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.

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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!

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(image from www.SamEdelman.com)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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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4 days to go till…

…I turn 43!  Crumbs!  How DID that happen?  I still feel 21 and act like it most of the time, much to the chagrin of my children.  When I look back life so far has been kind to me, though I often wonder what roles fate, destiny or pure luck have played.  When I was 21 I never imagined I’d be an American citizen living in Atlanta, or that I would end up working in magazine publishing of all things, never mind working with my Husband!  My dreams back then were of becoming a high flying financier or consultant.  I started on that ladder for a while and then quickly realized I was most unsuitable for it – I don’t care for hard work :)  Having fun, indulging in my hobbies (errr clothes and wine…), chatting with dear friends, and having adventures suits me far better.  So here I am about to turn 43 and wondering where my 40s will lead me.  All I wish for is health and happiness for my loved ones.  Can you tell I feeling a little introspective?

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Sneakers – Adidas Samoas // Jeans – H&M // Top – Zara

 

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You can’t beat a great dress.

Dresses have been my go to item in the summer – they are so easy to throw on and dress up or down.  This season I have been obsessed with scuba material dresses – they hang so well, don’t crease, and I find them really comfortable to wear.  My favorites have been from River Island via ASOS.  This coral reptile print dress is really fun and I am wearing a UK size 12 which fits perfectly.  The stretch in the material means it’s great across my bust without being too wide at the hips.  Oh and did I mention it’s currently on sale :)

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Dress – Asos // Shoes – Nine West Kurrious (on sale)

 

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Back to school.

Off they headed this morning with a skip and a jump to the bus stop.  It never ceases to amaze me how they both adapt to school so quickly.  Maybe the new alarm clocks helped – but there was no arguing, no complaining and no whining.  They were ready after 8 weeks off!  So I now have a 3rd grader and a 1st grader – how did that happen?

Due to heading back to school today we decided to have a fairly lazy weekend around the house.  On Friday I invited some of our fabulous neighbors over with their kids, for wine and nibbles.  It was great fun – kids really are fabulous resources for meeting new people.  The rest of the weekend was spent eating pizza and watching movies, with a few “Orange is the New Black” thrown in for me, once the kids were in bed of course!  It was perfect – the kind of weekend that required no make-up and a comfy dress.

Asos dress.jpgDress – Asos (navy) // Sandals – Sam Edelman Gabriela (on sale)

After packing the kids off to school I headed back to the office – routines are lovely.

zara.jpgTrousers – Zara (old) // Shoes – Nine West Oslo // Cami – TopShop // Jacket – Zara (now in sale)

 

 

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