Monthly Archives

December 2012

A New Year and a new closet!

First let me tell you – if you did as I did and ordered in J.Crew‘s sale at the weekend, call them and ask them to apply the new 30% off sale prices STYLE2013 code to your order – they just did for me and have credited me $50 – brilliant customer service I have to say.

Another couple of sale purchases were made last night (trying to get it done before the New Year’s resolution etc…).  As MM was watching football I was surfing Nordstrom’s shoe sale.  It started with a want/need/itch – call it what you want – for some black and white ballet flats for the Spring to wear with my new J.Crew cafe capris.  Not willing to pay Chanel type prices but wanting a Chanel type shoe I thought Nordstrom would be the place to start.  Low and behold I found these beauties – the Vince Camuto Fawna.  Unfortunately, at 50% off I also thought I’d save more i.e. spend more, and I ordered the pink and caramel versions too!  They’re also available in the sale on the Vince Camuto site if you are in the US.

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So the Christmas tree is down today and the house is looking relatively normal again.  I have to say the Christmas present I am loving more and more each day is our new closet.  I am so thrilled we got it finished before the Holidays.  Each time I walk in there I feel giddy.  Everything is put away neatly, all within reach, and the best bit is we built it all ourselves – such a sense of accomplishment!  So as promised here are some photos of our new IKEA Pax closet – the steps are necessary for me to reach to top – we are using every inch of the room – and don’t worry MM has some space at the other end of the closet!

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Not much going on today – I nipped out to Trader Joe’s for some more Cava and Prosecco for tonight.  MM and I aren’t huge fans of New Year’s Eve – we always used to call it amateur night.  We’re much happier sitting in with a Chinese takeaway, some fizzy wine and Carson and Ryan on the t.v. – I am so ready for 2013 to start.  2012 has been an amazing year – and I am expecting great things from 2013.  We’re planning a year of travel and trips – no money on the house this year!  I hope 2013 brings you all health, wealth and happiness – and THANK YOU for being here – for reading, being interested and leaving comments and sending emails – it means more than you can possibly imagine.

So here’s the last outfit of 2012 – some sparkles and fur.  MM wanted to know where I was going clubbing when I nipped out to the shops:)  It’s time for the Target fur (reduced to $35 online), worn over a Zara t-shirt layered with an old, but favorite Diesel sequin t-shirt.  The jeans are Hudson Collins and the boots are the Isabel Marant Dickers.  HAPPY NEW YEAR! xx

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Sale purchases before 2013 starts!

Yes my New Year’s resolution is to stop buying clothes – but fortunately New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken – no?  Before my shopping ban begins (please don’t re-read the blog to count how many times I said this in 2012…) I thought I’d share with you a few of the sale purchases and non-sale purchases that I’ve made over the Holiday.

Amazingly I spent all of $50 in NYC – I really tried to spend more but just wasn’t in ‘shopping mood’ – the irony hey – 3 days in shopping heaven and not in the mood!  On Friday, before heading to the airport, I did manage to buy a couple of hats (of the woolly variety) and these herringbone trousers from J.Crew that were marked down in store to $20!

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Before the Holidays I’d bought another couple of pairs of their cafe capris for Spring.  I must be pining for some bright colors as I bought the green and guava – they’ll look great with ballet flats.  They’re a great price right now, starting at $35, with free shipping using FREESHIP code.

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Also remember a while ago when I blogged about J.Crew – I was lusting after these velvet pants?  I was hoping they would be reduced further but this pink color has proven popular so I snapped them up at $80 reduced from $110 – not a huge saving admittedly – but while they had my size in I quickly swooped.

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This heartbreaker sweater is super cute too and will go with the pink trousers perfectly!

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My last couple of purchases are from Zara’s current collection.  Regarding their sale – I either have everything that I wanted or the mark downs were not significant enough to tempt me.  I love these two jackets though, and was happy to pay full price instead of wait 6 months for the next sale.  The sizing is random as I had to return the black and white striped one for a smaller size.

