A new children’s tv presenter?

I only ask this question as those of you who remember Floella Benjamin and Brian Cant may see why my jumpsuit and fringed sneakers made me think of them today! I’m ready to step in a present Play Away anytime!

I am head over heels in love with these new premium leather fringe Converse. SO comfortable – I always seem to take half a size down in Converse – these are a US 8 instead of my usual US 8.5.

Converse

My jumpsuit is similar to the navy version that Alex shared a photo of on Instagram. Both are sold out but stalk the navy one – it keeps coming back into stock.

jumpsuitJumpsuit – ASOS (similar here) // Jacket – Maje (TheOutnet.com) // Sneakers – Converse // Bag – Stella McCartney // Scarf – Boden (old – 20% off pants, skirts, shoes and accessories today!)

It’s been a pretty cold week again here so I’ve mainly been donning variations of a theme – coats and scarfs! This coat was an absolute bargain in the Zara sale.

White coatSneakers РGolden Goose // Jeans РDiesel Fayza // Jumper РUniqlo cotton cashmere // Coat РZara // Bag РProenza Schouler // Scarf РZara (old)

A weekend packed with cheer competitions is coming up so it’s going to be fun and busy! I can’t wait for all those sequins and sparkles! So much rehearsal goes into a 2 1/2 minute performance!

A new hobby

Throughout my life no one has ever considered me to be creative. I’ve always been pigeon holed as the left brained scientist. Not a bad thing at all, but I do remember feeling rather dejected after my attempts to draw and shade the light and shadow on an apple, and my rather pathetic depiction in clay of me sitting on a wall – it used to be on the sideboard at home but even my proud Mum has now relegated it to a shelf in the spare room ūüôā

Having children can force you into all kinds of situations that you would never normally consider, such as crafting and painting. Before kids I would never have considered owning a glue gun or paint brushes. Well how things change. Poppy and Hugh have always loved making a mess with paint and recently I was inspired to have a go. It was after buying a couple of fabulous Donald Robertson designed J.Crew tees. I love them for their simplicity and repetitive images. I started following @Donalddrawbertson on Instagram – he really does seem quite a down to earth, talented guy. Having said that,¬†I thought ‘this looks a piece of piss – I’m going to have a go’. So using his art as inspiration – the highest form of flattery – I grabbed my acrylics, a brush, and a bottle of white and started dabbling. Feel free to giggle but I am quite proud of them having not painted since I was 14! Give it a go yourself – you never know what might appear in front of you on paper!

dancing ladies

This is my first ever painting on canvas – it is now hung in my sunroom – signed – just in case it is worth a fortune after I am gone…

first canvas Frenemies

Here is a frame I put up with my attempt at the top and Poppy’s brilliant interpretation below:

Poppy and I

Now these were quite scary – both were attempts at self portraits – far too much wine by this stage ūüôā

self portraits

I then moved on to animals – it started out as a deer, then became a dog with Christmas antlers:)

dog with antlers

A cairn terrier – not sure where this came from but I had one called Macks as a child.

cairn terrier

This is probably the one that troubled¬†my Husband the most when he saw my talent scattered on the kitchen table. I’m not sure about this one at all – the Devil, a Centaur or Mr. Tumnus?

devilAnd here I am wearing one of my favorite tees that inspired me to pick up the brush – head over to J.Crew where they are currently on sale with 30% off using code GIVETHIS – there are also some fabulous Crewcut versions for kids.

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T-shirt – J.Crew // Jeans – Zara (old) // Boots – Charcoal suede Newbury boots (similar here) // Cardigan – AllSaints (old but similar here and the end of season sale is on in the US)

I forgot to include this photo the other day of me grabbing some Christmas bargains in J.Crew for Poppy.

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Boots РIsabel Marant Dicker // Jeans РDiesel Fayza // Sweater РBoden Off Duty jumper (25% off everything right now) // Knitted coat РASOS

Finally yesterday – it is getting a bit chilly for ankles but I am persevering!

