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Primark

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

 

 

Put a lid on it!

I popped into Nordstrom yesterday to return the TopShop animal print tunic dress – I loved it but the fabric was just too warm for here in the summer.  I was overjoyed when I saw the size of the TopShop concession we now have here in Phipps Plaza.  It had so many TopShop staples – like the camis we all love – plus many of items and new arrivals that I have seen online.  I have found a new little gem to frequent!  If you are in the US make sure you all check out your local Nordstrom!  I am officially now obsessed with the camis and picked up a cream one – well it’d be silly not to while I was there – to wear under jackets with jeans.

I was a tad nervous about walking into the office today – but I managed to diffuse any sarcastic comments with equally facile retorts about ‘jazz hands’…good job I have thick skin:)  This hat is the white version of the Target one I wore back here at the start of the summer.  I haven’t worn the white one as often as the black, but today it just seemed the perfect compliment to the outfit:)

Hat – Target // Jeans – Primark (old) // Top – TopShop Cami // Waistcoat – Forever21 (old) // Shoes – Sam Edelman Alvin

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Oh and don’t forget that Boden’s Catch of the Day continues today with 25% off tops and t-shirts!

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Fun in Next!

I will be traveling for the next few days – wending my way from Bury to Kyrenia – so there’ll be no blog post for a few days.  To make up for it I’ve done two today.  I couldn’t wait to tell you about my exciting morning;)

Mum and Dad took the children out for the day so I got to have some ‘me’ time in Bury with the shops that I miss.  M&S, River Island, Primark and Matalan were all on my hit list.  However, I was completely side tracked by Next.  What a revelation!

Well in all honesty I had seen some of my blogging friends wearing some great items from Next recently, so I knew I had to take a look while I was here.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery no?  We are all inspired by what we see in other blogs – and I’ve already bought Avril’s shoes, now I have Hollie and Eve’s jacket, and I think Kat’s jacket too?

For the trip I decided to give two fingers to the weather and wore all white, with my Boden leather jacket.

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T-shirt – Zara TRF linen t-shirt with pink flower (old – can’t see it online in the sale but it may appear again) // Jeans – H&M (old) // Scarf – Boden chincilla pinspot lightweight scarf (I love this and want the acid lime one too)

Here’s the gorgeous Next jersey biker jacket in grey.  I tried a 12 to start with and it was huge so ended up with a 10.  Both Hollie and Eve All Worn Out have this.  It is the softest, snuggliest jacket ever – perfect for Bury – maybe not so much for Atlanta and Cyprus.

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I then spotted these great harem trousers in white.  Some of you may like these – they are not low slung at the crotch – but have quite a tapered leg, others of you may not – as, with most white jersey, you can see the pockets.

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I’m not normally a blouse person at all.  But I was immediately drawn to this.  The leopard print obviously caught my eye, but the colors are also lovely – greys, white and blush tones.  The shape is great too and very forgiving for the muffin top.

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With the jacket it creates a good day to evening outfit.

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The top with skinnies.

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Next up I saw this blue jacket.  I loved it immediately.  It’s a really flattering cut, lightweight and washable too.  I also love the neckline.  Oh and I totally love the fact it was only 28 GBP!  I think Kat has this.  It didn’t photo well at all – I think Next in Bury has the darkest changing rooms ever.

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Finally the shoes.  I didn’t get them – I wanted to – but the toe problem reared it’s ugly head again.  I loved these and realized that I don’t have any navy heels at all so I could completely have justified them – but the little toe just wouldn’t behave.  They came in grey too.  I’m afraid I can’t see them online but I think they were about 28 GBP.

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So all in all a fun trip to Bury – I even managed to grab coffee with my sister.  I didn’t make it to anywhere else but Next I’m afraid.  A good job I think really:)

 

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Gwen’s love for Zara.

My fellow blogger, Hollie, and I are both great admirers of Gwen Stefani’s eclectic rock and roll style – she always looks perfectly put together.  Her make up and hair are always immaculate, even for a trip to the park with her sons.  It was while Hollie and I were chatting about Gwen the other day that I realized Gwen is a fan of Zara!  I have spotted her in three Zara items just this weekend – who’d have thought it?  Gwen obviously embraces pairing high and lower end items – good for her!

