Shorter and darker.

Just 2 weeks ago I went short with my hair again.  After a week at the beach I still felt it was too long and too ‘inbetweeny’.  Not one to mess about I went back to my wonderful stylist, Chadd, yesterday and went even shorter, and then Gina gave me a lovely dark chocolate color.  I feel super sassy – it is amazing how great the ‘right’ cut can make you feel.  I love the darker color too and my hair looks lovely and healthy and shiny – what’s left of it:)

Pre-cut:

Mango harems 1

Jumper – Uniqlo cashmere crewneck (old) // Trousers – Mango Bambi Harems // Shoes – M&S Limited Collection

The Mango trousers are fabulous – these are a US Small (Eur Medium – they label for the larger US woman!) and they are perfect.

Post-cut:

I adore this sleeveless blazer – perfect for throwing on to dress up an outfit.  It will be worn a lot over the Spring here.  It’s an unusual color choice for me but I quite like it for a change – it’s a taupe/cream color.  The fabric is lovely quality too – not shiny at all.

M&S 2 M&S 1

 

Jacket – M&S Limited Collection // Jumper – Zara (old) // Scarf – H&M (old) // Jeans – Diesel Fayza // Boots – Sam Edelman Petty (reduced here)

It’s freezing here today so the sweaters are out – totally random weather!

Oh and I am getting my navel pierced tomorrow ready for the summer months…the mid-life crisis continues!

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The legs are out.

We had an amazing week at the beach and I feel fabulously refreshed.  All that sunshine and vitamin D really does work wonders!  We did struggle a little this morning though, to get back into our routine.  Even the hour difference between Georgia and Alabama can make a real impact on schedules!

Spring has well and truly sprung here in Atlanta while we have been gone.  There is a dusting of green pollen everywhere and my garden currently looks like the 13th green at Augusta with all the azaleas in bloom.

Now it’s back to work and school for us this week.  We don’t get Easter off here – separation of Church and State and all that…but that doesn’t stop me going all out with an Easter roast with friends this weekend.  All I have to worry about for now is choosing lamb or pork?

While I was gone my gorgeous playsuit from M&S arrived.  I cannot tell you how much I love it.  This is a UK 12 and it is perfect.  The ties at the shoulders mean you can adjust it for your boobs as necessary and the shorts are the perfect length – not indecent by any means.  I’m certain this is going to be my go to evening outfit in Spain this summer worn with sandals.

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Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury canvas // Playsuit – Marks and Spencer

My Essie Resort Fling nail polish even matches the print perfectly – completely unintentionally:)

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Today I’m flaunting my tanned legs in my AllSaints dress that I bought back at Christmas in the sale.  It’s the perfect weight for spring here.

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Dress – AllSaints (old but mid season sale currently on here) // Sneakers – Golden Goose Francy (old – similar here)

 

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Spring Break…at last…

I’ve been looking forward to this break since Spring Break last year.  We had such an amazing time here in Fort Morgan back then that we hit the ‘Easy’ button and booked the same house this year.  As much as we like adventure in the summer, for this week in April there is something lovely and comforting about returning to the same spot.  Less organization is needed and we know exactly what we are going to get.  We leave the nerves, uncertainty and anticipation for the summer travels!

The weather hasn’t cooperated since we arrived on Saturday but my Husband and I have managed a beach run each day, and we took the kids bowling yesterday at the the peak of the storm.  To be fair they haven’t seemed to notice the rain and they’ve been hanging out with the neighbors on the beach most of the time – they were even in the sea at 7am yesterday!  Brrrrr!

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Today the sun is shining and the bikini will be on!

As for getting here – here’s what I chose to wear for our 6hr drive – comfort was key.

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Birkenstocks – Arizona in blue Birkoflor // Shorts – J.Crew // Sweatshirt – Target // Scarf – Gap (old)

And my outfit from my last day at work last week – I LOVED wearing this dress that I got in the sale – so comfortable, and the M&S blazer is awesome.  If you haven’t looked at Mango for a while you should – their new styling is gorgeous as is their new summer collection.

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Boots – Isabel Marant Dicker // Dress – Mango (similar here) // Jacket – Marks and Spencer // Bag – YSL Roady

 

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Next Bomber Jacket – 6 Ways – 6 Bloggers

I love doing collaborations with my friends especially when we all have such different styles. 5 of my blogging bffs and I recently worked together to showcase this fabulous bomber jacket from Next.  It comes in red and grey and I picked the red – mainly because I have the grey Next biker jacket from last year. I didn’t really know what to expect so I was thrilled when I opened the package to find a lovely soft, lightweight, vivid red jacket.  It’s as light as a sweatshirt so the perfect weight for a throw on here in Spring.  Yes it was gifted – thank you Next – but that has not skewed my opinion – I really love it and would have paid money for it.  Look how great all the other girls look too! Next Bomber jacket challenge Lizzy, Fiona, Frances, Avril, me and Michelle!

