Monthly Archives: September 2012

Supper club.

Close game for the Falcons today but exciting and perfect watching on a grey day.  The photo session was postponed due to threat of rain so we walked by the river with the dog and the kids raced their bikes.  I then did my Trader Joe’s shop so I have a kitchen full of yummy treats – including a massive NYC cheesecake that I will try not to devour in one go tonight while watching Homeland and Dexter!

Last night MM and I started our Fall supper club.  We are the only members.  Each week, once the children are in bed, we take it in turns to wine and dine each other at home.  It’s lovely – it’s an evening each week where we turn off all screens, put on some good music and converse while cooking and eating – it’s like dating again and I love it.  Last night I cooked carbonara – who can resist the smell of bacon and garlic?  The food was even better after a couple of glasses of a fabulous Malbec.  I’m looking forward to his choice of menu next week – he’s a far better cook than I am!

Today is a day for comfort – Gap boyfriend jeans, a Gap brown tank, H&M linen top and Sam Edelman Alvin loafers.  The necklace is an old one from Target but it’s fun and works well with the casual outfit.  The new glasses are still making me feel fabulous!

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Rainy Saturdays.

Rainy Saturdays in Georgia are designed for watching College Football.  After a workout at the Y and collecting my new glasses I am now going to sit safely ensconced on the sofa and watch some soccer followed by football – bliss.  The children are playing happily indoors so all is calm for now.

I am feeling great after a fabulous haircut yesterday – I’ve gone really short at the back and sides and love it!  We were trying to go with Ginnifer Goodwin’s gorgeous cut and I think we almost got there, though her hairline at the back is almost shaved.

Ginnifer Goodwin:

Me! (not that I’d ever be confused for Ginnifer!):

Now I just need my greys covered next week – I can’t bare color and cut together it feels like I’m in the salon for an eternity!

I’m wearing my Zara emerald green skinny jeans, a Zara top from the sale and my Tory Burch Eddies in musk.  I love these jewel toned jeans and they are the same cut as the red ones I wore the other day – absolute bargains for $35!  I think they’re quite a bit ‘greener’ than shown here in the photo:

So the new glasses are here – these are the smaller version of Oliver Peoples Wacks and black/tortoiseshell and I LOVE them – they fit fabulously and are the perfect combination of style and comfort.

Happy Saturday everyone!

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New makeup!

I get stuck in a rut when it comes to makeup.  Apart from my eyeliner I have probably been applying and using many of the same products for 20 years.  Much as I love clothes and trying new things I rarely do the same with make up – very boring.

My current make up routine begins with a drug store moisturizer with spf – either Boots No7, Oil of Olay or Nivea – I like a light non-greasy fluid.  MM bought me a pot of La Mer for my 40th but to be honest I find it too thick for me – no bad thing at $100 a pot!  That is then followed by foundation in the Fall/Winter – normally from Clinique, or Jergens natural glow in the Summer.  I’ve always loved Clinique and use Aglow blusher everyday.  I’ve been using Clinique since I first splurged on my Wedding makeup back in 1998.  I’ve tried Estée Lauder a couple of times and their foundations are lovely – but the power of branding always brings me back to Clinique and I also use their pressed powder everyday.  Eyes are always drug store brands – due to sheer laziness I never wear eye shadow unless we’re off out somewhere special – my every day wear is a line of L’Oreal Infallible pencil on my top lid and Maybelline Great Lash mascara in Very Black.  This mascara is always a Beauty Editor’s favorite and I love it – it never clumps and is super easy to apply – I doubt I’ll every wander from this little gem.  Lips are normally a quick swipe of gloss – I’ve tried them all L’Oreal, Clinique, Rimmel, but my favorite is Chanel – $29.50 – so expensive – but they last forever, are non sticky and have fabulous colors – well worth the splurge in my eyes.  I also have an array of Revlon super lustrous lipsticks – they are lovely and creamy and there’s a great choice of colors.  At the end of the day before bed I use my Clarisonic Mia and apply Bio Oil – the best night moisturizer I have found and I really believe my Clarisonic has reduced the number of break outs I get.

