The essential transitional piece

I know you have all been dealing with an Indian Summer in the UK and here in Atlanta we are unseasonably cool – but it won’t last. The challenge is when do we pack the Summer closet away and commit to Fall? Well one piece that I find saves my umming and ahhing over what to wear at this time of year is a sleeveless jacket. It provides the added weight and warmth that you may crave early morning, along with some stylish tailoring, without fully committing to a full on coat.

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Images : Pinterest.com

The high street has several great options right now, starting with these from Zara:

I particularly love this first one that is also worn by Brooklyn Blonde here and above.

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Mango are also a great reliable source of on trend jackets:

I adore this military inspired jacket:

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However, for a true timeless classic this one cannot be beaten:

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And here is my interpretation. My sleeveless jacket is last year’s from Marks & Spencer who currently have this one available at just £13.99 reduced from £45!

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Jacket – M&S (old) // Trousers – Zara coated chinos (old) // Top – Zara cross over top (old) // Shoes – Vince Claire // Bag – Zara

Will you be wearing the sleeveless trend this Fall?

 

Another year

16 years ago today I married the man of my dreams. Actually I never dreamt I would snag such a good one who would tolerate me so well for all this time 🙂

We began our celebrations on Wednesday night by going retro with an Erasure gig. Andy Bell didn’t fail to disappoint with his voice or his hot pants! I skipped the pleather shorts and wore my River Island jumpsuit which I never got a full length shot of, sorry, but it’s now on sale at ASOS!

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I was a little worse for wear on Wednesday after a late, late night on Tuesday. An old friend from the UK was in town so I had to take him out for a few drinks no? I got home at 3am after eating just 5 oysters all night – yikes! I cannot do it anymore! I wore my fab Zara jumpsuit for the occasion. Just be warned NEVER leave it to the last minute to have a pee when wearing a jumpsuit! As the night gets later they can get more and more challenging to remove! The shoes were bought in the UK in the Coast sale and the bag is current H&M. I am in LOVE with the fringe!

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Today my Husband surprised me with lunch out and tonight we’re off for dinner. Thank goodness I killed myself at Hot Yoga again this morning – I’m telling you it is the best exercise in the world and so invigorating!

Here’s my lunch attire – still debating over what to wear tonight! This leather skirt is fabulous – so soft and easy to wear. This is a Eur L/US M so it is nice and slouchy and not too tight or short.

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Leather skirt – Mango // T-shirt – Marks & Spencer (old) // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Bag – H&M

And here we are – all loved up after all this time – gosh I’m a lucky lady!

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My sister is 40!

So my sister had her big 4-0 yesterday and we celebrated in style.  Firstly we had an amazing day out with her and her boys at Tatton Park.  I can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone in the North West.  An amazing open space with great play areas – including zip lines, picnic areas, deer roaming, plus the kids loved the low flying planes from Manchester Airport!

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Dress – Label Lab House of Fraser (reduced to £17.50) // Shoes – Ancient Greek // Cardigan – J.Crew (Already reduced and now an extra 30% off in the US with HISUMMER)

Today Louise and I had some much needed (sort of) child free time shopping and dining in Manchester.  I love shopping in Manchester these days – it’s really cleaned up a lot and it is so easy to get there via public transport, meaning a bottle of prosecco is available to us:)  We started in AllSaints where their clearance has just started.  I found myself in love with this Lucie top.  I bought it in navy which I can’t see on the website sorry!

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Then it was off to Selfridges where I knew exactly what I was hunting.  A size 3 in this beauty – the Keepa Regency print t-shirt – it is now reduced to £32.

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Louise and I both came away with the scarf in the same print too – just £33 in the sale, reduced from £65.

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I had to be dragged away from these two gorgeous dresses – the prints are just divine!

The Redosie:

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The Rowzey:

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My gorgeous sister modeling scarves:

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After Mimosas at the bar in Selfridges we headed to Marks and Spencer.  If you have one locally go and check out their jewelry in the sale – Louise and I picked up some beautiful statement necklaces, but there are none left online at all!  Of course I picked up some underwear while I was there too – it just wouldn’t be a trip to Markses without some new no vpl knickers!

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Before we headed for lunch this little number worked it’s way into my hands.  I just love it – you know me and patterns!  it also just happens to be called the Holiday Poppy t-shirt🙂

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So not bad all in all – and also quite restrained for sale shopping over here where I tend to go crazy over my beloved UK brands!  Louise had a good haul too with sandals and a couple of Zara jackets in addition to her scarf.

All shopped out, we headed for lunch to Harvey Nicks where they were just lovely and Louise even got a little birthday dessert.

Of course we drank Prosecco, and I’m wearing a new M&S treasure.

