Thursday, 4 November 2010

Getting ready for winter

Only 17 degrees this morning which is amazing for late autumn.  I was absolutely warm this morning in three layers of clothing.  This frill wool cardigan is just perfect for days like this.  Soft, warm and stylish are just some of the words which come to mind when I look at this cardigan by CASA.  In the back of my mind though I'm wondering if temperatures like this morning is simply the calm before the storm as based on last year, I'm not looking forward to this winter season.

There are some positives from last winter. I enjoyed the school closures. Not having to take the kids out meant I didn’t have to drive in the slippery snow.  But my head is still spinning from the whooping heating bill that came come January. On those snow filled days I could warm my hands around a hot cup of tea and stare out of my bedroom window simply mesmerized by the snow that fell and fell and fell.

I have never shovelled so much snow in my life and living on a sloping driveway is no picnic when trying to get in and out.  I literally had to be digging myself in and out of the driveway.   Just yesterday my son reminded me of that very ungracious fall I took while gingerly walking down the driveway.

My North American friends are always bemused as to what's the big deal with snowfall in England.  We are simply not prepared for it I tell them.  So this year it is not only about outfitting myself for warmth in winter but I also have to outfit my car. Short of putting on snow tires and converting to a 4x4, I must stock my boot with water, snacks, easily opened can food, torch, shovel, warm blankets, and I will be keeping an extra coat or alpaca wool wrap in there as well as hat, scarves and gloves.  I'm already all stocked up on grit salt.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Autumn colour trends 2010

I used to think that my favorite time of year was spring but now I'm finding autumn to be so picturesque.  I'm simply loving the flamboyancy and richness of colours in the leaves - the reds, the burnt orange and yellows, the varying shades of browns.  Perhaps it's because my daughter is always stopping to pick up leaves and enjoys just kicking them around once they are all bunched together.  

I am captivated by the stretches of golden and reddish leaves on expanses of grass.  What a lovely picture especially when we're lucky enough to have a setting sun.  I'm so reminded of this unique handbag when I'm thrashing through leaves with my daughter - with its oval shape and copper handles and magnificent colour.  According to Vogue "autumn's most flamboyant trend is all about colour, chaos and creativity," and this leather handbag is ticking all those boxes.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

So what's on your christmas list

My kids were all excited telling me what they wanted for christmas and all I was thinking was that I could really do without more toys to clear up around the house.  To get them out of my hair I sent them to make a list to which they promptly responded, "aren't you making a list as well"?  So I thought why not.

As expected their christmas lists were full of toys and electronic games they were looking forward to having, my christmas list was full of convenience home appliances. 

How practical and boring we can become once we have kids and responsibilities.  In the past when I dated my husband I always looked forward to some romantic jewellery gifts or delightful surprise for christmas, birthdays and anniversaries.  So when did I stop wanting to pamper myself or have I stopped pampering myself?   Personally I think that if Santa did bring me my wish list for christmas, it would be the best treat I ever had.

So what's on your list?  Here's my christmas list:

juicer - since attending that Eucerin beauty event I am still trying to do better at increasing my antioxidant intake so some smoothies for breakfast are in order.

breadmaker - I viewed a house a couple of weeks ago and the aroma of fresh bread baking simply brought back memories of growing up.  I grew up on home made bread, cakes, pastries etc and really dream of going back to basics and giving my kids that experience.  I want them to have a sense that bread and cakes does not only come out of a bakery or supermarket.  It's like when you vacation in the rural parts of England and order a ham sandwich at a quaint tea room and the bread looks and taste absolutely homemade and the ham nothing like you buy in the shop - now that's priceless.

steam generator iron - been reading about theses steam generator irons in Essentials magazine which according to them "blasts at least twice as much steam as steam irons".  All I can think is how easy it will be to iron my son's karate uniforms with one of these.

LG 11kg steam direct drive washing machine - 11kg barrel - just think of how much I can wash in one go.  Plus the steam gives a deeper clean and with a special steam-only programme, wrinkles and odours can be removed without doing a full wash cycle. Very handy indeed, not to mention energy saving.

soup maker love soup especially in the winter it is absolutely warming. So a soup maker like cuisineart which cooks and blends the soup means no messy kitchen after or stove to clean.  Not to mention when I'm not making soup my cuisineart can also crush ice for a cool cocktail or make nutritious smoothies.  Two in one even better.  Santa may not have to worry with the juicer after all.

