What I’ve been wearing

The short week here has meant I’ve been a very bad blogger this week. So here I am sharing what I wore over the long weekend!

We went to the stables north of Atlanta on Sunday for our annual photos of the children. It’s beautiful up there and a lovely drive to escape from the city for a morning.

Horse parkJeans – J.Crew (similar here on sale) // Sneakers – Nike Air Max // T-shirt – J.Crew // Scarf – J.Crew (on sale plus an extra 25% off with LOVEFALL)

We headed out for a lovely lunch later that day so I used it as an excuse to throw on a long frock.

Splendid dressBag – Mango (similar here) // Dress – Splendid (similar jumpsuit here) // Jacket – J.Crew // Sandals – Ancient Greeks (discounted here)

Monday was spent in sweats at home. I cooked an amazing roast loin of pork and we had Sunday on a Monday – bliss.

Back to work called for a couple of comfortable dresses.

Mango dressBoots – Dicker Isabel Marant // Dress – Mango // Scarf – J.Crew (on sale with an extra 25% off with LOVEFALL)

ASOS dressDress – ASOS t-shirt dress (on sale and straight out of the packaging hence the creases!) // Sneakers – New Balance by J.Crew // Scarf – Boden (old – similar here on sale) // Bag – H&M

Thanks to all of you who provided input on the hair too the other day! I decided to keep growing it – at least for now!

Labor Weekend codes!

It’s always worth taking advantage of some Labor weekend sales/promo codes and here is a round up of the ones I am aware of!

American Apparel // up to 50% off select styles

Ann Taylor // 50% off select full price and all sale styles

Code: HAPPY50

Date: 9/3-9/6

Anthropologie // 30% off sale

Code: EXTRA30

ASOS // 10% off entire purchase including sale items

US – TREATYOSELF

UK – 10% off sale only using YAY10

Banana Republic // 40% off your entire purchase

Code: BRFALL

Ends: 9/8

BaubleBar // 50-60% off select styles

Date: Ends 9/7

Bloomingdales // save 20-70% on select items

Date: Through 9/7

Bluefly // over 5,000 styles up to 90% off

Brooks Brothers // up to 60% off clearance

Date: now – 9/7

Club Monaco // 40% off sale and clearance

Code: NOTOVERYET

Date: Ends 9/7

Gap // 40% off everything

Intermix // enjoy an extra 50% off all sale items for a total savings of up to 75% off

J.Crew Factory // 50% off everything

Date: Ends 9/7

J.Crew // 30% off your order of $125+

Code: GETSHOPPING

Date: Ends 9/9

JCPenney // 20% off with a JCPenney credit card

Date: now – 9/7

Kate Spade // 25% off all sale items

Code: Delight

Date: Through 9/7

L.K. Bennett // extra 40% off all sale styles

Code: LD40

Date: Ends 9/7

LOFT // 30% off fall arrivals plus and extra 50% off summer styles

Madewell // take 30% off fall essentials and an extra 30% off all sale styles

Date: Ends 9/7

Nordstrom // save up to 40% on sale items

Date: until 9/13

Old Navy // up to 60% off everything

Pottery Barn // 10% off 100$ or more 15% off $250 or more 20% off $500 or more 25 off $1000 or more

Code: SAVEMORE

Date: Ends 9/7

Pottery Barn Kids // 10% off 100$ or more 15% off $250 or more 20% off $500 or more 25 off $1000 or more

Code: SAVEMORE

Date: Ends 9/7

Code: WFLBEACH1

River Island // 25% off everything

Code: LABOR2515

Saks Fifth Avenue // up to 75% off the summer sunset sale

Date: Ends 9/7

Too Faced // summer lovin’ sale up to 71% off on all sale items

Date: Ends 9/7

UGG // 30% off all fall fashion

Victoria’s Secret // $15 off $100 order, $25 off $150 order, $50 off  $250 order

Code: fall 2015

West Elm // 10% off 100$ or more 15% off $250 or more 20% off $500 or more

Code: SAVEMORE

Date: Ends 9/7

The White Company // 20% off and free shipping

Code: 272AA

Phew! That lot should keep you busy! Meanwhile here I am wearing my ASOS Thea jeans which are just $20 in the sale and now you can get the extra 10% off! They have a great high rise and on me just skim the ankles.

ASOS jeans 1 ASOS jeans 2Jeans – Asos Thea // Top – Mango (similar here) // Sneakers – New Balance J.Crew // Bag – H&M (sold out online but a I’ve found a great selection of shopping baskets here)

While I’m raving about ASOS check out Becky’s new dungarees here! The white version is on sale for just $32 here and  I LOVE the khaki version – especially now I’ve seen the Pinterest images!

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And these are Becky’s.

black dungarees

 

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So I’ll love you and leave you for now – it’s blazing here so I may be living in this skirt over the weekend!

