The Holiday Blues.

It happens every year with varying degrees of intensity.  While everyone else is excitedly comparing costumes and planning Thanksgiving road trips I am pining for home.  But is it home anymore?  Let’s put it this way I wish I was in England with friends and family.  But do I still have friends in England?  I’ve been here for 12 years now and a lot has changed.  Lives move on.  What is it that I really miss?  Is it the familiarity and security of where I grew up?  Is it my family that has almost doubled in size since I left?  Would I really move back if the opportunity presented itself or is it just a fleeting moment of seeing it all through rose tinted spectacles?

Every year I go back to the UK for a couple of weeks and I have a fabulous time – then I’m ready to get back here.  So if I went back to England would I miss the US the same way?  Would it be fair to uproot the children?  Could I go back knowing my Husband has zero desire to go back?  What would we do for a living given our business is here?  I ask myself the same questions every year and feel more and more backed into a corner.  It’s the eternal conundrum.  The longer we stay here the more roots we have here, and the more I miss England.  Can I have my cake and eat it please?  I sometimes feel like I’m skating the surface of life, avoiding getting in too deep with friendships or communities – because that would just make moving back even tougher no?  Is it time to accept Atlanta as home and stop dipping my toe in and go skinny dipping exposing all to everyone?  Answers on a postcard please.

On a lighter note we went to Abattoir last night to celebrate MM’s birthday.  It all went well and fun was had up until the main course arrived.  I ordered hanger steak – yum – errr not so much – it was covered in a rich hollandaise sauce.  So in my very British manner what did I do?  I wittered on about it to MM instead of returning it to the Chef, after all I got what I ordered.  Next time I’ll go for the beet salad.

I did have a new outift to wear – the AllSaints Amei dress in petrol is fabulous – so comfy and easy to wear.  It has two ties inside it that you tie behind your neck so you can adjust the length of the drape at the front and wear it tunic length or longer.  It was chilly yesterday so I layered it over an H&M vest/dress in black.  After seeing Doesmybumlook40 in her Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings I discovered they do free shipping to the US and ordered a pair before there was a rush on them.  As she says they are fabulously comfortable and felt really dressy.  I wore the pony hair Nine West Haywire shoe boots, and then topped it all off with the Boden leather jacket from back in the sale and my Zara camo scarf.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Brrrrrr.

It’s freakin’ freezing here today! I think we caught the outer bands of Sandy last night as we lost power at 9pm just as Dexter was about to start darn it!  MM and I were scrambling around with my iPhone torch trying to turn everything off so we wouldn’t be woken up when all the power came back on, but we still found the dogs watching t.v. this morning:)

Gearing up for a busy week – it’s MM’s birthday tomorrow.  Yes a Leo and a Scorpio – apparently a difficult but strong star sign union – this summary is oddly quite accurate:)  I’m taking him out for dinner and, as happens every year, we’ll be the most hungover trick or treaters in the neighborhood on Wednesday.  We will power on through though.  Then on Saturday we’re meeting a friend of mine who I haven’t seen for 20 odd years.  He’s over on business and we thought it might be fun to catch up…let’s hope we both have something interesting to say after all those years – could be awkward!:)

Today I picked out the warmest cardigan I have – it’s AllSaints and is one of the first AllSaints items I bought back in 2009 in the winter sale.  It’s a rust/dark burgundy color and is really heavy and toasty.  The top is from Zara and the pants are Express from a couple of years ago – they are ponte so lovely and stretchy – a cross between leggings and pants if you will.  The boots are the Vince Camuto Autumn wedges – I love the cuffs on these and the buckle detail.  All topped off with the oriental print scarf from Zara.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Make up free and wrapping up!

Whoa the weather can change here in a heartbeat.  It’s dark, grey and cold and Hurricane Sandy is heading up the East coast.  A perfect day for bacon butties, pumpkin coffee, layers and movies.  I might even have to find my Ugg slippers out later – I have the grey and there are some amazing new colors available now!

