A week of Christmas concerts

Even though we have lived just up the road from the Governor’s Mansion for 15 years, we have never yet received an invite for dinner and drinks. This week we came close and we were invited for a Christmas tour accompanied by music – and bonus – Poppy’s school chorus had been selected to sing, in addition to that Poppy’s name was one of 50 drawn out of the hat to represent the chorus! Talk about another proud mom moment. I dragged myself off my sick bed and threw on my festive colors. I was even greeted by the First Lady of Georgia a the door, though I chose not to challenge her about the lack of previous invites ūüėČ It was a fabulous morning and I may have shed my first tear of the season.

OH took the photo – hence the sun in the eyes, the large amount of blue sky and lack of sparkly boots, but thank you nonetheless ūüôā

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Trouser – J.Crew (30% off with code JINGLE) // Sweater – Everlane sleeveless polo neck // Coat – Marks and Spencer (old) // Boots not seen – Zara

Yesterday I had Hugh’s 1st Grade concert to attend. Unfortunately there are no school nativities here due to separation of Church and State etc. so we were treated to a Holiday celebration of ‘patterns’. ¬†Quite good fun actually – they sung about patterns in music, numbers, nature etc. There was an absence of Holiday colors on my part but the kids made up for it I assure you!

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Sneakers – J.Crew // Jeans – Zara // T-Shirt – ASOS // Scarf – Boden (old) // Cardigan – ASOS

Just this morning I was back at the school watching the chorus and orchestra perform. Such good fun – they really love it too and they were so animated. I can now say that Christmas has arrived. I was there early as you can see it was still pitch black when I took my photo! This is the closest¬†you will get me to wearing¬†a Christmas sweater ūüôā

IMG_0289Sneakers – Golden Goose (similar here on sale) // Trousers – Zara // Sweater – J.Crew (30% off with code Jingle) // Jacket – Mango (similar here on sale) // Bag – Zara

¬†Just as I am wiping my brow with relief that all the Christmas shopping is done, I am beginning to receive sale emails! The Mango sale started today so I’ll be enjoying a glass of white and perusing that later ūüôā¬†Now I need to reapply my lipstick as my lovely Husband is taking me out for lunch before the kids break up for the Holidays tomorrow. My Father in Law arrives from the UK today too so the festivities are certainly underway here.

I’ll keep you posted with sale news so keep checking my Facebook page too!

 

 

Christmas has arrived

Yes our household is now the proud owner of a tree. Our school doesn’t have a tree sale so we support another local elementary PTA each year and get our 9 footer from them. I refused to let the kids decorate last night as the tree was wet and I didn’t want them electrocuted while we were out. That didn’t go down well with them at all, so this morning I was verbally assaulted from 7am onwards with “mommy get up! We want to do the tree”…I tried to hide under the duvet after a late night out but it didn’t work. My kids are relentless.

Another sign that Christmas has arrived is that our elf, Maximus, has also returned.¬†Lying in bed the other¬†night, about to fall asleep, my Husband sat up with a start – ‘f*ck’ he said.

What, what, what?! Have we left the gas on? Have we forgotten to pay a bill? Have we left the children somewhere?

No – worse than that – he explained – “I haven’t moved the f*cking elf”

Mango 2 Mango jacketShoes – Gucci fringe loafers // Trousers – J.Crew // Tee – Zara (old) // Jacket – Mango // Bag – H&M

On Thursday I had my monthly trip to the salon. I wanted less length on top and went for a more textured look, along with a lighter color to highlight my faux hawk. I am pretty darn happy with how it turned out. I got to wear my new Boden Off Duty sweater. I absolutely love this year’s version – the knit is looser and it drapes nicely, the sleeves are also longer. It’s the perfect winter jumper.

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Shoes – Golden Goose (similar here on sale!) // Jeans – Zara // Sweater – Boden Off Duty jumper // Fur – Zara // Bag – H&M

Last night we went out for dinner – maybe our last night out together before Christmas what with parties, cheer competitions and the arrival of relatives. We had a fabulous evening as always. Stella joined me for the photo session but quickly lost interest.

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Dress – AllSaints // Boots – Stuart Weitzman Highland

I was very excited before we left as the tree had arrived!

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Today my elves have been dressing the tree while I hold the sofa down exploring our new Hulu service РI am obsessed with all the British shows we can now watch!