Monday, 1 November 2010

My bedroom all grown up

Finally some chest of drawers for my bedroom.  It is unbelievable how lack of storage in a bedroom can have a room untidy.  In this and the last house I lived, my present chest of drawers could not make it up the stairs to my bedroom.  Silly me for buying chest of drawers built for the american market.  But I still love it!!!! It is large and made of rose wood and it's amazing the amount of clothes and linen I could fit in there.  I saw it at auction and simply fell in love.  I have not given up my dream of living a big house with wide staircases and spacious landing but for now the dining room would have to do for my american chest of drawers. 

Until then my new manhattan chest of drawers will do just fine and fits in perfectly with my darkwood furniture.  It is exquisitely crafted and would last a lifetime.  My wooden jewellery box will look just a treat sitting on it. 

Keeping warm this winter

Hooray an extra hour of sleep yesterday as the clocks were turned back and very much needed coming off the half term break. While I totally enjoyed the lie in, I dread the aftermath of being plunged into darkness so early in the evenings. Animals have the right idea and hibernate during winter. They gather nuts and food and take refuge in hides and burrows until it’s warm again. We on the other hand, have to brave the weather and envelop ourselves in layers and layers of warm jumpers, cardigans and coats to keep the chill off. But they do say that it is not a matter of being too cold as opposed to not being dressed warmly enough.

On Saturday, I wore two layers, a long sleeve cotton tee and a wool wrap cardigan and I was warm enough given the warm sunny temperatures outside. Yesterday Sunday, was 10 degrees out and I had to throw on a woolly long cardigan as an extra layer.

By now you might have guessed that my favorite winter warmer is wool.  Why? Well it does cost a bit more but it has proven to be effectively warm.  I find that I can wear several layers of thin woollen layers anf feel  warm rather than wearing the big bulky coats that just weight me down.  If it works for sheep, then it can certainly do the same for me.  Mind you some wool can be really itchy which is an absolute turn off unless it is a coat or cardigan that I will be layering up underneath.  So usually I tend to stick to extra fine wool cardigans and jumpers which feel really silky and smooth on the skin and in many cases is machine washable which is a bonus for women on the go and saves on dry cleaning.  But lately I have also come across cape style coats, which I might add is very trendy at the moment, made from boiled wool which is not itchy and definitely worth a try.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

My wooden jewellery box - a useful christmas gift

Growing up there were always jewellery boxes at home for my sisters and I to store our most treasured jewellery gifts which usually came from our mother or was inherited from our grandmother.  Back then jewellery gifts were simple and my mother made sure that we were each outfitted with classic gold chains, bracelets and earrings, not all at once but over many birthdays and christmases if that's a word. 

Jewellery boxes in my house  however were communal.  They were usually music boxes, lined, with a ballerina in a tutu and when wound up played a tune.  As kids, we actually played with our jewellery boxes winding them up for fun just to hear the music.  

Until last year, I didn't even own a jewellery box but simply stored my jewellery treasures in small drawers or jewellery bags.  But I was given a wooden jewellery box as a christmas present last year and thought what a lovely useful gift.  Now I can't imagine myself without one.  My handcrafted wooden jewellery box is intricately handcrafted and ornate and looks very stately on my new chest of drawers. 

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

eucerin skincare event

Last Thursday I attended a Eucerin skincare event in Birmingham at the Studio.  I took my yoga buddy Safia with me and we didn't 't know what to expect but ended up having a grand evening with a cocktail champagne reception, delicious canapes and some mouth watering fruit smoothies, not to mention a goodie bag of products to take home.

The evening started off with a champagne reception followed by a  welcome and an enlightening explanation by a Dermotologist of how Eucerin anti aging products can be effective. Some of the best bits were getting a one to one with nutritionists, yoga experts and beauty therapists.  Even free facials were on offer. What I liked about the evening was that Eucerin in association with Red Magazine and  Psychologies Magazine were promoting a holistic approach to skincare and the anti aging process. We were sent a food diary to complete prior to the event and the nutritionist took one look at my food diary and said, "you're not drinking enough water". 

