Possibly my most ridiculous purchase ever.

Or maybe not.  This is definitely an investment piece.  I swear I looked for a cheaper version everywhere – but none were calf hair, none had the right peak, and none had the perfect leopard print – so in the end it had to be this one.  A crazy purchase (even with the 25% code I used) but one that makes me very, very happy.  The J.Crew leopard print baseball cap.

Black and leopard

 

It also makes my head look more of a regular size compared to the hatless photo:)

The jacket is one I ordered the other day after perusing the M&S website.  It is the Limited Edition quilted sleeve cardigan – definitely order up in size for this one – the shoulders are snug.  This is a UK 14 and gives me room to layer over a sweater in the winter.  The dress is my favorite ASOS t-shirt dress and the sneakers are of course my Golden Goose (similar here) which also make me smile every time I wear them.

After a weekend of pressure washing we’re almost ready to host our kindergarten party tomorrow – though I can barely move today.  Hopefully I can still raise a glass to my lips:)  How did you spend your gorgeous Fall weekend?

 

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I’ve been a bad, bad girl.

I’ve been spending again.  Some items just haven’t been worn till now, others are brand spanking new.  Want to see?

Okay first up is a little gem from Fiona’s Avenue57 blog shop.  This is a beautiful silk dress and it comes in navy, mocha, black and plum.  I have all four ooops.  Reason being that buying all 4 was still cheaper than buying one similar style dress from AllSaints.  Justified?  Pah what the hell.  I ADORE this dress!  Fiona will ship to the US too so make sure you take a gander on her store – there are some gorgeous items at brilliant prices!

Avenue 57 dress montage

 

I’ve worn it here with Rag & Bone Newbury boots, an old H&M scarf and my AllSaints Boston cardigan (old).

Next up – the Diesel Jogg Jeans.  These have to be the softest, most comfortable jeans I have ever worn.  Expensive – yes – but I bought mine with a 30% off coupon which recently expired – but it just goes to show that Diesel do offer discounts so sign up for their newsletters in case another one appears!

Diesel jeans and Newbury boots

 

The jumper is Zara and did you notice the boots?  Err ehm.  Okay so my wicked friend Martha messaged me to tell me about the La Garçonne sale last month.  These petrol Newburys were heavily discounted so I sealed the deal.  They are a fabulous green/blue – well petrol color!

Petrol Newbury boots

 

Okay so now the recent purchases.  Mango delivered super quick.  Remember I was quite taken by these coats the other day?

Padded blazer Leopard print wool belnd coat

 

Well what should arrive last night?  I love them.  Mango US sizing is off – they have tried to account for the larger US woman – but it just ends up being confusing.  So a US Large is a UK/Euro Medium.  I ordered a US Small/UK Medium in the leopard coat – it is oversize but it is meant to be – I think I would lose the drama with the US XSmall.

Mango coat

The puffer is a US Large – so a UK XL!! These fit small – and I ordered the US L as there were no mediums left – I probably could get away with a US M but have decided to keep the large so I can wear it as I have here with my denim jacket under it, or a blazer.

Mango puffer

 

So what do you think?  I should be pretty much done now for the winter!  A Zara box and an H&M box have just arrived for the kids too so that will be fun when they get off the bus today!

 

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Great offers from The Gap.

A quick news flash for you today as I have heard many fellow bloggers lauding Gap’s fabulous knitwear selection this season.  In the US for today only you can save 40% off regular priced items using GAP24HR and in the UK Save £20 on £75 or more until Friday using SAVE20.  Two brilliant offers which I plan to take advantage of for my Fall closet.

Here are my favorite picks from their selection.

The Gap striped crew neck jumper:

I love both colors – the trim really makes it special for me.

Gap striped jumper navy Gap striped jumper pale blue

The Sweater zip cable:

LOVE this in cashew crunch – great design with zip closures and perfect for layering in the Fall.

Sweater zip cape

This turtle neck is gorgeous and an online exclusive – I love the boxy cut.

Boxy turtleneck

Finally I had to throw a cardigan into the mix – love this drapey cable knit in grey.

drapey cable cardigan

So what tickles your fancy on the Gap site?

