Starting 2016 the right way

I was reading Nikki over at Midlifechic.com the other day. Her Project Happier really struck a chord with me.

I am a naturally outgoing person, being a Leo, and mostly love being around other people. I would say 90% of the time I am naturally happy and I always tend to take things in my stride. Over the past couple of years though that remaining 10% has raised it’s ugly head more regularly than I’d like.

I think I’ve always felt a sense of loss since moving to Atlanta. As much as I love living here, grief at having ‘lost’ my life in the UK can occur. It’s a sense of ‘loss’ and ‘being lost’. In 2015 I think it was exacerbated by my melanoma diagnosis. As amazing as my husband and family are, it was trying going through something so traumatic away from ‘home’. I went on anti-depressants for a while which ultimately led to a 40lb weight gain in a very short period of time. At the end of the year I decided the pills weren’t really needed and that the weight gain was probably exacerbating any ‘sadness’ I was experiencing. So I am starting 2016 with my own ‘Project Happiness’. I’m going to tackle that troublesome 10% and flip it to HAPPY!

I’ve started with a clean eating program – Whole30. I’ve always exercised frequently – if you follow on Instagram myself and a few others still use #PSFitClub for motivation. It’s now time to fix my food intake. I yo-yo a lot and I LOVE food. Living in the South with fried grits, biscuits and fried chicken does not help! So instead of following a ‘diet’ I have immersed myself in what I hope will be a ‘lifestyle’ change. In fact I have just taken the kids to their favorite diner for breakfast before school resumes tomorrow, and as torturous as I knew it would be watching them consume pancakes and syrup and vanilla milkshakes, I actually really enjoyed my omelette with sliced tomato. Honest! Whole30 isn’t supposed to be about weight loss – more to do with resetting your digestive system and ridding yourself of sugar cravings, but I’m hoping with the workouts I will be on the right path to regaining my svelte figure in a healthy manner. It’s also supposed to help your mind too – it really is compelling reading. I’ll keep you posted and my Instagram will give you a glimpse of my daily eating and challenges if you are interested!

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.00.07 PMJumper – Everlane // Coat – Zara // Bag – Mansur Gavriel // Jeans – Zara (old) // Sneakers – Nike Air Max

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.00.20 PMSneakers – Nike Thea in Olive // Pants – Reebok (on sale here) // Jumper – H&M // Bag – Mansur Gavriel // Hat – Nordstrom (old but blue on sale here)

OOTD catch up!

Yes it’s chaos here! Last week of school done – with the odd day off sick for Poppy – uuurgh. All healthy now thankfully so we are ready to throw ourselves into the festivities! So far we have tickets for Star Wars, and an intimate gig with Lloyd Cole lined up – I’m not sure which I am more excited about. Lloyd possibly – especially after singing his greatest hits full blast in the car yesterday! So before we all sink further into the festive mayhem here is a quick outfit round up from the last few days!

H&M fur coat, Everlane, Proenza Schouler PS1, Golden GooseJacket – H&M // Jumper – Everlane // Jeans – Zara // Sneakers – Golden Goose (40% off here) // Bag – Proenza Schouler (some colors on sale here)

jumper dressJumper – H&M // Faux leather trousers – Zara (similar here) // Boots – Isabel Marant x H&M (old) // Bag – Proenza Schouler (some colors on sale here)

zara blouseJeans – ASOS // Blouse – Zara // Cardigan – Zara // Boots – Acne Jensen (some colors in sale) // Bag – Proenza Schouler (some colors on sale here)

My NAP sale picks!

Bags and shoes – that is where my heart lies when it comes to Net-a-porter.com. A reliable online store, great delivery times and great customer service. Not a lot that is ‘cheap’, but if you are after that special present, or just an ‘I got through 2015’ treat here’s what I would pick!

I’m just a little bit obsessed with the Stella McCartney Falabella bag. I used to be one of those that just didn’t get it – faux leather but designer prices? However, since holding one in my hands in Saks a few weeks ago, I completely get it. The ‘pleather’ is so soft and beautifully made, the shape is perfect -a great size for everything, and the chain gives it that edginess that I look for. Not to mention I can wear it as a shoulder bag or tote. I am just in love. NAP has several styles in the sale. My heart is set on the Leopard print that is reduced by 30% but I bloody adore the fur one too!

