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A little bit of sparkle.

At the gym this morning, while I was dropping the children off at the play room, I realized that I must have missed the memo.  The memo regarding the new required summer outfit for the gym – white frilly tennis skirt, pink visor, perky blonde pony tail, and phony smile.  Oh and can you tell me where to find the perfect children with their page boy hair cuts and monogrammed smocks?  I think I must have become a little cynical while on vacation.  I felt like I was in the middle of The Stepford Wives, or surrounded by multiple versions of Patty Simcox.  I love Atlanta, but sometimes I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb.

So what better to do than embrace my non-conformity and wear my shortest shorts and sparkliest sneakers:)  I do cringe a little every time I put on my Zara skort.  Nearly every ‘style’ blogger on the planet has a pair and all of them are 20 years younger than me.  But you know what – Patty down the road doesn’t know where they are from, or that all the street style bloggers are wearing them, so I’ll wear them with aplomb in Atlanta and not worry about it.  Though, for a split second, it did occur to me that it might be a sub-concious desire to conform – in white they do look a little like a tennis skirt.

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Skort – Zara // Sneakers – Lame Supergas // Top – Boden Sparkle top (just $23.40!)

I adore the Boden sparkle top – it is perfect – light, and a great shape – an absolute bargain for $23.40 – I have the ivory too.  This is a US 8 – I think a US 6 would have been fine too but I like my knitwear a little looser.

For the sake of full disclosure – here’s what I lived in over the weekend.  Sweatpants with no red lipstick in sight.

Sweats – Express (old) // Top – Gap

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A weekend tinged with sadness.

We adopted Rosie, our Boxer, back in 2001, and we’re guessing she was about 2 years old then.  So we knew the chances of her seeing it into 2014 would be slim – we knew she was slowing down.  On Friday morning, given some symptoms and tests, the vet advised it was her time, so with heavy hearts we said farewell to her.  The end of an era.  Rosie was one of the few constants in our lives over the past 12 years, she was gentle and loyal and we loved her so much.  RIP Rosie xx

Rosie when we adopted here – she had no hair on her back bless her but it all grew back:

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Rosie with MM – living the dream with a t-top Camaro (2002):

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On one of our adventures in North Carolina:

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The children were sad but quite pragmatic so we aimed to keep the weekend as normal as possible.  Yesterday we headed out to the mall and then to their favorite BBQ joint for a treat.  We talked about angels, old dogs and puppies, and now they seem quite at peace with the outcome.  We still have Tennyson here, and Poppy has requested that when we get our next girl dog that she has a tail – so we’re moving on…

It was a gorgeous day so I decided to go full on with the spring attire:)

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Trousers – Zara // Jacket – Zara // T-shirt – Gap // Sneakers – Isabel Marant Bobbys

 

Last night was date night so we toasted Rosie before eating.

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Trousers – Zara // Jacket – Zara // T-Shirt – Express (old) // Shoes – DSW // Cuff – Tiffany (MM bought me this Xmas of 2001 and I’ve no idea why I wear it so rarely!)

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Some sale wants.

I don’t remember Boden ever putting their Spring items in the clearance section before June in previous years?  Maybe I’m mistaken, but this year they seem to be dropping odd items in throughout the season.  I just happened to be browsing yesterday and found myself lusting after 3 fabulous spring coats.  This is when I so wish I was back in the UK and actually had use for spring coats.  It’s 80 degrees here this week so it appears summer has arrived for 2013.  MM did suggest that they would be great coats for Fall and even Winter here – surely that means he agrees with me and I should purchase immediately?

I will preface this with the fact that 2 of these coats got some poor reviews.  However, seeing as I am not the ‘typical’ Boden buyer I tend to take the reviews with a grain of salt.  For me the truth always lies in trying the clothes at home, and styling them how I would wear them.  I think all 3 of these coats would look fabulous dressed up or down.  I can see myself wearing them with boyfriend jeans, a white t-shirt and flats, keeping them simple and casual.

The first is the swishy coatigan.  The fabric (as the reviews confirm) looks nothing like a coatigan – I think this is definitely more of a lightweight coat.  I want it in parchment which is currently reduced by $60.

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The next is the Canonbury coat.  I’ve had my eye on this for a while.  I think it looks stunning in the iris.  Again it would look amazing with just jeans and a t-shirt to really sharpen up a casual outfit.  The iris is only reduced by $30 right now but the other two colorways are reduced further.  The reviews are pretty dire regarding fit, but I really want to try this and see – dare I say it – but it may just be too much of a departure for some stalwart Boden customers.

