What with Monday the 1st of November being a bank holiday, the first working week of November was a mercifully short one.
In those three days separating us from the next weekend, the weather gods lived up to their reputation for fickleness by alternating rainy days with sunny ones, throwing in a veil of morning fog and a light touch of overnight frost for good measure. In fact, the only constant was the temperature, reaching highs of a mere 10°C.
A mixture of sunny spells and clouds awaited us on Friday, the mercury making a slight ascent to 12°C as if in celebration of the fact that we'd once again managed to make it through the week unscathed.
As we'd given the charity shops a miss in favour of a walk the week before, it goes without saying that we were now champing at the bit to have a bit of a rummage.
But first things first: let's have a look at my outfit before we go!
This dark green Diolen dress with its yellow, tan and white rectangles and diagonals is one of my absolute favourites. Happening upon it in a charity shop in January 2017, it instantly ticked all my boxes, except for the rather uninspired buttons. This obviously wasn't an issue and they were easily replaced with yellow vintage ones from my stock.
If I were to do a Sheila-style flashback on the dress, it would turn out to be rather boring, as I don't think I've ever worn it with anything but a yellow cardigan and ditto opaques. There would only be a subtle difference in my choice of accessories. This time, they included a tan shiny vinyl belt, a yellow beaded necklace and a green perspex ring.
The brooch I pinned to my dress's collar is a vintage celluloid one, in which a twosome of black and white Scotties are having an adventure in a sailing boat. The green faux-leather flower I treated my cardigan to is actually a hair clip!
My boots are a leg-hugging pair of chocolate brown ones which are the epitome of comfort.
The cream woollen coat with its blue and tan plaid pattern is about to fall apart at the seams but will be worn as long as it doesn't actually do so. At a rough guess, it was charity shopped about 10 years ago, and I love it dearly. Both my yellow beret and red frilly scarves were thrifted as well.
Now, what about that charity shopping trip? I think a word of explanation is in order here. The vast majority of Belgium's charity shops are large warehouse type shops situated on the edge of towns rather than in their high streets. We usually visit two of them on a given day, choosing different ones every week.
That Friday it was the turn of the shops on the outskirts of the towns of Morstel and Lier.
They are both part of the same chain, called Opnieuw & Co., which loosely translates to Re-use & Co. The first shop, which was the one in Lier, opened its doors in 1995. Today, they have six shops in the area, four of which we visit on a regular basis.
My recent wardrobe changeover had yielded two bags full of donations, which we handed in at our first shop, ensuring rewards from the charity shop goddesses.
Here is what I found, starting with a pristine pair of burgundy ankle boots by the German Jana brand.
They have already been worn successfully in the meantime.
Next up are two dresses. The one on the left is modern, from the Belgian Wow To Go label, while the one on the right is vintage. Both have a funky print and are missing their belts, which I probably wouldn't have used anyway. I love the little side tie on the vintage one!
The yellow textured cardigan, which has the most gorgeous brown buttons, is from retro label Zoë Loveborn and I couldn't get over how fabulous it looked when I layered it over the Wow To GO dress for the photos.
Both the floral skirt, orange polo neck and faux-tortoiseshell necklace were found that day as well. Another instant outfit, although I did pick up the polo neck to wear under this dress in Winter.
After all this exertion, I needed a lie-down, and was joined by Bess, who has become a model of some fame in the meantime. After I sent the collage of our little rascal making use of her tap-shaped drinking fountain to Katty, the owner of the shop where I bought it, she posted it on her social media the next day!
The mercury had dropped to 10°C again on Saturday. As it looked set to be an overall grey and dismal day, we unearthed our daylight therapy lamp, blowing the accumulated dust of its surface, and installing it on our kitchen table. Thus, breakfast was prepared and consumed while basking in its mood-lifting light.
With no rain on the horizon, wild horses couldn't have kept us inside so, after lunch, we decided that a walk in the park was in order.
Before we stepped into out car, we made use of our rented garage's photo studio facility in the form of its white painted brick wall. I was wearing two of Friday's finds, one of which I hadn't shown you yet. It's the wide black belt with its massive wicker belt! Have you ever seen anything like it?
The second of Friday's finds were the ankle boots. These I only wore for our walk to and from the garage, which is about 400 meters from our home. They were exchanged with walking boots to combat the muddy paths in the park!
The floral pleated skirt I was wearing was picked up at Think Twice about two years ago, and has already featured on the blog a number of times. Its companions this time were a yellow ribbed V-neck jumper, sage green beret and opaques, chunky beaded necklace in red, brown and cream and a red perspex ring.
The enamelled brooch I pinned to my jumper was a flea market find, while everything else, except for my opaques and ring, were charity shopped.
In spite of a ray of afternoon sunshine promised by the weathermen, the dullness of the day still hadn't lifted by the time we reached the park in the town of Boom. For any new time non-Dutch speaking readers, in case you are wondering, the town's name is pronounced as [boːm]!
The earthy, musky-sweet scent of Autumn leaves greeted us once we stepped through the gates and no matter which path we took, they were all covered in a generous layer of them.
