Thursday, 30 April 2009

Anniversary Gift Ideas With a Difference

When it comes to anniversary gift ideas there is always the traditional anniversary wedding giftideas as listed below. For the modern approach to anniversary gift giving you have to think outside of the box about what you want your gift to communicate to your loved one. Bear in mind that your gift does not have to cost the earth but that the significance of it should be remembered for a long time. You want to go for gifts that will last a lifetime just as you want your relationship to stand the test of time.

Paper 1 year
Wood 5 years
Pottery 10 years
Crystal 15 years
China 20 years
Silver 25 years
Pearl 30 years
Coral 35 years
Ruby 40 years
Sapphire 45 years
Gold 50 years
Emerald 55 years
Diamond 60 years

Flowers or a Perennial Flowering Plant
Nothing brings a smile to a woman's face than receiving flowers on some special occasion like wedding anniversary, valentine's day, birthday etc. I recently celebrated my ninth wedding anniversary and when I got home from the school run my husband had left a large hydrangea plant blooming with pink flowers on the table with a card. The card read "I hope this one can be the beginning of a new garden in our lives". How romantic I thought and I went all mushy inside.

anniversary gift, flowering plant, bougainvillea An exotic flowering plant like this Bougainvillea may be reminiscent of a romantic tropical vacation.

So flowers can definitely do the trick and a perennial flowering plant like a hydrangea even better as it lasts a long time and is a daily reminder of your wedding anniversary. Ten years from now when I look back at that plant the memories and the significance of my ninth wedding anniversary will come flooding back.

Not just any scarf, go for a knitted and felted lambs wool scarf nicely boxed. It will be a treasure to be worn on special occasions and then to be returned to its Cinderella box like the prized possession that it is. Every time she wears it and is asked "where did you get that" it will give her a warm feeling inside each time she says that her darling husband or loved one gave it to her on their wedding anniversary. A wedding anniversary gift like this a mother passes on to her daughter/s.
This Lambswool Scarf in hank orange would be greatly appreciated at anytime of year.

Unique Jewelery
Diamonds I know are a girl's best friend but individual handmade designer jewelery is always a treasure - again unique jewelery gifts can be handed down to generations to come. If your loved one is passionate about the environment and sustainable fashion then go for some truly innovative jewelery from recycled material. I am sure she or he will be pleased to know that you share their passion. You can find recycled jewelery made from toothpicks, recycled bottle all embellished with pearls to create that unique recycled gift. Books like Style, Naturally can give you even more ideas on eco friendly gifts.

Anniversary gifts for women, Fan Necklace by Mana Bernandes, eco jewellery, recycled jewellery Fan Necklace
Anniversary gifts for women, Toy Earring by Mana Bernandes, eco jewellery, recycled jewellery

Toy Earring

Unique accessories for men
When thinking about unique accessories for men go for handmade resin brooches and handmade cuff links or bespoke wallet, portfolio or briefcase as mentioned below. Ties, which might seem a mundane gift, can be made special if it is created from unique fabric like hand printed fabric.
Anniversary gifts for men, Navy Silk Knitted Tie by Nick Bronson
Anniversary gifts for men, Navy Silk Knitted Tie by Nick Bronson
This Navy Silk Knitted Tie by Bronson is textured with square ends featuring embroidered contrast red silk spot design. 100% silk.

Bespoke ladies leather handbags with a twist
Bespoke leather handbags, wallets, portfolios or briefcases with an image precious to yourself and your loved one printed on the inside of a handbag etc is absolutely priceless. I recently came across this company called Red Shoes where you can take in your images and have them printed on the inside of a bespoke handbag etc to create a unique lining. Each time your loved one opens his or her bag or briefcase they are reminded of each other. The picture could be anything you desire like a memorable vacation, honeymoon, or a special moment with the kids. This is creativity and thoughtfulness beyond measure.
anniversary gift idea, bespoke ladies handbag A "Wedding Gift" by Red Shoes Memories

These are just some modern ideas. I am sure if you have a good think about your loved one and the gift giving occasion then you can find the perfect anniversary gift, valentine's day gift or birthday gift as the case may be. The key is to give it enough time and thought to come up with a truly unique gift for your loved one.

