to get there, and then two long train journeys back the next day, with tube travel in between.

Somewhere en route, so my doctor said, I slipped a disc. This was probably caused by lugging my overnight case on and off the trains and tube trains and up and down the stairs in the stations. What it affected was my sciatic nerve, the one that runs all the way down the back of your leg. It comes out of the spinal cord, down through your bum and down your leg all the way to your foot.

Why You Should Never Take a Healthy, Able Body for Granted (and Not Neglect It) | Not Dressed As Lamb
So what I initially thought was a pulled hamstring in one leg was actually sciatica, which, within a week, caused my leg to be so painful that I literally couldn't walk without experiencing searing pain. When I wasn't trying to get around it was numb and constantly ached like the most tender bruise imaginable or burned like severe sunburn. It was all the way down the whole of the back of my leg and went right into the arch of my foot. The slightest touch to my skin was torturous, so getting dressed or even just pulling down my underwear to go the bathroom was hell.

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Monday, 8 February 2016

Blush Pink, White and Blue Jacquard Layering + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Blush pink, white and blue jaquard winter layers | Not Dressed As Lamb
This week I'm all about lovely layers so do come and add your layered outfits to the #iwillwearwhatilike link up this week! The theme is, as always, optional - all outfits are welcome and old posts that follow the theme can be added too.

I battled the wind to get this photo shoot done - we've had storm after storm with raging winds and driving rain in the UK recently (not least right now as I type this). So my thick layers of blush sweater and blue jacquard coat were very much needed to keep me warm, and although we had the pleasure of the sun coming out (what are the chances?) it didn't do anything to increase the temperature.

I'm rather fond of lighter colours at the moment (no particular reason why, maybe I just feel a need to do more laundry...) and I thought Why not? when I looked at my white trousers hanging in my wardrobe. They're quite thick so pretty good at keeping me warm. The 'Fab Orange' lipstick by Maybelline is an unusually bright colour for me as I'm normally a fan of nudes, but I love the added intense colour it gave this outfit.

I'M RATHER FOND OF LIGHTER COLOURS AT THE MOMENT (NO PARTICULAR REASON WHY, MAYBE I JUST FEEL A NEED TO DO MORE LAUNDRY) AND I THOUGHT WHY NOT? WHEN I LOOKED AT MY WHITE TROUSERS HANGING IN MY WARDROBE

And I do get asked this question a lot: How do I cope with bare ankles in the winter? Whilst my feet weren't exactly roasting, my feet really don't get cold when I'm walking around. There's something to do with the act of pounding the pavements that just warm my feet up.

When I used to work in an office - i.e. sitting down at a desk in a not-very-well-heated room - my feet would always be freezing even when I wore three pairs of socks and fur-lined boots. I used to go for a walk every lunchtime simply to warm up my feet (and the exercise, and the opportunity to think). If you work in a cold office I can recommend going out for a very brisk walk at lunchtime: It may seem crazy, but believe me as long as you don't dawdle you'll be boiling as soon as you step back inside. Do wear suitable sports shoes or similar though, not pointed flats like these...!

What are your layering tips or favourite layering combinations? (And are you able to go sans socks - walking or not - like me? I'd love to know!!) Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Blush pink, white and blue jaquard winter layers | Not Dressed As Lamb

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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Blogging Tips | 7 Insanely Helpful Tools and Resources Websites You Didn't Know You Needed

Ever been frustrated by any of the following?
- Leaving Caps Lock on and typing out a long sentence you've then had to retype?
- Using Twitter on your laptop and wanting to paste a 'face blowing a kiss' emoji as a reply to a tweet (but can't)?
- Seeing a great font on a blog or website but have no clue what it actually is?

If you've said "Yes" to any of these things then you need my list of insanely helpful tools and resources websites... and when I say insanely, I really mean it - I don't know how I got by without these things before I found them!

YOU NEED MY LIST OF INSANELY HELPFUL TOOLS AND RESOURCES WEBSITES... AND WHEN I SAY INSANELY, I REALLY MEAN IT - I DON'T KNOW HOW I GOT BY WITHOUT THESE THINGS BEFORE I FOUND THEM

I've been inadvertently gathering these websites for a while now and thought it time I shared them with you to hopefully make your life easier as well. They're not made for bloggers per se, but if you blog regularly (or even if you use computers in your day job!) then these sites provide some invaluable assistance that you just didn't know you needed. And in case you're wondering, they are all free to use.



