Maxi challenge!

You'll be pleased to know that I found 2 more tunics to complete the challenge but the best news of all is - it's over!

Final Days 36 and 37 - Tunic challenge

All jewellery charity shopped.

This is a Zara tunic charity shopped a few years ago but can't remember where. Worn with a M&S long sleeved tee underneath from a 1.00 rail somewhere.  Brown leggings M&S retail.

Boots; present from daughter.

I wore this outfit on Wednesday after I set out to do the final recce for my bus walk on Friday. I did 3.5 miles; realised I wouldn't make it to Pavenham village in time to catch my bus back; which meant a two hour wait for the next one. What did I do? I was so lucky; when I got to Felmersham a bus was waiting at the bus stop and I hopped on it back to Bedford! As I was back early I went out for a quick rummage in the afternoon. The 3:16 charity shop was selling women's clothes at 1.00. I bought another tunic - I know, I know, but I did remove 1 out of the wardrobe for the charity shop bag when I got home...I also bought a yellow jumper and a summer dress which has been put away.

On Thursday, I did the food shopping and went for a swim in the afternoon. I managed 30 laps; it was a bit of a struggle after a two week gap and the pool was quite crowded. As much as I can I'll stick to swimming on Friday afternoons.

Everything charity shopped and all in brown today. Tunic by M&S; can't remember where; top underneath; 1.00 rail; thick ribbed leggings also 1.00 rail. Boots by H&M; 2.99 from the Children's Society. All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

The leggings have been re donated. They kept wrinkling round my legs and wouldn't stay up. I gave my daughter the boots in the end. They were a size 3 (36) and although they fitted fine once on; I struggled to get my right foot in. She was very pleased with them; she usually gives me her cast off boots!

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

I led my walk on Friday. The weather was cold but bight and sunny and there were 22 of us including me. Everyone said they had never seen so many on a bus walk. It was very muddy as we'd had heavy rain the night before but every single person said how much they enjoyed it. The walk started from Bedford Bus Station; where we caught the bus to Sharnbrook village; walked to Felmersham village; Radwell village; and finally onto Pavenham. It was 6.75 miles in total. I picked up the youngest grandson from school when I got back. The middle grandson was still sunning himself in Trinidad at this point; 30+ degrees over there and when it rained it was still hot!

This was Friday afternoon's outfit.

Skirt by M&S; 2.00 from Mercy in Action last week; cardigan by Joseph A charity shopped somewhere; pink top; Country Casuals; 1,00 rail. Woollen floral tights charity shopped as were the black Chelsea boots; from Oxfam I recall - 5.00.

All jewellery charity shopped.

I started the maxi  skirt and dress challenge on Saturday. What I've realised is that my winter maxi skirts are pretty dull as are most of my maxi dresses...
Maxi challenge - Day 1

I have 12 (Winter) maxi skirts in my wardrobes and 5 maxi dresses to wear for this challenge.

Everything charity shopped except the OTK boots; on line retail.

I went out early on Saturday morning and did a walk with my daughter of 6 miles. In the afternoon OH and I went back to Rushden; especially to look in the Sally Army as they were shut when we came here just after Christmas. Wearing a brown leather jacket from a Co. Dublin charity shop; charity shopped scarf and gloves.

I bought this skirt in the Mercy in Action shop back in the summer; it was 2.00 and is by M&S. The top is by M&Co and was also charity shopped, but can't remember where.

The Sally Army had some lovely things but nothing I wanted. I got lucky in the British Heart Foundation and found a long, red plaid kilt! I also then found on the 1.00 rail in the Cancer Research shop; a red Principles jumper with bell sleeves - a complete outfit for 3.99!  I'll feature the kilt; a genuine Scottish made one; in this maxi challenge. Update: the kilt was too large around the waist. It fastened with straps and buckles and I was worried it was not going to fit but it slipped straight down to my hips when I put it on. I've had to relegate it to the charity shop bag so I have only 11 skirts for the challenge instead of 12.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Sunday's OOTD
Clothes to do the housework in and cook the dinner!

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Jumper by Tu, 50p rail; my Barnardo's. Trousers by Uniqlo; charity shopped somewhere..

Boots: online retail.

