#NBCFail

The Olympics have started – hooray!!! NBC are covering them – boo!!!  I have watched NBC religiously since landing in the US and watch Bri-Wi every night at 6.30 – my 30mins with the US’s version of the ‘rest of the world’, but NBC you have disappointed me so over the past few days.

1. The Opening Ceremony was NOT shown live, then the recorded version shown Friday evening was filled with ad breaks, and NBC omitted several pieces of the show including the full musical line up, plus most importantly and most insulting, the tribute to 7/7 was omitted – now if the BBC ever omitted a tribute to 9/11 we’d be hearing about it to kingdom come.

2. Every night Brian tells me at 6.30 there will be no spoilers and all the main events will be shown in the prime time coverage – BUT – he then says something along the lines of “but this news has already rocketed around the world so we’ll tell you now anyway…” and then proceeds to tell me about the Chinese female swimmer whose race I haven’t even seen yet…#MajorFail

3. Ryan Lochte is an irritating s.o.b. who happens to be a pretty good swimmer – I don’t need to see his grill or his shoe collection again – or him tossing a 650lb tire for that matter.

4.  I know we’re in the US and not everyone is aware of the UK geography, but when it comes to Manchester it is NOT ‘just a bit North of London’.

5.  And yes I know it is US coverage but there are other countries taking part that we’d like to see something of…
I could go on and I am trying to rise above it and enjoy the Olympics, but take a look at the tweets with #NBCFail and you will see I am not alone in my grievances.

Rant over.

This should be the last week of dust and dirt in the house – the electrician has been, the painting is done, the shower door hung and all that remains is for the door pulls on the vanity to be added and the mirror to be hung.  Thrilled is an understatement – I can’t wait to get into our new master suite.  While the work has been going on I’ve also done a bit of rearranging in the other areas of the house and yesterday we completed the sitting area in the kitchen with two fabulous IKEA Tullsta leather chairs – for $199 each they can be used and abused by the kids as much as they want – and they look brilliant.  Definitely glad we opted for the off white in the end as I think the black version would have closed in the area a little too much.

Today it’s pretty miserable weather – rain, heat and humidity – but I’m taking advantage of wearing my white jeans for the month before Labor Day.  These are the cropped Zeldas from Express – currently just $29.99, worn with my new Blighty boatneck from Boden, bought in the sale.  My red lipstick today inspired me to wear this scarf – another H&M bargain for $3!  Not sure how well you can make it out but it has fabulous red lips all over it – I love it!  I finished off the outfit with my red Tory Burch Revas for an additional splash of color.  I love the Blighty boatneck – definitely more of a sweat shirt and I sized up so I can layer it in the Fall – not reduced quite as much as I’d have liked in the sale but enough to have bought this dusk one and the quail egg one.

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Zara hits the nail on the head yet again.

Much as I love blogging it has had its pros and cons.  Cons mainly being I am always verging on being skint from seeing and buying gorgeous clothes modeled by my favorite blogging friends, and pros being that I have been exposed to lots of other fabulous brands that I may not have ventured to try in the past – basically resulting in the con.  Thank goodness for eBay hey so I can constantly recycle my closet!  Anyway my favorite new retail lust is Zara.  I’ve always known they were in Atlanta but never bothered to venture in opting to stick with my trusty, quality brands like J.Crew, Boden, AllSaints and H&M.  Zara is a tad pricier than H&M but is always spot on trend and being a trouser girl they always seem to have plenty to offer for me.  I love how they are constantly rotating their stock.  Their sizes are hit or miss but I’m learning to figure them out so I can order online with a little more confidence and benefit from items that haven’t been tried on 20 times, plus they offer free shipping.  In the past week or so their new collection has been filtering into stores and online, and I ordered these fabulous TRF snake print trousers which arrived yesterday.  They are DIVINE.  They are a gorgeous blend of neutral colors – lots of taupe, blush and nudes which means you can wear them with anything from a white shirt to a pink tee.  They have ankle zips and, on my legs, finish neatly at the ankle.  I can’t tell you enough how thrilled I am with them not to mention they were just $59.90!

