Thursday, 31 May 2012

Get ready to celebrate!

So far this week I have been loving the build up to the forthcoming Jubilee weekend and I think it is great that lots of people are joining in, one way or another, to celebrate the event plus enjoy the extra time off with family and friends.

Here are a few ideas of memorabilia that may add to your celebrations this weekend.

Looking for a gift as a keepsake but not keen on traditional design, this funky mug is perfect and it also details dates and facts about Queen on the other side.
Mug from Liberty London - £11.95
Celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in style with this unique commemorative bone china mug decorated by hand in Stoke on Trent.

Having a BBQ?  Then the sausage or burger turner needs one of these!
Union Jack apron from Debenhams - £12.00

What about Afternoon tea for the girls?  Always an excuse to show off new things!  This traditional style tea pot will mark the occasion in style...and great for collectors too!
Emma Bridgewater Jubilee Teapot from John Lewis - £75.00

Now someone must be going to a ball?  This is the only accessory a girl will need this weekend and it is quite a bit cheaper then the Alexander McQueen version but... not that cheap either!
Union Jack Bag from the online shop Gift-Library - £480.00
Stand out from the crowd and show your patriotic side with IMI Luxury Handbags' Union Jack Clutch Bag. It is individually hand bejewelled with hundreds of perfectly cut authentic Swarovski crystals.

Whatever you are up to this weekend to celebrate, enjoy as it is once in a lifetime!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

New summer work outfit

I finally feel that after all this rain, that some of my new summer clothing can come out of the closest!

When it gets to this time of year, I'm personally not so keen to wear to black accessories or shoes - don't get me wrong I still have my all-black days whatever the weather, but when the sun is shining a little bit of colour is what we need.

I bought this dress from River Island, it's quite a simple style but I just love the pattern.  You've already seen my new bag for this season from NEXT and I've teamed this up with some simple nude shoes from NEXT too, there were only £22, bargain!  I'm going to add orange nail varnish and a little bit of sunshine from a bottle....!

What have you changed for your summer wardrobe this year?  

For those who get this on e-mail - you can leave a comment by clicking here

Friday, 25 May 2012

Women - In life, in business and in style!

Hi I'm Kelly, a Product Analyst from Bedfordshire. I am married with 2 gorgeous children, Sienna 4 and Joshua 2.

How did you get to the role you are doing today?
By accident really. I left sixth form with 3 A-levels but never really knew what I wanted to do at university and coming from a working class background I knew my parents couldn't really afford to send me, so I decided to have a year off from studying and got myself a job at a local call centre providing customer service for a car manufacturer. I ended up working there for 8 years doing various different roles, met my lovely hubby, had both my children and made some great friends but I desperately wanted to move on and further my career. That's when I stumbled across my current role, which is also working for a car manufacturer.

What's the best thing you love about your job?
I love the fast paced environment and that each day is different. I also love the people I work with and how they are all so passionate about the brand and our products.

What's a typical day/week for you?
Monday- Friday my day starts with taking my daughter to nursery and then driving 30-40mins to work. I have always been used to driving 10mins to get to work so this has taken some time getting used to. I actually quite like the drive home and find it therapeutic as it gives me the chance to unwind from a long day in the office.

How do you achieve work/life balance?
This is very hard to achieve especially when the both of you work full time and have busy jobs, but me and hubby try to create good quality time with the kids at the weekends, as the little time we spend together during the week is always so rushed. We do lots of different things with the kids at the weekends, take them to the park,go for walks,visit family and hubby takes them swimming on a Sunday morning while I get the housework done.  When you both work and have children, it's really important that you both chip in and help out otherwise it's no fun - I'm really lucky because my hubby helps out around the house and gets the kids dressed in the mornings for me. We also try to make as much time for eachother as we can.

What do you do to relax?
I like to get the kids off to sleep and have a glass of wine in the evening, but my idea of true relaxation is a weekend away with the hubby or having a nice long relaxing bath.

