A new tattoo, a giveaway and an outfit catch up!

So I can finally share – I was waiting till after my trip back to the UK, once I had shown my Mum and Dad. As it turns out my 5 year old niece, Alice, is rubbish with secrets and snitched on me at the weekend! I guess it’s a good thing that Mum and Dad know in advance – the fewer shocks the better ūüėČ My lion is done – I’m a Leo and I love all it signifies.

We had a lovely relaxing weekend and went out for another ‘end of testing’ celebratory lunch. It was actually planned¬†originally as a meal out for me and Dave – then Hugh invited himself and his sister. Not one to dissuade an interest in dining out, we happily changed our reservation from evening to lunchtime and went as a party of four.

I wore my new Victoria Beckham x Target dress. I’d told myself I wasn’t going to buy anything from the range, but as I read reviews I thought I’d give it a whirl. As the reviews confirmed the quality is amazing – far superior to any $35 dress I’ve ever bought in the past! The fabric is heavy, but comfortable and on my shape you can’t beat a drop waist cut! I’m wearing a Large which fits perfectly.

Dress – VB x Target // Shoes – Sam Edelman // Bag – Proenza Schouler

Once again the weather is heavily influencing my outfits – we’re in that ’80 degrees one day, 50 degrees the next’ time of year until the end of May when it is reliable blazing everyday.

Jeans – J Brand // Shoes – Miu Miu // Top – Mango (old)

Shoes – Nike // Jeans – Current Elliott (reduced by 55% here) // T-shirt – H&M // Jacket – Mango // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

Slides – Mango // Jeans – Hudson // T-shirt – AllSaints // Jacket – AllSaints

Trousers – Cos (old) // Shoes – Zara (old) // Shirt – H&M (in sale now here) // Jacket – AllSaints (old) // Bag – Proenza Schouler

As we move toward May (not wishing April away!) I realized that nearly every year I get caught out. Mother’s Day in the USA is in May – so I always forget when Mothering Sunday is in the UK! I have no commercials, emails, or news prompts to remind me in March! I’m getting better though, and my Mum did receive a potted lily before she left with Dad on their Cunard cruise from Singapore to S. Africa. They’re really slumming it as empty nesters!

Anyway as I mentioned Mother’s Day here in the US is May 14th so I thought it would be great opportunity to host a giveaway – whether you’ve already celebrated or not!

Enter here to win 2 Rodan + Fields gift sets! Neither are available to purchase and both are valued at over $100!

  1. The Rodan + Fields Lash Boost and eye cream gift set with pouch
  2. The Rodan + Fields spring gift set with lip renewing serum and eye cream with pouch

Enter here between now and May 5th for your chance to win –¬†Mother’s Day giveaway

Dusting the flares off again

Yes they are back, though for me the great flare never went away. This is me from almost exactly a year ago wearing my Hudson Woodstock flares that I love so much!

jacket-and-flares-386x1024I find flares super flattering especially with a heel – really leg lengthening and slimming with a great bell bottom. The more flared the better as far as I am concerned!

Here’s me in the same jeans from March 2011!

2011Here are some of my favorite inspiration photos from Pinterest – there’s an abundance of great street style photos for flares!

flares 7 flares 6 flares 5 flares 4 flares 2 flares 1I love that this season’s flares also encompass wide legged trousers too, so if you aren’t comfortable with the tight thighs you can always try a pair such as these from Zara – so boho! I love the idea of these with flat, minimal sandals in the summer.

wide leg jeans zaraI’ve recently ordered this pair as I love the idea of a black pair of flares and Zara’s jeans always have a lovely stretch to them too. They’ll be perfect with Stans or heels.

black flaresUnfortunately I can’t find the Hudson Woodstock anywhere these days but they now stock the Ferris flare here which look identical with the hem stitching. I particularly love my Hudsons for the stretch denim and the flap back pockets – they really give your butt a great shape!

ferris flareIf you don’t like the flap pocket then Nordstrom stock the Hudson Angel flare with a classic pocket.

angel flareYesterday, instead of classic flares, I wore a pair of old Zara wide leg jeans. I haven’t worn them for a while and I had forgotten how comfy they are. They are super ‘Mom’ jeans with a really high rise – they keep everything held in!

