Planning for my trip

My trip to England each February is now a regular occurence – I look forward to it so much, and it is perfectly timed to battle the January blues. I have 5 or 6 weeks post Christmas to look forward to seeing my family and friends, and spend the dark, cold evenings with my excel spreadsheet planning what to pack! I actually don’t do too much shopping when I am back in England, except for my pilgrimage to M&S, so it’s always quite a challenge packing lightly for the cold and inevitable rain. I need ‘going out’ clothes, cool yet comfortable footwear for tramping around London, comfy loungewear, and enough layers and good shoes for a couple of long walks with Mum and Dad.

Of course in writing my list a couple of additional ‘wants’ have arisen. The first is this spectacular coat that I spotted on The Telegraph fashion pages online. It’s so Emmanuelle Alt with the tie belt and checks. It comes in two color ways – I’ve ordered both to try but LOVE the mustard. I’m thinking about it for London. I get so hot in and out of stores but I need a coat/jacket. It would be perfect with my JBrand Selenas and TopShop sock boots.

Mustard Mango coat Checked coat

Now it’s FREEZING here today and I’ve been living in my Uggs in and around the house. Mum and Dad have been sending me images of the deep snow in Bury and to say they’ve made me shiver is an understatement. I need to take my Uggs with me – but mine are a very light sand suede. Not made for Bury mud. These however are – and I can even venture out in them – the zips make them a little edgier than regular Uggs. They’ll be perfect for the airport too…justifying purchase….I know….They must be cool as Eve and Michelle both have them too.

Uggs

Now I really don’t need another pair of jeans. At all. How I adore these though. The Diesel Krailey coated joggjeans. I still love my Fayza joggjeans – so comfortable – and the coated Krailey is a little more elevated, yet still super cool.

Diesel jeans

Finally – as an option for wandering the Big Smoke in comfort – how about these stunners? I love flatforms and have a silver lace up pair from Zara last year. This season they have introduced these gold brogue Prada tributes.

Zara gold

So there you go. My spreadsheet list, needless to say, needs some refining. Helped along hopefully as we get closer to departure date and the weather forecast becomes a little more reliable! The first year I went it snowed in London and was FREEZING, but last year I was sitting outside and it really wasn’t that cold at all!

As I mentioned it is the coldest day of winter here today. It’s also MLK day so we’ve all been home. I started the day with a cold, brisk, invigorating run! Then we headed off to watch Norm of the North and out for a late lunch. Much fun was had! I got my new glasses too – I love them – they’re so comfortable!

Here’s my outfit round up from the past few days for those of you not on Instagram.

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Winter whiteJumper – H&M // Jeans – Zara (old in sale) // Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury // Bag – Anya Hindmarch (old off TheOutnet.com)

Haff dress (1)Dress – AllSaints Haff dress // Boots – Stuart Weitzman Highland // Bag – Alexander McQueen De Manta

1_15 Poppysstyle (1)Jumper – H&M (similar here on sale) // Trousers – Zara pleather leggings // Scarf – Zara (old) // Coat – Zara (sale) // Shoes – Adidas Superstar slip ons (similar here)

Date night

My Husband and I cheered with relief once Halloween was done with last week. It’s safe to say neither of us enjoy the trick or treating much – maybe because we never did it as children in England so there is no nostalgia for us. Our children, however, love it and had a fabulous night, but for us it just meant we could now look forward to our night out belatedly celebrating my Husband’s birthday!

Before heading out I was in desperate need of a haircut – short hair always feels like it grows 20x faster! I headed to the salon on Thursday wearing this outfit designed for comfort and warmth. We have an Arctic chill arriving this week – I cannot wait…not.

IMG_9902Jacket – Mango // Jeans – Zara // Cashmere tunic – Everlane // Boots – H&M Isabel Marant (old)

I’m thrilled with my hair – a super short undercut and I have gone black for the winter – you know how I like to make a statement. I’m continuing to experiment with my makeup to keep the look feminine and I’m having fun with it! The best thing is my Husband loves it – it really is great to have his support when I try new looks! Last night we headed to our regular joint to finally celebrate his birthday and we had an amazing night as always. Great food, great service and amazing company – I am sometimes surprised that after 23 years we can still laugh at each other’s jokes (and our own for that matter) and scintillate with our conversation 😉

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Dress – Agi dress AllSaints // Boots – Stuart Weitzman Highland

A little worse for wear today so I spent it holding the sofa down watching football and movies – a perfect Fall Saturday!

 

 

Back to Black.

I have always loved leather.  Real leather.  I remember Mum and Dad buying me my first leather jacket while we were on a day out in Chester.  I think it was from Lakeland Leather.  I thought it was beautiful – a blouson style in ivory – it was the 80s remember.  In sixth form I got a beautiful black, bat-winged sleeved blouson jacket (still in the 80s) from Whittakers in Bolton.  I got it nicked the first time I wore it.  Gutted.

My taste in leather has hopefully evolved but my love for leather has not changed.  You cannot beat real leather.  There are some good pleathers on the market and I have a couple of pairs of pleather leggings in my closet, but they just aren’t the same…sorry PETA.