12_9Shoes – Zara // Trousers – Zara (old) // T-shirt – J.Crew (similar here on sale) // Jacket – Zara (old) // Scarf – H&M (old) // Bag – H&M

So when you are wondering what to do on a cold winter’s night get your paints out and see what happens!!

 

On the same wavelength

Eve and I often send each other links and give each other advice on what to buy or not to buy (mainly the former!). We’re true enablers. We have very similar wardrobes – maybe because we have similar body types or just similar tastes. We have joked in the past how much more we could cram in our closets if we were close enough to share clothes. Yesterday we were each wearing our Mango culottes on different sides of the Atlantic.

Mango have another code right now too – purchase one item and get 30% off – purchase 2 or more items and get 40% off! Just use code 6DISCOUNT7 in the US and 6DISCOUNT in the UK. All sizes in the culottes are still available in the US!

You can click here to see Eve’s interpretation and here is mine – I was scared of chilly ankles ūüôā

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culottes no gilet

Culottes РMango // Sweater РEverlane v-neck slouchy cashmere // Gilet РJohnnyB (last year but similar here with 25% off till Thursday midnight!) LOVING the jacket version too here! // Boots РZara

As Eve mentions they are incredibly comfortable and fit on the larger side for Mango – though their sizing is all over the place! These are a UK 12/US 8 and fit great especially on my waist where I sometimes struggle with waistbands being too tight!

I seem to have a thing for grey at the moment and I can’t get my hands on enough grey sweaters! My new love is the Everlane sleeveless chunky knit. Being sleeveless makes it easy to wear under jackets and it’s also dressier to wear with leather pants or skirts for a night out. The knit is so soft – I am obsessed. I dug out my old favorite Diesel Fayzas – the best jeans ever.

Fayza 3

Sneakers – Golden Goose (similar here) // Jeans – Diesel Fayza jogg jeans // Sweater – Everlane sleeveless chunky knit // Jacket – Zara

I’m hoping to go for a cheeky curry for lunch with my Husband today – it better be a hot one as our Polar Plunge arrives tomorrow ūüôā Just in time for my trip to Charlotte for a wedding bbbbrrrrr!

Oh and one last note – if you haven’t already then make sure you invest in the Urban Decay Naked palettes! Mine arrived and I LOVE them! Yes they are $50 – but you can buy 5 single shadows for that price and here you get a highly pigmented, non-dusty, easy to apply, long lasting eyeshadow palette with 12 colors. I am wearing the pinkier hues here¬†from the Naked 3 palette.

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Shorter and darker.

Just 2 weeks ago I went short with my hair again. ¬†After a week at the beach I still felt it was too long and too ‘inbetweeny’. ¬†Not one to mess about I went back to my wonderful stylist, Chadd, yesterday and went even shorter, and then Gina gave me a lovely dark chocolate color. ¬†I feel super sassy – it is amazing how great the ‘right’ cut can make you feel. ¬†I love the darker color too and my hair looks lovely and healthy and shiny – what’s left of it:)

Pre-cut:

Mango harems 1

Jumper – Uniqlo cashmere crewneck (old) // Trousers – Mango Bambi Harems // Shoes – M&S Limited Collection

The Mango trousers are fabulous – these are a US Small (Eur Medium – they label for the larger US woman!) and they are perfect.

Post-cut:

I adore this sleeveless blazer – perfect for throwing on to dress up an outfit. ¬†It will be worn a lot over the Spring here. ¬†It’s an unusual color choice for me but I quite like it for a change – it’s a taupe/cream color. ¬†The fabric is lovely quality too – not shiny at all.

M&S 2 M&S 1

 

Jacket РM&S Limited Collection // Jumper РZara (old) // Scarf РH&M (old) // Jeans РDiesel Fayza // Boots РSam Edelman Petty (reduced here)

It’s freezing here today so the sweaters are out – totally random weather!