Two of the items also happen to be in my closet – no surprise there.  The first is the sarong skirt – I love how she has styled this over leggings…There’s a David Bowie t-shirt on Asos that I have been umming and ahhing about for a while now – it could be the perfect tee to replicate this look.

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Next up is my jacket last worn here.  Now I’m not necessarily a fan of her styling here but each to their own…though if I was Italian I’d wear that t-shirt in a heartbeat.

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Finally I spotted this photo of her wearing these Zara pants heading to Chuck E. Cheeses – please Gwen how could you bear to step foot in there?  I’d rather stick pins in my eyes.

Zara pants Gwen

These photos of Gwen always make me want to to wear red lipstick more often and I’m pretty sure images of her have influenced my choice of attire today.

Primark Zara and Gap

Jeans – Primark (old) // T-shirt – Gap (from the sale) // Jacket – Zara // Sneakers – Golden Goose

Finally – I think my children are trying to tell me something – buying these cards obviously amused the Husband no end…I hope you all had a fabulous Mother’s Day!

Poppy’s Card (I’m suddenly ‘Joanna’ not ‘Mommy’): 

Poppy's Card

 

Hugh’s Card:

Hugh's Card

 

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Bikini ready.

I’m just starting to feel human again.  Those bus stop ladies are quite a riot when you get them in a bar around a bottle (or several) of white wine.  Thursday was tough going but it was worth it.  I love these ladies!

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The leggings I wore are new and a real steal from Nordstrom.  It is great being able to purchase TopShop items here now thanks to their partnership with Nordstrom.  They were an impulse purchase after seeing them on Martha’s post the other week.

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Boots – Nine West Buster // Leggings – TopShop faux leather // Jumper dress – AllSaints Sago // Jacket – Zara quilted leather jacket (old)

There is nothing like the thought of wearing a bikini for motivating me to hit the gym.  So yesterday I went to spin – it was amazing – a great endorphin rush in a lovely quiet class!  I hope it is the same this morning – yes I am motivated:)

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After spin I was running around like a crazy woman doing last minute errands for the trip – wine was bought, packing was done and finally the Brazillian was accomplished – TMI I know, but I find they are essential when you’re in a swimsuit 9 months of the year.  Plus it’s much more comfortable on the spin bike:) If you are in Atlanta go see Larissa at Brazilian’s by Andreia at the Buckhead location – she is amazing – and most importantly – gentle!

Nervously waiting for Larissa:

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Jeans – Primark Boyfriend jeans // Boots – Isabel Marant Dicker Boots

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Matalan and Primark finds.

To all of you in the US I can only best describe Matalan and Primark as stores similar to Target or Old Navy – cheap, on trend clothing – disposable fashion.  I remember Primark as a child and recently it has had somewhat of a revival.  Just as we in the States refer to Target as Targét (well at least in my neck of the woods) – Primark is often referred to as Primarni.

It takes some energy to sift the wheat from the chaff but all in all it is worth it.  Yesterday I scored 2 pairs of jeans.  I know their jeans are fab as I have a couple of their printed ones – the floral ones from last summer being the most worn.  Yesterday I got some gorgeous smoky blue/grey striped ankle skimmers (though they actually feel full length on me!), and a pair of cheapo boyfriend jeans – mainly because I couldn’t justify leaving them in the store at just 13 GBP each.  Their sizing is definitely a bit hit or miss as the skinnies are a UK 10 and I had to go to a 12 in the boyfriend jeans.  There’s a bit more distressing on the boyfriend jeans than I’d possibly like, but then if I use my very vivid imagination and pretend I’m not in freezing Bury, sun kissed knees peeking through the denim, in the Atlanta sun, might work well with them…

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I had to head across the street to Matalan – they are normally located in retail parks – as is the one in Bury.  I was skeptical as I wandered in but that quickly dissipated and I was overwhelmed with sheer joy!  Again sifting the wheat from the chaff was required – but more on a style basis than quality as everything seemed to be really well made considering the really low prices.  I ended up picking up a couple of jersey maxi skirts (couldn’t decide between the grey and the black), a pair of pewter silky trousers and some fabulous polo shirts with silky trim.  I sized up to a UK 14 on the shirts worried they may be too snug especially after a wash – plus the placement of the pockets made me a bit nervous – but the UK 14s are perfect – loose enough but not huge.  I am now smitten with Matalan.

