How early is too early to start the birthday celebrations!?

It’s been an odd week readjusting to life back in Atlanta. I can’t lie, I am totally jealous of all you Europeans just starting your vacations, while we prepare for back to school on Wednesday! My Instagram feed is full of blue skies and oceans and I have to keep reminding myself that was me just a week ago!

To ease the pain I am focusing on my upcoming birthday! I’m 45 on the 10th and like to celebrate for as long as possible! Hence, Friday night, my Husband and I went out for tapas and cocktails. Maybe my Leo instincts are aroused, but I decided to go full on leopard print for the evening. This dress is just £19.99 from New Look and is available in the US here on ASOS (keep checking back for your size – they update regularly). I felt fantastic in it! The dress is pleated so not tight at all and it is the perfect midi length. I’m now on the look out for dresses in a similar style as it felt so great on. The shoes are Vince and an incredible eBay bargain -new they were $425 and I got them NWT for $65!

New look leopard print dress, Vince Aden shoes, Gucci purseDress – New Look // Shoes – Vince Aden off eBay // Bag – Gucci (similar here)

I made a couple of other purchases this week including the red Adidas Gazelles – I just love the Gazelles and they take me back to the 90s when I wore a green pair to death! They do fit big and I sized down to a US 8 instead of my usual 8.5.

Adidas Gazelles

I also just wore my new running tights from the H&M For Every Victory collection. They are amazingly comfortable – 2miles on the treadmill with no adjusting. I’m in a medium and they fit great.

H&M For Every Victory

As for the rest of last week here’s what I’ve been wearing. It’s lovely to have all my closet back!

Mango shoes, Mango top and FalabellaShoes – Mango // Jeans – Zara (old) // Top – Mango (sale reduced from &79.99 to $24.99!) // Bag – Stella McCartney

& Other Stories dress, Mulberry Bayswater, Castañer espadrillesDress – & Other Stories sale // Shoes – Castañer // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

H&M dress, Golden Goose sneakers, FalabellaDress – H&M // Shoes – Golden Goose // Bag – Stella McCartney

Even shorter!

How can a great haircut make a girl so happy!? I absolutely love my new shorter do. I knew when I first went short again the other month that I would be going even shorter soon and here I am back to my old self! I feel me again! If you are in Atlanta I urge you to pay O’Neil at Van Michael a visit – best cut ever, and you won’t stop chatting!

black trousersTrousers – J.Crew (30% off here with SCORE)// Shirt – Zara (old) // Shoes – TopShop // Bag – Proenza Schouler

hair

Yesterday the husband didn’t disappoint with his quick witted ‘are you still painting?’ jibe – I should have put money on it. I don’t care however, I love these dungarees, best fit ever – lovely and slouchy – I sized up to a large, with a lovely shaped leg. The bib on these seems to sit really well on my boobs – it can be dangerous for us with boobs as that bib can get lost or stuck! 😉 These and the indigo version are 40% off in the US with code HAPPY.

dungarees CollageShoes – Zara (last season similar here) // Dungarees – Gap (40% off with HAPPY) // T-shirt – J.Crew (old) // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

In other news these fabulous espadrilles have now arrived on the US & Other Stories site – they are here on the UK site.

blush espadrille espadrillenavy espadrille

Enjoy!

We’re off to watch the Hawks basketball tonight – it’s going to be a late one and some cranky kids will be around tomorrow morning – think of me as I am trying to herd them out of the house for school at 7.15am!

How to wear joggers out of the house!

I know many of you swear that joggers, or sweatpants, are for indoor, slobbing in front of the tv, use only. Many are I agree. I have some lovely slouchy Reebok joggers that are so soft – but their shape is massively unflattering and only my immediate family will ever get to see me in them! However, I do believe that if you select the right shape – maybe slimmer in the leg, with a proper cuff at the ankle, then joggers can look great for casual wear. In fact you can even try heels with them – a step too far for me.

My favorite inspiration for wearing joggers comes from Sincerely, Jules. She wears them with absolute cool and aplomb.

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I also love these looks.

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I really love the idea of a pair of off white/cream joggers but they are hard to come by. I found these at TopShop, which look great.

TopShop joggers

I have an old pair of Zara camo joggers but these look amazing – I love the stripe down the leg. It’s always promising when an item gets great reviews!

camo joggers

Uniqlo are a great goto source for joggers. Always great quality and a great price. These are similar to the pair I am wearing below.

