Tag Archives: IKEA

How many pairs of sneakers does a girl need?

Hmm well replace ‘need’ with ‘want’ and it seems to be never ending! I’ve had a love affair with sneakers/trainers since I was young when I cherished my Dunlop Green Flash. My Mum would whiten them for me, which inevitably resulted in crusty shoes, as you were in effect putting white paint on them that cracked once it dried! I soon moved onto Converse and they were my staple at University – I had a green pair and a lilac pair. Of course once the 90s arrived it was all about the Adidas Gazelles. Interestingly I still have Gazelles and Converse in my collection – but no Green Flash! Do they even still sell them?

So going back to the question I have so many sneakers now that I cannot ever say ‘I need those’ when it comes to a new pair. I have running shoes, sneakers for fashion and even sneakers-to-wear-with-work-out-gear-when-I’m-not-actually-working-out, as my husband duly noted this morning. Due to my rather large collection of sneakers, these days I tend to wait for the sales to add a new style, or a new color, to the mix. Many of the sneakers you will see in the sale are the same style as the new season, but just a different selection of colors. So unless you are buying high performance running shoes you won’t be missing out on any new technology!

Nike very kindly just sent me a code for an extra 20% off clearance – BACK2SPORT. Some of my favorite casual sneakers are the Nike Internationalist. These are currently on sale so you will get your extra 20% off making them just $48, reduced from the regular price of $85. I have a couple of pairs at home and I can vouch for their comfort.

Nike-Internationalist-Womens-Shoe-629684_302_E_PREM Nike-Internationalist-Womens-Shoe-629684_303_E_PREM


This navy pair are slightly more but have to be my favorite for the Fall, and you’ll get the extra 20% off too.



While on the Nike site I fell hard for thesebright red but I adore Air Max! These would be amazing with black skinnies and a black cashmere sweater.



If you are looking for some serious running shoes you can’t go wrong with the Lunar Flyknits. I always go up half a size at least for running to give me plenty of room in the toe box. These are in the sale, in a couple of colors, reduced from $150, with an extra 20% off too!



Now for the classic New Balance. Take a look at these images and tell me they aren’t cool!

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My favorite New Balance 620s are on sale on the New Balance site reduced from $79.99 to $59.99. I found a discount code for you too! RETAILMENOT will get you 12% off plus free shipping. How could you say no to green and bubble gum pink?

630 green


Or navy and apple?

630 navy


Finally – (not on sale – don’t shoot me) – I spotted some amazing colors new on the J.Crew site. These always sell out super fast as they are custom colors unique to J.Crew. I’m definitely getting my hands on this olive and pink pair.

620 JCrew

The classic navy pair are gorgeous and a little more subtle.

630 JCrew navy


I wore a pair of my 620s yesterday, then I forgot to take a photo of them! I was dashing from one place to another and, take it from me, they added a little pace around the supermarket!

On Friday I made the trip to IKEA. One I try to do only x2 a year. This time of year is NOT the time to go as every GA Tech and GA State student is there trying to furnish their abode for the next year! As a side note I used to be quite a snob about cooking utensils and pots and pans – but IKEA do some fabulous pots and pans and baking ware!

WatermelonTrousers – Zara (old) // Shoes – TopShop Kingfisher // T-shirt – H&M

Today it’s back to work. I dropped Stella, our white boxer, at the vet today to have a mast cell tumor removed. Very common in boxers but still I hated leaving her there!

JCrew blazerShoes – Vince Nina (on sale here and here) // Jeans – J.Crew (sale) // Top – Mango (sale) // Jacket – J.Crew Regent blazer // Bag – Alexander Wang Rocco (similar here discounted)



Pool attire!

So it is Memorial Weekend here which not only means the pools open for the summer, but also there are LOTS of sales in which to buy new attire for the pool!  As an example, on Tuesday I got a beach cover up from J.Crew – already reduced to $69 and then at the till a further 30% off was applied!!

It’s available online too – size down it fits big.  It is stunning – the neon colors are amazing.  I have a small in the blue version.  Online use PACKME for extra 30% off.

pink beach cover up blue

Also available online with in the PACKME 30% extra off are the following – I keep dropping them in my cart!

