Catching up

I really do love heading back to Bury for a few days. As much as I miss my Husband and children it is really lovely to be a sister, a daughter and an aunty, without worrying too much about being a wife and mommy as well! Last night I got the chance to be a friend too – and an old one at that. I met up with an old school friend who I last saw a couple of years ago. It’s really lovely to catch up and giggle together. Even with all the months and miles between seeing each other it’s still as easy as ever to reconnect.

It was absolutely foul weather – no surprise there – so I opted to wear my cosy AllSaints Haff jumper, M&S flares and new M&S tan pointy toe pumps. I know the flares keep disappearing out of stock online (as of this post 8 and 10 regulars were available online) but both Bury and Bolton had plenty on the racks over the past couple of days. The pumps are gorgeous – I love the cognac with the flares – and they are super pointy with a great mid size heel so they very wearable. They are also available in black and a lovely pale blue.

night out

Today I was woken by my gorgeous 3 year old niece, Alice, who was here to take me shopping again – she’s a girl after my own heart :) We headed to the Trafford Centre where it was guaranteed to be warm and dry!

The other day I purchased Poppy this stunning Next dress, that my Mum immediately said was ‘very Ted Baker’ and I agree. It is a beautiful print and I knew instantly that Poppy would adore wearing scene from the English seaside. Today it was my turn to spoil Alice and I snapped up the identical dress for her. Apparently it is a ‘princess dress’ and she hasn’t taken it off yet! I’ve a feeling these are going to sell out really fast.

Next dress v1 One very happy 3 year old:

Alice shopping

Alice

I’d forgotten how fabulous Next are for children’s clothes and I nabbed this dress for Poppy too while I was back in there. It’s lovely and floaty and less than £20! She’s definitely not a pink girl these days so this blue is a little more ‘grown up’ for her.

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Of course I had to head into M&S again – this time for restocking my knickers :) Some of their lingerie is gorgeous and their fabulous Brazilians are currently 3 for 2.

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I also got a quick snoop around the clothing and fell in love with this camel coat in particular. Boy do I wish I had need of spring coats in Atlanta!

M&S coat 2 M&S coat

M&S is FULL of colour and I fell for this coat – I was so tempted – but once again I have absolutely no need for it in Atlanta…I might have justified it somehow before I head to Manchester on Thursday!

M&S coat lime

I loved this display of bright summer macs too – again the yellow one is stunning.

M&S macs

Another pair of boots caught my eye too – I just can’t walk by the boot section and not look! It’s a problem…They are a gorgeous square toe boot with a buckle across the front. I think these are the perfect shoe boot to wear with flares this spring. They are also available in navy – its great to see more navy footwear available!

M&S boots

While Grandad was perusing the men’s section Alice and I got some selfie practice – she’s a little pro!

Joanna and Alice 2 Joanna and Alice

Selfie

outfit 1Boots – Dolce Vita Haku // Trousers – Zara // Jumper – AllSaints (old) // Jacket – Uniqlo biker puffer // Scarf – ASOS // Bag – Alexander McQueen (similar here)

Tonight we all feel like celebrating – my Dad has just handed his retirement in, and at almost 67 years old his working days are over…well my Mum has a list for him at home but she might take it easy on him for a while :)

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My first shopping trip back in the UK!

Yes I’m here! Back in Bury! I had the quickest transatlantic flight ever on Thursday night thanks to 165 mile/hr tail winds! Unfortunately that meant there was little time for sleep on the flight so I spent yesterday feeling quite fuzzy and jet lagged. Nothing that a good sleep couldn’t fix thankfully. So this morning I was up bright and early ready to head into Bury with my Mum. The weather didn’t disappoint – snow, rain and wind as captured from the car this morning:

downloadFirst stop was M&S where I collected the flares that everyone is talking about. I haven’t tried them on yet but will keep you posted once I do. They are out of stock again online but Bury had several left on the racks in various sizes. Pop back online regularly too as when I ordered mine it looked like there had been a new delivery – so more may be expected. There is also 20% off online right now using this code FEB15EM till the 23rd February. By all accounts they fit true to size. (*update I got 12 regular and they fit great plus there are now 12s back in stock online!)

flaresI was really impressed with some of the clothes in M&S, even in our little Bury store. The shoes were what surprised me most though! These boots are such a fabulous ‘save’ version of my ‘splurge’ AllSaints Alba boot – just £39.50 compared to the more than $200 (in the sale too!) that I paid for the Albas. The M&S version are also available in navy.

platform M&S boots M&S boot IMG_1879 IMG_1878When wearing them you would be hard pushed to tell the difference – and just to prove a point here are my Alba boots:

Alba

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I snagged a great skincare bargain today as well with some Indeed Labs products. They are still listed at full price on the Boots website, but great value with the 3 for 2 offer. Plus the Hydraluron products in my local Boots store were all on clearance reduced to £12.50 from £24.99 AND they were 3 for 2 – so make sure you check out your local stores too!

