How early is too early to start the birthday celebrations!?

It’s been an odd week readjusting to life back in Atlanta. I can’t lie, I am totally jealous of all you Europeans just starting your vacations, while we prepare for back to school on Wednesday! My Instagram feed is full of blue skies and oceans and I have to keep reminding myself that was me just a week ago!

To ease the pain I am focusing on my upcoming birthday! I’m 45 on the 10th and like to celebrate for as long as possible! Hence, Friday night, my Husband and I went out for tapas and cocktails. Maybe my Leo instincts are aroused, but I decided to go full on leopard print for the evening. This dress is just £19.99 from New Look and is available in the US here on ASOS (keep checking back for your size – they update regularly). I felt fantastic in it! The dress is pleated so not tight at all and it is the perfect midi length. I’m now on the look out for dresses in a similar style as it felt so great on. The shoes are Vince and an incredible eBay bargain -new they were $425 and I got them NWT for $65!

New look leopard print dress, Vince Aden shoes, Gucci purseDress – New Look // Shoes – Vince Aden off eBay // Bag – Gucci (similar here)

I made a couple of other purchases this week including the red Adidas Gazelles – I just love the Gazelles and they take me back to the 90s when I wore a green pair to death! They do fit big and I sized down to a US 8 instead of my usual 8.5.

Adidas Gazelles

I also just wore my new running tights from the H&M For Every Victory collection. They are amazingly comfortable – 2miles on the treadmill with no adjusting. I’m in a medium and they fit great.

H&M For Every Victory

As for the rest of last week here’s what I’ve been wearing. It’s lovely to have all my closet back!

Mango shoes, Mango top and FalabellaShoes – Mango // Jeans – Zara (old) // Top – Mango (sale reduced from &79.99 to $24.99!) // Bag – Stella McCartney

& Other Stories dress, Mulberry Bayswater, Castañer espadrillesDress – & Other Stories sale // Shoes – Castañer // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

H&M dress, Golden Goose sneakers, FalabellaDress – H&M // Shoes – Golden Goose // Bag – Stella McCartney

A birthday, Willie Nelson and President Carter!

What a busy week! My mum and dad arrived on Tuesday just in time for Poppy’s 10th birthday on the 18th. It was quite cute at the airport – I collected Hugh and Poppy from school early as they had prepared welcome posters for Nana and Grandad!

airport

On Wednesday, while the kids were at school, we went for some gentle shopping to DSW while the jet lag dissipated. Mum also loves to head to Ulta where she stocks up on OPI nail polish – one of the few things that is still cheaper here!

dsw2Shoes – Isabel Marant // Jeans – Zara // Top – AllSaints // Bag – Balenciaga

dsw

We came out of DSW empty handed but I did grab a couple of tops in the sale at Old Navy – somewhere I haven’t shopped for years. It made me curious so I checked out their website later and look at these amazing swimsuits – 40% off and a GREAT tribute to the incredibly expensive Marysia swimsuits. The one piece is currently sold out online but check stores, and I was told there would be more stock online soon.

Old navy swimsuit

bikini bikini bottoms

I also saw similar on J.Crew’s website here, currently 25% off with code SUMMER.

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On Wednesday evening we all went out to dinner for my gorgeous girl’s 10th birthday – how did this wee thing…

ph

….end up this big?

old navy CollageShorts and tee – Old Navy here and here // Sandals – Avarcas Pons

dinner CollageShoes – Sam Edelman (old) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Top – Gap // Bag – Balenciaga

Thursday meant a trip to Target. I was absolutely surprised how many things I loved! Check out what ended up in my cart!

This denim jacket is fabulous – so soft and I love the sweatshirt sleeves and hoody.

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I’ve ummed and ahhed over a denim waistcoat/vest forever and now have this one at just $29.99.

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I love this top that I picked up too – can’t have too many pretty white tops in the summer!

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Finally – how cute is this dress for nights out in Istanbul!? I love it!

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Mum left Target with more nail polishes! How come she goes shopping and I spend more??? 🙂

targetShoes – TopShop // Jeans – Zara (old) // Top – AllSaints (old)

On Friday we went to the mall and stopped off at a few stores including J.Crew. Not great going in  J.Crew dressed in J.Crew!