I can’t wait to wear this with my leather trousers or with simple white capris in the spring.  It’s linen mix and unlined so will work in warmer weather too.

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Then this tartan blazer is fun and will look great with just blue jeans and a white t-shirt.

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Now one final fun purchase for the Bet Lynch in me.  I love this leopard print jacket from Forever 21 – I know some will despise it – but indulge me – I promise it will be great with all black.  I doubt I’ll be wearing it as modeled here, as reluctantly I have come to terms with the fact that I am not forever 21.

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What are your favorite Holiday/sale purchases?

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A Christmas to remember.

Firstly I hope Santa bought you everything you hoped for?

We have had an amazing week.  Christmas Eve was filled with love and friendship on our annual family visit to Church.  It’s a tradition I established a couple of years ago as I have great memories of singing carols as a child, both at Church and school.  Attending a public school here though means there is very little carol singing, if any, as we have all this separation of Church and State etc.  So in order for the children to appreciate the story of Christmas I have started taking them to Church on Christmas Eve.  The real miracle is that even MM – a true agnostic – comes with us and belts out a couple of carols.  This year we were also joined by friends and that made it really special.

For Church I wore my H&M dress, Boden chic leather biker jacket from last season and my black Isabel Marant Dicker boots.  I can’t see the dress online right now but it was recently in the sale here in store for just $10 – yes it’s synthetic and I wouldn’t stand anywhere near a naked flame in it – but I think it’s really fun and can be worn for a variety of occasions.

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On Christmas Day morning Santa was good to all of us – leaving us 4 tickets for a flight that lunchtime to NYC!  SO exciting!  Fortunately, Santa had tipped off Mom and Dad beforehand, so we had time to do a little under cover packing.  Note to self: don’t try to go to Church, pack bags and wrap presents on Christmas Eve again.

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Of course one of the joys of traveling Christmas Day is that there is no Christmas Dinner to cook.  My little ones were thrilled with their alternative Christmas Dinner and a trip to their first NYC McDonald’s!

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We anticipated that the weather was going to be colder up there but bl**dy hell it was freezing.  So much for me wondering which jackets to take.  In the end I made the right choice with my Patagonia Downtown Loft puffer – it was perfect for navigating the Rockefeller Center with the rest of the New York tourists.

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It was crazy there and if the crowds were overwhelming for me then they must have been for Hugh and Poppy so we headed to Bryant Park instead, which was far more civilized on Christmas night.  Another beautiful Christmas tree to see, ice skaters to watch and the Empire State Building lit up above us.  What a perfect NYC scene.

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Food featured heavily in this trip and that night we headed back to the hotel, weary from traveling and crowds, to enjoy the best Chinese takeaway ever.  I see a new tradition beginning.

Boxing Day was icy again, but intent on doing some more tourist attractions for the children’s benefit, we headed Downtown.  I wrapped up in the Boden Fairisle jumper, layered over an H&M vest dress, with my AllSaints Delors leather trousers, Zara scarf and Ash Bowie boots – which I have to say were the most comfortable shoes for walking up and down Manhattan – I was thrilled they’d made it into my bag!  (Carnage behind me in this photo – a family of 4 in a hotel room…).

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It was important for MM and I to pay our respects at the World Trade Center site, but not wanting to go into too much detail with a 4 and a 6 year old, we opted to wander slowly past Engine 10 Ladder 10 and the memorials.  Very moving and hard to keep it together all these years later.

We then headed to the Staten Island Ferry.  Not only the best way to see Downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty – but the deck of a ferry was also the venue for MM’s proposal of marriage one day early in December, 15 years ago.  After telling Poppy the story she now loves recounting the bit about me drinking a beer and eating a hotdog. IMG_2865 IMG_2866 IMG_2868 IMG_2872

After lunch we headed back Uptown, for a bit of culture and warmth, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  We indulged the children with Egyptian Mummies then Hugh decided it was time for a bit of a meltdown – not surprising – the poor lad had walked miles.  I took full advantage of his meltdown to suggest it might be an idea if I sat with him in the café (read bar) so he could snooze (and I could drink prosecco) – I always have my children’s best interests in mind you see.  MM got to wander the corridors of art and Byzantine relics while I ‘parented’ – perfect for all of us I think?  Plus the snow began to fall as I sat there snuggling my 4 year old.  To say it felt Christmassy was an understatement – I was in heaven!

