Friday, 29 August 2014

Red Alert

I can hardly believe that since my high end arm candy obsession started with my first Gucci handbag in my mid twenties, I have never actually owned a red handbag and with a wardrobe full of neutral colours like black, grey, navy and ecru, if there is one way to add a pop of colour both summer and winter to a neutral colour palette, I can't think of a better way than with a red bag.

I am already visualising accessorising my autumn (and spring) uniform of Breton top and jeans, camel and trench coats, so it looks as though it could well be one of those birthdays and Christmases where I ask purely for money to fund such a wishlist item in the January sales maybe. A lottery win would come in really handy right now.

I have to admit I am finding the large totes I have carted around for years now, becoming a bit of a pain in the ar...m (see what I did there?) if I'm honest and I am finally beginning to understand why old ladies actually carry fairly small over shoulder or across body bags!

1. Aspinal Mayfair Satchel £395. 2. Mulberry Bayswater £1,100. 3. Tory Burch Robinson Tote £415. 4. Michael Kors Reese Cross Body Bag £235. 5. Kate Spade Mandy Cross Body Bag £185. 6. Marks and Spencer Greta Leather Across Body Bag £59.

Do you already own and love a red handbag?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

On Your Marks Get Set And Finally Go!

Stella McCartney Sarong Similar here. Black Tankini Top Similar Here. Dior Sunglasses Similar Here. Sunsense Daily Face Factor 50 £20.99. Jimmy Choo Sandals Similar Here.

Just a bit of outfit planning to confirm what I'm taking away with me. I always find it helpful to lay outfits out on the floor or the bed to see exactly what will go with what.

Top Monsoon Old Similar Here. Shorts Marks And Spencer 2014 Similar Here. Bag Louis Vuitton Old, Try The Michael Kors Jet Set Monogram Tote Here. Sunglasses Jimmy Choo for Carrera Similar Here. Sandals Mulberry Similar Here.

I packed my case and then realised I hadn't put the bag I use for the beach in and am now struggling to zip it up! Perhaps I should of kept it packed from when I did my dummy run video but after working today (yes Sunday - finished at 8.50pm woe is me) and trying to fit things in around clients, it can wait until tomorrow, I really don't have an ounce of energy left to battle with it!

Be back soon and hopefully there will be time tomorrow to get some blog posts scheduled during my absence! How do you organise your holiday outfits?

Friday, 22 August 2014

Product Junkie - A Waste Of Money Serum, A Beauty Sale And A Holiday Essential

I try not to get caught up in skincare hype but when I heard about the new No.7 Protect and Perfect Serums I was four weeks away from my daughter wedding and had a No.7 money off voucher burning a hole in my wallet. I wanted to believe it would  make a difference so took some close up photo's of my wrinkles. Fast forward four weeks which was pretty much how long it lasted and I couldn't honestly see any difference at all.

We all know that prevention is better than cure and even after spending the last 25 odd years investing in high end skincare, I honestly think the damage is done way before then. Hot summers as a child where I spent everyday out in the sunshine with absolutely no sun protection along with years of smoking have indeed taken their toll. The only thing that would help now would be botox or fillers and perhaps a face lift, it would be lovely to have the smooth and youthful complexion of momager Chris Jenner but it ain't happening and although I think a serum must benefit, I think I will be buying the Aldi version so many women rave about in future.

When you get a text from your daughter at lunchtime on a Friday saying "Beauty Sale at 2.30pm" there is only one response she will ever get from me "get me stuff, coral lipsticks, mascara's, anything Bobbi Brown or Nars oh and anything anti-ageing". Oh boy I am so happy she is back on a magazine, although I miss the NAP discount, these staff beauty sales are amazing, a whole carrier bag for £30 and when we counted it there were 34 items and my Nars the Multiple would of cost that on it's own - whoop whoop!  Sadly she shares it with her two sisters as well, yes we are all make-up obsessed but I did pretty good with six items I am really pleased with and will come in really handy for holiday!

1. Nars The Multiple in Puerto Vallarta £30.00

Puerto Vallarta is a new edition to the Multiples collection and is a soft peach shade with a hint of shimmer.  If you don't already own one, the Multiple has a mousse texture which dries to a powder finish which can be used on eye's, lips and cheeks.  It's probably a little bit pale for me to use as a lip colour, I can't do dark's either, my lips are in definite need of medium shades but this will work really well with my Nars Laguna Bronzer. I have also smeared some over my eyelids and for someone who doesn't wear eyeshadow unless I go out in the evening, this is perfect for adding a bit of colour by just dabbing with your fingertips. Buy here.

