Sunday, 8 December 2013

The party season has started!

It's that time of year where we are panicking as to what to wear to the Christmas party! 

Don't always think you have to buy a new dress, why not have a go at restyling - if you've always worn the same shoes and accessories with said dress, why not raid your entire wardrobe to see what other accessories you have, and spend time one afternoon trying lots of different things on with it.

Here are a few tips to try:

  • Different tights or go bare with fake tan
  • Change the shoes, if you've always worn silver sparkle with open toe, what would stilettos look like?
  • Go for different jewellery - keep to one statement piece!
  • Add a brooch - preferably with some sparkle
  • If it's a sleeveless, why not add a fur cape or a chiffon/lace full sleeve bolero/cardi 
  • Think about your hair; if you always wear it down, then why not speak to your hairdresser about getting it out up professionally for the special occasion

The simple changes can make a big difference!

My Christmas party is this Wednesday, and I bought a dress a few months ago, which I've  worn a few times already....and you guys have seen it too, as it's on my profile for my blog and twitter!

The dress is from Whistles, and its a classic LBD, perfect bodyline for my hourglass shape with lace sleeves that keeps it on trend for this season.  I'm currently accessorising this thick black tights and platform suede shoe boots which makes me tower over my hubby ;) !

Malou Lace Sleeve Dress

One of my girlfriends Kelly, will be wearing this dress from River Island,  I love the detailing around the waistline, the sleeves give it a evening class that's perfect for parties, and by adding some sparkle to her accessories this will complement the dress so well.

Black Sequinned Waist Draped Dress
River Island

But if you want to splash the cash, then why take a look at these options!

Ted Baker Pasion
TABIE - Sequin dress


Adrianna Pappell at House of Fraser
Pave Beaded Dress in Blush
Was £250, now £175

French Connection
Spectacular Sparkle Maxi Dress

I would love to know what you're wearing, so leave a comment and tell me all about it.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Back to basics with hair - Part 2

Back in September I blogged about how I was making lots of effort to look after my hair, for those who don't remember you can read Part 1 here.

Now I thought I had made real progress, and that the condition of my hair had significantly improved, and it has, compared to twelve months ago.  However, after a recent colouring treatment it seems I've still got a way to go!

I had my hair coloured, a reddish-brown semi permanent.  This gave lots of warmth, perfect for my own colourings,  and much needed shine to my locks.  However, this colour only lasted a couple of weeks.  Why?
  • The condition of the ends of hair
  • I wash my hair everyday

And so my quest continues and further investment has been made into some new products in the hope that it will improve the condition of my hair.  And so far, over a week in, I'm already really seeing the results!

So what am I doing...

Well firstly, I've made the step to commit to washing my hair every other day.  This has not been an easy one for me, as I love fresh clean hair - so I'm squirting the dry shampoo and lets see how it goes.

I've now taken the leap and purchased expensive professional shampoo and conditioner.  You only need to use a very small amount;  what with banning my husband from using them and now I'll only be washing my hair every other day, I'm hoping that I will get value for money.  

When you are using a very different kind of product to what you are used to, its hard to say whether you love it.  The shampoo doesn't really lather up as much, but this is good as it means it's not got Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS) - the damaging agent that they add high-street shampoos to make it foam.

I do really like the conditioner, it's was quite strange to discover it has a minty smell, it contains peppermint, sage and rosemary??!   It feels lovely afterwards.

Pureology Hydrate is the range I'm using, the shampoo is £13.85 and the conditioner is £17.85 (can you now see why I've banned the husband!!)

I'm continuing using Moroccan Oil, and on the days I forget to use this, I really do know!  I would suggest that this product is really only for mid-long length hair.  I've been using this after every wash before adding styling products.  Note this is not a styling product, it's more  extra condition.

And then two new products from label.m – as you know my favorite hair products brand. You don’t need to use a lot and I find they last ages, so they truly are value for money.

I’ve purchased Protein spray (£13.25) – this will really help to protect hair from heat damage and UV rays and even out porosity leaving a seductive shine.  And I think it does.

I’ve also gone for the Thickening cream (£12.95) -  This is fabulous, I have fine hair and this has given it thickness both visually and to touch.  This product will only work when applying heat, so you'll need to use your hair dryer.

