Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Easter Bunny came early

Sometimes my job gets a bit surreal, but if it makes everyone happy then that's cool with me. The powers that be thought it would be good for morale to give everyone a Chocolate Easter Egg as a thank you present for all their hard work in Q1. I really didn't need much of an excuse to go get them. I thought what an eggcellent idea! It was a nice generous budget too (although not enough to be able to get Hotel Chocolate) so I decided Green & Black's would be perfect. Looking through their website there were some great choices but I opted for Milk Chocolate - Andrea at the head office was very helpful and she was able to get them couriered over the next day. I got a colleague, who gets into the office very early, to leave one on each desk. She was more than happy to be on Easter bunny duties. Needless to say by the time it was 11am I was on a sugar high from scoffing all the chocs - the generously sized egg came with two bars of chocolate, Butterscotch and Almond. Truly yummy. Totally spoilt my lunch and I was starving hungry by 2pm and really thirsty.  We tell our kids not to eat sweets  before a meal and I only go and do eggactly that!

Later in the day I saw a guy wheeling a shopping trolley down Rathbone Place, it was full of Cadbury's Cream Easter Eggs. So I guess somewhere else was treating their staff too.

Would you like some cake?


When Curly haired beauty was coming up to one years old - we made a lot of fuss over her and had party. I went a bit mad on the cake and we chose this one from The Cake Store  I say 'we', meaning I had her sat on my knee in front on the computer and I showed her the various designs and she really reacted to this baby cake. Clapping hands, giggling etc. Too cute! When I went to collect the cake, it was Massive - it was bigger than her and after the party I filled 3 cake tins with the leftovers and took it into work.

Next month we are having a double celebration for the twins. Its even more poignant as we never thought they would make it after their traumatic and early arrival. It should be a joyous occasion - time to put away the fears and the heartache that has been my constant companion these last eleven months. Throw in an active and easily bored 3 year old and its relentless, tiring and not very rewarding being a mother sometimes. But I look at my children and feel a lot of love for these little creatures. They already know their own minds and have strong opinions on what they want from life. I need to order a cake (well two) and thought these will indulge mummy's cupcake obsession, from Lola's Cupcakes . I know not very boyish but I'm in charge of the credit card!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Mellow yellow

Its been bucketing down in W1 and my thoughts turns to the summer, holiday's, the beach! What shall I wear? Koodos has some colourful designer wear that would be perfect for a vacation in the South of France sans enfant.

cropped linen pants by Sigaal
Jenny Dyer coco dress
Delfina halter bikin
Melissa Odabash Eneya bag
Tracy Ross shoes

Too good to be true

The Outnet is going to be one years old next month. To celebrate they have an amazing once in a lifetime sale, where goodies will be #1 yes #1!!!! Go sign up NOW

Monday, 29 March 2010

April showers - who cares more sample sales!

Sample Sale Showers3.1 Phillip Lim, Malandrino, Ted Baker and More Sample Sales
3.1 phillip lim, malandrino, ted baker and more sample sales!
What’s not to love?
What: Baby Ceylon
Why: Ready-to-wear from £5.
When: 28 Mar. Sun., 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Gr., W11 2QA. Map It
What: Boutique Sale
Why: Clothing and accessories from designers including 3.1 Phillip Lim, Paul & Joe, McQ and more from £5.
When: 31 Mar.-4 Apr. Wed., 1-8 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: The Old Truman Brewery, Shop 14, 15 Hanbury St., E1 6QR. Map It
What: MiH Jeans
Why: Up to 75 per cent off jeans, shirts and tees.
When: 8 & 9 Apr. Thurs. & Fri., 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Where: 90 Lots Rd., units 22 & 23, SW10 0QD (020 7349 9030). Map It
What: Claret Showroom Sale
Why: Up to 75 per cent off labels including House of Harlow, Winter Kate, Madeleine Thompson Cashmere, Alice McCall and more.
When: 8 & 9 Apr. Thurs. & Fri., 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Where: 73 Uverdale Rd., SW10 0SW (020 7349 8887). Map It

What: The London Accessory Sale & Secret Sample Sale
Why: Clothing and accessories by Ferragamo, D&G and more from £5.
When: 8-11 Apr. Thurs., noon-9 p.m.; Fri., noon-8 p.m.; Sat., noon-7 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m.
Where: T2, The Old Truman Brewery, 85 Brick Ln., E1 6QL (07900 432661). Map It
What: Ted Baker
Why: Clothing and accessories from £5.
When: 14 & 15 Apr. Wed., 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thurs., 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: Camden Centre, Bidborough St., WC1H 9JE (020 7255 4800). Map It
What: Fashion Forward
Why: Up to 80 per cent off clothing and accessories from Catherine Malandrino, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, See by Chloé, Valentino Red and more.
When: 19 Apr. Mon., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 18 Devonshire St., W1G 7AU (01908 233640). Map It

