Changing diets.

By diet I don’t mean diet as in losing weight, I mean changing the nutritional content and fabric of my daily food intake.  I have to say I’m always very skeptical about diets that remove items or restrict foods – like the Atkins diet etc. – but I’ve recently been reading a lot about food intolerance.  As a scientist I have to say some of the data and reasoning is quite compelling.  So I thought I’d give it a try.  After speaking to my doctor about it she recommended trying the Virgin diet where you remove gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, corn and sugar from your diet, then add each one back into the mix to see which, if any you react too.  Our food can impact all sorts of things – obviously our physical health, but also our mood and energy levels.  Even though it sounds a bit fadish I thought I’d give it a go – nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I’m quite lazy, though not terribly unhealthy, when it comes to food – a quick bowl of pasta for example.  I lack inspiration.  One of the unexpected positive effects of trying this diet is that I have to plan my meals in advance, meaning I am much more prepared at meal time, ultimately resulting in far more enjoyment from cooking and eating.

I’ve only been following the plan for 3 days and yesterday I was EXHAUSTED.  I could barely keep my eyes open and I started to question the alleged benefits.  Today, however, I feel AMAZING.  I have so much energy and feel so alert – and that was at 7am this morning.  I’m starting to believe there may be something to this food intolerance stuff.

For you nay sayers who claim it is boring – ok it’s only been 3 days – but I am really enjoying eating fabulous fresh fruits and veg and great lean meat, and I’m tasting all the flavor.  I’m using Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good (recommended by a friend – thanks S!) for inspiration.  I can’t say enough great things about this book – I always think of Gwyneth as being a bit up herself and self-righteous – but in the book she comes across as a lovely, down to earth mom – dare I say just like us?  All thanks to great editing and PR I’m sure – but still I am really enjoying this book.

I’d love to hear if any of you have tried eliminating certain foods from your diet.  How did you feel?  Did you stick with it?  Do you think it’s a fad?

Another benefit is that I already feel less bloated – my clothes are a little looser already.  Apparently it can also make your skin look years younger…we’ll see.

Palazzo and camo

Trousers – Zara palazzo trousers (old) // Top – Zara long sleeved tee (old) // Shoes – Tory Burch Emmy sandals (old)

Bowie tee

 

T-shirt – Asos (similar here) // Shorts – DvF TheOutnet.com (old) // Shoes – Marks & Spencer (old)

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The VMAs with more crass than class.

Did you watch the VMAs last night?  Lordy I am getting old.

First Lady Gaga – SO over her – in fact so over her I have nothing to say.

Okay so now Miley.  Twitter lit up with her performance.  All I can say is it was pathetic, disturbing and humiliating.  Who the hell told her in rehearsal that ‘sure Miley – it’s great – just grab your crotch and stick your tongue out one more time‘?  Someone needs to give her a good slap, and all those around her for encouraging that kind of tripe.  When Robin Thicke joined her for Blurred Lines I was SO disappointed – he gave all the critics of the song all the ammunition they needed.  Why grind your groin against Hannah Montana’s rear Robin?  I was crying into my Earl Grey with disappointment.

Then Kanye.  WTF?  Great t.v. NOT.  You couldn’t see him, nor could you hear the song for all the censorship bleeping over it.

Thank the Lord for Justin.  A stellar performance from an artist that takes his craft seriously.  Great singing, great dancing – what I call proper entertainment.

I don’t think there was one presenter I understood – lots of weird grunts and hand gestures – oh and inappropriate Amber Alert references, not something I think should be made light of.  And then there was Katy’s grill, and Taylor and Selena trying to look hot and make Harry jealous.  Just uuurgh – it’s giving me the creeps recounting it.

By then it was gone 10pm and I headed to bed.  I recorded the show thinking Poppy would love to watch it – but I fear most of it will be fast forwarded to avoid corrupting her innocence.  In hindsight I don’t think it has to do with my age – it’s more to do with the ‘entertainment’ industry’s poor judgement and inability to ‘entertain’.  Whatever happened to good old singing and dancing – Justin needs to teach them all a lesson or two.  What do you think?