I just ordered the snake skin shirt – not to wear with the pants – that might be overkill – but as I love the colors and pattern so much I thought the shirt would be great with jeans – black or blue denim.  I am truly embracing the animal print trend this season – though I can’t avoid it even when only Bet Lynch and I are wearing leopard print.

Today it is hot, hot, hot and I’m taking it easy in the air conditioning.  I find this heat really exhausting so I don’t plan on doing too much today except for a fun dinner with the family and then watching the Olympic Games opening ceremony.  Staying in has allowed me to enjoy the comfort of jeans again and I am wearing my Primark floral jeans – best bargain of the year at 5 GBP, along with a sale bargain from Zara – a lovely pink linen t-shirt which incidentally will look great with the new pants!  All paired with my trusty Tory Burch musk Eddie ballet flats – the best nude shoes I have.  Here’s to a fun weekend y’all and yes I’ll be cheering Team USA and Team GB – I think that is allowed:)

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Carrot and stick approach.

So school starts back on the 6th August – ridiculously early in my opinion but we have been off since May 22nd so Poppy is definitely ready to get back into a routine.  She attended a first grade camp the other week to prepare her, and us, for the increased academic load of 1st grade.  Now much as I have tried to keep the reading going over the summer it became apparent that there has been some ‘it’s the summer and my brain is a sieve’ effect – hence I’ve stepped up the sight word practice, math and reading over the past week to appease my guilt and hopefully boost her confidence.  I always try to remain calm, patient and attentive and keep it light hearted and fun – i.e. I try to morph into what most would call a ‘reasonable person’.  Unfortunately Poppy is 50% me and 50% her Dad so can be prone to tantrums whilst being stubborn as a mule – great – a model pupil:)  So rather than threatening to remove all privileges if she doesn’t comply I am trying an approach that I know works well with me – bribery.  For every week that she completes her assigned activities she will receive $10 to spend as she wishes – or even save if she pleases – but I think that ‘save’ gene may be absent thanks to me.  We’ll see how the carrot approach works…but if her complaints about a week being to long to wait before being rewarded are anything to go by it’s still going to be a challenge.  Please send oodles of calm, serenity and patience my way for the next school year.

I’m very excited about the Olympics starting this week after going cold turkey this week – I’ve missed having a Tour de France stage to watch every evening…I thought I’d share this photo with you doing the rounds on the social networks.  It made me smile – my brother still calls me Eddie for various reasons:)

I’m wearing my gingham J.Crew shorts today with a pink Boden essential t-shirt that I got in the sale last year – it’s so soft I love it.  I paired them with a scarf that I think I got from Target but really can’t remember, and my Boden espadrilles from a couple of years ago.  Sorry about the wet hair just showered after a lovely 4 miles this morning!

Oh that reminds me of 2 additional sales purchases I received yesterday – 2 Blighty Boatnecks – highly recommended, though not massively reduced, they are quite thick and perfect for layering over a t-shirt in the cooler months – I love them.  I got the dusk and the quail egg and the quality is amazing.

Oh and Hugh’s stash of Fall items arrived – tartan baggies in all colors, half a dozen long sleeved t-shirts and a hoody.  Boden’s Mini Boden boys line is amazing – I particularly love the ketchup and scooter applique tees this year.  There’s some lovely girls stuff too but as Poppy is still in 5-6 I’m going to wait and see if she has a growth spurt to a 7-8 before ordering anything for her – she has plenty to choose from from last year.

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6 months and counting…

So it is now 6 months until the Miami marathon.  I’ve spent a few hours this week figuring out a training plan – mainly following Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 plan.  I also plan to do a couple of halves between now and then – I just wish it wasn’t so damn hot right now.  I dropped my car off for a service yesterday and took advantage of the 6mile journey to run home – blimey it must have been 90degrees at 8.30am – I needed that coconut water afterwards!  I’m also trying to adapt my diet without being overly obsessive or restrictive – cutting out alcohol (well at least between Sundays and Thursdays!), more fruit, more juices (beetroot, celery and ginger is a favorite), zero fast food and more protein.  Now  just need to incorporate some yoga into my schedule every week for a good stretch.