What: Meli Melo
Why: Handbags and accessories from £50.
When: 21 Apr. Wed., 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Where: 1 Ensor Mews, SW7 3BT (020 7835 1363). Map It
What: Designer Sales UK
Why: Up to 90 per cent off Allegra Hicks, Biba, Vivienne Westwood and more.
When: 22-25 Apr. Thurs., noon-10 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: The Old Truman Brewery, 85 Brick Ln., E1 6RU (01273 858464). Map It

What: Semon Cashmere
Why: Luxury pieces from £39.
When: 27 Apr. Tues., 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 53 Wells St., W1T 3DN (01908 233640). Map It
Photo: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images 
Courtesy of Daily Candy 

Friday, 26 March 2010

OMG at last they are on-line

Today I popped out in my lunch break to head over to the Margaret Howell sample sale near Bond Street. I walked out into the worse dump of rain ever and was throughly soaked before I even made it to Oxford Circus. Typical - I had washed my hair this morning and not taken a brolly! I was wearing patent peep toe heels and got stuck behind the biggest slowest group of Italian students ever- I have maybe ranted about this before but  why do Italian students need to crowd into Bennetton? WHY are there so many suitcase wheeling tourists in Oxford St. Why stop at the narrowest point in the pavement for no reason?!?!?!? Its raining cats and dogs - get outta my way people!

I got so pissed off I headed back to the office to dry off and didn't make it to the sale. Believe me I am so not happy about that. This is why I probably love on-line shopping - ok its not the same thrill of making a purchase and instant gratification of being able to wear it right away. But when that parcel comes through the door - the whole self-gifting 'I deserve it present' really makes my day. I think I probably developed my Net-a-porter habit on my first maternity leave. It was a well deserved pat on the back for getting my figure back so quickly (helps I have a thyroid condition to speed my metabolism).

Anyway look who has finally  joined the digital revolution?!? Selfridges is now online and they have the most amazing lists of designer gear and everyday items for sale on the internet. I couldn't resist checking out this beautiful Nautical jacket by Givenchy.  I have to say the styling of the photos are a little ASOS for my liking and it took a while for all the images to load up but that could be my mac's fault. Homeware, Food, Beauty are also sold on their website.

Thursday, 25 March 2010


It's Margaret Howell sample sale - Hurrah - on today and tomorrow at The Music Rooms 26 South Molton Lane W1 from 9am to 7pm. Perfect for me to pop in and view in my lunch break.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Heart says yes/Head says No

There are some amazing shoes for sale on the Cocosa website, they are not in my size, not practical (I can't walk in any heels over 4 inches high) but I really want them! I need them - they will make my life happy and fulfilled....OK I am so lame for putting a pair of shoes on such a high pedestal. I know I use retail therapy as a distraction from my hum drum life of being a working mother. I have always loved to shop even before I used to work in the fashion industry and since leaving it. I have spent all day at the office humming and ahhing and cooing over these bloody shoes. Now when I go to the website to actually make the purchase, the website it under maintenance!!!! BTW its the gold one on the left. Here is a bit more about the designer and her shoes.

Designer Deborah Lyons blends futurism and femininity through contrasting materials and textures, seductive metallics, and soaring high heels. Vamp meets European sophistication with must-have boots in lust-worthy pythons, patents, moire silks and suedes, evoking a fine line between the whimsical and the avant-garde. Lyons's shoes are a testament to fine Italian craftsmanship, integrity of design, and an understanding of a woman's need for comfort. Saturating the collection, are empowering colors such as petrol blue, rose gold, steel, and black, which emphasize the two-tone cut outs of these fanciful styles.
Deborah Lyons, Designer, approaches shoe design from a clean, bold, sculptural point of view. Inspired and trained by her artist grandmother, Deborah's passion led her to study art in London, Florence, and Paris, eventually ending up at Parsons University to study fashion design. By the age of 25, Deborah began her own line, overseeing the development of her creations by traveling to the factories in Italy and Spain, studying the craft and working with the artisans themselves. Deborah's background has strongly influenced her style, and her shoes reflect a potent combination of European style and youthful sensibility. Fiercely feminine, her designs combine a mix of luxurious textiles, leathers and metals. Deborah's elevation of the shoe to art for the foot is boldly captured in her signature-- a gold triangle stretched out on the sole down to the heel.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Legs ahoy

