Category Archives: Style

15% off at H&M

Discount codes for H&M are always worth investigating. Right now Club members (free to join here) receive 15% off orders over £60 – all you need to do is add the coupon at check out.

I’ve bought a few things recently in their sale and there are some lovely new spring items arriving daily. Here’s my round up of what to take a look at while the offer is valid.

Firstly here are the new Spring items, though Spring seems a long way away in these temperatures! This dress is the same shape as the William Morris print dress and it has a slip with it. I wear a 16 in it to fit loosely over my chest. It’s a really beautiful cornflower blue and will be great with white Supergas in the summer.

My lovely friend Sue brought this tunic to my attention. We have similar white ones from last summer, though this navy one is definitely shorter and doesn’t have a slip so I won’t be wearing it as a dress. Size down – a medium is great on me.

These culottes are AMAZING. I bought this colour last week and have just ordered the darker denim. I have a UK 14 and they are SO stretchy and lift beautifully. I just love them. Again with white sneakers, a t-shirt and blazer they’ll be just fabulous for the spring.

There is definitely a blue theme here – blue and yellow are definitely colours to look out for this season. I’m looking forward to trying this blazer and I sized up to a 16 for a more oversized fit.

This green blazer looks lovely and I want to pair it with a white t-shirt and white jeans.

These trousers look great for transitional weather and they have elastic in the back of the waistband for comfort. H&M do some of the best ‘pull on’ trousers there are – ideal for work. They’re available in this khaki, brown or black.

Now for some sale items so don’t dilly dally as they always fly out the virtual window quickly. It was hard to choose the colour for this jumper but I ended up ordering a yellow in Large to try. All of them would be beautiful on a chilly spring day. Each is reduced from £49.99 to £30.

This red is a similar style. Reduced from £39.99 to £24.

Now how about this coat. I first saw it on Chloe and for £20 I thought it was worth a try. I LOVE it – the fit is great and the collar is great popped up.

Here I am in it today with my Grenson Nanette boots.

This red coat is a winner too – I have this in a large and it’s lovely.

So given as it’s only the start of February there should be a few things in the sale that you can take advantage of the discount on! We’ve a while before bare ankles are the norm again I think! Right I’m off to watch the Superbowl – how ironic – 18 years in Atlanta and then we get the Superbowl the year we leave!

The LBD

Not Little Black Dress, but the Long Black Dress. The dress from the William Morris x H&M collaboration has reminded me how useful a dress can be. Wear it during the day with a chunky sweater and sneakers, or in the evening with ankle or knee length boots and a leather jacket. So versatile and I get to play out my inner Kate Bush.

Given we’re galloping at high speed towards party season I am considering two long black dresses that will allow me to sing Wuthering Heights at the top of my voice, while wearing a deep berry lipstick. Both are from Marks and Spencer.

The first is a Limited Edition dress that is similar in style, though far dressier to the instafamous go-faster stripe dress.

The second dress is also available in a beautiful purple print. I just love this and the v-neck is super flattering for a busty lass like me. Eve has it and looks lovely in it here.

I’ll report back once I’ve tried them with these sock boots which will give a really neat, flattering line at the ankle to contrast with the drapey fabric of the dresses.

Getting ready for my first UK winter in years!

I have no flipping idea how we have already got to October 2018. Having said that, selling our house back in May in Atlanta, seems a lifetime ago. I feel fortunate that I’ve had no real pangs of regret or remorse. If anything I’ve often found myself feeling quite giddy about being here in Leeds…you know like when Strictly is on, or when discovering Gogglebox, or when realizing that buying coats is now an essential and not a complete waste of time and money!

I do realize that Wednesday is bringing temperatures of 21 degrees Celsius…but if we ignore that little blip the coming weeks are bringing lower temperatures and darker evenings. Yes! It makes me so happy!

I’ve only just started to fully appreciate having all the big stores on my doorstep here in Leeds. H&M have always been a firm favorite but actually having one local, with stock in that I want to try is a bonus!

This coat is fabulous – totally on trend, fun, stylish and warm – and just £69.

Their puffa/padded coats are always great value and come in great colors. This plum one is beautiful.

I just love this faux fur coat – it’s so elegant and stylish.

