Tag Archives: Marks and Spencer

Stocking up on the essentials.

I hate spending money on underwear.  No one sees it and these days I opt for comfort rather than style.  Once in a while though I start to get embarrassed about the state of my knicker drawer.  Currently it is stuffed with more knickers than any girl can wear in a year – all a different shade of grey, faded colors or fraying elastic.  Oh and there’s still the odd pair of thongs in there which I think I can safely say will never be worn again.  So it is time to purge and restock.

Now here is where I promise not to model my new attire if you promise not to giggle about the size of them.  I did used to wear thongs ALL the time.  How I ever did it I have no idea.  The thought of wearing one now makes my eyes water with discomfort.  They were perfect of course for tight pants when a VPL is an absolute no no.  Thankfully good old M&S came to the rescue with a whole range of no-VPL underwear.  Yes after 15 years in the USA I STILL buy M&S underwear.

My favorite style is their famous Brazilian cut.  Sales of underwear at M&S soared by 64% the year they were introduced.  They are just a little cheeky – quite literally – being a little higher cut on the butt cheeks – but a hundred zillion times more comfortable than a thong.

no vpl brazilian


And as we’re stocking up they do multipacks too which are great value.



I also ordered a multipack of their ‘boy shorts‘.  I love to wear these when wearing a shorter skirt or dress and want to keep my modesty intact after a couple of glasses of prosecco.

lace shorts



Okay – now don’t laugh – I bought some ‘big knicks’ too.  Sometimes comfort really does trump (oops) style.  Thankfully these do have a little bit of lace detail so they aren’t completely Nana knickers.  Trust me no one will know and you will be so thankful wearing them!

high rise briefs


Finally just to prove I can still do ‘sexy’ I ordered a couple of these lace bodies from their Limited Edition.  Just gorgeous for the summer under a maxi dress.  I love the cross back detail too.

Limited lace body


So now you know what I wear underneath here are my outfit pics from the last few days!

Today I’m back in a skirt as the sun shines again.  I started the day in heels.  It feels so fab to have bare legs again!

Mango skirt.jpgShoes – M&S // Skirt – Mango (similar here) // T-shirt – J.Crew

I later changed into flats for running errands around town.  I LOVE these – they are a great Miu Miu tribute with a lovely shaped toe.

M&S flats.jpg M&S flats 2.jpg


Yesterday I was in one of my favorite simple ASOS dresses.  Must remember to clean my mirror when photographing black!

ASOS dress.jpg

Sneakers – Stan Smith’s Adidas // Dress – ASOS (on sale)

Then finally from the other day when it was still damp and cool after the storms.

cava collage.jpg

T-shirt – J.Crew (30% off with GOSHOP in the USA) // Jeans – Zara (old) // Shoes – Arvacas Pons // Jacket – Zara (old)

So who else out there will admit to wearing big knickers? 🙂


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Tornado alley.

I’m sitting here watching the local news coverage that has been extended due to all the threats and warnings of tornadoes and severe weather.  It looks like it’s heading straight for Atlanta.  Here’s hoping everyone stays safe tonight – they do have a habit of over dramatizing the weather here, but it goes without saying that tornadoes are no trivial matter.

The kids are bathed and safely in bed so I thought I’d distract myself with a quick outfit post!  On Friday I had a hot yoga session followed by a hot date with my Husband.  Needless to say the hot date negated any of the benefits of the hot yoga!

Date night collage.jpg

Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury navy suede // Jeans – coated jeans Zara // T-shirt – AllSaints // Leather jacket – Boden (old)

Today I went for monochrome and leopard – two of my favorite picks when it comes to clothes!



Shoes – Marks and Spencer // Trousers – Zara (old) // Top – AllSaints Tiko t-shirt (similar here at ASOS) // Bag – Alexander Wang (old off TheOutnet.com)

Please stay safe if you’re in the path of these storms and hold your breath for blue skies on the other side xx


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Graphic t-shirts.

Isn’t it odd how something you once hated with a passion can become something you yearn for?  For me those things include heart shaped jewelry – once I though this was tacky but make it an Elsa Peretti piece and all of a sudden things change.

Logo and graphic t-shirts also fall into this category for me.  The thought of wearing my favorite tour t-shirt, or wearing a slogan emblazoned across my chest seemed so puerile and again tacky – maybe I just overdosed in the 80s?

chooselife Frankie


Well all that has changed, as many of my style stereotypes have, with my love for Pinterest.  Pinterest is fabulous for providing inspiration and tips on how to style items that may not even have crossed your mind before.  These images made me think twice about the graphic t-shirt.

RAmones Pinterest images CC #1


Pretty cool looks hey?  I did wear my Bowie t-shirt quite a bit last year and I must recycle these outfits over the coming weeks.

Bowie Collage Bowie tee


Here is a selection of my favorites that I am collecting in various virtual carts!

We just got our new SMART tv – what a revelation Netflix streaming is!  I’m already well into Season 2 of Breaking Bad and this t-shirt is a must for any fan.