This gorgeous striped tunic is perfect with denim shorts:

striped tunic


I adore the spearmint color of this beach tunic.

beach tunic


Now for swimsuits – I have to say that full price J.Crew are expensive – so wait for a deal like they have now and you will end up with the best quality, most comfortable swimwear ever – in my opinion at least!  Even swimwear not in the sale is 25% off with PACKME.

Here are my favorites.  I LOVE neon for the summer – and for the first time in years I have bought swimsuits.

The ruched neon suit will hide a multitude of sins:

neon ruched


The bandeau suit comes with removable straps – perfect for the beach when you need to run around after the children yet you also want to catch some rays.

bandeau neon


J.Crew is amazing for their choice of mix and match bikini sets – all shapes, support and sizes of tops, plus bottoms from the teeniest tiniest to the more modest.  I have chosen the sculpted top that has wider ties than a string and a more supportive cup, along with the regular bikini bottom.  I initially tried the shrunken low rider – wowzers low, low, low indeed – returned immediately before I scared the children:)

regular bikin sculpted top


ASOS also have an extra 20% of this weekend using WEBEGRILLIN – this can be stacked with items that are already reduced by 25%.  There are some fabulous items – too many to count here so take a peek.  One item I will recommend is my new crochet dress – it is simply stunning and I am saving it for my trip to NYC next week!  Size up if you are apple like me – it fits slim but it’s super cute!  I’m going to wear it with my Dickers or sandals.

asos dress


I have plenty of outfit shots to share from this week and I’ll get them in a post soon!  Right now I’m off back to IKEA for more kids furniture – a Memorial Weekend filled with flat pack assembly for me!


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The craziness is over…

I’ve been neglecting the blog – apologies.  I did warn you that May was full of events that need planning and execution!  Today is Poppy’s 8th birthday.  I cannot believe that 8 years ago I was lying in L&D having just had my first child at around 6.30pm…

The party was on Friday early evening and I have to say it was one of our best.  I had the great fortune of catching up with Moms I hadn’t seen for weeks, some months!  It was planned from 5-7pm and you can tell it was a great night as our last guests didn’t leave till 10ish – we didn’t want it to end.  We were trying to make it a surprise for Poppy but of course 8 year olds have loose lips:)  She loved the red carpet, VIP sign and VIP badges!



Poppy’s dress is H&M as is most of her closet these days!  I find they are great for a girl who no longer wants to wear Boden appliqué, but they are still totally appropriate for a young girl.

Mikey from VibeSquad was our amazing DJ for the evening, ironically he’s a Londoner!

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DSC_0019I tried to go with the disco theme in my ASOS Bowie t-shirt, Mango harems and silver Ancient Greeks.  Thanks to the Husband for the super unflattering photo but it makes me smile – we had amazing fun catching up:)

Today after present opening we headed to the American Girl Store to pick up Isabelle – new friend to Saige from last year.  I am not buying anymore American Girl Dolls…that store is my idea of hell on earth.

AGD(Yes – another H&M dress!)

Lunch was by choice of the birthday girl at Verde and I decided to wear glitter, at least on my feet, for the occasion.


(Poppy in another H&M dress!)

Birthday outfit.jpg

Top – Mango // Jeans – H&M boyfriend jeans // Shoes – Golden Goose (back in stock in Barneys!) // Jacket – Zara (old)

Sorry PETA and all the vegan readers – I am completely obsessed with my new cowhide from IKEA!  You can catchup with my IKEA trip on Instagram – we’ve just ordered the kids their new loft beds after having their rooms painted!  They are growing up too fast!

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One other thing to let you all know about before the vanish immediately – the new Nike Blazers are now in stock at J.Crew!  If you love a hi-top, and don’t want to pay Golden Goose prices, these are a must!  They’ll be sold out in the bat of an eye, I assure you.


Last week of school here this week – wooo hooo – summer is here!!

