My Black Friday List

I have a definitive list of items I want to buy on Friday. I’ve already made a couple of purchases from H&M as they have had some codes available since the weekend – but here is my list so far. I’ll of course publish a list of codes on Friday for you all!

So with H&M they have various deals each day this week but there is also a 20% off code with free shipping – 2806.

I can’t wait to try these imitation leather trousers – especially the navy pair.

H&M imitation leather trousers H&M imitation black leather pants

There is definitely a theme here. These coated leggings in khaki are great and such a fabulous color. They are also available in black.

H&M khaki coated treggings

Moving on to COS – I am absolutely smitten with these drop crotch trousers. I am praying that they drop below the $125 price.

COS drop crotch trousers

Another pair of drop crotch trousers – and to be fair it’s been a while since I’ve bought any harem trousers though my love for them runs deep. These sequin trousers could easily be worn year round with a t-shirt and denim jacket.

Zara sequin drop crotch trousers

It’s been a while since I had a good trawl through ASOS and the other evening I was stopped in my tracks by this skirt. It’s beautiful, though I’m not sure how it will work on my thick waist. I’m willing to give it a go though if only because it’s camo!

ASOS camo pleat skirt

These Pull & Bear velvet trousers are also in my cart waiting for Friday. Just perfect paired with sneakers and a graphic t-shirt.

Pull & Bear velvet trousers

Finally a little indulgence – definitely an investment. There are very few sizes left around the internet but Selfridges have the best price at the moment – here’s hoping they have Black Friday deals too. The Stella McCartney Elyse in rose gold. European brands are SO much cheaper in the UK stores than here in the US – compare $670 with $1,100!

Stella McCartney Elyse

So what’s on your list? High street brands? A designer splurge? Remember to check back later in the week once I have access to all the appropriate codes!

An unusual color ☄️for me but I really love this @hm sweater - their jumpers really are great! #thisis45 #pixiecut #nothingbutpixies #shorthair #liketkit #fbloggers #fbloggersuk #fblogger #ootd #wiwt #outfitpost #outfitinspo #instafashion #instastyle #40plusstyle #everydaystyle #over40fashion #mumontherun #dresslikeamum #ltkunder50 #ltkunder100 #ltkshoecrush #topshop #topshopstyle

Sweater – H&M (similar here) // Jeans – Zara (old similar here) // Boots – TopShop (similar here) // Bag – Balenciaga

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Dress – AllSaints (old) // Boots – Newbury Boots (on sale here) // Jeans – Dorothy Perkins // Jacket – J.Crew // Bag – Balenciaga

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Boots – Chloé Susanna // Jeans – Dorothy Perkins // Sweater – AllSaints // Bag – Proenza Schouler

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Boots – Chloé Susanna // Jeans – Dorothy Perkins // Jumper – AllSaints // Jacket – Uniqlo (currently reduced) // Bag – Stella McCartney

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Trousers – J.Crew (similar here) // Sneakers – Nike Air Max // Blouse – H&M // Scarf – Boden (old similar here) // Jacket – Zara (old)

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Jeans – J.Crew // Shoes – Zara (old) // Top – Everlane // Jacket – H&M (old similar here) // Bag – Proenza Schouler

 

The big Thanksgiving catchup.

I’m back…after 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 – coated jeans Dorothy Perkins (25% off everything with Holiday25) // Boots – Dorothy Perkins // Sweater – Boden Westbourne sweater // Scarf – Zara (old) // Coat – Zara

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 – a fun day with some tailgating thrown in for good measure.

AllSaints sweatshirt

Shoes – Isabel Marant Bobby sneakers // Jeans – Zara // Sweatshirt – AllSaints (20% off with THANKS) // Hat – Nordstrom // (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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The JohnnieB fur gilet.

You may remember my quest for the perfect fur gilet.  Well I happened to be browsing the Boden site the other week what should I notice but the JohnnieB fur vest back in stock in the 16+ size.  I swooped, ordered and instantly fell in love.  It is really soft and a great neutral color that goes with a lot of the black, tans and greys in my closet.  It does fit large and I may even have gotten away with a size down.

Boden currently have a diminishing discount to celebrate their 22nd birthday, so if you’re lucky you can nab yourself one with 22% off (till the 14th November) using this link.  Enjoy:)

Jboden gilet

 

Boots – Isabel Marant Dickers // Jeans – Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings (currently on sale) // Top – Zara colorblock tee // Scarf – Boden (old) // Fur vest – JohnnieB

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Leather pants.

I love a bit of leather and I am in ‘need’ of some great leather trousers.  I had some AllSaints leather jeans, but I wore them to death, and with my yo-yoing weight they stretched beyond what could be considered a flattering fit.  I have been hunting for some time and I am still none the wiser as to which I should buy.

I have two conundrums when looking for leather trousers:

1. Leather vs. pleather.  I am all for trying a good pleather trouser, but it was suggested to me the other day that it might cause some unpleasant sweating where you least want to sweat – I’ve since thought twice about pleather.  Also if I am looking for great leather trousers, then shouldn’t I invest in a brand known for their real leather trousers – now not necessarily Balmain (unless my Husband is buying of course), but maybe Theory or Helmut Lang?

