This Week’s Favourites

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A groggy but hungry boy tucking into pizza after his operation; Casper brought in his ‘bravery certificate’ from the hospital to show his classmates; Cameron was proud to win the trophy for good behaviour at Cub Scouts this week; Breakfast x 2 – yummy apple & cinnamon yoghurt and an omelette made in a ramekin dish; This week’s favourite outfit – I love my H&M snakeskin ballerinas; On the train back from London; A tired girl fell asleep in the carseat yesterday afternoon after a late night on Friday; After the train ride earlier this week Clemmie was delighted that the boys’ Scout group had organised a day out at a model railway today.

Bizarrely, I seem to have even less time to get things done since Clemmie started preschool. I think my expectations of how much I could achieve in 12 hours a week were perhaps a tad overambitious. Anyway, once you factor in the time it takes to drop off and collect her at preschool the time easily drops to 10 1/2 hours a week (and that’s assuming I go straight home without chatting to any of the other mums…). I suppose this week has not been typical as I had to collect Casper from school early on Monday before he had his operation. It all went fine – he was such a brave boy and didn’t complain once but that hour waiting for the nurse to come and tell us that he had woken up felt VERY long. Then on Thursday my other son had a (routine) hospital appointment up in town. My husband took him to the appointment but had to go on to a business meeting so I picked up Clemmie early to catch the train into London and meet them for lunch before taking the kids home. As we usually drive into town, it was Clemmie’s first time on the train and she loved it so much she cried when we had to get off. Now I know that if she’s having a bad day I can just buy a Travel Card and go up and down the train track to keep her happy!

So yes, to cut a long story short, I have not really accomplished much this week. I had visions of myself embarking on an exercise regime, doing a massive clear out of all the kids’ toys and clothes as well as catching up with the paperwork and answering all those emails which fill me with guilt every time I open my inbox. But tomorrow is a new start, with seven unwritten days stretching out in front of me, and as I’m booked into a gym class at 9.30am I hope that will set me off in the right direction. If not, there’s always next Monday…

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This Week’s Favourites

This week's favs 22:09

Clemmie started preschool this week. I stayed with her for an hour on the first day and, yes, there were tears when I left but she also had lots of fun; We got creative with stickers and crayons on a rainy morning; Breakfast at my desk while flicking through the latest issue of Grazia; I made a really yummy (if I say so myself!) apple cake. Recipe to follow; Casper has kept the tooth fairy busy by losing three teeth already this month; We went to a traditional crayfish party at my parents’ house, complete with schnapps and lots of singing.

I know Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest but we had such a busy Saturday (football practice, swimming and golf lessons, tutoring session, a birthday party and dinner at my parents – I’m exhausted just thinking about it!) that today was spent catching up on all the jobs we needed to get done before the start of the new week. My husband cooked a yummy roast dinner before heading off to the golf course leaving me and the kids to curl up on the sofa under our duvets and watch Alice in Wonderland.

Now they’re all in bed and, as has become our Sunday tradition, we’re about to watch yet another movie. We haven’t decided which one yet but I’m hoping for something lighthearted to take my mind off tomorrow. My youngest son is having an operation so I’ve organised for my parents to look after the other two as my husband and I both want to go to the hospital. Although it’s a minor procedure he is having a general anaesthetic so we’ve been told they may want to keep him in overnight. He is quite excited and not worried at all which is great. I know he’ll be in good hands but to be honest I just want to fast forward to tomorrow evening and have it over and done with. I’ve always been a bit of a worrier but since having children it has got 10,000 times worse. I really have to remind myself to think positively and not always picture the worst case scenario. Sometimes easier said than done!

Oxford Street Brings LFW to the Masses

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Oxford Street has never been my favourite shopping destination – too noisy, too crowded and too touristy. Its only saving grace is Selfridges but it’s been years since I ventured further east than the iconic yellow signs of the largest department store on the 1.5 mile long shopping street.

