Back to reality

Well we made it home safe and sound, if a little tired. 12 hours is a long time to be on a flight! I’m still not sure what time it is and I feel pretty fuzzy but the kids were up bright and early this morning excited to see their friends in their last week of camp before school starts!

I am back in the office trying to remember what I do for a living 😉

TopShop torusersTrousers – TopShop //   Sneakers – New Balance from J.Crew // Top – Mango sale // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

 

Slouchy straight jeans?

I love jeans. My favorite are skinny jeans – mainly because I think they are easier to wear with ankle boots, but also I feel a little less put together in boyfriend jeans, which admittedly may be the whole idea of them…

I may have found the perfect compromise though – the new slouchy straight jeans that seem to be appearing on shelves. It’s funny I had ordered a couple of pairs from Zara hoping they would work and then I saw the fabulous Tiffany Wendel wearing an Earnest Sewn pair, so I must be on the right track?

tiffany wendel

Here are the Zara pairs that I ordered – my preference seems to be grey and black right now!

Grey slouchy black slouchy

The fit really depends on how slouchy you want them – they have lots of stretch in them and I have them in a US6. I absolutely love them. The blue denim pairs are selling out so hopefully they will restock.

So here I am in mine today – I feel so comfortable and cosy for this crappy weather (which secretly I enjoy!).

Helmust lang 1 rain dayJeans – Zara // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jumper – Boden (25% off all knitwear until Thursday!) // Coat – Helmut Lang (LOVE this – the perfect lightweight parka – discounted here – I’m in a medium)

Yesterday I was at home with a snotty 7 year old so lived in sweats all day! Monday was a red jacket day – or Butlins day as my hilarious husband suggested.

red blazerJacket – J.Crew // Jeans – Zara // Boots – Toga Pulla // T-shirt – Madewell // Bag – PS1 (similar here)

And a similar outfit from Friday.

tweedSneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – J.Crew // T-shirt – H&M // Jacket – J.Crew (on sale) // Sunglasses – Prada

Finally, on Saturday I went for a trip to H&M with Poppy – her favorite place to shop. I tried on this gold tone sequin top and loved it, left it behind, and then ordered it! The more I thought about it the more I liked the length of the sleeves – no wobble to show! I am in a large here.

sequins

Poppy came back with this jumpsuit – perfect for Thanksgiving day – ‘comfortable and glitzy’ as she says:) The navy is gorgeous – so different from the usual black – however the black one has already been requested for Christmas!

jumpsuit

 

J.Crew wool drapey sweatpants

I wore these trousers yesterday but by the time I got chance to take a photo I was just not feeling up to it. The pain meds knock me out completely but the good news is I feel like I am healing well and no longer need to take them!

Anyway the trousers! They are the wool drapey sweatpants – light, comfortable and dressy – a jogger you can wear out of the house. Think tailored pant with cuffs and elastic waist. I cannot overstate how much I love these. Size down and you’ll be in love too. I have the grey and navy in a US 6 and they are perfect with heels or sneakers.

drapey woool sweatpant

 

 

Another 13.1 done…

So another half marathon successfully completed.  Still a tad slower than I had hoped for but the course yet again had far more hills than the profile had led me to believe.  It was also one of those courses where you ran backwards and forwards along the same 3 points so you could always see the faster folk running past you the other way – just a little demoralizing!  I much prefer a nice long loop where you have no idea how many are in front of you or behind you!  It was won by a 26 year old girl (it was an all female race – I prefer mixed) in 1hr 31mins – amazing.  The last 2 miles seem to go on FOREVER but thankfully my reception committee was there to cheer me across the line.  The weather was amazing and we got to relax afterward with music and wine by the side of Lake Lanier.  I shuffled around the house for the rest of the day – my knees got really tight – but I’m feeling pretty good today after a good stretch and using my foam roller.  I have to wait till Wednesday to see if I get an NYC marathon number before planning another half.  My goal now is to get leaner, toned, stronger, faster and more competitive – my next 13.1 will be under 2hrs!

My outfit today was inspired by the need to be comfy and by School Gate Style’s color palette.  I love pink and grey together – MM always says it’s my love of the ’80s.  I’m wearing my Hudson Collin jeans (mid-rise today for added comfort!), grey ruffle J.Crew tank from a few seasons ago, pink Boden LE sparkle pocket cardigan from AW 2011, and my favorite Tory Burch camilla pink Eddies.