This fringe one is just beautiful, and possibly, a fabulous upgrade from my H&M bags that I use frequently enough to justify an upgrade! Reduced by a significant 30%.

fringe falabella

This tiny fur is a great evening bag and is reduced by 30%.

fur falabella

Oh be still my beating heart – can I justify a fur bag?

fur large falabella

This is the one I adore – extremely versatile. I love it. 30% discounted.

leopard falabella

More leopard print but this time McQ Alexander McQueen – I love the tote I have and I am sure the quality of this will be equal, and it is 30% off.

Mcq leopard pring

Finally I think this Alexander Wang camera bag is a great ‘about town’ bag, not to mention it provides me with my ‘I love everything grey’! Reduced, again, by 30%.

AWang camera bag

Yes – this is still eye-wateringly expensive in the sale – but I LOVE the Givenchy Pandora so much and this cobalt blue is so statement – it could carry you through the summer too worn with reds, purples and corals. My Husband says he refuses to buy bags for me, so maybe I will just have to buy it and get on with it! Reduced by 30%.

givenchy

Ok so now footwear. Of course the Golden Goose are my first choice/recommendation.

I have these and love them – a perfect neutral but with a little pearl effect on the toe and tongue – just beautiful.

tan GG

The sparkly low tops are gorgeous. I am a convert to the low top – I still prefer the ‘slide’ style above but these in blue are stunning and 40% off.

sparkly GG

Stella McCartney again now – these platforms are SUPERB.

velvet stella McC snakeskin Stella

These are glitter – how pefect!?

glitter SM

For those of us with simpler tastes there are also some Nikes and Adidas in the sale. I have both of these styles and they are fabulous!

toptens

blue air max

Finally how cute are these star converse?

star converse

So pipe dreaming or not it’s still fun to have a look!

We’re having a quiet day today after a fun Thanksgiving. I’m sitting here eating cheese on toast, with a mug of tea listening to BBC Radio 2. Bliss:)

Thanksgiving sparkles balancing on a rock with my prosecco – we’re just mad here;)

thanksgiving 2Leggings – H&M (last years but similar here) // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jumper – Boden Off Duty (30% off everything now with code 7J4Z)

Then out for lunch on Friday, when I was determined to wear my shearling even with temperatures in the 60s!

shearlingJeans – Zara // Jacket – AllSaints (30% off with code CYBER) // Boots – Newbury boots (25% off here with code BF25) // Jumper – Everlane

 

 

What to wear now the cold is here!

I’m so excited! Atlanta is COLD! Yay!! At last I get to wear some of my winter clothes – of which I have far too many for our climate! I’ll be in flip flops by March again…but I won’t rub it in!

So what am I wearing now the cold is here? Well I have my eye on several of these beautiful faux fur stoles. Even though it is cold here, with our car culture, I can pretty much get away with a leather jacket and scarf. So why not dress up a great biker jacket with one of these beauties?

Sue first noticed this one in TopShop and I have it in my closet – it looks far more expensive than it’s price tag of $60.

colorblockThis green stole is beautiful – much more subtle, but again it looks more than it’s price tag of $52.

19R51IBRN_2_thumbI love mongolian furs – this takes me back 20 years when I had a black mongolian fur jacket that I bought on Portobello Road with my measly student funds.

ombreThis New Look stole is gorgeous – it keeps going in and out of stock on Asos – but be persistent their website updates real time. At just $36 it’s hardly surprising it’s selling out!

image1xxlThis is another option from New Look – super fun and perfect with a black leather jacket.

image3xxl

Talking of leather jackets, I’m so, so excited to be able to wear my AllSaints jackets at last!

AllSaints leather jacket Earnest Sewn jeans Golden GooseSneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – Earnest Sewn // Jacket – AllSaints // Tee – AllSaints

Then yesterday I wore this to head to the Georgia Dome to watch the Falcons!