I'm sure there are many more excellent websites that are just as helpful, as well as there being similar ones that do the same functions as some of the ones I've listed here. If you have any suggestions for ones along the same lines, do mention them in a comment - I'm always on the lookout for new things to simplify my life! 

Have you found these websites helpful, or were you already using any of them? And please don't forget to mention any sites that you use - tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Blogging Tips | 7 Helpful Tools and Resources Websites You Didn't Know You Needed - Convert Case

1. Typed out a huge chunk of text and left Caps Lock on in error, or need to capitalise a sentence quickly? You need... Convert Case

If you've accidentally left the caps lock on and typed something, but can't be bothered to start again and retype it all, you can simply enter your text and choose the case you want to convert it to. You have the choice of Sentence case, UPPER CASE, lower case, Capitalised Case... Then there's a word count, character count, and a clipboard. All super handy - I use this several times each day. I use Convert Case for every post I write - I create the quotes from my copy in upper case with it (as above).

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Thursday, 4 February 2016

How to Style a Trench Coat For Spring 2016 | With Soft Pastels and Light Wash Denim

Soft pastels, light wash denim and silver for spring | Not Dressed As Lamb
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I know it's still very much the dead of winter in much of the Northern Hemisphere, but as soon as February rolls around I usually think March is next month - that means spring!! (I'm always desperately looking for a positive spin on the weather. I guess that's the Englishman in me coming out.)

So it may be a little premature, but I thought now's a better time than any to think about that transitional period between winter and spring and what I'm looking forward to wearing once I'm at the "eaten too many Cadbury Creme Eggs" stage.

The trench coat is the ultimate classic for transitional dressing, and I think it lends itself perfectly to soft pastels and light wash denim. I'm wearing several pieces from the new Spring/Summer 16 collection by MADELEINE (pure cashmere jumper, cropped jeans and silver trainers), and these lovely soft pastels reflect that brighter light we should be getting as the days get longer - goodbye dark winter colours, I say!

I LOVE IT WHEN SPRING GETS A WRIGGLE ON, AND IT'S SO NICE TO WEAR SOMETHING A LITTLE LIGHTER THAT DOESN'T REQUIRE A SCARF, HAT AND GLOVES AS WELL.

I love it when spring gets a wriggle on, and it's so nice to wear something a little lighter that doesn't require a scarf, hat and gloves as well. Plus I think silver sneakers may just be my new favourite thing: Metallics + sport shoes = footwear perfection.

Are you a trench coat wearer? What's the first thing you reach for when the seasons change (or is there something you love to ditch)? Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Soft pastels, light wash denim and silver for spring | Not Dressed As Lamb

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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Valentine's Day Gifts and Outfit Ideas (Plus Some Anti-Valentine's Ideas)

Valentine's Day Gifts and Outfits Ideas (Plus Some Anti-Valentine's Ideas)
So Valentine's Day is just 11 days away, and now is the time to think about what gifts you're going to get him, what gifts you'd like for yourself, and what outfit you're going to wear on the day (if you're going out, that is)! My Valentine's Day gift guide and outfit ideas have you covered - whether you love it or hate it, there's something for everyone here!

I've included three outfits, one a little quirky and one classic, but both "very Valentine's". And if you're looking for something for the 14th but want it to be a little more subtle, I've got a great going-out look for you that doesn't scream red and pink or everything hearts!

The gift guide has things for her and things for him, but who's to say you have to drop hints - there's no reason why you can't get any of these things for yourself? But if you're super-against Valentine's Day or are single right now, there are lots of things for those who don't want celebrate with hearts and flowers: Again, it's time to treat yo' self, ladies!

IF YOU'RE SUPER-AGAINST VALENTINE'S DAY OR ARE SINGLE RIGHT NOW, THERE ARE LOTS OF THINGS FOR THOSE WHO DON'T WANT CELEBRATE WITH HEARTS AND FLOWERS: IT'S TIME TO TREAT YO' SELF, LADIES

Don't forget 2016 is a leap year so you are, as tradition has it, "allowed" to propose to your man on 29th February - little known fact but I actually proposed to my husband! On Valentine's Day itself I'll publish a post telling the story of how and why (mine wasn't a Leap Year proposal however)...!