So here are some top tips I took away from  the beauty event:
1. How you drink water - I knew that you should drink 2 litres of water a day but did you know that you should be sipping this water slowly throughout the day rather than gulping it down litres at a time when you remember.  Apparently, and it makes sense when you think about it, when we consume too much water at one time it goes straight to our bladder but sipping frequently throughout the day allows our bodies to absorb the water thus alleviating dehydration.

2. Drinking hot water with a slice of lemon first thing in the morning is great for achieving a more alkaline body and reducing acidity. 

3. Nourish your body with antioxidants.  I've been checking out books by Jason Vale (the juice master) on juicing and a juicer is so on my christmas list this year. 

I left the event feeling much more motivated to take better care of my skin.  I have been drinking way more water and using the hyaluron-filler wrinkle filling treatments and anti wrinkle night cream which promises to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and supports regeneration of skin cells.  It's early days so I would let you know how I get on.  But I can certainly say that the eucerin intensive hand cream is really exceptional.  It leaves your hands feeling absolutely moisturized.  As you can see from my goodie bag pictured above, Eucerin has a huge range of anti aging and skincare products to address your individual needs so I'm like a kid in a candy store with these products at the moment.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Faux fur gilet - this season's must have

Fur ....... always a luxury look and feel.  At one time owning a real fur coat or mink coat was something to boast about.  Now with all the animal activist on the prowl it has to be the best well kept secret.  But fear not faux fur looks just as luxurious and can make you feel just as glamorous as the real thing.

There is so much to be had in faux fur but very popular this season is the faux fur gilet which looks absolutely fab belted.  Wear with a fitted long sleeve tee or a chiffon blouse and feel luxurious and warm.  The fur gilet is certainly the new age fur coat.

What's lovely about faux fur is that less can be more as just a hint of it can instantly glamorize the most ordinary of looks.  So if faux fur coats are not your style then go for faux fur accessories like stoles, bags, boleros, gloves, scarves etc.

Click here for unique animal print bags

maxi dress - the perfect christmas day outfit

Ah.... christmas that very special time of year when you tell yourself, "I'm not going to get caught up in all the hustle and bustle", but you do anyway. I always say that christmas is for children and I do enjoy watching my young ones open their gifts with excitement and vigor.  The joy and in some cases the disappointment on their faces is absolutely priceless.  I remember my daughter commenting "silly Santa, I told him I wanted a wand", as she flung the book she got from Santa's grotto. We all knew it was a book but poor thing she is only little so it was a good thing we backed up Santa and put a wand in her stockings. 

The kids like their toys, me on the other hand, I like outfitting myself for christmas.  Whether I'm staying in or going over to friends and family I do like to have something new and special to wear.  It does not have to be terribly formal or expensive but comfortable for relaxing and eating without looking like I've made much of an effort.  This ribbed maxi dress really ticks all those boxes for me.  It's simple, chic and can be glammed up with a cashmere or wool cardigan and a statement necklace.

A perfect dress if you are hosting christmas dinner as you want to look like a relaxed food goddess. The good thing about hosting christmas dinner is that you're at home so I feel free to wear some warm cosy slippers or strappy leather sandals as I don't have to go out to brave the weather.  Don't mind a bit of snow as long as I'm not out in it.  Click here to view more maxi dresses for christmas.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Cheryl Cole and Xfactor 2010

Sat down with my anchovy paste and toast eagerly anticipating the announcement of the final 12 xfactor contestants 2010.   Well what a let down!!! I always felt that Cheryl had the hardest decision as there was an abundance of talent in her group with lots of range and depth in their performances.

But at the end of the day, she went for the unusual and unique performers which was evident even in their choice of dress and unique fashion accessories.  In Cheryl's defence, it would be fair to say that at least three of her girls were very much a repeat of Alexandra Burke and they are looking for fresh talent.  Alternatively they may be looking for a group to win this year's xfactor with JLS doing so well despite taking second place two seasons ago.  Who knows?

Then of course you have the four wild cards Diva Fever, Wagner Carrilho, Treyc Cohen and Pajie Richardson and the surprise elimination of FYD and Nicolo Festa with Wagner still in.  No doubt viewers will be tuning in next week. 

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

coats and jackets for winter

Can we ever just have one winter coat that goes with everything?  There is so much to consider when buying a coat - occasion, pattern, texture, warmth, colour, style and cut. By all means work and play usually require different coats and jackets.

