Man’s best friend

The 26th August was National Dog Day – a day to celebrate and encourage adoption of dogs everywhere. Since we have been in Atlanta we have adopted 4 boxers. Tennyson is our only dog right now and we adopted him almost 3 years ago. The kids have been asking for more dogs for some time, and since Rosie passed away I know Tennyson has missed a friend. So in our usual crazy, impulsive fashion we have decided to adopt not just one more, but two more boxers. We’re not sure which exact dogs Stanley and Stella are yet – the names are picked but not the dogs! We have two coming to stay with us this week and fingers crossed all will get along and they will stay for the long haul! Wish us luck!

In the meantime we celebrated Tennyson this week with lots of love and kisses!

Tennyson Tennyson 2 Tennyson 1Sneakers – Converse // Shorts – Mango (old – similar here) // T-shirt – J.Crew (old – similar here)

Thursday was chaotic – the school had a power cut so I ended up having an impromptu shopping trip with Poppy before heading for a haircut. Poppy as ever ended up returning home with something new – new Sam Edelman Pettys in the Labor Day sale – like mother, like daughter! They are lovely with a glitter heel and great for her to wear with jeans or skirts.

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I wore my favorite Ancient Greeks for the day.

Mango top

Sandals – Ancient Greeks // Jeans – Zara (old) // Top – Mango (old – similar here)

Chadd did an amazing job as ever on my hair. I went for the undercut again so I can pretend I am super cool and trendy for my blogger party next weekend in NYC at the start of Fashion Week. I may have acquired a new dress to wear too – but you’ll have to wait and see!

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Jumpsuit – New Look from ASOS // Flip flops – Havaianas // Lips – NARS Cruella

Now I’m off to host a sleep over for the kids and enjoy a thoroughly relaxing Labor weekend before we are overwhelmed with dogs :)

 

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New earrings.

I’ve never been one to wear huge earrings. I am always envious of my friends who can carry off great chandelier earrings or statement necklaces. I always feel it’s just too much on me – I feel ‘over the top’ with large jewelry – except that is when it comes to rings and bracelets! Since having all my piercings done I’ve been wearing studs all the time. I’ve got so much going on in my ears it seems crazy to add more! However, I have grown tired of my studs and I was looking for something delicate and different – fine jewelry as opposed to costume jewelry – without the fine jewelry price.

I have been buying my nose rings from an Etsy store – they are fabulous low gauge and gold filled so no tarnishing. Karyn is based in BC, Canada and makes the jewelry herself. Recently I discovered that she also makes beautiful earrings that appeared to be exactly what I was looking for – and they were. They arrived quickly and are so delicate and light – I love wearing them. I got mine in rose gold filled to match other jewelry I have, but she will also make them in silver and yellow gold filled.

Marquis earrings - 

Marquis

Diamond shape earrings -

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Teardrop earrings -

Arc earringsShe has lots of other great designs so I encourage you to take a look. I received 10% off my purchase as a repeat buyer, and she is giving you all 10% off if you use code Featured10 at checkout!

Today I am wearing the teardrop hoops and they look great with all my other piercings!

Earrings

It’s back off to work now for me and then cheerleading practice with Poppy tonight, that’s after 3 hours of practice yesterday! It’s a good job she loves it!

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Vince Claires

Shoes – Vince Claire // Jeans – Zara (old) // T-shirt – Asos

 

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Hot as Hell

Hot as Hell – not just in hot yoga this morning where I thought I might actually pass out, but also in Atlanta – anywhere in Atlanta. The humidity is such that you sweat as soon as you leave the house and the temperature is 94 degrees Fahrenheit.  I need no reminder that I live in the deep South.  We’re off to a pool party soon so I think some very icy white wine may be in order – it is Friday after all!

JCrew1 JCrew3Top – J.Crew on sale plus extra 25% off with SHOPNOW // Shorts – J.Crew 25% off with SHOPNOW // Shoes – Arizona Birkenstock

ASOS3 ASOS2 ASOS 1Beach Jumpsuit – ASOS on sale – just $20! // Bikini – J.Crew (top and bottom on sale plus additional 25% off with SHOPNOW) // Flip flops – Havaianas

Happy Weekend one and all!

xxx

 

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Summer orange

We’re dealing with one car right now. My car died a slow death over the weekend and, even though it has 100,000 miles on it now, we are trying to resuscitate it. I’d like it to keep going until the kids are fully capable of keeping a car free of candy wrappers and cheerios – then, and only then, will I take on a new one! One car in our house isn’t too bad. I work with my Husband so we get to ride together to and from work. We normally keep very different hours though, so it does mean some compromises. This morning worked out great as we even got to work out together at the gym before heading to the office. However, I think by Friday we will be thinking you can have too much of a good thing. I miss my independence (read ‘trips to the mall’).

