Sunday, 30 September 2012

Go for Loafers...

Kurt Geiger London Monty Women Brands Kurt Geiger London Shoes Flats Loafers & Lace ups 
Monty Loafers by Kurt Geiger, £170

Loafers hit the shops about this time last year but they really aren't going anywhere anytime soon. I am a little in love with this two-tone pair, you really can't get very much more '80's than two-tone!

GAELIC 2 Brown
Gaelic 2 in Brown, from Jones the Bootmakers, £69
I also quite like these from Jones the Bootmakers, which are good value.

Halloween Fun shoe from Clarks, £59.99

We can't really leave out Clarks if we are talking loafers, and I like these because of their chunky heel and high shine.

Red or Dead loafer, Schuh, £75 with free delivery
And a pair with a bit more impact are these which are exclusive to Schuh...

Happy Loafing about everyone!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Haworth Old Hall, Yorkshire

Any visit to West Yorkshire must include a day trip to Haworth which perches up high on a ridge overlooking a valley. The famous parsonage at Haworth was home to the Bronte sisters who were born in Thornton near Bradford but wrote most of their novels while living here, isolated on the top of the moors. Atmosphere seeps out of every cobble stone and lurks around every grave stone in the churchyard. The main street then falls away to the valley below and today is worth a wander, stopping off in the many tiny shops and tea-houses down the slope. Don't forget to visit the apothecary which still has all the original wooden counters and cupboards - perfect for picking up a souvenir or two.

The Bronte Parsonage

The Parsonage is now a Bronte museum so if you are mad about Wuthering Heights or any of the other Bronte books then you really mustn't miss out.
Haworth Old Hall

We have been here several times over the years having family in the area but I wanted really to tell you about Haworth Old Hall, originally a manor house dating back some 400 years, which is located in Sun Street at the bottom of the hill. this lovely old pub does a really good Sunday lunch but also has an extensive menu from traditional Yorkshire fare such as Old Hall Pie with slow cooked steak and Jennings Cumberland Ale to the more European tortellini, Warm french brie. They even serve a delicious sounding vegetarian curry. A pretty perfect day would include a visit to the Parsonage, a wander down the high-street then lunch at Haworth Old Hall. 
Haworth Old Hall

Those that remember the film, The Railway Children (or in fact the TV programme too) can then visit Haworth station which starred as the station in the film. The Parsonage also played a part being the home of  the local Doctor, and Three Chimneys where the children lived is just along the ridge from The Parsonage - again a splendid walk... You can even see the railway tunnel where the children rescued the boy whose leg was trapped in the rails and in the path of an approaching steam-train! Here are the details of The Railway Children Walk part one and here is The Railway Children Walk part two

Bent's House used for Three Chimneys

Friday, 28 September 2012

Buy a Lulu Guinness original for £15

Lulu Guinness charity bag

British bag designer Lulu Guinness has put her talent to a really good cause just in time for Christmas with this exclusive tote bag which is on sale to raise charity funds for The Royal Marsden, Chelsea. Just £15 the entire profit will go to the hospital, which was the first in the world that was dedicated to the treatment of cancer.

It is available from The Royal Marsden and you will be helping some 40,000 patients who attend the hospital each year. The bag is 100% polyester.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Life Edit takes a walk with Instagram

Start at the splendid St Paul's Cathedral. Photo by Jiri Siftar.

I love walking in London. For me it beats the countryside, I'm that much of a city girl, and with a city as diverse and historic as ours, it's constantly changing and full of surprises. I realise I won't get to see it all in my lifetime- it's just too big, and also I do tend to return to my favourite haunts throughout the year to see what has changed and what is new and exciting. Even in historic settings like the South Bank there are always changes and new things to see. So with the help of the fabulous Instagram photographer Jiri Siftar and egged on by Bupa, whose latest campaign is to get us all walking more to maintain our health, I'm sharing with you one of my favourite weekend walks from St Paul's on the North Bank to The Anchor pub downstream on the South Bank. Here is some of my walk plotted out but to see all the photos and the full walk check it out on Google Maps

Leave St Paul's and walk towards the Millenium Bridge to cross the river. Photo Jiri Siftar.

The view downstream. Photo Jiri Siftar.

Across the bridge to Tate Modern. Photo Jiri Siftar.