Maxi Challenge - Day 2

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

This is a top and matching skirt made of Alpaca wool. I bought it in the Cat's Protection League for 3.99 about two years ago and I wear it at least once each year. It's very warm. Shirt underneath by BooHoo; also charity shopped but can't remember where.

I always wear my tan suede OTK boots (online retail) with this outfit to brighten up the grey. This was Monday's outfit which I wore to volunteer at Barnardo's. Very busy putting donations out; we're having a 3 for 2 sale on women's clothing so need as much stuff on the shop floor as possible. I bought a green Seasalt jumper for 2.00...I also took two bags of donated items to the 3:16 charity shop after I finished volunteering. The clothes come in but they also go out!

Maxi Challenge - Day 3

 Tuesday was a horrible day. Cold, wet and very windy. I think it's down to Storm Brendan. I wish he'd go away...

Everything charity shopped. This jumper is the Seasalt one I bought for 2.00 in Barnardo's yesterday; the skirt is by Adini but I don't remember which charity shop I got it from. All jewellery is charity shopped.

I started out with a green pendant  on the end of the chain; but in the course of volunteering in the food bank I lost it. I hope it doesn't pop up in someone's parcel of food stuffs...when I got home I put a silver ball on the end of the chain. I've just thought looking at this photo, that I could have worn a brooch on the jumper, too. I have lots of brooches and don't wear them often enough.

The boots are by River Island and were bought from my Barnardo's for 4.00.

One of the nicest things about having my state pension as well as my work pension, is that I now have more disposable income than I've ever had before. I can now afford to; as I did on Tuesday, pay a professional to come in and clean my sofas. We won't be able to use them for 48 hours until the stain resistant coating is fully dried; but they do look like new and were in dire need of a good clean. I've done my best over the past few years using a spray on upholstery cleaner and attempting to tackle any stains with 'Elbow Grease' but a deep clean was needed. 

My next plan is to get someone in to clean my oven. It's a job I hate; it takes forever and my poor knees will protest for days afterwards. I'd rather pay someone else to do it for me and at least I'm supporting local businesses. On reflection, I could even afford to pay someone else to do my weekly cleaning for me but I just couldn't. Isn't it weird? In my mum's last few years she (finally) gave up smoking (although it killed her in the end). With the money she saved from not buying fags; she employed a weekly cleaner. She used to marvel how she, who was once a cleaner herself, could now afford to pay someone else to do her cleaning for her! Maybe I'll change my mind as I get older but for now OH and I share the housework equally. I have also paid to have my painting and decorating done by a professional house painter. This is another job that now needs doing; it's about 9 years since it was last done. I learned in my 50s that time is the most important thing after family; and I would far rather have the time to do the things I like doing and pay someone else to do the things I don't.

Maxi Challenge - Day 4
Everything charity shopped.

Jewellery and scarf charity shopped except earrings from Bedford market.

The group walk was in Milton Keynes and it rained and blew a hooley all night, so I thought I might go walking on my own. As it turned out I didn't have time! Middle grandson came back from Trinidad  on Wednesday, so I went to see him, his mum and little brother. I ran errands in town; including getting my eyebrows done. I then needed to go to B&M to see if they had any moth repellent. They didn't; I've tried Wilco, QD and now B&M so the next stop is to see if I can get anything on line. When our lavender is in bloom I put it in the wardrobes and drawers and I've used cedar wood balls as well; but I found a moth hole in my Fenn, Wright and Manson cape/coat so I know the moths are still busy...

Black and green maxi dress unknown label and can't remember which charity shop I got it from. White Next top underneath; 1.00 rail. River Island boots; my Barnardo's as above.

B&M is close to a Day Hospice charity shop and naturally I had to have a look. They had a sale on which I couldn't resist. I bought a green spotted top for 1.00; a H&M dress for 2.00 and a velvet beret for 1.00. Update; the H&M dress was too big around the hips and has been re-donated to the charity shop bag.

Maxi Challenge - Day 5

I think I bought this maxi dress in the Mercy in Action outlet shop for 2.00. I wore it with a long sleeved black tee underneath and a houndstooth checked cardigan; also charity shopped from the Red Cross. All jewellery charity shopped. I wore two odd earrings all day - completely oblivious that I was. I was trying two different ones on and got distracted I suppose!