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Shoes – Nine West Oslo // Jumpsuit – Zara // Denim jacket – J.Crew (30% off with HISUMMER in the US) // Bag – Boden

Happy 40th Louise!  xx

 

Southern girls

One of my great friends is leaving Atlanta to begin her new life with her fiancé in Charlotte.  To wish her on her way several of her girlfriends attended a lovely luncheon on Saturday.  In true Southern style we drank Arnold Palmers and ate chicken salad.  Poppy was lucky enough to be invited along and at one point burst into the room saying “thank goodness you’re all quiet at last!”.  We were listening to a pastor give a blessing.  My poor daughter has inherited my social clumsiness.  Of course she has also inherited some charm and managed to smile sweetly, alleviating any awkwardness:)

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Shoes – Hanna Andersson clogs (on sale) // Dress – H&M

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Dress – Asos (on sale) // Clutch – Boden // Shoes – Clogs by Lotta of Stockholm

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On Friday evening my Husband and I went out for dinner to The Floataway Café – another of our favorites.  It’s a bit out of the way for us so we always drive there instead of cabbing it, so it was quite a tame evening for us:)  Another shocker is that I didn’t wear anything new!

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Shoes – Marks and Spencer (old) // Trousers – Zara (old) // Cami – J.Crew (old) // Blazer – Marks and Spencer (oldish) // Clutch – YSL (old)

However, during the day on Friday I wore my new River Island dress.  The fabric is so comfortable and I got so many compliments on it – it is loud though, so it is hard not to be noticed in it!

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Dress – River Island // Sandals – Zara (old)

I have a crazy week of packing for two climates before the children and I leave for Bury this weekend!  The 2014 vacation countdown is on!

 

My obsession with jumpsuits.

Obsession?  Addiction?  Call it what you will – I LOVE a jumpsuit.  I love the fact that they are quirky, retro and not to everyone’s taste.  I’m a little sad that they are becoming more mainstream.

I’ve acquired a few new ones over the past month – I must stop now as I am not sure I will have time to wear them all over the summer!  At least three of these will be coming on vacation with me so let’s start with those.

First of all this River Island gem.  It was in and out of my ASOS basket for weeks before I finally hit order after seeing Trea model it.  Thank goodness I did – it is amazing.  It is so comfortable (though I did size up to a UK 14 as River Island can be quite small) and it has adjustable spaghetti straps with a popper at the front to maintain your modesty.  I am wearing it here with a body underneath so it doesn’t appear to be too restrictive as far as what underwear you can wear with it – always a concern for me with thin straps as I need to wear a bra.

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So….as I loved this so much I tried this one…and loved it too!  Again River Island from ASOS – I’ve just switched out the cheapo belt it came with for a wider one of my own.

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Now this Zara jumpsuit is all I ask for – leopard print, comfort and a little cleavage for a night out:)  It only comes in small and medium and this is a medium so it is definitely generous sizing for Zara.

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I’ve been eyeing this khaki one online for a while and Cali persuaded me to buy it while we were in NYC last week.  I’m glad she did – I really love it.

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Finally good old M&S!  This photo does not do it justice.  The fabric is so drapey and soft, and it comes in black or navy but the black is sold out online.  It feels so elegant on and it is a fabulous evening piece instead of a dress.  This is a UK 12 but I know many of you taller ladies will be disappointed that it doesn’t come in a longer length too – it may come up too short for you.

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So are you wearing jumpsuits this summer?  Do you say yay or nay?

I’ll leave you today with my outfit from Thursday – one of my favorite t-shirt dresses from ASOS.  Off now to finish assembling IKEA flat packs – 2 loft beds are done so now for the easy pieces!

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Dress – ASOS (on sale) // Sandals – Ancient Greek

 

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What I’ve been wearing.

Summer is in full swing here now.  The kids are out of school, Memorial Day has passed and the pool is open daily.  I’m still working half days while the kids are at camp – they are so American it makes me giggle.  I would have done anything for a gymnastics camp when I was 8!  I meet them after lunch each day, loaded up with pool toys and towels, and we then head to the pool.  Pure bliss.

So here’s a quick catch up of what I have been wearing 9-12 over the past few days!

Let’s start with a low point – bad outfit and bad photo.  I actually love this top but it is super unflattering on me – having seen the photo it makes my top half look enormous.  Hey-ho – it is also extremely comfortable so it might still get worn around the yard!

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Shoes – Avarcas Pons // Shorts – Gap (last year but a great selection here) // Top – ASOS peplum tank (now on sale)

I was inspired by FashionPearlsofWisdom.co.uk to get my Nike hi-tops out after seeing her post here.  I love them but they are pretty warm so not ideal for warm weather!

