We don’t really celebrate Mother’s Day in this house. Partly because I always forget about it – once I have remembered the UK Mother’s Day earlier in the year, I forget all about the US Mother’s Day. Plus it always falls around Poppy’s birthday – which as she will tell you is far more important. So my title today is a bit misleading. My lovely Husband is on his way back from the office to take me out for margaritas and tacos at our favorite Mexican, while the children are at school. Once school finishes in 2 weeks we won’t have much opportunity to indulge in a long lazy lunch without them – so I’m turning it into my Mother’s Day lunch without children – heck I might even go crazy and have two margaritas.
I know March Madness has passed (college basketball finals for the non-American readers) – but for me the real madness sets in in May. May is the end of the school year here, and with my daughter’s birthday (and it seems every other child in her class!) and the excitement of overseas visitors, it is a crazy month.
On Saturday we made our first, and hopefully last trip to the American Girl Store. I have delayed it as long as possible – but it seems the 7 year old birthday is the one where the burning desire for a ‘mini me’ kicks in. It turned into the perfect trip for Saturday morning as it was miserable weather here – persistent rain all weekend! The mall was empty when we arrived – I soon discovered why – EVERYONE was in the American Girl store. Moms and daughters had traveled from all over the South East seeking their perfect doll – it was terrifying. Poppy, however, was thrilled and we left with Saige – an artist and animal lover apparently. Poppy’s birthday isn’t till the 18th, and normally I vehemently disagree with the notion of ‘early’ birthday presents – but her friend is having her birthday tea party at the American Girl store this week – so Saige was required a week or so early so she can accompany Poppy for tea – I will not be.
The rest of the rainy weekend was spent painting the basement. For some reason the Husband has become rather gung ho about decorating. I’ve no idea where this new found enthusiasm has come from – probably from the ridiculously high painting quotes we’ve had. Anyway I’m rather pleased with the progress we have made though my hair currently looks like it has been used as a paint brush.
Finally here are some improvised rainy, Spring outfits – I am hoping the legs can be bared again by the end of the week!
Skirt – J.Crew Factory (old - similar here) // Shirt – J.Crew Indian voile popover (some sizes available in the sale here) // Boots – Isabel Marant Dicker in Camel (similar here)
Jeans - H&M tapered boyfriend jeans // Shoes - Clarks Hamble Oak // T-shirt - Target (old) // Jacket - Zara
Jacket – Boden Limited Edition Chic Leather Biker Jacket (old) // T-shirt – Zara long sleeved with zip at the back (old) // Trousers – Zara (old) // Boots - Acne Pistols
Wooo hhooo – I’m thrilled to have been featured in the Bury Times this week (page 9)!!! And almost a full page:)
I had a photo session a couple of weeks ago with the lovely Angela Morris – I’m so happy she could help me out on such a FREEZING cold morning. Here are the results:
Jacket – Zara (old) // Jeans – H&M Boyfriend jeans // Shoes – Nine West Austin // T-shirt – Ted Baker // Bag – Boden
I don’t remember Boden ever putting their Spring items in the clearance section before June in previous years? Maybe I’m mistaken, but this year they seem to be dropping odd items in throughout the season. I just happened to be browsing yesterday and found myself lusting after 3 fabulous spring coats. This is when I so wish I was back in the UK and actually had use for spring coats. It’s 80 degrees here this week so it appears summer has arrived for 2013. MM did suggest that they would be great coats for Fall and even Winter here – surely that means he agrees with me and I should purchase immediately?
I will preface this with the fact that 2 of these coats got some poor reviews. However, seeing as I am not the ‘typical’ Boden buyer I tend to take the reviews with a grain of salt. For me the truth always lies in trying the clothes at home, and styling them how I would wear them. I think all 3 of these coats would look fabulous dressed up or down. I can see myself wearing them with boyfriend jeans, a white t-shirt and flats, keeping them simple and casual.
The first is the swishy coatigan. The fabric (as the reviews confirm) looks nothing like a coatigan – I think this is definitely more of a lightweight coat. I want it in parchment which is currently reduced by $60.
The next is the Canonbury coat. I’ve had my eye on this for a while. I think it looks stunning in the iris. Again it would look amazing with just jeans and a t-shirt to really sharpen up a casual outfit. The iris is only reduced by $30 right now but the other two colorways are reduced further. The reviews are pretty dire regarding fit, but I really want to try this and see – dare I say it – but it may just be too much of a departure for some stalwart Boden customers.
Finally I absolutely adore this red version of the Spring trench. It is SO me and would make such a statement. This one I might just have to order for Fall. The red version is currently reduced by $60.