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Before I head back to the sofa make sure you check out AllSaints this weekend – their sale has started in the US and in the UK there is 20% off coats and leather jackets till tonight with code WINTER. Enjoy!

 

Back from DC!

Howdy all!! ¬†We’re back! ¬†I’ve had a fabulous short break in Washington D.C. doing lots of touristy stuff. ¬†We must have been very good this year as Santa left us all tickets on Christmas morning, so after unwrapping the gifts to squeals of excitement, we left for the airport.

It truly was amazing to see the sights in real life that we are so used to seeing on t.v. in the news or in movies. ¬†The weather was perfect too – glorious sun – but I was pretty happy I had my Marks & Spencer Per Una Christmas present to wear too – I’ve never had so many compliments about a coat before!

Here’s a quick photo round up of the highlights – for more you can check out my Instagram account.

One of the Elves got sidetracked on the way back to the North Pole…

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Fortunately Santa still had time for a hug with Poppy before leaving the hotel.

 

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We headed straight to the White House Рalong with everyone else!  I wore my super comfy and very festive Golden Goose for the occasion.  The cashmere beany was absolutely required in the cold and my Husband got to wear his gorgeous Elder Statesman hat that I bought him for our anniversary this year.

 

White House

The Capital is just amazing.

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This view from Lincoln’s Memorial always makes me think of Forrest Gump. ¬†The view and the Memorial are¬†stunning and quite awe inspiring.

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The MLK memorial was a highlight for the children as they know so much about him.

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Although I had a break from outfit photos while away – here is my outfit from the 23rd, when I headed out with the girls from work for our Christmas celebration.

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Boots РStuart Weitzman Highland (my favorite purchase from AW 2013) // Dress РZara (old)

As much as I love traveling it is always great to get home. ¬†Today I am heading out for some retail therapy. ¬†I haven’t really looked too much at the sales and the boots I am after probably won’t even be in the sale. ¬†I still may treat myself given a) how much I have worn my Highlands¬†and b) I have no need for a NYE outfit as we are staying home with Chinese and Carson Daly. ¬†These boots will be the perfect transitional boot from winter to spring – the 5050 in tan nubuck.

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I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and I am certainly ready to throw myself into 2014!  Who has fabulous plans for Tuesday evening?

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A week to go!

Are you ready? ¬†I am sort of‚ĶI just have to wrap everything and assemble a damn dolls house! ¬†Writing that makes me realize I’m not ready at all! ¬†So in the frenzy of Advent here is a quick outfit post.

Yesterday morning it was my son’s Kindergarten Holiday program. ¬†It was beautiful – they sang songs for¬†Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year and Las Posadas – wonderfully multi-cultural. ¬†He was the only boy in sweats and sneakers – I must remember the slacks, sports jacket and loafers for next year.

I made sure my piercings were on full show for the PTA by wearing my hair behind my ears with a baseball cap.

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Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – Diesel Fayza Jogg Jeans // Shirt – Gap // Cardigan – AllSaints // Cap – J.Crew

Last night I went out for drinks and appetizers with two wonderful girlfriends.  We bought tickets for the Mega Millions draw, which I refuse to check today just so I can pretend I won for a little longer.

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Boots – Stuart Weitzman Highland // Jeans – Gap jeggings (similar here) // Tank – H&M // Sweater – AllSaints (old – similar here)

Try and enjoy this coming week – take a moment to relish friends and family at this fun time of the year. ¬†It’ll be 2014 before we know it.

 

 

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A haircut for date night.

It was time for a color refresh yesterday and even though I am growing my hair it had got to the stage where I needed more shape. ¬†The bob was getting a bit heavy so I had lots of layers added to blend it and make it easier to keep growing – it’s almost over my collar at the back now!

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Thanks as always to the gorgeous Lauren at Plum Salon who got me out of there in time for my Brazilian appointment – Christmas takes some preparation! ¬†In fact after reading MommyEnnui.com‘s latest post top of my wish list for Santa this year is painless, permanent, immediate removal of all my unwanted body hair!

My outfit for the day was rather festive – red and sparkles!

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Sneakers – Golden Goose (old similar here¬†and here) // Jeans – Zara // Sweater – Uniqlo men’s cashmere crewneck // Jacket – Zara (old similar here¬†and here on sale!) // Sunglasses – Ray Ban Aviators

Last night we went out for dinner – a bit of romance before the Christmas mayhem begins. ¬†I broke all the rules and wore my new Stuart Weitzman Highland boots with a short, tight, printed dress. ¬†I felt quite boho though with my H&M gilet. ¬†The boots are incredibly comfy and easy to wear – they made me feel pretty fabulous. ¬†I think they are true to size – I’m wearing a US 8.5. ¬†I have a pretty wide foot too and, contrary to many reviews, I don’t find them narrow at all.

