A new children’s tv presenter?

I only ask this question as those of you who remember Floella Benjamin and Brian Cant may see why my jumpsuit and fringed sneakers made me think of them today! I’m ready to step in a present Play Away anytime!

I am head over heels in love with these new premium leather fringe Converse. SO comfortable – I always seem to take half a size down in Converse – these are a US 8 instead of my usual US 8.5.

Converse

My jumpsuit is similar to the navy version that Alex shared a photo of on Instagram. Both are sold out but stalk the navy one – it keeps coming back into stock.

jumpsuitJumpsuit – ASOS (similar here) // Jacket – Maje (TheOutnet.com) // Sneakers – Converse // Bag – Stella McCartney // Scarf – Boden (old – 20% off pants, skirts, shoes and accessories today!)

It’s been a pretty cold week again here so I’ve mainly been donning variations of a theme – coats and scarfs! This coat was an absolute bargain in the Zara sale.

White coatSneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – Diesel Fayza // Jumper – Uniqlo cotton cashmere // Coat – Zara // Bag – Proenza Schouler // Scarf – Zara (old)

A weekend packed with cheer competitions is coming up so it’s going to be fun and busy! I can’t wait for all those sequins and sparkles! So much rehearsal goes into a 2 1/2 minute performance!

Get an extra 20% off clearance prices!!

You can get my favorite Stella McCartney fur bag right now with an extra 20% off using code sale20 – it’s already reduced 50% – too good to miss – I adore it and always get complements on it! There’s so much more too that you can take advantage of the extra 20%! Here’s the bag in all it’s glory today!

red coatBag – Stella McCartney (extra 20% off already discounted price with sale20) // Boots – Acne Jensens (sold out in silver but similar here) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Shirt – Zara (old) // Coat – Zara // Scarf – Zara (not online – in sale)

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Atlanta after all the snow of the weekend so we headed out for a long lunch.

AllSaints jacketBoots – TopShop Magnificent boots // Jeans – JBrand Selena // Jumper – Everlane cashmere // Shearling coat – AllSaints (similar here in sale) // Bag – Mulberry

The weather was a sharp contrast from Saturday when we all went for a blissful 4 mile walk in the snow! I knew my Sorels would come in handy! This brilliant parka is in the sale too – I love it – so warm!

Uniqlo parkaCoat – Uniqlo on sale // Boots – Sorel // Trousers – H&M

 

Get the glow in January!

I’m sitting here looking out of my office window and it is GREY! In fact almost dark. There is a Nor’easter heading towards us. Fortunately, I think, we are only going to get pummeled by rain as our temperatures are rising. In weather like this I always love wearing my darker greys and blacks, but when it comes to makeup I want my skin to glow with health! I am drinking a lot of water which helps – but you can’t beat some good moisturizer and makeup products at this time of year! I love treating myself to some little ‘feel good’ cosmetics to beat the January blues.

Here are my favorites which I am using constantly at the moment!

Hourglass have become one of my go to cosmetic brands. Not cheap, but their products last forever and do what they say on the tin. So many people have mentioned recently how good my skin looks and I attribute it to this palette. You can use the powder to highlight and apply it intensely on the cheek bones, or apply it more liberally to give an overall glow.

ambient lighting pallette

Buxom lip cream is a favorite of mine. It has an amazing tingly sensation when you apply it which apparently helps to plump your lips. I adore White Russian – it’s a lovely nude gloss that brightens your face.