Cardigan 1 cardigan 2Jeans РZara (old) // Sneakers РAdidas calf hair (similar here) // Jumper РBoden Off Duty (on sale) // Cardigan РASOS (now on sale)

Today I am back in the skinnies but I’m off out with the girls tonight and might just dig out my Hudsons for the occasion!

shirt and swaeter mango coatShoes РVince Nina // Jeans РZara // Shirt РMango (on sale) // Jumper РAllSaints (old) // Coat РMango (on sale 50% off!)

So how do you plan to wear your flares this Spring?

Weekend outfits & the Golden Globes!

I’m sitting here watching the Golden Globes red carpet – gee I wish I could wear a full length gown someday! ¬†The last time I wore one was probably at my graduation ball in 1992! ¬†I’ll pick some more of my favorites to share tomorrow but right now I am loving all the nude blush tones that I am seeing.

I love Michelle Dockery’s Oscar De La Renta dress:

Michelle Dochery

 

Lupita Nyong’O blew me away in this statuesque red dress with cape – no overwhelming jewelry – just tiny earrings and a couple of rings. ¬†So stunning.

Lupita Nyong'o

I have to say Lena Dunham totally rocked it Рand as uncomfortable as she claims to be on the red carpet Рshe is a pure gem.  I cannot wait to see the first episode of the new series of Girls tonight!

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

(image from http://www.justjared.com)

So as I watch the A listers arrive with Poppy – who happens to be the BEST ‘love it or hate it’ critic (she isn’t backwards in coming forwards!) – I thought I’d do a quick update on my weekend attire.

Friday was spent running errands but I was still inspired to wear a dress Рeven if it was a sweater dress.  In fact I love my 5050s so much that I have been planning whole outfits from the feet up.

Allsaints 2 Boots – Stuart Weitzman 5050 black suede // Dress – AllSaints (old – similar here) // Jacket – AllSaints Monument jacket // Tights – Marks and Spencer

Saturday I was fortunate to hang out with Hugh all day while Poppy went swimming with her Dad. ¬†Hugh and I did some shopping at Whole Foods, cooked Korean beef short ribs, and then played LOTS of rounds of cards – the boy is obsessed and I am over it. ¬†This was one of those days though where I got dressed and LOVED how I felt – every time I wear these Mango jeans I can’t help but feel like a rock chick. ¬†Chrissie Hynde eat your heart out.

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Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury classic black // Jeans – Mango // T-shirt – Zara (old) // Cardigan – AllSaints (old) // Scarf – H&M (old)

Today we headed out for lunch. ¬†After the Polar Vortex last week we are now basking in 60 degree sunshine – it won’t last. ¬†Following on with the rock vibe from yesterday, I really wanted to try something different today, so the flares came out. ¬†I loved wearing them – they really are great for leg lengthening! ¬†It was fun to have bell bottoms swishing around my ankles for a change.

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jacket and flares jacket 2

Boots – Zara wedge boots (old) // Jeans – Hudson flares // Tank – H&M (old) // T-shirt – Bowie from ASOS (similar here) // Jacket – AllSaints (sale)

Hope you all had a fun weekend too!  Any sale bargains bagged?

 

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New pyjamas/pajamas.

One of the problems with blogging is it can be disastrous for your saving plans. ¬†When you read a post by a blogging friend and see something you like you know you have to act quickly – you snooze you lose. ¬†Being 5hrs behind of the UK can sometimes be a pro and other times a con – I can shop while the UK sleeps and while new stock is loaded on websites, but conversely something can be sold out by the time I wake up. ¬†So yes I hold my hands up – I am guilty – I ordered Rosie’s cashmere trousers as soon as I read about them in Kat’s blog last night. ¬†It’s great that my UK friends can keep me abreast of new lines in M&S, River Island and TopShop for example – but imagine how much I’d save if they didn’t!? ¬†Oh well they’re winging their way to me as we speak.

