Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year

I can't believe I have spent the last day of 2009 going through my hosiery drawer in order to organise it, ready for my 'back to work' countdown. I found tights older than my oldest child (she is 3) and even dare I mention it my marriage (coming up to 8 years!). I have taken all the snagged, holey and plain unwearable tights out and filled the drawers with a selection of new stuff by Wolford, Falke and Aristoc. It is always a false economy to buy cheap tights (M&S has let me down too many times) - which is why I have had so much lurking in the drawers. The expensive stuff really does last a long time. I braved the horrors that is Croydon Centrale and nipped into House of Fraser to do a quick one stop shop for the essentials. I even on the way out bagged a pair of black wool tailored shorts, by Esprite marked down to 20 quid, to add to my capsule working wardrobe. This morning my lovely package from My Wardrobe  arrived - with my By Zoe jacket and BCBG pencil skirt. When I get a moment I will post up the different looks for the office I am hoping to achieve every day.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Capsule Wardrobe

I am back in the office mid January and needed a capsule wardrobe for that 'no hassle getting dressed in the morning vibe'. I have to admit it was really hard to do. But I have edited all the basics in my current wardrobe (cashmere sweaters, white shirts, kitten heels and bold jewelry) and filled in with some newer pieces to keep on trend and see me through Spring/Summer 2010. My body shape has changed a lot since having 3 babies. It keeps shrinking, I used to be a 10 but now more a 6 and don't get me started on Banana Republic as their size 0 is too big for me!

I snapped up the last jacket By Zoe My Wardrobe plus a black pencil skirt by BCBG which was only #58. Other basics I purchased were a pair of black flannel crop trousers from Kew. Plus a t-shirt top from Oasis to inject a bit of humor and fun into the office since I work for a media company.

But my eye keeps getting drawn to the Mongolian Stole by Vanessa Bruno currently for sale on The Outnet. Its so fab looking and a perfect cover up for an evening dress - not that I would wear a gown into the office. Maybe it would be OK for New Years Eve jolly celebrations? But when would I wear it again? Arghhhh so unfair I really want it!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Pudding time

I have never been much of a fan of Christmas pudding, the time it takes to make it, the serving up, the potential fire hazard (I used to be the office fire warden). So this year we will be having bread and butter pudding - made by dear old sis following a tried and trusted Gary Rhodes recipe. My brother is hosting the dinner this year, but we are all contributing a dish or two as he had never attempted to cook for so many people. I am doing the roast potatoes, cooked in goose fat, as well as glazed carrots.

Last year we hosted the dinner, I had just found out I was pregnant with twins and was already HUGE and panicking about how we would cope. D cooked the actual meal while I fretted. My sister was 4 weeks away from her due date and her older daughter gave everyone the flu! This year is going to be a massive celebration as my parents will be there with all seven grandchildren round the table.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Christmas tipple

This Christmas, our tipple is going to be 'Snowballs' - take one shot of advocaat, one shot of fresh lime juice and pour into a decorative glass. Top with lemonade, it will fizz up, so remember to leave some space at the top.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Duvet Day

Its been snowing in these parts - a bit crazy with only one week before Xmas day. The duvet hogger is getting worse and I am suffering a frozen shoulder. What we need is a new king size duvet. Preferable made with Hungarian goose feathers. I don't recall why its meant to be the best stuffing for a duvet but I need one pronto.
Looking around prices varies but good old John Lewis has the goods.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Cuppa tea?

This top could have been made for me - its by Sophie Hulme for ASOS , what's not to like? a cashmere mix sweater with a sequin teapot design. Would look great with a black pencil skirt for the office but paired with some wet look leggins for evening.

Christmas Party Invite

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

a piece of Audrey

On the 8th Dec there is the most amazing auction happening and I am breathless with excitement. A chance to bid and own something worn by Audrey Hepburn. Kerry Taylor Auctions have the most amazing selection of goodies and I can't decide which one I really really want - OK I admit I have no funds and its not realistic of me to even put in a bid but I can dream! I just love the black dress she wore in How to Steal a Million. Also there is a wedding dress she had planned to wear for a marriage that was called off - there is a lovely story attached to it which I have copied from the website.