2. The Body Shop Nutriganics "Drops of Youth" £24.00

OK so this skincare range from The Body Shop may have been developed for women in their 30's and 40's but I am still pleased to have one especially as it is from their first organically certified range to combat the signs of ageing. You just use 2-3 drops under your normal serum or moisturiser. Buy here.

3. Max Factor - Colour Correcting Stick £9.99

These Colour Correcting sticks come in a range of colours to either address under eye circles, correct dullness, illuminate or in the case of the pink stick I have, cover dark spots on pale skin tones.  As I do have some dark or age spots as I call them, on my skin, it will be interesting to see how well they cover.  A bit like a concealer but to specifically target problem area's by the use of pastel colours, my stick will make a welcome addition to my make-up bag. Buy here.

4. Zoeva Luxe Colour Blush in "He Loves Me, Maybe".

Time to fess up and tell you I have never heard of Zoeva which appears to be a Dutch brand. I can find it on plenty of beauty blogs but not to buy anywhere other than the brands own website where the blush is a very reasonable 7.80 euros. Free from Parabens, Fragrance, Mineral Oil and Phthalates, this fine silky powder is highly pigmented and although more coral than the pinky tones I usually use, the website says this pretty coral pink gives a fresh healthy glow to all skin tones and I am really pleased with it, looks nice on and makes a change from pink. Buy here.

Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Colour in "Peach Sorbet". £19.50.

This lip colour is from this summers surf and sand collection and looks to be pretty much sold out online although I have found it at House of Fraser for those that are after this kind of shade. Perfect for me as I have been after a coral lip colour to match in with the coral/orange/tangerine hued nail polishes I favour in summer. This sheer tint can be built up for a stronger colour making it perfect as you tan. It will also match that rather lovely coral pink blusher mentioned above Buy here.

Mac Extended Play Gigablack Mascara £14.50

I had my first Mac mascara bought for me last Christmas. I really liked it and it was good to find something other than the Lancome and  Chanel favourites which I know won't smudge on me, well guess what, this strangely named Mac mascara lasts for 16 hours and also promises to be smudge free! It has a very thin brush, perfect for my short lashes and has an intense carbon black pigment and lives up to its claims as I've worn it for the last few days and hey presto - no smudging. Buy here.

So there you have it, approximately £103 worth of beauty bounty for £6. Interns have to have some perks and so do mums, after all I do still make her Billy Bear sandwiches everyday even though she is almost 22!

And to finish a holiday essential I mentioned in my summer beauty essentials posts, the Clarins Double Fix waterproof seal to keep your mascara in place and smudge free in the heat! It's also really good for grooming brows! £20 here.

What have been your favourite beauty purchases this summer?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Patience And A Holiday Packing Video

I am beyond bored of waiting for this holiday. As I type this there are still 9 days to go and quite frankly I feel as though I can't even be bothered any more. I have sat back and watched my friends and fellow bloggers jet off to the sun in a frenzy of "schools out for summer madness" whilst I have watched our normal departure time come and go and realise that I would of been home by now any other year.

There was of course a reason we opted for a late departure, that little thing called a daughters wedding which originally left us wondering whether we would get a holiday at all but it is more for Teen Boy than us, time flies and I realise it will only be a few years before he is off with his mates! I've been through these years already with the girls and realise how quickly they fly past which makes it all the more important to build these holiday memories whilst I get the chance.

By choosing a later departure time, flights were still super cheap. Couple that with the use of Avios points for our return journey and hey presto you have the bargain break of the century. Can't complain about that!

I am trying to rustle up a bit of excitement by thinking about outfits and with so many of you asking for a packing post or video, I thought I had better have a dummy run to show you how I can pack for nine nights with a carry on case and also to see for myself if it will be possible as usually I am only away for seven!

The good new's is I did it! Only a few little things to stick in Teen Boys case if I insist on taking those extra sandals - you know me, it's always about the shoes and this is only a dummy run to see if I can do it! Hope it doesn't bore you, final outfit choices will follow at some stage and if you can't view it via the blog, I can, but it appears some of you can't then just search the title of the video "packing for a nine night holiday with hand baggage only" over at You Tube or copy and paste this link and hopefully this will show you that you don't need to pay the extra charges for a case, it can be done and save you about £30 per person in the process which can soon add up for a family.

