A quickie…

A hectic day after a dental appointment, work then cleaning in preparation for Saturday’s party…so here is a quick post with my choice of clothing for the day…Hudson Collin jeans, Tory Burch black patent Eddies, Boden white scoop neck essential tee and AllSaints Serpent jumper.  I love the cropped Serpent cropped jumper though I have to be careful that I wear it on a ‘skinny’ day as it does absolutely nothing for a muffin top!  After some debate I added my JCrew pink linen scarf – the forecast was for 70 degrees Farenheit but the nasty storms we’ve got coming this way didn’t fill me with confidence…which do you prefer?

AllSaints serpent jumperAllSaints serpent jumper with JCrew scarf

Getting ready for Spring Break!

As Spring is growing ever nearer plans for Spring Break are afoot.  This is the first year we have ever really had to consider Spring Break as we’ve never previously been constrained by school vacations.  With this being our year of house renovations I wasn’t sure we would get away at all, but the thought of over a week at home with the children filled me with such fear that we have just booked 2 nights away!  Hooray we’re off to Tybee Island for 3 days!  We thought it safer to book just 2 nights as we’re staying in a cabin and really have no idea what to expect – if it works out well we can always stay longer next year, and if not, well we’re only paying for 2 nights and can jump in the car to head home!  I actually think we will all love it given our fun experience in a caravan last year in France – at least Tybee will be warmer, even in April!  I just can’t wait to get to a beach and feel the sand between my toes…

In preparation for the holiday season I ordered two new bikinis from Boden.  I always have a couple of cheaper Target bikinis on the go but this year I really wanted some decent, age appropriate bikinis – I’m not ready for the tankini or a full piece yet but still a little more coverage may protect my children from embarrassment over their mother for a little while longer, at least by the pool.  Anyway I have to say both the Retro bikini and Ruffle bikini are DIVINE.  They arrived in a fabulous little bag too for storage – Boden always go the extra mile and long may it continue.  Oddly enough I photographed the bikinis without me in them:)

New bikinis

I went with a US size 8 top and size 6 bottoms.  I definitely think the bottoms are on the generous size especially if you are not used to a lot of coverage.  My previous bikinis have all been little string things so the Boden ones do feel a bit bigger and I’m glad I sized down.  My only irritation with the Retro bikini top is that I wish the tie had a stitch in it so it doesn’t come undone – I think it might drive my OCD mad.  The Ruffle bikini is perfect – it is a great sporty fit, good coverage for my C cups that have breastfed two children:)  I love the Ruffle one so much I have just ordered it in the Bluebell Bud and Apple Stripe colorways too while the ‘buy 3 get the 4th for a $1’ offer is still available.  I’m planning a LOT of time by the pool this year in lieu of Biquet Plage.

Retro bikiniRuffle BikiniRuffle Bikini Bluebell BudRuffle Bikini Apple Stripe

Trying the bikinis on did again reveal my soft, round tummy to me.  I’ve run 20 miles in the past 4 days and I’ve eaten a million calories.  So the plan is to keep up with the exercise and ditch the calories.  In order to rest my weary legs I swam 30 lengths this morning.  It was so much fun, the pool was so quiet, and it was great to sit in the sauna for 15mins afterward.  I’ll be lucky if I can move tomorrow after using all those upper body muscles that rarely get worked out at all.

Today I fancied wearing some Fryes so I planned my outfit starting with the boots first.  I’m wearing my Sabrina Fryes in clay, Hudson Collin jeans, Boden essential scoop neck tee, and my Boden Fairisle cardigan (no longer in stock).  The cardigan is one of my favorites – it’s very snug and cropped and always feels very neat when I wear it.

Sabrina Fryes and Boden

Oh and I changed my nail polish – I’m wearing Opi ‘We’ll always have Paris’ in suede finish which is nice and matte.

We'll always have Paris Suede

Run fast for your mother.

