Back to work

And just like that spring break is over with. We had an incredible week with the best weather ever, topped off with the Masters this weekend and what turned out to be a fabulous last round resulting in an English winner!!

Re-entry really hasn’t been that bad today – the kids were happy to be back at school, and even happier to know that they only have just over 6 weeks left before school is out for summer!

It’s a bit chillier here in Atlanta this week so the cardigans are back out, but I’m thrilled to say, after another 3 miles on the treadmill this morning I am back in my Zara US 6 coated trousers! Yes they have a bit of stretch but I don’t care, I feel fit, healthy and strong! I’m alternating between watching Sons of Anarchy and Happy Valley on Netflix on the treadmill – I don’t even notice the miles when I get sucked into a series!

booties CollageTrousers – Zara (old) // Boots – Steve Madden (REALLY old) // Top – AllSaints // Cardigan – Zara (last season) // Bag – Givenchy Pandora

I had a couple of parcels waiting on me when I got home. One contained these fab Mango trousers. They are quite Indochina – cropped, khaki and yet have a pattern embossed in them. Size down – they fit big – these are a US 8 and I bet I could have got in a US 6 as they give a bit on wearing too.

Mango trousersTrousers – Mango // Top – Zara (old) // Leather flip-flops – Gap

I’ll reveal the other items as the week goes on, with one very exciting item!

Happy 2014!

I hope you all had a lovely New Years Eve and celebrated well – or like us had a lovely quiet evening in with family, music and good food.  Yesterday we went to friends for a fabulous day of celebrating and over indulgence, so today I’m starting my detox.  Yes I’m afraid I am one of those  January bores, planning a month of paleo eating and no alcohol.  I’m setting myself up by sharing this with you – but hey ho maybe if some of you out there are trying to do the same we can motivate each other!

Also it’s now January 2nd and I’ve now achieved 2 days of no online orders – pretty good methinks – **polish halo**;-)  Prior to that, however, I discovered one of the best sales around at AllSaints – one of my favorite stores – discounts up to 50% are on offer.  Here are my top picks – see if you can guess which I’ve ordered.

The gorgeous Bonny Cuban boot which can be worn with jeans, casual dresses or shorts.

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The leather biker jeans are lush in this taupe color and just $210!

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I LOVE this classic AllSaints oxblood jacket – half price with several sizes left!

Oxblood

The Riviera dress has been a favorite of mine all year.

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The Rubie dress is classic AllSaints draping.

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You’ve seen me wear this several times and it’s been one of my favorite AW2013 pieces.

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This tee dress is gorgeous – I love the suede paneling on it.

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The Verna gilet is a steal now and such a classic.  A great addition for a simple jeans and tee outfit.

Verna

It really is one of the best sales I’ve seen around – great reductions for classic wardrobe staples.  and I always love AllSaints quality too.

Check out ASOS as well  – right now they have 70% off certain items including some new stock!  The oversize shift I’m wearing below is now only $19!  My Husband loved it and it is the perfect day dress – I was super comfortable in it all day yesterday and it was perfect for overindulging:)

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Dress – ASOS // Tights – Marks and Spencer (nope you can’t beat them – I order several pairs each winter) // Boots – Steve Madden (old) // Coat – Zara

Off to drink my Kombucha and eat steak and cauliflower mash for supper!  Day one paleo done!

 

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The VMAs with more crass than class.

Did you watch the VMAs last night?  Lordy I am getting old.

First Lady Gaga – SO over her – in fact so over her I have nothing to say.

Okay so now Miley.  Twitter lit up with her performance.  All I can say is it was pathetic, disturbing and humiliating.  Who the hell told her in rehearsal that ‘sure Miley – it’s great – just grab your crotch and stick your tongue out one more time‘?  Someone needs to give her a good slap, and all those around her for encouraging that kind of tripe.  When Robin Thicke joined her for Blurred Lines I was SO disappointed – he gave all the critics of the song all the ammunition they needed.  Why grind your groin against Hannah Montana’s rear Robin?  I was crying into my Earl Grey with disappointment.

Then Kanye.  WTF?  Great t.v. NOT.  You couldn’t see him, nor could you hear the song for all the censorship bleeping over it.

Thank the Lord for Justin.  A stellar performance from an artist that takes his craft seriously.  Great singing, great dancing – what I call proper entertainment.