I’ll leave you with a couple of outfits from this week so far.

Monday for work I wanted some comfort so opted for oxfords and cashmere.

Boyfriend jeans and oxfords

Jeans – H&M boyfriend jeans in grey // Shoes – Clarks Hamble Oak // T-shirt – Zara (old) // Cardigan – Boden cashmere Limited Edition sparkle pocket (old)

And yesterday for our first teacher conference of the year – a glowing report was delivered thankfully!

Boden jeans

 

Boots – Sam Edelman Petty // Jeans – Boden pear drop skinnies ($31.20 in the sale!) // Top – TopShop cami // Jacket – Zara

I’ll be back soon with some reports on some new deliveries!

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The search for the perfect fur gilet.

I didn’t think I wanted a fur gilet last year.  That was until I saw everyone wearing them, by which time here in Atlanta choices were limited.  It’s not really cold enough here for fur until December, by which time everything is sold out!  I started to fall in love with them once I realized their versatility.  I love the idea of layering one over a denim jacket, or under a trench for extra warmth.  I did end up buying one from Target and I like it – sort of – but the shoulders still are a bit too statement for me – I feel too 80s, or too military, or just too daft in it.  This year I am on the hunt for the perfect neutral gilet, and I’ve seen a couple.  The one I REALLY want is the one I just bought for Poppy.  It is adorable and I had to prise it off her this morning telling her 70 degree heat was no weather for leopard print gilets.

Zara leopard print gilet

I also snook this in the order for her – it is gorgeous – not so much a coat as described on the Zara site – more of a long coatigan.  I am sorely tempted to try both in the largest size just in case I can squeeze in them – doubtful with Zara though!  She did wear this today – much like her Mom she can’t wait for Fall clothes!

Zara cardigan

I have found a coat similar to this that I love – the Mango blended wool coat.  I’m confused by the sizing though and not sure why it only goes to a Medium on the US site – it’s supposed to be oversize so is a Small really a Medium?  Regardless maybe I’ll try it:)

Leopard print wool belnd coat

Oh and I digress further – I am smitten with this puffer from Mango – a blazer – I love how they have styled it – again I think it would be fabulous layered over or under other outerwear.

Padded blazer

Okay back to fur gilets.  There are several that have caught my eye including these from Next – and they do ship in the US via FedEx just use the Next US site here – perfect!.

Next black gilet Next Leopard print

I’ve ordered the Boden JohnnieB gilet to see how the largest size fits.  It hasn’t arrived yet and I’m not convinced by the collar but I will model as soon as it drops on my door mat.

JohnnieB

Here are some others that caught my eye – I particularly love the Mint Velvet gilet and the Asos version.  Which is your favorite?  Where should I continue my search?

 

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Where do I start?

Well I’ll start where I left off – our anniversary.  I am incredibly lucky that I am married to an extremely romantic, generous man.  He was so giddy about the day unfolding and all his various surprises he could barely contain himself!  He even created a playlist for me with little clues leading to my surprise gift!

We headed out to dinner to our favorite ‘special occasion’ restaurant – Bacchanalia.  They do a superb seasonal five course tasting menu and the food is exquisite.  And how cute – they even surprised us with a little cake!

Bacchanalia

 

I wore my Ted Baker taxi cab dress which I adore – it feels elegant yet quirky – it’s so fun to wear.  This exact version is no longer available but the print must have been so popular they have released a new version here.  The jacket is a Zara tuxedo jacket from the sale and the wedge boots are also Zara.

Ted Baker dress

 

OH and I

Before we left for our night out we exchanged gifts.  I’m a very lucky girl.  Apparently fifteen years of marriage is a big deal.

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I wish I’d known – I thought I was being particularly thoughtful with my gift of a wooly hat and a pair of socks – I kid you not!

On Friday night we headed out again to take Mike for a farewell dinner.  Another fabulous restaurant and quickly becoming one of my favorites – The Optimist.  They even had frogs legs on the menu which my daring Husband enjoyed.  I had the most delicious oysters followed by the most incredible haddock I have ever eaten – and I assure you I know my cod and haddock!