2. A trouser with fly vs. legging.  Part of me wants a great leather jean with a fly and 5 pockets so I can wear shorter tops and sweaters without the fear of a camel toe on show.  On the other hand wriggling into a pair of leather leggings maybe easier, and they are often far cheaper than a leather trouser.

Camel toe and sweating – makes me wonder if I should just avoid the leather pant thing altogether?

So here’s a run down of what has appealed to me so far…

These Ted Baker leggings are not cheap at $600 but knowing the brand they will be fabulous quality.  They also have a side zip and the added stretch will help keep them in shape beautifully.

Ted Baker

I love these Warehouse leather trousers for something a little different.  They aren’t really loose like Christine Centenera wore, but they have a bit more shape than a regular skinny trouser – and I love the cross over fly.  I am sorely tempted by these.

Warehouse

And just so we can dream about what it looks like to ooze style – here she is herself…

Christine-Centenera

Sticking with the peg leg theme – these are a great alternative to leather from ASOS.  You have to use your imagination a little but I think they are great styled correctly.

Peg Pant

These Vero Moda trousers are a great price and a classic cut with a side zip.  Can’t really argue with the price here at all for real leather at $213.

Vero Moda

These Helmut Lang leggings are in my basket on TheOutnet.com.  I am almost at the point of placing my order.  A great price at £292 – they normally retail for £800.  Why am I hesitating?  I’ve no idea!

Helmut Lang

Now these are a definite love it or loathe it item.  They are a copy of the R13 Chaps.  I am obsessively waiting for them to appear on the US Mango site.  Mango have assured me via Twitter that they will be there soon – if you are in the UK you lucky beggars can order yours now!  Take a look here at how amazing Eve looks in hers.

Mnago Sade

Finally just for fun here’s what I ordered today.  At $27 I thought they were worth the risk…we’ll see when they arrive…I present my faux leather harem trousers from eBay.

Faux leather harems

I’ll leave you with today’s outfit taken by my lovely man as we were rushing out of the door for a cheeky child free lunch:)

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Boots – Dorothy Perkins // Jeans – Express (old – similar here) // Tank – TopShop Camisole // Cardigan – Marks and Spencer (old – similar here) // Bag – YSL Roady

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A chance to layer again.

I’d rather not be given that chance but hey ho.  Those of you in the UK will be relieved to know the Eastern US is also freezing their t*ts off with you!  Wrap up kids spring will be here soon – look at it as a chance to wear those winter clothes one last time:)

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Jacket – JohnnieB (old) // Dress – Target (in clearance at $21!) // Scarf – Zara // Boots – Newbury Charcoal Suede Rag & Bone // Jeans – Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings

 

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Oil pulling.

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.

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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.

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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

 

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A girls trip to the Trafford Centre.

So apart from my weekend in London – the other highlight of my trip that I had been looking forward to for some time, took place yesterday.  My sister took the day off work and left her 2 boys at daycare so we head to the Trafford Centre for a girls day out with Mum.  We try to do it every time I’m back but often there are children involved – who it has to be said – can somewhat hamper the shopping experience!

We arrived as the stores were opening and had a blast.  I relished every moment of it.  There is something really special about spending time with your family that you take for granted when they are around all the time.  Mine are not – so it was lovely watching Mum and Louise have fun and get the same thrill out of shopping as I do.

We started at M&S where Louise and I both got a couple of scarves – Mum had some 20% off vouchers so it was hard to say no:)  Plus Mum got a couple of bags that she paid all of 10GBP for what with her 20% off and various vouchers she had collected!

My scarf – the Indigo Flamingo print (I also got a fabulous bicycle print scarf which isn’t on the website):

Flamingoes

 

Louise’s scarf is a gorgeous silk Autograph scarf:

Lou blue

 

Looking at these simple images of scarves it is evident how different Louise and I are in our style.  She gravitates towards greys, taupes and neutrals – she has very elegant, sophisticated tastes and prefers simplicity to loud eccentric prints.  See the difference?:)  I think it speaks volumes about our personalities!

I then had lots of fun in Ted Baker.  Their store is amazing.  Full of great colors and the decor is very grand and decadent.  I had been wanting to try the Jupi dress since I fell in love with it in Bloomingdale’s.  It’s a lot cheaper here with the exchange rate and sales tax so I knew I had to try it.  Ted Baker do the 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 sizing which drives me nuts as I am always at the 3/4 end.  The store only had a 4 so I tried it and even though it was fine – with my top heavy frame it felt too billowy around the hips.   I put it back knowing Selfridges have a concession that I could check later.  I did, however, know that there was also a t-shirt in the same print – far more practical and versatile.  So I tried the 3 in the top and decided to get this instead of the dress.  End of.  Totally love it.  The changing rooms are a lot prettier than my photos suggest!

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One thing I didn’t get about Ted Baker is that they will only exchange items – not refund them – I think that is pretty rubbish these days.