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Heading back to the bus station I had a quick nosey in H&M.  Low and behold they had some fabulous looking boyfriend jeans – that were the right amount of faded, distress and are also described as ‘tapered leg’.  So off I went to try them on.  I took a 27″ and 28″ into the changing room – I always try the smallest size first so I can be a) elated when they fit or b) optimistic the larger size will work.  The 27s were perfect – and still oversize.  They really do fit like a men’s jean and even have a slightly lower crotch that some will love or some will hate – personally I love the fit.  I think these will be worn often this Spring.

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Don’t ask me how I am going to get all this home – I don’t know yet.

For my little shopping jaunt I wore a pair of my new shoes.  The Office Nighthawk boots in red – a cheap imitation of the Chloe Susanna boots.  I got them for 30 GBP in the sale and I love them.  They are great quality, lovely leather and incredibly comfortable – plus my gamble of buying a UK 6 paid off and they fit perfectly.  I wore them with Zara camo trousers and an H&M jumper layered over an H&M tank.  The scarf is an old Boden jersey scarf that I love.

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Now off to the Trafford Center – Mum and Dad are in the market for an iPad.

 

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The pantone of 2013.

“Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty
that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.” PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald color of the year 2013

Now I’m not typically a fan of ‘green’ though I have noticed that I am more and more drawn to it, in fact all bright colors in general.  I am in love with the color blocking trend for spring.  J.Crew and J.Crew Factory have some great, wearable options that follow the trend, for great prices too.  I’m currently lusting over this beautiful yellow mini skirt – a much cheaper option to the one seen in the Michael Kors Spring collection at $695!  I’ve promised myself it when I return from the UK, assuming I haven’t squandered all my earnings in Primark.

J.Crew Factory:

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Michael Kors:

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My new found obsession with J.Crew led me to these lovely café capris, again sale bargains at $30.  They were a risky buy as I purchased my ‘wannabe size’ and they’ve been hanging in my closet for a few weeks.  With some trepidation I tried them today and they fit!!  Hooray!!  Given it’s going to bounce up to the 70s again today, and that we are now in the last throws of January, I decided to celebrate and bring Spring forward on the calendar.

The blouse is Ann Taylor.  I NEVER shop there these days as I don’t have a ‘proper office job’ anymore.  As I wandered past the other day this blouse caught my eye.  It’s actually really similar to a J.Crew collection printed top that was crazy expensive (the photo floral print that is no longer available).  This Ann Taylor version was just $78, and currently they have a buy one get one 50% off on their new collection.  I was really impressed with what I saw – lots of great black and white prints and bright colors.

J.Crew Collection version:

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So here’s me today wearing the pantone of the year accessorized with the Zara black court shoes and my fabulous Boden folded leather clutch.

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Finally don’t forget it is Boden’s Catch of the Day again and today it is the turn of selected knitwear and jackets – you can get 25% off today so don’t delay!

 

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I want a drum kit.

In fact I need a drum kit – do you know why?  I am going to be Jack White’s new drummer.  In my dreams.  He was unbe-freakin-lievable last night.  His all girl band were also pretty darn good – and I was mesmerized with his drummer.  She has the coolest job around as far as I am concerned.  Jack’s stage presence was amazing.  We had fabulous seats and could see everything.  He moved around the stage with such energy thrashing out hits from Blunderbuss and finishing with ‘Seven Nation Army’ which the audience went wild for – especially me.

All the way through the show I couldn’t help thinking how tall Jack is – but on mentioning this to MM his theory is that he is actually only 5ft and surrounds himself with short women to make him look tall, conjuring all sorts of Spinal Tap Stonehenge images for me:)

An amazing night and my ears are still ringing.

