2013 family vacation is underway.

We made it!  I have to admit I was exhausted before I even got on the plane.  Hugh and Poppy were so excited that the first thing they asked at 7am was ‘are we going yet’.  Only another 12 hours of waiting, and answering that question then!  Finally we were on our way, bags packed with what I know to be way too many clothes – I even managed to sneak some extra shoes in their bags;)  For the first time we actually departed from the new Atlanta International terminal.  In the past we have checked in there and then had to get the airport train all the way back to the old terminals which just seemed like a complete waste of time.  This time we got to explore the sparkly new terminal, with a food court to rival those of the best airports in the World.  I could quite happily have spent an hour or so in Ecco drinking wine and eating flatbread.  Instead we had homemade ham and cheese butties which I think Poppy and Hugh appreciated far more.

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My travel attire: Trousers – James Perse cargo trousers (similar here) // T-shirt – Gap // Sneakers – Golden Goose (I ended up wearing my hi-tops though – a story for another time!)

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After an hour delay due to bad weather we were on our way, finally!

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We arrived yesterday to glorious weather in Bury.  So sunny in fact I managed to recover from my jet lag lying in the garden.  Just perfect!  I also got to try out my early birthday present from my Husband.  Looks like he picked up on my not-so-subtle hints.  My fabulous man presented me with a new Nikon D3200 before I left.  I am SO excited to have a great camera.  It’s the perfect entry level DSLR – even though it has all the bells and whistles, it has an ‘Auto’ setting for when I’m feeling lazy:)  I have, however, read the instructions and have tried out some of the various settings.

Nana and Grandad have converted their serene garden into Alton Towers.

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I found the perfect objects for some still lifes:

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Unsurprisingly the weather here is ‘changeable’.  I started the morning with a run in the sun.  I’m not sure Bury rush hour traffic was ready for bright pink hot pants though.  I suddenly felt rather self conscious.

My bare arms have since been covered with a grey cashmere cardigan, and I’m adding layers as the morning progresses.

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T-shirt – Gap // Scarf – Marks and Spencer’s (from my last visit – has a bike printed on it – I love it! // Jeans – Gap // Ballet pumps – navy Tory Burch Eddie flats

We’re looking after cousin Alice today.  I’ve a feeling Nana and I will be on the wine soon.

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A chance to layer again.

I’d rather not be given that chance but hey ho.  Those of you in the UK will be relieved to know the Eastern US is also freezing their t*ts off with you!  Wrap up kids spring will be here soon – look at it as a chance to wear those winter clothes one last time:)

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Jacket – JohnnieB (old) // Dress – Target (in clearance at $21!) // Scarf – Zara // Boots – Newbury Charcoal Suede Rag & Bone // Jeans – Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings

 

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Sparkling.

Sequins are everywhere right now but I have to say I’ve not ventured into the land of festive sequins yet.  I have to admit sequins make me a bit nervous.  I have an Express sequined sweatshirt that I like – because it really is a sweatshirt I can wear it casually during the day – in fact I last wore it here back in the summer when I flew to the UK.

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In lieu of sequins I’ve been sporting quite a few items with sparkly thread in them.  I find this kind of ‘sparkle’ much easier to wear.  It also lends itself to being worn throughout the year – especially when the garment is a scarf or a casual piece of knitwear.  The scarf I wore on Monday is a blush sparkly H&M scarf that is still available in my local stores, though unfortunately can’t be found on the US or the UK website.  I paired it with an H&M knitted dress – one of my favorites as I love the asymmetrical hemline, my Zara snake skin trousers – they are very loud indeed, and my Ash Bowies.  Even when worn with nude colors like these the sparkle provided a bit of festive fun.

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Today I am wearing my favorite winter jumper – the sparkle Skye jumper from Boden, where there is currently up to 50% off until January 6th in their winter sale.  It is a gorgeous taupe/parchment color with gold thread running through it.  I love the cut of this jumper – it’s short so not overwhelming, but it’s lovely and slouchy – I even sized down in this.  I’m wearing it layered over a brown Target tank, with my Zara red skinnies, Acne Pistol boots and an oldish H&M scarf.

