Friday, 29 April 2016

A Few Instagram Snaps

It was my birthday this week and it turned out to be a nice day.  Although I was working, my day was pretty stress free and I even treated myself to a M&S sandwich and a bottle of sparkling water which I chose to eat while sitting in Forestside car park rather than my usual throwing it into me while driving. Lucky birthday girl eh!?

Later on in the day my parents came over for dinner and I got spoilt with presents and had a little too much birthday cake.  Not a bad way to spend a evening. My close friend also came round and surprised me with beautiful flowers from the Flower Room in Holywood.

My outfit consisted of spring colours although it started to snow in the evening.  Can you believe snow in April....its nearly May for goodness sake.

Scarf - Lily and Lionel from Roco Boutique Holywood
Cardigan - Repeat from Roco Boutique Holywood
Jeans - All Saints Grace
Shoes - Dune Garnish

I also got a Topshop delivery of possibly the prettiest rose gold shoes.  I am heading out tomorrow night so I am excited to wear them.  I really had to filter this shoe photo, my feet are so bony and veiny it really is quite off putting! I made my husband take about 5 photos but there is just no making these feet look good.

If you want to follow me on Instagram I am at secretstylediaryni.

Happy weekend folks! x

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A Much Needed Catch Up

On Sunday morning I left Stella with my husband and I headed out to Belfast to spend a couple of happy hours with my Mum chatting over a coffee and a scone.  Since having my daughter I just don't get as much time with her as I used to and when I do get time with her, I am often distracted as I am constantly keeping an eye on the movements of a one year old!  It was lovely getting a catch up and our time together flew in.

Jumper - J Crew Cotton Cable Sweater
Shirt - J Brand from Roco Boutique Holywood
Jeans - Topshop Hayden Destroyed Jeans
Boots - Nine West Grey Suede Boots

I wore my Topshop Hayden jeans that are still a firm favourite. I must say I am not a fan of the Topshop Leigh's as I find the fabric too thin and they have a tendency to look worn out pretty quickly but I honestly think the quality of the Hayden style rival my J Brands. They are unbelievably soft, comfortable and I love the shade. 
My new J Crew white jumper which I think will get a lot of wear as its ideal to throw on over shirts and tees.  
Grey suede Nine West boots that I haven't worn in a couple of years due to their tendency to stain and my tendency to hang out with a baby with reflux ;-) 
I as always threw my All Saints coat over the top and grabbed my Tory Burch Tote bag as I headed out through the door for what ended up being a lovely extended coffee break with my best friend.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Seal of Approval

I recently purchased a few casual tee's from J. Crew and I just love them. I discovered J. Crew a number of years ago while on holiday in the States.  They are now popular over here of course but for a while their clothing could only be bought at an inflated price on Net a Porter.  Happily though you can now buy online from their own website and they sent me a discount code for 20% off a month or so ago.  

The quality and fit of the tee shirts is just great, they are something I would always buy when I am on on holiday but sadly this year we won't be going to the US as we feel that the long haul flight with a energetic 1 year old could be hellish nightmare.  We thought we could possibly be brave and do it and just needed the dutch courage to get the flights booked but even after a few wines at the weekend we still couldn't bring ourselves to book it! Anyway I highly recommend their tee's and knitwear for the quality.  Plus the styling on the website makes you want to buy EVERYTHING, its that good!  

Top - J Crew
Jeans - All Saints Grace
Scarf - J Crew Light Weight Wool
Coat - All Saints City Monument Coat
Boots - Kurt Geiger Scarlett
Sunglasses - Rayban Erika

A happy hour spent drinking coffee and seal spotting at Daft Eddy's

Not exactly the best seal photo in the world but you catch my drift!

Our little one is always happiest outside.  Didn't appreciate the view and just wanted to look at the other people!

Happy weekend :-)

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Slightly More Spring Like

It is possibly stupid of me to say this incase I bring on snow but it seems to be getting slightly less cold (I wouldn't say warmer as that might suggest some warmth!) I actually managed a day out without a winter coat which is fairly shocking.  I did still have numerous layers on and I was a little chilly but one step at a time :-)

We had a bit of a walk at Stormont which resulted in the baby falling over and cutting her lip, her nose and her knee. You would think that big, long, flat road to Stormont would be a safe place for a toddler to have a walk but that safe place just doesn't appear to exist!

Top - Pale pink tee by Velvet
Cardigan - Repeat
Scarf - Lily and Lionel
Jacket - Zara (last year)
Jeans - J Brand Skinny Jeans
Shoes - Dune Garnish

These Dune Garnish shoes are just brilliant.  They look really fresh with the white sole and the textured pale blue leather go with all denim and they are also so, so comfortable.

Where it all happened! Stormont is a fabulous place for a walk and it has the best play park for kids with a little coffee stand for the grown ups to get their caffeine on. Love it here. Lets hope our next visit is more successful :-)

Sunday, 17 April 2016

April Wedding

Excitingly we had a wedding to attend at the weekend.  It was brilliant to get dressed up and get out together, our little girl was being looked after by a babysitter from her nursery so we were able to relax and have a few glasses of champagne! The wedding venue was the Clandeboye Estate in Bangor and it was really lovely, it was the first time we had ever been there.  Sadly it was raining so we didn't get a chance to explore the grounds.