Here are my outfits from yesterday – I was off work as my daughter was still on Fall break – but it was really chilly here so time for the knee length boots to make an appearance!  The jeans are Primark, jumper is the AllSaints Godiva jumper, and the boots are Vince Camuto Autumn which unfortunately I can no longer locate on the website.

For the gig I went AllSaints again – Delors pipe leather trousers, Phinius top (both from 2010) and then I decided to match my shoes to my hair with my Sam Edelman Petty boots in British Burgundy:)

I Love Jack White

And the verdict is in…

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Fall Telly.

I am ridiculously excited about this Sunday evening.  No I’m not being wined and dined, nor are we expecting guests…the new seasons of Homeland and Dexter start!  How sad am I?

Bored to tears with Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, Real Housewives etc…I have recently been exploring the pleasures of On Demand viewing.  I have watched Season 1 of Girls, Season 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones (appeals to my inner dork), Season 1 of Homeland plus I am completely up to date on Dexter.  The correlation of my increased t.v. viewing with the start of the football season is no coincidence.  There is no greater way to watch a mini series than from beginning to end with no commercial breaks – bliss!  Now my only debate is do I watch the new season live or should I DVR it so I can enjoy without commercials?…The latter I think!

I’ll be ready for a bit of sofa surfing on Sunday as we have another jam packed weekend with birthday parties and swimming lessons – plus on Sunday afternoon we are having a photo session with Muddy Faces on a farm.  Karen who is the photographer is amazing and has a real knack for taking natural, uncontrived photos, and I am so excited about getting some lovely portraits of the children.  I refuse to buy the school portraits that have the naff, fake backgrounds on them.

Today I’m wearing my J.Crew shorts in Casablanca blue – these are 5″ ones and were bought in the sale – they are so comfortable and a great length – not too revealing – but nowhere near the knees either.  With them I’m wearing my Primark t-shirt with the bus heading to Croydon, with my Zara off white jersey jacket and Sam Edelman Louie boots.  I’ve decided if I wear shorts I can wear boots, but it’s still too warm for jeans and boots together.

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City Hall Bureaucrats…

…make me scream with frustration!  Three weeks into the school year and Atlanta Public Schools Transportation System finally agreed to meet with parents to hear our concerns and recommendations.  We have been frustrated since the start of the school year due to safety issues, timing, and route changes for the school buses, created by cost cutting.  We all know that change is needed at times, and we are all prepared to accept changes, but when common sense doesn’t prevail it is just SO frustrating.  After waiting this morning for 45mins for the APS representative to arrive and hold the meeting to reassure us that we were being heard – she sat down and muttered something about ‘I have no more information’ – what do these people get paid for???  It was then left to the parents and bus drivers to try and resolve the issues on each route – thus effectively doing the job of APS Transportation…pah.  Not happy to say the least.

Wanting to feel a little ‘fierce’ for my morning meeting I opted for the Zara leopard print capris – what is it about animal print that I love so much?  I’m trying to convince Avril at SchoolGateStyle.com to try the Primark jeans that my Mum sent to me – she appears to be contemplating them🙂

I paired these Zara pants with the same t-shirt and shoes that I wore with the Primark jeans –  with black oversize Zara t-shirt and black patent Tory Burch Eddies.  I need to try some other solid colors with my leopard print though I’m pretty sure black is the way ahead.  Haven’t been brave enough to mix my prints yet.

I’m hoping to hit the pool later this afternoon with the children – it’s beautiful here and I want to make the most of the water before pools start closing after Labor Day.  While sitting by the pool I’ll be working feverishly with MM to get our new website up and running – the new magazine – MMA Fitness – hits newsstands soon so in order to do my part of the job we need our online presence ready and we’re cutting it fine yikes!  Yes mixed martial arts is quite a change from the pre and post natal market but definitely an interesting challenge!

Hair cut time tomorrow – time to get rid of the bouffant look!  Very excited – thinking of something slightly different so watch out for photos:)

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