As I step down from my soap box here’s what I’ve been wearing over the past couple of days…

ASOS t-shirt dress

Dress – Asos t-shirt dress // Sandals – Steve Madden (really old!) // Necklace – Target (old)

Neon

 

Jeans – Gap ankle skimmers (sale buys) // T-shirt – H&M (old) // Scarf – Boden (last season now just $14!) // Sandals – Zara (old) // Necklace – H&M (recent but not online)

 

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Black and grey.

It’s been a hectic week involving a fun night out with some moms from school – I love how diverse and fun our school is, we’re really lucky.  Not quite sure how Friday has arrived so quickly this week.

I was up early this morning for carpooling duty so quite literally needed something to throw on.  This Zara sweatshirt dress (old) was ideal, worn with my Golden Goose.  I have a thing about cold shoulders in dresses and tops – I love them.

DSC_0522

 

So regarding my wish list the other day – I may have slightly misled you.  I actually ordered a couple of the Zara items – one because I’d seen it go in and out of stock so I was worried it may disappear if I delayed, and the other – well – just because I love it.

The first is the pink cardigan, ordered just because I wanted it, and I do love it.  This is a medium so it is generous for Zara.  I can’t wait to wear it with a simple white t-shirt, with boyfriend jeans or buttoned up with skinny jeans.

DSC_0532

 

Next up is the knitted duffle.  This keeps disappearing from stock so as soon as I saw the medium reappear I ordered it – justifying the early purchase by using the gift card that my father-in-law gave me for my birthday.  He knows me so well.  Thanks Mike – it’s a great birthday present – I love my knitted jacket:)  Just be warned if you are buying for warmth this isn’t lined throughout.  The sheepskin is just trim around the edges and in the hood – but perfectly snuggly for Atlanta fall weather.

DSC_0541

 

Finally my ASOS dresses arrived.  Now these are perfect and they were a great price – but the fabric of the black and grey is slightly different – I need to check the labels to see how composition differs.  These are both a US 6 and the black is definitely shorter than the grey.  I love the cut – great flirty t-shirt dresses, perfect with sneakers.  They will be a staple to come through the mild Fall weather we have here.  I think they’ll be great dressed up a bit with a scarf too, and the black could definitely be dressed up with heels and a great necklace for a night out.  (Tip – always google for discount codes before buying on ASOS – there is normally one floating around!).

DSC_0548

 

DSC_0562

 

Have you checked anything off your ‘wish list’ yet?

 

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The beginning of my Fall/Winter wish list.

My September Vogue arrived yesterday.  It is a beast.  I was going to sit and read it while Poppy does her hour long hip hop class today, but I thought I might put my back out carrying it in my bag. Anyway it got me thinking about cooler weather and snuggling up in some cosy knits and coats.  I cannot wait!

I’ve already started a wish list, and I am really trying to be good until it does get cooler, so I can make better, more informed choices based on what is in stores at the end of next month.

For now here are my key picks:

The Stuart Weitzman 50/50 is twenty years old and to celebrate they have introduced new colors.  I adore this grey suede pair.

5050

I have the Sam Edelman Alvin in leopard and plain black pony hair and this year I want to add this gorgeous saddle print to my collection.

Alvin saddle

I don’t own a trench and I need one.  I think they are perfect for the milder winters we have here – and my favorite so far for color and length is this Zara short trench.

Zara trench

I am in need of a new, more fashionable puffer coat.  My Patagonia one is great – but a little too practical and outdoorsy – if that makes sense.  I adore the color of this Zara short puffer.

Puffer

As for knitwear Zara is coming up trumps again.  I love their pastel pinks and greys this year – the 80s girl in me again!  This cardigan is gorgeous.

Cardigan

I also love this knitted duffle for the Fall.

duffle

My favorite Boden piece is in the Winter preview.  I love the cream and grey together in this St. Ives jumper.  (PRV3 will give you 20% off and free shipping in the US, and PRQ2 will do the same in the UK).

St Ives

Finally, for now at least, I NEED this wool baseball cap from J.Crew.

baseball

So what’s caught your eye already this A/W 2013?