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Well they’re not clothes…

To my horror I discovered that the kids don’t go back to school till Tuesday!  I thought I had my routine back tomorrow!  Don’t get me wrong we’ve had an amazing break – but 2 weeks is plenty thanks.  Of course the other issue at stake is the fact that Atlanta is due to get temperatures of -10 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday – yes I said Fahrenheit!  This means that school may be out anyway due to severe weather – God help me.  I will not complain about the cold, especially as I am currently watching the NFL playoffs – Green Bay are at home and the stadium is full – talk about risking frostbite!  I’m not kidding when I tell you they are Arctic conditions.

We did venture out yesterday before the cold arrives.  It was one of those lovely spontaneous outings.  We mooched around a couple of boutiques and furniture stores and then took the kids for ice cream – even when it’s cold they won’t refuse it!   I suggested our initial destination, a fabulous mid-century modern furniture store in Inman Park called City Issue.  I mentioned a long time ago that I was looking out for my perfect vanity.  Well before the holidays I noticed a desk on their Facebook page.  I’d long ago realized that anything described as a ‘vanity’ or ‘dressing table’ was going to be too ornate for my tastes.  A contemporary, slim line desk seemed the perfect option – if I could find one.  Well after a teeny, tiny bit of ummming and ahhing this beautiful Danish masterpiece is now mine.  I am in love with her.  I love the fact that she has been used before, and I like to imagine that love letters were once written on her.  I’m using an IKEA chair till I find the perfect partner for her – but I quite like the contrast of the wood with perspex.

vanity vanity 1


After arranging my new love and organizing the drawers it was time to eat.  I want to share my brilliant new gadget with you.  As you know I’m trying the Paleo diet – I’m really enjoying cooking so much, but I do miss pasta and rice sometimes.  My rice substitute is ground cauliflower (blend it), fried with onions – it is delicious.  As for pasta I’ve tried spaghetti squash but there is a lot of prep required.  Today I used my spiral vegetable cutter to make noodles from zucchini/courgette – it worked a treat!! I LOVE it!  It comes with 3 blades and lets you cut ribbons too.  I made a thai shrimp curry using them – just throw them in at the end so they don’t get soggy.  DELICIOUS!

noodles thai


My final recent acquisition is the Conair InfinitPro spin air brush.  Many of my UK blogging friends have raved about the Babyliss Big Hair version – most recently Trea.  For the life of me I couldn’t find it anywhere here.  Then I realized it is branded differently – Conair own Babyliss and here it is called the Conair InfinitiPro spin air brush.  I do as Trea does – I dry my hair with my ghd dryer till it is about 80% dry and then use the spin brush.  It catches hold of my hair nicely and works a treat on my shorter length hair giving me lovely smooth locks.  I highly recommend it – my only criticism is that it seems quite loud after the quietness of my ghd dryer – but the price point is significantly different too!

Infinit pro

So there we go – a vanity, a vegetable slicer and a hair styler – and like I said none of them can be worn so I’ve not broken any shopping rules yet – though admittedly I’m still trying to determine what those rules are for 2014 – I cannot subscribe to any kind of total abstinence.

Here’s my outfit from yesterday.  I bought the Only jeans back in the sale from ASOS before the Holidays.  I was trying to resist, but a couple of the AllWornOutBlog.com girls (here and here) and Avril all looked amazing in them, so I resisted no more.

Onlyjeans M&S shearling jacket

Boots – Petrol Rag & Bone Newbury boots (similar here) // Jeans – Only from ASOS (on sale) // Tank – H&M // Grey sweatshirt – ASOS // Jacket – M&S (old – similar here) // Scarf – Zara (old)

Today I used the InfiitiPro spin brush and hopefully you can see how much smoother and less curly my hair looks.

ASOS dress


Sneakers – Converse (similar here) // Leggings – H&M (old) // Dress – ASOS (on sale)

So now to watch the end of the football and do some menu planning for next week.  Let’s hope we don’t get iced in as I might have to crack the wine open in desperation!