I have an update on the Express jeans I was lusting after the other day – with the magic of CRM and shopping cart technology Express must have seen I kept loading my cart with the light pink jeans but not actually hitting ‘order’!  Low and behold yesterday I got an email offer from the for jeans at $29.99!  Jobs a good ‘un – pink jeans now on their way to me:)  Promo code was 1626 if you’re interested in them too – it seems to apply to all their jeans right now – not sure how I managed to restrain myself and only order the pink pair!

I’m now officially over living in the basement – clutter is everywhere and I’m finding it impossible to keep tidy…but there is light at the end of the tunnel – the tiling is almost done, the painters are in the the hardwoods get finished next week – so with any luck we’ll be done at the end of next week!  Of course the painting and work that has been done is so sparkly and fantastic that it makes the other areas of the house look a little tired…we’ll get to them eventually once my son has stopped slamming his Tonka truck into every wall and baseboard!

Thankfully my fabulous Husband was around this morning to take on the duty of photographing me.  After a couple of days in tunics – sorry no photos – I opted for my fab J.Crew green chino shorts – these are 4″ but I noticed they had some 3″ and 5″ lengths in the sale online in other colors.  I’m wearing them with my AllSaints vest, H&M linen jumper and fabulous Sam Edelman Louie tan suede boots.  Ankle boots with shorts has to be one of my favorite looks from this summer.

We’re in full preparation for the return to school in a week hence the folder of sight words and reading on the table!

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How many skinny jeans does a girl need?

5 years ago I would never have imagined that my staple wardrobe piece would be my skinny jeans.  I always wore boot cut and felt way too paranoid to wear such tight fitting jeans.  They brought back memories of pinstripe and bleached skinny jeans from the early 80s that I had to fasten lying on the bed, sometimes using a coat hanger hooked to the fly to get enough leverage to fasten the damn things they were so tight!  Then after putting on weight with my pregnancies the word ‘skinny’ just was not enticing enough for me to want to try them.  Then once I started running it became apparent that my legs might be an area of my body to enhance rather than conceal and now my Hudsons are my ‘go to’ trousers.  I’ve since been branching out into colored jeans and printed jeans though I tend to spend far less on these as I don’t think they’ll be around forever.

I’m still waiting for the leopard print and snakeskin jeans from H&M to make an appearance in my local store – I’m hoping they should appear soon as the snakeskin ones have even been featured in the August issue of Real Simple.

In the mean time I found some delicious pink jeans there for $30!  They are super soft, stretchy and REALLY comfortable – they looked fab on Saturday night when we went out to dinner with friends. I wore them with my Zara floral jacket, Zara top from the sale for $25, Banana Republic nude Jacky pumps from 3 years ago (?) and my Steve Madden ruffle clutch.  I loved the outfit and it felt so summery – a great jacket does wonders for a pair of jeans.  Thrilled with my new shorter haircut too – O’Neil is a genius:)

I’m still looking for the perfect blush/nude pink and have seen these here at Express but I think they are overpriced compared to elsewhere, so my brighter pink ones will do for now.  I think a blush color will be perfect and could be worn into the Fall whereas the brighter pink is definitely more summery.

Which have been your favorite skinny jeans this summer?

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Just buy a book.

Hmmm since I got my iPad I seem to be going through a phase of reading, dare I say it, ‘self help’ books – maybe it’s because I can read them safely without people seeing the cover – in fact I just realized I can avoid the shame of being caught reading ’50 Shades’ that way – no I haven’t read it yet.  Anyway when I talk about self-help I don’t mean ‘helping me become a better person type books’ – more ‘how to attain a goal books’ or ‘books that inspire’.  For example the first book I read on my iPad was ‘Born to Run’ by Christopher McDougall.  It really was a great read for an amateur runner – really fun and inspiring – or so I found anyway.  Okay now a confessional warning – I am a fan of the US version of The Biggest Loser – I don’t watch every season but those I have I have found incredibly inspiring – and I love Bob Harper.  Bob is one of the trainers on the series and is great t.v. – his Facebook page is fun to follow too.  Anyway he has a book that has been on the best sellers list for a while – ‘The Skinny Rules’.  Sadly I got suckered in and bought it.  Now I think we all know what the rules are to keeping slim (I really wish he hadn’t used the word skinny – no one should want to be skinny) – and this book really states the obvious – but still it’s written quite light heartedly and I am enjoying dipping in and out of it to keep me focused on my goal of losing a couple of pounds ready for my marathon training.

