I missed you too much to stay away!

I’m back! It has to be said that a break from blogging has done me good. It’s given me time and freedom to consider the things that are important to me, rather than my final thoughts each evening being ‘what am I going to wear tomorrow?’

I’ve made several changes

  • I’ve stopped drinking alcohol and never felt better – I really am an all or nothing person and those glasses of wine were turning into regular bottles of wine which left me moody, tired and unfocused (if you are considering quitting I highly recommend the tools I used – Jason Vale’s ‘How to kick the drink easily’  (kindly recommended by Nikki at Midlife Chic) and Sober Mommies – a Facebook group of incredible moms, around the world, across the entire spectrum of addiction and drugs – from those of us like myself who just enjoyed our wine too much – to those who have lost their children and families through opiate addiction. It’s an incredibly supportive group with completely no judgement.)
  • I’ve lost weight – after falling for Jason Vale’s technique to quit drinking, I decided to turn to his juicing recipes to kickstart some weight loss. I managed 12 of the 28 days of the Super Juice Me and now I’m following his 5:2 approach.
  • I got a tattoo! Yes my first and definitely go big or go home! Poppies happen to be my birth flower.

I’m happy to be back and I hope many of you are still out there to listen to my waffle 😉

Here are a few outfits from the past couple of months!

Jeans – Zara (old) // Shoes – Vince Nina (discounted here) // T-shirt – Madewell (old) // Jacket – J.Crew (on sale with Extra 25% off using code Shoptoit) // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

Shoes – Stella McCartney Elyse (cheapest US price here) // Jeans – J.Crew // T-shirt – J.Crew // Jacket – Mango (old)

Boots – Sam Edelman (on sale here) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Dress – Zara (old) // Jacket – AllSaints (old)

Boots – TopShop (on sale) // Jeans – J.Crew // Coat – Mango (old) // Shirt – H&M

Boots – Chloe // Jeans – Zara (old) // Sweater – Zara (old) // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

Boots – TopShop (on sale) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Shirt – Mango (on sale) // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

Boots – Sam Edelman (on sale here) // Jeans – Mango (old) // Shirt – H&M // Jacket – J.Crew (on sale plus extra 25% off using SHOPTOIT)

Boots – TopShop (on sale) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Sweatshirt – TopShop (on sale here)

Skirt – H&M // Shoes – Superga // T-Shirt – J.Crew (old) // Jacket – J.Crew (old)

Shoes – Stella McCartney Elyse // Trousers – Cos (on sale) // Sweater – & Other Stories // Bag – Mango (old)

Loafers – Gucci (old) // Dungarees – Gap // T-Shirt – Marks & Spencer (old) // Coat – Uniqlo (old)

Shoes – Superga // Trousers – Adidas // T-shirt – J.Crew (old) // Knitted Jacket – J.Crew (on sale here) // Bag – McQ (old)

 

New shoes!

Yes more new shoes – the only items in my closet guaranteed to fit me all year round, from year to year! I haven’t worn heels for a while so I was nervous about these but resistance was futile. I’ve ordered all 3 colors – if you are in the US you can get 20% off with WELCOME20

ms-shoesShoes – Marks and Spencer // Top – Mango sale // Jeans – Zara (old) // Bag – Stella McCartney

They are available in leopard, berry and black – I believe they also have khaki in store for those of you in the UK – I’d love to see those!

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Given the height of them they are incredibly comfortable and I went for my regular UK 6 so I would say they are true to size.

It was a hectic weekend here in our house. On Saturday I hosted a brunch for my new business – it was wonderfully successful and a lot of fun! I wore my & Other Stories dress from the sale – I felt so feminine in it!

rf-party-1 rf-party-2 rf-party-3

As for the past couple of days here’s what I have been wearing!

ballerinasShirt – H&M // Jeans – Zara (old) // Shoes – Zara // Bag – Stella McCartney (as above)

allsaints-riviera-dressDress – AllSaints Riviera // Jacket – Zara // Shoes – Adidas Gazelles // Bag – Stella McCartney (as above)

Oh and lastly check out these beauties from the new H&M Studio collection – they also come in red but most sizes are out of stock in that color – $149 for a pair of fabulous leather boots – I love them!

These @hm are frickin awesome - they come in red too and hoping they restock sizes! Just $149☺️

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

What I’ve bought over the Memorial Weekend…

Ok first of all I admit they weren’t all on sale. Take for example these boots. I knew I had to have them as soon as I saw them on WhoWhatWear.com this morning. I adore the juxtaposition of a masculine bootie with the feminine lace details – very Emmanuelle Alt.

TopShop Bootie

I did take advantage of the Gap 40% off with code LONGWKND to stock up on some lovely slub t-shirts.