AllSaints leather jacket Zara jeans Adidas Top Ten FlaconsSneakers – Adidas Top Tens // Jeans – Zara // Tee – Falcons // Jacket – AllSaints (similar here) // Scarf – ASOS

Falcons tee Falcons game

On Friday I popped into Target for one thing. I left having blown the budget on the kids’ clothes. They have some amazing items in right now – especially for tween girls, plus save 40% on girls’ sweaters online!

H&M Splendid Zara Nike Air Max Target Balenciaga City bagSneakers – Nike Air Max // Jeans – Zara // T-shirt – Splendid // Cardigan – H&M

On arriving back home laden with goodies for Poppy and Hugh, I was thrilled to find my Carine Roitfeld coat from Uniqlo had finally arrived. Their customer service has been atrocious – no one picking up in their call center, orders being cancelled with no explanation, and delivery taking an obscene length of time. Not good, not good at all for a global retailer. Thank goodness I love it!

carinne roitfeld for Uniqlo coat

Finally today has been blissful – just stunning weather for our first day on holiday and we headed to the local park deer spotting. Our boxers loved it!

everlane uniqlo Golden GooseSweater – Everlane // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – Zara (old) // Coat – Uniqlo

One last thing – we all know it’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday this week, and the offers have already started pouring in! One to take note of that has 18 hours left to run, is at TheOutnet.com – use Twenty15 at checkout to get an extra 20% off their already discounted stock – some amazing bargains to be had!!

My Halloween costume

So now my See by Chloé boots have arrived I have the choice of Puss in Boots or Captain Hook! These boots will be perfect with a frilly blouse and jacket and some fab makeup!

I am THRILLED with them. They are the softest leather and have a suede interior so they stay up really well – the suede ‘sticks’ or ‘clings’ to your skin or jeans. They have a lovely slouch to them and the foot of the boot is super comfy. I have my regular 38.5 and they are perfect – definitely true to size.

see-by-chloe-black-epona-fringed-leather-over-the-knee-boots-product-1-298850805-normal_large_flex

bootsBoots – See by Chloé Epona // Jeans – Zara // Cardigan – Banana Republic // Top – AllSaints (similar here) // Lipstick – NARS Audacious Audrey

I love the tan version too – they’d be gorgeous with all grey or winter white.

tan chloe

As always with great ‘it’ boots of the season there are some fabulous tributes around. The best I’ve seen are the Desert fringe boot from TopShop. You’d be hard pushed to tell the difference and they get great reviews.

black TopShop boot tan TopShop boot

Before I go I must share these fab finds from TheOutnet.com – it is killing me browsing on there at the moment – I must resist!

This beautiful Alexander Wang Diego in Beet/Merlot is 45% discounted.

alexander-wang--diego-bucket-bag-product-1-22007542-0-944920731-normal

And this cross body from Alexander Wang with stingray is 50% discounted!

stingray

Finally my outfit from yesterday – I got dressed only to go to the Doctors and be told I just had a bad cold. Yes I know that thanks – viral not bacterial so no antibiotics required!

GreyTrousers – J.Crew (old but similar here) // Top – Everlane // Shoes – Zara (old)

I bloody love TheOutnet.com

I’ve recently purged a tonne of stuff from my closet – selling some and giving other stuff to charity. It’s been fun – my closet is clearer and my purse is fuller. I’ve come to realize that, maybe with age, my tastes are changing. I am no longer tempted by a ‘quick fix’ on the Zara website. Instead I am happier buying less, less often, but maybe at a slightly higher price point. Instead of writing a specific list of items on my wish list, I have created more generic themes, such as a long winter coat, dressy-going-out boots etc. I am then browsing TheOutnet.com periodically hoping to find the bargains of a lifetime, and do you know what? – It’s paying off!

Now a word of warning you do need to be picky and quite narrow in your searches. There is a lot of random stuff on TheOutnet.com. However, if you know which brands you love that makes it far easier to target a potential bargain.