Black, brown and grey are always the safe choices colourwise and deciding on the cut and shape of your winter coat really depends on your body shape.  For instance double breasted coats are not the best styles for big busted women unless you plan to wear it unbuttoned at all times.  Not suitable for the colder days when you want to wrap up warm and button up your coat.    Coats and jackets with plunging V neckline are far more flattering for big boobed women like this belted wool coat by Mathew Williamson while coats with slanted pockets and a flared skirt really does wonders for the hour glass body shape.  Belted coats are ideal for giving the illusion of a waist

I certainly won't go out and buy multiple winter coats each year but do commit to buying myself one good quality coat every winter that I could wear winter after winter.  With this strategy you could end up with quite an ensemble of coats to choose from in five years.

The most versatile coat I have though is my alpaca wool wrap or shawl.  It keeps me warm and can be worn over anything.

Tights please anyone?

I am always at a lost where to shop for tights on the highstreet during winter and always find myself going back to Tightsplease.  You can always find a lovely array of colours and textures in unusual patterns to complete most looks like these bondage tights shown here.

Like with most of my other clothing I do like my tights to stand the test of time and be wearable for more than one winter. On those sub zero temperature days I look forward to pulling on my wool tights for extra warmth and the softness against my skin is simply luxurious.  I do find ribbed tights appealing and keep some over the knee chunky socks handy for those long skirts or when I want to make running to the toilet so much easier.  Other than the classic black, beige, nude and brown, aubergine is one of my favorite colours.

Once I decide on my party dresses for this year's christmas parties, I know just where I will be getting those much needed christmas party tights.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Get your christmas party wear

With all the mid season sales on now it is hard to decide what to get.  Summer clothing are still on offer while there are basic winter items that I need.  I'm not one for buying clothes to wear next season unless it's really special and a bargain price.  But it's still autumn so you layer up with tights, cardigans and light weight tees so you can be wearing your summer clothing well into winter.

But thinking ahead to christmas, its a great time to get those most needed party wear.  Some christmas parties require formal party dress or party wear but others especially the ones after work its a matter of throwing off your work jacket, freshening up your make up and you're ready to go like those girls from the boots advertisement ..... here comes the girls. 

Ideally too with all the online bargains to be had, it is a great time to pick up a few gifts for christmas, fashion accessories likes scarves, handbags, jewellery and belts even always make handy christmas gifts for her and him.   Those christmas presents aren't going to buy themselves, so get cracking.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Shapewear - airbrushing techniques for you and me

As I get older I honestly can't say if dressing is easier now than when I was drop dead sexy and gorgeous and could fit into anything.  Okay the latter part is a matter of opinion and debatable I admit.  But age as my father always says is a wicked thing and try as you might nature will take its course.  That said, I have certainly become more selective in my choice of clothes and fashion accessories which I feel should reflect my unique personality and at the same time be comfortable. So the "teeny boppers" shops are off my radar as I only watch and admire and remember when.   

Items such as high waisted trousers are now must haves for my capsule wardrobe simply because they are great for camouflaging any unsightly bulges.  They can add contour to your shape and are excellent when wearing elastane tops that hug your upper body.  Memories of Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones Diary comes to mind with Bridget (Rene Zellweger) in her contour shaping underwear which Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant)  unduly uncovers for want of a better word.

Not that I have lost my beach goddess focus and goal as I do keep up with my exercise, but there are undergarments, clothes, creams, lotions etc to fix many things we may not appreciate about ourselves be they only temporary fixes in some instances.   As human beings we are insatiable and always dissatisfied with some aspects of our appearance. So there are push up bras for those who want to look more chesty and minimizing bras for those who feel they are too well endowed.  Ironic isn't it?  If only we could just wave a magic wand or airbrush ourselves to perfection.   

When you think about it contour garments or body define shapewear, make up, creams etc are our small way of airbrushing ourselves on a daily basis.  And why not as airbrushing is a natural extension of the fashion industry.  Don't imagine that models and celebrities roll out of bed looking like they've just stepped out a fashion magazine.  Fashion shoots take lots of time and effort.  As you get older some of us come to appreciate that less is more, that you can dress cleverly and feel great and that you don't have to be a UK size 8 and below to be a fashion goddess.  The fashion tip for today is to work with what you have ladies because there is always somebody out there who would love to have some aspect of your bodyshape.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Amanda Wakeley Auntumn Winter 2010

Love this autumn winter 2010 collection by Amanda Wakeley. The collection seems almost effortless with chic,classic and wearable designs softly draping over the feminine shape. These designs are simple yet classic layers of luxury in warming colours and tones that would last a life time.
Certainly a must see collection. Click now and take a look.