What do you think? Have any of you tried them? If so do the reviews do them justice?
Today it is back to normality. The final days of the vacation were amazing. The children and I did some dancing on the deck while Dad prepared the grill:)
I love this photo of Poppy at dusk looking out to the rigs. I know the thought of oil rigs to many of you may be far from romantic – but I assure you when you see them all twinkling at night it is an amazing sight to behold. Now I sound like I’m about to break out into a Toby Keith song.
My final vacation outfit was of course a bikini – but sparing you that photo – here is one of me in the Zara dress that I used as my beach cover up. I love it – it is really comfortable and light weight. As you can see the house we stayed in was very ‘retro’:)
Yesterday we were all tired and fortunately had a birthday party to attend which got us up and out of the house. It was very odd getting ‘dressed’ again and wearing make-up – I even wore a necklace (inspired by Fiona’s post). Not sure about this get up though – I think this is a bit of a failure – maybe trying too hard?
Jeans – Target // Top – Zara // Jacket – River Island // Boots – Isabel Marant Dicker // Necklace – JCrew bubble copy from local store
…And here I am today, bleary eyed but happy to be home.
Jacket – Gap (old similar here) // Sweater – Express (old) // Trousers – J.Crew Café Capri jade (old) // Flats – Vince Camuto Fawna (old)
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?:)
The sun is out here, but unfortunately no Easter Monday Holiday here in the US – off to work for me!
Jacket – Zara // Linen t-shirt – Zara (old but similar here) // Jeans – Gap Boyfriend (old) // Sneakers – Isabel Marant Bobby // Bag – Alexander Wang Diego (similar here)
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!
Yay the Bobbys are on for their first airing!!
Look at the lining of the cuffs and collar on the shirt – how cute!
Shoes – Isabel Marant Bobbys // Shirt – Boden The Shirt // Jeans – Gap boyfriend jeans (old) // Jacket – jersey jacket Zara (old)
Okay first things first – the Old Navy jeans were abysmal. I am straight up and down or apple shaped – and 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 – well 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 – all prices in dollars, no small print – perfect – wooo 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?
Firstly thank you for all your emails and comments regarding the haircut. Short hair can be polarizing at the best of times – never mind when it it is as short or severe as mine currently is! So it’s reassuring to hear so many positive views – thank you! For those that asked here are my Ginnifer Goodwin inspiration photos that I took to my hairdresser. I think she looks amazing with short hair!
So when sporting a severe, short chop it is risky territory starting a blogpost with ‘Menswear’ as the title. Personally I think it can be done if you keep the colors feminine and the make-up soft as I have here. I have wanted a pair of Oxfords/Brogues for sometime, and after Kat highlighted the Clarks Hamble Oak in nude, I picked a pair up while I was back in the UK. Much cheaper than the Boden version I’d been eyeing (though I do still love the off white version), and they are incredibly comfortable worn without socks – they do fit big in my opinion – I’m normally a UK 6 and these are a 5 1/2.
Here are some of my favorite looks with Oxfords (although all of them have long hair darn it!). The key for me is to keep the ankles on show, which again helps to keep the look a bit more feminine.
And of course the Queen of oxfords – Alexa Chung – I LOVE this look:
Trousers – J.Crew Café Capri in Jade (bought in sale) // Shirt – J.Crew gingham boyfriend shirt // Shoes – Clarks Hamble Oak // Jacket – Boden jersey blazer (old)
Yes I know sneakers are everywhere right now and every blogger, magazine and newspaper, it seems, has featured them – so it’s my turn with a pick of some of my favorites. I have been a sneaker/trainer advocate for some time and always used to make a point of buying them cheap from the US, when we first started traveling here. Friends laughed at me when I described my various pairs of trainers that were either for ‘fashion’ or ‘fitness’ – well you don’t want to wear smelly trainers that you worked out in down at the pub!
My favorites were, and probably always will be, the Nike Air Max ’95s. I had a pair of grey with green and a pair of blue with orange, which I adored and wore both till they fell apart – unusual for me!
I am also a big lover of hi tops and again Nike tends to be my go to brand. I love these Dunk wedge sneakers that they have designed. As you see, like my trousers, I like my sneakers loud!
Going old school – I love these Vans – perfect with skinnies or boyfriend jeans with a simple sweatshirt for a great tomboy look.
These new Adidas ones have caught my eye too. I love Adidas and have a pair of navy Gazelles. I had a pair of green ones that I hunted high and low for back in the early 90′s when Ms. Moss made them a must have item. These hi-tops are a grey marl jersey fabric – they look super comfy and I can’t resist grey marl ever – even on sneakers.
