A birthday and an unexpected gift!

So the celebrations have ended, but definitely on a high note! I was greeted by the children with breakfast in bed on Wednesday morning – so lovely! Then it was off out for lunch with my husband, and maybe a glass of prosecco. I do love a long lazy lunch!

Zara bomber jacket, Mansur Gavriel, Castañer espadrillesTop – Zara // JacketZara // Shoes – Castañer // Bag – Mansur Gavriel // Necklaces – H&M

That evening we went out for dinner and cocktails. It is fun to go out on a school night but I certainly can’t do it every week! 45 is turning to out to be pretty fun so far!

IMG_8128 Zara dress, Castaner espadrilles Zara dress Castaner espadrillesShoes – Castañer // Dress – Zara

Before we went on vacation my husband had someone drive into the back of him – we found out this week that the car had to be written off as a total loss. So sad! We had had both of our cars – a large sedan and an SUV for about 10 years and had planned to keep them till the wheels dropped off! Having no car payments was lovely but they were also expensive to maintain. I say ‘they’ as while my husband is looking for a new car we decided it was time to trade in my SUV. With more than 100k miles on the clock, and no longer needing to carry strollers and carseats around, I decided it was time for a little driving fun! I’ve ended up with my ‘dream’ ‘hot hatch’ – a Golf SE GTI! It’s manual too!! I haven’t driven a stick for 16 years (the sales guy on the test drive went a bit pale once I mentioned that….) but after missing a few gears, and a few gear crunches, it was like I’d always driven one! I LOVE it. It is so much fun! All I need now are some furry dice on the rearview mirror! Today I have mostly been reading car manuals!!

Golf GTI Golf GTITop – Zara // Jeans – Zara (old) // Shoes – & Other Stories

Golf GTIShoes – River Island (last year) // Shorts – Madewell (last year) // Top – Mango sale

Golf GTI

Funnily enough my husband is STILL without a car…he is contemplating something fun and smaller too! Once again we’ll be the odd foreigners…driving small cars, in a neighborhood of SUVs, trucks and luxury sedans!

Belted jackets

Belted jackets have become a new staple in my closet. They cinch my waist to give me shape where I need it and they look great with jeans. It’s a signature look of my style heroine, Emmanuelle Alt. She belts all her coats – even puffa jackets in the winter.

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There are many choices on the high street starting with H&M who are on fire at the moment.

This grey jacket is so versatile and I love the bracelet length sleeves.

H&M jacket

This is one of my favorites – great colors – especially love the cream in it to wear with off white jeans.

H&M jacquard

This one is described as a cardigan – great for spring and cooler summer evenings – I love the rope belt and it has cashmere in it. The more I look at it the more I want it in my closet.

H&M cardigan

This pile coat is fabulous and now on sale at $24.99. Buy it and keep it for Fall!

pile jacket

This is the grey that I am wearing in the image below. It also comes in a black and grey pattern – both bargains at $39.99.

patterned coat

Finally a coat in the sale – just lovely – again a great color too. Reduced from $69.99 to just $19.99 with most sizes available.

boucle coat

Now another of my favorite stores, Mango. I have these first two coats as I thought they were so ‘Emmanuelle’ as soon as I saw them. The first colorway is currently reduced.

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This coat is very reminiscent of ‘safari jackets’ – it’s beautiful for the summer. It’s lyocell so will be soft to wear.

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I’m head over heels with this cotton wool mix coat – just beautiful colors and currently reduced by 30%.

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This navy blue jacket from River Island will look brilliant with white jeans and tan sandals. It also comes in pink, black and a black and white pattern.

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Dressier now – this TopShop Unique jacket is a beauty. It’s a longer, smoking jacket style and would look incredible with black wide leg trousers.

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Last but not least – this is fabulous, quirky and fun from & Other Stories – the tigress quilted jacket.

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Now while we’re talking about belted jackets, when I was back in the UK I wanted a belt that I could wear over any coat. This is perfect – mainly because it has elastic at the back of the belt so it gives to fit around any coat, even with a sweater underneath.

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So what are your thoughts on the belted jacket? I do think they give a fabulous shape. I’ve worn one on each of the previous two days.

