Weight loss and margaritas.

I’ve been trying to get back on the weight loss wagon after our guests and then Memorial weekend.  I’m struggling.  Not with food but with cutting out the odd glass of wine.  I’ve been running more hoping that will compensate for the calories but no – I have seriously plateaued.  Last night I had a couple of margaritas while MM and I were getting into the serious territory of prioritizing our renovation projects.  It’s always easier to talk about money and projects with a drop of tequila inside you.  Take it from me I’m much more malleable and I think we came to a great consensus with no stamping of my feet or sulking – a huge success.  So given a few compromises here and there, come the week of the 11th June, we’ll be beginning work on a new master bathroom, new walk in closet, hardwoods in the currently carpeted rooms and new granite and back splash in the kitchen.  I am giddy with excitement – for the result – not the ensuing turmoil, dust and relocation of the family to the basement.  Thankfully 3 of us will be ensconced in Bury for a couple of the weeks – hopefully the dirtiest of them.  Now if the sun could just relocate to Bury again that would be freakin’ awesome:)

I’m struggling with the arrival of summer here and 90 degree temperatures.  I’m still craving boots and pants.  In order to at least look like I’m embracing summer and the passing of Memorial weekend I got the white jeans out today.  These are from Gap who seriously do the best, comfiest skinny stretch jeans ever, and at a great price – I couldn’t see skinnies on their website though, only cropped ones.  With them I’m wearing my new Frye Carson button short boots (the natural color is summery!), an oldish J.Crew tank that was a great sale purchase, and following the theme of yesterday’s post – my Boden jersey jacket from 2011.  I normally wear the sleeves down but the lining matched so well with the tank that I rolled them up – I’m feeling a little Miami Vice – but hoping to goodness that I get away without any predictable Don Johnson comments from MM.

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Summer jackets.

I was inspired to write this after Kat at Doesmybumlook40.blogspot.com highlighted the gorgeous Zara printed jogging blazer – which I admit I bought after seeing it in person yesterday – resistance was futile especially with a piece so versatile.  Kat has opened my eyes to Zara – it’s one of her favorite stores and we have one here in Atlanta but I rarely venture in, but as she has warned me I think I may now be hooked.  Even better news is there is a HUGE one at Barcelona airport so if I haven’t managed to spend my holiday money each year I know exactly where to head before the gate for the flight home:)

The jacket is simply gorgeous and such a vivid print – it will look amazing with jeans or white pants – or even these fabulous red Editor pants from Express that I’ve had a while and are now a steal at $36!  One tip – if you are in store looking at the jackets make sure you look at the back to see how much print is there – I picked a couple up and there was more white than print on the back which may be preferable for some – but I managed to pick one out that had a good balance of print on the back of the jacket.

So while I was in Zara I took a peak at their other jackets.  I love a great summer jacket, though it’s definitely more difficult to get away with in the 90 degree heat of the South.  Having said that I’m always in an air conditioned house, office, car, restaurant, mall etc. so I always seem to be carrying a lightweight cashmere cardigan around with me.  What better way to sharpen up a look than a fab lightweight jersey jacket instead?  Starting at $80 a pop these Zara jackets are great wardrobe staples and can be worn with shorts, skirts or skinnies for a great polished look.  My favorites are the following:

Fuchsia jersey jacket:

Jade jersey jacket:

Short blazer with pockets – gorgeous with just a white tee and jeans:

Piped Fantasy cardigan – I love the detail and lining:

Not surprisingly I did leave with one more jacket – I swear it literally accosted me and held me at gun point so I had no choice.  I’m wearing it here (Zara white jersey jacket) with J.Crew linen harem pants from a couple of years ago, a pink Loft tank and my ever faithful musk Tory Burch Eddies.  I love how sharp the jacket looks instead of a cardigan – very chuffed – thank you Kat you are a bad influence and I love it!

Oh and yes I ordered the blossom tipped blazer from Boden – shhh – I had some account credit sitting waiting to be used – I will model it as soon as it arrives!

