My sister is 40!

So my sister had her big 4-0 yesterday and we celebrated in style.  Firstly we had an amazing day out with her and her boys at Tatton Park.  I can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone in the North West.  An amazing open space with great play areas – including zip lines, picnic areas, deer roaming, plus the kids loved the low flying planes from Manchester Airport!

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Dress – Label Lab House of Fraser (reduced to £17.50) // Shoes – Ancient Greek // Cardigan – J.Crew (Already reduced and now an extra 30% off in the US with HISUMMER)

Today Louise and I had some much needed (sort of) child free time shopping and dining in Manchester.  I love shopping in Manchester these days – it’s really cleaned up a lot and it is so easy to get there via public transport, meaning a bottle of prosecco is available to us:)  We started in AllSaints where their clearance has just started.  I found myself in love with this Lucie top.  I bought it in navy which I can’t see on the website sorry!

Lucie

Then it was off to Selfridges where I knew exactly what I was hunting.  A size 3 in this beauty – the Keepa Regency print t-shirt – it is now reduced to £32.

Keepa regency

Louise and I both came away with the scarf in the same print too – just £33 in the sale, reduced from £65.

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I had to be dragged away from these two gorgeous dresses – the prints are just divine!

The Redosie:

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The Rowzey:

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My gorgeous sister modeling scarves:

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After Mimosas at the bar in Selfridges we headed to Marks and Spencer.  If you have one locally go and check out their jewelry in the sale – Louise and I picked up some beautiful statement necklaces, but there are none left online at all!  Of course I picked up some underwear while I was there too – it just wouldn’t be a trip to Markses without some new no vpl knickers!

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Before we headed for lunch this little number worked it’s way into my hands.  I just love it – you know me and patterns!  it also just happens to be called the Holiday Poppy t-shirt🙂

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So not bad all in all – and also quite restrained for sale shopping over here where I tend to go crazy over my beloved UK brands!  Louise had a good haul too with sandals and a couple of Zara jackets in addition to her scarf.

All shopped out, we headed for lunch to Harvey Nicks where they were just lovely and Louise even got a little birthday dessert.

Of course we drank Prosecco, and I’m wearing a new M&S treasure.

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Shoes – Nine West Oslo // Jumpsuit – Zara // Denim jacket – J.Crew (30% off with HISUMMER in the US) // Bag – Boden

Happy 40th Louise!  xx

 

This can’t be Bury – I’m wearing shorts!

Ok it rained today but it’s supposed to be fab tomorrow as well!  Fingers crossed as my little sister turns 40!  We’re planning on taking the children for a day out and a picnic, then on Thursday I get her all to myself to do lunch and shop with a belly full of wine;)

We arrived Sunday morning and it has been fun ever since.  Poppy and Hugh are having a great time with cousin Alice.  Three kids are REALLY loud together – especially two Southern accents and one very strong Bolton accent:)

DSC_0036.jpgI’ve been rubbish with outfit photos since I arrived – sorry – but here is one from Friday when I got my hair cut shorter and went darker thanks to Chadd and Gina at A La Mode!  I love these Sam Edelman sandals – again I took a US 8 in these and they fit beautifully.  They are a great platform that give me some extra height without compromising comfort.

Mango topShoes – Sam Edelman // Jeans – Zara (old) // Top – Mango (on sale now)

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I’ll be back with plenty of photos over the next couple of days celebrating with my sister!

 

Another VB inspired dress.

My Husband and I are watching the World Cup games recorded, in the evening, once the kids are in bed.  It is far more relaxing and enjoyable without a 6 and 8 year old asking every 5 minutes “who is the yellow team?” or “which goal keeper is he?” etc. etc.  So in order to avoid the fervor around the England game I thought I would do a quick outfit post to try and avoid any updates or scores.  I just have to make it through a hair appointment with the kids before I can lock myself away till later when I can enjoy our inevitable victory with a glass of white.

I adore this dress and I know it will be disliked by many – but hey I like to try new things.  It can make me look shapeless where I need shape, but I love how it accentuates my legs.  It’s from Asos and when I ordered it it was also available in white.  This is a US 6 so it fits large.  The sandals are new from Nine West.  I was looking for the perfect mid height heel for running around in on vacation and these fit the bill.  The black are in on sale on Zappos.com and I also have the orange/coral pair which are lush.  Yes – I have so many issues with sandals fitting my wide feet and curly toes, that once I find a style I buy in multiple colors!  I’ve found them in the UK too – here and here in black suede.  These are a US 8 and I am normally an 8 or 8.5 but hate too much sole showing in sandals so tend to always take an 8 in a heeled sandal.

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EN-GER-LAND EN-GER-LAND EN-GER-LAND!

