Pretty tops

It’s definitely warming up here in Atlanta, and I was actually quite surprised how mild and sunny London was while I was there. The sun has got me thinking of all things spring – especially now we’re in March – our spring break is only a month away! The perfect – dare I say transitional – attire in spring is a light top, jeans and a jacket. I have always loved a feminine top, something that can be worn with jeans and later with shorts. They are perfect under a blazer too on a cooler day.

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(images from Pinterest)

My go to store for tops is Mango. I find their fit more generous than Zara and the choice more varied. This season Mango and H&M have hit the ball out of the park with their selection of feminine tops and blouses.

If you’re not into full on lace this is the perfect compromise. It is available in black too.

openwork trim blouse

This openwork detail top is so pretty. It is the perfect shape with loose sleeves for those of us that no longer want to wear sleeveless tops. It will be perfect with distressed denim shorts and simple thong sandals.

openwork detail top

I particularly love this lace edges top – firstly it has no buttons which tend to gape on me, but also because it is beautifully simple with just the trim detailing. Love it.

lace edges top

This embroidered cotton top is probably my favorite. I love the square cut and the neckline. It also comes in black. I have them both in my cart!

embroidered cotton blouse

This crochet top is stunning – I would wear it with a white cami underneath with straight legged, distressed jeans. I think it is the perfect throw on for a spring evening heading out for a cocktail.

Crochet poncho

This is just beautiful. The sleeves are so delicate. I think it is the perfect holiday top worn with black skinnies or black shorts. It’s also in my cart! Mango I hope you do a code soon!!

Blonda panel blouse

This beaded chiffon blouse comes in three gorgeous jewel tones. Dress it down under a long cardigan, or wear it out under a black tuxedo blazer.

beaded chiffon blouse

Moving on to H&M – now they sell out fast online – but these are my favorites.

This shirt is super popular and I couldn’t find it in any of the London stores I visited. There are some sizes left online and I would size up so it can be worn loose over jeans.

H&M lace blouse

This jersey lace top really appeals to me as I like a little stretch in tops, but it is still more feminine than a regular long sleeved tee.

Hm jersey top

Finally – this is new online here and I just love, love, love the bell sleeves. An absolute dream at just $29.99!

H&M lace top

So will I be able to hold out for some discount codes!? If the weather continues to improve I fear not!

As for what I’m wearing today – I’m afraid I am still going for ultimate comfort while the jet lag passes. This morning’s gym session may have helped or I’ll be snoozing on the sofa by 3pm!

Isabel Marant Bobby sneakers, Hill & Friends bag, J.Crew joggersShoes – Isabel Marant Bobby Sneakers (anthracite version on sale here!) // Pants – J.Crew wool joggers (old) // Jumper – TopShop (similar here) // Bag – Hill & Friends (Instagram competition prize!)

 

Fall photos

I have never liked posed shots of the kids, such as school photos with fake backgrounds. Instead we meet with Karen each Fall for some less contrived, more spontaneous and natural shots. We first met Karen when she photographed the kids at daycare and she has always captured their personalities perfectly. We always have a giggle that we are one of the few families in the South who don’t own anything monogrammed or smocked for their children’s photos ūüôā

On Saturday we headed about 45 mins out of town to a horse farm where we’ve had photos taken before. It was just the most idyllic Fall day. Clear skies, gorgeous sunshine and crisp air. We had a great time and I can’t wait to share the photos with you soon!

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Shoes – Isabel Marant Bobbys // Jeans – Zara // Jumper – Zara (old) // Scarf – Zara // Jacket – Mango (similar here)

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Here are a couple of photos Karen has taken in previous years РI just love them. If you are in the Atlanta area you must book a session with her here!

Fall 2012

Fall 2013 Today it is freezing with beautiful blue skies РOctober really is the best month in the South.

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Boots – Stuart Weitzman 5050 // Dress – H&M (old) // Cardigan – AllSaints (similar here)

 

 

 

The big Thanksgiving catchup.