Breaking Bad

I adore this one – it should be my motto.


This one by Wildfox made me giggle and will make you cringe – my Husband calls me ‘dreamy’:)


I think this Coke t-shirt is super cool – especially living in the home of Coca-Cola.

Japan Coke

For something maybe a little more understated – this NY t-shirt is perfect for wearing with jeans or shorts.


Here’s another one of my favorites – I have this and wore it a lot over Spring Break with denim cut offs – it’s currently on sale too.


There have been a lot of Run DMC t-shirts out and about recently – maybe something to do with the Adidas revival?  I’d love this – my favorite tune of all time is Run DMC and Jason Nevins ‘It’s like that’.


Finally one for all of you that want to give peace a chance.

Yoko and LennonAnd here I am today experimenting with the logo t-shirt, wearing one of my most favorite items in my summer closet from J.Crew – currently 30% off in the US with GOSHOP.


T-shirt – J.Crew // Jeans – Zara (old) // Shoes – Marks and Spencer


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Arm Candy

I’ve mentioned my jewelry wearing habits several times before – I’m not a fan of necklaces but I love to adorn my wrists with jewels, beads and precious metals.  My Husband also wears bracelets – he has one for the summer months and one for the winter months…both of which I bought him.  I wish I didn’t feel the pressure to be more novel with gifts otherwise I’d just buy him a different color each birthday.  I should also mention that he has his ear pierced – so that gives me some options too.  When we first met in 1991, he not only had longer hair than me, but also wore jewelry.

Here’s the summer one that he’ll start wearing next week on Spring Break (he’s very precise when it comes to changing over :))…it’s a gorgeous turquoise.


And here’s the black that he is currently wearing – it has a bead of pavé black diamonds on it – just stunning yet still masculine.


Well I have been eyeing these bracelets for myself.  I particularly love turquoise for the summer, and I love the idea of stacking different colors.  Only 3 or 4 David Yurman bracelets is something I’d rather my Husband paid for than my clothing budget!  So I started to search for some good replicas.

Etsy.com saved the day…and the budget!  I’ve used Etsy quite a bit recently for nose rings to cushion covers.  I love the idea of supporting small businesses and getting something unique and handmade.

After a few searches I came across Magnolia Blossom Jewelry.  Kimberly offers a great selection of jewelry – with bracelets just like I was looking for at a fabulous price too.  I ordered 4 and received them yesterday – super fast shipping, gorgeous packaging and a great product.  I love my new bracelets!

Turquoise with rose gold pavé bead:

turquoise pave

Turquoise with mother of pearl pavé bead:

mother of pearl pave

Coral and crystal pavé bead:

coral pave

Pink jade with pavé bead:

pink jade

Not one to go half measures I decided to stack them all today!

Bracelet collage.jpg

And here they are looking great against my all black ensemble today.

outfit collage.jpg

Shoes – Marks and Spencer // Pants – J.Crew chino capris // Top – AllSaints Tiko t-shirt (25% off with code SURPRISE)

After contacting Kimberly I negotiated a discount which she has kindly offered to pass on to you all.  Please use code SAVE10 for a 10% discount at checkout – I am sure you will love what she has to offer!

P.s. I have just listed some wool J.Crew capris in my shop that I have reluctantly realized do not work for this climate!

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It’s hot and sunny here, and Spring Break next week, so my thoughts have turned to all things short.  Quite literally.  I have been obsessing over playsuits.  Yes the name conjures all sorts of images from babies in onesies to some very questionable attire indeed.  I, as you know, rightly or wrongly, tend not to follow any fashion code or rules based on age (as an aside Frank Skinner blew my mind yesterday on BBC Radio 2 saying ‘denim should only be seen next to young skin’).  I wear what I feel comfortable, confident or even sexy in…and I will continue to do so till my time is up.  As I love my legs (yes go on you can be proud of your body instead of criticizing it all the time!) I love to wear shorts.  Combine my love of shorts with my love of jumpsuits and hey presto – the playsuit!

Marks and Spencer are just rocking my world right now.  I have ordered the white draped playsuit seen on Rita Ora here.  It’ll will look fabulous with my canvas Newburys or Ancient Greek Sandals.

Rita Ora white drape front

These other playsuits from M&S are perfect beach attire for vacation.  This tribal print is my favorite.


These simple playsuits are great for beach to bar and are great prices – the black at £22.50 and the floral at £25.

black floral

For something a little dressier this Lavish Alice playsuit is stunning.

Lavish Alice

So my only caveat is make sure a playsuit fits properly – it can’t be too tight or too short – and I prefer not to wear them with court shoes – I do think a flat or a boot balances out the flesh on show.

As for my outfits recently here’s one from last week pre-haircut and pre-soaring temperatures.