What's the best thing about being a mother?
Watching them learn and experiencing things for the first time and when they tell you that they love you - it just melts your heart.

What fun things do you like doing with the kids?
Both my kids are thrill seekers, so we often take them to theme parks designed for younger children and they love it. However, If money is tight and the weather is nice, then it's fun time in the garden.

Where have you travelled to that you would recommend every woman to goto, and why?
Budapest. I used to travel there quite a lot with work. It's lovely and hot there in the summer and very pretty in the winter. The food was great and I would definitely recommend a boat trip on the Danube.

What three favourite things do you own and why?

1. My MAC eyebrow pencil in 'fling' - As a blonde, I have always found it hard to get an eyebrow pencil that's not too dark or too orange for my complexion, but when I found the natural colours that MAC offer I just can't imagine using anything else now.

2. Ted Baker handbag - it was a gift from my hubby and it goes with everything.

3. I have recently brought this gorgeous lace blazer from NEXT. It's great for dressing up a black dress or black trousers and also looks fantastic with jeans.

What could you not live without?
Perfume! I absolutely love perfume and have over 25 bottles. I cannot leave the house without a spray of one of my many scents and love nothing more than walking through department stores and trying them all out. The most recent addition to my collection is 'Especially Escada' which I love, as it has a very fresh floral scent. Great for summer!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Bracelet Bonaza

Now if I was ever to be asked the question "What is your favourite type of jewellery" I would instantly answer - Rings.

That's not changed, however I seem to be in a bracelet "phase" of which I really loving!

Back in January, I wrote a post about Swarovski Crystallized Designer Collections and how I purchased a gorgeous turquoise bracelet from a fabulous designer, Hely Rotbard.  Well over the last week or two I have taken to wearing it again - my hope I suppose of getting a little summer coming our way!

I've added it to a simple silver friendship bracelet that I got at Christmas time as a gift, which I have been wearing nearly every single day.  I like the simplicity of it.

And now I have discovered a wonderful women who makes bespoke bracelets.  I was on Twitter one evening when I saw a "retweet" for @StreetPrincess who was offering bespoke bracelets for a special price of £9.  I had a look at the pics and really liked them.  Before I knew it I placed my request for two bespoke bracelets.  One to be made in orange and gold, to add to my wedding outfit I posted a few weeks ago, and a second one to be made in silver and turquoise to "add" to my new look!

All my bracelets in one!

The whole process from the first tweet to deliver to my door, could not have been easier!  Naheeda was very quick to respond, offered me a great selection of beads to choose from, and then we simply arranged payment by Paypal - she posted it Saturday after I finalised it all late Friday night, and the package was here when I got home from work on Monday.  So simple, so easy and I have played a part in designing my own jewellery - which is fun!  They even came in lovely jewellery gift pouches, so would make a fantastic gift for a girlfriend or two!

Silver/Turquoise and Gold/Orange - with gift bags

Here is the site: Street Princess - take a look and then get in touch with Naheeda.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Accessorise your gadgets?!

With so many accessories already out there to entice women to part with their hard earned cash - now they want us to accessorise our gadgets!

Writer Katie Khan blogged; On being a gadget maverick, that actually there is no need to put all our phones and tablets into pouches and cases of all different kinds.  And for the most part I agree.  I've had an iPhone for the last two years, I've never put it in a case as quite frankly it would annoy me on a daily basis - I only just have enough time to get it out of my bag when it rings, can you imagine how many calls I would miss if I then had to faff with a case!

But then I read this blog by Sasha Wilkins, Liberty London Girl where the poor girl has lost her expensive camera whilst travelling for work, and how she recommends to use bright coloured accessories to make it easy for you to spot your things quickly.

I used this technique when I went travelling - I thought with sharing a dorm with so many people, I want to quickly be able to recognise my gear and that also other people would easily know it's mine too.  Hence I had a bright pink hideous purse, but I never lost it and it never got taken!