Given how rarely I switch up my make up I decided that this month it was time to adapt for my 41 year old skin.  It definitely needs a bit more care.  There are certain drug store purchases like my eye make up and moisturizer that I won’t change – I just don’t see the point in paying more.  However, in addition to my moisturizer I am now trying Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus – let’s hope it does exactly what it says on the bottle.  My skin has been ravaged my sun – and although I now wear spf daily – in my youth I fried it in the sun on the rare occasions we saw it back in the UK.  At 17 I even gave myself sun stroke using a heat/sun lamp on my face – I shudder to think of it now!  I nearly bought some Clinique Even Better but have decided to try Ambi Even&Clear instead for now as the price tag is considerably less.

As for foundation – I’ve decided I really just don’t like it.  The thought of applying a goopy fluid on my clean skin just seems counter intuitive to me.  Having said that I still need something to give me a bit of a glow and very light coverage.  After trying a Bare Escentuals starter kit I’ve now invested in a pot of their Matte Foundation powder and a fabulous new applicator brush from Sephora.  I love how silky and light it feels on my skin but it really does provide great coverage.

I also bought a new blusher brush as for the first time ever I have bought a Nars blusher – yes the one that is mentioned in nearly every magazine – Orgasm.  It is a gorgeous peachy color and apparently should work well on my skin that has ‘yellowy undertones’.  One of these blushers is sold almost every second according to the girl in Sephora.

I’m still as lazy as ever when it comes to lips but my current Chanel glosses are Twinkle and Seashell for the summer, so I bought a couple of darker ones for Fall – Myriade and Imaginaire – I can’t wait to wear them!

All in all quite a good haul that I am really happy with.  It did make me question why I think $30 for an item of make up is too much – when I quite happily spend that on a t-shirt.  After a fabulous haircut yesterday I am starting to think that you can have all the clothes in the world but nothing makes you feel as fabulous as great skin and great hair.

 

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Fall Telly.

I am ridiculously excited about this Sunday evening.  No I’m not being wined and dined, nor are we expecting guests…the new seasons of Homeland and Dexter start!  How sad am I?

Bored to tears with Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, Real Housewives etc…I have recently been exploring the pleasures of On Demand viewing.  I have watched Season 1 of Girls, Season 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones (appeals to my inner dork), Season 1 of Homeland plus I am completely up to date on Dexter.  The correlation of my increased t.v. viewing with the start of the football season is no coincidence.  There is no greater way to watch a mini series than from beginning to end with no commercial breaks – bliss!  Now my only debate is do I watch the new season live or should I DVR it so I can enjoy without commercials?…The latter I think!

I’ll be ready for a bit of sofa surfing on Sunday as we have another jam packed weekend with birthday parties and swimming lessons – plus on Sunday afternoon we are having a photo session with Muddy Faces on a farm.  Karen who is the photographer is amazing and has a real knack for taking natural, uncontrived photos, and I am so excited about getting some lovely portraits of the children.  I refuse to buy the school portraits that have the naff, fake backgrounds on them.

Today I’m wearing my J.Crew shorts in Casablanca blue – these are 5″ ones and were bought in the sale – they are so comfortable and a great length – not too revealing – but nowhere near the knees either.  With them I’m wearing my Primark t-shirt with the bus heading to Croydon, with my Zara off white jersey jacket and Sam Edelman Louie boots.  I’ve decided if I wear shorts I can wear boots, but it’s still too warm for jeans and boots together.

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New goggles.

I am blind as a bat.  Astigmatism and over -5 in each eye means I cannot see a thing without glasses or contacts.  It happened years ago at school and I was mortified.  I had no idea that I was struggling to see the blackboard and I felt such a loser for needing glasses.  I never had the NHS glasses but my first pair were from Boots Opticians and horrific.  Mainly because at 14 I hadn’t done that much research into the spectacle market and really I was so ashamed I had to wear them that even trying them in the opticians was utterly disturbing.  By 17 or so I had my first pair of gas permeable contact lenses that scraped across my eyeball with every blink, but as far as I was concerned red eyes were preferable to glasses.  My how times have changed.