Amanda Wakeley Autumn/Winter '10 London Fashion Week Runway Show from Gail McClelland on Vimeo.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Classic contemporary copper jewellery

Growing up, accessorizing was straight forward.  Jewellery was simply earrings, chain, bracelet, ring, watches in traditional precious metals such as silver or gold and precious or semi precious stones.  The most you worried about was what carat gold it was. In some instances it was a matter of inheriting a brooch or watch from your mother, grandmother etc.

Now jewellery especially handmade jewellery has become more exotic, contemporary and chunkier made in a varying range of other metals such as copper and brass and materials like leather, clay and recycled material for example glass etc.  Categories such as ethnic jewellery, african beaded jewellery, copper jewellery are just some of the new categories that exist now.  Some of you when thinking about copper jewellery are reminded of simple copper bracelets worn for medical purposes and may not be thinking about the trendy fashion accessory like this handmade copper jewellery gift set entitled "Grapevine" that makes the most unique jewellery gifts for her.  

what's your idea of the little black dress?

Ah the little black dress!!!!.....  every womans must have wardrobe essential.  Conventionally the little black dress has usually been a slim fitting dress usually a black shift dress sleeveless and sometimes mini in length.  But ideally the little black dress should be in a style that flatters your body shape and size.

For me it is a simple cut dress that makes me look slim and georgeous after all black is slimming.  It's an every occasion dress that can be worn on its own or with simple accessories or jazzed up with bold statement jewellery depending on the occasion.  My classic little black dress these days during winter is a black long sleeved wrap dress, a simple, versatile and easy to wear dress which I love wearing with a pearl jewellery pendant. 

But who said the little black dress had to be all black?  This silk print dress may well become my next black number, a simple floaty dress with an even more stunning back view.   Will be georgeos accessorized with a pearl necklace or a simple rock crystal bracelet but is absolutely stunning on its own.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

belted jackets

Winter is that time when you crave warming and comforting food to help fight off the chill and I do  look forward to the soups, stews and casseroles even though I have to make them myself.  When it comes to my winter wardrobe essentials warmth and comfort is just as important as I know I need my basics like roll neck tees, jumpers, cardigans, sweaters etc.  But must they all be in black, grey, brown and navy blue?  I think not.  So I have my eye on these two belted jackets.  Great accent colours with really architectural collars that are both stylish and trendy and the belt in the jacket really helps to accentuate your waist even if it is not as slim as it used to be.   So waist or no waist belted jackets can give the illusion of one.

I like my food to be invitingly colourful not to mention tasty and nutritious which usually means having a variety and wide range of foods.  Sometimes it is the little accents you add like sweet peppers, sweet corn, sprinkling of herbs and spices that can make all the difference.  So is your wardrobe well balanced? According to the old adage - variety is the spice of life - so do you have accents of colours in your winter wardrobe to brighten your winter?  Think about adding accent colours to your look with fashion accessories such as red woollen scarves and polkadot rings

ladies watches - a gift of the past?

I fear that ladies watches or watches in general may be becoming a gift of the past.  With the advent of mobile phones it seems that most people depend on their phones to tell them the time.  I still love watches though and see them as another fashion accessory to add to my outfit.  Mind you I do look for the statement watches that are both practical and unique. This white circle  bangle watch is a great example of a stylish ladies watch as it doubles as a stylish bangle while still being a time piece.  Gone is the era where you had only one watch but now it's trendy to have several watches to team up with your outfits.   Bracelet watches are also hugely popular.

Statement necklaces are no longer the only accessories on our wish lists, unique womens watches are delightful gifts for her when it comes to anniversaries, birthdays and valentines day.  Now that I think about it a red ladies watch would be a great valentines day gift. 

Thursday, 23 September 2010

cruise wear wardrobe

Summer shopping may be over for many of us as we have started layering up for the cold dark mornings in  preparation for the cold winter.  We can only hope that it is not as terrible as the last winter.  But if the old wives tales are anything to go by the saying is that if there are plenty of berries on the trees then it is going to be a bad winter.  Only time will tell, though there are an abundance of berries on the trees.  But for those of you planning a winter cruise holiday, winter can't come soon enough and shopping may only have just begun.  Great time to shop too as there are still some amazing online clearance bargains to be had like this ornate neck maxi dress.  You are sure to turn heads in this maxi dress with enough wiggle room for eating as much as you like. 