Buxom lip polish

Recently I’ve gone what I consider to be ‘old skool’ with my skin care. I’ve tried more expensive options but believe me they ain’t worth it. The good old Body Shop comes out tops in my book time and time again. Especially with their Drops of Youth and Oils of Life skincare ranges. I apply this essence every morning after washing and before I put any serum or moisturizer on. It kind of prepares your skin to absorb the moisture.

drops-of-youth-essence-lotion_l

This serum is lush. I apply it in the morning and before bed. Super hydrating and it smells divine.

intensely-revitalizing-facial-oil_l

I also love the gel cream from the same range. I love the texture – it’s not greasy at all and absorbs in an instant ready for you to apply foundation.

intensely-revitalizing-gel-cream_l

The body shop Vitamin C range has always been a go to line for me – especially when traveling. Nothing gives you a better boost than applying some of this in flight (I often decant into smaller pots for travel). This one really does make me giggle because it is perfect for ‘grumpy skin’!

vitamin-c-glow-boosting-moisturizer_l

I’ve just reordered this (if you join the Body Shop rewards program it gives you a 10% discount off each purchase.) I love this and use it each day, with or without makeup.

vitamin-c-instant-glow-enhancer_l

I don’t wear a lot of foundation – sometimes I just apply a little concealer on after the above glow enhancer. When I do wear it Hourglass is my brand of choice – I love their Illusion skin tint – it is a little heavier in consistency than the name suggests and you only need a tiny amount for a flawless finish.

hourglass illusionjpg

Most important to me at this time of year is a fab, fab lip color! I am wearing Mac Pink Pigeon today, and my favorite nude color from them MAC at the moment is Kinda Sexy.

Mac matte lipstick

I doubt I will ever wear another blusher than this – NARS orgasm – it’s just the perfect hue for a glow winter or summer.

Nars blusher

A new discovery this season, for me at least, is the NARS multiple stick. I’ve always been a tad scared about application. I run Copacabana gently along my cheek bone and then Portofino in a line slightly below it, BEFORE applying my blush on the apples of my cheeks. I use a firm angled brush to gently blend the multiple and it leaves a gorgeous dewy sheen.

Nars multiplt

And that folks is how I get my glow on this winter! Along with buckets of water!

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What are your favorite products this winter? A great hand cream is always a necessity and I am still searching for the perfect hydrating, non greasy formula!

Finally here are a couple of outfits from the past couple of days. It’s been pretty chilly here!

ASOS coatCoat – ASOS on sale // Jumper – H&M on sale // Jeans – Zara (old) // Boots – Isabel Marant by H&M (old) // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

Leopard print coatCoat – Mango on sale // Boots – Stuart Weitzman 5050s // Jeans – Zara (old) // Jumper – Everlane // Scarf – Asos (similar here) // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

Potatoes?

I realized that yesterday was my 4 year blogversary! I’ve picked one of my very first posts to share – and it’s not a fashion related one either! Thank you all for your continued support and here’s to another 4 years!

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One of the difficult decisions to be made when starting a blog is what to call it.  I thought I had some inspired ideas but when it came to getting the url it appeared others had had the same idea. So when I named this blog Poppy’s Style I was not only trying to make it personal to me and therefore hopefully more unique, but also ‘style’ was used to be all encompassing regarding my style of doing things as well as my fashion style. I want to take the opportunity in this blog to talk about all things I have done, dream to do and even things I have questioned doing…in addition to my passion for fashion.

After turning 40 last year I think I went through one of those ‘oh my goodness I haven’t achieved anything with my life’ moments.  Yes I know I have 2 brilliant children and a fabulous man but what about my achievements as an individual? As I looked back all the way to starting secondary school (middle school age for US readers) certain themes emerged.  I’ve always been driven to do my best, never doubting my academic abilities, but I get bored easily and need variety. In my career, before my current role, I’ve never stayed with a company for more than 2 years – my resume looks awful due to the number of companies listed on there…it took me a while to realize the grass is never greener and actually the corporate life just isn’t for me.  I tried to stick with it as I was driven to keep getting the higher salary, bigger office and better title but as often happens the added responsibility, hours etc. just didn’t make me happy especially with 2 little ones.  I wanted to be ‘SuperMom’ but my heart wasn’t in it and my enthusiasm for work was dwindling which meant I actually wasn’t doing a very good job.