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It’s the last day of school today for the Christmas break – hooray – we can all lie in bed a little longer tomorrow.  What with finishing the IKEA closet, wrapping presents and packing for a quick jaunt to NYC it’s going to be a busy break.

What are your plans for the Holiday?

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Feeling brighter.

I’m definitely on the mend and putting it all down to the beetroot and ginger:)  The sun is also shining here.  That can’t be said for the North East – some of who were shoveling their cars out from snow this morning.  I’m hoping for a white Xmas – MM thinks I’m mad – he’d live in 80 degree heat all year if he could.  Me on the other hand – I love my seasons and the sweaters and boots that come with winter.

You all know how much I love my boots and after the Newburys and Pistols this year I can hardly justify any more.  The Isabel Marant Dickers have been on my radar for a while – but are they now just too passé?  There are so many copies available – far cheaper – and even Boden have now joined the band wagon.  I’ve never known them to add a new item mid season like this before – but yesterday the Boho boot suddenly appeared.  Now I quite like them – but wish the top was a little lower and more sculpted, like the Dicker, and that the tabs weren’t so big.  If anyone buys them let me know what you think of them – I might be tempted to try in the sale if there are still some left!

It’s quite a milestone for the blog today – I’ve bought a tripod!  No more blurry iPhone shots!  The tripod is fabulous but I won’t tell you how long it took me to figure out the timer on the camera – or how many times I nearly broke my neck dashing into position – suave, elegant, sophisticated – that’s me:)  Need to practice that one – I look quite startled too:)

I feel like I’m cheating today as I really am wearing a sort of sweat pant.  They are jersey harem pants that I got from ASOS last year – I love them – and to be honest I normally wear them with sandals in the summer – but their comfy waistband was beckoning me this morning.  I paired them with the Boden Hampton t-shirt from AW 2011 and the radish Must Have jumper from SS 2012 (available this season here).  I love this radish color – it is perfect for all year round.  The jersey scarf was a bargain in the SS sale – it’s first proper outing and I love it – so long and soft.  So I don’t feel like I’m giving up completely in my harem pants, I’ve styled my hair and I’m wearing my Rag & Bone Newbury boots🙂

I’ve had a couple of emails/comments about my nail polish recently and this is Chanel Vamp – the lipstick it my favorite right now – Revlon Wine with Everything – the perfect subtle red.

 

 

 

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The Holiday Blues.

It happens every year with varying degrees of intensity.  While everyone else is excitedly comparing costumes and planning Thanksgiving road trips I am pining for home.  But is it home anymore?  Let’s put it this way I wish I was in England with friends and family.  But do I still have friends in England?  I’ve been here for 12 years now and a lot has changed.  Lives move on.  What is it that I really miss?  Is it the familiarity and security of where I grew up?  Is it my family that has almost doubled in size since I left?  Would I really move back if the opportunity presented itself or is it just a fleeting moment of seeing it all through rose tinted spectacles?

Every year I go back to the UK for a couple of weeks and I have a fabulous time – then I’m ready to get back here.  So if I went back to England would I miss the US the same way?  Would it be fair to uproot the children?  Could I go back knowing my Husband has zero desire to go back?  What would we do for a living given our business is here?  I ask myself the same questions every year and feel more and more backed into a corner.  It’s the eternal conundrum.  The longer we stay here the more roots we have here, and the more I miss England.  Can I have my cake and eat it please?  I sometimes feel like I’m skating the surface of life, avoiding getting in too deep with friendships or communities – because that would just make moving back even tougher no?  Is it time to accept Atlanta as home and stop dipping my toe in and go skinny dipping exposing all to everyone?  Answers on a postcard please.

On a lighter note we went to Abattoir last night to celebrate MM’s birthday.  It all went well and fun was had up until the main course arrived.  I ordered hanger steak – yum – errr not so much – it was covered in a rich hollandaise sauce.  So in my very British manner what did I do?  I wittered on about it to MM instead of returning it to the Chef, after all I got what I ordered.  Next time I’ll go for the beet salad.

