Well, I have a new love in my life peeps! They are these super cool and comfy new sandals I picked up in Lidl this last week (like 3 days ago) and the best part? They were a bargainous £5.99 – I couldn’t believe it and just had to have them.

I have always loved the Birkenstock look and the comfy vibe of this style of footwear for Summer. However, as someone who lives on modest budget I have never felt able to justify the price of buying a real pair for myself (I have high hopes though that I will one day). I therefore have always being drawn to find look a like budget versions that I can live in for Summer and that I can be confident with for my go to shoe! I found some gold ones in Primark around March for our USA holiday and have practically lived in them since. I have had a huge amount of compliments on them, but as a result of daily wear and cheap merchandise, they have been looking pretty worse for wear these days and I have for a little while been hoping for some new sandals to see me through the remainder of the Summer and even into next Summer!

On Tuesday, after a 9.5 mile hike, my sister in law and I found ourselves in Lidl buying 45 ice creams for the girls up at “girls camp” where we were as leaders. As I passed my the middle section – with all of its random bargain buys and weekly offers, I noticed these beauts. As I looked up and noticed their £5.99 price tag, I was stopped in my tracks – I had to have a pair!

They are super comfy, work well with almost everything for this Summer season and I love the subtle pattern on them too.

I am no stranger to Lidl, in fact the trousers in these shots are from there too, which I picked up last Summer for £7. I shop there most weeks for our food shop and always have a scout in their offers as they often have really nice kids and adults clothing for such cheap prices. I am so pleased that I found these £5.99 comfy Summer sandals…they are a reminder that you don’t have to spend a lot to look good and be comfy!

Lidl also had the single strap style and both came in white, black and sparkle silver (if you’re feeling glam!). They are easy to wear and easy on the price strings – my ideal thing!

*This is not a sponsored post – I just love them! 

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This Summer I am more than a little skint and so haven’t really had the opportunity to do some major SALE shopping as I would have hoped to. I usually look forward to getting a few new tops and dresses around this time of year to update my wardrobe for Summer and enjoy sale shopping. As I don’t have much surplus cash to spend on these items and because I don’t technically “need” anything, I am trying my best to resist the temptation to check out the ZARA sale (that would most likely be dangerous territory)!!

I couldn’t however hold back from my second fave shop and consequently had a little snoop around H&M last week where I found myself a top and Alice a few 2-3 extras. I have found that from almost all of the shops local to us in Beverley (H&M, Topshop, DP and RI) there are some really great bargains to be had. Here in this post I shall share with you the few things I did end up buying, that were both lovely and very cheap, and that would update mine and Alices wardrobe for Summer!

Sainsbury’s

Sainsburys was my first SALE shopping snoop. A couple of weeks ago in Manchester on our way back from the Bryan Adams concert, I eyeballed it for my orange mules I wanted in the 25% off they had. I also looked in the sale section and found myself a lovely peachy, tie blouse with embroidered flowers – it was £18 and 1/2 price in the sale – a bargain yes, but even more so because it had the extra 25% off! I love it with shorts and skinny jeans!

ASDA

Supermarkets stock some lovely things that turn out to be complete bargs during sale season, so again I had to have a quick look in George when I was in ASDA 2 weeks ago. I bought Alice some Summer pumps for £3. Unfortunately we now have one missing and I have to go buy her a pair of sandals today!

But for £3, they were good whilst we had them. I am hopeful the other shoe will turn up soon!

H&M

By far my weakest spot, I simply love H&M for me and the kids! In this sale I got myself a gorgeous orange Tshirt with ruffle bottom – it was £8.99 to £4 and a Jumper out of the Mens section for £6 from £29.99 I believe it originally was.

I love the top and already have it in black which I bought in the January sales for £3 – I find it super comfy, versatile and a little fancy! The jumper is great because with it being a mens it is longer and the arms are really long… I bought a small and think it will be fab for not only Autumn/Winter with my jeans, but for cooler nights on the beach and hanging out when we go camping. Its ace to throw on over my jeans/shorts and Ts!

For Alice I bought her a pack of long sleeve tops – 1 Black, 1 White – they were down to £2! I also bought her a lovely little blue pinafore for her birthday, complete with white TShirt under. It was a lovely bargain at £4.

River Island

I rarely shop in River Island, but discovered a few bargains today in their Sale. I got myself a long, multi fabric Tshirt with frill detail for £4 from £24 and also a yellow tie waist blouse for £2!! I had my eye on a chunky cardi that was £30 down to £6 but I don’t think that beige really suits me!