JcrewShoes – Golden Goose // Jeans – Zara (old) // T-Shirt – J.Crew (old) // Jacket – J.Crew // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

On Friday evening we were lucky enough to have tickets for Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. My Husband and I have seen Willie before and knew it would be a great treat for Mum and Dad. Unfortunately it was an outdoor venue and the rain was pretty constant – but with cheese and wine the audience loved it. As a massive bonus President Carter, a big Willie fan, was in the audience and he and Rosalynn joined Willie to sing Amazing Grace. Moving stuff. My favorite moment of the night though has to be the legend, Kris Kristofferson, singing one of his most famous songs – ‘Me and Bobby McGee’.

kris kristofferson President Carter

mum and dad collage

Of course you can always use your M&S bag to stay dry 🙂
rain

Mum and Dad are now in Fort Myers for a few days so normality has resumed here – at least till Wednesday when they return and school finishes for the summer!!!!

Sunday CollageTop – Gap // Sunglasses – Mango (old) // Jeans – J.Crew // Shoes – & Other Stories

 

The maxi dress

I admit I have struggled with the maxi dress. I have a couple of lovely jersey Splendid dresses that I wear on vacation, but I tend to feel too ‘dressed up’ in them for everyday wear. That is until I tried this H&M dress. I was actually really surprised how much I like it. Maybe it’s the sheer lower half that helps – I don’t feel too covered up if that makes sense!? I also love the colors and the pattern. It’s got a little stretch in it so it is really comfortable to wear. Dressed down with sneakers it is a great day dress. It’s now on sale at $29.99, reduced from $59.99.

maxi dressDress – H&M // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

Here are some other maxi dresses I am now tempted to try! I may be hooked!

This dress is also H&M and beautiful – very Grecian!

chiffon maxi dress

This Mango dress is stunning – I love the colors and it’s sheerness.

Mango printed dress

This is also Mango and stunning – I love the back detail. As a side note – I have the sandals in this image and they are gorgeous, I love the thong toe.

Mango off white dress

Mango again – the embroidery on this is lovely. I also really like the length. I love how they have styled it with the black sandals – perfect.

mango embroidered

Back to H&M – unfortunately this is sold out online here in the US but I will be trying to track it down in store and checking for returns online – it is so elegant and just $24.99.

jersey dress

This dress is so Marrakech – I think I can also convince myself it’s perfect for Istanbul this year with the covered arms.

embroidered dress

So do you do maxis or not? I’d love to hear where you them down!

How to wear joggers out of the house!

I know many of you swear that joggers, or sweatpants, are for indoor, slobbing in front of the tv, use only. Many are I agree. I have some lovely slouchy Reebok joggers that are so soft – but their shape is massively unflattering and only my immediate family will ever get to see me in them! However, I do believe that if you select the right shape – maybe slimmer in the leg, with a proper cuff at the ankle, then joggers can look great for casual wear. In fact you can even try heels with them – a step too far for me.

My favorite inspiration for wearing joggers comes from Sincerely, Jules. She wears them with absolute cool and aplomb.

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I also love these looks.

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I really love the idea of a pair of off white/cream joggers but they are hard to come by. I found these at TopShop, which look great.

TopShop joggers

I have an old pair of Zara camo joggers but these look amazing – I love the stripe down the leg. It’s always promising when an item gets great reviews!

camo joggers

Uniqlo are a great goto source for joggers. Always great quality and a great price. These are similar to the pair I am wearing below.

Uniqlo grey

I absolutely LOVE them in the olive.

Uniqlo olive

So here I am in an attempt to look effortlessly cool in my joggers 🙂

joggersJoggers – Uniqlo (old but similar here) // Shoes – Golden Goose // Top – AllSaints // Jacket – AllSaints // Bag – Balenciaga

So have I convinced you that they can be worn outside, or do you still think they are for sofa slobbing only?

Today I’m feeling quite bright and springlike, now we just need the sun again so I can get back into sandals as opposed to boots!

Gap top CollageBoots – TopShop or Nordstrom // Jeans – J Brand Selena // Top – Gap // Jacket – AllSaints // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

Cargo pants

Yes! It’s the first day of spring today! It feels wonderful here in Atlanta though I have to admit March 20th seems to have arrived extremely quickly. We’ve just had an amazing weekend in Nashville where Poppy was competing in an AllStar Cheer competition so, after a long drive back yesterday, we’re having a lazy Sunday with a late lunch out at our favorite BBQ joint.