The ivory satin bridal gown designed for Audrey Hepburn by the Fontana Sisters for her marriage to James (later Lord) Hanson in 1952 which did not take place, un-labelled, of heavy ivory satin, with wide boat neckline, pleats of fabric to the bodice front converging on a bow at the waist, three quarter length sleeves, zip fastened to the back with trained skirt, bust 92cm, 36in, waist 66cm, 26in; together with a letter of provenance from Amabile Altobella; a quantity of press cuttings relating to the gown; and a photograph of Audrey at a Fontana fitting wearing the original gown, (qty) The Fontana sisters were renowned for their highly romantic ball gowns and bridal gowns. The sisters Zoe, Micol and Giovanna founded their business in Rome in 1944. They counted among their clientele many celebrities including Audrey Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace of Monaco and Jackie Kennedy. In 1952, whilst Audrey Hepburn was filming `Roman Holiday' with Gregory Peck in Rome, she approached the Fontana sisters to ask them to make her bridal gown. Signora Micol Fontana said that the 23 year old Hepburn was 'young, fresh, on top of the world'. She used to slip away from the set to take refuge in the sewing rooms and discuss the dress. `Audrey wanted complete discretion and had lots of fittings'. Some weeks later when Audrey called off the planned wedding to James Hanson she asked the eldest of the sisters - Zoe to give the dress away. `I want my dress to be worn by another girl for her wedding, perhaps someone who couldn't ever afford a dress like mine, the most beautiful, poor Italian girl you can find.' Zoe's search centred on the town of Latina which had been founded by the fascists in 1932. The dress was given to a poverty stricken young Italian girl called Amabile Altobella, which coincidentally was the same Christian name as the Fontana sister's mother. Amabile visited Rome just once to have the dress adapted by the Fontana sisters for her to wear at her own wedding to farm worker Adelino Solda with whom she remained happily married, producing three daughters and five grandchildren. Amabile said `I have had a happy marriage, so the dress brought me luck'. The town council gave the young couple kitchen furniture and even organised a honeymoon for them in Paris. After the event she carefully wrapped the dress in tissue paper and stored it away without disturbing it for decades. It was not until 2002 when Micol Fontana, the last survivor of the three sisters traced the gown for a retrospective exhibition of their work, that it was re-discovered.

Just in time for the festive season

Courtesy of Daily Candy 
Merry Sample Sales
December Sample Sales

london sample sales!
sHOp, sHOp, sHOp.
What: Meli MeloPenelope Chilvers and Legge & Braine
Why: Clothing, accessories, boots and jewellery from £5.
When: Today, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: 60 Portland Rd., W11 4LQ. Map It
What: Twenty8Twelve
Why: Clothing and accessories for women from £10.
When: Today & Thurs., noon-7 p.m.
Where: Garfield House, 86-88 Edgware Rd., 1st flr., W2 2EA. Map It
What: American RetroZoe Tee’s and My Lovely Jean
Why: Up to 90 per cent off ready-to-wear and jeans.
When: Today & Thurs., noon-8 p.m.; Fri., noon-7 p.m.; Sat., noon-5 p.m.
Where: 87 Wardour St., 3rd flr., W1F OUA.

What: Alexander McQueen
Why: Up to 90 per cent off ready-to-wear and accessories.
When: Thurs., noon-8 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: The Westminster Room, The Old Sessions House, 22 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R ONA. Map It
What: Bodyamr
Why: Eveningwear, separates and accessories from £15.
When: Thurs. & Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: 7 Coptic St., WC1A 1NH (020 7691 2085). Map It
What: Nicholas Kirkwood
Why: Up to 80 per cent off shoes.
When: Fri., noon-7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: Swarovski Crystallized Lounge, 24 Great Marlborough St., W1F 7HU. Map It
What: La Perla
Why: Up to 75 per cent off lingerie, beachwear, outerwear, hosiery and fragrances.
When: 7-8 Dec. Mon. & Tues., 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Where: Hornvale Ltd., 22 Newman St., 4th flr., W1T 1PH (020 7291 0930). Map It
What: Graeme Black
Why: Up to 70 per cent off ready-to-wear.
When: 7-11 Dec. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Where: 151a Sydney St., SW3 6NT (020 7565 0066). Map It
What: Nicholas King and Tooshie
Why: Jewellery from £25 and swimwear.
When: 10 Dec. Thurs., 4-9 p.m.
Where: 3 Tite St., SW3 4JU.
What: Orla Kiely
Why: Clothing and accessories for women starting at £5.
When: 10-13 Dec. Thurs. & Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Shop 14, Old Truman Brewery, 15 Hanbury St., E1 6QR. Map It
What: Temperley
Why: Up to 60 per cent off ready-to-wear and accessories.
When: 16 Dec. Wed., 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Gr., W11 2QA (020 7229 7957). Map It

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Party outfits


I was horrified during a recent dinner conversation, the lengths people went to, to nab the Stella McCartney children's collection for Gap. I admit the collection is super cute but I fundamentally object to paying £80 quid for an item of clothing that a child will grow out of it in a nano second or wreck it on its first outing. And this person bought two of them - one for her precious to wear now and one in the next size up!!! I would much rather have spent the money of this lovely Paul and Joe jacket from Stylebop. OK slightly more expensive but hey its an investment piece, which would get a lot of wear.