Did someone say ‘marathon’?  Ah yes that little race I signed up for in January – suddenly January seems very close indeed.  So now I am on the search for a book to help me train for my marathon.  MM keeps saying just run more but my mind set tells me I won’t have to do that if I just read a book about it…I’m such a sucker!  The one I have my eye on is called ‘4 Months to 4 Hours’ – brilliant – just read it and do a bit of training and I can run Miami in 4hrs – perfect!  If only that was all there was to it…Now I just need to find the book entitled ‘Stop Shopping and Learn to Save Millions’.

This is my outfit from yesterday – I went to see the fabulous O’Neil again for a haircut wearing my bright pink J.Crew chino shorts, AllSaints Pipali tank and Sam Edelman suede Louie boots in tan suede (yes I have the taupe rose too) which are my favorite boots for a while – really comfy and I love the fringe.  I promise the photos will improve soon – the bathroom floor went down yesterday!

 

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On ice.

So it’s my birthday soon – I’m a fiery Leo – probably no surprise to most that know me, as we are renowned for our lack of modesty, patience and ability to be quiet – I make no apologies.  In the 20 years I have been with MM he has been overwhelmingly generous on my birthday and regardless of our circumstances he has always gone above and beyond to make it a special day for me – without any prompting I hasten to add.  This year, after my VERY extravagant 40th last year, I have asked him not to buy me anything – partly because of the huge expense of the house renovations and partly because I’d like any extra cash to go on furnishing my new walk in closet (so yes still all about me).

I did happen to be browsing though on some other WordPress blogs and found my birthday present for NEXT year!  I have been very lucky to have been gifted a couple of items from Cartier in the past few years – both from MM so he has raised the bar substantially.  I love their unusual, statement rings.  One of my favorite pieces of jewelry is my Cartier Trinity ring in white, rose and yellow gold – he bought this as a random, surprise gift – just because he loves me – I presume:)

So for next year I’m already hankering after the Juste un Clou ring.   I love it in silver – it’s an iconic 70s piece and looks fabulous with a little bit of ice:)  He reads my blog occasionally so nothing subtle about this ‘hint’!

Keeping with the ice theme I took Poppy to see ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ at the movies yesterday – cute as kids movies go, but I know I must be getting old when I sit and dissect a movie analyzing all the bits that have been stolen from other movies – there were the ubiquitous pirates and even Guinea Pigs that resembled Eewoks.  Ah well – Poppy isn’t to know yet and she seemed to enjoy it.  Knowing it was going to be icy in the movies with the crazy air conditioning most public places have I opted for another scarf.  This one is a gorgeous H&M scarf – great colors – really nude pastels – a little green, peach and pink in a very subtle rose print – I love it.  I wore it with my Top Shop asymmetrical t-shirt and Boden quail egg skinnies – these jeans are just fabulous and fit me perfectly.  The quail egg is like a mint color without being too green.  For a bit of neutrality I added my Tory Burch tan Emmy sandals.  Oh and two pieces of great news for us shopaholics – Top Shop is opening in Nordstroms throughout the country and H&M will start selling online in the US in October!

Today I know I am definitely flogging a dead horse with the scarf thing – this is a new scarf from H&M.  I nearly didn’t get it as I rarely wear blue but the blue in this scarf is so vivid and contrasts well with the nude/peach in the scarf – plus it’s animal print – so as with my addiction to all things grey marl I had to have it.  The photos show me wearing it with my new Boden Florence tunic from the sale.  Now I love these linen knit tunics, yes they are a little sheer but they’re not indecent and here in the heat and then frigid air conditioning they work a treat.  A bargain to boot at $26.40.  Again worn with my Tory Burch Emmys.

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Shop my closet!