I’m back‚Ķafter a brilliant week. ¬†I intentionally tried to avoid the laptop as I was determined not to be sucked in by random Black Friday deals – especially knowing that most brands offer far deeper discounts at other times of the year. ¬†Yes we have been conditioned to go mental on Black Friday but don’t! ¬†You’ll be better off waiting for other big sales – most retailers know we want to spend now but hold out if you can.

The week started with some fun appointments. ¬†Poppy had a layer of pink in her hair – so you can just see it when she has a pony tail. ¬†Less permanent at this age than piercings – and after mine I didn’t want to be too much of a hypocrite when it comes to exploring new looks and self expression. ¬†Lauren at Plum Salon once again looked after us – she is fabulous and I highly recommend her if you are in the Atlanta area.

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It was freezing on Tuesday and it called for some big coat and scarf action.

Unknown1 Zara coat

 

Jeans Рcoated jeans Dorothy Perkins (25% off everything with Holiday25) // Boots РDorothy Perkins // Sweater РBoden Westbourne sweater // Scarf РZara (old) // Coat РZara

On Wednesday the kids had dental appointments. ¬†Don’t ask me why I scheduled them the day before Thanksgiving. ¬†We had a power cut that morning, due to all the rain and wind we’d had, and I had to go without a shower. ¬†While messaging Fiona and Avril from the waiting room I assured them I didn’t look too skanky with this selfie – no full length photo that day – I’ve enjoyed a break from the mirror:)

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Sweater – Boden Off Duty jumper (last year’s but similar here) // Coat – Mango // Hat – Nordstrom (100% cashmere for less than $30!)

That evening was spent pretending to be a domestic goddess – I chugged a bottle of sparkling while making cranberry sauce, sausage stuffing and then brining the bird. ¬†It was a really fun family night listening to music with the odd random game of chess thrown in. ¬†Chess is our new obsession – I’m still being thrashed by my 5 year old.

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On Thanksgiving Day we had our fabulous friends from Bulgaria over, so we could enjoy an international Thanksgiving.  Neither of us have family here so it was absolutely fantastic to share the day with fun friends.  We talked Communism, music and literature while drinking and eating LOTS.  The best Thanksgiving ever, and I have to say the food was pretty darn good too:)

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The aftermath:

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Yesterday we headed out for a blast of fresh air.  We went to the Georgia Dome to watch the Georgia State Panthers play Рa fun day with some tailgating thrown in for good measure.

AllSaints sweatshirt

Shoes РIsabel Marant Bobby sneakers // Jeans РZara // Sweatshirt РAllSaints (20% off with THANKS) // Hat РNordstrom // (the jacket below is Next from last year)

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So today it is back to normality – I’m back to running and eating left over turkey:)

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Here’s to my favorite Holiday of the year. ¬†Now to start planning for Xmas – and Maximus the Elf rejoined the clan today so I better be good!

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Bowie.

There’s a bit of a theme developing here. ¬†Normally my Husband accuses me of channeling the 80s all the time – well not at the moment – I’m all about the 70s. ¬†Remember this photo of Gwen Stefani I shared the other day?

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Well as soon as I saw Asos were offering 20% off over Memorial weekend I snapped up the Bowie t-shirt!¬† I’m thrilled with it. ¬†I’ve bought more from Asos this season than ever before, and everything has been great quality, with free shipping and returns whats not to love? ¬†Right now they are offering 30% off accessories and shoes¬†and there are some great deals!

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Shoes – Isabel Marant Bobby sneakers // Skirt – Zara // T-shirt – Asos // Jacket – Zara // Watch – men’s G-shock

Unintentionally my Essie ‘DJ play that song’ nail polish was the perfect match for the t-shirt!