As Featured On EzineArticles

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Discount for Munique's Readers

People Tree has created a unique shopping discount just for Munique blog readers. Shop now at People Tree and get 20% off all purchases £60.00 and over when you use discount code MUN09.

Here's a peek at some of the fabulous finds on offer. But hurry offer ends May 15th 2009 and remember to type in discount code Mun09 at checkout.

Relax in this horizontal tuck blouse in a sheer handwoven cotton with check weave. Lovely detailing with the horizontal pleats around the front placket and at the bottom of the sleeves. The Mandarin collar with shell button fastening adds simple sophistication.

Simple round neck tee in soft, 100% organic cotton.

One shouldered,jersy party dress in 100% organic cotton. The wide, gathered shoulder strap and ruched neckline is a classic style that will outlast seasonal trends.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Fashion and Food

I came across this sumptuous looking dish in "Vicky Bhogal's new cookery book entitled Flavour: A World of Beautiful Food. This "Tiger Prawn and Manadarin Soup" dish looks so delish that I thought to myself that food like fashion is all about visuals. When I look at this I simply want to eat it and if it tastes half as good as it looks then I would be happy.

Flavour - a world of beautiful food, Vicky Bhogal

When it comes to food, what does it for me is smell and look. Visually it is all about the contrasting colours and tastewise all about the flavours. In this case the sweetness of the coconut milk tempered with the sourness of the mandarin and the saltiness of the fish sauce. This is obviously a thai dish and no doubt the colours in their dishes is resounded in the colours of their clothes. Regular readers of my blog know that I celebrate colour. So maybe what appeals to me most is the colourfulness of the food.

recycled sari kimono tops
Just as there is a mix of taste and texture in this dish so too I am drawn to the hot,colourful and spicy mix of patterns and colours in these recycled sari kimono tops. My personal favorites are the yellow patterned and the red patterned Kimono tops. The eco friendliness of the tops being made from recycled saris is also a big plus.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Don't miss out - free Avocado Face and Body Soap

Yesterday in commemoration of St George's Day we added a free gift to all pruchases. Those of you who purchased items online yesterday will soon be enjoying your free Avocado Face & Body Soap sent out with your orders. We have a few remaining soaps left to give away, so don't miss out. Order online today from Munique Fashions and receive your free Avocado Face & Body Soap made with 100% pure avocado butter.

avocado soap, forever living

All purchases made from Munique Fashions by Sunday April 26, 2009 will receive this Avocado Face and Body Soap as a free gift. Shop now

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Free Avocado Face and Body Soap

In celebration of St George's Day Munique Fashions is giving away a free Avocado Face & Body Soap with all purchases made online today.

avocado soap, forever living This Avocado Face & Body Soap is made with 100% pure avocado butter. Avocado Face & Body Soap loves your skin, moisturizing as it cleans with the natural, rejuvenating properties of this powerful fruit. Avocado offers relief for almost every skin type, gently cleansing oily skin with no irritation to keep pores clear and healthy. For dry, sensitive skin, it soothes quickly and penetrates to nourish and moisturize. Because it’s a moisturizer and a cleanser, Avocado Face and Body Soap continues working after you bathe. The fresh citrus scent is a gentle reminder that it’s helping to keep your skin soft, supple and healthy all day long.

This soap can be yours free when you shop today at Munique Fashions. Shop now unique jewellery, jewellery gift sets, jewellery giftsleather handbags, unique bags, handmade leather bagsunique jewellery, leather jewellery, leather necklace, handmade leather jewellery

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Susan Boyle Glams it up

If you have not seen her yet, this is Susan Boyle who shot into stardom with a stunning performance on Britain's Got talent. Susan is a perfect example of first impressions and the way people judge us on what we wear. When she walked onto the stage the audience was very skeptical and had already written her off based on her appearance. As Susan answers Simon Cowell's questions, the camera captures disparaging looks from members of the audience snickering and having a laugh. When Susan opens her mouth to sing "I Dreamed A Dream from the musical Les Miserables" their is a stunned silence as she blows them away with her voice. Click here for video footage

susan boyle, britain's got talent
One can only guess that pretty soon Susan will undergo a Trinny and Susannah or Gok Wan makeover to look fabulously glamorous. We can already see a new look emerging from the up and coming singing super star post debut.
susan boyle, britain's got talent
In this picture Susan is wearing the classic wrap dress which can lift and separate chest area.

