Damn the Zara sale!

It’s hot as Hades here in Atlanta and humid to boot – but after MM reminding me that I have a half to train for and them a full marathon in January I headed out for a run this morning.  Miserable? – Yep.  Imagine running in a steam room or a sauna.  I started thinking I’d do 8miles, then changed my mind to 6miles after heading out of the door, then after 2miles decided 4 would be just manageable.  Ah well as Nike say ‘you either ran today or you didn’t’ and I did.

It helped a little that I had some super cute Lululemon attire to wear.  Not sure what is going on with Lululemon at the moment – their Facebook page has been covered in complaints about colors bleeding and changing after wear – not good – especially at their price points.  Their response is a little fishy stating that it depends on the wearer’s pH – hmmm – Nike don’t seem to have this issue so seems fairly odd to blame imperfections on your paying customer.  We’ll see how it evolves.  I have one incidence of color bleed on my blurred blossom pace setter skirt where the flash pink waist band bled into the skirt at the back during a wash – not happy as I always wash sports gear on cold.  Having said that I adore the pace setter skirts and have yet to find anything more comfortable or flattering to run in.

Pre-run this morning – Lululemon pace setter skirt in seaside dot, run swiftly tank in black, Newtons and bed hair:

After sweating my t*ts off I had an hour to fill before picking Poppy up from tennis camp.  Foolishly I decided to head to Zara to ‘browse’ their sale racks.  I had palpitations the moment I walked in.  The racks were packed with huge mark downs on items that I hadn’t seen before as I only started shopping in Zara around May time.  Within 10mins my arms were laden with tops, pants and jackets to try…it was like the Krypton Factor, or It’s a Knockout for more hilarity – I kept looking at the time worried about leaving my daughter stranded with her tennis racket.  In the end I decided that jackets were not needed as I have bought quite a few, especially my favorite Zara jersey jackets.  Prioritizing I decided to try the tops – I wear jeans so often that having a great selection of tops to wear for casual and ‘going out’ is beneficial (nearly wrote essential – but they’re not really!).  Plus the tops were dirt cheap – the most I paid for one was $25 – the others were $15 or $10 – brilliant!

The first is this lovely black long sleeved tee with skinny arms and a zip up the back – the zip is a bit too yellowy gold right now but it should fade with wear.  It will look great with jeans or my leopard print crops.

Then I got this lovely off white top – it’s knitted at the front and has a longer silky back – great for a night out with the girls!

This pink long sleeved tee is gorgeous and so soft – I can imagine wearing it under a jacket for work or with shorts around the house.

Here’s my favorite purchase – I think it is some sort of animal print at the front – and it is silky with a matte/stretchy material at the back – again a little longer at the back.  It’ll look great with black jeans or under a black jacket.

Now I’m off to take Hugh for a haircut – this could be the day all his locks go – he has been asking for it short for a while and I’ve resisted as he has such gorgeous long hair but I’m getting so irritated with people mistaking him for a girl…you’d think no guys in the US ever had long hair – it only happens over here and I am completely befuddled by it as to me he is obviously ALL boy!

Today I wore my new H&M purchase – the bird print dress I got back in England for a bargain of 12.99 GBP – it’s lovely and stretchy and has a cute flirty skirt to it.  I’m wearing my pink Tory Burch Revas with it for a splash of color.

Happy weekend y’all!

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A strange way to begin the week.

What an exciting morning – welcome to those of you who have popped by after seeing my blog mentioned in the Daily Mail – I hope you hang around and enjoy reading my posts.  It was MM* who encouraged me to start blogging as a means to help keep my family and friends on both sides of the Atlantic connected with events, and also as a fun, creative outlet to share my thoughts, passions and opinions.  I am happy to see from the comments on the Daily Mail article that there are many other people out there with strong opinions that they like to share!

So as I was neglecting my family this morning and checking myself out in the mirror every couple of minutes and wondering where I might spend my Husband’s money today I almost decided to take a day off from posting – but where’s the fun in that?;)

I had to drag the children out of bed this morning – both of them completely exhausted from a weekend at the pool.  I am so proud of my daughter – not yet 6 – she passed her swim test that allows her to use the slide at the pool.  It’s a huge milestone for anyone who is less than 4ft tall and thus not eligible to slide without passing the test due to the height restriction.  She had to swim a full length freestyle and then tread water for a minute.  I’ve never seen her so determined and she wore that green wristband with pride all weekend long!

I’m still vacillating over growing my hair – I wish it was a quick fix.  I’m definitely heading into bouffant territory but I think I’m going to continue with the pain.  Every time I see cute pixie cut though I start question my decision, plus for the first time in 21 years I have MM telling me he now prefers short hair!