Can you manage with hand baggage only?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

There's A Breton Jim, But Not As We Know It

Don't even ask what part of my brain thought up that post title, I'm no Trekkie honest! So swiftly moving on, if you haven't already guessed, this post is about stripes, but stripes with a twist.
Nothing beats a take on a classic in my book, especially when you already have a wardrobe full of said classics but still need to feed your stripe addiction for autumn and winter.

The Boden Sparkle Collared Breton not only feeds that stripe addiction but a sequin one too. Can't go wrong with a bit of sparkle at the best of times, who ever said you couldn't wear sequins in the daytime was oh so wrong. Sparkle Collar Breton £39.

The MiH Breton Picture Top will work wonders for those afraid to wear bulk adding stripes. Personally I don't care but do love how this would have a slimming effect on one's torso. It's simple styling pairs perfectly with black jeans for a touch of daytime luxe. £130.

The Hotchpotch T-Shirt also from Boden does exactly what it says on the tin, but I love it and am all for the hotchpotch of florals, block colour and stripe sleeves. £39.

The ditsy frilled hem on the Alana T-Shirt from White Stuff lends it's self to casual daytime looks with a difference. The longer hem at the back will eliminate any need to ask "does my bum look big in this?" £35.

Also from White Stuff the Paint School Top offers a selection of red, blue and black stripes so if you can't decide which colour Breton to go for, this one ticks all the boxes. £35.

J.Crew have been king of the jewelled sweatshirt over the last few seasons so it was no surprise to find a sparkly stripe option. No statement necklace required. Was £88 now £59.99.

If you were a choosing a classic with a twist, which one would you go for?

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


A bit late in the summer to be talking about sandals again I know, but it's a long overdue post from when Birkenstocks, fugly sandals and sliders first became the seasons footwear of choice.

It was with great delight that I hadn't chucked my old khaki one strap Arizona's in the bin years ago, they have served me well and replaced slippers on a day to day, dossing around the house basis this summer as any instagram followers will know, they have featured heavily in foot shots these past few months but when it came to something a bit more fashion forward, it was the three strap Florida that stole my heart as opposed to the very popular two strap Arizona everybody else was buying this season. Pinterest is awash with gorgeous imagery of every shade of two strap know to man, but none of the Florida, I think I will have to remember to Pin a little and change that!

I thought I would get more wear out of the black although the silver were very tempting for a metallics fan like myself but the patent appealed massively.  I bought mine locally but they are not easy to come across online but whilst shopping for someone else I stumbled across them at Sarenza here where the black patent are only £41.50 as well as Office here.

They may be on trend footwear this season but I think we all know women who wear them every summer regardless and why not, they are comfortable, practical and simply last forever. Probably the best forty odd quid you will ever spend on sandals and I have looked into my crystal ball and can see them being worn next summer too!

1st image via Pinterest.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Life Lately - A Busy Week With A Relaxing End At The Chilston Park Hotel

Why is life always so busy? I feel as though the school holidays are passing at a rate of knots with the usual guilty feelings of not having really done anything with my son at all!

This week must see some changes. I am determined to have set days to work and if that doesn't suit my clients, oh well, too bad. I say all that and then end up feeling guilty as I book them in on days I planned to have off! Hastag: Soft Touch.

I worked Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on a bridal party and guests last week. Met friends for a late lunch when I finished on Tuesday, Teen Boy was at a friends that day so it was a guilt free catch up with friends who no longer have school aged children. Thursday was spent in London, and yesterday I worked all morning and spent the afternoon at a rather lovely baby shower at the Chilston Park Hotel in Lenham near Maidstone.

It was a lovely afternoon in a picturesque setting at the hotel made famous for being the venue that Paula Yates first conducted her affair with Michael Hutchence.

The Library was the room hired for the event and our champagne afternoon tea of finger sandwiches and a selection of scones, tarts and chocolate eclairs was finally washed down with a very welcome pot of Earl Grey Tea and the most delicious chocolate Baby Shower cake made by the hotel kitchen with the family dogs crafted from icing to decorate.

Organised by the mum of the "mother to be" who spent many years working at the hotel, I feel she has set a very high standard in the Baby Shower stakes and as I am assured by my eldest it won't be long before they think about starting a family, I have taken it all onboard, so impressed was I with the location and the fayre on offer. A lovely relaxing and fun afternoon, the perfect way to end a hectic week and now I'm off to do the ironing and the usual Sunday chores.

How have you spent your weekend?