I did have a new outift to wear – the AllSaints Amei dress in petrol is fabulous – so comfy and easy to wear.  It has two ties inside it that you tie behind your neck so you can adjust the length of the drape at the front and wear it tunic length or longer.  It was chilly yesterday so I layered it over an H&M vest/dress in black.  After seeing Doesmybumlook40 in her Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings I discovered they do free shipping to the US and ordered a pair before there was a rush on them.  As she says they are fabulously comfortable and felt really dressy.  I wore the pony hair Nine West Haywire shoe boots, and then topped it all off with the Boden leather jacket from back in the sale and my Zara camo scarf.

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Brrrrrr.

It’s freakin’ freezing here today! I think we caught the outer bands of Sandy last night as we lost power at 9pm just as Dexter was about to start darn it!  MM and I were scrambling around with my iPhone torch trying to turn everything off so we wouldn’t be woken up when all the power came back on, but we still found the dogs watching t.v. this morning:)

Gearing up for a busy week – it’s MM’s birthday tomorrow.  Yes a Leo and a Scorpio – apparently a difficult but strong star sign union – this summary is oddly quite accurate:)  I’m taking him out for dinner and, as happens every year, we’ll be the most hungover trick or treaters in the neighborhood on Wednesday.  We will power on through though.  Then on Saturday we’re meeting a friend of mine who I haven’t seen for 20 odd years.  He’s over on business and we thought it might be fun to catch up…let’s hope we both have something interesting to say after all those years – could be awkward!:)

Today I picked out the warmest cardigan I have – it’s AllSaints and is one of the first AllSaints items I bought back in 2009 in the winter sale.  It’s a rust/dark burgundy color and is really heavy and toasty.  The top is from Zara and the pants are Express from a couple of years ago – they are ponte so lovely and stretchy – a cross between leggings and pants if you will.  The boots are the Vince Camuto Autumn wedges – I love the cuffs on these and the buckle detail.  All topped off with the oriental print scarf from Zara.

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He’s coming!!

SO excited!!  Jack White just announced new tour dates and Atlanta is included!!! MUST remember to buy tickets when the are released this weekend – he’s playing at the Fabulous Fox so it will be an amazing night – I MUST get tickets!!  Giddy with excitement:)

Moving on – you all know how much I love to wear a scarf these days and Avril at SchoolGateStyle.com has been really helpful with some new ways to tie a scarf – well now Mint Velvet, who I discovered when I was back in the UK in June, have released this fabulous video with 10 ways to tie a scarf.  I love this video – it is the perfect speed – not too slow so that you get bored, and not too fast so that you have no idea what they are doing – watch it – it will inspire you on your scarf wearing days!  Personally I love the plait.

http://blog.mintvelvet.co.uk/10-ways-to-wear-your-scarf/

Even MM loves a good scarf and he has several that he has acquired over the years.  I think it began as a way to replace his bandana that he wore in his student days.  For me it is great – it’s a whole new array of gifts for me to choose from for him and Mr. Porter have a great selectionPaul Smith is my favorite designer for a good men’s scarf and this is a Paul Smith scarf he’s wearing here last winter – at the OK Cafe with Hugh and his long hair:)

Today I’m wearing my Boden Limited Edition silk feathers top from a couple of years ago – I love it – I rarely wear it and I don’t know why – it’s so easy to wear and can be washed so it’s really easy to care for. I have paired it with my Hudson jeans and Sam Edelman Louie boots in rose taupe – they coordinate with the top perfectly!

 

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On ice.

So it’s my birthday soon – I’m a fiery Leo – probably no surprise to most that know me, as we are renowned for our lack of modesty, patience and ability to be quiet – I make no apologies.  In the 20 years I have been with MM he has been overwhelmingly generous on my birthday and regardless of our circumstances he has always gone above and beyond to make it a special day for me – without any prompting I hasten to add.  This year, after my VERY extravagant 40th last year, I have asked him not to buy me anything – partly because of the huge expense of the house renovations and partly because I’d like any extra cash to go on furnishing my new walk in closet (so yes still all about me).

I did happen to be browsing though on some other WordPress blogs and found my birthday present for NEXT year!  I have been very lucky to have been gifted a couple of items from Cartier in the past few years – both from MM so he has raised the bar substantially.  I love their unusual, statement rings.  One of my favorite pieces of jewelry is my Cartier Trinity ring in white, rose and yellow gold – he bought this as a random, surprise gift – just because he loves me – I presume:)

So for next year I’m already hankering after the Juste un Clou ring.   I love it in silver – it’s an iconic 70s piece and looks fabulous with a little bit of ice:)  He reads my blog occasionally so nothing subtle about this ‘hint’!