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That night we headed out to dinner to the Bryant Park Grill.  I wanted to take the children out for a nice Christmas dinner but obviously the location had to be child friendly and this venue worked out well.  We dined on oysters, rack of lamb, and classic New York cheesecake.  Don’t even think about the calories.  Unfortunately the weather was ABYSMAL and we got SOAKED walking home – but renditions of ‘My Favorite Things‘ kept us buoyant:)  I was very relieved that suede had not been my choice of footwear.  Instead I wore my Rag & Bone Newburys (in New York what else?), with Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings (now just $29, incredibly comfortable AND they turned out to be pretty water proof!), Forever 21 earrings (similar here – LOVE how cheap they are!), and my tie dye Target Converse dress.  On a side note it turns out that Rag & Bone put a lot of thought into designing the perfect boot for New York women – and they really do fit the bill perfectly.  Some heel height for a bit of sass, but a block heel for walking between subway stations, and a padded footbed for comfort.

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On Thursday we walked miles again.  Dressed in my Off Duty Boden jumper (possibly my favorite this season), AllSaints leather Delors trousers, and Frye Phillip studded harness boots with my H&M scarf we headed off for breakfast. After pancakes we started with a bit of shopping in Soho.  Bizarrely and quite worryingly I didn’t buy a thing, though I did worship for a while at the Isabel Marant and AllSaints stores.  It was also fun popping in places like Uniqlo that we don’t have here in Atlanta.  Fish and chips at A Salt and Battery was our reward for lunch before heading back Uptown to Dylan’s Candy Bar – Mom and Dad deserve a medal for braving those crowds.

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My absolute favorite meal/experience of the trip was our visit to Balthazar restaurant on Friday morning.  It made me wish we could stay and celebrate New Year’s Eve there.  MM had taken me there once before as a treat on my 40th birthday trip.  It was fun to go back and let the kids know we were eating at the Beckham’s favorite spot:)  I bet Victoria doesn’t order what I did – it was perfect with a Mimosa.

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So Christmas 2012 has been fabulous and we still have New Year’s Eve to go.  I am extremely thankful though that we left NYC as the revelers arrived – I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather NOT be on December 31st than Times Square!

Glad to be back blogging – thanks for all your emails and comments – I have read them all and will reply soon I promise!  What do you all have planned for Monday evening – and what are you going to wear!?

 

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all!  Not only are the presents wrapped, but the closet is finished hooray!!  That explains my absence over the past couple of days – we had a flurry of energy and decided to just get it done! I promise to share photos of the finished closet soon – I am unable to move as of now due to excessive flat-packing.

Thank you to all of you for making my first year of blogging so much fun – I have made great new friends and it’s been a wonderful learning experience both in the technology and style stakes.

I’ll have lots of outfit photos to follow after Christmas.  So for now I’ll leave you with my all time favorite Christmas songs and I hope Santa brings you all you want xx.

 

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Festive red – and a t.v. interview!!!!

I finally feel like the Holidays have started.  Poppy is off school for two and a half weeks – oh joy – and that’s not sarcastic either!  With the school day normally starting at 5.45am, ready to leave the house at 7am, it is bliss having an extra hour or so in bed.  It’s a girls day today as Hugh is still at pre-K and MM is working till lunch tomorrow.  Unfortunately it is also absolutely chucking it down with rain outside so activities have been curtailed and we are snuggling in front of Christmas movies all afternoon.  I’m wondering when it is appropriate to crack open a bottle of wine?