I love these swing t-shirts to wear with denim shorts – great muffin top hiders!

Gap t-shirt Gap t-shirt Gap t-shirt Gap t-shirt

Also the tank version.

Gap Tank

Finally I couldn’t resist ordering this dress to try – it will be lovely for my vacation in a month’s time – fingers crossed it works!

Gap dress Gap dress

Here are a few outfits from over the weekend!

Zara jeansJeans – Zara // Espadrilles – Soludos // Top – Banana Republic (old) // Bag – Mansur Gavriel

On Friday we all went out for a lovely dinner – some great Southern cooking!

JCT dinner

& Other Stories dressDress – & Other Stories (relaxed fit this is a US 8) // Boots – Isabel Marant Otway (eBay) // Bag – Stella McCartney

Pink loafersShoes – TopShop // Jeans – Zara // Shirt – Mango (old)

Zara gingham dressDress – Zara // Espadrilles – & Other Stories

We’re off to the baseball today which is followed by a concert by Chris Stapleton! I cannot wait! What a great double ticket for Memorial Weekend! Enjoy your Holiday Monday in the UK and US!

Outfit round up

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend, and if you are in the UK that you are still enjoying your long weekend! We have had a lovely relaxing time – lots of family fun and good food!

On Thursday I headed out with some girlfriends for lunch.

Tippi CollageJeans – Zara (old) // Espadrilles – TopShop (old but similar here) // Jumper – J.Crew Tippi (several colors on sale here) // Bag – Stella McCartney Falabella

We don’t get Good Friday off here but it was still a treat to spend lunch with my husband before the kids got home from school. We only have a week left now before spring break and the beach beckons!

pinstripe CollageJacket – Mango // Boots – Chloé // Jeans – J.Crew // Bag – Proenza Schouler PS1 // Top – Mango (old but similar here)

On Saturday we hung out at home and then went to our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch. I realized as I looked in the mirror that I was harking back to my days in Notting Hill and channeling the 90s – combat pants, camo and Air Max 95s!

camo CollageTrousers – The Gap (40% off with code PEEP) // Sneakers – Nike AirMax 95s // T-shirt – J.Crew (old) // Bomber jacket – TopShop

Today it’s back in the office, but as I mentioned just 5 days to go before we head to the Gulf Coast! We’re renting a house right on the beach again and the kids can’t wait to pack! We normally take a grill and cook on the beach all week – so much fun – so let’s pray that it stays dry and sunny!

jumpsuit CollageJumpsuit – The Gap (40% off with code PEEP) // Sneakers – Isabel Marant (some colors on sale here) // Bag – Proenza Schouler PS1 // Jacket – Mango (old – similar here)

It’s snowing – let’s get the faux fur coats out quick!

I have previously bemoaned the short winters here in Atlanta. I love winter dressing and try to make the most of the winter months. Today we woke up to unexpected snow flurries so I quickly changed my planned attire (I always select my outfit the night before to prevent harassed mornings!) and grabbed my over the knee boots and faux fur for extra warmth. I love a good faux fur and there is so little opportunity to wear them that perhaps having 3 in my closet is overkill, never mind the AllSaints shearling that made it’s way to my home late last year!

I love faux fur so much I actually have a Pinterest board dedicated to it. In my opinion the blogger Maja Wyh and Kate Moss wear fur the best. They always look incredible and never anything close to a character from Monsters Inc.

fur 1 fur 2 fur 3 fur 4 Kate fur

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MW fur 6

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(Images from Pinterest.com)

So here I am today with a hastily thrown together outfit with one of my beloved fur coats – an old Zara one.

Zara fur editedCoat – Zara (old) // Bag – Stella McCartney // Boots – Stuart Weitzman Lowland // Jumper – H&M (in sale)// Scarf – Zara (old) // Leggings – H&M // Lipstick – NARS Liv

Fortunately for those of us still in cold climates many faux fur coats are now in the sale. Here are some of my favorites – just click each image for more details.

VEro moda fur asos

Unreal fur ASOS

Mango leopard fur

Mango faux fur

ink mongolian ASOS

H&M fur 3

H&M fur 2

H&M fur 1

ASOS white fur

striped fur

 

New Year, New Plans, New Books

2016 is going to be the beginning of a decade of travel for our family. We’ve been gradually building to it with longer summer vacations, further afield, and now the kids are turning 10 and 8, we reckon we can resume the some of the adventures we planned pre-kids!