The thing about style and fashion is not about having the perfect body size and shape as airbrushed in magazines but it is about dressing to suit our body shape. Here are a few classic looks that can flatter body shapes like Susan's.

nautical look, cinch waist dress by Bravissimo
The Cinch Waist Dress in classic black and ivory diagonal stripes is super flattering and the secret power meshing will cinch you in to create a sensational silhouette.

cinch waist dress by Bravissimo
Another waist shaping dress with sleeve if arms are a trouble area for you.

organic jumper, crossover jumper, Lana Natural Wear, organic clothing

Ah Classic and elegant - This gorgeous crossover jumper, in 100% organic cotton, feels as good as it looks. Feminine and elegant, it's designed by Lana Natural Wear, a label that is popular in boutiques all over Europe.

organic clothing,organic cotton skirt, flat waist panel skirt
Team with a light, floaty skirt for a casual yet stately look. This flat waist panel skirt is versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on your selection of matching tops or blouses. Made from organic cotton, this flat waist panel skirt is designed to create a flattering flair without the gathers.

What not to wear
For a body shape like Susan's this is what not to wear. That said, I do love this Printed Angel Dress from Ringspun. It would not look great on Susan or myself for that matter as it is suited for small boobed women but I really like the tribal look and kaftan style of the dress.

tribal print dress, kaftan dress

Organic Beauty Products

As I said in my review of Style, Naturally there are hundreds of organic products that would not have been mentioned in Summer Rayne Oakes' savvy shopping guide and here is one of them made by Shē Essential Beauty.

organic beauty products, face serum, organic skincare, organic skincare gift set
Packed with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, this facial serum by Shē Essential Beauty is naturally beneficial to all skin types. Inspired by the beauty regimes of the ancient empresses of China, it is a blend of the highest grade Chinese pearl with nutrient rich oils and silk amino acids for added skin rejuvenation benefits.

Who is Shē?

Shē Essential Beauty founders Laura Kauffmann and Beth Hooper, two licensed acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists, started off creating products for themselves and their patients and now have decided to share them with others. Their luxurious line of skincare products which aims to bring harmony and balance to everything includes Body Serums, Sugar Scrubs, Cuticle Butter and Body Butters. Click here to browse their entire range

organic beauty products, organic skincare, organic skincare gift set, body butter This sweet lemon grass body butter contains a nourishing blend of shea butter, matcha green tea, and healing herbs to deeply moisturize, protect and soothe rough, dry skin.

What is special about Shē
Apart from being developed by two licensed acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists in the comfort of their own kitchens, Shē Essential Beauty products are created from the ancient Chinese concept that “beauty comes from within.”

Based on the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, these unique serums, scrubs, balms, sprays and salts use all-natural herbs such as Ginko Bilobo for increased circulation, Ru Xiang (frankincense) for skin healing, and Zhen Zhu (mother-of-pearl), which the Chinese have used for centuries to enhance the skin’s beauty. These herbs are combined with medicinal-grade essential oils such as Xiang Cao Mao (lemongrass) and Bo He (peppermint) for stress reduction and calming effects. Together the herbs and oils form a powerful combination that rejuvenates the skin and harmonizes the mind.

“My partner and I founded this company based on the notion that although our skin was changing as we aged, there were few holistic-based products available to address our skincare needs,” explained Shē Essential Beauty owner Beth Hooper.

organic beauty products, organic skincare, organic skincare gift set
A gift of Harmony and Balance
Make everyday a spa moment with this Shē gift set which includes Lavender-Lemongrass Sugar Scrub along with Lavender Body Serum, Lemongrass Cuticle Butter and a loofah. The combination will gently exfoliate and moisturize the skin and heal dried cuticles on the hands and feet. It comes packaged in a beautiful pandan woven box, wrapped with a red ribbon.

