Tuesday, 24 March 2015

It's All About The Lace, Bout The Lace

Still being a really bad blogger but grabbing some time as OH is cooking dinner tonight. Or to put a finer point on it, reheating a previously frozen chicken casserole, but whatever, it frees me up for a blog post, so I'm not complaining!

Boden Lille Flats
So moving on to the title of the post - the lace up shoe obsession first started last year with Aquazurra (way out of price range) and then the £22 New Look version added fuel to the fire at the end of last summer and so intent was I on having them, I ordered a size down as a six was out of stock. Oh my lord, the things we do for shoes, even cheap ones, I do have to laugh at myself sometimes!

New Look Lace Up Flats
Blogger press days had revealed that Boden were also doing a version for SS15 so with a credit note and discount code, the navy were purchased although I had to wait a few weeks before the weather was shoe worthy and the boots could stay at home!
I love the silver but already have silver flats and can not remember a time when I had navy shoes (apart from my New Balance but they don't count) and navy is so chic right? Plus I always wear jeans so the navy will pretty much go with anything, although I still want a black version that actually fit me comfortably!

The Russell and Bromley are also a little bit out of price range sadly, although I did do a little sigh as I spotted them in the window trying to pretend that they were £25 instead of a rather steep £255 - ekk!!!!
Another thing that seems to matter with your lace up flats is whether the lace starts in a "v" from the top of the shoe or whether it lies straight across like the Boden ones, either way I'm not too fussy and am pleased to report that pocket friendly versions are available if designer price tags are a little out of reach!

Boden Lille Lace-Up £89 use code GRZA to get 20% off till 16th May (I'm told).
New Look Black Lace Up Pumps £22.99 - all sizes available - phew!!!
Aquazurra £435 at Selfridges. Also in black and cream leather.
Black Leather Lace Up Sandal £22.99 New Look also available in gold!
Isabel Marant Leo Lace Ups £315
Next Point Ballerina Flats £45.

Have you tapped into the lace-up shoe trend yet?

Monday, 16 March 2015

One, Two, Three And Your Back In The Room - Mothers Day

No easier way to ease myself back into blogging than with a Mothers Day post!
You know that when after a few months absence, you begin to miss your blog, well in my book that is the perfect time to come back!

I have been super busy selling mascara as any facebook or instagram friends will know and I have been having so much fun, the blog just took a back seat. It wasn't intentional, just that I was having a brilliant time elsewhere and still am, building something up for when I give up the beauty therapy which I struggle with now, or should I say my back does!
So when a few weeks drag into months you begin to question yourself if it really is time to give up after six years of rattling on with your own personal fashion musings!

Anyway I digress! So did you all have a lovely day yesterday?
I have to admit my day started off super busy with the usual making breakfast, beds and taking the rubbish out, followed by a trip to my mums and then a trip to the supermarket. This particular mother was a bit like "Old Mother Hubbard" and my cupboards were truly bare!
Once back home and shopping put away, it was time for a well earned cuppa and a browse through this months Vogue magazine (my youngest daughter has a subscription - result!) when one of the dogs decided to start being sick! Typical!

Anyway before I knew it - it was time to get ready as my eldest had told me she had booked a table for my Mothers Day treat at 6pm and it was a 30 minute drive away!

My grown up children have all eaten at the Oak On The Green in Bearsted near Maidstone, but I never have, so it was a lovely surprise to find that was our final destination as everybody raves about the hearty fayre which was rather delicious and filling beyond belief!
None of your "arty farty" minuscule portions here - no siree! We could hardly move at the end of our three course Mothers Day menu!

I started with a Crab Crepe, followed by Pork Belly for main and my dessert weakness was fulfilled with one of the best Creme Brulees I have eaten in ages, however I also have another weakness for a cake, pie, whatever you want to call it, Gypsy Tart - a pudding that did apparently originate from the area I live in and can be bought from the Central Pie Shop in town and I have to say it wasn't something I expected to see on the menu, so we ordered an extra dessert to share between us all.  
I am really fussy with my Gypsy Tart - it has to be made with brown sugar and not demerara and it mustn't be baked, if made properly the mixture is so thick it is just poured into an already cooked pastry case and not baked in the oven like some people do (it's vile - you are a fool). I was pleased to say that this particular Gypsy Tart was just perfect and we managed to eat it by having a few mouthfuls each and wash the lot down with another glass of Bolly - my kids really are the best!

The only thing that stopped the evening being perfect was the absence of middle daughter who lives and works in London now and couldn't get the day off but she did send me a gorgeous bouquet.