Topshop shoes 1Jacket – H&M (on sale) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Shoes – TopShop // Shirt – oversized cuff shirt H&M // bag – Stella McCartney Falabella

H&M jacket and gucci shoesJacket – H&M (sold out online) // Jeans – H&M // Shoes – Gucci (old) // Bag – Stella McCartney Falabella

Trusty travel attire

Yes we’re off again – back down to the Gulf! This time just for a weekend for a cheer competition for Poppy – 6 hours there and 6 hours back on Sunday uuuurrgggh! It will be fun however, and I’ve packed my wine as the forecast is for rain all weekend!

Once again I can’t resist the comfort of my Splendid jumpsuit – this time accompanied by the amazing River Island espadrilles. I worried about the color as they are green snakeskin but they actually go with everything khaki! I can’t see them online anymore but I bet they are still in store  in the UK. Sue pointed them out to me on Instagram a month or so ago so I am glad I ordered them then! I have just stood in the pouring rain for these photos – be grateful.

IMG_0953 IMG_0955Espadrilles – River Island // Jumpsuit – Splendid (similar here) // Jacket – Gap (30% off online using APRIL)

How do you feel about hats?

I was never a hat person till a few years ago. Here in the US most people must own at least one baseball cap even if they never wear it. I found it easy to start wearing caps to sporting events like NASCAR, baseball and football, and then I found myself gravitating to wearing them out and about on a bad hair day. Now I own several and I’ve just added a J.Crew felt Fedora to my collection. I LOVE it. This is a S/M I’m wearing but if you have a lot of hair you may need to size up.

Hat 1 hat 2

Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury // Jeans – H&M // T-shirt – J.Crew // Hat – J.Crew // Bag – Alexander Wang (old off TheOutnet.com – similar here on sale)

This Fedora is a perfect size for me – the brim isn’t too big and it sits nicely on top of my head. I’m always scared of being overwhelmed by hats having short hair. It comes in grey, navy and black, and all three colors are classics.

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If I had longer hair I’d love any of these broader brimmed hats from ASOS.

Oversized RI

 

Gray Asos Catarzi

 

Have you been tempted by a Fedora yet? I think you’ll be surprised how easy they are to wear – I certainly got plenty of compliments at the Mall this morning – though the Husband says he feels like he should be sitting in The Blind Beggar with me…or that I have an uncanny resemblance to Dave Angel, Eco Warrier.

Yesterday I was dashing around and had to throw something on quickly after yoga. This River Island dress is brilliant – simple to wear yet it certainly makes a statement.

River Island dress

Boots – Isabel Marant // Dress – River Island via ASOS

After doing a bunch of returns at the Mall this morning and cleaning my windows we’re now off for margaritas and tacos – perfect! Happy weekend!

 

 

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!

anniversary

 

 

 

You can’t beat a great dress.

Dresses have been my go to item in the summer – they are so easy to throw on and dress up or down.  This season I have been obsessed with scuba material dresses – they hang so well, don’t crease, and I find them really comfortable to wear.  My favorites have been from River Island via ASOS.  This coral reptile print dress is really fun and I am wearing a UK size 12 which fits perfectly.  The stretch in the material means it’s great across my bust without being too wide at the hips.  Oh and did I mention it’s currently on sale 🙂

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Dress – Asos // Shoes – Nine West Kurrious (on sale)

 

Beach days.

We’re planning on spending our remaining week on the beach – lounging, getting too much sun, eating too much food, reading more books and soaking up all aspects of the beautiful Mediterranean.  I’ve read more than on any other vacation (probably a sign the kids are older and entertaining themselves!).  I’m on book 5 now, and if you are searching for a great beach read, the best to date has been “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn.  Nothing high brow about this book, just a great, page turning thriller that is easy to pick up and put down when the children beckon!

My beach attire has mainly consisted of my J.Crew bikinis, and yes I have dared to go topless – the kids don’t seem too scarred…with one of my ASOS dresses to throw on for coffee and lunch.  I have, however, also fallen in love with the ‘romper’ or ‘playsuit’.  They just seem to be far less mutton on a beach, and they are so easy to throw on over a swimsuit.  Here are some of my favorites – some are in the sale right now too – perfect timing for all of you starting holidays in the UK and Europe!

Possibly the best bargain of the bunch is this Liquorish Tiger print playsuit.  The print is super fun and it is currently reduced from $123 to $53!

Tiger

This River Island playsuit is cute with a layered/tiered top.  I love the print with monochrome and florals.  Given my love for their jumpsuits I know this will be just as easy to wear.