In the kids section the deals continued with kids pumps and boots as low as £6 and I almost bought Alice some glitzy pumps, but sadly she threw a hissy fit when I put them anywhere near her! Instead we went for a summery little play suit that was £4 from £10!

I am really impressed with this seasons sales. There are some huge savings around if you are willing to have a little rummage and, whilst we don’t have a huge amount to spend in them, I am really please with my 4 new tops, jumper and the little outfits I got for Alice! I didn’t do half bad and Mr Smith barely noticed the expenditure 😉 Its a winner!

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As you read this post, we are hopefully cruising down the M1 somewhere, on our way to Heathrow airport. Today is the big day – our holiday to the USA begins and we have all been super excited for adventures galore, sunshine and friends awaiting us on the other side of the Atlantic!

Packing for this trip has been quite different to recent ones. Usually our holidays are somewhere in Europe, budget airlines and the good ol carry on only option to save us a few quid. So normally because of that, I pack rather minimal as I have just a small wheelie case to get it all in. I find for a week in a sunny spot in Europe though that this is ample.

This time though, with it being a long haul flight, we have a lot more baggage allowance, which is good with all of the English treats we are taking over too! I have used this space wisely and packed rather sensibly in the sense that my baggage allowance and Ethans are combined (and we have even fitted Alice’s in too) – his case is our stuff for Arizona and mine is our stuff for Utah. Because we will be in 2 different climates throughout our 2 week stay, it made sense to pack one with Summer stuff, the other with spring/Cooler weather, rather than rummaging in either place through clothes that weren’t weather appropriate.

I have been really precise and Ethans stuff is packed individually for each day with Alice’s little outfits too, all in Ikea zip lock bags. These line the bottom of the case, along with treats in zip lock bags labelled with each families names, and then my stuff is rolled/folded on top – again all in outfits!

Arizona Wardrobe

In Arizona we expect it to be like a decent Summer’s day here – if not a little warmer! I want to dress cool and comfortably, as we will be rather busy and out in the sun a lot. As we will be in warmer weather it is the perfect excuse to dress more colourfully, and I have been making more effort to buy and make outfits that are more colourful and patterned too. I love these things in my life and want to wear more of them generally. I am very excited to dress for Summer!

For footwear in Arizona I am taking my new sandals from Primarni – these were bought a couple of weeks ago and are in a Birkenstock style (with added bling) but unlike the real deal, they were only about £5/6. For church I am taking my gold block heel sandals (again from Primark last year) and then I will have my grey Nike and Bronze trainers from Office, that I will wear when we go on a Hike/off into the Dessert!

Clothing wise, in this case I am taking my light wash ripped Zara Jeans with red striped/embroidered Zara T-shirt. My linen striped trousers from New look with a simple white Peplum T -Shirt from Tesco, My new comfy Zara dress (available here) and my Topshop wide legged (an a little mental) jumpsuit! I have also packed a black logo T Shirt and embroidered top from TU as an extra option for our overnight stay up to Utah after the Grand Canyon.

Utah Wardrobe

In utah I will be wearing more jeans and jumpers as the weather will be more Spring like! I don’t think I will be wearing sandals here, and so have put in my black suede heeled ankle boots from New Look and Next white leather high tops for casual!

I will be wearing these with either my black H&M leather look skinnies or just my primark blue skinny jeans or black skinny jeans. I have packed my Zara Denim shirt, Red Zara hoodie, H&M pink knitted Jumper and Primark Yellow sweatshirt. I have a red stripy T-shirt from Zara (I want to wear with the yellow sweater) and my grey “Living the Dream” T-shirt from DP! I have also packed my black T shirt with frilled bottom from H&M, My ASOS colourful jumper dress and leggings, and several pairs of cool earrings for both weeks!

When we head to Vegas, I will be rewearing whatever I loved in AZ and as I am travelling in my black Zara jumpsuit (its mega comfy) with my leather jacket and Nike trainers, of course these will be extras to mix in when we’re there too!

The good thing about taking all of these gifts is that it will free up space for my years supply of peanut butter M&Ms and taco seasoning! I am also hoping to bag a deal on some Levi’s and who knows what else will make it’s way home with us to add to my wardrobe?!

Now here’s keeping everything crossed our flight is on time and the kids fly well – for the whole 11 hours to LA!!!!!! See you on the other side!