Turn downstream and take in the sites of historic Southwark Cathedral. If it's a weekend stop to shop at  Borough Market. Photo Jiri Siftar.

You will pass by glorious Southwark Bridge. Photo Jiri Siftar.

Next stop - The Globe Theatre. Photo Jiri Siftar.

Down beside the Clink Prison at Pickford's Wharf... Photos Jiri Siftar.

Final stop for a lunch and a drink at The Anchor pub. Photo Jiri Siftar.

The view towards St Paul's from The Anchor pub. Photo Jiri Siftar.

Get out and get walking - you'll learn more about your surroundings than you will in a car. Bupa have launched a new initiative and have set themselves a target to get at least 100,000 people walking (and this includes their own employees, charity and corporate partners) both now and for the long-term.

It's all part of the Bupa Global Challenge which is an annual worldwide initiative aiming to 'get people moving' and raising awareness of the benefits of increased walking for good health and to reduce the risk of long-term diseases. It also supports Bupa's 'Well World' commitment, helping to enable 60 million people to make positive changes to be healthier and happier by 2015 and to reduce the organisation's carbon footprint by 20 percent.

You should get out there and walk, and to make it more fun I have one Black Jack Diana F+ camera to giveaway to accompany you. All you need to do is leave a comment telling me your own favourite walk. Alternatively tweet me on @scaredcrows #walkthisway. All entries will be entered into a draw which I will draw on October 5th.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

French Connection Sale on e-bay today!

This is a massive STOP PRESS for the flash sale that French Connection are having on
There really are some massive bargains to be had (or get in some early Christmas shopping)...

I particularly like these...

 Nancy Denim Skinny Jeans £21 instead of £60

Jersey V-Neck Dress Blue, £14.50 instead of £57

Wool Mix Maxi Skirt Black, £23 instead of £67

What are you waiting for.... loads of things on French Connection e-bay but they won't last long at these prices!

Monday, 24 September 2012

A week of utter madness...

This has been a particularly hard 10 days for me. My glorious holiday in the Caribbean is a long distant memory as I came back to a seriously busy period. First off was London Fashion Week which I have posted about already. I don't do the shows (been there, done that, got the bruises) but we do host a suite at One Aldwych providing TLC for fashion and beauty bloggers who are on their feet all day.

This is exhausting as we are on the go all day with fetching and carrying and generally running around to make sure that our partner clients and our blogs are happy - it is all quite stressful. That came to an end at the beginning of the week but there was no respite there. Oh no, for I was going into a week and weekend of enormous change. Both my babies (yes, to me they still are) were leaving the nest for university on the same weekend. One to her second year at Leeds, the other for the first time to Sheffield. So along with working at full tilt to catch-up with everything neglected due to LFW, I had to prepare for a big weekend in the parental calendar...

Why is it when you are feeling at your most 'raw' emotionally and need the strength of a minor god (just a minor one will do) you find that it coincides with 'time-of-life' stuff that makes you feel extra weepy and sweaty and anxious? It really is just not fair! You worry about them being alright of course, but when you have had them to include in everything you do from the minute you wake up to the minute your head hits the pillow for at least 18 years, then suddenly you don't, it's a very, very strange feeling. Without feeling too much self-pity you can't help being a bit introspective about what life will be like when the house is quiet and you're not 'double-thinking' for other people the whole time... Plus the sheer volume of brain power it takes to ensure that they are fully equipped with everything they need - after all they are no longer around the corner...

So when Dove Deodorant approached me asking if I would trial their Dove Original deodorant, putting it thorough it's paces for at least a week I thought 'Well, I have just the week!'! So here is proof that I am not making things up - part of my hallway this Saturday morning and an opportunity to plug the sponsors of this post!

So I started using these deodorants the minute I received them - they are not my usual brand so I can genuinely say this was a first trial for me.

Saturday was a long day. First off we had to pick up the van from a good 25 minutes away and drive both car and van back. Then we had to load said van with enough stuff for a student accommodation flat and a student house all the way from London in Yorkshire. Pots, pans, duvets, enough clothing to not have to visit a laundrette for at least a month, printers, laptops, enough shoes to create a shoe-mountain, books (well a few), glasses (wine and shot), rugs, posters - all the things a 21st Century student labels 'essential' were loaded into the van.

