Monthly Archives: July 2013

Rain, rain go away.

So Georgia has apparently had 25% more rain fall than usual this summer.  It’s always extremes here – extreme drought or extreme rain!  The peach crop is suffering with enormous swollen peaches that are having their sweetness diluted – who knew hey?  I am suffering with frustrated, cranky kids…roll on school.

I just took them out for lunch to get us all out of the house, and now we’re home they have immediately started screaming at each other, arguing over which movie to watch.  Telling them ‘in my day I was happy to have a movie to watch’ oddly doesn’t seem to have much impact.  I might have a goblet of red now they seem to have called a truce.

We’ve all had our back to school haircuts and I’m now sporting a true bob.  Gone are the sun bleached, dry ends – my hair now feels lovely and sleek with no grays in sight – thank you to the lovely Lauren at Plum Salon.  We made her earn her money yesterday with 3 haircuts and a color!

By the way I did ask him to smile, not grimace.


Mango and Zara


Jacket – Zara (not online but I have seen it appear in stock clearance) // Pants – Mango sale // T-shirt – Gap (no longer online but was in the sale here) // Sandals – Tory Burch Emmy (old) // Bag – Alexander Wang Rocco

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A little bit of sparkle.

At the gym this morning, while I was dropping the children off at the play room, I realized that I must have missed the memo.  The memo regarding the new required summer outfit for the gym – white frilly tennis skirt, pink visor, perky blonde pony tail, and phony smile.  Oh and can you tell me where to find the perfect children with their page boy hair cuts and monogrammed smocks?  I think I must have become a little cynical while on vacation.  I felt like I was in the middle of The Stepford Wives, or surrounded by multiple versions of Patty Simcox.  I love Atlanta, but sometimes I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb.

So what better to do than embrace my non-conformity and wear my shortest shorts and sparkliest sneakers:)  I do cringe a little every time I put on my Zara skort.  Nearly every ‘style’ blogger on the planet has a pair and all of them are 20 years younger than me.  But you know what – Patty down the road doesn’t know where they are from, or that all the street style bloggers are wearing them, so I’ll wear them with aplomb in Atlanta and not worry about it.  Though, for a split second, it did occur to me that it might be a sub-concious desire to conform – in white they do look a little like a tennis skirt.

Zara skort

Skort – Zara // Sneakers – Lame Supergas // Top – Boden Sparkle top (just $23.40!)

I adore the Boden sparkle top – it is perfect – light, and a great shape – an absolute bargain for $23.40 – I have the ivory too.  This is a US 8 – I think a US 6 would have been fine too but I like my knitwear a little looser.

For the sake of full disclosure – here’s what I lived in over the weekend.  Sweatpants with no red lipstick in sight.

Sweats – Express (old) // Top – Gap



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Detox week.

Okay maybe detox weekend.  A week really was pushing it wasn’t it?  Especially as I have the children at home with me till next Wednesday when school resumes.

So, I haven’t touched alcohol for 3 days now and I juiced on Saturday and Sunday.  Today I worked out like a mad woman, and I have eaten buckets of heirloom tomatoes with sweet Georgia peaches, basil and olive oil and balsamic.  Tomatoes and peaches?  Weird you say?  Delicious I say – try it with some crumbled feta on top too – DIVINE!

After the vacation weight gain thanks to copious carbs – bread and beer are to blame – I’m desperate to lose the extra pounds again.  I arrived home to a fabulous pile of boxes from the Zara sale and their new collection, and some of them feel a little snugger than I’d like right now!  Only to be expected no?  I’m hoping I won’t have to wear anything with a little give in it on the 10th – because it will be MY BIRTHDAY!  Yes I actually celebrate my birthday month – I LOVE birthdays and I’m really quite looking forward to turning 42 – especially as my Husband is VERY good at birthday nights out.

As you can see from the photo today my hair is HUGE and has grown so much over the holiday – I’m not complaining but please don’t judge – I’ll be getting it ‘styled’ this week!  The t-shirt is from the Zara sale – I think I could have got away with a smaller size but it was the last size in the stock clearance section at just $15 so I’m not returning.  It actually feels lovely and cool and floaty but looks a bit boxy on the photos – it hides the vacation muffin top well for now:)

July 29th

T-Shirt – Zara combination top (no longer online) // Shorts – JCrew Factory bermudas // Sandals – Zara

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And so it draws to a close.