Okay so I know I am getting a new walk in closet soon but in transferring and consolidating my clothes between various closets it has become apparent that I have too many clothes.  This sounds like a confessional but yes I have many beautiful items that have not seen the light of day for sometime – some hardly worn, some not worn at all.  Terrible hey?  Well maybe not because you may benefit.

I have an eBay store here at poppys_style where I am selling anything from designer jeans to Boden tunics (all items have been personally bought by me).  Everything is in great/mint condition – I will not sell anything that is less than great condition.  All shipping is included and will be sent priority USPS via eBay so that you can track your package and make sure it is on its way to you.

Brands I sell include Boden, J.Crew and Diesel.  Sizes are mainly US 4-8 depending on brand!

If there is anything you have seen me wear that you are desperate to get your hands on then drop me a note to Joanna@poppys-style.com – you never know it may be on my ‘not ready to let it go yet, but soon’ list!

Enjoy! xx

 

Fabulous Louella!

One of the real joys of writing this blog is how many new friends and connections I have made through it.  I love hearing from people regardless as to whether they have something good or bad to say.  I especially love hearing from people who want to share their style or inspiration too!  The fabulous Louella contacted me after my post the other day regarding the Boden cyclamen skinny jeans – it’s quite amazing how many people decided to take the plunge and try them even if they didn’t work out.  Louella is a working mum of two boys in the South of England, and as you can see the jeans obviously worked a treat for Louella as she looks amazing in them!  Louella says she normally stays clear of Boden, but she is a perfect example of how fun it can be to try a new brand, even if you, like Louella, are put off by paying to return items in the sale.  I will mention, as I did to Louella, that if you ordered during the season with an offer for free shipping and returns and received a free return label – keep it!  I keep all mine to use in the sale so I don’t have to worry about paying for return postage – and it’s worked so far.  As for Louella I’m thrilled she ordered them and I think the color of the jeans looks amazing with her beautiful olive skin.  Louella is a runner too so can carry those skinnies off perfectly!  Personally I love the shoes too!

I paired mine with the Zara butterfly top and Louella managed to get hold of the Zara dragonfly top – again it looks gorgeous on her and I really hope the weather improves back in Blighty so she actually gets to wear it with the black shorts she has modeled here – look at those toned legs!:

Thank you so much for sharing these photos with us all Louella – great inspiration – and I hope you had the best birthday today!

If you would like to share any photos with me or be featured on the blog please send an email to joanna@poppys-style.com – I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

One parting word today – I want to thank Beth from Style Guile for mentioning me in her blogger round up on BritMums today – it’s an honour to be included and I am glad my blogging ‘voice’ conveys my ‘zest for life’:)

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Channeling the ’80s

Poppy is at first grade camp this week – I can’t believe that school starts back in 2 weeks!  The summer has flown by but it will be nice to get back to a regular routine again and she is so ready to be back at school – she’s really excited to see her friends and teachers again this week.  The only draw back of this camp is that it is only from 9am-12pm so barely time for me to get to the office.  Instead I’ve been working from home which is lovely as it also means I can get a short run in around Chastain Park after dropping her off.  It is fair to say it is NOT running weather here – humid and in the 90s does not feel good at 8am, or at anytime really – but I’ve been twice this week so can feel quite satisfied that I’m actually doing it.

Yesterday afternoon we went to the pool but it really was too hot to be enjoyable so today I think we’ll find an air conditioned activity – unfortunately I don’t think she will agree to shopping which is a shame as I am dying to head to H&M to buy myself these two pairs of jeans.  Both are a blush color but one is snakeskin and the other leopard print – I love them and unfortunately there is no online store for H&M here in the US:(

Today I am definitely channeling the 80s in my pink and grey.  The t-shirt is H&M and has a bright pink exposed zip at the back – it’s a great length t-shirt and was only $13.  I am wearing it with my J.Crew linen scarf from a couple of years ago – wrapped as demonstrated by Avril at School Gate Style – love it!  The boyfriend jeans are Gap and the silver diamante encrusted sandals are Steve Madden from a couple of years ago.  Still taking photos in the basement with a very dusty mirror – the tiling starts this week!

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