Saturday, 30 June 2012

Closet Confidential - June Spend.

I can remember back in the early days of blogging when I used to table my purchases and yearly fashion spend in my right hand side bar, but when I reached just over £1,000.00 I got a little bit scared that OH would see it and removed - pronto!  It was only whilst seeing a recent blog post over at The Small Fabric of My Life and seeing that Jane had done a post showing us her June spend and how she had fared with her monthly clothing budget, that I was inspired to do something similar and keep track of my monthly clothing spend.

Unlike Jane, I don't really have a monthly clothing budget, what I buy/spend is dependent on so many other factors, like bills, clothing for my son, my four children's birthdays, forthcoming events like Weddings, Meals out etc but most importantly what I have earnt.  Being self employed means that I do not have a fixed monthly income.  Some months, usually September to March can often be dire as beauty treatments are not really considered essential as we all cover up in long sleeved clothing and maybe only bother with a £5 brow wax. Come summer and work is a completely different ball game as people prepare for holiday/wedding/Ascot season with fake tans, lashes and the removal of every conceivable strand of body hair, but you still have some bad weeks which impact on the household income.  The recession also has a massive effect, even with regular clients who may go 8 weeks instead of 6 for a  treatment but if your husband has lost his job, you may think a hair cut and blow dry is a necessary part of your beauty regime, eyelash extensions, not so much.  I know I would be reaching for the mascara and a Bic razor if times were really hard.

Despite spending a small fortune in June on two of my childrens birthdays, one of which was a 21st as most of you know, I have spent far more than I realised and sadly haven't spent my money on what I really need i.e. clothes for my holiday.  Of course I could jet off tomorrow and manage just fine with my existing pieces, but I am a bit fed up of the clothes I have taken away for the last couple of years and am in desperate need of a couple of lightweight summer dresses.  I will of course be taking a couple of my basic t-shirts which were recent purchases from Isabella Oliver and Gap, but I am almost a bit annoyed that I have spent my money on things that aren't at the top of my shopping list. I am also annoyed with myself that there are so many investment purchases I would love to make at the moment but have to restrain myself for now.  The Phase Eight Cape Mac featured on the Blog last week would be a must have, as would my favourite Isabella Oliver pieces, but as none of those can be worn on holiday, they are on the back burner for now, but if I have a good month and the Sales are still on and pieces still in my size, who knows.  I am also waiting on 60 - 70% reductions, so come on retailers, you all need a good sales season, so drop your prices from the measly 30-40% and get us fighting over your bargains!

Its so easy to forget what you have actually spent, take my House of Fraser order for example.  I was convinced I had bought this mini haul at the end of May but upon checking, it was ordered at the end of  the first week of June and arrived early week beginning the 11th.  I had also completely forgotten about the two tops I had bought in the Gap sale on the Bluewater trip on the 11th of June, the same day I bought my Sunglasses.

If you don't need to keep a track of what you spend and can just shop away with little or no consequence, then fine, but I still think it is a great idea to keep track, just for the record, you may find that you are surprised either by how much or how little you have spent.

The other thing I find really interesting about keeping track of your purchases is for those people who say they can't afford designer.  I am sure for a lot of you "High Street is King" despite budget, but there are also many of you out there that could take your monthly High Street spend and invest in one great designer piece instead.

June Spend:

Topshop Sandals was £28 now £12
Topshop Jumper was £30 now £20
Topshop skirt was £20 now £10
Topshop vest top was £35 now £20
Oasis Jeans was £48 now £30
Marks and Spencer Kaftan was £20 now £12.50
Chanel Sunglasses £277
Linea Weekend Dress was £65 now £39
Linea Top was £50 paid £30 (now even cheaper at £25)
Linea Shorts was £45 paid £27 (now even cheaper at £22.50)
Gap Navy Basic t-shirt £4.99 can't remember full price.
Gap Vermillion silky top £14.99 half price I think.

