Sweden, douze points.

Some days you just know you got it right.  Even if others don’t agree it doesn’t matter because you know you nailed it.  Whether it’s the way a scarf picks out the colors, the new shoes you’re wearing, or even just the right piece of underwear – you feel damn hot when you walk out of the door and there ain’t no shame in that.

I’m having one of those days today.  It’s an outfit I threw together last minute as I was initially envisioning brown leggings but then discovered they were in still to be washed.  Thank goodness for that – what a dowdy outfit it could have become!  Instead I was inspired by the blush trim on my H&M scarf and went for my favorite blush Express Zelda jeans.  The sweater dress is the incredible bargain from H&M that I got at the weekend – just $25 and SO soft.  I adore the tulip shape and the asymmetrical hem.  Now the boots maybe what make the outfit – at least I feel like I’m in heaven wearing them – and it’s their first outing!  The amazing Acne Pistols.  Now I know what all the fuss is about.  They are a ridiculous indulgence but they are freakin’ cool.

So now for the explanation of the title of this post for my non-European readers.  In Europe we have a fascinating phenomenon known as the Eurovision song contest.  Held every May, qualified European countries enter a ‘singing’ competition in order to be ridiculed by the rest of Europe.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been some amazing success stories – ABBA being the most prolific (and they’re Swedish, continuing to prove the point I am trying to make).  However the vast majority of us watch it to see which country has the most eccentric entry – and believe me there have been many as seen here.  Anyway in the 2 hour long voting process that takes place afterward where each country awards points, based sometimes on political agendas, the highest awarded is 12.  Point distribution is read in English and French – hence “Sweden, douze points!” from this little ole judge here:)  Phew…was it worth it?  Anyway douze points goes to the Swedes because they really are quite clever – not only do they have a fantastic standard of living, a great education system and fabulous childcare facilities –

1. Where would I be without H&M this Fall?

2. My IKEA Pax closet is the best invention ever and is taking shape in my closet as you can see in today’s photo – beyond thrilled I tell you.

3. Acne – well what more can I say about my beautiful boots?

4. Our great friends Simon and Karin live in Stockholm.

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The Newburys.

Oh yes – the new boots are fabulous – as one would hope – I have Paolo Nutini ringing in my head as I strut around in them.  They’re higher than you think but with the padded foot bed they are incredibly comfortable.  I am in love with them.  Really does now make me question why I have all those other boots in my closet…I guess my daughter will grow into them one day.

I’m loving the red today – funny how some mornings I question it and other mornings I feel like I am totally rocking it.  I really do think it all depends on the clothes – I have to choose wisely around the hair.  It’s not restrictive – but some things just feel ‘more right’ with it.  These clothes today feel perfect with it – the Newburys may of course have something to do with the joy.  I’ve since thrown a scarf on as it is a little nippier here today.  The leather quilted jacket is Zara, and this is one of my first AllSaints purchases from about 4 years ago – it’s a jumper dress and I can’t for the life of me remember the name of it – think it began with ‘v’?  The leggings are Boden – possibly the best leggings in the world, and then – ta da – the boots are Rag & Bone.  Due to the colorless outfit I went full on with the red lips today too:)



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I want a drum kit.

In fact I need a drum kit – do you know why?  I am going to be Jack White’s new drummer.  In my dreams.  He was unbe-freakin-lievable last night.  His all girl band were also pretty darn good – and I was mesmerized with his drummer.  She has the coolest job around as far as I am concerned.  Jack’s stage presence was amazing.  We had fabulous seats and could see everything.  He moved around the stage with such energy thrashing out hits from Blunderbuss and finishing with ‘Seven Nation Army’ which the audience went wild for – especially me.

All the way through the show I couldn’t help thinking how tall Jack is – but on mentioning this to MM his theory is that he is actually only 5ft and surrounds himself with short women to make him look tall, conjuring all sorts of Spinal Tap Stonehenge images for me:)

An amazing night and my ears are still ringing.

Here are my outfits from yesterday – I was off work as my daughter was still on Fall break – but it was really chilly here so time for the knee length boots to make an appearance!  The jeans are Primark, jumper is the AllSaints Godiva jumper, and the boots are Vince Camuto Autumn which unfortunately I can no longer locate on the website.