I also tortured him by asking him to take my photo. He’s not keen at all. My tripod will never be redundant.

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Dress – Asos (now just $21!) // Shoes – Sam Edelman Katarina wedge (on sale)

 

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What girl doesn’t need new shoes?

In an attempt to reduce my shopping and stick to my monthly budget I have sworn off clothes ordering till I lose 20lbs.  Weight gain has been another unfortunate side effect of perimenopause – at least that’s what I am blaming it on!  So I am back on Jenny Craig for a while – the only diet that I have tried that works every time for me – though obviously keeping the pounds off is my failing.  Fortunately they welcome me back with open arms (as long as I open my check book) and I always find it easy to stick to the diet because I see results immediately.  It’s New York Fashion Week in a couple of weeks and I have been invited to a party where there will be lots of gorgeous, 20-something year old bloggers, so I need to feel confident and hot (and hopefully look it too!).  There is no better incentive to try and lose weight!

So no clothes – that obviously doesn’t mean no shoes or make-up!  I am just a little obsessed with footwear right now.

As you all know I adore the Vince Claire pumps.  Vince is becoming a brand that I am more and more attracted too – their clothes are casual yet elegant – and they now have a stand alone store here in Atlanta.  Well Vince have done it again for me with the Claire in new Fall colors.  Personally I am lusting over the ink suede.  They will be mine – but maybe not till November time when I can wear them with my grey leather trousers.  They also come in black cherry suede, black suede and umber suede.  I take between a US 8 and 8.5 and the 8 fits perfectly – a little narrow at first but they stretch to fit after a couple of wears.

Vince claire ink

 

Next up are these beauties from Sam Edelman – another favorite brand of mine for footwear.  The Sam Edelman Anastasia comes in burgundy, black and grey – and yes I want all three!

Anastasia burgundy

(image from www.SamEdelman.com)

Anastasia black Anastasia grey

 

Finally there are some great deals on sneakers at J.Crew in their sale.  I am smitten by these New Balance and there is an extra 30% off the sale price right now (code SHOPSALE)!

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So there you go – a clothes freeze doesn’t mean no shopping:)

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Sneakers – New Balance (similar here) // Dress – ASOS // Jacket – J.Crew // Bag – Alexander Wang Rocco

 

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The birthday celebrations are finally over…

After continuing all week I am well and truly closing down the party.  I’ve had a brilliant week in the company of family and friends and I’m now ready to get on with this damn health kick I keep talking about – all talk and no action for sure.

On Tuesday evening I headed out with some great girls from work – another Leo and a new girl so it was a combination of birthday and welcome drinks.  I’ve always loved off the shoulder tops – for someone like me with a weak jawline and one too many chins I think they are really flattering and draw the eye to the clavicle.

Black

Shoes – Vince Claire // Jeans – H&M // Top – Zara (new season but not online)

Heading off to work the following day I felt the need for comfy clothes and what better shoes to wear than Golden Goose – cool and comfy to add a bit of oomph to an otherwise relatively boring outfit.

casual Friday

Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – H&M // Top – AllSaints Tiko tee (old – similar here)

Thursday night I was out with Cali who I went to NYC with at the beginning of summer.  I always have so much fun with her – friends really have made this year’s birthday perfect.  I swear the photo shows up every darn crease on this top – it really wasn’t quite as bad in real life and was perfect after 5 minutes in the Atlanta humidity!

GNO

Shoes – Sam Edelman Yazmine (on sale) // Shorts – Zara (old – similar culottes here) // Top – Mango (old) // Necklace – Marks and Spencer (bought here)

Finally the best birthday card ever arrived from my very witty brother.  I thought you might appreciate it :)

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Okay off to put the running gear on – have a great weekend!!  We’ve got some very exciting visitors coming on Sunday – I’ll keep you posted!

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Perimenopause and depression

Years ago I had a dear friend who ‘suffered from depression’.  I thought she was just feeling a bit down and tried to cajole her with ‘pull yourself together’, ‘have another drink you’ll be fine’, and the best was ‘stop wallowing’.  I had no idea what depression was – in fact I blamed its existence on the great US drug companies creating paranoid patients and encouraging them to run to their doctors to request expensive medication.

But then it happened to me – I realized I was suffering from mild depression.