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Boots РStuart Weitzman Highland // Tights РMarks and Spencers Merino rich tights (LOVE these) // Dress РZara (this is a medium and dangerously short) // Gilet РH&M (similar here) // Clutch РBoden Canonbury clutch (just $44 in the sale!)

It is miserable weather here today so I am going to curl up on the sofa with a box of Belgian chocolates and watch It’s a Wonderful Life again! ¬†What is your favorite Xmas movie?

 

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It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas!

After a wild, fun night on Thursday, that ended later than expected at 3am, I headed out of the house on Friday to get the tree, again later than expected‚ĶThe kids were eager to decorate and for the first time ever I let them at it – all except the stringing of the lights that my OCD just couldn’t bear to let go of, not just yet anyway‚ĶI have to say they did a mighty fine job. ¬†Even our daredevil elf, Maximus, was suitably impressed.

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While we were waiting for the tree to be delivered I asked the children to write their lists for Santa.  As you can see Poppy was less than impressed for some reason, though Hugh had a blast writing his РI must teach him to do ditto marks next time poor lad!

Lists for Santa

Hat – Nordstrom // T-shirt – Zara (old) // Cardigan – AllSaints // Jeans – Zara coated jeans (similar here) // Boots – Frye Jane Tall boots

The house feels and smells so festive now – I love having the trees up – but it’s hard to believe it really is almost Xmas!! ¬†I haven’t sent cards yet or transferred the kids’ lists into my Amazon cart – thank goodness I had the foresight to photograph them before they were handed over to Santa!

Today I had a good run with Tennyson in the drizzle – the boy is a trouper – 4 miles in the wet and cold was not was not what he was expecting as he bounded out of the door! ¬†I then enjoyed a good old family day watching football and Christmas movies while indulging with peppermint bark and hot chocolate…I think a run will be required most days in this run up to the 25th!

Zara sweater

 Sneakers РGolden Goose // Jeans РDiesel Fayza Jogg Jeans // Tank РGap // Sweater РZara

 

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Falling in love all over again…

with…wait for it…Loft! ¬†Wait! ¬†Wait!! ¬†Don’t run away scared! ¬†Let’s start at the beginning. ¬†Back in my corporate days I loved Loft. ¬†Cheaper than Ann Taylor, but great quality and did I mention CHEAP! ¬†They ALWAYS have some kind of offer going on – so once we are done here remember to sign up for their newsletters.

I popped in yesterday – why I have no idea as I had the kids with me…but I saw this in the window and it drew me in like a magnet. ¬†The skirt is a beautiful cream with a hint of pink in the tulle – but what I really love is the grey stretchy, jersey lining that makes it not only super comfy but also incredibly easy to dress down with a t-shirt for a super cool party look.

tulle skirt

 

Here’s what I’ve ordered to wear with it. ¬†Two fabulous t-shirts – in my opinion as nice as J.Crew but CHEAPER! ¬†What’s not to love?

beads Bow tshirt

 

And of course I couldn’t check out without at least trying these – the sweatshirt for layering and the shoes for that finishing touch. ¬†They’d also both look perfect with jeans.

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gold shoes

 

It’s funny how popping in those stores that you’d long ago dismissed can be quite the revelation! ¬†Take a peek – I dare you not to find something you love in Loft!

Oh and the best bit?  Right now using code ENJOY you can get 40% off all your cart:)

(p.s. this is NOT a sponsored post – I genuinely adored what I saw!)

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A New Year and a new closet!

First let me tell you – if you did as I did and ordered in J.Crew‘s sale at the weekend, call them and ask them to apply the new 30% off sale prices STYLE2013 code to your order – they just did for me and have credited me $50 – brilliant customer service I have to say.

Another couple of sale purchases were made last night (trying to get it done before the New Year’s resolution etc…).¬† As MM was watching football I was surfing Nordstrom’s shoe sale.¬† It started with a want/need/itch – call it what you want – for some black and white ballet flats for the Spring to wear with my new J.Crew cafe capris.¬† Not willing to pay Chanel type prices but wanting a Chanel type shoe I thought Nordstrom would be the place to start.¬† Low and behold I found these beauties – the Vince Camuto Fawna.¬† Unfortunately, at 50% off I also thought I’d save more i.e. spend more, and I ordered the pink and caramel versions too!¬† They’re also available in the sale on the Vince Camuto site if you are in the US.