I allowed myself 40 minutes to get ready which was incredibly rushed! Those 40 minutes also included showering, making my daughter her dinner and leaving babysitter instructions!  Saying that if I had of had longer the end result would possibly be the same just slightly less stressed!

Dress - Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Taxa Dress
Clutch - John Lewis
Shoes - LK Bennett Nude Andie

I wore a super comfortable and flattering jersey dress, that is so easy to wear.  I also applied some false lashes which I have not done for years. They were the Fleur De Force falsies and I cut them in half and applied on the outer edges.  It really made my tired eyes look that bit more awake but I think still looked natural.

I have 2 more weddings this year after having had none the last 2 years, excited for the next one now!
Hope your having a good weekend.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Double Denim

I bought a few things from Roco Boutique in Holywood last weekend, one of which was the Hoss jumper I wore in my last blog post.  Today I wore another new purchase....this fabulous denim shirt by Hugo Boss!  I was so excited to wear this today, the quality is gorgeous, it is just so soft and silky and to me it is the perfect denim blue.  I wore it today with a pair of black Topshop jeans but I can't wait for Spring to actually happen so I can wear it with white skinny jeans and some wedges.

I did feel like my shirt debut was slightly wasted as the day saw us visiting my parents and then taking my daughter to the doctors. I slung my usual All Saints coat over the top for a bit of warmth, I still can't get enough of that coat.   

Shirt - Hugo Boss Naomi Denim Shirt
Necklace - Hoss Intropia
Jeans - Topshop Leigh Destroyed Skinny
Trainers - Stan Smiths

This photo has really made me want to race upstairs and slap on some fake tan. 

I am at a wedding tomorrow so there will maybe a post of me wearing something other than jeans!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

An Early Start

A nice 6am wake up call this morning from our little lady made it feel like one vvveeeerrry long morning!  Worse so for my husband as he had stayed up until the early hours watching the golf so the exuberance of a toddler at that time was not welcome!  

Come 9am we were ready to go somewhere, Stella was starting to climb the walls and even though we really just wanted to sit on the sofa with a cup of tea and watch Sunday Brunch we knew it would be easier to get out of the house to keep her entertained. We headed to Daft Eddy's at Sketrick Island as they have a little area with some toys which can help to keep small people entertained and obviously they have that much needed cup of coffee (and a scone!) for us.  I thought Daft Eddy's would have been empty but it was actually very busy, full of cyclists refuelling and chatting.

Jumper - Part Two from Roco Boutique Holywood
Jeans - All Saints Grace
Boots - Kurt Geiger Scarlett
Coat with leather collar - Reiss
Bracelet - Accessorise

My jumper is a new purchase from the lovely Roco Boutique Holywood.  It is unusual at the back with the built in vest underneath and tie fastening.  My bracelet was bought a couple of years ago from Accessorize but they bring out a similar bracelet every season.  I always get compliments on this one.

The lovely Whiterock.  I often miss the hustle and bustle of living in Belfast but on bright days like today when the sun is shining I absolutely love living in the countryside.

Hope you had an enjoyable weekend :-)

Friday, 8 April 2016

Our Trip To The Masters 2013

The Masters are back on and its got us reminiscing about our trip we took back in 2013.

We were very lucky to receive practice tickets through the ballot and excitedly arranged a holiday around our day at Augusta.  

We flew into Atlanta late in the evening and stayed there for 2 nights in a Hilton hotel in Buckhead. 
We had a great stay as there was a festival on at the time and we pretty much spent our whole day there.  After exploring the area we sat under a tree and watched the concert with a few beers.  Nice way to relax after a long haul flight!

After our time spent in Atlanta we drove to Athens and stayed there overnight. Athens was still nearly 100 miles away from Augusta but we found the prices of hotels in the area of the Masters were crazy prices and couldn't bring ourselves to pay hundreds of dollars for a 1 star motel!  Athens itself was a lovely little place centred around a beautiful University.  It had a real studenty, arty vibe and we enjoyed pottering about taking in the atmosphere. The band REM are from Athens and we totally could place them there!

We woke up on the morning of the Masters early in the morning ready for our 2 hour drive.  By the time we arrived it was a beautiful day with barely a cloud in the sky.  
Honestly I have never attended such a well organised event.  There were tens of thousands of people attending but we moved very quickly from the carpark into the golf course with no real wait.  
I am not a huge golf fan unlike my husband but I must say even I got butterflies walking in! The course itself is even more beautiful than you see on the tv.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the golf, it felt like a real honour to go. The food was also exceptional and sooo reasonably priced!  We ate more pimento cheese sandwiches than I care to mention ;-)

Our next stop was Hilton Head Island which was 135 miles away but well worth the drive.  Such a stunning place that we have visited again since.  The beach is just gorgeous, there was so much to do, the island has fabulous cycle paths and we were able to hire bikes to explore the different areas.  We hope to take Stella there once she is old enough to enjoy it and has enough patience (!) to sit on a long haul flight.

