Farewell Istanbul, hello Cyprus

Wow my feet have barely touched the ground till now – we arrived today in Northern Cyprus….and breathe…Istanbul was incredible but it is nice to switch gears now. Istanbul has everything – it is beautiful, exciting, historic, friendly, crazy and breathtaking. We did so much and saw so much and I feel 3 nights is the perfect length of time. We shopped, visited ancient mosques, took boat trips over to Asia and ate incredible food.

Of course the Grand Bazaar was my favorite – I am so shallow – shopping for me any day over historic places of worship. Poppy and I really got in to the swing of our bartering, though no doubt we still paid well over the odds, but we felt better about it!

I struck the jackpot with a beautiful silk scarf and two rough cut stone rings.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 7.21.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 7.21.45 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 7.21.55 PMWe visited the Hagia Sophia which is just breathtaking in it’s size and beauty. Of course Mom and Dad still managed to embarrass the kids.

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Our hotel was fabulous – a boutique Turkish hotel with a roof terrace and spa. The kids loved having access to a basement pool and I loved having access to the evening sunset.

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One evening we skipped the kebab house and went straight for the baklava for dinner – just divine!

Baklava Istanbul As for what I have been wearing my clothes have mainly been dictated by comfort. Istanbul is hot during the day but, being right on the Bosphorous, it can be cool and breezy in the evening.

Splendid dressDress – Splendid (now on sale here and I am wearing a large) // Shoes – Havaianas

Off the shoulder top, J.Crew jeans and flip flopsTop – ASOS // Jeans – J.Crew // Shoes – Havaianas

Mango dress and TopShop sandalsDress – Mango (now 50% off in sale) // Shoes – TopShop

Mango top and J.Crew jeansTop – Mango (similar here) // Jeans – J.Crew // Scarf – Grand Bazaar // Shoes – Havaianas

We arrived in Northern Cyprus this morning, after a quick flight from Istanbul, picked up the rental car, and arrived at our amazing house by noon. We have struck gold again…and relax…

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A lazy weekend at last

This is our first weekend at home for 3 weeks and we are all ready for it! We’ve had school testing for the past two weeks too so as a reward, and an early birthday present, I took Poppy to get her ears pierced on Thursday. I offered Hugh the opportunity too but oddly he wasn’t interested. My piercings may have put him off forever 😉

I wore my new Zara culottes which I love, but I’m not keen on this Zara top with them – I think a simple t-shirt would look far better. Hindsight and all that…These booties are awesome – they are slip on and run true to size and the heel is the perfect height to wear in the day. I plan to wear them a lot this summer with skinny jeans and crops. They remind me of the peep toe booties that Emmanuelle Alt loves to wear. They are currently on sale here.

Denim culottes, Zara, Nine West peep toe bootiesShoes – Nine West Glyn // Culottes – Zara // Top – Zara (old)

Yesterday I treated myself to a pedi and headed out to lunch. Some well deserved ‘me time’ before having fun with a house full of children in the evening. I love the lighter evenings and warmer weather – it’s great to see the kids playing outside with friends while I catch up with their moms! I kept it simple and I absolutely love this drapey Splendid top. Flip flops were required for the pedi!

Black Splendid topFlip flops – Havaianas // Jeans – J.Crew (30% off with TIMETOSHOP) // Top – Splendid

Today we were all a tad tired and cranky after the late night shenanigans. Even the dogs get pissy if they don’t go to bed at their regular time! We ended up having a lovely lazy day and went to the movies to watch Home. I loved it – tears, laughter and a great soundtrack. Then we filled our stomachs with BBQ – mmmm baby back ribs all round thank you. A perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday. I know the sandals are love or loathe but I had at least 5 compliments wearing them today – they are certainly eye catching!

Edited Ancient GreeksShoes – Ancient Greeks // Dress – Asos // Jacket – Mango

I’ve just landed on the sofa after a lovely bath and plan to spend the evening with a cup of tea and a few episodes of Mad Men. I’m dreading the day I finish all the episodes!