I then had to shoot with eldest daughter to the underground to catch a train to Sheffield (the van only took two people) to then be reunited for the first van load to be unloaded and carried two flights to the new student room of daughter number two.

Two hours of unpacking and moving in ensued, then I had to take unwanted items and suitcases to Sheffield station to catch a train to Leeds for part two of the moving in exercise...

Then it was a drive to Bradford to spend a drunken night with my sister-in-law where, to my shame after such a splendid dinner, I fell asleep on the table. Yes, really, I did, that was the level of physical and emotional exhaustion...

The next day we walked the hills around Haworth and had a pub lunch which was a welcome break then it was back in the van for the long-haul through driving rain to London.

It is always difficult to write about a deodorant and normally I would have balked at doing so - but as I knew I would really be putting anything like this through it's paces this week I was happy to do so. Results? Well I certainly didn't feel the need to refresh it at all during such a mad weekend so I can only say, it really really works! I will be changing as I am sure my old one would need refreshing by the end of the day after so much but this one didn't!

The lowdown...
Both the Dove Original Anti-perspirant aerosol and roll-on care for delicate skin under your arms. I shave regularly and there was no stinging sensation and my skin is not at all dry after using it. It also did definitely give me 24 hour protection as promised! It contains a moisturising cream which I believe does do the trick - I must admit I don't usually moisturise under my arms so this is quite welcome... Available from Boots.

This is a sponsored post which was well timed and very welcomed!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

It's Nail Art Nail Tattoo love!

How cute is this little heart? Believe it or not the whole manicure was done last Saturday and is still absolutely perfect, which for me if some sort of record! I have a tiny heart on each little finger and each thumb because I am too long in the tooth for a full set. But I can get away with a little detail and you all can too because these tiny stick on tattoo's make nail art easy even for the extremely cack-handed like me!

All you need to do is paint your nail with a neutral colour that's not too dark otherwise it won't show up. Allow the coat (or two coats if you'd prefer) to completely dry, then carefully position the tattoo. Finish with a coat of top-coat.

Check out Nail Art Nail Tattoo's for a full range of gorgeous little designs from birds and hearts to crosses and stars they cost a mere £5.99 for 60 tattoo's available at

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Space Raiders - addictive stuff

We had lots of brands at our Handpicked Media London Fashion Week suite last weekend, but one you wouldn't normally associate with fashion made a very popular appearance in the form of crunchy snack, Space Raiders.

These maize snacks come in Saucy BBQ, Spicy, Pickled Onion and Beef and went down rather well with the fash pack and with all of us in the office. We have been snacking on them there ever since as they are, well, just a bit addictive, especially if you're a crisp fan. They're not bad on the nutrition front either being just 135 calories per bag with 0.9g of saturated fat, 1g of fibre and 17.4g of carbs and we really like the retro feel packaging. At just 20p a bag they are great value too so I shall definitely be grabbing a bag next time I feel the urge to nibble coming on....

Monday, 17 September 2012

UGG Australia - fabulous new styles for A/W 2012

Unless you are living in a bubble, you won't have been able to avoid the fact that this is the time of year that the fash pack hit the collections in London, Paris, Milan and New York (amongst others). As I talked about before we hosted our blogger suite once again at One Aldwych for our bloggers to get some R&R over the London Fashion Weekend. For two days we were joined by the team from UGG Australia who brought along a selection of the Autumn/Winter 2012 collection which are all available now.

I have been banned from wearing UGG's by my daughters. I do see their point - they don't want their Mum dressing exactly like them. But I have always secretly lusted after a pair as they just look so damn comfortable!

So I was particularly pleased to see that with this collection there was plenty of sheepskin lined lovelies from which to choose and I wouldn't be accused of being a 'wannabee young' Mum. 'Wow' was the response to the collection from all the bloggers who came through - who knew that UGG Australia boots and shoes came in so many variations....

Not a glimmer of sheepskin, but skyscraper heels and a metallic sheen make these clogs truly desirable!

A nod to the Seventies archives here - beautifully made and infinitely wearable UGG's. 

Crocodile embossed Piera UGG Australia Collection boot, £459

Furry with a five inch heel, Illana, £185

Towering Aldabella boot from UGG Australia collection, £699

And here's the style I decided to make my own... UGG Australia Carmine, £149

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Barbados! An island with everything....