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Sequins are everywhere right now but I have to say I’ve not ventured into the land of festive sequins yet.  I have to admit sequins make me a bit nervous.  I have an Express sequined sweatshirt that I like – because it really is a sweatshirt I can wear it casually during the day – in fact I last wore it here back in the summer when I flew to the UK.


In lieu of sequins I’ve been sporting quite a few items with sparkly thread in them.  I find this kind of ‘sparkle’ much easier to wear.  It also lends itself to being worn throughout the year – especially when the garment is a scarf or a casual piece of knitwear.  The scarf I wore on Monday is a blush sparkly H&M scarf that is still available in my local stores, though unfortunately can’t be found on the US or the UK website.  I paired it with an H&M knitted dress – one of my favorites as I love the asymmetrical hemline, my Zara snake skin trousers – they are very loud indeed, and my Ash Bowies.  Even when worn with nude colors like these the sparkle provided a bit of festive fun.


Today I am wearing my favorite winter jumper – the sparkle Skye jumper from Boden, where there is currently up to 50% off until January 6th in their winter sale.  It is a gorgeous taupe/parchment color with gold thread running through it.  I love the cut of this jumper – it’s short so not overwhelming, but it’s lovely and slouchy – I even sized down in this.  I’m wearing it layered over a brown Target tank, with my Zara red skinnies, Acne Pistol boots and an oldish H&M scarf.


It’s the last day of school today for the Christmas break – hooray – we can all lie in bed a little longer tomorrow.  What with finishing the IKEA closet, wrapping presents and packing for a quick jaunt to NYC it’s going to be a busy break.

What are your plans for the Holiday?

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Harem trousers – I love ’em.

Now we’ve discussed before how harem trousers are a love ’em or loathe ’em item but I really do love ’em.  I’ve decided it all hails back to when I met MM in 1991.  He was/is a non-conformist and when I met him he had long curly hair and more jewelry than me.  He always wore loud shirts with harem trousers and his red Converse hi-tops, which incidentally, he has on his feet today – not the same pair mind you.  MM was fortunate that all his harem trousers were hand made in Turkey.  As a PhD student in Byzantine history he was lucky enough to have regular trips to Turkey where he could indulge in Efes pilsener, Roman ruins and fine tailoring.  I must dig out the photo of the first University Ball he took me to – he wore black harem trousers, a tailcoat, black shirt with white polka dots, a white bow tie and the omnipresent red converse – he’s such a wall flower…

Anyhow I am now the flag bearer in the family when it comes to harem trousers.  Today I have on the Zara grey trousers (they’re labeled as khaki on the site but they are definitely grey) which are super soft and comfortable.  I try to wear them with a more fitted top so I don’t look too overwhelmed.  Today I have my Boden blackberry Must Have jumper layered over a black Zara t-shirt.  The scarf is H&M and the boots are the Isabel Marant Dickers.  So thoughts please would you, do you do harem trousers?

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Here’s my outfit from yesterday – black Gap skinny jeans, a black Gap t-shirt and the AllSaints Plume cardigan from the sale back in June, all finished off with the mocha Acne Pistols.  We happened to be doing some work on the IKEA Pax last night, and without the cardi and boots MM said I bore a keen resemblance to the IKEA ninja in the instructions…he can mock when he can beat my time for drawer assembly…


I also got to try on my new Boden Fairisle jumper.  I’m so glad I sized up in this – this is a US 10 but fits far better than the 8 – I can’t abide tight knitwear and this now falls really well.  Not my usual style but I really like it for winter and it complements my Pistols perfectly!  There aren’t many left in stock after all the promotions recently, but worth stalking.



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It all seems a little anti-climatic this morning after the excitement of election day.  MM and I flicked between about a dozen channels last night watching the results come in – some for amusement and others for information…I think it was pretty much determined by the time we went to bed.  I feel very proud to have taken part in the process – my first Presidential Election!

I’m still feeling rubbish today – terrible head cold – so I’ve just been to Whole Foods in an attempt to rid myself of the lurgy using various juices.  Not to mention I’ve piled on about 100lbs from ‘feeding my cold’.  I bought beets, ginger, and carrot and it tastes pretty good actually, with a scoop of chia seeds for good measure.  I’m sure it’s more psychological than anything but I’m fed up of feeling under the weather.  I want to feel better by Friday so I can head out on a good long run and clear my head.