I opted to wear something bright and cheery today to start the penultimate week of the school year.  We all have so many events and activities this week I am praying that coffee and bright colors will keep my mood buoyant.  I’m wearing my Boden silk whisper top from 2011, a J.Crew skirt from a couple of springs ago, my Tory Burch sand Revas and the necklace and belt are both Target who always have great cheap and cheerful accessories.

*MM – My Man

 

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Mexican date night.

 

Back in England our favorite way to spend a date night was to head out for a good curry and a couple of lagers.  Due to the lack of good curry houses here our need for heat and spice is more often satiated by Mexican food – the more jalapenos the better!  Plus I prefer a couple of margaritas these days to cold, fizzy lager.  Last night, to celebrate another half marathon and take advantage of Grandpa still being here to babysit, we went out to Nuevo Laredo.  It was lovely, so relaxing and such a giggle.  I’m pretty sure I could have eaten all that was on my plate but that would have been greedy no?

It was freezing here, so unexpectedly I had to scurry to find a sweater and jacket to wear.  I hurriedly threw this little ensemble together – my Boden stripey jumper from AW 2011, Boden leather jacket from SS 2011, Hudson jeans and Tory Burch navy Eddies.  I think this is my favorite jacket – I always feel casual yet polished in it.

Before I went out and stuffed myself another Boden parcel arrived.  I had hastily ordered the Boho tunic in Haze champagne spot when a US 6 came back into stock and somehow I found myself putting the Glam jersey tunic in purple in my basket too.  The Boho tunic unfortunately was extremely tight across my 36Cs so I have had to return for a US 8 – but the good news is it is gorgeous.  It’s a lovely lightweight, silky tunic that will be great dressed up or down in the height of summer.  I love the haze color too – a great soft purple.  Just be warned that due to the lack of stretch you may have to size up from your normal size in jersey tunics – it’s not as loose fitting as you might think.

The Glam tunic sparked some debate on Boden’s Facebook page last night.  Others have ordered it and reported it looked a tad cheap – I can see their point – and sometimes too much embellishment is not a good thing.  Also the print is pretty busy.  But, when I first opened up my purple one I instantly loved the colors.  There is a coral color playing in with the navy and purple spots making it a really unusual but summery color combination.  My only niggle is I think it needs to be an inch longer.  I am keeping mine as I have learned the hard way that sending something back ultimately ends in me pining for it.  Looking at the photo I think nude shoes will be better – the navy ones make my legs look a bit stumpy – never a desirable look.  What do you think about the tunic?

Mike leaves today to head back to England – it’s been a great visit and fun to have him around, and in other exciting news the 24th April may also be the birth date of my new nephew!!  My sister is huffing and puffing on a labor table in the North West of England as I write.  MM and I are hoping that he is called Daniel to provide ample opportunity for fun at family affairs with his two year old brother Jack:)  Interesting fact of the day Jack was also born on the 24th of the month, as was his Dad, and his Dad also!  Uncanny hey – though not all the same months admittedly.

Today I have on my Boden tunic from SS 2011 (I think it was the funky tunic similar to this season’s), Boden leggings and Tory Burch Revas in hibiscus pink.  Hopefully I’ll have some cute baby photos to share tomorrow!

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…and the bride wore red.

A good friend of mine recently shared a wedding photo of herself.  I know most brides look stunning but Eva stands out as one of the most gorgeous looking brides I’ve ever seen.  Probably several reasons contribute to this – she’s gorgeous anyway, the backdrop was Mustique, and she has her handsome husband by her side – but she also opted to wear a very non-conformist, amazing red dress.

Eva and Stefan:

In an odd coincidence Harper’s Bazaar just posted a piece on red wedding gowns.  I think the Vera Wang one on the left is just divine, and the Spanish inspired dress on the right is Oscar de la Renta.

I’m not planning on getting married ever again (MM will hopefully be pleased to hear) but if I had to do it all over again I’d go for red.

It’s definitely time for some April showers here in Atlanta and that combined with the Arctic blast I receive from our office air conditioning requires long sleeves again.  Yesterday I wore Boden’s SS 2011 long line cardigan, and the AW 2011 crinkle shirt in chilli.  Both were sale bargains and they coordinate perfectly with my Tory Burch Revas in Tory Red.

Today I’ve opted for one of my favorite tunics from this season.  It’s the Chic Spotty tunic in taupe and you can get it at the marked down price of $89.70 right now (originally pricey at $138).  I love how it fits – it’s so comfortable to wear and doesn’t cling at all.  A great way to give your legs an airing!

A new nail polish made it’s debut too last night.  Essie’s A Splash of Grenadine – it’s a gorgeous light purple and perfect for spring, I think it’s one of my new favorites.

p.s. sorry for the grainy photos – the lighting was poor due to the rainy morning!