Buy now receive a 25% discount off all purchases when you use discount code SPRING2009 at checkout. Hurry offer ends May 5th, 2009.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Style, naturally reviewed

I promised to do a review of the book Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion and Beautysummer rayne oakes, fashion model, eco advocate and resident expert on by Summer Rayne Oakes. Although I have had the book over three weeks now I have simply been delving into it and browsing the websites of many of the ethical and eco fashion businesses listed there. And I can tell you a lot is listed in there.

The book is as the name suggests an eco fashion and beauty shopping guide not only based on UK suppliers but covering the US, Canada, Europe and Australia as well. It commences with a brief history of the beginnings and development of the eco fashion movement. Eco fashion has come a long way from simply being about the use of organic cotton or the creation of fair-trade. Now it includes all the processes involved from materials used to production processes to end user including how the end user cares for the product and disposes of the product when they no longer need it and this includes packaging.

maxi dress, fair trade fashion, eco fashion Fair Trade Maxi Dress made from cotton voile.

Eco fashion is mindful of pesticide and chemical use, exploitation of labour, dying processes i.e the colouring of clothes and garments without the use of chemicals, the construction of the garment i.e. built to last, garment care and disposal on the part of the end user, the re-use of waste material i.e. the use of recycled materials in creating new eco fashion, energy efficiency concerns on the part of manufacturers and the list goes on.
maxi dress, fair trade fashion, eco fashion Who says Eco Fashion is boring? This Maxi Dress is made from organic cotton and in a style that never goes out of fashion.

Style, naturally lists organizations supporting organic initiatives and hundreds of suppliers of eco fashion from bags to jewellery to clothes and accessories from big brand to individual brands, from high end to low end fashion all from many parts of the world. When it comes to eco fashion the names that come to mind are People Tree,, Terraplana and Natural Collection but I had no idea that Topshop as quoted from the book “has begun embracing fair trade and organic fashions.” Or even that Marks and Spencer (M&S) are now carrying organic and fair trade lines.

organic cotton dress, fair trade fashion, eco fashionThis fabulous cotton poplin dress with sumptuous ruffle detail at the front is made from organic Fairtrade certified cotton.

Vintage Fashion
Vintage lovers are not left out as vintage fashion is one of the key forms of recycling. Style, naturally includes a section on tips for vintage shopping and ideas on selling on your unwanted clothes on Ebay or through garage sales or consignment shops etc. Also included is a mixture of designer profiles, girl on the street profiles and beauty profiles. With regards to vintage fashion there is a profile entitled vintage shoes, recycled shoes, vintage shoesThis patch shoe is made using eco memory foam, vegetable tanned leathers and recycled rice rubber.The quilt version is made using recycled Pakistani quilts making it a one of a kind.

Beauty is not skin deep
Style, naturally is a complete reference as it recognises that fashion and beauty goes hand in hand. Thus along with the fab eco fashion and accessories, good skin and hair completes the look. The section on beauty talks about hair and skincare and there are countless products to choose from.

avocado soap, forever living This Avocado Face & Body Soap Natural (which did not made style, naturally's A list) is made with 100% pure avocado butter. Avocado Face & Body Soap loves your skin, moisturizing as it cleans with the natural, rejuvenating properties of this powerful fruit. So please note that there are many more eco friendly products out there that have not been listed in style, naturally.

If like me you are interested in finding out about hazardous ingredients to avoid when selecting hair, skin and beauty products well there is a helpful section entitled “Beauty Blacklist: Top 20= Ingredients to Avoid” with explanations as to why these ingredients should be avoided. That section is a must read. Also useful is the explanation of the symbols we are bombarded with like Fair Trade, the Natural Products Seal, Certified Vegan etc. Style, naturally is a good resource to read up on these buzz terms and symbols that appear on our food and product packaging.

With summer on its way I am sure many of you can learn something from the Trade Tip as it is called in the book about : How to have fun in the sun - which gives information on UV rays, sunscreen etc.

Remember that the products listed here are not the be all and end all of beauty, skin and hair products. For instance Forever Living has a great range of aloe based skincare products and I am sure there are many more products which you may have used with successful results.

Sonya Skincare Range, Forever Living
Sonya® Skin Care Range is the essence of more than just beauty: it is an expression of rejuvenation, admiration, and love. The formulation of ingredients including aloe vera, fruit extracts, white tea and superior moisturizers give back to your skin. They help to rejuvenate and moisturize your skin like never before.

