Monthly Archives

April 2013

Silver shoes.

So after saying the other day that cropped trousers are better with heels, I have completely contradicted myself – I think they look fabulous with flats too!  I actually saw the J.Crew café capris styled with Supergas in a recent J.Crew catalog that landed in my mailbox.  Given how impeccable their styling is, I figured if J.Crew can do it so can I.  I quite like the result – I feel stylishly casual:)  I’m of two minds about still wearing wool capris on the last day of April – happy I’m getting some wear out of them, but confused by the lack of heat here in Atlanta.  There are still a few sizes available in this modern red color at just $34.99.

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Trousers – J.Crew wool café capris // Jacket – Zara (old) // T-shirt – Target // Sneakers – silver lamé Supergas

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The best leggings ever!

I love leggings, and as you know I have the TopShop faux leather leggings that I bought from Nordstrom, which I last wore here – but I have found some even better ones!

Dear Ruby is a boutique located in Utah – a long way away from Atlanta – but I have known about them for a while.  I discovered them last year while looking for jewelry – of which they have a great collection of extremely pretty items, all at fantastic prices, especially their bib necklaces.  Anyway, I had ‘liked’ them on Facebook and the other day in my newsfeed I saw that they were giving away some faux leather leggings.  I took a peek and found these on their site for just $14!!  They also have them in oxblood, and all their prices are amazing.

Their styling online could be better, and requires a little imagination but trust me – I just love these leggings.  They add a little pizazz to a simple outfit and are great for day or night.  The absolute best thing about them is the waistband.  Instead of being a narrow piece of elastic, like most leggings, that can pinch in your waist and create a fabulous muffin top – these have a wider band around the waist that is smoothing and contours to your shape.  It reminds me a bit of the belly bands I wore when I was pregnant.  It’s not a high band – just very smooth and removes any risk of muffin top – so much so I wore mine here with a very tight long tank dress without any fear of lumps or bumps.  These leggings are great value for money, wash well and are super comfortable and flattering – what more could a girl want?

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Faux leather leggings – c/o Dear Ruby // Tank dress – H&M (old) // Cardigan – AllSaints plume cardigan (old) // Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury charcoal suede boots (old)

 

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A weekend tinged with sadness.

We adopted Rosie, our Boxer, back in 2001, and we’re guessing she was about 2 years old then.  So we knew the chances of her seeing it into 2014 would be slim – we knew she was slowing down.  On Friday morning, given some symptoms and tests, the vet advised it was her time, so with heavy hearts we said farewell to her.  The end of an era.  Rosie was one of the few constants in our lives over the past 12 years, she was gentle and loyal and we loved her so much.  RIP Rosie xx

Rosie when we adopted here – she had no hair on her back bless her but it all grew back:

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Rosie with MM – living the dream with a t-top Camaro (2002):

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On one of our adventures in North Carolina:

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The children were sad but quite pragmatic so we aimed to keep the weekend as normal as possible.  Yesterday we headed out to the mall and then to their favorite BBQ joint for a treat.  We talked about angels, old dogs and puppies, and now they seem quite at peace with the outcome.  We still have Tennyson here, and Poppy has requested that when we get our next girl dog that she has a tail – so we’re moving on…

It was a gorgeous day so I decided to go full on with the spring attire:)

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Trousers – Zara // Jacket – Zara // T-shirt – Gap // Sneakers – Isabel Marant Bobbys

 

Last night was date night so we toasted Rosie before eating.

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Trousers – Zara // Jacket – Zara // T-Shirt – Express (old) // Shoes – DSW // Cuff – Tiffany (MM bought me this Xmas of 2001 and I’ve no idea why I wear it so rarely!)

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Miami Vice.

MM called me Tubbs this morning and I wasn’t sure if he was referring to Miami Vice or The League of Gentlemen (a reference some US readers won’t appreciate – sorry!).  I am guessing it was the former given my white ensemble today.

This is a case of poor preparation.  I was planning to wear skinny jeans and then remembered I was having a pedicure later so I needed to wear a skirt, shorts or jeans I can roll up.  I went with the jeans – but tried to substitute my distressed white skinnies from H&M for shiny white 501s and it really hasn’t worked – the proportions are all wrong.  Even after a jacket change I’m still not happy. But after faffing around with photos etc…I didn’t have time to start again.  So here I am.  When it warms up later I’ll be taking my jacket off, and adding flip flops after the pedicure – a much better ensemble I think – and at least my feet will be looking good.  I’m trying to distress these 501s slowly with a razor – I keep shaving threads off a couple of patches, hoping that with some washing they will split, but it’s not happening fast enough so I may just have to resort to the sandpaper trick.