On Thursday, I walked 6 miles in the morning after the chimney sweep had been; and did the food shopping when I got back. I also had to go to the doctor's to drop off a request for a repeat prescription; my doctor's surgery is in Kempston and naturally I had to pop into the Cat's Protection League didn't I? I bought a Brita water filter kit (jug and 6 capsules for the filter unit) in the 1.00 sale; a pair of suede gloves (pale brown) and a book.

On Friday I did the school run for one grandson; popped into town to return my library books and in the afternoon I went swimming and did my 30 laps. No maxi's today.

Everything charity shopped except the boots; online retail.
Trousers by Abercrombie and Fitch; 5.00 but can't remember where. The jumper  by Principles was from a 1.00 rail in Rushden bought on last Saturday's rummage.

All jewellery and head scarf charity shopped.

A lady in the swimming pool came up to me  in the changing rooms and admired by trousers and asked where I got them from! She was surprised to find I bought them in a charity shop and said she would start looking in them from now on! Yay! Another convert. I never hide where I got my clothes from when people ask me; why should I? I'm very proud to shop almost everything I own secondhand.

On Saturday I went out and recce'd the next walk I'll be leading in March. It was bright and sunny but cold and the wind was icy. I walked 8 miles in total and am looking forward to leading the walk. I just hope we have drier weather so some of the mud dries up.

My 'Seashell' blanket continues to grow. Another 30 rows and it's finished.

Do any of you listen to 'Book of the Week' on Radio 4? This past week it was a book called 'Why Women Read Fiction' by Helen Taylor. OH bought me a copy as a present. I took part in the research for the book by completing a questionnaire a few years ago. I'm referred to three times in the book! It's a very interesting and insightful look at why women read and I recommend it.

Maxi Challenge - Day 6

I've had this maxi dress by Items for many years now and I wore it to Barnardo's on Monday. The weather has turned very cold and we're having overnight frosts which means scraping the car windscreen in the mornings... I added my orange boiled/felted wool jacket for warmth and a scarf as the neckline on this dress is quite low for Winter!

I usually try and wear brighter footwear when I wear dark colours like black, so I put my tan suede OTK boots on with thick knitted black tights.

All jewellery charity shopped. I didn't wear any bangles on Monday as my daughter gave me her FitBit. I put it on after my shower on Monday morning, and by the time I finished my day at 5.45pm by driving my youngest grandson and his Dad home, I had achieved 10,000 steps! This was just in and around the house, backwards and forwards at the charity shop; collecting the grandsons from school which involves a little bit of walking to the playground from the car. I can't wait to see how many steps I do when I do actually do a walk as well or go to town to run errands!

Maxi Challenge - Day 7

On Tuesday I volunteered at the foodbank and this was what I wore. The tunic was bought in 1.00 sale at the 3:16 shop; the skirt was a 1.00 rail find somewhere. Boots; online retail and kimono; present from my daughter.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

After the foodbank I went into town to pick up a parcel for my daughter. You may have heard if, you live in the UK, that Beales Department Stores have been taken into receivership. We have a Beales in town and the notice of administration was posted on the window; plus huge sale signs everywhere . I went in to see what there was but they had nothing I wanted or needed. It will be such a shame if they close as we have already lost our M&S and TopShop; are losing River Island in the next few months and our Debenhams is on borrowed time. It may seem like hypocrisy to decry these closures as they were places I rarely shopped in; certainly not for myself; but the closures will force even more people to shop online or visit the out of town retail park that I avoid like the plague. The last purchases I made in Beales (apart from a Christmas present for someone) was last Spring; when I bought my son new bedlinen. 

That's been what I've been up to for the past fortnight. I've read all my Christmas gift books and have a new one to start tonight. At the time of writing my Fitbit is saying 9,899 steps and I still have washing to hang up and dinner to cook so I'll easily achieve 10,000 today. I'm hoping to walk with my group on Friday and am looking forward to a day out with cousin Marian on Thursday and will tell you all about it on my next post. Until then, goodbye!