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/vince-camuto-fawna-flat/3341747?origin=keywordsearch&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=0

So the Christmas tree is down today and the house is looking relatively normal again.¬† I have to say the Christmas present I am loving more and more each day is our new closet.¬† I am so thrilled we got it finished before the Holidays.¬† Each time I walk in there I feel giddy.¬† Everything is put away neatly, all within reach, and the best bit is we built it all ourselves – such a sense of accomplishment!¬† So as promised here are some photos of our new IKEA Pax closet – the steps are necessary for me to reach to top – we are using every inch of the room – and don’t worry MM has some space at the other end of the closet!

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Not much going on today – I nipped out to Trader Joe’s for some more Cava and Prosecco for tonight.¬† MM and I aren’t huge fans of New Year’s Eve – we always used to call it amateur night.¬† We’re much happier sitting in with a Chinese takeaway, some fizzy wine and Carson and Ryan on the t.v. – I am so ready for 2013 to start.¬† 2012 has been an amazing year – and I am expecting great things from 2013.¬† We’re planning a year of travel and trips – no money on the house this year!¬† I hope 2013 brings you all health, wealth and happiness – and THANK YOU for being here – for reading, being interested and leaving comments and sending emails – it means more than you can possibly imagine.

So here’s the last outfit of 2012 – some sparkles and fur.¬† MM wanted to know where I was going clubbing when I nipped out to the shops:)¬† It’s time for the Target fur (reduced to $35 online), worn over a Zara t-shirt layered with an old, but favorite Diesel sequin t-shirt.¬† The jeans are Hudson Collins and the boots are the Isabel Marant Dickers.¬† HAPPY NEW YEAR! xx

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A Christmas to remember.

Firstly I hope Santa bought you everything you hoped for?

We have had an amazing week.¬† Christmas Eve was filled with love and friendship on our annual family visit to Church.¬† It’s a tradition I established a couple of years ago as I have great memories of singing carols as a child, both at Church and school.¬† Attending a public school here though means there is very little carol singing, if any, as we have all this separation of Church and State etc.¬† So in order for the children to appreciate the story of Christmas I have started taking them to Church on Christmas Eve.¬† The real miracle is that even MM – a true agnostic – comes with us and belts out a couple of carols.¬† This year we were also joined by friends and that made it really special.

For Church I wore my H&M dress, Boden chic leather biker jacket from last season and my black Isabel Marant Dicker boots.¬† I can’t see the dress online right now but it was recently in the sale here in store for just $10 – yes it’s synthetic and I wouldn’t stand anywhere near a naked flame in it – but I think it’s really fun and can be worn for a variety of occasions.

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On Christmas Day morning Santa was good to all of us – leaving us 4 tickets for a flight that lunchtime to NYC!¬† SO exciting!¬† Fortunately, Santa had tipped off Mom and Dad beforehand, so we had time to do a little under cover packing.¬† Note to self: don’t try to go to Church, pack bags and wrap presents on Christmas Eve again.

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Of course one of the joys of traveling Christmas Day is that there is no Christmas Dinner to cook.¬† My little ones were thrilled with their alternative Christmas Dinner and a trip to their first NYC McDonald’s!

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We anticipated that the weather was going to be colder up there but bl**dy hell it was freezing.  So much for me wondering which jackets to take.  In the end I made the right choice with my Patagonia Downtown Loft puffer Рit was perfect for navigating the Rockefeller Center with the rest of the New York tourists.

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It was crazy there and if the crowds were overwhelming for me then they must have been for Hugh and Poppy so we headed to Bryant Park instead, which was far more civilized on Christmas night.  Another beautiful Christmas tree to see, ice skaters to watch and the Empire State Building lit up above us.  What a perfect NYC scene.

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Food featured heavily in this trip and that night we headed back to the hotel, weary from traveling and crowds, to enjoy the best Chinese takeaway ever.  I see a new tradition beginning.

Boxing Day was icy again, but intent on doing some more tourist attractions for the children’s benefit, we headed Downtown.¬† I wrapped up in the Boden Fairisle jumper, layered over an H&M vest dress, with my AllSaints Delors leather trousers, Zara scarf and Ash Bowie boots – which I have to say were the most comfortable shoes for walking up and down Manhattan – I was thrilled they’d made it into my bag!¬† (Carnage behind me in this photo – a family of 4 in a hotel room…).