Hydraluron-Moisture-Jelly Hydraluron

As for what I have been wearing – well warm clothes mainly! I left Atlanta under a snow warning at 15 degrees Celsius and arrived in Bury to sleet and snow so thank goodness I packed the woolies! I did wear my new flares from ASOS the other day for running errands before I left. If you don’t mind distressed jeans these are superb, great value at $38.50, and stretchy with quite a high rise – these are a 29 and fit fabulously.

ASOS flafresJeans – ASOS // Sneakers – Nike Air Max // Jumper – Boden

 They may not fit so well, however, after all the Monster Munch and pork pies that I am planning to consume while I am here ;)

 

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Spring footwear

Okay so by now you all know I have a special love affair (my only acknowledgement of Valentine’s Day!) with boots and sneakers. I’ve recently indulged in some new work out sneakers, as after my melanoma diagnosis I was spurred on to get fitter and healthier and nothing motivates more like a new pair of running shoes! I love them – they are the Nike Lunaracer and they are incredibly light and comfortable. Size up half a size though as they are quite snug.

lunaracerAfter my huge success with the Adidas Stan Smiths, which seem to go with everything, I got suckered into the Adidas Superstar. To be honest it is a shoe I have never really liked till now. I was put off by the huge rubber toe cap, preferring the sleeker look of the Adidas Samoa or Gazelles. Well after trying the Superstars I can officially say I am hooked – they look fabulous on and are as comfy as the Stans.

superstarsI wear boots all year round. I think an ankle boot can be really flattering with shorts or a dress in the summer. I love my Newbury tan canvas boots for that very reason. Here I am wearing them in a previous summer.

IMG_4087Well this spring I shall be getting my hands on these beauties. The Newbury boot in off white.

off white NewburyThey’re already selling out in a lot of stores so I better not procrastinate too long. I love the idea of these with cropped jeans and a jacket, or with denim shorts and a white t-shirt.

They are also available in a gorgeous tan leather – again their heel makes them incredibly leg lengthening and yet they are so comfortable.

tan newburyMy fellow cheer Mom and friend has these stunning Dolce Vita Haku boots that I am lusting after! I saw her wearing them the other week with white jeans and they looked amazing. The backless/mule design makes them perfect for spring and summer. Again just fabulous with shorts, which is probably why these are selling like hotcakes too! They come in tan, taupe and black.

Haku street style Haku tan

 

haku boot Haku blackI’m going in for the taupe as I already have these in tan from Zara:

fringe bootI think shoes are always worth the investment – I might not need new clothes but shoes can help an outfit switch gears immediately.

Finally I want to take the time to thank you all for your kind words and well wishes. I am healing nicely and the tenderness from the incision has gone. The healing body really is quite remarkable. Last night I was even able to wear my 4″ heels to dinner!

IMG_0492 IMG_0488Shoes – J.Crew // Jeans – Cigarette jeans from Zara // T-shirt – J.Crew (old) // Jacket – Lace blazer from Mango

On Thursday I headed to the mall to treat myself to some new lipsticks and skincare – perfect post surgery indulgence. This cheapo scarf from ASOS garnered so many compliments!

 

IMG_0478Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury in petrol (old) // Trousers – J.Crew // T-shirt - J.Crew // Jacket – AllSaints (old) // Scarf – ASOS

Loose pants have really been the order of the week to avoid aggravating my stitches. Here’s my outfit from Wednesday.

IMG_0472 IMG_0468Sneakers – Adidas Superstars // Trousers – J.Crew (on sale plus an additional 40% off with code WEEKENDMUST) // Jumper – Everlane // Jacket – Mango (similar here)

We have a long weekend for President’s Day so hopefully in between cheer competitions we’ll have some fun in the sun!

 

 

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No more cancer

So the melanoma is gone! This morning I underwent a procedure under a local anesthetic where a large circumference of skin was removed. Pretty freakin’ freaky when you can see and hear him snipping away a massive area of skin and then the needle and thread pulling everything together again! My palms were sweaty and I kept focusing on the ceiling! I have to say my surgeon was amazing, and he reassured me that it was on the cusp i.e. just turning to Stage 0 melanoma, so my frustration over previous checks ignoring it was probably unfounded. I now have a good 4-5 inch long incision that will hopefully heal fast! Thank goodness I worked out like a banshee last week as I can’t do anything now till the stitches are removed. For updates and gory photos check me out on Instagram!

Needless to say I opted for comfy clothes today.