As for today I needed to be comfortable – remember the hour I have to sit in the waiting room at dance class!

Zara and TopShop

Jersey Jacket – Zara (old) // Trousers – Zara (in the sale not online but may still be in stores) // Cami – TopShop in the sale at Nordstrom // Shoes – Sam Edelman Alvin

 

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Do you buy clothes for your Husband?

Replace ‘Husband’ with the appropriate word for your situation – still I want to know do you shop and buy clothes for yours?

Within three months it is my birthday, our wedding anniversary and Mr PS’s birthday.  Of course my birthday is always something I look forward to, but I am beginning to dread the other two events.  Don’t get me wrong I love a good celebration – but my Husband has become such a great gift/card giver over the years that I am under immense pressure to step up my game.

You see Mr. PS is quite difficult to buy for.  He has very few clothes in comparison to me – well that’s the case for most men isn’t it?  So I always think it would be a great idea to track down some fabulous items for him to diversify his wardrobe a little – there are so many gorgeous men’s items to choose from.  But it’s not quite as simple as that.

Mr. PS has VERY SPECIFIC styling requirements.  He is in my eyes one of the new metrosexuals.  He doesn’t even glance at high street brands.  He wears Hermés aftershave, Diesel boxers,  Nudie jeans, and Gucci loafers, though he did buy a couple of JCrew t-shirts this year much to my relief.  For the recent wedding he attended he surprised me by wearing a Zara suit, though he spent more on the Hermés tie he bought to wear with it.  He knows more about brands, especially classic and upscale brands than I do, and his mantra is always ‘quality over quantity’.  Even when he was a student he loved unique, original shirts that he bought from Cheltenham, from the guy who went on to create Superdry.  He used to only wear red high top converse – red of course because the Byzantine Emperors wore red shoes – like you do.  He loves a good investment piece – which is obviously beneficial for me come birthday and Christmas, but it makes it a nightmare for me when I start thinking about gifts for him.

I still cringe over the plaid TopMan shirt I once bought him, or the brown birkenstocks that I packed lovingly for Christmas for him one year.  After those two disasters I basically gave up buying clothes for him.  But if you don’t get clothes what else do you buy a man whose passions are reading, watching football and travel?  Okay so yes I could buy him a flight to Hong Kong, but I’m talking about stuff that still leaves me enough for the rest of my A/W wish list:)  He does wear jewelry – and I will buy him a bigger diamond stud one year (my one and only success was a Tiffany stud I bought for him) – but I keep telling him that he is no NFL player so it can’t be too big.  He loves his David Yurman beaded bracelets that I have bought for him – but I can’t just keep buying them in every color, can I?

So this year I asked him for some direction to help me with brands.  Have you ever had a list like this from your man?  I swear I have not made this up – I can forward the email he sent for proof.

Knitwear – YSL/Marni

Blazers (cotton) – Lanvin/Boglioli/Rag&Bone

Blazers (wool) – Gucci/Lanvin

Boots – Gucci

Loafers – Gucci

Brogues etc. – John Lobb

Slippers – John Lobb/Bally

Shirts – Budd & Co/Turnbull&Asser/Charvet/Sid Mashburn

Pants – Kolor/Marni/Lanvin

Sweatshirt/t-shirts – Nudie/James Perse

Ties (really?) – Drakes/Hermes/Charvet

Socks – Paul Smith (stripes)/Corgi

Polos – Sid Mashburn/Billy Reid/Sunspel/James Perse

Sneakers – Lanvin/YSl

Urban walking boots – Diemme (Roccio Vet)

Scarves – Etro/Lanvin/Hermes

Belt – Prada

Collar stays/collar bones – TM Lewin (mother-of-pearl)

Card case – Commes des Garcons (Flurio)

Tote – Marni

Mac/coat – Macintosh/Barbour/Aspesi

And obviously anything by Balmain.

dx

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So at least I have some help now!  But ‘collar stays/collar bones’ – WTF – he never wears shirts!  And ‘tote’?  Don’t even ask – I know what you are thinking.  Would your man ever give you a list like this?  I just need to sell a kidney now and open an account with MrPorter.com.