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Sneakers – Nike hi-tops (last seen here in one of my first ever posts) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Tank – Target (old) // Jacket – Next (old)

I really enjoyed wearing this next outfit – lovely and bright and summery.  No hiding in this!

Neon.jpgSneakers – New Balance from J.Crew (old – similar here) // Jeans – Gap (old) // T-shirt – J.Crew (on sale here) // Jacket – J.Crew

I had to check with my Husband that these shorts weren’t too short – they are pretty short – but I love them!  Just $25 from H&M and they also come in black too.  I think they look great dressed down with a t-shirt and they have a jersey lining so they are really comfortable.  I wear them low on the hips to give my cheeks a bit more coverage:)
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Flip flops – Havaianas // Shorts – H&M // T-shirt – French Connection

My Pia dress is perfect for the summer.  Really easy to wear – in fact I love summer dresses – I can just throw them on and off ready for the pool.

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Shoes – Marks and Spencer (old – similar here) // Dress – AllSaints Pia (old – similar here) // Necklace – Macy’s I think!

As for today it’s all about the shoes.  These have to be my most favorite sandals ever!

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Ancient Greek.jpgSandals – Ancient Greek // Jeans – Zara // Top – Zara (old) // Bag – Alexander Wang (old – similar here with 50% off!!)

You’ll hopefully have noticed that the Net-a-porter sale has started – when I browsed just now there were some Alexander Wang Roccos on the US site still available and some Rag & Bone Harlow boots in the sale.  Oh and the grey J.Brand leather trousers were also tempting at 30% off but I haven’t committed yet!  In fact I am trying to save my pennies for this week when I will be in NYC!! I’m off to meet Avril while she is there with her choir – I promise lots of photos on Instagram so keep following us there!

 

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What I’ve been wearing.

May is the busiest month on our calendar every year.  What with anniversaries, birthdays, the end of the school year, school recitals, school field trips, visitors from abroad etc…it is non stop here.  I’m just coming up for air after an amazing weekend of catching up, eating and drinking with Simon – our friend from University, who now lives in Stockholm.

We  had a very late night on Thursday talking and drinking good wine, and then we were off out for dinner on Friday.  The kids and I hung out in front of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday afternoon, streaming it live via SVT.se, the Swedish tv channel.  This made it even more fun and Eurocentric listening to the Swedish translation:)  I found it all as surreal as ever, but I loved the drama – and in the end the right diva won!  For all you American readers who have no idea what I am talking about the Eurovision Song Contest is the annual competition that rocketed ABBA to fame in 1974.  Here’s Conchita, this year’s winner from Austria, a drag queen with more diva in her than Celine Dion.

Before Simon arrived I had another hair cut and went even shorter – thanks to Chadd I am now sporting a magnificent undercut.  I LOVE it.

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Magno top.jpgJeans – Zara TRF (old) // Shoes – Avarcas Pons // Top – Mango

On Friday morning we headed out shopping and I treated myself to a couple of NARS lip pencils – Yu and Cruella.

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The color of both is so intense and bold and I feel really feminine wearing them with such short hair.

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Dress – ASOS (currently on sale) // Sneakers – Adidas Samoas // Glasses – Oliver Peoples Wacks // Handbag – Marks and Spencer (on sale)

Then Friday night it was off to Abattoir again where Simon proposed to Karin a couple of years ago now!

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Dress – Marks and Spencer (old – similar here) // Shoes – Nine West

Yesterday was Mother’s Day here in the US and my fabulous kids presented me with great handmade cards.  This one from Poppy made me grin especially – there is no greater compliment she could have paid me than describing me as ‘odd’ and ‘risky’…

IMG_5865Today I’m off to watch her recital so decided to wear a dress again.  I started off with the canvas Newburys.

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Dress – River Island // Boots – Rag and Bone Newbury boots // Jacket – Marks and Spencer

Finally – shhh it’s a secret – but we’re having a surprise disco for Poppy this weekend for her 8th birthday!!  Here’s an idea I stole from Pinterest – all her friends will be VIPS!

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Stocking up on the essentials.

I hate spending money on underwear.  No one sees it and these days I opt for comfort rather than style.  Once in a while though I start to get embarrassed about the state of my knicker drawer.  Currently it is stuffed with more knickers than any girl can wear in a year – all a different shade of grey, faded colors or fraying elastic.  Oh and there’s still the odd pair of thongs in there which I think I can safely say will never be worn again.  So it is time to purge and restock.

Now here is where I promise not to model my new attire if you promise not to giggle about the size of them.  I did used to wear thongs ALL the time.  How I ever did it I have no idea.  The thought of wearing one now makes my eyes water with discomfort.  They were perfect of course for tight pants when a VPL is an absolute no no.  Thankfully good old M&S came to the rescue with a whole range of no-VPL underwear.  Yes after 15 years in the USA I STILL buy M&S underwear.