 

Southern girls

One of my great friends is leaving Atlanta to begin her new life with her fiancé in Charlotte.  To wish her on her way several of her girlfriends attended a lovely luncheon on Saturday.  In true Southern style we drank Arnold Palmers and ate chicken salad.  Poppy was lucky enough to be invited along and at one point burst into the room saying “thank goodness you’re all quiet at last!”.  We were listening to a pastor give a blessing.  My poor daughter has inherited my social clumsiness.  Of course she has also inherited some charm and managed to smile sweetly, alleviating any awkwardness:)

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Shoes – Hanna Andersson clogs (on sale) // Dress – H&M

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Dress – Asos (on sale) // Clutch – Boden // Shoes – Clogs by Lotta of Stockholm

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On Friday evening my Husband and I went out for dinner to The Floataway Café – another of our favorites.  It’s a bit out of the way for us so we always drive there instead of cabbing it, so it was quite a tame evening for us:)  Another shocker is that I didn’t wear anything new!

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Shoes – Marks and Spencer (old) // Trousers – Zara (old) // Cami – J.Crew (old) // Blazer – Marks and Spencer (oldish) // Clutch – YSL (old)

However, during the day on Friday I wore my new River Island dress.  The fabric is so comfortable and I got so many compliments on it – it is loud though, so it is hard not to be noticed in it!

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Dress – River Island // Sandals – Zara (old)

I have a crazy week of packing for two climates before the children and I leave for Bury this weekend!  The 2014 vacation countdown is on!

 

My high street crush.

After my success with the River Island jumpsuits I was lured into searching all things River Island on ASOS.com.  Each time I’ve been back to the UK I’ve been more than pleasantly surprised by some of their offerings.  Yes you have to do the mutton check on most of it – but I have a couple of jackets of theirs, and now the jumpsuits, which I love.  So what else can they help me out with this summer?  Well how about some fabulous, bright, summery dresses – all in great comfortable, stretchy fabric!  So easy to throw on with a pair of sandals.

Here are my picks – several of which you’ll see me in over the coming weeks.  I’ve provided ASOS links to make them easily accessible here in the US.

This is the dress that caught my eye first – I love the print – loud and yellow.  I was concerned about sizing but the UK 12 is perfect – the fabric has plenty of stretch in it.  Such a statement dress that is so easy to wear.

yellow and black

 

My love for the yellow dress led me to these two – the same style but a snake print – in both yellow and coral.  Again a dressier version of a t-shirt dress that will take you from day to evening in the summer.

reptile yellow reptile coral

For those of you who are averse to print – this gorgeous pink dress delivers the same impact.

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The following are jersey stretch swing dresses.  Again I tried the UK 12 in both and they are perfect – even around the bust.  These dresses will be great for transitional weather too, and I can see myself wearing them in the Fall with over the knee boots.

This marble print is on sale at just $33!

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The blue leopard print is stunning in real life – the background is more cream than white.

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This dress has to be my favorite.  It’s a swing dress – slightly more fitted around the bust with less stretch so it might be worth sizing up if you are of ample bosom.  I just LOVE the print on this.

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Next a maxi dress. I’ve been on the look out for a tie dye max for a while and this fits the bill perfectly.  I really like a racer back and the side split makes it less restrictive.

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Finally this is a print that caught my eye back in February.  I sized up in this to a UK 14 as it isn’t quite as stretchy and it is body hugging.  Again this is currently on sale at $35.

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Now just for good measure – this one is ASOS, not River Island, but I had so many compliments about my red checked dress that I wanted to share this one with you.  It’s the same style so size down.  Lovely and girly – but it will look great toughened up with a pair of sneakers.  Also on sale at $60.

dropped waist ASOS So get the legs out and get a dress on – you’ve no excuse now!

Finishing off with a couple of outfits from this week.  I’m in workout gear right now, about to take the dog for a run while it is cooler!

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Sneakers – Adidas Samoas with floral trim // Dress – Marks & Spencer Limited Edition (old)

IMG_8489 IMG_8478 Trousers – Zara (old) // Shoes – Marks & Spencer Limited Edition (old) // T-shirt – J.Crew // Cardigan – J.Crew (on sale plus an EXTRA 50% off with code SHOPNOW)

 

My obsession with jumpsuits.

Obsession?  Addiction?  Call it what you will – I LOVE a jumpsuit.  I love the fact that they are quirky, retro and not to everyone’s taste.  I’m a little sad that they are becoming more mainstream.

I’ve acquired a few new ones over the past month – I must stop now as I am not sure I will have time to wear them all over the summer!  At least three of these will be coming on vacation with me so let’s start with those.