Now my own curly haired beauty has very strong opinions on what she wants to wear - currently a lot of pink to the point I had to give up wearing it myself (matching mother and daughter is NOT a good look). When she was a baby I never had to resort to putting on a ridiculous hairband to let people know she was a girl. She was born with a full head of black hair, which turned curly after she became one. We used to get stopped so often by little old ladies to admire her, that I actually signed her up to a modelling agency. She has earn t her keep and can be seen in the current Mothercare Christmas campaign. Yep I am proudmum.com here.

Christmas jumper

With crimbo only 24 days away my thoughts turn to what to wear on the actual day. Whilst browsing through ASOS I came across this delightful cosy looking jumper by John Smedley - not really D's style so it would be an ideal 'give to you but pinch off you later' gift....a bit a tinsel in the hair and hey presto I shall look the part on the important day.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Comfort Food

Last week, having managed to escape the lurgies which has plagued the entire family I met up with some old friends for a pre-Christmas jolly in Covent Garden. We had originally tried to meet at Wahaca for some Mexican street food but the place was rammed and ended up in Carluccios nearby. In the end it was perfect for a howling rainy evening.  A refreshing glass of Procecco and than some top notch Italian comfort food. Next time I will remember not to wear high heels, as the cobbled streets are murder to navigate!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Anya Hindmarch Sample Sale

Everyone at home has the lurgies! So I won't be able to make this sale boo hoo :-(

Anya Hindmarch Sample Sale
What: Up to 70 per cent off bags and accessories.
Why: Bag a bargain — there’ll be new stock every day.
When: Thurs., 1-8 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Firevault, 36 Great Titchfield St., W1W 8BQ

Friday, 20 November 2009


Toast Christmas edition of their catalogue. It make me want to find that nordic hideaway where I can curl up by a log fire in cosy chunky knitwear and sip hot chocolate all day with a good book. Unlike my current life with all three tots coughing their guts out and the better part of the day spent in A&E to establish its NOT Swine flu.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Party Season

It feels like its crept up very quickly but its party season and invites are flowing in fast and I need a party dress pronto - this caught my eye on Catwalk to Closet a lovely bronze metallic dress which should make me stand out in a sea of LBD's. On sale and available in my size. Gotta click on the shopping basket and get it quick

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Choo time

A lot of brave people queued up outside Hennes to get their hands on the Jimmy Choo/H&M collaboration. I salute you all!!! The weather was atrocious and particularly nasty today with howling gales and buckets of rain. I can understand the allure they have, my own pair are leather burgandy with fun pom poms ties - bought in Venice a half size too small but I had to have them!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Birkin Mad

Whilst trawling through the auctions sites (having moved on from Ebay!) in search of the great classic handbag to add to my collection I came across Christies which is having a mammoth fine jewelry and classic handbag sale 19th November - they have up for auction approx 64 Hermes bags including Birkins and Kellys. I am in handbag heaven, there are some amazing choices of colours, leathers, shapes and sizes on offer. No silly wait list to get your hands on one. But as its an auction its a nerve racking procedure making a bid and I am not sure if I can be trusted to attend this one in person! I may go mad and walk away very happy but penniless....

Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Really Really Great Garage Sale


The Really Really Great Garage Sale

  • London12.00-16.00 Car Park, First Floor
Selfridges and Mothers4Children will hold the ultimate sale – the really, really great garage sale – on Sunday 15 November. Mothers4Childrenan organization that supports children’s charities from around the world, will take over the First Floor of the Selfridges car park with up to 45 unique stalls.
Mothers4Children patrons and mums Lisa B, Louise RedknappTrinny Woodhall and Yasmin Le Bon, have enlisted friends and family from the worlds of fashion, music, sport and entertainment to donate covetable items for sale and to act as stallholders on the day. Stallholders will also includeElizabeth HurleyJamie RedknappDavid Walliams and Denise Van Outen.
Fashion and music memorabilia – including iconic items belonging to Mothers4Children supporters – and designer fashion, accessories and homewares will be on sale. The Tea Palace, a Lorraine Pascale cupcake stall, a luxury tombola and entertainment for kids will create the perfect environment for a pre-christmas family day out, while helping to support children in need.
Selfridges has also designed an exclusive, limited edition £5 tote bag for Mothers4Children which will be on sale at the event.
The really, really great garage sale will be open to everyone and is cash only. Entrance is £5 for adults and free for children under the age of 12.
100% of proceeds raised at the event will go to Mothers4Children
*Registered Charity Number 1128062

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Laduree treat

Sunday morning munchies, a cuppa tea and a box of Laduree macaroons , all three midgets are napping - so its a perfect time to indulge. I just love these pastel coloured treats and to scoff a box full uninteruppted is bliss. Now Bonfire night is over I can now offically start trawling the web for christmas present ideas. Do I go the down the Argos/Amazon route and get it all in one place? This year we are only buying for each others children. Previous years we had to do the whole family, D is one of 4 and I have two siblings myself plus their kids and two sets of parents/in-laws, godchildren etc. It all adds up. Until I go back to work in the New Year it will all be cheap and cheerful tat this yuletide with maybe a dose of homemade crafting if I ever get the time to make anything.