I don’t think there was one presenter I understood – lots of weird grunts and hand gestures – oh and inappropriate Amber Alert references, not something I think should be made light of.  And then there was Katy’s grill, and Taylor and Selena trying to look hot and make Harry jealous.  Just uuurgh – it’s giving me the creeps recounting it.

By then it was gone 10pm and I headed to bed.  I recorded the show thinking Poppy would love to watch it – but I fear most of it will be fast forwarded to avoid corrupting her innocence.  In hindsight I don’t think it has to do with my age – it’s more to do with the ‘entertainment’ industry’s poor judgement and inability to ‘entertain’.  Whatever happened to good old singing and dancing – Justin needs to teach them all a lesson or two.  What do you think?

As I step down from my soap box here’s what I’ve been wearing over the past couple of days…

ASOS t-shirt dress

Dress – Asos t-shirt dress // Sandals – Steve Madden (really old!) // Necklace – Target (old)

Neon

 

Jeans – Gap ankle skimmers (sale buys) // T-shirt – H&M (old) // Scarf – Boden (last season now just $14!) // Sandals – Zara (old) // Necklace – H&M (recent but not online)

 

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Loud trousers.

I think I just needed to wear something with a little pizazz today – I’m giving the 2 fingered salute to the weather.  I was already pretty fed up putting the kids in the car as it was SO cold – then as I was getting ready for work started with snow flurries – can you believe it?  Hard to imagine that I am supposed to be sitting on a beach in 2 weeks time.  It better be bloody bikini weather by then that’s all I can say!

This weather also doesn’t help my spring closet.  I have it in my head that I NEED some white, distressed boyfriend jeans – but in reality I can’t even consider wearing white jeans until it is at least in the 60s Farenheit…For research purposes though, I’m off to try a pair of these Old Navy ones at lunchtime.  The reviews say they fit big and I can believe that as my Gap boyfriend jeans are labeled a US 2 – errrr no way am I a US 2.  I hope these Old Navy jeans work out especially at $35!  The photo is dreadful, but they look like the cut and amount of distressing may be just right – as long as they are not too short.  They need to sit just above the ankle bone when rolled a couple of times.  I’ll report back tomorrow.

Old Navy white jeans

 

And here are the loud trousers for today:)  Keep warm folks!

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Trousers – H&M (old) // Shirt – J.Crew popover // Boots – Steve Madden (old) // Jacket – Zara old (similar here)

 

 

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Another night with the girls.

My New Year’s resolution is going well!  Last night I had my second night out with girlfriends this year and we’re still only in January!  It was a really fun night with some great neighbors.  The four of us all live within walking distance of each other, but rarely see each other all together, what with the eleven children between us.  So our wonderful Husbands provided childcare while we had a few cheeky cocktails and caught up with each other.

Now I am no wall flower when it comes to a night out, as you know, and the first thing MM said to me when he saw my attire was “well I’m sure it’s still 1987 somewhere”…I really am an 80s girl and it still clearly shows.  I wore Zara trousers, Forever 21 top, Zara jacket (from last summer) and the old, old Steve Madden Carlsen booties which are really coming into their own again at the moment (I found several on eBay.com here).  They work great with peg legged trousers like these.

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Now when I posted this photo on Facebook last night I got a very mixed reaction:)  That’s what I LOVE about clothes, and experimenting with them is fun!  I certainly made at least a couple of people smile last night, so the trousers were worth it just for that.

 

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Inspiration from an icon.

There are several style icons around the globe who inspire me, but the woman who makes me weak at the knees with her effortless chic and je ne sais quoi is Emmanuelle AltWikipedia says she was born May 18th 1967 which is interesting not only because my daughter’s birthday is May 18th but also because she’s heading for her 46th birthday this year!  She looks phenomenal at 46!

Her uniform is pretty standard fare – if you ignore the fact that it is compiled of designer pieces – you’ll recognize plenty of Isabel Marant when you look at photos.  You’ll often see her in a blazer, t-shirt, skinnies or harem trousers with pointy pumps or ankle boots.  Regardless of what she wears – it somehow always looks amazing and also looks like she hasn’t given her wardrobe that day a second thought.  She has a formula and she sticks by it.  If you saw a headless shot of her you’d be able to tell who it is instantly.