I plan to curl up with my new Robert Harris and snuggle with the kids while they watch ‘Shrek’ or ‘The Sound of Music’ for the 100th time.  Boden grey marl leggings are the order of the day with a new stretchy Zara skirt – I love my camo and Zara is providing buckets of it this season.  All topped off with a Zara t-shirt and comfy sweater – perfect for holding the sofa down.  It’s lovely going make up free for a day and I’m wearing my new Oliver People Wacks in matte blue havana.

Stay safe up in the North East – looks like getting out of NYC is bedlam today.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Entitled to a response.

So my friend told me not to look but I did and I suddenly remembered why I never visit Mumsnet.  People are rude and mean from behind their laptops.  All of us who blog know we don’t appeal to everyone – we don’t intend to.  We don’t take ourselves too seriously – it really is just for fun – and we know we don’t always, by any means, get it right.  Poppy’s Style is written to give you a light hearted look into my fashion, and sometimes life, choices…nothing more than that – I am no authority.  To those of you who read and enjoy – thank you!  We really appreciate your comments and friendship.  Given I put myself out in the cyber world every day I guess a lesson for me is to toughen up a bit and appreciate some value in the negative comments.  I’ll try, or I’ll just ignore them.

Okay rant over and I shall not be paying any more attention to the Mumsnet forums thank you!

Yesterday we had a fabulous time with a gymnastics recital in morning and a Halloween party in the afternoon – I still can’t get excited enough about Halloween to dress up but I did wear a dress!  It’s the H&M tunic dress which I dressed down for being outside and teamed it with my Boden cashmere wrap from AW 2011, Target tights, Frye Phillip studded harness tall boot, and my Zara bordeaux scarf.  Closet assembly is still in progress as you can see!

Enjoy your Sunday:) xx

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sweden, douze points.

Some days you just know you got it right.  Even if others don’t agree it doesn’t matter because you know you nailed it.  Whether it’s the way a scarf picks out the colors, the new shoes you’re wearing, or even just the right piece of underwear – you feel damn hot when you walk out of the door and there ain’t no shame in that.

I’m having one of those days today.  It’s an outfit I threw together last minute as I was initially envisioning brown leggings but then discovered they were in still to be washed.  Thank goodness for that – what a dowdy outfit it could have become!  Instead I was inspired by the blush trim on my H&M scarf and went for my favorite blush Express Zelda jeans.  The sweater dress is the incredible bargain from H&M that I got at the weekend – just $25 and SO soft.  I adore the tulip shape and the asymmetrical hem.  Now the boots maybe what make the outfit – at least I feel like I’m in heaven wearing them – and it’s their first outing!  The amazing Acne Pistols.  Now I know what all the fuss is about.  They are a ridiculous indulgence but they are freakin’ cool.

So now for the explanation of the title of this post for my non-European readers.  In Europe we have a fascinating phenomenon known as the Eurovision song contest.  Held every May, qualified European countries enter a ‘singing’ competition in order to be ridiculed by the rest of Europe.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been some amazing success stories – ABBA being the most prolific (and they’re Swedish, continuing to prove the point I am trying to make).  However the vast majority of us watch it to see which country has the most eccentric entry – and believe me there have been many as seen here.  Anyway in the 2 hour long voting process that takes place afterward where each country awards points, based sometimes on political agendas, the highest awarded is 12.  Point distribution is read in English and French – hence “Sweden, douze points!” from this little ole judge here:)  Phew…was it worth it?  Anyway douze points goes to the Swedes because they really are quite clever – not only do they have a fantastic standard of living, a great education system and fabulous childcare facilities –

1. Where would I be without H&M this Fall?

2. My IKEA Pax closet is the best invention ever and is taking shape in my closet as you can see in today’s photo – beyond thrilled I tell you.

