New Year, New Plans, New Books

2016 is going to be the beginning of a decade of travel for our family. We’ve been gradually building to it with longer summer vacations, further afield, and now the kids are turning 10 and 8, we reckon we can resume the some of the adventures we planned pre-kids!

We already have Turkey booked for the summer – lots of travel and Byzantine sites (I have my own personal tour guide in my Husband PhD Ancient History!) and I cannot wait! After this Christmas, we have also planned to travel at this time of year next year. I was so disillusioned with the anti-climax of Christmas Day this year. Probably because we have no family here, but also we consume, relax and gift most of the year these days! We are no longer in a post-War climate where Christmas was once a welcome day of rest, a chance to eat chocolate and forget rations, and enjoy the delights of family! My most favorite day was Christmas Eve when we had our annual visit to Church. Even my agnostic husband is enjoying this trip more and more and values the spirituality, regardless of religion, at this time of year. Next year we plan to be backpacking in Thailand via Hong Kong – well that’s the plan so far…

Oh and last night we went to see Lloyd Cole, which came a close second to my chat with the Father this year. He was epic. I was literally a meter away from him and yes I did yell across a very quiet, singer/songwriter type audience, ‘I LOVE YOU LLOYD!’. He thanked me graciously.

Yes you can hear me singing along…sorry…

Very unflattering photo of myself but we were SUPER excited! I wore the H&M sparkly jumpsuit with my Golden Goose and leather jacket. Lloyd wore a denim suit:)

D and me LLoyd Cole

I have a keepsake too – a guitar pick used by the man himself:)

Finally a few outfits from the holiday – I’ve been rubbish at taking them and to be honest – it’s been quite nice not needing the tripod xx

zaraJeans – Zara // Shoes – Ash // Sweater – H&M (cashmere and now 50% off!) // Jacket – Zara // Bag – PS1

Then later in the day I just switched out the bag and shoes for my Stella McCartney (now 40% off) and my Lowlands.

Lowlands

Sequin trousersTrousers – J.Crew // Shoes – Vince (on sale PLUS an EXTRA 60% off here!) // Bag – Gucci // Top – Mango (on sale here)

Now I’m going to get stuck into this lot.

New books

A warm December is GREAT for us coat lovers!

So this ridiculously warm weather is driving me crazy. It is forecasted to be 75 degrees Fahrenheit here for Wednesday, Thursday and Christmas Day. NUTS.

BUT even though El Niño brings with it warmer weather it DOES mean we are in for some crazy, frigid spring weather – severe weather PSA!

Retailers hate this weather – everyone is already offering sales on winter clothing that has not been needed. Good news for me – an avid coat lover – who will wear one as soon as it dips below 60!

Good old Marks and Spencers have some beauties with 30% off. Reading the reviews I advise sizing down in these, but my goodness they are gorgeous!

First pick is this gorgeous statement collared neck stripe coat.

Marks and Spencer striped coat

Next this checked peacoat is beautiful – I think it will look great oversized but still would size down based on reviews.

oversized peacoat

Also from the Limited Edition this oversized coatigan is beautiful – not many left in stock in a medium! Such gorgeous colors so I’m not surprised.

Marks and Spencer blanket coat

Finally this is a beauty – such a great shape.

Limited cocoon coat

It’s easy to think we’ll get by without coats and knits this winter but I promise you, when they start throwing Spring collections at us in February, we will be freezing our knickers off!

 

 

OOTD catch up!

Yes it’s chaos here! Last week of school done – with the odd day off sick for Poppy – uuurgh. All healthy now thankfully so we are ready to throw ourselves into the festivities! So far we have tickets for Star Wars, and an intimate gig with Lloyd Cole lined up – I’m not sure which I am more excited about. Lloyd possibly – especially after singing his greatest hits full blast in the car yesterday! So before we all sink further into the festive mayhem here is a quick outfit round up from the last few days!