We are now inundated with amazing glasses – which even people with 20/20 vision wear, though I have never understood that.  A variety of daily and monthly contact lenses are available and I even get mine to correct my astigmatism.  Lasik of course is now done routinely, though it still scares the bejeezus out of me which is fine as at the ripe old age of 41 I have been told to wait a few years so my ‘old sight’ can develop before I have it done.

I am a daily contact lens wearer – I love my glasses these days, but to be honest I just find them inconvenient, but with working in front of a laptop so often I need to start wearing my glasses more as my contacts just make my eyes tired.  So as some of you know from my Facebook page I embarked on the hunt for some new cool frames.

I love statement glasses – I like them big and bold and prefer plastic to dainty metal frames.  That being said the dainty metal frames may suit me better.  My current pair are these Oliver Peoples Wacks in cocobolo.  I like them a lot but they are big.

They are also expensive – with lenses we are talking $600.  So I thought I would investigate Warby Parker.  Warby Parker are online only (I think they have bricks and mortar in NYC).  Online glasses shopping is a novel concept – surely you can’t choose without trying them on?  Well Warby Parker have devised a genius model where you can choose 5 pairs to try at home, then model for friends, share on Facebook (they’ll even give you their preference on their page) and hopefully come up with a consensus of the best pair for you and then buy a full set with prescription lenses for just $95!  I could have a pair for every day of the week!  So I chose my 5 pair tried them and not only did most people dislike all of them on me – the one that some did like was one of my least favorites.  So great idea Warby Parker but not that successful for me.

After revisiting my optician I realized I am going to have to suck it up and pay through the nose for my favorite pair.  The Wacks come in 2 sizes and I have the largest size.  After trying the smaller size in black/tortoise I fell in love with them.  They tick all my boxes of style, comfort and color.  Cha ching – ordered and paid for,

Now I am also intrigued by colored frames.  I’ve always played it safe with the tortoise shell as it suits my coloring – but recently I have been drawn to the new aubergine, blue and red frames that are coming to market.  I tried a pair of SALT Brixton frames in velvet purple which I LOVE – but can I carry off purple every day?

I then discovered that the Wacks frame is now done in a beautiful blue color – Havana blue.  So I’ve ordered them to compare with the SALT frames.  I’d love a pair of colorful frames for fun – that can add some pizazz to an outfit!  I just need to decide on the color – plus do I need another pair of Wacks?  I do think that if there is a frame I’m happy with why change it except in color?  I’ll let you know the verdict.  Meanwhile my cocobolo frames are being transformed into sunglasses for me.  Look out for more photos of me with my goggles on:)

Still in the contacts today while my lenses are being fitted and I’m feeling pretty tired after a stressful morning having an old filling removed – I hate the sound of the drill and the smell of tooth dust!  My knuckles were white!  I’m wearing my Hudson jeans, Tory Burch Eddies, Zara owl t-shirt which I love and my Zara jersey black jacket.  Lovely and comfortable for a traumatic morning!

 

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Loving some AllSaints.

I love AllSaints.  Not only do I love their urban styling but their flagship store in Spitalfields is just across the road from my London pad and The Golden Heart, where we have had many a lively night before a curry on Brick Lane.  Wearing my AllSaints brings me closer to home and another great bonus is that you rarely see anyone else here in Atlanta wearing it.  I tend to order it online as I can get it tax free due to them not having a stand alone store here in Atlanta, but Bloomingdale’s in Lenox Mall has a great concession managed by the fabulous Charlie.  If you go tell him I sent you – he will treat you like a star!

Yes they are a little more expensive than a lot of other high street stores but they have a great sale every 6 months and their knitwear especially is so unique it is, in my eyes, worth it.  I also love their tops and I have a couple of dresses too, oh and my leather straight leg trousers are AllSaints too.  Yes I have quite a thing for them.  Lots of raw edging, exposed seams, asymmetric drapey hems and an industrial palette gives their clothes a great urban vibe, but they are equally wearable, and I have found, in the main, that they are good quality – though I did have a t-shirt that had to go back twice due to the fabric weakening from the dying process – I gave up on it sadly, though I loved it so much!