This weekend ended in a far more relaxed fashion than it started.  I wasn’t going to share until I’d done the deed, but I struggle keeping things to myself, so I’ll tell you now that I have entered another half marathon.  As part of my training I headed out on my first 10 mile run for some time on Friday morning.  I started off feeling pretty chipper, it was a warm sunny morning and my confidence was high.  At mile 7 though I thought I might die.  Mile 7 unfortunately coincides with a mammoth hill, and in the warm sun, with aching legs, my mind, not my body, gave up and I started to walk.  How humiliating…At the top of the hill I did manage to get going again and ran, with the odd walk, back home.  I felt like I was out for hours but my time actually wasn’t too bad, though I did feel a little demoralized that I’d had to walk.  I rested on Saturday and then summoned the motivation to head out yesterday again.  I couldn’t believe how great I felt!  I ran 6 miles easily and felt like a Kenyan marathon runner on the last couple of miles.  Maybe this training malarkey really does work?  I’ll probably attempt another 10 miles this Friday now my confidence has been bolstered a little.  It’s a shame the compression socks don’t make you run faster, though my calves didn’t ache a bit over the weekend so they must do some good.

Florence was my musical inspiration in those last few yards yesterday – ‘Dog Days Are Over’ has to be one of the most perfect running tunes, I felt like I was flying to the beat of those drums.

Saturday began with a lot of cheering for my son.  It was his first swimming lesson after a couple of previously failed attempts when he flatly refused to get in the pool.  So as you can imagine I was a little nervous about how it was going to go this time.  Fortunately with his sister around and a friend from school he was gently persuaded to give it ago.  I basically legged it as soon as he was distracted and thankfully he didn’t bat an eyelid – success!  For a post swimming reward we all headed to Goldberg‘s for fully loaded bagels.  Even though my body shape tones and changes, I’m still convinced I gain weight the more I run, I am always hungry! I’ve sworn off the scales until after the race…that might change tonight though when my new Boden bikinis arrive and need to be tried on.

MM and I were planning a date night on Saturday, unfortunately this weekend was his turn to be sick so we had to postpone.  No bad thing really given I still felt weary from Friday.  It was fun to curl up on the sofa and catch up on some episodes of Dexter with a delicious glass of Malbec.

I’ve a feeling this week is going to be a little stressful.  It’s my son’s birthday party this Saturday and although on paper there doesn’t appear to be too much to do I know I’ll still be running around cleaning all week.  I love hosting parties but question my sanity every time we do it as I end up cleaning for hours before and after the event.

I didn’t post any photos this weekend as I have to be honest with you I spent all weekend in sweats, I even went to Target in my running gear which I normally wouldn’t even consider, but bear with my until this half is over and done with:)  Today in an attempt to feel a little more put together I’ve opted for my Boden Everyday Jersey Tunic in coal giant leopard (currently in Clearance at only $34!), Boden Cashmere Wrap (now sold out), and my Boden piped shoe boots.

Boden Everyday Tunic

I’ve even opted for a little black head band, following the lead of the gorgeous Michelle Williams at the Golden Globes this year, whose pixie cut always looks amazing with or without a headband.  Mine is a little less obvious due to my dark hair but I’m praying headbands will help me through the dark days of growing my hair longer, though I am already questioning that decision.

michelle-williams-headband-2012-golden-globes

At last night’s Oscars Michelle was by far and away top of my ‘best dressed list’  in this fabulous Louis Vuitton tiered dress and the pink clutch was just genius.  The Telegraph, as ever, has great photo montages of most of the dresses on show last night.

michelle-williams

My current choice of nail polish is Essie‘s Navigate Her from their Spring Collection, which in the bottle is a lovely creamy green color, I’m not convinced it suits my skin tone though.  Just a good excuse to pick a different color out tonight.

navigate_her

Taking care of the girls.

It’s been the perfect day here in Atlanta for being out and about, which I have been most of the day.  It must have reached 75 degrees Fahrenheit today and I loved every minute of it.  I worked from home this morning which was very indulgent – I am convinced I get far more done in the comfort of my own home, even if I am juggling laundry too. Then it was time for a trip to the Doctors.

Without wanting to divulge TMI it was quite a milestone appointment – my first mammogram.  Well it wasn’t quite my first as I had a baseline taken 3 years ago, but this was my first of the many more to come now I have turned 40.  Of course it was all done with minimum fuss.  I did explain to the nurse, probably unnecessarily, that us Brits are used to getting our tits out as often as the French, though more usually in a bar than on a beach.  She nodded sagely and continued to contort me into the required position.  All in all a very quick procedure, and here’s my PSA – get yours done if you haven’t had one for a while!