The Optimist

After much debate as to what to wear, and given my late night on Thursday I opted for comfort in the end.  This is the Zara pyjama suit from last season that I snapped up in the sale, worn with my white heels.

Zara pajama suit

Finally I’ll leave you with a couple of daytime outfits.  The first was from Friday, shopping in the  mall with Mike.

green jacket

Jeans – Diesel Fayza Jogg Jeans // Sneakers – Golden Goose (similar here) // Tank – AllSaints (old) // Jacket – Zara

And yesterday for our first swim meet of the season!

Baseball cap

Cap – J.Crew // Jeans – H&M grey tapered boyfriend // T-shirt – Gap 35% off till 9/24 with code THANKYOU // Sweater – Boden // Sneakers – Adidas Gazelles

Now we’re off for a slap up breakfast before taking Mike to the airport – it’s been a brilliant visit and now I’m in the mood for planning some trips back to the UK again!

 

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15 years of sh*ts and giggles.

15 years ago today I walked into a hotel room filled with fabulous friends and family to marry the man I still love and adore today.  No one makes me giggle like he does, or challenges me intellectually like he does, or makes me feel as sexy as he does.  We started married life as we continue it today – setting out to laugh often and fight rarely, take risks and avoid ruts, respect and not take for granted.  Love you honey.

Wedding photos

Two of these photos are our first dance to “Love Me Tender” – the other two are when we cleared the dance floor to “Satisfaction” – easy to spot which is which:) 

In the excitement of the day I still haven’t decided what to wear tonight.  It will probably be dictated by a loose waistband as we are having a fancy five course dinner with wine.  Stay tuned on instagram for updates!

My outfits over the past couple of days have been dictated by the cooler weather here.  It is perfectly autumnal in Atlanta at last!

AllSaints and Newbury Boots

Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury // Jeans – Zara (old) // Tank – Pipali tank AllSaints (old – this season’s tank here) // Cardigan – AllSaints (old – similar this season here)

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Jacket – Next // Jeans – Gap (Just $17 now!) // Shoes – Nine West (in the sale!) // Top – TopShop camisole // Necklace – H&M (old)

 

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Are you ready for some football?

It’s been a major fail with my new diet since Mike arrived.  Having said that, my new found love of cooking has had me pottering around in the kitchen since he arrived.  On Saturday night I cooked one of my favorite dishes that I have come to love since living here in the South – shrimp ‘n’ grits.  It’s so easy to cook too and you can add cheese to the grits, and chilli to the sauce as desired.  Trust me, it’s delicious!

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Sunday morning began early – we were off to watch the Atlanta Falcons play at the Georgia Dome!!  SO exciting.  Watching a football game also means tailgating prior to the action.  As we are amateur tailgaters, instead of grilling, we decided to take an eclectic mix of food including bacon and sausage butties, olives, hummus and grapes – and beer of course!  Obviously my gluten-free living has gone out of the window this week.

Tailgating

Tailgating 2

I didn’t get a full length shot of my outfit – but needless to say I was wearing a Falcon’s t-shirt with my new Diesel Jogg Jeans and my Golden Goose Francy sneakers (similar here).

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The noise was overwhelming in the dome and it was a brilliant game with a Falcons win – though not the easy way!  Poor Hugh couldn’t handle the pace in the 4th quarter!

Falcons

Yesterday we took Mike shopping.  Quite often he likes to get a bargain on this side of the Atlantic and it was nice to have a mooch around the shops on a quiet Tuesday.  We hit Target too for some early Halloween bits and pieces before they all sell out!

TargetTrousers – Harem trousers Zara (old) // Top – draped top Zara (old) // Jacket – Zara (old) // Scarf – School Gate Style blog shop // Boots – Isabel Marant Dickers // Bag – YSL Roady

I felt a bit of a plonker having my photo taken in Target – my Husband isn’t the quickest snapper and he is more intent on making me giggle rather than composing a great shot:)  I wanted to get a shot of my new scarf though.  It is from Avril’s SchoolGateStyle.com shop and the great news for us here is that Avril ships to the US for just $5 regardless of how much you order!  Her prices are brilliant and the quality is fantastic.  I love the colors in this Lightening Storm scarf – bright pink, orange, blue and white on a black base.