After almost 4 weeks in Northern Cyprus our vacation is over.  It is bitter sweet – I’m excited to get back to a routine and see our dog, but I’ll be sad to leave this beautiful place.  We have seen more than I ever imagined, eaten fabulous food and met some wonderful people.

On Sunday we went out to our local restaurant for the penultimate time.  Remind me to never drink raki again – I’m not sure why I ever thought it was a good idea?



Sandals – bow cage sandals from Marks and Spencer // Trousers – Mango // Tank – H&M

See if you can spot the errors in the meze menu – regardless of how it’s spelled it tasted amazing I promise!



Nasty, nasty raki.




On Monday we headed out for a drive, via Bufavento and Five Finger Mountain, towards Kantara again.  Just when I needed it most, we serendipitously stumbled on the most perfect restaurant nestled between the mountains.  They served the coldest Efes and the tastiest Lamaçun – perfect for a girl still suffering from the effects of raki!

Five Finger Mountain


Dress – New Look (Just 9 GBP in the sale!!)

So today we must pack our bags and lie on the beach one last time soaking up the rays of the Mediterranean.

I probably won’t post till I am back in Atlanta, and we’re taking our time getting there with one last stop at my Mum and Dad’s.  In the meantime you might notice that James Perse are having another sample sale – there are some amazing discounts – you can access it via the banner ads on the right.  Also Boden have released their Fall collection!! For free shipping and 15% discount, again use the banner ads to the right.  Enjoy!


July 20th.

We headed off to our favorite beach at Salamis today.  I’m sure everyone finds their ‘perfect’ spot when they are on vacation.  Salamis is ours – not too far to drive, very few tourists, and a great beach bar that I hope no one else ever discovers.  On the way there the children were bickering like mad in the back seat of the car – no wonder – it was hot and they were tired.  I told them to ‘grow up and act their age’ – an oxymoron if ever I heard one.  It dawned on me that yep they are only 5 and 7 so go ahead and bicker like children.

The irony was that we were driving through Lefkosa at the time.  The Northern side of Nikosia.  Turkish flags were flying everywhere, and the Turkish military were flexing their muscle.  With choppers overhead and jeeps with machine guns flying by us, I began to worry my Husband would develop post traumatic stress.  July 20th 1974 is the day Turkey invaded Cyprus to ‘liberate’ the Turkish Cypriots.  I’m not going to tell the story here – but if you’re interested you will discover that the Turks were maybe heavy handed, yet provoked and left with few other options.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no bias.  Unlike many here I have no allegiance to either the Turks or the Greeks.  They were both crap to each other, and continue to be so in many ways.  It just saddens me that 39 years later, neither side is prepared to compromise to the extent that even a diluted recognition of the Northern territory looks feasible.

So as I told my kids to act like grown ups – I also wished for the Greeks and Turks to act like grown ups.  It is wrong that this beautiful island full of history, love, incredible stories, and kind people be divided.  Can’t we just all be friends?


Shorts – DVF The Outnet // Sandals – Zara // T-shirt – Zara (old)



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Deep Boden discounts now!

Great news for those of you that held out – the Boden sale just got better.  I had to double check my eyes weren’t deceiving me when I saw the colourblock points are now just $29.40!  I’m considering the blue pair too now at that price.



My favorite drop shoulder v-neck that I wore here is now just $20.40 – I am smitten with the spearmint color – it would be great with a tan wouldn’t it?;)



Also the sparkle cotton top that I love in ivory, is now available in the blue at just $23.40!



I just ordered the guava pinspot scarf too – these are gorgeous scarves and the lime and guava pinspot are now just $14 – I can’t get a scarf at Target that cheap!



You better be quick – at these prices they won’t hang around for long!

Finally another vacation update – yesterday we headed West as far as we could – to the border with Southern Cyprus.  The Western side of the North is just beautiful – mountains, pines and sea.  We traveled to Vuni – the site of an ancient Greek palace, it was quite a nerve wracking drive up there – but what a location for a palace.  They knew how to do things in style back then!

Not the most flattering of photos but it was darn windy and I think my hair has grown at least an inch since we’ve been here!



My Husband decided he wanted to get in on the blog photo:



My shorts are J.Crew Factory bermudas and the t-shirt is Gap.

Last night we grilled out – super adana kebabs and Turkish sausage!  I changed into my Gap sunwashed t-shirt in pale pink and more J.Crew Factory shorts.  It’s a good job I managed a run in the heat this morning – though I terrified the local villagers at the coffee shop in my neon hot pants!

black and pink v1


Off for a Doner now:)


Beer is for breakfast.