As for what I’m wearing – it’s been a wet, dreary weekend in Atlanta so it called for casual, comfortable clothes – with sleeves too!  In August?  Crazy!

Casual

 

Shoes – Adidas Gazelles // Jeans – Primark (old) // T-shirt – Gap (old) // Shirt – J.Crew (old) // Scarf – H&M (old)

 

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AllSaints neutrals.

Okay amateur meteorologist alert – this is the weirdest August weather we have ever had in the 14 years I’ve been here!  SO much rain and now today we are only in the mid 70s with temperatures – which is nice I have to say – but a little weird to say the least on August 15th.

There is always a positive spin though no?  It just means I get to wear a cardigan and ankle boots – and our office air conditioning is so bloody cold I could have gotten away with gloves and a snood!  I love my AllSaints Venice t-shirt dress from earlier in the year and this is the first time I’ve bared my legs in it.  It has a drape to it on the left side which doesn’t show well in the photos I’m afraid – I need to get better at holding my Nikon with one hand:)  I’m eyeing up these alternatives on ASOS too – they are a great price and I love the oversize look.  They’ll be great on their own with a fabulous scarf, or worn with leggings as the cooler temperatures arrive.  It’s available in black and grey and be warned ASOS tend to fit large.

Asos t-shirt dress

 

The Boston cardigan was a fabulous AllSaints sale purchase when I was in the UK last year, and of course the boots are the luscious Rag & Bone Newburys in tan canvas.  Indoor photos again I’m afraid – it’s so dark in the mornings now we’re up for the school bus!

Without card cardi

I need to consider my outfit choice for tomorrow – I’m still celebrating my birthday with an indulgent kid free lunch with my Husband – I can’t wait!

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Put a lid on it!

I popped into Nordstrom yesterday to return the TopShop animal print tunic dress – I loved it but the fabric was just too warm for here in the summer.  I was overjoyed when I saw the size of the TopShop concession we now have here in Phipps Plaza.  It had so many TopShop staples – like the camis we all love – plus many of items and new arrivals that I have seen online.  I have found a new little gem to frequent!  If you are in the US make sure you all check out your local Nordstrom!  I am officially now obsessed with the camis and picked up a cream one – well it’d be silly not to while I was there – to wear under jackets with jeans.

I was a tad nervous about walking into the office today – but I managed to diffuse any sarcastic comments with equally facile retorts about ‘jazz hands’…good job I have thick skin:)  This hat is the white version of the Target one I wore back here at the start of the summer.  I haven’t worn the white one as often as the black, but today it just seemed the perfect compliment to the outfit:)

Hat – Target // Jeans – Primark (old) // Top – TopShop Cami // Waistcoat – Forever21 (old) // Shoes – Sam Edelman Alvin

put a lid on it hat no hat v2

 

Oh and don’t forget that Boden’s Catch of the Day continues today with 25% off tops and t-shirts!

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If there is such a thing – fall sandals!

It’s almost half way through August and everyone’s focus is now on Fall.  The back breaking September issue of Vogue will soon be hitting my door mat, undoubtedly full of fabulous temptations.  As you know I’ve already been lured into a couple of Fall purchases, though I did return the Zara pointed boots – too goblin-like for me in the end – but I filled the suede void with the fabulous pink Boden desert boots which are on their way to me as we speak (I may also have sneaked the pink skinny jeans in the order too)!

I do struggle here with the Fall releases being so early – it really doesn’t get cooler in Atlanta till early November.  Most years we are trick or treating in shorts and t-shirts with the kids sweltering in their costumes.  I know few of you have sympathy for me – but I am a girl that loves sweaters and boots so I long for the cool temperatures!

To ease my pain I’ve been browsing sandals as at least I can show off my pedicure for longer!  I may even have made a couple of sneaky purchases:)

These heels have caught my eye – and a couple of them resemble those I’ve seen in Zara over the summer – but these are fabulously priced!