I’m feeling quite proud of myself at the today.  After gaining some weight through lack of running, I’ve managed to lose 10lbs in 4 weeks with some healthy eating and working out daily.  I’m taking bets how long it will take to regain them over the Christmas week – 2 – 3 days maybe?  Especially after a trip to Trader Joe’s where I have stocked up on cheap plonk, Christmas cookies and cheesecake…”all in moderation” must be my mantra for the next couple of weeks:)

INTERRUPTION ALERT!  As I was sitting here typing, and contemplating the wine, there was a knock at the door – dogs go ballistic etc…I open with trepidation wondering who on earth is stopping by on a wet Thursday afternoon…go on guess who – I bet you can’t…

…it was Aaron Diamant…you know him…?  No?  Not native to Atlanta?  Well he is a lovely investigative reporter from Channel 2 Action News!  Oh yes he had heard all about my blog and wanted to interview me for a huge national t.v. feature.  NOT.  Less than glamorous – he wanted to interview me about the sewage leak that occurred behind our house last spring.  THANK GOD I was dressed and had make-up on!  I will be on the evening news in a ‘set up’ piece apparently about the City being fined for taking so long to identify the problem.  Unfortunately I didn’t have chance to check for bogeys or food between my teeth so apologies if they are highlighted on HD.  Hopefully I hid all evidence of our sinful lifestyle from the camera – of all places they wanted to film with the kitchen behind me!! Thank goodness MM keeps it spotless!

Phew excitement over – must get that bottle of wine now…

So here’s what I will now refer to as my ‘t.v. outfit’.  I am wearing the Boden smocked tunic dress with Boden tights (sold out) and the VInce Camuto Autumn wedge boots.

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I then added the Boden jersey scarf from the sale last summer.

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Finally before Poppy and I headed to the library this morning I popped on my fabulous Boden red Iona coat – just $135.80 now in the sale.  I have the black too and adore them – great for just throwing on when you don’t want bulk or a heavy coat.

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So look out tonight for a mad English bird talking about stinky sewage on Channel 2 Action News – Coverage that you can count on – I expect they’ll be hiring me soon to be their evening news anchor.

 

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Sparkling.

Sequins are everywhere right now but I have to say I’ve not ventured into the land of festive sequins yet.  I have to admit sequins make me a bit nervous.  I have an Express sequined sweatshirt that I like – because it really is a sweatshirt I can wear it casually during the day – in fact I last wore it here back in the summer when I flew to the UK.

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In lieu of sequins I’ve been sporting quite a few items with sparkly thread in them.  I find this kind of ‘sparkle’ much easier to wear.  It also lends itself to being worn throughout the year – especially when the garment is a scarf or a casual piece of knitwear.  The scarf I wore on Monday is a blush sparkly H&M scarf that is still available in my local stores, though unfortunately can’t be found on the US or the UK website.  I paired it with an H&M knitted dress – one of my favorites as I love the asymmetrical hemline, my Zara snake skin trousers – they are very loud indeed, and my Ash Bowies.  Even when worn with nude colors like these the sparkle provided a bit of festive fun.

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Today I am wearing my favorite winter jumper – the sparkle Skye jumper from Boden, where there is currently up to 50% off until January 6th in their winter sale.  It is a gorgeous taupe/parchment color with gold thread running through it.  I love the cut of this jumper – it’s short so not overwhelming, but it’s lovely and slouchy – I even sized down in this.  I’m wearing it layered over a brown Target tank, with my Zara red skinnies, Acne Pistol boots and an oldish H&M scarf.

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It’s the last day of school today for the Christmas break – hooray – we can all lie in bed a little longer tomorrow.  What with finishing the IKEA closet, wrapping presents and packing for a quick jaunt to NYC it’s going to be a busy break.

What are your plans for the Holiday?

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Tinsel and Twine.

Yesterday was so festive!  After taking Hugh for his haircut, which according to Poppy took ‘soooo loooonnng’, we headed to the Westside Provisions District just down the road from us.  We’re so lucky to live near this area.  When we first arrived in Atlanta the Westside was home to Atlanta’s finest restaurant – Bacchanalia, with it’s store front Star Provisions, – but that was about it.  It is an area of old lofts right next to water works, but with Bacchanalia as it’s cornerstone and fabulous views of downtown Atlanta, it has been revived and invigorated by new stores and restaurants.  It’s where I feel most at home in Atlanta as it reminds me so much of Spitalfields, our home back in London, which was once neglected and now has had almost too much investment in recent years.