I’m only in week 2, but I can't wait to see what my hairdresser will think when I next visit the salon.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

All I want for Christmas is a Smythson's...

It's that time of year when we have to start thinking about Christmas shopping, now I don't know about you....but half of what I love about Christmas is what I going to get myself!

Giving hints to the hubby is never easy, and so I thought maybe he might read my blog and get a few ideas!!

I'm not too keen on people buying me clothes, as getting the right fit and right colour is never easy, but you can never go wrong with a handbag or accessories as there are 365 days in a year to use them!

So on Christmas day morning I'm hoping that I will find a Smythson's or two in my stocking...and here are a few I'm loving at the moment!

From the Cooper Collection, I'm loving this iPad Case made from natural goatskin in white, simply luxurious!

From their new Elliot Collection there are versatile pouches that can be used as an iPad cover by day, slipped under the arm as a clutch for the evening, or simply stowed away in your bag for every-day essentials.   How great is that!

As my colour season is Autumn, I'm naturally drawn to the clementine orange and with the python texture finish this is simply gorgeous!
£595 - although others start from £295.

The Chameleon Collection is a fun and vibrant collection of totes and accessories made from a soft natural goatskin, and are available in great colours.  I'm loving...

The back to school pencil case, which let's be honest could also double up as make-up bag!

And lastly, from The Antonia Collection, don't you just love the name!!
The Top Handle Bag, in calf leather, this classic colour is Dove Grey but for you fashionistas that don't like to stray, it's also available in black!

Would love to know which ones your loving? Simply leave a comment on the blog, and you never know I may just tweet some of them!

To view their website, click here.

Oh and one more thing... A girl always needs to say thank you!

What better way than Smythson's card collection... from bumblebees to ladybirds to butterflies or even the London skyline - there something for everyone!

All images were taken from Smythson's website - to view click here.

For those reading this by e-mail, click here to leave a comment.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

One to watch! - The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet

There's a new channel on Sky, called Lifetime TV on channel 156.

You need to Sky Plus this show featuring Amanda de Cadenet talking to some fabulous women!  Starts Sunday at 8pm.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Tom Ford - 15 things every man should know for

Image from Vogue
Now I rarely write anything to do about men on my blog, nothing about styling or buying really - however this week on they featured this article by Tom Ford as part of celebrating 15 years of -  I was really surprised to see just how similar the rules would be for us ladies too?!

I then had a go at trying to think about 15 things every woman should know, and seriously I could have just kept going!  I've restrained myself to 15, but I found it very hard - after your've read mine, I'm sure you would change a few for your top 15.

So starting with Tom's - I'm hoping this will aid you in gift-buying this Christmas season or simply to pass on a couple of tips to the men in your lives.

  1. To laugh - 'A sense of humour.'
  2. Starting The Day - 'A daily read of the newspaper.'
  3. Fancy A Game? - 'A sport that you love and are good at.'
  4. Grooming Essential - 'Tweezers.'
  5. A Signature - 'A good cologne that becomes a signature.'
  6. The Right Suit - 'A well cut dark suit.'
  7. Style Classics - 'A pair of classic black lace-up shoes.'
  8. Tailoring - 'A smart blazer.'
  9. Denim - 'The perfect pair of dark denim jeans.'
  10. Wardrobe Staples - 'Lots of crisp white cotton shirts.'
  11. Good Underwear - 'Always new socks and underwear (throw away the old ones every six months).'
  12. Something Smart - 'A classic tuxedo.'
  13. Efficient Accessories - 'A beautiful day watch with a metal band.'
  14. Cool Accessories - 'The perfect sunglasses.'
  15. A Great Smile - 'Perfect teeth - if you don't have them, save up and have them fixed.