In the past month I have struck gold twice! Recently I found one Helmut Lang coat just waiting for me at 60% off. This is a real classic coat with leather trims, and I am thrilled with it – far more so than I’d be with a couple of Zara coats!

Helmut Lang

As for the boots – again just one pair were left at 60% off – but how about these brown/khaki Isabel Marant Andrew boots. It had to be – one pair of FR 39 left with my name on them!

isabel-marant--andrew-calfskin-velvet-leather-boots-heel-boots-product-1-21730157-2-791303906-normal_large_flex

They are not on TheOutnet.com anymore but you can also find some sizes left on sale here.

Of course you will remember I always find fabulous sunglasses on sale too on TheOutnet.com, and this calf hair Alexander Wang Rockie is beautiful with 55% off!

Rockie 2

So there we are – my new approach to shopping. I’m finding it thoroughly rewarding. Nothing like a bargain – if you stick to a budget of course! Now if I can just find the Chloé Susannas discounted 😉

As for recent outfits I’ve omitted a few rushing here and there, but here are a few recent ones I’ve enjoyed wearing!

allblackShoes – Adidas Superstar slip-on // Jeans – ASOS Thea (on sale) // Sweater – Everlane cashmere

camel_edited-1Shoes – Golden Goose // Trousers – Zara // Sweater – ASOS

R13Shoes – Golden Goose // Jeans – R13 (25% off at ShopBop.com) // Top – AllSaints (previous season sale) // Jacket – Regent Linen blazer J.Crew (now on sale)

 

Fall favorites

Fall in Atlanta is stunning and it has begun in earnest this week with cooler morning temperatures, clear skies, and warm sunny afternoons. It’s bliss! Still warm enough to get the legs out and yet cool enough for a jacket – my perfect combination!

allsaintsDress – AllSaints currently on sale // Shoes – Everlane Street Shoes // Jacket – J.Crew linen Regent blazer (select colors on sale) // Bag – H&M // Sunglasses – Oliver Peoples via TheOutnet.com

I recently received this dress and absolutely love it. I had my eye on it all summer but I had bought the longer Riviera dress instead. This one has pockets and a lovely drape at the front – I’m wearing a medium.

The sunglasses were an absolute bargain off TheOutnet.com – I LOVE Oliver Peoples and my prescription glasses are Oliver Peoples too. I find it hard to resist when I see a pair discounted. These are clear acetate with metal arms and a super fun way to add some interest to an outfit.

The Everlane Street Shoes are a great combination of shoe and skate shoe/sneaker. A little dressier for day to night, being leather. I took my usual US 8.5 and they are perfect and I have wide feet – so I wouldn’t advise sizing up as the website suggests.

While I’m here I’m still getting great Fall sale emails –

ShopBop.com have 25% off with INTHEFAMILY25 (certain exclusions apply)

Shoescribe.com have 30% off with FRIENDS15 (certain brands are excluded – damn those Chloé Susannas!)

Madewell have 40% off all final sale styles with EXTRA40

Enjoy!!

Fall break catch up!

I’m exhausted. Aren’t breaks supposed to be for relaxing and recharging? It was certainly a fun long weekend though. My FIL arrived from the UK on Thursday so it’s fun to have a house guest and the kids love having Grandpa here – especially when he arrives bearing gifts and pickled onion Monster Munch for me!

On Friday we took him out for lunch and I wore my new Zara pleather trousers for the first time. The Everlane Street Shoes rock and really helped me feel casual and comfy and not overdressed for a relaxed lunch.

zara leather leggingsShoes – Everlane leather street shoes // Trousers – Zara // Shirt – AllSaints (last season) // Jacket – J.Crew Regent linen blazer

On Saturday I had an opportunity to wear my new Madewell t-shirt.

Bon vivantBoots – Isabel Marant H&M // Jeans – Zara (old) // T-shirt – Madewell (on sale) // Jacket – J.Crew Regent linen blazer

Yesterday we headed to our friends’ house to celebrate their boys birthdays – October is a busy month for birthdays around here! It was great to get the OTK boots out for the the first time this year!