With the first Zara jacket:

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Jacket – Zara // Jeans – Levi 501s // Sneakers – Isabel Marant Bobbys // Top – Zara

After changing the jacket (White jersey blazer from Zara – old):

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A quick note too – as many of you know I churn my closet often and I’ve been selling gently used items that are all in excellent condition here on eBay.  Given my ‘power seller’ status and 100% rating I’ve decided to try out my own store front here on the blog.  If you click ‘Shop‘ on the menu you will see a couple of items listed.  I’ll be adding more here, instead of eBay, to see how it goes.  Payment is still easy and secure through Paypal.

 

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A new jacket.

Sticking with my formula for feeling great, i.e. jeans + jacket, I have been trawling online store fronts, perusing jackets at every opportunity.  I’ve convinced myself that now I know what works for me, at least for daily ease and work attire, surely I can justify more items that adhere to the formula?

This jacket looked NOTHING on the Zara site (a little better now with the new model and styling) – but based on plain black jacket I have that is a similar style I decided to try it.  I am so glad I did – I love it!  It is really lightweight and has lovely wide, bracelet length cuffs.  I think the cropped style works great with these Asos Saxby jeans.  The jeans were an absolute bargain and my favorite boyfriend jeans to date.  They have low slung pockets at the back and are loose fitting throughout the leg.  Not too distressed either – just enough.  If you use 30ASOSRMN you can get $30 off $150 with free shipping till April 28th.

Oooh and my current favorite nail polish was applied last night – China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy that I first saw on Eve on AllWornOutBlog.com.  It is a gorgeous neon peachy pink that glows next to a tan – LOVE it!

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 Jeans – Asos Saxby // Shoes – Vince Nina // Jacket – Zara // T-shirt – Gap sunwashed t-shirt

I wanted to leave you with this – remember the Dove sketch commercial I shared last Friday?  Well Avril sent me the parody that is now circulating – I found it so funny…

 

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Chinos and leopard.

I love wearing cropped trousers, though you really have to be careful with them as they can make you look really short!  As much as I like wearing flats during the day, especially as it warms up here, I really think a heel looks better with these J.Crew chino café capris.  I have these trousers in red and black – they are super comfortable – lightweight with lots of stretch.  There’s currently 25% off every J.Crew online order, and in stores, using code SPRINGBEST.  Of course this cardigan is the cream version of the Marks & Spencer biker cardigan that I got back in February.  I still love the versatility of this knitted piece for layering.  I can’t see the cream jacket online at the moment, but I bet it can still be tracked down in stores – the black version is still available online here.  M&S are currently offering free shipping to the US too – no code required – stock up on your underwear!  As an aside I swear by these bodies and wear one almost daily.

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Trousers – J.Crew café capris // Shoes – Nine West Austin // T-shirt – Express (old) // Cardigan – Marks & Spencer biker cardigan

Don’t forget too about the Boden mid season sale!!  Up to 40% off!  Those coats may be mine:)

 

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My new favorite beauty brand.

As you know I’ve always been a fan of drugstore brands when it comes to beauty.  Why spend money on creams and potions when you can spend it on clothes?  For years I’ve used brands like Olay and Boots No.7 which I’ve been lucky enough to track down over here at Target.  However, since well and truly landing in my 40s I’ve found I have been tempted by more ‘hardcore’ products that claim to do all sorts of fabulous things to ‘aging’ skin.  I still haven’t been lured to spend a fortune, though MM did buy me a pot of La Mer as part of my 40th celebrations – oh how we laughed.  I used it for a bit and ended up giving it to him to finish as it was just so thick and stodgy – I like a fluid type consistency that is immediately absorbed.  Anyhow, after conversations with Avril, I also learned that some of my drugstore favorites may not be as effective as I’d hoped, based on the number of chemical ingredients etc. they have.  While questioning their efficacy, this is where my interest in organic beauty products began – yes it’s that granola effect creeping in again…:)

So a couple of weeks ago while doing the weekly shop in Whole Foods I decided to take a peek down their beauty aisle.  It was quite overwhelming with a huge range of price points – lots of products claiming to be all natural.  How on earth do I make a choice as to what to try?  Well the following criteria were important to me:

1. Price – I like to use my products – and not use sparingly worrying about how much each scoop or blob is costing me – the price has to be reasonable.

2. Claims – will they do what I need them to do – mainly reduce wrinkles, even out tone and texture and firm my scarily sagging neck.  And do they have reviews that can back up some of their claims?

3. Green – how environmentally friendly are the products, and is the company on the search for greater good?  If I’m going organic I might as well go the whole hog.

As I perused the shelf one brand jumped out at me based on price and the prettiness of their packaging – Acure.  Without knowing anything about them, except for what I read on the packages, I walked away with a pot of Line Eraser ($19.99), radical wrinkle complex ($29.99) and the seriously firming facial serum ($22.99).  As long as they all did what they say on the tin I’d be in a good place!