Finally: If you're really stuck about what to do for Valentine's Day and don't want to venture out into the cold, just stay in and drape yourself in this giant red bow. I'm sure he'll appreciate it ;)

Are any of these gifts or outfits speaking to you - if so, which ones? Are do you "do" Valentine's Day, or not? Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Valentine's Day Outfit | Something that says "Valentine's" subtly
1. Sweater | 2. Trousers | 3. Clutch | 4. Earrings | 5. Boots

I love this outfit - it's grown up and elegant with the merest hints of Valentine motifs on the sweater: A few white hearts, and just one red. Go for blacks, browns and other neutrals as an alternative to all the red and pink you'll see on the day, and don't forget some pretty gold heart earrings (you are, of course, allowed any jewellery that says Valentine's).

Valentine's Day Outfit Ideas | One quirky, one classic
1. Dress | 2. Bag3. Heels | 4. Dress | 5. Earrings | 6. 6. Belt | 7. Bracelet 8. Clutch | 9. 9. Heels

I couldn't decide between these two dresses, so I included them both. The skater-style hearts dress is full-on Valentine's but I added patterned heels for some great pattern mixing (plus who doesn't want that Moschino bag)? The red midi dress is an absolute classic - it's a close match for the red dress I wore on Christmas Day, and in this style and length you've got yourself a classic LRD (little red dress) that will last for years. The strappy black heels, bow belt and lips clutch (similar to the Lulu Guinness one but a steal at less than £65!) add all the romantic elements a Valentine's Day outfit needs.


Valentine's Day Gift Ideas | For her

Whether it's Valentine's Day or not, all these items make great gifts for yourself, for a girlfriend / your sister / your mum, or as things to drop hints about!


Valentine's Day Gift Ideas | For him

Although men can be difficult to buy for, retailers do get quite creative for Valentine's Day with plenty of motif ties and underwear as well as mugs with messages of love on them. If you want to really score points with a Star Wars fan, these red 'Rebel Alliance' emblem cufflinks are sure to win him over. And if all else fails, just buy some heart-shaped sweets - job done.


Valentine's Day Gift Ideas | For singletons or yourself!

I think I've saved the best for last: The anti-Valentine's Day gifts. Asos have lots of anti-boyfriend / anti-love t-shirts like the "All You Need Is Love Vodka" one here, as well as a kit to mould your own boyfriend. The best thing though? The Steve McQueen book - I gave this to my sister for Christmas, and we didn't put it down all day... The book is all pictures of that bad boy (hardly any writing). Now that's what I call a great (anti) Valentine's gift...!!

Catherine

P.S. Like this post? You might also want to see my Valentine's Day outfit from last year!

Linking up to: Style StoriesiwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellVisible MondayLet It ShineMonday MingleStyle SessionsTurning Heads TuesdayTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayBrilliant Blog PostsThrowback ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab FavouritesFun Fashion Friday
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Monday, 1 February 2016

A Pink & Yellow Lace Dress Over Cropped Trousers + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Not Dressed As Lamb | Pink and yellow lace French Connection dress layered over black cropped trousers
Here's the full outfit, folks: What I wore to the Bloggers' Lounge blog awards party on Wednesday last week (many of you saw a little glimpse on Instagram) - and as I wrote in Friday's post, I was delighted that I won the best fashion blogger award!

I did my usual trick of layering a short dress over trousers, and short skirts and dresses are the theme for this week's #iwillwearwhatilike link up, so scroll down to the thumbnails and add your minis (and everything else you've been wearing). Like some other things I got in the January sales, I'd had my eye on this dress for ages, but couldn't justify spending £150 on a dress I may not wear very much at all. But I kept the dress - a bright pink lace over yellow French Connection dress with a very short hem - in a browser tab for ages. (I'm talking weeks and weeks.) It was one of those pieces that made me absolutely gasp when I first saw it, and I didn't want to stop thinking about it so in that tab it stayed.

Every day I checked it for a reduction in price, and one day it happened... Down to £75: Half price, and all sizes still available. Result!!

I KEPT THE DRESS IN A BROWSER TAB FOR AGES. (I'M TALKING WEEKS AND WEEKS.) IT WAS ONE OF THOSE PIECES THAT MADE ME ABSOLUTELY GASP WHEN I FIRST SAW IT, AND I DIDN'T WANT TO STOP THINKING ABOUT IT SO IN THAT TAB IT STAYED.

The problem for me was the style: Like the fact that I never show off cleavage and am a "modest dresser", I just don't get my legs out, but that's because I don't like my legs. Most of us have things we don't like about ourselves, and I truly believe in accentuating your best features and playing down your least favourite, so my legs tend to be covered up, and I'm all the happier (and more confident) for it.