Sometimes I think I ‘failed’ in the corporate world and often wonder what career would have suited me better?  I remember career counseling at school when I was in my early teens and I always dreamt of being a Doctor – a pediatrician actually, but maybe my fear of failures stopped me from pursuing it as only really smart people become Doctors no? So instead of medicine I decided to be a research scientist. In the UK it’s unfortunate that your University discipline is pretty much decided at 16 when you choose your A’level topics – or at least that’s how it was back in 1986.  I was good at science and far more interested in it than any of the humanities and I actually loved wearing a lab coat and doing practicals – I loved numbers too which helps – I still get excited creating formulas in spreadsheets:) Anyway my A’levels were Biology, Chemistry and Physics and I ended up studying Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University of St. Andrews.

I had a great experience at St. Andrews and long before Will and Kate ever made headlines I met MM there working in a bar together. I was 19 and he was 24 doing his PhD in Byzantine History. Twenty years on he’s still the love of my life, my best friend and my greatest cheer leader (he was the one that suggested I start blogging), and there are many stories along the way of how we have survived through thick and thin which I will no doubt divulge in later posts. Anyway the point is HE had a PhD – therefore I must get one!!  Yes that was one of my main motivators for applying for my PhD – plus back in the early ’90s there were very few jobs to be had so being a student for another 4 years seemed like a better option than the dole.

Hence the title of this post – I studied potatoes for 4 years…the mind boggles that I managed to stick it out and complete my thesis when so many of my peers were abandoning their studies on far more interesting, relevant topics. “The Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of Bruising in Potatoes” is the title of my thesis – it was written in a tiny flat, with no central heating and various fungi growing in it (a Biochemist should be thrilled no?) on Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, on one of the first Apple Mac computers. My acknowledgments in my thesis thank my FIL who provided us with many dinners out when the bailiffs were knocking on our door. It was certainly an odd time – living in one of the most glamorous areas in London with zero money to our name.

Well I got my Doctorate and published a couple of papers but oddly enough the most important thing I learned in those 4 years was that I never wanted to see a test tube or a lab coat ever again – I was done with exploring potatoes – the only place I wanted to see them again was on a plate next to a piece of fish. An achievement of sorts but one that only led to more decisions – wrong and right – about how I should earn a living.

Photos show my thesis which sits in a display cabinet collecting dust.

The book

For Mum and DadTitle pageAcknowledgementsGels

Planning for my trip

My trip to England each February is now a regular occurence – I look forward to it so much, and it is perfectly timed to battle the January blues. I have 5 or 6 weeks post Christmas to look forward to seeing my family and friends, and spend the dark, cold evenings with my excel spreadsheet planning what to pack! I actually don’t do too much shopping when I am back in England, except for my pilgrimage to M&S, so it’s always quite a challenge packing lightly for the cold and inevitable rain. I need ‘going out’ clothes, cool yet comfortable footwear for tramping around London, comfy loungewear, and enough layers and good shoes for a couple of long walks with Mum and Dad.

Of course in writing my list a couple of additional ‘wants’ have arisen. The first is this spectacular coat that I spotted on The Telegraph fashion pages online. It’s so Emmanuelle Alt with the tie belt and checks. It comes in two color ways – I’ve ordered both to try but LOVE the mustard. I’m thinking about it for London. I get so hot in and out of stores but I need a coat/jacket. It would be perfect with my JBrand Selenas and TopShop sock boots.

Mustard Mango coat Checked coat

Now it’s FREEZING here today and I’ve been living in my Uggs in and around the house. Mum and Dad have been sending me images of the deep snow in Bury and to say they’ve made me shiver is an understatement. I need to take my Uggs with me – but mine are a very light sand suede. Not made for Bury mud. These however are – and I can even venture out in them – the zips make them a little edgier than regular Uggs. They’ll be perfect for the airport too…justifying purchase….I know….They must be cool as Eve and Michelle both have them too.

Uggs

Now I really don’t need another pair of jeans. At all. How I adore these though. The Diesel Krailey coated joggjeans. I still love my Fayza joggjeans – so comfortable – and the coated Krailey is a little more elevated, yet still super cool.