H&M fur coat, Everlane, Proenza Schouler PS1, Golden GooseJacket – H&M // Jumper – Everlane // Jeans – Zara // Sneakers – Golden Goose (40% off here) // Bag – Proenza Schouler (some colors on sale here)

jumper dressJumper – H&M // Faux leather trousers – Zara (similar here) // Boots – Isabel Marant x H&M (old) // Bag – Proenza Schouler (some colors on sale here)

zara blouseJeans – ASOS // Blouse – Zara // Cardigan – Zara // Boots – Acne Jensen (some colors in sale) // Bag – Proenza Schouler (some colors on sale here)

Bells are ringing

Bell bottoms that is…Every so often I tire of my skinnies and boyfriend jeans and crave the leg lengthening, slimming bell bottom. flares 7 flares 6 flares 5 flares 4 Flares 3 Flares 2 flares 1

Here are my picks of the season to help you emulate these amazing Pinterest images.

These were the first to catch my eye from Zara

Zara flare

For not much more you can have a pair in leather.

Zara leather

I settled with these from ASOS as they all have elastic waists – not much to complain about there!

These are Blank NYC pull on cotton mix and come in waist sizes so you can be more accurate with fit.

Blank NYC pull on

Sods law the ones I am wearing today are now reduced – Blank NYC faux leather pull ons. I’m in a 29″ and they are perfect.

faux leather Blank NYC

These crepe flares are fabulous – super comfortable and swishy!

crepe flares

I also ordered the jersey ones to try – I found these slightly looser in the thigh with less of the extreme bell bottom cut. Also now reduced! I tried a US 8 in both of these and again they were spot on.

jersey flares

I nearly got sucked into the sequin legging crew again this Christmas, but I have to say I far prefer these H&M glitter flares on me. I bought a medium and they are amazing. Lovely and fitted through the thigh and that elastic waist will be a life saver over the festive period!

glitter flares

These are similar but gold rather than silver sparkle – also more of a wide leg trousers than a true bell bottom. Again fabulous in a medium on me and the elastic waist makes them like pajama bottoms for Christmas day! I think both would look super with sneakers or a dressier shoe.

Glitter wide leg trousers

And finally here’s how I’m wearing the Blank NYC faux leather pair today. I certainly need a heel with these – my Newburys are high enough but my Sam Edelman Bradleys will be perfect.

Flares - JoannaFlares – Blank NYC from ASOS // Jumper – H&M // Boots – Newbury from Rag & Bone

You may have seen this on Facebook and Twitter but I want to thank Deborah from Fabulous after 40 for my lovely feature. I am truly honored and flattered! You can read my interview here.

Finally some outfits from the past week – it’s too bloody warm here!

culottes 2_edited-1Boots – Sam Edelman Bradley (on sale) // Culottes – Faux leather River Island from ASOS // Top – AllSaints (old)

IM sneakesrJacket – AllSaints // Shoes – Isabel Marant (TheOutnet.com) // Jeans – J.Crew // Shirt – J.Crew (old)

Zara knitShoes – Stella McCartney (NAP Sale) // Knit suit – Zara (old) // Bag – Stella McCartney (NAP Sale now further reduced)

 

 

Cashmere for Christmas

I think my appreciation for the finer things in life has definitely developed over the past 5 years or so. At one point I would have considered cashmere an unnecessary indulgence. These days I can’t live without it at this time of year (well of course I could live without it, but I’d prefer not to have to!!).

My most favorite pieces of cashmere are my Marks & Spencer Rosie for Autograph cashmere lounge pants/pajama bottoms. I call them lounge pants because I never sleep in them – they are purely a winter alternative to sweatpants. I currently have 2 pairs that I have had a couple of years and last night was their first wear of the year. Absolutely blissfully soft they are just gorgeous for slobbing out in, watching the Sunday night football, with a cup of peppermint tea, admiring the Christmas tree!

This year I have treated myself to these additional pieces.