It’s brass here today, and what with feeling sorry for myself it was the perfect opportunity to get my puffer out for the first time.  Not the most flattering of coats, but perfect for when you don’t want to leave your duvet.  This one is Patagonia – I love their coats – light and warm and last years.  I actually got dressed instead of wearing sweats again – much to the relief of everyone in Whole Foods, and wore my Hudson jeans, Vince Camuto taupe Autumn wedges, and an H&M sweater dress that was buy one get one free – and I’m pretty sure the offer is still on here.  I paid $25 for two – a bargain!  The pink scarf doesn’t really match but to be honest at 8.30am this morning I didn’t care.  You’ll also notice another Pax unit was assembled last night – it took a little longer than it should as MM and I were both wetting ourselves at each others ineptitude – who’d have thought IKEA flat packing could provide such hilarity?

Another outfit I forgot to post the other day was from Saturday when we went to my daughter’s swim meet.  Quite loud pants it has to be said but they are awfully comfy.  They are the Zara snake print trousers, worn with a blush H&M tank an AllSaints sweater (no longer online), with my Ash Bowie sneakers in camel and H&M sparkly blush scarf. As you can see the kids always want to get in on the act – I’m forever telling them to keep out of the closet right now due to tacks, hammers and swaying closet fixtures – so guess where they always want to be?


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Sweden, douze points.

Some days you just know you got it right.  Even if others don’t agree it doesn’t matter because you know you nailed it.  Whether it’s the way a scarf picks out the colors, the new shoes you’re wearing, or even just the right piece of underwear – you feel damn hot when you walk out of the door and there ain’t no shame in that.

I’m having one of those days today.  It’s an outfit I threw together last minute as I was initially envisioning brown leggings but then discovered they were in still to be washed.  Thank goodness for that – what a dowdy outfit it could have become!  Instead I was inspired by the blush trim on my H&M scarf and went for my favorite blush Express Zelda jeans.  The sweater dress is the incredible bargain from H&M that I got at the weekend – just $25 and SO soft.  I adore the tulip shape and the asymmetrical hem.  Now the boots maybe what make the outfit – at least I feel like I’m in heaven wearing them – and it’s their first outing!  The amazing Acne Pistols.  Now I know what all the fuss is about.  They are a ridiculous indulgence but they are freakin’ cool.

So now for the explanation of the title of this post for my non-European readers.  In Europe we have a fascinating phenomenon known as the Eurovision song contest.  Held every May, qualified European countries enter a ‘singing’ competition in order to be ridiculed by the rest of Europe.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been some amazing success stories – ABBA being the most prolific (and they’re Swedish, continuing to prove the point I am trying to make).  However the vast majority of us watch it to see which country has the most eccentric entry – and believe me there have been many as seen here.  Anyway in the 2 hour long voting process that takes place afterward where each country awards points, based sometimes on political agendas, the highest awarded is 12.  Point distribution is read in English and French – hence “Sweden, douze points!” from this little ole judge here:)  Phew…was it worth it?  Anyway douze points goes to the Swedes because they really are quite clever – not only do they have a fantastic standard of living, a great education system and fabulous childcare facilities –

1. Where would I be without H&M this Fall?

2. My IKEA Pax closet is the best invention ever and is taking shape in my closet as you can see in today’s photo – beyond thrilled I tell you.

3. Acne – well what more can I say about my beautiful boots?

4. Our great friends Simon and Karin live in Stockholm.

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Building the closet.

Friday was spent in IKEA.  MM and I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy part of, if not most of our closet.  We’d decided that based on price and aesthetics the IKEA PAX system is the way to go, and yes we had discussed the potential chaos and crankiness that will inevitably result from the 2 of us spending the next 20 years sitting in a windowless walk in closet assembling flat packs.  But we still bought it.  After dragging the enormous boxes off the shelves ourselves we opted for the delivery option, and unsur-freakin-prisingly they only delivered half the boxes last night.  Now we have to wait for the second half to be delivered today.