Diesel jeans

Finally – as an option for wandering the Big Smoke in comfort – how about these stunners? I love flatforms and have a silver lace up pair from Zara last year. This season they have introduced these gold brogue Prada tributes.

Zara gold

So there you go. My spreadsheet list, needless to say, needs some refining. Helped along hopefully as we get closer to departure date and the weather forecast becomes a little more reliable! The first year I went it snowed in London and was FREEZING, but last year I was sitting outside and it really wasn’t that cold at all!

As I mentioned it is the coldest day of winter here today. It’s also MLK day so we’ve all been home. I started the day with a cold, brisk, invigorating run! Then we headed off to watch Norm of the North and out for a late lunch. Much fun was had! I got my new glasses too – I love them – they’re so comfortable!

Here’s my outfit round up from the past few days for those of you not on Instagram.

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 5.54.07 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 5.54.21 PM

Winter whiteJumper – H&M // Jeans – Zara (old in sale) // Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury // Bag – Anya Hindmarch (old off TheOutnet.com)

Haff dress (1)Dress – AllSaints Haff dress // Boots – Stuart Weitzman Highland // Bag – Alexander McQueen De Manta

1_15 Poppysstyle (1)Jumper – H&M (similar here on sale) // Trousers – Zara pleather leggings // Scarf – Zara (old) // Coat – Zara (sale) // Shoes – Adidas Superstar slip ons (similar here)

Be quick with this Extra 20% off sale code!

Following on from my post the other day regarding H&M I noticed last night that in the US we have an extra 20% off code that is valid through today. Something to do with our long weekend for MLK day – but basically an attempt to clear their stock – and it just might work – there are some gems!! The code is 3298, and in the UK there is a free shipping code which is 6407.

Here are my picks for your quick smash and grab!

I paid full price for this sweater back in September. I adore it – it is one of my favorites. In fact I’ll be wearing it later today if you check out my instagram feed. It is the ultimate, oversized, snuggly jumper. It comes in grey too. I have a small so it is super oversized! Perfect with leggings and skinny pleather jeans. I cannot rave enough about it!

mohair sweater

I saw this sweater in store back in September but bought the one above instead. Frances showed it on her IG feed the other day and with the extra 20% I have ordered this teal version. I love the shirt tail sewn in as I hate to wear a shirt – I fiddle with the buttons all the time!

maohair shirt sweater

This off the shoulder sweater is beautiful. It’s such a soft knit. Again it’s sitting in my closet and I may even wear it for dinner out with my husband tonight – still debating my attire:)

off the shoulder sweater

I get so many compliments when I wear this cardigan. It reminds me of the big granddad cardigans I used to wear at university. The color is perfect too!

mohair cardigan

I wanted this sweater so badly for Christmas but it sold out in a day! I saw them on eBay for $50! I’m tempted to buy it for next year!

elfie selfie

I have this knit in the black and white fleck – this stripe is gorgeous – and the knit is lovely and slouchy. An absolute bargain with the extra 20%!

knit sweater

I wear this cashmere dress as a tunic over leggings. The quality of the cashmere is fabulous.

cashmere dress

This cowl neck sweater is great with jeans or sweats and I love it for lounge wear at home.

cowl neck sweater

These three jackets are fabulous value – so Marant – really beautiful tied or untied. I ordered the first two the other day and have just reordered with the extra 20%. The pile one is in and out of my basket at the moment!

patterened coat patterned coat grey pile jacket

Don’t forget the Extra 20% ends today! There’s also lots of great sportswear in the sale too to stock up on!

Finally my outfit from yesterday. Bloody love these JBrand jeans!

Zara cardiganJeans – JBrand // Boots – TopShop // Cardigan – Zara (sale) // Jumper – Uniqlo cashmere (old) // Scarf – ASOS // Bag – Stella McCartney

A brand that’s gaining my love again….