I’m embarrassed to say, though you won’t be surprised, that I have ordered this padded coat in all three colours, with the intention of returning my two least favorite. Darn it – I can’t decide. They are GREAT coats and such welcome bright alternatives. I sized up for an oversized, slouchier look but if you want your regular fit they are TTS. Codes 6Autumn will get you £6 off when you spend over £60, 10Autumn will get you £10 off when you spend over £80, 15Autumn will get you £15 off when you spend over £100 and 20Autumn will give you £20 off when you spend over £150.

There are so many great coats to choose from and I have to be cognizant that I am moving house again very soon – fingers crossed! My husband will have a fit when he sees how much winter wear I’ve been squirreling away! I’ll be back with more soon! 

Finally here I am today – I’m about to head off this evening to a networking event – so I better choose a coat!

Jumper – Zara / Boots – H&M / Jeans – Mother Denim (on sale at The Outnet)

Happiness

How do you measure happiness? Do we actually know when we’re happy and appreciate it? Do we know when we’re unhappy and make changes to rectify it? 

I’ve always considered myself a happy person. Yes I have been depressed in the past, but I have still found moments of happiness in those brief periods. My baseline of ‘normal’ fluctuates occasionally – so those moments of happiness are sometimes more subdued or less frequent. The changes I’ve made to my lifestyle over the past 3 months (moving to England, and basically doing more, resulting in living healthier) have recently made me think a lot about happiness. I know for sure that I feel wonderfully happy at the moment – and being a scientist I like to understand cause and effect. The thing is, the year before we moved I didn’t feel depressed or particularly unhappy. I just knew something wasn’t right, and something needed to change. Or put another way – there was potential for greater happiness in my life, and who wants to miss out on a chance to be super happy!?

This feeling, was just that – a feeling, an intangible, an unknown. I took a huge risk in selling up and moving my family around the world based on an emotion – a desire to be happier. Writing that makes be shudder a little – wtf was I thinking? – More to the point my husband and children all went along with it without question! Does that mean we were guided by this ‘universal energy’, or similar, that I keep reading about in my ‘how to be a better person’ books? I’ll probably never know, but I have learned that if I trust my instinct and apply a little effort, I normally land in the right place. I have countless examples over my lifetime from deciding where to go to University, to changing careers to facilitate my relocation. I don’t remember doing any of these consciously – but something guided me in the right direction!

If we assume our level of happiness is unlimited why would we limit ourselves to our current level of happiness, especially when I’m certain happiness and health are correlated? It’s great to say ‘I’m happy’ – but what if we could increase our happiness and be happier!? I’m not suggesting we all take risks as monumental as my own, but why not take a few smaller ones? That class you wanted to take, or that new career you’ve been hankering for? A couple of friends have recently embarked on their v2.0 by beginning new careers in their late 40s, and this has got me thinking about what is next for me? How do I further increase my happiness quotient? Better to say oops, than never to try, right? My track record tells me it’s unlikely to be an oops.

What I’ve been buying since moving to Leeds.

We’ve been here two months now. We’ve been across the Pennines, traveled to the Cotswolds, watched a cricket game, and just last night we went to the Proms at Castle Howard. We are certainly making the most of being back in the UK that’s for sure. 

As for what I have been buying, well I guess the big purchases have distracted me from more trivial purchases – a couple of cars and a house can do that! That’s not to say we haven’t enjoyed some shopping trips! Leeds is a real treasure trove for shopping. The centre is clustered around the Briggate pedestrian area, which acts as an anchor for other shopping areas. It’s so easy to navigate between the Kirkgate Market, The Corn Exchange (pictured above), the Victoria Quarter and the newer Trinity shopping centre. We’re so lucky that many of the older buildings, like the market and Corn Exchange have been preserved – they’re a fabulous contrast to the new John Lewis housed in Victoria Gate. 

Animal print

You can’t escape the influx of animal print this season and one of my new favorite stores is New Look. They’ve been around years and I remember buying a very special suede mini skirt there, that I wore in the early 90s. It’s disposable fashion, and priced accordingly, so I do take care not to buy impulsively. Living out of my capsule wardrobe for a couple of months has highlighted the ease of having fewer decisions to make. Less most definitely is more.

New Look dress – keeps popping back in stock in various sizes

This dress is fabulous. It’s a wrap dress so really easy to wear and I wear a black cami under it for modesty. It’s quite often sold out, but pops back in stock often. It’s perfect for today with sandals or in the cooler months with black boots and a leather jacket.