Almost exactly a year ago I came back from vacation and cried for about 2 weeks.  I thought I was homesick.  Being back in Europe had rekindled my desire to go home and I felt torn, confused and frustrated that our wonderful life here, with so many roots and ties, meant that we would never be able to move back to the UK.  But at the same time I really didn’t actually want to move back.  But I felt lonely, sad and mad.  I thought it would pass and put it down to post vacation blues.

Then I started having hormonal changes – night sweats, insomnia and irregular bleeding.  I decided to go to the Doctors.  I felt like I was falling apart.  I was also dealing with another patch of alopecia and I was miserable.  I sat in the Drs office and burst into sobs – it was great to be able to tell someone how I was feeling.

It turns out I am perimenopausal.  Basically my body is preparing for menopause.  Only problem is the perimenopause can last years.  My wonderful Doctor also diagnosed me as mildly depressed as a result of my messed up endocrinology.  However, now I know the symptoms of depression, I’m pretty sure I have suffered from it on and off all my life – especially after the birth of Poppy.  Alone, away from home, and with a new baby I convinced myself I was fine – how could happy go-lucky, extroverted, chatty Joanna ever be depressed?

My point is if you feel sad and lonely talk to someone about it.  Many of us have experienced it.  In fact since the sad death of Robin Williams my Facebook wall has been full of fellow sufferers revealing themselves.  These days I am happier than ever and feel relieved that my endocrine and neurochemical imbalances can be rectified by 2 pills a day.  Drugs are there for a reason – many of us need them!

causes-of-depression

 

Don’t worry I’ll be back with frivolous clothes tomorrow:)

 

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Health kick

It was a VERY indulgent weekend.  Gifts, cards, food, spirits, wine and cigars…uuurgh I paid for it yesterday.  I had a fabulous birthday thanks to the generosity of friends and family, but now it’s time to begin my 44th year with some healthier choices.  I just signed up for the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day.  I’ve done it a couple of times before and it is great fun, a lovely way to earn your Thanksgiving dinner.  Only problem is 13 miles seems an awfully long way right now.  I need to get my training plan written – oh and then actually execute the plan :)  I have a while to contemplate it, before I start adding the miles to my little 2 mile jog with the dog.

My birthday started with a run – I was well impressed!  Then I was drinking prosecco and eating red velvet cake by 10.30am!  We headed out for lunch to one of our favorite spots – Nuevo Laredo – where I ate way too much and was surprised with a birthday shot.  Yep you read right – no cupcakes here – a shot of tequila with a cherry on top at 2pm.  I had to drink it all in one while the rest of the restaurant sang Happy Birthday.  Fun times…

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For lunch I decided to wear an old, favorite AllSaints dress (similar here) with my nude Sam Edelman Yazmines (on sale here).

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The Yazmines are high but really comfortable given the block heel.

Today we’re being covered by cloud and it really feels quite Fall like here.

Jeans 1Jeans – H&M // Shoes – Sam Edelman (on sale) // Cardigan – AllSaints (old – similar here) // T-shirt – French Connection (old)

I’m off out with the girls tonight to continue some celebrations – yeah that health kick might wait till tomorrow.

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Kool and the Gang

It’s 1.47am here and I am listening to BBC Radio 2 online.  Can you believe they just played Kool and the Gang “Joanna” – oh yes it is a sign…I’m tired, a little tipsy and a lot happy.  After an amazing dinner I am off to bed ready to begin my 44th year on Sunday!

Today started with a great hot yoga session, followed by an indulgent lunch out on my own, a scary storm, and then dinner at our favorite special restaurant.

IMG_8796Shoes – Nine West Oslo // Dress – ASOS (here and similar here)

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 Dress – AllSaints (old) // Shoes – Vince Claire // Bag – YSL

The shoes were the star of the show – I LOVE my new VInce Claire pumps!!  These are in woodsmoke which is a lovely neutral grey.

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We met some lovely people sitting next to us who were also celebrating a birthday!

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Silver and grey.

I decided to work from home today – a lovely indulgence that allows me to get a few chores done at the same time.  I just had a break and nipped to Trader Joe’s to stock up on the wine for the celebrations this weekend!  As much as I want to throw on sweats and t-shirts when I’m working from home I still try to ‘get dressed’ – it makes me feel more accomplished for some reason.  Given the heat and humidity here right now I opted for a cool maxi dress from Asos.  You may recognize it as the grey version of this black one, and yes I have the khaki too…you know how I can’t resist multiple colors of an item if I love it!  The sandals are last year’s from Zara – I love metallics they are such a great neutral.

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Dress – ASOS (currently on sale) // Sandals – Zara (old)

 

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