The heat means I am wearing little more than shorts and a bikini each day.  So in the absence of outfits here’s a quick round up of a fabulous trip we had yesterday up to Kantara Castle, the third castle after St. Hilarion and Buffavento.

It’s another venue we visited back in 1998.  Back then we had a photo taken at the very top of Kantara by a friendly English man who was ex-military and was revisiting where he had served.  I remember it vividly as MM still mocks me for the denim dungarees shorts that I wore that day.  Funny how I have a River Island pair lurking in my closet today.  I should have bought them with me to fully recreate the shot, as all our honeymoon photos, in fact most of our photos pre-2000, were ‘lost’ along with other belongings in the move to Atlanta. Insurance doesn’t pay out for the sentimental value of goods unfortunately.

We started the day driving up from the sea to Kantara.  We stopped in an idyllic village where it only felt right to have a cold Efes in the shade, smelling the pine in the heat, 11am isn’t too early for beer is it?

Beer for breakfast


We then made the climb to Kantara castle itself – I certainly sweat the beer off!  The sun was beating down up there.  It is well worth the short climb though – Kantara is my favorite of the three castles and in my opinion offers the best views down towards the Karpaz.



To reward ourselves we drove down the other side of the mountain to the ‘armpit’ of the Karpaz, in order to revisit Bo gaz.  Fifteen years ago we had two magnificent dinners there – sitting on plastic chairs, on a dusty sidewalk down to the harbor, surrounded by what seemed like a thousand cats.  The town is now significantly more developed, with more ex-pats having discovered it’s charm.  We still managed to find some fabulous fish and octopus though – and the cats!




The shorts that I have almost been living in, as they are the softest denim and so comfortable, are old selvedge denim shorts from J.Crew – there are similar ones here.  The t-shirt has become a favorite – it is the essential t-shirt from Gap in diva pink – just $12.99 now.

I wore the same shorts the other day with a Gap tank and Zara sandals ($49.99 in the sale).

pink and denim


A lazy day on the beach is in store for us today – I’m going to soak up every minute of our last week here!

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Some last minute sale purchases.

At the start of the Zara sale I was a little disappointed with how few items grabbed my attention – though that may have had something to do with being up at midnight to be online as the sale went online. Well as happens every time, the more you look, the more treasures you find – especially in the ‘Last Sizes‘ section – but you’ve got to be quick! If when you click below they are out of stock – never fear – I see items popping back in and out of stock daily – in fact almost hourly at the moment – depending how much surfing I am doing!

This Kimono jacket is just lovely – the colors are gorgeous – and it’s only $29.99!

Kimono jacket


This bird print dress is relatively recent – and I love the shift shape. Again it is just $29.99.

Birdprint dress


I have these sarong trousers – and they are beautiful with a really interesting cut. Now just $39.99.

sarong trousers



This crochet blouse is just gorgeous and has been out of stock in the sale for a while – I was lucky enough to snap up a Large when it came back yesterday. It will look great with jeans in the Fall. It reminds me of a gorgeous Next one that I treasured back in 1989!

Lace blouse


When I’m hunting the Last Sizes section I am mainly looking for dirt cheap bargains like this t-shirt. I ordered the Medium in this.

flocked t-shirt


This is my absolute favorite purchase and it will look great with my harems. It is the same t-shirt that Sue has and wears so well – a bargain at $14.99!

textured t


These are not yet in the Last Sizes section – I have been watching them all season but feared the print just made them too obviously ‘Zara’. I love them and have finally decided to hit the order button. I really want to wear these together with my white stilettos. We’ll see when I try them on!

Pyjama shirt




What have you seen in the sales recently? Have you been scouring the Zara sale still or have you moved on to the Next sale in the UK?

Finally a quick round up of holiday activities and outfits. We went to Famagusta the other day to wander around the old City inside the castle walls. Before 1974 this was were all the Turkish Cypriots in the city had to live and there are lots of sad signs of war and destruction. Over the centuries many civilizations have lived in the walled city and left their mark so there are lots of great ancient sites and stores to see!

shopping in Famagusta


On Saturday night we wandered up to the village for our nightly ice cream and lo and behold another wedding was taking place. I also discovered it is the month of Ramadan, after offering our gardener a glass of water he told us he was fasting. I am learning new things all the time here – I had no idea Ramadan was timed to coincide with the gorgeous crescent moon.