OAK collage.jpg

Poncho – Oak // Long sleeved tee – AllSaints (old) // Jeans – Boden // Boots – Black leather Rag & Bone Newbury boots

I love this OAK poncho – especially as I can wear it for Jedi training…

Oak 4.jpg

Then for this week as the sun has made an appearance so have some sandals along with my legs…


Jeans – Zara TRF // Sandals – Pons Avarcas in Berry // T-Shirt – J. Crew (25% off with SHOPNOW) // Jacket – Gap (old)

Allsaints collage 1.jpg

Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury (old – bought off TheOutnet.com last year) // Dress – Pia dress AllSaints

My Husband says my smile is broader and happier with my new hair:)


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New Hair.

Yes it’s all gone and I feel a million bucks.  Don’t EVER let me grow it again.

JCrew 3.jpg JCrew 2.jpg JCrew 1.jpg

Trousers – Gap khakis // Boots – M&S (on sale) // Tank – J.Crew // Sweatshirt – J. Crew

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Patterned pants.

I have blogged before about my love for patterned trousers.  They always seem to make a more prominent appearance in my closet at this time of year.  They are a great transitional piece – lighter than jeans but still providing coverage, plus it’s easy to incorporate some spring colors in an outfit with them.

Free People Marant Mollie King Patterned trousers

Images from Pinterest

I’ve only added one pair to my closet this season – these from Zara, who always offer an amazing array of patterned trousers.


I love any kind of animal print so these Marks and Spencer Per Una ones keep catching my eye – especially as they are on sale currently, with limited sizes left.

Per Una

Mango hit my radar last year when I picked up a couple of great patterned harems in their sale.  These are fabulous in this seasons collection.


I’d be buying this pair if I didn’t have my linen harems from last year.

Mango 2

Here I am in my Zara pants today.  Off to the Doctors, sniff, sniff, with a horrid head cold which I need to kick it into touch before our beach trip!

Zara and TopShop.jpg

Shoes – Marks and Spencer skate shoes // Trousers – Zara // Tank – H&M // Jumper – TopShop

Yesterday was also a day for some comfy trousers – these are the Next harems that I bought last year.  If you are interested in dipping your toe in the ‘harem pool’ – take a peek at Fiona’s post here – she’s picked some great ones to peruse.

French connection sweater.jpg Next jacket.jpg

Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury navy suede // Harems – Next navy (last year – similar here) // T-shirt – ASOS forever t-shirt // Jumper – French Connection // Jacket – Next (old – similar here)

So patterned pants – will you be sporting a pair this season?


Where do I start?!

What an amazing week it has been!  Lots of shopping, lunches, and FAR too much prosecco! After recovering from jetlag and a trip to the soft play center with my nephews, my Mum, my sister and I headed to Manchester on Thursday.  I love shopping in Manchester – it is great to be outside instead of a mall, and the sun shone for us all day.  I am really impressed with how they have cleaned up the city center and even the Arndale is a pleasant experience these days.  AllSaints was my first port of call and I cannot say enough great things about the staff there.  They were brilliant and really helpful. I love the Emi Freesia top that continues to feed my black and navy obsession:

Emi Fressia top

The Tiko t-shirt is a classic AllSaints draped cut – perfect for spring.


The Leyla t-shirt is beautiful – I have the dark grey with navy sleeves – really soft and drapey and it feels fabulous on.


We then headed to M&S, of course!  I was not planning on buying anything…but then my sister spotted these lovelies.  I love a biker boot and these are really ‘neat’ looking – the sole isn’t too heavy – plus 20% off – a bargain!

biker boots

Then a lovely dress.  Remember this VB dress?  I loved it, most hated it.

VB dress

The Limited range has this quilted dress, tailored for the high street.  I tried a UK10 and a 14 in store – too small and too big, but the 12 is perfect – I will love it with some sun on my skin!

Quilted dress

This photo is not the most flattering – it makes me look like I have no shape – but I assure you the drop waist is fab and it gives me shape around my backside from the back and sides.  I’m really happy with it.


I came away from M&S really impressed – it’s a long time since so much has appealed to me.

Finally I stocked up on my Molton Brown body wash – this Bushukan scent is sold as a men’s fragrance here but it is wonderful and works for us ladies who prefer scents without too many floral notes.  The scent lasts all day – I just love it.


Not a bad haul hey?  The great news is after playing mule for some friends here I have plenty of space in my bags now I’ve handed their goods over!

The best bit of the whole day though was lunch in Harvey Nicks.


I’ll leave my weekend shenanigans to another blogpost – needless to say it was fun and prosecco fueled!  Here’s an amazing photo that my very kind friend, Marlene from www.chocolatecookiesandcandies.com took – what a great souvenir to have!

 Joanna London

Jacket – AllSaints // Top – AllSaints // Jeans – JBrand leather jeans // Boots – Navy Newbury boots (out of shot)

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Marks & Spencer court shoes in my shop – brand new!

I took a gamble and it didn’t pay off so I now have 4 pairs of M&S shoes that are brand new and a little snug on me.

I’ve ordered the size up, and instead of the hassle and postage of returning these to the UK, I’m happy to sell them in the US with a slightly better exchange rate! These shoes have been seen on the-frugality.com and schoolrunstyle.com – they are beautiful!

All are UK 5.5/US 8

Free Shipping in the USA.


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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