Total items = 11. Total Cost £497.48

See what I mean about all those little bargain purchases adding up? I've still managed to spend £200 on top of the cost of the Sunglasses and I am shocked to be honest, especially when you think I could have bought a fantastic pair of designer shoes in the sale for that!  I feel like I don't want any of it now, well apart from the sunglasses of course and as OH pointed out, I had saved for the sunglasses.  I had sold two pairs of old designer sunglasses which I never wear now so only had to put a small amount of actual cash towards them, which was good as it does seem an obscene amount of money, but I was put off from buying them earlier because of the dreadful weather!  Sadly I fell in love with them before I knew how much they cost!

Do you have a monthly clothing budget? Ever blow it? or just buy as and when with no regard for what you spend?


Friday, 29 June 2012

Something for the weekend -Wearing, Eating & Free YSL Touche Eclat foundation and the great over 40's Bikini wearing debate continues.

This week I wore the new Topshop bargain sale sandals, £12 from £28, for the first time and they were really comfortable for a few hours rushing around town.  I love the cute little gold heel and how they make my feet look brown, I shall have to get more white sandals in future!
I also made a crazy home made pasta leftover thingy with a chicken breast left from Mondays roast and some manky mushrooms which were almost ready for the bin!  I fried off a chopped onion, some garlic, 2 rashers of bacon whilst cooking a large pan of pasta.  I put it all in an ovenproof dish and stirred in some cream cheese, a few large dollops of mayo and some left overdouble cream, mixed it all up, topped with grated cheese and put in the oven till the cheese was melted and voila no more rubbish left in fridge and damn tasty it was too!
I also bought some cheap jeans.  Yes I know, she with a wardrobe full of designer denim had to cave in, as the only pair of jeans I really wear lately are my Citizens of Humanity jegging style, which decided to develop a hole in the fabric which I don't think is repairable, so leaving the stiff denim firmly in the wardrobe I was on the hunt for a nice soft stretchy pair for maximum daytime comfort and never dreamed I would find it in the shape of Oasis "Cherry" jeans.  OK so they are miles too long (but when you are a short arse, what isn't?) hence the roll ups, but they are so blinking comfy its unreal.  OK so I would have preferred a darker wash but hey these are for daytime dressing only, so no biggie, and they were reduced from £48 to £30, so whats not to love?  Er well the stitching on the back pockets actually, its gross to be fair but you can't have a comfortable tummy flattening rise and maximum comfort as well as decent stitching on your back pockets now can you?  Well not for 30 quid you can't!

Want to know how to receive your free sample of the new YSL touche eclat foundation to exactly match your skin tone?  Just "like" their facebook page here and follow the instructions, fill out your details to register if you haven't already done so and print off your voucher!  Its that simple!  There are 16 shades nationally but 22 in Selfridges and Brown Thomas.  You will receive a 5ml bottle which should last 7 days and with the product retailing at £28, the tester is worth approx £4.60 so a freebie worth having for sure and if this innovative new beauty product has the same effect on your skin as the brands cult Touche Eclat, then your on to a winner!

Kim Cattrall was born August 21 1956

I've talked many times on the Blog about women over 40 wearing bikini's and now the Daily Telegraph has run a story on the subject, one which is very close to my heart.  As long time readers will already know, that even with my advancing years and the onset of middle aged spread virtually as soon as I hit 40 some years ago now, I still prefer to wear a bikini although there are many over 40's fashion rules that I always stick to.  The Telegraph say that Britons in general believe women should stop wearing bikinis around the pool at the age of 39 according to a recent poll where only seven out of ten Brits think that it is OK for women of a certain age to parade around in a skimpy two piece once they hit 40.

Marie Helvin who once modelled nude for ex husband David Bailey said "who says women should be denied the right to wear a bikini just because of their age?

My personal opinion is that women of a certain age wearing a bikini don't look as though they are trying too hard (unless they have gone for a skimpy style) something which is often portrayed when wearing certain types of clothing, short skirts, low cut tops etc.  A bikini doesn't necessarily make you look as though you are trying to look younger than you actually are, it can purely be (as in my case) that you prefer to get a bit of colour on your tummy as well as the rest of your body and if you are on holiday in really hot temperatures, the less you are wearing, the better!  I tend to avoid tie - sided string style bikini's obviously, but there are many styles that fit and flatter the more mature figure.  Take a look at my top picks from one of my favourite swimwear e-tailers, Simply Beach who offer great service and very cheap p&p.