Clockwise from top – Black snake print t-bar – New Look £19.99 // Black strappy lace up – New Look £24.99 // Yokono cut out sandals – New Look just £27.00 in the sale // Pewter snake print ankle strap – New Look £19.99

NewLookSandals

As for flats here are my favorites from Nine West at Zappos.com – and both are in the sale!  I’m a sucker for an ankle strap and a bit of animal print but they also come in solid colors too.

Sync or Swim

Here’s hoping a couple more sandal purchases will prevent me from prematurely leaping into the ankle boot pool before they are all released!

Today’s outfit is all about comfort I’m afraid!

Trousers – TopShop (old – bought here) // Top – Matalan (old – bought here) // Sneakers – Converse

TopShop trousers

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My 42nd birthday!

I had the most amazing day yesterday – packed full of everything I love – from a good, leisurely work out, to great burgers and margaritas, to a wonderful dinner out, all in the company of my wonderful family.

My Husband is becoming quite a pro at  choosing great birthday cards.  As one of my friends said it really is a gift to have the patience to search through sappy cards for the perfect card for the recipient!  If you haven’t seen the Honey Badger viral video this won’t mean anything to you!

birthday card

 

After an indulgent glass of prosecco we headed off for a leisurely lunch at our favorite burger joint. It was hot as hades here yesterday so I decided to wear my TopShop cami for the first time.  I really do love the cut and fabric of these tops and I’ll be buying more – they drape perfectly with no clinging.  I was switched on to them by lovely Eve at AllWornOut and Jane at MyMidlifeFashion.  Fortunately TopShop is now easily available here from Nordstrom!  The creases fell out as soon as it was exposed to the Atlanta humidity!

Top – TopShop Cami // Skirt – J.Crew Factory (old) // Sandals – Zara

Aug 10th

 

Later that evening my Husband took me to The Optimist for the first time.  What an amazing restaurant.  It was busy so the service was a little tardy but we were in no hurry and I relished my oysters!  It’s a huge, open restaurant and I loved the noise created by the acoustics.  In a strange way it reminded me of Harrods food hall or even Quaglinos, though I haven’t been there since the early 90s!

oysters

 

Dinner

 

I felt fabulous in my Zara flowing jumpsuit (sold out but similar here).  I actually bought this and returned it once thinking I’d never wear it – but it was such a perfect fit I re-bought it and I am so glad I did!  I went full ’70s for this baby of August ’71 with big hair and white heels (now on sale here!).

Jumpsuit Aug 10th

 

So that’s the birthday done and dusted for another year – here’s to a great one – and happy birthday to all my fellow Leos!

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Sip and See.

Have you ever been to a Sip and See?  They are becoming more and more common outside the US I think, but yesterday I felt like a true Southern lady attending my first Sip and See here.  They are similar to a shower, only at a Sip and See you ‘sip’ your cocktail and ‘see’ the baby.  My great friends across the street, who already have 4 children (their third pregnancy produced twin boys – can you imagine!), just adopted a beautiful newborn little girl.  I tell you some people are just wired to be Moms and she is one of them, while I have to search for my maternal genes most mornings! I am beyond thrilled for them and indeed I’m very proud of them, though they insist that although they are providing a loving home and family for their new addition, their daughter has also impacted and changed their lives for the better.  I can’t wait to see her grow up and blossom into a beautiful girl.

So yesterday required a couple of changes.  I spent the day in the following outfit – these jeans are fabulously comfortable so I’m not sure why I haven’t worn them since our blogger meet up back in February!  I started the day in white heels but the heat soon made me regret that decision.

Trousers – Zara (old) // Top – Zara (old) // Sandals – Tory Burch Emmy (old)

black and white

 

Later that evening, for the Sip and See, I took advantage of having an occasion to wear my Ted Baker Allysia dress that I got back in the sales at the Trafford Centre.  My new Boden clutch was the perfect accessory and I wore my Tory Burch Eddie flats to respect the host’s floors!

Ted Baker

 

It’s a big day tomorrow – I turn 42!!  I LOVE birthdays and I’m so excited to head out for lunch with the family and then dinner with my fabulous Husband.  Another year, another year wiser?  Maybe not, but who cares!?  I’m having fun and that’s what counts!

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