 

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Back to ‘normal’.

After a few days off in the sun it’s back to the office for me today.  Quite nice in a way as I get to dress in something other than a bikini.  Even my 4 year old son mentioned yesterday that I needed to put some lipstick on and a dress – he’ll be asking me where his dinner is next.

So it’s back to cracking the whip at work and figuring out why some stuff isn’t being done.  It’s a tough time of year when most people, including me, just want to slow down and enjoy the summer, but with only 2 weeks left before I leave for England needs must when the devil drives.

To honor my son’s request I am wearing the Boden Fab jersey tunic in moss – I just love it.  It hangs perfectly and is the lovely stretchy jersey that made me fall in love with Boden tunics in the first place.  So comfortable to wear in the heat and yet I still feel really neat with a few accessories.  I’ve thrown the Boden cropped cashmere cardigan from last year over the top of it for the freezing air conditioning in the office.  Accessorized with H&M pink beads and Tory Burch navy Eddies.

I’m currently lusting over the Boden tipped blazer in blossom.  I know their sale will start soon but I’m so tempted to order now so I’ll have it in time for my trip back to the UK.  At $103 it’s still a bargain and the perfect color to wear summer into fall with white or blue jeans.  What do you think?

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iPads to complement books.

We caved and bought the children an iPad each, well actually Hugh inherited mine and Poppy and I got a new one.  Before you damn me and tell me how I am spoiling my children rotten let me give you our reasoning.  Yes they are only 4 and 6 but they have been using my iPad and an iPod Touch for some time playing games like Bejewelled, Cut the Rope and Angry Birds.  It amazes me how they pick up the objectives and tactics of these games so easily – I think they are brilliant for the development of reasoning and logic skills.  We are also soon to embark on a long trip back to the UK so instead of carrying 2 heavy DVD players and a selection of discs (the Manchester flight NEVER has consoles/screens in each head rest) I can carry 2 light devices on which they can play games, read, learn and draw – perfect!  After setting them up the other evening I am thrilled and a bit overwhelmed by the number of apps out there for preschoolers and 1st graders.  I’ve downloaded nearly every free ‘sight’ word and reading app there is and also a couple of books for Poppy.  I’m hoping to encourage her to enjoy her reading throughout the summer.  So far it has proved a challenge as swimming at the pool oddly seems to be a bigger draw.  I’m terrified she will forget everything over the summer so armed with the iPad and a new batch of library books every couple of weeks I’m hoping that she learns to see the fun in reading and not see it as ‘work’.  I’ve also encountered a site called iGameMom.com which is a great resource for apps and tools for children, plus it also eases my guilt in knowing that other Moms out there are embracing technology for their children.

So after reading this morning we are off to the pool to celebrate Memorial Day.  I hope all my US readers have a fabulous day in the sun – and I for one will be taking a moment to remember those who have lost their lives.

As promised here’s the Boden pool party tunic in yellow loopy – it’s a little more see through than the pavillion prints but still perfect for the pool.  I have the ruffle trim bikini on underneath in bluebell bud.

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Grilling out.

Even though we have been having temperatures in the 80s for some Memorial weekend marks the beginning of summer.  It’s always quite a  landmark and this year more so as Poppy is ‘out of school’ for the summer.  After the chaos of May the plan has been to do absolutely nothing except sit by the pool, grill out and enjoy the odd cocktail.  The plan is working out well and even if I say so myself I made some of the best burgers ever yesterday – Worcestershire sauce mixed in with the ground beef makes them delicious!  Our house is well set up for grilling – the grill is on the patio and we have outdoor speakers so I can boogie away (to Blunderbuss of course) while flipping the burgers and enjoying my mojito – it doesn’t even feel like cooking:)  Of course I had justified a little indulgence after an incredibly hot, sweaty 8 miles in the humidity early that morning though I’m not sure beer by the pool is the best way to rehydrate?