Rosie cashmere trousers

Unfortunately being on the M&S site spells disaster for me. ¬†‘While I’m there’ I tend to nip to various other categories – just to see if there is anything new – you know – just in case…Darn it of course I migrate to one of the most expensive items on the site. ¬†Don’t laugh but I bloody need these – perfect for curling up in front of the telly on a dark winter evening. ¬†I’m flabbergasted at how quickly they are selling out – at ¬£199 a pop too! ¬†I am cruising the site every hour or so just in case the grey medium comes back – obsessed much – yes indeed.

M&S

Now there must be something in the air as I am also cruising the Zara site every couple of hours to see if this beauty has arrived. ¬†Assured by Kat that it is not a onesie – it has a belt – I am convinced it can be glamorously styled for winter nights out. ¬†Stand by – I know there are doubters out there – so let’s see what transpires…

Zara

Now my obsession with comfy knitwear led me to start thinking about sleepwear. ¬†The Rosie trousers are really more loungewear than sleepwear, and in my mind it seems a bit ridiculous to lounge in cashmere only to change into a 5 year old nightie from M&S, slightly greyed from washing, shrunken and totally unflattering and definitely un-err-are-you-up-for-it-tonight-honey as I usually wear them with big knicks – TMI I know…but I try to keep decent around the house for my son’s sanity.

So this afternoon the hunt for sleepwear began.  Nordstrom as ever came up trumps.

These Steve Madden pjs are super fun and I love the pink trim.

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I love a good night dress (is there a way of saying that without sounding 90?) and this is my favorite Рagain I love the pink and grey.

PJ Salvage

And here’s what I ended up ordering:

Almost a onesie, but not quite – this is from Splendid – I think it perfectly straddles (poor choice of word I realize) comfy yet sexy-ish (though I’m already slightly concerned about logistics with an all in one…).

Splendid Nordstrom

And these pjs from Eberjey look lovely – I hope they are. ¬†What’s my fascination with grey marl though?

eberjay top

Eberjay trousers

So there we are – new loungewear and new sleepwear. ¬†I can now throw out those greying cotton nightdresses and my velour sweats…my Husband will be thrilled – we’ll see how he adapts to the onesie (sorry Mum!).

Talking of M&S again I wore their new checked biker coat yesterday. ¬†Their shipping service to the US is great and it’s free – this arrived really quickly – about 5 business days I think. ¬†It’s gorgeous – very English looking according to my friends and really soft and warm.

I’m totally in love with my pink Boden boots – perfect for cheering up a grey day. ¬†I am normally a US 8 and these are a Eur 39 – if anything they fit slightly on the small size so size up if in doubt. Don’t forget their 22% discount finishes Thursday night.

Pink Boden Boots M&S coat

Boots – Boden // Coat – Marks and Spencer // Jeans – Hudson Collin // Tank – H&M // Sweater – Boden Westbourne jumper // Scarf – Marks and Spencer (old)

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Running with music.

It’s spring and it is time to get out and start pounding the pavements again. ¬†The idea is to alternate with Spin classes and that should hopefully keep me injury free. ¬†I always run with music – sometimes I get so in the zone I actually get chills and I can feel the rush of energy and endorphins that a great track gives me. Normally I run with an iPod shuffle – it’s tiny, neat and light so doesn’t hinder the – ah hem – athlete in me. ¬†However, when I was back in the UK I really wanted to take some photos of the amazing views I am privy too when running over t’moors. ¬†That meant either holding my camera while running – no thanks – or taking my iPhone. ¬†The latter option was obviously preferable.