Finally, of course, we can spend a little more should we so wish. Waiting in my closet to be worn are a pair of Marant Bobby sneakers. As soon as the rain disappears they will be on my feet – I adore them and they are the perfect color for summer with shorts.
After Kat reminded me about the Ash Virgins, I took a peek at their new Spring sneakers and I am currently yearning for a pair of Ash Virgin star cutouts in silver – they’d be awesome with boyfriend jeans and my Zara red leather jacket:)
Coincidentally my past few outfits have revolved around sneakers. On Saturday night we went out to our lovely neighbors for little get together. It was a fabulous night, late and indulgent and the kids had a blast too. I wore my new Matalan maxi skirt, old Gap striped t-shirt, Boden Union Jack scarf (old), Gap denim jacket (old) and white Converse.
Today I went for comfort, and rain is expected so the Bobby sneakers are still in their box! I bought these Nike sneakers over a year ago and love the girly pink trim on them:)
Jacket – Boden JohnnieB (old) // Sweatshirt – AllSaints Decay top (old) // Jeans – H&M boyfriend jeans // Sneakers – Nike Air Max (similar here)
So have you bought into the sneaker trend? Which are your must haves?
I am turning granola. Well I’m at least becoming more ‘green’ friendly and more aware of pollutants entering the temple that is my body. I suddenly realized this just the other day when Avril was telling me to stop using Bio Oil as it is a mineral oil full of rubbish stuff that will actually dry my skin out. Rosehip Oil apparently is the way to go – so I have just ordered some from Amazon to give it a whirl as a night treatment.
The other ‘treatment’ I started doing regularly just a few weeks ago may make you feel queasy – but I assure you it is fabulous and you will notice a difference too. Oral health is really important – not just to prevent tooth decay and bad breath – but gum disease has also been shown to raise the incidence of heart disease and premature birth/miscarriage. I am REALLY OCD about my teeth, especially after orthodontic treatments as a child and adult. I want to keep my teeth around forever thank you. In the past I have used a mouth wash for whitening, freshening and rinsing after brushing. Mouthwash can be really harsh and has brought tears to my eyes in the past – plus read the label – I dare you – so many chemicals! Anyway I was reading about juicing (see I am turning granola…) and stumbled across an article about oil pulling. Bear with me. Using an organic oil – I prefer coconut oil – you just swill it in your mouth, like with mouthwash, only for a bit longer, about 15mins. Coconut oil can be a bit intimidating as it is solid at room temperature – but trust me – take a tablespoon in your mouth and it will turn liquid at body temperature. It tastes fabulous – just like coconut – no surprise there really. Ok so what does swilling oil do? Well to a scientist, ah hem, like myself, it makes perfect sense. The oil ‘pulls’ toxins and bacteria from the teeth and gums. Remember hydrophilic and hydrophobic at school? Well all the rubbish stuff in your mouth is actually quite oil friendly (feel free to switch off here, but I used to use oil in my research to separate certain proteins – some liked oil and some didn’t). So the theory is that oil pulling every morning or every other day will remove all the rubbish from your mouth. Avoid swallowing it as it is now full of toxins, and spit it in the bin or down the loo as it will block your sink drains! I swear it has been beneficial – and much more pleasant than mouth wash. Others say it not only freshens breath, whitens teeth and helps oral hygiene but can also aid a more restful sleep and diminish arthritic pain – true detoxification. Give it a go and let me know what you think. It’s now part of my morning routine – and I actually ‘swill’ while showering every morning.
It’s Hugh’s birthday today so we’re both hanging out together. It’s the last time I’ll be able to take him out of school on his birthday. The new drum kit seems to have been a hit (groan – no pun intended) – at least with me and Poppy – one of us WILL tour with Jack White.
I had to nip into Zara to take a couple of things back – poor Hugh got dragged along too but he gave me 10 mins to try a couple of t-shirts that didn’t come home with me.
Boots – Rag & Bone charcoal suede Newburys // Trousers – Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings // Knitted tunic – H&M (old) // Coat – Boden Iona coat (only $97 in clearance!) // Scarf – Marks & Spencer bicycle scarf
Jet lagged. Very. Why does it affect me more coming back this way? Managed to survive Hugh’s party yesterday though, only just, then devoured a mountain of pizza to feel better. Very fuzzy today and I have a drum kit to assemble tonight for the birthday boy!
Jacket - Boden tweed jacket (old) // Trousers - J.Crew wool café capris in guava // Jumper - Boden sparkle Skye jumper // Boots - Acne Pistols.