  1. Golly. No wonder you look so slim and fit with all that walking! You have such tiny feet - size 3??
    I like your green Seasalt jumper - I bought the same style last year but in the mustard/gold colour. I love it but the fabric has already started to pill :(
    It is a shame about Beales closing. There was one in Worthing where we used to live many years ago. Most UK towns these days are looking quite run down without the big shops to liven them up. Very sad.

    1. JayCee, thank you!

      My jumper was already a bit bobbly when I bought it. I wonder if those de-bobbling gadgets work? I might have to invest in one...

      The closing down of shops seems to be everywhere.

  2. It has turned colder this week so I wore my only long skirt which is a grey wool one by Minuet that I bought about 10 years ago. I probably bought it in Beales in their sale which was when/where I used to buy things before E-bay.I have the coordinating jacket still but I haven't worn it for years =- I still like it though!I ahve some lovely jackets, including a real suede one but I don't seem to get them on these days.
    My biggest down fall is jewellery. I've got so much that I'm selling again and some will be going to the charity shop soon. I've just put out two bags to Age Concern ( I used to be a volunteer there)but going into the shop I find it has sold which makes me very happy! Your swimming is admirable - I keep saying I'm going to get back to it but it's been about 2 years..................I do have my personal trainer now and I walk quite a lot and as quickly as I can!

    1. Hello and thank you for commenting!

      I noticed Beales had a lot of Minuet stuff when I was looking in there. is it their own brand I wonder? I like the sound of the maxi skirt with matching jacket. You must wear things more often - set yourself a challenge!

      I've just come back from swimming my eyes are v sore - lots of chlorine again today but I always feel so energised after a swim!

      I'm with you on the jewellery - it's my downfall, too! Some charities track your donations if you gift aid to them. I recently got a letter from Oxfam telling me they had made 50+ on the books I'd donated and with the gift aid added it came to 68. I was well chuffed.

      Do please keep commenting!

  3. Hello, I very much like your maxi dresses. I think they suit you rather well, you should invest in a few more of them if they come your way. More interesting than tunic tops. Be brave and show your elegant sense of style!

    1. Hello Alysia,

      Thank you. I'm always looking for maxis but sometimes they're too long and I'm too lazy to take up hems. I found a really colourful one yesterday and had to pass it by,,,

  4. chic maxi looks!
    especially the bold green checked skirt one....but the others are fab too. alpaka wool sounds very cosy - a perfect ensemble for deep winter.
    you know what? my tartan kilt was once a maxi and way to wide too!! i did some cutting, sewing and moving the buckles to get a midi kilt that fits me :-D
    i´m all for paying people to do work for us - we use to pay some young men for the heavy labour in house & garden like moving/storing coals, cutting trees, digging, working with stones.... and one of them starts now his own "handy work" business.
    oh - and this tartan pants are totally cool!!

    1. Thank you, Beate!

      I'm too lazy to attempt the adjustments I know I should/could make to garments; but the thing about the kilt, too, was that it wasn't long enough - more midi than maxi and I much prefer maxis on me.

  5. Hello, Vronni! Another round of wonderful outfits! I'm particularly taken with:
    - the spotty pleated M&S skirt
    - the blue and white plaid skirt right after it
    - the green Seasalt jumper - I agree, brooches would look great with it. It has a really nice neckline.
    - Your plaid trousers!

    I have similar conflicting feelings about stores closing in my town as well. They're all getting replaced by cheap(er) stores, like Walmart (which I have never been in) and Costco (a big grocery/bulk store, also never been in it). Sad to see the old department stores go, but I never shop in them. Like you, I always tell people that my clothes are second-hand!

    Ugh, the moths. Vizzini does a terrible job killing them (he just plays with them). I need to get some cedar for my closet.

    1. Thank you, Sheila!

      Judging from the comments on this post it's happening everywhere; the shops closing. It is most definitely the internet sounding their death knell.