So what did I wear?  Well I don't overly dress up if going for a pub meal so it was just my usual uniform of jeans and top and although I toyed with the idea of a small heel, the Boden zebra print t-bar flats won out in the end as I haven't worn them much but am desperate to break out of boots! 

It might look a bit matchy, matchy but it's not, my shoes are patterned! Although I do like matchy matchy more and more the older I get!

Side Zip Crepe Jumper £35 Marks and Spencer.
Gap jeans - old, similar here.
T-Bar Flats Boden - last years zebra print ponyskin but there are 5 new colours for this year and currently with 11% off, was £69 now £61.41.
Anya Hindmarch Gracie Bag - old, but love this Tory Burch one.

Hope you all had a lovely day and a couple of glasses of bubbles to celebrate being a Mum yesterday! It is not always the easiest job in the world but in my eyes there is nothing better than being a mum and soon to be Nanna!! 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Net-A-Porter Sale Edit - Now Get Up To 70% Off!

Needle & Thread  front
Needle & Thread Embellished Dress was £175 now £70.

They used to say there was only one sale and it was Harrods but when it comes to online designer shopping there is only one sale for me and I only get excited when that sale goes up to 70% off! Not only is it that big reduction a lot of you are waiting for but it is also that time of the year where you don't have to deal with the wrath of your husband or bank manager and doesn't have you running to the door when the postman comes to retrieve your joint bank statement.  OK so those days may be over now that we have internet banking, but nothing beats a completely guilt free designer purchase at high street prices or that much coveted piece you would buy at full price if only you could afford it, so I've picked some classic pieces that would fit into any capsule collection easily and will be worth their wardrobe weight in gold!

1.The red Jil Sander bag on my wishlist is now 50% off but I am also bowled over by this timeless classic black handbag which will go with everything and won't ever date and has a massive 70% off!. Now this is how to shop the sales, investing in a classic. Was £1,440 now £432.

2. Shop ahead for summer with this Marantesque homage from Michael by Michael Kors also with 70% off was £155 now £47.

3. The Helmut Lang cotton biker jacket with leather sleeves will be a wardrobe staple for many years to come also with 70% off was £705 now £211.50.

4. You can't beat designer denim at sale time and it never hangs around for long! Jean trends come and go but you can't go wrong with a mid rise skinny for tucking in your boots during winter or wearing with sandals and a boho top once the temperature rises. Was £125 now with 70% off £37.50.

5.Every wardrobe needs a silk shirt and I adore the leather trimmed twist on a classic which will look amazing with blue jeans now and white jeans in summer. Again with 70% off now £81.

6. We are sucker for a bit of high end shoe porn at SAEA HQ and these Rupert Sanderson heels have my heart a flutter! 70% off was £495 now £148.50.

Have you shopped the net-a-porter sale this season?

Saturday, 3 January 2015

A Younique New Year

Normal Mascara to the left, Younique 3d Fibre Lash Mascara to the right.

If you have been anywhere near my social media feeds recently (or in fact anywhere near social media at all) you have probably noticed that Younique Cosmetics has launched it's direct sales business in the UK and everywhere you look there are people taking selfies of their eyelashes or Younique presenters adding pictures of clients wearing the amazing 3D Fibre Lash Mascara, the brands biggest selling product. Is this mascara the best thing ever or is it just a load of hype?

I first became aware of Younique at the beginning of October, a month before the 1st November UK product launch. An old friend who I worked with back in 2008 at a local salon contacted me telling me about the brand, the mascara and how selling it would sit well alongside my existing business. Having extremely short and sparse lashes, I asked if she had one I could try and once I tried it out for myself I was chomping at the bit to sign up and start selling this amazing 100% natural fibre lash mascara to anyone who would listen!

I had never worked in Direct Sales before but it didn't take long for me to see that getting in at the beginning of something and working your butt off means it is possible to make a decent amount of money. If you pick your Direct Sales company right and love the products you are promoting then you are half way there. The first few months can be hard and some may use that as an excuse to quit - others work harder and push themselves from a few hours a day into part time or full time work and income. For some lucky or very hard working presenters, direct sales can be the ticket to an amazing dream life. The highest UK presenter earn't £10,000 on the day we launched in the UK which kind of made me wish I had heard about the opportunity earlier and spent months before launch as she did, building a team of presenters who then went on to recruit their own team and so on and so forth.
The trust that everybody had in her and the product is pretty amazing when you think about it, but not everybody wants to take it that far. Some sign up with a view to trying to get rich, some just want to sell mascara and other beauty products and some just want the kit. £69 to sign up for a kit containing £150 worth of products has been a pull for some. However people want to do it, it is totally up to them.