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Pretty much as soon as Summer ends and we hit the back to school stage of life again, I pack up my Summer wardrobe and crack out the Autumn one. In recent years I have enjoyed the feeling that comes with seasonal rotation of my clothes, as it is an opportunity to rediscover old favourites and purge things you have managed with out. Obviously I have a lot of crossover items that remain in my closet, but overall it is rotated September and April time. With really Summery things coming out June time, and big warm Knits/Wintery stuff being introduced around November.

One of my staples in my Autumn Wardrobe, and one thing I look forward to wearing at this time of year, is my array of shirts. They are comfortable, versatile and feel so “me”.

Autumn is definitely one of my favourites style wise (with Winter close behind) as I find with my shirts and sweaters it is super easy to dress for. And as we near the end of this beloved and easy to style season I wanted to share with you my 5 go to favourite shirts that I wear on rotation and just love.

I love them all for various reasons, but mostly because the majority of them are decent brands, and because all of them were sale or charity shops!

My Favourite Shirts of Autumn

Up first is my Zara denim shirt – This was given to me by my younger and very stylish sister in law when we lived with them in the Summer. I love it because it’s Zara, so instantly brings some style to any outfit, and also because it was FREE! It is super comfortable and the light denim wash looks lovely on sunny Autumn days. I love the embroidery and wear it regularly with black skinnies and then either my tan suede ankle boots or pumps.

Also from Zara is my black and orange check shirt. This one was bought in a charity shop this Spring for a couple of pounds and I knew it would look great come Autumn! I call this my posh shirt as it feels a little more classy than the others I wear with the thinner, curved collar and piping down the buttons. This one is great to wear with jeans and ankle boots or knee high boots, and also under my denim dress with tights and ankle boots.

I have had my red Check shirt well over a year now and wear it all the time and through every season! I bought it in a charity shop, again for a couple of pounds and find it super comfy and cosy, I love to wear this with jeans and pumps or my favourite outfit – Black skinnies and black boots! I am a little sad that this one is getting slightly bobbly and worn as a result of lots of wear. But with its cosy fabric and vibrant colour, it will be a long time until we part!

Another checked number is my Levis pinky one with blue! I love this becuase it is super comfy and casual and great for the sunnier days of Autumn (and Spring). Its nicer with my lighter denims and pumps or trainers. When I want a really chill day this is the one I grab! It cost me about 3 or 4 pounds…for a Levi’s shirt – Yes!

My Jack Wills blue shirt is my newest shirt and has quickly made it in to the top 5! I bought this only in September from their pop up outlet store in Hull for £9. I love it because it is very different to any of my others in style and colour and with that it is also one I can wear with more crazy things too (my silver shoes). Like my others it wears well with boots, jeans and pumps day to day, but with its frilly collar, it has the bonus of being able to be dressed up with heeled boots and silvery shoes!

I have other shirts and blouses that I love too, with cool patterns or stripes, and some that are super easy to dress up with heels and funky flats, but these are my go to every day ones. I have realised with putting this post together that it’s only since I entered my 30’s that I can honestly put my hand up and say “Yes I am confident in myself and know my style”. I have gone through so many phases, fads and even copying of others styles through my teens and 20’s (all in an attempt to discover my style) but it’s only now that I feel I know what I look good in and what is cool for my lifestyle!

It is with trying out various styles and trends that has led to me finding “me” and what makes her most comfortable, and that makes me so much happier and more comfortable in my skin!

My style can be a little crazy at times, but so can I, so its a perfect combo. I tend to, in my day to day style as a busy mum, stick to things that are comfortable and casual and these often will have a sporty, glam streak running through them too. I love retro things but I mostly love anything that is rich in colour and patterns. I love to dress up casual things with earrings, scarves and necklaces, and I live mostly in jeans/black skinnes and pumps and boots. So, if it goes with these staples, isn’t too tight and clingy, and overall feels like it’s “me”, then it most definitely is a keeper!

Shirts, especially checked and denim ones I find look stylish, can be worn with pretty much anything and keep “me as a mum” both comfortable and stylish. I love them on their own, under jumpers, open with t shirts, and always with black skinnies or jeans! I love that knowing my style instantly makes me feel more stylish because of the confidence that now comes with that knowledge of who I am. I find it so much quicker to get ready these days because I love everything in my wardrobe and know how to wear it together…. especially my shirts and old favourites!

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