Enhanced by Zemanta

My summer makeup.

So summer is here to stay by the look of it.  Not only does this mean switching out my closets, but also my makeup bag.  I don’t tend to wear a lot of makeup – just foundation, concealer, eyeliner, mascara, blush and lip gloss normally.  I sometimes use a bit of loose powder too but I am starting to get more paranoid about it as I once read you should stay clear of it as you get older as it can settle in fine lines and age you.  I don’t remember where I read this or even if it holds true but it stuck with me.  I also don’t like a shiny nose and chin though, so that can present a dilemma.  That is until I discovered my new favorite product – Boots No.7 Shine Free.

For my US readers Boots is a fabulous UK retail store which I miss greatly.  They are probably best described as a cross between Ulta and CVS.  They began as a pharmacy, but I miss them for all things cosmetics plus their lunchtime sandwiches!  They have great store brands and my favorite is the No.7 line of cosmetics.  I always considered No.7 a splurge when I was younger especially compared to their 17 brand, which is cheaper, targeted to a younger market and as far as I am aware not available in the US.  Well I’m older now, plus living in the States where everything seems cheaper, including Boots No. 7 makeup, which can now be bought at Target and Ulta – hoooray!!  As I was tracking down my favorite No.7 Protect and Perfect Intense Serum, a white tube caught my eye that promised to leave me shine free – it’s now become a staple in my summer makeup.  I apply it after moisturizing and it goes on smoothly, though you can definitely feel it’s non-greasy and it has a different consistency to anything else I’ve tried.  As soon as it’s applied you are instantly shine free, with no discoloration or chalkiness, so you don’t even need to apply foundation if you, like me, prefer to be low maintenance in the summer.  It’s perfect and highly recommended.

Shine Free

So as I wander around shine free I’ve had two vastly different temperatures to deal with.  Yesterday was in the 80’s and today was only mid 60’s so it was back to the jeans.  As I’m growing my hair I’ve taken to just sweeping it back with some pomade while it’s still wet.  MM likes it but then a friend at the bus stop said I was channeling Pat Benatar – not sure that is a compliment.

Yesterday’s outfit was a fab Target dress from 2 years ago bought for probably $15, a J.Crew lightweight cashmere cardigan, my Frye Carson pull ons in fawn, and some lovely Ralph Lauren turquoise earrings that I got dirt cheap at Nordstrom Rack.

Today I was out and about in my Hudson Collin jeans, AllSaints plume jumper and Tory Burch Eddie flats in musk.  I love this plume jumper it’s really lightweight, super easy to wear and conceals any imperfections around the midriff – what more does a girl need?

Oh and I love the earrings I wore today.  Kenneth Cole does great quality, ‘urban’ style jewelry that is easy to wear and not overly distracting.

I made it a Boden day.

After vehemently defending Boden and then reading another article rehashing the same story in the Independent yesterday I knew I needed to wear my favorite brand with pride, or smugness if you want to call it that.  To be honest I’m still really confused about why these articles have been written in the first place?  The price of Boden keeps coming into question but this season I have seen many more items than usual sell out sooner so it’s obviously not too expensive for us Boden fans, especially when we use the frequently offered codes.  Of course it would be great to spend less but then isn’t that how a brand becomes ‘masstige‘?  One of my greatest fears is that Boden will become too mainstream, I don’t want everyone buying my favorite clothes, I don’t mind a few of you doing so but please not everyone.

So I showed my support with two lovely Boden ensembles (with a bit of JCrew thrown in).  As I was running errands in the spring sunshine I wore my candy striped long sleeved Breton with my JCrew polka dot shorts and slim Havaianas.  I really love the Bretons they are so soft and I adore the shape of the neck – I definitely plan to purchase a couple more colors this season.

Boden Breton, JCrew shorts

In the evening MM and I were heading out for dinner for the first time in weeks and I wore my Show Stopping tunic for the first time.  This item just demonstrates the value of Boden – I paid $58 for this gorgeous little silk number and I feel fabulous in it.  Unfortunately they are all sold out in the clearance section so thank goodness I got the Fern color too!  I’m also wearing Boden leggings which in my experience are the comfiest, softest, shape keeping leggings I have bought.

Show stopping tunic

My choice of nail polish worked great with both outfits and I’d chosen it before even planning what to wear.  It’s Essie’s Smooth Sailing – a gorgeous blue with a hint of sparkle in it – great for spring.