Many people steer clear of red thinking it is too bright or won’t go with much in their closet.  I had fun prancing around the other day with different combinations to try and demonstrate how versatile red can be.  My outfits are fairly neutral but red is also a great statement color to clash/colorblock with oranges, pinks and blues. IMG_8193 IMG_8187

Dress – Marks & Spencer // Boots – Isabel Marant // Jacket – Next

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Shoes – Nine West // Trousers – eBay // T-shirt – Express (old) // jacket – Next

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Trousers – Express (old – similar here) // Shoes – BCBGeneration // T-shirt – J.Crew // Jacket – Next

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Sneakers – Golden Goose (old – similar here) // Shorts – J.Crew // Top – Phinius AllSaints (old) // Jacket – Next // Sunglasses – RayBan Wayfarer

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Shoes – Marks & Spencer Limited Edition // Jumpsuit – Splendid // Jacket – Next

Make sure you pop over the the girls’ sites to see what they think and get details on how they styled their Next jackets!

LizzyFionaFrancesAvril, me and Michelle! Next Bomber jacket challenge

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Arm Candy

I’ve mentioned my jewelry wearing habits several times before – I’m not a fan of necklaces but I love to adorn my wrists with jewels, beads and precious metals.  My Husband also wears bracelets – he has one for the summer months and one for the winter months…both of which I bought him.  I wish I didn’t feel the pressure to be more novel with gifts otherwise I’d just buy him a different color each birthday.  I should also mention that he has his ear pierced – so that gives me some options too.  When we first met in 1991, he not only had longer hair than me, but also wore jewelry.

Here’s the summer one that he’ll start wearing next week on Spring Break (he’s very precise when it comes to changing over :))…it’s a gorgeous turquoise.

turquoise

And here’s the black that he is currently wearing – it has a bead of pavé black diamonds on it – just stunning yet still masculine.

Balck

Well I have been eyeing these bracelets for myself.  I particularly love turquoise for the summer, and I love the idea of stacking different colors.  Only 3 or 4 David Yurman bracelets is something I’d rather my Husband paid for than my clothing budget!  So I started to search for some good replicas.

Etsy.com saved the day…and the budget!  I’ve used Etsy quite a bit recently for nose rings to cushion covers.  I love the idea of supporting small businesses and getting something unique and handmade.

After a few searches I came across Magnolia Blossom Jewelry.  Kimberly offers a great selection of jewelry – with bracelets just like I was looking for at a fabulous price too.  I ordered 4 and received them yesterday – super fast shipping, gorgeous packaging and a great product.  I love my new bracelets!

Turquoise with rose gold pavé bead:

turquoise pave

Turquoise with mother of pearl pavé bead:

mother of pearl pave

Coral and crystal pavé bead:

coral pave

Pink jade with pavé bead:

pink jade

Not one to go half measures I decided to stack them all today!

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And here they are looking great against my all black ensemble today.

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Shoes – Marks and Spencer // Pants – J.Crew chino capris // Top – AllSaints Tiko t-shirt (25% off with code SURPRISE)

After contacting Kimberly I negotiated a discount which she has kindly offered to pass on to you all.  Please use code SAVE10 for a 10% discount at checkout – I am sure you will love what she has to offer!

P.s. I have just listed some wool J.Crew capris in my shop that I have reluctantly realized do not work for this climate!

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Playsuits.

It’s hot and sunny here, and Spring Break next week, so my thoughts have turned to all things short.  Quite literally.  I have been obsessing over playsuits.  Yes the name conjures all sorts of images from babies in onesies to some very questionable attire indeed.  I, as you know, rightly or wrongly, tend not to follow any fashion code or rules based on age (as an aside Frank Skinner blew my mind yesterday on BBC Radio 2 saying ‘denim should only be seen next to young skin’).  I wear what I feel comfortable, confident or even sexy in…and I will continue to do so till my time is up.  As I love my legs (yes go on you can be proud of your body instead of criticizing it all the time!) I love to wear shorts.  Combine my love of shorts with my love of jumpsuits and hey presto – the playsuit!

Marks and Spencer are just rocking my world right now.  I have ordered the white draped playsuit seen on Rita Ora here.  It’ll will look fabulous with my canvas Newburys or Ancient Greek Sandals.

Rita Ora white drape front

These other playsuits from M&S are perfect beach attire for vacation.  This tribal print is my favorite.

tribal

These simple playsuits are great for beach to bar and are great prices – the black at £22.50 and the floral at £25.

black floral

For something a little dressier this Lavish Alice playsuit is stunning.

Lavish Alice

So my only caveat is make sure a playsuit fits properly – it can’t be too tight or too short – and I prefer not to wear them with court shoes – I do think a flat or a boot balances out the flesh on show.

As for my outfits recently here’s one from last week pre-haircut and pre-soaring temperatures.

