Vacation outfits to date!

Yay!! I have VPN and I can now tunnel into the US to blog! Of all the craziness – there are SO many blocked sites here. I LOVE Turkey but disagree with its censorship!

So here are my outfits from the start of the vacation in Istanbul – lots of dresses – they are really easy to pack and lovely to wear day or night. Regular updates will be posted on Instagram!

Dress – Old Navy // Sandals – Madewell // Earrings – J.Crew

Top – Zara // Shorts – Madewell // Shoes – Primark // Bag – J.Crew // Earrings – Etsy

Dress – Zara // Shoes – Madewell // Earrings – Mango

Poppy – trousers (similar here) and top (similar here) – H&M // Shorts – J. Crew Factory // Sweatshirt – H&M // Sneakers – Nike // Bag – J.Crew // Scarf – John Lewis

Shoes – Primark // Shorts – H&M (now in sale!) // Top – Asos

Dress – Zara // Shoes – Birkenstock // Cart – Datça market

Dress – ASOS

Kaftan – & Other Stories (similar here in sale) // Sunglasses – Stella McCartney discounted here

Romper – Old Navy

Poppy – Dress – M&S // Shoes – Target // Espadrilles – Soludos // Shorts – Madewell // Top – H&M (similar here) // Earrings – Amazon

Dress – ASOS now on sale // Shoes – Madewell // Earrings – J.Crew

Dress – Asos

 

Istanbul

It’s July 1st and today we leave Istanbul for the coast. We’ve had the most amazing time in the city – even after the events of Tuesday evening. Once we had reassured everyone that we were miles away from the airport, the scale of the atrocity began to sink in. The people of Istanbul, and Turkey as a whole, are already suffering from hugely decreased tourism this year, and now it seems the industry may grind to a halt. Our hotel was practically empty, and we were treated like royalty wherever we went. The Grand Bazaar was empty yesterday morning. I truly feel so sad for these wonderful people who are being hit hardest – the terrorists are unfortunately achieving one of their goals.

As I write this I am sitting in the domestic terminal in awe at how ‘normal’ it all feels. I’ve had 2 pat downs, which is reassuring, and for some reason my mentality has firmly remained ‘sod the bastards, I’m not bending’, rather than giving into fear. We’ve also managed to keep the kids blissfully unaware of specific events and their main concern remains when they will get their next cheese pide!

So the world still turns and we will still travel – the greatest education for all is to accept and embrace the other cultures of the world. With deeper acceptance and awareness, we may all still hope for peace.

Istanbul 1Top – Mango (old) // Jeans – Zara (on sale here) // Shoes – Castañer // Bag – Hill & Friends

istanbul 2 Istanbul 3 Istanbul 4 Istanbul 5 Istanbul 6 Istanbul 7 Istanbul 8Top – Madewell (old) // Jeans – Zara (on sale here) // Shoes – Madewell (on sale here with an extra 20% off with code META20) // Bag – Hill & Friends

Istanbul 9 Istanbul 11Dress – & Other Stories (in sale) // Bag – Hill & Friends // Shoes – Soludos

Istanbul 12 Istnabul 10Dress – Madewell

Follow me on Instagram @PoppysStyle to see where we are now!

Vacation planning

In 3 weeks time we’ll be back in Istanbul! We have a week in the city before heading to the coast where we are staying in a house on the beach for 3 weeks. I am already panicking about what to pack!

I love to get ‘dressed up’ when we’re in Istanbul – we don’t go anywhere too ‘fancy’ but this year we have said we may visit SoHo House for roof top cocktails. When we get to the beach I live in swimwear and denim shorts – so that is pretty easy – though this year we are staying a bit more out of the way, so I need to be cognizant of cultural norms and not head out wearing my sheer, see through dress…no I don’t have one!

I have to say I am completely smitten with Gap this year. I have bought more from them than any other year – hopefully I’ll pull them through their tough times they are currently experiencing! Over the weekend I ordered the following to throw in my case. In the US there is currently 40% off with code MONDAY.