The sun almost made another appearance today, Daffodils are blooming  - the USA have already started their summer hours and our clocks go forward one hour next weekend so it will be officially British Summer time. It really is time I said goodbye to my black opaque tights and wear something else on my legs - but what? I can't go bare legged so soon.  The wonderful thing with black opaques; they cover a multitude of sins - no weekly maintenance on hair removal. I can get away with wearing a shorter skirt and tailored shorts and still look professional. Sheers won't work right now, my legs are covered in bruises where laughing boy keep ramming into me in his baby walker. Also the ageing process is catching up with me - with two years to go before I hit 40, I am starting to get saggy/wrinkled knees! What on earth can you do about that? So I was quite impressed when I can across these tights by  Bebaroque  stocked at Urban Outfitter. OK it may raise some eyebrows but I think I could get away with them if I wore them with my black knee length BCBG pencil skirt and a kitten heel....

Saturday, 20 March 2010

RIP Joseph

When I was a lowly fashion assistant carrying bags of samples & buckling under the weight of them. Joseph Ettedgui held the door for me as I struggled out of the Joseph press office. This act of kindness will stay with me forever. There were not many people as lovely as him in the fashion industry and his influence in retail cannot be underestimated.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

My First Blog Award thank you

Gosh thank you Sharon for my first blog award - I am very touched I have only been blogging regularly since September 09. 

The rules of acceptance include telling of 7 things about yourself and passing on this award to 7 other beautiful bloggers. Let me think what might be of interest to you?

1 I own OVER 55 coats and jackets including a cape - my dry cleaning bill is HUGE
2 My guilty food pleasure, if I am cooking for myself, its pasta with grated cheese and smothered in tomato ketchup (discovered when I was a poor fashion student)
3 I am using 3 types of eye cream to stave off wrinkles and bags
4  I can fit four jaffa cakes in my mouth....
5 My favourite place to dine is The Square http://www.squarerestaurant.org/ – it has the best dishes, wine and service you could want for a special meal out. It’s also an extra bonus to be located right in the heart of Mayfair so window shopping is a MUST afterwards
to help AID digestion.
6 I am - 4 in my right eye (extremely short-sighted) and my twin sister is very short-sighted in her left eye. We have to spend the extra money to get the thinner lenses so the glasses are not weighted lop sided. But I hate wearing glasses so I only wear them in the office or for driving. I have walked passed my own brother in the street because I hadn’t seen him. D never saw me in specs until probably 3 years into our relationship when he came to visit me at work.
Yes I was that vain.
7 I always carry safety pins in case of a wardrobe malfunction - left over habit from my
styling says.

Now I tried to add 7 bloggers to this post to pass on this award too, but for some strange reason I lost all the links and it didn't work. So I would like to deviate from the rules and give this Beautiful Bloggers award to everyone who reads my blog. Thank for taking the time to read my thoughts :-)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Make it yourself

My niece A is starting to flex her creative juices and is keen to learn to sew - she wants to make her own clothes! Oh dear - that's how I started my passion for fashion and subsequent career path in the 1990's as a stylist. I am secretly hoping she has inherited some of my flair and I can see she has an eye for detail and her fashion drawings are pretty good for a 7 year old! I thought I would get her one of these make it yourself kits http://www.clothkits.co.uk/  - happy sewing

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Looking Back

I don’t think I could to be a student again – back in the old day’s in the early 1990’s I was studying Fashion at Art School based in Epsom. I don’t think I ever spent much time actually on-site – it was located in a funny area across the way from the mental hospital (now closed). Lee McQueen had graduated two years ahead of me. Come the madness of London Fashion Week – we would all descend to South Kensington to the Natural History Museum trying to blag a ticket to get into the shows. 

My peers would show off how they had dinner with the Editor of ‘The Face’ magazine – the talk around the table was how it would go bust after losing the libel case with Jason Donovan calling him gay.Grunge was all over the airwaves, Kurt Cobain heralded as a musical genius – Marc Jacobs was vilified at Perry Ellis for his take on grunge wear.

So sad, Cobain/McQueen now dearly departed, The Face folded and Jason Donovan only surfaced in those irritating Iceland ads during X-factor. But Marc is still here and is relevant as ever.