Now I may not cover my phone, but since getting my iPad, I have noticed that it can easily get scratched in my bag - I put this down to the fact that they only offer the casing in silver. If they had made it in the same casing as my white iPhone, it would have been fine.  So I've finally purchased a case to protect it, for day trips out in my large handbag!

Mine if from a collection called BoBelle - I've cheated a little as I bought it from TK Maxx to save a few pennies.  BoBelle London is a fabulous collection of ladies accessories that my Hubby introduced me to... which I'm saving that for another post!

Image of my new case which I have in black

Here are a few more to take a look at.  This Ted Baker is definitely for the girlie girl!  Loving the orange at £39.00

If your not bothered about protecting the back, Apple iPad Smart cover is a great cover for the front and it doubles as a stand - lots of colours to pick from, I have grey.  From £35.99

Smith & Canova Leather iPad Case, available in Jade, Teal or Purple £45 from John Lewis.

If you know of any great places to get iPad/tablet cases then leave a comment of your recommendations for the others to view.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Royal Mail does Great British Fashion

I love writing letters and cards to friends and family - yes we have text and e-mail but there is nothing more personal and heart-warming than receiving a thank you card or invitation in the post from a loved one.

So I'm loving that the Royal Mail are issuing these great new stamps from today!  These will make your post stylish and more fun that the usual ones.  Check out these designs from Sølve Sundsbø who has airbrushed out the models to show off ten great british designs from Alexander McQueen to Zandra Rhodes to our gorgeous Vivienne Westwood!

Here are my favourites!

Jean Muir’s fluid rust gown with its late 1970s matching turban:

Alexander McQueen’s 2009 Horn Of Plenty collection, references 1950s haute couture.

This one is my the ultimate favourite!  I could see Betty from Mad Men wearing this, by Norman Hartnell.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Women - In life, in business and in style!

Hi, I’m Jo a Business Development Manager working in Portsmouth and living in Mid Wales.  I am married, with two beautiful children.

How did you get to the role you are doing today?
I have always spent lots of time travelling to and from work, however after having my daughter I wanted to spend more time with her and less time on the M25.  I decided that I would go and get a 9 to 5 job locally to where I was living which at the time was a little village called Southwick in Portsmouth.  My new job was 3 miles from home, heaven so I thought.  The longer I was there, the more I got involved and I think my natural nature just kicked in and I started to want more so my little 9 to 5 very quickly changed to a position on the Senior Management Team.

What’s the best thing you love about your job?
I love the people I work with and the flexibility that we have with regards to new services.  Our clients outsource all of parts of their business to us and whilst sometimes challenging, I get satisfaction from achieving, improving and implementing new elements.

What’s a typical day/week for you?
I have been living in Mid Wales for two years so my typical week is generally 2 days working from home and 3 days either out visiting suppliers / clients or being in the office in Portsmouth.  I will move back to Portsmouth in August so I am looking forward to less driving and more time with my family.

How do you achieve work/life balance?
I have to admit that I do not always get the balance right and sometimes depending on workload it can be incredibly one sided.  However I do try to ensure that time spent with my family is quality time and I am very lucky to have a husband that is very supportive of my career.

What’s the best thing about being a mother?
Cuddles, smiles and just being so proud of their achievements.

What fun things do you like doing with the kids?
The children do lots of activities, swimming, horse riding, gymnastics, my little girl also does ballet, tap and drama so there is not much time left in a week.  They both love the beach and when the weather is good we drive to the beach which is about an hour away and they just play all day.

What things do you like to do (with or without hubby) to relax?
I like West End musicals with a nice quiet meal if out with my husband.  On my own I like to bake cakes or a nice hot relaxing bath. 

Where have you travelled to that you would recommend and where would you most like to go?
I would recommend Egypt and Sardinia for beauty and relaxation. I have always wanted to go to New York and Dubai shopping, the opportunity for both did come along with my husbands work but unfortunately for both I was heavily pregnant so could not fly.   I did send my husband with a shopping list for which I must say he did extremely well, I still would like to go and see myself though.