Saturday, 7 November 2009


Sometimes however much you look after a well loved designer handbag it will need some TLC. Despite its name Furniture Clinic can do amazing things to revive a bag, clean it, restore the colour, even dye the leather if the staining cannot be taken out.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Missed out

Yesterday I was so busy in W1 with a meeting at the office, hitting the Missoni sample sale, checking out Anthropologie new store via the Christmas lights in Oxford/Regent St and rushing to make the train back to the 'burbs' I totally forget an important textile auction was happening. I missed out on the most amazing finds, a quantity of vintage Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Fendi bags. The black velvet Baguette went for #120 and the Chanel 2.55 went for #130 - all within my budget and two pairs of the classic Chanel pump shoes (in MY SIZE) went for #90!! GUTTED - I should have left a bid with the auction house on Monday when I looked over all the items. The chances of me being able to hit Bond Street to buy these items new are v.v.v.v.v. slim. I'm no fashion snob, I won't buy fakes but I don't mind vintage, pre-owned or lightly used designer goodies if they are long-term classics. I shall have to keep scanning The Saleroom for other auctions and this time be a bit more organised.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Treasure Box

On Sunday, right in the heart of SW1 there will be a super antiques fair at the Horticultural Halls .  Last time I was there, I bought a beautiful Shagreen Edwardian jewellary box. Lined with green velvet inside, its the perfect little box for my precious bits. Although the key to the box is missing, so I can't lock it, it doesn't detract from the lovely workmanship that went into the box. If I had wanted something new & pristine I would have gone to Smythson and paid a fair whack too.

I love hunting out original goodies at antique fairs. Finding something unique and being able to re-use it again. Another great find was an intricate bone, mother-of-pearl and silver inlaid cigar box which now houses my make-up brushes. I have a Victorian mahogany marquetry writing box. The writing slope has long gone but its a perfect place to keep love letters and cards. As you can probably tell I have a thing about boxes! When I see one on a stall I can't resist picking it up to see what's inside. Maybe it used to be a tea caddy, or a lady's work box full of bobbins, silks and threads. That's part of the thrill of going out to an antiques fair. You never know what you might find. Always ask the stall-holder 'what's your best price'. It can mean a few quid off and any discount is a bonus.

Monday, 2 November 2009

November Sample Sales

Courtesy Daily Candy - more sales for November. Just in time to get that festive party outfit. I'll be heading to the M Missoni sale as I will be in W1 for a meeting at the office. 

What: Betty Jackson
Why: Up to 80 per cent off ready-to-wear.
When: 3 & 4 Nov. Tues., 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Wed., 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Where: 311 Brompton Rd., SW3 2DY (020 7589 7884). Map It
What: M Missoni
Why: Ready-to-wear and accessories from £20.
When: 4 Nov. Wed., 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: 87 Great Portland St., W1W 7LU (01908 233640). Map It
What: Pringle of Scotland
Why: Up to 70 per cent off ready-to-wear and accessories.
When: 4-6 Nov. Wed. & Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thurs., 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Where: The Courtyard, 255a Pavilion Rd., SW1X 0BP (020 7259 1660). Map It
What: By Malene Birger & American Vintage
Why: Clothing and accessories from £15.
When: 5 & 6 Nov. Thurs., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Inexcess Fashion Ltd., 124-128 Barlby Rd., unit 4, W10 6BL (020 8960 6161). Map It
What: Ally Capellino
Why: Bags and accessories from £5.
When: 11 Nov. Wed., noon-8 p.m.
Where: Studio 1, 5 Calvert Ave., E2 7JP (020 7613 3073). Map It
What: Goat
Why: Knits, dresses, trousers and jackets from £30.
When: 13 Nov. Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Basement, 76 Gloucester Pl., W1U 6HJ (020 7487 3401).
What: Jenny Packham 
Why: Evening dresses from £250.
When: 19-21 Nov. Thurs., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 3a Carlos Pl.,W1K 3AN (020 7493 6295). Map It
What: Erickson Beamon
Why: Up to 70 per cent off jewellery.
When: 27 Nov. Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 38 Elizabeth St., SW1W 9NZ (020 7259 0202). Map It
What: Valentino
Why: Up to 70 per cent off ready-to-wear, accessories and fur.
When: 26-28 Nov. Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: The Music Room, 26 S. Molton Ln., W1K 5AB. Map It