Beauty and Brains
The author Summer Rayne Oakes is a fashion model, eco advocate and resident expert on and the Discovery Network’s Planet Green. Click below to hear Summer Rayne Oakes talk about her inspiration for style, naturally.

Summer Rayne Oakes on her book "Style, Naturally" from SRmanitou on Vimeo.

Ideally I would have liked to see more indepth information on certain topics covered in Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion and Beautysummer rayne oakes, fashion model, eco advocate and resident expert on . Nonetheless the book is a resource and provides links and resources for further information which is useful. There are many interesting and unique finds if you take the time to browse some of the websites.

Links à la Mode : April 16th

Here are some interesting blog articles for your reading pleasure. - The Evil Fashion Boss
3stylelife - Microdesign F: Chalk
A Few Goody GumDrops: - A Few Goody Gumdrops is “Inspired” by Handbag Designer, Katherine Kwei and Her Eternity Knot
Being High Maintenance, not Bitchy: - Getting to know… designers of Be & D Handbags
Breakfast at Saks: - Brand Love: Ellery
Broke & Beautiful - ECIG: JaJo Couture
Daisy Fairbanks Vintage: - In Your Easter Bonnet - The Art of the Hat
Debutante Clothing: - Thrifting Words to Live By - Search High and Low - A Tale of Prada
dramatis personae - Beach Blanket Bingo! Kiss & Dashing Diva Beauty Giveaway
fete a fete: - Eminence Biodynamic Collection
Independent Fashion Bloggers: - Top 5 Traffic Yielding Social Networks for Fashion Blogs
Instant Vintage - Lil Shop of Horror: Urban Outfitters
Munique Fashions: - Organizing Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe
Retro Chick - Totally Clueless
shopfair: - Fair Trade Jeans Special
Solo Lisa: - From Shanghai With Love: An Interview With Helen Lee
Super Kawaii Mama - Being Joan
SwanDiamondRose: - ~the SWANclothing TINY ROSE purse~
The Coveted: - This Old Rag? Our Lurking Treasures
The Curvy Fashionista: - Top Fashion Do’s for the Plus-Size Curvy Fashionista
The Demoiselles - Birds of a Feather: Lady Smaggle"

Monday, 13 April 2009

Handmade Designer Shoes by Hetty Rose

Some women just love bags and others just shoes or maybe like Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City fame you just “live for fashion”. Carrie may not make the best choices when it comes to men but you must agree she is faultless in here selection of shoes. If like Carrie you are passionate about shoes then these designer originals, handmade by Hetty Rose are a must.

bespoke ladies shoes, handmade leather sandals, handmade shoes

Not just a pretty shoe
Perhaps I am a magpie when it comes to colour but Hetty’s bold and eclectic use of colour and pattern certainly draws the eye. Apart from being handmade, what sets this label apart from others is the vintage Japanese kimonos used as uppers making these handmade shoes not only a work of art but eco friendly as well. I like the fact that Hetty transforms vintage Japanese kimonos into a practical and usable fashion accessory capturing a part of asian history that is fast disappearing in Japan. Due to a more western style of dress, Kimono’s are now only worn on special occasions in Japan.

bespoke ladies shoes, handmade leather sandals, handmade shoes

Perfect for the woman who dares to be different
Hetty Rose's bespoke ladies shoes are perfect for the woman who dares to be different and who values quality and uniqueness above ephemeral trends. These are not shoes that will go out of style but will enhance any shoe collection for a long time. Like the Kimono which is a valuable piece of clothing, Hetty’s shoes are a priceless addition to any wardrobe that you can wear time and time again.

bespoke ladies shoes, handmade leather sandals, handmade shoes

Have you ever owned a pair of handmade shoes?
With a degree in Footwear Design & Development from the London College of Fashion, designer Henrietta Rose Samuels has been designing and making fabulously comfortable and stylish shoes since 2004. If you have never had a pair of shoes specially handcrafted for your feet well now’s your chance to create that bespoke ladies shoe for that special occasion or that unique outfit.

bespoke ladies shoes, handmade leather sandals, handmade shoes

Be warned it can take between 4-8 weeks for Hetty to create your bespoke shoe but as I am sure you would agree it is well worth the wait as you simply cannot rush art. Click here to view Hetty Rose's distinctive Spring/Summer 2009 Collection.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Organizing Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe

Does your wardrobe look like this?
This wardrobe if you have not recognized it by now is the wardrobe of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. Carrie as you may remember was not the most orderly person when it came to housekeeping as you can see from her wardrobe. But then I'm no Martha Stewart either though I can share a few tips in organizing your wardrobe that have worked for me.

