Running with music.

It’s spring and it is time to get out and start pounding the pavements again.  The idea is to alternate with Spin classes and that should hopefully keep me injury free.  I always run with music – sometimes I get so in the zone I actually get chills and I can feel the rush of energy and endorphins that a great track gives me. Normally I run with an iPod shuffle – it’s tiny, neat and light so doesn’t hinder the – ah hem – athlete in me.  However, when I was back in the UK I really wanted to take some photos of the amazing views I am privy too when running over t’moors.  That meant either holding my camera while running – no thanks – or taking my iPhone.  The latter option was obviously preferable.

Now I’ve always been put off by wearing a cumbersome arm band while running but I have to say this one I used was very light, sweat proof and easy to adjust.  It’s the iPhone neoprene armband from MobileFun.com.  It’s also a pretty decent price at just $12.99 especially when you compare with similar products on the market.  If you are like me, and feel the need to document as you run, I can recommend this – perfect for keeping all your Instagram followers up to date.  The other advantage of running with an iPhone of course is that you can actually keep track accurately of miles and pace using an app like MapMyRun.  You can even bore people to tears on Facebook with how many miles you’ve run:)

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What else have I been up to?  Well yesterday I went to Target to stock up on some Spring clothes for Poppy – you have to be quick as they disappear fast.  She thinks her Mommy is ‘totally the best’ for buying her her first denim jacket.  I also sneaked in a pair of jeans for me.  Target have some fabulous bright clothes in right now – lots of tie dye and dip dye items too – right up my alley.  These jeans were just $25 and they come in green and purple too.

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Finally here are my ootd for the past couple of days.  I’ll be reporting back later with a new haircut –  think I’m going back to the faux hawk/undercut – I feel the rebel in me rising again.

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Sweater – J.Crew (from sale) // Jeans – velvet toothpick jeans J.Crew (from sale) // Converse – charcoal grey

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Jacket – Zara (old) // Tee – Gap (old) // Jeans – Hudson Collin // Boots – Office Nighthawk (sale bargains)

 

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Another night with the girls.

My New Year’s resolution is going well!  Last night I had my second night out with girlfriends this year and we’re still only in January!  It was a really fun night with some great neighbors.  The four of us all live within walking distance of each other, but rarely see each other all together, what with the eleven children between us.  So our wonderful Husbands provided childcare while we had a few cheeky cocktails and caught up with each other.

Now I am no wall flower when it comes to a night out, as you know, and the first thing MM said to me when he saw my attire was “well I’m sure it’s still 1987 somewhere”…I really am an 80s girl and it still clearly shows.  I wore Zara trousers, Forever 21 top, Zara jacket (from last summer) and the old, old Steve Madden Carlsen booties which are really coming into their own again at the moment (I found several on eBay.com here).  They work great with peg legged trousers like these.

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Now when I posted this photo on Facebook last night I got a very mixed reaction:)  That’s what I LOVE about clothes, and experimenting with them is fun!  I certainly made at least a couple of people smile last night, so the trousers were worth it just for that.

 

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Guilty as charged.

I buy too much.  I’m a hoarder.  I buy things because I like them, not because I think I will wear them or use them.  I think I’ve been aware of this for some time but since I’ve been trying to reduce the number of items hanging unworn in my closet I have been stunned at just how much I have bought.

I am an online shopping addict.  I love the buying experience online – I can browse, compare prices – so I think I’m getting a bargain, my size is almost always available, I know it won’t have been tried on by 500 people and all I have to do is click a button and I’m done.

This weekend I made a vow to myself to 1) stick to a monthly clothing budget and 2) be more discerning about what I buy.   I’m already putting this into practice – having returned all my Boden preview order for the Fall I know there are just 2 items that I really would like to reorder – both knitted tunics – and neither will be worn here till November.  I am determined to wait till November to order – I know it’s a risk but by then I may have reappraised what I need/want and changed my mind…if I buy them now I could end up with 2 more tunics hanging in my closet unworn.  I think this is how I’ve ended up with so many rarely or never worn items – I buy them in the preview before the weather is appropriate to wear them – so I either forget about them or have moved on to another item I want!