Where/how do you regular shop?
I do a lot on online shopping as it is much easier with work and the children.  I really like St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff, it has nice shops and restaurants, quite easy to spend a whole day there and still not see everything.  I am originally from East London and therefore when visiting my Mum I always take the opportunity to visit the local East End markets.

What two favourite things do you own and why?
I have a Cinderella jewellery box that is made from crystal with a gold coloured bottom and a glass slipper that my Mum gave me when I was in my teens.  I have put it away as my little girl is like a little magpie with anything that sparkles and I am terrified she will accidently break it.

I have a pair of shoes that I purchased from Office two years ago.  They are totally not me as I like really plain things generally just black or navy but for some reason I fell in love with them and just had to have them.  I have worn them once!

What have you recently purchased that has been an indulgence?
I recently purchased an evening dress to take my Nan to the Royal Albert Hall to see the Royal Marines Mountbatten Festival which was in April.  I love evening dresses and before I had my children used to have all mine specially made by a dress maker in Oxford Street to ensure that there would be no embarrassing moments with someone else wearing the same as me.  Once you have children it’s harder to justify such indulgent purchases. 

Monday, 7 May 2012

Rainy days...

I am pretty sure you will agree with me when I say I am fed up with this weather!

I still cannot get my head around the fact that I have gone back to wearing my winter jacket as it is so cold.  Not funny and not fair seeing as though it is May.   And this Spring the style of trends have actually been something that real women can wear.

Ce La Vie! 

It is hard looking stylish in this weather, and the only thing that I seem to be showing off apart from my handbag, is my umbrella.  I only own the one.  If I knew that this is how I would have been spending my last couple of months, not showing my face to anyone in the street, I think I may have treated myself to a few more just to add a change to my outerwear!

Who knows how much longer the rain is here for.  But if you are looking to change your look, then this is one option you have at the moment:

Lovely and bright from Radley:

Radley Stripe Walker - £30.00

I am really loving this one from Barbour, this will look fabulous with a beige trench coat:
Barbour Tartan - £30.00

Another great one from Radley - love this pink:
Radley "Morning Crescent" was £18, now £12.60 at Debenhams

If you have to cash to splash, then this one from Liberty Collection not only looks stylish but bang on trend with the floral print!
Liberty London - £85.00

Have some fun with this one from Marc Jacobs.  Neon green, folding umbrella featuring a large Miss Marc illustration on one of the segments; neon plastic sphere handle; green wrist strap and a matching cover bag.
Neon Miss Marc from Marc by Marc Jacobs - £40.00

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Retro glam for summer fun

So this year I'm off to the fabulous, stunning and stylish summer sun of the South of France.  I'm so excited as I've always wanted to visit and we are including a little visit to Monaco too which is a dream come true!

This can only call for fabulous, stunning and stylish wardrobe - I don't know about you, but I can find "beach glam" a little tricky.  I'm thinking of opting for a one-piece beach suit or perhaps the new style of fifties beach bikinis, to make a change from the standard black bikini I tend to always where.

Here's some inspiration I've got from Dolce & Gabbana's latest advert:

So far I bought the bag - well you know me, I can always be tempted!  I bought this before I had even booked the flights - I just know this is going to be perfect!

Linea Collection from House of Fraser

So now onto beach wear.  Well where does a girl start -  I have seen the following, but have yet to decide just what I'll do... 

Elizabeth Hurley Collection - £135
A tad expensive for what I'm looking for but I like the style.

Pour Moi Fiji Tankini from ASOS - £32
A much better price - not sure black & white is what I'm looking for?

Princesse Tam Tam Belted Swimsuit - £98
I really like the style of this, sadly though I'm not keen on the colour.

...any help or tips for great places to shop for this sort of thing please leave a comment or tweet me!