3. Acne – well what more can I say about my beautiful boots?

4. Our great friends Simon and Karin live in Stockholm.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A new look.

I hope you like the new look of the blog.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  I changed the theme as I thought it made much more sense to have all the ‘follow’ widgets etc. in the sidebar rather than at the bottom of the page – far too much scrolling involved!  I hope it is still recognizable to all of you – the poppies are still present of course:)

My hair matches my clothes again today.  Unintentional – I just love red.  The jacket was a Zara sale bargain from the summer that I haven’t been able to wear till now as it is just so warm.  It has a lovely zebra print lining and it’s super comfy.  With all the red I went for solid black shoes – Sam Edelman Alvin pony hair loafers, jeans – Express stretch cropped jeggings, and t-shirt – another Express basic.  All topped off with a fab new Zara scarf dedicated to my love of all things camouflage again.  The color palette is a great twist as it includes red – I’m certainly not going to blend in the background anywhere today!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Building the closet.

Friday was spent in IKEA.  MM and I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy part of, if not most of our closet.  We’d decided that based on price and aesthetics the IKEA PAX system is the way to go, and yes we had discussed the potential chaos and crankiness that will inevitably result from the 2 of us spending the next 20 years sitting in a windowless walk in closet assembling flat packs.  But we still bought it.  After dragging the enormous boxes off the shelves ourselves we opted for the delivery option, and unsur-freakin-prisingly they only delivered half the boxes last night.  Now we have to wait for the second half to be delivered today.

MM thinks we can have it built in a week – I’ll be ecstatic if I can hang stuff before Christmas.  I might have to start drinking again (I’ve not imbibed since Louisville – a record for me).

Yesterday I ran for the first time in a while and felt great – foot feels healed and I sweat buckets – it was great to be out there again…The weather was perfect too – really cool but sunny.  Unfortunately by 3pm it’s back to 80 degrees F so deciding what to wear is a real conundrum.  Layering seems to be the way to go.

Yesterday I wore my Zara cargo pants, Zara owl t-shirt and AllSaints Cerulean cardigan.  I did have to swap it out for a heavier knit last night while watching the debate.  I refuse to put the heating on yet!  Shoes are Tory Burch Eddies.

Today it’s a completely random look and though comfy I don’t really feel ‘me’.  The idea was to wear a short sleeved dress so I’m prepared for the warm afternoon – but I feel a bit too girly in this H&M skater dress.  I added a Boden cashmere cardigan (the most superior cashmere knits I’ve ever found), Boden leggings, a copy of the Anthropologie necklace that was huge a couple of years ago, and my Banana Republic round toe pumps – yes heels!  I haven’t worn heels in the day since I quit the corporate world!

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

A visit to H&M.

H&M has had a huge store here in Atlanta for a few years now down at Atlantic Station and I recently discovered there is also one at Cumberland Mall.  I never used to shop there much when I lived in the UK, but having been introduced to their children’s clothing I found myself appreciating their cheap, disposable fashion more and more.  When MM and I used to venture out more often (we’re much happier watching t.v. and cuddling on the sofa these days) I could always count on H&M for a fabulous, cheap dress that would work for a one off occasion.

Having reviewed some of my recent posts I realized that my uniform of skinny jeans and patterned pants was getting a bit old, and with the onset of colder weather I find myself pining to wear snuggly tights and a dress.  Now Boden tunics have always been my go to, but I fear I have OD’d.  I’ve recently had a great clear out of all my tunics, and though I did order the collared tunic recently, it worked on me like a lead balloon – NOT flattering in the slightest on my busty, waistless, hipless frame.  So I am still in search of great weekend/day dresses that aren’t too long, are jersey or knitted so they work on my frame, and can preferably be worn with leggings or tights.  Hence I took a rare wander through H&M at the weekend.  I felt like I was cheating with a Swede behind my Spanish lover’s back…but it was fun:)

Here’s what I found – it’s neither jersey or knitted, nor do I think it will work with leggings but it is a stunner!  Above the knee, full of fabulous colors and it will work with black or burgundy tights, plus at $35 it is a steal!

There’s also a cute tunic version of the dress for those days when a fitted dress is not going to be comfortable enough!

These t-shirt dresses are fab – though I would venture to say too short with tights – better with leggings worn as a long t-shirt.  The website only shows this color but in store they had grey, burgundy and green stripe too.  At $14.95 they are worth one in every color.