Here’s one of the tunics I ordered and returned – it’s the Boden smocked tunic dress and it is gorgeous – so soft and works perfectly as a dress with tights and boots.  Fortunately there is a long wait right now for my size to be back in stock so that is helping me to stand my ground and wait to order until it is cool enough to wear it.

The second is from the Winter preview – and it is the bottle green collared tunic.  I am actually just in love with this photo too – it makes me think of Twiggy every time I see it, not to mention the setting reminds me of my old haunt Notting Hill.

I will wait to order I swear.  In the meantime I am going to try and go cold turkey and stop browsing the Zara website and Zappos.com – let’s see how it goes.

Fall arrived here this weekend – we’ll still have temperatures up in the 80s each day but this morning I actually had to wear a jacket at the bus stop – it was in the low 60s – just gorgeous!  I took Tennyson, our boxer, for a long walk – another promise I made myself this weekend – I will walk him every morning!

I’m wearing my Hudson Collin jeans, Zara animal print t-shirt, Zara black jersey blazer and my Tory Burch black patent Eddies.  I love wearing a jacket with jeans – and these jersey ones are so comfy and easy to wear.

To those of you who are helping me purge my closet I want to say a huge thank you and USPS are going to be busy with shipments of fabulous items all day.  I am trying to be ruthless and have posted more items over the weekend on my Facebook store.

 

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It’s my Friday.

Thursdays are my Fridays – I’m very lucky to have Friday as ‘my day’.  If the rain steers clear tomorrow I plan on trying to run 8miles for the first time in months.  I have a half coming up in October, which on the calendar looks really close now!  Then it’ll be time for the half at Thanksgiving and before I know it Miami will be looming…can I handle it?  One thing is for sure I am eating like a horse again with all this running.  My resolution is to at least try to eat like a healthy horse.

Have any of you ever responded to a Facebook offer?  I was a little skeptical when I first saw ‘xyz has just redeemed and offer at abc’ appear on my news feed but today for the first time I acted on one and bought a necklace.  I have been looking for a while at the J.Crew bubble necklace but there are some things I just won’t spend $150 on – costume jewelry is one of those things.  I’ve found lots of copy cats on eBay and Etsy.com but still some of them are $30 and above, and seem a bit risky to chance.  Well today I saw an offer at Lovely Lola Boutique and with shipping the necklace is just $14.90 – so I ordered 2!  You have to make a separate order for each necklace but at $14.90 it seemed too good to miss and well worth the risk…I’ll keep you posted when they arrive – though it sounds like it’ll be late September as there are just two girls packing and shipping!  This is not an endorsement as I have no affiliation with them – so fingers crossed that the necklaces are as fab as I hope!

The pink one would have looked great with my outfit today.  I’m wearing my green J.Crew shorts (in the sale at $35), an old H&M top, Zara off white jogging jacket and my Frye Carson button shorts.  Had to dash out of the house this morning to carpool so the photos were taken in the office bathroom!  Sorry!

This morning as I dropped off Hugh, one of the teachers at daycare told me I looked a different person from when I was taking Poppy there 5 years ago…I have to agree I don’t recognize that person anymore either.

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Just buy a book.

Hmmm since I got my iPad I seem to be going through a phase of reading, dare I say it, ‘self help’ books – maybe it’s because I can read them safely without people seeing the cover – in fact I just realized I can avoid the shame of being caught reading ’50 Shades’ that way – no I haven’t read it yet.  Anyway when I talk about self-help I don’t mean ‘helping me become a better person type books’ – more ‘how to attain a goal books’ or ‘books that inspire’.  For example the first book I read on my iPad was ‘Born to Run’ by Christopher McDougall.  It really was a great read for an amateur runner – really fun and inspiring – or so I found anyway.  Okay now a confessional warning – I am a fan of the US version of The Biggest Loser – I don’t watch every season but those I have I have found incredibly inspiring – and I love Bob Harper.  Bob is one of the trainers on the series and is great t.v. – his Facebook page is fun to follow too.  Anyway he has a book that has been on the best sellers list for a while – ‘The Skinny Rules’.  Sadly I got suckered in and bought it.  Now I think we all know what the rules are to keeping slim (I really wish he hadn’t used the word skinny – no one should want to be skinny) – and this book really states the obvious – but still it’s written quite light heartedly and I am enjoying dipping in and out of it to keep me focused on my goal of losing a couple of pounds ready for my marathon training.