I absolutely love a romper for the beach – we are literally right on the beach this year so this will be ideal for heading up back to the house for a cocktail. I can throw it on over my bikini after a tough day on the sand.

scoop neck romper

This maxi dress is gorgeous for Istanbul – I can throw a scarf around my shoulders when I need to show a little respect in certain areas or when visiting a mosque, and then it’s perfect for roof top cocktails listening to the call to prayer.

maxi dress

These soft spun dresses are currently reduced and the 40% off can still be applied. I adore them. Perfect for sightseeing – beautifully cool when being dragged walking around ancient ruins in the blistering heat!

yellow racerback coral racerback

I love the colour of this linen dress – again perfect for day to night in Istanbul with a pair of espadrilles.

Gap linen dress

Now with denim shorts I love to wear a lovely lacy, pretty top. Mango is always my destination for blouses as they are more generous across the bust and go up to a US 10 in most cases.

This is so pretty  – I love a collar.

embroidered blouse

I have a similar embroidered blouse to this one that I love to wear with jeans under a jacket in the spring and fall so it is really versatile.

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This in pink is gorgeous – I have bought this – it is such and unusual shade – normally tops are ecru or black and that’s it! It will look stunning with black or grey jeans at home too.

pink blouse

Ok I made a joke about sheer dresses but this sheer blouse is beautiful over a cami and has sleeves so provides a little more modesty.

sheer blouse

As always I will pack too much, wear 1/3 of it and get complaints from the rest of the family about the weight of my bag. I will never be a capsule packer! What about all those ‘just in case’ situations! 😉

As for the past week I feel I’ve been busier than ever with the kids out of school – the morning disappears when they are at camp and then I take them to the pool which requires an hour of preparation finding swimsuits, towels, lost goggles, spf and enough snacks to feed an army. On Friday I thought I’d cracked it then turned up at the pool without my own bikini bottoms – damn!

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.43.44 AMTop – Mango (last year but the same in black here this year) // Shorts – J.Crew // Shoes – Sam Edelman (old)

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.44.09 AMTop – Zara // Booties – Dolce Vita Haku (old) // Shorts – J.Crew

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.43.56 AMShoes – TopShop // Jeans – J.Brand Selina // T-shirt – Madewell (old) // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.44.38 AMDungarees – Gap // T-Shirt – J.Crew (old) // Shoes – fringe Converse

H&M shirt back H&MshirtShoes – TopShop // Jeans – Zara (old) // Shirt – H&M (can no longer see online but this is similar with wide cuffs) // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

Oh I also popped into Zara on Friday and bought this beautiful top. I love it – this is a large.

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And before I leave you – TopShop are on fire with their shoe game this season. Check out these new Gucci tributes – they are available in pink and gold and will sell out in a flash like the loafers!

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The end is nigh…

Yes tomorrow we will be leaving Northern Cyprus to begin our mammoth journey back to Atlanta, via Istanbul and Paris. It’s been an amazing four weeks but even though I am sad it is over there are many things I am looking forward to when I get home –

1. Seeing my dogs!

2. Having ALL my closet to wear

3. Having ALL my beauty products and makeup to play around with

4. Blowdrying my hair without sweating balls

5. Not sweating balls

6. Whole Foods shopping

7. The gym – yes really!

8. Netflix…

9. Catching up on all my missed Real Housewives episodes

10. My own coffee machine!

11. Opening all my sales goodies (Shhhhhh….)

On Monday we headed back to Salamis to have one last play among the ruins followed by a day on the beach.

Salamis collage

These beach jumpsuits from ASOS are perfect for leaving the beach for the restaurant or running around ancient Greek cities!

Last night we went out for doners again – I might go veggie for a bit once I get home!

allsaints dressDress – AllSaints // Sandals – Handmade Cypriot sandals Etsy store here

See you once I’m back in the USA – all be it with horrific jet lag!

p.s. I am beginning a HUGE closet purge on eBay – I can ship globally too so there may be some bargains for those of you shopping in pounds or euros. Check my page out here! There’ll be lots more added once I’m home.

 

 

 

Kantara Castle and The Karpaz

If you follow me on Instagram forgive me as many of these photos have already been shared! We’ve had another busy few days and a couple with no wi-fi so I’m catching up!

The other day we headed to Kantara Castle. The second of the three castles that sit along the ridge of mountains in Northern Cyprus. My husband and I have fond memories of sitting at the top on our honeymoon in 1998.

