Spring Break 2016 – Fort Morgan

I’m afraid the blogging isn’t going to be very prolific this week. I am currently sitting on a deck with a coffee looking out to the Gulf of Mexico. Once again we are spending Spring Break in Fort Morgan – a beautiful, quiet strip of beach just to the west of Gulf Shores. This year we have a frat house next door to us – Poppy is fascinated and has suddenly expressed a real desire to go to college!

Before I left I decided to get my hair chopped again. The reaction has been mainly ‘at last!’, ‘thank goodness for that’, ‘it’s taken years off you’, ‘Joanna is BACK!’…why on earth don’t people want to tell you these things while you struggle to grow your hair long!? The Husband is thrilled it is short again!

hair Collage

I must admit I think it’s a state of mind too. When I had my septum pierced I really thought I needed to soften my look as the piercing is quite aggressive looking to some. However, now I am so used to it myself I feel more confident about the short hair paired with it. Plus I am running a lot again and that does wonders for my outlook, and don’t give a f*ck attitude ūüôā

Before I had my hair cut I spent¬†a few days debating – going backwards and forwards – but I am thrilled with it now and looking at my photos before and after I love it. If I ever say I’m growing it again – shoot me!

gap top CollageTop РThe Gap (adore these and have all 3 colors Рget 40% off in the US with code SPRINGFUN) // Trousers РMango (old) // Bag РGivenchy Pandora // Shoes РVince

Zara topTop – Zara // Trousers – The Gap (again adore these and have all 3 colors! 40% off with code SPRINGFUN in the US) // Shoes – Soludos (most comfortable espadrilles ever – UK here, US here) // Bag – Givenchy Pandora

Otway boots collageBoots – Isabel Marant Otway (found them on eBay at the right price and right size at last!! All the way from Romania!) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Top – Mango // Jacket – J.Crew // Bag – Givenchy Pandora

For now it’s farewell from the sun and surf…

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.25.48 AMRunning top – Lululemon // Shorts – Lululemon // Sneakers – New Balance (I will never run in another brand again these are so perfect)

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The humble sweatshirt

Where would we be without the sweatshirt? In recent years it has morphed from athletic wear to day wear to going out wear – that even allows you to share opinions with motifs and messages. Personally I prefer a simple sweatshirt with no graphics, although I do own a couple of motif sweatshirts. They are perfect for layering, or just throwing on when you lack inspiration. The sweatshirt can be worn with anything from denim shorts and jeans through to leather trousers and skirts, and you can’t beat a simple grey sweatshirt paired with sequin leggings.

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(images via Pinterest)

First up some exciting news from H&M – a fabulous source for sweatshirts. There is up to 60% off online today PLUS the US can now return online purchases in store!!! Hooray!!! At last! Previously we have had to mail them back and were consequently charged a restocking fee – so I am thrilled now we have the option of returning in store.

The sweatshirt I am wearing today is H&M and I love it – it is really substantial and the quality is great. I think I paid around $30 for it. I sized up too as I can’t stand tight fitting sweatshirts! For me they have to be slouchy and oversized.

I love this one with the zip detail – slightly cropped too and perfect for layering.

H&M zip sweatshirt

The lacing detail on this one gives it a unique twist.

H&M lacing

This one is very similar to mine, it may even be the same and is just $24.99 – it comes in pale pink and black too.

H&M 24.99 sweatshirt

This little number is currently just $5.99 in the grey and $9.99 in other colors!!!

H&M 5.99 sweatshirt

Rebecca has this red sweatshirt and I love the washed red – it is currently reduced to $9.99 with all sizes available.

Parson sweathsirt

Now if you are in the UK you are probably aware of Selfish Mother. They are committed to genuine sustainability through their supply chain. Their tees and sweatshirts are made at a Fair Wear Foundation certified factory in Bangladesh, which means it is vetted for good working conditions and fair wages. The designs are all screen-printed in London and each different design contributes profits to a different charity. They ship to the US too.

