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.

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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)

 

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.

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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

Pounding the pavements.

Inspired by Martha’s post I went for a run this morning for the first time in months.  Injuries and my new love for spin has kept me off the sidewalks, but a looming weekend of partying spurred me on today – plus the weather is perfect here – blue skies and crisp air.  It felt great – just a casual 4 miles – but it reminded me why I love running so much.  I earned my scrambled eggs that’s for sure and Mumford & Sons gave me an added spring in my step for the last half mile.

I wasn’t sure what to wear today – I changed my mind a couple of times.  Our friends from Sweden arrive tomorrow for the weekend, and I have Hugh’s pre-K graduation and Poppy’s birthday celebrations – so lots of activities and outfits to plan!  In the end, after yesterday’s post, I got the legs out again.  This time with the Zara skort that has been featured on 80% of the blogs I read – admittedly worn by girls half my age.  I have the white too and the fabric is lovely and stretchy and comfortable.  You only know they are shorts from behind – and they are short shorts so make sure that razor goes all the way up the back of the leg!;)

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Skort – Zara // Jacket – Zara // T-shirt – Forever21 // Boots – Isabel Marant Dicker

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The Grammys.

Geez where’s my ark?  Half the time here we talk about surviving a drought, but after yesterday I think the reservoirs will be full again.  In fact we woke to flood warnings, trees down and power outages.  The rain is set to continue – good prep for England next week!

I watched some of the Grammys last night and enjoyed sharing a few thoughts over Twitter #Grammys.  Florence Welch and Adele looked amazing and represented England well.  Miranda Lambert looked like a train wreck and sounded worse.  Justin – I’m sorry I’m still trying to understand what all the fuss is about – yes you’re talented, but not my cup of tea.  Rihanna looked and sounded amazing though I still question her taste in men.  It makes me irate in fact.  Oh as did the gratuitous high five and back slapping for Jay-Z when his wife took the stage – is it just me or is it really derogatory to do that?  After my late night on Saturday I had to DVR the second half so will maybe be less critical when I watch that this evening.  Twitter is a great place to follow such events – like with the Golden Globes too – I wonder if the Sate of the Union tweets tomorrow night will be as funny?  Maybe not.

Adele in Valentino

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Florence in custom Givenchy 

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Miranda in a way too short sequin dress.

The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Show

Rihanna and Chris Brown – 4 years ago he beat her up.

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Today I opted for something a little less red carpet, and looking at it now I think I should have added a piece of color.  The tweed jacket is an old Boden favorite.  It’s worn over a J.Crew khaki long-sleeved tee, with an H&M long sleeve linen tee layered over it, with a khaki Zara scarf.  The jeans are Hudson Collin, the boots are Vince Camuto Autumn, and the glasses are Oliver People Wacks in tortoise shell/black.

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I made the mistake this morning of ‘browsing’ the net-a-porter.com site and look what they just got a shipment of here in the US – perfect with shorts in the summer here in Atlanta – mmmmm…

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So what were your thoughts on the Grammys?  Anyone raise your eyebrow?

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14 years!

Another from the archives.

First published September 19th 2012:

MM and I have been married 14 years today!  I remember it all vividly.  The location was The Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey, West Yorkshire.  Neither of us are from anywhere near there – we just wanted a beautiful location and I was obsessed about having a venue that didn’t look like a conference room – I didn’t want “any metal legged chairs”!  We were living in London at the time and we had our hen and stag nights the week of the wedding.  Madness in hindsight.

My hen night was at Kensington Place – a great restaurant in Notting Hill – on the Wednesday night.  I then traveled North back home with my Mum and sister on the Thursday, whilst the boys congregated in London for the stag night.  They traveled up to Skipton on the Friday morning – with Martin, one of the best men, having to side step out of the ticket line to throw up, before getting on the train.  I still feel awful for anyone who was in that line that day!

Friday night was spent at the Devonshire Arms.  I promised myself not to drink – that promise lasted 2 minutes – and a party ensued as all our guests arrived – some we hadn’t seen for a while.  Not a good idea to get carried away on excited energy the night before you get married!  I didn’t sleep a wink that night and I remember sharing a room with Jo, one of my bridesmaids.  In the corridors I could hear MM and his brother howling and giggling – I knew it was going to be a tough morning!

I headed off at the crack of dawn with my Mum and sis to get our hair done.  I felt rough as a badger’s arse but ridiculously excited!  The champers at the salon soon had me buzzing again and it was off back to the hotel to get dressed.  Now remember this is the 19th September in West Yorkshire – all bets would be on rain and clouds but the weather was stunning!  Blue skies and sunshine – in fact a little too warm for some dehydrated folks:)  Later I heard it was quite a miracle that MM made it to the ceremony at all.  He had gone to work off some of the previous night’s excesses in the gym, having forgotten his sneakers he ran barefoot on the treadmill and went flying off the back of it, then he tried to walk downstairs in his flip flops, spilled his cup of water and went flying again!  I’m giggling as I write this – talk about the excesses of youth!