Sie Lei Mare Donna Panarea Padded Underwire Bikini - Turquoise
Sei Lei Bikini £51 from Simply Beach.

Sie Lei Mare Donna Martinica Underwire Bikini - Green
Sei Lei Bikini £37.50 from Simply Beach.

Moontide Screen Sirens 50s Full Brief - Mink

Will you be wearing a bikini, tankini or a one piece on your holiday this summer and do you agree with the majority of the British public?

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Pre Wedding Prep

I think I have decided to wear my old Whistles dress which I first bought for a wedding in May 2009.  It is not a dress that you can easily dress up or down, it looks rubbish with flats so it doesn't come out very often.
In fact I have only worn it twice previously, but as tomorrow's wedding is in another county and although it is the daughter of my oldest and bestest friend ever, they moved out of area some 15 years ago so I can rest assured that nobody attending will have seen me in this before.

Although the print of this dress has a pale pink and not fuschia flower in it, the dark pink actually works really well when being worn.  Only problem is I looked so much younger last time I wore it.......

Coast Fashions Limited

Isabella Oliver Sale Top Picks.

Photo: The ultimate summer sale is now on!

If there is one sale that always gets me reaching for the debit card, it is undoubtedly the Isabella Oliver 365 collection Summer Sale.  I always have a massive wish list of pieces and dream of being as effortlessly stylish in their separates as their models, whether lounging around the house on a rainy Sunday or sipping Cocktails on a Saturday night in one of their classic jersey wrap dresses and heels.  This of course will never happen as their models probably have 20 years or more on me, oh well!

Their Look Books are like prized possessions and as precious to me as any Style Guide and trust me, I have a fair few!

Its also nice to know how passionate Baukjen the co-founder and her staff are about the brand, this makes buying from them so much more appealing for me, and with having a daughter who was lucky enough to do some work experience there a couple of years ago I can vouch for the loveliness of all those involved in creating such a stylish collection.

The orange Asymmetrical Jumper was a must have purchase I have worn constantly since it arrived.

The print shirt dress would make the perfect summer wardrobe staple and is next on my list! 

The Summer Jogger | Trousers | Isabella Oliver

As are these summer joggers for stylish weekend lounging.

Have you snagged any of your stylish wish list must have's yet?

Isabella Oliver (UK)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The new Full Repair range of hair products by John Frieda.

It was a few weeks ago that I was asked to review the new Full Repair range from John Frieda and being a) a fully fledged member of the product junkie club and b) somebody who likes to take care of her over processed hair very seriously, I couldn't wait to give these new and innovative products a try.

I was sent the shampoo and the heat activated blow dry spray but for me one of the most important parts of any hair care regime has to be the conditioner, so it was difficult to judge the results of the shampoo in full as I had to condition with a product which is not designed to work in conjunction with the other products in the Full Repair range.

The shampoo comes in a tube dispenser as opposed to a bottle but is no trickier to access because of this.  It is a lovely rich consistency which you just know is going to put back as much moisture into your hair as is humanly and scientifically possibly.  The product contains Inca Inchi, a lightweight micro-oil rich in omega-3 giving you a formula that repairs both the look and feel of overworked hair and adds body for full flowing styles as well as detangling strands, reducing the risk of breaking and snagging whilst combing or brushing. 

I don't usually blow dry my hair but I bit the bullet and plugged in the hair dryer, all in the name of research and to give an honest review on the product (obviously) and was impressed with the results, not so much with the aching arms or the dodgy picture taken at a restaurant table as I hastily remembered I had forgotten to take one of my freshly washed and blow dried style before we left the house.

The heat activated styling spray also contains Inca Inchi Oil which improves manageability and gives long-lasting hold to your style and is safe for both colour and chemically treated hair, so it certainly gets a thumbs up from me and after putting in so much effort with the hairdryer, I have to say it was worth it in the end, as my style did stay put for a few days.