New Look trousers

These trousers are waiting to be worn. I’m thinking a plain white t-shirt and white sneakers will be just the ticket. At just £17.99 they’re a real outfit maker. Wear later in the season with an oversize black knit or sweatshirt.

Marks & Spencer animal print jumper

I had a Marks & Spencer 20% off voucher for my birthday and I honestly tried to use it for the kids’ school uniform, but uniform was excluded from my offer…so I bought this jumper for myself. I bought it in a extra large for an oversized slouchy fit with skinny jeans. I saw it coming down the escalator and couldn’t leave without it!

AllSaints sale

I make no secret of my love for AllSaints and it’s wonderful having access to a store again here in Leeds, not to mention their concession in John Lewis. I do try and buy only in the sale as they are by no means cheap, but my AllSaints pieces are the items I go back to time and again, and several of their pieces made it to my capsule wardrobe as I knew I wouldn’t tire of wearing them while we moved.

This is the time of year to buy – the sale is on and now with an extra 20% off.

The Hawley oversized shearling jacket

This jacket is a real investment piece – something that will age beautifully and be a real work horse every winter. At £454 it’s still not cheap – but darned cheaper than it’s original £998! AllSaints cannot be beaten, in my humble opinion, when it comes to leather jackets.

The Balfern suede jacket

This grey Balfern suede jacket may be completely impractical, but there is no denying it’s beauty.

Boots

Finally, just when I thought I had all the boots a girl can need, albeit currently in storage (hence my justification), these arrived on the Zara site.

Zara cowboy boots

I wore them last night to Castle Howard. The quality is fabulous for Zara, and the leather is beautifully distressed.

Zara Snakeskin cowboy boots

These snakeskin cowboy boots are stunning. If you have wide calves you may need to wear them slouched – but under long prairie (yes back to the 80s again) skirts or dresses they look amazing.


Toga Pulla boots

It’s been a while I know! Various reasons have caused me to hesitate – but I can never seem to quit this blogging thing for good – I guess I just have to wait for the inspiration and blogging mojo to raise it’s head again. I’m still active on Instagram and love sharing my outfits there, along with updates on my thriving Rodan + Fields business. I’m thrilled to say I’m still having a ball with it and it is really flourishing – the hard work I invested a year ago is paying off. I traveled to Vegas for convention at the beginning of October, and it was absolutely incredible to meet so many smart, driven people in person. It has truly spurred me on to take this gig to the top.

We adopted a new puppy too a couple of weeks ago – totally on impulse – but the best things are done based on spontaneity. He’s amazing – so sweet and gentle. He’s been christened Larkin (Philip Larkin – “They fuck you up, your mum and dad…”) and he is a terrific running companion. Running really does make me happy – I hate missing a day and I get tremendous joy from a 4 mile jog round the neighborhood with Larkin.

Fashion wise I am SO OVER the heat. Yesterday, November 7th, it was almost in the 80s here! Not really boot and sweater weather. Well my whining paid off as today it’s much cooler, so my new Zara sweater came out of it’s box. These Toga Pulla boots are superb and various sizes are available on sale here.

Turning 46

I truly embrace growing older and consider it a privilege. I’m healthier than ever and enjoying success in many areas of life. A lot has changed in this past year, most for the better. I hate to keep harping on about it but not drinking has contributed massively to lots of positive changes. I truly consider it as a better choice I’m making, not something I am depriving myself of. All the things that you imagine alcohol to alleviate – like anxiety and stress – I’ve realized were actually caused by drinking, or at least exacerbated. I feel more confident than ever, and deeply connected with my emotions and the universe. I’ve read a lot too over the summer – meditation, affirmations and universal energy are all new concepts to me – but I truly believe in their power after practicing them, being more open minded, experiencing real results and receiving the abundance I asked for. Certain people have entered my life recently who have become incredibly important – I may not even have noticed these people a year ago. It’s funny what can happen when you consciously embrace situations and opportunity, instead of relying on chance and luck.

Top – ASOS  (love it in lilac here – I’m wearing a US8 it is oversized) // JeansHudson // Shoes – Sam Edleman // Bag – Alexander McQueen

An evening with Garbage and Blondie

My birthday celebrations began last night with a trip to Chastain Park Amphitheater to watch Garbage and Blondie. It’s an open air venue in the heart of Buckhead, Atlanta – and VERY middle class – not remotely rock and roll. There’s ample space between rows where you can set up your picnic table and nibble on olives and hummus, while muddling your Old Fashioned. I kid you not.