Did someone say ‘marathon’?  Ah yes that little race I signed up for in January – suddenly January seems very close indeed.  So now I am on the search for a book to help me train for my marathon.  MM keeps saying just run more but my mind set tells me I won’t have to do that if I just read a book about it…I’m such a sucker!  The one I have my eye on is called ‘4 Months to 4 Hours’ – brilliant – just read it and do a bit of training and I can run Miami in 4hrs – perfect!  If only that was all there was to it…Now I just need to find the book entitled ‘Stop Shopping and Learn to Save Millions’.

This is my outfit from yesterday – I went to see the fabulous O’Neil again for a haircut wearing my bright pink J.Crew chino shorts, AllSaints Pipali tank and Sam Edelman suede Louie boots in tan suede (yes I have the taupe rose too) which are my favorite boots for a while – really comfy and I love the fringe.  I promise the photos will improve soon – the bathroom floor went down yesterday!

 

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Damn the Zara sale!

It’s hot as Hades here in Atlanta and humid to boot – but after MM reminding me that I have a half to train for and them a full marathon in January I headed out for a run this morning.  Miserable? – Yep.  Imagine running in a steam room or a sauna.  I started thinking I’d do 8miles, then changed my mind to 6miles after heading out of the door, then after 2miles decided 4 would be just manageable.  Ah well as Nike say ‘you either ran today or you didn’t’ and I did.

It helped a little that I had some super cute Lululemon attire to wear.  Not sure what is going on with Lululemon at the moment – their Facebook page has been covered in complaints about colors bleeding and changing after wear – not good – especially at their price points.  Their response is a little fishy stating that it depends on the wearer’s pH – hmmm – Nike don’t seem to have this issue so seems fairly odd to blame imperfections on your paying customer.  We’ll see how it evolves.  I have one incidence of color bleed on my blurred blossom pace setter skirt where the flash pink waist band bled into the skirt at the back during a wash – not happy as I always wash sports gear on cold.  Having said that I adore the pace setter skirts and have yet to find anything more comfortable or flattering to run in.

Pre-run this morning – Lululemon pace setter skirt in seaside dot, run swiftly tank in black, Newtons and bed hair:

After sweating my t*ts off I had an hour to fill before picking Poppy up from tennis camp.  Foolishly I decided to head to Zara to ‘browse’ their sale racks.  I had palpitations the moment I walked in.  The racks were packed with huge mark downs on items that I hadn’t seen before as I only started shopping in Zara around May time.  Within 10mins my arms were laden with tops, pants and jackets to try…it was like the Krypton Factor, or It’s a Knockout for more hilarity – I kept looking at the time worried about leaving my daughter stranded with her tennis racket.  In the end I decided that jackets were not needed as I have bought quite a few, especially my favorite Zara jersey jackets.  Prioritizing I decided to try the tops – I wear jeans so often that having a great selection of tops to wear for casual and ‘going out’ is beneficial (nearly wrote essential – but they’re not really!).  Plus the tops were dirt cheap – the most I paid for one was $25 – the others were $15 or $10 – brilliant!

The first is this lovely black long sleeved tee with skinny arms and a zip up the back – the zip is a bit too yellowy gold right now but it should fade with wear.  It will look great with jeans or my leopard print crops.

Then I got this lovely off white top – it’s knitted at the front and has a longer silky back – great for a night out with the girls!

This pink long sleeved tee is gorgeous and so soft – I can imagine wearing it under a jacket for work or with shorts around the house.

Here’s my favorite purchase – I think it is some sort of animal print at the front – and it is silky with a matte/stretchy material at the back – again a little longer at the back.  It’ll look great with black jeans or under a black jacket.

Now I’m off to take Hugh for a haircut – this could be the day all his locks go – he has been asking for it short for a while and I’ve resisted as he has such gorgeous long hair but I’m getting so irritated with people mistaking him for a girl…you’d think no guys in the US ever had long hair – it only happens over here and I am completely befuddled by it as to me he is obviously ALL boy!