I had lots of questions about the pink pool party tunic the other day, and foolishly I omitted to take a photo of my aqua pavillion version that I wore yesterday.  I also have the yellow loopy colorway that I’ll try and model today.  The yellow and aqua were absolute bargains in the sale and you can still find all the colorways floating around on eBay – I highly recommend them – gorgeous, eye catching, easy to wear and great over a bikini in the heat.

Pool party tunic in pink pavillion:

Pool party tunic in aqua pavillion:

Pool party tunic in yellow loopy:

Enjoying a deserted pool with Mom:

Poppy and I went for a pedicure on Friday in preparation for the pool and I now have the gorgeous Opi Austin-tatious turquoise on my toes – I love it for summer!

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Rising temperatures.

Are the forecast today.  Lovely – I’m going to head to the Y with Poppy in tow, workout and then hit the pool there so she can get up and down their slide a million times.  We had a fabulous time at the pool yesterday – it was quite cute how she kept telling me ‘I love it just you and me mom, no boys’.  As much as I love it when the the four of us are out there is something special when it’s just mommy and daughter time.  I hope it stays like that always – and it’s made me even more excited about spending some time with my Mum in June when I take the children back for a couple of weeks, the girls are beginning to be outnumbered with the birth of my nephew.

Our contrite contractor arrived yesterday apologizing for ‘getting carried away’ when taking us to look at fixtures and fittings.  Damn right – why he thinks I want to spend 10% of my house value on a new bathroom I’ve no idea…now of course if money were no object that would be fine, but I think the budget we have already set is pretty extravagant and we have no need for Italian designer taps nor marble flooring shipped directly from the Vatican.  I sometimes suspect that contractors arrive at your house have a good scan around and assess how much they think you really have to spend, rather than what we want to spend.  What he doesn’t realize is that I still want to get to Europe every year and maintain a bad clothing/shoe/bag addiction – I have no intention of being house poor.  So I’ve laid out what I refuse to compromise on – that being my tub, new big window, and the granite I selected for the vanity – we now have to cut corners elsewhere – which is fine especially if I get my new hardwoods and walk in closet.  Certainly no extravagant YSL handbags this year that’s for sure – maybe just a little splurge on the Boden Fall preview that should be here in a month or so!  Now if I can just get them to dig a hole outside for the pool while they’re here that would be perfect!

Pool bound in my Boden retro bikini and radish stripy tunic.  This tunic’s fit has improved with wear and wash – it’s much softer and a little looser.  Navy slim Havaianas.

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Sun and storms.

That goes for the weather and my mood today…I decided to work from home as it was Poppy’s last day at school and I needed to get some chores done while I still had time on my own.  It worked out well – I managed a run and completed most of my work by lunch – I’m always much more productive at home.  So I rewarded myself and nipped off to the pool for a bit.  I was actually hoping I would be there most of the afternoon as Poppy was off to a friend’s pool party to celebrate the end of the school year.  How cool is that to be able to go to a pool party?  It’s times like these that I really appreciate being in Atlanta – I just used to hang out on the swings on the rec.  Her friend had even called MM’s cell phone to talk to Poppy and invite her personally.  She was over the moon at receiving her first phone call – I could see my 6 yr old transforming into a 13 yr old before my eyes – terrifying.  Anyway the pool for me didn’t last as the storms rolled in and I headed off to complete my chores.

While I was out I received an email from our contractor.  We’re due to start the renovations in the next couple of weeks and I’ve been SO excited about the planning and design stage and I’m just ready to get going with the dirty work now.  That was until today when we were told we’re over budget with our list of items we want to install.  I’m livid – he knew our budget before we started so why take us to the most expensive stores for fixtures and fittings? – I feel so deflated and of course don’t want to compromise on anything we’ve picked out.  MM feels the same way – so I hope Mr. Contractor has a good solution tomorrow that doesn’t involve us having to pay more or compromise too much on our choices.  Mad as hell…yes I am – plus I wasn’t going to drink this week but now find myself with a glass of red next to me to calm my mood.