My favorite style is their famous Brazilian cut.  Sales of underwear at M&S soared by 64% the year they were introduced.  They are just a little cheeky – quite literally – being a little higher cut on the butt cheeks – but a hundred zillion times more comfortable than a thong.

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And as we’re stocking up they do multipacks too which are great value.

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I also ordered a multipack of their ‘boy shorts‘.  I love to wear these when wearing a shorter skirt or dress and want to keep my modesty intact after a couple of glasses of prosecco.

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Okay – now don’t laugh – I bought some ‘big knicks’ too.  Sometimes comfort really does trump (oops) style.  Thankfully these do have a little bit of lace detail so they aren’t completely Nana knickers.  Trust me no one will know and you will be so thankful wearing them!

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Finally just to prove I can still do ‘sexy’ I ordered a couple of these lace bodies from their Limited Edition.  Just gorgeous for the summer under a maxi dress.  I love the cross back detail too.

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So now you know what I wear underneath here are my outfit pics from the last few days!

Today I’m back in a skirt as the sun shines again.  I started the day in heels.  It feels so fab to have bare legs again!

Mango skirt.jpgShoes – M&S // Skirt – Mango (similar here) // T-shirt – J.Crew

I later changed into flats for running errands around town.  I LOVE these – they are a great Miu Miu tribute with a lovely shaped toe.

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Yesterday I was in one of my favorite simple ASOS dresses.  Must remember to clean my mirror when photographing black!

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Sneakers – Stan Smith’s Adidas // Dress – ASOS (on sale)

Then finally from the other day when it was still damp and cool after the storms.

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T-shirt – J.Crew (30% off with GOSHOP in the USA) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Shoes – Arvacas Pons // Jacket – Zara (old)

So who else out there will admit to wearing big knickers? 🙂

 

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Shorter and darker.

Just 2 weeks ago I went short with my hair again.  After a week at the beach I still felt it was too long and too ‘inbetweeny’.  Not one to mess about I went back to my wonderful stylist, Chadd, yesterday and went even shorter, and then Gina gave me a lovely dark chocolate color.  I feel super sassy – it is amazing how great the ‘right’ cut can make you feel.  I love the darker color too and my hair looks lovely and healthy and shiny – what’s left of it:)

Pre-cut:

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Jumper – Uniqlo cashmere crewneck (old) // Trousers – Mango Bambi Harems // Shoes – M&S Limited Collection

The Mango trousers are fabulous – these are a US Small (Eur Medium – they label for the larger US woman!) and they are perfect.

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I adore this sleeveless blazer – perfect for throwing on to dress up an outfit.  It will be worn a lot over the Spring here.  It’s an unusual color choice for me but I quite like it for a change – it’s a taupe/cream color.  The fabric is lovely quality too – not shiny at all.

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Jacket – M&S Limited Collection // Jumper – Zara (old) // Scarf – H&M (old) // Jeans – Diesel Fayza // Boots – Sam Edelman Petty (reduced here)

It’s freezing here today so the sweaters are out – totally random weather!

Oh and I am getting my navel pierced tomorrow ready for the summer months…the mid-life crisis continues!

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The legs are out.

We had an amazing week at the beach and I feel fabulously refreshed.  All that sunshine and vitamin D really does work wonders!  We did struggle a little this morning though, to get back into our routine.  Even the hour difference between Georgia and Alabama can make a real impact on schedules!

Spring has well and truly sprung here in Atlanta while we have been gone.  There is a dusting of green pollen everywhere and my garden currently looks like the 13th green at Augusta with all the azaleas in bloom.

Now it’s back to work and school for us this week.  We don’t get Easter off here – separation of Church and State and all that…but that doesn’t stop me going all out with an Easter roast with friends this weekend.  All I have to worry about for now is choosing lamb or pork?

While I was gone my gorgeous playsuit from M&S arrived.  I cannot tell you how much I love it.  This is a UK 12 and it is perfect.  The ties at the shoulders mean you can adjust it for your boobs as necessary and the shorts are the perfect length – not indecent by any means.  I’m certain this is going to be my go to evening outfit in Spain this summer worn with sandals.

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Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury canvas // Playsuit – Marks and Spencer

My Essie Resort Fling nail polish even matches the print perfectly – completely unintentionally:)

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Today I’m flaunting my tanned legs in my AllSaints dress that I bought back at Christmas in the sale.  It’s the perfect weight for spring here.

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Dress – AllSaints (old but mid season sale currently on here) // Sneakers – Golden Goose Francy (old – similar here)

 

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