I walked in with my Dad to Pachelbel’s Canon and Simon read The Owl and the Pussycat and we were done!  Mr and Mrs – as easy as that.  The great thing about our venue was that no one had to go anywhere as we used the same room for the ceremony, the reception and the disco.  Our first dance was to ‘Love me Tender’ but I remember the dance floor clearing later too as we whirled each other around to ‘Satisfaction’ by the Stones.  There are some amazing photos of MM and his mate dancing and stripping – yes stripping though not naked thankfully – to ‘Bad to the Bone‘ – many chins were on the floor at this remarkable scene – my Dad’s for one.

The following day we made our way back to London elated, and then on the Monday we jetted off to Northern Cyprus where we traveled with back packs and a jeep for 2 weeks – bliss.

After 14 years and 2 kids not a day goes by when he doesn’t make me laugh – at him or with him:)  Happy Anniversary my lovely.

The photo on my desk!:

Now off to Bacchanalia tonight for a tamer celebration than 14 years ago!

Today’s outfit is all Zara!  TRF blue pants, t-shirt and jersey blazer worn with my Tory Burch Eddies.

 

 

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all!  Not only are the presents wrapped, but the closet is finished hooray!!  That explains my absence over the past couple of days – we had a flurry of energy and decided to just get it done! I promise to share photos of the finished closet soon – I am unable to move as of now due to excessive flat-packing.

Thank you to all of you for making my first year of blogging so much fun – I have made great new friends and it’s been a wonderful learning experience both in the technology and style stakes.

I’ll have lots of outfit photos to follow after Christmas.  So for now I’ll leave you with my all time favorite Christmas songs and I hope Santa brings you all you want xx.

 

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Tinsel and Twine.

Yesterday was so festive!  After taking Hugh for his haircut, which according to Poppy took ‘soooo loooonnng’, we headed to the Westside Provisions District just down the road from us.  We’re so lucky to live near this area.  When we first arrived in Atlanta the Westside was home to Atlanta’s finest restaurant – Bacchanalia, with it’s store front Star Provisions, – but that was about it.  It is an area of old lofts right next to water works, but with Bacchanalia as it’s cornerstone and fabulous views of downtown Atlanta, it has been revived and invigorated by new stores and restaurants.  It’s where I feel most at home in Atlanta as it reminds me so much of Spitalfields, our home back in London, which was once neglected and now has had almost too much investment in recent years.

Anyway yesterday the Westside hosted ‘Tinsel and Twine‘ with Santa, a capella singers, and just a general festive theme.  We had lunch at Taqueria del Sol and I was thrilled that both children ate chicken tacos – yay more Mexican eateries for us:)

The usual shenanigans at the dinner table:

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Poppy and Hugh were enthralled by the singers:

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I wore my festive colors (unintentional I have to say) – the coated trousers are H&M, paired with a long line tank, also H&M, layered under the AllSaints Char jumper (this is the closest I could find though mine isn’t cropped).  The scarf is Zara and the sneakers are the Ash Alex.

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Here’s me trying to get MM to take a quick photo, as people crossing the bridge wait impatiently!:

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In the evening MM and I went back to the Westside for a bite to eat before heading off to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to listen to Handel’s Messiah.  The tickets were a lovely surprise from MM in the lead up to Christmas.  All I can say is amazing.  I blubbed my way through much of it.  I feel like I’m still teetering on the brink of a meltdown after the events of Friday.  Many of those children were born in 2006, like Poppy, and it has really hit me hard.  It felt good to shed some tears for all those grieving parents and say a little prayer while listening to some moving music.

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I managed to persuade MM to take a photo of me – I didn’t get the memo about wearing red and black – EVERYONE else was in their festive colors!  I wore my Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings – these are the most amazing, sexy feeling leggings and are currently reduced to $29.  The sleeveless top is H&M, worn with my Zara jacket and Nine West Blissfully shoes (currently reduced here on Zappos.com) – the bag is the YSL Roady – we were in such a hurry to get out once the babysitter arrived that I didn’t have chance to downsize!

How are you all getting in the festive spirit?

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Falling for Anne.

I have to admit in the past I have dismissed Anne Hathaway as a bit ‘ditzy’ – associating her with dire movies like The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada.  Rachel Zoe also used to make vacuous comments about dressing “Annie” on her reality show and the association with Ms. Zoe did Ms. Hathaway no favors in my eyes.  Well Anne will be relieved to hear that I am slowly falling for her.  Having seen her attend premieres, do interviews, and also having seen some clips for the upcoming Les Misérables, I am finding myself enthralled by her charm, sincerity and talent.