Just look at that blue sky people :-)

We spent the rest of our holiday staying in a friends house in Orlando, Florida. My husband had done so much driving in the first week of our holiday that we mostly sat in the sun and relaxed during our 2nd week.

Hope this was of some interest, we had spent last night watching the golf and chatting about it so I felt that if anything it was something relevant to blog about!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A Date With Five Guys

Sunday started off fairly uninteresting, I spent the morning cleaning and doing other exciting things like that while my husband took Stella out for a couple of hours to burn off some energy.

After Stella's nap we decided to go into Belfast and have a bite to eat.  Bringing our little one out for dinner is a new thing for us as she is now able to sit a bit longer than she used to, especially if she has something nice to eat!  We have to choose the restaurant wisely as it definitely needs to be family friendly and ideally have a bit of hustle and bustle to it to keep our girl amused.

Shirt - J Brand from Roco Boutique Holywood
Cashmere Scarf - Roco Boutique Holywood
Jeans - J Brand
Trainers - New Look
Coat - All Saints City Monument
Bag - Tory Burch Tote

Clearly still loving my City Monument All Saints coat so much so that I have been wondering how I managed without one for a year! This weather we are having is so up and down that this was the perfect outfit as the cashmere scarf added some much needed extra warmth.

We decided to go to Five Guys in Victoria Square and it was a great decision.  We have visited Five Guys while in the States and we were unsure as to whether it would be as good as it was out there. 
It most definitely was as everything was great . It is very much a fast food joint but the quality is good and everyone was happy. 
I got a "little bacon cheeseburger" as the normal ones are pretty monstrous!

Its making me hungry just looking at it! 

Me looking fairly excited :-)  
It is lovely to get out as a family for a meal and hope to do it more regularly now that its slightly more relaxing than it used to be!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Leisurely Lunch

The weekend generally has been a bit damp and grey but always nice to be off work none the less.
My husband was out playing golf in the morning and then once he got home we did a quick baby swap and I took myself off out for lunch with a friend to my local restaurant The Poachers Pocket in Lisbane.

Poachers is a fabulous restaurant the food is always good, I love the decor and they are happy to let you sit for 3 hours while you have a chat with a old friend.  I got the soup and while this might seem like a bit of a lunch cop out I promise their soup is the tastiest soup ever!  I don't know how they do it (possibly bucketloads of cream!?) but the soup is just delicious.  Carrot and Coriander was on the menu with croutons with their home made wheaten and sour dough bread. 

The Poachers Pocket, Lisbane

What was left of the day was spent letting my daughter run after some ducks in Castle Espie and a cup of coffee in the cafe for us.

Top - Whistles Linen Striped Tee
Scarf - Lily and Lionel from Roco Boutique Holywood
Jeans - Topshop Lucas Destroyed Boyfriend Jeans
Coat - All Saints City Monument
Trainers - Stan Smiths
Bag - Tory Burch Tote

I have had these jeans for a while now and I must say they are the softest, most comfortable ones I own.  Great for everyday wear but also would be lovely dressed up with heels. They are as nice as my All Saints ones but at half the price at £45.  I highly recommend them. 

Better photo of the jeans from the Topshop website, I am tempted to buy another colour.

I hope you all had a good weekend :-)

Friday, 1 April 2016

Spring and We Have a New Winter Coat

You would think buying a new winter coat in April is a ridiculous thing to do because in most other places your lovely, new coat would be abandoned in a cupboard until November but today was most un-spring-like. We had cold, wet and wind.  Delightful.

I bought my new coat from All Saints. This is my second Monument coat, the first was worn to death and had to be put out after I had my daughter.  
I got a good run out of that coat but it met its demise when I literally wore it every day for the 4 months before I had Stella.  
The lining was ripped, the seams were stretched and it looked just done.  

When All Saints sent out an email for 30% off I really thought it would make sense for me to buy another one! This coat drapes beautifully and fastens up in a really nice way.  
I got the coat in black although I preferred my last one which was navy but they didn't do it in navy this year. I also wore my new sneakers which are the Adidas Stan Smiths, I can now see what all the fuss is about, as boy are these comfortable!  

Coat - All Saints City Monument
Jumper - All Saints Beck V Neck in black
Scarf - Cocomenthe
Jeans - All Saints Grace
Trainers - Adidas Stan Smiths

Fastens up beautifully and warm, definitely a great investment buy.

In the afternoon we got ourselves out to a coffee shop called Clements in Ballyhackamore.  This is one of our regular places for us to get a caffeine hit and a sweet treat.  We visit it often as the coffee is great but also they are family friendly.  
Clements have good high chairs which are always clean and easy to put in/take out wriggly babies, staff that will always stop and say hello to attention seeking toddlers and they have just started to keep a small selection of toys, some crayons and a couple of books.  They also have snazzy decor with jazzy lights that my daughter just loves to look and point at :-)

Trying to get the hang of colouring in.

Hope you all had a good Friday and kept warm!