Uniqlo grey

I absolutely LOVE them in the olive.

Uniqlo olive

So here I am in an attempt to look effortlessly cool in my joggers 🙂

joggersJoggers – Uniqlo (old but similar here) // Shoes – Golden Goose // Top – AllSaints // Jacket – AllSaints // Bag – Balenciaga

So have I convinced you that they can be worn outside, or do you still think they are for sofa slobbing only?

Today I’m feeling quite bright and springlike, now we just need the sun again so I can get back into sandals as opposed to boots!

Gap top CollageBoots – TopShop or Nordstrom // Jeans – J Brand Selena // Top – Gap // Jacket – AllSaints // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

Overalls or dungarees?

Festival time is here – whether it’s a music festival or a fun neighborhood festival (we have many here in Atlanta), it’s time to dig out the festival clothes. Dungarees are a perennial favorite. Comfort, style and versatility make them my choice. Admittedly for the larger chested of us, they can be problematic, but I have discovered a great pair from H&M with thinner straps and a looser fit that seem to work well. I like to wear dungarees as simply as possible with a plain t-shirt and sneakers or espadrilles. I’m definitely a proponent of the dressed down dungaree look as opposed to the dressed up look – though I did try them with heels back here and here – I was a very early adopter of dungarees!

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(Images via Pinterest)

H&M are a great source of overalls – though be warned the sizing varies drastically! Some are teeny tiny and others need a size down. I think the pair I am wearing today are true to size – with a looser fit.

button overalls

I also have this pair in a medium – they are sold out here online but check out stores – they are gorgeous and a great boyfriend fit.

loose fit overalls

I tried this cropped pair on in London and they are small fitting – I probably sized up 2 sizes! Having said that ignore the size on the label – they are gorgeous.

cropped overalls

Again a pair that are unfortunately oos online – but I love the fit and flare cut of these.

flared overalls

Gap have a very similar style here. They are now on sale with an extra 35% off here in the US using code STYLE – certainly worth a punt!

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I’m also smitten with this style – I love Gap’s denim. These are an online exclusive – with 35% off using STYLE.

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Finally another of my favorite stores for denim – Madewell. I just love this skinny cut and they get rave reviews.

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Here I am today in dress down comfort. My new Primark jacket also gets it’s first outing – thank you so much for sending Sue!! I’ve cut the label off the sleeve now after leaving it on all morning much to the amusement of my Husband!

dungarees CollageDungarees – H&M // Top – H&M (old) // Sneakers – Nike // Jacket – Primark (thanks to Sue!) //Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

 

 

Unexpected movie days

I’m watching the end of The Devil Wears Prada snuggled up on the sofa with a poorly girl. She’s on the mend but while I have her home its lovely indulging in some chick flicks with her.

Needless to say I have spent most of the time in sweats but decided that the doctor may prefer it if I turned up dressed. I took advantage of the warm weather to get the ankles out with my new Zara shoes. They are fabulous Prada tributes! I hope this isn’t the end of winter though as I am still in boot and coat mode!

BretonJeans – Zara sale // Shoes – Zara // Top – J.Crew // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

Zara shoes

 

Get the glow in January!

I’m sitting here looking out of my office window and it is GREY! In fact almost dark. There is a Nor’easter heading towards us. Fortunately, I think, we are only going to get pummeled by rain as our temperatures are rising. In weather like this I always love wearing my darker greys and blacks, but when it comes to makeup I want my skin to glow with health! I am drinking a lot of water which helps – but you can’t beat some good moisturizer and makeup products at this time of year! I love treating myself to some little ‘feel good’ cosmetics to beat the January blues.

Here are my favorites which I am using constantly at the moment!

Hourglass have become one of my go to cosmetic brands. Not cheap, but their products last forever and do what they say on the tin. So many people have mentioned recently how good my skin looks and I attribute it to this palette. You can use the powder to highlight and apply it intensely on the cheek bones, or apply it more liberally to give an overall glow.

ambient lighting pallette

Buxom lip cream is a favorite of mine. It has an amazing tingly sensation when you apply it which apparently helps to plump your lips. I adore White Russian – it’s a lovely nude gloss that brightens your face.