Selecting your cruisewear is all part of the excitement in the build up to your cruise holiday.  You look forward to dressing up for dinner every night and dream about all the food you are going to eat hmmm. The idea of a cruise always awakens memories of the Love Boat series with the heart breaking love stories where love always conquers in the end, the days out in Acapulco, dining with Captain Stubing.

Taking the time to plan your wardrobe ensures that you have what you need to strut your stuff on deck and more importantly that you are camera ready for the ship's photographer.  Ladies, remember you need both day wear and ladies evening wear. If you like dressing up for elegant evenings out then here is your opportunity to look like you just stepped off the catwalk and stand out from the crowd in your cruise wear.  Perhaps if you dress to impress you may end up at the Captains table - you never know.

Packing a few key and unique fashion accessories to complete your outfit or create different looks is all you need to ensure that you turn heads. 
chunky necklace
drop pearl earrings
evening bag or purse
stunning ring
leather belt
bandanas and headbands

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

christmas gifts – all wrapped up

I like getting a jump start on Christmas by buying presents throughout the year and storing in my gift closet. But I’m doing my usual winter clean – out storing summer clothes and hanging winter essentials and realize that my closet is bear – just a few gifts.

Pre-buying christmas gifts is always a good idea as it takes the hassle and rush out of christmas shopping and helps me to budget better. Panic buying in the run up to christmas is not my idea of fun and can prove to be very expensive. Some people say to me, “oh I can’t think so far ahead”. Me, once I’m out and about shopping and see an appropriate present for a loved one then I buy it especially if it is a good price and on sale.

I do stick to a few ground rules when buying presents in advance:.

- Always have the person in mind for whom you are buying the gift. That said, I do like to stick to christmas presents that are easily transferable i.e. suitable for more than one person like jewellery gifts, silk scarves, leather belts, handbags which are some gift ideas etc.

- Stay away from presents that will expire for example food stuffs, some cosmetics etc

- If you are taking the risk and getting clothes then make sure that it is at least your size so you can wear it in the event that it is unsuitable for the person. You know how we tend put on extra pounds in the winter with all the indulgence and luxury foods in the build up to Christmas.

- Latest fad clothing also a definite no no - stick to the classic fashion that never dates.

- One of my key rules is to buy presents for family and friends that I would use myself. Mind you, sometimes I do tend not to want to part with some gifts.

Shopping throughout the year for christmas presents really takes the pressure off gift buying during this festive season and you can spread the cost over a longer period and avoid escalating bills come Christmas. So next time you are out and about shopping or browsing the internet keep an eye out for unique quality gifts that would be perfect for your friends, family and loved ones.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Mirror Mirror on the wall – a winter must have

Talking about coordinating my clothes in winter reminded me that I am yet to get myself a standing mirror for my bedroom. I do have a full length mirror but downstairs.  So I  find myself having to bring several jackets downstairs to see which one looks best with my outfit and then match up shoes. Many a times I dress upstairs then come downstairs glance in the mirror and think how horribly wrong but when I'm running late its a toss up between facing more traffic or rushing  out of the house looking as if I dressed in the dark.

So a full length mirror is the first accessory on my winter must have list this year. This solid rubber wood leaning mirror from John Lewis has some unique features which really appeals. More than just a mirror it offers space for hanging clothes and somewhere to rest my shoes. Now I can really plan what I’m going to wear day to day and hang it out the night before on my mirror. There even space to lay out my fashion accessories like jewellery necklaces, leather belts and silk scarves all in advance. If I needed to convince myself further that this was the mirror for me then aesthetically the dark wood blends so well with my existing bedroom furniture. A winter must have indeed.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Time to bring out the winter wardrobe

It is the end of another week of school but for me it was the official start of Autumn. Temperatures of 10 degrees yesterday morning was a gentle reminder for me that summer is officially over. My daughter complained that her hands and head were cold and I made a mental note to myself to put her gloves and hat in her bag from Monday.