This morning I was watching The Today Show while on the elliptical – as you do – it certainly helps 30 minutes fly by.  Anne was being interviewed by Matt Lauer (another love of mine) and it was the first I had heard of her recent wardrobe malfunction where her panty-less you-know-what was captured on camera as she left the limo.  Matt opened the interview with “we’ve seen a lot of you recently” – guffaw, guffaw.  Now yes I agree the question Matt should have asked is ‘Why no panties Anne?’, but Matt didn’t choose that line of questioning.  Instead he asked Anne ‘what’s the lesson learned?’ – well surely to wear panties – no?  Instead Anne shared her sadness over why someone would photograph her in such a vulnerable position.  As she spoke I found myself full of admiration for this beautiful, articulate woman with the best haircut.  Even her sensitivity over her dramatic weight loss for the role resonated with me.  I think she’d make a great best friend – and I’m willing to forgive her for The Princess Diaries.

Last night she appeared with Jimmy Fallon singing some “Mad Libs” for Christmas Carols – her laughter is infectious:)

Avoiding all photos of the ‘malfunction’ here’s the stunning Tom Ford ensemble she wore with some very bizarre orthopedic knee-brace type shoes.  They distracted me from the lack of panties anyway.

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I still remember balling my eyes out – in fact sobbing loudly – at the stage version of Les Mis in London – I went to see it twice.  I loved it so much I was hesitant about going to see the movie – but now I think I must – just need to remember the box of tissues.

Will you be watching it?

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2 dresses in 2 days.

I’m trying to find my running mojo again.  After a couple of months off, due to injury, getting back into the swing of things is tough.  My motivation seems to have buggered off.  After picking the Christmas tree out this morning I headed home with the intention of doing not much at all.  On my way back though I saw several runners and walkers out and about enjoying the cool air.  Suddenly I was attacked by a pang of guilt and no matter what I did I couldn’t shake it – I had to go out for a run.  So I did.  It was hard work but I did it and enjoyed it a bit.  Now I need to climb that hill back to where I enjoy it a lot – fingers crossed the stamina returns quickly.  Billy Joel helped me find my rhythm this morning – I really need to play him more.

Without a doubt connected to the lack of running, my choice of clothing has been driven more and more by comfort recently.  Another reason to get the running shoes back on otherwise half my closet won’t fit anymore.  I don’t wear dresses/tunics nearly as often in the winter as I do in the summer – not sure why as with a pair of tights and boots a knitted dress can actually be warmer than wearing trousers.  Yesterday I wore the Boden smocked tunic dress with M&S cable knit tights (mailed by Mum last winter!) and my Frye Phillip studded harness boots.  Now admittedly the tunic may not be the most flattering item of clothing I own, but I still like it a lot.  It is incredibly soft and really easy to wear.  Unfortunately most of the smaller sizes are currently sold out here – but definitely worth stalking – I’d suggest going down a size too if you are between sizes as it is generous.  On another note Boden have 35% off party pieces until midnight on Sunday – worth a look if you have some fun festive parties approaching!

Now yesterday I made quite a commitment to Poppy – I promised her we would make our own salt dough ornaments.  Yes my first foray into crafting – clearly I am losing my mind.  Once again I am all talk and no action – we’ve baked 6 so far…not enough to decorate more than 2 branches on my 8ft tree.  I’m trying to relax and not get too involved – but aaargh how difficult can it be to roll some dough out evenly…?  Step away from the children and leave them to it!

Anyway in my eagerness to be well prepared and collect salt, flour, acrylic paints etc. etc. I headed off to Target.  Fatal.  It took me 45 minutes to get past the clothing section.  Somehow this incredible beauty jumped into my cart – in both colorways too.  Now forgive me if I am wrong but it is incredibly similar in style (if not a complete copy) to the AllSaints solstice dress that retailed at a fair bit more than this Converse number at $30!  Rather happy with it it has to be said:)

I teamed it with H&M leggings, Newbury boots and then an old H&M scarf and my Zara quilted leather jacket.  I feel polished but comfortable…perfect!

I also walked out with my festive t-shirt for Christmas day!

Will have some exhibits regarding the tree and homemade ornaments soon hopefully! x

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Just so I can learn the words.

I have to confess.  I have just bought Taylor Swift’s new album Red.  I can justify it though – I’ve bought tickets to take Poppy (yes for my daughter – not for me) to see her in April – and you can’t go and see a show without learning all the words can you?  And yes, I do love her new anthem/song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”.  You will see me quite happily, belting my lungs out to it in the carpool line.  Needless to say I’m very excited and I’m desperately trying to keep it a secret so I can surprise Poppy come April.

Tis freezing here in Atlanta today so it’s time for layers.  I started with the H&M t-shirt dress and layered the AllSaints Godiva jumper on top.  The black jeans are Gap from a while ago, and I’m wearing my Acne Pistols.  I am completely in love with these boots.

Before heading out I put on my Boden leopard print scarf from last year and Boden shrunken leather blazer from a couple of years ago.  I love this jacket even though most people complained about it being too short.

Off to get my headphones out to listen along to Taylor – must remember not to sing along in the office…:)

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