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Finally I absolutely adore this red version of the Spring trench.  It is SO me and would make such a statement.  This one I might just have to order for Fall.  The red version is currently reduced by $60.

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What do you think?  Have any of you tried them?  If so do the reviews do them justice?

Today it is back to normality.  The final days of the vacation were amazing.  The children and I did some dancing on the deck while Dad prepared the grill:)

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I love this photo of Poppy at dusk looking out to the rigs.  I know the thought of oil rigs to many of you may be far from romantic – but I assure you when you see them all twinkling at night it is an amazing sight to behold.  Now I sound like I’m about to break out into a Toby Keith song.

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My final vacation outfit was of course a bikini – but sparing you that photo – here is one of me in the Zara dress that I used as my beach cover up.  I love it – it is really comfortable and light weight.  As you can see the house we stayed in was very ‘retro’:)

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Yesterday we were all tired and fortunately had a birthday party to attend which got us up and out of the house.  It was very odd getting ‘dressed’ again and wearing make-up – I even wore a necklace (inspired by Fiona’s post).  Not sure about this get up though – I think this is a bit of a failure – maybe trying too hard?

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Jeans – Target // Top – Zara // Jacket – River Island // Boots – Isabel Marant Dicker // Necklace – JCrew bubble copy from local store

…And here I am today, bleary eyed but happy to be home.

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Jacket – Gap (old similar here) // Sweater – Express (old) // Trousers – J.Crew Café Capri jade (old) // Flats – Vince Camuto Fawna (old)

 

 

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Running out of time…

…to get to work, to do laundry and pack for the beach, to get my mani/pedi done etc. etc. – all the important stuff that needs to be done – and it’s Tuesday already!  Okay so I may have left a lot till the last minute – but that’s how I operate:)  Not to mention a lifetime was sucked out of me waiting for the children’s annual check ups at the Doctors yesterday – I was there 2 hrs for what should have been a 30 minute appointment!

Hence a crappy bathroom photo today, as I ran out of time getting ready after making it to the gym this morning.  Nothing motivates like the pressure of wearing a bikini!

I love these jeans – I got them late last summer and I’ve rarely worn them because the button came off.  MM kindly got the hammer out and fixed them for me.  They fit perfectly and are super comfortable, assuming the button stays in place!  I love to keep the rest of the outfit simple with them, as they are so loud.

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Jeans – H&M (old but have still seen in some stores here) // Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury // T-shirt – Express (old) // Jacket – Zara (old)

Before I dash again I wanted to leave you with this fab top from Zara.  I’ve been cruising by it for a while now, contemplating it – and then I saw Jane from MyMidlifeFashion wearing it over at Avenue 57 – she looks ‘da bomb’!  It’s now in my cart – I’m just contemplating what other colors to get!

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Instagram weekend round up.

Happy Easter all!  I am sitting here typing while the loin of pork roasts.  I always slip a few slithers of garlic in it so it smells amazing – hhhhmmmm!  I was contemplating roasting a leg of lamb – it seems more appropriate at Easter – but I always find the left over pork easier to use up in a Mexican dish later in the week.  I’d better get a few more spin sessions in before the bikinis come out for Spring break!:)

I thought rather than cracking open a bottle of red before dinner is ready, I’d update you with some weekend outfits instead.

My son was off from school on Friday for Easter so we headed out to Target for some fun shopping – well kind of – I basically needed to buy more Mini Eggs before they sell out till next year!

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I’m not much of a hat wearer, but I fell in love with these Mossimo straw Fedoras.  Still not convinced I would ever wear them so they didn’t make it home with me, but I might try them again – they’d be great on the beach!IMG_3520 IMG_3522

Jacket – JohnnieB (old) // T-shirt – Forever21 // Jeans – H&M boyfriend jeans // Sneakers – Converse

Later on Friday I was watching the children play while having a little playtime myself – nothing better than a margarita in the sun:)IMG_3531

This bracelet brings me so much joy.  It’s an original Susie Ho design and it reminds me of the fantastic time we all had in London on our blogger meet back in February.IMG_3534

MM giggled at me on Saturday morning for being ‘so dressed up’ with no where to go.  Well I did take Poppy to her Zumba class so surely that counts?  I love this M&S cardigan – it makes a casual outfit feel a little more ‘put together’.IMG_3536 IMG_3538

Trousers – Zara // Boots – Isabel Marant Dickers // T-shirt – Forever21 // Cardigan – Marks and Spencer

I also nipped into the Mall later in the day, so obviously I had to take a peek in Zara.  I’d fallen in love with this jacket online and, fortuitously, they had my size in store.  Would have been silly not to have brought it home, no?

