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Biker boots

I have at least another month of hot weather here so it is hard to fathom that the Fall issues of Vogue and Harper’s are now hitting my mail box. It always gets me quite excited about sweaters, boots and coats but this year I have resolved not to bring them out too early, and wait for the appropriate weather, instead of forcing Fall on my closet!

At the end of last winter I sat pretty smugly saying to myself ‘I won’t need to buy anything new next winter!’. Ha Ha Ha! As if! The first thing on my list for this autumn/winter season is a pair of biker boots. As you know I pretty much have every style of boots available – too many Rag & Bone Newburys, Isabel Marant Dickers, Chloe Susannas and Stuart Weitzman over the knee boots – oh and a pair of Rag & Bone Chelsea boots bought off The Outnet last year. Believe it or not I do not have a pair of biker boots to wear with skinny jeans and an oversized sweater. The more I search Pinterest for inspiration the more I know I really need a pair…ok want a pair….

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Images via Pinterest

This is the pair I have just ordered – AllSaints have the most amazing boots but they are usually so expensive. These Shoreditch boots are 50% off with an extra 20% off using code Extra20. They only have the chocolate color left though I have to say this is my preference anyway over black. I think they are far less severe and will age far better than black. They are also the perfect height as they can be teamed with both skinnies or rolled up boyfriend jeans.

Allaints Shoreditch boot

There are only a couple of sizes left in this Kawai Shearling boot – but well worth looking at just for the fact that it is shearling lined! So cozy for winter.

AllSiants Kawai shearling boot

Frye is always a go to brand for boots – boots that will last a lifetime and priced to reflect that, but I have found a couple of discounted pairs too. These are my favorites.

The Frye Vicky Engineer – simplicity with the necessary buckles.

Frye Vicky

The Frye Veronica Tanker – available in black too – just love this with the wrap buckle detail.

frye veronica tanker

The quintessential Frye Veronica Slouch – 24% off here too! Available in brown too.

frye veronica slouch

The Frye Veronica shortie – and this color is superb for a change from black, but it’s such a popular boot it comes in about 10 other colors!

frye veronica shortie

The Frye Natalie mid is – as it suggests a mid height. I adore this in charcoal – again softer than black.

Frye natalie mid

The Frye Natalie is slightly shorter with the single buckle and comes in 5 leather finishes here.

Frye Natalie

I absolutely love the Frye Valerie tall – the buckles are fabulous. They also do a shorter version here which is also shearling lined.

Frye valerie

Similar and perfect for toughening up a girly dress are the Veronica belted tall boots. Also available in a cognac leather.

Frye veronica belted tall

Or if you want the versatility of wearing with boyfriend jeans there is the Veronica short belted boot.

Frye veronica short belted

The Frye Jenna is another classic and a perfect height and it’s available here half price in black or brown.

Frye Jenna

How cool are these with the stud embellishment – the Veronica Stud Moto – 50% off too!

Frye veronica stud 6pm

The classic Frye Veronica is available here – all 4 colors are discounted slightly differently but the black are 42% off msrp!

Frye veronica 6

Next up Rag & Bone can’t go wrong with boots. I have a shorter version of these that I bought off The Outnet – but these are the classic biker boot with a more subtle stud rather than a buckle.

Rag & Bone

Finally while mentioning The Outnet – how about a classic pair of Belstaff biker boots at 65% off!!? Available in black or brown.

Belstaff biker boots Belstaff biker boots

So what’s your verdict on the biker boot? I can’t wait to receive my All Saints pair – comfort and a little edginess and perfect for crappy weather!

As for the past few days  it’s been a very lazy weekend that included a Sunday roast and lots of Olympics – I feel a void now they’re over! Today I’m back in the office on a cooler less humid day so the jeans are back out!

gold topshop shoesJeans – Zara (old) // Shoes – TopShop // Top – Mango (sale) // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

ballet flatsShoes – Zara // Dress – Mango (sale) // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

denim shortsSandals – Madewell (25% off with code YESPLEASE) // Shorts – Madewell (old) // Top – Mango (sale)

Wish it was time for school!!