It was another time another place – looking back it seemed like madness after leaving school to study ‘fashion’ – so elitist and fantastical. Well I did it and I would love to go back to my school careers advisor and say I told you so (in the job tests they gave me I scored well to become a driving instructor or a lawyer). Mmm took me 4 attempts to pass my driving test!

After spending the summer doing lots of un-paid work experience and taken under the wings of a brilliant Fashion Editor 'J'. I actually managed to get a real properly paid job the same year I graduated - no mean feat as the country was in a recession. It was for a women’s weekly magazine – readership was over 1 million a week but the Fashion department consisted of just the Fashion Editor and me, the assistant, two tables and a big cupboard where all the samples were kept under lock and key. My computer, a Mac, was the size of a shoe box with the tiniest black and white screen. My salary was £10K pa, my brother’s first job when he graduated a year later was £25K but he studied IT and the rise of the dot.com boom.

My income was supplemented by working as an evening chambermaid at a 5* hotel, the same place Billy Wyman married Mandy Smith. More recently an aide working for a member of the Saudi family was bashed to death there! 

There was some highs to the job, shooting Summer wear in Miami and Negril, Jamaica whilst England was in the depths of winter. But it must have been the loneliest time of my life – I only ever went out with work people - all women or gay men. No chance to ever meet a straight man, have a relationship – single the whole time, I was a fashion widow!

I had the Fashion Editor from hell as my boss. She had a lot of problems maintaining relationships, divorced with 3 kids, oldest got pregnant at 16, second daughter was bullied at school about it and youngest son was a little bit wet. I felt like I was a relationship counsellor and she treated me like her fourth child. During Press launches we would go out but not stand too close together if we had turned up in similar outfits. Her in Joseph and me in Top Shop. The goody bags and freebies I used to give away to my twin sister who was a student nurse. She tells me later I was a nightmare Fash Hag – my biggest put down to her would be ‘that’s so laasssst season darling’. Yes I was a bit of a cow and then some.

My flatmate was studying an MA at St. Martins and sold a pair of trousers to Christopher Bailey, now head of Burberry's. I used to pop in to borrow outfits for shoots to get my portfolio together. I once ran in to John Galliano who had a 'cold' and was sniffing a lot. Sweet guy, helping out the students for their final shows. I saw Stella McCartney's Final year show (my flatmate was in the year below her), Naomi Campbell modelled one outfit, did a quick strut and blink you would have missed her. I much preferred Phoebe Philo's work. 

Fast forward a few years I eventually become a freelance Stylist but I got trapped into working for weekly magazine and could never progress to work for a glossy monthly. These were the days before Grazia, and there was a strict hierarchy in the PR world so I could never get the better samples loaned to me. The nicest people who lent me loads was C&A (again sadly no longer on the high st) but I guess the readership of the mags I worked for reflected their budgets. Its not like nowadays where you take pride in telling people the price of your latest Primark purchase. A lot of the mags I worked for no longer exist - not that I was a jinx but publications come and go and its all down to circulation figures and making money. Publishing is a loss making business!

One memorable shoot I did was a make-over feature using 'Petite' women, real people who had written into the mag wanting a make-over. I must have done such a great job making them look normal and not vertically challenged; the Editor dropped the feature! Another shoot I did for a big gossip mag featuring Tara Palma-Tomkinson, was the worst paid job I ever did. I think it barely covered my travel expense.The better paid shoots were for NoW but I really hated working in Wapping. I think my passion for the job started to wane when I realised I wasn't getting any job satisfaction, never get onto the property ladder with my meager earnings, never have a boyfriend. My mum never really got what I did - even though I tried to explain - I tell people what to buy to make them look good. But then again she never really understood what my brother did either - 'he's into computers'. 

I spent a year out trying to find myself, took a holiday - did lots of flaky evening classes, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Aromatherapy. I ended up temping to make ends meet and accidently fell into TV production work. Then a brand new chapter happened in my life; I met a man (eventually married him), I started to get involved in my production job - I took great delight eating in the BBC staff canteen with Jeremy Paxman over looking the Blue Peter Garden. Life just seemed to be more fun again rather than a chore/bore. I have no regrets about leaving the fashion world, it was something I had to explore in my youth otherwise I would have lived with the regret of 'what if'. 