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Last night MM and I went out for dinner and drinks to our favorite bar.  I normally choose my ‘going out’ attire by selecting the one item I really want to wear and building the outfit around it.  Last night I really wanted to wear these Zara trousers.  I’ve had them a while and took them all the way to the UK and back without them being worn.  It turned into a perfect opportunity to pair them with my white pumps.  I LOVE these shoes.  Whether you like the outfit or not, it was one of those times where once I was ready I felt great:)  I’m convinced the Saturday 8am spin class helps psychologically too!

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Shoes – BCBG Generation (currently reduced) // Trousers – Zara // Tank – Express (old) // Jacket – Zara

So Happy Easter all – I’m now off to crack open that bottle of red:)

 

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Funny feet.

Yep, not the Funny Face of Audrey Hepburn, we’re definitely talking funny feet.  Next time I get my pedicure done I will share them with you:)  My curly toes, as I’ve mentioned before, mean that my choice of footwear is somewhat limited.  If the shoe is too low at the front, or if the sandal is too strappy, my little toe on my right foot is prone to escaping.  Even the white Aldo shoes I loved have to be returned as they are cut too low at the front to retain the toe.  I may, however, have found the perfect Spring/Summer shoe.  It’s a sad fact that my feet look their best when the toes are hidden completely, but these beauties make my feet look slim and elegant – with not a hint of the toe turmoil hidden inside!

The Vince Nina:

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They are so comfortable I am sorely tempted by the nude too.

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I think that is why I tend to buy multiple colors of the same style – once I find one that fits, I am so ecstatic, I panic buy because the thought of hunting for another ‘glass slipper’ seems too daunting.  I only wish they came in white too.  I must credit Tiffany Wendel again – she was the first person I saw them on.  I swear I am not turning into Single White Female.

As the Nina doesn’t come in white I am tempted to try these that appeared on the Zara site the other day.  Pointed, but sling back – the only thing I am hesitant about is the block heel.

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What do you think?  They will definitely keep the toes at bay – but are they too sixties?

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Trousers – J.Crew Factory Skimmer pant wool (old) // Shoes – Vince Nina // Scarf – Zara Oriental print (old) // Denim jacket – Gap (old) // T-shirt – Express (old)

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Brrrrrr.

It’s freakin’ freezing here today! I think we caught the outer bands of Sandy last night as we lost power at 9pm just as Dexter was about to start darn it!  MM and I were scrambling around with my iPhone torch trying to turn everything off so we wouldn’t be woken up when all the power came back on, but we still found the dogs watching t.v. this morning:)

Gearing up for a busy week – it’s MM’s birthday tomorrow.  Yes a Leo and a Scorpio – apparently a difficult but strong star sign union – this summary is oddly quite accurate:)  I’m taking him out for dinner and, as happens every year, we’ll be the most hungover trick or treaters in the neighborhood on Wednesday.  We will power on through though.  Then on Saturday we’re meeting a friend of mine who I haven’t seen for 20 odd years.  He’s over on business and we thought it might be fun to catch up…let’s hope we both have something interesting to say after all those years – could be awkward!:)

Today I picked out the warmest cardigan I have – it’s AllSaints and is one of the first AllSaints items I bought back in 2009 in the winter sale.  It’s a rust/dark burgundy color and is really heavy and toasty.  The top is from Zara and the pants are Express from a couple of years ago – they are ponte so lovely and stretchy – a cross between leggings and pants if you will.  The boots are the Vince Camuto Autumn wedges – I love the cuffs on these and the buckle detail.  All topped off with the oriental print scarf from Zara.

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Sweden, douze points.

Some days you just know you got it right.  Even if others don’t agree it doesn’t matter because you know you nailed it.  Whether it’s the way a scarf picks out the colors, the new shoes you’re wearing, or even just the right piece of underwear – you feel damn hot when you walk out of the door and there ain’t no shame in that.

I’m having one of those days today.  It’s an outfit I threw together last minute as I was initially envisioning brown leggings but then discovered they were in still to be washed.  Thank goodness for that – what a dowdy outfit it could have become!  Instead I was inspired by the blush trim on my H&M scarf and went for my favorite blush Express Zelda jeans.  The sweater dress is the incredible bargain from H&M that I got at the weekend – just $25 and SO soft.  I adore the tulip shape and the asymmetrical hem.  Now the boots maybe what make the outfit – at least I feel like I’m in heaven wearing them – and it’s their first outing!  The amazing Acne Pistols.  Now I know what all the fuss is about.  They are a ridiculous indulgence but they are freakin’ cool.