We already have Turkey booked for the summer – lots of travel and Byzantine sites (I have my own personal tour guide in my Husband PhD Ancient History!) and I cannot wait! After this Christmas, we have also planned to travel at this time of year next year. I was so disillusioned with the anti-climax of Christmas Day this year. Probably because we have no family here, but also we consume, relax and gift most of the year these days! We are no longer in a post-War climate where Christmas was once a welcome day of rest, a chance to eat chocolate and forget rations, and enjoy the delights of family! My most favorite day was Christmas Eve when we had our annual visit to Church. Even my agnostic husband is enjoying this trip more and more and values the spirituality, regardless of religion, at this time of year. Next year we plan to be backpacking in Thailand via Hong Kong – well that’s the plan so far…

Oh and last night we went to see Lloyd Cole, which came a close second to my chat with the Father this year. He was epic. I was literally a meter away from him and yes I did yell across a very quiet, singer/songwriter type audience, ‘I LOVE YOU LLOYD!’. He thanked me graciously.

Yes you can hear me singing along…sorry…

Very unflattering photo of myself but we were SUPER excited! I wore the H&M sparkly jumpsuit with my Golden Goose and leather jacket. Lloyd wore a denim suit:)

D and me LLoyd Cole

I have a keepsake too – a guitar pick used by the man himself:)

Finally a few outfits from the holiday – I’ve been rubbish at taking them and to be honest – it’s been quite nice not needing the tripod xx

zaraJeans – Zara // Shoes – Ash // Sweater – H&M (cashmere and now 50% off!) // Jacket – Zara // Bag – PS1

Then later in the day I just switched out the bag and shoes for my Stella McCartney (now 40% off) and my Lowlands.

Lowlands

Sequin trousersTrousers – J.Crew // Shoes – Vince (on sale PLUS an EXTRA 60% off here!) // Bag – Gucci // Top – Mango (on sale here)

Now I’m going to get stuck into this lot.

New books

Bells are ringing

Bell bottoms that is…Every so often I tire of my skinnies and boyfriend jeans and crave the leg lengthening, slimming bell bottom. flares 7 flares 6 flares 5 flares 4 Flares 3 Flares 2 flares 1

Here are my picks of the season to help you emulate these amazing Pinterest images.

These were the first to catch my eye from Zara

Zara flare

For not much more you can have a pair in leather.

Zara leather

I settled with these from ASOS as they all have elastic waists – not much to complain about there!

These are Blank NYC pull on cotton mix and come in waist sizes so you can be more accurate with fit.

Blank NYC pull on

Sods law the ones I am wearing today are now reduced – Blank NYC faux leather pull ons. I’m in a 29″ and they are perfect.

faux leather Blank NYC

These crepe flares are fabulous – super comfortable and swishy!

crepe flares

I also ordered the jersey ones to try – I found these slightly looser in the thigh with less of the extreme bell bottom cut. Also now reduced! I tried a US 8 in both of these and again they were spot on.

jersey flares

I nearly got sucked into the sequin legging crew again this Christmas, but I have to say I far prefer these H&M glitter flares on me. I bought a medium and they are amazing. Lovely and fitted through the thigh and that elastic waist will be a life saver over the festive period!

glitter flares

These are similar but gold rather than silver sparkle – also more of a wide leg trousers than a true bell bottom. Again fabulous in a medium on me and the elastic waist makes them like pajama bottoms for Christmas day! I think both would look super with sneakers or a dressier shoe.

Glitter wide leg trousers

And finally here’s how I’m wearing the Blank NYC faux leather pair today. I certainly need a heel with these – my Newburys are high enough but my Sam Edelman Bradleys will be perfect.

Flares - JoannaFlares – Blank NYC from ASOS // Jumper – H&M // Boots – Newbury from Rag & Bone

You may have seen this on Facebook and Twitter but I want to thank Deborah from Fabulous after 40 for my lovely feature. I am truly honored and flattered! You can read my interview here.

Finally some outfits from the past week – it’s too bloody warm here!

culottes 2_edited-1Boots – Sam Edelman Bradley (on sale) // Culottes – Faux leather River Island from ASOS // Top – AllSaints (old)

IM sneakesrJacket – AllSaints // Shoes – Isabel Marant (TheOutnet.com) // Jeans – J.Crew // Shirt – J.Crew (old)

Zara knitShoes – Stella McCartney (NAP Sale) // Knit suit – Zara (old) // Bag – Stella McCartney (NAP Sale now further reduced)

 

 

Cashmere for Christmas

I think my appreciation for the finer things in life has definitely developed over the past 5 years or so. At one point I would have considered cashmere an unnecessary indulgence. These days I can’t live without it at this time of year (well of course I could live without it, but I’d prefer not to have to!!).

