May Madness.

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.

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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)

JCrew Factory

 

Jeans – H&M tapered boyfriend jeans // Shoes – Clarks Hamble Oak // T-shirt – Target (old) // Jacket – Zara

brogues

 

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

Pistols

 

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Casual Sunday.

Saturday was so much fun – the weather here was amazing and as it is a Holiday weekend there were no appointments like swimming lessons to rush to.  I had a lovely relaxing morning with a good workout followed by an afternoon with the kids playing in the sun.  We then headed off North to Roswell where I have rarely been – but it was beautiful.  We were off to some stables for a photo shoot for the children.  As I’ve mentioned we really don’t like the stiff school portraits with fake backgrounds, and Karen at Muddy Faces takes some amazing shots so I’d rather giver her my money.  The location was idyllic – sunset at the stables with horses everywhere – it was hard to believe we were only 45 mins from Atlanta.  I could have sat there all evening.

Today we headed to the river to get some fresh air again.  I should have been running in a half marathon, but with a sore foot and zero mental focus for training I just couldn’t.  I wasn’t too bothered at missing it until I heard my running buddy ran it in 2hrs!! You go girl…and now you’ve given me the motivation to get going again!

I am still scaring myself everytime I look in the mirror and see my red hair but it’s growing on me – I do like it – I just think I need to be careful it doesn’t look trashy.

I’m wearing my Boden Must Have Jumper in radish from SS 2012 in radish, Hudson jeans, a grey Target tank and my Clark’s desert boots.

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…And suddenly everything is right.

Firstly it is confession time.  After contemplating growing my hair I then decided that before embarking on such a painful process I should at least go as short as I dare.  So on Thursday evening I went to see the lovely O’Neil at Van Michael and got it all chopped off – even my trusty little asymmetrical fringe that has been my comfort blanket for so long.  I have to say I quite like it, it requires no time at all to style, not even a blow dry, and it is certainly very different from the ubiquitous long, blonde hair seen here in Atlanta.  I’m still giving myself a little fright every time I check the mirror as there is a lot more ‘face’ showing, but it’s definitely settling in on me.  I find I’ve been spending a little more time on my make-up especially around my eyes as I want to keep it soft and feminine.  There’s definitely a danger of looking too severe with such short hair.  The other bonus is that MM loves it – I’m very lucky to have a man that appreciates the confidence it requires to sport such short hair, he very kindly said it was very ‘Paris chic’ – hey I’ll take it!  As of now I’m planning on keeping it like this for a couple of months, maybe over the summer too as it is super for the heat and humidity we have here.  Then I’ll start growing it – for sure this time.

Today I am wearing my new haircut along with a 2011 Boden cashmere tunic, Gap jeggings, and my taupe Frye Shirley over the knee boots.

Friday was hectic, first a bike ride with an old friend, then lots of cleaning and preparation for Saturday’s birthday party for my son.  Prior to the tornadoes arriving, I managed to persuade my daughter to visit the shoe shop with me for her new spring/summer school shoes.  I’m very old school and have inherited my obsession for ‘sensible’ shoes for my children from my own wonderful Mum, who bought me Clarks shoes every school year, long after many of my friends were wearing ‘trendy’ shoes.  Unfortunately it didn’t save me from wreaking havoc on my feet in my late teens with badly fitting white stilettos.  I find the choice here to be pretty minimal compared to the children’s shoes available in Europe.  We have Stride Rite but I find them pretty predictable with their styles and the boys shoes are just so nerdy!  This time we visited a store here in Buckhead called Sprong.  Again though I was a little disappointed with the choice.  Am I the only Mom in Atlanta who wants closed toe and closed heel shoes for their daughter even in the summer?  I know it gets hot here, but from painful experience, sandals with no socks in the heat tend to lead to blisters, not to mention all the gravel that can get stuck under your foot.  With some help from a lovely, patient sales lady we struck gold.  I think you will agree that these See Kai Run shoes were made for Poppy, and thankfully she adores them.

The birthday party on Saturday had to be amended slightly.  After the rain all Friday night the yard was a mud pit so the bouncy castle was cancelled.  Fortunately the magician, white rabbit and twenty something kids all turned up and had a fabulous time.  The photo cake from Publix turned out a treat too and was demolished by 5pm.  We co-hosted with great friends whose son also turns 4 tomorrow, and both birthday boys were ecstatic with their haul of gifts.  Now all I have to worry about is taking Hugh for his four year old shots, ouch…

What with the chaos of the weekend I didn’t get my long weekend run so I am planning on it this evening.  I’m getting frustrated with my increased appetite from the increased running so I just ordered a bag of chia seeds.  Another fad I know, but they were recommended by Christopher McDougall, the author of “Born to Run”.  They are apparently packed full of nutrients and they swell to a gel when mixed with liquid, so not only are they supposed to give you more energy for long runs, but the also curb your appetite.  Let me know what you think if you have tried them…