But this month Oxford Street is hosting the most influential fashion campaign of its 150 year history and it may be just the thing to tempt me back. In celebration of London Fashion Week, Oxford Street has teamed up with the British Fashion Council to give shoppers an insider glimpse into the fashion industry. Over 15 of the street’s most internationally recognizable fashion emporiums, from Selfridges, Topshop and River Island to John Lewis, House of Fraser, H&M and Gap have provided a range of exclusive experiences such as fashion forums, guest star interviews, makeovers, blogging workshops, celebrity pop-up DJs, in-store styling sessions and fashion career mentoring.

Even if you can’t get there in person you can still be part of the experience, as shoppers from across the globe will be able to get their fashion fix 24/7 with the launch of Oxford Street TV and real time store updates via social media. In addition, Oxford Street has collaborated with London Fashion Week designers, including House of Holland and Alice Temperley, to dress the street with 75 fashion flags, each illustrating the very best of the British fashion industry.

“This season we have taken fashion week to the streets of London and rallied support from the whole capital by making London Fashion Week much more inclusive,” British Fashion Council Chairman Natalie Massenet said in an opening speech on Friday. “Anyone, all of us are free to come down and join.”

Personally, I think that anything which gets people interested in fashion and supporting the industry, including events such as LFW,  is a good thing. What do you think? Do you welcome the democratization of designer fashion or do you think it’s wrong that the high street is ‘cashing in’ on London Fashion Week?

OOTD – All Plaid Out

I love the plaid trend for Fall and one of my best purchases so far this season is a grey check roll-sleeve shirt from Topshop.

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The shirt looks like it could do with a good ironing session in this photo but I had just got back from a friend’s birthday party where I spent most of my time trying to stop three-year-old Clemmie from being jumped on by the bigger children on the bouncy castle (in the pouring rain, hence the frizzy hair!).

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Here it is accessorized with the aforementioned three-year-old. I love the muted colours and the crochet detailing on the shoulders.

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Happy Friday!

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We’re only a week into the new school term and already our summer holiday seems but a distant memory…

I downloaded our holiday photos from the big camera today and it was fun to look through them and remember all the good times we had. This picture of Cameron jumping is definitely on my list of photos to print out for my planned photo walk (more on that project next week).
The first full week back at school has sped by and I can’t believe it’s Friday already. I only realised it was the 13th when I had to write a cheque for my daughter’s gym class earlier today. The date used to spook me a bit but ever since I met my husband, who was born on Friday 13th, I don’t think of it as unlucky anymore. Are you superstitious or do you treat it as any other day?

Whatever the date, I wish you all a happy Friday! XO

 

Let it Rain!

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If this last week is anything to go by, we’re in for a rainy autumn here in England (yet again). About the only thing to lift my spirits on a dull day when it’s pouring outside is putting on my shiny black Hunter wellies. Style and comfort is an unbeatable combination and if you add a pair of welly socks your feet will stay toasty no matter how hard it rains.

Now the iconic British brand has teamed up with New York based cool-kid-on-the-block Rag & Bone in a collaboration that has set the fashion world’s pulses racing. The collection, which hits stores this week, includes two different styles of classic military inspired rain-boots – a tall equestrian fit and a short motorcycle boot. Both styles come in Fall colours such as burgundy, navy, black and army green and the design details are unmistakenly Rag & Bone with gunmetal rivet hardware and zips lending a tough edge to the classic welly.

Commenting on the thinking behind the collaboration, David Neville, the co-managing partner of Rag & Bone, said: “Hunter may be a quintessential British brand but we also always see so many women on the streets of Manhattan wearing their boots. Not only is this testament to the brand’s global appeal, it resonated with us as we are British guys living in New York. We are really excited about this collaboration.”

I never thought I’d say it, but bring on the rain!