Pool wear:  Boden Pool Party Tunic from Summer 2011, Havaianas slim, Boden retro bikini 2012 – I love this bikini by the way – it fits great and has ample support for a bigger bust!

 

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A birthday, some shopping, a proposal and a hangover!

What a brilliant weekend!  SO much happened but I’m quite relieved it’s over now as my liver couldn’t take much more partying…my stamina isn’t what it used to be.  Simon and Karin (I now have permission to use names!) arrived on Thursday and of course we had fun catching up over wine and good steaks.  It was 1.30am when we eventually made it to bed which I knew was going to be bad news for Friday…and of course Friday was my daughter’s 6th birthday so I needed to have my game face on!  I dragged myself and her out of bed in time for the school bus thankfully, after opening gifts – the Barbie camper was very well received.  The day then began to unravel itself as one of rushing about madly – from dropping cupcakes off at school for the birthday girl, to shopping and lunch with our guests – to finally helping out at the end of year party held by our lovely school bus driver.  I had to engage brain and get my mouth to work properly chatting to all the other lovely moms who were there…I was beginning to run out of steam.  Fortunately the evening was finished off with a huge chocolate cake for the birthday girl and a Chinese takeaway – boy those dumplings were enjoyed!

Ready for shopping in AllSaints tank, Gap black jeans, AllSaints Bonny Cuban boot.

A very excited 6 year old.

This might be the time to confess that my diet was not maintained at all over the weekend…major fail…but I’m back on the wagon today.  I did get a workout in on Saturday morning and then I took Karin shoe shopping while Simon and MM watched the Champion’s League final.  After a very successful haul of 4 pairs of shoes for Karin and a new pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses for me, we cracked open some cava and began getting ready for a night out.

Glad rags: AllSaints Pipali tank, Express Zelda white cropped jeans, Levity shoes, Steve Madden clutch

We went to our favorite restaurant, Abattoir.  We’ve been often enough now that we are treated as regulars – the staff are so friendly, welcoming and patient thankfully, as we were quite a loud and raucous table.  Festivities took an exciting turn when Simon decided to propose to Karin!  I say decided – I do hope I didn’t force the situation – I have a habit of being a bit like a dog with a bone when I’ve had a drink – so I’m not sure if I cajoled, persuaded or forced a proposal but Karin said yes and everyone seemed very happy.  So I’m looking forward to a trip to Sweden next year for a summer wedding!  Simon texted me yesterday from Chicago with a photo of Karin wearing a beautiful diamond engagement band from Tiffany’s.  Good job Simon:)  Karin and I stayed up till 3.30am on Sunday morning chatting with mojitos…so yesterday was a little fuzzy to say the least.  Thankfully spent horizontal, parenting by the pool.

So back to normality today with only 2 days left of the school year – hurray!

 

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First test of eBay!

I made my first foray onto eBay today.  Having bought a few items over the past week or so, and knowing that the Boden Fall preview will be released sometime in June (I think!) I needed to make room in my closet and increase my shopping funds!  It was hard to choose what to part with as I treasure all my Boden clothes like collectibles, but the items I listed just weren’t getting worn.  I adore the crinkle jersey shirts but I never wear them as I wear my tunics so often.  So I’m excited to see if they get sold or not – wish me luck!  (p.s. my eBay seller name is Poppys_style if you want to take a peak!)

S. and his girlfriend arrive today and what with Poppy’s birthday tomorrow I have a few errands to run to make sure everyone gets fed tonight and that my very-soon-to-be-6yr-old has presents to unwrap in the morning.  In honor of S. I am wearing more black – my black Frye Shirley strappy short boots, Gap camo jean leggings that I had on yesterday too, an H&M khaki top from a couple of years ago with a J.Crew black tank underneath.

I may be absent for the next couple of days entertaining and recovering so see you soon with lots of photos and updates on fun times!

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