Must Have Coats

Whenever someone describes something as ‘must have’ I generally pay no attention! Why should someone else tell me what I must have!! Plus I found especially in the world of fashion ‘must have’ means expensive fads. Nothing you can invest in, and wear year after year. No it’s generally a throw away fashion, rather than a classic timeless pieces. So this winter when the fashionistas declared pink coats a must have I firstly vomited in my mouth a little at the thought of sickly sweet coats and then headed out to look for a nice classic black coat.

Must have coats

So ‘apparently’ we all should be wearing these beauties.

CoatsHowever are any of these styles, anything that would become a classic style? Something the exceeded fashion and becomes a mainstay of a woman’s wardrobe. Mannish for example is a big trend this season, it’s been hitting many trends for the past couple of years, think androgynous (all the same idea). However I’m not sure it fits into fashion mainstay, same goes for Pea coats and Asymmetrical coats. All flit in and out of fashion, so are these worthwhile investment pieces? And this is where pink coats come into the mix. You can pick up a pink coat in one of many of these designs, so does that mean you’re mixing two fashion fads and one step away from buyers regret?

To be fair I’m not a massive girly girl, the only type I can see in these pink coats, my husband would walk a few feet behind me with the boys if I wore one and well, do I really want to spend money on a coat which may take a good while to slip back round into fashion?

I’m all for buying wardrobe staples. I have plenty of coats and jackets in my collection which flit in and out of fashion quickly, so really are worthwhile invest men pieces. Some have even become a fashion mainstay.

Forever in fashion coats and jackets (for now)

These styles are still big for this season and luckily I also won them as well, not just bought recently but over the last couple of years (yey me).

Coats 2Trench Coats, for sure a timeless classic, now I don’t have a super expensive Burberry Classic Trench (oh how I wish I did though). But I have a great quality one from ASOS. I only picked it this autumn, after an old H&M one finally gave up the ghosts. Too many holes in the lining and falling apart at the seams. I went for a better quality, thicker material trench coat and I think it’s a great investment piece.

Leather Jackets, I have too (greedy I know) one from when leather jackets were fashionable when I was young (late teens). I still wear it, luckily my top half hasn’t grown too much since my late teen years including my boobs even after two kids. Kept in good condition, real leather jackets are investment pieces. Last year I bought a black leather jacket and have already got a lot of wear from it and consider it one of my wardrobe staples.

Fur Coats, obviously only faux fur! Again I have two! However one is a cropped version which is great to wear with formal wear. Black it goes with everything, and really dresses up an outfit as well as keeping me toasty. I bought it a number of years ago in a sale for a friend’s winter wedding and have got loads of use from it since. My other fur coat came from republic, not in the sale, but it is super soft, not always something you get with synthetic fur, and a lovely dappled brown colour. I wear it on chilly nights out or when I feel like I need to wrap up warm!

So, the only coat I really need is a black smart wool coat. It’s all that I am missing, however with the fashion fads in at the moment I can’t find anything I 100% like. Does anyone else need to give their wardrobe an update with a new coat or jacket? If so what are you going for?

 

Our Recent Travels to Madrid

Not too long ago we went for a long weekend to Madrid. I have been to Barcelona before as well as Ibiza however I had always fancied Madrid, so as the weather was getting chilly here we thought we might head of and catch some last minute sun as well as take in some wonderful tourist destinations.

Calle De La Cava BajaAs it was September it was surprisingly warm, by the late afternoon it was getting to 30°C which is pretty hot! But it was still fine all we had to do was fine a nice café, sit under a parasol and enjoy a cool drink, juice for the kids and sangria or beer for me and my husband. With city breaks I always find you do a huge amount of walking, we were staying in the Salamanca district so not right in the centre, it was a quieter area with a few restaurants around. We had a metro station nearby which meant getting around was pretty easy even with two kids in tow!

Royal Palace Madrid Panoramic

One of the places we visited was the Royal Palace, The Palacio Real de Madrid which is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, however they only use it for state ceremonies now. It’s a huge palace, however you don’t get to see all of it, but there are some wonderful rooms and interesting artefacts.

Hannah Royal Madrid Palace 2As you can see the building itself is very grand and domineering with wonderful gardens around the building and brilliant views across Madrid.

HannahOn the Sunday, we spent the day at the Parque de Retiro, which is a wonderful park with plenty of street performers, artists and a boating lake to enjoy. It’s a great place to take the kids, especially on a sunny day.

We went for a boat ride on the Estanque which in the sun was quite relaxing!

Estanque - Parque del RetiroWe also walked to the Palacio de Cristal or the Crystal Palace as it’s also know. Which is a wonderful glass and iron structure used to exhibit exotic plants.

Palacio de Cristal - Parque del RetiroIf you’re looking for a breakfast or brunch spot then I would suggest the Plaza Mayo, every town and city in Spain has one, it’s a central square, cordoned off to traffic, its home to buskers and street entertainers, with cafes around the edge. Just be aware of your belongings when eating though.

Plaza Mayor MadridWe really enjoyed Madrid and would defiantly return one day, I can’t decide whether I prefer Madrid to Barcelona though. I really enjoyed the food and drink in Madrid, which might be the tipping point!

 

Managing a Family

Shadows

When I was young, single and carefree I couldn’t imagine settling down with a family and managing a job and my home life, I could barely do that when I was single! However like many other people once you enter the role of wife, then mother somehow you seem to able able to adapt. It’s not easy, as many of you know!

After my husband and I married nothing felt that much different, we had bought a house before our big day so really we were pretty settled. To get used to being a family, my husband bought me a puppy. At first I was happy/ surprised then dread set in, how were we going to look after this demanding bundle of fur and both work full time? However we soon settled into a routine after a week of broken nights and now we wouldn’t be without our faithful friend (and neither would the kids).

Between us both we had a routine, I would get up early and walk the dog, before work, we had a dog walker for a lunchtime visit then when my husband got back from work he would take the dog out or we both would. The final walk of the night is my husband’s task so, it all works out okay. The routine changed a bit when we had our children, but if anything, it’s much more fun now.

I think once I realised I was capable of looking after something else the idea of children didn’t seem as daunting. So two years after we married we welcomed our little boy. I’m not one of those lucky mother who had an easy pregnancy or birth, however it didn’t put me off more children completely. So a year and a half later we tried again and were blessed with our youngest boy. At first motherhood was a challenge, but once you start learning everything, it becomes manageable. That being said two young children can be a bit of a handful, especially cheeky boys.

After my first child, I went back to work part time once my maternity leave was up, this I found very difficult, managing my time, the family and our dog was quite a juggling act especially as my husband was working hard to make up the shortfall in our wages. So when I became pregnant with our second child I made the decision to be a stay at home mother.

When I realised I could work freelance and work from home, life became a bit easier, not only did I have time with my children, I could still contribute to the family income, albeit slightly less than I could working! So now my eldest is nearly 4 and about to start school soon, and I will just have my youngest to spend time with, so changes will be on the way again. However I have become quite accustomed to working from home!

I couldn’t have done all this though without the love of my husband and the love and joy my two children and the dog bring!

Love

If you’re a stay at home mother or working mother, please share your stories and let me know how you get on, any help is always appreciated. And please keep up with me on my social network sites!!

Images courtesy of D Sharon Pruitt