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Poncho – Oak // Long sleeved tee – AllSaints (old) // Jeans – Boden // Boots – Black leather Rag & Bone Newbury boots

I love this OAK poncho – especially as I can wear it for Jedi training…

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Then for this week as the sun has made an appearance so have some sandals along with my legs…

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Jeans – Zara TRF // Sandals – Pons Avarcas in Berry // T-Shirt – J. Crew (25% off with SHOPNOW) // Jacket – Gap (old)

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Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury (old – bought off TheOutnet.com last year) // Dress – Pia dress AllSaints

My Husband says my smile is broader and happier with my new hair:)

 

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Patterned pants.

I have blogged before about my love for patterned trousers.  They always seem to make a more prominent appearance in my closet at this time of year.  They are a great transitional piece – lighter than jeans but still providing coverage, plus it’s easy to incorporate some spring colors in an outfit with them.

Free People Marant Mollie King Patterned trousers

Images from Pinterest

I’ve only added one pair to my closet this season – these from Zara, who always offer an amazing array of patterned trousers.

Zara

I love any kind of animal print so these Marks and Spencer Per Una ones keep catching my eye – especially as they are on sale currently, with limited sizes left.

Per Una

Mango hit my radar last year when I picked up a couple of great patterned harems in their sale.  These are fabulous in this seasons collection.

Mango

I’d be buying this pair if I didn’t have my linen harems from last year.

Mango 2

Here I am in my Zara pants today.  Off to the Doctors, sniff, sniff, with a horrid head cold which I need to kick it into touch before our beach trip!

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Shoes – Marks and Spencer skate shoes // Trousers – Zara // Tank – H&M // Jumper – TopShop

Yesterday was also a day for some comfy trousers – these are the Next harems that I bought last year.  If you are interested in dipping your toe in the ‘harem pool’ – take a peek at Fiona’s post here – she’s picked some great ones to peruse.

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Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury navy suede // Harems – Next navy (last year – similar here) // T-shirt – ASOS forever t-shirt // Jumper – French Connection // Jacket – Next (old – similar here)

So patterned pants – will you be sporting a pair this season?

 

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Summer blazers.

I wasn’t planning on posting today then I remembered that the Marks and Spencer 20% off offer ends today!  I was browsing/researching their site last night, as I often do, and it led to me lusting over these beauties.  Rarely can I head onto the M&S site these days without seeing something I love – especially in the Limited Edition range.  They are certainly on an upward trend as far as I am concerned.

So here you go.  Sleeveless blazers.  Fabulous with jeans, culottes, palazzo pants or even a midi dress.  Perfect for giving an outfit a touch more shape.  I love the longer length ones in particular and I think the tailoring is very AllSaints.  I would wear the black one with a great pair of flared jeans.  At £47.20 they are a great price.  For free delivery to the US use code USDELIVERY when checking out.

long cream long black

This shorter version is lovely and would be great with denim shorts and a plain white tee.  The detailing at the back really makes it stand out for me.  Just £39.60 today.

Short sleeveless blazer

Finally, not sleeveless granted, but the color of this Zara blazer stopped me in my tracks.  Just stunning.  I can see it now with a white tank, light boyfriend jeans, bronzed feet, and tan strappy sandals.  Just fab.

Zara

So what do you think?  Swayed by the sleeveless look or the gorgeous fuchsia color?  Let me know if you take advantage of the M&S discount!

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I spoke too soon.

Sorry to all of you in the UK and elsewhere – but I am sharing a J.Crew code that is only valid in the US – complain to them not me:)  Using HEYSPRING you can get 25% off online and in store.  They don’t often have such great discounts at J.Crew so I have taken advantage of it ready for our trip to the beach for Spring Break.

This camouflage sweatshirt is similar to the one Marlene wore here – but I think I have ordered the lighter, grayer, colorway.

JCrew Sweatshirt

 

J.Crew’s denim shorts are the best I have come across – super soft and stretchy – in fact I often size down as they give during wear.

Denim shorts

This denim jacket is a great dark vintage wash and it is already on sale.  I love it – I just need to try it on in store so I know my size.  J.Crew love their vanity sizing and often it is worth again sizing down.

Vintage denim jacket

Finally I have ummed and aahed about rash guards for the past couple of summers.  Going to the beach in April means it can still be pretty breezy, making that risk of sun burn even greater, so I have taken the plunge and ordered this one.  I prefer the solid color to a stripe.

Aqua rash guard

 

If that is too much coverage for you I really like this sleeveless version – and it is a great price, currently reduced to $49.50.

sleeveless rash guard

 All this talk of beach attire and Spring Break feels a little premature today as the temperatures drop again.  So yes I did speak too soon at the weekend and the boots are back on today – but just £27.20 boots from the M&S sale – RESULT!

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Jeans – Gap (on sale) // Boots – Marks and Spencer Mink biker boots (on sale at just £27.20 reduced from £75!!) // Bag – Marks and Spencer // Jumper – Zara (old) // Gilet – AllSaints (old)

Finally I look a bit crazed here – but this is me on a usual Sunday – no makeup and my hair is still wet after the gym…

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Shoes – Avarcas Pons Ankle strap in brown // Jeans – H&M boyfriend jeans // T-shirt – REALLY old Gap long sleeved t-shirt // Glasses – Oliver Peoples Wacks

 

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