I like the fact the products will bring in repeat sales, are as easy to promote at the school gate (if you still do a school run) as they are in a beauty salon and with 5 million pounds worth of sales in the first month, all those women can't be wrong and with Younique now the biggest direct sales company in the UK - the new year looks very exciting.  I now have a small team, have taken orders from places I least expected them, been supported by bloggers and had numerous trips to the Post Office sending on orders to those of you who live all over the country. Thank you.

Is it worth it?

If you are thinking of joining yourself I would most definitely say yes. Whether you need the money to enable you to have a holiday this year, a stay at home mum who needs some extra income without spending time away from the kids (Younique is mostly social media based) work in the beauty industry and looking for additional income, whatever your reasons the 3D Fibre Lash mascara is amazing and can be worn quite natural or as big and voluminous as you like! The fibres are made from green tea leaves so are 100% natural, the mascara is water resistant but removes just like your normal mascara and demand has been phenomenal. The other products are amazing too, 100% mineral make-up without the parabens, fillers and chemicals found in Mac and Bare Minerals so it appeals to those living and eating a healthy lifestyle who don't want to apply nasties to the outside of their bodies when they nourish the inside.

Everything can be run through your facebook and phone. Take orders from people you see or get a client to host a virtual facebook make-up party for you where she will earn hostess rewards, free stuff and half price items. If you have a background in home parties there is no reason why you can't do them with Younique - it is totally up to you.
You can do this part time, full time, run it alongside your full time job, family or existing direct sales business and along with your kit you also get your own personal Younique website on sign up, so you can place orders straightaway and get paid your commission three hours later!

The last couple of months have been amazing and I look forward to going forward into 2015 being the best team leader possible and offering as much help and support to my team and anyone who may be interested in this amazing opportunity.

If you love make-up or are looking at getting into direct sales please feel free to email me or take a look around my website and JOIN MY TEAM HERE.

Remember no matter what their age, every woman wants great lashes!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Savvy Sales Shopping

Buy Fenn Wright Manson Gracie Dress, Poppy Online at johnlewis.com
Was £160 now £80.

If you haven't yet braved the sales or sat down with your laptop to do some serious online sales shopping, there is still time to avoid hasty panic buying of items that you don't really need and won't ever end up wearing, so sit back grab a cuppa, read my advice and go forth and purchase, happy in the knowledge that you have shopped wisely and haven't wasted your money no matter how good the reduction might be!

1. Shop Your Wishlist

If you created a new season wishlist at the start of the autumn/winter season, is there anything on there that you didn't manage to get at full price?

There was lots on mine, it's always a season where I don't have a lot of money to spend on myself so there are a few bits I wanted but didn't get. A red handbag sit's at the top of the list and I adore the Jil Sander one currently on sale at NAP but sadly I didn't get that much birthday or xmas money and my daughter doesn't get her staff discount until she has been there three months (despite the fact she has interned there in the past). The other items which were high on my list were new jeans, a chunky jumper in either dark green, black or grey and a lightweight red knit to wear underneath my camel coats as red looks fab with camel.
All of these items remain unbought despite a sales shopping trip yesterday so it looks like I will be turning to ever faithful boden for an injection of new knitwear. I did however make one purchase which was on the list, a red dress from Fenn Wright Manson (top picture) which I adore. I have a "thing" about tulip sleeves and we all know that a LRD is as much as a wardrobe staple as a LBD and this looks stunning on. Yes even on me!

It looks pink in the photo's uploaded via the Blogger app but it is red and I am pretty confident that this is a dress for all seasons, all occasions and will look as good with black or nude court shoes as it will with gold or silver strappy sandals. 
It has already sold out on the John Lewis website so grab yours from HOF quickly if your wardrobe has a gap for a show stopping red dress. 

2. Shop Wardrobe Staples

Basic T-shirts in black, grey or white, breton tops, classic shirts in white, pale blue or denim (this Paul and Joe Sister one has been a big favorite of mine since last summer but I don't think the L would fit me sadly), cashmere (want this but sold out in my size), jeans, boots, court shoes, trench coats for spring, classic black trousers, maybe a lace or leather skirt? They may not excite you massively but they form the backbone of any hard working wardrobe and can be very unappealing at full price! 