We’re climbing the walls here.  MM is back at work and I am going stir crazy with 2 little ones at home.  Yesterday we spent the morning at the Y and then had a play date to keep them busy.  Today we headed out to Zoo Atlanta.  Far too cold for most animals to be out but at least my animals got to run around and let off some steam for a couple of hours.  They are now in front of The Aristocats for the afternoon:)

It was nice to get dressed after a day in work out gear – though it was definitely a day for layering.  I chose the emerald green Zara jeans – in the sale at $30 – (I dreamed about wearing them – I must be outfit planning in my sleep now…), paired with my H&M stripe t-shirt dress with my fab Boden Off Duty jumper.  I really do love the neck on this – really snuggly for a cold day like today – though I had to de-feather it after wearing it under my puffa the other day in NYC.  The boots are some old favorites – Frye Shirley over-the-knee.  They are buttery soft and super comfy because they are nice and flat – a beautiful riding boot that I also own in taupe.  Hurry quick to Zappos.com here as they’re reduced by nearly $100!

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So before we headed out I donned my J.Crew cashmere hat, H&M wrist warmers and a favorite coat from last year.  It’s a faux sheepskin waterfall coat from Marks & Spencer.  I bought it in their coat sale last December when I was back home.  I love it – really warm and stylish.  This might be the one that comes to the UK with me in February.  This is the closest to it I can see online, and online it is sold out, at just 30GBP in the sale.  If you are in the UK there may still be some in store – worth checking out!

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Now please send oodles of patience my way as I resolve conflicts over movie preferences….

 

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An homage to Aerosmith.

You’ll either love them or you’ll hate them.  For me they are a throw back to the late 70’s early 80’s when everyone was pouring a bottle of bleach in their bathtub with their skin tight jeans – well at least we were in Bury!  They are the tie dyed jeans from H&M and I think they are fun though not for the faint of heart.  It didn’t occur to me until I got to work that paired with my Ash Bowies I am actually resembling someone from an 80s hair band – without the big hair admittedly though I’m close to it thanks to the downpour I walked through to the office.  One of my friends at university used to wear something very similar, though his jeans were completely bleached and he wore Reebok white hi-tops with them – classy.  His jeans were so tight I often wonder if he ever had a family.  Keeping it simple with the loud jeans I opted for my white Express t-shirt and the lovely All Saints Boston cardigan that I got in the sale back in England in June.  Loving that I can start to get some knitwear out again.

Yesterday I wore my Zara snake print top from the sale, black Gap jeggings and my favorite Fryes of the moment – the Jenna short studded – they are so soft I love them.

Taking the children for a play date after school today so looking forward to their Mom’s reaction to my jeans:)

 

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First test of eBay!

I made my first foray onto eBay today.  Having bought a few items over the past week or so, and knowing that the Boden Fall preview will be released sometime in June (I think!) I needed to make room in my closet and increase my shopping funds!  It was hard to choose what to part with as I treasure all my Boden clothes like collectibles, but the items I listed just weren’t getting worn.  I adore the crinkle jersey shirts but I never wear them as I wear my tunics so often.  So I’m excited to see if they get sold or not – wish me luck!  (p.s. my eBay seller name is Poppys_style if you want to take a peak!)

S. and his girlfriend arrive today and what with Poppy’s birthday tomorrow I have a few errands to run to make sure everyone gets fed tonight and that my very-soon-to-be-6yr-old has presents to unwrap in the morning.  In honor of S. I am wearing more black – my black Frye Shirley strappy short boots, Gap camo jean leggings that I had on yesterday too, an H&M khaki top from a couple of years ago with a J.Crew black tank underneath.

I may be absent for the next couple of days entertaining and recovering so see you soon with lots of photos and updates on fun times!

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My summer makeup.

So summer is here to stay by the look of it.  Not only does this mean switching out my closets, but also my makeup bag.  I don’t tend to wear a lot of makeup – just foundation, concealer, eyeliner, mascara, blush and lip gloss normally.  I sometimes use a bit of loose powder too but I am starting to get more paranoid about it as I once read you should stay clear of it as you get older as it can settle in fine lines and age you.  I don’t remember where I read this or even if it holds true but it stuck with me.  I also don’t like a shiny nose and chin though, so that can present a dilemma.  That is until I discovered my new favorite product – Boots No.7 Shine Free.

For my US readers Boots is a fabulous UK retail store which I miss greatly.  They are probably best described as a cross between Ulta and CVS.  They began as a pharmacy, but I miss them for all things cosmetics plus their lunchtime sandwiches!  They have great store brands and my favorite is the No.7 line of cosmetics.  I always considered No.7 a splurge when I was younger especially compared to their 17 brand, which is cheaper, targeted to a younger market and as far as I am aware not available in the US.  Well I’m older now, plus living in the States where everything seems cheaper, including Boots No. 7 makeup, which can now be bought at Target and Ulta – hoooray!!  As I was tracking down my favorite No.7 Protect and Perfect Intense Serum, a white tube caught my eye that promised to leave me shine free – it’s now become a staple in my summer makeup.  I apply it after moisturizing and it goes on smoothly, though you can definitely feel it’s non-greasy and it has a different consistency to anything else I’ve tried.  As soon as it’s applied you are instantly shine free, with no discoloration or chalkiness, so you don’t even need to apply foundation if you, like me, prefer to be low maintenance in the summer.  It’s perfect and highly recommended.