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It was important for MM and I to pay our respects at the World Trade Center site, but not wanting to go into too much detail with a 4 and a 6 year old, we opted to wander slowly past Engine 10 Ladder 10 and the memorials.  Very moving and hard to keep it together all these years later.

We then headed to the Staten Island Ferry.¬† Not only the best way to see Downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty – but the deck of a ferry was also the venue for MM’s proposal of marriage one day early in December, 15 years ago.¬† After telling Poppy the story she now loves recounting the bit about me drinking a beer and eating a hotdog. IMG_2865 IMG_2866 IMG_2868 IMG_2872

After lunch we headed back Uptown, for a bit of culture and warmth, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.¬† We indulged the children with Egyptian Mummies then Hugh decided it was time for a bit of a meltdown – not surprising – the poor lad had walked miles.¬† I took full advantage of his meltdown to suggest it might be an idea if I sat with him in the caf√© (read bar) so he could snooze (and I could drink prosecco) – I always have my children’s best interests in mind you see.¬† MM got to wander the corridors of art and Byzantine relics while I ‘parented’ – perfect for all of us I think?¬† Plus the snow began to fall as I sat there snuggling my 4 year old.¬† To say it felt Christmassy was an understatement – I was in heaven!

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That night we headed out to dinner to the Bryant Park Grill.¬† I wanted to take the children out for a nice Christmas dinner but obviously the location had to be child friendly and this venue worked out well.¬† We dined on oysters, rack of lamb, and classic New York cheesecake.¬† Don’t even think about the calories.¬† Unfortunately the weather was ABYSMAL and we got SOAKED walking home – but renditions of ‘My Favorite Things‘ kept us buoyant:)¬† I was very relieved that suede had not been my choice of footwear.¬† Instead I wore my Rag & Bone Newburys (in New York what else?), with Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings (now just $29, incredibly comfortable AND they turned out to be pretty water proof!), Forever 21 earrings (similar here – LOVE how cheap they are!), and my tie dye Target Converse dress.¬† On a side note it turns out that Rag & Bone put a lot of thought into designing the perfect boot for New York women – and they really do fit the bill perfectly.¬† Some heel height for a bit of sass, but a block heel for walking between subway stations, and a padded footbed for comfort.

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On Thursday we walked miles again.¬† Dressed in my Off Duty Boden jumper (possibly my favorite this season), AllSaints leather Delors trousers, and Frye Phillip studded harness boots with my H&M scarf we headed off for breakfast. After pancakes we started with a bit of shopping in Soho.¬† Bizarrely and quite worryingly I didn’t buy a thing, though I did worship for a while at the Isabel Marant and AllSaints stores.¬† It was also fun popping in places like Uniqlo that we don’t have here in Atlanta.¬† Fish and chips at A Salt and Battery was our reward for lunch before heading back Uptown to Dylan’s Candy Bar – Mom and Dad deserve a medal for braving those crowds.

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My absolute favorite meal/experience of the trip was our visit to Balthazar restaurant on Friday morning.¬† It made me wish we could stay and celebrate New Year’s Eve there.¬† MM had taken me there once before as a treat on my 40th birthday trip.¬† It was fun to go back and let the kids know we were eating at the Beckham’s favorite spot:)¬† I bet Victoria doesn’t order what I did – it was perfect with a Mimosa.

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So Christmas 2012 has been fabulous and we still have New Year’s Eve to go.¬† I am extremely thankful though that we left NYC as the revelers arrived – I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather NOT be on December 31st than Times Square!

Glad to be back blogging Рthanks for all your emails and comments РI have read them all and will reply soon I promise!  What do you all have planned for Monday evening Рand what are you going to wear!?

 

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all!  Not only are the presents wrapped, but the closet is finished hooray!!  That explains my absence over the past couple of days Рwe had a flurry of energy and decided to just get it done! I promise to share photos of the finished closet soon РI am unable to move as of now due to excessive flat-packing.

Thank you to all of you for making my first year of blogging so much fun – I have made great new friends and it’s been a wonderful learning experience both in the technology and style stakes.

I’ll have lots of outfit photos to follow after Christmas.¬† So for now I’ll leave you with my all time favorite Christmas songs and I hope Santa brings you all you want xx.

 

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