I had a great pair of AllSaints leather trousers for a few years but with my constantly fluctuating waistline they didn’t hold their shape well.  My glutes are non-existant and I always felt like I had a saggy arse in them – not a good look.  They went to a good new home via eBay last year.  Since then I have been looking for another great pair of leather jeans – jeans meaning they must have a button and fly, no elastic waists, plus patch pockets at the back – essential for giving shape to that saggy arse.

So, as I mentioned, I stumbled on a pair of J Brand moto leather jeans in Neimans the other day and I had to take the opportunity to try them.  Thinking about them, I cannot stop (Yoda eat your heart out).  I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about J Brand leather – J Brand, Helmut Lang and Theory always seem to top the lists.  No wonder – they are breath takingly beautiful.  I started with a 29″ with crossed fingers, holy smokes Batman they were too big!  The 28″ was perfect on the waist – there is so much stretch in the leather it’s certainly worth squeezing into a size down as they will give.  For the record I take anything from 27″ to 30″ in jeans depending on brand, and I’m normally a US6 in Zara trousers.  Now the only issue with this style was the seam that runs across the top of the knee – sausage links sprang to mind.  Still for those of you with no squidge above your knee they are stunning, and less than $1000 – my absolute limit for leather jeans, which yes is still shit loads, but think about what you can spend on a handbag.

JBrand moto

Having fallen in love with the J Brand leather and now knowing my size I have found what I consider to be the perfect style.  Fly – check, pockets – check, zippered ankles – check, zero sausage casing seam – check.  Here they are – I SO want them.

JBrand jeans

They also come in grey which I think is stunning.

JBrand grey

Compared to J Brand these AllSaints leather pants are almost cheap at $525 (all sense of reality and magnitude becomes warped when looking at items with 3 figures behind the dollar sign), but for me they don’t quite do it as they are missing that all important back patch pocket.  AllSaints are well known for their leather work so worth checking out for almost half the price of the J Brand jeans.

AllSiants

So what do you think – is real leather a colossal waste of money or worth the investment?

As for my attire over the past couple of days I am completely in my comfort zone again – back to being a brunette – I really do have more fun as a brunette, and certainly feel more comfortable, almost radiant:)  To celebrate the visit back to the salon I embraced my favorite color palette – black, black and black.

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Boots – Newbury suede boots // Trousers – Zara coated chinos // Sweater – Uniqlo men’s cashmere crew neck

And the result….a very happy brunette.

brunette

Last night we went out for dinner with dear friends – totally amazing night, 4 hours of great conversation, 1 glass of champagne, 4 bottles of Tempranillo, 5 courses, 1 amaretto and a taxi cab home.

Totally chaotic in my bedroom and closet due to the ongoing packing debacle – please excuse!

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Boots – Stuart Weitzman Highland // Dress – AllSaints charcoal Pia dress // Jacket – AllSaints // Clutch – Target

Leaving on a jet plane tomorrow so please continue to follow me on Instagram till I get back online with my shopping exploits in the UK – mwah!

 

 

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Back from DC!

Howdy all!!  We’re back!  I’ve had a fabulous short break in Washington D.C. doing lots of touristy stuff.  We must have been very good this year as Santa left us all tickets on Christmas morning, so after unwrapping the gifts to squeals of excitement, we left for the airport.

It truly was amazing to see the sights in real life that we are so used to seeing on t.v. in the news or in movies.  The weather was perfect too – glorious sun – but I was pretty happy I had my Marks & Spencer Per Una Christmas present to wear too – I’ve never had so many compliments about a coat before!

Here’s a quick photo round up of the highlights – for more you can check out my Instagram account.

One of the Elves got sidetracked on the way back to the North Pole…

Elf

 

Fortunately Santa still had time for a hug with Poppy before leaving the hotel.

 

Santa

 

We headed straight to the White House – along with everyone else!  I wore my super comfy and very festive Golden Goose for the occasion.  The cashmere beany was absolutely required in the cold and my Husband got to wear his gorgeous Elder Statesman hat that I bought him for our anniversary this year.

 

White House

The Capital is just amazing.

Capital

This view from Lincoln’s Memorial always makes me think of Forrest Gump.  The view and the Memorial are stunning and quite awe inspiring.

Washington Monument WM

The MLK memorial was a highlight for the children as they know so much about him.

MLK2

 

Although I had a break from outfit photos while away – here is my outfit from the 23rd, when I headed out with the girls from work for our Christmas celebration.

GNO

 

Boots – Stuart Weitzman Highland (my favorite purchase from AW 2013) // Dress – Zara (old)

As much as I love traveling it is always great to get home.  Today I am heading out for some retail therapy.  I haven’t really looked too much at the sales and the boots I am after probably won’t even be in the sale.  I still may treat myself given a) how much I have worn my Highlands and b) I have no need for a NYE outfit as we are staying home with Chinese and Carson Daly.  These boots will be the perfect transitional boot from winter to spring – the 5050 in tan nubuck.

nubuck

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and I am certainly ready to throw myself into 2014!  Who has fabulous plans for Tuesday evening?

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