And now here are mine:

  1. Stye Essential - 'Find the right dress for your body shape (this should include an LBD)'
  2. Have it at hand - 'A great day bag for all your bits & pieces'
  3. Daring greatly - 'Be confident to go on a trip, a movie or dinner on your own'
  4. Essential grooming - 'Eyebrows, legs, nails and feet (you know what I mean ;) )'
  5. Keep it wrapped - 'A shawl/scarf that you take everywhere with you'
  6. Denim - 'The perfect pair of jeans that can be worn with heels, boots or trainers'
  7. Double up - 'Two blazers - one for Autumn/Winter and the other for Spring/Summer'
  8. British style - 'A tea dress or Maxi for those afternoons in the great English countryside'
  9. Think positive - 'Dreams do come true if you stay focused'
  10. It's all the walk - 'Find a pair of heels (mid or high) that you can walk in confidently'
  11. Health does matter! - 'Exercise your inner and outer self'
  12. After eight - 'The clutch bag that just goes with everything'
  13. Bejewelled - 'Treasure that family jewel, it was past to you for that reason'
  14. The right size - 'You should get your breasts measured regularly so that you are wearing the right size underwear - you'll never look fabulous with wrong underwear, FACT!'
  15. Stick together - 'Find a girlfriend or two that you can say absolutely anything to without being judged!'

I would love to know what your fifteen would be, so please feel free to add them into the comments for this post!  My favourite ones will be tweeted or maybe included in a follow-up post!

For those reading by e-mail, click here to comment.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Dog Walk by Ralph Lauren

I wanted to share with you this wonderful piece of work that Ralph Lauren has been doing in collaboration with Battersea Dogs and Cats home.  Rescue dogs takes to the runway to present Ralph Lauren’s Autumn 2013 Accessories Collection.

And from 15th October through to the 15th November 2013, 10% of the net purchases of select accessories featured in the film will be donated to Battersea Dogs and Cats home, which is fabulous news!  

With many of the accessories already sold out, this surely is a successful partnership and a great way to raise exposure!  Here are three fabulous items from the collection, that are still showing in stock!

Big Pony Dog Polo Shirt
How cute is this model!!!

Square-Frame Sunglasses
Made in Italy

Embossed RL Satchel

There is a great film you can watch, which feature this lovely dogs, simply click here to view.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

I'm loving: The countdown advent gift!

When this fell into my inbox today, I was surprisingly excited about an advent calendar, YES an advent calendar!

This is no ordinary countdown to the big day; it contains no edible content at all, but what it does give you is 24 colourful ways to be creative with your nails in the run up to Christmas.

If you are looking to treat someone or perhaps yourself, this is a really fun and different take  on the traditional format.

You can purchase online from Selfridges for £42.00.

In their own words they say "Every girl's diary can now be filled with a daily dose of delectable mini nail treats, as behind each door lies a very colourful surprise. Gorgeously packaged with seventeen of Ciaté's bestselling mini Paint Pots, four mini Caviar blends, and three extremely special exclusive Paint Pot glitter shades you'll not find anywhere else, ever."

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Essential Kit: Travel sets from ARK Skincare

ARK Skincare have now introduced three fabulous new travel sets for each of Age Aware Skincare collections; Age Prepare; Age Maintain and Age Repair.

These travel sets are great for overnight stays or if your planning a break away - ensuring your skin looks the best whilst having fun on your adventure!

If you've not tried ARK Skincare before, then have a read of a previous post where I go into more detail, simply click here.  These travel sets are a great way to try these products.

Age Prepare products are specifically designed for those in their teens, 20s and early 30s.  The Age Prepare collection in handy travel sizes: 1 x 30ml Masque, 1 x 30ml Cleanser, 1 x 30ml Exfoliator, 1 x 30ml Moisturiser. £28.00

Age Maintain products are designed specifically for those in their 30s and 40s, up to the age of 50.  The Age Maintain collection in handy travel sizes: 1 x 30ml Masque, 1 x 30ml Cleanser, 1 x 30ml Exfoliator, 1 x 30ml Moisturiser.  £29.00

Age Repair products are designed specifically for those in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond!  The Age Repair collection in handy travel sizes: 1 x 30ml Masque, 1 x 30ml Cleanser, 1 x 30ml Exfoliator, 1 x 30ml Moisturiser.  £30.00

All of these collections are presented in a stylish travel bag, not a gift box.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Don't save it for best - Buy it, Style it and Wear it!

One of my very first posts for my blog was "To buy or not to buy?"

I'm hoping that my readers from the beginning are living this formula every time they go shopping; but for my new readers I thought I would cover this one again.

My formula is quite simple; what's the value of the item divided by the number of times I think I will wear it.