We went to the Floataway Cafe, which is a sister restaurant of some of the best restaurants in Altanta – Bacchanalia et al.  We had a fabulous time and the food was great – as you can see I refueled after my run with hanger steak, fries and asparagus followed by syrup sponge – delicious.  The only negative bit of the evening was the time it took to get a taxi home.  Atlanta just isn’t designed for people who don’t want to drive.  You practically feel guilty for wanting more than one drink as it becomes such a bind to get home.  I’m convinced there are countless drunk drivers out there on a weekend evening in Atlanta because getting a cab home is so time consuming – it’s sad.  People who choose to get a taxi should be applauded not made to feel like they are putting someone out – surely a restaurant should take care of you and keep you happy while you are waiting in their premises for a cab home?  Not so last night I’m afraid, which unfortunately means it is unlikely we will return for a while as one of us will have to drive, and that sucks on a date night.

As you can see though the food was divine…

The day before…

After spending so much time recently at the YMCA I’ve decided to try playing tennis again.  I say ‘again’ but I’ve never really played.  I had lessons when I was young and had all the gear – the Donnay racquet (Bjorn Borg’s brand of course), the white skirt and the green flash trainers.  I then didn’t play again until probably 2000 when we moved here and we discovered tennis courts everywhere.  We hit a ball around in a futile attempt to stay fit before going to the bar for a pitcher of bud light.  Anyway here I am again trying not to make it a fad – I haven’t splurged on an unnecessarily cool racquet (yet), instead I sensibly bought a cheap one that will suffice until I can actually hit the ball.

While out fulfilling my dreams of becoming an all around athlete by buying the requisite gear, I popped into New Balance just to see what tennis shoes they had.  I am now completely brand loyal when it comes to New Balance and their running shoes, after falling in love with the previously reviewed W890s.  As soon as I walked in the store I was mesmerized by their new minimalist running shoe the Minimus Zero.  The lovely Brandon encouraged me to try a pair and all thoughts of tennis shoes evaporated.  As an ex-brander I have to say I fell in love with the New Balance store experience.  The store itself is open, spacious and well merchandised and within a minute of being in the store someone was there to help.  What blew me away though was it was the first time in years where a sales assistant pulled out the old style stool with the foot rest on it so he could put the shoe on and tie it for me.  Talk about a Cinderella moment!  And of course the glass slipper fit and I walked out with these gorgeous things.

New Balance WR00SP

Now I just have to adapt my running style and see if this minimal running lark is for me – obviously this will be done after the race tomorrow.

As the countdown continues to the Georgia Half Marathon tomorrow morning I’ve been trying to stay calm and take it easy, or at least distract myself from the building nerves and adrenalin.  As much as I have been trying to restrict myself from any form of exercise, and use this week to rest, yesterday morning I found myself climbing the walls so I packed myself off to 90 minutes of hot yoga.  Yet again I left the class wondering why on earth I don’t do it every week – even my instructor said I looked physically different when I left – all the tension had left my face and body.  I tried not to overdo it and just go with the flow and at the end of the class I was detoxed, stretched and strengthened, I felt like I could conquer the world.  13.1 miles tomorrow will do though.

Spring is well and truly here and though I am happy for a little sunshine tomorrow morning I’m a tad nervous that it will either be a) way too hot and I’ll get dehydrated or b) there will be a thunder storm and they will stop the run.  As of now the forecast is for high 50s at the start of the race and only a 20% chance of a storm so fingers crossed the weather will be perfect.  Of course by 9am it could be a lot warmer and though the race starts at 7am I am in the 8th corral so it could take some time to even start the race and get going.  I know the way well downtown to the start at Centennial Park but with roads closing etc. I decided to do the drive down there today and make sure I knew where parking is and so on.  My friend was also supposed to be running but after many miles of training she fell and hurt her knee so sadly has had to pull out this year, however she very kindly passed on her VIP pass to me.  This fabulous package entitles me to parking right next to the start, a continental breakfast, post race massage and a VIP lunch – needless to say I feel a bit of a flake using it after just running a half as there will be many more deserving 26.2 mile runners, but it certainly helps reduce some of the pre-race anxiety.

Fortunately everyone else was happy to drive downtown with me as we promised to take the kids to the St. Patrick’s day parade.  MM was somewhat reluctant as he still can’t get to grips with the U.S. celebrating St. Patrick’s day in such an over the top fashion.  Well at least 3 of us were in our green to avoid a pinch, and I shed a tear as soon as I heard the military band.  I’m not sure what it is – I inherited it – but I always cry when I see/hear a marching band.