Man’s best friend

The 26th August was National Dog Day – a day to celebrate and encourage adoption of dogs everywhere. Since we have been in Atlanta we have adopted 4 boxers. Tennyson is our only dog right now and we adopted him almost 3 years ago. The kids have been asking for more dogs for some time, and since Rosie passed away I know Tennyson has missed a friend. So in our usual crazy, impulsive fashion we have decided to adopt not just one more, but two more boxers. We’re not sure which exact dogs Stanley and Stella are yet – the names are picked but not the dogs! We have two coming to stay with us this week and fingers crossed all will get along and they will stay for the long haul! Wish us luck!

In the meantime we celebrated Tennyson this week with lots of love and kisses!

Tennyson Tennyson 2 Tennyson 1Sneakers – Converse // Shorts – Mango (old – similar here) // T-shirt – J.Crew (old – similar here)

Thursday was chaotic – the school had a power cut so I ended up having an impromptu shopping trip with Poppy before heading for a haircut. Poppy as ever ended up returning home with something new – new Sam Edelman Pettys in the Labor Day sale – like mother, like daughter! They are lovely with a glitter heel and great for her to wear with jeans or skirts.

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I wore my favorite Ancient Greeks for the day.

Mango top

Sandals – Ancient Greeks // Jeans – Zara (old) // Top – Mango (old – similar here)

Chadd did an amazing job as ever on my hair. I went for the undercut again so I can pretend I am super cool and trendy for my blogger party next weekend in NYC at the start of Fashion Week. I may have acquired a new dress to wear too – but you’ll have to wait and see!

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Jumpsuit – New Look from ASOS // Flip flops – Havaianas // Lips – NARS Cruella

Now I’m off to host a sleep over for the kids and enjoy a thoroughly relaxing Labor weekend before we are overwhelmed with dogs 🙂

 

Hot as Hell

Hot as Hell – not just in hot yoga this morning where I thought I might actually pass out, but also in Atlanta – anywhere in Atlanta. The humidity is such that you sweat as soon as you leave the house and the temperature is 94 degrees Fahrenheit.  I need no reminder that I live in the deep South.  We’re off to a pool party soon so I think some very icy white wine may be in order – it is Friday after all!

JCrew1 JCrew3Top – J.Crew on sale plus extra 25% off with SHOPNOW // Shorts – J.Crew 25% off with SHOPNOW // Shoes – Arizona Birkenstock

ASOS3 ASOS2 ASOS 1Beach Jumpsuit – ASOS on sale – just $20! // Bikini – J.Crew (top and bottom on sale plus additional 25% off with SHOPNOW) // Flip flops – Havaianas

Happy Weekend one and all!

xxx

 

Sensible Sandals.

Let’s talk spring, summer and sandals.  Sensible sandals.

I have succumbed to the Birkenstock trend I’m afraid.  A little late to the table, but it has taken me since last summer to convince myself that they can be both comfortable and ‘trendy’.  I’ve had a pair of Boston Birkenstocks for years as they are very much part of the Georgia summer uniform here, but I have rarely worn them in recent summers, opting for my Havaianas instead.

Here are some of the images that convinced me they were worth trying again.

Ashley Olsen loves her black patent Gizeh birkies.

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And Heidi Klum is also a big fan of the Gizeh.

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They look fab on a dude too – he looks so cool here.

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Gizeh

 

I have the white patent which I love.  They are super comfortable and for my ‘funny feet’ they are amazing offering great arch support.

I also love the traditional Arizona, but in this blue – it seems a little more feminine than the black if that is possible.

Arizona wtf

I’ve just received the Mayari in black to try too – very feminine and I love the toe piece on this style.

Mayari

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Another favorite of mine is very similar to the Mayari – the Yara – this time with an ankle strap.  I think they are so cool looking in this neutral brown.  Great with tanned feet on the boardwalk!

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The other style of sandal that I have fallen for in a big way is the traditional Menorcan Avarca Pons.  Made in Spain, the leather is super soft, with no seams to rub on hot feet, and they conceal my crazy toes perfectly.  The soles are made of recycled bicycles tires so they are non-slip and I like the idea of ‘repurposing’ for my feet!  I find them incredibly flattering on – actually quite slimming on my wide feet.  The only downside is choosing which color to buy.  I have the taupe, but I’m thinking about a brighter color too – and maybe an ankle strap version🙂  I LOVE them and haven’t taken them off all weekend.