IMG_0463Sneakers – Nike Lunar Air Max // Pants – Nike Avant // Top – Mango // Glasses – Oliver Peoples Wacks

As I have been working out so much over the past week I have spent most days in workout gear. Saturday was one of the few days I ‘got dressed’ and we took the kids out for a ‘fancy lunch’ :)

mango CollageSneakers – Adidas Stan Smiths // Trousers – Mango leather (currently 50% off in sale) // Jumper – Zara (old) // Scarf – Asos

See you all soon! Off to recuperate on the sofa with a slice of pizza and Netflix!

 

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A diagnosis

What a week! I am thoroughly relieved to get to Friday. After my skin check the other week at the dermatologists, I heard on Tuesday that the mole on my left thigh that I was concerned about is actually in situ melanoma. Thank goodness I persisted and kept getting it checked – though I am furious that after 3 years and 3 annual checks, where I repeatedly asked for this particular mole to be looked at, I was continually told it ‘looks fine’. Eventually my dermatologist biopsied it and my gut was right. So on Tuesday I will be heading in for a procedure done under a local where they remove a circle of skin from around the mole. I’ll have some scarring – but nothing a fun tattoo won’t cover up:) Please, please, please always persevere and get a second opinion if you think your concerns are being ignored. I daren’t even think what could have been if I hadn’t. I’m certainly a little shaken as cancer is always something that happens to other people not you, plus my brother has just had testicular cancer removed at Christmas. Fortunately his scans gave him the all clear though he has opted for a dose of chemo, which he gets on Monday, just to be safe. I am praying that these things come in twos not threes. I am determined that this diagnosis will only make me stronger, fitter and a better version of me.

boots CollageBoots – Stuart Weitzman Lowland in currant // Jeans – Zara // Jumper – Boden Off Duty jumper

cap CollageSneakers – Adidas (old – similar here) // Trousers – J.Crew (on sale with an extra 40% off with HELLOSALE) // Shirt – Mango (on sale 50% off) // Jumper - J.Crew (on sale with an extra 50% off with HELLOSALE) // Cap – J.Crew (old)

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A weekend of cheer!

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that my entire weekend was taken up with AllStar Cheer! Poppy had a competition with her team, here in Atlanta, on Saturday and then they performed at half time for the Georgia Tech women’s basketball yesterday! It was so much fun but my little girl is rather tired today, and a little bruised after taking a face plant from a stunt in practice! A rite of passage – her first sports injury – all teeth intact thank goodness – just a bloody nose and a bust lip! Can I just say too that boy, Georgia Tech has some amazing facilities! St.Andrews had little more than a football pitch and a gym back in 1990. The facilities at Georgia Tech are incredible – walking into the basketball arena is like walking into a pro facility. College here certainly isn’t what I grew up with!

In keeping with yesterday’s basketball theme I dressed the part and wore my Nike Af 1s for the day :) Unfortunately as my Husband and I were driving off we realized much to our amusement that we were both in black harems and grey sweatshirts, his and hers outfits coordinating nicely!

jacket 1Sneakers – Nike Af 1s // Trousers – Zara // Sweatshirt – AllSaints decay top (old) // Jacket – AllSaints leather jacket (sale last year) // Scarf – ASOS

On Thursday night I was supposed to be heading out for a girls night. Unfortunately due to various situations it got cancelled at the last minute. Talk about all dressed up with no where to go. I ended up back in my onesie with a bottle of wine at home!

tux collageShoes – J.Crew // Trousers – J.Crew // Top – AllSaints Tiko t-shirt (old) // Jacket – Mango tux jacket (similar here)

After killing myself at spin on Friday I had little planned so I nipped out for lunch and then had a fun evening at home with a couple of girlfriends and their children.

scarf collageSneakers – Golden Goose (similar here) // Jeans – Zara // Jumper – Uniqlo cashmere tunic // Scarf – ASOS

Today there are plenty of people nursing hangovers. I, of course was very sensible and feel wonderful – and I am not being sarcastic! Crushed though I am for the loosing Seahawks, I am still replaying Missy Elliott on YouTube – she absolutely killed it at the halftime show!

So finally here is my comfy attire for today – plenty of knits required here!

boots CollageBoots – Rag & Bone Newbury boots // Jeans – Zara // Jumper – Uniqlo merino polo neck // Cardigan – ASOS (in sale) // Scarf – ASOS

That’s Superbowl weekend done and dusted for another year and I managed to stay away from the beer, nachos and wings – result!

 

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Dusting the flares off again

Yes they are back, though for me the great flare never went away. This is me from almost exactly a year ago wearing my Hudson Woodstock flares that I love so much!

jacket-and-flares-386x1024I find flares super flattering especially with a heel – really leg lengthening and slimming with a great bell bottom. The more flared the better as far as I am concerned!