I am wearing the Gap sunwashed t-shirt, J.Crew chino shorts in peach neon and my Marks and Spencers bowcage sandals.

Wedding and ice cream


Last night we went out for a ‘fancy’ dinner – according to the children that is. It’s about as fancy as it gets here in N. Cyprus – but I wore a frock for the occasion:) (I’ve worn the red version here). The sandals are Marks and Spencers. As my Husband was driving I was unable to polish off the full bottle of wine on my own (it must be the heat) so I brought it home – classy.




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My spiritual home.

So I’m not normally one to get deep, so bear with me.  I believe that everyone has a ‘spiritual home’ – where you feel that sense of calm, along with a stirring sense of excitement.  Like you’re where you belong.  If you’re lucky enough to travel often you may have encountered several places that give you this feeling of elation, or you may be even luckier to experience it right where you call home now.

15 years ago my Husband and I journeyed down the Karpaz – the peninsular or ‘pan handle’ of Cyprus.  It was barren, poor, and occupied by farmers.  It was, and still is, one of the few places on the island where you find Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots living side by side.  It is also home to fabulous hidden ruins, sea turtles and wild donkeys.  Today it is much the same, though the western Karpaz now has several holiday villages bringing in much needed business and money to the area.  I’m not sure the photos do it justice but I hope they convey some of the reasons why the Karpaz is my spiritual home.

Cyprus Map 34

BIG holiday hair!:


Not sure I’ve ever seen clearer water – no wonder the turtles love it!:


Lunch was a picnic in a ruined chapel – not a bad spot:

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Just call me Aphrodite:



So I want to be a goat herder when I grow up:



Excuse me mate!:

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The beach behind me is Turtle Beach where we spent a night of our honeymoon at the bar, and then slept in a beach shack.  It was a very drunken night – I still remember how rough I felt the day after!  Hasan, the owner, who poured the brandy in 1998, was still there today.  Amazing memories:

DSC_0638 DSC_0651

My paradise:



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Feeding my need for harems.

So you all know by now that I love harem trousers.  I think it is the fact that they are a love ’em or hate ’em item that makes me love them more.  There is no middle ground – they are completely polarizing – I know from the comments I receive.  Thankfully there are a few of us harem lovers around, otherwise stores like Zara and Mango wouldn’t continue to provide as many amazing options as they do.  Even Next has got in on the game – admittedly their crotch is not low slung – but they are great for a harem novice.

Here are my picks from Next – I have them in white and black, and I have just ordered the navy – they are incredibly comfortable and quite flattering if you ask me, though Next seem to employ the same online stylist as M&S.

In navy – these come in black and white too.

Navy Next harem


I love this pattern – it reminds me of the Lululemon Wee are from Space print.

textured jersey trousers


And of course there has to be some animal print in there.

Animal print


And my very favorite – the tie dye option.




Since buying my Mango trousers I’ve seen them featured on a few other blogs so I’m quite happy I bought them before the sold out in the sale on the US site!  You can find them here on the UK site for just 19.99 GBP, again they aren’t too low slung for those of you who just want to dip your toe in the harem trend.


I’m not usually a fan of paisley but I love the folded waistline this paisley print pair – again just 19.99GBP in the sale.


I may have also bought these – at just 15 GBP they are great value – a lovely loose linen, perfect with sandals or heels – and great for vacation.


Now Zara are always reliable for harems.  I have a couple of winter styles and then I bought these for my vacation that are now in the sale – I adore them – they are a great blue and lovely and silky. They are the perfect dressy holiday trouser in my opinion.



I’m very excited to see that they are now available in orange or pink in the new collection.

Orange Pink


And now for a real love it or loathe it item.  I, of course, LOVE it and have ordered it – it will be waiting on my desk when I return to work – what a treat!  I love how ridiculously it embraces the full LOW slung harem trouser.  With killer heels and a clutch I think it will look simple and elegant.  I present to you the Zara baggy fit jumpsuit.


I told you that my Husband was a great lover of harems too – he even wore them at my graduation ball – well he’s just ordered a pair of tailor made ones here.  I’m tempted to invest in some Cypriot couture myself, though I’m a bit concerned about what exactly ‘planted within’ means?



Meanwhile here I am in the wonderful Zara trousers out for dinner last night.  The t-shirt is Ted Baker which is proving to be incredibly versatile – it goes with everything – and the sandals are Zara too.  I actually put make up on for the first time in a week but still couldn’t face the heat of the hairdryer.

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So have I persuaded you to give harems a go yet?


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