But anyway - I was announced as a finalist up for a blogger award, so suddenly I had a reason to get the dress, and I don't know why it didn't occur to me before to do my usual trick of layering a dress over trousers, but it took me a while... And then it was reduced again to £60!* From then on it was easy: Firstly, add to basket and hope it fits. Secondly, get cropped black trousers (also severely reduced), add a skinny black belt (to add some definition to my waist and offset the trousers), patent pointed heels, a statement clutch (like this one) and chandelier earrings... Job done!

*update 13/02/16 - it's now only £39...!!

I absolutely loved the outfit. It got lots of compliments on the night and in that pink and yellow it certainly stood out. I actually prefer the dress with the trousers underneath - I think if I had amazing legs and showed them off instead of covering them as I did here, I think they'd detract too much from such an unusual and pretty dress. A short shift dress in bright pink lace over yellow is a powerful statement, and I don't think it "needs" fabulous legs as well (though I wouldn't turn them down if I were offered a pair)...!!

Do you have any wardrobe tricks that you fall back on again and again like me and my dress-over-trousers trick? Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Not Dressed As Lamb | Pink and yellow lace French Connection dress layered over black cropped trousers
Not Dressed As Lamb | Pink and yellow lace French Connection dress layered over black cropped trousers, printed box clutch
Not Dressed As Lamb | Pink and yellow lace French Connection dress, printed box clutch
Not Dressed As Lamb | Pink and yellow lace French Connection dress
Not Dressed As Lamb | Pink and yellow lace French Connection dress layered over black cropped trousers
Not Dressed As Lamb | Pink and yellow lace French Connection dress
Not Dressed As Lamb | Pink and yellow lace French Connection dress
Dress: French Connection at John Lewis (£150 down to £39!!) | Belt: Unknown (similar) | Trousers: ASOS (£28 down to £9.50) | Heels: Aldo (similar) | Clutch: c/o French Connection (I like this one with unicorns on it and this bejewelled one) | Earrings: c/o Aspire Style (I like these) | Nails: Nails Inc 'Black Taxi'

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#iwillwearwhatilike | Not Dressed As Lamb
Thank you for joining the #iwillwearwhatilike link up! This started as a campaign on Instagram in August 2015 where women over 30 wore everything on a journalist's list of "inappropriate" items for 30+ women (including leopard print, short dresses and oversized sunglasses. Yes, really). It was so popular that I decided to carry it on weekly where women of all ages link up their fabulous style, never mind what anyone tells them not to wear!

So link up all your fabulous outfits (or shoes, accessories, make-up, etc.) every Monday at 3pm UK time - it'll stay open for a week. Whilst the original article was of course aimed at the 30+, you can be ANY age to link up. The only criteria is that you're wearing whatever you damn well like!

Fashion bloggers in Pantone's Rose Quartz & Serenity #iwillwearwhatilike
My favourite PANTONE COLOURS OF THE YEAR (ROSE QUARTZ & SERENITY) outfits from last week's link up:

NEXT WEEK:
THE OPTIONAL THEME FOR 8 FEBRUARY IS LAYERING


All I ask of you linking up is that you:

1. Please follow your host Not Dressed As Lamb (via Bloglovin or Instagram)
2. Link up your outfits (blog or Instagram posts) that show how you choose to wear what you like - as many as you like!
3. Please remember this is only for posts of what you've been wearing, not links to giveaways or anything else
4. Include a link back to this post if you're linking from a blog post, or add my button (below)
5. Post your outfit on Instagram (if you use it) with the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike - Monday's the day to join in the IG fun
6. Visit some of the other links and share the love!

#iwillwearwhatilike | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Do share the love and visit as many links as you can (you never know what other lovely like-minded ladies you might meet) - the original Instagram campaign forged some wonderful new relationships so don't miss out!


Catherine

P.S. If you haven't already please take part in my reader survey - it'll only take 5 minutes and you could win a yosa.co.uk £30 prize draw as a thank you! The aim is to improve the blog and give you more of what you want and less of what you don't - thank you so much!


Not Dressed As Lamb | Complete My Reader Survey & Win £30 to Spend on Yosa Jewellery/Accessories

Linking up to: Style StoriesiwillwearwhatilikeVisible Monday, Shoe and TellLet It ShineMonday MingleStyle SessionsTurning Heads TuesdayTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayBrilliant Blog PostsThrowback ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab Favourites, Fashion Fun Friday
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