A week of anniversary celebrations

On the 19th Dave and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary! Crazy how time flies when you’re having fun! It was a beautiful, hot day, and we were married and then partied at the Devonshire Arms near Bolton Abbey. We were both just starting new careers in London and we’d never have predicted where we are now.

18 bloody years ago tomorrow!!! #anniversary #shitsandgiggles #ilovehimsomuch #boltonabbey #thedevonshirearms @boltonabbeyestate

18 bloody years ago tomorrow!!! #anniversary #shitsandgiggles #ilovehimsomuch #boltonabbey #thedevonshirearms @boltonabbeyestate

18 bloody years ago tomorrow!!! #anniversary #shitsandgiggles #ilovehimsomuch #boltonabbey #thedevonshirearms @boltonabbeyestate

The 19th this year was on a Monday – so that was a no no to a night out. Our children are night owls and would end up staying up later than we did if we had gone out! So it was a lovely lunch instead and then dinner out on Friday night.

Off out for a lovely lunch with the husband for our 18th wedding anniversary! ❤️❤️❤️ #thisis45 #pixiecut #nothingbutpixies #shorthair #liketkit #fbloggers #fbloggersuk #fblogger #ootd #wiwt #outfitpost #outfitinspo #instafashion #instastyle #40plusstyle #everydaystyle #over40fashion #mumontherun #dresslikeamum

Shoes – Chloé // Dress – Zara // Bag – Givenchy

Love this man so much - he can irritate the f*ck outta me at times but makes me laugh so much it's worth it❤️

Beautiful evening in Atlanta and we're off out for a belated anniversary dinner! #ladyinred ❤️ #thisis45 #pixiecut #nothingbutpixies #shorthair #liketkit #fbloggers #fbloggersuk #fblogger #ootd #wiwt #outfitpost #outfitinspo #instafashion #instastyle #40plusstyle #everydaystyle #over40fashion #mumontherun #dresslikeamum

Dress – Zara // Shoes – Marks & Spencer // Bag – Gucci

#makeup #nars #redsquare #hourglass

In between celebrations it was a pretty regular week of work and meetings. Every Sunday I count my blessings that these days I love all my jobs – there were a number of years when Sunday evening depression crept in and Monday mornings were feared!

A fun day of coffee and lunch with my friends - so lovely taking time to see people who make you laugh and just GET you:) My new business venture is the therapy I never knew I needed and I get PAID for it:) Skirt is Zara, Tee is Splendid, boots are Dickers and denim vest is Target! #thisis45 #pixiecut #nothingbutpixies #shorthair #liketkit #fbloggers #fbloggersuk #fblogger #ootd #wiwt #outfitpost #outfitinspo #instafashion #instastyle #40plusstyle #everydaystyle #over40fashion #mumontherun #dresslikeamum

Skirt – Zara // Boots – Isabel Marant Dickers // Bag – Givenchy // T-shirt – Splendid // Denim vest – Target

Back to black - first day of fall and still the high 80s here uuurgh! #thisis45 #pixiecut #nothingbutpixies #shorthair #liketkit #fbloggers #fbloggersuk #fblogger #ootd #wiwt #outfitpost #outfitinspo #instafashion #instastyle #40plusstyle #everydaystyle #over40fashion #mumontherun #dresslikeamum

Jeans – Zara (old) // T-shirt – AllSaints (old but currently a 20% off code on end of summer here with code PROMO20) // Shoes – Gucci (old)

Flying around like a blue arsed fly today! Gym, walk and catch up with friend, new running shoes, lunch and just in time for school busHELLO Friday! #thisis45 #pixiecut #nothingbutpixies #shorthair #liketkit #fbloggers #fbloggersuk #fblogger #ootd #wiwt #outfitpost #outfitinspo #instafashion #instastyle #40plusstyle #everydaystyle #over40fashion #mumontherun #dresslikeamum http://liketk.it/2pf9a @liketoknow.it #liketkit ☝️☝☝ dress details in link in bio

Dress – H&M // Denim vest – Target // Shoes – Dolce Vita // Bag – Givenchy

Labor Weekend Mango code!

I LOVE Mango – I probably shop there more than Zara these days – their sizing seems more generous for my boobs! This weekend you can get 30% off when you spend more than $150 and 20% off orders over $100 (why you wouldn’t add the extra $50 and return if needed I’ve no idea!) – just use code 6OULABORDAY at checkout.