So on to Zara – Mum got a fabulous quilted jacket (can’t see it on the website) and Louise picked up this gorgeous white coat.  Both Mum and Louise are really petite so look amazing in everything they put on!

Louise coat

 

We then headed off for lunch – there’s a huge selection at the Trafford Center.  I knew I wanted a long decadent lunch i.e. one with wine – so we chose Pizza Express.  Now I remember when they were new and lovely.  This one was fine – but PLEASE it is 2013 – can’t we figure out using laminated menus instead of grubby, greasy card?  As a customer experience ‘expert’ I realize I may be overly judgmental, but this is the first thing your customer sees in a restaurant.  Sort it out Pizza Express!  It just makes the whole restaurant feel less than clean.  Regardless, lunch was fabulous.  I love my Mum and sister:)

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So finally I had to look in Selfridges.  I love this store.  The whole shopping experience is immediately elevated.  Now yes I had already bought the t-shirt but just for curiosity’s sake I went to the Ted Baker concession to see if they had a 3 in the dress.  They did.  After a couple of glasses of wine it was a no brainer:)

Here’s what I wore for the day.

Jacket – River Island // T-shirt dress – AllSaints Venice t-shirt dress // Trousers – Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings // Boots – Rag&Bone Newbury

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See you all when I’m back in Atlanta!!  England it has been a BLAST!

 

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Girls only.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to go out with the girls more often.  Sometimes life can get in the way of spending time with friends, and prioritizing time gets tricky.  But life also raises issues that are best shared with girlfriends over a glass of wine and a good laugh, hence my resolution.  I put it into practice last night and headed out with Cristin.  We had a fabulous night catching up over a couple of bottles of unnecessarily expensive wine:)

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I wore my black jacket again from Zara over the Dita t-shirt dress (yeah right – dress that barely covers your butt!) from AllSaints.  The trousers are the coated jeggings from Dorothy Perkins (currently on sale) which have turned into my favorite ‘going out’ pants – they fit amazing and feel sexy!  I busted out the Buster boots from Nine West.  They’ve been sitting in my closet for a while now after I bought them at a bargain price before Thanksgiving.  Not sure why I haven’t worn them till now – I think I was concerned about tottering around in really high heels – but they turned out to be the most comfortable ‘going out’ boot.

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So after putting a New Year’s resolution into practice I also broke one.  My new Boden folded leather clutch arrived.  I just couldn’t resist it and I’m glad I didn’t now – it is just beautiful.  The leather is buttery soft and it is incredibly roomy without any bulk.  The color could be pink, orange or red depending on what you wear it with, and the detachable strap is genius.

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Make me feel better and tell me you have broken a resolution too by day 12!

Oh and talking about Girls – don’t forget if you are in the US the new season starts tomorrow 9pm on HBO.

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The Holiday Blues.

It happens every year with varying degrees of intensity.  While everyone else is excitedly comparing costumes and planning Thanksgiving road trips I am pining for home.  But is it home anymore?  Let’s put it this way I wish I was in England with friends and family.  But do I still have friends in England?  I’ve been here for 12 years now and a lot has changed.  Lives move on.  What is it that I really miss?  Is it the familiarity and security of where I grew up?  Is it my family that has almost doubled in size since I left?  Would I really move back if the opportunity presented itself or is it just a fleeting moment of seeing it all through rose tinted spectacles?

Every year I go back to the UK for a couple of weeks and I have a fabulous time – then I’m ready to get back here.  So if I went back to England would I miss the US the same way?  Would it be fair to uproot the children?  Could I go back knowing my Husband has zero desire to go back?  What would we do for a living given our business is here?  I ask myself the same questions every year and feel more and more backed into a corner.  It’s the eternal conundrum.  The longer we stay here the more roots we have here, and the more I miss England.  Can I have my cake and eat it please?  I sometimes feel like I’m skating the surface of life, avoiding getting in too deep with friendships or communities – because that would just make moving back even tougher no?  Is it time to accept Atlanta as home and stop dipping my toe in and go skinny dipping exposing all to everyone?  Answers on a postcard please.

On a lighter note we went to Abattoir last night to celebrate MM’s birthday.  It all went well and fun was had up until the main course arrived.  I ordered hanger steak – yum – errr not so much – it was covered in a rich hollandaise sauce.  So in my very British manner what did I do?  I wittered on about it to MM instead of returning it to the Chef, after all I got what I ordered.  Next time I’ll go for the beet salad.

I did have a new outift to wear – the AllSaints Amei dress in petrol is fabulous – so comfy and easy to wear.  It has two ties inside it that you tie behind your neck so you can adjust the length of the drape at the front and wear it tunic length or longer.  It was chilly yesterday so I layered it over an H&M vest/dress in black.  After seeing Doesmybumlook40 in her Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings I discovered they do free shipping to the US and ordered a pair before there was a rush on them.  As she says they are fabulously comfortable and felt really dressy.  I wore the pony hair Nine West Haywire shoe boots, and then topped it all off with the Boden leather jacket from back in the sale and my Zara camo scarf.

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