Shine Free

So as I wander around shine free I’ve had two vastly different temperatures to deal with.  Yesterday was in the 80’s and today was only mid 60’s so it was back to the jeans.  As I’m growing my hair I’ve taken to just sweeping it back with some pomade while it’s still wet.  MM likes it but then a friend at the bus stop said I was channeling Pat Benatar – not sure that is a compliment.

Yesterday’s outfit was a fab Target dress from 2 years ago bought for probably $15, a J.Crew lightweight cashmere cardigan, my Frye Carson pull ons in fawn, and some lovely Ralph Lauren turquoise earrings that I got dirt cheap at Nordstrom Rack.

Today I was out and about in my Hudson Collin jeans, AllSaints plume jumper and Tory Burch Eddie flats in musk.  I love this plume jumper it’s really lightweight, super easy to wear and conceals any imperfections around the midriff – what more does a girl need?

Oh and I love the earrings I wore today.  Kenneth Cole does great quality, ‘urban’ style jewelry that is easy to wear and not overly distracting.

Getting ready for Spring Break!

As Spring is growing ever nearer plans for Spring Break are afoot.  This is the first year we have ever really had to consider Spring Break as we’ve never previously been constrained by school vacations.  With this being our year of house renovations I wasn’t sure we would get away at all, but the thought of over a week at home with the children filled me with such fear that we have just booked 2 nights away!  Hooray we’re off to Tybee Island for 3 days!  We thought it safer to book just 2 nights as we’re staying in a cabin and really have no idea what to expect – if it works out well we can always stay longer next year, and if not, well we’re only paying for 2 nights and can jump in the car to head home!  I actually think we will all love it given our fun experience in a caravan last year in France – at least Tybee will be warmer, even in April!  I just can’t wait to get to a beach and feel the sand between my toes…

In preparation for the holiday season I ordered two new bikinis from Boden.  I always have a couple of cheaper Target bikinis on the go but this year I really wanted some decent, age appropriate bikinis – I’m not ready for the tankini or a full piece yet but still a little more coverage may protect my children from embarrassment over their mother for a little while longer, at least by the pool.  Anyway I have to say both the Retro bikini and Ruffle bikini are DIVINE.  They arrived in a fabulous little bag too for storage – Boden always go the extra mile and long may it continue.  Oddly enough I photographed the bikinis without me in them:)

New bikinis

I went with a US size 8 top and size 6 bottoms.  I definitely think the bottoms are on the generous size especially if you are not used to a lot of coverage.  My previous bikinis have all been little string things so the Boden ones do feel a bit bigger and I’m glad I sized down.  My only irritation with the Retro bikini top is that I wish the tie had a stitch in it so it doesn’t come undone – I think it might drive my OCD mad.  The Ruffle bikini is perfect – it is a great sporty fit, good coverage for my C cups that have breastfed two children:)  I love the Ruffle one so much I have just ordered it in the Bluebell Bud and Apple Stripe colorways too while the ‘buy 3 get the 4th for a $1’ offer is still available.  I’m planning a LOT of time by the pool this year in lieu of Biquet Plage.

Retro bikiniRuffle BikiniRuffle Bikini Bluebell BudRuffle Bikini Apple Stripe

Trying the bikinis on did again reveal my soft, round tummy to me.  I’ve run 20 miles in the past 4 days and I’ve eaten a million calories.  So the plan is to keep up with the exercise and ditch the calories.  In order to rest my weary legs I swam 30 lengths this morning.  It was so much fun, the pool was so quiet, and it was great to sit in the sauna for 15mins afterward.  I’ll be lucky if I can move tomorrow after using all those upper body muscles that rarely get worked out at all.

Today I fancied wearing some Fryes so I planned my outfit starting with the boots first.  I’m wearing my Sabrina Fryes in clay, Hudson Collin jeans, Boden essential scoop neck tee, and my Boden Fairisle cardigan (no longer in stock).  The cardigan is one of my favorites – it’s very snug and cropped and always feels very neat when I wear it.

Sabrina Fryes and Boden

Oh and I changed my nail polish – I’m wearing Opi ‘We’ll always have Paris’ in suede finish which is nice and matte.