As for sizing it says they come up small but I am usually a US 8 – 8.5 and I went for a US 8.  I was nervous as often I am a EUR 39 and the US 8 here is labeled as a EUR 38.  The 8 is perfect though – the leather is so soft that it gives and stretches quickly to mold to your foot, so I would stick with your normal size as they may end up too big otherwise!

IMG_5702 Avarca pons AP1 AP2 AP3 AP4 AP5

Just to assure you I haven’t gone completely ‘sensible’ on you I’ve also ordered these Ancient Greek sandals…with wings…oh yes indeed how awesome are these?!

Ancient Greek

 

For those of you that prefer something a little less embellished how about this version?

Ancient Greek 1

 

Now if the rain clouds could just move to the Atlantic I’ll be a happy girl.  Get those pedicures done and the sandals on…sensible or otherwise!

 

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Home comforts.

Here was me thinking I might lose a few pounds on holiday.  Errr not the way I’m going at the moment.  Copious wine, Mum’s fab cooking, plus a trip to Tesco where I stocked up on a few home comforts.

 

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I’ve already had steak and kidney pudding and mushy peas, the bag of revels, and the Monster Munch have been opened.  It’s a good job I stocked up on some of my favorite shape wear from M&S this morning too!  Right now if you use BRAFIT48 at check out you will receive 8GBP off every 40GBP you spend!  I broke it up into separate orders online to benefit fully from the code!

These are my favorite pieces – they really do cinch the waist, and the legs have no elastic so completely eradicate the VPL.  At 25GBP each who can argue with that?  M&S also ship free to the US now so I can rest easy.

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This afternoon we’re babysitting for my sister so the house has 4 children in it.  Poppy is enjoying every minute of schooling Hugh, Jack and Tom – poor boys.

Here’s my outfit for today – starting with a jacket and sneakers for a trip into Bury, followed by a cardigan and flip flops for hanging out at home.

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Jacket – Zara TRF (old) // T-shirt – Gap // Jeans – Asos Saxby // Sneakers – Golden Goose

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Flip flops – Havaianas // Cardigan – Boden (30% off everything till 24th June!!) Limited Edition sparkle pocket cardigan (old)

Off to help corral the children!

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Beach vacation.

This place is amazing.  It’s one of those vacations where everything falls in to place, almost.

The kids have been jumping the surf at 8am each morning, and MM and I have managed to get a couple of beach runs in to burn off the calories from the excesses of each evening.  Yes, we’ve even managed to light the charcoal grill:)  Nothing better than burgers with Prosecco!

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My afternoon margaritas have been cunningly disguised in my coffee cup.

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The house, fortunately, is perfect – basic, but right on the beach.  It’s amazing how easy the day becomes when you don’t have to pack bags and food for a day at the beach.  Not to mention we can all chill out away from the sun when we feel like it.  The only thing we’re missing are the dogs – they don’t deal well with the heat – I hope they are behaving for the house sitter!

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I’ve been relishing living in bikinis, shorts and t-shirts.  I packed light, and living with a capsule wardrobe is fabulously freeing.  No decisions to make except choosing which shorts are clean.

denim shorts

Shorts – JCrew selvedge shorts (old – similar here) // t-shirt – Target // hat – Target

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Shorts – JCrew Factory bermudas // t-shirt – Target (old) // hat – Target // Flip flops – Havaianas // sunglasses – Ray-Ban Wayfarers

Of course we can never go away without drama.  Poor Poppy managed to get half the deck in her foot on Sunday evening.  I tried removing the splinter but she was obviously in pain.  Monday morning we headed to Urgent Care.  The poor wee thing had to have a huge needle in her foot for anesthetic then the Dr. had to use a scalpel to remove it – it was embedded in her foot so deeply!  I held on to her for dear life – I never want to hear screams of pain like that again.  I was in tears and shaking – and I wasn’t even going through the pain!!  She was an absolute star and once it was all over all she was concerned about was the color of her bandage.  I think she is feeling quite the hero now.

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The azaleas are out!

Spring must be here!  The Masters begins next week and our azaleas are out in preparation!  It looks stunning around here with all the cherry blossom too – it’s my favorite time of year here in Atlanta – not too hot, yet good flip flop and t-shirt weather.