It is time I’m afraid to get the suitcases out and pack away our summer clothes to make room for winter coats like this red wool coat , woolly cardigans, scarves, hats and gloves. With so much more to put on in the morning coordination is key as the wrong jacket or coat can really glamour up or glamour down a look. Let’s not forget as well how footwear can also make or break an outfit. No more strappy summer leather sandals or flip flops but practical ankle boots, knee high boots and warm platform shoes.  So lets' get those shoe boxes, and storage solutions out and start packing.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Anniversary gifts for her

I do look forward to my wedding anniversary every year with much anticipation. Each time I wonder, "what is he going to get me this year?" He usually manages to surprise me with some great gift ideas but I know that I would hate to be a man buying anniversary gifts for me, as I know I can be fussy and not very good at hiding my disappointment I'm afraid.

Why is it men find gift buying for valentines day, birthday etc so challenging? I don't know. Simply give the woman what she wants is what I say. But my guess is that gifts for her usually go wrong when shopping for it is left for the last minute like picking up a gift in the train station 10 minutes before your train.

I remember my teenage years spent working in department stores for Christmas and the fear and desperation on the face of some men as they hunt for the perfect gift for her on christmas eve.   Not good enough guys all I can say is thank god for returns and exchange policy and gift vouchers.
Here are some tips on getting the perfect gift for her:

-Don't panic buy. I know you men love gadgets and technology so start by putting reminders in your phone, desktops etc re these important gift buying occasions.

- Keep a record of what you have given your wife, partner, girlfriend in the past if you are in a long standing relationship

- Most importantly, remember what she did not like the last time.

- start thinking about gift ideas way in advance and shopping weeks before the event to avoid buying a ridiculously expensive, meaningless or inappropriate gift - like earrings when your loved ones ears are not pierced.

- luxury gifts are great but ensure that it suits her personality as this really shows that you have put some thought into it.

- think outside of the box and look for unique gifts. If you do go for jewellery find some unique and unusual womens jewellery gifts.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

retail therapy - a great back to school gift for mums

Kids are back to school and many mums, myself icluded, must be feeling so relieved.  Honestly I think I am now recovering from the sheer exhaustion of it all.   It's as if I have been Waiting To Exhale
and now I can finally breath.  At times like these I simply want to treat myself and what better way than a bit of retail therapy.  So as not to be frivilous I tell myself  "well I do need some new knitwear, woolly jumpers and cardigans for the pending autumn/winter.  Not to mention some roll neck tops and knee high boots, black preferably.

Shopping time is limited but I am bombarded with so many special offers via email that I simply cannot resist but take a look.  While there is so much I can think of that I need, I'm simply going to treat myself to this V neck sleeveless polkadot dress    This wrap dress is simple, elegant, timeless and polkadots are one of my alltime favorites. Team with this charm necklace for a great look.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

victoria beckham lastest collection for spring 2011

Sleek, silhouette, sophisticated, classic, wearable are just some of the words that come to mind  when describing victoria beckham's latest collection for spring 2011.  Whether you are a fan of Victoria Beckham or not, you have to admire her collection.  It is so wearable!!!!

Posh spice has obviously chosen to appeal to a select clientel the slim sophicated women who values timeless classic fashion that would simply never date her look.  Some might say that her collection is an extention of herself as you could see here wearing every piece from her spring collection.  Goosh even some of the models look like her.  But then these runway pieces hardly ever showcase plus size clothing on plus size models.

Some of the dresses do look like more of the same from her fall 2010 ready to wear collection but this season she has extended her collection to include a line of Victoria Beckham's handbags - well made and chic - a little on the big boxy side for me but then again you can carry everthing but the kitchen sink in there.  The shape of the bags are a gentle reminder of  a doctors bag from the olden days.  I must say that the circular tummy hugging feature in the strappy white cocktail dress does not appeal to me.  It just screams pregnancy garment and you must have an incredibly flat tummy to carry that dress off successfully.

If you are a classic dresser then I'm sure you would not mind having a few of these pieces in your wardrobe.   If Victoria keeps this classic sophistication trend going then she could become one of my favorite fashion designers right up there with the legendary Ralph Lauren.


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Plus size womens clothes

There was a time when larger women had trouble finding glamourous fashion to celebrate their shape and curves.  Certainly not the case if you are shopping at La Redoute en plus or taillissime. Now I find myself wising that I was bigger to fit into some those georgeous plus size clothing.  This print knit stretch dress by Marianne James for example really grabs me.  I love the colours and the ecletic use of fabric reminds me a bit of Desigual style clothing which I simply adore.