Here’s how I wore my green for the day: JCrew green 4″ chino shorts (4″ are available online only), Boden long sleeved Breton which coincidentally I LOVE – it’s so soft and I love the neck line, and navy Havaianas slim.

JCrew shorts, Boden Breton top, Havaianas

I accessorized with this little beauty bought a couple of years ago from Anthropology.

Anthropology

So for this evening it’ll be the second weekend night in a row alcohol free – unheard of in my neck of the woods…but hopefully worth it.  The coconut water and chia seeds will be my beverage of choice tonight – maybe I can make it green and join in the craic?

Coconut water and chia seeds

Getting clean.

This morning I’ve opened a window in every room of the house.  It is perfect.  Sun is flooding in, the birds are singing and I can smell spring.  It is the most perfect day to choose to work from home.  The coffee pot is on and the dogs are lying in a sun trap on the rug.  Working from home is always incredibly productive from me – I tend to work in energetic bursts and complete tasks more quickly without the distractions in the office.  I’d never give up the office entirely as I love the human interaction but it is bliss being able to work from home when I fancy it.

As I had my first coffee this morning I was indulging in watching Matt Lauer on the Today Show.  We grew quite close on my maternity leaves and it’s nice that we can spend some time catching up occasionally.  A feature that grabbed my attention this morning was about the beauty of growing old gracefully and various brands embracing older models.  You can watch it by clicking hereMac Cosmetics recently used one of my idols, Iris Apfel, in a campaign.  She looks amazing and always makes such a statement as the ‘world’s oldest living teenager’.  Even at 90 she is always incredibly decked out, with perfect make up, great accessories and her trademark glasses.  THAT is how I’m going to rock it in my 90’s – sorry in advance for stealing your look Iris.

Iris Apfel

Well Iris and the Today Show got me thinking.  As much as I love trying to ‘look good’ I am constantly aware of the pressures trying to look young.  We’ve all heard it before that the media and the fashion industry are pushing younger looking models, with skeletal, pre-pubescent figures.  Last year I succumbed.  I have to say it was more for experimentation than feeling that I looked old, but whatever the reason I went ahead and tried fillers and Dysport (similar to Botox).  There must be a masochistic side to me as I really didn’t mind the needles.  There was a slight, noticeable difference pre and post treatment but not significant enough to encourage me to try it again.  Occasionally I do worry about aging and certain situations make me consider our mortality, especially since becoming a mom.  What scares me more though is the precedent I may be setting for my beautiful daughter that it is okay to stick stuff in your face.  I want her to see the beauty in growing old gracefully, with style and panache.  I am now firmly of the belief that our lines should be treated as trophies of all that we have achieved, the wisdom we have acquired and a celebration that we have lived long enough to acquire a few life lines.

As I gazed in the mirror this morning inspecting my life lines I noticed my skin was actually in pretty good nick.  Until 3 months ago I was a ‘social’ smoker.  I started smoking in 1987 after making my Mum and Dad quit – I told them they would make me an orphan – brutal hey?  MM and I partied hard in the 90’s and I continued to smoke regularly – we were invincible back then.  When we moved to the US I tried many times to quit.  MM went cold turkey and stopped completely probably 6 years ago?  I maintained a ‘social’ habit.  Unfortunately I have been taken in by the glamor of smoking.  For those of you who are rabid anti-smokers I know it is tough to even comprehend, but when getting ready to go out there was nothing more satisfying than having a decadent cigarette in my glad rags.  Well as my children have grown older and my sense of mortality has become stronger I knew it was time to kick it into touch other wise I’d be kicking the bucket.  I’ve still no idea how I did it but just before Christmas I had my last cigarette and I’ve not missed them in the slightest.  Obviously I feel healthier than ever, running further and stronger than ever, and my skin has also benefited significantly.  It is hydrated, smooth and dare I say glowing or dewy?

So I’ve dumped a lot of stuff on you all this morning – all with positive outcomes, so please don’t judge me too harshly.  Now I just need to find a couple of new healthy vices:)

Working from home I threw on last year’s JCrew shorts and a JCrew cotton sweater from a few years ago – I love the blue color.  The Havaianas are out – these are the grey slim style.  I think I have almost every color and I prefer the slim style as they have a skinnier thong.  I threw on some big earrings to add a bit of bling to an otherwise basic outfit.  I’m resting on the nail polish for now to give my nails a break – my big treat after the race on Sunday will be a spa pedicure:)

Shorts and flip flops!