I’m talking about H&M. My local branch here usually looks likes a jumble sale. If I see something online I can guarantee I will NEVER find it in store, and vice versa. However, recently when I have taken the chance online without trying, I have more than often been pleasantly surprised. I swear the in store merchandising can make everything feel SO cheap. Trying it in the comfort of your own home, with your own accessories etc. can make the world of difference. My biggest gripe though is the restocking/return fee – that is just wrong – hide it in the price – don’t penalize me for returning something!!

So here goes – things I want to take the chance on, or already have, from H&M this season!

I will go a million miles for a great pair of harem pants and here are THE perfect pair of harem joggers. I am waiting patiently for the charcoal grey to come into stock.

H&M harem

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I’m sure you have already all caught on to the new cropped flare jeans. Super flattering and they look perfect with sneakers, ankle boot and sandals. Not looking for the J.Brand price? Well check out these two options from H&M – I rate their jeans highly – and both these styles are available in blue or charcoal denim.

high flare kick flare

And this jacket…I ummed and ahhed over this Marantesque jacket yesterday. Needless to say my Facebook pals all told me I was foolish to leave without it…

jacket

H&M coat

I have to say I have bought high and low with workout gear. I LOVE dressing up for the gym. It really helps motivate me…shallow I know…but H&M’s sportswear performs, looks great and is a great price point.

sports tights sports tights 2

Finally – I posted this on instagram the other day – for me it is the perfect blend of masculine tailoring and feminine detailing. A shirt with a tie waist.

tie blouse

So do you shop at H&M – online or in store? I personally find UK stores just as overwhelming but with a much better selection of stock…?

As for the past couple of days I have  been enjoying freezing cold weather thanks to my M&S coats!

M&S coatCoat – Marks & Spencer (sold out online) // Sweater – Everlane // Pants – ASOS // Sneakers – Nike Air Force 1s // Bag – Proenza Schouler

M&S checked coatCoat – Marks & Spencer // Jeans – Zara (old) // Boots – Toga Pulla // Bag – Proenza Schouler // Sweater – Boden (old) // Scarf – H&M (old)

RIP David Bowie

We hear about celebrity deaths all the time in the media. My normal reaction, such as when Lemmy died, is ‘Oh that’s sad, such a shame’, and we move on. We didn’t know them but we may have admired their art, and we take a second to acknowledge the world without them. Something was different this morning though when I learned of David Bowie’s death. It was so, so shocking, tragic and it knocked me sideways. Maybe it’s because he was always reinventing himself we were just waiting for his next guise? Maybe because we’d just celebrated his 69th birthday by listening to his new album? Maybe because as I grew up there had ALWAYS been David Bowie. David Bowie can’t die!? The last time I cried over someone’s death who isn’t a friend or relative was when Diana died. This morning as I read my Facebook newsfeed I was overwhelmed by a sense of loss. I watched his Live Aid appearance and burst into tears. Poppy and Hugh wondered what was wrong – I smiled and told them I was sad about an amazing singer dying. We all know he was much more than a singer. ‘Let’s Dance’ was the first album I bought and I wore it out. When I listen to it on Spotify it evokes so many emotions of love, fun, drama and teenage angst. I’ll be playing it all day today.

David-bowie-lets-dance

Thin white duke

There wasn’t much debate over what to wear today – my Bowie t-shirt was out.

pistol 1Boots – Acne Pistol (on sale here)// Jeans – Zara // T-shirt – ASOS (old) // Jacket – AllSaints // Bag – PS1 // Scarf H&M (old)

Back on Thursday it was a day for leggings – I’m all about comfort right now!

Leggings and shearlingSneakers – Nike // Leggings – ASOS // Jumper – H&M // Jacket – AllSaints (similar here on sale) // Bag – Alexander Wang Diego (TheOutnet.com)

 

MOT month

Every January I get my MOT done (for the US readers an MOT is a reference to cars that get their road worthiness checked every year – it’s called the MOT test!). This includes my dermatology skin checks, ob/gyn visit, and my annual eye test! I encourage everyone to get into the habit of it – it’s a pain to make all these appointments, but I would never have had my melanoma identified this time last year if I hadn’t had my annual skin check.