JCREW skirtSkirt – J.Crew sale (just $20 with the code GETSHOPPING) // T-shirt – Splendid // Shoes – Ancient Greeks

Oh and one more thing – I must share with the US folks – we can now get Caroline Hirons‘ magical potion, Pixi Glow Tonic, here online at Target! It’s fab – stock up!

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Authentic Greek (Cypriot) Sandals

Yesterday we headed back to Nicosia. This time we had our passports and crossed the border to the Greek side. Immediately it was obvious that we were somewhere different. I was suddenly confronted with lots of recognizable brands – MacDonalds, Starbucks, TopShop – there’s even a Marks and Spencer! On the Turkish side there are no European brands at all – though several stores emulate them, for example Tempo’s stores and supermarket bags are very similar to Tesco’s!

We wandered around the streets and had coffee and ice creams and I was really aware of not using the Turkish words for ‘thank you’ etc…

The highlight of the trip (sad I know) was stumbling on a sandal store. The sandals are made here in Nicosia and they are remarkably similar, if not identical to another sandal brand that I love wearing! The key difference is that these sandals in Nicosia were just 40 Euros! I ended up leaving with 2 pairs but I could have bought more – and may go back next week just to check. They are all leather with leather soles. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with them – never again will I spend over $200 on sandals. My sandals are identical to another brand’s sandal!

Astir bagFeet are badly in need of a pedi after almost 4 weeks of dust and heat! Just focus on the sandals!

gold sandalsI even got shoe bags to take them home in – a nice touch.

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Astir Sandals have two Etsy stores – SandalsAstir and Sparta Sandals – and they will ship. Take a look – you will see many styles that you probably recognize. I found them true to size and I have a Eur 39 in mine. They only show photos in one particular color, but if you scroll through the photos you can see all the available colors that you can request and buy them in.

Not many people can say they are traveling to a different country for sandals hey? 😉

Here are some of the outfits I’ve worn over the past week – to state the obvious – it is damn hot here!

Alexa Chung dress (1)Dress – Alexa Chung for AG Denim (sold out but similar here) // Sandals – Astir Sandals

AllsaintsDress – AllSaints (on sale here with extra 20% off – sale ends tonight!) // Shoes – TopShop

Black shortsShoes – Ancient Greek Sandals // Shorts – J.Crew (on sale plus an extra 30% off with GOSHOPPING) // Top – Mango (similar here)

tassle shortsShoes – Avarca Pons // Shorts – J.Crew // Top – Everlane // Sunglasses – Warby Parker

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)

Get Ancient Greek Sandals deeply discounted!

I adore my Ancient Greek Sandals and I have several pairs. I have bought them all on vacation with me and wore a pair last night. They are fabulous statement shoes and stand out from the crowd – does anyone else really want the TopShop Fig this season??! They will last for years if treated well and they always bring me so much joy when I wear them.

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They are fabulous quality and they are all handmade in Greece – so you can even help their economy too – all be it minimally 😉

I have these 2 pairs too:ancient greek 3

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Well now they have arrived on TheOutnet.com – my favorite discount designer site. There are many styles with several sizes still available! Get them now – they won’t last long!

 

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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Pretty dresses

Just a quick outfit post today as it has been a crazy couple of days packed with field days, and then ‘muffins with mom’ yesterday. All the children in Poppy’s 3rd grade class read memoirs they had written, about why they loved their moms so much, to a room of tearful, sniffing moms. It was lovely and emotionally draining!

Today the pool opens so it’s time to hit the gym and then recline with my new kindle by the pool for the rest of the day. The kindle paperwhite is my Mother’s Day gift and I love it! It is the perfect device for reading – no glare, great contrast and the ideal size. I’ve already downloaded some classics to re-read – Pride and Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird, plus the best seller Girl on a Train. I love having instant access to so much reading material! If you have a reader in your house the paperwhite is a perfect gift! I never thought I would need another device, having nearly every Apple device, but last year when we went on vacation my husband had more books than clothes in his bag and I swore we would never again carry a physical library!

So here are the outifts. Two fabulous dresses, very different, but each perfect in their own right. The first is one of my AllSaints sale scores – the Relian dress in burgundy – I love it.

AllSaints relian dress, newbury boots, Rag & BoneDress – AllSaints Relian dress // Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury (25% off here right now!!)

The second dress is a beautifully pretty dress from Mango. I wore my septum ring to the Mom’s morning and I was hesitant at first about the reaction from the other mother’s but no one said a thing! To divert attention I wanted to wear something really feminine so I opted for this navy dress – it’s also available in a deep pink.

Mango dress 1Dress – Mango // Sandals – Ancient Greek

If you are in the USA enjoy your Mother’s Day!

Keeping it feminine

With the new septum ring I am trying to keep things ultra feminine. It’s a very polarizing piercing and fortunately, so far, the majority of feedback has been positive! Or they may just be being polite 🙂 I find that reactions to piercings vary by generation and location. In my situation it is definitely a ‘fashion’ statement rather than one of rebellion. I spend a lot of time researching style images and maybe that is why I see that piercings can be sophisticated and elegant, as opposed to harsh and aggressive. The NYTimes ran an article here that makes interesting reading.