I happen to be wearing some of my favorite pants today – they are best described as a harem cargo pant. They were from Zara a couple of years ago and each time I wear them I wonder why I don’t wear them more often. They are really comfortable and the shoe choice is endless. They are easy to dress up or down and wear day to evening. I think they are the perfect spring trouser – lighter weight than jeans and they pair perfectly with flip flops and sandals.

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(images via Pinterest)

Here are my picks from lower end high street to high end designer.

In the US The Gap is currently offering 2 day free shipping PLUS 40% off using code FASTBUNNY. I have just ordered these tencel joggers, they also come in navy and black.

tencel jogger

Not cargo pants, but the color is similar at least – I need to throw this jumpsuit in the mix. I have it and adore it and with the 40% off right now it would be foolish to miss out. I love it for traveling in and it is also available in grey and black.

jumpsuit

I love how louche these girlfriend chinos look – perfect paired with sun bleached espadrilles. They are wonderfully soft too.

girlfriend chino

Going now with the current trend of the crop kick flare. Sometimes I can’t be faffed with rolling up my pants – or my OCD gets the better of me and I spend far too long rolling and unrolling to get each leg even! These would save me hours over a year 🙂

crop kick pants

Now onto Mango – so many choices with these being my absolute favorite – a great length and I LOVE the pockets and the wide leg.

cotton cargos

Now I admit I would style these differently but with simple leather flip flops and a plain white tank I think these would be the perfect vacation trouser.

cargo palazzo pants

These are more of a culotte and I love the tie waistband.

palazzon trousers

If you have never used Shopbop.com I urge you to check them out. You can check out with your Amazon Prime membership and get free speedy delivery, plus free returns and they offer a huge variety of brands.

These utilitarian Etienne Marcel pants have a slouchy, cropped silhouette with distressing. I LOVE them.

Etienne Marcel

This pair is cuffed at the ankle if you prefer less harem and more jogger style of pant. They are the NSF cargo pants with a hint of fading.
NSF cargo

Another cuffed version from Velvet, with a tie waist – comfort and style.
Velvet jogger

These slouchy Faith Connexion cargo pants in classic camo are fabulous, in the sale and still really pricey!!

faith connexion cargo

Just love these twill Current / Elliot pants with a slouchy, military-inspired profile. The crossover front is fabulous.

Current Elliott

Finishing with my favorite, which are very similar to the Zara pair I am wearing. These slouchy Citizens of Humanity pants have a military-inspired look with a button fly.

Citizens of Humanity

While we are talking about cargo pants I want to share these fab leather flip flops from The Gap. I love wearing a very simple sandal with cargos, but sometimes a rubber flip flop is just too casual. These flip flops are available in silver, gold, tan, black, blue and pink. I love them all.

Gap leather flip flop

So here I am today on a chillier than desired first day of spring!

Zara cargo pantsTrousers – Zara (old) // Top – AllSaints (old) // Scarf – Zara (old) // Sneakers – Golden Goose

The pinstripe blazer

I absolutely love the warmer weather. It means the coats can be replaced with a blazer. A blazer can transform an entire outfit. If you pick one that fits well they are beautifully flattering. I find they give me shape by enhancing my shoulders and giving me a waist. I stand taller when I wear a blazer – and you can’t beat a striking pinstripe blazer when you need that extra pizzazz.

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(images via Pinterest)

I own the first two here from Mango. They are amazing quality and in the sale. I am wearing the navy today – and it’s what I would call chalkstripe rather than pinstripe, and it has a pop up grey felt collar. It’s now just $47.99.

Mango pinstripe jacket

The grey is lovely – I don’t normally go for double breasted but I love wearing this one with black or grey jeans and this is now just $39.99.

mango grey

I’m probably going to order this off-white jacket as it is perfect with blue jeans for spring and just $39.99 – reduced by 60%.

mango white jacket

This grey blazer is reduced to $128 from $321 on Asos and I love the darker grey.

Asos jacket

This is a beautiful alternative to a blazer from TopShop – I think this would look amazing with leather leggings.

TopShop pinstripe

Another from TopShop but I can only see it on the Nordstrom website here. I love the long lapels on it.

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Now for the pricier versions. A blazer is always worth the investment for a fabulous cut and gorgeous fabric. This is TopShop Unique and lighter weight for the summer.

TopShop Unique pinstripe blazer

This By Malene Birger has matching flared trousers – stunning paired as a suit for a wedding.

By Malene Birger pinstripe blazer

Finally I just love the styling of this blazer by Maje. Less structured than some of the others, again with more of a chalkstripe than pinstripe, and it’s just beautiful. It’s final sale right now.