Summer closet is here!!!

A quick but very important post tonight – a milestone for 2012 in fact.  I have switched out the seasons in my closet!!  I’ve taken a chance that this is it, summer is here in the ATL.  Here’s the forecast for the next 10 days  – I know it includes a little rain but with those temperatures who cares?

All my woolen blazers and turtle necks are now stored away (after barely being worn this year).  Some cardigans remain of course for the air conditioning but look at this veritable display of color – how much joy to see this every morning!!  All my Boden tunics!  I am rapidly running out of space especially in this transition period where I still have a few light cotton knits in my selection.

Boden color!

It has somewhat taken me by surprise, even with the mild winter I never expected to be sitting here ‘glowing’ in my sweatpants.  MM is looking at me oddly wondering why with all my clothing choices I am still wearing a hooded top.

I am so thrilled I have my new JCrew shorts to wear that arrived the other week – and there I was thinking I was ordering prematurely.  I opted for the blue gingham, chambray polka dot, orange 4″ chinos and green 4″ chino shorts – all fabulous colors for summer.  I chose the 4″ as I think they are modest enough that I can wear them in our very relaxed office – I think I would feel just a tad exposed in 3″ inseams.  Gosh I feel quite giddy getting ready to wear all my summer clothes!

I placed another order today after much vacillation.  I had been contemplating the Boden tankini tops to go with my bikinis, which I adore, to both extend the lifespan of them and also provide a bit more coverage for the white bits early in the pool season, and when chasing two little ones around the pool.  I’m not shy after years of topless sunbathing in France, but Buckhead residents really don’t need to see everything exposed all the time, they’d have a cardiac if they knew I have no need for bikini tops at all in the Languedoc – oh how civilized the French are!  Anyway my arm was twisted after Boden announced a week of 25% off plus free shipping and returns on women’s swimwear and dresses and men’s shirts.  It looks like through March there will be different items on offer each week beginning each Tuesday.

Finally as I sign off I have a favor to ask.  Easy Living UK is having a little competition on their Facebook page where some of us Mommy bloggers are strutting our style.  I would really appreciate it if you could pop on over there by clicking here, then ‘Like’ my photos…my competitive spirit has taken hold:)  Thank you so much, and thank you as ever for taking the time to read my post:)

 

The inner geek.

Even though I have shared my disdain for Valentine’s Day I still managed to have a pretty good 14th February.  MM and I met up for lunch with an old friend who was in Atlanta for business.  We hadn’t seen him for probably 5 years so it was lovely to catch up over some good food at one of my favorite places to dine, Canoe.  I could have sat there all afternoon but of course had to go and collect my sugar fueled daughter from school ready for ballet.  I was quite relieved that she was going to dance off some of the Valentine’s Day sugar buzz.  It was freezing here so wore my AllSaints Char cashmere jumper to keep me snug, along with my Hudson Collin jeans and Tory Burch flannel Revas.

AllSaints Char jumper

I’m feeling a bit nerdy again today as I’ve been doing some Facebook development for our business page.  Years ago I did some coding as an IT consultant and I still love to get my hands dirty occasionally.  I’ve discovered a fantastic application called ShortStack that allows you to develop custom forms and tabs on a Facebook page.  I’ve even managed to put a tab on Poppy’s Style Facebook page where you can see new blog posts and the RSS feed!  I LOVE it and I feel like I’ve had a very productive day customizing some tabs, so let’s hope both pages get an uptick in fans thanks to my inner geek.

My daughter is having a play date this afternoon with a ballet buddy and I love her Mom so I’m looking forward to having a natter.  Her Mom is a runner too so I’m hoping I can convince her to run a couple of half marathons over the next year or so.  Unfortunately I have been a bit lazy over the past few days and have been lacking motivation due to the weather here.  I’m so ready for spring to return so I can get back outside once again, pounding the pavements.

The sun is shining today so I chose a bit of color with my Boden aqua wrap jumper.  I was pretty uninspired this morning so went for the easy button again with my jeans and flannel Revas, all topped off with JCrew‘s boyfriend blazer from a couple of years ago.

Boden aqua wrap jumper, JCrew jacket

My nail polish at the moment is Chanel’s Madness but I think I’m going for a change tonight with something a little lighter – decisions, decisions….

Madness