I nipped into Target again on the way home from work – still umming and ahhing over the Fedora I tried on the other day.  Today I tried on a pink floppy hat – I love the idea of it – but I think at the very least I need long flowing locks beneath it to really pull it off like Ali MacGraw:)

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Trousers – JCrew wool café capris (old) // Shirt – Zara (old) // Shoes – Zara // Bag – Alexander Wang Diego

So I ended up bringing the Fedora home and I love it!

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T-shirt – Target (on sale $10!) // Jeans – Levi 501s // Flip flops – Havaianas // Hat – Target // Nail polish – Essie Avenue Maintain

I’m off out tonight with the bus stop Moms.  We rarely get more than 10 minutes to chat while waiting for the school bus so tonight I’ve got them all to meet up over a bottle of wine!  I can’t wait! What to wear?:)

 

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Rising temperatures.

Are the forecast today.  Lovely – I’m going to head to the Y with Poppy in tow, workout and then hit the pool there so she can get up and down their slide a million times.  We had a fabulous time at the pool yesterday – it was quite cute how she kept telling me ‘I love it just you and me mom, no boys’.  As much as I love it when the the four of us are out there is something special when it’s just mommy and daughter time.  I hope it stays like that always – and it’s made me even more excited about spending some time with my Mum in June when I take the children back for a couple of weeks, the girls are beginning to be outnumbered with the birth of my nephew.

Our contrite contractor arrived yesterday apologizing for ‘getting carried away’ when taking us to look at fixtures and fittings.  Damn right – why he thinks I want to spend 10% of my house value on a new bathroom I’ve no idea…now of course if money were no object that would be fine, but I think the budget we have already set is pretty extravagant and we have no need for Italian designer taps nor marble flooring shipped directly from the Vatican.  I sometimes suspect that contractors arrive at your house have a good scan around and assess how much they think you really have to spend, rather than what we want to spend.  What he doesn’t realize is that I still want to get to Europe every year and maintain a bad clothing/shoe/bag addiction – I have no intention of being house poor.  So I’ve laid out what I refuse to compromise on – that being my tub, new big window, and the granite I selected for the vanity – we now have to cut corners elsewhere – which is fine especially if I get my new hardwoods and walk in closet.  Certainly no extravagant YSL handbags this year that’s for sure – maybe just a little splurge on the Boden Fall preview that should be here in a month or so!  Now if I can just get them to dig a hole outside for the pool while they’re here that would be perfect!

Pool bound in my Boden retro bikini and radish stripy tunic.  This tunic’s fit has improved with wear and wash – it’s much softer and a little looser.  Navy slim Havaianas.

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Sun and storms.

That goes for the weather and my mood today…I decided to work from home as it was Poppy’s last day at school and I needed to get some chores done while I still had time on my own.  It worked out well – I managed a run and completed most of my work by lunch – I’m always much more productive at home.  So I rewarded myself and nipped off to the pool for a bit.  I was actually hoping I would be there most of the afternoon as Poppy was off to a friend’s pool party to celebrate the end of the school year.  How cool is that to be able to go to a pool party?  It’s times like these that I really appreciate being in Atlanta – I just used to hang out on the swings on the rec.  Her friend had even called MM’s cell phone to talk to Poppy and invite her personally.  She was over the moon at receiving her first phone call – I could see my 6 yr old transforming into a 13 yr old before my eyes – terrifying.  Anyway the pool for me didn’t last as the storms rolled in and I headed off to complete my chores.

While I was out I received an email from our contractor.  We’re due to start the renovations in the next couple of weeks and I’ve been SO excited about the planning and design stage and I’m just ready to get going with the dirty work now.  That was until today when we were told we’re over budget with our list of items we want to install.  I’m livid – he knew our budget before we started so why take us to the most expensive stores for fixtures and fittings? – I feel so deflated and of course don’t want to compromise on anything we’ve picked out.  MM feels the same way – so I hope Mr. Contractor has a good solution tomorrow that doesn’t involve us having to pay more or compromise too much on our choices.  Mad as hell…yes I am – plus I wasn’t going to drink this week but now find myself with a glass of red next to me to calm my mood.

Pool wear:  Boden Pool Party Tunic from Summer 2011, Havaianas slim, Boden retro bikini 2012 – I love this bikini by the way – it fits great and has ample support for a bigger bust!

 

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