Keeping with the ice theme I took Poppy to see ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ at the movies yesterday – cute as kids movies go, but I know I must be getting old when I sit and dissect a movie analyzing all the bits that have been stolen from other movies – there were the ubiquitous pirates and even Guinea Pigs that resembled Eewoks.  Ah well – Poppy isn’t to know yet and she seemed to enjoy it.  Knowing it was going to be icy in the movies with the crazy air conditioning most public places have I opted for another scarf.  This one is a gorgeous H&M scarf – great colors – really nude pastels – a little green, peach and pink in a very subtle rose print – I love it.  I wore it with my Top Shop asymmetrical t-shirt and Boden quail egg skinnies – these jeans are just fabulous and fit me perfectly.  The quail egg is like a mint color without being too green.  For a bit of neutrality I added my Tory Burch tan Emmy sandals.  Oh and two pieces of great news for us shopaholics – Top Shop is opening in Nordstroms throughout the country and H&M will start selling online in the US in October!

Today I know I am definitely flogging a dead horse with the scarf thing – this is a new scarf from H&M.  I nearly didn’t get it as I rarely wear blue but the blue in this scarf is so vivid and contrasts well with the nude/peach in the scarf – plus it’s animal print – so as with my addiction to all things grey marl I had to have it.  The photos show me wearing it with my new Boden Florence tunic from the sale.  Now I love these linen knit tunics, yes they are a little sheer but they’re not indecent and here in the heat and then frigid air conditioning they work a treat.  A bargain to boot at $26.40.  Again worn with my Tory Burch Emmys.

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Boden sale haul!

Oh goodness words cannot describe how happy I am with my sale haul.  Let’s take this step by step…

Chic leather biker jacket

This jacket is just lovely as I had hoped – I’ve had my eye on it all season.  The leather is so soft and the grey is a perfect neutral that goes with anything and everything from jeans to dresses to shorts – love it and worth every penny in the sale.  I ordered my usual US 6 and it fits great across the back and shoulders and in the arms – a little snug around my ample midriff but I’m unlikely to ever wear it fastened.

Skinny jeans

I ordered these as a ‘oh let’s just try them’ as I have never ordered Boden jeans before, and tend to stick with my faithful Gap and Hudson brands, but I loved the cyclamen and quail egg colors so much that I needed to see them.  I am so glad I did.  Again I ordered in my regular US 6 and they are a higher waist than my Hudsons but really comfy – they are a tad snug when first pulled on but I’ve been wearing them for an hour or so now and they are just perfect.  Thrilled with them.

Sorry for the grainy photos – lighting isn’t great!

Florence tunic

I ordered both the fennel and the navy for a pop of color and something classic.  They are a little thinner and a little shorter than last years chic linen tunic but I love them all the same.  With nude shapewear underneath I can wear them as dresses though they are sheer – I’ll keep my legs together.  I just love how summery they feel – they’d be great with leggings too if you are in cooler climates!  No photos yet but will sort that out for you:)

Bloom Beach bag

Just fabulous – HUGE and colorful – with a gorgeous turquoise lining – I love it.  Will stay dry by the pool and look fantastic – wish I’d bought this sooner but I can’t wait to take it to Kyrenia next year!

Jersey striped scarf

I have to say this is the hit of the haul – I hadn’t even considered it until Avril at School Gate Style put it on her wish list – but it is my most favorite item of the lot.  It’s large, drapey, soft and a fabulous grey with a trim of color.  It can be worn all year and will be perfect for transatlantic flights back home – I just love it and want all the other colors too!  Get it while you can for $24 it is fabulous.

So today I am wearing my gorgeous cyclamen jeans and they feel great – perfect for a rainy summer day in Atlanta.  I’ve paired them with my Zara butterfly top and I know butterflies and birds are omnipresent right now but I love this top and it was all of $36!  The navy one with collar is in the sale right now online for $19.99.  I think my turquoise Tory Burch Emmy sandals look fun with the jeans but maybe it’s too much color?  All topped off with my cream J.Crew light weight cashmere cardigan – it’s chilly in my air conditioned office!