Essie

Bowie Collage

 

 

While the kids were at camp this morning I snook into the mall. ¬†I know I should never do this – especially when I know the sales are starting soon. ¬†I had been casually admiring this jumpsuit on the Zara site and just assumed that there was not a chance in hell that both the bottom and top half would fit. ¬†The large would be too big in the butt, and the medium too small across the boobs. ¬†Well they had a medium hanging there – new on the rack – so what the hell I tried it! ¬†OMG it was perfect – it’s a lovely crepe material – really light for the summer, and it is much more of a strawberry color than the website pic suggests. ¬†SO 1970s – so Saturday Night Fever – where’s my mirror ball and John? ¬†It’s coming on vacation with me – damn that means I need to bring a pair of heels too!

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A weekend tinged with sadness.

We adopted Rosie, our Boxer, back in 2001, and we’re guessing she was about 2 years old then. ¬†So we knew the chances of her seeing it into 2014 would be slim – we knew she was slowing down. ¬†On Friday morning, given some symptoms and tests, the vet advised it was her time, so with heavy hearts we said farewell to her. ¬†The end of an era. ¬†Rosie was one of the few constants in our lives over the past 12 years, she was gentle and loyal and we loved her so much. ¬†RIP Rosie xx

Rosie when we adopted here – she had no hair on her back bless her but it all grew back:

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Rosie with MM – living the dream with a t-top Camaro (2002):

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On one of our adventures in North Carolina:

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The children were sad but quite pragmatic so we aimed to keep the weekend as normal as possible. ¬†Yesterday we headed out to the mall and then to their favorite BBQ joint for a treat. ¬†We talked about angels, old dogs and puppies, and now they seem quite at peace with the outcome. ¬†We still have Tennyson here, and Poppy has requested that when we get our next girl dog that she has a tail – so we’re moving on…

It was a gorgeous day so I decided to go full on with the spring attire:)

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Trousers – Zara // Jacket – Zara // T-shirt – Gap // Sneakers – Isabel Marant Bobbys

 

Last night was date night so we toasted Rosie before eating.

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Trousers – Zara // Jacket – Zara // T-Shirt – Express (old) // Shoes – DSW // Cuff – Tiffany¬†(MM bought me this Xmas of 2001 and I’ve no idea why I wear it so rarely!)

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Miami Vice.

MM called me Tubbs this morning and I wasn’t sure if he was referring to Miami Vice or The¬†League of Gentlemen (a reference some US readers won’t appreciate – sorry!). ¬†I am guessing it was the former given my white ensemble today.

This is a case of poor preparation. ¬†I was planning to wear skinny jeans and then remembered I was having a pedicure later so I needed to wear a skirt, shorts or jeans I can roll up. ¬†I went with the jeans – but tried to substitute my distressed white skinnies from H&M for¬†shiny white 501s¬†and it really hasn’t worked – the proportions are all wrong. ¬†Even after a jacket change I’m still not happy. But after faffing around with photos etc…I didn’t have time to start again. ¬†So here I am. ¬†When it warms up later I’ll be taking my jacket off, and adding flip flops after the pedicure – a much better ensemble I think – and at least my feet will be looking good. ¬†I’m trying to distress these 501s slowly with a razor – I keep shaving threads off a couple of patches, hoping that with some washing they will split, but it’s not happening fast enough so I may just have to resort to the sandpaper trick.

With the first Zara jacket:

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Jacket – Zara // Jeans – Levi 501s // Sneakers – Isabel Marant Bobbys // Top – Zara

After changing the jacket (White jersey blazer from Zara – old):

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A quick note too – as many of you know I churn my closet often and I’ve been selling gently used items that are all in excellent condition here on eBay. ¬†Given my ‘power seller’ status and 100% rating I’ve decided to try out my own store front here on the blog. ¬†If you click ‘Shop‘ on the menu you will see a couple of items listed. ¬†I’ll be adding more here, instead of eBay, to see how it goes. ¬†Payment is still easy and secure through Paypal.

 

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April Fools’ Day.