Buxom lip polish

Recently I’ve gone what I consider to be ‘old skool’ with my skin care. I’ve tried more expensive options but believe me they ain’t worth it. The good old Body Shop comes out tops in my book time and time again. Especially with their Drops of Youth and Oils of Life skincare ranges. I apply this essence every morning after washing and before I put any serum or moisturizer on. It kind of prepares your skin to absorb the moisture.

drops-of-youth-essence-lotion_l

This serum is lush. I apply it in the morning and before bed. Super hydrating and it smells divine.

intensely-revitalizing-facial-oil_l

I also love the gel cream from the same range. I love the texture – it’s not greasy at all and absorbs in an instant ready for you to apply foundation.

intensely-revitalizing-gel-cream_l

The body shop Vitamin C range has always been a go to line for me – especially when traveling. Nothing gives you a better boost than applying some of this in flight (I often decant into smaller pots for travel). This one really does make me giggle because it is perfect for ‘grumpy skin’!

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I’ve just reordered this (if you join the Body Shop rewards program it gives you a 10% discount off each purchase.) I love this and use it each day, with or without makeup.

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I don’t wear a lot of foundation – sometimes I just apply a little concealer on after the above glow enhancer. When I do wear it Hourglass is my brand of choice – I love their Illusion skin tint – it is a little heavier in consistency than the name suggests and you only need a tiny amount for a flawless finish.

hourglass illusionjpg

Most important to me at this time of year is a fab, fab lip color! I am wearing Mac Pink Pigeon today, and my favorite nude color from them MAC at the moment is Kinda Sexy.

Mac matte lipstick

I doubt I will ever wear another blusher than this – NARS orgasm – it’s just the perfect hue for a glow winter or summer.

Nars blusher

A new discovery this season, for me at least, is the NARS multiple stick. I’ve always been a tad scared about application. I run Copacabana gently along my cheek bone and then Portofino in a line slightly below it, BEFORE applying my blush on the apples of my cheeks. I use a firm angled brush to gently blend the multiple and it leaves a gorgeous dewy sheen.

Nars multiplt

And that folks is how I get my glow on this winter! Along with buckets of water!

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What are your favorite products this winter? A great hand cream is always a necessity and I am still searching for the perfect hydrating, non greasy formula!

Finally here are a couple of outfits from the past couple of days. It’s been pretty chilly here!

ASOS coatCoat – ASOS on sale // Jumper – H&M on sale // Jeans – Zara (old) // Boots – Isabel Marant by H&M (old) // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

Leopard print coatCoat – Mango on sale // Boots – Stuart Weitzman 5050s // Jeans – Zara (old) // Jumper – Everlane // Scarf – Asos (similar here) // Bag – Mulberry Bayswater

What to buy in the UK vs. the USA.

As part of my preparations for my trip back to the UK I collect a few shopping requests from family and friends here.  I think it is commonly perceived that most goods are much cheaper in the USA.  It’s true that many are – but there are also several brands that are FAR cheaper in the UK.

I normally have a little list of places to go when I’m back in the UK on the hunt for a bargain.

1.  Many European brands/high street stores simply multiply by 2 when converting £s to $s instead of using the exchange rate.  Plus our sticker price here is not the final price as we add sales tax on at the register, which varies from county to county and state to state.  This can make brands like Zara and H&M far cheaper to buy in the UK.

2. Classic UK brands such as Barbour, Hunter, Ted Baker and Paul Smith are usually far cheaper in the UK.  My Husband has sized himself for a Barbour here which I can then collect in the UK at half the price.

3. There are many books and music titles that are not available in the US.  I can’t find Take That’s Progress on iTunes – nor The Pete Tong Collection (I did manage to buy the latter on Amazon.com).  Again my Husband orders several books from Amazon.co.uk and has them delivered to my Mum – why he thinks I’ll have room in my bags for books I’ve no idea!  I am much more shallow, as ever, and make sure I get my hands on Grazia, Hello and the Sunday papers.

4. In the US we don’t have Primark – now it’s definitely at hit or miss store – but the bargains that can be found are amazing.  I bought my favorite pair of boyfriend jeans there for £12 last year!

5. If only we had the same power and sockets in the US and UK I’d be sorted.  My ghd hairdryer cost a fortune here compared to the UK.  We also unfortunately don’t easy access to other European brands like Parlux.

6. Of course you’re not supposed to travel with some types of food and import it back to the US but I always return with custard creams, galaxy chocolate, pickled onion Monster Munch and Bisto gravy granules:)  I eat as many pork pies and M&S sandwiches as I can while I’m there!