Oh and I am getting my navel pierced tomorrow ready for the summer months…the mid-life crisis continues!

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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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Uggs

Come on I know we all have a pair. ¬†I wear mine nearly every day at this time of year – they are perfect for slipping on for nipping out of the house to the yard or down to the bus stop – no where too public. ¬†Yes I’m talking about Uggs – frowned on by stylists around the world, yet worn by everyone. ¬†I just put mine on to take the Halloween decorations down – yes, yes I know it’s November 7th but I’ve been busy;) ¬†They’re also perfect for nursing blistered feet after their first 6 mile run in 6 months yesterday…yes I’m hobbling around today.

I prefer the simple Classic Ugg – these are grey – but my favorite pair were the short classic in sand – I wore them out over 2 pregnancies.

Here’s my catalog pose.

 

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Sweater – H&M // Jeans – Diesel Fayza Jogg Jeans // Uggs – Ugg classic tall in grey

 

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Outfit catch up.

First of all my Golden Goose arrived!! Yay!!! SO fast!! But boo!! Bugger they are too big!! I ordered 39s Рboth my other pairs are 39s Рbut these leopard print ones are ENORMOUS! So off they go back, with the 38s on their way to me. Why must a brand be so inconsistent with sizing?  The good thing is they are lovely Рquite muted and not too loud at all Рif you can say that for leopard print:)

It’s definitely Fall here now – the jeans and boots are out in full force, along with scarves – it’s very exciting! ¬†This weekend we have Fall break from school too so it should be fun packed with play dates for Poppy and Hugh, and Mom and Dad:)

Today I am wearing – shock, gasp, horror – lots of ‘old’ stuff. ¬†My Boden drop shoulder jumper (from the clearance), Gap camo jeans, Zara scarf and grey Newbury boots. ¬†Look at that turf behind me! ¬†We have a whole new yard to enjoy – no more rotting swing set causing a hazard to anyone!

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Monday saw me in my new H&M ‘coatigan’, Fayza jeans, Vince Ninas and an old Zara black tee. ¬†The sunglasses are Chanel from last year (similar here).

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Tuesday I wore my fabulous leopard print hat, old AllSaints tee, old J.Crew jacket (similar here), camo jeans from Gap and my canvas Newbury boots. ¬†Yes, yes, yes – quite a few ‘older’ loved items coming back out for Fall!

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Yesterday I eventually changed into my Boden St. Ives jumper, Fayza jeans, Havaianas and J.Crew wool cap РI was very lazy and worked from home while some burley men worked in the yard laying the turf:)  Sorry for the fuzzy photo РI think I was still shaking after a tabata session in spin class РI thought I might actually hurl it was such hard work!

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Unfortunately we underestimated the amount of turf we needed so they’ll be back next week to finish the job…

new lawn

My weekend starts tonight with a girls’ night out – margaritas and tacos – I can’t wait!

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Bra shopping.

Having worn my Topshop camis a few times I came to realize that I was in desperate need of a new strapless bra.  I hate bra shopping.  Not that I mind being measured or anything РI just really dislike spending money on something that will never be seen by anyone except by me.  Having said that the results of a badly fitting bra are plain for all to see, as you will see from my photos today!

I had already tried to order 2 strapless Wonderbras from Figleaves.com¬†but it was one of the most painful experiences ever. ¬†Firstly as Figleaves are in the UK I was charged a bank fee for my transaction – a flipping hidden fee I knew nothing about until it appeared. ¬†Then the bras never arrived and I had to deal with Figleaves’ Customer Service. ¬†I have to say they were the rudest, most patronizing, most aggressive, most evasive CS representatives I have EVER dealt with. ¬†Most unpleasant. ¬†Thank goodness I eventually got a refund – I shan’t be ordering with them again.