Today I wore my new H&M purchase – the bird print dress I got back in England for a bargain of 12.99 GBP – it’s lovely and stretchy and has a cute flirty skirt to it.  I’m wearing my pink Tory Burch Revas with it for a splash of color.

Happy weekend y’all!

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Slam in the Lamb.

The weather today is similar to my last visit.  All well and good except my last visit was early December.  It has been raining non stop, blowing a gale and it is is very dark – and yes it’s June 22nd.  Hard to believe just hours away on a plane it is almost 100 degrees with blue skies.  After a little consideration given to venturing out this morning we all decided better of it so we’ve had a lovely relaxing day watching movies and vegging on the sofa.  No point complaining bitterly about the weather – we decided to behave like grown ups – embrace it and go with the flow.

The kids have watched Wallace and Gromit about 10 times now and still giggle at the same points, never tiring of it.  I have raised my game on Bejeweled, surfed Facebook and enjoyed a few more chapters of the last of the Larsson trilogy.  Mum and Dad – the complete nutters – have just decided to go out for their daily 3 mile walk.  Poppy was either in awe, confused, or both as they left dressed head to toe in waterproofs.  I guess if you live here 365 days a year you can’t let the weather dictate your actions or you’d rarely leave the house.

I am writing with the smell of dinner wafting through – roast lamb – it smells divine.  I think I might actually be drooling.  It is the perfect day for a scrummy roast dinner cooked by your mum, who happens to be the best cook in the world.  It’s just a shame that all I can see across the road is a field full of sheep with their new baby lambs – will just not look when dinner is served.

The weather has also allowed me to enjoy me new AllSaints purchases.  I bought the Boston cardigan thinking I would wear it just open in a waterfall style, but today I have been sitting with it wrapped around my neck in some kind of cardigan come scarf fashion.  I’m wearing it over an AllSaints Godiva tank with my comfy Zara cargo pants – perfect for stylish lounging:)  If you’re considering the trousers these seem to run big contrary to most of the Zara items I have.  I’m wearing a US 6 and they are perfect – nice and slouchy.  Thankfully here you can’t see my slipper socks that I have resorted to wearing my feet were so blue with cold, so happy I bought them to wear on the plane!

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The inner geek.

Even though I have shared my disdain for Valentine’s Day I still managed to have a pretty good 14th February.  MM and I met up for lunch with an old friend who was in Atlanta for business.  We hadn’t seen him for probably 5 years so it was lovely to catch up over some good food at one of my favorite places to dine, Canoe.  I could have sat there all afternoon but of course had to go and collect my sugar fueled daughter from school ready for ballet.  I was quite relieved that she was going to dance off some of the Valentine’s Day sugar buzz.  It was freezing here so wore my AllSaints Char cashmere jumper to keep me snug, along with my Hudson Collin jeans and Tory Burch flannel Revas.

AllSaints Char jumper

I’m feeling a bit nerdy again today as I’ve been doing some Facebook development for our business page.  Years ago I did some coding as an IT consultant and I still love to get my hands dirty occasionally.  I’ve discovered a fantastic application called ShortStack that allows you to develop custom forms and tabs on a Facebook page.  I’ve even managed to put a tab on Poppy’s Style Facebook page where you can see new blog posts and the RSS feed!  I LOVE it and I feel like I’ve had a very productive day customizing some tabs, so let’s hope both pages get an uptick in fans thanks to my inner geek.

My daughter is having a play date this afternoon with a ballet buddy and I love her Mom so I’m looking forward to having a natter.  Her Mom is a runner too so I’m hoping I can convince her to run a couple of half marathons over the next year or so.  Unfortunately I have been a bit lazy over the past few days and have been lacking motivation due to the weather here.  I’m so ready for spring to return so I can get back outside once again, pounding the pavements.

The sun is shining today so I chose a bit of color with my Boden aqua wrap jumper.  I was pretty uninspired this morning so went for the easy button again with my jeans and flannel Revas, all topped off with JCrew‘s boyfriend blazer from a couple of years ago.

Boden aqua wrap jumper, JCrew jacket

My nail polish at the moment is Chanel’s Madness but I think I’m going for a change tonight with something a little lighter – decisions, decisions….

Madness