Here are some of the beautiful images that finally encouraged me to take the plunge.

Caillin Russo Jessica Biel Septum 1 Septum 2 septum 3 septum 4 septum 5

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septum 7 septum 8 septum 9 Song of Style

Yesterday I got a good response to my outifit, however, I have to say I didn’t really feel me – I felt a bit ‘mumsy’ in the tunic and white jeans. I think I’ll prefer the tunic with shorts – I felt too much like I was wearing the ‘Atlanta Mom uniform’.

Zara topSandals – Ancient Greek // Jeans – TopShop Hayden // Top – Zara

Today I feel much more me, and lovely and feminine, in heels for a change!

Mango top 2Shoes – Vince Claire (brown available discounted here) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Top – Mango

 

A lazy weekend at last

This is our first weekend at home for 3 weeks and we are all ready for it! We’ve had school testing for the past two weeks too so as a reward, and an early birthday present, I took Poppy to get her ears pierced on Thursday. I offered Hugh the opportunity too but oddly he wasn’t interested. My piercings may have put him off forever 😉

I wore my new Zara culottes which I love, but I’m not keen on this Zara top with them – I think a simple t-shirt would look far better. Hindsight and all that…These booties are awesome – they are slip on and run true to size and the heel is the perfect height to wear in the day. I plan to wear them a lot this summer with skinny jeans and crops. They remind me of the peep toe booties that Emmanuelle Alt loves to wear. They are currently on sale here.

Denim culottes, Zara, Nine West peep toe bootiesShoes – Nine West Glyn // Culottes – Zara // Top – Zara (old)

Yesterday I treated myself to a pedi and headed out to lunch. Some well deserved ‘me time’ before having fun with a house full of children in the evening. I love the lighter evenings and warmer weather – it’s great to see the kids playing outside with friends while I catch up with their moms! I kept it simple and I absolutely love this drapey Splendid top. Flip flops were required for the pedi!

Black Splendid topFlip flops – Havaianas // Jeans – J.Crew (30% off with TIMETOSHOP) // Top – Splendid

Today we were all a tad tired and cranky after the late night shenanigans. Even the dogs get pissy if they don’t go to bed at their regular time! We ended up having a lovely lazy day and went to the movies to watch Home. I loved it – tears, laughter and a great soundtrack. Then we filled our stomachs with BBQ – mmmm baby back ribs all round thank you. A perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday. I know the sandals are love or loathe but I had at least 5 compliments wearing them today – they are certainly eye catching!

Edited Ancient GreeksShoes – Ancient Greeks // Dress – Asos // Jacket – Mango

I’ve just landed on the sofa after a lovely bath and plan to spend the evening with a cup of tea and a few episodes of Mad Men. I’m dreading the day I finish all the episodes!

The craziness is over…

I’ve been neglecting the blog – apologies.  I did warn you that May was full of events that need planning and execution!  Today is Poppy’s 8th birthday.  I cannot believe that 8 years ago I was lying in L&D having just had my first child at around 6.30pm…

The party was on Friday early evening and I have to say it was one of our best.  I had the great fortune of catching up with Moms I hadn’t seen for weeks, some months!  It was planned from 5-7pm and you can tell it was a great night as our last guests didn’t leave till 10ish – we didn’t want it to end.  We were trying to make it a surprise for Poppy but of course 8 year olds have loose lips:)  She loved the red carpet, VIP sign and VIP badges!

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Poppy’s dress is H&M as is most of her closet these days!  I find they are great for a girl who no longer wants to wear Boden appliqué, but they are still totally appropriate for a young girl.

Mikey from VibeSquad was our amazing DJ for the evening, ironically he’s a Londoner!

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DSC_0019I tried to go with the disco theme in my ASOS Bowie t-shirt, Mango harems and silver Ancient Greeks.  Thanks to the Husband for the super unflattering photo but it makes me smile – we had amazing fun catching up:)

Today after present opening we headed to the American Girl Store to pick up Isabelle – new friend to Saige from last year.  I am not buying anymore American Girl Dolls…that store is my idea of hell on earth.

AGD(Yes – another H&M dress!)

Lunch was by choice of the birthday girl at Verde and I decided to wear glitter, at least on my feet, for the occasion.

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(Poppy in another H&M dress!)

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Top – Mango // Jeans – H&M boyfriend jeans // Shoes – Golden Goose (back in stock in Barneys!) // Jacket – Zara (old)

Sorry PETA and all the vegan readers – I am completely obsessed with my new cowhide from IKEA!  You can catchup with my IKEA trip on Instagram – we’ve just ordered the kids their new loft beds after having their rooms painted!  They are growing up too fast!

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One other thing to let you all know about before the vanish immediately – the new Nike Blazers are now in stock at J.Crew!  If you love a hi-top, and don’t want to pay Golden Goose prices, these are a must!  They’ll be sold out in the bat of an eye, I assure you.

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Last week of school here this week – wooo hooo – summer is here!!

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