Seasonal Cleanout
If like most people you do not have enough space to keep your entire wardrobe out at the same time then you must do a seasonal cleanout at least twice a year and store your out of season clothes in suitcases, vacuum pack bags, boxes etc. A wardrobe cleanout is also a good time to give unwanted clothes to charity, friends or siblings. Items of clothing that may be horribly wrong for your body shape or was just a bad buy may be ideal for someone else. Not to mention one woman's rubbish may be another woman's treasure.

Pick out year round wardrobe essentials
The first step is to select your year round wardrobe essentials like jeans, crisp white shirt, tee shirts, vests, tops, blouses, dresses and this list could go on and on depending on the style, make and fabric of these must haves.

A good guideline to use in determining your year round wardrobe essentials is to bear in mind that there are some clothes which you can layer up or layer down depending on the season. These are thus your essentials for your year round wardrobe which you can keep in your wardrobe at all times. To this you can then add your seasonal must haves. Other clothing that is winter or summer wear only can be stored away.

As summer approaches you can put away all your heavy winter coats, thick woollen jumpers, boots etc. It is a good idea to first clean clothes for storage so that they do not retain bad odours and are ready for use next winter.

Carrie adds a funky girl's touch to a basic boy's striped tee with a goddess pattern dress by cult Brazilian bikini designer Rosa Cha
Carrie's approach to layering is a little more ecletic. No doubt her year round wardrobe essentials may look more like this.

Select clothes for hanging and folding
If you have the space it is nice to have all your clothes on hangers so you can see exactly what you have. In the interest of space, fold wrinkle free clothes and store them on shelving in your wardrobe. You can either shelve them according to colour or garment for instance all browns together or all skirts together.

Do the same for the clothes with the privilege of hanging space in your wardrobe. In my view it is better to hang your clothes according to colour and patterns as this visual is invaluable when it comes to teaming up colours and patterns and coordinating outfits. I like to open my wardrobe and just stand back and look at it when determining what to wear. You will suddenly see matches of clothes that you had not thought of wearing together before. It is also a good idea to rearrange your colours from time to time putting different colour clothing and patterns next to each other. This again helps you to visualize new outfit combinations.

Shoe storage
If you are a designer shoe lover like Carrie then shoe boxes are a must to preserve them and keep them in prestine condition. Pack your shoes in individual shoe boxes so that they retain their shape and most importantly they can be stacked one on top of the other especially if you are cramped for space. If you are using under your bed as shoe storage then you do not want to be storing them unboxed as it can get quite dusty under there.

designer shoes, handmade shoes, handmade leather sandals

These are Carrie's brand new Manolos costing US$485 which is stolen when she is asked to leave them at the door when attending a Baby Shower. Check out the episode A Woman's Right to Shoes if you wish to refresh your memory.

Clear Shoe Boxes
Better yet go for clear boxes so that you can see exactly which shoe is in your shoe boxes. Have you ever had to search through all your boxes before finding that elusive pair you are looking for in the very last box? Well clear shoe boxes will save you that trouble. Plus when you stack them at the bottom of your wardrobe in clear shoe boxes then you can easily visualize them with your outfits. Ensure that you go for sturdy clear shoe boxes that can stack as some of them depending on the make can bend permanently out of shape when stacked.

clear shoe box, transparent shoe box, designer shoes, handmade shoes
Here are a pair of my shoes in a clear box. These transparent boxes really stack well and look almost as precious as Cinderella's glass slipper.

As it is now spring/summer stack your winter shoes/boots at the bottom or furthest to reach places since you would not be needing them in a hurry. Remember to invest in some boot boxes for easy storage.