Now I’ve always been put off by wearing a cumbersome arm band while running but I have to say this one I used was very light, sweat proof and easy to adjust. ¬†It’s the iPhone neoprene armband from MobileFun.com. ¬†It’s also a pretty decent price at just $12.99 especially when you compare with similar products on the market. ¬†If you are like me, and feel the need to document as you run, I can recommend this – perfect for keeping all your Instagram followers up to date. ¬†The other advantage of running with an iPhone of course is that you can actually keep track accurately of miles and pace using an app like MapMyRun. ¬†You can even bore people to tears on Facebook with how many miles you’ve run:)

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What else have I been up to? ¬†Well yesterday I went to Target to stock up on some Spring clothes for Poppy – you have to be quick as they disappear fast. ¬†She thinks her Mommy is ‘totally the best’ for buying her her first denim jacket. ¬†I also sneaked in a pair of jeans for me. ¬†Target have some fabulous bright clothes in right now – lots of tie dye and dip dye items too – right up my alley. ¬†These jeans were just $25 and they come in green and purple too.

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Finally here are my ootd for the past couple of days. ¬†I’ll be reporting back later with a new haircut – ¬†think I’m going back to the faux hawk/undercut – I feel the rebel in me rising again.

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Sweater – J.Crew (from sale) // Jeans – velvet toothpick jeans J.Crew (from sale) // Converse – charcoal grey

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Jacket – Zara (old) // Tee – Gap (old) // Jeans – Hudson Collin // Boots – Office Nighthawk (sale bargains)

 

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The Grammys.

Geez where’s my ark? ¬†Half the time here we talk about surviving a drought, but after yesterday I think the reservoirs will be full again. ¬†In fact we woke to flood warnings, trees down and power outages. ¬†The rain is set to continue – good prep for England next week!

I watched some of the Grammys last night and enjoyed sharing a few thoughts over Twitter #Grammys. ¬†Florence Welch and Adele looked amazing and represented England well. ¬†Miranda Lambert looked like a train wreck and sounded worse. ¬†Justin – I’m sorry I’m still trying to understand what all the fuss is about – yes you’re talented, but not my cup of tea. ¬†Rihanna looked and sounded amazing though I still question her taste in men. ¬†It makes me irate in fact. ¬†Oh as did the gratuitous high five and back slapping for Jay-Z when his wife took the stage – is it just me or is it really derogatory to do that? ¬†After my late night on Saturday I had to DVR the second half so will maybe be less critical when I watch that this evening. ¬†Twitter is a great place to follow such events – like with the Golden Globes too – I wonder if the Sate of the Union tweets tomorrow night will be as funny? ¬†Maybe not.

Adele in Valentino

adele

Florence in custom Givenchy 

grammys-2013-florence-welch-red-carpet__oPt

Miranda in a way too short sequin dress.

The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Show

Rihanna and Chris Brown – 4 years ago he beat her up.

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Today I opted for something a little less red carpet, and looking at it now I think I should have added a piece of color. ¬†The tweed jacket is an old Boden favorite. ¬†It’s worn over a J.Crew khaki long-sleeved tee, with an H&M long sleeve linen tee layered over it, with a khaki Zara scarf. ¬†The jeans are Hudson Collin, the boots are Vince Camuto Autumn, and the glasses are Oliver People Wacks in tortoise shell/black.

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I made the mistake this morning of ‘browsing’ the net-a-porter.com site and look what they just got a shipment of here in the US – perfect with shorts in the summer here in Atlanta – mmmmm…

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So what were your thoughts on the Grammys?  Anyone raise your eyebrow?

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I’m a lucky girl…

…because I got another night out with MM last night!! ¬†That’s two nights out this month already, and a couple of lunches – I should plan solo trips abroad more often! ¬†I leave for Blighty in just over a week and to say I am excited is an understatement. ¬†I’ve already started laying out my clothes in the bedroom to try and plan my capsule travel wardrobe. ¬†Never fun – there’s always more I want to take. ¬†I wish I was a good packer. ¬†The UK weather also complicates matters as I need layers and I want to take suede boots – but that’s just madness for Bury in February no? ¬†How do you pack? ¬†Do you have it down to a fine art? ¬†Tips please! ¬†You’d think I’d be a pro by now but not so.

Yesterday I was begging for more warm weather – the sun shone but I think I was overly ambitious in my J.Crew shirt (some colors, including this neon rose, are in the sale) – it was still pretty chilly. ¬†The scarf is an old H&M one and the jeans are Gap. ¬†The flats are the VInce Camuto Fawna that I got in the sale. ¬†I had to return the pink ones as the glitter came off after one wear – let’s hope these last a tad longer.