Last week I was with a girlfriend and the subject of cost per wear came up;  I think we all have our own way of justifying the purchases we make, however sometimes I think we perhaps don't apply it to the staples in our wardrobe.

So which out of the two should you truly invest in?

  • A pair of designer evening shoes costing £200+ that you may wear to say ten events over the next three years.  Cost per wear = £20+
  • A pair of good quality work shoes costing £100 that you will wear a minimum of twice a week for six months.  Cost per wear = £1.93

Now let's be honest most of us spend a higher value on those special event items and for the day to day we would buy more budget shoes from NEXT, TK Maxx, New Look etc, shoes costing more around £30, but these are items you are wearing most days!  It doesn't make sense.  Why do we seem to invest in those items we save for best?

As you are starting to change your wardrobe from summer to winter, and thinking of replacing those items that are worn through, why not consider in investing in good quality brands on those items you wear every day.  And buy smart on those items that will be worn a few times.

If you do have pieces that you've not got value from, have a think about how you can style it differently. What could you add to it to make it look different.  If you bought it for going out, can you simplify it to make it work for day?

When you next go shopping be true to yourself about the value you will get, but whatever you do, don't save any item for best - Buy it, Style it and Wear it!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Autumn/Winter 2013: Check it out!

Image from

One of the biggest trends this season for Autumn/Winter 2013 is tartan.  It's available in such a wide variety of colours and garments - there is something for everyone!

If your bold, dramatic and really up for it, then you can simply go head to toe in this trend.  For others, it may simply be adding in elements of tartan through accessorising, to get involved.

When I think of tartan, I always think Vivienne Westwood, and when I think of her, I think punk, quirky and very much FUN!  So don't take yourself too seriously with this trend, buy a few fun things and add some colour to your daywear!

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices going...

I'm loving this dress from ASOS, perfect for those of you who have Autumn natural colourings.

Vivienne Westwood

Derby Purse 2800 New Exhibition

For those who don't wish to wear it!  (And don't forget you may find cheaper tartan alternatives in her Designer outlet at Bicester Village.)

Joe Browns from Debenhams
Multi coloured cheeky tartan duffle

Simple, yet stylish - great for the weekend!

River Island
Black and white check leggings

I'm loving these! Really good for women who's natural colourings are Winter.  Be sure to have slim, athletic hips & legs to handle this much pattern on your lower half!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Fabulous Fashionitas

Image from Channel 4

I received a text message from a very dear friend Annie, saying I needed to watch this brilliant documentary about older woman, Fabulous Fashionistas.

Well this Cutting Edge documentary about six remarkable women with an average age of 80, has to be one of the best programmes I have watched in a long time!

Six wonderful women who I think are truly inspirational for us!   Bridget, Daphne, Jean, Gillian, Sue and Lady Trumpington all have something in common: a determination to keep going, to look fabulous and to have fun, demonstrating that old age does't have to be grim and boring.

And one of the best facts I love about them, is that they have not had botox or plastic surgery, and they all look fabulous - they look like older women, but they look fabulous!

Key advice they give; stay active, don't retire and make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.

Image from Channel 4
Image from Channel 4

It's not just me raving about them!  On Twitter, here are some of the tweets...

@hellothemushroom "Just watched the #fabfashionistas I want to meet all these fabulous women!"

@amyannette37 "I hope to be half as cool as any of these ladies when I'm 80."

@JulietteBurton "A coupe of days late on the uptake but I am in love with these women.  What amazing role models"

@andrewmarcus "Everybody should watch #fabfashionitas. Best documentary I've seen for a long time."

@oldmaidenaunt - quotes from the programme - "beige is the colour of death... don't wear beige. It'll kill you."

@MsJenAllison "This programme is reaffirming my life"

You can still watch it on Channel 4's On Demand, simply click here - if you have the desire to never get old, then this is one to watch!!

They are simply fabulous!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

I need that cosy feeling!

I went to the hairdressers today wearing a t-shirt!  Although we are lucky having warm(ish) weather at the moment, it's not going to be long until those jumpers are out of the closet 24/7!

Over the last couple of weeks I've seen Victoria Beckham wearing this latest look of  a sleeveless (fairly thick) knitted polo jumper quite a few times.  