Maje pinstripe blazer

So here I am in my Mango jacket. I subconsciously chose to wear it for a teacher conference today – the Husband asked if I was having school uniform flash backs!

pinstripe blazer golden goose J Brand selena jeans PS1Jeans – Selena by JBrand // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Top – Zara (old) // Blazer – Mango (on sale) // Bag – PS1 (similar here)

 

 

The London trip!!

Sorry for my unusually long absence – I normally try to keep blogging while I’m back in the UK but this year my trip is shorter and I’ve been busier! I arrived last Monday morning and then Tuesday my sister and I took my Mum out to Manchester for an early Mother’s Day shopping trip and lunch. It was fabulous fun and we had lunch at a great restaurant, The Alchemist, in Spinningfields. Lots of sharing plates and prosecco!

The Alchemist

The shopping continued though we were quite restrained! We did end up back in Selfridges for a little more prosecco before heading back home. My poor Dad was at home waiting for his supper 🙂 Apparently I led everyone astray…

Earnest Sewn jeans, TopShop bomber jacket, Gucci Soho, Golden GooseBag – Gucci Soho // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – Earnest Sewn // Top – Zara (old) // Jacket – TopShop // Scarf – Asos

Wednesday was spent pottering at home with my nephews – they grow up so fast and it was lovely to spend time with them – though they are always a tad cautious to start with – Auntie Jo is a bit mad apparently…

On Thursday it was time to head to Laaandaan town. Having lived there for about 8 years in the 90s it’s hard to explain the feeling of ‘heading home’, but at the same time feeling like a tourist! My heart was pounding with excitement when I got off the train at Euston. On Thursday night I headed out south of the river and met up with some old work friends from my graduate training days at PwC. We haven’t seen each other for years and it was so lovely to catch up. I walked across the Millennium Bridge from St. Paul’s to get there and it was simply breathtaking!

St. Paul's Cathedral The Shard, Tower Bridge

On Friday morning I popped by to see Liz, while detoxing with a run through Green Park.

Buckingham Palace

Saturday was the MAIN event! Our annual blogger meet up. I’ve made the most amazing friends from blogging and these are truly some of the most important women in my life. I always plan on taking a tonne of photos but once the prosecco starts flowing we always end up forgetting. The afternoon flies by! I can’t even begin to count the number of topics we covered – none of them fashion related! 😉 Thanks SO much to the following girls for making it such a special day!

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I’ll be back on the other side of the Atlantic tomorrow ready to place my US vote on Super Tuesday, once I’ve hugged my Husband and kids tightly!

 

Back to the grindstone!

The flu bug has left the house! Hooray! All have returned to school which means I have to drag my sorry arse back to the office! Wasn’t sure what to wear today and in the end I opted for what I am calling ‘polished comfort’! Stretchy crepe flares which have an elastic waistband – so they are basically tailored sweats, sneakers and a shirt and jacket. Trying to channel Emmanuel Alt again with my tie waisted jacket which was a complete bargain in the sale at H&M.

flaresSneakers – Golden Goose // Flares – Asos // Jacket – H&M // Shirt – Mango (old but similar here)

A new children’s tv presenter?

I only ask this question as those of you who remember Floella Benjamin and Brian Cant may see why my jumpsuit and fringed sneakers made me think of them today! I’m ready to step in a present Play Away anytime!

I am head over heels in love with these new premium leather fringe Converse. SO comfortable – I always seem to take half a size down in Converse – these are a US 8 instead of my usual US 8.5.

Converse

My jumpsuit is similar to the navy version that Alex shared a photo of on Instagram. Both are sold out but stalk the navy one – it keeps coming back into stock.

jumpsuitJumpsuit – ASOS (similar here) // Jacket – Maje (TheOutnet.com) // Sneakers – Converse // Bag – Stella McCartney // Scarf – Boden (old – 20% off pants, skirts, shoes and accessories today!)

It’s been a pretty cold week again here so I’ve mainly been donning variations of a theme – coats and scarfs! This coat was an absolute bargain in the Zara sale.

White coatSneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – Diesel Fayza // Jumper – Uniqlo cotton cashmere // Coat – Zara // Bag – Proenza Schouler // Scarf – Zara (old)

A weekend packed with cheer competitions is coming up so it’s going to be fun and busy! I can’t wait for all those sequins and sparkles! So much rehearsal goes into a 2 1/2 minute performance!

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)