 

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It’s getting too warm…

I think the frequency of my outfit posts is decreasing and I think the reason is twofold – 1. I’m working out more and spending more time in workout gear, 2. it’s hot and I’m feeling less like standing in front of a mirror each morning.  Number 1. scares me a bit as I don’t want to get lazy and wear workout gear all the time but as the workout gear gets cuter and the temperatures rise it’s very appealing to wear something without buttons or zippers.

Anyway I did take this photo yesterday as I was preparing for a morning at work.  It’s the gorgeous Boden crinkle shirt in mercury from last season, with my Gap boyfriend jeans.  I love Boden’s crinkle shirts and this season’s are really cute too and almost sold out already!  I like to wear them over a tank with jeans or shorts.  They are so soft, don’t need ironing and have some stretch – so they are about the only item with a collar I wear these days.

No photo for today as I am being influenced by the relaxed office environment plus I’m playing tennis at lunchtime, so yes I have my shorts and tank on ready for some swiping at thin air:)

Taking care of the girls.

It’s been the perfect day here in Atlanta for being out and about, which I have been most of the day.  It must have reached 75 degrees Fahrenheit today and I loved every minute of it.  I worked from home this morning which was very indulgent – I am convinced I get far more done in the comfort of my own home, even if I am juggling laundry too. Then it was time for a trip to the Doctors.

Without wanting to divulge TMI it was quite a milestone appointment – my first mammogram.  Well it wasn’t quite my first as I had a baseline taken 3 years ago, but this was my first of the many more to come now I have turned 40.  Of course it was all done with minimum fuss.  I did explain to the nurse, probably unnecessarily, that us Brits are used to getting our tits out as often as the French, though more usually in a bar than on a beach.  She nodded sagely and continued to contort me into the required position.  All in all a very quick procedure, and here’s my PSA – get yours done if you haven’t had one for a while!

My daughter was thrilled after school when our friends across the street invited her over for a play date.  She has been on a couple before but I my heart still sinks a little when I see her skipping off without me.  Oh I’m thrilled she is happy and outgoing, but again my little girl ain’t so little anymore and this week seems to be intent on reminding me of that.  I went over to collect her after an hour or so wondering how she’d be getting on – she didn’t even notice my presence – in fact when she did her face dropped – ‘I don’t want to go yet!’.  So she ended up staying for dinner and even then was reluctant to return.  I am so excited that she has a friend close by.  Her friend also has three younger brothers – so my son will be happy too once he’s off on his play dates:)  I feel like I’m preparing for empty nesting already!

The mammogram and weather required some strategic dressing so I opted for comfy and slouchy with my boyfriend Gap jeans, Boden essential tee (SS 2011), Boden Must Have Jumper and Tory Burch hibiscus pink Revas.  I love the Must Have Jumper, the button detail is perfect and the trim is a very on trend sulphur color.  The fit is perfect – I’m between a US 6 and 8 with Boden and often go for an 8 in jumpers.  It is lovely and soft and hangs perfectly in contrast to the skinny arms.  I also have the radish and quail egg colors sitting in my closet ready for their spring debut.

Boden Must Have Jumper

 

Boden Summer preview is here!

Hoooray!!  The Boden Summer Preview is out!  SO exciting and just what I need on a day where I have been nursing a horrible head cold:(  So to cheer myself up I have just ordered two Florence tunics, a Glam jersey tunic and a beach hoody for myself, plus some tees for my daughter (PRUS/PRV1 for 20% discount).

I recently returned the Relaxed knitted tunic in navy.  As much as I loved it it was just too short and see through to wear as a dress, and here in the heat of a Southern summer I would never wear it with capris or such.  Now I’m so happy I did return it as I have just ordered the Florence tunic in navy and fennel.  I loved last year’s Chic tunic that was very similar in style and I nabbed both the pansy and silver in the sale last year.  I wear both as dresses – they are the perfect length and weight.  This year I was really looking for a navy tunic, which I why I was so torn over the Relaxed knitted tunic.  I’m expecting the Florence to be perfect, so I ordered the fennel too – it should look amazing with a summer tan!

The Glam jersey tunic looks like a similar theme to last year’s Ibiza tunic and 2010’s fabulous jersey tunic – i.e. drapey jersey with beaded embellishment.  I have to say I hated last year’s Ibiza tunic when I first ordered it and returned it, but I found myself warming to it over the months and ordered it again in the sale at the bargain price of $35.  I haven’t worn it yet but I love the mercury colorway hanging in my closet.  I ordered the Glam jersey tunic in Purple Kaleidoscope – I like the multi colorway too but it looks very similar to the Ibiza tunic colors – so maybe a sale purchase later in the year?