MM thinks we can have it built in a week – I’ll be ecstatic if I can hang stuff before Christmas.  I might have to start drinking again (I’ve not imbibed since Louisville – a record for me).

Yesterday I ran for the first time in a while and felt great – foot feels healed and I sweat buckets – it was great to be out there again…The weather was perfect too – really cool but sunny.  Unfortunately by 3pm it’s back to 80 degrees F so deciding what to wear is a real conundrum.  Layering seems to be the way to go.

Yesterday I wore my Zara cargo pants, Zara owl t-shirt and AllSaints Cerulean cardigan.  I did have to swap it out for a heavier knit last night while watching the debate.  I refuse to put the heating on yet!  Shoes are Tory Burch Eddies.

Today it’s a completely random look and though comfy I don’t really feel ‘me’.  The idea was to wear a short sleeved dress so I’m prepared for the warm afternoon – but I feel a bit too girly in this H&M skater dress.  I added a Boden cashmere cardigan (the most superior cashmere knits I’ve ever found), Boden leggings, a copy of the Anthropologie necklace that was huge a couple of years ago, and my Banana Republic round toe pumps – yes heels!  I haven’t worn heels in the day since I quit the corporate world!


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The Olympics have started – hooray!!! NBC are covering them – boo!!!  I have watched NBC religiously since landing in the US and watch Bri-Wi every night at 6.30 – my 30mins with the US’s version of the ‘rest of the world’, but NBC you have disappointed me so over the past few days.

1. The Opening Ceremony was NOT shown live, then the recorded version shown Friday evening was filled with ad breaks, and NBC omitted several pieces of the show including the full musical line up, plus most importantly and most insulting, the tribute to 7/7 was omitted – now if the BBC ever omitted a tribute to 9/11 we’d be hearing about it to kingdom come.

2. Every night Brian tells me at 6.30 there will be no spoilers and all the main events will be shown in the prime time coverage – BUT – he then says something along the lines of “but this news has already rocketed around the world so we’ll tell you now anyway…” and then proceeds to tell me about the Chinese female swimmer whose race I haven’t even seen yet…#MajorFail

3. Ryan Lochte is an irritating s.o.b. who happens to be a pretty good swimmer – I don’t need to see his grill or his shoe collection again – or him tossing a 650lb tire for that matter.

4.  I know we’re in the US and not everyone is aware of the UK geography, but when it comes to Manchester it is NOT ‘just a bit North of London’.

5.  And yes I know it is US coverage but there are other countries taking part that we’d like to see something of…
I could go on and I am trying to rise above it and enjoy the Olympics, but take a look at the tweets with #NBCFail and you will see I am not alone in my grievances.

Rant over.

This should be the last week of dust and dirt in the house – the electrician has been, the painting is done, the shower door hung and all that remains is for the door pulls on the vanity to be added and the mirror to be hung.  Thrilled is an understatement – I can’t wait to get into our new master suite.  While the work has been going on I’ve also done a bit of rearranging in the other areas of the house and yesterday we completed the sitting area in the kitchen with two fabulous IKEA Tullsta leather chairs – for $199 each they can be used and abused by the kids as much as they want – and they look brilliant.  Definitely glad we opted for the off white in the end as I think the black version would have closed in the area a little too much.

Today it’s pretty miserable weather – rain, heat and humidity – but I’m taking advantage of wearing my white jeans for the month before Labor Day.  These are the cropped Zeldas from Express – currently just $29.99, worn with my new Blighty boatneck from Boden, bought in the sale.  My red lipstick today inspired me to wear this scarf – another H&M bargain for $3!  Not sure how well you can make it out but it has fabulous red lips all over it – I love it!  I finished off the outfit with my red Tory Burch Revas for an additional splash of color.  I love the Blighty boatneck – definitely more of a sweat shirt and I sized up so I can layer it in the Fall – not reduced quite as much as I’d have liked in the sale but enough to have bought this dusk one and the quail egg one.

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