So now for the explanation of the title of this post for my non-European readers.  In Europe we have a fascinating phenomenon known as the Eurovision song contest.  Held every May, qualified European countries enter a ‘singing’ competition in order to be ridiculed by the rest of Europe.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been some amazing success stories – ABBA being the most prolific (and they’re Swedish, continuing to prove the point I am trying to make).  However the vast majority of us watch it to see which country has the most eccentric entry – and believe me there have been many as seen here.  Anyway in the 2 hour long voting process that takes place afterward where each country awards points, based sometimes on political agendas, the highest awarded is 12.  Point distribution is read in English and French – hence “Sweden, douze points!” from this little ole judge here:)  Phew…was it worth it?  Anyway douze points goes to the Swedes because they really are quite clever – not only do they have a fantastic standard of living, a great education system and fabulous childcare facilities –

1. Where would I be without H&M this Fall?

2. My IKEA Pax closet is the best invention ever and is taking shape in my closet as you can see in today’s photo – beyond thrilled I tell you.

3. Acne – well what more can I say about my beautiful boots?

4. Our great friends Simon and Karin live in Stockholm.

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A new look.

I hope you like the new look of the blog.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  I changed the theme as I thought it made much more sense to have all the ‘follow’ widgets etc. in the sidebar rather than at the bottom of the page – far too much scrolling involved!  I hope it is still recognizable to all of you – the poppies are still present of course:)

My hair matches my clothes again today.  Unintentional – I just love red.  The jacket was a Zara sale bargain from the summer that I haven’t been able to wear till now as it is just so warm.  It has a lovely zebra print lining and it’s super comfy.  With all the red I went for solid black shoes – Sam Edelman Alvin pony hair loafers, jeans – Express stretch cropped jeggings, and t-shirt – another Express basic.  All topped off with a fab new Zara scarf dedicated to my love of all things camouflage again.  The color palette is a great twist as it includes red – I’m certainly not going to blend in the background anywhere today!

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Amazing Georgia.

I hate to sound like a broken record…but…the weather here is incredible right now.  Temperatures have dropped, the sky is bright blue without a cloud in sight – just amazing.  Unfortunately much of Saturday was spent inside the YMCA.  Poppy had her first swim meet.  We were incredibly excited and nervous as it’s a pretty big deal for a 6 yr old and her parents.  The great thing about the Y is that it’s not too intense – they a racing for fun – and the parents and coaches are all pretty relaxed.  However no one told me how many kids would be there nor how long we would be there!  If I tell you that Poppy’s races were #21 and #33 that will give you some idea!  I’m not sure how many different events there were in total, but safe to say a lot – relays, individuals, 50 and 25 – then multiply that by all age groups up to 17!  Some kids had event #70 written on their arm!!  All in all we were there from 1.30pm till 6.30pm for just 2 races – having said that we had a blast and Poppy loved it.  I was so proud of her dealing with it all – from the long lines for races to the pressure of a starting block start – she looked a real pro at just 6!  My heart was in my mouth for both her races but as always we tend to underestimate our children’s resilience and ability and she did brilliantly.

In order to get some fresh air after Saturday we headed up to North Georgia yesterday.  When we are out and about I always wish we did it more often.  Georgia truly is amazing and the mountains were stunning yesterday.  We headed to Amicalola Falls and needless to say after marching to the top and then using the many, many steps to walk down by the side of the Falls, my legs and butt are killing me today.  Stairs really do use muscles that no other exercise can!

It’s definitely layering weather as it was freezing at the bus stop this morning.  I took Tennyson for a walk this morning and it was lovely and brisk – when we were walking up the driveway back to the house I gasped as Bambi ran across the lawn – breathtaking and a brilliant way to start the week.

I opted for my fab Zara red jeans today – at just $35 they are a great price – but as always with Zara their sizing is random.  I was certain I’d be a US 8 as Zara tend to fit small but I ended up with a US 6 as there is so much stretch in these and I can’t stand jeans that get baggy over the course of a day.  I’m wearing them with my Express black tank, J.Crew black boyfriend cardigan from a couple of years ago, and my fabulous Sam Edelman Alvins in leopard print – probably the most comfortable shoes I own.

 

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