We'll always have Paris Suede

No love lost between me and February 14th

All I can think about right now are the 40 or so Valentine candies that I have to prepare for the kids to take to school tomorrow.  I have bought the ones that have the little cards with them so all I have to do is write each child’s name on them, but still it is a chore hanging over my head.  I have to say I hate Valentine’s Day.  Here in the U.S.  it seems that it is much more than a day for lovers, it is a day to send everyone and anyone a piece of candy, a card, or some other gift of appreciation.  MM and I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day, we see it as a horribly commercial day and another ploy by companies to get you to part with your money.  I can’t bear the idea of sitting in a restaurant trying to be romantic on a Tuesday night with every other couple in Atlanta.  Firstly, if you ask me, love should be celebrated everyday and shouldn’t require one day a year to be devoted to it.  It just perpetuates the stereotype of men running around trying to please their wives/girlfriends, and fearing that if they don’t spend a fortune on red roses they will be in ‘the dog house’ for the rest of the year.  Secondly, February 14th is a day that is dedicated to Saint Valentine by the Catholic Church – not a day for us all to go out and buy heart shaped candy.  Call me miserable by all means – but see how you feel when you are told that you must send in a gift for every child in your children’s class.

Maybe I am scarred as Valentine’s Day just brings back memories of the pressure I endured as teenager, desperately hoping I’d receive a Valentine’s card.  I used to hate getting the bus home on Valentine’s Day as there would always be a few smug girls ‘struggling’ and giggling, carrying one of the huge oversize cards, bought by some lovesick boyfriend off Bury Market.  I never got one.  I remember one year actually having a ‘boyfriend’ on Valentine’s Day.  He bought me a card and then wrote an inflated price on the back of it to suggest the more he spent the more he cared…I know you might be reading this, and won’t name names, but don’t think I didn’t figure out your cunning plan!  Anyway, my point is that there is so much pressure in the years to come regarding Valentine’s Day, why introduce it for kindergartners?  They have plenty time to be concerned with it – please let’s leave it to the amateur lovers out there that feel they need to prove something to someone…

Okay now that is off my chest let’s talk about the Grammys last night.  My absolute favorite performance was Bruno Mars – what a great show – I was grinning from ear to ear watching him move.  Sir Paul McCartney was pretty dreadful in my opinion – come on Paul you don’t even need to do this anymore surely?  Overall I think they handled Whitney’s death pretty well – I thought L.L. Cool J. hit the tone perfectly at the start of the evening as he honored her and proceeded to remind everyone they were there to celebrate.  Congratulations to Adele on taking home all six Grammys that she was nominated for.  I haven’t seen her sing yet though as I could barely keep my eyes open after Sir Paul’s snooze inducing performance.  One last rant though, why oh why is Chris Brown still getting t.v. air time?

It’s another frigid day here and knowing I’m going to be sitting in a heated office most of the day makes it more difficult to decide what to wear.  Rather than basing my choices on the temperatures, I opted to try and provide some cheer for everyone with a bit of color.  I love the Boden colourblock tunics, they are so comfortable and easy to wear and today I have paired the violet one with Boden black leggings and my favorite Frye Jane Tall boots – all topped off with my black Patagonia Downtown Loft jacket which is so warm and yet doesn’t necessarily look like I should be out climbing a rock face.  A good thing really as I won’t be going near any today.

Boden colourblock tunic, Frye Jane Tall boots

Be good to your customers.

I was thrilled to head home with a new pair of jeans yesterday!  I had bought a pair of Hudson Collins last April and while wearing them over Christmas I bent down and the knee completely split!  After 8 months of infrequent wear I certainly didn’t expect that for an almost $200 pair of jeans.  So being the Social Media addict that I am I left a note on their Facebook page and was directed to email their customer services.  After returning the damaged pair they sent me a completely brand new pair of jeans – isn’t that brilliant?!  It just goes to show it is always worth asking and not just accepting.  I have found more and more brands and companies are responding to customer issues via social media before any bad news travels virally.  As great as social media can be for a brand it can also kill it in an instant if you are not seen to respond to a customer appropriately.  This article clearly demonstrates the damage that can be done:)  Also doing the rounds yesterday on Facebook was this fab story regarding Sainsbury‘s response to a young customer.  As a side note, if you are also a Hudson fan, I just received and email today about their 30% off end of season sale.