Purchasing the Maman sweatshirt contributes to Help Refugees UK. £10 from every MAMAN tee and £15 from every MAMAN sweatshirt will go to support this cause.

maman_grey_scoop_sweat_with_red_grande

I love the logo on this one – so appropriate for me ūüėȬ†All profits* from sales of WINGING IT¬†designs go to KIDS CHARITY UK, who do amazing work with disabled children and their families. KIDS not only helps young people age 0-25 but also the people caring for them on a daily basis¬†More info here.¬†*When they¬†say ‚Äėall profits‚Äô this means¬†¬£15 from the sale of each sweat going straight to help others!

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This is the version I own – I did say I had a motif sweatshirt in there somewhere!¬†All profits* from sales of Mother designs go to Women for Women International ‚Ästan charity that helps women in 8 war-torn regions rebuild their lives through training programs. More info here.¬†¬†*When they¬†say ‚Äėall profits‚Äô this means¬†¬£15 from the sale of each sweat going straight to help others!

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Now Zara have some fun offerings this season – though they may be causing a little trouble with this Elle Macpherson sweat – it is very similar to Reformation’s Cindy Crawford sweatshirt that retailed for $118!

elle macpherson sweatshirt

I love this oversized motif sweatshirt which is available in other colors too.

oversized sweatshirt

Mango of course have some great options to choose from – plain or graphic. These are my picks.

I need one of each color in this sweatshirt with motivational quotes!

Mango perfect sweathsirt

I love the shape of this one and the fact it doesn’t have cuffs.

Mango oversized sweatshirt

If you quite like the idea of a motif, but not emblazoned across your chest, this is a great alternative. It comes in white and black too with different copy.

Mango message sweatshirt

I adore the lower neckline on this and the slight pleating at the sides. Perfect for layering and the grey is also gorgeous.

Mango cotton sweatshirt

I love the lace detail on this one and it is currently 35% off.

Mango cord sweatshirt

Here they are going with the Bella Freud year thing – at some point I will find a 1971 version – I can’t bring myself to wear one that isn’t my birth year!

Mango 1976 sweatshirt

Now finally TheOutnet.com who have several items on clearance too right now, including this Zoe Karssen number which is just $25! I’m tempted to buy it even to sleep in at 80% off!

zoe karssen clearance

Another Zoe Karssen with 50% off.

theoutnet zoekarsson

This Etre Cecile number is so much fun! Love it! Just $81.60 too.

parisienne

Only XS left in this Markus Lupfer sweatshirt – but how cool is it!?

Marksu lupfer

You can’t go wrong with a simple James Perse sweatshirt – always fabulous fabric and 60% off on TheOutnet.com.

james peres

Possibly my favorite – this Etre Cecile number is gorgeous – I LOVE the colors and it is just $86.70.

etre

So here I am in my little H&M number today! Spring is blooming in Atlanta so hopefully I will get to sit out in the garden later once I’ve dragged the kids to their dentist appointment!

SweatshirtShoes РKurt Geiger // Jeans РZara (old) // Shirt РJ.Crew popover (25% off with code SHOPNOW) // Sweatshirt РH&M (similar here) // Bag РGivenchy Pandora

 

 

 

 

Hands free shopping

By now you’re all aware of my love for a great handbag, or purse as we call them here. Usually the bigger the better. However, I have recently been won over by the charms of a cross body bag – in this case the smaller the better. I took one to the UK with me – it was perfect – it meant I could carry a larger one on the plane and pack the small cross body. I used the cross body each time I went out shopping, thus freeing up my hands for a cup of coffee on the go, fiddling with change for public transport, and carrying the essential purchases. It fits a small coin purse, a compact, a lipstick and my phone – all I need for a day out shopping.

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(photos from Pinterest)

Now when I began researching this post I had a few bags in mind that I knew I wanted to share with you. Given the current popularity of the Gucci Soho (I think I know at least five friends who have one)¬†I wasn’t surprised to find that there is no shortage of beautiful bags, of all price points to choose from, so bear¬†with me as my edit is quite long.

First up the J.Crew Marlo. It is beautiful and it’s simplicity really reminds me of a Mansur Gavriel bag. In the US there is currently 20% off with code GETSHOPPING making it just $78.40 – a great price for a well made, versatile, leather bag that will age beautifully. It’s available in four colors plus leopard print which is slightly more.

JCrew Marlo all colors

Marlo leopard

If navy is your color check out the Parker cross body bag.