  6. I never hide where I get my clothes from either and indeed shopping almost everything second-hand is something to be proud of. So far, I'm loving your maxi challenge, and my favourite outfit of these is the Adini skirt worn with the green Seasalt jumper. My other favourite - non-maxi - outfit are the tartan trousers with the bell-sleeved top. Your Seashell blanket is gorgeous! We've had a lot of shops closing down on Antwerp's main shopping street as well. New Look and River Island both went last year, and recently a bigger clothing shop, which had been there since I was in my teens, had a closing down sale. It's sad really. Not that I frequented these shops much, preferring the charity and vintage shops, but still they leave huge gaps, and a lot of lesser quality bargain shops are popping up instead, which isn't very nice. Fingers crossed, so far I've been able to keep the moths at bay! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann.

      Maybe one day physical shops will be things of the past...I hope not. You're right too that a lot of 'bargain' type stores take the place of the closed down ones. Our old BHS which closed down years back has remained empty for many years and is now sub divided. In the front is Peacocks and just recently at the back; a really tacky shop selling lots of tat...

  7. Lovely outfits and lovely maxi skirts/dresses. I love your 'modern plaid' skirt on Day 1, the Alpaca wool suit which you accessorized brilliantly with a colorful necklace and headscarf (lovely!), and also love your Adini skirt and Green jumper, such a fab ensemble. And you're rigth, a brooch would rock it (I also have to wear my brooches more frequently). Totally agree with previous comments that your plaid trousers and red jumper are really fabulous!, you look particularly adorable in them!. Fab accessories too!
    Love how you enhance those neutral shades with scarves and necklaces. And love your last outfit which I think it has an oriental vibe and so stunning necklace, bracelets and headscarf. Those yellow-golden colors look lovely on you.
    I always admire your walking distances and lots of activities you do!, You Rock!. Also sad that so many shops are closing around us, as retailers help to keep lively our cities.

    1. Thank you so much, Monica!

      I need to have my brooches somewhere more visible. They're in my study in miniature chests of drawers so I have to make a conscious effort to get at them. I have ideas on more accessible storage; I just have run out of room!

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  9. Love all the maxis! The tunic challenge made me realise I don't own very many, but you've inspired me to have a look for some.

    If you can't find anything for the moths, bay leaves/laurel will work, but you need a quantity. Victorian butterfly collectors would use laurel in their kill jars.

    I loathe cleaning the oven, and support your decision 100%!!! If I could find someone to do mine, I absolutely would. I typically manage stress by cleaning (don't laugh) but the oven is the exception.

    1. That's a good tip, Goody.thank you; at least bay leaves are cheap...

      Good luck on your tunic hunt; I'm looking for more maxis!

  10. Maxis really suit you! Fabulous outfits. Lise

  11. Oooh, so many fab combos here. I loooove you in the seasalt jumper and green panelled skirt outfit; those shades look fab on you. Also loving the ochre tunic and headwrap combo, and all those reds, pinks and corals with the Country Casuals top. I swore by their plain tees for years and have a whole drawer full. Such good quality.

    1. Thank you, Fig.

      I like CC clothes but don't see them so often now in the chazzas. there was a time when I saw lots!

  12. Oh my, what gorgeousness you have feasted us with! The outfits that got my heart afire were threefold. Your fabulous Sunday housework outfit. Loved the spotty jumper, headscarf and trousers. I definitely do not look anywhere as gorgeous when houseworking!!
    The cute little Scottish number - please wear more of that fabulous red. But that GREEN!! Day 3 I think. You look amazing. It's the perfect green for my favourite Irish colleen! I hope you can forage more of that hue.
    And finally. You're looking a little trim these days; is this the result of your busy life and all that walking? Or some other secret. Pray tell!!
    Have a wonderful week, hugs x.

    1. Thank you, Mary. You are so kind.

      Several people have said I'm looking trim. As far as I know I haven't lost any weight; although when I had to go to the doctors re BP I was weighed and weighed in at 11st 13 ozs. On my home scale I'm 11st.4ozs. If I have lost anything it will be down to the swimming on top of the walking; and me trying not to eat crap but it's more likely to be what I wear...

  13. I'm loving your green wardrobe Veronica - it seems that every colour you wear suits you. I am envious of your ability to wear maxis. I used to think I only had 1, a dress, but a lot of my midi skirts are really maxis. I love the black and white jacket with heart pattern and the orange jacket with brooch and scarf.

    1. Thank you, Gail!

      Some of my maxi skirts are really midis on other people...sometimes it pays to be short!



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