She teams it with a t-shirt, trousers and high heels.  Whilst I've seen HER wear it, I can't seem to find this style on the high street, not even on her own site - but I'm sure it will be out there before Christmas!!

Image from:

The weekly glossy I was thumbing through at the salon had an article by Fearne Cotton who's alliance with was promoting some of her new items from her own collection.

She was clearly inspired by her own cats and last winter's trend of animal jumpers, that said, there are still lots of animal jumpers out there for this season, from horses heads to foxes to cats.


Another trend for Autumn/Winter this year is the poncho jumper - now I remember this being popular about eight years ago - the only issue I find with this style is that it's hard to keep warm!  But if your not bothered about that, here are two that look fabulous!

Octavia cable-knit wool-blend poncho

A cheaper option is this great looking poncho from Barbour, via ASOS.


Another one I liked on the ASOS site was this thick cardigan from Superdry - perfect for those Sunday afternoons for lunch in the pub after taking the dog for that long walk!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Alfresco Cafe shoes in good old London town!

I love shoe brands that give shoes names.  I will even make a buying-decision based on whether I like the name or not. 

My latest gorgeous pair, Alfresco Cafe, were simply perfect for my trip into town yesterday for a matinee.

Matinee's in the West End - do you dress up or not?  For those who are treating themselves, you want the extra pleasure of getting ready for the special event, but for those who want to be comfy and practical whilst getting around busy London, sometimes tend to get it all wrong!

Rucksacks for example, there should never be a rucksack in our gorgeous old theatres with the history and wealth of talent that have been on stage - and yet I was nearly knocked over by a hiker in the Royal Circle bar area - who clearly needed the safety gear, map, scruffy jeans and trainers!

Don't get me wrong...I did need comfort too, as I had a lot of walking to do - but I wanted to remain stylish, feminine with a little extra height too.  My recent investment in some new black pony textured shoes from Clarks also comes with the Clark Plus technology, extra cushioning in all the right places! My feet were walking on air - all day!

I teamed them up with black skinny jeans, a cream fitted top with cream blazer, accessorised with brown belt and bag - stylish, yet all the comfort to get around a busy need for a rucksack!

Alfresco Cafe - Black
Description from Clarks:
This season's must-haves, Alfresco Cafe are women's shoes inspired by the past yet bang on-trend. Designed in soft, textured 'pony' effect leather the loafer look is preppy and classic, and delivers a versatile silhouette you can wear day through to night. Clarks Plus technology maximises comfort with dual density cushioning while a smart trim and 80mm contrast block heel add the perfect finishing touches. As seen in Look magazine, August 2013 issue.

Oh and what did I go and see? (I hear you say!)

The brilliant Lee Evans, Sheila Hancock and Keely Hawes in Barking in Essex at the Wyndham's theatre. Funny, great story line and you simply can't beat a dancing from the talented Lee Evans who made the show!  It's on until the 4th January 2014

Friday, 13 September 2013

I'm loving the new M&S campaign!

If you've not yet seen the ads online or in your fashion mags, you really need to check out the films on YouTube from M&S - collaborating with some amazing and fabulous British women, who are inspirational for women of all ages.

Included are; Helen Mirren, Katie Piper (love love love!), Nicola Adams, Darcy Bussell, fashion legend Grace Coddington, Tracey Emin and many more.

Here's one for starters!

For those that receive this by e-mail, you may have to click here to view.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Autumn season - Jackets

With summer heading off and chillier nights setting in - before getting that big woolly coat out of the closet why not opt for some lighter options.

As a result of leaving my lovely cream blazer in Portsmouth, I've bought a gorgeous khaki green parka, that I'm simply loving from Zara, for £59.  Perfect for weekends and particularly to go with my new Hunter brown wellies!  (you can check them out on Instagram - my bargain from TK Maxx)

Whilst out and about shopping for this, I spotted the jackets below which are great alternatives! 

Also from Zara
Fabric Blazer in Camel (available in black and mid-grey too)

This was simply gorgeous from Ted Baker - sadly my budget simply would not stretch!!
UPALA - Flannel suit blazer

I really liked this one from Hobbs, but I have something similar in black already.