Thursday, 11 March 2010


Vintage Fashion Fair

What: Clothing, accessories and textiles, including gems from Ossie Clark, Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood.Why: Old is gold. When: Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.Where: Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regents Park Rd., NW1 7AY (07956 683054). Map It

As a special and unusual treat for Mothers Day why not bring your Mum to the Vintage Fair. Buy her a little something that takes her fancy and for the first 30 Mums that come in with their daughters (or sons!) there will be a sweet treat awaiting them…

Courtesy of Daily Candy

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Blooming lovely

I seem to be on a mission to try and find the perfect SS10 dress - I am getting drawn to big floral handpainted prints. I found these on sale at Stylebop, they seem to tick all the right boxes but unfortunately not available in my size :-( I shall have to keep looking....

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Is it me or do they look...?

Last night after tidying up when all three tots were in bed - it struck me, in my sleep deprived head, that Curly Haired Beauties 'girls world' dolls head looked a little bit like Sandra and SJP in my previous post. Snow White, all demure, neat as a pin, simple but classic. Barbie all tangoed, over made-up and older looking. Its probably a bit unfair to compare the two actresses who are poles apart in looks, acting ability and talent.

As a mum, for CHB I have tried to give her positive role model dolls, things she can identify with like I had as a child. Growing up as a child in the 70's my dolls had dark hair and brown eyes - apart from Strawberry Shortcake who was a redhead but smelt of strawberries! I did occasionally get given blonde dolls as presents but I didn't play with them as much. Back then I had a passion for fashion and used to make little outfits for all my toys; including Snoopy who wore a dress :-)

Monday, 8 March 2010

Oscar Frocks

Sandra's hair and gown is just perfection - simple yet so stylish.

SJP, the Chanel gown is stunning, beautiful colour, but why oh why did she tangoed herself and that eye make-up!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Take two dresses

It's always the way - you go out looking for a certain something but you don't can't find it! At the Temperley Sample sale last week I hunted high and low for the Cecily mini tunic dress - in my head I thought it would tick all the boxes for SS10. But it wasn't there, there were a few other similar dresses but they just were not in the right colour. I didn't want to settle for the second best so I came away empty handed - gutted. I am trying to be more strict with my shopping as I have had a run of impulse buy's the last few months. I've been letting the delights of W1 go to my head and being able to access lovely shops again. So I turned to ShopStyle to see if I could hunt it down. They have it on The Outnet but look who else has something that's a fraction of the price. Top Shop :-D 
OK not the exact dress and not the same detailing or fabric, but pretty close colour match and with the saving I could go on to buy sooo much more. What shall I do, go for quality designer dress or high street knock off?

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Outnet

I do love The Outnet site - its great to locate things I missed first time round - either I dithered and didn't click add to shopping bag in time or not has the funds to make the purchase first time round. A few things have turned up that would make great additions to update my SS10 look. Vanessa Bruno Athe lavender cotton knit cardi, By Marlene Birger shirt, Brian Atwood mint patent slingbacks, Manoush lemon t-shirt, Chloe white silk a-line skirt. All very pretty pastel colours that could mix in with my basic black, navy, grey capsule wardrobe. With some tan accessories I could be good to go!


Friday, 5 March 2010


I'm loving this limited edition makeup set by Paul & Joe on ASOS. Its perfect to slip into a small clutch bag. Lipstick, mirror and blotting paper, all your essentials for an evening out. Comes packaged in a pretty tin too.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Like Choo Shoes

I have always been a fan of Beatrix Ong – hailed ‘The New Choo’ in 2004 – I am always regretting I never got her messenger boots a few years ago. They can still be bought on some discount designer websites; alas the only size available is 36 – so short of acting like an ugly step-sister by cutting my toes and heels off to jam my foot in. I will have to live with this fashion regret – amongst the others; Prada lipstick print skirt found in Notting Hill Exchange (too big but I could have taken it in), Marni flower print coat in TK Maxx (pregnant/fat).

Currently Ong has some great SS10 shoes in Liberty’s - her Nude Inspired collection by masters such as Bottichelli and ancient Greek and Roman mythology. But I spied a bargain on her website from last season for 70 quid – pony skin flats in tan with a black patent strap. I could easily work this into my spring wardrobe and coloured footwear would be a great way to lift a work outfit.

Now I did have my heart set on some Rupert Sanderson heels – but after yesterday’s mammoth trek into the office (due to a trackside fire) I had to take a  bus, train, tube, power walk – tripping about  W1 in heels is not a good thing. My ankles are throbbing from where I kept rucking over on un-even pavements. Why oh why are there so many slow walking people in Oxford Street? Why stop suddenly for no reason,  why pull an extremely large suitcase in the world’s busiest shopping area?  It shouldn’t be allowed! Rant rant …..