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Once home I read their comprehensive website and I was thrilled to learn their ‘mission‘ –  “to provide healthy skin care products using the purest Organic and Fair Trade Certified ingredients in order to help raise money in the fight against breast cancer. For each facial care product sold, we donate 5 percent of out after tax profit to Bright Pink.”

Having used all 3 products for a few weeks now I am very happy with the results.  I use the radical wrinkle complex daily as my daily moisturizer and my skin is so much softer.  I’ve been using the firming serum as a night treatment, and though firmness is hard to measure, the skin on my neck certainly looks more even.  Having decided to stick with these products I wanted to investigate more of the Acure range.

Acure sent me the following to try – all of which have now become part of my regular beauty regimen:

1. Marula Oil ($15.99) – I alternate this with the firming serum at night.  It diminishes scars and blemishes and can also be used on your hair.  It is absorbed really quickly and you don’t need a lot at all – I rub it all over my neck, face and décolletage.

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2. Coconut pumpkin bodywash ($9.99) – the smell of this is incredible – I started using this on vacation and by the beach it was perfect.  It creates a really rich creamy lather – great for skin that has been in the sun – and mmmm that scent is just divine!

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3. Sunscreen SPF 30 – I use this everyday on my face with the radical wrinkle complex.  It is really light and non greasy.  I’ve used it under make-up too with no problems.

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4. Brightening facial scrub ($14.99) – this is a bit scary looking the first time you use it – it’s green as it contains sea kelp and chlorella growth factor – but I assure you it is divine to use.  It is exfoliating and yet doesn’t feel too abrasive – it is great for washing the day away.  Of all the products that Acure were kind enough to send to me to try this is my absolute favorite.

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So I am now a loyal Acure user and advocate – and I can sneak in a new item every time I buy a gallon of milk:)  If you are in the US you can also buy online on their site and I even found a few coupon codes after googling.  Unfortunately they are not available on shelves outside the US at the moment but I’m sure they will be soon – you can make requests via their Facebook page here.  For now you can buy internationally via www.iherb.com and www.spiritbeautylounge.com.

This is not a sponsored post, though some items were provided courtesy of Acure.

 

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We are beautiful.

My spin instructor had me tearing up this morning.  Not because of the pain she inflicts on us each week (lovely lady but turns psycho on a spin bike), but it was all down to her little motivational speech half way through the class.  My endorphins were flowing but she also touched a nerve.

She told us about the following Dove ‘Real Beauty’ campaign.  A forensic artist sketched a handful of women based on their descriptions of themselves, and then again based on the description of others.  The results are startling.  In each pair the sketches are completely different to each other. Those created when the women described themselves are far less flattering than those created with the help of others.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?  I know many people think bloggers like myself must be full of confidence and that we must be incredibly vain to post photos of ourselves all over the internet every day.  But you know what – sometimes the opposite is true.  We all have our own hang ups and stuff hidden under the hood/bonnet that we don’t always share with others.  Maybe if we listened to, and accepted, other people’s complements more often we may see ourselves in a truer light.  As Jennifer told us this morning we are all ‘beautiful, strong women’.  Remember that the next time you criticize yourself in front of the mirror.  We are beautiful no matter what we say.

Watching this video even brings me to tears – but I cry when I hear bagpipes and brass bands too:)

 

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Bracing myself…

…for the comments!  The dungarees have entertained several already today.  As I walked into the office MM thought it was hilarious when he showed me where the plumbing was under the sink – in fact he’s just walked out telling me the ‘chickens need feeding’…oh my sides are splitting – what a funny guy.

After Fiona ‘outed’ me a week or so ago I knew I couldn’t wait much longer before giving them their first public appearance.  To clarify – I LOVE them.  I know they’ve been featured on several blogs, and they have been the subject of many fashion articles recently, but I will say I was wearing them way back in 1998 – that’s how ahead of the trend I am:)  I wore a short pair all through my honeymoon in Cyprus – dead sexy!  Aside from being totally on trend right now, I find them super comfortable – jeans with no waistband – perfect!

Will you or won’t you dungaree this summer?

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…And for those doubters out there I discovered they are great for keeping hands warm…

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And just for Fiona and MM, here I am ready for tractor racing – remind me not to stand like this at the bar – or anywhere in public for that matter:

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Dungarees – Asos (similar here) // T-shirt – Gap // Shoes – BCBGeneration

 

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Local girl done good.

Wooo hhooo – I’m thrilled to have been featured in the Bury Times this week (page 9)!!! And almost a full page:)

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I had a photo session a couple of weeks ago with the lovely Angela Morris – I’m so happy she could help me out on such a FREEZING cold morning.  Here are the results:

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Jacket – Zara (old) // Jeans – H&M Boyfriend jeans // Shoes – Nine West Austin // T-shirt – Ted Baker // Bag – Boden

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