Of course it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t fall for something while out shopping.  Recently I bought the new J.Crew wool baseball cap:

baseball

Yesterday I fell for their new leopard print cap – gorgeous, sumptuous calf skin – a great hat that will be worn time and time again.  25% off with free shipping today in the US (code SHOPFALL) helps with the almost $300 price tag if you’re smitten too!  I didn’t buy it yesterday – still compiling a list of justifications and googling frantically for a cheaper version!

JCrew leopard print baseball cap

Finally an outfit from Monday.  The jackets are making a come back with the big cool down we are experiencing here this week.

River Island jacket

Jacket – River Island (available at ASOS) // Top – TopShop camisole // Trousers – Next navy harems // Shoes – Tory Burch Eddie navy flat

Now all I have to do today while I take Poppy swimming is to decide what to wear for our 15th wedding anniversary tomorrow night!!  We’re off for some fine dining while our babysitter is here – thanks Mike:)

 

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Mall shopping.

It’s rare that I head to the Mall – especially on a Saturday.  Normally it is just too chaotic and uninspiring to bother.  Worse still when the Falcons are at home Lenox Mall can be packed to the seams with visitors so I tend to veer clear.  However, this morning my Husband suggested I had some time to myself while he took the children and his Dad for a long walk along the river with the dog.  Well I’m not going to say no am I?

After creating my wish lists over the past week I knew I wanted to step into Zara in particular to see if they had any of the jackets I’d been lusting after online.  Surprisingly they did, so first I tried the TRF biker jacket.  I am on the look out for a simple black biker jacket and thought this might fit the bill nicely.  However, I’m always wary of pleather trim – the quality can vary dramatically.  TRF sizing is normally TINY – I always need a large in the jackets – except for today.  The large was huge – but on trying the medium that was too snug in the shoulders.  Still it was quite a nice jacket – lovely soft fabric and the pleather is not too bad at all.  If the fit was right I may have walked out with it – I still really like it looking at the photo.

IMG_4571

 

Next I tried on the TRF sheepskin jacket.  This was definitely going to be on my order list but now I’ve seen it in real life I’ve changed my mind.  I thought it looked pretty cheap and the lining shed every where – all over my black dress!  Again the sleeves were really long in the large size.

IMG_4570

 

I was also going to try this and took it to the changing rooms but once I saw how much fluff this was leaving every where too I quickly placed it back on the rack.

checked coat

My final try on in Zara was this sweatshirt.  It must have been a return as there was only one in the store.  I really liked it but the fur had been stitched down in one spot on the neckline so it looked odd.

IMG_4575

I left Zara contemplating why I was in there in the first place.  I have so much Zara in my closet now and I know much of it was bought on a whim, or because the price was good.  At 42 should I really be spending my money on quick fixes – especially when it comes to coats and jackets?  Again I wondered why my rationale when it comes to boots is so different from other items of clothes?  What makes it so easy for me to buy a pair of Newbury boots and yet be reluctant to spend more than $200 on a coat?

While I mulled this over I decided to head over to Bloomingdale’s to see if Charlie was working at the AllSaints concession.  This week I’d had a quick look at the AllSaints site to check out their pricing – it is significantly higher than Zara.  I am still trying to understand their strategy.  In the UK they are a high street brand, but their prices are so high in comparison to other high street brands.  Here in the US they are fortunate that they are well differentiated, offering edgy designs that few other high street/mall brands can compete with.  Their quality also tends to be exceptional – in my opinion anyway!  Still I think they are expensive and I always need to be strategic when buying AllSaints.

I ended up trying on the Monument Jacket with leather sleeves.  I have wanted an AllSaints Monument coat for so long now and have never been able to justify it.  Partly because most are a longer style and warm for Atlanta, and then also because of the pricing – they’re not cheap!  The shorter jacket is stunning – gorgeous wool with perfect leather sleeves.  It fits snug which I find really unusual for AllSaints.  This is the UK 14.

IMG_4576

 

As I stood looking in the mirror, slowly falling deeper and deeper in love with it, I realized that all the jackets that I have on my wish list, plus a couple that are still hanging in the closet with tags on them, amount to more than the price of the Monument jacket.  With that sudden realization the deal was done.  The Monument jacket is now mine.  Investment vs. instant gratification.