We took the outer path, which passed the building and garden belonging to a centre for environmental education. Here, we admired what was left of the Summer flowers, including white Echinacea, an abundance of roses, the odd Lupine spike and some soggy remains of Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'.
After posing under the remains of a willow walk, we ventured into the heart of the park, collecting some horse chestnuts for Bess to play with, and keeping a look out for any interesting fungi.
By then, the sun was beaming down the faintest of rays from the odd patch of pale blue, illuminating the yellow leaves and sprinkling them with gold dust.
We made a shortcut through the children's play area where various adventure inviting structures were blending in organically, with a gently trickling waterfall adding to the magical atmosphere.
And then we spotted the most magical thing of all.
The well-rotted remains of a once majestic tree trunk turned into a high rise estate for hundreds of hungry fungi!
Oh, the magic of nature really does make my heart sing and is a definite mood enhancer, especially in these continuously trying times.
I hope you're all hanging on in there and staying as safe as possible. See you next time!
The magic of nature never fails to impress. The fungi finding a home in an old trunk is a wonderful example of that. That's a lovely photograph you captured.ReplyDelete
The dark green dress with its yellow, tan and white geographic print is wonderful. I can see why you want to always end up wearing it with that yellow cardigan, the two are a match made in fashion heaven. I also love the flower brooch and the boat one, both are lovely statement brooches. Love the boots and the coat you wore as well. Great outfit. From what I can see, you also found some lovely items in charity shops, I can't wait to see them. The vintage purple dress with a funky print is just dreamy.
The combo of a mustard sweater, big belt and a dark floral skirt is a fantastic one as well. Judging from your photos, your autumn walk in the nature was lovely.
P.S. Bess was born to be a cat model. :)Delete
^^^ Hahaha, brilliant Ivana ;) :) :)Delete
Thank you Ivana, and you're so right about the magic of nature never failing to impress! xxxDelete
I would go MAD seeing those!!!!
You found some lovely items in the charity warehouses!
I like your comfy boots too!
I agree about nature - it inspires us and resets us!
Thank you Kezzie! I'd never seen so many mushrooms in one place :-) xxxDelete
P.S. what a cutie Bess is!ReplyDelete
Aww, thank you! xxxDelete
That fungi is amazing! You see the most interesting things on your walks, Ann!ReplyDelete
I am LOVING that first dress, just catch me as I swoon! Thank you so much for the wee shout-out, so kind of you. Nothing wrong with wearing similar looks over and over - when you have a good thing, you have to keep doing it.
Love your new red booties - so cute, and aw, look at our Bess, what a dear she is. I'm so happy to hear she is a snuggly one. We found an electric throw blanket at the local drug store and it's proving to be a favourite of Vizzini's!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my dear friend!
Thanks Sheila! That dress was one of my best charity shop finds ever! If we had an electric throw blanket, I'm sure Jos would hog it and Bess wouldn't stand a chance :-) xxxDelete
Oh I ve never seen such mushrooms. Great.ReplyDelete
You bought wonderful dresses and you are right, a perfekt match with the yellow cardigan.
Oh yes this belt is gorgeous and you look fabulous.
Have a nice subday, with a very huge hug Tina
All I'm saying is: yellow. :-) Have a nice Sunday.ReplyDelete
Hi Ann, That was a lovely read to ease me into Sunday. The charity shop gods were certainly smiling on you. Those Jana boots look barely worn and you can really see their quality and craftsmanship. Your colour choices are wonderful. I've never seen a belt like that either and I am definitely feeling that my wardrobe is now lacking a beret! I agree that nature is therapy and focusing on the details at this time of year is the best way forward. Beautiful photos. Stay safe. xxxReplyDelete
PS So pleased Bess is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame.Delete
the skirt is not floral - its fruity!! :-DReplyDelete
the woodland/park looks like a fairytale setting. if the BW was with you he could tell if the mushrooms are eatable, would cut the best of them and made a hearty dish out of. he´s a mushroom-spezialist!
the yellow beret is in heavy rotation here - need the cheery colour in this gray days of lately......
stay warm! xxxxx
Exactly! I don't know why I mentioned floral, as it's definitely fruity :-) How wonderful that the BW is a mushroom specialist! xxxDelete
Do you know what's on my bucket list? Visiting you and going shopping together in your local thrift stores. :)ReplyDelete
You'd be very welcome Ally! xxxDelete
Nice to hear Bess is making her mark on social media!ReplyDelete
You've got some more great outfits there - the yellow cardi does look really nice with the geometric-patterned dress.
Thanks Mim, I agree on the yellow cardi looking perfect with that dress, and already wore this outfit in its entirety! xxxDelete
Ann, I really wish you were my local TV weather presenter! You have funny descriptions and MUCH better outfits [In fact if you could just send me the whole outfit of yellow jumper, big belt, green beret, floral skirt, that would be great thank you ;) ]ReplyDelete
Those Scottie dogs look like they are off on a real adventure. Think they may be after a bit of Bess's limelight. Interesting to hear of charity shopping Belgium style. Glad the good will goddesses were with you.
p.s. The high rise fungus is fabulous.