Shop the collection here

Just the Two of Us

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After we waved goodbye to the boys at the school gates this morning, Clemmie and I had a leisurely walk back home. It was another beautiful, sunny day but the house seemed almost eerily quiet and it hit me that next year I will be at those same gates waving off not two but three kids. I still can’t get my head around the fact that kids here in England start school so early. The boys are both autumn babies so they were nearly five when they went into Reception class but Clemmie’s birthday is in July so she will have just turned four, which seems so very young. She starts preschool in two weeks’ time but that will only be 12 hours a week so just enough time for me to go to the gym, do a bit of blogging, and attempt to keep on top of the housework.

But if the last few years are anything to go by, I know that September 2014 will be here in just the blink of an eye. And then (with no more babies on the horizon) it will be time for me to really figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life… An exciting but also slightly daunting prospect.

The Fashion Clinic #6: Fall Essentials

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One of the best things about Autumn has to be the clothes – cosy cashmere jumpers, lots of colourful scarves, thick ribbed tights and ankle boots. Don’t get me wrong, I love balmy summer days when you can just pull on a sundress and slip on a pair of flip flops but unless you can afford to escape for the whole summer, how many outings is that strappy dress really going to get?

A quality piece of knitwear on the other hand will see you through until April or even May (at least if you live in the UK). If my past experience of the English weather is anything to go by, a light jacket or heavy cardigan will usually suffice as a cover-up until mid November. I’ve had my eye on the Fortuna cardigan (8) by Swedish design trio Dagmar since I first spotted it in a store in Gothenburg two years ago, but the hefty price tag forced me to walk away. So when I saw it reduced by 30% on Farfetch I was quick to snap it up and it’s now hanging in my closet waiting for the temperature to drop.

Odd Molly’s Knit Jacket (6) is another design that I never tire of. The fit is universally flattering and it looks great teamed with skinny jeans or an A-line skirt which are two of my Fall/Winter staples. When it comes to denim, I tend to stick to the shapes that I know suit me and these Skyline Ankle Peg jeans by Paige (5) have been my go-to style for the last couple of years. With a 29″ leg measurement they’re the perfect length for a shorty (5′ 2″) like me.

“Any colour as long as it’s pink” proclaims the cover of this month’s Vogue and who am I to argue? I love this pale pink sweatshirt by Clu with feminine ruffles along the bottom (2). H&M’s take on the dressed-up sweatshirt (1) is a snip at £29.99 and the imitation leather skirt (9) from the same store is one of those versatile day-to-night pieces.

Also on my wishlist this season are these fab go-with-everything black ankle boots from Whistles (7) and a checked shirt with crochet detailing on the shoulders from high street fave Topshop (10). And let’s not forget the accessories – I already own about a zillion scarves but this neon pink one by Becksondergaard (3) would brighten up any dull winter’s day. I discovered Stella & Dot last year when they had a stall at my son’s school Christmas fair and their jewellery is amazing and not too pricey. At the moment I’ve got my eye on this Renegade Cluster bracelet (4) which is apparently a favourite of singer Katy Perry.

What’s on your shopping list this fall?

Flicking through the September issues of the fashion glossies for inspiration is an Autumn ritual for me. Above: British Vogue, Swedish Styleby and British InStyle

Flicking through the September issues of the fashion glossies for inspiration is an Autumn ritual for me. Above: British Vogue, Swedish Styleby and British InStyle

Currently Coveting #8: The Perfect Autumn Knit

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Anthropologie is hands down my favourite store to visit and have a browse around. It’s like a treasure trove full of lovely clothes, accessories and homeware, all beautifully displayed in an old building where every nook and cranny reveals more hidden gems. At the moment, however, as I don’t relish a shopping trip into town with three children in tow, the online store will have to suffice.

This lightweight sweater by Knitted & Knotted is perfect for early Autumn days when a chill is just starting to creep into the air. The cream colour makes it wonderfully versatile while the cute ruffles stop it from being another boring basic. Add a statement necklace (as in the picture above) and it’s smart enough to wear for evenings out. What’s not to like? And yes, I have already ‘clicked to buy’ so I will let you know if the real thing lives up to the online promise.