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So last night we headed to our favorite bar that overlooks the downtown skyline. ¬†I ate oysters and drank prosecco – it was lovely. ¬†I wore my Hudson Leeloo jeans that I got on sale at Zappos.com. ¬†I LOVE them – so stretchy and comfy – the ‘bone’ color is perfect – not too white if you know what I mean – cream in fact! ¬†The blouse is Zara as is the jacket, and the boots are the Nine West Buster¬†that I got on sale. The clutch is and YSL Belle de Jour, a present from MM for our anniversary a couple of years ago:) ¬†Oh and my nail polish is Chanel black satin – gorgeous color but doesn’t wear well, regardless of a great base coat and top coat.

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Okay back to the packing while the kids are at the park – wish me luck!

 

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A new obsession.

So I like to work out. ¬†I also like to ‘dress the part’ and ‘look cute’ while working out – if possible when sweating buckets, huffing and puffing and as red as a beetroot – I don’t do ‘low impact’. ¬†My favorite brand of work out gear for some time has been Lululemon. ¬†They do fabulous fabrics for wicking and support, great colors, cute prints, and I LOVE their skorts. ¬†Over the past few months though there has been some concern over their colors ‘bleeding’ in the wash. ¬†There have been LOTS of comments on their FB page and their CEO even addressed quality issues. ¬†I have noticed the trim on a couple of my beloved skorts that have changed color:( ¬†Now I’m not ready to abandon Lululemon, but the quality concerns and their more mainstream presence i.e. seeing everyone in the same gear, has made me question whether the extra cost is worth it at all.

So I ventured out the other day to Atlantic Station to investigate the Athleta store. ¬†I always receive their catalog and to be honest haven’t paid it much attention till now. ¬†Flicking through it, what really appeals to me is the variety of clothing they offer – not just capris and tanks for gym wear – but they also have – dare I say it – ‘lounge wear’ and ‘travel attire’. ¬†Don’t shoot me, but here is why I love it. ¬†Sometimes I do just want to hang out at home in sweats – BUT not sweats that have a brand emblazoned across my butt, or elsewhere for that matter. ¬†I still want to look cute in my, here we go again, ‘lounge wear’. ¬†As for traveling – there is nothing worse than sitting on a 9hr transatlantic flight in skinny jeans, no matter how stretchy they are. ¬†But I refuse to wear sweatpants and Uggs. ¬†Plus on my trips abroad – especially for summer vacation I love to have something easy to throw on that can be packed rolled up, and will not reach it’s destination completely creased.

They don’t have too many bricks and mortar stores right now (though owned by Gap I expect real estate will be no problem, and they seem to be popping up stores where ever there is a Lululemon close by!). ¬†The one here at Atlantic Station is HUGE. ¬†It is beautifully merchandised, has great spacious changing rooms, and the staff are fabulous. ¬†Nothing was too much trouble. ¬†No pretentious yogis here.

These Allegro pants were what I really wanted to try.  They are super light weight, have a great stretchy waistband and I walked away with a black pair.  Ideal for travel and at home.  I love them.  As a note I got in a US 4 bottoms and size small tops so I suggest they fit on the larger side!

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I also love these capri skorts – the ‘seamless skirts got legs‘ – ¬†and will be trying them as soon as they are in store.

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Their dresses are also great – especially for hot Atlanta summers and for summer vacations. ¬†I have my eye on this ‘Twist and Turn maxi‘ for Cyprus this summer.

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On another note – my paranoia about the sun is growing annually. ¬†I’ve heard too many horrifically sad stories recently and so I plan to be more guarded on the beach. ¬†I have completely fallen in love with their rashguards. ¬†Perfect protection, and also pretty darned cute too!

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As for today, well it seems a long way to go till beach weather that’s for certain. ¬†I’m wearing the Boden velvet trim blazer from 2011, Boden Must Have Jumper in blackberry layered over an H&M tank, Hudson skinnies and my Newburys. ¬†The scarf is also Boden from 2011.