For the gig I went AllSaints again – Delors pipe leather trousers, Phinius top (both from 2010) and then I decided to match my shoes to my hair with my Sam Edelman Petty boots in British Burgundy:)

I Love Jack White

And the verdict is in…

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He’s coming!!

SO excited!!  Jack White just announced new tour dates and Atlanta is included!!! MUST remember to buy tickets when the are released this weekend – he’s playing at the Fabulous Fox so it will be an amazing night – I MUST get tickets!!  Giddy with excitement:)

Moving on – you all know how much I love to wear a scarf these days and Avril at SchoolGateStyle.com has been really helpful with some new ways to tie a scarf – well now Mint Velvet, who I discovered when I was back in the UK in June, have released this fabulous video with 10 ways to tie a scarf.  I love this video – it is the perfect speed – not too slow so that you get bored, and not too fast so that you have no idea what they are doing – watch it – it will inspire you on your scarf wearing days!  Personally I love the plait.


Even MM loves a good scarf and he has several that he has acquired over the years.  I think it began as a way to replace his bandana that he wore in his student days.  For me it is great – it’s a whole new array of gifts for me to choose from for him and Mr. Porter have a great selectionPaul Smith is my favorite designer for a good men’s scarf and this is a Paul Smith scarf he’s wearing here last winter – at the OK Cafe with Hugh and his long hair:)

Today I’m wearing my Boden Limited Edition silk feathers top from a couple of years ago – I love it – I rarely wear it and I don’t know why – it’s so easy to wear and can be washed so it’s really easy to care for. I have paired it with my Hudson jeans and Sam Edelman Louie boots in rose taupe – they coordinate with the top perfectly!


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A little worse for wear.

That’ll be me not Kenny or Glenn, who for 2 guys in their 70s put on an amazing show last night.  They sang all their classics and even though Glenn needed 3 teleprompters he rallied the crowd with jokes regarding memory loss.  Poor guy – growing old can be cruel sometimes – physically he looks amazing and his tenor voice still sounds crystal clear.  As he sang his last song, with 3 of his children behind him in the band, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house – I was sobbing!  Kenny was pretty awesome too, though I did feel a bit short changed by ‘The Gambler’ which personally I think should have been his encore instead of ‘Islands in the Stream’ – I never realized so many of his hits were ballads – MM was not impressed…AC/DC is much more up his alley!  The AJC have written a great review here.  I danced my pants off and enjoyed a bottle of cava along with our picnic so yes a little worse for wear today – I shall be spending it holding the sofa down watching the Tour de France.  Incidentally the Tour is going from Limoux to Foix today where, in my experience, you can get the best omelet and frites followed by the most expensive MacDonalds in the World!

You can just make out Glenn here in the white shirt:

The best omelet and frites back in Limoux in 2010!

Hugh liked his nuggets too:)

For the show I went a little bit country and wore my Boden Boho tunic which I love – so comfy and yet quite dressy – perfect for a summer evening out.  It’s currently in the sale at $82.80 – still pricey but worth it in my eyes for a great summer dress.  I should also mention the amazing customer service I had from Boden this week.  They further reduced the price of several items – some of which I had bought at the start of the sale – after one quick email to them they credited my Boden account with the price difference of the items and checked my other orders for me to see if any other items had been reduced – so I now have $95 ‘extra’ sitting waiting to be spent when the new AW collection goes live!  Boden truly are fabulous.

I wore it with my new Sam Edelman Louie boots in rose taupe – they are just gorgeous – such an unusual color, especially for a boot and the leather is exquisitely soft.

Earlier in the day we headed out to the park with the children and Tennyson.  The weather is a bit overcast here with lots of storms rumbling through so it wasn’t really pool weather.  I wore my Express Zelda white crops which I love and have great stretch, my white Converse – I always forget how fun and comfortable these are to wear, and a steal from the Zara sale – a $10 oversize t-shirt in a lovely flamingo pink – really soft and drapey.  Since I got the Boden Bloom oil cloth beach bag in the sale for the pool I’m now using my Union Jack Beachcomber bag for day use – it’s so fun but unfortunately sold out.

