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.