DSC_0020 DSC_0065Shorts – J.Crew (currently 30% off with GOSHOPPING) // Top – ASOS // Shoes – Birkenstocks

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On Saturday morning we headed into Nicosia/Lefkosa – my first visit to the capital. It is a fascinating place with a walled old town. It is the only city in the world with an international border running through it. These days crossing that border is much easier and we saw many tourists crossing from the Greek side to the Turkish side. We didn’t have our passports with us that day but plan to return to see the Greek side. From what I hear they are suffering with the rest of Greece which explains the number of tourists popping over to the Turkish side for lunch and their counterfeit goods!

DSC_0120 DSC_0164 DSC_0161 DSC_0132Dress – Mango (now on sale) // Shoes – Avarcas Pons // Bag – Target (I have found this to be THE perfect vacation bag – so light and yet roomy)

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You’re not supposed to photograph the border patrol – so here is a sneaky one of my husband with the border in the background. Years ago this street became notorious and was referred to as ‘Murder Mile’ where more than a dozen British soldiers and civilians had been shot dead by the terrorists.

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I fell in love with Lefkosa and I loved the architecture, the people and the ambience. We sat in the courtyard above and drank kahve with the locals. I could do that every weekend.

On Monday we headed to my favorite place in the world – to date anyway – and drove down the Karpaz, which is the pan handle of Cyprus. As soon as you reach the Karpaz you feel as if you are transported to a different time. It is very rural and beautiful, and there are many reminders of the troubles that Cyprus has endured. Beautiful Greek churches remain unused – though it did appear to me that some are being restored. Dipkarpaz is a town towards the end of the Karpaz, and it is still home to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, with signs in both languages clearly displayed. We had lunch on the way to the beach at a place called Nikos – highly recommended if you are ever here! I fell in love with it – and the story of the owners provided hope for the future. One partner is a Turkish Cypriot and the other a Greek Cypriot – ironically they are both from the opposite ends of the island – with the Turkish Cypriot being from Paphos. Now they run Nikos together serving the BEST fish and calamari we have ever eaten.

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The Karpaz is home to herds of goats and wild donkeys – so much fun to see them roam the fields and cross the road in front of you! The donkeys are very tame and love to be fed carrots from the car window.

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I managed to persuade everyone to stay the night in a hut on the beach – I think it’s the closest I’ll ever get them to camping! I LOVED it!

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IMG_3634 IMG_3644 IMG_3656Shorts – Madewell (in sale here) // Top – Mango (old) // Sunglasses – Warby Parker // Bikini (under top) – J.Crew

IMG_3672 IMG_3677 IMG_3687 IMG_3726Shorts – J.Crew (on sale here plus an extra 30% off with GOSHOPPING) // Tank – Everlane

After a fun drive back, we went out for dinner last night – it felt fabulous to wash away the sand and wash my hair for the first time in a couple of days!

Fun with the kids IMG_3858Dress – Splendid (similar here and here) // Shoes – Ancient Greek Sandals (discounted here)

Mezze, mezze and more mezze…

After a lazy day by the pool, which we all needed for a bit of R&R, we headed out to dinner. The restaurant is situated in the village where we are staying, and it is on the side of a hill overlooking the Med. Just a beautiful location with great views and amazing food. The mezze never stopped arriving!

Dinner mezze Dinner Hugh Poppy ZaraDress – Zara (on sale – similar here) // Shoes – Avarcas Pons

Poppy Riviera dressDress – Riviera dress AllSaints (all sale items now and extra 20% off here!) // Shoes – TopShop

Operation Dinner Out

If you’ve been reading for a while you’ll already know how much we all love it here in Northern Cyprus. We were here in 2013 and my husband and I came here for our honeymoon in 1998. It’s a place that is very special for him as he lived here as a child with his family in Famagusta in the early 70’s. In fact he was evacuated when the Turks invaded in 1974. The North-South divide still elicits much controversy, and Turkey and Greece are still trying to negotiate a some kind of settlement. Often it is the Greek Cypriot story that gets the most press and sympathy, but the Turkish Cypriots suffered greatly too, and I would love to see the island reunited one day, in some form or other.

For now, however, we consider ourselves fortunate that entry into the Northern territory is more relaxed, and we get the opportunity to enjoy the history, culture and food that it has to offer.