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There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

Oh yeah baby – tickets are bought for what should be a tremendous night out on Saturday – Glen Campbell and Kenny Rogers together at Chastain Amphitheater!  To say I am excited is an understatement.  MM and I have seen a few acts over the years at Chastain most notable were The Pet Shop Boys and Willie Nelson – both were fantastic nights.  Chastain is a a great open air venue and everyone takes picnics and wine – some very well organized folks even take along cushions, folding tables and and wine coolers – my wine never lasts long enough to need one.  All morning I have been reacquainting myself with ‘Galveston’, ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ and ‘The Gambler’ – I am giddy with excitement!  Oh and Loretta Lynn is playing there on the 24th August – if I can guarantee she’ll play from her Van Lear Rose album I’ll be buying tickets again – imagine if Jack White made a guest appearance!!

I worked out again this morning at the Y so I’m feeling quite happy with myself!  I even seem to have got the gym bag packing down to a fine art – I used to really dislike getting ready at the gym before heading to work as I always found I’d forgotten something.  Well I seem to have cracked the code but I’m still walking out of the house with a work bag, gym bag and pool bag every day – it requires a lot of careful planning:)

I was inspired to wear an ‘old’ Boden tunic today after seeing Beth wear hers the other day.  This tunic is one of the first women’s wear items that I bought from Boden, and marks the time I became interested in clothes again after losing all my weight.  I love it and have it in the pinky color too.  I wore this taupe one when I was sworn in as a US citizen so it always brings back great memories when I wear it.  I’ve paired it with another couple of Boden classics – my pink and orange espadrilles which were a sale bargain and I love them for adding a pop of color to a ‘beige’ outfit, along with my taupe long line cardigan – another sale bargain from summer 2011.

Becoming an American back in 2010:

Today’s ensemble:

Bad photo taken in the Ladies:)

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Red, white and blue.

It’s rubbish weather here in Atlanta today – dark and dreary, such a shame after a fabulous weekend, but easier to bear now I’m back in the office.  We had a fabulous time at Virginia Highlands Summerfest – the weather was perfect for mooching and watching some great live music.  I was in awe at a group of 14-16 year olds rocking out on stage – called ‘My Homework Ate My Dog‘ – they were brilliant – and it got me thinking about how to introduce music lessons to my two.  I think music is so important and there is evidence that reading music can also help with numeracy.  I was reading basic music at elementary school and playing the recorder, and then I graduated to the flute which was challenging once orthodontics started!  I really think understanding rhythm and reading music can boost your appreciation of music and we always have some sort of music playing in the house – anything from Led Zeppelin to Robyn to Mahler.  So maybe I should start them with piano lessons?

Brightening up the day today and sticking with the patriotic theme I’m wearing my Boden long sleeved Breton, Boden Effortless cardigan in radish, white Express Zelda crops and Tory Burch Eddie flats in Tory Navy.

Oh and one final very important note the Boden Autumn preview is out for women!!! In my opinion this is THE BEST season of clothes I have seen from them.  Very ‘on trend’ with a retro, younger vibe – I’ve already placed two orders!!!  My most favorite items are the Scoop Neck Tunic, Loulou dress, Cable knit dress (I’ve only ever previously bought 1 Boden dress!) and Skye jumper.  Enjoy browsing and until June 25th there is a 20% discount.

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Music that motivates…

I decided to change the title of this series to ‘music that motivates’ rather than ‘inspires’…the reason being this next tune that got me racing up the hills yesterday.  It’s Kelly Rowland and “Down for Whatever” – definitely not an inspirational song but brilliant motivation when running!  I actually heard it first when I was back in the UK at Christmas when she was having huge success judging on the UK version of the X Factor.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what other mindless, thumping, dance tunes are in store for me in the UK charts later this month!  Enjoy!

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And the verdict is in…

Blunderbuss is freakin’ awesome!!!!  Jack White is a genius – I cannot stop listening to this album.  It’s everything a White Stripes fan is looking for.  There’s a great mix of Americana, blues and funk, a great example being my favorite single on the album Trash Tongue Talker – I can’t stop watching the YouTube video – I love Jack!  I’m gutted that there aren’t more dates on his tour I’d do anything to be at Hammersmith Apollo, I’m even back in the UK then but it’s all sold out…

I’m praying the weather improves in the UK by June.  It’s atrocious there right now and I’m going to have the annual dilemma of packing for every climate.  Fortunately the advantage of my Boden tunics is I can wear them with skinny jeans or bare legged so all I need to do now is pick the ones to take from my copious collection!  I sneakily bought another the other day – a clearance bargain I say – calm down!  I bought the coal Everyday Jersey Tunic early in the AW 2011 season and I have to admit it took a while to grow on me but I always get great comments when I wear it.  Here it is with the Boden cashmere wrap and piped shoe boots – seems an eternity now since I had to wear tights!