First of all this River Island gem.  It was in and out of my ASOS basket for weeks before I finally hit order after seeing Trea model it.  Thank goodness I did – it is amazing.  It is so comfortable (though I did size up to a UK 14 as River Island can be quite small) and it has adjustable spaghetti straps with a popper at the front to maintain your modesty.  I am wearing it here with a body underneath so it doesn’t appear to be too restrictive as far as what underwear you can wear with it – always a concern for me with thin straps as I need to wear a bra.

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So….as I loved this so much I tried this one…and loved it too!  Again River Island from ASOS – I’ve just switched out the cheapo belt it came with for a wider one of my own.

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Now this Zara jumpsuit is all I ask for – leopard print, comfort and a little cleavage for a night out:)  It only comes in small and medium and this is a medium so it is definitely generous sizing for Zara.

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I’ve been eyeing this khaki one online for a while and Cali persuaded me to buy it while we were in NYC last week.  I’m glad she did – I really love it.

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Finally good old M&S!  This photo does not do it justice.  The fabric is so drapey and soft, and it comes in black or navy but the black is sold out online.  It feels so elegant on and it is a fabulous evening piece instead of a dress.  This is a UK 12 but I know many of you taller ladies will be disappointed that it doesn’t come in a longer length too – it may come up too short for you.

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So are you wearing jumpsuits this summer?  Do you say yay or nay?

I’ll leave you today with my outfit from Thursday – one of my favorite t-shirt dresses from ASOS.  Off now to finish assembling IKEA flat packs – 2 loft beds are done so now for the easy pieces!

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Dress – ASOS (on sale) // Sandals – Ancient Greek

 

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My New York City trip!

I am tired.  Very, very tired, but happy.  Very, very happy.

My great friend, Cali, and I arrived in NYC at around midday on Saturday.  The weather was perfect – blue skies and a cool breeze.  We stayed in the Holiday Inn on Lafayette Street – which I have to say was the PERFECT location in the middle of SoHo.

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My travel attire: Sneakers – Stan Smiths // Jeans – J.Crew // T-shirt – Ted Baker (old but similar here) // Cardigan – J.Crew

on the plane

We headed straight out for lunch and found a fabulous place called Delicatessen for mussels and fries.  They also had a ‘Macbar’ so we couldn’t resist the opportunity to taste the mac ‘n’ cheese with confit of duck – as rich and amazing as it sounds!

lots of foodAfter a bottle of prosecco it was time to flex the credit card and we walked around the corner to AllSaints – how convenient that their sale had just started in store!  It hasn’t started online yet so keep your eyes peeled here.  I got a couple of great bargains along with the Rae dress that I just couldn’t resist.

Rae dress

That night we headed out for cocktails at The Pegu Club – of course the new dress was worn.  A fabulous conclusion to a great first day!

The pegu club

Sunday morning began bright and early with maybe the BEST breakfast I have ever had at Jack’s Wife Freda.  I had rose water waffle with fruit, and a lovely pot of tea – unfortunately we were even too early for mimosas to be served on a Sunday!

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My #selfie – sorry no full length outfit shot, but I was wearing the ASOS maxi dress and my favorite Nars Yu lip pencil.  The dress is perfect and even one of the assistants in Barney’s stopped me to tell me she had just ordered it.

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It was then time to head Uptown where we enjoyed pounding the streets and window shopping – but of course we also had to get some gifts from the American Girl Store and then head to Barney’s for a cocktail.  It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

Cali and I selfie

Early that evening we rushed out to an Irish bar near Times Square to meet Avril and see the Belfast Community Gospel Choir perform.  We walked in to the most rousing, amazing sounds. Both Cali and I ended up in tears for the next hour – their singing was so amazing.  I have never felt so emotionally moved by a choir –  being with fabulous friends, in NYC created an incredible experience that I will never forget.  Of course I tried to claim a spot in the choir too:)

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crashing the choirCali and I departed and made our way back downtown…arriving back at our hotel at a little past 4am.  Yep we made the most of it – Russian vodka bars and Speakeasy bars included.

We managed to rally on Monday to meet up with Avril and Gemma Louise at Balthazars for Avril’s birthday lunch.  Cider with ice cubes helped the head:)

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Avril

So today has been tough to say the least, but amazing memories made with amazing friends have made it easier.  I feel very fortunate that I have such a supportive family that let me run off for a weekend of fun with brilliant friends who I love dearly – thanks for making it great Cali, Avril and Gemma Louise!

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IMG_8473Shoes – Ancient Greek // Bag – Alexander Wang Rocco (old similar here) // Jeans – J.Crew // Top – AllSaints Tiko tee // Jacket – my new AllSaints Walker jacket bought in the sale not online right now

 

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