Anyway yesterday the Westside hosted ‘Tinsel and Twine‘ with Santa, a capella singers, and just a general festive theme.  We had lunch at Taqueria del Sol and I was thrilled that both children ate chicken tacos – yay more Mexican eateries for us:)

The usual shenanigans at the dinner table:

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Poppy and Hugh were enthralled by the singers:

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I wore my festive colors (unintentional I have to say) – the coated trousers are H&M, paired with a long line tank, also H&M, layered under the AllSaints Char jumper (this is the closest I could find though mine isn’t cropped).  The scarf is Zara and the sneakers are the Ash Alex.

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Here’s me trying to get MM to take a quick photo, as people crossing the bridge wait impatiently!:

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In the evening MM and I went back to the Westside for a bite to eat before heading off to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to listen to Handel’s Messiah.  The tickets were a lovely surprise from MM in the lead up to Christmas.  All I can say is amazing.  I blubbed my way through much of it.  I feel like I’m still teetering on the brink of a meltdown after the events of Friday.  Many of those children were born in 2006, like Poppy, and it has really hit me hard.  It felt good to shed some tears for all those grieving parents and say a little prayer while listening to some moving music.

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I managed to persuade MM to take a photo of me – I didn’t get the memo about wearing red and black – EVERYONE else was in their festive colors!  I wore my Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings – these are the most amazing, sexy feeling leggings and are currently reduced to $29.  The sleeveless top is H&M, worn with my Zara jacket and Nine West Blissfully shoes (currently reduced here on Zappos.com) – the bag is the YSL Roady – we were in such a hurry to get out once the babysitter arrived that I didn’t have chance to downsize!

How are you all getting in the festive spirit?

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Christmas Pageants

I literally did. not. stop. yesterday.  My Fridays can become one of either two things – a leisurely day of pampering and indulgence, or frantically driving from one Atlanta location to another trying to check off a list of ‘things to do’.  It’s normally the latter and yesterday was no exception.  It started with a spin class.  Now I am no regular but I do love it when I go I love the satisfaction of having been – the hour on the bike is pure hell.  One of my neighbors teaches the class and she is lovely, but turns into  a b*tch on wheels in class – all for the benefit of the participants obviously.  Shopping was then followed by a quick lunch with MM – I had earned it and I still had a calorie deficit after that spin class!  A hairdresser’s appointment for Poppy was then followed by Hugh’s last Christmas pageant!

His last as he is currently at a church daycare and next year once in public school, with separation of church and state and all that, there will be no nativity.  The pre-K class (last year of daycare) always get to do the nativity play so I was very excited to see what role Hugh had.  But NO!  Hold on there…for the first year ever I arrived to find that the ‘after school’ group were doing the nativity!  WHAT??  Our chance of being a Shepherd, a Wise Man or even Joseph snatched from us!!  Now after the events of the day in CT. it seemed trivial to say the least, but I was mad as hell!  Most of the ‘after school’ group had attended pre-K so had already had the privilege of performing the nativity – so why oh why deprive the pre-K class from their chance of performing it?  I’m so sad:(  This now means Hugh won’t ever be in a nativity.  Now he is definitely not bothered – but his Mum is!  I might even join a Church so we can be in theirs next year.  Be assured I made my feelings known to the daycare Director.

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For the pageant I did a quick change into my awesome Target dress – quickly becoming one of my best purchases of the year – I always get complements and no one can believe it is Target.  The jacket is from Zara and has lovely gold and cream flecks in it – perfect for the festive season – size up though – it’s tailored for waifs.  The leggings are H&M and the boots are my loyal Rag & Bone Newburys. (Apologies for photo quality – I told you I was in a rush!).