Here’s me in the same jeans from March 2011!

2011Here are some of my favorite inspiration photos from Pinterest – there’s an abundance of great street style photos for flares!

flares 7 flares 6 flares 5 flares 4 flares 2 flares 1I love that this season’s flares also encompass wide legged trousers too, so if you aren’t comfortable with the tight thighs you can always try a pair such as these from Zara – so boho! I love the idea of these with flat, minimal sandals in the summer.

wide leg jeans zaraI’ve recently ordered this pair as I love the idea of a black pair of flares and Zara’s jeans always have a lovely stretch to them too. They’ll be perfect with Stans or heels.

black flaresUnfortunately I can’t find the Hudson Woodstock anywhere these days but they now stock the Ferris flare here which look identical with the hem stitching. I particularly love my Hudsons for the stretch denim and the flap back pockets – they really give your butt a great shape!

ferris flareIf you don’t like the flap pocket then Nordstrom stock the Hudson Angel flare with a classic pocket.

angel flareYesterday, instead of classic flares, I wore a pair of old Zara wide leg jeans. I haven’t worn them for a while and I had forgotten how comfy they are. They are super ‘Mom’ jeans with a really high rise – they keep everything held in!

Cardigan 1 cardigan 2Jeans – Zara (old) // Sneakers – Adidas calf hair (similar here) // Jumper – Boden Off Duty (on sale) // Cardigan – ASOS (now on sale)

Today I am back in the skinnies but I’m off out with the girls tonight and might just dig out my Hudsons for the occasion!

shirt and swaeter mango coatShoes – Vince Nina // Jeans – Zara // Shirt – Mango (on sale) // Jumper – AllSaints (old) // Coat – Mango (on sale 50% off!)

So how do you plan to wear your flares this Spring?

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Get the big coat out

I don’t think Atlanta is going to get the snow that the North East is expecting but it certainly feels like deepest, darkest winter out there today! After a weekend of glorious sunshine I woke up this morning feeling like we should all just stay in bed. Unfortunately not an option for any of us, so I steeled myself and headed off to the gym after the school run. I feel quite virtuous now :)

This weekend I did a little online shopping, before we headed out for a family lunch followed by fun at our neighbor’s house. I’d been cruising the Uniqlo site for a few days checking this beauty out. I finally convinced myself that I need it for my trip back to the UK.

camo trenchI don’t have a trench and I have always wanted a shorter version. I was torn though between the classic neutral or navy and this camo version. In the end I went for the camo version as it is so unusual and I think it will look great paired with all black – which let’s face it – I have an abundance of in my closet. I am sure I can track down a more classic version at a later date if it becomes a wardrobe staple for me!

As for what I wore this weekend – here is my Saturday ensemble – I switched the boots for Converse when we headed to our neighbor’s for beer and football. Not a great idea after the strongest margarita ever and an enormous chimichanga!

shawl 1 shawl 2

Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury in burgundy (in sale here) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Jumper – Uniqlo merino polo neck (similar here) // Jacket – J.Crew denim // Cape – ASOS

Today I’m off to my Ob/Gyn annual so opted for a dress for easy on and off! I instantly regretted this as the wind whipped round my legs while I took my photos!

Teddy 2 teddy coat

Boots – Stuart Weitzman 5050s tan (on sale here)// Dress – Uniqlo Urban Sweats collection // Coat – Warehouse // Scarf – Mango

If you’re in the North East stay warm and indoors!

 

 

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A quiet week at home

Sorry for being AWOL this week – MLK day, 2 days at home with a sick child and Drs appointments have meant that I’ve worn little else but my cashmere onesie and workout gear.

January is when I like to get all those pesky annual check ups out of the way, so make sure you remember to do the same! Yesterday was my annual skin check, today is mammogram day and Monday is my ob/gyn annual. None of them are pleasant appointments but boy it feels good to get them out of the way!

The one day this week I did get dressed properly was on MLK day when we went to watch Paddington at the movies – best family movie I have seen in a long time, by far!

I’ve had a haircut since thank goodness – it was starting to look a little unkempt!

IMG_0307Boots – Navy Newbury boots // Trousers – coated chinos from Zara (old) // Jumper – Uniqlo cotton cashmere navy tunic – LOVE these and they are now on the UK site! // Jacket – AllSaints Monument jacket (old – similar here) // Bag – Alexander McQueen (sale)

While downloading photos I found this one from weeks ago that I hadn’t posted – not wanting it to go to waste here it is :)

IMG_0299Shoes – Zara // Trousers – Zara // Jumper – J.Crew (similar here) // Jacket – Mango (on sale) // Bag – Zara (on sale)

We’re now so close to February I am starting to get very excited about my annual trip home to see my family and friends. I need to start a packing list! Woo hooo!

 

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