What is it with TV weather presenters and their outfits! Our local one has the worst taste in clothes :-) xxxDelete
Loving this shade of yellow a lot! All the looks and dresses are very chic and elegant! Wonderful Post! Have a great day!ReplyDelete
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Thank you! xxxDelete
Goodness me, that was a fungi fest indeed! Beautiful.ReplyDelete
Did you know that conkers keep spiders away? Youngest grandson doesn't like spiders so I gave him some conkers after I read this online...
What fab outfits. The green and yellow dress was so cool and the brooch with the scottie dogs was beyond cute. The new boots look lovely. The second outfit was also fab; I loved how well the yellow jumper went with the red skirt and of course the new boots were just perfect. Out of curiosity how many pairs of ankle boots do you have? I bet you have more than 20!
What great finds in the charity shop and yes the belt is very unusual; I've never seen a belt with a wicker buckle before. Loved the new yellow cardi and the skirt and both dresses were lovely. Seeing you in your berets reminded me to start wearing mine especially now as it has turned very cold.
Have a great week
Thank you Vronni! I'd heard about the conkers, but they wouldn't work here, as Bess would just play with them. Then again, she does catch spiders too :-) I've definitely got more than 20 pairs of ankle boots. I tried to count them for you but lost count :-) xxxDelete
I absolutely love that fungi photo, isn't nature amazing!?ReplyDelete
Get Bess being an internet sensation, hardly surprising really, she's gorgeous and no botox or lip fillers to be seen!
The mustard cardi is perfect with that first dress, a winning formula and if it ain't broke there's no need to fix it!
I love the new boots and that wicker buckle belt, it is very unusual indeed.
I hope the lightbox did the trick, We've had glorious sunshine today - bitterly cold but beautiful. It really does wonders for mood and motivation, a bit of light! xxxx
Thank you Vix! I'd never seen a belt with wicker buckle before ... It's usually only sunny when I'm at the office, but I think the lightbox is a great help. xxxDelete
My goodness, I thought I had seen gorgeous fungi last weekend, but you are beating me. Its just so gorgeous! It really is getting very cold now here, but the sun was shining today and we had a glorious blue sky! Can't wait until it is the end of march again! Lol. What a beautiful dresses especially the brown one. Does that lamplight really help?ReplyDelete
Thank you Nancy! I'd never seen anything like it before. Isn't it amazing? The daylight therapy lamp really does help ... if we don't forget to use it! xxxDelete
Oh I love all the outfits,ReplyDelete
Very colorful and pretty darling
Thank you! xxxDelete
No wonder this dark green Diolen dress is one of your favourites, it's a magnificent piece and love the way you style it!, from the cute Scotties brooch to the beads and boots, everything is really fab!.ReplyDelete
It's interesting to know about belgian charity shops being so large, here we have some warehouses too but also proper shops in the centre of the city.
Lovely that Bess is becoming a star!, she's so cute!
And also lovely ensemble in burgundy and yellow and tan shades, so autumnal and approprite for a walk in the park!. Always fab photos, dear Ann!.
Thank you Monica! We have a couple of those smaller city centre shops too, but most of them are these edge of town warehouse type shops! xxxDelete
I love the boots and the dresses you scored! I would really like to explore a warehouse sized opshop! Although in saying that the handful of times I've been to one of the big "superstore" warehouse ones here I've always left empty handed as it's either full or furniture of the amount of clothes is too overwhelming, haha!ReplyDelete
My favourite one is a little local one that has clothes for $1 each and necklaces for $2 - it's not very large but you can find some real gems at those prices! :)
Hope that your week is going well! Another rainy spring one here!
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Thank you Mica! Our warehouse sized shops do have furniture too, but it's separate from the rest. It's true that there can be an overwhelming amount of clothes, though. xxxDelete
Love your geometric print dress and that cream tartan coat is beautiful. The colorful floral skirt and ribbed sweater combo is my favorite.ReplyDelete
Thank you Lovely! xxxDelete
One more attempt at commenting…. Yikes helpReplyDelete
It seems your final attempt worked :-) xxxDelete
I like the skirt with the berries on Ann. I remember when Bess was so shy! There are some lovely autumn photos here xxReplyDelete
Thank you Laurie! Bess can still be shy with other people but she's definitely got us wrapped around her paws :-) xxxDelete
Such a joyfully lovely post, sweet Ann. The colours, elements of fall, bevy of 'shrooms, your magnificent ensembles, it's all pure fall time happiness for me. And, I should add, a welcome slice of my fave season as the landscape on this end is swiftly tucked away under a thick blanket of Canadian snow once again.ReplyDelete
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Thank you Autumn! Autumn is slowly but surely coming to an end here too, although we haven't had any snow yet! xxxDelete
Good lord those fungi are incredible!! Haven't the leaves been lovely this year.ReplyDelete
They have, Gisela! xxxDelete
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