I looked at the blue one again and again and just couldn’t convince myself I that I liked it enough, if at all, to order, especially as I tend to wear black in the winter and this just seemed too garish.  As spring advanced though I found myself musing over how it would look as a dress with bare legs.  I definitely think the colors are more summery and by pure happenstance as I was browsing one day, as I often do on the Boden site, there it was – a size 6 with my name on it for the bargain price of $30!  I like it a lot as a dress and it will definitely get plenty of wear…now NO MORE tunics till AW 2012!!  However you all are free to keep looking as items keep popping back into the clearance section.

Tuesday has recently become one of my favorite days since I discovered Lululemon release their new items every Monday night.  One of the first things I do sitting at the breakfast bar with my coffee is to click my bookmark for the Lululemon website and browse the fabulous new colors and prints.  My two favorites today are the new pace setter skirt in beachy floral white fossil/black and the swiftly racerback in porcelain – the two will look great together, hmmm I’m convincing myself more so as I write!

I also discovered there is a new Lululemon store opening close to my house – I may just have to nip by there on the way to Poppy’s ballet class today!!  Happy May Day!


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I love Jack White.

How did it get to April 30th?  I’m really not sure what happened to the first third of 2012.  I know time is supposed to speed up as you get older but come on now really?!  May is jam packed with events and milestones – my daughter turns 6 and finishes kindergarten, the pool opens next weekend, Memorial weekend signals the beginning of summer (though we’ve had summer temperatures for some time now…), and we have our favorite friend from our University days arriving to party for a long weekend with his new girlfriend.

I can’t wait to see S.  When I moved in with MM* in my 3rd year of University, MM was already sharing his flat above the The Central bar with S.  We all worked together in the bar, partied together and lived together.  S. was always very tolerant of my immediately intense relationship with MM.  In fact he was instrumental in getting us together.  The night MM told me he was “infatuated” with me S. had been working on his behalf from behind the bar, plying me with heavy handed Moscow Mules making me far more susceptible to flattery and sweet talk:)  After graduation MM and I helped S. move down to London in a white van, and a few years later MM was S.’s best man, and though his wedding didn’t last too long it resulted in two gorgeous daughters for him.  After a tumultuous time in London S. moved to Sweden where he has been happily living for some time enjoying the Scandinavian lifestyle and regular vacations to Thailand (apparently all Swedes go there in the darker months!).  We haven’t been allowed to speak to the new girlfriend yet – I’ve even been banned from trying to search for her on Facebook.  S. knows me so well that he’s aware I never keep anything to myself so I assume he is putting these restrictions in place in the interest of self preservation.  At this stage he must be feeling relatively secure and comfortable with the new relationship as I have been granted access for a whole weekend!  S. if you’re reading – I promise I will not embarrass anyone but myself:)

S. by the way is also a huge music fan particularly The Jesus and Mary Chain, so in an attempt to have some new music to discuss I’ve just bought Jack White’s Blunderbuss.

I must just mention that I LOVE Jack White.  Seven Nation Army and Icky Thump have to be two of my favorite singles ever and the best music to run aggressively to!

Blunderbuss has had some great reviews.  It’s his first solo album and by all accounts he hasn’t strayed too far from his White Stripes sound…I’m going to stick my headphones on and listen to it while I work today.  I love listening to a new album – you’re never quite sure if it is going to make an immediate impression or if it will need a few listens for you to appreciate it.  I must just remember there are colleagues sitting near me so I must not start howling along.

After a good 4mile run this morning and already climbing temperatures I was looking for something comfortable to wear.  I have to say I really disliked the Boden SS 2011 Ibiza tunic when I first bought it in the preview.  I immediately sent it back thinking the yellow was far too lurid.  However, it reappeared in the clearance just before Christmas last year and I have to say I absolutely love it now!  See you even need to be exposed to some items of clothing a few times before you fully appreciate them!  Maybe the fact it was only about $30 helped too – but now I wish I’d bought another color too!  It looks perfect with my Tory Burch black patent Eddies.  Oh and speaking of Tory Burch they are having a Friends and Fans event that ends today – enter FRIENDS12 at checkout for 25% off!

*MM – My Man

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