This wrap is beautiful and perfect for throwing over my pjs in the morning – I always have the heating off at night so it can be chilly when we get up!

wrap dressing gown

These are similar to the pairs I already own but have the cuffed hem instead of the straight leg. Just throw a t-shirt on and your done – perfect for after dinner when your waistline needs some sympathy:)

cuffed hem Rosie pajama pants

Finally – these are similar to those that I already have in light grey and black. These days I much prefer grey for around the house – white boxer hair is no friend of black knitwear!

straight leg rosie pajama pants

If you deserve a treat or know someone who does I can’t think of anything more perfect to find under the tree this year!

Finally I’m jumping for joy as the cold has arrived here in Atlanta! Time to get the coats out!

Thank you to Sylvia for featuring me this week in her 40 Plus Style round up!

camelBoots – Sam Edelman on sale here (discounted by $90!!) // Jeans – Zara // Coat – &  Other Stories // Scarf – New Look

militaryBoots – See by Chloé on sale here // Jeans – Zara // Jacket – Mango (similar here) // Jumper – Uniqlo // Bag – Stella McCartney (similar on sale here) // Sunglasses – Tom Ford (on sale here)

Partywear!

Yet again I have very few Christmas parties lined up. Something for which I am truly grateful for – especially when vague memories of drunken Christmas parties from my City days rear their ugly heads! Free wine, dancing and 25 years old – a messy, messy recipe – especially when London black cabs disappear off the streets at midnight, and cell phones are not common place. Yes, yes, yes I am much happier with a lovely dinner out with friends these days!

However, that does not mean to say I don’t like to get the glad rags on still! I’m all for dressing up for the season! This year H&M have knocked it out of the park with sequins and sparkles at great prices, so you can indulge in a one hit wonder for the festive season!

I am all about jumpsuits and boy do they have some amazing ones on offer. Don’t be scared of the romper either – with opaque tights and ankle boots they can be a winner at any age!

This halter neck jumpsuit is stunning – so 70s and very sexy.

glitter jumpsuit

I adore this sequin romper – imagine with opaque tights and some block heeled ankle boots.

sequin romper

How divine is this one shoulder jumpsuit? Again super sexy with a little 80s thing going on. At just $59.99 it’s in my cart as we speak!

one shoulder

I haven’t hit the order button yet as I am torn between that one and this one – it looks incredible comfortable and is just $39.99.

glitter

Another romper – it looks far more expensive than it’s price tag. Just love, love the lace and the high neck – it might not love my boobs though.

black and lace

Finally how stunning is this little number. I so badly want to wear this but fear the neckline is too high for my chest. If you have less up top than me – you lucky girls I implore you to try it!

Jumpsuit red lace

I’m wearing a bit of daytime sequin too from H&M today – this jumper is only $19.99. I’m wearing an XL as I wanted it oversized. I’ve already had compliments a plenty on it at the gas station this morning!

mansur gavriel carine roitfeld Uniqlo Golden goose sequins and furJumper – H&M // Jeans – J.Crew // Sneakers – Golden Goose (several on sale here) // Coat – Carine Roitfeld x Uniqlo // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

Yesterday was spent getting the garden dressed for Christmas. I have spent all morning trying to tell a daft, deaf dog that no matter how loud or often she barks, the ‘intruder’ in the red hat in the garden will not leave as he is inflated, staked in the ground and plugged in!

navy bomber jacket Toga Pulla bootsBomber jacket – TopShop // Jeans – Zara // Boots – navy Toga Pulla // Jumper – AllSaints

Don’t be mad in the UK, but if you’re in the US here’s a treat!

I just spoke to a lovely English lady at Mulberry. She told me how jealous she is that our Mulberry sale starts in the US starts TODAY!!! Unfortunately, the Brits have to wait till after Christmas, but at least our sale may give you an idea of what will be in yours!

Having enjoyed the Mulberry commercial several times, I have just ordered my gift from my Husband this year!

Meet my Bayswater in the ever appropriate Poppy red – now on sale. See darling, I even found you a bargain! I can’t wait for Santa to deliver it…

Mulberry sale