3. Shop Ahead

This was something I always did when the girls were little. Dressing three little ones at the start of a new season was always costly when I was a single mum for a while, so in the winter sales I tried to pick up dresses and tops which where either sleeveless or had short sleeves and in the summer sales I would pick up long sleeved tops, knitwear, jeans and jackets. I've also done the same thing myself on many occasions as did Annemarie recently with a Boden dress she failed to pick up last summer which is now in clearance for less than £30. Now that's what I call savvy shopping!

4. Shop Statement Pieces To Treasure

Buy those pieces that will add a wow to your wardrobe and you wouldn't want to pay full price for like these faux fur one strap sandals (seen on lots of bloggers but a bit young for me sadly) from Dune, the Tarzi skirt from Coast or the Boden embellished clutch.

Have you been shopping your wishlist, shopping ahead or investing in statement pieces this sales season?

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

And A Very Merry Christmas To You!

The house is cleaned (sort of) the sausagemeat and stuffing balls are made and in the fridge as are the chipolatas wrapped in bacon. The milk for the bread sauce is infusing with cloves as we speak and I have pinched my daughters laptop to come online and wish all of my amazing readers a Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.
Thanks for sticking with this crazy old bint for the past six years and with  a bit of luck someone will have bought me a new laptop tomorrow although I know it's more than a likely to be a pair of slippers but never mind, lets just count ourselves fortunate for what we do have and the love of those around us which is so much more important than our retail therapy addiction!

Have a fab time sweeties! Mucho Love S xxx

Friday, 19 December 2014

Boden Sale Buys - For Once My Head Ruled My Heart

And that is something I struggle with at sale time, getting caught up in the bargains, the bigger the reduction the better in my book and I find it difficult to restrain myself. I have a wishlist of items, some of which I can't find exactly what I'm looking for, but when the Boden sale started I had a couple of pieces in mind so spent some of my birthday money wisely.

Image via Fashion Foie Gras

The zebra print t-bar flats had been on my wishlist since I first saw them on the Fashion Foie Gras Blog at the beginning of September. My love of animal prints is well documented but there is no zebra in the house and I thought these would be the perfect way to add print to an otherwise neutral outfit and am pleased to report the sizing is good, the embellished flats are quite tight but these feel really comfortable, although I haven't been outside the house in them as yet! I would of liked a bigger reduction but was worried they might go out of stock in my size which is what usually happens when I try and hold my nerve and I wasn't prepared to take a risk on these.

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Boden T-Bar Flat Also in Aubergine and Metallic. Get yours here.

Next up - a leopard print top. Just a jersey t-shirt that will be nice and comfortable for cooking the dinner on Christmas Day. My Xmas day attire has to be comfortable, nothing too hot (my tiny kitchen soon gets steamed up) and a print is essential to avoid the fat splashes that I always seem to get when cooking no matter how careful I am! It would be lovely to get invited to somebody else's house for a change, a chance to dress up instead of thinking about oven heat and comfort, I could rock up somewhere in heels and sequins whilst somebody else does all the hard work for a change.

There are plenty of leopard print accessories and a jacket in my wardrobe but I have never had an actual item of clothing before so am super excited to wear this and can see how easily it will dress up or down, in fact I might wear it out Saturday night save wearing the Boden lace top I wore last time (which is now super cheap in the sale). Leopardprint has fast become a wardrobe staple that never dates and looks amazing with black, navy, camel or red so I know I will get lots of wear out of this.

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Animal Print Top with 40% off now £21.00

I hurriedly tried both items on as soon as they arrived but promise I won't be wearing the shoes and top at the same time! Nor will I be wearing them with my work leggings!

Other things that I will be keeping a close eye on as they are also on my wishlist but currently either sold out in my size or not cheap enough are the Perfect Party Top in Daisy Jacquard, The Sequin Cable Jumper, The Off Duty Jumper but only in Navy or Charcoal and have just realised that with 60% off, the Embellished Jumper in grey could be winging it's way to my wardrobe very soon!

And finally I'd like to apologise for not having much time for blogging or commenting at the moment but things are rather hectic at SAEA HQ, not helped by the fact my laptop is broken and trying to borrow one of the kids results in them changing their passwords or leaving them out of battery with the lead hidden to avoid me uploading photo's, not shutting down properly etc etc so my pictures are evener poorer quality than usual and all sorts of funny shapes thanks to the Blogger app which seems to have no continuity or quality for that matter! 

So tell me has your heart ruled your head in the Boden sale or have you stuck to your wishlist?