So if you can't afford the exorbitant prices of luxury or salon hair care products but your hair is crying out for a bit of TLC, Boots currently have the range on a 3 for 2 special offer, just click the high lighted links to buy online.  Shampoo £5.98 Conditioner £5.98 or view the complete range including styling products and treatment masks here.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Steal her Style - Victoria Beckham and the Caped Trench Coat.

victoria beckham airport style

Victoria Beckham prepared for a rainy London in a chic ensemble of double breasted cape trench coat by Japanese designer Junya Watanabe after asking her Twitter followers what the weather was like for her arrival in the Capital.

victoria beckham

Steal her Style with the Phase Eight Madison Cape was £120 now £49.

Top picks for my perfect wardrobe at the Net-A-Porter Sale!

OK so I have a confession to make: I haven't actually had a good look at the Net-A-Porter sale until yesterday.  I know, sacrilege isn't it and something I have never done since the luxury online retailer first launched back in....whenever.  It is normally a must attend event and I RSVP asap! 

I blame the whole debacle on the fact that the sale started on the day we were taking Courtenay to London for her 21st birthday which then led me to be running a day late in the housework, washing and ironing stakes (I always spend Mondays doing this stuff) which then also put me back a day with work and everything else that makes up the hectic "merry go round" that is my life.  So I just really didn't have the time and kept trying to put the lure of cut price designer goodies to the back of my mind.

I set aside Sunday afternoon as my designated designer window shopping time and ended up adding the following items to my "wish list" for a variety of reasons, but mainly because these are the things I really want, the kind of clothes I wear and that suit my lifestyle at this present time and take into account that I have a holiday in less than six weeks (yikes).

The Chloe nude ballet flats would go with any outfit and I have had my eye on them for a while now. The Michael Kors top and the Paul and Joe dress would be great for my holiday and the Anya clutch gains entry because I am loving orange this season.  The Anya Bruton tote needs no words to explain its inclusion, its is black, it is classic in shape and style and it will last forever.

Chloe leather ballet flats were £310 now £155. Belle by Sigerson Morrison Tan Disc Embellished Sandals was £195 now £97.50. Michael Michael Kors Top was £120 now £60. Anya Hindmarch Valorie Rubber clutch was £250 now £150.  Paul and Joe Sister Crepe Dress was £185 now £129.50. MIH Paris Cropped Jeans were £150 now £75. Day Birger et Mikkelson Silk Top was £220 now £132.  Anya Hindmarch Bruton Tote was £895 now £537

Your wish list may be completely different but I'd love to know what's on it!

NET-A-PORTER.COM End of season Sale now on. Enjoy up to 50% off your favourite designers. Shop Now.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Something for the weekend - Shorts, Zara heels, Topshop sale haul and is it really worth it?

One day of sunshine on what was it Tuesday or Wednesday? I can't even remember which, but it was no mean feat to slip on a pair of shorts and my new beloved Chanel aviators for a day of slighter higher temperatures than we have experienced for many weeks.  It is only about the third time I have managed to wear sunglasses and sandals so far this summer and I have to confess that like many other shopaholics who have been eagerly awaiting the sales to grab some hot weather bargains, the constant wind and rain has been slightly off putting as we continue to reach for our jeans and jackets and as I forgot to tell you in a previous post when I last wore them, my Russell and Bromley sandals are still available this summer in the pewter that I have as well as black, red and cream for £79.99 (£10 more than they cost last year, cheeky or what?).
 I know many of you have told me that you never wear shorts, but for me they are a summer essential that I will continue to wear no matter how old I get, but I would never go shorter in leg length than those in the picture, just above the knee is high enough for my age I think and I must say what a fab photo by the hubby here (not) love how the sun is shining on my chest, just to make it look even bigger.  I know he is very tall and I am very short but he needs to get down on his knees in future (the best place for any man if you ask me).