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Harem trousers – I love ’em.

Now we’ve discussed before how harem trousers are a love ’em or loathe ’em item but I really do love ’em.  I’ve decided it all hails back to when I met MM in 1991.  He was/is a non-conformist and when I met him he had long curly hair and more jewelry than me.  He always wore loud shirts with harem trousers and his red Converse hi-tops, which incidentally, he has on his feet today – not the same pair mind you.  MM was fortunate that all his harem trousers were hand made in Turkey.  As a PhD student in Byzantine history he was lucky enough to have regular trips to Turkey where he could indulge in Efes pilsener, Roman ruins and fine tailoring.  I must dig out the photo of the first University Ball he took me to – he wore black harem trousers, a tailcoat, black shirt with white polka dots, a white bow tie and the omnipresent red converse – he’s such a wall flower…

Anyhow I am now the flag bearer in the family when it comes to harem trousers.  Today I have on the Zara grey trousers (they’re labeled as khaki on the site but they are definitely grey) which are super soft and comfortable.  I try to wear them with a more fitted top so I don’t look too overwhelmed.  Today I have my Boden blackberry Must Have jumper layered over a black Zara t-shirt.  The scarf is H&M and the boots are the Isabel Marant Dickers.  So thoughts please would you, do you do harem trousers?

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Here’s my outfit from yesterday – black Gap skinny jeans, a black Gap t-shirt and the AllSaints Plume cardigan from the sale back in June, all finished off with the mocha Acne Pistols.  We happened to be doing some work on the IKEA Pax last night, and without the cardi and boots MM said I bore a keen resemblance to the IKEA ninja in the instructions…he can mock when he can beat my time for drawer assembly…

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I also got to try on my new Boden Fairisle jumper.  I’m so glad I sized up in this – this is a US 10 but fits far better than the 8 – I can’t abide tight knitwear and this now falls really well.  Not my usual style but I really like it for winter and it complements my Pistols perfectly!  There aren’t many left in stock after all the promotions recently, but worth stalking.

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Falling for Anne.

I have to admit in the past I have dismissed Anne Hathaway as a bit ‘ditzy’ – associating her with dire movies like The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada.  Rachel Zoe also used to make vacuous comments about dressing “Annie” on her reality show and the association with Ms. Zoe did Ms. Hathaway no favors in my eyes.  Well Anne will be relieved to hear that I am slowly falling for her.  Having seen her attend premieres, do interviews, and also having seen some clips for the upcoming Les Misérables, I am finding myself enthralled by her charm, sincerity and talent.

This morning I was watching The Today Show while on the elliptical – as you do – it certainly helps 30 minutes fly by.  Anne was being interviewed by Matt Lauer (another love of mine) and it was the first I had heard of her recent wardrobe malfunction where her panty-less you-know-what was captured on camera as she left the limo.  Matt opened the interview with “we’ve seen a lot of you recently” – guffaw, guffaw.  Now yes I agree the question Matt should have asked is ‘Why no panties Anne?’, but Matt didn’t choose that line of questioning.  Instead he asked Anne ‘what’s the lesson learned?’ – well surely to wear panties – no?  Instead Anne shared her sadness over why someone would photograph her in such a vulnerable position.  As she spoke I found myself full of admiration for this beautiful, articulate woman with the best haircut.  Even her sensitivity over her dramatic weight loss for the role resonated with me.  I think she’d make a great best friend – and I’m willing to forgive her for The Princess Diaries.

Last night she appeared with Jimmy Fallon singing some “Mad Libs” for Christmas Carols – her laughter is infectious:)

Avoiding all photos of the ‘malfunction’ here’s the stunning Tom Ford ensemble she wore with some very bizarre orthopedic knee-brace type shoes.  They distracted me from the lack of panties anyway.

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I still remember balling my eyes out – in fact sobbing loudly – at the stage version of Les Mis in London – I went to see it twice.  I loved it so much I was hesitant about going to see the movie – but now I think I must – just need to remember the box of tissues.

Will you be watching it?

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