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I think blogging is starting to make me over think what I wear, leading to some dubious decisions and combinations.  It’s time to pare back and simplify.  So here is my attempt at jeans, t-shirt and a blazer.  I actually feel really comfortable like this and it’s one of MM’s favorite looks on me.  InStyle magazine also dedicate a page this month to the blazer and jeans look – so I must be on to something.

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The blazer is Zara from last summer – it’s hard to see the detail but it doesn’t have lapels – I love it – it has great strong shoulders!  The t-shirt was a tenner from Target and is probably suitable for Valentine’s Day and the earrings were cheap as chips from Forever 21🙂  The jeans are Gap grey jeggings and the Carlsen boots were $40 from Steve Madden about three years ago, and I think look very Marant.  Oh the irony, given I didn’t choose the only Isabel Marant I own – my Dicker boots.

On my wrist I decided to add a bit of embellishment to my standard Elsa Peretti open heart bracelet.

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So go on then – who is your style icon?

 

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It’s Holiday Time!

Yay my Thanksgiving break starts today!  I will no doubt be doing bits of work from home over the next week but it’s lovely knowing the children will be home and we are schedule free for a week!

Today I have to plan my shopping for Thanksgiving dinner.  There’s only four of us admittedly but we all have different ‘favorites’ that we want with our Turkey, whether it be roasted beetroots and shallots (MM), roasted parsnip (me) or carrots (the kids!).  We always make too much but somehow it all gets used in the following days as turkey butties or turkey curry!  As fairly new Americans we are enjoying creating our own family Thanksgiving traditions and that includes cheesecake for dessert:)  Fortunately we always head out for a long walk on the Friday to work it off.

I was in Target the other day buying craft supplies for Hugh’s Thanksgiving Turkey project (yes – I know – I do not craft – but I am now armed with glitter, pom poms and felt).  I happened to wander through the clothing section as you do.  For a split second I removed the blinders (blinkers – for the UK readers) and spied this beauty.  OK I didn’t just spy it I bought it.

It’s a gorgeous blush pink, fake fur jacket – and looks lovely on.  It certainly looks more than the $49.99 I paid for it – but don’t stand near any naked flames in it.  I have some blush pink jeans and with taupe boots it will work a treat.  Even with regular blue denim skinnies and a white t-shirt it will add that little something different.  They also have it in cream but I love the blush color and it will go with lots in my closet – justification done.

Today I’m wearing comfy clothes for a day of pottering around town and running errands.  I love the H&M knitted dress – the stripes are great colors and it is really quite warm.  I’ve worn it with my Boden brown leggings and Zara burgundy scarf.  Today’s boots are last year’s Steve Madden Carlsen taupe boots.

What are your novel Thanksgiving traditions?

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Some memories of years ago.

For the past few years, every October we have made the trip to nearby Stone Mountain for the Stone Mountain Highland Games.  Today was no different and after a hectic morning of swimming lessons (managed by MM while I beat the rush at H&M at 10am!) we headed East to the base of the huge rock of granite that we climbed just the other week.

As we entered the park to the sound of bagpipes and drums my eyes filled up immediately.  I am no different from every other woman (or man if you include my Dad) in my family – we cry when we hear live music – especially bands, be they brass or pipe, and especially if there are children playing in those bands.  Pipe bands are particularly evocative for me, probably down to the years of Scottish holidays, memories of the Edinburgh Tattoo, and the happy years I spent in St. Andrews (though it can be argued that St. Andrews is more English than Scottish with the number of ‘foreign’ students there).  It’s actually a bit weird that I ended up in Atlanta as Emory and St. Andrews have really close ties due to the Bobby Jones scholarship.  I’ve attended both universities and have never played a round of golf in my life – the shame!

After straining to see the mass pipe band over the crowds, I legged it for the greatly anticipated highlight of the day – fish and chips for lunch!  Then off to watch the highland dancing which both the kids LOVED, though I feigned ignorance at any knowledge of how to ‘Strip the Willow’!  Historically it was always very late into the University Ball when this dance was undertaken – a shambles I tell you, a shambles!

Me at the Andrew Melville Ball back in 1990:

Friends:)

And how it is done properly:

One day I’ll show them the photos lol – this was the children today awestruck!:

So we’re all worn out now – the children are in bed, I’ve soaked in my new tub and I’m now being punished for something I’ve done as I’m watching Spurs vs. Chelsea.

