Thank you so much to everyone who tweeted, emailed and commented over the weekend. It’s so exciting to know you’re out there, it makes it all worthwhile. This weekend we went to our first 50th birthday party – I remember this happening in the run up to 40, first our older relatives, then friends, then us…it’s coming!!

So the honour of the first event went to my niece’s husband who takes great pleasure in calling me “auntie” even though he’s obviously much, much older than me (getting that in while I can). He put on a great party at the Hilton in Leeds and of course for us, it was a good excuse to stay the night and have a quick trip round the shops. Sadly for me it really was quick because I had the boys with me. I did however buy the chambray shirt from Top Shop £32 that I blogged about on Friday – haven’t tried it yet (might have pushed them all over the edge) and they only had a size 10 left but it looks great on the hanger so I’ll let you know. Here it is to remind you, it’s a really soft blue in real life –

chic basics


I also took on board some of the messages you sent and popped into Jigsaw to look at the skater shoes that were all sold out in Manchester. I had been wondering why they are £59 but they feel and look like real suede even though they are canvas and yes, if they’d had them in my size I would have bought them (I know I said they aren’t chic but I’ll be blogging about working trends into a chic wardrobe later in the week).

Spring 2014

I don’t know Leeds very well but I was really impressed by the centre. The old Victorian glass arcades are beautiful and it’s really interesting to see how the retailers work their window displays into all the listed buildings (you can tell I was outside pressing my nose against the glass a lot can’t you). If you’re looking for somewhere to go for a weekend it’s definitely a good choice; book into Quebecs Hotel which is boutique but always seems to have great offers and is right in the city centre.

Anyway, I decided not to wear a party dress on Saturday. I knew they had booked a band and I hate dancing in a frock, I don’t know why. So I wore my M&S Collection coated jeggings which I’m really starting to love; they work more like a well-tailored corset than jeggings – they make you stand tall and somehow pull everything in. It was also the second appearance for the M&S leopard print shoes. I have now decided that I will buy some proper ponyskin ones in the Autumn when they’re back in the shops BUT I must say that I am an M&S insolia convert. You really can dance in them all night (much to my sons’ horror) and your feet don’t hurt. I know I sound like a grannie but it is a revelation. I also wore a broderie top from Oasis and my new Zara necklace. The photos are really bad because of the terrible hotel lighting but here’s how it looked (sort of).

Leeds night


  • Oasis broderie top £35 (sold out online but still in store)
  • M&S Collection coated jeggings £35
  • M&S Collection leopard print shoes £17.50
  • Zara necklace £29.99 (sold out online but still in store)
  • Cuff bracelet – gift from Mr MC a long time ago

It was a great party – the 80s band was really good – they didn’t play the cheesy stuff. In fact most of the songs I hadn’t heard since I was at uni and it took a while to remember how to do that shoulder shrugging, foot shuffling Smiths / New Order kind of dancing but it’s amazing how it came back after a few glasses of wine!

Sunday, of course, was Mother’s Day, the third without a mum of my own and I really miss her. It’s also bittersweet because my eldest (J) is now 17 and will be away at Uni in just over a year.  Knowing how rubbish most men are with Mother’s Day, I’m on a mission to teach my boys that their time is more valuable to me than presents and so all I asked them for was a day. In fact, because he has AS levels coming up, I know that a day of J’s life is very precious so I was really chuffed that he gave it cheerfully.

And actually I did get very touching presents. J has no money because he has been recovering from a rugby injury/shoulder operation since January and hasn’t been able to do his part time waiter’s job. He, very thoughtfully gave me his TK Maxx vouchers that he’s been saving since Christmas. The middle son (C) gave me a heart from Thornton’s which said he loved me more than chocolate – that must be a lot! And the little one (A) spent his tooth fairy money from last week on some Maltesers. All in all I feel very blessed. We had a fun(!)  morning looking at guns and swords and things at Leeds Armories (this is what you do when you don’t have daughters!) and then a lovely lunch at Pizza Express. I don’t normally include them in my blog because it’s about style, not boys, but here they are:

Nikki Garnett

Just to keep on task I’m wearing:

(Boys wearing an assortment of whatever they found on the floor that morning apart from J who is a true sartorialist)!

It’s funny isn’t it, when they’re little all you want on Mother’s day is a bit of break away from all their conversation and then when they get bigger, all you want is a bit of time with their conversation. I hope all other mums out there were gifted with the time and attention of their offspring large or small.