Parker navy

Now when I am shopping for bags, shoes or jeans I never make a purchase without first checking out TheOutnet.com. You never know what gems you’ll find. Unfortunately the stock on the UK and US site can vary drastically with some brands only being available in some regions. Here are the beauties I uncovered today – they are new on the site too.

I love Rag & Bone for their shoes and this bag of theirs is gorgeous. Really urban looking and not covered in branding. The grey with¬†black is perfect. It’s listed on TheOutnet at 50% off retail.

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This mini bucket bag from Tory Burch is a great color – so versatile and the quality will be fabulous.

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This is the same bag but maybe in a more summer friendly color?

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Again a bag from Tory Burch – this one is particularly appealing with the top handle. I love my PS1 as it can be carried on the shoulder or in the hand. Be quick though at just $163 (50% off) it won’t stay in stock long.

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This Sandro bag is a real little gem – such a great cobalt color for summer, and just $138 (50% off).

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This bucket bag is also from Sandro – also a great choice as it has a longer strap and a top handle. It’s on TheOutnet at $278 (60% off) – amazing value for a leather bag from a great brand. This will last you a lifetime.

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Now Mango – oh lordy Mango. I swear I could spend my earnings at Mango this season. They are so on the ball with their offerings. So excuse me – the list of gorgeousness is long!

This stunning little number has some studding and comes in white and black too.

Mango stud cross body

I love everything about this one – the quilting, the tassel, the chain strap – again it comes in black too.

Mango quilted cross body

This Chloe-esque number is just $11.99 – yes $11.99 in the sale!

Mango stud cross body sale

Again I love a chain strap and I am really drawn to the cobalt blue but this bag comes in other colors too. It is beautifully neat.

Mango small cross body bag

You can’t go wrong with pink in the summer – go on make the boys wink ūüėČ

Mango pink double compartment

Now another sales gem – I looked at this over and over again at full price, it is leather and now just $35.99 reduced from $119!!

Mango leopard cross body

Another animal print leather bag here, though less rigid looking.

Mango leather cross body

What can I say but top handle Рthe perfect combination of a hands free bag with a lady like appearance.

Mango handle cross body

This chain bag is a sales bargain as well – it’s slightly bigger than some of the others but reduced 70% to $23.99.

Mango hain cross body

Now if this isn’t the perfect Gucci Soho dupe I don’t know what is…it comes in off white too and it’s leather.

Mango Gucci dupe

Loving the clasp detail and fringing on this bag in the sale at just $23.99.

Mango fringe cross body

The shape of this flap bag is fabulous – it’s quite deep and the yellow is great for Easter best! It also comes in black and white.

Mango flap bag

Or if you prefer a saddle bag how about this one?

Mango chloe dupe

This one is a classic – so neat, also available in tan.

Mango buckle flap bag

Phew – are you still with me? I thought it only fair now to add some lust items, given the current popularity of the Gucci cross body.

Here it is – the Gucci Soho, perfect proportions, a zip closure and tassel detail.

Gucci Soho

This is the version I have Рit is a flap closure rather than a zip, with the chain strap Рwhich is basically why I chose it. Now the only draw back is I have to take my phone case off to fit my iPhone 6 plus in it  Рfirst world problems indeed.

Gucci Soho small

Another version with the classic Gucci stripes.

Gucci Linea

Fancy something a little different? I adore this Balenciaga Рand what a great crimson color!

Balenciaga

This bag from APC is a beautiful shape, minimal, clean and neat.

APC

Of course we can also add a bit of humor with the Anya Hindmarch smiley face bag – but I really do wonder why her prices are so high?

Anya Hindmarch

So there you go – plenty of food for thought. Not only are they fab for shopping but I love a cross body bag when traveling – they’re¬†great for keeping close by when you’re moving through crowded areas.

This weekend is going to be crazy here – having just about recovered from the jet lag, Hugh turns 8 on Sunday so we have a weekend packed full of fun and surprises for him! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

AllSaints leather jacket, Givenchy PandoraTrousers – Mango (sale – size down!) // Sneakers – Adidas Superstars // Shirt – Mango (old) // Jacket – AllSaints // Scarf – M&S (old) // Bag – Givenchy Pandora