I was thrilled this morning that my blood pressure reading was just 111/69. I’m convinced this is due to my change in diet. I normally have blood pressure at the higher end of normal and it can shoot up at the doctors due to white coat hypertension. Skin check was all clear too thankfully. Now I can look forward to new glasses on Monday!

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Ok enough with the health lecture. On to some shopping. It’s brass monkeys here at them moment and I’ve been cruising the coat sections. This coat from ASOS is gorgeous, and even better it’s reduced! I’m torn between the khaki (keeps popping back into stock) or the grey.

khaki ASOS coat ASOS coat with seam

Also I must tell you about these fabulous harem joggers from H&M – new in, and I am wearing mine today. Super comfortable, great quality and just $29.99 in a variety of colors. I’m wearing a medium.

H&M harem

Perfect for on and off at the doctors!

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.51.51 AMJoggers – H&M // Jumper – Zara (sale – can’t see online) // Coat – Zara (old) // Shoes – Isabel Marant Bobby (old) // Bag – Alexander Wang Diego (off TheOutnet.com)

Finally – yes I got out there again – it was freakin’ freezing but the sleeve says it all…

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.51.39 AMShoes – New Balance Vazee (best running shoes I’ve ever worn!) // Tights – Nike (on sale) // Top – Nike

Starting 2016 the right way

I was reading Nikki over at Midlifechic.com the other day. Her Project Happier really struck a chord with me.

I am a naturally outgoing person, being a Leo, and mostly love being around other people. I would say 90% of the time I am naturally happy and I always tend to take things in my stride. Over the past couple of years though that remaining 10% has raised it’s ugly head more regularly than I’d like.

I think I’ve always felt a sense of loss since moving to Atlanta. As much as I love living here, grief at having ‘lost’ my life in the UK can occur. It’s a sense of ‘loss’ and ‘being lost’. In 2015 I think it was exacerbated by my melanoma diagnosis. As amazing as my husband and family are, it was trying going through something so traumatic away from ‘home’. I went on anti-depressants for a while which ultimately led to a 40lb weight gain in a very short period of time. At the end of the year I decided the pills weren’t really needed and that the weight gain was probably exacerbating any ‘sadness’ I was experiencing. So I am starting 2016 with my own ‘Project Happiness’. I’m going to tackle that troublesome 10% and flip it to HAPPY!

I’ve started with a clean eating program – Whole30. I’ve always exercised frequently – if you follow on Instagram myself and a few others still use #PSFitClub for motivation. It’s now time to fix my food intake. I yo-yo a lot and I LOVE food. Living in the South with fried grits, biscuits and fried chicken does not help! So instead of following a ‘diet’ I have immersed myself in what I hope will be a ‘lifestyle’ change. In fact I have just taken the kids to their favorite diner for breakfast before school resumes tomorrow, and as torturous as I knew it would be watching them consume pancakes and syrup and vanilla milkshakes, I actually really enjoyed my omelette with sliced tomato. Honest! Whole30 isn’t supposed to be about weight loss – more to do with resetting your digestive system and ridding yourself of sugar cravings, but I’m hoping with the workouts I will be on the right path to regaining my svelte figure in a healthy manner. It’s also supposed to help your mind too – it really is compelling reading. I’ll keep you posted and my Instagram will give you a glimpse of my daily eating and challenges if you are interested!

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.00.07 PMJumper – Everlane // Coat – Zara // Bag – Mansur Gavriel // Jeans – Zara (old) // Sneakers – Nike Air Max

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.00.20 PMSneakers – Nike Thea in Olive // Pants – Reebok (on sale here) // Jumper – H&M // Bag – Mansur Gavriel // Hat – Nordstrom (old but blue on sale here)