So today I am wearing my Express blush jeans and Ash Thelma wedges with my AllSaints Pipali top and AllSaints Itat shrug.  They are the perfect tops for layering on another beautiful Fall day.  I love the skinny arms on their knitwear.

Right now I am wishing the week away as I am desperate for a haircut on Friday!

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Amazing Georgia.

I hate to sound like a broken record…but…the weather here is incredible right now.  Temperatures have dropped, the sky is bright blue without a cloud in sight – just amazing.  Unfortunately much of Saturday was spent inside the YMCA.  Poppy had her first swim meet.  We were incredibly excited and nervous as it’s a pretty big deal for a 6 yr old and her parents.  The great thing about the Y is that it’s not too intense – they a racing for fun – and the parents and coaches are all pretty relaxed.  However no one told me how many kids would be there nor how long we would be there!  If I tell you that Poppy’s races were #21 and #33 that will give you some idea!  I’m not sure how many different events there were in total, but safe to say a lot – relays, individuals, 50 and 25 – then multiply that by all age groups up to 17!  Some kids had event #70 written on their arm!!  All in all we were there from 1.30pm till 6.30pm for just 2 races – having said that we had a blast and Poppy loved it.  I was so proud of her dealing with it all – from the long lines for races to the pressure of a starting block start – she looked a real pro at just 6!  My heart was in my mouth for both her races but as always we tend to underestimate our children’s resilience and ability and she did brilliantly.

In order to get some fresh air after Saturday we headed up to North Georgia yesterday.  When we are out and about I always wish we did it more often.  Georgia truly is amazing and the mountains were stunning yesterday.  We headed to Amicalola Falls and needless to say after marching to the top and then using the many, many steps to walk down by the side of the Falls, my legs and butt are killing me today.  Stairs really do use muscles that no other exercise can!

It’s definitely layering weather as it was freezing at the bus stop this morning.  I took Tennyson for a walk this morning and it was lovely and brisk – when we were walking up the driveway back to the house I gasped as Bambi ran across the lawn – breathtaking and a brilliant way to start the week.

I opted for my fab Zara red jeans today – at just $35 they are a great price – but as always with Zara their sizing is random.  I was certain I’d be a US 8 as Zara tend to fit small but I ended up with a US 6 as there is so much stretch in these and I can’t stand jeans that get baggy over the course of a day.  I’m wearing them with my Express black tank, J.Crew black boyfriend cardigan from a couple of years ago, and my fabulous Sam Edelman Alvins in leopard print – probably the most comfortable shoes I own.

 

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Anniversary outfit.

We had a lovely evening – great food, great wine and great conversation – we even stayed up late listening to music when we got home so I am feeling a tad tired today.

I just wanted to share my outfit from last night – a jumpsuit!!  Yes I found one that I actually like wearing and is comfortable and fairly flattering – though I think next time I wear it I will switch out the tie belt for a wide black belt to give me a bit more shape.  Believe it or not it was just $35 from Target!  It is by Kirna Zabete for Target who I have to say I have never heard of but their prints are gorgeous!  The print on this jumpsuit at first glance looks like leopard print but it is in fact little kisses/lips – I love it – it is so unusual.  I wore it with a Zara fuchsia jersey jacket for a pop of color.  My booties are Nine West pony hair from Zappos – they are fierce – high – but fierce!  If you’re interested in these boots – size down – I needed a 7.5 and I am never a 7.5 – normally an 8 in heels – but the 8s were falling off my feet.  My accessorizing is going well – I remembered a necklace from Macy’s (similar blue one here) that goes great with the grey and I even remembered to wear my Elsa Peretti Tiffany bone cuff – my first ever Tiffany item bought for me Christmas of 2001 by my lovely Husband.

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14 years!