The meeting with our contractor went well – first check signed and handed over – yikes!  Now the design for our new master bathroom begins.  I think I might start an ‘inspiration board’ and take a look at Pinterest for some ideas…I can’t wait to see the final design that will include my lovely soaking tub.  I’ve also subscribed to all the home magazines like HGTV and Dwell – I can see this becoming another thing to obsess about.  In addition to the bathroom all our hardwoods are being refinished and stained, and the floors in the couple of rooms that are still carpeted are being replaced with hardwoods – I can’t even bear to think about the mess and dust that this project will create – the finished product should be worth it though!

My choice of clothes today was influenced by a) the forecast of rain all day and b) a play date for the kids today – we’ve got 3 boys coming round so no doubt I will be scrambling around on the floor a lot picking things up and looking for objects.  The Clifton tunic was another clearance purchase from Boden – I actually ordered all three colors but far preferred the navy so returned the heather and pine.  Unfortunately it is now sold out so no link.  I like the fact it is a layering piece and it looks great over a patterned or plain tank.  The leggings are also Boden – the best quality leggings I have ever bought, and inside my Frye Harness boots I actually also have on my Boden stripy socks.  The necklace is an old J Crew Outlet one that I have wrapped twice around my neck.  I selected my little Tiffany Elsa Peretti diamond earrings as I don’t like wearing bigger earrings with a necklace.  It’s interesting how writing this blog has challenged me to look at my decision making criteria!  The second image shows me in the JohnnieB leather biker jacket that was one of the first items I bought when the AW 2011 season went live.

Clifton tunic, grey leggings, Frye Harness bootsClifton tunic, grey leggings, Frye Harness boots, JohnnieB jacket

So I’m now off to buy treats and paints etc…for the kids to enjoy this rainy afternoon – wish me luck for the play date:)

My scent of the 80s

As promised I continue to learn more about US politics and spent last night watching the NBC GOP debate.  Well all I can say is the more I hear and learn the more terrifying the prospect of exercising my franchise becomes.  I shall continue to listen and observe even if at times I want to hide behind my cushion like I used to when watching Dr. Who.  It has to be said that I found the debate significantly more entertaining than my DVRd RHOA – though that isn’t too tough to accomplish.

Woke to a gorgeous sunny morning in Atlanta – the weather here can turn with the flick of a switch and we’re expecting sun all week and temperatures in the mid 60s.  So, panicking that the days available to wear boots may be dwindling fast, I chose today’s outfit around a pair of Frye boots – my brown Veronica Slouches.  The jacket is one I bought early in the season from Boden, then returned thinking I couldn’t justify another tweed jacket, then bought again in the sale after succumbing to pure lust for it.  At one point I would never have dreamed of pairing tweed with stripes but Boden’s patterns and colors have made me more confident about clashing/contrasting them, so I am wearing my striped Hampton tee with it today.  My Hudson Collin jeans are my favorite – these are the mid rise in Dark Elm wash held up with my Gucci belt (a gift from MM).  To be honest I actually prefer the regular rise Collins, and although they are lower they fit around my hips so tend to give less of the undesirable ‘muffin top’ effect.

Boden tweed jacket, Hudsons, FryeSide view

Earrings are again Tiffany – Elsa Peretti teardrops.  I know I am fairly extravagant with my spending but don’t be misguided into thinking that I am constantly in Tiffany’s.  Most of my jewelry has been purchased for me by MM over the years – fortunately he is very extravagant too, and generous.

Tiffany Co Elsa Peretti Teardrop Earrings

I had fun choosing my lipstick this morning.  My favorite brand is Revlon and I have quite a few – I have to say I like cheap and cheerful when it comes to lipsticks.  Occasionally I will splurge on a Chanel lip gloss especially in the summer but when it comes to lips and nails I like a selection to choose from.  Today I am wearing a lovely matte pink – Stormy Pink.

Revlon Stormy Pink

Recently I bought some new perfume as I had used all my Jo Malone Orange Blossom.  I ended up going old skool and bought some YSL Paris which I adore.  It’s true what they say about how evocative scents can be.  It is quite a strong scent but it reminds me so much of the 80s (and MM will tell you how much I love the 80s) and trips to France with my parents.  On the way back on the cross Channel ferry I would always be treated to a ‘duty free’ bottle of perfume and invariably my choice was Paris.

YSL Paris

It’s been a busy morning at work but Tuesdays are always a tad chaotic.  My daughter has ballet classes after school so it is the one day of the week where I sit in the carpool lane and then take her to her class.  The following hour is spent panicking over creating her hair bun, bickering with her over playing games too loudly on my iPhone while we wait, and then chatting exuberantly for 45mins with her classmates’ Moms.  It’s then my turn to collect my son from daycare…hence on Tuesdays I usually hit the bottle as soon as I walk in the door.