Now for things that you should definitely buy when making a trip the US:

1.  Makeup is far cheaper here – from drugstore brands like Revlon and L’oréal to department store brands like MAC, Clinique and Chanel.  OPI and Essie nail polishes are also only $8 a pop here – my Mum always stocks up:)

2. Sneakers/trainers are much cheaper here – though I think the choice is more varied in Europe.  They normally just switch the £ for a $ making them dirt cheap compared to the UK.

3. My FIL always pops into the Apple store to upgrade his iPad when he’s here.  The fact that Apple use universal power, meaning no transformer is required, makes it far cheaper to buy here – though it has to be said that prices are coming down in the UK.  My Mum and Dad bought theirs at John Lewis – paying slightly more – but having the comfort of the John Lewis warranty made it worth it to them.

4. Housewares are cheaper.  Want a good potato peeler (yes I’ve been asked to take TWO back to the UK), or a good apple slicer?  Buy it here at Target.

5. Designer goods are generally much cheaper here.  My Rag & Bone Newbury boots are cheaper, as are most designer bags.  You will find however the focus on labels varies significantly.  I NEVER see Mulberry here, yet I would never buy Coach or Tory Burch here as you see their logos EVERYWHERE.  One thing to note is TheOutnet.com stocks widely differing brands here compared to the UK so if you are here long enough to receive a delivery it might be worth checking out.  For example this Alexander Wang Rocco is 45% off here and yet it’s not even on the UK site.

Rocco

6. US brands that have traveled across the Atlantic are far cheaper here – J.Crew being the most obvious, but Banana Republic and Gap are also much cheaper here.

7. Here in the US most states have fabulous outlet malls.  One word of caution though stores like J.Crew and Coach often make items just for the outlets – so that bargain you think you are getting may not be so much of a bargain.

Now for my outfits from the past few days…I adore these new H&M trousers that Eve alerted me to.  The fabric is lovely and stretchy but I still needed to size up to a US 10 – the waistband is tiny – no vanity sizing here!

Allsaints leather

Sneakers – Adidas Samoas // Trousers – H&M // Sweatshirt – AllSaints // Jacket – AllSaints // Scarf – Uniqlo

I’ve been trying to wear some fur before it gets warmer.

hermes 2 Hermes

 

Boots – Isabel Marant Dicker // Jeans – ASOS Saxby (just $20 now!) // Jumper – Boden cashmere crew neck // Jacket – Forever21 (old – similar here on sale) // Scarf – Hermés (gift from my Husband)

It was cold but REALLY sunny yesterday!

Boden gilet 2 Boden gilet

 

Sneakers – Isabel Marant Bobby // Jeans – Zara (old) // Jumper – Boden St. Ives // Gilet – Boden JohnnieB

My first port of call in the UK is normally Marks & Spencer – more for nostalgia – but I do love a bit of M&S!  What stores or brands would you miss if you relocated to a different country?  I’d love to know!

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My Push Present.

There’s been a lot of posts about bags recently especially given the launch of the new Mulberry Del Ray.  I realized that as I normally take my photos in the bedroom before leaving the house I never have my bag with me in my photos.  I don’t change bags often as I tend to have a couple of favorite, investment bags that I change by seasons.  MM is also a very good purchaser of bags so I tend to leave new handbags to him so I don’t ruin his options for birthdays and Christmas:)

Here’s my current bag in rotation – it’s a gorgeous hippy Coach bag that was bought for me by MM after my son was born in 2008.  It has a great fringe and a lovely braided strap and the color is perfect for spring/summer when I tend to wear less black.  It has worn so well and only gets better with age.  It’s also incredibly roomy so I can fit all my mommy gear in it too including a couple of sunglasses cases:)  These days I tend to steer clear of Coach as I see so many of them in the mall – it’s the perfect example of masstige, but this one isn’t obviously Coach and I love it more so for that.

Here’s my favorite collection of YSL bags and purses.  MM bought me the Roady for my 40th and then the clutch for our wedding anniversary last year.  The wallet and coin purse were a lovely surprise from him at New Year.  We had agreed not to purchase Christmas gifts for each other so he cheated and gave me these at New Year:)  I adore YSL and love how rarely you see the brand over here, at least in Atlanta.  I know the clutch and wallet are emblazoned with the logo, but I love the fact the Roady gives nothing away except for a tiny monogram on the handle.

 

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