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Boden are currently having a Spring Trim Р15% off selected items Рand this stacks when you use my banner ads!  Enjoy:)

 

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A new luxury.

So a couple of unusual events took place this morning and it isn’t even 9am here.

1.  I actually waited till payday to make a purchase

2. I bought myself a handbag

You may say number 2 isn’t that unusual given the couple of Boden leather folded clutches I have recently bought, BUT it is VERY unusual for me to buy a bag over $100 for myself. ¬†My everyday, tote-it-all bag since August 2011 has been my YSL Roady. ¬†Now I adore this bag, even though at the time I thought it was a crazy amount to pay for a single item. ¬†But MM’s logic was vindicated – investment pieces really can be just that, and it has bought me great joy, and continues to.

In the YSL store in NYC – can you tell I was excited?:

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Now the only draw back of the Roady is it is black. ¬†Being a seasonal gal and like to transition into the new seasons with new colors, fabrics and attire that is appropriate. ¬†Hence, the black Roady just wasn’t going to cut it for SS 2013. ¬†I had therefore promised myself an Alexander Wang bag.

Initially I had my eye on this beauty – the Rocco in tangerine.

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Yes it’s $850, but compared to many ‘it’ bags it really could be considered ‘reasonably priced’ – MM just balked at that idea…I guess my threshold for ‘reasonably priced’ is changing! ¬†I adore the color and with all the brights this Spring it would be perfect. ¬†But the conundrum is shouldn’t I have the basic, neutral colors in my bag collection before adding accents?

Then the moment arose when I stumbled on TheOutnet.com – not a site I frequented – but I am now smitten. ¬†Created by the folks at Net-a-porter.com it is a virtual designer outlet. ¬†And what was there waiting for me with my name on it saying ‘buy me, buy me’? ¬†This stunner:

The Alexander Wang Diego:

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So not wanting to disappoint it I bought it at 45% off. ¬†It’s the perfect color, shape and has two straps – it is now wending it’s way to me.

The tornadoes from last night are gone leaving awful damage in some parts of the State.  We just got lots of rain and wind, and this morning is the calm after the storm Рgorgeous blue skies but cold.  Still I ventured outside for you this morning for a change of scenery.

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This is the Boden Fairisle jumper from AW 2012 – so snuggly and quite a few sizes and colors left in the sale – I sized up 2 sizes for a less fitted look. ¬†I’ve layered it over an H&M fitted tank/dress, the jeans are Hudson Collins, and the boots are the Sam Edelman Louies.

Don’t forget it’s another Catch of the Day for Boden – today it is 25% off selected tops.

 

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Tweed with spots.

I was out and about yesterday volunteering at the school. ¬†I got to read to the class – it’s quite intense – a group of 6 and 7 year olds is really a tough audience to please! ¬†Then I spent 2 hours stapling – yes I feel like I have a repetitive strain injury. ¬†It was fun though and interesting to have a peek into their world for a couple of hours, though schools still make the hairs on my neck stand up – I equate them with hospitals for fear factor. ¬†Odd considering how long I spent in academic institutions!

This week I’m trying to wear my winter coats and jackets as often as I can as this cold snap won’t last forever. ¬†Today it’s the turn of the Boden tweed jacket from AW 2011. ¬†I love the pink and green combo of this jacket and the quality is outstanding. ¬†It was a fabulous sale bargain – one of the rare times that I held out for the sales! ¬†The shirt and scarf are also Boden from 2011 – the Limited Edition sassy stitch blouse is one that rarely gets worn as it is silk and I hate paying for dry cleaning! ¬†I’ve decided it’s tragic to keep it hanging in the closet unworn. ¬†The jeans are the Hudsons and of course the boots are the Pistols in mocha. ¬†I just took a look and it appears¬†net-a-porter.com has a bunch of new stock as most sizes are now available. ¬†Taking a day off from the gym today – I can barely raise my arms to get dressed – so the glasses are on, the¬†Oliver Peoples Wacks in blue havana matte.

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Thanks for all your book recommendations – much appreciated!

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