OTKBoots – Stuart Weitzman 5050s // Jeans – J.Crew // Tee – AllSaints Drake Dee top in current sale // Cardigan – Zara

Finally there have been a lot of sales over the Columbus weekend and I am still getting emails today. The one that caught my eye is the ShopBop.com 25% friends and family discount – use INTHEFAM25 – I am considering the R13 coated cross over jeans that Marlene wears so fabulously! The great thing about Shopbop.com is that you can use your Amazon Prime account for next day delivery!

 

Kantara Castle and The Karpaz

If you follow me on Instagram forgive me as many of these photos have already been shared! We’ve had another busy few days and a couple with no wi-fi so I’m catching up!

The other day we headed to Kantara Castle. The second of the three castles that sit along the ridge of mountains in Northern Cyprus. My husband and I have fond memories of sitting at the top on our honeymoon in 1998.

DSC_0020 DSC_0065Shorts – J.Crew (currently 30% off with GOSHOPPING) // Top – ASOS // Shoes – Birkenstocks

DSC_0051

On Saturday morning we headed into Nicosia/Lefkosa – my first visit to the capital. It is a fascinating place with a walled old town. It is the only city in the world with an international border running through it. These days crossing that border is much easier and we saw many tourists crossing from the Greek side to the Turkish side. We didn’t have our passports with us that day but plan to return to see the Greek side. From what I hear they are suffering with the rest of Greece which explains the number of tourists popping over to the Turkish side for lunch and their counterfeit goods!

DSC_0120 DSC_0164 DSC_0161 DSC_0132Dress – Mango (now on sale) // Shoes – Avarcas Pons // Bag – Target (I have found this to be THE perfect vacation bag – so light and yet roomy)

DSC_0213

You’re not supposed to photograph the border patrol – so here is a sneaky one of my husband with the border in the background. Years ago this street became notorious and was referred to as ‘Murder Mile’ where more than a dozen British soldiers and civilians had been shot dead by the terrorists.

DSC_0198 DSC_0164

I fell in love with Lefkosa and I loved the architecture, the people and the ambience. We sat in the courtyard above and drank kahve with the locals. I could do that every weekend.

On Monday we headed to my favorite place in the world – to date anyway – and drove down the Karpaz, which is the pan handle of Cyprus. As soon as you reach the Karpaz you feel as if you are transported to a different time. It is very rural and beautiful, and there are many reminders of the troubles that Cyprus has endured. Beautiful Greek churches remain unused – though it did appear to me that some are being restored. Dipkarpaz is a town towards the end of the Karpaz, and it is still home to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, with signs in both languages clearly displayed. We had lunch on the way to the beach at a place called Nikos – highly recommended if you are ever here! I fell in love with it – and the story of the owners provided hope for the future. One partner is a Turkish Cypriot and the other a Greek Cypriot – ironically they are both from the opposite ends of the island – with the Turkish Cypriot being from Paphos. Now they run Nikos together serving the BEST fish and calamari we have ever eaten.

DSC_0239 DSC_0248 DSC_0246

The Karpaz is home to herds of goats and wild donkeys – so much fun to see them roam the fields and cross the road in front of you! The donkeys are very tame and love to be fed carrots from the car window.

DSC_0267 DSC_0272 DSC_0282 DSC_0292 DSC_0336

I managed to persuade everyone to stay the night in a hut on the beach – I think it’s the closest I’ll ever get them to camping! I LOVED it!

DSC_0370

IMG_3634 IMG_3644 IMG_3656Shorts – Madewell (in sale here) // Top – Mango (old) // Sunglasses – Warby Parker // Bikini (under top) – J.Crew

IMG_3672 IMG_3677 IMG_3687 IMG_3726Shorts – J.Crew (on sale here plus an extra 30% off with GOSHOPPING) // Tank – Everlane

After a fun drive back, we went out for dinner last night – it felt fabulous to wash away the sand and wash my hair for the first time in a couple of days!

Fun with the kids IMG_3858Dress – Splendid (similar here and here) // Shoes – Ancient Greek Sandals (discounted here)