I Spent the afternoon in Maidstone shopping yesterday and whilst having a browse in Zara, I happened to stumble across the divine Zara heels I have seen on so many bloggers.  They only seemed to have two pairs left in store both in the red/fuschia colourway whereas most of the ones I have seen being worn around the blogsphere seem to be black.  One pair was in a 39 so I quickly kicked off my ballet pumps and tried them on.  I had read that they were the most comfortable heels many of you actually own, well if that is the case, there is obviously something wrong with my feet as there was no way I could have worn them, well not for very long anyway.  Fine if I was going out for a meal and being ferried somewhere by taxi, I could probably just about get away with it, but I have a wedding next Thursday that I really wanted them for and have an old whistles dress that I have only worn twice (both times to weddings) that I usually wear with fuchsia shoes but there was no way I could have kept these on all day, no matter how much I loved them in the flesh and truly I did love them and have looked at them quite a few times on the website since yesterday and am almost wishing I had bought them just so that I could look at them when I open my wardrobe everyday, I am sure that would make me very happy, the price certainly does at only £29.99.

They now appear to be sold out and OH has just said "I told you to get them". Oh well he who hesitates is lost right?

Ever since our day out in London on Monday our visit to the Chanel counter in Selfridges has left me pondering over Chanel bags and whether they really are worth the money.  I looked at a tiny gold bag, it wasn't the Wallet on a Chain but a small oblong thing which had credit cards slots and a zip compartment inside (so a purse on a chain basically) and judging by the size of it I was convinced it would have to come in somewhere under the £1,000 mark but sadly I was wrong.  When OH asked the price it turned out to be £1,340 and I was left gobsmacked!  The Sales Assistant said "this is the last one in this style" and OH pointed out how many times it had been touched almost to the point where it looked as though it would crack at any minute.  We then went upstairs to the Shoe Gallery knowing that they have an assortment of Chanel bags there as well.  They were all dark and dreary in colour, not black, which I would really like but dullard greys, burgundies etc.  There was one I liked quite high up (having a 6ft 4in hubby does come in handy sometimes) and when OH got it down and we looked inside, it was over three grand.  Having wanted a Chanel bag for so long, I am really beginning to think long and hard about them.  Firstly the fact that they are so stupidly expensive but also the fact that you walk around London and so many people seem to have them, surely they can't all be authentic which then leads me to worry about the amount of fakes that may have saturated the market.  Even on facebook, somebody that I know sells fake goods from time to time, sometimes high end make-up and sometimes handbags and recently she had 2.55 copies for £45, yes seriously.  She has delivery drivers going all over the county and posts up on FB what deliveries are being made and where, she must be making a fortune, illegally I might add. I haven't seen her touting her wares on there for a while, maybe Customs and Excise have had a tip off for the next BBC "Fake Britain" series, who knows, but one thing I do know is that I am scared of buying vintage and even they aren't cheap, so you may as well buy a new one anyway! Oh well something to think about even though there are far more pressing matters in the world, but you know what its like when you are obsessed by something and will never be truly happy until you have it?

Small consolation came in the way of a Topshop sale haul.  The daughters gave a shout out that it had started so I thought I would have a quick look and don't tell Chloe, but the silver skirt and blush top I picked out instore that she consequently bought, had been reduced!  As it was me that picked them out originally I ordered them, oh naughty me, what does Mary Portas say about women in their forties not wanting to dress like their 20 year old daughters? OK so I normally follow this advice to the letter but on this occasion, I didn't.

The skirt was a tenner, the sandals £12.  OK so they are not the elusive gold designer flats I have been lusting after but can't find anywhere, but they were a bargain - couldn't go wrong really!  Oh and did I say that the Chanel sandals in Selfridges were really disappointing? No? Well trust me they were shite and they didn't have the thong ones with the 2 x C's on the front which I've seen around this season. Stupid Shop. Stupid Karl and stupid Chanel, you are all getting on my nerves.

Let me know what you have managed to snag in the sales this past week and if you are up for a little online shopping this weekend and I must confess, online is so much easier than going through all those rails searching desperately for your size, John Lewis sale has started, as has Reiss and Harrods have an extra 10% off this weekend.