My most favorite pieces of cashmere are my Marks & Spencer Rosie for Autograph cashmere lounge pants/pajama bottoms. I call them lounge pants because I never sleep in them – they are purely a winter alternative to sweatpants. I currently have 2 pairs that I have had a couple of years and last night was their first wear of the year. Absolutely blissfully soft they are just gorgeous for slobbing out in, watching the Sunday night football, with a cup of peppermint tea, admiring the Christmas tree!

This year I have treated myself to these additional pieces.

This wrap is beautiful and perfect for throwing over my pjs in the morning – I always have the heating off at night so it can be chilly when we get up!

wrap dressing gown

These are similar to the pairs I already own but have the cuffed hem instead of the straight leg. Just throw a t-shirt on and your done – perfect for after dinner when your waistline needs some sympathy:)

cuffed hem Rosie pajama pants

Finally – these are similar to those that I already have in light grey and black. These days I much prefer grey for around the house – white boxer hair is no friend of black knitwear!

straight leg rosie pajama pants

If you deserve a treat or know someone who does I can’t think of anything more perfect to find under the tree this year!

Finally I’m jumping for joy as the cold has arrived here in Atlanta! Time to get the coats out!

Thank you to Sylvia for featuring me this week in her 40 Plus Style round up!

camelBoots – Sam Edelman on sale here (discounted by $90!!) // Jeans – Zara // Coat – &  Other Stories // Scarf – New Look

militaryBoots – See by Chloé on sale here // Jeans – Zara // Jacket – Mango (similar here) // Jumper – Uniqlo // Bag – Stella McCartney (similar on sale here) // Sunglasses – Tom Ford (on sale here)

My NAP sale picks!

Bags and shoes – that is where my heart lies when it comes to Net-a-porter.com. A reliable online store, great delivery times and great customer service. Not a lot that is ‘cheap’, but if you are after that special present, or just an ‘I got through 2015’ treat here’s what I would pick!

I’m just a little bit obsessed with the Stella McCartney Falabella bag. I used to be one of those that just didn’t get it – faux leather but designer prices? However, since holding one in my hands in Saks a few weeks ago, I completely get it. The ‘pleather’ is so soft and beautifully made, the shape is perfect -a great size for everything, and the chain gives it that edginess that I look for. Not to mention I can wear it as a shoulder bag or tote. I am just in love. NAP has several styles in the sale. My heart is set on the Leopard print that is reduced by 30% but I bloody adore the fur one too!

This fringe one is just beautiful, and possibly, a fabulous upgrade from my H&M bags that I use frequently enough to justify an upgrade! Reduced by a significant 30%.

fringe falabella

This tiny fur is a great evening bag and is reduced by 30%.

fur falabella

Oh be still my beating heart – can I justify a fur bag?

fur large falabella

This is the one I adore – extremely versatile. I love it. 30% discounted.

leopard falabella

More leopard print but this time McQ Alexander McQueen – I love the tote I have and I am sure the quality of this will be equal, and it is 30% off.

Mcq leopard pring

Finally I think this Alexander Wang camera bag is a great ‘about town’ bag, not to mention it provides me with my ‘I love everything grey’! Reduced, again, by 30%.

AWang camera bag

Yes – this is still eye-wateringly expensive in the sale – but I LOVE the Givenchy Pandora so much and this cobalt blue is so statement – it could carry you through the summer too worn with reds, purples and corals. My Husband says he refuses to buy bags for me, so maybe I will just have to buy it and get on with it! Reduced by 30%.

givenchy

Ok so now footwear. Of course the Golden Goose are my first choice/recommendation.

I have these and love them – a perfect neutral but with a little pearl effect on the toe and tongue – just beautiful.

tan GG

The sparkly low tops are gorgeous. I am a convert to the low top – I still prefer the ‘slide’ style above but these in blue are stunning and 40% off.

sparkly GG

Stella McCartney again now – these platforms are SUPERB.

velvet stella McC snakeskin Stella

These are glitter – how pefect!?

glitter SM

For those of us with simpler tastes there are also some Nikes and Adidas in the sale. I have both of these styles and they are fabulous!

toptens

blue air max

Finally how cute are these star converse?

star converse

So pipe dreaming or not it’s still fun to have a look!

We’re having a quiet day today after a fun Thanksgiving. I’m sitting here eating cheese on toast, with a mug of tea listening to BBC Radio 2. Bliss:)

Thanksgiving sparkles balancing on a rock with my prosecco – we’re just mad here;)

thanksgiving 2Leggings – H&M (last years but similar here) // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jumper – Boden Off Duty (30% off everything now with code 7J4Z)

Then out for lunch on Friday, when I was determined to wear my shearling even with temperatures in the 60s!

shearlingJeans – Zara // Jacket – AllSaints (30% off with code CYBER) // Boots – Newbury boots (25% off here with code BF25) // Jumper – Everlane