MM and I have been married 14 years today!  I remember it all vividly.  The location was The Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey, West Yorkshire.  Neither of us are from anywhere near there – we just wanted a beautiful location and I was obsessed about having a venue that didn’t look like a conference room – I didn’t want “any metal legged chairs”!  We were living in London at the time and we had our hen and stag nights the week of the wedding.  Madness in hindsight.

My hen night was at Kensington Place – a great restaurant in Notting Hill – on the Wednesday night.  I then traveled North back home with my Mum and sister on the Thursday, whilst the boys congregated in London for the stag night.  They traveled up to Skipton on the Friday morning – with Martin, one of the best men, having to side step out of the ticket line to throw up, before getting on the train.  I still feel awful for anyone who was in that line that day!

Friday night was spent at the Devonshire Arms.  I promised myself not to drink – that promise lasted 2 minutes – and a party ensued as all our guests arrived – some we hadn’t seen for a while.  Not a good idea to get carried away on excited energy the night before you get married!  I didn’t sleep a wink that night and I remember sharing a room with Jo, one of my bridesmaids.  In the corridors I could hear MM and his brother howling and giggling – I knew it was going to be a tough morning!

I headed off at the crack of dawn with my Mum and sis to get our hair done.  I felt rough as a badger’s arse but ridiculously excited!  The champers at the salon soon had me buzzing again and it was off back to the hotel to get dressed.  Now remember this is the 19th September in West Yorkshire – all bets would be on rain and clouds but the weather was stunning!  Blue skies and sunshine – in fact a little too warms for some dehydrated folks:)  Later I heard it was quite a miracle that MM made it to the ceremony at all.  He had gone to work off some of the previous night’s excesses in the gym, having forgotten his sneakers he ran barefoot on the treadmill and went flying off the back of it, then he tried to walk downstairs in his flip flops, spilled his cup of water and went flying again!  I’m giggling as I write this – talk about the excesses of youth!

I walked in with my Dad to Pachelbel’s Canon and Simon read The Owl and the Pussycat and we were done!  Mr and Mrs – as easy as that.  The great thing about our venue was that no one had to go anywhere as we used the same room for the ceremony, the reception and the disco.  Our first dance was to ‘Love me Tender’ but I remember the dance floor clearing later too as we whirled each other around to ‘Satisfaction’ by the Stones.  There are some amazing photos of MM and his mate dancing and stripping – yes stripping though not naked thankfully – to ‘Bad to the Bone‘ – many chins were on the floor at this remarkable scene – my Dad’s for one.

The following day we made our way back to London elated, and then on the Monday we jetted off to Northern Cyprus where we traveled with back packs and a jeep for 2 weeks – bliss.

After 14 years and 2 kids not a day goes by when he doesn’t make me laugh – at him or with him:)  Happy Anniversary my lovely.

The photo on my desk!:

Now off to Bacchanalia tonight for a tamer celebration than 14 years ago!

Today’s outfit is all Zara!  TRF blue pants, t-shirt and jersey blazer worn with my Tory Burch Eddies.

 

 

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An homage to Aerosmith.

You’ll either love them or you’ll hate them.  For me they are a throw back to the late 70’s early 80’s when everyone was pouring a bottle of bleach in their bathtub with their skin tight jeans – well at least we were in Bury!  They are the tie dyed jeans from H&M and I think they are fun though not for the faint of heart.  It didn’t occur to me until I got to work that paired with my Ash Bowies I am actually resembling someone from an 80s hair band – without the big hair admittedly though I’m close to it thanks to the downpour I walked through to the office.  One of my friends at university used to wear something very similar, though his jeans were completely bleached and he wore Reebok white hi-tops with them – classy.  His jeans were so tight I often wonder if he ever had a family.  Keeping it simple with the loud jeans I opted for my white Express t-shirt and the lovely All Saints Boston cardigan that I got in the sale back in England in June.  Loving that I can start to get some knitwear out again.

Yesterday I wore my Zara snake print top from the sale, black Gap jeggings and my favorite Fryes of the moment – the Jenna short studded – they are so soft I love them.

Taking the children for a play date after school today so looking forward to their Mom’s reaction to my jeans:)

 

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