This trendy hand emboidered dress will really show up your curves and enhance your cleavage.  The knee high boots offer practical warmth and style.  Available from sizes 12-28.  Such a unique dress calls for unique fashion accessories or even ethnic jewellery. .

Friday, 10 September 2010

Halter jumpsuits and the nude trend in classic movies

A friend posted a video clip from the movie The Way We Were starring Barbara Streistand and Robert Redford which flooded me with so much memories of how much I had loved that movie that I got myself a copy off amazon so I could  watch it over and over again.  That's the thing with classic movies, you are happy to watch them over and over again, like the sound of music and chitty chitty bang bang.  No doubt you have your favorites as well.

Last night I took in The Thomas Crown Affair  (1968) starring Faye Dunaway and found myself more engaged with the fashion than the story lines.  These classic movies are a great reminder of how fashion reinvents itself decade to decade  from the catwalk to the highstreet to our wardrobes. 

I loved Barbara Streistrand in her halter jumpsuit and Faye Dunnaway in her peachy nude ensemble and flamboyant hats - both trends which are with us now. While fashion can be fickle, if you stick to the timeless designs your cost per wear can  be maximized not to mention you will be building a capsule wardrobe that could be worn time and time again. 

That said, last week I wore a maxi dress that I've had over 10 years.  This tie dye maxi dress was a gift from my husband before we were married .......with such great taste how could I not marry him.  Apart from the fact that it still fits .....whoopee for me!!!!! ........ it's so timeless that I can reach for it summer after summer and still look current and fashionable.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

5 day sale event - massive 50% discount at Munique

Don't miss the 5 day massive 50% sale event at Munique Fashions starting today.  Use discount code - sale - at checkout and get 50% off any purchase from Munique Fashions.  Offer ends July 11, 2010

Choose from our unique range of handmade jewellery including leather jewellery, flower jewellery, semi precious jewellery, handmade bags, leather sandals and much more. Hurry whilst stocks last  shop now

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Your summer work wardrobe

It is quite a wardrobe challenge keeping it professional and summery for the working woman.  Depending on the nature of your job, finding that balance between professional look and summer coolness can be tricky especially in a high powered corporate job where image is key.  Then there are those who are always required to be camera ready.

The last few days have been bursting with magical sunshine and heat - perfect beach weather.  But alas not all of us are fortunate enough to be lounging on the beach somewhere.  Keep cool in dresses and skirts in light cottons or linen and ladies ...... great time to shave or wax your legs if you tend to be more on the hairy side as summer does reveal all those ills we have been hiding under coats and tights for months.

Look camera ready in this wrap dress from La Redoute.  If you just cannot be without a suit for work then lighter colours like beige, cream and white suits will certainly make you instantly trendy as you will be blending in with the nude trend.  A top tip is to always keep a versatile jacket in your office to upgrade your look from casual to formal in an instant.

Accessorize your work wardrobe with tasteful unusual jewellery in great summer colours like polkadot rings and copper bracelets.

Don't miss out on the La Redoute sale to add a few key pieces to your capsule wardrobe this summer.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Summer sales online shopping

Back from holiday and rearing to go.  Who am I kidding?  I always find it so incredibly hard to get back into the routine of  work once I've been away.  Having to keep on top on what is happening in the world of fashion is no easy feat I can tell you especially when there are so many summer sales about.  I can't think of a better distraction though.  It's one thing to join the buzz of the high steet but I find that I see so much more variety online than I actually find in the stores when I'm physically there.  I mean I passed through Debenhams on the weekend but I didn't see this black print dress perfect for  this great summer weather we have been having lately.  This print dress will absolutely compliment my latest summer leather sandals.

The thing is I never go through an entire store from department to department and clothes believe it or not are not the only items I shop for online.  Take this leather storage bench for instance  I have been promising myself to get a storage bench for my bedroom for ages.  They are so convenient for putting away those extra blankets and sheets and a must have for putting on your shoes upstairs.  I did have a wooden one in mind but this storage bench is far safer for the children when they are bouncing around in my room - no sharp edges. 

There are some great online bargains to be had, so leave the car in the driveway put your feet up and let your fingers do the walking.  You will be amazed at the bargains you find online. Online shopping have never been better.