My daughter was thrilled after school when our friends across the street invited her over for a play date.  She has been on a couple before but I my heart still sinks a little when I see her skipping off without me.  Oh I’m thrilled she is happy and outgoing, but again my little girl ain’t so little anymore and this week seems to be intent on reminding me of that.  I went over to collect her after an hour or so wondering how she’d be getting on – she didn’t even notice my presence – in fact when she did her face dropped – ‘I don’t want to go yet!’.  So she ended up staying for dinner and even then was reluctant to return.  I am so excited that she has a friend close by.  Her friend also has three younger brothers – so my son will be happy too once he’s off on his play dates:)  I feel like I’m preparing for empty nesting already!

The mammogram and weather required some strategic dressing so I opted for comfy and slouchy with my boyfriend Gap jeans, Boden essential tee (SS 2011), Boden Must Have Jumper and Tory Burch hibiscus pink Revas.  I love the Must Have Jumper, the button detail is perfect and the trim is a very on trend sulphur color.  The fit is perfect – I’m between a US 6 and 8 with Boden and often go for an 8 in jumpers.  It is lovely and soft and hangs perfectly in contrast to the skinny arms.  I also have the radish and quail egg colors sitting in my closet ready for their spring debut.

Boden Must Have Jumper

 

All grown up.

I think my daughter gained 6 years this morning, and all she did was put on a a pair of Old Navy skinny jeans.  It was only the other day that I was bemoaning the sticker earrings and now I have bought her some on-trend jeans that make her legs look longer than telegraph poles.  She does, I have to say, look fabulous in them, but she’s not even six yet and she seems to be gaining maturity weekly right now – where did my babies go?  Of course my son also had his new boy’s skinny jeans on too, but we don’t seem to be quite so precious about him growing up – in fact I’m willing him on!  He’s going to break some hearts one day – he’s such a dude:)  All Old Navy denim is currently on sale so it’s definitely worth a peak for the little ones.

Feeling well and truly over my cold I headed out for a run this morning in my new Adidas Techfit capris.  They were so comfortable and I didn’t feel like I was having to hitch them up all the time like some running pants – plus the print is super cool.  With all my knee problems that I have experienced there is definitely some psychological benefit in having them covered and supported.  My friend has recommended the CEP compression sleeves – she swears by them for distances so I have just purchased a pink pair on Zappos.com to try them out.  If I feel some benefit I’ll no doubt get the green too – I’m sure they will be fine to wear with shorts in the summer.  You certainly won’t miss me in these and my New Balance rainbow sneakers!

Adidas Techfit caprisCEP sleeves

My motivational tune this morning was provided by Steve Earle – nothing like a resounding rendition of “Copperhead Road” to get the blood flowing – especially as it always takes me back to seeing him live years ago.  It also reminds me of our many weekends in Nashville pre-kids.  There was a cover band (who are probably still there) in one of the bars that always played “Copperhead Road” when requested, awesome with a cold can of PBR!

Today I am giving a nod to Kate who was out and about the other day looking stunning in her walnut-coloured Orla Kiely ‘Birdie’ coat dress, worn with brown tights and brown Aquatalia ankle boots.  The Orla Kiely dress sold out in minutes after she was photographed in it not surprisingly.  I am wearing my Boden Retro tunic, M&S brown tights and Boden brown piped shoe boots, finished off with my Boden brown leather blazer again.  Not quite Duchess material, but let’s see if I can grow out my hair and emulate her luscious locks lol!

Boden Retro tunic

London, February 2013?

So it started well yesterday!  A morning in the Y with the family and I ran and swam and didn’t succumb to Chick-fil-A for lunch!  My son very kindly cooperated too, and after a little hesitation he seemed quite happy to be in the water.  I just hope he doesn’t expect the full family there with him in class on Saturday!