As is this sweatshirt

IMG_4578

 

No more purchases from Zara for a while – the gratification I got from these more considered purchases was far greater.

Yesterday I had my roots done and my hair shaped by fabulous Lauren at Plum Salon – it’s always such a treat to go there – I could chat to Lauren for hours!  These trousers were a complete deal off eBay – $18 off a seller in China and they were free shipping and arrived within 2 weeks!  I wore a black TopShop cami with them.

IMG_4567I realized today it’s yet more black and leopard print.  The dress is the cold shoulder, batwing dress from Asos, the sandals are Nine West and the belt is Jessica Simpson from Zappos.

IMG_4569

 

Oh I almost forgot – remember the Ted Baker dress that Avril sent to me?  Well look what I saw today – more gorgeous London taxi dresses along with phone cases, scarves, bags and sweaters – just DIVINE and great gifts!

IMG_4580 IMG_4579

Okay – now off for a lovely lunch out with my Father-in-law and then I’m cooking shrimp and grits tonight – it’s a major diet fail over the next week or so!

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A visitor arrives.

The children are VERY excited this morning.  Grandpa arrives tonight.  Poppy has very kindly said that “he doesn’t need to bring presents – just his love” – I’m sure Mike will be relieved!

We’ve got lots of fun activities planned for the next 10 days.  Lots of great meals out, swim meets, shopping and NFL games!  I love it when we have guests – we do so much that we wouldn’t normally do.  The weather has turned perfect too just in time – beautiful blue skies with clear, crisp air. The slightly cooler temperature prompted me to get my new Zara cut out booties out of their box for the first time.  I love them – they are gorgeous leather, with a great heel height and a funky ankle strap.  I may now officially have too many boots – is that possible?

IMG_7528Boots – Zara // Top – Zara (old) // Skort – Zara

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Fantasy shopping.

I know what you’re going to say.  I just shop, shop, shop and most of the time I figure out a way to get what I am lusting after – whether it be through saving a few pennies or selling some fabulous items that just don’t get worn as much as they deserve to be.  I do, however, have a threshold of what I consider to be an okay amount to pay for an item.  It may seem a little warped that I will happily spend $500-$600 on a pair of boots and yet wince at the thought of paying $300 for a pair of jeans, or more than $200 for a jacket.  It probably comes down to me accepting how fickle I can be.  My style has evolved radically over the past 18 months and I expect it to continue to do so.  It’s dangerous territory then to fork out mega bucks on items of clothes that I may shun to the back of the closet next year.  My Rag & Bone, Marant and Acne boots still make me giggle with pleasure every time I lift the lid off the box.  These will always be in my style ‘comfort zone’ – so I can splurge happily with no remorse.

I love to create a fantasy lists.  If money were no object what would I buy?  As I was browsing the other night I stumbled upon more than a few items that set my heart a flutter.

Of course the list had to include some leopard print.  This Jérome Dreyfuss purse is stunning – but for now I’m happy to make do with my Boden Canonbury clutch (p.s. it’s the last day of the Boden 20% diminishing discount tomorrow!).

Jerome dreyfuss v1

What greater indulgence is there than a ridiculous Louis Vuitton scarf that will be worn again and again – just the $800 then?  I am in love with this print.  This is something that eventually I may be persuaded by – one day.

LV scarf

 

I don’t wear pumps/courts nearly enough to justify these – but if money were no object – these YSL Janis Escarpin pumps would be mine.

YSL Janis Escarpin

Finally, for now, I have always wanted some perfect leather trousers.  Of course they need to be Balmain.  Just the $4,560 then.

Balmain leather trousers

I expect I’ll be creating more secret compilations like this now football season has started!  What’s on your lust list?  How would you fill your closet if you won the lottery?

It’s still hot, hot, hot here so yesterday I opted for shorts again.  I had a lovely lunch with a handsome man.

IMG_7508Shoes – Vince Nina // Shorts – J.Crew Factory // Jacket – Zara (old) // T-shirt – Gap

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