So that meant I was stuck with my strapless bra that I last wore pre-kids – why it was even still in my lingerie drawer I’ve no idea. ¬†Today I braced myself and headed into Victoria’s Secret – not a pleasant experience for someone who has carried and breastfed two children. ¬†Perky my boobs are not. ¬†The service in the store was fabulous. ¬†They couldn’t do enough for me and I walked out with two multi-way bras and two bandeaux bras,¬†very happy indeed.

I’ve been suffering from a miserable head cold all week and today I needed something vibrant to wear to cheer me up. ¬†Pink was obviously the color of the day, even the lighting in the VS changing rooms was VERY pink!

VSTrousers – Topshop (now on sale here) // Sandals – Tory Burch Emmy (old) // Top – TopShop cami // Neckace – Macy’s (old) // Bangles – H&M // Bag – YSL Roady

I also may have popped back into Diesel to try on the Jogg Fayza jeans again. ¬†I love the Fayza’s I won on eBay – but the Jogg version, with the jersey lining, is still calling my name. ¬†I’ll just keep trying them on until I cave. ¬†If you do decide to buy be warned the come up HUGE – I tried these 25″ and they were perfect. ¬†These are the 807 wash which is a lot lighter than the 601 – I think I prefer the 601 myself.

I swear there aren’t that many creases in my cami – bad lighting again. ¬†See what I mean by the bra though? ¬†The nips were on full show for the poor guy helping me in Diesel.

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Finally here’s an outfit from the other day. ¬†It got mixed reviews from the Husband. ¬†In all honesty I was going to wear a blouse with the skirt, but found a hole as I was putting it on, so quickly made the decision to try the double denim look. ¬†The husband thought the skirt was sexy but the top not so much. ¬†Oh well we all learn the hard way:)

IMG_7477Skirt – Zara (old) // Top – Zara (old) // Shoes – Lotta of Stockholm

 

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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 week of family fun?

I’ve no idea how it got to the week before Thanksgiving.¬† All of a sudden I am panicking about the children being home for a week and needing to organize activities, food, and of course prepare for Thanksgiving Day itself.¬† Since being in the US Thanksgiving has become our favorite holiday.¬† You get to eat, drink and be merry without any of the material aspects of Christmas.¬† We love it.

With a 6 year old and 4 year old I find a week at home for the four of us requires planning in order to avoid the cries of ‘I’m bored’ – and that’s just from me.¬† For the first time we’ve bought tickets for Cirque du Soleil.¬† We went for the cheap seats in case the children can’t sit still through the whole show.¬† I’m really looking forward to it so let’s hope it’s good!¬† MM and I are planning an itinerary of all sorts of trips and adventures for the week, heading North, South, East and West from Atlanta, and avoiding any kind of retail outlet.¬† Thanksgiving Day will consist of the usual – watching the Macy’s parade, some football and then a fabulous meal of roast turkey with all the trimmings and some good wine.¬† No Atlanta half marathon for me this year due to injury, lack of training and laziness – but I’m quite looking forward not having to be up at the crack of dawn.

I mentioned MM and I went to Atlantic Station on Friday – an outdoor mall in midtown.¬† It has a huge H&M and I nipped in to get the kids some hat and glove sets, which unfortunately they didn’t have.¬† Not wanting to waste a trip I had a quick peak at the Grey Concept that was just arriving.¬† To be honest I was disappointed with the choice available – they told me they were expecting more – but I did manage to grab the grey long skirt in my size for $18.¬† I rarely wear long skirts – I had a Diesel one back in the 90’s that I bought from Harrods – a complete splurge back then – but I lived in it.¬† This H&M one is great for the price – perfect color, fits well, has good stretch so it’s not restrictive.¬† It’s a little thin but with grey tights underneath it works well.¬† Keeping with the grey theme I’m wearing my AllSaints grey Godiva cardigan bought in the sale back in June from the Trafford Center.¬† The white top is Zara and the scarf is my animal print favorite from H&M.¬† I have a couple of pairs of boots that would have worked but I opted for comfort and chose the Frye Jenna studded in grey – love these.

How do you keep the family busy when everyone is home?

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