Oh and I forgot to mention the gorgeous little touch from Boden – they slipped in a little notebook in one of my parcels – room to take notes plus some splendid quirky English tips like interpreting English English for Americans:)  One of my favorite Facebook pages is http://www.facebook.com/quitepeckish who serve up quaint little English tidbits daily – it’s fun.

What have been your favorite Boden sale purchases?

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Boden Summer Sale.

Yes the Boden sale has started!  First I’m going to get it off my chest – I am sick to death of the bitching and moaning on the Boden Facebook page.  I don’t understand where the sense of entitlement comes from.  Boden is a company, out to make money and yes they want to listen to their customers and increase sales, but they certainly don’t have to start a sale on demand, nor, if they don’t have to, offer huge deep discounts.  Some people want something for nothing – so go on feel free to spend your money at Joules and White Stuff instead.  Only a couple of people, who appear to share my opinions, mentioned the numerous discounts that Boden offer throughout the season.  And as for complaining about lack of stock well that is just silly – that’s what a sale/clearance is all about – getting rid of it all – and hurrah for Boden if they managed to sell out of certain lines before the sale!

Phew – feel better now.  So after my post the other day about saving my money for the house etc.  I immediately failed and went and bought some fab items in the sale.  Even my little brother couldn’t resist a dig on my Poppy’s Style Facebook page🙂  Be quiet little bro’!

The first item I am so excited about, and Beth over at Style Guile featured it in her blog yesterday – the Chic leather jacket from the Limited Edition collection.  I’ve had my eye on it all season and nearly bought it discounted but decided to hold out.  I don’t think it is any cheaper here in the sale than with the discount code, but I knew it would disappear fast so snapped up my regular size.  I hope the US 6 works as LE tend to be a tad on the snug side but a couple of reviews said the arms were quite loose and I’ve found, with jackets at least, that the 8 drowns my shoulders – so fingers crossed this works out!  I love the color and it will look great over my AllSaints jumpers in the Fall.

Most of the items I bought I have actually been lusting over for a while – the oil cloth beach bag in bloom was actually on my Summer preview order but I cancelled it after getting the Beachcomber bag in the quail egg union jack instead.  The Beachcomber bag is great but it does get wet by the pool so I’m hoping the oil cloth bag will handle the splashing better.

I also had the Florence tunic on my summer preview order and again cancelled it as I just felt I had way too many tunics to choose from – I still do – but the sale price is too good to pass over and I love the classic navy and fennel colors.  I have the linen drawstring tunics from last year that I got in the sale in which I love worn as short dresses so I hope the Florence tunic lives up to expectations!

Now for the spontaneous, throw them in the cart, type purchases.  The first caught my eye after Avril at SchoolGateStyle.com picked it out here – the jersey scarf, but in grey melange.  A color that can be worn throughout the year – and hopefully it’s lovely and soft – definitely a bargain at $24.00!

Finally I nabbed the skinny jeans in cylcamen and quail egg.  I really think these colors can be worn throughout the year too and styled with long baggy jumpers or with the biker jacket they will look great – I’m certainly not keen on how Boden have styled them in the photos – but with a bit of imagination I think they can look a little ‘cooler’.  I’ve never bought jeans from Boden before so thought I’d give them a whirl as the reviews were pretty good.  I went with my usual size 6 as there is 3 % elastane in them and I find that jeans give quite a bit with wear – I only wash jeans after 4 or 5 wears so fingers crossed they work out well!

What did you all order?

Again I am suffering with the lack of a full length mirror and this morning all my photographers had left plus I worked out so got ready at the Y – and why oh why no full length mirror at the Y??  Anyway I am wearing my Tory Burch Emmy sandals in turquoise – I love them with tanned feet!  I bought them earlier this year and this is the first time I’ve worn them – so happy with them and given my funny feet they work well as there are no straps for my toes to get stuck over or between!  With them I’m wearing my white Express cropped jeans, my new white H&M top purchased back in England, which I love and it hides a multitude of sins, and my Boden grey jersey jacket from last year.  The turquoise necklace is a cheap trick from Target.

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