I’ve actually worn Mango for the past 3 days!

Mango dressDress – Mango Outlet // Shoes – H&M // Bag – Hill & Friends

mango pink dressDress – Mango // Bag – Gucci // Shoes – Marks and Spencer (old)

Mango shoesShoes – Mango // Jeans – Zara (old) // Top – Mango // Bag – Stella McCartney

Of course I made use of the code too and I’ve ordered these beauties

Checked sweater

check sweater

Oversize sweater

oversize sweater

Slip dress

lace slip dress

I thought the blue sweater will look great with these boots I mentioned the other day – I ended up buying these as they are selling out everywhere – they still have several sizes here on Net-a-porter.com though.Cambell boot

Moving on – after seeing these shoes on Frances on Instagram I’ve ordered the berry and the leopard print. If you are shopping on the US site use WELCOME20 for 20% off!

leopard print shoes berry shoes

They have black in store too in the UK, but I cannot see them online yet.

Finally I’ve been stalking the H&M site for this top since seeing it on Ashley – it’s finally arrived in the US!

sequin top

 

It’s my birthday tomorrow!

Yes I’ve spent the past week celebrating! It only happens once a year so why not!? Us Leos aren’t known for being shy and retiring either!

On Friday night I invited a few close girlfriends out for cocktails and tapas – it was perfect – such a fun evening.

Zara dress Castañer espadrilles Gucci purseShoes – Castañer // Dress – Zara // Bag – Gucci (similar here)

With a mild hangover on Saturday, my fabulous family took me to me favorite Mexican spot for lunch and margaritas.

target dress H&M sandals and necklaceDress – WhoWhatWear by Target // Shoes – H&M // Necklace – H&M

Tomorrow I’m being taken for lunch then dinner by my gorgeous husband. It’s a good job I’m back in the gym – Slimming World has been on hold this week 😉

As for this evening I’ll be cracking open one of my gifts – a bottle of champagne – and toasting the start of being 45 – my late 40s – and feeling better than ever!

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

Save vs. Splurge Bomber Jacket

You had better be quick with this one – many sizes are sold out here but I expect they will return. Knowing H&M sizing to be so erratic I feel comfortable ordering a US 12, which their size guide suggests is a Medium. Or you could of course order the Gucci jacket of which, even at $3,990, many sizes are sold out!

Bomber jacket Collage

I may also have dropped these two dresses in my basket – the first here, I fell in love with after seeing it on A Mother’s Edit.

H&M knit dress

This one is beautiful – really hope it works out size wise. I have ordered a US 10 and it will work great with the bomber jacket or a leather jacket with sneakers.

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Both will hopefully allow me to appreciate my tan for a few weeks on return, and yes Dr. Dermatologist it was all done using SPF 60! I am so careful these days but still love frolicking on a beach!

Last night we went out for dinner with our friends from Sweden. I love these Old Navy tops that I bought in the clearance – perfect holiday attire when you’re in dusty climes and aren’t sure about the washing machine performance! I would hate to ruin some more delicate tops I have!

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.15.18 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.15.38 AMTop – Old Navy // Shorts – Madewell (similar here)// Shoes – Castañer (extra 20% off sale prices with code xJuly16)

 

What happened in TopShop today…

This morning I headed to the mall, feeling extremely virtuous as I was returning items to TopShop and Zara. Great, I thought, all those dollars that I didn’t need to spend back in my wallet for vacation! #epicfail

As I was walking out of TopShop these caught my eye.Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.46.55 PM Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.47.11 PM

They are ‘pleat trousers’ and I LOVE them. Really fluid, with an elastic waistband – these are a US 8/UK 12 in blush and grey. I can’t see the grey/silver online but I have just ordered them in red too and I am contemplating the gold. Perfect worn with a simple tee and sneakers or heels and a delicate cami.

In gold here

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.41.12 PM

In red here (not sure about the slippers with them!)

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.39.31 PM

In blush – that I have tried and purchased above

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.39.02 PM

In nude – though online they don’t look any different from the blush above…

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.38.40 PM

In navy, which I just love with the loafers here

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.38.14 PM

And khaki – these will be superb with a white tank and sneakers and a tan! Can I justify these too?