I always struggle with a Monday Holiday – in fact we all struggled to make it out to the bus stop in time this morning.  I keep having to remind myself that this is Tuesday and I have to cram 4 days of work into 3…losing that day can make a big difference…I did still, however, somehow manage to find time over lunch to peruse The Telegraph‘s images from London Fashion Week.  It’s one of those months where I’d give anything to be back in London for a week or so, what with the excitement of LFW and The Brits airing tonight – maybe next year?  After being back there last February I think there is something rather fun about being bundled up in a cosy coat on the streets of London, and getting away from it all before spring fever hits.  In fact I actually prefer London in the winter and I have fond memories of walking in the damp, dark evenings from The City back to Whitechapel after work, with the city bustling around me.  Rose tinted spectacles I know.

In a combined effort to try a new look and to try and be more frugal this year I’m contemplating growing my hair.  I have always gone from long to short and back and I’ve had my hair short now for almost 4 years.  Growing it out though is a hideous process especially with the waves in my hair that create a giant bouffant as soon as it gets to about 4 inches long.  Plus MM and most of my family prefer it short so I am worried that in a moment of weakness I may just head back to the salon.  My current style requires cutting every 5 weeks and at $95 a pop, including tip, that could pay for a trip back to London next February:)  Maybe I should do it the old fashioned way and put my money in a tin every month so I can see how much I’m saving and don’t go spending it on Tory Burch shoes instead?

It’s time for a bit of color today and a reason wear my newest pair of Eddies given how well they go with my 2009 (?) Boden fun tank.  The sun is promising to come out and I am encouraging it with a few Spring wardrobe selections, let’s see if it works.  I’ve kept my Boden leather blazer on just in case.  I love this jacket in dark brown – the leather is so soft, and the cut is a little longer than last year’s – it’s currently out of stock in clearance but you can always stalk:)

Fun tank, Boden leather blazer, Eddies

A week of restraint.

Bleeeuuurgggh – still have the lurgy though I’m definitely on the mend.  I find that being so devoid of energy is actually worse than the cold symptoms themselves.  I am so sleepy all the time but at least my aches and pains are leaving.  After a week of inactivity I feel like I’ve gained 10lbs – I daren’t even get on the scales…talk about feeding a cold, my colds certainly never go hungry.  So I begin this week with the desire to eat less and work out more again.  In fact I’ve even been investigating the Tracy Anderson Method in order to get poolside ready.  If any of you have tried it I’d love to know what you think before I spend the $90 on it!  If I could just shift the extra curves from my stomach to my butt I’d be happy:)  I love the idea of dancing to get fit – I was so fit in my raving heydays in the 90’s, though I was in my 20’s too!

This morning we’re off to the YMCA as a family as it is President’s Day and the kids are off school.  Our Y has some fun events planned for the children so they can release some energy while Mommy and Daddy work out.  The plan is then for us all to get in the pool for some fun.  My son starts swimming lessons this weekend and, unlike his sister, he has been extremely reluctant to date.  The last thing I want on Saturday morning is to battle with a screaming almost 4 year old, so my plan is to get him used to the pool this morning with Mom and Dad there for reassurance.  Don’t get me wrong he loves the outdoor pool in the summer but maybe it’s the acoustics of the indoor pool or the many faces he doesn’t recognize that bothers him?  Regardless we have our work cut out for us…

Well now I’m off for a healthy greek yoghurt with fruit for breakfast – let’s see if I can keep this restraint up all week, I do love my food!

Boden Summer preview is here!

Hoooray!!  The Boden Summer Preview is out!  SO exciting and just what I need on a day where I have been nursing a horrible head cold:(  So to cheer myself up I have just ordered two Florence tunics, a Glam jersey tunic and a beach hoody for myself, plus some tees for my daughter (PRUS/PRV1 for 20% discount).

I recently returned the Relaxed knitted tunic in navy.  As much as I loved it it was just too short and see through to wear as a dress, and here in the heat of a Southern summer I would never wear it with capris or such.  Now I’m so happy I did return it as I have just ordered the Florence tunic in navy and fennel.  I loved last year’s Chic tunic that was very similar in style and I nabbed both the pansy and silver in the sale last year.  I wear both as dresses – they are the perfect length and weight.  This year I was really looking for a navy tunic, which I why I was so torn over the Relaxed knitted tunic.  I’m expecting the Florence to be perfect, so I ordered the fennel too – it should look amazing with a summer tan!