Finally this knitted dress was perfect – I love the asymmetrical hem, again though a little too short at the front for my years to wear it as a dress – but I particularly love the black and the brown melange – both would look great with black leggings – again a great price at $25!

Very impressed I have to say H&M…I will be back for a gander soon once I let Zara know about us.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

At the Pumpkin Patch with the rest of GA!

Another beautiful, if busy day in Georgia.  After an early rise and a quick Skype call to the UK we headed North to Burt’s Pumpkin Patch.  With the rest of Georgia apparently.  In hindsight yes it was madness to go on a Sunday two weeks before Halloween, but we did it.  MM suffered the hay ride under duress and the kids loved it.  Two pumpkins later and a 90 minute drive home we swore we would never head to Burt’s again.  I’d rather grow my own pumpkins thanks.  The pumpkins are now carved and will sit on my front doorstep rotting till the 31st…I’m now remembering all the reasons why Halloween is my least favorite Holiday.

For the trip I wore my H&M sweater dress – it’s the L.O.G.G. label and was just $25, with my favorite Zara bordeaux skinny jeans.  Zara’s pants seem to be perfect these days – they have so much stretch it’s like wearing leggings.  Along with every other girl in Dawsonville I had my cowboy boots on – these are Frye Carson pull-ons in fawn – some of the first Fryes that I owned.  All topped off with an H&M nude sparkly scarf, and Prada sunglasses – I didn’t get the memo to take my mirrored wrap around sport shades – the most unflattering shades ever by the way.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Some memories of years ago.

For the past few years, every October we have made the trip to nearby Stone Mountain for the Stone Mountain Highland Games.  Today was no different and after a hectic morning of swimming lessons (managed by MM while I beat the rush at H&M at 10am!) we headed East to the base of the huge rock of granite that we climbed just the other week.

As we entered the park to the sound of bagpipes and drums my eyes filled up immediately.  I am no different from every other woman (or man if you include my Dad) in my family – we cry when we hear live music – especially bands, be they brass or pipe, and especially if there are children playing in those bands.  Pipe bands are particularly evocative for me, probably down to the years of Scottish holidays, memories of the Edinburgh Tattoo, and the happy years I spent in St. Andrews (though it can be argued that St. Andrews is more English than Scottish with the number of ‘foreign’ students there).  It’s actually a bit weird that I ended up in Atlanta as Emory and St. Andrews have really close ties due to the Bobby Jones scholarship.  I’ve attended both universities and have never played a round of golf in my life – the shame!

After straining to see the mass pipe band over the crowds, I legged it for the greatly anticipated highlight of the day – fish and chips for lunch!  Then off to watch the highland dancing which both the kids LOVED, though I feigned ignorance at any knowledge of how to ‘Strip the Willow’!  Historically it was always very late into the University Ball when this dance was undertaken – a shambles I tell you, a shambles!

Me at the Andrew Melville Ball back in 1990:

Friends:)

And how it is done properly:

One day I’ll show them the photos lol – this was the children today awestruck!:

So we’re all worn out now – the children are in bed, I’ve soaked in my new tub and I’m now being punished for something I’ve done as I’m watching Spurs vs. Chelsea.

Here’s the outfit I wore today – I did get my Hunters on at the park but I started off in my new Ash Alex sneakers.  TOTALLY adore them – not as chunky as the Steve Madden Hilight, and the Alex has great colors – love the black, coral and bordeaux.  I am between a 38 and 39 in Euro sizes and went for a 39 in these – very glad I did as they fit much smaller than the Thelmas.  I opted for comfort with my Zara t-shirt and camouflage pants.  Interesting to note that I lived in a pair of camouflage trousers back in 1995 that I bought from Kookai.  I remember wearing them with my Caterpillar boots all the time and feeling very cool at the Notting Hill Carnival.  This could be a bad case of mutton dressing as lamb that I am not prepared to accept quite yet, but surely if Emmanuelle Alt can do it so can I?:)  I’ll just put it down to a clothes obsessed woman enjoying a little experimentation…

Enhanced by Zemanta