Here’s the outfit I wore today – I did get my Hunters on at the park but I started off in my new Ash Alex sneakers.  TOTALLY adore them – not as chunky as the Steve Madden Hilight, and the Alex has great colors – love the black, coral and bordeaux.  I am between a 38 and 39 in Euro sizes and went for a 39 in these – very glad I did as they fit much smaller than the Thelmas.  I opted for comfort with my Zara t-shirt and camouflage pants.  Interesting to note that I lived in a pair of camouflage trousers back in 1995 that I bought from Kookai.  I remember wearing them with my Caterpillar boots all the time and feeling very cool at the Notting Hill Carnival.  This could be a bad case of mutton dressing as lamb that I am not prepared to accept quite yet, but surely if Emmanuelle Alt can do it so can I?:)  I’ll just put it down to a clothes obsessed woman enjoying a little experimentation…

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Weekend outfits.

Thursday night was fab – the meet and greet was so much fun and we’re lucky we have a great bunch of parents and a fabulous teacher for our class.  I decided to wear my loud Zara snake print pants – they are lush.  They have so many colors in them – pink, taupe, green, and the zips at the ankle – I will wear these a lot through Fall and they’ll also look great with boots or my Ash trainers.  The shirt is a really old Zara shirt – their basic shirts are fabulous and wear well – they have a similar style this season with an elastic waist which is lovely in all three colors.  Of course I have on here my trusty Tory Burch Eddies in Camilla pink – I wanted to wear heels but hate clomping around on someone else’s hardwoods in heels – I never walk on mine in them so why would I risk damaging someone else’s?!

Fall has absolutely arrived here – the weather is stunning.  Clear air with no humidity, bright blue skies and stunning sunshine – this is my favorite time in Atlanta.  Yesterday was Fall Festival at Hugh’s daycare – pony rides, fire trucks, bouncy castles etc and we had a great time – another family not so much – as their kid got off the bouncy castle with the worse bloody nose ever, poor guy!  I wore my new Ash Bowie trainers – just gorgeous soft leather and perfect for this kind of event.  Kat over at Doesmybumlook40 has a fab blog on wedge trainers today.  She introduced them to me as I see very few Ash over here but Nordstrom‘s do sell them.  I ordered mine on Amazon but they do have an online store here too but a lot of sizes are out.  These are another pair that I love from Steve Madden – the Hilight available in a variety of colors – a complete rip off of the Isabel Marant style but only $150.  Steve Madden has a plethora of wedge sneakers here this season.

I went casual with J.Crew selvedge denim shorts and my Top Shop t-shirt bought back in the UK in June – though I did notice that Top Shop is now available here in Nordstrom – exciting!

Off to spend the day by the pool today so there’ll be no outfit photos this evening:)
A big thank you to all of your comments on the Warby Parker frames too – you can see them all here!

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Wrong season.

I’m dressed like I’m ready for winter today.  The vitamin C in last night’s margarita didn’t quite do the trick…my head is so stuffed up:(  Woe is me…The weather however is perfect for a cold…if I don’t venture out, it is dark enough and stormy looking enough that I can almost imagine it is only 40 degrees F or so…the sky is a weird magical color making everything look greener.  The heavens will open anytime.  Perfect weather for wrapping up and watching movies while nursing a cold.  So that is what I’m doing!  Even MM has been thoughtful enough to provide a child free environment for me for a while – bless him.

I’m wearing my new blush colored jeans from Express that were just $29.99!! I love them…though they are a little more snug than my others – maybe I should stop feeding my cold?  Wearing them with an old Diesel embellished t-shirt which I love as it is long and has a deep scoop neck great for layering over a white Express tank.  Then I piled on the indulgent ‘I have a cold’ scarf – a $7 bargain from H&M – great nude, black and grey animal print and really soft and light, along with my AllSaints Cerulean cardigan in grey marl, a fab sale bargain, that is lovely and light and a perfect summer layering piece.  All finished off with a pair of shoes that haven’t seen the light of day for 2 years – my Steve Madden sandals – love them and am thrilled to have re-discovered them!

Must put a call out to all my neighbors – a lovely package from Zara was on its way – Fedex say delivered, I say but where?  Not a package in sight….which one of you is wearing my new Zara pants!!?? Grrrrrrr…..In frustration I went onto the website to see whether they were still in stock just in case they don’t show and immediately fell in love with this velvet jacket – ooooohhh it is divine and shall be mine – it is my birthday on Friday after all!!:)  It would work all the way through the festive season too instead of sequins!

 

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