Have you been fooled yet today? ¬†I’ve seen two corkers – one from a friend on Facebook who announced she was pregnant with twins, and this fabulous one from Boden¬†– the men’s Marylebone Skirt anyone?:)

Boden Man Skirt

 

The sun is out here, but unfortunately no Easter Monday Holiday here in the US – off to work for me!

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Jacket – Zara // Linen t-shirt – Zara (old but similar here) // Jeans – Gap Boyfriend (old) // Sneakers – Isabel Marant Bobby // Bag – Alexander Wang Diego (similar here)

 

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Rant time!!

Okay before I get on my soap box let’s start with the fun stuff. ¬†As I got dressed today and thought about ordering another of these shirts I realized I had completely omitted to tell you all about Boden’s 20% off till tonight!! ¬†How foolish of me! This is ‘The Shirt‘ in seaspray gingham. ¬†I have gingham shirts from Boden and J.Crew and Boden’s are far superior. ¬†Once again their attention to detail and quality outshines their competitors’. ¬†There’s a wait on some of the colors but I cannot recommend enough.

Every time I take photos in my closet I am reminded that I still haven’t got a new mirror yet!

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Yay the Bobbys are on for their first airing!!

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Look at the lining of the cuffs and collar on the shirt – how cute!

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Shoes – Isabel Marant Bobbys // Shirt – Boden The Shirt // Jeans – Gap boyfriend jeans (old) // Jacket – jersey jacket Zara (old)

Okay first things first Рthe Old Navy jeans were abysmal.  I am straight up and down or apple shaped Рand they are definitely cut for a curvier woman.  They were too short, too hippy and too tight around the calves.  The search for distressed white jeans continues.

Now my rant.  Okay, I have been singing the praises of River Island and have a gorgeous jacket from them that I bought back in the UK.  So, when I saw the cloud jacket online, I decided that given they offered free shipping to the US on orders over $75, that I should go for it.  Another couple of jackets also fell in the order Рwell free shipping right?  Yes the conversion rate was higher than the current exchange rate, but for the sake of wearing something that will rarely be seen elsewhere over here, I thought it was worth the little bit extra.  So I went through the order process Рall prices in dollars, no small print Рperfect Рwooo hooo.

No – wait – 2 days later I received an email from customs requesting $66 before they will deliver the package!!! I am FURIOUS! Numerous tweets, FB interactions and phone calls later and River Island refuse to do anything about it. ¬†I feel it is complete bait and switch. ¬†Yes, they sent me a link to the small print on their website where it mentions customs may have to be paid – but in my eyes the customs costs should be mentioned in the order process, so that ALL costs to the consumer are known up front. ¬†No other company who ship to me from the UK make the recipient pay customs – I have never paid customs for Boden and ASOS parcels. ¬†If River Island wants to be a global company with global sales then they need to resolve this. ¬†I will not be ordering from them again. ¬†I am so disappointed. ¬†I bet I have paid VAT too on the items – so effectively I’ve been taxed twice.

Now to rub salt in the wound the jacket is available on ASOS and $15 cheaper.  Darn it.  I always learn the hard way.

What do you think?  How do other companies avoid this?

 

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It’s brightening up.

Enough so that I can venture out and take a photo under the bluer skies today.

Today it’s time for the Zara harem pants again worn with a Zara snakeprint blouse, Boden Limited Edition boyfriend cardigan (from a couple of seasons ago) and my Charcoal suede Newburys (sprayed with water repellent – never fear!).

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I’ve found SO many items of clothing that I want right now – it’s torture. ¬†I’m trying to keep all my pennies for my UK trip, which is admittedly now less than a week away. ¬†Thankfully I think Zara is a little cheaper there too so this will hopefully make it back with me – it’s cotton too so perfect for Spring here when it gets warmer. ¬†I think it will look great with shorts, and those Bobbys that I want:) ¬†Really DISLIKE the new Zara styling on the site by the way – could the models look more masculine or miserable?

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