It must seem that all I do is go on holiday... but last year I had one week and although I know that some people would love even that (and I should count myself lucky), one week is just not enough when you are working and juggling a family. Even one with kids as old as mine...

So last year I saved every spare penny so that we could have a couple of breaks in the summer when it was quieter. This was the first year we managed to avoid the school holidays as youngest left after completing A levels - and the shocking truth is that our Turkey budget during school holidays almost stretched to somewhere far more exotic. So that's what we did and on 3rd September when all the school aged students were returning to school, we found ourselves at Heathrow Airport awaiting a flight for BARBADOS!

We have been before about 8 years ago - and apart from a bit more development along the coast (and a lot of properties on the market due to the recession in the States) nothing much has changed. It is still beautiful. The people (on the whole, like everywhere else you can get some who just don't understand the words 'no thank you' and will keep on pestering) are very friendly and helpful, the scenery is dramatically different across the island, the hotels are great and the food is pretty good too. And as for the rum? Well the cocktails are plentiful and fabulous in the hot weather days.

Don't be put off by going in the rainy season either. It was hot every day, and if it did rain it lasted no more than an hour then instantly dried off... It was cloudy, but you still got an amazing tan and it really didn't bother us. There is so much to do on Barbados - we snorkelled and swam with turtles - even seeing some emerge from their nests and scuttle to the waves from our beach, Turtle Beach! It's a great place for keen divers or for those who just want to hire a car and explore the island. Visit a rum shack or two along the way for a real Barbados experience. We entered virgin forest and monkeys came out of the trees to say hello. We stayed at the Turtle Beach in St Lawrence Gap (which in high season is livelier than other parts of the island) but has rougher seas - perfect for body boarding but hopeless for snorkeling. Get on down to Oisin's on a Friday night where the locals eat fish and rice and peas and everyone gets to dance until 1am...

It's a fab island not just the preserve of the rich and famous - but if you go in high season and as all the beaches are public you may well find yourself swimming alongside Rhianna (who comes from the island).

We booked our holiday with Virgin Holidays and I can't recommend them highly enough...

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Jax Coco - 100% pure coconut water

Rhianna is the face of coconut water, so it is on a bit of a trend upward wave at the moment, but I have to say that in terms of really rehydrating when you're on the go, it is something we should all grab as an alternative to a fizzy drink.

Jax Coco comes in a cool 250ml frosted glass bottle which is only 50 calories per bottle. It is naturally isotonic with 5 essential electrolytes (potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium and phosphorous). Zero fat (I like the sound of that) or cholesterol and no added sugar or artificial preservatives.

I shall definitely be switching to this from Diet Coke . Serve it very chilled, it's delicious!

Friday, 14 September 2012

New Look sneak peek at Autumn/Winter

It's that time of year again - well it comes around every six months and takes over for less than a week and then disappears again. What am I talking about? London Fashion Week that's what!

It's a long time since I have attended the shows as a fashion Ed. But recently we have been hosting a suite for tired fashion and beauty bloggers at One Aldwych, a hotel just over the road from the main event. Last night we partnered with New Look for an opening night party with our lovely Handpicked Media bloggers where plenty of wine was quaffed, nails were painted using on trend varnishes from Gold by Giles (exclusive make-up collection for New Look by Giles Deacon) and the Autumn/Winter collection from New Look was um-ed and aaahhh-ed over by all who  attended.

I am always surprised by New Look and although it's often a bit too young for me (who am I kidding most of it is too young for me) there are some great pieces at the most fantastic prices. And this year's A/W collection is no exception. There are great shapes for coats and jackets, some lovely jewellery that's almost deco inspired, and some towering shoes beloved of both my daughters.

It's fun fashion and I must admit I am particularly impressed with the Gold by Giles make-up range which has a wide range of colours and is great quality - and for £2.99 for a varnish it really can't be beaten.

Hope this will give you a flavour of last night with a great little video made by our friends at New Look...

Gorgeous lingerie from curvy Kelly Brook - up to a size G!

The view from our window. Photo by
The fabulous colours from Gold by Giles. Photo by
Loved the PR's New Look fashion wedge trainers. Photo by

Lovely chunky knits and fake furs. Photo by Shesaidbeauty
Cute New Look knickers


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