The Glam jersey tunic looks like a similar theme to last year’s Ibiza tunic and 2010’s fabulous jersey tunic – i.e. drapey jersey with beaded embellishment.  I have to say I hated last year’s Ibiza tunic when I first ordered it and returned it, but I found myself warming to it over the months and ordered it again in the sale at the bargain price of $35.  I haven’t worn it yet but I love the mercury colorway hanging in my closet.  I ordered the Glam jersey tunic in Purple Kaleidoscope – I like the multi colorway too but it looks very similar to the Ibiza tunic colors – so maybe a sale purchase later in the year?

The most exciting order has to be the towelling hoody.  I am thrilled there is now one for women.  I actually nearly bought a Mini Boden one in their largest size to try after falling in love with my daughter’s French blue one – well now I have one of mine own on it’s way for the pool!  (If you hear me say I bought something for the pool again please call me out – I don’t wear anything but a bikini by the pool, so I must stop justifying purchases like this!)

The head cold didn’t stop me having a lovely day with my daughter today.  We enjoyed a bit of retail therapy and then went for lunch at Whole Foods – one of her favorite places to eat.  She continually amazes me with her choice of food – she devoured mac ‘n’ cheese, broccoli and fried cat fish – she’s definitely a Southern girl.  She has been asking for sticker earrings for some time so with some reluctance I bought her a couple of packets.  Many of her friends have them so I don’t want her feeling left out, and I guess they are really only for playing dress up – but I really don’t want her dressing ‘too old’ too quick.  I’m hoping it may delay the requests for ear piercing but I fear it may only hasten them.  I’ve told her she needs to be at least 11yrs old, we’ll see how well I stick to that over the next few years!

Given all the shoes in my closet I can’t believe I wore my flannel Revas again!  I must pick out some other shoes tomorrow!  I paired them with my Gap boyfriend jeans, Boden LE sparkle pocket cardigan and then I tried a bit of color blocking with my Boden long sleeved tee (both last season) and JCrew pink linen scarf – come on spring I’m ready!

Boden LE sparkle pocket cardigan

‘What is it you actually do?’

Phew!  How do single parents do it?  I still maintain that they and SAHM/Ds have the hardest job in the world.  Yes, parenting can be rewarding, but as we all know there is no ‘off’ switch.  MM left for a full day of business in NYC today so I have been solo parenting from breakfast this morning, till he returns late tonight.  It goes without saying that I love my children dearly, but I get anxiety when I know he’s not going to be around to help.  I think it’s because I am so spoiled by a partner who is so hands on when it comes to sharing tasks around the home, including parenting.  Maybe it’s because we both work – but he has never been one to divide chores based on stereotypes.  In fact he loads and unloads the dishwasher daily, does most of the children’s laundry, prepares their breakfast along with my morning coffee…crumbs, I daren’t list any other tasks he does routinely, without any mention of it, as it really does beg the question ‘what do I actually do?’!  It is probably a good thing he disappears for the odd business trip a year otherwise I might start thinking everyone has it as easy as I do.

We rarely eat out during the week, but as Daddy is away till late tonight and my daughter has no school tomorrow (long weekend due to President’s Day on Monday) we headed off for some fried chicken and then ended up at their favorite frozen yoghurt stop Yogurtland.  It doesn’t hurt that Mommy loves it too and a little cheesecake flavored yoghurt with white chocolate drops never hurt anyone, right?

So now we’re home and I am left to wrestle them to bed and deal with the cries of ‘I want Daddy’ when I’m pretty sure they’d want me just as much if I wasn’t here (or am I kidding myself?).  Maybe I’ll leave them to fall asleep in front of a few episodes of Clifford the Big Red Dog

I’m not sure how I am going to fill 4 whole days with entertainment for the children, especially if the weather stays as grim as it has been.  I may have to line up a couple of play dates and let them run riot in the YMCA.  One thing is for sure, I’ll be ready for my cocktail come Saturday night:)