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.37.52 PM

Next I saw this beautiful pleated jersey skirt. Now the fact it is jersey makes it incredibly comfortable and this also has an elastic waistband. I would say it is generous too – this is a UK 12 US 8. They must have just been put out as they were all creased so I have ordered online here.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.47.20 PM

It also comes in a beautiful blush and red. Perfect again with sneakers or slides and a t-shirt to dress it down a little. You don’t want to end up looking like my Latin teacher.

This is the pale blue I am trying on above.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.43.31 PM

In blush pink here

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.42.54 PM

The red is stunning – though I’d skip the Mickey Mouse sweatshirt…

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.42.03 PM

So the moral of the story is, when returning items in store wear blinkers (blinders for the US!) else you’ll spend more than you returned 😉

Mango trousers Givenchy pandora Gucci loafersJacket – Mango (old but here on Mango Outlet) // Trousers – Mango (Don’t forget private sale codes here!) // Tank – Gap (this is a medium – they fit on the bigger side) // Shoes – Gucci (old) // Bag – Givenchy

 

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.

pinterst 7 Pinterest 6 Pinterest 5 Pinterest 4 pinterest 3 pinterest 2 Pinterest 1

(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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 9.44.07 AM

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?

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 9.44.46 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 9.45.04 AM

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

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 9.45.30 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 9.45.42 AM

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 😉

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 – the 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 – it is a flap closure rather than a zip, with the chain strap – which 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  – first world problems indeed.

Gucci Soho small

Another version with the classic Gucci stripes.

Gucci Linea

Fancy something a little different? I adore this Balenciaga – and 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

 

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!

 

Happy New Year!

Here’s to a fabulous 2016 to all of you. Thank you for all your support and encouragement throughout 2015. I hope to try and keep you amused and entertained with my fashion highs and lows, travel, and musings throughout 2016.

Incredible to think I’m entering my 5th year of blogging and I couldn’t say that without you guys who continue to read my posts. Thanks!

disco divaJacket – ASOS (on sale here) // Jeans – ASOS (on sale here) // Shirt – AllSaints (old but extra 20% off sale here) // Boots – Sam Edelman (on sale here) // Bag – Gucci

 

New Year, New Plans, New Books

2016 is going to be the beginning of a decade of travel for our family. We’ve been gradually building to it with longer summer vacations, further afield, and now the kids are turning 10 and 8, we reckon we can resume the some of the adventures we planned pre-kids!

We already have Turkey booked for the summer – lots of travel and Byzantine sites (I have my own personal tour guide in my Husband PhD Ancient History!) and I cannot wait! After this Christmas, we have also planned to travel at this time of year next year. I was so disillusioned with the anti-climax of Christmas Day this year. Probably because we have no family here, but also we consume, relax and gift most of the year these days! We are no longer in a post-War climate where Christmas was once a welcome day of rest, a chance to eat chocolate and forget rations, and enjoy the delights of family! My most favorite day was Christmas Eve when we had our annual visit to Church. Even my agnostic husband is enjoying this trip more and more and values the spirituality, regardless of religion, at this time of year. Next year we plan to be backpacking in Thailand via Hong Kong – well that’s the plan so far…

Oh and last night we went to see Lloyd Cole, which came a close second to my chat with the Father this year. He was epic. I was literally a meter away from him and yes I did yell across a very quiet, singer/songwriter type audience, ‘I LOVE YOU LLOYD!’. He thanked me graciously.

Yes you can hear me singing along…sorry…

Very unflattering photo of myself but we were SUPER excited! I wore the H&M sparkly jumpsuit with my Golden Goose and leather jacket. Lloyd wore a denim suit:)

D and me LLoyd Cole

I have a keepsake too – a guitar pick used by the man himself:)

Finally a few outfits from the holiday – I’ve been rubbish at taking them and to be honest – it’s been quite nice not needing the tripod xx

zaraJeans – Zara // Shoes – Ash // Sweater – H&M (cashmere and now 50% off!) // Jacket – Zara // Bag – PS1

Then later in the day I just switched out the bag and shoes for my Stella McCartney (now 40% off) and my Lowlands.

Lowlands

Sequin trousersTrousers – J.Crew // Shoes – Vince (on sale PLUS an EXTRA 60% off here!) // Bag – Gucci // Top – Mango (on sale here)

Now I’m going to get stuck into this lot.

New books