The most exciting order has to be the towelling hoody.  I am thrilled there is now one for women.  I actually nearly bought a Mini Boden one in their largest size to try after falling in love with my daughter’s French blue one – well now I have one of mine own on it’s way for the pool!  (If you hear me say I bought something for the pool again please call me out – I don’t wear anything but a bikini by the pool, so I must stop justifying purchases like this!)

The head cold didn’t stop me having a lovely day with my daughter today.  We enjoyed a bit of retail therapy and then went for lunch at Whole Foods – one of her favorite places to eat.  She continually amazes me with her choice of food – she devoured mac ‘n’ cheese, broccoli and fried cat fish – she’s definitely a Southern girl.  She has been asking for sticker earrings for some time so with some reluctance I bought her a couple of packets.  Many of her friends have them so I don’t want her feeling left out, and I guess they are really only for playing dress up – but I really don’t want her dressing ‘too old’ too quick.  I’m hoping it may delay the requests for ear piercing but I fear it may only hasten them.  I’ve told her she needs to be at least 11yrs old, we’ll see how well I stick to that over the next few years!

Given all the shoes in my closet I can’t believe I wore my flannel Revas again!  I must pick out some other shoes tomorrow!  I paired them with my Gap boyfriend jeans, Boden LE sparkle pocket cardigan and then I tried a bit of color blocking with my Boden long sleeved tee (both last season) and JCrew pink linen scarf – come on spring I’m ready!

Boden LE sparkle pocket cardigan

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

By design.

My general dislike for Tuesdays was exacerbated this morning by a 7.30am dentist appointment for my daughter.  It’s bedlam trying to get myself ready and get everyone out of the house in time…but we made it and all teeth checked out well – phew – no embarrassing explanations required for lack of parental supervision while brushing.  Well needless to say the mad dash this morning for the dentist meant no preening and photo taking in front of the mirror today, but I will tell you I spent a day feeling quite preppy in my slate Boden straightleg wool capris (an absolute bargain at $38 in the sale), Boden mercury crinkle shirt, Boden grey wrap jumper, and Tory Burch grey flannel Revas, topped off with my Boden black quilted jacket (also available full price in the new SS range here) as there was a little nip in the air this morning.  Tuesdays have always been my least favorite day of the week – probably stemming from my sixth form days when they started with triple physics with Mrs. Wells.  She used to dictate so fast I developed callouses on my middle finger – odd to think of in these technology driven days when I can barely hold a pen never mind write with one – I am so used to typing.

After the chaos of car pool, ballet lessons, daycare run and drive home I was excited to be greeted by some belated Christmas presents.  MM and I have always loved Alessi products.  We were fortunate to be gifted some for our Wedding presents and the somewhat stylish, if not functional, Philippe Starck juicer still has pride of place in our kitchen, next to the spaghetti holder.

Jucy Salif, Alessi

Well my FIL has very kindly bought me a lovely tea strainer for my loose leaf Fortnum & Mason’s tea which I can now enjoy prior to a enjoying a stiff margarita mixed in my new cocktail shaker – very exciting.  Now I just need some great cocktail recipes to experiment with.

Te o, Tea-strainer Alessi

The new tea strainer.

Alessi cocktail shaker

Found in almost every bar in the world…according to Alessi.

Thank you H&M…

It’s 69 degrees in Atlanta today and we’re gripped by Spring fever.  Everyone around me in the office seems to be planning trips somewhere – except for me…I’m getting itchy feet listening to them book their flights and chatter about sunshine, hotels and cocktails.  This time last year I was getting ready to head off to London for a week of fun and frivolity – I think I need to plan another city break with some girlfriends!

Sunday is Superbowl and while I’m not a huge football fan I, like many others, enjoy the partying, the food and the general sense of occasion.  This morning The Today Show gave us a sneak peak of some of the Superbowl commercials that will air and all I can say is thank you H&M I shall be replaying this often on YouTube!

Last night between the parenting and party planning for my son’s birthday, I managed to paint my nails – this time Smokin’ Hot by Essie – a lovely deep purply/grey.

Smokin' Hot

Mr. UPS swung by as well to deliver my new Boden Essential wedges.  I ordered the red and truffle and they are cute, but not only do they fit small, I do think they are a tad pricey for what they are.  I love the suede but I think if I am going to get some wedges I may get the now famous L.K. Bennett Maddox…so off they go back to Boden.  Another influencing factor is that there is a 14 week wait for the next size up – what is going on with Boden’s stock levels this season?

Boden Essential Wedges

The springlike weather influenced my clothes today and I am wearing my Boden Pretty Top, Boden LE sparkle pocket cardigan (which is SO soft – I love it), Hudson Collin jeans and my grey flannel Tory Burch Revas.

Boden Pretty top, Hudson, Tory Burch Revas

See you tomorrow – I’m ready for Friday!