River island

I love this palm print romper – it is a great color and really comfy – yes it is in my closet…

palm print

Another steal at $34 – I have this and love wearing it – fun, comfortable and leopard, it looks fab with a tan!

leopard

At just $38 this floral version is great – I just love the bandeau top and the shape it gives.  Super flattering for an apple or a pear shape.  It’s also 5% elastane so has plenty of stretch for those nature breaks!

foral

This is the jumpsuit version which I will admit to having ordered.  I went for the full length mainly because my beach vacation is winding down and this will be more appropriate for wearing back in Atlanta.  It’s currently reduced to $41!

floral jumpsuit

This flamingo version is so much fun – I love it for by the pool with a cocktail!  All sizes are available and it is just $15!!

flamingo

I have seen lots of items labelled ‘Festival’ recently and it always turns me off somewhat given my age, however, I LOVE this playsuit.  The longer sleeves make it so easy to wear, revealing less flesh, so you can easily wear it off the beach too.

Festival

This denim playsuit with straps is lovely and it has a great shape with no waistline, so it will be super comfortable and unrestrictive.

denim

This cami playsuit is beautiful and I am torn between the black and the green – the green possibly edges ahead.  It’s a beautiful lightweight jumpsuit that will take you from beach to bar to club (I know you all still do!).

cami

Finally – another jumpsuit – not in the sale but I couldn’t resist – I just adore this print.

blurred floral

Do you have a romper ready to pack in your case?  Here’s my M&S playsuit from today, worn with my Sam Edelman Reeves, accessorized with a bottle of San Miguel:)

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Some snaps from the past two days!:

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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 high street crush.

After my success with the River Island jumpsuits I was lured into searching all things River Island on ASOS.com.  Each time I’ve been back to the UK I’ve been more than pleasantly surprised by some of their offerings.  Yes you have to do the mutton check on most of it – but I have a couple of jackets of theirs, and now the jumpsuits, which I love.  So what else can they help me out with this summer?  Well how about some fabulous, bright, summery dresses – all in great comfortable, stretchy fabric!  So easy to throw on with a pair of sandals.

Here are my picks – several of which you’ll see me in over the coming weeks.  I’ve provided ASOS links to make them easily accessible here in the US.

This is the dress that caught my eye first – I love the print – loud and yellow.  I was concerned about sizing but the UK 12 is perfect – the fabric has plenty of stretch in it.  Such a statement dress that is so easy to wear.

yellow and black

 

My love for the yellow dress led me to these two – the same style but a snake print – in both yellow and coral.  Again a dressier version of a t-shirt dress that will take you from day to evening in the summer.

reptile yellow reptile coral

For those of you who are averse to print – this gorgeous pink dress delivers the same impact.

pink dress

The following are jersey stretch swing dresses.  Again I tried the UK 12 in both and they are perfect – even around the bust.  These dresses will be great for transitional weather too, and I can see myself wearing them in the Fall with over the knee boots.

This marble print is on sale at just $33!

marble dress

The blue leopard print is stunning in real life – the background is more cream than white.

leopard print

This dress has to be my favorite.  It’s a swing dress – slightly more fitted around the bust with less stretch so it might be worth sizing up if you are of ample bosom.  I just LOVE the print on this.

swing dress

Next a maxi dress. I’ve been on the look out for a tie dye max for a while and this fits the bill perfectly.  I really like a racer back and the side split makes it less restrictive.

maxi dress

Finally this is a print that caught my eye back in February.  I sized up in this to a UK 14 as it isn’t quite as stretchy and it is body hugging.  Again this is currently on sale at $35.

floral body con

 

Now just for good measure – this one is ASOS, not River Island, but I had so many compliments about my red checked dress that I wanted to share this one with you.  It’s the same style so size down.  Lovely and girly – but it will look great toughened up with a pair of sneakers.  Also on sale at $60.

dropped waist ASOS So get the legs out and get a dress on – you’ve no excuse now!

Finishing off with a couple of outfits from this week.  I’m in workout gear right now, about to take the dog for a run while it is cooler!

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Sneakers – Adidas Samoas with floral trim // Dress – Marks & Spencer Limited Edition (old)

IMG_8489 IMG_8478 Trousers – Zara (old) // Shoes – Marks & Spencer Limited Edition (old) // T-shirt – J.Crew // Cardigan – J.Crew (on sale plus an EXTRA 50% off with code SHOPNOW)