Reiss UK

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Pretty Woman

I remember when "Pretty Woman" was first released I couldn't wait to organise a night out at the cinema to watch it and after that very first viewing I was left waiting in eager anticipation for the video release and have watched it hundreds of times since.  It was my "feel good" film of the early nineties which saw the movies co-star Julie Roberts receive a golden globe and an oscar nomination for her performance.  Originally intended to be a dark cautionary tale about class and prostitution in Los Angleles, the motion picture was soon re-conceived as a romantic comedy with a very large budget, most of which one can only assume was spent in the costume department as the film was shot on location in California.

Whenever I felt down or fed up with my life, it became the one video in my collection I could rely on to cheer me up and always left me daydreaming that one day I would be able to swan in and out of designer shops with copious amounts of cash to splash on designer dresses, looking down at the "snotty nosed" shop assistants in the process!  That of course never happened and although a lot of the outfits worn in the film now look somewhat dated, there is one dress in particular that for me, is not only one of my personal favourites but also one that has also stood the test of time......

So imagine my delight when I spotted a dress in a similar vein over at Wallis.......

The dress also comes in black, navy and red........

and in a sleeveless style for those who don't mind displaying their upper arms..........

Taupe Spot Shirt Dress
and this one is reduced to £32!

Complete the look with tan accessories, gloves optional!

So if you are looking for a budget friendly option for a summer event, one that you can rely on to stand the test of time in the style stakes, its time to go dotty and get the "Pretty Woman" look but don't ruin your shoes whilst "stomping the divots".

Do you have anything spotty in your wardrobe?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A long weekend in pictures - Birthday and Fathers Day.

Whoever said having a Monday birthday was fantastic as the celebrations start as the weekend begins (oh yes it was Jools, just last week) wasn't far wrong as my second child reached her 21st milestone birthday yesterday and her celebrations began with a night out with her local friends on Saturday, none of whom she had seen since arriving home from University last Sunday. Many gifts were bestowed upon her  (including a rather nice River Island playsuit and some gorgeous glittery Topshop sandals - in my size) whilst out having a celebratory meal.

Sunday saw the whole family get together along with my ex-husband and his wife, which is always nice for the kids and with two Dads in tow, it was a double celebration out at a local Indian Restaurant and OH wore his new bracelet thing from Little Man.  My eldest daughter wore the jumper and skirt I picked out last week in Topshop whilst I painted my nails in my new Chanel summer colour which perfectly matched the Gap top I bought last week.

Monday morning saw the opening of 21 presents (including the Mulberry oversized travel bag many of you tweeters have already seen) followed by a day out in London with OH and myself where we treated her to lunch at Claridges.  I had mentioned upon booking that it was her 21st birthday and they had made a note of it, wishing her a happy birthday on arrival and then just as we asked for the bill, they bought out a little chocolate cake with a candle in it, such a nice touch.  I had the scallops to start, Devon Lamb for main course and a chocolate (obviously) pudding along with a bottle of bubbly to raise a toast in celebration.  Courtenay went for a raspberry macaroon but couldn't finish it, so we got to have a taste and I have to say it was the chewiest macaroon I have ever consumed.
Courtenay and OH dived into the "pick and mix" table as we left. I am sure she will eat the sweets but the little Claridges bag can go in her memory box along with her train ticket for the day.
We then had to hang around for a couple of hours whilst her boyfriend met up with her and took her on the London Eye, another unexpected surprise that both he and I had planned, so I think she had a good day and by the time we got home at 10pm last night, it was pretty fair to say that both OH and I were completely shattered, but she had a great time so that makes it all worth it!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Something for the weekend - lusting after celebrity hair, lots of new beauty products and a new mulberry in the house!

This week I caught sight of Brix Smith Start's new hairstyle whilst she was on some television programme or another as I happened to walk in the room, so being the complete saddo that I am, I took a quick picture to show my stylist as I quite fancy having a long wavy Bob for a change.  It might take a while to grow the layers around my face out, as they are prone to breaking thanks to constant colour over processing and the almost daily use of heated appliances but anyway, I shall see what she says....... and for your information Brix was wearing a snakeprint top and snakeskin shoes, just so you know.