So food! Yes the food here is amazing – if of course you avoid the Anglophile restaurants in Kyrenia serving fish and chips…Last night we returned to one of our serendipitous finds from 2013 – the Besparmak Buffavento restaurant. It is nestled in the mountains at the foot of the road that takes you to Buffavento Castle – a climb we are planning to endure tomorrow morning!

For dinner I wore my new J.Crew shorts and the H&M blouse (similar here) I bought in Manchester. I love this outfit – I felt completely appropriate for the evening. J.Crew, of course, currently have a massive sale on for the 4th July weekend – use LONGWEEKEND to get 30% off the shorts and up to 40-60% off lots of other items too!

image3 image4Sandals – Ancient Greek Sandals (similar here) // Shorts – J.Crew // Blouse – H&M

The boys made an effort too.

image5Fortunately the restaurant had not changed a bit and we had an amazing evening.

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Poppy wanted to share a little with you all too:

Hi! I am so happy to be here – I remember it from the last time. The weather is great and very hot! The house we are staying in is big and I have my own room, and there is a big swimming pool for us all to play in.  Last night we went to a restaurant that I remember from our last visit, and I had an Adana kebab with mezze. I love the food here. I wore my new romper from Zara (now on sale here) which is perfect for vacations.

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Finally here is one of me stealing my Mom’s aviators. She wouldn’t let me keep them though…My top is old from H&M and the shorts are from Zara (also on sale here).

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Farewell Istanbul, hello Cyprus

Wow my feet have barely touched the ground till now – we arrived today in Northern Cyprus….and breathe…Istanbul was incredible but it is nice to switch gears now. Istanbul has everything – it is beautiful, exciting, historic, friendly, crazy and breathtaking. We did so much and saw so much and I feel 3 nights is the perfect length of time. We shopped, visited ancient mosques, took boat trips over to Asia and ate incredible food.

Of course the Grand Bazaar was my favorite – I am so shallow – shopping for me any day over historic places of worship. Poppy and I really got in to the swing of our bartering, though no doubt we still paid well over the odds, but we felt better about it!

I struck the jackpot with a beautiful silk scarf and two rough cut stone rings.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 7.21.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 7.21.45 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 7.21.55 PMWe visited the Hagia Sophia which is just breathtaking in it’s size and beauty. Of course Mom and Dad still managed to embarrass the kids.

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Our hotel was fabulous – a boutique Turkish hotel with a roof terrace and spa. The kids loved having access to a basement pool and I loved having access to the evening sunset.

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One evening we skipped the kebab house and went straight for the baklava for dinner – just divine!

Baklava Istanbul As for what I have been wearing my clothes have mainly been dictated by comfort. Istanbul is hot during the day but, being right on the Bosphorous, it can be cool and breezy in the evening.

Splendid dressDress – Splendid (now on sale here and I am wearing a large) // Shoes – Havaianas

Off the shoulder top, J.Crew jeans and flip flopsTop – ASOS // Jeans – J.Crew // Shoes – Havaianas

Mango dress and TopShop sandalsDress – Mango (now 50% off in sale) // Shoes – TopShop

Mango top and J.Crew jeansTop – Mango (similar here) // Jeans – J.Crew // Scarf – Grand Bazaar // Shoes – Havaianas

We arrived in Northern Cyprus this morning, after a quick flight from Istanbul, picked up the rental car, and arrived at our amazing house by noon. We have struck gold again…and relax…

Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus

Our first full day in Istanbul

We arrived late last night and Poppy, Hugh and I were thrilled to be reunited with their Daddy! He had arrived a day earlier to indulge in a little Byzantine culture – our first trip here 24 years ago was to aid his PhD in Ancient History – but we happened to fall in love too. Istanbul is a very special place for us and I am quite surprised it’s taken us so long to get back here!

We were super excited at Manchester airport – Turkish Airlines are one of the best, if not the best airline I have ever flown on!

IMG_3082Poppy’s Hat – Accessorize // My hat – AccessorizeIMG_3087Shoes – Ancient Greek // Shorts – J.Crew (now on sale reduced from $75 to $44.99) // Top – Mango

This morning we began the day with a trip to the Grand Bazaar where Poppy became the only person I know to get something for free instead of having to barter! She is in her element here – people are SO friendly and she is chatting everyone up a storm with her pidgin Turkish!

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With her gifted scarf – just for being cute!

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