Hampered by a couple of severe downpours Garbage and Blondie completed 2 incredible sets. It’s hard to believe that Shirley Manson is 51 and Debbie Harry is 72. They are absolutely fierce women, dressing as they please and aging as they please – I adore them both for their strong examples to women everywhere. They can both still belt out a tune too.

The irony of ‘Only Happy When it Rains‘ was not lost on us…Shoes – Isabel Marant // Lace-up Jeans – TopShop // T-shirt – AllSaints

T-Shirt – Garbage tour t-shirt // Jeans – Madewell // Shoes – Converse // Bag – Stella McCartney

Before I go today I want to appeal to anyone in the US or Canada looking for a new challenge, or opportunity, that they can run alongside their regular job, or that will help them get back into earning an income, if you’ve been out of work or a SAHM. Rodan + Fields can be a lucrative side gig for a plan b, a safety net, an exit strategy or to relieve the burden of debt. My business is thriving and I’ve set a goal to add a number of consultants to my team this month. So if you’d like further information don’t hesitate to email me joanna@poppys-style.com – no commitment, purely informational – and see where it takes you. If I can do it I know you can – I’d never sold a girl scout cookie before last August and my business has transformed my life and the wealth of my family.

When you’re woken by an earthquake…

It was early morning and we’d just gone to bed after a lovely evening out in Datça. I was reading and the Husband was falling asleep. Suddenly my Husband appeared to be having a major twitching fit in his sleep…but no the walls are shaking too?! He sat bolt upright as I tried to comprehend what was happening. A storm maybe? Dave jumped out of bed and said ‘quick get the kids!’ I stumbled to the door – the power was out – so I looked for my phone for the torch app. ‘My god is it an earthquake?’ It suddenly dawned on me as  the walls were still shaking. It seemed like it lasted 20 mins but can’t have been more than a couple of minutes. It was really scary! Fortunately the power came back on, I then proceeded to update my social media accounts to inform everyone and check other updates from Bodrum, Marmaris and Kos, and then we all went back to bed. Surreal. Thanks to multiple after shocks I wasn’t really in the mood for sleeping, so I did what every girl would do, I shopped.

Now I can barely contain my excitement about my newest discovery. I say discovery – I have shopped here before but for random stuff like curry sauce – they have a world food section. World Market, it seems, now has the BEST selection of bags and home decor on the planet! It gives IKEA a run for its money too.

This clutch is just $29.99 and it is gorgeous.

World Market Clutch

This straw clutch is just $19.99

World Market straw clutch

Baskets are EVERYWHERE this summer and this one is a great shape.

As is this with tassels.

Or similar with pom poms.

Some slightly larger bags now but still at great prices!

Remember the H&M clutch that sold out in a heartbeat last year?

Then more tassels.

You MUST check out their home decor too. I’m planning on doing a bit of updating when I return home so I’ve ordered these in the sale.

Clear Evie chair – they also come in a similar style in blush, grey and clear.

Rolling cart – perfect for jewelry or cosmetics and half price!

I love this to use as a planter.

These crates would work to – or as a stand for a plant when turned upside down.

As for jewelry there is just too much fabulous stuff to share – like these earrings – just $9.99!!

I think I may have found my new favorite shop – what an Aladdin’s Cave!!! I haven’t even started on the clothes section yet – look at these dresses – just beautiful!

 

Some of my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Cardholders have early access from today and then the public get their access on July 21st – so compile your list! I’ve done a beauty selection here so check that out too – meanwhile here are some other items that are in my cart.

These Spanx faux leather leggings get rave reviews and they are reduced to $64.90 from $98 in the sale – both colors are gorgeous and it’s nice supporting an Atlanta born brand.

I have my Flyknit training shoes here on vacation with me and they are wonderful – super light and supportive. This gorgeous blush pair is reduced to $89 from $120 in the sale.

FRAME jeans are some of the best I’ve tried – lovely and soft with a great stretch. This pair is really unique with the split. Reduced from $269 to $179.90

Rag & Bone boots are some of my favorites as you know. These Harlow boots with the tassel are gorgeous. These are reduced from $495 to $329.90

Have a browse – all the items on sale are new for Fall and it’s a great time to make some big savings. The Beauty section has to be my favorite though so check those picks out here – there are some great exclusives.