I finally got my hands on the new season Chanel nail polish colour "Holiday"  There were (as usual) three colours in the summer collection but I didn't want the other two even though the lovely House of Fraser lady in the London City Branch had reserved all three for OH to collect.  This is most definitely what I would describe as "Vermillion" an orangey red upon testing.  I shall be doing the paint job later today in anticipation of a couple of events that are planned to celebrate Courtenay's 21st birthday on Monday.  I also got six foundation samples to try out and although I am not a big foundation fan, preferring a tinted moisturiser, the quality and finish of these doesn't give you that "made up, I'm trying to fill in the craters" type of look, which is always a result!

Claudia has been back at Red Magazine this week doing another 5 days of work experience.  I keep asking if I can go in, but they say I am too old, oh well if you don't ask, you don't get (this is of course not true but only because I can't pluck up the courage).  Anyway, we all know the perks of working in either the fashion or beauty departments of magazines or newspapers and we all struck lucky this week as there was a Beauty Sale going on and my thoughtful daughter rung me and her two sisters to ask if there were any specific items we were after.  She managed to fulfill some of our requests and then put in some additons of her own for me, in the form of every anti-wrinkle product she could find!  I am not complaining though and can't wait to give some of the products a try.  So far I have only used the Jemma Kidd Wrinkle Rescue and Brightener which I really liked.  It is a double ended product with applicators. First you apply the serum around your eye area and pat in, followed by the brightener.  I have the "Light" and I wouldn't say my skin is really pale but the colour is fine.
She also brought home something called "Nano Blur" which looks interesting and two sun tan lotions a Nivea Sensitive skin factor 50 and a factor 30 from a company I hadn't heard of before but after a little online searching I found it here.  It appears to be from a company which offer a range of products that all contain Aloe, I haven't done loads of research so I am not sure if they are organic but the write up for this particular product makes it sound like just the sort of sunscreen my holiday is crying out for "It has 30 SPF protection and aloe vera to protect your skin from the aging and damaging effects of the sun, plus the added benefits of extra water resistance to allow you to splash and swim without worry. Just a quick push of a button to spray it on and you’ll be ready to go. Healthy summer skin has never been easier".

Anybody who follows me on Twitter may have seen my rather excited tweets as OH entered the Shopping Mecca that is Selfridges on Thursday morning, in an effort to snag a bargain Mulberry bag for the birthday girl and I have to say the boy did good picking up the "oversized Travel Bag" as seen on Blake Lively, with a 50% discount and in the black which my daughter really wanted.  As she was involved in the process with phone calls going backwards and forwards, we let her have a good look at it before it went up on top of the wardrobe ready for Monday morning.  It didn't go to well with the pyjama bottoms she was wearing at the time, but you get the idea, sort of an "Alexa" in shape and the perfect size for me, you can fit loads in it!

The M&S Kaftan I ordered in the sale for my holiday for a bargainous £12.50 arrived and I am really pleased with it.  Nice and lightweight for packing and drying, with a quick rinse out midweek to freshen it up, it will work a treat.  This year I am not taking a plethora of day clothes, its a complete waste of time not to mention suitcase space, considering our apartment overlooks the pool.  It wouldn't really matter if I walked out with a towel wrapped round me, but as this is Marbs (it really annoys my OH when I call it that, ha ha) I suppose something a bit more glamorous is called for! 
The amount of day clothes you need completely depends on what kind of holiday you are having and if you are staying in an hotel, outfits to go and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner will be a necessity, as well as outfits for any planned excursions.  Keep it tonal so it is easy to mix and match and work on 3 t-shirts and 3 shorts, 1 x day dress and 1 x skirt for a 14 night break. That should be plenty to see you through day trips and day time restaurant eating eventualities.

Sales season is now in full swing and whether you are looking for a high street or designer bargain, there is plenty on offer to give you a retail therapy "hit".  Take your pick from some of my favourite stores listed below and be sure to comment and let me know what you buy.  

Happy Shopping!